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Fallen Joy

Dancing Through Deserts

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Once again he found himself amazed at the flow of movements that the princess displayed - even here on horseback. He quickly found himself even more surprised by her magic that she cast as they rode off into the night with only the moon to light their path. Surely this wasn't the last that they saw of the men as they would definitely pursue them to get the desert wonder back in their possession.

He watched as she maneuvered herself on horseback - which had a bit of a conceited touch to it. It was clear that she loved to dance, but it almost appeared as though she had a bit of cockiness to it. The silly woman didn't even realize she was showing her bare chest after her last switch to face forward on the horseback ended up with the cloak he provided flowing in the wind. Before he could say anything, she realized it and covered up. The shadow caster couldn't help but give a soft sigh as he shook his head. These types of interactions he wasn't common to and didn't know how to really act, so he kept facing forward as they rode. Glacier eyes kept a watchful eye out for any signs toward the village.

The thoughts of where they would go next ran through his mind as he could only hear the sounds of the hooves beating on the ground below. It was clear they either needed a boat or an airship to cross the ocean, but he didn't know how to fly a ship. He didn't dare ask the frail, slender woman if she knew how to either, but her voice broke the silence between them and she reminded him that she needed clothes. A dire need with the temperature dropping from the absence of the fireball in the sky. It wouldn't help his cause if he brought her back to the kingdom sick with illness.  Being originally from Genesaris and having traversed many of its roads, he knew that the West Coast Town would be the closest place that they could acquire clothing, food and shelter until the sun rose. From there they would need to travel to Port Town to catch a ride on a boat to Terrenus.

"We'll head to West Coast Town. We'll get your clothes there and seek shelter there for the night."

He said this without looking at her, not wanting to embarrass her further. They were headed in the right direction - being West - so there was no need to lead for the time being. Once more her angelic voice reached his ears between the airspace of the two horses in a sharp tone as she finally realized his foxy companion was sitting with her.

"Her name is Kimi. I don't know much about her, but she has kept me company on my travels. I haven't seen a creature of the sort, have you?" The desert princess seemed like the type of person to ask because of her fascination with the creature. There were similar foxes around the world of Genesaris, but none of which with two tails. It was one of his goals on his travels to find out what he could about her. He didn't expect her to know anything.

Shortly after their conversation about the fox she asked about who he was. He turned his head to look at her.

"My name is Tyveres, or Ty if it pleases you. I don't know your father personally. I met with a representative who gave me this document to find you. Your father must be pretty important."

He didn't bother asking for her name as he wasn't given it initially and he felt it wasn't his place to ask. The only thing he worried about at this point was getting her back to Terrenus safely.

The horseback ride took about thirty minutes for them to arrive on the edge of the sleeping town. There were torches lit with magic that lit up the streets.

"Let's find the inn and see if they have clothes."

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Sitting along the side of the road was Charlotte, who was minding her own business and praticing her weapon usage. Only being able to use one arm was only a slight detriment to her: she had trained her self since fourteen to fight onehanded. When she came back to the road to head back into town, she had noticed the two horseback riders, as well as the fact that one of them-the woman in fact!- was extremely underdressed. 

"What in the world? What is she doing, wearing hardly anything? She's asking to get kidnapped!" Rummaging through her bag, she managed to find a long purple skirt and an orange shirt. "Well... It doesn't exactly match but I'm sure she'd like the coverage." 

Mounting the horse that she road to get out to this point, Charlotte followed and eventually passed the two, and turned her horse to block the road. Hopping off, she approached the woman.

"Hold on, sister. If you're going to go anywhere, I'd reccomend you put these on." Charlotte handed the woman the shirt and skirt. "I know it doesn't really match, but it's all that I had. I'm really sorry. The name is Charlotte, by the way. Nice to meet you two."

Looking over to the man, Charlotte freaked out as she saw small fox accompanying the man. "Oh my gosh he's adorable! Can I pet him? Please please please?" She didn't wait for permission to start petting it. Realizing her mistake, she backed away. "I'm really really sorry. I have terrible impulse control."

Blushing a deep red, she began to walk away slowly, embaressed. "Um... I suppose I should as for your names." The vine wrapping on her arm came undone, possibly from the constant movement of the horse. Walking over to a nearby tree, she focused her energy, and smaller roots wrapped around her right arm, allowing basic movements again.

"My right arm was paralyzed. The vine wrapping let's me move it for the sake of balancing weapons. That's as good as it gets though. I don't have fine motor control with it. But let's me use my various weapons better." She pointed the holster for her pistol sword on her hip, the chakrams she kept strapped to her leg, and the boomerang she kept on the outside of her backpack. "One handed weapons aren't the easiest thing to come by, let me tell you." She laughed sheepishly.

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"Tyveres," she repeated with a brilliant smile and soft bow of her head. "It is a pleasure to meet you."

 

To his mention of her father’s pertinence, a lightly chimed giggle rang from her lips, and she immediately responded with "Well, I should think so, he's the Ki-"

 

She suddenly paused. Her soft face scrunched with discomfort for a moment before she quickly continued.

 

"--kind of person that others really depend on."

 

Turning back to the road, a small frown transpired upon her face.  Logic rightly imposed on her impulsiveness, for if Tyveres didn't know the identity of her father, he also didn't know she was a princess. That meant the King was still trying to keep the kingdom a secret. It also meant that Tyveres was not from the kingdom, though she could have guess that from his magical manipulation of the shadows. She didn’t know if it was safe to tell him, not she when barely knew of him and his intentions, no matter how safe she felt within his presence. The desert flower tried to convince herself that she didn't lie, for her father was the kind of person others depended on, an entire kingdom, but she still felt a cold and guilt ridden plummet from within her stomach.

 

Determined to distract herself, she returned her attention to Kimi, a smile immediately transpiring at the ridiculous charm of the two tailed vixen. As a beast tamer, she understood the nature of many beasts from her royal studies. As a princess, she was provided the best education of the kingdom. Though in experience, she had only mastered the creatures of the desert. This was because she interacted and trained them for years, a vixen would never be found in a desolate ocean of sand, rock, and blazing heat. But there was something familiar about this mystifying creature...

 

"There is scripture," she began after a pause to search through her memory. "That describes a vixen with multiple tails. The name eludes me, but I can’t forget the characteristics of this creature. It was surrounded by legends of great power. Divination, omniscience, and spiritual prowess. They were labeled as either guardians or possessors of humans."

 

Using a finger, she traced the lines of Kimi’s sleek fur and curled it along one of her beautiful tails.

 

"If this is the case, Kimi may very well be one the most intelligent species in existence. And she would have  long years of longevity ahead of her, if not already behind her."

 

Hunching her shoulders, she smiled sheepishly.

 

"Don't quote me though, I only studied it once  in my academy. Perhaps in my...town, you could explore our libraries?"

 

She offered him a friendly twinkle of her eyes, enamored by the topic of magical beasts. Acknowledging her freedom to do so made the topic even more sweet. Excitement suddenly filled her, she clicked her tongue louder and releasing a high pitched call to stimulates her golden steed into a greater pace. Laughing jubilantly, she rushed off ahead of Tyveres with raven hair flaring wildly behind her.

 

" I can’t wait to be home!"

 

In her stampede of exhilaration into West Coast town, torchlights reaching to stream their amber flares throughout her reflective hair, the princess failed to distinguish the rushing tromp of a new horse and the running her pursuing savior Needless to say, with enemies behind him and nerves still paranoid from a recent escape, the sudden appearance of a new horse rushing passed her was startling. Her own stallion reared up and waves its hooves into the air, the princess yelping and her heart rushing into a sprint. Between the sight of a stranger and rapidly attempting to control the horse, she steered clear into high alert.

 

Then the horse settled, she breathed rapidly on its back and glanced back for Tyveres, who had likely reached her at this point. She returned her gaze to the girl when she spoke.

 

"Hold on, sister. If you're going to go anywhere, I'd recommend you put these on."

 

"...What?" It took the princess a moment to process what was being said, at least until the newcomer produced the actual clothing. She Princess sat there, blinking a few additional times, then blushed and clenched her cloak more firmly.

 

"Yes it...has been quite a journey for me these last few hours. Forgive my indecency, we were traveling through for this very purpose."

 

She remained on her horse, urging it closer, and then reached down to grasp the clothing. She was very petite, and the clothes would likely be loose on her, but she was willing to accept anything. It was a far better option than entering an inn without it, and local merchants were unlikely to be present until sunrise. Her rosy smile strengthened a hair more and she folded the clothing over her arm.

 

"Thank you Miss Charlotte," her royal grace took the reigns of her impeccable mannerism. "Excuse me, if you will."

 

With a small ‘tut’, she diverted the horse to the side of the road, leaving Tyveres to engage the newcomer. She hopped off the horse and allowed the large animal to barricade her. Between the horse’s legs, one could see her tightened but smooth legs disrobe, the fabric tossed over the back of the horse. She felt her tresses caress along her nude rear and tickle the backs of her ankles, as she maneuvered it over the purple clothed skirt and slid it to her waist. It hung loosely, curving around the ridges of her hipbones and teasing eyes with her naked abdomen. She then pulled the shirt on, taking the time to remove her long hair from the collar.

 

"Mmm," she hugged her newly clothed body, appreciating the warmth. The goosebumps terrorizing her skin smoothed and settled, her sinuses no longer thick with effort to warm the invasive cold. Sighing gently at her rekindled decency, she replaced the cloak and guided the horse back to the two without resaddling.

 

She missed the whole bit with the woman squealing over Kimi (who she assumed must have switched horses when hers reared up in surprise). In addition, she missed the request for names and the disablement announcement of Charlotte’s arm. Nonetheless, her observation of the immobilized and vine bandaged limp along with Kimi's ruffled fur told her a similar story.

 

"Thank you for these," she bowed her head. "If we may impose some more, do you know where the nearest inn is?"

The princess was naiive in the sense that she was trusting. Although women were within the armies of her desert kingdom, it was a rare occurrence. The women, like the princess herself, were usually tamers of beasts and scholars. In addition, the people of the desert at a very particular look about them; caramel-tanned skin with tinges of rusted-crimson undertones, extremely dark locks, and bright eyes.  Charlotte lacked these criteria as a whole, and the princess was determined to convince herself they temporarily lost her pursuers. Though Tyveres might not feel the same.

Edited by Fallen Joy

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Continuing to amaze the hero of the night, Ty was astounded at the bit of detail that he received about his little fox companion. Hearing the information seemed to even brighten the foxy creature up. When the two horses had ridden close by, she had jumped over to sit alongside her companion once more. Her normal resting spot was either inside his quiver or upon his shoulder, but something about riding on horseback and letting the wind flow through her fur seemed to bring great delight. 

They finally reached West Coast Town only to be intercepted by a strange woman. Just as the woman passed them, the rather average shadow caster concealed his face with his face mask once more, where only his glacial eyes could be made out. This man didn't like surprises as typically they lead to trouble which lead to death in most cases. The skilful animal trainer riding beside him almost appeared to lose control of her horse, and here he thought she was great at controlling all manner of beasts.

Tyveres was able to keep his steed under control to come to a halt as he kept his eyes on the newcomer. It was definitely odd to have run into someone on the streets at this hour. Was she some form of law around these parts? Was she a bounty hunter? The weapons she carried seemed to imply these questions, therefore, he kept his face hidden. He never knew if there was ever a hunter out looking for him for his past crimes in his previous profession and would like to avoid confrontation if at all possible.

It was even more strange for the kindness this woman bared to be out around 2:00am and offering clothing to a needful stranger. Ty listened to the banter between the two women before she revealed her name and that's when she laid eyes upon Kimi, the twin tailed fox. Instantly, the model citizen started petting the blue furred vixen in a hyperactive way, which she happily obliged. It wasn't often that she received attention from others, so she seemed to be taking in all the attention that she could while she could do so. She even let out a delightful cry to let the woman know of her excitement.

Ty didn't say anything in spite of the reaction from the woman, only watching her every movement in case all this was a trick. His hand had secretly moved to the handle of his sword on his waist should the need arise to use it. 

The cautious man didn't immediately reply to the woman asking for their names, which his rescued didn't hear since she was off getting dressed in her new clothes. Before he could reply, the woman had displayed her magic for repairing her arm like an amateur. Ty felt less cautious and finally spoke. 

"I'm Trevante, or Tre for short, and the young lady over there is Cicillia."

Both names were lies as he still couldn't determine whether she would be a detriment to their plans of returning to Terrenus. He had made mention of their names loud enough for the petite, desert dancer to hear, even with his face covered, to help her catch on that he wasn't ready to be truthful just yet. He gave no indication to the woman that he was lying either.

Shortly after, his raven haired companion begun speaking after finishing getting dressed. He remained seated upon his horse for the moment during the exchange of words, his right hand also remaining on his sword. 

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"Liar. That isn't your name. I could feel it through the ground, there was a slight vibration before you said the names. I'm able to sense vibrations in the roots of plants, so you can't lie to me." She flashed a sly smile. "Alright... So I can see you don't trust me. How about I prove to you this isn't a trap?" 

She pulled the pistol sword out of its holster and unloaded it, putting it on the ground gently. Undoing the straps of the harness on her leg, the chakrams fell to the ground, and she placed her boomerang next to them. 

"I'm not here to trap you. And it's obvious that your escorting the girl. I assume because of her lack of clothes she was rescued from somewhere. And you're trying to get her somewhere? Then I shall help." This was all an assumption, but she was fairly certain of her accuracy. 

"As I said, my name is Charlotte. Charlotte Kimpre, of the Light Bringers. A small, three person team who's goal is to help those in need. My associates are on different continents currently, so I'll have to help you on my own for now." 

Edited by sonnytapman

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As the princess returned to the two, catching the stranger’s arduous actions, her pretty face scrunched in discomfort. In the beginning, she thought the woman to simply be strange and invasive, prying herself into matters that weren’t her own. This trait was minorly endearing, something akin to a child nosing her way into adult business. However, when Charlotte uncannily described the events that took place based on observations that could have suggested a thousand other possibilities, that innocence was wiped and filled with suspicion. The princess glanced at her companion, this stoic man who didn’t even lose a hair of composure when flashed the full extent of her bouncing nudity, and studied him. The majority of his face was layered under the folds of his mask and clothing, and her experience of him suggested his capability to remain placid even in the eye of a storm. There was absolutely no way he vibrated to the extent of visual confirmation over a small lie, in addition feeling his vibrations through a heavily breathing horse that just spent a half hour running would be quite implausible. The princess had no choice but to assume Charlotte had some power that allowed the plants to both sense lies and communicate with her about it through vibrations.  It could have been useful in detecting any more desert men in hiding, but Charlotte's behavior halted her from considering it.

 

Charlotte was impulsive and trying to make them feel comfortable, but her abrupt response was accomplishing the opposite. Of course they didn’t trust her, she was a stranger and they were on high alert, but that was manageable through time and conversation. The woman's ridiculous accuracy of their transpired events and ultimately permitting herself into their journey without invitation waved a massive amount of red flags. They literally covered her in admonitions. Suddenly everything the woman did was suspicious, down to the convenience of her having extra clothes. Charlotte was either a truly naive woman who made a lucky guess, a psychic who foretold their arrival, an assassinating stalker that followed them, or was just that good. None of them made the princess feel comfortable, and she wasn’t prone to believe the very latter. Now she had shifted from an expected precaution to complete avoidance. Unfortunately, dismantling a weapon meant nothing in a world filled with magic, and did nothing to alleviate her feelings. Charlotte could manipulate plants after all.

 

“I apologize for us giving you false names,” her voice was calm, almost like a queen, and lost its light-hearted nature. "But unfortunately knowing we haven't spoken the truth, doesn't entitle you to it. Our business is our own, but you may keep your assumptions as you please." She gripped the blonde stallion’s mane and pulled herself up. Whatever vibrations Charlotte found in Tyveres would not be present in the princess. She looked Charlotte dead in the eyes, her oceanic hues solemn and piercing. The strength of the entire sea churned within those optic windows. It was a strange shift from her normal persona, but announced her formal training as both a great tamer of fearsome beasts and future queen of an entire kingdom.

 

“I thank you again for your help, and hope to be able to repay your kindness someday. If you cannot direct us to an inn, we should be moving on to find it ourselves. It has been a long trek. Good night, Charlotte Kimpre of the Light Bringers, I hope you find better use of yours powers in the future. Come on, Tre.”  

 

Her delivery was beautiful and low, but impeccable and commanding. Her posture erect and saturated with elegance, she kicked the sides of the horse and continued on. Navigating around the blocking horse, the hooves of her steed turned from dust muffled stomps to clicks as they stepped onto the provided roads of town. She turned and offered Charlotte a kind smile in farewell. This journey was too dire to accept any risks, her home was too close. Charlotte would have to work to correct her mistake if she hoped assist them on the path to the princess' freedom.

Edited by Fallen Joy

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Being called a liar came as no shock to the secluded male on horseback, staring the little lady down from his heightened position. Truly not much ever does surprise him with the exception of his new found companion. There was still a heavy veil surrounding her even while she was in the buff. In some ways it piqued his curiosity much like his foxy companion which remained perched upon the horse as well.

This girl he had no interest in. Her personality seemed a little too off. Her demonstration of her power was clear, but could she truly detect a liar even from one so gifted in the area as him? Rarely would he even fail a magic lie detector test, something that he was prepared for should he ever had been captured and tried to be forced to talk about the organization he worked for. While it's true that this was his first time hearing of a power like this, he still couldn't be for certain.

Her "educated" guess that she depicted about their story on how they came here to West Coast Town was too much of a coincidence along with her being out on the town's border at 2:00am. As the young lady unarmed herself and approached them, the hand that rested on the handle of his short sword clenched and drew the weapon an inch from it's cover. If she was trying to help them, she could have easily done so by telling them where the nearest Inn was located, yet she disregarded the question in its entirety.

Before he could speak, or act for that matter, his companion he dubbed Cicillia spoke out. Her tone was like nothing he expected to come from her. Her words carried so much weight and embodiment, but they were accurate. This journey was none of her business and there was too much at stake, even if this woman was apart of some guild of helpers. 

The steel edge was concealed in the casing slowly as he kicked at the horse to start trotting along with the frail yet beautiful desert diamond. There was no words left to say.

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Charlotte sighed, and took the reigns of her horse, and walked the other way, picking up her weapons in the mean time. 

"Strict but fair, I suppose. That's too bad. I feel like there was something else I may have been able to say and fix that situation, but that's not 100% true. Whatever. I'll ride back into town." Reloading her pistol sword, she heard something move in the nearby trees. The vibrations were able to give her the information she needed. It was a man, and he was armed. And moving towards... The direction the other two went? 

Quickly grabbing and throwing her boomerang, she managed to pin the man to a tree, as the boomerang got lodged into the tree with the man's shirt. Walking up to him, she asked, "Why are you after that girl? And I'll know if you're lying." Drawing the pistol sword to the man's neck made him talk. 

"Alright alright! I was offered a large sum of money to bring her back to this group of guys. And I just had to take out her male companion and grab her, then bring her back! Simple as that!" 

The man had a whip on his back. "I'll be taking this. Now abandon your job and get out of here." She knew the man had no malicious intent, and dropped a little bit of money into his hand. "I know that's not the amount they offered, but you're gonna have to deal with it." 

Grabbing the boomerang, she put it back in the holster it had on her backpack. She strapped the harness back to her leg and replaced the chakrams, and returned the pistol sword to its holster. "Crap... What about the whip..." She wrapped the whip around her belt, and rode towards town to warn the pair.

Cathcing up to them, Charlotte remembered the question that the man had asked. "Oh, the nearest in is about a few miles west of here, sorry to ignore that question. But anyways! That's not the point! Someone has put a bounty over your head." She pointed to the woman as she said this. "And I'm sorry if you got spooked by my assumptions but that's all they were! But people are actively hunting for you! And if they get the advantage, then even mister silent over there couldn't do anything to protect you!" Her face was filled with worry, and her tone was genuinely desperate. It didn't matter if they didn't believe her, but she did have proof.

Unwrapping the whip around her waist, she calmly said, "I didn't have this before hand. I got it off one of the people who's hunting for you. It's not mine." 

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That was an adventure," the princess said to her companion as he rode beside her and deeper into town. Her deepened voice dissipated into its carefree lightness, emphasized by her chiming giggle. The horse shifted its head slightly and shook its mane.

 

“Cici…” she giggled a second time. “Do I look like a Cicillia to you?” She swished her raven hair about flauntingly. “I’m sorry, I realize I haven’t even told you my name, but....Would you mind just calling me Cici? I’m quite fond of it, since uhm...well...”

 

She took a piece of hair and toyed with it nervously. “Since you...well gave it to me.”

 

There was a slight crimson to her cheeks before she cleared her throat and kicked the horse’s flanks so it moved faster and slightly ahead of him. She glanced obliquely over her shoulder and then hunched them before continuing forward. She wondered if there would be a time in which she could tell him that she was a princess. She would have no choice once she led him to the hidden kingdom within the desert, but what if her true identity revealed a side of him she didn’t wish to see? What is knowing she was royalty made him left? Tension in her chest, she sighed gently, opting to hold onto her secret. No matter how much she wanted to reject it, he was only slightly more of a stranger than Charlotte. The princess just couldn't shake that with him she felt like she was be the safest person on earth. She wouldn't fear the night if she knew he was standing guard.

 

Speaking of Charlotte…

 

The girl rode past and blocked them again. The golden horse, though not startled this time, was strongly agitated with the interruption, blowing harshly through its nose and shaking its head. The princess gave the horse a comforting pat and then glanced up to Charlotte again. She scrunched her face in familiar discomfort at her persistence. However, the information Charlotte provided washed some her discomfort away and replaced it with distress. She simply couldn’t believe what she was hearing. They had escaped the three men less than an hour ago, how had they spread word of not only her escape but her entire appearance in such a short amount of time? How did it reach this town before them? Was Charlotte making up more stories to trick them into changing their minds?

 

The princess remained silent for a long while, eyeing the woman with skepticism for a good five drawn seconds. The genuine turbulence along Charlotte's face, which was once carefree and childlike, made a different impression. It was from the travesty painted upon her features that seduced the princess into having no choice but to accept her words and take them seriously. She wanted to get out there, but she was tired from a day of traveling through the desert, a night or performing, escaping their clutches, and riding away. All without food.

 

“Did you let him live?” She asked wearily. It sounded cruel, but it was important. A bounty hunter left alive would possibly inform others of their whereabouts. After Charlotte answered, perhaps with some confidence that the man would not be a further problem, the princess slowly shook her head and returned her attention to Tyveres.

  

“Do you...think it’s still safe to be here? I could hide my face.”

 

She was just so tired, cold, and increasingly hungry. To sleep in a bed for the first time in a month would have been a true blessing. But though the thought of an inn was comforting, it was overshadowed by the thought someone sneaking in with a dagger to her throat at night. The princess bit her lip, lowering her head and true sorrow daring to curse its way onto her once ecstatic features. She should have known better than to think they could've escape those men so easily. The men were traitors of the highest caliber within her kingdom, men of great skill and resources. The troubling question of why would the rebellion go through such lengths to dethrone her father grew in the back of her mind. Was he not a kind and just King?

 

Shaking the thoughts away, she returned her gaze to Charlotte, nodding to her kindly.

 

“Thank you for the warning and directions, that is thrice in one night. You live up to your purpose.”

 

She paused for a moment, she trusted Tyveres and his skill, but there was only one of him and many pursuers. The most disturbing factor being that the princess did not not exactly know how many. At this point, she knew the men would be desperate, possibility hiring every blade and greedy fist they could find. For if the king learned of her escape, their chances of his cooperation would be derailed. This new woman could be useful in detecting a wolf amongst the sheep.  The princess could capitalize it.

 

“Perhaps, Miss Charlotte, with the permission of my companion, you may accompany us. But...we cannot tell you where we are going, nor who we are. If you can accept that, I will accept you.”

 

She glanced shyly at Tyveres, waiting for his agreement. She didn’t want her most trusted partner to leave her because of a possible snake in their pack. Above all else, she wanted and needed him and him alone.     

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The night only grew colder as the two weary travelers made their way through West Coast Town. It seemed like a quiet little town. Tyveres remembered that there wasn't much of a military presence here like in the previous town of Joran, which came as a double edge sword. On one edge, it was less likely that anyone would recognize him, but on the other, should they need assistance against would be kidnappers or bounty hunters, they may not get it. Towns like this were typically hosts to pretty lazy soldiers who didn't care for or tried to avoid conflict. 

His talented companion made small chatter with him on their walk through town. She appeared to be acting very bashful about him giving her a name in place of not knowing who she really was. 

"One such as you could Don the likes of any name."

A statement meant to be a compliment, but in the tone he said it, it could be taken very lightly or the wrong way. One thing for certain was that he wouldn't tell her why the name came to mind.

"I'm glad you like the name. I shall continue calling you that then."

In truth, he couldn't care much to what her real name was. There was not much need for it, or for who she was for that matter. There was only the mission at this time. All the while they talked, he didn't pay attention to her with his eyes. Only focusing on her voice to hear what she said to be able to reply. The rest of his attention remained focused on their surroundings being in the middle of atown.

The quick pace of a horse was heard coming from up behind them. The sound was sharply familiar having heard the same beating pattern a short while ago. It was to his expectation that the young woman, Charlotte, was once again impeding their progress, but with news of possible trouble brewing.

Certainly, it was possible for word to travel far and fast with the use of technology and magic. After all, Genesaris was home to many technological advances such as airships. Why wouldn't they be able to catch up or even get ahead of them. If only he knew how to pilot the flying vehicles, they wouldn't be in this predicament. 

Without Charlotte answering the question of whether she let the bounty hunter go or not, he already figured the former considering her weapons of choice and her overly hyped urge to help strangers - should that truly be genuine.The actuality of it when she mentions it would not bring much disappointment to him, but he would be shocked if he heard otherwise, but he too could also detect a liar though not as accurately as she can. 

He groaned softly to the reemergence of the question if the woman should travel with them. She was correct that there was a high probability to there being an utterly unbalanced battle. Ty was a great fighter, but if they were to get ambushed, could he really ensure his escort's safety? He took only a moment before finally giving his answer. 

"We'll stay here at the local inn till sunrise, then we make for the next town."

His speech was primarily directed towards the raven haired beauty next to him, but his attention then turned towards Charlotte. 

"Don't make me regret letting you accompany us. Our main objective is to keep Cicillia safe. Also, should we be attacked, I cannot guarantee your safety."

Harsh words, but they couldn't be any truer. Keeping that woman safe was not a priority, nor was there any benefit to it for him aside from having an additional hand to help. He motioned for his bare saddled horse to continue in the direction of the inn.

At some point, he would establish that he would take the night watch while they slept till morning. He was accustomed to only getting a few hours of sleep at a time. He still couldn't fully trust their new associate. 

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At the first question, Charlotte shook her head. "No. The man is alive but disarmed, so hopefully that means something for you. But I did give him a little bit of money, that could sway him in either direction however. He may go and inform his companions, or he may keep out of your hair. That much is to be seen."

However, as Cici asked her second question, Charlotte smiled warmly and nodded. "I would love to. I'm sorry to scare you initially with my rash assumptions. However, you have a bounty unfairly put over your head." Tilting her head towards Tre, she added, "and you have a death warrant over you. I, however, am an unknown variable. They don't know about me. And the most powerful element isn't that of fire, earth, water or air. It's the element of surprise. And I've got more than tricks up my sleeve, that's for certain."

As she said that, her sleeve rolled down, revealing a wrist strap which had shuriken and kunai strapped to them. "Although I guess you can say I have those as well." She giggled, trying her best to emphasize that it was important to keep a good sense of humor even in dire situations.

Looking over to Tre, she noticed how serious his gaze was. "Sir? There's nothing to worry about. Again, I'm not here to harm you."

Her wireless transmitter went off, and she answered it. "Hello? Who is this? Sonatro? What's up my friend? Uh huh. Pardon? I see. Alright. Can Addyson come down and lend me a hand? No? Damn... Alright, I'll talk with you later." 

She stopped the communication and explained herself. "Sonatro and Addyson are the other Lightbringers. Unfourtanately, I'll have to help you by myself on this one."

Edited by sonnytapman

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“That’s fine.” The princess said, her voice heavy with both physical and mental exhaustion. “We’re only allowing you to accompany us anyways.” Like a worn mother, she released a deep sigh, finding her mind too laden to raise more suspicion to Charlotte’s communication to a third party. “I ask you to keep our whereabouts secret from your friends and terminate your communication with them for the remainder of our journey. Perhaps I did not make it clear before, but it is pertinent we remain private.”

 

Her lashes low on her eyes, the princess slowly clicked for the horse to continue on. Tyveres’ words were sitting uncomfortably on her shoulders, and his concept of placing of her life over their own. As royalty, she understood that her life was of great importance, but she had never been placed in a scenario in which it held dominance and precedence. Receiving the finest training, education, and being privileged with extravagant clothing and meals was facile in comparison to recognizing that by law and duty alone, people were obligated to be your shield against blade and bullets. These concepts normally kept to the back of her mind, but in her fatigue, the complexity of the evening, and the arrival of an over zealous companion, all her tribulations were rollicking wildly within her foremind.

 

When they arrived at the inn, the princess silently left the horse and tied it near the water station. She patted the golden stallion as it grunted and drank the water. The softness and innocence of an animal’s eyes always calmed her, for their simplicity made them unvindictive and honest. Watching the horse made her think of her Suujali. What had happened to it after she was captured? Was he killed? More sad thoughts.

 

“I’ll get you some oats…” she said to the horse who had served to carry her through her month of imprisonment, and it recognized  the words with a swish of its tail. The princess patted the horse once on the rump and then traveled up the staircase to the entrance of the inn.

 

There was no one at the counter of the establishment, she placed her hands on it and leaned over to glance around. Seeing single door not far off, she called out.

 

“Uhm, excuse me! Is somebody here!”

 

Noticing a desk bell, she hit it a few times. A couple minutes passed before the door knob turned and tired, large, and bearded man trudged from the darkness. He yawned loudly and scratches his scuff, raising bushy eyebrows when he saw the two women a man. His eyes paused a half moment when they fell upon the princess, whose beauty warranted entrapment, but then he released another bear worthy yawn and gruffly spoke.

 

“Wandering in a be late, are we?” He absentmindedly grasped a folder. “Alright well, what will ya be having? One, two or three rooms?”

 

The princess blushed at the thought of sharing a bed with Tyveres, rubbing her arms uncomfortably for a moment before shyly holding up a finger. It would be inconvenient if they couldn't keep an eye on each other. “Uhm...and food for our horses for the night.” The gruff man quirked a brow.

 

“The three of ye won’t be able to fit in the bed without cuddling real close, hope one of ye plan to sleep with the dust bunnies.” And he wrote something on the folder before closing it. “That’s one room and three..” he paused with a questioning look to the princess, who nodded. “Alright three bags of oats. That’s about 1.7oz of gold.”

 

“Pardon?”

 

“1.7oz of gold.”

 

The princess never had to pay a thing in her life, she suddenly looked distraught, glancing at her companions. When Tyveres and Charlotte stepped up (assuming Ty wouldn’t take them to an inn without a method of payment and Charlotte wouldn’t expect them to cover her), the princess blushed even deeper.

 

“Oh…right.”

 

The man scratched his beard a second time, placing the money eyes but keeping his eyes on the princess. "You're a privileged once aren't ya?" The princess blinked in bewilderment. "Got the smooth skin of a woman who spent her life bathing in buttermilk. All that long pretty hair looking like is been brushed with bristled made from silkworms."

 

The princess frowned and found something other than the man to look at. The mountain man released a hearty laughter. "I mean no offense, just be careful around these parts. A lot of thieves would love to snatch yer purse. Though I suppose you'd be mighty safe with this here fella shadowing your footsteps." He glanced at Tyveres. "Alright now, here's your key."

 

She fidgeted uncomfortably with her raven hairs until the man handled them the key to the room and she gradually continued up the staircase after thanking the man. The room was small but spruce, the full sized bed was indeed big enough to fit a tight squeeze between them. There was a table, a small cushioned chair, small and simple plantings for decoration, and dim lighting. It was apparent that most of their money went into feeding the horses for the night. In light of hunger, the princess was very famished, but her weariness daunted the sensation, while her troubles purloined her appetite. Her blush maintained as stared at the bed, longingly but diffident. What should she do? That was when Tre announced he would be standing to watch over her. The princess hunched her shoulders. Of course he would.

 

“If you find time to rest, please do.." she said with a light smile. "..Then uhm, I am going to sleep. Good night.”

 

Peeling Tyveres’ cloak from her body, she rested it in a neat fold on the table and then crawled onto the bed. Her long locks spilled and flowed pliantly around her slender body as she curled to the left of the bed. Despite her hesitance, the moment her head nestled within the pillow, a thick blanket of drowsiness cocooned her and she was sleeping before time reached its next minute.

 

. . . .

 

In the distance, several buildings away, the previous night’s mercenary watched from the shadows of a rooftop as the three entered the inn. When Charlotte had attacked him, he was caught off guard,  unaware of their third companion. He immediately knew he did not have a chance against two protectors of the princess. Lowering the crimson fabric from his face, his countenance revealed dark caramel tanned, dried, and scarred skin, deeper chocolate tresses, and bright blue but malevolent irises. He was not a mercenary, but a man of the desert.

 

Feigning a mercenary was the easiest way out of his predicament with the boomerang slinging wench, and Charlotte irradiated with a demeanor of naivety and forgiveness, so he weighed his chances and went with it. Truth was, there wasn’t a bounty on the princess’ head. The men wouldn’t risk her death by the hands of a third party when they needed her alive. However, when it came to reasoning with a person who openly stated they would know a lie, he diverged to merely give her a vague truth and let the lie manifest within her own mind. He was offered a large sum of gold to kidnap the princess. A King’s ransom worth of gold…

 

After the princess’ escape, the trio of men immediately sent out recon messages to the rebellion. After informing them of the performance to take place in Joran City, and a few scattered soldiers were assigned within the sanction to migrate closer to the landscape in case of emergencies. It took him an entire day to reach neighboring lands, and was riding towards Joran City when a falcon carrying a note intercepted him. He nearly crushed the bird, learning of the escape. But these men, once navigating through the unmerciful trails of the Wastelands sandstorms, were expert trackers. Combined with the knowledge that the princess possibly needed supplies and a port back to Terrenus, West Coast Town was the most probable spot in traveling vicinity. In discovering horse treks in the sand, the man’s prediction was strengthened and ultimately accurate.  However, learning that the princess now has two protectors was disturbing.

 

“Take this to the triplets,” He said to a falcon resting on his left arm, placing a scrolled paper within its poach. “Let them know the developments. They should be searching the lands east of Joran. I need you there before dawn.”


The bird took off from his arm and sailed to the skies before disappearing as a dot in the distance. He would have to buy his time for the being. For now, he knew where they were. Turning away, the man disappeared in the moonlight.

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The group finally made it to the inn. It was nearing three in the morning when they tied the horses up. The warrior didn't notice the desert princess speaking with the horse, nor did he care to share a few words to the steed that did on the travelling for him to get this far. Essentially taking the beast for granted as to him that's what their purpose in life was - to run. He was the first inside the building, a shanty place that was devoid of life in retrospect to art. White walls with little artwork or pottery to brighten up the place. The room was dimly lit by candles upon the chandeliers - obviously not staying up to date with the times. This place did not bother the former assassin who was use to taking the beauty of life away from an individual - in fact it brought him peace with how plain and ordinary it was.

What brought him more at ease was the lack of patrons around. It was early in the morning after all, but the less people that knew about their presence the better. From concentrating his mind he could hear subtle sounds coming from various directions from low pitch talking to snoring to the wooden floor boards creaking as what sounded like a bed beat against a wall, masking the sounds of intense pleasure.

The sound of the nearby bell broke his concentration as a grisly of a man appeared from the back to greet the party.

"One room."

He answered just as the former prisoner raised her hand to answer as well. Apparently they were on the same wavelength, or so he believed. With the new girl following along, he wouldn't want her out of sight, especially with that radio device. At times, he found himself watching her when she wasn't paying attention to him for any suspicious behavior, seeming to look for any such reason to lop her head clean off her shoulders, but it wouldn't be that easy.

"We'll take it."

He replied when the bear adaption of a human responded with how much the room would be for the night just after the more beautiful companion had her brain lapse of having to pay to get a room. Not having to pay for anything for a month being in captivity must have shortened her views of the world for some odd reason. The room was just under two gold for a stay at the place. They would get what they paid for. When the the man was done making his threats to scare his group, he slammed down two ounces of gold on the table and gave the man a deathly stare.

"Make sure the horses are fed very well."

The man proceeded with sliding the key forward and soon after they were in their room without any further words shared.

The room was a lot like the rest of the place - cheap and dimly lit, but at least the bed was large enough to fit the two of his companions. He didn't plan on sleeping this night - or at least not much, but he had his way of resting his mind and body while still maintaining alertness.

"You worry about getting your rest, and you too."

He spoke out to the two women as he began removing his equipment from his form starting with the bow and arrows and then his sword. He also had with him throwing knives that were in a pouch on his back. These remained so. He also had other hidden blades in various places on his person which also remained as they were, only removing what was necessary to get comfortable to sit down in the chair in the room. His head and face was still primarily covered by his hood and face mask. The chair was in the perfect position to see the whole room, including the entrance and the window which faced the back of the place.

Kimi, who had followed in Cicillia's heels, so low to the ground that her presence was barely noticeable, also joined her on the bed, laying in the middle of it next to Cicillia (and Charlotte - should she choose to lay down on the bed as well, being between them). Like Cici, the blue, two tailed fox was out after a very intense filled evening.

It was lucky for them that the room next door was only host to a rather quiet snoring patron while the louder rooms were further down the hall, yet the sounds still echoed in Ty's mind subtly. Long after the two women would rest their heads to sleep, he would finally employ his measure of resting while still maintaining his alertness to their surroundings. A method necessary for camping out his targets and also key to survival from when being hunted by bounty hunters or lawmen.

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Charlotte didn't immediately go to sleep, but went out to feed the horses. As she did, a falcon flew over her head, but she was too distracted in her task of feeding the horses to notice it. If it had landed, that was another story. She would've felt the vibration. 

She called Sonatro, then got Addyson on the line as well. "Hey you two! How are you guys? Good to hear, guys. Look, my escort wants me to shut off communication with you guys. Make things private. Yeah, I know we could call for backup if needed. But if the communicator is totally broken and not just offline, you know something is wrong. I'll be fine, guys, don't worry! Alright? Okay, see you once this is all over. And I'm in Genesaris, by West Coast Town. You guys can pick the trail up from there! Alright, later!" 

Shutting off the communication line, she went back inside to the room and began to remove some of her equipment. The pistol sword went to the bedside table, as did the whip and the boomerang. Unstrapping the harness around her leg holding her chakrams, she put the bladed rings along with the rest of her weapons. The gauntlet with shuriken and kunai on her right arm remains where it is, as well the a short dagger strapped around her ankle.

Laying down on the bed, she passed out almost instantly. Unconciously, she ended up cuddling with Cici during the night. 

A heavy vibration startled Charlotte awake. Her hands were far down on Cici's back, landing on... Charlotte clenched her hands to get a confirmation of where they lie. She squealed and jumped out the bed. 

Looking out the window, it was simply the plodding of horses outside. Nothing to worry about. As she began to re-equip her gear, she noticed her companions were still resting. Consider she was ready to go, she wrote down a note, saying this: 

"Hey you two! If you're reading this, I just went out for a little walk, up from the way we came last night. It shouldn't take too long, but if it does, you don't have to worry about me. I'll catch up later if I take too long. But if I'm captured... Let's just say I've got a spell sword with a fiery temper and a swordsman with the strength of a lion to help me out." 

Leaving the note on the bedside table, Charlotte made sure that all of her equipment was in order. Pistol sword in the holster, whip around her belt, chakrams around her leg, boomerang on her backpack. She waved a short hello to the newcomers at the inn, and went out for her walk. 

It was very peaceful overall. She ended up chatting with a few travelers on her walk. But she had gone a lot further than expected. It had been at least two hours, and maybe 10 miles of walking. Charlotte was more than capable of this much walking, she was able to brace her legs with roots and vines to keep herself going. 

She suddenly felt the plodding of hooves yet again. Three men. Charlotte had a very bad feeling in the pit of her stomach. We're these the ones chasing after Cici and Tre? No... It's just a coincidence. Nothing more. Three traveling buddies. Her breathing grew short, her heartbeat quickened. Maybe it was the ones chasing after them. But it's been at most 7 hours, they couldn't have traveled that far in such a short time. Could they? 

Beads of cold sweat dripped into her emerald eyes, and she hissed. "Ah! Fuck, that hurt. Why the fuck am I so nervous?! They're just travelers..." She broke out into a sprint back towards the inn. 

Turning the communicator back on, she called Addyson and explained the situation. "And no I don't know if those are the guys who are chasing the two! Pardon? They were armed. How armed? Um... More than a short sword I suppose... What sort of sword? I think they had schimitars... Wait, that's not a commonly used  sword in Genesaris? Oh shit you're right!" She had stopped to talk with Addyson, and the horse rides had already passed her by. "This is bad. Really really bad. Addyson thank you, but I need to fight this battle myself!" Turning of the communication, the woman dazed as fast as possible to catch up the the assailants, but her wouldn't be quick enough. By the time she got to the inn, the men would already be there.

Edited by sonnytapman

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A older aged man was sleeping in a plain room that resembled a run down inn. There was no paintings, or other decor or furniture. Just a bed with white walls and an open window. This man was sleeping next to a much younger woman - a woman he likely paid to be there. The young man awoke feeling exuberant from the night with the young lass. He sat up and stretched with a wide yawn as he shook the woman next to him.

"You still here, bitch? I paid you to fuck me, not stay the night. Don't expect to be getting breakfast out of me."

The young red haired beauty remained silent, not budging from the force of his smooth hand forcibly shaking her body. There was a crack of lightning as rain was pouring down outside the window. The loud sound startled the man as he peered out of it. He grunted, feeling irritated by the situation, as he pulled the woman's body to roll over. A bright light surged through the room from the lightning outside as the woman's limp body rolled over, her throat slit open.

"What the f--fuck!"

The man exclaimed as he jumped out of bed from the surprise to find his escort lying naked and dead. As he checked his own naked body for any traces of her blood or wounds, another surge of lightning struck and brightly lit the room and after it settled, a form of another person stood just in front of the window. 

"W-who the bloody Hell are you!?"

This was the man's first reaction before realizing this was the killer. The man stood concealed in a cloak, face covered by a hood, but it was clear he was the killer by the blood that dripped from the short knife he held in his right hand outside of his cloak. Before another word could be uttered, that very same blade was drawn back and thrown and met its mark square into the older man's forehead.

It took a short time for the body to shut down as the knife protruded the skull and into the brain. The body fell limp with a hard thud as crimson blood leaked out of the fatal wound, creating a pool of blood around the head.

The cloaked assassin stood over his target. Retrieved the knife and wiped the blood on the sheet of the bed. By the next lightning strike, the man was gone from the room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The vivid memory was over, but it's continuation was interrupted by a sharp squeal from the young woman that shared a room on this night with Tyveres and another. Being in this hotel room had a clear resemblance to the room from his past vision. He wasn't startled awake, but rather if one had paid attention, his breathing pattern changed to associate that he was awake. An icy eye peered open to watch the movements that went on in the room by Charlotte. She seemed to be grabbing all of her things and preparing herself to leave.

Ty didn't like this behavior. Why was she leaving? Wasn't she going to help them? How far was she going? Should he attack her now if she planned on betraying them? His questions weren't answered completely, but the woman wrote a letter in a hurry and left. Ty peaked over at his other companion that was laying on the bed. Was she still asleep even after hearing the squeal? What time was it now? The clock on the dresser read 6:26 am. Kimi was even still sleeping at the foot of the bed peacefully.

After Charlotte left and it was clear that she wasn't coming back right away, Ty stood up from the chair and grabbed the note to read it. He gave a short sigh after reviewing the contents and looked to the former prisoner on the bed.

"Miss? Are you awake? We need to leave, as soon as possible."

He would take measures to ensure that she awoke if she wasn't already due to Charlotte's actions by shaking her gently. Once he knew she was awake, he would explain the situation that Charlotte left heading back towards Joran (and handing over the note if necessary) and that they couldn't wait for her to come back if they wanted to get to Port Town before they were intercepted by her former captors.

Should she be ready to go, they would head downstairs after gathering their things to prep the horses. On the way out, if the manager was spotted, he would even drop down another two ounces of gold and command him to not inform anyone that they were ever there. This would have only taken about ten minutes just after Charlotte left to get ready.

Edited by Tyveres

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