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In the Wake of Giants [1x1]

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Jannistory19, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Janine looked to Chestnut and noticed the blood. She was concerned, but Raban was also still weakened from the previous night. Her tail flicked as Raban spoke about being in a bed, and chuckled softly - agreeing with him wholeheartedly. She fought twice in one transformation. She couldn't recall the last time she'd done this. Maybe it was the first time she'd ever done it. Either way, she was starting to get tired.

    "You're welcome Raban. I.... Guess my leave was much too untimely. If you can forgive me, I'll stay by your side until we get to town," Janine said as she walked up to the Knight. Turning a little to her side, she snaked her tail around Raban's underarms and lifted him up gently. She lowered him down on her back, looking towards Chestnut with a small bow of her head.

    "I might not know of your power, but I do know that you're powerful enough. Nonetheless, your legs are hurt - I'm not blind to them. I'll take him until we get to the treeline, then you'll take the reins.... Pardon the choice of words," Janine said with a chuckle. She began the journey back to the town, her stride naturally awkward, but she made sure to keep herself stable for Raban's sake.
     
  2. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban felt the leg behind him shift slightly and he glanced upwards hoping Chestnut was not hurt too bad. She would heal at the rate a shire horse would heal at and thus it would take time. He looked back to Janine and smiled as she seemed to chuckle.

    "I owe you much already, there's nothing to forgive," he murmured furious with himself that he was struggling to stay awake. He stifled a yawn and watched as she came closer. Chestnut did not move or try to stop her. Chestnut had not wish to send Raban sprawling to the floor, his weight was resting rather too heavily now against her canon bone.

    Raban blinked as he found himself rising from the ground and had the presence of mind to shift his leg out before he was placed upon her back. Chestnut looked at them both a little unsettled by allowing someone else to carry her favoured Wolf again but she understood just as much as Raban did that it would be impractical for her to carry his weight with the scratches to her legs. The horse snorted lightly and nodded back before she stepped closer, turning and bumped her muzzle on Janine's shoulder.

    Raban yawned, his jaw stretching widely, before he spoke again, "Chestnut thanks you and trusts you won't drop.. me..." He held on but that was as far as his tired mind would stretch too. He did not know if he was still being held or not but he didn't mind Janine's gait. It kept him a wake helped by Chestnut's sharp prodding with comments and crude jokes.

    Chestnut kept pace with Janine all of the way and her entrapped form yet again proved its perfection in its ability to endure and continue. The horse was famous for its stamina and intelligence. It had replaced Oxen for choice in ploughing fields and pulling heavy equipment. It was easier now she wasn't having to race for her life and Raban's and with a demonic presence, every creature knew to give them a wide birth. She spied foxes slinking out of their path. A wolf paused, howled and turned away with a duck of its pointed head.

    Before long the edge of the forest came into view and Chestnut paused alongside Janine. She stopped and snorted, pawing the leaf litter. She looked at Janine and pointed to her saddle with her muzzle. She could carry him the rest of the way and let Janine return in her own way or form. Chestnut peered at Janine for a long moment not for the first time envious of Janine's ability to change.
     
  3. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    The way back home was a bit longer than she expected due to her being careful of Raban's condition. He was still too weak to move about - she felt his grip weaken every once in a while as he struggled to stay awake. To compensate, Janine opted to put her tail around his waist, but gently as to not along him off her back.

    She glanced to Chestnut every once in a while. She wondered if she trusted her a little. Not a lot, since she didn'teven know Janine like that, but just a little. The idea that she could gain someone's trust naturally and not artificially would be nice. Her time in the Order taught her a couple of things - not everyone has to like you to work with you, and that the trust is somewhat forced upon one another. In order to work in a job like this, one has to trust that their partner will do something, or else risk death. But that was the problem - preservation was just that - preservation. It was not inherently reciprocal. One could save another for their own reasons and gain, not caring at all for the other person, so long as they live.

    ....

    Janine realized that the same could be said for herself and Raban. They both had a secret, and to tell about one person would raise questions for the other. Janine gave an inward sigh and lowered her head a little. What if Chestnut thought that about her? What if Raban thought that as well, even for a brief moment?

    Would that mean that he would betray her, to save himself and Chestnut?

    No. Part of trusting someone was to believe that they wouldn't compromise that trust. Janine couldn't think of anyone that she could do that with at the moment... And she had to make sure that she didn't do anything as well. Raban had a life as well - everyone did. He has a right to live, like everyone else. Yes, she was going to strive to be a better person..... Which could also mean she had to work on her social skills...

    Maybe later. Now, Raban was priority.

    Thankfully, the rest of the way back out of the forest went off without problem. Other than a few animals taking a gaze at the strange party before running off, nothing bothered them.

    Once the edge of the forest was in view, Janine paused and lifted her head. Amastad. Finally. She had never been so happy to see it again, even thought she was gone for only a night. Chestnut's snorting made her turn her head, and she saw the horse pointing at the saddle on her back with her muzzle. Right. Time to put Raban back where he belonged. With as much gentleness as she gave him the first time, Janine used her tail to put Raban back onto Chestnut's saddle.

    "There you go. Finally back to town. If something comes after us at this point, I might have to move from this town," Janine joked. She let her tail fall to the ground once more, the muscles aching again since they hadn't had time to recover from the night previous.

    "Now, here's for you to rest and get better. Both of you," Janine said as she lifted a paw with a wave. "See you around."

    When those two went their own way, Janine sighed and sat down. She was comfortable being in this form, but she needed to get back home to her mother and horse. Not to mention rest. With a short huff, the young demon changed back into a young woman. Her clothes were intact, a thing that Janine would alway grateful for, and the scratches were under her clothes, so she wouldn't have to worry about her going into town bleeding or the like. She leaned against a tree to give her body a moment to get used to being on two legs, and soon began her own walk into town.
    But instead of going in the normal way, she took a less common way in. The barns and fields were a more dirty and difficult way, but she had no qualms about it - after all, she did wrestle with a bear. And besides, she'd rather be seen by animals than humans. She didn't feel like talking to people right now.

    After passing by multiple properties and fields, Janine was already close to her home. She just and to go down a couple of streets, and she was there. In her haste, Janine barely caught the sounds of hissing and rattling in her head. The woman looked up with a gasp. What the hell? What was happening now? Couldn't she rest? But the sounds made Janine alert. Why was there danger here, so close to her home? Warily, Janine kept walking, looking behind her every other minute. Suddenly, she bumped into someone. Janine gasped and stepped back to apologize, but the person didn't say anything to her.

    Janine was a little irked, but the hissing was louder than before. What the...? With a look of alarm, the young Knight tensed her body up and turned to the person she just bumped into. But they were shrouded in a black cloak from their head to toe. The person stood there for a second before Janine stepped forwards, making the mysterious person flee.

    "Hey! Come back here!" Janine shouted. She gave chase and turned a corner, but the person was gone. Unsettled, Janine decided it was truly time to go back home. When she got there, Janine greeted her horse, then her mother. Being as tired as she was, Janine opted to go to bed, where she slept for hours upon hours under a blanket.
     
  4. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban was so ready for sleep that he could and would sleep anywhere. He preferred his bed but knew his body could easily make the decision for him. He di not fancy becoming any further a burden to Janine and her intentions for the rest of her day than he had been already. He thought he felt something hug about his belly but he couldn't be sure. He wasn't really with it, not completely.

    Chestnut was grateful. He was staying awake but only just and through sheer will or determination of wanting to wait till he had reached his room. She was already working out the best route to get there without being seen. Well, the lesser chance of him being seen that was. He would still have to navigate the stairs by himself. Horses weren't exactly allowed inside of buildings, unless it was a barn or stable.

    Raban noticed nothing of the journey to the forest's edge. All his focus was just on staying awake. He felt himself rise into the air once more. For a fleeting second thought he was doing it himself somehow before a voice reminded him that he was on Janine and she was doing it for him. He flet his leg sit around Chestnut's chest, the smooth yet hard leather pressing into his skin. He wasn't exactly wearing much protection but it didn't matter. His hands fumbled and held on to the saddle horn and her mane once more before he frame leaned forwards again with a yawn.

    He looked at Janine and smiled, "Thank you... Get home safe... yes?" his words were barely above a whisper but he was sure she could hear him clearly anyway. "I don't want you...to leave..." it wasn't entirely clear whether he had heard her humour but his wish seemed genuine in it. He clung hard to Chestnut before the horse snorted lightly and moved off on her own accord. She felt him cling hard enough for her to enter a gentle trot towards Amastad and she went to its eastern side before she crossed into it. Those guards she had almost mowed down the day before weren't there to recognise the strange sight of Raban and his shire and for that she was grateful. She walked through the streets and alleyways, sneaking her way round with little to no problem before she reached where Raban was staying.

    The place wasn't grand but it wasn't the worst of places to stay in. It was clean and had servants enough to accommodate any need.

    "Time to get yourself to bed, Little Wolf. Sleep a long sleep. Heal," she prodded. He grunted and it took him a long time before he dismounted. He cried out with a little pain, holding on to the saddle to hold him up for a moment. It seemed his cry of pain was a little louder than he had intentioned. His senses rose and forewarned even before the door nearby opened and a head poked out.

    "Oh, hello Sir. I thought you hadn't come back yet, the missus was adamant you had..." the man said, revealing more of himself as he looked at the Knight was staying in their place of lodging. An inn of sorts. The man was tall and lanky, with no real muscle to speak of but Raban had found him polite and helpful. "Oh my, you're hurt! Here! let me help you, Sir!"

    Raban could voice no protest as the man moved and slipped Raban's arm over his shoulders, his own arm going around Raban's back. "I'll get your horse sorted, don't you worry. Easy does it now," the man breathed and with a little difficulty got Raban to his room. For the Knight, it was somewhat embarrassing to have another many put him to bed and tuck him in but in the end he was just too damned exhausted to care. He was asleep before the man had laid his head on to the pillow. His body knew it did not have to move or get up for a while.

    The man kept his word and Chestnut soon found herself in a comfortable stall with fresh hay and feed to keep her happy. The man had even given her a couple of apples before leaving her be with the other horses.

    Raban slept for hours on end and was oblivious even when the lodge owner's wife entered and tended to the wounds he had come in with. This was not the first time it had happened. He had returned before on previous stays looking worse for wear but he was by far one of their best lodgers who always paid well, and had even helped them out when one lodger got abusive in a violent fashion. Raban would eventually wake to find his flesh wounds cleaned and bandaged and that his broken leg had also been splinted so that it would not shift too much.
     
  5. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    While Janine didn't know it at the time, the next two days were her off days. Thankfully, no Knight just worked tirelessly and endlessly without rest. It would just end in disaster for the overall population. Her mother tended to her occasionally as she rested, giving the woman cups of water and small portions of food whenever she woke up. Janine did the same for her mother, wanting to make sure that she was alright.

    The older woman limped every now and again, and Janine frowned a little with concern. She had nearly forgotten about that, but now, Janine was able to recall her mother limping towards Raban in the forest.

    "Mom are you okay? I never got the chance to ask in the forest," Janine asked with concern.

    "Yes, I'm fine. I'm pretty sure it's just because Venus fell on my leg. It's not broken.... Just sprained is all," the woman said with a shrug. Janine sighed and looked down to the leg. It looked fine, but she was going to keep her eye on it. The two soon had their conversations about Raban and Chestnut, ans both began to take in the magnitude of the responsibilities they both had.

    They were protecting a werewolf and a demon's identities. Both of those accounts alone would be punishable by death.

    "It still is a shock to me. I never thought I would ever see a werewolf as both a wolf and a human. I've only heard stories about them," her mother said as she sat down. Janine nodded in concurrence.

    "Me neither. I've just started to read about them myself. Mom... He's not the typical breed either..." Janine said with raised eyebrows. Her mother tilted her head curiously.

    "Whatever do you mean by that?"

    "He can do it willingly. By his own self. It's not always forced. That's why I was saved from that dragon. That's why a knight claimed to have seen a werewolf in the daytime. He's special. I read about it in the book that I got. It says that there are special cases where a werewolf could change in their own accord. Although the idea wasn't well proven because there are spells that can force a werewolf to change from their human form to their wolf form. But he said that he was able to do it....." Janine paused and looked down at herself. Her mother looked at her and asked what the matter was.

    "Nothing. Just that this is a bit to take in. How many people are like Raban? Why is he like that? How? I forgot to ask him if he could be born like that..... But maybe not so soon."

    "Are you sure you can handle it? You don't look so confident. Should I do something about you?" Janine's mother asked ominously. She looked up and furrowed her brow with concern for herself.

    "Mom! No, you don't! And why would you ask that? I would never do or say anything that would compromise our secrets. It would be shameful of me to even consider it. I would be lower than a common thief. I can't do that to him, or his horse."

    "Okay baby. I was just asking. I'll admit, I wasn't expecting to hold another thing like this, but it can't be any more different than what I've been doing for these last 24 years. It will be very easy for me. As I've said, he seems to be very respectable. Did you ask any other questions about him....? Anything other than what he is?" The woman asked with that tone of voice Janine cringed at every time she spoke like that. Again?

    "Mooom! Seriously? Can you not do that? Why would I ask him personal questions? Just asking questions about what he is was personal enough. And you had the gall to approach him when he was naked!"

    Janine's mother scoffed and shook a finger at her. "Oh no! You are not going to throw this thing on me. If I can recall, you were the one who was near him the longest," the woman retorted. Janine was going to say something, but she paused and looked down at her hands. She was backed into another corner. How come she never could win an argument with her mother?

    "I.... Wasn't thinking about that at the time. I was worried about his well-being, and nothing else. I mean, I did break his leg," Janine said as she turned her head.

    There was a pause in the room before Janine turned to her mom. "Mom? Be serious with me. Why do you like Raban? You've seen him less times than I did." Janine asked.

    The woman looked to the window as she thought of her answer. She soon gave a response. "Because he has the potential to understand you - how you might feel and react during a situation, how you might feel during times of weakness, or just through the struggles of life since it'll always be harder for people like you and him. And that's all I want for you - for you to be understood," the woman said softly.

    Janine was speechless. She had a snarky comment at the ready, but the reply was rather sincere and.... motherly. She sighed and shook her head.

    "Okay.... But why did you make your comments so.... suggestive?"

    "I was only stating that you two could be good partners."

    "Partners?!"

    "As friends! Companions! Comrades, as you Knights like to call each other. What did you think I was talking about?"

    "Mom, you know dang well what I thought you was talking about when you said that."

    "Well I wasn't.... Not entirely. Do you think about that?" The mother asked as she flipped the focus again. Janine stuttered and looked away.

    "I... no... W-well.... Um. N-not all the time."

    "I mean with him."

    "No! Of course not. We just met mom, how many times do I have to tell you that?"

    "That doesn't matter. Anyone can think about another person. And besides, you're fibbing - you're stuttering. It's okay to feel whatever you're feeling. It's only natural," the woman said with a nod of her head.

    Janine sighed and looked away. She didn't want to feel the way she was feeling about Raban.... She couldn't tell how to describe it, but it wasn't romantic..... At least she thought it wasn't. All she knew was that she was being close to someone that wasn't her family, and she never was like that towards anyone else. It made her nervous.

    Her mother crouched down beside her. "Look, Janine. I may say some things, but just know that I don't care how your relationship with Raban goes. It could be a friendship, or something more than that. Just as long as you have a positive one with him. Honestly, so far, he is the best person to talk to you about anything; being a Knight, being different. Just don't be scared about it okay?" Her mother asked as she kissed her cheek. Janine sighed and nodded her head, looking down as she did so.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  6. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban slept for what had felt more like years but was probably days in reality. He came to sluggishly to find his chest wrapped in linen bandages. It was a little tight when he breathed but he didn't remove them. He knew his gashes had healed up with hardly a scar to signify that they had ever existed but he had to maintain the illusion for a while longer. He just hoped Mrs. Longfellows didn't insist on changing them or that was likely to raise questions. He flicked the covers away and inspected his leg after sitting up. This he did not need to pretend. It needed more time to heel and he'd be with a limp for a while to come. He smiled, Janine had not gone soft on him.

    He heard the creak of a floorboard and quickly flicked the covers back over his legs. It seemed Mrs Longfellows had also taken the time to remove his old tunic and dress him in a fresh tunic and breeches. He winced realising she must have gotten an eyeful. The door opened to reveal her carrying a tray. Mrs Longfellows paused when she saw Raban was awake and then smiled, closing the door behind her before she settled the tray on a table next to the bed he was laying in. There was a smell of lemon and water.

    "Good, you're awake dear,"

    "Hello Mrs. Longfellows... How long was I out for?"

    "Day and a half... dead to the world you was, hardly a murmur when I did your bandages. Frank's cooking some food right now. Think you could use some. I have a stick for you... if you think you can manage the stairs, dear?"

    "With a temptation like that, I can try, ma'am," he nodded, smiling. The woman nodded before she helped him sit up a little more. She sat on the side before she wrung a cloth she lifted from a bowl.

    "I'm sure. Nothing quite like a good meal to get a man out of bed. Easier temptations to get him in one, and no mistake," She chuckled as she cleaned his face for him, removing the sweat he had produced during the night. He remained still knowing she'd only scold him for moving. Living under their roof came with rules he had to follow and he was sure Mrs. Longfellows ruled the roost far more than Mr. Longfellows did.

    "Is that what they say?"

    "Yes. There, all clean again... I'll go fetch your stick for you, dear," she rose from the bed and lifted teh tray out of the room. He watched her for a moment before he removed the covers and swung his good leg out before using his hand to help the other follow suit. He could use some food. He didn't really remember when he had last eaten anything substantial. He could go for longer without food if necessary than most. What he was had a hand in that. The floorboard creaked again and he looked towards the door just as she re-entered. She smiled and joined him, holding out a stick with a carved handle to him.

    He took it and with a little difficulty and support from the older woman, he stood, using the stick to help keep most of the weight off his broken femur. He got downstairs with hardly a fault but he could sense the woman was watching him all of the way down the stairs right up until he sat down on the bench. Frank smirked as he placed a plate in front of the Knight.

    Raban thought as he ate, wondering how Janine was doing. He didn't have to worry about his demon friend, knowing that Chestnut was alive and well. He could sense she was sleeping when he prodded and left her to her slumber. She had earned it just as much as he did. Perhaps more. It was dangerous now that more people knew his and Chestnut's secret but he had no reason to doubt they'd would sell him or Chestnut out. He knew the punishment if he ever was found out. Regardless of his years in the Order, he would be put to death. There might be a formality given to him out of respect but he would still be put to death and his body burned.

    He would n't tell on her and he was sure she would do the same. Still, he had been spotted, the Order would not let that lie. He had to be careful. He ate his food wolfing it down and did not protest when his plate was taken away only to be placed back in front with a second helping. Her preferred coming here to stay rather than staying in the barracks. He may have had to pay for the room and board but the food was a lot better and the Longfellow's didn't ask too many questions even if they faffed about him. He suspected he represented some kind of son for them them but he didn't ask. He didn't want to.
     
  7. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Janine sat in the house with her mother and read the werewolf books she borrowed the other day. She wanted to know even more about werewolves ever since that night she fought Raban, and since he confirmed several things that the books claimed, she wanted to see if other things could be true.

    Plenty of questions sprouted in her head - like flowers in a garden. Looking back and forth between the general facts and theories about werewolves and the methods on how to slay them, Janine was quick to become absorbed in the pages of hundreds of words.

    Eventually, Janine grew to be uncomfortable in the house, and got dressed to go outside. It wasn't that she disliked being in the house, she just felt restless and wanted some fresh air. Oftentimes, it was her own desire to be outside, and other times, her inner demon gives her the urge to just be about.

    Thankfully, her human side was the leading voice at the moment. Taking a small bag to hold her books in, Janine went outside and went to Venus, who was laying down in her bedding. There were patches on her flank where she got scratched, and the mare herself was chewing on some barley. But when Venus saw Janine approaching, she quickly tried to get up.

    "Hey girl. No no no, don't get up. You need to rest. You got nicked that night. I'm sorry I wasn't faster," Janine said solemnly. Venus snorted and flicked her lips at her. The woman snickered and sighed.

    "Yeah. That night was pretty scary. Thankfully, you horses don't changed scratched. Otherwise, I'd have to worry about what to feed you," Janine joked with a weak chuckle. Venus snorted again and shook her head as if she wasn't amused with the joke.

    "Oh hush up you. I was just kidding. Well, get some rest. I'll check up on you later," Janine said as she pat Venus' shoulder. She got up and walked out of her gate, leaving her property and down the streets. The walk in town was alright, but soon enough Janine had to pull up one of the books and begin reading out of it.

    She didn't really see where she was going, but she had general ideas on where to go as she walked. So with a book in hand, Janine walked on the sidewalks with her head down, her eyes focused on the pages.
     
  8. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban had eaten his fill and washed it down with watered beer. He never had liked the taste of it but he wasn't one to complain about the hospitality of where he stayed. He got what he paid for really. He thought deeply as he sat there wondering if Janine could help Chestnut or not. She hadn't known the demon language which could be indicative of her not knowing but he wasn't going to assume things. That was a dangerous thing to do that could and would get him killed if he had relied on that alone.

    He knew he would need to buy a horse if ever he was successful in his promise to Chestnut but that was a small thing compared to honour and the principle of keeping his word. Once he said he would try and do something, he would keep to that as best as he was able. He had yet to break his. He knew and understood the freedom it would give Chestnut were she freed from her equine prison. If Janine could aid him fulfill this promise in any way, then he would ask her.

    Mrs. Longfellows came over to collect his plate, "Sure you don't want any more, dear?"

    "No, thank you. I'm quite sufficient to the fullness thereof. I'm going to go for a walk... Could you see that Chestnut is fed and watered?" he asked ignoring the snort of indignation that emanated from his mind.

    "Of course. She will be looked after. Don't go too far... that legs needs more healing time,"

    "I'll be careful," he smiled before he rose, collected his stick and turned for the way out. The air was fresh and that was refreshing for him after spending time doing nothing but sleeping and healing. He took a lengthy walk through the streets of Amastad. It wasn't the richest area by any means and he had the intention of heading to the Quartermaster to commission a new suit of armour. He wasn't really looking forward to that conversation. He'd had more than most Knights went through and the Quartermaster was not shy in asking questions or belittling him for it.

    Raban walked slowly, getting used to needing a sticking and keeping up illusions. The bandages were too tight beneath the tunic he wore. He distracted himself with thoughts of recent events again.

    "Thinking too much is not healthy, Little Wolf. It's called brooding,"
    "So's butting in,"
    "Aww, but that's fun,"
    "I'm sure."

    Raban was used to the small snippets of banter between him and Chestnut and he smiled to himself as he continued thinking. There were pros and cons to his dark truth and Chestnut's identity being known by Janine and her mother. He did not think Janine would spill the beans. He wasn't so sure about her mother but he didn't think it likely. Her mother had kept Janine's secret after all. He thought of all the others who knew, a list so small he could almost count it on one hand. Most were far away from Amastad too which helped.

    He turned a corner and found a small garden which was for communal use. He could smell mint and rosemary and he smiled. He liked the smell of mint as it reminded him strongly of his mother. He crossed over to one of the mint plants and picked a couple of leaves before he moved to sit upon a bench, grimacing as an ache flared in his femur. He looked at the limb accusingly for a moment before he peered at the plants. glad that wolfsbane was not among them.

    Lost to his thoughts, he crushed a mint leaf between a forefinger and thumb before lifting it to his nose, savouring the scent. For him, mint was relaxing and helped him to think. He breathed in deeply and exhaled slowly, silently enjoying the peace and quiet of the little garden with its scents of mint, rosemary, lavender and thyme.
     
  9. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Walking along the paths, Janine read the pages of her book. Now while the book wasn't quite what most would exactly expect someone to duck their head into, many things could catch Janine's interests and curiosities.

    She didn't necessarily want to know thw many ways to kill werewolf, but she did want to know the many dangers that a werewolf could face. That way, she'd be more likely to assist Raban in whatever way was needed. Occasionally, she'd put the book down from her face to make sure she wouldn't run unto a horse or cow or some other livestock, but otherwise, she would maneuver around folks.

    She eventually walked near the bakery. Her stomach growled when she smelled the baked goods, and she shook her hips a little to see if she had any change. Out of sheer luck she did. So she went and bought a small ball of sweet bread to snack on. Maybe she could share it with her mother when she got back... That is if there was any leftover.

    Walking further along, Janine soon approached the town square - which was actually a strange variant of an oval with a garden in the around the bend. But the garden was squarish in shape.... Maybe that's what counted.... Janine picked a piece of sweet bread as she strode past the plants, taking notice of their scents. Such a nice combination of plants. Mint was the most obvious out of them all - she wondered if she could put a leaf on her tongue..... Perhaps not, mint and sweet bread were never known to be good together.

    With a sigh, Janine sat down to avoid the rest of the townspeople. She was planning on going to the forest, but in hindsight, this was probably the best place to sit and rest her legs. So she sat down on an empty bench and picked some bread to eat, watching the ducks waddle past her.
     
  10. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    The scent flowed easily and eased his mind. he found the scents soothing and helpful against the ache building in his healing limb. It would feel like that for a while yet. Even after it had healed. He had injuries from past exploits that still flared on occasion, particularly in cold weather. He knew his broken femur would add to the list of aching joints. He supposed that he would be high for it once he did eventually reach old age. That wouldn't be for a while yet. That was going to be a fun thing to explain himself out of. He'd get to barely middle age by the time others were bordering being six foot under.

    He leaned forwards and picked another sprig of mint before he sat back and happened to look up across the way. He snorted as he recognised who was sitting there and debated for almost too long about whether he should get up again or say hello. He crushed a leaf and sniffed his finger and thumb, the refreshing smell of the leaf travelling through his nasal cavities. Raban wondered to some extent if she was following him for it seemed strange to be hitting coincidence for yet another time in so few days. He doubted that. They were both Knights with pretty big secrets. Big secrets they both knew of each other now. Secrets that could both aid each other and harm each other in many ways.

    Raban stared absently before picking off another leaf. This one he put into his mouth, chewing slowly and dropped his gaze to follow the family of ducks and was quietly envious of them. All they had to worry about were duck things.

    "You need to find out more about her."

    "You do."
    "Well, oo-rah... I will ask her when i have a mouth that hasn't got flat teeth,"
    "All right... All right. Don't get your hooves in a bunch,"
    "Ha... Go. Talk. Do the human thing..."

    He reached out, grasping his stick before he rose to his feet with a wince. He slowly made his way around the small duck pond before he sat down again. Raban knew he would be plenty tuckered out by the time he got back to the lodge where he was currently staying and that was fine with him. It meant more rest and healing time.

    "I've always wondered what it would be like to just be something that didn't have our worries. Like a duck," he said after a few moments, resting the stick to one side.
     
  11. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    After feeding some of the ducks, Janine went back to eating her bread and reading her book. She was getting to another page when she heard the light shuffling of a person moving around her. But since she was in the middle of town, she didn't pay any mind to it at all.

    When the movement seemed to go away, Janine disregarded the sounds altogether... But when a man's voice spoke to her, Janine immediately got on edge. Another man trying to talk her up? Time she sent him away. She slammed her book shut and proceeded to glare and make a snide comment, but when she turned her head over to the owner of the voice, she saw it to be Raban.

    "Oh! R-Raban!"

    All the edge and passive-aggressive behavior up and went immediately, like a puff of smoke. Nervously, she shoved her book to the side away from Raban. She wasn't sure how she would explain reading a book like that around him.

    "Hehe....! Hello. I didn't know it was you." Janine said with a sheepish chuckle.

    Janine recalled the words said to her and looked towards the ducks. 'Our worries'? What did he mean by that? Did he mean as humans, or as what they were? Perhaps it was both. She sighed softly.
    "I sometimes do wish I was something else.... Something that didn't have to live with others all the time. Maybe meet once in a while and that was it.... Not a duck.... I'd worry about wing room when flying," Janine joked with a smirk.

    She turned to Raban and studied him for a moment. He had a cane - no doubt for his leg. Did she really hurt him that much? He needed to walk with a cane? A small frown creased her face before she covered it with a small smile.

    "How's your morning so far? I'm eating sweet bread, so I'm doing fine right now. I was going to go read in the forest, but decided against it. I think I should give myself a break from that place for the while," Janine said as she grabbed her bread and offered some to the man.
     
  12. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban glanced at her as the book she was reading snapped closed with a certain finality to it that made him wondered if he should have waited for her to have noticed him sat on the opposing bench or found her some other point in time. She genuinely seemed irritated by something only for it to disappear in a heartbeat. He hoped that was a good thing. At least, he thought it was. What produced the snickers of laughter was her attempt to hide the book. He told Chestnut to promptly shut up.

    "So I see," he returned with a boyish grin that was far younger than his years. "You were very into your book, I see," the fact he had seen what she was reading was on obvious point but he did not find himself offended. Rather the opposite. He approved. Raban was well aware he could one day prove too dangerous to be allowed to live. He knew Chestnut incapable and now that Janine knew his dark secret... he wouldn't be ashamed or dishonoured if his death were by her hand.

    He smiled and nodded, "Not a care in the world. Wouldn't that be something...? Wing span, well, yes... that would be an issue... Perhaps a cat. Cat's never seem to have an issue with anything. Live rather comfortably from what I've seen."

    Raban smiled as he thought on how it would feel or be like to be a cat. He would only have to worry about food, water, a place to sleep... small trivial things he had to earn in his life. It would be a very nice life indeed to be a cat.

    "That's probably a smart move. I think that forest has had enough of us two for a little while" he smiled, giving his best boyish grin once more.

    "I am well considering... The leg's healing well though as you can see... not quite as fast I'd like," he said nodding, patting the limb gently. "Not as fast as i would like to be able for it to heal," He was always careful about healing to quickly. His werewolf genes enabled insanely fast healing which also meant people would smell a rat pretty sharpish if he heal faster than the average human rate.

    He smiled and accepted some of the sweet bread she was offering, "Thank you." He ate slowly before he spoke again.

    "How about you... How's Venus and your mother? They fare well?" He still felt guilty about that now that he was aware of the damage he had caused.
     
  13. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Raban's mentioning of her book made Janine duck her head a little. So he saw it. Not that she should've been too surprised. It was in her hand after all.

    She chuckled when Raban talked about being a cat. She liked that suggestion much better. They did seem to care less than most creatures, if they even cared at all. "A cat would sound nice. I wonder if they all are inherently aloof and dismissive, forever uncaring in the face of life..... Something about that seems appealing and unappealing at the same time. Maybe being a dog could be cool. They can pull off being goofy and getting treats for it." Janine said with a shrug.

    She looked to Raban as he talked about his leg. His leg was healing.... That was good. She hoped it was alright when it fully healed. When he asked about her mother and horse, Janine turned her head to him. He bothered to ask about them.... How considerate of him.

    She turned her head to the duck pond and tossed a small piece of bread to them before speaking. "They're alright. I'm making Venus is lay down for the while. At least until I can confidently have her walk on all fours legs. She won't stay still though. She even has the nerve to bite me every once in a while. I swear, sometimes I think she's a stallion trapped in a mare's body," Janine said with a chuckle. She put a piece of bread in her mouth before she continued. "Mom's alright. She got a small limp from Venus' weight falling on top of her leg, but she won't see a doctor about it. She insists that it's just hurting from the unexpected pressure and that it would eventually go away. I hope she does, because she's gonna get an earful from me if she's being as stubborn as a mule for the sake of it when there's something wrong with her....." Janine griped irritably. She then turned to Raban with a nervous chuckle. "N-not that there's anything wrong with her. She's just the type to dismiss her problems and focus on other things," Janine said with a small sigh.

    "What about Chestnut? Is she fine? Those feet were kinda bloody that day," Janine commented with a tilted head.
     
  14. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban chuckled, "I once overheard a monk say that 'Dogs have owners and cats have staff". I don't know know how true that is... but it certainly sounds appropriate." He leaned back on the seat enjoying the sounds breezing through the small garden and duck pond. The little argumentative honks from the ducks, people's conversations nearby and the trickle of water. It was all very pleasing alongside the scents from from the herb garden. The rosemary and mint especially.

    He looked at her when she answered his questions concerning her mother and her horse. He chuckled as she spoke of Venus and he felt sympathy with the valiant equine. He hated being confined to a bed much less mollycoddled over as he had been by the nurses. He understood it was their responsibility and duty but it was endearing to the point of irritation. "She's a strong beast. I'd be proud of her if she were mine," he smiled, "as I'm certain you are of her."

    "Distractions can sometimes aid healing... but she ought to be careful nonetheless," he nodded before taking another mouthful of the sweet bread. He had to pause and pull a grain that hadn't passed the grinding process that well from his mouth and he flicked it away before his jaws resumed chewing.

    "I'm glad they're well," he truly was. He still felt the guilt of nearly having killed her mother and potentially her horse. Venus had carried her owner's mother away from him very well. It was a burden Chestnut had told him was not his fault to bear but he bore it all the same with every forced transformation.

    He nodded, "Chestnut's doing well. Her wounds are healing. She says she is not concerned by the injuries but thanks you for the concern."

    Raban seemed to snort for no reason before he glanced at Janine and smiled, "Apparently, my words are far too fancy still for what she said."

    It many ways it was something of a relief now he did not have to carefully watch or mark what he said or how he acted. he could be as honest as he always had wanted to be with people. She was in the same position as he was and he could be himself with her far more than he could with those in the rest of the Order or those of the peasantry that he helped to protect.
     
  15. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Raban's comment concerning dogs and cats made her shake her head with a chuckle. What a curious thing to say...... And yet, as Janine thought about it, it did sound kinda true. She never had a cat, but she'd seen some who did - those people always seemed to be controlled by the cat's fickle behaviour. How amusing.

    She smiled when Raban commented on Venus. "I am proud of her. She can be as sturdy as the lot of the other horses.

    "I'm glad they're well too. And I'm glad you and Chestnut are good as well," Janine said before glancing at the cane. "Well. Almost well."

    Raban's second comment made Janine laugh. If his version was too "fancy" then what was Chestnut's original statement? Something told her she wouldn't want to know.

    "Well then. It's a good thing that Raban is the translator. My little ears might not be able to take such suggestive language," Janine teased.

    Janine sighed and looked to the forest in the distance. She absentmindedly took another piece of sweet bread and chewed it slowly. Her mind drifted to the day when that wounded dragon crashed into her direction. The fear and pain in that dragon's eyes were imprinted in her mind - she frowned slightly at the memory. She remembered the dragon's raspy voice as it spoke in its language, and her confusion as she tried to understand it.

    Why did the dragon talk to her? Was it in too much shock to realize it fully? Those questions swirled in her head for the entire week. Was it even common for humans to gear dragons talk?

    Did Raban know? She turned to him a little and pondered on it. Couldn't hurt to ask.

    "Raban..... Have you ever heard a dragon talk? In any sense of the word?"
     
  16. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban smiled, silently processing the several streams of information that ran by him at any given time. It was all derived from sounds and scent. Sometimes it was an overload of information that he struggled to wade through. Other times, it often proved a very useful asset. He nodded at her words, his leg would be right as rain soon enough but he had to pretend to be restricted by human constraints. Humans didn't heal overnight. If he healed that quickly, it was the most surefire way of alerting everyone around him that he wasn't normal.

    He looked at her with immediate surprise which soon tempered into realisation at her words. He was not used to people speaking to Chestnut through him. He supposed he could expect a little more of that from Janine from now on. The two had a greater connection with each other than he did with his long time companion. Werewolves and Demons were very removed species.

    "I bet her ears could take it just fine. How can she take your prim and proper fuckery? tell her to tease you about that, huh?"

    Raban glanced upwards in what was a telling way that he was reacting to the voice in his head, "She says, she doubts that." He winced, Chestnut had a sharp hoof just as much in his head as she did physically. He still didn't repeat what she said but he smiled at her and paused to enjoy the breeze that went through the garden at that point. He preferred the breeze when he was in his form, it always reminded him that he was alive, enjoyed feelings, a token of his humanity.

    He heard her talk again and glanced at her.

    "She doesn't know they can talk? Who wrapped her in moss?"

    He ignored Chestnut's comment, "They do. Just not... very often, and never usually to us. We're so... beneath them. Dragons are an ancient race. older than humans... at least from what I've understood from the texts I've read that religions hasn't burned to a crisp. I... I think they have their own tongue. I doubt many know ours..."

    He paused to scratch his jaw before he stopped and looked at her, "Why do you ask?"
     
  17. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Raban's answer towards dragons made her nod her head. So they did talk. And apparently it was already known, even if extensive knowledge concerning their language was shallow to say the least.

    She frowned again and pondered the facts. They didn't talk very often, and apparently never to humans.

    So why did that one dragon talk to her?

    Raban's voice prodded her thoughts once more, and she turned her head to his question.

    "Well.... That day when 'The Hidden Death' appeared and attacked that younger dragon, I had seen it before we were attacked. It was torn up and barely alive when I walked up to it. I thought it was going to attack me, but it kept muttering in its language. I wasn't sure if it was talking to me or just mumbling in shock.... Most likely itself.

    But it kept saying the same words over and over again.... something like.... 'comae'..... yeah, it kept saying the phrase 'he comae' repeatedly. And then.... Just when the larger dragon appeared, it said another word.... 'Vivago'. I wondered what it meant. I wondered if you or any other more experienced knight knew what it could mean..... Have you any idea?" Janine asked.
     
  18. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    He waited for her answer with his usual patience. It was the sort of patience that did not push for an answer knowing answer weren't always quick off the mark or forthcoming. It was the gentle wait of someone who had time on their hands. He did not have to wait long for her answer to be given and his head tilted in the manner of a curious dog. It was a trait he was not entirely aware he had.

    The dragon, that young brave thing, had spoken to her? That was a curious revelation at best. He was not sure why it would. There was little they considered their equal or worth acknowledging without open contempt. A demon might be able to command such from them depending on the type but he knew so little as to whom they would see as an equal or of worth to speak to. Perhaps it knew its end was coming and perhaps it sought that rare piece of comfort in something that would share its fear of the larger force that would spell its doom. It was so rare to hear a dragon speak that it gave rise to the myth and legends of them being purely tyrannical brutes that would do anything to protect their vast treasure hoards.

    Raban knew nothing of treasure and gold to him was meaningless. What was gold to a werewolf? He had little to no need for it himself. Those who ran the place of his lodging however, he knew they could never afford to turn a blind eye to whatever riches came their way. He would be happy for them if such were to lay in store for them.

    "Hm, 'he comae'? Vivago?" he echoed when she was finished talking to him, finishing with a question directed at him.

    He thought on it for a moment before he looked back to her with the same thoughtful expression he had adopted after repeating the words.

    "I am not sure. I have not heard of 'Vivago' before. Dragonspeak is unknown to me. It occurs to me that being so highly intelligent, long lived as they are... I would not be out of logical reasoning that they would own a name like you and I do. 'Vivago' may be such a title... 'The Hidden Death' was something humans called it. Vivago... "

    He gave pause then before he sat a little straighter ignoring the flare of pain that rose in his healing limb.

    "That younger dragon... it seemed to fear that bigger one more than it was repulsed by either you or me. Indeed, it had the courage to slam into the big one when I was trying to lure it away. Perhaps it thought it could still save me, you, or perhaps it thought it knew its death was inescapable and wanted to make something of itself before that moment. "

    "I do not know if it's possible for dragons to fear their own kind so... We've hunted them, sure, but what do we really know or understand about dragon hierarchy? I imagine there is one just as much as there is in werewolf kind..." he spoke the last more quietly. She could still hear him but for anyone going by, it was no more than a mumble.

    Raban glanced to her and then to where she had tried to discreetly hide the book she had been reading, "I have little doubt that the Order will investigate and seek the death of that big one. We may be called to fight it once more one day when they so chose for us to do so. Every dog has its day but Dragon's... they live for a long time and this one has clearly marked that forest for its own ground. It's of a size where it could claim Amastad for its own too. It would take a lot to bring a dragon of that size and intelligence down." He frowned slightly as he considered the situation.
     
  19. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Janine listened to Raban as he gave his input at the situation. He didn't know anymore than she did - she honestly would've been surprised if he knew any extensive knowledge of dragons. They were so rare, and as Raban has said, ancient.

    She nodded at certain points when he spoke his opinion, and commented every once in a while.

    "I believe that every creature can fear their own kind, even if it might not register as the same fear that we might have for another creature, or even ourselves.... That dragon was terrified of the larger one - not just scared. If you'd seen its face when it was pinned down, you would agree.... And I believe those dragons were doing something else rather than the simple "get out of my territory" thing. I can't place my finger on it, but if the larger dragon was simply trying to get the younger one out of its space, it would've stopped the moment it was out of the forest. And maybe the younger dragon actually would've ran away when the other was distracted by you, rather than fight it again..." Janine paused and looked down at her lap.

    She couldn't pinpoint what the thought was leading to, but she was certain there was something else going on.

    "I can't think of what the whole thing was about, but I believe that it will get worse. With other dragons. Thankfully no other dragons have tried anything," Janine said with a sigh.

    "I'm not sure if you know this, but when you were in the infirmary, several adult dragons had taken the fallen dragon's body in the middle of the night. We received the alarm a little too late, because when we actually saw the dragons, they had already taken off with it. They destroyed the shed that was holding the dragon, and flew off. Burned it down to the ground. Nothing more, nothing less." Janine said with a straight face. She paused and looked up to the sky with confusion and curiosity. Why did those dragons take the dead one? Did they know it? Did they believe that the humans were unworthy of keeping the dragon? That seemed to be the most likely answer.

    She turned when Raban said that it was possible for the dangerous dragon to take over Amastad. Would it really extend its reach to human population? Surely, it was intelligent enough to stay in the forest. The forest was large enough for it wasn't it?

    "Surely, you don't believe that? What dragon has ever tried to overtake a kingdom of any size? A small town, maybe.... But a place like Amastad...?" Janine looked around the town, seeing everyone move about like the mass of bodies they were. People busy doing their everyday activities, whether it was bakimg, or fishing or trading.... all these people to be forcefully evacuated or killed by a vicious and greedy beast.

    "I can't believe that it would want to try something like that. Wouldn't it have done something like that in the past, when the kingdom was smaller and weaker? When the Knights haven't even been established? What could it possibly be waiting for?" Janine asked.
     
  20. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban nodded, finding no fault in her belief for he had seen it and experienced that for himself. He, being a rarity of his own kind, could instil fear in other werewolves. But he knew he also instilled anger within them. Werewolves rarely congregated in numbers. Raban couldn't recall a time when they had but he knew he would never be welcomed.

    He didn't know or understand the business of Dragons. He was yet a pup by their standards and not just physically. He had smelt its fear, he had known it was afraid. It had stank, no, reeked of fear. Raban had never understood the reasoning for it to have taken the other on like it had. It should have run away then, but it hadn't. There was perhaps something to be said for what Janine was telling him. That there was something going on that they had yet to realise but what that would be Raban didn't know.

    "She's not wrong about it getting worse. This big one is the start of something, I can feel it."

    Raban looked at Janine with surprise. That he had not known. No one had seen fit to let him know anything about that till now. Why would... did Dragons have funeral rites for their dead? He didn't know, no one had stood witness. He sighed, no one really knew much about them other than how to kill them.

    "Perhaps that should change."

    She question his thought process over Amastad and he sighed, leaning back against the bench. "I don't know... What do we really know...? Or understand?" he watched people pass by for a moment.

    He looked back at her, his head dipped, "Maybe they did not consider Amastad a threat back then. What could we have done before then? With no Order, barely a royalty... "

    "Janine... I don't know. What I do know is that humanity will often attack what it fears or fails to understand, what it doesn't want to understand. Maybe they did not think us such a threat back then to do anything about it. But we grew, Janine. We outgrew our small boots like a child growing up... An arrogant pup that grew to adulthood. We thought ourselves bigger and in our fear of something we heard myth and legendary stories about, sought to rule everything."

    He sighed and rubbed his neck.

    "I don't know what will happen. What they wait for, what they want. All I know is that the Order won't stop... For it to admit that dragons might be more than mere brutes or beasts would likely break its founding." He snorted, "Humanity fears dragons just as much as they fear me, or rather, my kind."

    Raban did not know if the investigation of the werewolf sighting was still underway. He did not know how much of his report had been believed. The sentries who had brought him to the infirmary then would have been questioned. He understood however he had a duty to protect innocent lives and he would continue to do that regardless.
     

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