The Animal In Me

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The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:27 pm

Liliya Volkov. Hunter. Exceptional warrior. Her steely emerald gaze could freeze even the most hardened criminal. She was a tough young woman, taking no bull from anyone, and everyone she ever came across knew that. What they didn't know was that she was a woman. Even though she came from a prominent family of Hunters, she was a woman, and being a Hunter was a mans job. But she was stubborn and would not take 'no' for an answer, when she told her father what she wanted to be when she grew up. So, she was trained, and it was hard. Liliya never quit, and now she was of the more famous, more recommended Hunters.



A frown tugged at the corners of her lips as she yanked an arrow from her quiver, holding it limply against her bows drawstring. She knelt, hidden, next to a rather large oak tree, her small frame a blessing when it came to lurking in the shadows. The sound of footfalls had her readying the arrow, and aiming. The target had not yet come into her sights, but it was always wise to lead your target, and she'd been doing this for years. The man she was hunting came around the corner; Liliya closed her eyes and drew a slow, steadying breath. Reopening her eyes, she aimed and let out her breath at the same time she released her arrow. It barely made a sound as it cut through the air like a knife before embedding itself in the targets left shoulder.

Liliya sprang from her hiding spot, throwing her bow on her shoulder, yanking a small silver dagger from her boot. The man crumpled to one knee, hand grasping at the wood protruding from his shoulder. She jumped him, knocking him flat on his ass, holding the dagger to his throat.

“I want his location.” She hissed, shoving a crudely drawn picture in his face. The man in the picture was her newest target, and one she was itching to get her hands on. She didn't know the client and she honestly didn't care to. The pay was decent for a Hunters salary, and the poster said alive or dead, so if something were to happen... well, she could transport a body as easily as the next person. “His location!” She snapped, eyes narrowed into slits.

“I don't know.” The man whispered, terror etched into his features. He knew the Hunter before him. A Volkov. They didn't mess around.

“Do you know what I do to liars?” Liliya leaned closer, so their noses about touched. “I cut out their tongue.” The man insisted he didn't know, and after a few more intense threats, she just grunted and cruelly yanked the arrow from his shoulder. Leaving the man lying in the middle of the road she began her trek back to the town she was currently using as a base of operations.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:27 pm

"Cogito ergo sum," the man muttered, closing the book he held so protectively in his hands. Though it was not an old text, the glue holding the spine together was already beginning to separate from repeated opening and the pages were looking worn and creased. It was his favorite book, to say the least. His simple tunic hung loosely on his shoulders, obviously meant for a larger man, as he tucked the treasure into a leather shoulder bag and stood. Grabbing a fresh cloak hanging from a hook near the door, Lex turned on his heels to the family whose home he had invaded. All were bound with simple twine, tied to a hefty ceiling beam. The wife and two girls had been crying, while the father of the home laid unconscious, bleeding from a moderate wound on his head. The bearded man moaned slightly as the crimson fluid streaked down his nose.

"I am sorry for all this," Lex said, his voice heavy with guilt. "I wouldn't have hit him if he wasn't so insistent on stopping me from borrowing something as paltry as a cloak. Perhaps in the future you'll all be more cautious of whom you swing a poking iron at." The muffled sobbing of the females brought him both sorrow and irritation. Perhaps Alexandre was a monster, but that didn't mean he had to act like one. "Oh don't worry. I'll send the Inspector around to free you.

That was only a half-truth. Lex had no intention of sending the Inspector, but one of his subordinates. The Inspector himself, a worm-tongued charlatan named Elie, was not a good man, if he could be considered a human being at all. No, Elie would die before the next moon flew into the sky. Lex was not above killing, though it was not something he usually enjoyed. Elie was an exception, however. The Inspector was slimier than a chamber pot, and he would suffer Lex's wrath. Clothed in his fresh green cloak, Lex set course for town, his steps followed by a familiar set of red eyes staring at him from the path ahead.

"Oh don't look at me like that. They're not going to die."

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:27 pm

When Liliya was far enough away from the injured man, she pushed her hood down, letting her hair fall down her back, and pulled her mask so it hung around her neck. Sure, she loved being a Hunter, but the fact that she had to hide who she was for anyone to take her seriously was an incredible annoyance. It was moments like this, when she was free to breathe, to be herself, that she enjoyed. Well, that and payday. She wasn't a wholly greedy person, but when she turned eighteen she was kicked from her home, told that a Hunter survives on their own. That was fine with her, it was stuffy in that old house.

As she was walking toward the town, she pulled some wanted posters from her satchel, and scanned through them. The one she was looking for seemed to have relocated and all her leads and been dead ends. She wasn't giving up; she would find him, and bring him to the client, but for now she was going to stick to someone local. It was then, that she heard footsteps. In one swift motion, both her hood and her mask were back in place, her hand hovering over her bow. It was rare that someone walked on this road this late in the day. Frowning, she stopped walking, and shifted off the path, crouching next to a small grouping of trees.

An arrow was in her hand, bow at the ready. A man came into view, with an animal at his side. He was speaking to it, what did he say? Who was not going to die? Was he a bandit? He didn't look like one. He looked far too... poor. When he got closer to where she was hidden, her bright green eyes widened a fraction. She had his face on one of her posters. Fantastic. A grin spread over her lips and she pulled the arrow back, taking aim. Perhaps today wasn't all bad after all. Now all she had to decide was if she should fire a warning shot, or injure him a bit before taking him in. Ah, but she'd have to take down the animal too. Though she was more of a human tracker, Liliya was not opposed to hurting animals; she did not do that often.

In the interest of keeping the animal alive, if she could, she fired a warning shot. The arrow zipped through the air, whizzing close to the mans face, just enough to rustle his hair.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:27 pm

The sun was low in the sky, signaling the end of the day. The town wasn't far, but he would need to pick up the pace if he was going to make it before dark. Though he wasn't afraid to travel by night, it was easier to hide his true self in the light. So lost in thought was he that he didn't notice the footsteps, or that they had suddenly stopped. He did not hear the hunter fire her arrow. He did take notice, however, as the sharpen shaft whizzed by his face, the edge of the fletchings catching the tip of his nose. Immediately he stopped in his tracks, his eyes darting in the direction the arrow had come from.

It took but a moment for his keen eyes to settle on his opponent, a thin, lithe hunter in leather armor, still wielding his bow. No doubt another bounty hunter set on taking him back... there. His companion watched as well, but in a much more relaxed position, having seated himself to watch the scenario play itself out with curiosity wrought on it's brow. Lex, on the other hand, was much more on edge, having no weapon that would reach that distance. He had his speed; he was sure he could reach the hunter quickly. But if a trap had been prepared, he'd be charging right into it. Leaving his large sword strapped to his back under the cloak, Lex put both of his hands in the air and spoke to his would-be captor in French.

"I guess this means you know who I am. If you know who I am, you know that no one has ever pointed a weapon at me and lived. What makes you different from those that came before you?

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:27 pm

By the time her target had located her, Liliya had two more arrows pulled taught on her bowstring. They were situated less than a quarter of an inch apart, and if, or when, she released the string the two arrows would separate, and one would hit the target in the chest while the other would land right between the eyes. That was only if she got his approximate height, and the distance between them right. She was confident, though. Bow hunting was her thing; she'd been firing arrows since about the time she could talk.

“French, hm?” she replied back in French, not moving a muscle, her thick accent slipping through. “Hopefully you put up more of a fight than my last Hunt.” She smirked, her eyes narrowed. “I raise my weapon to you, because I want to. I have taken down bigger, badder men.. and I am like no Hunter you have ever seen.” Liliya shifted her position, so she was standing now, her bow still drawn, and still aimed directly at the man before her. “Now, will you come with me, or do I have to fire upon you?”

Liliya had no qualms with killing someone to get a bounty. She was a Hunter, things happened. However, there were some bounties like this one, where the price for a living target was higher than a dead one, and 500 more was a big difference. A payday like that and she might be able to take a vacation, or relax for more than five minutes. It was something she was looking forward to.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:28 pm

An audible chuckle pierced the dusky air. Lex found amusement in her words, and he made no effort to hide it. Letting his hands fall lazily to his sides, the 'man' gave the hunter an incredulous look. Clearly she did not know who or what she was dealing with, or she would have tried to kill him with the first shot. Perhaps she did and simply missed. 'No... she's better than that...' he thought silently. Lex was slightly cross with himself for not seeing through her clever disguise sooner, but then again he was not omnipotent. He would not underestimate her; she expected the same level of respect to be reciprocated.

"Oh... you have no idea who I am, do you? Clearly you are skilled with a bow, and I'd wager you are formidable up close. Perhaps you've already asked yourself why I would carry no weapon with which to kill you from a distance. Maybe you haven't, but it doesn't really matter." Lex took a couple of steps toward the woman, unafraid of her arrows. His companion continued to sit, it's eyes following the monster's movements with no concern anywhere to be found in it's expression. Lex turned back to the black canine with a glare. "Quiet... I know what i'm doing."

Turning back to his adversary, now two steps closer, Lex paused while maintaining a mischievous grin. "I don't know you, and you don't know me. Because if you did, you'd know that i'd never surrender to you willingly, leaving you only one course of action. You should have killed me when you had the benefit of surprise. Don't presume that I won't strike a lady. The weapon in your hand negates genders. But I know how to make this interesting... care to make a wager?"


Last edited by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:28 pm

Something was wrong. His lack of fear was unsettling, and he seemed almost relaxed, but even still that wasn't it. He should not be feeling that way. He should have realized that she was one of the most renowned Hunters out there. He should be shaking in his shoes not approaching her, speaking to her as if she were some run of the mill wanna be. It pissed her off. Liliya lowered her bow, a scowl twisting her delicate features. She wasn't worried about being attacked with her bow lowered, she could have it back up, firing arrows in seconds.

Since he figured out she was a woman, Liliya yanked down her hood and mask; no point in keeping up the charade if he knew. Besides, it got stuffy under the mask. “You want to make a wager?” She raised an eyebrow, her hands reflexively tightening around her bow. She did not like his confidence, and she did not like that he got closer to her, even if by only a couple steps. “Do you take me as a fool?” Her eyes narrowed. “State your terms, and I will decide if it is worth my time.”

Liliya knew that it did not matter what he said, she wasn't going to agree to it. She wasn't an idiot. Taking a bribe as a bounty hunter is criminal, and could get her own face on a poster. “Before that, I should let you know, if I do not like your wager, you should pray to your Gods, because you will be seeing them soon.”

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:28 pm

Again Alexandre laughed. His voice echoed through the forest like that of a wild animal. Two more steps forward. At that range, he was confident that he could close the distance before she could fire a lethal shot, one of the few perks he enjoyed, being the type of creature he was. Still, he wasn't impervious to attacks, so he had to be cautious. He had no doubt that the female hunter was a dubious one, likely clever and full of tricks. She was clearly volatile, given her demeanor. But that was not a bad thing, especially when Lex knew he could use it to his advantage. "Your Gods," he said after he'd calmed the uproarious laughter erupting from his belly.

"I have no use for Gods. If they exist, it is only to make my... life... worse than it already is. You'd be doing me a favor. But you are an interesting one, I will admit that. So we will play this game. If you don't like it... well honestly, I don't care if you like it or not. You don't really have a choice in the matter. You may holding a weapon, but don't think that means I am at your mercy." To accentuate the point, Lex placed his hand against a modestly-sized tree trunk and pushed. With a loud crack, the hardened plant's roots snapped and the tree fell to the side. He stared at the woman for a long moment before speaking again.

"The bounty on my head. What's the value now? A thousand? Twelve hundred? Is it worth losing your life over? I guarantee you that I am a great deal faster and stronger than anyone you've ever faced. Instead, let me offer you an alternative. There is a flea-ridden louse in town whose head deserves to roll. Let me take care of my business and perhaps I will help you take care of yours." Lex really wasn't sure why he was bargaining with a Bounty Hunter. He'd buried plenty on the roads behind him. But she was different. She was not cruel, necessarily, just determined. Perhaps her she could be reasoned with.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:29 pm

Liliya's eyes flicked over to the tree as it fell, but only for a moment. He was definitely strong, she'd give him that, but faster than her? She doubted it. One of the perks of being so small and light is that she moved incredibly fast. And she's never failed. Every person she's hunted she has caught dead or alive, and he would not be the first. She probably should have been intimidated, but her father taught her to show no fear, to feel no fear. She didn't.

“One thousand dead, fifteen alive. I'd much prefer the fifteen, but one thousand would be enough. And you should really leave the hunting to the hunters. I do not require assistance from anyone, especially not you.” She frowned, shifting on her feet only slightly. He was closing the distance, she did not like it, but she would not move. That would be like surrendering, and that was not an option. Liliya raised her bow again, both arrows still on the bowstring, the only difference now was the distance between them. It was wider now to accommodate him being closer.

“Never in my life have I been in a situation where I had no choice. This is no different. Now, before I put an arrow in your chest.. tell me.. what will you do if I tell you I reject your offer? What can you do?”

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:29 pm

"Do you even know who you work for, or why they want me brought back? Aren't you even the least bit curious, Hunter?" Lex spits the last word of his sentence at her. Hunter... The very word brings a bad taste to his mouth. She was a bounty hunter, and to the creature standing before her, that made her less human than he thought himself. Sure he killed and stole, but he prayed only on the distasteful humans who his their predatory ways behind deception. Of course that poor family from that afternoon was an exception, but he was desperate and had every intention of paying them back when he had the chance. A chance which his adversary was stealing away from him.

"You think yourself above those you hunt, as if we are deer for you to slaughter. I can assure you I am no deer. If you do not play my game, then you are more a monster than the creature you see now." Another step closer. Finally the time was upon him. "What can I do if you decline? I will show you!"

With a twist of his body, Lex maneuvered to his right and let fly a dagger aimed for the girl's torso. He figured her to be ready with a counter attack, being a professional. No, she would not be so easily defeated. 'Different approach...' Lex took an aggressive posture, inhaling deeply, then loosed a deep roar, something akin to that of a lion but still human. It was meant only to try to unnerve her, to perhaps make her second guess her current course of action. Failing that, there was always a foot race.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:29 pm

His words meant nothing. He was not wrong, though. She tracked people down, found them, and either killed them, or took them to someone who would. For money. The thought amused her somewhat, and she smirked. Liliya was a Hunter, born and bred, the thought of someone resenting her for what she did was a regular occurrence. Especially if it was someone she was hunting. It was too bad that she didn't know she'd encounter this particular target before now or she would have some sort of fall back set up in case he was faster than what she anticipated. Oh well. If her arrows didn't work, she always had her daggers.

Liliya shifted to the side to avoid the blade thrown at her, and she released her bowstring sending both arrows at him. Within seconds she fired a third arrow, but his roar made her flinch, so the arrow wasn't aimed right. She was definitely not expecting that. What kind of—what was he? Certainly no human could make a sound like that, it was too animalistic. The noise unnerved her, but at the same time it made her more determined to catch him. More for her own curiosity at what he was than for any bounty, although, the amount offered for him was definite incentive.

Liliya grabbed another arrow, fitting it to her bowstring, but to her own surprise, her hands were trembling. Narrowing her eyes, a feeling of frustration overcame her for a moment. Why would she be shaking? Could he have frightened her? Not possible, she feared nothing, not even death. So then why?

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:30 pm

Thud!!

One arrow firmly embedded itself in Lex's shoulder, while the other caught his cloak. It hurt. A lot. Blood flowed down his chest freely, but the monster could not let himself fall so easily. The shaft protruding from his body did not hit a vital area, so he had time. But it would be a hindrance if it came down to close-quarters combat. His scream had bought him a moment and saved him from another arrow. Was she frightened by the tactic? Perhaps so. But there was no time to celebrate the small victory, as she was already preparing herself for a fight. Still available to him was a pair of daggers, but she was fast. Faster than any human he'd met previously, which made him doubt that his novice skills at throwing would be enough to win.

Lifting a fist-sized rock from under the leaves, Alexandre heaved the stone at his opponent, knowing full well that she would dodge it. In fact, he was counting it. Once the rock left his hand, Lex flung himself forward at full speed. He drew his over-sized sword off his back and brought it to bear on the young huntress. Again his attack was non-lethal, meant only to test her reflexes, to test her meddle so to speak. Obviously she was talented with a bow; that much was undeniable. But he wanted to see how she handled herself when her opponent was not out of reach. The sword came crashing straight down from above, the edge of his blade glinting in the pale moonlight that was just beginning to bathe the area in its cold glow. Lex let loose another roar as the iron sliced through the air, trying once again to dislodge her confidence.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:30 pm

Liliya saw the one of her arrows hit him, and as a flair of triumph shot through her it was quickly followed by disappointment. She had fired three and only one had struck the target. Was she rusty, or was he just fast? She had little time to contemplate as he threw a rock at her. Seriously? Was he out of weapons already? Someone with a bounty on their head should be more prepared. Twisting out of the way, Liliya aimed her bow again ready to fire, but he wasn't where he had been a moment ago. Where—?

Movement out of the corner of her eye made her turn her head; there he was. And he was coming down on her with a sword. From straight above. That left the rest of him wide open, but she did not have time to grab a dagger and stab him with it. So she did the next best thing. Ducking low, Liliya lunged forward, towards him, feeling the slight breeze as the blade narrowly missed her. As she passed by him, she grabbed the arrow, still protruding from his shoulder and roughly yanked it back out again.

Another roar sliced through the silence, closer, louder than the previous one; Liliya was spinning around, now behind him, and the sound startled her and made her stumble. No, she did not like that one bit. She dropped her bow and unlatched her quiver. He wanted a close range fight, fine, she would give him a close range fight. Bow, daggers, fist, it did not matter how she would incapacitate him, just that she would. She always did in the end.

“Too slow.” She murmured in her native language, from a few feet behind him. “Got to be better than that.”

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:30 pm

Lex felt the arrow tear away from his flesh, the shaft flexing slightly as it exited the wound causing even more damage to the skin. His shoulder felt as if it was on fire, but he had no time to see how bad it was. The Hunter was already behind him, muttering her taunt, her voice bouncing slightly as she stepped backwards on her heels. That confirmed it; she was unnerved. She was beginning to realize that the being she was fighting was not human at all, but something far worse. That was all he needed.

He swiveled around to face her, her lithe frame hunched down, ready for a fight. He had to commend her on her bravery. Most of the Hunters he had encountered by that point had already lost control of their bladders or died. This one was worthy of a good fight. Still brandishing his sword, he pointed the tip at Liliya with an offensive posture. "You are faster than I thought, I will grant you that. But there's still time to take my offer. I'd rather not kill you." Even his words of compliment were dripping with feral aggression. Something bestial carried through his voice, almost as if a second being were speaking in tandem.

A quick slice to the side fell another tree, smaller than the last one. The branches fell between them; he had hoped it would distract her enough for his next strike to cause a little damage. Another flash of the blade took it through the newly fallen leaves, piercing the weak attempt at deception in an attempt to gouge her with the tip of the sword. Lex wanted her to know that he meant business, even if it meant taking her life. It wasn't his first choice, but he refused to go quietly. Lex did not fear death, only death by complacency.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:31 pm

He was still trying to convince her to take a deal? Was he that desperate to keep himself alive, to keep himself from going back to whoever wanted him? That added fuel to the fire that was her curiosity. She had to know more about him, where he came from, what he was, how he became that way. She wanted to know. Everything. Maybe they would strike a deal. Maybe she would honor it, maybe not.

The tree compromised her ability to see him, and she mistakenly turned her attention to the falling branches. Liliya knew he was going to use it to his advantage, she just didn't know how... Until she saw his sword cutting through the leaves. The silver flashed in her eyes, and at the last second she jerked back, but it wasn't quick enough. A hot pain sliced across her cheek, and she yelled out in pain. Reflexively she brought her hand to her face, wiping the blood away, smearing it across her porcelain skin.

“It has been a long time since anyone drew my blood.” she growled frowning. “Bravo.” Liliya slowly pulled a dagger from her belt, stepping back, making a small distance between them. “How about a counter offer, since you seem so keen on... not killing me.” Those last words were a taunt. She was under the impression that Lex could not kill her, even if he tried. Gravely injure her, maybe, but not without her ripping his heart out. “You tell me what I want to know, and I'll consider looking the other way as you make an escape.. oh, and the 'louse' you refer to... you leave him to me.”

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:31 pm

His blade met with resistance, visibly surprising the French monster. Lex pulled the blade back, spying a few drops of liquid life still lingering on the iron. Honestly he hadn't expected the strike to make contact; perhaps she was not as clever, or as experienced, as she made herself out to be. Or perhaps he was just plain lucky. He stood stunned for a moment after Liliya made her offer. She brandished her blade against him still, a dagger, dwarfed by the size and mass of his sword but no less deadly, and far quicker and more accurate. He wasn't sure he could beat her.

Lex considered the offer carefully, then spoke to her with a voice all his own. "An interesting offer. I'll admit, I'm surprised to hear you so willingly offer a compromise, given your previous determination to apprehend me... or just my head. But i'll consider it." With only a slight flourish, Lex swung his weapon to the side to remove the Huntress' blood from the blade, then sheathed it carefully in it's resting place. "I can agree to your terms. All but one... the louse. I have my reasons for wanting him dead. But I will let you be a part of the act. You'll get your answers, and you'll decide if you think my reasoning is just or not. Aside from your answers, I may have something in mind that will allow us both to have what we want."

Reaching into his sleeve, Lex removed a plain cloth, stained but freshly washed and cleansed at his previous 'stop'. He knew she wouldn't allow him to help her to her feet; her pride was too great. But perhaps the simple offer of something to staunch her bleeding may have been enough to her rage in check. That, or they would fight again. Either way, the matter would be resolved soon enough. Tossing the token to her, Lex leaned against the trunk of a mighty oak tree and took a moment to investigate his own wound. Had he moved a little slower, the arrow would have pierced his heart. Well... so to speak anyway.

"Your arrows are true. This one could have made this situation come out completely different." Lex held his hand against the wound, still leaking his crimson essence. He could not let her know how important it was to stop the bleeding soon. He wasn't ready for her to know everything just yet. "Well... what do you say?"

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:31 pm

Liliya saw the surprise that he had managed to land a hit on her, even a small one. He was not confident in his ability to harm her, or beat her. Even as something more than human? That was a confidence booster, if nothing else a great compliment to her. But even still, she was a bit impressed that he had managed it at all. She chalked it up to her being on edge, with him roaring in her ear and all. Twice. Then all of a sudden he put away his blade and offered a cloth to wipe her face. Who was he? Who was this monster of a man? Wanted by someone called the Doctor, for a heavy sum. She would not give him away until she had her questions answered.

“There would only ever be one reason I would consider accepting your offer or even negotiating with... someone like you.” Liliya indicated the bloody cut on her face. Not once since she'd become a hunter had someone managed to draw blood. Give a few bruises, yes, but not a single drop of blood. “Give me your reason for wanting the Inspector dead.” Of course she knew the louse he'd been talking about. What kind of hunter would she be if she did not know? She'd been residing in that town for round about two months, she had eyes, she could see that he was slimy, dirty; he did not deserve to be where he was.

With the piece of cloth in her hand she ran the fabric through her fingers. It was soft, but it could be laced, dipped in poison. Liliya was testing the fabric, rolling it around in her had to feel for any type of residue on it. She felt none. If it were a poisoned cloth, she could not feel it. Better not waste the gesture then. Dabbing the cloth on the cut, Liliya felt the tender skin beneath her fingers. She'd need to get it taken care of or it would leave a scar. It wasn't incredibly deep, but her skin was delicate, and easily scarred.

“You're faster than most. My arrows are truer than you realize.” A half grin fell across her lips. “You might want to stop the bleeding, or no one gets what they want. Go on, then. For now I agree. Do not make me regret my decision.” Look at her making deals, and negotiations with a target. Oh, if only her father could see her, he'd beat her to a bloody pile of bones. A shudder shot down her spine, and out of paranoia she looked down the road towards the town and away from the town, straining her senses. If there was anything in the universe she feared, anything at all it was her father. “Well, let's get a move on. No one has all day.”

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:31 pm

"One reason, eh," Lex questioned. He doubted that would be her only reason. "Are you sure it has nothing to do with the blood running down your cheek? Your complexion is so pristine." The sarcasm in his voice only carried so far. It was true that her skin was very well kept. Either Liliya had seen barely any real action, or she was a brilliant fighter. Alexandre chose to believe the latter.

Lex took a look at the hole in his torso, analyzing it carefully. The wound was deep, and he was bleeding quite a bit. None of his vital organs were hit, as far as he could tell. But bleeding was an important issue that needed to be addressed. Reaching into a small pouch around the back of his belt, he removed another cloth, one much less clean than the one he'd given her, and all but stuffed it into the hole. It wouldn't close the wound, but it would at least hold everything in until he was in a position to care for it properly. Pushing himself to his feet, Lex straightened out and allowed the girl plenty of space to stand.

"As you say, there's little time. I'll take care of it later. It won't slow me down too much. Your aim is very good. That, or i'm slowing down. Either way, you nearly killed me. If you wanted the larger reward, you should have aimed for my legs to slow me down. But i'll not try to tell you how to Hunt... you've obviously made a name for yourself, so you know how it works." Lex started back toward the path, not bothering to see if she was ready to move out. He continued to speak, raising his voice ever so slightly to compensate for his back being turned to her.

"The Inspector, a pile of scum named Mennoix, is far from upstanding. That much is common knowledge. But he works for your employer, doing 'special assignments' whenever needed. Make someone disappear, create false allegations, and the like. At least half of the people he has condemned to death were guilty of little more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some committed no crimes at all. But killing him would not only rid the world of another vermin, but would make my life much easier. To kill the man that haunts me, I must kill his cohorts. Only then can I be free."

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:32 pm

Liliya stood, grabbing her quiver and bow, throwing them both over her shoulder, as she followed him down the road. She cast another glance behind them, paranoia creeping up her spine. No, she should have never agreed to negotiate. It was like taking a bribe and only slimy law officials took bribes. She had to rethink her situation; best wait until she had her answers to decide if she was going to hold up her end of the bargain.

“My aim is absolute. I never miss my mark.” She hissed. Was he mocking her? He should know better, especially since she was at his back, and he was—or seemed defenseless. “If I wanted you incapacitated, I would have done better than shoot your leg, I would have removed it.” Her words were cold, icy. She did not appreciate what he was saying, not at all. Again, Liliya turned to look back, feeling incredibly uncomfortable, a sick feeling twisting in her stomach.

Frowning, the Hunter pulled her hood and mask back up to hide her appearance. They were heading into town and no one could know that she was a woman. Not only would her reputation be torn to pieces, she'd likely become hunted herself. Men didn't like that a woman was better at them at anything; no bounty on her head, but satisfaction at taking her down as their reward. But even that would be better than what would be waiting for her at her home.

“Free.. you're free now. The only shackles that bind you are ones you put there.” Liliya responded. “Apart from me, I'm assuming, every Hunter who has attempted to take you has died, or given up. Whoever wants you is not going to come himself. As far as Hunters go, you're free, with a large target on your back. As for the Inspector have at him. I never liked him anyway.”

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:32 pm

Lex could not see the young woman's gaze shifting behind them, but her voice carried an uneasy tone, as if she were scared that something might pop out from the road and swallow her whole. He doubted that she feared him. Not outwardly, anyway. Humans feared what they did not understand, and no one, not even himself, understood what he was except for the good Doctor. All he knew was that he had to stay one step ahead of his pursuers, or else he would once again return to the nightmare.

Lex did not comment on Liliya's boasting about her aim. He highly doubted that she could have taken off his leg with an arrow but did not completely disregard the notion. It was true what she said. She was by far the best he had yet encountered. But then again, he was a firm believer in the idea that no one person is the strongest. There is always a bigger fish.

When the Huntress spoke about his freedom, Alexandre whipped his head around to care her, his eyes narrowed and focused on Liliya. There was obvious anger in his voice, and he tried to hide none of it. "Do not lecture me on freedom! There are worse things out there than hunters. Your employer care less about you than he does his own pets! You are a pain in his plan, Hunter, and you are doing exactly what he wants. Taking the deal was the first step in gaining your freedom back."

With the town nearby, Lex drew his hood and paused for a moment. With a sigh he turned back to his temporary traveling companion and spoke with a much more even tone. "Freedom is earned, in my experience. Many humans are born into it, but many more are a slave to a dream they never realize. If you want to stay alive, say that you never saw me. Don't talk to anyone about our encounter, or you could end up like those who came before you, only murdered by the hands of humans and your body desecrated to look like you were ripped apart by a mon... By me."

The town itself was not huge, but populated enough that travelers passed through relatively often. The both of them could slip in easily without notice and there would likely be plenty of rooms available in the taverns and inns. But Lex was not content to stay any longer than necessary. He had a goal, and he planned to accomplish it. But first he needed to tend to his wound. "I thank you for honoring our agreement. I didn't want to kill you, nor did I want to die. Again... Anyway, it was nice to fight you, unnamed hunter." Lex bowed with a flourish, an attempt at humor before they were visible to others.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:39 pm

Earned freedom? What a ridiculous notion. People either had freedom or they didn't; if they wanted it they took it. It wasn't earned. Of course, he could say that, couldn't he? He did not see the shackles binding her to what she did. What choice did she have, but to choose the life she led? It was either become a hunter, or be a housewife. A slave to someone mans whims. Nowhere in her destiny did she have room for freedom. Nowhere was there room for her to earn freedom. Liliya scoffed. 'Earned freedom, my ass.'

And what was this nonsense about someone murdering her for being around him? Too many questions and thus far, no answers. Unacceptable. Their agreement was for her to get answers, and she'd look the other way and pretend like she had never seen him; she was even generous enough to let him take the Inspectors head.

“Volkov.” Liliya said, absently. “You should know the name of the hunter that almost took your life. I already know yours, Alexandre.” Oh the perks of having a wanted poster. They came with names on them. “And for your information I have no employer. I take many jobs at a time, not just any one. If I had chosen to reject the wager, this Doctor, would have had to wait until I felt like delivering you. On my time.” She paused, considering, “I am in no rush to sever heads.”

One last glance behind them, before she was satisfied that no one was following them. “Go. Take the Inspector, drag him to Hell yourself if you must. Patch your shoulder, too. When you are finished we will talk. I will have my answers, or I'll have your head. Unfortunately I will not be joining you. I have other things to take care of.” She turned her hard emerald eyes on him, a scowl on her face. “The Ravenwood Tavern is at the other end of town. I will be waiting. If you do not show up, I will find you. And this time I will make sure to end you. Honor your end of the deal.”

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:40 pm

"Well that's one thing we have in common, Wolf," he replied, the flourish having left him completely, leaving his voice dry and cold. Her darting eyes traveled once more to the path behind him. What could have her so spooked, this lady of the arrow? It didn't matter. It wasn't his problem. Before long, he would forget all about her, except for their brief encounter. She'll just be the one Hunter who was lucky enough to escape with her life and limbs still attached. The thought made Lex chuckle slightly.

"Honor yours, Hunter. None of this means that I trust you, nor should you trust me. I will be at the tavern when the moon is high. If you are late, i'll consider our agreement fulfilled and move on. I may be patient, but I am no fool." With that he turned his back to her and slipped into the crowd unnoticed. There was no reason to look back, only forward. Mennoix, that scourge, that blight, that festering pus-filled wound on the face of the planet was about to be exterminated, and with him any plans he had of fame or fortune. He was a servant of the Doctor, and that made him too dangerous to be allowed to live.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hours later, Alexandre arrived at the Ravenwood Tavern, as per his agreement with Liliya. It was a decent tavern, as far as he could tell. Not overly dirty, the air not quite as pungent as others he'd walked into, and the patrons were relatively quiet at the moment. The place was built to hold at least three times as many guests, but was rather deserted for the evening it seemed. Never one to waste an opportunity, Lex took a seat at a table far away from the fire and ordered some drink. "A bottle of brandy. Two glasses." The barmaid looked rather skeptical, so Lex paid in advance, placing several coins in her hand. With a brief gasp, the woman headed straight for the kitchen where she showed the tavern owner the money. He personally brought the bottle out to Lex and asked if he would like a room and dinner. The monster declined, citing that he had already eaten.

"Suit yourself," said the owner as he shuffled back into the kitchen. Lex poured some brandy in his glass and waited, watching the fire cause shadows to dance on the walls and floor. It was beautiful, really, to see such a display. It'd been so long since he'd actually just stopped and watched a fire burn, or a sun rise. His body felt dry and slightly sticky, no doubt the dried blood that coated his clothing under the cloak. Mennoix was a bleeder, something that Lex found quite interesting. It had been quite an event, one that he would not likely forget.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:40 pm

Liliya waited until he was out of her sight, before she turned around and walked back down the path they'd just come from. She may have been confident that no one was following them, but she was taking no chances. The path was dark, lit only by the bright light of the moon, but her eyes were trained to see in near darkness and it did not bother her. A noise drew her attention to the left; she had her bow ready, aimed at the area the noise came from, a frown on her lips. Someone was out there.

-------


It was only moments after Alexandre got the brandy, that Liliya walked into the Tavern. The barmaid gave her a look, recognized her in her cloak and mask, and nodded. The hunter had frequented this tavern in the two months she'd been in that town, so she barely got a second glance. They did not see past her disguise, they thought she was a man. Her gaze moved to the target; he was sitting in the back away from the light and other patrons. How quaint, and reassuring. She rolled her eyes, waiting there a moment, scanning the entire room. Every night she did the same thing. She made sure no one hid in the shadows, she watched the people to see if they made any suspicious movements. Again, there were none.

Liliya made her way over to the table and sat down opposite Alexandre, crossing her legs under the table. Her hood was pulled down over her face, her mask pulled slightly higher than normal. “I'm surprised.” She remarked, cocking her head to the side. “I honestly thought you would bail.” Liliya paused a second, “I assume your... task is completed. He'll give no more trouble, then? You're one step closer to freedom.” Her tone was not humorous, but cold. He'd taken care of his business, now it was her turn. Finally her answers. “What are you, Alexandre?”

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:40 pm

Lex nodded slowly to Liliya as she sat herself in front of him. "Tsk tsk tsk... you wound me, Volkov. We had an agreement. But then, you don't know me very well, so i'll give you the benefit of the doubt." Lex opened the bottle of bourbon and poured them both a drink. Motioning for her to select her glass, he would take the other and have himself a sip. The liquid burned slightly, but he enjoyed his bourbon very much. It was a decent bottle, not to pricey but not cheap. Hissing slightly, Lex set his glass on the table and smiled slightly at the woman before him.

"You don't waste time. I like that." Lex lowered his volume and leaned forward a bit to make himself easier to hear. "I'll start by telling you that I am not human. Not anymore. Alexandre is my birth name, and the only one I have for myself, though the Doctor may have another one in mind. I suppose I am still human, just not... the same human." Lex took another drag from his glass, savoring the flavor before speaking again. "The good doctor was kind enough to piece me back together after my death eight months ago. A leg here, an arm there, and fresh organs straight from unwilling donors."

The young monster took a look around the room and decided that it was too risky to show her his scars. "I don't know what power gave me 'life' but here I am. As for Mennoix, yes. I made short work of that vermin. He'll trouble no one from this point on, but he will continue to be quite useful to me in the future. May God have no mercy upon his soul." Lex raised his glass in toast to the recently deceased, relishing in the fact that he was, in fact, one step closer to freedom.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:40 pm

Liliya moved to grab her glass with her right hand, but stopped and used her left hand instead. She lowered her mask, just enough for her mouth to be visible, and took a drink. The alcohol burned not only her throat but the fresh cut on the corner of her lip, and she winced, pushing the mask back up. “You're right, I do not know you. It's the reason we are here.” Hearing that he was a monster, someone brought back from the dead, she snorted. “You are dead. Technically. That's interesting.” Murmured Liliya, taking another long drink. “That's where that... awful sound came from, then.” She was referring to the roar. Even still, the thought of it unnerved her; again, she did not like it.

So, Alexandre was a monster, and that was the reason why he was being hunted. It was the reason the price for his whole body, alive, was so high. Interesting. “This Doctor sounds mad. What reason would he have for bringing someone back from the dead? Why you?” She narrowed her eyes, thankful for the darkness from the tavern and her hood. “Why did the mad man choose you? What makes you so special?”

In all honesty, Liliya didn't care about the Inspector. He was dead, he wouldn't be hurting anyone again. It was a shame though that no one had put a bounty on his head, or maybe it would have been more interesting. “God does not have mercy on wretched souls like his. He was tainted, and unfit to live. You rectified that. Bravo.” She raised her glass in the toast, still using her left hand. “What I do not understand is how you knew the Inspector was working for this mad Doctor.. and how you got away from him. If he wanted you so badly... why are you here?”

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