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Full Version: [SRP] At Death's Door
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Lantis hid himself well when the Mayor and his son came out to chase the girl away, verbally at that. They appeared to be good people, it would be easier to convince them if there was a good reason, but that was just what the dancer was lacking. Her action, on the other hand, told him she fully believed in her 'vision' back there. Though it was pointless to think about it when there was not enough information. The man in black stepped out of the tree's shadow once it was clear from the house owners and followed the trio just for a bit.

"I don't know about that, are you confident that he won't get killed when you are away?" He simply replied to what she just said, about heading back for operation plan at the inn. "Your action does hint me the boy will be be killed for sure, but in contradiction, you are saying that you are capable to prevent it? How many times exactly have you been altering people' fate?"

"I'm Lantis by the way." He said just to be less of a stranger to them.
Fred felt mildly cross. He'd crossed his arms over his chest, furrowing his brow and 'hrm'-ing for a minute, trying to think of a way to go about keeping the boy from dying as he followed Anka to the inn. "From what I've inferred, this is her first attempt. Her gift isn't well-received, and she's not had much support in the matter, Lantis. Call me Fred." He continued mulling it over for ten minutes, even as the group arrived at one of the inns. Coincidentally, he'd rented a room at this one. Reaching into his pocket, he removed a key.

"Anka," the mercenary called to her. When she looked to him, he handed her the key. "I rented a room here. The number is on the key. In the event I don't return at a reasonable hour tonight, the room's all yours." He turned on his heel and walked back the way they'd come, his boots tromping across the cobblestones with a purpose, his cloak billowing in the soft dusk breeze.

He arrived, without incident, at the Mayor's House, and knocked on the door. The man himself answered, looking as though he'd just begun preparing for bed. He saw Ambrose standing in his doorway, looming like a giant over the portly town official.

"Oh. It's you," the Mayor blinked.

"Yes. Me," he responded awkwardly, blinking. "Apologies, sir. For my sister, I mean."

"Sister? You mean that girl?"

"Yes. The one with the fits of madness."

"Who apparently predicts that my son will die."

"That one, yes. It's regarding that that I'm here, sir. You see, she always worries over what she sees, so, to ease her worries, I've decided that I want to act as your son's bodyguard, for the remaining time that I'm here," Fred mock-explained. It would have been comical, had he been able to see himself now, that he would sound so unsure of himself, almost self-effacing to this man. He wasn't expecting the offer to phase the man, or get him to agree, but the sellsword wouldn't have the offer remain unsaid if it had the slightest chance of helping.

"I reject. Your kind heart does you credit, sir, but I've had enough of this nonsense. Besides, if you did, you'd risk exposing your sister to another fit of madness within Silverglen, and you'd not be around to gallantly aid her, would you?"

"As you wish, sir. I will respect that, like it though I don't," Ambrose nodded. He turned back around. "Do tell him to be wary, though," the mercenary continued. "Life is precious, and I don't like seeing it lost." He heard the door shut behind him and returned to the Inn.
While the trio started heading back to the inn, the strange young man returned to them. His reappearance earned only a curt "Ingrid" from her lips after Ambrose said his piece. Was he going to keep stalking in and out like this? She was certain he meant to help them save the boy, but his shadowy demeanor was off-putting. She hoped he'd stick near if he was going to help, instead of skulking about and hiding in trees.

After the group arrived at the inn and Fred departed for some unknown task, Ingrid opened the door to the inn and led the others inside. Earlier that day, the inn had been bustling and loud as these places often are, but the place took on a new air at night. The din of the taproom had quieted down, the room itself empty save the innkeeper and a few patrons. Given how agitated Peter had become, this was ideal; the last thing they needed was someone eavesdropping on them and running off to tell him or his father.

"If you two don't mind, I've got to take care of something. There's something in my room I need to retrieve" she said as she rifled through her satchel, looking for the room's key. Gesturing towards the far wall, she continued with "My room is that one in the center. I shouldn't be long, but knock if you need me." After finding the room's key, she walked towards the door, unlocked it, and went inside.

The room was small, and by Ingrid's old standards would've been rather dingy and unpleasant. After spending months on the road, though, places like this felt almost like home, and a welcome reprieve from camping out in fields.

She stepped over to the bed, where she'd laid her bag when she first arrived. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she opened it and started rummaging around. It took her only a minute or two to find what she was looking for; a worn, leather-bound journal with a clasp holding it shut. Within it was documentation on all sorts of plants native to Etruria and Lycia, their appearance, their growing conditions, their use in medicines... and in poisons. It was a mix of the original writer's notes and her own, and she hoped it would come in handy in protecting Peter from whatever vague danger threatened him now.

Ingrid pulled the manual out and stuffed it in her satchel. She was about to shut the bag and leave when another book caught her eye. An aged, yellowed tome with a lightning bolt emblazoned on the front.

She took the old book in hand. It was one of the first tomes she'd ever used, and she never realized she still had it after all this time. She spent a few minutes with it in her lap, flipping through its delicate pages with care. It reminded her of before, when she wasn't effectively on the run and hiding what she could do. She hadn't had cause to use any of the few spellbooks she kept in ages, not for anything practical anyway. She'd kept practicing her spellcraft in secret, just in case, but she knew keeping on like that was risky. In truth, she should've just burned the things the first day she set out.

Ingrid dropped the old tome next to her journal anyway, shut the satchel, and left the room to join everyone else.
After Fred interjected on her behalf -which was well-received due to her stammering-, Anka remained silent on their way to the inn. Never before had she been surrounded by people that weren't trying to run her out of town because of her link to the 'occult'. She was all too used to being shunned; driven off like a bad omen that it had really affected her, It wasn't until she was shown kindness by these strangers that her nomadic life over the last six months really took root in her head. Was she truly destined to spend the rest of her life running?

Upon reaching the inn, Fred thrust his room key into Anka's hand. She'd wanted to ask where he was going, but it had all happened rather fast and she was left clutching the brass key in her clammy hand, watching his caped form vanishing into the night. Ingrid ushered her and Lantis inside, so she stepped into the glum light of the now depleted taproom. Anka was glad of the quiet lull that had settled here, for she was still mulling over what on earth they were going to do about Peter. Ingrid mentioned her temporary departure to her room, to which she nodded after identifying the room she'd pointed to.

That left herself and Lantis- the somewhat sinister man that she'd yanked from a tree all of half an hour ago. Anka absently rubbed her mid-section as she dropped into a chair at the nearest table, wincing only slightly at the bruise beneath her dress. For a moment, she contemplated rushing to Ingrid's room, not feeling comfortable alone with Lantis. Then she chided herself: he had been courteous enough thus far, even after she'd basically attacked him. A fresh shade of red graced her cheeks, thankfully masked somewhat by the gloom cast by the faint torchlight. She could feel Lantis' gaze on her, burning with his partially unanswered question.

"When my visions come true..." She began, clearing her throat so she could drop her voice to a low mutter, "... I can feel it, like a blow to my stomach. It can be days or weeks after I first see something, but it's almost as though a door is slamming shut in front of me. I have never been able to alter fate... I've never tried before. People always chase me away from their villages, their towns: nobody wants a possessed girl around, it's bad luck." Anka shook her head, long strands of her hair falling down from her shoulders.

"I should try harder: I'm fed up of feeling powerless, of being a slave to these horrible visions. I have no idea what causes them, or why I got them. Maybe if I fight to change the fates I see, they'll go away. I just want to live a normal-" Anka's last word caught in her throat, and her eyes widened. She saw Lantis- that's all she saw. Her breathing quickened and she slipped back into her chair, never taking her eyes off the shadowy man. Somehow she was able to keep her proclamations to a whisper this time.

"You have more than one shadow..." She said, craning towards Lantis, wiggling her finger enticingly so that he would lean closer to her whispering lips. "Some are scared, some are envious, and some are in awe of you. You're striding like a beast- set sure in his instincts and his tracks, and they're before you like coat-tails." Anka drew her hand forward, curling her fingers around the back of Lantis' head. Her face was close to his and her breath was warm.

"He's a strong one, your Lantis. His blades have many lives on their edges, and his eyes are full... Hahaha... They're full of the last moments of men, their last breaths. Does he kill, or does he not keep his men safe? Does he watch them be slain before him? Is he an owl, or an eagle? Both watch with different eyes... Ack!"

Anka blinked and coughed to the side of Lantis' face. As soon as she realized she was holding the back of his head, she jerked her hand away and rocketed back into her chair.

"I'm... I'm sorry." She flustered, collecting herself then standing. "Very sorry." Anka couldn't believe she'd done that. Sometimes, the loss of physical control was worse than what she said. Briskly, she fled the table and went to Ingrid's door, just in time for her to emerge.

"Ingrid, I wish not to bother you, but do you have anything for a headache? I think I need to retire." Anka tried to remain calm and refused to look back at the table. She didn't meet Ingrid's eyes either for fear of setting off another fit.
Fred opened the door, and when he got in, he saw Lantis sitting at a table, Anka walking away from him, and Ingrid opened the door of her room, emerging from it. Since he'd made Anka a concern of his, he approached her first, as she spoke with Ingrid.

"I hope I didn't miss anything," he spoke in hushed tones to the two. He didn't want anyone not involved in their little conspiracy overhearing. "I tried to get the mayor to let me guard his son, but he refused."
Anka was waiting for Ingrid right as she stepped out the door. She'd come to ask for treatment for headaches, claiming she was tired. She seemed a bit agitated, looking away from her as she spoke. Ingrid sensed something was amiss, but wasn't certain if she should pry into it. She'd only been gone a few minutes, far as she knew, and she had no idea what could've distressed in that time. She figured if Anka wanted to talk about it, she would... but just because she didn't want to didn't mean she shouldn't.

"Oh, it's not a bother. I'm sure I've got something for you in here" Ingrid said, trying to sound reassuring. She backed a bit into the room and said "It'll just take a second."

Near the door was a table, upon which she'd set a bag of medicines. As she was sifting through it, looking for something for Anka and considering how to ask her what the problem was, another figure arrived at the door. It was Ambrose, back from whatever task he'd set out for when they first arrived at the inn. He spoke quietly as he said he'd tried to get the mayor to give his son Fred's protection. The mayor had refused the offer. Ingrid couldn't say she blamed him; they'd snuck around the man's house after being ordered to stay away from his son. He'd have to be a fool to agree to that now.

"We'll just have to protect the boy without his permission, or his knowing. I'm sure the four of us can manage that." she whispered back. A second later, she'd found what Anka had asked for; a opaque brown bottle, small as a thumb and sealed with a cork. She stepped back to Anka and presented the vial to her. "Here, drink all of this. It should deal with the pain and help you sleep well." Noting the girl was still avoiding her gaze, she added "Is... everything alright, Anka? You're acting a bit strange."
It was surely good for Lantis to finally got time to talk with the seer dancer. Fred did give him quite enough information, but it would be better to be able to prove by himself. When that happened, when Anka was seemingly turning into the other her, Lantis was all ears to what she was going to say. It seemed she was really saying about the fangs, and him being their leader, a powerful one, as much as how tainted his hands were. The premonition didn't conclude it was hell or heaven that he was leading his men to.

The man in black found that was quite mind-bothering, but the girl didn't give his time for further questions as she already ran away. "Aw, man...and that was the best part too." Anyhow, he was more convinced than before that Anka's reading was pretty accurate, and that Peter's life was probably going to be in danger soon. Whichever that was, Lantis had made his mind to stay just to see this through. If Anka really prove herself once again, she could be a great add to his connection contact list.

Not for long, Fred returned, he walked pass the table to Ingrid's room front, telling that he went to Peter's again to officially offered his protection but was again refused. Lantis stood up and walked over to the group when Ingrid was questioning Anka if she was alright.

"Just let her rest, she just had another of 'that' reading," Lantis pointed to himseld with a thumb. "looks like seeing through me isn't all that pleasant." Lantis said as he looked at the dancer, before shifted to Fred and Ingrid, as he said. "Leave the night watch at Peter's to me, you guys, Fred and Ingrid right? You guys should probably head in a get some rest too, my instinct tells tomorrow could be a longer one."
Anka jerked away from Lantis when he appeared next to the three of them, nervously laughing when he tried to make light of the vision she'd seen of him. She didn't even contemplate what it had meant- being more concerned with her inappropriate touching of him. At least he didn't seem to mind...

"Yes, I'm alright... I just don't like losing control of my body like that: it's very tiring." Anka confessed, seeing as Lantis had revealed that she'd fitted in front of him. "Thank you, Ingrid." She gratefully took the small bottle, hoping that it would indeed help her sleep through the strains of her recent vision.

With regards to Fred, Anka was grateful that he'd tried to reason with the Mayor, but it seemed like he wasn't going to make it easy for them to safeguard him. As Lantis bid them goodnight and offered to watch over the mansion, Anka pulled Fred's key from her pocket and handed it to him before briskly making for the stairs.

"I suppose we'll all meet here tomorrow. Thank you once again for your help... and for believing in me." With an appreciative nod, she headed upstairs to a room she had managed to pre-arrange with the innkeep: luckily for her he cares more about her coin than who she was.

She did no more than lock the door to her small room, take the medicine Ingrid had provided and fall into bed: wishing for this trying day to be over. She only prayed with her last thought that tomorrow would be easier than she anticipated.
Ambrose was getting more irritated with the lout called Lantis the longer they interacted, but he conceded the point. Especially concerning was the fact that she'd apparently had another vision, in regards to Lantis this time. He said nothing as Anka went to her room to sleep. The mercenary went to his own room without another word to either Lantis or Ingrid. There was a tub of water there, with a stand for soap and a brush.

Good. It's about time for that, anyway. He'd arranged the bath when he'd arrived and planned on telling them to cancel it when he'd been under the impression that Anka did not have her own room. Since she did, and the tub was already here, he might as well.

The mercenary stripped down, bathed, washed his clothes and hung them across what sparse furniture he could to dry, and then took out a bottle of oil and a bit of steel wool and began to scrub his armor clean. When he was done with that, he took out a whetstone and cloth, whetting the edge first for sharpness and then oiling the blade to keep it from rusting. He sheathed the sword when he was done, then repeated the treatment on his dagger. At last, he was satisfied. It was well into the night, and he was tired. He stretched out on the bed, falling asleep nearly instantaneously.

In the morning, Ambrose awoke, dressed in clothes that were still cold though no longer damp, and then donned his armor and strapped on his sword. Lastly he swirled his cloak on, fastening it and hiding the knot under the gorget of his armor.

He emerged from his room in the morning and ordered a spot of breakfast.
Ingrid pursed her lips as Lantis interrupted her, in that blasé way that he seemed to default to. Their newest companion was proving quite annoying. She hadn't asked him what happened while she was gone. The way his appearance shook up the already rattled Anka did him no favors in her eyes. She was all too pleased to hear him offer to watch over Peter's home. Not only did it give Peter some measure of protection, it also meant Ingrid wouldn't have to deal with Lantis tonight.

Anka didn't have much to say afterwards. She took the medicine, appreciative for what little each of them had to offer, and left for her own room. As she left, Ingrid shooed the others away before shutting her door with a gentle thud. She was fully prepared to take Lantis's advice and go to sleep.

She laid in bed, awake for what at least seemed like hours, before she realized that wasn't going to happen tonight.

Ingrid left out the inn's front door, quiet as she could so as not to disturb anyone. She walked for quite a ways, out of the town altogether and into the grassy fields surrounding it, until she was certain no one would see her. The last thing she needed was to be spotted lurking around after the little fiasco at the mayor's house.

She spent most of the night gathering plants for antidotes and other remedies. The field manual helped immensely with this task; she was nowhere near as well versed in recognizing these plants as she'd like to be. It was difficult operating at night, but she couldn't stand the thought of staying in her room, feigning sleep. If she was going to be awake all night, she may as well be productive. Maybe what she was doing tonight would actually make a difference in Peter's fate.

The sun had only just begun to rise by the time she felt satisfied she was done. She took her bag, weighed down now by what she'd gathered, and walked all the way back through the town and to the inn. Few people were out in town, and the inn itself was still quiet by the time she arrived. Relief washed over Ingrid when she saw this, as she hadn't wanted anyone to notice her little excursion. She could already feel exhaustion beginning to set in, and she didn't need a lecture on how she should've simply slept through the night instead.

After dumping her bag on the bed, she could hear people leaving their rooms and entering the taproom. Assuming Fred or Anka might be among them, she exited her own room, hoping she didn't look half as bad as she felt.
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