The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

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The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:30 am

He didn't spend to terribly much time in Maquina, and perhaps even less time in Roa. The city was always brightly lit with neon lights, flashing, flickering. People constantly crawled the streets every time of the day and night. Sometimes he was almost certain that there were more people in Roa at night than during the day. Certainly that was when the more unsavory characters that called the city home came out.

It was even worse now with the celebration. More people gathering and more thieves out plying their trade. Which explained exactly why it was that Menel had found work here. The man who had hired him was apparently, from what he had been told, some kind of local celebrity. One that was worried that his growing fame had garnered him the wrong kind of attention.

Menel suspected that there was a bit more to the story than just that but... He wasn't going to press for to much information. It wasn't his job too pry into the man's life, only to guard him from whatever danger presented itself.

The swordsman followed the man, Ryleigh through the crowed as close as he could manage. Already he had stopped a handful of thieves. Two merely by his presence, watching them size up the rich man and then Menel's swords before deciding that it wasn't worth the effort that losing a hand might cost them. Another by grabbing the man's hand and simply pushing him back into the crowed.

Menel let out a sigh. It was going to be a long day.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:49 am

Solstice again. Not the one that brought bitter cold that had the poor dropping all over the slums of Roa but thankfully not rotting away. No, it was the summer now wasn't it. The slums would still be full of bodies but it would take much more heat before the death tolls became noticeable. Even the press of flesh as the festival moved into full swing wasn't enough to cause more than the usual spats. The hooded man who walked casually past the line that separated destitute from working poor ignored the crowding and volume around him. The hood didn't do much to hide his face, but did protect his silvery hair from any spills that could come unexpectedly from above.


A gentle smile and nod to people who recognized him as he continued to walk without a trace of hurry. Sometimes he stopped, as he grew steadily closer to the inner city. The lights growing more garish, the noise of poverty becoming the noise of prosperity and greed. But he turned his head away from it all, instead talking to a shop keeper hawking wares, or to send soft holiday greetings to a small minotaur child gripping their mother's hand. It was easy to remember warm red eyes and a scar that ran from temple to chin. If asked they could say "Yes, and he seemed to be the kindest of men. Even for an elf."


The lingering wasn't the best part of Laven's night, though if he had any taste for food at the moment he might have actually indulged in some of the greasy fair food instead of depositing it into a waste bin when he had the chance. A bit of coin lost, but an alibi gained. This would be a good night to finish this contract, the jumble of people adding to confusion and making him slip into the stream as just one more faceless body in the sea. But with his sights trained on prey that deserved the blade waiting to rest within his chest. 


Best not to keep the rich man waiting.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:58 am

His lack of knowledge of the city wasn't particularly ideal, but it was often the case so he learned to quickly adapt. Besides, Roa wasn't that different from nearly any other populated city. Even looking between the two continents... For all the differences he'd seen in his opinion at least there were far more similarities than differences. Menel's sky blue eyes slid over the people gathered, weighing every person in the space of a heartbeat. Those close to the man he was protecting were the priority but he wasn't the sort to dismiss the idea of an attack at distance either. A sniper on a convenient rooftop, or out of a window was just as effective as a subtle knife and often gave the attacker the benefit of space in which to flee.

Admittedly, it would have been nice to join in on the festivities. Colorful banners marked nearly every business in sight, and there were twice as many performers on the street now than there had been when he arrived two days ago. Stalls full of food were perhaps the most tempting to the swordsman. He wasn't going to give in while he was on duty, but he marked each one of them in his mind for when he had a moment to eat.

Ryleigh took a small detour, heading for a restaurant which was offering an outdoor tasting of it's wines. Menel followed in the man's wake like a pale-haired and rather conspicuous shadow. Ryleigh paid a waiter, tipping handsomely for a 'good table' which from what Menel could tell actually meant the least defensible seat in the outdoor seating area, and he shifted uncomfortably as he took his place just behind Ryleigh.

He couldn't have said why, but he had the distinct feeling that they were being watched. His instincts more likely than not, and he trusted them implicitly. Menel simply couldn't tell who in this massive crowed was doing the watching.

"Sit down Menel, sit down. It'll be hard to enjoy my wine with you looming over me like that."

The swordsman looked at Ryleigh, offering the other man a small smile. "I'd rather not, I can protect you best if I'm already on my feet." Ryliegh frowned at him and he let out a small breath. "You should trust me sir, that's what you're paying me for after all."

The other man shook his head, motioning toward the other customers seated around them. "Who would dare to attack me in a crowded resturant? Come on Menel, take a seat. I insist."

Menel wanted to argue further but he was all to familiar with clients like Ryleigh. They assumed that hiring a bodyguard ensured their safety. As if the guard's presence alone was enough. It was difficult to explain that in some ways having a bodyguard put them in more danger. A wise assassin or thief would be more cautious, perhaps even enlist the aid of others or try more subtle means that Menel couldn't protect them against.

Though... Menel's special talents did mean that his clients were afforded an extra protection that most other bodyguards were not endowed with. He nodded politely to the other man, choosing to take a seat that was somewhat at an angle from his client. Which allowed him both to see those coming up behind Ryleigh, and those who were coming toward him.
"As you wish sir, but I do insist that you request that all the wines you sample come to the table with their cork's intact. If you'll indulge me?"

The other man nodded and Menel might have breathed a small sigh of relief if not for that sensation... He could still feel someone watching them.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:58 pm

He made sure to follow but in an indirect manner. Sometimes he lingered and vanished down side streets only to pop up again ahead of the man Ryliegh. No sudden movements, it was always best to seem like he was doing the exact same as every other body around him. Shopping, drinking, gambling and maybe whoring. Not that the dubious rent-boys here did anything for Laven. If anything he was likely to stop and chat with a few he had known in his youth before letting them go about their business. They assumed he was out to enjoy the festival and in a way he was, though he was focused on his job so most of the fun to be had slipped right by him.

Now he hung back, chatting idly to a man only a few years his junior. The human's long black hair was loose and Laven wondered if he could convince the man to come and model some clothing for him sometime. It was during this brief lull in his hunt that he finally noticed the guard hovering over Ryliegh's shoulder. Perhaps noticed was the wrong word. It was more that he realized he was going to have to take a closer look and see what he was going to have to contend with. It wouldn't suit him to make a feint at his intended target only to skewer someone just doing what he was paid to do.

The thought fresh in his mind he noted the shock of white hair and the direction the pair was heading before dipping down and smiling at the man he'd only been partially listening to.
"I need to be on my way. Caro, was it?" He offered the man his hand to clasp once before pulling away. "Come around some time, you'll look wonderful in some of this season's silk shirts." One more gentle appraisal before he was off again, waistcoat flaring from the sudden movement. He knew Caro would either show up and preen under his gaze or laugh off the notion of the older elf daring to draw his attention for something other than a night. Neither option made him feel anything but indifferent. 

The pair had stopped, finally, to rest at a wine tasting. Laven knew the restaurant from his cousin's off hand mentions. Knew it was busy and the waitstaff would be falling over themselves to make the celebrity comfortable. All in hopes for a big tip or maybe something more. The elf couldn't really bring himself to care. Instead he strolled in (after a little flirting and a generous offering of money) and found an empty space to stand and nurse a glass of wine while openly observing.

Not the rich man, but the bodyguard. Young, good with blades if the two long swords on his hips meant anything. Laven smiled and shook his head before pretending to take a sip and swallow of his wine. Very cute, with the wary look of someone who was not happy to be exposed in such a way. And he had a good point. If Laven was more careless this would be the ideal time to strike out. But that would leave not only himself open to being struck down but also revealing his face to far too many people. He had let down his hood, aware it was too warm for such a thing. But as he mulled over his options he wondered if there was a way to possibly get the charmingly handsome swordsman away from Ryliegh long enough to do his job. 

Stopping a waiter with a raised hand and a tilt of his head he nodded towards the seated man.
"I didn't realize such a famous man would be here. Has he picked any of you?" His eyebrows tilted up in a innocent questioning gaze. The young woman in front of him had the decency to look perplexed. "Picked...?" she asked tentatively, glancing around to make sure she wouldn't be in trouble for lingering over a customer.

"I hear he's been looking for the newest face of what was it...?" Laven pretended to search his memory, gentle voice and unassuming posture giving the woman the illusion that he was entirely non-threatening. "That new modeling company, was it? Looking for untried talent last I heard on the grapevine." He took another deliberate faux sip, raising his eyebrows once again. "I'd think so many of lovely ladies like you would be champing at the bit for a chance like that." He patted her hand, seeing the calculations in her head as well as knowing he had been just loud enough that a number of other people had heard him. And were also thinking. A chance to be part of the upper crust, to be as far away from the slums as possible... He needed the slimy business man either in a tight spot or tangled in a crowd that would impede the handsome bodyguard's ability to act. Then he could make a move.


Last edited by Laven on Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:53 pm

With Menel seated safely at his side Ryliegh wasted no time in waving over a waiter. Menel had to admit that it was just a little impressive how quickly the waitstaff served Ryliegh, it wasn't quiet here, and there were plenty of other customers but one came to Ryliegh right away. Thankfully the other man remembered Menel's request, but the swordsman wasn't to terribly surprised. The rich liked their little eccentricities, and knowing that he was the first to taste from a given bottle would play to the man's ego. Which he seemed to have enough of. Actually as far as ego went Ryliegh definitely didn't have the worst Menel had ever seen.

The bottle was brought quickly, the older man sniffing the cork and smiling at Menel as if to say that it was foolish to be so cautious. If it kept Ryliegh alive, he would be a lot more cautious than that.

Menel focused on the other customers instead of Ryliegh. He couldn't help noticing... They were drawing attention. Not the usual sort of celebrity attention either, but a few furtive glances as though a few individuals were sizing the man up. The looks weren't threatening, but... Menel didn't like it.

One of the waitresses brought Ryliegh another bottle to taste and she flushed a bit as she poured the wine out for him. Ryliegh smiled at her, and she flushed more deeply.
"Is it true?" Her voice was a loud whisper.

"What my dear?" Ryliegh's voice purred out and he twisted the wine glass in his fingers. Menel watched the woman intently. She hardly seemed like an assassin. Menel figured if she did attack that he could kick the table up and push her off with it. He hated being so out in the open. Sitting down. It made his nerves tight.

"That you are looking for models?" She was quite pink around the cheeks, and when she leaned forward Menel cleared his throat loudly, causing her to flush more deeply and pull back.

Ryliegh flashed him a look, but Menel looked at him blankly. The other man made a little sound.
"I'm always looking for talent my dear, if you like, stop by my office later. I'll give you a private interview." He winked and offered her a card which she accepted gratefully. Her rushing off seemed almost a cue to nearly everyone around them. There were half a dozen women now, all looking at Ryliegh like he might hold their future in his hands.

"Sir... I don't think we should stay here any longer."

"Menel... I'm enjoying my wine. I'm not going anywhere..." He was still staring off after the waitress with a soft smile. A group of three girls off to Menel's left rose to their feet simultaneously, all of them headed in this direction. The swordsman stood immediately. They likely weren't dangerous either, but this situation could all to quickly get out of hand. Ryliegh noticed his motion, and smiled broadly at the sight of the three women headed for them.

Obviously the other man was going to be of no help what so ever.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:44 pm

He smiled to himself as he watched more and more people perk up and begin to jockey for his target's attention. The bodyguard was definitely uncomfortable with the sudden interest. Standing and in a constant state of surveillance. Only three people, but who knows which one might have a pistol hidden on their body. Or maybe just a well concealed knife...

Placing his untasted wine glass down on an empty table with a gentle click he made his decision. Ghosting forwards as another knot of people (mostly the wait staff. He really couldn't blame them for wanting a better life.) shuffled towards the smug entrepreneur. Laven simply let himself be drawn along, confidant that he looked nonthreatening and curious. He ignored the slanted looks he received for his ears, used to a life time of vague distrust. Instead craning his head to see over heads that shifted and attempted to get to Ryliegh first. Mutterings and furious whispers being heard.


"Why are you here? You still have acne!"

"But I don't look like a cow sat on me at least."

"You shut up or-"

They were exactly where Laven needed them all to be. With a small smile he took a breath and used a tiny bit of air magic to throw his voice, pitched a little higher than the tone he normally used.

"Blessed Aethian! She has a knife!"

Just like that there was chaos, too much alcohol imbibed and too much nervous energy in the air had people screaming, just enough of a panic to start the whole herd milling and shoving and looking for a way out and who could be the one with the blade and no no get away what if it was the person at your side? A wave of people pushed forwards and Laven slipped into the vacuum that remained, two steps bringing him within reach of the seated man, red eyes trained on the shocked expression.

Conversely the elf barely showed any emotion in his face. Instead blank and serene as if he was lost in a pleasant daydream. He lashed out, the long tapered blade in his hand aiming for the soft spot he knew was between two ribs.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:09 pm

It did not take long at all for those three to encourage a few of the waiters and waitresses to come a bit closer. Emboldened by the idea of fame. They drew closer and closer and finally, with so many people seemed to make him just a touch more uncomfortable. He smiled at them, waving a little, but once the women started arguing there was simply no way for him to be heard. Menel didn't bother to try. All he knew with certainty was that he needed to get his client out of this situation... and fast.

Suddenly a voice broke out over the rest, Menel only really heard the word 'knife', but that was more than enough.

The swordsman acted quickly and without hesitation. In a single motion he reached out and booted the table in the direction of the three waiters headed in their direction. One actually managed to get out of the way, but the other two were hit. Menel never noticed because the other half of his motion had him grabbing Ryliegh, and pulling him toward Menel. The only mildly safe location that Menel knew of was the area closest to his own body. No one had dared to infringe upon his personal space just yet.

However even as he pulled the man, guarding him with his other arm Menel heard the tale-tell sound of metal against metal. Grating against the guard he wore on his forearm's. The swordsman shifted the angle of the blade without even seeing it, pulling Ryliegh further and twisting his own arm almost painfully to the side in the hop of catching the would-be assassin's wrist or sleeve.

Dark clothes... a flicker of hair... Most of what he could see of the assassin was an arm, but if he could catch the wrist and pull the other toward him...


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:16 pm

He watched the blade glance off of the guard's armor, a tiny frown pulling down the corners of his mouth. That wasn't where his dagger was supposed to go. A pity, even if Ryliegh didn't deserve a quick death Laven really didn't care for drawing the process out. Clean and careful was so much easier. But this fighter took his job just as seriously it seemed.

A strong hand reached out to grasp Laven's wrist and he did his best to twist away at the last moment, pressing close so that those wicked swords would be difficult to draw on him. He only had moments before the chance to finish the job would need to be postponed. Who knew if and when any sort of authority would arrive. It was best to make at least a token effort before retreating.

So he pressed close, left hand with it's wicked little metal claws reaching out to slash or bite or even just a tiny nibble on the evil little man's face. If he could get a grip on an eye maybe he could finish this messily. Best hope for the less obvious damage. Just a scratch would do... Looking up into the face of his now opponent he gave a gentle smile. Blue eyes, how lovely. He feinted once again with the dagger while trying to slip through the warrior man's guard and land a hit on his charge.

Sometimes he wondered if he should speak when going after a mark. But that seemed so very callus.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:36 pm

His fingers caught upon wrist and warning about a knife was sending most smart people back away from his charge. Which was all for the better since the last thing Menel wanted was to injure someone by accident. The swordsman felt the other man twist, trying to get out of his grasp and torquing his shoulder in the process. Fighting was the art of adaptation however, and Menel let the other man twist his arm even further, biting down on the pain and using his new found balance to push Ryliegh further away from the attacker. Which was just as well since the assassin was reaching with his other hand, sharp metallic claws glinting.

The other man... and he could see now that it was a man. Or rather an elf with tapered ears and lavender-tinted hair; a scar touching his fine elvish features.

Menel watched the other man's dagger twist, coming in again and Menel evaded the perceived attack by shifting his weight so that he could draw his left-handed blade. The metal rang out in a deafening sound, but the other's blade didn't come in as he thought it would. Instead the assassin lashed out with his claws again and Menel brutally elbowed his charge in the chest, shoving the man back two steps and just out of reach.

Ryliegh wheezed, but he was still mostly unharmed and it gave Menel the much needed time to draw his other sword.
"You should rethink your attack. I'd rather not hurt you if I don't have to, but I will."

Behind him Ryliegh cursed soundly. "Just kill the bastard already!"

Menel's lips firmed, weight shifting defensively but he had no intention of killing this elvish assassin.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:56 pm

"You should listen to your master," He replied. A soft reprimand to the young swordsman still gripping his dominant wrist. In the breath of time it took to speak Laven lashed out, one dark heeled boot connecting with the back of the human's knee. He pressed harder, using the combination  of his weight and the odd angle he'd pulled the bodyguard into as leverage to break free of his grasp. When there was a bodies length of space between them the lavender haired man flicked his gaze between both humans. Carefully he tapped his claws against his chin. Immune to it's little surprises.

He had a job to do, but could he really get through the human's blades and strike to end it all?
"I suppose it would be too much to ask you to close your eyes for just a moment, sweetness?" he asked the the pale haired man, a sincerely hopeful look on his face before he payed attention to his mark. The rich man was disheveled, eyes wild and flickering for either an escape or perhaps waiting for help to arrive.

Laven had to make this quick, or give up. Maybe he'd be lucky and the long blades would cut him down instead.

Sighing once he shifted his grip on the dagger and shrugged before making another feint attack, this time adding the wind to his movement and hoping to buffet the swordsman away. Dagger sweeping up and claws reaching to rend at Ryliegh's flesh. Sharp pinpricks reaching through fabric. Maybe touching the skin at the man's shoulder.

That would be all he'd need.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:35 pm

The space between them gave Menel a chance to set his balance. Everyone else had moved back, clearing as far away from the assassin and the bodyguard as they could. Which meant that he could see the other man clearly. His long lavender hair, his red eyes. He was not a young elf, and the scar on his face along with the careful way he held himself was proof that this was not the first time he had met another in a fight. There was a little soul patch on his chin, which Menel noticed when the elf thoughtfully tapped his jaw.

"I suppose it would be too much to ask you to close your eyes for just a moment, sweetness?"

Sweetness? Momentary confusion flickered over the swordsman's face and he shook his head resolutely. "I'm not going to let you kill him. If you leave, promise not to come back... we can end this now." Nor was he going to kill this elf, whoever he was.

He watched red eyes flicker toward his client, his muscles tensing automatically. He could tell that the assassin was contemplating his next move. Both of them knew that there was a quickly closing window here. This time Menel was ready for the feint if not for the buffet of wind. Thankfully all it did was press hard against him, he let it, knowing that it would only push him closer to Ryliegh. He stayed nimbly between the assassin and the man he was guarding.

The swordsman managed to block the claw, using his bracer to deflect it and tangling it up a bit in his cloak. The dagger however scored a thin cut on his arm above his other bracer. Menel's eyes tightened, but the small amount of pain wasn't going to stop him; he would just have to hope that it wasn't poisoned. He needed desperately to take control of this situation, so he twisted his blade over the clawed arm, slapping with the flat at the other's head and bringing his knee up sharply.

If the blade missed, his knee likely wouldn't. Neither action would kill the elf, but hopefully one would give Menel time to disable him.


Last edited by Menel on Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:58 pm; edited 1 time in total


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:29 pm

He winced when he felt Remembrance slice over swordsman's arm, and gave another exasperated sigh when his metal claws tangled in the bright blue cloak, rending holes in the fabric and causing Laven to tug and lose one in his attempt to free himself.

And then the damned boy turned the tables on him, striking out at him with the sword and his knee at the same time. Instinct and more than two decades of training had the elf ducking the sword which if the edge connected would surely end his life. But the knee had been brought up quicker than he had anticipated. The connection against his ribs might have been nothing more than a bruising blow to another. But Laven recoiled and made a strangled sound, pale face growing paler. Of course the human would be lucky enough to press against the poorly healed ribs nothing seemed to fix entirely. Pain blossomed like a summer flower under his skin and it was all he could do to simply bite down on his lip to keep focused.

He must have spasmed, because the dagger in his hand clattered to the ground, the sharp sound enough to wrench himself back to the present and away from the swordsman. Backing up he caught the sounds of voices yelling and boots stomping towards their improvised battle ground and Laven gave in to defeat. He made one attempt to go for his dagger before the long swords caused him to skip back. A defeated shrug and apologetic smile was all he had to offer before he darted backwards and raised his clawed hand in a salute to the man he'd been hoping to collect the bounty on.


"Another time I suppose, child-catcher. I hope you pay your man here well. Don't let the dear scar." Each breath felt like fire and there was blood on his lip, but he still managed to get the words out with sincerity.

And then he made a dash for freedom, startling the remaining witnesses as he launched himself through the building and out a side door marked "emergency exit". He could hear yelling, voiced from both the witnesses and whatever policing unit had managed to show up. But it was solstice, and the crowds were thick enough to lose one slender man with a hood over his shimmering hair and an air of confidence around him.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:30 pm

Menel's kick caught the elf in the chest and the blow was even more effective than the swordsman could have hoped for. The lavender-haired elf backed off, moving further off. The other made one small motion for his dagger but Menel let the sun reflect off his swords and the assassin thought better of it. The assassin offered him a smile before he ran off, quickly disappearing into the crowed. Menel didn't dare chase after him. Not with his client still in danger and not with so many people around.

He sighed and sheathed his blade, picking up the assassin's dagger and sniffing it. There was no scent on it, nothing sticky save for his own blood. That at least was some relief. No poison, or at least none that he could determine.

Behind him Ryliegh cursed again. Rubbing his chest and looking at Menel irritably. At least he was alive.


*      *      *
 
Menel ran his hand over his short white hair, passing by one of the stalls he'd noted earlier and picking up a meat pie. They wrapped up for him and he paid, moving on to another. By the time he settled down in a small quiet restaurant he had a bag full of different things from different stalls. The waitress asked for his order. She blinked at it twice but nodded and headed off. Menel couldn't help but smile after her.

No matter how often he ordered a meal it never ceased to amuse him the expressions he got. He leaned back in his seat, running a finger over the cut on his arm. It was bandaged now and didn't hurt much but it made him think of the assassin. Strange elf. He shook his head.

He was off duty for the moment... really he should think of things that were a little more cheerful.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:58 pm

It was only after he knew he was back in the 'safe' zone between slums and decadence that Laven allowed himself to feel despondent. That dagger! He could live losing out on a job no matter what his cousin snarled to him in the face of failure. But that dagger was more than just a favored weapon. Important enough that maybe he shouldn't have used it for such a risky gig but it felt right in his hand. He hesitated in front of a run down second hand shop, hand pressed against his sore and badly bruised ribs as he debated.

He could get a new stiletto.

He could never replace Remembrance. Not really.

A soft curse slipped past his lips and he turned sharply on his heel, slipping the long gloves from his hands and rolling down the sleeves of his deep rusty brown coat. He affected a swagger and made his way back towards the bustle and noise of Roa's food district. It was easy enough to retrace his steps and spot the wine tasting event from the sea of bodies. Easy to watch the white haired man and his employer retreat. There was no way he was going to be able to show his face and search for the dagger with so many people still milling around.

Instead of doing the smart thing and giving up he watched, followed the pair once again. He waited like a stone gargoyle for any sign of the swordsman, and once he did see his once-opponent heading off he was back on his tail.

Which is how he found himself sitting down with apparent ease across from the young man, a warm greeting on his tongue as he relaxed against the back of the booth.


"I do hope that doesn't get infected. I keep the edge clean but you can never really know for sure if it's enough." Guileless smile and raised eyebrows as if actually concerned for the man's well being.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:27 am

There was a flicker of motion by the door, and Menel checked out of habit. He expected just to see another customer but instead... Well he certainly didn't expect to see the assassin that he'd just faced. It was shock more than anything that kept the swordsman in his seat. The other man sat down across from him, looking for all the world as though he had simply decided to sit down with an old friend. Menel always considered himself a good judge of character, but if the elf didn't mean it...

Menel rolled his shoulders, his blue eyes cautious, but he wasn't as nervous as he could have been considering that someone he'd just been fighting had just slid into the seat across from him.


"I'm sure it'll be fine." He flashed the other man a smile. "If you don't want people to end up getting hurt you should rethink your career choice don't you think?"

He made a small amused noise. "Hungry? I could probably call the waitress back over... or did you just come by to make some friendly conversation?" That was the question wasn't it. Why the other man was here.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:53 am

Laven measured the swordsman with a long gaze, taking in the tension in his shoulders and the way his very blue eyes seemed to be trying to strip away any false intentions the elf might have had. He almost didn't hear the first question, the second and third following before he spoke.

"I wasn't asked to hurt you, love, so I felt apologies were in order." He tilted his head inquisitively and raised an eyebrow. "It isn't your fault that you were doing your job and I was doing mine." The assassin reclined into the corner of the booth, resting his shoulder against the window that showed a crowded view of festival patrons. He seemed lost in thought, tapping at his chin with bare fingers. He dragged his gaze around the room before settling on the human. It did no good to beat around the reasons he was sitting here, Laven decided.

Best to try. He straightened, elbows on the table between them and hands spread out in a non-threatening gesture.
"At first I thought maybe I should try and convince you to quit and walk away from this job." He smiled and shrugged, "But I'm not quitting so why should you?" It seemed rational enough, after all the man Ryliegh was alive because of his skill, not because of Laven's lack thereof. "So instead I'm here to... beg a favor? I suppose."

Red eyes looked imploringly into blue. Laven's eyebrows scrunched up and accentuated a worry line between them, betraying his concern. "Please say you have my dagger. I would really like it back."
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:32 pm

Really... it did seem like the lavender-haired elf was entirely sincere. Either he was a very good liar which Menel didn't doubt was possible, or he really did feel badly about injuring Menel. Oddly... that just made Menel want to reassure him that he was alright. It wasn't that bad of a cut, and he'd certainly had worse in the line of duty. Really the assassin wasn't wrong either. Both of them had been simply doing their jobs and though... Menel looked the other man over. No matter how polite the smile or friendly the elf might seem he couldn't forget really that he made his living by killing others.

He nodded once, flashing a small smile as the lavender-haired elf continued to talk.
"True. I would be a pretty poor bodyguard if I just walked away whenever someone asked me to." By the same right... he supposed the other man would have made a poor assassin if he walked away whenever a bodyguard asked him to turn aside from his goal.

"A favor?" The swordsman leaned forward with a little interest, his stomach giving a little quiet rumble. He soothed it with the thought that food was sure to be coming quickly. Besides... This assassin was an increasingly and oddly interesting individual. Asking a favor of someone he'd just been fighting with.

Yet the elf's expression struck him. The concern, hope, something close to need in his red eyes. And then he asked about his knife. The swordsman blinked in surprise. Caution reasserted itself, and life brought him a convenient stall in the form of his food. The waitress came to the table laden with not one, but two meals and a number of extra sides. She blinked in surprise, then smiled as though a realization had just hit her.
"Oh! You have a friend!" She set the food out, placing one in front of the assassin and then quickly wandering off.

Menel flushed and flickered his eyes toward the meal sitting in front of the assassin.
"I didn't actually order for you." He coughed and pulled his silverware out of the little napkin it was bound in and flickered his eyes toward it. "But if you are hungry; I brought some other things with me."

He pushed his fork into the meal placed before him and then finally resolutely looked at the assassin. "I did keep the knife. Just in case... besides it's a good blade. I have to say though... that's a pretty big request. I don't really make a habit of handing weapons to people who stab me with them." The swordsman's lips flickered in a small smile.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:48 pm

It had been a huge risk, to ask for the dagger right out without trying to win the human's favour. But Laven was gripped by a single minded drive to get his hands back on Remembrance. Enough that he almost continued asking for it, the waitress appearing with heaping plates of food the only thing that stilled his words.

That she assumed half of the massive order was him had Laven laughing softly, remembering that the last time he had eaten was before this little adventure began. It didn't suit him to have a belly full of food when he was about to end someone's life. It seemed barbaric in a way. So Laven accepted the plate graciously and as soon as she had left slid it back to it's rightful owner.
"Eat, I'm already asking you for something precious. There's no need to add debt on top of it all." How much the young man looked like he planned to eat wasn't too surprising. It took a lot of energy to fight and he'd probably been on edge after Laven's aborted attempt on his client's life.

The elf steepled his fingers together, studying the young man in front of him. Instead of the way he had mapped out the man's figure and comfort with his blades Laven looked at his face. Young, no lines yet nor overbearing scars. The thought made him smile and feel the gentle pull on the thin line that ran from his chin up and over his lips to his temple. The smile vanished when he realized the human was hedging on the thought of returning the dagger to him. Laven tipped his head in acknowledgement and leaned back in his seat with a sigh.


"No I suppose that would be too much to hope for wouldn't it." He smoothed his hair away from his forehead as he thought, the brand flashing as his wrist was exposed before being hidden in his sleeve once more. He sat in silence as the man across from him ate, fingers never really idle as they drummed first against the table and then on his arms. His body language said he was agitated even as his face was relaxed and lost in half ideas jumbling through his head. He was on a time limit, but he obviously couldn't rush this man...

After a pregnant pause he raised a eyebrow at the fighter.
"Surely if you spent a bit of time with me you'd see how little you have to concern yourself over whether it's in my hands or not? There's a great big festival outside, you may have noticed."
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:37 pm

Something precious... Menel felt a small tinge of guilt that he'd even suggest that he might not give the blade back. It wasn't really what he meant by what he said but... He wasn't stupid, and it would be a bit foolish to arm someone who might turn around and try to kill him again. Yet he couldn't help thinking how he'd feel if the assassin had somehow managed to get his hands on Asha'din or Kasha'din. It would have been as bad as losing one of his arms, and there was little that he wouldn't have done to retrieve either one of them.

Perhaps this man was an assassin, but that did not mean that he couldn't have the same attachment to his weapon as Menel. The swordsman watched the elf nod in acknowledgement to his words. Noticed the flicker of a brand on his wrist.

Worse and worse.

The silence grew between them, and though Menel wanted to be polite he filled the silence with the food he had ordered. It was a distraction from his thoughts, his guilt, and it would have been a waste if it grew cold. He ate neatly, with perfect table manners, but so quickly that it almost seemed as though the food was vanishing off of the table before him. Pausing only when the assassin spoke again. Swallowing his current mouthful and stacking the empty plates one on top of the other.

In that brief silence he had emptied several of the side dishes and more than half of the main course of one of the meals.


"You want to go around the fair with me?" He considered a moment. Finally he gave a small half nod. "Alright, but I have a few conditions. I'd like some company for the fair, but while we are together no lying."

He waggled the fork. "At the end, I will give you the blade, but you have to fight me." Menel smiled, his blue eyes entirely serious. "You might think that walking around the fair is a good way to get to know someone, but personally... I think you only truly know a man when you've crossed blades, or fists with him."

Well, there was one other way, but Menel doubted they'd be fighting back-to-back anytime soon so he let his eyes flicker over the other man. "Is that acceptable?"


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:32 pm

The second the human agreed to return Remembrance Laven's heart constricted in a fluttering spasm. The feeling of hope was suddenly mixed with trepidation as the rest of the terms for the stiletto's return were layed out bare. It wasn't as if he couldn't do what was asked of him but... Laven almost bit his lip in trepidation before he smoothed his face back into careful consideration.

"Maybe this seems unlikely, love, but I have yet to lie to you." The elf leaned back and smiled, hands spread open. "So that's easy enough to agree to. But," Here he tilted his head in a fashion that could only be called disapproving. "I reserve the right to not answer in lieu of lying." There were secrets Laven would take to his grave. Not just the ones that he'd been payed to keep, but private things that were his alone. He'd keep them safe even if it meant he'd never see that dagger again. It might very well kill him to abandon it but so would spilling some of the darker knowledge he hid in his heart.

As for dueling...

Laven frowned and drummed his fingers on the table once again as he weighed his options on that matter. He could do it, but at the same time he was at a disadvantage. Not just size and age (For he was noticeably thinner and most definitely at least two decades the human's senior. A pity) But also trained in one manner. Death. Laven had never been taught to pull his punches, nor how to use a blade as anything but a tool to end life swiftly. And he really had no desire to  hurt the young man before him. Get around him to end his target's life but that wasn't even personal. That was business.

He had said he hadn't lied, and he had no intention of lying while they explored or until his hands were on the dagger. But knowing what he had to do made the words roll off his tongue with ease.


"I accept the terms. So finish your food. There's a great deal of excitement out there."

That would be the only lie of the evening. At least until Remembrance was back.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:46 pm

Of all the odd little nicknames that the assassin had chosen to call him during the conversation, none of them hit Menel quite like 'love'. It made his mind stutter for a moment, his cheeks flushing lightly and his eyes flickering down to his meal quickly in an effort to hide his embarrassment which he was so easily written across his face that hiding it was impossible; but also the flash of something else that lit in his blue eyes. At least the lavender-haired elf would not see the pain that had risen unbidden inside him.

Foolish... To think of the past and of what dark tanned fingers had told him of what might come in the future at a time like this. It was only an instant, the swordsman easily focusing on the rest of what the assassin had said to him.

Though perhaps it was foolish, Menel believed the other man when he said that he hadn't lied. Really there hadn't been much said for him to lie about. The assassin's small stipulation made Menel smile just a little and he nodded.
"I'm not going to force you to tell me whatever your secrets are. I think that's more than fair." Menel had a few secrets of his own, things that he wouldn't have wanted to share with even a dear friend much less a stranger. He wasn't going to force the assassin into a situation where his only choices were revealing something he didn't want to, or breaking his word not to lie.

There was a small pause while the other man considered the rest of Menel's proposal, and the swordsman watched him think it over. Quickly devouring most of the rest of his meal while the lavender-haired man thought. He wondered what the assassin thought of his odd stipulation. If he thought that Menel might make a try at killing him, or if he thought Menel was just plain foolish for wanting it. The swordsman had meant his words, and in the back of his mind as he ate he thought of ways that he could make the competition more fair. It was after all a bit stilted a combat considering that he had the lavender-haired elf's dagger. Perhaps a hand-to-hand fight. Menel was less versed in that style, but he could hold his own and doubtless the assassin could as well.

He almost nodded to himself, but the assassin was finally agreeing and Menel smiled broadly.
 "Excellent." He shifted his weight and offered his hand to the other man. "I'm Menel by the way. Since it seems that we're going to spend the day together it only seems right that you know my name."

There wasn't much of his meal left, so he ate the last few bites and set the plates off to the side. Motioning to the waitress to come over so that he could pay.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:39 pm

"You can call me Laven, sweetheart." The elf smiled gently, pretending to overlook any embarrassment the nickname caused. Though he supposed if Menel asked him to stop he would. There was no point in making the poor lad uncomfortable after all. With a genial wink he slid out of the booth as the human man finished his meal. "I'll meet you outside when you're ready." He nodded at the waitress as they moved past each other and Laven stepped out into the city once more. Once out of the confining space of the diner he took a deep breath and leaned his head against the wall next to the door.

This was going to be hard. Somehow he had to keep himself focused and grounded in  the present long enough to get that dagger. But Laven was already worn from trying to stay focused. Frowning he patted his coat idly and gave a sigh of relief when his hand encountered a rumpled package in one of the hidden pockets along his sides. Withdrawing the half crushed paper rectangle he shook out a rolled cylinder packed with herbs. He didn't smoke as much as he had in his youth but it would be helpful to keep him centered.  Tucking the end into the corner of his mouth he patted his pockets once more and frowned.

Of course he left matches but brought smokes. Taking the cigarette out of his mouth Laven rubbed his scarred eyebrow and laughed.
"Going to be one of those days," He sighed.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:51 pm

Laven. He had a name now to go with those crimson eyes and small smile. The swordsman couldn't help but wonder if it was the man's real name. The lavender-haired elf winked and Menel smiled shaking his head a little. He really was an odd one wasn't he? He let Laven walk out, watching the elf leave with a little curiosity, but then he had to turn his attention to the waitress. He paid for the meal quickly, offering a large tip and telling the waitress to let the cook know that the meal had been excellent.

Then he headed out of the restaurant. The streets were just as busy as they had been when he went in and showed no sign that they would be emptying soon. He wasn't expected to go back on duty until tomorrow morning so he had the rest of the day to enjoy the festival.

The elf was waiting just outside, holding a cigarette in his fingers and laughing quietly to himself. Menel smiled, walking in that direction. Silently he hoped that Laven wasn't actually planning to smoke. He wouldn't say anything out loud but he he wasn't fond of the smell... well considering that he had the cigarette in hand it wasn't likely that he was planning to just put it away again. Menel could handle a little smoke.


"So, where would you like to go first? I'm not exactly a local so I'll have to trust me to lead me to the best attractions." He grinned broadly.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:37 pm

Laven tilted his head to the side and smiled at Menel, tapping the unlit cigarette to his lips before returning it to his pack with a look of regret. The whole mess vanished into his coat and he straightened up before making strides towards the human's side. "That depends on what sounds fun to you, Menel." He grinned a little at the man's name before snaking his hand through the other man's arm and gently leading him into the hustle of bodies with a squeeze to his elbow.

"I might have suggested food but you did a good job demolishing those plates just a moment ago so..." Laven's eyes glittered a little with hidden laughter as he lead Menel down a street crowded with stalls, stands and people of all shapes and sizes. There were street performers and people hawking food as well as trinkets. Everything was bright and flashy, even with daylight still lingering. Once night fell it would be oppressively warm and loud, the night hanging over the city like a blanket of fleece. Laven was grateful for the noise, it gave him something easy to cling to. Much like the toned arm in his grasp.

There was an area with quite a few children and teens crowding it, and Laven could see the tell tail signs of booths set up with prizes hanging just out of people's reach.
"Now," he said, deciding that was exactly the sort of thing they could both do with just a little bit of competition. "Did you have some specific questions for me?"
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:10 pm

Menel's smile was returned with a smile from Laven and the other man came to him, wrapping an arm around his in a friendly manner. There was a brief moment where Menel's instincts warned him against letting someone he knew so little about this close to him but... Well he trusted that he would be able to react to anything that would happen, besides if Laven wanted to hurt him he could have done it at any time while Menel was eating. The swordsman had been at a far greater disadvantage while sitting at a booth table than he was now.

Besides... For some odd reason he almost trusted Laven. He relaxed comfortably, shrugging and then blushing a bit. It was the mention of his appetite which made him flush lightly. He knew that he had a more than healthy appetite but he really didn't eat more than he needed. He ate when he was hungry until he was full. He simply happened to eat a lot.
"Maybe we can get a meal later." As strange as it might seem considering how much he had just eaten, in a few hours he would be just as hungry.

He allowed Laven to lead him, looking at the stalls with interest. Automatically he shifted his steps to match the other man's gate so that they walked together with a natural rhythm. As though they did this every day, walking around together arm in arm companionably.


"Did you have some specific questions for me?"

Menel's blue eyes flickered toward the man at his side and he smiled just a little. "Did you think that's why I asked for you to be honest? That I meant to ply you with questions?" Menel watched a young man near them trying to pop balloons with a dart. He was not doing a terribly good job at it, but he seemed quite determined just the same. "No... To be honest it was more than a little rude of me to demand it like that... to insinuate that you'd just automatically lie to me when really I don't know you at all."

The swordsman finally looked back at Laven. "I'm sure to come up with some, to ask you things now and again but... I didn't really have anything specific in mind..." For a moment his lips tightened and he let out a small breath. "Well I guess that's not entirely true, I do have something I would like to know, but I'm not really sure how to ask."


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

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