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    Silenced Screams; Owtheedge {Eve]

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    Lilac
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    Silenced Screams; Owtheedge {Eve]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:06 am

    He had done his homework. He always did before a job. It was only appropriate that a professional would do things that way. It was also the only real way to stay ahead of the beasts. He'd done the legwork too, for largely the same reasons.

    That had left him wandering around a cave complex that stank of guano and blood the night before to confirm that it just had one way in-- or out-- in the very narrow window of time when all the adult echowings he was hired to wipe off the face of Esterelf were busy ravaging the countryside and leaving nothing but desiccated husks in their wake.

    Same reason why he was up all that night in that same all-too-brief time spreading as much of a brewed concoction with highly flammable fumes that also smelled almost like nothing at all, easily disguised under the scent of week's worth of droppings by scores of corrupted bats.

    And that's why he parked out behind a few dense, thick stones besides the entrance until the sun had come up and all the echowings had come back to roost and rest for the day. He stiffled another yawn and got together the necessary gear for the messy part: A few quivers of arrows filled to the brim, a nice recurve bow and the all important earplugs, sturdy wax plugs to protect him from screeching. He slipped them snugly and securely in his ears and everything seemed to sound much quieter and much further away.

    Looks like he was about ready. The first arrow he notched had an end wrapped in an oil-soaked rag he lit the rag and calmed walked a reasonable distance to the imposing-looking cave mouth at a hill that overlooked the village that was all too happy to part with a dozen dinar per dead Echowing.

    He drew it back, took aim, and fired. After wich, he quickly ran back to his vantage spot again without looking back.

    The flames started as a hissing whisper, which exploded into a roaring din, the ground shook every so briefly and the orange of the flames that shot out blended with the ambers of the rising morning sun.

    The flames died down, but the clamor didn't. He could just barely make out the various muffled frenzied screeches of pain and panic from the survivors of the conflagration, With only one way out, there was but one way for them to frantically flap at to escape the scorching heat and choking smoke that their world had just become.

    Right in his firing line, incidentally!

    The rest of the morning's work was pretty routine. Acquire, draw, loose,. Acquire, draw, loose. Acquire, draw, loose. He didn't worry too much if one or two got away, they just slammed into a tree's truck and writhed around where they fell until they perished. But he didn't get to where he was by taking chances, so it was best to finish off as many as possible as quickly as possible.

    He ran out of targets before he ran out of arrows, and he realized there was no more noise. With a satisfied smile, he stood up and surveyed the damage without bothering to take out the earplugs. It was time to collect his bounty heads.


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    Re: Silenced Screams; Owtheedge {Eve]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:06 am

    The chaotic extermination had attracted the attention of something, it seemed, as while Heinrich set to work collecting the heads, a small presence made itself known; what appeared to be a young, blonde girl. Her coat seemed regal yet archaic, and her hat was something that had fallen out of fashion long since the walpurgis hunts. Quietly, she stared into the now-quiet cave, paying Heinrich no mind it seemed.

    "..." the cold stare she gave with her blue eyes, which seemed to glow in the shadow cast by the brim of her hat, carried on into the darkness, as if locked onto one specific object within it. Finally, though, she spoke up.

    "Hunter," her voice was quiet, barely above a whisper yet easily audible nonetheless, "hast thou slain them all?" As if to odd to the bizarre nature of this child, she spoke in an antiquated tongue barely heard these days as she asked her simple question, never taking her eyes off from that point they remained focused on. There was no sense of fear in her words, nor sense of bewilderment; much like her expression, her voice betrayed no sense of her feelings on the scene before her.


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    Re: Silenced Screams; Owtheedge {Eve]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:06 am

    Heinrich didn't notice he wasn't alone. In part because he still had in the wax earplugs, and in part he was busy collecting the corpses and tossing them in a large sack. He had understood that going with this method would lead to many of the echowings simply being destroyed in an irrecoverable way, but so long as he had enough of them mostly intact enough to pull a profit, that was a good night's hunting.

    For the moment, he wasn't as keenly aware as he usually was, but eventually he caught on.

    "Ah? What's that then?" He set the bag aside and assessed the person who'd just showed up. His sense of fashion or history wasn't acute enough that her style of dress immediately set off any red flags. Instead he simply saw a curiously dressed young woman.

    As low an opinion of most as he had, children generally didn't have enough chances to disappoint, so he was slightly more patient with them. "Sorry, you'll have to repeat that" He pointed to his ears.

    "Had to cover them, just in case. You lost, then?"


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    Re: Silenced Screams; Owtheedge {Eve]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:06 am

    "It was my intention to come here. Hast thou slain the beasts?" she repeated once he had unplugged his ears, her voice raising slightly as she was forced to repeat herself. Despite asking her question, she continued to move forward, walking past him and towards the mouth of the cave. She stood at it, her gaze never faltering from that one specific point in the cave as she listened inside for any sounds of life. "... Yes, that is the case."

    With her inquiry answered, she oncemore began walking into the cave, stepping over one of the Echowing carcasses as she disappeared into the darkness. A few seconds passed before a light came from within, illuminating the walls and the girl who stood in the middle of it, a hand brought up in front of her as if to support the sphere of light that hovered in mid-air.

    "This is where it ended..." she quietly muttered to herself as she began looking around, seemingly unaffected by the awful stench of burnt flesh. "Where is it...?"


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    Re: Silenced Screams; Owtheedge {Eve]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:06 am

    "'s the job I was hired to do, yeah." Despite it just being a job, there was definitely a swelling of pride in his voice as he spoke about the accomplishment. He was tired, and a bit groggy, but things were slowly starting to add up about this girl.

    Or more importantly not add up.

    "Enter at your own peril, mind." She was already in and didn't seem to care.

    He was left wondering what his next move should have been. A ravenous beast was easy. You met it's fury and violence in kind and overcame brute force with guile. Things that could think for themselves were in a way always dangerous.

    "Where's what?" Suspicious. Very suspicious. He kept up a smile regardless as he watched her with growing wariness and tried to put together what he observed and what it meant.


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    Re: Silenced Screams; Owtheedge {Eve]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:06 am

    "Those foul creatures brought it here tonight," she said, not exactly answering the question as she stepped further in. Eventually, though, she stopped at something, only to crouch down.

    Next to where the monsters had roosted was a tiny, charred and emaciated corpse, human in nature though the combined damage of both being attacked by the creatures and the explosion had damaged it beyond all recognition. It was a small body though, and the girl ran her hand across it momentarily before reaching into her coat for something.

    "She must hath simply wandered too close tonight. A shame," the girl said, her final words carrying disappointment in them as she placed something inside the corpse. A flash of green fire erupted suddenly, and the body quickly burned away, leaving nothing but fine ash. "... Tell me, Hunter. For what cause doth thou act in the name of?" she suddenly spoke up, rising from the pile of ash and turning to face out towards Heinrich and the mouth of the cave. She brought her hand down as she walked back out, causing the orb of light to fade away and envelop her in darkness again.

    "Thou hath done me a good service tonight, so I wilt ask thee... doth thou desire power?" And yet, those cold, glowing eyes remained visible all the while, from her walk in the darkness to stepping out into the morning light oncemore.


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    Re: Silenced Screams; Owtheedge {Eve]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:07 am

    "Uh, huh…" Well, maybe it had finally all fell into place. The position he was in was most precarious. The monsters he could kill and did to eat, but their source was well above his pay grade.

    That sobered him up, for once. Nevermind there was apparently a body in there he missed in his first survey. Wasn't a priority or too surprising, given the habits of most corrupted.

    "Respect being where it's due, I got enough strength." Didn't seem you gave your last companion enough, was it?

    He had a layman's knowledge of what she was, and enough intuition to know why she asked that. He stared her down over lidded eyes. "Who are you to offer, and what's it get you?"

    There wasn't a pretense of having a casual conversation with someone else anymore, but that wasn't needed to begin with. He was speaking the same way he'd move in territory of something far too fierce for him to handle. Not too quickly, but he didn't dare tarry, and everything from that point on had a deliberate goal of a cautious withdrawal.


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    Re: Silenced Screams; Owtheedge {Eve]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:07 am

    Now standing at the mouth of the cave, the girl stared at him as he spoke, as if taking in every single action he took.

    "I am Eve," she replied quietly, seemingly unaffected by the tension in his actions and words. "My offer is in itself my reward; I seeketh the power I need to accomplish something... I seekth an Answer." She took a step forward, and then another.

    "... However, thy Answer is not the one I desire," she finally said, "I will not find it in a man whose heart hesitates. The offer was meant as a reward for saving me time cleaning out this den of such problematic foes before cleaning up the mess. ... I wonder if thou were her focus, it would explain why she ended up where she did. Nigon never had luck nor sense..." oncemore she mused to herself, not all that bothered by the body she incinerated's former life it seemed.

    "If thou wilt not accept thine offer, then that is fine. I thank thee for cleaning out those pests, regardless," she said, continuing to head in his direction. At the very least it seemed that she wasn't taking an aggressive stance, though it could have very easily been a ruse to just get in closer at this rate. "Thou chose properly; this gift is meant only for those who hath something they would give everything for, To accept it without purpose would be most unwise." By now, she passed by him, and without any indicator of upcoming aggression, it seemed that she wasn't going to become hostile... that, or she felt no need to be.


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    Re: Silenced Screams; Owtheedge {Eve]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:07 am

    "Pleased t'make the acquaintance, Eve." He tipped his hat, and he was polite. But he was also raised on stories of the 'people of the woods' and the mountains, the sky and sea. You never gave them your name, it was just common sense.

    "Focus? Can't say I was. I never met this person you meant." He wasn't getting paid enough for that.

    Of all the coincidences. "no doubt you will find what you seek then. I suppose there's nothing more here for either of us." Best to gracefully withdraw at first opportunity, at any case… If she was'nt interested in him, all the better. He'd just as well had gathered up his things and got going.


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    Re: Silenced Screams; Owtheedge {Eve]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:07 am

    "Correct." Eve continued past him, leaves and twigs under her feet crumpling and snapping as she continued on. However, she paused finally, and slowly looked over her shoulder back at the man.

    "... Whilst I do not hold thee responsible for her error in judgment, make nay mistake; she came to observe thee tonight. I agnize her final will; I shall uncover what 'twas she saw in thee, Hunter, current reservations of character aside," she stated, her visible right eye locked on his form with the same single-minded focus that was in them when she first arrived. "If I find something satisfactory, I will return to thee with my offer again. Perhaps by then thou wilt have a change of heart." With her ominous words, the small Eve continued onwards into the woods.


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