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I Want Much More Than This Provincial Life?

Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

Posts: 564
Threads: 83
Joined: Jul 2017
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#1
Website Find
Thread Status: Closed
Players involved: Kila, Kokopuffs
Characters involved: Fallow (Kila), Lijuan (Kokopuffs)
Setting: Sodanryn Forest and the surrounding areas
Time: Current, early morning
Weather: Partly cloudy with a mild breeze

The gentle light of the early morning sun streamed through the canopy of the Sodanryn forest, casting shifting, dappled shadows across the dense underbrush. Fallow navigated the deer trails with surprising ease--he was a deer kelahati, after all, but more importantly this forest had been his home for as long as he could remember. He knew these secret trails like the back of his slender, pale hands.

It had been a startling turn of events that had proven to be the catalyst for this change. Meeting Lijuan had gotten the young man curious about life outside his forest, and after many weeks spent with the kirin he had decided to take the very, very brave step of venturing outside his forest home (though first they'd have to leave the deep heart of the ancient forest).

And that brought him to where he currently was, traipsing about deer trails and heading southwest towards civilization. Redstone Keep. It seemed like a good first step on his venture outside Sodanryn, being a mountain haven for humans, dwarves, and kelahati alike. He was quite certain he'd picked a good place to see, at least from the map's point of view. He'd seen the mountains on his occasional trips to the forest outskirts, and this was his chance to see them up close and personal. And most importantly: he wasn't alone.

Lijuan was a comforting presence for the man. Her boldness gave him a sense of safety, like they could face any challenge they came across. He took a moment to pat the bow strapped to his side, a small smile with a whisper of confidence playing on his alabaster features. This was short-lived as his silent contemplation was broken by the clattering sound of his antlers striking a low hanging branch, which sent his head whirling in the opposite direction.

"Gaack!" he cried, staggering back a few steps, working quickly to right himself. "S-sorry, sorry. I didn't notice that branch..." As if the branch would be a problem for Lijuan, who was much shorter than Fallow's tall, lanky frame. Color flushed to his cheeks as he ducked below the branch, taking extra care that his rack was well out of the way. He had long since shed his velvet, revealing the beautiful dark navy of his antlers that had been growing beneath greyish velvet.

As he continued down the trail, he quietly added, "We'll reach Sodanryn's outskirts by nightfall, I should think..."

KokoPuffs Offline

Senior Member

Posts: 256
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Joined: Jul 2017
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#2
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Lijuan

It was strange for her really, this had probably been the first time she had EVER spend more than a day around someone; she couldn't even wrap her mind around why either. Fallow was such a mild mannered, gentle, and very timid guy in the first place. She could hardly see him being able to kill an insect, let alone defend himself if he very well needed to. Perhaps it was it calming presence she found enjoyable. No, that was just ridiculous to even think about!

Jijuan folded her arms over her chest, smaller legs fallowing behind his own tall, slender ones. He did have a stride about him, even if that as well was gentle. Hell, he could be an intimidating thing just with his height alone! He wouldn't even need to actually be hard, just act the part and others would easily run.

Beings his size could make almost anything run in fear, but damn was it funny to watch his antlers get stuck in branches. Which, unfortunately for him seemed to happen, causing a soft snort of laughter of the girl behind him. "It's a wonder you can ever get around in the trees," she spoke up, a hint of amusement on her tongue, "get your mind back where you are going, fuck, otherwise you are going to be getting stuck more."

It was probably the truth, the day she'd met him he'd gotten himself stuck in the tree branches. Lijuan had to pretty much climb him like a tree JUST to cut them loose; what a day that was.

The girl continued to follow him through the trial, he did have the map that was; and if it was her they'd end up wherever really. "Nightfall huh? Hmm, guessing we can't get any faster than this," she shrugged her shoulders lightly, "will you want to travel after dark though? Or are we going to settle down for the night? I suppose I'm fine either way."


Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

Posts: 564
Threads: 83
Joined: Jul 2017
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#3
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The color on Fallow's cheeks deepened. "B-believer it or not, I... I'm actually q-quite graceful. I think i-it's just when I have an audience th-that I get a bit, um, nervous?" He let his hair hang in his face and was quick to turn away from Lijuan to hide his embarrassment. He moved a branch aside so as to slip past it. He mulled over the woman's words as he continued to slip through the undergrowth. The secret trail was narrow and winding--almost invisible in some places. And yet he seemed able to follow it with ease, as though he were in the minds of the very deer who created this path in the wood.

"We could travel through the night, but the question is: would it be wise?" Fallow replied, after several silent moments. "O-once we leave the forest I don't r-really know what to expect..." He trailed off as he ran a hand through his hair to tuck a chunk of it behind his ear. "It might be best to rest up at the forest's edge b-before we carry on?" He spoke with an air of uncertainty, and it wasn't unwarranted. The forest had been his entire life. Hell, even before living there he lived near it! And now he was leaving it behind, and the thought filled him with a certain degree of anxiety, one that was clearly written on his face.

He continued, "I mean, w-we'll be crossing the plains next, a-and that'll probably be a few days? Then we'll need to climb the mountains, which I-I've never done before and... and..." And why am I stalling? he thought.

Maybe it was the fire under Lijuan. She was eager to get places, he was more focused on the journey. Maybe it was time he voiced that? But the woman was very brash, and the last thing he wanted was more of her scorn, especially after knocking his antlers against a branch so recently and making a colossal fool of himself. Again.

And yet his mouth moved on its own.

"I... I don't think there's anything wrong with taking our time and enjoying the journey..." Fallow slowed to a stop as he spoke his mind, heart pounding in his throat. "I'm not... not the worldly traveler you are, and... and I want to enjoy seeing these new things."

KokoPuffs Offline

Senior Member

Posts: 256
Threads: 24
Joined: Jul 2017
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#4
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Lijuan

"Really? I'll believe that once I actually see it-" she paused mid sentence, only to shrug her slender shoulders, "pffft, really? Is that the excuse for it? Do you need to to turn around and shut my eyes then?" The small woman was joking about that, but in all honesty it was fun to watch him squirm in his own skin like that. That pale face was more than easy to turn into a shade of red. Probably the most easily embarrassed being she'd possibly met so far, like a fragile piece of glass; which could easily break under the slightest pressure.

"Hmm?" her ears flicked in response, "I've traveled plenty of nights on my own, not as scary as it seems. I'm rather certain we won't get attacked by were-beasts and the like, if that is what you're so worried about?" Lijuan herself traveled just to travel, it was strange for her to stay in one place longer than a night; which was why this whole thing was just as strange to her as it was for him.

Someone who didn't have a place to call home, and one who had never traveled outside of his home; the place he found himself most comfortable and safe. What kind of life was that though? Not much of one if you asked her, but then again she didn't know what it was like to have a solid home. Fallow knew, he had that, even if he lived in a cabin in the woods alone. Perhaps loneliness was something they could each hold in common.

Her ears suddenly perked up, his words seemed more confident if she could really call them that. Yet, here he was, telling her what it was he wanted to be doing; instead of the other way around. She was.. surprised, her eyes blown wide as she looked at him; staring almost at the back of his head.

"Well I'll be damned, about time you grew a fucking pair," she grinned to herself, "fine, if that's what you want then whatever. We can 'enjoy the journey' since it's your first time out. BUT.. can't do that if you don't move your slow ass." Lijuan placed her hands onto his lower back just before gently starting to push him along. He'd been in this forest forever if she could remember right, so he already knew what everything was like in this area. Now to get him OUT of it.

Maybe she was rubbing off on him a little a bit, but she could respect him more if he showed he could stand up to her more often. There would be plenty time he would need to. She was an obstinate force, knowing what she wanted and wasn't afraid to let anyone know. Hell, she'd get into a fight if needed; a little blood never scared her away.


Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

Posts: 564
Threads: 83
Joined: Jul 2017
Reputation: 1
#5
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If Fallow could have shriveled up into a raisin, he would have. In fact, he wanted to. Very, very badly.

"I-I have a pair!" he cried out in surprised retaliation. "I've always h-had them! I-I've wrestle with... with bears, you know!" He was allowing himself to be pushed along by her, playing along and leaving back almost dramatically. "D-don't you know i-it's rude to question a man's, um, manhood?" He leaned back more, and found himself smiling? Yes, Fallow was smiling! In fact, he was having a rather good time testing exactly how strong Lijuan was under his almost dead weight. Though the kirin likely couldn't see his smile, or the mischievous twinkle in his eyes, it radiated off of him as an idea sprang to life in his head.

Fallow straightened up and came to a dead stop, refusing to move even as Lijuan's hands pressed against his lower back.

If she wanted to go faster, they'd go faster.

The man took a leap forward and shifted forms in midair, and when he landed he was no longer a man, but a beautiful buck. He stood among the trees, coat a glossy russet brown, with antlers large enough to rival the king of the forest. He stared at Lijuan with thoughtful black eyes for just a moment before his white backed tail shot straight up and he was off running along the deer trail, his gait alternating between a gallop and a prance.

"Come on, Lijuan!" he called, rounding a bend in the trees, "Or I'll leave you behind!" Already his voice was growing distant. It seemed he hadn't been exaggerating when he'd said he'd known the trails--he was traveling down them at a dizzying speed.

The trees blurred around him, and Fallow threw his head back as he laughed heartily. He moved through the underbrush, graceful long legs skimming over bushes and bounding effortlessly over rocks. He didn't know how long he ran, fueled by his heart thundering in his chest and the blood rushing through him, but eventually he was compelled to stop at a rocky outcrop between thinning trees. He had run close to the edge of the forest, but had Lijuan kept up with his pace? Or had he lost her along the almost invisible deer trails?

Oh gods, if he left her behind she would be so mad.

Fallow placed a tentative hoof forward and called out, "Lijuan!"

KokoPuffs Offline

Senior Member

Posts: 256
Threads: 24
Joined: Jul 2017
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#6
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Lijuan

"It's rude to question a man's manhood you say? Well damn, guess that makes me kind of rude doesn't it~" the small woman shook her head the more she tried to press him on, "you know as well as I do this isn't going to be the first time for that. So stop being a big baby about it. Besides, wresting bears doesn't' count if you're doing it for fun." Gods was he getting a bit heavier to push along now? Yeah, he was.. what the hell was up with this? If she could have seen the look on his face or that twinkle in his eye she might have just kicked him; quite good for him that she could not see such.

Damn it really was getting annoying trying to push him along, like this was all on purpose; and it was. Once he straightened and stopped though, she couldn't even make the giant man budge from his spot. "The the hell are you do-" before she could even finish was she wanted to say; Fallow had leapt away from her, causing the Kirin to just about fall forward onto the ground.

She'd caught herself just in time to see the deer man shift into, well, a deer; large antlers held up high and body a magnificent brown. Was she impressed? No, in fact she was more than annoyed at the change that just happened, let along almost hitting the ground below her very feet at that. Then, with no word, he just TOOK OFF! "The hell, Fallow?!" she called out for him, though his voice was getting more distance the more he went off.

Alright, so this was the game he was gonna play huh? Well lucky for him she could do that same exact thing! Her feet started with a slow walk which eventually started to gain speed with each step; and just before one would know she had shifted into her true form.

Golden scales shimmered in the light of the sun passing through the trees; claws gripped at the earth while hooves helped her move forward. Lijuan had no idea where exactly he went, but she followed a keen sense of smell to track where he'd been and gone.

Her speed had not been as fast as he might have gone, she didn't know where exactly she was going; only trying to follow along the almost hidden path mixed along with the scent that kept her going. Eventually, however, she caught up to him, made ever more at how close she could smell him. His voice, however, certainly made it all the more knowing where he was.

Lijuan prowled now, the sound in his voice was worried, as it should be. Her body dipped down in the brush, slow, tentive, and stalking around to be sure hidden from his sight. Once she was sure he didn't notice her, she quickly jumped from the brush and tackled him to the ground.

"Was that really necessary?" Lijuan graced her tone with a low grown in the back of her throat.


Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

Posts: 564
Threads: 83
Joined: Jul 2017
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#7
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It was fight or flight. That's what Fallow's deer brain--and his normal brain, for that matter-- was screaming.

And unfortunately for Lijuan, he chose fight.

In an instant the man shifted from deer to bear beneath the kirin. He was nearly twice the size of a draft horse, and was just a hulking mass of brown fur and long dark claws. Heart pounding, he let out an immense roar in her face and swung with a mighty paw. He connected with scaled flesh and sent the kirin flying off him with comparative ease, which was unsurprising, given his massive size.

The bear quickly rolled to his feet, black eyes fixed on Lijuan, and his expression quickly changed to one of abject horror (though he supposed to an onlooker it may as well have looked like a bear opening its mouth in a silent roar). Fallow hurried towards her, appearing as nothing more than a streak of glossy brown fur that changed into the familiar pale tone of his skin. "Oh my gods!" he called, kneeling down at her side. "I'm s-so s-sorry! Y-you sc-scared me and I-I-I just-- Oh gods, I'm s-sorry!" Fallow held out trembling hands as if to touch her, but they never quite came close enough to Lijuan to actually make contact.

"Ooooh no oh no oh no she's going to kill me!" He ran his hands through his hair. "A-and I'd d-deserve it! GODS, FALLOW, you're a m-man, not an animal!" He rose to his feet and began pacing frantically, as if the motion would tell him what to do. What if he broke her ribs? What if he killed her!? Oh GODS he didn't know how to take care of a body! Buring an animal was nothing like burying a person! There was no way she'd be dead from just a swat, right? Sh-she was tough as nails!

"Lijuan? A-are you o-okay?"

Gods that was a stupid question, and the regret he felt after asking it was palpable.

KokoPuffs Offline

Senior Member

Posts: 256
Threads: 24
Joined: Jul 2017
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#8
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Lijuan

The sudden change in his from seemed to happen quicker than she could actually process; even the sudden swip of the large paw was more than she was expecting out of him. She have stumbled a bit over his growing mass just before then, he eyes wide in shock and almost horror at it. At the impact, she had let out a loud, painful sound of her own.

Lijuan's much smaller body, rolled a couple times across the hard ground, before skidding to a slow stop. To say she was dazed was certainly an understatement, she was completely unaware of her environment for a moment; the wind knocked from her very lungs as she laid there. Breath of shallow for a bit longer than it needed to be until it had started to even out; into something more deep and drawn out.

Eventually her mind came back to her, just in time to hear Fallow shouted out to her. Strings upon strings of apologies lacing his words, as if that was really something that would calm the rage soon to come. The problem though, was it didn't come right away, but her head slowly raised from the ground.

Lijuan needed to look upon her body, a large pair of claws like his would probably cause more damage than intended. With large, blue eyes, she scanned the area of her body he'd swiped her at; it wasn't any surprised when she saw blood seeping from a long cut at her side. It wasn't deep enough to worry, but enough for her to gain that fiery rage he surely would know about at this point.

A deep, guttural grown escaped her mouth, her own body suddenly shift into her humanoid form; and she was on Fallow in a matter of seconds! Small hands grabbed his shirt at the collar, bringing him down to her height with as much force she needed. "Am I Okay!? AM I FUCKING OK?!" she shouted in his face, large fangs bared towards him, "how in the Gods can you even think I'd be ok after that, huh? I'm bleeding because of you!"

The Kirin woman pushed him back roughly, not caring if he ended up on the ground or not; either way she was sure to stay as close as she needed. "How about I give you want you gave me, would you like that?" a hand flew out and gripped his jaw, claws gently sinking into soft flesh, "paint that porcelain skin of yours red...."

Would she actually do it? Honestly, it wasn't something she'd think of doing, not with someone she'd actually kind of enjoyed the company of. The wound could have been much worse if it wasn't for the scales that covered quite a bit of her body; though the rest was covered in a soft fur. It wasn't the point, he could have broken something. Maybe something was broken even now! Perhaps she was just ignoring the pain, or even numbed by the anger in her chest.

There would be no way to know, for now in the least. The only thing certain was how Fallow would feel about it, being as soft a man he was; never seemed liked the kind to hurt a fly.


Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

Posts: 564
Threads: 83
Joined: Jul 2017
Reputation: 1
#9
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He seemed to relax a bit as her head, but then came the blood. He'd made her bleed, and his head began to swim. Oh no. Ooooooh no. It was okay, though! He could fix this! With the right herbs he could make a salve and--suddenly Fallow was pulled down by the collar of his shirt, eye to eye with the very, very angry Lijuan. And she had every right to be. Then came the yelling. The very much deserved yelling. "I-I know. Y-you have every r-right to be m-mad," he stammered, voice shaking at the sight of her fangs. Very sharp fangs. "I-I know of a-a p-poultice to fix... fix you r-right up. I just n-need to--"

WHAM

Fallow felt her hands on his chest and barely even had time to process what was happening before he found himself on the ground, legs splayed out like an awkward newborn deer. This had never happened before. His eyes were wide, head spinning, heart pounding faster than he'd ever felt it before. And he was terrified. It had been an accident! She deserved to be angry, but that didn't mean she could push him around, right? Was... was this what people were like? Was this what it would be like to be outside?

When Lijuan's hand closed around his jaw, Fallow was keenly aware of her claws sinking into his skin. His mind went blank, yellow eyes wide with fear at her threat. What could he do? Nothing. She was going to hurt him and he probably deserved it. Right?

Right...?


He just stared at her, unable to speak, breath caught in his chest, a hot lump bobbing in his throat as his words tried to push past to no avail. His eyes began to water, both in fear and from his unblinking glassy stare. She was going to hurt him. Had she already drawn blood? He was all too aware of that death grip on her jaw. What had she said? Paint that porcelain skin red? Oh gods was he bleeding? It felt like he was bleeding. He was prooobably bleeding. But he couldn't bring himself to pull away. All he could do was continue to stare into Lijuan's cold blue eyes and tremble, too afraid to move.

His mouth opened, but no sound came out, no matter how he moved it or tried to speak; nothing.

KokoPuffs Offline

Senior Member

Posts: 256
Threads: 24
Joined: Jul 2017
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#10
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Lijuan

The grip she had upon his jaw only tighter the more she gazed down into his eyes; her pupils dilated into small slits in her irises. The fear she saw in his eyes was one she'd probably seen before, survival in the world always brought such an expression to one's own face. It was like facing one's own mortality, and for creature's not gifted with immortality it was a looming aspect for them all. Yet, that was he had practically done, right? Defended himself when he thought he was in danger, doing what his mind told him was right?

Lijuan eventually felt his trembling in her grasp, the amount of fear he was feeling could not only be seen, but felt as well. This was someone who was her friend, an actual person she didn't mind having around her; and yet here she was treating him as if someone she might give no shits about.

The Kirin shook her head suddenly, hands finally pulled away from the man's face; though slight trail of blood slid down his pale skin. Her focus was on the red she was seeing, they weren't deep enough, but they still bled either way. Then her eyes focused up onto his own, watery with fear.

She took a deep breath to help calm her anger, even if it helped or not, then she stepped away and turned around. Legs took her about a foot or so away from him, no words spoken from her own lips; unsure even what to say to him.

Sorry? Perhaps that would be a good one, but her own pride kept her from even saying something like that. Instead she let out a growl of frustration, hands clenched tight at her side; her own claws almost digging into the palms of her hands. "Just...." she managed to speak, almost in a hushed tone, "come help with this."

Hands un-clenched as she motioned to the blood stain forming upon her clothing; where he'd swatted her off him just moments ago.




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