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Posts posted by ButterflyBabyBlue

  1. The climb up Death Mountain was by no means easy. Even when Lorcan had gone on short inspections with other groups of Scoundrels it had always been a reward simply arriving at their destination. With the earth shaking underneath them it was an effort to keep on the trail altogether.

    "Well, this is going to be a heap of fun," Torianna had remarked tartly as they'd approached the mountain. An hour and a half later, Lorcan found he agreed with her for once. 

    Endel lead the way in long strides, Cheval just behind him. Maia walked alongside Lorcan, who was carrying Torianna on his back after a brief, one-sided argument. Some things hadn't changed, anyways.

    "If we make it to that ledge there," Endel spoke up, pointing to a piece of rock jutting out slightly from the mountain, "there'll be enough room for us to make a small camp. Nothing too conspicuous, though."

    The thought of sleeping on a mountainside was not the most comforting, but in Lorcan's eyes it was better than carrying another person up the accursed trail. He picked up the pace, trying to urge the others to do likewise with the limited methods he had.

    "Ha! I must be getting heavy," Torianna said with a laugh. "At least we know you'll all sleep well tonight, right?"

  2. The group stopped in Kakariko to buy some more food for the journey ahead, trying to ignore the worried citizens talking of tremors. They came to a small corner shop selling preserved foods, and just before stepping inside, Lorcan stopped dead in his tracks. 

    There she stood, surveying her surroundings with keen eyes before she, too stopped. The apple she held in her right hand dropped to the ground as Lorcan practically flew down the street to grab her tightly by the wrist.

    "Lorcan, I-"

    "Don't you ever do that again!" Lorcan cut her off, his words coming in a haphazard rush. "Leaving on your own with barely any supplies - don't you realise the danger that puts you in? And the worry it causes me?!"

    She blinked in astonishment. "I just-"

    "And then, the next time I see you, you're in handcuffs on a horse with some stranger whisking you off! What on earth happened to you? Don't you know what's happening right now, as we speak?! Our world is going to be destroyed! The forest is burning! What if you died alongside your new friend? Who is he, anyhow?"

    He finished, breathless, his hands on her shoulders and his eyes boring into hers. 

    "Rueben," Torianna said, almost uncertainly. "That's his name. We've known each other for years, it's okay, I can trust him... mostly. But, hey, look, I'm alive! So relax for just a second! Endel can catch me up on the whole 'end of world' problem and give you a break, hm?"

    Lorcan nodded shakily, his next words forced out with all he had, his voice nearly breaking as he spoke. "I was so... worried... that we, that... I lost you. I... missed you."

    "Missed me?" Torianna replied slyly, her usual grin in place. "Missed me, that's the word we're going with? In that case, I missed you too, nature boy."

  3. The walk to Death Mountain was a long and reluctant one, though the group kept walking. It was when Lorcan saw the next burst of flames soar in an arc from the mountain into Faron Woods that he began to panic.

    "Lorcan, keep up," Cheval spoke up, calling the knight from over his shoulder.

    Lorcan did as told, jogging forward a little but never taking his eyes from the trees in the distance. His home...

    "I know you're worried, Lorcan, but we need you here." Endel didn't appear to have much faith in his own words. We may even stop Volvagia in the time it'd take you to reach the forest. Who knows..?"

    Lorcan shrugged to himself, peeling his eyes away from the trees and trying to think on something else.

    He wondered where Torianna was, whether she knew about the destruction that was to come, whether she found her brother. The crystal ball felt heavy in his bag, and Lorcan deliberated.

    Just a quick glance, to check that her plans had worked out.

    He found her on horseback, her arms wrapped around the waist of some taller stranger Lorcan didn't recognise. A small flare of jealousy rose in him, but it cleared when he looked closer and saw cuffs around the man's wrist. Judging by the speed they were travelling at...

    'Oh, Torianna,' he thought. 'What on earth have you gotten into?!'

  4. Endel woke with a jolt, almost springing from Maia's knees with a startled grunt. Lorcan took him by the shoulders, looking into his friend's eyes and waiting for him to calm down.

    "L-Lorcan," Endel said softly, his speech somewhat strained. He turned and found Maia's expression of relief. "Maia, Maia... Where's Cheval? We need everyone here."

    As if on cue, Cheval came at a light jog into the chamber. "Well, Lorcan, seems-"

    Lorcan waved him off impatiently, looking back to Endel intently.

    "This... this thing spoke to me," Endel began. "We don't have a lot of time, I can explain on the way... The quiet one... Lorcan, you need to check that crystal ball!"

    Lorcan frowned, but didn't dare to question Endel, who was obviously quite disturbed. He pulled the ball out of his bag, setting it in his lap and staring as he'd done before. When he saw it, he wished he hadn't been given the ability to see these things.

    He pulled a knife out, wiping dust away almost absently while keeping his eye on the figure in the molten caverns of one of Hyrule's most dangerous locations.

    He carved two words into the stone as best as he could - 'Death Mountain.'

    "Oh, no," Maia whispered.

  5. Lorcan was in the process of scoping out the other rooms when he felt something slightly... off. And then Maia, calling out Endel's name. Lorcan stopped in his tracks, glancing about warily before backtracking. No one had returned to the first room since they'd split up...

    He moved swiftly down the corridor Endel had seemingly been pulled into, looking for any recent footprints in the dust-covered halls. Eventually, he found who he was looking for.

    Maia sat with tear-filled eyes, alongside an unconscious Endel, who frowned in the middle of a deep sleep. Lorcan entered cautiously, wishing even Cheval were here to offer something of comfort for the distressed Maia.

    Lorcan tapped her gently on the shoulder to snap her out of her worried state, gesturing to Endel with a quizzical expression. 

    "He's been out like this for a while," she informed the knight, her voice shaking. "I don't know what he saw, but..."

    Maia didn't need to finish. Endel was white as a sheet, sweat breaking out across his forehead. Lorcan watched him concernedly, deciding to occupy himself with investigating the area and hoping Cheval would show and offer something he couldn't.

    Endel moaned softly, sporadically, in his sleep as Lorcan moved about anxiously.

  6. "Looks like Endel likes the plan, I guess," Cheval muttered, his expression irritated. "What's with him?"

    Lorcan shrugged, still a little worn out after their scuffle. He looked to the other two to see what they would do, raising his eyebrows in question.

    Cheval stared back for a moment before giving a sigh of resignation. "Alright, we'll go individually. One of us should probably check up on Endel, though, I'm getting a strange sense about him..."

    Lorcan supposed Cheval wasn't far wrong - Endel was most certainly not the same one Lorcan had known just a few weeks ago. Though he supposed none of them were exactly unchanged, Endel had almost turned on his head.

    Maia lifted her hand in a timid show of volunteering. "I'll go in Endel's direction, you two can cover more ground a lot faster than I can, anyways."

    Cheval sent her off, then turned to Lorcan. "Let's see how long it takes us to meet back here with some relevant information. What's the bets that I'll win?"

    Lorcan scowled, attempting to be dismissive before debating. Without a second glance back at Cheval he took off and kicked into scouting the place out at top speed.

  7. The group charged, and Lorcan drew his sword quickly. He stood motionless next to Maia for a moment or two, before Cheval's voice snapped him back to reality.

    "Come on, Lorcan! You still thinking about your girlfriend?"

    That did it for Lorcan. All his annoyance at Cheval, all his sadness over losing Torianna...

    He flew forward, lifting his blade, and slashed mercilessly. The fact that they looked like children didn't faze him in the least, not in the moment. 

    He hacked and cut his frustration away, deafening himself with the cries of the Stalchildren. While the others tried to strategize in some way, Lorcan had thrown himself into the midst of the group, uncaring, simply in need of a way to vent his anger out. And he didn't have Torianna to shout at here.

  8. Lorcan lay down between Cheval and Maia, curled up tight and gathering his blanket about him as best he could. He braced himself against the cold, his eyes flickering toward Endel who sat wearily on watch. 

    After a half-hour of not being able to sleep, Lorcan eventually decided to look at his crystal ball. Just in case.

    It still emitted a faint glow despite the darkness, almost pulsating. It took a few minutes, but he was able to make out a familiar shape.

    Torianna was seated, dozing, in what appeared to be a carriage. Had she been kidnapped? Or had she simply managed to find transportation? 

    Either way, she really was leaving. Headed toward Castle Town, toward her brother. Would she really take him on alone?

    Unable to come up with answers to his own question, Lorcan worried until he eventually drifted off.

  9. When Cheval and Endel weren't looking, Lorcan threw the occasional glance over his shoulder just in case, in case she was coming back. In case she realised she was simply frustrated and caught up with anger in the moment and turned back to them. Cheval was always quick to tell him to hurry up or focus. Once, Lorcan had turned to give Torianna a roll of his eyes and realised it was Maia walking alongside him.

    Of the other three, Maia was most sympathetic to Lorcan's mixed emotions, but she could only give him so many sorrowful looks, only so many pats on the shoulder.

    "Keep up, Lorcan," Endel barked at him from where the others were walking ahead of him in a line. "She's long gone now, anyways."

    Lorcan turned to glare at their backs, his hand going to his bag. He felt the outline of the crystal ball, feeling heavier than ever now, and considered for a moment before deciding against it. Best to wait until they stopped for rest, he thought.

    Still, he missed Torianna more than he should have, and the others knew it. Even Cheval, who had been gone for most of their adventures.

    Well, this wasn't the only misfortune he'd ever run into, and moping about it would do no good - not that he could actually complain.

  10. Cheval...

    Lorcan smiled slyly to himself as he wrote, glancing up at the crystal ball to observe as he tried to describe his somewhat strained relationship with Cheval.

    'He barely notices me most of the time, like a lot of the other guards.'

    "Well, you being mute and all," Torianna agreed with a shrug, and Lorcan nodded.

    'When he DOES notice I'm there, all he does is talk about how I look too young to be with the Scoundrels, too inexperienced to be guarding so close to the weapons vault.'

    "Oh, come on," Torianna chides. "Look at your big wide eyes!"

    Lorcan shook his head adamantly, scribbling quickly. 'Worse than you! Never let me go anywhere with his team.'

    Torianna tutted like a mother, putting on a disapproving face. "No wonder you always have so much to vent about when you snap, eh?"

    Lorcan pursed his lips, refusing to meet her eye. 'Shut up.'

    "Ha!" Torianna grinned. "Well now you can show him, when it's you rescuing him. Plus, the Scoundrels are disbanded now, right?"

    Lorcan smiled back, nodding eagerly. Then, 'You're right. Sounds like a plan.'

    He glanced again at his former superior, huddled in a ramshackle kind of shelter, some thin blankets pulled about him. They'd have to move out quickly, and hope Cheval had gotten his job done, or at least the majority of it.

  11. Lorcan and the others frowned at Torianna in puzzlement, and the Advisor remained quiet. 

    "Can't you see anything at all?" Endel asked. "I mean, I can only see some shapes and things, but they're there."

    "Whatever," Torianna scoffed. "I don't see what you're talking about."

    Lorcan blinked in surprise at Torianna and Endel. Turning to Maia, he gave her a quizzical look. She frowned hard at the crystal ball, running her eyes over it.

    "I'm pretty much the same as Endel," she said, "just silhouettes, I think."

    Lorcan gaped at them all in confusion. So they couldn't see it?

    "What's with you?" Torianna demanded, glaring at Lorcan. "See something we don't?"

    Lorcan nodded, tapping the crystal ball. He saw it, clear as day. Cheval.

    "Here." Lorcan was passed an ancient scroll of paper by the Advisor, alongside an inked feather. Writing carefully, Lorcan held the scroll up with a bemused expression.

    "Cheval?!" Endel exclaimed. Torianna looked disbelieving, and Maia watched him in a mixture of confusion and slight wonder.

    The Advisor made a 'hmph' noise, appearing to be nodding under his concealing clothes. "It makes sense, I suppose, that the quiet and observant one of your group would be the one to see the most clearly."

    "Where is he, then, if you can actually see him?" Torianna asked. Lorcan took to the paper again, frowning as he wrote.

    "'Looks like a desert'," Maia read aloud. Lorcan took the paper back again, watching the crystal ball with deep concentration, before writing again.

    "He's hurt," Endel read, frowning. Lorcan nodded, watching Cheval walk with a strained expression. One hand was clutching his abdomen tightly as he stumbled about. 

    Lorcan had never gotten on particularly well with Cheval, or most of the older Scoundrels, but he wasn't going to leave a wounded member to fend for himself in what looked like harsh conditions. 

    "You're right, we have to save him," Endel agreed with Lorcan's quick scribblings. "It's a good thing you saw him, Lorcan."

    Lorcan just smiled, glancing at the crystal ball once more with raised eyebrows.

  12. Lorcan glanced to Torianna warily, noting along with Endel how unusually quiet she was. He nudged her softly, throwing a questioning look in her direction. Torianna smiled back, if a little half-heartedly.

    "What's wrong, nature boy?" she asked in her familiar tone, softer still. "I'm fine, anyways, relax."

    Lorcan watched her for a second, frowning, before deciding it was probably better to let it lie for now.

    After a few moments, Maia left the castle with a smile on her pale face, no doubt feeling good after seeing the Princess in her old home again. 

    "The Princess is safe and sound, thankfully," Maia reported cheerily. "And I've been given permission to get our group into your Advisor's hideout through the courtyard, Endel!"

    "That's wonderful news," Endel replied with a grin. "Let's waste no time, then!"

    They followed Endel through the main entrance of the castle, into the courtyard gleaming under the sun. Endel took to the head of their small group, and their trek to this elusive Advisor began.

  13. Lorcan wandered aimlessly southwards, trying to find somewhere to start his check-up on the town. After his imprisonment, the amount of noise came as somewhat of a surprise to him and he quickly found himself with a growing headache. Being here in the crowded city did make him miss the tranquility of the forest more - there were people there too of course, but they were far less... concentrated. 

    He wondered about his home, about the others and their homes. His thoughts turned to Torianna, and her lack of a home. There was no way she would go back to her father, and by extension she didn't have the network behind her anymore. Where would she decide to go after all of this was over?

    Lorcan pushed the door of a small inn open, stepping inside carefully. The keeper glanced up and spotted Lorcan, smoothing her apron and offering him a friendly smile. Lorcan made his way over to the bar, occupied by one or two people sitting at ale, and fumbled about for some paper. 

    The innkeeper watched with slight amusement as Lorcan scribbled the word 'water' down before holding it up with a smile. 

    "Water, is that all?" she asked. Lorcan nodded. "Alright then, you take a seat there and rest; you look exhausted. You're lucky too, the water supply was in a bad shape until just now! Thankfully those Zoras saved our skins!"

    Lorcan mentally checked off that information, relieved to hear the town's water was safe once more. 

    "Hey, Lorcan, is that you?" a voice to the left of Lorcan came suddenly. The knight jumped, turning to face the other man. Was that..?

    "Don't tell me you've forgotten old Nathaniel!" the man exclaimed, and Lorcan grinned. It was indeed Nathaniel, the oldest member of the forests' tiny community. Lorcan had known him for as long as he could remember, the old man who always had some story to tell or opinion to give. 

    He shook Lorcan's hand firmly, his white wisps of hair sticking out in every direction as he shook with laughter. "Still not a word, eh? You haven't changed at all, boy!"

    Lorcan smiled, a hint of red tainting his cheeks. Nathaniel hadn't changed either, then. 

    "Everyone's always missing you, you know!" he remarked. "You should come back for a visit sometime when you're not protecting us all from some sorta danger!"

    Lorcan nodded, grinning delightedly. He'd definitely be paying a visit, that they didn't have to worry about.

    "I suppose you've got some business to be going about, though, so you drink up and get cracking at an egg, Lorcan!"

  14. Lorcan had insisted on Torianna waiting across the room from him as he wrote somewhat shakily. Grimacing at the words he was writing, his unsteadiness grew and grew as he tried to compose himself. He and Torianna both jumped when the door opened to reveal Endel and Maia, smiling hesitantly.

    "How are you, Lorcan?" Endel asked warmly. Lorcan gave a nod in his direction, before he spotted Maia carrying a loaf of bread on a small tray.

    "Here you go," she said softly, moving to set them on the bedside table but not getting very far before Lorcan snatched it up, taking a huge bite and chewing frantically.

    "Someone's hungry," Endel remarked, and Torianna nodded her agreement with raised eyebrows.

    Lorcan wolfed the bread down in no time, reluctantly returning to his writing, finishing with a heavy sigh. He handed his note to Endel, who scanned over it quickly with a small frown.

    "Oh, gods, Lorcan," he said softly. "I'm sorry this happened to you. We all are."

    Lorcan shook his head adamantly. Why were they sorry?!

    "So, the network are now aware that we're without a leader, that we're on a last mission," Endel acknowledged, and Torianna cursed under her breath. "That leaves us somewhat vulnerable, then..."

    Lorcan nodded miserably, glancing at each member of the group and receiving sympathetic expressions in return. Lorcan held his head in his hands, resting his elbows on his knees and waiting for Endel's verdict on their situation.

  15. Lorcan finally woke from a long, fitful sleep, blinking at first in confusion at his surroundings. He was warm, comfortable, his head was clear, and most importantly, he wasn't in some filthy dungeon. 

    He pushed himself up, glancing around the small room he'd stayed in. An inn, by the looks of the simple furniture. How had he..?

    He blinked slowly as he recalled the events prior to this moment, looking down at himself. His arms were covered in bandages, and he smelled strongly of antiseptic. Maia's work, it seemed, done to a tee.

    Lorcan's stomach twisted as guilt hit him like a ton of bricks. His friends had put themselves at huge risk to break him out of the network's grasp, after he'd spilled some information about the Scoundrels! Darius' words rung in his ears, mocking as they had been when he'd said them first. 

    "You think about your poor scoundrels and bleed it out, oh honourable knight."

    Lorcan's hand went to his neck, grimacing at the memory of cold steel on his skin. 

    'Traitor, traitor, traitor,' he thought over and over again, curling in on himself and squeezing his eyes shut. He flinched at a knock on the door.

    "Lorcan? You up yet?" 

    It was Torianna's voice, loud enough to be heard but still somewhat gentle. Lorcan didn't respond, still eaten up with remorse, his own thoughts filling him with dread.

    "Look, I'm coming in, so cover up or whatever else you need to do, okay?"

  16. Lorcan licked his lips for what felt like the thousandth time, trying desperately to hydrate himself in some way. His hair was plastered to his scalp, bloodstains either dried or washed away. He'd blacked out a while after Darius had left him, disoriented and dazed. He couldn't even feel his limbs anymore, he was so numb. Shivers racked him as he felt his teeth chattering uncontrollably.

    The only word that came to his dizzy, confused mind was how. How had he landed himself here in this awful place? How had he been so idiotic as to engage a complete stranger? 

    The biggest question, though, was how could he have betrayed his friends so easily? 

    He bit his lip, almost hard enough to draw blood. Grimacing, he cursed his fatigue, the throbbing pain in his joints.

    In his state of numbness and bleariness, he barely heard the noise coming from overhead. Explosions, if he was hearing them correctly. What the..?

    And then the awful clang of metal on metal, closer this time. Lorcan retreated back into the wall, willing himself to disappear. Was Darius coming back again? What was he going to do to him now? 

    Lorcan waited and waited, the sound of voices faint from above. Squeezing his eyes shut and turning away from the door, he held his breath in anticipation.

  17. Lorcan hissed in pain again, his breaths coming in quick gasps. By the gods, he couldn't take this! His body had been pushed about and kicked and beaten so badly in the past few hours he barely had the strength to lift himself back up after Darius knocked his legs from under him. The leader shook his head with a disappointed sigh.

    "Still nothing, Lorcan?" the man said his name with blatant contempt, running his narrowed eyes over the knight. "If I don't hear something soon, I may just have to consider you a lost cause..."

    Lorcan slammed himself back against the wall in terror when Darius produced a dagger from his boot with practised ease. He held it close to Lorcan's neck, twisting it deftly with his fingers.

    "Imagine poor Torianna finding out the news!" Darius said gleefully. "It'd break her heart. Is that what you want?"

    Lorcan shook his head, gulping nervously.

    "Then you'd better tell me something, you little brat," Darius hissed. "All I'm asking is for you to tell me about these scoundrels you work for. Who's leading all of you, anyways? We'll start there."

    Lorcan bit his lip anxiously, trying hopelessly to make some sort of noise. To his embarrassment he found tears falling, but he was too terrified to care at this point. The things Darius had told him, the blood leaking from cuts along his arms and legs, it was too much.

    And then he felt cold steel against his neck.

    "No one!"

    The sound of his own voice shocked him, it was so hoarse. Darius seemed surprised, but hid it quickly with a frown.

    "If you're lying..." He pressed the blade the tiniest bit closer, close enough that Lorcan could pinpoint where it would draw blood.

    "N-No," he breathed, ashamed, so ashamed of himself. "Disbanded, we're... Th-the mission was our last there's, there's no S-Scoundrels, not properly..."

    Darius grinned, withdrawing the blade quickly. Lorcan shuddered, breathing heavily. He cursed himself, for giving in so easily, cracking at an implied threat. Valuing his own life above the Scoundrels. What kind of a knight was he?!

    "Not bad at all..." Darius muttered, reaching for the pitcher of water. "As promised, some water for you."

    Lorcan looked up at that, having almost forgotten about their earlier agreement.

    He immediately recoiled as the pitcher was simply poured over him, drenching him head to toe. His own blood dripped to the floor, pooling about his feet and making him squirm in discomfort.

    "What kind of a traitor deserves kindness, anyways?" Darius asked, moving from the door. "You think about your poor scoundrels and bleed it out, oh honourable knight."

    With those last mocking words on his mind, Lorcan was left alone in the darkness, soaked from head to toe and already shivering. Not just from the cold, either.

  18. Lorcan blinked himself awake groggily and somewhat uncomfortable, and his eyes met with a dingy, cramped room, with only a chest of drawers in the right corner opposite him. He glanced down at himself and discovered he was no longer wearing his armour or any of his old clothes, now dressed in simple brown tones with no more than one layer on him. He was on his knees, too; how had he slept like that? Lorcan moved to push himself up and look around some more, and stopped himself when he found a now-familiar tugging around his wrists. Craning his neck, he found his hands were in shackles, leaving him unable to move more than a few inches from the wall. He couldn't bend them, couldn't stretch in any way. No weapons nearby either, of course.

    A memory surfaced, the thud of a sword hilt between his eyes, Darius' cruel smile the last thing he'd seen before... before arriving to wherever he was now.

    Groaning in frustration at his compromised position, Lorcan shuffled his feet, tried rotating his wrists, anything to relieve his sore muscles from the tension. 

    His stomach growled at him for some sort of sustenance, and running his tongue over the top of his mouth, Lorcan decided food and water would have to be the first thing to find.

    But how?!

    "Ah, our sleeping beauty rises at last!"

    Lorcan flinched at Darius' voice, eyes narrowing at the crack of light that filtered in through the open door in the left corner. Darius strode in purposefully, but it was something else that held Lorcan's attention.

    Darius was carrying a pitcher of water in one hand, and in the other a handful of fruit. Lorcan's eyes followed them intently as Darius made his way to where Lorcan was held. The leader set his things down, smiling and humming to himself as he dusted his hands off and turned to face Lorcan. The knight barely registered him, his eyes still fixed on the food mere feet away. 

    "Hungry, are we?" Darius asked, laughing at Lorcan's wide-eyed staring.

    He only took his eyes from the food when he was taken by the chin and made to look at Darius' cold eyes.

    "Answer me," he ordered simply. "Hungry?"

    Lorcan shook his head as firmly as he could, but his stomach betrayed him. Darius grinned.

    Lorcan's head was smacked to the side with no warning, his right cheek stinging with the impact.

    "No lying," the leader said. Lorcan was forced to look at him again, glaring fiercely at Darius. 

    "Here's your offer," the other man began. "I'm going to ask some questions, just some easy little ones to start with, and you're going to answer."

    Lorcan was about to shake his head once more, when Darius added, "For every answer I get, you'll get a drink of water from that pitcher there. I assume we have ourselves an agreement."

  19. The first thing Lorcan received was a hard smack across the jaw. It sent him flying into his seat, the rope pulling harshly against his torso. He straightened himself, about to spring up and make some futile attempt to fight back, but was promptly shoved back by Darius without any visible effort. The other network member in the carriage watched on in mild amusement.

    Lorcan accepted defeat as the carriage sped up, bumping rhythmically as before. 

    "Now, listen to me, scoundrel," Darius said lowly. "You are going to do exactly what I tell you to. Hear me? Exactly. If I tell you to track something down, you do it. If I try to get information from you, I'm going to get it. If you disobey me, I'm going to make you regret ever having the thought in the first place. Think about your friends - when I tell them you're barely able to move, let alone pick up that old sword of yours. Are we understood?"

    Lorcan fought the urge to pull against his constraints, knowing already it was useless and yet trying anyways. Darius laughed harshly as he wound the rope about his fist, yanking it sharply and forcing Lorcan's gaze back to him. Darius lifted a hand.

    "Are we agreed, scoundrel?" he repeated. 

    Hating himself, hating Darius and all of the networkers, Lorcan nodded.


  20. Lorcan shifted nervously as the carriage jumped with each bump on the road, fumbling idly with the rope around his wrists. The rope Darius had held onto while tracking Jaydon was still secured about him, the end hanging loose for now.

    The Princess herself sat next to Lorcan, poised and regal as she had always been. She looked somewhat gaunt, though, and her eyes seem tired. Her wrists were bound more securely with two silver cuffs linked together so that she could barely move them more than a few inches apart. Darius kept a sharpened knife pointed in their direction, it's blade glinting menacingly under the sunlight pouring through the window.

    The network leader sat in the seat across from them, his arms crossed firmly across his chest as he frowned at Lorcan. The knight, for his part, did his best to avoid eye contact. After a while, though, Darius' face cleared and he smiled at Lorcan.

    "Scoundrel," he spoke up, and Lorcan snapped his gaze back to him. "You know my daughter pretty well, huh?"

    Lorcan shrugged uncomfortably, wishing to be anywhere else but here.

    "Let me tell you something you probably didn't know about her," Darius replied with a sudden grin. Lorcan clenched his jaw, waiting.

    "When Tori was very young, maybe six years old, she was terrified of the dark."

    Lorcan frowned at that; he'd never exactly imagined Torianna as someone with... well, fears.

    "And as a thief, that was unacceptable," Darius continued. "We had to get rid of that silly fear, you know. What good would you be as a guard if you were scared of your own shadow, huh?"

    Lorcan supposed the man had a point, but he wasn't about to show any outward emotion. The princess watched on coolly from her seat, her back straight as an iron rod.

    "So what I used to do was, I shuttered her windows at night, and I locked her in her dark little room all night."

    Lorcan froze, his gaze sliding to meet Darius' shining eyes. 

    "For the first night, oh, the screaming was awful," he went on, leaning closer and keeping his knife trained on Lorcan.The knight seethed where he sat, his hands fumbling clumsily with the rope.

    "I don't think she slept at all; like I said, she was scared of her own shadow." A sick laugh. "Thought they were monsters or something. The next night..."

    Lorcan's breaths grew laboured as he tried furiously to undo his binds, but to no avail.

    And Darius did not stop talking - not for a long time.

  21. Lorcan braced himself before entering into the forest, the land he wished to be safe from the monsters prowling the rest of Hyrule. His hands were still tied uncomfortably, a rope secured in some elaborate fashion around his waist, the end clenched tightly in the fist of Torianna's father, who Lorcan had learned was called Darius after hearing a thief calling for him earlier. Lorcan constantly strained against the ropes, seething in discomfort. Every time he did, though, he would be pulled sharply backwards, landing hard on the ground before being pulled up once again. After multiple attempts and a horrible pain in his back, Lorcan had given up.

    "Are you finding my boy or aren't you?" Darius demanded, giving the rope a rough shake. Lorcan regained his footing easily enough, scowling. He turned to glare at the man behind him, nodding sharply. It was then that he heard some animal noise, nothing that belonged here, and stopped in his tracks. Jaydon...

    Torianna's father had to stop himself knocking into Lorcan, and his men behind him had to avoid stepping into him.

    "Come on then, get a move on!" Darius exclaimed, and Lorcan shook his head frantically, shushing the man with a pointed glare. If Darius was offended, it showed only in a slight raise of his eyebrows, but he pressed his lips together and motioned for his men to follow suit.

    Lorcan urged for them to move forward, and grit his teeth upon hearing the loud shuffling of feet that came after him. He straightened, turning about to face them. Shushing once more, he resumed his movements. Once again, there was too much noise. They would never find Jaydon like this!

    "What's your problem?" Darius snapped in hushed tones. 

    Lorcan mimicked their loud footsteps, sighing in exasperation. 

    "If you think we're gonna let you scamper off on your own, you're about as smart as a Moblin," Darius snarled. "Don't push your luck."

    Lorcan rolled his eyes, pointing to Darius himself. He moved forward again, and this time only one pair of footsteps followed, soft enough that they could manage to find Jaydon easily enough. The restriction on his hands was still irritating, however.




    After another hour of walking, and an hour of trying to silence Darius' sighs, Lorcan finally came across another sound from Jaydon. The man... demon... creature, was doing its absolute best to be avoided. He could likely smell Lorcan, and maybe not his father. But now they'd crossed most of the forested area, and soon Jaydon would be cornered. Ignoring the odd complaint from Darius, Lorcan pressed on, eager to have this over and done with and for Zelda to be safe. 

    Then, they arrived where Lorcan had hoped to find him. He'd done the job well, it turned out, so much so that the knight found himself grinning proudly at his own work.

    Jaydon was curled in on himself, inspecting some sort of wound on his leg as he leaned heavily against a tall, dark tree. His eyes flickered to Lorcan, to his father, back to his wound, before he let out a low growl of pain.

    Darius breathed out in a low whistle. "Not bad, scoundrel."

  22. Lorcan woke from an uncomfortable sleep when the carriage door was pulled open and sunlight streamed in past the network thief leering down at him. Lorcan was pulled roughly up and spun about unceremoniously. Reaching for his sword instinctively, Lorcan grimaced upon realising it wasn't there. He swung around and tried to swing a punch, but the thief blocked it before grabbing Lorcan's wrists, tying them into a complex knot before yanking him out of the carriage.

    The thief seemed about to pull about a gag, before reconsidering. "Ah, of course."

    The other thief hopped from his perch at the reins, and helped the other one to pull a struggling Lorcan to a decrepid old building, isolated and likely far from Castle Town. It seemed vaguely familiar, but Lorcan wasn't concerned with landscaping at that moment. Based on past experience with the network, the building was more stable than it appeared.

    One of the thieves knocked -3,2,1,2,1, Lorcan noted- and the door swung open to reveal Torianna's father. Oh, goddesses, this was not good.

    Lorcan attempted to wriggle out of the grasp of his captors, to no avail.He was pushed inside and stumbled forward to avoid falling over on his face. Torianna's father took Lorcan by the scruff, staring him in the eye with a cruel grin. Lorcan stared fiercely back, lips pressed firmly and eyebrows drawn into a frown.

    "Now, kid, here's our deal," the man started, eyes gleaming. "I want a yes or a no answer - you can do that much for us, right? What's going to happen is that you and me are gonna take a trip out to the forest, which I understand you know quite well, and you're going to find my boy Jaydon for me. In return, we will give your princess safely back to.. the scoundrels, isn't it?"

    Lorcan bit his lip, considering. He did, of course, know the forest very well, and he could find Jaydon with enough searching and scouting. But the network would have another advantage in that case, with Jaydon's enhanced abilities back at their side.

    On the other hand, Ashei had asked them as a final mission to find and bring Zelda back safely. Which is what the network was offering... They'd escaped from Jaydon before, and they needed Zelda with them...

    Finally, Lorcan looked back to the network leader, and motioned a cross over his heart as best he could with his limitations. The other man nodded in understanding, smirking at Lorcan's gestures.

    "I get it, you want a promise," he said. "You're not too dull after all, then. Alright, scoundrel. You have my word; once you find Jaydon for us, we will return your princess, without a hair harmed on her pretty head, to your 'Scoundrels of Virtue.' Are we agreed?"

    With a last resigned sigh, Lorcan nodded his agreement.

  23. Endel's planned route for their trip to the Zora's Domain was perfectly fine - the group would arrive in good time, if things went smoothly, and the town's water would be clean again. Then they could get on with finding the princess.

    Lorcan excused himself by way of tapping Endel's shoulder and signalling toward the front door of the inn. He strolled about outside for a while, doing a circle around the inn and inspecting it with interest. A carriage sat at the side of the building, the horses in front standing idly. Lorcan moved to the back of the inn, checking on the horses in the owner's stable. If they had the money and the right words, they might be able to get themselves those tall, sturdy-looking ones with-

    "Hey, you there!" a voice came from behind Lorcan. The guard jumped, and turned to face whoever it was calling him. 

    An older man with a scraggly beard and scruffy clothes was watching Lorcan from a few feet away with a sneer. He walked forward, narrowing his eyes.

    "What's your name, huh?" he asked. 

    Lorcan pointed with an apologetic expression to his mouth, shaking his head in an attempt to get across his meaning. The other man smiled in what looked like sympathy.

    "Can't talk, no?" Lorcan nodded with a small sigh. "Well, you're exactly who I'm looking for."

    Before Lorcan could so much as frown in confusion, he was grabbed around the waist from behind, a hand clamped over his mouth for good measure. The man that had been talking to him shot forward, pulling Lorcan's sword free of it's sheath before giving Lorcan a hard kick to the gut, effectively winding him. 

    "Now, let's get movin'," the person holding Lorcan from behind snapped. "The boss'll want to get this over with nice and quick."

    Lorcan was dragged to the other side of the inn, to the carriage he'd spotted earlier. He was thrown in like a sack of grain, landing roughly with a thud in the back as his breath was forced from him once again; he knew already to expect bruises. The windows were slammed shut and the doors locked tightly, but Lorcan couldn't move as it was anyways. It was at that moment that he heard voices.

    "Lorcan?" Torianna was calling from the front of the inn. "Come on, we're heading off! Lorcan!"

    "Come on, get up here!" one of the two men urged. There was a frantic scuffle before a weight came down on the driver's seat.

    "Hey!" Torianna shouted, and Lorcan winced at the thought of what might be in store. "Have you seen anyone with brown hair, blue eyes, hanging around here?"

    One of the two men was trying to find the reins, while the other addressed Torianna. 

    "Not anywhere around he-"

    "Wait a second... You're, you're from the network!" Torianna's voice seemed both surprised and disgusted. "What have you done with Lorcan?!"

    Lorcan's eyes widened when he felt the carriage shake roughly, frantic grunts from both Torianna and the network thieves ending with someone hitting the ground hard. Torianna's curses were enough of an indication as to who had fallen.

    "All you need to know, little brat, is that your pretty boy will get you back your princess," one of the men said mockingly, before the carriage jerked forward abruptly, and Lorcan was carried off into the unknown, unable to even lift himself from the floor let alone fight his way out.

    ((So sorry for my absences! Hopefully this will redeem me?))

  24. "I HATE you!" Torianna screeched over and over, all composure lost. She punched the wall, cursing under her breath when she scratched her knuckles.

    She rounded on Lorcan once more, who was coughing into his palm and glancing about himself warily in the stubborn hope of finding an exit. Torianna didn't seem content to let him at it, though, closing the distance between them with a glare etched into her dusted face.

    "Do you hear me?" she demanded. "You made such a mess!"

    Lorcan glared back, then, crossing his arms and turning his head in denial. Was she that bad?!

    "You're a PAIN," Torianna groaned. "I risk my life, and-"

    "Nobody asked you to come and save me, you selfish brat!" Lorcan snapped, surprising himself and Torianna alike with the sudden outburst.

    Torianna recovered first, though. "Nobody ever asked you to come back and save me from my father!"

    "Aren't you even a little grateful?!" Lorcan couldn't stop his voice rising, growing angrier by the second.

    "I am not!" the thief spat. "I had to break my rule sticking my neck out for you!"

    "Well here I am breaking MY rule!" Lorcan retorted. "I'm going to be chattering as much as you soon enough!"

    "Excuse me? You haven't complained about that in forever, come on!"

    "Well it's time you stop talking for one second and listen to me," Lorcan stated coldly. Surprisingly enough, it was enough to stop her.

    "You are making it extremely hard for me to keep composed at the best of times, Torianna. Even when you're in a GOOD mood I'm exhausted! So can you imagine how I feel right now? With you screeching at me because YOU chose to come back here and save ME? Just like I did for you, and maybe I have these stupid messy feelings for you, but that doesn't-!"

    "What?" Torianna cut him off blankly, a frown on her face. "What did you sa about... feelings..?"

    Suddenly Lorcan wasn't so glad he took the opportunity to speak.

  25. ((Hi guys! Sorry it's been so long! School has been leaving me overloaded with work and absolutely exhausted every other moment!))


    Lorcan glanced down at Torianna's hand in his, frowning. It was unusual for her, but given the circumstances Lorcan wasn't about to judge. 

    As they waited in trepidation, they listened carefully. Maia looked ready to faint at the next thud, she had gone so pale. Endel appeared to be holding his breath for as long as he could, sweat breaking out along his forehead. 

    While listening to the haphazard search, the noises coming that tiny bit closer each passing second, Lorcan realised something that shouldn't have taken him so long to do.

    With his free hand, he caught the attention of the others, drawing their eyes to him. Lorcan waited for more noise from Jaydon before he sniffed, doing his best to imitate some creature on the prowl while remaining seated.

    It took a moment, but then Torianna's face cleared in recognition, her already-troubled expression turned to one of dread. Endel picked up on it next, biting his lip so hard Lorcan thought there might be blood. Maia was last, and it seemed it was all she could do to stay conscious  and stop from losing herself altogether.

    Well, this certainly couldn't get much worse.