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The First Stop... Always [Open]

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#1Odin 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:04 am

Odin
The first thing Odin did when he entered a town was make his way to the nearest bar establishment, and Era was no different, as the Lich did what any creature of habit would do. The closest pub to his entrance wasn't that far, allowing Odin to quickly get away from the curious gazes of passing rune knights. He forgot how many patrolled Era but it made sense, with the town housing their headquarters, that the place would be crawling with knights. It only made things slightly more annoying for Odin but at the end of the day, if he so willed it, they would all die. The number mattered little.

As he entered the bar, all heads turned to him. Clad in his dark plate armour, but without a helmet, everyone saw the Lich enter. Standing taller than any of them, and looking like he would kill them in a moment if they so much as looked at him the wrong way, he made his way to the bar, and ordered a glass of wine, choosing to sit at the bar itself instead of finding a table. This pub wasn't like Odin was used to, there were more families than ruffians, but it was for that reason that he thought he could have some fun.



The First Stop... Always [Open] BTcteu6
#2Hiketsu 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:24 pm

Hiketsu

Naturally for someone with a keen interest in the finest alcohols, Hiketsu decided to head for one of the local pubs in Era. It has been a few days since he tasted any strong liquor - a byproduct of the constant work he submitted himself to. During his walk towards the closest pub, he couldn't help but notice the tensed up atmosphere and how the pedestrians displayed rather concerning looks on their faces - either he forgot to shower in the morning and the filthy smell was becoming Fiore's greatest criminal or something was truly off. The last thing he wanted was to be labeled a monster and smelling like dead bodies would have probably achieved that, but no, it wasn't him.

When he reached the pub, Hiketsu extended his arm in an attempt to open the door, but as soon as he touched the knob, he felt a sudden wave of chills traveling down his spine. It was almost like a warning that opening the door would lead him into a dangerous situation, but he didn't believe in such superstitions. He tried to shake off the chilly feeling and this time actually opened the door. As he walked in, anxiety started to build up in his chest, feeling his muscles tightening at the sight of a human - no, not a human - at the sight of a being he has never seen before. Simply standing there, near the entrance, staring at the creature whose existence he was not aware of until then, was enough to exert significant pressure. Hiketsu barely managed to comprehend the situation - he was essentially gazing at an undead of sorts enjoying a drink at the bar.

It took him a couple of minutes to get used to experiencing such a horrendous aura, but as soon as he could move his body again, he began approaching the bar, determined to sit right next to the horrifying sight. His father did not raise a scared cat, nor did his Daiymo tolerate frightened soldiers. Yet he was indeed frightened and with each step that brought him closer to the bar, Hiketsu started thinking that he might die. The only option he had at that time was to strike up a conversation, picking his words carefully.

"Greetings, foreigner. Are you a cosplayer or one of those demons threatening our entire existence?" said Hiketsu towards the creature.

In his head, picking his words carefully meant using irony and sarcasm. Perhaps playing it cool wasn't the greatest idea - or maybe entering the bar wasn't the greatest idea - or even getting a drink during that day. Nevertheless, after asking such a thing Hiketsu addressed the bartender and ordered a joyan sake. He wasn't even sure if they had such alcohol or if the bartender didn't die from the impressive, yet overwhelming aura.

#3Odin 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:47 pm

Odin
Odin had to admit he didn't think the general populace of Fiore had the balls to approach him and speak, let alone speak in such a familiar tone, even going so far as to perhaps insult the Lich in his attempts to make conversation. Odin held his glass of wine in his hand, debating whether or not it was worth wasting to smash the glass across the man's head, then blind him with whatever remained after the first attack. That was option one and, in an extremely rare twist of fate, Odin opted for option two. He spoke.

"Right now I'm neither, but I suppose it just depends on who you ask."

Many in the bar were stunned to hear the Lich reply, as they had no doubt expected option one to occur in some form or another, but Odin had good reasons for not killing the man right where he stood, at least for the moment. Whoever this strange man with a death wish was, he had foreign tastes. He had asked for Joyan sake, a drink Odin knew of but had never tried himself. Not only that but it was a drink he had never managed to source for his own pub, this in part due to how rare it was to find in Fiore.

In this moment, he was curious about two things. One: was the sake worth getting as a beverage in his pub, and two: did the bartender even have it?



The First Stop... Always [Open] BTcteu6
#4Hiketsu 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:17 pm

Hiketsu

Each moment felt like a race against time. Hiketsu might have been an overall laid back person, but even he knew that attempting to talk to a demon or something similar was a death wish. And a death wish was exactly what he had - or perhaps his bravado was a manifest. He defied death in the past, when his lord was murdered in cold blood and Tsu was supposed to commit seppuku, but left the country instead, so why would he not challenge the odds now, as a ronin, a wanderer without a master?

To everyone's surprise, the creature answered Hiketsu's thoughtless question and even more astonishing was the somewhat friendly tone used. It was the moment where the adventurer would drop the charade and bring the elephant in the room to the table. Hiketsu turned around to face the undead and with a straight face, lacking any facial expression that would betray his thoughts, he asked: "I do not know what you are, but I know what you are not. You are not human. As much as I would like to continue joking around-", at that moment Hiketsu pointed towards the bartender and then towards the entire room, "- I cannot because you are terrifying this man and his clientele."

Before he could continue his monologue, clearly speaking out his mind in the worst context ever, Hiketsu was interrupted by the bartender, who told him that there's only one bottle of sake left and it was kept for special situations. "Special situation, you say? You are standing behind the bar in an attempt to magically protect yourself from an obvious threat that could probably decapitate us all using nothing more than his bare finger-" he stopped for a few seconds before continuing "-and yet you have the nerve to imply that out collective death ain't a special occasion?". The bartender was left speechless, unacquainted to hearing the cold truth, so he decided to pour the sake as requested.

Hiketsu was clearly tensed up and nervous, judging by the way he spoke alone, but his facial expression remained neutral. It was as if he understood his situation without having much understanding at all. A blind man's hunch in the middle of a railway.

"Pour this man a glass too, they say alcohol keeps the dead busy." were the last words Hiketsu spoke, refering to the creature, before allowing the undead to reply at all. Tsu knew he had an unnecessary monologue, but if dialogue could save the people in that building, then it was worth a shot.



Last edited by Hiketsu on Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fixed typos.)

#5Odin 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:01 am

Odin
Odin had to admit, he was rather perplexed by the man, something that didn't happen all that often. Everything the man said always seemed to flow in the same way. First, he'd say something to Odin that would cause the Lich to decide that now he was going to die, but then almost immediately afterwards he'd intrigue him a bit more with some more words. For example the man stated that Odin was not human, and seemed to wish for the Lich to leave even if he didn't outright say it. The irritated Odin to the point where he was ready to take it out on the man and the other bar patrons, but then it changed again. Then, the man ignored Odin completely and argued with the bartender about whether or not the current situation was worthy of drinking the sake, eventually getting it after highlighting the threat that Odin posed.

It was only after requesting a drink for Odin that the man actually gave the Lich time to reply, and again he was surprised. The man didn't seem any different to the average man in terms of strength, so being this close to Odin while he exerted his Fear can't have been easy. If anything, Odin was lightly impressed, as he finished his wine before replying to the man, his voice low and his words spoken like he was simply stating a fact, rather than plotting the deaths of a dozen people.

"Thank you for the drink, but I'm still probably going to kill both you and everyone else in here."



The First Stop... Always [Open] BTcteu6
#6Hiketsu 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:54 am

Hiketsu

At this point, the situation seemed to be even more tensed up and dangerous than before. Hiketsu was doing something not many would dare doing and that is striking a conversation with someone whose aura alone was enough to make an entire room feel the pressure of a thousand boulders on their shoulders. Perhaps Hiketsu was foolish to almost openly challenge the undead to an honest and open discussion, perhaps it would end up getting himself and the rest of by-standers dead, but at the same time he enjoyed the thrill.

Trying to maintain his composure was not effortless, on top of that he was constantly dealing with the aura of this hostile individual, which, for a D rank adventurer, felt like the sky crumbling onto their own head, but he had no intention of backing down. By now, Hiketsu understood the concerning looks on the faces of the pedestrians he noticed on the way there. They were terrified, fearful for their own lives, even wishing for a hero to save them - but Hiketsu was no hero, just a man trying to save some unfortunate lives.

The undead thanked for the drink and said that he would probably kill everyone either way. It was exactly what Hiketsu expected from the very beginning and what made him want to continue the discussion. He was frightened, his heart was beating irregularly and his muscles were almost spasmodic. Yet, amid those, there was the adrenaline which made him feel alive.

"If this is where I am going to die, at least let me to drink this bottle of joyan sake to the last drop." said Hiketsu without making any eye contact. Anything that came out of his mouth was different from his thoughts. Between "I don't want to die" and "I can't save these people", his brain was trying to find rational solutions.

"From my understanding, you are the bad guy in this story, aren't you?" the adventurer asked without turning away from the bottle. "I am a foreigner, coming from the country of Joya and I have nothing to lose, nothing to live for and as you probably noticed already, I talk too much for my own good, therefore please allow me one luxury-" right after the word "luxury", Hiketsu stopped starring at the bottle of alcohol the Bartender opened for him and turned around to face the undead once more. Without blinking, he looked at death straight in the eye and said "tell me about yourself."

#7Odin 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:01 am

Odin
The Lich had met, and ultimately killed, many people like this man before him. He was either one of two types: an arrogant man who though he would be able to defeat the Lich and become a 'hero' to these people, or a rational man that just wanted to save as many people as he could, if he could. Whichever he was, he wasn't going to impress Odin. Now that the Lich had worked out that the man was simply stalling to try and find a non-violent solution, it made him want to interrupt him and just start killing, but he didn't.

Odin hadn't been many things in life, and he was even fewer in death, but he liked to think there was still some integrity to the man that had once been alive. This man wished to finish the bottle as his last wish and Odin had no reason to take that away from him. However long the man had been away from home, he deserved to have that lasting taste in his mouth. The taste of home, and of a simpler time. As the man asked to finish it, Odin just nodded, allowing him to continue.

"That's what most people like to use me as, so that is what I have become. I'd prefer Odin though, since that's my name."

It was an odd question, as of course Odin was the evil man. He had always been the big bad, the scary monster under the bed, and he felt no reason to change. He let the man continue for a bit longer though, as he asked to hear Odin's story. Drinking from his cup of sake, the taste being present just enough for Odin to desire it before turning to dust in his mouth, Odin looked across the room.

He saw a random mother and her children and he pointed at her, beckoning her over to him. Her fear was evident in her eyes, but she obeyed his silent demand, asking her children to look away as if she knew what was going to happen. The room was silent as the woman approached, eventually standing right next to Odin, who stayed in his seat next to the bar. He reached out one hand to rest on the woman's shoulder, almost as if he wished to reassure her and looking directly into her eyes as he did so. His hand then moved at great speed, moving to just below her chin before shooting up. Her hand flew back, and a satisfying snap sound was all that broke the silence, followed by a thud as the corpse fell to the bar floor.

"Look what you've done", Odin raised his hands in feigned incredulity, "You just had to go and ask me about myself, and now you've orphaned those two children over there. Why would you do such a thing?"



The First Stop... Always [Open] BTcteu6
#8Hiketsu 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:08 am

Hiketsu

Joyan philosophers had the tendency to popularize a saying Hiketsu hadn't forgotten to this day. You remain the hero of your own story even when you become the villain of someone else's. Perchance the chain of events in that pub were a physical incarnation of the saying. Odin, whose name was now shared with the adventurer, claimed that people used him as a villain and that's what he had become, yet concurrently it was likely for the undead to consider his actions justifiable by a moral compass of sorts or even by the absence of one. This undead Hiketsu found interest in had the appearance of a skeleton, an unearthly picture average humans wouldn't dare analyzing, but Hiketsu was not average. The skeleton had a name and also spoke like a human, which logically would imply that he was human once - a possibility that pushed Hiketsu into asking for Odin's story, unknowing that it would lead to an immediate death. But not his death.

The adventurer acknowledged his conversation partner's power as soon as he entered the room, expecting to see lives lost sooner or later. He went as far as striking up a conversation in order to stall, but in the end the same power that was acknowledged caused a mother's death, her still warm blood dripping from the cheeks of her sons. The shock petrified the entire room, with the exception of Hiketsu. Death was inevitable and an event we would all face sooner or later, which means he wasn't bothered by it. Instead, what bothered him was Odin's choice. Out of everyone there, he had to choose the mother and let her children watch as her inanimate copse hit the ground?

Keeping his composure at this point required industrious effort, but his lips eventually articulated a sentence. "Indeed. It is my fault and your actions speak for themselves, but if you are going to murder anyone, then murder the children too." In the next second, Hiketsu could feel judging looks being thrown in his direction, but he preferred to ignore them and explain the rationalism behind his words.

"You see, it would be irresponsible of me to not look after those orphans given how you traumatized their entire lives, but simultaneously they do not deserve to go through the hell that is living without a mother." Anyone could hear the grief in Hiketsu's voice, but at the same time they were disgusted. How could a so-called adventurer show such inconsideration and display insensitivity?

"This being said, please end them quickly. That's the most honourable thing scum like you could do."



#9Odin 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:11 am

Odin
The rest of the room had the reaction that Odin would expect from seeing the murder of a mother: one of shock and terror that they would be next. However, interestingly, the man before Odin was unfazed. He didn't seem to care about the death, even going so far as to agree with Odin that it was his fault. That part, Odin presumed, was just due to the shock, or perhaps this man was truly apathetic: a rare kind of person that just didn't care for anyone else.

The man's next words really intrigued Odin, as he asked him to kill the children as well, since it would make things easier for everyone. The children wouldn't have to live without a mother, and this man wouldn't have to be indebted to them and protect them due to being responsible. His only request was that Odin kill them quickly, which just caused the Lich to laugh maniacally. "You are in no position to make any requests of me. You're an interesting character, so I will grant your first request."

At this point, the children had an inkling of what was going to happen, however they could never know the true extent. The patrons of the establishment, however, knew exactly what was about to happen. But none of them wished to get in the way. If they had, it would just cause another death, which was realistically and logically a stupid idea.

Walking up to the children, Odin looked down at them. An eight year old and perhaps a six year old, boy and girl. The boy looked like he could be strong and survive through this, but the girl was breaking down in tears. It was quite an inspiring scene, but it made no difference to Odin. He sat down in front of the two children, grabbing the boy first and pulling him into death's embrace. His plan was to break each limb first before killing him, but it didn't quite work as well.

Turned out Odin had more strength than he realised, and the bodies of children were much easier to tear apart. Flesh tore as Odin removed the boy's leg, allowing him to howl in pain as he tossed his leg to the right, and his body to the right. He would bleed out and die from that eventually, allowing him to experiment something with the girl, something the brother would watch.

She tried to run, which was commendable, but not enough, as Odin grabbed her by her collar, standing once more as he lifted the girl up. He then threw her into the ground, at such ferocious speed that he heard the crunch and snap of bones breaking. He lifted her back up and repeated the motion. Three more times, each brutalising the girl's body more and more. At the end she was nothing more than a mushy corpse, but her screams echoed in the room as did those of her brother who would see it all before passing out from the blood loss. He would die too, in time.

Odin then looked over to the samurai, "Satisfied?"



The First Stop... Always [Open] BTcteu6
#10Hiketsu 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:04 am

Hiketsu

For Odin, being asked to murder someone quickly appeared to be entertaining, as his reply towards Hiketsu was no more than a maniacal, almost paralyzing laugh. Although Hiketsu requested a swift death for the orphans, the undead completely ignored the "swift" part and only granted them their death. Generally, the adventurer had great intuition, being able to sense negative outcomes even during the most ambiguous situations, but not this time - this time he watched the undead approach the children, expecting him to quickly and painlessly end their lives, because if Odin was human once, then he surely had honour left in him. It was what Hiketsu thought. Meanwhile, the reality was different and took a much darker turn. The following minutes were filled with nothing but horror and the muffled screams of the minors, who were meeting their death in a dreadful and spine-chilling way. Odin's actions couldn't be analyzed from any honourable or dishonourable point of view and words couldn't describe how exasperating they were to a man like Hiketsu.

By the time the undead was done torturing the children, the spectators either fainted, turned away or started wailing for the poor souls. Hiketsu, on the other hand, didn't feel grief or interest for the actual deaths. What bothered him was the method picked by Odin, the lack of honour was the catalyst which drove Hiketsu crazy to a point where the previously rational man turned into an empty vessel housing nothing more than pure anger. This outrage was stronger than his reason and could not be controlled, thus causing utmost impulsivity and clouding the judgement of the adventurer to a point where he wanted to murder the undead right away, without any second thoughts.

As Odin looked over and asked if Hiketsu was satisfied, he would have noticed Hiketsu giving off a different vibe. In spite of having no magical power whatsoever, Hiketsu's anger was enough to manifest an aura that would intimidate any average person, but Odin was not average and amid fumes of irritation the adventurer comprehended such detail. Nevertheless, knowing how out of his league the enemy was did not stop Hiketsu from tensing up the muscles in his legs and adopting a fighting stance before dashing fist first towards Odin's face. Punching someone at such a short distance would be effortless, but Hiketsu - for a brief second - forgot how he was dealing with an undead and that brief second caused a disgraceful failure.

While dashing towards Odin, the only words he managed to say were "SHUT UP!", a loud reply to what the undead asked, unlikely that yelling would change anything. Regardless of his heroic attempt, Hiketsu's body froze as soon as he got too close to Odin. The aura which weighted on his shoulders for the past hour could now be felt stronger than ever. How could someone's magical pressure feel like it was ripping off flesh, breaking bones into a million of pieces and melting away organs? A question without an answer. Clueless he remained there, petrified, having just a few centimetres between his fist and Odin's face. Even if he did punch the enemy, it wouldn't deal any damage and that's exactly what rendered his failure as disgraceful.

No matter how many stoic approaches Hiketsu had towards life, the sight of honour being stepped on, crushed and flattened as if it was nothing brought out the worst from deep within him. Perhaps this wrath would equal the strength of a calamity if properly controlled, but Hiketsu was no figher - at that moment, merely a child acting on primitive instincts.

#11Odin 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:57 am

Odin
Man, this guy was pissed. Odin brutally torturing and then killing the children was probably something he hadn't considered, and it apparently filled the man with rage. When the Lich had looked up to the samurai, asking what he thought about what had just transpired, it was a different feeling than what he had given off previously. After meeting the Lich the man had seemed scared, but resolved and hopeful that he could save some of the people here. After murdering the woman in front of him there had been no emotional change, nothing to suggest the man had any care about what happened to people, despite him later having the audacity to tell Odin the methods by which he should commit his second and third murder.

But these two murders had sparked something in the man: an emotional response, finally. The man was angry and, in his enraged state, he was irrational and reckless. He charged at Odin with his fist raised, no doubt hoping that somehow it would break the Lich and stop all this from happening. One punch capable of defeating this evil and saving the people of the pub from their potential deaths.

The punch collided... and nothing more. Odin didn't flinch, didn't counter attack. He just let it hit him. There was no reason to stop it, as it showed the man could feel rage and pain. It made Odin laugh once more: the same, maniacal laugh that echoed throughout the building and shook the patrons to their cores. "Nice try, maybe next time" is all Odin would remark as he grabbed the hand that had just punched him. He pulled it down and towards, while also bringing his knee up to the man's face. Bone would connect with bone as Odin felt the man's jaw fracture. Perhaps not a full break, but the force would be enough to render him unconscious. As he watched the samurai fell, Odin realised he hadn't even bothered to ask his name.

The next minutes were glorious to the Lich. He killed all the patrons of the bar, taking his time to revel in the scream of those still conscious and able to feel the pain he was inflicting upon them. They all died, their bodies decorating the bar room floor as Odin simply left. He took the bottle of sake with him, intrigued and planning to add it to his own pub. As far as he was concerned, it had been the only thing of value he had seen today.

-Exit-



The First Stop... Always [Open] BTcteu6
#12Hiketsu 

The First Stop... Always [Open] Empty on Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:18 am

Hiketsu
Eventually, Hiketsu's punch collided with Odin's face, but it almost felt like Odin allowed the adventurer to hit him. He did not flinch, nor did he counter-attack. It was nothing more than a reminder of how weak Hiketsu was, followed by another one of Odin's maniacal laughs, which echoed deep and shocked whoever heard it. A few seconds before being knocked out, Hiketsu heard "maybe next time", but this next time wouldn't come anytime soon and not unless Hiketsu became stronger.

The adventurer's body was now a punchbag in the hands of the undead. As his arm was grabbed and his whole body pulled towards Odin, there was nothing Hiketsu could do. He spent his last seconds thinking about how much stronger he has to get in order to withstand Odin's aura and eventually how much stronger in order to actually defeat the undead. Those seconds did not last long, because right after Hiketsu received a knee up to the face. The sudden pain in his jaw felt like an instant fracture, perhaps that what it was, but Hiketsu had no chance to check as he passed out following the impact. He fell to the ground and stayed there, unconscious, at the mercy of gods.

~ Exit ~

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