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[Graded]People Watching [OhMariko]
Topic Started: Jan 3 2017, 01:04 AM (406 Views)
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The Slumbering One
It was bustling and busy in the station, but Learme remained unbothered by the chaos. People rushed back and forth, picking up luggage and dropping off tickets. It was so many little threads, all wrapping together in one tapestry of life. Most of it was dull, drab, and frankly? Quite painfully mundane. Here, someone lost their hat. Over there, a man struggled to swap his ticket to his other hand as he tried to sip his coffee. No, those sorts of things were totally uninteresting.

However, he also saw other things. A man in more colourful dress, with a tattoo on his shoulder that clearly marked him as part of a guild. Based on his self-confident stride and lack of apparent attention to those around him, he was probably a guild mage that was far more impressed with himself than actually competent. Possible, but... no, bad odds. There was a family, hugging a young boy goodbye. The young man had a shovel, a bandanna that was pushed down over one eye, and a resolute expression. Treasure Hunter, maybe? It was a popular choice for those who didn't have magic. Maybe a mercenary guild?

Drinking in all the little mysteries, Learme sat back, spinning his ticket around his fingers. He still had a while yet until the carriage came for Acacia. Apparently, he had just missed the last one. Shrugging slightly, he went to flick open a book, but the cover was slicker than he expected. It went spinning across the floor, and the Archive mage sighed. Well, this was just peachy.
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"Excuse me.... excuse... ex... ex-cuse..." a masculine voice attempted to be on top of all the other noises in the chaotic train station that was in Kunigi, a trade post that lied in between Magnolia and Onibas, thence it was understandable for any average human being that the place was naturally, or at least expectedly, jam-packed. But, the anthropomorphic panda standing at around seven feet tall and wearing a dark formal suit, who had been mildly pushing and moving people to the side, was finding it hard to understand how people seemed to fail to notice his hulking presence and ignore his polite pleas to be given way. It was for their benefit, anyway. His mistress, a vermillion-haired woman who quietly took small steps as he safeguarded her with his chubby furry arms, once had her patience snap, could retaliate and do things everyone would regret later. He did not want this to happen, also because he was commanded by his master who lent him to the redhead to keep her away from trouble. That was where the decision to shove people or demand space came from.

But this was getting out of hand.

Knox, the panda, sighed all his annoyances. He took in as much air as he could, not minding how polluted it could be because of all the carbon dioxide being exhaled by the living creatures in this packed space, and then finally, thunderously roared, "GET OUT OF THE WAY YOU A**H*LES!"

That definitely took most of the patrons' attention. Or rather, half of them felt threatened that a giant bear was losing his temper. Thus, space was given to him and his mistress. On the other hand, the redhead to whom currently Knox worked for, Tsuna Kushinada, quietly and bereft of any expression, held her gaze on her butler. She did not condemn the action nor approve of the action. Heck, there was not even a single hint in her blank gaze that would at least tell anyone if the steps taken by her assistant concerned her. But, the panda was actually used to it.

"THANK YOU," he loudly uttered before guiding the young pregnant lady donning a black vintage swing dress to an area where passengers of the train could wait while having themselves rested on a slightly comfortable gang chair. Well, it was not cushioned, and prolonged lounging might hurt one's rear, but it was better than nothing, especially for someone who was carrying a baby bump.

Knox allowed Tsuna to be seated, the heiress' skirt flowed as she moved and sat down. Thereafter, Knox took out a wide fan out of one of the inner pockets of his suit, and fanned the pretty lady as she was dazed in the space.

"It's not really a good idea to travel this far," the furry butler said, his round, black eyes were on Tsuna who was not reacting to anything he was saying. Again, he was used to it. "Hopefully these pills we got from one of the traders here would finally have an effect on you..."

Tsuna was suffering from a not-so-pleasant mental condition brought about by various factors. Some said it was genetic. A few believed it was due to the onslaught of trauma and stresses she had encountered, primarily due to the death of her boss. She was under medications, but then lately most of the pills her doctor was giving her were not working, even on high dosages. A new prescription was given, yet they could not find anything similar to it in Trillium. Thus, when a trader who had shops in Kunigi and Onibas had a few of them, Knox decided not to wait any longer or depend the acquisition on another comrade. Besides, Tsuna needed some fresh air. She has been imprisoned in her room for weeks already, and the panda thought it would be a good idea to let her have a walk. Thus, this travel...

"And it did not seem to be a good idea to put you in a place like this," the butler dropped his shoulders. The flame-haired heiress bore not a single reaction on her visage.

"I hope someday you'll be back to normal, even if I have no idea what your normal self is..." the empty chubby hand of the panda patted Tsuna's head.

As Knox was being slightly pensive, a book bumped on the heiress' ballet flats. The movement, and the abrupt stop on her feet, caught the anthropomorphic bear's attention...

As well as the heiress', who shifted her eyes from the many people that rushed the station to the book on her feet.

"Book..." she muttered, her first word that day.
Edited by Mariko, Jan 4 2017, 05:32 PM.
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The Slumbering One
As Learme attempted to shove his way through the crowd, a voice suddenly roared. "GET OUT OF THE WAY YOU A**H*LES!" Blinking, Learme looked around, just as the crowd cleared for a second. Sneaking through the hole, he heard someone yell "THANK YOU", seemingly the same person. His head cleared most of the crowd by just a bit, and he thought he could see.... was that a Panda in a suit? What? As he got closer, he saw a fan moving, but not much more.

As he looked down, one eyebrow raised. It seemed his book had ended up right between the Panda and the rather emotionless looking pregnant woman. Slowing, he paused, staring at her. He was a bit surprised to see that the book had drawn her attention, and a moment later, she spoke. "Book...." Well, there was something going on there. From the tense but caring body language of her caretaker, who was indeed a large panda in a suit, to the girl's listless expression, something weird was going on here.

The book at her feet happened to be of particular interest to Learme. "Magic's Shadow: The Dark Guilds of Fiore." The cover bore three icons. A pair of crossed hammers, a twisted, heart-like shape, and a strange symbol, like a bird. The symbols of Tartaros, Grimoire Heart, and Raven Tail. Slowly picking it up, he looked at her curiously. His typical smile had shrunk slightly, going from actively amused to cautiously enthused. "Yes. Did you want to see it?" As he moved upwards, his clothing rustled slightly. It felt like the world was holding it's breath, despite the busy nature of the train station. People were avoiding the trio, considering the people there. A horned man, a massive bear, and a strange, quiet girl. It was enough to make people a bit uncomfortable, to be sure.
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While the book that touched her feet bore inscriptions that were familiar to the vermilion-haired heiress, especially the one that resembled to an avian creature, it was not what piqued the teen's interest. The fact that it was a book zapped her out of her trance-like state, the item brought back pleasant memories and an odd connection between different circumstances. Vento Aureo, her partner who perished in an operation during the third phase of the Boscan War, was fond of books. The pregnant teen could remember that during the last time they were together, he was glued to a hardbound book as they traveled a shady jungle. Moreover, his bedroom was literally a library, and it was where Tsuna once spent most of her nights waiting for his return during his disappearance. She got acquainted with the scent of bound parchment that she had, by some twisted logic, related Vento with a book.

The random appearance of the item made her think it was a premonition. He would be there. Her heart skipped a beat. She was thrilled.

But, instead of seeing a charming man of skin as pale as the moon and cascading hair as dark as the starless night sky with lean physique, there stood before her was a horned one whose eyes were eerie and reminiscent of... a demon? Though, it never made Tsuna feel fear. Her glassy eyes peered at his glowing own. It remained for a fee seconds before she tilted her head in retort to his question.

"Book," she uttered, pointing at the item once again. Then, she wore an empty smile --- and with that, it meant it did not exude any happiness or any other emotions. "Are you an Aureo?" she asked.

Knox, on the other hand, slapped his forehead with his own fluffy pad before placing his paws on Tsuna's shoulders. "I apologize for what my ward said, sir," the panda butler was polite. He knew it would not do any good to be hostile with anyone, may they be beast-like or not. "Please do not mind her, she... is just wired differently."

Out of the blue and while the panda was trying to explain the pregnant woman's situation, Tsuna stood up and hugged the stranger. "An Aureo, are you not?"
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The Slumbering One

Well. Whatever he had been expecting, that question wasn't really it. Was he an Aureo? What was... an Aureo? The girl looked totally vacant despite her smile, and was staring straight at him, while pointing at the book. This was odd. Tilting his head, he didn't respond at first. This... could go poorly or positively. He wasn't really sure which, to be honest.

It seemed her caretaker had a better inkling of what was going on, though. As he apologised for this girl, whose name Learme still did not know, he seemed to be rather nervous. Was this girl an Aureo? Did he look like one of her lost family members? That seemed implausible at best. His hair and eye color was different, and he was pretty sure he didn't have similar facial features. So, that didn't make any sense. He tried looking to the butler for confirmation, but he seemed to be pretty certain something was wrong with what she believed to be the case. Oh dear. Had he accidentally set off someone crazy? Normally, he would find this amusing, but something about this was just making him uncomfortable. Was it the broken nature of this woman? It felt like looking at a sabre, snapped in two.

All of a sudden, arms were wrapping around his body. He froze, shocked, as the girl hugged him. What? What was... this was not going to plan. What was happening what was happening what was happeniiiiiiing.

As his mind went through a minor meltdown, he dimly registered her question. An Aureo. Wait... could that be a word for artificially created being? Probably not, but if so... no, best not to gamble on that. He was afraid to move, afraid to break the hug that probably wasn't meant for him. It was oddly warm. Still...

"My... name is Learme Melchance."

Well. Time to see where this roulette wheel halted.
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Knox jumped out of his skin when it dawned to him what his mistress was doing: the pregnant lady who never gained weight because of the various anomalies running on her veins was hugging a complete stranger. As Tsuna started rubbing her cheeks against the man's chest, the panda finally recovered from the shock that he had to do something to break this possibly awkward moment for the man who introduced himself as Learme Melchance. Thus, he quickly went to the side of his red-haired mistress and grabbed her arm, trying to break the embrace by tugging it back. It was, unfortunately, to no avail. The more the panda pulled Tsuna's arms away from Learme, the tighter Tsuna would cling to him.

"Tsuna!" Knox exclaimed, still trying to break the embrace but miserably failing. "Let him go!"

"NO!" the redhead roared, now wrapping one leg around Learme's. "BOOK! AUREO!"

The panda could not help but to let out a frustrated groan, fighting the urge to thwack the lady on her head. "He isn't an Aureo. He isn't Vento's relative and neither is his reincarnation, god!"

"LIES!" Tsuna was obstinate, this time both her legs were around Learme's; the heiress was clinging onto him like a child. "Book! Vento! Book!"

Knox could just assume that Tsuna thought Learme was Vento because they both have books. That... was a ridiculous analogy, but what could he do? People suffering from the same mental affliction as Tsuna were prone to those.

"Tsuna..." Knox now held Tsuna by the waist and tried to pluck her out of the man, "his... name... is... Learme Melchance!"

"MELCHANCE!" Tsuna shouted, still clinging onto Learme. "That's the only thing I want! A CHANCE to live with HIM!"

Knox let her go and dropped his shoulders. He had a feeling all of these would not go well if he tried to push Tsuna further. He then looked at the stranger who became a victim of Tsuna's bad analogies, and bowed in front of him repeatedly.

"Sir," he started, "I apologize for this inconvenience. Please bear with it a little longer. I'll come up of an idea on how to remove my mistress out of your... body. Please have patience. By the way, I am Knox, and that... crazy... girl is my mistress, Tsuna Kushinada. I have a feeling that my mistress thinks you are a reincarnation or somewhat related to her deceased lover because of ... the book."
Edited by Mariko, Jan 13 2017, 12:16 AM.
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The Slumbering One

And now the girl was rubbing her cheeks on him. What was happening. What is life. Did he accidentally consume narcotics, somehow? This made no sense. The girl clung to him like a limpet, and it seemed even the Panda Butler's efforts were insufficient.

Chiming in on the fight, Learme muttered weakly "Uh... I doubt I could be the reincarnation of anyone you know, Tsuna..." He wasn't really going to get a response, he expected, and evidence seemed to suggest he was right.

And now she was hanging off him. This was... hoo boy, this was odd. What was he supposed to do now? He could sit here and wait, but he was feeling a bizarre hot feeling in his face. How odd. Sighing, he decided to see if he could work his arms out. This proved to be less than fruitful. This girl was actually fairly strong, a fact belied by her small size. Sighing, Learme settled down to wait. This was going to be interesting.

Oof. That cry was a bit of a stretch, but it hit him harder than he expected it to. The demon had a sudden flash of a cold, concrete-walled room, and his own form, sitting in the corner, staring at nothing. He had always kept a smile on his face about it, never let the creeping memories sneak up on him since he escaped. If he had been forced back into that kind of life now... with a shiver, Learme felt tears leaking from his eyes.

It took him a minute to process what Knox was saying to him, given this. Sniffling slightly, he nodded. "Uh.. g-good to meet you, Knox. I.. see? I guess? Sorry, this is all a bit confusing." He gave a weak smile to the panda, tears still streaming down his face. He wasn't outright sobbing, but he was certainly crying. The wet spots on his sweater attested to that.
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It was not impossible for anyone to think that, based on the reaction of the sickly-looking man when the redhead clung onto him, he was going to pass out after some time. It might be caused by the woman's surreal strength compared to that of the man, or her weight as she was carrying twins, or maybe, just maybe, of breaking down due to some emotional distress. Whatever the reason might be, Knox was obviously worried of the stranger. In hopes of alleviating the load being cast upon the shoulders of the man who must not have seen all of these coming nor dreamt of being harrassed this way by a broken psyche, he held onto the redhead's arm ever so tightly, paying no mind to the fact that his claws might sink onto the delicate flesh of his mistress, and violently tugged her away from him. After several tries, he managed to peel her off Learme which brought relief to the panda-butler's mind.

But not for Tsuna.

As she was in the arms of her trusted companion, her cerulean eyes locked on the man's visage, noticing how tears streamed down his visage. She gasped --- did she made him cry? Tsuna never meant to make anyone cry! With the speed accorded to her, the woman struggled and reneged from the panda's hold and rushed back to Learme. Her warm hands cupped the sides of his visage, thumbs were pressed on his cheek wiping off the moist that befell from his eyes.

"Why are you crying?!" she asked with a tone of evident concern. "Why are you crying, man from Neo Cortex? Please, do not cry! Who made you cry?! We shall avenge you!"
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The Slumbering One

As he sniffled, mind wandering in the past, he felt the grip removed from him, and his arms actually regaining a bit of feeling after the long period of numbness. He stood up shakily, grabbing a hankie from his pocket and wiping his face. "Ah, thank you... Uh, sorry about that, Tsuna..." He looked over to the girl, who was currently being tugged away by the Panda-Butler, and tried to think of what to say.

As he did so, he was suddenly, again, confronted by the young woman. She was up in his face, at a speed he was REALLY not expecting. Good god, she was quick for such an unassuming looking woman. Nearly cursing aloud, he suddenly felt thumbs pressed against his face, and had a sudden mental image of them being plunged into his eyeballs for impersonating her beloved. His hand was moving upwards, body shaking slightly, when he heard her words.

"Uh... I uh... didn't... mean to cry? Sorry?" He was totally lost now. Neo Cortex? Where was that? Why was she referring to him as such? He blinked slowly, feeling the gentle motions, and shrugged. Well, this was getting odd. He wasn't used to using his forked tongue in such a manner, but... well, honestly, he doubted anyone would really believe this girl, and he was otherwise out of ideas. "Tsuna, look at me. Really look at me."

He put his hands on her hands, and let a heartfelt tone creep into his voice. He also managed, just barely, to keep his eyes off the thumbs just below them. "I'm not Aureo. You know that. I don't know who he is, but I'm not him. I'm sorry, but I don't want to hurt you." He had read that in one of those novels, although he was paraphrasing slightly. Something about a love triangle and identical twins.
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"But you are..." muttered the red-haired pregnant heiress, eyes were teary as she cupped the stranger's cheeks. "You like books. You read books. Vento likes them too." To a logical and sane, it was too shallow a reason to believe someone was a reincarnation of another. Indeed, it was not only the deceased researcher who liked books. There definitely had tons of people in the whole of Fiore who shared the same hobby. But at the moment, Tsuna did not comprehend that. Her insanity and longing rewrote reasons and disregarded facts.

She refused to let him go or believe him despite the fact that Learme already placed his hands on top hers, sincerity somewhat flowed through the words no matter how creepily it was delivered. Instead, she pressed them closer, held onto him tighter; cerulean eyes appealed to those of the man, begging him to at least tell her she was right, and that as an incarnate of a missing soul he could remember her. He was a glimmer of hope...

Furry hand landed on Tsuna's shoulder, causing the heiress to temporarily peel off her gaze from the man to look at Knox. The panda, who seemed to be able to read the sentiments of his ward, gently shook his head in support of Learme's claim.

"He isn't, Tsuna..."

She frowned. Turning back to Learme, she finally gave it up and let him go. Pulling her head down, one could hear a soft sob before she said something directed at the man, "Sorry..."

With gloom covering her entirety, she turned her back on Learme, and dragged her heavy feet back to her seat.

Lulled she was once more to silence.
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