Closed Curbed and Callow [Kagerou]

Caspian enlists the help of a stranger.

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

Curbed and Callow [Kagerou]

Postby Caspian on April 18th, 2021, 12:58 pm

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35 Spring 521


The cheery, shell-stuck facade of Nessa Reena’s townhouse remains just as still and unmovable as when he had first taken up his post.

It’s the early afternoon on the thirty-fifth day of Spring, and Caspian, having made the mistake of simply doing his job at the end of the last season, has now been tasked with the arduous process of following up.

Some several weeks ago, he had done what Mindy, socialite and aspiring divorcee, had asked, and confirmed that her estranged husband Harv was in fact seeing someone new. The consequences of relaying this information might have been predicted from the outset – the news did not make Mindy feel any better, even though she had been the one to initiate the split in the first place. Since then she had cursed and fretted – because the new fling is an actress, a burgeoning and pretty star, at least in the local theater circuit. Debatable, still, whether a handful of weeks is enough to declare any relationship truly durable – but Mindy had only worried herself further with each passing day.

And here Caspian is now, and under Mindy’s tearful directions, here to collect as much information as he can about said actress, preferably of the dirt variety.

“If it’ll make you feel better, I will,” he’d said to Mindy when she implored him to continue tailing her. As if he were a friend; as if she weren’t paying him, just like the cobblers and milliners and housekeepers, and everyone else she keeps in steady orbit.

He does feel a bit bad for Mindy. He’s hung around her house long enough to notice that if it weren’t for her checkbook, the place would be conspicuously bereft of company. The divorce proceedings had been sparked because Harv had carried on an affair with Mindy’s closest friend, another socialite named Lee. Since then, some people have come calling, but no one of any real substance.

That sympathy does nothing to cure his boredom, though. He’s very sure actress Nessa Reena hasn’t yet left home for the day. He’s also very sure – he’s learned the hard way – that she’s home in the first place. At exactly 10:30 that morning she had drawn back the scalloped lace curtains on the second floor – perhaps where her bedroom is. But since then there’s been no movement, at least none that he can sense from his position on a bench a few yards away.

Not for the first time, he contemplates simply getting up, fabricating this or that about Nessa Reena’s daily ablutions, and – well, doing anything else. It’s not like Mindy’s watching him, after all, and he’s confident he can come up with five quotidian details and one mildly sordid one to assuage her. Were he any younger, and dare he say it, less – responsible, he might very well have done so. But as it stands, he’s glued to his post, doing his job correctly and thoroughly. His excruciatingly critical sister Taalviel, if she ever bothered expressing it, ought to be proud.

“Hey. Are you Caspian?”

Caspian lowers the tobacco pipe that he had just raised to his mouth and regards the scruffy kid who’s just had the gall to accost him.

“Who’s asking?”

The kid shrugs, holds up a crumpled note. Holds out his other hand, which is empty.

“Yes?” Caspian says, raising an eyebrow.

The kid gestures insistently with his empty hand.

“No. Nope. Hard pass. Not paying you for shyke, kid, especially not for a message I didn’t ask to receive. So you can give me the note or petch right off.”

Though naturally curious to find out what the note contains – having had nothing else to occupy him today, the opportunity to mess with the kid is something he’s not going to pass up.

Were the kid from Sunberth, they might have pushed back, threatened or cajoled. But this is Zeltiva, and they clearly aren’t as prepared to deal with Caspian’s refusal to cooperate. Their shoulders slump, and they scowl as they hand Caspian the note in the end.

“Thanks,” Caspian says, snatching it up smartly. “By the way – how’d you know it was me?”

“She said you’d be the only man in a square mile wearing that much eyeliner.”

Well.

He can’t argue with that.

“Here,” he says, tossing the kid a copper. “Now scram.”

There’s zero sympathy in him as he watches the kid shuffle away. There’s only a small handful of people who would bother sending him a message, and he’s very confident that every one of them would make sure the kid was paid fairly before sending them off on their errand.

When he unrolls the note, he immediately recognizes the slim, slanted scrawl of his sister Taalviel. The message has him sighing in frustration. What she wants him to do – it’ll require him to abandon his watch on Nessa Reena.

Though longing for an end to this exercise, he just feels so close. She can’t stay inside forever; from what he’s seen of her on the stage, and the times he’s tailed her through the streets, she’s exuberant, extroverted, basks in attention and sunlight. Having been at home for so many hours, it seems ever more likely with each passing tick that she’ll finally emerge. And if he leaves now, he might miss that moment, and have nothing to report to Mindy tonight.

The note feels heavy in his hand, the ink unwavering and insistent. If it were anyone other than his sister, he might not bother.

“Oh petch. Fine,” he grumbles to himself under his breath.

He casts a quick look around the other benches, at the modest but neatly trimmed park before him.

“Hey!” he calls at the closest stranger. They don’t seem to be in much of a rush, idling at the perimeter. “Yeah, you! Sorry, I’m in a bit of a bind right now. Can you do me a favor?”


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Curbed and Callow [Kagerou]

Postby Kagerou on April 18th, 2021, 4:45 pm



There are days of hard labor and days of rest and this day is where Kagerou can sit all day inside his shelter after a week of hunting. It might have been a couple of bells past morning or maybe just a half or two, the young hunter doesn’t really care for at the moment, he has to deal with his aching muscles.

He did enjoy his time of hunting in the woods outside of town, being able to practice all that he had learned from his father. Sure a bit of running, shooting and fletching shouldn’t hurt that much but done consecutively for a week, one had to expect a serious backlash.

He grunts, struggling to even lift himself. Abusing one's body surely takes its toll but he didn’t imagine it to be that gruesome. Nevertheless, he is able to finally get on his feet after a long extended time of rest. He would have stayed at rest but boredom started to get its way on his head. As soothing as his soft bed might be, his body ache didn’t help that much to at least put him back to slumber. He wasn’t as lucky either to earn a room with windows to show him some outside view of the city so he would mostly be stuck staring at the walls or ceiling should he decide to stay inside.

Wanting to at least save himself from boredom, he lumbers out of his windowless room, with each step seeming like lifting a ton of lumber. Even a simple stretch causes a prickling pain that further adds to the young hunter’s discomfort. His grumpy face makes most of the few people he passes by, to distance themselves save for the fact that it is rare for them to see him at that time of day. The flight downstairs proves to be even more tormenting, which tempts Kagerou to just go back and lie or idle away in his room.

Being not used to a quiescent life however, the young hunter pressed on the circling steps, battling with pain on his every move till he finally reached the ground floor which mostly serves as a tavern.

“Hello there. What can I serve you today?” a waitress promptly greets him the moment he takes a seat. The young hunter slowly turns his head to see a young lady in her twenties. Having few people around sure earns one a swift service in spite of the young hunter’s gloomy aura.

“Uhh...well...whatever that man over there is eating,” Kagerou responds, pointing over the table in front of him, at the man who is enjoying what seems like a smoked fish.

“Oh a Smoked Fish wrapped in kelp. Anything else?” the young lady delightfully notes in contrast with the young hunter’s dull speech.

“Anything to drink will do and that is all.” the young hunter mumbles in a gruff and dull voice, his head turning to face the table.

“Well, we do have a Kelp Beer for a drink would you like that?” the waitress followed up, now in a rather awkward tone.

“Sure and that is all.”

“A Smoked Fish and a Kelp Beer coming up!” the young lady keeps a lively attitude, perhaps as required of her profession.

Kagerou stares blankly on the empty table as the waitress leaves for his order. It might seem as if he’s in deep contemplation but in reality, his mind is just similarly blank at the moment. His aching muscles surely take much of his concern but other than that, he isn’t particularly fond of anything at all. He is even so lost in blankness that it seems like a flash when the waitress comes back for his meal.

“Here you go sir. Smoked Fish and Kelp beer. Should you have any concern, don’t hesitate to call my attention. Enjoy your meal!” the waitress states in her ever delightful attitude as she serves the food at the table. Kagerou on the other hand, simply bows in a meager attempt of politeness then starts to dig in his meal.

He removes a green leaf-like cover, revealing a fish of yellow-brownish hue as opposed to the usual dark brown and mostly black scales he used to get after roasting one over fire. The appetizing aroma however, lightened up his mood, almost making him forget about his muscle pain. He separates the scale and starts to dig in the white fish meat. Its taste surely comes up as delightful as it smells, bringing back the young hunter’s vigor. The drink on the other hand, gives out a rather unpleasant flavor, at least for his taste. Well, a beer is beer and it’s not like he didn’t taste much worse. Overall, Kagerou seems satisfied with his meal as he calls the waitress this time, in a rather more upbeat manner. He pays for the meal but as he isn’t really used to a tip-giving culture, he leaves with his previous gloomy state transferred to the lady.

Stepping out of the inn proves to be more comforting, as Kagerou bathes in the warmth of the afternoon sun. It surprised him that the bright ball of light is already high up in the horizon, perhaps in its early afternoon time but still way too late to start one’s day.

He doesn’t have any particular reason for going out but as his body is made for the outdoors, at least taking a walk will soothe him better than just pinning himself on his bed. He ambles along the streets, still struggling a bit with pain yet feeling better than earlier.

Aside from the fresh mountain breeze, there is really nothing much to look forward to except that he hasn’t really toured the town since the day he came. It's mostly the inn, the forest and the leather shop all throughout his previous days. He wants to check whatever the town holds but as he seems to have forgotten the map, he will have to stick with the nearby establishments as of the moment.

He is about to walk towards a shop of interest when his attention is caught by a stranger. He looks around and even points a finger to himself as an inquisitive gesture of affirmation. The stranger does confirm the summon and seems to be in need of a particular favor. The stranger in question dresses in a very neat fashion, well save for the weird gold and black eyeliner, in contrast to Kagerou's shaggy outfit. Nevertheless, he walks closer to respond.

“Well, sure what sort of favor do you need?” Though a bit hesitant, he knows that it will serve him best not to disappoint anyone in town lest he place himself in trouble.

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Curbed and Callow [Kagerou]

Postby Caspian on April 19th, 2021, 12:28 pm

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“Oh, thank goodness, I was half afraid you’d keep walking.”

This doesn’t happen often, but the stranger is shorter than Caspian. Significantly shorter. This causes him to hesitate for a moment – he’s already dealt with one child too many today – but as the stranger draws nearer, he’s sure they must be at least in their twenties. Based on their weather-beaten skin alone, they’ve likely been through and done enough that the task he’d like to give them should be fairly straightforward. That kind of wear and tear doesn’t tend to happen overnight.

“Hi,” he says brusquely when the stranger joins him. “I’m Caspian. And you are?” He waits for the stranger to answer, replies quickly with, “Great! Look, I –“ He brandishes the crumpled note without showing it to him. “My sister’s in a spot of trouble and apparently I’m the only one who can handle it. I swear on Laviku’s left barnacle that I’ll only be gone for twenty ticks, half a bell at most. Could you” – he gestures to where he’d been sitting – “kip up on this bench until I get back?” He points at Nessa Reena’s tidy house across the park. “That townhouse, right – no – yes. You see it, right? The one with the shells stuck around the parlor window, the conches on the gates? Let me know if you see anything. Anyone coming or going, or if she so much as opens a window. If you hear any sounds or smell any smells or – you get my drift. Here –“

Digging into his pocket, he hands them a silver miza. “And there’s another one for you when I get back. Alright – I’m off. Thanks muchly. Twenty ticks!”

With that, he dashes away, pointed black shoes clicking against the cobblestones, a peculiar streak in his sharply cut suit of forest green.

-

The business with Taalviel eminently sorted, he returns to the stranger at precisely twenty-five minutes after he’d left him.

“You’re still here,” Caspian exclaims in relief, settling back on the bench next to him, eyes wide, for he’d braced himself for the very likely possibility that they would just take the money and run. Nessa Reena’s house looks precisely as it had all day, and while he’d rather not have failed to witness any developments, the lack of any obvious news is rather disappointing. Still a bit winded and flushed – having just exerted himself an amount that the much more fit stranger beside him would probably find a negligible expense – he dabs absentmindedly at his brow with a gold-trimmed handkerchief. Suddenly, he fishes through his pocket again, holds up the second promised silver miza. “Did I miss anything? Tell me everything. And thank you again.”

As his new companion on the bench explains everything that may or may not have occurred while he’d been away, Caspian nods along, crosses one leg jauntily over the other, the tips of his dramatically pointed shoes gleaming in the sunlight. When they finish, he pauses thoughtfully before saying, “Well, alright. By the way – you’re not from around here, are you? What do you do for a living? Let me guess. Not a metalworker. I think no matter how careful they are, they tend to be rather burned. And not a sailor, though I think you must find yourself outside a fair bit more than I…”

He trails off to let them share as much as they’re willing.

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Curbed and Callow [Kagerou]

Postby Kagerou on April 24th, 2021, 10:31 pm



As he walks closer, he notices that the man is significantly taller than him. The stranger's confident posture caused a bit of intimidation for the young hunter nevertheless, he continues forward till he comes close enough and the stranger introduces himself as Caspian.

“Oh hey I’m Kagerou.” the young hunter responds as he reaches out his hand for a handshake but his greeting is met with a crumpled note being waved at him. Justifiably enough, the man seems to be in haste, save for the fact that he stands taller than Kagerou hence the young hunter just awkwardly retracts his hand back.

Along with the brandished note, Caspian promptly narrates the situation which seems too fast for the young hunter to catch up. It is quite clear though that the plea just requires Kagerou to guard the man’s post as he leaves for whatever errand he needs to attend to. Moreover, Caspian specifically ordered to keep an eye on a certain townhouse just before the bench that Kagerou was asked to take his post at.

The young hunter meant to ask for more details but as he was about to speak, the man scurried away in haste, leaving Kagerou clueless of what specifically it is that the young hunter needs to find out. Left with no other choice, the young hunter sat on the bench and pinned his eye at the townhouse.

“Alright, take a seat here and see whatever happens in that house. Hmmm and he did mention a she, could it be…” Kagerou ponders but not really wanting to get into someone else’s business, he simply brushes it off. “Nah just sit, look at the town house, see what happens.” he murmurs as he folds his arms and carefully crosses his hurting right leg.

He pins his eyes at the building before him with shells stuck out around the parlor window as Caspian instructed. Having trained himself in hunting, waiting for a prey to appear, the job wouldn’t have been that arduous however, his still fatigued mind doesn’t seem to help him concentrate. Nevertheless, he is able to keep watch however, the longer the inactivity at the building, the more it is susceptible for the young hunter’s mind to wander away.

True enough, after merely fifteen minutes of idly watching the townhouse, Kagerou’s mind does drift away towards the forest where he has hunted for the past few days. Vision of the trees, the gentle stream and the lulling sound of the birds all seems to overwrite the young hunter’s perception of reality. As absurd as it might seem, even the majestic deers passes by his vision like a sort of dreamy apparition in front of him.

After a couple more minutes, Kagerou was pulled back into reality by the familiar voice of a man who seems to be surprised that he is still sitting at the bench. He looks to see Caspian sitting just beside him. The man then proceeds to implore the result of his watch.

“Oh yeah about that...the townhouse...err that townhouse of course. A curtain...I saw it errr...being briefly opened and then closed again. And errr...I guess the door remains intact...I mean it hasn’t been opened has it.” He looks and is relieved to see that the door does appear to still be closed. “And yeah I guess that all there is to it.” he continues, in a stuttered speech which obviously disappointed Caspian.

The man however, fishes out another coin and hands it to Kagerou which seems to be a gesture of gratitude. The young hunter lets off a sigh of relief, when the man proceeds on inquiring about himself instead.

“Oh yes, I just arrived here a couple of days ago from Syliras. And true, I am not a metalworker nor a sailor. I errr…just started to do hunting in the forest outside of town.” Kagerou responds, not very confidently but hopefully enough to quench the man’s curiosity. He simply stares at Caspian, a few seconds of awkward silence passing between them.


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Curbed and Callow [Kagerou]

Postby Caspian on April 25th, 2021, 12:35 pm

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“A hunter? You must be awfully useful,” Caspian says warmly. “And brave. I’ve heard there’s all kinds of horrors lurking out in the Zastoka. What’s your biggest catch to date?”

There’s a lot to be envied there, but as nice of an idea as it is, to self-sustain and fend for oneself – he’ll take his cities and all their pavements, thank you very much, and admire someone like Kagerou from afar.

“Syliras, hmm?” Caspian glances Kagerou up and down again, takes in his well-worn exterior. He can’t quite put his finger on why, but that’s not necessarily what he might have guessed. “What made you leave? And what do you think you like better, there or here? I’ve lived in…“ He hesitates. It’s almost like knowing how dangerous it is to mention Avanthal makes him more likely to trip up and admit it. “Quite a few places. This one’s alright, but –“

There’s sudden movement on the other side of the park. Instinctively, Caspian’s eyes jerk up, but – no. It’s not Nessa Reena, but one of her neighbors, exiting the townhouse to the right. A child darts out from around her, enthusiastically waving what looks like a butterfly net, but stumbles to his knees just several steps in. The neighbor, presumably the child’s mother, hurriedly eases a baby in a stroller out the front door, and kneels to console the one who’d fallen.

Perhaps if he can’t get eyes on Nessa Reena directly – he ought to chat up the neighbors, see what he can find? Surely someone’s up for a touch of hot gossip, especially with a local celebrity just next door. And if not gossip, perhaps Nessa Reena’s simply invited any one of them over for tea. Even the sundry details would be better than what he has now, which is a huge whopping pile of nada and zilch.

“My stepfather is from Syliras,” he continues conversationally with Kagerou, as he mulls over the idea of approaching the neighbor. “He wanted to be a Knight, but I guess a lot of kids do. He’s definitely burly enough to swing a claymore, but that whole living uprightly, unbreachable code of honor thing – not really his style. So he went to Sunberth, traveled a while, ended up in Sunberth again, and I think for good. I guess you could call him a mercenary, though” – he hummed thoughtfully to himself – “my sister tells me he recently swore in as a Daggerhand. At – petch, how old is he now? Forty-whatever? Bit late in life, I think. Dunno why he bothered. I suppose there’s something to be said for relative stability, because when I was growing up jobs came and went or didn’t show up at all. Have you been down around that way? Sunberth, I mean? I like to think that as a hunter, it might be easier for you to come and go as you please.”

The neighbor’s circling the park now, pushing the stroller at leisurely place. The older child darts back and forth, waving the net wildly after gnats with a wide grin. They’re still several yards away, giving him a few more moments to decide whether or not to approach her.


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Curbed and Callow [Kagerou]

Postby Kagerou on April 25th, 2021, 8:36 pm



“Well, not really I’m still starting to learn stuff about hunting. And yeah I heard about that mad scientist stuff so well, I try not to stay in the woods so late. And mostly, I hunt deers so yeah it’s all just deers,” Kagerou responds as modestly as he can, though a bit pumped up at Caspian’s compliment. He’s a man after all and nothing boosts a man’s pride more than a compliment at his skills.

He is taken aback however, upon the man’s curious gesture about Syliras. He remembers to really study about the city if he wants to continue pretending that he hailed from it. He is about to try and explain further but Caspian continues with another query. It however, looks more like the man is mulling over something. Kagerou listens, as Caspian narrates a brief detail about himself but hesitation seems to prevent the man from continuing his speech. A few moments of silence leaves the young hunter hanging as the man’s attention seems to be caught by something else.

“Oh yeah that. I heard...err...I mean it’s quite crowded in Syliras. And well, I’m not really that comfortable with having that much people around so I tried to find some other place to live a more peaceful life, ended up here and...yeah I agree that this place is alright indeed,” he chuckles awkwardly unsure if Caspian is able to catch his response.

Nevertheless, the man continues with an introduction of his father who appears to be from Syliras. This placed the young hunter in an even more nervous state similar to when he conversed with the customs officer. ‘Why do these people always know someone from Syliras.’ he thought, as he barely listens to Caspian’s account.

His attention however, is fully caught again upon Caspian’s mention of Sunberth and the Daggerhand. A long deep anger silently burns from inside him, with the memories of the death of his parents stirring up the pain from his memory. He holds his right hand tightly in a fist, controlling himself lest Caspian learns of his fury.

“Oh eh. I’ve only heard of Sunberth from errr...a couple of gossips here and there. They say it’s a very dangerous place. That’s what I at least heard,” he lies, a bit surprised of Caspian’s sudden query. “Well I might try to visit it one day,” he mentions but in reality, he does intend to, in fulfillment of his vengeance.

“So this...father of yours. Do you happen to be looking for him or something? Well you did mention that he went away and didn’t show up at all. Unless of course I heard you wrong,” again he chuckles, aiming to hide the rage that his memories of Sunberth have awakened.

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Curbed and Callow [Kagerou]

Postby Caspian on April 26th, 2021, 12:20 pm

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“A more peaceful life?” Caspian echoes. “Funny, I would have thought that of Syliras. I guess one could say you do have that here – though there’s that recurring famine to contend with. But everything, I suppose, is relative. Especially when a hunter might do very well fending for himself.” There’s a funny edge to Kagerou’s voice that had come on when they breached the topic, and had Caspian’s primary source of recreation for the past decade not been keenly cottoning on to the vocal and behavioral tics of the people around him, he may not have noticed. But it’s too early to make any reasonable deductions; still rather likely that Kagerou may just be rattled at having been flagged down by a stranger in the middle of the afternoon.

That right hand, though, now looks ready to throttle.

That’s worth another look.

“If this might put you more at ease – though, take this as you will – I should tell you I’m a private investigator,” Caspian goes on, yet wondering if perhaps Kagerou is just not as versed in idle chatter. The hunter probably spends as much time out in the wild as Caspian does readying himself to bandy about city streets. “And not just stalking some poor woman, with devious designs. All I’m here to do is find out how she gets on with her day to day. I’m as hands off as possible, if it can be managed.”

Speaking of hands –

The neighbor with the stroller is only a few feet away from them now, fussing over the older child, who had decided to drag up clumps of turf and smear their muddy palms across the front of their mother’s skirts. She’s caught him just in time, doing her utmost to get the worst of it off with a lace handkerchief. Is it more or less threatening if he approaches her while she’s got herself in a snag?

Sometimes overthinking is what does him in. As he’s ready to spring to his feet, he takes mental stock of the consequences.

The most palatable one, though unpleasant, would be if she simply looks at him askance and wheels along without response.

The more complicated effect would be her placating him, and then reporting later to Nessa Reena that she’s been asked after.

Would Nessa Reena realize he’s not just a fan mooning after a celebrity? Does she even know Harv is technically still married to Mindy, Caspian’s employer? He wonders if she's aware that the divorce proceedings are underway – or if Harv is lying about all of it, and playing himself off as a bachelor.

The idea of blowing his cover is too much. The neighbor passes directly in front of them, pushes the stroller on.

He sighs and taps his foot idly, refocusing his attention on his conversation with Kagerou.

“Dangerous isn’t even the half of it,” he says. “But something about growing up there – you kind of forget, after a while. I don’t mean to say you slip up and aren’t on guard. When you’re in the thick of it, it seems like that sort of environment is just the way all things are. How they should work. And then you go somewhere else, like Ravok, or Zeltiva, or even the Outpost, and there’s order and light and institution, and justice via bureaucratic consequence. And as nice as it’s been not having to live on a knife’s edge every waking moment, I…” He trails off. “This might sound odd to you, being from Sylira, with its knights and high walls and all. But I don’t think being pressed down by so many rules suits me, no matter the benefits I might get in return.”

At Kagerou’s question regarding his stepfather, Caspian clarifies, “Ah, all that traveling, at least the bulk of it, was done before he got saddled with me.” As if he hadn’t been kidnapped and dragged out of Taldera, and into Sylira against his will. “He raised me in Sunberth from age 12. Took me until I was 21 to leave. I cut off all contact, these last seven years, which is why I can only speculate about his being a Daggerhand. And those seven years - feels like it’s been both a lifetime, and no time at all. Can’t hear my accent at all now, can you? Was a right piece of work to get through it.”

One thing Kagerou had mentioned had caught his interest. And again, maybe it’s just that Kagerou doesn’t socialize as much as he does, but the wording had been a touch odd. “Visit Sunberth? And what would you do there?” The concept of visiting a place that’s the romantic equivalent of a bottomless pit, as if going on holiday, seems a bit unusual.

And then there’s Kagerou’s fist, still tightly balled up at his side.

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Curbed and Callow [Kagerou]

Postby Kagerou on May 4th, 2021, 3:57 pm



They say time can heal the wounds of the past, but can it mend the scars that are left behind? The longer the conversation drags, the harder it seems for the hunter to hold back his sudden rage. He didn’t even catch Caspian’s mention of the famine in Zeltiva nor the latter’s momentary loss of focus in their conversation.

His attention however, is pulled back upon his companion’s introduction of being a private investigator. It isn’t about the word, but simply some sort of timing. After all, he shouldn’t be lingering that much in his own thoughts when he’s speaking with someone, should he?

“Oh I see. So you’re kind of spying on someone here then?” Kagerou leaned closer to ask Caspian in a whisper then turned to the house where the latter’s attention is currently on.

He is suddenly taken aback, jerking backward when his companion’s focus suddenly goes back at him.

Caspian does have plenty to say about Sunberth and even if he tries to evade certain topics like on the way things are about the place, Kagerou can understand what he means. Of the rotten culture, of seemingly being a free town but being clenched by the throat of those in power, but of course the young hunter can’t simply nod about them can he? Considering he does introduce himself as being from Syliras.

One can notice however, that this time, Kagerou is indeed listening intently at Caspian’s story. It’s as if he is dragged by a plot that greatly caught his interest. How can he not be? The one beside him is someone who could have lived the same way as he did. For such a long time, he didn’t think he could meet someone from his old town. The feeling of nostalgia rushed in him, tingling every nerve in his body. Somehow, his rage cooled down and some strange feeling of familiarity took its place in him.

Again, he is taken aback upon Caspian’s query about his earlier statement. He did mention a visit to Sunberth and for him it's simply a straightforward response but there’s something on Caspian’s tone that made him think he spoke something wrong.

“Well...you did say that it's easier for me to come and go as I please being a hunter?” He responds, or asks in confusion. Unintentionally, his lips ended in an awkward grin, as if a child caught in a mischievous act.



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Curbed and Callow [Kagerou]

Postby Caspian on May 8th, 2021, 10:23 pm

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So you’re kind of spying on someone here then?

“Yes, but let’s keep that mum to ourselves, shall we?” Caspian replies with a snort. “It’s nothing major. My employer just wants to find out what’s going on with her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s new girlfriend. Frankly, I’m inclined to say the answer is nothing at all, because the new girlfriend seems to be rather a delight. And a very good actress, from what I’ve seen over the amphitheater walls. But that probably won’t go over well with my employer, you know? Can you imagine? I don’t know when or exactly why the marriage went sideways, and I think she – my employer, that is – never had many friends to begin with. Friends of substance, that is, who weren’t just other wives of her ex-husband’s friends. So you lose the husband, you lose the circle. I think she’s going a touch overboard, having me stalk to the poor girl, but – I do feel a bit sorry for her. Shut up in that great house with no one to talk to.”

Caspian notices, rather deftly, that Kagerou had dodged the question as to what he intends to do in Sunberth. The funny smile on Kagerou’s face cements his suspicion. “You’re not someone who gets off on danger, are you?” he continues teasingly. “Why else be a hunter, I suppose?” He frowns thoughtfully at Kagerou, wonders distantly if Nessa Reena perhaps has a maid or two who might be followed and questioned instead. Surely one of those maids would be sent out of the townhouse at some point, to fetch cigarettes or the paper or the actress’ rouge. Does Nessa Reena have a chef? A housekeeper, at least, who knows how to put on a pot of decent stew? He for some reason has a hard time picturing the young woman cooking for herself – and not to knock any potential ineptitude or disinterest in the kitchen, but he can imagine that a night owl such as herself might simply fall into bed at the end of a very long evening. Which would leave the daily essentials – cooking, cleaning, pressing her wardrobe - in disarray and neglect, and in need of professional assistance. Said assistance which he might be better off tracking, rather than the target herself, or the neighbors.

“Do me a favor, Kagerou,” he says, fishing his pipe out of his pocket and lighting it. “My sister, when I ran off to meet her just now, reminded me that today is my birthday. I admit it’s not very exciting at all, turning 28. Not so much a milestone as an ‘ah, well, still here, are you?’. By Sunberth’s standards for life expectancy, I’m practically a senior citizen, and I’ve got all my fingers intact. All this to say that today is my birthday, and for once I don’t want nor expect much – except for you to perhaps come clean about what it is about Sunberth that’s got your hand in a knot. I promise you I’m in no position to judge, whatever it may be.”

Frankly, Caspian has no idea what Kagerou might say, what he might be hiding – whether the hunter’s holding back anything in the first place. Whether that anything is, to begin with, worthwhile. But something about Kagerou intrigues him, not just his occupation – verily opposite Caspian’s own – but his earnest willingness to have been his companion on this stray afternoon.


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Curbed and Callow [Kagerou]

Postby Kagerou on May 13th, 2021, 6:40 pm

Kagerou wrote:


Kagerou listens as Caspian explains his current task, but the length of the narrative somehow makes the young hunter lost somewhere in the middle. Nevertheless, he stares at the man awkwardly in pretense of absorbing whatever details the man is describing. It is not that he is uninterested, but perhaps the discomfort from his still aching body prevents him from focusing on Caspian’s speech. Save for the fact that he is playing a dangerous game of pretense with the stranger. For a moment, he thinks of just standing up and leaving, but he can’t be discourteous of the man that just went out of his way to speak with him, in spite of the fact that Caspian has another task in hand. And somehow, he might be hoping to learn more about Sunberth. But what is it to learn? Perhaps of the Daggerhand?

The spotlight however, goes back at him upon another inquiry by Caspian. It seems his dangerous pretense can’t work well with the stranger. The man is after all, a private investigator, as he mentioned himself. Though the man’s phrase of him 'not getting off on danger' does seem nothing more like a commendation of his brazen attitude, but the man’s tone implies a deeper intent.

“Well, there are dangers that we face and some that we’d rather evade right?” Kagerou responds, as casually as he can. His eyes roll to the side, evading contact with Caspian in spite of the fact that the man’s attention is still elsewhere. The emptiness of his speech denotes a resolve that is not his, and even if it is, he obviously doesn’t mean it at that time. Those words merely serve as a scapegoat from whatever topic, Caspian is bringing out.

The man however, seems to be relentless in his probing. And this time, the mention of his special day somewhat puts Kagerou in a bind. It’s not everyday that someone reveals something as personal as that to the young hunter but he can’t just open up to a stranger he just met can he? He is prepared to spit out another alibi until the man mentions his clenched hand. Caspian does need something out from him. Kagerou can continue to lie but he realizes, not from someone who can notice details as simple as that.

“Well then, I’d also be frank. I respect that today’s your birthday and I do appreciate you mentioning that. But there are things that I’d rather keep to myself for now. I can, at least. tell you this. I am from Sunberth, not from Syliras. Born and raised from that rotten city.” He pauses for a moment, allowing his breath to somehow cool him down. “And I think you’re mistaken when you said that I’m not one to run off from danger...because I ran once. And with that, I cowardly left my family behind. I’d still be in Sunberth if I am that brave right?” He continues, his head down bowed in gloom. Again he pauses, a bit longer this time.

“Oh well, I guess I can’t waste more of your time.” Kagerou finally decides to stand up to let the man focus on his work. Or is he running away again? “I’ll see you around… if fate still permits it,” he continues as he steps away from the bench. A sudden gust of wind brushes off his face, perhaps a signal to go back? But nah, nature can’t know what’s going on can it? “And oh! Happy Birthday!” he exclaims, as he waves his hand with his back still at the stranger.
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