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[CHQ] Narrow Margin

Cherry Heart Trains Investigation Choo Choo

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#41
God Emperor Cow

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"Faithful companion / Without we would certainly fail / Ever vigilant" This was Percival's cue to Mina that they must be off. Snow had detected some people heading their way and it would not do to look suspicious, even if he were a heroic figure. The most villainous of villains would know to dress as a hero. But then...what if his heroic companions were...no, no, it was not possible.

 

Somewhat troubled, on their way out, Percival asked Mina if she noticed anything amiss with the engine. And if they should try and return later. Perhaps he could keep Snow in the area to alert them of any trespassers and ne'er-do-wells.

 

He knew not what they should do now. There was no obvious leads and he had no foe to match blades with. It was most vexing.

 

"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."

 

What luck! A chance has fallen into their laps. "Truly this is my heroic aura drawing in the next piece of this puzzle! Mina, we must move with haste to see where this clue may lead!"

Even as he said this Percival braced himself inwardly. He had never dealt with a mother who had lost his son, quite the opposite, and he felt a pit in his stomach even as they made their way to her. Still, he could not balk when something as big as this fell into their laps.

OOC


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#42
Wind Rider

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"Faithful companion / Without we would certainly fail / Ever vigilant" It seemed like the investigation was cut short, as that was Percival's cue to Mina that they needed to go before they were caught messing with the engine. Luckily, they posed innocently as the train engineers passed by and they were able to get out of the engine room with no fuss. As they left, Percival had asked Mina if she had seen anything remotely suspicious. Besides the strangely tampered pipe, she explained that nothing else was out of the ordinary with the train's engine.

As they made they're way back to regroup, the duo were stopped by one of the train's attendants. "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."

The child that Percival and Miro talked about? Well this was just great...

"Truly this is my heroic aura drawing in the next piece of this puzzle! Mina, we must move with haste to see where this clue may lead!" Mina crossed her arms and sighed.

"Don't know how this is a clue, but ok... If it comes to it you may want to let me do the talking though, alright?" Mina asked him as they made their way to the train car. As they did, Mina glanced at Snow, who was looking curiously at Mina's tail. What's with this canine?

#43
Alaina

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Leif had raised a curious eyebrow as the woman mentioned something about assassins aboard the train. While she was most certainly curious about that, her attention was drawn towards the man who seemed to be fiddling with something, rather disgruntled. The girl looked to Miro, who through his own look seemed to confirm that he was a man the young weasel boy had told her about earlier and so, thinking it prudent to go see what was up with him, the woman excused herself from the table. Making her way over to the man, with a friendly face she asked, "excuse me sir, are you having troubles with something?"
 
"Scram off, mind your own business." The man said, before continuing to fiddle with what was keeping his attention under the table.
 
While the girl was able to see that there was some kind of metallic glint from it, instead of pressing forward on the object itself, the girl seemed more annoyed with the man before her. Pouting a bit, the girl said, "why, a simple 'I am fine, thank you,' would suffice. You merely seemed to be having troubles and as a knight to be it is part of my duty to make sure that you are fine."
 
"I'm fine with myself. What are you kids even doing here, anyway? Thinking you're some big shot detectives or something?"
 
"I wouldn't say we are 'big shot detectives,' more just guild folk doing their jobs. Though, if we appear like big shot detectives then all the better!" She then seemed to smile and nod to herself at this.
 
"Then go be satisfied somewhere else before I call the staffs here to get you away!"
 
As the man made his rather rude threats to the girl, her smile faded into a far more annoyed expression. Crossing her arms together and clear frustration in her tone the girl said, "well fine. Your manners are hardly becoming of a gentleman and so I shan't bother my time with such a rube." And with a quick stomp and turn, the girl marched away from the man. Moving back to the table, in a huff the girl merely sat down and began to go back to eating her food more hastily. 

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#44
𝓒π“ͺ𝓽𝓽𝓸

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Miro was alerted by Hilda's final comments. People had been boarding the train with weapons. Swords and other things the woman found to be unfamiliar. And just the idea of assassins being on board along with the death of the boy made it all too strange. Leif's attention was caught by that of the old man from the previous evening. The weasel had without words confirmed to the girl he was the one he'd told her about and so she went to speak with him. It seemed the conversation went about as well as those of the evening. The man was not one to speak openly with those he was unfamiliar with. Before long his guildmate was back at the table eating her food. Miro ran through more ideas as he picked at the food before him. Still, whatever the old man was messing with caught his attention. Just for his having been at the scene of the murder last night it seemed natural to be suspicious of him.

"Time to try my hand." he said softly to Leif after enough internal review of the situation. The weasel stood from his seat and paused for a moment to ensure his scythe was safely placed so as to not accidentally fall or harm anyone. Then he took to the floor on all fours. As it stood he was already shorter than most of the people on the train but now he was very low to the ground. He hoped to get a better look at what was happening under the table. He scanned the room for shadows. They could come in handy for his approach. He silenced his breathing and halted his tail's movements as he inched forward along the ground. His eye fixed on the man's movements to see if he could get a glimpse of what he was doing. There were curtains obscuring the bottom of the tables but the shadows cast from the others gave him a path. There would be a bit of a gap but he felt he could get in under without the man's notice.

All at once Miro vanished entirely from sight as his Korak Senke made him seem to melt away into the table's shadow. Now it was a matter of moving slowly among the shadows. He shuffled ahead at a relaxed pace, careful of anyone moving about the room. Then there was the gap. He'd need another shadow to cross unseen. Thankfully a waiter arrived and stood by the man's table. He seemed to simply be checking in on him. Regardless the weasel used the man's shadow to slip in under the older man's table unnoticed. It was only then he saw what the man was fidgeting with. There was a revolver in his hands. Miro had seen human fire arms occasionally so he knew enough to know this was an unusual setting for one. Upon looking closer he saw that the gun was fully loaded as well. Given the man was on edge, this fact made it seem like he was ready to fire at a moment's notice. The Senki was only inches away yet he still seemed unnoticed. This was too suspicious. This was a chance to actually get something out of him. But the man's grip was tight around his weapon.

"Who are you going to hurt..." Miro thought as he stayed in place watching. He was in a good spot. If the man's grip loosened he could snatch it away. If the man went to use the weapon he'd be in a prime position to stop him. Patience was important. He was unnoticed, there was no rush. Lessons from his training cycled through his head as he made sure to keep his breathing and tail steady. He would seize the ideal moment.


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#45
Maeriberii Haan

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Interrogation Team

 

Miro's sneaking went seemingly unnoticed, though the man looked at Hilda and Leif's direction with a disgruntled expression for a few moments, seemingly noticing that Miro was no longer there. However, he continued to fiddle with his gun even when Miro was watching over him underneath the table. This continued for at least a quarter of hour, and at that time the only ones that were left in the dining car were him, Miro, Leif, and Hilda. With no waiters or train workers around at the time, the man seemingly grasped the gun as if he was getting ready to fire it somewhere, but ultimately he didn't, instead choosing to put it on his pocket before leaving. He still had not noticed Miro yet. In the meantime, Hilda continued to enjoy her meal, although she occasionally looked at the man in displeasure.

 

 

Engine Team

 

The two of Mina and Percival would go to the employee's car as had been directed, and they would be met with a woman, tears drying on her face while a few of the train's employees were watching over her. Seeing the two arriving, one of the employees approached them.

 

"She hasn't been in a position to talk ever since she saw the body, but perhaps you might fare better than us."

 


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#46
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The Senki's focus was sharp. Minutes dragged on of the man continuing to fiddle with his firearm. Miro took note as his grip tightened. There seemed to be an intent to use the weapon which Miro was ready to intercept. But in the end the man did nothing with it. He placed it away in a pocket and got up to leave. The killing intent had been almost palpable for a moment. The naked weasel quietly slipped out from under the table after the man, knowing he needed to get that weapon away from him. He looked over toward Hilda and Leif, silently signalling to remain quiet with a finger raised to his lips in case they should notice him and try calling out. Miro thought to return to his seat at their table to retrieve his scythe. But if Hilda had taught him anything it was he needed to pursue people immediately at risk of losing them for some hours. And a man with a gun who was ready to kill was not someone to lose for a day.

He pursued the old man, still low to the ground on all fours. His steps were light, almost soundless. His breath stayed silent as it had since he'd started sneaking about. His eye was locked on to the pocket with the gun. In fact, this felt important enough that Miro opened his scarred eye. This had to be one quick motion. The gun would be his before the man could react. Without his weapon perhaps he would finally consider talking to them. The weasel caught up quickly enough and as he approached he stood back up on his legs, needing his hands for the task at hand. He took stock of every shadow, ready to vanish from sight should the man turn around. But he was getting closer. Still nothing from the man. Miro reached out his hand. It was mere inches from the man's pocket. This was his chance. He took off as fast he could from his position. It was over. He was in front of the man, his own gun now staring him down in the paw-like hand.

"I do believe I'm curious who you intended to kill with this. Care to come sit down and talk?" he said slyly while pointing the weapon at the man. Miro had little experience with firearms but understood the method. He held it tightly and hovered a finger over the trigger. It felt unnatural not having his scythe on him. This gun had to be enough leverage.


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#47
Maeriberii Haan

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"I do believe I'm curious who you intended to kill with this. Care to come sit down and talk?"

 

The old man stopped in his tracks as Miro appeared out of nowhere before him, with his own  gun being aimed at him. His expression was at first that of a surprise, but quickly turned into anger and disgust. He was shaking, but did not move from his place as Miro had ordered him to.

 

"Bah, what does a subhuman child like you know about the matter of adults? Mind your own business and stop playing detective if value your life and the life of everyone else here." Then, out of the sudden, the old man quickly pulled another gun from his other pocket, aiming it at Miro. It happened n a lightning speed, not even Miro was able to see him moving his hand to grab the weapon.

 

"Two can play this game. If you think you can achieve anything meaningful with your amateur and misguided investigation, then shoot me.

 

I will not hesitate to shoot you too if you stand in my way."

 


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#48
Wind Rider

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Making it to the train car, Mina saw the mother sitting by herself, with a tear stained face. The attendants looked as if they had attempted to calm her down and get questions of their own. Mina took a deep breath and walked over to the woman, offering her a tissue. She accepted the gesture and took the tissue. Mina nodded slightly and sat opposite from the woman. "I'm sorry what happened to your son... I know your pain, in a reverse fashion though... I lost my mother when I was young..." she said trying to start a conversation. Obviously, it wasn't a good start as the woman just stared silently at Mina. "I-i'm sorry if I'm being a little rude... My name is Mina..." she said bowing her head a bit.

"What do you want from me? Haven't all of you asked enough questions?" It seemed like the train attendants had caused this woman a bit too much stress over the situation with her son.

"Ma'am... Please... I'm just trying to help." she said calmly. "I'm with the Cherry Heart guild..." Mina tried to explain herself in a manner that would seem trustworthy, she needed to calm her, but also get some info. Thankfully, the lady was willing to talk, but only in private. Mina sighed quietly and nodded, she got up and after convincing the attendants to leave the car, sat back down. She also made a point to say that Percival was with her so he wouldn't get kicked out along with the train attendants. "Ok... It's just us now..." she said shifting in her seat a bit. "If you don't want to answer any of our questions, that's fine..."

The woman seemed willing to talk now though. "I boarded this train with my son in secret, hiding in the back car. We just wanted to get away from Melia, but my son suddenly disappeared not long after we both got in."

Mina looked at percival before looking back at the woman. "Why were you trying to get away?"

"... Can I ask why you were being hunted? Maybe we can protect you." Mina insisted.

"I don't know, but it doesn't matter now. I have no more reason to run" the mother said in a tear jerking way. She went on to explain that her son was a sweet boy, but he was prone to making bad friends.

"Bad friends? What do you mean by that?" Mina asked.

"I dont know either. He somehow made friends with a few strange people, and then a while ago suddenly our place was surrounded by Fraxinus' royal guard." Well that didn't sound good.

"So that's why you ran..." mina thought for a moment. "You've heard about the rumored threats towards this train, right?" she asked.

"Yes, but...we really have no other choice." the mother seemed so defeated, life just wasn't going right for her.

"Hm..." mina turned to percival. "You want to ask anything?" she asked him.

#49
God Emperor Cow

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"I'm sorry what happened to your son... I know your pain, in a reverse fashion though... I lost my mother when I was young..."

 

Percival was surprisingly silent as Mina talked to the woman. Loss. It was a dreadful thing, truly. It changed your entire life in a single instant. From the moment you lose someone to the moment you, yourself, die, it stays with you. As the girl spoke with the woman, as they heard the story, Rudy was hearing a different sound.

 

Shouts and pleas for mercy. People looking for their loved ones. People begging for their life. Gruff, uncaring, voices responding. Noises of shattering doors, and windows, footsteps everywhere. The crackle of fires spreading.

 

Snow nudged Rudy's hand with his wet nose and the boy blinked back into reality.

 

Just in time for Mina to glance over at him before turning back to the woman. "... Can I ask why you were being hunted? Maybe we can protect you."

 

It seemed the woman had been running from the law itself. Rudy's hand gripped into a fist. Justice says that if this woman was harboring a criminal, as it seemed her boy had been, that she should be turned over...But her son had been the one to fall in with a bad crowd. And he didn't know what the son had done specifically...And now the boy was dead. Justice was supposed to be straightforward but this...this was not.

 

"Hm..." Mina turned to Percival. "You want to ask anything?"

 

Rudy knelt down by the woman, looking her in the eyes. "I will find whoever did this and bring them to justice. I know it will not bring your loved one back, but...it is all that I can do. I promise to do what I can to honor his memory."

 

He had no questions. Rather he could not bring himself to ask anything more of this woman who had already given, already lost, so much.


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#50
𝓒π“ͺ𝓽𝓽𝓸

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Irritation flashed across Miro's face as the man referred to him as a subhuman child. Neither descriptor pleased the young adult Senki. This anger had little time to simmer as the man produced a second gun at a speed the weasel hadn't been able to follow, even with both of his eyes open and trained on him. He flinched a bit as now both of them were staring down the barrel of a gun. The old human goaded him into shooting him, stating his investigation wouldn't accomplish anything. And yet the way he spoke. This man had to be connected to the things going on here. He had been there where the child died. He had multiple guns on his person he was prepared to use on other passengers. Miro needed to get him talking, this was their chance to really make a break in the case. But that was going to require subduing the man.

Both seemed ready to fire but the Senki moved slightly faster, pointing his gun at the man's hand. He pulled back on the trigger and shot at the hand holding the second gun. The bullet pierced the flesh and the recoil seemed to knock the man's hand around just enough. The old man's shot barely missed Miro. Despite his injury the man moved to immediately prepare another another shot. Miro was quick though and managed to move behind the man. He scrambled up his back enough to let his tail wrap around the man's neck to begin choking him. The man struggled of course but in a way the Senki had never seen. The man's head turned a full one hundred eighty degrees to face back toward him. The hand with the gun began contorting such as to still get a shot in at the weasel too.

"What are you?!" he shouted at the clearly inhuman creature. For all his hateful speech, this was the real subhuman. Miro released his tail's grip on the man as it was proving ineffective and kicked off the man's back. He tumbled through the air, turning around midair just in time to land on his feet. He began moving back toward the dining car, hoping to recover his weapon and enlist Leif's aid in apprehending this monster. As he got closer he would begin yelling at those inside to get down, not wanting the man to be able to shoot Hilda or Leif before he could disarm him.


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