Jump to content

The Kindly Mr. Epinoch (Semi-Closed)


Recommended Posts

The morning was bright and the sounds of song birds melded harmoniously with the sounds of the rolling sea slapping against the base of the cliffs below.  A winding road cut through the trees and waving grass along the cliffside, providing a gorgeous view of the sea and the rolling clouds.


It was along this path Jin’li slowly walked, his black robes and boots covered in mud from the rain the night before.  His sword cane was also covered in the muck as it took his weight.  The short miqo’te paused to look out at the sea, his black eyes feasting upon it.  


He was motionless as he watched the rolling waves.  Askier had called him pathetic before his death and that had rung a cord with the once dead miqo’te.  It had awakened something in him, a form of self-awareness he had not truly allowed to bubble into his mind since he had castrated himself at fifteen.  He was, for all intense and purposes, indignant at the slight.  He was the first, to his knowledge, miqo’te to not only defy death with the aid of powerful sorceries thanks to “The Voice” but to do so through his own sheer will and leeched knowledge from “The Voice”.  Jin’li had not possessed an ego in over a decade, acting as nothing but a tool for his masters countless times over.  But now, he was the master.  He was, for the first time, truly in command of his own destiny and actions and, the seemingly eternal slave was unsure how to act, or even what to do with his freedom.  So obsessed had he been for so long at accomplishing goals set before him by masters, he was unsure of how to set his own goals.  Certainly it had been his own brilliance that had nearly poisoned Ul’dah, but even then, he had been carrying out his dead master’s wishes.  Now, he was free, and he had no idea of what he wanted to do.


He had killed remnants of his past easily enough, but that wasn’t’ enough.  Killing for Jin’li was automatic, something he just did.  He didn’t even need a reason why.  But when Askier had belittled him moments before Askier had pulled the pin out of the grenade, it made Jin’li curious if he could even come up with a good reason.  


Jin’li had said he wanted to free people from the mortal slavery to death and its eternal claim over all.  Was that truly his end?  Did he truly wish to set all these people free?


Jin’li thought.  Freedom. It was an odd concept to him, almost alien to his mind.  The idea of being free, a slave to nothing, truly nothing.  The normal minded would find being killed as not a freedom, but as a punishment.  But, perhaps, it was up to him to force the freedom on the masses, to force the all to die, and let only those whom possessed the true desire to be free, fight the chains of death and deny its mastery over them.


Yes, that was it.  Jin’li blinked and watched the sea.  In that moment Jin’li realized that was his goal. He wanted to see who was his equal. Who was strong enough to cheat death and live in a new world made of only the truly free to flourish.  He had so many people to test.  The idea excited the normally emotionally blank male.


Melkire and the former Master


Jin’li’s lips curled into a half smile as he thought of the two men he wanted to test the most.  One his former master and now slave to a master of his own.  And Melkire, his greatest rival, the man whom had proven equal enough to kill him once.  Was Melkire strong enough to join Jin’li in a new world? Was the hyur grand enough to, perhaps, best him once again? Or was the hyur just as pathetic and weak as most and would let the waves of death take him when the time came?  The miqo’te didn’t know but he desperately wanted to know.


“I am coming for you, Master Melkire.”  Jin’li said, his voice without inflection as his smile faded.  “This one shall dance with you once again.”


“Dancin’ eh? Ain’t that cute.”  Came a mocking voice.  Jin’li turned.  Standing there was four men.  Behind them stretched three wagons with more men and women walking beside, all dressed in various outfits, carrying at least one weapon each.  Jin’li gauged they were mercenaries and turned to them and bowed.

“This one wishes you a good morning and is flattered that you should find such a simple idea as this one’s to be cute.  It is not a compliment this one receives often.”


“OFft, what a tosser.” Said the man in the front, a sword at his side.  He was flanked by two other hyur’s and a fourth was off to the side, leaning on a strung bow.


“A tosser?” Jin’li said flatly as he lifted his head and blinked.  “Has this one offended?”


“Yeah, you’re making me look at your face.” The man spat.  The lead wagon drew up behind the men and the man sitting at the front with the reigns watched the scene.


“This one cannot help it, this face is the one this one’s mother gave him.”  Jin’li answered.


“Well do the world a favor and throw yourself off the cliff and get out of our way.”  The man grunted with a chuckle, enjoying his words.  Jin’li blinked and dropped the metal arm he had been holding. He leaned with his left hand onto his sword as he reached into his robe.


The action didn’t go without a response.  The mercenary with the bow pulled an arrow from a quiver and drew back the projectile and string in a fluid motion.  Jin’li stared at the lead hyur, unconcerned with the arrow now pointed at him.


“Drake, leave-“ the man in the cart started.


“This one will accept you apology now.” Jin’li said calmly. “Or you will watch your three comrades die before I make you beg for mercy.”


The hyur paused, his face twisting, clearly studying the male and then snorted.  


The hyur with the bow fired and the arrow raced forward but never hit Jin’li.  A crow that had been circling above shot down and was skewered instead, its added weight causing the arrow to drop.  The four hyurs stopped and stared at the spectacle but Jin’li made good on his words.


The silver gunblade flashed out.  His nearly ten years of practice had made him a good enough shot to pick which eye the bullet would land in, and Jin’li picked the left eye.  The first three shots hit true and the three hyurs fell backwards, blood oozing from shattered eye sockets.  The fourth bullet tore a hole into the lead hyur’s leg and he fell, screaming.


Several of the other mercenaries made to move and draw weapon but the man sitting in the wagon gave a command in a  foreign language and they stopped as Jin’li limped over to the hyur on the ground and leveled his fire arm at his head.


“This would be the appropriate time for you to beg for your continued existence.” Jin’li said calmly as he drew the hammer back on the gunblade.


The man on the ground was gnashing his teeth in pain and was unable to say anything, so Jin’li pulled the trigger anyway and watched the bullet bore a hole into the man’s skull.


Jin’li stood there as he canted his head up at the wagon and the man sitting there, obviously the leader.


“Does this one need to extract an apology from you by force?” Jin’li aimed his weapon at the man with the reigns.  The mercenaries drew swords in response.  The leader, an older man with grey hair and a brow beard, dressed in a long blue coat and black trousers and shirt studied the white-haired miqo’te and, after a moment, spoke:


“Before anything, I need to know your name.  To be polite and all.”


Jin’li paused and then bowed, his gun still aimed at the hyur.


“This one-“ Jin’li paused, suddenly aware of a fact that might be problematic.  He didn’t know how many knew his name, if any here knew his name, but if he was going to surprise Master Melkire, using his true name here and now might potentially ruin the fun to come.  Jin’li straightened and, with a straight face, answered:


“This one is called Trythian Oul”


“Trythian?” the  hyur blinked in surprise as he put the reigns down and hopped off the wagon.  He studied Jin’li with a hard gaze, one Jin’li returned with a blank expression.  “Hells of a weird name for a miqo’te, don’t you think?”


“Its foreign.”  Jin’li replied calmly as he and the hyur drew closer.  The hyur then paused and Jin’li added “And no, this one does not think it is weird at all considering any name would still mean this one is who he is, no?”


The hyur paused, having to decipher the cryptic manner in which Jin’li spoke. But, after a moment, he grinned and nodded.


“I suppose it would, Trythian Oul.  Trythain, my name is Adam Welks, mercenary captain and a hyur preparing for a job.  Ever considered signing on with a band such as us?  I’d pay you fair for that skill you have.”


“Kill for coin?” Jin’li replied flatly and then added, “This one would need to know thetask and what might be required.”


Adam Welks grinned.


“I think I might like you, Trythian.  Simple job.  We were hired by a shipping company to…intercept a caravan of goods owned by a rival group coming by cart to the docks.  Obviously things could get messy, of course, but it pays well.”


“Consider this one pleased to join in then.” Jin’li responded with a nod of his head.  Adam Welks extended his hand and grinned.  Jin’li looked at the hand and, for the first time in his entire life, shook the hand of another being.  As equals.

No, not as equals.  As a lesser respecting Jin’li’s superior level of ascension and freedom, though Welks might not be consciously aware of it. Jin’li thought.


“I think we are going to get along very well.” Adem Welks answered.  


“This one kindly agrees.” Jin’li replied, wondering when he should test to see if Welks possessed the drive to free himself from the chains that bound him.

Link to comment

The scene was a grisly one.  Adam Welks and his mercenaries had been merciless against the caravan guards and the workers.  The dead lay strewn around, weapons and blood lying next to them.  


Adam Welks strode through the scene, his hands on his hips as he nodded his approval at the work of his mercenaries. He had lost six of his eighteen mercenaries but that was acceptable. More money for the splitting once they got the caravan wagons back to the one who had given them the job.


The mercenaries were cleaning their blood soaked blades and all greedily looking at the wagons and wondering what spoils awaited them.  They would find out shortly.  Adam Welks walked over to one of the wagons and waved his hands.  


“Alright, let’s see what it is we just looted.” Welks shouted and seven of his soldiers rushed to the wagons as they holstered their weapons and crawled up.


Almost immediately screams filled the air, followed by laughter, and Welks turned and walked towards the commotion coming from the last wagon.  The noise was growing louder and as Welks drew close. Seven humanoids in chains were dragged from the back of the wagon and thrown to the ground. Welks paused and made a very calculating face as he studied the huddled figures on the ground, their heads jerking around from one mercenary to the next with wide eyes.


“Slaves…” Welks said slowly, this an unexpected surprise.  He had expected more from this raid than slaves. But then again, this was just the last wagon. But slaves were a complex situation. They tended to talk and were a commodity that was more difficult to sell.  But, perhaps this was what the men who had hired him had wanted. Or were they just extra commodities at this point.


Welks was chewing on his lower lip as Jin’li stepped up beside him and stood there, blood still dripping from the silver gunblade in his left hand.  Jin’li’s face was covered in splattered of blood and gore from his execution shot of one of a caravan guard but he had pulled out a white handkerchief and was attempting to clean himself as best he could with it while his black eyes studied the slaves.


“Slave.” Jin’li echoed Welk’s words.  “Should we liberate these souls?”


Welks shook his head and clicked his tongue.


“No.  At least not yet.  We need to find out if this is what we came fo-“


“Captain!” came a cry and Welks turned and looked back at the wagon before the one the slaves had been pulled from.  A mercenary was standing there frantically waving his arms.  Welks raised an eyebrow and turned to walk over.


Jin’li remained behind. His black eyes swept over the slaves and felt a sensation of apathy. He could relate to their plight.  He knew the bindings of their chains better than most and, had Welks not told him they were to wait, Jin’li would have used his weapon to set their souls free.  


The miqo’te’s eyes continued to sweep and then stopped.  They had come to rest in the gaze of a female hyur with white hair dashed with red highlights.  She was staring at Jin’li with dazzling blue eyes and there was a look of anger in them.  She was almost indignant and wasn’t displaying the fearful emotions of her fellow slaves.  She was displaying a remarkable will.  She was like a blazing candle and Jin’li was the curious moth drawn to the flame.


Slowly Jin’li walked forward, his weight shifted onto the sword he used as a cane.  The blade sunk into the earth before the female and Jin’li gazed down at her with onyx black eyes, his face a blank mask as he looked at her.  Her ice blue eyes shone back, glistening in the light of the sun.


The two of them stood in silence, a few of the mercenaries that stood nearby looking on with mild curiosity.  Jin’li saw in her the desire to break her chains.  To be free. And felt as if she was a kindred spirit. Here, in the world of slaves, was another slave, lower than most, whom wanted freedom even more.  But did she want freedom enough to dare defy death?


Jin’li slowly lifted the gunblade’s muzzle to the middle of her forehead.  The barrel dripped red fluid but the female did not break her hard gaze with Jin’li.  The miqo’te slowly shifted his thumb and lazily drew the hammer back.  As the hammer clicked and the cylinder turned to a fresh bullet, the female lurched to the side and slightly forward.  She then smashed the firearm aside using the thick of her skull with a powerful left swing of her cranium.  Jin’li’s weapon jerked aside and went off, blowing a hole in the ground.  The female lurched forward as best she could and tried to bit Jin’li’s ankle. The white haired miqo’te took a step back from the female’s biting teeth and bowed his head.


Jin’li was satisfied.  She was worthy of his intervention.


“What was that?” Welks shouted and Jin’li turned, slinging his gunblade up onto his left shoulder as he started limping towards the mercenary captain.


“This one was simply surveying.  This one learned what was needed.”


Welks raised an eyebrow but quickly turned back around and resumed speaking to a few of his mercenaries. Jin’li’s ears flicked around and he shifted his potion once he drew close to see what the excitement was about.


Gold. And lots of it.  The wagons were loaded with it in large cases.  


“It’s a small fortune!” one mercenary said, looking at the metal as if it was a dream.


“Aye, and not ours.” Welks said, but was obvious he was thinking about taking it.


“So what do we do?”  the mercenary said.  “The guys who hired us know we will have attacked it sooner or later. And this amount of coin is worth going after.”


“Who cares, no way they’ll pay as well as all this gold!” another man said.


“They probably will come after us.” Welks said, obviously weighing the pro’s and con’s needed for such a huge change in his plans.  He had been expecting wine or drugs or something.


“Then why not take the wagons to the man who hired, collect the coin from them, kill them and take the wagons back?”  Jin’li interjected flatly while blinking slowly.


Welks turned and looked at Jin’li. The hyur regarded the miqo’te’s comment and pursed his lip.


“It’s an option.”  Welks took a deep breath.  “I’ll need time to think of the best answer.  For now, we are moving these into the woods away from here and set up camp.  We’ll take the slaves to. In the morning we’ll have our answer, but I want you all too know, before you think of slitting throats in sleep, we probably gonna at least take a piece of all this.”


There was some grumbling but Welks stood up.  


“Stop your bitching and get moving!  You want the Maelstrom to show up?”


That was enough. The mercenaries began dividing themselves among the cars and taking the reigns of the chocobos.  


Jin’li awkwardly hefted himself into the wagon and looked back.  He saw the female slave and her blue eyes and nodded to her.

Link to comment

The fires of the camp Welks mercenaries had set up were nothing but glowing ashes now. The stars overhead shone bright in the absence of the moon and the sun was just a scant bell off from its first rays of light slipping over the horizon. The grove where the mercenary company numbering twelve soldiers, Jin’li, and seven slaves,was open to the sky and surrounded by trees. The wagons had formeda crescent along one row of trees and most of the mercenaries had fallen asleep. Two were supposed to be keeping watch but both had helped themselves to the rich wine found in one of the carts and were fighting the heavy sleep weighing their eyelids down. Welks was normally a man who made his sentries stay sober but he was too excited to restrict the men. It would be his undoing.


The slaves had all been left chained in the back of the wagon they had been found in. They sat, huddled together, cold and fearful of what fate now awaited them at the hands of these new captors. None of them slept as the wind blew mournfully through the glade and rocked the wagon, the wooden axels creaking as the cart shifted.


The female with the blue eyes and red highlights was listening. She was trying to figure out what was going on. She had heard something earlier, and a squawk from one of the chocobos driving the wagons. Something had been taken but she couldn’t make more out. And it was a long time she listened. But at last she heard it.


A slow, plodding set of footfalls coming around the wagon. The other slaves heard it too and all looked fearfully at the back of the wagon. The slaves were a mix of hyurs, miqo’te and elezen and they were all equally afraid as Jin’li stepped into view, a raven perched on his shoulders, the bird’s eyes glowing a blood red in the darkness.


One of the slaves squeaked in terror at the sight of the ghostly male dressed in all black standing there but Jin’li replied by raising his finger of his right hand to his lips to signal silence and then placed a large, rolled bundle onto cart before them. Jin’li unrolled the bundle to reveal a collection of long knives. The slaves looked on in silence and fear as Jin’li then reached into his pocket and pulled out a key ring and placed it silently within reach.

“Kill them and claim your freedom.” Jin’li said softly as he blinked. “Or they will kill you to silence your tongues.”


He then bowed at walked away.


Jin’li waited a short ways off, his back to the wagons. His black eyes were locked onto the shadows of the forest as his tail twitched calmly back and forth. The raven craned its head back around as soft noises from the wagon began to trickle out. Jin’li’s ears flicked around to catch the hushed whispers of conversation as chains came off and knives were picked up.


“Some are unwilling to kill.” Jin’li whispered softly. “They will not be free then.”


“Kill! Kill! Kill!” the crow cawed loudly, flapping its wings and rising into the air. It began to circle over the camp screaming its broken word. The mercenaries began to stir and Jin’li heard the female scream an order.


The next few minutes were filled with a violent rancor. There was screaming, yelling, and bloodcurdling cries and all of the noises mixed with the sounds of clashing steel and rending flesh. It sounded like the slaves had gotten to strike first and most of the drunk mercenaries took too long to catch on. In the end, Welks was screaming for help but Jin’li did not turn around. He simply stood there and watched the shadows as he heard Welks’ scream turn into a gurgle.


“It seems you were not strong enough to escape death.” Jin’li remarked slowly at Welks’ passing. “Please, rest well in the chains of servitude.”


The crow came around and landed on the miqo’te’s shoulder. Once the bird was properly perched, Jin’li turned around and let his eyes see the sight before him.


In the early light of the sun that had not yet slipped over the horizon, Jin’li saw that only three of the slaves were still standing. Most of the mercenaries had died in their bed rolls or nearby; but the few who had gotten up and drawn weapons had fought back fiercely.


“What now?” the woman snapped, her eyes set on the white miqo’te.


“This one does not know.” Jin’li honestly, his voice flat. “You are your own masters once more. Do with your existence as you so desire.”


“Why did you free us?” the woman said, her chest heaving from the exertion of killing. Her shoulders were rolled back and whoever she had been before she had been a slave, she had been used to killing.


“Madam, this one saw in you a will too strong for chains. This one wanted to let you out. Even if you be enslaved in death, you would have met the final chains as a free woman. This one hopes such an action was desirable.” Jin’li bowed and the woman blinked at the male in bizarre wonder.


“Who in the name of the Twelve are you?” the woman asked after a moment, the adrenaline leaving her veins.


“One who has proven himself their equal.” Jin’li answered. And then, after a moment of letting his blasphemous statement hang in the air, bowed his head. “My name is Trythian Oul.”


“Trythian…” the woman said slowly. “Well, Trythian, what do you plan to do with us?”


Jin’li noted the female shifted the dagger slightly but made no movement.


“This one simply asks a small favor to an equal free person since this one did free you. This one, if you would be so kind, as to help this one drive the wagons back to Limsa so that this one might deposit the gold, give you some, and part ways. There is simply to many wagons for this one to move.


“And what’s to stop us from killing you and takin the gold?” one of the others slaves, a male miqo’te said. Both the female hyur, and the third slave, a dark skinned hyur, turned and looked at the miqo’te.


“This one would make you taste the insides of your own skull before death claimed you for that rude statement.” Jin’li answered in a deadpan voice. “It is very rude to murder one who has been so kind.”


The male who had spoken shut his mouth at Jin’li’s words and nodded.


“And how do we know you won’t just kill us the moment we are done helping you?” the female said, obviously weighing her options.


“This one can say words, but you have no way to believe them, yet you must. This one will not harm you, for there is no need to do so. This one freed you to give you a chance. No more, no less. This is just a humble request to a trio of equals.”


Jin’li bowed again and the three slaves looked at one another. After a moment they nodded.


“Alright, we will help you get the gold there but we get to keep our fair share.” The female said.


“Better be a lot.” The hyur man said in a deep voice.


Jin’li looked at them and bowed.


“You honor this humble miqo’te. This one will certainly make sure that once we are set, done, and all things established and finalized,” Jin’li lifted his head and both he and his raven fixed the three with their unnatural eyes. “You receive your due reward.”

Link to comment

(Written via cell phone. I apologize for any errors.)


Jin'li stood on the balcony to his room, which was one of the highest, largest, and nicest rooms the inn of Limsa offered. Jin'li was adjust his white silk gloves delicately with the tips of his fingers as his black eyes sparkled in the afternoon sun as he reflected on the past few days.


The four former slaves had driven the wagons loaded with gold through the island terrain and into Limsa. Jin'li had convinced the slaves he had liberated to deposit the gold into one of the banks of Limsa. The deposit had made them.immediately popular and the three recently freed slaves seemed be uncomfortable with the sudden attention they received from the bankers as they deposited and converted their accounts. Jin'li had been unphased. He had often handled financial matters for Adin Adonis.


Following the deposits, Jin'li had withdrawn a sizable sum and split the amount between the four and had gone out on his own. 


Since then he had changed his wardrobe from the black robes to something far finer.  He was now dressed in a set of black, silk trousers that were bloused above polished leather boots with silver buckles.  A half skirt hung from his belt from the zipper around the left side of his body and stopping at the middle of his back. He was wearing a white, silk shirt and a grey vest. Over all this he wore a long, knee length black coat lined on the inside with wolf fur.


He had purchased a walking cane made of polished metal with a curved handle and a leather holster hung over the half skirt and housed his fire arm.


The door to his room opened and Jin'li finished adjusting his silk gloves and picked up his cane which was lmeaning against the railing before turning to meet his visitors.


The three slaves stood there. All dressed in new attire.


"Where's the rest?"  the male miqo'te demanded.


Jin'li blinked and looked at the male.


"This one is going to give you a moment to retract that rudeness for" Jin'li started.  The male hyur and male miqo'te both pulled knives and glared at Jin'li.


"Ah." Jin'li said flatly. "This one now sees how Much you are slaves to the gold. Clearly.liberation is needed. Very well. You desire gold so heavily, then this one makes this agreement. The document allowing retrieval of the Gil within the bank is in the desk. You want it, be the last one standing."


you mean" the hyur started.


"This one.means a battle royal." Jinli went for the gun blade with a swift jekr of his hand. The hyur lurched and stabbed the male slave miqo'te Jin'lo had freed with him and stabbed him with his knife as used the  body as a meat shield as Jin'li fired and the bullet slammed into the corpse's chest. The hyur rushed forward with the body as a shield. Jin'li tried to reposition himself but his limp slowed him and the hyur slammed him to the ground. 


Jin'li lay sprawled and tried to bring his firearm around to bare on the hyur. But the hyur kicked the firearm aside and made to stab.


But a knife suddenly flew into the hyur's neck and tumbled to the ground, twitching and gargling.


Jin'li blinked and.then looked at the female, who stood there in a red robe, a brown belt strapped around the waste. Several knives were shealthed there.


Jin'li awkwardly got to his feet and bowed to the woman.


"This one thanks you for your timely intervention. Do you mean to kill this one?"


The female stared at Jin'li and shook her head. 


"No. I owe you. You freed me."


"This one gave you a gift. This one needs nothing in return. You are free." Jin'li replied slowly.


"No, I am not. My family has always paid their debts and I am in yours."


"Does saving this ones life just now not.free you from that obligation?" Jin'li inquired. 


"I owe you one year of service. After this I shall be gone". The female answered.


 Jin'li was silent for a long time and he continued to adjust his gloves as he finally spoke.


"This one will only.accept your service if you view yourself as my equal and are only bound by a self.inflicted chain. This one does not enjoy the idea of binding others."


"I..." the female paused. " you are strange . I will agree though and yes I will only serve because I feel I am bound to do so."


Jin'li nodded. He did not like the idea of anyone being bound to him when he only wanted liberation but if someone else wanted to serve it was their right if they were free like this female.


"This one is called Trythian Oul." Jin'li said with a deep bow.


"I'm . . .the called me Fire. That's the name you can call me."


"A pleasure to be told your name Lady Fire"


"Last Fire?" Fire said blinking. "I am no Lady."


"This one believes you are both female.and named Fore therefore making you Lady Fire."


Fire paused and shrugged.


"Very well, Trythian. What is it you need me to do?"


Jin'li was still a moment. Then we walked over to the dresser and opened a shelf. He pulled out a wrapped package, the metal arm.of Askier in canvas rolls, and two letters.


"This one had meant to send this via a carrier but would rather you take them. The first should be easy to find. A Osric Melkire in Ul'dah. The large bundle.is for him and the first letter too. The second will be a bit harder to find. He is a Doctor. His name is written on the letter. You may need some assistance finding him but take as Much gold as you need for travel. You'll need to the code to access the gold. The code just happens to describe your mission."


"And how would you describe my mission, exactly?" Fire said with a bit of annoyance in her voice when.she realized what her oath of service had gotten her into.She blinked when Jin'li answered in his monotone voice.


"Spreading Kindness."

Link to comment

Jin'li sat in a deep red leather chair. The miqo'te had positioned the chair before a large mahagony desk polished to the point where Jin'li could make out  the reflection of his features. 


Jin'li gazed with black eyes from behind his white bangs. His face was expressionless as he studied the chess board before him. He was replaying a game, making his moves and the moves of Master Adin. It was the game he had played the day he had meet Adin in the brothel where Jin'li had been born and raised. He had impressed Adin with that game and had beaten him. Jin'li would never forget each move but now he realized the meaning of the game. He had always been Adin's superior. He had beaten his master, he had performed better than Adin at destroying Ul'dah, and he was better at being free.


Jin'li paused and paused as the large raven that had been following him flew in the open window to the inn room and landed beside the chess board.   The bird fixed Jin'li with its glowing red eyes and Jin'li stared back.


The two creatures stared on in silence.  


"Fear not, this one assures you that you and the rest of your kin shall have a feast of flesh to enjoy soon enough." Jin'li said at last and the Crow flapped its wings in what could only be viewed as excitement.

Link to comment

Nearly two days had passed since Jin'li had sent Fire on her way. And since that time, Jin'li had not left his room except to retrieve bread and water to eat and pay his room off for the next month after making another withdrawal from the bank.


He had been writting letters, working out feverishly, and playing chess.  He had been thinking lone and hard of his next course of action, and as the day closed, Jin'li sat at the desk and began to write a letter. It was a quick one and Jin'li quickly had it sealed and stamped.


Once the letter was complete, Jin'li left the room and went down the hall, stopping a porter as he went.


"Pardon this one." Jin'li said slowly to the porter. " But this one needs this letter taken to the delivery moogle for fast delivery. Would you kindly do so for me?"


Jin'li held out the letter and the Gil tip. The porter nodded and took the Gil and letter. 


"My pleasure sir." the porter said. "Name of the person?


"The name of the person who I am sending this letter to is a Master Franz Renatus."


"Very well." the porter answered and Jin'li returned to his room and began studying a map of Eorzea he had spread across his desk.

Link to comment

It was always interesting. A small, white animal with wings that could not possibly support it's hovering in the air would reach into a bag and pull out a letter. How could they find where he was? How did they know -who- he was. And with never a word, the creature would drop off the letter and be on its way. Always peculiar. 


Franz eyed the letter before him. There weren't many who knew the name, Renatus. Many of which, had either died or would never utter the name of the twisted experiment that had taken away everything of his old life, leaving only rage and confusion. Franz was a different man now. Or at least he thought he had been. The urges to end disagreements with death had been buried deep within him. He sought to use words before force. Had found some people he wanted to call friends, and had even found himself enjoying life in Eorzea at times. 


It wasn't without its hardships. People had died. Connections lost. A past that could not be remembered in full. And yet, against his better judgement, he felt drawn to the letter. It begged to be read. He needed to know who had willingly sent a letter with that name on it. A name best forgotten.


Shouldyou be interested, please appear at the top room at the Drowning Wench at your earliest availability


He departed immediately from Gridania, leaving his possessions behind. There had been no run-ins with "her". And there was no reason to pack his spare clothes that stayed in the small cottage within the forest. Nobody had known about Kirche's house, and he planned to keep it that way. Should the forest decide to take it back, then the countless books filled with harmful studies of the void, summoning and lost cities would be better hidden away once more. The Company house was always just off the shore at Mist. 


Stepping into the aether, Franz found himself at the Aetherite Plaza in Limsa Lominsa. From there, he would walk to the Drowning Wench and wait for this Trythian Oul to make himself known. Surely someone would be watching. Dressed in a simple white tabard with chainmail, trousers and cobalt sollerets, he waited. If the person took their time, then there was always a small meal and some ale. It was a pub, after all.

Link to comment

Jin'li stood at the aide of the Drowning Wench. He had placed a mask on his face, a blank white porcelain thing and over his hair he had pulled up the hood of his black coat to hide his white hair. His white tail was tucked beneath his coat and his ears were lain flat atop his head to hide his telltale marks of a miqo'te.


His black eyes watched for signs of Franz. Jin'li had been standing there for a long time in silence. But his patience was at last rewarded as he saw the visage of the tall hyur entering the room.  


Jin'li waited quietly for a few moments as he shifted his weight on his cane and slowly made his way across the room, making a crescent arc to where Franz stood. Jin'li came up along side him at last and, with a simple nod of his head, addressed the massive Garlean male.


"Mister Renatus, would you kindly follow me to your meeting with Trythian Oul? He prefers to be away from crowds."


Without waiting for a response, and trusting Franz would follow, Jin'li turned and slowly made his way to the stairs and up them. They had a good number of flights to ascend but Jin'li moved briskly despite his limp.


At the apex of their climb Jin'li led Franz to the door of his room and unlocked it. Jin'li then hobbled inside, leaving the door open for Franz to follow. 


"Firstly, it was kind of you to come. Now then, Mister Renatus, can Trythian Oul offer you a drink or bread while you answer the most important question that will be asked today: what in this world prevents you from being free?"

Link to comment

No sooner had be found himself sitting at a table had the masked person arrived. There was something about the voice. Familiarity. But it couldn't have been Jin'li. His body was very clearly dead and decapitated. His soul was mixed with another's in the being known as Atrium Crow. It must merely have been coincidence.


But still. The thought could not escape him that the possibility existed. He knew better than to raise a fuss, however. He would likely receive his answers from whoever "Trythian Oul" was.


Upon being asked to relocate, he agreed with the masked person. "Yes, I believe whatever may need to be discussed isn't something others should be allowed to eavesdrop on."


Walking up the flight of stairs, he stayed silent. There was no need for a conversation.


As they entered the room, only one word truly stood out.  Kind. 'Kind' was one of the words Jin'li had used numerous times.


"You'll have to excuse me. I must decline the food and beverage this meeting." Plastered on Franz's face was a 'kind' expression. A sterile smile. Nothing beyond what could be expected in a business transaction.


"Could I enquire the importance of such a question? 'Freedom' can be such a restrictive term itself."

Link to comment

"You may most certainly inquire, Mister Renatus. It would be rude of me to deny you such an answer."


Jin'li walked over to a desk and stood behind it, the polished, mahogany price of furniture positioned between them.


"It is in knowing what binds another that permits us both the ability to control them or, to free them. And currently, Trythian Oul is in the business of freeing those worthy of such a thing. But for a fee of course. A business transaction in the purest sense."


Jin'li's onyx eyes stared at Franz with an emotionless intensity. The mechanisms that compiled Jin'li's mind were turning. He had not forgotten the kindness Franz had shown him before he died on the bridge. He had not forgotten the hyur's willingness to aid him when he gained nothing in return. Jin'li was compelled by a genuine desireto assist Franz with his bindings while also having the Garlean assist Jin'li with his own plans. 


"Trythian Oul is aware of a kindness you wrought upon a wretched soul and it is this act that has caused him to bring you here. Your liberation from those things or persons that hold your chains in exchange for your help. Gil will also be provided for your services as well."

Link to comment

"I see...". Franz wasn't quite sure what to make of the person's offer. What bound him? Freedom? Such things weren't often thought about. There was plenty that 'bound' him. Morality. Wanting to live a mostly peaceful life. The people he cared for, however few, recently. 


"That which binds me? And what if my perception is that people need to having such restrictions on themselves? Are we not all slaves to our endeavors? To what we're willing to fight for? Our beliefs?"


He began to pace back and forth in the room. "Everyone deserves to have their second chances. Atonement. Or perhaps it's only a matter of perspective. I've still done plenty wrong in my days, and I'll likely commit more. It doesn't negate my efforts to want to do better, however."


As he slowed to a stop, his gaze fell the masked man. "Who are you, truly? I could count on one hand the number of people who know the name 'Renatus'. Most are dead. Or as you might want to refer to it, 'free of life'."


A confusing mix of urges. He could just as easily try to remove the person's mask as he could answer the questions properly or simply leave.

Link to comment

"Ah, your are bound by your past to a degree of some severity, that much is evident. The sense of morality, a self imposed sense of chains, hinders you. You use words like atonement, wrong, and better. The truth is no action is good or bad. No person is better or lesser, even the 'gods' so many revere are both defiable and our equal. In truth, ultimately, a person should be free to create their own reality and it is your right to dwell on your past and judge on it with your gaze printed by your view of your morals but living in the past is folly and if you are not careful, your self made chains will bind you tighter than any bind another could ever give you.  This lesson is one Trythian Oul knows better than most."


Jin'li paused and fixed Franz with a dead-pan stare from behind the mask.


"If there is not one thing you would not be willing to cast aside and sacrifice if the need arose, you are not free. Even your own life."


Jin'li reached up to the mask on his face with his left hand and removed the hood of his coat with his right. His white hair slipped free as the pointed ears shot up.  The mask fell away in the miqo'te's hand to reveal Jin'li's ghostly white face and his emotionless stare.


"For there is freedom in death.  Good day Master Renatus. This one does hope my revelation is not to rude."


Jin'li bowed and waited for Franz to reply.

Link to comment

"If those would be the conditions for 'freedom', then I am not a free man. Not by any means. There are many things I could not cast aside in this world. And you should know as well as I on our views of the afterlife."


"There is no freedom when there is nothing left to enjoy it with. What use could such serve? Our pasts bind us to the people we are today. The people we care for bind us to responsibility and care. It is these bindings that maintain the world. Or do you see to watch as society wastes away in its 'freedom'?"


Franz stared for a moment as Jin'li removed his mask and hood. His reaction wasn't quite as much surprise as it was a bewildered amusement. "Then it is you. I should ask. Atrium? Jin'li? Or is Trythian the new label you have for yourself? Regardless, it's quite interesting to see you in this form. I can only assume you've found a way to rebuild your previous body? Do you still function as a 'Crow'?"

Link to comment

Jin'li placed the mask gently on the desk before him and trailed his gloved fingers along it as he gazed at Franz with a dead-pan expression on his face as he spoke in his monotone pitch.


"Ah the present condition is a testiment of sheer determination to defy the exhisting order, is it not?  The one called Atrium was at war within itself. Her soul and mine did not mesh harmoniously after the death of the Voice. This one was expelled from the body. At that point this one's soul managed to sliver along the veil and defy death by slipping back into this world and used the raw substances to rebuild this shell because the Voice had shown this one the ways of taking from death."


Jin'li pulled his hand off the mask as a raven flew into the room and fluttered down onto the desk. The bird fixed Franz with its glowing red eyes and cried out several times. 


Jin'li ignored the bird.


"And now this one stands before you. Not a crow. Just myself. And no matter which name I choose to use, that is a fact even death cannot take from me."


Jin'li seated himself in a deep, high backed leather chair. He pulled a parchment from the drawer in the top left of the desk and places it on the surface of the table. There was scribbled writing on it but Jin'li kept his hand.covering the parchment.


"This one exhista having defied even death. But this one has not forgotten the kindness you wrought upon it. In exchange for your assistance with my planned matters, this one would seek to liberate you from your own chains so that you might share in the ascention.of utter freedom this one enjoys; only if you would be interested of course.".

Link to comment

Jin'li placed the mask gently on the desk before him and trailed his gloved fingers along it as he gazed at Franz with a dead-pan expression on his face as he spoke in his monotone pitch.


"Ah the present condition is a testiment of sheer determination to defy the exhisting order, is it not?  The one called Atrium was at war within itself. Her soul and mine did not mesh harmoniously after the death of the Voice. This one was expelled from the body. At that point this one's soul managed to sliver along the veil and defy death by slipping back into this world and used the raw substances to rebuild this shell because the Voice had shown this one the ways of taking from death."


Jin'li pulled his hand off the mask as a raven flew into the room and fluttered down onto the desk. The bird fixed Franz with its glowing red eyes and cried out several times. 


Jin'li ignored the bird.


"And now this one stands before you. Not a crow. Just myself. And no matter which name I choose to use, that is a fact even death cannot take from me."


Jin'li seated himself in a deep, high backed leather chair. He pulled a parchment from the drawer in the top left of the desk and places it on the surface of the table. There was scribbled writing on it but Jin'li kept his hand.covering the parchment.


"This one exhists having defied even death. But this one has not forgotten the kindness you wrought upon it. In exchange for your assistance with my planned matters, this one would seek to liberate you from your own chains so that you might share in the ascention.of utter freedom this one enjoys; only if you would be interested of course.".

Link to comment

"That...isn't freedom."


Franz took a step back towards the door.


"The freedom you seek to share isn't even living. It isn't anything. To be bound by nothing at all. To have no attachment to anything worthwhile. Living a life like that would be the same as death. There would be nothing to aspire for."


Another step back. He wouldn't notice the crow.


"Surely you can't honestly think that such is being 'free'."

Link to comment

"Your powers of observation serve you well, Master Renatus. It isn't living and that is the entire point.  This is transcending the thing you call life." Jin'li's face was blank and he was completely unaware that he had just made a slightly pointed jab. In fact he was totally unaware of how insane he sounded. In his broken little miqo'te head, the concepts of overcoming the mortal condition and seizing one's right as an equal to the gods seemed totally reasonable.


Jin'li flicked his tail as Franz made to leave and the miqo'te's hand rose from the table, the fingers flexing themselves.


"Until you cast off the chains that bind, you will never be free and, therefore, you will always be weak. How easy it would be for this one to find the ones you care about. It would only require watching from the shadows long enough to know who they are. Then I-" Jin'li made a horrible coughing noise when using the words 'I' but continued as if nothing had happened. "Would take them and make you dance because if you didn't I would hurt them. That is not freedom. That is no way to live. However,  You showed me a kindness. And while you certainly have the right to leave this place, I-"


 Again with the weird noise when using the first person. What a weird cat.


"Have the right to act as well. Please understand that the kindness I am about to bestow on you is not punishment, its liberation. If you are strong enough, you will thank me for this. Please understand I do this because I like you.""


Jin'li's hand dashed beneath his coat like a snake and jerked back out. The miqo'te fully extended his arm and leveled his gunblade dagger directly at Franz's chest. 


The weapon shone silver in the room's light and the bird on the desk cawed loudly in excitement as its red eyes peered at Franz.


"If this one may be so bold as to add, Master Franz," Jin'lil's words were slow and even; his face devoid of any emotion as he pulled the hammer back on the weapon and the chamber rotated to align the bullet to the barrel. "no matter the outcome, would you kindly take a shower? You stink of Crow."


Jin'li gently squeezed the trigger and sent his shot down range.

Link to comment

It was a disgusting, painfully uncomfortable feeling.


Being stabbed.


Franz clutched the wound, trying to lessen the flow of blood that escaped him. As with every injury, he could feel the entire wound. How deep the dagger had gone. The intensity of the pain as the bullet was fired. It was moments like these he felt the most alive. Dying.


Coughing himself, there was a pained glare at Jin'li. "I'd have thought you knew better, but I suppose that was a mistake. You know it takes much more than just a dagger to get anything done. Were you not watching when Rotunda decided to impale me?" As he spoke, he was already visualizing a mental image of the required arcanima to seal and repair the wound. 


He made an attempt to try to shove the miqo'te and his dagger far away enough to do trauma repair. Get himself far away enough to actually assess and treat the damage. It was still only a single gunblade wound. He could still move his legs. His arms. Pain had permeated his body, but an escape wasn't impossible. A gate into the aether would be impossible, however. Between the lack of required concentration on such, it would have given plenty of opportunity for another attack. 


Franz's plan was to escape the room, seal the wound to prevent further blood loss and then find someone safe enough to decide a future move. 


There was no intention to die here. Not at this place. Not at this time. And certainly not when there was still so much to do.


In a way, it was almost reassuring. An ample reminder that he was unwelcome in Eorzea and Garlemald alike. It didn't matter who he encountered. Perhaps they were all the same.


There was a blood/splattered laugh at the thought. "Maybe I do need freedom." As he tried to steady himself to get away, there was only a final remark.


"Is death truly freedom?"

Link to comment

Jin'li felt the massive hyur shove him backwards. The runt backpeddled wildly but was saved from tumbling to the floor in a wild sprawl be his cane, which he used as a third plant point to regain his footing.


The Garlean's black eyes swivled at Franz and saw the blood rushing out.


There was no emotion on Jin'i's face as he saw Franz's blood and calculated the severity of the wound. There was no joy in this, nor regret. Only a simple action and to Jin'li killing was like taking a breath. Automated and manditory.


The raven began shreiking excitedly, its red eyes fixed at Franz as it hopped around. A screaching sound was heard and more ravens began to gather at the window, their glowing red eyes fixed on the bleeding man as their talons and claws slashed and scratched the glass. In unison the birds were cawing out one word:


"Kill! Kill! Kill!"


Jin'li heafted the gunblade again and aimed it at Franz's chest again. He pulled the hammer back. Blood dripped from the silver blade. As the drops fell, the raven on the desk grew more excited and suddenly the bird flew forward and seized a drop of blood in its beack, its cry crowing louder.


"If death is not freedom, how could this one stand here now to bestow the gift upon you? Why else would this one want to kill you unless it was a kindnes?" came Jin'li's flat reply to Franz's question. Jin'li watched as the large man readied himself to escape. Jin'li's finger gently squeezed the tigger and the muzzle-flash illuminated the room as the bullet spun out in an attempt to hit Franz before the hyur escaped.

Link to comment

Pain seared through once again, catching Franz off guard. A bullet. Another bullet.


He hadn't expected the reformed Jin'li to have been able to steady himself. Whatever body he had now must have at least been functional.


There was nothing to be said. Not a lack of thoughts, but a lack of capability. How would one expect to breath with multiple chest wounds?


He was scared. Or felt being scared, and his body fell to the floor with a loud thud. Franz's mind raced as the various possibilities to escape became impossible. Healing became impossible. Living? Impossible.


He was going to die. Or rather, was in the process of dying. There was still so much to do. So many questions left unanswered. There wasn't even a life to flash before his eyes.


As consciousness painfully drained from him, there was but only a single thought. "I'm not ready."


And that was all. As the body ceased to function with a final convulsion, the Garlean had died. In the final moments of his existence, he felt the aether. Felt the feeling of returning to it.


And desperately tried to stay himself. "No. I won't allow this to be the end. There is still so much to do. People I must still meet again. Life to live. " He could not become a piece of the realm of the dead. But if this was within the aether, could he not travel the same way as any other teleport? There was arcanima to rebuild a body in pieces. Why not simply rebuild every piece at the same time?


But it wasn't safe here. It wasn't safe anywhere near Jin'li. The mass of aether that was stored within him shifted. "A gate. Make an aetherial gate to somewhere else. 'His' house. The Shroud. I'll go there. Safe. Yes, the hidden away cottage will be safe."


As an aetherial gate opened, he drew upon himself to rebuild. A skeleton. Flesh. Muscle. Organs. Skin. Hair. All if if needed to be made again. But with enough aether at his disposal, why could he not just rebuild each together. The aether was concentrated and compacted. Arcanima cast. And in an instant, Franz fell to the floor of the cottage. He could feel the cooler wooden floor. Smell the different air if the forest.


Everything hurt. It was as if his entire body had been composed of pain. He shivered. It was cold here. And there was nothing to cover himself. He dared not open his eyes yet. What if it was exceedingly bright? What if he simply awakened to die again? A breath. More air. Another shiver. Clothes. He needed clothes. He slowly opened his eyes to let the light in. The first few minutes were blinding as his eyes tried to adjust to the rush of information.


He was there. In the cottage. With a pained groan, he attempted to move. The room was small. A dresser was not too far. Smallclothes, a shirt and trousers. Everything felt strange to touch, as if a new experience. He was tired. Nearly falling onto the nearby bed, he passed out. Liveliness could be determined at another time.


edit: fixed a spelling issue. Lemme know anytime if there're more.

Link to comment

((Oh knowing he way things happen with plots and all, I'm certain there wil be more soon enough ;) ))


Jin’li watched as the large man crumpled to the floor, his blood spilling out. The squawking of the crows intensified but the stoic miqo’te did not react. His black eyes were fixed on the dead form. As Jin’li stared, the air around the corpse shimmered and grew dark. For a moment it was as if the veil of life was pulling back and his black orbs were looking into what lay beyond death. He sensed the soul of Franz, sensed it being dragged away into the next step, the eternal binding of the world’s falsely constructed order. But then, for a brief moment, there was a sensation in the veil, a separation and Jin’li felt a pulling away. The miqo’te had no way of knowing if Franz had been successful in denying the enslavement death had sought to bring him into, but there had been an attempt at resistance, an attempt at true freedom and the miqo’te’s expressionless face split into the smallest of smiles for a brief second before it returned to its blank state.


The large crow had hopped onto the dead man’s back. Jin’li was slowly pulling the hood of his coat back over his head and he picked up the mask once more. The runt slowly limped for the door, the porcelain mask sliding down his face and cutting him off from the world. The raven inside the room cawed. Jin’li paused. He looked down at the bird and the bleeding corpse on the floor. He nodded at the crow as his free hand took the door knob.


“Leave nothing to find.” Jin’li said as he closed the door. He heard the sounds of flapping wings as the birds burst into the room and began feasting on the dead Franz’s remains like a pack of ravenous hounds. Jin’li left them to their feasting.


As the miqo’te neared the stares, a worried face peeked out of one of the other rooms. The face was white with fright. IT was obvious the man had heard the gunshots. Calmly, Jin’li produced a bag of coins and tossed them at the door.


“Gil for a stilled tongue, seems fair, yes?”


The man nodded, seized the coins and slammed the door, looking it behind him. Jin’li continued his walk, his can clicking.

Link to comment

It was a truly horrible feeling, waking up after having been killed. As many parts of his body as he was aware of ached from the magicks used to rebuild himself. In a way, it was the worst pain of his life, but it was the only pain he’d experienced in this life, if one wanted to be overly specific.


A bell after awaking, he had not yet moved from the bed. Eyes still closed because it was painful to even exert the energy to open them. With every breath, he could feel the surrounding tissue expand and contract, the pain of stretching muscles that had never been used. Would it have been a cynical thought to relate the pain to being worse enough he felt like he could die? Or rather, there were so many thoughts on death. Dying. The pain of what he would call being birthed from the aether. Such should have been impossible, but the pain was real. And unless the afterlife was somehow identical to Kirche’s cottage, he was very sure he was alive.


Franz had not left the house for multiples suns, having been glad it had all the supplies needed to survive for an extended time. The first few days had been painful. Even the smallest of movements seemed impossible. Slowly, he had worked on recovering mobility. This morning was the first that he felt may be feasible to leave the house in.


He needed new supplies, and returning to Limsa Lominsa would not be an option. And staying in the forest...there were not many weapons to find. Lances were much too slow, and a bow was simply...archaic. As much as he’d stopped being fond of Ul’dah, it was the only viable choice.


Jin'li would be located after he'd restocked supplies.

Link to comment

Jin’li sat on a bench overlooking the sea. It had been a busy few days. The miqo’te had been flexing his influence subtly, employing the sorts of persons he saw fit to carry out his required orders so carefully. That part had gone well.


If the death of Franz in any way bothered him, the emotions would never reach Jin’lis stoic mind, which regulated and cleansed itself of unwanted emotion with a veraciousness most could hardly dream possible. Jin’li’s lack of emotion was a choice, one he had made back as a young man, just as his self-castration was of his own desire. Many might baulk at his life choices, but considering he had been just a slave back then, those were the only things he had any control over at all.


But, while Franz was not on his mind, the Lady Grimsong was. Their meeting had been a chanced one. Unexpected for certain. Though Jin’li had seen a chance to gain an ally in her and had attempted to offer her a deal: her freedom from her former puppeteer in exchange for her help. A fair trade. And she had almost taken the bait. She had nibbled so hungrily at it, but in the end, her personality just would not permit her to accept it. Jin’li could have killed her then and there, but she had carried something. Something remarkably eye catching, though she had acted as if she had nothing unique in her arms at the time.


In fact, Jin’li had missed it initially, so well she played it. But he had caught on at the end. And now his birds followed her, reporting to him her movements. In fact, the number of ravens and crows had increased in the city since his arrival, and their white, bird droppings were becoming as numerous as the dung from the seagulls.


The initial stages of his plans were nearly complete though. He had already established lines of communication with several of the old Garlean arms dealers Adin had once used to arm his own, shadow army. Imperial, surplus weapons always sold well on the black market. Jin’li was just positioning himself to be the sole seller of Imperial arms in Limsa and eventually Eorzea. Already he had obtained three galleons he would be using to ship the goods in once arrangements were made. But before he went that far, he needed two more things. A series of warehouses to house the weapons, and a certain black mage to apply one last touch to them before the runt would begin selling. Until them, Jin’li was contenting himself with setting his pieces on the board, and crunching out any potential competition. Though, honestly, there wasn’t much. Garlean arms weren’t, exactly, common in Eorzea and those trafficking them were even rarer. But, if Jin’li had anything to do with that, that would change soon enough, and the balance of power would shift with the change.


War was a business. And Jin’li only cared about one commodity: death.

Link to comment

Pilus Prior Adetck von Welchmier was not the sort of man who enjoyed having his time wasted, especially now that he was reaching his senior years. His face was deep with wrinkles and the white beard that covered his face was neatly braided as it hung to his chest. His bald head was cleanly shaven, polished and reflected the lights of the oil lanterns that burned around him on the ship’s deck.


The Pilus Prior was dressed in his military garb but had placed a handkerchief over his nose and mouth. The smell of the rotting whale blubber from the whaling ship stunk to the high heavens and the older male had already determined that he was going to need to burn the boots he now wore upon returning to civilized ports.


The only reason he was here, now, aboard a festering ship in the middle of the ocean, instead of his richly furnished home, was the mysterious letter he had received. In the letter he had been asked to meet here to conduct a business deal, one he should attend or would discover certain details of his…nightlife would be made very openly public to his political opponents inside the Empire.


So here he stood, waiting for the crew to find this Ci’ya Laytier below deck.


“Bloody miqo’te.” the hyur growled, his three eyes narrowing in disgust. “Vermin aught to be-“


“Be what?” came a voice.


Welchmier turned and blinked as his eyes came to rest on one of the thickest, tallest and most heavily muscled miqo’tes he had ever seen. The male’s hair was cut short and he wore a battered Garlean uniform with the insignia marking him as a Centurian Immune on the breast. A green jacket, covered in muck hung over the uniform


The male miqo’te yawned and began to pick his nose vigorously as he spoke, his voice slow and thick with a deep drawl.


“Well, meow, I did ask ya what yah was sayin’” the mio’te said as he pulled a booger out and flicked it onto the floor. The miqo’te’s green eyes shone like emeralds in the dim light as they blinked lazily.


“I could have your head for this!” Welchmier snapped indignantly, slamming his foot down, his sword rattling in its scabbard. “You are a Garlena soldier, an inferior officer, and a lower breed. How dare you take that tone with me. You will address me as my title demands.”


“Look,” the miqo’te named Ci’ya Laytier started slowly in his lazy drawl before he yawned and continued. The miqo’te had deep bags under his eyes and looked like he hadn’t slept in weeks. Truth is he had been asleep for the past twelve hours.


“I knows who ya are, I knows what I should be doin’ and I was getting’ to that, but then ya threw a fit. Ya can’t order me around cause I ain’t in your unit, and if ya don’t stop giving me a headache with yer constant complain’ I’m gonna take myself back to Limsa and then back to my unit. I’m only here helping out this Trythian Oul feller cause he payin’ me and needed a favor. So do ya wanna clam up and listen to the offer about making money for yer surplus weapons or ya want to keep puffing yerself up like a constipated canary?”


Ci’ya had begun chewing on a wad of whale fat he had stored in his mouth while he had slept and he gazed at the Garlean hyur through half open eyes. He was clearly bored and could take this situation or leave it. In fact, Ci’ya was normally incredibly respectful of superior officers in uniform, though he hadn’t seen the homeland since his unit was mostly destroyed and he had been serving under the command of Marcus Valerius Corvus inside Eorzea for the pat six years.


Welchmier went livid and his fist shook at the mannerisms this inferior officer was displaying and if it weren’t for the fact that whomever had sent him had more dirt about the Pilus Prior than his own wife did, Welchmier would have spilled Ci’ya’s guts all over the gut covered deck.


“Speak fast then, before you lose your tongue.” Welchmier spat.


Ci’ya spat his wad of whale fat onto the floor and nodded.


“Whelp, alright then. Point ya need to know is Mr. Trythian Oul be wanting to purchase yer surplus Garlean weapons and tech to black market in Eorzea.” Ci’ya shrugged. “About it right there. Ya ship it whole sale, he splits price 50-50.”


“Why is this Trythian Oul wanting to make this sort of deal?” Welchmier said slowly, his anger for the massive miqo’te diminishing slightly.


“Hells if I know.” Ci’ya answered with a lazy blink of his green eyes. “He contacted me by letter and basically made me meet with some person of his and then be here to make the deal. Needed Garlean to Garlean talk or something I suppose. After this I’m cleared to go back to my unit once I give him yer answer.”


“So you have no reason to trust him?” Welchmier said suspicious suddenly.


“Well, he did send a chest of gold for ye and promise of more once the first shipment I got here under my belt comes in.”


Ci’ya reached down the front of his trousers and pulled out a piece of paper after adjusting himself for a moment. Ci’ya handed the parchment to Welchmier, who took it and held it at arm’s length from himself like it was a dead rat.


“Charming.” Welchmier remarked in disgust. But his tone shifted as he read the order.


“You certain this is what he wants?”


“Hells if I know.” Ci’ya shrugged lazily. “I’m just a messenger here, like I done said like three times now or somethin’.”


“Testament to the Emperor’s army you are.” Welchmier said sarcastically as he read over the order and where it was to be delivered and when. Welchmier was wary of this Trythian Oul. But the idea of being able to ship in the last generation of Imperial weapons, most of which was obsolete and sitting in surplus storage for no reason was too good a chance to pass up. Welchmier had never seen combat. In fact, all he did was manage warehouses full of munitions and such. He held the record books to some of the largest weapons dumps in the Empire and if some of those weapons got slipped under the table into Eorzea to slip gold into his personal accounts and increase his spending power, Welchmier would not find it unpatriotic to do so.


In truth, Welchmier had been looking for a chance to do this for years but most in the Empire already had weapons like what he could offer. But Eorzea, that back water shit hole, was so far behind the Empire technologically, that Welchmier shipping the arms could make gunblades a common sight within the city-states. And that was a fun concept. And a profitable one. Especially if this Trythian Oul was one of the major players on the black market at the moment.


Trythian certainly seemed super informed. He obviously had ties within the Empire to send this degenerate miqo’te to do his bidding.


Part of Welchmier said this was a bad idea but his greed was stronger.


“Tell this, Trythian Oul we have terms. I will bring the initial order to the location he specified with my armed escort. If I am satisfied with that exchange, we might do business together.”


A crow, that had been watching them, suddenly flew off, squawking loudly.


Ci’ya Laytier nodded and then yawned as he stretched.


“Very well. I’ll let him know before I get back to my unit.”


“And what unit is that, so that I might send the court-martial paperwork in myself.” Welchmier threatened darkly.


Ci’ya looked at the hyur and then lifted his left arm and flexed. The miqo’te’s bicep swelled into a mass even a roe might be proud off and blinked as he kissed the muscle mass. Around him the small crew of the whaler all shifted their eyes to the Pilus Prior and his small entourage.


“Why don’t ya get yer fancy self back on the ship, sir, and back home?” Ci’ya said in his drawl. “Before ya get hog tied and heaved over into the water after we shave yer beard with a rusty razor?”


Welchmier glared daggers but spun and stormed off to the brow connecting this ship to his own. Welchmier, despite his bravado was no fighter, and was not stupid enough to waste time and a good uniform on trash like Ci’ya Laytier.

Link to comment

“So, the deal is on?” Jin’li remarked in his dead voice, the black eyes hollow pits behind the mask. He currently stood in the shadows of an alley, gazing out with an intense stare at the docks in lower Limsa. Seagulls cawed over head as a few black crows flew among them. Beside the entrance to the alley was the massive shirtless form of Ci’ya Laytier. His huge arms were crossed over his broad chest and his abdominal muscles where tanned and chiseled as they descended toward the belt that suspended his paints just below the navel.


The massive Garlean nodded as he leaned against the wall, pretending he wasn’t speaking to the mysterious figure behind him in the alley as sailors and fishers walked past.


“Yup. The man was interested in yer coin fer sure. Though doubt he would like to see my ugly mug again. Thinks I’m not real officer like.” Ci’ya flicked his tail as he watched a fish dart out of the water and splash back down. The miqo’te knew he could have ripped the hyur’s head clean off and that was enough. Ci’ya was as alpha male as it came in his head. Money didn’t mean much to him. Raw punching power did.


“Then our deal is over. Tyrthian Oul thanks you for your efforts. Once Trythian Oul has made his deal and finalized it, his people shall contact you.” Jin’li said flatly as he leaned on his cane.


“So yer gonna make sure this fella keeps his end of the bargain up?” Ci’ya said in his deep drawl as his eyes narrowed just a tad. He didn’t trust this Trythian Oul or whomever this weird miqo’te was whom had hired him to act as a Garlean liaison to the various arms merchants operating within the Empire but he was willing to play his part. “You sure my superior’s unit is gonna get the supplies it needs here to continue its mission? We done had some trouble getting’ supply lines established after all.


Jin’li’s tail flicked a bit and he blinked as he turned.


“Trythain Oul does not tell falsehoods. Your unit will receive the agreed upon equipment as agreed upon while Trythian Oul will sell the remaining weapons to those whom so desire to purchase the weapons you will use on them.”


“Then why donchya make us buy ‘em too?” Ci’ya inquired as his eyes were caught by a swaying female form and watched it walk away.


“Because, Trythian Oul is in the business of war. And if there is no one killing, why would anyone need weapons like these? The more people killed, the more Trythian Oul will sell.”


“That’s a pretty cold sorta business plan if I ever heard one.” Ci’ya said slowly, his eyes losing sight of the female as she turned a corner and he looked back at the sea that glistened in the afternoon sun.


“Smart business is heartless. And when you deal in death, being heartless makes you the best.” Jin’li walked away into the shadows of the alley and was gone.


Ci’ya grunted as he heard the cane clacking away and shrugged. He was a soldier who did his part. He was doing his job as a supply officer and getting his unit the additional weapons they needed to continue their operations. If that required acting as a sort of advertising agency while performing their duties, Ci’ya was remarkably unconcerned about that.


The hulking miqo’te shrugged his shoulders off the wall and began walking down the street. Now where had that pretty female gone?

Link to comment
  • Create New...