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Pest Control

Level 9 Tora (10/90) (+3)
Level 8 Poppi (79/80) (+3)
Level 3 Red (4/30) (+3)
Level 2 Laharl (3/20) (+3)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Al Mamoon Cistern
Tora & Poppi’s @Lugubrious,
Red’s @TheDemonHound, Laharl’s @Dark Cloud
Word Count: 2,815 (+3)

It seemed the battle was far from over, that didn't bother Laharl even a little. In fact it excited him even more, now that the Custodian decided to reveal it's stony form to the group. As it slammed it's fists onto the ground Laharl jumped back, nearly crushed by the Custodians blow "FINALLY A REAL CHALLENGE!" His skin was splattered with the eyes yellow viscera, but he wasn't worried about being covered in his foes essence.

Tora was right about the giant stone creature being a 'tough customer', it's whole body was composed of solid rock but even the toughest stones crack and the Custodian was no exception. Laharl once again threw himself at the enemy, still suffused with the power of fallen foes and fists burning white hot. The fire would be hot enough to melt the stone creature, the flames also fuelled by his foes defeat greatly increasing its intensity.

Laharl flew at the Custodian, unafraid of it striking him with it's mighty fists as he would survive the blow. He struck the creature in the head with all his might, the blow hit it square between it's glowing eyes. "Surrender to defeat you useless rock," Laharl growled winding his arm back to throw another punch, oblivious to the Custodians state "Or I'll simply make you serve me after your defeat!" punctuating 'defeat' with another blow to the creatures head.

Red wasn’t entirely sure what to make of the custodian, it was certainly tough looking but she was certain she’s dealt with worse. She was more interested in that kid that evidently followed them down here. She had seen him around the group during and after Parnasse and mostly dismissed him until seeing now that he actually seemed to be much stronger than she had originally assumed. Well she couldn’t let him have all the fun.

With Laharl taking on its head Red was intent on finding another way to help hinder this creature. And with a quick look she noticed the joints connecting its arms to its body looked much smaller and weaker than the arms themselves. Hopefully while it was getting its face beaten in she could come around and bring her axe down on the joints from behind.

Tora waved his wings in alarm as the boy jumped into action before Poppi could finish her mode change. "Meh!? Why not wait for Tora!?"

A hundred percent extra power did a lot for Laharl, but if he imagined himself standing in triumph on the husk of a foe slain in a single heroic blow, his fantasy would have to wait. His fist smashed into the hard wedge between its eyes, shattering stone, but his impetuousness was almost his downfall. Overlord's Dignity increased the damage taken along with the damage given, and striking a surface much harder than himself would have dealt equal and opposite destruction to his arm if he didn't cut short the follow-through. That also meant decreasing the injury inflicted to the Custodian, however, and when it reeled back its head was intact. Laharl did, however, get a momentary glimpse of what was beneath the head--a thick, squirming mass of corruption in the golem's core.

Red's plan to not fight the colossus head-on and instead strafe around for a better angle would have worked if not for a couple miscalculations. First, now that the Custodian had immersed itself in the cistern canal, it had nothing but water on either side, and getting behind it meant one needed to get across the entire canal.

Second, as the golem brought its arm around to attack, it separated from its body connected by extendable tentacles of corruption. The entire weight of its arm swept across a ridiculously large area, dealing a heavy blow to all four exterminators and smacking them into the canal. Tora wailed in surprise as he splashed down, but once in he flailed his wings in fear rather than pain. A dive in sewer water, after all, had bottomed out his to-do- list. Luckily, as implied by the relative lack of vile smells in the cistern air, this canal didn't have sewage. But he could scarcely afford to breath a sigh of relief. In the water he was a sitting duck for the Custodian, just begging to get slam dunked. "Poppi!" he yelled, treading water as the Custodian pulled its arm back together to prepare for another strike. "Freeze the water!"

Red’s plan unfortunately didn’t work out too well in her favor. Getting behind the creature was harder than she thought and what she assumed to be a weak point was actually far less of a weak point than she hoped. Meaning the monster had far more range than it seemed and she got knocked aside. She growled in contempt as she came up for air. And then she heard Tora’s plan. It was probably time to get out of the water.

After a worrying second the artificial blade burst from below the water with the help of her thrusters, having sunk in her Alpha form's thick armor. She held out her sword for Tora to grab hold of and haul himself from the drink. "...Roger, roger!" She took hold of the Drill Shield, extended its bit, and started to channel the power built up during the fight. "Noponic Storm!" Freezing energy whirled across the water, but it would be a moment before the battlefield was usable again. In that time the other two would have to survive and find their own ways to turn the situation to their advantage.

As Red saw the artificial blade pop out of the water she started swimming even faster. ”Shit shit shit shi-“ She pulled herself out of the water fast enough to not get caught in the freezing snow storm. ”Alright I’m getting REAL tired of this damn thing! Let’s get this done.” A red aura flared up around her as she started getting real mad at the creature causing her problems. She started firing bullets at the creature while she waited for Poppi’s attack to subside, mostly aiming for the head but also testing how susceptible the rest of its body was to damage.

Her gunfire struck the golem at various points across its body. Most of its component stone turned out to be just as solid as it looked, with her bullets doing little more than chip damage. It only reacted when she shot its head and the magic-imbued sphere its upper body rested on, which developed glowing cracks every time it got plugged. When Red paused for a moment she saw that Poppi had finished frosting over the canal, and realized what the artificial blade had been trying to do. By freezing the water she effectively bridged the two canal walkways and created a single battlefield all around the Corrupted Custodian, giving all four exterminators enough space to move and fight without having to worry about falling into the drink. Poppi heard the ice groan as she landed, but seeing that it held beneath the weight of her armor, she passed Tora the Drill Shield and let him hop down. The Custodian turned its full attention on the driver and blade, who faced the golem with shield and sword at the ready. It roared, but the brave Nopon laughed in its face. "Hah! Tora fight far worse! Come on everyone, lay on damage! Let's get this over with!" The pair burst forward, and the Custodian swiped at them.

As the enemy's extended arm swung their way, Tora slid low along the ice with his shield raised for protection, while the Poppi went high with a jet-assisted leap. At the peak of her jump she brought her new claymore down to open a new crack in the Custodian's body. After sliding into range Tora popped out his shield's drill bit and allowed its rockets to push its tip into the golem's bulk. It skittered along the surface until it lodged in the crack that welled corruption, and there it ripped messily into the dark matter until the golem knocked him back. "Armor hard, but mucky-muck soft! It what bring stone to life!" Poppi observed. "Aim for black goo!"

Red laughed almost maniacally as she scanned the battlefield one last time and readied her weapon. As long as she could effectively utilize the ice for mobility she had the terrain advantage as well as having scouted out this things weakness with her and Tora’s attacks. She slid into action. Quite literally as she used the ice and her momentum to slide under an attack from the stone beast. Her attacks would struggle breaking through that armor. Given enough time and effort, she could probably get the job done. But it’s best to let Tora with his drill handle that. Instead she sliced at as much corruption as was visible to her. She also made sure to hack, slash and shoot the sphere the body was connected to. Hopefully with Tora as a distraction and the ice for mobility she could keep her damage to a minimum, but she wasn’t completely counting on it. She’d have to push through the pain like always regardless.

The mercenary's axe found little resistance in the lengths and tendrils of corruption that reached out from within the Custodian's body. Piece by piece she whittled those unclean extensions down to size, leaving them to sizzle and disintegrate once separated from the whole. When she put in work against the sphere, however, she found it paid dividends. Every strike against it produced a visible reaction that seemed to destabilize the golem. Only the ice that blocked access to most of the sphere and her enemy's swings halted her offense. With Tora well-equipped to occupy the Custodian's attention and defend himself, Red took only a couple errant pushes and glancing blows from wide-range strikes. Laharl getting decked forced her to put in overtime, but Red got it done.

Her efforts soon came to a head. In a fit of rage the golem smashed the ice again and again with its fists, breaking open dangerous holes, but Red wove between the slams and the pitfalls alike. Her next strike broke through some kind of damage threshold, and with a wet roar the Custodian fell forward onto its arms. Its head sagged a touch from its shoulders and corruption dripped from it.

Tora saw his chance. He took aim with the Drill Shield and fired a Boom Biter from its middle, sending the explosive cannonball right into the golem's face. "Poppi, pull head down to give Red clear shot!"

The artificial blade nodded and boosted forward. She discarded her claymore, dented and bent as it was from repeated impacts against solid stone, and jumped to grab hold of the Custodian's head with both hands. Her strength pried it farther from its shoulders, exposing a mass of corded corruption to the air. "Now Red, time for execute!" Tora called.

Seeing Poppi and Tora putting the custodian into a good position she prepared herself and her weapon. One Poppi pulled away its head, exposing what looked like a critical weak point, she lept into action. ”DIE ALREADY!!” She yelled out as she brought her axe down straight through the corruption connecting the head to the stone.

Red's axeblade fell like a guillotine on the Custodian's neck, parting head from body in one brutal stroke. With the damage already done by a few minutes' worth of cutting away at its extremities, the corruption had nothing else to fall back on. The infestation withered, a dying plant, and the Custodian fell apart. Its stone chunks hit the already fractured ice field and send cracks snaking across its surface as they slowly started to turn to ash. Though breathing heavily, Tora hightailed it for the edge of the canal, pausing only to scoop up the golem's spirit with his free wing. "Ice breaking! Move feeties if not want get wet, meh!"

He and Poppi made to to the edge just before the ice broke apart and began to drift downstream, with Red following right behind them. As beat up as this area looked, it was free of corruption, with only dark stains proving that the putrid mess had ever been there. Tora sat down against the wall, still panting. "Huh...huh...huh. Tough nut to crack, huh, Poppi?"

His companion nodded. She figured that now would be the perfect time to wipe her brow or something, having seen the others perform such gestures before, but she suppressed the needless urge. "That for sure. When we took job Poppi thought it just rats. Not gross moldy snakes."

”And here I thought this job would be boring!” Red stretched her arms out while they celebrated their victory. She saw the thing that Tora grabbed and it instantly caught her eye. ”Oh is that one of those spirit things Midna told me about?” So this thing could potentially be a major upgrade depending on how you used it. She was debating on if fusing with it would actually be a good idea or if they should use it in a different way. ”I actually haven’t really seen one of these before. What do ya think we should do with it?”

As Red spoke Poppi had been trying to focus, channeling ether to construct a new claymore in the same manner she did with her other weapons. Although substantially more difficult and draining, she finally managed to pull together the replacement weapon just after the mercenary's question. "Poppi guess we should take to palace as proof of clearing infestation," she ventured, her voice slightly garbled by her overall ether depletion. Her eyes landed on Laharl, laid out unconscious along the stone floor. "We should...carry him, as well. Can you do it, Masterpon?"

Tora almost protested, with excuses of comparative strength and fatigue on his lips, but in the nick of time he realized both the condition Poppi's reconstruction left her in and that she was asking a favor of him, however obvious that might be. He immediately felt bad that his first instinct was to get Poppi to do his work for him, and cleared his throat. "Sure, meh! Poppi earn break." He waddled over and hoisted the demon child above his head with his wings. He then turned to go, retreading the path that brought him here. "You know, this actually pretty nice for sewer. Neat carvings, good light. Even flowers with lilypads, meh."

As the group returned to the cistern's main chamber, Tora struggle a little with his burden. While he shifted Laharl around to a more manageable position for long-term carrying, he happened to see a big, green pipe that protruded from the floor of the basis and emerged from the water by one of the circular stone terraces. Its style and broken-down appearance stuck out from the surroundings, but even if it seemed useless Tora couldn't shake the feeling that he'd seen this kind of pipe before. He waddled over. "Meh...Tora get feeling this important somehow," he said aloud, going off the feeling in his guts. "Maybe mention to Mooglypon and see if Alcamoth guys know about."

Shaking her head, Red turned away from the pipe that the other two were looking at. ”Not touching that unless I know what it does. If something looks out of place like that, it probably wants to kill ya.” She has had plenty of experience with things of that nature. She loved fighting weird creatures but when it came to objects that could do any number of things with no warning it was best to leave it alone.

His impetuousness was in fact his downfall, arrogantly charging into battle blinded by visions of a triumphant victory only to miss the bigger picture and ultimately get himself knocked out cold. It was a miracle he sustained moderate injuries and survived, due to his empowered state during the fight. Slowly the demon boy regained consciousness, stirring slightly. Laharl groaned as his muscles burnt with searing pain, and his arms were sore.

"Ugh I demand to be put down! Unhand me!" he growled squirming a little looking rather helpless, he was embarrassed that he failed to bring down the behemoth himself and more than a little disappointed in his foolhardiness. Tora was only too happy to comply, and let the kid go free without a word of protest.

Red scoffed at Laharl as he finally came too. Normally she’d tell him to shut his trap or something to that extent but this kid definitely seemed.. interesting. He had way more strength in that body than it appeared, even if he did act immature despite it. She smiled under her mask as they kept walking. Hopefully everything here was as interesting and exciting as these past couple days had been. If so then this place would be paradise to the battle hungry mercenary.
Mikhail Feldunn

Mikhail was really not all that concerned with the throng of women outside of their ship. It wouldn’t have surprised him all that much if one of his companions had pissed them off in some way or another. He wasn’t about to make accusations but he had an idea… thankfully something Ashley said to them got them to calm down and he stopped paying attention as he boarded the boat. Fortunately for him so he didn’t see what ended up happening to them afterwards.

Now most of them were on the boat again. Tonka and Aleria reeked of alcohol, then again so did Troe even though he didn’t seem all that affected. Now that he was thinking about it that man had a lot of shot glasses on his table. Either he was a monster or people just started putting their dirty dishes on his table. Unsure of which answer he preferred he started taking stock of the rest of the crew to verify they were all aboard. And with Xara being the last member to board he was satisfied that they were all here as they began to set out on the final leg of their journey. For the most part it was fairly uneventful, which was a very nice reprieve from the storms that beset them on the first leg of their journey. Thankfully this gave him some good opportunity to keep up with his training. At least once a day he’d use part of the top deck for working out and making sure he didn’t get rusty with his weapon.

Even though one day Ashley managed to walk up to him, completely sloshed out of her mind off of some stuff the sailors had on board. Her words were slurred so badly he could barely make out what she was trying to say. He took the bottle from her, taking a small swig for himself and sighed before he started dragging her to her bed. Practically having to carry her about halfway through considering she could barely walk. He made sure to sit with her until the alcohol wore off. Partially to make sure she didn’t accidentally hurt herself and partially to make sure she was okay afterwards. And only a small part was due to the fact that the alcohol was a bit stronger than he anticipated and he was not about to move till it settled down.

Once she eventually did sober up she started piping up about some of her earlier actions and even apologizing for some of the things she had done. Though when she was talking about wanting to show him more how she was at home he was also starting to get a bit embarrassed. But still he smiled. He stood up as he started to prepare to leave. “Well thankfully it takes a lot more than that to make me uncomfortable. Besides, it wasn’t too hard to tell that most of it was overplayed so I was wondering when I could get you to drop the act.” This time he laughed off the comment about his ‘lance’ again, even if he did start blushing again. “Of course milady, that was my mistake. I promise I shall not make that error again.” He said with the fakest voice and bow that he could muster before turning to walk away. “I look forward to seeing the real you.” A smile on his face as he left the room… and started entirely overthinking what he just said after getting a small distance away.

When that strange deadzone Mikhail didn’t put too much concern into it. Was it suspicious? Absolutely. Was he the one who could do anything about it or figure it out? Hell no. He left that to Ashley and Troe who talked and took notes extensively but he still answered questions that Troe had. Which ended up helping as he was one of the first to notice the distinct lack of animals considering that stood out to him more than the lack of wind. Once that came to his attention he realized something was extremely wrong, as animals are typically more attuned to noticing when things are just… wrong. Every day they were in that deadzone he would subtly and silently check in on the whole crew to make sure none of them were too off.

Once the wind picked up he was far more relieved. He was on his way to speak to Ashley on the deck until they were so rudely interrupted by the sudden approach of ships. As soon as their commander gave the call he was starting to evacuate people below the deck. Although he did get a little caught up in watching Ashley perform her magic, so dark and sinister. Though it’s power was absolutely nothing to sneeze at, as is usually the case when you see a skilled mage. He shook his head and kept corralling people down into the lower decks with Ashley being one of the last.

Everything stopped. Mikhail saw the arrow embed itself in Ashley’s shoulder and he rushed forward but he wasn’t able to catch her before the arrow got knocked around in her shoulder, mangling the wound pretty badly. “WE NEED A HEALER!” He called out as he brought her down towards Aleria, hoping that she’d be able to help.

"Mikhail, you... take over—for me..."

Mikhail nodded. He wasn’t sure how well he would be able to do but he’d be damned if he didn’t try. He grabbed his weapon and held it up as he began to disclose his plan. “Everyone listen up! We’re outnumbered and things are looking pretty dire, so if we wanna get out of this we’re gonna have to be smart about this. We’re gonna use this position we’ve holed up in to our advantage and let them funnel themselves into a bad position. Me, Tonka and Kav…” He looked around and couldn’t find Kavius. “Shit. Me and Tonka are gonna be the wall and hold them off in the melee front. Aleria, heal up Ashley. Make sure she doesn’t die and then support us at the front. Samara. Try to pick off as many people as you can and try to make sure we don’t get overrun. Mages, if you can do the same without collateral damage then do that too. If not then do as Ashley said and try to blast up as much of that ship as you can from the portholes. If we can thin their numbers down enough then we might be able to pull back the ship.” If he was being completely honest, he wasn’t sure how well this plan would work. He was hoping for a miracle… if only something could happen to one of those ships!

He waited for everyone to get into battle stations before yanking the hatch open and barely avoiding a few arrows that came his way. A couple of the invaders started trying to trample over themselves as they tried to enter the hatch but ultimately failed and had to file in.the first one tried to swing at Mikhail from a higher ground who used his weapon to parry the blade and impale his opponent who quickly fell. He backed down to the base of the stairs to avoid the ranged attacks and prepared himself as some of the dumber attackers started filing into the trap. “Just hold on everyone! We got this!”
Mikhail Feldunn

Upon exiting the bathroom Mikhail noticed that Ashley looked fairly concerned. And for good reason too given the response to his question. As soon as Ashley pointed it out he realized he did in fact feel the explosion but was too lost in thought to really process it. He decided to shove the whole previous situation into the back of his mind for now, he had to focus.

Meeting up with Tonka was a good idea. With just the two of them and the fact that he left his weapon on the boat it’d be a great help to have Tonka there in case things started to get messy. Plus he saw Aleria and Troe follow after her so he was confident they could still handle most problems thrown at them. Or at least, that’s what he was hoping.

He looked out into the crowd and started figuring out how they should proceed. He looked down to ask Ashley but realized she was real tense. Either something was making her nervous or she was just real out of it. Either way it didn’t really matter. Mikhail took her by the hand. Not in a comforting way, no. Instead he grabbed her hand and started dragging through the crowd to get her moving. “Keep an eye out. I’m getting us to that bar.”

It took some time and effort. Luckily with Mikhail’s force he was able to shove his way through the crowd, knocking a few people on their asses on the way. And with him holding onto Ashley the two of them weren’t getting separated. Didn’t seem like any enemies were hidden in the crowd and they finally made their way over to the bar.

The only person he was looking for that he found was Troe. Who Mikhail quickly approached him and put a hand at his table. “Slight emergency, gotta go it looks like. What happened to Tonka and Aleria?”
Mikhail Feldunn

With Mikhail left alone on watch duty things were very silent in the room. The sound of the waves and sea birds being his only company as he remained ever vigilant to the supposed pursuers that could come ashore at any moment. Even still he couldn’t help but allow his mind to wander. One of the first things he thought about was what in the world his dad would say if he figured out he had ran off on some life threatening quest without permission. He’d probably kick Mik’s ass to hell and back without remorse. That’s already how most of the sparring sessions between the two went.

It made him wonder about why he even went on this quest in the first place. He wasn’t originally to be noble and figure out the problem and save everyone. It honestly made him feel a little pathetic, thinking that a grown ass man like him had to resort to these lengths just to get away from his father. And the worst part is this is the most fun he’s had in a long time. Being able to travel, being around such… interesting characters, and even Ashley. It almost sickened him to realize this all happened simply to get away from his father. It made him feel so fake and he hated it.

While he was busy debating whether or not he should be hating himself, his dad or both Ashley finally emerged from the bathroom. Looking and smelling much cleaner than she did before.

"All right, your turn," she says to Mikhail, tying her hair up. Now with her mild bedhead sorted, she looked... a bit like a butler. It was kind of amusing how removing one piece of clothing could have such an effect. "Is there something on my face?" Ashley said sternly, having seemingly fully returned to "lady knight" mode. "Get a move on. If you hadn't noticed, you stink too."

He didn’t respond right away as he didn’t expect to be chastised like that. But after smelling his arm and grimacing he realized he should definitely take a bath for himself too. ”Yeah fine, I guess you’re right.” He didn’t know how to feel about this sudden change in her demeanor yet again. She’s actually changed a lot and shown him many different faces over this trip. From lady knight to seemingly lovestruck maiden and he was for the first time ever struggling to differentiate what was real and what was fake with her. Most nobles had an air about them, you can tell when they’re full of shit when you’ve been around enough. The fake confidence and praise and talking up your own accomplishments. They were all just actors on a grand stage of bullshit in his opinion. But with her he really couldn’t tell anymore. The only thing that truly seemed ‘real’ so far was when she leaned on him while he went to buy her coffee.

Wait, why was he concerned about trying to figure her out? He wondered this to himself as he went into the bathroom and removed his clothes. There was no one he was going to get this attached to someone again. All it would do is lead to pain all over again. There were two many similarities that were causing him to become both too comfortable and very afraid. The love of coffee, the late night (or all night) studying and research, acting prim and proper but being able to let loose in private. It wasn’t the same, he didn’t care about Ashley in the same way, but it was reminding him of his brother. And in the mirror he was reminded of the dangers of caring too much. He saw the scars on his torso and arms from blades and other open wounds. After Casimir was brutally killed he was left for dead on the side of the road. His entire life was uprooted, the only person he cared about taken in an instant and he was left with permanent reminders. He was filled with intense desire to both protect her with his life and separate himself from her at the same time.

As he finally let himself sink into the water he tried to let his troubled mind soothe itself but to no avail. He continued to wonder why he let Ashley bother him so much. He didn’t understand any of her actions. Could she be legitimately flirting with him? But why would she flirt with him of all people? His father’s words echoed in his mind. ‘Worthless. Disgraceful. Disappointment.’ All things he was called after Cas’ death. No, there's no way she could want him. A knight like her, noble in a much truer sense of the word and brave. She seemed so strong to him. Maybe not physically in comparison to him or Tonka but mentally. At least, as far as he had seen. He had started to look up to her after seeing how much effort she put into this group. And what was he? A suicidal disgrace to his family who was ready to give up his life for strangers all in this glorified attempt to evade his dad. He scowled at himself in the mirror before turning away to finish his bath.

After a little bit he was no closer to sorting through his thoughts but at least he was clean. He finally finished getting dressed without his jacket for now, seeing as that was probably most exposed to the fish smell, and left the room. “Anything show up yet?” He asked Ashley without looking at her as he went to sit on the bed.

Location: Sandswept Sky - Hollow Heights
Level:2 (3/20) -> (5/20)
Word Count:

When the train was first unveiled Red was honestly in utter disbelief. Even this thing was made of candy, which seemed obvious in retrospect. Compared to the mangled mass of the Express Train to Hell or the amazing advancements with W Corps warp trains, this thing was like an anomaly in it’s own right. If only those crazed researchers from the facility were in this world they’d have a field day. And who knows, with the amount of people unfamiliar with this world there was a large chance some of them were here somewhere. Even the old facility could be here somewhere… though she really hoped not. After being trapped in that containment cell, only able to wander the halls of the facility when she got a request (or she just wanted to get out to join in any chaos going on) she had longed for somewhere new to test her skills. And honestly, this world was more than perfect for that. Threats from completely different worlds gave rise to new and interesting challenges on a constant basis if she kept following this group. It did seem like they had some greater purpose in mind after all.

Red opted to sit alone on the train, as per usual. The colorful world wasn’t helping her want to branch out and be social either. It honestly made her want to vomit looking at it for this long so she was extremely thankful they were finally leaving. Even if it was on this absolute mess of a train. While she avoided talking to everyone she had plenty of time to herself. Taking stock on her weapons conditions, looking out over the landscape, and generally just thinking over her plans going forward. She still had her main goal of tracking down the Wolf like normal, but her chances of finding him alone were probably slim to none. Supposing the conniving bastard lured some people over to his side she’d have more than just him to deal with, or if he holed up in a dangerous area she might sustain too much damage. When she took too much damage back in her world she’d just end up back in her containment cell, but she hadn’t tested it in this world. She might die for real this time around.

While her train of thought chugged along much like the train she was riding on, she finished up taking care of her gun and sharpening her axe blade when she heard mention of the incoming storm. Looking out the window she saw the horrible winds up ahead and sighed. “Ah shit…” She muttered to herself as she secured her gun tightly to her body. Taking her axe she dug it into the floor till it was so stuck even she’d struggle getting it out later while also holding onto a part of the train with all of her might. The sandstorm still threatened to throw her out but her grip held strong. She didn’t even bother keeping an eye out for the other passengers in the train and just focused on ensuring her own survival until eventually the winds died down, and they passed through the storm relatively unscathed by the looks of it.

The train stopped shortly after and they started doing a headcount. It looked like they lost four members of their party. Red took a moment to dislodge her axe, or a few moments rather, before she finally joined in with the discussion of possible rescue plans. Red, however, was having none of it. Even scoffing at Yoshitsune’s plan. “Sorry Samurai, you’re a good fighter and all but I gotta agree with the little lady, the furball and the robot on this one.” She referred to Primrose, Tora and Poppi respectively. “For most normal creatures, a trip through a desert or any dangerous location is suicide without proper provisions. And I don’t think I wanna risk my life over a few strangers I barely know.” For now she was steadfast in not wanting to go with the plan. She did consider the possibility of running into some fun fights along the way but she had a job to complete and a reputation to uphold. Even if that reputation didn’t mean much in this world anymore. The only missions she ever failed were whenever that asshole manager sent her after the most dangerous creatures in that facility as a sacrificial lamb so those didn’t count in her head. “If any of you want to risk it all like that, I won’t stop you. It just sounds like a bad plan to me.”
Mikhail Feldunn & Ashley Wycliffe

At first, Mikhail was taken aback and red slightly tinged his face as Ashley took his arm. He instantly assumed she was going to go straight into teasing him again and was almost ready to shake her off until she just leaned into him. He sighed, smiled a bit, and started leading her around. “Seems like the ocean’s been giving you trouble.” He said with a slight bit of actual concern in his voice. “Come on, I’ll show you where the best coffee in this damned tourist trap is. Took us forever the first time we came here.” Luckily Casimir was quite the avid fan of coffee. Mikhail remembered in great detail their search for the best coffee he could find. And then going back about ten times on their week long trip.

Who’s ‘we?’ Ashley thought, but didn’t ask. She knew well that she had no intention of talking about her own past, so she wasn’t about to ask Mikhail about his, no matter how curious she was. There was almost nothing Ashley hated more than hypocrites.

"Thanks... for catching me back there. Though I'm supposed to be protecting you, it ended up like this."

“It’s not like it was any issue. The sea is rough and unforgiving even if you’re careful. And who said you’re supposed to be protecting me? That’s supposed to be my job. I already vowed that I’d keep all of you alive.” Despite not knowing any of these people besides Ashley he made a personal vow. He was not going to let anyone die unless he gave and risked everything he had.

”So reliable,” Ashley said, the words coming out sounding more sarcastic than they did in her head. ”No, I mean it,” she says emphatically, sounding a bit frustrated. Ashley could easily fake any voice she needed, but when the time came for her to convey her sincere thoughts, she often struggled to get them to sound genuine. ”I thought you’d get sick of me tailing you and tell me to walk the plank, but you even sought me out yourself once or twice. You thought I wouldn’t notice,” she asserts in her prideful “lady knight” voice.

“Sure I am.” He teased as he led her along, making fun of her accidentally sarcastic tone. “Oh of course not. I wouldn’t have sought you out if I thought I’d get sick of you. If I was tired of you I wouldn’t have tried so hard to catch you when you fell.” He almost instantly regretted that joke as it came off a bit more messed up than he intended. “My bad. It’s just on a boat of unknowns that I don’t fully trust, I'd rather stick with someone I do.”

”It’s the same for me,” Ashley replies simply, seeming satisfied about something.

Eventually the two of them arrived at the coffee shop and compared to the rest of this town it was far more serene. A small local place with only one other patron at the moment who sat quietly to the side. It was like a small haven in this tourist trap city. As soon as they entered Mikhail sat his companion down and went up to order. If he had to assume what kind of coffee she liked he would assume black. Or at the very least it seemed like that’s what she needed right now. He also made sure to order some pastries to go with it after having seen her wolf down the ones back on Faroth-En. It seemed that she liked them. “We’ll get an actual meal too if you’d like, this just seemed like a good pairing.” He said as he stuffed his mouth with one of the pastries.

”No, this is fine,” Ashley says as she grabs one of the pastries and wolfs it down greedily. ”Alma will lecture me if I bring back any of that pemmican,” she says with her mouth full of pastry.

Raising an eyebrow at his companion’s table manners, Mikhail almost couldn’t believe this was the same person for a moment. Back on Faroth-En Ashley was the knight captain. Always serious, never letting down her guard. But now… he really couldn’t tell why or what happened but she was totally different. Is this how she truly was and she was both comfortable enough with him and far enough away from her responsibilities to let it show? Or was this the act and she wanted to make him let his guard down? He didn’t believe it was the latter, she seemed different enough from most nobles at least. In fact he had actually come to trust her in these past few days. So he allowed himself to crack a smile as he watched her eat like she hadn’t eaten in several days.

Noticing that Mikhail was smirking again in reaction to her manners, Ashley swallows her food and starts on her coffee. ”Look, if I wanted to spend the rest of my life worrying about what a man thinks of my manners, I’d get married,” she says, completely deadpan. ”Even if I retired from the knights, I have enough to worry about at the clinic. Can’t tell you much about it—patient confidentiality—” she takes a sip of her coffee. ”—but curses are complex problems that usually take multiple days to solve. I’m already lying awake in bed thinking about that. I don’t need to also worry about what my husband would think if I fall asleep first, or what he’ll do if he wakes up and finds his wife still in bed, hair and makeup not done, sweaty clothes still on the floor—” she pauses for a moment, as if realizing that the picture she was painting might be a bit too vivid. ”Anyway, I’m always wearing some kind of mask in front of people at work. At home, I want to let my hair down, not walk on eggshells, you know?”

Mikhail smiled as she went on about that, content to just sip his coffee and listen to her ramble. He didn’t respond to most of it. Didn’t feel the need to respond to the talks about her future husband and after she stopped herself he didn’t want to accidentally embarrass her. He just nodded at the end. “Well with how busy you sound I don’t blame you. I didn’t pay much attention before but I’ve heard about your unhealthy sleeping habits from Clive. Sounds like both your jobs put you under a lot of stress.”

Ashley nods. ”Most people don’t know a thing about what I do. They watch me stare at runes for hours and wonder if I’m actually working, but they’ll take me seriously if I do it this way. Clive’s a worrywart, so he’ll say it’s unhealthy, but so is working with dark magic. It can’t be helped.”

Ashley’s eyes looked just a bit less lifeless after finishing her coffee. ”This stuff is sinfully good… but we can’t stay here all day,” she says regretfully, thinking of the Santa Lyrica which would surely catch up to them within hours. She sighs as she looks back up at Mikhail. ”Alright, look. I’m a lady. I’m not taking a bath in the ocean, or in front of strangers in a locker room at the hot springs. So unless you’ve got a better idea, you’re taking me to a hotel,” she says, averting her eyes awkwardly at the last part.

Did he hear her right? A hotel? He tried to calm himself. It’s not like she was brazenly asking him to take her to a hotel for something weird right? It was just for her to take a bath. That’s right, nothing weird at all. He was thankful that she looked away as he calmed himself from his original surprise. “Right, let’s go.” He said flatly to cover up his reaction.

As the pair slowly approach reception, Ashley is struck with sudden inspiration. ”E-Excuse me,” Ashley begins with a tone of awkward shyness, hiding a bit behind Mikhail. ”C-Could we maybe… get a room… high up, with an ocean view?” she asks the old lady at the counter, turning her eyes up at Mikhail as if she needed his permission.

“Why yes, we do have one of those available,” the old lady says pleasantly.

”Isn’t that great?” Ashley replies as excitedly as she can, quietly slipping her coin pouch into one of Mikhail’s pockets. ”I’ll go ahead and check it out while you handle the boring stuff, okay sweetie? Don’t be late♪” she says as she takes the key from the receptionist and scampers off toward the stairs.

“Your boyfriend’s a real cutie,” the old lady whispers to Mikhail, giving him a sly look like she understood something that most other old ladies her age wouldn’t.

Luckily for Mikhail he felt Ashley slip some money into his pocket otherwise he wouldn’t have had nearly enough to pay for this. He honestly felt a little bad making her pay like this in so many situations but it couldn’t be helped. He was kept on a tight leash as far as money went so that he’d stay on the island. “Uh, yeah… h-he is…” He couldn’t tell what got to him and caught him off guard more. The fact that she mistook Ashley for a boy or the fact she assumed the two were dating. Well their actions didn’t help the dating assumption at all but it still bothered him a bit. The old lady only giggled in response as she took his payment, assuming she embarrassed him rather than confused him. After paying he followed after Ashley to their room.

Entering the couple’s suite on the top floor, Ashley is immediately struck with the strong smell of perfume. Resisting the urge to gag, she makes her way to the ocean window and throws it wide open… and is struck with the strong smell of fish. This is fine. I’m desperate, so it’s fine, she tells herself as Mikhail enters the room shortly after her.

”Well? What do you think? Got ourselves a nice little vantage point, and an excuse to be left alone, all without drawing any suspicion,” she says with a proud smile. ”Are you not impressed?”

After locking the door behind him Mikhail took a look around, scrunching his nose up at the smell of perfume permeating the room. Only to be hit by a smell of fish as he neared the window and Ashley. “Oh we can smell the boat from here.” He joked flatly. “Impressed? Well that depends, why did we get this room in the first place?”

Ashley blinks. ”Why..? Oh! Because, I want you to keep a lookout for the Santa Lyrica. It’s got the best crew money can buy,” she says, her voice dripping with disdain. ”so it’s probably still following us.”

He tilted his head in confusion. “I still don’t understand why I need to watch for it though.”

”Well, like I said, there are dangerous criminals aboard—high class, of course, not like Lord Clive could just arrest them—” she adds, stalling for time so she could think. She really didn’t want to drag Mikhail into her personal affairs, especially not one that involved a whopping thirty assassins. ”Look, the reality is only slightly more complicated than that, but now isn’t the time. Just keep an eye out, and if you see them approaching, call me back out here and I can handle it easily enough. I already have a plan,” she says as she opens the door to the bath. ”No peeping, okay, ‘darling?’” she teases before shutting the door.

Dangerous criminals? It was starting to make a bit more sense, and was explaining her weird behavior back in the capital. Someone was after her and she didn’t want to explain anymore than that. Which was all he needed to hear. “Got it, I’ll keep an eye out.” He sat by the window and looked out at the docks. Thankfully he was far more used to the smell of fish than the perfume. Mik waved off her teasing as she went into the bathroom. “Yeah, yeah. Just take your damn bath.”
Mikhail Feldunn

To be honest, for Mikhail the last few days were more troublesome and annoying then they were difficult. He wasn’t intent on helping out around the boat but when he saw their wonderful leader Ashley working her butt off he sighed and put himself to work. It wasn’t too bad thankfully. With the amount of physical training he put himself through it wasn’t too bad and he managed to impress a couple of the crew members. Not nearly as well as Tonka but he didn’t expect to be able to compare to that beast of a woman.

For the most part on the journey he just tried to keep himself busy while keeping an eye on everyone. The first day he specifically kept an eye on the one who had shown up shortly before leaving without any of them realizing. He had to make sure this stranger wasn’t dangerous. Other than that the party could see him with Ashley almost exclusively, not really of his own volition but he didn’t really care all that much. When he wasn’t suspiciously watching the stranger from afar to make sure he wasn’t a bastard he could be seen randomly assisting the others without a single word. If someone was struggling he would help them with their task and move on without a single word or waiting for a thank you. He also almost walked into Tonka’s magic lessons while trying to find Ashley once or twice but he’d always leave awkwardly without saying anything. He tried to steer away from that stuff, he learned the hard way that he had no talent for that stuff and it brought along some bad memories.

After Mikhail’s antisocial boat ride finally arrived at its first pit stop he sat on the deck and looked over the island. It wasn’t his first trip to Santorini. He and his brother came years ago. It was Casimir’s 18th birthday so the brothers got some of their fathers money and used it for a fun vacation. Of course their dad wasn’t able to come, he was too busy as always but that didn’t stop them from having a good time. He still remembered how flustered Cas was as a few women tried to pull him away and was forced to use his 14 year old brother as an excuse. It brought a smile to Mikhail’s face for the first time this entire boat ride.

He watched as Ashley left, stumbling off the boat and pondered for a few moments about whether or not he should follow. He also saw Kavius and Nitonka leave as well and figured he should make sure the poor girl is okay. She had no authority here and was coffee deprived so the likelihood of her getting bothered was extremely high. Of course, for similar reasons as Ashley, several girls tried to essentially surround Mikhail. Whether they were here for a good time, to rob him, or entice him into spending money he didn’t really care.

“Come on big boy, I can help you wield that lance of yours.” One of the women offered. Maybe it was the similarity to Ashley’s joke but it definitely annoyed him.

“Move I’m gay.” He said and forced his way through them without remorse. He wasn’t about to try and be nice to the people here, he wasn’t staying after all. As he walked away a guy walked up with a flirtatious smile, clearly having heard his proclamation. “Move I’m straight.” He called in response. Within earshot of the women. The funny thing is neither of these statements were true but it got him left alone at the very least. Leaving several confused people in his wake.

He managed to find Ashley’s situation at the tail end as Tonka finished shooing away the women that had surrounded Ashley. Made him feel good that at least he wasn’t the only victim but he approached her casually afterwards. “Seems like you’re having fun, getting the classic Santorini greeting. Would you like an escort?” He said and offered his hand out with a smirk on his face.

Location: Sweet Canyon - Parnasse
Fight Rewards: +5
Level: 1 (5/10) -> 2 (0/20)
Level up!
Bleeding Attacks-
Red’s axe is able to cut just a bit deeper. When dealing melee damage it causes a bleeding effect with damage over time, supposing the target has blood of course
Word Count: 1,708
Level 2 (0/10) -> (3/10)

After grabbing the robots attention and laying fire into one of its legs Red prepared herself to avoid and counterattack the robot till its joints gave out. Thankfully it looked like that time never came. With the combination of magic, missiles and various other attacks that managed to eventually put that robot down for good. She grunted in approval as she sheathed and holstered her weapons and nodded at the handiwork of her new teammates. This was good because now she knew that at least most of the group was capable, but also bad because if they did figure out what she was and had to fight them she wasn’t all confident that she’d be able to win.

Although hopefully she wouldn’t need to do that. After all there were various non-human creatures among the group that maybe being an Abnormality wouldn’t be that big of a deal to them. There also seemed to be a new one that had joined in on the fight with the group, a younger looking boy who managed to punch a decent sized dent into the other robot that the group took care of. He may have been strong but he didn’t seem too mature as he went off to pout afterwards. Not like it was any skin off her back what he decided to do with his time though, she wasn’t too interested in learning about many of these people as it stood. Joker was about the only one that managed to catch her interest, him and his group's weird ability. It wasn’t like anything from her world which was saying something as she had seen more weird and abnormal things than just about anyone could dream of.

Once she saw the others settling down for the night she decided to reluctantly follow to where the girls were allocated to staying after looking around the confectionary town a bit more. Unlike the others that tried making themselves a bed she was content with sitting down and leaning herself against a wall. More comfortable than some of the places she had fallen asleep before but still had quite a bit of trouble before eventually falling into a restless sleep like usual.


In the morning Red woke up with a start as the images of a bloody wolf slowly left her mind. The same nightmare ravaged her mind again as it did every night but pushed past it once more. All this was was a reminder that she was doing this to find and put down that damned creature in an even more brutal fashion than the last time they met. Granted, the last time she met she had a bit of help from the employees of that facility who got caught in the crossfire. At least they were smart enough not to take her kill, but like always she wasn’t able to put him down permanently. Maybe in this world she could keep him down and be rid of him for good but she didn’t keep her hopes up.

For now though she had a job to work on. She was still investigating the trade route after all for that one weird queen. Red managed to track down one of the weird animals that was helping them around last night, the first one she found being a weird kangaroo looking thing. “Assuming you actually live in this sickly sweet place I’m hoping you can tell me what the hell happened here and to the trade route with Al Mamoon?” While she had a vague guess it was better to find out straight from a hopeful eye witness.

Although the Blumaroo seemed somewhat unnerved by Red’s appearance, or perhaps because of it, he was quick to cough up the information she was looking for. “Oh uh, sure. W-well, the whole thing was the Princess’ idea, and the rest of us work to harvest the local sweets. Then Ruki runs the train to Al Mamoon and Gnorbu trades them for goods to bring back for us.” Realizing he hadn’t really gotten to Red’s question, he rocked on his tail nervously. “B-but one day a big gang of machines showed up. They overran the place and captured Edith, our fairy. When the Princess didn’t send down help, the rest of us hid inside our homes. Then the roots came, but...well, if you guys got rid of the machines, we should have the train running again in no time.”

Red let out a sigh of exasperation as she listened to the creature's story. She had her suspicions but of course it was those damned machines. And that last fight just proved how little viability she had fighting them outside of her gun. Seemed like she’d be sticking with this group for a little while longer to try and deal with the enemy together. At least she hoped that’d be the intent of this merry band of heroes.

At least she got her info. Who knew a talking kangaroo would have so much info? “Do you know if these robots have a camp or a base somewhere? And you mentioned a princess, where is she in all of this?”

With a frown the Blumaroo shook his head. “Sorry, we don’t know much about them. Before we got stuck, there were lots of them around town. If they’re not here any more, then I guess they’re dealt with? We’re really grateful. Really.” He didn’t seem to shy away from speaking on behalf of the Princess, which lent credence to the idea she didn’t really care. “As for the Princess, I think she holed up in her little castle west of here. I’d be surprised if she didn’t come by sometime soon, since she can see Parnasse from there.”

The machines weren’t all defeated Red knew that for fact. With the amount of small ones she encountered on her way into town from Al Mamoon this was gonna be a slight problem. “Of course, stereotypical princess who doesn’t care about her kingdom, I take it?” She shook her head in disappointment. If she was a ruler like that she’d come and personally rain down hell on anyone that messed with her kingdom. She kinda liked that idea before realizing she was getting lost in thought. “Thanks for the info, looks like I gotta go find this Princess. Or I guess wait for her to show up.”

As the sun grew higher in the sky and the morning progressed, the various heroes of Yellow team arose from their slumber throughout the town to grab a bite to eat, chat, or go about their business in preparation for another busy day. Rather than engage with the strangers she’d found herself surrounded by, Red kept her eye westward, and before too long her patience was rewarded. The sound of tramping feet and laborious groans alerted her to incoming company on the smooth flan path that led to the ‘little castle’ her Blumaroo acquaintance spoke of, and what she saw did little to dissuade the opinions she’d formed about this place’s ruler so far.

Toward Parnasse came a palanquin lugged by diminutive footsoldiers in uniform, their faces contorted by the effort required for their task, and within the palanquin lounged an obese blonde woman in a fanciful pink dress. Even now she appeared to be enjoying a slice of cake. As the procession neared Parnasse, one carrier sounded a bugle, and the town’s chocolatey inhabitants appeared from their houses to line the path on either side. Altogether the neopets represented less than a dozen, but they formed up quickly and stood straight. The Fat Princess had come to town.

Red waited quite a bit of the day on one of the rooftops in town watching the castle for the supposed princess and what an interesting sight it was. The woman being carried by the poor, poor subjects was not what she expected yet still very fitting for the description she had gotten. Red watched intently as the procession arrived in town and all the Neopets stood at attention. However the mercenary had no issues ignoring the rank of this woman and quickly approached the large woman without even a bow. “I’ll just get right to the point ‘Princess,’ tell me everything you can about the problems with the trade route and the machines causing the problems.” The red cloaked girl went right to business, hoping to keep this conversation as brief as possible.

The mercenary’s arrival and subsequent insertion went uncontested, since the footsoldiers were busy straining under their burden and the Princess sure wasn’t going to do anything. She did, however, fix Red with a half-confused, half-condescending look. “Impudence aside, if you know that the machines interfered with the trade route, why, you know as much as I do!” Curious, she tilted her head slightly. “Ah, but if you’re her on behalf of Her Moojesty, well, please be assured that we’ll have the treats back on track quite soon. We have much to thank all of you for, but alas, nothing with which to reward you beyond all the sugar you could ever eat~!” With a jovial laugh she crammed the rest of her cake slice in, as if to prove her point.

“Wait, so that’s it? Everything will start running fine?” Red was certainly not happy looking at or talking to this snobby lady. Though the good news is that apparently a few robots were all it was gonna take to get the train rolling again which made for an easy job. That kind of disappointed her… but at least she’d be able to leave this disgustingly cheerful place behind her. “Well I guess I’ll go report this news to the queen then.”

The Princess flashed her a saccharine smile. “Very good! It’s been positively dreary without any goodies from Al Mamoon around. Variety is the spice of life, after all!” With a snap of her fingers she commanded her soldiers to turn the palanquin around and head back for her castle. She reached up to snap a lollipop-laden branch off a passing tree. “Give my regards to the Cowlipha, won’t you dear?” she called, but if Red said anything at all, the Princess did not stop to hear it.
Mikhail Feldunn

From his spot on the side of the boat Mikhail listened in on everyone’s introductions even though he looked like he wasn’t paying much attention to anything. In truth he was judging the ones he knew nothing about and seeing if they had any noteworthy skills.

The first up, of course, was Kavius. The man who started this obnoxious business of introducing themselves. He looked like he’d be a bit of a wildcard. Not only because since first seeing him in the bar the guy had somehow lost his shirt but he seemed surprisingly aloof given the nature of this mission. Though most people seemed to not be feeling a whole lot of tension either way so he couldn’t really judge him on that. He also introduced his Sam, the archer girl he had noticed during that brawl. Mikhail had made sure to avoid her while fighting his way through the crowd, partially because he didn’t want what little money he had on him stolen and also because he didn’t want to accidentally hit her in the face while she was stealing. Not that he particularly cared about her actions. At least half of those people probably had it coming anyway.

Shortly after him was a few mages. The first one was the new healer of the group, Aleria she said her name was. Apparently a noble associated with the church. Great. He never cared much for the church to be honest, the imagery was posted around his house at varying intervals and he obviously accepted the religion but for the most part he didn’t care much for the church themselves. Organized groups like that almost felt off to him but he wasn’t about to admit that to the priestess standing before him. Ashley was up next and she went on a little about her rank and profession. He had heard at least somewhat about her profession from Clive but it was certainly a bit more interesting hearing it from her own mouth. And it seemed like she definitely knew what she was talking about. Then she started mentioning him. He was honestly a little thankful at first as he didn’t really feel like speaking, and he sighed in relief as she chose to leave out the bit about his title and bloodline. And then her introduction took a turn for the worse… talking about his ‘lance.’ The absolute nerve of this woman. In his reaction he nearly slipped and banged his head against the side of the ship he was leaning on but stopped himself just in time. He sent a glare her way before hanging his head down to hide the slight blush on his face. “By the Goddess this woman will be the death of me…” he muttered to himself.

While regaining his composure a bit a few others introduced themself. Margot, the mage girl with a drug problem who was apparently interested in money more than anything. Not that he could blame her, that’s ninety percent of the reason most people were going. Then Nitonka, the large axe wielding woman he invited earlier. Then Troe, the scholar that Ashley was acquainted with.

After finally regaining his composure he turned to the others. Hoping to recover from the off handed comment Ashley delivered. “As our commander here mentioned, I am Mikhail Feldunn. I am skilled with a… lance,” he cringed a little internally as he accidentally played further into the joke. “I’ll be on the frontlines making sure none of you slip up and get yourselves killed out there.”
Mikhail Feldunn

Mikhail watched around as everyone finished their final preparations and finally boarded the smelly boat. He watched a little as Ashley said her goodbyes to her ‘aunt’ but didn’t want to listen in too much, eavesdropping certainly wasn’t the most polite thing he could be doing. He did roll his eyes at the wink he caught from Ashley though. He followed onto the boat shortly after Ashley but not before noticing what seemed to be another new recruit. At least it appeared that way based on what he could see from Tonka. He sighed a little bit and cursed the amount of frail looking mages he’d have to keep protected and hoped that the combined magical might they possessed would outweigh that risk.

Once on board it seemed the rest of the party seemed to be settling in nicely and made him realize they really were a very rag tag group of mercenaries now. He overheard the very boisterous mage girl talking to the other two that definitely seemed like commoners and he certainly didn’t like the conversation he heard. Seemes the girl had a… taste for drugs. That’s the kind of stuff that gets you killed out here Mik thought to himself before turning to ignore the situation. As long as she wasn’t doing it in an important time or offering it to him he decided it was best to simply let it be, not like it harmed him in any way.

“Thanks for the free ride, Table Hopper. Welcome aboard to the ever growing party.” Mikhail said as he passed by Xara without particularly waiting for a response. He didn’t really hear the guys name but he heard Ashley mention the nickname before and he thought it was funny. And it did seem like the group was growing all on its own at this point. Who knew that him asking Ashley to partner up with him on this trip would lead to so many people joining up with them. With the angelic looking healer that would make nine in total. He went off to one side and leaned over the edge of the boat while looking out over the water. It had been quite awhile since he travelled by boat, and he was excited to be out on a trip like this. Even with the potential life threatening situation he seemed to prefer this over dealing with the occasional letters or possible visits from his father.
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