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A Land of Trials - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeby chaosshade Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:16 pm

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 A Land of Trials

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chaosshade
chaosshade
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PostSubject: Re: A Land of Trials   A Land of Trials - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 09, 2018 3:16 pm

Natalie had nearly cleared her plate by the time it was her turn to speak again, leaving just a few ribs behind when she noticed Kero had stolen Sakura's meal from her.  She chugged the rest of her drink then waved Summer over for a refill.  She rested her elbow on the table and her head on her hand.  "I said nighttime in the rest of Illinara, Kero.  Dusk has a day-night cycle like the rest of the world, but at night it's especially dark, you'd be hard-pressed to travel without some form of illumination," she explained.

"Problem is, Gloom's too friendly, he'll be happy to help... question is, what he'll want in trade," she explained.  "I've worked for him a few times in the past... not a particularly fun experience because I had to throw my morals out the window-thanks Summer-and kill without thinking," the mercenary added.  "If we're lucky, he'll be in a cheritable mood... if not, we might have to go to Aurora instead."  She took a long pull from her drink then rolled her neck.  "Gloom's big on artefacts, magic, and souls, so he'll want at least one of those in trade... I wonder which of us he'll harass though..."  Her starlight-blue eyes settled onto Sakura's green ones and lingered for a long time before she turned away with an expression of distaste on her face.

"Might as well get to bed, we have two days of travel ahead of us.  You three go up, I'll meet you there later... I wanna get in on that card game," Natalie said.  She picked up her drink and left the children to their own devices while she crossed the room to a busy table.  She paid the entry fee and the ante then settled herself at the table and began to use her magic to mark the cards she touched.  Naturally, the mercenary kept careful track of her bids to hide the fact that she'd decided to cheat.  It wasn't until she got hold of the twin decks when it was her turn to deal that Natalie realized the stakes were unusually skewed.  With twenty four face cards instead of twelve, the number of possible victorious hands leaped upward.

Even so, she marked all the cards with her magic then dealt.  With every card marked, Natalie was even more careful with her bets to prevent her trickery from being found... she didn't want to fight a table full of angry mercenaries.  They played for several hours and it wasn't until the final hand that Natalie pulled out all the stops.  She was dealt a fairly decent hand with a jack, a queen, and a ten of spades (not that the suit really mattered) and the six of diamonds and four of hearts.  She used her spell to sweep the hands and decks to check for other powerful hands, but most of the others had fairly average hands with only a full house providing any real stopping power (two aces and three kings).  Her sweep of the decks told her that, if she were lucky, she'd have a chance at the single most powerful hand in poker, a royal flush (ten, jack, king, queen, and ace all the same suit).  As other players took their cards, the mercenary grew nervous, but, as luck had it, Natalie had her chance.  She discarded the four and the six and drew the king and ace of spades.

She looked across the table at the others, who began to bet.  When it came to her turn, Natalie shoved everything she had forward.  "All in," she said.  Four other players immediately folded, but the one with the full house stayed in the game.
"Show 'em!"  he smirked.  "Full house."  He laid his cards down with a smug look on his face and reached for the heap of coins.
"Royal flush," Natalie countered.  The other player cursed and the indigo-haired mercenary began to shovel her winnings into several coin pouches.  Once the table was cleared, Natalie picked herself and headed up to the room.

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