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Narthandulus

An Orisian Welcome

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'One has slipped away.' Jean thought to himself, following the sound of feet shuffling in the distant, inching further and further from the mist wrapped forest he called home. He raced towards the stray undead, quickly closing the gap between them with his sword in hand. Despite it happening only a few times, it still intrigued him as to how some of them eluded him long enough to make it this far. However like all the other occasions like this one, it would all end in the same way. With a single dash, Jean swiftly drove the blade of the Flightless Joy into it's chest, impaling it and slinging it's still-pierced body over his shoulder. "Well it seems congratulations are in order." he said as he started his walk back the Mist Hold "You've not only survived the longest, but you've also managed to get the furthest out of the rest. The lot of you are really starting to become a handful.".

His words, while patronizing in tone, were empty. In truth, he felt nothing but pity for them. Unable to die and unable to enjoy their short bursts of life. All Jean could do was put them down so that they could rest for as long as possible. Yet as he thought to himself he heard something off in the distance. While not the usual steps of the shambling corpses he was familiar with, they were nonetheless suspicious. A lone pair of feet in the middle of the night along with them being lighter than usual. 'A child.' he thought as a possibility before slinging the body he was carrying in the direction of the castle. While it was possible for lost people to end up in his territory, Jean was aware that not all things were as they seemed at a glance. Regardless, he would head towards the footsteps, making sure to approach them as quietly as he could. If it were a simple child lost and wandering alone, he would offer his help. But if things were half as shady as he expected, then he would need to be on his guard.

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Kobayashi was trying to do a large variety of things at once, although all of them were necessary.  First off, he had Kal masking his psionic energy so he would not be picked up.  Even though they were all the way in Orisia, he had to be careful because he didn't know just how far the people who captured him and imprisoned him could reach.  He had to get away, regroup.  And that required being both stealthy, and not being so stealthy as to seem suspicious.  He was walking in a way to minimize sound production and perception in general.  His hood was up, but not so up as to seem shady.

Of course, that didn't mean he was trained in such tactics.  He mostly picked up these techniques while he was growing up, in an area surrounded by criminals and lawbreakers.  A Kobayashi original.  But it also meant that like everyone else, he was not perfect.

He figured going to a place like this would help skew up his trail if the people who took him had no assets here.  They seemed more tech based, but they had enough magicians and sorcerers that he should expect the possibility there were people here as well.  Still, he did hear of one organization he might be able to trust, that had a business in secretly smuggling people across the world.  Without using magic or teleportation, both of which had methods to trace quite easily by some people, but through oldschool methods that were harder to trace.  Not instantainous, but that could work to his favor.

He just had to find them.  And of course, use some alleys.  He couldn't be certain who, what, or even if, but his paranoia and instincts told him he might be being followed.  And that he had to stay careful, and vigilant.

"Please be advised.  Information about typical foot traffic is still being compiled.  Kobayashi should avoid entering areas that are easily ambushable".

"Got it, Kal..." he softly muttered as he pushed forward.

 

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The source of the noise was getting closer as Jean walked along the road towards it. Though perhaps it was best to keep things subtle for now. Before he would get within sight, he would place his sword back into it's sheath with one of his hands resting on it's pommel. While a normal person would see his actions as extreme by suspecting every wanderer within a few miles of his home to be a threat, Jean new better. Both from intuition and experience. Strange things existing in this world was an understatement with many allies and enemies alike could take shape from and live within it. 

And while Jean had seen his fair share of strange things, he had a feeling that he'd only scratched the surface of it. And it was in that realm of possibility that he grew a healthy paranoia of intruders. Not for himself, but for his sons. The four little shards of light that meant more to him than anything else. But while the thought of protecting them helped spur him onward, they would do no good if he didn't focus. With the figure slowly appearing in sight, Jean had found what he was hearing. And his guess was on point as expected. A child wandering through the Orisian night, though as he assumed, not all was probably as it seemed.

"Well now, what have we here? A poor lost soul in the dead of night." he said to the boy before stopping in the middle of the road. "You appear to be lost, perhaps you could use some direction?" he added with a tone a voice that mixed formality and hostility behind a fake smile "The nights here can be most dangerous if you are not careful.".

Edited by Narthandulus

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Kobayashi continued along, making sure to mind his own business and not attract attention to himself.  He was fairly late now, but the darker times are usually where it was easier to find the people he sought.  Criminals, smugglers, he was not familiar with the people here, just human nature itself.  Sure it might be suspicious, but he figured so long as he could run into criminals, he could get them to talk.

And low and behond, someone appeared before him being all mysterious and cryptic and...

"Well now, what have we here? A poor lost soul in the dead of night."  the man said in front of him, blocking the middle of the road.  "You appear to be lost, perhaps you could use some direction?" he continued, without Kobayashi even getting the time to say anything.  And then, with a very specific smile and voice....he finished it...  "The nights here can be most dangerous if you are not careful."

And Kobayashi, with his past experiences, torment, and soemwhat skewed ability to socialize normally, immediately realized (?) one thing....this guy was creepy!

No no, wasn't he totally a pedophile or something trying to trick Kobayashi?  (lol, misunderstandings are funny)

This guy was definitely dangerous!  Kobayashi was looking for a criminal, but not one like this!  This was no good, no good at all!

He was definently trying to lure Kobayashi away, or entice him, or something, and do bad things to him!

While keeping himself prepared for a fight, Kobayashi made sure to maintain his poker face.

"Its f-fine.  Not unless you know where I can find the docks" Kobayashi started, when he realized he could use some good food.  Wait, hold on....how can I even trust this guy's directions?  He is definently a creep, I should definently not deal with him!  He will probably lure me to his house or something!  But...well, I could really use a bath and a bed....maybe I can somehow get something out of him?  Oh, I know!

"Or maybe....uhh, I am blanking on the names, but the road or inn close by here?  I am planning to meet my father, or at least some associates of my father, there, so if you could point me in the right direction that would be great.  They are probably out here looking for me, but this would be faster".

Yes!  If he knows there are people wandering about looking for me, he definently wont do weird things and just give me honest help!  Probably....I should be on my guard...still, this is a good lie to go with!  Definently!

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"Hmm...alright I'll do you a favor and believe you. If you truly intend to find your father, then you should know that you've already passed one of the villages already. If you head back the way you came, you should find a more withered road leading to Banha Village." he started before stepping off to the side, keeping his gaze locked onto the child. "But if you're still set on finding a port city, then you'll have to keep travelling the way you've been and take a left at the forked road. You'll find yourself at Coban, but as long as you stick to the coastline, you'll reach Izabal before you know it.".

In any case, the paths that Jean would give this boy would keep him away from his home and further away from the forest. Though on the chance that he was just a normal boy, then he'd hate to just send him off on his own like this. Then again, depending on how long he's been on his own, he might be able to take care of himself. No, Jean knew better than that. Simply because someone was able to survive on their own for a time doesn't mean that they wouldn't need help. But before he would decide on what to do next, he'd speak up again. "But a word of advice; If you're going to lie to someone, at least keep your fake intentions straight so it isn't too obvious. I doubt that anyone would be naive enough to fall for that.".

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"Ahk...." Kobayashi said, since it seemed like his lie was seen through.  He used to be much better at it, at least he thought he had been.  Had all the time imprisoned made him rusty?  He would have to do some serious thought recollection later and better remember.

Still, this guy was definently dangerous!  Although, his reaction did seem weird.  Wouldn't he have tried to play along and keep it hidden he knew it was a lie?  Did Kobayashi get it wrong?

But, what he said before....well...

"Well, if we are getting everything out in the open then, you realize I had to do that right?  I mean, the way you entered right there just screamed pervert and pedophile" Kobayashi admitted with some brutal honesty.  "I mean, those last two lines you said were legitimate pickup lines.  Trust me, my mother was a prostitute.  I have heard plenty of pickup lines, and the way you said them screamed of you trying to force me into something.  Actually, I have even heard those exact two, word for word, uttered by several different people while I was there.  I mean, just think about it for yourself.  'You appear to be lost, perhaps you can use some direction?'  Granted I have heard it this way also, but most people would say directions and when they don't the meaning changes.  Losing the S turns it into a far more obvious line!"

And so, Kobayashi ended up explaining, and maybe venting a little, to the man in front of him.  

"Plus, I mean really.  Are you saying that I should just trust a random stranger in the middle of the night, especially when he talks to me like that and doesn't introduce himself first?  I am not six....no wait, when I was six I still knew better.  One person even tried that too...creep.  Anyways, off topic.  Super off topic anyways.  You were the one who were creepy, so you have to introduce yourself first!"

It definitely seemed like Kobayashi was off in some way or another.

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"You really like to just lay everything out don't you?" Jean said after taking in what the boy had said "Though I suppose you do have a point, I have been rude in not introducing myself.". This child was certainly an odd one, he had to admit, but he was right about Jean's manners regardless. "I am Jean Mallia Volkov, Lord of these lands of which you trespass." he proclaimed clearly with a tone of pride. "As for your trust, I really don't care. I do not take potential intruders lightly." he continued while gradually shifting his weight from one foot to the next. While the young one's story had made Jean feel sorry for him, it's cruelty wasn't something new to him.

The world that he had been exposed to over his years certainly had it to spare. And on top of that, it didn't hold back any less due to your age. No matter how young or old you were, suffering was sure to slip it's way into your life with seemingly no limit to how horrible your experiences could be. It was a depressing piece of knowledge that he'd bared for quite some time. Thankfully, life has more than it's fair share of happiness to make up for it. 

Though to get himself out of this depressing mindset, Jean had decided to focus more on the present. "Though since you seem to value manners so much, I believe it's your turn." he said with a sarcastic tone, awaiting the child's name.

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Kobayashi really had sort of tripped himself up with how he had phrased things.  Especially now that he had learned who the person in front of him really was.  The owner of the place?  Was Kobayashi really this unlucky?  Or was it lucky?  COuld this be a good thing?  But what if he was in their pocket?  It was possible, maybe.  But also, this seemed too random perhaps?  So maybe it was safe?

"Kobayashi.  Kobayashi Kotari.  And as for land ownership, I was just passing through.  If you dont want people to come here, maybe you should put up a sign.  Or twelve.  Unless you did.  In that case, you may want to get new ones cause they were stolen or damaged or such.  Anyways..."

And that was when there was shouting down the road, from behind Kobayashi.  Approaching were two people, wearing traveling clothes with hoods and long sleeves and multiple layers and everything, hurrying along.

"Stop him!  Stop that boy!  He is a thief!"

"Hostiles detected.  Concealed Weapons likely.  Telepathically transmitting speed and vector data".

Behind the two, a few people in armor and weapons also followed them from behind.  Their gear was nicely polished and freshly repaired, and looked rather well made and exquisite.

"Stop right there, thief!"

Kobayashi turned towards the lord of this place, somewhat concerned and somewhat cool, and pointed right at the group coming towards them.

"So either you pay and equip your guards REALLY well, or thise ir fake guards.  Excuse me for a moment" he said, as he picked up a rock and held it in his palm.  A moment later, the rock was telekinetically launched like a cannon and shot towards one of the fake merchants.  It almost hit, but the man instinctively drew out a hidden sword and deflected it.  "Kal, these guys....how strong are they?"

"They are relying on numbers" Kal replied, speaking out loud for a change.

"...they also deflected a high speed rock with a sword, without breaking the sword".

"...caution is advised".

"Just give me a straight answer!" he shouted, as he launched a psychokinetic attack at the group, this one seemed far more powerful.  It was a bit unfortunately, but the more irritated Kobayashi got, the more powerful his abilities could get.  It wasn't like his strength would be doubled or anything like that, but it was enough to be noticable.

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So his name was Kobayashi huh? From the sound of it and the device hovering around him, he might be from Renovatio. If that was the case, then he was definitely a long way from home, it kind of made Jean wonder just how a kid like him could wander around without any trouble like that. But then he brought up an idea that Jean had...kind of tried before.

During the first few years when he and his sons first returned to Orisia, Jean was thinking of a few ways to keep people away from the undead infested forest around the castle until Florian had decided to draw a few signs for him. Sadly, it only worked for about a night. After Jean started with his now dulled routine, he saw that the corpses had pulled out the signs and were just...carrying them around for seemingly no reason at all. But on the upside, it did help lift a bit of his heartache about the whole situation by pretending that they were all on strike. Then again...that only made things slightly less horrible after he thought about what that meant for a while.

Just then, group of men clad in armor came charging down the road, demanding that the b- Kobayashi was a thief before things broke out into a fight. With the irritation clear on his face clear, these poor excuses for hired thugs would find a blade pointed at them with Jean at Kobayashi's side. "Caution won't be necessary." he said to the device hovering near them. "While I don't always prefer being the one to swing first in a fight, the sight of several armed men going after a child doesn't exactly sit all that well with me." call it what it was and say 'hypocrisy', but as far as Jean was concerned, Kobayashi had already proved he wasn't anything malicious. Or at least, towards him due to the restraint of his apparent powers.

"Now for all of you there, I'll simply request that you leave just this once. This place is under my protection and I won't allow a pack of savages in cheap metal suits that they think passes for armor to simply march wherever they please. And as for this child's apparent theft, a group as large as yours seems a bit much for a simple thief, let alone a boy. So either you return from whence you came or..." Jean said, finishing the final option by raising his blade upwards with the hilt level to his chest, preparing for the possible fight ahead.

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