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Maxwell
[Episode] Kind of Cryptic Vk6odI4
Tracker

Name : Richard Maxwell
Epithet : Plague Rat
Age : 49
Height : 6'0" / 183 cm
Weight : 160 lbs. / 73 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Supernova
Haki Level : 3
Hitpoints (HP) : 251
Attack (ATK) : 300
Defense (DEF) : 500
Reflex (RX) : 600
Willpower (WP) : 215
Level : 68
Experience Points : 6845
Bounty : 235,000,000
Quality Score : S+
Income Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Shop Discount : -10%
Berries Berries : 279,332,375
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[Episode] Kind of Cryptic Empty [Episode] Kind of Cryptic

Mon Sep 12, 2022 1:29 pm
Name: Kind of Cryptic
Category: Episode
Player Participants: Richard Maxwell (+0), Asakura Doji (+0)
Planned Location(s): Notice and an uncharted island, North Blue
Planned Time Range: A couple of days mid January, 1829

Summary: While sniffing around for business opportunities, a shrewd entrepreneur steals happens to find an intriguing map. It holds the coordinates of a tiny island not too far from Notice. Supposedly, it is the final resting place of an eccentric baron, last of his line, buried in a long forgotten family crypt. Heirless and grumpy, he had all his wealth buried with him, rather than leave a single Berry to the living.

Or so the old story goes anyway.

More importantly though, the descriptions all mark the island as the perfect environment for a particular kind of beetle. The species is both rare and medicinally valuable. Even if the story turns out to be a myth, the island itself is still a worthy place to visit for an enterprising medical professional.

There is just one tiny problem. See, the entrepreneur considers himself far too well-dressed for manual labor. So, he needs someone big, strong and affordable to do the heavy lifting, crack open coffins, fend off vicious beasts and other such menial tasks. And that is where a certain oni wanders into the picture...

After striking a deal, the two new business partners set sail on a fishing vessel. Unfortunately, they don’t notice a shadow tailing them. The folks who consider themselves the original owners of the map don’t take too kindly to thieves, you see. It’ll be a mad scramble to see who can grab the treasures of the crypt. ...If there are any treasures to grab at all.

---

The evening sun had finished painting the ocean orange. Warm winds blew lazily over the harbor. Honest, hard working folks were stepping off the stage. Only the scoundrels and scallywags remained. Like buzzards around a carcass, they flocked to a certain bar down by the docks.

Singing Mermaid was the name of the tavern. Some would call it cramped and seedy, others cozy and atmospheric. It was all just a matter of opinion. Either way, the place was packed every night. Music and merriment flowed out from the open doors. The stench of cigarettes and ale clung to the air like haze.

Against the colorful backdrop of patrons, no figure or outfit seemed out of place. Big and small, thin and fat, rich and ragged, truly this was a melting pot of seedy figures. Indeed, the only thing they all had in common was that none of them looked like the honest, law-abiding sort...

Especially not the sly silhouette that sauntered in just now.

Dressed in a chocolate-brown suit, a lanky gentleman weaved his way past the patrons. A cheap cigarette burned between his smiling lips. A wide-brimmed hat cast a shadow over his features. In his hand, he dragged a huge suitcase with practiced ease.

With the tables full and not showing any signs of freeing up, the dapper fellow headed for the counter. People hardly glanced up from their drinks as he slithered in between them. He beckoned the bartender closer, ordering the cheapest drink on the menu. For his, ahem, frugal efforts, he got a pint of watered down ale. Or at least it was the same color as ale. Vaguely.

Taking a sip, the shady man swept his gaze across the bar. His beady, green eyes searched carefully for any promising candidates for a brand new... business venture. However, he was a discerning man with a long list of requirements. The potential hires needed to look brave, robust and... affordable. The last one was very important, see.

Between the sips, the rat mused idly. “Say, my good man...” He glanced at the rotund bartender who looked a lot like a warthog in an apron. It was the upturned nose, mostly. “You wouldn’t happen to know anyone looking for work, would you?” He inquired nonchalantly.

The bartender let out a ponderous snort. “Hrm, snrf, maybe... My memory isn’t what it used to be...” He grumbled, setting aside the mug he had been polishing. “...Buuut some Berries might jog my noggin'.” He held out an open palm.

The businessman lost his smile. He shifted a weary look between the hand and the man. Eventually, he begrudgingly dug into his pocket and dropped a handful of grumbled up bills into the greedy grasp. Some people, he silently swore, only thinking about money... What happened to altruism? Helping your fellow man?

Flashing a smile full of twisted tusks, erm, teeth, the bulky bartender nodded. “Snrf, oh yeah, I remember now... Plenty of folks looking for work...” He leaned closer for a conspiratorial whisper. “Though it all depends on what kinda work, eh? We talking about smuggling, stealing, murder...?” He questioned cautiously.

The gentleman leaned in as well, passing a whisper right back. “Oh, nothing of the sort. I’m an honest entrepreneur, see.” He insisted, trying to ignore the skeptical stare. “I just need some muscle to accompany me...” Digging between the lapels of his jacket, he pulled out a rolled up map. “...To a little island just off the coast.” He set the map down and pointed at a teeny tiny island, one that wasn’t even worth marking on regular maps.

Words: 601
Total: 601

________________________________________________________
Wanted Dead or Alive: Richard 'Plague Rat' Maxwell
Doji
Tracker

Name : Asakura Doji
Epithet : Cemetery Ghoul
Age : 18
Height : 17'7
Weight : 1,777 lb
Species : Human-Giant-Oni Crossbred
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Solo
Ship : Old Sutured Sail
Crew Role : Blind Navigator
Haki Level : 0
Hitpoints (HP) : 143
Attack (ATK) : 50
Defense (DEF) : 25
Reflex (RX) : 65
Willpower (WP) : 85
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries Berries : 1,050,000
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Posts : 80
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[Episode] Kind of Cryptic Empty Re: [Episode] Kind of Cryptic

Sun Sep 18, 2022 3:30 am
The piggish man dug at his nose with his pinky finger as he incuriously eyed the map. “Hrnk! What island are you talking about?” He curled his sausage-like fingers around the map’s corners and squinted at it for a moment. As he slowly deduced the isle that the sly devil was referring to his eyes widened, and the redness of his cheeks paled to a ghostly white.

“Snrk! Jeez sir, you’re lookin’ for that sort of muscle? They sealed that damn place up for a reason.” The man grimaced before he continued his warning. “Lots ‘a boys go over to that place thinkin’ they got somethin’ to prove. Not all of ‘em come back, ‘n nobody knows where they gone off to.”

A number of the patrons at the bar quieted down, somebody had given Murphy reason to talk about his latest fixation, best to avert your eyes and let him tucker himself out.

“Hrnk! You seem like a smart guy, if I were you I’d steer clear a’ that place. But if you’re lookin’ to crack into that omelet yer gonna need somebody big; the entrance is blocked off with thick slabs a’ stone.” The seemingly dull man now seemed lost in deep thought.

“Normally I’d say you’re shit outta luck, but I think you might have gotten here at the perfect time. A couple nights ago some huge red-haired fella was clearin’ out every bar that’d take his money, he paid mostly in funky smellin’ jewelry but other than that he seemed like a reasonable enough fella. Ya might be able to track him down on the beach.”

Of the many things the monster had been called over the course of his journey from the West “reasonable enough fella” was not the prevailing title, Notice had simply given him the least trouble, and needing a vacation the oni had chosen to go with the flow.

With his shoes kicked off and his feet in the sand, the oversized vacationer sat sprawled along the beach’s embankment, his head beneath the shade of a palm tree. Though a wintry breeze undercut the warmth of the sunlight’s rays, the oni still slept peacefully.

[npc=misc]“Hey, you there! I’m talkin’ to you, big fella!”[/npc] Doji snored obliviously, and a cabbage moth fluttered by riding the icy wind to parts unknown.

The old man looked up to the coconuts dangling precariously above the half-giant’s head, you’d have to be blind to miss them. [npc=misc]“Falling coconuts kill over fifty tourists a year! I’m warnin’ ye boy! Wake up or you’ll lose yer noggin!”[/npc]

A warrior is meant to lose his head. The errant thought slipped through the teenager’s unconscious dreamscape. He had been napping since noon, did this guy seriously think he was gonna wake up for the sake of respecting his elders?

The brat blew a bubble from his nose as he slumbered on unawares. The geezer stood and waited expectantly for a moment before storming off and muttering [npc=misc]“Ah whatever. I tried to warn ye…”[/npc]

A warning?... In this moment, one of the coconuts shook free, and plummeted down just to the side of the oni’s head, ...what’s gonna go wrong in a place like this?

Nearby, arriving at the ransacked docks of Notice…


“Man, they did a number on this place eh?” The jesterly man spoke apprehensively of the tattered conditions of Notice’s port, it seems the island had faced naval conflict recently.

“Never mind the local politics Fortunato…” The prim and proper Montresor spoke as the pair walked down their ship’s gangway onto the rickety docks. He examined his rapier, flicking its tip before finishing his sentence, “...we have a rat to catch.”

The two looked onwards towards the expansive tourist town’s streets, their search had just begun.

Post Word Count: 627
Total Word Count: 627
Maxwell
[Episode] Kind of Cryptic Vk6odI4
Tracker

Name : Richard Maxwell
Epithet : Plague Rat
Age : 49
Height : 6'0" / 183 cm
Weight : 160 lbs. / 73 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Supernova
Haki Level : 3
Hitpoints (HP) : 251
Attack (ATK) : 300
Defense (DEF) : 500
Reflex (RX) : 600
Willpower (WP) : 215
Level : 68
Experience Points : 6845
Bounty : 235,000,000
Quality Score : S+
Income Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Shop Discount : -10%
Berries Berries : 279,332,375
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[Episode] Kind of Cryptic Empty Re: [Episode] Kind of Cryptic

Tue Sep 20, 2022 9:39 am
Watching the burly bartender go pale sparked some worries. Sure, the greedy rat had heard the rumors about the place, but... Well, they were just rumors, right? Careless people wrecking their ships because they didn’t have a navigator? R-right...?

Richard took a long sip, while listening. ...Eugh, gah, if nothing else, the lousy ale washed down the taste of terror very effective. Along with everything else. He had fallen into sewage water that tasted better than this.

Once the chatty man tuckered himself out, the rat rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “So, a fellow who has just finished spending all his valuables, eh...?” His lips curled into a devilish, little smirk. “I can work with that...” In the depths of his mind, imaginary flasks bubbled with ideas for how to best take advantage of this.

Pleased with the findings, the doctor downed the rest of the ale. ...And immediately regretted it. But what else was he supposed to do? He had already paid for it. “Thank you for the tip, friend. Now if you’ll excuse me... I have somebody big to find.”

---

Combing the streets of Notice brought a certain saying about a needle and haystack to mind. Countless colorful figures wandered around. In and out of bars, disappearing down the streets, popping out of alleyways...

Keeping track felt like an impossible task.

The prim and proper hunter decided as much, turning to his less-proper friend. “We aren’t getting anywhere searching blindly. Fortunato, hand over the wanted poster, would you?”

Unfortunately, the jester could only offer back a puzzled stare. “...I thought you had it?”


Montresor’s mustache twitched. He nearly dropped his monocle at the sheer gall. “Why, pray tell, would I have it?”

Fortunato wasn’t backing down. No, he planted his curly-toed boots in place and wiggled his gloved fingers for emphasis. “Because you deemed it, and I quote, too important for my ‘grubby little hands’.”

As the gentleman’s blood-pressure rose, so did the rapier rise towards the jester. “Balderdash, Fortunato. You just can’t admit that you lost it.”

In the background, a sharp-dressed rat strutted past. Lost in thought, he failed to notice the heated exchange. Likewise, the heated exchange failed to notice him. Fair enough.

---

Despite the frankly dubious instructions, finding the ‘red-haired fella’ proved surprisingly easy. A figure matching the description lounged underneath a palm tree. What luck! ...It also became apparent that ‘huge’ had somehow been an understatement.

Being a man of medicine, the old doctor could tell that humans came in all shapes and sizes. Some folks grew as tall as 21 feet and then some. However, humans did not grow horns...

Richard stopped dead in his tracks. Fear felt like a clump of tar in his throat, which he struggled to gulp down. Well, it was not polite to judge a book by its cover... Perfectly natural, perhaps. Reasonable, even. Oh and smart, he would personally argue. But not polite, which is why he definitely wasn’t doing it right now.

After a long, silent moment of not judging, the rat finally wrestled his worries into submission. He had been promised somebody big... And somebody big he certainly got. With that in mind, he cleared his throat. “Good evening, friend.” Even his voice wore a chipper smile.

Sauntering closer, the gentleman prattled idly. “It’s a wonderful evening, no? Full of opportunity.” As he spoke, it became easier and easier to meld into the mask. “Ah, but where are my manners? I am Saul, Jaguar Saul, archaeologist extraordinaire.” He doffed his hat, lying with practiced ease.

The ‘archeologist’ set his suitcase down with a hefty thud. “And I have a business proposition for a man of your...” He fished for a polite term. ...particular talents. Good enough, he decided. “Interested?” He left a hopeful pause hanging in the air between them.

Words: 635
Total: 1236

________________________________________________________
Wanted Dead or Alive: Richard 'Plague Rat' Maxwell
Doji
Tracker

Name : Asakura Doji
Epithet : Cemetery Ghoul
Age : 18
Height : 17'7
Weight : 1,777 lb
Species : Human-Giant-Oni Crossbred
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Solo
Ship : Old Sutured Sail
Crew Role : Blind Navigator
Haki Level : 0
Hitpoints (HP) : 143
Attack (ATK) : 50
Defense (DEF) : 25
Reflex (RX) : 65
Willpower (WP) : 85
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries Berries : 1,050,000
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Posts : 80
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[Episode] Kind of Cryptic Empty Re: [Episode] Kind of Cryptic

Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:34 am
The thud of Saul’s suitcase against the ground sent a firm tremor through the trunk of the nearby palm tree. The sleeping oni opened one of his vacant eyes and twitched an ear as he tuned in to the man speaking to him, the boy yawned and stretched an arm upwards as he roused from his slumber.

For a brief moment, the monster raised his eyebrow quizically towards the slick figure that had come looking for “his talents.” With better intuition and a bit of curiosity, somebody might think to question Maxwell’s ruse, fortunately for the deceiver, these attributes are in short supply amongst teenagers and Doji proved no exception.

He seems like a friendly and trustworthy guy, I should try to make a good impression… Doji thought to himself, …he already caught me napping, that’s so embarrassing. I have to redeem myself and prove that I’ll be a valuable asset. He thought to himself.

The awkward silence between the two was punctuated by the sound of a coconut colliding with a giant oni’s skull. It seems the sly fellow’s courteous introduction had been for naught, the monster’s blind eyes dizzily rolled around his concussed skull; a large red bump swelled from the top of his noggin.

Doji’s plans for an impressive introduction were out the window, a pair of stark white moths fluttered around his head; he’d be seeing stars… if he could see! ビジュアル ギャグ! (Translation: Visual Gag!)

“Archeologist? Yo I need a doctor…” The average person would have died from the impact of that fruit, this monster still clung to consciousness, “... you got business? I’m Doji, whatchu got in mind Jaguar? You seem like a swell little fella!” The giant’s speech was slurred and spoken through a drooling mouth, it seems the first faculties to go were his manners as the large boy couldn’t help but refer to a smaller humanoid diminutively.

Within the Depths of the Archbaron’s Crypt


The sarcophagus’ place in the room was that of a behemoth, its banded marble body, sealed with steel bars, and chained into place; as though somebody feared what might escape from the enormous coffin were it to break free. A viscous globule of crimson ichor dripped from the seam of the box, splattering to the ground and convulsing in place.

The engraved face of the casket grinned eerily within the darkness of the room, its teeth almost seeming to gnash in excitement, its unseeing eyes peering into its own depths like a bottomless abyss.

I can feel myself dying. I can feel myself growing. Somewhere within the depths of the sarcophogus the fragments of a tortured memory were subsumed by the id of a primitive and abominable sentience.

Glinting like a gemstone the deep-purple colored Notice blister scarab skittered along the floor of the tomb. The abundant crimson nectar that leaked from the sarcophogus was lifeblood for these insects; unless investigated too early. As the beetle nibbled at the thick slime it was engulfed by the substance, and despite its struggle, the insect was drowned and consumed by the gluttonous coagulate.

When will I be allowed to end? I must devour everything. The chains holding the box in place groaned, as though some unknown pressure threatened to shatter them.

The sound of canvas sliding against stone filled the chamber as a burlap sack tumbled from a passage in the ceiling, falling to the ground with a wet sickly crack from within. Shortly following the bag of “meat”, a slender hooded figure slid into the room through the chute.

[npc=misc]“You’ll have your fill my liege.”[/npc] The somber boy spoke quietly into the chamber. As he tugged the sack towards the coffin he wondered why his family had been cursed with such a grotesque lot in life. [npc=misc]Servants until the end. Just like great grandmother would have wanted. [/npc]

As Marik climbed to the top of the coffin the grim reality of his chore set in. He hated this thing’s “face.” With trembling hand he inserted a key into the sarcophagus’ forehead, the ancient mechanism grinding into its position, allowing the boy to slide open the “mouth” of the sarcophagus.

Calling the “Archbaron’s” grin toothy would be an understatement, thousands dotted its cavernous maw.

Post Word Count: 700
Total Word Count: 1,327

Beetles:
Maxwell
[Episode] Kind of Cryptic Vk6odI4
Tracker

Name : Richard Maxwell
Epithet : Plague Rat
Age : 49
Height : 6'0" / 183 cm
Weight : 160 lbs. / 73 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Supernova
Haki Level : 3
Hitpoints (HP) : 251
Attack (ATK) : 300
Defense (DEF) : 500
Reflex (RX) : 600
Willpower (WP) : 215
Level : 68
Experience Points : 6845
Bounty : 235,000,000
Quality Score : S+
Income Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Shop Discount : -10%
Berries Berries : 279,332,375
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[Episode] Kind of Cryptic Empty Re: [Episode] Kind of Cryptic

Yesterday at 11:09 am
As the huge figure stirred, the rat had to fight the urge to step back. Meeting strangers could be stressful, see. Especially when said stranger could be mistaken for a creature that allegedly clubbed people to death and ate their bones... Ah, b-but that was just a baseless rumor, right? Right.

All those lingering worries were promptly smashed by the sound of a coconut crack. The crook winced in sympathy. He could feel a headache coming just looking at that. Still, it proved he had found the right man for the job. A weaker fellow would’ve gotten knocked out. Or knocked dead.

While chatting, another curious detail caught the doctor’s attention. His scrutinizing gaze focused on the man’s features, namely his eyes. Pale and clouded...? They didn’t seem to focus on anything in particular either. Could this fellow be blind, hm...?

Hiding the thoughts behind the pleasant mask, the self-proclaimed archeologist instead seized the chance. “A pleasure, Doji.” He offered a friendly hand for a shake. The gesture was purely for testing his theory. If the giant didn’t react, he would silently withdraw his hand.

Suddenly, ‘Saul’ snapped his fingers, as if with a realization. “Ah and speaking of business, you’re in luck, my friend. I just so happen to have some liniment perfect for bumps and bruises. Never leave the manor without it.” The locks of the suitcase clicked. Glass bottles chimed softly.

The salesman voiced a honeyed offer, dangling a dubious, green flask between his spindly fingers. Sweet and tantalizing. “Might you be interested in buying a bottle for the most affordable price of, shall we say, ten thousand Berries? It’s a steal, you know.” Oh, it was a steal alright... Daylight robbery to be exact.

Blind or not, a friendly smile cost nothing. Even the entrepreneur’s voice carried almost-genuine friendliness. “See, I’m planning a quick expedition to a little burial island just off the coast. Found an intriguing map to the place.” He explained, while waiting to see if the man would take the medicine offer.

‘Saul’s’ shoulders sagged. A defeated sigh escaped his lips. “The thing is, old crypts tend to be blocked off by boulders and such... And honestly, I’m more of a thinker than a lifter...” He whined weakly, before regaining his spirits. “So! I need a big, hearty fellow, such as yourself, to hoist some heavy things for me. In return, we’ll split the findings fairly.” His lips curled into a wicked smile, as he extended the dubious offer.

“How about it, partner?

Words: 420
Total: 1656

________________________________________________________
Wanted Dead or Alive: Richard 'Plague Rat' Maxwell
Doji
Tracker

Name : Asakura Doji
Epithet : Cemetery Ghoul
Age : 18
Height : 17'7
Weight : 1,777 lb
Species : Human-Giant-Oni Crossbred
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Solo
Ship : Old Sutured Sail
Crew Role : Blind Navigator
Haki Level : 0
Hitpoints (HP) : 143
Attack (ATK) : 50
Defense (DEF) : 25
Reflex (RX) : 65
Willpower (WP) : 85
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries Berries : 1,050,000
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Posts : 80
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[Episode] Kind of Cryptic Empty Re: [Episode] Kind of Cryptic

Yesterday at 9:08 pm
Those clouded pale blue eyes, like perfectly cut jewels for those crafty and exploitative types; the boy could never see the finer details of their schemes. However, astute schemers often noticed that some of the oni’s movements and perception were inexplicable for a blind person. For example, the hand that Doji shot towards Saul for their introduction; the giant’s handshake was all but bone-crushing, perhaps the rumors of man-eating mountain trolls weren’t too far off.

The boy had struggled to maintain his consciousness and sense his surroundings, but he seemed to treat making a good impression with this clearly trustworthy and upstanding gentleman as urgently as he would a duel between warriors. Got him. The boy thought to himself, after all the key to any good introduction is an extremely firm and authoritative handshake.

Where most men saw the world through the photographic lenses of their eyes, Doji understood it through his other senses, of which each was sharply honed through years of training and abuse. The trembling of the earth, the current of the wind, sound, taste, touch; these are the phenomena that formed the foundation of the monster’s worldview. It wasn’t Saul’s gesture itself, rather it was displacement of wind and the vibrations of his movement that keyed Doji into the man’s offering.

“10,000 eh?...” The boy thought to himself, clumsily counting on his slender stake-like fingers, “...Sure!” Doji wasn’t a particularly frugal man, in fact the oni had a nasty habit of spending every bit of wealth he happened upon; after all, what good was money if it wasn’t being put to use? From a foul smelling sack the boy produced a pearl necklace, likely worth at least 15,000 Berri. “Do you think this would cover it? How do you use the stuff? What is it?”

After the deal is struck and medicine applied…

“If you need help cracking a crypt I’m your guy Saul!’ The oni struck a dynamic pose and began stretching his shoulders, “I heard there might be an old burial site around here, but it kinda sounds like an old wives tale. Every time I hear about an island where boys go missing all I find are big cats and wolves...”

An awkward silence filled the air for a moment.

“...I wonder why that is?” This teenager’s naivety was supernatural in itself, “Anyways, you said you had a map, so that actually sounds promising. As long as you can set us off on the right course I can get us into the tomb, hopefully it’s got high ceilings! Do you have any preparations you need before we head out? I’ve got all my stuff over in that ship.” The large oni gestured  towards a nearby boat that seemed far too small for him.

Meanwhile, on the boardwalk…


As the pair of men strode across the planks of Notice’s beachfront Montresor grumpily ignored the tourist town’s extravagant attractions, his partner Fortunato however was entranced, giddily pointing back to one of the amusements, “Come on sir! You really don’t think we have time to take just a single spin on the Ferris wheel?”

“No Fortunato, I don’t, and in fact I think you should be fixing your eyes on the task at hand; we’ll never find the rat if you keep getting distracted!”

“Oh. Okay.” The man looked down dejectedly, like a sad clown.

With a cruel grit and mocking tone to his voice Montresor pointed towards a very drab looking establishment with a simple sign reading “Murphy’s Law.”

“Never hurts to check a tavern eh?” He swung the door open, beckoning his captive audience member to sadly shuffle his way into the shack. As the two made their entrance into the bar the more privileged and fancily dressed of the two strode confidently up to the bar, his broad shoulders swaying with his walk.

“Howdy sir, a glass of your finest rum for myself and one of grog for the sad fellow tailing me. I don’t suppose I could trouble you for a spot of conversation?” The posh dandy was ostensibly polite, but the drinks he ordered spoke to his elitism.

“Hrnk! I ‘spose if ye slip me a tip I could be inclined.” Murphy spoke coyly, despite being a blabbermouth he fancied himself an information broker and always tried to make extra money where he could.

“10,000 Berri. Just tell me…” The wealthy man pulled a neatly folded clump of notes from his pocket to pay the bartender, “...have you seen some rat-faced devil gallivanting around town with a stolen map?”

The bartender paused for a moment, picking a fleck of snot from his nose before speaking. “Well ‘e didn’t say it was stolen, but I ‘spose I have. Said he was lookin’ for some muscle so I pointed ‘im down towards the beach, there’s a big freaky fella down there, I wouldn’t follow after ‘em if I was…”

Murphy’s jabbering was interrupted by Montresor abruptly forcing himself free from his seat at the counter, “You heard the man Fortunato, down at the end of this beach! Moha-ha-ha!” The man threw back his rum, throwing the glass to the ground, and forced his compatriot to down the foul drink that had been foisted upon him.

The two began jogging at a brisk pace down towards the beach, Fortunato struggling to keep pace with his more naturally athletic tormentor. It wouldn’t be long before the dundering duo caught up with the sly fox that had conned them.

Post Word Count: 916
Total Word Count: 2,243
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