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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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Warm Hearths, Warm Hearts

Postby Eldrid on December 17th, 2015, 7:06 pm

Eldrid flinched at the harsh sound of flurry of violent blows Eosi inflicted upon the fur tree. For the Akvatari, fishguts were not nearly as unpleasant as for Eosi. In Abura many akvatari simply ate fish raw, alongside uncooked kelp as well. It was one of the many peculiarities of the young race, although it was a blessing given the inaptitude shown by most Akvatari for anything outside of the cultural arts. Eldrid herself was quite partial to raw fish, especially when it had been fresh caught from the ocean by her own hands. Unlike Eosi, the fishguts, while not exactly the ideal scent associated with food, combined with the salty ocean breeze filled Eldrid with an overwhelming urge to dive into the ocean near the cliff. Despite this she remained seated on the rocks, watching Eosi lay into the tree with heavy, powerful strokes.
"Smells like some- . . . one's got some fish with them . . . Wonder- . . . how long it's-. . . been sitting . . . " She said wistfully between loud cracks which echoed forth from the axe. Eldrid looked around curiously for the source of the smell before she spotted the strange looking man with his sack of . . . Something or other which smelled fish-like. Whatever it was the peculiar human was up to, it was not any business of Eldrid's.

The Akvatari started as an unusually loud crack resounded from the cliff fir when Eosi embedded the axe in the flesh of the softwood's trunk. The curse caused Eldrid to turn back to the scene of the axing. Eosi looked slightly hurt, and if her reply to Eldrid's question was anything to go on, she was also quite annoyed about something. Eldrid's wings fluttered into activity when the Akvatari shifted into the air, hovering over to Eosi hesitantly.
". . . Might I be of some assistance?" Eldrid asked with a small amount of uncertainty as she watched the brightly dressed woman exercising her shoulder slightly.
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Warm Hearths, Warm Hearts

Postby Wikus on December 19th, 2015, 3:36 am

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Wikus’ mind recalled an ancient memory, dating all the way back to his childhood. The details weren’t very clear, yet he was certain a big Clan gathering was taking place and he eavesdropped as children weren’t quite allowed into the massive feast the members were enjoying. Many conversations were there, but a particular man’s intervention was the only one to come to mind. "…does matter, but what also matters the quality of the sack. The smellier the better!" Those were the words that came to mind, only recalling many laughs afterwards, the memory ending there and bringing him back to reality. He never quite understood that statement, but now it was starting to make sense. Yes – in his hands he carried the smelliest sack of guts he could have filled, and that filled him with a determination unseen before in his seasonal stay. He was certain of his success, as the gulls themselves seemed to feel the strong aroma waving through the air as their shrieked loudly in eagerness.

The ignorant but strong headed male would have preferred to walk by with an uninterested stance proper of a ruler, without even bothering to lay eyes on the two frames that slowly gained detail with the shortening of the distance. He would’ve preferred that, instead of eventually fixing eyes onto the winged creature that sat on rocks as if it was sitting on its nest. Not only that, but his entire attention was laid upon said creature with every step taken only bringing further details and increased attention. Many times his feet collided with the cold and obviously hard rock, flinching at the pain and suffering it in silence as he carried on forth, hypnotized by his discovery of a new species of bug that only now he got to know. Eyes open wide like plates, time seemed to have flied by as he himself watched said creature loft itself and hover over the second figure, which was now easily recognized as one of those bronze-skinned females he had begun seeing on the streets. Before he had realized it, he was already at the top in company of the two individuals, obviously causing some panic in him as he had done exactly the opposite of what he promised himself.

Slightly scared, he finally looked away to instead find the cliffs and the ocean opening in the distance before his eyes, never having seen the colossal water mass reaching as far as his eyes could see. In fact, it’s size somewhat intimidated him even more, this being the first time he had openly looked towards it instead of avoiding it as he did with the unknown. It took him a couple of ticks to return once again onto the task at hand. The seagulls were bloating with emotion, almost angry and gaining aggressively as the intense stench of the sack unleash their instinct to feed. He didn’t even have to open the sack for them to start fighting over it, flying and landing on the ground as they attacked the slime that filtered through the fabric. He didn’t even have to employ a weapon for his first capture – a quick wave of his free hand being enough to temporarily catch a gull’s wing before it escaped. The results were optimal, even if the location was not.

Considering the amount of captures he’d make, his mood improved very quickly as he even directed some loud words towards the two individuals that stood before the tree. “Excuse me!” he yelled, hoping of his word being louder than the mob of gulls that had infested his location. He didn’t even bother to look at the women, hoping not to lose sight of the quantity of feast he himself would enjoy for these days. Not a tick was wasted before he unleashed his whip from his waist, now the belt being the simple and thin rope made with the hessian’s fabric. Lashing out at the seagulls with cracks would be simply idiotic – the damage would be enough to kill, and they’d be thrown down the cliff and therefore wasted. Instead, he turned the whip around, wrapped it around his hand to avoid it flying off, and adjusted the desired length. The whip was now effectively made into a flail, the handle being hard and loaded enough to be able to cause damage to much bigger creatures, but simply perfect to smack the seagulls into the ground and break their fight, or smacking them from the side to break their wings and flight.

Wikus began his simplistic hunt, sending the leathery flail flying either from his right or from above, his aim being null as the gulls were plentiful and the sack was slowly torn by their glutton beaks. The dead gulls, struck with vertical motions, piled up near the sack or directly on it, while those dying due to the sideways motions were sent towards the nearby tree for their last breaths. Very few escaped escaped unharmed.


Hopefully, he wasn’t causing any trouble.
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Warm Hearths, Warm Hearts

Postby Eosi on December 21st, 2015, 4:32 am

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"I'm fine," she firmly, flashing a somewhat withering look in Eldrid's direction. It was just a small strain. The pain slowly diminished as she rolled her shoulders, leaving tenderness in its wake. She'd have to take it easy if she wanted to finish the job without aggravating it further. With one last languid stretch, she shook her head and turned to withdraw her axe from the pale wood, purposefully ignoring the bid for assistance.

With some bracing and a bit of effort, the blade came clean. She wiped the moisture from the edge on the hem of her shirt and turned to face the what was now a growing spectacle just a few yards away. The man with the fish guts was being swarmed by a mob of gulls. Eosi was stunned by the sheer hyperbole of the situation. It appear he was bludgeoning the gulls to death with the handle of a whip - for what reason exactly?

It was singularly the oddest thing she'd ever seen. Inventive for someone who had a use for a pile of dead seagulls. But on the whole, high unnecessary. Further, the tattoos he bore led her to believe he was Drykas, but she'd yet to see one that hadn't in the very least taken to wearing boots in the wintertime. He was either incredibly foreign or slightly deranged and more than likely a combination of the two, she concluded.

"Is there any reason you're doing that?" She shouted over the din of the seagulls. Their sheer volume was simply incredible. He'd managed to attract every living gull that side of Riverfall. Eosi felt her jaw flex as her molars ground together. The noise irritated her on such a fundamental level that she began to entertain fantasies of the joining in and putting an end to the squawking, once and for all.

"Is it possible you can do that somewhere else?" She added, voice straining.
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Warm Hearths, Warm Hearts

Postby Eldrid on December 28th, 2015, 10:00 pm

Eldrid spread her hands out to each side of her as she backed off slightly from Eosi. The human woman seemed upset, either with Eldrid or with the peculiar man out on the clifftops exercising excessive violence towards the gulls. The akvatari watched Eosi silently as the latter addressed and reprimanded the shoeless man. Eldrid often wondered why it was that people found cause to be upset with her. While it did not happen exceptionally often, it happened in moments when she could see herself doing nothing wrong. She could still recall the worst few, when she had simply expressed her opinion, or exposed the reality behind a pretty lie. Why others were so resistant to reality always bewildered her. The sooner little boys realised this was not a world of knights in shining armour and damsels in distress, the sooner they could start truly living. Eldrid had long since accepted that more Damsels in Distress held poison daggers and similar harmful items behind their backs. Charming knights in shining armour were no more than lustful battleaxes looking for a pleasant evening. If this revelation crushed a child's spirit then clearly said spirit was not worth keeping in the first place. Eldrid found it far more useful to encourage an imagination in young ones. An imaginative person could always come to terms with reality, and yet they would still possess shelter from it. The difference between her philosophy and most parents was, while most parents simply covered a child's eyes, Eldrid thought it would be better to show them the world through a window, from which they could see what awaited them before they set foot outside the door. . . Of course she had never attempted to teach this to anyone, she had no children of her own, and with any luck, she hoped to avoid that. Thankfully she only had two or three years to worry about that problem.

Right now though, she was not entirely sure the problem at hand was entirely worth worrying about at all. Whatever was bothering Eosi was none of Eldrid's business, otherwise Eosi would have mentioned it when Eldrid offered assistance. The peculiar man however, was a problem worth some consideration. She had caught him staring at her as he approached, something she had grown use to during her journey away from Abura, but that did not justify the length of time he had spent staring, nor did it give him the right to brutally murder so many of the hapless gulls, no matter how obnoxious and unpleasant she found them. The akvatari attempted to look away from the act, but the loud crack of the whip handle against softer bird viscera inspired a growing revulsion within her which soon coaxed out nausea in her stomach. As Eosi asked the stranger to stop Eldrid waited a moment before adding, "Or better yet, simply cease your unnecessary act . . ."
She stated loudly before adding in a softer voice, audible to Eosi, and possibly the newcomer depending on the volume of the seagulls,
"Oh Eyris my stomach is not taking this well . . . "
With that Eldrid backed away slightly, quashing an oncoming retching.
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Warm Hearths, Warm Hearts

Postby Wikus on January 4th, 2016, 8:45 am

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Wikus was legitimately surprised of the success of his plan. The amount of seagulls hit by the bludgeoned by the whip’s handle was so high he began worrying of how to transport this amount of birds to his home. The thoughts of all the free meals he was winning had awakened a strange type of lust. Losing himself to the cries of the gulls, it wasn’t long before his endurance was compromised. Striking the gulls was exhausting, especially as he had to use increasing force due to the overwhelming numbers of the birds. Using less force than necessary only wasted the motion and saved the birds, and using too much would shatter their guts and spoil the meat. Quickly enough he found himself panting, and retrieving the end of his whip as he raised his head to catch his breath, he looked over towards the female.

“Free food, woman!” he’d shout back, glancing over towards the winged creature but without paying it much attention. If he did, he wouldn’t be able to take his eyes off it. Nevertheless, due to her strange tail, he suspected the creature would attempt to feed from his prey, something he wouldn’t allow. Surprisingly she didn’t seem to be enjoying the spectacle, which was surely a coy in order for his attention to falter. As the metaphorical rain of meals had given him plenty of rewards, he felt compelled to show his kind side. Pointing towards the pile of broken seagulls, he’d shout out: “Grab some! There is much for everyone” It turns out the day had turned out to be a good one, now that the rewards of hard work had paid off. There still lingered the problem of transporting all the corpses without being seen by the guard, but that was secondary right now.

The vast numbers of gulls that devoured the sack was alarmingly increasing. Their eager screams were slowly turning out to be annoying and overwhelming. The sack was already being torn apart by their beaks, similar to the way a pack of hyenas feasted over a dead gazelle. Just like hyenas, soon the gulls began fighting each other for their meal. A chime later, Wikus concluded that the situation was simply too dangerous. Stepping forth in attempts of reaching the sack, he was met with violence by the berserk gulls, which attacked him more and more often the closer he got to the sack. They didn’t even bother to attempt to evade his warning attacks, obviously preferring to swallow a chunk of fish guts and dying than leaving. After several attempts of reaching it, Wikus found himself isolated from his own sack, bullied out of his possession.

Frowning to display his annoyance, after a quick ponder he headed directly towards the armed female. His feet tried to avoid stepping on the dead birds as much as possible, but it was impossible at times. Standing between her and the sack, he’d raise an arm to call on her attention. “Give me the axe, woman. I need push sack down.” He’d say loudly, hopefully loud enough to be heard. His accent and foreign nature was obvious, and his eyes were clearly hovering again and again towards the winged creature that stood aside. “Before the Blues come and see.”
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Warm Hearths, Warm Hearts

Postby Eosi on January 17th, 2016, 11:57 pm

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The chaos mounted. She would have liked nothing better than to simply disregard it and resume felling the tree. It was in the nature of Eosi to mind her own business. But disturbances of any kind bothered her. This one was far too close and far too loud to be ignored. Further, it seemed Eldrid was having difficulty keeping down her lunch. Some protective instinct within her sprang up and joined with her natural inclination to bring order to chaos. The crease at her brow deepened, casting a shadow over her eyes.

"Think I'll pass," she replied, hefting the weapon in her hands. She was no proponent of murder, but the image of turning it about and laying him flat with the stout wooden handle caused the corner of her mouth to tremble with restrained amusement. Things had yet to come to that, but the thought was appealing nonetheless.

Eosi took the time to assess him. Wilkus' actions were completely outside the ordinary, leading her to believe that he could be dangerously unstable. Their interaction so far only seemed to confirm that thought. She eyed him warily as he continued to swat at the creatures, gleeful at the wanton slaughter. It was obvious he was completely unaware of anything outside his little reality. For this reason, she'd have to be careful if things had a hope of being resolved in a timely fashion. Time spent watching him was time wasted.

It seemed the situation rebounded on him. Suddenly, the flurry of shrieking gulls had become totally unmanageable. Not only would they soon draw the attention of the Rivarians but they seemed to have totally cut him off from his ooze-filled sack of fish guts. He paused to think and as he did, she felt her grip on the axe tighten. Something told her they would be co-opted into his scheme soon enough.

Her instincts were right. Wilkus turned and began to approach them. While she refused to budge an inch, every part of her wanted to just brain him and get it over with. It certainly didn't help that he demanded use of her axe, which did nothing to ingratiate him. But she recognized that he was perhaps, not entirely in possession of all his faculties. Dealing with him would more than likely be like dealing with a child.

"No," she replied, seemingly unruffled. His proximity did nothing to intimidate her.

"I don't want your food." She continued, selecting her words carefully. "You have nothing I want. Why should I help you?" She asked, her thumb tracing circles into the unblemished wooden axe hadle. Eosi was poised to intercept him if he made a move to wrest it from her. There was a perverse glint in her eyes that challenged him to do so.

"It's your mess," she concluded. "You clean it up."
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Postby Wikus on February 9th, 2016, 7:09 pm

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There was something about the female that irritated him in a way he couldn’t quite explain. It couldn’t it placed, as it was unnatural and bizarre for an emotional simpleton like him. It was a mixture of condescendence, harshness and elitism what formed this disgusting sensation within him. His brows rose as did his head, looking from above at the female with an expression proper of any downtown thug. By her appearance, and the boldness of her actions, he predicted he had lived many winters more compared to this unusually annoying female. For once, the idea of bending her over and spanking her some discipline to correct her behavior came afloat within his mind, a technique he had witnessed a few times in his past yet applied first-hand. His mistakes as a youth were corrected by brutal beatings that could have easily erased the woman’s improper behavior, or maybe scar her so much she’d never open her mouth again.

Despite those thoughts, Wikus wasn’t a man of violence despite violence being the obvious solution to this matter. He could lift her and toss her down the cliff as if she was one of the dead gulls that no longer flied high in the skies, and maybe her high confidence would land on a rock hard enough to break it. “Woman…” He spoke, not having figured out what to actually offer her in exchange of that damned axe. By her looks, she wanted nothing but a fight he wasn’t quite able to provide, not with the cold temperatures that punished his tattooed flesh and restricted his movements. He glanced down at her axe, blue eyes afterwards flying at the tree she was attempting to murder without much success. She had done most of the job already, yet the weak blows of a woman would take a while to bring the tree down no matter how dry or dying it was. Given that she wouldn’t lend the axe for him to show her a man’s work, he had to use his bare hands. “Go other side.” He’d say, as he rolled the whip and tossed it aside. Exhaling deeply, he stretched his back by bending his spine as far back as it could, hands pressing at his hips in a way that surely would attract hoards of females if Wikus was more presentable or at least knew some basic manners.

Nonetheless, it was him the one who brings solutions to the troubles of these weak creatures. His height aided him greatly in reaching the nearest branches of the rather plain tree, yet they were still out of his reach. With a hop, he’d extend his arms up in attempts of hugging the nearest branch of the tree, yet needing three of these hops to establish successful contact. Hugging his arms around the rather thin branch, he’d wrap his elbow pits on it and forming a sort of lock proper of any wrestler’s armory. His weight, although not much, was enough to slightly bend the tree in the direction of the hinge the female had intelligently made at first. He raised his feet and let them fall to gain some more power and wobble the tree up and down as if he was about to crack it. Obviously, if the cuts were deeper, it would’ve cracked. Too bad the female lacked any real strength, which now meant Wikus had to hang there and perform gimmicks proper of an ape. “Irk tree with axe!” he’d yell out, as the gulls were becoming increasingly mad at each other, surely about to turn cannibal due to all the fish and seagull gore that was spread in the torn sack. He hoped this would be enough compensation for the female to lend him the axe before those dire gulls devoured their guts as well.
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Postby Eosi on February 15th, 2016, 1:34 am

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Her brow twitched ever-so-slightly, telegraphing her disgust. Whoever he was, this man was equal parts idiotic and crass. Eosi did nothing at first to follow his command; rather, she waited for his ostentatious display of manhood to be over. He tossed his whip aside and the ever-present desire to simply brain him and get the whole thing over with grew more and more tempting, but it appeared as if he was intending to help her in some way, as if that would suffice as an even exchange of services.

Eldrid seemed to remain in the state she was previous and Eosi felt a stab of pity at the Akvatari. Wanton carnage was never a happy state of affairs and as it was, Wikus was covered in gore, the likes of which struck deep into the pit of her stomach. Her woodland eyes narrowed in overt distaste, nostrils flaring. It was evident to her that his mind was completely out to lunch, in the most powerful sense of the idiom.

He hopped once, twice, three times to catch the branch at the top. It became apparent, what he was trying to do. Eosi didn’t waste any time on useless pride. If it was help he was offering, then help she’d receive. Just as he issued his worthless command to “irk the tree,” she squared her shoulders and drove the blade of the axe deep into the hinge of the wood with a loud ‘thunk.’ Between the force of the blow and the weight of the man hanging from the other side, the tree began to give way.

Bracing her foot against the base of it, Eosi wrenched the axe free. She was careful to engage all her muscle groups, so not to strain herself again. As it was, her shoulder throbbed uncomfortably. Any further action would no doubt exacerbate the injury, but she still had to fell the tree, still split it up into kindling.

Again, she swung with all her might and between the two of them, the wood finally split entirely. Only Wikus was now holding on to the end of the tree that was coming down. If he didn’t manage to move out of its way, he’d be pinned beneath it. This was the caveat to his little plan, something she suspected might happen, but thought better of mentioning. If he were to suffer a little at his own hands, who was she to stop him?

One way or another, the tree came crashing spectacularly to the ground. It wouldn’t have taken her much longer to fell it on her own, but he did manage to save her some precious time. It did not necessarily compensate for the overwhelmingly distasteful display of slaughter that she did not ask for, nor did it stop the acrid mixture of gore and fish from reaching her nostrils but it was in the very least, a start. Eosi made her way to the other side of the tree, to see if Wikus managed to get out of the way in time.

”Here,” she said, offering him the axe by the handle. If he were to be on the ground, this would undoubtedly be hilarious. If not, the offer would still stand. But either way, this was clearly the best choice if the goal was simply to get rid of him.

That... and the gulls.
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Postby Eldrid on February 18th, 2016, 9:46 pm

The grey winged Akvatari stood as best as a creature with no legs and an immensely upset stomach could given the circumstances. The wretched sounds of the gull slaughter and the meek cries of what few survivors had not instantly fallen to the beatings did little to help the delicate Eldrid's situation. The man, covered in various viscera, shouted many, many things. None of which made much sense to Eldrid in her compromised state, besides the offer of free bird carcasses. Eldrid closed her eyes and lips tight, holding back the urge to empty out her stomach all over the stone cliffs.

The wave of nausea subsided somewhat, granting the akvatari a brief enough reprieve to open her eyes. Long enough to see the dozens of gull corpses which littered a small patch of the cliff, almost as if someone had spilled large granules of sugar onto the cliff in a localised pile. The sight of all the gulls, necks bent at strange angles and bones jutting out from pulverized flesh only brought on the wave of nausea with renewed strength. Eldrid's paralysis ended there and then as she dashed through the air with grace befitting her race's aerial prowess, only to culminate in a fine display of her heaving a large portion of her fish and kelp breakfast out and into the sea.

When she returned, she held her quivering hand up next to her eyes protectively to avoid having to look at the scene of destruction, and having to relinquish more of her stomach contents to the see. She approached Eosi and the new man slowly, looking paler than usual. The peculiar method they had engaged in to topple this tree was scarcely any different from the rest of this fellow's unusualness, but Eldrid thought the tree would have done fine without the strange human seemingly grappling with it. It was a tree after all, most attempts to wrestle with a tree did not end well. As she was about to put her observations into words, the tree came toppling down.

"Why . . . Was he wrestling with the tree?" Eldrid asked Eosi softly as she stood weakly, her throat still raw from her brief expungement.
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Postby Wikus on March 1st, 2016, 6:51 pm

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Wikus kept balancing himself up and down, raising his knees as he did the improvised crunches, only to bring down his feet with as much harshness as he could so that it added force that he believed would help bring the tree down. Each of the female’s harsh chops were felt entirely by the man’s body, as the vibrations traveled through the trunk of the tree without much effort. It was very unconformable, yet nonetheless necessary in order to aid this unpleasing woman and her overgrown flying creature. The duo was, ironically, way too bizarre for a simple and normal man like the ousted Drykas. His train of thought was interrupted once he felt the solid tree quivering in his grasp, no longer standing tall as usual but instead slowly being brought down in his direction. Despite his awareness of this, the bizarre grasp he held on the tree was not quite easy to unknot. Panic struck him as he attempted to free his arms, which would be freed any moment yet possibly when it was too late. Gasping, the adrenaline rush made its effect and indeed managed to bring back some survival instinct, freeing his arms and using his palms to push himself off the direction of the falling tree.

The quick backstep, improvised and untrained, made him fall in an awkard position as if he had curled up in a fetal position as he feared the trunk of the tree landing on top of his bare feet. That would be a real curse. Landing with his spine against the rock was much more appreciated, despite the grunt of obvious pain that escaped him and the aches in his bones. Quickly restoring his usual apathy as he tried to stand as fast as possible, the handle of the axe was basically shoved in his face by the female. Obviously, seeing a being as big as him before the redhead was surely appealing to her. For Wikus, it was nothing but an insult. Taking the handle and pulling the axe harshly to take complete control of it, he stood up at last as the incessant cries of the gulls began giving him a headache. Glancing down at the fallen tree, it was clear he had done all the work, and the only thing he had gained are some of the stray corpses of the gulls smashed between trunk and rock. Truly, this woman had a gift to bring out his anger, because this was ‘obviously’ her fault.

Without a word, he glanced towards the ever-growing mass of aviary bodies that were trying to feed on the fish remains. Their gluttony was so intense most of them only pecked each other, and it was clear the feast had to conclude. Without deliberation, Wikus made his way towards the conglomeration of dead and alive gulls. His strides were big and more similar to hops rather than actual steps, as if gaining impulse. Multiple dead gulls were stepped on by him, and many of the alive ones smacked him in the face in their constant flights for a different perspective towards the sack. The impulse didn’t quite allow him to be bothered with it all, halting just far enough for his axe to come forth in an upwards motion. Fortunately for him, the edge of the blade struck the hem sack and lifted it before it was shot directly over the cliff despite the protests of the gulls. As soon as the sack lost itself down the hill, so did most of the gulls that chased after it while their dead companions were left alone to either squirm their last ticks or simply rest in the stone that was their death bed.

Now that the gull situation was fixed, Wikus released a sigh and started picking up the dead gulls by shoving them between his body and arm. He tried to pick the ones that were less bloody or dirty, as only a savage would eat an imperfect animal specimen. The dead gulls were far too many to carry them all, and once he had seven of them he gave up trying to holster some more. If only he had a sack… His task being concluded, he finally stood up and faced the redhead and her flying animal. Raising the axe, he offered it to her from the safety of the distance. It was in that moment that he recalled how unpleasant this female was in his eyes, and instead of trying to return the axe he swiped it sideways and let go of the handle – the axe flying over the cliff just like the sack of fish guts. Without any sort of explanation or mockery in his serious features, he turned sideways with the obvious intention of leaving just as he came.
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