no mourners, no funerals

/ By ouroboros [+Watch]

Replies: 8 / 254 days 2 hours 52 minutes 31 seconds

Allowed Users

  1. [Allowed] kaitoXi

[i there is a difference
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[center between what I am]
[center [pic]]
[right and what I show]

[hr ]
[center a grisha heartrender and a shu mercenary find each other
in the midst of their impending deaths
safety can only be found in one place, but can they get there in time?]


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Roleplay Responses

Bored of being useless around the ship and hiding in the rigging, Cai wandered downstairs. The soon-to-be-slaves and lab-rats were boring for the most part, but one of them still had a bit of shine to his eye. Moving as quietly as he knew how, he crept over to the cages. There was that haughty boy from the last city, looking as dark and grim as his hometown. Looked like the reality of his future was starting to sink in.

"So you just had to come down here, huh?" Cai asked, lounging against the wall. He shook his head. "I told you, guests aren't supposed to come down here."

"Then again," he continued, a languid smile spreading over his face, moving slowly towards the other man like a pleased cat towards incapacitated prey, "I suppose you aren't a guest anymore."

He leaned against the bars and smirked at Dmitri. "It's so nice of you to just come to us, you know. We usually have to flush your kind out." Cai pushed away and leaned back against the wall instead. "So what's it like, where you're from? Your... Grisha, is that what you call them. There's a school, no?" He shook his head. It seemed pretty ridiculous to him. Letting everyone know you had magic, giving the government so much information... it went against everything he knew. Everything he believed in.

"Have you ever been to Shu Han? It's a lovely place. Much nicer than your dreary hometown. You'll love it there," he assured Dmitri. "Lots of sunshine and rolling green hills, and the rice paddies, stretching out as far as your eye can see... they're like green and white steps. Very pretty."

He shrugged. "Might not make it there, though. I hear the slave markets are pretty busy this time of year. Plenty of people will want a pretty boy with your abilities, no?" Not that he knew what Dmitri's abilities were. He hadn't seen the incident everyone else had noticed, not when he was busy swabbing the deck. It didn't seem to be anything too powerful, since he was still locked away, and no one had so much as gotten hurt.

Cai watched Dmitri's reactions, hoping he'd be lively. Sure, he was here to tease him, but it was more interesting than avoiding working on the boat all day. As long as they could argue, he'd have something to do.
  Feng Caihong / kaitoXi / 130d 7h 3m 6s
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[Cutive+Mon It had been two days since the ship departed Ketterdam's docks, and Dmitri had been anxious all the way. They were only halfway through their trip to the Wandering Isles, in the middle of the True Sea, and he had nowhere to go, no feasible means for escape. He had spent most of that time in his cabin, reading and writing, keeping his experiences and feelings updated in a journal, and only ever venturing forth for meals and the head. It was around the time for lunch when Dmitri made his way to the mess hall, retrieved a rough wooden plate laden with salted meats and hard tack, and slid into his normal seat in a far corner. Soon the other travelers spilled into the mess hall as well, filling it comfortably.

Dmitri slipped his hand under the plate to prop it up and hissed quietly as a sliver of the wood slid into his palm. It was a large sliver, and stuck into his hand quite well. He glanced around carefully, checking for prying Shu eyes. Seeing no one looking, he pulled the sliver out, wincing, and clutched his hand, staunching the blood and sewing the skin back together. It would leave a small scar, but not one that would be noticed. He sighed quietly, satisfied to have finally used his abilities after two days of not. The effects of such power were already evident; his dark brown hair had regained its luster, and grey eyes sparkled. Dmitri looked up and felt his good mood immediately plummet; his eyes met with the golden ones of the Shu cook. Judging by the smirk on his lips, he had seen Dmitri's actions and was already plotting the story they would tell to the rest of the passengers at his disappearance. An idea flashed through his mind, with the clench of a fist, he could stop the man's heart, kill him instantly and no one would be the wiser. They would think the man just keeled over, his heart just gave out. Nothing was stopping him, except the thought that one of the other passengers or a crew member would see. He cursed under his breath and stood, exiting the mess hall standing tall, most likely the last time he would stand tall. He silently made his way back to his cabin and gathered his things together. May as well make it neat for the crew when they came by to collect and burn his things. Then, he sat on the cot and waited for the inevitable.

The crew was quick in their work, Dmitri would give them that. He was only waiting for an agonizing thirty minutes or so before they slipped into his room, clapped his hands in irons and led him through back passages down the same staircase Feng had gotten turned around in a few days previous. He was thrown into a squalid cell with at least sixteen other Grisha of mixed orders and levels of talent. Women, children, none were left out of the Shu's search for Grisha. And they would all be kept down here until the ship reached Shu Han, where they would be loaded into wagons and transported to Shu research facilities and experimented on until they perished. The thought made him sick to his stomach as he settled along the back wall of the cell. There was no way to rally the other prisoners, their spirits had already been broken, and it would be nearly impossible to take down a whole ship of Shu slavers by himself, but he would sure as the Saints have to try. And so, he began plotting just how to make his escape.
  tsunami / 143d 5h 26m 41s
Oddly, the man tensed and started sweating as they walked by the staircase. It was almost like the tension before a fight, but more like he was about to run. Cai quirked an eyebrow. What was that all about? Was the landlubber claustrophobic or something? He smirked. He'd have a shit time on the boat if that was the case. The whole inside was tight spaces and no windows.

At the end of the hallway, Dmitri plastered a fake grin on his face and thanked him. [i Was it that bad?] Cai wondered, offering a fake grin back that looked at least twice as natural. Must be really claustrophobic to have that kind of reaction. Maybe he'd have to tease him a little bit. The grin on his face turned honest and slightly devious. Slip a sleeping drug in his wine and pack him into a barrel... yes, indeed. The first empty barrel he found was getting a fresh population of one.

"Welcome," he offered to the man's retreating back, and finally, reluctantly, turned towards the stairs to the deck. Ugh. Time to go do the boring part of his job.

He loped up onto deck and wandered towards the ropes, figuring he'd get up high in the rigging before the captain could yell at him. The gentle rocking under his feet and the scent of the fresh open ocean felt like home after all these years; a far cry from his home or this dreary city. Did he want to go back? He didn't know. The boat was freedom, aside from the--

A heavy hand landed on his shoulder. Cai tensed, already knowing what would come. "Xaio Cai," an ungodly deep voice sing-songed.

"Yes Capt'n!" he barked at the sea.

"Where were you when the morning bell rang?"

"Showing the passenger to his boarding, sir!"

"Did anyone tell you to do that?" the captain asked, voice still mock-happy.

Cai swallowed. "No, sir!" he barked, as solidly as usual.

The big paw on his shoulder spun him around, and he found himself staring up at a bear of a man. A bucket and mop were shoved into his hands. Cai looked at them, then up at the man, giving his best puppy dog eyes a shot. "I was only trying to--"

"Skip out on work?" the captain asked, eyebrow cocked and the playfulness gone from his voice. He gave Cai a hearty shove towards the center of the deck, making the slender man stumble, much to the amusement of the other sailors. "The decks ain't gonna swab themselves."

Grumbling, shooting daggers at any sailor who dared laugh at him, Cai gripped the mop and started slogging soapy water down the deck. Stupid sailors. He hadn't been hired for this shit. Why couldn't he just laze around, huh? He wasn't even any good at this! Angrily, he stomped along the deck, stabbing at it with the mop like the mop was a dagger and it, the captain's body.
  Feng Caihong / kaitoXi / 163d 12h 46m 3s
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[Cutive+Mon The path that Feng was taking through the ship seemed to be rather convoluted to Dmitri, and he couldn't help thinking that he couldn't find his way back even if he tried. The Shu boy made a good point about Kerch, though. It was much too foggy and grey for him, compared to the lush summers and beautiful snowy wonderland winters of Ravka. Everything in Ketterdam stank too much, it seemed like there was no clean air to be found in the accursed city. It seemed that the Shu boy was just as lost in his thoughts as Dmitri was, because at one point he turned down a stairway, only to stop three steps down, abruptly turn around, and continue down the hallway they had been in.

Dmitri couldn't help his suspicion, and he extended his senses, searching for anything improper. To his alarm, and dismay, he felt heartbeats down those stairs. They were weak, and moving altogether too quickly to be just sailors, even sick ones. By his, albeit quick, estimate, there were twenty, maybe even thirty distressed people down there. It didn't take much to put two and two together. A Shu vessel, with several weak and distressed passengers in a cargo hold only the sailors were allowed to go into? This was a slaver's vessel, all those people would be taken to the Shu for experimentation. Dmitri's Shu escort darted through a larger, but somehow smaller hallway packed with other sailors running barrels in and out of the kitchens. He was tense as he made his way through the hall, following his escort, but suddenly keenly aware that he was but one Grisha surrounded by a ship of Shu slavers. As he neared the end of the hallway, Dmitri forcibly lowered his heart rate to a more normal level, and cinched down his sweat glands. It wouldn't do to reveal himself if they happened to have an enslaved Heartrender aboard.

After what seemed like forever, he reached Feng, who gestured down the row of rooms, all cabins. He nodded vaguely at Feng's question, before coming to his senses and pasting a smile on his face. "[#dc143c I do believe I can! Thank you for your assistance, Feng!]" he said, and continued down the row, past his Shu escort, glancing around for his cabin. After only a moment of looking, he found it, and shoved himself in. He closed the door, and collapsed against it. Shit. It would look too suspicious to leave now, so he would have to keep his powers under wraps more than ever. He heaved himself upward with a deep sigh and proceeded to begin unpacking; it was best to keep up some sense of normalcy, after all.
  corporalnik / ouroboros / 164d 4h 59m 41s
He looked the man over one last time. Family name, eh? Respectful of him. Though it was probably an accident. These people and their backwards names, putting the family name second. Everyone knew it went first.

Cai nodded to indicate that Dimitri should follow him and led the way through the tight ship. The passenger cabins were a ways from the crew berths, up against the aft wall with the captain's cabin. It was a bit of a walk taking the route through the ship, but Cai took it anyways. Anything to give him a few more seconds outside of taking care of the ship. The captain ought to just accept by now that he couldn't do it and give up on making him try. He'd never be a sailor. There was no point to trying to make it happen.

Sure was enthusiastic about the isles. Cai snorted. "Anything beats these streets," he commented dryly. He wasn't much impressed with this country. Too cold and grey for him. Everyone was all bundled up, everything was all dull and dead. He preferred the verdant beauty of Shu, or the raucous islands, even. This place... it made him feel dead inside.

Rolling hills, the sound of birdsong, bright flowers bursting from branches and overflowing by the side of a tasteful pond... he missed his homeland, sometimes. Lost in his thoughts, Cai started down a set of stairs. At the third step, he halted abruptly and turned about. "Wrong way," he said, gesturing for the man to follow him to the right. Down there was where they kept the cargo. He'd been moving on autopilot and had completely forgotten he probably shouldn't show that particular shortcut to a passenger. "This way, this way."

This walkway was wider than the previous ones. A few crewmembers hurried past, carrying barrels up or down as they revittled the kitchen and traded the empty ones out. Cai weaved his way deftly through, then waited at the other end for Dimitri to catch up. "Here are the cabins," he said shortly, gesturing down the row. "Surely you can find yours from here?" He looked up at the other man's face for acknowledgement.
  Feng Caihong / kaitoXi / 169d 6h 31m 1s
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[Cutive+Mon Dmitri could almost [i see] the gears turning in the Shu boy's head as he stuck out his hand for a shake. Not that he could be blamed, the Shu were already a superstitious people. While Ketterdam was most likely the safest place for them aside from Shu Han itself, they weren't exactly on wonderful terms with Ravka, and his heritage was evident. After the boy had done a quick, yet thorough, assessment and deemed him safe, the handshake was returned, along with an introduction, albeit a short one.

The name was given with a thick Shu accent and a small smile, though Dmitri could tell it wasn't a genuine one. He examined Feng discreetly, and though his heart rate and breathing were steady enough, calm, his temperature was just slightly higher than it should've been, hinting at either the start of a fever or mild irritation. Feng pushed past him, heading towards the upper decks, and then stopped and asked him if he needed assistance finding his room. While the Shu accent was still thick, his literacy in Kerch piqued Dmitri's interest. Still, he only filed the information away before responding.

"[#dc143c Ah, if you wouldn't mind, I would definitely appreciate it! Of course, only if I wouldn't be taking you away from your duties. A ship is a well oiled machine, after all,]" Dmitri said with a smile and a twinkle in his eye. "[#dc143c Lead the way, Feng!]" As soon as he spoke, he chewed the inside of his cheek nervously. He hadn't bothered to learn the etiquette of the Shu, or their customs, and he had never been sure which name to use. "[#dc143c I can't wait until we get to the Wandering Isles, I've never been, but I hear the scenery is wonderful!]" Dmitri blurted out, in an attempt to fill the silence as they wandered the halls.
  corporalnik / ouroboros / 169d 7h 2m 14s
She ran.

Feet pounding, heart racing, she ran, fleeing as fast as she could down the road. Behind her, a pair of men gave chase, heavy footfalls loud in the night. She didn't scream; she didn't [i dare] scream. They'd come for her.

Around the corner, she stumbled, caught herself, and ran on. Her dress seemed to hold itself up out of the way of her legs. She glanced behind her, found the men still after her, and kept running.

High above her, perched on a rooftop, a shadow that might have been mistaken for a gargoyle sat perfectly still. As she ran by below, it lifted a delicate pipe to its lips. There was a quiet [i fwit] sound. The woman slapped a hand to her neck, as if she'd been bitten by a mosquito. When she pulled it away, there was a small red dart in her palm.

There was enough time for her eyes to widen before the poison kicked in.

She stumbled, then, like a drunkard, sank through her knees and sagged to the cobblestones. The dress pooled around her, no longer acting with a seeming will of its own. The two men behind her caught up in a few steps and scooped up the crumpled woman. They moved with a practiced efficiency as they carried her to a dark alley and rolled her into a rug one removed from a bag at his side. One man took each end of the rug, and they lifted. As they walked away, one of the men glanced up at the roof, searching for that shadow-gargoyle.

The rooftop was empty, the shadow departed as though it had never been.

[center _]

It was an early morning when Cai was forcibly awakened by the clanging of the ship's bell. "All hands on deck!" the captain roared, loud enough to be heard through the ship's wood. Cai grumbled and rolled over in his hammock, determined to sleep in; that was, until one of the crewmembers gave his hammock a mighty shake.

"Up and at it, Xaio Cai," he teased, as the thin boy glared up at him from the depths of the hammock. "Wouldn't want to leave our most precious crewmember behind, eh?"

"I'm shit at ships anyways," Cai groused, crawling out of his hammock before the man could shake him out. He combed his tussled hair with his fingers and yanked on his overcoat, hastily tying the sash to hold it in place even when he was up in the rigging. It was where he planned on spending most of his time, because up there few people could reach him to give him orders.

The man chuckled. "And yet you're a monkey in the ropes," he replied good-naturedly. He reached out to scruff Caihong's newly-brushed hair.

The boy batted his hand away before it could reach and shot him a fierce glare. He wasn't this man's friend, or anyone's. It was high time this idiot learned it too. What was his name, Bao-something? He hadn't even bothered to learn that much, because these men were not his comrades. They were coworkers at best, and even then, he'd rather not grow too friendly with them. He had a job, and they had their jobs. It was best to keep things private in these kinds of situations.

Of course, there were always some idiots that didn't take the hints.

"Best be on the move!" the man advised him as he headed towards the deck.

Cai rolled his eyes after him. [i Yeah, yeah. I know what the bell means, idiot.] He shook his head and, in the moment of semi-privacy he had in the man's wake, checked on his weapons. Chest, upper arm, thigh, calf, hip, back, hair, neck, check, check, check. Everything was right where it should be. Satisfied, he headed up to the deck at last.

The hallways were tight, and tighter still when some hulking Ravkan was taking up the whole damn thing with his huge bag. Cai suppressed a grimace and squeezed past, but couldn't prevent smacking into the man anyways. He staggered to the side dramatically, somewhat fed up with the morning in general. They'd been busy last night! Couldn't a man find some rest?

A hand thrust in his direction, along with an apology. Cai gave it a sharp glance, instinctively checking it for weapons before he shook it. No weight on the arm when he shook, either, no jangles or sounds. If the man was concealing something up his sleeve, he had it concealed as well as Cai did. Or, more likely, he was some idiot civilian, another dumb landlubber who'd get in the way even more than Cai did. His introduction confirmed Cai's fears, and he had to suppress another grimace. Oh, great.

"Feng Caihong," he introduced himself shortly, not bothering to hide his accent. He could speak the language passably enough, but he'd rather give the impression he couldn't. Then he could eavesdrop, and, even better, pretend he couldn't understand the man and therefore ignore him in the future. He threw in a small smile at the end, since it wouldn't do to make the man his enemy.

He started for the deck, then paused. "Need help finding your room?" he asked, almost hopefully. Then he'd have an excuse for why he was so late, and maybe even be able to miss the morning preparation entirely!
  Feng Caihong / kaitoXi / 182d 19h 9m 15s
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[Cutive+Mon The dimly lit streets of the Zelver district were quiet, aside from one set of soft footfalls down the cobblestones. Said feet were clad in dark leather boots, black slacks falling around the ankle. A crisp white buttoned shirt was tucked in at the waistline, the entire large figure shrouded by a black jacket with a red pin at the lapel. Honey brown eyes surveyed the street and settled on a large mansion ahead to his right. As the large figure approached, the two guards in forest green livery stationed at the gate straightened their spines, grips tightening ever so slightly on their rifles. Their hearts began to beat faster, and sweat began to bead at the surface of their forehead. The figure couldn't help but release a small chuckle as he stepped into the light, hands outstretched. With a twitch of a long finger, the guards' heartbeats returned to a stable rhythm, aided somewhat by their realization of the figure's identity and consequent relaxation.

"[b Ah, young Master Dmitri. It's late, you shouldn't be out after dark,]" One of them said as he opened the gate. Dmitri chuckled again and bumped his shoulder against the guard's in a friendly gesture.

"[#dc143c I'm a Grisha Corporalnik trained by the very best of Os Alta, I think I can handle myself on the streets of Ketterdam. But thank you for your concern,]" Dmitri said, his wide smile reaching his eyes. "[#dc143c I would appreciate your discretion in informing my father about this, if you catch my meaning,]" A few coins fell discreetly onto the walkway as he passed. Cornelis Smeet's guards, as loyal as they prided themselves to be, were quite easily swayed in the presence of money. Dmitri continued on towards the house, reassured in the fact that as soon as he was out of sight, the guards would scoop up the money, to be used in the gambling halls or brothels as they saw fit.

The mansion wasn't anything particularly special; Merchers in Ketterdam always tended towards humble minimalism compared to the eloquence of the Little Palace in Os Alta. However, it was warm, well-lit, and comfortable, so Dmitri found it acceptable. As he walked towards the stairs to go to his room, he heard the light sound of his little sister's laugh and found himself drawn to the living room. Her dark brown hair glinted in the lamplight as she played with a new doll. Dmitri smiled and scooped Hanna up into his arms, making her screech and giggle. He set her back down on the sofa and sat next to her as she crawled over to rest her head in his lap.

"[+blue Do you really have to leave again tomorrow? You only just got back a little while ago. I'll miss you,]" She said, looking into Dmitri's eyes sadly. He gave her a small smile and ruffled her hair gently.

"[#dc143c Yes, I have to go. But I promise to bring you back lots of nice presents from everywhere I visit.]" That seemed to ease Hanna's mind a bit, as she smiled and curled into him. Dmitri closed his eyes and began humming softly, slowly lowering her heart rate and brain activity until she was soundly asleep. It was much too late for her to be up anyways. He cradled her small body in his arms and took her upstairs to lay her in bed. After seeing that she was securely tucked in, he left her room and entered his own, directly across from her's. Dmitri's suitcase was still laying open on his bed, half stuffed with clothes in preparation for his journey. He let out a sigh and continued packing, well into the night, before falling into a dreamless sleep.


The bright rays of morning came much too early for Dmitri's taste - it had been common practice at the Little Palace to wake with the sun, but since his return to Ketterdam he had let himself slack on such things. However, it was not a day for sleeping in, as he was set to leave Ketterdam and begin his travel of the world in less than two hours. Groggily, Dmitri threw on his clothes and grabbed his suitcase, gently stimulating his heart rate to slowly wake himself up. It seemed no one in the house was yet awake, and he intended to keep it that way, padding softly through the corridors and down the steps to the front door. He gently placed a note he had written a few nights before on the table by the door. It wasn't anything special, just a simple goodbye to his family. He quietly cracked the door open and slid out, beginning his short journey to the docks.

The streets of Ketterdam were always the quietest in the early morning, when the mist had not yet had the opportunity to burn off and it still hung heavy over the cobble like a blanket. It became almost oppressive as Dmitri grew closer to the docks. Finally he reached them, the scent of salt water permeating through the fog. Even Fourth Harbor seemed to be stuck in time, the boats swaying almost sleepily with the waves. Dmitri knew that soon all of Ketterdam, especially the docks, would explode with activity, but for now he relished the peace. He spotted the ship that would be transporting him, a Shu vessel named The Blue Lotus. She was of a medium size, made of a dark wood contrasted beautifully by the smooth cream of her sails. The gangplank was already down, so he made his way aboard, taking a moment to adjust to the gentle rocking of the ship. Only a skeleton crew was present above-decks, each sailor quietly and diligently managing their post. It was easy enough to find the Captain's quarters, gain entry, and receive the key to his own quarters, to which he headed promptly afterwards. On his way through the hall to his room, Dmitri bumped shoulders with a smaller boy of typical Shu appearance.

"[#dc143c Oh, my apologies. I'm Dmitri, I was just heading to my room,]" Dmitri extended a hand apologetically, a sheepish smile on his face. The poor boy in front of him looked as though he might break if he was bumped hard enough, though there was hard muscle in those arms. Not unusual for a sailor, he supposed, though something, he couldn't put his finger on exactly [i what], did seem a little off.
  corporalnik / ouroboros / 183d 5h 46m 10s

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