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 The Crimson Beak (novel version)

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PostSubject: The Crimson Beak (novel version)   Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:10 pm

Chapter 1: Formation of the Team
Scene 1: Unlikely Allies

A zombie grey hand pressed silently against the white brick, melding into a shadow as the body pushed through the stone and sneakily emerged from the other side of the wall. A woman in a grayish-black dress hunched down and crept in the broad daylight. Not only was her dress a bad choice because of the lack of camouflage against the white stone but also because it hindered the speed at which she was running. However it was a short distance and if she moved fast she could go along the top of the wall in a single stretch and make it into that castle window unseen.
Eating a sandwich, the lone crossbowman sitting on a bench nearly fell off his seat when he saw the woman skirting along the tops of the wall. Quickly he stood up and pointed her out, that any near by comrades might see. "Intruder!" Sweat beaded down his neck as he was alone and had never killed anyone before, hastily he brought his crossbow to point up at the skirting crenulations along the top of the courtyard wall behind which the assassin was running. Not only was it hard to pin his target with the crenulations often blocking his target, but he also couldn't find it in himself to fire. Besides his platoon had heard his shout and were on their way; they might take over and complete the dirty deed for him. He could hear them still running under the white arched stone bridge that guarded the drawbridge entrance. "Um... Surrender immediately!" he somewhat demanded but his lack of conviction was apparent in his voice.
A pompous giggle rang out that could send shivers down someone's spine, wholly on how haughty and highly it rang.
The female was within range of the window and could enter with ease, however having been discovered she chose a different path. With a swift leap the assassin leapt down from the side wall, her stilettos hitting the grass like knives. Now there was no longer a point in hiding and in a dozen steps she placed her feet onto the main cobblestone path as a dozen guards soon came trumpeting through the main entrance.
A wall of simple brown pants and silver breastplates and pauldrons arrived covering a white long-sleeved shirts. The guards' helmets were round with an extended steel widow's peak that guarded the nose-bridge as if to represent the beak of a bird, and the two pointed spikes that came down like steel sideburns almost made the helmet seem like a claw, once all three spikes were considered. Their left hands carried a simple slightly larger than dinner plate sized polished white shield with a crimson elongated upside-down water drop shape in its center. It was a simplified emblem that was supposed to represent a beak looked upon from strait ahead but left a bit to the imagination due to its poor design. In the right hands of those guards were simple two sided straight edged, medium length blades.
"After her!" shouted a rather obese guard, one who held a two handed hammer rather than sword and shield.
Loudly shouting and charging they quickly took up positions around the woman.
The assassin flirtatiously flicked back her long dark lilac-grey hair before resting her nearly glowing violet hued eyes upon the men with a cocky smirk.
The swordsman leading the charge suddenly halted. She had a long faded black dress that extended all the way down past her navy blue sash belt down to where it often hid her dark stiletto heels. Her short, round, and poufy velvet princess sleeves were that same navy blue color. A dark shiny waxy black semi-circular region of her dress dipped below the collar and extended down to her breasts the other half of the circle folding over her shoulders and down to her back. A pair velvet blue gloves reached behind her back and drew a jet black bow and arrow, she could already see the recognition reaching some of their eyes.
"Wait..." began the first guard, "Is that the Black Witch?"
A second guard halted behind the first. "Yeah isn't she the one who killed over fifty Beak, back at Forest Block?"
The eight remaining guards caught up and halted a good dozen paces behind. Many of them recalled the gruesome incident where the supposedly infamous female assassin renown for horrid black magic, had taken the very life from those in her path and escaped the fortress of Forest Block unharmed with the governor slain.
Nervous mumblings seemed to spread contagiously through the troops moral.
"Yeah screw this!" The nameless man spoke out, addressing his obvious concern for his life as well as those around him, knowing they didn't really have much of a chance of going up against her.
The obese man with the hammer stepped forward, his bravado stapled clearly across his smug double chin. "Shut up men, we have her surrounded." His hands were placed heroically at his sides upon his hips, his hammer still held loosely in his right hand. "So got that bitch?!! Put your hands up!"
She rolled her eyes. "Is that all you boys have to say? You boys couldn't sound more cliché if I paid you too." She smiled deviously as her high voice began to articulate their coming fate. "Oh well it all ends here." Her eyes narrowed down on the two isolated guards out in the front, and with a single strafe to her side she lined them up and released her arrow. As it fired it crackled like lightning twisting and bolting with electric shadows released from her wicked finger tips.
In unison the two men let out their last gasps of life, crumpling to the ground spilling blood and letting out jet black bands of electricity from the identical four inch wide holes in their hearts.
All of the guards seemed shocked, their armor clearly was shown to be useless but what's worse, seeing the friends and fine fellow swordsmen they'd grown up with and served with, have their lives snuffed out in the blink of an eye. Against such powerful and deadly magic, they hardly knew what to do. However along the shaded edge of the wall the obese general had slipped in behind her, completely un-afraid, and with the woman so engrossed with the expressions on their faces, she could hardly hear his quite footsteps upon the grass as he lifted his mighty hammer above her head. His large and thick arms held aloft its tremendous weight eager to crush down upon her puny skull. His eyes tensed and nose wrinkled with hate, flexing his powerful triceps as he brought the powerful hammer down to end her injustice in one fell swoop.
But her death never came. Instead the brick wall behind her exploded with deafening force, a massive sword leading its way through the wall and coming down without stopping. The tip of its length wedged itself strait into the man's back gripping into the bent armor in such a violent thrash, that it made his hammer fly over his back as he was planted chest first into the ground.
Shocked and frightened beyond belief the Black Witch hunched down to avoid the shower of broken bricks and grey dust. Then turning her back to the guards she looked up to see a tall man standing in that clearing dust. His face held a hungry smile pumped with fervor as he uprooted his sword from the body and stood tall and triumphant with his muscular and attractive physique.
He was a clean shaven man with a rough head of short brown hair. His complexion was most notable; it was clear that he saw much sunlight with the incredibly orange tan he possessed. Upon his broad chest he wore a thick dusty brownish grey loose fitting tank top. Under that was a thin sun bleached black shirt with short torn sleeves. His pants were a brownish beige hybrid and held with a soft grey sash belt. His loose fitting leggings of his pants covered the tops of what appeared to be heavily worn faded brown traveling boots.
Had she just been rescued from certain death against unfathomable odds in a most uncanny manner?
The obvious answer seemed to indicate: Yes; yes in fact she had.
Now feeling safe, she realized that the hunk had obviously fallen head-over-heels in love with her; for her overly apparent attractive looks. Gracefully, she turned her back to the man, closing her eyes slowly as if to put on a suggestive air. "Well prince charming," she facetiously began, "I appreciate the effort, but as you can see," she slowly opened her eyes upon the several guards now standing before her, debating how to kill them in a way to impress the man, "I'm fully in control." She drew her arrow and pointed it at the center guard in the middle of the group. The others quickly stepped back from the targeted man, knowing all too well what would happen if they got too close. "So if you don't mind," she began thinking she would tell this man to step down so she could show him what she was capable of. She then turned her face to the side for a moment ignoring the frightened guards, narrowing her eyes to produce a coy smile he might catch, but her face soon wrinkled in confusion. "Huh, he's already gone?"
It had been a costly mistake to not pay attention and let her growing ego cloud her judgment, and in that instant a well trained archer from the rooftops clicked the trigger of his crossbow. The bolt was aimed for her head, but with some human flaw it crossed the fifty feet strafing off target slightly and plunged into her shoulder.
"Gah.." the grey-skinned woman shuddered in pain. In quite the pissed off manner she violently ripped the arrow out of her shoulder and stood tall, they had drawn the last straw. "That's it... You don't think I'm only an archer do you?" She rose her hands to the air as if to summon something, and indeed she did. A black swirling vortex of mist seemed to form its source coming from the group of guards twenty feet away. Quickly they weakened some falling to their knees unable to maintain their own weight as their very life force was drained away. It's swirling contents traveling into the seemingly undead girl's two extended arms and down into her body; feeding her in a malevolent manner and healing her shoulder. When the last smoky wisp released itself from the groaning group and made its way into her body she dropped her hands leaving guards a crumpled heap of death.
The crossbow man on the roof who'd witnessed such an event stooped back behind the defensive crenellations, trying to still his very shaken breath as to not be heard as his racing heart coursed with adrenaline and fear. Hopefully she'd ignore him.
The woman however seemed to pay him no heed, in fact such killing to her rarely rang a second thought in her conscience, and after finishing her meal, she brushed her hands together a few swipes discarding the last trails of smoke in finished gesture. She was more infatuated with discovering who that barbarian was; having her life saved and making no introduction wasn't a common thing. She looked around finding an open door into some hallway and cautiously stepped inside, perhaps she'd find him in there.

The tall man with the massive sword sniffed the air. The scent he was after was getting stronger and eventually he heard the clanking of cleavers upon a cutting board and spotted what he was after. "CHICKEN!!" he shouted with excitement grabbing the plate from a short blind looking woman and viciously ravaging it.
The woman, with a very young and smooth complexion, was dressed in a skimpy short skirt that showed much of her legs and wore a white sleeveless shirt. All her clothes were white which seemed to contrast heavily with her dark oriental complexion. She looked up at the man, her squinting eyes not even visibly showing any white.
He towered above her.
"There you are," the assassin's eyes quickly fell upon the white clad female, recognizing the red cross stitched widely upon her shirt. "Huh a Crimson Cleric..." Naturally the black magic assassin would notice the user of white magic; white magic after all was the deadly winner in a game of rock-paper-scissors against her own black magic.
The brawny man lifted the plate up higher, obviously paying no attention to what any of them were saying, keeping his chicken defensively out of reach. "My chicken," he grunted in a feral manner as if about to snarl like a dog.
"Actually, that would be the soldiers," the cleric corrected him, "but I don't care, as long as I get to cleave things... I'm happy." She produced a fake looking innocent smile, her squinting eyes still not visible through her lids.
At that creepy look the cleric gave, one that seemed to match her odd words, the Black Witch couldn't help but feel she had stumbled into a real case of weirdoes. She decided to keep her mouth shut for a moment just incase any of these people, obviously both freaks, were worth any of her time.
Suddenly the barbarian looked at the tall dark clothed assassin, like he'd just seen her for the first time. He raised a confused perhaps disgusted eyebrow. "Who the hell are you?"
Was this man, the one that saved her really asking that? "Don't you remember?" she ignored his obviously callus disregard for his taken actions, he couldn't be that dumb, and seeing as he started the conversation up, it seemed a good opportunity to begin to make her next point. "Well anyways I got this plan and I was-" She was harshly interrupted.
"Don't remember... Don't care..." He chucked the empty platter behind his head to let it shatter on the back wall. "Hey chicken-woman..." he spat angrily, his brow furrowed, and bits of chicken angrily flying out of his open mouth as he spoke. "What the hell is that?" His finger hovered above the onion she had prepared to cleave, his expression regarding it as if it were some alien device.
The white attired woman looked down on her shirt to make sure none of the chicken debris had landed on it, and finding herself relatively clean began to answer his question, making sure to maintain a condescending tone fitting for one who was speaking to a child. "That's a vegetable."
The large man lifted a muscular arm from his ripped shirt to scratch upon his head. "Uh... " he possibly paused over thought or a lack there of, "I don't get it..."
The assassin was quickly catching on to this man's general stupidity and obvious potential to be manipulated. "You know... the Crimson Beak is ordering the killing of any birds to be illegal. So that means chicken will no longer be available on the menu."
Two vice-like hands clenched painfully into her shoulders, she could not even wince under his inhuman strength before she was shaken and rattled violently. Had the barbarian not sent her hair into a mess that blocked her eyes, he'd be staring right into them. He growled as he spoke: "WHAT THE HELL DID YOU JUST SAY?"
In the back of her head, the assassin couldn't help chuckle at how simply easy that had been, already the idiotic lummox was bound to her cause.
His eyes were popping as if he threatened her to dare repeat such blasphemous words. "TELL ME AGAIN!"
Confident and calm, the assassin began to open her eyes to slowly, letting them shift across the room to avoid eye contact. "Currently I'm fighting..." she started her explanation before being shook once more as the barbarian interrupted again.
"Look, I don't have time for your explanations," his rugged voice was very demanding and demeaning to the woman he spoke to. "You're going to show me where this Crimson Beak is, and I'm going to CRACK open his skull..." he was silent as he clenched his jaw and made strict eye contact with her. "Got it?" he ended his ultimatum.
Clearly this was exactly what the assassin wanted but the way in which the over sized muscle man had somehow made it seem like he was in charge of the plan had her grinding her teeth with frustration, but now obviously wasn't the time to let such petty emotions get in the way. She let on a fake depressed sigh, going along with his demands as if she had been forced into having no choice. "Very well..."
At this moment the shorter oriental woman looked up. "Where do you people plan on going?" Her eyes still hidden in that creepy manner from how she held them squinted, somehow seeming more aware of her surroundings than she let on.
A question brought the Neanderthal to the point of utter confusion. Clearly thinking wasn't his strong point.
The Black Witch narrowed her eyes in paranoia. Already somewhat uncomfortable by the fact she was so near a deadly cleric, it didn't help that this one acted in such a particularly suspicious and creepy manner. Several thoughts that this might in fact be a set up dodged through her head. Suddenly she made the choice, no good could come from being in such a threatening circumstance. It was time to test the loyalty of her new companion. "Hey you--Barbarian... Kill her!"
The barbarian with one hand resting on the table looked up, purely taken aback by the assassin's sudden outburst.
The short woman smiled; deviously raising her cleaver as if she were already aware this would all take place. "I was looking for something to cleave anyways." Her smile twisted as the loud chop could be heard against the cutting board and an orange finger rolled off the table.
"No," violently protested the barbarian, picking up the heavily tanned female by the throat with his bleeding hand and holding her away from the assassin as if to protect her.
The gasping cleric reached for the arm that held her trying to pull up her weight up as to prevent choking.
"This woman sacrificed a chicken to me." His eyes closed with reverence. "I could never disregard such an honorable act."
All the choking cleric could think was: Dumbass... you stole it.
"But as for you..." The powerful muscles could be seen shifting in his chest and shoulders as he took one ominous pressing step towards the assassin.
Shit this is getting out of hand... the Black Witch thought, obviously not in the mood to fight with such a powerful man from the range she was at with her back cornered. "Hey cleaver girl..." she spoke before knowing what to say. "Let's make a deal, you re-attach his finger and I'll take you with us and you'll have plenty of victims to cleave." It was a long shot and unlikely to work, but at least such a distraction might give her a chance to escape. "HEY BARBARIAN!--PUT HER DOWN BEFORE YOU CHOKE HER!"
At this the overgrown man seemed to notice the woman, yet still was unaware of the fact he was missing a finger. "Huh? Uh... oh... oops..." He set her down realizing the error of his ways.
Still holding her throat the tiny woman hunched over and coughed to clear out the crushed sensation still lingering in her neck then resting her hands at her sides, she slowly stood up regaining both her posture and breath. Once all her breathing was normal she looked up at the roof and ran a gloved finger along the side of her smooth cheek and down to her chin with thought. "Hmm should I betray the army of the Crimson Beak?" she thought out loud so the others to hear. "Hmm... I'm not much for this healing job anyway."

Elsewhere in the dark and dingy chambers surrounded by shadowy stone columns sat an ominous figure that remained more still than it seemed possible for even a statue. A lone guard moved up the three steps that addressed the wide risen circular platform surrounding region of the throne that was lined up into an arch in the wall. The giant marble chair upon which the silver armored fiend sat was colorless and grey as everything else in the room.
Each step was brutally magnified in the ill silence. It was rare that any who spoke with the avian-clad suit of armor ever returned to tell the tale. That is why the new general was most displeased being awarded his new rank. He took a knee before the eight foot tall steal enchased giant that sat in the large chair. Those glowing white menacing eyes that peered from the darkness seemed to pierce into his very mind and soul and see the fear right through the man who already knew what would happen with the bad news he brought.
A deep and gravely voice that reflected the size and power of the individual speaking rattled the empty halls with echoic presence. "So you say you still haven't been able to capture the Black Witch?"
"Y-your honor..." the poor promoted guard tried to begin, but found himself unable to force another word.
Without missing a beat the mighty voice resumed: "Rumor has it, that not only that, but that our castle was breeched by a single man, and that we had one of our own break ranks and join up with the Black Witch."
Even being no more than a mere messenger, bringing such news meant certain death.
Not amused and caked with phlegm, the voice dropped one notch deeper, expanding its already impossibly ominous presence. "I hope you came prepared knowing the consequences for such failure."
"Your majesty please..." he stuttered checking his back, already sensing his impending doom and restraining that dire instinct to run.
A large shadow drifted over the area, barely stirring a change in reflection upon the metallic beak and full suit of armor the silvery giant held.
The ear-splitting screech range out, one that of a massive winged beast the size of a two story house. With two massive swoops, stirring up grey clouds of dust within the dingy nearly black room, it dropped down from the towering columns above and descended like death upon its prey, ripping and tearing the poor guard to pieces as it feasted in its master's presence.
Although no feature moved upon that silvery armor, it seemed somehow from the way those amorphous whites for eyes twisted, that the mighty being inside that metal shell, was smiling.
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PostSubject: Re: The Crimson Beak (novel version)   Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:14 pm

Chapter 1: Formation of the Team
Scene 2: Retreat

Aquamarine bluish-green glow irradiated from the white gloved hands of the cleric. In one glove was the bloody orange skinned finger. In the other, the hand which it was to be attached to. Carefully and under the healing light the dark-skinned healer held the two pieces together which seemed to sear and fuse under a blinding white light. Once it faded, the two pieces were whole again.
The large orange skinned man took his arm out of her clutches and held it in his other hand flexing the reattached finger to inspect its function. Everything seemed well enough so he took hold of his mighty sword resting in the corner. It's size and weight being comparable to that of four sledgehammers. He slowly extended his arm from behind his back and lifted it until the tip nearly scraped the fourteen foot tall ceiling. Then brought it down on the brick wall eight feet beside the door and walked though the hole it made.
Clearly there was no logic to why the man was cracking walls. Other than possibly saving a few feet here or there as the doors were often a bit off to the side, all he could possible hope to do was attract the attention of the entire castle.
"We could just go around them perhaps?" the small oriental cleric suggested, it seemed the obvious choice, as she hunkered down under some crumbling bricks and stepped over the pile of debris and into the next hallway.
However the barbarian was already a step ahead of them cracking the next wall before they could even step through the hole he'd just made. Finally he opened up the interior to the grassy outside and came upon the main five foot thick perimeter wall.
Surely he didn't intend to... the Black Witch withheld her question. Already the mighty barbarian sent his sword pounding into the wall, the magnitude of the force sending fracture marks up the wall and in an outward radial pattern. Some of the nearby bricks turned to powder with each consecutive hit as the wall became weaker. On the fifth hit one of the massive crenellations lisped to the side as it crumpled down, a whole five foot wide segment of the wall crumbled down into a steep pile and the barbarian simply walked over it as if nothing had happened.
Nervously the assassin poked her head out the broken wall, she was not so blindly reckless and ignorant as the impossibly inhuman barbarian. After seeing there were no archers she quickly paced across the open and scuttled over the debris, taking a few rushed steps until she caught up with the large man.
Not fond of being left behind the cleaver-girl was quick to follow.
"We don't have long," began the Black Witch checking her back to make sure no archers took the walls while she still lingered within range. "I'm sure the Crimson Beak has already sent soldiers after us. Considering your," she paused to emphasize the next word: "subtle exit plan... We need to get as much distance between us and that castle as possible." She pointed her thumb over her shoulder taking a few quick steps to keep pace with the large man's strides.
The barbarian closed his eyes enjoying the warm sun in his face cocking an amused smile at the woman's unnecessary worry, at least as he saw it fit. "Eh... relax. We'd just kill them anyways."
The assassin's face furrowed with perplexed outrage. "Not against a whole army we wont!" It seemed clear to her. "We were lucky last time. We had the element of surprise."
Again the large man merely smiled not even bothering to glance over his massive shoulder, instead he simply threw a dismissive wave her way, obviously finding her concern to be an irrational worry from an excitable character.
There was no way he could blow off such a thing! "You arrogant bastard!" the pale lady proclaimed almost more in awe of his fearlessness than outrage from his stupidity.
"I have a name, BITCH," he dryly retorted.
Now that he mentioned it, it was a little odd that they'd been together so long without a single one of them bothering to make any form of introduction. "Speaking of names... Is it just me or is it a little awkward that none of us know each other's name?
"I suppose it is a little weird," piped up the short one.
"Well I guess I'll be the first to volunteer. I'm Eon, it's a pleasure to meet you." The tall dark clad female gave a bow to the shorter cleric in white.
Not bothering to acknowledge or join in the little 'dog and pony show' as he saw it, the barbarian ignored them and kept walking.
"Hanyuu," was all the short one had said before returning such a bow.
Frustrated by his rudeness the tall assassin Eon stomped her foot. "HEY BARBARIAN!!"
The woman's rash and illogical behavior was starting to annoy him. "WHAT?!!"
Eon put on a polite and sophisticated air. "Politely introduce yourself to you two new friends."
Her false show of politeness was already ticking on his nerves, let alone this woman's obsessive desire to bug and control him... "WOMAN..." he literally snarled with no class, "Let's get one thing strait. I didn't join this little tea party to socialize. I came here to crack as certain someone's beak." Some of the harshness in his words stifled a bit as he was now regaining some control over his anger. "That's all."
The little cleric peered up at him from a weird angle. Tilting her head with that creepy smile, squinting perhaps from the sun, perhaps just because it was what she did. "You shouldn't be afraid," Hanyuu warmly told him. "It's natural to want to keep your name hidden from strangers. It helps keep us safe." Her eyes started to open sinisterly as she said her next line. "But I never thought you would be afraid." She had emphasized the word 'you' as she peered into his brown eyes for a reaction.
Her words had struck a solid blow.
"Me afraid?" The barbarian raised an eyebrow at the preposterous notion. "Listen and listen once." His lips curled into a smug smile. "I am the mighty Zathire, and when I speak my name it is my enemies that crumble with fear not me."
He had been played perfectly into the clever cleric's trap, and she smiled seemingly knowing of how easy it was to exploit his bravado. This flawless perception made Eon question if the healer could see just as much into her mind. She was still very uncomfortable traveling around this short woman, who could potentially fire some holy beam of righteous light her way and be done with her. I hate healers... Eon whimpered within her mind.
"So Eon," the cleaver girl turned a blind look to Eon as if trying to see her face. "What are your hopes and dreams?"
Eon was taken back by such a question. Not only was it odd, but also seemed like something from a little girl's fairy tale. It almost seemed like a trick question. "Me? oh..." Eon gave a nervous laugh. "I just want to get my farm back. Ever since the Crimson Beak control over the area its just been trouble for me and my village to supplement his laborious needs." She gave a sigh to the fact that she had to submit to such a preposterous reality. "My mom and brother were both killed when my farm failed to produce enough seeds, for his birds." She shook her head at the notion, ridiculous by any standard it was viewed from.
Finally the tall barbarian stopped, and the two girls had to pause and stop as to avoid walking into him. "Ugh... I'm gonna starve in five seconds..." His tone changed from tired to sharp. "Hey healer? You were sided with the beak... How come you were cooking chicken? I thought that was illegal." He scratched his head, hoping he'd remembered right that Eon had said that, and wasn't just having a mentally challenging moment.
"The Beak has many secrets, and there are those above the rules," Hanyuu simply said.
Despite being so dimwitted the boulder of a man quickly caught on. "So that would make you pretty high on the ranking list?"
Choosing to be cryptic and indirect she did not directly begin with the answer to his question. “A long time ago in the past, the Beak in secret formed an alliance with two members. I was one; the other was the leader of his elite force, the core of his units. Together the three of us conquered this land. But the beak grew weary of our growing power, and in paranoia, established a firm and vast hierarchy in which we were just below him.”
Eon's face was suddenly taken aback. “Then that would make you the legendary warrior…" her mouth hung upon the very words: "Blood of the Night" she could almost hear the screams of children within her mind, "the heartless slayer of an entire town… Rumor has it in Windale's Keep every guard was slaughtered and before morning, not even a single child remained." Suddenly Eon felt as if perhaps she was the holy one here by comparison. "THEN WHY THE HELL ARE YOU A HEALER?”
Zathire gave a mighty yawn, having never heard of such a story and hardly giving a rat's ass if it was true or not. “So if your so high and mighty could you find me another chicken? It’s already been about two hours I don’t know how much longer I can make it.” The sad part was he honesty had to consider what he just said to possibly be true.
“You fatass!" Eon walked in front of him and rose her arms in a 'what the hell?' gesture. "Is food all you think about?
Zathire scanned for other thoughts. “Uhh”
Eon shook her head clear of the obnoxious distraction, trying to get back on topic. "But wait a minute, if you're the legendary warrior, how come when you cleaved his finger, only one finger came off? Is it even possible to cut at such an angle as to only cut one finger?"
Zathire interjected. "Oh it just got cut cause the blade slipped between the bones in the joints, the rest just got skin cuts." He cocked a smug grin. "I'm surprised it didn't put a dent in your cleaver."
Once again the idiotic barbarian was making no sense. "Bones!?" Eon held her arms out in protest. "Bones can't stand up to a cleaver."
"Yes I was quite surprised myself," Hanyuu agreed.
The large man could not agree. "Like hell they can't. I fortify my bones everyday with a healthy glass of GanonMilk. Followed by rigorous bone fortification training."
His voice seemed to trail off for the next two minutes as the other two began to tone him out simultaneously.
"--and that's why they wouldn't break!" he violently ended his rant.
"Huh?" Hanyuu had not been paying a attention to a word he'd been saying.
"PRESSURIZED BONES!!" he answered.
Hanyuu turned to Eon. "What the hell is he talking about?"
The Black Witch closed her eyes and gave a mild shrug. "I don't know I wasn't listening."

As the noise settled two heavy footsteps could be heard behind them. A high nasal and whiney voice announced itself to the three as they were forced to turn around and see who it was. "My... My... Look what we have here." As the three turned around a large horse with five large staggered breastplates stood promptly before them and on top was the large nosed blond man, his blue eyes peering down on them with supremacy. "Two pretty little girls..." he sarcastically chided before twisting a wicked smile. "Just what my boys would love to play with."
Guards of the swordsmen variety slowly emerged from the shadows of the trees the three individuals had only recently entered. It was clear they'd waited on this part of the path for an ambush.
A rather stalk and well fed one began to ride his eyes up along Hanyuu's mostly visible leg. "Hey... Hey... Hey..." he catcalled before giving a few lecherous laughs.
A thinner one spun from around a tree revealing himself. Despite his rather snake-like appearance, he had an extremely deep and manly voice, his eyes tucked in between Eon's breasts. He licked his lips. "I'm gonna enjoy this..." With a push of his shield holding wrist against the bark of the tree he stood up taking a menacing step forward, he sword clutched ready in his other hand.
Despite all this Eon was hardly paying attention, instead she was trying to count the ones in the background that kept slowly popping up.
Zathire and Hanyuu could hear her mumbling. "One... two... three..." There was a long pause. "Eh... about fourteen." Her voice suddenly became louder as she turned to Hanyuu. "That should be no trouble for you. You wanted to have some fun? Well now's your chance." Eon stood back and eyed the barbarian who seemed less than afraid of the competition yet still held that massive broadsword heavily upon his shoulder. "Let the cleaver-girl have her fun fatty."
At this Zathire rolled his eyes.
With the extended lag in which it was still taking for three to panic, some of the guards began to question the identity of the somewhat oblivious three. Finally one in the back pointed out with a shout: "HEY IS THAT THE BLACK WITCH?!!"
Eon gave an off ward glance down to Hanyuu. "Trust me... That will be the least of your troubles."
The already short and wide hipped cleric took and even lower and wider crablike stance, holding her cleavers out like a pair of claws as she scuttled in a graceful sidestepping motion.
The guards however barely seemed concerned with the rouge cleric and were feasting their eyes on the tall and menacing size of the barbarian. "Hey that guy... What the hell type of sword is that?"
Before they had time to pay any heed or thought to that question, Hanyuu strafed from the crabwalk into a two step sprint closing her knuckles around the cleaver in her right hand she leapt clear over the shoulder of the standing guard before he knew to react, resting her knuckled hand upon his shoulder as she completed a one hand front handspring above him. When she was fully extended in the air upon her one hand she completed a one hundred and eighty degree pirouette, digging the pointed heel of her cleaver into the man's jugular and then falling over the side with a harsh pull that completely slit his throat.
Now crouched on the other side of the man, the once blind looking cleric opened her dark brown eyes wide with a sick smile upon her face. Poised and ready she sprung at her next victim, her left-handed cleaver held in a backwards grip, horizontally across her chest and the right poised strongly above her shoulder for a vertical slash.
The victim she'd chosen barely had time to guard against the apparent leading strike of her right arm. He brought his sword upwards to protect his trapezius but the swift girl cocked her elbow out wide and the cleaver slipped below the man's arm. With devilish smile Blood of the Night lifted that legendary cleaver up passing right through the man's shoulder dislodging the arm into the air as the left handed cleaver tucked horizontally across her chest sprang forth like a praying mantis and decapitated her unfortunate foe.
An enraged friend stepped forth, his sword descending upon the small dark-skinned cleric. With a flexible twist her back slipped out of the way as she spun two circles on her crouched foot, the impossibly razor edge of her cleaver chopping the femur of the already decapitated man in two regions. Purely this was unnecessary, but as she finished the jarring movement sending lifeless body to fall at a much faster rate she suddenly sprang up upon that light spinning foot bringing her left cleaver heartlessly into the attacking swordsmen's groin.
Hannyuu blinked eye contact just long enough to see suffering before unhinging that weapon that had traveled all the way to his belly and planting it horizontally halfway into his neck. Like a swimmer her right hand came arching high above and in a chop as clean and precise as would be done to an onion slit his skull in two down to meet her other cleaver and segment the rectangular cut of flesh away.
Already one troop was making a run for it. Choosing to dash past Zathire and Eon rather than stick around and force his way around this psychopath. Unfortunately no such mercy was given as Zathire lackadaisically lifted his foot and kicked the retreating man back into the 'ring'. Before he could even finish stumbling to balance the blinding white flash of a glove passed by and his head came rolling off, Hanyuu springing back to attend the others without a moments hesitation.
"Hey I wanted to break a few of them too," Zathire protested.
Eon held her arms crossed with a smug grin, watching Hanyuu fly forward with spread-eagle arms that quickly scissor-guillotined against another outmatched victim. "Now, now you'll have your fun time too. I promise."
From the time Eon had started 'till the time Eon had finished that sentence the last two swordsman had perished. All that remained was the horseman, with his utterly horrified face. His dropped jaw warbled with fear. He gave a quick tug to his reins kicked his horse to gallop over a broken log and make its way for the sunlit gap in the trees to the open plains forty yards away.
"He's retreating for back up!" Eon shouted.
"Already on it." Zathire took a massive step to his left letting his sword fall horizontally against his right side. Then with one mighty lumberjack like twist he slung and released his behemoth sword; to let it go spinning through the air and chase down the galloping horse.
Hanyuu squinted holding one blood dripping cleaver over her eyes to shield the brightness of the glare that came from staring at the sun baked blond grass from the shadow of the trees.
"I could have just shot him." Eon added despite the fact she should have done so rather than announce the man's retreat.
Eon's last word 'him', was muffled by the loud crunch as the massive hilt of the sword barged four times the devastation of a sledgehammer into the horses skull, crushing the consciousness right out of it and sending the fifteen hundred pound animal crashing to the ground tossing the rider onto his polished metal back a good twenty feet from the fall.
"Awe damn... Never does it the cool way." Zathire frowned having hoped the sharp edge would have impacted instead.
Hanyuu was on the man holding his chin up with a cleaver ready to slit his throat before the dust from the impact had even cleared.
"WAIT!" demanded Eon.
Hanyuu gave a rather irritated scowl towards Eon as her open eyes sank back into their blind looking state. She removed her gloved hand from under the man's head and stood back lowering her tensely gripped cleavers. She closed her eyes using her discipline to resist her overwhelming desire to kill.
Eon grabbed the man's chest plate collar and gave it a tug. "Seems rather convenient that you were set to ambush us."
"Wha.. What do you mean?" the slightly disoriented man gave a hapless smile.
Eon harshly tore the man's helmet off and delivered a bitch slap.

Not paying much heed to the interrogation as it reminded her of someone she didn't kill, Hanyuu wandered off to see what Zathire was doing. He was sitting rather oddly stripping pieces of grass free from the terrain. Hanyuu pursed her lips and leaned over his shoulder. Her blind eyes already nearly shut pinched, closed even more tightly as she peered at him setting down some stones. "Hey what are you doing?" she suddenly asked harshly.
"Well I figured since there are women here I ought to start a fire first."
Hanyuu gave a confused and relaxed expression standing up more strait and almost opening her eyes. "What?"
He sniffed out half a smug laugh. "If you want it how it is, that's okay with me... saves time."
Now she had no idea what the hell he was talking about but it somehow sounded perverted. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"What you don't want any?" he asked.
Was he asking her if she wanted sex by a campfire in the middle of the day? No that still seemed too stupid, even for him. "God, just answer my first question."
Rather than stopping what he was doing or taking the piece of flint in his mouth to answer her, he continued to bunch up dry bundles of grass in his hands as he glanced his eyes over to the horse giving a slight nod to answer her question.
The psychotic and disgruntled cleric followed his gaze to the lump of dead and or dying meat. "THAT'S DISGUSTING!"

On cue with having Hanyuu having her question answered Eon stood up. "Alright, you can finish him Hanyuu. I've gathered all the information I needed."
"But you said you'd let me live if I..." the blond horseman looked like his face might sag into a whimper.
Zathire roughly interjected. "Wait, did you say you'd let him go?"
Eon shrugged. "Scared people offer more information when they think there might be hope."
"That's unacceptable." Zathire closed his eyes as if to say there was no debate. "One should never go back on their words."
Eon didn't see what was the big deal, but Zathire remained staring profoundly. "You don't actually plan on..." she could see there would be no arguing her point. The Black Witch rolled her eyes at the big man's absurdity before resting them on the pitiful specimen below. "Alright you can go..." She closed her eyes and shook her head like a disappointed mother.
"Are... Are you serious..." the man's trembling chin and heavy bags under his eyes seemed to change into a blissful recognition that he still had time to live. He got up slowly expecting a trap, or that it was too good to be true. Then seeing as how Eon just stood there and watched with an annoyed expression and her arms crossed, he brushed himself off and made few hasty steps away.
Seeing his pants were now clean of dust he almost didn't notice the tall man he nearly ran into.
"But..." The sun was high and the shadows it casts upon the barbarians sunken eyes seemed to announce the foreboding intentions both he and his twisted smile held. "I had nothing to do with them so..." Eon and Hanyuu watched as the barbarian drew forth his massive sword whilst the man paralyzed with fear before him began to tremble once more.
The barbarian Zathire let out a massive "HAA," as he one-handedly swept the sword around his side. The brutal force of the dull blade cracking through the armor like an eggshell and embedding the man onto it like he was no more than a bit of extra weight added to the blade. With a heavy 'thunk' the sword embedded itself into a tree ,the man split halfway through the intestines drooping over the blade as the barbarian simply left him hanging there. Zathire pursed his lips with a guilty smile. "Oooh!" His hand reached forward and grabbed a little brown baggy. "Look at all this money... Ha! This guy is loaded..." He held the money to his chest like a princess who's dream came true. "Imagine how much GanonMilk I could buy with that!"
Not even willing to let herself get more disgusted with what she had to put up with Eon's dry and flat expression merely blinked. "Hanyuu... Heal the horse."
Hanyuu's seemingly closed eyes, blinked fully shut for a moment. "Gladly."
Zathire's bliss melted into horror. "My snack..." He even reached out slightly as if to stop her. It was like his true love was being whisked away into the hands of a villain.
Hanyuu almost felt a vein wanting to appear in her forehead, "GET OVER IT FATASS!" She was busy setting herself down to kneel beside the poor creature's fractured skull. She actually liked animals, more than people even. Quickly she began releasing that heavenly blue-green light upon its head.
Eon looked perplexed. "Did I miss something?"
"Trust me you're better off not knowing," was all Hanyuu said.
Eon felt even more confused now but silently decided not to ask.

Last edited by Elf-Bitch-Viking-Hoe on Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:48 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Crimson Beak (novel version)   Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:23 pm

Chapter 1: Formation of the Team
Scene 3: Weakness

From the dark catacomb like hall, the trembling bellow of the Crimson Beak's mighty voice was heard rattling dust free from the stone columns once more.
"I have little time to waste," were the only words the massive relic of armor gave.
Hunched down as no more than a dusty grey silhouette, a shadow of a man stood up from the steps that addressed the throne. "I won't fail you master." With a spry jump he vanished leaving the ominous mass of two inch thick steel plates to loom in the empty and quite darkness.

Blazing heat refracted off the golden grass in the mid-summer day. Soon, the heavy thumping of horse feet could be heard pounding along the dusty trail.
A wiry, faintly purple haired woman in a black dress with magnificently pale skin could be seen striking the reins, and a smaller yellow-tanned woman in a blinding white tunic with the red cross insignia could be seen holding onto the taller woman's waist from behind.
As they topped the hill the shorter one in white turned around with a smirk on her face. "This is sort of fun."
A loud panting and out of breath voice responded from behind that hill. "Hey, this isn't fair... First you won't let me eat it..." the voice had to recover breaths before continuing what he meant to say. "And now... while I'm starving... You get to ride it?"
"Keep running tubby!" the Black Witch Eon pronounced with joy.
Zathire gave a few staggered breaths and steps as he came to a halt bending over to rest his bright orange hands upon his knees. "Forget this... I'm not athlete..."
The sinister cleric in white leaned forward to whisper in Eon's ear. "Leave him behind."
Eon chuckled. "That would be funny..." she gave a tug on the reins to slow the horse. "But I need him to get through some walls in my next plan." It was funny to think about how literally she meant the words. Though in truth, the main reason she wanted to keep the barbarian along was because she still couldn't quite trust this healer. One that combined a creepy desire to kill with deadly light magic. Eon couldn't help but feel this Hanyuu was almost too perfectly designed to extinguish her.
Suddenly they heard a female scream: "Oh you have it?!!"
Eon glanced around. "Huh?" Finally her expression soured realizing the source of the squeal. "You're kidding me..." Her expression was flat.
"Yes, that was him." Hanyuu added with her eyes actually closed for once, in more than just appearance.
They looked around not seeing the barbarian then spotted him skipping effeminately by a stagecoach wagon looking at the wares of a salesman. "I'll take thirty and the bag."
The merchant had a wild mess of long grey hair and surprisingly creepy golden eyes. His short sleeved shirt was a moldy green and his pants a dark reddish brown. "How about this," he started in a clean suave voice fighting back his erg to laugh at the ridiculous man. "I have a special proposition for you."
Zathire staked his sword in the ground placing his hands behind his head as he took a nice moment to stretch. "You've got my ears citizen."
The merchant leaning on the edge of his wagon gave a chuckle at the man's enthusiasm as he reached back and drew a carton from the wagon. He tossed the container of GanonMilk to the man. "That was free."
Without hesitation, the barbarian popped the top and chugged half the container, only bothering to stop so he could speak. "You've got my vote." then proceeded to resume guzzling the other half of the half gallon container.
Eon and Hanyuu stopped the horse at the edge of the trees to slide off then began taking crunching steps over the grass.
"Those two, they are your friends are they not?" The merchant pointed a knuckle to the two females.
A bit of milk shot out Zathire's nose. "Friends?" A slow laugh started to build up into a riot. "Please, not when I'm drinking..." The large man managed to calm his laughter enough to resume speech. "No, but I'm supposed to follow them and if I stop... Well they'd probably orbit me like a pair of flies."
"I see..." the merchant slowly began taking a long pause. "Very well then, here's my proposition; there is a lot of dangerous stuff going on right now, and I could use an escort." His yellow eyes glanced over at the two girls who were almost there. "For a few days if you allow me to travel along side your group I will give you half my GanonMilk for free."
Hanyuu finally stomped in like an angry woman. "Please tell me you didn't spend all the money?" She cocked back her head even opening her brown eyes wide enough to be seen as she stared at him."
The barbarian clearly didn't appreciate the idea the money he'd stolen belonged to all of them. "What's it to you little missy?" He turned around to face her with a snarl. "Don't tell a man what to do!"
Hanyuu looked flabbergasted and not impressed all at the same time. "I'll say what I want." She even snapped her fingers twice as if to taunt the man.
"Woman!" Zathire took two angry marching steps forward, his massive shoulders hunched up even larger than they normally were.
Before the barbarian could make any rash moves Eon placed a hand on his shoulder. "Easy there Zathire!" She waited a few moments for those dangerous shoulders to slump back down before letting go.
The yellow eyed merchant gave a pair of coughs to clear his throat in that awkward moment. "Eh-hem, well I can see what he said by: 'not exactly friends'."
"He's not the most cohesive force himself," Eon mentioned.
Thinking he found the mature one of the group the merchant spoke to her. "I take it you're the one that holds what little semblance there is in this group?"
"Yeah, that'd be me." Eon glanced over at the other two like a mother watching her uncontrollable kids for a moment.
"I hope this doesn't interfere with your plans, but I already got your friend to agree to escort me to Mezjvil" The merchant scratched his nose not sure how the woman would take this news.
"Why there?"
"I know a man who can put a cooling charm on my products, the hot sun lately has worn the old ones out and my beverages might heat up. They'll go bad if I don't get a new enchantment soon."
"But why..." To Eon that explained his cause but not the need for an escort but he cut her off already seeming to follow her line of thought.
"Allow me to explain. I am fairly sure that I could get there on time, but only with an escort, because the way is currently being patrolled by a small army of Beak. Normally you could trust soldiers to make things safer, but this isn't a perfect world. Likely they’ll act as highway men, taking bribes rather than acting the part of a disciplined defense force."
Zathire seeing that Eon might try to control where he was sent stepped in. “Half the things he said weren’t even worth remembering as far as I’m concerned, but let me tell you one thing strait." He grabbed both her shoulders even though he didn't need to. "I’m taking his deal whether you like it or not.” He gave a loud yawn letting go and turning his back towards them, knowing the path to Mezjvil and looking down it. “So if you need me for any of your other missions or crap like that..." He glanced back to make his statement very clear. "You can wait.”
Again the behemoth of a man was acting beyond frustrating. She had to bite a little pain into her lip as she rolled her eyes in anger. But she calmed herself knowing there was no choice and not willing to give up this powerful man so easily. “Then let's get moving…”
The merchant checked the harnesses on his two horses, then checking to see that Zathire and Hanyuu both entered the vessel while Eon rode the captured horse, kicked off the reins and sent them forth to Mezjvil.

Hanyuu, looked around as she sat cross-legged, it was quite spacious inside. “Other than the occasional bump this is a pretty nice caravan.”
The silver haired merchant gave a wry grin back her way, before maintaining his attention on the road. "Thanks, I’m Edgeworth, ‘I sell an edge worth buying,’ or at least that’s the corny sales' pitch I’ve been trying to push.”
Hanyuu smiled at his mild sense of humor. "It’s not too bad, but I’d try to avoid those types of sales lines as they are generally annoying."
In a matter of moments the overgrown man with his shoes dipping out the back end, occupying one full half of the inner space began snoring.
Hanyuu, wrinkled her nose at such an illogical thing to have happened. “Already asleep with all these bumps?”
Somewhat enjoying talking to company on the way, especially female, Edgeworth had to chime in. “Well you know what they say about after giving a baby some milk…” The corner of his cheeks could been seen grinning as he stared ahead, he even reached back confidently to shake the empty carton “Yep it’s all gone.”
Eon pulled up along side the caravan pressing her arm against the side to lift up the canvas flap. “It’s going to take two days," she said talking directly inside. "We should make camp soon and then head into town early next morning.” She was done speaking but when she finished she couldn't help but look down right below her. “He’s already asleep?”

That same shadowy figure returned once more before the towering armor that which was the Crimson Beak. “Sire, the merchant has been played directly into our hands.”
Like the churning of gravel upon stone the mighty voice rose from the accursed suit of armor. “Excellent, begin phase two immediately after he reports the data.”

Eon, Edgeworth, and Hanyuu were all sitting around the roasting campfire. It was mostly quite that night other than the chirping crickets and the warm conversation and laughter that they shared as they continued to tell stories from their past.
Glancing over into the shadows Eon spotted Zathire gazing up into branches of the tree which he leaned his head upon. She pressed her lips feeling guilty and obligated to invite him over. Of course he already was, but she couldn't help but feel he needed to be allowed somehow. "Hey Zathire, come join the fun. With that big sword there I'm sure you are bound to have a story or two."
Lazily Zathire took his eyes off the shadowy leaves to glance at the sword she mentioned leaning against the tree at his side. "No thanks," he said strongly. "I prefer the cold and quite to the cozy campfire life," he answered honestly.
Eon looked down a moment, not knowing quite what to do. "Suit yourself," she mentioned in a way clearly stating she thought he was missing out before accepting his silent reply as a cue to head back with the others.
The large man's eyes spun back up to the sky searching for stars hidden behind the branches and leaves. In truth there was more to why he preferred the quite than he would let on. The wandering barbarian was no stranger to a deadly foe, and despite his ignorant appearance, he was well aware that they were being watched. Though he chose not to alert his party for both the reason that he was fairly sure the one watching him was not aware of his level of hearing, nor could he precisely pinpoint the location of such a quite and obviously skilled foe. He'd wait, rest his eyes, choosing to remain awake though his sleeping facade until either the sun rose or the this unknown observer made a move.

Eventually the campfire discussion ended and the three split up into separate beige colored tents. Each soon, could be heard silently breathing and it made it hard for the barbarian to distinguish between the interfering sounds and the one he was after.
Countless hours seemed to transpire in which at some moments the presence became so quite and still he had to begin wondering if he was hearing things. Though his killer instinct could almost feel, and his ears picked up on seemingly traceless sounds with full awareness.
The whole night had transpired and as the sun peeked the first few spots against the mountain tops the presence could be felt leaving to higher ground under the cover of the trees. Zathire had to wonder what such a person could want with simply observing them. Was this foe so skilled as to detect he had faked his sleep? No that seemed impossible, he had even changed his breathing pattern as to not alert this wandering observer.
About forty minutes later the sun worked its way down and struck the tents with its blaring light. Within minutes, the telltale grumblings and smacking of a tongue against a mouth could be heard of someone stirring out of sleep. Seconds later a few flaps of the tent disturbed and a pale white hand pushed open the curtains of the tent. Eon let out a long yawn, stretching her arms to the air as she slowly opened her eyes. After a few blinks she found Zathire lazily watching as if he'd been waiting for them. "Huh? You're already awake?" She scratched her head somehow imagining someone of his size and slouchy behavior would be one to always be taking pleasure in the comforts of sleep.
He avoided eye contact with her, as staying up had put him in a sour mood. "Yeah, I guess I had a lot on my mind."
Eon twitched one cheek towards half a smile. "Hmm, I doubt that's possible."
Zathire wasn't in the mood to laugh at her humor now. He merely now that she was awake cupped his hands behind his head and leaned back, trying to catch up on some rest, thinking about how he might try to exercise some of his annoyed grumpiness away.

A few steps could be heard marching in the grass, and Zathire who was just about to lay down had to curl his stomach and sit back up.
"Stop right there you criminal scum!" came a rather high and heroic voice.
Zathire slid a massive arm behind his head reaching the hilt of his sword with a smile. "Just the opportunity I was looking for..."
Before the guard could even comprehend what the words the large man was saying had anything to do with, he was cut down brutally as the dull blade forced its way harshly down on his skull in a vertical line plowing through and bending and tearing folds in the helmet metal breast plate which eventually slowed the blade down to a stop. Zathire gave the lower chest a kick, pushing down while he wrenched his sword up free eventually breaking it loose from the mushy flesh and peeled steel causing the two loosely hanging halves of the head to bob slightly from the split neck they hung to, one dropping its half of a helmet in the process.
Like the unnatural freak she was, Hanyuu had managed to sleep through the sunlight and loud noise of the clamoring bang, however she woke up sniffing. Her head popped out of the tent, perhaps preparing to open her eyes perhaps already she had done so. "Smells like blood..." Suddenly she seemed very awake and jumped from the tent clutching a pair of cleavers.
Immediately Hanyuu engaged in combat having cut a hand and forearm before her feet even touched the ground.
Eon was not so fast to her feet and as the guards came rushing in two different individuals twisted their wrist to a downward angle and plunged swords into her back before she had even been given the couple seconds to stand up.
Zathire, opened his jaw watching what appeared to be the end of the woman for a second before turning his attention to his own two attackers and swatting them both back and with broken ribs. One had died the other lay crippled on the ground clutching his chest only to be picked off by Hanyuu.
With a gasp the half standing Eon, crumpled to the ground as the two swordsmen withdrew their swords.
"Your mistake," a trembling and barely audible voice came forth from the Black Witch as the two guards now faced Zathire only one sparing a glance back for a second as they kept their eyes primarily focused on his sword. However their bodies were suddenly producing black mist and they could only look and wonder why before they were too weak to stand and came crumbling to the ground, their life force was now Eon's. "That was close," came a lively and now fully awake Eon, her wounds healed.
Zathire having decided not to end their lives prematurely as he saw Eon needed them took a swat at another guard, the massive man with his massive sword catching the Beak swordsman who had parried the attack for what it was worth and tossing him like a ragdoll with slash halfway completed through the pelvis and his sword bent and snapped like a toothpick.
In that short time Hanyuu had massacred the rest and was panting in crazed excitement, her eyes wide open with bloodlust, standing there with her toothy grin as she began to calm herself back into a normal state.
In the commotion nobody had seemed to notice the merchant who stood there like someone who had almost stepped on a trap looking down at the bodies and not such much as taking one step forward. “Wow I was not expecting that! Not only did you guys beat them but… Wow… they didn’t even stand a chance…” It was clearly a very awkward moment for him and the signs of such discomfort could be seen printed on his face. He was not accustomed to witnessing slaughter. All he could force himself to do was nod approvingly. "I guess I'm with the right crowd." His eyes scanned over what had become of the other crowd.

After a few silent glances they pushed off and were nearing Mezjvil. Only after two and a half hours they arrived early morning.
Choosing to wait in the caravan and nap Zathire tried to catch up on the sleep he'd missed over the night. Eon went around looking at a few things, the town was clearly a merchant center, several tents and small set ups full of wares. She never bought anything because more than half were scams and it took a truly knowledgeable person to be able to tell something's worth with how far and wide the traded items came from.
A dark eyed male gypsy glanced over to Edgeworth, and Edgeworth recognized the man by his darker oriental skin. The little sliver of it that wasn't hidden in a rather Arabian get-up.
Edgeworth took a seat next to the man who continued to pretend like he was simply giving a fortune rubbing his hands around a crystal ball. His voice came in a quite whisper and he dropped a brown bag upon the table with the jingle of coins. "Here is the two hundred and twenty gold as promised. Now tell me... How did they handle the situation?"
Edgeword gave a sideways glance to make sure no one was following their conversation before setting the bag in his lap and leaning forward to answer the question. "A lot better than you'd expect."
"And their strongest?"
"Hard to say. All three put on quite the show."
"Hmm... What irritating news..." The gypsy ran his fingers around the circular stand of some fortune telling scale as he thought about something. Then after a moment taking his time he looked back up to the grey haired merchant. "Tell me then of any strengths or weaknesses you observed from this conflict. That is what we originally came here to discuss."
A flashback of the horrid deaths that took place echoed in the yellow eyed man's head for a moment. "What do you plan on doing?"
The gypsy threateningly narrowed his eyes. "Mind your own concerns."
"Right sorry... um..." The merchant stumbled for an answer, "I suppose their weapons," he wasn't really too sure with the answer he'd given but he continued to support his reasoning less the man he spoke to become dissatisfied with his answer. "They seemed really dependant on their weapons... Especially the cleaver girl and the heavy swordsmen," he quickly added. "That Black Witch seemed to use magic so I don't think she really needs her bow." The merchant gave an involuntary gulp seeing as he was not impressing the man he spoke to any. "Oh and the swordsman doesn't seem to get along to well with the others. I don't know if its a weakness or not, but I don't think the group is very cohesive." His last sentence had been kind of a desperate add on and he had to frown as the man he spoke to remained silent all the while.
To the merchant's surprise the masked man's covered cheeks could be seen bending in the direction of a smile. "It seems you've caught on." Oh however much did this news please him, that these two mysterious allies of the Black Witch were not so well organized and coordinated with her than they had originally thought. Before he let the merchant go he brought forth the new orders that he was now contemplating. "But, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to do something more."
Thinking he was done and free the merchant had to turn around. "More?" he asked nervously.
The fabric over the gypsy's mouth twisted in a wicked smile. "Here's the deal, the Crimson Beak was already aware of most of the Healer's and the Black Witch's abilities... But we had almost no information about the swordsmen, it seems as if he'd just come down from the mountains or something. Anyhow you've confirmed a few unsaid suspicions and now its time for you to partake in the second phase of his plan."
Edgeworth took a step back. "But you only said..."
The gypsy harshly cut him off, his eyes narrowing quickly. "Remember who you are talking to."
Edgeworth, looked back then to the angry man. Clearly the situation kept getting worse.
"You are going to find them again, but this time, late at night you are going to steal their weapons and slip this into the Black Witch's drink." He held up a small short bluish vial between his index finger and thumb then set it down on the table. He took his time to make sure he emphasized every word in his next line so that the merchant would be clear on the subject: "If you are found there tomorrow morning... The guards have been informed to attack."
Turmoil struck through the merchant, he really wasn't used to dealing with this sort of thing. Curse the fact that he had to be in such financial pinch and take this deal. He had no idea that he'd grow so found of these supposedly horrible people so quickly over a mere campfire session. "I can't..." he stuttered. "I just can't betray them like that..." He looked into the gypsy's eyes trying to pry some sympathy from them. "It hurts."
In place of sympathy Edgeworth received disgust, but that ridiculing face soon swerved into an amused grin. Let me make it worth your while then." Reaching down behind his feet hidden somewhere in his little propped up gypsy stand and tent he pulled out another bag, this one larger. He gave the bag a pat and it jingled all the same as the first. "Here is four hundred and forty gold, twice what you were offered before, accept this deal and you will be heavily rewarded." He pushed the bag forward then in a sudden violent motion grabbed Edgworth's shoulders and spun him around. "Subsequently, refuse this deal..." He paused and let Edgeworth silently look down upon the hidden saber that had seamlessly glided out of the long sleeve, still remaining ninety percent hidden. "...And you will have one of the Crimson Beaks top assassins after you." His grin widened. "And it currently seems my blade has quite the head start."
The yellow eyed merchant could almost feel the fine edge of that blade kissing his neck. The pain that he would have to betray these people was hurting him even more now, but they were not his own life, they were still just strangers for the most part. "Very well I'll take the gold. Don't kill me."
After giving a quick laugh he retracted the blade, unnoticed by the passing crowd and shoved the paralyzed merchant forward. "Ha ha!" He said loudly that the others might find him just a crazy gypsy finishing his fortune session. "I knew we could come to terms of agreement! Now be off to join your little friends."
Eon was busy chewing her finger looking at some object a profusely insistent merchant was trying to sell her. She liked the color, some black and blue trinket, but she couldn't quite tell what it was. The merchant who'd simply made a shape from clay and panted it artistically was claiming it to be some luck charm worth some absurdly overpriced bid.
"Hey guys," said "Edgeworth smiling. He looked around for a second. "Where are the others?"
"Oh they were just waiting back at the caravan, but I think they wandered off." She gave a warm smile. "Done I take it?"
"Uh...yeah..." he faked his smile.
"Going to come along with us are you?" asked Hanyuu while sipping on some steamed noodle treat she'd purchased.
Zathire seemed to arrive on cue and gave a short chuckle. "That be fine by me, having my own personal supply of food and GanonMilk."
Still trying to seem in a warm mood the grey haired merchant felt obligated to try and force a joke. "He could probably support my business with his appetite alone."
Hanyuu rolled her eyes. "Probably..."
Edgeworth turned to Eon, the supposed leader of the party. "By chance... just what city is it that you are next headed to?"
"Denzhert," she answered.
“Great! If that’s the case then I hope you don’t mind if I tag along again. You’re welcome to ride in the caravan if you like.”
Eon shrugged considering they were both headed the same way. "I suppose we have no reason to reject you."
Guilt felt like it had stabbed a sword right through his chest with those words. "That's good... I suppose... I should jog back and get the caravan."

Edgeworth was looking forward giving the reins the occasional whip or tug. He was somewhat glad that the others were behind him sitting in the back discussing their battle plan, at least that meant none could see the water building up in his eyes as he led them all to their death.
Zathire laid down on his back and looked up at the canvas ceiling as Eon continued to speak. “So up until now, we’ve been running. From what I’ve gathered the Crimson Beak has an extensive force of many levels. To even get word of him we need to cause a lot of trouble to bring attention to some of his higher ranking generals." She gave a reconfirming nod to Hanyuu who had somewhat explained this to her before. "Then we’ve got to capture one and ask…” Eon could almost feel a vein twitch in her forehead as Zathire rolled over on his side covering his face with a grumble. "ZATHIRE!" she shouted, noticing he wasn't even paying attention.
He'd missed a lot of sleep last night and her loud voice seemed even more annoying than if he had a hangover. “Shut up and let me take my nap.”
Hanyuu, being facetious had to add: “After he drinks his milk he wants to nap like a baby.”
Zathire, couldn't agree more though. “Damn strait…” He gave a yawn not particularly caring what they thought of him.
Eon scrunched her tense shoulders against the side of her neck in anger like she might snap on him.
Zathire, heard her but remained somewhat calm even trying to calm her down a bit with his own tone. “Look I’m not much of one for plans anyway… Let the others know I’m sure they’re all listening and interested. I’ll just do whatever when the time is right. You’ll be fine.”
Eon, just couldn't see eye to eye. “But you’re part of the plan…”
Hanyuu opened her eyes a little to give Eon a skeptical stare. “You’re arguing with a brick… Let’s face it, he’s useless…”
Eon pursed her lips in a bit of annoyance. “I’m starting to agree with you.”

Time had continued on by mostly with Eon rambling on about her plan and Edgeworth continuing to brush over his thoughts.
Night had eventually come by after a long day and Edgeworth was sitting on a log stirring a circle in the sandy soil with a twig as the stars twinkled and fire crackled. Eon seemed to sense something was bothering him and took a seat next to him, but before she could ask anything Edgeworth had decided to do so himself. "Do you ever think there will be an end to the Crimson Beak's reign of terror?"
The purple haired lady, gave a short laugh realizing the error of her ways. "To be quite honest with you: No."
This somewhat surprised the merchant. "Then why are you..."
Before he could even finish asking Eon had already given an answer, one she'd given herself long ago: "Because I guess, there just isn't any other way to go about it is there?"
Edgeworth stood back somewhat taken aback, the ease at which she had answered the question was a bit shocking. To be willing to throw one's life away in what one considered to be a just cause and not even consider the outcome of such a dire action to even produce any high probability of success... That was strength. He wished he could have had such strength in his decisions.
"Why?" suddenly Eon asked in all curiosity.
"Uh... Hmm… Let’s just say in a make believe scenario: That the Crimson Beak in exchange for one of us have a second chance… Eh never mind…” Edgeworth cupped his hand back over his stooping chin and continued to turn more circles in the dirt with his twig.
Eon's face wrinkled like she was about to laugh. "I doubt there is any promise from him or any of his horrid minions that could ever be counted on."
It was a depressing thought. "Is that so... I guess there is no hope... hope for any whether they oppose him or not..."

As the deeper parts of the night rolled in all three warriors were fast asleep, Zathire refusing a tent once again and finding himself another tree to lean under, his sword resting against the tree at his side all the same as last time, except for the pile of empty milk cartons strewn about his presence.
The jet black attire of a ninja came forth. He recognized the merchant quickly seeing from the way he watched the fire that he was already aware of his presence. "Hmm, look here it seems someone forgot there sleep."
Edgeworth didn't answer immediately, he was still too brushed over with turmoil to speak to the cold male assassin.
"Well not everyone," the ninja assassin continued looking over to Zathire who was silently drooling and holding one empty carton like a teddy bear. Seeing as the merchant still wouldn't speak, the ninja, that had once been hidden in gypsy form took pleasure in prompting the sore subject more. "You weren't planning on say, stealing their weapons and running off into the night were you? You know that enchanted sword could probably reap quite the sale."
Edgeworth gave a weak laugh, trying to sound amused, but it would give no such false perception to the clever assassin. He knew he was supposed to agree with the man however, he couldn't quite do that to save his life or stand up to the man to save his honor.
The assassin narrowed his eyes, "Because if you can't..."
Maybe it was just a passing flutter, but the words he heard from Eon earlier in the night seemed to give him strength. "I can't..."
The assassin gave a laugh, rather pleased to hear this, much to Edgeworth's surprise. "The fool has some balls at least."
There was no point in trying to hide his thoughts now. "I'm staying with them, I don't care if your army kills me in the morning."
"That saves me the trouble of getting rid of you later..." The assassin's eyes darted over to the two female's tents. "But how much do you want to bet your courage has a limit?"
Edgeworth gave a nervous frown.
"I'm going to steal their weapons and poison the two females, and you aren't going to say anything or wake them up..." he lifted his sword to the merchant's neck, "...are you?"
Again being forced into the instant life or death moment he found his body acting on its own for survival. Crap how come he’d know? How would he know I’d be this afraid? Say something; don’t let him play this game with you. “No…”
The deadly black assassin grinned smugly. "Good."

It was seven in the morning when Eon rose from her tent, the first thing she saw was the caravan was missing. She looked around suddenly shocked. Her bow it was gone! Turning side to side she could not see Edgeworth. "Huh, our weapons... the caravan!--Edgeworth thief!
Zathire and Hanyuu got up to see what was the commotion.
"No wait... he's here..." Eon said, spotting Edgeworth curled up face between his knees.
Edgeworth remained curled up in the manner he was.
Eon took a few steps forward to pry his shoulder back to look at him. "Hey you don't look so well."
"Is something wrong?" asked Hanyuu coming to a similar conclusion.
Edgeworth just groaned in misery preferring to tuck his head back in between his chest and knees.

A rather manly and proud voice uttered in clarity. "Oh no! Everything is starting to look just fine to me!"
Had they had time to count they'd notice they were surrounded by seventeen guards.
Eon had to wonder, if there was something more going on. It seemed too convenient that they would be so hot on their tail three times already. She turned to Edgeworth who seemed impossibly driven with grief.
"I couldn't... I didn't..." he muttered.
Hanyuu barely had time to notice the two guards coming her way. "Look whatever it is, we'll have to solve this crisis later, right now we have to..." She barely had time to throw her chest forward as a sword that came gliding down her back side, taking a few straggling hairs from her head.
The guards smile widened with his miss. "A feisty one!"
"Hey ease up on the killing blow mate," the nearest guard warned, "he specifically ordered us to capture the two girls."
Zathire's face could be described in no other means that that of someone not inclined to join a party he was just invited to. "Well then it looks like I have nothing to worry about. I'm finishing my nap."
"As for the heavy swordsmen," the same guard that had warned his aggressive friend began. "We'll assume he wants him dead." A large smile crept over his face as he readied his blade approaching the large man.
Zathire looked for a soft mound of grass, one free of any hard roots from the overhanging pine trees and then set himself comfortably down. "HAA, I'd like to see you try!" He gave a loud yawn and proceeded to roll over on his belly. "Go capture the girls for whatever prostitution-ish plans the lecherous bird has..." He gave a dismissive wave as he closed his eyes not really caring. "You've got no concern with me."
Two more guards jumped in and surprisingly said the exact same thing: "Hey is he mocking us?"
The first one to attack Hanyuu snarled a bit before barking: "Hey watch what you say when you speak of your majesty's Crimson Beak!"
Eon raised her hands feeling the sensation that would send blackened lightning from her finger tips and produce a deadly storm of death; yet the power never came. "My powers... they're gone..." Eon looked quickly to the side, "So much for that distraction..." she mumbled.
All the while an unarmed Hanyuu had been slowly backing up away from the leering guards that pressed forward, and now looking back she could see she was being herded back to back with Eon who was just as surrounded from the other side.
Once they were surrounded the guards pressed forward grabbing their arms and stomping the inside of their calves sending them down to their knees. The fact they were male and outnumbering the two girls they had little difficulty in restraining them and attaching both shackles and chains.
Just then the two guards nearing Zathire dropped their swords down, one sword entered his exposed back and exited his shoulder, the other slide gracefully in a shallow cut through his kidney. The guards had to snicker at having seen someone so dumb as to be killed in a way that would give them a story to tell about.

"So this is how it all ends..." a dark ninja with a razorblade crown that somewhat resembled the guard's helmets asked. He stood on a toppled over tree beside a miniature fifteen foot cliff of crumpled soil. "Too bad Edgeworth, you should have left them when you had the chance!"
Only now did it all make sense, the guards the two ambushes the missing weapons... It had all been a set up. Eon and Hanyuu glanced over in shock from their shackles.
"I'm sorry..." Edgeworth who'd just stood up fell back to his knees. "I betrayed you! Your weapons... I wasn't strong enough..."
The ninja turned his face in a derisive movement that no doubt had Edgeworth been near would have been used to bite off and rip his jugular. "Shut your face, before you disgrace me! The Crimson Beak has ordered me to spare you for some other tasks..." He gritted his teeth. "Don't embarrass me or him with your weak sense of repentance!"
However the conversation ended there for something unexpected had begun to interrupt it.
Zathire's eyes opened up wide, but his mouth did not open, instead the skin above his brow began to wrinkle in his forehead. An elbow hit the ground to brace up as Zathire began to stand with both swords still embedded in his gut.
Unable to understand both guards backed away retracting their swords for a second use. Instantly a thick meaty arm shot forward catching the unprepared guard by the calf. Before the guard could override his instinctive reactions to balance and use his sword another hand lifted his side and tossed him a good eight feet away. "What the hell do you guys think you're doing?--Trying to piss me off."
The one still standing backed up a step his eyes looking at the mortal wound to the kidney with disbelief. "What the we were told they'd be weak and helpless with out their weapons!"
"Weak and helpless?" The angry barbarian reached forward quicker than the guards extended sword could strike, the fingers crushing into the man's neck as he lifted the whole body off the ground with the mere strength in his right shoulder. "You piece of shit..."
A third guard charged up the mound but with a single step forward the long leg of the tall barbarian met his chest before he could even start his slash. The heavy heal of the boot rode down the man's chest as it planted him into the ground. In a sudden viscous slash Zathire brought the upheld man to slam down on the other below his boot then brought his shoe to press heavily upon both their aligned necks, not quite killing them yet. His face was clearly pissed even a few veins were displayed in his forehead as he spat, "Look, I didn't ask for any trouble." He elevated his voice ominously, "You can either leave now or I'm going to break all you arms..." he smiled. " by... one."
The ninja seemed somewhat shocked. "Who is this guy?" The reports never showed of anyone like this before, it was unheard of for some traveler to possess so much potential. Perhaps that sword they'd suspected was the secret to his power was not enchanted after all.

Two guards charged forward with swords outstretched like spears, Zathire had no practical defense and held his elbows out at neck level ready to guard his face. Both spearing swords slipped below that defense and into his lungs coming out his backside dripping with laces of blood.
"Gah... that hurts..." It was of course a stubbornly tough understatement as the tall barbarian began hunching over looking as if he might crumple for the last time.
In that moment Edgeworth decided to take action once and for all cleansing his guilt ridden soul of regrets. He reached down quickly snatching the sword from the now unconscious guards that had been suffocating beneath the barbarian's shoe.
Violently and suddenly full of life the large barbarian refusing to let himself simply die spun around clockwise slamming the guard to his left against a tree with an open left hand to the chest, a split second later a right elbow embed into the nose of the man's skull that had been already braced against tree bark, killing him almost as instantly as the chipped bones bent inwards.
In a single swift movement the other guard's armor was speared right through from a direct spearing thrust from the yellow eyed merchant. The whining screech of steal was heard as Edgeworth braced his shoe against the armored back and wrenched the sword free.
Zathire bent down too taking up the other man's sword and fiddling with the hilt in his hand giving it a test swing severely disappointed with the weight. "These guys can actually fight with these toothpicks?"
Edgeworth was more concerned with the other guards standing around the girls some leering forward like they meant to join in. He braced his back to Zathire's intending them to cover each other's blind spots.
The ninja took his resting arm off a tree branch and pointed it harshly to some of the guards around the girls. "You four--Over there! Take these two young ladies back to the clutches of the Beak. The rest of you remain here with me. I will deal with the arrogant one alone."
The girls were being taken away by the chain leash but neither Edgeworth or Zathire could do much about it at the moment.
Edgeworth gave a solemn breath, he seemed more relaxed now that he had no trouble to think over, just a situation to react to. "Hey, if I die, I want you to look after the other two for me. I know you're not much for emotions or that sort of thing but please at least consider it."
"No promises..." Zathire gauged this surroundings taking in the positions of all the men. "But I'll think about it."
The yellow eyed merchant was trying to pay attention to where the girls were being taken. I've already failed you once... I wont happen again. Edgeworth gripped his sword more tightly.

Eon looked at her shackles, there was no way she could break that chain. Shit there's no way out of this... We'll just have to wait and hope those two succeed and come back for us.
A long blond haired man seemed to be reading her mind as she glanced back trying to get a glimpse of the battle. "Are you thinking of your two little boyfriends?" He laughed. "Let me assure you, neither of you two are getting rescued. Hayabusapiro is a much more deadly assassin than you think." He smiled back fully, only enjoying himself more when he saw her bitter glare.
What an annoying guy... I hope something terrible happens to him. Eon closed her eyes and shook her head for what she had let become of her situation.
"Banzai!!" came a playful child's voice from above.
By the time Eon could look up a large object was falling towards the guard.
"OURAUGH!!" came the sound of an overweight seal. The long blond guard had been completely crushed and buried other than a pair of legs that stuck out from below the blubbery belly of the beast.
Hanyuu, who'd remained relatively silent and even somewhat mute to emotion even had to cock a bewildered look at what she saw.
All Eon could do for a couple seconds was blink. "Wow...I should make wishes more often."
"We're under attack! Kill the prisoners!"
Hanyuu grabbed her chain getting ready to fight.
"Not without Hayabusapiro's permission or we're next on the list."
Another guard placed his hand beside his mouth and hollered over the distance. "Hayabusapiro! It's an ambush!"

The many guards backed away from Zathire almost forming a half a ring. The deadly ninja stared down his opponent drawing his sun-glaring saber and taking circling steps from an eight foot distance. His eyes seemed poised like he might strike any instant. Zathire placed his hand back for Edgeworth to back up some so he could have a little room.
In that moment of weakness when the barbarian made such a gesture, blades of grass ripped up below the Ninja's foot. As he came in with the razor edge of his sword angling down for the trapezius and neck. Zathire ducked down hastily bringing his sword up to block, but the clever ninja simply lifted his arm rolling his curved bladed over the sword and dipping a shallow quick stab to the chest before the parry forced his hand up too high to stab any deeper. In this instant of retraction the blade circled down twisting into a sharp downward slash that slit a deep slice through the hamstring.
In pain the barbarian had both blinked and closed his eyes and in a way that almost mocked the large man the ninja jabbed forward three times retracted his blade and slipped it under his defenses again, each time keeping a step ahead of the barbarian's defensive movements.
"Ow... ow... ow..." Zathire dryly said, sounding rather annoyed in being forced to announce such an understatement to the pain before him. He was now literally covered in bloody holes. Slowly but surely he was being broken down, it was a marvel at all that he had was still alive, let alone that he remained standing.
The hollered warning of ambush now had arrived.
The ninja smiled retracting his blade and back stepping. "It' looks like you might live to bleed for another day. Enjoy it!" In a flash he was darting off at borderline inhuman speed almost shifting into a blurred shadow through the long grassy field along the same path the girls had been lead through.
"Come on! Follow him!" shouted Edgeworth with excitement taking a dozen running steps and waving his hand over his head to charge with him into battle. "Now's our chance to save them!"
However Edgeworth had to stop, looking at the blood dripping barbarian who held his chin cupped against his thumb and index with thought. His other hand remained against his waist. "Can't I break the other's first?"
All of the remaining guards took a step backwards. After having seen what the man had survived and the amount of damage he was capable of dishing none of them really wanted to fight out how much more it would take to finally topple him over.
"There's no time!" Shouted Edgeworth, only pausing because he knew he'd need this man's help. "Remember the caravan? They still have your milk!"
"Alright you got me convinced," the blood soaked man lay his weight on his knee and pushed off into a sprint with his new yellow eyed friend.

The order of the chain had been two guards then Eon, then Hanyuu and finally the two tail end guards holding the chain. The lead guard was still looking at what had happened to the second when a fireball came out of nowhere and blasted him. He hit the dirt wall behind him and sunk in a smoking slouch no longer alive.
The last two guards were now looking nervous, it was unlikely that they would be able to both keep the prisoners and fight off this new invasive force at the same time. The third guard in the line panicked slightly looking around for where this foreign force could be coming from. "We'll he's gone... I'm not letting them get away alive." In hasty rational he took out his sword and stabbed it into Hanyuu's back twice. The blade erupting from her stomach is she crumpled down in pain dying. She fell to all fours and began coughing blood.
"You idiot!" In a blinding flash two racing ninja stars caught the guard in the throat before he could even turn around and make a small retreat. "You're going to get me killed with your stupidity!" the angry ninja spat.
Watching his last comrade gargle in his own blood clutching at his throat, the last guard decided now would be a good time to slip away.
Zathire and Edgeworth were now catching up from their jog across the field.
A mysterious red hooded figure poked his head from behind the small dirt cliff from where the fireball had come from.
Hayabusapiro, stalled for a moment recognizing the man. "No it couldn't be..." In a hasty action he drew a clear dart with honey yellow liquid in it. In the blink of an eye it traveled the full forty feet and landed in the healer's neck behind her ear. The impact of it stopping caused a small weight in the back to slide forward like the end of syringe and push the contents into the victim.
Shit... they even have him now... The ninja glanced at the dart quickly, their healer would remain paralyzed until she bled to death. Their team is getting too powerful. Hastily the shadowy warrior turned about and retreated.
Slowly the red hooded figure slurped forward in a large gown seemingly like a perfect clone of the grim reaper; only red.
The seal suddenly disappeared in a poof of smoke turning into a small blond child in green shorts and a white shirt with a large orange coat. "Hi, I'm Kitez," he chirped. "That's my mommy," he spouted with pride referring to the character that almost resembled a dripping red cloth. "Don't worry he will save you."
At that both Zathire and Edgeworth had to turn to each other and without a single word silently ask: "Did he really just say 'he'?"
The odd young lad then looked to Hanyuu who had decided to use the last of her strength to roll on her back and stare at the sky. "When you get better, can you be my auntie?"
Eon seemed surprised. Perhaps the boy was crazy, but she recognized the voice, he was obviously the one who'd yelled banzai and saved her life, not that the large seal he came from didn't make that already obvious. At least she could be grateful.
The red grim reaper seemed to slurp forward gliding on his long red cloak, then from a large hooded sleeve that did not even do so much as to show a hand, a key slipped out. Then held by the hidden hand within the sleeve the hand brought the key to the cuffs and unlocked them.
"A key?" Eon was bewildered, the man hadn't even taken it from one of the guards. "Where'd you get that?"
A slow sensual, almost sexual voice oozed out from the hooded man. "That's a secret."
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PostSubject: Re: The Crimson Beak (novel version)   Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:25 pm

Chapter 1: Formation of the Team
Scene 4: Touhou Manga

Egdeworth could do no more than tighten his fists and shut his eyes with pain seeing Hanyuu's state. "I'm sorry... Can you guys ever forgive me?"
Hanyuu's mouth began to stir making faint movements but no breath drew strong enough for them to make any sound or form any tangible words.
The red hooded stranger seemed to peer into the situation looking at the fallen cleric, analyzing the scene from that mysterious shadowy veil from which no eyes could be seen. "It seems to be a sedative." He removed the dart, never showing a finger as he grabbed it with his sleeve and held it up to examine with his unseen eyes. "Likely Hayabusapiro intends Hanyuu to remain paralyzed and unable to heal until she bleeds to death."
Eon set her shackles down to the side. "You know her name?"
"That involves another secret I suppose, but I will tell you a name in which you can call me for now, Ruri." The watery tone of the red hooded stranger seemed smooth and sexual, yet oddly emotionless. It was hard to make any judgments on someone like him and oven left Eon wanting to know what sort of facial expressions were being formed under that hood.
Eon ducked down to peek, yet oddly the shadow from the hood formed somehow impossibly fast concealing any visual indication that someone even existed underneath at all.
The small blond child in shorts peered up at Eon as if she was a big brother. His voice was oddly cheerful despite the situation. "You're the Black Witch huh? My mommy has told me all about you! ...Though I still don't know your real name."
She felt awkward looking at the chirpy child, she wasn't sure she was the best one suited to deal with kids. "It's Eon; I hope that didn't get me into any more trouble..." Her head spun around. "And yes before I forget you Edgeworth, we can forgive you, having to live with Zathire is much worse, trust me." She seemed to take pleasure in the words, getting a chance to tease him.
The barbarian frowned, "Hey, even I have feelings too!"
Eon furrowed her brow in a dubious manner. "No you don't," she insisted. She then looked at him with perhaps some pity. "Shouldn't you be dead by now? That's a lot of wounds."
The blood soaked barbarian stood there covered in several holes many piercing vital organs. "Eh... it'll heal by morning."
"At first I would have doubted that..." Eon closed her eyes and drew a single deep breath as she excepted the ridiculous person reality had bestowed upon her.

Finding the situation to be dull and boring and not much caring for the cleric, Zathire found himself a patch of grass several yards away and cupped his hands behind his head. They could go figure out their own shit, as he saw it; now was finally time to take that long postponed nap and maybe stare at some clouds.
The child's face frowned. "Crap, Hanyuu is our only healer... if she dies..."
Eon finished his sentence: "Then there will be no one to save us; and right now there is no way to save her."
The merchant was getting frustrated from merely standing idly while this all took place. "Come on you guys... at least one of you has to know something."
There was a long pause, in which no one answered.
"What's the big deal? Everyone one of you is worthless." Zathire gave a halfassed shrug.
The small child Kitez seemed almost traumatized by such words. "It's that really what you think of us?"
"I think you made him moody Eon," the intent from the somewhat toneless voice of the red grim reaper was impossible to make out but Zathire could have sworn there was a hint of teasing in there.
Eon put her hands on her hips like a mother who'd caught her kid sneaking cookies from the jar. "You seemed pretty determined about me not killing her when she gave you that chicken."
Edgeworth turned to the Black Witch, "You don't actually expect some dumb story about..."
Eon hadn't even changed her poise before the barbarian closed his eyes in a solemn fashion. "Don't worry, I'll save her." It was all he said before rising to his feet and jogging off.
Edgeworth, Kitez and Eon all turned their heads to give a questioning stare, and it could only be assumed the same expression would be written on Ruri's face as well though it could not be seen.
Finally the long silence was broken; Eon hadn't even removed her hands from her hips. "Why do I have a bad feeling about this?"

Scent molecules of horse lingered through the air to the unnatural, inhuman beast. Like a magnet they led him to the caravan. Immediately he snatched a lone carton of GanonMilk and began his hasty jog back.

Immediately upon returning he knelt down before Hanyuu and opened up the corner of the carton.
Hanyuu wanted to scream, to protest, to do anything but all she could do was barely make her lips wiggle.
Zathire pinched her nose and began to pour the Ganonmilk in.
Eon folded her arms in suspicion. "Are you sure this is such a good idea? That stuff gives me the creeps..."
Kitez mimicked Eon also folding his arms. "It scares me so much, I imagine it's drawing the very life force out of her now."
Zathire waved a dismissive arm and finished pouring the amount he'd chosen. "Nonsense."
Kitez made no move to stop him but still his eyebrows furrowed with worry. "But look at her face... It's changed to an expression of horror..."
Hanyuu lay there twitching, her mouth hung open paralyzed still the faint control that remained in her face had made it somewhat transform into that which appeared to be shock.
Zathire growled in a bit of annoyance, as he thought he was just trying to help and felt like they were ganging up on him. “Look, it fortifies bones, and packs in protein. The protein is going to super heal any wounds a lot quicker. And the potency of the drink will wear off the sedative faster!” Zathire gave an awkward pause as a loose thought seemed to escape on his tongue. “Or… it might just make her blood too thick to bleed out…”
Hanyuu began to stir like she might be coming to. She began to produce faint mumblings: “Why?”
At first Zathire could not hear her, but slowly her word became intelligible. “Huh?” he tenderly asked actually caring in at a level that seemed awkward to Eon.
Her face could barely make an annoyed expression, but for what expression she could make it was clear she was pissed. Her eyes were even open quite a ways. “I would have rather died…”
Zathire pretended to ignore her hateful reaction and gave a shrug. “It can’t be that bad?” He seemed rather disappointed that she was not happy with the results.
Hanyuu narrowed her eyes even more than she normally did. “I feel like my virginity was just stolen away.” It was clear from the begrudged look on her face that that was a bad thing.
Kitez almost squeaked. "AH HAHAHA!” He actually grabbed his belly and began to roll with laughter. “Auntie you’re the funniest!”
Eon's tensely folded arms seemed to relax a little as her shoulders let down a pinch. “But it seems you’re alive… She grabbed the carton and inspected it. “surprisingly…”

Zathire was begging to feel slightly ostracized and narrowed his eyes at the group. “I don’t know what you guys are talking about.” He shook his head like they were all insane. “It’s not that bad…” He checked with a glance of his eye back at them before chugging the rest of the carton.
Ruri, who'd remained rather silent through out the whole scene decided he would now finally interject with something he had planned to say. “It would be best if we took Hanyuu out of the way while she finishes recovering from the venom.”
The yellow haired merchant scratched his grey hair. "What do you suggest?"
As if held with all knowing wisdom the red grim reaper informed them all slowly. “The Beak will be expecting us to run while we are weak no doubt, but we can run and stay near our objective at the same time.” As if he'd been waiting for this moment she stuck one sleeve inside of the other and pulled out a strange black circle from his pocket.
Kitez seemed to ask the question that most wanted to know. "What's it this time mommy?"
Ruri gave a faint hum that only came when people were smiling, so it was quite assumable that he was doing so. "Another dimension." He began to unfold the circle and stick it in a curious manner to the air itself as if it were a wall. "When we come back out the beak will think we retreated and not expect us in such a readily offensive state."
The black circle began to glow white and the edges crackled with some rippling jagged cyan energy.
Hanyuu was struggling to sit up. "Hey what the hell... I feel heavy..."
Eon extended a hand to help her up. “You’re probably still weak from the venom.”
Zathire gave a light shrug. “That, and regular milk weighs nine pounds per gallon, GanonMilk weighs thirty-seven point five…" There was an awkward silence before he continued. "...For a half gallon…”
Hanyuu turned in rage. “You fatass! What has your drink done to me?”
Zathire was still a little busy thinking about the subject to answer her question. “Oh and when it fuses with your bones it becomes three times heavier, since some of the lightweight spells wear off… But you didn’t drink that much… I doubt you even gained fifty pounds…”
Hanyuu's jaw dropped open, as well as did her eyes visibly appear. A sheer look of horror and betrayal was painted against her face. “Fifty pounds!?!!”

Eon seemed flabbergasted as well. “What did you do to her? Let me see that carton.” She snatched the empty carton from his hand and read the back. “Warning, never drink GanonMilk strait from carton. Always dilute with regular milk," she paused, emphasizing the rest of the sentence, "fifty parts to one...” The purpled haired witch narrowed her eyes on Zathire with a frown. “This was supposed to be mixed with regular milk first. And you’re only supposed to use a couple ounces per gallon.”

Zathire gave a dismissive wave. “Pfft, who reads labels anyway?”
Eon tensed her jaw before continuing to read. “It says: GanonMilk should be drank in moderation due to high concentrations of calcium and phosphorus which can cause acid reflex disease.”
Zathire rolled his eyes not caring to hear a lecture.
Eon seemed to only grow more angry at being ignored. “Hey are you listening? This part is for you Zathire. Additionally males should avoid mineral over douse as this can lead to the build up of kidney stones sever enough to kill.” She looked at Zathire, her tone dry: “That means you are going to die pissing blood!”
Zathire was at best, unimpressed with the warning. “Yeah if I had the body of a normal man.”
Edgeworth was bending over to slip his ands under Hanyuu's shoulders waiting for Eon to do the same to the legs. After giving the barbarian a dirty look the Black Witch lifted the paralyzed cleric from the ground. “She is heavy…” Eon said rather surprised.
Edgeworth gave a stressed smile. “No kidding…”
Ruri walked through the portal, leading the way for the others.

Everyone but Zathire followed stepping through the liquid wall with a surprising level of fearlessness for having been lead by a stranger.
Eon observed her body changing. “Whoa, what’s with the change? You’re all starting to look different…” She turned around. “Hurry up Barbarian!”

Zathire gave a carefree shrug and decided to go along with it. When he was halfway down he peered at his leg. It had become effeminate and covered in a dress. “Hey did my gender just change?”
The world they had entered was free of color, it was all in shades of black and white and they were all indeed female. Somehow it didn't make sense the world seemed to be composed of sketch work, the background being that of the interior of a large house.
What was once Ruri was now a small obnoxiously large eyed girl dressed in ridiculous Japanese clothing spoke. “Soo, koko ni, minna wa onna no hito imasu." He had intended to say: 'Yes, I believe we are all females here.'
Another unique and awkward female who was once Edgeworth spoke. “Sore wa hen desu yo!" He had meant to say: that's weird.
Zathire could take no more of it and in rage the little girl with fox ears he had now become shouted in anger: “Eigo de hanashimasuyo!" Ironically he had demanded they speak English.
The Ruri female withdrew an orb from behind her back like a cartoon character. “Sorry for the wait, this orb should negate all Japanese effects on our speech.”
A horned girl that had once been Hanyuu looked up in wonder at the resourcefulness of the stranger: “What don’t you have in those pockets?”
Ruri smiled, “That’s a secret.”
Hanyuu seemed even more happy: “Oh you can set me down… It seems the evil affects of the GanonMilk..." She paused to give a dirty look to Zathire, "don’t affect me here.” She looked around in wonder. “I love this place!”
Ruri seemed just as reframed despite his or perhaps her face showing. “It was actually created by you in another dimension.”
Hanyuu was already exploring moving from one picture to another. “You’re kidding?”
Ruri remained calm, “No, I’d brought you here because I thought it would be fitting, just like the world we were in was created by Zathire.”
Everyone seemed question that at once. “By Zathire?”
The fox girl ex-barbarian gave a smug laugh: “Now I know he’s coughing up bullshit." Somehow the world was two dimensional and separated by walls, they could animate themselves to move in a three dimensional manner. “Well I guess I better start cracking these walls if we want to get anywhere… Hey! What gives? Where’d my battlesword go?”

Hanyuu shook her head, she was already one comic strip below them. “You don’t need to crack them dummy. Look…” She slipped behind the wall doing a two dimensional transition to next picture. “Have you tried walking?”
The fox girl barbarian scratched its head. “I seriously don’t get it…”
Edgeworth didn't seem to understand why this was either but he had grasped the concept. “Look in another dimension the rules and laws of physics don’t necessarily have to be the same as in the last one.”
The fox girl merely blinked.
Hanyuu closed her eyes. “You’re not giving ‘her’ enough credit for being dumb.”
Edgeworth protested such hatefulness. “Come on he has some redeeming qualities…”

Ruri gave a yawn. “Drop your boring arguing, refer to our past genders, and follow me into the next scene. No more questions please.”
The barbarian took an extra minute as the others went ahead. “Wait up! I need to try a few things first…” Her eyes shifted side to side then dangerously down towards ‘her’ skirt. “Hehe…”

Eon had to sigh. “Don’t even go there!”
Zathire protested stepping back from Eon. “Hey it’s my body I can do whatever I damn well please with it…”
Eon but her hands on her hips. “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that…”
Zathire peered down his or her skirt. “Come on its every man’s dream…”
Not even listening to him, Eon grabbed Zathire and dragged ‘her’ into next scene. “It’s not going to happen pervert.”

A step ahead of them Hanyuu turned back to see them catching up to where she had already explored. “What was it this time?”
Eon's eyes shifted to the side. “Let’s just leave it at the he-she was having a curious moment.”
Hanyuu closed her eyes not all too terribly surprised. “I don’t want to know.”

A smaller girl now Kitez looked up to the new Ruri. “So mommy how long do we have to be in this place before auntie heals?”
Hanyuu already seemed oddly content. “I don’t see why we have to leave… This place has everything… Why would we want to go back to that dull and horrid world with the Crimson Beak in it?”
Eon's tone was cold and serious, and there would be no debate. “We’re going back… Until the Crimson Beak is gone, people will suffer. I’m not selfish. I won’t stay here while more people get punished without reason.” Her reasons went deeper than herself.
When they had finally entered a room which looked like a kitchen, Ruri spoke intending on changing the subject. “This place is I believe about a meal being cooked. Let’s all have lunch and then ditch this manga after we’ve stolen the entire kitchen’s food.”
That got a smile from Zathire. “Finally another genius like me!”
Having heard him say the word 'genius' Eon couldn't help but open her mouth and raise a finger to say something, but that seemed rather a useless hope to try and educate him of what his true intelligence was. Instead she shook her head and said nothing.
Slowly but surely as a team they finally got organized and started to accomplish cooking something up truly wonderful, using up nearly all the contents within the manga's fridge.
As the barbarian held up and passed around utensils and ingredients to help them, he gasped. “Whoa I can feel the weight of objects in my hand!”
Kites frowned. “She’s not very smart is she mommy?”
A bit of bitterness escaped the cleaver girl. “Now you finally know what it feels like to be weak and normal!”
Kites mumbled, "Why does auntie hate the-her-him so much?"
Hanyuu was obviously still bitter about the GanonMilk though in truth she simply did not like him. “I hope you end up staying like this when we return. That would be funny!”
The barbarian smiled, content with the idea. “Hey then I could finish conducting my… experiments… That’d be sweet!”
The once dark skinned and white clothed cleric frowned with a completely dry expression. “Never mind… I take it back…”
Ruri gave a confident smile. “The food is ready.”
A glorious feast lined a white table cloth, several artistically arranged Japanese cuisines were lined up from edge to edge.
The fox barbarian was pleased yet still seemed somewhat disappointed. “Alright, but where’s the rest of it?”
Eon looked at the humongous feast. “What do you mean the rest of it?”
The barbarian argued. “There isn’t even enough for me…”
Smug and always wise Ruri offered what seemed to be a suicidal notion to the others: “Try eating it first… You can eat all you like Zathire.”
The three that already knew better looked at him in shock: “Are you crazy?”
Zathire's ferocious smile was growing. “Alright! Now that’s what I’m talking about!” Immediately he began feasting, and then without warning gasped, “Impossible!”
The three looked baffled and almost as shocked as him to see him stop so suddenly. They all turned to Ruri in explosive curiosity.
Ruri did not seem surprised at all by this. “That’s right in this world not only is your strength limited, but as I calculated also your appetite…”
The barbarian shook his head. “No actually it’s that I just noticed with all this Japanese crap, no one made any mashed potatoes… I’m still going to eat everything without shame.”
Eon smirked, for once she was glad the barbarian was acting like himself, as it painted quite a shocked face upon Ruri, which in this world could actually be seen. “Well I for one never volunteered to give up MY food.” She looked at him, knowing he did.
In the fashion of an anime, a large inexplicable sweat drop seemed to form on the side of his, now her head.
Hanyuu gave a bit of a smirk herself seeing the barbarian ravage dish after dish, he was hardly affected by the new reality at all. “It looks like we’re all going to have a race to the finish.”
Kitez also joined in the chaos. “I want to race too!” He had somehow maintained his power and transformed into a bear.

The resulting chaos was too hard to animate and thus in the world they existed did not have any point of time in which a picture for this occurred, rather they transitioned to the aftermath, in which a broken table with a mess of empty and filthy dishes lay strewn about like a tornado had gone through the room.

Eon cupped her hands behind her head kicking back in her chair with her feet on the table. “Well that was a great vacation! And it looks like we trashed the house and destroyed this manga were in.” She looked around. The destruction was rather complete. “Well, time to leave before taking responsibility for the mess.”
In unison, like the jackasses they were, everyone gave a nod and sound of agreement.
From the pocket of the female Ruri another circle was drawn this time white. “Here’s our return portal.”
Hanyuu gave a quick look back, already some of them were starting to leave. “I’ll miss you wonderful place.”
As if on cue, the ceiling fan broke off roof.
Hanyuu coughed, “Ehem... But I’m not quite ready to fix up that mess…” She stepped through the portal. "Hey my wounds have healed and it doesn’t quite feel like fifty pounds anymore.”
Zathire glanced over his shoulder seeing the look on the cleric's happy face. "Ninety percent of the effect isn’t permanent. I’m guessing you only gained four permanent pounds, nothing to sweat…”
Hanyuu was in too good of a mood to complain at the moment even if her body had been stained by those four irremovable pounds.
Eon was once again in her black dress, it felt good to be so tall again. “We’re in a very good position right now… Lucherous Pentaro of the Eagle Brigade is just inside that castle." She looked over to the castle that she and Hanyuu had almost been taken to before they were rescued. "I’m a pretty good assassin. We might be able to get him to tell us where the Beak resides, and then we can kill him.”
Edgeworth gave a nod of approval. The thought of being part of a plan to rid the world of the Crimson Beak sent shivers down his spine. What a glorious way to die, or what a legacy to leave behind should they succeed.
Eon glanced back at the red stranger, she'd really like to know who he was and why he was so helpful: “This is all thanks to Ruri… Likely Lucherous thinks we’ve all retreated to Horsepale in a desperate attempt to get medical attention for Hanyuu. He won’t expect a thing when we come knocking on his front door!”
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