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She'd thanked him, in her own way. Seeing as how she had to write everything down. He wasn't paying much attention, his eyes were looking right through her, at something that wasn't there. Something that was never going to be there. His eyes were squinted, his face uninterested, though he was there, his mind was obviously a million miles away, in some other universe.
He came to himself when he realized what he was doing, his face was sharp again, alert. He realized she'd thanked him.
[+teal "Yeah, no problem. I'm just glad the room is seeing some use. You can tell me about this bind you're in in the morning."] at those words he made himself scarce, moving to the last door on the hallway on the left, fully intent on turning in for the night.
The room he entered could easily be defined as spartan. Few furnishings, mostly wooden furniture. A bed, a dresser, and a small table with a cushion leaned against the wall for a chair. He took his gun holster off his belt and laid it on top of the dresser. He collapsed into his bed, not even bothering to crawl under the blanket.
Tomorrow was another day.
Azura silently followed Dante into the bar. She had never been inside one, and she was surprised by how dark it was. Her blue eyes seemed to glow a bit in the dark as she looked around. No one was here, since it was after hours, so she had no idea what it was like when the place was actually open.
Though he had said to not interfere during business hours as a way of paying him back, she didn't think it really matched the fact that she was now going to have a place to stay for a bit. Surly there was something she could do. She would have to think of a way, but first, she wanted to look at the room he offered for her.
Looking in, it was a simple room, but much more than any room she had stayed in. A wide smile came across her lips as she saw the bed, knowing it had to be comfy. Azura quickly ran in and jumped onto the bed, finding that what she thought was true. It was soft and warm, a place she could instantly fall asleep, which she probably would have if Dante had left then.
[+blue Thank you for the room.] She wrote, the smile still on her face.
She made her way in, this door leading right behind the bar. A spotless, black, wooden bar that stretched almost the length of the room they were in. The room was dimly lit by the recessed lighting above the bar, the inky darkness of the street seeping into the bar, thick black curtains keeping it dark inside. Dante had raised the end of the bar to walk past it, and towards a set of stair that would lead where they needed to go. Seems the little one wanted him to read something though.
[+teal "... Pay me back...?"] Dante hadn't expected anything in return. He generally tried to just be a good person where he could to make up for all the pain he caused others.
[+teal "You can pay me back by not interfering during business hours. Kay?"] he began to make his way up the stairs, stopping at the first door at the top on the left, opening it revealed a simple room with a well cared for twin bed and wooden bedside table with a lamp. In the corner was a brightly colored box, completely empty by the look of it, tucked behind a white dresser.
[+teal "This is where you'll stay. I don't mind you staying long, and since it's late, I'm not going to bother asking how long you plan on staying on. Get cozy."]
Azura nodded and started to follow him towards the door. She stopped as a woman walked out, taking a smoke. The woman looked at her and Azura tried to make herself seem small, so not to be a threat. Seemed it either worked or the woman just didn't care at all, simply asking who she was and then actually not caring at all.
So, Dante took in runaways a lot. Perhaps she could be okay here for a bit. She wouldn't stay here long, she never could. Someone was bound to figure out about her abilities, and then either chase her away or try to use her. It was always the same.
As the woman walked away, Azura made her way into the building. She wasn't too worried if the guy was lying, having her own escape always at the ready. She wrote in her book again and held it up for him.
[+blue Thank you for letting me stay. How shall I return the favor?]
Azura always believed in paying back someone, especially if they did a kindness towards her. It was also her way of figuring out if she could really trust this person or not simply by telling her what she could do in return. While she wasn't a master at reading people, she still had enough skill to know if she should run or not.
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."]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=EB+Garamond] [size15 [EB+Garamond
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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