Open Chronicles Just Before Departure.

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Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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Raphael shrugged while he was still lowered.

“Nothing other people don’t like. I like to drink, I like to take women home with me, you know? A good time where no one gets hurt. But more recently I’ve wanted to get in fights, run from the guard, steal a carriage. Dumb shit that makes your heart go.”

Finally, he stood up to look her in the eyes with that classic smile of his.

“I mean, don’t you agree? That’s what fun is.”
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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Oliviana felt her eye twitch slightly. He made it way too easy to want to punch him.

So she did.

Right in the gut.

"Does that make your heart go?" She asked with an evil little smile on her face.
 

Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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Raphael never saw the blow coming. He’d thought they’d been on better terms until her fist came into his stomach like a trebuchet’s bolt. He immediately saw stars and knelt down in front of her. His breath quickened, though it was choked by the impact.

The pain was intense. It was the punch of someone who’d dealt a lot worse than that. A serious, trained and precise swing.

And gods it. It had been incredible. His face matched her same twisted smile while he tried to catch his breath.

“Shuh uckin’ did.” Was all his breath would allow to escape.
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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Oliviana looked down at him and was actually surprised at his reaction. Surprised and pleased. He wasn't all talk then. He really did want to feel alive and do something fun. She could work with that as long as he didn't piss her off to the point of her stabbing him, of course.

"Good, let's go," she ordered as she started to walk off without giving him time to think about it. He either followed or he didn't. It was no skin off her back.

If he did follow, she would ask a simple question.

"How do I know you won't get me killed?"
 

Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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Raphael forced himself to stand and stumbled backwards as he tried to find his balance. He didn’t say anything right away due to his breath so he used what he had to keep pace with her as she walked away. She was demanding and cruel but seeing that was…

Exhilarating. He liked it. He liked her.

At her question he spit behind him and wiped his mouth. No more bullshit.

“You don’t.” He said honestly.

“Feel free to let me die if I’m dead weight. Just meant I wasn’t cut out for it.”
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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"Good answer," Oliviana said as she continued to walk.

"We are going to the bar and finding us some work," she announced with a new happiness in her voice.

There was not much better than a good ale, some food, and rowdy patrons. She was lucky that there was always at least one such establishment in every city. The seeder the better was her belief.

It was a little bit of a walk to get to The Rusty Nail near the docks. Syndicate territory. Her cousins territory. She liked the bar for many reasons but the fact that the well to do members of society stayed the fuck away. None of the patrons gave her shit when she drank too much and started a tavern wide brawl or took someone to a store room. It was her kind of place.

The outside looked like it's name. It was basically a shack that looked like it was barely standing. Once inside though, it got a bit better. It was clear that it was sturdy and well loved but the full room that cheered when she entered.

Yes...she had been there the previous night.

Don't judge her.
 

Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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He followed closely like a sheep in flock. The young man didn’t know what he was doing or how to delve into the world he craved. He just knew now that he wanted it. And he was going to follow Oliviana straight to it.

The dive was a good example of his change in life. A day ago, he wouldn’t have been caught dead in a place like this. But today? Today he may actually die in one. And it excited him to heights he’d never felt before.

The uproarious cheers that came for the presence of Oliviana was unexpected. Clearly a regular to the surly gentlemen eyeing her frame like Raphael had been too posh to do. Some of their eyes trained on him. They didn’t look nearly as happy to see an Anirian noble in their midst.

“What are we looking for?” He asked incredulously.
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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"We are looking for fun, Raphael," she answers with a clap on his back.

Oliviana walked over to the bar to get a couple drinks and make a very important announcement.

"'Ey! The little noble wants some fun and adventure!"

The suspicious eyes that had been on Raphael laughed and went back to their drinks. Oliviana kept calling him little even though he was taller than her. Perhaps it was because it mental age was clearly still in his teens.

"Two ales and two of them whiskey shots that put ole Roger on his ass," it was clear that she shifted her speech when she was in here in order to fit in.
 

Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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Raphael felt unsure of himself again as he wandered around the dilapidated tavern that Oliviana had brought him to. The place reeked of piss and cheap booze. It had barely any lighting, just melted candles that hoarded their own dim light. Everyone in here looked like they could eat him alive, too.

He stayed close to Oliviana even though it didn't necessarily feel safer doing so. Raphael cleared his throat.

"I'm sorry, but were we not looking for work?"
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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Oliviana took the smaller glasses and handed one to Raphael before picking up the ale mug. She passed one of those to him as well and then picked hers up. She led him through the crowded tavern to one of the corner booths that was, suprisingly, unoccupied.

"We are," she answered.

She took the side that was facing the door and scooted in to get comfortable.

"But I do not work with someone until after we have drank together," the Hand added.

She had been doing it for years much to Medja's chagrin. Getting the new little Granite Hands drunk on night one was their little initiation. Sure...this was different but she was gonna treat him the same.
 

Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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He took the glasses with a straight face but was aiming to have a good time. He shouldn't complain, considering the drinks were free. Raphael did begin to form a small grin. He wondered if she thought him a light weight. If so, she was in for a rude awakening.

He pulled his rickety seat from opposite her and sat down, heavy and casual. The way one might plop themselves onto a stack of soft pillows. Raphael's face at that moment was heavily arrogant. A smirk dripping with charisma and complete cockiness.

"Honestly? I thought you'd never ask." Somewhat of a trademarked line of his. It wasn't, really, but he sure did say it a lot.

Next, Raphael dropped the whiskey shot straight into his mug and threw the whole thing back. It was so fast, so precise, that even some of the other patrons who'd previously laughed had a look of impression.

When the final drop vanished, he slammed his mug filled with an empty shot glass back onto the table and looked dead in her eyes.

"If there's one thing the ol' Thrice family knows, it's revelry."
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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Oliviana watched him with a small amount of respect as he dropped the shot into the ale and chugged the whole thing.

"Rich kids usually only have two things to do: drink and fuck," she raised a brow at him then followed it up with a wink. It was the first look at her past as well. Had she been raised the same as him? Yes...yes she had.

She, of course, was not going to let him show her up though. No no. She followed suit and dropped her shot in her ale before throwing it all back. She had never done this but she quite liked it and she could certainly see it getting them drunk faster.

Alright then...game on.

Oliviana raised her hand and signaled for more shots and ales. Four shots were placed on the table and two ales.

"I am no lightweight, Raphael," she said with a smirk.
 

Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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Raphael grinned wide as she followed suit in his reckless drinking. What a woman he’d met today. As the drinks were brought to the table Raphael reached into his pocket and cleared the tab, and then some. He winked at the barkeep.

“Keep em’ coming.”

He gripped one of the ales tight in his hand and scooted close into the table. Leaning over it so he was awkwardly close to Oliviana.

“So she says. Ales first. Shots second. Put up, or shut up.”
He fell back into his seat and threw back the first ale. This was going to be a fun game.
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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Well drinking with rich boys was good for one thing. She grew up wealthy but she had given it all up eight years ago. That was not to say that she was not paid well but if she didn’t have to spend her money, she was good with it.

Oliviana likes winning way more than she should so, of course, she downed her ale without a second thought. She picked up the shot and threw it back immediately after.

“Here’s to you being my little bitch boy,” she smirked before taking the second shot.
 

Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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She run her mouth like it was in danger. He couldn’t say he hated it, though. There was an aspect of attraction he felt towards her volatile personality. Something he saw that reminded him of himself. Maybe it was just the alcohol talking.

He laughed at her insult and knew more were to come. May as well hop on that train before it took off without him.

Raphael threw the second ale back and smiled as he picked up his shots.

“I’m sure by the end of this we’ll know exactly who the bitch is. Spoiler: it shan’t be me.”

Another vicious grin before he threw the two shots down his throat simultaneously.
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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Oliviana let out a glorious laugh at his words. Everything about her face showed pure joy and delight. The corners of her eyes even crinkled as she did so. She realized that she had been hard pressed to find anyone who challenged her in a long time and it was nice. Even the guys she slept with in the regular were not as challenging as Raphael had been in their short acquaintance.

“Big words for someone who has never been in real danger in his life…”

The next round was delivered and she held her eyes on him before sliding her shot and ale in front of her.

“You are a little bitch until proven otherwise,” she said with a cocky smile.My little bitch.”
 
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Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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Their thoughts echoed each others. She was probably the most interesting woman he’d met in a long time. Even if interesting was a stones throw away from incredibly dangerous, that’s how it went. It made his heart skip a beat in both excitement and fear.

As she slid the drinks before her, he waved the barkeep back for another round and put his money on the table, his eyes locked on hers.

“You sure talk a lot for someone who hasn’t finished her drinks.“
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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Oliviana laughed and nodded her head at the edge of the table to where his ale and shot sat.

“Are you already drunk? Those ones are yours,” she said, adding emphasis to her nod.

She threw back her shot and waited for him before drinking her ale. She was feeling it a little but she was not going to let him win.

Ever.
 

Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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Here was the problem. Raphael was actually getting super fucking drunk. This wasn’t watered down Allirian spirits, this was hard, bottom of the barrel shit.

All that posturing for nothing.

He still had some fight in him, but was well on his way to being hilarious and hitting on everyone in the room. Likely to cause some issues with the more aggressive male figures in the establishment. Only one way to find out.

Raphael threw back his remaining drinks before the next rounds showed up. He did his best to feign sobriety but failed at it miserably.

“Course not,” He said with zero confidence. “Can’t even imajjnnn why you’d say thaaa.”
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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Oliviana watched him with her arms crossed over her chest and an amused look on her face.

"You can't even what now?"

She asked. She knew what he had said but did her? Probably not. The next round was delivered and she whispered to the server to bring water for Raphael going forward. She didn't the poor kid throwing up or dying.

"If you aren't drunk then you can do this next round..."

Could she though? She was feeling it for sure but she still picked up the ale and took a few drinks.
 

Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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Yeah, he was definitely getting too hammered too fast. But who did that ever stop? The smart, maybe. We were not dealing with the smart, though. We were dealing with the foolish, the immature, and the desperate to impress.

“Yeah, I’m goood. Goooooood.”

He waved her notions off as if he’d barely heard them. Because he had barely heard them.

Raphael knew he could stomach this. That if he held out just a bit longer that even if he was drunk he could keep his wits about him and go toe to toe with her. He reached for the next ale and sipped it immediately. And hooray! He was fine. Drinking a bit slower but maintaining.

“Don’t get distracted by m’good looks, either.” Raphael mumbled arrogantly. “You still have as many drinks as I do.“
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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Oliviana threw her head back in laughter at his words. He was good looking but that was something she would never ever admit to him. Extra emphasis on ever!

"I promise I can refrain from getting distracted by your looks,"
she purposely left the good out.

Another few sips of her ale as she watched him sip his. He knew he was drunk and he was slowing down. She realized that she should probably order some food. She would do that when the server brought back Raphael's round of water.

She would make the switch after she was granted her victory.
 

Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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He sneered at her remark playfully and then downed the rest of the ale in his hand.

That was a mistake!

He’d pushed himself too far. His head was beginning to spin and he thought he may throw up. Raphael put his hands on the table and stood up for a second. He was not going to last much longer and he needed to address it fast.

”Hey I don’t - hic - think I should continue.”
 

Oliviana Al'Vere

The Granite Hand
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It was like her mind manifested the server with water. Bless the woman for bringing her a water as well.

"I will give you this water if you tell me the most embarrassing thing that you have ever done," a single brow rose in question.
 

Raphael Thrice

Rich-Boy Renegade
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The most embarrassing thing he’d ever done? All the late nights the guards had seen him with his pants around his ankles, or having to carry him off from a lost fight. The looks of scorn and disappointment from his parents for not being fucking ‘proper’ enough. He wasn’t grateful for his life at all. Though it was better than most peoples he just couldn’t see that.

Especially right now.

Despite his previous words, he took the second ale and downed it in a second before he sat back into his seat. His eyes were cold and hollow as he looked at Oliviana. Look at her, after all. Collected, strong, raised by fucking wolves. He would never achieve that. He’d spent all 24 as a prissy pissant whose bravest memory was getting the shit kicked out of him.

She wanted to know what Raphael was embarrassed by?

“Me.” He spoke with unnerving clarity. “I’m the moment. I’m the embarrassment.“ Raphael wiped his face of appearing sweat with his open palm and shifted his eyes to look only at the grainy, ugly wood of the table.

“Came from money so I have zero skills. Couldn’t even do my magic right. I was on my knees after one hit from you when I should have learned how to defend myself. Hopping woman to woman and not giving a shit whose relationship I ruin in the process of it. Throwing money at the wall like there aren’t people dying in the streets I refused to look at. And this,”

He pulled out the brooch he’d stolen and threw it on the table in between them

“Why did I take this? I didn’t need it. I could’ve paid for it. But instead I made the lives of those with less than me even harder. Why? For adventure?”

Raphael leaned back in his chair, his eyes now planted on the ceiling.

“Not a gods damned thing in this world I hate more than I hate myself.”

The bartender stood there in confused silence for a moment before leaving their waters and heading back to the bar. A couple of the patrons had gone silent again and looked his way.

Some chuckled. Others shrugged.