It was raining in the Motor City and Akashi was asked to come to the industrial city for a small task. Well, the task would be considered a major task for those that weren't suited for combat. Motor City had been having a rash of murders lately involving someone slashing open the necks of their victims.
The client's name is Ren Harrington and he is requesting to meet with Akashi at a local tavern to give him the information he needs in order to track down the Motor City Slasher, which the police units in the Motor City had dubbed him due to his M.O. for his grizzly murders.
Akashi's first objective is to meet with Ren Harrington in the tavern "The Leaping Lizard" to receive the information about this culprit --- Your next post should be 500 words in length.
It was early in the morning, and a man sat lazily on his train seat, awaiting for the ride to end so he could get to his destination, like many other passengers alongside him. Truth be told, the destination was quite far away from his usual area of operations, but that simply meant the white haired man was finally achieving his objective: to make himself a name around Fiore, which would in turn grant him more requests.
Once more, Vargas found himself lazily checking his iLac for any possible updates from any of the contacts he had made so far. He had to be ready and get the work lined up to complete it in a short amount of time... after all, the Seig would need a base of operations somewhere, given that he had no plans to join one of those "wizard guilds" he had heard so much about. If his memory didn't fail him, the first time was just when he had first set foot in Fiore, having that encounter with those two women, being mages themselves too.
Slowly but surely, the hours passed as the landscape gave way to something rather darker than the rest of the country, at least from where he was standing; he had no idea how things would be inside Motor City, and he hadn't much information about the town either. If anything, he simply was aware of the fact that vehicles were sold there. Maybe getting one later would be nice... Vargas couldn't picture himself adapting his schedule to the trains in the future. -"That'd be nooo good for my image alright." -he thought, scratching the back of his head, his fingers moving through his trademark white/silverish locks.
In the end, having taken the entire day to do so, the transport arrived in Motor City. It would be almost night-time already, but that simply meant that the mission would be more exciting. Stepping out of the train with a curious look, his inquisitive visage shifted into surprise and amazement. -"This place looks big as heck! It's definitely bigger than anywhere else I've been before!" -the male thought, amused, as a rather excited smile formed in his lips as well. What entertainment might that new place bring? He was eager to discover it.
Well, at any rate, it was just about time he got moving. His first destination inside Motor City would be a tavern called "The Leaping Lizard". He had to admit, his customer knew how to lure him; a place like that would surely have cold jars of beer to offer; hell, he might even get invited. Perhaps he could deduct it from the payment?
After asking quite a lot of citizens for directions, since most of them had only heard about the place and knew nothing about its location, the last two tough-looking guys, smoking just before an alley, pointed him inside said narrow passage. It could have easily been a trap, but since the sign was there, the male thought that he'd figure something out if things went south.
Entering the tavern, the Seig found himself inside a quite lively place, with mostly men laughing loudly, yelling at each other, and chugging down their drinks without taking a breather. -This is one heck of a party you've got here -the Seig stated, leaning on the bar as one of the men behind it asked him what he wanted.
-I'm a simple man. I see beer, I order beer. Also, I'm looking for a guy named Ren Harrington. I bet you know who I'm talking about, dont'cha? -the Devil's Arms user inquired. The same barman pointed at one of the tables as another one made a cold jar of the yellow liquid, with its usual foam on top, reach the male by making it slide along the wooden surface.
Skillfully grabbing it with his left hand, he went down and sat on the free seat, leaning backwards and putting his feet on the corner of the table, his right leg supporting the left one. It was a rather unorthodox position, but he found it comfortable. -I take it you are Ren Harrington, right? I'm Vargas Seig, the mage you contacted before. So, what's going on around town? Got anything interesting for me? -the young adult asked, with his usual devil-may-care attitude.
Seig took a seat in front of the client, Ren Harrington. He looked nervous, shaken-up as if he saw something terrible. His forehead was sweating profusely as Seig took his seat. "Ah, yes! The Mage, yes!" he said before pulling out a folder. "I have a job I need you to do. Recently," he said before opening the folder, showing images of grizzly murders, each with the same method of killing; a large open gash across the victim's throat. Upon closer inspection, Seig would notice a look of serenity upon each of the victim's faces. That was quite unsettling to see.
"These are the v-victims of the person we call 'The Motor City Slasher'. Currently, we haven't gotten any more clues other than method of killing his targets, where, and when they died," he said before then showing a map of where all of the dead bodies were at, with a sticker of an arrow pointing to the location and the victim's face just above it. They all seem to be within a couple miles of the Leaping Lizard. Each name showed their time of death being anywhere from 11pm to 2am.
"This is all the information we have," he said as he handed the folder over to Seig with a shaky hand.
"We are normal people and we aren't very good at handling extremely powerful people like this one, so we are hiring someone like you to take care of it. You'll be paid well," the man said, giving Seig far too much eye contact.
"So yeah, can you find out what you can? I'll be here until 10:30 tonight," he said as he looked at his watch. His hand shook violently. "That's in a half hour. So I'll be here until then. I'll be here until then every night, actually until you finish this job," Ren Harrington said before grabbing a hold of his drink and quickly draining it into his stomach. "Any questions?"
----- Information File 001:
Name: Marco Antonelle Age: 71 Location of Murder: Bus Stop 23 (0.5 miles from the Leaping Lizard) Time of Death: April 23 @ 0105 hrs Cause of Death: Slash from left ear, down over throat to right ear -- Died from blood loss Last Known Location: The Leaping Lizard Additional Information: Marco had a high level of alcohol in his blood stream
Information File 002:
Name: Kanzaki Tanaka Age: 22 Location of Murder: Inside his room in the Carbuncle Inn (1 mile from the Leaping Lizard) Time of Death: June 6 @ 1105 hrs Cause of Death: Slash from left ear, down over throat to right ear -- Died from blood loss Last Known Location: The Leaping Lizard Additional Information: Lottery winner of 22 million jewels.
Information File 003:
Name: Mina Jennsen Age: 18 Location of Murder: Drainage Ditch 22 (3.2 miles from Leaping Lizard) Time of Death: June 20 @ 0150 hrs Cause of Death: Slash from left ear, down over throat to right ear -- Died from blood loss Last Known Location: The Leaping Lizard Additional Information: Body was found nude in the ditch with signs of molestation and bite marks on her left breast. ((The rest was redacted))
Please write 500 words beginning your investigation.
When Vargas first heard his client speak, he realized that the guy was in much more turmoil than he had originally anticipated. It seemed that his capacity to keep his cool was... reduced, to say the least. Well, he couldn't blame him; after all, there was the possibility of being killed at any moment's notice, and not in a pretty way. -Look, pal. I know this whole murder spree is unsettling, but I need you to calm down so you can give me all the details -the white haired mage remarked as he was given a folder, which contained information on the victims, as Ren told him.
He opened the folder he was given, which contained three different information files. The male put the three pieces of paper together, one behind the other, and took his time to cycle through them, inspecting what was written and, more importantly, their pictures. They all had been killed in the exact same way, kind of unsettling.
-"I don't know which is stranger... the fact that all of them were last seen here, or that they all were finished off the same way." -Vargas thought, wondering if the latter might just be the assassin's trademark. Now, apart from that, the additional information he had been given hinted at a couple of possibilities. First, Kanzaki Tanaka, who had won the lottery, and a grand prize indeed. It would be easy to assume that the reason for that murder was money... and while it was too obvious, sometimes the simplest guess was the correct one.
However, the other two were more unclear. Vargas guessed that the old man, whose alcohol levels im blood were pretty high at the time of his death, had just gotten out of the Leaping Lizard after a night out. He was probably heading back home, since he died at the bus stop. -"Huh, I gotta give props to this Marco" -the words crossed his mind. Vargas was impressed that a 71 year old man still had those habits. However, what reason could there be for his murder?
It was the same as with the girl. She died around two months later, at a similar time, but had been molested. Well, it might've been an easy way for the criminal to ensure that she wouldn't say anything to the authorities after whoever killed her had had their fun with her. But if they had hired him, that meant that authorities posed no trouble whatsoever for the murderer in question...
While he was taking everything under consideration, all the while casually taking a gulp of beer as if he had absolutely no worries at all, Harrington insisted that he'd be well paid if he managed to put an end to that serial killer. Again, he seemed FAR too nervous for the Seig's tastes... so he might as well just keep an eye on him too, just to be sure that he didn't try anything strange while he had his back turned.
When Vargas was asked whether or not he had any questions, he nodded, and left the papers on the table with a way too mellow manner. -Actually, yeah. I've got a couple of questions. Since all of they were last seen here, do you know whether or not they were regulars around this tavern? -he inquired. If Ren didn't have a clue, he'd simply ask the bartender.
-Second and lastly, how exactly would you like me to take care of the whole situation? Should I bring him to your justice so you people can do what you see fit, or do I have to... ensure he won't kill again? -he lastly asked with a rather dark voice tone.
With that said, the Seig chugged down the rest of his beer in two more gulps, which was kind of impressive, and prepared to leave the tavern, only after his questions had been answered. If anything, he figured that the bus station, being close and all, would be the best place to start. God knew how long would it take him to reach any of the other places, taking into account that he was new to that city.
Speaking of which...
-By the way, which way is Bus Stop 23? -the D-Rank mage asked his client before exiting the tavern. On a side note... since all the victims were last seen in that tavern, he would be keeping an eye out. His gut was telling him that a trap was to be expected... but on the other hand, he did want to have some fun.
The client shrugged his shoulders at the Sieg's first question only for the Bartender to clear his throat. "Only the old man was a regular. The other two were kinda just here. The boy was here to celebrate his wins while the girl was here for, well, i don't know why she was here. She was really good looking though. But it seemed that she left the bar alone, even after quite a few people were hitting on her," the bartender said before turning to look at Ren. "Isn't that right, Officer?" he said drawing more attention to the client.
The client cleared his throat and shook his head. "I don't know what you're talking about," the man said, obviously a bit embarrassed to talk about it.
"But don't you worry, the didn't leave with the girl," the bartender said.
The second question came from the mage before the bartender piped up once again. "You'll find Bus Stop 23 out and to the right about a half mile. It'll be on the other side of the road," the bartender stated. Looking a bit nervous, however, Ren looked at his watch before looking back towards the Seig. "Well, I gotta go for the night," he said as the clock struck 11pm.
"I'll be here tomorrow night if you need any more help," the man said before walking out the door. He looked as if his wife would have his head if he didn't get back in time.
Alright; that answers your questions. Another 500 words, dude.
As Vargas questions were answered, he chose to omit the fact that the bartender had just called Harrington an "officer". To be fair, the Seig did not care what position he held; given that he was asked for help, he was a client like anyone else. That said, only the old man seemed to be a regular at the tavern, while the other two victims had simply gone there that day. The fact that the young man had been celebrating the money he had been awarded in the lottery only made it easier to assume that the prize was the reason why he had been killed.
On the other hand, the girl was quite good looking, and it might've been easier for anyone drunk enough and with violent tendencies to try and do something to her. Since nobody had gotten out with her, they must've followed her afterwards... but how? It was safer to assume that the killer had come from the outside, rather than from the tavern. -Well, since her photo is a bit disturbing, I'll have to take your word on that one. Still, what a waste... it would have been fun to meet her while I was around here -the Seig commented, understanding that many men around would hit on her. She was his age, too. Damn it.
After he was indicated where Bus Stop 23 was, Ren Harrington exited the bar in a hurry, due to how late it was for him. Well, while his behavior was a bit suspicious, it might've been that he was just a nervous individual. Then again, Vargas was way too unfazed by the situation, at least by their standards. After all, he was a mage, and they were, as Ren had stated, "normal people".
Thanking the bartender for the information and paying for his bear, the white haired male got out of the tavern, still savoring the last sip of his bier. To be honest, he did not expect to find anything in the bus stop, for it had been too much time since the murder, and by now, the city's cleaning services, the weather, and other factors might've erased all evidence. Still, it wouldn't hurt to go there and try.
Who knew? He might even get lucky.
When outside of the Leaping Lizard, Vargas's steps took him to Bus Stop 23. The bartender had given him, of course, the right directions, and while he had forgotten some on the way to the point, it didn't take him long to find his way. He would then stand still in front of the place, with nothing suspicious being apparent on sight. Still, it wouldn't hurt to give it a closer inspection.
-"Let's see if I can find at least some clue that can set me in the right direction" -he thought. If he did find something, the better for him. If he didn't, he'd try his luck in Carbuncle Inn, where the lottery winner had been found dead.
Now that he thought about it, it was the first time that he would probably not be able to complete a job in one day. Well, he guessed that, somehow, he was climbing up in the world of mages. He'd better complete that job successfully; who knew, if the case was big enough for the city, it might begin to make him a bit more known around Fiore? He could only hope, because he was still a lowest mage.
Vargas found absolutely nothing at Bus Stop 23 which lead him towards the Carbuncle Inn. After he opened the door, a smell of cherries wafted into his nose as he is welcomed by a cute girl opening the door. He was given a big smile before the woman waved to Vargas. "Welcome to the Carbuncle Inn! We have plenty of food, drink, and places to sleep! Come on in and hang out, alright? I'm the proprietress, my name is Kina," she said with a big smile before hopping her way towards the check-in counter.
Kina waved towards Vargas as he entered the Inn. "Hey! You can check-in here!" she said. She seemed to be about Vargas' age. As Kina seemed to wait for Vargas, a drunk man stumbled his way over to the check-in counter and fell onto the counter, spilling a bit of beer. "Hey, Kina. How about you drop this job and let me show you something REALLY NICE," he said before Kina quickly returned with.
"If I wanted a grain of rice, i'd go to the kitchen," she said before the man grumbled and fell down onto the ground just in front of the check-in counter. However, before Vargas had a chance to take a step, a loud, blood-curdling scream could be heard from the street behind him..
"HELP ME! PLEASE!!" a woman said before her voice seemed to get further and further away as she screamed in distress. Another 500 words, bud.
-"Well, guess it was expected" -Vargas, with his arms crossed, stood before the bus stop. He hadn't been able to find any clue whatsoever that could've set him in the right track. Then again, the crime there had happened more than two months before that night, so whatever he could've found had probable been taken by the authorities already. The white haired mage let out a sigh, and decided to go on and check somewhere else. The information folders he had been given pointed out at Carbuncle Inn. Given that it was, more or less, on track, he didn't end up lost again, and managed to find his way quite easily.
After opening the door, a rather pleasant scent greeted him; it definitely smelled better than the tavern, but Vargas himself was a bigger fan of the scent and ambience of the taverns. The scent came from a young woman, who would be around his age, more or less. She was quite beautiful, to be honest, which made Vargas smile a bit. She'd greet him with a very cheerful and lively voice tone.
She introduced herself as Kina, and invited him to come in and hang out for a while. To be fair, Vargas was quite surprised such a local existed in a metropoli that had given him an ominous vibe.
Also, she seemed to be the proprietress, so he'd make sure to ask her a bit about the murders... Given that the Inn was where a body had been found, he had to add her to the list of possible suspects. However, for the time being, he might as well enjoy himself. -Alright, lead the way -he'd oblige and followed Kina to the counter, where she'd be able to tend to him properly.
Vargas leaned in on the counter, and introduced himself. -Thanks for having me in. I won't be long, though... -he'd begin. Though, on the other hand, since his job would probably take him a couple of days, the Seig decided to stay there. -Actually, scratch that. To be fair, I dunno how long I'll be around town, so I might rent a room.
Then, a drunk man approached to the counter and openly flirted with Kina while spilling some beer on the process. Vargas couldn't help but to silently grieve for the drink, being wasted in a senseless effort. However, it seemed that Kina wasn't just a pretty face and a likable attitude, but she also had it to retort to the man.
Vargas quirked an eyebrow and half-smiled at her; he had definitely liked how she handled the situation. -"Cute and sharp. Just my type" -the Devil's Arms user thought. Before he could chat a bit with Kina, he heard a scream coming from outside. His eyes suddenly opened upon hearing a "HELP ME! PLEASE!".
The intensity of the shout diminished, which meant that the distance between him and the one emitting it was increasing. -Sorry, Kina, but we'll have to continue later. Save me a room, anyways! -he'd say out loud so she could hear him from the kitchen, and stormed out of the inn, looking at the right, then at the left. Where had that scream come from? It couldn't be far away!
A devilish grin appeared on Vargas's lips as he understood that the hunt was on. -"This party is getting crazy! LET'S ROCK!"
"Okay! I'll be here!" Kina waved on as she blushed. He was the cutest guy she had seen in a LONG time; usually stuck with drunken fat men in the inn. As Vargas bolted out, he saw what was left of the woman being dragged into an alley. She saw Vargas for a brief moment before being swallowed up by the darkness of the alley. They were just mere meters away before a final scream could be heard. From the darkness, a pair of pure white eyes could be seen piercing through the night before vanishing completely.
Upon arriving to the scene, Vargas noticed a woman with her clothes torn off with her throat slit in the exact same manner as the other victims. It seems that Vargas's entrance didn't give the man time to have his way with her like the other woman. While her fate was still a gruesome one, his very presence spared her from extreme torture before dying. However, it seemed that Vargas was a bit too late. Upon closer inspection, the woman had a twisted look of horror upon her face and the slashing upon the throat was a lot more rough than it usually was, probably from the haste the killer was in.
Alright! CSI time! You can call the cops to come investigate this or wait until tomorrow night to speak with Ren Harrington in the tavern
As Kina waved him off, Vargas had hastily gotten out of the Inn. Upon finding the woman being dragged away, he made his best to go to the alley, snapping his left thumb and index. -Gunslinger! -he'd mutter, entering his style, and quickly summoned his trusty Daeva, ready to shoot the criminal off to free the woman. Their eyes met for an instant before she vanished in the dark. As Vargas followed suit, a louder, desperate scream ensued... he was too late. In the alley, he saw the woman already lying on the ground, and a pair of eyes, glowing white, hiding in the shadows. Without hesitation, Vargas delivered a quick shot with his Daeva, hoping to strike, but the eyes vanished in a matter of seconds... whether he had been quick enough to hit him or not, he could not know.
Still, after that, he quickly got next to the woman. She had been killed in the same way as the rest, but that time, a twisted expression of fear reigned on her face. The cut was much more gruesome, meaning that, whoever was the culprit, was aware that Vargas was there in order to put an end to his manslaughters. Gritting his teeth, the Seig couldn't help but to punch the nearest wall. -"Fuck! I was a second late...!"
So close, yet so far. A literal second had made the difference. What could he do at that moment? The most sensible thing would be to call the police... if he wasn't the one supposed to enforce the law on the murderer. It was just as Ren had told him: 'normal people' could not deal with that guy. No, he could not depend on the cops in such a moment. It was his job, his to take. Still, he would make sure to inform Harrington... since Vargas did not want to become a suspect on the matter.
In order to do so, he would simply take his iLac and sent him a picture of the crime in question, simply accompanied with a line of text. "We've got another murder." The policeman would probably be asleep, so he'd have to wait until the day after to discuss things with him, back at the Leaping Lizard.
With that done, Vargas would decide to check the shadows, in order to see if he could find any sort of trail. People did not vanish out of thin air. Well, they couldn't, unless... -"Wait a second..." -his train of thoughts slowly, but surely, linked that fact with Ren's statement. The Devil's Arms user was not dealing with a normal human. If nothing could be found, it would be safe to assume that both him and Motor City were facing the user of some sort of magic.
After inspecting the surrounding area in search of any clue, Vargas would let out a growl. He could feel the souls inside him wriggling, trying to use the emotion of failure as a catalyst. He had always hated the feeling of knowing that you had failed someone whose life depended on you. Still, he couldn't allow them to take control and rebel.
Taking a deep breath, the male returned to a bit calmer state, and took a couple of photos of the scenario with his iLac's camera, and did whatever he could do to gather anything useful that might've slipped by.
After that, he'd return to Carbuncle Inn, where Kina would probably be waiting on the counter, expectant to see what that ruckus was all about.
OOC: MP: 90% (summoned Daeva). Attempted to use a Corruption Arrow on the shadow. Chose to inform Ren and investigate the scenery himself, instead of calling the cops. The following day he will discuss things with Ren at the tavern.
A crack of sound went through the sky as a bullet was shot into the alleyway. People came outside to witness Vargas with a gun in his hands. Murmurs were made with people hoping he wasn't the Motor City Slasher. However, they all debunked the claim stating that the slasher uses a cutting weapon, not a gun. Not knowing Vargas' intentions, everyone ran back inside.
Upon closer inspection of the alleyway, Vargas noticed a trail of blood. It seemed that he made a hit. The trail of blood went inwards for a moment before the blood was splattered all over a wall, where it seemed that the slasher leaned against the wall for a moment. There was a pool of blood on the ground. At the location of the blood, it appeared that the man was hit somewhere on the chest or on their shoulder. However, the trail went cold after the big splatter of blood against the wall.
Upon returning to the inn, with Kina smiling and waving at Vargas as he entered. "Welcome back, sir. It's good to see you again. Was everything alright?" she asked. She seemed legitimately concerned. "Anyway, I was informed that you are here as a special detective trying to find the Motor City Slasher. Officer Harrington has already arranged a room for you. Please enjoy your stay," she said with a bow. She leaned over and handed Vargas a note. On the note, it reads, "Don't trust anyone in Motor City. Anyone could be the Slasher," she said before bowing once more to the man. What did one expect? Her to say, ~I'll meet you in your room in an hour?~ Wishful thinking that is.
"You're probably tired," she said as she turned around to grab his keys off of the wall and placed it upon the counter in front of her. "You'll be in room 25B on the third floor. Please enjoy your stay," she said before another drunk man came around and nudged Vargas out of the way, only for Kina to place her hand upon the man's face and push him over; all with a smile upon her face.
-- Same deal. 500 words. You can choose to either skip the night to the next night... Or RP your way to sleep. It's your choice.
I won't be able to post again until Sunday -- Sorry for the inconvenience. Got company coming over
OOC: I'll be rping my way to sleep, because plot purposes. Also, don't worry and have fun! As Vargas examined the darkness in the alley, he found that his arrow had indeed managed to hit the opponent, as there was a trail of blood that somehow ended up against a wall. Judging by the height at which the mess stood, the Seig deduced that he might've hit the foe on the upper torso, perhaps? He was unsure of it, since he had little experience playing detective. Still, when people came to see what everything was about, their inquisitive and critical gazes caught the white haired male's attention. Well, no doubt what they were thinking, but he could not be the slasher. At least, not with a bow in his hands. He would turn to warn them to go back home so no further murders ensued that night, but before he could even open his mouth they were already running home.
-"Huh, I guess I'm pretty scary at night. Whatever..." -he joked in his head, and proceeded to return to the inn, where Kina was already waiting for him. Her way of addressing him however had changed a lot, going from cheerful and friendly to something far more corteous. Upon asking if everything was alright, he simply let out a chuckle and half-smiled a bit tiredly. -I'd be lying if I said everything was okay. -Vargas was specially surprised when she addressed him as "sir".
Basically, Ren Harrington had told her all about him: who he was, what he was doing there and, far more importantly, that he was a mage. -"Damn it, Ren! So much for undercover work..." -he thought, slightly annoyed, though it was comprehensible. Otherwise, he'd become a major suspect in the case, going near the killing places and all.
Kina now knew she was dealing with something akin to a private law enforcer; thus she'd become far more polite, even bowing when she addressed him. When the cute Innkeeper spoke about his job, he placed his index finger on her lips. -Shhh. Let's keep that as our little secret, shall we? -he winked at her, retiring the finger and speaking once again. -Also, drop the formalities. I've never been good at ettiquete, so don't go forcing it on me, 'kay? You'd put me on the spot! -the Seig would joke around, though he did expect her to stop calling him sir, and the like. He didn't feel comfortable that way; never had, never would.
She'd then lean and give him a small note. Upon opening it, Vargas read her message in his mind, with her telling him not to trust anyone. Closing the paper immediately, he looked at him, and shot her a question without revealing any context whatsoever, so she'd be safe. -Does that go for you as well? -he'd question, though it was mostly him messing around with the owner. Still, he couldn't deny that he'd hoped the note's content to be a bit different.
-"Remember, me, you're working, not on vacation" -he'd remind himself in his thoughts, as Kina handed him the key to his room, where he was supposed to spend the night. Vargas would nod and thank her, then left with a simple wave, and directed himself towards his room. Yawning, he closed the door, locking it properly and leaving the keys attached to the door so nobody would try to force their way in. In a flash, he took his red trenchcoat out and left it on a nearby chair; the Seig would then drop on the bed, closing his eyes while thinking on the murderer. He'd been lucky to escape... but it wouldn't happen a second time.
His mind would then drift off to the land of sleep, remaining there until the next morning. However, that night would not be pleasant for the young man, for a dream assaulted him.
Black monoliths, appearing all over Fiore, followed by a string of unconnected images that made absolutely no sense to him, and came in and went away in a flash. At first he saw a variety of creatures he had never seen before, shifting to the next without giving him time to see them properly. However, the images would then begin to slow down.
Fiery rivers of lava, crowned by a demonic beast.
A black phantom.
Two masked beings, one black, another white, haunting a forest.
A titanic creature with a destructive, hammer-like tail.
However, the one image that struck him the most and made him wake up while breathing heavily was the last one. There, in a fiery background, a red-eyed, black silhouette appeared, looking at him in the eye, while it smiled in a sinister manner. One line was spoken before everything blacked out, leaving itself etched into the Seig's memories.
The sun rose, shining a sliver of light through the window of the room that Vargas resided. A sound of crying could be heard coming from the lobby. Once Vargas gets up, he would notice a large crowd of people gathered by the inn's check-in counter to find Kina as the victim of the Motor City Slasher. At the crime scene, Vargas would notice Ren there, taking notes with a grimace on his face. If Vargas approached him, he would say, "Such a shame, huh? She had such a nice smile and a nice ass," the man said before turning towards Vargas with a big smile on his face.
"Well, any new developments, Vargas? Other than the information given about the vic outside?" he stated before hooking his thumb outside where the victim from last night was. This opened up his chest as a small red dot could be seen through his normally white shirt at around the shoulder. "This vic was also molested by the Motor City Slasher before dying," he said before turning his shoulder, pointing towards the trail of blood leading from outside, where Vargas went yesterday, all the way back here.
"That trail goes all the way out to where the other vic was," Ren said before sucking air between his teeth. "What do you think of all of this?" 500 words minimum. Can you solve this mystery?
When Vargas woke up sweating and breathing heavily, the sun was already up. Still, the Devil's Arms user had to take a couple of minutes to calm down and assess the situation. Yes, he had fallen asleep, which meant that those visions had been nothing but a bad dream. Yet, if it was unreal... why in the world would he feel such familiarity coming from the voice that spoke directly to him? He'd never met anyone with that silhouette, that was for sure. His hand would move to his head, sliding under his white hair and covering his right eye. More time would be needed for him to become fully active again.
"-What the heck was that...?"
The sound of people sobbing and crying downstairs would, however, alert him. Deciding that it had been meaningless, and dismissing all thoughts dedicated to his rare nightmare, the Seig took his coat and slid in it once again. Sighing, the young mage would descend from his room and got down to the main hall... where a rather gruesome scene. Among the people that were there, Kina was lying on the ground. Vargas did not need to ask what had happened.
She had been killed.
She had been killed right after telling him that he should not trust nobody in Motor City, because the Slasher could be practically anyone. It could not be a coincidence that she had died right after giving him that piece of paper... -"Aaah... fuck my life. I should've not fallen asleep." -he lamented, and then approached Ren, who was taking notes. Up until that moment, everything was normal.
However, the moment things would take a darker turn had just arrived. For starters, Ren's first statement, completely uncalled for and unprofessional, took him by surprise. His following question would be even stranger. Not because Vargas was like those old people who got crazed out when hearing anything outrageous, no; but because the officer, as opposed to what he had shown in the tavern, seemed completely calm, or at least, calm enough to praise the butt of a deceased woman.
When Harrington asked Vargas about the investigation's development, the movement of his arm revealed a red dot just about shoulder height. Noticing, but not saying anything, he continued to listen as Ren stated that the victim was also molested. As he listened to his words, his mind was, however, focused on something different. -"That wound is at the perfect height..." -he could only tell himself.
The Slasher seemed to be quite sex addicted, since he had tried to do the same with the victim from the previous night. As the officer asked Vargas what he thought of it, he would seem to ponder everything for a moment, but then negated with his head. -I don't know, Ren, I don't know. I'm as dumbfounded as you are. But that Slasher must have quite the balls to drop by the place I'm sleeping. Speaking of which, thanks for arranging the room for me... -he dropped that last sentence with a thankful smile.
However, in his mind, everything had clicked like the pieces of a puzzle. It was just a matter of arranging things right.
When they first met, he was in a hurry to leave, or so it seemed. Yet however, the officer had rented a room for him, which meant that he either called via iLac, or went there personally. -"Now that'd be enough to debunk that theory if not for a little detail..." -he told himself, in his thoughts.
Last night he had shot the criminal, and had made a hit, for a trail of blood could be seen there. Though it had vanished after it ended at a wall, another trail could be seen inside the inn, leading to where the first victim was, which meant that the Slasher had specifically moved between those two points. However, why leave a trail, if he could just go through walls?
-"Wait... but what if...?" -Vargas's mind kept working at rapid mode.
The Slasher hadn't crossed the wall. There was a large pool on the ground in a specific zone of the wall, where he had probably leaned. Their criminal hadn't vanished, but had instead camouflaged?
Now, Ren Harrington was there, and he held the injury he could've sworn was the exact spot hit by him. Not only that, but his personality had suffered a complete turn, and even went as far as to say Kina's ass was nice (which was true, but that was out of the case) right after she had died. More importantly, he stated that Kina was nice, which meant that had to know each other. -Oh? You knew her? Or maybe you met her when you came to rent the room for me?
If that little question happened to have the latter as an answer, and seeing how the Slasher seemed to have a preference for young ladies, with a 3/5 victim ratio, whom he molested before killing...
Yes. It all made sense. However, Vargas could not accuse him out in the open without solid evidence. He needed to set a bait... he needed to take him by surprise. And he knew exactly how to do that. He bit part of the inside of his cheek with his teeth, in order to get some blood in his mouth. He'd then purposefully cough loudly and wheeze, getting said blood out and making sure it remained visible for Ren. His hand reaching for his chest, the Devil's Arm faked an apologetic expression. -Damn... again. Sorry, Ren... I took too much damage on my last job, so I don't think I'm at one hundred percent yet. Last night's events were a bit too much, and I haven't gotten much sleep... Heck, I think my body even got damage from summoning my bow. Despite that... I'll try to see how far I can get today. I'll send you a text message if I find something.
That said, he exited the inn, and for the rest of the day, tried to continue with the investigation in search of more clues, to see what he could find. He took a walk to Drainage Ditch 22. If he was correct, the Slasher might return to that crime scene, just as he had done with the Inn. Along the way, he faked injury and weakness all the time just in case his foe was watching.
After checking everything there, by nighttime, more or less, he'd return to the Inn even if he found nothing there. Now, it was time to put part 2 of the plan in action... Before getting out of the Drainage Sewer, he would send Harrington a text. -"This is it. I've found it!" -he did not specify anything, purposefully.
Biting his mouth again, the Seig coughed and wheezed, letting a bit of blood splatter again, and kneeling. His hand reached his chest once more, to make it more credible. Lastly, he faked losing balance and falling to the ground, facing it, and remaining completely immobile. He'd then put all his senses to work...
If that Slasher had the balls to go to the inn with him there right after hurting him with Daeva, now that he appeared to be weakened, he might get the assassin out in the open. Then he'd see if Ren was the slasher... and should that be true, he would not get out of there unscathed. He'd bombard the whole area with Valag if he had to.
Ren Harrington raised a brow at Vargas for a moment before walking over towards the corpse of the girl for a moment and turned his head to the side for a brief moment. A look of love was in his eyes, if even for a brief glint of a moment. "Perhaps he dropped by, knowing you were here. Criminals have a habit of working under the noses of people they know are pursuing them," he said before moving some of her hair from her face, standing up for a moment and put his notepad and pen away.
"Oh, about the room. I did tell you that your accomodations were going to be covered, didn't I?" Ren asked with a raised brow. His heart began to beat rapidly, knowing that Vargas had suspicions. "About Rina? Yes, I knew her," he said as he looked back towards her for a moment. "She was the daughter of a friend of mine. She was my son's girlfriend for a while, so yes, I knew her pretty well," the officer stated before clearing his throat. He caught himself being interrogated by Vargas and a look of dismay could easily be seen on his face. The roles seemed to have been reversed for a brief moment.
And then Vargas feigned an old injury, which Ren easily fell for. "Then perhaps I got the wrong person for the job. Since you're so injured, perhaps I should relieve you of this assignment so you can go home and rest," the officer said before clearing his throat. There was a brief pause for a moment. "Yes, go home and rest. We'll call forth another mage for this job. If you're so hurt, you're off this case," he said before shooing Vargas off. Though, most of what he said was after Vargas left.
Grumbling a bit, Ren looked to two of his officers and hooked his head over in Vargas' direction. "Tail him," he said before the two other officers looked at each other dumb-founded.
"You just fired that mage from his detective work for a stupid reason. And now you want us to tail him? Why?" one of the officers asked reasonably.
"I don't give a shit about your opinions. Just do as I fuckin' asked and tail that mother fucker, alright?" he asked before rubbing his chest, causing more blood to seep through his shirt. "Shit," he said before the two cops looked at each other once again and then towards Ren for a moment before walking out.
They continued to tail Vargas for the entire time between the sewers only to lose him at the exit of the sewers. The cops cursed a bit. The message that Vargas gave to Ren went unanswered.
The time is now passed midnight... Vargas passed out in the inn. Moments later, the lights went out before the sound of blood curdling could be heard. Some of the attendants began to choke on their own blood. A disguised voice spoke out to Vargas. "You have trailed me for too long. If only you hadn't made that lucky shot in the alleyway, I could have had my way with that woman. The Slasher walked over to Vargas, pulled something out of a sheathe, a distinct noise of metal sliding out of a scabbard could be heard as there was pressure upon Vargas's back, knees straddling his arms with the free hand grabbing Vargas' hair, pulling his head back. The feeling of a sharp object could be felt upon his throat before his left ear lobe moistened.
A tickling could be felt in Vargas' ear as the breath of the Slasher could be felt. "But, I'm going to kill a mage and take their power. Thank you for your sacrifice," the slasher said before licking the side of Vargas' face.
Alrighty.. the second to last post! 1000 words on fighting this scum bag. At the end of the battle, you will find out that it is, indeed Ren Harrington!
I don't care how many hits it takes to kill him, but make it a good read. He does have a knife that makes it difficult to heal injuries immediately and there is a fast-acting poison if you start getting hit. The poison is a neuro-toxin, making your movement VERY sluggish and with enough exposure, the neuro-toxin will start causing hallucinations.
Ren Harrington doesn't have magic. Good luck and enjoy the battle.
Well, well. It seemed that Vargas's suspicions had been correct for the most part. It was highly unusual someone sent people to tail you when you were the good guy, if there was not a reason for it, right? Still, Ren's answers had given him all the information he needed to confirm most of his thoughts, with or without guards; they had simply been the icing on the cake. Though molesting, then killing, your son's boyfriend? Wait, son? Heck, that guy's backstory was as messed as it got, but it didn't matter to the Seig.
It would only be after his visit to the sewers, and passing out in his bed, that the Slasher would attempt to make a move. The bad thing was that he had miscalculated a liiittle detail. If he thought Vargas would risk sleeping when last night his target had entered the place he was resting in, he was sadly mistaken. The Seig was ready for a confrontation, and had made sure to prepare beforehand, entering Swordmaster style before falling half-asleep. If the Slasher used a knife, then Vargas would best him melee-wise.
He didn't even have to wait that long. Soon, the male had been pinned down by an unknown presence, who spoke in a distorted voice, as if trying to hide it. A hand roughly grabbed his hair, and pulled his face back. The white haired mage had been well aware by that moment, but he still didn't move. It would take the Slasher to speak a few lines, and then lick Vargas's ear in a disgusting manner, for him to smile, eyes still closed.
-As appealing as that sounds... I think I'll pass. Isn't that right, Asag?
Suddenly, the spear appeared, gripped by the mage's teeth, and instantly, its wind aura coursed throughout his body, getting Harrington out of the way, and also, destroying the bed. After getting himself out of the Slasher's clutches, the Seig wiped off the nasty saliva with the sleeve of his trenchcoat.
-If there's something I don't like is an idiot trying to kill me while I sleep. If there's something I dislike even more is my target hiding instead of fighting me. Oh, by the way, I was never injured in the first place. At first I thought it'd be stupid, but hey, if it works...
Vargas now stood with Asag in his hand before the Slasher, who had gotten up and held his knife with one hand. -Alright, then, mister Slasher. Let's have a good time... -the white haired male dropped what could've sounded like an innuendo, mocking the murderer's profile.
The first thing that Vargas attempted was to get him out of the Inn. After all his taunts, the Slasher went right at him, and the began exchanging blows... more or less. The thing is, Asag's Gust Aura kept on damaging the foe (and the room) every time he got closer to Vargas. The wind already made him hard for a melee opponent to go toe to toe with him; the fact that Harrington had no magic to face him whatsoever put Vargas at an advantage.
The two of them began to ferociously exchange blows, until the Seig finally found an opening to tackle his opponent, making both of them crash out the window, and began falling from the third floor of the inn. As the two of them flew, their weapons kept clashing, each of them blocking the other's attacks in a dance of sparks, metal and sweat. When they had almost fallen down, Vargas took the chance to impulse himself on the wall in an attempt to avoid the fall. However, the Slasher had other plans.
-You're not getting away that easily.
He'd then reach to grab him, prompting the Seig to ram Harrington instead of safely jump out of the fall. With miscalculated strength, the two of them collided with the ground just a couple meters ahead of their original landing point. However, as if nothing had happened, they quickly jumped up again, and continued to engage in battle.
As usual, the Seig had an eager smile in his face as the battle progressed. His unyielding and unrelenting style would, as usual, let him take a couple of hits while cornering the mysterious murderer in a corner. He had to give it to him, that little knife did wonders, allowing the Slasher to prevent getting hit in vital areas that could potentially leave him out for the count if he got a Swordmaster-powered strike. Still, that did not mean Vargas wasn't hitting his foe. Asag's long range allowed him to keep the assault even without being at immediate reach, which kept his foe on his toes.
In the end, Vargas jumped backwards, with the Slasher having taken a lot of hits. His own cuts were also somewhat deep, but he was sure he could manage to ignore them. -I know you're sort of a famous guy... but you're bad for the community. Give it up, pal. Let me arrest you and bring you to justice; if there's any around town, that is.
With that said, Asag's time on his hands had reached its end, and so the weapon was dismissed. Still, he doubted that the Slasher could do much more in an oppen confrontation against him...
However, something quite unexpected would happen to the Devil's Arms user. Suddenly, he felt incredibly sick. His vision began to blur, and he completely lost balance, falling on his knees. From where he stood, the Slasher began to laugh out loud. -I can't believe you're such an idiot. Did you think I'd come to fight a mage unprepared?!
He showed Vargas his knife... although in his state he couldn't even see his own hands.
-This knife has a special neurotoxin, you idiot. Just a little cut would be enough to put a normal human down! Getting hit by it while you tried to fight me will be your last mistake.
Harrington announced, still laughing like a mad man. The mage couldn't even hear his explanation, and even if he had wanted to mock him, his voice didn't respond him either. His thoughts and mind drifted away as his eyelids closed, and he began having some sort of strange hallucination. His body fell to the ground as his vision went dark, senses failing him. Ren pinned him down again taking advantage of his state, as the vision struck Vargas's subconscious.
Vargas could see himself in the body of a small child. Given that he was incredibly confused, he was unable to actually process or store in his memory anything he then witnessed. He could not even realize those tiny hands, that weak body frame, and those black locks falling on his eyes were actually his own, years before that battle.
He was before two men speaking in an incredibly heated argument. Out of all they said, he could only hear the following:
-"PROJECT: LUCIFER"... doomed to fail. ...make a monster out of your son?! -...know... only chance... Hell's Gates... Tenkujin no Too... end of us all!!
The scenery would change once again, and this time, he could see a woman he failed to identify as his mother talking to a stranger with white hair, just like his own. Her belly was already somewhat prominent, as if pregnant in a middle stage.
-If my son... demon. ...want... be yours. Only one... trust...
After more unaudible conversation, the same voice of his dreams last night could be heard once more.
-Fair enough, Shauna. I'll do it. Just this once, and as a favor to you. Let us hope your so called "last chance" won't go to waste... and perish along the way!
His hallucination would then go wild as the voices of the demons residing in his own sould became as loud as a shotgun fired right next to your ear. They all spoke, shouted, yelled, but also said the same name; most of them with hate and, perhaps, fear. While in the midst of this chaos, Vargas could feel something beating inside his core, rampaging and wanting to get out. He could only scream in pain...
As Ren prepared to have some fun with his latest victim, a mage no less, he'd lick his lips in a disgusting manner. He had already stabbed him multiple times throughout the body in non-vital areas to make him suffer, though the neurotoxin had deactivated Vargas's pain receptors.
-Now... scream for help... call for your anyone you love! SEE WHAT GOOD IT DOES YOU!
The knife was just about to deliver the final strike, to his back...
Blue eyes suddenly opened, as the mage's body bursted in lightning, shocking Harrington and making him fly away. As the Slasher looked up in disbelief, thinking that the toxins should've made Vargas's movements sluggish, he hadn't taken into account what coursed through the wizard's veins, something even the latter wasn't aware of.
As his lineage activated, Vargas managed to get up, and summoned Ghoul with a rather crazy expression. His visage, previously excited for the fight but controlled, now featured a thirst for the blood of Harrington. His aura, previously white in color, was now turning black, although it never made it to that color, instead stopping at a gray hue.
-W...What in the world are you!!?? You're a god-damn freak! A monster!
Ren thought that the neuro-toxin should've been able to stop Vargas on his tracks, yet he hadn't taken into account the effects of the young mage's lineage. His Lightning Demon traits allowed him to move much faster in straight lines, which covered up for the sluggish movements caused by the poison. Vargas's darted through Ren once, then twice, activating Ghoul's augmented form in order to deliver the maximum amount of damage.
In the meantime, a sadistic expresion could be seen on the Devil's Arms user's visage, as the Slasher fell prey to the greatsword's hungry slashes, ripping his flesh and consuming it in a feast of blood and lightning. What was more, Ren's knife, while still hitting Vargas each time he rammed at him, could not keep up with the wizard anymore. In the end, it was just a matter of time that Harrington lost his ground, allowing the Seig to deliver one last strike.
The criminal fell down to the ground, overpowered by Ghoul's sheer size and power. As the killer flew a couple of meters backwards, the Seig relished in the sight, and dismissed his broadsword, changing to Gunslinger.
Ren tried to get up from the ground, but much to his dismay, the lightning-clad Vargas pinned him down by brutally stepping on his head to pin it to the ground. It was clear that the typically laid-back mage, who just loved a good fight, was not present at the moment. As Vargas had him on the ropes, the Slasher attempted to reason and negotiate with him.
-W-Wait! D-Don't kill me! It's me, Ren Harrington! I was... I was under a mind-controlling spell! Yes, that's it! A Dark Wizard took control of me to bring chaos to the town! That's why I hired you... because we couldn't do anything against a wizard!
Vargas's pressure on the criminal's head lowered, but just as Harrington sighed in relief and smiled a little to himself, the Seig would stomp on the other man's back, pinning him down again and preventing him from moving.
-Hey, Harrington. Do you know how to count to three?
In the Seig's hands, Valag appeared, and the cannon pointed directly at the Slasher's head. -W...Wait! I deserve a t-trial! A f-fair trial! This isn't justice...!
The weapon's cannon then shifted, and began to heat up at alarming speeds. The metal would, sooner than later, begin glowing orange, then yellow, as the air became distorted due to the amount of heat coming from the Devil's Arms.
The weapon kept hitting up, and at that point, Ren tried to move, revolving against the Seig's pinning. The mysterious mage, however, merely stomped on him with the other leg to prevent amovement. If his arms touched the cannon, he'd got a nasty burn anyway.
-Two... -his smile grew, at the sight of the man trembling beneath him.
The weapon's overheat sequence made it glow pure-white, so hot that it was already dealing a tiny bit of burn damage on its own to Harrington's hair. The police officer, not knowing what else to do and desperate, began shouting, which'd bring attention to the zone.
-YOU CAN'T DO THIS! THE MAGIC COUNCIL WON'T ALLOW THIS... YOU'LL BE HUNTED DOWN! YOU'RE A CRIMINAL AND THEY WON'T...
With a press of the trigger, an incredibly powerful Demon's Breath was unloaded directly on Ren Harrington's head, with a blasting force powerful enough to outright destroy the head. The explosion, however, also proved damaging for Vargas, who got sent flying, crashing into a nearby wall, losing all consciousness. However, in his hands, the weapon would remain without fading, which should give authorities a good indicator of what had happened.
There, with its body burnt to a crisp, lied the former police officer of Motor City. Nearby, the mage hired to hunt the Slasher, with also really nasty wounds. Both of them knocked out and down for the count, but with only real possibility for Vargas to be up again.
Could it be the first time he had put an end to another human's life...?
OOC: Hope you liked it! A bit of explaining here:
Lineage: Lightning Demon allows me to go faster in straight lines so I used it to compensate for the toxin's slowing his nerves. It also makes sense because of the lightning revving up his neural synapsises.
Also, sorry if it's a bit brutal... it's for plot-sake. I want him to feel like a monster for later funz. Plus, its part of his magic to go crazy after a couple years :D
And, as if on queue, police officers brandishing pistols and rapiers upon their hips broke into the room only to stop, noticing the Seig standing over someone. Among the officers were the two that were sent to tail after Vargas with a puzzled look on their face. "What the hell happened? You're the guy that Officer Harrington had hired. So does that mean?"
One of the officers looked to the charred remains of Ren Harrington. "So that's the body of the Slasher? NO way! Why would he target you down?" asked one of the officers while another officer is seen in the back, branding an iLac, calling for a crime scene investigation team. The officer that addressed the Seig took a moment and squatted in front of the charred remains for a moment, not seeing anything that could give him a clue on who the suspect was.
"A little on the overkill side. Would have been nice if you left something around so we could have identified the killer," the officer spoke before standing back up. "About tailing you earlier," he said with a slight pause, laughing and rubbing the back of his head. "We were under orders from Officer Harrington to follow you. For what reason?" he asked with a shrug. "I don't know, but thankfully you did your job and potentially caught the bad guy.
The man then looked around the room for a moment and sighs. "The repair bill for this is coming out of the check we're going to give you for solving this crime though. But we'd like you to stay here for a few days, in another room of course, so we know that you actually killed the slasher and not some innocent bystander. Because if you did, we're going to have to arrest you if it was just murder," the officer stated before examining Vargas a bit more.
He turned to another one of his officers and pointed at Vargas for a moment. "Bring a nurse here to tend to his wounds," the officer said before he put a hand upon Vargas' lower back, escorting him out of the room. "We'd love for you to stay, but now that this is a crime scene, you need to get out," the man said before pushing Vargas out of the room before a nurse could be seen waiting for him. Strange how fast people move in situations like these, right?
Upon closer inspection of the nurse that arrived, a familiar face could be seen with a wink and a little giggle.
"Good to see that you're still alive after fighting the Slasher," she said before tilting her head and smiling at Vargas.
Congratulations. With this, consider yourself approved for C Rank!