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Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces

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1 Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:58 pm

Ushlin Tironga

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Ushlin moved at a steady, casual pace; his pack chingling from side to side as he walked. His rifle resting easily on his shoulder and his trusty wrench on the hip, he felt fairly confident that the stray bandit would be hard pressed to intimidate him. His goggles sat about his neck, his thick leather and wool clothes worn from use, but well kept. If one looked closely enough, they would also find the insignia of a rune maker, should one know it. It was a clear day on a warm afternoon in the trees, giving one almost the impression of general security in the woods.

“I can’t find it,” were the last words she remembered saying before folding in half like a card. Her knees stung against the firm ground. She hugged herself, shoulders shuddering as her breaths lost pace. A tin compass clinked to the ground beside her, having slipped from her fingers. She didn’t even know what it /was/ anymore, what that magnificent thing she’d set out to find, was told she could obtain had been in the first place.

Her auburn hair sat parted into two self-contained pleats, and the light linen she wore held a simple elegance: the creamy tone of parchment, fringed with a hand-made blue hue. She heard the little song birds chirp and chitter above her in the branches higher up, and shuddered at how they mocked her. She paused, cleansing herself with a few deep breaths, slowly regained her composure. She plucked the compass up off the ground but stared dully at the expanse of trees ahead of her. Her gut felt like a pit again.
Ushlin blinked as minutes later he spotted someone almost slumped over, brewing over something. He raised a hand and waved, calling out. "Oi, yah' happen tah' lose something?" His expression was one of both mild concern and curiosity, but he kept his pace the same as it was.

Her face flushed. It was bad enough to have lost sight of her personal direction. It was worse to have a stranger inadvertently call her out on it. “No!” she called back. She fixed her grey eyes firmly on the ground. Clutching the tin in her palm, she faltered, pursing her lips. Her eyes crept to the corner of her sight where the stranger stood. She couldn’t get a decent look at him—not without making her staring obvious, anyway. “And—I don’t have any money, either! If that’s what you’re looking for.”

Ushlin blinked as he continued walking, now within about twenty feet of her. "Erm, not wishin' your money at all miss. Just wondering if yah' lost something was all." He glanced at her hand clutching something metallic, but for the most part saw nothing really off; well, besides the feminine business and the fact she didn't exactly look prepped for hiking.


Ushlin blinked as he continued walking, now within about twenty feet of her. "Erm, not wishin' your money at all miss. Just wondering if yah' lost something was all." He glanced at her hand clutching something metallic, but for the most part saw nothing really off; well, besides the feminine business and the fact she didn't exactly look prepped for hiking.
“…No,” she said again. “No. I didn’t lose anything.” She sighed. “In order to lose something, you have to /have/ something, in the first place.” She rose to her feet, sheepishly turning to face him. “But…do you know if there’s a village or town nearby?” Her lips pursed. “I can’t—well, it doesn’t matter why. Please just point me in the right direction.” A blunt frown lined her face.

Ushlin eyed her curiously once more before stopping by her and thinking. "Well, you can head to Legathios which is down the road here, or you can head back up it towards Kilanna. The capital keeps however aren't exactly nearby haha." He moved forward, gesturing ahead of him. "Feel free to follow me if you like, you seem a bit unarmed."


She gave a vague smile. “That would’ve served me better had I run into you sooner.” Though, obliging, she trailed after him, content enough. She struggled to match his stride. “What’s your name, if I may ask?”


Noting her little puffs to keep the stride he had, Ushlin slowed to give her an easier pace. "Well now, tha' name's Ushlin. Just ah' wanderin' mechanic really. Yourself miss?" He threw back a quick smile,
“I’m Lilt!” she spurted, with a hasty smile. “Like ‘wilt’!” The smile quickly dissipated as her mind pieced together how unappealing the comparison was, in actuality. She forced a hard chuckle, as if to cleanse her mouth of the stale taste of her words. “I’m an artisan, actually. A seamstress and weaver, but—I was robbed of my supplies along my way here.”


Her cheeks lit with uncomfortable warmth. “Hand-spun cloths, and rugs; precious dyes and threads; my life’s work. Gone.” She tried to cough up another chuckle. “But…I guess it was time for me to start anew, anyway.”
"Well now, I'm sure yah' knew yer' skills and work. But then who's tah' be saying you wish to keep appearances?" He sobered slightly, trailing beside her and clapping her on the shoulder lightly with a gloved hand. "I suppose, we could think more like quilt maybe for a comparison. Where yah-" Ushlin blinked, then removed his hand and inspecting her shoulder. "Oh, whoo! Thought I got grease on yah, but my gloves dry." He smiled sheepishly, hands now set behind his head.


Her brows furrowed. “What do you mean, about keeping appearances? And quilting? They took /everything/. And I don’t have a coin to my name now. I—” Lilt jolted lightly, as he patted her shoulder. “What…are you going on about?” she frowned, before slumping forward with a sigh. “Well—I’m glad you didn’t ruin my dress, at least. Let me correct myself: /this/ is the only piece I’ve made that I have left.”


"I might be rambling I suppose, Ah' tend tah' do it a bit. But Ah' doubt yah'd be all that happy having lost everything." Ushlin turned and began walking backwards, his S.A.K.A.P. rifle jingling on his shoulder. "You got really anywhere to go?"


Lilt sighed. “Maybe I’m just not all here. Or, maybe it’s still just shock, right now.” She looked up. “No. I don’t.” She shoved her fingers up through her bangs, clutching at her hair for a moment. “I have no /idea/ where I’ll go when night falls. There isn’t much a girl can do.” Except prostitution. But the idea of furtive hands and liquor breaths didn’t appeal to the weaver’s sensibilities—so it was out of the question. “What about you?” she asked. She could feel moisture gather along her palms. She looked back down to the ground. “Where are you going? Do /you/ have any plans?”


"Hmm? Well, I suppose its business as usual for me. In the Conguran Empire, we runecrafters tend to find a lot of work with machines or golems." He taps his finger against his chin, before looking at her once more. "Ever thought of tailor work for perhaps the military? They usually have sum' good jobs." His ears perked as he heard a noise to his left, but for now ignored it. "Or, I suppose you could apply as an apprentice."


She paused, taking a moment for thought. It was a disappointing prospect, really: military tailor work. She was an /artist/--not a senseless stitch-drone. But was there really any other option? No other opportunities were lining themselves up—only terrible “what ifs”: what if she went her own way, and was jumped by other travelers /again/; what if no one else would ever think to hire her; what if she wound up stranded with no means for food or shelter?

“Ahh—okay. That--/that/ sounds really good.” Her lines sounded tired, but she worked a grateful smile onto her face. “Do..You really think they’d let me?”
"Well, heck. How good are you with weights perhaps?" Ushlin unhitched his wrench, extending it to her.

“Oh, no!” gasped Lilt. “No—I don’t think that’d be a good idea at all! I’m good with delicate things, with details, not—not with lifting heavy things!”

Ushlin chuckles, putting it back on his belt. "Was just a thought. I suppose among other things you'd be more for intricate details." He stretched out before peering off to the distance, then to the sky. "Is this your first time on the road perhaps?"

Lilt nodded. “My people thought I was really talented, and told me to travel. So I could grow, and improve—but, now it’s all gone wrong.” A mournful smile crossed her lips. “I can’t go back like this. And even if I could—I don’t even know where the way back /is/, anymore.”

"Your people huh? Well, least it's not the racial standard haha." Ushlin said this dryly. "Though that said, I guess then you aren't exactly local. Are you Hontha by chance? Tho' you don't seem to have the armour to match. Hmm, and Co-Coan..." He paused. "Bah, those half-beast half human folk, can't remember the name. Anyways, you don't seem to have their characteristics. Are you from the east or southern countries then?"

“Cooanei,” corrected Lilt. She gave him a stoic look. “Do I /look/ like I’m half-beast?” She bit her bottom lip before taking a brisk breath. “I--/Look/, it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to talk about it.” She quickened her pace—footsteps graceful as ever, regardless—and bent her gaze away from him, down again. Her back stiffened as she walked. “You wouldn’t know of us, anyway. Nobody does; all the smart ones stay right where they are, in our hidden village. And all the ones who are stupid enough to leave, /die/.” “Assumedly.”

"Hmm, such a cute lil' lass like you die because yer' curious of the outside? How odd." His breath crept on the back of her neck before he leaned back out of reach with a witty grin. "Oh come now, cheer up; perhaps yer' luck changed when yah' bumped int'ah me. Since you seemin' to need a guide an' such, and I've been needin' a companion of sorts for a while, why don't we work for ah' bits, then go from there?" He quirked an eyebrow, gloved thumbs in his belt.

Her shoulders shuddered at the breath across the back of her neck and she jolted, quickly whirling on a heel to face him, flustered. At his warm smile and kind words, though, she felt her eyes pool up. She wanted to speak, but her throat felt too tight, choking any words into strained croaks. Digging her nails into her palms, Lilt felt her lips quiver. She settled for a frantic nod over words and offered a tearful grin. Spinning back around, she cupped a hand around her mouth and nose as she softly sniffled, suppressed a few stray whimpers. “And where—Where, are we going, again—for work?” she managed.


Ushlin smiled wryly, tilting his head and setting up his cap. "Well now, glad to see you take the offer then; I have a feeling your delicacy may help me with my casual mess anyway haha." He loosens his SAKAP rifle this time as the branches crunch again. "Mind if you slowed however?"


Lilt paused where she was, glancing back to Ushlin with a quirk in her brow. “Huh? Why stop? We need to keep going if we’re going to make it by nightfall, don’t we?”


"True, but-" He moves his rifle up and steady against his shoulder as a shadow-coloured beast growled from the bushes before bounding away. "Damn thing was following us for a little bit." He fired a warning shot after it, his rifle grinding up to expel the excess steam, his rifle blasting out a shot of steam with a ball speeding off and presumably over the beast's head.


Lilt’s jaw gaped at the spectacle (or, mostly at the fact she hadn’t even noticed the creature). Her face paled. “I—How—Do you always—” Her mind buzzed. “I’m…really /glad/ I bumped into you.”


The SAKAP rifle chugged along before doing a content poof through the middle of the gun, Ushlin slipping the rifle back over his shoulder. "Never got a look at it tho', I always wondered what was here." He frowned thoughtfully before walking again. "Tho' I doubt we'll see it again. And you really are ah' road virgin aren't 'cha?" He chuckled lightly, moving to her side.


Her face flared up at Echlin’s comment, and she huffed. “N-No! I’m just, not a brute. I make dresses and tapestries for a living, I don’t…slay /creatures/. So, just because I scare easy, doesn’t mean I’m completely hopeless as a traveler.” Lilt paused. In lieu of her words, she hoped he had already forgotten the reason she was clinging around him in the first place.


Ushlin held up both hands, obviously finding he struck a nerve. "Oi oi oi, just a comment is all. Tha' other thing you'll find is I'm not fully serious with what I say. I'm sure your hands are quite talented, as well as your mind." He smiled wryly. "Rather, who knows, may help inspire me to make some lightweight tools for someone like you to use."


Her face turned red. “I—I know,” she said reluctantly, “I’m just…embarrassed easy, is all.” She couldn’t help but idly glance to watch him as he walked, finding a strange fascination in the form—and an even stranger pit of joy that simply came with indulging within one’s own mind. A smile curled onto her lips. “What kind of tools? You don’t—mean like the ones /you/ have, right? Because I already told you, I can’t /do/ that kind of work—I’m only good with cloth!”


"Oh, meh'bey somethin' for self defence, maybe a modified SAKAP pistol o' course. Damn things are rather easy to make." Ushlin thought about it, then leaned back to almost look forward. "I suppose I could also make yah' some tools that could help yah' make more cloth at a faster rate." He grunted as he right-sided himself, checking his feet for branches.


Lilt smiled and chuckled under her breath. “Well—make me whatever you like, then. As long as… I mean, would you mind… passing me off as one of your own?” Her lips felt dry as she uttered the favour. Her heart thudded in worry, and she felt the inexplicable need to explain herself. “It’s just—I’m not sure if I’m right or not, but, you look Conguran. And—and maybe I heard wrong in the past, but, I’ve been told that…Congurans don’t exactly appreciate outsiders. And!—and I don’t want to have to deal with justifying myself, or, explain my whole story to a bunch of strangers..”


His bright eyes wandered over her for a long moment, stopping in his footsteps and frowning. "Now now, we noh' the types to be stoppin' yah if you look a bit off; it be only if you are say one of them Cooanei that people be curious about yer' motives." He smile crept back on his face, before he turned on his heel and kept to a casual pace. "Such a shy lil' lass, Ah' can be vouchin' for yah Lilt so long as yah keep your nose in its place once we hit the cities." He chuckled lightly. "We can ask if the guilds have any jobs you can grab."


Her eyes jutted open in disbelief at Ushlin’s words. “But—the /King/ is a Cooanei,” she protested. “And—and the Queen! She’s a Conguran! Shouldn’t you have… /taken/ something from that?” Still, she nodded dutifully at the rule he laid down. “I /promise/ that I won’t cause any trouble. I’m… really thankful for your kindness. I’ll repay you for all of this as soon as I can.”


"Well now, Ah' know tha' -king's- one, but you know tha' general feelings of the public don't reflect tha' queen's exactly. In fact, there be sum' rumours from tha' fifth division that the East division is gettin' rowdy about it."


She stared at him wide-eyed, feigning naïve reverence as she quickly nodded in response. “Oooooooohhh,” she said appreciatively. “Yeah. I guess so, huh? I didn’t realize it was so bad. Is…there any reason for it, though? I’ve really never heard a bad thing about Cooanei.”
"Well, there's been tensions with some Cooanei to tha' south Ah' think." Ushlin noted with a puzzled tone. "But nothing serious, as the Fifth Division hasn't been called in at all for engagements there; we're usually tied up in the east yah see along the mountains. And-" He covered his mouth suddenly, flushing. "Whoops," He murmured. "Anywhom, guess we'll head to the new capital that's being built down south in Dennias if we keep going along this road. There's a steam tank that needs attention and two golems."


Lilt blinked, furrowing in confusion once more. “Wait, wait—you… Are you a soldier?” she asked, wavering. It didn’t make sense, with the wrench he carried—but the /gun/, that’s what spoke more. And the way he’d insisted she could find a job among the military, the way he talked of turmoil—and that Fifth Division, what was /that/? She frowned.


"Well, not exactly; but it's one of tha' roles Ah' help in. As I said, I work on machines; most of 'em are owned by one of tha' divisions. Truth be told tho', each division is like a small nation inside tha' Empire." Ushlin began to whistle once more, looking down the road. "Oh, looks like we're within sight of Legathios! Best be quick or they will shut the doors of the town behind them!" He waited for her if she fell behind, but picked up the pace.


She hurried behind him, keeping up despite the aching knot in her stomach. /You shouldn’t be doing this/, she told herself. /It’s not too late to stop. You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into/— Instead of stopping, she focused her eyes on their horizon. Once they got to Legathios, she could decide on what to do from there.


It was evening when they now resided in a tavern, the room upstairs booked. For now it seemed she would stick around, but for the most part Ushlin had been a casual if considerate host for his new companion. Giving her a moment to look through the clothing stores for anything extra she needed (within reason) He now sat at one of the tables by a window viewing the street.


She hadn’t asked for much. In fact, she’d rooted around for the shoddy, low-price articles, garments two sizes bigger than she actually wore. When he’d looked at her strangely, she promised she knew what she was doing. If nothing else, she /did/ still have her basic sewing kit on her: needle, thread, seam ripper and a few spare buttons. It was all she /needed/, really. She’d thanked him over and over again as they’d walked to the inn, a bright smile beaming across her face. Sitting cross-legged on the bed, Lilt went to work, ripping seams and tearing cloth before guiding her needle through waves of material. She’d already added long sleeves and taken in a sundress and stitched a couple undergarments together. The comfort of craft and repetition made her heart swell. She held back the water brimming in her eyes and felt her nose run instead. She sniffed, trying to remain nonchalant. “Hey…Ushlin?” she spoke up at last. Her eyes glanced over at him. “Thank you. Again. For everything..”


"Eh, tis' no issue; thought I did not think I would get the pleasant show of what you might be wearing underneath be created in my view haha." Ushlin grinned, then looked outside below. "Tis' a simple thing for clothing, but a good one. Now tha' is somethin', guess tomorrow morn I could check the Steam Part's Guild stop here if anyone needs help." He picked up his mug and sipped the contents lightly, then glanced at the one bed. "You sure you mind that as well not all that much?"


Lilt’s face flared red and her voice squeaked as she protested: “What! I /need/ them, though!” Her hands fumbled and she jolted. Slapping her finger to her mouth, she groaned at the stinging. She shot a pouting frown towards him. “Well, enjoy it while you can, because this is the only time you’ll be seeing them.” She stuck her tongue out. She then smiled lightly. “Yeah. I don’t mind if you check around tomorrow. Maybe…. we could check around and see if, maybe there’s a job /I/ could take up, too.”


Ushlin put on his own playful frown. "Ah bugger, and as if Ah' didn't see that comment comin' ah stone's throw away haha." As to the stinging, he winced himself before shrugging. "Aye aye. Tho' you also dodged tha' question 'bout tha' bed."


She blinked as he more bluntly mentioned the bed. ….Oh. /Ooooohhhhhh/. It hadn’t even occurred to her! She slammed her needle back into her tiny sewing kit, frantically snatching up her clothes. “Ohh, I—I didn’t even—how stupid of me!” she stammered. She had a hard time trying to meet his eyes. “I…wouldn’t /mind/,” she murmured. “But! If—there’s not enough room, I’ll—I’ll just sleep on the floor. /You/ paid for the room, so it’s only fair.”


Ushlin bursts out laughing, more probably towards the comical sight then at her. He then sobers and nods pleasantly. "Damn things are too soft for my taste anyway to sleep all by myself in 'em, having a second person usually flattens them. I don't mind tha' floor myself, since its flatter then what I generally sleep on." He spread his hands as he stood up, then plopping on the bed beside her. "Say, your tailorin' skills include working on cloth against leather by chance?"


Lilt cringed at his laughter, but took it in stride. Her eyebrows lifted at his request. “Yeah. I could do that kind of work. I’d probably need a different needle, though. This little one I have right now isn’t meant for heavy work like that. Why do you ask?”


"Oh, I'm sure I could get some then. Jus' thinking on it as I tend to usually rip up my clothes while Am' working an' all, might be nice having a mender right when I get back from a job."


“Oh—I’d love to.” A sneaky smirk tugged at the edge of her lips. “But in that case, you’d better be more careful about what you say to me, hehe.” Gently folding her clothes, she crawled to the foot of the bed, dropping them down to the floor.


Returning to her spot, she yawned as she slid her legs beneath the scratchy blanket. She made sure to leave a self-conscious “line” of space between them and settled down on her belly, sprawling out a little.


Ushlin looked faintly worried, and made a note to never let pink cloth ever enter the room. But as he settled in (and concluded by the border on the bed) He wondered as he looked up at the ceiling just what he was going to be getting himself into tomorrow.


[Instant Messaged waking up with her wrapped about Ushlin]


Lilt tore a chunk of bread from the pack and thanked him, leaving hesitantly. “I’ll see you later, then!” she chimed. She quietly slipped out the door. “No!” “Sorry, we don’t.” “No work available, miss!” “We /have/ all the hands we need.” “Oh, check back some other time.” “You kidding?”


She sighed, plopping down on the curb before the cobbled street. Cradling her chin in her hands, she frowned and closed her eyes. She couldn’t believe this. “There /are/ no jobs in this town!” she muttered. “Hey, you,” came a voice nearby. “You sitting there!” Lilt jolted and turned, spying a girl with short hair and a shorter dress staring down at her. She offered a stiff smile and the girl grinned. “You want a job, right? Come here.”


Ushlin himself finally scratched his head, sitting up and getting dressed. Grabbing a dark mug of hot juice, he downs it after several minutes to stirring and walks off towards the job postings. He hums along, his trusty Crossguard SAKAP rifle in hand. ((Btw, found it! Steam Action Kombat Air Pressure)) The mark on his hand lights up as he approaches the man standing there and getting it against a rune sigil, he then hands Ushlin a smaller parchment not on the job board. He frowns thoughtfully, then sighs. "Only things around are repairing farming golems, and only 1300 Denarii each? Gah, and this is why I stay away from the south." He grumbles, but accepts the job, wondering if his new companion had any luck today. For the most part he'd been lucky to have her needing to trust him; it led to things staying near with him. Not that he was the best at steam mechanics, but he was competent enough at least to be a journeyman fifth division mechanic. Personally, he wanted to be on a skyship again. As he had those thoughts he finally arrived at the farm, looking about curiously before moving up to the door, knocking on it. "Hello?" He is let in by one of the farmhands, who leads him to the local mechanic. Together, they begin working on the magical runes that set up the command structure of the golems themselves.


The several hours were quite warm under the sun, and at one point were running for their lives as one golem malfunctioned due to sweat soaking the sigil and his eye. Finally, six hours later and fifteen golems fixed, he left with his total payment of 18500 Denarii in his pocket and one loaf of bread made by the farmers living there. He slips up back to where they now stayed and knocked on the door; after all, he teased her enough not to include peeping. "You back yet?" He called at the door.


After noting that no one responds, he walks on in. Finding no one to be around, he smiles happily and flops face first into the bed; he immediately regrets that as his nose deflects off the firmer part of the bed; but stays arms on it for about five minutes muttering in pain.


The door flew open, and she slammed it behind her. Throwing her back against the wood door, Lilt panted. Her eyes were wide with horror. She dropped something that fell to the floor with a sharp clunk and quickly swiped a chair and lodged it under the door handle. “We—we need to get out of here. Soon. Tomorrow. Tomorrow morning. Please,” she gasped. She fell back against the wall, leaning against it as she worked to catch her breath.


Ushlin springs up from the bed, ready to bring a backward open palm against the intruder as he remembered his Tak'chien training. However, Lilt's entrance and bizarre blocking of the door lowered back down his guard and walked over, leaning over. "Why, what happened, and how are we to exactly with the door in the way?”


Sliding down to sit on the floor, she slumped forward. Nudging the pouch on the floor, she gestured as bright coins spilled out from it. “They’re not mine,” she explained, shutting her eyes in remorse. “This—someone handed them off to me, after they stole them off of a man today. /She’s/ after me for it—she’d told me to meet up with her, but I got scared and ran off. And I think the man caught sight of me, too. I don’t want to know what /either/ of them would do to me if they found me.” Lilt groaned. “We /need/ to get out of here—but. But not tonight. I can’t… I’ve been running all day. I can’t set out like this. I don’t think she followed me, though. I… Gods, what should I do?”


Ushlin blinked, yet again, at what he was trying to figure out was pure audacity or foolishness. "Look, did she look anythin' special, the man either? Maybe Ah' can go an' say Ah' tripped yah' and saw them chasin' yah' down." Ushlin frowned. "An' if they beh' givin' me trouble, Ah' do believe martial law still exists in some parts o' Dennias."


Lilt paled and wrung her hands as she forced the memories back before her eyes. “The woman—she had short blonde hair, really short. And the man was older—I just remember that he had really nice clothes, and some sort of cane.” She huffed. “They—well, the woman… She said she had a job for me. I didn’t have any luck all /day/ finding anything, so I said I’d help her…” /”Just hold this pouch of rocks, and when I run into you, trade it with me for the one I hand to you. Meet me in the square later with it. At dusk,” she’d said. “What if I can’t find you?” asked Lilt. The woman had grinned at that, a wicked grin. “Oh, if you don’t find me, I /will/ find you. Don’t you worry your pretty little face over that, love.”/ It was only later, when Lilt resigned from the task and opened the pouch that she saw just what she’d helped in. She’d heard the ruckus in the streets, of course—but hadn’t thought so much of it. She frowned up at Ushlin. Her gut twisted, rearranged itself within her.


As the mid-morning slipped just past, she finally arose. Sitting up, she stretched her back, her shoulders and her arms. A yawn swelled out of her and she looked down toward her companion. Lilt hovered her hand over the hill of his shoulder, debating whether to nudge him awake or not. They /did/ have an agenda for the day, after all… “Ushlin…? Are you awake yet?” she asked. Her voice was nearly softer than the still air of their room.


"Mmm, well I've been dozin'; not often Ah' get tah' sleep this long. Brings in the best dreams Ah' find." He chuckled drowsily and sat up, the hat flopping off her face as he rubbed an eye. "Tho' then again, it's always good haha." He turns on the seat of his pants and slipped into his boots, tying them up. "So! You think she'll be around where you were supposed to show up, or you think she left grumbling?"


Lilt moved to the edge of the bed herself. “I don’t know,” she said. “We’ll just have to see, I guess. Will you be following after me through this, or…?”


"Following you? Well, if you wanted I suppose, why?" He seemed rather curious, and probably missing the point as he sat up to put a shirt on.


She blinked. “Oh—well—I was only wondering because of your plan. How did you plan on catching her? Wouldn’t you /have/ to be following me?” She ran her fingers through her hair, loosely combing it out.


"Well, what's stopping me from," He paused as he slipped on his jacket. "Getting there first? The fountain's not far from the job board, and I can have a clear view of you and anyone nearby just by sitting down and 'looking' at a job type." Ushlin slipped on his rifle. "Besides, I'm just a common soldier to many here, I'll blend in well enough; if not, that's where my other skills come in." He slipped on his wrench, as well as a smaller second one; now upon closer inspection, there was a decidedly broad flat side to them on the head.


“Oh, uhh—well, that’s fine, then,” she said. “Should I bring…the bag with me? What if she /does/ show up? What—is there even a plan? Do you /have/ a plan?” She looked at him sceptically, her mouth tugged into a half-frown.


"Well, the first would be is that she passed you a bag of stones right? Well, let's give her another bag; gold coins aren't exactly commonplace, Denarii coppers more so. Basically, you are going to have a bag of Denarii coppers on you to have them make the same noise. Then, when she comes up to you and asks for the bag, give it to her. If she accosts you at all, I step in." Ushlin nodded. "I can use my martial status if necessary, but for the most part let's keep it that I'm a civilian mechanic."


Lilt smiled, nodding. “Okay! That sounds perfect, then.” She chuckled. “I was wrong to think you didn’t know what you were doing.” After the sack of clinking copper coins was readied, they headed out and parted ways. Lilt found her way back to the bustling plaza and—on cue—the woman from the other day found her, sought her out. Holding her breath, Lilt handed over the pouch as the woman beamed at her. “Kind girl,” cooed the woman. She stroked the side of Lilt’s face, before heading on her way. Lilt gasped a breath of relief—but wouldn’t risk being nearby if and when the woman discovered the trick. She hurried back through the crowd, uncertain of where, exactly, to go—only that she needed to be /away/ from where she’d been.


Ushlin himself kept an eye on the woman, watching Lilt disperse from the woman's gaze. He himself sat up, and strolled alongside the streets behind her, pausing between stalls as if shopping. He had a large pouch sitting on his side; and his rifle was back with the Steam Parts Guildhouse. His eyes glanced over the woman for a moment, but then went back to the goods he was 'browsing'.


The woman Lilt had dealt with paused, looking over towards Ushlin after he’d glanced away from her. She stood where she was for a moment, before continuing on, glancing behind her as she did to see if he’d move to follow her.


Ushlin didn't move, but couldn't fully tell if her eyes were on him either. He couldn't wait however, and trusted his side view as he turned and crossed the street, moving to a small golem shop. It was tacky, and with parts he'd never touch to save his life, but he tried to brush off the feeling as he went; closing the distance.


And as he followed her, she ducked under and around passersby on the street. Her black eyes darted around her. The fine hairs on her neck tingled, and she slipped behind the bodies of others, cowering unabashedly. A smirk stretched her lips across her teeth, nevertheless.


Ushlin was now mildly regretting leaving his rifle behind; but with it, she would have dashed at even the suspicion he was military as he thought. He checks two bulges in his jacket and then tightened his sleeve slightly; he now moved slightly behind her. Her eyes were certainly not of a Conguran either, now that he thought about it. She stuck out like sore thumb in the mix of the bright eyed race. He also banked on his good eyesight to keep an eye where she went, slipping about every so often but finding rather the side of the street rather than the middle.


The woman consciously paused, articulated the moment, and allowed Ushlin the opportunity to catch up with her; she was easily in his scope, his grasp—but her eye rested on another. An awkward figure, draped in a dark cloak, who—as she’d noticed—adamantly kept his gaze fixed to the ground. She waited, waited, until Ushlin drew closer still. And then, with the right moment in her grasp, she threw a hand out, tearing at the man’s thick cloak, pulling him back, before fluidly slamming her elbow into his ribs. His hood whipped off of him as he crumpled to the ground and the crowd gasped at the horrible sight: two dark, furred ears poking up out of a scalp of lengthy, clove-brown hair. His eyes shot up to Ushlin, wide with horror. Every muscle in his body froze, until he was no longer sure if he could breathe or hold a pulse.


“A Cooanei?!” gasped a man. “A trickster!” called someone else nearby. With that, the people in the market swarmed the hapless man, grunting and shoving Ushlin amongst them, out of their way, in the process. The woman disappeared in the commotion.

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2 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:19 pm

Ushlin Tironga

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The night had been Ushlin coming back looking a bit ragged from trying to get himself from the crowd against the wall. This was why he never came down here!

The morning however was a bit better, Ushlin waking up a bit earlier as he sat by the table, frowning thoughtfully as he considered things. "Ah well, seems we'll leave anyway." He murmured, more to himself as he saw the sun detach itself from the horizon.

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3 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:21 pm

Lilt

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Lilt finally stirred and shifted upright. She rubbed at her eyes. A smile spanned her soft lips.

"Where are we headed?"

4 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:27 pm

Ushlin Tironga

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Ushlin smirked, reaching into his satchel and unrolling a map. The area was neatly divided into five areas, then pointing at a city build near a ruined-looking tower.

"The region's Namesake capital, Dennias. It's under strict rule at the moment, but otherwise we'd pass through and head to the neutral city of Cassendral. What do you prefer? Less work in the latter tho'." He leaned back and stretched.

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5 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:14 pm

Lilt

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She pursed her lips and wrung her hands.

"I'm not really sure. What type of place is Dennias? Is it more... about the military? Or are there a lot of tradespeople who live there?" She glanced down at the sheets and gave a small smile. "I want to go to a place--whichever one--where I'll be able to find a job."

6 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:26 pm

Ushlin Tironga

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"Hmmm, well ever since the war it's still trying to repair it's reputation; there's a lot more military but it's also a thriving place for innovation and alternative routes to working at least. For better or worse, it's also for now, one of the few cities with about as many Congurans as there is anyone else really. As for the other city, that one I've never been myself; completely guarded by the Meigi as their own headquarters rests there. You might find an eccentric or two for culture at the very least there." Ushlin thumbed his lip, then moved to start packing. "Well, shall I be pinching you out o' bed, or shall we get a start on your things haha."

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7 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:02 pm

Lilt

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"Yeah... That's fine," trailed her voice, as if she were talking from a distance. As they walked along the earthen trail, her eyes danced along the patches of sky scattered through the lush green leaves of the tree tops. Something flew past them, silhouetted in the light, far above them. She sighed.

She longed for the floating painted lamps, the colorful blown glass and tapestries; she missed the colony of artisans she'd hailed from.

"So you do always just...travel?" she asked. "I mean, do you like to? Or do you just because you have to? Have you ever wanted to just settle down somewhere?" Her hand danced before her, and she admired the way the shadows scattered all across her skin.

8 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:12 pm

Ushlin Tironga

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"Well, never really had the wish to settle down. I got friends in all four cities I work with, and there's plenty of maintenance work I can do in between." He frowned thoughtfully, then grinned mildly. "Guessin' yah are used to settlin' down your roots between locations?"

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9 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:25 pm

Lilt

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Lilt pursed her lips. She shrugged. "I don't really know. No place has ever felt...right to me. There was this one town I enjoyed once, but..." She sighed. "I became indebted to someone and fled."

10 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:29 pm

Ushlin Tironga

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"Well now that's odd; if yah' don't mind me asking, what sort've debt was it? No luck to be runnin' away from people yah' like." Ushlin commented, working their way down the path. He shifted over his Crossguard SAKAP, checking it as it chugged quietly in his arms.

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11 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:44 pm

Lilt

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"I fell ill," she explained. "The doctor was very skilled in his work, and helped me. But--" Her shoulders slumped. Her face tinged with pink and she huffed.

"--But I was to sign myself to a contract, for him. I couldn't. He--Do you even know what he was doing? The man was a con artist! He practically had a harem of women, whom he'd saved and enlisted in service!" She threw her hands into the air and they fluttered around in rage.

"It was even rumored that he was the one causing all the illnesses! Poisoning whoever he fancied in his care! I don't have a single regret about running away fom that pact."

12 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:13 pm

Ushlin Tironga

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Ushlin blinked, then watched as she spun about her tale before he turned about, doing his habitual walking backwards. "Well now, you certainly have the rights of it. Got tah' be careful on who'yah trust that yah' can't beat Ah' guess." He shrugged, grinning. "Well'p, tah' say the least you make for an entertaining companion when you tell stories, tho' are you really content to just threading up clothes and the rare tapestry?"

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13 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:30 pm

Lilt

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She blushed at his compliment, only to find herself pausing at the question posed. She sighed. "I'm not sure. I actually--I feel lost right now,"she said. "Hopeless. I don't even know what I want anymore. It doens't look like I'll stumble upon another artisan nook again--but I'm not good at anything else. And, I can't picture settling down anywhere, but, I have mixed feelings about traveling all the time. And, I can't just keep relying on you. I need to be self-sufficient again. The sand's slipping from the glass, you know?"

She averted her eyes from him. "Why do you ask,anyway? We've aready gone over this--I wouldn't be able to pick a wrench up, let alone work with it. And I doubt I'd ever be able to fire one of those...contraptions of yours."

14 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:47 pm

Ushlin Tironga

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"Well, I suppose you haven't at least seen them all; truth be told, I've been trying to think of a design for yah'!" He grins, sliding the sling of his rifle aross his shoulders. He slips out both SAKAP pistols from his slots on his jacket, flipping them up in the air and then catching them.

"These might've worked, or I could've had you practice with these for your more artistic finger." Off they disappeared as he reached inside the pocket, fleshing out what looked like a single thin silver-colored wrench, then appeared five in his grasp from behind. Truefully, it wouldn't look all that different if he had been displaying daggers. "But as you have stated," He slipped the 'wrenches' back into his inner slot. "I suppose while tailoring might not be the most exciting job, yah' ever thought about the magic sorts or perhaps working in say the west? The east is a tad less broad-viewing on culture things like art yah' see."

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15 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:01 am

Lilt

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She shoved her fingers through her bangs and shook her head. "Could we...just not talk about this? I--Maybe I'll see about trying my hand with those things when we get to Dennias. But for now, I'd just, rather not think about it. It makes me too sad. I've been homesick for a while. Everything seems dull here in comparison."

She paused for a moment, her lips scrunching in thought. "What's one thing, besides working with guns, or wrenches, that you really enjoy?"

16 Re: Ushlin and Lilt in the Southern Provinces on Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:13 am

Ushlin Tironga

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"Well, there's always the people around them outside of shop talk." Ushlin noted as she swerved on his foot, facing forward again. "I suppose there's also the occasional lymric if I feel inspired. Then there's a couple card and board games that are good." He looked up to the sky. "I thought about paintin', but most of what I attempted turned out crap on people."

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