Fall of the Court

/ By Loxi [+Watch]

Replies: 1222 / 2 years 59 days 4 hours 43 minutes 52 seconds

[center “I am going to pull them from their pedestal and I will watch them burn.”]

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Wistina, a small but prosperous country located on the southern peninsula of Esteroak. Being one of the few neutrally aligned ports in the area they keep good standing with their neighbors. All in all they seem to be in a golden age. The only real complaints are those of a naïve and frivolous king, but with many well-trusted advisors at his side no one pays him much mind. That is, not until he died. Leaving behind his wife and a young son, there is much debate on what will be done and things are not looking good got the widow and her child.

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[center [pic http://i.imgur.com/6IEO04W.png]]

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Setting the bottle back in place, she figured she would leave that for the girl, probably needed more than they did. Though hearing Nicolai's voice call to return hers, she placed a balancing hand on the tree and looked down to him. The emerald eyed woman was just barely able to see him down on the ground. She was not willing to lean any farther out on this helter-skelter construction. That was not a distance she wanted to fall.

[+mediumseagreen “The main path is fairly clear,"] there were a few places visual was lost, but on a bright night one could probably see someone coming along. However, that wasn't what she was most concerned with. Lifting her eyes up toward the northern part of town as was described to be where the carpenter was stationed, Florence let them fall back to the clearing. The foliage was thick through most of the imaginary line she drew. It thinned out in a few places, but not enough to see any solid pathway. [+mediumseagreen "But all I can see to the Northwest is the beginnings of a deer trail!”] It was an unnatural parting in the tall grass. From here it looked shorter there, as though it had been walked many times. Or it must have been if it was staying strong after people supposedly hadn't been coming through here since the incident.

Assuming there was not much else she could glean from this view, Florence started her way back down. Going backwards along the slats was a great deal more nerve wracking than going forward, but moving slowly and deliberately the woman made it safely back to solid ground. [+mediumseagreen “I could barely see the second trail from up top.”] It felt nice to speak at a regular volume again. [+mediumseagreen “It is unlikely she ever had eyes on him that night.”] Motioning with a nod to the gap between two trees the trailhead started, she wondered if they should walk it in the daylight to see if they could find anything else. But then again, there was no telling if the danger persisted into the day hours as well.

[+mediumseagreen “I am unsure what else there is to get from this place. Walking the path might tell us something more, but there are some obvious issues with that.”] Losing visual in the woods was not ideal, especially while they still didn't know what they were dealing with. [+mediumseagreen “Or we could meet back up with the others at the farm to see if they were able to find anything else there.”] At the very least she hoped they would have talked to whoever was running it to see if they had something suitable for trapping the quote unquote monster. [+mediumseagreen “Unless either of you have something else you would like to look into?”] Looking over to Flora she didn't seem to have any big ideas of her own, so she simply shrugged. Green eyes coming back to the elf, she lifted a brow in question of his opinion.
  Florence Melbourne / loxi / 11d 8h 6m 7s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat He had let the comment out in an offhand manner, a thought escaping his mind before he could take control of it. In the last few years he was beginning to lose that close control more and more. Her response, whilst noble in intention, was poor in execution and came off as rather stiff and cold. Though he held no malice against her for it.

Nicolai, for once, did not take it as a personal slight. Perhaps as a sign of some dawning maturity, he could understand it was a particularly delicate talking point and one she was not keen to broach, to save them both from the awkwardness and uneasiness that it would bring about. Whilst he could light heartedly play it off as her being so much more formal than him, he understood her sentiment and her heart was in the right place.

He only offered a nod of his head to her before she stepped on ahead and they put the topic behind them swiftly. They had been progressing well with one another of late. His outward and extravagant expressions of fondness were curtailed as she showed more solidarity with him in front of the others. For two such fractured adults it was oddly satisfying knowing he had her to rely upon.

Internal strife over, he followed her up to the tree, thinking of interjecting that perhaps it was best they not climb an obvious death trap as this and instead inspect it from the ground – or better yet, send up the young sprite girl they had with them. His momentary look back to said girl was the moment's distraction needed as he looked back to see the tree alone. Sighing wearily, though not all too audibly, he knew better than to argue the perils of being up there, biting his tongue on admonishing her when she would only throw back at him some equally silly stunt he had performed years before. She had a knack for besting him like that, to his annoyance.

[+royalblue “What do you see?”] He bellowed up at her, shielding his eyes from the bright sky, only faintly able to see the bottle in her hand. [i Alcohol, no doubt stolen from her father? What midnight soirée was complete without it?] Her remark was obvious; of course the young lovers had been here otherwise why would the three of them have come this way? He was about to call for her to come down, slowly and carefully, but a thought struck him.[+royalblue “Can you see the path from up there?”] he shouted up, following on with more details on what he was getting at,[+royalblue “Can you see the entire path from the village to here? Is it easy to see or is it obscured by the trees?”] Perhaps if they could lock down just where the boy went missing – his belief being somewhere between leaving the village and this covered pathway – then it would narrow down some possibilities.[+royalblue "Remember, it would be darker too. Do you think it would be visible at night?"]
  WI_ / 12d 9h 31m 36s
Florence nodded at his suggestion. [+mediumseagreen “That’s a good idea.”] A middle name made for a perfect excuse. Though, she doubted they would need it. And like Nicolai said, it probably wouldn’t be long before they no longer needed the covers at all. The woman’s mind wandered to thinking how they would be received. She was less worried about Augustine. He was a child then they left and would be given more leniencies, however the one time general had left of his own accord. Opinions seemed to be split on that, but they weren’t on her. She knew she was not well liked, even when she was queen the people’s consensus seemed to be that she was a snake. Florence wondered if it might be better that she continue to lie about her identity, even after the others came clean. It was unlikely anyone would agree to that, but it might help the group in the long run.

They arrived in the clearing shortly after. As green eyes scanned over the scene, she was about to take her first step toward the tree to see if she could glean any more information. However, her partner’s words stopped her. She noted the pensive expression on his face after turning to look at him. Closing the already small distance between them, Florence stood directly at Nicolai’s side, placing a hand on his shoulder with a caring expression. She squeezed at his collar. [+mediumseagreen “And I am sure she still does. They,”] she was referring to the Taken but couldn’t bring herself to say it directly. [+mediumseagreen “Look after of one another. Family is the most important thing.”] Florence by no means knew everything about the group of assassins, but that was one thing she was certain of. [+mediumseagreen “She is still out there… and I am sure she still loves playing in the trees just as much.”] This was meant to be a comfort to him, though perhaps it would only make it harder. There was no telling for certain. But it felt wrong to sit in silence and not reach out in some way.

Not wanting to linger too long on what were arguably sad thoughts, Florence gave him one more squeeze with her hand before breaking away and moving on to the tree. The closer she got the more questionable the whole thing looked. This tree was definitely dying, but it seemed there was enough of it left for it to be climbable. So, not letting her mind dawdle on the possibility that she was too old to be doing this, the woman started up the wooden handholds to the platform above. Closer, she looked over the ‘treehouse’ more thoroughly. The newer beams of wood looked to be solid and frequent enough to keep this thing aloft, though she couldn’t help but think that teenagers really would fornicate anywhere. Sighing at that, she pulled herself up.

The boards creaked underfoot, but nothing bent too threateningly. This probably once served as a lookout point. Now many of the surrounding trees were tall enough to obstruct the view. But that didn’t mean there was nothing to see, some of the canopy remained low enough to look over. Particularly the line the path they took in cut through the trees. It would be easy to see someone coming from that direction, assuming that was one’s main concern. Other than that, she also found a bottle. It was tucked in near the tree and appeared to be half full of some dark liquor. She recalled seeing similar bottles in the merchant’s. No doubt Penny lifted it from her family’s shop. That was the only real striking sign that anyone had been here. Picking up the bottle, she held it so that it would be visible from the ground. [+mediumseagreen “Looks like they were here at some point!”] She shouted down to share her findings.
  Florence Melbourne / loxi / 96d 1h 47m 1s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Thankfully, Florence was in a forgiving mood, her soft smirk and the twinkle of humour in her eye a hint that he had not made too much a fool of himself. Perhaps he was over analysing, as he was prone to do, but she had been his biggest supporter of the last few months and he was keen not to lose that. Loathe to admit it publicly but he was an older gentleman now and with his injury he needed help. Luckily for him he had a partner who did not gloat about him needing their assistance.

Their walk was peaceful and forgetting their goal it could be mistaken as a trek to find the perfect spot for a picnic, or to just relax and overlook the farmlands around. Perhaps another time. For now, she was content to tease him about the name he had chosen for her, heavy brown furrowed in frustration.
[+royalblue “In truth I completely forgot about Aurora.”] He admitted with a little annoyance at himself. He was forgetting a lot of things lately.[+royalblue “But, I suppose it is the better choice. If we are ever caught out, we can just say one is a middle name or something. Pretty soon it won’t matter to hide who we are anyway.”] He was quickly sweeping the discussion aside, keen to be on some other topic, and thankfully their short trip through a thicket of trees led them out to a small clearing.

Pausing alongside his dark-haired love he stood looking at the treehouse. He could quite imagine falling through any of its many holes, off its sides open sides or perhaps into the thick trunk it had been built upon that looked to be slowly rotting away from within. He wanted to give this place a quick look over, see if there were signs of any struggle, if perhaps this is where Colton had been taken or if he had never made it here in the first place.

For a while Nicolai would gaze up at the lone oak and watched it sway in the soft breeze, groaning from time to time like the old man it was. He was quite still though his eyes roved over the tree ahead of them, face soft and lips taut as if trying to withhold from speaking. Wistfully, the talkative elf could not help himself, stepping off on his left foot as his lips parted.

[+royalblue “Natalya loved to play in the trees.”]
  WI_ / 98d 9h 53m 56s
Catching up with the others, though really Florence was aiming for Nicolai, did not take long. Her inquiry had been swift, so there wasn’t much time for them to get ahead of her. And when she did the elf wore a contemplative look. She wondered just what he was thinking so hard about. Had he keyed in on something she hadn’t? Perhaps, though it didn’t seem to her there was a whole lot for that young woman to provide. And when he did speak his words have no inkling to what had been on his mind. She paid little mind though, as she agreed with his plan. [+mediumseagreen “That was what I was hoping for as well.”] She wanted a good idea of what the forest was like. Though venturing onto the path that Colton took could probably wait until they were actually looking to bait the pest.

The pettifoggery of his second comment made her roll her eyes, though it was a humored gesture. Sometimes his paltriness was entertaining, so she didn’t mind his halfhearted compliment. [+mediumseagreen “Always looking to help.”] Her delivery was deadpan, which made it difficult to discern that she was making a joke at all. It was the glint in her emerald eye that really gave it away, that and smirk that broke on her lips soon afterward.

The dirt path was at a bit of an incline, but not so much that it hindered any of them. The walk through the woods was peaceful. At least, nothing seemed immediately off to Florence. Though to be frank she was not familiar with this particular patch of forest. Still, with there being three of them, she wasn’t worried. She even welcomed Nicolai’s conversation when he spoke up again. [+mediumseagreen “I agree, using my real name would not have been wise. It is better this way.”] That was the truth as she saw it. [+mediumseagreen “Though it might be a good idea if we try to stick to one name from here on out. So, do you think I am more of a Juliet or an Aurora?”] It was a bit of a tease, though the woman was genuinely curious what his opinion was and if that name had stemmed from some other place or thought.

As the question came out, the trees began to thin. The clearing was ahead. They’d barely walked a quarter of a mile through the forest, so that was surprising. It turned out Penny was not exaggerating; it was not far. And it was mainly as she described, a small field left undisturbed. The tall grass swayed to the side in the wind that picked up, though the old and only tree in the area remained unperturbed by the small gust. The only nitpick Florence had was that the structure in the tree's branches was less of a house and more of a platform. From here she could see it was old, the wood dark and gray from years of weathering. There were a few newer pieces strategically placed to strengthen it, but it still looked less than sturdy. As did the blocks of wood nailed into the tree as makeshift handholds.
  Florence Melbourne / loxi / 107d 44m 40s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai hadn't gotten far from the building when the soothing tone of his beloved spoke up, his footsteps slowing and he came to a stop a few feet further on. Looking back to her as she spoke to the girl, he listened silently. They were good questions; why hadn't he thought to ask? A small moment to chastise himself he waited for the girl to stand and head towards her home – as if making sure she got home safe – before he began up the path once more.

When Florence caught up to him he was quiet. She knew him better than most, and would see his often stoic features were more lively, mulling over a theory as if he were in internal debate with himself. Without any need to ask what he thought of the girl or her words he began to speak, still walking on with Flora following close behind them.
[+royalblue “We should go check that tree-house, then we can go and meet up with the others and see if they found any more clues.”] It didn't explain his inner monologue or give insight but sometimes with the elf it was much ado about nothing. They didn't get much further along the path before violet eyes would steal a side on glance at the brunette.[+royalblue “Good question by the way.”] He would half-grumble under his breath, a petty child offering their muted congratulations to a victorious rival. It was silly, but that was Nicolai.

He would lead them out east, searching for the right path that would take them to the aforementioned tree-house. A few twists and turns around hovels and gardens would set them on a pathway that was not heavily trodden, at least not recently. Once away from the last building and on the way toward the tree line he spoke again.
[+royalblue “Sorry for giving you a new name, back in the shop, but a strong northern name like [i 'Florence'] is quite noticeable. Plus, a shopkeeper like that man are the utmost kiss arses, therefore he was more likely to remember the name of a previous Queen and where she came from.”] He tried to spin it towards him doing them all a favour, though in truth it was an over precaution.
  WI_ / 110d 4h 28m 17s
Her rebuttal was rather poignant. For that reason Florence was led to believe the girl was telling the truth. That and she did not look the type to have come from a position where she needed to develop the ability to lie so convincingly. Penny’s father was a merchant, however he did not seem to be running the kind of business that made that necessary. And it seemed Nicolai agreed as he soon began to wrap things up.

Florence was going to let it be, content to let the elf handle the entire conversation since her son deemed her unfit to join. Something she [i clearly] wasn’t still salty about. However, there were two questions she wanted answered. So closing the distance between herself and the other two, she cut in after her boyfriend thanked the young woman. [+mediumseagreen “Apologies, but I have a couple of questions as well, if you don’t mind?”] Her tone was somewhat flat, and she may have spoken as if asking permission, but the older woman continued right on without time to be rejected. [+mediumseagreen “You mentioned that the two of you were supposed to be meeting. Where exactly was this location and do you know the route Colton usually took to get there?”] Condensing what all she was after into a rapid fire like this was an attempt to take up as little more of the girl’s time as possible, though it may have come off as insensitive.

As expected, Penny wasn’t exactly thrilled to be jerked around like this. One second it was go ahead and go back and the next was that they had more to ask. Already half stood; she flopped back down to her bottom. She looked irritated from violet eyes to green and wondered if any of them were on the same page. Probably not and it gave her little confidence she was going to see any of the closure she was being attentively offered. [+indigo “It never ends with you people.”] Her words came out in a frustrated huff, tension was high in her, but thankfully she did continue to answer. [+indigo “To the East of here there’s a path that leads to a clearing in the woods. There’s a big old oak tree with a tree house built in it. It’s not very far out at all; I’ve been going out there by myself since I was a kid. You can’t miss it.”] From her words it was a well-visited place, but her tone sounded more like it was her own secret hideaway. Florence wondered which was more true. [+indigo “The carpenter’s place is at the north point of town. I think Colton would cut a straight path from there through the trees.”] She’d never bothered to ask, but that was the direction he usually came from, so it made sense to her.

Watching as the tanned woman nodded her head but said no more, the girl bite out one more comment. [+indigo “Are we done yet or are you planning to change your minds again?”]

Nerves grated, Florence suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. [+mediumseagreen “No, that is everything from me as well. Thank you again.”] She repeated Nicolai’s thanks and this time Penny really was able to make it back into her home. Finally through, both she and Flora followed after the elfin member of their party. The older of the ladies soon caught stride with him so that they were side-by-side returning up the way they had come.
  Florence Melbourne / loxi / 111d 22h 15m 16s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Seeing the way Penny hardened her tone, stiffened her back, and fixed him with a stern gaze, Nicolai became rather defensive and withdrew from his rude if earnest questions. He had expected a reaction as such, but she gave him more information than she knew. The once proud general would avert his eyes to the ground and held up a hand as if in defeat, pleading that she show mercy in her strong retort.

[+royalblue “As you say, I do not know Colton. I'm just a stranger. But you do know him, very well it sounds, so I must apologise for painting him in such dark colours.”] If only he had been so quick to admit his wrongdoing some eight years ago. Perhaps life would be much more different than it had been.[+royalblue “He sounds a good man. And you, are a good woman, one who defends her man.”] Now, memories of that meeting in the capital just after Germaine had passed flashed up in contrast of his life to this girl’s. Life away from the politics of the royal court, a simple and easy living in a village like this, were often the envy of men like him.

[+royalblue “I have no more questions. You have given us more than we had hoped,”] a lie, she had given them very few details,[+royalblue “and I thank you for speaking with us.”] If she were older, or he significantly younger, he might put a hand to hers or atop her shoulder in some small sign of condolence or apology for her loss. But just from speaking with her, and glancing over to Flora stood nearby, he felt his body age immediately. To touch her would feel… lecherous, no matter the good intentions behind it.

[+royalblue “We will make a few stops at some of the farmers homes, but it is our hope to find whatever has been doing this and stop it. We will do our best to bring you closure and some modicum of peace.”] Standing up he offered a brief bow of his head.[+royalblue “Thank you again Penny.”] He looked over to the two women stood off to one side, close enough to have heard them throughout of course, but a respectful distance away. With their attention he gestured that they follow him, and began to head up the pathway that they had come in on.
  WI_ / 113d 4h 7m 32s
Penny was skeptical of that. Someone running about throwing money around like they didn’t have a care in the world didn’t much strike her as the type to know what it was like to be caught in a situation they didn’t like. But she was young and in a place where people didn’t change professions all too often. If this guy was a traveler, to her he must have always been one. Though thinking about Colton did give her some doubts about that. Which probably made his next question a little softer a blow. However, she still wasn’t happy to be asked that.

Crinkling her nose, she was clearly agitated. [+indigo “Colton never missed a day of work in his whole life. He’d end up out on his ass in a minute flat. And I know for a fact he wouldn’t dare stand me up.”] Penny had a one hundred percent confident grasp on their relationship and it showed in her manner of speaking. [+indigo “No one has found him because everyone is too scared to go out in the woods to go looking ever since he went missing… I don’t blame them either.”] She had heard just how the livestock in the farms looked, all torn to bits and gory. No one wanted to see a human person like that, or be the next one to wind up that way.

Looking over to the man, there was a glint in his eyes. One that told her he was getting at more than him just being gone. That he had up and left. It irritated her. Enough so that she felt the need to defend what she was saying. To show just how well she knew the boy she was grieving so deeply. [+indigo “He didn’t run off!”] Her words were not loud but they were sharp. [+indigo “I know he didn’t… Colton may not have liked his job, but he wasn’t stupid. If he left Belast, the only place he would be able to find work would be another town’s fields. And that is even harder labor than what he started with here.”] When it came down to it, that is what the young man hated and what he was looking to avoid despite his apparent work ethic. [+indigo “Besides, if he stuck around here he would have been all lined up to take over the shop with me.”] That line of thought brought her away from her frustration and back to the sadness she was originally steeped in. Hands shaking, Penny was trying to hold back from crying, but it wasn’t fully working. Her eyes became glossy as she continued on a more downward trend. [+indigo “That’s the only reason he was dating me anyway… what’s the point in wasting all that time and effort just to run off now? Something had to have happened.”]
  Florence Melbourne / loxi / 113d 4h 49m 26s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Would Nicolai have been just as protective if it were Natalya? A question, a scenario, that he did not hold out in hope to answer. It was an odd cycle, in that all youths liked to rebel and go against their parents, only to become that which they rebelled against with their own offspring. The question was innocent, she wasn’t to know his history of course, but it did soften his eyes a little and he nodded along with her description of her beau’s profession.

[+royalblue “I understand, working a job that you don’t like or want to make ends meet…”] He was quiet for a moment, eyes looking toward the ground though his brow would furrow a little and seemed to mull over his words for a time. When he looked back up at her, confusion etched over his features, his mouth was slightly agape as if a question teetered on being asked. He hesitated to ask it, seeing how she was rather upset at him for being so blasé earlier, but he needed to.

[+royalblue “I’m sorry, you said he was out there, [i somewhere]. Does that mean he hasn’t been found?”] It was clear he was tentative to ask this. He had once focused on a turn of phrase before, at a certain mountain pass, and it had been a mute and insignificant point. He licked his dry lips a moment.[+royalblue “Forgive me, but, how do you know he is dead?”]
  WI_ / 113d 6h 15m 22s
She sort of shrugged. [+indigo “I mean, as much as a father does… You’d be pissin’ mad too if you caught a boy in your daughter’s room, right?”] Penny was just sort of assuming he kids of his own. Most people his age did, that’s just what you did. Though with this eclectic lot, maybe not. Eyes coming up, she briefly looked between them. She wondered if they were some sort of makeshift family who traveled around for the want of a home.

Once again, she didn’t really see what all this had to do with the fact that he had gone missing that night, which was frustrating. But she had agreed to answer, so she did for the time being. [+indigo “An apprentice. Colton worked under the carpenter. It wasn’t really his cup of tea, but it got him fed and a roof over his head.”] Those were more his words than her own.
  Florence Melbourne / loxi / 114d 6h 45m 17s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat It wasn’t much, but it was an answer and to the exasperated elf, that was like gold. She hadn’t cast an expletive at him or retreated into silence. And in the spirit of keeping the conversation flowing he did not let her whispered words trail into silence for long. His bright gaze remained on the poor girl, even if she would not look up at him directly.
[+royalblue “Your father, did he approve of your relationship? Was your partner a learned boy, or an apprentice, a farmers son maybe?”] He kept an even tone, one of curiosity than intense scrutiny. He wanted to get more information on this boy, to learn who he was.

To most it was irrelevant if a dead boy was of repute or not, to Nicolai it seemed to be rather important. Perhaps he wanted her to focus on her partner and remember all she could so that she could give him more. Perhaps he was searching for a common bond, a link he might play upon to tug on her heart strings and open her to his questions. Or maybe he felt a kind of abstract connection to a young man who’s love had to be resigned to the shadows and darkness lest people know.
  WI_ / 114d 9h 16m 50s
From how docile and subdued Penny had looked inside, Florence was a touch surprised at the sudden roughness in demeanor, as much, if not more so, than Nicolai. For once he had taken a fairly sensitive stance, but it seemed the young woman was not having it. There was contempt in her eye. And only in hindsight did it make sense. Of course a girl grieving a lover did not want to be touched or charmed by someone else. And now her heckles were up and she was quite displeased with being dragged from her home to be surrounded by strangers, pleasant or otherwise. The emerald-eyed woman could do little more than shrug to her partner when he looked at her exasperated. It’s unlikely she would have done any better.

Penny wasn’t sure what he was going on about. Seemed the elf had bad luck with women? Well, that was his problem. She had her own to worry about. Though, after another moment he did seemed to buckle down and get to what he actually wanted. The young woman preferred it that way. Anyone who was too flowery in speaking was not to be trusted. Growing up in this shop had taught her that much. However, as much as she thought that, they were treading on sensitive material at present. Diving right in likely would have set her off just as much. So really, there was no winning with her right now.

Either way, the moment to take a deep breath and sit to herself as he came out with how he wanted things to go here did help her regain some composure. At the very least Penny didn’t feel like she would burst out into angry tears. So that was something. [+indigo “Sure,”] the word was somewhat yielding as she conceded to be questioned. It didn’t sound like he was going to take no for an answer anyway. And she was mildly worried that he might tell everyone else she had been wholly unhelpful. The swollen-eyed girl didn’t want the whole town on her case about being selfish. That would be an even bigger pain in the rear.

[+indigo “Not [i that] often.”] Her eyes fell to the side as she spoke, obviously avoiding his violet gaze. [+indigo “But it’s not like this was the first time.”] So it could be inferred that this was a regular happening even if she would not admit it. [+indigo “Besides, my dad would have his hide if he caught him in our house at night like that.”] That bit was said much quieter, barely above a whisper and more to herself than anyone else present.
  Florence Melbourne / loxi / 116d 4h 37m 44s
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Within moments, it was understood that he had taken the wrong approach to this conversation. Her visible look of disgust was enough but she verbally confirmed that he had made a poor opening move despite having the best intentions. As she stared at him with disbelief and annoyance to have been dragged from mourning by her father for [i this], the elfin man looked aside to his partner and violet eyes met emerald. A look of exasperation, one that screamed [i 'why did I bother?'] was painfully visible and he took a deep breath as he turned his gaze back on the girl.

[+royalblue “Well, seems I am just terrible at talking with women.”] He commented though the brief look of confusion from her was waved off by him immediately.[+royalblue “Okay, I'll push the pleasantries to one side, but in the hopes of building some ground with you, in truth we are here to find whatever creature is killing wantonly and to ensure nothing else happens to this village.”] It was obvious why they were there, why repeat it as if throwing the cover off a hidden conspiracy?

[+royalblue “How about we start simply with a few questions and if you think me too prying, too pushing, you can stop it immediately and head back inside as you wish. Sound good?”] A rhetorical question, as he intended to push on with with his questions regardless, but he allowed her to take a moment to regain composure and give him a nod to continue.

[+royalblue “We were told he went missing at night. He was meant to meet with yourself but didn't turn up. Did you two often take to meeting alone at night like that? Or was it for a special reason?”] He kept it simple, to the point, looking for any kind of answer from her to build from. He had his suspicions, his doubts, his incredulous theory that he had almost let slip to Augustine. He hoped to gain his answers here.
  WI_ / 118d 9h 48m 58s
It seemed Florence had yet another name now… she wondered if all these aliases would catch up with her eventually, though she doubted it. She made a mental note to try and keep to one or the other from here on out, just in case. Being caught in a lie was something they needed to avoid if they were looking to gain the trust of those around them. Still, it didn’t much matter at the moment, because it seemed they were relocating. Green eyes looking to Penny’s parents, she saw a glimmer of hesitance, but not enough to say anything from either of them. It left her with a bad taste in her mouth, however there were no cautious feelings coming from the girl herself.

Truth be told, Penny was sort of glad to be away from her father. His hovering meant she had to play nice lest she end up in trouble, without him around there wasn’t as much incentive to be cooperative. And so what little obliging visage she had melted away as she took a seat. On one hand, if she just told them what they wanted she could probably go back inside faster, but no. That was much too easy and being an obstinate teenager meant there would they could not have that.

Visibly grimacing at his selected term of endearment, Penny looked the elf up and down. What was he, like fifty years old? She didn’t know; she was too young to have a real good grasp on these sorts of things. Either way all that sucking up wasn’t working on her quite so well as it was her father. [+indigo “Fix things? He’s out there dead somewhere. You think you can fix that?”] Her leg bounced, a way to let off some of her anger and discomfort with this situation, not to mention try and distract herself from crying in front of these strangers. It was a feat she didn’t quite think she could pull off if she actually started talking about Colton. She pushed her beau from her mind, as she looked straight back to Nico’s bright violet eyes. [+indigo “Besides, I don’t see how me telling you about him is going to help you figure out what killed him?”] Saying that aloud broke a voice a bit, but she managed to keep her face straight.
  Florence Melbourne / loxi / 126d 6h 12m 11s

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