Ah.. The feel of aimlessly wandering. This brought him back to the times when he left his tribe and desert homeland behind. The urge to explore. The desire for something new. This place satisfied that itch. There was always something new and dazzling to gaze upon around every twist and turn of the enchanted homestead. But perhaps it satisfied that itch of wanderlust a little too well. Every step across the tiled marble floor led him in a direction that led him nowhere particular yet somewhere slightly familiar all the same. There were a few times already where he opened a door at the end of a hallway, only to find a black abyss swirling with twinkling lights staring back at him. And forcing him to go back the way he'd just traveled.. Only to find the way he just came changed into a layout much different than he remembered.
And now, he found himself gazing out an intricate stained glass window. The sight showed the canopy of an endless forest under the cover of night, with fireflies flirting among crystalline leaves. If he had to hedge a guess, he felt he was maybe two stories up? Maybe three. And he was fairly certain he had just clambered down a set of glass staircases. A long, white serpentine creature was wrapped around his neck, its head shoved into his muzzle. It chittered with an almost concerned sounding tone, in an attempt to distract the blue leopard from his troubles. It received a clawed hand to the mane, ruffling its fur.
"Xentus wouldn't suppose you might lead the way, little ling? His sense of direction is poor in this place", he murmured into the creature's cheek, then unwound its long body from his neck. Its little legs wiggled in protest, unhappy at being removed from its perch. Once on the ground, it immediately tried to clamber back up onto the mammalian, to no success. The ling-ling didn't stray far from its owner at first, running a circle around him, investigating the windows, sniffing at closed doorways. But soon, something seemed to catch its attention. It skittered off down the long hallway, tiny claws clacking against the marble. Xentus made after it, before it vanished into the darkness.
A frustrated sigh sounds as he runs his hand through the hair, helmet in hand. This place.. is a gods-forsaken nightmare. For three hours he'd been here, at first thinking it a place to find wonders and treasure (or so the stories went. But people forgot to mention the part where it also happened to be futuens maze filled with magical nonsense). Instead, he got lost immediately, wandered around aimlessly and now finds himself sitting on a glass bench in the middle of a dead end hallway, both frustrated and annoyed. Oh, the place is beautiful, to be sure, of the highest craftsmanship and quality and even as he is glaring out one of the stained glass windows, he has to admit the mansion is a wonder to behold.
If only wonders came with road maps.. or guidance. He'd been in here long enough to very quickly realize there is not a soul in sight to be found. Whether that was intentional on the Mansion's part or just happenstance was anyone's guess. But somehow he needs to find the way out again.
The pointed ear twitches. There is sound coming from a hallway to the right, suddenly. Minute, but distinctively not some random off-beat clock ticking away in the far distance. Quickly he opens the helmet and pulls it back on, latching it in place in time to stand up and see a creature appear in the doorway. His head tilts slowly, even as he picks up the polearm. This one.. is new. He hasn't seen one like that here before.
One might think that tracking after a silvery white noodle within the dimly lit interior of the mansion would be an easy feat. But alas, it proved to not be so simple. Nothing was in this dastardly place. The alternating black and white tile work seemed to stretch and extend itself before his very eyes, his precious ling-ling gaining a distance further than what should be physically possible for the creature. Yet, the clacking of its little toes seemed to sound so near. Whether or not it was a trick of the light or the distortion of time, he couldn't say. One thing was for certain, he couldn't let the creature slip away!
"Little ling!", the feline called out, "Wait!" But the small creature did no such thing. "Ah.. This one must not ask things to lead when they do not care if he follows", he muttered to himself with an exasperated sigh as he continued his chase. The noodle disappeared around a corner and into the unknown beyond.
The Ling-ling sprang away to wherever its little legs took it. Before long, it found its path barred by a strange looking figure holding a strange looking stick. Its big, round eyes examined the being while the pattering of its feet slowed to a slow, curious stalk. Its movements were peculiar looking, like an accordion stretching out and pulling back in wrong, inching its way closer, though still a stone's toss away. The little creature's stout-muzzled head snaked along the ground and tilted to one side as it chittered raucously; as if it telling the being what it thought of them.
".. Ling..!", a shallow sounding voice called out from around the bend. It seemed its keeper was finally catching up to it. Un-ideal! In a quick decision between getting caught or annoying a stranger, the ling-ling opted for the latter, oblivious to any potential danger. Just as the leopard came into its view, it snapped into a scurry towards the armed figure, aiming to thread the space between their feet. "No nono!"
The knight stands still as the creature makes its small cautious advances. This thing. It is a.. dragon? He frowns, weight shifting to the other foot, the butt of the polearm set to rest against the ground. No, not quite. The shape's all weird and.. noodle-y. A snake of some sort? A snake with.. feet. And hair. And horns.. "Hrm, what are you?" he murmurs to himself.
The deliberations don't get to last all too long as his head snaps upward to other sounds coming from the hallway. More noises, but this time distinctly in the form of a voice. There's someone else here. His posture corrects itself, looking more knightly than the forlorn annoyed wanderer five seconds ago as the noises get closer. Of course, he should have anticipated that - this is the City, where everyone has one creature or another constantly with them. Any you see wandering the streets are as likely to have their owners mere feet away from them as to be sent out on errands by said owners (which, in a bit of ironic twist, can make one wander what does that make the knight?). What he doesn't anticipate is the creature's next move.
It's been no surprise to him that most creature seem to have an averseness to him, as if they can read his very aura and find it unsettling (he never really thought much about it, even if it made riding mounts a hell and a half). No sooner would the creature take his measure and immediately turn and run back to its owner, right?
Wrong. The creature turns instead to run towards him and the knightly façade falls for a few seconds as he flinches backwards at the snake-like noodle-dragon, "Not the face!"
Like a cat keen on chasing an invisible rat, the ling-ling scampered towards the armor clad man. It chittered all the while, as if loosing some kind of perverse giggle. In a silvery flash, it made to its target- the just big enough gap between the legs. That is, until the figure shifted just in time to cause the creature to collide with their shin. The noodly serpent scrunched up on impact. The sight was almost like something out of a cartoon, thud and everything. However, the creature's legs seemed to have a mind of their own- continuing to scamper onwards, or rather, upwards. The tiny claws scratched against the armor, trying to find purchase on the surface of the shinguard. It hooked on where it could, scraped where it couldn't. It found better luck with the softer bits around the joints. The cat sized beast snaked its way around the figure's waist before stopping, as if trying pass for a lumpy, panting belt.
Xentus watched in horror as his pet showed an absolute disregard for other people's personal space. The experience overall was bizarre, his own shock was met waves of excitement and giddiness radiating from the creature. If this was its way of cheering him up out of his confusion and gloom, it worked. Kinda. Now he had to deal with the embarrassment of being classed as one of those bad owners who fail to teach their pets any manners.
"Pardon the little ling, please!", he sheepishly called to the helmeted figure as he made his approach, "This one will be collecting it, and quickly, yes." Of all people, in all places, his pet had to find someone that looked the most imposing. The blade tipped weapon they wielded was not a promising sight either. Had the ling-ling been a more vicious beast, it likely would not be retrievable in one piece. Xentus walked with a brisk step, one of his hands beckoning for the mischievous serpent. Once he was close enough, the ling-ling decided that the armored man made for a better launchpad than perch. It unwound itself as it sprang off him into the air, gliding gently towards its keeper. "Many apologies, sir.."
Of things to go as planned, this was none of it. One hand still holding onto the polearm (despite the fact the creature was in such close quarters that the weapon was, in essence, just useless at present) while the other swipes and swings to try and grab the pesky creature before it can bite or claw or do gods know what else. Swings and misses, where he thinks to be able to snatch the end of its tail, its already gone by the time his fist closes around it. There's some under the breath uttering of filius canis, then both him and creature freeze as the mammalian rounds the corner and the scene gets an observer. It's really difficult to tell who seems more embarrassed about the situation.
The knight is frozen in place, one hand raised as wind-back for another grabbing attempt, the other making sure the polearm didn't fall and he looks up to what he assumes (hopes) is the owner. Slowly, he pulls himself back up to a more proper stature, creature clinging to his belt be damned, and rumbles a slow, deep, "This one.. Yes, please take it off." No sooner are the words finished when the noodle-dragon launches itself off of him and he gets to breathe a silent sigh of relief. The worst aspects of the unexpected are when piles of chaotic energy like hyperactive beasts come into the equation. He really needs to start being more mindful of that chance here in the City. The knight adjusts his tabard, straightening and fixing parts tugged or scraped by the climb, then levels his pale-eyed gaze on the mammalian, looking almost as if standing at attention.
"Apology accepted," he rumbles back, pauses, glances to the side a moment and then back. "If I may ask, sir. What path did you take here?" If there was a path they followed here, surely it would be a path he could follow back out?
'What a pesky one you are', the leopard thought to himself as the silvery white creature landed on his outstretched arm. It quickly assumed its former position around his neck as a fat living scarf, chittering happily. Well, it was a relief there were no further troubles than annoyance of stranger. Had they not been there, who knows where the little beast would've scampered off to. It was already enough that he himself was lost, he couldn't bear the thought of the ling-ling becoming trapped in here as well.
After ensuring the security of his newfound noodle-collar, Xentus turned his eyes back upon the helmeted man. They seemed rather astute, save for the little dance with the intruding ling. Mistakable for a guard of the establishment. Er.. WAS he a guard of this place? For a magic mansion with rumors of wondrous things to be found within, one might suspect there would may potentially be some kind of policing force within to be found on occasion. Or maybe the assortment of halls, rooms, and staircases that led endlessly was the security. Regardless, the figure and its formal posture commanded respect. "Path? Ah, if there was a path to anywhere in this place, it feels long since gone or lost", The leopard spoke with frown upon his lips as he shook his head, "This one finds no manner of backtracking to be a success. It is only a means deeper within."
"Sir, might you be a keeper of this homestead?", he asked in return, working off his previous presumptions, "Xentus does not mean to wander where he does not belong." His words continued in an apologetic tone, in part from his unshaken embarrassment. If the man was actually a guard, it posed good reason why he asked of any path here. If guests were not to wander to certain areas, however, maybe some semblance of signpost should be installed so that one does not stumble upon the master's bedroom..
Even as he spoke the question the deeper part of him was taking in the appearance of the mammalian. In many ways this.. - well, he isn't exactly sure what, but by the striping a 'tiger' is the closest equivalent to his mind - this 'tiger' could make him pass off almost normal by comparison. But then again, strange and strange had differences and something coloured pastel blue tended to be seen as less a threat as something adjacent to demonic.. Amiable, friendly, open. Good, this was good, any help he could get in this place would be much needed.
And any help would apparently not come from something so simple as a single path. "Ah.. Unfortunate," he replies, a note of disappointment when the mammalian explains there to be none to follow (briefly, he notes an usual use of phrasing and files it away in case it becomes useful). Then, there's a question he definitely wasn't expecting. A keeper of this homestead? He'd be lying if that particular train of thought wouldn't be tempting to follow. Useful too.. But, between the embarrassment of the creature using him as a scratching post to climb and his own need to leave, there isn't much room to see that one play out.
"No," he replies in that slow drawl, "I am simply lost. You are the first person I have encountered in this.. place. If there is a keeper to it, I would very much wish to see them. It is improper to keep one's visitors as prisoners to strange games and tricks of mind."
He wasn't sure if the words of the armored one were a relief or more worrisome. On one hand, he was glad to not have come across a guard only to peeve them off and bar future entry to the manor. On the other, it mean't the man could provide no means of escort to the exit either. It was kind of nice to have stumbled upon somebody, though. Perhaps not the best first impression he could've given, but if not for the circumstances, he may have passed by the man without notice, deeper lost and sort-of alone.
Xentus scratched at his half horn in thought. "Well, that would make for two of us lost in this maze then", he sighed. He wasn't even sure for how long he'd been wandering around the mansion, but he hadn't felt trapped until he considered the idea that he may very well be a prisoner. Imagine, walking into your very own spacious prison cell without even knowing. The intricacies and fine presentation of the structure made it hard to align the thoughts entirely though.
"This one wouldn't suppose you may be interested in a partner to help search for an escape from this place, would you?", Xentus offered after a moment, weighing out the pros and cons of the idea in his head, "To provide an extra set of eyes and ears, yes? Xentus cannot promise his pet will behave, however he will try." He loosed a sheepish chuckle and petted his living scarf. The ling-ling had tangled itself in the deadlocks of the leopard and was now busy nibbling on one of the cords of white hair. It seemed content enough, but the beast's nature was fickle. Who was he to say if it decided for another bout of playing squirrel and tree with the armored man?
Beneath the veil of his helm the mouth twitches into a hidden smile. There it was, an offer of help, and one freely given, even. The knight turns to take in the space of the room, seeming pensive about the question. Tap, tap, tap, the polearm lightly raps against the marble floor, before he turns back to the mammalian, "In truth it is my first time in the manor. I do not know all its dangers nor pit falls. But.." the posture seems to loosen a fraction, "I cannot refuse to help one in need. By the knight's code, whether by my hands or my eyes, I swear to help you." He takes a bow, to seal the pledge. "But after, I must return to my lord with news of this place."
Two sets of eyes, now. Surely the cursed place could be navigated somehow, even if they both may be too new to it to know yet how.. And, technically it could also be seen as three sets of eyes, if one counted the noodle-dragon (though likewise the noodle-dragon was as likely to get them in more trouble than they started off with, but it was a risk he had to take). "What have you seen of the manor so far? Is there a stair to ground floor, perhaps?"
A subtly twitching tail told the story of Xentus's thoughts and ideas bouncing around his mind, should one be able to read feline body language. He still wasn't all too sure what to make of the armored-clad man, even after just offering to group with them. No mouth to read a smile or frown of. Barely visible eyes, shaded under a helm's slit. Tight posture. Armed with a weapon. Though, Xentus did suppose the man was some form of guard or another. Disciplined and held to a standard. Respectable. And seemingly not here on his leisure time. The man's words after their moment of deliberation seemed to confirm that.
A pledge under some knights code? Now that was something he wasn't expecting. Fanciful! And almost amusing, even. "Very well, sir knight", his reply came, nodding at the temporary arrangement. He was curious now about this man, though stifled any questions for now in favor of trying to figure some way to tackle the problem of finding an exit. "Xentus has seen many a thing here. Stairways, yes. To the ground? He is unsure. His gaze out a window earlier told of being level with the canopy of a forest, even after descending a few flights of stairs", he reported, a wariness in his voice. He wasn't sure if he could trust what he saw in this place; it was often misleading.
"There were no other ways down from where this one ran from, though there were other forks in the hall before here", he began as he gestured down the corridor, "Perhaps one may lead us somewhere?"
The knight looks to be thinking over what the mammalian said. "Stairs.. yes. I, too, have encountered many sets of stairs. Some led up, some led down. And some.." he pauses seemingly at a loss for words, and resorting to a soft raise of his shoulders. "Some I thought led up when they led down. Some were the reverse. This house is madness." He hadn't had a drink that day, of this he was sure, but all the same, when he walked up those flights it made one wonder just how sober one was when suddenly the steps ended on a ceiling and all the furniture was pure crystal glass on the ceiling. Sparkly, beautiful crystal glass, but largely useless as furniture unless he turned himself into a spider or some such.
The knight looks through the window again. On this floor the forest is a little bit lower down (or the trees are a little bit shorter to better display the constellation-ridden sky). Even breaking through a window to climb down would be a long fall should either of them slip. He looks back towards the hallway mentioned and then to the mammalian, "That is a good idea. Two can cover ground easier, we can look to other pa--" He pauses, head turning to catch something and there's a frown visible in the space of the visor. "Do you hear a noise?"
Something, somewhere, was making a ruckus. A very small ruckus, but definitely a commotion.
Hmm a noise? His pointed ears twitched and swiveled to the direction the knight looked. Admittedly, it was hard to hear any subtle noises with the ever present chitter-chatter of the ling-ling around his neck. Still, he did think he detected something. He liked to think that his hearing was fairly sharp.
"This one will take a look", he said quietly, setting off and making his way toward the odd noises. His ears led him around a corner and through a tall archway into what appeared to be a banquet hall. A long table stretched down the length of the room, flanked on either side by elaborately carved marble chairs. Atop its surface was an array of crystalline dishes topped with matching glass fruits, bread rolls, plucked birds, among other affairs. It was a feast to behold, if one was a gem drake of some kind. And dancing atop the crystal banquet was the source of the noise.
A pair of some kind of spirit? They were small, but one could hear the growls of play between the two bears. Their bodies twinkled like little living constellations, glowing soft cyan tone that reflected off the glass. The ling-ling around Xentus's neck grew fixated by the sight. It unwrapped itself and clambered down the leopard's chest, slinking its way toward the spirit bears. It was almost too elegant and entrancing. A pang of caution washed over the leopard, hoping it wasn't some kind of trap. But, the ling seemed fine as it leaped up onto the table to investigate.
"Over here", the leopard called out behind him, making his position known to the knight before he stepped into the room after his pet.
Silver: I can give you one of my Baby Berries, Sev!
Aug 12, 2020 4:53:31 GMT -6
Sevyrn: Getting in to orbarus first, have half a breeding written up already just gotta get my hands on some baby berries first. But I'm gonna see if anything comes out of houlou in the future. Who knows, I could like them more than orbs.
Aug 12, 2020 4:21:12 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Oh that's awesome!!! I love breedables too, and houluh have been such a fun addition to that.
Aug 11, 2020 10:58:30 GMT -6
Sevyrn: I have two from when they were first released, so I figured why not give it a shot now that there's something to really do with them. Plus breedables. I love breedables.
Aug 11, 2020 10:29:12 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Oooh, houluh kennel request spotted. :0 Thinking of getting into houluh, Sevryn?
Aug 11, 2020 10:25:55 GMT -6
Sevyrn: I've been trying to scour through things, slowly catching up bit by bit I do think!
Aug 9, 2020 2:05:23 GMT -6
Riku: Have you read all the updates, Sevryn? You’ve missed a lot, so it’s probably going to be enlightening/exciting.
Aug 8, 2020 23:24:15 GMT -6