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 The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)

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Riprose
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PostSubject: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:57 pm

Finthick pulled the hood of his cloak closer to his face, the crowded tavern loud and boisterous around him. Men celebrated the end of a work week and the day of rest that was tomorrow. He nervously played with the wrappings on his hands, not wanting to reveal his true nature to the people in the tavern. An all too bold and flirtatious barmaid came to take their orders, and he ordered tea for both of them, with a simple stew and a loaf of bread. She walked away, and he turned to his partner, who he admittedly didn't know as well as he should, "you like tea, don't you Effie? I'd think princesses would be raised on the stuff. Fine establishment, eh?"

Effie walked into the tavern, her face twisted in some disgust at the smell. It smelled unclean and messy, not fitting enough for a girl of her stature to sit there. She was not yet used to dining at commoners' establishments and she knew she never would feel quite at home there. It was too rowdy here and she refused to like it.

The woman left her hood up, her face bent to conceal herself. With a gruff, quiet tone, she spoke to Finthick harshly. "Don't go around saying stuff like that, you idiot. People will figure out who I am. And this establishment is probably 'fine' for your standards, but it is dreadful and revolting."

Finthick smiled, thanking the approaching barmaid for their food, and waiting until she was out of earshot. He slid a bowl of stew and a cup of tea to Effie, saying, "glad to see you're in the same bright mood as always. Once we retire, I'll give you enough money to buy a huge mansion on the river. Just you wait kid."

He took the loaf of bread and began cutting it, "our employer should be here soon. You still have the dragon ears, right? Want some bread?"

Effie blinked, sipping the tea before replying once more. "I have more money than you can gather in your lifetime. You can't buy me anything that I can buy ten of." She took another sip with a contempt smirk on her face. It was the truth; she had so much in comparison to every single person in the room. Whenever she went back home, she would have more. If she went back, that is.

"I'll be fine. I'm not too hungry here. The atmosphere completely upsets my stomach." She leaned back in her chair, now making eye contact with her partner. She hardly knew the man. The only bit she knew well was that he was a mercenary like her

Finthick let out a sigh, rubbing at some of the scales on his face in contempt, only to make them brighter. It was a bad habit he had had since childhood, one he wasn't sure he wanted to quit. He dug into his stew, enjoying the warmth. He had finished it and was halfway through his second cup of tea before their employer showed up. The captain of the town guard was smart enough to wear commoner clothes, and he sat down at their table with gruff greeting. Looking to Finthick, he asked, "you and the boym you brought the ears?"

Finthick merely motioned to Effie.

Effie nodded at the employer, keeping her face shadowed as she pulled out a medium-sized box, pushing it across the table while making sure her hands were not too noticeable. With a gruff tone, she spoke again. "The ears are in there."

The captain got up and left, ears tucked into an inside pocket. Finthick smiled, pulling the bag of money to him and counting out each coin. He looked at his partner, saying, "good acting. I'm surprised how easy it is for you."

He finished his counting, and looked at a group of Semerick guards, drunkenly enjoying themselves after their shifts. Finthick looked at the girl across from him, finishing his tea. When he looked back at the soldiers, once had pointed him out, and he froze as the drunk man stood and made his way over to the table.

"Heeeey, you. Yea, uh, you. Cloak boy. What're you doing in my tavern?" the soldier looked about ready to collapse, and to Finthick's surprise, he had been referring to Effie, and not the dragon monk.

"What can I say? I've been practicing." She smirked, finishing off her tea. The dragon ears were easy for them to obtain. Besides, the man was paying too much for them. Not that she was complaining. Easy jobs with lots of money were the best jobs, after all.

She did not look at the guards that Finthick had been looking at. Even when he looked up, she merely lifted her head a bit, still masking her eyes. "Do you gotta problem with my presence? I'm pretty sure this isn't your tavern, you drunk-ass."

The guard nearly fell over when he laughed. He brought his hand shot up, and there was a loud crack as Effie was struck. Finthick's hands clenched, but he reminded himself she was a big girl, and she could handle herself. The drunken guard slurred something that sounded like, "how dare you disrespect me. I'm a goddamn Semerick guard, you little shit."

Effie's cheek went numb with pain; she nearly cried out, but she merely put her hand up to her face. She'd never been slapped before. And she didn't want him to have the pleasure of being the first one to do so without a scratch.

"You son of a..." Effie's voice went unmasked as she stood to her feet in anger. The guard was taller than her and, as her head tilted back to glare at him, her hood fell back. She could tell he was somewhat shocked, despite his drunkenness. He would pay. They would all pay.

Her hand, clenched in a ball, rocketed forward into his jaw; she sprang forward and put all her weight into the punch before snapping back and muttering a single word under her heated breath: Ventus.


There was a bright light that came forth from the floorboards, dancing lines that mimicked the design of a rune. A flame-colored bird materialized, one that was a little more than half her height. Its beady eyes locked onto the guard and it screeched before plunging in to attack him, body bursting into blames. Effie couldn't help but laugh as the man screamed in terror as he was burned and pecked at. She shot a look at the other drunken guards, her eyes filled with defiance and anger. "Finthick, should we get them too?"

Finthick was about to say something when the other two guards stood. One slurred something that sounded like, "sounds like we should teach the bitch a lesson." The other nodded, and they reached toward Effie. Finthick pulled the other back into a dark corner, his skin matching the color of the shadows around him. He was dead in seconds. The last guard was reaching for Effie and three completely sober, completely armed Semerick guards were entering the room, blades drawn.

"Fuck," was all Finthick said, staying in his corner and bidding for time.

Effie called the bird back to attack another guard, but it was a hard match with one against three. Technically, two with An, but the bird was about to fade back to her realm in a few seconds. Her energy couldn't stay too long to fight all the guards.

One began to stab An, which led Effie to summon her back. The bird faded, the healing process already beginning when she was gone. Within a few more seconds of fighting, she gave in to them pushing her out the door, hands chained together.

"You're all quite assholes to be taking in a princess like this." She said, her voice ringing loudly as they kept moving. "You're heads will be gone for this disgrace."

Finthick quickly walked out of town as the guards dragged Effie away. After he was a safe distance away, and sure that there was no pursuit, he changed shape, becoming the immensely tall fire dragon he had killed before. He let out a gargantuan roar, flying off to the keep where Effie was being kept. Arrows and ballista bolts flew at him as he descended on the soldiers, but he fought these back with fire and scale. He crushed one wall after the other, looking for the girl he called his partner, roasting the odd soldier here and there. He finally found her, scooping her in one massive hand and taking to the skies again, far and fast north, as close to the border as he could in a few hours time. He landed at around one in the morning, only a few miles from the border, setting her down and changing back into his normal form, breathing heavily.

"So....bet....you...didn't....know..." he paused, gaining back his breath, "I could do that."

Effie's time in the cell was short-lived, but she hated it. The cell was small and dirty; it easily made the tavern look like a sanctuary of cleanliness. There were rats and dirty prisoners moaning around her. It was unbecoming of a princess to be locked up in such a terrible way. They could've locked me up in a better room! I would've been okay with that but this is inexcusable.


She heard shouts from the outside and she peered out of the barred window, wincing as a bright fire burned the walls. There were great crashes and the crumbling of the stone walls could easily be heard. She tried to keep calm, but she easily could tell who it was. She backed away from the outside wall and waited for a couple of minutes.

The wall caved in, as expected, and a great dragon grabbed her and took off with such speed that Effie's breath was taken away. She felt dizzy when they finally lighted back down on the ground, where she immediately fell back to the ground, glaring up at the dragon-elf.

"How dare you come so late! And to grab me in such a way! Despicable!" She growled, fighting the urge to slap him. "Did you manage to grab my sword and other confiscated items? Those are the most important to me, you know!"

Finthick stood to his full height, towering over the girl. His crimson dotted face sparkled in the moon light as he took two bedrolls out of his pack, tossing one to Effie. He took a canteen out of it as well, and some bread, nibbling on it and swigging some water. As she spoke, he moved to her, towering above her. Faintly, so only she would hear he said, "I'm going to say this once. Be glad I came at all."

He jerked his thumb to her pile of gear he had deposited on the far side of the clearing, settling down against a rock and spitting on the pile of branches in front of him to start a fire.

Effie caught the bedroll and sighed as he flaunted a darker side. His words did scare her to an extent on the inside, but she did not show it. With a snort, she moved over to grab her sword and bag, sighing as she saw her sword's sheath damaged. "You idiot! You ruined it." But she looked back at Finthick with a bright smile.

"Thank you, though." She said quietly so he could not hear it before moving over to the fire to spread out her bedroll. "So where are we heading, mister high-and-mighty?"

Finthick unrolled his bed roll, sitting down on it and setting a kettle of water on the fire. He heard her muffled thanks, but answered her question, "jewel of the North. We're going as deep into Gremlik territory as we can. Get some military jobs maybe, or something easy like caravan duty. Need a break from this heat and the damn Semericks. Need to see the norskes again."

Effie nodded curtly, staring deep into the fire. "Stupid Semericks. You know, if they knew who I was, they would probably have shown some more respect." I'll dispose of them, those evil murderers.


"I wish we could tackle a harder job than these stupid side quests. It's like I haven't made any progress into getting stronger. It's not good that I'm still so weak." She said bluntly, shooting him another look. "Can we try something harder?"

Finthick slowly unwrapped his hands as she spoke with hate in her voice. The crimson scales caught and reflected the moonlight magnificently, shining with a ruby light. He took a cloth and polished them, lending more reflecting power to their shine. He nodded as she spoke about harder jobs, simply saying, "if you think you can handle it. Can you handle it?" pausing with scrunched eyebrows, he looked at his scaled hands in thought, "bright, aren't they? Pretty shade of red..."

"Of course. Don't look down on me! I'm capable of more than you can possibly imagine, partner." She winked at him laughingly as she leaned back on her bedroll, staring at his scales for a little bit. They were quite pretty by themselves, but the scales jut out at such odd places on his body. It looked very threatening and odd, since Effie had never seen a creature like him before in her lifetime.

She wasn't sure if she could trust him. "They are quite pretty. But you obviously need to pay more attention to them since they aren't up to their full beauty-potential. Take it from me; I know all about beauty and priceless things!" Effie chuckled with a light hand covering her mouth; it was a very princess-like gesture that she'd been drilled to do countless of times.

He shook his head at her joke, chuckling a little. "It's hard to turn a weapon and armor into something beautiful, trust me on that," he shook his head, "my scales are weapons, and sometimes armor. They're made to protect me, where conventional armor fails."

He turned away, looking into the night. His pointed ears twitched once, twice, and then three times as he listened. "Do you hear that?"

"I've seen plenty of beautiful armor and weapons. My sword, for instance, was crafted by the finest. I take care of it and make sure it's always clean. That is why I've never needed to get it repaired. It's perfect and shines brilliantly, just as a princess's sword should." She blinked, her smile fading when he asked her about a sound.

She was merely a human, so her hearing was definitely not as superb as his. But she did feel tense, now that he'd noted it. "No. What is it?" She whispered, getting to her feet as she laid a hand softly on the hilt of her blade.

He stood for a few seconds, crouched, listening. The sound of hushed whispers, rusting leaves, and then.....

He grabbed Effie and pulled her roughly behind a boulder. Arrows whizzed through the air, and he sniffed, receiving only the smell of organs and urine. He wrapped his wings around the both of them, changing the color to match the grey of the rock. Hushed whispers were heard, asking, "is he here? Where did the moon elf go?" Swords were drawn, but they left quickly. He opened hesitant eyes, looking at the bed rolls and fire that still burned, packs left untouched. He kept a protective arm around Effie, wondering why the intruders would just leave like that/

Effie heard the whispers too and almost unsheathed her sword; however, the action was stopped by a sudden force pulling her away from where she stood. She shook her head and almost shrieked in protest before realizing it was Finthick, hiding the two of them behind a rock. The whispers grew closer, speaking of the moon elf before leaving once more. She wanted to lash out and kill them, but she was prevented from doing so.

Once the whispers were completely gone, she pushed Finthick away violently, standing to her feet with a reddened face. "How dare you touch me so aggressively and so suddenly! You should have at least clued me in! You almost scared the heck out of me, you idiot! Disgusting commoner. You know not to touch me." Effie huffed, hugging herself tightly. "What were those things? Why do they want you?"

Effie heard the whispers too and almost unsheathed her sword; however, the action was stopped by a sudden force pulling her away from where she stood. She shook her head and almost shrieked in protest before realizing it was Finthick, hiding the two of them behind a rock. The whispers grew closer, speaking of the moon elf before leaving once more. She wanted to lash out and kill them, but she was prevented from doing so.

Once the whispers were completely gone, she pushed Finthick away violently, standing to her feet with a reddened face. "How dare you touch me so aggressively and so suddenly! You should have at least clued me in! You almost scared the heck out of me, you idiot! Disgusting commoner. You know not to touch me." Effie huffed, hugging herself tightly. "What were those things? Why do they want you?"

Effie pushed his hand away, muttering angrily under her breath. She was still quite upset, but she watched with some curiosity as he left and came back with a body, dragging it onto... her bedroll?!

"Wait! Who told you that you could use me bedroll!? I have to sleep there, you ass!" She snapped, kicking his leg repeatedly. "I can't believe you would put a dead person on a princess's sleeping place! Revolting! Despicable! I will kill you for this disgrace! I might faint, he's dead!"

Effie turned her eyes away after kicking him a few times, making sure to stay as far away as she could while being in earshot of her partner. "Why Slesaven? What could they possibly want with you?"

Finthick grunted, saying, "I've lived over 300 years. I think a princess who contradicts herself in one dialogue will be fine. It was an accident, sue me."

He shook his head at the dead snake man, riffling through the body and taking anything of interest. He handed the few documents, and stuck a signet ring and amulet with an odd mark on it in his pocket, "look through those and see if there's anything of interest."

He took the body, and threw it on the fire.

"An accident? Yea, right. Jerk." Effie grumbled, taking the documents and shifting through them. She was hardly paying attention to the words because of her anger and dismissed all of them as useless. If they were of use, too bad. It was Finthick's fault for pissing her off.

"Nothing of interest." She stated, throwing them to him. "But double check if you want. I don't care." She immediately went over to his bedroll, sitting on it with an angry look. She watched the body burn and sighed. "You could've asked him what he wanted."

Finthick caught the documents, flipping through them quickly, skimming the text. One caught his eye, and he waved it in front of Effie's face. "Mercenaries," he said, pointing to the words, "sword for hire," on the page, "hired to kill me. I must have made some enemies, my time as a bounty hunter...."

Effie grunted, taking the paper straight from his hands and crumpling it, throwing it into the fire. "Don't wave that disgusting thing in my face. And good, there are actually some people that want to find you! What do you want to do about it? Shall we kill them?" She fell back, laying down on the bedroll on her back.

He scratched his chin, thinking to himself, before looking at Effie, up and down. He moved closer to her, not breaking eye contact, and drew her sword from her hip, inspecting the blade. Sharpness, balance, and condition were all taken in consideration as he looked the blade up and down, before returning it to her sheath. He sat down on his bed roll, finally saying, "I'm going to sit here and meditate. Very loudly. I'd suggest you hide. When I open my eyes again, I want you and me to be the only ones breathing, understood?"

Without waiting for an answer, he sat down, closed his eyes, and began the stereotypical hummmmmmm, very loud, and very low.

"Taking my sword! Utterly rude jerk." She growled before getting pushed off the bedroll. "Inconsiderate too." She got up and brushed herself off, wondering what the man was planning. With narrowed eyes, Effie huffed and hid up in a nearby tree, concealing herself in the leaves. She watched him carefully, making sure to make no noise whatsoever.

Soon, three serpent people were surrounding him. He continued to meditate. One drew it's sword, and he said, "welcome, snake men."

The one with the sword grunted, saying, "the monk. We're here to kill you. Remember the Macelloney family? THeir son sends his regards, and warns you to stay out of the crime lord business. Of course, that warning means nothing, as we're here to kill you."

He raised his sword, and the others drew theirs, ready to strike if the first missed.


Effie watched them as they hissed in their annoying way. Those disgusting creatures were in the area where she needed to sleep and the thought that she was breathing the same air as them made her quite upset.

Once the swords were drawn, the woman took out her own and landed softly on the ground, running up to the closest one and driving the blade straight through the middle of his back; she snapping her arms back and placed her foot on the now lifeless body as she tugged her sword back. I just cleaned this too...


The others turned to her as well, snarling at raising their swords against her. She gave a sigh, grinning with her usual pride. "Daring to raise a sword to a princess? Bastards." With that, she charged forward and blocked off an attack, vigorously kicking a man in the gut so he fell back. She turned to the other and began to slash quickly, backing him quickly against the fire. Getting her chance, she drove her blade straight for his stomach and he fell too far back, easily getting swallowed by the flames. Effie dodged another attack and rolled, getting to her feet while facing the last opponent. He tried to bring another, strong blow down on her head but she managed to block and hold his sword there. She kneed him and, with his sudden surprise, forced his sword off of her and sliced the sword clean through his neck.

"You have to clean this up. And my sword. You didn't do anything, jerk." She growled at Finthick, handing him her sword as she began to walk to a nearby tree. "Do it fast so I can sleep."

He smiled as she walked away, dumping the bodies onto the fire and sticking her blade into the ground. He took out his canteen and drank some of the water, breathing in the scent of roasting snake flesh. He touched one end of the blade, and stuck his arm up into the air. Clouds formed, and thunder clapped. Lightning struck him directly, and the blood and grime was flung from the blade as electricity rippled through it to the ground. He grinned, laying down on his bedroll and fell asleep.

Effie covered her ears at the frightening sound, feeling herself completely awake now. She cursed at the sound, wanting to smack Finthick over the head with a branch, but she stopped herself since she spotted that he was now fast asleep.

"You goddamn idiot." The princess said, taking the sword out of the ground and putting it back in its sheath. She refrained from giving the man another thanks and went over to the bushes, still too scared to sleep on her own bedroll. The filth would definitely get her sick.

Finthick awoke the next day, stretching as he did and rubbing his eyes. He reveled in the light of the morning, kicking some dirt into the still crackling embers. He took a few dry rations from his bag, chewing on some dry meat, and finishing his breakfast with a shiny red apple and some foreign fruit called a banana. Finally, he sat down and meditated, praying to his father, and patiently waited for Effie to awake.

Effie slumbered in peace for a little longer than Finthick did, the sun having risen into the sky when she did. She was only awake when a giant centipede began crawling across her stomach. She shrieked and threw it off of her, running to Finthick in tears.

"I-I-It was a huge bug! Kill it! It crawled on me! How disgusting! Ew ew ew ew ew!" She grabbed his shoulders and shook him back and forth before letting go and grabbing her things. "We're getting out of here, r-right now! I will not stay here a moment longer! You jerk, it's all your fault for putting the dead man on my bedroll!"

Finthick smiled, pointing with one finger and frying the centipede with a flash of lightening. As Effie gathered her things, he ate it, happy for the free breakfast. He gathered his things, slipping the pack onto his back and looking at his partner, a smile on his face.

"So, miss, you have to ways of travel today. We can walk, or you can ride on my back. You'd have to carry my pack though, for the ladder. Which will it be?"

Effie snorted. "Princesses can only be held by her own love or in a nice, covered sedan chair." She retorted, pulling on her bag. "Since we do not have a sedan chair nor are you someone special to me, I will gladly walk on my own two feet. I don't need to be carried by people of lower status." She already began to walk, not looking back to see if he was following.

Finthick sighed, calling to her, "you're going the wrong way. North, not west."

He turned and started walking the other way, pulling out another piece of fruit out of his pack and biting into it. The wrappings on his arms were in place, and his cloak was wrapped around him. Just another day on the open road it seemed.

"I knew that! I was just testing to see if you'd tell me!" The princess laughed, turning to follow him. As she followed behind, she looked through his own bag for food, taking out a fruit. "May I?" She asked before biting into it. "Where are we going?"

He sighed as she stole his fruit, jumping up and snatching a branch. With a tug, he pulled it down, and walked with his new stick.

"Jewel of the north, all the way until we see the white cliffs. Gremlik capital, if that's okay, your highness."

"Better than those Semericks. I hope they don't smell as bad." She said, throwing the core of the fruit into the bushes. Effie needed to refill her water pouch, so she was on the lookout for any streams that they could possibly pass by.

Finthick smiled, about to reply, before a loud call was heard, and Effie was scooped off her feet. He took a combat stance, his hood falling, looking around the forest to find the attacker. "Behold peasant! I am Rodrick Mardic the Seventh, heir to the sovereign nation of Blargasmarden! Behold, my men!"

As if on cue, fourteen men appeared from the forest, surrounding Finthick. They did have the armor and colors of a royal family, and he swore as they drew their swords. "Let though be cut down for endangering such a beautiful and helpless maiden," with a sweep, he took Effie's hand and kissed the back of it, kneeling in front of her.
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:32 pm

Effie looked around, trying to keep her calm as random people began to appear from the forest. She cursed and cursed continuously as she was picked up and her hand was taken. She smiled lightly, trying to figure out how to deal with the situation properly and carefully. Eventually though, she decided that she would show off her authority like the lady she was.

She snatched her hand away, back-handing the man across the face with as much strength as she could muster. "Ruffians! What rude people! Touching me, a princess, with such vile hands! You should all be ashamed! The Rede family will hear about this!" Effie then stood up straighter and parted the group that was surrounding Finthick, grabbing her partner by the arm while taking out her own longsword. "If you try to stop us again, I will show you my full wrath. Begone if you fear for your pathetic, lowly lives."
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:14 pm

The man stepped in front of Effie, saying, "okay I lied. We're bandits," his blade was level with her throat, and he pressed it gently against her throat, "you're mine bitch. And your boyfriend here can die for all I care."

With a snap of his fingers two men moved to Finthick, blades raised, and they subsequently ended up on the ground, dead and disabled.

"I think it would be a good idea to fight Effie," Finthick said, taking out two more of the bandits men, "for your own sake mind you, not mine."
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:32 pm

"I thought so too." Effie muttered, falling back a bit so that the blade was no longer pressed against her neck. Then she grabbed his hand and twisted it as she fled behind him, allowing the sword to pop out. With her own sword, she moved her other arm around his shoulders and pressed the blade against his own neck.

"You can't kill me. I cost too much." She said with a slight chuckle, trying to keep the situation light. "So either you let us go and escape with your lives or we kill you. Your choice."
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:07 pm

Finthick smiled, grabbing another bandits wrist as it passed in a stab, twisting it with a sharp crack. He drove his elbow into the same bandits face, grabbing the falling sword and stabbing it straight into one's gut. His next move consisted of leaping over the last one, lighting him on fire with a quick stream from his mouth. He looked to the man, saying, "Kill him. Then we loot his camp."

The man only stuttered, begging for his life.
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:31 pm

"Does he has some useful information? Maybe we could use him, Finny." Effie yawned, hesitant to kill off the man. He could be helpful, but she really didn't want to dirty her sword again. He began to struggle though, much to her surprise, so she knocked his throat with the hilt of her blade; as he choked, she pushed him to the ground and placed her foot on his back, forcing him down as she punctured his shoulder. The wound was deep enough to cause pain, but it was not going to kill him that easily.

"Finny, you ought to question him. See if he knows anything." Effie persisted, ignoring the man's whimpering as he bled onto the ground.
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:31 pm

Finthick snorted, quicking some dirt, "you think he knows anything?" He reached into his pack and pulled out some rope, tying the man up and throwing him to the ground. He jerked his thumb at the bandit, saying, "Work on your interrogation skills a little, I'm going to go find a stream."

He silently bent over, grabbing her canteen where it hung from her pack, walking into the forest and disappearing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:51 pm

"Wait, I don't know how to...!" Effie started, her words trailing off as her strange partner walked off with her canteen. She swore a little bit in her head as she looked down at the trembling man, curious as to how all of his former manliness had left him. A coward now sat there, all of his "prince-like charm" gone. His dead men lay about him, making up quite the pathetic scene.

She sat on her feet, leaning forward towards the bandit while reaching a hand out to his face. He yelped and tried to squirm away. She giggled, continuing to caress his cheek softly. "Don't try to fight, please. I might pity you and let you go, you know. Our own little... secret from Finny, hmm?" She let out another chuckle, feeling his jaw muscles relax a bit. He even began to smile back, letting himself grow calmer with each second.

"Alright, bitch. But if I'm gonna give you any information, you have to pay me as well as let me go. And you have to keep your promise." He jerked his face away stubbornly, glaring at Effie with a dark smirk.

The princess sighed, leaning back and nodding. "As a member of the royal family, I promise I'll give you whatever you want. Your base; where is it? And how many men do you have?" She decided to crawl behind him and rub his back, trying to loosen him up a bit. "Such a handsome and strong leader must have... slaves, correct?" She pulled his shoulders to her and leaned in as well, resting her chin on his right while she massaged his neck.

She could tell by the way he squirmed that he was still uncomfortable. Lying was easy for her, but this man could tell the way she oozed kindness that something was up. "I don't trust you. You'll probably kill me once I tell you. Stop touching me!"

"I would've killed you already, you know. Ungrateful. Finny wanted you dead, you know. I saved you. And you have my word that I'll let you go. You must trust me. It's not in me to kill so easily when there's someone that's actually rather attractive in front of me." She nuzzled into his neck with a quick sigh. "And now that you're in my hands, all tied up, you are my little toy. I can do whatever the hell I want. Killing pretty-boys is not my style but torturing... is. Tell me the truth, dear. I will do anything until you tell me what I want to know. And I am very, very unpredictable." She kissed the crook of his neck before taking a nearby knife and placing the tip in the place of the kiss.

The man sat silent for a bit. "T-The camp's just northwest of here, up the river that's close by. There are slaves, yes. I-I think most of my men a-are dead. There are on-only a f-few guarding t-the camp."

Effie kissed his earlobe. "Good, good. But..." Her knive went into the skin, piercing the layer as she began to carve out an "E" and two "F"s. "Not good enough love. I need exact stuff. Do you have a map?"

The man let out a bloodcurdling shout as she began to carve into him, squirming intensely now. "Y-Yes! I do! Stop! I-It's in my pocket!" The struggle allowed blood to pool faster around the cut until the first drop began to race down to his shirt line.

She stopped and put the knife down, pushing his upper body down on the ground. She smiled sweetly before reaching into his pocket and curling his fingers around a parchment. She withdrew and looked at the map. It did have points written down, the borders of the lands clearly drawn out. His camp was a red dot on the map; a clear marking. "Thanks a bunch, dear! You're so, so helpful!" Effie sang brightly, planting a kiss on his lips out of sheer excitement. Once she realized what she'd done, she spit in anger, wiping her mouth in disgust. "Oh that was revolting. What are you thinking, Effie?!"

She grabbed his shoulders again and finished carving the "I" and the "E", ignoring his struggling before pushing him away. She stood, glaring at the coward who stared back in terror. He demanded for his freedom. Then again. The next time, the terror began to flee, being replaced with anger. She shook her head, a pounding coming from her temple. The man's shouts were beginning to piss her off. "Hey, shut the hell up. You're crying, you idiotic piece of shit." She growled, kicking him in the side. "You're also beginning to tick me off. Hell, it's very un-princesslike of me but I don't give a damn. I'm killing you off because you don't deserve to live." She turned around and let her anger flow through her, her second spell rolling off her tongue like a spark. "Ignis."

A red circle began to glow, the strange markings turning as they became tongues of flame. A great beast crawled out of the markings, yellow eyes glaring at its prey. Razor-like teeth were licked with a serpentine tongue, glistening with saliva. The golden mane rippled with fury, the scorpion tail flicking with rage. The grand body was packed with muscles, moving under the manticore's pelt. "Kill him, Damon." Effie commanded coldly, making sure not to watch as the creature roared, leaping forward onto the screaming man. An arm was flung into trees; the flesh being ripped apart sounded like a combination of something splashing into the water and the hungry gurgles of a large feline. The blood was pooling around the beast, soaking its paws and pads. It was a dark-maroon in color, dying the bones bright red. The princess called the beast back, using much of her power to force Damon back to his own realm. He growled a satisfied "thank you" before disintegrating into the light.

"Now to find Finthick." The woman muttered, taking her map and trudging into the trees where she last saw her partner.
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:43 pm

Finthick left Effie to her handy work, moving through the woods, feeling at one with nature, which was natural to elves. He moved through the foliage towards the sound of running water, running his hand along every other tree, leaving a faint rune scratched into the bark to find his way back.

The river was easy enough to locate, and he kicked a few stones into the water, humming an old tune to himself. He squatted down to fill their canteens, sitting on his toes, listening to the faint sound of predators in the trees, beginning to sing out loud. It was an old tune in his language, beautiful even to the most wicked humans.
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:15 pm

It took some time to find Finthick, seeing that the forest was thick and he didn't really tell her where he was going. Effie even began to encounter some beasts, their jaws snapping at her neck as she kept fighting them off, making her way slowly to the river. Once she finally did arrive, she had to scout along the riverside before she actually spotted him, filling the canteens and humming merrily. She growled and threw the map at him. "Here it is! You don't know what hell I went through to get this!"

She shuffled her feet impatiently, eyes narrowed and her temples throbbing continuously. After a few seconds, she stamped her foot loudly and gave Finthick a sharp nudge with her toe. "The campsite is up the river somewhere. He has slaves but probably only a few. Can we go quickly? I do not feel too great here. Why do we even need slaves?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:26 pm

Finthick caught the map as it was thrown at him, opening it and scanning over the page. It was well drawn and easy to memorize, and it took him no time to familiarize himself with the surrounding landscape. Not only did it show the camp, river, and surrounding woods, but also surrounding villages. He ignored the kick from Effie, gazing at the painted on towns and villages, some circled, some x'd out. He assumed this meant that the villages had been raided or occupied, and he memorized the names, turning to Effie and tossing her a canteen. His ears twitched, and he stopped a moment to listen, shrugging his shoulders and finally saying, "We don't need slaves, but they need their freedom. See what I mean?"

He led the way through the forest, following the map carefully, finally coming to the camp. It was small, but well fortified. He looked at the wall, trying to find some sort of weakness, finally saying, "Effie, go knock on the door."
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:39 pm

Effie caught the canteen, taking off the top to sip from it. It was cool and refreshing, just as she had hoped. It helped her forget the events from earlier, especially the despicable things she had to do to just get the map. Her eyes watched the water, slightly suspicious of what may lie in its depths. Such rivers usually contained carnivorous fish or even some worse creatures. But Effie knew to stay away from the rivers. She never liked to even step in them, in fear of getting swept away.

She followed her partner, zoning out for most of the trek. When they reached the camp, she waited patiently for the man to find a way in. "Why the hell should I knock on the door?" She questioned in response to his request, crossing her arms. "That doesn't seem like a good plan."
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:36 pm

Finthick smiled, silently making sure the wraps on his hands were tight. He took one last look at the gate, pulling Effie behind some brush for cover. "Look there," he said, pointing at the gate. One guard stood in front of it, dozing lightly as he slacked off on duty. Drool ran down his chin as he dozed, and Finthick was sure Effie would have no problem with him.

"Take out the sleeping guard, then open the door, nice and quiet like. I'll go in after you open it and see what I can find. Once we're in, head for the nearest building. From what I can see, there isn't anyone outside."
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:05 pm

Effie looked to where he pointed, brushing his arm away as he pulled her to the brush. She tapped her chin while observing the lazy worker, then looking back at Finthick with an agitated glare. "Why the hell am I doing all the work!? You are such a lazy bum! You know it is bad for a woman of my stature to be doing this crap!"

Even so, she rolled her eyes and began to take quiet steps to the booth. Heck, the man was really out of it; she didn't even need to be careful as she unsheathed her blade and sliced his head clean off. Ignoring the blood, she grabbed the lever and pulled it down, motioning for Finthick to go on inside as she peeked into the camp herself.
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:42 pm

Finthick slipped in, frowning at the group of bandits that appeared to have been waiting, swords drawn and ready. His frown quickly turned to a grin as the first one advanced at the unarmed fighter, bringing his blade down in a lazy cut. Finthick brought one arm up, catching the hilt of the blade and driving a palm into the man's stomach, pushing him back into one of his companions. He spun around a stab, grabbing the man's head and jerking sharply, a loud snap audible to those around. One last came at him, and he merely grabbed the man by the collar, letting out a stream of fire straight into his face. He slipped a ring of keys off of one of the bandit's belt, tossing it to Effie and twirling his own around his finger.

"Which building do you want?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:09 pm

Effie was not fazed by the eruption of violence from Finthick, watching him kill off the bandits without a weapon. She wasn't able to do that, seeing that she was trained in only sword combat. Her partner, on the other hand, had multiple skills. Was he trained in all of those skills, or did he learn on his own? Either way, he was very good at everything. Did he have a weakness?

If he did, it would be nice to know in case he turns on me.

"Eh, whichever building. I don't care too much." She stated in monotone, her face unchanged despite how impressed she was. The question of his weakness nagged at her though, annoying her to a great extent. Effie started walking to a random building, taking the keys and unlocking the door. "After you, Finny."
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:52 pm

He shook his head, pushing Effie into the building. "I'll be elsewhere. Don't die."

He then turned, quickly sprinting across the courtyard. In the distance dogs barked and howled, clearly aware of the death. They didn't concern him though, as they were well away, and most likely on leashes. His focus was set on the building built partway over the water, probably a boat house or something. He could hear a faint growling coming from the inside, but as he opened the door, he realized just how stupid he was.

THere, crawling out of the water towards him, stood two terrifying monsters. They crawled toward him on all four feet, brown fur covering their body. Their toes were webbed, and muscular feet ended in clawed talons. Saliva dripped from their maw as they growled, water dripping off them. Their head's were set as a feline's, pure black, with eyes that looked to be only pupils. Their tails long and whip like, they flicked at him with a loud crack, loud as thunder. He dodged, taking a lash to the arm and growling in defiance. At the top of his lungs he yelled, "Effie, Beisht Kiones!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:40 pm

Effie was pushed into the building, a curse rolling from her tongue as he left her in the dim place. She searched for anything interesting, but there seemed to be nothing too important. There was a slave cowering in the corner, but she immediately dismissed them, pointing to the entrance. They ran out and she continued to poke around the area, pocketing a few stray coins here and there.

There was a sharp noise that reached her ears; Effie looked up, startled, and immediately reached for her sword, heading toward the exit of the building. Finthick was not in sight, but she could tell that the yell came from somewhere further away. She made her way toward the riverside, the growls and crackling noises pulling her to where Finthick most likely was.

She made it to a boathouse, peering through the doorway carefully even though it was obvious Finthick was in there. "Okay, so what's the magic word if you want someone to help?" The woman asked calmly, a smirk on her face. Heck, Finthick couldn't always rely on her to save him!
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:28 pm

One of the beisht kione looked to Effie as she appeared, and Finthick was unsure if she realized these things wanted to eat her. As the creature lunged at her, he clumsily threw himself at it, driving his shoulder into it and shoving it aside as it snapped, terribly too close to her face. He planted hands on it as he fell, thunder being heard from outside. The sky grew dark as he called the energy, and a few stray drops of rain hit him. The furry beast scrambled away onto the boardwalk, clawing it's way back to it's feet and lunging at him. He extended one finger, catching it on the snout. Lightening tore through the roof faster than any living creature could move, striking Finthick and arcing through his finger into the beast. The beisht kione shuddered and spasmed, but was dead, most surely. He turned now, moving with defiant grave, and zapping the other as it moved towards Effie, lightening arcing out of his finger tip to strike the beast. It fell and died, the smell of burnt fur. He made his way to Effie, grabbing her roughly by the shoulder and saying in a quiet, serious tone, "Never, and I mean ever, let your guard down in enemy territory. That beast would have killed you. I don't need to bury another partner."

He let go of her and moved out of the building, rubbing his bruised wrist and making his way out into the courtyard, the wind making his cloak billow behind him. He took a swig of his flask, looking at the last building, waiting for any sign of movement.
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:34 pm

Effie blinked as the creatures were quite seriously roasted within seconds. She froze as Finthick spoke harshly towards her, completely not used to being scolded by someone she hardly knew. Well, just being scolded in general. She was the princess, she never got scolded because then she would complain to her father. She wouldn't handle it well. She's too delicate.

Holding back sudden tears, Effie followed her partner to the other building. When she noted that the coast was clear, she wiped her eyes and confidently marched to the doors of the building. Stupid tears... Why the hell should I cry? Finthick is an idiot. I can't let him see me cry like some little brat... She flung open the doors without another thought, not sure what to expect from the inside.
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:08 pm

Darkness. Always darkness. Her entire life. Her ears caught the sounds of battle, the breaking of a neck, and her mind hungrily hoped for escape, for freedom. For too long had her wings not touched the air, for too long had she been shackled, left to be forgotten. Her blindness made her dissatisfying, and her once healthy weight had shrunk down to almost nothing. Her ribs poked about her mid section, and the muscles of her abdomen showed through the taught flesh, a result of negligence and withdrawal from food. Chains clinked and rattled as she rose to her feet, shaky legs supporting her frail mass. She took a step forward, only to real back in shock at the scenes that flashed in the darkness. The outlines of the men coming at her, the panicking horse, the grunt and cry as her guards were cut down. The cry of her sisters as they called to her to fly. Her frantic clicking. The ring of steel as Emiel drew his sword, his roar of defiance in the face of danger. His last sigh of life as he was thrown away by a blast of magic, her tears as she thought of never feeling the soft embrace of her friends fur again. Gruff hands shackling her and pulling her away. A gag in her mouth. Then the smell of the slave pen, being cold for so many nights, having no clothing. The outlines of large masses of bodies.

She steadied her mind with a shake of her head, letting the images cease and fade. Her hands groped, blindly into the space in front of her, making room to move to the door. Loud clicking made it apparent what was in front of her, pushing past the large amount of women and finally reaching the now open door. Groping hands met Effie's face, soft white feathers brushing against her neck. "Ney eltra falerence?" She asked in her native language, taking in the features of Effie's face and body with greedy, curious hands, all the while staring at the girl with unusable, storm grey eyes. "Are you just another slave? Freedom perhaps?"

The naked bird girl feeling Effie really did surprise Finthick. And with her incessant clicking, he guessed she was an Awlen. He gently took the cloak from his shoulders, covering her up before turning away before his blush got too apparent. "Ermm, Effie, I think this might be a situation that you are better able to handle."

With that, he made his way towards the last building, hoping it was a storehouse of sorts.
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:42 pm

Before Effie could truly realize what was going on, a feathery woman came out from the shadows of the hut and began to touch her. This touching wasn't just on her face however; the female was basically groping her everywhere, which did catch her off guard.

She grabbed the hands and pushed them away from her body, her face turning a bright red. "I-I'm not a slave! And please, do refrain from touching a princess's body! That is utter disrespect!" She turned to ask Finthick about what to do, but he had trailed away from her, completely deserting her with the birdwoman. "Stupid Finthick... Anyway, who are you? You are a slave, yes?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:25 pm

Sien clasped the hands that pushed her away, gently as to not cause pain, but firmly to prevent escape. She clicked, taking in the full form of the new hope, listening to the voice and snorting at the remark of being royalty. "Royalty? With which, north, south, or someone in the middle? Your clothes do not feel of royalty, hands rough with work. You are no princess, not like me."

Sien released the hands, spinning around and wrapping the cloak around herself. Bones cracked as she stretched forgotten muscles, the cloak doing little for her modesty. Slaves like her hastily dashed out, not looking back as they left the complex and made for the nearest village at Finthick's direction. Sien clicked at the monk, feeling the flow of magic from him, but turning instead to Effie, absently saying in no particular hurry, "I could use clothes. Who are you, little Savior?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:04 pm

Effie blinked, taken aback at what the slave had just said to her. "E-Excuse me!? I can assure you that I am a princess, it's just that I have busied myself with mercenary work! These rough hands have unlocked you from your cage! A princess like you shouldn't be locked up in a cage, right? So don't tell me that I am not royalty like you." She crossed her arms and angrily glared at the woman, trying to hide how much hatred (or perhaps jealousy) was growing in the pit of her stomach. But why was she so mad? Maybe because the woman was royalty, yet she wanted to be the only royal one out here?

"Get your own clothes. I don't have to do anything for you, don't act so helpless." She stood straighter, puffing out her chest as best as she could. "My name is Euphemia Rede. And I'm not little. I'm twenty-one years old! And I just saved your pretty little ass so you better be grateful." She harrumphed, her glare deepening with such intensity that she was beginning to feel her hands shaking. "And who the hell are you anyway?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Righteous and Free; Princess and the Pauper (Akai)   Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:56 pm

Sien harrumphed, puffing out her own chest at Effie's haughty tone, sweeping the cloak back from her body so it resembled a heavy cape. She clicked twice more, getting her bearings, before dismissing Effie with a brief, "I am Sien Valence, daughter of the God-King Samael Veritas, the one you humans worship as the god of truth, order, and bonds of honor and promises. Your father was coronated on his name, Little Girl," she emphasised the last word with an arrogant smirk. She turned now, making her way to the shape of Finthick, who had finished directing slaves and had turned to watch the exchange with a humorous smile on his face. Finthick took in the full site of her, slinging his pack off his shoulder and tossing a shirt and pants that hit her plain in the face. She took in the scent of them, slipping the shirt up over her head silently, and pulling the pants on after. She turned to the girl again, asking, "Which of you is the knight then?"
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