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[Graded]The Creature of Oak Town; Ravendark
Topic Started: Aug 20 2011, 11:30 PM (1,507 Views)
Levy-Chan
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You want Thingamabobs? I got 20.

Astria awoke in her small hotel room. She was running a little short of money and could only afford to stay in the room for the night. It was a small room, they called it snug, but that was just the nice way of saying it. She yawned and stretched as the morning started for her. This would be at around ten in the morning as she stayed up late last night trying to find someone to lodge her for the night. Astria had kept the amount she would be willing to pay for the room to the minimum as she had to eat in the morning. She took a shower and for a cheap, little room it had a decent bath. She was able to get the water just right and washed up. Exiting the shower she felt refreshed and awake. She dressed herself in hurry, throwing on her black and yellow dress before leaving the room. She checked out with the old man at the front desk, giving him the keys to the "luxurious" room number 8. Astria was now on to tackle bigger issues, like where could she eat with such little money. Restaurants weren't in a shortage here in North-east side of Fiore, but the key here was to get a good, filling, meal with next to no cash. After giving up on several restaurants Astria came to the conclusion that she would not find the meal she was looking for in an actual restaurant and would have to go to a street vendor.

It's not that they had bad quality food it's just that, she just liked her food a bit better then what they usually sold. This became especially true after reading a book call Hot Dogs and You and ever since then Astria can't even look at a hot dog without getting a queasy feeling in her stomach. She looked up and down the streets for a roadside vendor and found none. Sighing, her stomach growled and demanded something to fill it. Since there was no one on the streets she might as well try the park. She walked down a few blocks and then came to a pathway into the park. A winding, dirt path with benches on either said down the way led the way through rows of trees and hills of landscape. The leaves on all the trees were green other then the sakura trees that bloomed pink and with the sun only slightly covered by wandering clouds the light made the leaves shimmer.

A short, balding man with a small stand was along the dirt path. Astria walked up to him and he quickly let her know that he sold sweet pastries that he custom makes right there. "Sounds great I'll have two." He nimbly worked with some dough and crafted it into an eclair shape. On the inside she saw him squirt in chocolate frosting which inflated the dough. On the outside he drizzled quick hardening chocolate all over and around the dough. She paid the man and went on her way with her breakfast. True, an eclair may not have been the best thing for one to eat in the morning, but when you're hungry not much else maters. Since it was such a wonderful morning she decided to just spend it at the park. Snacking on one of her treats she sat down on a bench just watching people go by and trees sway in the wind.

After eating her eclair, savoring every sweet bite, Astria sat and continued just to stare at the nature. It was really wonderful to look at. Something about the trees and the bushes and the grass just forced a person to feel calm. Astria stood and after a quick stretch decided to move onto see what else was in town. Her arrival into Oak Town was late enough and that coupled with the frantic search to find a place for the night had left her with little time to explore the place. Just from the walk this morning Astria could tell that this town was definitely one with nature. Everywhere you went there were trees on the ground and ivy crawling on the walls. Everyone seemed to be fine with it, but Astria, a person who loved nature, thought it was a little too close. She was more so a person who enjoyed camping and those brief trips into the wilderness rather then living with it all the time. This town was definitely pushing that "Living outdoors" way of life. She actually saw a building that was so covered by plants the only things on it you could see was a door and one window on the second floor.

At least the town kept the roads clear of anything, but stone. All the people and all the stores she'd been passing started to blend together as her walk through town drew on. Astria looked to the sky, the sun high in it. She figured that she'd done enough walking around and sight-seeing for now. Her new goal was to hunt down this town's library and see what kind of books it had. Maybe if it was good enough it'd have some interesting history to go along with it. Astria went to ask someone which way it might be and thankfully a kind, elderly lady pointed her in the right direction. Just over the next few blocks was a building that took up at least three of the normal store spaces and was two stories high. It had marble columns out front, probably for decoration, and they were wrapped with ivy. The stone steps up to the entrance had hand rails that were also wrapped with the plant. The large oak doors at the top opened with a slight creek and Astria made her way inside the impressive structure to see what kind of stories it held.
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Ravendark
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The Backup Guy
Location: nearing Oak Town
Life: annoyed

Dear Journal,

As i sit here writing to you i cannot help but find that you are the only one who can share my pain. To summarize this morning has treated me badly, i feel like a rag doll being tossed around by a young girl in the city out for a walk. It is nothing to big like being fired (although at times is wish that) it is simply many small things adding up to this mornings discomfort. It started when i woke up this morning, i had completed an assignment and had woken up in the inn the next morning only to find i was horrendously late, i had totally missed my train all together which will most likely result in myself being shamed by my commanding officer. Insead i was forced to take the midnight train to Oak Town which was okay considering i was asleep for most of the ride. It was when i awoke today and was shaving my chin that an unpredicted bump had caused me to accidentally accuire a large cut on my nose, after getting some help i realzied that my recon suit had been obliterated by a group of men who seem to dislike me due to my heritage as prince of Neopola. Thus i have tried to put the thought out of my head of how i will aquire a new one considering that the original was an heirloom of the clan made by my teacher. As i finish my entry i can see what appears to be... a group of buildings, even in this country it is hard to believe that things like this exist. Although i must admit that i have only seen a portion of it and its wonders, i ponder where fortune shall lead me today, to the gate of hell, or the tower of heaven.

Sincerely, Mako Iona



Mako closed the book letting out a soft sigh as he lightly touched the wound on his nose. He berated himself for being foolish enough to make a mistke like this as it seemed idiotic to even have it near his nose in hindsight. He put the small brown book back in his satchel which held his Jewels, his Recon suit, and Muramasa which was strapped to the side. He closed the top locking it securely with two buttons holding the contents in preventing them from spilling out. Mako himself didn't trust the banks of this land as there were far to many dark guilds that could easily rob them. Instead he took a much more simple approach by putting his valuables on his person instead of the care of some pitiful bank. It was nearing afternoon as the time of breakfast ended around now, the sun had completely risen and shinned its life giving rays upon the creatures and plants that bow before it as if it were their king only to be suceeded by the moon, the princess of the night. Of course though that was part of the Neopolan mythology, these days though science seemed to be proving them all wrong. Although it still was fun to fantasise about sun lords and spirits of nature, it made him feel young when he was still an innocent soul unlike the fighter he is today drenched in blood.

Mako was snapped out of his thoughts however as the train lurched to a stop. He heard the piercing sound of the whistle signaling the passengers that they had finally reached their destination. This was translated though for those who couldn't tell what it meant by the car conductor who poked his head inside the compartments and informed the passengers of their arrival imploring them to disembark. Mako not needing to hear the words of an old man who enjoyed his role far to much, and instead calmly stood up off of the bench underneath him and collected his belongings. He put the satchel onto his back and left the compartment to find himself in the hallway which was now buzzing with people who were scrambling to grab their things as they disembarked. Mako who had become used to this routine of leaving the train made his way down the full corridor until he had reached the exit of the car. Taking a step down onto the station he took in a breath of fresh air which had seemed to remind him of home as he smiled a bit.

He made his way down the stairs of the station looking around at the town. There were vendors selling snacks and goods to the weary travellers from whoom they hoped to make a quick 'buck' as they called it on. He paid no heed to them walking through the gap ignoring the men and women shoving foods and trinkets in his face trying to get him to yield and purchase it from them. He shrugged them off trying to not be to noticed, after all he was from Neopola the supposed war hungry country that Fiore has had three wars with. Well then of course Bellum did help Fiore so he could say two nations hated him. Although Bellum was more merciful then Fiore for some reason, and hence he dind't harbor as much dislike to them as he did to the Fiorians. These men were cowards there were fool who could truly wield a blade an call themselves a warrior with pride, the others turned to the work of magic seeing it as the answer to their problems. It was a sign of weakness in his eyes, one of the things he and the knights of Fiore shared in common.

Mako covered the tops of eyes as he squinted into the sun, it was about... what the hell was he doing he couldn't tell time from looking at the sun! Grumbling a bit he walked on, he had about a day or two before the next train to Chrysanthium came through. Mako first wanted something, ANYTHING! To do to pass the time of the next two days. He considered the zoo but it turns out they had no such thing, there was nothing good playing on the movie lacrima right now except Planet of the Vulcans which got horrible reviews from critics nationwide, so finding no other alternative he marched forward to the only other source of entertainment in town...The Library. There were two entrances apparently a back with two Oak doors and the front with two large Oak doors with steps leading up to him. Seeing as how the station was near the back of said establishment Mako walked in and pushed one of the two doors open going inside of the large building.

Walking inside he looked around, there were two floors to the building with four Oak collumns in the center at the edges of a portrait, it depicted a compass with the four columns erupting out of where the directons should be, the picture seemed to spread onto the coulmn moving upwards as it rose. An elderly woman at the small reception desk was stamping papers, there were tables along the sides of the columns never touching the portrait on the floor. The stairs were a spiral going upwards at the corners of the establishment spreading left and right before reaching the full second floor. Besides that the entire room was stacked floor to ceiling with books in wooden shelves that looked efficent and polished. Mako walked forward to the counter and rang the bell getting the womans attention. "yes?" she asked the prince, innocently enough as she looked at him from under her large glasses which seemed to make her eyes look bigger then normal.

"I was wondering if you could help me find a book... eh it was, ah yes, Tales of the Southern island by Rhichard Cream?" he asked, it was a book about a young boy who went on adventures with his dog who fought pirates and other intresting stories and such.

The woman shook her head sadly, Mako knew the answer to this wel...answer. The writer of the saga was a Neopolan during the last Dogma war the council ordered each book written by their country to be burned in a bonfire. It was a true shame, burning books seemed barbaric in Mako's eyes who smiled sadly as he thanked the kind woman and began to wander around the library pulling out books he thought seemed intresting, Neopolans weren't known for hteir writers, although the few that are usually go very far successfully. Mako smiled abit as he sat at a table and started to read. It was then that he looked up and saw a woman who had just walked in. He quickly though returned to his book after locking eyes with the woman, she was boviously from the knights, was she here to hunt him down for being late? Either way it seemed best to not push his luck as he went back to reading.
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Levy-Chan
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You want Thingamabobs? I got 20.

The inside of the library was elegant and well designed. From the outside the building didn't appear to be much and Astria was expecting something more on the conservative side. With its polished and well kept bookshelves holding a numerous assortment of different genres. The building was only two stories tall, but the inside looked to hold far more then what one would think. It seemed that literature was shoved into every nook and cranny whilst still looking neat and orderly. Astria took a deep breath, inhaling the scent of knowledge that the place contained. Surely everything and more on the town's history was here. Just a matter of where. The most obvious place to start would be with the librarian who would know where to direct her, but Astria was raised in a book store where there wasn't a librarian to help you look for what you want. If you wanted it you had to find it, so even with the current organizing system in place Astria knew a few other things to help find a book she wanted. Her face displayed a very 'proud of herself' grin as she walked straight past the librarian's deck and preceded up the polished brown steps and onto the second floor.

Her feet clicked against the ground as she took slow steps, running her eyes over the spine of the book. Her head was cocked to the side, her hair following it. The bookworms readings didn't usually run over into nonfiction and when they did almost definitely not history. It wasn't a subject that interested her too much and so she saw little need to read up on it. This town being one of those exceptions where the town had such a rich look, the buildings being nearly covered with nature, had to have some story behind it, at least one worth checking out. Not having any author names to go by, Astria was going by the naming, a method of picking out books which she usually frowned upon, but in this case she didn't have much of a choice. Her eyes in search mode, they locked in on a burgundy book titled The Unknown Truths of Oak Town. Something like that was bound to mention the plant phenomenon and if it was any book worth its weight it would have sources to other books along with suggested authors and reading. The book was quite thick and despite its early publication year the pages were nice and white, looking brand new. Finding one of the square, wooden tables that was nailed to the ground, although what person would try and steal a table, she pulled out the simple wooden chair and sat. Cracking the book open the pages stuck together as if no one had touched it before.

Astria's mind was set on only one thing. Finding out about all these plants. Searching first the table of contents and then the index she flipped to page 303 that mentioned something about outrageous plant growth. Her reader side kicked in as she speedily read that and the five following pages. Leaning back with a curious look in her eye and a frown on her face she wondered what in the nearby forest was causing abnormal plant growth. According to the literature, science and some fable told that the plants were attacked to creatures in the forest. Though that could really mean anything as some animals had special traits whilst others may have been spotted near some plant and a coincidence occurred. The book itself wasn't too informative, but insisted that the reader believes it. It listed no sources for that information or any books to get another view on it. Really the whole thing seemed sketchy enough to pass off as make believe, but it didn't sit right. There was a plant phenomena in some way and even if it had nothing to do with the wildlife it was the only thing to go out on. She sighed before getting up and placing the book right back in the spot she got it from.

Her footsteps echoed a bit loudly as she quickly went down the staircase. The librarian, from her little desk area, shushed her with narrow eyes and a finger over her lips. Astria mouthed sorry and she walked took a few steps, looking around. Books were easy to find in a place like this, but reference texts were a bit different to Astria. They were even lower on the list then history books, but right now she really needed a map or something of the area. Her plan was to take a quick little trip out into the forest and see if she could find anything. The forest couldn't be that dangerous, at least not compared to Galuna Island, so she figured with a map in hand she could traverse the place well. Still with having no place to start looking for the map and not wanting to look foolish by just walking around, Astria caved in and went over to the elderly librarian. The woman looked to be quite old and probably had an uncommon name now. Astria's instinct told her it was Juliette. Instinct and the fact that her name plate in front of her said her name was Juliette. "Excuse me, but can you point me to any maps you may have of the nearby forest?" The lady nodded her head and informed her that she could buy a map of fifteen jewels. Hesitantly, Astria accepted and pulled out some money and slowly handed it over in exchange for a map. It would be worth it, in the sake of knowing for sure. She held it, folded and closed, and made her way to the door.
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Ravendark
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The Backup Guy
Well as hard as it was for Mako to admit it these Fiorian writers were superior to Neopola, only because though there were just simply more of them then the residents of the small island. The first book he read was more of a journal then a book it titled Here there be Dragons. Mako opened the black book and quickly started to survey the contents of it keeping the thoughts out of his head of what possibly a knight could be doing here, although as he now looked he could see that she wasn't actually that knightish now that he saw her. Mako tried to instead keep a low profile and put his attention back in the comforts of the printed arts. He kicked his blade Muramasa under the table so that overall no one would panic by seeing it and thinkig that he was some kind of mercenary or assasin. Apparently though the book regaled stories of how dragons took in humans and taught them their art, although this was extrememly rare seeing as the dragon hide themselves from civiliaztion giving clues to thier seekers. Mako though had lost his etertainment reading the book, he had always been more of doer then a thinker in life and now as he closed the black book he realised that the girl who was sitting at a table a few feet away from was feverishly looking into a book.

Mako watched as the girl walked up now that his attention was on he he could notice more deatails about her instead of just seeing her out of his peripherals. The most striking thing about her was that she had....blue hair. Now so far in this land Mako had seen red hair which defied gravity, white hair which belonged to his girlfirend, and of course the normal colors that regualr people have. Well Mako was a bit of a hypacrite as he himself had white hair as well which was cut short and uneven sometimes going down to his crimson eyes. Next besides her unusual hair, she was also rather tall a bit shorter than Mako though. One of the rather shocking features of her though was that she was wearing a dress...in the library....that was covered with plants...in the middle of a plant infested town; can you not see the logic in Mako's thoughts? She seemed to be ina bit of a hurry though as if she was looking for something, a dragon perhaps? No what a silly notion of his there were many things in this world worth searching and they didn't always involve treasures or promises of power at the end when you've found it. He shook his head it wasn't his buisness at what she did nor what she was searching for, he gave a bit of a look at her as she grabbed a map from the clerk before wlaking out the door going lord-knows-where.

Mako tried to go back to his book but found it useless as his curiosity was much worse then a cat's although he was just to good to get killed. He sighed and stood up and headed towards the clerk with whoom the girl purchased the map from. Excuse me what map did that woman just buy from you... Mako asked the clerk. The woman gave him a look as to why the strange white haired man wanted a map but she shrugged and told him it was of the nearby forest, 'why would anyone go there?' he thought to himself. It was time for a bit of sleuthing, it may not be his specitalty but this She-lock Holmes character from this book he was reading made it seem pretty easy, and hey if she could do it why not Mako? He walked up the stairs to where she most likely came as that is where the geography books are as informed by the clerk. He could see where she was sitting as there a few books and there were barely any people on this floor. He walked over to the oak bookshelf where there was a vast collection of books on geography of Fiore, Mako made a mental note to come back later and read a few as he was a foreigner. He grabbed as many books as he could on Oak Town which was surprisingly just about medium in range. Now though he had another problem, what on earth was she researching? It was time to put on his thinking cap, now what was there in Oak Town worth researching? There wasn't anything special...except the abnormal amount of plant overgrowth. That was the best bet as Oak was a normal town, now came the time where he had to figure out exactly which book to read as most of them were just boring stuff like the great lemonade famine of '57.

Mako searched throughout the pile of books ina repetitive process of looking at titles, then the table of contents, and finally at the sections on forests. After carefully skimming down the options he came down to two books that had good info: The Unknown Truths of Oak Town and a book of fables simply titled The Fables of the shining Forests. Each book spoke of the forest, but Mako had trouble deciding if to trust these, animals attached to plants? That seemed to Mako to be borderline fiction, then again they said Atlantis was fiction and look at it now, its one of the busiest floating port towns in the northern sea. That alone made all of science up for grabs as much as Mako hated to admit it. The first book merely told him that the forest has been around for a while and that the animals seemed to be attached to it, although it gave no other sources as to hold its claim it seemed fiction...whcih was sometimes the answer. So with nervous mind he opened the second book of fables, he skimmed down the contents until he finally found a chapter that seemed to fit the description. Mako looked down at the fable, it was a bit sketchy as it merely was a poem with a meaning translated behind it, overall it just said to respect the forest and th-...wait, there. There were words that were capitals when they obviously shouldn't be, he grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and wrote down the capatilized words in order, slowly as he wrote he began to see a message in the poem that made him queasy, all that the secret message said was 'BEWARE, CREATURE, DARK". That couldn't be a good sign, he grabbed the piece of paper and shoved it into his pocket, before running down the stairs back to his belogings, he reached under the table and grabbed his blade pulling it out of the bag. He finally found his Recon outfit and clenched in his fist before runing out after the girl.

He couldn't see her at ground level so it seemed to be senseible to get a higher vantage point, while he ran he slipped into his suit and threw his mask on even though it was wet, but hey it was getting less so the more he ran. After it was fully on he ran up to the closest wall grabbing onto the plants and vines one of which looked suspiciously like a snake. After a few seconds he was on the roof, people could be seen straing at him wondering what on earth the boy was doing up there. Mako shrugged he was trained to get anywhere as fast as possible without being seen, he wasn't exactly trying to keep a low profile. He now turned his head through looking around the nearby streets for the girl while he ran in the direction of where the forest was on the roofs like a ninja(he yelled at a bystander from the roof who kindfuly pointed him in the right direction). He finally found himself at the spot where all the large main buildings ended and the forest bega, he was surprised to see how close it was to the city, he could see the vines stretching out of the dark trees like a dark giant silently wrapping its arms around you to give you a sinister feeling hug.
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Levy-Chan
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You want Thingamabobs? I got 20.

Set in a brisk pace, Astria attempted to weave through the crowds to make her way to the forest as quickly as possible. If only everyone didn't decide to do the exact opposite to her. Everyone was going along the street, but Astria had to cut across it and because of that she ended up being pushed around a bit. If only she was like a ninja then she could just hop from building to building and just avoid all the troublesome people down here, on the ground. She had time to get to the forest, as her goal was to do most of the scoping out before nightfall and then find a place to set up camp for the night. A quick over-night study would be something fun to do. Of course it couldn't be used as legitimate research on anything as it wouldn't be conducted properly, but something to do was something to do. Astria shoved her shoulder past a man who shoved it back at her and although the two just brushed each other it was enough to say "I'm mad and leave me alone." Astria didn't do crowds. Too many people in a small space was just asking for disaster. For instance, how someone hasn't been trampled is amazing, but all it would take is one trip and then BAM! Stepped on by everyone. They're too busy going off and doing whatever, so when Astria did make it to the other side of the road, onto the far less crowded street, she gave an ecstatic smile.

Now she just had to go around the corner and down a ways to get to the entrance. At least that's what the map told her. In actuality though Astria had left from the front of the library when the path she was trying to take went around from the back. Now this meant she could either backtrack to and through that crowded street or she could take a slightly longer way that was sure to avoid that crowded road. Turning around at her fake destination, Astria picked up her pace and walked down the street she was on, parallel to the crowded one. Her plan was to just go over here and cut across, but unlike by the library it should be fairly thinner. Much to her approval the road had thinned out. Apparently most of what people wanted to do that day didn't involve much of anything over here. With little issue, Astria cut across and looking at the map again she followed the closest streets until she arrived in front of the forest entrance. The tall buildings built by it and as could be expected, they were coated in plants. For a moment Astria wondered how well a gardening business would do here, before dismissing it as there probably was too many of them already.

The entrance was a lot different then what Astria had expected. From the way it sounded and the importance of it she imagined it being more of a tranquil place that would be bathed in soft sun and sparkling flowers. This was far different. There was a darkness that covered anything beyond an inch or so of the entrance and the vines that could be seen looked positioned and ready to snag you and drag you in. To think of this as the place to spend an overnight researching trip was starting to get less appealing by the second, but it had to be done, to rest her curious side. As sinister as the place was, however, another person sought it out today. As she slowly walked towards the forest a man in a red and black suit was standing there. The forest just acquired another mystery, hopefully this one would be easier to solve. The townspeople here didn't care a lot about this entrance, as reveled by the poor and creepy landscape, so it would be strange if he was a local, an assassin maybe, but local not so much. That suit also told her he couldn't just be another average joe. He must have a reason to be here at the forest and since she didn't read minds, Astria would have to ask.

"Hello!" Astria called out to him as she walked forward. "Were you thinking about going into the forest?"

She slowed her pace until she was standing next to the man and looked at him with a smile. He was a bit taller then her, but not where she had to tilt her head noticeably. Turning her attention back on the entrance for a moment she raised an eyebrow. It was a bit more intimidating in person. What kind of forest is dark at the entrance anyway? Astria giggled a little as she thought about the forest being super bright in the middle. That would be a good way to annoy people. Get them used to the dark and then shine a light in their face. It would be just like something nature would do as well. She loved to spend time outside, but she had to admit that it does stuff that tries to hurt people or at least annoy them. In any case, whether the sun flashed them or not, her curiosity was in control right now and all she needed was an answer, or at least her own findings, even if they didn't prove a thing. Hopefully her curiosity wouldn't get her trapped in this place.
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Ravendark
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The Backup Guy
Mako looked down a bit at the girl standing near him, it was her. How the hell did he pass her without seeing her! Mako could tell that she was a bit nervous by the way she was loking at his sword Muramasa and the way he was dressed. He seemed that since they weren't fighting right now to take his mask off. He reached up and felt the part where the mask met hissuit and pushed his fingers under it, he then pulled up pulling the black and red mask off of his head. He felt his white hair immediately settle in front of his red eyes, they drifted over to the gril who was now standing up to him. He heard her ask him if Mako was going into the forest as well, he smirked a bit at her question, was he? He was originally just giving her the paper so that he could warn her of what he found out about in the fable book. He grabbed the folded piece of paper and handed it to the blue haired woman next to him, he would most likely have to explain himself so that he didn't come out to appear like a stalker.

"I decoded those words from the book of fables that were talking about the forest, originally i was just going to give the paper to you and be on my way..but if you want i will accompany you" the knight said to the blue haired woman. It was true that the woman seemed rather unsuited for an expedition like this. Although Mako knew that you should never judge a book by its cover, he knew that story all to well. He had a rather large feeling though that this woman was more then what met the eye. She seemed to friendly and cheery to be a stone cold warrior like Mako, she didn't even have a weapon! Hence is why he offered to join her in her little adventure, secretly though he was just as curious as her as to why on earth gaia itself would lose its sanity growing as if the hounds of hell were chasing her out of the forest and into the city, although from what the book said there could be something very well like that going on here. None the less he had a sense of anxiety when he looked into the blackness of the forest, he felt like there was something that was pushing him to keep him out. There were many stories in Neopolan mythology about monsters living in natural landforms, there was Gilgamesh the lord of the brazen flames, Auroch the giant bison which lived in the mountains and guarded the roads of the nation, but most infamously however was the best of Metencaurt no one has ever seen it but it is said to have killed an entire village, a traveller just showed up one day and the village was abandoned with strange footprints on the ground all over the place.

"eh, i change my mind i'll keep you out of trouble, just keep up" he said smirking at himself a bit. He shoved his mask into his pack which was slung over his shoulder. With a hesitant step he walked into the blackness of the forest, there was a trail luckily so he wasn't just wandering aimlessly in the dark of the forest. He could see cracks of light coming through the branches of the tree's giving small posckets of light for him to see through the unaturally dark forest. He stopped quickly to make sure that the girl was following him, although Mako himself knew that it would be difficult to navigate, he was suited more for recon missions than the dangers of the wilderness. He saw a fox run over the trail sprinting full speed barely touching the ground with both grace and poise. Mako felt a pang of hurt overwhelm him for a second as he remembered his and Hikari's recent break-up, he wanted them to still be friends but she kept accusing him, he wasn't happy and it was then that he knew that their relationship wouldn't work. Mako made a pact to himself not to date any more women for the rest of his career and instead focus on work instead of the painful labors of being in a relationship.

"Don't fall behind!" he yelled back to the girl who seemed to be as out of place as him. Wearing a dress to the forest was rather uncommon unless it was a habit of hers, and he knew that the people here were strange, strange hair, strange habits, strange personalities. The only few sane people he truly was friends with lived on the northern coast of Fiore, aww yes! Mako did a faceplant as he remembered his close friend prince Hamlet, or as Mako called him Ham just to tick him off so that he would challenge Mako to a sword battle and help him practice his swordplay. He had been invited to meet with him at his fathers funeral, that however would have to wait as currently he was in a bit of a predicament himself. He could feel the darkness closing in around him, like dark magic. Magic was a trait however that he was becoming more and more framiliar with, he was considering becoming a mage himself but he knew that doing so would get him kicked out of the Army. Mako quickly shook this idea out of his head returning his thoughts to the dark forest that seemed to meld with him.
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Levy-Chan
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You want Thingamabobs? I got 20.

The man that was waiting at the entrance handed her a piece of paper along with an explanation. It seemed strange to her that someone had been watching or at the library and had figured out that she would be on her way over here. He didn't seem harmful, despite the crimson eyes. Information on the forest from fables wouldn't appear to be of that much help, but in an unfamiliar place with a weird occurrence, anything could be taken as a source. Technically the fable just hadn't been proven fact yet, but maybe this expedition would change that as well. Astria put the paper into her bag, to be thoroughly read over later. The white-haired man pondered her question and decided that he would be joining her in the forest. It sounded helpful to have another person there with her. If this place was anything like Galuna then there was sure to be some terrifying monster or two that just had to prove it was the King of the Forest. Hopefully such things wouldn't come up and they could just have a nice camp under the stars, that is if one could see stars from the interior.

He proceeded into the woods, calling back to her that she shouldn't fall behind. It slightly annoyed her that people would think she couldn't handle herself, at least to walk through the woods, just because of how she looked. If anything were to happen, Astria was certain that one of her pals could handle it. In any case she hurried after him, holding onto the strap of her bag that went across her chest. Splotches of light shined through the canopy above and thankfully, most of the beginning trail was free of protruding branches and roots. She kept a steady pace and caught up, just a few steps behind him. Looking from side to side, the summoner took in the not-so-scary surroundings. The interior was more wonderful then the outside would led one to believe. The was the invading light bathed the mossy trees in light made the spores surrounding them sparkle and an almost magical feeling came over the area. Any second now, Astria was expecting a fairy or two to pop out from a batch of flowers and fly around her. It was truly starting to make the Saint Caller wonder what it was that discouraged people from adventuring into the woodlands here more often? There wasn't a lot of wild life, insects being the exception as the tiny, flying ones were being swatted away constantly, but nonetheless the scenery was wonderful. She could easily plant herself by one one of these trees and sketch on her notepad all day long. Though this was still only the entrance and nothing scary would just sit around there, waiting for a fight. While the mystical landscape was motivating her to think otherwise, Astria kept her cool head and kept open eyes about what may be lurking ahead.

An opening appeared on the path they were taking. It lead out from the trees and into a field with knee high grasses and flowers. The sun shined on it clearly, but with less intensity then when they were waiting back at the entrance. Slowing herself, Astria carefully looked at the plants before stepping out into them. Anyone would know not to do that, as unfamiliar landscapes couldn't be rushed into willy-nilly. The flowers, containing five white petals and a bright yellow center, didn't raise any flags with her, same for the grass. She couldn't recall any pictures or descriptions about the plants in any of the books she had read. "These plants look safe to move through." Astria informed her companion. The man with the white hair and crimson eyes, almost seemed like the way one would think about a killer or something. Surely calling each other by description or the vague "Hey" wouldn't help them in the long run. This moment seemed as good as any to greet someone. "I'm, Astria by the way. Thanks for coming with me." It would be rude not to thank him. It wasn't as common to see young people do nice things without an incentive, but when it happened it was reassuring, nice to know some good people are in the world. A little ways toward the center of the field was the tiniest bump in the earth. Just large enough to form a slope that formed a hill. Just taller then the surrounding plants the mound was free of anything, but short grasses. Carefully shuffling through the weeds, Astria made her way over and up the hill. She didn't really like the plants rubbing against her a lot, so here was a nice spot to enjoy the area.

Standing on top, Astria could clearly see the perimeter of the field and her ally. She was mapping the way they'd taken in her head. Okay, we started over there. Then we went through the woods and came out there. The mound here could be the landmark with the flowers. Her mind was thinking as it was important to have good bearings to rely on later. A breeze went by and the flowers stirred, a visible rise in the pollen went into the air, making Astria sneeze. She hated to sneeze and hated even more that it was always pollen to make it happen. The one thing that could irritate her senses and she would be standing in a field of it. Her eyes watered and as she rubbed them and tried to get her head together, she was unaware of the rustling grasses near the mound.
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Ravendark
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The Backup Guy
Mako seemed bewildered at the woman, and not just the fact she had blue hair mind you. It was instead the fact that she was walking around totally relaxed with no fears whatsoever. How could she not be nervous in a forest? Has she ver read little red riding hood, or hanzel and grettle? There were many stories including forest s in them usually with the words forbidden, cursed, and/or black somewhere in their title. Either way Mako was not comfortable in this forest whatsoever, he was used to the Urban jungle from which he could see anything his heart desired and quickly scale a building with ease if needed. But this place seemed to be the opposite. Mako scould only see pockets in the sky, the trees were to close together, and overall he felt as though the enitre forest seemed to be leaning towarads him as if it were eating him, like a man swallowing a grape it was just a speck, this applied for Mako as well as he truly felt small in the large forest, and yet the woman seemed to move freely without fear of anything in here, it was truly a puzzler, she was either extremely brave or extremely ignorant... Mako decided that the second option was most likely the answer in her case. Ignorance was both a blessing and yet also a curse, the belssing being that she was ignorant at what she should be afraid and instead ignored it , the curse however that she most likely ignored other people as well. It is a strange life, people seem to be able to just walk pas ttheir fears like it was normal, apparently this is the one thing he may have not learned in his training as a warrior on the islands, Mako gave a sigh as he watched the blue headed girl walk onwards along the trail like food doing all the work for the creatures that would most likely disembowel them.

Mako pulled up beside her after she had seemed to come to a stop. Mako looked out past her and felt his paranoia evaporate at what he saw. It was a large field surrounded by woodlands and trees, like a haven from the looming and rather dark forest in the knights opinion which they had been travelling through. The sun was shining, but strangely it didn't seemm quite as bright as when the two of them were standing at the entrance, either way it still made him feel more relaxed now that he was in the open and could see the sky instead of standing in the claustorphobic confinements of the forest. Most of the field was covered in grass which grew to about Mako's knee's, it looked a bit scratchy but its annoyance was scratched out by the beauty of the flowers which were lying in patches here and there all along the meadow. It seemed to move like a living thing, as a gust of wind rolled the grass and flowers swayed to the left bending to the powerful will of the wind instead of standing up to its sheer ferocity. Mako felt as if he could just lay down in a clear spot and just take a nap, hell he was considering that very option as he stood thinking to himself. It was now however that the knight heard the woman speak to him, "These plants look safe to move through." she said, she then began shuffling into the tall grass easily enough a bit to Mako's surprisement and relaxment, she then speaked again turning to face Mako "I'm, Astria by the way. Thanks for coming with me." Astria...hmm then this woman was not a knight, Mako could feel like a weigh had been lifted off of his shoulders as he looked at the blue haired woman walking in front of him trough the tall grass covering the field.

Mako begrudgingly followed Astria into the tall grass into the field of grass, as he walked he could not help but feel as if there was something wrong...he just couldn't place his finger on it exactly. It all seemed so happy and friendly, almost to happy in a way almost as if something was trying to lower their guard so that it could strike. However this was most likely the paranoia side of Mako talking as he followed the blue haired girl through the field, he could see her climbing up onto a large rock and looking out over the grassy span. Mako eventually found himself standing near the rock after teking through the overgrown lawn tripping a few times but making it either way. A gust of wind quickly blew and knocked up some pollen into the sky with a collision course at Astria, the woman sneezed and Mako could see her eyes watering as she was most likely by Mako's guess allergic to pullen. I'm Mako Iona, didn't get a chance to introduce myself vack there... the knight said to the blue haired woman who was rubbing the water out of his eyes.

Suddenly though he noticed something, the field it wasn't right. The enitre forest had gone quiet, no brids no breeze not a sound. Instead Mako could see grass rustling and steadily moving closer to them, he was right this was a trap, although now seemed to be a hell of a time to be gloating about that. He noticed the grass rustling near them right next to the knight and Astira, time seemed to slow down for the knight as he reached back for his blade Muramasa as it jumped out of the bushes, Mako slashed diagonally down as his balde came out catching the creature in the eyes and blinding it. Mako jumped back putting space between him and one of the creatures, it seemed like a wolf, except it was much bigger then our average one and had strange substances growing out of it, the substance seemed to resemble a plant or fungus growing out of the creature's head and from there growing downwards and covering a large portion of the body. Not wanting to inspect it any further and risk harm, the knight ran at his quarry raising his sword and cleaving down catching the creatures head and cleaving it straigh off as he had hit the most fragile paart of the neck luckily. Upon hearing the whimper of their kin the rustling in the grassw hich were now undoubtedly more of hte same creatures stopped before running or should is say moving faster and faster at the rock where the tow humans stood. Mako raised his balde once more preparing for the now ineviatable attack.
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Levy-Chan
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You want Thingamabobs? I got 20.

Rubbing her eyes, Astria was regaining her senses from the sudden pollen shower. Thankfully it wasn't strong enough to make her fully have a stuffed or runny nose in addition to the sneezing and eye watering. As she was blinking her eyes a few times to regain her clear sight, the summoner heard the sound of something rustling, quickly followed by the distinct sound of a blade slicing through something. Turning, she had just enough time to see the wolf creature. It really reminded her of something from a fairy tale she'd once read that had to do with nature having a form and striking out against humans for building on it. Really the whole thing was rather gruesome and very much a mood killer. The name had the word "Naturia" in it as far she Astria could remember, but other then that and a few illustrations the specifics were gone. In any case she would have to be sure to add the part wolf, part fungus creature to her sketch book, in addition she would have to carefully watch it and make notes of anything significant that it did. Though, unfortunately that option was cute very short, very fast. Her traveling comrade. Mako he said his name was, used his impressive blade and made the fatal slash that severed the creatures head from its body.

Astria stood on the boulder, staring at the sight of the head fall to the ground. That was a short lived discovery. The beast was definitely dangerous, so Astria couldn't blame Mako for taking care of it, but all she got from that encounter was that was the briefest look at the creature's body. Maybe it would be enough for a nice sketch, or at least something detailed enough so that she could recognize it if she saw it again later. Before her expression could show her disappointment at losing the beast, several more of its buddies showed up. Whether or not that was a good thing was still being debated in Astria's mind, but the one thing she did know was that they had to go. The wolves were hiding in the tall grasses around them and she couldn't see them while they were still, Astria could make out the moving grasses around them, giving away the position of the wolf. Even with that, the blue haired mage couldn't be sure how many of them there were. Based on their looks they would probably just attack from up close which would mean that a close range spirit would help out the most. "Pay homage to Saint Sebastian!" With her incantation and the coin tossed into the sky a magical, purple seal appeared around it and her spirit came out.

Catching the coin on its fall down, Astria put it back into her right bracelet. In front of her now was a tall, muscular man. His hair white, short, and spiky was held back by the white hand band he wore across his forehead, the word TRAIN was bold and black across it. His white vest was open and went down to his waist and below that was a pair of loose white sweat pants. The summon stood in front of Astria, his skin so tan it was practically orange, and struck several poses that were to boost his allies fighting spirit, but Astria only facepalmed. He had the most ridiculous tradition of doing this when summoned as if doing that would make anything better. "Why? Every time you come out you always do that!" Sebastian turned and looked towards her his eyes narrowed. "It's essential to team spirit to do it. Don't you want to be pumped when you fight something?" Astria looked back at him, not sure where to begin in contradicting his ludicrous reasoning. He knew just as well as she did that he just wanted to make 'manly' poses. It had nothing to do with anything else.

"Oh yeah. What was the reason you called me out here?" Astria did another facepalm. "Really!? You have time to make poses, but not even look at the situation you're in?" The summoner sighed, she really should be used to this. Sebastian was her oldest summon and the two were close, but she just had to tediously remind him of what should be basic things to a combat spirit. Astria had just enough time to inform him that wolves were around them, hiding in the grasses, when one of them got adventurous and lunged out at Sebastian's back. He turned around just in time to catch the beast's paws and as he fell on his back, Sebastian used his feet to push the forest creature off and send it rolling a little. Quickly, the fighter was back on his feet and Astria pointed out that she saw some movement over to his left. Without hesitating, he leaped over into the grasses and landed with a loud thud. A wolf was surprised by his sudden appearance and hesitated before it turned to get away. He reached out with his right hand and grabbed the beasts tail before taking a step in and slamming his left into the top of the creatures skull, crashing it into the ground. Astria had to look away at the gruesome sight as Sebastian half ran, half jumped back to her. "Perfect, tell me where to go and I'll take care of them." She gave him a nod, even though that plan would have happened anyway, he just had to say it aloud. She turned around, to the backside of the boulder and where Mako was standing. "Can you handle this side?"
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Ravendark
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The Backup Guy
Mako didn't exactly expect his day to go like this, he pondered on how the hell he came into this situation as he dogged and weaved in and out of enemy attacks. Here he stood miles away from home and his girlfriend fighting wolf mushroom creatures protecting able haired woman he bare even knew and risking his neck and the rest of his body parts from being eaten and soon after digested by a messed up wolf who had seen far to many woodstock movies. The creatures eyes seemed to follow him and his every move watching and analyzing for a weakness that it could alert to its pack members and exploit. It looked at Mako with a crazed look, it seemed to want him a lust for blood and the feeling of sinking its teeth into the knights strong legs ripping out and triumphing over the powerful knight. This was no ordinary wolf it was a battle hardened killing machine, it reminded Mako of himself a bit, its crazed and anger filled eyes looked into the knights soul as if its gaze could pierce clouds and all in its way. The prince returned its cold and emotion filled gaze with a non filled smile, a smile that one would most likely receive from a serial killer instead of a dear friend, the kind of smile that said 'hey i'm going to kill you because your a dumbs wolf who just messed with the wrong knight' the wolf however didn't seem to like this as it howled charging at the knight. Mako kept a clam and resolute face bringing his sword back near his head, the creature when it had reached the right distance, jumped into the air and bared its claws at the knight aiming for the throat, now that it was close enough the knight quickly thrusted leaning forward and stabbing the wolf in the neck as it crashed into him dead as soon as the lade had broken and sliced it jugular.

"Get the hell off me" the knight muttered to the dead wolf as he pushed it off of himself as five more jumped out of the tall grass like whales breaching out of a sideways ocean, strange acronym even for him. Two of them broke off of the main coup and chased after Astria, although who knew how many creatures were actually lurking in the grass around there could be five attacking her for all the knight knew. However the knight had his own problems, he had three of the wolves coming at him at once which would certainly be much more difficult than facing one who was foolish enough to blindly charge at him. At first the three did nothing and instead of attacking circled him for a bit, like vultures preparing to dive and claim what they have scavenged in the hot desert. They were much more cautious on attacking the knight as they had heard and witnessed their kin's death by charging him, they instead made testing attacks like small jumps and swipes at the knight instead of all out attacks.

Finally however one of them had lost its patience and quickly lunged at the side of the knight, he was forced to spin and slash downwards at its paw catching it on the top of its paw causing it to quickly fall back and whimper as it licked and tended to its wound. The other tow however took this opportunity to both strike at the same time at the back of the knight where he was vulnerable, Mako could see the black swishing tail of the devilish creature disappear behind him and so instead of standing like an idiot waiting for it to hit, he collapsed and rolled forward as the pair of teeth and claws quickly grasped and closed to find nothing but air where their target had once stood. Wolves were never this aggressive, what on earth could make them act like this? He was left no time to ponder at this new thought as the wolves continued their assault running again at the knight as he tried to get up, as the jaws of the closest one got closer to the legs of the knight, Mako kicked out and up catching the bastard on the bridge of its nose causing it to whimper and jump back like a wuss instead of countering with an attack of is own.

The last one however was probably the cleverest of the three attacking him, it gave toothy grin similar to the second wolf that Mako had faced, it jumped on top of the knight before the prince could get up to defend himself, it gave a breath of rancid and foul odor before opening its jaws and preparing to strike, however the blow never came. As something strange happened instead, the mushroom growing out of the wolf's sad started to glow. The wolf noticing the sudden light appear in the dimness of the afternoon sun suddenly jumped off of the prince for an unexplainable reason. It howled and seemed to contort its body in unimaginable ways as if it had never heard of a thing called joints, it howled in agony as it moved in pain and moved now most likely against its will. Mako felt pity for the creature, even though it had tried to kill him he respected that nothing should have to go through pain like that, so the prince stood up promptly walked over next to the howling and tortured soul of a creature and quickly and mercilessly cut off the creatures head, the mushroom seemed to die and shrivel up as the head came off of its black fured body and rolled onto the dirt ground looking up at the prince with an agonized yet grateful look, "What the hell could have done that" he quickly said to himself
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