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View character profile for: Solandriel the Gatherer
View character profile for: Vistlend 'V' Blacksparrow
I Saw's What I SawPosted by
Posted: Mar 25, 2021, 11:04pm
A JP by Tahjerius and Nim
V beamed, giving the elf a hearty and strongly spirited-shake.
“Ah! Nothing like starting a new op!”
With a fair bit less enthusiasm than V had mustered, Solandriel replied, "Right, well, first things first, we have to find Kalena. Last I saw, she was heading, umm, that way…"
Thus the two elves made their way back into the market searching for the mysterious badass that fairer elf had hired earlier, operating on little more than a brief sighting of the direction she had been running in. This could take a bit…
The swarthy elf leaped down from a ledge, having just scaled a three or so story building in an attempt to get a better vantage point and piece together where this Kalena woman had hobbled off to. He got odd looks and faces, though if these people had personally known or witnessed his father, they likely wouldn’t find his actions all that strange. V landed, and despite the waist-high plated cuirass and metallic waist and hip guards he wore, his landing was rather deft and quiet.
“Strange, usually I excel at finding people in busy places like this, must have been because she took to the rooftops, fewer noticeable tracks, and fewer eyewitnesses,” the elf trailed off.
"That makes sense," Solandriel piped up, jogging up behind him. "I think the villain that attacked her was on the roofs as well."
V nodded, gazing up towards the rooftops, “Well, they couldn’t have gotten that far, we’ll probably have to ask around and see if we can find them that way,” Looking at Solandriel, V smirked, “If she’s any friend of yours, I’m sure she wouldn’t have gotten far without making a scene.”
"Oh I'm sure," the other elf replied. "Today's been one scene after another. What is one more to keep things interesting?"
“You never know, “ V simply said, turning, placing his hands on his hips and taking a deep breath.
“What are you doing?” Solandriel asked, a blank look on his face.
“Focusing.” He breathed in and out, “I’ve seen my father do this before a hunt. Gets the blood pumping, reflexes at max. As I said, you never know, so you always have to be prepared.”
Done with his little ritual, V squinted his eyes, taking in his surroundings once more, before pointing ahead.
“We know she last traveled in this direction. It’s safe to say at some point she left the rooftops, else I would have seen her up there. So we just have to figure out where she disembarked, and if any passersby spotted her when she did.”
With no more words, V took off, not quite running but steadily jogging. There was a trail here somewhere, the elf had to find it before it ran cold. Solandriel seemed rather physically capable, so V didn’t pay much mind to whether he might leave him behind or not.
Following his declaration, what ensued was a flurry of queries, too many faces to count, as the two elves did their best to cover what little bits of the district they could.
“No, I ain't seen nobody by that description.”
“An injured woman leaping from the rooftops? Are you on something, sir?”
V grumbled, pride perhaps a bit hurt at the difficulty he was experiencing in tracking down this woman.
“Nobody’s seen anything? It seems even in her reduced state, your friend is rather elusive…”
"I hope that blighter didn't capture her or worse," Solandriel fretted. "I wish I'd gotten a better look at him, then we might be able to ask around for him as well."
V looked at Solandriel, his gaze somewhat vacant as he mulled over the information he had.
“She was being pursued and was in a hurry, maybe she didn’t cross over into the public, not here at least. But what if...”
V turned, eyeing a dark alley. He gave Solandriel a look, before moving into the passageway, eventually finding himself on a quiet and shady backstreet similar to the one he had first found Solandriel on. Moving along the road, V instinctively gripped the handle of his right blade, if assassins were jumping about the rooftops on his first visit to this city, then obviously peace and civility was not something the elf ought to expect within its darkest corners.
The swarthy elf moved somewhat cautiously, though not wanting to draw out a false lead, he had some swiftness in his step.
And then the pair rounded the corner and saw the corpse.
Solandriel grimaced. "Well, that's nice."
V scanned the body and immediately noticed a few interesting details. "Appears to have been pretty well-armed," he noted, seeing a knuckle blade in the corpse's hand and several darts and a blowgun scattered about. He then spotted a bloody knife lying in the street near a nasty gash on the corpse's leg. "Strange…"
V approached the scene, now that he was up close he noticed the awkward positioning of the would-be assassin. Looking up, he nodded, things clicking together.
"He fell. I think this one had a run-in with your friend.”
Solandriel gazed at the rooftops, “Are you sure she did all that while poisoned? I mean, I always knew she was a badass, but…”
V then gestured toward the knife.
“Murderers don’t usually leave their weapon on or near the victim," V explained, "Yet whoever is responsible for this left their weapon laying there.” V gestured toward the knife in question.
“So this hypothetical murderer was in a hurry?”
V nodded, looking around, “Knowing that there’s deadly poison coursing through your veins might do that to you.”
Hands-on his hips, V bit his lip, “But…even if this was her, your Kalena, we don’t know which way she went. Some sort of trail...or maybe a witness…”
V trailed off, looking down the alley into darkness. Or, it would have been for any human, but for V, and Solandriel even, murky blackness was reduced to dim light. In that dim light, V could see the edge of a silhouette, a person taking cover behind a nearby box. V’s hands immediately went to the hilt of his sword, and he motioned towards the newcomer without directly looking at Solandriel or taking his eye off of the mysterious person. He thought to call out, but perhaps the person didn’t know he had been spotted yet. That was an edge the two could make use of if things went south.
Creeping slowly, V simply expected Solandriel to follow behind as he moved closer. He was almost upon him, when he noticed something small and furry darting in his direction. Turning, V eyed the most disgusting, repulsive, and terribly large rat he had ever seen, though to anyone else it would look like a normal street rat.
“Gods above!” V shouted through gritted teeth, something primal and internal forcing every fibre of his being in the other direction.
“WHO THE HELL?!” He heard to his right, behind the boxes, it was a wail of surprise.
‘And there goes our edge.’
Turning, V heard the familiar sound of wood being stressed and tensed, and he swore it sounded just like a...bowstring?
V looked into the dim shadows, eyes darting about to find the interloper, what he found instead, was an arrow, primed and ready to fly straight into his skull. He ducked immediately, hearing the tell-tale fwish as it zipped through the air, and the subsequent twang as it embedded itself into the nearby wall.
Turning against his cover and seeing his client (the fair elf was a bit slower on the uptake), V vigorously waved his arm up and down, whisper-shouting, ”GET DOWN! GET DOWN!”
Solandriel complied, lowering his profile and leaning into a heavy box, behind which he would hopefully be fully out of sight, and therefore mind, for the time being. The last thing V wanted was for his soon-to-be employer to be put out of commission before the job even began.
It was now safe to say that his life was in danger, and with the only prerequisite fulfilled, V stood and pulled his blades from his back, a roguish smile spread across his face as he gripped his weapons.
“C’mere, lemme talk to you…” He said, taking steps toward the would-be assassin.
He saw a flash of fear on the other’s face, he watched as he reached for the dagger on his hip, but thought better and rolled over his cover, hitting the ground running.
With no response other than a tsk, V gave chase, bounded down the alley after his newfound quarry. He contemplated switching to his crossbow, but then remembered his stunt from earlier which had resulted in his trusty longarm being damaged. No, he would have to stick to his blades.
“Stop and I won’t hurt you!” The elf exclaimed, only half lying.
The assassin scanned the alley ahead for some way to lose the swarthy elf, knocking over boxes and crates to no avail, when he eventually decided that scaling the nearest wall would be his best option.
But V was fast. Though the assassin had managed a good 10 or so feet, it wouldn’t be enough. With two taps of his feet, V ran up the wall and let forth a dual slash at his quarry’s back.
“AAH!” The assassin exclaimed, the sudden burning pain causing him to reel backward. He landed with a thud, grasping at his bleeding back and he squirmed in pain.
“Oh please, you’ll live.” V groaned, resting the tip of his scimitar on the man’s chest, the promise of death like a weight anchoring him to the ground. Though if V had wanted him dead, he already would have been.
Hearing footsteps, the assassin looked up and saw the second half of the elven duo, dagger at the ready just in case.
“What is it with you running everywhere?” Solandriel asked his swarthy companion. V smirked, “I take it you’d prefer it if I stuck around?”
Solandriel’s brows furrowed quizzically in response, but before he could speak again, the wounded assassin shouted, “What is it that you want?! Surely you did not capture me to watch you two kiss!?” He spat.
“Ha! Seems you’re finally done bleeding?”
Pulling the second blade from his back, he pointed it down the alley.
“That body over there, a friend of yours?”
“I have never seen him before in my-”
“Never seen him before, huh? Are you sure this is the game you want to play?”
The assassin spoke entirely in curses, some of them hardly understandable, the annoyance on V’s face growing with each. He sighed, shaking his head.
“Well, if you don’t intend to do anything worthwhile with that tongue of yours, I suppose I’ll just take it.”
“And your grandmother’s a- what?”
V looked at Solandriel.
“Give me your dagger.”
“If he won’t cooperate, I’ll just see to it that he never has this problem again, hell, he’ll be so quiet maybe he’ll be an even better assassin,”
“Do it with your sword then! I don’t want tongue bits on my dagger!”
“Just a quick wash and it’ll be brand new, give it a month or two and you’ll probably be able to black out the screams,”
“-Okay.” The assassin uttered, and then there was silence, and V looked down, the assassin’s eyes were wide and fearful.
“Perhaps I may be open to talk.”
“There you go, not so hard, was it? Now scoot up against that wall, and if you try anything, I suppose I’ll just have to use my sword since my friend here is so stingy with his knife.”
“Fine, I already said I would talk,”
The assassin complied, however, V was not any more friendly with his blade than he already had been, meaning the elf could easily slash and the assassin would be tasting steel.
The assassin now still, Solandriel had a good look at him, and V spotted a twang of recognition on his features.
"You are one of those villains who kidnapped my wife and I this morning!" Solandriel exclaimed. The man didn't say anything until V prodded him with his sword, after which the thug grunted, "Yes I am."
“Who do you work for?” V questioned, his scimitar still menacingly poised.
“I don’t know.”
V groaned, “Not this again-”
“No! Honestly! I don’t know! All I do know is that our leader spoke to a strange young man with white hair and red eyes.”
“Alright...and your leader?”
“Still at the camp with the dwarf and the others.”
V nodded, processing the information. In his silence, Solandriel spoke up.
"Did you happen to see the woman that took out your colleagues?" Solandriel pressed.
"Yes," the man mumbled.
"Which direction did you see her going?"
"Look, all I saw was her getting off the roof and then moving in the general direction of the town granaries before I too got down and started looking for Rigo," the assassin growled. "I thought she was going to come down to verify that she'd killed him and to retrieve her weapons, so I set an ambush for her, which is when you faggots showed up."
"Towards the granaries! Got it!" Solandriel smiled. Looking at V, he asked, "So, ah, what do you think we should do with this guy?"
V looked down at the man, “Well, that other thing isn’t completely off the table…”
The assassin stared with a face-full of terror, mouth agape.
“B-but you said-”
“Re-lax, I won’t cut out your tongue, but only because I’ve just thought of something much worse.”
V smiled, dusting off his hands as he glanced one more time at his handi-work. About a full story off of the ground hung the poor assassin, upside down and hog-tied by his pants. Of course, meaning they were no longer on his legs. It likely spoke volumes to the fair elf, though, that without the option of murder, V instantly resorted to impish mischief. But that wasn’t all he was concerned with.
“Are you sure we had time for that? The sun’s nearly setting now.”
V smirked, looking up at the sky, “Well, I’ll tell you this, I’ve been in this business long enough to know a quarry long-gone when I see one. Even before, your Kalena was likely far off and out of our reach. Right now, either she’s dead, or kicking her feet up somewhere and sleeping that poison off. We’re about to find out which.”
As distressing as it may have been, it was the truth, though the trail was not entirely cold just yet. The duo made their way through the town, this time not encountering any wayward assassins in the process, though at this point, one simply jumping out of the bushes might not have surprised the swarthy elf. On the way to the granaries, V spotted a fountain and a small little opening, seemingly reserved for natural beauty as opposed to infrastructure. V looked around, and eventually, his gaze rested upon a young girl in rags. Homeless, and seemingly in her early teens. V walked over, squatting and resting his hands on his knees.
“Well if you don’t throw off the feng shui I don’t know what does.”
“Care to spare a f- sir?”
“I’m looking for my friend, a woman, long black hair, she most likely appeared to be wounded, or maybe drunk.”
“I dunno what you’re talkin’ about sir, I’m just a beggar, a very hungry beggar.”
V nodded, “I see. Well if that’s the case-”
V stood, reaching into his coin purse. With a flick, he sent a silver coin spinning through the air, and the girl, sitting, leaned forward and snatched it.
“Now, about my friend.”
The beggar looked up at him, smiling, “I’m sorry sir, I dunno what you’re talkin’ about.”
V frowned, brows furrowed, and let out a groan as he flipped another coin into the girl’s lap, far less impressively this time.
“Ohhhh, ya mean that woman. I did see her, she was wobblin’ about in that alley, an’ then she fainted, and this handsome red-haired man with a accent came on a giant chicken came an’ took ‘er away.”
V looked quizzically at the girl, then back at Solandriel, “Did you say a giant chicken? Have you eaten today?”
The beggar girl shrugged, “I saw’s what I saw. But I am quite hungry, so hungry that I might not even remember which way they went,”
“Tch! C’mon now...”
Several coins and about half an hour later, the two found themselves on a trail outside of town. After successfully bleeding the swarthy elf dry, the beggar was quite helpful, as she apparently knew where this mysterious accented red-haired man’s abode sat, as well as his name, ‘Laugh-Yett’, she pronounced it, and even having heard what some elves get up to with regards to naming, V had to admit it sounded strange. But, intel was intel, and even if grossly overpriced, it was valuable.
“I believe this ‘Laf-e-ette’ was the partner Kalena was intending to meet with before, “ Solandriel waved his hands in front of himself, “All this transpired.”
V raised an eyebrow. “I thought it was ‘Laf-yet’?”
Solandriel shrugged in response.
“So, you think this person is likely a friend of hers? You said partner, was he supposed to aid in rescuing your wife as well?”
“I had only just met her. I suppose it is likely, but he could also operate as a benefactor of sorts.”
“I guess we’re about to find out, looks like we made it.”
V pointed, gesturing towards a humble-looking hut flanked on both sides by trees. It was not exactly small, but had a sort of lived-in look about it. V looked around, one last check for any surprises of the assassination variety. Things seeming clear, V approached the front porch and knocked.
“We’re here for Kalena,” He announced sternly but with no aggression in his voice. He glanced at Solandriel, seeing wide eyes and raised brows.
“It sounds like you intend to take her! Why did you say it like that?”
V looked at the door, then back at the fair elf, “It’s just one foreign guy and she’s injured, I seriously doubt they’ll prove so difficult to tame, and besides-”
He turned, cut off as the knob began to turn and the door opened.