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[CHQ] Narrow Margin

Cherry Heart Trains Investigation Choo Choo

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#21
God Emperor Cow

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The villain was a child!? Percival couldn't fight a child could he? There was nothing heroic about beating up a little kid...Though Snow's growls caused Percival to wonder if this child wasn't all they appeared. After all the figure had seemed to be...larger before.

 

They were not given much time to act as the boy vanished after giving a rather cryptic message. What do gods have to do with a train?

 

The scream that tore through the train took both of the guild members attention away from the mysterious disappearance. "Snow, stay here my comrade. Alert me if you find anything unusual. I'm counting on you!"

 

The dog put his nose to the floor and began sniffing about. Searching for the scent of the boy who had just been here.

With that the two headed towards the direction of the scream...

 

"But how!" The boy from before...dead? Even with magic this shouldn't be possible. One moment he was alive in front of him. The next this? There had to be some foul play involved here... Percival's hand went to his eyepatch. But no! It was not the time for that...

 

There was only a small group that was nearby. The train worker was speaking with Miro which left the other two for Percival. He knew he should at least check the body but looking at it stirred up...

In any case Percival looked between the woman and old man. The latter's attitude had bothered Percival. Not only for its rudeness but also the suspicious way he seemed more concerned about the fact that Miro wasn't human than the dead boy.

 

So Percival approached him, standing tall and proud, and proclaimed. "Heart full of hatred / A life has just been snuffed out / Show proper respect!"

 

Upon saying this he crossed his arms in front of his body. "I am the great hero, Percival Crimson, and this crime must not go unpunished. How did this body get here and what were you doing when it appeared!?"


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#22
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"The hell are you up to boy?" The old man was not amused by Percival's antics. In the meantime, the train employee remained while the young woman excused herself, not being able to stand the sight of the body anymore.  The old man was tense, and his mood didn't improve when Percival asked his question to him.

 

"Like hell would I know! I was trying to sleep when a loud shattering sound happened, and when I go out of my room, this boy's already hanging here. I was the last one to come here, just ask the other two." The old man coughed. "Listen, I am here on a very important business, and if you and your furred friend keep putting your nose on me, then I'll give you a lesson you will not forget."

With a disgusted hmph, the old man attempted to leave the scene. 

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Maybe leaving things to Percival wasn't the most sound strategy after all. Miro watched as his guild mate rebuked the older gentleman with a poem then introduced himself as a hero before demanding information from the two passengers. He sighed softly and shook his head some at the display, figuring it would do little to get the people present talking. He took note of the woman leaving the room, apparently too disturbed by the sight of a dead body to bear it much longer. She had to know something but she'd yet to speak. The weasel's eyes narrowed as he focused on her path. He felt to follow her. However the older man cut in, shifting Miro's focus for a bit.

He explained a loud shattering noise had woken him and once he came out the boy was here. It seemed odd given they'd had to chase the boy after the sound but then perhaps this man just took a bit to get moving. They had been pretty quick to corner the child before his disappearing act. Furthermore the man claimed he was here on important business and threatened the two of them should they continue to bother him. He seemed committed to pointing out the Senki's not being a human as often as possible which only served to further irritate Miro. The man turned to leave, seeing as he felt he had nothing left to say or offer to the situation. The employee had stayed, no doubt deciding the best place to move the body to for the trip. He stepped up close to Percival's side, the man towering over his small form in this proximity, and spoke of what he felt they should do.

"That woman never said a word. She has to know something. I'll go after her. If you wanna come with me I won't stop you. She might more readily talk to you anyway. Though maybe you ought to check the back of the boy's neck first. It had a strange mark I didn't recognize on it, but I wouldn't know much about human rituals like that." he said in a hushed tone, attempting to keep the employee and departing old man out of their business. He doubted his partner would reciprocate the covert approach but he had to stay true to form. Regardless his eyes were set back in the direction the woman had left. He began walking that direction, feeling he'd be able to catch up to her despite the slower pace. It would be better to not alarm her further and a nude, scyth-wiedling weasel person charging down the car toward her was more than likey to do just that.


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#23
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Leif's face scrunched in slight discontent as her statement was met with nothing but the sneering of others. It had seemed her investigation had already hit a snag, as it were, and would require an even more active approach. Turning to her fellow guild member, she said, "perish the thought Mina, I believe I haven't been enthusiastic enough yet. How else can you explain them being so indifferent?" Nodding as her own logic seemed to check out to her. Looking between the trio of passengers, Leif had figured that the eldery woman was both probably the easiest to talk to and the one she wished to talk to the most, being somewhat interested in the project she knitting at the moment. And so, walking over to the woman, Leif had sat down on the opposite side of her. "Hello there madam, I couldn't help but notice that you were doing some knitting and I was very curious as to what it was for."

 

"Aahh..." The woman didn't look at Leif and continued to be engrossed in her work, but she seemed to notice her. "It was for a gift for my nephew. His birthday is in a few days, after all."

 

"Oh, how lucky he must be then!" Leif clapped her hands together. "I presume that they also live at one of our stops then?"

 

"Indeed, they live in the kingdom of Caeth in Oriad, actually. They usually don't like humans to pass, but I know a way to get in there without making a fuss." The old woman giggled to herself before she stopped knitting and pulling something out of her bag. It was a felt doll, shaped like a bird. "Here, do you want it? I have several, but my nephew don't really like this sort of birds."

 

"Oh, truly? I would be delighted to," Leif examined the small bird doll with simple curiosity. "But Caeth, you say? That is quite the distance. Though I am unsure if it is wise for one such as yourself to be traveling with the rumors surrounding this train."

 

"For one of my age, there should not be any reason to worry about such trivial thing such as death." The old woman returned to knitting. "But I do feel worried. It is not something that the trainworkers would tell you, but when the train passed the ocean, it is often reported and rumored that it took several hours faster or longer than normal for the trip, even if there was no actual obstacle that needs to be handled. I wonder if it has something to do with faulty engine...?"

 

"Hm, that is quite curious." Leif stated, as she examined the doll some more. Then, putting her hand to her chest she declared, "well, you needn't fear my wizened woman! For so long as I, Leif - uh, -um," she paused for a moment, realizing that she had never actually come up with a fake last name to use. Shaking her head, trying not to dwell on it much longer, she continued, "for so long as I Leif am on this train, no harm shall befall the good people on board!"

 

"Then I entrust my life to you, Lady Leif." The old woman stopped knitting and smiled at her.

 

With a simple nod, the girl got out of the seat, and returned to where Mina was. Looking at the cat girl, with a cheery smile on her face, she said, "what a pleasant woman she was. And look, I even got this." She presented the bird doll proudly. "Isn't it just the cutest thing?" 


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#24
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Percival was taken aback by the old man's rage. Important business? That was rather curious, Percival must admit. "Someone with important business being at the scene of the crime. Surely, this villain did this where you could see on purpose, perhaps they wish to disrupt your business!" He felt pretty proud of his deductive, to his eyes, and somewhat haphazard reasoning.

 

Percival would not stop the old man from leaving whether or not he responded to his statement. However that didn't mean he had nothing to think on. His companion was going to follow the woman who had not spoken, and asked that Percival check the body.

 

As he did Snow came into the room, sniffing at the floor, until he came to the body. He perked up and looked to Percival in confusion.

 

Which meant... The scent from the one they chased truly was the boy. Percival gestured towards the three people in the room and Snow sniffed the air around them. He didn't seem to find anything unusual, which would imply that they had come from their rooms as they said.

 

Percival sighed. This meant that the only thing he had left to do...was check the body. He hadn't wanted to. That was a corpse. A once living person...But no, he had to! It would not be heroic to be frightened by a body!

 

Taking a deep breath to calm his nerves he made his way to the boy and checked the boy's neck, as Miro directed. It resembled a wolf's pawprint, albeit a stylized one, and something felt vaguely familiar about it...Something he had seen in his old guild. But he wasn't quite sure what.

"Vexing mysteries / An enemy in shadows / Something is missing...."


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#25
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"Perish the thought Mina, I believe I haven't been enthusiastic enough yet. How else can you explain them being so indifferent?" Mina stood there with a small smile on her face, it was nice to work with someone who had a nicer outlook on a quest. She watched as Leif sat down with the old woman and started to chat with her. "Hm... Maybe simple talking will get us somewhere..." writing that down, mentally, Mina walked over and sat by the winged elf.

"My name is Mina. Might I have your name, sir?" she asked politely.

"The name's Erasmus. What sort of business do you have with me?" he seemed to be a bit annoyed over her walking over to him.

"I'm just passenger trying pass the time... I've been little scatterbrained recently..." she tried to act like a normal passenger. "If you don't mind me asking, have you had any problems with the owners of this train system?" she asked.

"What are you talking about? This is my first time." The man paused for a moment afterwards. "Although, I suppose there is that one time earlier that the waiter was being unreasonable."

So that was a no then. Mina glanced past the man and noticed that Leif was having better time with her chat. "Do you know anything about the threats the train station has been getting?" she asked.

"Oh yeah, I'm aware. I'm not too worried, though."

"Why aren't you worried your life could be in danger? I am. What if something actually happens to this train?" she said.

"You heard this sort of things all the time everywhere. At my age it's not all that scary anymore. Empty threats keeps being repeated, wanting to fish for responses." So he was an "actions speak louder than words" type of guy.

"So... You think it's just some cruel prank then?"

"What else would it be? If I were to destroy this train for one reason or another, I won't announce it first and giving an opening for people to ruin my plans." It didn't seem like she was gonna get anything else out of Erasmus.

"Hm... Well I guess that is... A little reassuring... Sorry to bother you..." she said getting up and bowing apologetically. She walked back over a stood at the back of the car. Leif came over after a minute. "What a pleasant woman she was. And look, I even got this." She presented a bird doll proudly to Mina. "Isn't it just the cutest thing?" Mina crossed her arms and had her head down.

"At least you got something... That elf didn't seem to like my presence..." she said glancing back at him. She felt a tug on her pant leg and looked down. It was APPA, and he had what looked like a letter in his little robo claw. "What do you got there, APPA?" she asked as she took the letter.

#26
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Team A

 

By the time Miro could catch up, the woman had already entered her cabin, and had locked the door. He could perhaps break in at this point, but before he could do it, the loud train whistle would ring, signalling that they were now in the great capital city of Taxus. It didn't seem that the woman would leave in this stop at least, so Miro could mark this place as a room of interest and return here later.

 

Meanwhile, as they reached the station stop, two train staffs, one male and one female, visited Percival and asked him to let them store the body before any new passengers see it. Further examination would be possible, but unless Percival argued about keeping the body for himself, the body would be stored in a harder to reach place than before.

 

 

Team B

 

Content of the letter

 

Ultimately, they didn't manage to get much aside from the letter and what the two people had said regarding the matter. The train would come into a halt soon, and several people would come and fill the seats. It was not enough to make the train car full, but it became noticeably livelier inside, including the presence of a few families traveling together.

 

 

"The train will be stopping in Taxus for two hours. For your midnight dinner, our affiliated restaurant just next to the station would be a good place to visit..."

Or so the announcement that everyone would hear sounded. This two hours break would be a good time to regroup and discuss the information that the group had so far. Or, perhaps they could do something else in the meantime, and investigate the matter further in fear of losing suspects or potential information.

 

In the meantime, the faint howl of a wolf could be heard echoing through the station, with people unsure about what it really meant for the time being.

 

OOC

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#27
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Percival let out a shudder as he stood up from the body. It certainly was not something he was eager to investigate further. And so, shamefully, he didn't argue when the workers wanted to take the body away. He was glad to see it gone. And that moment of cheer was pierced through with the vile feeling of disappointment in oneself.

-----

His cheer returned as he met up with his companions once more. Seeing Leif especially caused him joy. He had no need to worry with his stalwart companions by his side!

 

"A tragic event / Mysteries in mysteries / Death surrounds us" He began ominously before diving into the tale of their exploits so far. With much exaggeration, of course.

Such as..."The villain was as fast as a gazelle, it took all our speed to keep up with him."

And, "The body was found in the company of suspicious figures, villains could be surrounding us on all sides, I fear this task may prove even more dangerous than we could have imagined."

His explanation faltered slightly when describing the mark and that, of all the things, was the most clear and concise of all his explanation.

 

"Sadly we are no further in our investigation and tragedy has already struck. Even one death is too much for a hero to allow. When this villain is caught he will face my blade!"

 

The howling noise concerned Percival and, as soon as he heard it, he crouched beside Snow, who had been staring at Mina the whole time, and put a hand on his head. "My friend, I ask that you investigate this noise. It may be dangerous but I know you are up to the task!...Do not try anything rash, though I know your heroic soul would want to leap into action, but if you find anything you must let me know posthaste!"


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#28
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Miro was disappointed to see he had been too slow in following the woman. She had entered her cabin with seemingly no intent of leaving soon or allowing for company. Perhaps that was for the better. Still he marked the cabin in his memory, determined to find its occupant some time later to get her side of the story. He doubted she was involved in any way but any piece of information had to be helpful in sorting out what had happened. There wasn't much to be done at this point but regroup with Percival and maybe even the others. Who knows what could have happened on the other end of the train.

The train had stopped and an announcement sounded saying there would be a two hour break to accompany it. It seemed odd to do something like this in the dead of night, the serving of a meal more especially. The weasel hadn't counted on the busy air of the train returning to life some during the evening. People were moving on and off, and he had no way of knowing which of them were involved with the threats to the train or the child who had been killed. He quickly got several strange and concerned looks from some of the humans boarding. They appeared to be families and parents were directing their children to not look at him. He knew what it was about and sighed some as his tail wrapped around his lower waist once, making him somewhat decent. Better to not trouble the passengers, or his other teammates for that matter.

Miro converged with the others and stood quietly while leaning up against a wall with his arms crossed, typical cool-guy style. His tail was still in place from before in case either Leif or Mina were less than welcome to fully exposed and painted senki in their faces. Percival's explanation had a lot of unneeded flair to it and it lacked essential details.

"We heard the sound of glass breaking and saw a man running through the train. When we caught him it was somehow a boy who vanished into smoke when we tried to apprehend him. The next thing we knew the same boy was dead just a car over and the window we'd heard break wasn't so much as cracked. An old man and a woman were there but only the man spoke and seemed irritated dealing with us." he said calmly to fill in the holes left by the eccentric hero. A howl sounded which caught the weasel's attention. He stood up straighter and turned his head toward the sound as if trying to locate it better. He'd long shut his scarred over eye when the tension on the train had lessened but much more important were his ears to this matter. Snow would be sent to investigate which was perhaps for the best.

"Anything as grim or mysterious on your end?" he questioned of the girls before resuming his original position.


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#29
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Leif seemed to have a bit of a shocked expression on her face as her and Mina read the letter, specifically designated towards them. It was a threat, both towards the train and the lives of her and her fellow guild members. Moreover, it seemed that whoever was sending this letter was well acquainted with the guild from the past - Leif was not aware this guild had much of a history at all. All the same, it was something clearly from their adversary, and Leif was not about to let this slight against justice just pass by. "Well Mina, at least we are affirmed in our thoughts that the villain is on board. Good job on finding the letter..." she trailed off as she looked towards Mina's curious looking...pet? She wasn't quite sure what to call the thing, and made no effort to hide the confusion on her face before saying,"well, let us reconvene with the others for now at least." 

 

It didn't take long for the two girls to meet up with their fellow guild mates, and as they did they seemed to have a lot to tell about their own events. Leif seemed to have a curious smile on her face as Percival explained what they had happened, though it looked more like she was enjoying a story then actually getting some kind of factual debriefing. She nodded as Miro went into more detail, actually understanding what the events they went through much better now, she said, "well, it certainly sounded like you had a strange time where you were. Mina and I merely had a few pleasant conversations with some of the passengers. I, myself, spoke with a darling elderly woman who gave me this little trinket." She pulled out the stuffed bird doll with a strange amount of pride in her expression.

 

Clearing her throat she then said, "but yes, she had something interesting to say. Outside of her family visit, the woman told me about how their seemed to be some kind of stalling once the train starts to cross the ocean. She believed it to be maybe some kind of engine fault. In addition, we found a letter, one addressed to us specifically issuing a threat to us." She gestured to Mina to show the duo the letter in full. "Fear not, however, for it means the villainous cur is aboard the train, and when we find them, they shall not be safe from my own blade of justice as well!" The girl smiled contently to herself as she said this, only then to look around curiously as she heard a howl. "My Snow, you sound so far away," the girl absentmindedly said, only to then realize that the white wolf was not the source of the noise, as Percival told him to go investigate it. 


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#30
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Percival frowned as Miro explained what he had already told. "My version was better..." He muttered, somewhat sullenly, before snapping back to attention as Leif spoke.

His sullenness did not last long. For as soon as Leif made mention of blade of justice, Percival stood taller and proclaimed. "Indeed! None can possibly stand in our way. This mystery was as good as solved the moment that I, Percival Crimson, was assigned to it! Oh, and, Leif?" He said, rubbing the back of his neck nervously. "Er, that's a nice trinket you got there." He finished lamely.

 

The group then began to make plans of what they should do. In the end they decided to separate into two groups. One of which would go and check around the passengers more, especially that woman that Miro had failed to get information out of earlier. The other would go to the engine to investigate any potential foul play. The first group would include Miro, who knew where the woman was, and Leif, who seemed the best at actually talking to these people.

 

Which left Mina, whom apparently was good with machines, as she sent one such machine to check on Snow, despite Percival's insistence he was fine, to go with Percival to the engine.

 

While the young man thought he would be best suited getting information, as his heroic aura would surely drive people to talk, he realized that it was more likely the villain themselves would show up at the engine.

 

"Pivotal engine / Without it we are all lost / Guardian needed"


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#31
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The girls had found a letter addressed to them of the guild in particular from those threatening the train. Miro looked it over carefully to make sure he was understanding it well. They apparently had no intent to kill them but rather show there was little point in fighting them. There was a threat for the twentieth hour which combined with the information Leif had gathered about engine faults, the idea of a sabotage of the engine came to mind. No doubt the others had put the idea together for as the group continued discussing they decided on sending the mechanically skilled Mina to watch over the engine room with Percival to help fend off any would be attackers or saboteurs. This left the Senki with Leif, who seemed capable of getting these other humans to speak with her. But then it made sense they would more openly talk to another of their kind. Hopefully the woman who had been at the scene of the boy's death would be willing to share now that some time had passed. With the plan settled on, the group was ready to split up again. But Miro turned to the two he would not be accompanying briefly.

"Should something go wrong, do something to signal us. A long, loud whistle or something to that effect. I'll be by your sides faster than you'll realize." he said, clearly not ashamed of his speed. "Not that I expect the hero to need my help." he said playfully with regard to Percy's consistent declarations. The young warrior shifted his scythe in his hands some before departing with the human woman.

As they walked he let his tail lazily unwrap itself without much thought for Leif or the other humans aboard the train. Miro took point as he knew the way to woman's car the two would be heading to first. His companion still perplexed him some. Something about the way she carried herself confused the weasel. It was difficult to grasp just how seriously she was interacting with the world around her when she seemed to take most things with remarkable calm.

"So, what made you want this kind of life?" he questioned her suddenly while they went their way. They passed another family who looked at Miro with some alarm before returning to whatever they were doing. "From what I understand, human women tend to enjoy the activities of a guild a fair bit less than the men. But you seem pretty alright with being on a train ride you might not survive." he said as if to remind himself they had very little to go on and a very imminent threat. Most of his knowledge consisted of generalizations and a few specific individuals he'd met and interacted with in various human settlements in recent years. Percival, while louder than he had thought, didn't seem all that outside what he'd heard of young human men. They were adventurous and always ready for a fight. But he'd heard much different things of the women. Why Leif would seek out a life of fighting, crimes solving and whatever other dangerous tasks a guild might take conflicted with the ideas he had.


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#32
Alaina

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Leif clapped her hands together as the plans were made, saying, "marvelous! Best of luck in your journeys my comrades." With that, the group had split off from one another, leaving Leif with the weasel man, Miro, on their quest to speak to a woman. As they made their way through the train, Miro eventually spoke up, asking the self proclaimed knight in training about her life choices. Looking up, the girl mused to herself, "well, I suppose it is true. Most of the most storied of knights and heroes are male." Looking to Miro more starry eyed she said, "yet, even still, I wish to join them in their ranks in history. I've always been fascinated and marveled by the tales of such heroes, and always found a certain attraction to that kind of lifestyle. Fighting monsters, saving princesses and kings, dueling other knights in honorable fashion! Doesn't it all sound so grand!?" The excitement in Leif's voice rose as she listed these things off. 

 

"So, of course the only way to make sure that I become a hero of legend is to of course live like one. Find a place to serve as my humble beginnings, find ways to help the people and build myself up from there. And besides, I have nothing to fear for the time being. After all, a hero must go through many life threatening perils first before they can finally meet their end, if they even do." She seemed to state this as a matter of fact. Looking curious towards Miro, she asked, "and how about yourself? I am none too familiar with the animal folk and would presume you none too interested in human affairs." 


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#33
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After regrouping with the others, and presenting the threatening letter to the others, Mina sat by and discussed things with the group. Well... "Discussed" being just nodding and agreeing with what the others said, all the while APPA tilted it's head at the knightly human's canine companion. With this talk of splitting up, the little robot wheeled over to the canine with the intent on teaming up with it.

It seemed like Mina was to head to the engine room with Percival while the others head elsewhere.

"Pivotal engine / Without it we are all lost / Guardian needed"

Mina simply raised her eyebrow at Percival's haiku talk, kinda reminded her of this assassin she heard about once in a book she read. "Rrrright... Well... I guess we better head that way... I'm interested to see what's got this whole train chugging along." Mina said as she adjusted her pack and walked ahead, tail wagging as she walked.

#34
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Leif sounded like a little girl describing a fairy tail the way she worded her motivations. It wasn't altogether a foreign concept to the Senki who had long idolized his father and the other brave warriors of his people. He was further surprised at her comfort with the situation at hand, believing that as she was in no present danger there was little need to worry herself. It seemed like a sound enough idea, just not Miro could allow himself to follow. That just isn't what a warrior ought to do. They ought to always be thinking of the next move and what could happen. With her answer given she turned the question back on the giver, assuming that "animal folk" would care little of human life. The term was brushing up against a word that would anger him so he was glad he had the opportunity to set it straight without lashing out.

"We Senki," he said, emphasizing the name of his race. "Are a proud warrior race. In recent years my people have begun more closely interacting with yours. To me at least, it seems inevitable that our worlds will collide more and more as time marches on. In light of that I took it upon myself to learn of you where other of the older among us would not. Taking part in guild activities serves to allow me to interact with more people as well as let them see us for what we are." he continued as his tail swayed more energetically as he spoke.

"As I make a name for myself, I tell the world to give the Senki the respect they deserve. Soon we'll be a common sight among you, our talents recognized and our lack of relation to any type of animal made clear." he said bringing it back fully around to the animal folk reference. It was very important to make the distinction before the hated word crossed someone's lips and said someone found themselves without a head.

 

Despite the fact they were walking and talking, the train was not so overly large as to make their trip take a very long time. Soon they would be approaching the cabin Miro took note of. He wasn't sure if the woman would be up to talking at the moment, or if she was even there. But it was their only starting point. Otherwise they'd have to start asking other people at more general things.

"This should be it. The woman here saw the boy before we did but said nothing before departing. If you know any secrets to making distressed women talk, now would be the time to utilize them."


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#35
Maeriberii Haan

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Interrogation Team

 

Miro and Leif managed to arrive at the right cabin that they were looking for, however, as it was still 3 in the morning at the time they were there, no matter how often they knocked, no answers would come from inside. During the morning however, the two would find the woman opening the door as she was going to eat breakfast, but she was surprised at seeing the two people waiting for her outside. The woman recognized Miro, and seemed to consider whether she should return back to her cabin or not, however she ended up steeling herself and continued on her way, addressing the two in the meantime.

"You're...the Senki from last night, right? Is this your friend?"

 

Her walk was unsteady. From her appearance, it seemed that she was someone of a noble birth, which made it strange that she was travelling on her own. Her expression was tired, but as she talked to Miro and Leif, she attempted her best in keeping eye contact with them.

 

"Are you going to ask me about last night? If so...may I eat something first? It's a terrible event, I can barely even sleep. Let's go to the dining car together if you may."

 

 

Engine Team

 

During the time that Percival and Mina arrived on the engine room, one of the train's employees prevented them from coming in, saying something about how the engine was currently under maintenance and that the two should return on the morning. As the employee was insistent about it, both Percival and Mina would only be able to enter during the promised time. The engine room was more vast than either would expect, as if it was larger on the inside. At the center of the room, there was a complicated-looking machinery where pipes that covered the room were connected to. For a machine of this age, the engine was surprisingly silent and lacking in smoke even as the two would be able to see that the center of it was shining, as if a fire was blazing inside.

 

From a quick glance, there seemed to be no problems on the engine. However, Mina would be able to notice that this engine was somehow similar with the ancient water heater that she and the Guildmaster tended underneath the guild building a few days ago. Mina might be able to perform a more closer inspection with how familiar the engine would be, but if any employees caught them in the act, the two could get into a big trouble. There were no one else nearby at the time, but they had to decide fast before an employee come and supervise their actions there.

 

 

Snow and APPA

 

From their short time of searching for the howling noise around the station before the train would depart from the Capital City and the Island of Melia, Snow and APPA would find nothing that could be the culprit, however, they found the faint footprints of what looked like a gigantic beast in the middle of the station's walkway. It was strange of course. Something big enough to make such a footprint would take people's attention, but everyone there were seemingly busy with their own business. Snow would also pick up some scent of something strange that would make it feel really wary, but it would be an unfamiliar scent that he wouldn't be able to recognize for now, aside from some faint memories that might or might now even be related to it.

 

 

"When are we supposed to reach Oriad?"

"The schedule said that it should be in eight hour but..." The old woman looked outside of the train, seeing how the train only recently left the island in the morning and just now entering the sea railway. It had been four hours since the train departed from Mellia. "Why do we only left Melia now? We've been traveling nonstop since the train's last stop in Taxus, right?"

 

"That sure is strange..." The worried looking man looked outside of the window too now. "It seems that the rumors circulating about this train becomes more and more true as days passed.

 

This train surely is cursed."

 


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#36
Alaina

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Leif had a curious expression on her face as Miro began talking about his people, though it was hard to tell how much she was completely listening. All the same, when Miro finished speaking, she said, "ah, so you wish to become a great warrior and spread that legend of your people as well. Well, I wish you the best of luck in the crafting of your tale Miro." With a content smile, the girl continued walking alongside the Senki boy until they had finally made their way to the cabin that the woman in question was in. However, despite their efforts in trying to knock on the girl's door and call for her, they were getting nowhere and there was no response. When it didn't immediately work, Leif was fine. However, as they began to wait across the hours of the night, the girl started to tap her foot and her face seemed to become far less patient in the matter. 

 

A small scowl started to form, but was broken with joyous relief as the woman they were supposed to speak to had left her room. As the woman mentioned getting breakfast, the girl nodded saying, "that sounds like an excellent idea." Once the group was in the dining car and seated, Leif began to speak once more. "I apologize for barging in on your room so early in the morn, it does feel dreadfully rude to do so, yet it is a matter of utmost importance. Before that though, I ma Leif and this is one of my companions in this investigation, Miro. Might I have your name, Miss?"

 

"Ah, My name is Hilda. Hilda Brune." With the three being seated, the waiters presented the food to them. This morning, the menu was soup coupled with fish fillet and fresh salad. She gulped an entire glass of water before continuing. "Pardon me, but you two didn't look like what I would expect from people investigating something this serious. Where are you two from?"

 

Bright eyed over the food with them, Leif looked ready to dig into the food, though stopping as the woman asked about them. "Oh, fret not over our qualifications in the matter Ms. Hilda. We are of the, soon to be famous, guild of Cherry Heart."

 

"Ah, Cherry Heart? I think I heard about your guild on my last time going to Prunus. Promising new guild, they said." Her expression was still down, but she forced a smile. "I didn't expect an actual murder to happen."

 

Leif seems to be momentarily taken aback, though elated, that her guild was referred to as promising. However, she then takes on a more soft and serious expression as she says, "right. It is my deepest regret as a knight that I was unable to stop such a crime from happening, but I can only make things right by preventing it from happening to anyone else. So, I must ask if you would be able to give us any information on the crime in question."

 

"Alright. I'm not sure how much I will be able to help, but I am willing to answer your questions."

 

"Excellent." The woman claps her hands together, before calming a bit and saying, "well, first things first. Were you familiar with the victim at all?"

 

"Not really, no. I never met him before. I was just too horrified about seeing a child like that, dying in what seems to be a murder like this."

 

Leif nodded before saying, "did you happen to see how the murder transpired or was the deceased, well, deceased when you arrived?"

 

"The latter. I was going to the bathroom when I heard something hard dropped, and when I was there, I saw the body. I was first to arrive, as far as I know."

 

"I see." The girl nodded a bit, before turning to her Senki companion, gesturing her head from him to her, as if telling him to talk as well. 


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#37
God Emperor Cow

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"Rrrright... Well... I guess we better head that way... I'm interested to see what's got this whole train chugging along."

 

"Indeed! It must be something of great mystery and power to move such a massive contraption! Let us be off!" It was unfortunate, however, that they would not be able to see the engine until morning.

 

With a heavy heart, Percival turned to his companion. "Unfortunate night / A missed opportunity / Mystery lives on". In the end the pair decided to return in the morning. They would attempt to get a couple hours of sleep but Percival, for one, would have trouble sleeping. Too nervous, nay, excited, about this trip was he that he would simply stare at the window while pondering what Snow had seen, and he too vicariously, earlier.

 

Snow had followed the rather unusual tracks to the very place that the group had been discussing plans earlier that day. It baffled the young man as he surely would have seen a large beast nearby. Whatever the case it was quite possible, if this beast had something to do with the villain, and Percival was convinced it was to the villain what Snow was to him, that the villain knew of their plans. But he could not falter, the villain surely would try and defeat him to sabotage the engine after all!

 

It was dark outside, the sun barely visible on the horizon. From what the young man could tell they had already arrived on the sea. It didn't quite strike him as odd as he was more focused on the fact that he had never seen the sea before. It wasn't until later that day that something odd would cross his mind....

---

The next day Mina and Percival made their way to the engine room again. And, must to Percival's amazement, the room was quite large and impressive. He seemed a bit wary about entering but, glancing over at Mina, he straightened up and charged ahead. "This is impressive, yes, but I have seen much more amazing sights in my travels." He declared. Glancing over at Mina, he muttered under his breath. "Perhaps you should check it closer to be safe. You never know what foul machinations a villain may have in hiding. I shall keep watch and distract any who try and stop you."

 

He then would place himself nearby and keep an eye, the one that he could, out. for employees. If any approached he would greet them loudly enough for Mina to hear and try and make his way towards them to regale them with an epic tale of bravery from Back East.

 

While this was going on Snow was patrolling the train itself. At one point he hopped up to look out the window. The dog noticed that they were leaving the island and, thinking his human would like to see this, signaled to the young man to activate their magic.

 

Which would leave Percival rather confused as to how he had seen them on the sea earlier in the day if they only just left.


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#38
Draggo

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In some regard, Leif seemed to understand the Senki on a fundamental level. She summarized Miro's basic goal rather well. He still wasn't sure what to make of the distant air about her but whatever front she was putting on she was still fairly perceptive. The two attempted to get a hold of the woman he had seen earlier but there seemed to be no answer. They seemed to have a moment to rest so long as this wait continued but rather than sleep the weasel began pacing up and down the car, examining the windows for signs of breaks or cracks. Surely he thought one had to be broken. He'd heard glass break. He must have just been mixed up earlier in the evening. As he looked outside closer to 5 AM he saw it was largely dark outside. Lights from the train and the beginnings of sunrise were helping light the world. Even in this minimal lighting it was clear that the train had already left land and was now entirely over the ocean. The Senki took it in for a moment, and after concluding there was no broken window here, returned to the car with Leif. After a tiring wait the woman showed up and recognized the weasel. But how she said it caught Miro's ears. She used his race's name, which was very uncommon of most anyone he met.
 
"Something like that, yes." he replied to the query about Leif's status as a friend. She wanted to eat first which seemed fine so the trio left for the dining car. After arriving they were seated at a table with an odd look or two from some of the other patrons and staff at the sight of a nude weasel person. But Hilda as she introduced herself seemed comfortable enough around him. They were presented with an interesting assortment of food but conversation took over before the first bites were taken. Miro kept quiet for the initial exchanges, leaving it to Leif to open the woman to conversation. Rather than do formal introductions his comrade opted to introduce them as members of Cherry Heart, a name Hilda seemed to recognize to some extent. They got right to the details of the night before. Hilda claimed no familiarity with the victim and hadn't seen the murder take place but she had been the first to scene. Miro seemed a bit off guard as both women's gazed shifted down and over to him. It was his turn then.
 
"Ahem," he sounded after a drink, a touch nervous for the situation. But it wasn't anything a Senki warrior couldn't handle. "You mentioned the sound of something dropping. We found the boy hanging from the lights. Perhaps I didn't scan the room as carefully as I ought to have but did you see anything that might have caused it?"

"I'm not exactly sure but...I think it's not something too heavy. Maybe of the size of a brick or so, or maybe even smaller. But it makes a really noticeable noise. A metallic ringing." came Hilda's reply. Miro pondered what could have made a metallic ringing in that situation before posing another question.

"And you're certain no one passed you on your way to the scene? Not even something like a shadow?" he asked. The way the intruder had moved upon entering had been strange and so a moving shadow seemed the best way to put it.

"A shadow..." Hilda thought about it for a while, seemingly trying to remember something.. "Not sure, but I think I saw someone hurrying to the bathroom before me. They were moving quite fast though, so I'm not sure how they looked." she said, her pondering concluded. The idea seemed plausible enough. But just the fact someone was racing about that late at night given the circumstances was suspicious. Regardless it was far too late to try and find this person given the amount of time that had elapsed. And if Hilda had no information on his appearance they'd have to be questioning everyone on the train.

"I think we should return to the scene of the crime and search for what might have made the noise." he said to Leif as a suggested course of action. He then turned his one open back to Hilda. "Thank you for discussing this with us. Though I must ask... have you seen Senki before?" he asked, the thought having occupied his mind since she first correctly identified him.

"Oh yeah, I've seen one. One of my associates is a Senki too." came the casual reply. That caught the weasel a bit off guard. Who it was he had little guess but he hadn't figured one of his own to be caught up in the affairs of the richer humans.

"No wonder I don't alarm you. Thank you for referring to us correctly, it means a lot." he said before turning it back to Leif if she had any remaining questions. He meanwhile, was tired and hungry and had the remedy to one of those problems directly in front of him. He began eating the strange human cuisine with a mixture of trepidation and curiosity and was pleased with the outcome.

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#39
Wind Rider

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As it was too late to check on the engine room, so they had to wait in the morning. Besides some weird footprints, APPA had no luck either. They needed to find this terrorist quick, or they might end up victims on the train like everyone else.

When morning came, it looked like they were close to the sea. Mina shivered at the sight of the large body of water before following Percival to the engine room, with APPA close behind her. They managed to actually get in to see the engine, it was impressive to say the least, it beared a resemblance to the ancient water heater that was under the guild building, which means it might have the same machinations to it.

"This is impressive, yes, but I have seen much more amazing sights in my travels." He declared. Glancing over at Mina, he muttered under his breath. "Perhaps you should check it closer to be safe. You never know what foul machinations a villain may have in hiding. I shall keep watch and distract any who try and stop you."

Mina gave a slight chuckle at Percival before getting a closer look. "I'll be quick..." she said. Unfortunately, she had to be quick. It would look bad if she was caught near the engine, people might get the wrong idea. She looked the engine over, took a look at some of the parts, and winced in pain before yanking her hand away. "Ok... Too hot to touch... Should've thought of that..." she mumbled to herself.

As far as she could tell, nothing seemed out of the ordinary with the engine, though a slight tapping caught her attention. APPA was tapping on a bit of piping, on closer inspection the pipe looked like it had been messed with. "What do we have here?" Mina examined pipe and after a few seconds shook her head. "Can't open this... That steam will hurt more than a little burn... But why is this specific pipe messed up?"

#40
Maeriberii Haan

Maeriberii Haan

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Interrogation Team

 

HIlda did not say any further word as she finally start eating once the series of questions had finished. Around them, there were quite a few tables that were empty, indicating that there were not that much high-profile passengers were present, although Leif and Miro would notice the presence of the old man that Miro interrogated last night sitting alone on one of the tables, fiddling with something underneath his seat.

 

Everything seemed to go quite pleasant so far.

 

"I am curious however." Hilda finally spoke again after a moment of silence, seemingly having figured out something. "Do you know anything about the strangely armed men and women boarding this train? They carried strange sword and firearms and were trying to hide it. I saw a few near sunset yesterday. I didn't think of it much since at this day and age people carry weapon with them without much questioning, but I couldn't help but feel concerned.

 

It is as if there were assassins lurking in the midst of us now."

 

 

Engine Team

 

The voice of the train employees were heard from the distance by Snow not long after Mina concluded her investigation of the engine. Due to this early detection, both Mina and Percival was able to get out of their suspicious position before anyone noticed them. As they walked away from the place and perhaps talking about what to do next, one of the employees passed them, and asked them to stop and listen to what he had to say.

 

"Listen. Can you two go to the employee's car near the back of the train? We have found trespassers...well, to be exact, we found the mother of the child that died last night."

 


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