OOC: Okay, now that I'm finally accepted, it's time for me to post here and for the GM to add me to the list. And I know my character is from Cerulean Coast, but since he has some business with Avery, I'm placing him in Saffron Junction (on a real errand for Nautia) for the time being.
The sun had just set, and the sky was a deep shade of blue, growing progressively darker as time went on. At this moment, Cormack was riding on horseback along the roadway, which lead through a patch of short grassy hills. The small, boyish teen could only reach into the stirrups with his toes, but the friendly yet skittish mare he was riding on didn't provide too bumpy a ride. Up ahead, the firelights of Saffron Juction flickered about, and the occasional silhouette of a person wandered past. There was a little patch of orange sky on the horizon beyond those lights, a patch that was slowly fading into the night.
Taking an occasional glance behind him, Cormack could see the bright yellow moon just beginning to rise above the sickly trees of the Lavender Swamp. But every glance he took back there only made him want to arrive in Saffron sooner. Just a while ago, he had ventured out to the edge of this swamp, for the first time in about eight years, but even then he couldn't get within a hundred feet of the macabre wetland. This was mostly because of his horse, which he had borrowed from Lady Nautia's castle for purposes of errand-running. Every bone of the tawny equine quivered in the swamp's vicinity, and it quickly got to the point where Cormack had to fight with the reins in order to get her to step closer to the haunted wood. Yes, haunted--for at one point there came an unearthly moan from within the moist darkness, and a wisp of something hovered above the canopies. The place had to be haunted by some supernatural presence. That and/or infested with dark Pokemon. It was no wonder no one ever returned from there.
I don't know much about ghosts, Cormack thought as the buildings in the distance grew closer, or about the dark Pokemon. But I do know that fear often comes from the unknown. Or at least that's what my parents used to say. I do have to admit, there's something I just don't like about whatever it is that's in there... But no, I shall not be afraid of it. Someday I shall conquer the evil that lurks within that swamp. Someday I shall prove to the world that I am NOT the flaw of nature that is a runt. As a soldier on Lady Nautia's guard, nothing can stop me! Heh, I can't believe that I actually managed to make it onto the guard! I'm so happy... Ah, when I get back to Cerulean, I wonder if Avery will be back... I can finally have a CONVERSATION with her! An actual conversation!
And so it was with a smile on his face that the mounted Cormack arrived in Saffron Junction. Here he had an errand to run: Lady Nautia had written a letter to a bartender by the name of George Lacqueredy, and figured Cormack would be a faster delivery person than the regular mail-carrier. It was the very first thing the Lady had ever asked him to do for her, so he had to be careful not to mess it up. For a while he wondered what sort of business she had with a bartender, but regarded it as unimportant for now. He had a duty to fulfill, and he had to fulfill it regardless of the reason. Knowing the reason, especially if it was a suspicious one, could hinder his willingness to perform that duty, after all. This was something a fellow guard had told him, back when he was initially humiliated in front of the castle.
Now just where could that pub be? Cormack wondered, glancing between the letter in his hand and the jumble of buildings in the rather busy town. Though night had just barely fallen here, there were quite a few people wandering about. Cormack passed by a bum playing the accordion on a corner, a middle-aged woman pushing a wheelbarrow full of cabbage, a group of businessmen having a heated argument over who-knew-what... It was no wonder they called this place a "junction", as it was a crossroads for not only different places, but different ways of life.
After a few minutes of wandering, Cormack started to grow anxious. How was he supposed to deliver the letter if he couldn't find the bloody pub? He thought about asking someone where it was... but Lady Nautia had told him that Lacqueredy's Pub was the most famous pub in town, so he would feel like an idiot asking a question with such an obvious answer. After all, he had only been here once or twice before, and both times he had only been to the very northern edge of the town, where there was a marketplace where lots of delectable produce and interesting knick-knacks could be found. And only once had he had a drink here, and that place had such an unfriendly atmosphere that he never went back to it. Hopefully Mr. Lacqueredy would be of the friendlier sort. Maybe while he was there he could have a little drink, to celebrate his new position on the guard.
In a desperate effort to find the pub, Cormack stood up on the saddle, wavering a bit at first to catch his balance. He scanned around the area, hoping to find a clue... alleyway, kiosk, unknown building #1, unknown building #2, another kiosk, flute player, alleyway again, fiddler... wait a minute... Cormack got another look at the second alleyway, which was lined with cobblestones. Something light had caught his eye... A young lady with light braided hair, with very warrior-like clothing and... yes, that was Avery. He was absolutely sure of it. Of course, he only got one second's look at her before gravity won him over...
He landed on his side, bracing his fall with the side of his left foot and the meaty part of his forearm. It stung for a bit and he was sure he had left a minor scrape on his elbow, but other than that he was fine. Standing up and brushing the dirt off of his clothes, he refused to look at any of the people nearby. After all, he had learned that avoiding people's gaze was the best way for him to avoid humiliation, to avoid being provoked into arguments or fights. Instead he went right back to the horse, leading her along the street towards where the alley was. Where was it again? He lost his sense of direction when he fell.
When he turned the corner, there it was: Lacqueredy's Pub, in plain sight on the wide street before him. He made it. But there was no time to waste. He had to catch Avery before she disappeared somewhere. Spotting a nearby post, he hastily tied the horse's reins to it, mentioning something about being back soon. Then he crossed the front of the pub and peered into the cobblestone alleyway right nearby...
Avery wasn't the only one there. There was a man with her--a rather large and brawny one at that, though Cormack could only see his silhouette. No, it couldn't be. After all those years he sought after her, she was already taken?!? He could have sworn that she was single all this time... but perhaps there were things about her that he had yet to learn. At any rate, Avery was currently saying something to this man... so he paused to listen.
Initially, due to the noise in the street, he could only make out occasional words--like "Port Vermilion", "Sir something", "expedition", and "passed away". Using the shadows in the alley to his advantage, he ducked and crept behind a series of burlap sacks lying in the alley. As he did so, he kept his spear horizontal and low to the ground beside him, because at this point he was paranoid about people trying to steal it, especially with his new Poke'cite inside. As he crept closer, he began to make out more parts of Avery's speech. Then, at last, he got to a point where he could just barely hear what she was saying:
"...told him that I would be passing though town while completing an errand for Lady Nautia,” she was saying. She paused for a moment before continuing. “I knew he would never let me stay if he knew my real plan, plus as soon as Lady Nautia realizes tomorrow that I’m gone she’s bound to send some of her guards after me and I didn’t want him getting in trouble for helping me, so I lied.”
Avery was running away? How could that be?!? At the sound of the word "lied", Cormack placed a hand over his mouth to prevent himself from audibly gasping. His heart was beating faster now, and he had to try hard not to panic. But why? Why was she going to be "gone"? And just what was her real plan? Cormack sincerely hoped she wasn't planning to leave Cerulean forever. No. After all the trouble he had gone through to get into the guard? No, that just couldn't be.
“When you came up to me tonight," Avery continued, "I knew from the second I laid eyes on you that you were from Cinnabar. So I…I played you in order to get you to helping me. I honestly don’t know the first thing about surviving on Cinnibar but I do know some things about Bonsai that might be help full to you. I understand if you don’t want to help me, but the deal is still on the table."
She was going all the way to Cinnabar? But why? In his surprise, Cormack rose up a few inches. As soon as he realised what he was doing, he dropped back down again... only to have his hand slip on a fallen tin can, making a cluttering noise as the can rolled out from behind the pile of sacks.
Knowing that he had been discovered, Cormack froze in his place, now visible in the spot where Avery and Vyk had previously not been looking. His head was perking up above the burlap sacks. His spear was lying on the floor beside him, the tip visible from just past the sack pile. A glint shone from it just below the tip--a yellowish glimmer from some sort of gem on the shaft...
"A-a-avery!" Cormack stammered. "I-I-I was... sorry about the... I knew you from the... guard... in Cerulean... a-a-and I recently got a position there too and... heard about you and... well..." He had been struggling for a grasp on the right words to say, but after a short while the verbal muse had left him.