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 The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger

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Zechs
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PostSubject: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:15 am

Aster whistled a cheerful and mischievous tune as he walked down the streets of Oppidum. He had been here for about a year now, and was finally looking through the marketplace. It was around this time of the year merchants all around Ae'Ire would stop by Oppidum to show off their wares. Some genuine, others a sham. He was careful to stay away from the frauds, which sadly were more than half of the merchants here, they had gotten better at scamming as time went on.
    As Aster walked through the crowds, someone caught his eye, it must've been her white hair, contrast to all of the darker robes the merchants and buyers wore. He slowly made his toward her shop, casually looking over the fur and jewelery. Nothing really caught his eye, so he turned to the woman before talking. "You seem like a truthful merchant, but with all of these scammers," Aster said, putting emphasis on 'scammers' so the other merchants could his hear his taunt, "You won't get very good business. Heck, I don't even know if these are real." Aster chuckled, hoping to get a fun response to rid himself of boredom. Oppidum was peaceful, but it was also very calm.
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:43 pm

My straightening of the wares was interrupted as a young man... caused a commotion. Several of the known scammers looked affronted, and a couple even drew out crossbows. Annoyed, I straightened the final necklace, before looking at the man in the eye.

"I come from the Wolf Tribe on the Concuclarian border, and let me assure you. These are not fake. If I am to be trialed, I will even bring you the cadavers of the beast I slew to attain the ivory and pelts."

Leaning in, I offered a wide tooth grin, before flicking up my ears toward the man.

"They're currently in the back, prepared for visiting the butcher. Which, I'm sure that you might need to visit as well. They do, after all, get rid of.. UNWANTED animals that hang about Oppidium."

Leaning back once more, I pulled the wooden slide of my kart back to hang up a fresh rabbit- unopened.
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:23 pm

Aster gained a genuine look of sincerity at her mention of "Wolf Tribe" and backed up to an upright stance. "Wolf Tribe, eh? Sounds interesting, but," Aster scratched the back of his head, looking at the woman and her shop. "Why be a merchant? When you have so much more power not in use?" Aster saw the crowds and their offended expressions, and released his knife in his sleeve that slightly went over his hand, and grasped it just in case. "Surely you aren't just a merchant." He smiled, waiting for her response.
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:44 pm

Blinking, I eyed the man. His words and look gave sincerity, along with his tone. I saw nothing from his eyes that gave away a lie, but did see his hand twitch. Catching the movement, I hissed slightly as I flattened my ears, before knocking four times on the roof. The people all looked at me in confusion, before returning to their wares- a signal for peace was called, and they kept it.

"I never said I was merely a merchant. But what does it matter to you? A trouble maker is what you smell like, but you also smell like an honest one."

My tail twitched under my leathers, and I took a deep breath. The young man gave no sign of malignant wishes, nor any hint of malevolence besides the earlier comment of fraud- which was indeed horrible in this portion of the marketplace.

Damn that Ylva and her policies.... May Finvarre be found soon.

Abandoning the thought, I tilted my head back, and inspected the man.

"Answer, please. Then I may answer you."
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:50 pm

Aster flicked his knife back up his sleeve and stepped back, waving his hand in a circular motion. "Nothing really, I suppose. It was just an observation, at best." Aster looked around at the dispersing merchants and gave a slight frown. "Might I ask your name?" Aster asked, before slapping his forehead. "Hah! I completely forgot!" Aster chuckled, reaching his hand out. "I'm Aster. At your service!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:54 pm

"Don't worry. They'll send after you with Mercenaries. My name is Amaranthe. As for your prior question..."

Hesitating, I chewed on my bottom lip with my fangs, while thumbing my mother's necklace in thought.

He's a stranger, and I'm a stranger. It won't matter.

"I guess you could say that I had some kind of power, but as for it being enough to get out of this dunghole... I'm not for certain about it. The power helps me hunt, helps me live. More than anything, it's about survival now. Maybe my father could.... Ah. I'm not sure anymore."

Everything darkened, and I knew that my pupils had slit into pin scratches.

"I apologize."
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:04 pm

Aster gained a look of wonder as he leaned forward putting his hands on the table. "Are you saying there are better places than here!?" Aster asked intently, before clearing his throat and stepping back. "I've.. Only been in this land for a year, now, and I haven't seen any of it other than Oppidum." He explained, scratching the back of his head. "I plan on exploring more of it." He laughed to himself, before opening his eyes and looking at the woman who introduced herself as Amaranthe. "Hey, maybe you could join us!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:09 pm

Raising an eyebrow, I flicked an ear.

"Us? And I've been all over it. Oppidium is justified as Dyseria's capital. It's the best thing I've seen so far, in this Honored Kingdom. Besides. If you want to know. Those counterfeiters wouldn't have lasted a day with our olde Monarch."

I pulled my tail up, swinging it lazily and watching the blue dye shine in the sunlight, glad for the evenness of my stripes and the dyejob. Now, if only I could get my hair all white or all black...

"Anyway. Yes, I've been all over Ae'Ire. Oppidium is the best for trades, as it's also next to the Ports. The most interesting places..."

Pausing, I looked over his shoulder. Two men waited in the alley, staring at us.

"On cue."

Pulling a lever, the stand folded and locked into a box, which I hefted onto my back easily.

"Shall we carry on this conversation in a more... Private, setting?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:32 pm

Aster followed along behind her, unlocking his knife once more and holding it lightly in his hand. "By 'us' I mean my sister, Alys. We came from a faraway land, known as "Dark Ire" amongst the locals. We came here for our business to prosper." Aster took a second to think about it, but finally asked, "Where are we going, anyway?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:35 pm

Bobbing and weaving through the crowd, I smirked.

"The Mercenaries are following, so, a private little alley that I like to call 'Home away from home'... Don't worry. You'll see it when we get there."

Doubling back through a couple of streetways, I sidestepped into a narrow alley, before coming p to a grate. Pulling the metal work up, I smiled as it opened silently- oiled to perfection.

"Age before beauty, if you would."

Frowning, I looked at the grate- before cleaning a bit of grime from the siding.

How annoying...
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:51 pm

Aster blinked twice in curiosity where the grate lead, and scratched the back of his head, letting out an awkward laugh. "You seriously want me to go down there?" Aster sighed, looking back at the marketplace where they came from, "Guess I have no choice.."
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:09 pm

"Hurry up!"

Impatient, I punted him down, and closed it behind us. My eyes flexed to the sudden change in light, letting me see through the dark tunnel easily. Picking up my guest, I sighed.

"They're going to follow us because everyone knows where I live when in Oppidium.... But, we can always be... Persuasive, to them."

Smiling a cat-grin, I tugged him.

"This way, hold on or you'll trip."
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:09 am

"Hey, hey! What makes you think they'll come after me? I mean, who could attack this?" He said, putting on an arrogant smile, following behind the white-haired woman, her hair being the only thing he could see aside from his own hand. "Quick recap. I am in a dark tunnel with a woman I've never met before, being chased by mercenaries. Not quite the fun I was aiming for, but.." Aster thought to himself, putting his knife back in his sleeve.


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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:34 am

"Because you've pissed them off, Aster."

Noting his arrogant smile, I laughed- stopping in front of the T-Section. Morphing my hands into claws, I prided myself in the painfully tipped steel- before swiping them along the walls, lighting my lanturns.

Shifting into my tiger, I looked back at Aster. Amusement flooded my face before I trotted off toward my halls- the left section.
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:19 am

Aster, at the sight of the woman's transformation, lifted his finger to speak, but lowered it and retreated back into his mind, "Who is she..?" Shaking off that he was following, *sigh*, a Tiger, he trudged along, wherever she lead. He refused to figure out why he was following her. "I think I could talk myself out of their violent intentions." He chuckled, grasping the collar of his jacket, marveling at his own excellence.
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:39 pm

Shaking my head, I purred my amusement.

Doubtful. They're the same ones that were hired to kill me. I thought I had lost th- Oh. Speak of the devils.

My ears swiveled to the entryway, and I quickened my pace. Light was a blessing, and we soon approached the circular room that I considered my home. Thrashing my tail, I noted sourly that my room was in shambles. Shrugging my backpack off, I halfway transformed, keeping most of the daggered claws.

"Stay just beside the door, we're jumping them."
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:11 pm

Aster nodded, unlocking his knife from its holster on his arm inside of his sleeve, and grasping it in his hand. "Aw, I left my sword at home.. Can't blame me, not like I knew I would be fighting off mercenaries with a Tiger-Lady.." Aster thought ho himself while waiting beside the door, tapping his finger with the flat side of the knife. "Mind estimating how many we'll fight?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:14 pm

"Three, two are six foot two inches, and one is a meter tall. The latter-most is... An interesting character, as he is chained up like a dog."

Sneering, I swiveled my ears again.

Motioning at him, I crouched.

Gods I hope Aster is a good brawler
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:22 pm

Aster's eyes widened as he blinked twice in curiosity. "Wow.." Before Aster could continue being shocked, the door he was watching burst open, Aster rolling off to the side, letting more wire loose, enough to where he could swing his knife around. "Alright, then. This should be fun after all!" Aster chuckled, swinging his knife in circles, giving a sly smile as he waited for the dust cloud to clear, or the mercenaries charge in.
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:50 pm

"What the-"

As Aster distracted the Mercenary that first entered, I roared- uncoiling my tensed muscles. Shock was plastered on the face of the man I attached myself to, before the face was ripped open by my claws. A cry of terror left the mans lips, before my second hand slit through his jugular. The second man froze in terror, shock plastered across his mug before I rounded upon him.

I have to hurry before the other one ge-

I had just shifted when the weight crashed into my ribs, sending me flying into the other wall. A mewl was extracted from me, as I staggered up. Where I had just been, about to attack the second man, was the smaller being. His beard was scraggley, and his collar was dripped with chains that led to his wrists. Confusion flickered across my face, before he attacked once more with movement that was as close to mine as humanly- without help -possible.

Well color me surprised, I'm about to earn another stripe.

Prepared this time, I feinted into his path before raking my claws across where he was going to appear- shocked when all I grabbed was a few meager shreds of clothing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Phoenix clashes with the Tiger   Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:42 am

Despite the mercenaries' size, Aster threw his knife toward the arm of the man, the wire wrapping around it tight, and pulled as hard he could. The man didn't move one inch. "Perfect." Aster smiled, as he pulled himself to the mercenary, and landing a kick to his jaw, pushing off of his face to proceed with a back flip, landing on his feet and kick the man to the ground, only to have his body be pulled back instantly by the hand as Aster pulled the wire back, and place his foot on the head of the man. "Too easy."
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