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“Improvising is for when you have no plan Virgil.’

Giving a chuckle as he looked brushed dust from his hair, already everyone looked worse than a day at drill. Covered in dust and minor scratches it was a wonder that they made it out in one piece. He’d have to kiss lady luck if he ever had the chance. Seeing that he was still alive he would make sure to enjoy the fact that for now he at least could complain about it. He could tell that Virgil was already getting irritated, so he would let sleeping dogs lie. This time at least if any building started falling he’d have ample warning with Virgil in front. “Good that everyone is okay for the most part, aside from needing a bath.” Giving a chuckle he followed behind Virgil. ‘It shouldn’t be too far now,” he had to admit they were making good time so far no dragons have appeared so luck was mostly on their side.

“Once we get to the top I’ll try to map us a route that will take us there quickly.”

Already he was loading his caster gun once more, no telling if  he would need it again or not. So far only the undead have been their largest threat, a good thing considering that there were the usual undead and unintelligent bores. “It's a good thing those walking corpses aren’t smart, they have numbers but that’s it.” Alfonso along with Elson and Hunter followed Virgil up the stairs. “Whispernight did a number on this city, we should be thankful Aelindra managed to escape this city’s fate.
Kuratel along with Telerian was a prime example that no matter how magnificent the city it can still fall.

“Once we get to the top keep an I up, who knows what else could be flying up there aside from a dragon.”

Not that they needed much reminding, but it was better to keep a firm grasp on their surroundings. Dragon’s are terrifying but large and loud and none too sneaky. There were far more malicious creatures that prowl the skies after Whispernight. “Make sure your caster guns are loaded once we're up there we will be easy to spot by anything up in the air.” Feeling some comfort in the heft of his mana-blade and the reassuring grip of his gun. He just hoped both would be enough to get him and the others to the their destination. 

“Think of it this way Virgil, you’ll get to shoot whatever is flying about up there first.”
 

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"For what's it worth, Virgil, none of us were harmed, and I commend you for your quick thinking."

Elson hadn't found his so-called 'bitching' to be unfounded in any way, but he did see Virgil's increasing irritation and made the decision to placate him a little. After all, his friend had made the decision he had thought best in the situation, and he couldn't fully blame him for that. The only thing he could blame was the lack of warning, and he would simply let that slide at this point.

Upon seeing Alfonso loading his caster gun, Elson brought forth his own and began to follow suit. Just because they were now out of the clutches of the shambling herds below, it in no way meant that they were out of danger. Vigilance had a vital place alongside courage, and was something that Elson sought to consistently cultivate and maintain. Death could come even for the prepared, that was true, but the manner of their death would almost certainly ensure that their demise had some meaning, their lives given to ensure the completion of an end vital to themselves and their companions. Of course, Elson had no intentions of meeting that end here, and his gut told him that he would make it through this endeavor just fine. Alfonso's statement about Aelindra being spared the Whispernight and how even the most magnificent cities could fall pulled the Major from his reverie.

"That is true, Alfonso. It was by good fortune and providence alone that this trek isn't through our beloved Aelindra. But we all know that if the Whispernight ever came for Aelindra, we would stand before it with caster guns in hand and courage in our hearts. Foolhardy, mayhaps, but it would produce a story worthy of song if nothing else."

With that, the group continued their ascent to the rooftops. Virgil was the first to reach the top, and Elson wasn't too far behind, carefully scanning his surroundings in each direction in search of any threat. After a short time, he saw a black-winged creature, its other features hard to discern but obviously diving toward Virgil as he faced in the opposite direction. Calmly, Elson raised his caster gun, and, tracking the winged beast's with the end of it as he pulled the trigger... he hit the beast with a dead-center shot that set it aflame, and watched with a slight grin as it fell towards the ground in a dissipating fireball.

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Virgil took the teasing like a champ, a slightly annoyed one at that, while Hunter merely smiled and walked along with the team. He knew Virgil was a man of action, and several times were their necks saved by the quick thinking of the man. It was like back when they were younger and they had met each other for the first time, cracking jokes, teasing and sometimes bickering about inane and nonsensical stuff. However, Hunter couldn't take this strange feeling off the back of his mind, like something was odd in the air.

Once the group had reached the rooftops, the topic of conversation turned into the wreckage that was the ruins of the Whispernight. Could this happen to Aelindra someday? Perhaps. But if it came, he thought, he would be there standing to either reverse it, or avenge it. His reminiscing was cut short by a precise discharge of Elson's caster gun, blasting down a black figure from the sky in a swift motion.

"Excellent shot Elson. Let's hope we all share your mighty aim when the dragons come a-knocking." He spoke before retrieving his binoculars. He scanned around the ruins, trying to ascertain where exactly were they supposed to be.

"Not to bring down my own abilities as a Cavalry Officer, but I have no bloody idea of our surroundings... However."

His gaze moved towards a nearby area of the city, reaching into a caved in street where he supposed the warehouse district would have stood. Under the rubble he could spy pieces of machinery, like something large had crashed into the place... Or attempted to get out. He held out his binoculars for anyone to take while pointing in that direction.

"Eastward, by the arches. I don't have any reference but I know of a clue when I see one. Hopefully the way remains unimpeded."

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“I do believe your aim has improved Elson, you might even be a cleaner shot than some of our best snipers.” Flashing a quick smile as he watched the eldritch beast fall from the air afame. Turning his gaze from the smoldering carcass he looked out at the city. Ruined building, and the movement of monsters both in the sky and on the streets. It truly looked like one of the paintings of hell had come to life. “A shame this city has fallen into such horror, perhaps I should set about reclaiming what was once lost.” The comment was more to himself than for the others yes he still spoke his mind. Too much had already been lost, it would perhaps do some good to reclaim it from the Whispernight.

“Don’t take it too hard Hunter after all you’re used to looking at things on horseback not on a building. Not to mention, the city is in complete ruin much of what we’ve seen on the maps has been changed due to the damage.”

Following the man’s gaze to the east he nodded. Certainly the direction was quite close to the area the Airships were stored, and taking out his own binoculars he took a better look at the area. “Indeed old boy, the machinery parts look more akin to our own Airship manufactorums. Putting the binoculars away he turned towards the half ruined stairs they took. “Lets not dally, we may as well check it out. The area is quite close to where our prizes should be.”

With that he began to make his way back down, carefully he lead them past the rubble of the ruined building trying not to cause too much of a disturbance. 

What would seem like hours he picked his and the group’s way through the city. They had so far managed to avoid the undead and other for more insidious creatures. “Let's stop here for a bit.” His instincts told him that they were near, but he dared not directly approach the area without first getting the lay of the land, as well as ensure they did not walk into danger unwittingly. “Hunter, Elson, what do you two think? It seems oddly quiet.” 

Indeed it was, throughout most of the city they had traversed was filled with groans of the dead, and the screeching and snarls of other more dangerous horrors that lurked in the haze. “Remember when we went hunting as lads? That time were were chasing a large moose when all of a sudden it got silent, not a single bird sang in that clearing. Usually the sign of an apex predator. Though these might be eldritch horrors I suspect this follows the same logic. We must tread carefully from here on out. I would appreciate any and all thoughts on how we should proceed.

He could certainly formulate a plan, but as any good leader knows seeking advice from your comrades can be an elucidating experience. “I suspect whatever lurks here it not something we can face on our own, and I doubt once inside the manufactorum we will be in any less danger.” His lips turned downwards as he began to think. “We must conserve our ammunition as best we can, I would rather meet whatever lurks inside with my gun than with my blade.”

Caution was the better part of valor after all.

@EpicRome23 @Maverick

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Elson could not help but grin a little wider at Hunter and Alfonso praising his aim. The bottle-shooting competitions he regularly held with Campos had paid off, then.

"Have I truly improved that much, Alfonso? I guess Campos has been rubbing off on me in that case. Knew there was a reason we kept him around, heh."

With that, Elson turned his gaze outward, searching to see if the winged beast had any buddies out in the gloomy skies above this ruined city. Seeing none, he lowered his caster gun for the moment. He took the binoculars that Hunter had proffered, lowering them after a bit and nodding in agreement with Alfonso as he handed them back to Hunter.

"Mmm, definitely looks like the proper place for us to be heading toward. The streets between seem to be mostly clear of those shambling bastards, from what I saw. They've found better prey elsewhere, maybe, or there's something there that's powerful enough to make them stay away. Either way, won't be hard to get there, as long as we keep quiet and don't attract too much attention."


Some time later, Alfonso came to a stop, and spoke of how oddly quiet it was. Sizing up the situation himself for a few moments, Elson couldn't help but agree. He began to speak carefully.

"So I was right earlier, something here scared the shamblers away. Whatever it may be... I say we show the better part of valor, and take advantage of the alternative routes that the city's fall has opened up. Better that we conserve our strength and ammo for that which may be guarding our prize, instead of wasting it on the unknown threat guarding the quickest route."

He, slowly, began to scan the area, looking for anything like a door or a hatch that would indicate a route that wasn't exposed out in the open. Hidden threats could still lurk inside, of course, but they were likely easier to deal with than those that awaited outside. And it wasn't like he could always find a convenient brick with which to bring devastation upon the enemy, like he had earlier.

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