Rachel's Rodents

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Post by Amano Murokumone on Sat May 23, 2009 1:59 am

Rachel's Rodents RachelsRodentsbase

Elegant heels of a further-more elegant dress-shoe thudded down the beautiful carpet of the hallway.


Rachel’s delicate hands did their best in breaking the barrier of their description and pulled up a man wearing a tan-hide jacket by his scarf.

“Sonny, madam, went to Placid Pond.” The man breathed as calmly as he could while losing the battle of intensity via eye-contact.

Rachel’s grip doubled in strength. “He WHAT!?”

The man gulped behind her near stranglehold, “Yes, madam, Placid Pond.”

Rachel released her grip and directed her attention at a beautifully crafted oak door next to him. She quickly rose her finger and pointed at it’s center. “And Heming. Where is HE at!?”

“Heming, madam, took a job.”

Rachel’s eyes would have terrified the devil if he were there, and did their best to terrify the man they bore into. “HE took a JOB!? I DIDN’T GIVE HIM A JOB!!”

The man somehow found a way to back further into the wall he was leaned up against. “Yes, madam, a job.”

“You RODENTS are only supposed to take jobs from ME!” Rachel paused for a moment, “I suppose I’m preaching to the choir, here.” Rachel arguably defined the speed of sound as she reached into her suede purse adorned with various gems and pulled out a folded piece of paper. “There, Wincrest. THAT is YOUR JOB now. If you have questions…DON’T COME TO ME WITH THEM!!”

Rachel turned away from the man called Wincrest and raced down the finely decorated hallway and around a corner. Her long gray Victorian dress swayed behind her gracefully - just as her pale blonde hair did - as she did.

Wincrest opened the letter with the most manners one can summon to open a letter, and read it’s contents.


Sleuth Sode needs assistance with battling a Puppet. It’s a rank seven, and he can’t do it all by himself. He is a fighter though, so there should be no problem protecting him. Then again, HE SHOULDN’T BE THERE!

Sleuth Sode

500 Pels

:Date of execution:

Wincrest pulled back a lock of hair falling over his face, “More and more jobs I do don’t have my name on them.” He re-folded the piece of paper and rested it into the pocket of his jacket. “Best go do this now.”

Chapter 1: Sonny, the boy

Rachel's Rodents Son_5_by_AmanoMurokumone

“I’ll give’ya fifty clean pels for that knife of yours!”

The aged bartender with no nametag emerged the briefest chuckle anyone could have imagined, “Forget it, sonny.”

“How’d you know my name?”

“Excuse me?”

Sonny itched the back of his head with the realization that his name was the same as a common youthful nick-name. “Ah, never mind. But how can you turn down fifty pels for a knife?”

A wet towel slammed on the counter as the bartender with no nametag spoke, “Because it was 400 pels that BOUGHT me this knife!”

Sonny took a thirteenth look at the blade, “For that pile of crap?” he spoke under his breath.

The bartender with no nametag abandoned his mannered expression and leaned over the counter to Sonny, “What did you say?”

“I said I have to go somewhere else.” Sonny pushed himself off the tall barstool and landed softly on the wooden floor. It was early morning and already a number of dreary aired patrons began their daily fill of liquor and crème des. Sonny shuffled past them, showing a sheer and utter contrast of energy. As he approached the door he pushed it open swiftly and made his way back into the city of Placid Pond.

Placid Pond was different depending on who you talked to. Sonny already passed the folks who would use words like ‘heaven’ or ‘eden’ to explain it, and was making his way into the public who would use ‘it’s a town’ with a shrug. In fact, Placid Pond was indeed a town but did not - in fact - have a pond. What it did have was a raging river - River Gordon - and a waterfall running through it. Most of Placid Pond’s buildings were built around the river and on the cliff near the waterfall. This is where one of the lands summer hobbies came together. Waterfall fishing. A law written long ago stated ‘no fishing in rivers or lakes in Gordon State’. Fishing from a waterfall was not mentioned, and so became a popular pass time.

Sonny traversed the deck-like streets of Placid Pond and constantly changed his attention to various landmarks and otherwise. Each home was made of simple wood and seemed to lack the idea of ‘decoration’. Instead, clothes lines, boxes, waterwheels, chimneys and other necessities adorned the outsides of the houses. The sky above was clear and blue and ushered a number of birds flying overhead; some of which did some fishing of their own. Sonny shaped his fingers like a pistol and aimed at one; promptly creating a pathetic ‘pachew!’ sound with his mouth.

“Sonny!” a heavy voice called across the decking platform.

Upon basic reaction, Sonny turned his head toward the direction to see who wanted him; and so badly.

“Sonny! Get’ur ass over here!”

“Old man Redcoe,” Sonny laughed. “I think I’ll go this way,” Sonny spoke calmly and pointed over his shoulder with his thumb.

“Stop’et!!” The man named Redcoe was heavy-set and poorly wore a white shirt. After Sonny made his statement of un-abiding, Redcoe began a sluggish trot towards him.

Sonny easily laughed at this and ran the opposite direction. His boots created echoed thuds across the decking and brought him to the edge overlooking the higher part of Gordon River. He pulled his goggles up over his eyes and scanned the surging water below. “Bleh…I hate water, but whatever.” Over the railing went Sonny, and into the water.


Redcoe slowed his run a ways before the edge; and even then had difficulties not-breaking-the-railing. “Ga’damn’et!” Redcoe wheezed painfully with his hands on his knees. “Da…damn…kid.”

“Is there a problem?” A siren like female voice spoke from behind Redcoe.

“A … problem…that’s right!” Redcoe turned his attention to the female speaker. His breath seemed to regain within his lungs normally as the image of the town’s princess came into view. “Yuere! Princess Yuere!”

The lady furrowed her brow, “Yes, thank you. What’s the matter though? If everything’s fine, I’m gonna ask why you’re yelling and scaring the fish back upstream.”

“No! Lady Yuere…it was Sonny! Sonny was’er! I try’ma best’ta get’em. An’then’ee-”

“Sonny? You mean, Rachel’s Sonny?”

“Yeah…that Rodent!”

Lady Yuere glared past Redcoe and took a deep breath. “Tell my father what has happened here.” With that, Lady Yuere sent herself over the railing and into the river below.

“Princess!” Redcoe exhausted from the bellows of his lungs; once again out of breath.

Chapter 2: Wincrest, the man

Rachel's Rodents Wincrest

Wincrest strode beneath the thin shadows cast from leaves above. He made his way down a riverside path absent of human tampering. Only padded down dirt from travelers and the occasional log placed for a resting place. Gordon State was mostly left to itself; apart from the sparse cities built among it’s massive size. Wincrest watched the river flow; calmly reflecting the un-obstructed sun above. Birds played their musical riffs, meshing perfectly with the scenery.

‘It’s so peaceful here,’ Wincrest thought, spotting a fish jumping out of the river. ‘It’s possible I’d mistake this place as some sort of paradise, had that accident not happened.’ Ahead, a loud splash sounded through the trees. Wincrest peered down the path but couldn’t find the source. The trail ahead curved to the right - following the river - and had trees of various sizes lining and blocking the view of what was further down. Wincrest recollected his thoughts, ‘If that accident didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be carrying four guns beneath my coat right now.’ His expression soured and he shifted his thoughts back on the glistening river water. Another fish jumped up from the surface and eased back down. He watched it swim slowly just below the surface before it suddenly darted away.

“Stand down!” A female voice yelled from further down the trail.

In an instant, Wincrest had his eyes in the direction the voice came from. He picked up his walking speed, still unable to see around the trees.

“Stand down!” the female voice demanded. The one responsible came into view as he rounded the corner. Another figure was beside her.

“Sonny!?” Wincrest half shouted.

Sonny turned his head away from the point of a thin sword, “Oh hey man!” Lady Yuere stood straight and firm with a rapier in hand. It’s blade was inches away from Sonny’s head and didn’t shake even a little. Her long white and gold dress was drenched, along with her long golden hair.

Wincrest paused thirty feet from the two of them and bowed his head a tad, “Sonny, what is going on here?”

Sonny grinned and pulled his goggles off his eyes, “Strangest thing. I was in Placid Pond trying to find work and some fat man knew me or something and started chasing me.”

“Chasing you?”

“Yeah, well, not ‘chasing’, it was more of a stumble. Anyway, next thing I knew I was in the river planning a get away.”

Lady Yuere repositioned her rapier blade towards Sonny’s chest, “And that’s when I began chasing you.”

Sonny held back a laugh, “Yeah, and she began chasing me.”

Wincrest blinked and shifted his attention to Lady Yuere, and then back to Sonny, “You said you were in the river; how did the Lady chase you?”

“Yeah, well, I guess she jumped in after me and followed me down stream.”

Wincrest became wide-eyed and glanced back to Lady Yuere, “Madam, you jumped in the river after a fugitive?”

Lady Yuere shot Wincrest a glare, “It may have been reckless, but he needs to be caught.”

Sonny smiled widely, “Yeah, don’t blame her, man. I would jump in the river after a hot guy if I was in her position.”



“Lemme rephrase that.”

“Be quiet!” Lady Yuere spat, “There’s no need! I have you caught now, and I’m taking you back to Placid Pond with me and into jail.” She shot another glare at Wincrest, “You’re a Rodent as well. I have no quarrel with you though, so I suggest you leave. If I ever see you in~”

“Yeah, Wincrest, man, why are you here anyway?” Sonny interrupted.

“I said silence!”

“You told me to be quiet, and this is pretty quiet to how loud I could be.”

Wincrest frowned at the display of tactful mannerism, “I’m on my way to a job that was originally intended for you.”

Sonny’s face grew a quick expression of further happiness, “Hey, I got a job!?”

“No…you had a job, but~”

“That’s damn pellin’! I’ve been needing some money!” Ignoring Lady Yuere‘s threatening blade, Sonny began walking towards Wincrest.

“You’re under arrest! Why don’t you understand this!?”

“So where’s the job order?” Sonny asked, as though expecting Wincrest to have it ready.

“You’re something else, boy.” Wincrest quietly spoke while pulling out the folded piece of paper from his pocket. Sonny snatched it from his hand and quickly opened it up.

“Oh, I know where that is. Hey, thanks man. I’m gonna go do this and get that reward.”

Wincrest glared at the back of Sonny’s head as he walked back up the trail and past Lady Yuere who stood dumbfounded. His soaked pants swished and filled the verbal silence. “You…I have you under arrest! Why are you walking away!?”

“Hey, Lady Yuere,” Sonny spoke as he walked. “You’re bored up in that town, aren’t ya? Why don’t you come with me?”

“I, Lady Yuere have a duty to fill and I~”

“Yeah, yeah, duty, I get it,” Sonny interrupted again, “Just askin’.”

Wincrest approached Lady Yuere while watching Sonny disappear around the continuing bend, “Madam, we all have duties, but we all have our own life. Don’t let the illusion of duty hide that fact.” Wincrest turned his back and began walking the way he came.

The chirping of the birds eased the moment just as the chirping of a squirrel did. A light breeze eased it‘s way across the water and down the path; a cool temperature brought with it. “It’s Wincrest?” Lady Yuere asked.

“Yes, Madam.” he paused.

“How old are you?”

“I’m 23, Madam.”

“Well I’m 18,” Lady Yuere said slowly. “Unlike you, I haven’t been taught to live free. To live like a rodent. Being pampered may seem un-appealing to you, but it’s nice to be close to family. It’s a peace on the mind to wake up and know you’re seconds away from someone who loves you. It gives my heart a warm feeling that can’t be replaced.”

Wincrest turned, “Madam, I traveled with the love of my life for seven years. We were free, but we had everything we needed.” He turned back to his walk, “Less than a second away, even.”

Wincrest disappeared around the other end of the trail. A fish jumped. A swallow sang. Lady Yuere began walking.
Amano Murokumone
Amano Murokumone

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Post by BSmith on Sat May 23, 2009 2:18 am

The characters in this are AMAZING. That scene between Sonny, Yuere, and Wincrest was so humorous and realistic, that was awesome. Keep going!

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Post by Rust on Sat May 23, 2009 3:02 am

Someday I'm going to grow up to be juuuuuuuuuuust like Amano

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Post by Amano Murokumone on Sat May 23, 2009 3:36 am

Chapter 3: Heming, the skull

Rachel's Rodents Heming_8_by_AmanoMurokumone


The dead corpse of a Blackore Bear reflected in the dark eyes of Heming. It’s eyes became full of nothing after Heming’s nimble hands broke the bear’s neck and allowed it to drop heavy onto the padded dirt below. ‘Rest, now.’ Heming thought, ‘I’ll follow you some day.’

Heming stood up and turned to face the small gathering of animal-hide clad locals behind him, “Like that.” He spoke quietly and without emphasis. “If you’re unable to locate poison, or a weapon, snapping the neck will end their life and put them out of pain.”

The group of tanned-skinned locals shared a few claps and sighs of understanding. A small child watched with wide eyes and obliviously drooled. His mother picked him up and stepped through her neighbors behind them, and disappeared. Underneath her breath she expressed disappointment. Heming ignored the tame enthusiasm shown by the rest and watched the back of her head.

Heming leaned to a man by his side and whispered, “Who’s bear was this?”

The man - a larger man, dressed in a near mockery of the rest - leaned in close to Heming’s ear and spoke, “Yous see that lady that just left? It was her son’s.”

Heming glared at nothing, “The small boy? You had the small boy watch as his pet was killed?”

The man snickered and whispered louder as the locals began walking off towards their straw homes, “These folk come from a line of salvages. Sure, this village alone is well-mannered, but all a man has to do is travel a few miles South and they’re bound to find something obscene.”

“Well Mr. Bacc, it’s a good thing you don’t live here then.” Heming spoke softly while turning back to the bear’s body. “A man with your attitude and ignorance wouldn’t last with a bunch of ‘obscene’ residents.” Kneeling down, he ran his fingers across the bears black fur.

“Don’t misunderstand me!” Mr. Bacc pleaded in a friendly tone, “I’m just saying something like this is a common sight up here. Out to the West, a passing animal is almost taboo, I know it. I’ve seen it! That Gordon State doesn’t even allow fishing, and here we are! Showing a village how to put a bear out of it’s misery.”

“You do talk a lot.”

Mr. Bacc giggled in the most adult way someone could, “It’s how I go, man. Ya see? I even dressed up in the local’s clothes before I came on this job! I know how it goes, out here. If you dress like a Western, they judge you. Did’ya see the way they looked at you as you walked in?”

“I wasn’t paying attention to their faces.”

“They was looking all funny at you. They don’t trust foreigners.”

Heming reached into his black bag and pulled out a purple-tinted leaf. It’s shape was reminiscent of an oak leaf but with a wider span. He twirled it’s stem between his finger tips and placed it’s whole on the bear’s neck.

Mr. Bacc leaned down, “What’s that you’re doing there?”

“Mr. Bacc, could I collect my reward?”

“Oh, right right, here.” Mr. Bacc reached his plump hand into his pocket and pulled out a small brown bag. “There yous are. 200 Pels.”

“Thank you. Contact me if something else comes up.” Heming returned to his feet and began walking West, out of the village. A cool breeze ruffled his coat as he walked past a hut reeking of cooked fish. A playful drum beat echoed in the distance while another hut was filled with the regions chattering language. Tall, dark trees surrounded the village’s whole; easily hiding the mountain range to the West.

“Yous going back home?” Mr. Bacc stammered while catching up to Heming. “Cause I’m going that way too.”

“Yeah, I’m stopping there.”

“Sounds good! Traveling needs partners.”

Heming listened as the sounds behind them became dim and distant. The trail ahead of them was straight and narrow; closed in by the trunks of old trees. Darkness existed easily beneath the leafs which gave wildlife an easy cover. A howl pierced the increasing silence causing Mr. Bacc to cry out a gasp.

“You don’t need to be worried ‘bout fighting them off. I has a pistol with me that’ll level jus’bout anything!”

Heming turned towards Mr. Bacc with a strong glare, “The animals in this region are scared of humans, and it would be best if you don’t fire that gun. The locals would have you chased out of here with arrows and spears. Western technology isn’t very welcomed here.”

“Alright, alright, easy now,” Mr. Bacc giggled. “So what are the rest of you up to?”

“The rest of us?”

“Yeah, you Rodents. What are you all doing?”

“I try to mind my own business. What they do is up to them.”

Mr. Bacc itched his protruding belly, “Wasn’t one of’em wif you when you came into Darkore State? That strange man with the hat?”

Heming hid a physical sigh from sight to the sound of another question, “Yes, Wisper was with me. We parted halfway here. He had business up in Northern Darkore State.”

“Wisper! That’s his name! I was talking to an ole friend of mine and we couldn’t remember his name. Wisper, hahaha!! What does a fellow like him talk about?”

Heming shifted his attention to the underbrush on his left; away from Mr. Bacc who began to breath heavier the further they walked. “He doesn’t talk about much. He’s almost gone, so I assume he doesn’t want to make many connections.”

“Connections?” Mr. Bacc asked with pure sincerity, “What kind of connections? And what do you means by gone?”

Heming stopped his walk and looked up to the sky, “Speak of the devil.”


“Shut your mouth and listen.”

Chapter 4: Wisper, the priest.

Rachel's Rodents Wisp_4_by_AmanoMurokumone

Heming turned around on his heel and found Wisper sprinting towards Mr. Bacc and himself; a long silver claymore positioned at his side. The chains connecting from his boots to his belt rattled while his dress coat rippled from the speed of his run. Just as Wisper was forty feet away, another - more distracting - sight came into view. What looked like a box made of wood fell from the sky and landed between Heming and Wisper. It’s size was four feet all around and creaked as it began moving. The wood it was constructed of was dark with strange markings of green painted upon it.

“A puppet!” Heming growled while reaching into his bag.

Mr. Bacc stumbled back on his bottom, “A wha!?” he stammered. “What is that!?”

Wisper had stopped his advance only ten feet from the box Heming called a ‘Puppet’ and held his Claymore with both hands; his eyes hidden behind the tipped brim of his hat. The box stirred again before it began unfolding.

Heming looked past it and at Wisper, “Why did this appear here!?”

“…They’re catching on.” Wisper spoke; nearly inaudible.

Mr. Bacc reached into his attempt at the local’s clothes, “I don’t like it!!” With his quickest motion of the day, he pulled out a wooden-handled, long-black-barreled pistol.

Wisper noticed the loud weapon and directed his deep, rough voice at Mr. Bacc, “Don’t fire that!”

Mr. Bacc’s malevolent excitement blocked out what Wisper instructed and his plump finger pulled the ornate trigger of his pistol.


Heming’s face became a near perfect illustration of ‘pissed’, and he kicked the gun out of Mr. Bacc’s hand and into the dark forest. “You weren’t supposed to use that! Now-”

A shrill creak echoed up and down the thin trail; easily interrupting Heming. “It’s unfolding,” Wisper spoke with more distinction.

Heming looked back and viewed the nearly ten foot height of a wooden puppet. It’s sturdy body parts were connected by a small length of golden chain, and it’s head was poorly painted with a seemingly mocking red-eyed and red-mouthed smiley face. The green markings were glowing in succession all over it’s body, which somehow floated a few inches above the ground. It’s head turned with the sound of more creaking until it was ‘looking’ at Mr. Bacc.

“Ku..kuri-ka ettit souwn!!” a deep disembodied voice spoke from the direction of the air above the puppet. “Gurrio ettit souwn kasoa!!”

“What the hell is it sayin’!” Mr. Bacc yelled, his face full of panicking disgust.

“Wisper, there’s a Kuri-ka with it!” Heming yelled, his hand pulling out a small green woven ball from his black bag.

Wisper bowed his head and stuck his sword into the ground, “I know that,” he spat, “I’ll reveal it.”

“I wouldn’t wish for anything else,” Heming added. He held the small green ball between his fingers while carefully watching the puppet float towards Mr. Bacc and himself.

Mr. Bacc rolled on his front side and wheezed as he picked himself back up on his feet. “I’m outta here!” His peg-like feet carried him down the trail in a slow manner.

Heming watched for a moment as he ran, but quickly returned his view on the advancing - ever creaking - puppet. “No more over-weight man to protect, but still hurry it up!” Heming demanded.

“…” Wisper clasped his hands together for a second before chanting a few distorted words. He released his hands and drew his sword out of the ground. A bright glow reflected off the blade’s metal that turned it’s length into a near beam of light. Without hesitation, Wisper directed the tip of the blade at the empty air above the puppet. “…There it is…”

Above the puppet, a dark purple glow slowly emerged from nothing. A distortion within the air blurred clear vision and hid whatever resided inside the purple fog.

Heming grinned, and tossed the small green ball into the distortion. He gave another grin at the sight of his perfect aim. “Reiiu tas-vur ettit!!” cringed the disembodied voice. “Vovveis!!”

A shriek - the volume of a flock of birds dying - pierced from the puppet and sent of wave of sound through the forest surrounding them; sending actual birds flying scared into the cloudy sky. The purple fog disappeared, leaving only the slow puppet and the two Rodents in the area; the puppet itself falling from it’s levitated status.

“Send it back to Sans!” Heming yelled.

Wisper’s sword returned to it’s normal appearance and he leaped at the puppet. A perfected horizontal slash severed the wooden thighs of his target while another one severed the chains connecting it’s legs to it’s waist. Still with momentum, Wisper slid past the puppet and barrel-rolled until he was next to Heming. His eyes quickly watched the puppet fall to it’s waist, and then watched as it attempted to pull itself forward with it’s wooden arms; all the while directing it’s red smiley face at them.

Heming nodded to the blind side of Wisper’s sight and jumped onto the back of the puppet. In less than a second’s time, he grasped his nimble fingers across the forehead of the puppet and pulled back; revealing the gold chain serving as a neck. Wisper’s sword disconnected the chain within a blinking moment. Heming allowed the head to drop and walked off the motionless enemy.

The creaking had ended, but filling that silence was the sound of distant howling in the form of human kind. Both Heming and Wisper looked down the trail towards the nearby village.

“The locals are coming,” Heming said with a strange calm, “They won’t be happy to see you.” Heming turned towards Wisper who was now standing with his back to the disabled puppet. “Get out of here, alright? I’ll deal with them.”

Wisper turned his head slightly to his right, “…What about you?”

Heming looked back down the trail, “I helped them out earlier. Hopefully I can convince they everything is okay.”

“…And if not?”

“If not,” Heming paused. “Tell Rachel to set the table for just the three of you. And, her, I suppose.” Heming and Wisper shared a short grin.

“…I’ll pray for you,” Wisper spoke quickly and took off running down the trail to the West.

Heming listened as the howling out-sounded Wisper’s running feet. ‘May be sooner than I had hoped, bear.’
Amano Murokumone
Amano Murokumone

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Post by Amano Murokumone on Sat May 23, 2009 3:36 am

Chapter 5: Rachel’s Rodents

Rachel's Rodents Profile_1_by_AmanoMurokumone

~ 23 years past ~

The aged - yet sturdy - knuckles of a man knocked lightly on a well-crafted oak door. “Rachel, dear.” After a short pause, the man knocked again. “Come on, dear, we’re all ready for you. … There’s cake.”

Rickety hinges hissed as the large door opened; directly contrasting what one may think a fine door would sound like. Darkness greeted the man between the small opening that appeared, and then a fair skinned pale face. A face of a young woman who’s gray eyes caught the beauty of the hall lights.

The man sighed, “Rachel, honey, why are the lights off in your room?”

“I don’t want to go down there,” Rachel whimpered; finding it hard to keep eye-contact with her father.

“Hun, it’s your twentieth birthday; all of your friends and family are here to see you.”

“What friends?” Rachel spat and closed the door softly.

Her father rolled his eyes, “Hun, you have plenty of friends. Just because they’re not the same age as you, that doesn’t mean~”

“I want friends MY age!”

Her father hesitated to reply as a man entered the hallway next to him. “Ah, evening Mr. Wool. Where’s the bathroom at? I was sent up here.” the man spoke with a clear voice.

“Down that way three doors.”

“Ah, yes, thank you! I’ll see you downstairs then!” The man said with exaggerated manners and set off down the hall.

“Rachel,” Mr. Wool said, returning his attention to the closed door. “The Hunts are here, the Usigi’s, the Yuere’s, and even the O’Riggns. Also, Professor Sam Apple Noterdame is here. And, I hear he has a birthday present for you.”

The door opened again, repeating the same sound as before, “I don’t like the Usigi’s, the Hunts are boring, and I don’t care for Sam.”

Mr. Wool rubbed his chin, “Well, it would be impolite for you to not accept his gift.”

“Alright, then.” Rachel spoke while staring at the floor. “Please don’t draw too much attention to me, though.”

“I promise I won’t.” The two of them walked down the hall and made for the stairs. “You’re gonna love this present. All of us will.”

~ Present ~

Redcoe wheezed heavily as he leaned over the wooden desk of Lord Yuere’s desk. Lord Yuere looked at him with disgust and finally spoke, “Redcoe, you’ve been in my space for almost a minute and haven’t said a word. I suggest you stop spending that money I give you at the bar, and buy a hobby.”

A guard suited in white armor who stood at the entrance to the office attempted to hide a laugh while Redcoe began to gain an average breath rate. “Your daughter, my…lord. Your…your daughter!”

Lord Yuere’s smile - casually painted across his face - disappeared and he rose to his feet, “What about my daughter!?”

“She went…Sonny was here…an…and then-”

“Fat man, you better speed up your story!” The guard giggled as response to this.

Redcoe took a deep breath and continued - red faced, “Your daughter saw me chasin’ Sonny. Sonny, my lord, jumped into Gordon River. Your daughter went after’im!”

“She what!? She went after that rodent!?”

“Yes, my lord.”

“Hightrose!” Lord Yuere yelled to his guard who responded with a causal salute, “Find my careless daughter, get her back here safely, and find that rodent!! I won’t have him free-grazing across my State!”

Hightrose grinned wider than he already had been, “Got it!” He sent another failure of a salute towards Lord Yuere and left the office.

Redcoe had used the short break in talking to regain more breath, “Do you want more sent, my lord?”

“No.” Lord Yuere said with force, “Hightrose is enough.”

~ ~ ~

A filtered breeze through the dense trees brushed through Sonny’s hair. In front of him was a wooden sign reading ‘Sleuth Sode’s Estate 1 mile’. He carefully looked it over and over while balancing on one foot; the other kicking the dirt trail lightly. “Yuere!”

Lady Yuere, who was nearly fifty paces behind Sonny and who had been hugging the trails underbrush side, became wide-eyed. ‘He knew I was following?’ she thought. Slowly, she began walking down the trail towards Sonny. “I suppose it’s your ego that assumes I followed you?”

Sonny smiled and turned around, “Oh, hey! You are there!”

Lady Yuere transformed her advance into a delicate walk, “What are you talking about?”

“I didn’t know you were actually there, I just guessed. See, if you weren’t, only the animals would have heard me. Don’t care much about their judgment.”

Lady Yuere shot an expression suggesting lack of interest, “There’s free-grazing, and then there are just thieves,” Lady Yuere said, clearing her throat and unsheathing her rapier. “Your presence in this State is like miasma to our population.”

Sonny smirked, “I don’t steal, I borrow. More often than not, I’m able to give back what I borrow.”

“No matter the low amount of crime you do, you’re still un-welcome here. I suggest you leave our State, now.”

“Oh, so you gave up trying to arrest me?”

“I would allow you to leave and never come back. It's not giving up, it's finding the best option."

“What’s your first name?”

Lady Yuere shook her head with a half-hung mouth, “What does that have to do with anything I said?”

Sonny shrugged and turned back to the sign, “I guess it doesn’t matter. But, I am gonna go home. I’m hungry, and I can’t fight something on an empty stomach.” Sonny reached into his pocket and pulled out the job-order. “I’ll hide this under a rock so I can jus’ get it tomorrow.” Looking around the edge of the trail, Sonny found a small stone and placed it gently atop the paper. He watched as a light breeze failed to move it, and shared a grin with a small, nearby bug. “Now don’t go thinking you can do that on your own, little guy.”

Lady Yuere watched with confusion as Sonny pulled his goggles over his eyes and walked down the trail the way he had came. “You’re leaving the State then?”

“Yes, I am. Don’t bother following me, I doubt Rachel made dinner for an un-invited guest.”

Lady Yuere sneered and sheathed her rapier. ‘He’s strange,’ she thought. ‘How can anyone live so carelessly?’ She watched as he disappeared down the trail and stood listening to the increasing sound of nature. The sky above was becoming a faint gray, and the breeze managing to find itself along the tight trail was colder than before. ‘My father will be more than irritated with me at this point. I jumped in a river to catch a felony who I just let walk off.’ Lady Yuere looked at the piece of paper Sonny hid.

~ ~ ~

The sound from an opening door sent an echo traveling around a massive, dimly-lit dining room. It’s closing sent an even deeper echo in-between and through-out the same shadows. A long, rectangle wooden table was placed in the center of the marble-floored dining room with a dimly glowing chandelier placed above it. At one end of the table, a warm fireplace contained a healthy fire and served as a steady crackling soundtrack to the room; given rhythm by a ticking clock. Above the table, a second floor balcony surrounded them with few sconces shining on the walls. If anyone had been looking down, they would have remained as a simple silhouette to those below. Thudding from a pair of boots made their way from the room’s main door and to the table.

“You’re back in time, Sonny,” Wincrest said, appearing from a side-door leading to the kitchen. “Rachel’s busy, so I went ahead and made dinner.”

Sonny stretched his arms high above his head, “Does that mean we’re having coffee and sunflower seeds?”

Wincrest glared with shadowed eyes at Sonny’s grin, “It means she’s busy, and asked me to cook.” With a shake of his head, Wincrest disappeared back into the kitchen.

Sonny slid out the chair at the end of the table and fell into a sitting position. He yawned and stretched his arms again while looking around the room. No one else was there, and the table was set with plates and silverware. Towards the center sat a platter covered with bread. Sonny squinted at it; wishing it was closer. Before he was able to get up and get it, the door to the dining room opened again. “Who’s here?” Sonny asked, deciding not to look behind him.

“It’s me,” The nearly inaudible voice of Wisper spoke.

“Great, Wisper!” Sonny said with over-enthusiasm. “Can you hand me the platter of bread? I’ve been walking all day and I don’t wanna get back up to get it.”

Wisper walked past Sonny and to the other end of the table, pulled out the chair, and then sat down. He clasped his hands together and said nothing; the fireplace behind him hiding all details about him.

Wincrest walked back into the dining room, carrying a longer platter, “Evening, Wisper. How are you doing?”

Wisper unfolded his hands and tilted his head up to make eye contact with Wincrest, “Heming did it again,” he spoke.

Wincrest froze for a moment and dropped the platter when it was still a foot above the table. What looked like meat-loaf bounced as it landed. “Where is he now, Wisper?”

Wisper cleared his throat quietly, “I brought him to his room. He expected me to leave him in Darkore State, and…I did at first.” There was a short silence and Wincrest waited for more to be said. “A Puppet appeared from above and after we disabled it, the locals came running towards our location.”

“Which is why you left…I understand,” Wincrest said, noticing Sonny tip-toeing over to get bread. “They’re okay with him…did they hurt him, though?”

“Yeah,” Wisper said, looking down at the table, “They didn’t mean to, I guess. One of them - a woman - shot him with a dart after the rest began to head back to the village.”

“A dart?” Wincrest asked, becoming more animated. “What kind of dart?”

Wincrest didn’t get a verbal answer but was greeted with the stare of Wisper’s dark eyes. With a sigh, Wincrest walked past Sonny and out of the dining room. The room returned to the sound of crackling wood and a clicking clock. A minute past and neither of the Rodents said anything.

“Wisper, man, you gotta try this bread.” Sonny said, making his way back to the platter of bread. “Did you want to take some meat-loaf first, or can I~”

“Shut up,” Wisper spat, interrupting Sonny and standing to his feet. “To your young mind, it’s easier not to think about, but Hemingway isn’t doing well in any respect. He’s trying, but he’s failing. Right now you should try to get to know him, cause there may not be much time left.” Wisper began walking across the room and brushed past Sonny. Following Wincrest, he left the dining room. Sonny stood still and stared at the fireplace. The blazing reflection in his eyes soon became hidden by his goggles.
Amano Murokumone
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Post by Amano Murokumone on Sat May 30, 2009 2:10 am

Chapter 5, continued

Hightrose - 28 years old - was a lanky man, and showed that off with his informal walk. He wore a white armored breast plate that was tight against his chest. His clothes underneath consisted of white pants and tunic with gold designs adorning them in seemingly random locations. His hair was combed back by what was perhaps his fingers, and strands of golden hair fell in front of his pretty-boy face. A pouch on his back carried a dozen small throwing spears, while a sheath on his right side held a simple one-handed sword. The setting sun was struggling to stay over the trees as he walked down the path next to Gordon River.

‘Oh, Lady Yuere,’ he thought to himself, ‘You’re getting closer and closer to giving your father a heart-attack.’ As his eyes bounced about the landscape, he saw a figure walking towards him further down the trail. His expression became friendly as he recognized who it was, “Sleuth! What’s a man like you doing out this late?”

“The sun’s still up in the sky,” the middle aged man called Sleuth spoke briefly. “And what do you mean, ‘a man like you’?”

Hightrose laughed, “Nah, I don’t know. Anyway, what are you up to? I usually wouldn’t expect to see you out this late.” By now, Hightrose had approached Sleuth and both stood still to maintain their lackluster conversation.

“I had a puppet appear back at the place, so I called in some help.” he spoke with a distinct accent; emphasizing random words.

Hightrose tilted his head slightly and leaned into his hips, “Ah, which one did you get?”

“None! Instead, I get a young lady with a rapier! Imagine my luck. When I was younger, I would never have gotten a cute girl like that when asking for a man labeled as a rat.” Sleuth wiped a trail of saliva appearing from his mouth.

“Rodent,” Hightrose corrected. “And, a young lady, you said?”

Sleuth nodded, “Yeah, she’s damn cute. Anyway, I’m out though. Talk to you later man.” With another nod, Sleuth walked by Hightrose who was left staring into nothing.

‘Damn, she went that far? What is she thinking? And, a puppet!?’ Hightrose glanced back at Sleuth who was steadily walking away. With a nod to his blind side, Hightrose took off towards Sleuth Sode’s Estate.


Lady Yuere walked slowing beneath a ceiling that creaked wickedly. She was on the second floor of Sleuth Sode’s Estate, and just at the foot of the stairs leading up to the attic. The evening’s light was diluted through a dirty, circular window to her left, and cast black shadows across the room. Lady Yuere’s eyes watched the door carefully as if waiting for something to open it. ‘Sleuth said it was just sitting around,’ she thought. ‘He said he was even able to make a number of easy swings at it without it doing too much to defend itself.’ Her delicate hand played with the handle of her rapier and she gulped. “Okay,” She spoke softly. “Just strike for it’s joints and disable it. Should be an easy task.”

The door slammed open as Lady Yuere rushed into the attic; sword drawn. She needed only to look to the center of the room to see the puppet floating gently in the air. “So that’s what they look like!?” she gasped uncontrollably. Just as she spoke, the puppet turned it’s wooden head towards her with it’s painted red eyes glaring through her. ‘Okay,’ she thought, ‘Just disable it. Disable it. I can do it.’

With a sprint forward, Lady Yuere arrived at the puppet in seconds. The tip of her rapier prepared to sting the gold chain serving as it’s right knee but bounced off as it struck. “What in the river!?” she yelled. Looking up, she was greeted with the right arm of the puppet across her shoulder. She yelped and fell onto the ground; her rapier sliding across the rickety floor. The puppet slowly began to float towards her, while emanating devilish sounds. It’s limbs hung still, and it seemed to be in no hurry to get to her.

‘How am I supposed to kill it?’ she thought, spotting her rapier far to her left and beginning to scoot across the floor towards it. ‘What was I thinking? If a fighter couldn’t kill it, then why did I think I could!?’


Hightrose ran with nearly unfathomable speed.


Lady Yuere arrived at her rapier with a proper smile glistening on her fair face. She snatched it up and pointed it’s sturdy end at her approaching enemy. “Would you mind telling me your weakness!?” she begged sarcastically. Returning to her feet, Lady Yuere took a deep breath. “What kind of being hits a lady anyway?” She said - once again - to the soul-less puppet. The puppet hadn’t failed it’s shrilling in the form of creaks and squeaks from somewhere unseen. It was ten feet from Lady Yuere and still hadn’t increased it’s speed of - possibly - .01 mile per hour.

At that moment, Lady Yuere’s ears heard a new sound; one consisting of increasing footsteps. Before long, and before she had time to create her own mental ideas of what it could be, Hightrose appeared at the attics entrance. “Lady Yuere, are you alright?” He asked in his most formal tone of the day.

“Hightrose!” she yelled with genuine glee. “How…what are you doing…wait, what? How did you know I was here?”

“Long story, I gotta disable this thing!” Hightrose said; again formally.

Lady Yuere nodded and began strafing towards Hightrose who was to her ten’o’clock. “I of course thank you for coming, but this thing doesn’t seem to be much of a threat.”

“It hasn’t been opened yet, you’re lucky.”

“Opened?” She asked, watching him draw his sword and half-smile at the puppet. “What do you mean by that, Hightrose?”

“I’ll explain, just hide behind me, please.” Lady Yuere did as he told, and he pointed the blade of his sword at the puppet. His right hand clasped on his chest, and he began chanting quietly. Lady Yuere attempted to tune her ears into what he said, but failed on every possible level. He released his hand from his chest and halted his chanting. Just then, the blade of his sword shown brightly and seemed to pierce the air of energy around the puppet.

“Ku..kuri-ka ettit souwn!!”

Lady Yuere furrowed her brow, “Did that puppet just say that!?” She asked in a new panic.

“It did,” Hightrose said with a nod. “Look there.”

A purple aired distortion appeared above the puppet and seemed to twist in a circular motion. The silhouette of a humanoid floated calmly inside this distortion until met with one, two, three of Hightrose’s throwing spears. “Souw-…Ka…Geerea!!” The words were heavy and full of distress.

Lady Yuere backed down the attic stairs slowly, “I can’t understand it! What are you doing to it!?”

Hightrose delivered another few spears into the distortion until it disappeared. Promptly he unsheathed his sword he had previously re-sheathed, and jumped at the puppet who’s feet now touched the ground. The blade sliced through the wood of it’s torso and then quickly found itself busy beheading it. He then twisted and twirled around; delivering a final horizontal slash to the puppets back. The attic floor was met with the severed puppet parts and sounded off a hollow bang.

There was a moment of silence as Hightrose retrieved his spears which had fallen from the air above. His face was blank, and his eyes were still watching the remnants of his recent enemy. “That’s why…it’s insane that you tried to fight this on your own, Lady Yuere. There is no way you could have won. You would have found no success.”

“Okay, I get it,” she said while returning to the attic’s darkness. “You didn’t need to lay it into me that bad.”

Hightrose placed the last spear into it’s pack and laughed, “I’m sorry, I guess everyone has to have their one-liners after a victory. You know?” He smiled widely, “Although, this is hardly a worthy victory. I had that thing dead before I got here. Heheh.”

Lady Yuere grinned and looked at the disabled body of the puppet, “Hightrose,” She said, keeping her eyes downward. “You know Rachel, right?”

Hightrose stole his attention from Lady Yuere and brought it to the puppet as well. “Yes, of course.”

“I heard she gets rid of her Rodents when they turn twenty-five…when did my father find you?”

Hightrose lightly sniffled from the dusty air, “Twenty-six, I believe.”

“Let me ask, what did you do before he found you?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“Cause I hear only Rodents can kill puppets.”

Hightrose walked past Lady Yuere and left through the attic door. Lady Yuere turned and watched him as he sat on the top step. His head tilted, cracked, and then turned to her. “Come sit down, please.”
Amano Murokumone
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Post by Tiger of Wu on Sat May 30, 2009 12:51 pm

A summary of my thoughts and feeling on this story (which I didn't steal from Zhan at all).

Once more the writing's solid (descriptive, punctual, has a great use of writing devices (as teachers notoriously call them) and with minimal mistakes (all I noticed was shown where I believe you meant shone; other then that 'iz nice')), the story is as enthralling as ever (why can only Rodents kill puppets? Is it to do with Rachel's past? Why are Rodents discarded at 25? etc. etc. etc.) and, as always, the characters are great (Lady Yuere ftw; daft broad tried to fight, how cute Razz ). I especially love how you're getting a rapport going with 'trosey and Yuere. I eagerly await the next update.
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Post by BSmith on Sat May 30, 2009 11:55 pm

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Such a compelling story, for five short chapters. Keep it up! The characters are absolutely amazing, you really get a feel for what everyone's like, they all seem so real, too. MORE!

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Amano: When did you do that?
Smithy: note the first post is March 31?
Amano: See, this is why I'm not a detective.

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Post by Rust on Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:05 pm

So many questions that I'm going to pester you to answer when you get on AIM. I hope you're ready

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