The Road is Full of Dangers (Rene;Aust)


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#1
Chapter 0: Ordinary Days

The sky was a soothing shade of orange, which hung over a small town under the shadow of Boundary Mountain, a long stretch of high mountainous terrain that blocked off half of the known world from a region said to be inhospitable, A dead land. "Rene!" called a voice from the little village near the southern coast. "Stop standing there and come eat!"

Waving Rene down, a holstaurus with a spoon in hand stood in front of a restaurant full of patrons. "Don't miss dinner because you're a silly horsie!" she chided Rene with a playful tone.
 

Aust_Nailo

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#2
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

The sky at dusk was always something of beauty for the young centaur. Day in and day out, the self proclaimed guards woman always found herself looking looking at the sky. This must have been the reason mother moved here. This must have been the reason she died so happy. A smile came across the girls face as those memories flowed back to her. The silence of the setting sun was broken however by a familiar voice floating on the the horizon. Not one to leave anyone waiting, Rene turned away from the empty sky towards the small village she called home. She called back to the voice as she slowly trotted back.

"Only reason I ever miss a meal is cause I was doing my job. Someone has to protect this town after all. Mom would be rolling over in her grave if I didn't." She reached the restaurant and was once again amazed by the crowds. How this woman was able to fill the place up every night was a mystery. She ducked her head down slightly and fit her way into the building. Rene wasn't the tallest example of her people, but she never let that stop her before. "So...whats on the menu for tonight?"
 

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#3
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

"The usual." she replied, letting Rene inside, before providing a seat, or rather an empty space, in front of the bar. The bar itself was filled with various patrons. A few bunny ears stuck out above the crowd, other centaurs were sitting at the counter as well, and some elves, cow girls like Loe, the holstaurus who was running the place, and harpies as well. As Rene was the latest to come in, Loe began to address Rene's want for food. "We have grass, carrots, lettuce... The usual~" she giggled. "But you'll probably want the alraune cake, right?" she asked with a smile. "Sorry, but... We still don't have any meat~" she said with regret. Most of the other centaur at the counter seemed only to order vegetation to go with the meat they already caught through hunting. Perhaps expecting this, Rene might have brought her own meat in as well.
 

Aust_Nailo

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#4
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

Following Loe to the counter, Rene scanned the crowed of the various races, waving at any individual she was familiar with. Most of her friends were of her own kind, but in a mixed community such as this, it helped to make friends with folks from other races as well. Heck, she'd be eating a tiny meal at home, if it wasn't for Loe and her generosity.The cow girl always had a place for Rene in the bar and a nice plate of food for her every night. Rene's mother never really taught her to cook, save for around a campfire. So Loe was a blessing in disguise for the culinary challenged guards woman.

Taking a seat at the counter with the other members of her people. She listened to the menu options for the evening. Same stock as always, nothing too unusual. But as the cow girl mentioned the cake, Rene couldn't help but lick her lips a little at the appetizing sound of the cake. She could never figure out why she liked the alraune cake so much, but it was always something she looked forward too at the end of the day. It was a guilty pleasure and she was not ashamed to admit it. The last comment from Loe snapped the centaur out of her daze, forcing her to dig into her shoulder bag. "No worries about meat. Found this little bugger wandering around my patrol and I thought I'd snag him."

Rene spoke with confidence as she pulled out a small hare from her pack. Sure it wasn't a large kill or anything rare, but it was food and that's all that matters, even if she got the occasional jab from the other centaurs. "If you could turn this little guy into a stew that would be great. Maybe mix him up with a little potatoes and carrots. If not, I could stand to have him roasted or whatever. You're the master chef around here, not me." Rene retained a confident smirk the whole time, a trademark of hers that a few admired her for. Rain or shine, Rene was always in a good mood and was always smiling. It was her source of strength and she was not about to lose it.
 

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#5
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

Pulling the bunny from her bag, the whole bar suddenly went silent. Rene heard various footsteps approach, before there was suddenly half a dozen bunny girls around her. They looked at her and the hare she had claimed as if Rene had just murdered a member of their family. "Loe," one of the bunnies began. "Could you also prepare to add horse meat to the stew?" the bunny requested, while the holstaurus rose her hands defensively.

"H-hold on now... Let's not cause a ruckus, okay?" she nervously requested.
 

Aust_Nailo

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#6
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

Rene's skin went pale and her confident smile all but vanished as she was approached by the bunny girls. If there was one thing she wasn't good at, it was coming up with excuses. She never tried to get herself into these situations to begin with (One that requires her to come up with an excuse) but times like this did pop up every now and again and she never came out on top. An obvious nervous tone in her voice, Rene attempted to say something. "We...Well, you see...there's a perfectly...good explanation for this...ladies." Her stutter was very noticeable at this point, the panic quite obvious in her voice.

"I...I was out on patrol...when I saw this little guy getting...attacked! Yeah! I didn't get a good look at it...but it was big! And furry! I tried to chase after it...but it got away! I went back to check up on the little guy and he was too badly hurt. I...I tried my best to help him, but...his woulds were too severe. He was dying...and the only thing I could do was kill him. It was a mercy kill!" The stories just came pouring out of the young centaurs mouth, doing her best to cover her tracks and save her from losing a limb. "I wasn't about to let the poor thing go to waste...so I brought him back with me. He could have been eaten by another savage beast...or used in some other nefarious way! If anything...I was saving him! You have to believe me! I wouldn't kill him out of spite. I would never do anything to hurt your kin. I swear!
 

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#7
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

The bunnies leaned in, the threatening atmosphere thickening as Rene felt as if her doom was approaching. "Then why didn't you give it a proper burial?" the lead bunny asked. And before any dire consequence could result from the tension developing, an elf suddenly appeared in front of Rene, her back to the bunnies as she faced the centaur, and most importantly, the dead bunny in her hand. "Thank goodness you made it here in time! I can revive it proper, as you intended to do!" the elf announced, loud enough for the other bunnies to hear, before raising her hand, directing it at the bunny. Threads of magic began to flow from her hand, and into the bunny before a faint light slowly began to appear like a firefly. The light slowly came towards the bunny, and entered it's body.

The bunny suddenly began squirming with life, and in a panic, slipped from Rene's hand and ran straight out of the building with the other bunny girls chasing after it in a panic, begging it to calm down. "That was careless, even for you, Rene." the elf announced, her blond hair swaying as she turned to look at Rene directly. "You should be more sensitive to the other patrons."
 

Aust_Nailo

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#8
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

Rene's breathing picked up and her heart began racing as the hostile rabbits grew closer. The worry in her voice only grew as she tried to defend herself once again. "W...Well...you see...I...I..." But before she properly receive her comeuppance, a blond savior arrived. The elf began covering for Rene's actions, who was in no state to really speak anymore as a faint light entered the bunnies body. Rene looked down at the bunny as it began to wake up.

The bunny began squirming in her hand before finally slipping away and bounding away out the door. Thankfully for the young guard, her potential enemies followed after the bunny, easing the tension on the centauress. One thing was replaced by another however as the elf began lecturing Rene. Each word stung a great deal, as each and everyone of them was true. "You're...you're right. How could I have been so damn stupid? But I was just so damn hungry for some real meat! I haven't had anything like that in months. A warrior can't live off just veggies and plants alone! Even you know that!" At that point, she began to sound more like a spoiled child then a proud warrior. But Rene was young when compared to the elf, so she may have expected the centaur to say that. Either way, Rene was safe for now. "So...other the lecture and saving my hide, what did you need? Not everyday you visit just to save little old me."
 

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#9
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

"I needed nothing other than to avoid all the ruckus that would have resulted from you and the bunny folk having a fit at each other." she replied. "As you should remember, I am just a traveler who passes by from time to time. I have no specific reasons as to why I am here, other than the fact that I am here."
 

Aust_Nailo

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#10
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

"I...I see." Rene said, a mild sound of disappointment in her voice. Outside of work, she spent much of her time by herself and she appreciated any company she could get. It's why she spent so much time at the bar with the other races. And while she does get herself in situations like the one that recently took place quite often, she was able maintain a good relationship with most of the people here. She would occasionally tick one race off or another, but those wounds were often mended in no time. Turning her thoughts back to her blond savior, she felt she at least needed to make some sort of offer

"Well...at the very least do you want to stay for some food? A good meal before you hit the road again?" It was the least she could do for the woman who saved her hide. "And unless you want to risk traveling on the roads this evening, maybe I could offer you a place to stay for the evening." She knew the elf might turn down the 2nd option, but a meal was something no traveler could turn down, regardless of the situation. Least that's what the young centaur thought.
 

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#11
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

Contrary to Rene's expectations, the elf turned and nodded, "Room and board for the evening, you say? I certainly won't mind accepting the offer." she replied. "After all, traveling can be expensive." she chuckled.
 

Aust_Nailo

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#12
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

Rene's eyes widened in genuine shock. She thought for certain that the elf would want nothing to do with the troublesome centaur, especially after dragging her into a dispute that Rene was directly responsible for. Either way, she was not one to turn down a house guest. She slapped her hand against the table, no doubt startling Loe in the process. "Loe, give me a bowl of veggie stew and whatever my friend would like. And put it on my tab!"

The girls enthusiasm had returned and her smile had finally returned to her face. The fear and hesitation from before was gone.
 

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#13
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

"Right away!" Loe replied happily, before the two were served their food, and the elf began to enjoy her food.

"By the way, my name is Lola." she announced.
 

Aust_Nailo

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#14
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

"And from the sound of it, you already knew my name. No surprise though. This is a small community. Word spreads fast around here." Rene paused for a moment to take a big spoonful of her veggie stew. While she ate, she had a big grin on her face. Loe's food was always so good for whatever reason and today was no different. Even without meat, she could make anything taste good.

"If you don't mind me asking, just why did you decide to help me? You could have left me dangling at the end of a rope and let those bunnies tear me to pieces. Why help a centaur who got in over her head?"
 

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#15
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

"Maybe you're not one who takes kindly to having their question answered with another question, but why wouldn't I have diffused the situation? Since when do people need a reason to help one another?" Lola asked Rene.
 

Aust_Nailo

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#16
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

"I could think of a couple reasons. For one, you had no real stake in that fight. It was mine to lose and I was ready to accept whatever repercussion that came as a result." The centaur tried to talk a big game, to make it seem like what just happened wasn't nearly as bad as it actually was. "And being a traveler and all, you wouldn't be bothered by the affairs of the town. And...well I guess that's all I got.

The girl really couldn't think of another reason why. The elf's case was air tight. "I just figured that some people are honestly looking for some reward when they help people. Looking around to see if any of her co-workers in the guard were there, she breathed a sigh of relief when she found none. "Between you and me, some of the guards of the town are just in the job for the power. They may help people on the surface, but underneath they're just looking out for themselves."

The centaur finished her meal and placed the spoon in the empty bowl and pushed it away from her. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to come off so negative. My mother always taught me not to judge people so quickly. I know you mean well, Lola." The centaur was proving to be an awkward person to talk to, which might explain a lot of things about the girl.
 

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#17
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

"What happened back there was my business, never mind whoever had any stakes in what." Lola replied firmly. "To ignore an unsightly situation because it does not immediately concern you is tantamount to inviting the worst to happen. Problems arise in life, and it's our job to work together to survive. Otherwise, we will all fall individually. Today it might have been you, then someone else might get into a fight over the previous fight, and then more fights follow. Should that series of events eventually lead to me, I'd have regret not stopping it at it's source as I have, when I had such power to do so. So, if you want me to justify it by stating a reason for doing it for my own sake, that is my reason."

"Otherwise, it's as I said. I consider it truly saddening when people believe they need a selfish reason to help one another."
 

Aust_Nailo

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#18
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

"I...I see. Can't argue the logic there." Rene tried to come up with some sort of response but the centaur was having no end of trouble doing so. Man. Leave it to an elf to make you feel stupid. With her meal done and the lecture sinking in, Rene had little else to say and if one looked outside, they would see that it was completely dark outside. Feeling she had said enough, she simply turned towards the entrance of the bustling bar.

"I'm gonna step outside and get a little fresh air. Whenever you're ready to head back to my place, you know where to find me." Saying no more, the humbled centaur exited the building, her hooves hitting the wooden floor, making an audible noise as they did. She made it a good way from the building and looked up at the night sky. "Well Ma, guess I screwed up again. Got people mad at me and had to have someone else save my neck. Some guard I turned out to be, eh?

Rene let out a heavy sigh, knowing she must look crazy right now. If the elf were to see her like this, heaven only knows what she might think of her. All she could do was wait for the elf to actually join her so that she could put this bad day behind her.
 

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#19
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

Soon enough, the elf joined her outside. "Do not speak as if my helping you should be something you ought to be ashamed of. The kindness of others is a blessing, not a nuisance." the elf continued her talk of her philosophy. "I will continue to aid you and others, no matter how competent they may or may not be."
 

Aust_Nailo

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#20
Re: Ordinary Days (Rene)

The centaur almost jumped out of her skin upon hearing the approaching elf. She had a feeling she'd follower her out soon, but not that soon. She no doubt heard the "talk" Rene had with her mother, hence the continued lecture.

" Like I said, I appreciate the help, but its... it's bigger then that. A centaur isn't suppose to ask for help. We're a proud people who are suppose to tackle our own problems. The other centaurs are probably laughing at me right now, having to crawl behind someone for help. Look...I... forget it. Let's go.

The guard had little more to say, not sure if the elf would understand. She led the elf through the tiny village until they came to a quaint little home. The entrance was large enough for the guards woman and the ceiling high enough has well. Upon entering one would see a rather plain main room with a table for meals, a couple shelves and counters holding various items ranging from cooking and eating items to various knickknacks and mementos. The elf would be able to tell that these item's held great sentimental value to the centaur. A door would lead to what could be appropriately called a bed room and that room was as sparsely decorated as the main room. A second door on the right would lead to the room where Rene worked her proper job. A moderately sized forge with all the tools of the trade with enough space to move. A few unfinished items were hanging on hooks or sitting on a nearby table. And lastly, in the corner of the main room was a lance and a shield. The shield was finely crafted and the front bore a carving of a pair of combatants in a heated duel, one of the obviously a centaur. These were Rene's most prized possessions and the tools of her guard post. Both items were polished to an almost mirror shine, showing the care she put into them.

" Welcome to my humble little home. It's not much, but its perfect for someone who lives alone like myself."