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[CHQ] Narrow Margin

Cherry Heart Trains Investigation Choo Choo

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#1
Maeriberii Haan

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"Exactly thirteen days before Midsummer, when the great Sun disappears from the horizon, the Midgardsormr will disappear deep in the ocean of trees."

 

By the time the members of Cherry Heart that had chosen to investigate the matter in the Arbolia Line arrived at the railway's office in the city of Cathaya, they were greeted by a letter framed in gold borders just inside of the office. In the middle of the room, one tense-looking man sighed with relief when he saw the group's arrival. He quickly fixed his tie and wore his hat more properly before standing up. The room itself was small, but it was filled with so many paperworks as well as different miniature models of trains adorning it.

 

"Thank you for coming here! You are the first guild that had answered my company's call for help, and I couldn't feel more grateful for your appearance here." The man spoke with a dignified, but still elated voice, losing the tension that he used to showcase earlier.

"I am Walter Neall, the head of the Arbolia Line Company. It is a pleasure to meet the four of you." He continued, bowing at the four. His mannerism was very polite so far, and he didn't seem to question the capabilities of he four guildmembers.

 

"I am aware that your guild is not renowned yet, but any help that I can get is very appreciated. Please, do have a seat. We still have around one hour before departure."

 

Two claps, and from the outside of the room, several maids came inside and provided the four present guildmembers with their seats. In addition, they were also served a cup of herbal tea not long afterwards.

 

"Make yourself as comfortable as you need to. As you have read on the notice I posted, ever since one month ago there had been a copious amount of letters coming on every single one of our trains' trips. It had gotten to the point where our customers had started to avoided us.

 

I am quite adamant that these letters are merely empty threats, but their impact is quite irritatingly, very real. The promised date is in two days. The train should be in the middle of the ocean going to Oriad by then. I am not sure what do they mean by the "ocean of trees", but it would do us a lot of good if you can capture the culprit that spread these letters when the promised day hits, to prove that it's all empty words.

 

It's quite simple, isn't it?"

Walter's words were eloquent and lacking in doubt, although an astute observer should notice that he was seemingly hesitant on explaining more than that about the threat. There were still one hour before the train departed. The guildmembers should be able to ask Walter for more information, relax, or explore the train station for further clues.

 

Hours before the promised time: 51.

 


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#2
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The prospect of the beginning of his first quest with Cherry Heart kept the Senki warrior ever so slightly on edge. Miro needed to maintain his image for his own sake but it was hard not to get excited, especially given the eccentric company. But now that they'd finally arrived at the office of the Arbolia railroad company he took a moment to calm his nerves and prepare for the start of the mission. Truth be told his mind would never entirely settle until he'd started the traditional body painting process of his people. He'd brought a small bag with him to carry a portion of this paint for this very reason along with some other odds and ends he wanted to bring along. While the sight of a scythe-carrying weasel had gotten him several strange looks along the way, Miro felt almost relieved as Walter Neall introduced himself and seemed to trust in their abilities without so much as questioning them.

As the company head spoke he called for seats and even tea for his guests, a gesture which the weasel greatly appreciated. The tea was a bit different than he would have made it himself but he was pleased regardless that it was something humans seemed consume with regularity wherever he went. He regularly sipped at it as the discussion continued, his tail swaying about in an almost mesmerizing manner behind him. Walter discussed where the train in question would be at the time the threat-makers had stated they would make their move. The idea of the ocean of trees fascinated Miro as he had grown up among the treetops. Up that high in a dense forest, ocean was perhaps an accurate term to attempt to describe what one saw in every direction. But it sounded as though the train would be over an actual ocean and no where near a forest. Perhaps there was something in the ocean itself that resembled a forest but what that could be the Senki could only guess. What caught the weasel's one open eye was the way the man carried himself. He wanted them to show the threat was empty yet he seemed like he was holding back something on the threat itself.

"Sir, I understand that this situation is stressful for you. So we need to make sure you told us everything you know about all this. Information is our best shot at handling this situation..." Miro trailed off while taking another sip of his tea. He was liking it more the more he drank and hoped to have access to it and other types of the stuff throughout the mission. He had been careful not to directly call out the specific hesitation around the threat. He was hoping perhaps Mr. Neall himself would simply divulge the information but he was also curious if the others would have caught this or if something else would take their focus like small talk or the like. No need to make it too simple for everyone. He'd look cooler if he was the only one that really got what was going on anyway.


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#3
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Percival's chest puffed out with pride as the train head spoke. He could see Percival's talent, that much was clear, which meant that he must be a very smart man! The tea Percival could live without. He must rather preferred sweet drinks. However it would be unbecoming to show displeasure to their host! So the boy drank the tea with gusto! Perhaps too much so as the drink was hotter than he had expected.

 

Percival was unsure why the man implied he thought the threat was empty. This was clearly the work of a vile villain so there was no way it would be empty. How could he heroically uncover a prank?

No, this surely was a most dire threat.

 

Miro spoke up, wanting to get more information out of the man. And Percival agreed, there was much to learn if they were to stop this most dangerous of criminals.

 

"You have no need to fear now that I, Percival Crimson, am here! There is something I wish to know. These letters, from where do they arrive? And how? I'd like to see where you find them. For if the blackguard left behind a scent my trusty companion will be able to recognize the smell when we meet the, likely disguised, crook!"

 

Percival looked around for Snow, for he was pivotal to this, and found him...oh.

 

Snow was standing behind Miro, watching his tail swish back and forth. Silently, carefully, the dog crept up on the not-weasel. He tried to grab the swaying thing once, twice, a third time. But each time the tail managed to evade him. At a click of Percival's tongue the dog snapped out of it and looked up at his companion. Percival patted his leg and Snow wandered up next to him and sat down, looking up at the strange man as he panted.

 

"Mysterious scent/ The hero's ally arrives / God-like sense of smell!" Percival announced with confidence.


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#4
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With their arrival at the railway's office, Leif had seemed to be positively ecstatic. A new mission. A new guild. New people to travel. It was all full of new! And firsts, for that matter. Feeling as though her journey was already off to a great start, the girl merely sat down alongside the others, listening to the briefing they were given by the man, Walter Neall. The girl had sat back, tea in her hand, looking more natural as she sipped from the cup relishing in the taste. She hadn't had much in way of tea since she left home, and so this was certainly a welcome refreshment to her. 

 

As she listened to her companions question the man, the girl nodded as Miro had made his statement. She then giggled slightly as Percival had went into one of his strange speeches in meter, but merely said, "quite right Percival. Knowing who found these letters would be helpful as well. Oh, also, there's something that had me quite curious as well." Sipping from her tea, the girl said, "my this is wonderful. As I was saying, you say these empty threats that you have been receiving started but a month ago, correct? I understand not an immediate reaction, but why have you waited so close to the promised time to act?"


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#5
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Mina's second official quest (not counting the "quests" that involved fixing up the guild hall) has begun. She didn't have a run in with Auburn this time, but instead she was paired up with three newcomers to the Cherry Heart guild. A gold hearted knight, Percival and his dog companion, Snow, Miro, who appeared to be what Mina deemed a two legged weasel with a scythe, and Leif, a cheery warrior. Hopefully these threats to the train system wouldn't be too troublesome, sure beats being trapped in a deadly nightmare, plus Mina had her little automaton, APPA with her for the trip, so things should go smoothly. Again... Hopefully.

Walter, the head of the Arbolia Line Company, personally greeted the team and even served them tea as he explained things to them. Mina never was one for tea, but drank it anyway so as not to seem rude. She had her own questions for the man but her guildmates seemed to have the questioning handled.

"Hmm... C'mon, APPA. I wanna check around a bit..." she said to her little droid. She got up and excused herself and, with a quick flick of her tail, turned around to begin her own investigation, with APPA wheeling close behind.

#6
Maeriberii Haan

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"Sir, I understand that this situation is stressful for you. So we need to make sure you told us everything you know about all this. Information is our best shot at handling this situation..."

 

"Right." Walter retained his composure as he replied to Miro's inquiry, but his voice had a sense of defeat to it, though he picked up immediately after. "That is one of the issue we are facing. There is just a complete lack of information about this that we couldn't help but feel anxious about what should be a completely empty threat. I'm afraid that I have nothing else to say here about this part."

 

He still seemed to be reluctant to tell his worries too Miro right now.

 

"You have no need to fear now that I, Percival Crimson, am here!"

 

"A spirited bunch, eh?"

 

"There is something I wish to know. These letters, from where do they arrive? And how? I'd like to see where you find them. For if the blackguard left behind a scent my trusty companion will be able to recognize the smell when we meet the, likely disguised, crook!"

 

"Ah, for that we can provide you with answers. The placement of the letters are always random, but its' always underneath one of the passenger's seat and we usually find it every time our train returns to this city." Walter took a moment to take a deep breath. "We assumed that one of our passengers left it here, but with how many had been going on, our staffs were unable to see if one person kept riding this train over and over. Once you are in the train, I can perhaps ask one of my servants to give you one of the letters, although I fear that the smell would have been dilluted after this long."

 

 "my this is wonderful."

 

"The best herbs, imported right from Dria. I serve only the most exquisite for the sake of our guest, so it is nice to see someone that can appreciate it."

 

"As I was saying, you say these empty threats that you have been receiving started but a month ago, correct? I understand not an immediate reaction, but why have you waited so close to the promised time to act?"

 

"That...really was a mistake on our part." Walter sighed. "At first we are fully convinced that it was just a one-off prank, but the consistency of how these letters are delivered starts to worry us. But it is not until recently that the passengers started to feel wary about this that we realized that we need to deal with this once and for all."

 

 

As Mina left the office and went to the station itself, she would be able to see that it was not as full of people as the hour would have suggested. There were people dragging crates around and some waiting passengers, but in the classically-decorated waiting hall, there seemed to be a  lot less people than normal. Going further, Mina would be able to look at the train itself. The Midgardsomr, the beastly snake that encircles the entire world from the myth of old. It was a great vehicle, far bigger than any ships and airships by length alone, but the actual train itself was very imposing. It was seemingly powered by pure steam from the outside, seeing the several exhaust chimneys right above the locomotive. And the bulk, it was something out of the ordinary. If Mina inspected it more closely, she would find out that a lot of the bulk was actually the train's armored outsides.. It was a vehicle made to go through even the harshest of situations and keep the passengers safe even with the threat of large beasts, so such level of protection might be natural.

 

Not far away from the train, two people were currently arguing about something, loud enough for Mina to hear some of it.

 

"This train is cursed, cursed I say!"

"Oh, not you too James. We have enough of that sort of thinking already. How can you help protecting the train from actual threats when you're this scared about something imaginary?"

The two men continued to argue even if Mina approached them. They didn't seem to wear anything special, but a glint from their waist would show that they were armed by strange-looking swords and firearms.

 


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#7
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It seemed the others weren't dense which was good, though the cat girl had excused herself, perhaps to explore. As they asked more specific questions they got more information out of Walter than Miro himself had managed. The man was still hiding something but he wasn't opening up. The Senki knew from experience that trying to force such things out into the open would be counterproductive if he was still hesitant at this point. Maybe on the train they'd finally get every piece of information. The situation was such that it would be hard to try and do something to inspire confidence without solving the case outright so that was all they could hope for. Miro had finished his tea sooner than intended, all the while unaware of what the dog in the group had attempted with his tail earlier.

"What will our accommodations be like on the train?" he ultimately asked of Walter. He was mainly hoping to have some sort of quiet room he could prepare in while the train traveled. He'd still get all of his customs in regardless but less distractions was better. "And how do we go about investigating the matter without alarming the passengers?" he said turning focus now to his more talkative companions. He didn't really turn to look at them, leaving the scar across his closed eye prominent in their view of him. He leaned back in his chair and folded his arms across his chest, rustling the necklace a touch in the process.

 

"I somehow doubt we can lure them out with decorative language or poetry..." the weasel said, more playfully than he was letting on. He was trying to poke fun at Leif's more formal style of speaking and Percival's habit of exclaiming in a strange style of poem but trying to have fun wouldn't be cool. Making it feel like more of a jab was the appropriate thing to do here in his head.


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#8
Alaina

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Leif continued to sip her tea, making a note as to where to find the leaves that were used in its making, and to a lesser extent paying attention to what he had told her other two compatriots. As Miro made a note about needing to find a way to actually gather information Leif merely said, "well I'm sure if we just ask the passengers directly and they are decent folk they will be forthwith in providing us any information they are aware of." Thinking a bit, the girl's face brightened as she said, "and if they don't then that must mean that they are of a more dubious shade!" Leif nodded to herself, content with this conclusion. Looking back to the man who had tasked them with their job, the girl realized something else before asking, "on the note of the passengers, you claim to have found them in the passenger's seats, correct? Is there any consistency as to who brings these letters to your attention?"


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#9
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Percival wanted to assure Walter that Snow can find even the oldest of scents and to not worry. However his companions surely had more questions and it wouldn't be proper of a hero to unload too much on a distressed...what was the word for what heroes protect? Victim? No, that was too harsh. Bystanders? But Walter was not merely standing by...

 

This puzzle kept the boy occupied but he couldn't stay silent for long. Miro called into question the divine power of poetry! This could not stand! Percival, on the other hand, did stand."Not merely a poem / within my words deep power / Haiku from the gods!" He proclaimed, posing with one hand pointing upwards, to the heavens, and the other outstretched dramatically. "...You will see in time, my friend, that this poetry grants remarkable power upon my person. For within it is the source of the heroic soul of I, Percival Crimson!"

 

He blinked a few times before lowering his hand. He had briefly forgotten what they were here for. "Curses! My apologies, noble sir." Percival said with a bow towards Walter. "I should have waited for your response. I could not resist the call of my heroic blood, it was desperate for me to speak!"

 

Snow, meanwhile, was licking at Leif's hand, looking up at her and trying to signal that he, too, wished for something to drink. He would have asked Percival but he knew his boy would feel even worse about forgetting to get him a drink.


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#10
Maeriberii Haan

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"What will our accommodations be like on the train?"

 

"I could arrange the four of you to be in two separate cabins, two each. Telegram device, top class seating that maximizes your comfort, and we will provide you breakfast, lunch, and dinner when it's time for those. The trip would be long, and it should be 50 hours before the promised time, so I would like you all to feel comfort by treating you as a first-class passenger."

 

"And how do we go about investigating the matter without alarming the passengers?"

 

"Ideally, at night." Walter answered. "Make sure that there are no suspicious activities during nighttimes. At day, you can play around and enjoy the facilities inside instead, while still keeping a close eye to the potential threat, of course."

 

It seemed that Walter was also trying to advertise while answering the trio's questions. Leif was next with her question.

 

"on the note of the passengers, you claim to have found them in the passenger's seats, correct? Is there any consistency as to who brings these letters to your attention?"

 

"We always found it after they're all left the train. When we're cleaning the interior, we always find these letters slipped underneath the seats." Walter's answer was simple. In the meantime, Percival went on his heroic outburst towards Miro's remark, before apologizing to Walter, who simply smiled, clearly trying his best to not laugh.

 

"I should have waited for your response. I could not resist the call of my heroic blood, it was desperate for me to speak!"

 

"As long as you did not announce it like that to the culprit during investigation, I suppose."

 

The trio continued to talk until Mina and A.P.P.A returned from their walk, and they were then told to enter the train. A guide would then lead them to their two rooms, separated by two cars.

 

Train Interior

 

Inside of the room was a wardrobe consisting of clothing change as they were going to be there for at least the next three days. A small table and scarlet seating promised them pure comfort. At the corner of the room was a gramophone, a relatively recent invention that was able to play sounds as if it was a musician with the black plates as its instrument. It seemed that Walter did not lie about the promised top-class accommodation.

 

 

Later that night, the guildmembers would ready themselves for their investigation. The train only had a few passengers this time, even on the lower-class. It seemed that the layout for the train was three cars of first-class cabins interspersed by entertainment and dining cars, then two employee-only cars, and beyond that was second class and lower cabins. For the night, it had been agreed on that the one on the frontmost car would see around the dining car, while the one near the back would visit the second-class accommodations.

 

Team A:
Their search on the dining hall would not bear any fruit. However, when they were inevitably resting, they could hear the sound of a window breaking from their cabin's location. Someone had broken in from the outside, and if the two should give chase, then they would see that the figure would continue running forward to the next cars.

 

Team B:
In the meantime, the other half would have a less stressful time. There were only three people that was seemingly awake on the first car they visited, so perhaps it was best to interview them and ask them questions. The first was a worried-looking man wearing heavy clothing, the other was an elven man, taking two seats on his own due to his wings, and the last was an old woman who was busy knitting even if it was dark there. They would not be able to hear the ruckus coming from the frontt cars.

 

Outside, it was close to midnight. The lights outside showed that they were coming closer to reach the capital city of Taxus in an hour for a momentary stop before they would go nonstop on the voyage to Oriad. If any suspicious person could go under their nose and leave the train, it might end up being dangerous.

 

 

OOC

 


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#11
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Miro seemed satisfied with the answers to this last round of questioning. They would would have rooms which would provide him some semblance of privacy to begin his own preparations. Really it was less about not having others around and just having quiet but a room for two would be quiet enough hopefully. Working at night appealed to him as well. Darkness was a comfort to him where it was unsettling to most others. Eventually the cat-girl returned and it came time for the group to board the train. The Senki was admittedly a bit nervous about it, never having really been on one nor knowing what to expect. But it was nothing so bad that he would let the others detect his discomfort. There was to be some separation between the two rooms, putting the two groups at different parts of the train.

"I'll take the one further up. I'm fast enough to get wherever in time so position is less important." he said to start off the discussion of how to divide the four of them. "It doesn't matter to me which of you comes with me..." he said trying to sound tough again. Ultimately the group decided to split by gender, sending Percival and his dog with Miro. He hadn't paid much attention to the details of that discussion and merely waited for confirmation of who was with him to begin moving toward his room. He had rites to attend to and preparations to make so the sooner he got to them the better.

The room itself was quite interesting. Very red. It wasn't large by human standards but as he wasn't human-sized Miro would be more than comfortable. There was a large window so they'd be able to watch outside as the train moved which interested the weasel. He took quickly to the chair in the back on the right side of the little table they were provided. It proved useful to set his bag down which he would need the contents of in just a moment. He kneeled on the seat of the chair, facing the wall with the window and pulled his scythe from off his back. He set it so that the top of the blade was pressing on the seat and he held it with both hands a bit higher up and seemed to be leaning into it. He closed his one usually open eye and his lips began moving as the softest sounds escaped his lips. He was praying but didn't wish to disturb Percival in the process. Silent or not Senka would hear him so it ultimately mattered very little. This carried on for a minute at most before he set the scythe aside carefully across the table and produced a clay jar from his bag. Upon opening it a fragrant aroma permeated the cabin as the berry-based body paint was exposed.

"I'd apologize for any discomfort you might experience over the next while here but it's important I do this. That said, I guess I can talk during it if you're that eager." Miro said, expecting an earful to come regardless. The discomfort he mentioned seemed confusing at first but was soon clarified as the weasel quickly removed the necklace about his neck and the pants he was wearing. For the moment he was still decent due to the bandage like wrapping but as he had untied a knot in it at the base of his tail before going to find a brush to stir the paint with it seemed clear even that would be coming off soon. At the least he would have his back to his guild mate. He normally wouldn't be so cautious but in the years of exploring human settlements he had quickly encountered how uncomfortable the race was with nudity and he didn't want to make the mission difficult from the beginning by offending a comrade.


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#12
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"As long as you did not announce it like that to the culprit during investigation, I suppose."

 

Percival didn't understand. Was it not the proper thing for a hero to do? Announce himself to the foe and challenge them for glory? He had planned on calling out the villain and force him out of hiding but was that not correct?

 

When their other companion returned, to Snow's great excitement, they moved on. They were to split up into two groups. Percival initially wanted to go with Leif, as he was still nervous about the two new races that he hadn't had much experience with, but they ultimately decided to separate by gender. Partially because he didn't admit his concerns and forced himself to go with Miro to challenge said concern.

 

Snow had been conflicted. On one paw he enjoyed being petted by Leif. On the other something about this Mina person made Snow want to chase her up a tree...But he still needed to catch Miro's tail. And his human was going with said tail as well so he ambled after the pair as they moved into the train itself.

 

Percival stared, wide-eyed, at the interior of the compartment. It was so red and...lavish. "A world of crimson / My power flows freely here / Suitable haven." He approved.

 

He watched Miro out of the corner of his eye as he went about some sort of ritual. He was curious as to what was going on, but he didn't wish to disturb him, so when Miro spoke the boy startled.

 

"Ah, well, never fear! Nothing can disturb my mental fortitude and nothing can throw me off!" And then the weasel stripped. Percival wasn't sure how he should feel. Miro was animal-like, sure, but so was Mina and if she did this...well that would be uncomfortable. So that's why Miro had said that...

Percival found himself looking at the door instead. "Your weapon." He said, trying to sound casual. "I've not seen such an unusual choice, is it not unwieldy?"

 

Snow on the other hand wasn't as disturbed. He crept forward, eyes on Miro's pants, which looked quite...chew-able.


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#13
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Miro almost had to laugh at the declaration and how the self-proclaimed hero had attempted to save face despite obviously being thrown. With a quick motion the wrapping was rolled up into a neat coil about his hand that he set on the table with this other things, leaving the weasel fully exposed at this point. He turned his head to the side slightly to let his open eye see that the man had turned to looking at the door, clearly confused with the situation. But he did his best to recover and shifted conversation to the Senki's weapon. This same motion let Miro see that Snow wasn't bothered by the naked weasel in front of him but seemed to be eyeing something. Following the line of focus it seemed to be his pants. As such he grabbed and folded the pants and set them down by his side, putting a foot over it to safeguard it. He didn't need his things being chewed up. His large fluffy tail swayed about a bit more energetically as Miro always felt better when he got to the body painting ceremony.  He dipped the brush into the deep red paint and began brushing about his navel, staining the off-white fur the red color.

"Tch..." came the initial response to the idea of his weapon being unusual. "My Kosa only behaves itself when wielded by a trained warrior. Whether my hands, feet, or tail holds it, its movements are natural to me now. A part of me even." the Senki said, bragging a bit about his coordination with the weapon. "We aren't trained to fight with scythes for as you say they are unusual for a direct confrontation. We use them to kill. The scythe can only take life when it moves towards you. Just as Senka gave us Senki life, so death comes for all of us sooner or later. When we take life we must remember that death is always nearby. Our own hands bring the fatal blade ever closer to our necks and yet we live while our foes die." he exposited while he continued his brush strokes about his body. There was a spiral of sorts centered on his belly button, with various symbols written around them. He moved on to the rest of his front side, adding lines and other symbols pointing their way toward the navel. As he needed to paint his back as well, his tail wrapped around the brush end to assist his efforts.

"Everything I do is to remind me of my creator, the Great Spirit Senka. How I fight, how I pray, this body painting and everything else. Clothes too are largely ceremonial for us. Senka gave me this body and I have taken good care of it. I am not ashamed of showing any part of it to anyone. I wear them more than required to appease human sensitivities yet I doubt I'll ever fully understand them." he continued, seeming almost eager to let another understand him and his people more. But in a not-interested-cool-guy sort of way of course. His painting continued, spreading marks quite literally all over his body except for his tail up to this point. He looked a bit more fearsome with the red markings in place. Less soft and more ready to pounce. Perhaps it was the markings about his eyes or just the presentation of a painted naked weasel-person in general. He turned some and sat on the seat now as his tail wrapped around from behind him and lay across his lap, making him as decent as he could be at the moment. In this position he began painting his tail too but as his fur transitioned to a darker gray here it became harder to see the markings against the background. Still he seemed to be paying great attention to it.

"You keep staring at the door like that and you'll strain your neck." he said with another soft laugh. He didn't expect the human would ever look his way until he'd dressed himself again. And that would be fine if he had any plans to do so before their night patrol was ended. But seeing as he didn't he was hoping Percival would at least be able to look in his general direction or their determined task of investigating the dining car that evening might prove difficult.


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#14
God Emperor Cow

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Percival's eyes widened slightly as he listened to Miro's words and he had to stop himself from instinctively clutching his sword's hilt. The way Miro spoke...he was describing an assassin! A dishonorable killer of the shadows. And not just an assassin but one from some sort of cult! Is such a dangerous person really his companion? But if they were allies would that not mean he was safe...No, no, that is not the problem here. It was not heroic to fight in such a manner. Fighting alongside Miro might not be the path to heroism...

 

Though as he was telling Percival all of this perhaps it was not as serious as he was thinking. Still, he would have to be on his guard. There was no telling what someone of that nature could do...

 

"Being of shadows / My sword strikes with truth and light / A strange partnership" Taking a breath he turned back to Miro. His companion thought it funny that he looked away. Such cowardice could not be tolerated. He would face this head on. "It seems you and I have different fighting styles. Is it not glorious to clash with your foe face to face, blade to blade, in a contest of skill and determination?"

 

As Percival spoke Snow was eyeing the pants that was so rudely taken from him. He let out a huff, almost a sigh, and slumped onto the ground. He wondered what the two were talking about. It clearly wasn't about letting him chew on anything though. Perhaps if he was patient something would drop down....Or perhaps Miro would turn and he would be able to have a second round with that tail.


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#15
Draggo

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A genuinely surprised look shot across the weasel's face as Percival turned to face him after another poem and dramatic breath. It almost seemed like he was psyching himself up. Miro was impressed but he couldn't let that show for too long. The man clearly seemed to think less of his style of fighting. And of course he would. This man was obsessed with being a hero. That meant being noticed where the entire goal of the Senki was to never be noticed in combat. He moved his tail up and off his lap so he could paint the other side but also to test the man's brave front without shielding anything from his eyes.

"Had I the strength of a man perhaps I would agree. But I was blessed with agility and dexterity, not brute force. I am in fact a being of shadows as you said. We Senki were created from Senka's shadow and thus moving and fighting in the dark is to honor our origins." Miro said, curious how it was this was the conversation he was having. Few before Percival had questioned his sense of honor or even his weapon for that matter. Most perhaps simply didn't want to dive into a world they knew nothing about. But then it made sense how this was happening as this human seemed all about rashly charging into the unknown. It was amusing to say the least.

Eventually the Senki warrior would finish his painting of his body and he stood to look himself over to make sure he'd done it well. This process involved him turning about several times, bringing the end of his tail dangerously close to Snow more than once. He made sure all his belongings were neatly packed away and out of the animal's reach of course. He seemed satisfied with his work but he was even now so used to having another of his kind close by to tell him what to improve on the next time that he spoke out of habit.

"Well, what do you think?" he said to Percival before catching himself. Well, that wasn't what he meant to do but it was a bit too late for that now. It wasn't all bad. Another opportunity to make a human uncomfortable didn't seem like a bad deal to him.

 

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Eventually night came and the group was to investigate the dining car of the train. Riding the train to this point had been rather enjoyable for the weasel as he quite enjoyed watching the world move past them so fast. He said another quick prayer before grabbing his scythe and nothing else. The unclothed Senki led the way, wanting to be the first to see anything out of the ordinary. By apprehending the culprits on the first night he would bring honor to himself and his people as well as establish his worth to the guild. At least, that was the idea. But there was just one problem with this idea. That being, there was nothing happening.

The dining room car was dull and uneventful. No one was up to anything except the two guild members. Miro began questioning why he'd even undergone all of his preparations if there was to be nothing happening. At the least the marks would last the rest of his time on the train but it still was disappointing. Still he kept his senses sharp, expecting something to happen any moment. But the longer the search went on the more relaxed he became. When he and Percival both concluded there was nothing else to do they returned to their provided room to rest for the evening. If nothing was going to happen the Senki decided he'd probably get dressed again in the morning to finally let Percival relax as well as to not alarm any guests if he moved about the train during the day. Miro curled up on one of the seats, showing both amazing flexibility and taking up as little room as possible to ensure the human and dog had room to rest as well. He used no blanket for his tail curled up around him to serve that function.

It wasn't long before a sound disturbed his rest. Something was breaking. Was it glass? These windows seemed fairly sturdy so it seemed hard to think a guest had broken a window on accident. Maybe this was the maker of the threats finally making his move. The weasel shot up in his seat, reaching for his scythe in the process. As he exited the room Miro did somethind dramatic. He opend his other eye. Better peripheral vision and some depth perception felt very important to the task at hand. After looking down both ends of the car he caught a shadow running toward one of the other cars.

"There!" he called and pointed before taking off running after the person.


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#16
God Emperor Cow

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Percival hadn't expected the response he was given. It was true that Miro's stature was much smaller...It was difficult to try and think about what fighting must be like for one such as him. He didn't know how to handle that thought, it was too...alien to him.

 

He was given something else to think about soon. Miro asking him what he thought of the markings. Truly, Percival didn't know what to think. Not only was he a poor judge of art but this was also a kind of art he hadn't seen before, if it even was art, so he merely answered in the only way he could. Though with much side-glances and hesitation.

 

"Markings of power / The warrior now prepares / A fitting tribute"

He was disappointed. While they patrolled the dining car Percival was pumping himself up. He had a feeling, no, an certainty, that they would find something during their time here. Surely the villain would be drawn out by his heroic presence would they not? In order to face him in a dramatic showdown of good versus evil.

 

Yet, there was nothing. Percival was downtrodden. Though Snow seemed content with having his belly rubbed as Percival sat on the floor.

 

The noise alerted them all and, after a glance at Miro, Percival was on his feet and following the not-weasel out. Miro identified the intruder within moments and gave chase.

 

Percival could not fall behind. And so he followed Miro in chasing the mysterious intruder, his heart racing with a combination of excitement and...no, no, just excitement!

 

He clicked his tongue to signal Snow and called out one word, "Danger!"

 

As he did Snow's demeanor changed. He ceased his panting and grew more tense. His eyes, previously docile and, to be blunt, unintelligent, now had a sharp and observant look to them.

He was not Snow, Percival's buddy and pet, he was Snow, hunter and protector.

 

Percival smiled. He almost felt bad for whoever this was. He now faced the hero and his stalwart companion! "Halt, villain!" Percival called out. "Face your fate! Your cowardice betrays you!"


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#17
Alaina

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With the group entering the train, they soon had to split off from one another, going into groups of two based off gender. Leif gave a short wave to Miro, Snow and Percival as they left for their own respective train car. With the group being split into pairs, Leif had only felt more motivated to find the culprit. After all, it gave her all the more opportunity to prove her true skills and bring the criminal to justice herself! Of course, the first step was making sure she was on pleasant terms with her partner. Looking over to the cat girl she was with, Leif's expression seemed a bit too gungho as she said, "a pleasure to be working with you for this Mina."  

 

As the group made their way into their own respective cars, it seemed to be relatively empty, with only three people actually still sitting in it as this hour. While the trio seemed to be busy with their own activities, merely minding their own business, Leif had other plans in mind. "Hello fellow travelers!" The girl proclaimed, a wide smile on her face. "It is my, Leif's, pleasure to be accompanying you on this train ride, and with so much time to kill before our next stop, I figured what better way to do so then getting to know each other, doesn't that sound like a grand idea? So, what may I call you all?" The girl had a basic understanding that what she was doing was rude, however she were a knight. It would be more rude to simply wait and let a chance at justice pass her by. And thus, she stood there proudly with an expression that said she would not take no for an answer, awaiting the train car people to respond. 


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#18
Wind Rider

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Nothing seemed to be wrong in the station, save for two worker who were arguing with each other. Mina shrugged her arms. "Doesn't look like anything is wrong, come on APPA." she said heading back to the train. And not a moment to soon as they were about to leave. She quickly got on, with APPA wheeling right behind her. As time passed, it was clear that the group could cover more ground if they split up. Miro, Percival, and Snow left for the front train cars, leaving Mina and Leif to deal with the back cars.

"A pleasure to be working with you for this Mina." Leif said in an overly enthusiastic way. Mina simply nodded and followed her to the back car. Not that many people seemed to be in the car with them, only three others were sat down minding their own business. Mina was prepared to ask a few questions around the car, until Leif blurted out to the entire car. "Hello fellow travelers!" The girl proclaimed, a wide smile on her face. "It is my, Leif's, pleasure to be accompanying you on this train ride, and with so much time to kill before our next stop, I figured what better way to do so then getting to know each other, doesn't that sound like a grand idea? So, what may I call you all?"

"A bit too... Enthusiastic there, Leif..." Mina said kneeling down to APPA. "See if you can find anything weird, buddy..." she asked. The little automaton started to do just that, as it rolled around the car.

#19
Maeriberii Haan

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Team A:

Both Miro and Percival gave chase to the mysterious figure. The figure was fast, but at the same time they were not supernaturally so. The two thus would be able to corner the figure as they were trying to move towards the train conductor's room in the locomotive itself. Before the two they would see a young boy, that couldn't be older from 10 according to his appearance. It would betray his appearance from before, who seemingly was of a man in his 20s.

 

"Would you look at it? You can't stop what is inevitable, dear mister. Forty two hours from now, the snake that encircles the world will be vanquished by the Gods, as it should be."

 

The boy laughed as he said so, before he snapped his fingers, which caused smokes to flood the area for a moment before he disappeared into nowhere. A scream could be heard from the first-class cars at that time, and should they check the window where the boy was supposed to come in from, they would see that it was somehow was untouched, remaining as sturdy as always.

 

On the distance, lights were visible. They were close to the capital city now.

 

OOC

 

 

Team B:

Leif's attempt to take the trio's attention were responded by sneers (primarily coming from the elven man) before they ignored her in favor of their own business. Both Mina and Leif would be able to see that the once-worried man became more relaxed with their presence however, now actively trying to get some sleep. The elven man in the meantime was focusing his sight to the outside, while the grandmother continued to knit. It seemed that if they would want to get any information from them, they would have to talk to them personally.

 

APPA in the meantime would travel around the car, looking around for things that could help. It didn't take long before it stumbled upon a letter underneath one of the empty seats, and it would soon hurry to reach Mina to show its finding.

 

OOC

 


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#20
Draggo

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The figure running about the train seemed quick for a human but nothing unreasonable. Miro was easily able to gain on him as they moved toward the conductor's room. Was the person attempting to hijack the train? Taking over the controls seemed a sure way to ensure its destruction. But as the intruder was ultimately cornered by Miro arriving then Snow and finally Percival, something seemed off. The weasel was sure the one they'd been chasing had been bigger than this. He hadn't seen it long but there seemed no way a human this small could have cast a shadow so large. In fact this human seemed to be a child. There was no way he could have broken the window. Miro held his scythe out, holding the blunt edge close to the cornered runner. But the words he then spake conveyed no sense of loss at having been caught. The boy spoke of the inevitable. The gods would destroy this train. That seemed absurd but then the weasel had to remind himself some worshiped deities other than Senka. He readied his weapon to strike as the boy moved to snap his fingers and as the blade swung through there was nothing but a cloud of smoke. Miro held and arm up to his face, coughing a bit in light of the smoke filling the room as he attempted to blow it away some.

"What in the world..." he started from disbelief at having not hit anything. The boy seemed to have literally evaporated into nothing. But almost immediately a scream sounded from back in the first class cars. "He can't have gotten there already." he asserted. The Senki understood speed. Moving that fast was unheard of. Regardless it seemed the scream was their best bet to follow for now and so Miro began running at a more relaxed pace as there was no immediate target. Percival had decided to leave Snow behind to continue searching the area, a move Miro understood little of, but regardless things weren't making sense. It only worsened when the window the sound of breaking glass seemed to have come from was still in one piece.

Upon bursting into the first class car, the duo was met with a sight of people. Three of them, clustered around something in the middle of the room. There was a body hanging from the lamp fixed to the ceiling. But the way it looked it resembled the boy they had just been chasing. His instinct was to move toward the body to confirm the victim. There were three humans gathered. One a young looking man who looked to be working on the train. Another was a woman whose accessories and dress spoke to her wealth. The last was an older man who seemed upset. As Miro approached the three would of course be somewhat startled at the sight of him. But he needed a better look at the body. To the best he could tell it was in fact the boy they had just cornered. Here he was, dead as fast as he'd snapped his fingers.

"Damn indecent subhuman." the old man was quick to interject at the sight of the naked weasel before him. A look of irritation flashed across Miro's face. He was fine with humans being uncomfortable with his lack of clothing, it didn't bother him regardless but that was beside the point. But the need to call out his not being human as if he were an inferior creature because of it. Due to the circumstances he had no time to address it but that didn't stop him from intentionally moving his tail in such as a way as to make sure the old man's view of him was unobstructed. He continued searching the body and found a marking on the back of the boy's neck. The symbol meant little to him.

"What happened here?" he questioned the three. But the old man seemed intent on not interacting with him and the woman seemed too startled. Perhaps Percival would have an easier time interacting with them. So that left the train employee. "Did you see what happened?" he asked the man with a tone he hoped conveyed enough confidence as to get a fast response. Luckily the waiter seemed unaffected enough by his appearance and did in fact respond.

"I don't know what's going on here. This kid was one of the third-class passengers he must have come here alone but this..." he trailed off before turning his focus to everyone present. "I must ask that everyone here speak nothing of this to anyone until we know what's happening. We need to get the body into a storage room for the time being."

Miro backed off after taking another look at the body and the people here. None of them seemed particularly prone to something like this. And there was still the matter of how the child had gotten here so fast. He would wait for Percival to go about his business in the room and perhaps get something else out of the others present who wouldn't speak to him. Every time he caught the old man's glance there was a look of disgust on his face. It made the Senki sick to his stomach to see unfounded hate.

"Tch..." came the typical noise while Percival conducted his hero's interrogations. 


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