Hialao is the nucleus, a modern, sunny and hospitable seaside realm; Wildewall is steeped in tradition, good for those with archaic roots and a taste for wilderness; Elestis is the fantasy land of ever-tumbling magic and whimsical imagination; Parse whirs like the massive digital machine that it is, advanced and technological.
Barrows is the breeding ground of chaos, with refrains of grunge and anachronistic crime; Tethya is the small but glorious underwater world reminiscent of Victorian times; and those who don't feel at home in any of these places, or simply like to wander, are known as Drifters.
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PERMALINK // POSTED ON: Dec 7 2016, 07:45 AM
As the later hours of the evening were drawing in, the area was emptying; those that were left were either punters, staggering out of the bar after blowing their winnings, or staff clearing away for the night. Ryudo’s work had taken him to said bar - but not because of the races… Not as far as he knew, anyway. He’d slyly offered a pretty, well-dressed barmaid with a garnet necklace an unmarked, off-yellow envelope. In return, she’d dropped a small briefcase by his table… And whatever was inside belonged to his client. He guessed it was money, but he wasn’t entirely sure. It didn’t weigh an awful lot, and he didn’t plan on asking, either. As long as he got paid for his delivery service, he didn’t give a damn.
His client was a haggard old man, awaiting the briefcase in the back streets behind the race track. Both of them were hooded as they met in the shadows, away from the prying eyes of the general public. The man had been an exceptionally shady character from the beginning - under no circumstances was Ryudo to open the envelope or the briefcase. He’d stressed this heavily. No money if he did either, and he’d be able to tell. Well, if it was such a sensitive thing, Ryudo did have to wonder why the old man couldn’t just go give the envelope to the waitress in the garnet necklace by himself. If it was to avoid detection, he could have at least given the task to someone he trusted more than a random hired hand. But once again, he didn’t care about those kinds of details. He only cared about his pay.
“Very good. Very good.” The client muttered, thin, crinkling lips spreading into a grin as his long, gnarly fingers gripped onto the handle of the briefcase. He squinted as he brought the locks up towards his shrouded face; he seemed to be making sure Ryudo hadn’t tampered with them in any way.
“I didn’t touch it. I didn’t open the envelope, either. Like you said, no pay if I did.” Despite his words, the man continued examining the locks intently. Folding his arms, Ryudo began to tap his foot. “I’m not interested in whatever it is you’re up to, or what’s in the case. I did what you wanted, didn’t I?”
“Yes, yes.” The man croaked. He peered over the briefcase at Ryudo, his grin melting into a less impressed expression. “You’ll get your money. Come back to Pyocs, two weeks from now. I’ll give you another envelope for the waitress…” He began to mumble whilst turning away from Ryudo. “Mm, then, your money.”
What…!? So, he was planning to drag his job out - and not even pay him for that session? “Uh, that’s not how I work, gramps. See, I don’t work on a contract basis. You pay me now for this job, I’ll come back and do your next one for the same price.”
The man coughed, but it sounded remarkably like he was snickering at the response. “Shame. You’ll just have to wait then - I don’t have your money right now.”
Unfolding his arms, Ryudo rose to his full height with a heavy frown upon his features. “You wanna try running that by me again...?” His words were laced with a threatening tone - with good reason. Who did this geezer think he was, trying to double-cross him? “The hell do you mean you don’t have my money right now!?”
“You heard damn well what I said. Two weeks. And if you question me again, you impertinent brat, I’ll be shaving a portion off--” The man grunted, but the next moment he yelped as Ryudo’s already paper-thin patience blew up; he grabbed him by the front of his cloak and shoved him into the wall nearby.
Not caring if the slimy old geezer hurt his back or dropped his precious case, Ryudo twisted his hand and hissed, “Then you’d better tell me where I can find some.” He was not in the mood for being screwed around with. Glaring coldly at the man, he added, “Because I sure as hell don’t plan on leaving Tethya without it.”
PERMALINK // POSTED ON: Dec 28 2016, 02:14 AM
The submarine races were good for something. Personally, Joutarou wasn't interested in betting on or even watching the races. Submarines may be interesting vehicles, but he got to ride in plenty just by going from bubble to bubble in the dimension that had become his home. But the submarines here needed maintenance, what with how often they were pushed to their limits during the races, and sometimes the mechanics didn't have the parts that they needed on hand to complete their repairs. That's when shit needed to be delivered, and it just so happened that tonight had been one of those nights.
It was a last minute request that had been put in, from what his boss had to tell him; something went wrong in one of the later races, and the submarine needed to be fixed the following morning if it was to be able to race as planned. The race track didn't have the necessary parts, but they did down at the docks...only trouble was that it was a pretty huge shipment, and when he spoke to his boss, he learned that none of the other workers were available to help him carry the damn thing to where it needed to go.
So here he was, helping his boss to carry the damn things to the race track when he really should be studying. Hmph. Oh well, he still had a couple of days until the test, even if tonight had kinda been specifically set aside for just that. So long as he squeezed in time to study for it later, he'd be fine.
...and if worse came to worse, he could always use Star Platinum for some quick cramming. Yeah, yeah, it'd be kinda cheating to do something like that, but it wasn't something that he did all that often. He'd just have to make sure that Kakyoin didn't see him doing that, or he'd get a lecture on top of everything else.
He slowly helped to set the last of the boxes down, letting go of it only once his boss gave the all clear. He straightened afterwards, and turned to fetch his hat and coat that he'd left hung up nearby while his boss finalized the paperwork with the head technician. Along the way, Joutarou worked out the few cramps he had in his biceps, and dabbed the sweat from his face with a cloth. He was still a little bit too hot to put his coat back on, but his hat? As soon as he grasped it, he settled it back onto his head.
...and turned when he heard the amused snort behind him.
His boss met his gaze easily enough, and shook his head with an exasperated smile. "I'll never understand how that hat of yours works, Joutarou. But thanks for your help tonight, you really saved my ass back there."
Joutarou shrugged. "No problem. Need anything else?" The topic of the hat was, of course, skipped. There wasn't any point in continuing it, as it seemed to have just been an offhanded remark made on his boss' part. And even if it wasn't, it wasn't that important of a conversation to continue anyway.
The older male shook his head. "No, we're all set here. I'll take care of your time stamps, so don't worry about that. Go home and finish studying." He smiled, and nodded. "Night, Joutarou."
Joutarou returned the nod, and without another word turned, and left the area, with his coat slung over his shoulder. Well, that had been a lot less painful than he thought it'd be. The way his boss had been carrying on, it was like it was the end of the goddamn world. Though to be fair to the guy, there was no way that a single person would've been able to move THAT much stuff...all the same, it hadn't taken that much time to move the shit, all things considered.
Mm, maybe he'd be able to get a little studying in before he had to sleep after all. He'd have to take a shower when he got back to the apartment, but if he stayed up a little later tonight, he could get a good hour or two of studying in. Kakyoin might pout at him a bit for it...but fuck it, it was only an hour or two of less sleep than usual. Wasn't that big of a deal.
He turned down a street, heading back the way he and his boss had come. There hadn't been that many people before, and now? The streets were practically empty. Of course, that probably had to do with the fact that this wasn't exactly the main pathway around the quarter, but he'd been down here enough times to know where he was goin--
The teenager drew to a halt as he heard a soft thump, his eyebrows lifting every so slightly as he looked towards the source of the sound. The hell? Had someone just fallen over or something? Oh, wait, no, it couldn't be that fucking simple, could it? It could never be that simple.
Joutarou's eyes slide shut shortly after spying the source of the noise, and he released a heavy sigh. Why? Why did this bastard have to pick tonight of all nights, this back street of all streets to shake down an old man? Or, at least that's what it looked like at first glance. Upon opening his eyes and looking over the pair again, things didn't exactly...match up.
For one, why the fuck were they both dressed like they were doing some illegal drug deal in a goddamn detective show? Why was there a briefcase there? Was this ACTUALLY a drug deal going very, very wrong? Either way, he didn't know who was at fault, and until he did, he'd assume that the younger male was the one being an asshole here. "Good grief. What the hell are you doing?" He turned to more fully address the two, keeping his gaze fixed on Ryudo for the most part. If the guy got any more violent towards the old man, he'd intervene straight away. But for now, he was giving the asshole the chance to release the old man on his own.
Or to give him an explanation. Or maybe even both. But if things were already going wrong, he didn't doubt for a second that they'd continue to go wrong.
So much for studying tonight. He'd be dealing with some asshole instead.
PERMALINK // POSTED ON: Jan 6 2017, 02:53 PM
“Get off me, brat!” His old joints had a surprising amount of force in them, but it wasn’t enough to make Ryudo unhand him. Instead, he gave him another shove against the wall as a warning. He knew this kind of slippery client well - if he didn’t get his pay tonight, the geezer would drop off the grid and he’d never see so much as a penny. The thought alone was enough to make Ryudo want to ball his free hand into a fist and give the wrinkled asshole more than a simple roughing up. But he refrained - for the time being. Instead he opened his mouth to give him a second chance of coughing up where he could get his money.
But before the words could leave him, another voice cut across the scene - deep, and as equally exasperated-sounding as Ryudo was. Both he and the old man became still, suddenly, for a second. They then turned their heads towards the end of the street.
Great. Well, that guy didn’t look much like Tethya’s guard, but he did look like a problem. A big problem. Because he’d probably wandered in on the scene at the wrong moment… Not that there would’ve been a right moment to walk in. Neither Ryudo nor the old man were the most innocent looking people to bump into, regardless of the situation. Ryudo’s brow knitted and his mouth spread into a hard, unimpressed line. Quick. Think. Maybe just straight up shooing him away was a better idea than trying to make excuses, or explaining the situation upfront…
But unfortunately, the old man had already taken the opportunity of them being caught off-guard to writhe his way out of Ryudo’s grasp. He dropped to the floor and clawed for his briefcase dramatically, feigning panic as he began grapple on his knees towards the big guy. “H-Help me! Please!!” He whimpered. “This brat’s trying to steal from me!”
“What…!?” That slimy low-life! To turn around and play the victim like that… “Son of a bitch--” Ryudo hissed through gritted teeth, muscles tensing as he instinctively made a grab for his sword… Argh, well, he couldn’t really draw that out right now, could he? Or he was definitely going to look like the aggressor, as much as he definitely wanted to shove the tip of it at the old geezer’s throat for trying to twist the situation in his favour, let alone lie to and cheat him.
PERMALINK // POSTED ON: Jan 29 2017, 07:47 PM
Joutarou sighed as the two turned their attention towards him. Good grief...the way they were looking, it was like he’d wandered up on a pair of kids swiping cookies out of a cookie jar. He wasn’t too sure how things were gonna go from here on out, or if either of these fuckers would draw any weapons on them. The younger guy...he had a sword? Hmph. Did the old guy have any weapons? Either way, he’d need to be ready for whatever this pair of chucklefucks would throw at him. With that in mind, he slid his coat back on while they stared, and slid his hands into his pockets when the old guy started to move.
...damn, the guy sure knew how to wiggle his way out of shitty situations. It was just a question of if that was really panic that was involved, or if the old timer was used to this sorta thing. Wordlessly, Joutarou glanced between the pair as he stepped forward to meet the old guy halfway. Christ...why the hell would an old guy be wandering around the darkened submarine racing bubble with a briefcase that was valuable enough for a punk to try to swipe? He supposed it was possible...if the old timer had been betting on the races earlier, and had won a substantial amount of money, he could’ve just been heading back home with all the money he’d won. But why a goddamn briefcase? Surely the racetracks would have a LITTLE more tact than that, or make it a little less obvious as to who their lucky winners were. Hmph.
This was definitely something that would be better sorted by the guard. They’d probably know all the lowlifes on sight, and honestly? If either of them reacted negatively to the suggestion that the guard be brought in, he’d know which one of these fuckers he had to watch.
“That so? You okay, old man?” Joutarou paused in front of the older man, and reached down to help him back up to his feet. Once he’d done that, however, he had no intention of letting the guy go until he’d gotten a better idea as to what’s going on.
...and if either of them reacted to what was gonna happen next, he’d know that at least one of ‘em was dangerous. As his eyes shifted to settle onto Ryudo, Star Platinum manifested to keep a watch over the old man. Joutarou’s irritation was reflected within his Stand, as Star Platinum’s gaze was slightly narrowed, and his lips curled into a small frown. Joutarou himself maintained his typical semi scowl, though when he spoke to address Ryudo, his tone deepened. “I think it’s time we called the guard. Wouldn’t you say so, old man?” If the fucker over there decided to fight this shit, he’d be pretty pissed. But honestly, he was expecting him to fight.
Whatever. If it came to it, he’d knock both the assholes out and drag them off to the guard. Once they were dumped off to the proper authorities, they wouldn’t be his problem any longer.
PERMALINK // POSTED ON: Feb 8 2017, 08:53 PM
Seemed like the big guy had already made up his mind. Who in their right mind was going to ignore the plight of a defenceless old man, after all? Someone who had walked in on the situation and seen it as the exact opposite of its actuality, that was who. Dammit, what a farce.
Ryudo felt the hand that wasn’t clasped around the hilt of his sword tighten into a fist. “Just what the hell are you trying to pull, old man!?” He spat. “Trying to make yourself look like the innocent one here - don’t you have a single shred of integrity?” Obviously not. Would Ryudo even have found himself involved in Tethya’s backstreet dealings to begin with, if he did?
And then the big guy suggested calling the guard, as if Ryudo’s patience wasn’t already at the end of its tether. “Th-The guard...?” The old man stammered, looking mildly shaken for a moment before he put his guiltless façade back up. “Indeed! He assaulted me - I want him arrested for it!”
After rolling his eyes and shaking his head and sighing just abruptly enough to convey his irritation, Ryudo addressed the onlooker, “Save yourself the trouble and don’t bother.” The guard didn’t bother him - there wasn’t a damned guard in existence that could get their hands on him. It was the fact that if he let the old geezer out of his sights he’d never get that money. “Just let go of him, turn around and be on your way. Pretend you didn’t see anything.” His tone was so matter-of-fact that it was bordering on mocking the guy, and he was well aware of that.