Wait, you`re gonna keep posting it in this thread too right? I`d rather keep reading it here.
Yes! In fact, I'll be posting it here before it goes on Fanfiction. I've only posted up to Chapter 3 on FF because I'm editing all the chapters first, as opposed to posting them here where I do pretty minimal editing. It's just another way to get it out there, but this is definitely the best place to read it!Wait, you`re gonna keep posting it in this thread too right? I`d rather keep reading it here.
All the way to the end? I have to do nearly all of my web brousing on my Xbox so some sites and videos I try to view don`t always work for me and if you start posting this on another site I may start having trouble trying to read this and may have to stop all together.Yes! In fact, I'll be posting it here before it goes on Fanfiction. I've only posted up to Chapter 3 on FF because I'm editing all the chapters first, as opposed to posting them here where I do pretty minimal editing. It's just another way to get it out there, but this is definitely the best place to read it!
Yeah, all the way to the end--it's all going to go up on here just like normal.All the way to the end? I have to do nearly all of my web brousing on my Xbox so some sites and videos I try to view don`t always work for me and if you start posting this on another site I may start having trouble trying to read this and may have to stop all together.
I will always love Mercer and Bailey. They're just so peppy! And Spaz is slowly growing on me, I like that he tries to trust people he doesn't know. Keeper is amazing as well, the antisocial jerk he is. Ret... he is VERY tough to like, and that is great. He is a hero of the story, but it still seems like he has some evil tendencies.Apologies for the delay on updates, it's been a busy couple days. I can tell you how these doofuses probably celebrated April Fools--Bailey put buckets of confetti on everyone's doors to dump confetti on them, Spaz probably used the day as an excuse to sneak up behind people and screech at them, and Ret insisted that the day was stupid, then tried to convince Keeper he had a Keeper Voodoo Doll. Keeper was unimpressed.
Also Alalia and Keeper have "what's an april fool" in common since Alalia doesn't keep up with stuff as she's so old and Keeper just doesn't know how proper society functions.
Mercer didn't do anything because he hates it when people are mad.
Anyways, update, ToR is now being posted on Fanfiction, so be sure to support it over there and tell folks! The more people read, the more likelihood I'll get comments and know how it's doing and if things are coming across okay.
Thanks for over 300 thread views! =D
Followers: @neoselket , @PersonaTea
Chapter Nine: Citizens of Rifdale
"Now where did we put those lenses...I swear he keeps moving everything around..."
The dark-eyed man grumbled to himself as he searched their basement storage for the items. "Ah, here we are...This is the accessories chest, why did he put them in the accessories chest. They belong in the 'important' chest." He rubbed his face with a hand, sighing. "All right, how many...Thirteen. So enough for one more. We already have some crimtane at least, and all the tissue samples we could ever need. We'll head to an altar with these and maybe the Eye will drop enough to make up the deficit..."
"Hey! Hey, Randy!"
He glanced up. "What? What is it?
"Come up here!"
"Because I think you need to see this, that's why!"
'Need to see' from his younger brother could mean anything from a horrendous monster to a particularly interesting-looking butterfly, but his voice sounded urgent. The elder took the lenses from the chest, throwing them into his inventory before slamming the chest shut.
Torchlight lit his path back to the stairs leading to the house proper, and as he pushed the trap door up to enter the back of the main living area, he couldn't help but notice that almost everyone in their little settlement seemed to be standing around looking at something. Frowning, he pulled himeslf out, kicking the trap door closed behind him.
Everyone seemed to hear the door slam, as several turned to look at him as one. There was a range of expressions on their faces. The demolitionist looked confused, the dryad grim. The nurse seemed to have no idea what to think of whatever development was occurring. The arms dealer's expression was vaguely uncomfortable, the stylist was concerned, and the angler looked excited.
And then there was Kyle, who was wearing his usual smile, if a little worn. He gestured towards them, and reluctantly the man drew nearer, the small crowd parting for him to see what was going on.
His younger brother stood at the front of the crowd--and in front of him, standing at the door and shivering from the outside rain, a girl who was probably in her early teens at most. She had hair dyed bright pink that came to her chin, though darker spots had been made visible by the rain. Her eyes were a confused blue, and she was wearing a pink shirt and striped socks up to her knees.
"O-oh, hi!" The girl noticed the young man and waved, "Uh, you're his brother, right? Do you guys need any fireworks--don't worry, they didn't get wet, I brought a backpack, uhhh, confetti?" She gave a strained grin, bouncing on her heels. "Really, I don't mind, you could use something to brighten this up. Throw a party!"
The man frowned and walked to her, kneeling in front to get closer to her height. "Where did you come from?"
"Waaaaay east. Super duper far, long walk, my feet don't really like me right now but it's okay, because I found here." She was speaking very fast. "And I brought some party things with me, was wondering if I might be able to sell them."
"Where are your parents?"
The girl looked stricken for a moment, before shaking her head. "Oh, it's okay, they're fine. Perfectly fine. Uh, so, confetti?" She stuffed her hand into the pink backpack she'd dropped to the floor, pulling out a handful of streamers. "I have grenades, too!"
"Throw her out!" the demolitionist yelled, indignant. The girl flinched.
"Hey, cut that out," the younger brother said, kneeling down as well. "She looks like a lot of fun! And lost. Hey, you got anywhere to go?"
"Uh..." The smile dropped for a second, and she shifted uncomfortably, "...Nope."
"You want a place to stay? Night's coming..."
The bright expression went a bit dark and a bit frightened as she glanced back over her shoulder at the door, "...It'd be nice just for, uh, a night..."
"Then it's settled." The younger brother gave a huge grin, "You can stay here if you want, we've got plenty of room! You can stay with Nurse Claire if you want, she's been taking care of Izzy--the kid with the hat. Oh, or Layli, but Layli's kind of scary. ...Annabel? Pink hair sticks together..."
"Wait, wait," the older said, waving a hand, "Are you sure this is..."
The pink-haired girl gave him a look. A look so full of hope and excitement that he just couldn't shut her out of his heart, the heart that had begun to distrust everyone in this house who wasn't related to him. She was still so young, and who knows what she'd been through. His brother clearly got the feeling, judging by the look on his face, that the girl needed to be here. And the younger one had always been the better judge of character. He might be angry and stupid on occasion, but no one could deny that.
The demolitionist groaned, but the general consensus seemed to be positive--taking in a kid would likely do no more harm than Izzy's arrival had, and the boy needed a friend anyway. The girl's face lit up.
"Hey, we get to be your big brothers for a bit," the green-eyed young man said, his grin back in full force, "I mean, we're going out to do something kind of important tonight--weren't we gonna fight that eyeball again? Yeah, we've been fighting a ton of stuff, and we dunno you or if you're staying. But I wanted a little sister, y'know. What do you think?" The girl nodded, and he laughed. "Awesome! Well, nicetameetcha. Name's Sherwin, he's Randall."
The girl held out her hand to shake his, looking immensely relieved.
"Bailey. I'm Bailey."
-:-:-"Hey, hey! Geez, aren't you supposed to be a light sleeper?"
Ret shifted, groaning as he began to come back to consciousness. Someone stopped poking him in the neck.
"Thank the gods. Was gonna dump a water bucket on you next."
He squinted his eye open to see his brother standing at the side of the bed. His tunic was still filthy, but his hair was a wet mop around his head and his face was clean. "Bathroom we missed coming up here," Spaz explained.
"...You took a shower?" Ret shook his head, sitting up and starting to look worried.
"Well, washed my head is more accurate. Is it bad that I didn't remember what was under this patch because I had to take it off and holy mother of Hell--"
"Please don't continue that." Ret ran a hand through his own hair, rendered dirty and greasy by the past few days. He glanced back to look through the window, only to see the sun was far past up. "Spaz, what time is it?"
"Oh, uh..." Spaz sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck, "It miiiiight be close to noon."
Ret rolled out of bed and stumbled to his feet, staring around in alarm. Spaz stood to his full height, waving his hands in a gesture of peace. "Hey, figured you needed it. Ever since you decided to spy on Keeper you've been a bit weird."
"You should have woken me up." Ret was furious, but more at himself. "Where is he?"
"Oh, um...I already went down to talk to Bailey and apparently he came by super early to tell her to tell us that he was gonna go explore the cave system under town to get some stuff most of today. Apparently said we should 'do what we will with our time' or something."
Ret slapped a hand into his forehead, clenching his teeth, "Great. Now we cannot ask him about our next step to the Underworld..."
"I know. Boring day. Hate it too. Maybe you should come down though, she was...worried?"
"That Alalia isn't back, is she?"
Ret let out a slow groan. "Fine, then. Can I--"
"She's kinda been saving breakfast for you."
"...Ugh. Just let me take off this damned armor."
Ret really wished he had the time to make himself look decent. As he pulled off his breastplate, he could see his own shirt was sweatstained and dirty, and his hair must've looked like more of a wreck than Spaz's did. At this rate, the town would assume he was homeless. ...Which on second thought, he supposed he technically was, but he did not want to appear that way, if only on principle.
But he supposed it'd be worse to look like more of a layabout than he already did. He kicked off his greaves and tossed his helmet onto the bed before nodding, allowing Spaz to lead the way downstairs.
The main inn floor had a small amount of people present, certainly more than the previous night. There were a few with no discernible role sitting at tables talking and eating, while in one corner two very heavily-accented men--one wearing overalls and the other a turban--were having a rather intense argument that, from what Ret managed to catch, involved the merits of lime green. A dark-skinned man in a trenchcoat with his feet on the table seemed to be trying to win over a redheaded young lady, but she soon tired of him, smacked his shoulder with a wrench, stood, and left.
"Oh, you're here!" Ret turned to see Bailey standing at the door to the kitchen he'd seen earlier, waving and still wearing that smile that could rival Spaz in energy, though far surpassed him in friendliness. "Good to see you're okay, hope you slept well?" Ret muttered to himself, staring at his feet, not wanting to admit how long he'd been out. "Good!" The woman clapped her hands together, "Come here in the kitchen, made some oatmeal--better than it sounds, trust me, there's raisins in it, and we've got bacon. I put the bacon in the oatmeal usually but, ha, didn't wanna mess around without asking."
She hurried into the kitchen, and Ret reluctantly followed, Spaz now behind him. "Don't mind the burning smell," Bailey called at the face Ret made upon walking in, "Your cross-eyed friend wanted toast, but kept putting the bread back in the toaster over and over and over. I swear the thing was practically ashes before he was happy with it. Oh, yeah, he told me to tell you--"
"He's left for today. I've heard."
"Okay good, it gives you a nice chance to check out the town. Mercer's working with Milton the merchant today, and Tommy left for school, so I can show you around if you want--I'm not the one who runs this place, after all."
As she spoke, Bailey moved to pass Ret a bowl containing some sort of yellowish oat mush, and a spoon, and after glancing at Spaz--who'd more than likely already eaten the stuff, and nodded heartily in approval--took a bite. It wasn't bad, to be honest. Spaz attempted to be stealthy as he shuffled over to the counter for what Ret assumed was his not-first piece of bacon.
"So, you two lost your memories?" Bailey abruptly asked, causing Ret to nearly choke on a spoonful.
"Your brother told me."
Ret turned to glare at Spaz, who had a strip of bacon hanging out of his mouth. The older brother put his hands to his head as if it were already aching. "Why did you feel the need to tell her this."
"Well..." Spaz pulled the half-eaten bacon out of his mouth, gesturing with it to accent his words, "We were talking, y'know. She got to talkin' about 'at least Cthulhu's Eye didn't show up to mess with us again' and I had no idea what that is and apparently everyone knows what that is so one thing led to another and yep."
Ret sighed. He supposed it wasn't too much harm--he'd yelled it to the dryad in front of Mercer, anyway. "...Well, that is correct."
"Sheesh, that's gotta be rough." Bailey sat at a small table in the kitchen, beginning to pick at her own half-eaten oatmeal. "What caused it, any ideas? Bump your heads?" Ret shook his head. "No clue? Guess that would've gone with the memory, now that I think about it. Hope you're able to get it back..."
"Keeper said we'd remember stuff once we beat the guardian of the Underworld," Spaz added, cheerfully. Ret glared at him--he was giving away too much information, and he didn't trust this woman.
"The guardian of th...oh..." Bailey dropped her spoon into her oatmeal, staring down at her feet with a troubled expression, the first one they'd seen on her.
Ret rose a brow, "Do you know anything about what he spoke of?"
"Uh...it's sort of common knowledge. Our old Guide knew, some people hear rumors. No one knows if it's all true or not." Bailey glanced up between them, confusion etched into her features. "Are you sure you have to do that? By all accounts it's a death wish. Doesn't it have to do with that prophecy?"
"According to Keeper, yes." Ret was intrigued, now, and if she already knew that much, a bit more shouldn't cause too much damage. "He said that the prophecy went wrong somewhere, and that we must fix it to bring back balance." He left out the 'test' part, and sounded rather skeptical throughout.
"...Well." Bailey gave a sad little chuckle, something strange in her eyes. Neither of the brothers were under the impression that she was even capable of being sad, so they took considerable notice. "...He's not lying about the prophecy messing up, I can tell you that..." She cleared her throat, shaking her head. When she spoke again, her expression was neutral, if not a little worried, and her voice was hushed as if she didn't want anyone else to hear. "The underworld guardian he's talking about, if it's the same thing from the prophecy? That's something 'living' in the Underworld people call...uh...the Wall of Flesh."
"The what of what?" Spaz asked, around a mouthful of bacon, "That sounds both disgusting and kind of cool."
Bailey pulled a face. "It's gross. Really gross. Well, at least we think. Some people say it's made of damned souls and demon corpses--or, uh, other dead things. Others say its got a hundred mouths on strings that reach all the way to the surface and munch up naughty kids. Keeps them from going out at night, I guess, but I'm never telling that story--I'm not that mean. That just sounds horrible and traumatizing. Anyway, some people say it patrols the Underworld as, like, an overlord? But others say it's just sleeping, waiting for the prophesied hero to show up and challenge it by making some kind of sacrifice. That's the version our Guide told us, and he was a smart guy. I'm gonna believe him."
Spaz looked fascinated, while Ret made a face. "And, why is it waiting, exactly?"
"To test the hero's skill, according to some people. No one really knows why. We think it might be hiding something, some claim it's guarding treasure because of course everything is money. Either way it's apparently really strong. If you're not a part of the prophecy, I don't know why your friend would be making you fight it."
"How do you know we aren't?" Spaz asked, indignantly.
Bailey went very quiet for a couple of seconds, before quickly standing and tossing her three-quarters-empty bowl in the sink.
"I think it's about time for me to show you around town! You definitely need to meet the clothier first--yes you can have more bacon, Spaz, you don't have to just stare at it like a hungry puppy, that face just looks so sad--and Ret I hope you realize you're going to eat more than that, grab an apple or something before I have to shove it in your face--okay, come on, let's go, time's a-wastin'!"
Her smile was ever-so-slightly forced.
The day was bright and clear, with barely a wind or a cloud. The air was warm, and despite his current mangy appearance, Ret was glad he didn't have his armor on anymore. The sun was already high in the sky, and it seemed that Rifdale's citizens were taking full advantage of the wonderful weather. People were talking outside houses and on whatever sides the narrow streets allowed. There were plenty of citizens sitting around the fountain as the three passed by, with Bailey pointing out houses all the while.
"That's Kyle's place, he's a Guide--the Guide, he calls himself, he's funny like that. Sad you missed him, he's a good guy. He said he was going to be heading out exploring a bit on his own--pity he didn't say goodbye before going. It's been about a week already, though, he should probably be heading back soon. And that's Stella's barbershop--she's a new stylist in town, love working with her and getting work from her. She did these highlights and always gives Tommy the cutest haircuts. Oh! There's the place we're looking for!"
She stopped, pointing at a dark building made of bricks and wood, with a stucco roof and torches attached to an overhang in front of the door. "That's Cyril's," Bailey said, "Swear the man hasn't gotten a day older since I met him. He makes and sells clothes and, hope you don't mind me saying, but, sorry, you kind of need them." She crossed her arms in response to Ret's glare. "Well I'm just being honest here, sheesh. You both look like you wound up tied to a really hyper wyvern's tail and dragged all over the place, you can't exactly deny that. He's really good, makes a lot of nice things. And don't worry, I'll pay, my thanks for making life interesting."
Ret grunted in acknowledgement and followed the overly-perky woman to the door. He'd gotten sick of the rambling a long time ago, but had mostly tuned it out, only listening for key words and people who might be important. Bailey opened the door, which caused a loud bell to ring from the frame. She held it for them, and Ret muttered an obligatory "thank you" before taking in the place.
It was all dark wood, with a brick floor. A silver chandelier was hanging from the roof, and there was what looked to be a living wood table in the center of the room. All about the large space were mannequins, womannequins, and clothesracks. There was noise coming from behind a door behind the counter to the side of the building.
"Cyril?" Bailey walked around the counter and knocked on the door. "Cyril, we have some new faces!"
There was rustling from the back room, before the door opened and someone walked out. The room was dim, but his red hat and cloak could be easily defined. He was an elderly man with blue eyes shining out from a weathered face with mixed laugh and worry lines. His hair was a long, silvery color, matching the beard that came to partway down his neck, and he wore a dark tunic and blue pants.
"Well hello there!" the old man chirped, striding around the counter with surprising energy for his age and moving to stand in front of the twins, holding out his hand. "Nice to see new people. Name's Cyril; boys, you've got a friend...in..."
He trailed off, stopping short in front of the twins. Those piercing blue eyes moved from jolly to analyzing, and Ret didn't like how that gaze seemed to stare straight into his soul. Those eyes had clearly seen more than the man's appearance suggested. There was something haunted and deeply troubled there. The man gave off the impression that he knew things--more than any man should.
"...oh," he whispered, before glancing over to Bailey with concern.
Bailey seemed not to notice, "They blew in with another young--well a bit older, but not old old--man from a place off west that was getting overtaken by Crimson."
Cyril nodded slowly. "I see..." His gaze never left the twins.
Ret was becoming uncomfortable. "What? Why are you looking at us like that?"
"You wanna start something, old man?" Spaz asked with a scowl. Ret quickly put a hand on his shoulder.
Cyril waved a hand, "I apologize. I, ah...thought I saw something in your eyes." Though from the look he was giving them, the subject wasn't done ruminating in his mind. He still acted as if the topic was over, clapping his hands. "So, I would assume you're here to get something to wear? I mean, that's what I do, and you look--"
"Yes," Ret snapped before he could insult their clothes.
Cyril nodded, "Makes sense, makes sense. Hold a moment." The old man ducked into the racks of clothes in his store, muttering to himself as he thumbed through shirts. "What do you think of this, ah...what should I call you?"
"He's Ret and that's Spaz," Bailey pointed out.
"I know how to say my name," Spaz grumbled, causing Bailey to snort.
Cyril nodded sagely, as if he'd been expecting this answer. "Ret, then. What do you think of this?"
The man walked back over to the group, holding some items in his arms. Ret frowned, taking the clothing and examine it. The outfit consisted of a dark gray, nearly black shirt edged with crimson at the V-shaped hem. It was fastened with metal buttons painted black far up the neck, and with it was a jacket with red at the edges of the opening, that came almost to his knees in the back. The pants were also black, with a multitude of pockets, accented with silver. Ret raised an eyebrow as the man ran off to find some other items. The fabric was of high quality, and the style was like the man knew him...which was rather suspicious and unnerving.
"And I have nice boots and some belts you can hold ammunition with," Cyril called, "Now for the other!"
Spaz had been staring at the clothes that had been given to Ret with a hint of jealousy, but now looked up. This time, Cyril brought back a slightly longer tunic, in a dark green, with gold at the collar and a green belt to keep the looser part of the tunic in check. The pants were brown and cut for movement, and there was no jacket or cape present. "No capes," Cyril stated, "They make it harder to move. I can get you straps or scabbards to keep weaponry."
Spaz looked like a child who'd just gotten the best birthday present of his life as he examined the clothes against his body. Cyril gave a knowing smirk, and Ret glared at him. How did he know them down to, apparently, their fighting styles? Ret certainly had questions.
Bailey, however, gave an excited squeal, and insisted she buy everything for them. Upon trying on the clothes, they somehow fit very well, and Cyril allowed them to walk out with the outfits, thick boots for both of them, and whatever accessories he'd mentioned they might need. All the while, the man watched them closely, in that disquieting way that suggested he knew a great deal of things he wasn't supposed to. There was a certain eerie aura about him, that haunting feeling taken up to eleven.
But he was kind enough to them, and made energetic chit-chat with Bailey the entire time. When the three left, he tipped his hat to them politely.
"Be seeing you, partners."
Ret glanced back with a frown. "Not if we see you first..." he murmured to himself.
It was late afternoon by now. The crowd of people ebbed and flowed in intensity, and Bailey seemed to love every second of it. Ret, meanwhile, was made uncomfortable by all of these people, though tried to carry himself with pride.
"Bailey! Bailey, dear!"
"Mommy, mommy, mommy!"
The voices of Bailey's family cut through the general murmur of Rifdale, and Mercer, carrying Tommy to keep the child from getting lost, burst from the crowd with a huge grin. Bailey smiled back and ran to hug them both, leaving the twins awkwardly to watch.
The little family wound up talking for an excruciatingly long time. Ret had to stop a bored and antsy Spaz from sneaking off every few minutes, until Mercer finally seemed to notice they were there. "Oh, and you two!" Mercer beamed, "I hope you're enjoying our little town."
"The clothes guy is creepy," Spaz stated.
Mercer's smile dropped a bit, "Oh, ah, I hear he has a bit of a troubled origin. Something about being cursed, he can unnerve some people. But it's all better now! Oh, and speaking of meeting the town..." Mercer seemed rather excited about the next part, "I spoke to Elric, the mayor. He wished to meet you and your friend for dinner tonight--I can see you have nice enough clothing for it, he won't mind."
Ret ground his teeth, but Spaz just tilted his head. "What kinda food?"
"He's a bit eccentric, but I know he'd be happy to meet you, and he cooks...well, he's a wizard by trade. He knows how to cook even if it can be a bit off the beaten path." Mercer gave a nervous chuckle, "Anyway, do you know how we could get in contact with Keeper?"
"Keeper does whatever Keeper wants to do," Ret grumbled.
Mercer's face fell, "Oh...Well we can hope he returns before nightfall. Things get nasty in the caverns about then, I don't even know if he took armor with him..."
"He'll handle himself."
"Yes, yes, of course! Anyhow, we've told people to inform him to meet at Elric's house--the big one to the far east--in roughly two hours. For now, Bailey, you could always introduce them to some others? I'll take care of this little fuzzball." He ruffled Tommy's hair, which Tommy didn't seem to appreciate.
Bailey nodded. "Of course! Would you two like that?" She glanced back at them.
Ret looked to Spaz, desperately hoping he'd claim to be tired. But to his dismay, Spaz's response was "sure thing!"
Sometimes, his brother seriously frustrated and confused him.
-:-:-Elric's house was very...interesting, to say the least. The two were able to tell what house belonged to the wizard before Bailey even had to point it out. The thing was a haphazard mess that looked as if someone had just thrown blocks together, all clashing in style and painted in bright colors.
Mercer, Tommy, and Keeper had already beaten the trio there. Mercer was wearing clothing that differed little if at all from his traveling merchant garb, while Tommy's hair was combed, and he was clad in a little blue polo and khakis. However, everyone's gaze was drawn to Keeper, and Ret had to keep himself from laughing at the absolutely agonized expression on his face--a look that made the whole day of being shown off to Rifdale worth it.
Keeper had traded his oversized gray shirt and jeans for a suit. A dark purple vest came to the middle of his thighs, and was buttoned at the bottom. He was also wearing gray dress pants, a white button-down, and a deep purple bow-tie. His hair was actually combed, and his face was even redder than usual. He looked like he wanted to run away and jump straight back into the mineshafts--and in general, a bit like a sack of sweet potatoes stuffed in a dress.
Bailey gasped and clasped her hands together, beaming. "Oh my gosh! Did Cyril and Stella set that up for you?"
Keeper gave an incredibly stiff nod, his expression indicating that he could be sick at any moment.
Ret couldn't stop a snort from escaping. "Evening."
"Not a word. Not a word from you." Keeper gave a snarl that was actually rather frightening despite his current appearance.
"But you look dashing," Bailey said.
"I am not supposed to look dashing, or charming, or pretty, or whatever other pathetic words you lot use to describe physicalities that agree with your set of arbitrary standards! I swear the gods just keep having more of a laugh at me and this humiliating situation they've put me in..."
"You must be a lot of fun at parties." Bailey rolled her eyes, striding past the grouchy caretaker to knock at the door--a dark wood that stood out alarmingly against the bright blue walls surrounding it.
Several moments passed, with no response. Bailey frowned, tilting her head and knocking again, a bit louder this time. Ret tore his gaze from Keeper's pained expression to look around, visually gauging the time--the sky was beginning to darken as the sun hid once more. He really hoped there wouldn't be another Blood Moon, but it would be a short time before they knew for sure.
"Elric?" Bailey jiggled the doorknob, only to find it turned. "I wonder if he went somewhere...He knew we were coming, didn't he?" She turned to Mercer, who nodded and shrugged. Bailey hummed to herself, looking to the door and hesitantly pushing it open, peeking around. "Eir--oh, there you are...what...?"
She turned back to them with a confused look, before pushing the door open. Ret looked behind her to see a room that was even more chaotic than the outside of the house, full of clashing furniture that were crafted out of everything from cactuses to alien metals, the only constants being the books on a variety of bookshelves lining the walls. Lighting fixtures of various styles could be seen, but all were turned off, drawing the eye to one light coming from a living wood table in the center of the room. There, a man wearing purple wizard's robes and an impressive beard sat, staring into a crystal ball that gave off a light glow. His expression was slashed with a vaguely irritated frown.
"No, no," he muttered to himself, shaking his head, "You can't be serious. Not after the Blood Moons...What do you mean? Augh, if you're going to talk to me, do it clearly. None of this riddling nonsense!"
Spaz wasn't one to be ignored. He took a step forward. "Hey! Uh, you Elric?"
The wizard jumped, letting out a yelp before turning to look at them, the glow in the crystal ball dimming. "Goodness!" He set a hand over his heart, hazel eyes wide, "You spooked me! Is it that l...Oh dear. Oh dear, dear, dear--how close is it to sunset? Bailey?"
Bailey frowned, confused. "A few minutes...? I apologize for walking in on you. Is something wrong?"
"Is something wrong? HA! Everything's wrong, everything's been wrong for over twenty years, you should know that."
Bailey winced, "Well yeah, but I meant tonight..."
"Ooooooh, toads' whiskers," Elric muttered, standing and beginning to pace around the table, before aggressively pointing at the twins. "You two! The newcomers, right? The twins and the--well, whatever we're calling you? I certainly hope you have good equipment with you."
"Why?" Ret asked, frustrated with the man's lack of directness, "What were you looking at?"
Elric threw his fists to his sides, giving a comically angry expression, though his words were very, very serious.
"...We may need to cancel our dinner plans, I'm afraid. Nobody expects breaking news from the cosmos. Well." His eyes narrowed. "...I've been told...an evil presence is watching us again tonight...but it's...stronger than before...The celestials are...interfering."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Spaz asked, glancing around, "...What's with the faces?"
Bailey had gone rigid, drawing Tommy instinctively towards her as if to shield him. Mercer's face suddenly drained of color. Keeper's misdirected purplish eyes had gone wide.
"...Now of all times. Of course it would..." Keeper muttered to himself, then shook his head, turning back to gauge time left before sunset.
"What is it?" asked Ret, partially not wanting to know.
The last of the sun's rays left the streets. A great rumbling could be heard in the distance--like thunder, before Ret realized it was a being making that noise.
Keeper yelled something in an unknown language, before bolting off down the street, calling over his shoulder.
"It's the Seer of the Overworld!"
"The what?" Spaz looked to Bailey, whose expression had fallen to a grim determination.
"...It's what we were talking about earlier. The Eye of Cthulhu is coming."
Elric nodded gravely.
"Yes, but not just any variant. The celestial allies...have made it stronger than ever."
Okay for some reason this chapter was really awkward to write, but at least it's done now.
Question of the chapter for you guys: what's your opinion on the characters in general so far? Do you have a favorite, and if so, why them?
And is there anything you're curious about, any unanswered questions?
Former eyeballs versus current eyeball. Place yo bets.
As well you should be. Here you thought Ret would be the one to snap in the head and now Spaz is throwing people down holes xD Whoops.Spaz needs to c h i l l. Like holy crap, I would be worried of his mental state as well.
I still feel that when they get close to the Crimson, Ret is going to lose it. Like, I feel he might explode into a million streams of ichor.As well you should be. Here you thought Ret would be the one to snap in the head and now Spaz is throwing people down holes xD Whoops.
tbh none of them have ANY chill at all. ret's just better at hiding it and keeper meanwhile is internally screaming all the time
PFFFFT. I kinda want to draw that now xD I can tell you that specifically is not going to happen but I cannot tell you if it won't "might as well have happened" considering the state Ret's going to wind up in. You'll get no spoilers from me~I still feel that when they get close to the Crimson, Ret is going to lose it. Like, I feel he might explode into a million streams of ichor.
The blog's really just a place for me to practice with their designs. I'm already working on character references to put here, but those take a bit more time since I'm trying so hard to get things right. I would've put them up earlier, but the whole thing is I can't really draw. I'm very new at it and still figuring things out, so trust me, you wouldn't have wanted me to try and draw things for the story any earlier than I'm trying now. Hoping that eventually I can do some proper comics or illustrations, but I'm a long way off. I'm also getting my friends to help me. I'm definitely more for the written word than visual art xDGlad you've finally decided to illustrate your characters. Helps me visualize your story better although, I'd prefer it more if you would illustrate them here too instead of just on separate sites.
I understand. I haven't really drawn anything in years since I left school and never really was any good. Since I joined the forums and seen all the stuff people have drawn on here I haven't done much but TCF has inspired me to draw a little bit. I only have two drawings I've made and one of them I haven't even posted. I've shown more of my little sisters drawings than I have mine. I'm sure you'll do better than me judging by your current artwork on Tumblr.The blog's really just a place for me to practice with their designs. I'm already working on character references to put here, but those take a bit more time since I'm trying so hard to get things right. I would've put them up earlier, but the whole thing is I can't really draw. I'm very new at it and still figuring things out, so trust me, you wouldn't have wanted me to try and draw things for the story any earlier than I'm trying now. Hoping that eventually I can do some proper comics or illustrations, but I'm a long way off. I'm also getting my friends to help me. I'm definitely more for the written word than visual art xD
I realized I forgot to link the latest chapter, whoopsie. It's up now along with brief character descriptions for Alalia and Bailey. New chapter hopefully soon because I can't leave it on that kind of cliffhanger xD
Is this going to be continued?