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[OP-F1] Together, now!

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"Did I ask if you-"  Corvo started to become irritated with Koga's attitude. Did this lousy fuck seriously assume he wasn't listening to the conversation before he interjected himself? Pah! "Kids these days and their lousy manners, just assuming everyone only hears what they want to. I heard you say that you got the damn thing from a quest."

He began to lazily pick between his teeth with the tip of the blade, eyes glossing over as the man picked up his shitty sales pitch again. What, was everything in this game so bad that it drained the life and happiness out of people? God, that Kayaba Akihiko was a sadistic man. "So what you're saying is that professions are more like gambling than actual jobs," Corvo inferred from the way Koga was talking about probability and statistics. "That suits me just fine. I'm built for that kind of sinning. Gets my rocks off and all that happy shit."

Just a hair closer he leaned while the others started to get a little more rowdy. The girl peddling cookies got involved now, and she vocalized that she didn't know Koga despite what he'd said about selling her items. Around that same time, some odd guy dropped materials in front of the lot of them, and Corvo looked down at the table. His face scrunched up in confusion before he looked up again. "Man, if I never see another of these fuckin flowers again, it'll be too soon. You some kind of closet schadenfreude loving freak?" he asked of Raidou, affixing the man with a cold stare. "I mean, more power to you man, just don't pull your c-"

Before he could finish that thought, the emo kid that everyone seemed to be calling Dazia grabbed Raidou by the wrist and started to give him a stern talking to about touching her. Corvo exhaled, annoyed. He wasn't the most abrasive person in the room, for once. At any rate, he hadn't stabbed anyone yet, so they were actually doing fantastic.

"Anyway, looks like you've got ladies lining up to grab you. Won't even have to do all that."

He let out a snort, full of frustration. It was chaos in this room. Not that he didn't absolutely thrive on it.

Corvo started spinning the blade between his fingers, his cheek resting in the palm of his other hand. "You know what he's gonna tell you, right?" his crimson gaze turned to Sketch. "Come to my shop. I can handle all your needs for starting your adventure off right.' Something like that. Of course he's going to push his business- if the market's as fucked as ya'll said, predatory advertising is the only realistic option."  He shrugged and tapped the blade's edge on the table toward Koga. "No offense, obviously. I appreciate the new shank and all, I just thought I'd save you a few steps."

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Through his head a comes a single word, as little Dazia sticks to his wrist only moments before he slips it out as if greased. The man was practiced and what she assumed was his wrist now was his palm. Looking to Corvo as the child did nothing more than an attempt to aggressively hold his hand, unsure what she expected. Raidou was drastically quicker then she may have assumed him to be, when it came to speed skills he was unmatched.


"It isn't the first time, I doubt it will be the last." Raidou spoke it as a joke, but it was the truth in to regards to the small black haired girl doing the weakest feminine introduction he's ever dealt with. A lean closer to her face as she snapped at him, that smile doesn't fade. It blinks softly for a moment, slowly. When his eyes reopen they are painted red where only Dazia could see them. A low rumble from his voice, it was sinister and twisted, like two things speaking in tandem. The voice that supplements it, rough like sandpaper and deep with a slight hiss.

"Try me."

Another blink and it was gone, as if nothing had changed. The smile had never left his lips, as he leans back and continues to speak to Corvo and the others. "Not at all, feel free to use them how you see fit." A rather easy slip of his hand free as he leaves the group to decide what to do with them, allowing the comment to roll of without ire. This girl was not quite Hidden and he had no issues there. Raidou knew that eventually, they'd get to that magic point where crafting wouldn't be so painful. That luck would allow them to succeed, but the road was arduous and they'd need to be persistent. The world they were in could use more 'foolish' enough to try.

As he slinked away from the table, leaving the group including the small firecracker. The one that needed to understand through his threat, that bullying those around you had a way of backfiring. If it were some he had met with a more aggressive temperament she could have been in some trouble, but he knew what that was like. Clattering in front of his steps, on smaller legs was an almost frantic pursue.

A soft sigh assuming that it was the one with the snapping teeth, but in a moment. The one with pink hair, holding aloft a plate. An underhanded lift of his hand. "I appreciate the sentiment, and I am sure you will." Raidou takes it, peels but a single bite. "On floor 7, there is a man and a woman there just outside of town that could give you some pointers if you'd like." Allowing it into his gullet, he wasn't one for sweets but he enjoys what little he takes. Returning the fork to its percaline top, a slide his hand placing it on her tiny shoulder. "Well done." as he slips past.

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Koga visibly deflated as Blue explained that she neither remembered him, nor had the chance to use the weapon he'd crafted. That was perhaps the greatest insult that could ever be given to a craftsman...And sticking her tongue out at him, teasing him like that...this woman really was the devil incarnate.

The man Koga had almost used as a target almost immediately flipped a lid as Koga's first sentence left his his mouth. "Wow...you must be a lot of fun at parties," the swordsman deadpanned with an unamused stare. However as Sketch seemed to piece together what Koga was saying, Koga nodded along. Crafting was hell, there was no profit, and he was better off doing literally anything else if he wanted to make some col.

"Yeah, its pretty much a gamble. Have fun playing those odds though. God knows I'm not, someone might as well get some enjoyment out of it," he replied to Corvo in turn.


A bag full of various materials was dropped before each person sitting at the table. Koga looked towards the red-clad man who had just distributed his wealth among the peons, a look of confusion on his face. He was about to thank the man, when he realized the black haired girl that had been hiding in the corner was threatening him and Koga decided it was better to just turn back towards the table instead. "Okaaaay then..."

Sketch asked for a few pointers, but before Koga even had a chance to respond, Corvo cut in. "No offense taken," he told the man, "But, actually I was gonna say, shove your accuracy into a trinket. For the weapon itself, build either full damage, or two damage and one bleed, depending on your build," Koga took another sip of his drink. "I'd tell you if you needed materials, go farm Nature's Treasure too, but I think we got that covered." Koga turned to Corvo again, "Don't get me wrong, if y'all are too lazy to actually do any of that yourselves, feel free to drop by my shop, but otherwise, I'll make more money farming."

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This was getting to be far more than wanted, expected, or even possibly anticipated. The man who dared to headpat Dazia returned her threat with a counter, revealing a glimpse of his own wrath within for a brief moment as he did so.

This was new.

Some mild shock fell upon Dazia's expression, despite what she did to repress it. "I thought...that I was the only one..." She thought amidst this confusion. She simply stood there in that position, bewildered at this revelation. Guess that was something they apparently had in common.

Dazia snapped back into reality right when the man who first found her began to speak to her, with a narrowed look in his eyes. "So you've heard of me, but from who?" Dazia questioned. The man's gaze was like steel, despite his grin. "It was Princess, wasn't it? Otherwise you wouldn't have had a change in the way you looked at me upon hearing my name..." Dazia thought and assumed.

The man introduced himself as Sketch, and, as Astralin did, invited her to the conversation. He also remarked about her getting chased around town, too. "Self-righteous thugs is more like it." She muttered. "The guards don't give a damn if it's green players inside the safe zone, they only repel orange players, but if green ones get into fights or 'crimes' inside the safe zone, aside from theft? No, they don't think it matters." She remarked in a more audible tone. "Pretty sure they would have tried to drag me outside the safe zone, and kill me there." She added.

@Raidou @SketchSkirmish @Astralin @Corvo @Koga

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"Eh?" Plini muttered as he saw that it was a bit lively than it was outside "I guess it can't be helped, taverns are supposed to be lively" he thought as he continued to go inside. He had a simple task, eat something, buy at least three lunchboxes if they had any and set off somewhere. No buffs or enhancements needed, it was only to satiate hunger and it would be bad to get hungry and die, or vice versa.

He walked past the table where players seem to have gathered, there was even a guy clad in red who laid down materials "hm? gambling using materials?" he thought as he also saw someone holding some kind of dagger. 

"Hi..." he looked around and saw only the girl with pink hair, she is probably the one serving food and with that Plini continued his inquiry "hi, girl with the lovely pink hair, I'd like to order something. I don't have a specific kind of food in mind so I'm willing to try the best this tavern can make."


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Oh, my. A lot of things just happened at once.

Lishuu was taken aback with how quickly the conversation spiraled. Between wires getting crossed beyond the control group, there were newcomers. New factors to the equation, variables that could skew the result. It wasn't good. She couldn't bring them back around when she had no idea where things fell apart. Instead, she tried her very best to focus on the things that were positive and keep the people who she was talking to from descending into the chaos. 

"Wow, then you're doing a great job," she said to Blue, who very earnestly wanted people to try her food and just talk about that. She could see the discomfort between the lines where the girl had suddenly become the focus of the talk between Koga and Sketch, even if only briefly. She tried to deflect. Lish kept that in mind. It was the Dazia person who Sketch said to have recognized that finally drew her attention when the other woman practically verbally assaulted another Player just for patting her head. There was conflict there; because it was unsolicited contact, it was absolutely uncalled for. However, the measured response was very clearly not measured. Raw, emotional, and violent: was this girl a victim? Lish bit her lower lip thoughtfully and looked down at the table.

Wow, this is a very delicate situation...

She finally decided to return to the conversation she'd been having with Astralin. There was at the very least a modicum of sanity there, and with some effort, she might be able to find a way to bring the others back to that. "I really like that idea," she said cheerily as she leaned hard into the positivity that she had in boundless amounts. If she let herself show as upset now, the situation might not be salvageable at all. "When I inevitably figure out what profession I'd like to take, I will be sure to do something similar to keep all the information I get together. This looks really well kept," she praised, genuinely.

Praise was always positive, right?

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Everything was loud and obnoxious. Not that he hated the atmosphere; if anything, Aincrad needed more excitement. It just made the booze taste worse, and that was a tragedy. "God, cry about it, why don't you?" he snapped at Dazia when she sulked about people who might try to kill her. "I've been listening to you bitch about it for as long as you've been sitting here. If you care so much what people think, don't give them a reason to hate you. By the way, you're doing a shit job of that. You're already the most annoying person I've met in this game."

He took a breath and exhaled, the bags under his eyes more evident as he released the tension that he'd let build a few heartbeats too long. Why let them get to him? They mattered about as much as he let them, and once he didn't even give them that much, things felt immensely better. When he glanced back to Koga, did so with a much more lazy expression. "You make it sound pointless to even have a job," he drawled, a bemused expression plastered across his face. "God, it almost sounds like this isn't such a bad place to be. Ain't that just peachy?" Corvo's shoulders sagged as he felt the part of him that hated this world burn with even more intensity. It sapped the realism from life and made things insane. 

Just like it had with him.

"God, well, now my beer tastes even more like piss," he sneered as he finished another healthy gulp. "And it doesn't even get me wasted. God, what a ripoff."

He slammed the mug back down on the table and looked from Koga to Sketch. "Think the Pils is any better?" he asked abruptly.

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'Pull her into the open field and kill her then, huh? That's one way to bypass the safezone. Can't imagine anyone would just stand around and watch that happen without someone saddling up to white knight for a gothic damsel in distress.' Sketch checked his twisted desire to smile in the light of the sadistic humor.

"Well," he replied to @Dazia's inquiry with a shrug. "When you've lived in the Town of Beginnings, rumors tend to spread. I hear you're a fairly good duelist."

He paused to let the words sink for her. Yes, the implications were clear. How much did he know? Maybe later, she'd be inclined to seek him out to find out.

"Just a few months ago, there was a skirmish in town between some little blonde and the aquamarine knight." Sketch tilted his head in reminiscence. "I think that's what they call him..."

He looked to Koga.

"Blue guy. Always has a bird flying around him. Kind of quiet. What was the username..." Sketch's foot tapped against the wooden floorboards. "Ah! Calrex! That's the guy."

He turned back to Dazia.

"Duels are about the only kind of sports we civilian players get. So word spreads fast. Especially the uh..." Sketch tapped his lips. "The duels where only one walks away. There's a big black scoreboard in the middle of town. Can't miss it."

As though the ultimate implication of murder didn't bother him, Sketch gave his attention back to Koga. The repercussions of his words lingered at the back of his mind. He hoped the girl would chain her anger in the presence of such a crowd. He also hoped to see it first hand another time. So much data. So much to learn. What led to those full loss duels? How did she cope with the blood on her hands? Was there innocence behind those eyes or the thirst of a killer hiding in the wool of sheep?

"Trinkets huh?" Sketch's tone mellowed to one of interest and intrigue. The thick, underlying implications were replaced with genuine curiosity. "Never thought about starting with trinkets, but it makes sense. Frankly, small work might be something up my alley. And to your point..."

Sketch snatched his knife back from the tabletop and pointed it toward Corvo in a reciprocal manner from earlier.

"Taking up a profession here is better than some minimum wage, customer service or fast food gig up top. Hell, better than being some mid level manager babysitting a building full of incompetent employees who'd rather be out there than in a cubicle for all of their waking hours." Sketch knowingly broke the taboo of mentioning a place most chose to forget. He pulled his knife from view and placed it back in its hip side holster. "Sounds to me like I get to make some cash pursuing something I personally find interesting than being forced to do something I hate just to put food on the table and keep the lights on. Hardly have to worry about either here."

The brunette took a drag from the newly placed "root beer". Unlike the watered down hops tea he tried earlier, this went down sweet and earthy. It reminded him of fast food, childhood memories, and simpler times. The nostalgia alone felt intoxicating. With an exhale and smack of his lips, he set down the beverage with a nod.

"A good choice," he commented.

In the meanwhile, Corvo unleashed tactless feedback toward Sketch's new acquaintance. His hands tensed and the hairs on the back of his neck rose sharply.

"Not one for beating around the bush," Sketch stated without making eye contact with Corvo. "But without knowing all the details, that's like playing with fire."

"You must love to watch things burn." The comment fell flat and lifeless. Sketch hailed the server as she finished with the wild redhead's order delivery.

"Could we get two pilsners?" He gestured to the area in front of him and Crovo. The server turned to them with concern and shook her head.

"I don't believe we have something like that here, sir," came the generated response. Sketch sighed.

"Let us try whatever it is she's having then." Sketch pointed two fingers toward @Charlotte. The waitress nodded and vanished to the back once more.



Edited by SketchSkirmish
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Astralin didn't see like, most of what just happened coming. At all.

Dazia really wasn't in a good mood. It also seemed that Krysta had tipped off some people who started chasing her down. "Wonderful," She muttered sarcastically. "They haven't learned their lesson since that encounter on the fourth floor..."

Dazia's head was patted by the man who donated the materials, and she didn't seem to like that, for whatever reason...Astralin then remembered that in certain kinds of fiction, there was always that one person who hated being short...if there were actually such people, would that have meant Dazia found it demeaning? Even then, could Dazia find something as nice as headpats to be demeaning? The man would give a response to Dazia that left her somewhat shocked, before she returned to her previous demeanor and grabbed a bunch of artisan materials.

Sketch would begin speaking to Dazia, and Astralin would return to her conversation with Lishuu.

The blue haired woman complimented on Astralin's ideas, and how well-organized and well-kept her Research Notes and Skillbook were. "Aw, thanks! I'm glad you want to try this method out for a spin!" She responded.

Astralin overheard one player's rude remark, but she purposefully ignored it. However, if things were to get out of hand, she might have to step in, someway, somehow...

Hopefully she wouldn't.

@Dazia @Lishuu 

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Dazia grew more irritated when one player snapped at her. Her left fist was clenched, but she resisted the urge to draw her weapon. The fool looked sleepy and half-drunk(not that a player could actually get drunk in this game, maybe he was trying so hard and ended up with a self-induced placebo effect), anyway. However, that didn't stop her from having some stern words for him. She stared daggers at the fool. "Listen here, you sleepy drunkard," She began. "I was only adding to a conversation I was directly involved in. If you aren't interested or involved, there's no need for you to hear it. Besides, that outlook you seem to have with all that you've said and I've heard isn't really optimistic, either. Now why don't you go back to drinking yourself into a stupor, or better yet, get a rationally thinking brain, before someone grows tired of you and leaves you bleeding out on the field."



Sketch would shrug at what Dazia had told him, and respond by saying he's heard that she's a "fairly good duelist". Dazia warily made eye contact with Sketch, but said nothing. Sketch continued by speaking of an unidentified blonde, and a player named Calrex, and a skirmish between them. He then spoke of how quickly rumors spread about duels, especially full-loss duels, based on what he'd hinted. Dazia sighed almost inaudibly. "I take it you've seen the monument." She noted. "I often give my side of the story when it comes up, but in crowded places, some things are just better left unsaid..."


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When Sketch spoke up, he snorted. "Wage slavery, huh? Man, that's a real incentive." 

There was something morbid about this world that crept behind even the brightest optimism, and Corvo loved to poke holes in it whenever it came up. But it wasn't until the man said that he wanted to watch the world burn that the red-eyed rascal really lit up. He wore a savage grin as he drove his weapon into the table. That solicited a barking series of words from the barkeep, to which Corvo paid absolutely no mind. His eyes were centered completely on Sketch. "You don't, do you?" he asked, a haunting madness in his words. "After everything this world has taken from us, you don't want to watch it burn. You're a real saint, aren't you? The kind of guy who just looks for the best possible outcome and holds on to the hope that it'll all work out. How's that going for you?"

He pulled back slightly as his gaze softened just a bit, and he moved his eyes toward the woman, Dazia. "You'd be cuter if you stopped trying to be edgy," he drawled, more dismissive than anything. Corvo rested his chin on the hilt of his dagger, not bothering to look up at the woman as he rocked back and forth, visibly bored. "You might be high and mighty where you come from, but in here, you're just like the rest of us. Trapped, helpless." He pulled back, stretched, and let out a mighty yawn. "Your threats are adorable and all that, but really, you're not saying much worth listening to. I just hate the sound of your voice."

Corvo glanced back to Sketch before adding, "and I was here first anyway."

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Koga had started to lose track of everything going on around him. There was another addition to the motely crew of players again, who seemed to enjoy Blue's cake as well, and Lish and Astralin were still chatting about the books, but other than that, Koga was lost.

Well aside from his conversation with Sketch and the sketchy man. That was a conversation he could at least follow along with. "I mean, personally, I treat it as a hobby. I know I'm not making money, I don't have the luck for it. If there's some other secret to beating the system, I don't know it. But hey, if you guys crack the code, more power to you." Koga polished off the last of his drink before signaling to the waitress to make the two drinks into three. "They're on me," he added to the waitress. He was in a strangely good mood, despite the abrasive company. Maybe getting out and getting some human interaction had been good for him anyways.

The two men began to have a less than philosophical conversation about wanting to watch the world burn, and for a moment, Koga sat back and just listened. He didn't really care one way or another what happened to the world, whether it bloomed or blossomed. Once upon a time he would've said he just wanted to keep his friends and family safe, but even that was up in the air now. For all he cared, the world could die. So long as he could make Kayaba pay first, it made no difference to him.

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"On floor 7, there is a man and a woman there just outside of town that could give you some pointers if you'd like." The blue-haired girl cocked her head to the side questioningly, a frown appearing on her face. "And a woman? If you are talking about Gaius, I've already talked to him. Suggesting him though..." She turned her gaze, a slight pout forming. "He's a bit... difficult? Special? Maybe the word im looking for is blunt. He didn't hold back at all when showing me the ropes." 

 "Well done." He said, putting his hand on her shoulder as he passed. 

She beamed at him with a smile before she found herself being talked to by another boy. She hadn't even notice him enter the Tavern.

"hi, girl with the lovely pink hair, I'd like to order something. I don't have a specific kind of food in mind so I'm willing to try the best this tavern can make."

"Oh!?" Indistinctively she brought up a hand, twirling a strand of her hand around her index finger. "I can't really do that right now..." She replied in a saddened tone. "I need my own shop to do something like that, I don't actually work here. I actually just guilted the Tavern's owner into letting me give out samples. He's not letting me take any payment!" A light laugh escaped her lips and she shot him a smile. "Find me if you'd ever like to satisfy your sweet your tooth though!" She teased him by sticking out her tongue and handed him a slice of the Blueberry Cake she had made. 


@Raidou @Plini

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A blueberry cake was set before him. He wasn't sure if he'll like it, he hasn't eaten a blueberry cake his whole life "it's like not it would kill me to try it" he thought. The girl was also quick in replying to his request but somehow he felt a bit disappointed with hoe she was simply giving out samples.

"I'd like to satisfy my saw tooth sometimes so I'll look for your shop someday."

Plini cut off a piece from the slice with his fork and tasted it. "Sweet, but I tastes familiar" his thoughts tried to recall anything about blueberries. "Drinks, cupcakes, and scent. I'm pretty sure I get strawberries a lot, maybe all berries tastes the same at some point." His thoughts almost clouded his awareness that he didn't notice that he already finished the slice. "Um, can I have another slice?" he asked the girl again.


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  • 5 weeks later...

What an idiot.

The red haired drunkard was really getting on Dazia's nerves now. She was tempted to draw her weapon, but she decided not to. The fool drawled, calling Sketch "A real saint", and then proceeded to say some words that really shouldn't have been said. "Weakling." The false thought echoed in her mind, her own take on this fool's words, summarized with a single one. Dazia's fists clenched, her left fist shook. She was really close, all it would take was a bit more, and she would be more than willing to forcefully show this punk the door. Hellish embers burned in her eyes, waiting to become ablaze if the drunkard was to cross the line... She lost all focus on the scenario around her, there was just her, this dumbass, and the warning within her eyes...

This would go south if this idiot didn't stop. In fact, it would practically be inevitable at this rate...

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Blue watched as the boy scarfed down the piece of cake. For having been so nonchalant about eating it in the first place, it seemed that he really seemed to be enjoying it. A grin spread across her face. "I suppose I can let you have another, but no more afterward okay? I only made so much to hand out today!" She handed him another slice of the blueberry cake. 

She watched as the blacksmith boy that had apparently made her weapon began to order drinks. 'Perhaps I should make some fruity drinks or parfaits in my store. I'll have to keep that in mind. Perhaps, I could even make alcoholic versions, which might attract even more attention to the store.' 

However, rising tension seemed to attract her attention first. She listened to a bit of the conversation heading forth, finding that there was two sources. The dark-haired girl that was trying to be sneaky earlier and a rather sharp-tongued individual. Taking the best possible route and using her social skills, she would attempt to deescalate the situation. 

Tapping the girl on the shoulder from behind, she would request, "Come with me? There isn't anything good here for us anymore!" If @Dazia would let her, she would lead her outside of the tavern and back into the cool refreshing outside air. 

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