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Group A Hunter's Duel

Discussion in 'Rauru Village' started by Varus, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. It had been nearly two weeks since Varus' encounter with the two Lizalfos just outside of the village, and his time with Tabitha in the forest. He had been in hiding, only returning to his house once, as to not lead whomever might be following him right to it. He lived off the land and hunted, as he had done his entire life, with his wolf Harma, his only companion. He continued to collect herbs here and there, subconsciously wanting to go back to Mrs. Tweed, but he did not want to involve her in his plight. After this time had passed, Varus determined that he was no longer being followed or hunted in the forest, and decided that it would be best to slowly go back to his regular routine. He picked up the large bag of herbs that he had collected, along with the meat of a few fresh kills, and began to head back to Raru.

    His first priority was to see Mrs. Tweed who was probably worried sick for him, and mad that he hadn't come around with fresh herbs and food in two weeks. He smiled at the thought of getting to see his friend again. He took a different route to the city, a very difficult and potentially dangerous path through the forest that only he knew of. This provided him with a feeling of security, something that he welcomed at this time. The path lead him to the opposite side of Raru from where his encounter with the Lizalfos was earlier. He entered through a small and not commonly used gate and proceeded towards Mrs. Tweed's herb shop. Moving between alleys and remaining vigilant for anyone following him.
     
  2. Squamata

    Squamata Honorless Warrior
    Lizalfos

    Joined:
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    Credit:
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    LV: 1

    Aliases:
    Quill
    Rachel
    Well, this had taken longer than she'd expected. Squamata had left Moone behind in the Moblin cave thinking that she'd be back in a few hours, maybe a couple days at most. Varus had only run away a day before, and she was a skilled hunter. He couldn't have gone that far- surely she'd be able to track him down and kill him in short order. But things hadn't worked out like that. Varus' tracks weren't obvious signs of a human blundering through a forest he'd scarcely visited. She wasn't able to just glance down and see his path, a conveniently straight trail through the woods she could follow without breaking stride. No. If his trail was anything to go by, Varus was more a shadow than anything else. The signs he left behind were frighteningly scarce, and it often took Squamata many minutes combing over a scene to find a bent twig or depressed moss that signaled his direction. The Wolfos that accompanied him had proved far easier to track, and she'd resorted to trailing it instead of him. The only problem was that the Wolfos often went on long, rambling trips through the woods (presumably to hunt), and Squamata had no way of knowing whether this was in the man's company or not. It was tedious, frustrating, and exhilarating. What had begun as a simple hunt for justice turned into a thrilling chase, and Squamata was eager to prove her skills superior by finally catching this elusive archer.

    Varus' trail took her on a long, meandering trip through the forest, and more than once Squamata wondered whether she'd lost the man altogether. There seemed no end destination in mind, and if it weren't for the occasional dead animal that had been stripped of all its meat and the patch of herbs that had been recently stripped she might've thought she'd accidentally started on a wild goose chase. Eventually, however, the trees thinned, and Squamata found herself staring at something she'd hoped never to lay eyes on again: the city of Rauru.

    She sighed and double checked the latest sign of Varus' passage. There was no doubt- he was in there. "Let's hope they don't chuck me out again," she said. She hadn't done anything wrong, but the guards had still taken issue with a Lizalfos wandering around their city. Hopefully this time would be different.

    Squamata hesitated just before entering. How was she supposed to find him? The tracks had been growing fresh recently, and she knew she was only a little ways behind him, but still. There would be no trail here like there had been in the forest. Stone did not hold bootprints like mud or moss. But last she knew, that Wolfos was still with him. That would leave a trail of a different kind.

    "I'm coming for you, killer."
     
  3. It was close to dusk, and Mrs. Tweed would be closing soon, but that was fine. Varus didn't plan to stay long. He took to the shadows like it was his lifeline, keeping vigilant of wandering eyes or signs of a being followed. The path took him through hidden alleys, small streets in the outskirts, and only sparingly across busier streets. He kept his senses extended listening out for the tiniest detail that seemed unnatural or out of place. He changed his path many times ending up crossing past places he had been before, or freezing for periods of time to feel out his surroundings. He had always know there was a possibility he would be tracked by sent, which is why, in the forest he always kept himself downwind from his previous path and always shrouded himself with the sent of the forest. This was less of a concern in the city however, as he assumed that the thick smells of the city would hide his sent to any hounds or animals that would track him this way. Even still, he was cautious and his path lead him past several spice shops and kitchens that would blind a possible tracker's sense of smell, likely leading leading them astray, or losing his and Harma's scents entirely. He grew confident that he was not being followed, but remained wary the whole way as the last person he wanted involved was Mrs. Tweed.

    After well over an hour of circling the city Varus finally arrived at Mrs. Tweed's Herb shop. A sense of relief washed over Varus as he approached the small two storey building Mrs. Tweed called he home. He rejoiced in every familiar and comforting detail: from the vine plants growing on the balcony above them, to the beautifully cultivated flowers out front, to the greenhouse built out to the side filled with herbs, to the sweet smell of the Honeysuckle tree nearby, to the chime of the bell as he opened the front door, to the small table in front of the window, to simple wooden counter where Mrs. Tweed worked, to the shelves filled with Herbs and concoctions, to the open doorway which lead to the drying racks in the back, to the pleasant voice of the old woman herself stepping from the back room. "Hold on! Hold on! I'll just be a minute! Wait aren't I supposed to close now anyway? Bah, whatever just..."

    Mrs. Tweed froze as she saw Varus. He began to open his mouth but she placed her hands on her hips and spoke first. "Well where the heck have you been," again Varus opened his mouth, but once again he was interrupted, "Do you know what I've been through since you were gone?" Varus began to fear that she had already gotten involved, "I had to go down to that grumpy old butcher down the street for a decent meal, and i'm out of Moonberries again, and i'm low on Chamomile, Chickweed, Chuchu jelly, and feverfew. And..." Varus lowered his head in preparation for another barrage of reasons to be mad at him, but was surprised when he found himself grappled between her arms with a slight smile on her face. "You made me so worried for you." He hugged her back, feeling the warm love of a motherly embrace. She pulled back saying, "This calls for tea." She hurried to the back coming out with a fresh pot of evening tea, that she had presumptuously made for herself, and two small cups. She sat down at the table next to Varus. He asked, "So how have you been for the past week?" Sensing the opportunity to talk about herself and feeling Varus' wanting to avoid questions about his time away, she started recounting the week's experiences, prattling on and falling into side stories which spawn more side talk, as many old women do. Varus smiled, happy to be comfortable once again, in the presence of a friend.
     
  4. Squamata

    Squamata Honorless Warrior
    Lizalfos

    Joined:
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    Credit:
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    LV: 1

    Aliases:
    Quill
    Rachel
    Squamata kicked a bucket down an alleyway. Damn it! Varus was either onto her or he was paranoid as well as psychotic. It had been bad enough when he’d meandered all through the forest before finally ducking into Rauru through a back gate, but now he was doing the same in the city. Squamata hated the city. It was loud, smelly, and most importantly, full of people who hated her. Not her specifically, but anyone who wasn’t soft, pink, and fleshy. Or a slimy fish-person, they probably got along with the stupid Zora just fine.

    She stood by a line of stalls, struggling to sort through the barrage of smells assaulting her all at once. It was hard to smell anything through the nearest stall, which was sizzling chicken balls in a searingly spicy hot sauce. Her stomach rumbled distractingly, and Squamata was forced to admit defeat. She wouldn’t be able to follow Varus’ scent through the city. But there was the Wolfos… she knew it was with him from a few strands she’d found in one of the many alleys Varus’ trail had led her through. No, she couldn’t follow the Wolfos by scent either, but it was a giant freaking monster wolf. People would remember that.

    And they did. The problem was getting the information out of them without being so threatening that the guards took notice and chucked her out again. Squamata couldn’t hurt any of the townspeople or frighten them too much. She did her best to smile, but most of the townsfolk wouldn’t tell her anything, especially not when they realized she hadn’t any rupees to buy anything with. But some talked, and a few more told her enough with unconscious flicks of the eye toward an alley or another. It took her a long time, and more than once she had to beat a hasty retreat at the sight of a guard or two walking her way, but eventually she managed to track Varus to a two-storied store with herbs and flowers growing out of every nook and cranny.

    She stood in front of the door, her claws tapping against the cool cobblestones as she contemplated the building. This street only had two entrances. A homeless man had seen the Wolfos and a large Hylian dart through one, so she knew they’d gone down here. Facing the other entrance on the road this street dumped out on was a jewelry store, and the greeter outside had been so shocked at the idea of a Wolfos walking through the city that Squamata was reasonably certain Varus hadn’t exited the street. She’d checked around anyway just in case the greeter had missed them and had found no clues. Either the man had gone through one of the houses on this street and up onto the rooftops or he was in here. It was the only shop on the street, the only publicly accessible building. She wasn’t sure he was inside, but it was very likely, especially when she remembered the patches of plucked herbs she’d come across in the forest. This was an Herbs shop- perhaps Varus made money as a gatherer of some kind.

    Squamata stepped up onto the doorstep and paused. Kneeling down, she ran a claw along a small puddle, barely an inch wide and almost completely dried. She lowered her face to the stone and sniffed. Wolfos slobber. So, they were here after all.

    There was a window to the side, its wooden frame lined with vines of sweet smelling flowers. Squamata glided over and stood next to it, her back against the wall, her eyes closed, listening.

    Two voices: a man’s and a woman’s. The woman was likely old, judging by its sound, and she talked much more than the man. She hadn’t heard Varus speak much, but she was pretty sure that the man she heard was him. She stayed there, perfectly still amid the flowers, listening for several minutes. She didn’t hear a single other person in there, though she did make out the Wolfos’ pants from time to time.

    A thrill of satisfaction coursed through her. She’d done it. She’d finally pinned down Varus, and by the sound of things he was totally unaware of her. Adrenaline beat through her with each quickened heartbeat, but she maintained control and kept her motionless vigil. What now? That Wolfos never seemed to leave Varus’ side, and two against one were odds she didn’t like. Varus was an archer, judging from how he’d disposed of those Moblins (and the other dead forest creatures he’d hunted over the last weeks), and since Squamata couldn’t use any weapons but her fists and her iron arm guard he’d have the advantage unless she kept things close.

    She was definitely in a bad spot. The Wolfos could hound her and press her back while Varus made distance and shot her from afar. Not to mention if she fought openly in the city the guards would surely hang her. Finding the killer was nothing if she couldn’t stop him from attempting to murder another of her kind- she had to put him down.

    Squamata smiled and finally pushed off the wall. She crossed back to the front door. There was an ideal environment right at hand that would solve all her worries. “Excuse me,” she said, pitching her voice up a bit and dampening her Midoran accent, “are you still open? I’m looking for some chickweed, my sister’s having her monthly pains and says it’s the only thing that helps. Hello?”
     
  5. Mrs. Tweed continued to prattle on about her time for the past week when a voice came from the front door. Varus jumped up startled, and glared for a moment, before Mrs. Tweed stood up and placed a hand on his shoulder with a warm smile, calming him down. She walked towards the door after he had calmed saying, "Oh you know i'm closed now, but since i'm still here and I just so happened to get a fresh batch, I'll help you out. Varus, would you be a doll and go grind up that fresh chickweed you just brought me?" Varus nodded and headed to the back while Mrs tweed walked over to the front door and unlocked it, stepping outside to meet with her customer. "Well my my, it's been a long while since..." Varus tuned out the conversation retracting his senses, finally calm again.

    He pulls a mortar and pestle off a shelf in the back room and places the Chickweed from his bag in the mortar. Using the pestle he begins to grind up the small plant into a paste. He enjoyed finally doing something normal and simple after two full weeks of running and hiding. He continued to grind the paste, then poured a small amount of water into the past to make it slightly less thick and diluting it slightly. The paste was more effective when slightly diluted anyway, and it made it so that there was a little more for them to work with. He took the paste and wrapped it up in a leaf, twisting the top and tying it with a small string so it didn't open before it was intended to. He picked up the small bag and brought it out to the front, as Mrs. Tweed was... less having a conversation than just talking at the customer.

    Varus' eyes now saw the person Mrs. Tweed was talking to, and he froze. It was the Lizalfos girl from that encounter two weeks ago. She had been following him! She was going to kill him! Varus instinctually grabbed his crossbow and began to raise it, then he stopped remembering his thought process from when he first encountered her. She was young, it wasn't her, she wasn't there, they are not all responsible for what happened. He began to hyperventilate, staring at the floor just in front of Squamata, his eyes glazed over with fear as he recalled the horrid memories of his past. The crossbow lowered slightly, as he still continued to see the brutal butchering of his family and friends before his eyes. He saw her standing next to Mrs. Tweed and feared what might happen next.
     
    #5 Varus, Aug 13, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  6. Squamata

    Squamata Honorless Warrior
    Lizalfos

    Joined:
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    Credit:
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    LV: 1

    Aliases:
    Quill
    Rachel
    The door opened, and a small Hylian woman stepped out. She was old, with frizzy red hair that was turning steadily white, and her back was stooped, bespeaking decades spent hunched over a cutting board. She wore no perfume, but the crisp scent of herbs curling off her pegged her immediately as an herbalist. The squishy ones in these northern lands had no true shamans, but still... her work demanded respect.

    Squamata snaked an arm in and grabbed her, pulling her close and muffling the woman's words with her other hand. "Ware, honored one," she said, her voice low and her words quick. "There is a killer in your shop. I mean no disrespect, but I must bring violence to your house. He is a danger to my people, and I must stop him." Stop him with nothing but her wits and her metal gauntlet when he had his weapons and Wolfos. Still, it had to be done. She would find a way.

    She started to tell the woman to flee, but her voice cut off as the hunter stepped around the corner. He stared at her with wild eyes, and Squamata saw his hands reach for his crossbow. "Ah-ah," she said, holding the old woman between them, "don't shoot. Or do you kill your people as easily as you kill mine?" She hadn't wanted to get the herbalist involved, but damn, it was the only way forward now. She had a sudden flashback to Midoro, when Anolis had held Rachel at knife-point against the warrior Garen. That standoff had ended with both Anolis and the woman dead. Spirits preserve us. May history not repeat itself.

    Squamata glowered at Varus. "Weeks I've hunted you, ever since you shot at me and tried to kill my kin. Unprovoked, the battle won, you turned against us. I won't let another innocent be claimed by your bolts. Lay down your weapons!" Her gaze flicked to the Wolfos. "All of them."
     
    #6 Squamata, Aug 13, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  7. "NO! MRS. TWEED!!" His voice cry filled with fear and sadness. The Lizalfos had pulled Mrs. Tweed in front of her to act as a living shield. This time once again, the painful memories pounded themselves through Varus' head. He closed his eyes the memories becoming ever more vivid, his body shook with fear. Then the image of Mrs. Tweed's throat being torn open by her claws imagined itself in his mind. Was he just as useless now as he was back then? Was all of the years spent training with his mentor useless? These thoughts were quickly cut out from his mind as a single thought unified his mind. I WILL NOT LET HER DIE!!! This new drive filled Varus with willpower the likes of which he had never known was possible. His hunter's instincts took over, and he opened his eyes. His eyes are one that Squamata would recognize, they are those of a cornered beast that is ready to unleash with all it has to win.

    Harma takes note of Varus' new aura, and stands growling at Squamata and puffing herself up to look even more intimidating. Varus takes a defiant step forward, raising his crossbow once again. Not a single quiver runs through Varus as he takes aim at the small part of Squamata's head that is still visible. Though the target is small and there is no room for error, for Varus, at this distance it is impossible to miss. The short distance also gives Squamata not nearly enough time to react to the incoming bolt, should he choose to fire. Should she adjust herself to have her head completely hidden, the situation would be even better. With her line of sight blocked, a bolt would sprout from her ankle before she heard the click of Vaurs' trigger. At which point she would recoil, Harma would jump at her and Varus would put another bolt into a more vital area, finishing the fight all the same.

    None of Squamata's words phase Varus, as his eyes pierce through Squamata's, as if they were the bolt loaded into his crossbow, already jutting out from her skull. The words are simple, but the intensity behind them tells her that every word is true, "I am no killer, But I am not afraid of becoming one if it means saving her."
     

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