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 Rue

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Lord E V
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PostSubject: Rue    Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:54 pm

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(This thread takes place after another thread, "For Once," and contains spoilers pertaining to that thread.  Pls don't spoil yourself. Mada that means you.)

Bad memories, bad vibes, bad sensations, bad atmosphere, bad, bad, bad bad badbadbad.  Sova didn't like Venen Gulch, and he wasn't having a very fun day, or week... or month... or life.  Nothing about this trip was pleasant, and yet it was still somehow tolerable.  Not only had he found some level of solace in himself, but he now had someone else to help him carry his burdens.  Still, he didn't enjoy being in the gulch yet again; his last experience in the area had been unpleasant, to say the least.  He had met a very demented scyther, and despite his best efforts, he'd failed to avoid conflict with the presumed serial killer.  In the end, Senya was the one to handle the situation, as he recalled.  He regretted giving up such a burden, and in hindsight, that was a running theme in his life.  Despite his best efforts to take burdens from others and handle everything himself, he'd really just ended up becoming the burden.  Fortunately, that was in the past, but he still didn't enjoy being in a place that dredged up such memories.

He was fun.

The thought surprised him, though perhaps it shouldn't have.  He knew it wasn't his own, even if it felt so very... real.  He really should have been used to the experience of hearing Senya in his head, and yet he wasn't.  He wondered if that would ever change.  "You have a concerning definition of "fun," my friend," he responded aloud since they were alone and thus didn't run the risk of looking insane.  He was glad to be out of the guild if nothing else; he'd made the decision to change his behavior for the better, but he still wasn't a fan of laying around in that place socializing and whatnot.  His solitude wasn't something he was quite ready to entirely give up.  Still, he wouldn't have picked such an unpleasant place to go just to get away from everyone.  No, this was for a mission...  He hadn't done any actual guild work in quite some time, having been too distracted with trying to fight deities and whatever else.

The white, silken cloak around his body lifted up behind him, caught by a gust of wind.  He glanced down at his exposed legs and stopped, reminded of why he had a ghostly sheet draped over him.  His fur was torn away by scars, and his left leg was wrapped close to his chest by a makeshift sling composed of some piece of white fabric.  He doubted any of it would ever heal, which only made him want to take a mission and get out of the guild even more.  He couldn't stand another minute in that place with everyone looking at him like he was some crippled war veteran.  Walking was more a task than usual, especially with the strange ribbon making it all so much harder as if being down a leg wasn't bad enough already.  Every step elicited pain, albeit faint enough to ignore now that he was getting used to it.  Fortunately, the strange red markings seemed to have gone away for whatever reason, but in the case of their return, that was just one more reason to cover his body.  He didn't want to be seen as disabled and in need of help, but at the same time he didn't want to look like some monster either.

So, what's the plan here?  We're not exactly at our best, I mean.  You really think we can save that kid?

Sova knew Senya was trying to distract him from his own thoughts.  The gesture was appreciated, but he was finding it difficult still to let it all go.  The white cloak fell back around him as the wind died down.  "This isn't getting any better.  If I can't do my job now, I'll never be able to do it again," he spoke with an eerie calm to his voice.  Given it was him in question, the matter-of-fact indifference to such a concept was a bit unusual.  For most of his life, he had been one to lash out and falter due to unchecked emotion.  He was rather bad at keeping himself under control, or at least he had been for about as long as he could remember.  However, his recent experiences had brought him to seek change, and more importantly, put him in the mindset to enact this change.  The thought of being incapable of continuing his work saddened him a great deal, and yet he was able to keep himself calm despite this.

That doesn't mean you have to do this right now.  Is some runty 'vee really worth your trouble?

He knew Senya meant well.  He was in a bad state and definitely didn't need to be running around through a toxic and relatively dangerous environment.  Unfortunately, he felt he needed to, for him if no one else.  That, and he couldn't help but feel obligated to protect one of his own kin.  And besides, if he didn't save the little eevee, who would?  Most members of the Grassveil Guild didn't even have the appropriate rank to take such a mission, let alone the capabilities to reliably see it through.  Then again, was he really any different now with a bum leg and an evil ribbon crippling him?  He intended to prove that no, he wasn't, even if it was the last thing he did.

"Yes."

Besides, he was already there, inhaling the fumes and wandering through Venen Gulch.  He hadn't reached the "river" nor even come upon any steep drops or any other difficult environmental hazards, but still, he wasn't interested in turning back now.

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Last edited by Lord E V on Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:06 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To tell Mada to go away.)
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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:33 pm

Despite having someone fall on her after she had been mauled, the absol still seemed able to hold herself up, which was impressive, at least in Sova's eyes.  He was relieved to see his little slip-up hadn't hadn't done any apparent damage.  He could empathize with whatever troubles Shintara may have had with keeping her balance; despite taking no real damage from her during the fight, he was in pretty much the same position as her.  Stability hadn't been his strong suit for a while, since having decided to square up against a god.  Every bit of context around the situation was miserable to think about, and the consequences he was now living with made it all so much worse, but there was one thing that dulled the misery: he had won.  For the first time in his life, he truly felt as if he had actually succeeded at something, and even if he had to spend the rest of his life hobbling around, he could find some solace in the knowledge that he had at least won.  Truthfully, his memory of the events was still fuzzy and in pieces, and he remembered the emotions more than anything else, but it was enough.

He looked down at what would have been his chest and front legs, draped in the white fabric adorning his figure.  He wasn't okay with any of this, but there were things that made it worth enduring.  Still, he didn't like thinking about it, and so he jumped at the opportunity to hold a conversation and distract himself.  Senya seemed to be gone, perhaps because he was no longer in desperate need of something to talk to; a role which this random semi-stranger filled.  "Without a good reason.  You've got something to prove or something you really want," he gave an overdue end to the context of his question.  He would have claimed it to be general curiosity, but in truth, he had a very specific reason for wanting to know: he was looking to prove himself wrong.  He wanted to know that this absol was nothing like him, and his hope was that she would give him some context on her situation.

Almost immediately after going silent, Sova stepped forward and started off in the direction he happened to be facing.  His body ached in protest, but unfortunately, he had a prior engagement that he had already put off long enough.  He needed to put his attention back on the mission he had been tasked with; it was of his own free will that he had taken it, and so it was entirely his responsibility to ensure the safety of the target.  "Anyway, tell me or don't, but I've gotta go.  I said you could come with me, so if you really plan to follow, you'd better keep up; I'm on a time-sensitive errand," he clarified a rule of sorts as he walked, keeping his eyes trained forward as he spoke.  Now that he'd gotten to know Shintara through battle and blood, he could be tolerant of her presence, but he still couldn't just sit in one place forever.  This mission was important in too many ways to be put off for any substantial amount of time; the child was in more immediate danger than some girl who'd just been kind of sort of bludgeoned half to death.  This was actually a secondary reason for the effort put forth to end the spar quickly, as he couldn't reasonably afford the time to sit around stalling out a fight to exhaust the opponent into giving up.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:35 pm

Oh. He was saying without a good reason. She frowned slightly and turned away from the Glaceon as she thought it over, mulling it over in her head. She'd told him her reason before, hadn't she? She'd said while they'd been fighting that she wanted to get stronger. Maybe he wanted to hear more than that...?

Before she could respond, Sova already started walking on ahead, and even told her she could come along with him if she could keep up. She seemed to perk up a little at that, almost as if surprised that he was willing to let her come along, before stepping over towards his form. At first, she tried to move a bit quicker than she probably should have, and the Absol nearly fell overdue to a lack of balance. However, after doing so, she paced herself a little more, limping over towards the Glaceon. While not going as fast as she'd tried to before, she still tried to keep up as decent a pace her leg would allow her, following behind him.

"W-well...it's like I said b-before. I w-want to get stronger, so...I th-thought a good place to start m-might be to fight someone I kn-knew was strong, to l-learn and to t-test myself I guess. Honestly, I w-was hoping for some f-feedback maybe, wh-when you have the time...just th-things I did well, things I n-need to improve on..." Shintara explained as she continued along.

"...are you g-going to be okay? I kn-know you said you're f-fine, but..."

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:24 pm

Sova listened amid his stride, silently taking in the absol's explanation of her motivation for seeking him out.  She wanted to fight him and believed that getting flattened would somehow help her improve, but more importantly, she wanted... feedback?  What was he supposed to be, a self-defense instructor?  He knew how to fight, but that didn't mean he was interested in explaining to someone else all the ways in which they didn't.  Besides, what was he even supposed to say beyond "You suck?"  There was very little that she had genuinely done right during the spar, as he had made sure to minimize what room there was for her to do anything right in the first place.  She had done nothing but fail because she was simply too weak to have accomplished anything more.  Was that what she wanted to hear, and if so, did she really expect it to somehow help her?  And was he seriously the only strong guy she could find to beat on her?

The topic seemed rather unappealing, but it suddenly became much less so when he was asked once more if he was alright.  The glaceon froze and lowered his gaze to the cloak hiding his body, then, after a moment of silence, continued onward.  He was fine.  "First off, you're an idiot.  You won't learn much from getting yourself broken in a fight you can't win," he began, entirely ignoring the question about his own health.  He made no attempt to hide that he was avoiding the topic, and he hoped the absol would just drop it and stop trying to worry about him.  He was giving her what she wanted once more, so it seemed like the least she could do.  "And your performance...  You're weak and slow, and you don't know your own limits.  Jumping was a good idea, but you couldn't clear me, and you should have known that," he went on, doing his best to elaborate as he addressed all he could think of.  He wasn't interested in trying to soften any blows, partly because he didn't care to, but also because Shintara wanted honesty.

He stopped once more and turned his head just enough to the left that he could barely see his follower out of the corner of his eye.  "But you're disciplined.  You knew how to brace yourself and fight impulses.  You definitely didn't get like that just from experience, or else you'd be a lot tougher," he let his words hang in the air for a moment as he took his attention off the absol and got back to walking.  He wasn't entirely sure he was right in what he was thinking, but assuming he was, he had a question he wanted an answer to.  The way the absol fought - or tried to - was like someone with combat experience, and yet she was pathetically flimsy and virtually powerless, at least in comparison to him.  Her skill did not add up with the rest of her combat ability, almost like someone who had been... trained.  "You already have a teacher, right?  So why not bug them instead of me?" he questioned in confidence despite having no way to actually know he was right.  One learned through either trial-and-error or being told how to avoid errors in the first place, and if someone learned through the prior, they would come out of it stronger.

Simply put, Shintara was not strong, and so it was hard to believe she had been in enough fights to have learned such control on her own.  She didn't even seem to have enough experience with combat to know what her own body was and wasn't capable of.  Granted, it was possible that she had just made a simple mistake when trying to leap over him and actually would have been capable of it otherwise, but that still didn't explain everything else.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:45 pm

When she'd asked him if he was going to be okay, the Glaceon had come to a complete halt for a moment, and Shintara stopped as well. Something about his deliberate pause there made her feel as if the question was unwelcome, and as he continued on ahead while ignoring it she personally found her feelings reaffirmed. It was a little off-putting for her, the way he was just shrugging her off. Then again, though, he was plenty capable himself anyways...he was capable enough of beating her up despite his condition. He was injured, but...she would trust him on his word that he was alright. For now, at least. She'd keep an eye on him though, and if things got worse she'd say something. But until then...

He called her an idiot. The Absol frowned and took a breath in to speak up in protest, but she silenced herself and simply turned away, trying to hide the sheepish look of embarrassment she had on her face. That wasn't exactly the constructive criticism she was looking for. She wasn't an idiot, and she wanted to tell him that, but...he was answering her questions, and he was doing so while busy with a mission. She's come out here and pestered him, and because of that, she couldn't really find it in herself to argue yet. Plus, while she wasn't an idiot...she couldn't really formulate a good defense against that, considering the point Sova had made.

She silently nodded her head along with what the Glaceon said as he critiqued her, listening to what he had to say. There was definitely a lot of criticism, but she took no offense to that. That was what she came here for, after all. However, the critique soon turned more personal as he spoke further, culminating in a question she hadn't quite expected. Her eyes widened for a quick moment, and she turned towards the ice type quickly, stumbling a little with the turn of her head. Before she could say anything, though, she faltered. Her "gaze" fell towards the ground as she hung her head, and her look of surprise was quickly overtaken by one of sadness.

"I-I, uh...I..." She took a breath and brought her head back up, shaking it.

"...I c-can't, n-not anymore...h-he's, uh..." The Absol took another moment to formulate what she was saying. How did she want to put this? She didn't want to drop everything on Sova, as he'd just established, she was already bugging him.

"...busy. H-he's busy, back h-home." Shintara finally finished, her "gaze" flitting all around their surroundings, as if she was trying to look at something but she couldn't decide what that something was.

"Th-thank you, though...wh-what's the mission y-you're on?" The Absol seemed to want to get off the topic just as much as Sova wanted to get off the topic of his health, and so she quickly tried to change the subject as she followed the Glaceon.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:33 am

Teach was apparently unavailable, even to their own student, to the point where she had gone off to find something else to help her. That something happened to be Sova, apparently, for which he had mixed feelings; flattering as it was, he still wasn't fond of her for tracking him down just to pester him. It had already been done, though, and now she was with him whether he liked it or not, here to stay since he couldn't very well turn her away with the condition she was in. Regardless, he didn't understand how the absol's instructor was so busy that she needed to go get a beat-down just to try and train herself. Or perhaps they had told her to do that, in which case they were more of an idiot than she was. Sova wanted to say that, but he got a feeling from the absol's behavior that it may have been a sensitive topic; "busy" was an awfully vague way to word it. Perhaps this teacher was mad at her for something, or maybe they were just an ass in general, which would have explained everything quite easily. There was a great deal of curiosity about this mysterious trainer, but he decided not to press any further, especially since Shintara seemed to have taken the hint and stopped doing the same with his current condition.

Then, in an another annoying gesture, he was thanked... for doing little more than insulting the girl. He tried to simply ignore this and focus on the more important words, though there was only really one thing for him to pay any mind to since he didn't want to respond to the thanks, and of course, his conversation partner didn't seem to want to keep talking about the mystery teacher. "Some fluff-ball got kidnapped. Let me know if you see a skuntank with an eevee," he explained in as few words as he could manage. This particular topic wasn't really unappealing in any special way; he just didn't really like talking all that much, especially about himself and his business. "And if it comes to a fight, do me a favor and don't try to help. You're already hurt, and I don't need another child to save," he continued, wishing to ensure that this absol wouldn't weigh him down if she was so insistent on coming with him. He didn't care much if his words were hurtful, as long as it stopped his new companion from doing anything stupid.

On the topic of the mission, Sova had no idea how he was even supposed to locate this eevee. His current plan was just to walk around until he found some kind of sign; he'd asked around the outpost beforehand so he knew the general direction in which the skuntank had probably gone and where they were asking the ransom be personally delivered. The idea was that he'd just find this kidnapper and... try to talk them down, he supposed. He didn't want to beat them half to death if he didn't have to, and he wasn't sure how he would even manage such a thing when they had a hostage to wave at him. On top of that, it had been mentioned in the mission that they probably weren't the type to carry the philosophy of "honor among thieves," which meant there was a good chance they'd just get upset at not having their demands met and...

The glaceon tried not to think about such negative outcomes, instead focusing on how he could minimize any risk factors and succeed. He had an extreme speed deficit, but he was probably still faster than some criminal who had to resort to ransom in order to get their pay. Someone stronger would have probably spent their time just robbing others instead of deciding on plucking a kid off the streets and using them for money. In the case that there was no hope for a peaceful resolution, all he needed to worry about was finding an opportunity to strike, and his ability to physically move himself wasn't of too much concern since his species specialized in ranged attacks anyway. A shadow ball wouldn't be the best choice if he was aiming to inflict as much damage as possible, but since he was assuming this outlaw was probably relatively weak, it'd probably still be more than enough, he figured.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:23 am

Shintara didn't quite know what to make of Sova as the two made their way forwards. For a moment back there, it had felt like he was alright with her. He'd helped her back up, apologized to her, and even tried to tell her to have a little more confidence in herself. Now, though, it seemed like he was right back to an attitude similar to the one he'd had when she'd first run into him. Treating her like a kid, calling her an idiot, and generally acting like he didn't want her around. Something about it didn't feel right, and she wasn't sure what the deal was, but she couldn't help but feel a little hurt and unsure.

Thankfully, he didn't press the point of her teacher further, and instead explained the mission to her. Some Skuntank had kidnapped an Eevee or something, and he...or, the two of them, were on their way to take care of that. The Glaceon had taken the opportunity to call her a kid, and the Absol turned her focus back towards him and frowned once more.

"I-I'm not a child..." She argued, shaking her head. However, something told her that she probably shouldn't leave it at that, especially since he had made his expectations clear. She didn't want to get forcefully evicted just because she didn't want to play by the rules he was setting up...but at the same time, she didn't want to intentionally lie to him either.

"...b-but fine. I-I'll only help you if y-you l-look like you need it...s-so you should b-be fine." Shintara stated, keeping her focus on the area around the two. She was making sure to pay attention for the shapes of an Eevee, or a Skuntank...the Skuntank would be a bit harder of a shape for her to place, considering she couldn't remember encountering many of those before.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:13 am

Of course the insult was noticed, and of course it was the thing that took precedence and got immediate attention drawn to it. Sova had no intention of apologizing for saying it, but he did kind of want to explain himself and why he had said it. At the time time, he wasn't looking to just ignore everything else she was saying, but there really wasn't much else that had been said. She was insistent on retaining some right to help, but she had presented an acceptable compromise in only offering her assistance if she needed to. In truth, he didn't care whether he got help or not, as long as the absol kept herself safe for as long as she was with him. If she wanted to get herself killed, so be it, as long as she did so on her own time. At least she seemed to understand that there would be no need for her services, which meant she probably wouldn't be jumping into any fights and putting herself at risk. Then again, she hadn't exactly demonstrated a particularly impressive sense of judgment, so it seemed entirely possible that she would make the wrong decision anyway.

Sova sighed, figuring there was only really one thing he could respond to; or at least, only one thing to which he could respond with any substance. He could just say "yeah" to the remark of him being perfectly capable of handling things himself, but that didn't contribute much to the conversation. "Look..." he started up before going quiet again, trying to find the words to express himself. It took him a moment to find a way to say it that was acceptable enough. "I'm not trying to say you are a child. I'm just asking that you don't act like one, or at least, not when it could put you in danger. You came all the way out here to get beat, so I don't exactly trust you not to try to get in the middle of my fights and get yourself hurt even worse," he stated in a neutral manner, showing he wasn't exactly mad about it. As long as his tag-along listened to him, he had no real protests with her being there, but he wanted to make himself perfectly clear in that he very much wanted her to stay out of danger.

Plus, Shintara was hurt, and her leg in particular seemed to be in very bad shape. Sova was reminded of his own damaged leg and couldn't help but feel some sympathy. "Just... be careful. If something happens to you on my watch, that'd be bad enough, but... if it's because you're hurt from fighting me..." he trailed off. He didn't need to look back at the absol and her leg to recall the damage he'd done, thankfully; he had no desire to see it again. His silence didn't last long before he spoke yet again, "You've got no business fighting with your leg like that, so just... don't." He spoke not as if he were giving an order, but more of a suggestion, or perhaps a plead. He tried to remind himself that it wasn't his place to force someone to keep safe; if Shintara wanted to step into a fight, it was her choice, he supposed. He could only hope she would consider heeding his words.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:53 pm

The Glaceon seemed to see it fit to explain himself and his remarks, and so Shintara listened to him. She only took mild offense at his remarks on coming all the way out there to get beat, mostly because she could see that he did kind of have a point with that, but it was more the next thing he said that really caught her attention. He expressed some concern for her well-being and told her to be careful, and with the phrasing he used, it almost seemed like he...felt bad about injuring her? Even though, of course, she'd really been the one who hurt herself trying to jump him. Had she not have done that, it probably wouldn't have been as bad of an injury.

"P-please. I-I know you th-think I'm an idiot, b-but I know th-the difference b-between getting beat b-by an explorer and g-getting beat by an outlaw." The Absol stated with the faintest hint of a smile on her face, as if finding only a little humor in her remarks. For a moment, she focused her senses on her leg as she hobbled forwards, managing to do alright in not stumbling too much but clearly her movement was still hindered by the injury. There was only a little blood seeping down through the wrapped cloth's bottom edges from what she could feel, but the cloth seemed to be doing a good enough job of placing pressure on the wound and covering it. It still hurt a ton, though, all sorts of stinging pains running through the limb even while held off the ground.

"I-I got here on my own, you kn-know. I c-came out here and started b-bugging you, s-so...I'm n-not your responsibility. Focus on th-the eevee, a-and I'll b-be careful." She added onto her previous statement, wanting to reassure the Glaceon that she'd try and be careful. Of course, that didn't necessarily mean staying out of a fight if one came up. Still, she also wanted to make her thoughts clear on a certain matter: she didn't want Sova to think she was his responsibility. Sure, part of her kind of assumed he wouldn't take her words to heart, but...she at least wanted them to be said. The last thing she wanted was pity, or anyone thinking they had to coddle her or watch out for her.

Of course, that kind of clashed with her personal lack of strength, and she knew that. That was part of the reason she was so intent on getting stronger. As much as she didn't want to be watched out for by others, she still knew that if she made so much as one slip-up, she'd need others to help her out or take care of her. She was too weak to be able to properly take care of herself, and that needed to change.

"...are y-you a solo explorer? O-or is your team just n-not with you right n-now?"

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:13 am

"I know you think I'm an idiot," the absol stated, which didn't really help whatever point she was trying to make. She then went on to explain in what seemed to be more words than necessary that she had come here of her own will and thus was no one's problem but her own. She didn't want to be a burden, obviously, and based on her desire for power, there was probably also some ego mixed in there. Or, perhaps it was an inferiority complex driving her, but either way, she didn't seem too keen on the idea of of being protected. Sova could understand and relate to this mindset, as he was still trying to move past his own desire to avoid the help of others. He wanted to say something, perhaps to tell her that he knew from personal experience how stupid it was to act that way, but he neglected to respond due to his resolve to stop being so controlling over others. Besides, a few good points were brought up, such as how she claimed she would at least try to stay out of trouble. Then there was the claim that she knew the difference between a guild member and an outlaw, that being that an outlaw would willingly kill her for little reason. Or at least this one would, though it still seemed like it would probably turn out to be weak if only because of the method it was using to get its way.

Sova was taken away from his thoughts and worries as the topic changed, a question coming along with this shift. Now Shintara wanted to know if he was solo, and the question just brought up bad memories. Making friends had been hard for him at first, and making teammates... was even harder. Nowadays, he had Keith and Skylar, but while he was trying harder to trust them, he still didn't, or at least, not quite that. He had done most of his work in the guild alone, which meant he may as well have been on his own, but he couldn't truthfully say he was since he did, in fact, have a team. "I'm not solo, but I was for a very long time. I try not to take my teammates with me on missions that seem dangerous since they're less... competent than I am," he tried to explain why he had teammates but wasn't taking with him. It was hard to do such a thing without insulting them at least a little bit in the process, but it wasn't as if he was lying. Skylar lacked conviction and was probably even weaker than this absol, whilst Keith was a coward and an emotional wreck.

They were both hard to manage and train, and so he tried to keep them at the guild as much as possible. His general attitude probably didn't help much, but he was trying to change that aspect of himself; it would simply take time. He planned to quit trying to keep them away from danger, but that didn't mean he needed to bring them on risky missions that he was already taking. "So yeah, they just aren't with me right now," he clarified despite being fairly certain it was already obvious. He didn't bother speaking too much on this, hoping to avoid reminding himself of all the ways in which he'd wronged his two loyal teammates. He just wanted some time alone to think... which he wasn't exactly getting, what with the absol now following him; and the outlaw probably wouldn't make it easier once he found them.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:31 am

As they continued to walk...or limp along, that was probably more accurate, Sova explained the situation. He did have teammates, which in hindsight did sound vaguely familiar to Shintara, but he didn't want to take them with him because they were less competent. Something about that rubbed the Absol the wrong way, but she didn't bring it up, instead deciding to think about it first. They were explorers, weren't they? Wasn't that what they'd signed up for, going on missions to help people, no matter how dangerous? Sure, maybe Sova was a lot stronger then them, but...how would they get stronger without getting out there with him? Were they just taking lower ranked missions, maybe? Maybe it was unfair to assume that he didn't take them on any missions just because he wasn't taking them on this one...

Of course, that also brought another thought to mind: surely she wasn't any more competent than they were. So why was Sova putting up with her being there? Maybe he just didn't want to take the time forcing her to go away, or maybe he wanted to keep an eye on her after their fight...or maybe he actually did she was competent enough, but that seemed like the least likely thing to Shintara.

"Oh...I th-think I get it..." She nodded her head as she spoke, hesitating for a moment as she considered bringing up her thoughts. In the end, she decided that she didn't really want to bring them up yet, not until she had more than assumptions to go off of on his teammates.

"I-if you don't m-mind me asking...wh-what made you decide to b-become an explorer in th-the first place?" The Absol's next question wasn't necessarily as out of the blue as it might have appeared. She was curious, after all, the guild probably wasn't something others just jumped into without thinking...had Sova joined as a way to get stronger himself? Or was it something else?

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:47 pm

The absol didn't have much to say outside of confirming that she understood, though even that seemed a bit doubtful with how she responded.  She seemed a bit unsure, which made sense with how "I have teammates but they aren't allowed to be my teammates" probably sounded.  Then again, she seemed to have an air of uncertainty to her in general, so it was hard to tell how she felt.  Sova knew he hadn't been the best about treating others with respect in the past, at least, but he was genuinely trying to change that and stop treating his teammates like children.  However, this mission was a bit more... just more than the usual, and he wanted Skylar and Keith to start out with more tame missions as he had.  Plus, in all honesty, he didn't want to be around them, or anyone; Shintara wasn't too bad since he didn't really know her personally and she wasn't trying to bug him about his leg.  He'd heard too much about needing to be careful and take it easy, and he was sick of it; he was already becoming insecure enough about his own capabilities without others fueling it.

To think that he had lost the one thing he was good at... that he was no longer capable of properly fighting and protecting others...  Every limping step was a reminder, and every worried look or comment telling him not to push himself just made it worse.  It made him want to prove not just to others but also himself that he could still hold his own.  He was risking the success of a very important mission for the sake of his ego... but it wasn't like anyone else would have a better chance than him, even with the tattered state he was in.  He wouldn't fail, no matter what, and he preferred being able to personally ensure this child's safety.  Besides, he now had someone else with him, even though he doubted Shintara would be of much help in any fights; she would probably ignore his directions not to get involved, but she'd probably just end up getting in the way and giving him more to worry about.  But... she could still be useful in some way, probably... like... for holding things.  She had her own supplies, so that was something, and she also had her sonar-whatever-vision, so maybe she could help locate the target.

Sova was trying to stay optimistic and assume the best of his new companion, and it was working.  Then her next words ruined everything.

Why had he become an explorer?

His walk slowed to a stop at the words, but he gave no response beyond silence.  Why was he a member of a guild?  Because, despite his exterior, he did truly want to help others, but... why had he started?  He knew the answer.  He took in a breath as if in preparation to speak, but in the end, simply held it.  He hesitated, then exhaled.  It still bothered him, even to this day.  No, actually, it didn't bother him...  It crushed him.  It was a weight, and no matter what, he couldn't seem to get it to go away.  Other things just added on, but in the end, the source of it all was the reason he had joined the guild in the first place.  He took another breath, then fell silent again, trying once more to work up the nerve to speak.  He didn't want to be crippled by this forever, eternally hiding from it; he was already crippled in the literal sense, so more of that was the last thing he needed.  "My parents were in the Grassveil Guild.  I'd like to live up to them," he spoke, struggling with the specifics.  So he couldn't bring himself to openly state that they were dead and he had been traumatized by finding their bodies... and their killer, but was that unreasonable?

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:42 am

The moment she asked the question, Shintara could tell something was wrong. Sova's walking came to a halt once more, and she stopped as well, focusing intently on the Glaceon. He stopped there for a short while, and she could feel the air around his mouth. He breathed in, held it, then exhaled before breathing in again afterwards. The Absol was no expert on the subject, but something told her she'd struck a nerve unintentionally. Whatever he was trying to say, it seemed like Sova was struggling to find the words. Part of her wanted to tell him he didn't need to answer, but another part wanted to let him decide what to do on his own, and before she could decide he finally spoke up.

It was his parents. His parents were in the Grassveil Guild, he said, and something about that word stuck out to her. Were. She had no idea what had happened, but there were all sorts of possibilities. Maybe they'd just retired, settled down to live out the rest of their lives free from trouble, but considering Sova's hesitance to speak...even if that were the case, the Absol could only assume there were some personal problems with the decision. And that was all without the other possibilities to consider, that things hadn't ended so peacefully. Were they dead? Was only one of them dead? Had they left Sova alone, or was there a bad split?

Shintara took a gulp of air as she ran through the possibilities, and no matter what it was, one thing was clear to her: she'd struck a nerve. She'd come out here, made him fight her, invited herself along with him, and now she was poking deeper into his personal life then she'd ever intended to. She felt a wave of guilt wash over her, but it was far too late for her to turn back on all of this.

"...r-right. I-I..." The Absol hesitated, trying to think of something to say, but her words failed her. What could she say? She certainly couldn't ask why he said "were", and she couldn't make any assumptions on the topic...and Sova had certainly made his opinion on her outright apologizing clear earlier.

"I sh-should probably shut up...I shouldn't d-distract you, and w-we need to k-keep moving..." Shintara finally settled on her words, her voice somewhat shaky. As she spoke, she began to move once more, heading on ahead towards Sova. Her face was somewhat red from embarrassment, and while her words seemed to focus on moving on, she still felt a good deal of guilt for having brought that up, among the rest of the situation. If Sova wanted to go into more detail on the subject, then of course, he could. But she wasn't going to force him to. He was already letting her tag along despite everything, and she didn't want to make this trek more painful for the Glaceon.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:55 pm

The only thing Sova could do was move on, and not just in the literal sense, but it was easier said than done.  The absol clearly understood what she had done, at least to some extent, but that didn't change the result of it.  Alas, he probably would have ended up thinking about it either way, eventually.  He stared down at himself in silence and listened to what was pretty much a gesture of apology, making no effort to reassure the absol.  There was nothing he could do to get them back, nor to forget about them, leaving him stuck in this limbo of self-pity and bitterness.  He found himself staring down at the bag hanging in front of his chest, mostly because that was where he happened to be looking.  He stared at it and was reminded of the contents: normal supplies, a few mega stones that still refused to recognize him... and something else.  The stones he kept in the desperate hope of them one day responding to his presence, but there was also a necklace.  It was always with him, though he rarely wore it in recent times for fear of it being damaged or stolen.

Still neglecting to give any response, the glaceon bit onto the flap of the bag and lifted it open before dipping his head into it.  He pulled out a thin loop of black string, a small, white sphere dangling from the bottom; he paused to gaze down at it before tossing it up and allowing it to fall over his head.  The necklace draped itself around his neck, the stone falling against his chest in its rightful place.  The circular stone wasn't anything particularly special in the first place, but it was now worn and tarnished with cracks, leaving it practically worthless from a monetary perspective.  Still, it was the one and only object in the world that he cared at all about, for it was all he had left of his parents.  He felt like wearing it today regardless of the risks associated with having it out in the open.  He would protect it, just like he would protect the eevee, and Shintara, and...  "You're fine," he reassured as he started moving again, trying to show he wasn't mad.  It wasn't as if it was Shintara's fault; she couldn't have known what the question entailed, and with pretty much anyone else, it probably wouldn't have been a sensitive topic.

"How's your leg doing?" he asked, aiming to continue the conversation instead of allowing it to fall to silence.  Unfortunately, he didn't have any way to heal the injury he'd indirectly given the absol, so this was the closest to helping that he could get.  The wound seemed pretty nasty, and he really didn't want her leg getting infected on his watch.  He already had enough things to worry about without having to deal with something like that, so of course, he wanted to check in.  If it seemed like Shintara was having too much trouble, then... he supposed he'd have to send her away, but... it wasn't as if he could just tell her to go home and expect her to manage on her own.  At the same time, he couldn't just abandon his mission, even if only for a short time; perhaps a different mission, but not this one.  In hindsight, he was probably stuck with this absol no matter what, even if she was in absolutely no condition to be traveling with him while he went to go probably wrestle some assclown for a child's life.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:06 am

Continuing to move forward, she could sense Sova doing something with his bag. His head seemed to be dipped down, and when he pulled his head back up and out of his bag, there was something in his jaws. As far as the Absol could tell, it seemed to be...some kind of sphere? It certainly seemed spherical in shape to her, with thin, looped chord of some kind sticking out of it. Her first thought was that it might be a necklace of some kind, and that seemed to be proven correct as he put it on. She couldn't help but wonder why he'd suddenly decided to put it on now, but she wasn't going to ask about that. She was putting in some effort to avoid any touchy subjects with the Glaceon.

By the time she caught up to him, Sova began to move again, and so she followed by him. He told her she was fine, and while she felt like she could breathe a little easier, part of her was still a little skeptical about that. She didn't speak up again, though, not until she was asked about her leg. The question caught her off guard, and she took a moment to think about it, wiggling the injured leg a little. It still hurt, and she wouldn't be walking on it right away by any means, but despite some oozing under the cloth it was fine.

"Th-this isn't m-my first leg injury, I'll be f-fine. It w-won't get in the w-way." Shintara answered with a nod of her head as she continued forwards. Of course, there was the injury she'd received from the Durant a little while back, but beyond that she'd injured her leg a few times while training with her tribe. Of course, this was one of the more serious injuries, but she could handle it. She would handle it.

"...s-so, the m-mission didn't s-say where w-we were supposed to find th-these two, e-exactly?"

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:17 pm

According to Shintara, this wasn't the first leg injury she had had; it wasn't hard to believe by any means, but her way of shrugging it off implied she was no stranger to receiving severe damage. What, was she always getting herself into fights she couldn't handle, or was her teacher just an abusive prick who liked to maim his students? Either way, she claimed to be able to handle the shredded-up leg, and Sova couldn't devote the resources toward trying to treat it, so he had to take her word on faith. If there was a serious problem, he supposed he would find out when she collapsed or started getting delirious or something of the sort. Otherwise, he had a mission to do, and that took priority over all else. He shouldn't have even stopped for the small amount of time it took to give this absol the beating she had quite literally begged for, so he wasn't willing to make the delay even longer. Fortunately, she seemed to understand this and perhaps even share the sentiment, choosing to push the conversation in the direction of how to locate the targets.

It was a good question, and it actually had an answer other than a straightforward "No." Sova was good at getting information he needed for things when he put forth the effort, and in this case, it had been relatively easy. "Technically, no; the mission itself didn't give specifics. But, I visited the kid's parents on the way over here and asked where they had been instructed to bring the ransom," he explained. He didn't know the exact spot, but he had a general idea of how far out he needed to be to locate the skuntank. Suddenly, he stopped; he was making a habit of this, but it would be the last time, hopefully. He surveyed the area, taking in the barren landscape and rocky high ground around. If he wasn't in the gulch before, he definitely was by now, and he was pretty sure he was far enough in to start really looking. He didn't see anything worth noting, but with all the high ground in the area, it made a good place to host a ransom exchange.

Granting himself very little time for silence, Sova spoke up once more. "Hey! Any kidnappers out here looking for a ransom!? We've got your money!" he shouted about as loud as he could, following his words up with nothing but silence. He hoped the absol would take a hint and shut up too so he could listen for any response, but his ears were good enough that it probably didn't matter. He figured the best way to locate the crook would be to yell about the ransom. He did not have the ransom. There was a distinct lack of response, and the more he waited, the more he worried he'd have to continue onward and try again in a different area. He knew walking around screaming about money and kidnapping in the middle of a dungeon probably wasn't the best idea, but he didn't see much choice, and he wasn't too worried about whatever attention it could bring. He didn't fear the residents of this land, and so he didn't care if he attracted their attention; his only true worry was for Shintara, but she had insisted that she could and would take care of herself.

Just when the glaceon was about to get moving again, he noticed a shadowed figure hovering over the steep edge of the high ground to the right. With how it just seemed to be staring, it was probably the outlaw, but it was too far away to reliably attempt to knock out right away. He'd have to play nice with them for just a bit until he could get in close, and he also needed to know where the eevee was. That was all assuming this was even the skuntank he was looking for. He slowly turned to face the figure in the distance, and despite how difficult they were to see clearly, he had a hunch they were looking back at him.

(Look, I'm sure Sova's got enough energy.)
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