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    A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through!

    Char Lig
    Char Lig

    Player 
    Lineage : Seductor's Touch
    Position : None
    Posts : 37
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Positive Might
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through! Empty A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through!

    Post by Char Lig 26th August 2021, 9:40 pm

    The slam of the gavel indicated to all passerby and denizens of the courtroom that the proceedings had wrapped. Oaken doors creaked open, allowing the people trapped inside to finally flood out. After they had all vacated, an uptight bailiff led a free man to the concourse: Char Lig!
          “What—you work for tips or something?” Char asked insultingly while waving his hands, “Shoo.” The bailiff muttered something under his breath before telling him where he could pick up his impounded stuff from holding. Clearly, he was tired of people like Char. Then, the cop strolled back into the courtroom. “Goddamn, am I glad I didn’t have to stay more than a night with these guys.”
           “I know, right?” Rhum sauntered out from her position at the defense’s corner. She had actually managed to surprise Char today by showing up in dress clothes—tie and all. What’s more: she was wearing makeup for what was probably the first time in more than 20 years, and it showed. Honestly, she looked more like a hooker hired to play a lawyer than an actual lawyer, but Char welcomed the effort. Still, he could’ve done without her G-string showing as she argued against him going to jail for murder.
          Char smiled to himself. “Rhum… I—”
          “Can’t believe we made it this far?” She put her hands on her hips.
          “No! I—I’m fucking dumbstruck by the fact that we just made it out of that scot-free!”
          “Hah! As if there was any doubt!” She grinned smugly. Rhum started up down the hallway that housed all of the courtrooms. The echoing clacks of her high heels rang out against the stone walls of the thirteenth District Court of Era.
           Char took a second. He and Rhum had come a long way to Era and the lead-up to the trial hadn’t exactly been good for Char’s confidence about the matter. Don Igbo may have been a wanted criminal, but that still didn’t change the fact that Char had killed him. Rhum had really made sure to do her research beforehand, staying up late and burning the candle at both ends just to give him the best chance at freedom she could. All that while she had been working on and off to make her side of ends meet; not to mention all of the secretary work that she had been doing for him.
           She had kept her end of the bargain, and nothing made Char warmer inside. They had done well to grow closer to each other through the copious nights they had spent getting too drunk to stand. He was really starting to regard her as a close friend. It was certainly the first time that Char had ever seen someone go to this length to reward him for what was apparently a good deed.
           “You coming?” She snapped him out of his deep thought.
           “Yeah.” He walked alongside her.
          “So, you want to tell me why—out of all the things you did disclose, your Magical Manipulation of an Officer was not one of them!?” There was an obvious undertone of frustration in her voice.
           Char was caught off guard by her sudden mean streak. He’d thought they were having a moment. “I thought it had reached the statute of limitation!”
           She took out a cigarette from somewhere in her vest and lit it with a Zippo lighter from the same place. When someone tried to tell Rhum that it was a “No-smoking area,” they both stopped for a moment to flip them off and cuss them out. As soon as that person stormed off, they resumed walking and talking.
          “Everything else that you suspected ran the timer you still told me—so why the hell did you hold back on something that was such a big deal!? Do you understand how crazy of a feat it was of me to dispel ALL of the stigma surrounding something like that!?” She slammed one hand into the palm of her other, “They had you booked on being able to MAGICALLY influence ANYONE’S persuasion! There are barely any ways to get a jury to believe someone who can do that—let alone get that fact struck from the record! That wasn’t skill, Char—part of that had to be luck!!! If I had time to prepare for it, that would’ve been a much different—”
          Char had stopped a couple steps behind her before she realized.
          “I was 14.”
          Her eyes went wide. She didn’t turn to face him.
          “And I don’t use that power anymore. You’ll have to excuse me if I’ve wanted to forget about all that.”
          “Yeah, well… try telling a jury that.” She still didn’t turn to face him. She had an apprehensive expression that she didn’t want him to see.
          “That was the last time I ever used it. I decided then and there that I would never stoop to that level ever again.” His voice had lowered, denoting his solemn mood.
          Rhum had a vague idea of what this was all about. On one hand, Char hadn’t mentioned any sort of family during their travels. None. However, that seemed to be the only topic that was off-limits for him. He’d talk all day about anything she’d asked about—criminal history, hygiene, even really embarrassing stories, but never family.
          A little bit of the painted-on color drained from her face. “I’m guessing you don’t want me to push the issue.”
          “How very keen.” Char walked casually past her as she remained stiff from the surprisingly awkward interaction. She always felt really bad for bringing this sort of thing up, mainly because it seemed to bother Char so much. “It’s fine… really.” He smiled half-heartedly over his shoulder, “So long as we party tonight, it’s not gonna bother me.”
          Rhum smiled a tired grin back, letting the tension in her face drop. “Of course, man. Let’s get shitfaced like we always do!”
          “Hell yeah.”


    TWC: 987/500


    Last edited by Char Lig on 26th November 2021, 4:41 am; edited 3 times in total
    Char Lig
    Char Lig

    Player 
    Lineage : Seductor's Touch
    Position : None
    Posts : 37
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Positive Might
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through! Empty Re: A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through!

    Post by Char Lig 4th September 2021, 6:15 am

    The two emerged into the lobby. Its sprawling expanse had baffled Char when they first entered; he had reckoned you could’ve tried giants given the ceilings were so high. Looking at it now, it felt a lot less desolate than it had 7 hours ago, when Char had been brought in from his lovely stay in jail. Unlike then, the place was bustling—thousands of voices bouncing off of the marble walls turned the ambient sound of business into a cacophony. Still, even for it being a criminal court (though some civil cases had been scheduled to be heard), Char sensed an air of peace. Maybe it was just his new lease on life, but it felt tranquil for what it was.
          Char dug his voucher out of his pocket as Rhum followed him to the clerk’s desk. Its ornate luxury interior style reinforced its official feel. One of the clerks was polishing its mahogany countertop as the two strolled up. He handed them the slip just as they looked up. He cleared his throat.
          “Just my stuff, please.”
    The clerk went through the long, excruciating process of revealing everything Char kept with him. Char wanted to up and die—Rhum wouldn’t stop laughing when they got to his secret makeup kit. He kept trying to claim it was for “disguise purposes,” but Rhum wasn’t having any of it. Eventually the onslaught of snarky comments halted when Char lashed out by saying something about how “at least I don’t look like a whore.” It got awkward and serious enough at that point for Rhum to just stand in silence for the remainder. Char was clearly not in the mood for jokes today.
          It took so long that when he was given his pocket watch back, he started checking it condescendingly. The police had confiscated something like 50 separate items when they had taken him into custody, so it was an eternity before everything was checked out. All the while Char didn’t want to insult the clerk out of respect and understanding that she wasn’t the one choosing to do this. However, he came close.
          Finally, she finished, putting the last item on the desk only to have him curtly snatch it up. It was silly, but as they thanked the clerk, Char began to feel that sense of peace wash over him again. Sure, it had taken him forever to get out of here, but he was about to be able to relax and unwind with Rhum. All he wanted was to kick back a few and watch lacrima.
          No more business for the next couple of days. He resolved.
         He slowly turned around towards the exit. That’s when he sensed it.
         Three huge sources of magical power coming from a portion of the crowd not too far away from him and Rhum. It was just not his day.
         Granted, he wasn’t very good at comprehending other mages’ power. He had honestly never been. Being raised on the streets with only a rudimentary understanding of spellcraft had sharpened his magical cunning but had done little for his sense of spiritualism and introspection. Even with his surprisingly rich (though simple) inner world, Char hadn’t done nearly enough meditating to do anything but make educated guesses at even his own ethernano levels.
         He wasn’t stupid, though. A lot of mages also had power levels too high for him to comprehend—one of his many excuses for not training with it. Still, Char was constantly getting into deeper shit than he could be expected to shovel, so there was a bit of logic to his thinking it useless. That being said, he found that it still kicked in every once in a while.
         Which was what he was feeling now. Char didn’t have much of a reference, but he figured them as bigger than his own—that told him they were all either C or low B rank. Especially so because he could pick up on them in the first place.
         If they were something like A, I’d be really surprised… Still, if they were criminals this strong, they would have to be taken in by a squadron or maybe one really strong Rune Knight… Plus, they wouldn't all three be together... Yet...
         Char stood in anticipation of the crowd parting. Rhum saw the intense look on his face. Her heartrate shot up as she, too, froze, trying to divine what problem Char could’ve possibly been having now.
          “Char… If this is about—”
         The crowd didn’t part, and the magic sources didn’t move.
          “Shh.” He put a finger up to her lips and leaned in, whispering, “Three huge wells of ethernano. Due west—twelve-o-clock. I get the feeling they could be here for us, and I know they’re cops.”
           She elected to whisper, too. “What? But I just freed you of all charges. We’re fine. Let’s just walk out of here. C’mon.”
          “Dude, let’s just sneak around ‘em just to be safe. I really don’t wanna get held up any longer.”
          "Alright,” she nodded, “that’s fair, at least.”


    TWC: 1831/500
    Char Lig
    Char Lig

    Player 
    Lineage : Seductor's Touch
    Position : None
    Posts : 37
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Positive Might
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through! Empty Re: A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through!

    Post by Char Lig 12th September 2021, 11:07 pm

    Char and Rhum split up and began to maneuver through the crowds with ease. Their years pickpocketing and avoiding arrest, respectively, meant they could cut through like a hot knife on butter. However, they did not take the most direct routes, instead hoping to outfox the three powers by zigging and zagging through their sides of the courthouse.
              They had reconverged and were about to open the double doors that led to their freedom, when Char heard a brutal bunch of spit splatting onto the wall of the complementary trash can that was right next to the exit. Char and Rhum didn’t skip a beat in still making for the door.
              “Tryna’ light a shuck there, hoss?” The voice was smooth, but unmatched in its passive aggressiveness. The words were spoken with all of the confidence and intent of a trained interrogator.
              Char cringed up. He could sense two eyes tearing through the back of his skull. Rhum was similarly trapped.
             “Talkin’ to you, Mister Lig.” At that, Char turned around to face the new threat. What faced him was a young man—not more than 22—with callous, half-cocked eyes. He was dressed in a khaki trench coat with tattered ends. A blood red neckerchief straddled him, hidden in the massive valley created by the coat’s collar. A black leather cowboy hat rested atop his head of short, brunette locks.
              He listlessly reached one fingerless-gloved hand into the pocket of his brown leather slacks. “Before you just go and get, I’m needin’ to do more than shoot the shit.” He pointed to the lapel of his coat, which had a shiny gold badge about the size of a stag beetle pinned to it. It was star-shaped and read “Sheriff” in an official-looking font. There were several hyphenated numbers lining the area around the crest that sat at its center.
              “And… you are…?” Char crossed his arms to seem appraising. In reality, he couldn’t have been more worried. Rhum put on a brave face too as they both waited for an answer.
             “Shoot… Plumb forgot the name. Gall Wierny,” He stuck his hand out, “Nice to meet you.” Against his best interests, Char shook it. “Care to, uh, take this outside?” The hand that was digging around in his pocket surfaced, a pack of cigarettes sandwiched between his index finger and thumb.
              Rhum, who was already smoking, uncaringly took a hit of hers. “Is this police business, sir?” The edge returned to her gaze.
              “Yes ma’am.”
              “Great. Two smokers…” Char didn’t look happy.
              The cowboy shifted in place a little, his expression lightening ever so slightly. “Just to be clear, this is a matter separate from your charges. But I would urge you to still pop a squat and cock an ear.”
              Char paused. The one thing that was really putting him off of this guy was that he couldn’t sense his energy. Again, he was no expert, but he still felt those same three powers lingering in the lobby. He figured they were probably in the same place as before, too. Then, there was this guy. Not giving out any vibes, but not in any sort of uniform, either.
              Clearly a badged officer… is this guy for real, or is it fake? Argh… I hate this… Finally, he dropped his shoulders. “Alright, fine. You wanna chat? Let’s chat.”
               The three broke outside, a beautiful gust of wind welcoming them back into nature’s jurisdiction. The intricately carved staircase down from the house beckoned Char, but if there was one thing he had learned on the road, it was how to ignore a catcall like that. The lad turned to face the cowboy.
              Rhum spoke up as Gall lit a cigarette with a match. “I’d like to remind you that, as an officer of the law, you cannot penalize or harass my client for any previously resolved charges.”
              “Well aware, Miss Fausse.”
              “So, you’ve been briefed on me, too.” Rhum furrowed her brow and bared her teeth. The man showed little reaction.
              “I’ve read both of your files. I have to say… I hadn’t a clue who either of you were till I did.” He pointed at Char, who had been biting his tongue to see how this played out.
              “You don’t look like a Rune Knight—you’re not in uniform.” Rhum’s glare drifted to his badge. “Oh, a sheriff.”
              He sucked in some tobacco before taking his cig out of his mouth for a moment. “Yes, ma’am.” He looked off into the distance before glancing at a confused, but silently so Char. “We’re non-stationed personnel; roamers who act as officers and take up work that’s too transient for Rune Knights. We walk the line between the police force and the Rune Knights.”
              Char gave him a plain look. “That’s cool, but I don’t remember asking.”
              “Shoot—well, you needn’t be so rude about it, hoss.” He smiled begrudgingly. “I’d pull in your horns if I were you. I don’t take kindly to ne’er-do-wells and you’re the biggest piece of manure I’ve ever been tasked with not arresting on sight.”
              Rhum shot up from her hunched stance, “Red flag! No harassment! Unless you want to see us in court?”
             “Firstly…” He tapped the used part of his cigarette off slowly and coolly, keeping everyone hanging, “something tells me you’re just wobbling your jaw. Secondly, your ‘client,’ as you put it, has probably neglected to mention his mom.”
             Char’s heterochromatic eyes shot open, and he broke his indifferent appearance. “You son of a bitch!” He grit his teeth, seething. “Don’t say another word!” Char balled his hand at his side. He was livid.
             “I’ll admit I harbor a lot of personal enmity towards her, but I’ll honor your request. Though, I don’t put much stock in power, Mister Lig. Too much given to you, and you’re bound to make the same mistakes as your ancestors.”
             “I sure hope you didn’t come here just to give me life coaching, Mister Wierny. Char mocked Gall’s gestures. “My patience with you guys is wearing thin pretty quickly and, if you’re trying to intimidate me to get me to pull something, you should know that I’m not that stupid. That being said…!” He looked Gall directly in the eyes, fire burning within, “…I’m nothing like my mother, though I’ll admit that neither of us suffer fools lightly.”
             There was a pregnant pause as everyone stood off against each other. So much so, that Gall and Rhum managed to finish their cigarettes. Gall tossed his nonchalantly into a nearby garbage can. Rhum just threw hers into a bush. All the while, none of them had broken eye contact with one another. No one gave in.
             “The deal is this:” Gall adjusted his hat, finally opting to break the silence, “An alternative way to serve your public service hours by helping the state with something important.”
             “What?” Char looked surprised. Public service hours!? He glanced exasperatedly at Rhum. “The fuck is he talking about!?” Rhum shrunk in place a little. “Aw, motherfucker! Rhum, you did not—”
             “It’s what got some charges off the table! Sue me for doing my job!”
            Char sighed. “Fuck… Why didn’t you say anything!?”
            “I thought you’d be as thrilled about it as you are now.”
            “Fuck,” he uttered out of shock. “Well—shit—I am not picking up garbage on the side of the road! Godammit!” He stomped. “Motherfucker!”
            The cowboy cleared his throat. “You done with your hissy fit?”
            “Shut it, Mr. Assless Chaps! You’re being a pain in my ass, too!” Mr. Assless Chaps gave a slight smug grin at the sentiment. “You piece of shit—you’re enjoying this!”
            “It doesn’t matter. Are you interested or not?” He returned to looking stoic.
            “… Depends. You got any more information to disclose before I make a deal with the shittly-dressed devil?”
            “It’s a criminal that we need help apprehending and…” He thought for a moment. “…I think I’m allowed to tell you it’s a mage. You won’t be alone if you take us up—I’m also on the case.”
            “Oh, great! So, I get to go on a death march with one of the Village People! How very kind of the state!”
            Gall spit off to his side. “It’s that or helping kids at the library.”
            Char narrowed his eyes. “Fuck.”



    TWC: 3211/500
    Char Lig
    Char Lig

    Player 
    Lineage : Seductor's Touch
    Position : None
    Posts : 37
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Positive Might
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through! Empty Re: A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through!

    Post by Char Lig 27th September 2021, 4:20 am

    The Waystar Inn was more of a motel than its namesake would have you believe. A row of vehicles, each of which was wildly different from the next, sat quietly in the parking lot situated just outside of the two-story building that their owners made their transient homes in. Some of them—Char was sure—could even fly! Others were buckets of bolts with only a wheel to their plates Then, there was his favorite: Someone had come in a beautiful khaki RV.
           What the motel had in store for its residents was probably more divisive for anyone with decent taste in lodging. The place was cheap, and it showed. The manilla exterior of the building was plastered with grime, probably from not having been pressure-washed in the last millennia. Each room had a single queen-sized bed and smelled like shit. The interior walls had some decorations—mostly cheesy paintings with dogs miming funny things, like playing poker, chess, or riding a bike. It was quaint, to put it nicely.
           But Char and Rhum had went with it because it was very affordable and had a mini bar along with a tele-lacrima. Granted, its projection resolution made anything a chore to watch, but that mattered little to the two, with their cool booze and good spirits.
           “So, you’ve really never seen Lain Dead before?” Rhum chuckled a little before cracking open a cold one using the hazardously sharp corner of the mini fridge. She was wearing nothing but a coffee-stained plain white tee, her underwear, and some mismatched socks. “You’re in for a ride.” She was clearly letting herself be a lot more ragged now that she had lived up to her hype.
           In the wake of that keen attitude and confidence Char had seen build up over the course of their travels, he found the aftermath curious. It made sense to him that she’d wake up today and not want to do anything, though. She had said that his case was one of her hardest at the pub last night.
          “Pretty sure I’ve seen SLain Dead.” Char muttered quizzically from one of the two ten-jewel lawn chairs that they had set up inside. He was nursing a hangover; his cure: the beer in his hand. He was also pretty sure he and Rhum were alcoholics. Char reclined a little, smiling. He’d met Rhum’s lazy attitude for today with his own, donning only tank top and sweatpants.
          Rhum’s eyebrows raised. “A fan of the Spiritual Successor series, huh?” She took her place in the other plastic chair.
         “I didn’t even know it was a series, dude.”
          Rhum overreacted with a comical amount of shock. “What!? Kids these days… Guess you were still in diapers by the time this one came out.”
         “Pretty sure I was like 15.” He wiped his nose with his hand, looking nonplussed. “So, yeah, still in diapers.” He cracked into a wry smile as they both cackled. “Whatever, it’s still good so far. Definitely see why this one was the original.” He eyed the pizza they had ordered that was on the cheap lawn table they had bought. It was by Rhum. “Yo, pass me a slice.”
         “Sure thing.” She lobbed it at him, but it was a little high. Char quickly stuck his hand up above his head without even looking. Catching it nonchalantly.
         “Fuck yeah! This place rocks.” He said with muted appreciation, taking a messy bite out of his meat-lovers.
         “Yeah? Not the best spot I’ve been in.” She didn’t want to be rude, but she did mind the cockroaches.
         "Well, trust me—you grow up without TV and this shit hits harder.” He didn’t take his eyes off the screen, but he still looked to be in good spirits. “I mean, this is what we were working for, right?”
         “True.” She raised her drink. “To freedom!”
          Char joined in the toast. “Fuck yeah.” They both chugged their beers and tossed the bottles to their sides. “Between last night and today we’ve done a lot of toasts…”
         “I think they’re fun.” She grinned.
         “Hey, I’m not complaining! You know…” He said through chomps, “…we should get an RV at some point. That would make shit waaaaay easier.”
          Rhum’s eyes widened, and she shook off her hangover. “Wait… Am I here to stay?”
          Char looked surprised, but then mellowed out. He looked at her. “Oh, uh, yeah… Sorry, we probably should’ve had this conversation a while back.” He scratched the back of his head. “I’m fine with being a team now that I’ve gotten used to it. Is… is that cool with you?”
          “Yeah! Of course, man! Thrilled to be here, boss!” Rhum did a faux salute.
          “Aye! For the record, I’m happy to have you.” He waved it off. They both were clearly through the roof right now. “Damn, sucks we got that cop guy coming and I’ve gotta sleep in the bag tonight.”
          “Not for me. I need that mattress! My back is killing me.”
          “You earned it.” He casually motioned to her with his pizza slice.


    TWC: 4049/500
    Char Lig
    Char Lig

    Player 
    Lineage : Seductor's Touch
    Position : None
    Posts : 37
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Positive Might
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through! Empty Re: A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through!

    Post by Char Lig 8th October 2021, 8:05 am

    Just then, their banter was interrupted by a booming knock on the door. They both gave each other a cautious look as Rhum got up to turn the lacrima off. Char made a tch noise before disappointedly getting up and walking to the door. It creaked open to reveal Gall, looking about as rough-and-tumble as yesterday had left him.
           “Howdy.” The cowboy grumbled.
          “Yo,” Char uttered casually, “Come on in.” He motioned inside.
          “Mighty kind of you. I apprec—Wha’ in tarnation?” Gall stared at the terrible mess that had befallen the two’s tiny motel room. Clothes—undergarments, pants, shirts, jackets—all draped and creased over any piece of furniture that found itself elevated; undisposed of boxes of takeout just sitting there, waiting to gather flies; both sleeping arrangements unmade—blankets practically on the floor. “You keepin’ a stable or a home, Mister Lig? Seems like you need to make up your mind with this pigsty.”
          Char shrugged. “I thought you came here to brief me, not critique my hygiene.”
          “Sorry, sir. It’s just I’m a little reeled at your livin’.” He adjusted his collar. “Really had me thinkin’ you’d keep a tighter shop for me, at least.”
          “I barely know you, dick.” Char yawned a little. “Now either give me the rundown out here or in the A/C. That’s my ultimatum.”
          “Alright, alright.” Gall walked in and pulled up a plastic lawn chair. He gave an understanding look at the TV, which was paused. Lain Dead, a classic.” He resumed his assessment of the room. “Not exactly of the first water ‘round here, but I guess I’ve seen worse.”
          Rhum and Char both pulled up their chairs to the small table, too. Char leaned in while Rhum smiled smugly.
          Gall reclined a little and propped the briefcase he had brought up against the leg of his seat. “I can’t give you the details if you don’t first agree to it. I’m not going to get anything notarized for this but know I can punish you to the full extent of the law should you back down.” Rhum’s eyebrow cocked at that, but she remained silent.
          Char paused for a second for dramatic effect. Then, he laughed a little. “It’s practically a death sentence… but I’m in.”
          “Mister Lig… I’m not out to kill you. We’re going to make it through this. You have my word…” He stuck his hand out for a shake. “Partner.”
          “I really don’t like you, man. I’ll say that. I’m 90% sure you’ve got beef with my… situation and, to top it off, you’re a cop…” He took Gall’s hand tightly and shook. Char looked him sternly in the eyes. “Now that I’ve got my wits about me, though, I can clearly see that this beats public service any day of the week…” The lad flashed his teeth at the sheriff. Partner.
          Gall leaned back, relief flooding his expression. He let his shoulders down a little and crossed his arms. There were even the makings of a grin.
          “Wish that attitude of yours would up and vanish, but I’m thankful for the help, even if it is from a reprobate like you.” He eyed Rhum. “Miss Fausse, I trust you understand the classified nature of this intel-to-come?”
          “Should I bow out?” Her other eyebrow cocked.
          “It’s not necessary so long as it doesn’t leave this room.”
          “Awfully lenient of you—isn’t it?”
          “I may have personal issues with your client, but we’re still going to have to be a team for this. I want to show you two I have nothing to hide going forward.” He tipped his hat.
          Char leaned further in. “Then spill the beans.”
         Wordlessly, Gall reached down and plopped the briefcase down onto the tabletop. He undid the code locks that sealed it and then popped it open. Inside were several manilla folders, each with what looked to be sizable stacks of paper housed within them. There were a few acorn-sized lacrima crystals just sitting in one corner of the box. Char could feel the energy resonating from them.
          Gall looked over the labels, each coded “E-14,” “E-15,” and so on, then drew out “E-19” from toward the bottom of the stack after licking his index finger.
          He smiled contently, “I rather prefer paper, so I get the boys at the stations to waste me a lot of ink. Lacrima’s there because they won’t let me take two paces from anywhere without forcing me to take magical copies.” He gently set the folder to the side of the case and flipped it open.
           Several colored pictures had been taped to the back of the cover. There was a bunch of writing accompanying them, notes written in different colors of marker. The handwriting was hardly neat, but Char could do little to judge on that part. He figured it was Gall’s.
           The documents housed within were these thick, three-stapled bulletin-monstrosities. Machine-written text was crammed onto the page between lines and lines of shorthand and jargon.
           I recognize them from looking at mine. Those must be the police reports. Makes sense. Char’s attention drifted back to the photos. There were a lot of shots of hooded figures, each with differing builds and statures. From what he could see, every one of their faces were hidden by their cover—but they were clearly very different people. Some parts of the images were blurred, and a good majority were boxed in by crowds that the photographer had to shoot through. Must’ve been on Candid Camera…. That would explain the lacking shots… Likely all from tails…
           Then Char noticed that one of them was set at night. One of them was alone, on the street, just walking it seemed. It was a full body shot that made the man’s (?) barrel-chested form very obvious. But even more obvious was the fact that they had no shadow, despite being captured under the warm glow of a streetlamp.
           Char smiled sheepishly. “Just illusions.”
           Gall perked up from out of his cool demeanor for a moment. “A mighty fine deduction. That’s what our boys started with, too. However…” He shuffled through a few of the reports and laid three out in front of the folder. They looked like testimonies, each adorned with a normal, non-hooded person for identification and a name, as well as the seal of the state. “…A couple of street vendor eyewitness reports of dealings with these people and you got yourself quite the mystery.”
          “Right… So, it’s just these three?”
          “And a few folks who remembered bumpin’ into them.”
          “Okay…? So, what are we looking at?”
         Gall brushed one of his bangs back and then hid his eyes behind the brim of his hat. “The witnesses said they all shared one key feature: their faces were impossible to see no matter where the light was coming from. We know this because these photos were all captured at different points of the day. You’ll notice that all the shots we have here are two-thirds, in reference to the camera angle relative to their faces.”
         Char tilted his head to the side and frowned lazily. “Yeah. You can’t see a thing…” He looked up, confused. “Wait… are you trying to say…?”
         “Most likely.” He took out a few more photographs that were sitting behind one of the initial ones. They were all the originals, but put into a filter that accentuated contrast, clearly applied in an attempt to brighten the shadows. The faces of these figures were hard to make out, but barely visible in these new versions.
         “They’re all some sort of shadow people?”
         “I reckon. But the plot thickens some more even after that.” Gall took more photos from underneath a paperclip and spread them like playing cards. They were of the same men and women, but with normal shading and in different, less sketchy circumstances. “’Specially when you realize these people are all deceased.” Char opened his mouth and raised a finger. Gall spoke swiftly before him. “Yes, to answer your question: they were pronounced dead before we captured them in the initial batch as well.” Char shut his mouth wordlessly. “Still with me?”
         Char coughed a little, then shrugged. “Yeah, I’m assuming there’s yet more you haven’t told me since these all seem like civilians.”
        “That’s right.” Gall glanced over to Rhum, who had been leaned back in her chair ever since he had started talking.
         She had stopped smiling about halfway through his explanation—which Gall figured was when she had realized that the investigating was done for this case. A correct assumption, he noted internally. She coldly drew a cigarette and lit up. The cowboy hid his astonishment at that.
         “So, why this case?” Rhum asked callously. “What made you pick this one?”


    TWC: 5508/500
    Char Lig
    Char Lig

    Player 
    Lineage : Seductor's Touch
    Position : None
    Posts : 37
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Positive Might
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through! Empty Re: A Serious Battle Against a Foe From the Darkness -- Char Lig's Inner Light Shines Through!

    Post by Char Lig 24th November 2021, 12:20 am

    Gall froze for a moment. “Ma’am…”
        Char wanted to smile, but kept it in. Nice, Rhum! Time for us to start taking some ground! He settled on a knowing look at her as he thought.
        He picked back up. “Ma’am, I don’t choose the jobs. I’m assigned them.”
        “Ooh, right. My bad. Must’ve been thinking of a different branch.” She tilted her head towards the ceiling.
        He subtly concealed his eyes under his hat. “No worries.” Nothing had changed about his voice.
        Whoa… Rhum didn’t even blink asking that. She said everything she needed to in one move… She’s really good at this. Ah, she’s lucky, though. She got to handle the guy we already know… He stared unwittingly at Gall. Guess this is up both our alleys. Hope she’s having as much fun as I am. Char raised his hand like a kid in class.
        Gall cocked his head to one side and his neck gave a loud pop. He set one hand on the nape of his neck to provide tension. “Gah, something botherin’ you?”
        “Extend, please.” At Char’s word, his staff, sandwiched between a stack of boxes in the corner of the room, blasted out from its prison. Its pointed end magically gained length, stabbed forward through the air, and stopped right as it was parallel to his open palm. Then, he grasped Gebreekte Stok as it supernaturally retracted to being only a foot long. “Really just wanted you to continue…” He started picking his teeth with the pointed part. The strange particles orbiting around the misshapen head of the staff dilated and then changed color a little.
        “I… see.” He coughed. “In that case, we had, uh, reached a dead-end with this for a while. The trail almost went cold. Then, they got me. My specialty is findin’ things. Tried a number of techniques and eventually magically pinpointed these strange apparitions.” Gall fished a piece of folded paper from his coat pocket “Hope you’ll excuse the smell of smoke.”
        “I’d be hard-pressed not to at this point, y’know?”
        “Fair’s fair, I’d say.” He unfolded the paper. It was a large, sprawling map of Era and its surrounding terrain. “So, this is where we think these strange shadows are operatin’ out of.” He pointed to a red-circled part of the jungle that bordered the city. It was deep into grounds cordoned off by the state for archaeological reasons. Gall kept his finger on it while he looked Char in the eyes. “They’ve been out gatherin’ items that’ve raised major red flags—Buyin’ them separately, too. Not just magic items, but things like reagents and weapons.”
        “So, we’re busting a ring?”
        “Maybe…” Both of them paused for a second. Char was squinting inquisitively at Gall, while he remained nonplussed.
    Char stirred. “So, why the fuck did you reach out to me?”
    “’Course! The shadowy imposters, Mister Lig. Shoot!” He suddenly slapped his knee and laughed a little. “Didn’t I tell you? I read your file. My current unit pointed me towards you because you’re a child of the Luminary.”


    TWC: 6015/500

      Current date/time is 3rd December 2021, 2:10 am