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(Quest - Ko Lesalt) What's Mine is Mine

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#1Ko Lesalt 

(Quest - Ko Lesalt) What's Mine is Mine Empty Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:10 am

Ko Lesalt

Dawncliff Mine had definitely seen better days. In the aftermath of the Miner Revolt, the fires that Ko and Nantosuelta had set swept through the entire facility, damaging not only the roughshod battlements the miners had built but also property that belonged to the company. As a result, most of the mining operations in Dawncliff had been suspended until repairs were made and the company could verify their employees wouldn’t be pulling a similar stunt in the near future. Somehow, Ko doubted they’d get any ideas after what had happened last time. The three dragon slayers had wiped out any resistance, rather spectacularly after all.

The problem now, however, was that with the mine closed there was no one on hand to keep scabs, bandits, and other thieves from sneaking into the mountain’s interior and clearing out the veins that had already been exposed and were now left unattended. Every day the mines were left unworked the company was showing double losses: first from the work that wasn’t getting done, and then again for everything that was being stolen. So, naturally, it was time for the company to call in their favorite hound dog to keep things from getting any worse.

Ko wanted to be offended by that method of thinking but he also couldn’t refute it. He was basically just a glorified guard dog to these company types, easily tamed by a wad of cash into doing whatever they wanted. They were lucky he needed the money, or else their flippant behavior would get him focused on them instead, and Ko was much more eager about resolving personal grudges over professional ones. As it was, Ko had no reason not to agree, and so once again found himself approaching Dawncliff Mines on the back of Nantosuelta, looking down on the charred remains of the ill-conceived uprising.


#2Ko Lesalt 

(Quest - Ko Lesalt) What's Mine is Mine Empty Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:11 am

Ko Lesalt

Nantosuelta touched down in the center of the ruined stronghold, her wings kicking up ash in every direction. They really had done a number on the place. Every building was a burnt out shell of its former self, either crumbling completely to gray ash or turned to blackened, skeletal remains. Ko could even pick out actual skeletons among some of the rubble, a sign that not every miner who perished did so directly at his, Steel, or Ragnar’s hands. It wasn’t Ko’s first time returning to a former battlefield, but it was the first time he’d ever found himself in one that he’d help create.

More importantly, Ko could clearly see signs of people coming and going since the battle that had destroyed the place. There were footprints in the ash in multiple places, as well as bodies that had been moved and the ruins of buildings that had been cleared out or dug through. The signs were clearly from scavengers looking to make some money off of what had happened, though whether or not they’d gone further into the mine like Ko’s employer assumed he didn’t know. He also didn’t know whether or not there were people waiting for him in the ruins themselves, which is why Ko instructed Nantosuelta to stay behind and keep an eye out.

She wasn’t happy with the idea, but Ko didn’t allow any arguments. For some reason ever since he’d learned Dragon Slayer magic Nantosuelta had been much clingier, calling him things like “Darling” and “Dear” and just generally doing some very confusing things. Not that Ko really minded all that much; he was fond of Nantosuelta too. Ko was just becoming concerned that Nantosuelta’s affections ran a little deeper than he thought. Those were concerns for another time, however. For now, Ko had a mine to clear out.


#3Ko Lesalt 

(Quest - Ko Lesalt) What's Mine is Mine Empty Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:11 am

Ko Lesalt

Entering the mines for the third time was a surreal experience. It wasn’t so much the fact that he was doing it again, it was how utterly different things were this time around. The tunnels were utterly silent at the entrance, a stark change from the usual echoing hustle and bustle of miners entering and exiting the mine. There were no carts full of ore, no grunting men and women hauling raw stone, no loud guffaws or cantankerous complaining. The mines were completely silent, almost like Ko had entered a tomb. Perhaps he had, in some respects. He’d certainly killed enough people here.

As Ko went further into the mines, he found signs of places where bodies had been laid and then removed later on. From what he could tell, some of the miners must have run into the mines to try and escape the fires, only for smoke to billow in and suffocate them. A cruel way to go, but Ko didn’t allow himself to feel any pity for them. They’d chosen to put their lives on the line when they physically revolted against their employers. Hell, they’d anticipated retaliation, considering the mercenaries they’d hired.

Ko’s mind turned to the part of mercenaries he and the others had faced off against when they were razing the place. He hadn’t learned the name of a single one of them, which was a shame. Although he’d killed the Archer and the Martial Artist, they’d been admirable foes. It had simply been a bad match up against him. The martial artist especially would have been a challenge if he hadn’t been able to dispel her strengthening magic so easily. Without it she had only her skill to fall back on, which simply hadn’t been enough to overpower him. Ko smirked at the memory of their fight. She’d been quite a looker too. A real shame.


#4Ko Lesalt 

(Quest - Ko Lesalt) What's Mine is Mine Empty Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:12 am

Ko Lesalt

It had been at least an hour since Ko had entered the mines and he’d yet to find anything after the first signs at the entrance that people had entered. No sounds, no footprints, not even any out of place scents. There had, of course, always been the chance that his employer was wrong about people entering the mine to steal. After all, thieves weren’t miners; they didn’t have the strength or work ethic to strip veins of ore at a great enough rate to make a profit off the time it would take. Still, that isn’t always enough to stop some people.

Sure enough, just when Ko had just about had enough walking about and was about to turn around and leave, he heard the very distant sound of a pickaxe on stone. Or perhaps it was metal; had someone struck something without intending to? Regardless, it was the only signal Ko needed to keep heading deeper. Following the sounds of the pick strikes was hard at first, considering how far away they were originating and the sheer number of echoes in such enclosed spaces. It wasn’t enough to stop Ko, however. Before long he was even able to catch the scent of the men he was looking for. Dirty, grimy, soaked in whiskey. Exactly what he’d expected.

Finally, after stalking through the mines for at least another half an hour chasing the sounds of the thieves, Ko heard a voice. They’d stopped mining, and were getting ready to head back for the surface. Their voices weren’t close, but it wouldn’t have been difficult for Ko to find them. Even if he didn’t they’d run into Nantosuelta at the entrance. But none of that mattered, as just as Ko thought he was chasing after another echo, he rounded a corner and found himself face to face with a half dozen sweaty, poorly equipped men that looked like they’d been living in the wilderness for months. Immediately, Ko grinned wide.


#5Ko Lesalt 

(Quest - Ko Lesalt) What's Mine is Mine Empty Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:13 am

Ko Lesalt

For whatever reason, the screams of the men bothered him more than usual. It wasn’t on an emotional level; Ko couldn’t feel anything resembling remorse for slaughtering humanoid insects like these thieves. No, it was something more physical. Ah, it made his ears hurt. Maybe it had something to do with them being in an enclosed space, the sound being more visceral or compounded by echoes. Whatever the reason, it made already tedious work even more tedious.

Being thieves, they didn’t have the decency to die with any kind of honor or personal pride. Ko had crushed the skull of the first one before the others had even had time to blink, and immediately afterwards they took off running. If they’d been smart about it they might have actually evaded him, but not a single one put any thought into their escape. They just stumbled blindly down tunnels they didn’t recognize, yelling and whining the entire way. Ko would have to have been deaf to lose them. More than one of them died blubbering like children, trying to make flimsy deals for their lives. It made Ko sick.

A part of Ko wondered, deep down, if this sort of work was what he wanted to devote his life to. Could he really be proud of this; squashing detritus under his boot for equally worthless vermin, all for the sake of monetary gain? This sort of work was completely contrary to his true desires. He wanted to test himself, to pit his might and acuity against monumental challenges. Spending his time wiping out tiny thieves was an affront to his goals. Thankfully, the last thief was dead shortly, and Ko only had to make his way back to the exit of the mine and clean himself off to be rid of the entire ordeal. Though, he did pause to consider his near future. Perhaps instead of taking another job, he’d just step on the throat of the company owner himself.


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