2 ✲ Dubious Confrontations ✲
It was an ordinary day – almost too ordinary to someone's liking. Fulfilling his daily ritual of brooding in an isolated corner of the city, Tamashiro Kurogane sat alone in a small alleyway.
Varsilis, a wealthy, average-sized city near the coast in the country of Rifjor, was home to many adventurers and merchants. The luminously sunny climate and the ocean rhythm of the pristine, blue waters would calmly dance through the air.
Next to the coast, the city walls rectangularly surrounded the inner buildings. They were cushioned by large, vegetational, lush forests having paths in-between leading to other remote, distinct regions.
Having gotten up from a wooden crate he had sat on, Kurogane looked upwards, staring into the sky briefly as the staggering shade of the buildings in between hovered from above.
He took a deep breath and left the alley, making his way through the broad, widened walkways – not even showing the slightest importance to his surroundings.
The usual chit-chat rang through the bazaars, stands and walk-in shops around him. These places sold various items such as weapons, clothing, assorted food, armor, accessories and other combat items.
Kurogane's bold, copper buckled, obsidian colored boots went up to his knees – expressing noticeable signs of mild yet evident use. They gently delivered echoes to his surroundings as he walked ever so inconspicuously amongst the environment.
Most of the houses were composed of concrete and wood, while some of them were made with a stylish blocked structure. Many of the buildings stood tall, some were even three stories high. Roads were intricately designed and made with bricks, giving the city paths an orderly look that one would admire when they'd go for a stroll.
In the city, there was an Adventurers Guild. Here people of all different kinds of backgrounds could come to start their journeys by taking quests, hoping to attain fame, along with earning money for their needs.
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There were always new adventurers and travelers stopping by on a daily basis, since the city was a rather nice place for the most part… Although the happy mood wasn't reflected by all of its inhabitants.
"It's just another one of those days, isn't it? Perhaps if I pick up a quest, I can have some dinner tonight," muttered Kurogane to himself.
Kurogane had no desire to live a lavish life, unlike many of the adventurers who came seeking fame and glory. They just weren't of any value to him. His lack of ambition and necessities would drive him to take on typical, straightforward quests at best, just enough to sustain necessary food, water and in some cases, light utility and combat equipment.
As he entered the building, his darkened eyes took in the familiar, yet repulsive sight of the adventurer's guild.
It was an average-sized, two-storey building. The floor, although composed of wood, was finely created and implanted, absent of any creaking as individuals like Kurogane ambled around within the fine-painted, multifariously designed guild walls.
From one of the walls hung a large board where quests, written on small pieces of parchment, were posted daily. Adventurers would have to take a request form to one of the four guild managers in charge at the counter for verification.
The second floor consisted of meeting rooms and space for additional file storage since every quest, whether completed or not, was recorded and stored away.
The five glistening lamps that were lit on every other wall of the first floor gave the area a lively, positive vibe, making it a cheerful place to visit.
Having entered the guild, Kurogane saw various groups and parties talking and laughing together – men and women alike. Though it was nothing out of the ordinary, this only made him groan in disgust, as he saw it as nothing more than a waste of time, or rather something that would lead him to another shortcoming.
One of the three-man parties noticed Kurogane briefly looking at them, and immediately felt uncomfortable.
"What is with that guy? Seems like he's going to kill someone just with that look on his face!" said one of the party members.
"Pretty sure it's that dangerous person again. You know... the one everyone occasionally talks about? They call him 'Satsujin' if I'm not mistaken," said a random man who walked next to the party.
"I would assume so, but hey, keep your voice down. We don't want anything to do with him right now," whispered another party member.
Having picked up most of what they said, Kurogane didn't bother to show any sort of response, continuing to walk as he thought to himself.
"Friends? Party members? Don't make me sick. It'll only end the way it always does for me."
Kurogane commonly received the same kind of attention anywhere he went due to his misunderstood past. The combination of his mild, neutral undertone white skin, and pitch blackened, lengthy stranded hair stood out of the norm with his dark clothing, but perhaps it was his dim, lifeless demeanor that drove others to feel so uneasy.
To sum it up, he was quite handsome but his mood and intimidating expressions would turn off the majority of people around him. This caused rumors to spread, often fueling the fire of the wrong idea people already had about him.
Most of the surrounding people cautiously stared at Kurogane as he went and took a small quest from the board to slay ten field boars. These quests were common since the creatures usually overpopulated in the surrounding jungles. He would have to return with ten pairs of their tusks as evidence of completion.
Kurogane could feel the tension in the inhumane looks people gave him, but continued to one of the counters for his quest verification, paying no heed.
"Tsk. I should have kept my hood on while coming here" he thought, looking down at his dark blue cloak.
There were two men and women in charge of the guild's affairs. The two females, Irina and Illia, were twins, so they looked almost identical when wearing their work uniform.
The two men working were very different from one another. One of the older ones, Seth, always had a bold, serious look that wouldn't necessarily give a hateful aura, but would certainly startle some individuals.
It was quite ironic since medium, grey hair and a miniature mustache would normally evoke wholesome, grandfatherly vibes, which was not the case for this middle-aged guild manager.
The other one had everyone call him Dante. He was utterly awkward and would get nervous for unknown reasons while maintaining his questionable yet somewhat welcoming smile. His wavy brown hair topped with his young appearance didn't seem to change this vibe in any way.
They both wore identical uniforms as the guild ladies but were obligated to have dark blue vests instead of dark green, standing nearly at the same height, just a few inches taller than the twins.
Every manager had polished, dark brown dress shoes and a badge that was attached to their chests, including a ruby red necktie to top off their formality.
Their lustrous badges were golden and had a pair of wings on its sides – the wings of the city's pride and love for their freedom and tranquility. Each had their names inscribed on them for general recognition.
"Well well, look who it is," mumbled Seth, raising an eyebrow.
"C-Crap, him again?" said Dante in a worried manner.
One of the twins, Irina, turned her head towards the conversation and frowned in disappointment.
"If you both are going to chicken out like toddlers, I'll go ahead and take care of it."
Both men looked away in embarrassment as Kurogane began to walk towards the counter.