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From Feasts of Flesh to Blossoming [M]eadows

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Offline the_rabid_rabbit_bites

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Enzo paused earing for a second, forgetting his manners to gawk at Rikerg’s valiant – yet ungraceful – attempt to eat the soup. It had no occurred to Enzo Rikerg had not eaten soup before, and he wondered if he – or the servant - would meet his end for not providing Rikerg an adequate meal. However, the feeling passed quickly and he realised he was staring, quickly dropping his yellow gaze to his own bowl, gulping down a few spoonfuls as Rikerg spoke.

It was perhaps a small mercy Enzo dropped his gaze, but he did not feel comfortable exposing the crown of his head to the beastly man before him. “Thankyou, that is very generous. The forests here are abundant for more … balanced omnivores.” Enzo observed drily. While he had the ability to magic death upon animals to hunt, it had always been seen as a crude and cowardly method of finding sustenance amongst the orcish shamans, where power of strength was revered in much the same ways humans found an ethereal, enchanting quality to magic users. “I promise I will not be an inconvenience to your or your servants for long.” He would leave tonight if he had his way, rain be damned.

Enzo went very still when Rikerg – so plainly, and seemingly without regard for his servants lives – stated he would kill them should they leave. “I think you will find he is trapped then,” he said quietly. Into what little remained of his soup. “If you threaten to take his life when he leaves. Will the same happen should I choose to leave?” He listened for a response, but had decided, dutifully, he would not be staying any longer than need be. He was a powerful shaman, but not one for combat despite his stature - indeed, without Aage, Enzo was as good as dead against Rikerg. “Humans, however smaller and frailer than you or I, deserve their lives. While not something commonly held by the orcish, I stand by it for I have met beautiful and kind people who need not be soured by mercilessness at the hands of beasts.” Enzo seemed to be defending someone – or a few someones – specific. “After all, that is why I come here, to do a great favour for humans, and rid them of a beast – a wolf...”


Offline EvilCopepod

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Rikerg barely noticed that the other had been staring at him, except for the quick flash of eyes as he quickly looked down. His cheeks flushed dark momentarily as he realized how he must have looked to the other, who used the utensil so easily. His mind was distracted from his shame as he thought it may also mean that Enzo was able to use a quill to write as well. Before he could question the orc about this, he had to correct the other's statement, "You are no inconvenience at all, I am honored and pleased to have your company." Rikerg could think of no way he had indicated he didn't want the other here, he could not say the same for his servants, and he had not caught on that the other was eager to leave. He was assuming that the other hadn't met many courteous hosts and was used to being treated poorly.

He was prepared to debate the meaning of 'trapped' to Enzo when he followed it with what Rikerg considered to be a non sequitur, his brows raised as his eyes widened, forgetting the bowl, he dug his claws into the table, leaving marks in it as he dragged them down the surface in frustration, the bowl clattering loudly on the floor. His shocked expression turned to a sorrowful and confused one, his claws remained tense as he spoke again to Enzo.

"Why... Why would you think such a thing?" His harsh voice now edged with hurt as he tried to think of how he had made him believe that he would hurt him, besides the initially rude welcome he couldn't work out why Enzo might feel threatened. "Who told you such a thing?" he asked, his posture and tone now turning toward anger, a feeling he was much more comfortable with. It was beginning to make sense why Enzo thought he was unwelcome, it sounded like he had lived among humans on several occasions, and by the way humans wrote of orcs, he was not surprised that they would make him feel like a burden in their towns. He did not believe Enzo when he said he had met kind humans, perhaps he had met humans that had treated him better than others and considered them to be exceedingly charitable compared to the rest of humanity. A human that used words to drive him away would be much kinder than one that used violence to do the same, after all.

"It is not their size and frailty which makes them undeserving." He said, like this was obvious, as there were many creatures much weaker than humans that Rikerg thought were more deserving of their lives. It seemed ridiculous to Rikerg that the humans could not rid themselves of a creature as simple as a wolf on their own, but he didn't state it. Another thing he withheld was that the other was entirely deluded about humanity, he didn't know how to put it in a way the other would believe, and he was sure Enzo knew that he could not convince Rikerg either with words alone.

"Show me then, these 'beautiful and kind people' you speak of." he said, before clarifying. "I will go with you on this hunt for the wolf, and you may show me this better side of humanity." The doubt in his voice was obvious, but he still meant to go with the other, if only to show him that he was the one that was wrong about humans.


Offline the_rabid_rabbit_bites

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Enzo raised an eyebrow. Although he did not show it outwardly, Enzo did not feel it was a blessing for the man before him to be honoured by his company. He shifted, watching the small dog from the corner of his eye. They made an unlikely pair, but it made sense. He could tell, from the very twisted and almost athletic way Rikerg’s logic bounced around his skull, that he had had very little kindness bestowed upon him. It was something Enzo ruminated on, into the silence, choosing not to answer if someone had told him, or he merely inferred it from his discussion with the servant he had granted leave in the kitchen.

He hoped, but knew within himself, that Rikerg did not seem to want to let go of his feelings about men. Indeed, as men would have their prejudices about Rikerg, he would have them about the men – and likely, the experiences of both justified them to some extent. Rikerg had said that he would happily kill a person for leaving his castle, and no doubt many people, reacting out of fear of the unknown, would have responded to Rikerg with hostility.

Enzo resolved to not add to his judgements of the orcish kind with any of his own judgements about the beastly lord’s behaviour. So, when he offered – indeed, was it an offer? It felt more like a decree – to accompany Enzo on his trip to find a wolf, He felt his throat tighten. Enzo put down his spoon, the clunk of it hitting the bottom of the bowl echoing in the silent dining hall. “Accompany me? Surely you have more … pressing matters. You reside over a great land – “ Enzo tried to hastily (and politely) decline, but he knew it was a moot point – his lands were wilds, caring for themselves in the endlessly chaotic way that nature had to find balance.

It left Rikerg free to choose to leave, and allow nature to care for itself. Enzo wondered if he had entertained others, and if perhaps he had chosen to be more demure, and less confrontational, he would have gone the way of others. Whatever way that had been. Regardless, he found himself hesitantly considering Rikerg’s insistence that he could accompany Enzo and learn what men are great and kind, as the orc shaman had been so insistent there was.

“It may take time to see the better side, but should you wish to see it, I feel we can … find it.” Enzo resigned himself to another night in the castle, perhaps he could sneak away with Aage sometime in the night, should the tiny, long haired dog not alert them to his movements.


Offline EvilCopepod

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"I do not." He didn't suspect at all that the other was trying to keep him from coming, rather he considered it very thoughtful of the orc to be concerned with Rikerg's affairs. The only thing he needed to do was make it clear to the humans that if he returned and any of them were gone or his dog was harmed at all, he would make their deaths long, painful, and communal.

"If you are certain, then I will attempt to." Rikerg replied, "Then we will leave tomorrow whenever you are ready." He stood up as if to leave, but instead he grabbed the pig, which let out a startled squeal, and carried it over to the table. He put animal down on the table where he'd been sitting, biting into the screaming creature's stomach, digging his claws in to keep the pig from thrashing away.

The dog yipped a few times and Rikerg picked her up off of the ground and set her on the table where she started tearing into the pig as well, her light coat getting splattered with blood.


Offline the_rabid_rabbit_bites

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Enzo threw himself back so hard against his chair as Rikerg grabbed the pig, the evisceration so effective and quick he barely had a chance for the pain to flash in his gut before the life in the animal was snuffed out. “Beasts…” he breathed, his pupils constricting in horror. He felt Aage twist away from the horrendous loss of life, and he picked up the lantern, running from the room without a word.

He chose not to wait. While the pig was being slaughtered, he bolted for his pack, left untouched in the kitchen. He could feel the fear in the rats, his little comrades quaking as the sounds of agony reached their ears. “I am sorry my friends,” he mumbled as he shouldered it. “We will be leaving.” He immediately began scouting for a way out, finding that climbing  was the best way, as he did not believe that Rikerg would expect him to use the vines to leave.

On the ground, he looked up to the dimly lit window of the castle’s dining hall. Whatever could be in Rikerg’s forest was less terrifying than this forsaken castle. He could dominate, overthrow or evade even the most perceptive of the forest animals – in one way or another, he would make potential threats bow to him and his shamanic prowess. He had no doubt he could do little in that vein with Rikerg, and instead the opportunity to get out was the only option Enzo found.

He took off running to the edge of the grounds, ducking into the shadows and immediately stopping to breathe. He took a moment to think. How would Rikerg track him. He thought by sight and scent. Enzo had no prowess in turning into animal as some shamans could so insteadheh ad to made do with disguising his scent and finding charms to make him fleet and light of foot. It carried im far from the castle before he dared to make light.

“At least,” He said to his friends as he gently shook Aage. The lantern obliged him a dim glow from between the long, silky hair it was growing. “We will be away from this forest soon…”


Offline EvilCopepod

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Rikerg didn't notice the other one leaving, tearing into his meal along with the small dog, and it wasn't until he was nearly finished that he noticed the other had left. Even then, he didn't get up, although he was somewhat embarrassed that he had missed the other excusing himself while he was stuffing his face. After he was entirely finished, he went to find his guest to make sure that he had found proper accommodations within the castle.

It didn't take him long to figure out that the other had left in a hurry, and he was filled with an even worse dread than just thinking the other had said he was going to a room. Enzo must have told him that he had to keep moving and that he couldn't spend the night there after all. It was also safe to assume that he had invited him to follow at his own pace, but Rikerg had heard none of it, and certainly no directions he had given. 

He didn't have much to bring along with him, so packing or setting all his affairs in order took very little time. He was soon on Enzo's difficult to follow trail, his scent was almost faint enough to miss. But it was also very distinctive, so as long as he could find the faintest trail of it he could remain on track. He also knew the general direction the other was going, for he had scented where he had come from, and he knew if he was going to a human settlement it would have to be outside of the woods.

Still, it was not easy work, as he would run whenever he thought he picked up the trail, then have to backtrack when it was a mistake. That along with his near constant sniffing of the woods made it so he was short on breath. He was determined not to fall behind, as he was sure Enzo would either think he had lost interest or waste time coming back for him. When he was certain that the other was close again, he started running again, bursting into the area that Enzo had stopped. He didn't say anything as he stared at Enzo, only breathing heavily, in the chill his breath came out as a fog. The sound of his breathing was accompanied by a gurgling, growling sound as the build up of phlegm from running about was caught in his throat.