The Scoundrels of Virtue

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Lorcan had only just reached the top of the otherwise empty street when he heard the sudden shouting. He turned, frowning, wondering at what exactly could have caused it. Was someone in the network chastising her, for being caught on the job?

He debated with himself for a moment. What business did he have, interfering with a thief's affairs. And a thief that had attempted to steal valuable weaponry, too!

On the other hand, Torianna was likely in a heap of trouble, if those raised voices were anything to go by. And, he supposed, in this case she was the innocent.

Lorcan pursed his lips, and decided to wait until things quietened down before investigating.

Sure enough, it wasn't very long before all was quiet once more, and Lorcan crept closer to the house, sneaking around the side of the building.

He glanced down and found a window close to the ground, open by a crack to let some air in. Slowly, silently, he inched it open as far as was possible, peeking inside to see what was going on.

He blinked in surprise when he found Torianna seemingly tied to a simple wooden chair, sitting alone in this basement. The sight of it sparked Lorcan's curiosity, and his anger. Isolation was one of the cruelest punishments there was, and for the most part, Lorcan was against it.

He tapped lightly on the windowpane, hoping she'd look up and realise he was there, but her eyes were downcast and Lorcan went unheard.

With a sigh, he removed his shoulder guards, and then the rest of his armour, piling it neatly outside of the open window, glancing about nervously. The only thing he held onto was his sword.

Holding his breath, he made an attempt at flattening himself as much as he was able, before sliding through the window and into the room.

He rolled as he fell, avoiding making too much of a scuffle. Torianna looked at him in pure shock, caught somewhere between being slack-jawed and grinning ecstatically.

"Lorcan?" she whispered incredulously.

He pushed himself up, offering her a small smile before cutting the ties around her wrists and ankles.

"Better treasure this moment," Torianna muttered. "Actual evidence that you are indeed human. Who'd have thought?"

Lorcan scowled, finishing up with the rope before looking to the window, jerking a thumb in that direction. Torianna nodded her understanding, offering Lorcan a huge grin.

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It was odd given a Darknut’s propensity for action and battle that the majority of time that he had spent since his abrupt departure from the shop in contemplation. As he did now. He was at that moment strapped down to the back of a horse bound carriage, tied underneath a tarp. It was not entirely surprising, the average Hylian was not quite used to the kind of supernatural dangers braved by the Scoundrels. As the up and down thudding of the carriage vibrated through his body he thought back to a few hours ago as they were preparing…


“Y’know I’ve seen Darknuts before, not terribly often mind you but I have seen one. They’re usually armed to the teeth,” Cheval said


“I have very few memories of my time as a Darknut, everything else starts after I was brought to the shop. I have vague recollections of having been...’armed to the teeth’, as you say. But I believe it is possible many of those same armaments were extracted and sold off.” said Skallin


Cheval shrugged. “Well its against my better nature, but its possible we’ll find some kind of danger where you were found.” Cheval pulled from under a pile of weapons a fairly large sword, roughly fitting with Skallin’s height, and a scabbard to hold it in. “Its seen better days, but then, so have you. Besides that its about your size, and it’ll hold an edge.”


Skallin picked it up and held it aloft. He was somewhat disappointed that the action brought back no recollections or experiences. He slid it into his scabbard and bowed his head slightly at Cheval, as a thank you.


Cheval waited a few moments expecting something further, but nothing further came. He left the room, off to finish preparations elsewhere

Skallin bumped his head jostling him out of his memory. It did not hurt, he had found that very little did, but it was enough to draw his attention. The bumpy ride became bumpier. He guessed that meant they had left cobblestone and entered the dirt road on the way out of town. He was glad. He was eager for answers, and though his compatriots primary goal was to rid the cave of monsters, he was not ashamed to admit to himself that he was far more interested in what the cave could tell about himself than anything else


((Huh, it seems to do that when my post is especially long. Could that have something to do with it?))

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Endel felt welcomed by the breeze of Hyrule Field as the group exited the southern city gates. Thieving was all well and good, but something about the open world was just so... satisfying to experience. As Skallen clanked along the main road, haphazardly retracing his steps, the young agent soaked in the rays of the sun and appreciated the sound of cicadas. There was never any place for these things in the city, and certainly not in headquarters.

 

Cheval urged them both to pick up the pace, and soon enough they were in the northern plains of Faron Province. A few Bomskits wandered by now and then, but with the end of the Twilight Crisis the more intentionally evil monsters had retreated to caves and forest hideaways. Skallin's cautious progression strayed away from the forest proper and into the edge of Eldin Province, so they had nothing to worry about. Or at least, so it had seemed; Cheval suddenly sent stiff and peered over his shoulder thoroughly. "Something the matter?" Endel asked.

 

"We're being watched." Cheval informed the group, and surely enough there were two figures in the distance heading in their general direction. Cheval was probably wrong; if the figures had been watching them Endel would have sensed their gaze. Everyone dashed for cover as quick as they could nonetheless, peering out at the figures as they continued down the road. Soon enough Endel could make out enough features to identify them, at which point he felt a shadow of disbelief.

 

It was Torianna and Lorcan.

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Hi guys! I'd like to join as well :)

 

Name: Maia

 

Gender: Female

 

Age: 18

 

Species: Hylian

 

Appearance: Long, wavy, light blond hair that she mostly wears in a top knot, though she prefers it loose. She has grey eyes that give her a mysterious look and long eyelashes, her nose is small but pointy and her face is heart shaped. Her overal appearance makes her seem very vulnerable and young. She wears a periwinkle colored dress with brown boots underneath. 

 

Short character description: She is Princess Zelda's maid, and has the closest contact with her. They know each other since they were small, and when Maia turned 16, she had to start working for Zelda because her parents, who needed money to survive, forced her to. Her parents died when Ganondorf had taken over, but she chose to go back to Zelda. After Link defeated Ganondorf, they were reunited and Maia stayed. Even though Zelda was forced to give some of her political powers away, she still is the Princess of Hyrule. Maia gets a bed and food in exchange for her work. She is smart, but if she would ever find her way into combat, she would be killed in a second. 

 

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

 

"Maia?" Zelda's soft voice called her. This was the first time in a few days the princess had spoken to her. She had spend her days sitting in front of her window, thinking with a grim look on her face.

"Yes, Princess?" Maia replied. She carefully walked up to the Princess.

"Has there been any news at all about Link?" Zelda asked. She still hadn't glanced at Maia, and was apparently still focused on watching the rain outside.

Maia bit her lip. When the Princess had found out that The Hero of Twilight, Link, had dissapeared, she had simply nodded, excused herself, and sat in her room a few days. Maia had brought her food and tried to make her speak, but she refused. Even though she wasn't supposed to have heard it, Maia had heard Zelda cry a few times. Not loud but just, silent sobs. Maia could imagine how much pain she must have felt. First, she had to gave some of her political powers away, what she never wanted. Then, she had to hear that her Hero had abandoned her? 

"I'm sorry Princess, but no. Nothing has been heard about him or his whereabouts." 

"Oh," Zelda replied. She nodded. "Okay."

"Do you need anything else, Princess?" Maia asked.

"No, that will be everything," Zelda concluded.

Maia nodded, not that Zelda could see it, but she did it anyways, and walked out. 

She sighed when she sat down on her own bed. What had happened to Hyrule? The land that was once so wealthy and beautiful, now forgotten and pitied. 

Edited by Franne (see edit history)

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(( Good to have you here again, Franne! And is everything okay Elway? You've been quiet... ))

 

Lorcan stepped underneath the window, examining it silently and trying to figure out the best way to escape through it. Meanwhile, Torianna glanced up nervously at the door, knowing full well that it would be locked. At that time of day, her dad was usually up working in the attic, so he shouldn't have been able to hear them three floors below him...

Regardless, she was conscious of the noise made as Lorcan set the chair down underneath the window. He stood up on it, pushing the window as far open as he could before hoisting himself up. He got his head and shoulders through the narrow gap without trouble, but then had to haul the rest of his body through. Torianna couldn't help but giggle softly as she watched his feet scrabbling at the smooth stone wall, trying to get a good grip. Eventually, she went over and put her hands under his feet, offering him a platform to help push himself up. After a moment, he wriggled through to the other side, turning to her with a grateful smile.

Then it was Torianna's turn to climb up. She stepped up onto the wooden chair, but because she was a great deal shorter than Lorcan, it didn't get her to window height. She reached through, and Lorcan took hold of her arms just above the wrist. With his help to pull her up, she just about managed to wriggle through the window, though she almost lost a shoe in the process - almost.

As the two of them took off down the street, Torianna felt a niggling feeling in the back of her mind. She felt like she should thank Lorcan for coming to her assistance, but she still didn't understand why he'd helped her. And she definitely didn't want to admit that without Lorcan's help, she probably wouldn't have gotten out until her father freed her. She knew that from experience.

"I appreciate your help," she said, when she was sure they were far enough away not to be heard. "Though I would have gotten out alone eventually... but y'know... it was quicker with you so..."

Lorcan glanced at her from the corner of his eye, looking somewhat doubtful. She didn't let it phase her.

"That was just, y'know, retribution. Da-" she stopped herself short. "The boss was ticked off that I got caught on the job, especially by a scoundrel. He doesn't think much of the Scoundrels of Virtue, no one in the network does."

She glanced over to Lorcan, though he turned away, looking out at the path ahead of them.

"I'm surprised a skinny guy like you could lift me," she said in an attempt to change the subject. He cut her a glare, but she just laughed. "Come on, you're definitely younger than me, you don't have a lot of muscle on you, and I'm not the skinniest girl in the world." She jabbed her elbow into his ribs, trying to get a response out of him. "I still don't know how old you are!" she replied, remembering their previous conversations.

Lorcan huffed, but said nothing. Torianna flipped her hair over her shoulder, narrowing her eyes. "Well you're definitely younger than me... and I'm eighteen. You said you weren't fourteen... fifteen?" A shake of the head. "Sixteen?" Another shake of the head. She narrowed her eyes. "Thirteen?" He rolled his eyes at that.

"No way," Torianna exclaimed, her eyes wide. "There's no way that you're older than sixteen!" Lorcan nodded, looking particularly proud. Torianna laughed. "So you're seventeen?" He shook his head again and she stopped still in her tracks, staring at him. "There is no way in Hyrule that you are eighteen. We are not the same age."

He turned back to her, wearing a smug grin. She felt a little bemused - eighteen? But he looked so young!

"Well I'll be damned..." Torianna muttered, taking off in a walk again. "Say, where are going anyway? Oh! I know... let's follow Endel and that other guy... I can't remember his name... I wanna see what's going on with that suit of armor!"

She grabbed Lorcan by the hand, dragging him off towards the Southern gates of the city. He groaned, but fell into step with her.

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((Just gonna pick up from where Lorcan and Torianna are sighted!))

Lorcan sighed in relief when Endel and the others stopped in their tracks, jogging to catch up. Torianna kept pace with him, looking curiously ahead of her, likely at the Darknut.

"Finally," she said. "I can't imagine we look all that intimidating, really. Definitely not you, anyways."

Lorcan rolled his eyes at her, waving to Endel and Cheval in an attempt to let them know everything was alright.

He gestured for her to pick up the pace, running toward the other thieves and arriving in good time.

"Lorcan, Torianna," Cheval greeted them blandly. "What are you doing here?"

Lorcan looked to Torianna, and listened curiously as she told them there was a bit of a scuffle with the thieves in her network, and that she was more interested in the armour, now seated on a horse and armed with an old but useful sword.

"I bet you had fun, Lorcan," Endel says with a sly grin. Lorcan only gave him a sour look in response, gritting his teeth as he glanced at Torianna.

"Well, I got a free ride for most of the way," she said happily. "This little baby-face is a lot stronger than he looks!"

Lorcan held his head in his hands as the other two laughed. While it was true that he'd agreed to carry Torianna on his back for the majority of the trip, he hadn't thought it anything she'd find fun in talking about.

It proved to be completely untrue, however, and Cheval and Endel only spurred her on, even as they set off once again.

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((Good to have you back Franne! I dunno where Elwayguy went, haven't heard anything from him so I hope he's alright ))

 

The journey across the fields became far more relaxed with the addition of Lorcan and Torianna. The stalwart guard's expressions could always pry a laugh out of even Cheval when Torianna pushed his buttons, and the girl herself had a good heart underneath that fiery attitude of hers. Endel thought he had finally found another thief who shared his outlook on life, just maybe...

 

Suddenly their group came to a halt at the edge of a ravine not too far from Kakariko Village, and Skallin dismounted before peering down into the dark. Far, far below was a tributary to the Zora River, one of thousands that had eroded a maze of underground tunnels into Hyrule's landscape over time. Endel expected they would be going under the surface, but not via cliff face. "We are required to scale the rock wall here. It is the only way to reach the tunnel where I was commanded to go by my master."

"Commanded?" Cheval asked.

"Yes. I believe the contents of the place will illuminate our destinies."

 

Endel's boss shrugged and everyone else agreed it would be worth a shot, so they retrieved their rope and fastened it at the point Skallin requested. Climbing down was easy enough for everyone, but Endel almost didn't notice when the black form of the darknut slipped into a hole in the wall two thirds of the way down their rope. It was pitch black down here, so Cheval lit a torch for Skallin to carry as he led the way.

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Torianna treadded carefully as the group progressed through the dimly lit cave. She walked behind Endel, with Lorcan following closely after her.

The space was dark and damp, and the sound of the river rushing below them echoed through the empty space. Torianna could hear the steady breathing of the three boys as they pushed forward, accompanied by the heavy clanking of Skallins armor.

As she walked, thoughts began stirring around Torianna's mind. In all her time at the network, she'd never had the opportunity to do anything like that. She'd never encountered anyone like Skallin. Even on group missions, they didn't share the same improvised banter that she did with the boys. It was a whole different dynamic.

The cave path became more treacherous as they progressed. The rock underfoot was cracked and disjointed, dropping harshly at points and fizzling out into loose rubble in others. Just as Torianna was beginning to grow weary of the dark space, it suddenly opened out into a large cavern: stalactites hanging down from the tremendously high ceiling. A faint pink glow eminated from something... Torianna couldn't help but wonder if enchantment played a part.

"Wow..." she breathed.

"Is this place familiar to you?" Chevel asked Skallin.

He glanced around himself, seemingly observing. "Yes, he replies. "It is."

Lorcan was silent as ever as he stared around the cavern, blowing his cheeks out in awe.

"Damn this place is impressive..." Torianna muttered.

Endel grinned. "Betcha don't see this much in the network, huh?"

Edited by NayruGoddessOfWisdom (see edit history)

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Wasn’t that always the way? Bright lights in dark caves leading to your salvation. He thought for a moment and puzzled how he could even know that. So many mysteries. So many fundamental truths unknown. Perhaps this light, this pulsing ray would tell him something.  Every step made an echo, not only in the cave but in his mind. He could swear to having been here before, knew he must have.


He reached the pedestal and… nothing happened. A carving of the same eye he had seen before glowed with a pink luminescence. He reached forward to touch it, Endel grasped his hand before he could touch it. “Are you sure Skallin? This feels like a trap.”


“I had thought of that,” Skallin mused. “But I’m not entirely certain there is any other option. I must admit I have some apprehension about all this myself. I fear that learning who I am may bring me less contentment than if I knew… But the urge to… press on… overwhelms my fear.”


Endel shrugged, “Hey, as long as you’re sure. what are you even supposed to do here.”


Skallin paused a moment and examined the eye more closely. There seemed to be a slot of some sort. He examined its size. Too small for his blade. But he believed a blade it was. He turned to Cheval who had a more slender sword. “Could I see your sword?” Cheval raised an eyebrow but acquiesced. Skallin stood on the pedestal and thrust the sword into the eyehole.

A distressing shaking started. The cave was unstable enough, and now some large movement from inside its workings was taking place. The pedestal on the floor lowered and the entire back portion of the cave was scooting back…and then it dropped. And behind it? A mirror. Jets of fire shot up from the ground, illuminating the forms in the mirror...But they were… wrong. Slight alterations and an aura of evil emanated from the mirror. And then the 5 figures stepped out of the mirror. The killing intent in the room was palpable, as the doppelgangers cloaked in shadow prepared to attack the originals

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Lorcan blinked in astonishment at the dopplegangers, each drawing weapons identical to those of the rest of the group. They attacked each of their respective matches, all moving in perfect synchronisation.

Lorcan drew his sword just in time to block a swing from his pursuer, trying to counter only to be blocked. Over and over Lorcan tried to land a hit, only to have it fended off or parried, earning him some nasty gashes.

"This is hopeless," Torianna's voice came from somewhere to his left. "We can't win like this!"

"We've got... to switch!" Endel shouted over to them, buckling under a heavy blow.

Before Lorcan knew what had happened, he was grabbed by Toriannna and thrown in front of her doppleganger, while she tackled his. Endel, Cheval and Skallin had done a sort of three-way switch, carrying on smoothly enough.

Lorcan looked the Torianna double up and down, lifting his sword.

Well, this should be fun.

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Lorcan's doppelganger stood in front of Torianna, his sword raised and ready. She stared at him in silence, a little unnerved at just how similar he was to the real Lorcan. Every facial feature was identical, the way that he moved, the way his hair fell - it was all an exact replica. But being such a perfect replica, Torianna know his weakness. His weapon had a longer reach than hers, and he had better stamina - but she was faster.

The double moved, ready to swing his sword, giving Torianna enough time to quickly duck and avoid the blow. It skimmed above her, narrowly avoiding her hair. While she was down, she reached into the leg of her boot and pulled out her gold six inch dagger from where she kept it hidden. As the double righted himself, she twirled the dagger between her fingers, smirking.

She faked right, then came in from the left, delivering a nasty blow to his sword arm and leaving a gash behind. He growled, and she couldn't tell if it was from anger or pain. He quickly reacted, jabbing his sword towards her neck in an uncoordinated but effective stab. She leaned back, avoiding his blade by a fraction of an inch, but loosing her balance in the process.

Torianna let out a grunt as her back knocked into the rocky ground. Her gold dagger skidding away from her across the rock. The Lorcan double was quick to react, but not as quick as Torianna. He took the hilt of his sword in both hands and plunged it down towards her. She managed to quickly roll aside and avoid his blade, which lodged itself into the rock. But before she could get back to her feet, Lorcan's double was on top of her, hands just above her elbows, pinning her down.

He glanced over to his sword, unsure of exactly how to retrieve it without letting her escape. For a few moments, there was a stalemate, the two of them panting for breath as the sounds of the other battles echoed through the cavern. Then Torianna had an idea.

She reached up as best she could and gripped the doubles arms. Knowing full well how light he was, she kicked herself off the ground sideways and flipped the two of them around and away from his sword. Once the Lorcan double was lying with his back on the ground, she quickly straddled him, pressing her knees onto his hands to immobilize him. He furiously tried to escape as Torianna went to the inside of her jacket pocket, pulling out her simple silver knife with the polished wood handle.

"No apologies for this one shy boy," she muttered as she raised the knife.

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The howl that pierced the air told Endel that Lorcan's reflection was dead as he continued to struggle with Skallin's doppelganger. Thankfully the copy was able to mimic appearances but not substance, and the thief's shortsword tore through the fake darknut like a blade through unprotected flesh. He managed to slip under a horizontal slash from his adversary before hewing its legs off from behind, just as Cheval managed to trip his foe and fatally wound him in a single, swift movement. "I always wondered how quickly I could take you down." Cheval teased as they all cornered his own reflection alongside Torianna's.

 

Suddenly there was a thunder of more boots on the ground, as what must've been a dozen more copies of each of them appeared from the mirror. They were encircled in moments; Cheval muttered something about thinking up a plan but Endel's heart was beating too loud in his chest for him to notice. How were they going to get out of this one?

 

Almost instantly, the walls of the cave began to brighten. No, it was more like the very air in the place was beginning to glow. All of the doppelgangers were gone in a flash of light, and a voice began to speak. "Trespassers, you do not belong in the realm of the faeries. You must be removed." The voice's tone was loving but stern at the same time, giving Endel the feeling that he was being lectured. This was why he hated the gods; they were always throwing their authority about like this when he didn't even know he wasn't supposed to be here. But there wasn't any more time to gripe, as the light became so intense Endel had to shield his eyes before a feeling of being pushed away overcame him. Suddenly everything was dark.

 

Endel could feel his friends nearby, but couldn't see them. A torch lit by Skallin fixed their lack of eyesight, but it became terribly obvious they were in another, unfamiliar tunnel system now. "Well, anyone know the way out?" Cheval asked hesitantly.

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"I believe we may find a way out if we head in this direction," Skallin said, waving the torch in front of him. "I could be wrong, though, so forgive me if I am."

Endel and Cheval looked to each other and shrug, turning to Lorcan, who simply nodded his agreement. Torianna seemed uncaring, opting to stay close to the darknut, illuminated in the orange glow with her green eyes sparkling in satisfaction.

"I kicked your butt down quickly enough Lorcan, hm?" she goaded as they set off, each of them sticking close by Skallin. Lorcan only rolled his eyes, not bothering to indulge her for now.

He'd actually quite enjoyed the little scuffle with her doppleganger, if he was honest. It had been quite a long time since he'd last engaged in real combat, and it was one of his favourite ways of shedding off pent up anger and energy. He was exhausted, but not in any way unhappy about it. It was strange, but for a person who wanted a peaceful Hyrule, Lorcan took an especial interest in fighting and combat like this. Swinging a sword just felt so good to him, and the fact that it was at Torianna's-

"It was pretty easy, you know," the real Torianna continued. "You barely put up a fight, really!"

Lorcan huffed, only growing further agitated when Cheval and Endel laughed with her. He shook his head adamantly in denial, his brow furrowing.

"Even the new ones in the network can offer a little more of a resistance than you bothered to!" she exclaimed.

Cheval and Endel glanced warily to each other at that last remark, and Endel spoke up. "Torianna, I don't think-"

"I bet I could have fought you one-handed," she said, and that was when it happened.

Lorcan opened his mouth, and a string of words ensued.

Edited by ButterflyBabyBlue (see edit history)

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"Let's get something completely clear," Lorcan snapped, his blue eyes ablaze.

Everyone stopped still in their tracks, staring at Lorcan, eyes wide in disbelief. Torianna grinned proudley as he took a step closer to her, his expression as fierce as the day he caught her in the weapons store.

"You weren't fighting me," he spat. "You were fighting my reflection - and don't forget that I took down your doppelganger too and I wouldn't hesitate to do the same to you right now!"

Despite his ferocious words, a gleeful laugh escaped Torianna.

"I knew you could talk! I sa-" her voice muffled into silence as Lorcan pressed his hand over her mouth, pushing her back against the cave wall, glaring.

"Just be quiet for five minutes would you?" he said through gritted teeth. Endel looked on uneasily as Lorcan removed his hand, seeming to have forgotten that his friend, his boss, and a living suit of armour were watching them.

"You have done nothing but goad and taunt and aggrevate me for the last two days. I'm a gaurd, Torianna, I'm not here for your personal amusement. I'm eighteen! Stop treating me like I'm a child and have a little bit of common courtesy. And while we're on the subject, I'm not a horse. It's not my job to carry you because you're too lazy to walk across a field!

"Oh and let's not forget the fact that I saved you from your own network. All I got for that was a half hearted thank you, that didn't even include the words 'thank you'! I don't know how on earth they put up with you in the network! In fact, I'm not suprised that they left you tied up like that in their basement because I swear to the gods that given the opportunity, I would do the same. I would all too gladly tie you up and then leave you down here in the dark! I'd gag you too, so you'd have to spend your last hours in silence until the rats ate you alive!"

By the time Lorcan finished, he was screaming just an inch away from Torianna's face. A vein stood out on his forehead and his hands were clenched into fists. As he stood there, staring her down, the realization of what he just said seemed to dawn on him. He clapped a hand over his mouth, his eyes wide as his shoulders heaved with heavy breaths.

"So that's why you don't talk..." Torianna breathed.

(( I'm not messing with BBB's character, don't worry! She helped me plan to write this! ))

Edited by NayruGoddessOfWisdom (see edit history)

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The silence was almost deafening, and all Lorcan could do was try to regulate his heavy breathing, his face flushed red and his throat feeling like he'd swallowed nails. 

He'd... he'd spoken! That Torianna had made him break a silence of at least five years. How did that...?

"Gods, Lorcan, that was certainly a mouthful!" Cheval remarked. "Didn't know you had it in you."

Lorcan fumed, glaring at the blonde with a tsk of annoyance. Endel was shaking his head in wonder, and Torianna was caught somewhere between delight and apprehension.

"Well, I'm not gonna lie," she said slowly. "That was certainly more than I'd hoped for."

Lorcan only snarled in response, striding as far ahead as was possible while staying in the light. Gods damn that stupid thief... He knew she was trouble right from the start!

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