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 The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)

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Falcon the Doomed

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Sat May 17, 2014 8:55 pm

Catching the book just before it bounced off her body, she gave the cover a quick look. It appeared to be Greek or something. At the very least, the lambda was a symbol she recognized. It had to do with isotopes or something. Shrugging, Ashleigh grasped the book in her arms and followed Lotte towards the check out section, leaving behind the piles of books carelessly tossed to the floor. Once they reached the counter, she laid the book upon it and stepped back. "… Oh, right, my ID." Reaching into her blazer pocket, she procured her identification and slapped it down upon the desk. "I would like to check out this book, please."

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Sat May 17, 2014 9:03 pm

The ill-mannered librarian, just as unpleasant as their last encounter, glared at Ashleigh from over the rims of her glasses, which connected to her neck via two chains of fake pearls. She then glanced at the pile of books they had left, where Lotte still stood, and pointed a skeletal finger. "Clean it up, you messy hooligans." was her vitriol, a caustic tone. "You girls are terribly disrespectful, leaving that aisle like that. When I was younger, doing that would get me a slap across the wrist or two. Now get, clean it up before I throw you out."

Lotte was taken aback by the librarian's words. She bent down, making sure to be in the vision of the nasty woman, and began to collect the texts.

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Sat May 17, 2014 9:25 pm

"Alright, alright, jeeze." Turning her back on the librarian and rolling her eyes, she headed back towards the aisle they had been in and helped Lotte pick up the discarded books and put them back on the shelves. "She's such a bitch, isn't she?" She made sure to whisper this, though. Sighing after they had finally cleaned up their mess, she looked at Lotte and gave her a slight smile. "Okay, that looks better. Let's go check out, alright? We don't want to miss this deal."

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Sat May 17, 2014 9:36 pm

Lotte smiled at their work, swiping her palms across each other as if the book clean up were a messy job. The lady at the counter had to look over Lotte's shoulder to see if the mess was indeed cleaned, before taking their IDs and scanning them. She gave them the books and narrowed her eyes. "I look forward to seeing these returned, ladies." she said in an almost threatening manner. Lotte nodded. "Yes ma'am." replied she, in the most polite voice she could muster. She would enjoy stealing these books.

Lotte was constantly looking outside to check on the time. They could still make it, but were losing daylight. It must have been around eight o'clock. The man had to be there, but it was a bit of a walk.

When they're scans were completed, Lotte grabbed Ashleigh's wrist, and just as they had come, she began to run, ignoring the protests from the librarian.

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Sat May 17, 2014 9:57 pm

Well, at least that was done with. With the books checked out, Ashleigh didn't care at all now that they weren't going to be returning these books. That librarian was a bitch anyway. With their books now being held snugly, they needed to get back quickly, lest they miss out after all that trouble.

Lotte grabbed Ashleigh's wrist and started half dragging, half running her back towards whence they came, but she didn't really need to be forced to run: running was what she did best. So she picked up the pace, getting a couple steps ahead of her friend, though no more due to the grasp still upon her wrist. "We've gotta get there fast, Lotte! I can run pretty fast, you know. I can take your book there for you if you want, so we don't miss out. Unless you think you can keep up with me." There was a challenging glint in her eyes, but just of a merely friendly competition.

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Sat May 17, 2014 10:11 pm

Of course, Lotte did not know of her power at the time. She took this as a challenge. Without consulting Ethel, who was also running beside them in a dress, she grinned. "Oh yeah? Well, I can run faster!"
And with that she darted through the gates and down the path to Rosebury at a faster speed. She ignored the burning in her lungs, she did not wish to lose. Damn, though, she should have joined the track team...

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Sun May 18, 2014 3:16 pm

It would seem to be that someone did not know of Ashleigh's sweet powers. Sighing with a knowing grin, she gave Lotte that head start before heading off at a run. Now, she couldn't run at super sonic speeds, but with her almost-endless stamina she could run at faster speeds without growing exhausted, which gave her the advantage. It didn't take long for her to easily overtake Lotte, giving the girl a small wave and a grin before she turned on the backburners and scorching past towards the merchant.

Ashleigh reached where they had left some time previously much quicker than Lotte did, standing there and pumping her fist in a friendly victory. Luckily, the man was still there. "Hey mister!" she called to him, standing in front of him proudly with the book in her hands, arms outstretched. "I've got a really interesting book for you, just like you wanted! And the other girl has one too! She'll be here real soon, don't worry."

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Sun May 18, 2014 3:38 pm

And sure enough, Lotte did appear, bounding up to Asheligh in a weak, pathetic stride. She panted vigorously, hands to her knees. "How...did you...do that...?" she asked, wiping her forehead with the back of her hand. As she caught her breath, and as Ethel appeared over the horizon in a desperate need to catch up, the merchant grinned. "Ay, a promise is a promise. What did you bring me?"

He took the books from the girls, examining the covers. "Oh, these are splendid! How did lasses such as you get these?"
Lotte, who had regained her steady breathing, straightened up, raising her arms behind her head so that her elbows were to her palms. "That is classified information. Just give us what you promised, sir."

The man seemed to think for a moment, looking through the book he had taken, before shutting it. "On second thought, I think I will reconsider." said he in a lower voice, a deeper tone than before. He raised his hand and touched his middle finger to Lotte's forehead. She immediately sunk to the ground, an exhalation coming from her as her eyes dulled, in a similar fashion to if death had overcome her. He turned to Ashleigh, grinning menacingly as he hauled his pack over his shoulder. Nobody was around, for it was late. They were all inside, eating dinner or doing housework.

Everyone except Ethel, who was approaching as fast as she could. She saw her companion fall, and with a newfound energy fueled by the desire to save her friend, she ran forward. "Lotte!" she called.

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Sun May 18, 2014 4:38 pm

If Lotte really wanted to know how she did that, Ashleigh would surely tell her… after they had gotten their items, of course. And since the merchant had both their books in hand, surely they would obtain the trinkets now. "Reconsider what-" Or not.

Ashleigh's eyes went wide as with just a touch to the forehead, Lotte crumpled to the ground as if she had fainted. "Lotte!" Falling to her knees next to the seemingly lifeless girl, she looked over Lotte with concern before looking back up at the merchant, laying a hand upon Lotte's shoulder. "What the hell did you do to her?!" She should've run. That would've been the smart thing to do. Concern for her friend took precedence though, so here she was. There was also anger, though she didn't know what exactly he had done to her, but it couldn't have been good.

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Sun May 18, 2014 4:46 pm

The merchant ignored her demanding questions, smiling. "I was like you a long time ago. I went to a school for my power. But powers are weapons, and you don't train weapons. You destroy them."
With this he tapped her forehead with his finger as well. Both girls had been robbed of their spirits, and now were in the same limbo as Ethel. Ashleigh could see Ethel, but so could the merchant.

"Stop!" cried the ghost, running by the girls and tackling the merchant. He fell over with an oof, though his strength exceeded Ethel's. She tried keeping him down with all her might. "Go, enter your bodies! Quickly, before it is too late! Run!"

Lotte was in shock due to the events happening around her, and backed up, only to trip over...herself. Yes, she was looking at herself, lying on the floor. She looked dead! Taking Ethel's advice, she touched the shoulder of her own body, and it went black once more.

When she awoke just moments later, she was lying on the ground. She inhaled violently, then stood with panic. Ethel was being overtaken by the merchant.

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Sun May 18, 2014 10:23 pm

What the merchant was saying made no sense to Ashleigh. What in the world was he going on about? All that thought disappeared, however, when he touched her forehead, and she was in the same state that Lotte was in.

Her eyes widened further at the strangest sight: her own body laying unmoving upon the ground. Suddenly, a woman was running towards them, straight for the merchant… "Who… Ethel?" She watched as Ethel ran past her and tackled the merchant to the ground, shouting to them to get back into their bodies, so without a second thought she placed her hand upon her lifeless self and everything went black.

When she came to, Lotte was shakily getting up, and there was no sight of Ethel anymore, but the merchant seemed to be struggling with someone. Remembering Ethel's final advice, she jumped up to her feet and grabbed Lotte's wrist, yanking her away from the scene. "Come on, we gotta go!"

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Mon May 19, 2014 6:30 am

Lotte had no desire to run, however. She pulled against Ashleigh, reaching her arm out. "No! Ethel!" she shouted. She didn't want to leave her friend behind, she did not want to be a coward. She attempted to pull herself from Ashleigh's grip.

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Mon May 19, 2014 4:44 pm

Lotte was struggling. That made sense, of course, but Ethel had told them to run, and running was what Ashleigh did best. Tugging hard on Lotte's arm to try and get her to move, she shouted out desperately, "We can't do anything for her! If we stay here, we're going to end up spirits or dead or something! She's giving us a chance to escape, so we can't waste it!" If she had to forcefully carry Lotte out of here, dammit she would. She wasn't about to go through what had just happened again, not even for that jewelry.

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Mon May 19, 2014 4:50 pm

Lotte struggled for a few more moments, hurt and tears in her eyes, obstructing her vision and her senses. Though, she knew it was hopeless, and doing the hardest thing she had ever done in her life, she ran. She released herself from Ashleigh's grip and ran back to the school, away from her new friend, away from her old friend, away from the captor that had thrown Ethel into his sack. She did not even look back, did not even think to go back. She just kept running, past the gate, past the dorms. She ran until her lungs were exploding, until she found a niche in between one of the sheds and the wall.

And she cried. She wept bitter tears, as if her body had found itself undeserving of the water it held. She wept silently for fear of being discovered. She trembled, and for the first time in years, she was alone.

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PostSubject: Re: The Cross Country Merchant (Please Join Ilu)   Mon May 19, 2014 5:16 pm

She knew. She knew just how hard it must've been for Lotte to run away from her friend like that, spirit or not. With her prodigious stamina, Ashleigh could've easily overtaken the raven-haired girl at any point, but she held back, running yet staying behind Lotte, to watch in case that merchant had defeated Lotte and decided to come for them. A great distance was being put between the alleged captor and his escaped captees, and when Lotte slipped between the shed and the wall, Ashleigh pressed her back against the wall and shut her eyes, giving the girl a few moments to be overcome with emotion. They couldn't stay there forever, though.

"Lotte, we can't stay here forever," she mentioned once a few minutes had passed, looking in between the niche that Lotte had placed herself in. "We need to go tell the headmaster or something. We don't want him to find us here. It'll be safer if we're around others." Ashleigh's usual go-to mood was exuberance and joy. Comforting had never really been one of her strong suits. How was she going to convince Lotte to go if she wouldn't?

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