A Solid Foundation

The main province in the centre of Hyrule includes the Central Hyrule, West Central Hyrule and North Central Hyrule regions.
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A Solid Foundation

#1

Post by Pillar »

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The Crooked Cane Tavern, Hyrule Castle Town
15 Blood Moon, 9990


Solid sat at an old, slightly sticky table at the far corner of the noisy bar. It was bustling with the normal weekend night crowd of drunk merchants and workers releasing their stress from the week with a few bad pints and good company. Solid stood out from the crowd, despite the simple brown cloak he wore to cover his pristine clothing, causing many glances in his direction. He sat a bit too upright, his back straight and his legs crossed as he tapped his manicured finger restlessly against the table. However, he didn’t appear to be uncomfortable here, as he had worked at this tavern when he was younger, and knew many of the workers and the frequent guests.

The barmaid set down a cup of cider down in front of him before slipping away to serve another table. Usually a wine drinker, this particular bar didn’t carry anything so refined so Solid had to settle. He took a sip, winced, but licked his lips. It wasn’t the best grade, but it would do for now.

His eyes were trained on the door, waiting. He had put out a request through his channels for bodyguards, of sorts.

Solid had made an instinctual decision of stealing a certain item out of petty revenge and was currently paying for it dearly. He never would have thought that the old and tattered looking sheath he had taken from a wealthy client would have been worth so much that the client would actually send people to come after it. There wasn’t even a sword attached to it, after all. The paint on it was chipped away and there were no gold inlays or jewels to be found on it.

Solid had managed to slip away from his pursuers now, but without any sort of skills of his own for protection, he knew he wouldn’t last long. He was safe here, among all his old friends, at least for now. He needed to leave town though, and his first thought lay with his parents. Though there was the added danger of bring his pursuers to them, he rationalized it was better to try and go there to protect them, since he saw already how petty this man could be.

Thankfully he had a rather strong connection in town, a previous client, who dealt with some of the shadier parts of business. A request for a bodyguard was sent out along this channel and Solid was to meet potentials here at this bar tonight.

“Hello there, gorgeous.” A man with a pint in his hand collapsed into the chair across from Solid, a grin on his face. He was obviously completely wasted and had trouble sitting upright, his words slurred. Solid’s eyebrows rose, amused. He doubted this man was looking for a job. Solid leaned forward slightly, resting his chin on his hand and smiling back at the man.

“Hey there sugar, what brings you to my little dark corner. Did you lose your friends?” He asked, slipping a loose strand of hair behind his hair with his free hand. The other man was obviously very out of it. He had a flushed face and was swaying slightly.

“You’re my new friend!” The man exclaimed a bit loudly with a sleepy smile. He downed the last of his pint before it dropped onto the ground and the man slumped forward onto the table, passed out.

Solid chuckled at the unusual situation, reaching over and poking at the man’s head, getting no response.

“Well I suppose this is better than no company at all.” He mused out loud, picking up his cup again and taking another drink.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#2

Post by I heathen I »

I really oughta come 'round here more often.

Iraz sauntered into a noisy tavern stashed away in some dark pocket of Castle Town. There weren't a lot of alehouses left in the area that weren't lousy with guard patrols in their respective neighborhoods these days, and the cavalier feeling of the place resonated with him deeply. He wedged inbetween a pair of people at the bar and shot the barmaid a smile, ordered himself a pint. She filled a cup to overflowing for him, offering it to Iraz with the kind of warm grin that surely won a healthy purse full of tips. It had been a long day, and a hearty beer would be just the thing to help him relax.

But the Crooked Cane had been particularly full tonight, and Iraz could not stand at the bar without the people next to him constantly bucking back and forth, moving in ripples and waves as if the patrons were an ocean current. About a third of his pint fell to the floor, so the man took a walk before he'd lose the rest of it to careless nudging. Moving about, best he could manage at least, would give him an opportunity to find what he had actually came for. Rumor had it someone here had work available, the kind that he considered himself well-suited for.

Slaloming through the tavern, Iraz sized everyone up table by table. One table had a goron and two rito playing five finger filet. Likely, with his rocky fingers, the goron was dominating his company at that painful game. Another table featured a woman he'd seen here once before flirting with some man he hadn't, likely acting more intoxicated than she truly was and talking him up for the rupees in his pockets. But the third table, stuffed into the corner, stuck out. On one side sat a man with impeccable posture, refined clothing hiding behind a ragged cloak. Maybe no one thought that was unusual, but things like that stuck out to Iraz.

He approached Solid at his table and made eye contact. Iraz also noticed the seat across from hid had been occupied by another man, draped over the table like folded laundry. His gaze moved between him as he pondered who he might be. More hired help? Just some drunk? The sheikah leaned toward the latter. Not intent on splitting the take with anyone, Iraz planted one foot behind the leg of the chair, and forced the drunk out with prejudice, shoving the chair sideways and spilling the lush into the floor. Soon as he could gather his senses, the drunk reached for a dagger on his belt, but Iraz moved faster, ripping a crossbow from its holster with his free hand and priming the hammer back, sights trained upon his target.
"Mmmm mm." Iraz grunted in negative, issuing a warning. "G'on. Git."

With a lot of fanfare and a lot of swearing, the drunk found his footing and took his leave. Thankfully the rowdy crowd were none the wiser that he drew upon the man, so Iraz discreetly stashed his weapon away. Now Iraz took the now empty seat, sizing Solid up. He had so many qualities that stuck out here, he could not begin to list. He had to be the guy.
"Heard someone might need some protection." Iraz began, setting his pint on the tabletop. He started to rest his arm as well, then peeled it back upon finding the table filthy. "Might that be you?"
Iraz - Desperado. Outlaw. Bowslinger. Ladykiller. All-around scoundrel.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#3

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Solid had nearly finished off his cider when he finally took notice of the large man that had already ordered a drink and locked eyes with him. This particular establishment was used to patrons like this, so Solid hadn't noticed him until that moment. It was obvious now though, as Solid got a good look at the impressive muscled form of the man that he was most likely in a sort of darker line of work.

He shot the man a smile and tilted his head slightly, watching the man as he walked over and quickly was able to take care of the drunk before him. Solid's well maintained brows rose to his jeweled circlet as he watched the very quick scuffle, expertly taking care of the situation before occupying the seat across from him.

"Well done." Solid said with a sly grin, lightly tapping his hands together in what could be seen as a slightly sarcastic clap. "It seems I've caught a much larger fish on my line." He raised one of his gold ringed fingers into the air to call for a refill before turning his attention back to the man in front of him.

The man looked really rough and weathered, and his tattered clothing had seen better days. Solid purposefully did a slow scan of the man's appearance, finally capturing his gaze again. He leaned forward slightly, resting his elbows on the table and laying his chin on his hands as he lowered his voice.

"Perhaps. I suppose it depends if you're capable." Though after having seen the earlier incident, he was mostly convinced already. "I imagine it won't be very easy, so I can't just hire some nobody who will get us shot as soon as we walk out this door. The man after me is no simpleton, and has a lot of money." Solid explained vaguely, but reached up with one finger and tapped one of the dangling jewels from his ear.

"But I'm not exactly in dire straits myself. So if the person I hire is capable, they will be heavily rewarded." He teased, his voice sultry as he used his boot to tap against the other mans, before drawing it back with a grin. He was obviously just having fun, but he paused as he noticed a shadow pass by one of greasy tavern windows. His jaw clenched slightly and his expression became a bit more serious.

"The man isn't unknown to use underhanded methods. I worry he may go after my family. I need someone to protect me while I travel there to check on them." His kept his voice low, but it was simply out of necessity now, and slightly panicked. "I don't know if the man himself will appear, or hired workers. Kill them if you must."
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#4

Post by I heathen I »

"Hmmm." Iraz didn't offer much into their dialogue in the beginning, his thirst had too much of a hold on him. Sating his parched throat, he drank heavily from his cup. Feigning disinterest, he sized the strange man up. Iraz wouldn't have personally said the man was handsome...and figured most women might not either. He was feminine, dramatically so, and obviously liked to flirt. Wore his wealth literally on his sleeve, very vain...Iraz figured he must have been some sort of consort, the type the wealthy likely paid a heavy sum for their discretion. The sheikah's focus broke for a split second when his companion's foot grazed his own; his eyes shot toward their feet like he could see through the table. A scowl threatened to form on his face, but Iraz kept it to himself, snuffing it out with another long, measured drink. Likely the man was just as well-off as he boasted, perhaps even more so.

And the little details kept on coming. Here, with his back to the wall, in a tavern full of people, he took on a frightened demeanor out of nowhere. Iraz picked up on the different pitch in his voice, the change in his posture. While he continued his pitch, Iraz nonchalantly turned in his chair to see what might have unnerved his potential employer. By the time he had turned around, nothing out of the ordinary caught his eye. Perhaps someone moved by the window? An alleged threat here in the tavern would have likely provoked a stronger reaction. Someone could very well be right outside this very inn for him.

So he was very wealthy, and very scared. Out of options, and out of time. This would cost him a lot.

"Kill, eh?" Iraz finally chimed in with a subtle grin, setting his near empty beer down on the table. "Well, I'm sure you're likely aware that that would be extra. Above 'n' beyond simple bodyguard duty, y'know." Iraz reached with both hands beneath the table, and removed his crossbow and holster alike before setting it all on the countertop. His fingers began working away at the weapon, making sure it was loaded and clean. There very well could be trouble out the door, and if not...it might at least drive his paranoia to a fever pitch. "Now, why exactly might this character be after you? You stole something from 'im? Got caught with his wife? Or his..." Iraz shot him a look that cast doubt on that suggestion. "His...whoever."
Iraz - Desperado. Outlaw. Bowslinger. Ladykiller. All-around scoundrel.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#5

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Solid's eyes flickered once more towards the grimy window, but saw nothing. He returned his attention back to the man in front of him and followed the man's hands as the slipped a crossbow onto the table. Feeling a bit more assured, Solid smiled once more.

"Uh uh," Solid wagged his manicured finger in the air in front of the man. "Further details aren't necessary for now. If it comes to that later, I'll think about giving you more info." As much as he needed this man's help, Solid also couldn't assume that he wouldn't just turn around and steal the sheath if it was somehow worth more. It honestly didn't look like much at all, but Solid wasn't good with antiques. He had briefly thought of throwing it out, but figured the mustached man would come after him either way. It would be good to have a bargaining chip if needed.

"Though, if you're that curious, maybe I'll give you a freebie later if you do a good job." Solid teased, reaching up and slipping off one of his large jeweled earrings. He reached over the crossbow and towards the man, tucking the jewel into the man's clothes before patting the space briefly and sitting back.

"Down payment for now. Don't worry, I have more than what you can currently see." He grinned again but sobered slightly when a large hand dropped on his shoulder. The bar's owner had shuffled over and leaned down close to the two of them.

"Ya ken go through thay stawage rooms, there's ayy grate that there leads ta thay ...uhh sewers there. That there's all yuurr gonna ta get though, if they come askin', ay'm tellin'. Get befawe y'all turn my bar into y'all's little playground." The gruff old man said, gripping Solid's shoulder strongly, before heading back to maintain customers. Solid sighed slightly, a grim smile on his face.

"Figures, I suppose I wasn't the best employee when I was younger... I did bring in a lot of customers though..." He glanced at the window, still seeing nothing. "If the owner said something then we are probably already surrounded..." he tapped his nail on his chin, looking very displeased.

"Did he say... sewer..?"

The door of the bar opened and a few men slipped in, their hands on concealed weapons and their eyes traveling around the room.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#6

Post by I heathen I »

Iraz wanted answers. Having dedicated a large chunk of his past life to Hyrule working as a royal scout, information was everything. The sheikah was more than capable than protecting someone else from your common mercenary, but if he had happened to be in trouble with the Marittas, or even the Yiga...he wanted no more of that kind of grief. Solid was reluctant to offer more specific details on the job, and he supposed he could understand. Iraz stopped maintaining his crossbow when his companion's manicured hand flowed above his to stow one of his earrings in his shirt pocket. His brows furrowed in offense, his glare bore down on Solid. Between his unwelcome flirting, and the lack of information, the sheikah decided he didn't want this job after all. Fixing the weapon back to his hip, he made his mind to leave. A bit of jewelery wasn't going to convince him to jump into work without the specifics.

And then the owner of the tavern came by, offering a way out for the man in front of him. He must have been expecting trouble here in this very tavern, Iraz could hear it in his voice. Putting the crossbow back to his hip, he listened intently and took another look around the place. A few of the violent sort started to feed into the place, hands finding weapons and eyes searching for their quarry. Iraz hardly wanted to start a fight in the crowded pub, job or no. But they could very well slip away into the sewer like the proprieter suggested. But what if they didn't just "slip away"?

As the bartender left, a dark grin took form on Iraz's face. Assuming there weren't more men outside, he could effectively bait all of the aggresors to follow them into the sewers, where the darkness would be an enormous boon for him in the fight that would surely follow. And if he could ensnare all of them, he'd sucessfully cover Solid's tracks as well as lead the trouble away from the tavern. Iraz still wanted to drink here later and be welcome. He took a couple of taps on his chest and back, making sure his boltgun and quiver were secure on his person.

"To the sewers, then." Iraz offered, mischief cutting through his drawl. With prejudice, the sheikah's hand shot forward toward Solid and took a violent grip on his wrist. He stood up from his chair and proceeded to drag the man through the thick of the crowd, much to the the patron's dismay. Knocking plenty of food and drink over, Iraz hoped the hunters would notice, and force their hand to give pursuit without any planning on their part. In the dark of the sewer, a trained sheikah warrior such as himself would have a huge advantage. As promised, they found a loose grate in the next room over. Iraz abandoned his grip on Solid's wrist to rip the grate from the ground, then got to work on preparing his boltgun for action.

"Get in there, 'n' get some distance. I'll handle 'em." Iraz commanded, feeding a bolt into the receiver of his boltgun. If his plan worked, Solid's aggressors would be easy pickings in the dark of the sewer.
Iraz - Desperado. Outlaw. Bowslinger. Ladykiller. All-around scoundrel.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#7

Post by Pillar »

Solid was still fixated on the mentioning of the sewers when the men entered the room and spread out. His eyes widened in fear and he could feel his heart starting to thump rapidly in his chest. As much as he could act brave, Solid was very much scared of losing his life.

He licked his suddenly dry lips and his eyes locked back on his one chance for survival sitting across from him. Unlike Solid, Iraz seemed to grow more confident with the arrival of their pursuers. Thankfully, it seemed he had readily accepted the mission set before him and before Solid could comprehend the full situation, his wrist was grabbed by the burly sheikah and he was suddenly pulled very easily out of his seat. Solid stumbled slightly but Iraz's firm and strong grip kept the man moving at a quick pace.

"W-wait! What are you doing?! They will--" Solid harshly whispered, "--they see us!" His voice spiked up when he caught the eyes of one of their pursuers, before the group started pushing through the crowd to get towards the two men. Bottles were overturned, tables were shoved aside, and the bar's patrons started shouting and scuffling with one another in the mess. Solid's panic skyrocketed as he quickly scrambled after Iraz into the next room just as an arrow got stuck in the door that had just been closed by the two.

Solid's legs gave out from his fear as he stared at the protruding point of the arrow in the door before scrambling behind Iraz as the man calmly pried up the sewer grate.

The latch had closed when they entered the storage room, but the door was now being rammed against, and it didn't look like it would last very long.

Solid swallowed audibly as he watched the door before he was snapped out of his shock by Iraz's command to jump into the humid and dark sewer below. In any other situation, Solid would have adamantly refused. However, he only had one option. Solid rolled up his sleeves and pant legs the best he could before dropping down into the tunnel.

As his feet hit the slick ground, Solid immediately slipped on the wet and slimy ground, landing on his hip with a groan. The tunnel was large enough for a man to stand up in, but not much bigger. Besides the obvious foul odor that one would associate with sewers, it was also cold and pitch black. Now frightened, alone and unable to see anything, Solid curled up slightly.

"H-hey..." He realized he also didn't have the man's name either, and he simply peered up at the bit of light from the room above.

Meanwhile, the pursuers had smashed through the door to the storage room and several pushed into the room and swung their weapons at Iraz.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#8

Post by I heathen I »

So far, things were going about as well as Iraz had expected.

He could tell by the noise behind them as they began their escape that the men after Solid cared little about colatteral damage. The sheikah had hoped to bait them away and out of the tavern to minimize that, and failed. Furthermore, the overly elegant man he was trying to help squandered the time he had bought them by rolling up his sleeves and pant legs for a dive into the sewer. Iraz was hoping for a shootout in the dark...with his boltgun he would have made quick work of all of them. By the time he had managed to feed a bolt into the receiver of his weapon, the final door separating them burst open.

Three men set upon Iraz before he had even a moment to flip the lever on the boltgun. One sprang toward him with a shortsword, purpose guiding the swing of his blade. Like water, Iraz flowed to the side, years of sheikah combat training informing his movements. He thrust the butt of the boltgun at the first man's head, hammering him with a dizzying blow to the temple and forcing him to the floor. A second blade came swinging his way, and then the third. The four of them had were starved for room for a proper fight, and that became Iraz's only real advantage. But they had to retreat, and Iraz still hoped to lure these hired hands out of the tavern for the owner.

Wielding it like a staff, Iraz deflected the second man's sword and dodged the third, turning their clumsy, cramped movements against them and throwing them off balance. With a rough kick to one man and a headbutt to another, he was holding his own. But their numbers drove Iraz into a corner, back toward the open grate to the sewer. Spending the last of his solid footing, Iraz thrust his boltgun forward with both hands and incorporated it into a sort of headlock with the man closest to him. Desperately, Iraz jumped backward with the grip on his throat, diving headfirst into the sewer.

Both of them hit the cobblestone sewer floor on their shoulders. So much white hot pain shot through Iraz that he lost the grip on his boltgun. Thankfully, the man he dragged into the sewer with him took a harder fall, and promptly fell still. But there were still two more aggressors hot on his heels. With grit in his teeth, the sheikah struggled to compose himself after his terrible fall and stand up again. But, as was becoming a theme, Iraz had too little time to properly counter. Both of the other men were in the sewer with them now, and one of their swords pierced through the darkness. The sheikah countered by rolling over, and jumping away on his back just to give him another foot of clearance. Having had enough, his hand found the crossbow holstered on his chest and ripped it from the leather. Slamming the hammer back with his other hand, two bolts came shrieking from the weapon and burrowed into his attacker's chest. The third man barely had a moment to convey his shock at the reversal before he received another two bolts himself.

Bruised, filthy, rattled, and mad, Iraz finally had a moment to find his feet. Holstering his crossbow, he limped toward the boltgun that he had dropped and took hold of it. The final man who had been unfortunate enough to share his nasty fall struggled to get up and continue their fight in futility. With an unneccesary flourish, Iraz swung the boltgun around by the lever, flipping the weapon and notching the chambered bolt with one stylish movement. Pulling the trigger, a long bolt came flying out and into the final man's back, effectively pinning him to the stone.

Satisfied that all three men were dead, Iraz slung the boltgun over his shoulder by its strap. From his pockets a cigar found one of his hands, and a match came to the other. He gestured with lame fanfare toward all three men at his feet like he had performed some perverse magic trick.
"Ta-da." Iraz finally uttered, coughing as he lit his cigar with weary hands.
Iraz - Desperado. Outlaw. Bowslinger. Ladykiller. All-around scoundrel.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#9

Post by Pillar »

Solid scrambled backward as the light from above was temporarily blocked out by Iraz's body. He scooted back until he hit the dingy wall and stayed there, holding his breath and trying not to be noticed as the battle ensued. He could barely tell what was going on, only that there were now several figures fighting before him in the dark. He could only hear the sharp metallic sound of weapons and grunts of pain echoing through the sewers.

It was over too quickly, before Solid could really get a grasp of what was happening or who won the battle. He stayed curled up in a little ball in the dark, unsure of what to do. If Iraz had won, of course that would be great, but there were at least three versus one. The odds told him he should try to escape while he still was cloaked in darkness. He slowly started to try and push himself up as silently as possible when the light from the match lit up a familiar rugged face and dark eyes. Instantly relieved, Solid sighed, his eyes now seeing the lumps on the ground as his eyes adjusted with the little light from above as aid.

"Oh thank the gods..." Solid muttered, now fully on his feet. He walked over to Iraz, wincing slightly as he had to step over one of the bodies.

"Are they all dead? ...Did you get hurt at all?" Solid took in the now ruffled appearance of the man before him and couldn't help but reach over and try to straighten his clothes a bit.

"I hadn't expected it to be at this level... I must've really pissed him off." Solid frowned, glancing down at the bodies as he bit his lip in thought before looked up at the grate they had escaped down from.

"I don't know... the sewer system, obviously... but I think this way is west. We will need to head that way to get to my parents house." Solid tugged his sleeve in a direction, before they heard some more shouting coming from above.

"There's probably more... we should get go--" Solid let out a loud shriek as a large rat ran over his foot and he practically jumped into Iraz's arms.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#10

Post by I heathen I »

Iraz took a long, ragged draw off of his cigar, priming the smoke to brace his bruised insides. Normally three hired hands might not give him all that much trouble, even in a cramped store room, but the fall he took right on his head and shoulders messed with everything. Now that things had slowed down and his adrenaline had settled, white noise rattled his mind and overwhelmed his senses. Blowing the smoke out once he was finished with it, he couldn't be bothered to pay attention to his companion for a moment. He could really use just a moment or two of silence just to recalibrate.

"Yep. They all dead." Iraz finally thought to answer, contemplating their next move. He would have liked to cover their tracks, which meant the bodies would need disposed of. Sufficiently relaxed now, the outlaw moved to untie a spool of rope from his belt. Just as he took hold of a knife to cut lengths, Solid's hand touched his chest and tried to smooth down his shirt, the way a caring lover might.
You are getting too handsy for me, pretty boy.
Having taken a beating going on only the vaguest of details, his grip tightened on his knife, instincts pushing to take over. But in that singular moment, he found reason again, and turned away from the flamboyant man he found himself in a sewer with. Iraz spun away from him, determined to find some loose stone around. He could tie the pieces to the bodies, and cast them in the channel running through the sewer. With luck, it would be enough weight to sink them, and all trace of their battle would be swept away.

"Still'd like to know what you mighta done to have three men sent after ya." Iraz pressed him, growing more and more frustrated with the lack of details by the second. "But...yeah, there'll be other accesses, goin' back out into the street through here. An' it just so happens I got a camp outta town that way. We could lay low for the night, 'n' head out tomorrow-"
Shouting from upstairs cut off his train of thought. By his estimate, it came from the main room of the tavern. Iraz dropped the stone he was tying knots around and glared at Solid.
"What did you do!?" He fumed quietly, discovering his aggravation could reach heights he had previously not thought possible. "C'mon, we gotta go-"
Soon as a shadow from above interrupted their only light source, Iraz began to stride down the sewer, only for the man to leap and cower into his arms over the sight of a rat.
Nope. Nope. Ain't got time for this.

The sheikah caught him out of reflex, only to promptly drop him back onto the floor. Pressing on without him, Iraz was sure Solid's hope to survive would drive him to follow. After dousing his cigar, he slung the boltgun off of his back again and drove a fresh bolt into the receiver.
"Hope you know how to ride a horse. Think we're gonna have to steal a couple. We are not ridin' the same one."
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#11

Post by Pillar »

Solid sheepishly pulled away from the man, glancing up at the ceiling as well as he raised his sleeve to his nose.

"Okay fine, I might have embarrassed him and stole some stupid old sheath of his. But he embarrassed me first!" Solid huffed as he quickly followed behind the man, trying to keep his footing on the slick ground. He picked up his pace, wanting to get out of the smelly sewer and away from their pursuers as fast as possible.

"That stupid old man purposefully let his wife see me, and she slapped me! My perfect, beautiful face, was slapped! My face is my job, you know. Ugh." He rolled his eyes, "So I thought I'd get back at him. Who knew a stupid old sheath would be worth this much effort... it doesn't even have a sword in it. How stupid is that? Just got this weird spiky eye scrawled on it..." He thought back to the old sheath, it's engraved design and dull colors. Solid knew a bit about antiques, so he knew it was old... but he honestly couldn't see it being worth any serious amount.

"It was quite big too...maybe he was trying to compensate for something." He chuckled dryly, "Either way, I don't have it with me. I've probably just hurt his pride or something.." He caught up to Iraz and tried to keep up with his pace, walking beside him.

"Ride a horse...?" He sighed dramatically. "Well I suppose I can't get even dirtier and smellier than I already am. Though I've only ridden with partners before...It can't be that hard though right? You just like, kick it, right?" Despite the tense atmosphere, Solid couldn't seem to keep his mouth shut, due to his nerves.

"Do you think they'll follow us the whole way... oh! Look! There's some light up ahead! Should we leave the sewers?" He asked, almost pleadingly.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#12

Post by I heathen I »

Having been a disciplined sheikah warrior, Iraz maintained effortless balance and posture on the sewer floor as he strode for an exit, the grime caked on the concrete giving him no difficulty. Solid, on the other hand, struggled quite excessively, and while he was too far ahead to see it himself, he heard it in his voice as he began to ramble. Flipping the lever on his boltgun, he tried to grasp for a particular detail that would warrant sending half a dozen men or so after him. Iraz didn't even look like he was paying him any mind at all until he mentioned the spiky eye on the sheath. Suddenly, his full attention was captured, but not in the best of ways. He wanted to jump to conclusions, but decided not to let them distract him. Iraz wasn't interested in helping someone who was stealing ancient sheikan artifacts, but their escape from the city was a more pressing concern.

"Pretty much!" Iraz chimed in regarding horse riding, feining enthusiasm. "I'm sure you'll get the hang of it right quick if there are more of 'em in the street." Iraz sighed quietly with relief as the exit revealed itself before them, ready to escape the dank sewers and how Solid's voice echoed against its halls. Stepping atop the ladder that led up to the grate in the street, he slung his boltgun back over his shoulder. With grit in his teeth, the sheikah thrust himself up the ladder, throwing his battered shoulder into the grate in an attempt to jostle it loose. Three agonizing rams later, he had pressed it free from its muddy seal on the cobblestone above.

Caring little for the looks he got from bystanders walking the street, Iraz scurried up the ladder and back into the open air, glazed with mud, blood, and other filth best not thought about. His sleeves slick with muck, Iraz rolled one up and stuck his arm back down the opening to help pull Solid up, and give him a clean arm to grip to.
"We need to go." Iraz cautioned him in a hushed tone, scanning around for horses nearby. Down the block, he spotted several tied by their reins to the wall of a nearby house. They could beat a hasty retreat, but their time was running short. "Hurry now. We're almost out."
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#13

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Solid watched at the base of the ladder as the man quickly rose and busted out of the opening was ease. As much as he hated to touch the grimy ladder, it was still preferable than being killed. He grabbed one of the rungs and started climbing, not wanting to be too far from the hired man. He had to admit, he really had lucked out by hiring this man. Iraz was strong, capable, and despite his bit of attitude, they were at least able to work together.

He raised his eyebrows in surprise when the man offered a clean arm to help. He grinned, taking it and gripping it as he climbed fully out of the sewer. He was nearly hit with the fresh smell of the town, and immediately he looked down at his clothing. There were so many stains now on his once expensive clothing that it was hardly recognizable. The first thing he did was take off his outer robe and toss it aside in disgust. His inner shirt wasn't fairing much better, but it was at least dry.

"Ah right, yes, let's go." Solid nodded, glancing around and following his eyes to the horses tied in the distance.

"Wait, are we going to steal them?" He asked, already heading in that direction, "Well, I suppose I've already become a bit of an outlaw... hmm, that's a bit exciting, isn't it?" He flashed a playful smile before they made it to the horses. The owners didn't seem to be around, or at least were inside the house.

Solid greeted one of the horses then grabbed at the saddle horn and then realized how much taller a horse suddenly seemed now that he had to ride one. Solid was a bit on the short side for a male, and trying to get onto the horses' back was a bit of a challenge. He was able to get one leg stretched up and placed into a stirrup, but lacked the leverage or strength to do anything more.

"Umm... a little help here..?" Just as he asked his partner, their pursuers in the distance were getting closer. One man popped out of the sewer, looking around. He didn't see them right away, but he did notice a child picking up a rather fancy looking robe that had been tossed aside. The man immediately went on alert and looked in their direction before placing his fingers in his mouth and a loud resounding whistle echoed off the surrounding buildings through the city.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#14

Post by I heathen I »

Yeah. The life of an outlaw is so exciting.

Iraz mentally shook his head, frustrated that his companion seemingly didn't realize the gravity of the situation quite like he did. What he had thought would have been a clever and tidy way to end their troubles and tie up all loose ends had become a grueling ordeal where everything possible had went wrong. The sheikah had no doubt he could handle this many men on his own, but babysitting this adult child he was tethered to brought in so many variables he would sooner do without.
"Oh, for crying out..." Iraz began when Solid requested help just to mount the horse. More than ready to leave, Iraz approached behind him and clutched his shirt with one hand, pant leg with the other. With a hard shove that sent shockwaves through his shoulder, the outlaw lifted him up with enough momentum that he could surely finish mounting the horse himself.

Before he could so much as reach for the other horse, yet another mercenary popped up through the grate in the street and whistled for help. Frustration mounting within him, Iraz ran his hand along his belt, teasing a pair of throwing knives from the leather. In the same motion he thrust them at the man, the blades soaring through the air and into a close grouping into his sternum. He cried out, stiffening in pain and tumbling sloppily back into the sewer, grasping helplessly at the grating before he fell. Apparently, some woman cried out in fear, which prompted others in the street to echo her. If reinforcements didn't hear the whistling, they would certainly hear the screaming.

"I'm gonna shoot ya." Iraz ground out behind himself to Solid, his temper boiling over. "I swear to the goddess, I'm gonna shoot ya." Well past ready to be done with this ordeal, Iraz marched out into the street, a red rage pushing him to get it all over with. Sure enough, he could hear, then see three horses clopping down the road with riders atop them. Taking a stand right in the middle of the street to embolden them, his hand sat on his sidearm as they charged toward him. Once they rode into proper range, Iraz drew his crossbow and shot two bolts into the chest of the closest rider, then two more into the second. Both fell to the street as their horses kept galloping on. One more rider barrelled toward him, but Iraz had spent every bolt in his weapon. The mounted assassin pressed on, bringing up his shortsword to take a running blow at the sheikah, but Iraz found the dexterity to leap out of the way of his attack. From the ground, he managed to draw his off-hand crossbow and fan a couple bolts into his back before he could turn around.

Four more men down, and Iraz found himself still alive, but quite exhausted having taken repeated trauma to the same shoulder over and over. As the dust in the street settled, the man rolled over and found his feet, a mouthful of grit teeth marking the pain he was experiencing. He scarcely had time to crack his back before alarm bells began to chime, their ring so abrasive it hurt his ears. Guards and soldiers would be here in moments. Iraz had moral objections against fighting them, whether he had the ability or not.

"I don't kill guards." Iraz rasped at Solid, returning back to the alley where he had left him. The harsh pitch in his tone gave no room for discussion. Desperate to quit Castle Town before authorities arrived, a rough cough forced his way out of him as he mounted the other horse.
"I'm leavin'." He continued. "Goin' to my camp. Feel free to follow." The sheikah had given all of the effort he could spare on little more than faith for an employer he felt had yet to reciprocate. Impartial on whether Solid could properly ride the horse or not, Iraz kicked his heels into the ribs of his new horse, sure Solid would follow if he valued his life or freedom.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#15

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"Ooof." Solid felt weightless for a moment when the sheikah grabbed hold of him, lifting him very easily up onto the horse. He rubbed his shoulder, a slight pain there from the shove. It was a bit rough, but it got the job done and Solid slid his leg around the horse and sat himself down on the saddle. He reached for the reins and moved to thank the outlaw when he was distracted as well from the loud whistle that echoed through the town. He looked up, alarmed, watching as everyone around them looked up at the sound. The crowds recoiled in fear, however, when Iraz's blades appeared in the mercenary's chest, his shirt darkening from the blood as he fell back.

Solid's eyes shot to the Sheikah as the man swore at him, obviously very upset at the current situation. He stiffened in his seat, keeping his face blank, hoping to not further upset the obviously very dangerous man before him. As the fight before him grew more fierce, Solid clung to his horse, trying to look inconspicuous.

When the man returned from his battle, looking worn out and ranting about the incoming guards, he simply nodded, his mouth already dry and no words coming to his lips. With the attitude he was receiving, he was slightly surprised that he was given permission to follow after the Sheikah but didn't hesitate at all as he nudged his horse forward. The horse thankfully seemed to understand and followed close behind the other as they rode out of the crowded streets.

It had seemed that their original pursuers were cut off, at least for now. Solid kept glancing over his shoulder but didn't see anyone following them. The guards in the distance had arrived but were questioning the surrounding citizens and peering into the sewer grate. Solid let out a large sigh of relief.

"I think... we may be okay for now." He told Iraz as their horses settled down into a comfortable even pace. "That was... a lot more than I was expecting, honestly." He ran a hand through his long hair, and it got stuck in tangles. He groaned and just threw it over his shoulder, his heart still beating too quickly for him to worry about his hair. He rubbed his temple, feeling the beginnings of a headache as they rode in the temporary calm.

“How far is your camp? Would it be too dangerous to travel at night then? I just.. worry about my parents. I’d rather arrive there as soon as possible.”
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#16

Post by I heathen I »

Finally.

Iraz and Solid had managed to flee the city, but the pains in his shoulder stayed with him. Pins and needles pricked along the length of his arm, from his fingers all the way to his neck. The sheikah stretched and swung his arm about while they galloped away from the city, trying anything he could think of to dull the pain. He could likely make do with a stiff drink and some rest, once they got to camp.

After putting a respectable distance between himself and Castle Town, Iraz slowed his horse's pace down just a bit, giving his companion a chance to match his stride. His adrenaline had not yet managed to drop, and his temper still ran hot to match it. Solid started talking to him again, but he could not hear the words. At least, not until he mentioned his parents again. It could have been the blow to his head and shoulder that he had taken, but being reminded of what Solid really stood to lose stirred something within him. His thoughts went to his own parents, and when he lost them both. How helpless he felt when they had left this world. Had he had any say in the matter when their time had come, Iraz would have burned the whole kingdom down to protect them.

"Uhh..." Iraz opened his mouth to speak, giving his temper another moment to cool. Solid might have been dangerously reckless, but his parents did not deserve the danger they had been put into. "...Look, eh...I gotta resupply. Somebody sendin' out that many men over some sheath...it's excessive. I'm gonna need a few more things. So I'll tell ya what. My camp's just off the main road up here. Five...ten minutes there to prepare, and if you wanna keep on ridin' through the night after that, we will. Alright?"
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#17

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Solid paused in thought as the obviously upset man deflated a bit. He hadn't expected the slightly less intense tone than the man's usual. He had expected the man to curse or flat out quit.

"I suppose my beauty somehow transcends all this dirt and grime." He couldn't help but tease, his mood considerably lighter. "I was sure you'd run after that last bout. Just don't fall too hard for me, it would cost you all of your pay." His horse caught up and strode alongside of the other. Now that their great escape was behind him, he was grinning broadly again.

"Just listen to you... you look like this rugged alpha man type, but you have some sense of honor, it seems." Solid mused aloud, then caught the man's eyes.

"Thank you, really." He said sincerely, and looking a bit embarrassed at having said that. "My parents mean a lot to me, they are the most important people in my life. Oh, but they don't know what kind of work I do, so maybe try to avoid anything concerning that if we meet them. They might like you, actually. My mom always told me to find a strong man to take care of me." He flashed him a mischievous grin, trying to get another rise from him.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#18

Post by I heathen I »

Straining to keep on the task at hand, the outlaw shook off the thoughts of his mother and father and kept his eyes fixed on the road. Any moment, they could find even more mercenaries on the road before them, waiting to intercept their target as they fled from the city. Iraz personally thought that would have been overkill, but it was clear they could not afford to underestimate their enemies now. Not to be kept on edge of their potential danger, Solid moved back to the teasing, but Iraz paid him no mind for the moment. The turn he needed to take was just over the next hill, and he wanted to move off the road unseen. It was Solid's genuine sincerity that won his attention back. Love for their parents...the two had that in common if nothing else. The sheikah nodded respectfully, seeing no reason to tarnish his relationship with his parents when he saw no reason to.
"Take care o' you, eh?" Iraz finally answered back, a smirk threatened to slash his face. "What a tall task that would be."

"Follow me here. An' keep your head low." Suddenly, the man kicked his heels into his horse's sides, and charged ahead of Solid to take the lead. Past the foot of the hill the foliage from the nearby woods grew thick, and he took a hard right with his horse through bushes and over a trace of a hidden path he had worn in himself over time. The forest he moved into grew thick and wild before them; trees and bushes seemed to strain themselves to try to unmount them. He snaked and slalomed through the woods, over rocks, across streams, and along the winding path up a larger hill. Finally the path came to an end, at a plateau sitting before the mouth of a small cave. Hidden from every viewpoint over any horizon, his camp stood here perfectly concealed. Burnt logs from a dead campfire sat in an open clearing, wreathed by felled trees cleaned up for seating. Dried meat hung on racks, chests and crates strewn about. He had held this camp for a very long time, his roots grew deep undisturbed here in this ground.

"Make yourself at home." Iraz welcomed Solid, stepping off of his horse to tie his reins to the closest tree. He could appreciate that his employer didn't want to stay long, so he went right to packing. First thing he clutched for was a nearly spent bottle of bourbon he had left by the fire. The sheikah allowed himself a moment to down half of what was left, the fire of the spirit scouring his insides. Before he set it back down, he lifted it for Solid to see, should he want what remained. Wasting no more time, he clutched a spare saddlebag from the ground and moved to stuff it with things he needed. Cornbread and jerky to snack on should they grow hungry, bomb flowers should something want for explosives, and all manner of supplies he lacked after his abrupt retreat from Castle Town.
"Oh!" He stopped, setting the bag down as he passed a crate at his feet. Popping the lid of the crate, he rummaged through the clothes he kept inside until he found the bottom, and withdrew a roughspun tunic, cloak, and trousers. Iraz hadn't worn them in years, not since he had found himself on the run, and it was like to be the only thing that may fit Solid.
"Here. Feel free to change into these. They ain't..." Iraz motioned to Solid's overly ornate and resplendent garb, ruined with sewage. "They ain't...that, but they're dry. And it won't draw attention."
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#19

Post by Pillar »

Solid's horse followed obediently to the tree, pausing while the man swung his leg over and slipped off the saddle. He caught Iraz's eye when the bottle of bourbon was waggled in his direction and he immediately bee-lined for the drink, taking what was left in the bottle and downing it.

"Taking me back to your place and trying to get me drunk, I see..." Solid set the empty bottle aside, and wasting no time himself looking for a mirror or something similar. He settled for a bowl of water and frowned at his reflection. It wasn't too far from what he had expected though. He splashed the water on his face to at least wipe what grime he could off before the outlaw offered some new clothes. Solid glanced over his shoulder at the worn and haggard looking clothing. If this were literally any other situation, he wouldn't have accepted such deplorable clothing... but, it would probably not only feel better than the grime he was wearing, but he would no longer stand out so much.

"...and you're trying to get me to strip too. You're so bold." Solid ribbed as he quickly twisted his long hair into a more manageable braid before walking over and taking the clothing. Having no shame, at least when it came to his body, he striped right there and pulled on the large tunic.

"I think it's safe to say we aren't the same size. Not too bad though, kinda sexy." He chuckled, looking down at how the shirt length hit his thighs, flashing a quick pose before laughing and pulling the trousers on. He had to use the belt from his old clothes to keep them from falling off, but his transformation was somewhat complete. He pulled the cloak over his shoulders, and looked at least a little less regal than before. (Maybe more like a kidnap victim) He put his old clothes into the crate and now, slightly refreshed, beamed at the other man.

"You can use those for rags or something. Alright, we ready to go?" Solid asked, in good spirits but still anxious. He trotted over to the horse, remembered that he couldn't climb up it, and then gave Iraz his best puppy eyes.




Meanwhile, outside the camp, the road to the tiny village where Solid's parents house is located, there is a small gorge. It is possible to travel around, but the fastest route is the suspension bridge crossing it. Mr. Mustache, stood at the far side of the bridge with his minions.

"Should we cut the bridge, boss?" A minion asked.

"No... not yet. It's quite far to go around, they will have to pass this way. Try to trap them on the bridge." Mustache said, twirling his mustache with much evil intent.

"Yes sir!"

"I'll be heading for the whore's house. Send me a message once you've killed them."
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#20

Post by I heathen I »

Truly, no good deed goes unpunished. Iraz sought to provide something akin to hospitality within the small frame of time they had, and his companion continued to respond in kind with his uncomfortable flirting.
"Don't flatter yourself, princess. Ya ain't my type." The sheikah jabbed back as Solid accepted the clothes. He continued to grab whatever he thought could be useful about the camp, stuffing his saddlebag until it was near to bursting. Pivoting to return to the horse's, a metallic glint from the bottom of one of his chests caught his eye before he could step away, commanding his full attention. Iraz would be the first to admit he was not the most organized, so he found his curiosity piqued by whatever spoke to him from the bottom of the container.

Rummaging around for the source, Iraz drew out an immaculate kodachi and sheath, burrowed in layers of old clothing. It had belonged to his late mother, and if he was being honest, he had forgotten that he had it. In some expression of shame, Iraz went to great lengths to shed most of what made him the proud Sheikah warrior he used to be, and he had not wielded the blade in some time. The metal sang of his own personal failures whenever it caught fresh air, and a lump swelled in his throat looking upon it now. Between Solid desperately trying to reconnect with his own parents, and the kodachi speaking to him from within his own junk...something told him he should bring it with him.

Finally packed and ready, Iraz turned to Solid and the horses and came back to them all. While his employer struggled and toiled to mount his horse again, Iraz secured the bag to his own. Deftly, Iraz tied the kodachi to his belt at his back and watched Solid continue to give his best effort. He sighed through his nose, swallowing whatever crude insult came to mind. The outlaw could feel his mother's presence in a strange, intangible way, and for the time being, compassion started to take root.
"With a bit more muscle, a man o' your height could manage to seat a horse." Iraz offered, stepping forward and cupping his hands, offering Solid a foothold to step and mount up himself. "Day may come where your 'good looks' an' your money may fail you, an' you'll have to fend for yourself. Somethin' to think about."
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#21

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“Stunningly good looks and nice legs aren’t your type? Noted. I’ll be sure not to introduce any of my friends to you, especially not the models.” Solid replied just as quickly, beaming at the man when he offered the foothold to help him onto the horse. He placed his foot into Iraz’s hands and pushed himself up onto the horse. He struggled a bit to get himself righted, but was eventually able to succeed without further assistance.

“I have some muscle, I just use it for different things.” Solid’s horse, thankfully, seemed to be fine with just following along and it trotted over as Iraz mounted his own horse. “And sure, maybe one day I’ll become old and ugly, and maybe some robber will take all my money… and maybe one day you’ll lose your arm or go blind. Hell, I’m sure you won’t be able to move like you do when you get old either. Maybe you should think about that too.” He shot back, though his tone was light it was obvious he didn’t appreciate that particular jab. It wasn’t something that he’d never heard before, in fact, it was probably one of the things he heard most. Usually he didn’t care about those sorts of things, but he had figured someone else in a not so normal job would be less scolding.

Solid wasn’t really one to dwell on such things however, and though he was quiet when they first set out, the conversation soon left his mind entirely. They rode out along the path towards Solid’s parent’s home. For a good while, all was quiet and serene as the sun grew lower in the distance. Even Solid’s horse seemed to become a bit more on edge as night crept in, and strolled even closer to it’s companion.

Then, they came upon the gorge. It wasn’t a particularly large one, but to go around it would take a considerably longer amount of time. Thankfully there was a large suspension bridge across it. It was wide, and there were many reinforced ropes holding it up. Normally, a couple horses and maybe a smaller carriage would be able to cross it without a problem.

Without much of a thought, the horses started to cross, unaware of a certain person hidden in the bushes on the other side of the gorge, blade resting against one of the ropes.

“The sky sure is beautiful tonight… and a full moon at that.” Solid noted, having been distracted momentarily from his weariness due to its beauty.
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#22

Post by I heathen I »

At first, Solid's complete inability to seat a horse took Iraz a bit by a surprise, thinking it had been a basic skill most everyone had been taught at one point or another. Nevertheless, he felt his mother's guiding influence bearing down on him from the moment he equipped himself with her sword, and if an opportunity came forth to teach or help Solid in any way, he wanted to take it. His new acquaintance misunderstood his intent with his little nugget of advice, and in truth he could not blame him. Iraz knew he didn't look like the helpful type. Certainly didn't sound like it either.
Grow old, eh? Doubt I'll ever do that.
"I...I didn't mean it like that!" The sheikah lifted a hand in defense, after seating his own horse. How strange for him to be taken aback when typically he cared so little about the sensibilities of others. "I mean...I meant it like, someday, somebody might, uh..." Iraz took both his hands off the horse's reins and tried to conjure a helpful response through gesticulating, clearly struggling to articulate the helpful response he wanted to. "...It's a nasty world, Solid. I mean...you got people wantin' ta kill you over a sheath, just a little scrap o' leather, or metal, or whatever it's made of. I mean..." As they strode back down the hill, his words continued to fail him, so once he was satisfied he had dug himself far too deep in a hole of his making, he gave up and went silent.

In the silence he had cornered himself into, Iraz thought he might be more helpful keeping his mouth shut, and his head on a swivel. Whoever was coming for his employer sent an excessive amount of force, so it was no longer a silly thought to consider someone could be waiting to leap out of any particular bush at them both. A simple job like this scarcely warranted such a state of alarm, but these were strange circumstances to be sure.
"Yeah...it's a nice night." Iraz conceded as they began to trot across the bridge, still scanning everything around him for shadows and threats nonexistant.

"Wait!" Iraz urged in a hushed tone, urging his horse to stop trotting immediately. He could not rule out the possibility of them being followed, waiting for any moment where escape routes from imminent danger may be limited to them. "We gotta pass this gorge to get to your parents? There's another way across up the road a ways." Iraz knew what he suggested would leave them pressed for time, but he understood their vulnerability on the bridge, no matter how brief it may last. "I don't like this..."
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Re: A Solid Foundation

#23

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The night was nice indeed. Solid found himself staring blankly up into the sky as they crossed the bridge before the man beside him suddenly called out for them to wait. Solid frowned over at the man. They were in the middle of the bridge now, and could clearly see in front and behind themselves. Surely quickly getting to the other side was better than gawking here in the middle.

“This is the fastest way though… and we are already practically across it already. My parent’s house is just up ahead. Do you see something?” He squinted, trying to survey the area, but didn’t see anything around them that seemed suspicious. Solid wasn’t well versed in the art of hiding however.

“Or are you… afraid of heights…?” Solid asked suddenly, trying to keep a wide smile from appearing on his face. He reached over and patted his companion’s shoulder in a mocking way.

It was that exact moment when a loud ripping sound was heard. Solid, his hand on Iraz’s shoulder, instinctively gripped the man’s clothes as the bridge below them started to give out and their horses started falling.
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