[Dancing+Script [center [h1 A Thorn among Roses]]] [h4 [Indie+Flower [center The Capitol of Evon, Lagmire.]]] [center [pic https://i.ibb.co/wKjMR2j/Tyler-edlin-steampunk-concept-by-tyleredlinart-d7czbvr.jpg]] It was another dreary winter day in the capitol, Lagmire. Drowsy grey clouds hung low in the sky and a thin layer of fog occupied the ground. Men and women alike bustled through the town square like any other day, wrapped warmly in layers of clothes to combat the bitter wind chill. Noisy steam engines drove down the cobblestone streets, blaring horns to the pedestrians that wondered through the middle of the streets. A man standing on the street side was splashed with seasonal muddy slosh that accumulated along the curb of the road. Curses and yelling ensued but the driver kept going, a bag in the man’s hand flying down the street uselessly after the vehicle. Uriah shook his head at the sight, sipping a cup of hot coffee from across the street. Another day in paradise. Most of the citizens were in grumpy moods from the lack of true sunlight in the weeks past. Lagmire was definitely not on the list for winter vacationing.
[left [pic https://i.ibb.co/xFssYL3/127b7ddd(047e5)11ccc23df867d1069.jpg]] The empty paper cup was tossed into a trash bin as Uri made his way further down the street. He had a reward to collect and if he got there in a timely manner, then there was possibility of a bonus. Even if that bonus was a fresh hot pie baked by the Boss’s daughter. A couple of blocks of walking and the brown haired man came to a shop with elaborate letting frosted on the glass windows. [I Exotics and Curiosities]. A simple name for a simple pop shop. The bell above the door dinged as it was pushed open.
“Ah! My favorite Artificer,” a husky voice choked with years of exposure to the coal mines called from the back of the shop. An elderly man, years having done no justice to his wrinkled face, poked his head up from behind the counter. “I trust you were able to find what I was looking for?” Uri nodded as he moved his way past the shops oddities. Stuffed animals from exotic parts of the world hung on the walls or decorated the edges of the shop. Jars filled with mystery body parts and liquids littered bookshelves. Dusty tomes, bones, gadgets, furniture, anything you could not find at your general shop could be obtained here.
Uri produced a small cloth wrapped rectangle to the old man. “Just as you asked, one prime condition [I Lovers of the Moon] for ya’.” The cloth was careful moved off the object and the old man gasped excitedly. “Yes! This is perfect, thank you, Uri. I owe you!” The old man picked up the shiny metal plate, decorated with precious stones and brilliant gold lettering. To unknowing eyes it was just a decorative piece, but to the knowing, the little piece of art could fetch fancy coin. “The agreed upon payment, is fine, Fin.” Uri chimed back, his lackluster attitude showed that this was the routine.
[#161cba [I ‘Ask him where that daughter of his is,’]] the intrusive feminine voice pulled Uri’s attention inward. [#161cba [I ‘You know you want to see her. Plus, it’s been a while since you’ve had any… goodies from her.’]] The disembodied voice was roguishly playful with her words. [I [#16ba27 ‘Kiran, I don’t appreciate you making comments like that. She is a lovely young lady and-‘]] his reply was cut short by a snort from Kiran.[I [#161cba ‘Oh please, don’t act all high and mighty. You know we ARE linked mentally. I know what you think every time she walks away.’]]
Uri rolled his eyes at Kiran, taking the payment from old man Fin. “I appreciate business with you as always.” [I [#16ba27 ‘And I think it’s time for you to be quiet, Kiran.’]] Uri’s thought was stern and left no room for discussion. Yet, his SoulBond had no fear of his tone. [I [#161cba ‘Just sayin, you know you’ll regret it a few weeks into the next job.’]] This time, he chose to ignore her.
Fin and Uriah spent the next thirty minutes discussing the next item that was of interest to obtain. A book this time, a special request by one of the Nobles. Some old text about ancient magics that had been outlawed by the Royalty. For Uri, this would be an easy find. He had a few sources in other cities like Coalhill who specialized in forbidden texts, if the right words were spoken. As the conversation wrapped up, Fin raised a brow at the front door when the bell chimed and a cloaked body stepped through, a shopping bag in hand. A big smile stretched across the wrinkled face. “Ah! Celia, I thought you wouldn’t make it in time. Uri is here.” The body known as Celia pulled the hood back to reveal a soft tear dropped face with big green eyes and red tinted hair. Her features were soft and delicate, lips rosy red and pulled to a summer warmed smile. “Uri,” her voice drifted across the shop to caress Uriah’s ears. “It has been a while, will you be in town for long?” The young man glanced at Fin, who had made himself busy with his new artifact.
“I... Well…” Celia had already closed the distance between them, and was waving him toward the rear of the shop, not really giving him the opportunity to say yes or no. “Come, I have something for you.” Uri mentally sighed and followed her toward the private living quarters. [I [#161cba ‘See, you didn’t even have to ask. Maybe she got THAT outfit?’]] Uri snapped at Kiran who seemed to needlessly make comments. [I [#16ba27 ‘You know I refuse interest anymore, Kiran.]] Uri’s tone with her was almost a sneer, a sensitive topic still for the young man. [I [#16ba27 ‘You know it never works out. I should have never gotten her hopes up in the first place.’]]
If a weapon had eyes and they could roll, Kiran’s would have disappeared into the back of her head, but she stayed quiet. She knew he was right, their life was often dangerous and they never stayed in the same city for very long. In fact, their five month stay in Lagmire had been the longest they’d stayed in one place in years. It was only a matter of time before trouble would start, and they would have to move again.
That evening was no better than the morning. In fact, rain had started to sprinkle down in a consistent heavy misting. No bodies bustled around the streets save for a few running down the streets trying to get home. Uriah had on a heavy hooded as he ventured empty streets. He had made his way to the outskirts of the capitol after dinner with Fin and Celia. Forestry surrounded the city, save for the eastern side that had been taken over by factories and the copper mine. The cobblestone road abruptly ended and turned to dirt. Well, more of a mud. The empty tree canopy offered little protection from the rain. The walk was tedious and slow moving, but Uriah made progress. After a good forty-five minutes of walking, he guessed, the misting had finally completely stopped. Kiran was the first to break the silence.
[I [#161cba ‘Thank the Divine. I thought it would never stop raining.’]]
[I [#16ba27 ‘It’s not like you’re the one who is getting wet, ya’ know.’]]
[I [#161cba ‘I can still be thankful, you prude.’]]
Uriah couldn’t argue with that. He audibly sighed, setting a hand on where Kiran was safely, and dryly, secured beneath his cloak as his thoughts drifted.
[I [#161cba ‘You were hoping for more, weren’t you?’]]
[I [#16ba27 ‘What are you talking about Kiran?’]] The question caught the man off guard.
[I [#161cba ‘Celia. I know you’ve been thinking about leaving Lagmire soon. The jobs aren’t paying as much…’]] A slight pause, as if she was remorseful for the feelings he refused to admit to. [I [#161cba ‘It’s okay, you don’t have to answer. It was a dumb question.’]]
Uri shook his head and sighed again. [I [#16ba27 ‘What more should I expect from my other Soul? You know everything about me, and I for you…’]] It was his turn to pause. [I [#16ba27 ‘I suppose you’re right though. She is a nice girl and we seem to enjoy each other’s company-‘]]
[I [#161cba ‘-More than enjoy,’]] Kiran added quickly.
[I [#16ba27 ‘Again, unnecessary. You know how it is, though. We can’t stay in one place for long and we’ve long overstayed our welcome here. I don’t know how far down the trail the Red Hand is, but I’d rather not see them in the horizon. Or knocking at our door. It was unfair of me to have perused anything beyond profession, even if it is for friendship.’]]
[I [#161cba ‘Or, you just can’t accept the fact that you don’t have to be alone, but that’s my opinion. People aren’t meant to wonder the world alone. You crave companionship of any sorts. Even if it means they’ll hurt you and-’]]
[I [#16ba27 ‘Enough Kiran!’]] Uriah was emanating anger now. Kiran had really struck a cord this time. She fell silent in his mind and her presence within diminished to just knowing she was still within.
Silence occupied the SoulBound duo for what seemed to be an eternity. It wasn’t often they were stifled with another, and it took time to cool down. Especially Uriah. His temper was what had put himself in this situation in the first place. Their silence was soon disrupted when they came across some items thrown across the road. Uriah bent down and inspected the wet items. A torn satchel, some coin, random bits of cloth. He noticed drops of blood on the road and upon closer inspection, on the rest of the items as well.
[I [#161cba ‘What do you think happened?’]] Kiran was in Uriah’s hands now. He glanced around, his senses on high alert.
[I [#16ba27 ‘Nothing good, that’s for sure. I’m going to make sure no one is in the area.’]] A nod came from Kiran.
It didn’t take long for Uri to find the mangled body several yards from the road. The poor thing was covered in blood and dead, appearing to have been tossed carelessly into the bushes. He pulled the body down and lay them gently on the ground. Their clothes were soaked from the rainy weather and mud made up half of their wardrobe. He was wiping mud away from the face when he noticed the eyes move behind their closed lids. A soft groan escaped the mouth. The man nearly leapt back. Zombie! That was his first thought before his senses finally returned.
[I [#16ba27 ‘They’re still alive! She, is still alive. I can’t leave her here like this. Not with a beating heart. Fin will understand.’]] Kiran sent her approval as Uriah lifted the girl over his shoulder.
A gentle fire warmed the room Uri rented from Finn above the shop. The woman was laying on the couch across from the fireplace, clean of the blood and mud that had caked her body when found. The clothes she had been in were taken by Celia for washing, so a donor sleeping dress had been loaned to the stranger. Uri sat in a chair closer to the fireplace, reading a book.
[I [#161cba ‘Did you notice that there wasn’t a SoulBond with her?’]] Kiran was curious.
[I [#16ba27 ‘It didn’t even occur to me. Celia would know since she was the one to get her cleaned up.’]]
Kiran didn’t have the chance to respond, as both their attention had been stolen by the shifting form on the couch.
(center ♣) (center ♠) (picr https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRJRaz6nM0Kt0H7gpMI5K2MEMDtDOVbUPOX2lapUZJU3apzox8M)(center (b (r :|)~~~(r §)~~~(r |:))) (i (center :| I am the Abysster |:)) (i (center :| Devilish Creature of the Deep |:)) (i (center :| Never fear |:))
(b (size25 (center (font "Old English Text MT " Religious)))) (center (font "Monotype Corsiva" Heaven vs. Hell)) (center (font "Monotype Corsiva" Romeo x Juliet scenario)) (center (font "Monotype Corsiva" Gods/Goddesses)) (center (font "Monotype Corsiva" Demon/angel)) (center (font "Monotype Corsiva" Pilgrimage))
(b (center (size25 (font "Old English Text MT" Si-Fi)))) (center (font "Monotype Corsiva" Aliens)) (center (font "Monotype Corsiva" Time travel)) (center (font "Monotype Corsiva" Space exploration)) (center (font "Monotype Corsiva" Stuck in space)) (center (font "Monotype Corsiva" UFO Sightings/investigations))
(center ♥) (picc https://i.imgur.com/hphkoXq.jpg)
(center (font "Perpetua Titling MT" "I say, Old Bean! I must express my astonishment of your claim! Is this fact, or a clever ruse?")) (center ♣) (center (font "Kristen ITC" Be sure to come back! Or I'll pluck out yer eyes!)) (center ♣)
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