Advent Shadows: The Casting of the Dice

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Advent Shadows: The Casting of the Dice

Postby Guard Daos » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:00 pm

(OOC: Rezic and I finally decided to continue Advent Shadows! This takes place a month or two after the events in Arek's Romance. Basically, it's the same characters in a new story. Of course, this is still a new start. Newcomers are more than welcome to join in the story! We're always a little short on members. Let's see how far we can get together!
And DarkMaster, I'll be expecting a post very soon! :))



It was a simple tavern. It was small, but enough to provide comfort to the local villagers. The sun was about to go down, and a diversity of men and women had gather in the tavern, drinking to a job well done or laughing with friends. A few men were playing gambling games, and between sounds of the rolling of dice the grunting of losing men could be heard. A man with maroon hair was sitting at one of the tables set by one of the dice games. He was sipping at his brew leisurely and calling evens and odds under his breath, getting each toss correct. There was a piece of parchment sitting in front of him that he was constantly looking at. He grimaced for a moment as he caught a waft of a particularly hefty gambler's scent but continued drinking as he eyed his parchment. There was a crash, but as he looked up he realized it was just a new servant who had clumsily dropped a tray of cups. The servant gave a high squeal, and bent to pick up the shards. A puddle of an orange-coloured liquid lay at his feet, his trousers soaked as well.Laughter echoed all around the tavern as he stumbled over himself. The man at his table heard one of the men next to him yell "Hey! What is this? Where's my purse? Someone stole my money!" The heavier man was still chuckling from the servants unfortunate accident, but the man who was robbed misread his amusement.
Suddenly two men were on top of the stranger beating each other senseless. As the stranger crawled his way out of the scrap he quickly stood and unsheathed his blade. "Enough!" He yelled. The tavern was then quiet...
A few people whispered anxiously, while others looked up interestedly, waiting for a brawl to start. The two men who had attacked him looked at each other uncertainly, then at the stranger, uncertain how to react.
"If you weren't so drunk you'd realize that you let your purse fall to the ground." He pointed at it with his sword. "You sir, made me spill my drink so you may go buy me another one."
The man looked at the floor, then back to the stranger. He looked as if he hadn't understood a word he had said. He finally decided the man's tone had been too hostile. "What was that, ya big..." His head flopped around a little. Apparently he had forgotten his sentence halfway through.
The stranger sighed and returned his blade to its sheath. "Nevermind, I'm done here anyways. Besides, I don't think the barkeep would let you buy another drink. Enjoy the rest of your day".... "and your stupidity" he mumbled under his breath as he began walking out the door...a bit of a grin on his face.

As he walked over the threshold, a voice spoke from right next to him. "You still know how to make a scene."
The stranger turned to see a thin young man calmly leaning against the wall right next to the door with his arms folded. He was wearing a dark blue tunic with a small black cloak wrapped around him from middle to bottom. He was looking downwards, as if admiring the grass.
"Do I know you?" Sean asked calmly, searching the man for any distinct marks on his clothes or bits of flesh that were showing.
The other chuckled. "I guess we never really got to know each other last time. We were separated pretty fast, after all."
He raised his gloved left hand in a casual greeting. "Sean, wasn't it?"

Sean ran through possible people he had seen recently, he couldn't think of any immediately but then thought further back... His brow furrowed as he realized who it was. "Hmph, I figured one of you clowns would eventually be back to haunt me. Where's the little brat that follows you everywhere?"
The man, Zak, chuckled again. "Talk about a happy reunion. Guess I can't blame you, we didn't really meet under the best circumstances. You'll find I can be a pretty decent guy though." he smiled, then pointed at the setting sun. "Beauty, isn't it? I just had to go outside to see it."
Sean smirked. Zak did seem a bit different from the other people he travelled with, but the smirk was gone as quickly as it came when Zak mentioned the sunset. "Yeah...it's definitely something worth seeing... What brings you here?"
Zak shrugged. "Well, I just travel around and search around for whatever's worth seeing. That's my kind of life. But... I came here for a reason, actually. Believe it or not, I actually met that Ark guy a few days back."
"Really?" Sean said a bit sceptically. "Did he get off his chain? Seemed like he was a pretty good guy, but with Lana always with him he couldn't get a word in edgewise."
Zak laughed. "Not really. I heard I just missed the girl. Seems they're still stuck together. It's almost cute how they can't go without each other. And I noticed Ark actually hardly says anything without Lana around."
"Feh, it's a pity what women like her do to good men...Anyways, good luck with whatever business you had here, I've got to go." Sean put up his cloak and began to walk.
"You're pretty good at dice games, aren't you?" Zak went on conversationally, as if he had not noticed Sean's attempt to leave.
Sean stopped an looked over his shoulder, "I guess you could say that, my uncle taught me how to read people when I was younger. He was head of a gambling ring."
Zak's head turned from the sunset to Sean instantly. "Really?" he said calmly. "How about a short game? I've just learned the basics. I really wonder how you play."
He reached in his pocket with his right ungloved hand and withdrew a pair of dice. "How about it?"
Sean turned and looked closely at Zak. "Hmph, you're pretty gutsy. Those are loaded dice. We'll use mine." He reached into an inner pocket and pulled out 2 nicely carved dice.
"Really?" Zak looked at the dice in his hand. "I guess I was ripped off in the shop. Shame."
"Call 'em!" Sean said as he threw the dice at the outside wall of the tavern.
Zak's eyes narrowed. "Even."
He glanced at the falling dice, then watched Sean's eyes.
The dice clicked against the wall and hit the dirt. One face with a 2 and the other with a 3. "Five, Odds, sorry I tell ya what, If you can guess this next one right you can have these dice.”
Zak laughed loudly. "Sure, sure."
Sean picked up his dice, dusted them off and tossed them at the wall again...
"Call 'em..."
Zak looked from Sean to the dice and back to Sean. He opened his mouth, and then, there was a loud crashing noise.

The earth shook. Zak was knocked to the ground, and fell on top of the dice. He groaned.
Sean fell to one knee, then got up and dusted himself off. He offered Zak his hand. "What in the world was that?"
Zak took Sean's hand and looked around, frowning. Dryly, he said, "Well it wasn't me, so that rules out one of our possible suspects."
They heard a yell in the distance.
Sean scooped up his dice and put them in his sleeve. "I think I might have a lead," he said as he began to run.
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Postby Rezic » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:20 am

Sean and Zak turned a corner and skidded to a halt, shocked by the sight that greeted them. A man was standing with his back to them and his hand outstretched forward towards what seemed to be a shed in shambles. He wore a grey traveling cloak and had short brown, slightly balding hair.

When he lowered his hand the shaking subsided. “I hope you’ll pardon me.” He spoke in a gruff, calm voice. Zak followed his gaze and saw who he was talking to; amidst the fallen wood was a figure in red, stirring slightly.

<i>What’s going on here?</i> Sean thought, it had been a while since he’d seen magic like that.

The man turned around. He had dark brown eyes to match his hair, and a small pointed beard. He held a sword in his left hand. “I apologize for the commotion. We are done here.” He said, shaking his head.

“You interrupted my game; I hope you have a good excuse. What did that shed ever do to you?” Sean said, still in a good mood from the game, but edgy from the air this man had about him.

“The man’s eyes narrowed. “I will certainly compensate the owner. I do not believe, however that this is-“

“Wait,” Zak interrupted suddenly, looking at the sword in the man’s hand. “That katana… where did you get it?” The man closed his eyes for a second then shook his head in annoyance.

“I believe I said I was leaving.” He sighed as he turned around.

“Wait!” Zak said in a raised voice. “Who are you?” He ignored him and walked towards the person in the ruined shed. Sean slowly followed the man, studying him closely, then took a look at the hooded person in the wreckage. It appeared to be a girl. Her long dark hair was covered in soot and spilled over her face. She was lying tangled in the mess, slightly confused.

“You know, you didn’t answer my question.” Sean said calmly but with a tad bit of tension.

The man stopped, took a breath, and then said without turning around, “Young man, you have no business here. This is the last time I am going to repeat myself.” He resumed walking towards the girl.

“Feh, suit yourself, but y’know what?” Sean quickly and silently slashed out and tore the man’s cloak. “I’m in the mood to make it my business.”

The man stopped in his tracks and slowly ran a finger over the cut in his cloak. He turned to Sean, raised his finger to the young warrior, and studied him. “You,” he said, “are quite the troublemaker, aren’t you?” His voice remained calm. “It is good to enjoy your youth, but to be reckless…” He looked Sean directly in the eyes and tensed. His eyes seemed to glow for a moment, and instantly Sean found himself unable to move a muscle.

<i>Zak…Go….NOW…</i> Sean through with every part of his body, trying to will Zak forward with his mind.

Zak sighed and twisted his hand forward. A rope of light emerged from his palm and started coiling around his waist. “Sorry old man, but magic tricks don’t work here.” He said, waving a hand before Sean’s face. He slowly regained control of his body. The man, in turn made a slashing movement with his free right hand. The rope was torn in two. His face was calm; but his eyes were furious.

“Hmph, thanks.” Sean quickly started jogging and picking up a bit of speed. “Heh, too easy!” He began circling the man until he was at a dead run. He ran at the man took an upward blow at his center. The man deflected the blow with his sword and jumped backwards; his katana pointing at Sean. His eyes moved towards the girl behind Sean, perhaps calculating whether he could get past him and run at her.

“Nice block old man, but take a look at that shabby weapon of yours!” The man looked down to see the blade glowing red. Suddenly, the middle of the blade burst into flames, and it began melting.

“Urgh!” The man seemed to lose his composure for a second, and dropped the sword. Instantly he regained himself and shot his hand forward. Sean felt as he had been punched in the stomach and fell backwards. The man picked up the sword. His hand glowed and the fire stopped. The blade was unbent, but there was a gap in the dull side of the blade where it had melted.

Behind Sean, Zak gasped softly. “Wait!”

The man raised himself to his full height. “Enough! I have not come here for a petty brawl!”

“Then you should have answered my question.” Sean said, disregarding Zak. He ran full force at the man with his sword poised for a lunge.

“Then I will answer you!” The man shouted suddenly; a tone of impatience in his voice.

Sean continued and thrust forward; the tip of the blade resting on the man’s nose. “Then speak.”

The man assumed his calm pose once again. “You would do well to learn some manners, boy-“

“He does have a point,” Zak stated thoughtfully. “It’s never polite to raise a sword to someone when you’re asking them a question”

“If anyone’s going to raise a sword here, it’ll be me!” An awfully familiar voice came from the shed.

Sean cringed. “Oh, great…”

The girl had risen. Standing rather weakly, she moved the dirty hair out of her face. She spat at the man, glaring at him. “Beat it, you bar steward.”

“Now this makes everything much more interesting.” Zak said in a mildly surprised voice.

“You’ve got a lot of friends, don’t you old man?” Sean said snidely.

The man’s eyes narrowed as he looked at her. “I came here solely to escort the young lady. For you to make such a mess…” His eyes moved from Sean’s sword to Zak, then back at the girl, “You’ve only made everything much more difficult for the both of us.” A small bang sounded and Sean’s sword flung backwards out of his hand. A flash of white light formed around the man and he vanished.

Sean turned to get his sword. “So who did you tick of this time?” he called out.

She shook her head slightly, still apparently dizzy as she looked around. Zak walked towards her. “ ‘Escort the young lady’, huh? He seemed quite fond of you.”

She looked him in the eye, showing no sign of recognition to either of the two. “Who cares? I’ve got to find that bar steward as soon as possible.” She said, more to herself than Zak.

“Well good luck to you Lana.” Sean said coldly, hoping to be able to walk away without any problems.

“Wait, you’re the guy from the prison!” she said suddenly. She laughed loudly. “If I had my sword, I’d cut your leg a few times just as a greeting!”

“Get over yourself woman.” He said getting ready to head back to the tavern. “It’s a pity all this wasn’t worth my time. I’m going to need a few drinks to alleviate this pounding headache.”

“Sean, sometimes you could be a little more of a gentleman.” Zak said dryly. He offered Lana his hand, which she ignored completely. “Your sword?” He repeated conversationally.

Lana clenched a fist. “Yeah, why do you think I need to go after him? That bar steward took off with <i>my</i> sword!” Sean continued walking but was still within hearing distance of the two.

“That was your sword?” Zak asked, tapping his chin with his two fingers. He turned around. “Sean? I get the feeling you two have a rather touchy subject to discuss…” He paused and took a look at Lana, who obviously looked a bit more than edgy. “Could end up a <i>fiery </i> discussion.” He added.

Sean cringed. <i>Crap…</i> “Why was he fighting with your sword?”

“Hell if I know! He wasn’t actually fighting until you two showed up!” She said, missing Zak’s hint.

“You’re right, it seems to me he <i>wasn’t</i> fighting, but rather just takin’ you down!”

Lana tossed her hair back. “Look, using magic is just cheating!” she shouted. “And he took me by surprise. He was just mumbling some stuff about ‘patience this and decency that’ and I was getting impatient and started swinging my sword around a little. One moment he’s telling me to calm down and stuff, and the next he’s blowing up the whole place!”

“Barbaric…” Zak muttered.
<a href="http://www.lufiaworld.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1386368">Advent Shadows RP</a>

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Postby DarkMaster2101 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:25 pm

[OoC: Yes, I have rejoined Advent Shadows as a simple bartender.]

"Listen... I'm sorry, I didn't know it was your sword...if we would have shown up I have a feeling you would have been screwed anways," said Sean with a twinge of remorse in his voice as the sun was beginning to set.

"There, then everything's all right, isn't it?" Zak said calmly. He was straining himself to keep Lana from strangling Sean. They were on their way back to the tavern. Halfway through the walk, Lana had realised what Sean had done to her blade.

"I may not be fond of you, but that was a beautiful sword, I normally wouldn't say this, but how 'bout I buy the first round of drinks?" Sean said as the tavern came into view.

Lana tried to shove Zak away. "Tell you what, why don't you shove that drink up your..."

"Excellent!" Zak interrupted. "Let's have a drink and forget everything for now. The waiter should be just about done cleaning up my orange juice he dropped."

Sean retaliated, "How the hell was I supposed to know that was your sword huh?! Least you could do was show some courtusy to the men who saved your sorry hide!"

"Yeah right," snapped Lana, "A big help you were- wait." Lana stopped struggling suddenly, and looked at Zak. "Orange juice?"

When Sean and co. arrived at the tavern, a head turnned to them in the background. Then it resumed its meal.

Zak's eyes moved to Lana's, then back to the door of the tavern. "Right, right. Nothing better to soothe the nerves than a glass of fresh juice. Let's enter, let's enter."

Lana frowned, then lowered her fists. "Whatever." They entered the tavern.

Inside the tavern, that same head was looking again to see the tavern's visitors, but could not get a good glance.

Meanwhile, Sean was the first to sit down "Get me the usual, Markus!" he called out.

"Are ya sure, Sean?" said the barkeep, "That's two in one day."

"Yeah, I need it..." sighed Sean.

The barkeep looks alongside Sean. "Well what do ya know! Lana, that's you? You look like a house fell on ya."

Lana sighed. "I can't believe he's already remembered my name after coming here once..."

"It must be your irresistable charms," Zak muttered back.

"Or her unmistakably irritating aura," Sean muttered under his breath.

"Nah, I'm afraid 'tis an old habit of mine," said Markus pulling out a bottle from behind the counter. Markus then looks deep into Lana's expression while mixing the drinks.

I see why Sean says he needs it, Markus thought.

"Anyway," Lana said, "I'll have the orange juice again, and I hope this time you'll do it right."

Zak smiled slightly.

"As you wish," replied the barkeep. "For you, this one's on the house."

"How kind," Zak said. "Then I'll have..." He considered, and finished, "an apple cider."

The barkeep said to Zak, "That will be 12 gold pieces then."

Lana's eyes snapped to Zak's face instantly. Then she looked away, scowling slightly.

"Alright," said Sean, "I got 10 on me now, but the other 2 on my tab, I'll be back in tomorrow anyways" Sean pulled the pair of dice out of his sleeve and began toying with them.

"Come to think of it," Zak said, "What was the outcome the second time?"

"Heh, from what I remember it was Snake Eyes. Something tells me this whole ordeal is linked to this." Sean laughed.

Just then Sean noticed a bit of commotion across the room from them, the few men who were whispering and staring at Lana.

Zak nodded slowly. "I thought you were the kind of guy to throw even." He then followed Sean's gaze and said. "Hm... One of us has more fans."

"Hey, what happened to that last glass of yours anyways, Lana?"

Markus throws three glasses down the bar.

Lana glanced left, then folded her arms behind her head. "Oh, that. The juice wasn't cool enough. I can't stand something like that."

The difference between the appearances of Lana and Zak's drinks and Sean's was comical. While Lana's and Zak's glasses were orange and translucent green, Seans drink seeming almost grotesque. "I dunno," said Sean, "seems like you made some new friends."

"You have a knack for making friends, don't you?" said Zak as he ran his hand through his hair.

Lana shrugged. Zak continued, "Can't say I'm as popular as you. Don't have a black haired boy trustily following me everywhere and all..."

Just as Lana began sipping at her juice one of the larger men approached her from behind and placed one of his gargantuan hands on her shoulder. "Wells hey there little uhh... lady," greeted the stranger.

The head in the background tried to look once more at the tavern's visitors once, but it is blocked by the crowd.

Instantly, Zak's hand shot forward on top of the man's hand. "No need for touching, good sir." He slowly slid the man's hand off Lana's shoulder.

"Heh heh hah!" The man shot his fist out at Zak before anyone could do anything. Zak made to dodge, but the man hit him squarely on the jaw.

Meanwhile, Lana's hand instinctively went to her sheathe. She cursed as she remembered it was empty. [Damn you Sean.]

Markus shouted out to the stranger, "Hey! If you're goin' to fight in here, take it outside!"

Sean put down his drink, calmly stood up, and very slowly unsheathed his sword. The man was advancing towards Zak; just before he was within arms reach of him Sean rested his blade upon the man's shoulders. "I don't like senseless violence, but if I don't get to finish at least one drink tonight I'm going to half to get rid of these interruptions the fastest, and easiest way."

Zak rubbed the spot where he'd been hit. "That... was rather uncalled for."

Sean was beginning to admire Zak for what seemed to be a peace-keeping nature.

Markus shouts once more at the troublemakers, "Bah! This tavern's here for drinkin, not brawlin'. I'm telling you one last time: get out of here!"

The room was quiet. Sean sheathed his sword, brushed off his chest, and sat back down.

"Aw Mark, I just wanted to talk *hic* to the lady."

"That doesn't give you the excuse to sock one of my customers in the jaw you half-wit! You know the laws."

The man sighed, then said to Lana, "why don't we leave and we can talk about secret stuff, huh girlie?" Everything this man was saying was repulsive, but the look in his eye wasn't drunk, more like he was trying to communicate something secretly.

Lana got to her feet. "All right. How about you just tell me what the hell you want?"

Markus scowled, but then nodded to Lana.

Zak stood upright again. "I dare say we'd rather finish our drinks-"

"Fine," Lana interrupted. She grabbed her glass and gulped all the juice down in a matter of seconds. "Still not cold enough," she said.

The bartender sighed.

Lana turned to the stranger. "Now then, let's talk."

Trying to maintain his disguise the man turned the bartender while pointing to Zak and said, "Aww, he ain't hurt Ma-"

The bartender snapped again. "Don't make me repeat myself! You know the rules! Get out before I sick the guards on ya."

"Fine," finally said the man. As he lumbered towards the exit he winked at Lana. "I'll see you outside."

A young man stood up from his table. After he sees a glimpse of Sean playing with his dice, he looked out the window and realized the time. After replacing a fork on his table, he then pays his tab, grab what looks like a staff from his seat, and leaves the tavern.

Little did they know, Lana was being shadowed.

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Postby Guard Daos » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:51 pm

Sean continued to sip at his drink while Lana stepped outside. Zak glanced at Lana, then looked back to Sean. "I suppose she could give that man a run for his money even unarmed. Quite a troublemaker, isn't she?"
"Feh, that's an understatement." Sean glanced up when another man walked out the door but thought nothing of it. "You should have been there when she 'rescued' me."
Markus mumbled, "Hmm... I wonder."
Zak looked at Sean with mild interest. "Come to think of it, how did you two meet?"
"She attacked me in my own home. That's courtesy for ya, eh?"
It started to become a bit apparent that Sean's second drink was getting to him. He normally wouldn't talk about his life too openly. "I still don't know why she attacked. But she cut my leg open as a parting gift. I ended up getting spelled by some witch and imprisoned. She came to rescue me for some reason... Shinji and I did most of the work. She'd be dead if it weren't for us."
Zak had just raised his untouched drink to his mouth. He held it in front of him, considering. "And here we are again. Funny, isn't it, how things go sometimes..."
"Indeed! Interesting story," exclaimed the barkeep from behind.
The shock of his presence made Zak almost spill his drink. Sean smirked.
"Charming as always... heh."
Zak recovered his poise, a smile on his lips as he noticed the bartender wanted to be part of the conversation as well
"She came here before, didn't she?" he said, addressing the barkeeper.
"Well yeah, ya dolts! She was here almost three sunsets ago," said Markus. "She was lookin' for someone. Something that started with an 'A' I think. Do you think maybe that drunken sonovasomething was the man she's looking for?"
"Possibly," Zak said politely, shaking his head slightly for only Sean to see.
"Well, she can have fun with her boyfriend for now." Sean said as he took a swig from his drink. "How 'bout you Zak? Tell me about yourself."

Markus continued, "I'm more worried about the man who followed her. I heard of bounty hunters and assassins... But that's just me worryin'."
Zak turned to him. "Bounty hunters? What about that?"
"Earlier before you two arrived there was a mage looking for a blue haired Blademaster." said Markus. "I don't know if he was a bounty hunter or not."
Sean snorted. "Ugh, I've had enough of magic users..."
Zak shook his glass lightly, watching the liquid move. "Even Bounty hunters following her. That girl's gotten herself into a bit of a mess, hasn't she..."
"What I'm more concerned about is how I keep getting mixed up with her.. I'm tired of getting dragged into this crap." Sean said looking at the bottom of his nearly finished drink.
Zak chuckled. "What were you planning to do, then?"
Sean fell silent. He finished his drink but continued to look at the bottom of the glass.


After following the stranger outside, Lana leaned against the wall next to the door. When he didn't speak, she said, "Well?"
"If you want it back you have to go with him."
Lana's eyes narrowed. "Hmph."
"He really likes it you know. One of the more comfortable blades he's had the pleasure to use. He *really* likes to use it. Perhaps on a certain chap named Ark Haydes?"
The man was very close to her face, his breath putrid, his skin oily, and his eyes wild.
Lana blinked at the mention of the name, but then smirked. "I don't think you needed to start threatening. I know what kind of guy he is."
She turned around, and moved back towards the tavern. On the doorstep, she said without looking, "Where. "
When the man didn't respond, she turned around impatiently. "I'm asking you where I'm supposed to meet him. Do you have ear problems?"
"About 4 leagues north, northwest of here is an old run down tower. Meet me there and I'll take you to him. Come alone."
"Fine. When?"
"Let's say, 5 days from now. If you're not there by then, Ark will be killed."
Lana made a derisive sound as she walked back inside. "I told you, no need to make threats."
She closed the door behind her.
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Postby Rezic » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:15 am

"Still," Zak said to Sean, "the road's pretty calm around here. I guess this really is the kind of village people only pass through on their way to one of the bigger towns."

Sean was getting into his third drink. "I could get used to a place like this, man. Pretty easy goin' with a couple interesting passer bys that'll keep my sword skills sharp

Zak had no drink anymore. He pondered what Sean said casually, leaning his head on his hand. "Hm. I doubt you'll find people really worth fighting though. You know... if you look at the difference between swinging a sword around and using real skill."

Sean slammed his drink down, seeming stern but playful, "Hey! My life is peaceful right now… or at least, as peaceful as it has been in a long time." He looked into his half empty glass. "If something happens to come up, I'll jump at the chance, but this place reminds me a bit of my hometown, so I think I'll stay as long as I can."

Zak eyed him with slight amusement. "You were planning on journeying though, am I wrong?" Markus was sitting behind the bar polishing the glasses. He raises an eyebrow to Sean's statement. And yet he stays silent, knowing that isn't his territory to cross.

"I was searching for some peace, with some slight amusement from time to time. As much as I like swordsplay it holds some pretty bad memories for me so I really wouldn't mind giving it up." Right after saying that, as if that was the key to locking a door he silenced himself.

"Ah, I see. Maybe I misjudged you." At that moment, the tavern's door opened, and Lana reentered. She had a rather distracted look on her face.

"Look at that, no bloody knuckles, I thought you woulda given him more of a fight. Did you have fun?" Sean said, not even looking up from his drink. Decidedly he downed the second half of his drink before he had the chance to be punched in the chops and risking losing his drink. Lana ignored him, pulled her chair back and sat down. "I'll have another juice.”

The bartender nodded, pulling out a glass of juice dripping from condensation. "I hope this time it's gold." Said Markus.

Sean looked up in surprise, still trying to regain his composure from his episode. He shrugged "I'll take what she's havin'."

"Good! You had enough of the strong stuff, kid." Said Markus, pulling out another glass. Lana raised an eyebrow at Sean.

"I'm startin' to slip a bit, time to lay off the ale." He told her. Lana made a derisive noise, and raised her glass in a mock toast. She drained her glass in a few seconds.

Zak looked at her with a slight smile. "You did let him escape alive, didn't you?" She sipped the last few drops from her glass.

"Invitation," she mumbled. She set down the glass. "Just a friendly invitation."

Sean looked at her rather wide eyed. "So where are you going?" He wasn't sure, he just guessed, she seemed detached anyways.

Lana shrugged. "A party, for all you care. Why'd you want to know?"

"Well, with my luck you'll manage to drag me into whatever you've gotten yourself into so let's have it." Lana looked up at him. She hesitated, and for a moment Zak seemed to see a flash of helplessness in her eyes, then it was gone. She didn't respond, but turned away.

"Oh well," shrugged Markus. "Maybe another time."

"Well, have a party with whatever it is your doing." Sean took his first drink of his juice and was surprised by the distinct lack of ale.

"You've had enough. Besides, you ordered orange juice. It's right there." The bartender points to an unfinished glass.

"Can't you at least mix it up a bit for me? If I pass out soon I can't be talked into going with her!"

"You're old enough to drink, and yet you're still a boy. It's obvious kid, she doesn't want you to go with her."

Lana folded her arms and leant forward during the commotion. Her eyes were looking away, uninterested in their discussion. Zak leant towards her, and said softly, "Is it Ark?" Lana turned at once, bewildered.

Markus picked up the other glasses that Sean finished behind the bar.

"Hey man! You give all your payin' customers this hard of a time? I'm distraught! I need an escape, quit ridin' me about it!" Sean went from indifferently obnoxious to a bit irate

"Now, now," Zak said. "This is a discussion about drinks, isn't it?" Out of the corner of his eye, he'd just seen Lana nod slightly.

"So, you're out of Sinistrals to slaughter and now you're bored. Isn't peace of the world is what Maxim's sacrifices for?" Markus slams his rag covered fist on the counter. "Listen, have you ever thought about the carnage your little doom island wars cost us, those who have to stand by and watch?"

Sean immediately stood up and gripped his sword. Fire engulfed the sheath. And it seemed like the lighting around his hand dimmed somehow. "Ignorant fool! Do you even comprehend the amount of carnage would be wrought if those wars didn't happen!? We'd be sitting in a pile of corpses!"

"Makes me wonder..." Said Markus.

"Sean!" Zak said, raising his voice for the first time.

Zak tried to put his hand on Sean's shoulder but was burned. "Who do you think you are!?" Sean spoke slowly and with contempt towards Markus.

"I know my history. The only reason why Sinistrals acted out in the first place because a man was born who can challenge their power. Five hundred, for almost five hundred years every century there's a clash between you're blood and them."

Sean's face contorted with rage and disgust. "Sit in your stupidity and may your foolishness show itself to you in the most horrible way possible!"

Although a bit rash, Markus speaks calmly to Sean. “If the Sinistrals really did destroy the world back then, then there wouldn't be any suffering now. Then again, there wouldn't be any more stories about it either." Markus picked up his rag and polishes another glass. "Whether you want it to be or not, this is life. And life sucks no matter what. Be thankful that you made it peaceful for once."

Zak sighed and sat back down, hoping the two would fight out their argument and cool down.

Sean relaxed a bit fully realizing Markus' ignorance. "War and Peace, Life and Death without the balance of the two the world would be thrown into true chaos. Everyone sacrifices something to maintain that balance. We can complain about it or be thankful for what we have. It's that thought pattern that determines our life." It almost seemed like Sean was talking to both himself and Markus.

"Whether you want to be thankful or not, not up to me." Markus leaned back in a stool behind the bar. "I've made my sacrifice; lost an entire family and half a foot during that time. I chose to fight, and that’s what I did. Anyways, bar's closed." Markus leans forward on the counter. "It's almost past midnight now."

"You and a million other people. I've seen people that have it much worse than you and are more pleasurable to hear breath than you talk." Sean said, a bit more relaxed but in a patronizing manor.

In between the ruckus, Zak asked Lana, "What do they want?"

She shrugged. "I guess..."

"What?"

"Just for me to come back," she said slowly.

"Back?" Zak repeated.

She shook her head, and waved his question away.

"True, I pity those." Markus continued. "I'm more focused on running a tavern by myself with one foot. than adventures. Besides, nobody likes to hear moping from anyone."

Lana noticed Zak still had a questioning look on his face, then stood up irritably and shouted all of the sudden, louder than either of the two men. "How about you all just shut up!"

Sean cringed and looked at her. He was tempted to drag her into the argument but just then realized how tired he really was. He quickly thought to himself,

<i>You run a tavern you idiot, you're gonna hear a lot of moping.</i>

Lana sniffed. "I'll never get why people always have to make life so complicated."

Markus pulls a clean rag from behind the counter and begins to rinse it. "You have an hour, after that I'm going to bed."

They left the pub together. Zak looked at Lana and Sean. "Where are you two staying, anyway?"

"Inn," she muttered. "I'll see if I can still get in at this hour."

Sean sighed, "I'm stayin' at the inn right now too. What about you?"

Zak chuckled. "I'm not one for the life of luxury. It's a night under the stars for me." He patted the long piece of cloth tied around his waist. "This beauty serves pretty well as a hammock."

Sean looked at him skeptically, "Resourceful..."
<a href="http://www.lufiaworld.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1386368">Advent Shadows RP</a>


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