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 Darkened Memory

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Arata
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PostSubject: Darkened Memory   Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:34 pm

"Oh Daevas, keeper of the curse, second half to Faustian legacy...I beseech you..." Crimson robes trimmed with black rustled as the man knelt on the filthy floor, head down.

"Why have you called me, Acheron? It has been many years since my last stirring."

The man looked up to the voice with peculiar yellow-amber eyes and an ashen face. He couldn't help but shudder in the presence of the Daevas, the fallen god. The being was humanoid in shape, but very fiendish in all other aspects. He had deep grey, almost black skin, covered in pure white tattoos, though sections were faded. His eyes were sharp edged, just pits of murky red. Fangs hung from his face and mouth, with no lips to hide behind. Curved spines reached out and upwards from the base of its skull. The being was fairly musculure, but it was easy to tell that it's form was not what it once was. Large, ragged fiend's wings sprouted from it's back, membrane all but destroyed and torn apart, bits of grey flesh hanging from the fingers of the wings. Its fingers were curved and sharpened to a point, creating fiendish claws. A tail sprouted from behind him, hanging beneath his feet where he hovered above the filth-stained altar, pointed at the end as well.

The Daevas leered down at the man, waiting for a response.

"I have a request..." He said to the creature, voice ragged. He swept away the dark locks that clung to his ash colored forehead.

"I do not do requests! I only make deals..." The Daevas sneered, narrowing its murky eyes at Acheron.

"Let me rephrase then....I have a proposition." Acheron smirked, throwing back his crimson hood. His hair was unkempt and shaggy, full of the grime of endless toilings.

"I'm listening..." The Daevas said, crossing his arms.

"I wish you to remove my curse..." He looked down at himself, his body.

"You're predecessors have begged me the same over too many generations, what makes you think I will bow to you?"

"While it is true that I yearn for the magicks our bloodline once held, that is not my primary condition."

"You ask of me not one, but two things?" The Daevas' response came out in a growl.

"I want you to spare...her. Restore her." He looked behind him, into an arched doorway, though the room was pitch black.

But, the Daevas looked past as well, seeming to know who or what lay within. "Is that all?"

Acheron nodded, smirking. "Now, name your price."

"You play a dangerous game, Acheron..." The fiend grinned wickedly, it's spire like teeth locked together. "Do you know why I have stirred?"

Acheron remained silent, staring up at the floating being before him.

"It pulsed through the earth, through every realm since the Genesis. Three years ago...I know it was because of Her..."

Acheron tilted his head slightly. "Her?"

"Mistress of the Twilight, Hakama. When mighty Geddon fell victim to mortality, it was that power of Twilight that shook through the planes. The power of Life..."

"Life?" The man whispered in a raspy voice, regarding the Daevas curiously.

"Yes..." The Daevas's voice rumbled in his throat quietly, his words breathy. "I want you to find the one she has blessed with her essence, with Life, and take it from them...Return it to me."

"How do I do such a thing?"

Again, the Daevas grinned. "You already have the power. I granted it to your bloodline long ago...The answer lies in the blessed one's memories...." The Daevas held out his hand, opening his mouth wide. Dark fluid dripped from his maw, shooting around his arm and collecting in the palm of his hand. The dark fluids slowly formed into the shape of two serpents, coiled around one another. The snakes shot at Acheron, coiling around his legs and up his body. "..Use these familiars to find them...Search the Twilight." And with that the Daevas evaporated into a crimson murk, which lingered then evaporated entirely.

A smile slowly spread across Acheron's face. "In their memories..."
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PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:45 am

Yay, Darkened Memory! Next Chapter! Next Chapter!

Great opening!
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PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:21 pm

Chapter 1: Taken

2 months later

Arata glanced out across the violet waters of the Twilight's Lake. It was peaceful, as always, the vibrant water lapping gently against the shore. He breathed in deeply, taking in the salty air. He exhaled with a sigh, walking away from the ledge.

Three years had passed since Geddon's defeat, and the world had to slowly recover after the havoc the Death God's forces had wreaked. With the defeat of both Talona, Goddess of Discord, and Kegasu, Spirit of Corruption, Drakath's power had been weakened significantly. But, Talona had already made Chaos a natural part of the world, and so with time, Drakath had begun to recover. The group had already defeated several more of his Chaos Lords and Beasts, though Arata could not remember which was which.

Rumor had it though that other faction's and antagonists had been stirring, taking advantage of the fragmented state of the world.

The duelist made his way across the field and over to the messenger's station. The station was actually an open structure, with a simple wooden roof and frame, located next to the stables and barracks for the knights. Large containers and tables accommodated the large and majestic messenger doves that the Twilight used. Each dove was pure white, with golden feathers along their wings and backs, with dark underbellies resembling the night sky. Supposedly, if you relayed to the dove a message and gave it a location, the creature would know exactly where to go, and repeat the message in your voice. Arata had sent his parents several messages over the years, keeping them updated with what happened in the Twilight Realm and the rest of the world.

Arata smiled as he approached, waving to his friend Frozen. "Hey, Frozen!"

Frozen smiled back, feeding a dove some seeds. "What's up Arata?" Frozen, an expert ranger, was the caretaker of the Sunset Doves, and knew how to interact with almost any animal. Nobody was ever sure of his real name, and nobody asked, simply referring to him as Frozen Fighter. He was quite skilled with his bow, Yumi, which was able to destroy vampires with a single shot.

Arata shoved his hands in his pockets, shrugging. "I figured you could help patrol with me."

Frozen groaned, startling a few of the doves around him. "I haate patrol. It's so boring.."

"Don't complain." The blue haired duelist said, leaning against one of the wooden pillars. "Leyla and Selena are already out there."

"Ugh, fine." Frozen picked up his bow and two thin long swords, but paused, sending a sly look Arata's way. "So...when are you gonna ask her?"

Arata blinked in surprise, icy blue eyes look to his pocket. "I uh..."

"You've been fiddling with that ring like it's gonna burn a whole in your pocket kid." The ranger laughed.
"You two have been together for three years. I think it's about time." The ranger strapped on his boots.

His cheeks reddened slightly. "I'm not a kid." Arata had just turned 20 this past month, and he now stood just above six feet tall. He withdrew the silver ring from his pocket. It was a little small, with a small diamond in the center, shaped with an ivy pattern. "I guess, so..." He and Leyla had met 4 years ago, and ever since had grown closer and closer, until a year later they fell in love, not long before they destroyed Geddon.
Her name was engraved on the bottom, inside arch of the ring. "I was actually planning on asking her tonight..."

"Well, you're running out of daylight, so make it soon buddy." Frozen strapped on his archer's gloves and quiver across his back. "Let's get going!"

______________________________________________________________________________________


"You're sure about this Acheron?" The black garbed man eyed the man with the crimson cloak curiously.

"Positive, Corvus. It's definitely him. I won't let my efforts go to waste," Acheron replied, glancing at his companion with an amber eye. He rode bareback on an enormous raven, flying at a great speed alongside Nocere.

Corvus was completely covered in black and grey leather armor, with the dark hides of monsters and other feral creatures, raven's feathers covering his left leather shoulder plate. Black claws were fitted over his hands and fingers. His entire face was bandaged with black material except for his right eye, which was a bizarre pink color. Tufts of ebony colored hair stuck out between layers of bandage.

The Dark Beastmaster glanced down at the Greenguard as they neared the center. "We're here..."

_____________________________________________________________________________________


"I thought Arata was coming out for patrol as well..." Selena said, placing her hand across her brow to keep out the sunlight.

Leyla sighed, fiddling with a flower she had picked. "He said he was, but I guess he decided to take the west side." She placed the flower in her chocolate brown hair, smiling. Even though she was no longer a little girl, she still enjoyed the little things.

Selena smiled, cinnamon eyes shadowed by her hand. "Apparently. Oh well, I guess you can meet with him when we're done. We don't have much longer to go anyway."

Leyla looked out at the setting sun. "I guess so..."

_______________________________


"Come on Frozen, we only have to be out here for a few minutes!" Arata called back to the ranger, who was slouching.

The Ranger lazily chewed on a piece of wheat, leaning against a tree with his hands behind his head. Arata had drifted off on his own, but the ranger could still hear his voice. "Hey, don't go too far! You'll want to be back here when the Gate turns back on!"

"You don't have to tell me that! I know!" Arata looked around the ground, glancing at a small collection of flowers. Maybe he should give them to Leyla? He bent down, picking one of the pure white flowers and spinning it. He looked up to the sky, the clearing surrounded by trees that provided a circular skylight into the small field. Suddenly, a large shadow blotted out the falling sun, enveloping a large portion of the clearing. A loud screech could be heard as a massive black bird landed behind Arata with a THUD!

Arata pivoted on his heel to face the bird, the flower falling from his hand as it moved to Hokkyoku, strapped at his side. He drew the brilliant white katana, pointing it at the enormous raven as its rider dismounted. A man in all black leather armor and beast hides, his face completely masked by bandages. "What are you-"

Arata didn't get to finish as a second crow landed behind him. He spun around again, facing the second rider. A man garbed in crimson and trimmed with black stepped forward, face hidden by a hood. "Well well well...Looks like you saved us the trouble of getting through the Gate." His voice was ragged and rasping.

"Who are you!" Arata yelled, water forming around Hokkyoku in a spiral. His swordsmanship and water manipulation with Hokkyoku had increased greatly over the years.

"Now, now, you don't have to yell like that. I'm just here to see what you know...what you remember." He advanced, pale hands out to his sides. Underneath his hood, Arata could make out two yellow eyes.

"What are you talking about?" Arata moved towards the man, Hokkyoku pointed at his heart. The man in black stepped forward, but the man in crimson held up a hand.

"No need Corvus. Perhaps I should test the Daevas's gift." A serpentine shadow slid up the man's arm in a lightning fast and fluid-like motion. The shadow materialized into a dark, fluous halberd. "Ah, there it is."

Arata rushed the man, swinging Hokkyoku with deadly swiftness and precision. However the man was faster than he appeared, blocking and parrying with his halberd deftly. He struck Arata in the chest with the butt of the weapon, sending him staggering a few feet.

Arata grunted, but recovered quickly, the ethereal waters around Hokkyoku forming a sheath around the blade. He slashed in a downwards arc, a blade of water flying at the man. He sidestepped quickly, shooting out his other arm. Another serpentine shadow flew out slamming into the ground in front of Arata and obliterating it. "What the hell?!" The serpent reformed, shooting at Arata in a jet of dark fluid. He knocked it away with the flat of Hokkyoku, turning back on his attacker. He clenched his fist, looking to the plantlife around him. He had learned to retrieve water from his surroundings, not just bodies of it. He pulled the liquid from the grass and flowers, the plantlife withering as he brought their water surging at the man in a violent torrent.

The snake that had gone after Arata flew back to the man, transforming into a shadowy shield on his arm, blocking the wave. The man laughed, his halberd once more becoming a snake. The creature shot forward constricting Arata's legs and biting into his flesh. He cursed, falling back onto the grass, Hokkyoku falling from his grasp. "Frozen! I could use some help!" He yelled his loudest.

He looked up as the man in crimson approached. "Well, it seems these Familiars will serve me well. Now, let's see what we can do here..." Black vapor began to stream from his fingertips. Arata struggled against the serpent, but to no avail. He threw a fist at the man, but he easily caught it, his familiar sliding along it to his arm. The serpent stretched out, constricting both it and his other arm. He yelled again, but Frozen still hadn't arrived. The man placed his fingers on Arata's temples and forehead. "Now now.."

And everything went black...

-

Frozen ran towards the center of the woods, hearing Arata's cry. Even though he was an adult, he was still as reckless as ever. He had told him not to go so far! He ran to the small clearing, but nobody was there.

"Arata? Arata!" He called out. He looked to the center of the clearing. Laying among the dead plant life was a brillian white blade. Arata's sword! But no Arata...

He rushed to the blade. Just as he reached it, two other people breached the trees surrounding the clearing. Selena and Leyla were panting.

"What happened?" Selena said inbetween breaths. "We heard Arata yell all the way from the other side!"

"Is he okay?!" Leyla cried, looking around. They looked to the blade that rested in Frozen's hands. The ranger looked at it, distraught.

Leyla ran up to him, shaking the ranger. "Where is he?!" Tears were beginning to fill her emerald eyes.

"I-I don't know..." Frozen said quietly.

Selena bent down. Some blood was on the ground, staining the withered flowers. A large raven's feather rested on the ground. She picked it up and walked over to the other two, looking at them grimly. "Taken.."


Last edited by Arata on Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:20 am

Oooh, what a twist!!! Great chapter aratatatata!
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PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:37 am

Excellent chapter!
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PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:09 pm

:o arata has been aratanapped. That's slightly problematic. Leyla's ring sounds pretty. Great chapter. :D
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PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:32 am

Awesome story so far Arata, looks really promising :D
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PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:04 pm

Chapter 2: The Search Begins

"This is very troubling..." Steel Fire's voice echoed throughout the throne room as he spoke, brows knit pensively. He sat on his throne, clad in golden armor with Shadikal resting against the throne's right arm. He scrutinized the single raven's feather in his fingers, spinning it around once or twice.

At his feet lay the First Eloth, the Beast of Dawn Finrod. Finrod took on two shapes normally. A very tall man in nothing but a black cloak that completely covered his face. Or, a majestic wolf with a shimmering golden pelt, two tails, and a stomach that shifted like the night sky. In this case, the Eloth chose his wolfen form, his head bowed inbetween his legs, tails flicking about restlessly.

"Indeed it is..." Rayzer said quietly, standing on the left side of the Twilight's Emperor. The powerful sorceress had been waiting with Steel when Frozen, Leyla, and Selena came bursting in, all talking at once. The news of Arata's kidnapping had been quite a shock. A simple patrol. Routine, even. Yet, it seemed as though Arata's recklessness had once again put him knee deep in trouble. Now the Twilight's most skilled warriors were all here, to come to a decision on what to do. Azkikr, Frozen, Leyla, Selena, Xavier, William, and Nami all stood in the throne room.

"I should never have let him go ahead!" Frozen turned to the stone wall, smacking it with his palm, shaking. "It's all my fault..." The Ranger seemed to be one of the most affected, blaming himself.

The only one who seemed worse off was Leyla. The young woman had to stop herself from sobbing. "I can't believe it..." She wiped her eyes, but more tears leaked from the corners. Over the years she had known Arata, the two had gradually come to love each other. At first they were complete strangers, and if anything, she thought herself a burden to the stranded boy. But, he had become her best friend, especially after his brother Alastor's death.

"It's no one's fault... And it doesn't seem like this was any accident." Azk, the Twilight's Assassin finally spoke. He threw off his hood, his scarred face at last illuminated by the prismatic torches of the throne room.
"If Arata lost to them, then whoever it is must be very powerful."

"True...But, why would they want to take him? They left Hokkyoku there, so they didn't want the sword..."
Nami mused aloud. The young fighter's sandy blond hair was tied back into a small ponytail. Her katana and dagger both rested at her hip. Hokkyoku was an extremely valuable weapon. Also known as the Torrential Katana, the pristine blade once rested within the Temple of Torrents on the southland of Arcterra. That is, until Arata had freed the weapon (the first to do so in his clan's history) and been swept away with his adopted brother. It had a limited control over water, and had the ability to cut through metal like a sheet of paper.

"So that means they wanted Arata himself. But the question is, why?" William, or Bill, spoke now, running his fingers across his red goatee. The warrior gotten to know Arata well over the years, having first met him in Swordhaven, after the city had been invaded by Chaos.

"If any of us knew that we wouldn't be having this discussion," Xavier remarked cynically. After the events of Geddon's defeat three years prior, the mage had been resurrected thanks to the Knights. Afterwards, his personality had surprisingly gotten more pleasant. Unfortunately, it seemed the change wasn't permanent, although his cynicism wasn't quite as bad as before.

Bill ignored him, looking to Selena. "What do you think Selena?"

The Shadowmancer didn't respond right away, her back to the group, absentmindedly looking to one of the torches.

"Selena?" Azk called.

The Shadowmancer jumped, turning around. "S-sorry, what were you saying?"

"Are you okay Selena?" Azk asked, walking towards her.

"Y-yeah. What about Arata though?" She straightened up, seemingly out of her stupor. In truth, she had many things on her mind aside from Arata.

"Right, well, we need to figure out where he is, and how to find him." The Assassin replied. He looked to Steel.
"Is that right?"

The Emperor nodded. "Yes, but how are going to find him? Our enemy is unknown. No one saw the kidnappers....We have no clue where they took him."

Now the knights were silent. How were they going to find Arata? Steel was right. They knew nothing about their enemy. Who or what was it? Why did they even want Arata? If not for Hokkyoku, then what?

"I have an idea!" Bill spoke suddenly, causing a few to jump.

Frozen glanced at the warrior. "What is it?"

"We use Hokkyoku!"

"How?" Steel asked, standing from his throne.

"Well...Arata was the only person in his entire clan to ever be able to wield Hokkyoku right?"

"Right..."

"The weapon only seems to respond in his hands too..." Bill looked at Frozen who still held the Katana. The blade was still, the waters normally surrounding it having vanished. "That must mean the weapon is semi-sentient. It has to have some sort of spiritual bond with Arata. Do you think we could use their connection to trace us to Arata?"

"An interesting idea William..." Rayzer said, now looking at Hokkyoku. "If we could isolate Arata's Myst signature by using his connection with the weapon, it could work..But I am unsure if I can do that..."

Steel smiled. "Finrod is linked to the Twilight Realm more than any other creature. He should be able to read it."

Finrod rose, walking over to Frozen, transforming into a man midstep. He stopped in front of the ranger, holding out his hand. Frozen placed Hokkyoku in Finrod's long fingers.

The Beast of Dawn was completely silent. The weapon glowed faintly in his hands. Suddenly, the glow died away. "It is not particularly strong, but I can sense it...It could work."

The Knights all smiled. Frozen took back the sword. Steel looked to his Knights. "It seems we may be able to find our lost Knight after all. Excellent thinking William. In any case, we form a search team. The seven of you should do. You can cover more ground that way, but remain small enough to go unnoticed. Finrod shall accompany you."

"But, sir, what about you? Can Finrod exist outside without you?" Azk asked.

"He'll be fine. If anything should happen to him, he will simply return to the Twilight Realm." Steel assured the assassin. "You'll leave tomorrow morning. Prepare well. We don't know what we're up against."

Leyla sighed, looking up. "I'll find you, Arata."

Frozen smirked. "The search is on!"
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PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:32 am

And so the search for Arata begins. Great chapter Arata. ^_^
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PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:10 pm

Yes, great chapter!
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PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:08 am

Can't wait for more :D
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PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:12 pm

Chapter 3: Never Steal from a Thief

The young man's eyes opened, blinking slowly. He stood up, rubbing his neck with a grimace. "W-wha...where am I?" He croaked. His head throbbed, and his throat was painfully dry. He had woken up on a dirt path that ran through a small stretch of plains, then disappeared into the woods ahead.

He tried to think of how he got there, but nothing could be called to mind. His memory was nothing but darkness, with moments of time floating here and there. But, whenever he grasped for these memories, they would simply slip away and his head would ache even more intensely. There was, however, one memory he managed to hold onto. A name.

"Arata.." He whispered to himself. The name gave him a strange sense of self-recognition. "Is..that me?" He shook his head. He wasn't sure. He looked down at himself. He was wearing torn leather armor and loose, light blue clothing, covered in a layer of dirt. His hands found his way into his pockets, the left one empty. But, in the right one his fingers curled around something small and cold. He pulled it out and unfurled his hand. In his palm was a small ring, curved with an ivy pattern and centered around a small diamond. He wondered whose it was? He had a strange feeling that he had been saving it for someone. Someone important.

He didn't have long to think about it though before he was interrupted by the loud rumblings of his stomach. He nearly keeled over in pangs of hunger. He had to find something to eat, and fast. It was getting late, with dusk already on the horizon. So he began walking.

-

The darkness didn't bother Arata, and niether did being alone. However, the pangs of hunger had already begun to get worse, and the sound of hungry scavengers was disconcerting. He was without a weapon, so if a group of wolves was desperate enough, he would have no way of defending himself. So, with a greater sense of caution, he crept along the trail, glancing between the trees, searching the shadows for hungering eyes.

After about a half hour of walking, the sound of voices began to reach Arata's ears. As he drew closer, the orange glow of a fire came into view, and the smokey scent of cooked meat wafted in his direction, bringing on the hunger pains with renewed intensity. The fire was in the center of a small clearing, surrounded by a group of people who were conversing and laughing with one another. Right above it was the fully cooked corpse of some animal that Arata couldn't identify. Perhaps some sort of fowl.

There were three men and one woman, each wearing cloaks with a symbol of a spade coupled with a design unique to each person. Two of the men had their backs to Arata, one with a shaven head, though a thin layer of hair had begun to grow back, and the other with shortly cropped brown hair. The third man sat closer to the woman. His hair was long and black, tied back into a ponytail and his cloak was a light grey. And then there was the woman. The three men all faced her, as if she commanded their attention. She had long red hair and ice blue eyes, much like Arata's, only paler, like a sheet of permafrost. She had a fierce look about her, yet something else that seemed very fragile at the same time. Wrapped around her was a cloak of light brown.

"That'll teach those idiots to mess with the Thieve's Guild!" The man with the shaved head laughed, taking a swig from his flask.

"Now, now, you shouldn't get overconfident Guile," said the man with the ponytail.

"Why not? We sacked them without a hitch! You were there Cyrus! Not a scratch on us! Besides...those filthy rich bastards could stand to lose a few things." Guile spouted, taking an even deeper gulp from his flask. He cracked up into wheezing laughter.

The red haired woman's voice cut through his laughter. "Easy for you three maybe! Perhaps you failed to notice the guards they sent after us? You're lucky I'm around, otherwise they would have had you strung up by your ears! It was your fault we were caught, and I can't afford to clean up after you all the time."

Guile stopped laughing abruptly, though his silence was still filled with a drunken giddiness. "But that's why we have you Scarlet! Nobody can stand up to you! You slaughtered those guards like it was nothing!"

Arata's eye was then drawn to the woman's sword, which rested next to her. It looked wickedly sharp and had a nasty curve to the blade. A rag was next to it, covered in blood, as if she had just cleaned off a recent kill. Arata gulped.

"It doesn't matter! I shouldn't have to! Thieves should be able to rely on their own agility and cunning to escape!" She stood up, frosted eyes boring into the man. Guile's drunken stupor immediately sobered and he cowered back a bit, very obviously intimidated by her. The other two men were a little unsettled as well. Eventually she simply sighed and took her seat once more, taking to wiping the blade of her sword with the rag, although it seemed perfectly clean to Arata.

Arata's stomach rumbled again, and his attention was once more brought to the perfectly cooked animal carcass that lay above the fire pit. He licked his dry, cracked lips. He knew it was a death sentence to steal from this Scarlet woman, but the overwhelming hunger convinced him otherwise. He needed food. Now.

Without any warning, Arata burst into the middle of their small circle, snatching up the animal and the spit and bolting for the trees with surprising agility. He glanced back.

"What the hell! Don't just stand there! After him!" Scarlet yelled, startling her comrades into action. The three of them gave chase, though Scarlet was the one Arata was most worried about. She was the fastest, with the man Cyrus just behind her. Scarlet had her sword brandished angrily, spouting a curse here or there at Arata.

Arata dashed past trees and leapt over entanglements of bramble that grew over the ground. Eventually, their shouts grew further and further away, until when Arata looked back, they were gone. His energy was already almost completely gone, so he stopped, taking a seat beneath a tree to dig into his prize. He held the carcass in his hands, drool threatening to spill over onto it. Suddenly, four shadows thudded onto the ground in front of him.

Arata's eyes went wide with fear. Scarlet and the three men now stood looming over him. Her eyes were murderous. "Who the hell do you think you are!" She grabbed the meat and wrenched it from his hands. Her expression, however, slowly went from angry, to irritated, to intriguingly amused. "Didn't anyone ever tell you not to steal? Only fools steal from the Thieve's Guild!" She smirked, waving the meat in front of his face, torturing him. She turned her back to him. "Cyrus search him."

"Yes ma'am," he said playfully, which earned him a dirty look. Quicker than Arata could blink, Cyrus's hand darted in and out of his pocket, holding the ring that Arata had found on him when he woke up.

"Hey! Give that back!" Arata yelled, getting up onto his feet.

Cyrus ignored him, whistling. "What's some starving vagrant doing with a rock like this?"

"I said give it back! It's important to me!" Arata swiped at it, but Cyrus danced away. He wasn't sure why, but he knew he needed that ring. It was definitely important to him. It held some place in his blank memories.

"What, this? I'm sure a lot of people would find this 'important' to them. Maybe I'll hold onto it."

Arata clenched his fists and launched himself at Cyrus. He surprised the thief, managing to land a solid punch in his eye and a knee to the man's stomach before Scarlet kicked him off.

The fiery maned woman almost seemed impressed. "If he wants it so badly, let's give it to him," she said.

-

The meat was delicious. Arata dug into his share ravenously, eager to fill the empty pit of a stomach he possessed. Scarlet and the other three had taken him back to their little camp fire and divided up the food, with some still left over. They had decided not to punish him for whatever reason, and then decided to feed him. He didn't understand.

He swallowed his last bite, wiping his mouth with his hand. "I-I don't understand. Why are you guys helping me? I thought you'd kill me or something..."

Scarlet gave a smug smile. "It takes guts to steal from the Thieve's Guild."

"And even more to steal from the legendary Scarlet Frost!" Cyrus chuckled until he was silenced by a glare from Scarlet.

She looked back at Arata. "Regardless, I was impressed. You were very quick on your feet, especially for someone who was apparently starving. You even managed to outrun us for a while there. That takes at least a small margin of skill."

Arata smiled meekly, looking into the coals of the fire. The dancing flame popped and crackled, writhing like a bright specter. He looked at Cyrus, whose eye was already starting to blacken from the punch. He had given him back the ring, so Arata almost felt bad. Despite their rough and tumble look, maybe this gang of thieves wasn't so bad.

Cyrus got up and handed him another chunk of meat, which Arata accepted gratefully. When he sat back down, he asked, "By the way, what's your name?"

Arata forced down the piece of meat that was in his mouth. "Um..Arata..I think..."

Scarlet raised an eyebrow. "You think?"

Arata sighed, explaining to them how he had woken up. "I don't have any memory of anything except my name. And this ring.." He patted his pocket. "..I feel it's important. I'm not sure of anything...I don't know where I am, or who I am...I just know I'm confused and hungry..." He shoved another piece of meat into his mouth.

"Interesting..." Scarlet said, fingering a small brooch that held her cloak together. "Well...we at the Thieve's Guild have a number of sources of information. Perhaps we could find someone who knows you..."

Arata couldn't believe what he was hearing. These complete strangers were going to help him?

Scarlet looked at her Guildmates. They all nodded. "I think that based on your apparent skills...." She smiled.
"...that you could make a worthy member of the Thieve's Guild."

Arata nearly choked on his food, coughing. When he settled, he smiled. "Really? You think so?"

She nodded. "We could take you to meet Jack. I think he'd be happy to take you."

It was too good to be true. Arata's eyes were suddenly wet. He blinked before anyone noticed. He couldn't remember the last time someone had accepted him so quickly. Well...he couldn't remember much of anything right now, but it overjoyed him all the same. "O-okay...Thank you!"

She pulled out an extra bed roll and tossed it at him. "We leave tomorrow morning."
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Poppy Bill

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Posts : 461
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Join date : 2010-07-29
Age : 24
Location : In the Soul Cairn, harvestin' souls.

PostSubject: Re: Darkened Memory   Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:16 pm

Woo! New chapter! Awesome! I wonder what life as a thief will entail for Arata?
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