The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#1
City of Naralona, Grisalesca (otherwise known as the Greybourne Republic)
932 A.R.


The sun shone brightly over the port of Naralona, located in a republic once known to the neighboring Elynsorians as the Greybourne Empire. While the seats of power from those days of old were long gone, reminders of its glory still stood tall and proud in the city's distinctive architecture, which was known mainly for its use of bright, earthen colors, repeating horse-shoe arches that lined practically every veranda, and far-reaching sculpted brick embellishments made to induce wonder in both visitor and native alike. High above the common buildings, of which there were many, were the towers of privately-owned inns and other rich establishments. Some were torn down by the Kingdom of Elynsor in the aftermath of the last great war, but quite a few of the impressive structures still remained. Once home to elite officials appointed by the last Emperor, these luxurious spires now sheltered new members of the oligarchy, those who possessed enough money to afford such lavish quarters. In this free city, there was much to be made for individuals with the means--and the wits--to acquire such wealth, and in turn, much to be lost for those who lacked the ability to keep it. There were the victims, and then there were the opportunists.

Ichimi was a member of the latter category. Besides possessing the physical gifts to grab, run, and get away with it, circumstances never allowed her the ability to afford being the victim. She just couldn't, especially not as one of the few 'free' subhumans--those who weren't kept as slaves or exotic pets for the more eccentric elite, who were often seeking to add more to their collection. For that reason, she wore a hooded cloak when out in the city at all times. Even today, when the sun was not terribly far from its highest point in the sky, she wore her trademark article, which did its job in obscuring two feline ears atop her head. This habit kept her safe from the prying eyes of the public around her, which in turn allowed her to safely look upon her victim for the day from the shadows of a nearby alley. She didn't work alone, not anymore anyway. Five others, all of whom she knew and trusted, also set their eyes upon the same mark arriving in town that morning. This was not a simple snatch-and-grab; this was an operation planned by the leader of the catgirl's crew, a charismatic conman named Cedrian. A gambler who always made his own luck, he was never without a quote for any given situation.

There is a common saying, one not exclusive to Naralona: that "a fool is born every minute". Thieves in the city live by this creed, and as such, target selection plays no small part in their methods. Tourists and visitors, primarily those from other countries, are often easy marks for even the simplest schemes, as their relative unfamiliarity with this Grisalescan settlement and its customs was seen to be a weakness ripe for exploitation. If it wasn't easy enough for a foreign traveler to spend their coin on the various attractions about the city, such as the gambling houses, brothels and other entertainment centers, then there were often plenty of opportunistic thieves looking to make purses lighter in one way or another. Fools with money never kept it long here, and those who did manage to keep their assets and remain on top were often amongst the most careful and discerning folks around. They flanked themselves with trustworthy advisors and guards, ensuring that the pickpockets who were foolish enough to try stealing from them would be met with appropriate punishments. Other times, they were just lucky--but more often than not, there was a solid reason behind their continued success.

But for Cedrian, such a saying was considered terribly outdated. He would always say that 'fools are made, not born'. In other words, even the most vigilant of individuals can be robbed dry when exposed to the right circumstances. And today's target was no exception. The mark, arriving by one of the ships freshly docked on the port side of town, was a man who went by the name of Rodrigo Fortaleza the Third. A stout, ash-bearded gent dressed in fine fabrics and flashy, heavy jewelry, he was a member of the merchant elite, and he had no reservations in letting others know through his manner and attire. What he may have lacked in modesty or common sense, he made up for with money--lots of it--and a talent for crunching numbers that helped bring him to where he was in the hierarchy. If nothing else, he did have enough sense to hire an advisor; an apt, bespectacled young man named Beliano who remained nearby at all times, keen to spot any problems. On his other side was his bodyguard, a hulk of a man called Donato who was certainly not known to be the most business-savvy nor the most talkative of individuals. But he was large, and certainly strong enough to dissuade any attempts to strong-arm his lord. These two Rodrigo could trust, and were perhaps the biggest obstacles to Ichimi's main goal; the veinsteel medallion slung around his neck, shamelessly encrusted with various jewels.

It was worth at least 10,000 rezetas; perhaps enough to sustain Ichimi and her cohorts for at least a month or so. Still, with as much wealth as they gained, it was never quite that easy for them to just walk away from it all. Not when they've gotten so damn good at what they did, and when the city itself was quick to claim coin even in the simple act of spending. Whether one was rich or poor, it didn't discriminate.

Rodrigo stepped off the boat onto the wooden pier, taking in a deep breath of the afternoon air. Originally from the capital, Relego, he was said to have taken a trip to the Talean Islands for 'business reasons', and returned to port in Naralona with the hopes of getting in some well-earned relaxation. With arrangements made to rent a room in one of the towers for the next few nights, he first sought to leave his luggage at the luxurious Montcoba Hotel before taking a night out on the town, no doubt in a session of drunken debauchery, which the city was always ready to provide.

Accompanied by his advisor and bodyguard as always, the rotund merchant looked around for his welcoming party, a group of three employees from the Montcoba, who would escort him to the tower and give him a quick tour as part of their introductory services. It wasn't long before he found them.

Two men, dressed in crimson and gold uniforms, waited not too far from the docks with an open air coach, holding up a sign with his name on it. Ichimi spotted the pair from her spot in a nearby alleyway, knowing that they weren't actually employed by the hotel like Rodrigo expected them to be. These two were members of her band of thieves and part of the larger plan to relieve the merchant of his ill-gained riches. One of them was Augusto, an unassuming ex-clergyman and the primary 'actor' of the crew. The other Ichimi would recognize as Josias, an inventor and alchemist who often supplied her with various potions. While playing roles wasn't his specialty, today he didn't have a choice.

"Would you be Rodrigo Fortaleza the Third, sir?" greeted Augusto.

"That I am," replied the stout businessman, adjusting his clothing so as to look more proper. It was something of a wasted effort, as his bulging belly almost stood out more than his flashy clothing.

"Pleased to make your acquaintance! I am Estevan, and this is Diego, from the Montcoba Hotel," said Augusto graciously, first motioning to himself, then to Josias, who nodded his head in turn. Naturally, an alias--a different one used every time--was appropriate for any convincing disguise, so as to avoid past incidents catching up with the group. Augusto was normally light-haired and had only somewhat tanned skin, with Josias possessing crimson hair and a darker complexion. Today, both of them adjusted their looks just enough so that they wouldn't easily be recognizable on the streets. The uniforms they wore, with their stiff red caps and straight crisp jackets, helped hide distinguishing features, but it didn't hurt to go the extra mile in ensuring that this heist would not come back to bite them later on.

"We're sure you're quite tired from your journey, so allow us to handle the rest," the former priest added without a single trace of hesitation or uneasiness in his tone. He had practiced this ruse many times before. While others might have stuttered or botched their lines under pressure, Augusto was too used to this by now.

"May I take your bags?" Josias chimed in, the green-eyed accomplice offering a gracious smile as he motioned to relieve the wealthy man of his heavy luggage.

"Yes, yes, thank you! Please do," replied Rodrigo cheerfully, stroking his graying beard with delight. There was no reason not to trust these men; after all, they were dressed in the proper attire of the hotel he meant to stay in, which was not easy to duplicate by any means. And should they attempt to simply take off for any reason, the giant Donato was deceivingly fast, enough so to catch up with a racing coach if he really tried. Like a bear, the bodyguard's size betrayed his deceptively high speed at a full sprint, and his client Rodrigo knew this well. It gave the finely dressed businessman peace of mind around almost any group of strangers, for anyone who dared try to snatch anything off him likely wouldn't get far. He handed three large leather bags full of his personal effects to Josias, who loaded them one at a time into secure compartments on the back of the carriage. Afterwards, the doors to said cubicles were closed, securing the luggage for the time being.

"Aaaah," said the merchant, nodding towards his hosts and taking a moment to stretch his arms. "Not even a few days separated from the islands and already I miss the touch of a Talean courtesan. I trust that you can provide recommendations for the best brothels around Naralona? I'm in the mood for a very... exotic kind of woman, hohohoh. If you know what I mean!"

"Of course," said Augusto with a gracious smile, easily managing to hide any disgust that would normally result from mental images of the fat businessman in the act of 'enjoying' a prostitute's services. "We know of quite a few places around the area that you will definitely find to your liking!"

That was where Ichimi's part came in. From her spot in a nearby alleyway, she could see her mark clearly, as well as her primary objective: the large, somewhat heavy-looking medallion slung loosely around his neck. She knew that Augusto and Josias would only make meager attempts to stop her, if only for the sake of appearances, and the thin, bespectacled advisor didn't look to be of any immediate threat. While stout, Rodrigo was also of little concern, or so she could sense. The main problem was dealing with this 'Donato' if he did happen to notice. But either way, she had to make this natural. No need to snatch and grab, or cause a big scene--the merchant was ready for that. All she needed to do was bump into him, somehow get the piece of jewelry from around his neck in the process, perhaps issue a brief apology and then continue on her way as if nothing happened. This was but one step in a much larger plan, Ichimi knew, but a very important one nonetheless.
 

Kat

Sex Demon
Moderator
Jan 20, 2011
281
#2
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

Reserving this post for notes, game systems, character Bio, ect. Whenever I feel like updating. Right now I'd say this Bio is pretty crappy since most of this stuff is things I've discussed in far greater detail with the GM over OOC chat. But meh... here it is anyway...

CHARACTER BIO


Name: Ichimi

Age
: 20 (~approx: exact birthdate unknown)

Occupation
: Thief

Personality
: (Hah, when I actually did this for Kurui, what I ended up RPing was so much different than the description. Not gonna make that mistake again. This has already been discussed OOC, for everyone else, read the RP.)

History: Before joining the band she's now part of, she spent most of her childhood growing up as a pickpocket on the streets of Naralona. Given her Felvari blood and the fact that many look it at is a form of being sub-human, she didn't have much else in the way of means of surviving. Even though Greybourne is more tolerant of voidic creatures than Elynsor to the north, most of the ones around are little more than “exotic pets” to those rich or powerful enough to have them.
Despite the harshnesses of life in Naralona, she holds a fear of the empty wildernesses outside the boarders of civilization and has willingly lived this life since about age 12, slowly getting better and better at her craft through trial and error, a painful process where failure often meant beatings or not eating. Around 18, one such failure had more fortunate results though when she tried to steal from members of the band she is now part of. The ensuing chase, even though she ended up being outnumbered and getting caught, left enough of an impression that she was invited into the group, where her talents could be used with their own to accomplish much more than she had even been able to alone.
Though she has some fleeting memories of early childhood and life back with the clan she was born into, she has no memory of how she came to end up in Naralona as a child and no memory of her parents. However she has no real interest in filling in the blanks as they have nothing to do with her day-to-day concerns and is something she considers, if it was so bad she wiped it from memory in the first place, to be something better left forgotten.

Skills: Her skills are somewhat typical of what you would expect from a pickpocket. She's good at subtle stealthy movements and blending into an environment. Due to a mix of natural disposition and pickpocketing attempts going wrong from time to time, she's also very good at running, jumping, climbing... anything to lose pursuers and make quick escapes. She's not good at many other types of thievery though, for example she has little patience for lock picking anything more complicated than a jewelry box or doing street scams.
Fights with pair of curved daggers, useful for their speed and easy concealability. She also carriers a few throwing knives to slow down pursuers. Although she has no training in magic, being partially voidic she has enough of an affinity with that element to summon small amounts of voidic airs and energies by instinct. While too weak to be of any use directly, if introduced INSIDE the body of most things native to this world, they will disrupt the energies and functions of a body... essentially acting as temporary “poisons” with a variety of effects. If introduced into a human who's body isn't expecting such, the effects are magnified as the body is unable to “catch up” as effectively as a body expecting the disruption from the start.

Appearance: Quick ref: http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x364/CosplaysNStuff/Art Stuffs SFW/NekomiFlashRecovery.jpg (Similar to this, but with different weapons as described above. I made this piece long before the details of this RP were hammered out. Also usually wearing a hooded cloak similar to the one in my avatar pic.)

STAT SYSTEM (Not that I've really used stats much at all.)

Charm would be when determining, well, obviously, charming rolls, Magic/Intelligence would help with actual magic-based stuff and knowledge, Body helps with physical feats, Perception is self-explanatory, helps you read events and/or people, and Will determines how cool you can stay under pressure or avoid negative penalties when in a bad situation, essentially.
You get 5 points to distribute however you like, although you have to choose one stat that is -1. 0 is average, 1 is above average. 2 is very above average. 3 is expert. 4 is prodigy. Ect. These are rough guidelines, not strict rules or systems.

Stats
: Ichimi
-Magic/Intelligence: 0 (Really street smart, not so book smart... slow reader when it comes to difficult books actually. Natural affinity with the voidic plane allows for voidic magic without chanting, but without proper training or expertise, the magic is extremely weak on it's own.)
Perception: 1 (Good natural senses due to being Felvari, good situational awareness due to what she did growing up.)
Charm: 1 (Extremely situational. She got's decent looks and isn't particularly shy about sex... however being Felvari can either be an asset or a completely kill how she's seen, depending on the audience.)
Body: 1 (Even as a Felvari, she's probably not much stronger than the average untrained human male of her height, however her stamina and agility are both pretty exceptional.)
Will: 1 (You don't grow up homeless and resorting to thievery to survive and NOT be able to cope with life's harshnesses somehow.)

Other:
-5'7” height.
-Same weaknesses to cosmic magic all Felvari (and voidic creatures in general) have. Even when used in a healing fashion it still disrupts voidic energy her body functions on, leaving burns the level of a sunburn if minor, becoming completely disabling if used in strong concentrations or deliberately offensively. Same resistance to voidic energies that all felvari have. Not complete immunity, but substantial tolerance.
-Fast metabolism, but low resistance towards foreign "poisons" as a result. Gets drunk or high really easily because the effects hit fast... but they also don't last as long before she recovers.

FETISH SHEET AND PREFERENCES

Now where is the fun of me revealing that up front? GM has a copy of all of this.

OTHER STUFF

*Green text is actual dialogue from my character.
*SeaGreen Italicized text is thoughts, not something spoken out loud.
*Other characters may have unique colors for their dialogue.
*Red Text is for OOC edits to any of my posts
 
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Kat

Sex Demon
Moderator
Jan 20, 2011
281
#3
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

Extra reserve, just in case.
 
Last edited:

Kat

Sex Demon
Moderator
Jan 20, 2011
281
#4
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

From her spot in a nearby alleyway, Ichimi had a good view of the scene unfolding before her. In a few moments of cautious risk, she lifted up her hood so her ears could perk up and allow her to catch snippets of some of the distant conversation she was watching. She had very good directional hearing this way, although it was a luxury she could only afford in moments like these when she was sure she wouldn't be seen. Most other times she kept her ears down, allowing them to blend in with her hair at a glance and be unnoticeable under her hood... despite the awkward somewhat-muffled hearing she had that way.
Although Ichimi had a hard time making out the exact words spoken the entire time, she picked up enough in the way of tone and phrases to confirm that things were going well and according to plan. There was nothing to indicate her mark was aware of the plan unfolding around him, or the fact that the two men he was talking to were not who they appeared to be. Still, even with everything going according to plan, this might not be as easy as it first appeared.

Ichimi had a clear view of what she was to steal, the jeweled medallion around her mark's neck. The prize was right there, out in the open, not even hidden or stored away with the rest of the merchant's stuff... but in a way that almost made things harder. Ichimi was a good pickpocket, but this was not as simple as silently snagging someone's coin purse or replacing a few coins with some sleight of hand and worthless substitutes. To get something like this over someone's head unnoticed was a harder movement to pull off unnoticed, and the medallion's weight meant the act would be noticed almost immediately in the middle of the action itself. There was also the issue of the merchant's advisor and bodyguard. Even if Augusto and Josias were on her side, these two weren’t. Counting the merchant himself that gave her three to deal with.
“Tch, fatty isn't going to catch me or put up a fight. The guy with the spectacles is probably no threat either, he doesn't look like he's ever been in a real fight once in his entire life, let alone ever had to run or chase anyone like me. The big guy could be a problem though... He could tear me apart like a stuffed animal if he gets ahold of me. He doesn't look like he's fast enough to catch me, but he's tall.... he might have long strides and be faster than he looks. I'd have to get somewhere where I could climb to be safe for sure. I could still probably manage it though... if things go badly. I'm not supposed to let things go bad though.
Damnit... this would be so much easier if it were just a grab-and-run on someone who WASN'T so important."


Though Ichimi felt a twinge of annoyance at the fact that a simple “grab-and-run” would be risky to try to pull off with this target, she begrudgingly admitted that she never would have been able to find such a valuable score herself or do the planning for something like this. She did far better off now with her band than she had ever done alone even just a few years ago... and had not yet forgotten how many nights she had spent hungry back then. Maybe it was an annoyance to have to plan and compromise with others, but there was an effectiveness to working in a team that she couldn't deny. As such, she was sure to play along with what was best for the group, even if a mark like this was more risky than anything she might have attempted on her own.
“Maybe this IS risky, but I'm a lot better at this than I used to be. I still need to handle this carefully though... if I don't have at least a few seconds of head-start, this could go badly very quickly, especially if I get caught and have to fight back and the city guards show up... I'll blow the other's cover if they have to help me escape, and I'm not taking crap for THAT.
Maybe I'm not as good of an actor as Augusto and I'm happy to leave that part to him any day... but I think enough has rubbed off on me to at least buy myself a few seconds... after all, I do have a type of charm he'll never have. Besides, it can't go any worse than just trying to grab the medallion and run. I'll get MY part of the job done either way.”


From her hiding spot, Ichimi formulated her plan, then prepared to put it into action. She hid a small throwing knife in the palm of her hand and focused on the tip of it, summoning the smallest bit of voidic “airs” to it. Though she knew almost nothing about magic, this was instinctual to her, as she figured it was to all Felvari. While many normal humans regarded Felvari as sub-humans, exotic pets at best, and abominations at worst (especially in other parts of the world like Elynsor to the north), Ichimi knew there were reasons the very first clan had warped themselves like this. She knew little of her own people's history, and cared even less, but the survival benefits being partially Voidic brought were undeniable.
From her hiding spot she bided her time, waiting till everyone's attention seemed to be elsewhere. Then when the moment was right she came running out of her hiding spot, knife hidden in hand and moving as silently as she could, something she was quite good at despite the speed at which she moved. Voidic airs disrupted a body's natural energies best when a body wasn't prepared for it... taken by surprise. She made a line straight for the wealthy merchant she was to steal from, ran right into him, then in the confusion of the impact worked her knife up towards his neck, creating only the slightest of cuts with her strike before hiding the knife again all in one quick motion. She could summon many types of voidic airs, with a variety of poison-like effects, from outright damage, to numbness, to creeping blindness... but the one she had used this time was only meant to disorient, acting almost like a form of alcohol and bringing about a creeping feeling similar to mild drunkenness. It had been a risky move, but if it worked it would soon help her with the distraction she needed.
So far it would take only a second to see she hadn't actually stolen anything yet and the cut her knife had made looked little more than a scratch she could have accidentally caused with a fingernail during the collision... nothing to warrant outright hostility yet. She wasn't done quite yet though, now the acting part came in as she attempted to get another of her obstacles out of the way.

“Sorry! Sorry!”
Ichimi began what sounded like the start of a surprised apology as she stumbled to back on balance. In reality though it wasn't stumbling at all, but just an attempt by her to keep some distance between her and the big guy just in case her intrusion WAS met with hostility or anything that looked like a grab. At the same time she allowed the others to all check themselves, and assure themselves that she hadn't stolen anything before continuing.
“Sorry! I didn't know where I was going. I was out running errands when some thugs chased me into an alley and pulled out weapons on me. They took everything I had, but I got away and was just running wherever I could!” she stammered out breathlessly, as if she was struggling to catch her breath. She then turned her eyes to the big guy for a moment before turning back to the merchant. “Is that guy your man? Please you have to help me! The guys who jumped me were skinny little punks, your guy can probably down them in a second. They're probably still in the alley looking for me. Please?!”
“Comeon fatty, a helpless little girl is asking you for help. I heard some of your conversation earlier... you're not the type who would miss a chance to impress girls, right?”
If everything went according to plan, the merchant would be tipsy in a few seconds and his bodyguard would be gone. That left just the his advisor around, and if Augusto and Josias could distract him for even a few seconds Ichimi knew she could make her move. If everything didn't go according to plan, she could find herself an exit, having stolen nothing and done nothing to risk ruining the cover of her companions. Even if this plan failed, there were always chances to try something different later... that or make a more daring and blatant snatch-and-grab when a window that didn't look TOO risky presented itself. Getting caught in the act itself was no concern if she could get away, but a few second head-start would certainly make that part easier.
 
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Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#5
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

"Oof! Watch where you're going, cretin!" exclaimed the businessman with a grunt, the grimace upon his face still lingering from when Ichimi collided into him just seconds earlier. So annoyed was he by the offense that the tiny scratch she left upon him went unnoticed for the most part. The Felvari's quick cut resulted in a tiny line of red upon his neck, which could probably be seen by anyone who bothered to look closely, though it wasn't quite deep enough to cause even a drop of blood to escape from the tiny wound. Idly, he scratched at it, perhaps thinking it little more than a bug's bite, then glared at the thief as she made her excuse.

The portly entrepreneur, initially unamused by the girl's innocent quips, soon caught a closer look at her face beneath the hood, and at that exact moment his expression changed drastically from hostile to curious. "Ohhh, I mean, uh... hello. Heh..." While he couldn't see her ears, he did notice that this so-called 'cretin' was in fact a pretty one, giving him reason enough to take back his first reaction. However, the effects of the Voidic 'airs' also appeared to be taking effect already, and Rodrigo began to rub his temples as if nursing a headache of sorts. Within the next few seconds it would probably get worse before fading again, given his large frame. If Ichimi managed to take the necklace off of him within that time, he probably wouldn't even notice given the slight swirling and blurring of his vision.

Unfortunately for the Felvari, while her natural gifts helped her in lowering the mark's guard, they did nothing to move the skeptical expression of his sharp-eyed advisor, Beliano, who would not so easily buy such a story. He leaned over towards his client and whispered a few choice words, which caused the fat one to put on a look of disbelief and puzzlement. The bespectacled aide nodded solemnly, and Rodrigo frowned. It appeared as though Beliano was onto her somehow, and managed to convince the businessman of it as well. Rodrigo seemed to put a lot of trust in the shrewd consultant, which might have explained why he managed to keep his money relatively secure thus far.

However, Donato, the towering bodyguard, stood up at attention with squinted eyes moving from Ichimi's frame to the background, as if trying to find the alley she was talking about. He seemed a bit more convinced than Beliano. But while he might have fallen for the catgirl's story, the stone-faced advisor wasn't about to let the bodyguard go acting out of his own accord. Instead of warning Donato directly, however, Beliano turned the proverbial spotlight to the Voidic beauty instead. Adjusting his glasses, the thinner of the merchant's two traveling companions raised a brow and scoffed.

"I don't know what you're trying, but we've been targets of this particular act before. You likely don't care too much for your low-life cohorts waiting in the alley," he said accusingly, giving Ichimi a look of disdain. "The last time Donato defended us, over a dozen men were easily left crippled in his wake. I will spare you the trouble by advising against any plans to mug us. Besides, if anyone is waiting for you in the alley, perhaps you should just leave them there."

"Really, with such competent staff at your disposal, I honestly don't think the thieves in this area would dare try such a thing," Augusto chimed in towards Rodrigo in an attempt to reinforce his sense of security and also to push Beliano into the zone of overconfidence. "Certainly not to a client of the Montcoba, as we wouldn't allow for such things to happen to you in the first place. Maybe it really was little more than an honest mistake on her part."

"Hrrm, well, I suppose that's quite fine then," muttered the businessman, seemingly content with Augusto's well-chosen words for the time being. "Either way, I would like to be shown my room as soon as possible. I've developed a headache and wish to forget about such concerns."

He took a look at Ichimi, then to his bespectacled aide and back. "A shame," he muttered to himself, barely audibly to the others, though the catgirl could pick the words up rather easily thanks to her keen hearing.

"That can be arranged, sir," replied Augusto graciously as Josias began to usher them into the coach, starting with Beliano, the advisor, then following with the bodyguard Donato, which would allow Rodrigo a window seat in case he got too sick. At that moment, the effects of Ichimi's Voidic airs were at their peak, and the merchant proved rather slow in getting to the vehicle. If there was any chance of her nipping it from behind and taking it off of him, it was now. Donato's large frame obscured the normally observant Beliano's vision, and the hulking sentry's back was turned as he struggled to fit himself into the carriage. Meanwhile, Rodrigo was too preoccupied with his newfound nausea to worry about his jewelry. Augusto glanced sideways at Ichimi for just half of a second, and the catgirl knew right then that it was her turn to execute.
 

Kat

Sex Demon
Moderator
Jan 20, 2011
281
#6
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

The first part of Ichimi's plan worked like a charm, she had made her approach without being spotted too early and even managed to make her “poisoning” cut without anyone catching sight of her weapon. This was somewhat expected though, the skills she had used in this part of the plan were ones she had spent years of her life learning through a unforgiving process of trial and error earlier in life. As a child, the consequences of getting caught usually meant a rough beating from the angry would-be victim... or the city guard later on. She was 20 now, and those days were long past... consequences were greater now and having learned nothing from those earlier years would have been a fatal mistake.
Her charm seemed to be working to similar effect too... even without doing anything to be flirty or seductive, her guess about the fat merchant seemed to have been correct and he seemed to an easy victim for any young female. Unfortunately, such charm didn't seem to be universally effective against all in her group of targets.

“What?! I was running AWAY. I would have just screamed if I wanted someone to walk into a trap! Do I even look like I could hurt one of you?!”
It was something of a sloppy, defensive recovery, but nothing that would escalate hostility immedietly.
“Tch... fucking skinny bitch. Of course HE wouldn't wana be a hero for a helpless girl in trouble. He's probably never even slept with one...”
One of Ichimi's ears twitched with annoyance under her hood, creating a slight ruffling of the fabric, but luckily one that could easily be dismissed to the ocean air. Not purely over the fact that her lie wasn't working, but also over the fact that Augusto was standing right there doing HIS acting job just fine. For the briefest of moments she shot him a short glare “Don't even say anything, you're pissing me off just fine already.” The problem wan't entirely with her acting of course. After all, she was an outsider here, Augusto had a role that portrayed him as someone trusted. There was psychology beyond just their relative acting abilities... of course Ichimi herself wasn't one to understand this fact where as Augusto WAS; and she was instead left just left feeling annoyed that her “charms” had failed to give her an easy time showing up the ex-priest. Friendly rivalries were no fun when you didn't win...
Adding to Ichimi's annoyance, the others amongst her group of targets seemed content to just ignore her completely now, thinking themselves to have figured out her plan. Annoying, but advantageous for her. There was of course, no planned ambush, she had only hoped to put some distance between her and the biggest immediate threat before acting farther... but this would work too. While she had only intended for her weak voidic “poisoning” to disorient the merchant while she went for her prize, his bad reaction to it had made him a bigger focus of everyone's concerns than her. And she wasn't so annoyed as to become reckless and ruin the plan... no, she was still plenty focused enough for that. Whether a natural instinct or something she had honed over the years, Ichimi had a sense for how much attentions were focused on her, and knew it was easy to move when she didn't appear the biggest concern of a moment. This was not a chance to waste.

“Fine! Ignore me! This changes nothing... it's just going to be more satisfying for me when I'm running off with your stuff. Geeze, can't believe he's getting sick just from that cut... surprised he's even healthy enough to handle all those courtesans he's supposedly fucking.”
She started running up towards the merchant again as he was getting into the carriage.
“H-hey! W-wait!”
Of course, with as little of a threat as him and his attendants perceived her to be, Ichimi figured they would just shove her away, slam the carriage door, and take off. That would be fine, she only had to get close for a second.
She waited till her target was stepping onto the coach, in a position to easily shove her away, and then in an instant she was sleight-of-hand'ing one of her knives into her palm again. One quick and subtle movement and the weak ornamental chain holding his medallion was silently cut and she was catching it and pocketing it before it could hit the ground or make any kind of noise. If the merchant was already reacting so badly to her poison, there was no way his senses would be sharp enough to notice the movements or the lack of weight around his neck anymore... at least, not right away.
This achieved, she allowed herself to pushed or threatened away, looking disappointed but finally appearing to relent. She only walked now, thinking it too suspicious to run just yet. However her attention was focused on the coach the whole time as she put distance between her and them... and her body was poisoned and ready for a chase at a moment's notice.
 
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Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#7
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

"You don't," said Beliano flatly, in response to Ichimi's question about whether she looked dangerous enough to hurt them. "But it doesn't invalidate my point. At any rate, I'd find the town guard if I were you. If you are not the roper for some gang of bandits, then you'd be better served by someone in uniform anyway," he said dismissively before turning his attention to Josias, who offered the thin advisor a sheepish grin before guiding him into the carriage.

Outside of the momentary look he gave his teammate, Augusto's facade didn't break for her glare, though the catgirl could probably imagine how smug he might be upon seeing such an expression. It was difficult to actually tell, though, as the former clergyman always wore a very passive expression that even the most discerning types had trouble reading. That, coupled with a most convincing disguise, made the strength of his cover an enviable one. Josias, on the other hand, was only good enough to get by, but as with Augusto, the uniform did wonders in helping his trustworthiness.

Then came Ichimi's chance. A mark with his back turned, which was practically a gift for any thief worth their salt--and she was worth much more than that, at least when it came to the quickness needed to attempt such a lift. The thin chain slung around his neck snapped near the back, and the jeweled prize it held nearly slid off at one of the severed ends, but Ichimi managed to catch them both in hand without him noticing in the least. Rodrigo was far too distracted to worry about what robberies might be occurring in the process. With that, she was free to head off in the opposite direction. Her job was done... well, for now.

Before he closed the coach door, Josias noticed that the gem-encrusted medallion was no longer in the merchant's possession. While this would have normally been a reason for him to smile, his cover went beyond that today. He was a trusted employee of the Montcoba Hotel, and would watch out for his guest's interests the whole way, or at least until it was his cue to stop doing so--but that time was not now. "Sir, I think your medallion is uh... missing," he remarked, pointing to the spot on Rodrigo's torso where his prized possession once hung.

This sobering realization straightened the portly businessman like nothing else would, and his eyes widened as he shoved the vehicle door open, hurrying out into the street and frantically patting himself down. His two attendants soon struggled to follow, but Donato even encountered a bit of trouble exiting the coach. Augusto, having witnessed as much, pointed the fleeing and cloaked Ichimi out to Rodrigo. "Sir! It had to have been her! The girl who bumped into you earlier!" warned the former priest, pointing a finger in the Felvari's direction. She was already a good distance down the street, and had a decent head start on the merchant and both of his assistants. But now that she had actually been identified as a thief, it was her cue to run.

However, she didn't get terribly far. A noticeably large, strong man in the garb of a town guard moved from a nearby stall with surprising quickness and forcefully grabbed a hold of her. Ichimi knew right then by his grip that he was far too strong for her to put up any meaningful resistance, as his size was close to that of the mark's hulking bodyguard; close to seven feet in height and a veritable mountain of muscle. She then saw a second constable joining him, noticeably less bulky in frame but a strapping and admittedly impressive man nonetheless, who wasted no time in snatching back the stolen necklace from the offender.

But a closer look at the second guard's face reminded her that everything was going to plan. It was Cedrian, the smooth-talking leader of the band. "Trying to pull a fast one, are we? Too bad thieves who work alone in Naralona don't get very far," he remarked aloud, staying in character as he took her by the other arm and dragged her back to where the victim of her robbery was waiting--but not before showing the catgirl a knowing grin when no one noticed. Ichimi didn't even have to take a second look to know who the man on her other side was. The larger of the two town guards was actually the muscle of her thieves' group, Hector. Stoic, tough, and reliable, he played his part well, even if he was a little rough with her, though unintentionally so as he was often unaware of his own strength.

Rodrigo and his two hired agents, Beliano and Donato, were waiting with less than pleased looks on their faces by the time Ichimi had been taken back to them.

"I should've known," muttered the scrawny advisor, looking rather annoyed that a hotel employee, of all people, had managed to properly spot a robbery before he could. Donato, on the other hand, remained silent as always, but his eyes were fixed on the catgirl.

By this time, the very faint Voidic airs had finally left Rodrigo's system, and the fat merchant looked rather panicked, glaring at Ichimi, then turning to Cedrian and Hector. "T-Town guards! Thank goodness you were there! I feared it was the first time I was truly taken for a fool. What of the medallion she stole from me?"

"All in the job, good sir," replied Cedrian with no shortage of confidence, before showing the heavy piece of jewelry to the merchant and dropping it into his hand with a firm nod. "Have to be careful about these types. It's always the pretty ones that'll fool you," he added, before grabbing Ichimi's hood and pulling it back to reveal her unique features--the ears atop her head. "And a subhuman, at that. Can't say I'm surprised. Rest assured that she'll face very heavy punishment for a crime like this. We'll take her back to the station, and you can fill out the paperwork at your leisure."

Though he seemed displeased just moments ago, getting his treasured piece of status back helped ease Rodrigo back into a more triumphant expression, and his ominous grin only grew even wider when he saw that this mysterious thief was, in fact, a Felvari. As the two guards started their motions to haul her away, he raised a hand in protest. "W-Wait! Ah, uhh... well, I think I know a very appropriate punishment for her," said the portly businessman, taking on a rather lewd smile and licking his lips, his eyes fixed on Ichimi. "If you could ah, take her up to my suite in the Montcoba Hotel instead, in proper restraints of course, there'll be plenty more where this came from," said the man, dropping a pouch full of coins in Cedrian's hand with a firm nod.

"Though the rest is in my bags, so I won't be able to, ah, compensate you until she is delivered. Sound fair? After all, as the victim, I may just teach her a lesson myself instead of have to go through what might be a very unsightly court process, hmm? I'll keep quiet about it, and we can consider this a most private transaction between you and I, yes? After all, heroes like yourselves do need to be paid their dues for such deeds, and since my medallion was returned, no harm done." He would certainly have to get a new chain afterwards, but he didn't seem terribly bothered by it, showing that the medallion itself made up most of the value.

Cedrian looked to hesitate for just a moment, but it was all part of the act, of course. "Very well," said the grifter, accepting the bribe before giving his word. "We'll deliver her to you shortly, then." He then exchanged nods with Hector, who also appeared to have agreed to the terms.

"Wonderful!" exclaimed Rodrigo, rubbing his hands together, unable to hide his excitement. "I can't wait. Suite 303. I'll be seeing you there~! You can bring her with or without clothes. Hehehehe..." With a renewed smile upon his face that looked practically impossible to wipe off, he hurried back into the carriage, followed by Beliano and then Donato. The two hotel employees then steered the carriage off towards its destination, while Ichimi was to be delivered to the lecherous merchant by the pair of 'corrupt' guards.

As such, they began to pull her along, maintaining the appearances of two constables with a prized prisoner until a few subtle turns put them in the clear. The three strolled down an abandoned alley on the way back to their hideout, where facades could finally be dropped, as there were no more eyes upon them. Hector relaxed his grip on the catgirl, offering her a slightly apologetic look, and Cedrian produced the jewelled medallion--the real one--from his pocket. It didn't have the chain, of course, but that didn't matter much.

"Fairly easy switch, that one," said the leader, patting Ichimi on the back. "You did good. Thanks to you, I think we're set for a good while with this--not to mention some extra bribe money for a delivery he'll never get. Glad we could figure out a thing or two about that Rodrigo guy's taste in women, huh? Not that they're bad, in this case. And of course, Josias' counterfeits are as convincing as ever."

"And Rio's outfits," added Hector in his distinctively deep voice, removing his guardsman's helm to reveal a head of short white hair.

Before Ichimi knew it, they had arrived to the place they called 'home', or at least, the closest thing to it--a rented warehouse out by the northern docks. Hustlers like them couldn't stay in one place for long, and as such, the place had always been understood as a temporary one. But Cedrian and the group had done so well over the past couple of years that they didn't need to move out of this one, making it a little more comfortable than they expected it to be.

Other than the three of them, the place was empty, with only the necessities and furnishings strewn about. Not long after they entered, Cedrian and Hector worked on changing out of their town guard disguises and back into their casual clothes.

It wasn't too long before a familiar carriage came rolling in from outside, allowed into the warehouse itself by way of a large double-doored entrance. Of course, Augusto and Josias were the ones driving it, and as soon as they settled in, they hopped off from the vehicle. The red-headed tinkerer immediately tended to the horses, which were known to be his.

Meanwhile, Augusto stretched out, finally allowing himself out of character. "So they're at the Montcoba now. Left us a pretty generous tip for being so helpful, too. I almost feel bad--he's kind of a nice guy. Well, other than being a... 'creep', as some might call it."

"And also morbidly obese," uttered Josias.

Cedrian grinned. "Anyone want to take bets on when he'll notice that his bags are full of worthless junk?"

"I know better than to take any bet against you," said Augusto, shaking his head with a grin. "But I figure it could happen any minute now."

Just after he said as much, a knocking sound came from within the coach. Not in the passengers' area--that was empty, with Rodrigo, Donato and Beliano having been dropped off at their destination. This particular noise came from within the vehicle itself.

"Oh, right. Almost forgot about Rio," said Augusto, walking over to where the door to the luggage compartment was located on the vehicle and opening it.

Several clothes, trinkets, and other goods came cascading out, followed by a petite, tanned girl with light brown hair. Or at least, that's what most would expect at first glance, but those who were familiar with the smallest member of the group also knew that it was a boy. Given his androgynous looks and rather effeminate way of carrying himself, it was just that difficult to tell.

"Ahgawd, it's soo hot in there! You know how hard it was to switch out everything that was in that guy's bags?! He has a lotta stuff!" cried Rio with an exasperated look.

"Sorry, but you're the only one small enough to do it," said Cedrian. "You have to admit though, there's nothing quite like robbing a guy that dry. His luggage, pretty much all of his pocket money, the most valuable piece of jewelry he owns... just a perfect job," he added, looking quite pleased with the results of his plan.

"Not to mention he won't even be having an exotic escort to himself tonight either. She's all ours," he said jokingly, grinning at Ichimi. "More jobs like this and I'd say we ought to put you in the charm role more often."

Before long, the group began to sort through their spoils, starting with the contents of Rodrigo's luggage. There were quite a bit of fine clothes, but as expected, they were also very large. Rio poked his head out from one of the outfits, which looked comically large on him. "Okay, I don't think we're gonna be using THESE right away Hmm, some good material, though... maybe I can modify a few of them," he said thoughtfully. With nimble fingers, Rio was a good tailor and a decent pickpocket, providing two different but useful skills to the group. He always had an eye for fine material, and the way he looked over the various clothes spoke volumes about them: their mark dressed very nicely, despite his poor build.

Rio rushed over to drape one of the outfits over Hector, who simply looked at him and raised a brow. "Hey, maybe Hector could wear some of them as a disguise!"

"I don't think his stomach is nearly large enough," commented Josias, still fixated on the matter of Rodrigo's weight.

"Nothing a little stuffing can't fix!" quipped Rio cheerfully.

After the various appraisals and assessments made by the band, they gathered together in one general area within the hideout. Cedrian looked them all over before nodding his approval. "Excellent job today, everyone. With this much, I think we'll actually be set for much longer than we thought. So you know what that means... after we divvy it up, I think the only thing we gotta worry about in the near future is what to spend this cash on. Think I'm hitting the casinos after this--what better way to get a nice return?"

"Spending mine on food," said Hector.

"Clothes!" Rio chimed in.

"Drugs," Josias commented shamelessly.

"As for me... I've not really decided yet." Augusto looked in Ichimi's direction. "What about you, Ichimi? Perhaps some acting lessons? I can offer you a discount," he joked.
 
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Kat

Sex Demon
Moderator
Jan 20, 2011
281
#8
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

“Hahaha, oh gods! Took him long enough to notice.”
Ichimi stopped for a moment as her mark stumbled out of the coach in panic, practically tripping over himself on the way. It was such a hilarious sight that she couldn't help but stop for a second and laugh over it. It was probably a reckless choice, but she had put enough distance between herself and any sort of threat that she could afford as much. It was only when the bodyguard Donato started to get out of the coach that she turned to run. After all, he would still be dangerous if he got ahold of her.
“Uh-oh, time to go!”
With one last huge teasing grin, Ichimi finally turned around to run... but not too fast. “Shame I'm not supposed to lose them completely. I could've been gone already and they'd never know. Maybe up on a roof taunting fatass over there, laughing some more watching him try to climb up to get me.”
With a twinge of disappointment, Ichimi kept her pace at one that would keep her in her mark's sight and stuck to the escape path she had previously planned... a path that didn't involve the rooftops or anything else that usually gave her a huge advantage.

“-Kyah?!”
In the middle of her run, Ichimi felt an arm reach out and grab her own. Even though she had avoided running her absolute fastest, she still had enough momentum that the sudden “anchor”ing force holding her completely threw her off balance quicker than she could compensate and in an instant she was off her feet as her arm refused to move and momentum swept the rest of her body out from under her. Unfortunately the force her momentum seemed to have absolutely no effect on the large man who grabbed her, and he wasted no time yanking her back to her feet. A second later before she could react, his other arm was around her neck; not necessarily choking her, but putting her in a very effective headlock of sorts. Her one free arm wouldn't be enough for her to wrestle herself free and she knew it. It was a visceral reminder of just how quickly things go could bad doing a job like... but luckily this wasn't the real thing. Even though she had been caught by surprise, a quick glance at her captor confirmed this was all still part of the plan.
“Geeze, you two set yourself up pretty close, didn't you?”
One of Ichimi's ears twitched with annoyance under hood again. While she knew she was to get caught during her apparent escape, she had only given the others in her group her escape route and they hadn't told her WHEN they were going to grab her. It wasn't their fault of course, they needed somewhere free of witnesses (especially other city guards who may have joined in), as such her entire route was kind of long with multiple places to stage this. Still... she hadn't expected her group to set up THIS close. She wasn't even looking out for them yet, and being taken by suddenly like this was something she didn't appreciate... both for the mini-scare and the fact that she hadn't been aware enough to spot them (even if they were hidden far better than any real city guard would have been). Regardless of any annoyances she had over the surprise though, the plan continued on. After a few quick words for show, Ichimi found her prize being taken from her as she was then carried back to her group of victims, kicking and thrashing the whole time.
Most of Ichimi's thrashing was just for show and she was holding back... but it was almost scary by how little. She was pretty strong for her size, due mostly to her felvari blood, but even so she was nowhere near as strong as Hector and she was quite sure she had no way of hitting him hard enough to make him let go of her if he hadn't been on her side. While it was true she could have used her free hand to grab one of her knives and try to cut him, he could just as easily have snapped her neck or tightened up on it enough to knock her out in seconds. Of course, she didn't seriously expect any of this to happen. She had been with Hector and the others for nearly two years now, if any of them were going to hurt her or sell her out they would've done it forever ago. If they had never found her in the first place she'd have probably starved to death or done something else stupid to get herself killed... but still, her mind couldn't seem to at least ignore the AWARENESS of how vulnerable she was right now. If her grab had gone bad earlier, it might not be someone she trusted holding her in this vulnerable state right now. It couldn't be helped though, danger was just part of survival for her and probably always would be... for now at least, she was able to ignore her vulnerable state. If anything, she knew she was probably actually at her safest right now, with the her angry victims thinking she'd receive plenty of what was coming her way from her captors.

“KHHSSSS!” Ichimi made a sound akin to a hiss as her hood was pulled back to reveal her ears, even going so far as to bare her teeth and try to lunge out of her grab. A futile effort, more for show than anything; but surprisingly natural to act out given her current state.
“I've also got a tail! Why don't you go ahead and show him that too so I can kick you a few times! You're just lucky I don't have actual claws or you'd be ribbons right now!”
Ichimi's aggression had been a convincing enough show, but any more of it would probably make things dangerous for her, so after the others had been convinced, she found Hector moving his grip up just a bit, forcing her on her tip toes and making it appear as if she were being held too tight to keep talking. It wasn't a complete lie, it WAS a little hard to speak like this, but she could breathe just fine despite it being a little uncomfortable. This discomfort was probably a good thing though, as it reminded her to keep herself in check even as to conversation continued and she found herself wanting the gut the merchant every time he spoke. Keeping herself quiet was proving quite the test of willpower.
“Fat fuck... like you're ever going to get a chance to touch me! It's not even a compliment to be the focus of YOUR attention!”
Ichimi managed to hold her tongue through most of the merchant's lecherous fantasy ramblings... but towards the end when she was being dragged away, she couldn't resist one final jab in between her efforts to breathe..
“Good luck! I don't think... even if I tried to help... that a fatass like you could even get it up!”
It was a risky quip, but in her position she didn't think it would cause any aggression against her. After all, she had already “lost” and was just throwing empty insults now... but at the very least she hoped she might have burned the pride of her victim a bit, saying such a thing while his advisor and bodyguard were there to hear. Her guess would prove correct of course, and nothing would happen to prevent her from being dragged off out of sight... the perfect escape.

~~~~​

“I'm fine, really.” Ichimi answered with an almost annoyed tone as soon as they were out of sight and Hector had set her down. “I'm not some fragile little exotic flower... well, maybe the exotic part.” she grinned at this last part before continuing “I think I should get all of bribe money for being such an “exotic” turn-on for that pig. Just kidding.
It does look like a lot though... it almost makes me understand why so many normal human girls become courtesans. Shame a brothel would probably take everything I earned and laugh my face knowing I didn't have right to do anything against them... as if I could stand doing anything for guys like that anyway. I wasn't exactly joking about him and the “can't get it up” part of my guess earlier. Talk about a crappy job.”

A few minutes more of talk like this as they walked on their way, and then they'd be “home”... the only “real” home Ichimi ever remembered having. Today had been a good day.

Once the group was back at the warehouse, Ichimi wandered over to couch in the main room and plopped won to await the return of the others. She had her own room here, but there was no need to dissapear just yet. She was curious as to what the rest of the loot from this job would be... and unlike Cedrian and Hector, she had no elaborate disguise or anything to get out of, just her hood and cloak. She wouldn't wait long, only a few minutes before the coach came back with the others.
“Myrehhh... clothes? Really? I was hoping for something more interesting than that.” Ichimi's ears drooped a little with momentary disappointment. “Oh well, good thing we have such a good seamstress here, so I guess this haul wasn't as big of a hassle as it looks like. If you sew the material up into princess gowns or something I'm sure it will sell pretty well. And hey, I wasn't the one who had to hide like an imp and suffocate in the heat, so I guess I'm OK with this.” Ichimi teased with a huge grin in Rio's direction.
Ichimi didn't actually hate Rio or anything. But there was something intimidating for her about being the only female member in this all-male band... and it was almost certainly only because she was a felvari. However there was something comforting about one of the members being more “girly” than she was. Rio, at 18, was also the only member younger than her as well. As a result he had become the favorite target of her teasing. In a way it might have been kind of mean, but she didn't do it out of any particular spite or anything... and she didn't linger on her teasing for any particularly long amount of time. There were better things to worry about right now.

“It's going to take awhile to fence all this you know... but I guess you're right, we can probably dip into our savings a bit with what we know is coming our way now.
Aaaaanyway... Augusto's comments about acting aside, because I swear he uses that creepy Elynsor cosmic magic of his for mind control or something, I'm with Hector. Tonight I wana stuff myself like that spoiled merchant we ripped off looks like he did every night. Unfortunately I'm going to have to have one of you to go buy all the food, since SOMEONE decided to tear my hood off and show my ears. All the city guard within a few miles are gonna be keeping an eye out for suspicious looking “void cats” once Fatty complains he's been ripped off. They're gonna be stopping every one of us who wanders more than 2 feet from our “masters”, and since I don't have one it's probably best if I stay in for tonight. I'm quite sure that by tomorrow the guard will be too busy with other problems to pursue this any farther... and they probably don't have a good description of me anyway since most regular people think “void cat” is enough of a defining feature to broad-stroke categorize all of us; but there will still be a few of them looking for a quick payday today at least.”

Ichimi took on an annoyed, partially frustrated tone as she went over all these facts, but her frustration didn't change that these were facts of life. Her kind were, at best, exotic pets to the rich and powerful... in the middle they were wild animals prone to petty crimes and un-tameable as soon as they were out of view of their masters or had gone too long without discipline... and at worst, as Elynsor to the north and their soldiers, merchants, missionaries, and anyone else from the area always preached, abominations prone towards murder, cannibalism, and any other number of horrid things. Ichimi had the luxury of a rare exception from those stereotypes here, being part of “family” now who were all outcasts themselves in one way or another... who saw their world through their own eyes instead of through someone else's views. In this she was truly lucky and aware... even if she wasn't the best at showing it.
“If anyone is going out today, bring back lots of good stuff. Ooooh, get some pillyrhine berries, or pie, or anything with the berries in them. You know those are my favorite! I don't care how much they cost, not after a good haul like this!
I mean... if nobody is going to have the chance... I guess that's fine too... but I'm not speaking to any of you the entire rest of the night if I don't get to celebrate after today's job!”


Her request made, Ichimi hung around a bit longer to see what everyone else would do. She hoped someone would stay behind with her to keep her company, but if they didn't it wouldn't be the first time she ever had to find things to do by herself. Even if this was her “family” now, everyone could take care of themselves, she didn't need babysitting.
 
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Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#9
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

Ichimi's defiant comments in the face of her would-be 'master' only caused the stout merchant to look even more interested, with his anticipation of her impending punishment no doubt bolstered by the catgirl's insolent attitude. Rodrigo's increasingly lewd grin gave much reason for the rogue Felvari to be thankful that this was all part of the plan, as she could only guess what he would have wanted to subject her to. But none of those fantasies of his would be realized, not today. The entire group swindled him for most of what he had, and he unknowingly gave it up without a fight.

Thanks to that, he mood was rather cheery all around during the trip back to the thieves' hideout. "Oh?" answered Cedrian. "I think you'd make a pretty good one, with the right kind of training," he joked. "Would be such a waste to let a guy like him hog you all to himself, though."

"As for the bribe money, I can't say it you wouldn't deserve it," he added, tossing the bag of coins up and down in one hand. "Especially since we got to use your 'features' to our advantage this time. Hmm. Sure, why not? Consider it hazard pay for the time being, since I'm pretty sure there aren't a whole lot of cat-eared types around here. Don't worry about it too much, though--guys like him from the capital usually end up crawling back there and told by others that they should've been more careful knowing that they were in Naralona. Funny how that works, huh? We're not even the only tricksters around." He chuckled, before testing the weight of the pouch in his possession. "I'm guessing there are... at least 600 rezetas in here, if we're talking ten-piece coins. Any bets?" He looked to the other two thieves. It wasn't a serious question, considering he was probably correct in that regard, but it was something he liked to do anyway.

Hector remained quiet, simply shaking his head like any member of the crew would.

"Too bad," said Cedrian before taking a peek inside. "Looks like I was right." He shrugged and pushed the money into Ichimi's hands with a smirk. "Most of it's in the value of the medallion anyways, but I think it's safe to say we'll be alright for at least the next few months or so."

~~~~~​

When everyone assembled at the warehouse, it had quickly become a much more lively scene in little time at all.

"Seamstress? I'm not a--... hmpf..." uttered Rio, catching the joke just a bit late.

"Could've fooled me," said Cedrian with a slight grin.

"Aww, not you too Ced!"

"I'm just saying, if we ever need a 'princess' for the next plan..."

Rio blushed and folded his arms. "As if I'd do that! B...Besides, Ichimi, what were you expecting other than clothes and stuff? Bags full of food?" huffed the effeminate youth after seeing Ichimi's disinterested look in one part of the haul.

"Did you see him? He was so fat, it would have made sense," remarked Josias.

"No, I didn't see him! I was stuck in the coach, remember? Besides, these clothes ARE pretty interesting. I mean, look at this gold trim! Or this one, lined with Honrainese silk! None of this is really cheap, y'know. If I had to guess, I'd say that altogether, these are up there in the thousands!" exclaimed Rio, his eyes sparkling with genuine interest. "And then there's this other stuff," he added in a less enthusiastic tone, digging out the rest of Rodrigo's personal effects from the compartment. Journals, logbooks, documents, and other personal effects, including potions, soaps and shampoo, a shaving razor, a silver comb, hand-held mirror, and jeweled flask were among the other items stashed away.

"Now THESE will be handy, in case we need to be any more convincing as far as official papers and documents go," remarked Cedrian with a low whistle, stooping down to look through the mark's records and files.

"Boring," said Josias as he went straight for the potions and the various drugs located inside. "Most of these are used to treat ailments. Nothing that's particularly... uh, stimulating... or relaxing. I'm not even picky. Oh. This one's a strong sedative, but almost too powerful. Wonder what he uses this one for."

Naturally, Augusto wasn't one to allow Ichimi's comment about his Cosmic magic to pass by without a response. "Mind control is one way of teaching people how to act, I guess. But no matter how many times I use it on you in your sleep, you haven't quite picked it all up yet. Odd, that..." He flashed a fairly innocent-looking smile, though Ichimi was quite aware of how devious the former cleric was capable of being. In addition, he was difficult to read, enough so to the point where his sarcasm wasn't always made apparent by way of tone or expression.

"Something tells me that she wouldn't listen to you even if you did put her under some kind of spell, heh," said Cedrian. "Anyway, it looks like we've got about 30,000 rezetas here if we factor everything in. So about 5,000 a piece... not bad, even split six ways. I do need to unload this medallion on one of my contacts, though, and I'd prefer to do it sooner rather than later--that way we can just kick back after the fact. Might as well get the hard stuff out of the way now."

"I'm coming with," said Hector. Though he never quite showed it, the group's towering enforcer was quite loyal to Cedrian, as it was said that he was bailed out of no small amount of trouble prior to joining, thanks to the confident trickster's quick thinking. As such, he did his part to ensure that the leader was covered for as well.

"I suppose I'll handle a bit of grocery shopping for tonight, then," Augusto chimed in. "So, let me guess... perhaps some ingredients for paella? Could splurge on a bit of seafood tonight, my treat. Oh, right--some pillyrhine for the cat, deoricots for Rio, aaand something illegal for Josias?"

"Just tomato bread," said Josias, shaking his head. "I'd like to think I'm fairly self-sustaining in my needs."

"Deori--... pffft! Bring me some honey fritters!" answered Rio.

Unless Ichimi had any protests or offered to come with, then Cedrian, Hector, and Augusto would set off for the time being, leaving her in the hideout with Rio and Josias. For the time being, she could then choose to relax on her own if she pleased, or check on the others to see what they were doing.

Rio was idly humming a tune to himself, spreading out the various outfits he found from the day's haul and carefully looking them over. He had already begun on dismantling two of them for modification, perhaps so that other members of the group could wear them, or to put them in a state by which they could be resold, as the fabric itself was where most of the value lay. This was what he did in his spare time, for the most part. The thieves' unit had Rio's craftsmanship to thank for their convincing outfits, as he spent no small amount of time on making them perfect forgeries.

Meanwhile, a distinctive aroma wafted from the other corner of the large building, which Ichimi immediately recognized to be characteristic of a specific narcotic--tullgrass. Normally, Rio and some of the others kept a fair distance away, even with Josias' enclosed room, as the drug sometimes triggered hallucinations, lowered inhibitions, and generally made the user less concerned about their immediate environment, depending on who had inhaled the strange-smelling fumes. But for the eccentric tinkerer, this was a source of inspiration, a method by which to develop his latest potions and inventions.

Spoiler
 

Kat

Sex Demon
Moderator
Jan 20, 2011
281
#10
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

Ichmi gave a small giggle at Cedrian joining her in her teasing of Rio. She always took delight in others taking her “side”, even for completely mundane matters like this. It always made her feel a little bit more normal and belonging. Besides, she didn't think Rio actually minded all that much anyway, since it was kind of his own choice to be so “girly” anyway.

“Yeah, really...” she replied to the effeminate youth after Josias had his say “I'm surprised he wasn't stuffing his face up front in the carriage, with the way he looked and all. I mean, he probably was earlier and ran out of whatever he was shoving down his throat. I'm honestly surprised half the haul wasn't food... or maybe he ate all that too.” In this, the slightest bit of spite had dripped into Ichmi's tone. Not spite for Rio, but spite for the merchant the had just ripped off. It was no secret to the group that prior to joining them, Ichimi had spent a lot of time on her own hardly having enough to eat. Back in those days, getting caught in a failed pickpocket and beaten, or otherwise hurt, or just having a streak of dry runs and bad luck could mean days without eating. Even now, after all this time, a sort of jealous anger still bubbled up from time to time whenever she saw anyone that looked like they had most of their lives stuffing themselves while she was starving. Such feelings wern't so strong as to distract her from important matters though, and rarely manifested as any more than a particular tone to her voice.

After the clothes came various personal effects and papers, Ichimi dismissed these with little more than a glance and a yawn, despite Cedrian seeing value in them. Disguise wasn't her thing, especially not disguise as anyone rich or important. Those kinds of people always had a certain way of speaking and carrying themselves that she could never pull off for any long amount of time. Besides, all these clothes had been for men anyway, no women amongst the merchant and his entourage.
“Tch, if there were anything I'd even halfway want to wear in there, it'd have probably belonged to one of his favorite prostitutes anyway.”
Instead she turned her attention elsewhere and wandered over to where Josias was sorting through the more “medical” items.

“Really strong sedative, huh? I'll bet you 20 rezetas there's a few rags in there that reek of the stuff. He can take all the time he needs to fish out his manhood from under those fat rolls when those courtesans he loves so much are out cold.”

Nothing interesting here either. Not that Ichimi had ever had the enthusiasm for getting high that Josias had. It wasn't that she had any moral objections, but dulled senses the coordination of a drunk wasn't always the best experience. It didn't help that compared to the redhead she was pretty much a “lightweight”, getting hit hard by amounts of some things so small it was embarrassing... and then becoming an even more hilariously embarrassing spectacle when pride demanded that she try to keep up and keep going. While she had never had anything seriously bad happen this way, everyone else got laughs out of it at her expense and thus she had come to have an aversion to that particular “hobby” now.
“Let me know if you find any healing potions or anything actually useful in there buried under all the guy's indigestion remedies and sex brews.”
Her curiosity satiated, even if a little disappointed by the results, Ichimi wandered back over to the couch until everyone was done sorting out their piles of relevant loot. Having the most dangerous job in the band was almost worth it to be saved the trouble of having to sort and fence everything. She could just sit back and relax now and have someone else pick her up whatever she wanted when they were done... maybe. Although after today's job she had little choice anyway, due to the dangers of going out alone... a danger the others didn't face to quite an extent.

~~~~

“Yes, pillyrhine for me and paella sounds fine...” Ichimi's ears dropped just a little though even with her affirmative answer. “You had better be joking about that cosmic magic thing. You know me and that kind of magic don't get along. Ced's probably right about it not working on me anyway... but if my hair starts falling out or I start getting nosebleeds all the time I swear I'm going to gut you!” she sounded more unsure than intimidating. She knew nothing about cosmic magic, or magic in general, and had little idea of what it was actually capable of, other than that it was supposedly supposed to able to help with healing. It was a total load of crap to her, she had gotten scraped up once when she was younger and found a nun helping the homeless to ask for help... but because of her voidic blood, when the magic was used on her it produced no healing, but instead the most unnatural burning sensation she had ever felt. It hurt for hours and she could hardly move her injured arm. As far as she was concerned, cosmic magic was some scary secret dark art, ironic considering she herself was able to use voidic magic to a small degree.
She knew Augusto was probably joking, but he had such a damn subtle kind of acting ability that she could never tell 100% for sure. He could get under her skin the same way she could with Rio. However, despite her mild annoyance over the comment, her ears pricked right back up with amusement when Rio caught the deoricot joke aimed at him. Deoricots, she knew, were a fruit that grew in phallic shape, filled with a thick, sweet, white juice. One of the few fruit she herself didn't particularly like... but that fact didn't make the joke any less funny. She gave a small laugh at Rio's reaction, but was content to stop there this time.
“Try not to take too long. Here.” Ichimi tossed her bag of bribe coins from earlier to Augusto “I don't care how much the pillyrhine cost, but try not to get the bad end of a deal. Use that supposed mind control of yours to get them for half or something.”
With that, she allowed Augusto and the others to go, leaving her alone with Rio and Josias.

Ichimi found herself bored after a few minutes, she considered sleeping until food time or grabbing a piece of charcoal and some paper to sketch some time away (something she was decently good at actually), but neither seemed appealing at the moment. Josias had already dissappeared to get high and tinker, a fact Ichimi could pick up on just by the smells in the air, and Rio was off in another part of the room with clothes. “Tch... annoying, this would have been the perfect time for some cards or something. Cedrian's gone so I might stand half a chance right now. Oh well...”
Appraoching Josias's cloud of tullgrass fumes was an unappealing option right now, cutting her choices down to doing something alone or bothering Rio. After a few moments of deliberation, she quietly made her way over to where Rio was working and sat down to watch, no snarky comments or jokes this time. While Ichimi herself didn't have the patience or girly personality tendencies to learn or be interested in the kinds of things Rio knew, she still found such things interesting to watch sometimes...
 
Last edited:

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#11
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

"Don't worry, I'm usually joking," responded Augusto with a sly smirk. "Besides, if I really wanted to cause you trouble, I'd make sure you didn't know about it," he added somewhat cryptically, though his expression at least mostly hinted towards the statement being on the less serious side. "That's how we hustlers work, right?"

"Hah, as if. Don't let him bust your chops, Ichimi," interrupted Cedrian. "The only way he'll screw you over is try to take your money, and I don't think you're nearly religious enough to fall for his particular bag of tricks."

Just as the leader of the gang said as much, the catgirl's bag of coins flew in Augusto's direction, prompting the former cleric to catch it before it hit him.

"You say that, but look at how easy I got her money!" he remarked with a chuckle. "600 rezetas worth of pillyrhine, huh? Kinda weird, coming from the person who was just making fun of fat people. So you were just jealous of them, in the end..." Though he said as much, Augusto tossed the money right back at Ichimi, shaking his head. "I told you, I got it this time around. I'll just get you enough to uh, not go bad before we finish it all."

"That'd be one hell of a way to spend the bribe money though, wouldn't it? Alright, we're outta here. Make sure Josias doesn't blow anything up," ordered Cedrian before taking his leave along with the others.

~~~~~​

Rio was already hard at work by the time Ichimi checked up on him, having brought out his sewing it and putting the first pieces to be modified on a wide table he used for his craft. "It'll be a shame to take these apart, but I'm sure I can make them into something better," he said, talking to himself just as the catgirl entered the vicinity. The effeminate youth seemed a little surprised at her entrance to his work area, and blinked a few times at her, but as opposed to giving her crap for it, he flashed a sincere smile, showing that he was happy to at least have some kind of company.

"Hehe... I thought you'd have checked on Josias instead. Could it be that you wanna be my model for some of the outfits I plan on making? I can even put together something that you might want to wear," offered Rio with a slight giggle before pulling out a pair of scissors.

"Aw, it's almost a shame to cut some of these apart, but no one in our group besides maybe Hector is so, um, big. And he doesn't have a gut, either. Oh, well. Here goes," he commented before cutting into the fabric of one of the particularly fancy outfits. "What do you think? Some of these materials are a little ummm... flamboyant, even good enough for a girl to wear. I kinda like them, though! Maybe I should make a dress? If Cedrian ever has you do a disguise again, I think I could make one with a nice headdress to hide your ears."

"Even if it's not really your thing, I think you should be ready for it. Besides, you've got the looks... it wouldn't hurt to use them, especially in the kind of work we do. I mean, I didn't even know I was going to be switching things in a cramped space when I first joined the group! Buuuut... this is still going to take me a couple hours to do, though. Wonder if I can get it done in time before Augusto and the others get back?" Though he looked so cheerful while he worked, and even a little airheaded with the way he sometimes narrated what he was doing in a quiet voice, Rio was surprisingly quick, even by the standards of most tailors. After only a minute or two of idle chatter, he had already cut out the segments he wished to work with, then brought out the thread and needle from his kit. While Ichimi had essentially 'replaced' him as the pickpocket of their group, it did give the youth more time by which to practice his craft as a tailor, and to that he wouldn't complain.

Roughly half an hour of Rio working and making idle chatter passed before Josias burst out of his 'laboratory', thick fumes from the tullgrass visibly wafting out from the open door. Luckily for the other two, this was still across the warehouse from them, a good distance away, but Josias wasted no time in marching right over to Rio and Ichimi in order to share his discovery.

"I got it!" exclaimed the crimson-haired inventor, a somewhat uncharacteristic look of excitement upon his face. To those who really knew him, however, this wasn't all that uncommon, especially after he had found 'inspiration' under the influence of whatever he might be smoking at the time. "I was just thinking about how fat that guy was, and how much he must eat. And I saw a bag... eating other bags. Like some kind of cannibal. Just like this! Look." In his right hand was a somewhat ordinary-looking piece of luggage, albeit a large one. Still somewhat giddy from his newfound discovery, he strode over, placing it right over a smaller bag, one next to Rio. His sewing kit. Then, Josias stood up and walked off about ten paces.

"Hey!" said Rio. "I was using that!"

The mere act of placing the larger bag over the smaller one caused it to 'consume' the target, likely from a trapdoor mechanism installed underneath. While it might have seemed like nonsense at first, Josias' hallucination-inspired trick did have a point. Many rich tourists at busy locales did leave their bags on the ground just beside them, knowing that if someone simply grabbed it and walked off, it would at least be noticeable as to who took it, prompting quick action on the part of their bodyguards. But for someone as 'smooth' as Cedrian or Augusto, who could easily do so in a discrete manner and blend into the crowd afterwards, the bag and everything unique about it would effectively be hidden from sight.

Josias turned around, setting his device down and opening it from the top, pulling out Rio's sewing kit and awaiting a response.

"That's... cute. Cedrian will probably use it sometime. Can I have my stuff back?"
 

Kat

Sex Demon
Moderator
Jan 20, 2011
281
#12
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

“Damn right I'm jealous.” Ichimi quickly answered in a low voice with a tone that fell somewhere between grumpy and defensive. “I'd still eat it all, even if you did buy 600 razetas worth, and I'd still burn it off unlike that undeserving sloth... but you waste my money like that and YOU can do the grab next time!”
Ichimi's ear gave another one of it's signature annoyed twitches as she caught her bag of coins being thrown back. Luckily it was enough to pacify her from getting anymore worked up.
Whether it had been Augusto's intention or not, he had hit on a touchy point of hers. She tried to never waste food ever and had an almost obsessive spite towards those who never had to worry about such things. Gluttons disgusted her, being so blessed as to never have to starve the way she had in her earlier years, but being so blind to that fact that they wasted their bodies away on laziness and binges they didn't even deserve to enjoy. Being compared to someone like that, even as a joke, caused Ichimi a defensive impulse that she just couldn't help herself from. Luckily, whether it was indeed a joke or not wasn't something she didn't feel like worrying about right now and she was able to keep herself from dwelling on it any more than a few seconds. Her expression softened again as if showing she was willing to forget she had ever heard anything. When she continued on to address Cedrian afterwards, her voice was back to her normal unserious tone.
“Psh, as if I'd have any kinda clue when what he's doing back there is gonna blow anything up. You probably just want me keeping an eye on him so you can see me stumbling around halfway out of my mind from the second-hand high when you get back. Don't act like I don't know how hilarious you all probably think that is.”
With that she gave him and the others a quick dismissive hand wave as they left, although she meant nothing by it except being slightly jealous they so easily had that luxury.

~~~~~​

Ichimi gave a quizzical look as Rio blinked at her for her apparent interest in his work. Had he not wanted her around, she probably would have relented and found something else to do... but luckily he seemed to have no objections to her watching.
“You're not wrong on the first part... I'd go check on Josias, but I can already smell the hallucinations from here. I'm afraid modeling and dress up aren't usually my thing though unless you're planning on making me a new cloak.”
While Ichimi hadn't outright completely rejected the idea, it was still apparent that she wasn't really expecting to suddenly become enthusiastic about it. Fancy outfits weren’t her thing, feeling like she was draped in blankets wasn't exactly good for the agility and ease of movement she usually enjoyed, and there were reasons even besides that. Still, she did her best to sound casual with her protests rather than confrontational.
“Good enough for one of those decorated ornaments the rich men keep around, sure. I'm not that kind of girl though, I'd probably end up tearing a nice dress within a day or tw-”
She paused suddenly at the mention of her ears as one of her hands drifted up to one.
“He remebered I have these? But... thats not even something he's ever had to worry about himself. Nobody ever thinks about my ears unless its to deliberately get me noticed as a “void cat”...”
The slightest bit of an embarrassed blush creeped onto the cat girl's face for a few moments, as she knew Rio wasn't being considerate or continuing on to compliment her out of any kind of attraction or attempt to “charm” her...
“F-fine... maybe I'll try one on when you're finished. Just in case the need ever DOES come up. With all the grace and subtlety that everything I do takes already, I guess it couldn't be THAT hard to learn to walk like one of those ornamental “proper ladies”.” Ichimi gave a small sigh. "Sometimes I think it would have been nice to have been born as one of them... they're probably useless and can't do anything for themselves... but sometimes it must feel good to be that prized and never have to worry about anything for no other reason than because you exist. Instead fate gives the regular commoner girls more of a chance than me, cos at least they don't have tails and their ears are in the right place. Then again... if I were one of them I'd probably have been dead a long time ago...”
Ichimi stared off into space for a few moments as her mind wrapped itself around this thought. Deep thinking like this wasn't something she usually did, in fact she avoided it most of the time because the answers she always came up in the end were usually depressing, a fact she quickly remembered just as Josias emerged to change the subject.

“Nice.” Whatever serious atmosphere was forming before dissolved now with the presence as Josias around, causing Ichimi to go right back to her usual teasing. “You should be happy Rio, it looks like a great way to get more clothes and stuff for material. Might take us a few tries to get a bag with money in it, but I'm sure we could get clothes and jewelry almost every time. I'm sure the others can find a better use for it than anything I could come up with though. Knowing Ced, I'm sure he could find some way to cheat people with it, but I'm not about to go out and try using it for anything for anything so soon after today's job.”
Or perhaps the atmosphere she had built up with Rio earlier wasn't COMPLETELY gone yet...
“Rio's right though, we WERE using that. Put it down before you drop it and break it or something. I'm surprised you can even stand right now, I can smell the tullgrass so strong right now I have to wonder how you can put words together... Even if it gives you good ideas, maybe you should try to let it burn off before the others get back. It would be a shame if you accidentally broke your new toy before they see it. Even YOU have to be feeling SOMETHING after all that.”
Whether Josias returned Rio's kit, or whether Ichimi had to make her own grab for it, she wasn't quite feeling like watching him get teased anymore.
“Play nice now, I'm going to go nap for a bit. Wake me up when the others get back with the food.” and then as soon as Josias was out of earshot, she quickly leaned in towards Rio “I'll try on whatever you make when it's finished, but we're not making this a spectacle in front of the others, OK?”
If there were no other pressing concerns, Ichimi would make her way up to where her room in the warehouse lie.

Ichimi's room lay up on the second floor of the warehouse, facing towards the ocean and thus getting the biggest share of the cool air blowing in from that direction. The room itself was a bit of a mess, but Ichimi took no notice as she made her way in, it was always like this. At least she didn't have as much stuff lying around as Josias did in his “lab”.
In one corner of the room there was a small a bookshelf with a few books Ichimi had hardly read, despite the small amount of them. Reading was difficult for her, especially when the words got complicated, but she still taught herself little by little until she could do it passably if she had to.
Next to the bookshelf was a small desk, covered with sheets of paper and sticks of charcoal, sketching materials, something that made a much more enjoyable time-killer for her than reading... and something she wasn't half bad at. And further down was what could pass as a closet, filled with what clothes she owned.
Further up along the back of the room by the window were a few small plants in pots. These Ichimi kept around because they grew berries and other small fruit she liked, although right now they were all bare because she couldn't help but snack on everything as quickly as it grew.
Finally, in the center of the room towards the back was her bed, covered with at least a dozen different blankets. This was her guilty pleasure, her collection of childish indulgence. She had not patience to keep it neat or bother with crisp sheets or anything like that. Instead she preferred to just burrow in anywhere she pleased under the pile and get comfortable in the soft warm embrace of the fabric. Today was no different, after cracking open the window just a bit and kicking off her shoes she did just that in hope of a quick nap. This was her own special place... and while it wasn't much, it was more than she had ever before in her entire life been able to call her own.
 
Last edited:

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#13
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

"Hehe, I guess everyone has to find inspiration in some form, don't you think? For Josias, it's tullgrass... err, ballweed, or whatever. I'm really not very good with drugs--that's more his thing," commented Rio with a shrug. He didn't notice the catgirl's growing blush when it formed upon her face, as his eyes remained largely fixed on his project, though he did look up seconds later. Instead of teasing Ichimi like the others might have done whenever they got a reaction out of her, however, he flashed her a momentary look of concern. "Um, are you okay? You look... hot or something."

Unless the Voidic thief made a larger deal of it, the youth would then revert back to his previous string of rambling before long. "But anyway. Don't rip it, it would be such a waste! I know you like to be able to move around a lot, though, so I'll try my best to um, reinforce the seams or something." He paused, raising a finger to his lips while in deep thought. "Hmm, wonder what kind of stitch I could use for that," pondered Rio aloud. "A backstitch maybe?" Regardless of whether she knew what he was talking about, he went on as if she did, though the verbal musing was done more to himself than to her in this case. "Well, I just need to take your measurements real quick..." Luckily for Ichimi, Rio didn't make her feel particularly uncomfortable in the way he recorded the parameters of her body. Strictly professional was the somewhat effeminate tailor in this aspect of his work. He hadn't even shown interest in females, at least for as long as she had known him.

He'd smile a little at Ichimi's comment, nodding in agreement, though the gesture wasn't an entirely conscious effort and more of an instinct for him. It was no secret that along with his looks, Rio did have quite a few feminine tendencies, at least by Grisalescan standards. In addition to generally being soft-spoken and having an aversion to direct confrontation, his sharp eye for fashion and clothing, for womens' styles in particular, also set him apart from the rest of the group. "Wonderful! I just know you'd be good at it, with a little bit of practice--the whole 'proper lady' thing, I mean. Well, um, most of it, ahehe..." He scratched the side of his cheek with one finger. "You're a lot prettier than many of the commoner girls, so I wouldn't be THAT hard on yourself. Just a little, umm, rough around the edges is all," added the youth, somewhat hesitantly.

"Besides, I'm sure they have their own things to worry about, too. Imagine how much pressure goes on anyone who's expected to simply sit there and look good! I mean, not that it's always a bad thing, but I kinda feel sorry for those that weren't born with the right features and such but are expected to be in that position anyway. Even if you're useful in other ways, people are gonna look at your face first when you're a girl and everything else later. But maybe that's just me--I probably worry too much about some things," Rio said with a short huff. "Regardless, I wouldn't be too jealous of those fancy ladies. I mean, to us, you're both useful AND prized! However much that means, aheh. I'm actually kinda relieved that I don't have to be the dipper nowadays, thanks to you." By the 'dipper', he was, of course, referring to the position in the group that involved having to do the lift itself from a given mark, which was often the strongest test of one's nerves and arguably the most difficult, depending on the scenario.

The two wouldn't be able to chat for as long as either might have liked, however, thanks to the interruption Josias made in order to show his latest invention off. The redheaded one looked far more impressed with his own idea than the other two were, though it was in a calm, zoned-out sort of way. "Isn't it?" he replied, setting it down, then opening it from the top, retrieving the tailor's sewing kit in short order. "And I'm fine. Really. I've built up a tolerance to these things over the... years," he trailed off, squinting his eyes. Though he said as much, Josias would occasionally stop to look over his shoulder suspiciously at something. The direction he looked in, towards one corner of the warehouse, had nothing particularly significant that Ichimi or Rio could see, however, and it could be guessed that he was having yet another hallucination thanks to the tullgrass fumes. The tailor and the catgirl could only guess what kind of 'creature' stared back at Josias from that empty corner.

"Anyway, you're probably right though, I... don't think I'm getting anything else too useful right now. I do have a sobriety-inducing concoction for cases like these," concluded the potion maker, who left his invention beside the two before retreating back to his room to acquire the desired remedy.

Meanwhile, Rio had used the opportunity to take his kit back and retrieve some spools of thread from it, along with a properly sized needle. He then went back to work on his project, giving Ichimi a nod. "I'll wake you up, then. So that's a promise, right?" The youth gave her a hopeful, yet somewhat impish grin with his parting remark for the time being, but naturally made no attempt to keep the Felvari from her well-deserved catnap.

The pile of blankets upon Ichimi's bed were as comfortable as ever, and a cozy contrast to the otherwise minimalist approach of the main warehouse. It was said that to be a con artist, one had to be ready to leave everything behind at a moment's notice, or so Cedrian often reminded them. And yet, the catgirl had been able to call this particular warehouse, and her comfortable little room, 'home' for as long as she had been with them. Such was their level of success that they hadn't yet found the need to move, as not a single mark had been able to find their trail. Thanks to the group's remarkable consistency and competence in their jobs, Ichimi always had a familiar place to return to. She could curl up without a worry in the world, and retreat to a world of dreams, if her mind allowed it.

Two things would wake her up from her nap. One was the smell of food being cooked, no doubt the efforts of Augusto, who proved himself oddly competent in such an area. If there was anything she could appreciate about the often facetious ex-priest, it was his ability to prepare a good meal. Normally, the aroma wouldn't even make it into her room, but she'd soon realize that the door was open, thanks to the one who was trying to wake her up. They knew better than to touch her as she slept, however, and thus kept it to vocal attempts at rousing the girl.

"Ichi-miiiiiiiiiiiii," nagged a familiar voice. It was Rio. If Ichimi bothered to take a look at him from her pile of blankets, she would see that the tailor held a most magnificent dress in front of him, fitted just for her. While parts of it, such as the sleeves and midsection, were made from the same fancy material as she saw before, it was actually somewhat difficult to believe that the design was made from recycled fabric. Along with it was a fancy headdress, similar to what Ichimi had seen many of the more affluent women wearing--even just by looking at it she could tell it would do the job in hiding her ears and fit her quite well in the process.

"Okay, so I finished it! It'll be a little bit before the food's done anyway, so... could you try it? You're the only one it'll fit..." he pleaded, in such a way that none of the other males would dare try.
 

Kat

Sex Demon
Moderator
Jan 20, 2011
281
#14
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

“~Huh...? ~The fuck time is it...?”
Ichimi woke up in a dazed state... sitting up still wrapped in blankets with her eyes half shut and a grumpy look on her face. It wasn't an entirely uncommon reaction she had to being woken up unexpectedly, in fact the others of the group rarely dared to try TOO hard to wake her up because of it, although it was much more common in the mornings after deep sleep than from short naps like this. This sleep couldn't have been too deep, she knew she hadn't been out more than an couple of hours at the most... but she still felt crappy for some reason... it had been long enough for dreams to start...
Only dim memories and sensations from the interrupted dream lingered... but it was enough for Ichimi to recognize it as a dream she had experienced before. To most normal people it wouldn't have even been that disturbing. Always it consisted of her standing alone at night, full moon bright overhead, in a field of tall grass that seemed to go on as far as the eye could see in every direction. Never did she know why she was there, and never did anything actually happen aside from the occasional gentle breeze of cool night air... but every time she had this dream it left her bothered and she didn't even fully know why.
Perhaps it had just been something programmed into her. Though the catgirl didn't remember most of her early childhood, not even the faces of her parents, she did remember having been told to never stray off alone. Nothing ever attacked her in the dream... but could the grasses be concealing fears of her imagination? She was old enough now to know that slavers and hunters often captured “wild” felvari that were foraging or hunting for food in wildernesses like that... but somehow that seemed too simple to be a complete answer. Even awake she hated the idea of the wilderness... she had never in her life (that she could remember) wandered out of the city any distance farther than where it was still visible. In all likelihood, she was probably equipped to survive in an environment like that... probably could have hunted more than well enough to feed herself if she learned to use a bow or something... but something about the quietness and desolation... THAT was what disturbed her. She'd rather starve in the city and feel life around her than be fat in the wilderness with nothing to feel except solitude.

“~Damn... ~at least I smell food...”
Ichimi was still mumbling to herself for a few moments before her brain caught up and recognized Rio. Thankfully for him, the smell of food helped take off her edge after having been woken up in the middle of such a crappy dream.
“Oh, you're done already? That was fast... I guess a promise is a promise though.”
She rubbed sleepies out of her eyes absently with one hand before she bothered to actually focus her eyes all the way and bring Rio and the dress he had made into a focus clearer than a blob. Already the younger member was sounding like an annoying little brother with his pestering... however when she bothered to take a good look, what she saw would actually surprise her.
“Oh... wow... that looks... Ok, one second.”
One of Ichimi's hands subconsciously moved up to her head as she worked her way out the blanket pile, patting down her hair to fix any really bad instances of bed-head she might have had, even though such a thing rarely occurred and she didn't usually care even when it did. Something Rio's creation made her feel like she could at least put a few seconds of effort in for it before trying it on. Next, she moved over to a bowl of water on a stand near her bed and splashed her face off for good measure. Finally, before changing out of her old clothes, she nudged the door to her room closed just so there would be no easy view inside... although she seemingly had no qualms about Rio's presence already there, even as a few seconds later she was down to just a bra and panties. Of everyone in the group, perhaps he was the only one to have this luxury... just as he was the only one who could've pestered her awake without getting her too angry earlier. For as much as Ichimi liked to pick on him, sometimes his harmlessness afforded him a kind of unguardedness and casualness from the catgirl. It was still something of a rare occurrence, but more common for him than the others in the group by a good measure.

“Am I doing it right?”

As Ichimi tried to change into the dress, she handled it with a strange, almost funny, kind of careful awkwardness. She wasn't used to wearing fancy clothes like this... or even how to put them on the right way. It's not as if it was particular hard to figure out, but at the same time she didn't want to risk ripping the fine piece or anything... even if she didn't mention as much out loud. It was almost frustrating at first, but she eventually managed the feat; and by the time she got to the headdress there was almost something relaxing about it.
The dress felt like having a blanket wrapped around her but tighter and less comfortable, and the long length of the lower part would make it hard to run or move too quickly... but... it wasn't THAT bad... and as she looked at in the mirror she had to admit that Rio had done a good job with it. The catgirl almost didn't recognize herself in the mirror... her ears covered, her tail hidden beneath the long folds of the dress, the whole piece being something she would never wear on her own... it was a weird feeling, she actually thought she looked normal... better than normal, beautiful even. She could feel her face burning red with embarrassment at her own reaction to herself and realized she had been staring with an fascinated kind of gaze...

“-What?!”
Ichimi blurted out defensively before Rio could say anything. Although if her voice didn't do a poor enough job of hiding her reaction, her face still would. Even as she tried to bring her expression back to normal, the blush was still there.
 
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Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#15
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

"...Hehe." Rio looked all too pleased with himself, looking at the velvety green dress he made, then back to her, occasionally alternating between the two to ensure that he got the sizes right. "It looks what? Nice, right?!" he responded in a mostly playful, yet slightly naggy tone after hearing the catgirl's opening assessment of the fancy garment. As expected, he didn't even so much as bat an eyelash when she began to strip down in front of him. Instead, the effeminate tailor stood there with a giddy look as if expecting her to say something more about the article he had just sewn for her in nearly record time. He did, at the very least, notice the degree of effort she put into preparing herself for the mere act of trying on a dress.

"That's more 'ready' than you normally get--which is good! You should do it more often," he commented, nodding to himself in agreement.

Handing his newest work to the Voidic beauty, he continued to watch with a vacant smile as she slipped into it, though Ichimi could rest assured that his focus remained mostly on how fine the fabric was and how well it all fit her, rather than ogle the curves of her body. He'd already seen all of that before anyway. As technically inclined and detail-oriented as he tended to be, Rio wanted to make sure that it all fit properly.

But after seeing the initial difficulty she had with the dress, he snapped out of an apparent trance of sorts and abruptly held out a hand for her to stop for a moment. "Hang on a second. It can get pretty tricky when you get to this part," he explained, before casually walking behind her and helping with a laced enclosure on the back. "Usually it takes a whole team of people to get someone ready in these kindsa dresses! But I simplified it a little without taking anything away from the overall look. Plus, I dunno about having everyone else have to help all the time with this, ahehe..."

Bit by bit, with each audible pull of the strings, Ichimi could feel the midsection of the dress tightening ever so slightly around her torso as Rio fumbled with the laces on the back. It wasn't a corset, as that would probably be too restrictive for her--and the tailor knew it--but it was still snug enough for Ichimi to notice just enough of a difference. He then helped her with the headdress, which took little time if any, and then finally stopped fidgeting over the details after a while. But by then Ichimi had already been given ample opportunity to admire herself in the mirror, and the blush was plain to see upon her cheeks.

"Hey, are you..." started Rio, peering over from behind her and visible in the mirror without the catgirl needing to turn in the slightest. He couldn't help but giggle. "I told you it'd look nice!" The tailor beamed, all too pleased with himself.

Suddenly, two quick knocks could be heard on the door to her room. "Lots of food tonight, and it's ready. I know you can smell it even from there," came Cedrian's voice from behind the wooden barrier.

"Great!" exclaimed Rio, his attention still half focused on the dress.

"Oh, you're in there too, Rio? I'm coming in, then."

"Sure!" Rio answered cheerfully without thinking, giving Ichimi only minimal time to make a response, if any, before the leader of the group cracked the door open.

"Oh, hey... looking good, Ichimi. Almost didn't recognize you for a second," said Cedrian, the surprise upon his face still seeping through despite his usual excellence at hiding such reactions. He sized her up briefly, but not nearly long enough to make her uncomfortable, and soon gave a nod of approval. "It would almost be a waste not to put you to good use with a look like that," remarked the grifter.

"Hey, I had a hand in it too!" Rio chimed in.

"And it's excellent as always," replied Cedrian with a smirk. "Though it's the combination of both that make it worth being a fool over for the right mark, I'd say. Plus, I don't think any of us will be able to have quite the same effect in those threads. After all, whether you can get a job done or not is largely in the details. Thanks for giving me something to work with for our next heist!" Rio huffed a little at the implication that even he couldn't achieve what Ichimi would, but said nothing else of it.

While Ichimi could protest, if she really wanted to, she could tell that Cedrian had already made his decision, and for some reason it was difficult to say 'no' to him once he made his verdict. In his own way, by simply nodding along and dictating the pace of the conversation, he did this, and it wouldn't be the first time he subtly got members of the group to agree with him. It was what he did, after all. Ever the confident one, he wasn't the type to continuously ask how people felt ad nauseum or to constantly check to make sure that he was annoying anyone. As far as Cedrian was concerned, that was the mark of an insecurity, of someone unsure of themselves and where they stood in a given social circle. He was the opposite--and he had to be, especially in this profession.

"Anyway, Augusto's done with the paella and then some, so feel free to head down whenever." He gave the two a grin before heading back down, which gave Ichimi enough time to change back out if she so wished.

But Rio had other plans. "At least show Josias and Hector!" he pleaded. "I know they'll like it. Cedrian did..." he trailed off. "Pleaseee~?" Whether he was simply trying to get Ichimi to be more feminine or just show off his own handiwork was difficult to tell, but the tailor seemed quite intent on trying to convince her in his own special way.
 

Kat

Sex Demon
Moderator
Jan 20, 2011
281
#16
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

Whole team, huh? As much as I'd LOVE to have a bunch of servants at my beck and call, I don't think even jobs like our last one are gonna make me THAT rich... and somehow I don't see the others enjoying having to help me with this all the time... good thing you can handle it though, means I can always just give you a good bap when I need help with this, right?”
Even though Ichimi was impressed with the dress, that didn't stop her from teasing Rio as time went on. The parts she needed help with made her particular fidgety and impatient, although not to the point of being uncooperative. The sight of her reflection in the nearby mirror, and the newness of the sensation of wearing something like this (despite it's restrictiveness) was enough to keep her attention with a certain kind of strange fascination.
“-am not!” Ichimi responded quickly to Rio's observation of her blushing.
“Besides, of course it looks good, it IS me after all... even if certain impotent fatasses can't see that...”
When it was all said and done, the outfit was hard to move around in, and the bonnet covering Ichimi's ears stifled her hearing a little... but it did look really nice. Everything about it represented things Ichimi knew she'd probably never have... a life she wasn't lucky enough to have been born into... but being in the dress was enough to make her forget that for just a second... for a just a second it was enough to let her imagination enjoy the idea... and then the sound of a knock at her door tore her out of the moment of blissful fantasy...

“-Hey! Wait!”
Ichimi pulled back as Cedrian came into into the room, invited in by Rio without a second thought, much to her chagrin. It was far from graceful step back, more of a stumble as she almost tripped over the long dress before catching her balance on her bed and straightening up.
“What the hell!? The door was closed for a reason!”
If Ichimi wasn't blushing noticeably before, she was now as she stood in a stunned silence. It wasn't that she couldn't think of anything to say, but more that she bit her tongue for Cedrian. While her loyalty to him wasn't as overtly obvious as that of Hector, it did exist. She was very much aware that he was the leader... that he had let her into the band... that he was why she she wasn't still alone and starving and actually had something akin to a family now that didn't see her as either pet or abomination. Aware of all that, she kept kept quiet after the first outburst and let him speak... and while the first outburst itself may have seemed bad, had it been Augusto or anyone else walking in on her she probably would've started throwing things already.
“Hmph... I'm way more useful the way I normally am than I am like this.” she finally answered when Cedrian was done, only slightly consoled that he had managed to get a reaction out of Rio too. It wasn't much of an argument, but then again Ichimi rarely won verbal arguments with anyone except Rio and Josias anyway.
“I'll be down in a second. Try not to let everyone finish the food off before I get there... and don't you dare send them up here!”
With that she waited for Cedrian to leave, closing the door after him as if to make a point, despite still not locking it... in keeping with her previous habits of never locking the door to those whom had given her so much.

As soon as Cedrian was gone, Ichimi started changing out of the outfit almost immediately, despite Rio's nagging.
“I only agreed to try it on for you, I already told you this wasn't going to be a spectacle for everyone. Geeze, why'd you have to go and invite Ced in anyway, it's MY room! I should throw you out the window for that! ...at least he took better than others would have... I'm not gonna go out there and have them not live it down all night... calling me a “pretty princess” or whatever when I'm trying to eat...”
Despite Ichimi's annoyed tone, it was easy to see the angry streaks in it were just a way of being defensive, as her tone was flustered in a way that didn't happen much and she was still blushing. This was further proved by the fact that, despite her apparent anger, she was actually quite careful in handling the dress as she took it off, making sure not damage or even wrinkle it... although she didn't wait for Rio's help in undoing the back, luckily the strings were a lot easier to reach and undo by herself than they would have been to tie. She even took great care to fold the dress before changing back into her normal clothes. She had no spite for the dress itself, or even for Rio after he had put so much effort into it for her sake. She'd probably even wear it again if a plan required it... but that was different... that was for a plan. Doing something like this for herself... that had different implications.
“Like I'd even wana be one of those useless trophy-wife normal women anyway! They probably can't even do anything for themselves, so it's no surprise their clothes are so damn hard to move around in. I'm not that useless though, I'm better than that. Stupid to fantasize about something I don't even want and that's never gonna happen anyway...
All it's gonna do is get the others asking me if I want them to pick up shoes and makeup for me when they go out... and it will be a joke at first until they start to think it's serious and think I'm too “soft” or “fragile” to keep up anymore... should have waited until they all had somewhere to be or something...”

Ichimi's fears were unfounded, given how the group still had Rio around, despite his “girly” physique and way of acting, but in a way it was more her own judgements of herself that she feared having to deal with. Dealing with things internally wasn't something she did a lot of, bigger external things to worry about... always bigger things, like where it was safe to sleep and how to eat tomorrow. Even if her life wasn't in that dark place anymore, old habits died hard.

“Come on you little imp, lets go, I'm hungry and I'm not changing back no matter how long you sit up here and bug me.”
Ichimi's answer was final for now. Even though Rio had a way with her that the others didn't, there were times even he had no chance of changing her mind on something. Whether he could tell as much from how flustered she acted earlier wasn't certain, but it didn't matter now, Ichimi was already changed back into her usual clothes and slipping out the door to head downstairs.
 
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Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#17
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

While Cedrian looked a little surprised at the catgirl's outburst, he didn't let it fluster him too much. "Ooh, sorry about that. Didn't realize Rio was trying to play dress-up with you, poor thing. Though, you got nothing to be ashamed about, if I must be completely honest... and believe me, I've seen a lot of what this city has to offer in the way of dames. It's a gift, just like those ears and that tail, and those kinds of things are meant to be used, if you ask me. 'Course, I'm not going to force you, if you can't do it, so don't sweat it too much." Such a statement was almost expected of the leader, given his background. As Ichimi and the others knew, he wasn't always a 'criminal' per se. Rather, he was born the son of a fairly successful cooper, with a life and a steady career to look forward to. It just so happened that such a path wasn't the one that Cedrian ended up wanting for himself. He had a natural talent, but not for working with wood or metal. It was the ability to speak with the utmost confidence and to stifle any weakness in his tone, as well as to read that of other people's in order to get the truth out of them--this much Ichimi knew.

Thanks to his decision to use such a gift, he had amassed a degree wealth beyond what he would have normally made as a result of completing numerous risky jobs, and of course enjoyed the various luxuries that came as rewards to such. Naturally, with all the ups of being a hustler, he also went through the downs, such as having to constantly be weary of the lawmen patrolling the streets, as well as many a bodyguard. The lead swindler had also missed out on other things that the original path laid out for him would have provided otherwise, like a daily routine and a sense of stability. But Cedrian wouldn't have had it any other way. This was the road he chose, and that much he was proud of. After all, he had no choice but to be, as no one made such a difficult job look quite as easy as him and his crew did. "Fair enough," he answered. "Guess I'll leave you girls to it then. See you two downstairs." Wearing his usual smirk, he gave the two and nod and moved back down to the lower levels.

When Ichimi went on her little tangent, slipping out of the finely-made dress in but a fraction of the time it took to put on, Rio's pleading expression was quick to wilt into a dejected frown. His shoulders slumped. "I... I-I'm sorry, I just didn't think it would be that much of a problem if it was Ced! I figured he might like it, and, I mean, he did. I--nnnh... nevermind..." The effeminate tailor paused for a moment, then took an audible sigh, one that was longer than it should have been. He trudged behind the Felvari and helped her remove the garment. While Rio gave a momentary glance towards the girl's visage, unable to help but notice how flustered she was, he still said nothing. It was too easy to find himself preoccupied with thoughts of disappointment. Any article of clothing he made eventually saw use, one way or another, and was often complimented by every other member of the group when worn by the person it was meant for--save for this one, apparently. It was clear that he took no small amount of pride in having crafted it. Given his crestfallen look, it was almost as if Ichimi had just scolded a child. Despite that, he still followed closely behind the catgirl after she slipped back into her usual clothes and headed to where the others had gathered.

Once downstairs, the aroma of good food grew stronger than ever, doing its part in boosting Ichimi's appetite--if it wasn't high enough already thanks to having gone much of the morning and a nap without food. Augusto, Josias, and Hector sat at a large, round table that was often used to share meals at, with Cedrian having just sat down to join them. They hadn't started yet, thanks to Ichimi's promptness in closing her dress-up session with Rio. The catgirl would soon realize, if she hadn't already, that it had only been a few minutes since the two were notified that the food was ready. And it was there in no small amount, as the table was littered with delicious orders: several loaves of tomato bread as requested by Josias, a large bowl full of pillyrhine berries for Ichimi, the traditional Grisalescan seafood and rice dish 'paella' that Augusto had been pondering from earlier in the day, a plate full of herb-glazed vegetables for Hector, a large pot roast prepared at Cedrian's request, and of course, honey fritters for Rio--along with a lone deoricot flanked by two pillyrhine, to the tailor's slight annoyance.

"Ha, ha, very funny," said Rio with a sigh, plopping down into his seat. Augusto simply responded with a polite smile while Josias snickered.

Although each member of the group had their own specific requests, it was an unspoken rule that anyone could help themselves to the various options available, so Ichimi was free to pick and choose what she wanted by heaping them onto her plate. They were basically family, after all, and arguably closer than some in that they worked together much of the time so that they could share such a meal. Most of the poor folk in Naralona would kill to have even a fraction of what was laid out on this particular table, and all of them were quite aware of this. Thanks to the careful planning and execution made by each contributing member of the group, they could enjoy such an extravagant feast. In almost two years, none of them had been caught, and while Cedrian preferred to keep it that way for as long as humanly possible, it was a given that meals like this wouldn't necessarily be here for them every single day in the case that things went south--a very real possibility in this profession. As such, they had to be thankful in some form. Hector could be seen bowing his head silently while Rio showed his own thanks by being first to grab helpings of his own preferred dishes.

For as small as he was, Rio's appetite betrayed his size; next to Hector he was probably one of the most voracious eaters of the crew, working backwards by starting with sweets, moving onto the meat, then finishing up with vegetables, rice and the like. Josias was probably the pickiest of them all, being as particular with his intake as he was with the ingredients of the potions and various formulas he made. Cedrian had the best manners, as expected, often taking a good balance of what was there, while Augusto had a clear preference for seafood and rice over heavier meats, hence his choice dish of the night. Supper had been served, and it was certainly a meal that Ichimi could be thankful for.

"So we got the money without a problem," said Cedrian after finishing his appetizer of vegetables and wiping his mouth. "That's 5K for each of us. So as long as it isn't all blown right away in a single day, I think we'll be good for awhile, not counting different short cons that each of you might want to take and such. Doesn't mean you can't take a night out on the town if you want, though. I haven't heard of any increases in guards around the city just yet, but I'm sure there might be some in a day or two. Just a heads up."

"Fair enough. So are we laying low for a while?" asked Augusto.

"Don't need to in this case--our mark this time isn't even from around here. 'Course, I'm not saying to go hang out around the nearest guard station, or anything... but I'd be sure to give you a heads up if they start some kind of search. Depends on how fast Rodrigo can get his wits about him, but from the looks of it, I'd say we're relatively safe."

Rio stayed strangely quiet during the meal, while the noises Hector made were limited to that made by the soft munching of his food. Meanwhile, Josias separated and categorized parts of the scallops and clams from his paella.

For as much food as there was on the table, the majority of it didn't last long. Between the six of them, the paella went the fastest, though by the end there were still a few leftover pillyrhine berries and a quarter of the original roast remaining.

"I did the cooking, so someone else handle the dishes," said Augusto before turning to Ichimi. "Oh, right. Your change is on the table over there," added the former clergyman, motioning over to a small table situated in between two couches in the main living room area, which the crew members often used to play cards or other games with. Atop it was the pouch she threw him earlier in the day, and a look inside would show that there were still 570 rezetas remaining of the original 600.
 

Kat

Sex Demon
Moderator
Jan 20, 2011
281
#18
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

“W-what?! Stop being all pouty, it's not going to work!”
Ichimi meant what she was saying, but her voice didn't sound as certain as she meant it too, her cool still completely thrown off by Cedrian and that certain kind of charisma he had that she so often found difficult to argue against. Rio's pouting on top of that was only adding to the awkwardness... for all her teasing, Ichimi didn't actually enjoy it when things got to a serious point like this... still, there was no way she was going to change her mind on this, Cedrian seeing her had been embarrassing enough and her pride simply wouldn't allow it with the others tonight. “Geeze, toughen up, getting all sad over something like that... sometimes I can't believe you've made it this long as a thief when you go crying that easily... thats EXACTLY how you go and make yourself a easy victim! ...and dammit, why is it working on me?”
“I said I didn't want anyone else seeing! You can't get all depressed when I do exactly what you want and you still pull a surprise like that on me! You of all people should know what that's li-...”
Ichimi let her voice trail off. Her attempts to make the tailor feel better were instead turning confrontational, and she had almost wandered into a topic that would have made things much much worse. So close she had been to dredging up memories of the tailor's father... and his judgements of him. It was a cheap shot... and one that might have been very hurtful or angering, depending. “Damnit... I'm terrible at this...”
“Look...” Ichimi took a breath and tried again “I like it, OK? I'm just... not used to showing that side of myself. I'm not... as good at it as you are. Another time when I'm feeling more ready, alright?”
It was much of an apology, but she had at least tried, despite her poor skill with words or touchy-feel emotional stuff. “If he's still pouting, just ignore him now. He's just doing it to get to me... can't believe it how well it even worked just now. If he's still sad he can just get over it now, no more of him jerking me around with a puppy face.”
Whether her attempts actually did anything to ease the tailor or not, Ichimi had done enough to feel mostly absolved of any blame... or the scent of food was strong enough now to consume most of her attention... and besides, even without looking back, her ears caught the sound of him behind her anyway. He wasn't THAT sad if he was still OK enough to follow her downstairs.

Whatever lingering downer feelings Ichimi had before, they all evaporated instantly at the sight off all the food on the table downstairs. Feasts like this were one of the best parts about this life, and for a second she almost understood why the others in the group had chosen it. Herself and Rio probably didn't have much choice when it came to survival... but the others probably did, especially Cedrian who had an easy life all laid out before this. Though she had never said much, the young Felvari was extremely jealous of this, and couldn't wrap he head around WHY someone would throw away a life like that. She herself would have traded almost anything for it. Perhaps it was part of what made him so easily able to get to her.
Ichimi didn't like stealing, even though she was good at it and seemingly had plenty of fun in pulling off her roles successfully. In the bigger scheme of things she had only taken up this life because a “sub-human” like her had no other choices. It wasn't fair, to have everything else closed off like that, to never be able to live a safe honest life worth being proud of, to never have a chance at a real family or children that would have a good future... still, she was unable to hold any spite for the others, after all, it was because of them that her life was even as good as it was now. Jealousy in the light of that fact was just wrong and she knew it... even if the day would come when they could give up this life and have everything she never could. Today was not that day though, and for now there were far more positive things to be concerned with.

“My berries! You got some after all!” Ichimi wasted no time immediately making a grab towards the bowl of pillyrhine and plopping a few in her mouth. She was never one for pomp or ritual or restraint... especially with food. Despite this though, she used such things as an excuse to change the subject from the joke with the deoricot aimed at Rio, despite snickering a little herself at first.
“Hey, shouldn't YOU be the one with your head down?” she asked in Augusto's direction while gesturing towards Hector. “You're not very good at this whole priest thing, people are gonna start thinking you're a fake or something. If you don't pray before the meal you're gonna piss off that god of yours and lose those acting skills of yours or mind control or whatever gift you get for being all pious.” She popped another berry in her mouth even as she finished her sarcastic accusation. Pillyrhine itself wouldn't be enough for a full meal though, and she wasted no time after this grabbing various other things.
Aside from the pillyrhine berries, Ichimi didn't have much of a taste for sweet things. Honey fritters and deoricots were nauseatingly sweet to her and lacked the tinge of tarty sourness that made pillyrhine such a treat. Instead the seafood and roast made up the largest share of the catgirl's plate, although she wasn't so picky as to ignore the rest of the spread, having a little of everything else except the super sweet items. Her manners wern't exactly the best, and she ate far more than was flattering or one would expect of a normal human girl her size, although she did eat slow enough not be a total mess. Eating was something to be enjoyed, not rushed through, and savoring everything took time... perhaps a habit left over from not always having the chance or variety when she younger. Either way, even with the amount she ate she didn't take TOO long to finish, and she had a metabolism fast enough to burn it all off without problem.

“So you really think we're fine for awhile then?” She asked Cedrian as she finished up “I guess they're not going to take a broke outsider claiming to have been ripped off in such a spectacular way very seriously... that assistant of his, the skinny brainy looking one seems like he might be able to make something happen... but I suppose you're right. That would be fast even for him...” Ichimi leaned her head back as if pondering something, until Augusto mentioned the dishes and made up her mind for her.
“Not it!” she said quickly dashing upstairs to grab one of her hooded cloaks and some of the knives she always carried. She was back down a second later to grab her bag leftover rezettas from earlier.
“I'm gonna go stash this away somewhere safe before it gets too late, don't wait up for me! Oh and don't worry about the guards or anything, I'll be sure to keep an eye out and see if they're acting any differently from normal, but it's not like they could catch me on a full stomach anyway.”
By “stash somewhere safe” the others knew she probably meant one of her caches across the city. She had a few set up, for the convenience of being able to get extra money or knives or even a quick bit of dried food without always having to return to the groups main warehouse hideout... but also in case anything happened to their current home... as a raid by the city guards was always a slim possibility. While her caches wern't much, they would ensure that if the worst ever happened she wouldn't be out on her own with nothing again...
The rest of her excuse was thin distraction. There was no immediate pressing need to get this take care of right now. It was probably safer to wait few days having just finished a job, and even though it was late, about 7 or so, the dark never bothered Ichimi, as her night vision was actually quite keen. In some senses it was even safer for her to be out in the deeper darkness of late night because there was less of a chance of getting noticed... but she was plenty capable so screw all of that stuff, no way she was getting stuck with dishes.
She was out the door before anyone bothered to object strongly enough to stop her... although even if they had put up more effort, Cedrian was probably the only one she wouldn't have pretended to not hear anyway. Within only a few short moments she was already out of sight of the warehouse and heading into the city proper. Her final destination was old building she was familiar with a little ways into the city. An old theater or church of some kind... possibly it had been both in the past. Nobody had actually used it for years now and it was mostly abandoned now. The bottom floor was boarded up now to keep the homeless out even though everything of value had been looted already. Ichimi knew ways inside though; and not EVERYTHING of value was gone ever since she decided to set up one of her caches inside... and this particular cache was due for a quick restock now.
 
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Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#19
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

Ichimi's exclamation did her no favors in helping to brighten Rio's mood. The 'tough love' approach might have worked for some, including herself, but for the effeminate tailor it was little more than a painful reminder of his days spent as a largely unwanted child. He simply froze and gave her a stunned look, unwilling to let the situation escalate to where it could be and remained silent. It was hard to tell whether he was awaiting an apology or if he was just shocked that she would even enter that territory of discussion. But regardless of what Rio meant from his apparent reticence, he got the former of the two--a sincere apology from the catgirl. It was more than what most got from her, which would turn out to be a great relief for him. While his expression didn't change by much, thanks to the ongoing process of sorting out his own feelings of disappointment, Rio looked Ichimi straight in the eyes and nodded a few times to show that he had accepted her apology. She would know right then and there that it was enough for him, but it would probably be at least another half an hour or so before he built up the courage to get chatty again. Such was Rio's 'defense mechanism', and Ichimi had seen it many times before--though whether she was actually used to it or not was another matter.

As expected, he continued to follow her downstairs nonetheless and quietly joined the others for dinner. Conversations at that time of day often went the same way, with light verbal jabs being exchanged between anyone and everyone; Ichimi, being accepted as part of the family, was no exception to this, more often than not contributing in her own way. However, Augusto didn't seem to be flustered in the least at Ichimi's most recent attempt with her mention of his failure to pray. "Oh? You'd be surprised at how much benefit of the doubt I'm given. Not everyone can do what I do, after all. Even Erion would understand as much, silly cat," he replied with a shrug and a half-smirk, brushing off any potential blows to his pride as he would mere lint. The image of a most pious priest was something that Augusto could conjure up in an instant, if it proved convenient enough for him at any given time. Naturally, trying to create such elaborate excuses served him little to no use here in the comfort of the hideout--outside of pulling the Ichimi's leg that is, hence his relatively simple answer.

Despite her relative lack of table manners, no one in the group would give the catgirl any heat for it. Not tonight, anyway. They were already used to the sight of her scarfing down food when possible, as well as understanding of the reasons behind such habits. Even those of the group from a relatively 'normal' past, like Cedrian, knew that the simple fact of being able to enjoy a well-prepared meal every night wasn't something to take lightly. With the job came no small amount of risk, and any one of them could end up imprisoned--or worse--all so that they could have a bite to eat and indulge in other comforts that people of their status might otherwise never experience.

"I guess they could, but it'd be a stretch," said Cedrian regarding the topic of whether or not their latest mark could recover enough to send out an order to raise the guard. "You know how Naralona is, though. Part of what makes this city so convenient for plying our trade is that there are all kinds here. People who think they're heirs to lost kingdoms, when they've really just had a little too much tullgrass, others who simply wanna trick their way into a nice hotel stay... that kind of thing. So the guards are a little less sharp sometimes. When Hector and I were done up in our guard outfits, we were passed over by a few others, and they didn't even bother to ask us what precinct we were from. But hey, it worked out to our advantage, so I'm not complaining. If there is an increase in guard activity, I'm pretty sure it'll be obvious, and won't be til tomorrow at lunch at the earliest. That's my guess. So if you want to take a night out on the town, be my guest... I won't stop you. Though the update when you get back would be pretty helpful, sure. I'll be headed to the newest casino on the west side of the city, myself. Don't wait up for me either, though. I should be back before lunch the next day."

None of the group, Cedrian included, made any objections to Ichimi's announcement. Hector gave her a nod, while the others gave her relatively short farewells. The only exception was Rio, who remained withdrawn at first, only to tug at her clothing before she could make it out the door. "S... Sorry," he finally managed to say in a meek voice. "But thank you. For at least trying it."

With that, Ichimi was free to take her leave. The streets were fairly quiet tonight, and just as Cedrian expected, there was no noticeable increase as far as guards went. If anything, there were probably too little... that, or they had just hit the bars. The abandoned building she used to stash her goods was never occupied whenever she saw it, nor were her goods ever touched. Rumors said that it was haunted, but the catgirl never had any paranormal encounters while she was there, so the stories worked to her advantage in terms of keeping scroungers away from her emergency cache. The worst she'd have to put up with were swaths of spiderwebs and a rather dusty atmosphere.

As such, she was free to store her stuff however she pleased. No one came into the vicinity to disturb Ichimi while she was at work, and she was free to organize her stash without interruption.

However, not long after putting her money away, her keen ears caught a commotion coming from an alley between the old chapel and the building closest to it.

"Hey honey, what are you doing out here?" said one stranger in the gruff tone that only a man, probably a burly one, could manage.

"I-I'm just... running an errand," replied an unmistakably feminine voice.

A glance over from the rooftop or the edge of the alleyway confirmed Ichimi's suspicions. A mugging, or something like it, appeared to be taking place.

It was a noticeably blatant sort of operation, very much the opposite of the delicate, well-planned heists the catgirl tended to engage in with her crew. Two men stood to either side of what looked to be a defenseless woman. The first thug was rather muscular, almost reminiscent of Hector but not quite as large. His square jaw was covered in jet-black stubble. The other wasn't a particularly large individual in the way of Grisalescan men--he was actually quite scrawny, almost as small as Rio in terms of stature, but much darker in complexion.

Their victim for tonight, a curvy young woman, was reasonably attractive in her own right with dark purple hair and soft green eyes, but perhaps somewhat naive from the way she had allowed herself to be caught up in such a situation. She was the perfect target, so it seemed, for men like these two. In her arms was a basket full of groceries--deoricots, pillyrhine, and ironically enough, some of the ingredients for paella.

"Oh, yeah? An errand, huh? So kind. Looks like you'll be cooking up something nice. Why don't you share what you've got with us, then? We're starving, you know. Or even if you got a little change left over, I think it'd be best if you donated that. Don't you think?" offered the smaller man with a grin.

"But, I don't have any money left," said the girl, her eyes shifting between the two men. "And these are... for my family. We don't have much as it is, but it's for a special occasion..."

"That's an easy one. I got an idea. Why don't you make us a little money?" replied the thug. "We know of a good job that you'd be perfect for."

"I don't want any trouble. Please, I just want to go home..."

It was then that Ichimi noticed some passerbys; a family of four who, without a doubt, set eyes upon the scene while strolling down the main road. They only did so briefly, however. While the husband looked fairly capable, he had two young children and a wife with him. It would do him no good to risk the safety of those he cared for most, especially for the sake of a total stranger. He exchanged glances with the trio in the alleyway, but was fairly quick to continue on instead of making a scene.

Then, a group of two men, artisans of some sort, came walking down the same route. Again, the woman and her two potential assailants paused to look at them for just a moment to see if they would do anything. It looked as if she wanted to scream for help, but was too frightened to do even that.

"What? You want some of this?" taunted the larger man.

No response came from the strangers, and they moved on instead, carrying on the conversation they were having from before. After all, they weren't city guards. It wasn't their job to ensure that everyone was taken care of, and this became especially prevalent given the fact that a fairly dangerous-looking individual was within the ranks of the would-be muggers. Watching out for yourself over others--that was the norm of the streets in Naralona. The victim in this case had called it upon themselves by choosing to travel alone at this time of night, and in this part of town. She had brought it upon herself, after all... hadn't she?
 

Kat

Sex Demon
Moderator
Jan 20, 2011
281
#20
Re: The Cat's Share (Kat) GMed by Takimaru

There was always some amount of risk to going out alone. Some of the dangers wern't so bad for someone like Ichimi who had grown up around them and knew how to handle or avoid them... but others were unavoidably worse for her in particular. On her own she had nobody to use in a lie and claim as a “master” if she got spotted or caught... a humiliating lie to play along with, but one that would've been useful if Cedrian were around. If she got captured somehow it might mean any number of bad outcomes, maybe even being sold to the highest bidder as today's earlier mark had been plenty willing to jump at. Still, it was something she had already lived with years, to the point where the hassle of it was enough of an annoyance to outweigh the benefit of extra caution. Besides... there were always other ways of handling problems if they arose.
All of this wouldn't matter tonight though, at least on the way to her destination. The trip would be uneventful and quiet, almost too easily so. Ichimi knew how to blend into a crowd though, and any features giving away her felvari nature were hidden well enough by her hooded cloak that nobody would notice short of a spectacular run of bad luck. Given that the city was by the ocean and rain was common and could happen at any time, nothing about what she was wearing really stood out as unusual or suspicious. Despite a wariness that it might not be enough to keep her hidden from the guards, that wouldn't happen either.
“Guess Ced was right... figures he'd actually know how the wind-up toys work... never around when they should be... Calm night tonight, but I bet if I got caught pickpocketing someone right now they'd be here in like half a minute.”

Ichimi reached her destination perhaps half an hour or 45 minutes later. Maybe a bit longer considering. She wasn't in a rush and took a longer way to get there than usual, as some places stopped being safe the closer to late-night it got. The building where her cache was stored was just as she remembered it from the last time she was there, even though that had been months ago. The doors and low windows were all boarded up, just as before, a few of the planks newer than others to replace ones that had rotted or been forced off. None of that mattered to Ichimi though, such weak security wouldn't keep HER out, and even if others had forced their way in, she was confident they wouldn't have found her stash.
“Here, now I just have to wait a few minutes just to be careful...”
Ichimi worked her way around the building to a part that was out of view, then waited a little while until nobody was close by just to be safe. As soon as she had her chance, she jumped towards one of the ground windows and started climbing the planks. It would take her only a few scant seconds to work her way past that window, grab a few notches in the stone and the bottom frame of one of the higher windows (which wern't boarded up, due to being hard to reach) and work her way in... all of it quick and silent and far less conspicuous than making noise trying to force a way in.
Once inside, Ichimi found herself on the second floor of the building, overlooking the first floor lined with rows of seating and a stage... all of it in poor condition from age and looting. The floor Ichimi was on on was in slightly better condition though, a leaky roof and broken windows meant the weather had taken it's toll, but it was also harder for anyone to reach. The stairway up had long ago rotted away, making it hard for any normal person to reach. Not for Ichimi though, either from inside the building or outside, she knew a dozen ways up here and could pull them off in a a few seconds, it was as easy to her as climbing a tree. It was up here that she had hidden her stash.
“All these months and there probably hasn't been a soul up here... there's even still...”
Ichimi paused with a strange sense of nostalgia and shame as she surveyed the area. Towards one of the corners was a stage curtain she had salvaged forever ago... the only thing she had to sleep with long long ago. Nothing about this was fitting as a “home” of an kind, but when she was younger it had kept her up off the street, safe from guards and even others her age who would've hurt her. The nostalgia wasn't comforting, it was just cold and uneasy, this is why this cache had gone so long without a restock.
“Doesn't matter anymore. Just a quick in and out, just like last time, then I can get out of here.”
Behind a loose couple of bricks along one of the walls lie the felvari's emergency stash. Despite months having passed, nothing had been taken from it, although there were only a few razettas and a bite or two of dried food anyway. She dropped in her bag of coins from today's job along with a few throwing knives, sealed it back, and took a quick peek out out one of the windows before safely dropping back to the street below to head home.

Normally Ichimi's hearing was bad with her hood up and her ears down, but perhaps a play of the wind of of a subconscious lapse in maintaining the position on her climb down had allowed some nearby sounds to catch her attention. Something about the sounds made them stand out, not get toned out with the average sounds of the city. Threats... and fear. For a moment the catgirl's mind flashed with the possibilities of being followed or ambushed... but no, a quick look around would confirm SHE wasn't in any danger. She knew how the city worked, knew where to be and how to act to avoid trouble or slip away from it. Daring to poise her ears up when she felt she wouldn't be seen, she was able to quickly trace the strange sounds to their origins, what appeared to be a mugging nearby.
“Dumbasses. Just the two of them, doing that right out in the open? She's gonna run, or scream, or they're just gonna be seen and she's human so the guards will actually care.”
Ichimi went to turn around and head back home, after all, this would be over soon anyway, no need to get drawn into something that would bring attention to herself. But then... as the moments passed... nothing was happening. Ichimi turned back and looked around, no guards anywhere. There were plenty of normal people, but all of them just passed on by doing nothing.
“Whatever, it's still not my problem. I can't exactly find a guard and risk being recognized up close. I would be a terrible thief if a I did that. Besides, stuff like this happens all the time It's probably happening in half a dozen places around the city right now.”
Ichimi found herself unable to move, her ears focusing back on the scene and picking up bits of conversation
“I can't get a guard and I'm by myself anyway. I would do something if I could, unlike these other worthless sacks of crap walking by.”
It was an unconvincing argument in her head. She still felt like she was comparing herself to all the others who wern't stopping to help. To make matters worse, her hearing picked up the victims voice... words about a special occasion and dinner with family... a dinner like the one she had just had. Ichimi didn't believe in gods or karma, but she knew this wasn't how things were supposed to be, and the feeling hurt. She didn't understand it, it brought back memories of her childhood, of having not eaten for days and just wishing everyone around her who could spare anything would... then hating them when they wouldn't. That hatred burnt again, she wished someone would stop and help so it would disappear, but a pair of artisans passed by just then and did nothing like everyone else. The bitterness needed an outlet and turned her thoughts to reckless things.
“I could do something myself, attack one of the guys... but then what? Even if I get close without them noticing, I can only focus my voidic airs as one point at a time. What then? I fight the other and maybe lose or the guards FINALLY show up before I win? Or maybe I lead the thugs on a chase for awhile and hope to avoid the guards? Hope they don't coordinate and corner me? No, all I'm doing is thinking of ways to get myself killed, survival doesn't work that way. Just turn around, go home, forget this ever happened.”
Ichimi made one more attempt to turn around, but her ears caught the thugs conversation going into territories more twisted now, the two artisans from earlier clearly in range to also hear, and again doing nothing.
“Fuck you guys, if both of said ANYTHING you'd probably scare them off. Those thugs probably know better than to risk a fight in the streets even if they did have the upper hand. Maybe I can't do much myself, but I can volunteer you pricks... and since you're pissing me off it's not going to be gentle.”

Ichimi silently followed behind the artisans, closing the distance rather quickly. In one quick movement she put her pickpocketing skills to use and bumped into one of them to make her swipe.
“Sorry...”
In a mere second it was done. If he stopped to check his coins, it wouldn't matter, that wasn't what she swiped. Instead she had grabbed a small wood carving knife from his belt. It wasn't worth much, but that didn't matter, it was an obvious tool of his trade. By the time the artisan got around to checking for it, if at all, it would be too late, Ichimi was already quickly moving into position for the next step of her plan, finding a place between the thugs and the artisans.
“The big thug is probably the biggest threat, but at least with him it's easy to know what you're getting into. The small one is the worrisome one. You don't last long around here being that small without some kind of tricks. He's the harder target to hit, but if I get him there wont be any nasty surprises later on... I can't take him out right away though, he looks like the brains and I need him around at least long enough to recognize this.”
Ichimi readied the knife she had just swiped and focused some voidic energy on it, much like she had done earlier with Rodrigo... but this time the “airs” she was using were much stronger. Given her target was the smaller guy and he didn't weigh much, she guessed a successful hit would bring him down in about minute or two if she caught him off guard, even if she missed a “critical” point like a major vein or nerve with the unbalanced tool... always the voidic airs worked better if they hit in that moment between calm and shock, losing much of their effectiveness if they didn't take hold by then.
Ichimi held up a finger to shush the poor victim as she brought up the knife to take aim, standing behind her targets and hoping their victim wouldn't do anything to alarm them... then in one quick motion she threw the knife and while it was still in the air she was already moving herself back into a calm pose and quickly moving somewhere where she'd be out of sight or at least not appear the most obvious source of this assault. If everything worked according to plan, they would recognize the knife as a woodworkers tool and instantly link it to the artisans. Maybe they'd attack, but Ichimi didn't care, the useless cowards deserved it. At the worst they'd get a beating, which was nothing compared to what they were planning on doing to the poor girl they had cornered... and even then the small guy wouldn't last for more than a minute or two of the voidic airs, which would leave the fight as two on one... all while leaving her to appear completely uninvolved. All she had to do now was stick around and wait for a chance to get the girl to follow her and slip away while everyone was distracted...
 
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