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 BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1

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PostSubject: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Tue May 17, 2016 11:13 pm

A sharp intake of breath is what woke Charity from that hazy dream. The dream had felt so real...Burned into her mind so fresh that she thought maybe it was another bout of sleep paralysis. Yet, when she opened her eyes, she only found blackness.

Panic was quick to rise in her chest. She couldn't see! The very thought led her to sitting ridged in the spot she was in. That was, wherever she was. It couldn't be indoors, could it? The breeze brushed passed her rather harshly. It had to be outside...

"Nell?" she called out. 

That's right. Nell had been with her. It was a brief memory, still foggy in the panic that she felt but...Nell had been with her at some point in time. So what else...A witch? Someone was a witch. She was talking about something. Taking something...

Charity couldn't remember, her panic rising in her chest and soon morphed into fear. What was she going to do if she couldn't see? 

"Nell...Come on, this isn't funny! Please...Please come here! I can't see! I can't..."

Her words trailed off and for the first time in a long time, she became very much aware of how helpless she actually was.


---- (x) ----

The day was fair enough, no trouble sniffing about, as it usually seemed to do. Jubei could enjoy that much. A chance to relax was becoming a bit of a rarity. The cat like being was scratch at his chin, suppressing a long yawn on that lazy afternoon.

Ah, but all peace came to an end, even if it was abrupt. In the distance, a bright light nearly blinded him. Magic, rather strong if he could say, was attached to it. Something had to have happened.

Acting quick, Jubei would follow that light as it began to fade away. Whatever had spurred up such a strong source of magic, he wanted to see it for himself.

It felt like hours as he padded against the ground as swift as his paws could take him. When he skidded to a halt, Jubei found himself a tad surprised to find a girl laying on the ground. He'd seen stranger things, of course, but this was off.

Cautiously, he approached the girl. She seemed to be unconscious for the time. Perhaps rousing her awake would be best. Kneeling beside her, he'd begin to prod her with a paw.

"Hey...Kid. You alright? Come on, girl, I need you up and at'em. Don't know what could be lurkin' around here." He paused, finding no movement in the girl before he would speak up again, "You're not gonna make this easy, are you?"

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Tue May 17, 2016 11:49 pm

A source of powerful magic, a bright light heralding its very arrival... Why, of course it would be enough to pique Hazama's curiosity. Perhaps it might lead him to the ends he sought. If nothing else it might lead to something interesting. However long it had taken him to reach the source wasn't a question he left to dwell upon. He merely wondered if anything had found the source before him.

Ah, but that was no problem either, was it? He could easily seek it out again and take it by force if need be.

Even so what he found was not what he'd expected after all that way. A voice, a girl's--it was the first to reach him. The panic in her voice was easy to hear though it did not enlighten Hazama much. Was there another nearby then? He heard nor saw any kind of companion in the area, just the meek girl who stared around with wide, unseeing eyes.

"Why, I don't know who this 'Nell' is you're seeking, however I am Hazama of the Intelligence Department," he called as he neared, a smile already slipping across his lips effortlessly. "Might I be of some assistance?"

As he neared however, the breeze shifted and the despicable scent of cat reached his nose. Almost immediately he froze, his smile fading as the stench assaulted his nose.


----[x]----

There was nothing at first, just blackness. Nell wasn't even sure if she was too cold or too hot, there was... nothing? Her brow furrowed at that yet she thought nothing of it. Maybe she was just rousing from sleep, bothered by neither. But... hadn't she been walking with Charity before...?

A voice called out, familiar but not enough so for Nell to bother listening just yet. Her thoughts were racing and though she felt the weight of the ground she lay on she felt no warmth or coolness from it. The breeze that passed by, she couldn't feel but for brief movement across skin and hair. The fact that something was poking and pushing her even felt... muted? Why was this? What had happened to Charity and why was she outside? At least, she thought she was outside.

Finally, Nell groaned, moving to push herself up. The sight of grass and dirt reached her first, neither particularly felt by her bare skin. Her brow furrowed deeper at that even before she'd glanced up at a furry face, shrouded partially by a cat-eared hood. Nell blinked, wondering both why she was staring at so familiar a beast person and why she was not shocked, or frightened about who she was sitting before.

"Where am I...? What's going on?" Her voice was too even, reflecting the lacking emotion she felt. That alone should have caused her to worry, to panic and yet nothing came, bewildering her further.

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Wed May 18, 2016 12:16 am

Nell's voice never reached her. Was she even here at all? Charity would have reached out blindly if she didn't already feel like some helpless fool. She couldn't even manage to drag herself to her own feet...

She would tense as a different voice reached her ears, a males, and somewhat familiar. Charity swallowed hard, ignoring the burning in her throat. Oh, the name was enough for her now. Such a polite introduction but she could almost feel the smile on his lips.

"...Hazama?" she echoed the name briefly, "I'm...I'm Charity."

Charity would fall silent, not exactly sure of what to say. She needed help, that much was true, but to wind up like this with someone like him? That was a terrifying thought. Still, what could she do.

"I...I could use the help, yes..."

Even as she said that, his footsteps would stop short. Charity raised her head a little, useless eyes trying to find where he stood. Why'd he stop?

"Are you alright?" she asked, a tad hesitant. If she couldn't hear him, she mind as be back at square one...


---- (x) ----

Jubei could see her shift and move, as if trying to wake but still struggling with it. Eventually, she would rouse. The young woman's face expressed confusion for a brief moment as she looked at him. Even so, her lack of actual words was concerning. Maybe she was still coming to?

"You know, I should be the one asking that, kid," he answered easily, "You appeared out of a pillar of light, I assume. Strong magic, from what I could sense. Been a while since I've seen somethin' that startling."

Some amount of caution would need to be taken here. Jubei didn't know this young woman or what magic might have been attached to her. The old hero could only figure she'd done something to piss off the wrong person.

As to where they were, that would be somewhat easy to answer. She didn't seem to be a danger, not just yet, but Jubei would keep an eye on her.

"No where in particular, kid. I'm just some old wanderer. Go here, go there," he explained, "You're out in the wilderness! I can give you that much!"

Perhaps a bit of a laid back attitude would aid in her relaxing. She looked tense. All things considered, she probably was. Whether it be from waking up here or something else, he could only guess.

"So, I'm just gonna make the assumption. You appearing from that light probably means you're without a place to stay, right? Might have to remedy that, if you don't mind hanging around an old cat."

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Wed May 18, 2016 12:38 am

He'd at least received her name before he'd stepped in range to smell the cat on her. Not any particular beastkin but merely just the feline stench that would set his nose and eyes running, his nose was already itching as was his throat. He scoffed quickly attempting to push it aside for now... She was no beastkin, that much was clear and so a simple change of clothes for her, a shower later... Hazama would merely need to live with it for a short time.

"Ooooh, I'm just fine," he answered upon her questioning. He did not miss the helplessness in which she remained sitting, blinking around unseeingly. Her gaze was too far to the left to be focused on him, after all. "But, if I might ask, you wouldn't happen to have had a cat, would you have?"

He'd barely managed to finish his question before a sneeze escaped him, sounding far too loud in this nowhere place. It'd be better the sooner this was all done and over with to get rid of that damnable cat smell.

Hazama forced himself to step closer despite the fact that his eyes were watering and another sneeze was on the way. Reaching out he placed a hand at Charity's shoulder, careful not to startle her too badly in the process.


----[x]----

Nell sat herself back a little, peering at Jubei as thoughts raced through her mind. Why was she here? What had happened? Where was the panic at this predicament? She was not the type to be so apathetic, not unless she was that severely depressed. But even then a situation like this? Nell was certain even that wouldn't be enough to keep her from feeling anything!

It was easier to listen to Jubei's voice, to marvel at the fact that a beastkin stood in front of her. No such thing existed in her world... She shifted again, uncertain as to what to do. She had no way of knowing what to do or to survive on her own like this. The only thing she felt was the weight of a bag and at least that was familiar to her. Still, no relief flooded through her at the small mercy.

"Well, you wouldn't be wrong," Nell noted, far too calm even now. She felt a brief swell of an unsettling feeling before it was gone, like water through her fingers. Even so, had Charity gotten caught up in whatever had happened? "But, if you don't mind my asking first; was there another girl around here at all?"

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Wed May 18, 2016 1:03 pm

The silence hung in the air for a fair few moments before he spoke up again. Fine? He didn't sound fine. His throat sounded scratchy and his nose sounded stuffy. It took a moment to click before she realized just why that might of been.

The question left him quite calmly despite the loud sneeze that followed. Her cats had a habit of laying on her clothing or on her chest at night. Obviously the scent and fur would cling to her...

"O-oh...Yea, I have two of them," she answered, "You, um...You sound like you're having a little trouble there."

Even if she hadn't already known he had such bad cat allergies, it would have been easy to tell his allergies were flaring up just by being near her. She felt a little bit bad about it, if she was honest with herself...

A hand would clasp around her shoulder, something of a guide now that she could not see. It gave her an idea of where he was and she glanced upward, unseeing but hoping it was somewhat resting on him.

"I'm uh...Sorry, I'm still a little shaken up..."


---- (x) ----

She was an oddly calm sort. Jubei decided not to comment on it for now. Be what it may, perhaps with time he'd unravel what had happened her. Whatever magic had seemingly brought her here, it was long gone now...

A pause. Her response was rather flat. Maybe she was the apathetic sort. No, that didn't seem quite right either. Truly this was becoming rather baffling. 

"'Nother girl? Not that I had seen. There supposed to be?" he inquired carefully.

If she'd lost someone while in the midst of what happened, they could be nearby. Then again, who was he to say. There was no point in feeding any false hope into this young woman. Jubei couldn't give her a solid answer.

"I can check 'round the area but I can't guarantee anything. Far as I can see, it's just you, kid," he told her.

Surely that would have left her disappointed, worry marring her features. Even so, there was an odd lack of it. Jubei hummed slightly in thought. Something odd was going on, not with just the situation, but the girl herself.

"Maybe we should get you up and movin'. Could help you out a little."

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Wed May 18, 2016 4:04 pm

Hazama attempted not to breath too much as he neared Charity though it seemed life had a funny way of forcing the smell of cat up his nose further. It itched and ached and he could already feel another sneeze coming on. He forced it back as best he could, well aware of his own irritation spiking because of course there had to be cats involved somehow.

"I would imagine that would be the case," Hazama answered honestly, reaching for her other hand. Once he had a hold of her he'd help her to her feet, ready to get them back to the office. The sooner they got there the sooner the foul smell of cat would be gone.

Only when she was steady would he begin to lead her step by step. In the tall grass, he was certain that Charity might trip a time or two. He'd be surprised if she didn't.

"Come now, we can get this all sorted out in at in the nice, safe Library instead of out here," he suggested. "Never know what might just be waiting to make an ambush at such a pretty face."


----[x]----

Nell should have been frustrated, she knew it, panicked even but there was nothing... Nothing. That too should have set off so many more feelings and yet... Nell's frown deepened even as she moved to stand. Jubei would be right, even if he had not introduced himself properly yet, staying here wasn't going to do her any good.

"There was, before I was here," Nell answered. Whatever had brought her here, had it too done anything to Charity? Or was she safe, and at home right now, worrying about Nell? The thought did not strike the cords it should have, confusion settling in briefly before it was gone in the blink of an eye again. "But if she was around she would have said something by now."

She busied herself with brushing away the dirt and grass that clung to her clothes and bag. At least the familiar items inside were comforting, however briefly sparked that was as well. If Jubei was offering to lead her somewhere, well, she saw no reason not to follow. Knowledge of BlazBlue, well, while all else was fuzzy at the moment she could recall the details of that.

"How far do you plan on going...?"

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Wed May 18, 2016 5:01 pm

She listened to him speak but didn't have much in ways to reply. Instead, she simply let him take her hand and, as carefully as the both could manage, get her to her feet. She felt a little shaky, legs uncertain with the blackness surrounding her, but she would manage somehow.

In hindsight, she knew she always did.

A weight on her shoulder let her know that her bag was still with her. The irony wasn't wasted there. All she had was books and writing supplies. What would anyone think of that if they went through the bag?

The thought ran dry with his words. Was it dangerous here? Charity had only known bits and pieces of this world, nothing in a far wider spectrum. At least, she hadn't had the chance.

"Ambush? Are you serious...? That wouldn't actually happen, right?"

The brief silence that followed left her a little panicked if she was honest. Still, the complement was not quite wasted on her. She could feel her cheeks warmed a little and tried to ignore it. Such things she used to think were wasted on her. It was odd to hear it even now.


---- (x) ----

There was a moment of some kind of reflection. He wasn't sure what kind it was, but it was there. That was a brief hint of frustration but nothing more. The old cat tried not to hum in thought. Things certainly were getting rather interesting...

Eventually, she spoke up, mentioning whatever friend she lost would have said something by this point. If that was the truth, than Jubei would leave it lay. There was no need to fret for someone who might not be here.

"If you're sure. We won't waste any more time then," he answered. The cat would snort slightly afterward, "My name is Jubei, by the way. Good to meet you...?"

Jubei allowed his words to trail off while he waited on her to introduce herself. Already, he was padding back the way he came. So far, there was no trouble, but he worried that anyone around could have seen that light. Would the NOL be on it as well? He wouldn't have been surprised.

"Not too far, if your legs can carry you," he reassured, glancing over his shoulder, "Got another waitin' on me, I'm sure. Kind of a hot head. Don't let him bother ya if he's still 'round."

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Wed May 18, 2016 7:24 pm

It became clear when his warning sunk through, and it was rather amusing to see Charity's face grow white and her eyes widen. And she not expected as such? With such a burst of magic upon her location who wouldn't come seeking it out? Perhaps she'd never had a need to think of such things before. Well, a good thing that he was here then.

"Why, of course! And not just people but all manner of beasts even," he warned, if not a little too amused. Nonetheless he started them off, careful of her wobbly, cautious steps. It would certainly take time at this rate.

His amusement died as soon as it had come when another sneeze racked through him, quickly followed by another. "Damn!" he cursed to himself, barely aware he'd spoken aloud. Yes, the sooner the better at this rate. With that though, he urged her to move a little fast, even if she stumbled a little more.

"Come now, the sooner we're at the Library the better, no?" he urged as already another sneeze was tickling his nose.


----[x]----

Jubei seemed accommodating enough, though well aware that Charity being in the area was slim to none. She appreciated the honesty even if she'd have felt better, or even maybe just something if Charity was here and not in danger. But then, it was possible that she was still safe at home... Nell had no way of knowing for sure.

She shook her head, drawing from her thoughts as Jubei spoke again. Just a ways away then? All right, she could manage that. The usual stiffness or soreness she felt upon waking was no there now, a rarity but something she wouldn't question. It was one less thing Nell had to dwell on about.

"Uh, Nell. I'm Nell. It's nice to meet you, Mr. Hero," she answered, starting off after him. He was one of the Six Heroes everyone knew about it. No sense in pretending to be entirely ignorant of the world she now found herself in when it was common knowledge.

Still, where was the shock, the fear, the wariness and everything else? She couldn't begin to piece together what was going on even as she followed after Jubei's even pace.

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Wed May 18, 2016 7:58 pm

Despite the scratchiness in his throat or any discomfort he might have felt, Hazama's tone was oddly amused by her reaction. She didn't know of this place or it's people and apparent beasts. The very thought left her a little terrified.

That nervousness would soon turn into sympathy as a loud sneeze broke the seriousness of his tone. The frustration was clear in his voice. She felt rather badly about it all.

"Ah man, I'm really sorry about this," she finally commented, "If I'd a'known I'd be meeting someone who was allergic to cats, I would have worn something out of the wash..."

Whether or not it would have helped was a mystery. That didn't quite matter now either. What mattered was getting to this Library he spoke of, even if she using him as something of a guide here.

As if on point, she stumbled a little in what seemed to be a small hole, nearly falling forward. She caught herself a moment later, her heart pounding in her ears. Why was it so terrifying when she couldn't see.

Muttering an apology under her breath, Charity rubbed the back of her hand against her mouth as if that would get rid of the blush on her cheeks. This was awkward. She really wasn't sure how she felt about the entire situation.


---- (x) ----

Well, she was on her feet and not under threat of falling over, that was a start. Jubei wouldn't have to lug her to a safer place. There was bound to be others in the surrounding area. He didn't trust enough to stay here for too long.

"Nell? Well alright, it's good to meet'cha," Jubei responded easily.

Like many others, it would seem that his name rung a bell. Her words came out rather flat. The old cat decided to ignore it, however, brush it off as exhaustion. He sensed no threat in her but...There was something else.

It was a worry for another time, he figured.

"Ah, so you've heard of me? Well, that'll save you from any drawn out stories, now won't it?" he half joked, "These days, I much prefer a long nap, however."

Truth or lie, he had adopted something of a laid back persona for the longest time. At least it made others comfortable but her. There still seemed to be a lack of any expression what so ever. A frown would tug at his lips, wondering about that...

"While we're walkin' back, can ya tell me where your from or what might have brought you here? And your friend. If I'm keepin' an eye out, I'd at least like to know what ta look for."

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Wed May 18, 2016 8:55 pm

"Well, at least you have manners," Hazama muttered. Whether he sounded irritated or not didn't matter to him. He clearly was after all, having to deal with the damned allergy and the stench of cats on her clothes and hair as she hobbled along at his side.

Whatever else he might have said was cut off by a string of sneezes that followed in rapid succession, nearly forcing their walk to a halt entirely. How was he supposed to deal with this crap all the way to the the NOL? Just what needed to be seen too, when they'd reach Kagutsuchi proper--his suffering. Hazama heaved a sigh at that.

"Let's worry about the rest later then, hmm? The sooner we arrive in at the Library the better."

It was harder to keep up the amusement when his eyes watered and his throat ached. Damnit! Just his luck indeed. But he couldn't dwell on that, keeping an eye out for any idiot beasts or thieves that might accost them along the way. Perhaps it might even be easier to pick the girl up and carry her. It'd be faster, for sure, though he'd smell more of the damn cats...

"Screw it. Hold on, if you would," Hazama announced finally, stopping only long enough to scoop her up in his arms. Already he strode forward, much quicker now, indeed even as his nose seemed stopped up with all but the feline smell.


----[x]----

Nell forced a smile even though she felt nothing but an all too familiar emptiness, an emptiness that was all too much like watching paint dry. She hated it and yet she didn't, a startling revelation if even that could be felt now. She knew what all should be there and yet they would not come despite seeking them out. It was only Jubei's words that kept her from fully dwelling on it for the time being.

"Just stories," she clarified. "But then, stories tend to be more interesting than fact, am I right?"

No offense was meant by it, merely an observation of how rumors and legends had a habit of blowing things out of proportion or missing pieces entirely. Nell wanted to make sure Jubei was aware she would not assume anything of his nature based on what little she did know of him. After all, it had been some time since she'd picked up the series before arriving here--however it had happened--and with so convoluted a timeline it was hard to keep the pieces together.

She blinked, sparing a nod Jubei did not see as he led the way. Yes, knowing what Charity looked like would come in handy if he ran across her at any time.

"She's tall, short blonde hair, wears glasses." A pause followed briefly. "Usually wears a hat or jacket if she can."

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Wed May 18, 2016 9:45 pm

Charity really was starting to feel badly for him. She'd only suffered light allergies before or sneezed fairly badly before she fell ill. In some regard she could sympathize but not this severely.

The amount of sneezes that would follow was a little concerning. Hadn't she read somewhere about allergies and going into shock? Or was it something else? At that moment, she couldn't quite recall. Part of her just wanted to strip off the jacket she wore and leave it at that.

That was a thought that she never really managed to finish. He muttered something again and, without much warning, scooped her into his arms so he might walk at a faster pace. So startled, a squeak would leave her.

"I think I can handle that..." was her answer upon calming down.

Really, she couldn't find much to say in such an awkward position. Being blind, she didn't quite like how it put her into others hands so easily.

Still, she tried not to be ungrateful. She could have wound up killed by some beast...


---- (x) ----

Jubei couldn't repress a chuckle with her words. Ah, so she was a smart one? Well, that was good. Better than that empty headed apprentice of his, it would very well seem! She'd managed a smile, from the looks of it, but still, it seemed strained.

"Truth be told," he answered, "You seem to be a smart lass. I'm sure you've caught on quick. I'm just a lazy old thing."

Her explanation to her friend was simple. That would be easy to spot out if he happened to see someone like that running about. This place was quite quiet, so far. Who knew, this friend of hers could be around any bend.

"I'll keep an eye out then, best I can do for ya," was his simple answer.

The moment was at least peaceful but all good things came to an end. Jubei would pause, catching something on the wind. A beast...When he turned, it was too late to react for the girl. He'd been careless!

"Get down now!" he shouted out, the sound coming out more like a hiss, as the monster swung and Nell.

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Wed May 18, 2016 10:57 pm

If not for the allergy acting up so badly Hazama might have found it highly amusing when she'd grown startled. No, not might have, he would have. As it was, his fun was spoiled. He'd just have to make it up later, when he'd sorted that particular problem out.

"Now, why don't you tell me--" He sneezed. "--what's gotten you out in this rural little forest?" Hazama interrogated.

The sooner he figured out what the source of the magical influx had been the better. No doubt that damn cat in Sector Seven was already sniffing around as well. The sooner he was out of here and Charity had washed of this feline smell... Yes, all would be much better then. Until such a time he would suffer with this, however much he didn't wish to.

"And please, don't spare the details," he insisted. The more he knew from her account the better, after all. It might be impossible to put together the pieces elsewise.


----[x]----

Nell had managed a nod, to at least show she'd heard Jubei and appreciated it on some level. Perhaps whatever this was would pass, merely an apathetic phase she'd not realized had washed over her. It was easiest to deal with that way.

"Thank y--"

Jubei's shout cut her off as he whipped around, nose wrinkled in something akin to a snarl. Nell managed a blink before she'd started to turn, to see what it was she had to get away from. Something big bore down on her, something made of course fur and rotten breath, followed quickly by a hard impact that sent her tumbling to the ground hard.

Her mind raced, the impact of the hit, of landing there, but the pain that should have come nowhere to be felt. Nell did not think much of it, chalking it up to adrenaline before she was scrambling to her feet, to get out of the way of the beast. If she noticed something wet soaking from her shirt she hardly glanced at it.

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Thu May 19, 2016 12:06 am

The amount of awkwardness she felt now was enough. For him to ask what he had, occasional sneeze in between his sentence, left her all the more aware that she didn't have an answer. What could she tell him? Most of the bits and pieces were still foggy...

So for a moment, she remained silent. Charity contemplated with herself, trying to fill in pieces where she had yet to find an answer...Still, he egged her on about details and she had very few to give.

"I remember someone...She claimed to be a witch? Nell and I...We were pretty doubtful on that but..."

Charity would trail off, one of her hands reaching up to push her glasses up a little. Well, those were useless now, weren't they? She didn't have to worry about her nearsightedness. She didn't have to worry about sight at all.

"Some of it's all foggy but I remember her saying something about the 'by the end of the year'. Passed out, thought it all a wild dream. Have no idea where I'm at now other than 'forest', which wasn't anywhere close to the city was I was before Nell's no where to be found."

It wasn't much but it was all she could offer for now. If she took some time to think, maybe it would start to come back. Charity didn't know. She just wanted to recall what was said before she woke...


---- (x) ----

She wasn't able to react fast enough. The beast swatted her aside like a fly and the blood, Jubei could already smell the pungent scent of iron in the air. There weren't many normal people who could take a blow like that! He hoped he hadn't lost her as soon as he'd found her.

Jubei dashed to where she had landed to find her already scrambling to her feet. The blood that poured from an open wound was thick and dark against her clothing. Yet even so, she barely seemed to react to it.

"Just get yourself to some cover, kid!" Jubei called out.

A useless bit of advice, it would seem. While the beast rounded up on him, Jubei was ready to strike out, kill the thing without hassle. Yet, a familiar face would take care of it for him. Well, he certainly considered himself relived to see that flash of white hair for once. It gave him a moment to focus on Nell who still stood, looking as if there wasn't any care in the world.

"Kid, are you alright?" the beastkin would call out, "Cause most people would be passing out from that much blood right 'bout now..."

Jubei only glanced back once to see Ragna battling the beast, egging it on as if it were some massive opponent. The man could act like such a kid sometimes...

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Thu May 19, 2016 12:39 am

He wasn't sure what kind of information he would receive and so he listened intently, fighting back the sneezes that threatened to escape him once again. There wouldn't be a chance to miss what she said, Hazama would make sure of it. Even so, fighting back the watery eyes and the runny nose, it was getting difficult... He picked up his pace.

What information she did part with did not leave Hazama enlightened, however. A witch, a city and another woman with her at the time... Hazama hummed, frustrated at the lack of the puzzle pieces. He had hopes that this influx of magic would be useful but if this was all that Charity could tell him... He shook his head, sniffling afterwards.

"Well, if it's not too much to ask, keep me informed if you recall anything further," he instructed.

Through the trees he kept an eye out for the buildings of Kagutsuchi, keeping up the quick pace despite whatever uneven ground he walked over. He could easily dispatch anyone that came after them but it would be easier not to show Charity his hand entirely as well.

"A witch, though? My, my, my! How interesting!"


----[x]----

Her head swam as she got to her feet, stepping further away from the spot she'd fallen from. It wasn't necessary, she realized, the beast distracted by some newcomer in red. Nell didn't dwell on it, her heart pounding hard against her chest but even then... Again, where was it all at? She should be shaking, scared if not outright panicked. Never had she faced anything like this and yet it was all just... gone?

Nell blinked, turning to Jubei while the newcomer--Ragna, naturally, though she would not call him by name until introduced--took care to battle the lupine beast. Her head swam again, a dizziness that hit only with movement.

"Blood?" she echoed. Only then did Nell realize there was a sticky wetness to her shoulder, soaking into her shirt and trickling down her arm. It hardly had weight, the breeze that passed and teased her hair curiously not causing the blood to grow cold against her. Even then, shouldn't it be hot anyways? Where was the pain? All this hit her in an instance when she glanced down to witness the mess, a hand coming up to press against the wound.

An involuntary flinch of the muscles at what must have been pain and yet... nothing...

"I... I can't feel it..."

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Thu May 19, 2016 2:43 pm

It hadn't cleared much up for him and it wouldn't for her either. That was the shame of it all. She could hardly recall any details that were specific to the issue. She remembered bits leading up to it all but not the specifics. None of it enlightened her any, leaving them both rather deeply in the dark.

If anything, he was at least somewhat patient about it. Or as patient as he could be in this situation. Every other word seemed to bring up a sneeze. Given the situation, she really couldn't help but hope this could be resolved quickly.

"I'll do that...I'd like to get to the bottom of it all too..." she answered easily.

In reality, it might have been a bit of her own fault that all of this happened. She had so much difficultly putting a lid on her sarcasm. To the wrong person, it could all be an insult. Maybe that was why this supposed witch seemed to have done all this...

"Yea well...Interesting as it is, I probably was the one who pissed her off," she finally noted, almost sheepishly, "I don't think she quite appreciated my sense of humor..."

Then again, not many did if she recalled. Some really had a lot of trouble noting dry sarcasm in her voice. That in itself caused quite a bit of problems on her part.


---- (x) ----

She looked baffled, overly so. The old cat could only stare at the woman with his one eye, a hard frown tugging back onto his lips. Anyone would have felt that! Anyone normal, at least. Yet she barely reacted to it, even appeared confused when he mentioned the blood seeping from the wound.

Jubei trotted closer to her. Best let Ragna take care of the beast. It wouldn't be much of an effort for him anyways. If he didn't get in over his head, that was.

"You're sayin' you can't feel it at all?" he echoed the words, "Nothin'? Not a thing? Cause most people wouldn' be gettin' back to their feet after a hit like that."

If she was unable to feel that, it brought other concerns to Jubei's mind. How would her body react to worse wounds? Could she simply ignore it? What of bleeding out or exhaustion or illness? So much could happen out of this and yet, he could only guess...

The roar of the beast grabbed his attention again. It had feeling, finally killed by the man in red. At least it had been done quickly. There was no need to drag this out with the current situation unfolding.


"Can anyone tell me what the hell is going on?" Ragna would call out, looking far from amused as he approached them.

"Think you'll have to give it time to explain later. We've got larger issues on our hands. Nell, if you would find a place to sit before you pass out? Ragna, help her if you can."

Jubei ignored the scoff that would leave his apprentice. He'd at least listened and that was most important. Now, there was the matter of what was going on with this woman...

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Thu May 19, 2016 8:00 pm

Hazama's smile grew only slightly upon Charity's agreement, his satisfaction dimmed by his allergies. He'd be happier about it later then, he'd decided, when it was all sorted out. Yes, there would be no cats for her within the NOL, not if he could help it. And, oh my, could he help that.

"Oh, dear me, you'll have to enlighten me as to how you managed that too!" Hazama commented, attempting not to his agitation get to him. All this itchy throat and watery eyes business fouled one's mood immensely but allowing that to happen and to snap at Charity, well... he had a feeling that wouldn't net him the results he wanted later, assuming she recalled more information on this witch.

If a witch was involved in anyway... Hazama wasn't sure how that might effect any continuum shifts that would occur in the future... Would she get in the way or not? He wanted to know, had to know, so that he knew how best to plan and prepare for it. There were already too many key pieces to keep track of, it was just his luck another two or three had arrived as well.

"I wonder just what sort of humor a witch might appreciate anyways... Never do they seem rather fond of joking or sarcasm, after all," he noted further.


----[x]----

Nell blinked, perhaps wisely choosing to keep her hand pressed to the open wound, attempting to staunch the blood flow. Even now that she was aware of it she was hardly aware of the wetness to the blood, the way her shirt and jacket clung to her skin and the tears in her the flesh alone. Why? Why couldn't she feel the wound, any fear, or worry or even just curiosity? All that there was were vague sensations of touch, highly dulled even then... Jubei seemed as concerned and curious as she should have been, growling out the questions and urging her to sit now that Ragna was fighting off the beast.

"No, I get that. I just...? It's not there," Nell answered, her voice flat without the influx of emotion that should have been there. "I can't feel anything."

She had no time to further clarify though she had no way of doing so anyways. How else could she explain it felt like she was in an emotional fog? Worse than that even if the physical sensations were gone as well. Had that damn woman she and Charity had met actually been serious about being a witch? Nell wondered even as she followed Jubei's advice and promptly sat where she stood, perhaps a little harder than necessary though she'd hardly felt anything past the impact of behind on ground.

Ragna had already neared, his name and hers escaping Jubei as he gave orders for Ragna to patch her up. Nell might have been doubtful of his skills to, knowing that he was the one usually getting patched up. Did he even have any medical knowledge? Nell supposed she'd find out.

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Thu May 19, 2016 10:08 pm

If he was satisfied with the answer, he didn't say and she couldn't tell. Already, Charity was missing her eyesight. Not being able to see his, or anyone's face really, was enough to worry her. Being able to see something as simple as an expression could tell the entire world how one felt...

Ah, but for the moment, some amusement danced in his voice despite the scratchiness in his throat. He wanted to hear that too? Of course he did...

"She stopped us on the street, said something about showing us an exciting future," Charity began to explain. She started to pick at her sleeve, a nervous action just to keep her hands busy, "I told her I'd do the same for her with some tarot cards if she lowered her price."

Nell had gotten it. They were both poor folk and she understood the sarcasm. This witch took it as an insult but...Perhaps it was one. After all, neither had believed her words in the first place.

Charity snorted in good humor with his next words. Oh, the irony hung over her like a bad storm. If she had known, she would have been nicer...

"Yea, well...Learned that one the hard way. But I'll keep that in mind in case I meet any other humorless witches."


---- (x) ----

Just his luck, getting saddled with something he wasn't expecting again. What could he say? Seemed like odd things liked to find him at some point or another. This was different though. Whoever this woman was, she looked just as baffled as Jubei was.

"What does that even mean anyways? You can't feel? Is that even possible?" he would ask, his tone perhaps a little harsh for the given situation.

Even if he was agitated, he would do as Jubei asked, carefully prying away her hand and jacket. The woman didn't even flinch. Most people would be in agony with how tender the skin would feel, much less muscle below.


"It's entirely possible for nerves to simply not work, you know, Jubei answered. Ragna snorted slightly in response, "This is different, however. Seems to me, something might have happened? Or am I guessing wrong?"

Jubei would figure it out. He was good at things like that and wasn't a hero for nothing. Ragna just decided on listening for now as he tried to tend to this woman's wound. Still, he was baffled at how she wasn't feeling an ounce of pain.

"Sooooo, this means I can just stitch this closed and you won't flinch, right?"

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Thu May 19, 2016 11:04 pm

It seemed with time she might remember more about the predicament that led her here and of this witch. As such, he listened quietly and patiently but for the sneeze that erupted at one point. Thankfully he could see buildings ahead, through the trees. He'd be surprised if it took much longer to start hearing the bustling city life at the pace he was walking at.

A hum slipped from him, a thoughtful sound. Whatever this witch of theirs had had in mind to proposition them an 'interesting future.' Was it something to do with the cauldron and the Azure Grimoire? Hazama wouldn't put it past a witch to try...

"I see, how curious indeed," he murmured. It was all he could manage at the moment, his thoughts racing and his patience wearing thin with the allergy acting up. Already? Another sneeze racked his frame, nearly causing him to stumble.

Nonetheless he seemed to recover quickly enough, at least in terms of his pace. He could hear people now, faint but they were there. Yes, a bath for this girl and some new clothes--that would be the first order of business upon reaching the Library's steps.


----[x]----

Ragna's tone was not so surprising. From what Nell could recall he always sounded rather grumpy unless he was having a good time. Usually he wasn't. Even so, it seemed like he was going to listen to Jubei despite whatever mood he was in now with the beast slain.

It didn't surprise Nell--rather, it couldn't but she hardly had other words to describe the situation--that Jubei must have picked up on the rest of what she lacked in feeling. It was simply not physical but emotional as well, something that must have been curious indeed. ... Nell almost wished it was merely the fog of depression. Anything was better than nothing and at least that haze was only temporary. This might not be...

Nell didn't get the chance to answer Jubei just yet, peering down at the wound as Ragna peeled away the clothing stuck to it already. She could feel the clothe being tugged away from the injury, away from skin and muscle and the lacking of pain that came with it made it a strange sensation indeed. Was that all she had left? Dulled sensation?

"I don't see why a needle would hurt when this did not," Nell pointed out to Ragna. Only then did she get to answer Jubei properly. "Charity and I didn't believe some chick calling herself a witch before I woke up here. Maybe we were wrong..."

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Thu May 19, 2016 11:32 pm

He sneezed even as she spoke about the brief encounter. One was so violent, she felt him nearly stumble. At least she wasn't dropped...He was putting out a lot of discomfort to get her some place safe...

"Y-yea it is..." she finally answered, "You sure you're going to make it?"

God, she felt terrible about it all. When she had the chance, she'd just stripe the hoodie and figure out the rest later. Last thing she needed to do was kill someone because they couldn't breathe in the smell of cat.

It would seem such worries could be placed aside. Voices rang out, rather clear to her ears. So they were somewhere, this library that he spoke of, she assumed. For her, it was difficult to say. She knew nothing of the landscape beforehand, after all.

"It's so strange hearing people's voices but not being able to see their faces..." she mused quietly.

This was something she would have to get used to. It would take time and she was sure there would be conflicting thoughts but at least she wasn't dead. She could be thankful for that much, right?


---- (x) ----

Not one flinch or shout of pain. It was unreal. Ragna could only imagine what someone could get away with not having to deal with the burden of pain. Then again, wouldn't that mean strain on the body couldn't be felt either?

He brushed it aside in favor of her response. If she really couldn't feel anything, she wouldn't need to worry about stitching the wound shut.

"Well that's one less problem..." he muttered to himself.

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Jubei step closer. Curiosity seemed to glint in his one good eye. Yea, what she said really was a bit of an alarming thing...


"A witch ya say? And what would a witch want ta do with you and yer friend?"

"Good question...Unless you pissed'em off somehow." The silence that would follow was enough for him, even as he dug through what little supplies he carried, "You...You seriously pissed off a witch, didn't you?"

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Thu May 19, 2016 11:43 pm

Hazama would have taken to jogging or running if he wasn't so sure a stray sneeze might set him off balance along the way. 'Just a little longer,' he told himself, already on the right path to the NOL branch in Kagutsuchi. Just a little longer and he could sort this damn cat problem out for good.

"I'll be fine," he grunted, irritation lining his voice once more. "Eventually."

Strained was his voice in that moment, if only because he had to admit to the damn problem. And here he'd been doing just so well ignoring it for a time! For the most part, at least. Ah, but that didn't need to be dwelled upon now! At least Hazama tried not to. It was difficult with such irritated eyes and throat, however.

Her observation drew his attention away from his predicament, if even only briefly. So she was not always blind then? It was easy to infer from the statement and he was able to glean a bit more information in the process. Whatever the witch wanted, well, she'd certainly taken a price from Charity.

"So, I see. It seems the price of pissing off a witch is one's eyesight then! Curious..."


----[x]----

Having inspected the wound it seemed Ragna was now intent to seek out that needle and thread. No doubt it'd be some wicked looking thing, all curved and thick enough to pierce through skin and muscle... The thought didn't unnerve her like it would have before. Nell was even aware that her expressions were more out of habit now, dulled in how intense they might have been.

She blinked, gaze turning to Jubei as he neared again with more questions, Ragna following suit. Nell didn't even have to answer for the latter to figure out what had happened concerning the supposed witch. Before waking up the tone in Ragna's voice would have irritated her, now she merely offered a shrug.

"I didn't think she really was one," came the simple answer. "There isn't any magic or witches were I'm from. Why would I have any reason to have believed her?"

While not an answer to Jubei's question it might give him some insight while she had none. Too fresh was the incidence, hindsight not nearly at twenty-twenty yet. Or perhaps it would always be a mystery.

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Fri May 20, 2016 12:19 am

He was having trouble masking the irritation in his tone. All of the sneezing must have been wearing on him much less the allergies attacking his throat and eyes. She was thankful he didn't just drop her after all of this.

The sooner they were at this library, the sooner things would begin to work out. Or at least, for his comfort. Things would take some getting used to for her. A long, long process of 'getting used to'.

Her musing caught his attention, however, and he spoke about the witch once more. Yes, it would seem she was the cause of this blunder, though Charity didn't want to admit it.

She cleared her throat awkwardly instead before she would speak again, "So...The glasses gave me away, huh?"

If anything, it was something he'd find out sooner or later. One look in her bag would be written word and not braille. The man was naturally curious, she knew that much. Keeping things like that from him would be a task in and of itself.

Despite it all, her words were uttered in a joking way. As much of a defense mechanism as it was, it at least meant that there was some semblance of normalcy still in her.

"She should have just taken away my humor if it bothered her so much...Ha, I shouldn't say things like that. My luck, it'd be the next to go."


---- (x) ----

Well, that answered that question, however easily answered it was. Jubei seemed a little worried about it all. What she said, no witches where she and this 'Charity' came from. It could all spell bad news.

"No witches, eh?" his mentor echoed, "Then you were both pretty ill prepared to be dealing with this situation. I worry your friend was probably dragged along with you, wherever your from. Most witches aren't forgiving people."

"Right, so, two people pissed off a witch? Sounds like the beginnings of a bad joke."

It was the only thing Ragna could think to say. Whether or not it helped the situation didn't matter.

He paused, finding the needle he was looking for and flashing it to the woman who Jubei called 'Nell'. If there was any ounce of pain, she would feel it through this, Ragna had no doubt. It would only take him a few moments to prep it. This was something he'd done in the past, way too many times to count.

"I'd ask if you're ready but you don't feel pain, so. Lets just get it done with."

With that said, he would start, needle easily puncturing skin and muscle. Even after all that and now this, she'd barely blinked at all.

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Fri May 20, 2016 12:40 am

Hazama allowed a throaty chuckle to escape him. Yes, her glasses had been a clue but who was he to say? He'd seen a person or two wear glasses without lenses because they'd "looked better with them" according to their word. Hazama had merely figured it was a similar situation, taken on the word of a friend or family member.

"Perhaps," he humored, if only to keep her talking. The more he heard the more he might learn, however unimportant Charity might think her information was. Truth be told, he was also quite curious of her belongings, but then, he might figure that out when she bathed that cat stink from her.

The people around them had grown in number as he walked, all manner of conversation reaching his ears. Hazama hardly bothered to listen in right now, perhaps a bit of a rarity, given the way information could be overheard so easily, but for now his interest lay in Charity and the magic that had brought her here. Yes, magic could be useful and powerful indeed... Best not to let a witch's 'gift' get away if he could help it.

"My, I would think many things more precious than humor. One's hearing, for instance," suggested Hazama further.


----[x]----

Nell hummed, if only to show something about the predicament she was in being shared by Charity. Why wouldn't she be here as well? She'd pissed off that damn bitch too, after all. Or maybe that was the witch's game, to separate them and leave them all the more vulnerable. Who knew?

"Well, hopefully then she found someone to help her," she said finally. Hopefully...

She blinked, turning to inspect the curved needle Ragna finally managed to fish out. Never had she seen someone's flesh being stitched up before and if she felt no pain from it, why not watch? Even now he was busying himself with sterilizing the needle before he'd thread it and turn back to her bloodied shoulder. While he'd done that Nell pulled her hair out of his way, blood already stuck to much of it.

"Take your time," she said nonetheless. She'd rather not have a rushed job of it and have an infection later because of it. Even though she said this Ragna had already gotten to work, the needle pushing through skin and muscle that followed a strange sensation indeed. The thick thread that would serve as the stitches following after even stranger. Without the pain here to cause her to flinch as badly as she would have normally, Nell found her arm twitching in response instead to particularly noticeable spots.

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Fri May 20, 2016 11:36 am

That seemed part of the reason, if his chuckle was anything to go by, and that was enough for her. Of course, more clues would no doubt be noticed, stumbling about, placing a hand on the wall as a guide. She was already check marking all the ways in her head.

At least he'd managed something of a chuckle despite sneezing. He wouldn't have to deal with it long, she hoped, the sound of other voices growing louder with every step.

He had a point. If it had been her hearing, it would have terrified her more than being blind. The very thought of not being able to hear when she enjoyed music and the sounds around her. Oh, she would have been devastated.

"Well, ya got me there," she answered, blinking sightlessly upward at him.

Voice and a hustle and bustle were a bit overwhelming when she couldn't see anything. She grew quiet for a moment, just trying to take in the scents and sounds.


---- (x) ----

The reality of it was that girl could have been found by anyone. He could only guess what she might have been saddled with in terms of this 'curse' and how that would effect another person. If that beam of magic had been seen by anyone unsavory...

Jubei must have read his mind. Not a moment later, the old cat would speak up about it,
"I'll keep an ear out for anyone found with some kind of...abnormality caused by a witch. We can only hope the NOL hasn't stumbled across that one, however."

"It'd just make everything a hell of a lot worse," Ragna commented. If they did find that one, what could stop them from finding another?

It was a fleeting thought as he concentrated on stitching the wound closed. Normally under any other circumstance, he would have been a little more careful. Given that she barely felt anything, he could rush the job a little just in case. He'd seen that beam of light too. Who else might have in the area?

Jubei kept an eye out for him, the occasional scent taken in on the air. At least things were quiet for the moment. It gave Ragna all the more incentive to finish up the job as the minutes ticked on by.

"There," he finally announced, typing and cutting the string with ease, "Just some bandages and you should be good to go...Probably going to keep an eye on it though, if infection comes up. Since, you know, you can't feel shit right now."

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Fri May 20, 2016 9:51 pm

Up a head he could see the NOL headquarters in the distance, growing ever closer with Hazama's swift steps. 'Just a little longer now.' It was the mantra he told himself, to best ignore the allergies. It was the easiest way, to be honest. If he hadn't been so focused on the thought he might have snapped at Charity more. It was through sheer will that he hadn't.

He allowed a half-hearted chuckle to escape him as answer. Yes, he did, didn't he? Not that Charity knew how much he 'had' her in this situation. Not that he would elaborate on that. No, no, no, that wouldn't do him any good at all!

"Perhaps," he relented instead. A simple answer if only due to the cat stink still causing sneezes to wrack his frame now and again.

He would grow quiet then, allowing her to brood for the time being. The short way to the NOL HQ that followed was better this way, if only so he could not breath in what caused him so much agitation and agony. This way he could regulate his breathing better, avoid the smell filling his nostrils so often. Even then, it was with great relief when his foot would make contact with the first step to the NOL building.


----[x]----

Though Nell hoped that Charity was safe she knew all too well what sort of people littered this world. It was just as likely that someone with ill intent might have found her over someone who had her best interests in mind. Nell would have worried if she could, perhaps grown hasty in finding her. Without the emotion to hinder logic, she knew better however.

She said nothing in return however, not sure how to respond even. Without feeling for a driving force Nell found herself rather... at odds. Should she try to fake it all? That would be an effort in and of itself for sure, but what would happen if she didn't? Nell didn't know either way.

The tugging and piercing of needle through muscle continued through the conversation, mostly between Jubei and Ragna now it seemed. It was hurried thing, Ragna probably wanting to finish it and be done with the ordeal entirely. Nell didn't mind, rather she couldn't but that was besides the point she figured. The sooner it was done with the better, right?

"Oh, right... That would be a problem..." Nell blinked once, then twice. "Can't imagine I'd know its infected until it had puss and shit oozing out of it."

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PostSubject: Re: BlazBlue :: I'll Follow You :: 1-on-1   Fri May 20, 2016 10:29 pm

The sound of his chuckle reached her ears for a brief moment, another response before he fell silence once more. Well, as silent as he could manage. Another sneeze would wrack his body and she nearly felt every tremor that went through him.

Voices reaching her ears was leaving her head to ache a little and her heart started to race. Too many of them, and she couldn't see a one. Already, she hated being put into that position.

"There's too much noise..." she muttered briefly.

If she could avoid crowds or a group of people, maybe she would. The scents and sounds were overwhelming. If just this one instance was giving her trouble, then she could only imagine what would happen later down the road.

There was more to worry about right now, however, and as some of it would quiet and footsteps were more prominent in halls, she relaxed a little. The sound of footsteps, for whatever reason, never grated on her nerves...


---- (x) ----

It had taken some time but the wound was at least closed. Wrapping gauze around would keep it clean. The rest was up to her body, however strange it was acting right now. Why would a witch take away pain of all things?

"Yea, not cleaning that up if that happens..." he commented lazily, pulling back.

He glanced over at Jubei, offering a shrug of his shoulders. There was at least no trouble abound now. Moving on would be easy if Nell could manage it.

"So, can you walk?" he asked then, voicing his thoughts.


"If you can't feel, we'll have to keep an eye on ya, kid. Can't risk ya fallin' over on us. If ya want to take the caution and rest, we'll find a place."

With this situation, of course Jubei would act with caution. That injury wasn't meant to be taken lightly. It was her decision, however, and they wouldn't force her to do anything she didn't want. At least, not while Jubei was around.

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