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Forget the world you know.
Forget everything you have come to understand.
Let your mind follow the breath of the world...let it skim the surface of the endless seas...follow it to a land filled with endless wonders...then dive into the beating depths below...
Now open your eyes...and tell me what you see.
A clear, crisp day was dawning over the Portside of Gdonya. A prevailing easterly breeze fluttered the flags of white and red divided by grey, bringing with it the salty smell of the ocean, not to mention the many fishers, porters, and very occasionally the more impressive galleon coming in from north, east and south to sell their wares, whatever they may be. The sea traffic was, perhaps, not as busy as most port towns. Gdonya was not the biggest of towns and, indeed, Lekhitia was not the biggest of nations, no matter how they tried to big themselves up in the stories. Sat between the unforgiving mountains of the north and the more prosperous Grimmland further south, Lekhitia was not a land that garnered much respect on the international scale. Still, this made it a decent little spot for those travellers who, perhaps, were looking for a route inland beyond the sight of prying eyes...
Should any of those travellers be heading in by sea, they'd know they were close from the glimmer in the distance. Far past the shoreline, even past the town and lands beyond, but still visible from all that way away, there was a lone mountain standing there. It'd be an ordinary mountain, no different from the explorer-happy ranges further north, were it not from the fact that when the sun hit it just right, it let off a glimmer and a gleam that could be spied from across the sea. Follow that light, and soon you may spot the row of houses in every shade of brown, nestled between the forest hills and the sandy beaches. From there, it was just a matter of docking themselves at the pier, and trotting over to the round-faced, almost forcibly jolly harbourmaster. He'll greet you with his standard "Dzień dobry! Welcome to the Land of Three Kings," and once you pay his listed price, you'll be free to traverse the small town ("but growing all the time!") of Gdonya. Perhaps you'll traipse up the long market, bustling with buyers and sellers eager to make the most of the fleeting sunlit weather, and spy the grand Poseidon fountain installed for the benefit of Atlantean tourists. Maybe you could listen to music at the Topos pier, or visit the construction site of the Woodland Theatre. Or maybe you'll just drop by the beer hall and get yourself hammered.
One way or another, for some of its visitors, this was the spot for a most unlikely journey to begin.
"Quit yer whining, Skaarl, we're almost there!"
Moving in the road to Gdoyna, was a Yordle holding a long axe mounted in a Lizard, the Yordle looked at his surroundings somewhat paranoic, as if he expected to be attacked any second now.
"Gleefrarg?" Skaarl looked like she asked something to Kled, somehow, he managed to understand it for some reason. He groaned, looking annoyed at his un-trusty mount.
"For the last time Skaarl, we're here to get us some new property for ourselves! We already helped the Free Kingdoms a lot by kicking plenty of Atlantean ass, now I feel it's time to get us some more property, and this little town is perfect for that.Bet the Free Kingdoms wouldn't mind what we're doing as long as they have less Atlanteans to deal with!"
Kled immediately slapped Skaarl on it's face. "Darn it, Skaarl, it's obvious what we do if the soldiers there don't want us to have the place as property." He smiled. "We kill em, easy as that!"
Afterwards, the duo kept quiet, heading towards the small town as they saw it in the distance far away. Kled hoped no brain weasels was aware of this plan at all. That would be pretty bad.
...Damn brain weasels.
Nervously fidgeting with the hood of her cloak, Caitlin wandered along the road to Gdonya. Even though she'd learned to absorb the heat she needed to survive without doing harm to those she drained it from, she still preferred for them to know exactly what was going on. And the fact that she'd amassed something of a...dangerous...reputation in the regions where she'd previously been active in her less morally sound days certainly didn't help matters. They'd started calling her "Killer Frost" for a reason, after all.
Quietly under her breath, she muttered "Keep quiet. Hopefully these people haven't heard of you, and if they have...just...try not to be conspicuous."
Having said that, it was hard not to react to the furry creature and his mount zipping along the same path...
Edited by Spottedleaf on Feb 7th 2019 at 8:43:45 AM
Gdonya Pier -> Long Market
The hardwood of the seafaring vessel creaked as it was slowly brought to shore, harmonising with the groans of two of its crew as they hauled the hawser ropes to the bollards lining the dock. The barrel-chested men secured the thick ropes around the metal, and then hurried their way over to where the boat was settling in the calm water. The men still aboard worked in tandem with the two on shore to lower the gangplank, the aged wood hitting stone with a satisfying thunk.
The ship wasn't the largest to rest at the port, but the draconic figurehead and golden markings across its bow indicated some manner of wealth. Its other distinctive features- the sail bearing crossed swords, and the flag adorned with skull-and-crossbones- had been stowed away and replaced with plain white cloth. They were at the port for business, yes, but not the sort that required drawn steel and threats of bloodshed.
Three men exited the vessel, numbering five with the two already on shore. Three of them were large and top-heavy, clearly the muscle of the crew, while the remaining two were skinny and squat, one armed with a telescope and the other with bottle-bottom glasses. A sixth figure appeared on deck, unusual first for being a young girl, and second for her uncommon mix of dark skin and blonde hair.
"Niko!" Her sandalled foot smacked against the floor once, twice. "These decks need swabbin'! I don't want to see your face unless it's shining up at me from spick-and-span floorboards!"
Tetra sauntered down the gangplank, directing the crew with the confidence of someone three times her age and height. "Zuko, pay the harbourmaster and keep an ear to the dock. Any big shipments going out, I wanna know about it. Any of our cargo running hot, Mako?"
The bespectacled man flipped open a book in his possession, adjusting his glasses as he pored over his manifesto. "Much of the jewellery is of a unique Atlantean craftsmanship, Miss Tetra. I'd advise against selling it where it could be recognised."
"Save it for Mezzoramia then. Gonzo, Nudge, get everything else off the ship. Senza and Mako will tell you where to pawn it off. I want enough zloty for us to fuel up and drink up, and then the rest in stater."
The men saluted her, save for the biggest, who's stern expression was betrayed by his nervous fidgeting. "Ah, Miss Tetra-"
"Can it, Gonzo." Raising one palm up to him, she placed the other above her eyeline to block out the light while she surveyed the dock. "You've been shadowing me so much I've forgotten what the sun looks like. Get the cargo, sell it off, and then we'll all meet up at the hall and get so soused we'll forget our own names. Am I clear?!"
"Aye, Miss Tetra!"
The men scurried off to their various tasks while their leader made her way off the deck and into the crowded market. The scent of salt water and prominently-displayed weaponry marked her as an outsider, but Tetra was relaxed as she tucked her hands behind her head and surveyed the various stalls at her leisure.
Matilda stumbled up the path to Gdonya, tired from a whole night of running and a half-day of walking while leading Biscuit. Said pony followed good-naturedly and patiently behind her.
The small girl leaned on her walking stick for a while, panting with exhaustion. She took off her cloak, rolled it up, and put it in her pack—and now suddenly everyone could see that she was perhaps too young to be on the road. She drank from her canteen before continuing her journey into the town.
A girl that small? All alone? Caitlin couldn't let that happen. Something about the kid- the intelligent look in her eyes or the sense of determination she seemed to have, but Caitlin felt obligated to help her.
"Excuse me, miss? It's dangerous to go alone, especially at your age. At least let me walk beside you in case anything goes wrong."
Yikes. Hopefully she hadn't come across as being a stranger danger instead.
En Route To Gdonya
It is a long way to Tipperary
It is a long, long way to go
Heck of a road left to Tipperary
To the sweetest boy I know
So long, Piccadilly
Goodbye, Leicester Square
It is a long, long way to Tipperary
But my heart's right there
The day was good for the owner of the heavy wagon rolling merrily across the road, tugged by a mighty steed of hazelnut mane, trying its best to keep up with its own neighing to the rhythm. It was a hard ordeal - after all, human songs or, indeed, any songs at all weren't much suited for a horse, no matter how smart and dedicated to the cause of singing. And so the two of them rolled together to Gdonya; a vampire hunter of its own kind and a draft horse carrying her equipment.
This was Seras's first visit to Lekhitia. This small, unassuming country so far avoided her notice and the notice of Hellsing, but it was a wise vampire hunter that investigated on their own as well. Plus, with no sense of urgency plaguing her for the time being, she could take it easy. The beast carcasses in the back of the wagon would do well as a conversation starter - with money came goodwill, and the people's tongues began unraveling. Plus, admittedly, she was a little short on aspen to make the bolts out of.
And so she rolled forward before something caught her attention: a young girl that couldn't be even ten, leading a pony and trying to get to the city, and another woman approaching her. "Good morrow!" She called to both Caitlin and Mathilda, gently nudging Bernadotte to pick up the pace. Soon enough, the wagon caught up with the two of them. "Walking all this way to Gdonya? Would you like a lift?" She smiled at the two strangers.
Caitlin nodded. "I'd appreciate that. I've been traveling for days and I don't know how much more of this I can take..."
She's not really sure how to mention the fact that she's a heat-sucking vampire to either of the people she's encountered; instead she's hoping that maybe she can casually brush up against them and absorb enough warmth to keep herself sated.
Kled was sure that his ears heard someone talking from behind. His hold on his axe tightened hard. If it was one of those sneaky sneaks attempting to assassinate him then he swore to god tha-
Oh. It's just some humans. Aw. He thought it was assassins. Fighting someone would be fun.
"What do you mean, go interact with them? Skaarl, I'm a High Commander Sentinel Commodore Legionaire Centurion in a mission to capture territory, not a civvie that interact with other civvies!"
Kled groaned, before sighing. "Fine. But I swear if they're one of the sneaky sneaks, no fish for you, you hear?"
Skaarl stopped in her tracks, and then the duo turned back to where Caitlyn, Matilda and Seras we're. As they got close to them, Kled saluted them.
"Hey there, humans! How are you all doing, eh? Hope you don't mind if I give you some company, heard there were plenty of dangerous brain weasels and animals in this road! How about we go together so no crazy animal can hurt us?"
Kled examined the 3 female humans. A kid. A Blondie human and a blue haired human...wait...
Wait just a second, he swore she saw her in some kind of paper thing...
Oh, Kled, calm down, it's just the mushroom juice and the hallucinations making you see and think weird things. Now that he remembers, he really needs to refill his supply of mushroom juice. Hopefully next time, he makes a trip to the Mushroom Kingdom. They have the best supply of mushroom juice ever!
"Oh! Hello, misses!" Matilda greeted cheerfully, though tiredly, looking up at the two women.
"I..." Matilda paused for a moment. "I have Biscuit right here. I forgot that I could ride him when I saved him. Oops! How forgetful of me."
In actuality, Matilda had ridden him for a short while when she first stole him, but these strangers didn't need to know that. Plus, seeming stupid might be a boon for her.
"Oh, hello, sir! It'd be good for us to travel together. Perchance, what's a High Commander Sentinel Commodore Legionnaire Centurion? That sounds like a high position in the military. And "brain weasels" sound threatening. I've never read about them in books. Perhaps they're ultra rare?" she greeted the newcomer chattily.
She hoped nobody would recognize her of the posters put up about the young horse-thief. Her bounty was small, but she wouldn't put it past people to be greedy.
Matilda climbed up onto Biscuit awkwardly. Thank goodness he was shorter than other horses. She wriggled around to get herself comfortable.
To the others with superior perception, it would seem that Matilda knew exactly how to handle herself on a horse, bat lacked any actual experience. Her previous statement about "books" lent credence to that.
Edited by JumpingFruit on Feb 7th 2019 at 11:07:33 AM
Caitlin tries to discretely make contact with each member of the newly-formed band of misfits. It's enough to sate her hunger, though she's worried it will get her strange looks. Granted, the blue lips and white hair may have already contributed to such a strange impression, but still...
She desperately hopes that no one else has heard (highly exaggerated) tales of a murderous white-haired ice queen in the wilds of Hyperborea... or that her face hasn't been on any wanted posters in this area.
She's determined to put those times behind her, sure. But any chance of her being recognized will make such an endeavor very difficult.
"Just to be sure, you guys are all doing alright? No open wounds, no stomachaches or fevers or infections?"
Level 1-1: Gdonya
A rather short, mustachioed man was cheerily walking toward city while whistling a catchy little tune. He was going to Gdonya in search of some quest to undertake for a reward, and he was feeling pretty optimistic about his chances. Plus, he was sick of eating only mushrooms and was eager to test some of the local cuisine.
He saw a group of fellow travellers conversing. The tiny furry being riding a lizard was a rather odd sight, but after defending a realm of mushroom-men against an army of bipedal turtles, Mario was used to oddness. He wouldn't say no to some company, regardless. So he cheerfully greetad the group while waving his hand. "Hello there! My name is-a Mario. Are you all going to Gdonya too?"
The people wandering down the path to Gdonya would see a truly strange sight on their journey. A 20 foot tall young maiden was humming a jaunty little tune and skipping along the way. She seemed to not really be paying much attention to her surroundings, that is until she ran into the others who were present.
Her voice was loud and exuberant. Microphones didn't exist yet, but someone like her would hardly need one if they did.
"That's right!" she replied to Mario. "I came here all the way from Titania to explore this fair land. I do hope to have fun meeting all the lovely people this place had to offer~!"
She made a pose where she put her hand on her hip and winked. She was cute, and she wasn't going to let anyone forget that.
En Route To Gdonya - This Place Got Crowded
In a short order of business, the road got crowded. The Yordle riding a strange lizard a short way back turned around to join them, followed by a man by the name of Mario and an authentic giantess in a maid's clothing. Some of them were more suspicious than the others, but it wasn't Seras's job to be nosy. She had a vague recollection of a bounty letter about a runaway child and her pony, but the reward was paltry enough to not bother - and now that she was here, the vampire fledgling could at the very least ensure her safety. In this harsh world, there was no telling if it was right to help those who would chase such a girl.
The other woman, the one with white hair, seemed to enjoy invading others' space for whatever reason. "Well, I've got some space left, if you don't feel like walking or riding." She gestured idly behind herself. Despite the numerous items on the wagon, there was still some place to accommodate a person or two - if they didn't mind having a dead manticore stare up at them the entire time. "Either way, name's Seras. Monster hunter by trade." The brief brush-up with Caitlin would reveal that there's nary a warmth to extract from said monster hunter, though perhaps that was just the thickness of her sleeve keeping away the life energy. Seras gave her a brief, but meaningful look of warning not to get too touchy with the others. "Planning to drop these beasties by at the market, see if anyone has a need for them."
Bernadotte the Draft Horse meanwhile looked over at Skaarl, examining the weird lizard with a vaguely amused look.
Edited by FergardStratoavis on Feb 7th 2019 at 11:03:58 AM
Shoto knew a lot of different types of pain throughout his life. Mostly due to the bastard who raised him. One thing he wasn't used to, however, was hunger.
If not for the training he was forced to undergo, he might've been accurately described as privileged. He had strong magical powers and the training necessary to make the most of them, and he never had to worry about not having food. While the bastard had done a lot to punish him for disobeying, he never let Shoto go hungry. He couldn't risk his 'masterpiece' losing his edge.
So, his little excursion out of Musutafu was not the easiest for him. Not only had he been too panicked to pack any essentials, like clothes, or food, but he didn't really know how to survive on his own. The fact that he had to avoid large populations around his home country didn't help. The gold he'd packed wasn't very useful in the wilderness.
There were few things he was grateful for at that moment. One of those was the fact that the old man was much too proud and stubborn to advertise the fact that he'd lost to his son, who then escaped. Around Musutafu, he wouldn't be able to pretend he was anything other than said escaped child, but the further he got from home, the less likely he had to worry about anything other than the hired goons who were probably eager to get whatever reward the ruler of Endeavor offered.
At least he'd thought to bring a horse, which made his escape much easier. Well, at first, anyway. Without enough food to feed it, the hunger the two of them had to deal with took its toll on the horse, to the point that he couldn't bring himself to try and ride it anymore. It felt cruel to force it to carry his weight when it was so exhausted.
As they approached a town small enough for Shoto to feel safe approaching, they looked like a mess. Shoto's clothes were torn and stained with dirt and old blood from his attempts at hunting, and his horse's fur was clearly not well-maintained. They both walked slowly and deliberately, trying to ignore the rumbling of their stomachs as they walked.
Shoto managed to pull on his experience burying emotions, still holding himself with grace and stoicism, even as his horse whinnied mournfully beside him. They were fairly close to the town when a roadblock stopped them in their path.
It was an odd collection of characters, including a giantess and a yordle, he had to admit. Even he was blinking in confusion as to why there was so many people just standing outside of town.
His horse had a different opinion. As if knowing that they were being blocked from their next meal, it let out a loud, annoyed neigh, which could best be translated as, "oh, come on!"
Ah, the road is long beneath my feet And the torches they spit and speak Of the pomp and the pageant I left behind And the end of a King's deceit!
~Song Of The Enslaved Pretender, Kozaki Traditional
Gdonya; Long Market
The sun was high and the wind bright when Conan came to the Long Market, leading his squat brown nag, his swarthy bulk swathed in gray traveler's garb. It was not out of interest that he came, for Gdonya was far too peaceful for his liking. He sought no goods, no victuals, no possible fancy that the merchants of Lekhitia had to offer.
Nay, Conan's savage heart yearned for wilder things. He was suspicious of civilisation at his core, and while he had once ruled a kingdom, the experience had done little to soften his breast. He was merely looking for an adventure. For adventures paid in coin, and coin paid his food and board, when the hunt was scarce, and folk proved such fools as not to take honest labor.
He was suspicious of coins, too. It was in his being.
"Cod!" came the cry. "Cod, salmon, kletzer! Fresh from the nets of our honest fishermen! Fit for a king's table!"
Conan was a king, and heartily sick of it. He passed the fishmonger by without so much as a glance.
"A comb for your beard, milord?" prattled a girl. "Such a fine, dark beard! Shame about the dust!"
She pranced around him, a homely thing, trying her best to approximate seduction. The tortoiseshell comb flashed in her hand like a dagger. Conan's brows beetled beneath his hood.
"Begone, woman," said he, in a voice as low as the prowling tiger's. "I've no patience for these tricks."
"Oh, but milord!"
The girl gaped, her wits clearly undone. Rendered helpless, she reached out to touch him, drawn as if by desire to his animal form; but already Conan had moved on, heedless of her.
"Crom!" he swore into his beard. "Curse these merchants and their sophistry!"
The nag flicked her tail and snorted. Conan tightened his grip on the reins and led her on, wolf-furred boots scuffing on the paved road.
Presently he came to a halt, for a girl was in his path; a young girl, burned nut-brown by the sun, clad in blue and red with a cutlass at her side. A seafarer. She was perusing the stalls without a hint of haste, her hands knotted in her golden bun.
Conan waited for as long as his feet would hold, and then, an instant later, said:
"You seem to have found your land-legs, lass. I'd appreciate it if you could put them to use and move faster."
Edited by troydenite on Feb 8th 2019 at 1:35:14 AM
Gdonya, Long Market
Geese Howard, head of Howard Connection, had come to a rather quick halt behind Conan, peering beyond the large slab of muscle taller and broader than he (a great feat in his eyes) and to the small female and her ragtag crew.
"Huh. What seems to be going on?"
Geese stepped to the side, aligning his body with his head, and avoiding the slightly intimidating man from getting a straight look at him. He may be the best damn martial artist this side of the sea (in his eyes), but that man looked like he could lay him flat in three quick motions, strength surpassing even his own.
He then looks past the other two, seeing another odd collection of characters conglomerated a reasonable but still visible distance away from the town's mouth.
"And even more beyond... I wonder if my former associate is in the area."
He mumbled that last line to himself, but unnoticingly said it loud enough for Conan and Tetra to possibly take notice.
"Hey, it was a good thing we ran across that sea dragon, huh?" There was the slosh of an oar hitting the water as the small, golden-yellow boat approached the looming shape of the sprawling port own, its sails drooping from exhaustion. "I mean, if we hadn't helped him out, we probably woulda never made it past that big whirlpool, right?"
The boat - or, more accurately, the mermaid-shaped figurehead that currently sat at the little boat's prow - frowned. "Ah, I dunno, Finn," grumbled the dog-headed mermaid, "you're not the one that hadta navigate all those rocks. And I think I got a lamprey on me, man!" As if on cue, the boat sprouted an arm that stretched under its hull, picking and flicking off a black wriggling creature. "Yeah, that's right, and stay off!"
Finn the Human, for that was his name - a name that wouldn't apply for very much longer in a land populated by his kind - squinted as the town came into view, breathing a sigh of measured relief as the little boat bumped up against the stone harbor. "You okay there, Jake?"
The boat stretched a gangplank out of nowhere and let Finn disembark... before the boat itself squashed and shrank itself into the figure of a small bipedal dog, gratefully shaking himself dry. "Next time you can be the boat." he grumbled, before his face split into a wide grin. "So, what's the plan? What'd Billy say, huh?"
"Just that my father is... alive, I guess." Finn rubbed the back of his head. "And that maybe he's somewhere? Outside of Ooo?"
"I sure hope so," said Jake, "'cause I don't wanna hafta go back anytime soon." As if to punctuate this sentiment, he grabbed a fold of his elastic skin and wrung it out like a dishcloth.
"C'mon, Jake," added Finn absentmindedly, scanning the passing humans in awe - real humans, alive! - "you only had to take over after the sea lard smashed our boat."
"Mmmmm. I thought you were the one that was s'posed to be scared of the ocean."
Finn shrugged, still watching the everyday rush of humanity as though it was the most fascinating thing in the world. "I got over it."
Skaarl noticed Bernadotte staring at it, the lizard seemed happy at meeting another animal, waving at it happily with one of it's legs while it's tongue sticked out like a dog.
Kled seemed to glance at his surroundings, as if wary of something hearing their conversaction, whispering to Matilda.
"Trust me, kid. The Brain Weasels may be rare, but boy oh boy, are they sneaky varmints. You need to keep an eye open for those things or else they'll read your mind...but..."
Kled gave a toothy grin to Matilda as she asked him what is his title exactly, returning back to normal and speaking normally.
"That title? Yeah, it is pretty high ranked, even though I have other ranks than those! I got it from one enemy commander I took down while I fought together with the Free Kingdom of Avalon during the battle of Dorgue! Ah, I remember that day like yersterday, I will never forget when they attempted to drop boiling water to us..."
He seemed to daydream for a moment before returning his attention to the little girl, still smiling.
"Anyways, name's Kled, ally of the Free Kingdoms! This scaly fellow right here is Skaarl. What's your name, missy?"
The yordle would take notice of the large giant. Well, shit, that's a big one, alright. Hopefully she doesn't threaten him or anything, otherwise, he's gonna have to cut her down like a lumberjack would to a tree.
Shhh, keep quiet. Maybe that giant works for the Brain Weasels....silence of the mind is the best weapons against those things.
Edited by Darkomega245 on Feb 7th 2019 at 7:44:45 AM
"Matilda!" said girl practically shouted. "Apologies—I'm Matilda Wormwood. This is my friend and horse, Biscuit. Biscuits are tasty, don't you think? Especially the ones that Miss Honey baked..." Matilda trailed off wistfully, but seemed to recover.
"I'm very interested in hearing the tales of your exploits—once we find a good place to settle down, that is," she said, more subdued, to Kled.
"I love the world," she said offhandedly. "It seems like there's all sorts of people are in it. Tall people, short people. Other people that come in all shapes. There might be a few people dedicated to evil, but there will always be heroes (like you all, I'm sure) to stop them."
Matilda practically beamed at the gathered gang, who had earned her childish trust.
Conan's demand for haste achieved the opposite effect as Tetra came to a halt, lazily turning her upper body around to see the two mountainous men that she was holding up. Had she not been raised by men of similar stature, the sight might have sent her nerves quaking. Even still, she realised her safest option was to stow her tongue and move aside for them.
But young Tetra hadn't made her lot in life by playing it safe. The crowd around them was dense, easy enough for a girl as slight as her to slip through and leave the men in dust should she need to. No danger to her if things turned foul, and really, this was the treatment she received the moment she touched ground? A kick in the back by a feral man with the temperament of a shrew?
"Hmmmmmm?" She slowly dragged out the consonant as she swung her whole body around, planting her feet solidly on the ground. "Perhaps, lad, someone should knock the land-legs out from under you. A month or two with nought but the wind in your sails and the sea in your eyes might teach you a thing or two of patience."
The other man's gaze found something behind her, but Tetra didn't move her eyes from the two of them. Alert for any sign that their altercation might become violent.
En Route To Gdonya - Where Do All These Kids Come From
The little road to Gdonya was only getting more crowded. "You're from Free Kingdoms? Fancy that. Used to live there when I was a small lass." Seras hummed, listening to Kled's exploits as Skaarl and Bernadotte engaged in the quasi-dialogue. The Yordle seemed positively insane, but as long as he kept to himself, there shouldn't be a problem. "Brain weasels" her butt.
"Well, let's not dally. The city's just ahead. We can grab something to eat there and stretch our legs some. For now..." The fledgling produced two apples, handing them over to Mathilda and Biscuit. "You two must be hungry, wandering on your own." The wagon began rolling forward at a slow, steady pace, making it easy for everyone to keep up. And speaking of hungry people, another child with a malnourished horse showed up. The owner - with two-colored hair and a nasty burn on his face - seemed like a prideful sort, but the animal was an animal.
"Good morrow. You two going to Gdonya too?" She called out to Shoto and his horse, getting two more apples and offering them to the strange-looking pair of vagrants. It seemed she had a healthy supply of apples to give - such was the strangeness of monster hunters.
Scent of salt overwhelmed 2B's senses, who at this point went by the moniker of Toobs, as she relaxed by sitting. 9S, now Nines, observed the nearby sea and took note of any marine life that he witnesed during the journey. 2B still wondered how others bought into these names. Still, if it worked, then that is fine. 2B thought. Besides the cloth that covered their eyes, nothing about their appearance should be too suspicious, or or least she thought.
She smiled slightly at his never-ending curiosity. Then again, even to her the whole world felt wondrous and mysterious, compaed to Rein, manifestation of ruin. The automaton felt as if just watching the blue sea and sky purified her soul.
'Our mission is to gather necessary information of the outside world that will prove to be beneficial for the fall of Atlantean Empire.'
Her thought affirmed this statement, an effort to get rid of "useless" thoughts. 'And...'
No. She would not think of 'that'. 2B hoped that she would never be reminded of 'that'.
Destination for golems of war, Gdoniya, became visible to them. And eventually, the transport has at last arrived. "Nines, we shoud get off", 2B said in a voice that sparked no emotion.
"Right!" 9S replied in a bright manner, putting away his notebook which contained all the knowledge he gathered so far. "The town seems like a pretty nice place, and..."
9S cut his speech, as he and 2B came upon a sight of a ship morphing into a dog.
"Now that's... something. Gotta ask them!"
And with that, 9S rushed off towards a canine creature and an oddly square-looking man that seemed to be its owner.
"9S, wait..." Toobs' old habit spilt out; the combat automaton followed her partner.
"Hi, you two. Want to ask you, how does your... animal do that? Is this some form of magical characteristic of its species?" Toobs arrived at the scene of questioning.
"Oh, sorry. My name's Nines, and hers..." Nines pointed at his partner. "...is Toobs."
Edited by kaalban on Feb 8th 2019 at 8:34:17 PM
A bit startled by the way she hadn't been able to absorb anything from Seras, Caitlin instead turned her efforts towards replying to her invitation. "I'd like that. I've been walking for ages." She quickly took a seat. "Mind telling me how you took down that manticore? I've got nothing better to do and I'm sure it must have been interesting."
Although she'd given the girl, Matilda, a bit more space, she still was determined to keep an eye on her, if only out of concern.
Shoto had been hoping to go unnoticed. How he expected to do that when everything about him was noticeable was anyone's guess, but that didn't stop him from being disappointed when someone called out to him.
His expression was unchanged when the woman called out to him, pretty much just completely blank. He opened his mouth to respond to the question, but was cut off rather abruptly when his horse noticed the food being offered.
With the kind of desperation only an underfed animal could have, it practically shoved Shoto out of the way with its muzzle, causing him to let go of its rein that he had in his hand. Immediately, it charged over and simply started eating the apple.
Shoto had been startled enough to emote, as in his eyes widened slightly as he caught himself and stood up straight again. Once over the shock, Shoto had to jog slightly to catch back up and drag the horse away from its inspection of the cart for more food. It didn't register to him how much all of the coins in his bag started clinking when he moved over.
He looked over at the woman, still blank-faced as ever and answered the earlier question, "yes, we are," without any inflection. He wasn't aware that there were other towns nearby, but Gdonya seemed like a decent enough choice. His plan was mostly just to wander until he found a mage capable of removing the curse anyway.
Edited by Skooter910 on Feb 8th 2019 at 9:50:14 AM
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How well does it match the trope?