Roiyaru and Alwin left their group after returning to the guild house and getting their portion of pay for the week. The pay varied each week with the number and type of missions they did, but it was a fair pay. They didn't need to do any follow up on the Dragon's Sword or the neko girl, that was beyond the scope of their mission. So, they hit the city. Roiyaru wanted to use what he had been saving up to buy some new clothes. He had been stuck with wearing whatever the other's, mostly Alwin, had lying around. And since they were going to a party with Dragon's Sword the next evening, he figured it was about time to get some of his own clothes.
Alwin lead the way through the city. He knew Valadia like the back of his hand, which was something Roiyaru was happy about. He looked up at the tall buildings, feeling so tiny and insignificant to their grand appearances, and a bit dizzy. He ran to catch up with Alwin, who was speaking.
"... like a second home to me. I like to roam around here all the time." He was going on about himself, so Roiyaru was more interested in looking around. It was really his first time wandering the city. He usually only walked to path from the training building to the guild house. The city was beyond anything Roiyaru had seen before. There was a lot of apartment like building for people to live in. There was also a lot of stores, decorated in extravagant ways. There was a weapon shop with laser lights, a Kitty Cat Cafe with cat ears on the building, clothing shops with life-like moving mannequins, and such. It was nothing like Earth.
Alwin just walk past it all like it was nothing. Roiyaru wanted to stop and look around, but he had to keep up with his guide, so he just looked as he walked by. Alwin was taking him to a cheaper clothing store, so he could buy more for less, since he had no clothes of his own, except for the pair he was wearing when he washed up on Freya's beach, or whatever. But that was nothing more than a white t-shirt and a pair of brown pants. It was rather ugly in Roiyaru's opinion.
Soon the city looked less extravagant and more plain. The shops were normal looking rectangular buildings with signs and a couple items on display in the windows. There were less laser lights and lights of multiple colors. Instead, it was just like an average Earth shopping area in any small city. Roiyaru sighed as the most interesting thing around was Alwin. Alwin looked at him with a questioning look, but got no response, so he went back to leading the way.
"Here we are", he said motioning to the most boring building around. It was a large rectangular box of a building made out of stone and wood. The boys entered the store to find rows and rows of clothes stuffed in boxes. "Now, I don't usually shop here, but for just gathering a bunch of clothes to start of you're closet, this should be perfect."
"Thanks Alwin", Roiyaru said. Quickly the boys looked around and picked up clothes that weren't dirty, torn, or girly.
"How about this?" Alwin said holding up a black jacket much like his own.
"Um, no" Roiyaru said. "If I wanted to wear your clothes I could have asked for you to give me your old ones."
"Hey now", Alwin said tossing the jacket back in the pile of clothes in from of him. "My jackets are much more nicer than any here. I have to buy them at one of the highest male fashion places. They are way cooler than any here."
"A black jacket is a black jacket. Why spend more money on the same thing?" Roiyaru said as he tossed a small shirt with a flower of it to the side.
"They are not the same", Alwin said offended. This Roiyaru kid knew nothing about clothes. Alwin had an image to keep up and the cheep stuff was not going to work. He sighed, taking his mind off of other boy's ignorance, "What do you like anyways?"
"Oh, I don't know." Roiyaru muttered tossing more clothes around. "I don't like the girl clothes that the others let me wear. And I don't like your jackets and button downs. I am looking for more nice looking clothes."
"Okay, how about this?" This time he was holding up a blue jacket. It didn't have the flare of the black one, it was a simple blue jacket that cut off at the waist. However, Roiyaru did indeed like it. After that the boys found clothes for Roiyaru. Just some simple shirts with designs on them, but nothing floral or girlish, some pants and a couple of jackets. It was about a weeks worth of clothes, but it was a start. The boys took the clothes back to the guild house with them.
"Thanks again Alwin, I was so tired of wearing other people's clo..." He stopped, feeling someone staring at him. However, when he looked around he saw nothing. Alwin also stopped, looking at the boy with confusion.
"What's wrong" He asked.
"I don't know. I thought someone was looking this way..." He turned toward the brown, spiky haired boy and shrugged. "I guess it was nothing." Though he had been feeling like there was someone watching him for a while now. He occasionally bumped into someone who would disappear or feel stares. He wondered if he was being paranoid.
The boys continued back to the guild house and then to their home. The guild went to bed early tonight, tomorrow they had the day off and a party to go to.
The next day was uneventful. Roiyaru spent most of it reading about this world, which was named Saowei, and it's inhabitants. He and Kotori sat around the bookshelves all day while the others did something, Roiyaru really didn't care about what they were doing. He was most happy to be wearing his own clothes for once. It was not the black jackets and colored shirts Alwin liked, nor was it the bright colorful outfits Totsu liked, or anything else. It was a simple white shirt with red swirls forming a stripe at the end of his sleeve and a black pair of pants.
Soon, the sky turned red and orange as the Saowein sun fell from the sky and the Whisper of Truth guild began to move out. They headed out toward the Dragon's Sword. All except Arashi, he said he had some other things to take care of that night. They got to the Dragon's Sword's main keep. It was a stone, castle-like building. Banners of red hung on the walls as a form of decoration. The place was lit with lanterns hung among the trees and walls. Sir McKnight was standing in front of a large crowd of people all wearing a red robe with a crest over the heart. It had a red dragon with a jeweled sword in it's mouth. They all bowed once the much smaller guild approached.
"Welcome, Whisper of Truth, to our keep." The roaring voice of Sir McKnight boomed throughout the evening air.
"Thank you, Dragon's Sword, for having us." Totsu said. She smiled at them. Then, Sir McKnight lead the group to a large group of large tables outside among the lantern lit trees. The guild was lead to a table that was positioned in front of the other tables and told to sit down. There at the head table, they were to have a feast in their name.
Soon, large golden plates of steaming piles of meat appeared. The smell was enough to make Roiyaru's mouth water. There was all kinds of meat, chicken, pork, everything. Then smaller, but still large silver plates were brought out with steaming vegetables and breads. All kinds of food was set on all the tables. Roiyaru heard his stomach complain that the food was still on the table and not being digested. However, he knew he had to behave and have manners. He could see Alwin and Totsu also eyeing the food with wanting eyes.
"Today, we thank our friends for their service in catching our thief", boomed the voice of Sir McKnight. "While, this still worries me, this night is not for fretting, it is for celebrating."
Then a small, but piercing voice rung out. "Catually, this is the night we take back our comrade!" Everyone was shocked to hear the voice as a bunch of people rushed out from the trees. They knocked down lanterns, starting fires, ran across tables and rushed toward the keep. Everyone jumped up as fast as they could. Some people started trying to stop the river of people and others ran toward the keep for one reason or another. Roiyaru's guild also jumped up. Elise and Roiyaru stepped backward away from the crowds as the others grab their weapons.
"Elise, take Roiyaru away from here, there is no way you guys can fight here. Kotori, you come with me, Freya and Alwin, you two head go with Sir McKnight." Totsu shouted out orders to her guild. She and Kotori quickly ran to find a proper shooting position and Elise grabbed Roiyaru's hand and ran toward the trees. That left Alwin with Freya. Normally he would make a point of sighing loudly and complaining. But now was not the time. Now was the time to get these guys back for ruining his feast. That chicken leg had his name all over it. He looked at Freya. They nodded at each other, both ready for revenge. They ran off to where Sir McKnight was attacking the invaders much like a large wold attacks it's prey.
Alwin was the first to get to the large wolf-like man. He pulled out one of his sabers and fought off one of the invaders attacking Sir McKnight. Freya was quick to join as her whip gracefully moved to injure those around her. A pile of helpless and motionless invaders appeared around the group.
A heavy laugh escaped McKnight, he enjoyed the battle field more than anything. But he was also amused with his new comrades, the brown haired boy and midnight beauty. "Ha, so you two brought your weapons to a party?" he chuckled.
Alwin swung he saber at one of the few remaining invaders that was still outside. "A good warrior never leaves his blade at him." He said trying to sound cool.
"We make it a habit to be prepared", Freya shrugged as she rolled her eyes at the boy next to her. Then she whipped a man, making him unable to move.
"I like that", McKnight said, slamming into the last enemy he could find outside. "Well, our job isn't done yet. Let's hurry inside." McKnight lead the way into his keep with Freya and Alwin following fast behind. Inside the stone walls was a large open room. Wooden dining tables lined up the sides of the room. A large throne-like chair stood at the back of the room. It's golden seat was covered with a designed cushion and the gold itself had engravings on it. It looked like a king's room.
Alwin looked at the room impressed, even though its beauty and magnificence was being ruined by the large groups of people attacking each other. This was Dragon's Sword, one of the largest and most successful guilds in all of Saowei. Their halls were decorated in the treasures they won, their guild house was more like a castle than a normal building. These were Valadia's best.
Their members stood out too. The invaders were being quickly disposed of, while the members of Dragon's Sword were hardly injured. Even the best of Whisper of Truth's members would only be equal to the strength of a lower-skilled member of Dragon's Sword as far as combat went. Except maybe Arashi, but Alwin knew he certainly wasn't able to stand up to the strength of a respected member of this guild.
His thoughts were interrupted when a large man when flying in front of him. He blinked, then regained his focus. He was here to help Dragon's Sword with these guys. He scanned the room and found Sir McKnight and Freya heading toward a back doorway. "Oh come on!" he sighed as he ran to catch up to the two who were leaving him behind.
They ran into a long hall way decorated with shields and swords and spears, weapons of monsters that no one could wield. Then they practically flew down a spiraling set of stairs entering a large basement. The stone basement had wooden doors along it's walls. It also had members of Dragon's Sword laying down motionless. This made McKnight and his companions alert. Someone had been here, and it was someone strong.
Then, a group of four people walked out of one of the rooms. In the lead was a small, cat-like animu. Her pink dress and blonde hair stood out in the dull colored room. On her left was a taller boy. His body was half machine and parts of it glow green, lighting up the area around him. He was a cyborg. On her right was a smaller boy. His body was made up entirely of blue tipped plants. He was a plantu. And lastly, behind them, was a familiar little, pink haired cat girl. The same one they had caught yesterday.
"What do you think you are doing?" Sir McKnight growled, lowering his stance and lifting an axe that Alwin didn't see him grab. Freya and Alwin also got into an attack position.
"Like I told you, we are getting our furriend back", the blond cat said. Suddenly a large dust of dirt flew up from the ground. Alwin and the others covered their faces to protect their eyes and mouths from the dirt. However, once the dirt settled, the four in front of them were gone. In their place was a large hole leading up toward the ground floor of the building.
Sir McKnight swore under his breathe as he picked up the remains of an energy bomb. He looked up at where the three invaders and one escapee must have gone, knowing well enough that they must be exiting the keep at that moment.
Elise, a younger girl with short brown hair and large blue eyes, was picking pink flowers. They matched her pink dress. Watching her nearby over a book was a boy with a small figure. He was leaning against a tree as she picked her flowers, reading more about the races of Saowei. He wanted to get as much knowledge about everything as he could. Elise was born on Saowei, as this world was called. To her such things were common knowledge.
She skipped over to where the boy named Roiyaru was sitting and placed a pink flower crown on his head. He smiled at her kindly. "What ya studying?" she asked the kind boy while she swayed with her arms behind her back.
"I am reading about more of the races here." He responded and placed his book down beside him.
"I can help!", Elise chimed in. She sat next to him, placing a flower crown on her own head.
"Well okay then," He said, his eyes becoming alive with excitement. "I understand humans enough. That's what you and I are." Elise nodded. "And I get weres and animus. Both are a mix of animal and person, but the were is much more animal-like. An animu has some animal features and characteristics, but are more closely related to humans." Again Elise nodded and giggled. He understood those quite well. but he had been studying animal-like races to capture the cat girl before. "So where I am at is at the plantu."
Elise stood back up and looked toward the sky. "Saowei is made up of seven races," she began, "Some say the elves were the first to live here. But there is not a lot of information about them. Next came humans. We are the most populous of the races. Then, the stonemen came from the humans living in the mountains themselves. Shortly afterword, the animu, weres, and plantus came from the forests. Last with human development came the cyborgs. There are myths and legends behind these races, but no one truly knows their origins." She turned to face Roiyaru again, her skirt wrapping around her legs as she did so. She smiled at him.
"Plantu are the people that came from humans and the plant life around them. They are similar in shape to humans, but their bodies are completely made up of plants. They are like walking, talking plants with more control over their limbs than a normal plant would have. Oh, and they can extend their vine-like limbs out pretty far and can use their roots to hold themselves in place."
Roiyaru listened to her nodding occasionally. "Okay, I get it. So they are closer to being like the weres than like the animu." Elise nodded to the boy. He really was trying his hardest to learn all about this world. Part of it was because he wanted that knowledge to help him set up traps better and help the guild. But Elise thought that another part of it was that he was interested in this world.
"Okay, so how about explaining Cy..." Roiyaru started out, but was interrupted when Elise placed her finger over her mouth to indicate that he should be quiet. She pointed to the tree that Roiyaru was leaning against. The two climbed up the tree and hid within it's leaves. Roiyaru listened to Elise without know why, he figured that she heard something coming. Soon, he could also hear voices.
"... see, I told you I would rescue her with my bravery", said a half-machine looking boy.
"Oh, whatever Breeno!" cried out another boy. This one was a plantu. "I was the one that saved her!"
"In your dreams", the first boy named Breeno said.
A girl voice was next to speak as a blonde cat animu walked out of the trees. "Breeno, Hart, you two don't begin arguing again. There is enough of Sara to go around."
Both of the boys stared back at their female companion. "I don't want to share her", cried out the plant whose name must have been Hart.
At the same time Breeno said, "Sara is my girl, not his!"
The blonde cat-girl laughed. "Boy sure are funny aren't they Sara?"
A certain pink-haired cat girl nodded behind her with a giggle. "They sure are Lara!" She stopped for a second. "Um guys..." She said, her face growing pink. "Thanks for coming for me."
The two boys blushed as they told her it was no problem. Lara walked up to her friend and patted her on the back. "Of course we came to save you, you are very important to us."
But there little moment was ruined when a branch from a near by tree broke off, revealing a small girl and a boy laying on the ground dumbfounded. Quickly Sara jumped back and let out a hissing-like sound, for she recognized these two. The rest of her group stared at the people who fell from the tree and Sara and back at the people on the ground. Breeno was first to speak, "Um, you know these people"
Sara hissed again, "Yeah. They are part of that guild that captured me!" Her friends' eyes widened at first. Then they jumped in front of her, protecting her.
Roiyaru looked at the group prepared to attack them and waved at the girl he captured just the night before. "Hey there cat girl", he called out to her.
The group in front of him looked at each other confused. Then Breeno spoke up, "Um, you can't have her! I will protect her!"
"No worries, I won't steal your girl there", Roiyaru said. He looked at Elise who was holding her emergency pistol up at them. He gently placed his hand on it to indicate that she should put the weapon away. "I can see that you will defend that girl, Sara was it...pretty name by the way..., with your lives."
"You bet we will!" Hart shouted out.
"And you guys defeated members of Dragon's Sword to save her, am I correct?" Roiyaru ask. Elise was staring at him, just as confused and dumbfounded as the group of people he was addressing.
"Yeah, we did!" Breeno shouted.
Roiyaru smiled pleasantly at them. "Then, there is no way we can stop you. If we tried we would ended up losing the fight and probably dead, which I would rather avoid." Everyone looked at each other. The group in front of him huddled up and started whispering. Roiyaru could vaguely make out the words "trap" and "lying". He felt a small tug on his sleeve and turned to face Elise.
"What are you doing", she asked sharply.
"Well, the only reason we are here is because we lack skills in combat. There are four of them and two of us. Well more like one of us, since a cardboard cutout practically beats me. And they can defeat some of the best fighters around here. We, on the other hand, well again we were sent here to be away from the fighting." Roiyaru explained.
"But we can't just let them go!" Elise shouted, gaining glares from the group that was still huddled together.
"Sure we can", he said purposely loud so that the others could hear. "If we fight, they will get away either way. It would take literally like two seconds for them to totally destroy us. So we can't win and we can't buy any more time than this discussion takes anyways. Actually by doing it this way we are stalling them as much as we can."
Elise reluctantly nodded. She didn't like letting them go easy, but Roi was right. This way the best they could do.
Then the group started to run off. The pink haired girl, Sara, called back to them. "Thanks for letting us go!"
"No, thank you for not killing us!" Roiyaru called to her.
"Totsu isn't going to like this", Elise said as she watched them disappear.
"Totsu doesn't have to know, right?" Roiyaru said, a bit of fear in his voice.
Elise laughed and shook her head. She guessed that they could just pretend that this didn't happen. Next time they see those guys would mean that they would really have to "fight" them. But that would be with a plan and the rest of the Whisper of Truth. They would be ready then.
Elise got a call on her CompBox. She opened the see-through, paper-thin screen to see Totsu's face. "Hey you two, hurry on back here. The fighting is over."
"Oki", Elise said. Then she and Roiyaru headed back to the Dragon's Sword keep. It was a quiet walk back, Roiyaru was quietly distracted as they made their way back. Elise didn't mind though. It allowed her to focus on the birds and trees as she walked back.
Shortly, they saw the stone building and found their way to the large front gates of the building. The gates had the dragon's crest on it, just like the robes. Totsu and the rest of the guild was standing there with Sir Mcknight and two other members of Dragon's Sword.
"There they are", Alwin called out, waving at Elise and Roiyaru.
"Hey there, how'd it go?" Roiyaru asked, knowing the answer already.
"Not too well, they freed cat-girl and got away. They were pretty tricky." Alwin said. The boys then turned their attentions back to the conversation between Totsu and McKnight.
"Today we lost our chance to find out why the cat-girl was stealing our gold, and we lost the battle, and Dragon's Sword's members were even sent to the resurrection spot in our keep." McKnight concluded with disappointment in her deep voice.
"And the food..." Alwin and Roiyaru said sadly. Totsu shot them a look, but responded to McKnight. "It was a rather unfortunate night wasn't it?"
"Indeed", McKnight said looking at his guild scramble to clean up and reorganize.
"So, um," Roiyaru started, not sure if this was the time to ask, "What is a resurrection spot?"
"Oh yeah!", Alwin said, "You are new and don't know anything."
"Hey, I know stuff." Roiyaru called back. The two boys playful hit each other, relieving the tension in the air.
McKnight laughed at them. "Well we will get them back for what they did." He said, his pride and confidence returning to his voice. "Since, you guys are the expert information gathers, how about you figure out who those guys are, and where they are. Then we will bite back at them."
Totsu nodded. "No problem at all. We have a little revenge for them too. I know we were all expecting a good night. Alwin wanted to hit on your girls. Freya wanted to dress Elise up. Kotori would have sat away from the party soaking in the energy. Roiyaru would have waited until desert to stuff his face with, and I wanted to talk to you about battle strategies. We all had something we wanted to do, and we all deserved a nice evening, right guys?"
Totsu knew her small guild well. All the members called out yes to her. She smiled. Her group may be small, but she knew them. They were stronger and smarter than they looked. It was time for them to do some real work. Going into mysteries like this was exactly the kind of thing the Whisper of Truth was made for. She stared straight back into McKnight's dog-like eyes. "We will find them." She said with a strong, unwavering voice. Then she smiled wickedly. "If you pay us of course."
McKnight let out a booming laugh. Everyone outside the keep looked at him in surprise. "Of course, Truths. You will get your pay."
"Then we have a deal", Totsu said, shaking the wolf's hand. Then the Whispers of Truth turned away to head back to their guild house.
"Hey, blonde boy!" McKnight called out. Roiyaru turned his head to look at him. Then he saw a book flying at him. Quickly he turned and caught it. "That should help a newbie like you out!"
"Thanks!" He called out. Then he ran to catch up to his guild, and they walked away into the horizon.