Private Tales The First Law of Merriment

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Faurosk, Jul 2, 2019.

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  1. Faurosk

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    Faurosk Wandering Wizard

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    The Merchant District of Elbion was known to be the nexus of trade across the known world, playing host to permanent shops of all descriptions. Everything from the cheapest piece of scrap to the most expensive cut of the finest gemstone, from the commonplace to the wholly esoteric, could be found there. But tucked away into a quiet corner near the ivory towers of the College District hid an unassuming establishment. A sign listed the tavern’s title as “The Seven Stars”, and most of Elbion’s natives knew that the bar served primarily as a discreet location for the College’s promising pupils to gather and get absolutely rowdy. Thirteen windows sat high along the tavern’s four walls, and a series of seven columns placed sporadically around the interior dispersed arcane energies quite readily.

    On this night in particular, one of the large corner tables traditionally reserved for the dark and brooding types had its seats filled by a number of robed students, most listening attentively to the story of one of their apparent peers. Faurosk stood over the table, gesticulating broadly as he brought his recounting of the Battle of the Red Mist to its conclusion.

    “So, I did the only thing I could, and I stepped up and said, “Come on, everyone, let’s get the hell out of here.” Then I slapped a charge big enough to slingshot us Lessat into that weird portal stone from before, and, bam, I was back in the world of the living! Not too much worse for wear, either, if I can take the liberty to say so.” He flopped back into his seat with a sense of finality, though the reaction to the story’s end wasn’t quite what he’d hoped for. His retelling was met with a mixed response of apathy and outright disbelief, and before long, the mage found himself back at the bar proper, drowning his sorrowful storytelling abilities with a strong drink.


    He took a deep draw from his newly refilled tankard, swallowing it hard. “Yeah, well, guess y’just had to be there...”

    Himitsu
     
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  2. Himitsu

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    Himitsu Mer-*hic!*-cenary

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    “If it’s any help, you probably should have told them about that… shardy bloody demon-stabing bit. That was pretty cool.”

    The white-haired woman slid into the seat next to him, already carrying a very large tankard -- the kind that was usually reserved for trolls and other large kin -- in one hand. Himitsu grinned at him, that sharp, toothy grin, not seeming to have lost any of that sharp, bright edge to her gaze. She was cleaned up, at least, though in markedly similar clothing as she’d been wearing before, her tonfa strapped to the small of her back. Comfortably within reach but also safely out of the way for current shenanigans…

    … which included settling back in her seat and eyeing the mage next to her.

    “Hey Tidbit. How’s it going? Trying to find a sympathetic ear? If it’s any consolation no one I’ve told has believed a word of it.” She lifted the tankard towards her mouth, pausing with it halfway there as if struck by a thought. “Well,” she amended, with a shrug of one shoulder. “I guess that’s a bit of a lie since I haven’t bothered telling anyone, but… hey! People suck, so I’m assuming that’d be the most likely reaction.”

    And with that she tossed back the tankard… downing a few large gulps before setting it back onto the bar.

    “What’re you doing in a bar, anyway? Can’t you just?” She wiggled her fingers at her tankard, as if that was exactly how he’d look if he was working his magic. Mitsy didn’t know, she didn’t usually pay attention when mages were doing magic. Not always the best of habits, but it was what it was.
     
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  3. Faurosk

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    Faurosk jolted upright in his seat at Mitsy's sudden appearance, reddening and relaxing once he realized who it was. The mage leaned forwards once more after a moment, listening to her with a single cocked eyebrow and an elbow on the bar. He wasn't entirely certain whether it was his drink or her use of the word "Tidbit" that made his face feel warm, but it was certainly one of the two.

    "Well, 'sympathetic ear' may be a bit of a stretch," he confessed with a small shrug. "I just heard that entertaining is an easy way to get people to pay for your drinks, and, well, I'm evidently terrible at it." He followed the thought with a small swig, more hoping to enjoy the taste rather than any buzz it might give. Damned shame he'd bought the second cheapest drink on tap, and it wasn't terribly keen on being enjoyable.

    Gagging momentarily, the mage gave a small cough to clear his throat and hopefully hide his fumbling. "As for, ah--" He wiggled his fingers at his tankard, mimicking her gesture. "Magicking up more booze? Good idea on paper, but it gets pretty hard to transmute more if you're already buzzed off the first batch, you know?" He set his tankard down and cracked his knuckles, yawning quietly. He wasn't look quite as terrible as he had been in Pandemonium, but there was still a noticeable bulk of bandages wrapped around his wrist under his robes. He blinked the apparent tiredness from his eyes and gave Mitsy a smile, though it reached his eyes perhaps a bit more than her all-teeth grin did.

    "It's good to see you, though-- Tell you what, next drink's on me. I owe you one for all the, ah..." He swings his fists twice in the air, entirely ineffectual. "Clubbing, and the knife you loaned me, and all that."
     
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  4. Himitsu

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    The white-haired woman just chuckled as the mage jumped but then settled down when she made herself known. Wandering around in a demon world would put anyone on edge, even in such a public and theoretically safe space. He lifted his tankard to his lips and she watched as he gulped it down despite its obvious lack of appeal, chuckling in amusement; the stuff he had in his tankard smelled like slop. But then again, she couldn’t really say anything, the deep amber liquid in hers smelled like almost straight alcohol.

    The downside of working up a tolerance was… well, harder to reach that absolutely blitzed level that she was so keen to hit.

    And, from how he was chugging his liquid, he was just as keen. Maybe this’d be a fun night after all, she thought with a grin.

    “See, this is where you need an *experienced drinker to help you out,” she said, with this lofty air. “This is what we do. We get one of those giant fancy rooms. Then we have them fill up the bathtub with… whatever. Water. If people even drink that. Then you transmute the entire tub of booze. Viola! Totally free and totally the recipe for one hell of a night…” She leaned on the bar with this victorious grin, pretty proud of her plan. It was a damn good plan… and then he offered her a drink and she let out a low burp, picking up her tankard and expecting the liquid that was left.

    “Oh you mean the priceless heirloom given to me by my dying father with his last breath that you lost in the demon world? That dagger?”

    She paused, her golden eyes travelling to him… and then she burst into a truly wicked grin.

    “Kiddin’ with you, Morsel. You’re good. Won’t say no to free alcohol, though…”
     
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  5. Faurosk

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    The mage gave his curious and impromptu drinking partner a quizzical look as she detailed her master plan. He'd never considered transmuting an entire bathtub of water into straight-up booze before, but the feat would be easy enough to pull off, even if he was already a tankard or two into his drinking. "I mean, hell," he thought, "Making liquor is the first lesson to being a wizard that's still fun at parties. Piece of piss."

    However, his face went from a light pinkish to nearly ashen white as Mitsy detailed her apparently intimate history with the knife he'd left gore-spattered in a plane of constant flux. He may not have been slurring his speech just yet, but he was just relaxed enough to think that she couldn't possibly be joking. His jaw dropped open and a few stuttered syllables of apology managed to make it out before pulled back the veil of her jest, her golden eyes wrinkling in a grin of schadenfreude at his expense.

    Faurosk blew out a sigh, visibly deflating with the lost air and too focused on his own relief to dwell on her peculiar pet names for him. "Good, good... Well, look, I can pay you back, either with another blade, or a bath of booze, or-- Well, both, I suppose." He cast a small smile her way, dark eyes growing just a hint brighter at the prospect of shedding his guilt. "Fair warning, though; If you want me to make the strong stuff, you can expect to feel it."

    Himitsu
     
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  6. Himitsu

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    Mitsy watched the expressions chase themselves across his face with this amused and entirely unapologetic air. Perhaps it was a bit mean, but… well, the Kitsune liked to keep people on their toes around her. If they wanted hugs and cuddles they could go find a prostitute to pay for the night; Mitsy kept things *interesting*. She was many things, but ‘boring’ was not one of them.

    Her grin spread a bit more as he offered to pay her back with booze that she could expect to feel. Oh, boy. He didn’t know what he was promising.

    “Now that sounds like a deal, Snack.” She turned towards him, holding up her tankard so she could tap it against his in a ‘sealing the deal’ sort of motion. “Not sure I’ve ever had maged-up booze, but… hell, never been to a crazy world with red skies and weird twisted creatures either, so… first time for everything, I guess.” She’d ‘clink’ her mug to his, then took a long drink of the tankard, nearly finishing it off.

    Setting it down on the table, she fixed him with a look -- he’d said something, and she wasn’t about to let it go. “And they’re tonfa not clubs, did you even pay attention to what I was doing?” she demanded, pulling out one of the weapons and setting it down on the bar in front of them. It was a gorgeously built weapon, pearly white with deep red inscriptions carved into the sides opposite of where the handles were. It was obvious to any one magically inclined that magic had been folded into them, which accounted for how she’d blocked demon-claws with the edges to no damage.

    “See? Tonfa. Not clubs. I was… tonfa-ing…” She grimaced. “... all right, okay, yeah. Maybe ‘clubbing’ is the right word there.” She finished her tankard off, slapping the empty cup down on the bar.
     
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  7. Faurosk

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    His tankard met Mitsy's with a light chirp, given its insubstantial size compared to the monstrosity she held aloft. Faurosk managed to pull together a rather convincing smile from his relief, though he managed to notice her use of 'Snack' this time around, causing his cheeks to color just faintly.

    "And they're tonfa, not clubs," she said, and he fixed her with a puzzled look in response, eyebrows pinched inward. "No, sorry, I was a bit too distracted to throw much attention your way. You know, casting spells, stabbing daemons-- The usual." His cheeky expression was wiped away as she loosed the tonfa and laid it across the table, replaced by a transfixed gaze as he admired its craftsmanship. The mage reached out to the bar and ever so carefully ran his thumb along the engraved surface of the weapon, and the protective energy of the rune sent goosebumps halfway up his arm. Whether it was just a club with an over inflated ego or not, he had to admit that the weapon had a killer enchantment placed upon it.

    Even though the mage was more than familiar with the arcane art of abjuration, the aura of the weapon was almost entirely unfamiliar to him, like a poem written in a foreign language. Faurosk retracted his hand respectfully, giving Mitsy a small smile. "They're well made. If your tonfa-ing was half as nice as the instrument you used, I'm sad to have missed it." He put extra emphasis on her twisted portmanteau; He may respect her choice of weapons, but that doesn't mean he can't give her a bit of cheek.

    "So," he gave a small clap, muted to a quite thump by the leather of his gloves. "One knife and a lot of liquor in recompense for, uh... How would you put it? 'Losing an item of immense personal value in a hateful plane'? Sure, sounds like an even trade to me."

    Himitsu
     
  8. Himitsu

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    The white-haired woman sat back in her seat as he inspected the tonfa, on the surface looking like she wasn’t paying much attention at all. It wasn’t totally true -- the two white tonfa she carried were quite possibly the only physical possession that she had that she cared about, so she kept a keen eye. But Faurosk had proven himself to be one of the less moronic members of their Band of Idiots, so she let him inspect the weapons to his heart’s content. Besides, the enchantments on them were deeply woven. They wouldn’t be so easy to disrupt.

    Then he was giving her some lip in return about the word choice ‘tonfa-ing’ and she laughed.

    “Hey, we absolutely splattered that one demon. It was pretty impressive, if I do say so myself… “ She lifted her tankard up … then realized it was empty, eyeing the bottom of it with a baleful annoyance. Thankfully, before she could get too distressed by that roadbump to her evening, Faurosk was putting forth his proposal. Which included a new knife (whatever) and the promise of booze (ooh yay). She spun towards him, planting one hand on her knee and leaning forward as her other stuck out to shake on it, those golden eyes glittering.

    “Deal, Morsel,” she replied with another one of those toothy grins. Her grip was firm, though by no means crushing, and she gave his hand a single bob before releasing him.

    Lightly, she hopped to her feet, sliding the tonfa back into its sheath and catching up the oversized tankard with the other hand. “C’mon, then,” she said, over her shoulder, because she was already heading towards the stairs… apparently, just expecting him to follow her. “Bring that swill or not, I don’t care, but you’d best not get too tanked to refill this!” She wiggled the tankard at him with a low chuckle.
     
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  9. Faurosk

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    The mage gave a subdued laugh at Mitsy's mention of 'splattering' the demon lord, more entertained by her word choice than the meaning she meant to convey. "I'll drink to that." He raised his tankard halfway to his lips before glancing down at it with a scowl. With a circular twirl of his wrist, he managed to stir up a fair bit of crud that had settled at the bottom of the cup, sending a flock of unidentifiable black splotches spiraling through his already unappetizing drink. "... Later," he added in addendum, setting the tankard down once more. "I'll drink to that later."

    The mage took the brief moment of quiet as his offer was considered to relax, taking a few centering breaths in and out through his nose. When the white-haired woman spun on her seat and leaned in close to him, though, he leaned back a noticeable few inches. Casting a wary glance first at her eyes, and then down to her hand, he met her grip halfway. One quick shake later, and the deal was cut. "Uh... Yeah, sure-- ... Crumb. Deal." His blatant attempt to mimic her nick-naming backfired on the mage, causing him to stare contemplatively at the tankard he'd cast aside. Was this really what he was put in the world to do, mimic jokes and deplete them of everything that made them charming? He sure hoped not.

    A few moments passed while the vacancy at his side escaped notice, but Faurosk took a quick double take to his flank once Mitsy had called for him to follow. The mage quickly shoved himself to his feet, leaving his cup of swill on the bar. After rooting through a number of pockets and pouches sewn to his robes for a good few seconds, he produced a pair of flat, bronze coins and quickly slapped them onto the bar before hurrying after his totally-human friend. "Alright, sure, I'll stay sober enough to magic up some booze." He wiggled his fingers in the air, blowing out a puff of a sigh and taking up stride just behind her.

    He spoke up once more as they began ascending the stairs, though his tone took on an inflection of facetious brooding. "Years of college education, and all I do is keep people warm and drunk... Golden."

    Himitsu
     
  10. Himitsu

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    Himitsu Mer-*hic!*-cenary

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    Mitsy either didn’t seem to hear or didn’t seem to care about his running commentary as she sauntered through the crowd towards the stairs. Lucky for him she’d already grabbed a room here with the last bit of gold she had. She’d have to away the next day, find somewhere new to earn her keep, but that was a problem for *Tomorrow* Mitsy. Tonight Mitsy knew exactly what her plans were for the rest of the evening and they were going to be amazing. One way or another…

    She cast a glance over her shoulder to find him walking just a few feet behind her, flicking her fingers at him to hurry him along.

    “Don’t get lost, college-boy,” she called. Sure had heard him, then, even with the chatter of the busy bar.

    Up the stairs they went, to one of the rooms. Mitsy shoved it open without ceremony, leaving him to come in and close it behind her. It was one of the common rooms, though the Inn was nice enough that it was decently furnished with a table and two chairs, bed, and even a pretty nice little wash room in the back. Despite theoretically having been there several days, the only real items that didn’t seem to be part of the room were the various sized bottles all sitting in a clump on the table. All seemingly empty, at least at a glance.

    Without any pre-amble, the white-haired woman kicked off her boots, sending them tumbling half-under the bed. Undoing the belt that bore its several pouches including the tonfa, she set it down more carefully on the non-bottle-clad part of the table, before slumping into one of the seats, letting her empty tankard sit in the middle. She nodded to him to indicate he could take the other seat if he so wanted.

    “OK, Snack. Work your magic. You don’t need like… a blood sacrifice or anything, do you? Cause that’s gonna get real awkward real fast if you do…” She grinned at him toothily, even as she undid the tight leather top she normally wore as her top layer, shrugging out of it and leaving her in a simple white shirt and her pants.

    Hey, she was going to be comfortable, and really, it was her room. She could be naked if she wanted to. He could, too. Or she’d see to it later, probably when he was completely sloshed and she was still fine, because that was how this always went. Which… was fine with the Kitsune. Kept things entertaining, one way or another.
     
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  11. Faurosk

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    Faurosk furrowed a brow at the white-haired woman's college-boy comment. Sure, he'd been to the college, and, sure, it was a terrible place in terms of social equality, but he'd left that behind him a number of months ago. Granted, he still wore the clichéd robes, and the time since he left the college had been rather insubstantial, but... Well, he could still be indignant at her remark. He let out a small sigh, more so resigning himself to the fact that she was right than annoyed with her insinuation.

    Clearly he wasn't oh-so-terribly offended, though, since he continued to follow with a small yet present smile. A smile that didn't falter when he saw the state of her room, primarily because it was about what he'd expected. A bit neater than his expectations, actually, considering the bottles were all in one place rather than scattered about. He waited for her to finish kicking off her boots and getting situated, fiddling with one of the many component pouches he had strung about his body. Once Mitsy offered a seat, though, he couldn't refuse; Despite the small break since their delve into Pandemonium, his muscles still groaned and ached, even while standing still. So, he sat down inelegantly at the table, palming one of the bottles by its body and bringing it up to eye level. With a small motion of his wrist, what little liquid that was left at the bottom gave a pitiful swirl. It wasn't much, but it would be helpful in creating more boozy beverages later on.

    "Y'know, this might be easier than I'd thou--" He cut himself off mid thought as he cast her a glance, clearly flustered to find her stripping of her leather top. He quickly turned his attention back to the bottle, acting unperturbed. If she was observant, though, she'd no doubt notice the blush that spread over his face. Or was that just the alcohol? "Yeah, no, easier than I'd thought..."

    The mage came to the realization that maybe getting comfortable wouldn't be a terrible idea. Although robes were surely an iconic look for any wizard hoping to be taken seriously, he doubted than any stray breeze would be billowing out his attire in a closed off room. So, without any sense of ceremony, he placed one of his hands on his opposite shoulder and held the image of casual clothing in his mind. With a small pulse of transmutational energy, his robes began to shift and change. The bunched mass of excess fabric around his upper body began to fold into itself, taking on the look of a simple green vest worn over an off-white tunic. The lower half of his robes shifted into a pair of simple brown pants, and the numerous pouches around his body resolved themselves into a simple bandolier of box-shaped pockets. The entire transformation took only a few seconds, and there were no flashy sparkles or puffs of smoke that would have required a special effects crew thousands. After the change concluded, he'd almost look like a common merchant if not for the spellbook that still hung at his hip. Well, if not for the spellbook and the dark blue tattoos that covered the full length of his right arm, partially revealed by the rolled sleeves of his shirt.

    Faurosk gave Mitsy a broad grin, hoisting the bottle once more and wiggling it in her direction. "Alright, then. What'll it be? Sweet, earthy, citrus-...-y? Something that kicks like a mule? Ooh, perhaps some combination thereof...? My recompense, your choice."

    Himitsu
     
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  12. Himitsu

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    The white-haired woman let her leather vest dangle off one finger as she shot him a look, one eyebrow arching slightly as she took in the slight color that sprang to his cheeks. The grin that slid across her lips was damn near wicked, but she didn’t say anything, just let the leather vest loop onto the back of her chair, hung up for the time, and then stretched her arms over her head. Getting settled in, of course. It had nothing to do with the fact that the light shirt she wore underneath hugged her curves in all the right places. Nope, not at all.

    Ahem.

    Settling back, she watched his little trick with his clothing… Not too far off from what she was able to do, all things considered, and she couldn’t help wonder if it looked like that when she adjusted her own face. She’d never been on the other side of her own trick, after all. Leaning forward, she propped her elbow on the table and rested her chin in her palm, looking at the mage across from her with amusement dancing across her face.

    “Mm… surprise me. But make it kick good, or you’re going to have to make a lot.” She wasn’t even trying to be braggadocios by any means -- the downside with numbing the world continually was that there was an awful lot of world to numb, and it just… kept… getting… harder. “Especially after that nightmare zone. I’d like to not have a single set of dreams tonight, if you know what I mean.” There was no suggestive note to that statement, though. Just plain fact. Fact he’d likely understand better than just about anyone.

    “While you're cookin' that all up, and before we get started, Morsel. There is one more thing that we should probably just get out of the way while we’re sober…” She fixed him with an intent smile, her golden eyes glimmering. “You know. In the sake of full… disclosure. Between consenting adults.”
     
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  13. Faurosk

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    The mage had been a touch distracted by his transformative efforts to really take in Mitsy's totally-for-relaxation stretching, though what little he saw of it only managed to fluster him further. A tiny touch of the red that now sat comfortably over his features crept higher, tinting his ears crimson in a gradient from lobe to helix. He reached for his component pouch, hoping to distract himself from her overtly teasing efforts. His hand patted ineffectually at his hip in a moment of muscle memory, but his precious components had been transmuted into a bandolier mere moments before. With a single awkward cough, the mage began perusing various vials and pockets, listening to the white-haired woman's order and making a mental list. Taste and quality can be a surprise, but it needs to be as strong as a stone giant... Sure, that should be easy enough.

    She'd made a comment, then; Something about the other place being a 'nightmare zone'. It was a good turn of phrase, and one that nearly captured the gripping chill the place still left tingling down his spine. Of course he understood what she meant, given his line of work; Sometimes you see things out in the world that never truly leave you. He gave her a short, knowing nod. "I think I have just the tincture for a dreamless night. Made it for myself a few months back, actually." He laughed, then, but he'd managed to keep it quiet. "One of those useful talents they don't teach you up at the fancy 'college', eh? But I do reckon an arcane bar tending course would be a hit..."

    The mage made himself busy, producing a phial of cayenne powder, a stick of licorice root, and a small glass container of a deep purple liquid from inside his rather robust series of pouches and caddies. Faurosk set his array of ingredients on the table, but he was pulled from his working mindset by Mitsy's commentary. His eyebrow cocked upwards, though whether this was due to the less than subtle overtones or her first not-quite-wicked smile of the night was up for interpretation. Either way, his fiddling came to a stop, and he fixed her with a curious smirk. "Well, you have my attention. What do you need to say?"

    Himitsu
     
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  14. Himitsu

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    Mitsy’s sharp golden eyes watched him as he worked; her people were naturally gifted in many magical disciplines, but she personally had really only excelled at two. The use of kitsune-bi, her fire… and the faces. She’d always had an eye for faces, picking them and their mannerisms up with almost very little work, even when she was a small pup.

    Which brought her to the question in, ahem, question.

    “So one thing --” She paused, holding one finger up as she seemed to reconsider, elbow still propped up on the table. “Well. A small note. Warning, I guess. And then the important thing you should probably know. So, the note -- just thought you should know I’m going to have all of your clothing by the end of the night. Just… a head’s up.” She twisted her held up finger to flick at his clothing, as if he needed clarification on what she meant. She didn’t wait for him to respond, though, holding up her second finger.

    “Second thing. Well. Main thing.”

    She sat up, then, sliding her hands down to her pants… and wiggling them down. Just the back of the band, down a couple of inches down her backside, and just because she was feeling particularly lazy. It took less energy this way, then having to think about it and adjust them as well. Instead, now, once she was done, she raised her hands and ran them back from her face, up over her head and down along her white hair.

    The shift was instantaneous, the braids in her hair disappearing and leaving the strands loose and long and white, only a few braids by the side of her face left. Likely, the braids (or lack thereof) would be the least interesting bit, because a pair of curled, black-tipped ears perked up, flicking as she settled into the form that she was, all things considered, the most comfortable in. Complete with seven long, silken fox tails flaring out behind her, flicking before settling down around her.

    Opening her eyes, she fixed him with that foxy stare, propping her chin up in her palm once more as she gestured with her other hand.

    “Questions, now, please, so then I can drink you under the table and make off with your clothes in peace.”
     
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  15. Faurosk

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    Faurosk couldn't help but crack a smile at her stammering reconsideration. For someone with an air of such confidence, she sure was struggling to get her first point across. When she finally got the words out, though, the nearly shit-eating expression was wiped away and replaced with a look of unfiltered confusion. It would seem he was too caught off guard to respond with the level of cheek he was normally wont to give.

    "Now, I don't think--" He got the first words out in a fluster of sound, but she cut him off before he could string together any actual thoughts. A small stutter resounded from his chest as he tried once again to make a case as to why she shouldn't go robbing him of his clothes, but he shut himself up when she started to push the band of her pants downwards. A thought came to mind, then, that perhaps she had not just been trying to get comfortable.

    "Hey, I, ah, think we might've confused one another's intentions. Y'see, I'm not rea--" She didn't need to cut him off this time around. Instead, it was the drastic changes her body underwent that caused his silence. He stared first at her shifting hair, then at her new ears which sprang from seemingly nowhere, and finally down to the array somewhat beautiful tails which settled about her flanks.

    His mouth hung open for a few seconds in a mixture of surprise and a bit of little relief. He closed his mouth, cleared his throat, sat a little straighter, and cocked his head just slightly to the side. "So, uh... Questions...? Right, righty-o... Uh. Hm."

    Lips pursed, thoughts running wild, the mage sat still and placed a fist to his chin, striking close to the image of The Thinker himself. After a few moments, he snapped his fingers and looked to Mitsy with a grin. "It's your hair, right? You did something different with you hair." He gesticulated towards her, eyebrow cocked as he leaned back in his seat. "Looks free. Loose, flow-y, the works."

    He deflated into his seat, visibly relaxing and giving a small, light laugh. "Sorry, bad joke. I do those when I'm nervous, and, y'know, when I'm not nervous." He laughed again, though this time was at his own expense and therefore a bit heartier. Truth be told, he had an inkling that there was something special about her. Maybe it was the golden eyes, or her peculiar weapons, or, as was perhaps most likely, the fact that she'd been breathing fire during their adventure into the mists. Regardless of what he may have theorized, though, he was still very much caught by surprise that she'd revealed her true nature to him so early into their relations.

    "Really, though, ah... Is it true you can change your face?" He gave her a casual point, first sweeping up to her ears before dipping to her tails. "I mean, more than you just did. That was impressive, though. Second, uhm... Can you teach me that trick you did, what, with the blue flames and all? Oh, and, of course..."

    He leaned forwards, propping his elbows on his knees with a keener intent. "... Is it true you can grant wishes?"

    If it wasn't obvious before, it was elucidated then that most of his knowledge of kitsune must come from folklore and tall tales. In actuality, he'd hardly ever heard of her people except around the campfire, and he'd never once thought he'd meet one in person-- Or if he did, he never thought he would know their true nature.

    Himitsu
     
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  16. Himitsu

    Member
    Himitsu Mer-*hic!*-cenary

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    Mitsy certainly couldn’t say that she didn’t enjoy the expression of shock on his face -- that part never got old. It also never got old that half the time that was followed up by attempts to shoot her or stab her or hit her with fireballs… all of which she preferred to deal with now if that was going to be the case so then she could find somewhere else to be to drink herself unconscious in peace. So she watched him with that feral gaze of hers, waiting for him to decide what his response would be as he thought, with his fist against his jaw, her tails idly flicking despite her relative stillness…

    … and then it was… a joke. A bad joke.

    Her eyebrows arched as he burst into laughter, a sound that, all things told, seemed to take a lot of the tension out of the Kitsune. She kicked her feet up onto the bed to prop them up, leaning back in her seat as he peppered her with three questions. Thankfully, they were decent questions, at least he hadn’t started with the whole ‘what are you’ or ‘are you even human’ or ‘are you going to eat me’ ones which were always just so exhausting to deal with because then there was usually crying or threatening or blustering or some nonsense accompanying them. She just wanted to get through this part so then he'd finish making her booze and she could drink comfortably. Though, the question about wishes did elicit a hearty laugh from her, herself.

    “Going backwards,” she said, holding up three fingers. “First… the only wishes I grant are things like ‘I wish to be punched in the face’ or ‘I wish it wasn’t so boring someone should set something on fire’ or ‘I wish to have the greatest sex I’ve ever experienced’. So, if your wish is one of those three things, sure, I’m your Kitsune. Otherwise, … hate to disappoint, but anyone begging for wishes from us is just likely to get eaten, really.”

    It almost seemed it should have been a joke, but the ‘eating’ part was delivered with absolute sincerity.

    “Second. Wait --” she paused, then shrugged. “Yeah, second. I’m… actually not sure. I’ve never actually tried to teach someone the kitsune-bi. I mean, I’d offer to teach you tomorrow but I’m going to have stolen your clothes by then. So maybe if you catch up to me, that’ll be your reward. And, you know, clothing.

    “And… finally. Or … First, really.”

    She regarded him for just a second, those sharp golden eyes brilliant in their intensity, then took in all the fine details. It didn’t need to be perfect, it was just to make a point, but she’d always had her pride,... and faces were it. There were a great many things her people were supposed to be good at, and she excelled at really only a very few of those. But, excel she did. So when she did shift, one second her normal half-fox form, the next a perfect copy of the mage himself, complete down to the clothing he was wearing, lounging in the chair across from him, it was seamlessly and expertly done.

    Looping his hands behind his head, he gave Faurosk a cheeky wink. “Not just my face, Tidbit,” he said, in the mage’s voice.
     
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  17. Faurosk

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    Faurosk Wandering Wizard

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    The mage listened intently to her answers, and he was happy that his shitty jab at humor had made the stress drop from her shoulders. He still sat forward in his chair, perched at the very edge of his seat with his head propped up on the back of his hand and his elbows on his knees. Faurosk was a bit disappointed that she wasn't innately gifted in granting wild and outrageous wishes, but, frankly, he wasn't surprised. That sort of world changing power didn't sit well with the first law of magic, and a whole race of people who could bypass that most limiting of laws would be quite troubling.

    Even if her mention of eating wish-beggars had been meant as a genuine warning, it still made the mage crack a smirk. "Well, that's good to know. I'll keep you posted if I need any of those wishes granted, though-- The arson one is particularly tempting."

    Her second answer was intriguing, though her offer to teach him came with a troubling cost. Regardless, learning to use this 'Kitsune-bi' would just be an additional incentive to find her if she really did steal off with his clothes later into the night. It should be granted, though, that spitting fire did have a certain allure to it. His imagination ran with the idea, conjuring up images of shouting harsh blue flames into the face of some unsuspecting attacker...

    Her third answer pulled him from this fantasy with ease. He stared at her- or rather, himself -with a certain level of unease. His surprise hadn't resurfaced with quite the intensity as it had with her initial transformation, but there was certainly something unsettling about seeing his own body sitting across from him. It was almost like looking in a mirror, though the strangest part was that this was no reflection. His most prominent features were replicated to near perfection, but everything was on the exact opposite side as a true reflection would've shown.

    "Wow, really don't like that..." His head left the perch it had taken atop his hand as the mage leaned ever closer, looking his doppelganger over. "... I'll start making that liquor right now if you change back. Deal?"

    He looked back upward to catch his copy's gaze, eyebrow cocked. They may not have been the same golden tone as he'd come to know Mitsy for, but the dark brown eyes she wore still carried a distinctly mischievous glint. It was troublesome, seeing that look on his own face.

    Himitsu
     
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  18. Himitsu

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    Himitsu Mer-*hic!*-cenary

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    Mitsy leaned back in his seat, hands looped behind his head, grinning like mad the entire time that Faurosk peered at the mirror-image-that-wasn’t-a-reflection-at-all in front of him. He didn’t seem to mind the closer inspection as the mage leaned forward, though at the proffered deal, Mitsy couldn’t help the laughter that slid from his throat. Everyone reacted a bit differently to it, especially if the Kitsune didn’t really warn them ahead of time, and it was always just so fun to see what came out of people when they were faced with themselves.

    “Deal,” Mitsy responded, and let the shape slip away from her. A blink and suddenly there was the one and only original Faurosk left in the room, the white-haired Kitsune lounging in the chair once again with an amused twinkle to those golden eyes.

    “I think it goes without saying, but I would appreciate you keeping what I am mostly underwraps. Too many humans like Trajan wandering around who wouldn’t mind taking a swing at my head.” She stretched her hands up over her head as she said it, relaying exactly just how worried she was about said people who wanted to take a swing at her. Really, she didn’t even care that much if Faurosk went and told literally everyone he met. First, most people wouldn’t believe him or would think him crazy. Second, she could simply slip into a face he didn’t know and be gone before he even realized it.

    Third, she could just eat him. But. She kind of liked him. Plus he didn’t seem the type to go blabbing around, which was why she’d been comfortable enough doing it in the first place. Trustworthy-ish. At least, as far as humans went, which… honestly, wasn’t that far.

    “I don’t really care, but it always seems to come up at the worst possible times. Like the next time we get trapped in a demon world.”

    She linked her hands behind her head, her ears swiveling every so often as one sound or another drew her attention. Not much of it, that was reserved for the mage in front of her, especially since there was the promise of booze coming and hopefully coming soon. She’d do her best not to interrupt again… “Which brings up the question, Morsel… when you saw a bunch of foreboding red mist on the horizon with no one who’d ventured in returning… why exactly did you join our Band of Idiots?”

    She fixed those golden eyes on him curiously.
     
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  19. Faurosk

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    Faurosk Wandering Wizard

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    Once again, an expression of relief washed over the true mage's face, this time inspired by Mitsy's willingness to drop the unsettling disguise without any debate. To keep up his end of the bargain, Faurosk got to work gathering up the bottle and ingredients he'd previously set aside. With his attention evenly divided between mixing up an extremely potent brew and listening to the kitsune sitting across from him, he lightly chewed one end of the licorice root before casting it into the nearly-empty bottle.

    A sardonic smile cracked across his features when Mitsy mentioned Trajan and the intentions of similarly ardent individuals. "Yeah, well, he's a fool. Maybe a fool with a fancy title, but a beardsplitter nonetheless." After giving the bottle a small swish, the mage emptied his container of deep purple liquid into the budding mixture. A flash of blue flame spouted from the top of the fluid's new vessel, rising about half an inch out of the bottle's opening before dissipating into the air. Faurosk was unfazed by this development, knowing full well that it was simply part of the process. Who ever said magic wasn't dangerous, anyhow? "I just hope people like him realize their flawed ideology before they're beyond redeeming, you know?"

    "Either way," he continued, dropping a substantial pinch of cayenne powder into the mixture before shuffling its container back into his bandolier. "You can trust me not to go shouting your secret like some sort of town crier." He cast the white-haired woman a small smirk, rocking his head to one side in a single-shouldered shrug. "After all, I don't really need people to like me that much, and your confidence is already worth plenty to me."

    The mage focused his willpower down his arm and into the rather disgusting mixture he now held. A series of arcane inscriptions began to carve their way around the girth of the bottle, forming a single band of symbols about a centimeter wide. The language of the runes was incomprehensible, but the effect of the spell was immediately obvious. Slowly, the bottle began to fill with a deep brown liquid that smelled of citrus and alcohol. The mage still held the concoction, but his focus was no longer needed to maintain the vile liquid's transformation. With his attention now freed, he looked back to Mitsy as she asked her question. And, wow, was it a tough one.

    "Why did I join the Band of Idiots? Well, I, ah... Hm." He pursed his lips in thought, leaning forwards slightly to rest his elbow on a knee. "I don't quite know, really. I mean, I could say that I've done scarier things for less in the past, but that's not quite true."

    His other elbow fell onto its respective knee, and he held the bottle in both hands to steady it from shaking. "Oh, perhaps I saw two attractive women and that devilishly handsome Dio fellow, and I thought, 'Wow, I need to impress them!'?" His voice took on a self deprecating edge of mock stupidity when he mimicked his own thoughts, lending credibility to the fact that he's probably joking. "... But, if you want the truth, without the nonsense... I guess I was afraid nobody else would."

    He laughed, then, reddening at his own perceived idiocy. "I mean, that's dumb, right? A whole assembly of people, ready to march in... And yet there I was, trying to hide the fact that I was shaking in my boots; and you know the best part? I thought that if I didn't run head first into danger, there wouldn't be anyone to pick up the slack." And there was the truth. Perhaps it was the fact that he'd been drinking swill before Mitsy's arrival into his night, but for the moment his honesty was impeccable if not intentional.

    "Maybe I just read too much fiction when I was a kid, eh? All the romanticized bollocks about adventuring, all the tales of swashbuckling and daring-- And then when the people go home, they're lauded as heroes! Well, nobody even believes me when I talk about the Mists, or the dragon, or the march of the dead..." He counted off his forgotten triumphs on his fingers, raising three digits one after the other, before giving up and laying his hand back in his lap.

    The bottle was finally full, then, and its new weight pulled the mage from his long-winded babbling. He threw a glance to where the finished tincture rested in his grip, eyebrows raising for a moment before he set the newly filled bottle atop the table. "There, alcohol. And, ahm--... Sorry, why did you go trotting off with us into dangers unknown? Here I was, rambling, and I didn't even give you the courtesy of asking the same question."

    Himitsu
     

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