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 Natsuhiboshi (Open)

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Osen

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PostSubject: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:34 am

Paradaisu City acted as the Capital of the Light Nation and where the Light Castle and the ruling Zen family resided. Located in the center of the city, the Light Castle could be seen from miles away due to the mistifying light that radiates constantly from it, a spacious and almost as beautiful garden surrounds the castle but is seperated from the rest of the city by water.
The lake is quite deep with crystal clear water, filled with sizeable Koi and water-loving avians, blooming lotus can be seen floating upon some areas of the water's surface. A wide arching bridge, made from stone covered in star dust, connects the castle with the rest of Paradaisu city, shining almost as brightly as the Light Castle itself.

Sitting upon this bridge, legs propped over its edge so that petite bare feet were submerged in the cool clear water to ankle-height and so that the Koi swam startled to other areas of the lake, was a teenaged girl.
She stood out quite clearly against the bright scenery around her. Unlike the other citizens of Paradaisu City she did not garb herself in clothing that sparkled like the stars, was as pale as the moon or shone as brightly as the sun. Instead she wore a short and revealing uniquely designed crimson dress that bore flower-designs, almost sleeveless with a high reaching collar and a dipping neckline. A belt hung loosely around her waist, supporting a handful of throwing knives as well as securing a polearm to the girl's back.
This female was none other than Osen Zen - the Warrior Queen that ruled the Light Nation.

The streets of Paradaisu, particularly the streets closest to the Light Castle, were deserted for the sun was beginning to set at that point of the day, causing the city to shine more brightly then ever. The citizens of Paradaisu were either settling down for the night or enjoying themselves elsewhere within the city. This gave Osen almost complete solitude, her winged-wolf companion, Kin, was lounging at her side.
His large bronze body hang over the edge of the bridge in a manner similar to Osen's bare legs and feet, his wings and fluffy tail curled up close to his body so that they didn't fall prey to any hungry and clueless Koi. His furry head rested upon his mistress' lap, his intelligent blue eyes were closed peacefully as Osen stroked his furry head with her slender fingers.

Osen seemed very much relaxed and not her usual impatient and restless self as her brown eyes looked up at the darkening velvet night sky and upon the glittering stars that were beginning to appear.
In particular, one that seemed to shine with a red light, far away in the east.

"Natsuhiboshi," Osen murmured to Kin in her soft feminine voice. "The star that watches over my family. The star of combat. As long as Natsuhiboshi can be seen from the sky overlooking this nation, I have nothing to fear, Kin."

Kin's only response was a soft snore, drool beginning to leak slowly from the corners of his lips and down onto Osen's dress.
Either Osen didn't notice this or she didn't care for she did not make any sounds of disgust or attempted to push Kin away from her as most people would have done.
Instead, the Light Queen parted her lips and began to hum a soft, slow and almost mornful tune to herself, adding words after a moment.

"Natsuhiboshi why are you so red? Because I had a sad dream last night. My eyes are red from the tears I shed, swollen as i cry ... Natsuhiboshi, why've you lost your way? I'm searchin for a child who's gone afar. He can't be found though I search all day. My sad dreams come once more ..."

Ending the tune, Osen kicked her feet gently, causing ripples to form upon the lake's surface and for a soft splashing sound to errupt. Her brown eyes never moving from where Natsuhiboshi shone against the dark sky in the distance.


Last edited by Osen on Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:19 pm

Immortality was not nearly the gift people seemed to think it was. You had to watch your non immortal friends grow old and die. You had to watch kingdoms be born and later abused by their negligent leaders. The worst part of immortality came however when you didn't have two coins to scrap together. Granted, Thomas had plenty of money, but he gave most of that a way to people, he really knew nothing about. After living for as long as he had, going on as many adventures and looting as many ruins as Thomas had life got a little boring. Sure you had money, but where was the fun, where was the challenge. It was like Thomas always said, the things you own end up owning you. The only way to live free, was to break off your obligations. Granted, Thomas had had his connections broken off for him, much to his dismay. The fall of the Ancient Nation all those years ago had left him without a home or a purpose other then revenge. Unlike most people however, he got his revenge, butchered a few hundred people over the years trying to figure out who was responsible, and in the end, he had outlived his enemies by many many years. It was a hollow victory, much like Thomas' current situation.

The vagabond had traveled to the Paradaisu City for no reason other then the fact that he hadn't been here for sometime, and couldn't go back to his own Nation for a variety of reasons. Of course no journey to Paradaisu would be complete without a trip to the lake that surrounded the gleaming Light Nation Castle. Not because of its beauty, but because the place was filled with fish ready for the taking! Granted it was probably illegal to go fishing there, but Thomas had never been one to follow the rules.

He had his gear in a nearby cache to a pillar nearby one of the many docks along the lake. Beneath the dock swam Thomas Vhen, his body covered only in skin tight slacks that clung to his body thanks to the water. He wasn't the best swimmer, as was evident in the fact that he had been trying to catch a fish for the past four hours, but finally he got lucky as his tan hand grasped a koi's bright tail. He didn't have time to be surprised, instead he held on as tight as he could and broke the waters surface with a large splash and triumphant shout. "YEAAAAH!!!!" he shouted, his koi held above his head with both hands. His smile faded slightly as his white bandana slid over his eyes slightly as the water trickled across the lines of his face. He tossed his head backwards to get the cloth away from his eyes long enough to see an enchanting and fairly scantily dressed young woman. It was a surprise to say the least, so much so that Thomas forgot about his fish which sprung from his hands and slapped his open mouth with its tail. Honestly, Thomas didn't even care.

"Howdy!" he said politely as he straightened his bandana and began to swim towards her.
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:28 pm

Osen had had every intention to continue gazing up at the red star for a while longer as the idea of returning to her castle and resuming her role as Queen was not so appealing for her at that moment.
She knew that as soon as she sat down on her golden throne she would instantly be confronted by pitiful issues that people were convinced needed Osen's opinion to be solved. She might also be confronted by yet another idiot with deluded thoughts of wishing to be her King. Osen was a bit surprised that neither Draft nor Dalric had appeared to take her back to perform her duties as Queen.
Despite having endured quite a bit of difficulty to earn the title of "Queen", it was moments like this that Osen enjoyed.
Unbothered, content and alone with her beloved Kin.

Unfortunately for Osen, the moment was quickly shattered as an unknown man suddenly shot out from beneath the lake's surface, a fat Koi in hand, whilst shouting like an idiot. Immediately Kin woke with a start, his gaze falling on the stranger as Osen's own did the same.

Who is that moron? she wondered to herself as the half-naked man began to swim towards her, causing Kin to growl threateningly, obviously suspecious of him.
His growls ceased as Osen placed her right hand upon her winged-wolf's side, unsure what to make of the man.

He either doesn't know who I am or is completely brainless to call out to me like that. I'm betting on the second since he's actually swimming in tempertures as cold as this. Also, he might be a thief ... I think he was actually attempting to steal the koi ...

"What are you doing?" Osen asked, raising a dark eyebrow as she looked down at him. "You do realize that this entire lake and everything in it belongs to the Royal Family, right? You could be arrested for your actions."
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:38 am

Thomas shivered noticeably, both from the growl that the large, apparently flight capable wolf at the woman’s side, and the water he was submerged in. The lake while beautiful under the stars, was freezing in the quickly chilling night, and Thomas being a fairly poetic individual couldn't help but draw comparisons between it and the lady before him. Both were pretty, both seemed harmless, and both were cold enough to stop you in your tracks. Her words were far from friendly, especially considering how polite Thomas had been in his greeting. Alright Thomas hadn't been extremely polite, but at least he hadn't spoken in the condescending tone he usually used. He cocked his head to the left for a moment, a goofy grin on his face as his mind raced to put the pieces of who this mysterious and apparently humorless individual was. She seemed to be offended by a standard greeting, which meant that she was either a cold hearted harlot or wasn't common folk. She seemed to be offended at his presence in the lake, which only someone who felt they had some ownership over it be. Plus she apparently had a tamed flying wolf beside her, and there was only one person in recent history to acquire such a beasts loyalty.

The Ancient Nations official outcast smiled wider then before, in a none to cheerful manner. "You look familiar," he said curiously as he stopped his approach. In truth he didn't know the Light Nation Queens name, embarrassing sure but he had been out of the loop for awhile now, and hadn't cared to know the politics of the Nations he roamed. The only reason he knew the woman before him was royalty was because the people of this land couldn't help but brag about their darling leader. It was disgusting, but at least it helped him out here. Most people wouldn't push their luck in this situation, Thomas had been caught red handed poaching from the Queens land, by the Queen herself. But Thomas wasn't very bright, or at least fairly apathetic to his predicament and decided to play stupid., a role he had already set himself up perfectly for by his own boobery.

"Thats it!" he said triumphantly as he snapped his fingers as he swam towards shore, avoiding the dock and the dangerous animal in front of him. "Your Sarah right, the wench from Goodberry's Pub in the city? What are you doing here with such......odd company?" he asked as he stared at the winged hound on her lap. He did the back stroke to the shore in case she lost her temper at his less then gentlemanly remarks.
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:27 pm

Yep, an Idiot. And a foreigner too, no less, Osen reached her decision, brought on by the stranger's lack of knowledge of who she really was - when she was one of the few citizens within the Light Nation to sport the red tattoo of the Zen upon her forehead, as well as the clan's silver bracer upon her left arm - and the fact that he still had yet to explain his actions to her.
Her dark eyebrows constricted at the stranger's use of language for nobody had ever dared to speak to Osen in such a manner before in her life, for a moment she considered having Kin chase the fool out of her city but decided against it. Judging such an action to be too cruel, even by her standards.

Her dark gaze swept over the man, sizing up his appearance. His complexion was tanned but with a leathery quality to it, clearly from journeying for long periods under the scorching sun, and supported many scars that would have stories to how the man got them. This and the fact that the man seemed to have trouble shaving as his chin supported dark stubble made him look rather rugged, he was also quite tall too. His eyes were green in colour and his hair looked dark brown beneath the starlight and the blaze of the castle. Unfortunately he possessed very little muscle, the body of a lover and not a fighter if Osen had to judge correctly. Which defiently made him not her type.

"... No," Osen slowly gave her reply, in a manner used to address simpletons, "and if you ever call me a wench again, fool, I'll hack off one of your limbs before giving it to Kin here to chew upon."

A wide toothed grin appeared on the winged-wolf's face as if this suggestion appealed to him greatly.

Osen's dark lips formed themselves into a childish pout, unhappiness clear in her dark eyes as she dropped her head. She had desired solitude within a life that didn't allow it, she had wanted to escape, even for a moment, the suitors who were determined to rule the Light Kingdom. She had desired to be herself and to enjoy the comforting light of Natsuhiboshi.
However, with the peculiar stranger's presense it didn't seem as if Osen would get her wish and she was determined not to be the one to leave - she was in her lands afterall.

"What are you doing here?" she repeated once more, a tired note to her feminine voice.


Last edited by Osen on Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:52 pm

The cache where Thomas had stashed his gear was nothing more then an opening under two rocks by the shore. He slid one hand under them and felt the tough leather strap that he had fashioned into a handle. With one smooth tug he freed the stashed equipment, clothing wrapped around his Damascus Blade and boots. The expensive blade shone in the dwindling light its semi blue blade wrapped in an ebony sheath lined in ivory. He quickly pulled on the tight white tunic and whale skin vest before snapping his sword belt on and slipping into his spiked boots. The entire process took only a few moments, all the while he had to listen to the young woman threaten him more, which made time fly by that much faster. He had been handed an opportunity, a young queen without escort or protection beyond her own skills and a pet. A big pet, but pet none the less. It was a chance of the lifetime for a man determined to upset the balance of things, the never ending cycle of obuse and manipulation inherent in an oppressive monarchy, and all monarchy's were oppresive, no matter how pretty a Queen may be. His hand fell casually to the hilt of his blade as he approached the woman who obviously did not share his enthusiasm at their chance encounter.

"What am I doing here?" he said as if to ponder the question, stopping several feet away so as to not appear like a threat. "Life is a process of becoming," he said his hands moving this way and that as he spoke,"a combination of states we have to go through. It's a kind of death to elect a state and stay in it really. I've never tried to catch Koi in this lake before, and I saw no reason to deny myself the chance. So, my Queen, if you would like to punish a man for living fully then by all means do what you will. Im yours to command," he said moments before flopping onto the ground with his legs crossed. "By the way, you have a wonderful voice, what was that song you were singing earlier?" he asked, unsure of how to advance. He was fairly certian he wasn't going to murder her, and while he should have just cut bait and ran, he honestly didn't want this conversation to end, even if it was less then pleasant. Unfortunately he was so caught up in thinking of ways to prolong this encounter that he had forgotten that he had been pretending to not know who the Queen was. Or at least, what her position in society was.
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:58 pm

In a sharp movement, Osen had raised her head, her dark gaze locking on the man's face.
The way he spoke was similar to the way her advisor Draft's manner of speech, meaning that he must have had some sort of education and that he couldn't really be an idiot afterall. Also, he had called her "Queen", which meant that he knew exactly who Osen was.
There was something wrong with the situation and Osen was immeidately put on her guard.
However, the Light Queen wasn't going to expose the man for the liar that he was. First, she wanted to learn what his true intentions were ...

"It has no name," Osen replied, her eyes never leaving the man's face. "It's a lullaby that was sung to me long ago, compossed by members of my clan. It's sung to honour the battle star Natsuhiboshi, its red light forever protects these lands."

Sensing the tension within his mistress' body, Kin began to grow restless, sitting up from where he had been lounging beside Osen, pawing her dress whilst whining softly.


Last edited by Osen on Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:29 pm

Thomas lifted an eyebrow in interest as he wrung his water logged bandana out over the side of the peir as he listened to her. In truth he had never cared much for stars or anything beyond this world in fact what was a str but a distant light. You couldn't eat it, you couldn't ride it, you couldn't even sell it for something else. All a star was only as important as the importance given to it by those who needed something to count on.

The Queen didn't seem to distrust him, but animals were not nearly so devious. It was obvious that something was wrong with the Queen, not because of anything the lady did, but because of the actions of her pet. Still he had no idea what had set her off, or if the beast was just acting for no reason as animals were want to do.

"Well, I've never been one for astronomy, but I can appreciate a night sky as well as anyone else." he said with a yawn as he lay down. "Do you always venture out here on property of the Royal Family all by yourself?"
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:20 pm

"Never by myself," was Osen's calm reply, raising a hand to trail her fingers down Kin's side, rustling his feathers in an affectionate manner and immediately the winged-wolf ceased his whinings but it was clear that he wasn't happy as he allowed his heavy head to collapse on Osen's right shoulder, his intelligent blue eyes mornful. "As you can see, Kin is always by my side."

A thought came to mind and acting upon that thought, Osen added to the stranger, "have you ever seen a winged-wolf before? They're quite rare and almost impossible to tame. The tale of taming one is very famous in these lands, surely you've heard of it?"

Brushing back a strand of her dark hair, Osen gave the stranger a small polite smile before saying, "I've been rude, haven't I? I never introduced myself to you. My name is Osen Zen."
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:18 am

"Osen Zen!" exclaimed Vhen in a false yet still fairly convincing tone. "The Queen?" he asked, "My apologies milady for being so disrespectful upon our meeting, I don't know how I could have mistaken a woman of your quality for simple wench." he said, trying hard to mask the sarcasm from his voice. It wasn't as much an insult as it might have been, the wench in question was rather attractive, and suprisingly hard to bed. Though he was torn in deciding whether the latter was something to cherish or something to denounce entirely.

"If I was suspicious of your presence her before now I have to know why a woman of your stature is wandering about alone. From what I've heard members of a Royal Family have a difficult time finding time for themselves. Duty of the crown and all," said Thomas as he sat up and looked at Osen quizically, "Which is made even harder when you have fools like myself swimming carelessly in your lake uninvited," he paused at this waiting for her response. If she wanted him to leave so be it, if not, well he hadn't planned for that contingency.
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:47 am

Now Osen knew something was indeed wrong. She had heard the man adress her as Queen before and yet, now he was pretending only to have just become aware of the fact. Further more, he had yet to introduce himself to her.
Osen wasn't certain in letting the man leave. He seemed far too suspecious for her to allow that.

"You're right. I'm usually guarded by at least one of my castle guards or watched closely by one of my advisors," Osen admitted, his eyes still locked on the man's face. "But this is a time of peace within my lands so there is very little danger to be emposed upon me. Besides," she added in a mischevious undertone, "my people have faith that I can take care of myself."

Now, how am I going to trap him? Osen mused silently. Perhapes ...

Acting on her thoughts, Osen leant closer towards the man, so close that not only would he have been able to see her deep clevage perfectly well but so that her own body was brushing against his, mostly her bare flesh.
"You never told me you name," Osen said, the same small smile on her dark lips, "surely you'll tell me, won't you?"
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:06 am

Women. Of all the treasures this wide world had to offer nothing matched the beauty, splendor and treachery that could be found in certain females. Much like greed, lust had the peculiar ability to make thought a difficult and uncertain process. All to often those who suffer the effects of either are so focused on the prize that something else, something more fatal, sweeps them away. Thomas, despite his years, or perhaps in light of them, couldn't help but glance down at the Queen's ample chest. It nearly stopped his heart. Granted he had seen plenty of women absent of their modesty, but that didn't mean he couldn't still be in awe of beauty. Though that might have been a somewhat more romantic description then what it truly was. The problem with lust, as opposed to greed, was that the short-sightedness worked both ways. A women who tried to seduce a man was likely to lose herself in the game as much as her target. Not because she was attracted to him, but because she wanted to put him under her power. It was its own little victory he supposed when it worked. Unfortunately for the Queen of the Light Nation, it worked a little to well.

"Peace?" Thomas said quietly as he removed an object from the pouch at his side. "A noble word that has long lost its meaning. I hate the word as I hate death," he paused as he put his arm around the lady's waist, jabbing a small yet potent tranquilizer dart into her side near her kidneys as he did. "As I have hated all royalty, and you," His voice never lost its sweetness as he spoke and he tried to pul her closer slightly as the poison took effect. He didnt know what he was going to do after this, but then again, that was all the fun.
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:20 am

Osen hadn't expected to be drugged, the sharp prick of the tranquilizer passing through her tight dress and into her pale and vunerable flesh tore a sharp gasp from Osen's dark lips, her dark eyes widening with surprise for a moment. As realization of what had just happened kicked in, Osen's brows constricted and she tried to push the man away from her, though her actions were weak and ineffective as the effects of the tranquilizer began to flow through her blood system.

"You ... You bast ..." Osen tried desperately to growl but before she could finish her insult all her strength left her body and her eyes and lips fell close at the same time, her head dropping as she was forced to succumb to the darkness of unconciousness.

Upon Osen's startled gasp, the winged-wolf Kin immeidately fell into a sense of fury that anyone would dare harm his mistress in such a manner, a fearsome snarl echoing from his jaws as he leapt at the man with every intention to tear him to shreds.
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:49 am

"Shhh," whispered Thomas as Osen writhed in his arms in what he could only assume was a futile effort to escape. A warrior queen brought low in only a handful of seconds, not exactly the things legends were made of. The renegade set her down onto the cool wood of the peir as softly as he could before rolling backwards onto his feet. A winged wolf was a surprisingly deadly adversary and even a swordsman of Thomas' caliber would be easily slain if the beast attacked him while he was on the ground.

Most combatants would panic at the close proximity of this monster of an animal, drawing their swords in haste and striking prematurely. If martial skill had been Thomas' only ability chances are he would have acted in much the same manner. Fortunately he had a handful of other tricks up his sleeve. His hands did not reach for weapons, instead both of his arms were crossed over his chest, his usually pretty eye closed tight as the beast lunged towards him.

What little clothing he had fluttered in front of him as if trying to escape his person as the once charming man called upon one of his favorite attacks. The wind current sprung up from nowhere, howling in a strong gust that sent splinters, debris, and the wolf soaring several yards into the air and over the lake where they landed with a surprisingly loud splash.

Thomas didn't have time to veiw the spectacle unfortunately he waqs to busy scooping up the princess and sprinting as fast as he could towards the streets of Paradaisu, hoping to lose the dog at the same time. Of course, wolves and canines in general were naturally gifted at tracking prey, so Thomas had to use one last trick to ensure his escape. He turned on heel to face the lake where the wolf had been dropped, and in that flurry of motion created two more duplicates of himself carrying the queen. The duplicates smelled looked and acted just like their original counter part, but would disappear as soon as something physical connected with them. Hopefully he could make it back to the carraige he had stolen several block away before the Queens winged Guardian wised up to his ploy. If everything went as planned the queen would be waking up to find herself inside a secure little carraige, hands shackled to the wall just in case she didn't think highly of his hospitality. He had been in her same position not long ago, the thunder nation had a habit of imprisoning men who tried to burn down their cities. Fortunately, there plenty of people that shared Thomas' destructive sentiment towards the established order of the world. People who lived and worked in Paradiasu city, people who had little problem killing his guards and hidding the carriage he was being transported in. Life always was an adventure if nothing else.
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:29 am

A yelp rang loudly through the once calm and silent air as Kin was sent soaring by the force of the man's summoned wind, landing into the palace lake with an even more painful impact, struggling to get back to the water's surface.
Paddling with his paws as fast and as hard as he could, Kin swam over to the castle's banks and pulled himself up onto dry land and instinctively began to shake violently in an effort to rid both his shaggy fur and his wings of water with a low success rate. His wings were now too wet to make flight possible.

Gazing around, Kin saw that both the man and Osen had dissapeared, however the man's scent still lingured and immeidately Kin took off, tracking it with his powerful nose in the hopes of rescuing Osen and giving her kidnapper his just deserts.

Sprinting through the city's streets, Kin snarled and snapped viciously, causing anybody who he passed to leap aside in fright, not wanting to be anywhere near the dangerous beast.
Then, to Kin's delight, he saw the man a street ahead of him, an unconcious Osen held within his arms and Kin immediately sped up his pace, gaining on the man fast.
With a lunge, Kin took hold of the man's right ankle in his powerful jaws and bit down hard, so hard that the man's ankle would be severed from the man's remaining body.
However, much to Kin's confusion, the figure of the man and the unconcious Osen both dissapeared as if they had never been there, causing Kin to come to a sudden halt where he sat on the cold ground with his bushy tail motionless, pitiful whines escaping from his throat.

Osen was gone and Kin had no idea where she had gone.
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PostSubject: Re: Natsuhiboshi (Open)   Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:26 pm

The carriage sped through the empty streets of Paradaisu City towards the exit, the iron rimmed wheels digging deep furrows on the dirt roads near the outskirts of the metropolis. The carriage rattled and rocked on the uneven paths as it carried the young Queen deeper into the wilderness and farther from those that would attempt to set her free. Not that that was necessary of course, if everything worked out as Thomas planned the Queen would only be missing for a week or so at most. Long enough for the Castle to get worried, but not so long that the rest of the Light Nation would hear about it. Of course, if things didn't work out as he had intended chances were the Light Nation would never see their dear Queen again. Schemes were so complicated.

Inside the carriage sat another prisoner, his hair was short and uncombed, his face unshaven. He was a bit taller then Thomas, and far more muscular, and not nearly as pretty, but his eyes, hair and complexion were almost the same. The mans name was Levin Mortierre, he had been working for the Thunder Nation as a city guard and was going to turn over evidence that would incriminate Thomas and his group of cut throats. Unfortunately for him the evidence was destroyed, and he was forced to retire. He had tried to come to the light nation to escape being hunted down and executed, but things hadn't gone as he had hoped. Death was certain, but its method of arrival was far more ambiguous.

"Are you awake?" he asked in a low rough voice as he nudged the Queens foot with one of his muddy boots.
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