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Desire x Destination[Travel/Training]

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Zafar

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Reim had once been a promising new home for Zafar. The coliseum's attraction to strong warriors from around the world promised him constant entertainment. However it was rare for a truly strong opponent to reveal themselves through the coliseum. An itching hunger for a real thrill was beginning to ware at Zafar's focus throughout each day until finally he realized that Reim had become a place of boredom. This realization quickly turned to decision and the assassin immediately began gathering information on where to wander off to next. That objective brought him to a seedy gambling den located in a secret underground chamber within Reim's sewers.

The establishment called itself the "Virgin Olive Lodge" and had a rather exclusive membership. Zafar had obtained proof of membership from a nobleman he had been hired to assassinate shortly after arriving in Reim. The lodge didn't really cater to the clownish man's personal tastes, but the bartender there was one of the best information brokers he'd ever worked with. There, within the scarlet clad halls of the smoky room, Zafar caught wind of rumors that a mysterious person was recruiting warriors for some big mercenary job in Kou. They were enlisting fighters by the thousands.

A storm was brewing to the east, but Zafar was more interested in a rumor that a master swordsman from Heliohapt had arrived in the city. Zafar ignored the rumors about Kou until news finally came out that a civil war had begun. Zafar had no desire to cross the ocean again, however the idea of how numerous strong fighters might flock to the battlefield filled Zafar with an insatiable thirst. A war was not his sort of stage, however there would be lulls in the fighting where Zafar might be able to single out a powerful general by themselves.

Destination confirmed, Zafar immediately headed to the coast in order to board a ship.

Travel WC: 316/600


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Zafar

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A trip to the coast would have taken several days by wagon, but thankfully Zafar knew of a wealthy nobleman that had recently obtained a flying carpet from an exclusive auction. The noble also happened to have a bad habit of beating his servant girls among other violations. One such girl had put out a hit on the bastards head for a laughably small sum of money. Zafar executed the contract and picked up his true prize, thanking his devilish luck that allowed such convenience to enter his life.  The clownish assassin set out immediately, not even collecting the reward for his murder. Wealth to Zafar wasn't in the weight of your purse, but rather in the weight of an enemy blow crashing into his gullet.

Speeding along at a flying carpets top speed made travel much faster, but it was also somewhat exhausting. Whenever Zafar's magoi ran low he would be forced to land. Although that didn't happen on the way to the coast, the liability still crossed the man's mind as he pondered during the trip. That idea along with many others such as attempting to cross the sea by carpet crossed Zafar's mind. However, he wasn't sure of his limit using it yet and decided against chancing an unwanted dip in the middle of the ocean.

That left travel by sea, and finding ships from Reim to Kou would normally be difficult. However, there was no shortage of Reim mercenaries looking to go and pillage Kou in revenge for its invasions into Reim. Zafar joined one such group of brigands in the making and set sail for a country at war with itself.


Travel Word Count: 450+/450
Magic Carpet Word Count Reduction:


Item Name: Flying Carpet
Tier: A
Type: Magic Item
Description:
A magical flying carpet that allows the user to soar through the sky. It measures 2 meters in width, 3 in length, and about 20cm in terms of thickness, making it quite flexible.
Function:

  • This magical carpet gives a 25% word count reduction on traveling topics.
  • The carpet can fly at great speeds equivalent to an A-tier flight spell, up to a height of 60 meters. The carpet can hold up to 5 people at a time before being weighed down. This function is free in social situations but costs magoi to be used in combat or when under attack. 10 magoi to activate | 5 to sustain.


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Zafar

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This was not Zafar's first time at sea, the organization that trained him was a global enterprise. He knew one thing for sure about the experience...it was agonizing. It would take many months to cross the great oceans and reach Kou. That meant six months of no killing. After all, it's a bit hard to rely on the crew manning the ship if they are spooked with sudden disappearances overnight. Zafar would kill everyone if he could, but he was incapable of sailing the ship...at least not all by himself.

The boredom was nerve grinding, so Zafar's usual pattern would be to request a private quarters and retreat into self inflicted pain to satisfy his twisted worldly desires. Ever since he had obtained, "Love" the parasite worm, Zafar craved pain and self injury slightly more often. He was almost looking forward to seeing how the parasite reacts to a feast of agony during a several month voyage. However, there was an unexpected variable to the plan...



"Are you interested in the ritual of my people?"

Sitting across from Zafar in the hull of their cabin was another man of similar build and physique. This fellow passenger was covered in bandages though save for a few exposed bits which revealed strange holes in his body. Zafar was staring at the holes with curious fascination as he dusted aside the desire to fight him for now. The ship was so full on passengers that Zafar's only way aboard was to agree to sharing his "private" cabin with a stranger.

"My name is Ateph, I come from an ancient Tribe south of heliohapt. We are of torran descent and have blood ties to another tribe in the great plains."

As the tribesman offered an explanation in a thick accent Zafar smiled and leaned back physically relaxing. Something about the unusual foreignness of the man was appealing cause Zafar to become a bit more casual with him. "Yes, I'm very interested~ That body, it looks like you've experienced a lot of pain to craft it...haven't you?" Zafar pointed at Ateph and a glint of seriousness flashed through the assassin's eyes.

Ateph looked confused at first and then burst into a heartfelt laughter. "Hahahaha! In body cultivation, pain is the way to power. It is a small price to pay." The stranger said as he held out his arm to soon display its joints all suddenly twisting in unnatural ways. It then snapped through the air sharply and a loud ringing noise filled the cabin. Zafar's entire body winced at the sound, but his eyes stayed open long enough to see the air vibrating near the tribesman's hand as it moved. As Zafar's ears stopped ringing he noticed that the man's arm was back to normal before he knew it.

Zafar was stunned and excited at the same time and let a rather pleased smile dance across his face. "I'm no stranger to pain myself...Can you teach me how to do that. In exchange I'll kill anyone you like~" Zafar asked earnestly, no hesitation in his voice as he offered to commit murder. Ateph went silent and glared at the clownish man for a moment before asking, "Anyone? Even a child?"

A raised brow peaked as the assassin heard those words but Zafar just smiled wider and splayed his open hands with a shrug, "A life is a life. It's value is up to the beholder and in my eyes an abundance in stock as led to a drop in value." Zafar spoke the truth of his mind on the matter without a hint of shame. After a few more moments of silence...Ateph agreed!

There was clearly something heavy weighing on the man's shoulders, but it was none of Zafar's business nor did he care to hear a pointless story of tragedy. All he cared about was learning more about this strange man's body. "So what did you want to learn about? The holes? Or the arm swipe?" Ateph asked as he stood up from sitting on the cabin floor.

"Both~"


Body Manip Class Training: 672/2000



Last edited by Zafar on 02/04/17, 07:23 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Zafar

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The flickering light of an oil lantern hanging from a hook in the ceiling was the only source of light in the cabin, as well as the only source of heat...normally. However, Zafar found himself sweating profusely even in the cold of night as Ateph used some strange breathing technique to produce an astonishing amount of warmth from his own body. Zafar sat across from the tribal man mimicking the way he was seated cross legged with both arms resting palm up. "Not like that, breath in through your nose more deeply. Fill your chest and feel the air push down into your belly." Ateph said in a patient calm tone in between his own breaths. Zafar had wondered how the man was able to "correct" these wrongs considering that his eyes were closed, but apparently Ateph could tell how accurately Zafar performed the technique by sound alone.

The entire point of the exercise was supposedly to prepare the body for the real training. The manipulation of ones body in Ateph's clan began with controlling the "breath" inside oneself. Once you could use the "breath" to increase the flow of blood through your limbs carrying heat from your core, one would be able to begin their first steps on the path to fleshly cultivation. It didn't seem like the assassin was cut out to practice the ways of Ateph's tribe however. Between practice, the tribal man teased Zafar for taking so long to master this most basic of steps. Apparently even the children of his tribe could become proficient in it after only a few hours of practice. Thankfully, Zafar had months ahead of him on this voyage to practice. After several days he finally mastered the breathing technique well enough that Ateph was no longer correcting him on a regular basis.

"Good, now focus on the breath inside your belly. Use your muscles to squeeze it without exhaling. Let the pressure build for a moment before releasing it. Yes, yes, just like that! Now do it again, but this time, focus on the pressure and try to imagine it flowing outward down into your legs..."

Instruction such as this continued on for a week until Zafar was finally able to increase his body heat as well. He wasn't the same radiator of warmth that Ateph had been the entire time, but his body had reached a state where it no longer broke out in a sweat from the heat the tribesman produced, but rather due to his own bodily energy. This was a sign that he was ready to move on to the next step. The breathing technique loosened the muscles and warmed them to make stretching easier. It was a sort of limbering up that made the term "warm up" have quite the literal meaning. With that stage completed, Ateph could begin the ritualistic movements that would help Zafar's body begin to develop the same sort of stretchy muscles as a member of the tribe. Zafar was to remain perfectly still while Ateph manipulated his body into all sorts of strange contortions while administering a unique massage that pressed down to the bone.

It was all painful, but to a masochist like Zafar, that was no deterrent. In fact, the assassin felt like this much pain was little more than a mild teasing. Even so, he remained silent on the matter, eagerly awaiting his chance to get the holes made into his flesh. The prospect reminded him of his 26 Rings of Pain, and the unique method of "equipping" them which involved having the rings forged directly into the flesh. Anticipation slowly built in the mad man's mind as he relaxed into the stretches applied to his body. The process took two months, but by the end of that span of time Zafar's body was capable of contorting and twisting in ways previously impossible for him. Furthermore, he was capable of forcing his muscles to stretch, dislocate his joints, and support his disjointed limb freely even though such a state would normally be considered a significant injury.

"You've done well these past few months, Zafar. To be honest, I didn't expect your tolerance for pain to be so high. In my tribe, we consider most outsiders to be weak of mind and heart. You aren't the first to take well to our ways, but many before you were broken by it. In spirit at least, few don't give up by now."

Zafar smirked as he picked at the hardtack bread rationed to them and popped a piece into his mouth.

"I'm no stranger to pain~"

Training WC: 1439/2000


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Zafar

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Months of training had changed Zafar's physique in ways that he never though were possible, however it was clear in looking at Ateph's capabilities that he was far from the tribalman's equal. It was revealed that making the holes in ones body would take more time an training on Zafar's part, but the method was revealed to him. A mix of self injury and stubborn muscle control that resisted the body's natural instincts to heal and rebuild the lost flesh along with the use of metal rings and other tools to aid the process. The tools needed weren't available on the ship so the assassin would have to wait until he arrived in Kou before he could begin working on it. Regardless, Zafar was now indebted to the strange man and had his own side of the deal to live up to.

As the two sat across from each other in the cabin, Zafar brought up the agreement they had at the start of his training. "You said that you wanted me to kill for you, a child was it?~" Zafar asked in a playful tone. Ateph's expression hardened and his eyes narrowed with a serious gaze, but he wasn't looking at Zafar. No, those were the eyes of someone peering into a bad memory. Ateph was silent for a moment and then finally spoke up after closing his eyes. "I want you to kill my son, Behtapu..." Ateph seemed to wince as if waiting for some kind of judgement from the clownish man, but Zafar didn't much care. He'd seen plenty of clients take out contracts on their own family, sometimes the closest bonds are are the most fragile, and love was often mixed with hate so tightly that they could not be separated by even an act of god.

"Sure~ I'll kill the kid, where is he?"

Ateph opened his eyes wide in surprise but after a brief span of eye contact with Zafar he gave a bitter laugh and closed his eyes once more. "He is back in my village, south of Heliohapt, close to the great rift leading to the continent of darkness. I used to be the tribal chief, my son was to be my heir but his personality was...twisted. When he learned that I favored another young man of the tribe who was closer to being an adult as next chief, he murdered my wife and framed me for the crime. Now a mere 10 year old child claims the position of chief and banished me. Due to the customs of my people, I can never return. But Behtapu must pay for his foolishness!" Ateph clenched his fists and grit his teeth, a fire of revenge burning in his expression despite his eyes still being closed.

Zafar didn't need the backstory, he would have fulfilled his part of the deal either way. It didn't matter to him if the boy was pure or corrupted. Everyone is the same when their head is removed from their shoulders. "I don't really mind killing him even if he didn't deserve it...but this ship is headed away from Heliohapt. It would be very inconvenient for me to turn around now..." Zafar splayed open palms turned up empty as he shrugged. Ateph quickly spoke up interjecting to clear up the concern. "I don't need you to do it right now! The sooner the better, but even if it takes you ten years, so long as you kill him before you die then consider your debt paid..."

Zafar raised a brow but didn't speak on the subject further. It worked out in his favor if he could put that errand off for a year or two. The war in Kou shouldn't last too long and he would hate to miss his chance there. Smiling to himself, the assassin leaned his head back against the cabin wall and closed his eyes to sleep.




"This is farewell then. It was an interesting journey, Zafar. You are not like most outsiders."

Zafar smirked as he stood on the edge of the ship looking down at Ateph who was standing on the docks of a port town on the mainland. "I appreciate your help. Don't worry about our bargain, I'll uphold my end of the deal~" He then walked waved casually and turned to return to his cabin. The tribesman was headed for his peoples distant cousins on the plains while Zafar's destination was Kou. They parted ways and the assassin continued on his journey, mindful of his standing contract for the head of a boy to the south west.

Training WC: 2000+/2000

[EXIT]


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