Closed [Almond Blossom] Ghosts of the Past and Present (Grim)

A ghost from Orin's past seeks revenge and Grim comes to the rescue

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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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[Almond Blossom] Ghosts of the Past and Present (Grim)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 21st, 2017, 12:29 pm

33rd of Summer, 517AV

Orin had the kitchen to himself again. Korana and Dolmar were out and about on what was ‘definitely not a date, just a business meeting,’ according to Dolmar. While it was true that the two of them were out assessing vendors, it was also true that they were doing so by purchasing a bunch of their wares and then going on a picnic. Orin didn’t mind, to be perfectly honest. It had be a draining summer, and he wasn’t even halfway through it. Still Orin had been waking up more exhausted than he usually did, and in general, his apathy had been growing stronger as the season progressed. So Orin was hoping that some alone time in the kitchen might help recharge his soul, as it were.

First, though Orin’s task was to replenish The Almond Blossom’s stock of almond milk, which was running quite low. It was a rather essential part of many dishes, as regular milk tended to go bad too quickly, so The Almond Blossom went through quite a bit of the almond variety. It seemed oddly appropriate that The Almond Blossom used almond milk in many of their recipes. Luckily, Dolmar had finally showed Orin how to make it the other day, and it was a surprisingly easy process. All the human had to do was grind up some almonds, put them in boiling water, and then when they had seeped enough, put the liquid through the sieve to remove any chunks that may remain. Moving to the pantry, Orin grabbed a sack of the nuts, and brought them over to the stove. He filled a pot with water, set it on the lit stove, and left it to boil. Next, the chef took out the mortar and pestle. Throwing a bunch of the almonds into the mortar, Orin took of the pestle and ground them as finely as he could, the motions feeling natural to the chef. He wondered how much he’d ground up over the years for his various dishes, and decided that it was too much to actually count. The ground almonds went into the now boiling water.

Orin settled back to wait, take out two of his throwing knives as he did. He’d taken to carrying his full assortment of weapons with him to work, as on a normal day, there were more than enough breaks as the chef waited for various dishes to cook, bake, or simmer, that it turned out he could usually get a bit of weapon’s practice in, especially if no one else had come into work yet, as happened to be the case at the moment. Mostly Dolmar and Korana seemed amused by Orin’s efforts, and didn’t say much.

The chef brought his right hand up fully into a throwing position, his left hand hovering around his chest. The chef sighted, picking the wooden beam that was his usual target. Adjusting the distance between them, Orin took a deep breath. Focus. Then, Orin released the first blade and immediately followed through with the second one. Unfortunately, both blades completely missed their target, and clattered to the floor. Orin sighed. He was decent enough at tossing one blade, but every time he tried to use two, whether in throwing or regular fighting, he seemed to turn into an incompetent buffoon. Still, he’d keep practicing and hopefully one day he’d become proficient enough with his daggers that handling two shouldn’t be a problem at all.

The chef went to retrieve his weapons, putting them safely away, and then went back to his pot. He sat there staring at it, and dark thoughts began to creep in. Ever since Orin had seen the apparition of his father, he’d found himself mentally tired, in a way he usually wasn’t. Depressed, yes, not sure if he could actually face the world, sure, but the chef’s issue usually wasn’t energy. Still, it made sense that the blast from the past had thrown Orin for a loop. His psyche was fragile enough on a regular day that the beating it had recently taken had left Orin unhappier than ever. So the chef had thrown himself into work, and training, and research, anything that prevented him from thinking too hard. He felt haunted by the specters of the people he’d left behind, both alive and dead.

Thankfully, the almond milk was ready at that point, and Orin took it off the stove. He was bending down to pick up a bowl and a sieve, which was all that saved his life. A cleaver whistled through the air where Orin’s head had just been, and the chef, startled, whirled into a defensive stance, his dagger springing into his hand without conscious thought. His left foot sprang back to kick the cleaver away from him, as his mind tried to process what was before him.

There was a man standing before the chef, with a vicious and still bleeding wound in his chest. The face was vaguely familiar, though Orin had trouble placing it. Stranger than even that, the man faded in and out of sight, and though Orin wanted to think it was simply a trick of the light, Orin’s instincts were screaming that something more sinister was at work here. Assuming this was the source of the attack, Orin looked around for any other weapons the other man might choose to use. “What the petch? What’s going on here?” the chef demanded, fear coiling in his gut.

The other man laughed, a chilling, dark sound that sent a shiver down Orin’s spine. “What,” the other man chuckled, “you don’t remember me? I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s taken me a while to track you down, Master Fenix. No guesses? Hm. Well, that’s what I should expect from a dirty so-called ‘pure hearted’ Syliran.” The other man spat, although nothing seemed to come out from his mouth.

Orin debated his options. If he screamed for help then whoever this was would probably just attack and he’d never get answers. Of course, the longer he stalled, the more likely it was that someone else would come into the kitchen and help. Worst case, he could always call out for assistance later, and since citizenship here required fighting ability, whoever responded should be able to take care of them in a fight. Admittedly, this was a more dangerous course of action but Orin wanted answers. At least Orin was more confident in his ability to take care of himself these days. “Whoever you are, I’m warning you that you don't want to mess with me.”

The other man smiled, as yet another drop of blood fell from his chest and vanished on its way to the floor. “Of course. I shouldn't have expected a perching bleeding heart Syliran to care about my fate.” The other man snarled. “Damn you and damn your little Kelvic. Where's the girl, anyway? Once I'm done with you I'll go after her next.” Orin felt rage stir in his chest. Sylvette wasn't here, and Orin had severed their bond, but he was still highly protective of her. Whoever threatened her was going to be in for a world of pain. Still, the other man is done talking. “My name is Tolly. I had a wife, and kids. But none of that matters to you, does it? When you killed me? After all, I was just a bandit. Petching Sylirans on their high and mighty horses couldn’t care at all for the lives of the little men just trying to make a living.”

Orin felt as if someone had punched him in the gut. He remembered the man now. It had been the bandit he and Sylvette had killed. It had been the same time that Orin and Sylvette had bonded, so Orin’s mind had been on other matters. Which must make Tolly a ghost. Orin’s blood ran cold. He had no idea what he was supposed to do against a ghost. As if sensing Orin’s fear, Tolly smiled coldly, before a look of concentration passed over the ghosts face. A rolling pin started lifting in the air, before hurtling towards Orin, who at least had the presence of mind to duck. The chef was still too shocked to call for help, though.
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Orin Fenix
Almost Iron But Actually Master Chef
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Joined roleplay: January 24th, 2015, 12:06 am
Location: Riverfall
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