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Offline deviliscious

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2007, 01:16:11 PM »
So he was right. This stranger was from the Academy. From what he could see from the way Hako acted, Euric had no difficulty in believing that he was from the House of Finesse. Perhaps Hako expected a negative reaction to what he had just disclosed but the only acknowledgement the half-breed allowed was only a slight dipping of his head. To him, it did not matter which house the younger male was from – as a general rule, he tended to be distant to all, even to those from his very own house (because everyone seemed inclined on playing a game of hide-and-seek with him so he would indulge them) – hence there was no reason why Hako should sound so guarded.

“Hako,” he said, rolling the name upon his tongue in a way that appeared as though he was having a grand time tasting how the name felt and he decided he rather liked the taste. "Euric Zayn Darnell - House Confuto," he made his own introduction without aplomb, unlike the other, "Though I suppose you already knew that, from what you have heard about me," was the additional, slightly caustic remark. It gave a rise to how he truly felt about the rumours.

Hearing him state his level (he did not mention his own, assuming Hako knew it already), Euric had a feeling that Hako was trying to impress him. An unnecessary gesture to be sure for the half-elf did not see the need to know of that just to be impressed – he already was with the brave front Hako was putting up. However, he also knew that at that level, one would be proud of oneself because Level Five was seen as a significant point, the start of the remainder of a student’s life that required little next to no supervision to a lot of things.

Knowing that indeed, Hako was from the Academy, the half-elf dispelled the silence that he had wrapped around them to give life back to the woods rather than to hear the absolute nothingness which had a tendency to unnerve and unbalance almost anyone. Concurrently, he chased away the shadows for a more natural ambience. There was little light still, what with the moon that had taken to hiding. Even so, Euric knew for a fact that this would ease the fellow assassin-in-training to some extent. Furthermore, the weapon he had been toying with had disappeared, slipped back into the deep pocket of his robes.

But this did not mean he trusted him just as yet – he was still attentive to Hako’s every movement – but it was a noteworthy deed. “A start you say. But to what, exactly? You don’t mean a start to this… ‘investment’ you had mentioned,” he said at length. He still did not know what to make of it and finally, with an exasperated tone, almost pained sounding, he snapped at Hako, “Why are you still talking to me?”

Offline Trillian

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2007, 06:43:10 PM »
To be offered Euric\'s full name and house, greeted as he himself had greeted, a polite returning of graces, Hako released breath almost as a sigh.  At the end of this sigh, the night seemed to spring into a mess of life, with crickets chirping, owls hooting, frogs throatily announcing their presence and other shifting animals near the water\'s edge - because streams attracted wildlife.  It was quiet, but after standing in complete silence, the return of normality seemed excessive, and for the first time Hako glanced away from Euric, to check what had moved a branch on a tree a few feet away (just a fruitbat) before his gaze found the other once more.  His sigh had turned into a gasp, covered by the sounds of nature, though once he realised it was Euric\'s release of his trickery (magic?) he relaxed.

The light was more of the comforting change, for now that Hako was aware of his surroundings once more (no longer mesmerised by Euric\'s presence so completely), he felt better about being able to see more in his peripheral vision.  It wasn\'t a conscious knowing, it was simply a natural relaxing of his form, a lightening of the tension in his muscles.

The question Euric had for him at the end confused him.  He\'d thought they were getting along quite well.  Why was he still talking to Euric?

"Because I want to," he said, the simplicity of this statement was starkly honest.  Hako wasn\'t really such a complicated young man, in fact, most of his motivations (though not recognised by his fellow students) always had an obvious reason.  He wanted to meet and know Euric, therefore he spoke with him, therefore that was why he was still talking to him.  Simple.
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Offline deviliscious

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2007, 04:12:19 AM »
Such a simple answer to a question which was not supposed to be regarded as something straightforward. It was an answer that was not an answer at all! Should he pester him even more? Maybe scare him a little to wring a more satisfactory response? But in doing so, what would that accomplish other than scaring Hako away indefinitely?

A sliver of thought came to him then if all he wanted to do was to determine whether or not the Purifico student was being untruthful. Yet no matter how he tried, Euric could not detect a shred of deceit in his tone of voice and the way he carried himself. Perhaps it was time for the half-elf to discard the ridiculous notion that everyone was out to get him; it would make his life much easier. It was hard (try impossible) but at the very least, he could attempt not to ruin any sort of chance that comes his way – a chance Hako was providing much to his disbelief.

It nearly took forever for Euric to finally respond and it came out in the sound of a low grumble, as though he was begrudgingly allowing Hako to do as he wished. “If that would make you happy.” He hesitated for a moment before he started forward, walking past the younger male with slow, silent steps, seemingly walking on air the way he slid ahead. He did not make a verbal invitation for Hako to follow but he did not disappear from sight either. Besides, he had let up on the shadows and silence – he had noted the fact that Hako had relaxed when he did so – therefore it should count for something, should it not?

“Get your robes. The night is cold,” he spoke quietly, barely glancing over his shoulders and he continued on towards the creek where he had originally intended before Hako interrupted him. He still needed to find the kitten and the last time Pocket went missing, the creek was where he had found her.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2007, 07:08:07 AM »
When the grumble of acknowledgement came, Hako\'s smile broadened, as indeed it made him very happy.

His robes?  They were halfway between the starting point at the Academy grounds and here.  He would have to backtrack his own silent path, in the dark, to find them, then he would have to retrace his path back to this area - with the creek at his back - and hope that Euric had not lost him on purpose.  He didn\'t even want those scratchy, cumbersome folds of material draped over his body.

You can warm me up, the flirt in him almost said, but he wasn\'t sure how Euric would react to playful words, so he changed his response.

"I\'m not cold," he replied, though he had noticed the chill night air somewhat recently.  "Anymore," he justified, and this much was true, for as he turned and walked after Euric, he forgot about the biting wind.  He hadn\'t meant to bother the other with persistent questions that he would find annoying, but he did have to ask: "Why are you out here?  Do you have a secret cabin?"  Now, a secret cabin would be interesting.
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Offline deviliscious

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2007, 09:43:48 AM »
Not cold? Perhaps it was because Hako had a rather thick skin although not quite meaning he was impervious to criticisms or insults. Of course, the half-elf did not know if this was true because he had not insulted the other just yet. All Euric knew was that Hako was quite the determined person, unrelenting in a way that others would find stubborn, bordering on exasperating if he was not careful. But Euric was unlike others and in spite of the fact that he found him frustrating at some point in time, he also found it refreshing. It certainly was an approach that was a startling difference from all of the others around him who only knew how to fear and avoid him like the plague.

“Don’t blame me if you were to catch a cold by the time the night is over,” he said, unable to fully conceal his mirth, confident that Hako could hear his low murmur. After all, being assassins, one’s senses have to be acute in ways that were more than average.  An assassin who cannot achieve that is no assassin.

The half-breed continued on to where the sounds of trickling water could be heard, stopping every once in a while to ensure that they did not pass the little feline. At his question, Euric did not pause in his steps but his eyes darted a fleeting look towards Hako. Although his expressions were obscured, there was no mistaking the tone of his voice - he was highly amused. “A secret cabin?” he repeated before shaking his head a tad bit in the negative. “I’m looking for Pocket,” was all he said, as if that was enough to explain why he was out gallivanting in the woods rather than staying indoors like a good student should.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2007, 05:56:10 PM »
When the second opportunity arose to say his flirtatious line revealed itself, he could not hold back.

"You can always warm me up," he declared.  He moved a tree branch out of the way and let it rustle back into place, stepping carefully around harsh ground to let his toes sink into moist earth, mud seeping between them and making soft sounds of suction as he lifted his foot ready for the next step.  It was erotic, in a way.

At the amused tone about a cabin, Hako sent a dazzling smile Euric\'s way, pleased that he was a form of entertainment.  After all, was that not the reason why people spent time with each other?  Because of laughs and good feelings?

"What fell out of it?" Hako asked, thinking that Euric was looking for something that been inside his pocket, rather than a small feline named such.  Hako, who was a taxidermist by hobby, would not have considered that this shadowy figure of rumour and intimidation would care for a small furry impractical and, well, cute sort of creature.
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Offline deviliscious

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2007, 08:00:10 AM »
Despite his hunched frame, Euric was all grace and fluid movement as he advanced smoothly from foot to foot. But all manner of grace deserted him when his steady gait faltered and he stumbled. Over nothing. It was not the words being said but it was more of how they were being said and the shadowy assassin-in-training had a shocking realisation that Hako was trying to flirt with him.

Had the half-breed not read about such vocalised engagement in coquetry, he would not have thought it at all possible that someone was actually flirting with him. Even so, his mind seemed to be unable to grasp that concept and he paused in his steps after he made that little bumbling of his feet.

He could feel his ears starting to redden due to the embarrassment at having tripped over nothing and the fact that Hako was even flirting with him in the first place caused him to flush even further. The only thing he could hope for right then was for the cover of the night to effectively conceal the inflamed shade so that Hako would miss it. Either that, or for the ground to open up and swallow him whole. But when had his hopes ever been realised? Never before had that happened and certainly not now.

“I...” he started, mouth going dry because he had no inkling on how to respond to that. “Uhh... Well... Unless you’re freezing unto death... then, maybe,” he said gruffly before continuing on his search after he thought his skin had cooled somewhat and had regained its natural colour. So much for a glib reply.

He had caught the brilliant smile flashed at him from the younger boy and bit back a curse when he felt his face heating up yet again. To think Euric could be so affected by Hako. Now, why was that so?  A thousand different reasons came to mind but none of them made any sense. Not to him, at least.

Turning his focus back onto the well-trodden earthen path that led the way to the nearby body of water, he barely glanced at the other, feeling reluctant to reveal what exactly had gone missing and was more than likely getting herself into trouble somewhere in the dark woods. “Nothing fell out. I lost Pocket. My... umm... kitten. An Ocelot kitten, spotted fur and smallish. Pocket-sized is more the term hence its namesake,” he said, discovering a little too late that he sounded very foolish with the way he was rambling.

And Euric feared the worst. That Hako would start laughing at him and thinking how inappropriate it was for someone of his reputation to have a pet kitten.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2007, 09:12:32 AM »
Smiling at Euric\'s stammering reply, knowing that he was having an effect because of it, he allowed Euric the last word, not making fun of him in any way.  He liked how this conversation was going, and couldn\'t have been more pleased that his risk to follow this mighty student had paid well.

Then the speech eventuated about what Pocket was and Hako took a very long moment to process this information.  First of all, that Euric cared for a creature that was likely never to be a working asset, and secondly, that they were looking for a pocket-sized kitten here.

"You tracked your kitten all this way?" he asked, careful to keep any hint of dubiousness out of his voice.  For all he knew, Euric had tracked it here.  His gaze lowered to the ground now, so that he might find a tiny kitten, and then it soared up trees, in case said kitten had climbed up something.
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Offline deviliscious

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2007, 01:51:51 AM »
The half-elf frowned slightly at Hako’s query. Though he detected no echo of doubt in his voice, Euric could very well tell that the younger boy lacked faith in his abilities. “You do realise that to be a competent assassin, one needs to first know how to track his target?” he answered, feeling slighted. He would, of course, not go so far as to boast about the fact that he was a Level One student, unlike a certain someone. Besides, he was never one for bragging anyway. In truth, he was more modest than anyone could give him credit for, judging by some of the nasty comments made about him behind his back.

Thinking that maybe he had offended the other with his rather cold response, he cast Hako a tentative momentary look, peeking at the fellow student through the bangs of his hair. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to... well, you know,” he mumbled, shrugging almost helplessly. He could not think of a way to rectify his blunder. Perhaps he should leave now before he made another mistake and read up on how to properly apologize to a potential friend. Or he should scare the brave boy away for good.

In the end, he did neither, concentrating on looking everywhere else but not at Hako. “She has done this a few times and always, I’ve found her to be by the creek. It was the spot where I first discovered her, after all,” he disclosed softly, hoping that this was a way to remedy the situation and that it won’t drive Hako away.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2007, 08:53:32 AM »
When he was snapped at, he opened his mouth to explain that he meant it was unusual for a kitten to make it all the way out here rather than challenging Euric\'s tracking abilities.  Instead of interrupting he closed his mouth and was about to explain himself when the apology came, rendering him speechless for a moment.

Here, was his opportunity to touch Euric - to approach him now that there was an apology in the air between them, as well as an explanation as to why they were both lurking around in the woods so far from the Academy.  Euric was treating Hako with consideration, and the youth knew that now was the best time to take another figurative step closer (though it came with a physical one as well), in order to reach out a hand and lightly stroke a muscled shoulder, the touch seemingly electric between his hand and the other\'s arm for all the excitement it gave Hako.  "We\'ll find Pocket," he said, ensuring that this move was to be accepted as a gesture of comfort and support.
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Offline deviliscious

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2007, 07:00:49 AM »
The sudden touch caused Euric to freeze in his steps. Touches were uncomfortable, touches were unwanted. They brought pain therefore, they were dangerous. Conclusion: Touches are to be avoided at all costs.

Thus, the reaction was instantaneous.

Swift and fluid, he pivoted away from Hako and in that single move, he had retrieved his wire, uncoiling it smoothly. The fine, sharp metal was singing joyously in its silvery voice as he made to shove the perpetrator back towards a nearby tree with the same shoulder that had been touched upon. With quick movements and deft accuracy, he would wind the instrument of death around the younger male’s neck, the ends looping about his fingers followed by a slight pulling of the wire to tighten its steely hold, effectively trapping Hako against the tree with an arm pressed to his chest.

All the motions he made was an automatic response, settled by the rather blank look on his face despite the bangs that covered half of it, before his lips thinned into a grim line. If anyone were to glance over at them, he or she would that think that they were simply a couple of lusty adolescents having a bit of a frisky sort of fun under the tree, what with the way they were so close to each other and with Hako pinned against the tree that they were only a few inches away from a lip-locking session.

“You touched me,” was his murmured contempt, a sibilant hiss easily robbed by a sudden stray wind that rustled the leaves through the woods, echoing a whisper of dire portent.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2007, 07:06:45 AM »
Hako, who was unprepared for such an attack and nowhere near as fast as his peer, was shoved back against the tree with an expression of surprise in his face, only to be replaced by shock (and a little bit of fear) when he felt the wire biting into his flesh.  Oh, he\'d made Euric angry.  Bad move.

"Mercy," he uttered on soft breath, too scared to say anything else lest the wrong thing be said.  His worried gaze found the place where Euric\'s eyes were beneath his hair, though he couldn\'t see them - the thin drawn line of the other\'s mouth was clue enough that Euric was angry with him (not to mention the fact that he had him in a position to assassinate).  "I won\'t touch you unwanted again," he promised, not wanting to promise never in case he was ever invited to - he was an optomist and egotistical enough to feel that he wouldn\'t be killed (though Euric did worry him a great deal more than anybody else ever had - even the Master that had threatened his life before bedding him had not scared him as much).
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Offline deviliscious

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2007, 07:59:20 AM »
The plea for mercy seemed to douse the fire that made his skin crawl and he loosened the wire somewhat, though not by much. If needed, he could simply pull taut the weapon and decapitate him; his wire was sharp enough. Silently he called upon the surrounding shadows for assurance, for familiarity – the touch had thrown him off balance.

Like zealous devotees, the shades of darkness spun themselves about the two, one still pinned by the other against the tree, seeking to blind Hako for daring to touch the half-elf. It was as if the shadows held life of some sort, an eerie concept to consider.

However, at Hako’s assurance that he would not be touched, Euric stilled the shadowy tendrils before they could smother the younger male. “Why should I believe you?” he queried in a low tone, blatantly clear that he did not believe the other for even a second and he emphasized his point by once again tightening the wire about Hako’s neck.

Belatedly he realised that he had lost control of himself through not the fault of his own! It was happening again, the instinctive reaction that was ingrained into his very being - he hated it but was unable to help himself. Hako was extremely lucky that he was still breathing, alive and very much conscious, unlike the unfortunate fool who was still stuck in a coma to this very moment.

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2007, 08:03:44 AM »
"Because," Hako began, concerned by the darkening night that seemed to steal his vision away so that he could only make out Euric directly before him and nothing else (and this was sacrificing all manner of control the youth had, and it unnerved him, along with the strangley active darkness), "you didn\'t tell me not to touch you, and now I know not to.  If I did it again, I\'m sure you could dispatch me as easily as you can now."  He swallowed compulsively, not liking to be so subservient but knowing that he had to, and quite frankly Euric was his obvious superior - the nature of their positions right now dictated this clearly.  "I will only touch you when you ask me to," he promised.
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Offline deviliscious

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Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2007, 08:36:20 AM »
Everything in him screamed not to listen to Hako’s words. No one was to be trusted, least of all those who think that touching others was nothing to be overly concerned with. So why was he loosening the wire and chasing away the shadows with a soundless command? Was it because he could sense no deceit in Hako’s voice? He could tell that the other boy was scared as it was which was well and good. There’s nothing like a good fright to accentuate a threat.  

Slowly, he unwound the slender filament of metal, taking care not to accidentally cut the delicate skin of Hako’s neck before he took a step back, his frame rigid and stiff in its hunched stance. For a moment or two, silence reigned between them before he finally spoke. “Make certain that you do not do so, unless you decide to forfeit your life.” Euric paused for a while, displaying hesitation as he averted his eyes away. The set of his shoulders seemed to droop even further. “I don’t like to be touched… not when I’m not prepared for it.”

Euric took another step away from Hako, shaking his head slightly in frustration. There were so many things he wanted to say but could not bring himself to voice them out. “Perhaps it would be best that you stay away from me. It would be safer for you, at least,” he added softly, though a tiny part of him hoped that Hako would disregard his advice.