Whiskery Witchery

Nispa
Citizen of the World
Joined: July 18th, 2017, 3:32 pm

February 21st, 2018, 7:49 pm #1

They were nearly upon her. She hiked the hems of her robes up off the floor so as not to trip on them. Her lower arms were folded in front of her, hidden under layers of baggy fabric and clutching the precious strands tightly. She rounded a corner. Her feet skittered against the polished temple floor; she placed a hand on the ground to recover her balance, then pushed off and raced for daylight.

Two acolytes leapt out and blocked the exit. One brandished a rapier. Nispa faltered momentarily, then forged onwards. The first acolyte made to grab her; she thrust him aside with a hearty shove. The second made a move to run her through. She caught his sword, crying out as it sliced her hand, then wrenched it free of his grasp and sent it skirring across the floor. She clenched her injured hand into a fist and used it to knock the assailant off his feet as she ran past. Dropping her skirts, her other hand grabbed onto the doorframe and she whipped around the corner without losing any momentum. Out in the open, she made a dash for the marketplace. If she could lose them anywhere, it would be there.

Once she reached the market, she slowed to a stop and tried to catch her breath. Several people were already giving her quizzical looks. She pulled her hood lower over her face and immediately dove into the throngs of people. She could sense a roiling anger behind her, but she forced herself to retain a casual pace. She couldn't run out here; she'd only give herself away. Instead, she slipped into a sidestreet and then an alleyway.

She untied her rope belt and threw off the white priest's robes. Underneath was her standard wear: a simple tunic and long skirt, two daggers hiding against her rear thighs. Her lower arms extended and stretched, free now. Somehow, by becoming more bizarre, she hoped to be less obvious. They were looking for a girl, not a spider. She hoped that her eyes wouldn't give her away.

She looked down at the blood-red pearls in her lower hands. If they saw those, it wouldn't matter what she looked like; they'd be on her faster than she could react. She sliced a square of fabric from the discarded robes with her dagger and wrapped the ruby strands tightly. She tied the fabric into a careful bundle. With that tucked carefully underarm, she sliced one last strip of fabric. She opened the fist that had been sliced by the sword. It was still bleeding, and stung fiercer than a nettle patch. She tied the cloth around it. It immediately stained from white to red, but she cared not. It would have to do. Acutely aware of the urgency of her situation, she slipped back into the street and made for the town's exit.

She kept her senses on high alert. She could sense the atmosphere around her, and there was no mistaking the furious swath that her pursuers cut through the crowd. She avoided them as best she could. Halfway out, however, she sensed exactly what she dreaded: recognition. She peered through the people and glimpsed the signature white robes. One of them had spotted her.

She switched direction and cut sideways through the street. There was no shaking them, and she knew it. They were going to catch her. She looked down at the precious bundle in her hands. They couldn't get their hands on the blood pearls. She cast about for a place to hide them, but she couldn't think of anyplace where they wouldn't find them.

Out of desperation, she scanned the crowds. She wouldn't have time to explain her situation, but if she could at least tell them something--! There! she thought, catching sight of a rather petite woman. She wore a sword at her hip; she knows how to take care of herself. She approached and thrust the wrapped pearls at the stranger.

"I need you to hold these," she demanded, painfully aware of how crazy she sounded. She glanced over her shoulder, but could not see her pursuers. She knew she only had a few moments. "Don't let anyone have them. Anyone!" She used her mental powers to project her desperation and prayed to any gods that would listen that the stranger would keep the pearls safe.
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Shiro
Citizen of the World
Joined: March 20th, 2015, 5:45 am

February 24th, 2018, 5:25 am #2

// u spider


Today was a busier day than Shiro originally anticipated. She had been in town to pick up some groceries and other odds and ends. The whole shopping trip should've only had taken at maximum 2 hours for everything. But in reality, it took the neko a good 4 hours. It was much less frustration than it was weary disappointment. She was looking forward to heading home and relaxing in the quite woods surrounding her home.

There was a large swath of people surrounding the exit. Shiro wasn't tall enough to see what the commotion was up ahead. She caught glimpses of a few - really angry - clergymen gesturing aggressively with the guardsmen. The din of the crowd blocked out what they were talking about, as she was to far away to even hear anyway. Instinctively, one of her hands rested on Tsujigiri, just in case. If Shiro could hazard a guess, it appeared that they were looking for someone. Who? Why? It wasn't of any grave concern to her so she just shrugged it off internally.

Suddenly a small cloth bundle was shoved at the catgirl. There were too many people surrounding her that she didn't even have a chance to see it coming. Shiro flinched backwards, pivoting to face this new assailant. Before she could even get a chance to say a word before whatever the thing was shoved into her arms. Shiro looked down at the bundle of cloth before looking up at the woman. Her face full of desperation, instructing the neko to hang onto the package. Behind them, the clergy trying to get through the crowd of people. The intent was clear.

There were so many questions Shiro had, and exactly zero time to ask them much less get the answers for.

This item probably was stolen. No doubt if this woman was trying that hard to offload it onto someone else. Shiro, in one fluid motion, dumped the cloth package into a hidden pouch under her cloak and readjusted. What package? The catgirl turned on her heel, took one last look at the stranger. She spoke clearly and succinctly, "Waterfront Market, last stall. Go."

With the simplest of instructions, Shiro left. The neko didn't bother to even look back. She had been lucky enough to be of small stature, those whom gave chase to the thief hadn't noticed her in the crowd. Shiro could easily slip away without so much as a 'how do you do'. This was exactly what she planned to do and did.

The catgirl zigged and zagged in a tangential direction from her meeting place. This was just a necessary precaution just in case. Shiro melted into the crowd. Slipping away further and further from trouble, she moved like a silk weave in the wind.

The neko spent the next half an hour moving candidly through the city, doubling back and crossing over routes. She needed to make her way to the waterfront, but not with the possibility of someone following her. Eventually she ended up at the Waterfront, waiting on a bench. A faint memory drifted back to her...

...Shiro gazed out at the endless shimmering sea before her, drinking in the vast hues of blue of the water and white of the patchy clouds...

A smile crept across her visage. That moment was so long ago now. So long ago.

She hadn't moved, but in her peripheral vision she kept a close eye on the last stall in the line. She waited for the stranger to appear. It took a lot of willpower to stay calm and collected. The anxiety was welling up inside the little catgirl, she wanted to pace. She wanted to jump up and go sprinting around the city to find that woman.

No.

Shiro wondered how badly those robed people were thrashing her. There was little she could do now, nevertheless it still made her worry. She would wait until sundown, if the strange woman did not appear then then she would return home.

What about tomorrow though...
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Nispa
Citizen of the World
Joined: July 18th, 2017, 3:32 pm

March 6th, 2018, 7:35 am #3

// U CAT

Nispa's breath hitched and caught as the woman pieced together what was going on. She looked down at the bundle, so haphazardly tied together, then slipped it beneath her cloak and uttered a simple phrase. "Waterfront Market, last stall. Go." Her breath let out all at once; she hadn't expected the lady to agree with so little information, or in such circumstances, but she was infinitely glad that she had. Without another word, the stranger turned on her heel and stalked off through the crowd.

Nispa stood for a moment, figuring the details as fast as she could. She'd love nothing more than to be out of the city, but she could see several of the robed ones talking to the town guard and gesturing at the crowd. Several more stood near the city gates. Her only hope was to head deeper into the city, but as she turned, the spires of the church loomed over her. She couldn't go anywhere near the church, that much was certain. She picked a different direction, a route that lead to a more residential section of the city. It would have to work. She bolted, weaving through the crowd much more awkwardly than the cloaked stranger had.

She'd made it most of the way through the marketplace before a hand grabbed her wrist. She jerked around, coming face-to-face with one of the acolytes. A sly smirk stretched across her lips. "Found you," she said, then raised a hand to Nispa's eyes and cast a spell on her.

Had Nispa been unprepared, she would have fallen instantly to sleep. As it was, her resistance to mind-altering magic kept her awake. She tottered drowsily backwards. The clergywoman's smirk faltered as Nispa resisted, but she quickly saw that she had not completely failed. Her grip on Nispa's wrist tightened and she began pulling her down the street.

Nispa fought against her, but a few moments later, a second acolyte had taken hold of one of her other arms. The two of them combined were enough to bring Nispa back to the church and into the lower level.

There, an intimidatingly tall woman in gold-trimmed robes awaited their return. As the oak doors swung open, she turned to face them, her hands clasped together in front of her. She appraised Nispa with cold eyes. "Ah," she murmured, "The thief herself."

Nispa struggled against her captors, fighting the last traces of the spell away. "We both know you're the thief," she spat, "and I ain't giving 'em back."

A delicate frown traced across her face. "You'll return them," the lady declared, "or I shall be forced to turn you over to the city guard. They'll know what to do with a criminal such as yourself."

"Y'ain't gonna get 'em," Nispa retaliated, lifting her chin and staring the woman in the eye. "Only I know where they are, and y'ain't gonna find 'em without me. Y'ain't gonna find 'em with me, neither."

The priestess turned away, halfway between frustrated and resigned that Nispa was so stubborn. "I trust that you two can get the information from her?"

Nispa opened her mouth, but the man to her left spoke up first. "Leave it to us, Lady Jeonna."

She bowed her head, but said nothing more as they escorted Nispa from the room.

It was much later in the afternoon when they came. There were three of them, all clad in the white robes of the church. At first, their presence on the Waterfront went largely unnoticed. They passed by the various wares and merchants. They looked to be heading straight through, but they stopped at the final stall and pulled the merchant aside. Two of them engaged him in a conversation too low to hear. The third sifted through the contents of the stall, careful with the wares but clearly searching for something else. After a time, he shook his head and joined in the conversation. They talked for a time, then all four of them made their way back up the street and out of sight.
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Shiro
Citizen of the World
Joined: March 20th, 2015, 5:45 am

March 11th, 2018, 11:15 am #4

// U ARACHNID

Shiro waited, absently she kept track of the time. She reminisced about various things, nothing noteworthy, just idle thoughts to pass time. Eventually she has spotted three men dressed in white religious garb, they were making a beeline to the last stall. Whether that strange woman knew it or not, a message was being delivered. The neko had expected her to appear and she could do away with this whole strange ordeal. Her heart sank a little, this means that whomever was holding her, still had the stranger in their clutches.

Very well, thought Shiro. It was time to return home. She decided that returning tomorrow and sorting this mess out would be optimal.

If this item was so valuable to these people, they'd probably want to seal off the exits to the city. At the very least station some men so keep an eye out for whatever it was. Shiro knew the towns guardsmen had themselves stretched thin as they were still recovering from the war. There was just no way to look through every bag and cart that left the city, not enough manpower.

She weighed the option of just walking right out one of the exits, as she was certain that the clergymen didn't know who to look for, only what. No, she needed to take extra measures. Her tail twitched nervously.

The catgirl waited until the three robed figures plus the merchant disappeared out of sight, counted to 75 and stood. She stretched a bit, and left. She zigged and zagged through the crowd. She started heading towards the original gate she was going to head out of before all this. Taking a left turn down a less busy street, then a right into a narrow alleyway that led close to the walls. She ended up in someone's minuscule backyard, or rather, patio. In her travels in and out of the city, she had memorized a few escape routes. If ever in the event that something went pear shaped and she needed to get out of the city.

An old thieves exit, across a few tall houses and through a gap in the parapet. Whether the guard didn't know about it, being a glaring oversight, or the guard did know about it and didn't care. Either way, it was the quickest and easiest method out of the city.

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow she would return and figure out where that woman was no doubt dragged off to. Given with the information that Shiro had, her search will be easily narrowed down. But, for now, it was getting late. Shiro wanted to return back home, take care of a few small errands and catch up with her girlfriend.

~The Next Day~
An entrance the same as the exit. Shiro was not taking a single chance. She had seen the way that those robed figures relentlessly chased after this item. Of which Shiro had rewrapped before returning to Reine - this time with greater care. Now the bundle couldn't be identified at a simple glance. The neko couldn't make heads or tails why either party wanted some pearls that badly.

The catgirl spent a good part of twenty minutes convincing the local stray cats to help her locate a freshly imprisoned woman. It cost a little bit of coin, but after the bellies were full. The stray's were more than willing to find her for Shiro. It took a bit, and a lost of twists and turns deep into the city, but they found the place.

Shiro looked on, the building was guarded. The guards lounging outside were wearing the right outfit. Now the only part was trying to figure out where, and how to get in and out of the place. There, an open window on the second floor. That was a glaring oversight, then again, how many buildings were expecting infiltrators?

A evil, toothy grin spread across her concealed face. The catgirl began to do some preemptive stretches, getting all the muscles ready and worked up.

This was going to be a workout.

She climbed up to the roof of the building adjacent with ease, and out of sight.

A simple leap across and in. She nodded her head to a silent beat, timing. Quickly she scanned the room. It was a study of sorts, maybe an office. This information was quickly disregarded, she moved - quiet as a breeze - to the doorway. Peeking out in the hall, nothing. She waited.

There were several dull thuds, to which she identified as being below her. There was at least one person on the first floor. If anything, the target she sought would be in the cellar. The neko tiptoed down the hall toward the staircase. Shiro stopped just before the decent began, peering over the railing she couldn't get a full layout of the floor below, but she had just enough information to get down the steps.

Taking a few light steps down, she rolled off the balustrade, planting a foot on the other railing. She ducked and held onto the spindles. She surveyed the entirety of the room. Her ears strained against her hood, listening. The footsteps were on the other side of the building.

Perfect.

The catgirl looked down, even better, The stairway led down into the cellar. She slid down the railing and repeated the same actions down a level. She was out of sight, out of noise, and out of her mind. Infiltrating some strange place for someone she had never even met. There was a fine verbal lashing in store for this stranger once they were safe. But for now, she needed to stay focused on the mission at hand.

The cellar was more difficult. It was a dungeon no less, one long hallway with thick - locked - doors. She heard a voice, talking in a very dismissive tone. The neko strained to detect any words, but the doors were far too thick for anything more than a murmur to pass through. She picked out which cell the voices were emanating from. That saved a lot of time, but Shiro wasn't calling it a day just yet.

The whole cellar was dark as it was dank. It was very easy to conceal herself in one of the thresholds of the cells until the interrogators left the woman alone. The jailer must be with them, Shiro had concluded.

Roughly fifteen minutes later, the captors decided to leave the poor stranger to her own devices. Two Guardsmen and a very hoity-toity priestess left the cell, then the jailer following behind to lock the door behind them. The priestess paused for a moment, staring at the door.

"What a stubborn bitch," she spat, as if the door was her captor, the words dripping with venom. The three of them turn on a heel and marched back upstairs and out of sight. The jailer, on the other hand, twirled his keys in his hand and cheerily walked down the hallway. Just as he was about even with Shiro's hiding spot, he twirled the keys high up and fumbled them. As the keys clattered to the ground, the jail-man cursed under his breath. He bent down to retrieve the keys, a mistake that he would come to realize in several hours.

Shiro was waiting to strike, and this was the moment she needed. A downward plunge with the haft of one of her daggers right into the back of the mans skull. The jailer collapsed with a dull whump, akin to that of a sack of moldy potatoes.

The catgirl retrieved the keys that were still strewn upon the ground, and stepped over to the door. After fumbling with the keys and trying several until she figured out the right one, the lock clicked open and the thick door slowly swung open.

There, lying in a slump on the floor was the stranger that Shiro had met just the day before. The neko looked on, nary a muscle moved, not even a head lifted to look at who was entering the room. Shiro chalked it up to either not enough energy or not willing to give whoever it was the dignity. Either way, she didn't mind it.

She padded over to the prone body, there were still signs of life - breathing. At least they didn't kill her, that much was a relief. Shiro couldn't imagine the horrors committed - the thought was cut immediately by the sound that she heard. Her tail flicked in curiosity.

Quiet sobbing. The woman was crying. Shiro's heart dropped, she felt so bad. Half the battle was over and now they just needed to get out. Easier said than done. The catgirl bent down while extending a hand, she paused before touching the woman. Would she recognize her? There were so many possibilities. It was too late now to start mulling over all that. They were operating on a time frame, and a small one at that.

Shiro gently placed her hand on the woman's shoulder, giving her a soft, gentle nudge.

"Hey...it's me," her voice barely above a whisper. “Can you stand? We have to leave. Now."
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Nispa
Citizen of the World
Joined: July 18th, 2017, 3:32 pm

March 28th, 2018, 10:11 am #5

//U FELINE
//also trigger warning for blood and torture omg I don’t normally write like this I swear
//also also tl;dr just skip below the divider bar


The cellar was dark. The only light that filtered into the cellular room was from the hallway, and it cast her interrogators into backlit shadow. At first, there were only two of them, the very ones that had dragged her in from the streets in the first place. They both covered their faces with white cowls; simple wooden crosses dangled against their foreheads.

They took her down into the room and forced her to her knees. The female lifted a heavy shackle connected to a thick chain and looped it around Nispa’s neck. She locked it in place and slipped the key onto a massive iron ring dripping with other keys of all shapes and sizes. A few moments later, the male released her. She got to her feet—at least the chain would allow her that. She backed away from her captors, but her leash only allowed a few steps before the chain pulled taut. She reached a hand up to relieve the pressure on her neck.

“No use,” one of the acolytes said, eerily calm. “It’s thick enough to keep a bear in place. You won’t be breaking out anytime soon.”

Nispa said nothing. She cast about for a method of escape. She didn’t know how long the stranger would wait for her. If she took too long, then the pearls would be lost to her. Perhaps the stranger would try to sell them, or even worse, give them back. Above all, she had to make sure they stayed away from the priestess.

“Either way.” The clergyman approached one of the walls of the cell. At first, in the dim light, Nispa hadn’t noticed, but as her eyes adjusted, and as her attention was drawn there, she could see that rows and rows of hooks lined the wall. Most of them held the tools of a torturer. With a sinking heart, Nispa began to realize exactly how deep she’d gotten herself into this mess.

The figure perused the tools at a leisurely pace, reaching out for one before changing his mind. Eventually he settled upon a simple leather whip.

“Aww, no fun,” his companion whined, but he silenced her with a quick glare.

“We have a job to do,” he reminded her, his gaze turning to Nispa. “You know what happens when she’s angry.”

She let out a mildly irritated sigh. “Get on with it, Dune,” she told him, then leaned against the wall and crossed her arms. “You’re better with that thing than I am anyway.”

“You heard the lady.” His full attention had turned to Nispa. He uncurled the whip and spun it around his head. He brought it to crack near enough to Nispa’s ear that she could feel the wind. She let out an involuntary squeal and scurried backwards away from it. The chain pulled at her neck, and she was forced onto her hands to keep her balance.

“Look at it! It’s scared already,” the woman chided.

“Hush, Emilia,” the first snapped. “We need it to talk, and it can’t do that if you are."

“I’m not an it,” Nispa said, her voice trembling much more than she’d hoped it would. “I’m a girl.”

“See? I told you, even monsters can be girl monsters.”

“I’m not a monster!” she protested. “I’m—“

“Well, you’re certainly not human.”

“Emilia, be quiet!” Dune barked, cracking his whip to punctuate his demand. She fell silent. After a few moments, he nodded, then turned to Nispa once again.

“You know what it is we want out of you. Either we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way.”

“I don’t have them,” Nispa started.

“I know that,” he snarled. “You think we’d have to go through this if you had them with you? No, you’re going to tell us where they are.”

“I don’t know where they are,” she admitted.

“Bullshit!” He cracked the whip across Nispa’s left cheek. Instantly, she felt the blood bead and run down her cheek and drip off her chin. She squealed again, and the chain pulled harder as she tried to recoil further. Emilia let out a faint chuckle. Dune took a step forward and looked down on Nispa.

“I’ll ask again. Where are they?”

“I told you, I don’t know!”

Crack! This one hit her shoulder. That arm buckled, and it took her lower arm to save her from crashing to the floor.

“Like hell you don’t. You’re the one that stole them, and you’re the one that hid them. We know that they’re still in the city. It’s up to you to tell us where.”

“I’ll never tell you,” she said through gritted teeth. She braced herself for another lash, but after several moments, it didn’t come. She dared a glance upwards. Dune towered above her, his face unreadable behind his shroud. Eventually he kicked her, hard. She toppled over sideways on the cold floor. He whipped her then, three times, and left parallel scratches through her shirt and through the skin below.

“Take out the cat,” Emilia suggested, but Dune must have given her another look, for she quieted. Nispa’s breath hitched; she couldn’t help but cry, with what they were doing to her. She wasn’t a thief; she wasn’t cut out for this sort of adventuring. The most she hoped for was a harmless wander every once in a while. She never wanted to get caught up in any trouble!

The whip cracked again and again. She cried out. She curled up, as best as she could, on the floor. One lash caught her wrist; one hit the nape of her neck, right below the collar. It was all she could do to withstand them and wait for him to be finished.

“Oh, let off it,” Emilia interrupted. “It'll never tell us anything if you keep at it like that.”

Silence.

Relief.


“Fine, then. Your turn.”

A hand rested upon Nispa’s side, careful to pick a spot that had avoided the whip. “There, now, he’s done with his whip.”

Dune scoffed. “For now.”

“But he doesn’t have to hurt you. You could be free. I could heal you, and we wouldn’t have to ever see each other again.” One of her hands began to glow a creamy yellow colour. She held it to Nispa’s shoulderblade; the flesh below knit itself together and smoothed over. As soon as she had started, she stopped. “But you have to tell us. In exchange for your freedom.”

Pain.

Agony.




Relief.


Nispa leaned into the healing hand, relishing the warmth and gentle tingle that accompanied it. As soon as it had started, it stopped. The pain returned, a sharp, all-encompassing stinging. She tried to raise her head from the floor, but the lash at her neck kept her in place. If she stayed there, just like that, then eventually it would stop, the pain would stop.

But they were still here. So long as they were with her, they wouldn't leave her alone. She opened her mouth to speak, but her racking sobs reduced her speech to little more than fragments.

"See, Dune, I told you you were too rough," Emilia chided. She healed another of Nispa's scratches. "Come on, then, try again."

"They're--" No, no, you can't--but they'll keep going--they can't have them--you can't take this much longer--you must resist--it'll only get worse--they've hardly begun--it's a sacrifice you have to make--you can't do it--they're just getting started--you're the only one left to stand against them--but it hurts so bad--it hurts--it hurts--it hurts--"at the market," she managed. "The--the last stall."

"There, see? That wasn't so bad." Emilia's voice was condescendingly sweet. She opened her mouth to say more, but decided against it and stood to her feet again. "C"mon, Dune, let's go tell Lady Jeonna what it just told us."

Dune nodded. "Better hurry. I'm getting cold."

The two left the room. The heavy door swung shut. Nispa could hear the lock click into place behind them. As if she could escape. The chain held tight around her neck, and every movement sent fresh waves of pain rippling across her marred skin. Streams of blood pooled on the floor around her. Eventually they stopped, turning to gooey clots and then crusty patches as time passed. Still she dared not move.

I've failed them.

I've just killed them all.


She didn't know how much later it was. Time passed in an agonizing monotony. It could have been minutes; it could have been days. Still she didn't move.

As soon as the door opened, she knew that she was in trouble. No matter how maddening the silence was, any company was sure to be worse. The interrogators entered the room, three sets of footsteps announcing their arrival. Nispa twisted away from them and hoped that they would leave her alone.

"Dune tells me that you hid the pearls at the market," the priestess began, "but when we went there for ourselves, they weren't there."

"I don't suppose you lied to us?" a second person asked. Nispa didn't recognize his voice.

"She won't be doing it again," the priestess declared. "Tove, if you would."

Tove held a hand palm-out towards Nispa. His eyes closed; his lips moved in a silent chant. After a minute, Nispa felt a pressure against her mind. She'd dealt with mental assaults before, and so she knew how to block him out, but he wasn't intent on infiltrating her mind. Instead, he surrounded her and squeezed. She lashed out against him, but her mental attacks had no effect. She tried again, this time pressing outwards against him all at once. This stalled him; his encirclement faltered, and she seized the opportunity to slip through and go for him instead.

A knife plunged into her hand, stabbing between the bones and coming clean out the other side. "You're not listening," the acolyte hissed, her face inches from Nispa's. "You should listen, when the lady speaks."

"That's quite alright, Eleanor," the priestess said, but if Nispa had been listening before, she most certainly wasn't now. One of her other hands came to meet the blade, her mind unable to fully comprehend what was going on with her hand. The blade came straight out of her palm. She touched the metal, but that only worsened the pain. Instinctively, that hand clenched to a fist, but that, too, only made it worse. With shaking hands, she reached for the hilt. The woman's hand was still wrapped around it. With a sadistic grin, she twisted it completely around before wrenching it free.

"Tove," Eleanor noticed. The boy had stopped his chanting and was rubbing his own hand, tears at the corners of his eyes. "Lady Jeonna, he must stop for now. We can continue later."

She let out a sigh, clearly restraining herself. "Very well. But next time, be sure that you leave her alone when he is working."

She hung her head. "I just thought--"

"We will continue this later," the priestess commanded, eyeing Nispa. Without another word, the three of them turned and left the room. As it had before, the door clicked as it was locked behind them.

Once again left alone, Nispa cradled her hand gently. Two of her other hands clasped the injured one, pressing against the wound. She briefly wondered if it would be able to heal. She'd never been stabbed straight through before. It was mere moments before the blood dripped through her fingers and splashed against the stone floor.

The lock clicked again. When the door swung open, Nispa's eyes scrunched shut. Not again, was her only thought. Please, not again.

"Hey...it's me. Can you stand? We have to leave. Now."

At first, she hardly heard the woman. The hand on her shoulder caused her to tense up. A hiccupping sob rose in her throat, and she shied away from the hand on her shoulder. "Pl-l---"

Her breath hitched and cut off her plea. This wasn't the priestess, or Dune with his whip or Eleanor with her knife. This was the cloaked stranger that she'd met only briefly on the street. What was she doing here? How did she find her? Her thoughts tumbled apart as fast as they came together.

Escape.

Freedom.


She forced herself to think. It was too easy to lose herself. She had to gather and focus. Taking a deep breath to steady her sobs, she raised her gaze to meet that of the stranger. She tried again. "There's a chain, a-a-around my neck." She lifted her free hand up and rattled her collar. "I don't know where...but they won't be back, until later..."
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Shiro
Citizen of the World
Joined: March 20th, 2015, 5:45 am

April 9th, 2018, 6:44 pm #6

// U CHELICERATA ARACHNIDA

Trepidation.

This woman was beaten up pretty bad. Shiro even spotted a nasty stab wound that needed attending to, how urgently however was another matter. There was another, much larger issue at hand to deal with.

The mass before her sputtered incoherently, shifting about. After gathering herself she managed to make eye contact, there was a spark that ignited in her eyes. She held up a chain that was securely latched to her neck. This wasn't much of a surprise to the catgirl, they needed to keep any prisoner tied up somehow.

"Hold it taut," Shiro spoke tersely, the implication was based off her previous statement - there was absolutely no time to be wasting. They simply couldn't wait around and attempt to freeze the chain in order to break it, this meant that the next best option was to be taken.

The woman pulled up the chain and held it taut as instructed. The neko noticed that this wasn't any ordinary woman - she was sporting an extra set of arms. In any other situation she would have been insanely curious, wanting to sit and study this interesting character before her. But curiosity had the day off. Something to talk about later, she thought.

Tsujigiri made just a slight wooden scrape as she drew the blade in a lighting quick motion. One upward strike, in the style of Iaido, in order to break the chain. For a brief moment, the catgirl thought she saw her sword glow slightly. Shaking off the confusion, she refocused back to the situation at hand. As quick as her weapon was drawn, it was sheathed again.

Now with the chain in two pieces, the 4-armed woman was free. The next step was to get the hell out of Dodge. Shiro offered her a hand up. Eying the wound on the woman's hand. Shiro fished out some spare bandages from one of her pouches and dropped them into her hands.

"Itami," she mumbled. Pain. "We need to go," spoken again to emphasize the importance of leaving.

Turning on her heel, she took off back out of the dungeon.

Getting in was one thing.

Getting out was another.

Shiro stepped back into the dimly lit corridor, the unconscious jailer still lying slump on the ground. The neko turned back to see if her companion was going to follow her, thankfully; she was. Extending a gloved index finger vertically over her mouth, a request - more of a command really - to be quiet. Regardless of the obvious context.

Treading up the dungeon stairs, ears strained the entire way. Princess Bitchface and crew were still stomping around. She was cursing this and that. Shiro figured she was still throwing a fit over not having her precious item. She couldn't make out everything, occasionally a word or two but that wasn't enough to put together what the rage was all about. A door was flung open with such force that it bounced in its hinges, the neko winced.

"YOU HAD ONE JOB, DUNE! GET THOSE DAMN PEARLS NOW! IF I DON'T HAVE THEM IN MY HAND BY SUNDOWN SO HELP ME..." hollered the Princess Lady, she huffed and stormed upstairs. Shiro cursed, that was the original way out. No doubt that study that was her entry was where the enraged woman was heading. Leading the way, the catgirl crept down the hallway toward the stairs. She glanced back to see if her companion was still in tow. Her tail flicked in agitation.

Voices. Shiro's ears twitched under her hood. Sounded like this Dune character was chatting with another, and it sounded like they were going to go back down and try another round of happy-pain-and-tell-me-what-you-know. This only meant that her plans were only accelerating at an unprecedented speed. The scene played out flashback style, the person/persons entering the dungeon room only to find the door wide open, the jailer knocked cold and the chain cut. There would be a shout and everyone in the building would be on full alert within seconds.

On her feet, she grabbed the woman and pulled her into the adjacent corridor leading away from the stairs. They needed to get out of sight, and pronto. The neko turned and pushed open a door to inspect the room inside. A window, that was all that she needed. Thankfully there was a window in the aforementioned room. Both women shuffled quietly inside, trying to keep the noise to a minimum.

Shiro practically jumped across the room to the window. Immediately she began to fiddle and attempt to get it open. Her tail curling and uncurling rapidly, almost in a wagging fashion. The seconds turned into eons. This 'effin window needs to stop being DUMB AND STUPID AND OPEN NOW PLEASE she screamed internally.

That was when she heard the shout.

Well, the luck had to have run out at some point, right? The catgirl cursed. The window slid open. Now or never.

They leaped out of the window and off they ran. The pursuers hot on the trail. They ducked and dived through the streets, unable to shake the guards. There was no way they could climb the wall while being chased. Maybe if Shiro was alone, yes. But with two people? Without knowing the climbing capabilities of this woman, it was unheard of.

The neko spotted an alleyway that they could more than likely hide in. She turned and pointed, while tugging on the woman's arm, without even skipping a single step. That was the destination.

Haggard breathing wracked both Shiro and her rescuee, the latter of which leaned upon the wall for support. The former listened for the shouts, they had managed to lose their tail. But the next step was getting through the city, then out. The neko cast about, spotting some crates off to her left, and the rest of the alley beyond that. They could easily head that way or scale the buildings if need be. She was already planning the escape route, her mind not stopping for a second.

The neko dusted off her cloak, straightening up her ensemble. It took until now for the little neko to realize she didn't even have the name of who she rescued. Much less anything else.

In between breaths, Shiro finally took stock of who she was actually rescuing. Her platinum eyes drifted across her counterpart. Four arms, four legs, black irides, and reddish-brown hair. This person was a strange character indeed, but the catgirl didn't have room nor the time to sit and judge. She blinked. The air between them growing a bit stale.

"I'm Shiro," she panted, introducing herself.

She heard a shout, followed by approaching footsteps. She glanced towards the entrance to the alley, then back to at her cohort.
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Nispa
Citizen of the World
Joined: July 18th, 2017, 3:32 pm

April 11th, 2018, 12:20 am #7

With a flash of--sparks?, the chain split and clattered to the floor. Nispa hardly had time to notice the sword before it was sheathed again. Suddenly her hand was grabbed, and she was pulled to her feet. In one of her other hands was a small bundle. Had she picked it up? No, the stranger had given it to her. She used the bandages on her injured hand. At the very least, it would stop the bleeding until she could look at it further. One of her other hands was already wrapped, she realized, from when she'd deflected a rapier. The two clasped each other, and she tucked them against her chest so she didn't try to use them on anything.

She let herself be led through the building. The stranger had her wits about her, where Nispa most certainly did not. Her thoughts tumbled and spluttered. The Lady's shouts sent shivers down her wracked spine. She found herself turning away from the sound and scrunching her eyes shut. She shrank away, wishing she could disappear so that they could never find her. Only at the stranger's urging did she continue running. It was all she could do to keep up--the woman was moving so fast! They ducked into the side room and she watched her struggle with a window.

A shout from below. The window slammed open, and the stranger leapt outside without a second thought. Nispa followed somewhat more clumsily; choreographing eight limbs to fit through a windowframe was hard enough under ideal circumstances. As it was, she fell out the other side and landed splat on the ground, one ankle still in the frame. Upon hearing Dune's voice inside, she forced herself upright. The tie from her braid caught on a branch, and as she got up, it slid out and her braid fell loose. She only gave it a halfhearted glance before she turned and dashed off down the streets.

She didn't have a plan. She intended to run until her pursuers stopped giving chase, an idea that, she'd admit to herself later, was darn stupid. Luckily, at least one of them was smart. The stranger pointed out an alley that they could duck into. Nodding vaguely, she followed the woman and immediately slumped against a wall, her hair acting as a curtain to shield her face.

Now, at least, she had a chance to catch her breath. The lashes from Dune's whip still stung, and she felt that several of them had reopened during her harried escape. Thinking quickly (or, rather, faster than she had been minutes ago), she hardened the skin around them into carapacial shells. They acted as patches, and would hold her together--at least for the next part of their escape. She didn't want to think about what would happen when they molted off. That was always unpleasant.

"I'm Shiro," the stranger announced. Nispa looked up, startled; she'd completely forgotten about her. "Nice Shiro, I'm Nispa, to meet you," she responded, then frowned. That was wrong. Deciding that she had more important things to worry about, she went on: "Thank you. For saving me. And for taking the pearls. They--they can't have 'em. They have to get back. But now we gotta get there..." Her head swam; all her words were coming out wrong, but she couldn't get her thoughts to straighten out the way they normally did. Then, compounding matters, she heard the running footsteps of the acolytes.

"Quick--your cloak," she demanded. She reached out to take it. "They're only looking for me," she explained, intending to twist it off from Shiro's shoulders and around her own, but the clasp held around Shiro's throat. She wound up pulling the lower half over her shoulders like a blanket, pulling Shiro up close to her as a result. "Oh, shoot--" She reached for the clasp, but it lay beneath Shiro's scarf. One hand burrowed beneath it to reach for the clasp; the other rested upon her shoulder to keep the cloak from falling.

Out of her peripheral vision, she saw two people skid to a stop at the mouth of the alley. Her frantic mind raced to come up with a cover story. Realizing her proximity to Shiro, her entanglement, the hand on her shoulder....she did the first thing that came to her scattered mind: pulled the woman closer and gave her a frenzied kiss. Whoever was looking for her wouldn't think to look for that.

After a second, the two figures moved along and left them in peace. Several more ran past, but then the streets were quiet and Nispa pulled away.

She was quiet for a few seconds. Then: "I--sorry. I panicked." Without anything better to add, she closed her mouth and gazed awkwardly at the cobblestones.
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Shiro
Citizen of the World
Joined: March 20th, 2015, 5:45 am

April 20th, 2018, 9:23 am #8

Nispa. Shiro burned that name into her memory. For she was certainly going to give her a verbal lashing for this entire headache of a day. This was turning into one hell of a story for Ravanna back home. Her counterpart was still scrambled, hopefully not permanently. But there was more issues to deal with, they were still inside the city walls and their antagonists were still searching for them.

"Quick--your cloak," the woman compelled Shiro, ""They're only looking for me."

Before Shiro could even get a word out in protest the woman was already grasping at the catgirl. It came as a shock, the sudden movement caught her off guard. Things were moving too fast for the poor neko to even get control of the situation. Abruptly, she was pulled by the clasp that hung around her clavicle. This definitely was not something that Shiro was used to, getting manhandled in such a way. Her tail flicked to and fro in frustration, she opened her mouth to issue a commanding 'Stop'.

Some words were mumbled, but things came to a head when the rushing footsteps neared their location.

Shiro blinked and she found herself locked into a quite sloppy kiss. her cloak draped far enough around the both of them for perfect concealment. She wanted, and tried to no avail, to pull herself off the strange woman and yell at her for what she did! One does not simply just kiss a lady! The session dragged on for far too long in Shiro's mind.

The footsteps eventually stomped away, and when they were finally in the clear did Nispa let go of Shiro.

The catgirl stumbled backwards, using her sleeve to wipe away all the spit on her face. She cursed out loud, looking up. Nispa was looking dejectedly away and apologizing.

Shiro was heated, she wanted to smack the strange woman for her transgression. Through no action of her own, and despite her best efforts, she ended up cheating on her love. It wasn't even the neko's fault in this situation and she still felt guilty about it. She'd have to somehow make it up to Ravanna later...a brief thought flashed through her mind that her girlfriend would dump her for even being in this situation to begin with.

The catgirl craned her head to her left and pointed to the very-obviously-a-good-hiding-spot crates. "We could've just used those?" She stated rhetorically. Whatever, the situation demanded that she couldn't dwell on problems like these.

"When we get out of here, you are not going to hear the end of this," Shiro grunted. It wasn't a threat, it was a promise.

Shaking off the moments prior, Shiro straightened up.

"Right, I know a perfect way out of the city. The only way out is over the walls, as we cannot go through the city gates. Can you climb?" Her question was more or less a demand. They will be getting out by climbing.

"Clean yourself up," Shiro commanded-trying to keep her aggression out of her voice.

After a few minutes to catch their breath, and to straighten up from that hasty exit. They were off again through the town, this time they could walk at a brisk pace and not have to sprint away from captors. Shiro did give Nispa her cloak to borrow for the time being. Thankfully, Shiro brought a spare hood. This way, Nispa was covered and the catgirl could keep her secret hidden. However, in the exchange of clothing, she revealed her ears to the odd woman.

Shiro was so ensconced in infiltrator mode that the thought didn't even cross her mind about revealing her sensitive ears to another stranger. Maybe after this all winds down and the adrenaline stopped pumping gallons through her body she'd finally notice. In the meantime, she operated on full tactical scale. Mission first and nothing else.

Nispa was staring at Shiro as she donned her spare hood. She stared back with her platinum irides, of which told volumes longer than all of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple's stories*. The neko didn't give it another thought as she pulled her hood back over her head, once more concealing her snow white hair and her cat-ears.

"Ready to go?"



*All of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple's Stories is the thickest book ever published in the world. Click here to read about it.
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Nispa
Citizen of the World
Joined: July 18th, 2017, 3:32 pm

June 13th, 2018, 2:59 am #9

//sorry that took so long u cat

Her companion—er, acquaintance, she supposed she should say, for in that sense of the word, and the context it could imply, they were most certainly not “companions,” despite both the circumstances and her choice of actions suggesting otherwise. Either way, her acquaintance was struck dumb for several long moments. As if Nispa could blame her—things were happening faster than she’d like, but it wasn’t as if she could just wait for things to settle down and pass over. If she waited, she’d only be found and captured again. There was a good chance that she’d be found even if they moved out immediately.

She shifted away from Shiro and slumped back against the wall. She looked up at her rescuer and waited for her to lead the way. When she didn’t, Nispa frowned slightly. She could see why Shiro would need a minute to gather herself, but they didn’t have a minute to spare....! She rubbed one of her arms, feeling a mixture of impatient anxiety and apology.

Shiro seemed to understand the gravity of the situation, for she eventually grumbled, ”When we get out of here, you are not going to hear the end of this.” Nispa’s head hung a little lower. Her mind was working better now—not perfect, but better. Maybe the shock of her own actions had grounded her somewhat. Without looking up, she murmured, “I’m sure I won’t.”

Shiro’s sightless gaze lingered for a few moments more as the girl wrapped up her thoughts. She clapped her hands, and Nispa jumped. ”Right,” she announced, clearly moving on to more pressing matters, ”I know a perfect way out of the city.”. Nispa listened closely, eager to move on and forget her social transgression. She nodded, partly to herself and partly to Shiro; she could climb very well, and she was glad to do something that she was familiar with. The past week had made her do things that she would normally never do: sneak around, track trails, even steal. She wasn’t a thief! Yet, here she was....the thought of finally being free from it all made her jittery with relief.

That, and the whip lashes. The immediate threat was over, and she was starting to feel anew the effects of the past days. No, not yet, she told herself, gritting her teeth and pushing off from the wall. You can rest outside.

Shiro unclasped her cloak with one brief motion. She caught it as it slid off her shoulders, then handed it over to Nispa. Nispa took it and made to thank her, but the words caught in her throat. The girl before her, now without concealment, had a furry pair of ears perched atop her head! Nispa’s eyes darted repeatedly between them and her eyes, hoping for an explanation, but the girl offered none. Instead, she dutifully procured a second hood—this one smaller, and much less worn—and put it on. As quickly as they were there, they were gone, and all that was left was a flurry of snowy curls that crept into her face. Only then did she look at Nispa, but instead of a dramatic history, she asked simply, ”Ready to go?”

Nispa, not at all ready to go, put the cloak on and pulled the hood up. “I think so,” she replied, hugging the edges around herself and keeping her low-arms firmly out of sight. They slipped out of the alleyway and walked down the streets, Shiro in the lead, Nispa following closely behind. They kept quiet as they went. Nispa was alright with that. It gave her time to think about what she would do next. Once they got out of the city....she’d probably follow Shiro to wherever she lived in order to get the pearls, and she was sure that they’d have a nice long discussion....but those ears! She hadn’t expected them in the slightest. Nispa supposed that she, of all people, shouldn’t be surprised. Whatever her race is doesn’t matter—what’s important is that she helped me.. At least that matter was temporarily settled.

They came to a wall, about seven feet tall, and Shiro gave the street behind them a careful glance before hopping up. Nispa hesitated, but only for a second. She had to climb carefully—two of her four hands were injured, and she kept tripping over the ends of the cloak—but eventually she made it up. Shiro led her along the top, then through a gap in the city’s parapets. Beyond that, they made a quick run across a small field, and then they were safe in the trees.

Instantly Nispa was at ease. It was clear that Shiro lived in the forest; she visibly relaxed as much as Nispa. Seeing as both of them were alive, and not being pursued, Nispa deemed it safe to speak.

“Thank you,” she started, the extent of her gratitude lost on the simpleness of the phrase. “I know this whole situation’s bonkers. I gotta say, I didn’t expect you’d be back. How’d you find me? Do you have a cat nose too?” Immediately she stopped. “Sorry. I—sorry. That was rude. I should probably let you go first. I’m sure you have loads of questions.”
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