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Post by Ren Caverly on Thu May 01, 2014 6:00 pm

I don’t know what to do…” Ren mumbled. She was sitting under a tree, wearing her usual hoodie and skirt. She was staring back at the face of her acquaintance Kade. He’d followed her out to the tree as he sometimes did. She was shrouded under the shade of the tree, Kade was standing just past the shadows, basking in the light. Ren had never consciously made the comparison, but she sometimes felt it. Kade had made the comparison many times, but he felt like Ren was a good girl, so it wasn’t accurate. Ren didn’t know how she felt. She’d been feeling a little better, since she went out, training a little bit each night. So mostly her training looked more like glorified housework, but she was getting there. She had started making a shadow ladder in her room. She was almost giddy when she thought of it, which looked like mild smiling on Ren’s part, but then came the reality. She had to trust her magic to hold herself up, and if she fell, she fell. It seemed less daunting except that she had to someday actually turn this ladder into a way to the roof. This building was tall, and if Ren fell from that height… it scared her greatly.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Thu May 01, 2014 7:17 pm

You’ve been getting a lot stronger lately,” Kade said, balancing on his heels. She blushed and looked down, “I can tell. You walk a little differently.

How?” she asked, confused by how she could be walking differently. Maybe it was a bad thing.

With confidence.” She looked baffled. There was no way she walked with any sort of confidence, “I bet you don’t believe me, but its true. Anyway. I think you should actually take on a job. I mean a big one. You’re strong enough, I even have one in mind,” he said, smiling. Even though Ren was highly intimidated by people in general, she couldn’t help but relax just slightly with him smiling so earnestly.

Well…. Um… okay, what job?” she asked him. He pulled out a green piece of paper. She was temporarily surprised by how prepared he was. She bit her lip and took it. “ Bring traitor Troy Hosk to Niles Crove, with the magic sword Troy stole from C Company.” She read the paper and kept biting her lip. It gave some directions as to how to reach this Niles guy, in Cerulean. It sounded hard, harder than the jobs Ren had done before, “Um, well… do you think I can?

Kade arched an eyebrow, still smiling, “… Do you?

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Post by Ren Caverly on Fri May 02, 2014 8:52 pm

Apparently Ren did feel she could. That wasn’t her normal reaction, not by any stretch of the imagination, but here she was, taking the paper to Cerulean. She had a small bag collected for the trip this time. It was better than running to port and having to stow away because she forgot money. No, she was much more prepared today. Maybe that meant she was actually a bit competent, or maybe she was just doing this to pretend she was. Oh well.

Ren had actually left her hoodie at home this time. She was trying really hard to do a hard job without her security blanket. It wasn’t going to be easy, but she just really wanted to try. When she arrived in Cerulean she took a deep breath, then went looking.

A man named Niles was outside a small house. Ren approached him, knowing he matched the description she had been given. He was blond, tall, looked extremely strong, and had a bunch of metal on him. It made for a very intimidating appearance. Ren bit her lip as she stepped up to him. He arched an eyebrow at her, but before he could ask what she was there for, she pulled out the paper for him. Oh yes, because how she was acting really instilled confidence.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Wed May 07, 2014 5:29 pm


… I don’t think you are capable of doing this,” Niles said before Ren could really defend herself. She fidgeted. She would normally not even try to take this job. She would normally just accept this and leave. She would normally do a lot of things different.

N-No, I am,” she said, blinked a few times once she said it. Her tone was louder than usual, more insistent. Ren was incapable of arguing usually.

Look, miss, Troy is a powerful man, and unless you’re capable of handling him and however many little friends he’s gathered, you’re not getting this job,” he said. He didn’t want people to get hurt, and that included Ren, who he didn’t even know. She crossed her arms, feeling her heart pounding. She did not like arguing.

I will be fine. You posted the job, I took the job, so explain it to me,” she told him, sounding almost firm. She wasn’t a confident person, but she had decided she was going to do this, and she was going to do it unless he absolutely refused. She was really hoping he would just let her. He looked annoyed now, she clenched her jaw.

Fine. Fine,” he said in frustration, “but you better not mess this up. Got that?” he asked, she nodded quickly.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Thu May 08, 2014 1:43 pm

Ren was happy that the man seemed to be relying on her. Did that mean showing a bit of self-confidence was actually working? She had been sure that even if she tried to seem confident people would see through it. Maybe she was actually feeling more confident? Was that right? Strange.

Niles began explaining the situation to Ren. He explained that he had worked with Troy, but Troy decided to be stupid and run off. He impressed upon Ren that she was not to try to kill Troy. If she absolutely had to, if he was attacking her, he supposed he couldn’t complain, but the reward as going to be much lower. Ren couldn’t imagine killing anyone, and she didn’t like money, so it was all sort of odd. She was being bribed with something she didn’t want, to avoid doing something she could never do? She just nodded as he kept explaining. The man, Troy, had some followers, no doubt, and she would need to fight them to get to Troy, most likely. She nodded a few times as he spoke and he sent her on her way with a description of the sword. Fighting. That meant Ren was going to have to do a lot of fighting. She really didn’t like fighting, but she had been training, so she felt as if perhaps she would be able to manage this.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Thu May 08, 2014 8:28 pm

When Niles felt Ren was properly informed he told Ren to go to Hosenka town, where Troy Hosk had been seen. When asked how he knew where Troy was, Niles just said “He’s not trying to hide.

Ren found it strange for people who took things to avoid hiding. She hid for no good reason, why wasn’t this guy hiding? Oh well, it probably wasn’t that big of a deal. She gathered her things and went to Hosenka town. She’d never been there until now. It was so pretty, and she remembered a girl she knew saying she’d lived there. Ren almost wanted to go asking around to see if she could find out where, but she knew better. She just needed to do her job. Then her almost friend would be proud of her, and maybe, if she was really lucky, Ren would be a tiny bit proud of herself.

Once she reached Hosenka town Ren awkwardly walked up to a stranger and asked if she had seen anyone matching the description of Troy. Shaggy black hair, carrying a fancy sword. “Oh, Hosk? Yes, I’ve seen him,” the woman said with a scowl. Ren was surprised, but didn’t complain as this soon led to a direct location that Hosk, as a group, were staying.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue May 13, 2014 11:05 am

Ren hadn’t expected such clear directions, but when the “black haired sword wielder” and his “three annoying friends” came to town and started causing problems, apparently people took notice. Ren couldn’t imagine doing things that got her noticed that frequently. It sounded extremely unpleasant. Then again, Ren wasn’t in the habit of stealing from friends she didn’t have, and becoming what sounded like a bandit.

Ren waited until late evening to head to the place. It was a building out behind a tavern. The tavern owner had briefly spoken to Ren when she showed up. She didn’t know how to scope out a place, but she did figure waiting until her bed time of day might help the cause. Or at best it would calm her nerves. The tavern owner warned Ren against staying too late, because of the trouble makers out back. She didn’t say much, but eventually wandered off and directly to where she’d been told to avoid.

Knocking on the door sounded horrible, especially since Ren could hear the voices from within, but she wasn’t sure what else to do. Luckily it didn’t take long for the door to open, without knocking, and three teenagers hurried out. One knocked right into Ren, who in her surprise, fell back, but kept stumbling until she hit the wall of the building behind her. “Hey, stay out of the way,” one of them laughed.

What are you even doing here? This is our place, leave,” another said, sounding more serious.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Wed May 14, 2014 3:55 pm

N-no, I can’t do that,” Ren said, her voice shaking just slightly. One of them laughed, but the serious looking one moved over to push her. She sidestepped, awkwardly stumbling a bit, but not hitting anything, and avoiding his touch.

Last chance, you’re going to leave,” he said, then looked at his friends, and then grinned at her, “Or you’re going to fight.

I-I really d-don’t like fighting,” she told him. He chuckled, but before he could say anything else, she added, “But that doesn’t mean I’m leaving.

That set off his temper, apparently. He scowled at Ren and lunged toward her to have a fight. She again side-stepped. He was not going to let her off the hook though, so he threw a now flaming fist at her face. She dodged, but while she was busy dodging, one of the other boys cast a fireball at Ren. She wasn’t prepared and was knocked over, feeling the heat burn through her back. She was going to have to get this hoodie repaired, and she was not happy about that. She’d be more unhappy later, when the burning was gone, and when she wasn’t face first on the ground. Realizing she was about to be attacked, while knocked prone, by the three at once, she quickly cast one of her newly learned spells. A ball of shadows surged around in her hand before she slammed it into the ground and the smoky shadows exploded around her, her Smoke Grenade blinding them all.

[MP: 175/200]

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Post by Ren Caverly on Sun May 18, 2014 2:17 pm

The small girl stood, able to see through her own crackling shadow magic, but the men were shouting and surprised by the attack. She’d be surprised if she saw someone like her fighting, but as it was, she was in survival mode. One of the men cast another fire ball into the fight and she grabbed the guy near her with a shadow hand and jerked him in front of it. He let out a shout and went down.

The noise of one of their comrades taking damage apparently didn’t help the boys understand the situation, as they just started casting more fire into the fight. Ren managed to dodged and soon enough one of the boy’s was running, not wanting to deal with even more blind fighting. Unfortunately even running from the spell didn’t move the shadow’s from his eyes and he soon ran face first into a wall. Ren cringed. “If you leave… you don’t have to fight,” Ren said, trying her hand at reasoning with the teenage bandit. He really wasn’t any older than her, and she knew he’d be blind for a good while longer, which was a scary prospect.

To Ren’s surprise the boy nodded and Ren directed him to walk, slowly, along the wall. It was a strange boost of confidence for Ren, who still had low self-esteem despite all her efforts lately. She looked at the door to the hideout, seeing the shadow’s still surging around her, and went to open it.

[MP: 175/200]

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Post by Ren Caverly on Wed May 21, 2014 12:35 pm

Ren was cautious and her heart started pounding more as she opened the door. She’d just almost completely avoided a fight, and she was happy about that, but she was still in a rush. She was going to hurt more as she calmed down, and she just wanted things to be over with. Apparently fate didn’t listen to her. She opened the base and it was empty. Ren sighed and went around looking. She wasn’t supposed to steal, or to damage the base, or do anything… except with Troy Hosk. So Ren had nothing to do now.

She found a nice place to sit, using her Shadow Stasis. She was engulfed in her shadow cocoon for a good while until she felt better, then… she sat. The boys had probably all gotten away, unless they were still unconscious, but whatever was happening, no one was bothering Ren… yet.

The door opened, and there stood Troy Hosk. Ren could have questioned who it was, but there was no room left for interpretation. His dark eyes were angry, shaggy black hair looked like he’d been running his hand through it just moments before, and although he looked like he was faster than he was strong, he was very intimidating physically. On top of that, his sword was already out, and he looked angry.

[MP: 160/200]

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Post by Ren Caverly on Wed May 21, 2014 1:07 pm

When his eyes fell on Ren, that was when the fun started, if by “fun” you mean the exact opposite. At first he looked confused, scanning around her, then looking wildly around the entire room. Like she couldn’t possibly be there. She couldn’t possibly be there alone. He stared at her, like maybe she was an illusion, and then… of course, he laughed. She just sat there. She didn’t even stand. She’d been so surprised with him bursting in that she didn’t think to stand. She knew she was tiny, and looked about as imposing as a bunny rabbit, but… laughing?

His laughter turned into anger. “You?! You couldn’t possibly be the reason my boys out there are out cold. You’re a baby!” he informed her. As if she wasn’t aware of her size or age. Shockingly enough, Ren had never seen herself in a mirror, she had no idea how unimpressive she looked. Nope, she was aware.

She knew if she opened her mouth she’d start stuttering, so instead she stood up. He wasn’t stupid, he gripped his sword tighter. Baby or not, she was here, and that meant he needed to get rid of her. She took a slow breath, “I’m not a baby. Niles sent me.

[MP:160/200]

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Post by Ren Caverly on Wed May 21, 2014 1:38 pm

Oh, had she lit a fuse or what? “Niles?!” he shouted. He sounded so angry, but when his jaw set and his eyes darted to the sword in his hand Ren saw something else. It probably wasn’t regret. It looked like her when she left Era. Something unavoidable, but sad. He looked sad. However once the moment was gone he was looking back at Ren. The room went dark. Pitch black, and Ren could see nothing but him. Shadow magic?.... no, I can see through shadow magic… I hope…. Illusion magic? she thought, keeping her eyes on him, willing herself not to look scared. She was scared, and he was sad, and she had the willpower of a mouse, but he clearly had more.

You are going to leave, and you’re going to tell Niles to leave me alone,” he told her. It was an out. She could leave, she could just wander off unharmed, and completely fail her job. No. She had someone to make proud of her. And maybe she also needed to be proud of herself, maybe just a little.

She nearly told him no, but that would be stupid. That would be a battle of wills, and she was sure he would win that fight. Instead she calmed her mind and said, “It isn’t nice to steal from our friends.

[MP 160/200]

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Post by Ren Caverly on Wed May 21, 2014 2:09 pm

Fine, then we can fight and see how far nice gets us!” Troy informed her, apparently done with being lectured. At least that meant it was hitting a nerve. He ran toward Ren and she realized in a few moves that although he was more agile than he was brutally powerful, she was still more agile than him. His magic tried to trick her senses, tried to fool her eyes, and make her step where there was nothing to land on. It was all so dark. However Ren didn’t rely on her senses for grace. She still hadn’t figured out how to do that. Instead she fell. And she fell. And about the tenth time she felt the chill of his sword slicing just next to her as she stumbled in what appeared to be a purely lucky fall, she knew he was getting tired of it. However she knew he wasn’t trying to kill her. None of his attempts were quite lethal enough for her to think he wanted to kill her. Well, that was good.

Eventually she was tiring him out, but to drive this home she let herself take a hit. It wasn’t exactly intentionally, but as she reached toward him, needing direct contact for her Shadow Drain spell. Once she touched him, she saw the color drain from his face. It was a major drain on his agility, and he could hardly make another attack, but since he was already in the swing, it made clear contact. A sword to her side, not cutting into her, but sending the less than one hundred pound girl flying into the nearby wall.

[MP: 125/200]

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Post by Ren Caverly on Wed May 21, 2014 2:40 pm

Ren wasn’t sure if she screamed or not, but when she went crashing into that wall all she could think was that she couldn’t stop sustaining her spell. She had to keep it up. If she let it down he would be back at full strength. If she sustained her spell he was already tired, and he wasn’t going to be able to come over and kill her. She hit the wall hard, her back was going to bruise, a crate edge jabbed into her leg, and another heavy object fell on her. She knew she was bleeding, and she couldn’t actually see anything, but she could just… tell that Troy was coming toward her.

Ren didn’t stand up, because she couldn’t, but when she felt him about to swing at her, she lifted her arm to defend herself. Her Shadow Gauntlet appeared, covering her arm just before the sword struck. She felt the numbing cold, and once the spell broke, she couldn’t feel her arm, but she could still hear Troy flying back a few feet. The impact of her defensive spell, his lack of energy, and the surprise had done him in. It had also done a number on Ren.

[MP: 103/200]

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Post by Ren Caverly on Wed May 21, 2014 3:15 pm

Ren was able to open her eyes, although her head was pounding, and her hair felt sticky. She also saw a clear cut in her arm, a rather intimidating gash, covering in ice. She couldn’t feel it, so she grabbed her arm with her other hand, casting her Shadow Stasis, overcharging for good measure. She felt dizzy, and horribly weak, but Troy was sprawled out on the ground, struggling to sit up. She moved over and managed to grab the sword. His illusion magic was gone with his energy, but he looked at her.

Just go away,” he said, glaring at her weakly.

N-no, I’m supposed to bring you back to Niles,” she informed him, leaning on the sword as she kept healing her arm.

I have no interest in going back to Niles,” he said, “Just take what you came for and leave.

B-but I’m supposed to bring you back. He said so. He wants to make up, I think,” she suggested. He looked at her, possibly in disbelief. She was just too tired, and she was sure she was going to start crying soon, but eventually, to her surprise, he agreed to go talk to Niles. Well that was lucky, because Ren hardly had the energy to use the enchanted sword as a crutch all the way back.

[MP: 73/200]

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Post by Ren Caverly on Wed May 21, 2014 3:46 pm

Bringing Troy back to Niles was exhausting. Troy actually started talking to Ren on the way back. Asking her why such a small girl was fighting, asking her if she had friends, asking if she wanted to live in their shadow. She said that was ironic, with her magic. He told her he supposed it was. She liked him, as the trip continued, but she still kept the sword. Her injuries didn’t go away, and she was sure she would have to spend a lot of time at home just sitting around and healing.

Once they reached Niles the tension picked up immediately. Troy looked tired, but immediately stubborn, and Niles looked disappointed. The conversation started with Ren there, but she felt almost ill with the tension. Niles soon told Troy, firmly, to sit down, and Troy, angry as he looked, sat. The sword was handed over, and Ren, much as she really didn’t want it, got a lot of jewels. From that, she said goodbye to them, and Troy, surprisingly, waved. It made Ren feel happy. Less like she brought in a criminal, more like she reunited some friends. She began wishing she had friends, but tried to push the thought out of her mind as she headed back home to Lamia Scale to recover. Every move she made was excruciating.

Total Words: 3,634/2000

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