An Exciting Afternoon - II

((Town of Osilon, 1208 NE))


Turning, the Elf grinned and shut the door shutting behind him. Finally, it was time to take care of business. He made his way back into the marketplace, the air once again packed with aromas, sensations, and other such stimuli. V followed the instruction given to him, making his way down the path in the opposite direction of the pub. But by chance, or perhaps fate, V looked down that same seedy alley from before and found....nothing. But his gaze remained. And just when he was about to look away, move on to other things, he caught a glimpse of a figure. To anyone else, it would have been a distant blur, but V, with the aid of his eagle eye, could see so much more, even with the small window he had been given. And in that window, the Elven mercenary spotted an ear. It was no ordinary ear, though. It protruded from a mop of black, pointed at the end.

'Knife ears...' V thought crudely, much more accustomed to the slang term than any other. He had found his Elf.

V instinctively looked up, his hunter instincts starting to kick in, but taking to the rooftops might require too much effort, and besides, he had no ill intentions towards this Elf, so he thought it unnecessary. Instead, he opted to simply traverse the alleyway as the Elf himself must have.

Moving forth, V reached the end, where he faced a darkened back street and heard a commotion. He peeked around the corner, spotting what seemed like the tail-end of a rather one-sided brawl. Two women, one burly and thuggish (her grey cloak reminding him of the woman from earlier), and the other woman of smaller stature, though this seemed a fight of skill more so than raw strength.

Deftly evading an impressive flurry of punches, the smaller woman fired a sharp kick to the gut, and reacting superbly to an all-out charge, spun and elbowed the massive woman in the neck, before tripping her and sending her crashing to the ground.

“Now, for the last time, where is my money?” The woman barked. V frowned, brows furrowed, just who was this woman? A loan shark? V reminded himself to watch his debts carefully in Osilon, lest he find himself up against someone like her.

The two exchanged words back and forth, and upon hearing a masculine voice V craned his neck only to see a black-haired Elven man wearing a rather perturbed expression on his face, the kind a bystander has when he has no choice but to stand by and hope for the best, though V wasn't all that sure what the best possibly could mean in this situation.

He caught a glint of steel in the corner of his eye and snapped back to the two women, only to see the burly one with a small dagger-like blade in her hand. She spun and slashed, cutting only air, and with another swift kick, the other had disarmed her. The burly woman wore a look of extreme frustration, perhaps even hopelessness? She made one last attempt to charge forward, but this time the shorter woman did not settle for an inadequate blow. With a spin, she buried the heel of her boot into the thuggish woman's skull, and she went crashing into a nearby wall. This time she was done, slumping against the wall and moving no more. V couldn't help but wince at that one, this woman was nothing to mess around with.

But mess around he might, because now she had turned her attention on his Elf. After all that she had just done, V was sure the Elf would hardly have stood a chance, and if she truly wanted his money, he might have been at risk. V was ready to spring from the corner and make his move, but he halted when he heard the Elf laugh. It was a laugh of relief, like a 'thank you for saving my life' kind of laugh, V had heard his father's employers regard him with that same sort of laugh before. The wry smile on the woman's face confirmed it, they were definitely in league with each other, so it was all just an act, wasn't it?

Things having cooled down now, V thought perhaps now would be the best time to reveal himself. He was confident in his ability to de-escalate the situation should anything go awry involving his sudden appearance. All he need do is be honest really, lies would likely only complicate things here. Decided, V prepared to approach, only to watch helplessly as a dart flew from the rooftops above and pricked the woman in the back of her neck.

"Oh, come on..." V hissed, taking cover. He had no clue what the woman had been spiked with, but watching her stumble off, perhaps to a greater extent than she was aware, it was clear the dart was meant to incapacitate. She perhaps could have spotted V in his offshoot alley, but she seemed much more preoccupied with finding who had hit her with that dart, or perhaps staying on her own too feet and keeping forward was a trial in of itself.

Letting out a breath, V turned back to the Elf, they were alone, finally. But he knew better, something was bound to happen, and besides, he needed to ensure no other attacker would stroll up on him while his back was turned. Electing to wait just a bit longer, V's patience was rewarded when a guard approached the Elf. V watched him glance at the unconscious woman and then the guard, and he couldn't help but grimace, though had he approached sooner, he may have been wrapped up in that mess as well, and all things considered, V being the taller, burlier, and more heavily armed Elf of the two made him a much more likely suspect. Instead intending to play the role of a innocent passerby, V took a deep breath and turned the corner.

"Are you all right? That was quite the....scuffle..." V trailed off as he turned to the guard, impeccably acting as if this was his first time seeing him.

"What?" Both the guard and the Elf asked in unison.

V looked to the Elf, then the body, then the guard again, and let out a nervous chuckle.

"Oh! I assure you, sir, this is a misunderstanding! I just saw it all, someone else is responsible for this, this man is just a bystander."

The guard looked at V with furrowed brows, "The children told me they saw a-"

"A fight? As did I, and this upstanding Elf took no part in it." V said confidently. It was the truth, after all, he really had stumbled upon a fight in this alley, and the Elf really had just stood there.

"So what business do you have in this alley, then?" The guard, said, speaking to Solandriel, but V quickly sprung into action, stepping forward and draping his arm across the Elf's shoulder as if they were old pals. All the while, as inconspicuously as possible, he planted his foot down on the dart, holding it there and praying that the guard didn't notice.

"I must tell you, my friend here has notoriously terrible luck, he probably thought to traverse this back way and happened across a street brawl. In fact, I saw the person who's actually responsible, they ran that way, " V pointed in the opposite direction of where the woman had ran.

The guard looked that way, almost as if he were about to investigate, but much to V's chagrin he turned back, "Did you catch any features, were they male or female?"

V shrugged, "No idea, it all happened so fast, I only saw the woman go down, and the perpetrator dart off."

There was a flash of panic on V's face, and he cursed himself for his word choice. The guard frowned and looked down at the Elf's foot.

"Say, wasn't there something on the ground there? Right where your foot is?"

Brow furrowed, V looked down, "I don't believe there was anything there, not that I'm aware of."

The guard frowned, gesturing towards V's foot, "I just want to be sure, please lift your foot."

A low grumble sounded from the pit of V's throat. He'd hatched an idea of how he might resolve this, but he didn't much like it. He'd have to use his name again. According to Ply, his father was hailed as some sort of hero in this town, so surely being his son would hold some weight. He shifted his weight away from the Elf, though never moving the foot that was planted atop the dart.

"My name is Vistlend Blacksparrow, son of Oruvand Blacksparrow. I assure you, I have no reason to lie to anyone."

The guard looked at V for a second, recognition flashing across his face, but as his eyes flicked back to the ground, V knew that this time it wouldn't work.

"Just lift your foot, son."

V frowned.

Time to resort to desperate measures...

And with not another word, V lifted his foot, and there was nothing there. V glared into the man's eyes, his intimidating presence in full effect now. The guard looked at the space under V's foot, dumbfounded. It truly was gone. To the unaffiliated, it seemed magic, and actually it was. Utilizing a trick he'd picked up from refugees living on the outskirts of the Dalen Remnant, V had caused the dart to vanish from sight, and he could do that same with anything he was currently in contact with. What that meant, though, was that it was still there, and with time the dart would reappear. V could only hope that he would be elsewhere by then.

Maintaining his intimidating cadence, V said, "I think you ought to go find your perpetrator now."

The guard begrudgingly backed down. Before, he was sure he'd seen that dart, but now he was questioning if he'd ever seen anything at all.

"Well, make yourselves scarce then, so I can deal with...that..." The guard gestured towards the unconscious woman.

"Fair enough. Let's go now, my friend, before we get caught up in another misunderstanding."

They turned a corner, and V stopped a ways down, turned, arms crossed as he eyed the Elf curiously.

" must be Solandriel, right? Seems like quite an exciting afternoon for a potion seller, don't you think?"

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