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Thread: [M] A Light in the Dark [Ashen & Midoripickle]

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    Default [M] A Light in the Dark [Ashen & Midoripickle]

    [The following roleplay is rated mature for reasons that may include but are not limited to: strong language, suggestive themes, violence, and mild romance. Reader discretion is advised.]

    Whatever had happened earlier that day, it had to have been terrible enough to forget. Weary brown eyes swept the room, stopping at the clothes scattered on the floor, the husky man sleeping soundly in the bed. This was whom she had bargained with? She had never prided herself upon her taste in men, but she usually had better judgment than at least this. The man's rotund belly rose and fell with his breaths. He had just a blanket covering his waist, and what it hid was nothing to write home about. His long, orange beard was unkempt, and his shining head showed off a baldness his prematurely receding hairline had chosen. Or maybe the guy was just old. He was sleeping like a baby, so peaceful and beautifully oblivious. Everyone looked younger when they slept.

    Mae gathered her clothes from the floor and hastily put them on. She looked for her two bags, the ones she took with her everywhere. One held the things any wanderer would need: blankets, a pillow, a few coins, some tools. The other was far more important to her. She slipped her satchel over her head and patted its contents gently. Inside her second bag was an ancient book, its spine and pages frayed, its words faded. This book looked much like garbage, written in some foreign language, some centuries--even millennia--ago. It was her most prized possession, and as soon as it was by her side she was again ready to hit the road.

    The girl decided, however, to stop in the man's washroom. They were in some inn, of course, in some city whose name she could not pronounce. This girl had traveled the world, but never had she met more naive people than those she'd met here. The man in the next room was a prime example. He had only needed a few drinks, drinks she hadn't even paid for, to be so easily manipulated. It hadn't been bad, exactly, just not memorable, and she'd gotten a free meal out of it. She had even managed to sneak in a nap in a real bed, all at this man's expense. When he noticed just how much of his coin was missing he'd be angered alright, but he'd never be able to catch up with her. She always made sure of that.

    After tiding in the washroom, Mae looked somewhat presentable. She had smoothed her long, straight hair, and it hung about her face like a black curtain, shielding the entire left side of her face from view. Her skin was a perfect cinnamon color, except for her nose. An ashen mark stretched from the left side of her face to her nose, crossing the bridge and tainting her right cheek. This mark resembled a sort of port wine stain, covering her whole nose and cheek, and was hidden by her hair from her eyebrow to her chin on the left side. When her brown eyes fell over it in the dirtied pane of glass over a tub of water, Mae immediately averted her gaze and started away.

    She was silent as she left the inn, having had too much practice at being a ghost. She snuck around to the back of the inn and approached a familiar stone, one she had visited earlier. After ensuring no one was watching--and why would they be, at such a late hour?--she moved the stone aside and retrieved her sword. After attaching her sword to her waist and covering it with her dark overcoat, Mae headed out, prepared to never return to this city again. On a full stomach, a light rest, and the shining moon, she was ready to leave. She had no reason to even consider staying. After all, she was a wanderer, and one with a mission.

  2. #2
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    The crowing of the rooster stirred him, just as the dawn started to break past the horizon. He rolled over with a groan, feeling too warm and comfortable to want to get up. Just then something wet and hot brushed over the bottom of his bare foot. With a cry, Lochan sat up suddenly from the bundle of hay he'd been sleeping in. He looked up then at the black and white draft horse that was currently licking his foot. "Hey! Stop that!" He whined, yanking his foot away and quickly climbing out of the straw, brushing himself off. The horse snorted, shaking his head, sending his mane every which way. "Yeah, yeah… I guess that's what I get for sleeping in your breakfast, huh?" He asked, picking some straw of of his dark brown hair before patting the horse's muzzle.

    Lochan stretched then, fixing his hair and pulling it back into the usual half bun. Still some loose pieces fell about his face. He moved to the barn door, looking out over the fields to the farm house near by. It was then that he noticed some movement coming from the house. "Well, I guess it's time to take my leave. Thanks for the company!" He said, glancing back to the horse and tipping his nonexistent hat to him, before making his way back to the road before anyone noticed his presence there. He followed the road, making his way to the next town that crossed his path. As he walked, his stomach started to rumble and he dug through his pockets, frowning as he realized just how low his funds were. Which were none, in fact. It wasn't too much farther until he reached the next town, he could see it now. Lochan was quite confident in his pit-pocketing skills and figured he'd find some cash in no time at all.

    As he reached town, the businesses were already bustling and people were roused from their homes, heading to the market for a day of work or shopping. This was a perfect opportunity he thought. As he made his way through town, most people didn't bother to give him a second glance. It was clear by his worn clothes and rough appearance that he was nothing more than a wanderer. He didn't seem to mind though, taking in the sights. As he neared the market, he was suddenly on the prowl for an easy target. Lochan spotted an opportunity as he passed by a small apple stand. Taking a quick glance around him, he passed by a man, carefully knocking a basket of apples with his foot. The man seemed to think it was his own mistake and quickly scrambled to collect them, along with the owner of the stand. Lochan turned for just a moment, his hand reaching back to grab an apple before he ducked around the corner. No one suspected a thing and he'd made away with his first meal of the day.
    This will be my last confession
    'I love you' never felt like any blessing
    Whispering like it's a secret
    Only to condemn the one who hears it
    With a heavy heart


  3. #3
    The Ashen One
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    It had been a long night, and as the darkest hours of the morning ticked by Mae continued on. She traveled throughout the night, preferring it to the daytime hours. As the sun peeked its way over the horizon the wanderer could just make out the outline of a new town. It would be a new place to get a meal, a new place to find some supplies, a new place to manipulate its inhabitants.

    The town was nothing marvelous. Mae was already judging as her eyes brushed over it, observing the people and the buildings. It was a lower-class town, a busy town, with a bustling market. She watched some people while she moved about, taking it all in. A focused people, self-centered from the looks of things. No one would even notice her. Her eyes fell to any sorts of pockets, any place where a coin purse could easily hide. She started blending with the crowd just as she plucked a purse from a man's pocket. Stashing it in her own bag, she headed away, her mission successful.

    A little distance away she could see a man approaching a fruit stand. She watched him curiously. There was something about him... He looked like a wanderer, like her, who had only recently awoken and was looking to cause trouble. And that he did: soon, the barrel of red fruit came tumbling down, and the vendor was oblivious as the man walked away with an apple. Not the most impressive theft she'd ever witnessed. She waited for the vendor to finish cleaning up his stand before approaching. Tossing him a coin, Mae picked up an apple and nodded towards him. "You might want to be more attentive," she told him. "People like you make it easy for thieves to get by."

    The sun was really starting to rise now, and normally that would mean getting to sleep. Mae was a night owl, and the morning hours were ones she normally did not see. She looked over the man's coin purse; minus the one she'd used for the apple, she had only a few coins. The man hadn't brought much money with him, just her luck. Paying for an inn would be a needless expense. How far could she get before setting up camp somewhere nearby? On the roads outside of the town, no one would care to notice her. So, with a chilly autumn wind behind her, Mae set out from the town, prepared to revisit it when she awoke. Her nightly trek had worn her well enough; it was definitely time for rest.

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    The vendor looked up at the woman, confused by her comment and frowned deeply. "W-what? What is that supposed to mean?!" He called out her, as if suddenly suspicious of the woman. But she was already on her way and he warily took her money, going back to his business.

    Meanwhile, Lochan was enjoying his quick breakfast. He sat on a stone wall near the center of the market, keeping an eye out for an opportunity to score an even better meal. As the day continued on, the market became filled with people, even for such a small town. His silvery-blue eyes scanned the crowd as he lifted the apple to his lips, opening his mouth to take another bite, when he froze suddenly. His gaze locked on a young woman making her way through the crowds, heading towards the outskirts of the town. He didn't get a good look at her face, but that body had certainly caught his attention. He found himself sitting up, watching the sway of her hips as she walked.

    Soon she was out of sight and he sat back again with a soft huff. Well, so much for that. Lochan looked down at his half eaten and then smiled to himself. Who knew, maybe they would cross paths again? He quickly finished up his apple and then hopped down from the wall, starting to mingle with the crowd. No one seemed to pay him much mind until he passed a small group of ladies who took once glance at him before they turned up their noses. Lochan's soft smile turned into a frown, wondering what their problem was. Though as he looked down at his own haggard appearance, he supposed he was due for a good bath, and perhaps he could manage some new clothes. With that though, Lochan headed to the outskirts of town, following the road that he hoped would lead to a river that was not too far away from town.
    This will be my last confession
    'I love you' never felt like any blessing
    Whispering like it's a secret
    Only to condemn the one who hears it
    With a heavy heart


  5. #5
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    On the outskirts of town was a pond, small enough to not be a popular fishing site but big enough to go for a nice swim in. Mae had checked the area thoroughly before decided to bathe in its less-than-sparkling waters. So she peeled her many layers from her body, and she lowered herself into the water. Mae was a thin girl. After too many skipped meals her skin hugged her bones. Not quite emaciated, she had the curves a dancer would envy. Her chest left prostitutes gawking. Perhaps she could even consider herself among those ranks. She hardly thought of her otherwise plain body as she lowered herself into the water, shivering at the cold. Another freezing bath, after another cold night. It really was a wonder she hadn't gotten frostbite yet.

    As she set herself in the water, Mae's brown eyes were on her pile. Her practical clothing was among it, as well as her overcoat, socks, and boots. Her pack was by her clothes, while her more valuable bag was underneath. The way she hid her book would make someone think it was worth quite the penny. She watched it for a few minutes, as she scrubbed the dirt out of her dark skin. After a while her gaze fell away, and she looked at the quiet world around her. The dying grass, the half-hidden sun, the chilling breeze; it was hardly an ideal bedroom, but it would serve as her resting spot until the nighttime.

    Then it came time to wash her hair. Mae held her breath as she went under the water, and her straight hair flared around her like that of a mermaid. When she surfaced her hair fell over her face, and she only moved it from one side. Even out here, surrounded by only nature, with no people for a couple miles, she was not willing to show her obtrusive face. So concerned with keeping her face covered, she was oblivious to what was happening to her pile of belongings, and the young man that was suddenly in her presence.

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    He wandered just a short while before he noticed some water ahead. As he got closer, he realized it was a small pond, which was just fine for him. However, he hadn't realized the pond was preoccupied until a goddess suddenly arose from the surface of the water. Well perhaps not a goddess, but Lochan couldn't imagine one being more perfect than this woman. Lochan froze dead in his tracks before suddenly coming to his senses and ducking behind a tree.

    He mentally scolded himself, knowing he shouldn't watch so brazenly, but he couldn't look away. Lochan peeked from behind some brush, feeling his cheeks flush as his gaze followed the drops of water as they ran over her dark skin, between her full breasts, and down her flat stomach. Perhaps his only complaint would be that she was a bit too skinny, but he of all people could understand that well. His eyes lingered on her chest for a few moments, before he wondered what to do now. It wasn't like he could just jump out and greet her. That would be a disaster, no matter what excuse he managed to come up with.

    However, once Lochan was able to divert his gaze, he noticed her things in a pile just a few feet from him. Lochan stared at it for a long moment, conflicted on what to do. On one hand, he still needed money if he was going to afford enough supplies to keep going. But then, could he really steal from this woman… It seemed Lochan was just desperate enough as he carefully crept over to her things. Besides, a woman like that probably wouldn't give him the time of day anyway. He kept an eye out as he dug through her clothes, though she seemed busy with washing and didn't notice him at all. Just when he was about to give up on finding anything worth while, he noticed a bag underneath her clothes. It was a nice looking bag and was carefully hidden so it had to be worth something, he figured. Lochan glanced back to the woman once more, noticing that she had gone under the water again. Taking that opportune moment, Lochan turned and disappeared towards the road again. Lochan made his way back into town, taking a moment to look through the bag. There were a few coins, but other than that, there was nothing but a crummy old book. "Ugh, just my luck…" He sighed, glancing over the book before putting it back in the bag. Well, perhaps he could still sell the bag itself for a good amount of coin.
    This will be my last confession
    'I love you' never felt like any blessing
    Whispering like it's a secret
    Only to condemn the one who hears it
    With a heavy heart


  7. #7
    The Ashen One
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    She wasn't bathing long, and when Mae finished she stepped out of the water and shivered. These damn autumn breezes would be the death of her, she was sure. She made her way back to her pile, all the while running her fingers through her hair. After doing her best with the knots in her hair, she crouched down beside her pile and began to slip on her bra, her pants. Just before putting on her overcoat she noticed something. Her book was missing.

    Panic flushed her face, and immediately Mae scanned the entire area. She had put it under her clothes, like she always did. She slipped on her overcoat and fastened her sword, threw her other bag over her shoulder. Her satchel, her most prized text, it was gone. But... How? She'd had it before she started bathing, she was sure of it. Which meant someone had stolen it while she was in the water. Some pervert had been spying on her, and had made off with a book worth more than her own life.

    Pure rage darkened her eyes as she started away. Wherever her thief was, he wasn't here. She decided to go back to town, and on her way she noticed something. The ground around the pond was damp, as expected, but was drier the farther from the water it got. And yet, lying in the dried ground just a couple feet away was the wet ring of a footprint. It was too faint to tell its size or direction, but there were more like it, every couple of feet. So, he had gone to town. And he had thought he would get away with this. The fool didn't know what was coming to him.

    Mae found her book with very little difficulty, as if her internal GPS had it programmed. A man was carrying around her worn old satchel, sneaking peeks into it as if he expected it to contain gold. Poor fellow, he'd never know the worth of her bag's contents. As she watched on, she noticed that she recognized the man. This was the same thief from before, the one who had stolen an apple from the oblivious vendor. And now she had been made the fool, too.

    Suddenly, the people around did not matter. She couldn't care less about the authorities she'd avoided like the plague all her life. Suddenly, she was upon him, her sword to his throat. "Listen here, you bastard," she snarled into his ear. Her body was pressed to his back, and her breaths were rigid on his neck. If he turned to face her, he would see the side of her face covered by her dark hair. "I may have forgiven the peeping, gods know all men are utter dogs, but stealing my things makes you a bitch. Give it back." She moved her sword so that it would just graze his neck, just spark a warm scarlet.

    It wasn't long before a villager was upon her. Two men grabbed at her arms but she easily threw them off. "Mind your business," she growled at them. "Are you so hungry for a criminal? Look at yourself, at your rotund belly when your own people go starving." She turned back to the man with her bag. "If it means giving my freedom to the cells of this pathetic town, I will kill you in an instant. Do not test me. Give me my bag."

  8. #8
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    Lochan got up with the bag, about to go about to find the nearest shop that might trade for it, when a flash of silver caught his eye. He froze suddenly feeling the cold, sharp sting of a blade at his neck. Lochan's breath caught, afraid to move even an inch. Suddenly his eyes widened at the sound of the cold voice in his ear and even though he didn't recognize it, he certainly had an inkling. At the same time he feared for his life and the anger in her voice, he couldn't ignore the feeling of her body pressed to his. It took some effort to remind himself that this was not the time for such thoughts. This girl could easily kill him and seemed quite eager to in fact.

    However, Lochan was no fool. He wasn't about to give his life for this bag, even if it were worth a great deal of coin. After all, all the money in the world meant nothing if he weren't alive to enjoy it. He tilted his head slightly just to take a peek, though it seemed his suspicions were right after all. The man suddenly let out a hiss as she drew his blood and he quickly put his hands up. "H-hey, take it easy~ A-and I didn't mean to peek, that was an accident." He said with a soft, nervous laugh, trying to ease the tension. He had to admit, a woman who was this beautiful and yet could so easily threaten someone with a sword was really turning him on. Just who was this woman? Lochan was dying to know… However, as she threw away the two men so easily, he was starting to fear for his life again.

    "A-all right… N-no harm done. Just take it!" He said quickly, waving his hand that held the bag. He didn't dare move or she might just slit his throat right then and there. "W-what's the big deal anyway? It's just a bag, can't be worth that much?" He had to ask then. Why would she be so willing to give up her freedom for a simple bag and an old book? He supposed it could have some sentimental value, but still, was that really worth being jailed for? Lochan then paused for a moment, his eyes moving to the beaded bracelet around his left wrist, which looked odd since it seemed much too small for a man. "Look, I'm sorry…" He muttered to her then.
    This will be my last confession
    'I love you' never felt like any blessing
    Whispering like it's a secret
    Only to condemn the one who hears it
    With a heavy heart


  9. #9
    The Ashen One
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    Mae snatched her bag out of his hand and secured it safely to her body. It was only then that she could breathe again, and she took a minute to do just that. Her sword fell away from his throat and her gaze to her reclaimed treasure. It can't be worth much... His ignorance would have been precious under different circumstances. Mae's anger was only slowly subsiding, and she had to make an effort to calm herself down. Burn his balls off. No, I will not do that. Rip his lungs out. No, stop. Tear his body in two. She was at war with herself again, too common an occurrence for her to pay it much mind. Sheathing her sword, she turned away from the man and gave a carefree shrug. He was undeserving of any answer.

    But then... Mae stopped, and a single brown eye turned to watch him. Just what could she get out of this man, anyway? She turned towards him again, went over his words. The peeking was an accident, and he was sorry. Mae had been on her own long enough to know when a man was bullshitting, and she knew it was a rare occasion when he wasn't. This man was no rarity. Dully, she wondered how much he had seen. Her scar? Gods, had he seen her scar? A soft red threatened its way to her ashen cheeks, and she turned away to hide it. If he had, he hadn't said anything about it. No, she told herself, that meant nothing. Besides. No one would recognize her; no one cared to.

    She turned to her hand, to the thin cotton glove covering only her left. Had he seen what was underneath that? Probably not, she figured, and if he had, so what? He would only think her mark an exotic tattoo; where was the harm in that? So Mae dismissed his former statement, and instead concentrated on the latter. "Just how sorry are you?" she asked, her voice filled with confidence. She'd done this before, and it was clear in the way she stepped before him. She had all the alluring grace of a swan, and she arched an eyebrow his way. The way to a man was easy, she had it down to a science. She just wondered if this mere thief's wallet was even worth the trouble.

    Was she trying to get with a man who'd made her into a fool? Well, she'd done more desperate things before. The coin she'd stolen before would hardly provide for her for a few days. Any extra coin this low-born had would be an improvement. But was she really so willing to mingle with this man still? She didn't want to see him anymore; he'd seen her naked! He had seen her book--her book. As realization struck Mae's facade fell away; she looked down with a panicked expression. Was it possible he'd opened her book? All its words were in a script he wouldn't understand, but there were too many pictures. Did he know the true meaning of her panic, the reason behind her urgency in getting it back?

    When she looked up again she bore a cool expression. "Just how much snooping have you done," she demanded. It was an order, not a question, and her hand rested on her hip. From the corner of her eye she could see the townsmen still watching her, still waiting for her to make another threat. She moved closer to the man, close enough that he might be able to see the reaching grey patch on the uncovered side of her face. "How about we go somewhere a little more private?" Her hand had already grabbed a fistful of his shirt. He was thin, very thin, just like she. Then, she tugged him along, subtly enough that anyone watching might just think he was willingly following.

  10. #10
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    He flinched briefly as she snatched the bag away from him, keeping his hands up. He let out a breath as the sword lowered from his neck, suddenly aware of the stinging of the cut. As she turned away without an answer, he lowered his arms and turned to see everyone who was staring them down. While some people pretended to go back to their business now that the thief had been apprehended, other's continued to watch brazenly. Lochan then dared to turn and look at her now though in that moment she shied away suddenly. Why was that, he wondered briefly.

    However, when she spoke suddenly, Lochan perked up, tilting his head. "W-what?" He asked, confused by her question. He then winced a little, putting a hand to his neck for a moment, then drew it back to look at the small streak of blood on his fingers. When he glanced up from his hand, there she was, right in front of him. Lochan's silvery blue eyes widened slightly, finally able to see the girl's face up close. She really was beautiful with her dark hair and sun-kissed skin, and her feature's had the perfect proportions.

    Suddenly the air of confidence seemed to slip away and the girl looked down in a panic for just a moment. He couldn't guess what was going through her head in that moment, until she questioned him. "N-nothing- None. I didn't do anything to your stuff. I was just looking for money, that's all." He said, raising his brows. It was only then did he noticed the slight mark across her nose that disappeared beneath a curtain of dark hair over once side of her face. It didn't disturb him though, only made him more curious. Lochan then gasped as she grabbed him, dragging him away before he could protest. Well, he supposed he couldn't really complain if it meant getting out of view from so many prying eyes. In fact, he'd probably have a much harder time making it in this town now that he had been seen by so many as a thief. He didn't resist as she tugged him along, though he was also wary that she wasn't going to take him to some secluded place to murder him after all.
    This will be my last confession
    'I love you' never felt like any blessing
    Whispering like it's a secret
    Only to condemn the one who hears it
    With a heavy heart


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