“YES! New banner is online! Too bad Reevee doesn’t get one!”
Rites could be delayed for a while, but never wholly postponed. Reaver grunted as he made a mess of one of the assorted trees planted in one of the small green areas of Penrose, far from prying eyes. He sunk the knife of the bovine sacrifice, as he kept tossing viscera after viscera.
“Praise Odin.” He just said, as he looked at how bloody his hands were, before sighing. “Well, I guess it should do for now. Pity I can’t get human sacrifices as often, though. There’s always a downside to this kind of stuff.” He whispered to himself as he tried to find some place to clear his armor off the grime and dirt.
Fortunately, Reaver had the foresight to bring a bucket of water to the sight of the sacrifice. If he was going to fulfill a rite in secret, there was no point in walking around Penrose all covered in blood. There were enough things to be wary of like invisible sentries, scrying spells, artifacts that could see the future and past, and just nosy magical girls who would jump at the chance to “avenge’ something. Bringing his own bucket of water along reduced his chances of being detected considerably.
Though trying to do something in secret was a fool’s errand in Penrose. Regardless of the steps taken, it was difficult to fully avoid detection. Maybe some girl with beast magic would pick up the scent of blood. Maybe one had the ability to detect Mint activity in their proximity. Maybe, just maybe, they were in a collab, and being interrupted was a damn certainty.
Oros was attracted by all three. Or at least she would have been, but their player keeps forgetting Oros doesn’t have the power to sense Mint agents anymore. Though there might have been something else that lead her this way. You'll just have to keep reading to find out. Regardless, the smell of cow blood was a curious one. Cows were a rare smell in urben areas like this one.
She did not hide her presence. Oros sniffed her way into the forest before coming across the dead cow. ”Man, these modern art pieces are pretty crazy these days.”
Reaver’s head turned to face the newcomer, appraising her with an inquisitive gaze. Not too bad in the looks department. The snappy comment showed some kind of mischievous spirit, as he raised a finger, before answering.
“A good assumption, but not entirely correct. This kind of modern art is hardly modern, in fact it’s Iron Age vintage, my lady.” He said as he did not pretend to hide what he had done in the slightest. Snappy comments would have not interrupted a sacrifice ritual, so he was that willing to accomodate. “Lifeblood is a common token for those beyond mortal influence.”
”Well, I can only discern so much from the nebulous description of it. Which is probably just as well, since the Grand Magistrate thinks this Realm of Patrons is PG-13 and shit. Or I guess K-12, whatever their equivalent rating system is.” Oros pulled her blade out of her sheath and looked at it. She raised an eyebrow. ”Oh yea, I thought you looked familiar.” After letting her sword slide back into its sheath, she turned to face Reaver. At no point during this exchange did she look happy, or even pleased. ”Guess there’s no point beating around the bush. Willy, right? I’m Oros. More importantly, I'm a messenger. Are you ready to resolve your weird deal-thing with Luna?”
Reaver raised an eyebrow, and folded his arms. “I have a deal with someone called that, yes.” He said, his tone neutral. “However messengers are not part of it. I will listen, but I’m not beholden to uphold anything without proof you’re speaking on her behalf.” The knight casually stated.
”Sure thing, buddy.” Oros shoved her hands into her pockets. ”Honestly, I think this whole thing is pretty weird myself. Like this is the internet age. All she needs to do is ask for your Discord or Glimmr handle and then you guys could stay connected. Buuuuuut I’m getting a pretty fat bonus out of this, so I’m not going to ask many questions.” She blinked a few times. ”Actually, that cow smells pretty good. You’re not using it anymore, are you?”
Reaver tilted his head. “Let me ask my patron.” He said, blinking for a few seconds. “I guess a couple of choice cuts it’s not out of the question. Would help with the cleanup.” He said, while unsheathing his sword and extracting the sirloin out of the cow. “I’m going to take some for myself so here you go.” He said, as he handed the bloody choice cut to Oros. He refrained from simply asking Tetrad’s handle himself.
Messengers had to eat too. Not like he was in a hurry or something.
The hooded magical girl examined the meat she was being offered. Her nose wiggled as she sniffed the cuts, before her mouth opened and shifted into something far more akin to a wolf, if not Fenrir itself. Her maw clamped over the entire mass of meat. Naturally, Reaver’s hand was inside the beast’s mouth as well. Unlike with Balder, her fangs did not pierce his flesh.Her tongue weaved between his fingers and cleaned every scrap of meat and blood before she pulled her head back. It only took a moment for her form to return to normal. It seemed not even a smile would bring a smile to her face.
”Right, where was I?” Oros Tapped her chin. ”Yea, she wanted to save Betty. I guess you guys have her or some shit? Gotta stress that I didn’t ask too many questions.”
“Betty, huh… Doesn’t ring a bell.” Reaver said, trying his best to keep his poker face. That was some technique in all of the licking. He said, as he tore a chunk of one of the carcass’ legs and began chewing on it too. With a healthy swallow, he then cleaned his mouth.
“So She wants a certain Betty back. Hm.” Reaver answered.
”Not just any Betty back, Luna begged badly before beseeching a begger a bounty to breech a boy for a bombshell babe bequeath the title Betty Biohazard back. She’s a Cradle agent or something.” Oros seemed to be making hand gestures, but it was impossible to see them as her hands were still in her pockets. ”I can’t really tell if you’re being like, coy and shit or if you’re really oblivious. I’m not a mind reader, you know? But Veronica is, and she had a pretty good look inside Justine’s head. She’s pretty sure Justine handed Betty over to the Mint, and you happen to work for them too I guess?” Oros pulled her hands out of her pockets and folded her arms. ”So what do you think? Luna seemed to think you’d want to help.”
“Mint, huh.” Reaver said. Plausible deniability and all that. “I could help yes, but I do need proof. After all, we have never met before. And just knowing the real name is not enough. What I promised to her was a serious binding commitment. You should understand.” He said, as he folded his arms once again. “If I were to accept it, It is likely to cause trouble.”
”Hold on, I think she did give me something.” The girl reached between her breasts and presented a rare magic the gathering card. While it was rare on its own, it had more significance to that than Reaver.
Reaver took the card on his hand with a snapping movement, and stood there wide-eyed for a second. He traced with his fingers the shape, the form, the writing. Even every little dent the card had. Memories of the past flew into him. This was his most valuable card, that she had lost to the girl that had been his first crush. Once upon a time. He smiled, remembering fond memories.
“I guess that woman will be the end of me, then.” Reaver sighed, before handing the card back. “Hope she is worth all of this trouble.” He said, before handing the card back. “Man, and I was getting the whole dark knight thing going on.” He said to himself, breathing deep.
“Alright, I will stake my life on this, then. Tell her that.”
”This is not some one man crusade you’re going on, Willy.” Oros kept her hands in her pockets, making no attempt to recover the card. ”I will negotiate for Betty’s release, I just want you to set up the meeting. Maybe put in a good word for me or at least be there when they show up. I think I have something that the Mint would find worthy of their time. Though if you’re that eager to enter the halls of Valhalla, I won’t stop you. ”
“Understood.” Reaver said as he pocketed the card. He tilted his head in a thoughtful manner, before eyeing Oros up and down. Especially the legs. Maybe… She did look a bit like the type of woman he had spent company with.
“I guess, our business is complete then my lady.” He said, performing a courteous bow to Oros.
”For the moment, anyway.”
“Would it be so impertinent to ask if my lady would be available after this?”
Oros raised an eyebrow. ”For?”
“Well, you seem to have built...quite the appetite. And I would be delighted to invite you for a refreshement.”
She stared blankly at the berzerker, blinking only occasionally. After a few seconds, she closed her eyes and rolled her head from one shoulder to the other. ”I’m sorry. It’s been a very busy few days. I just tracked you down to whatever the hell this is supposed to be. We ate, discussed our objectives, and I can’t tell if this is an offer to hang or a booty call.”
“The former.” He thought it’d be rude to mention the latter.
”Oh, alright.” Her eyes trailed to the floor for a moment, then flicked back up to Reaver. ”You’re sure?”
He raised his eyebrow. “The last girl I told to step on me ran away. It’s better to start easy.”
”I wasn’t being serious. We can hang for a bit, but I don’t have a lot of time these days.” Oros pulled out her phone to look at something on it. ”Before we get too ahead of ourselves, you’ll probably need to get a hold of me at some point. So my number’s REDACTED.” She looked to Reaver again. She hadn’t smiled once since she got here ”Alright, let’s go.”
"Excellent. I know a place that serves decent drinks. Bit of a rundown area these days...follow me my lady."