The Helpless Helping the Hopless

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:22 pm

Ren had been making leaps and bounds of progress. She was learning to actually interact with the friendliest girl in the guild. The two guys she knew were vying for “most friendly,” but she knew which of them was the most popular. The one who insisted on talking to her. The other at least left her be, in her shadows. Speaking of shadows… Ren was out at night. Her guild tattoo wasn’t visible due to her high collar’s vest. She had on long sleeves. So what if it was summer? She got a cold from a slight breeze. Ren knew what she was doing, at least in regard to her own health. Okay, so maybe she didn’t eat. Gosh, the voice in her head was especially naggy today, wasn’t it?

Ren pulled her long sleeves down over her arms. She didn’t want anyone seeing her skin. Lithe and beautiful. Some strange man had told her that. Oh… wait… she remembered. Kenji. She shuddered, no, no thinking about him, she was suddenly hit with crippling anxiety. She had actually been walking along the road and stopped at a small inn. She was near town, but not quite there. That was fine, she didn’t want to be near anyone as she slid down against the building.

Words: 214/1000

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:54 pm

Ren’s hoodie had been serious damaged, and although someone had fixed it for her, she was keeping it at home to wash. Plus, that thing was sweltering in the summer. Sure, Ren got cold just by thinking of ice, but she had worn other things today. She had on flats and loose dark jeans. They were technically skinny jeans, for most people, but since she was just that thin, the jeans barely touched her legs at all times. They weren’t stretching at all. Why did people like skinny jeans? Well Ren didn’t know. She didn’t know anything. She was busy sitting there between two barrels, head in her hands, trying not to cry. Her brain felt like it was on drugs, warping around, wrapping itself around problems until she couldn’t think. Her own problems were things that Ren did not think about. They were so bad and so upsetting she didn’t know what to say or think. Opening that can of worms could really bring Ren down. She’d been making such progress, but all she could hear was his voice, see his… hands. She saw his hands more than anything else. And his voice. He hadn’t acted outright mean to her, he just told her what to do in every facet of her life, and when he was done with her… he didn’t laugh at her… he just… told her to leave.

Words: 446/1000

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:24 pm

While Ren was spiraling downward and convincing herself she was just as pathetic as she had once been… she heard something. Who was it? Was it an animal? Was it a person? Ren swallowed hard and sat up. She heard the movement again. She jumped, and then the barrel near her fell over. “H-hello?” Ren asked tentatively. She wasn’t sure if it was an animal, or if she had reached a new level of awkwardness. She was now knocking over the objects around her without even touching them? Yeah, that was pretty bad.

Oh… Ren wasn’t completely insane. An arm poked out of the barrel, and then a head. A young girl pulled herself out of the barrel. She didn’t speak. Ren just looked at her, eyes wide. The girl apparently couldn’t see as well in the dark, because she was squinting and blinking a lot. “H-how long have you been in that barrel?” Ren asked. The girl didn’t answer, just pulled herself out. Ren saw red. “I-is your leg okay? It looks… bleeding…” Ren offered quietly, feeling awkward as she shifted a bit. That probably wasn’t the best way to say that. She was just so nervous. It wasn’t Ren’s job to talk to strange people who weren’t responding. This was the exact opposite of how things worked.

Words: 665/1000

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:55 pm

Yes, I’m bleeding,” the girl said. She sounded so much gruffer than Ren. As if she was angry at Ren for talking to her. The leg looked fairly bad, and Ren worried about it.

Do, uh, you have any bandages… or s-something?” she asked. The girl glared at her. Well, clearly she didn’t have bandages. If she had bandages, her leg would be bandages. Stupid Ren, asking stupid questions. “I’m sorry. L-let me see it,” she said. She reached over and the girl lurched back. She didn’t want Ren touching her. She probably didn’t want anyone touching her. Ren bit her lip. “Let me see,” she said, at least without stuttering.

No, don’t touch me. I don’t need your help. Just go away. You’ll get me caught.

Caught by who?” Ren asked quietly. She looked around, not seeing anyone. They were in the dark, why would they get caught? The dark was much safer than the light. Didn’t everyone think that? No, Ren didn’t even think that all the time.

The creeps inside,” the girl hissed. Ren bit her lip a bit harder.

Creeps are gross…. Let me see your leg,” she said, winding back around to that statement. The girl glared again, then sighed. The pain on her face was evidence enough that she needed help, even if she didn’t want it.

Words: 888/1000

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:25 pm

The girl relaxed enough not to flinch away, and Ren moved closer. It looked like she’d been hit by something… a spell of some kind most likely, and then she’d been running with it. That was evident by the bloody streaks down her leg from the initial wound. Ran put a hand over the area, a few inches above it, and her shadow’s sunk down. The girl gasped, probably from expecting some sort of pain, but then she let herself think about the magic. It was a shadow, and it was magic, it wasn’t going to hurt her. Sure, Ren’s only healing magic worked exclusively on her, but she could at least form a physical barrier between the wound and everything else. In the absence of bandages, this was going to work.

You do shadow magic…” the girl said quietly, staring at Ren still. Ren felt stiff and tense.

… I know…” she said. Well of course she knew. How could she not? She was the one who cast it.

Are you  a dark mage?” the girl whispered back.

Wh-what?! Wh-why would I b-be one of those?!” Ren asked, completely baffled and mortified at the question. The girl tensed and leaned back. She shrugged.

Words: 1092/1000

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:56 pm

I dunno… isn’t that what all people who use shadow magic are?” the girl repeated.

What? That doesn’t even make sense? N-no, I’m not a d-dark mage. I’m from Lamia Scale. Wh-what is so sinister about shadow magic?” She’d gotten this impression from people before, but she’d never been in an impression to ask.

Uh… well the dark is creepy,No it’s not…and people who learn that like creepy things.

I didn’t pick what magic I learned, this is just the magic I had,” she said, firmly. She felt very defensive. Ren would have absolutely learned another kind of magic if it had been something she could choose.

Oh… well… uh… sorry…” the girl said. She wasn’t apologizing for making weird comments, was she? Ren felt like she was apologizing that Ren got stuck with such a bad magic.

It’s good magic. It’s… it’s like… any magic, and p-power… its all about what you do with it. Right? There’s nothing wrong w-with my magic,” she insisted. Her broken words sounded just as weak willed as Ren came across, but she was not pleased with the assertion. She’d listened to everyone tell her just how bad her magic was, and how ugly it was, and not good enough. Just like her. Just like you… some strange girl falling out of a barrel didn’t get to jump on the band wagon.

Words: 1322/1000

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:27 pm

Maybe the girl was going to say something, or maybe Ren was going to apologize for being so harsh. They didn’t get that far. The girl looked sorry for what she’d said, but that immediately turned into hostility and what Ren recognized as fear. Fight or flight? She was full of flight, but in her condition, Ren could understand that all she had was fight. Ren just wasn’t sure what would bring that look to her eye, until she heard someone clearing their throat behind her.

The rabble are gathering?” he said. Ren turned around in surprise, nearly dropping her small spell, but detaching it instead. It could exist on its own, it was small enough she didn’t even mind. It would help the girl anyway, she didn’t need to bleed any more.

Wh-who are you?” Ren asked, stumbling around until she got to her feet….. Oh…. There were more. Five of them. They looked almost like normal guys, hanging around, except they were dressed somewhat similarly. Like a group. They looked like a gang to her, but then again, Ren was so far out of the loop she forgot what shape that was.

We’re paladins,” the first one explained. A few of the other men nodded, like they functioned as one unit.

Words: 1535/1000

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:01 pm

You look like a gang,” Ren informed him. Sure, she knew what paladins did. They… did council stuff, right? How complicated was that? Ren avoided all of it. The girl behind her probably wanted to laugh, but Ren could physically feel her tension, even without touching her. Maybe it was the tension against her shadow that Ren was feeling.

We’re the law. Now, she’s an illegal magic user, we’re taking her in. You used a spell, we heard, so we’re taking you in too. Unless you’re affiliated with a guild?” It was like he was asking her to pick her poison. Be arrested, or… cooperate with them.

She’s in a guild. She’s fine. Leave her alone,” she girl said. Ren wasn’t that used to people sticking up for her, but more than that she wasn’t used to defending other people.

If you’re a guild wizard, show us your tattoo,” one man said. Ren felt her fists shaking at her sides. She was terrified, but she wasn’t going to let that determine what she did. At least…. Today she wasn’t.

She doesn’t want to go with you. So she doesn’t have to go. A-and, no, I’m not showing you my tattoo. It doesn’t matter.” Also she didn’t want them knowing she was with Lamia Scale. She was proud of that, as proud as she could be of something, but that wasn’t for them to see. She’d heard about the council deciding that mages had to be guild affiliated, or they could be arrested. Punishable by various sentences, including death. Even as she could feel anxiety rising and making her want to cry, she was still standing there.

Words: 1811/1000

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:34 pm

Little girl,” the first man said, sounding just as condescending as Ren remembered adults to sound, “it’s the law. You don’t get to pick and choose about the law. You just get to follow it, or be punished.I’m an adult, not a little child… Ren thought, angry, but still too scared to say any of that. Besides, since when did Ren back talk… ever? He walked toward her and she realized that the girl couldn’t run. Now Ren, Ren was outstanding at running… but this girl was hurt.

Its okay, you should run,” the girl said. Even that was upsetting. Ren was a coward, but this wasn’t about her. She knew from her own rapid blinking that she was starting to cry. She didn’t even know why. She wasn’t that in touch with her inner self to know what she would do something foolish like that. Still, she was not leaving this girl to fend for herself. Too many people in Ren’s life had left her helpless and alone. She wasn’t doing that to anyone else.

No. You leave her alone. It’s a stupid rule. Go away,” she said. Her voice wasn’t firm. Her stance wasn’t intimidating. She was just a little girl, too tiny, too malnourished, and too afraid to do anything, but as one of the men approached her she didn’t wait for him to attack first.

Words: 2041/1000

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:08 pm

Ren cast her Shadow Veil, and was lost in the darkness easily. That was like a call to arms, and instead of a tentative attack, it was all out war. She could see through her own shadows, but she knew the girl couldn’t. “Run,” she informed her before they both had to jump out of the way of an oncoming magic spear. She saw the girl disappear behind the building, but Ren knew her distraction was enough. That was a good feeling for about two seconds, before another spear, and a dodge to the side, and with a loud “oof” Ren was tackled to the ground. The attack was meant to subdue her, no doubt, but Ren wasn’t having any of that. She slammed a shoulder into the man’s head as she cast a Shadow Drain on him. He was thrown off by the sudden and overpowering feeling of weakness, so she was able to push him off of her. Her better judgment said to run. Flight. Flight. Flight. Ren didn’t even have a fight instinct, right? Well when he grabbed her leg her first response was to kick him. Surprised by her own anger and just how weak her was, he passed out. Uh…. I guess the spell is stronger than I thought… she thought to herself, before slipping back down just in time to miss being hit with another spear.

MP: 165/200
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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:43 pm

Ren was not a fighter, not at all, but with one man down, she looked like a fighter. Shoot… she thought, scrambling to her feet as a wave of earth rumbled her direction. She rolled out of the way and finally got back to her feet. Four down, one to go. She could beat those odds, right? Probably not. At least she wanted to survive. Was this how they treated everyone? A man charged her with a magical sword. Another sword?! She could still remember the pain of her last sword encounter. She didn’t need to go through that again. She cast her gauntlet as he got close. It blocked his first attack, sending him back a few steps. That technique didn’t work though, as he took another swing. She sidestepped, using her abnormal grace to avoid the blow, then with a quick Shadow Hand spell the grabbed his leg and pulled it out from under him. He wasn’t out, but he was confused, and surprised. That was good, right?

She was able to grab the sword, but having no skill with a weapon she realized the sword wasn’t going to do her any good. She tossed it behind her, hoping it wouldn’t be used against her at least. Just four to one…. Right… she could handle that… maybe.

MP: 140/200
Words 2492/1000

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:15 pm

Abort. Abort Plan. Ren cringed as she was hit with a few wind attacks. They were close range, which usually meant she could dodge, but not this time. She went flying backwards, landed on her back, and skidded. She whimpered, but as the opponent approached, she cast a thick Wall of Shade. It was dark and hard to see, and Ren was debating if she should run. Then, to her surprise she saw the girl from earlier. She was running toward Ren. That was dumb. She should be limping. No wonder she had been bleeding so much.

The girl grabbed Ren’s hand and helped her up, but quickly Ren knew they were going to run. Running wasn’t good for an injury… but then again… She threw a Smoke Grenade spell back and the men and ran. This wasn’t how she’d intended for her day to go. She felt weak that she couldn’t finish the fight, and scared that it had even started. It didn’t matter, they were sprinting. The girl looked so tired, and Ren wanted to help, but she just… couldn’t do anything. They kept running until they felt sure they were out of harm’s way… then they walked.

I’m sorry…. I… I… I meant to be better. I’m really not a good fighter. I’m awful at it… I’m sorry,” Ren said.

MP: 90/200
Words: 2715/1000

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:46 pm

Oh, you’re fine. I didn’t actually… expect you to help me… so thanks,” she said as they walked, quickly, but at least no longer running. “They’ve been after me for days.

Then she thought about the men, and she started feeling angry. She felt like she’d just been mugged. “They’re meaner than bandits. I hate them. Why would they do that?! Are they like that to all mages?

Only guildess mages… I guess because being a mage without a guild is punishable by jail time, maybe even death… they figure they can do what they want. You know… nothing valuable lost, right?” she told Ren sadly. Ren frowned, arms crossed. She didn’t like them at all, but soon that emotion faded and she just felt sad.

So… um… you can… stay with me tonight, if… if you like. I m-mean, why would they look for a guildless made at a guild hall, right?” she asked awkwardly.

The girl looked at her with mild surprise, “So you’re really in Lamia Scale?

Uh… yes?

I thought maybe you just said that to get out of being associated,” she shrugged.

No… I’m really a guild mage… just a sucky one,” she sighed. The girl didn’t like Ren putting herself down, but agreed to spend the night and leave when her leg felt better. Ren suggested people with healing magic to tend to the wound. Even if she felt completely pathetic as far as actual fighting skill, maybe she wasn’t the worst wizard around… at least she wasn’t a Paladin. Maybe all Paladins weren’t bad… she didn’t like being angry at people. She looked at the girl. She didn’t even know her name yet, but she liked her. People made decisions about Ren because she used shadow magic and decisions about this girl because she wasn’t in a guild…. Maybe she’d hold off on hating all the Paladins… she’d just dislike all the bad ones.

MP: 90/200
Words: 3037/1000

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