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Couldn't speak, on the run. No home to speak of.
This wasn't the first runaway Dante had run across, she wouldn't be the last.
[+teal "Name's Terra, Dante. I own that bar right there. We're closed right now, but I've got an extra room. Come on inside."] Dante walked back to the door he'd come out of, holding it open for the girl. As he did, a woman with short black hair and a bored expression on her face came out of it, she was taking a drag on her cigarette and walking to the opposite side of the alley to smoke.
[+green "Damn Dante, did you HAVE to shoot the guy?"] she asked, smoke coming out of her mouth with her words. Then she looked to the girl, eyeing her up and down.
[+green "Who's she?"]
[+Teal "Another runaway."] the woman scoffed at him, it turning into a chuckle, before she took another drag on her cigarette.
[+green "You need to start a business taking them in."] She flicked the cigarette at Dante, the filter bouncing off of his vest as she left the alley, heading for her car no doubt.
[+teal "I'll take that under advisement Liz. Come on Azura, I'm no enemy of yours."]
With the sound of the gunshot, she looked over to see who it was with the gun. She hoped this guy wasn't some kind of leader of these drunk guys. Thankfully, though, it seemed he wasn't, telling them to leave before he shot them. The men were too drunk to really heed his warning, one challenging him to shoot. she could tell just by the look of the guy with the gun that he wasn't joking around.
And he proved it by shooting the guy in the knee. She was quickly dropped and she pushed herself up against the wall, so not to become the next target. The men were scared, quickly carrying off their wounded friend, hopefully, to the nearest hospital.
Her heart was still racing from all that had happened that she almost missed what the man asked her. She blinked a few times and glanced at him for a second or two before she opened her book and quickly wrote. She was a fast writer, and her handwriting was surprisingly readable. When she finished she held it up for him to read.
[+blue Both I guess. Running from someone and ended up here. Thank you for helping me. My name is Azura.]
She quickly realized something and added to what she had written, showing him again.
[+blue I can't speak, so I write.]
When she was sure he was done reading, she closed the book and held it against her chest tightly as she waited for a response.
Another night, another couple of degenerates who weren't getting back into his bar. This young lady was fortunate he was taking the trash out at the exact moment she was getting harassed. Dante reached to his side and pulled a revolver from a holster on his belt, a glimmering steel piece, old fashioned and with intricate engravings made in the barrel. He held the weapon to the sky and pulled the hammer back, the distinct clicking sound echoing through the alleyway.
The men made no motion at the sound, so he pulled the trigger. The bullet bounced off of some brickwork he just so happened to be aiming at. At the noise, the two drunks fell to the ground, the girl being released in the process. One turned back to look at him.
[+red "Hey, whaddyou want?"] He struggled just to get back on his feet. Dante took a moment to formulate his response.
[+Teal "To put a bullet in your kneecap, you two have exactly one opportunity to leave peacefully before I do so."] even in the dim light shining from a streetlight behind himself, he could see the men's forms. Neither of them were terribly imposing. Then neither was Dante.
[+yellow "Yeah, so why don't you? You a chicken?"] Welp, that was all the antagonizing that Dante was in the mood for. He quickly shifted his arm to aim at the man's kneecap and pulled the trigger. The sound of a gunshot echoed, but went unnoticed as the man's cries of pain quickly overlapped them.
[+red "Jesus Christ! You shot him!"] The man went to his friends side and tried to calm him down, but the man was squirming on the ground in a frantic manner.
[+teal "Yeah, I did. And I don't want him bleeding in my alleyway. Beat it."] at that, the man grabbed his shrieking friend and vacated the space as fast as he could, given his friend still bawling about having a bullet wound. Dante put his weapon back where it belonged, and approached the young woman, and took a notice of her lack of shoes, or, belongings in general.
[+teal "Are you alright? Are you homeless, running from somebody?"]
She was tired. Stumbling along, she had used a lot of energy to get away. Even though it was easy to do, that didn't mean it wouldn't take a lot of energy. But she had gotten away, and she was glad for that. But now where would she go? Clutching her book tightly, she continued on through the small alleyway she suddenly appeared in.
Transportation was a tricky one. It's easy to use, but no one ever mentioned just how much you needed for a spell. It depended on how far you wanted to go and since she didn't know how far or where exactly she wanted to end up she was bound to use up a lot. Now that she was paying for it, she had to figure out her next move.
She was in a strange place, not seeing anything familiar around her as she looked out into the street. She just hoped it was far away enough to where she wouldn't have to worry about that person. Even if that left her with nothing but her notebook, she was okay with that. That's how she usually lived anyways, so why would it be any different?
The girl couldn't walk any further, sitting down at the edge of the alley. She needed to catch her breath and relax before she passed out of exhaustion. Her bare feet didn't feel the cold of the sidewalk at all, and she wasn't cold in the least with just wearing a white sun-type dress. Her long black hair was a bit wild, but that was normal, and her blue eyes seemed to glow softly in the shadows. She was alone, once again.
A couple of guys who seemed to be rather tough walked up to her. She quickly looked away, not wanting to get into anything. She was too tired for this, and she didn't wish to be chased out of another town so soon after leaving the last one. They seemed to not care though, calling her names, asking if she wanted to have a good time. After a few minutes of ignoring, she felt a hand grab her dress and pull her up to be face to face with one of the guys. He was obviously drunk, and that's what made it scary. She still held her book, but she couldn't think of anything to do. She couldn't yell for help, nor could she tell the guy to stop. What was going to happen to her now?
[+violet "Not in any of the times of my being here has that ever happened. Sure the place is an old ass tomb, but the mechanisms never functioned for us. And they sure as hell didn't break apart."] Magistra drug herself to her feet by her little webbed hand, dusting herself off further and walking to where the floor had broken apart.
Peering down already was Fatui, his eyes not particularly surprised by what he saw down there. A big light, coming from some indiscernible object far below where they were currently standing.
[+purple "Yeah, so. That's a core."] Magistra could tell from there as well, a rare and arcane thing.
[+violet "Now that's a treasure worth taking, but I'm sure you already knew that was there Stax."] Magistra, the more cunning of the two had put that together easily. Why else would one person spend a week looking for this place?
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=EB+Garamond] [size15 [EB+Garamond Stax nearly fell on his side as the floor began to move, instead managing to turn the fall into a 'I meant to kneel down on the floor like this' kind of pose.
[+orange "The hell... why is th- oh its going faster."]
Realizing the floor was speeding up even more, he slammed his hands one at a time deep into the stone, and then followed with his feet.
Notably the armor on his torso had disappeared, a set of spiky carapace-like gauntlets and sabatons had taken their place on his hands and feet respectively. This would have the effect of lodging the man into the ground like a tick.
This would also force the man into an indiana jones style run as the center collapsed. Fortunately he was quick enough to not have to partake in the cliche that was; jumping at the last second as the bits of stone crumbled away beneath him and just barely catching the ledge.
When the rumbling had stopped, he let out an annoyed sigh, an equally irritated look on his face.
[+orange "It will of course be one of [i THOSE] dungeons isn't it. Great start..."] After scanning the room to assure the other two hadn't fallen in, he added, [+orange "AND the door is closed."] Having noted that the entrance had either closed on its own or one of them closed it and he didn't notice. Either case was entirely plausible.
It was at Fatui nodding back to Stax that the room began to rumble. It was growing in intensity, and a giant ring began to spin in the center of the room, all the while, the rumbling was growing stronger. Fatui had been trained to hold his stance under intends circumstances, but Magistra was sent flying across the room. She reached out to grab a hold of something, but didn't find anything, so she found herself slammed into a wall, where she loosed a little web from her abdomen, and proceeded to put her hand on it.
It lasted about a minute, the ring finally stopping its spinning, as it did, the ancient mechanism crumbled and collapsed, the floor beneath them breaking apart and falling deep into the mountain.
Magistra drug herself to her feet, wiping some dirt off of her parka.
[+Violet "So, that's never happened."]
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It was liable to be a short meeting, as the duo only had to advance what was likely only part way into the dungeon, but even still, it would be nice to save his strength for when they parted ways. He was after all, intending to go all the way down.
[+orange "That was what I meant. I'm not as strong as that number would have you believe..."]
While that wasn't entirely true, it wasn't entirely false either.
[+orange "Well either way, now that we have that settled, we can push forward with... reckless abandon!"]
Obviously joking, he nodded for Fatui to proceed as he had intended.
Even though it had been revealed that he was higher level than they were, he had no intention of doing anything more now. Besides that, it was best someone who was familiar with the place lead.
[+Violet "If you aren't questioning any of my extra meters, I'm not questioning yours."] she had a strange character portrait as well. Of note was a bar that looked like webbing, and a bar that was a wispy green, and an adjacent that had a wispy pink. Both of them had these bars, but Fatui had an extra that had nothing in it and simply read "Rhythm" on the backdrop. Though, all duelists had a rhythm bar, it built up as the fight went on and was expended when he performed actions specific to a duelist.
The other three bars were spiderkin specific, two representing poison, the other representing how much webbing their body had available.
Both of them had these bars.
[+purple "Bio-Knight? The hell?"]
[+Violet "Nevermind that, he's level thirty seven. I've only known one person higher and that was mom. Level forty something."]
[+purple "Level forty two. Yes, then she vanished. Likely to ascend."] the two of them hadn't even breached thirty. They were both level twenty seven, each having taken twenty levels in their base class and seven in a specialty.
[+Violet "Again, nice to have you along. Let's get on with this, shall we?"]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=EB+Garamond] [size15 [EB+Garamond [+orange "Good good."]
He quickly accepted it. The first thing of note would be the fact that he completely lacked the usual blue mana bar, and that instead, there was a gold bar in its place. Something that, was entirely unheard of.
Secondly his class was called Bio-Knight, which to the knowledge of an inhabitant of this world was a gibberish word preceding an actual class.
Lastly his level was unusually high. 37, just 3 shy from the wall that was 40. It was possible to go above 40, but the amount of EXP one needed to do so was insanely high compared to how much one could earn at that point.
[+orange "Your card isn't broken on your end. Lets just say its an issue on my end, so don't worry about that stuff."]
He'd managed to explain away the strangeness of his stats that way before, and so it only made sense to do so here.
[+Violet "I'll invite you. Just a moment."] She closed her eyes for a moment, and focused on Stax for a brief moment, just long enough that when she opened her eyes again, he had a pending invitation to their party. He would be a good fighter if he could keep up. If he couldn't, he'd make a nice distraction.
[+purple "Good thing you reminded her. She's generally party leader cause she's a rog-"]
[+Violet "[b Alchemist.] I don't call you a fighter. I call you a duelist."] she'd say, wanting everyone to refer to her prestige class CORRECTLY.
[+Violet "Just accept the invite and we'll be on our way."]
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[+orange "I.. uh. Know some...Er yeah, lets just get inside. I like that idea"]
The three would advance inside the dungeon, the front chamber presenting likely the least danger of all the room. Usually they were safe. Usually.
[+Orange "Yo, Fatui, we might want to party up before we actually start moving forward. Even if it is only temporary. So I guess the question is do you want me to invite the two of you, or, as I assume you are already in one of your own, will you be inviting me?"]
The adventurer seemed quite surprised at what Magistra had in her arsenal. She chuckled a little.
[+violet "Don't know much about alchemy do you big guy? I've got explosive potions, poisons, acids, healing pots, aphrodisiacs and love potions. If you're looking to buy, that is."] she'd say shooting him a wink and meshing her carapaced hands together, inverting them, then pushing them outwards, causing her knuckles to pop.
[+purple "Let's get inside before the weather decides to pick up."] With these words, Fatui moved to the center of the huge door and put his wrapped hands on them, pushing with all his might. And sure enough, a loud creaking could be heard as the ancient door moved aside before his strength. The berth was so wide that Fatui had to step forward whilst opening it. After a few seconds of effort, the doors were open wide enough for the three of them to enter with little issue.
On the inside was a massive antechamber, looking more befitting for a tomb. It was warm, and ancient Braziers burned all over the room.
[+violet "Alright Fatui, and Stax I guess. I'm guessing you aren't great at identifying alchemical reagents. I'm looking for Malokk's Grasp. It's a lot like ivy, but hostile. I need about two feet of it. I remember one of the tombs in this place had some wrapped around it last time I was here."] Fatui nodded in her direction, moving forward to begin exploring the chamber.
[+purple "Let's see what we can get into."]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=EB+Garamond] [size15 [EB+Garamond As he stamped out the fire, evidently Magistra did know him, as she promptly explained.
[+orange "Ehe. Well. Not sure how to take that. Thanks for not betting on the other guy I guess?" ]
As they reached what Fatui seemed to say was their destination, he couldn't help but be puzzled as Magistra pulled out several potions.
[+orange "Wait.. those aren't-"]
A multitude of explosions drowned out his words, as his jaw dropped. When the seemingly mad alchemist was done chucking potions he cried out.
[+orange "YOU HAVE GRENADES?! I MEAN, UH. EXPLODING... BOMB... POTIONS?!"]
They had caught him off guard, as they did with every fly. This one was particularly useful, and from the way he looked at Magistra, he may very well be caught in a different web altogether. Magistra smiled honestly, giving her plump lips a lick to keep the frost from building up on them. At that though, she put her hood back on her head, ass length red hair still spilling out onto the black parka.
Fatui answered his questions while she remained silent, rooting around in a leather satchel on her side for something.
[+purple "Yes, we've been before. Your issue is that the door often gets snowed in. We have an easy way through that little obstacle though."] it ticked in Magistra's mind that Stax was a name she knew. She'd even seen him fight before. She knew who he was. At this thought she chuckled.
[+violet "You're [b that] Stax aren't you! I saw you fight! I actually won a lot of gold that day."] it was then that she bit her tongue quickly. Fatui sighed aloud.
[+violet "Hope you still fight that fiercely. Who knows what we'll run into in there. Come on."] it seemed he had grabbed most of his necessities.
The three of them set off, Fatui leading the way while Magistra and Stax followed. The telltale signs of a trail were there, except not. Fatui was leading by memory alone, he could see something the other two couldn't until he stopped at what seemed to be just a massive snowbank.
[+purple "Alright Magistra, do your thing."] with a little giggle she stepped forward while Fatui stepped back. She quickly took her parka off, revealing her pale skin to the winter weather, an ornate bustier being her only clothing under it, and upon the black leather were dozens of tiny strange vials. But those weren't what she was reaching for, she was turning her parka inside out, revealing a grey furred interior lined with bigger potions, all glowing red and emitting a warmth that could be felt several feet away. She tied the inside out garment about her waist and began tossing the potions into the snow.
[+violet "Cover your ears boys!"] at this, a multitude of fiery explosions erupted from the snow, blowing or melting it away and revealing in the side of the mountain, a massive and meticulously designed door.
[+Magenta "Here we are."]
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