Just Like Home (Demeter;Tassadar)


Mamono Assault Force

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"Why would even a witch live in such a horrible place?" He complained as he jabbed the stick into the marsh water, and grunted, pushing his raft forward along the water. Amidst trees submerged in murky water, a lone man dressed in basic plate armor with the symbol of god etched into the breast navigated through the swamp water on a raft he was forced to design himself for safer, and faster travel through the dangerous terrain. The sky above was dark gray, making it appear as if it were close to night, when in fact it was high noon, giving the scenery of the marsh an even darker perspective, not to mention dangerous.

Grunting again as he jabbed his stick to the bottom of the marsh, using his legs, shoulders, and every motion of his body to push, accelerated the raft further through the murky water. "I can't seem to get used to this awful smell either... The witch that lives here must be truly miserable." he said to himself, as there was no other with him to make conversation. But upon seeing a droplet of water gather, and seemingly fall from nothing, he jabbed his stick in deep, bringing his raft to a full stop as terror gripped him. Looking around where the droplet fell, his face paled as he saw the terrifying sight of a giant spider hanging from one of her threads. Turning about, he quickly went to find a way around her webbing.

Goosebumps along his skin, and his breathing quickened, he kept looking back at the arachne he left behind. He was half afraid she would begin chasing him. But she still remained in place, hanging from her thread as her red eyes watched him go, sending a dread chill up his spine. "I want to turn back..." he announced with a terrified voice. And since then, every so often he'd lift his stick from the water to wave it in front of the raft at every possible location of an arachne's web. Never for a moment did he stop being afraid of being bitten by one... Or eaten.

But a few minutes later, and he found signs of civilization come into view, as well as dry land. With joy, he pushed his raft up until it slid along the ground, and became still, before dropping the stick onto the raft, and running onto the firm, solid ground with relief. "Finally! I'm here! Laohi, the swamp town!" he boasted with pride, very happy to have had a safe trip without being attacked. And the very first thing he'd do, is ask the village folk about the whereabouts of the witch that troubles them. "To become a proud member of the Inquisition, I will slay this witch!" he announced with vigor.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 1: The Inquisition

Demeter, low on supplies for her home, was yet again, one of the many times of the long years she's spent living in such a dreadful biome, forced to leave the solitude of her shack in order to bring her trade to the closest town, and see to purchasing the filling, if not miserable food the frugal villagers had to offer. Following the dry path through the marsh that lead straight to the town, Demeter would notice something strange about the town from a distance. The villagers appeared as if something interesting had happened, and were leaving their shacks to investigate, each headed in a similar direction.

Gathering around, but not getting too close, the villagers silently observed a foreign figure that walked on their land. Brown, winged hair split down the middle, what appeared to be a noble walked through the shabby streets. Dressed in white leather, and small, steel plated armor that protected his most vital points, a small white mantle around his shoulders flowed elegantly behind him, bearing the ornate design of the church, the holy cross, on the cape.

He looked at the villagers with interest, and even approached them with a curious, raised hand before they would back away from him. Confused, the man continued to try and ask each person he laid eyes on a question he truly seemed to want to ask. With a worried expression, Demeter was approached next by him.

"Excuse me," he inquired to her, "I'm here to slay the witch that has been reported to be here... Could you tell me where she is?" he asked her with what could possibly be explained as the most blunt, and innocent tone she had ever seen. There was no poison nor hatred on his tongue. He seemed like a mere boy playing 'slay the witch' on a dare by his friends, and seemed rather fearless about doing it. Nervous, but with a kind smile, he awaited Demeter's reaction.
 

Tassadar

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Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Demeter hiked toward the village, idly wondering what all the commotion might be about. As far as she knew, nothing should be happening in Laohi right now, not that she really had a good memory for such things. She carried the basket containing a number of assorted herbs she collected from the swamps in her left hand, and a walking stick of unpolished ash in her right. A ratty, beaten, and practically filthy brown cloak covered most of her body, the hood hiding her eyes and the rest concealing her figure down to the tops of her boots. The stick was just as it appeared to be, as she rarely needed such channels for her magic, but she also knew that sometimes, carrying a stick with which one might bludgeon things could be advantageous in its own right. The herbs were what she usually traded for food and supplies, the medicines valuable enough to the people who lived here that they'd give up what she asked for in exchange for them, regardless of her reputation. Not that she got a good deal for them, of course, but she got by on them well enough.

She watched the stranger from afar, noting his comparatively rich clothing, particularly the armor, and the mantle. Lots of white, a cape, church symbols, plate armor..... A knight of some sort, apparently. The villagers were being their usual friendly selves, of course, and were shying away from the man whenever he came toward them. He quite obviously wanted something, and she sighed softly as he approached her, wondering what some noble was doing wandering the swamps.

When he asked her his question, one that the villagers had obviously been very hesitant to answer with her standing there, now that she knew what it was, Demeter's jaw was only prevented from hitting the ground by a supreme effort of will. Several reactions immediately came to mind, not the least appealing of which was to send the poor man on an airborne trip back to the swamp, but instead, Demeter laughed softly. It only lasted for a second or two, a rich belly laugh that sounded far more pleasant and filled with joy than anyone with her title ought to have, but then she immediately replied; "Yes. Yes, I could. I could even show you where she lives, in fact! It's a very dangerous place, her home, with spiders all over the place, and glamors of all sorts to ward off intruders! I wouldn't dare let a noble young man such as yourself go after her without a guide through the swamps, they are treacherous, you know! It is said that she emerges only under moonlight, but when she does, she hungers for the souls of mortals, so we will have to be quick about it if you want to reach her today, when she's vulnerable."

Demeter's words were delivered in complete seriousness, but it was rare that she was given such a straight line like that. It was almost... Cute, how straightforward this stranger was, and the utter lack of anything resembling hatred or malice that he held.... It was certainly refreshing. "If I may, I was only coming into town today to purchase a few things. I live off in the swamp myself, you see, and have to ward myself from her during the night. Long have I wished for one such as you to come and slay the devilish hag! If I could perhaps take care of this first, I would be all too happy to lead you right to her. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I simply left most of what I need here, to come and pick up later." She leaned her staff against herself, and lifted the hood from her face, smiling warmly at the man, a slight twinkle in her eyes.
 

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Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Hearing her first words was enough to break his nervousness and cause his smile to brighten with excitement. "Really!? Thanks a lot! I caught a break!" he announces happily, as if everything was going right for him. Listening further, his eyes paid strict attention to her, glinting with curiosity. He seemed happy beyond belief, even flushing with embarrassment. "You're so knowledgeable, and you're willing to help me find my way? I feel ashamed for relying on you so much when I don't even know your name.

"As thanks for helping me, I'll help you shop around town!" he announced cheerfully, his back straitening, seemingly knowledgeable of a strict helper's pose. "My name is Idian Jeru! A lot of people make fun of me by mispronouncing my name as 'idiot,' but I'm pretty used to it now. Everyone makes mistakes." he said with a confident nod, as making idiotic mistakes is apparently a running trend for him. "Anyway, let's get shopping!" he announced, happily walking with a lively pace next to Demeter to help her finish her intended business.



"Oh, are you making a soup with this?" Idian asked Demeter as she picked out various supplies from the shop's shelves. Reaching up, he suddenly took a few extra ingredients. "If you add this, the taste really becomes noticeable." he told her. "You can also make a very nice desert if you use sunset sugar leaves and alarune extract mixed together with dough and baked to make a sugared alarune nectar doughnut!"

"You should get butter as well."

"Carrots don't taste bad and they're very healthy!"

"If you got this as well..."

Idian continued to offer cooking suggestions throughout their time in the store with relentless passion. He seemed to be quite skilled with the art. However, with his additions to Demeter's shopping list, she hadn't nearly enough to pay for it all. "I'll pay for the expenses, it's fine~" Idian told the old man on the other side of the counter, who gave Demeter a confused look. He seemed to be having immense difficulty mentally pairing such a brightly dressed, cheerful young man escorting such a ragged, intimidating woman, much less the terror of the village, without a single care in the world. And with a rather wealthy pocket, Idian was true to his word. Demeter got to keep all of her herbs, while Idian carried two large baskets of groceries behind her as they stepped out of the store. For once, the old man seemed happy to receive such business.

"This town doesn't have too much to offer, it seems... But that's okay, I can make plenty of great dishes with this!" he announced happily, before stopping in place, "Oh, wait!" he announced with an alerted tone, "I'm very sorry, I didn't mean to assume I'd be cooking in your house. I really am an idiot sometimes. At the very least, allow me to give you my recipes, so you can make these on your own." he offered. "You see, I'm sort of used to getting straight to cooking after bringing in groceries ever since I lived in the mansion of a beautiful countess, who I mistook for a vampire." He laughed, "Man, I felt so silly. I ran in, about to slay her for terrorizing the townsfolk, until she told me it was all a play, and they were just acting in costumes, including the villagers! Even though I caused such problems, she let me stay so long as I cooked for her. She was a very nice person."

Setting the baskets behind the store as the old man instructed, Idian left Demeter's food stock in a secure storage shed, ready for her to pick up at a later time, before approaching her with a grin. "I'm ready when you are! Once I defeat the witch, maybe the inquisition will finally promote me above initiate! Since... I haven't been able to slay even one mamono yet." he added nervously. "I feel really uncertain lately. A lot of my attempts to find and defeat a listed mamono have turned out to be misunderstandings... I'm just glad I'm clearing up the situation lest another inquisitor makes a terrible mistake," he says, proud of himself.
 

Tassadar

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Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

"My name is Demeter, Sir Idian. And 'tis a pleasure to be of service." She replied evenly, and only quirked an eyebrow as the man urged her to go shopping, and led the young warrior to where she usually traded her assorted finds for food. "You do seem to enjoy this, don't you? Odd for a knight.... Oh! No, that's not necessary really....." Demeter trailed of, recognizing a losing battle when she saw one, and simply allowed Idian to do as he pleased. The young man was nothing if not enthusiastic, it seemed, and even though she somewhat understood why some might call the poor young lad an idiot, she didn't think she would be using it on him any time soon. He was simply too much of a sweetheart for that, in her mind, for her to act toward him with malice. Indeed, after how nice he was being, she even felt a little bad for the deception she was using on him.

He certainly did seem enthusiastic about food, however. "Oh, think nothing of it, Sir Idian! I can assure you that, were you to visit my home, I would do my best as a host to ensure your comfort. I'm not much of a cook myself, I'm afraid, but I'd do my best." She said, with a smile, and at his story about mistaking a countess for a vampire, she looked properly aghast. "No! What play could that possibly have been? They must have been quite the actors, if you believed them so thoroughly. How long did you stay there?"

Demeter left her own basket behind in the shed as well, as it would seem odd to take such a thing into a place she'd said was dangerous. The herbs within would keep a while, and after Idian had bought all of that food for her, she wouldn't mind if some of them got used anyway. Demeter nodded at the idea of being prepared, but she paused as he mentioned being promoted, and how so many of his attempts at earning such a promotion had been misunderstandings. Again, a slight pang of guilt hit her, but she batted it off as irrational, and her face became a little more grave as she said; "I shall lead you to her home, which lies within the swamp itself. I have some magics of my own that might dispel the wards around her cabin, and protect us from anything that might attack us, with the help of your own might of course. The path we will take is mostly the same as the one I took to get here earlier, and when last I left it, it was safe. But there can be no certainty in the swamps. They are dangerous for the unwary, particularly when they have no experience in such places." She smiled slightly, but it was a nervous expression, this time not faked. She had never tried anything like this before.

"Please, try to stay close to me, Sir Idian. It's comforting, having someone else with me in a journey through the swamps, particularly an inquisitor. Together, we should be in little danger. Come!" Without further ado, Demeter began leading the young man through the swamp toward her shack, the alleged witches hut. She took double her normal precautions, even though the path had been safe earlier today, knowing that many of the monsters who made their home in the swamps hungered far more for men, than for women. As she did, she asked; "How do you plan to slay the witch? I know not what powers an inquisitor initiate might possess."
 

Mamono Assault Force

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Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Following Demeter closely, his pace both slowed and quickened as he caught up to her, and fell behind slightly, much like a loyal dog following, and guarding it's owner. Constantly looking in various directions, he never stopped checking his surroundings. But when Demeter brought attention to herself, mostly inquiring as to how he would slay the witch, Idian's constant smile faded to that of a frown. "How do I plan to slay her...?" he repeated her question with a curious raise of an eyebrow. Putting a hand to his chin in thought, his eyes looked to the sky and tree branches above. "I read in a book once that if you spill water on a witch, she'll melt." he announced proudly. "So, I'll use that method to check. The witch might have victims, so if I just go crazy and start attacking everyone, I might hurt someone innocent. I'll just splash some harmless water on everyone, and the one who's a witch will melt!"

"The inquisitor's strongest weapon is his head! Even though everyone tells me not to think as much as I do, it's been more helpful to me than anything, so they're definitely wrong. My instructor in the church even let me graduate early because she said she couldn't handle me. Everyone was so jealous!" he snickered. "Because of my intelligence, lots of good things have happened. So that must mean I'm pretty smart, since it would be unwise to assume oneself has intelligence. That is the folly of pride." he preached to Demeter.

After her reply, if any, Demeter and Idian were suddenly alerted by an unexpected splash from the water. As Demeter expected, a monster came, following the scent of a human man. And rising from the water so far away, she seemed to almost be making a declaration of challenge as she pulled the unidentifiable swamp material from her face and body, while boasting a powerful weapon, revealing herself to be a dangerous Sahuagin.

Standing in place, her yellow, emotionless eyes switched between Demeter and Idian, before Idian wordlessly walked past Demeter, and calmly approached the smaller girl. Seeing Idian approach, she raised her weapon, even taking a step back at his calm approach, so collected and composed. Even as he walked closer, with no weapon in his hand, she rose her weapon in warning to him, but did nothing to convey that directly to him, as he seemed to either not know, or not care.

"Are you hungry?" Idian suddenly asked, stopping in place before her. Taken aback, the silent Sahuagin lowered her weapon slightly. "You're shaking. You don't have to attack us for food. Here-" he dug his hand into his pocket quickly, sending the Sahuagin into alert, nearly jabbing her weapon into him in response to his quick movement, before he carelessly pulled an orange, crusty food from his pocket. "It's breaded fish. I cooked it myself. It's not much, but you look like you really need something to eat." he said kindly.

Her yellow eyes shifting to and from the food he offered, the Sahuagin slowly raised her webbed hand, cautious, and clearly fearful of a trick, before she gripped the food, and quickly began to eat it. Idian laughed lightly, and ruffled her green hair lightly with his hand. In response, the Sahuagin's cheeks turned red, before she swallowed the food, and delivered a fierce smack to his cheek, before quickly leaping back into the water.

"Ow..." Idian whined as he rubbed his cheeks, "Why did she do that...?" he complained, before giving a sigh. "That poor little girl... She's very strong to be trying to live out here all alone..." he said with pity for her as he looked at where she had dove into the water.
 

Tassadar

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#6
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Demeter only just barely kept a straight face as Idian told her of how he planned to kill the local witch, her in other words. The Inquisition couldn't possibly be that foolish, as to actually teach such a thing, but could Idian really be gullible enough to believe what he was saying? She couldn't bring herself to speak in response to his insane statements, and instead she simply walked cautiously through the swamps as Idian kept bouncing about excitedly, but as she took note of that, Demeter turned to him and said; "Stop. Walk steadily. If you keep changing your pace like that, it makes you look uncertain and frightened from a distance. This swamp is dangerous, and you look like easy prey."

Demeter was interrupted by a splashing, and the elf turned her head and spotted the Sahuagin approaching. That was... Odd. The smaller, water-born monster girls normally attacked from stealth, and Demeter knew quite well that the little reptilian creature could have snuck up no them with ease. She turned to face it squarely, planting her staff in the ground, and immediately conjured the spell she always had ready in her mind, in case she was wandering through the swamps. It was so natural to her that it didn't even require a word, only an effort of will, before the threads of her magic formed and invisible sphere around her. It wasn't mean to directly block anything, and would not oppose any force that came toward her, but instead extended out about ten feet. Anything moving, even slightly, within that distance became known to her, and with her casual silent alarm set up, she faced the Sahuagin and waited.

When Idian walked calmly past her and toward the girl, who raised her weapon in warning, Demeter gaped at him, but as he drew nearer, the idea of shouting at him, or unleashing a spell of some sort, became more and more appealing. But, as the tension rose, Demeter knew that to break it might only lead to violence.

As Idian spoke to the Sahuagin, however, Demeter became more and more amazed. Her tense posture gradually slipped away as it seemed less and less likely that the girl would attack him, and she actually cautiously approached herself, but didn't say anything. Only a moment after she stood behind and above Idian did the girl slap the poor boy and flee back into the murky waters, and she smiled slightly as he nursed his hurt cheek and complained. But... Then he had to go and turn cute immediately again, of course, and her smile turned into a frown. How was this boy still alive? Could one truly be so naive, and put into such dangerous situations, and still survive, and even retain their own will? It didn't seem possible, but here he was, right in front of her.

As she tried to contextualize what had happened, Demeter offered him a hand and helped him to his feet, and quietly said; "She is Sahuagin. It is her way, to be how she was. They cannot, or at least do not, speak, not to outsiders at least, and I have never seen one display even as much emotion as you inspired. Do not let her size, or her girlish appearance fool you, however. I have seen one of her kin fell an arachne before the larger monster even knew it was under attack. But, even though they are dangerous, and even aggressive, they are not quite as malicious as the spiders, as you saw. I am surprised that you yet live, Idian. Come, we must be away." Demeter was half watching the water as she spoke, though her expression was thoughtful rather than suspicious. As she finished, she immediately led the man away, down the dry path through the swamp toward her cabin, though the previous encounter was still within her mind, possibly distracting her somewhat. What precisely she was going to do with the boy that had come to kill her she hadn't quite figured out, but an idea was beginning to form in the elf's mind.
 

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Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Hearing Demeter's lecturing words, Idian frowned, turning his head away from her. "You sound just like them... None of you seem to understand... Just because of her appearance, doesn't mean she's out to attack people. All of you who see those alien to you as threats, are the ones who should be surprised about your own existence. I'm trying to bring the world together, not create stronger borders to separate us. All people who think like that do is inspire other's to destroy the foundations of the barriers they constructed. The fighting will never end unless everyone hears each other out. Humans will wage their war against mamono kind for the rest of their existence unless someone does something about it. And it's a shame that the only person I know who's up to that task is an idiot like me." he announced, his tone much harsher as he took to following the rather straight, dry path through the swamp.

"I will prove to everyone that the world can change easily if they just stop hiding from beyond the horizon of their lives. The inquisition believes in creating a new world. A world where human beings can live without fear. And I'll help realize that goal. Human, or mamono alike that attack other's without cause or justification, I'll never forgive anyone like that!" he shouted, clearly upset, as if for more reason than just his beliefs alone. As if some kind of trauma was bothering him.

But, that sense of negativity shifted, as smoke could be seen in the direction of Demeter's home. "A fire?" Idian wondered curiously. Feeling the need for haste, Idian ran ahead, "Wait here!" he announced to Demeter, running ahead to investigate her home. And just beyond the layer of trees, Demeter could see a group of men dressed like Idian around her home, setting fire to it. With Idian approaching, they turned their attention to him.

"What on earth is going on!?" Idian exclaimed.

One of the men, each of them wearing a protective helmet, looked at him with a sneer. "We were sent to do the job that the pope said you couldn't handle. And on that topic, Idian... You are under arrest for heresy." he judged him.

Idian frowned angrily, "What the hell are you talking about!?"

"Inquisitors thought it strange that no investigation you made turned up positive for mamono... Till we found that every case you investigated was really a mamono after all," he pointed at the boy accusingly. "You lied, Idian. You lied to the inquisition, to protect monsters!"

"Protect monsters...!? They were all humans!" Idian shouted, his face red from shock, "What did you do to them!?" he questioned them angrily.

"What all creatures are sentenced to when the inquisition finds them. Each of them were sentenced to death." he stated matter-of-factly. "Now, you gonna come along peacefully?"



From where Demeter stood, she could see Idian tick, even from afar, in a safe distance, but close enough to interfere if the situation called for it. His eyes shot open wide in shock. "They... They're dead?" he asked with a trembling voice. "You... You killed them!? They were innocent people!" he screamed. "THEY WERE INNOCENT! What have you done...!?" his voice lowered to a whisper as he visibly shook, trembling in place.

Shaking his head, the inquisitor motioned to one of his cohorts. "Lock him in irons." he ordered him. And when the holy soldier stepped towards Idian, he'd find his outstretched arm gripped, before Idian twisted it behind his back, and threw the man to the ground. "Idian!" the captain of the group spat, "You bastard!"

Drawing his sword, he charged towards Idian, raising his blade, and swiftly struck downwards in a quick motion. Raising his head, Idian looked at the blade, before raising his arm slowly. Demeter could see the magical threads form from his body, and solidify over his hand, as if hardening it. And when the blade slammed down, Idian caught it in his fingers, before snapping the blade in half.

Holding the shard of blade in his hand, Idian's presence became that of rage, and malice. "Innocent people... Innocent..." he whispered. "They were innocent... And...

"YOU MURDERED THEM!!!" he screamed, both of the captain's guards taking a step back as the enraged Idian drove his arm forward, and slammed the broken blade into the eye of the murderer before him. And surrounded by the two other men, one of them looked at the other quickly. "Kill him!" he declared, before they both moved in quickly to attack Idian. Demeter's time to interfere, a voice in the back of her mind told her, was now.
 

Tassadar

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#8
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Demeter was taken aback by Idian's sudden ferocity, and she tried repeatedly to interrupt him, but she was unable to speak over him. His sudden passion was... Shocking, to say the least. Demeter didn't claim to know the boy particularly well yet, but.... Could his idealism really run that deeply? After he'd shouted, she walked beside him in silence, her face a mix of hurt and shame and.... A little bit of fear as well. She hadn't been around people much, for most of her life, and Idian was the first who hadn't looked at her with fear or hate for a very long time. To be spoken to like that by him... It hurt her more than Demeter wanted to admit. More than she thought anything could hurt her, anymore, really.

He simply didn't know how true his words were, and now that she thought of it, how much they applied to herself. By isolating herself out here, and fostering her reputation by her own aloofness, had she not ironically been a worse offender even than the ones she had originally been singled out by? She had shut away those she did not know just as surely as they had shut out her, and that applied to both the people of the village and her fellow denizens of the swamp. She had never spoken much to any, save to warn them away from her home, often with magical fire to back her. From the way he spoke of it, there was clearly some sort of pain that Idian had regarding the subject, but Demeter couldn't even guess at it.

A moment after he'd finished, Demeter very quietly said; "Idian... I didn't... You misunderstood...." She wanted to explain to him that she hadn't meant to fear the young-looking monster girl, but had been trying to get him to understand her, that even though she looked vulnerable, she simply wasn't. She hadn't intended to make her sound threatening, but instead to inspire respect for the creature, but even now, the words would not come. She stuttered for a moment, but well before the elf could get herself together, Idian spotted the smoke up ahead, and after he pointed it out, she did as well. Who in the hell would be starting a fire in the swamp? Wait.... Wasn't that? It was! The figures came into her full view just as Idian charged ahead, the three men standing around her house, as it burned. Her house was BURNING. DOWN. "Idian! Wait!" She shouted at the boys back, but it was too late, and she approached much more cautiously. As such, the elf remained largely unnoticed as the three men and Idian spoke, and she stopped while still a far enough distance off that she could intervene, if necessary, but also so that she could flee, if she had to. And.... She had time to think. They had gotten through the wards protecting her home, apparently without being injured, so at least one of them needed to have some knowledge of magic of their own. She hadn't designed them to repel those capable of using their own magics, as there were none that she knew of within the swamps besides herself, so it likely wouldn't have even been very difficult for any with even a modicum of talent.

She winced as the apparent leader ordered one of his men to put Idian in irons, but she winced even harder to the boys evident fury. She watched in paralyzed amazement as he caught the sword, his magic weaving to protect his hand from harm, and then allowing him to snap the blade right off as if it were nothing more than a twig. That answered how the young man had remained alive through all of his adventures, at least, and Demeter didn't know if she had enough dexterity with her magic to manage what he'd done, particularly on the fly like that. His fury, so potent, on the other hand..... Was frightening. She could remember only one other time when she'd been so possessed by anger as she, and her reminiscence kept her rooted on the spot right up until Idian drove the broken blade into the other mans head. That sudden act of intense, savage violence broke her from her stupor.

As the two other men moved on Idian, their intention clearly lethal, Demeter prepared her magic. The very first thing that she'd ever learned about magic from her mother was that it came from the soul, and the soul was also what granted a person their emotions. It stood to reason then, that emotion and magic were tied together, somehow. That was how she had always viewed it, at least, and that was why, as she prepared to enter into the battle, Demeter thought of what the men had done. She had no connection to the events that had so enraged Idian, and as petty as she knew that was, Demeter couldn't bring herself to find much more than a dull anger for the deaths of the ones he had met. Instead, she concentrated on the signal for Idian's charge, that being the burning building behind them. They had set fire to her home. The place where she had lived for more than three decades. Granted, she was young for an elf, but even then, having lived there for so long, Demeter had grown highly attached to her little cottage in the swamp.

So, as she called up her power, the threads of her soul weaving around her staff, Demeter thought of all she had done there, and all that she had had which was now gone. The scrolls she had drawn, when planning out the wards around her little shack. The little doll she had found in the swamp one day, its cloth covering all but ruined by the muck, which she had set upon a shelf and then left there. The journal she had kept on and off, such that it hadn't even filled the one notebook. The set of failed experiments she'd taken up but then dropped over the years. The silver chain that had been left in a cubby under the floorboards in one of the corners, the locket inside containing the only image she had of her mother, permanently inscribed in silver rather than drawn. All of it, gone from her, forever.

She concentrated her fury, and the weave of magic around her staff pointed at Idian's back, and she let loose her magic. A cannonball of force lanced out from her staff, but halfway between herself and Idian, it split in half, and instead struck both men in the chest, and would send them flying right off their feet. Finesse, she might not have much of, but power she had in abundance. The one on her left would fly up to forty feet before gravity sent him spinning into a small pond. It wasn't deep enough for him to drown in, as it was also what she bathed in, being not too terrible stagnant, but she also didn't account for his armor, or the effects her force blast might have had on his ribs. The man on the right would get sent right into a stand of trees, one of which he would surely slam into with enough force to shake the whole thing. This was, of course, assuming that neither of them had some way of neutralizing her magics before they struck.

"Idian! Idian Jeru! Stop!" Demeter moved closer as she shouted, magic still encircling her staff as she moved to stand near to him. She looked... Sad, empathy for the young man conveyed in her posture as well, but she said; "Idian... Come with me, away from here. Before they recover. Please." Her words were pleading, and she looked at the young man, trying to get him to meet her eyes.

(That last paragraph is assuming that they didn't just shrug off the force blasts, of course. If so, Demeter isn't getting anywhere near either of them.)
 
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#9
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Suddenly seeing the two men fly away, Idian's wrathful expression turned to surprised shock. Quickly turning to the source as Demeter called out his name, he glanced at one of the men, before nodding quickly. "All right," he answered quickly, before quickly retreating from the scene with her, back along the path towards the town, as they both seemed to mentally agree that to be the best place to flee to for the moment.

On the way, and well after they made their flight away from the scene, Idian quickly began to look depressed. Still breathing a bit heavily from running, his previously bright face showed a new dark to Demeter as what had just happened seemed to bother him a great deal. "Thank you..." he said suddenly, "I guess that's what's most important, right?" He sighed sadly, folding his arm in front of himself, he looked as if he wished to grieve for the lives that the man claimed to have taken. "They were innocent people... But I must not lose sight of those who are still alive. If the Inquisition has members that are doing things like this, I must let them know so that it can stop. More innocent people could be under attack at this very moment while I grieve for the lives they have already taken."

He turns to Demeter, stopping his pace. A very serious expression was present. "Where do you live, Demeter? At the very least before I depart, I will make sure you arrive at your own home safely in case more members of that murderer's group linger," he announced to with a confident expression, no longer the smiling one, as he still seemed quite bothered.
 

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#10
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Demeter led Idian back toward the village in stark silence, her shock at the previous events allowing her to remain silent as they walked. She'd never expected that kind of violence from Idian, but the boy seemed to have gone to grief quickly. She was surprised by his sudden thanks, and mumbled something incoherent in response to him, too busy wallowing in her own grief and confusion, but eventually the boys words broke through, and she stared at Idian incredulously. She stopped the very second that he did, that expression still unhidden upon her face, but when he asked her where she lived, she blushed. No time like that present, it seemed.

"Right... Idian, I'm afraid that I haven't been totally honest with you. Or, honest with you at all, in fact. You see..... It was my house that those men just burned down. I am the person whom you were sent here to kill." She spoke slowly and carefully, and then paused for a moment, but before Idian could speak she began to talk again, speaking very quickly; "I'm sorry, that I deceived you, but I when you told me that you were sent to slay the witch that lived here.... I wanted to find out more about you, and if things turned violent, I didn't want there to be anyone that could get hurt in the crossfire. I understand if you're angry at me... But, we both need to find someplace safe now. My home is gone, and I don't think that you can go back to wherever it is that you lived either. The Inquisition will be waiting for you.... They'll try to kill you Idian!" She didn't want to admit it, but it would have been painfully obvious to anyone with half a brain that Demeter didn't want to have to get out of the swamp alone.
 
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#11
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Hearing Demeter begin to announce the truth, and the fact that she was lying, Idian's eyes narrowed at her, frowning silently. Once she was done, he closed his eyes, letting out a quiet sigh as he seemed to think deeply about his situation, and what Demeter was telling him. Silent, he stood in place with his eyes shut, before, without warning, his eyes opened wide, smiling at Demeter.

"So, you really weren't the witch, but you were framed," he concluded. "The inquisition must have gotten something wrong, because witches are green!" he laughed. "Don't worry, Demeter, I'll clear up this whole misunderstanding. I know I'll get into some trouble, but I can't just run away. That would be immature. I'll head right to the church, and speak with the head of The Order about your innocence! You should come too, so you can make your case and prove your innocence." he told her happily, as if he just found the solution to all of their problems.

"Even if they shun me from the order, I don't really have a place to live. When I was young, the head of the order, a really nice lady, told me that my parents were monsters that stole me from my real parents. So the inquisition came in and slayed them, and took me to be raised into a respectable member of the order. And..." he trailed off, his expression changing from happy to disturbed, "Of course, they couldn't have made a mistake..." he said, sounding a little doubtful after what just happened.
 

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#12
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Fear built within Demeter as Idian closed his eyes, but she didn't break the silence as the tension built within her. He would tell her to go off on her own, of course, if not attack her outright. But, when he opened his eyes and smiled, and began to speak without any trace of anger, Demeter's heart fluttered slightly, the tension easing away instantly.

Instead of fear, she stared at him with incredulity, not believing what he was saying. For a moment, wild thoughts raced through Demeter's mind. This couldn't actually be happening. This was all a dream. Or maybe, Idian was some sort of demon, and was trying to lull her guard down. Or maybe, he was just an excellent liar, and was leading her into a trap set by the Inquisition.

But no, a pinch on her side revealed that she was awake. And Idian seemed too earnest to be a demon, and simply wasn't smooth enough to be tricking her that deeply. Right?

Another hint at Idian's past, and a look at a tragedy she couldn't imagine, flitted by. It wasn't yet time to ask about that, and as she watched his face twist into doubt, she knew that she couldn't let him dwell on it right now anyway. What he planned was tantamount to suicide. She couldn't let him go off to it alone, and she didn't exactly have any better options than to stay with him anyway. The village wouldn't accept her, and a few nights in the swamp, outside of the safety of her home, and she'd be dead or mad with paranoia. So, Idian it was.

"Idian......" She said, not sure how exactly she was going to say.... Whatever she was going to say. "Alright... Lets go.... But... If... You know, never mind. Lets just go." Trying to tell him what to do hadn't worked out very well so far. Giving up on that, Demeter's only option would be to try and work through whatever stupidity Idian got her into. And pray that, if he got himself stuck in too deep..... That she could get herself out of it, with or without him.

As before, Demeter kept a careful eye out, but now she added more inquisitors to the already long list of things that she needed to worry about.
 

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#13
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Led by Idian, he simply gave Demeter a polite nod when she desired he avoid conversing further with her on the topic she decided not to bring up before they made their way back to the town. "We should get the food here for our trip, it'll be more than enough as we make our way West, towards the Order capital. The Countess' city is along the way, I'd like to pay my respects at least as we pass through, if that's alright." he tells Demeter, sounding a bit sorrowful ever since he was told that the other members of the inquisition had killed her.

Getting as much food as they could take, plenty for the trip, Demeter and Idian made their way from the town, traveling by the raft Idian had made, allowing Demeter to rest while Idian himself pushed the raft along. And as he pushed, Demeter caught the faint glimpse of a shimmering pair of yellow eyes looking in her general direction, before the presence vanished once it seemed to know Demeter had spotted it. Idian meanwhile, would disregard any point Demeter made about the hint of being watched, "I'm sure it's nothing that wants to hurt us, probably something that saw us passing by and wanted to check us out."

After finding some dry land, the sky was already beginning to grow orange, a sign that the day was coming to an end. Idian hopped off of the raft, glad to see that there was plenty of dry land from that point on, a path straight out of the swamp, and into dry jungle. "Man, my arms are beat." he groans, and by all rights they should be, he was doing that for hours, not counting his initial trip to find Demeter. "Let's set up camp!" he announced with a smile, still seeming to have some energy left in his bottomless supply of it. Taking off the massive rectangular shaped stack of supplies on his back, Idian began setting up a tent. "I don't know why some people don't use these. They're handy for when it rains!" he announced aloud.

"Go ahead and get comfortable in the tent, Demeter, I'll finish the rest," he assured her, even though he already let Demeter hardly do anything asides from settle her own things inside the tent. Grunting, Idian could be seen leaping at tree branches all around them, and ripping them off. Even thick ones, he jumped up onto them, held on with both hands, and lifted his lower body, pressing his heels against the base of the branch as it made loud cracks, before finally giving way as both it and Idian fell to the ground. Laughing, he stood up, and carried a large bundle of sticks in his arms, before setting up the campfire, and setting it alight by pointing his finger, and gathering threads of flame just beyond his finger, suddenly setting all the brown branches aflame.

With a sigh of exhaustion, sweat covering his face, Idian flopped down in front of the fire, night already having taken over the day. Whether it be fighting, setting up camp, or otherwise, Idian seemed to have no tools whatsoever that would assist him in such things. Taking his gloves and armor off, Demeter could see many scars on his hands, some appearing recent, others ancient. As if in a dream, Idian silently stared into the fire, hunching forward, and wrapping his arms around his legs, resting his chin on his knees...
 

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#14
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Demeter nodded wordlessly at the idea of getting the food, but she also grabbed a handful of things she thought that she might find a use for from the basket she'd left as well. The rest she left to the storekeeper, to do with however he liked. The idea of stopping at the city where he'd met the vampire, who was now presumably deceased (permanently,) didn't exactly appeal to her, but she doubted that she would be able to dissuade him.

As they traveled on the raft out of the swamp, Demeter didn't mention to Idian the eyes she'd seen. As she wasn't being allowed to row, rather forcefully, she kept up her detection spell the entire time, more out of habit than out of real necessity. It wasn't nearly as effective when it was trying to sift through the murky waters of the swamp, but she had received enough practice with it over the years to know if something living tried to come too close to the raft. Nothing did, and she sighed and climbed off of the raft as they reached dry land. It had been.... A very long time since Demeter had been out of the swamp. She wasn't out completely, not yet, but she knew that the time when she would be leaving her hostile sanctuary was coming close now.

She tried to help the young man set up camp, but Idian was having nothing of it, so while he set up the tent, she set up a safe place for them to have a fire. A tiny working of her magic formed a ring of dirt, a practice she'd learned to do quickly and efficiently on those nights when she hadn't had time to return to her cabin. After that, she alternated between watching him go about his work, and checking through their supplies, picking what would make up their meal for the night.

"That really isn't......" Demeter trailed off, after Idian had demanded to be allowed to do all of the preparation of their camp on his own. 'Right. I'll just... Sit here....' She thought to herself as she sat in front of the fire pit she'd dug. He didn't seem to have any tools, but that fact also didn't seem to slow Idian's boundless supply of energy in the slightest, and she watched in amazement as he worked. She was so stunned by his laughter after his fall, that she didn't even react as he set the fire himself, using a tiny bit of his own magic.

She nodded approvingly, but as Idian removed his armor, she blushed slightly. During her sedentary time as Idian prepared the camp, Demeter's mind had wandered off without her permission, until she started to wonder what other uses his seemingly limitless energy could be put to. 'I just met him.... Such thoughts aren't.... Proper.... Heavens, how long has it been since.... No! Don't think that!' Her gaze settled on his scarred hands, and she moved over to sit next to Idian at the side of the fire, abandoning her cloak along the way. beneath it, she wore a fairly close fitting dress, though it wasn't particularly revealing or flattering either, made of patched and stitched materials. Most would have called them rags, particularly one of Idian's upbringing.

She didn't try to get too close, and she doubted that she could un-pry the boy from his curled up position in order to get closer than would be considered proper anyway. Instead, she sat beside him, her shoulder occasionally lightly touching his, but she didn't try to get any closer unless he seemed accepting of the idea. As desperate as she was for contact with one who didn't hate her for her choice to live alone, where such contact might lead totally disregarded, she hadn't been away from society for so long that she'd utterly forgotten how to read simple social cues. If he pulled away, she would respect his wishes.

"Your hands... You look like you've led a dangerous life, Idian. Are you... Are you alright? You seem troubled." She said quietly, looking at his face, the flickering light from the fire making it appear half in shadow from her point of view. He did seem very tense.... "What you said about your parents, earlier today.... About what the Inquisition said about them. What did you mean?" She spoke softly, but then quickly added; "It's alright if you don't want to talk about it... But, well, the night is young still, and it's a way to pass the time. If you tell me your story.... I'll tell you mine. It's the way that my people used to learn to trust outsiders, a long time ago....." She trailed off, looking at him expectantly.
 

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#15
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

The slight brush of their shoulders brought Idian to attention. Blinking, he turned to Demeter as if surprised, before blinking even more at how close she was sitting. Flushing, reddening skin seen from the fire light, he laughed lightly, "Are you cold?" he asked her, as if that were the reason she was getting closer. "I've actually been feeling really heated, lately..." he told her, trailing off as his eyes settled back into the fire.

Hearing her questions, he listened to the first, before laughing, smile returning. "A hard life? Me? Ha, ha, ha!" he announced rather bluntly. "You must mean my hands. I've done everything with my hands. I've fought with my hands, helped build churches and houses with my hands, and even cooked with my hands," he told her, looking at his index finger, which had a burn mark on it. "I've just..." he trailed off, his smile turning into a frown as he looked at his hand. "I've never liked tools. Seeing them makes me unsettled, and even touching one... Gives me this awful feeling of when I was young. So, everything I did in life, I did with my hands... Because my parents..."

He laughed, "I mean, my fake parents... They were killed... By a hammer... A sword... And buried with a shovel... I just..." He trembles, shaking for a moment, "I can't stand those things. Anything that can kill someone... And me... I'm trying to justify what happened back at that shack, because of the wrong doings of that man... But I held that thing in my hand... I felt so crazy and sick at the same time, I killed him without thinking twice...

"I don't really know what I'm going to do when I reach the Order. I really want everything to be okay, but... Everyone is so wrong... Why is everyone unaware of the truth? They believe things that make them want to kill people, innocent people like the countess... I'm really afraid of what might happen in the future. In order to protect innocent lives... Will I have to kill people who believe they're doing what's right? Did I even have the right to kill anyone to begin with?" he asked aloud, sounding frustrated and confused. "I'm an idiot... I sound and act like an idiot..."

"I don't want you getting mixed up in any of this, Demeter," he suddenly stated, "I'll do my best to find you a nice place to live before I head to the Order. It would be irresponsible of me to let you come with me, where you would be in such danger," he announced passionately to her, looking at her directly.
 

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#16
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

"No... Not cold... I just thought..." Demeter trailed off, blushing lightly herself, trailing off quickly herself as Idian launched into his story. Her social skills may have been slightly rusty, but Demeter knew better than to interrupt him in this. His constant flipping between a smile and a frown, laughter and bleak seriousness, was evidence enough of that. What's more, the one thing that was consistent about his tone, was that it was utterly earnest. She watched Idian, close at his side, and simply listened, from his laughing remark at his hands, to his shivering recount of how his parents had died, to his passionate declaration that he would leave her someplace safe. Her expression cracked a little at that last part, but she paused to gather herself before she spoke.

When she did, Demeter chose her words very carefully; "Idian.... I know you mean well by that, and I appreciate the sentiment, but you aren't responsible for me. If I went with you to the Order, it would be by my own choice, not because I didn't have any other ones. And as for danger.... I've lived in that swamp for over forty years. I may not know much about your Order, but I can live with danger. I've probably been doing it since before you were born!" It was her turn to laugh, her giggle lightly flowing through the campsite.

She continued; "What you did, back there, at the cabin.... I don't know.... If it was right.... I've... I've never taken a life... At least not of anything intelligent... But what I do know is this!" Her face became firm, an expression ironically like the one her mother had often worn, when she'd been doing something that required a great deal of something from her, be it concentration or patience or what-have-you. "There is only one truth. And that's that, we choose it! No one does what they do, no matter how evil it is, thinking that what they're doing is wrong. Not when they're doing it, at least. Right and wrong may be things that we choose for ourselves. But that doesn't make them any less important!"

She sighed, and she quieted herself as she finished; "Killing that man may not have been the right thing to do.... And if it wasn't, then you have to do something about it. When you think something is wrong, the only things that you can do are ignore it, or try to fix it, and you're too nice of a man to ignore the life that you took, in that moment of anger. It won't always be easy, and I can't claim to be any better a judge than you are on the subject of what's right and wrong. I've made a lot of my own mistakes, but.... I want to help you, Idian. Earlier, in the swamp... What you said, right after we left the village, and we saw that girl.... I didn't realize how I'd been living my life until you said what you said, but you were right. Shutting out the rest of the world, just because a few people were unkind to me... I was worse even than they were, because I didn't even judge others based on their appearance. I just assumed that they were my enemy, and kept them as far away as I could. But now, I'm free of the swamp, and as I've got little else to do, I might as well stay with you."

She finished, and looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to answer her.
 

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#17
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Hearing her talk, Idian slowly returned to smiling the further she went along. Until, once she was finished, he grinned wide at her, "You're really nice for an elf," he laughed joyfully, before standing straight up, holding a fist upwards in a powerful gesture. "You're right! I mustn't allow my heart to waver! As long as I follow my sense of moral judgment, and let my heart guide me, no matter what happens, I will have the strength to continue through any darkness!"

While making his boast, Demeter's senses suddenly rang, as she sensed a presence nearby. More importantly, it was familiar to the time before in the swamp. And the moment she'd look, purely on impulse, she'd catch a flash of golden eyes, before the shadowed figure vanished once it noticed Demeter looking at it. Whatever it was, it was obviously following them.

"What's wrong, Demeter?" Idian blinked, looking down at her.
 

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#18
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Demeter stared off into the trees where she'd seen the golden eyes for a moment, briefly ignoring Idian's words. The eyes were long gone, but the surprisingly familiar presence reminded Demeter of the swamp that had been her home for so long. Turning to Idian, she said; "Oh, nothing is wrong, at least not yet. Say, you wouldn't happen to remember what color the eyes of that girl in the swamp were, would you? We're being followed, and it feels too familiar to be something I've never seen the like of before." Demeter suspected that it was the Sahuagin whom Idian had befriended earlier, but it was entirely possible that she was wrong. She kept her alarm spell active, just in case. She'd just given away that she knew that it was following them, but she felt confident that together, she and Idian could handle anything hostile that came from her former home, and she didn't think that the girl would try to attack them outright after how nice Idian had been to her.

She stood up, smiling to Idian, but as she did, she stumbled slightly, causing her light body to careen into Idian as she cried out. Blushing brightly both from embarrassment at her own clumsiness, and the strange joy the contact with him had inspired, Demeter tried to sort herself out, and once she'd righted herself, Demeter said; "I don't think that it's anything we really need to worry about. Why don't you go about cooking, while I set up some wards to keep our little camp safe? They won't hurt anything, just let us know if anything creeps in during the night.You must be tired after everything that has happened to today, I know I am. It'll be nice to not have to keep watch." Demeter quite insisted on this particular point, and regardless of Idian's protests, the elf would go about setting up very simplified versions of her own wards. They would send a small shock to her if they were set off, waking her up without alerting whatever it was that it had been detected. As before, anyone with magical talent could take them apart with relative ease, but this wasn't necessarily a bad thing, as it would make them easier to take down come the morning.

That, and she most definitely wanted to spare Idian from having to eat her cooking.
 
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#19
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

Idian blinked at Demeter as she announced nothing was wrong. But when she added, 'not yet,' his face frowned with concern. When she asked about the eyes she saw, Idian looked to the side in brief thought. "Her eyes were definitely yellow," he answered. But her announcement to follow made Idian blink even more with interest, as he put a hand to his chin in wonder. "We're being followed? That's strange... It couldn't be a mamono, since they act on instinct, and would have attacked by now... But then who or what could be following us?" he wondered aloud. Lowering his hand, he looked at Demeter firmly, "It could be a member of the Order. Don't worry, Demeter, I will protect you from any member of the Order until your innocence is cleared." He promised.

When she stood up, and suddenly tumbled towards him, Idian gasped as she cried in surprise. "Woah! Careful!" he yelped as his hands soon were reaching, and grabbing her shoulders, using himself as a catch to prevent her fall, inadvertently holding her to himself, where Demeter herself was perhaps too comfortable. During their second-long, direct contact, Idian's front touched Demeter's own. There was nothing to shield the impression her breast left against his own chest. Squishing against him as they came into full contact, what would have been a kind help became a second long moment of embrace, and embarrassment. Realizing that he himself was holding Demeter there, he lifted his hands into the air, and stepped back, face so red it looked ready to burst, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Cooking! I'm cooking!" he announced nervously, quickly running over to the supplies, and tripping over his own feet in the process.

Performing her own duty, by the time Idian was almost done with the food, Demeter, to the mind's eye, looked like a puppet on strings, with various webbing of magic all around them. With her own power keeping them present, the ever so slight drain on her power slightly amplified that dark craving that lingered in the back of her mind. However, Idian's voice, and the smell of exquisite food was a more powerful presence as he lifted a plate with a strange bun wrapped around an even stranger slightly brown, gooey substance. "It's ready!" Idian announced.

"It's Alarune Cake," Idian informed her. "I mix the wheat with a little bit of sweetener, and then bake it, and then pour the alarune nectar into the pot, mixing it with some meditation leaves in order to remove the side effects. After the yellow nectar is boiled until brown, you take a flat slice of the bread that you baked, and pour the cooked alarune nectar over it, rolling the bread up like a carpet, so that it sticks to the bread, and only a little bit leaks out. Not only is it a sweat, it's also very healthy!" Idian boasted, fixing his own Alarune Cake, and taking a bite out of it, moaning and laughing with delight. "It's out of this world!"

And should Demeter take a bite of Idian's Alarune Cake herself, she'd find an irresistible sweet taste explode into her mouth when her teeth break the surface of the bread. The maddeningly delicious and sweet taste felt almost like a sin to eat, as if Idian had created the forbidden fruit just for them to enjoy, gods be damned. Of course, Idian wouldn't use that term, but for such a dish, it would no doubt sell for extremely high prices on the market.
 
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Tassadar

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#20
Re: The Inquisition (Demeter)

"I think that it's the Sahuagin that you met earlier today. She had yellow eyes as well, and gahh!" Demeter was cut off as she stumbled, but when Idian caught her, she, without even thinking about her actions, leaned into the embrace Idian held her in. For a moment, her chest softly pressed against his, and she very slowly looked up into his eyes, blushing brightly. She could almost feel his heartbeat, and her stomach fluttered as his arms wrapped around her, as she could almost feel his heartbeat quickening alongside her own.

She stood stock still after he broke the sudden embrace, still blushing brightly with confusion and embarrassment all over her face. For a moment, she felt pain for the rejection, but at Idian's nervously embarrassed tones, she smiled slightly. So, he set about cooking their dinner, while she set about putting up her wards. At her own home, she'd anchored the magical constructions to the earth around them, the simple magics not requiring much in the way of power to maintain other than an upkeep every other day or so. She didn't have the kind of time to set that sort of thing up here, however, and so she had only the threads of her own soul with which to create them. The slight drain would hopefully not prove too severe, she hoped, but as she finished, the dark urges that Demeter generally had little trouble in ignoring reared their ugly heads. They were much stronger now, however, and as such, as Idian called her over with the announcement that the food was ready, a look of intense predatory hunger was settled upon Demeter's features.

She got herself under control quickly, however, but a slight blush accompanied her features as she returned to the side of the fire, impure thoughts racing through her mind even as she tried to banish them. She only half listened to Idian's explanation on how the pastry he'd made was created as she eyed it, and covertly its creator. She took it in her hands and bit into it before Idian had finished his own, and as the delectably sweet nectar touched her tongue, Demeter's eyes widened. She fought down the urge to gobble the whole thing down immediately, but only just so, as she carefully chewed the bite she'd taken from the Alarune Cake, savoring every second of it as her eyes were closed, and a wide grin was stamped across her face.

"That.... Was probably the best thing I've ever tasted!" She said, once she'd finished her bite, and opened her eyes to look approvingly at Idian. "I'll have to try making those some day... But I know that I'll screw them up somehow. Probably get the amounts wrong and poison myself, or something like that." She continued, blushing slightly at the joke of her own expense. She set about finishing the cake, savoring every bite, before licking her fingers clean with a contended sigh. A few seconds later, after she'd basked in the afterglow of the delicious pastry, Demeter said; "Where did you learn to make those? I'm sure that anyone would love to have them!"

As she came down from state she'd entered courtesy of the euphoric taste of the Alarune Cake, however, the thoughts she'd banished returned to Demeter's mind. The inner battle of her will against her desires brought a slight blush to Demeter's face again, which briefly made her consider just how often Idian was inspiring such a reaction from her. The instinctive pride of her race, and her own inhibitions from brought on by being reliant on herself for so long, against the dark spark of lust that she'd inherited from her father, and her almost uncontrollable desire for intimacy after having been so alone for so long..... It was barely even a contest, in the long run. While she was most certainly proud, she'd also been away from her own people for a very long time, and their attitudes toward humans had largely been worn away, at least on the surface.

So, a short while after they'd finished their meal together, Demeter said; "The camp has been protected, so we won't have to take watches. Its been a long day; why don't we go to bed?" Despite the fact that she'd tried to make it not seem obvious, Demeter couldn't help but allow a tiny bit of a slur, inspired by her mounting excitement, to enter her voice. It might be easily confused for the words of one who was tired, however, and whether or not Idian caught on as she waited for his response was a question that caused Demeter a great deal more distress than it really had any right to.