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[Graded]Fragmented Memories
Topic Started: May 10 2017, 02:54 AM (422 Views)
Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

Leonidas had only been to Ironforge once before. Ten years ago it had been a guarded place, filled with distrust of the outside world and the uncertainty of fate. The city seemed friendlier now, or at least as outward appearances went. The loud hustle and bustle of the mountain-embedded metropolis attributed to some of that thought, as people went about their daily business alongside those who were in Ironforge for more abnormal purposes. Still, security was high and valued, the blonde-haired man noted, as he had already received several looks, probably because of the sword at his side and the large burlap sack swung over his shoulders.

Having already exchanged currencies and the like, Leonidas made his way through the droves of people crowding the streets slowly but surely, passing by many commonplace vendors before reaching the section of the city he sought out, the metalsmiths' shops. Clustered together, the distinct sound of hammering was evident, although not nearly as much as one would probably expect. In fact, there were no true forges to be seen. So the smithies did use the core of the mountain to create their pieces, it would seem.

Observing the different shops for a moment, the crimson-eyed man headed towards one headed by a girl who couldn't have been much older than 25. Compared to the other smiths, she was very young, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. The younger one was, the more flexible they usually were. And considering flexibility was required when it came to repairs and that her prices didn't seem extremely high from a distance, Leonidas didn't see a much better option.

"Do you repair armor by chance?" he asked, projecting his voice that way the girl who was working away at a somewhat hot piece of metal could hear. A few moments passed before the girl put down the rod she was hammering at and walked up to the wooden counter of the shop.

"I certainly do. Do you have it with you?"

In response to this, the blonde-haired man nodded, carefully placing the bag he was holding out onto the counter before spilling out the contents and protruding a sketch with dimensions from his pocket. The two discussed details for a solid amount of time, Leonidas walking away after, no longer possessing a bag or armor that had clearly seen better days. A brief moment of nostalgia hit him, remembering when Eris had insisted that him and Aaron get matching sets of armor so far back in his past. The man smiled for a moment, also recalling when she had insisted on him putting the Sigal family marking on the coat instead of his own. Leonidas had protested at first, but eventually agreed. It was one of the few parts of the set that was still relatively intact after the armor had saved his life not too long ago. There was a sense in relief in that thought, even if it had been nothing but pure coincidence.

He headed back towards the general market, realizing that he was actually quite a bit hungry. One hand laid casually on the hilt of Calamitas, the other scratching the back of his head, he stood on his tip-toes for a brief moment, looking around for a place to eat. Unfortunately, this part of the city was extremely crowded, and with his considerably below average height Leonidas couldn't really see anything. Sighing, the man waited, going along with the flow of the barely ebbing river of people.
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Like an errant cloud of dust, Emily was blown along by the winds of the world, drifting across the wide reaches of Fiore. She left a trail of destruction behind her, stretching from town to town, a legacy that wouldn’t be considered respectable by most of the world. In her mind, she felt that it was all part of existence, so remorse or regret never entered the picture. Now she found herself in Ironforge, browsing through the racks of blades, armour and other assorted battle paraphenalia. She started considered what sort of scheme she might use to acquire enough money, so that she could purchase one of these wondrous objects.

There was something about forges and metal that drew her in. Despite her roots as an ice mage, the creative fire of the forges fascinated her. The fact that one could take raw metal and create something new and powerful out of it appealed to her at a primal level. She thought of the deadly black dagger that sat at her hip and wondered who had originally forged it. It had been something she’d acquired, but its provenance was uncertain. Whoever the smith had been, he or she had clearly been talented. The efficient death dealing of Blood’s Tear continually amazed her and she felt that it was crafted by someone with a deep understanding of killing.

Her distracted thoughts had led her to a rare moment of clumsiness. As she turned, she felt someone smack hard into her and there was a startled exclamation. Looking up, she met the eyes of a slight blond youth who had caromed off of her in the crowd. He seemed relatively unassuming but there was the air of something, a certain energy that the redhead could feel emanating from him that made her stop. On further inspection, she noted his striking crimson eyes and a fascinating tattoo on his forehead, a tattoo that told her this boy wasn’t merely human. She let her emerald eyes go wide and apologetic.

“Oh! I didn’t even see you there! I’m so sorry. Are you alright? How could I have been so clumsy?!”

Having made her apologies, Emily waited to see how the young man would react to her, hoping to find a way to get to know him better and discover what sort of dark potential he carried within him.

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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

The man had never been a fan of large gatherings. Not only were they annoyingly hard to navigate through, collateral damage had a tendency to strike in such places, doubled by the fact that the people could not run away from whatever terror beseeched them. Ironforge in particular was a city that, no matter how hard he tried to deny it, got the best of Leonidas's nerves. With a literal ceiling above him and far too many people around, it felt confined. What a horrid word that was, and all the agonizing moments it brought to life. Beneath the letters, the syllables, the ink, was fear. Anger, and terror.

There was no point in denying that he felt the same now as he did then. At that moment, such thoughts were not at the forefront of his mind, but they were ever present, like a storm on the horizon, waiting, watching, for the crimson-eyed man to let his guard down. It was less of an inward battle and more of a struggle for a gasping breath. Despair raked his heart, seeping into his every action. It was the atonement he deserved, but it hurt so much.

He had to continue. That was the indisputable truth. Otherwise, not only would Eris be trapped between life and death forever, but Leonidas would fall apart, if not tear himself to pieces. One thing led to another, just as they always did.

He felt a slight jolt, one that pulled him from grievous conclusions for a moment, as he turned and saw that it was a red-haired girl that had bumped into him. Before she apologized, the blonde-haired man saw the instantaneous gaze of prejudice she projected for even the slightest moment. A narrowed expression clouded his face for a second, before being neutralized.

"Oh, I'm fine. People run into me all the time," the blonde-haired man replied, a causal tone in his voice and his eyes looking up at the girl. "It's too crowded here in my opinion anyways." He thought for a moment, realizing that she could probably see around the crowd at least minutely better then he could.

"Say, have you seen any places to eat around here?"
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Emily smiled, but it wasn’t a smile entirely intended for her new acquaintance. Here was someone she found intriguing already. Unlike most people, he’d barely reacted at all. It was almost as if, on some level, he’d been expecting her to be there. HIs casual tone was an indication that the redhead could continue to learn more about him. Perhaps he wasn’t going to be a mark or a dupe like so many people with whom she’d dealt, but he might be an ally or at least some sort of contact she could use later. Emily was always looking for angles to exploit and trying to create the opportunity for those angles to exist. A new one had just sprung into life.

Her green eyes swept over the youth. He looked like he was barely into puberty but something about him told her he was much older than that. His voice was also considerably deeper than any child’s so she began to wonder what it was about him that made him so different. She glanced around and nodded at him before she spoke.

“Well I suppose that you’re alright then. I think there’s a café just down the street here if you’re hungry. I suppose now that we’ve come this far, I’d better introduce myself. My name’s Emily Winter. What’s your name?”

As usual, she didn’t wait for him to finish before she plowed into her next sentence. If he was to be connected to her, he’d just have to get used to it. She said, “What brings you to Ironforge? I just like metal work and blades a lot, but it seems people come here for all sorts of reasons. I guess you could live here too but something tells me you’re a traveler.”

Her line of chatter was a deliberate exercise in taking people off guard. No one really expected someone so talkative to be quite as sharp as Emily happened to be. It was a deflection that had worked so many times that it was almost instinctive for the pretty murderer.
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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

Having a natural, or he supposed unnatural, inclination towards deliberate speech, Leonidas was spared being cut off by the girl. Emily, as she introduced herself to be, seemed like a rather rambunctious teenager, but it was evident that she had keen observation skills. There was no doubt in the crimson-eyed man's mind that the girl had more to her then what met the eye. The real question was whether or not her intentions were that of a positive nature. Her mentions of blades made him pause in his thinking for a moment, although he supposed just about anyone could have a fondness towards weapons. It did seem the two already had something in common in that regard, at least.

He waited for a few moments after Emily finished, content on not being cut off. Although normally he wouldn't strike up a conversation with people on the street, the green-eyed girl intrigued him, if even in the slightest way. Aside, he would probably have to stay in Ironforge for a few days in order for the metalsmith to finish repairs on the armor he had handed her. Conversation happened to be a fine time killer if there ever was one.

"You'd be correct to assume that. I'm Leonidas. This cafe sounds pretty nice. Why don't we get a bite to eat? I too happen to be interested in weapons and the like," he replied, a razor-thin smile spreading across his face. "As for why I'm here, I had a set of armor break quite a while ago. It's long overdue to be repaired, and since I was in the area I decided to head to this wonderful city for the task." In his compliment of Ironforge, there was a tinge of annoyance, yet it wasn't quite severe enough to be an insult. The blonde-haired man liked the overall purpose and industry of the city, with it's legendary blacksmithing techniques and relative independence from Fiore, but as previously noted it was too enclosed and crowded for him to let his guard down even in the slightest. Granted, Leonidas couldn't truly be relaxed anywhere. There were always people, whether they be seeking virulent revenge or possessing zealous anger, that wanted to hunt him down. The fact was that his mistakes were beyond reparation.
Edited by Reya Starlyght, May 17 2017, 12:51 AM.
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She could tell that this Leonidas was used to his own company and didn’t like any interruptions. This suited Emily down to the ground. He would be the kind of person who wouldn’t necessarily volunteer to control the conversation. The redhead had always felt that if one controlled the conversation, one could control its direction and content. She smiled at him again, sweeping her hair from her eyes with one hand.

“I’d enjoy a bite to eat Leonidas. I’m ever so glad to hear that you like weapons too. They’re just such beautiful things and so wonderful at their given task.”

She gave him another glance to gauge his reaction and continued, “Did your armor break through use? What I mean to ask is whether or not you’ve been in a lot of battles? I am not much of a warrior, so I always find true fighters impressive.”

Emily was neglecting to mention the number of people and other beings who had met their ends at her hands, but for now Leonidas didn’t need to know. She gestured towards the street.

“Let’s make our way down to the café and you can tell me more about the battles you’ve fought. I always like those stories. I guess...maybe...well...we can discuss the next topic I want to discuss once we get to where we’re going!”

They made their way down the street, passing through crowds of people, headed towards the chosen café. The crimson-haired killer watched her new companion, trying to figure him out and judge who and what he was in more detail.

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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

Yes, he had indeed met a plethora of people like the girl before. Fanatics of all assortments were common in the grand scheme of things, but seldom did they play an important role. There was an old saying that went something along the lines of what Leonidas was witnessing, although at that moment the exact words escaped his grasp. An abnormality was ever present though. The mere mention of the word beautiful and weapon in the same context, it seemed almost sadistic in nature. Certainly he held a certain fondness for them, but it was not because of the killing intent the objects possessed.

His expression held no concern, though, for he had none. If Emily turned out to be a violent madwoman, he couldn't care less. Such a companion would probably be more entertaining, although not too out of the ordinary considering the people he had held civil debate with in the past few months. He mentioned nothing of it, though, giving a curt nod followed by a half-hearted mumble in agreement to the girl's first statement.

Unfortunately, her second seemed to require actual words in reply, but before doing so he made careful note of the girl's use of the word true. To a degree, it contradicted her statement before, for if Emily was not much of a warrior, then why would she imply that she was one, or at least part time, only a brief moment after? Leonidas was now certain there was more to her then what met the eye, but for now he would play innocent. It was always fun to mess with other's perception of himself. He also happened to excel at the matter.

"Yes and, well yes I suppose," the blonde replied, involuntarily scratching the back of his head in half-ponderance. He didn't have time to elaborate further, for Emily had started walking, and talking, her way to the restaurant she had previously mentioned. Following, he took note of her tone, with a grain of annoyance for it was extremely obvious to him she was both trying to pull him into some rant and insert herself into the picture. "Alright, though it's not as exciting as you think."

As the two arrived at the cafe, a gray rock carved building, Leonidas ventured inside, soon after heading to the back of a somewhat long line. He was not an impatient person, nor did he try to draw attention to himself at any time, so there was no difficulty whatsoever running through his head as the blonde waited. Nay, it was actually a rather pleasant restaurant, with the smell of food and coffee wafting in the air. At the very least the ceiling reminded him of a more normal city.
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For a young man, he was awfully reserved. The only conclusion that Emily was able to draw from this was that he wanted to resist giving her a definitive answer. She was fine with that. It was merely another dimension to the game in which they were both players. It wasn’t as though the crimson-haired, pale murderess was easy to put off. She’d pursued much harder targets to crack and succeeded, so she was willing to bide her time and try to find an opening to pursue. Emily chuckled lightly in Leonidas’ direction as she replied to him.

“Well let me be the judge of what is or isn’t interesting! Anyways, time to order!”

There was a strong temptation for the redhead to barge to the front of the line, but she knew how people tended to view that. Deferring urges was not something at which she excelled, but she was getting better at pushing aside her more destructive tendencies. Sitting in prison cells was something that she’d long ago started to find both tedious and counterproductive.

Eventually they snaked through the line and Emily ordered a poppyseed pastry and a large cup of coffee. Leonidas placed his order and they were told it would be brought to them when it was ready.

They took up residence at a two-person table and Emily leaned in towards Leonidas.

“So come on, tell me about the last battle you were in! I mean you can give me the general idea or the blood and guts,so to speak. Is that when your armor finally broke? I bet it was after an amaaaaziiiiiing fight!”
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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

He was too old to be dealing with overly zealous teenagers without something to offset the experience. As the blonde checked the clock though, and considered where he was, he came to the conclusion that it was not the time to be consuming alcohol. Yes, coffee would be a much more acceptable beverage, and that reasoning carried with Leonidas as he ordered from the cafe's counter as the time came. A bagel and black coffee, to be exact. There was absolutely nothing sweet about it, for he had certainly seen enough sugar as of late to avoid it for the next few months or so. Creamer was just downright disgusting in any situation.

He dutifully followed Emily to a small table, yawning half-heartedly as he sat down. No, the girl was not boring to him, not in the slightest, but for a man who rarely played any emotion above monotone or casualness it was just an everyday protocol. A means to cope, so to speak. If he was not overly enthused or angered towards anything, he couldn't loose control. And if he didn't think too hard, he wouldn't recall his past every waking moment. The latter was much more difficult to carry out. Both were excruciating.

Emily was forcing him to delve into history, though. If he could just skip, just... no, he couldn't. The white light had been burned into his memory so thoroughly that his mind could not trick him, could not try to dull the moment. Leonidas felt the pain, every inch of it, every time he thought of her. There were no words to describe it but complete devastation. He wondered how he continued, how he could push on. The crimson-eyed man knew the answer. That was why he kept a calm facade, even as the anguish boiled inside him.

"First, my armor broke a long time ago. I simply haven't had a need for it until now. Second, well the last battle I was in wasn't against living things, so, it didn't have any of that," Leonidas started. "Fighting animated candy is a unique experience, one could say."

He could have said a lot more. He imagined the teenager would have liked to hear a lot more concerning the armor-breaking battle. There were three reasons why he didn't. The first, the two's order came soon after he finished. Secondly, he did not want to dwell on one of the most horrifying battles in his chronicle, a word that applied both to the blonde's actions and the end result. And the final reason was that he couldn't. He had the words, the phrases, but try as he might the crimson-eyed man could not speak them out. They sat festering in his conscious, incinerating holes in his sanity. But he couldn't, not without her.

That was why he posed a question at Emily instead.

"You mentioned the word 'true' earlier, implying that you yourself have been in combat before. I'm sure you're a much better storyteller then me, so why not give it a shot?"
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Emily giggled, a giggle not entirely within the realms of sanity at the thought of animated candy. She wondered about how dangerous animated candy could really be, but some of the things she’d seen over the years would fit neatly into that kind of bizarre situation as well. She caught Leonidas in her bright green gaze as she said, “Was the candy very dangerous or just...sticky?”

There was something being held back in all of this. It was a subtle hesitation from the blond knight, but it was still a hesitation. She knew that people without her unique ability not to feel anything often suffered long term trauma from having to face violent battles, so she didn’t want to push for now. She felt like Leonidas had more capacity than many to cope with having seen violence, but he was still likely more possessed of a conscience than she would ever be.

She answered his question without hesitation.

“We’d be here for hours if I started telling you those stories! I once almost ended the world. I ended up in a pocket dimension with something called The Dreamer. It’s still out there somewhere. It was a nasty thing with big tentacles and it made everything smell like dead fish. Euugh.”

She smiled.

“I also went to the jungle and made jam with someone for a while. It wasn’t a fight but it was interesting. The jam wasn’t so good though. I was also seeking treasure, but I never found any. It was how I started making jam though.”

She regarded Leonidas with her bright gaze again and asked, “So are you more of a sword guy or more of a magic guy?”

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