2017-08-09: Ghosts in Lacour

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<* Lacour - Market District *>

The Lacour Market District does not rival that of the major commercial powers of Filgaia in terms of volume or value of trade, but it the class of the world in traditional weapons and protective gear. More than a hundred individual shops line the streets of the district, each bearing its own name, specialties, and branding. Almost any kind of weapon or armour can be found in Lacour, and odds are good that anything innovative will be found here first...or make its way here in short order.

The merchants of the Market District are proud and competitive, and walking down the streets is an exercise in patience, as they bombard passersby with litanies in praise of their work and curses for the rust-ridden works of their neighbours. At no time is this competition more fierce than during the Lacour Tournament of Arms; this annual exhibition to name the World's Greatest Fighter includes considerable prestige for the merchants sponsoring their entries, and talented fighters will find their services heavily sought-after.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bqMqHag86c

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Ragnell has posed.

Lacour, being a large kingdom-capital, still bustles even after the end of the Lacour Tournament of Arms--but there's significantly less bustle than before. With a champion having been crowned and implications that the Metal Demons might come attack Lacour after that incident with Lady Harken--not to mention whatever the hell went on with Grahf and his power-up of two of the early tournament losers after the final match, though Ragnell doesn't know much about *that* incident--it's a lot easier to make one's way through the streets. Merchants are packing up, seeking greener pastures elsewhere now that the spend-a-thon here has come to an end.

One of them is no doubt the Sparrowfeathers, though they may have a stand open for any last-minute buyers, too. Ragnell's only just coming back, so she wouldn't know! She, as is her wont, comes and goes as she pleases. After she made mabo curry buns for Rose, Alisha, and Edna a while back, she grabbed a bunch and flit off for parts unknown. Now she's back, and curryless, though that might change depending on who's in charge of the campfire tonight.

"Hey there, y'all," she greets whomever she sees first that can actually see her back, hopping up and over some crates for the moving. Possibly someone might have been trying to move it at the time. Whether that's so or not, Ragnell grins. "Did ya miss me?"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Edna has posed.

Edna can be found with the Sparrowfeathers. Namely, sitting on the very top of one of their carts, munching on... not a mabo curry bun, unfortunately. It appears to be some sort of creme filled pastry. Icy blue eyes spot a certain lightning seraph making her approach, and absolutely no greeting is offered. Nope. Munch munch munch.

"..... ...."

Hold on for a moment. Edna finihes the last of it and licks off her fingers slowly and quietly. Once *that's* over with, she finally speaks up.

"Ragnell."

There. That's it. That's her greeting. She's done it. Now to sleep for one thousand years in hopes of a better world. A world with mabo curry and royal crablettes for all.

Maybe.

<Pose Tracker> Rose has posed.

The Sparrowfeathers are still around, it's true! But so much is packed and ready to leave, and the tables are pretty bare. Maybe they're done selling for the day, though there's still quite a few of them roaming around Doing Merchanty Things. Paperwork, inventory, crate-shuffling, verifying contents. The twins seem to be fixing up some old rusty swords that look like they came riight out of ruins. Eguille's talking with some farmers about food supplies. None of them can see Ragnell, sadly.

Rose can, which is no doubt what Ragnell wanted. Dezel also can, but he's laying back on that caravan over there (the second one, sharing a caravan with Edna is counterproductive to napping) and it looks REALLY comfortable. He does tip his head up and lift his hat to feign a look, though, but then settles back down as if napping.

"Hey, Ragnell! Coming over to give us a hand with packing?" At this point nobody is questioning Rose talking to herself. She's not crazy, after all! And the Shepherd is enough of a big deal. Also none of them are super weird non-believers like Rose was.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lailah has posed.

The amount of people around today doesn't seem to bother Lailah. She was used to being around humans by now. Years of hanging around with Shepherds would do that for anyone and while certain other seraphim may have a dislike for them, she doesn't seem to mind. Even in the hardest times, they are a welcome sight and she longs for the day when they can work together again

As most humans cannot see her, Lailah seems to keep to herself when she is not with Sorey or the other seraphim. She hums quietly to herself as she passes along the vendors. It isn't until she almost turns around that she notices her fellow seraphim.

Approaching from behind, Lailah greets Edna and Ragnell, "Ragnell, Edna!" She smiles and she seems happy to see them. Then she notices Rose too, "Rose!" For once she's not speaking to her from within Sorey. Probably to Rose's relief no doubt.

Looking at the boxes, Lailah approaches Rose. "Hey, you want more help with that?" She is more than willing to lend a hand it seems.

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

Claude C. Kenny is just about ready to put the city and people of Lacour behind him, if only so he can stop seeing all of those T-shirts with his face and the words 'KING OF THE JOBBERS' on them. And also because of that whole Cecilia's sacred quest thing. (But mostly it's the T-shirts.)

The young blonde swordsman walks up to the Sparrowfeathers booth in the tan jacket and white pants of a Federation Navy field uniform (though here on Cow Patty Planet it's pretty much just some sort of boring clothes). A short sabre is belted to his waist, and a heavy canvas backpack is slung over his left shoulder, bulging with several purchases made over the course of the day.

He glances at the offered wares, muttering softly to himself as he runs through his mental list. He pays no attention to the Seraphim, for pretty obvious reasons, but also to the people around him, because he's just a bit derpy.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Ragnell has posed.

Ragnell salutes Edna, two fingers together, touching her forehead. "Edna," she drawls back by way of greeting. Dezel gets a similar greeting when he peeks ("peeks") up. "Yo, Dez." ...And there he goes back to nap again. Ragnell would probably do the same thing, in all fairness. She chuckles, hooks her thumbs into the pockets of her jeans, and turns to Rose. "Nope!" she says cheerfully. Ha, as if Ragnell would help with packing. "Just comin' over to annoy ya!" She grins and winks at Rose, then selects an empty chair and sprawls onto it. The fact that Lailah then comes up to offer her help Rose doesn't change Ragnell's tune at all--at least on that matter. She *does*, however, brighten to see the Fire Seraph. "Lailah, hey! Always nice seein' ya. So what'd you think o' the tournament? Alisha did pretty good, huh? Third place ain't bad, anyway." She slides a grin over Edna's way. "Though I think *someone* might have some Opinions about that not being good enough."

As she speaks, though, who else should wander up but a certain blond swordsman who caught Ragnell's eye at the beginning of the tourney? "Hey, it's the King o' the Jobbers," she remarks as Claude mutters to himself--so nicknamed because, when he fought in his first match, which was also the opening match of the tournament, he didn't get a single hit in on his opponent save the teeniest, tiniest, babiest of punches. Despite this, said opponent had forfeit, then left without looking back. Like a total badass. Ragnell's favorite part was when Claude ran his own arm through just to get a shot at said baby-punch. Could he see Seraphim or not? She hasn't actually met him formally, so she doesn't remember. To check, she calls, "Hey there, Claude! How's it goin' with Dias? You any closer to givin' 'im a scratch yet?"

<Pose Tracker> Rose has posed.

"Would you mind terribly?" Rose asks Lailah, not spooped out on account of the fire Seraph behaving and showing up like a normal human being. Life is good as long as nobody tries to #trigger Rose. "A lot of these are food, I've got a pretty big order to fill for a certain sand pirate," she explains of the various crates (and the presence of those farmers over there), "Not to mention stocking up for our own leave! Sorey's been making weird noises, I think being in Lacour so long is physically hurting him! Ugh, adventurers, am I right? Can't stay in one place."

She assumes Lailah would know all about adventurers. Maybe she assumes too much! Or wrong.

Rose frowns at Ragnell, but quickly regains her smile. "Well, mess away, I'm an impenetrable wall today! And that might have only been third place but with all the bets I had on her I can't even lift my pouch anymore!" That's probably metaphorical.

Thought process, interrupted by Claude.

If it makes him feel better, it doesn't look like the Sparrowfeathers are selling any awful and insulting merchandise. Really the most insulting thing in the selection is the fact the White Knight Leo action figure doesn't light up like a tiny star of holy righteousness. And also Fei's nickname. But he picked that himself!

The merchant shuffles away from her Seraphim friends for a moment, propping up in front of Claude, behind the table, like a shark would when you chum the water. "Hello hello, celebrity! Sorry our tables are a bit bare, it's late and activity's dying down. For a tournament participant though, I'll open any crate right up and look for what you want! Maintenance kits for that sword, maybe? A selection of exotic spices to make your meat grilling more exciting? You-merchandise? I hear if you sign it it gets more valuable."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Edna has posed.

Thank the lord that Lailah is there, ready and willing to fufill the 'spooky ghosts helping out' quota, because Edna sure isn't helping. Dezel is mercifully spared her attentions and allowed to have his nap. ...For now. Instead, she slides off the cart and deftly lands on her feet. She pats down her dress, and then steps off to join the others. "Hello Lailah. Back from whatever it was you were doing, I see." Her closed umbrella is held against a shoulder as she glances up. "Chasing some armadillo hellion across the continent maybe?" A smirk follows.

Ragnell addresses Claude and that gets the earth seraph's attention. She looks, and then blinks slowly. "... Oh. It's the man himself." She denotes aloud. "Brave Sir Claude. Master of the Art of Jobbing." A faint smile forms. "I never thought I'd get the chance to see him up close." At that point, the girl approaches, and then just starts studying him up close. "I wonder how hard he's had to train to get so good at what he does...?"

It's not nice to talk about people who can't see you, kids!

<Pose Tracker> Rose has posed.

"Edna!" Rose protests, turning to stare (down) at the littlest Seraph as she approaches. "Don't insult my customers! ... at least wait until they're done buying, sheesh!" It's just good business, you know? "Besides, wasn't he part of the group that fought off that big Metal Demon? No one who does that could be a jobber in my book." Lady Harken going on a bit of a rampage was pretty hard to miss when your job is being in Lacour all day selling stuff.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lailah has posed.

Lailah smiles at Ragnell's greeting. "Good to see you too." As to the question of the tournament she nods. "It's not surprising actually. She really does try her hardest... in everything." Maybe even to a fault but the fire seraph doesn't add that much.

"It's okay Rose. I don't mind!" Lailah raises her eyes to the remark about the food. "Sounds like a lot of work Rose." While she knows it's her job, at the same time she didn't want the girl overdoing it. For now, Lailah doesn't remark about the pirate but a look of concern does pass about Sorey. "Weird noises..." She looks away thoughtfully. "...well, I know how things are for him."

"Edna, you know me all too well." Lailah laughs. "You know, it's veeeeery important to find the perfect curler." Could be a full time job if they didn't have a bigger issue on their hands. Whether or not that is actually where she has been though is another story that she doesn't elaborate on.

When Claude approaches, Lailah sets down the boxes she was helping Rose with, hoping not to freak him out too much. "Uh... I am not sure he can see us." The fire seraph approaches a little closer to Claude. If he has any senses, he will no doubt feel her presence.

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

Claude C. Kenny...!!!!

...cannot see Seraphim, it seems. He keeps on looking at stuff, reaching out his left arm to poke at the White Knight Leo statue, a faint grin sliding onto his face as he beholds the merchandise of his final opponent. Given how closely she watched that battle of the Tournament, Ragnell might be interested to note that his forearm bears no visible marking from the really rather horrific injury he dealt himself; his skin is evenly tanned and bears not even the faintest of scars.

(Short version: Nedian healing is OP as all get out.)

The young man eventually looks up when Rose speaks to him, offering her a bright smile that fades to a resigned grin when she mentions his less-than-willing celebrity. "I've been signing the stuff for kids for free, but resellers are 100 Gella apiece," Claude offers, a little more shrewdly than might otherwise be expected of him. (It's possible he ran into Lemina at some point.) He hitches his back up on his shoulder, then gets down to business. "Anyway, I'm looking for an area lantern, preferably something light. Doesn't need to be too..."

Claude trails off as Rose starts talking to... nobody. He stares for a moment and then leans in close. "Uh... are you okay, miss?" he asks. "I don't mean to be nosy, but it's pretty hot out. Do you need some water, maybe?"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Ragnell has posed.

"Mmmm. Are the ruins callin' 'is name?" Ragnell says wryly of Sorey. "There's plenty to explore, even around here. But I bet he *would* want t' keep traveling. Not much to stay around here for with the tournament done... an' I happened to hear rumors that the Metal Demons might be headin' west sometime in the near future." Her smile fades. "That's somethin' to keep an eye on either way."

She snorts at Rose. "Impenetrable, huh? You're just lucky an even juicier target showed up," she drawls, nodding at Claude, "or I'd take that as a *challenge*." ...So she says, but Ragnell doesn't actually get up out of her seat.

She does laugh outright, though, when Edna hops down from her perch to circle around Claude while mocking him viciously. Yeah, doesn't look like he can see or hear any of the Seraphim at all! "Sure doesn't look like it, Lailah!" she says cheerfully. "But you're right, it's not surprising she got that far. Alisha's best point is her tenacity." Huh! Ragnell? Saying nice things about people?? Maybe it'll snow next. Of course, it's perhaps notable that Alisha isn't *here* to hear it... Though then again, Rose is right there, too.

But! There is a Claude to invisibly harass. Ragnell mentioned the injury to his arm, and she expected it wouldn't be as serious as it looked with all the charms and wards and whatnot that had been placed in the area to keep anyone from dying, but there's not even a scar. Huh. The elf, Rena, had gone down to heal him, Ragnell knows, and she knows that Rena's a strong healer from having seen her on the battlefield, but... just how strong *is* her healing, really?

Then Claude starts asking Rose if she's okay and if she maybe needs some water, and Ragnell snorts in amusement. "How the tables turn, eh, Rose?" she remarks, grinning.

<Pose Tracker> Rose has posed.

"A hundred per signature, huh? That's a hard bargain! ... I'll take you up on a couple, you're pretty popular after that Metal Demon stunt in the arena."

At the mention of needing a lantern, Rose takes a few steps back, looking at the stacked crates, picking one, and opening it, as she checks the contents and loudly complaints: "I wish I could fix this with water! No, mister Shepherd's Seraphim are kind of haunting me these days. I guess I must just be that good of a ghost babysitter!" She seems to be joking and yet there's intense misery in her eyes. "Well, them, and two more independant ones who just like to mess with me. One of them just asked you how you're doing." She conveniently leaves the second part out of what Ragnell said.

Thoughfully, she wonders. "Hey, if I splashed flour all over you guys, would he be able to see you?" she asks, giving Lailah a quick look while still searching for the handful of lanterns they have. You have to give Rose something, she's more practical than Sorey is when it comes to this issue. "Or maybe water? Oh, why don't you guys hold up pencils and you can talk to him by writing on paper?" This sounds too convenient so she expects Lailah to say no.

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

Claude C. Kenny... stares.

o_o

O_o

o_o

o_O

...

The blonde swordsman steps forward and reaches out to try and place a comforting hand on Rose's shoulder. "Miss... um... it's okay. You don't need to get flour. I believe you," he says, speaking very slowly and nodding, his eyes full of deep sympathy. "You're a very good... ghost... babysitter..." He clears his throat. "So, uh, why don't you just sit down here with your..."

¬_¬

"....ghost friends..."

....

"...and I'll just go get you something to drink. Do you like milk?" he asks in the same tone people use for a grumpy three-year-old. "I'll just get you some milk."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Edna has posed.

Edna yawns "Whatever. Not like he can even see us anyway." She murmurs, ceasing her invisible harassment of the poor jobber lord and stepping back. She's done looking him over anyway. That said, the blonde opens up her umbrella and sets it against her shoulder to shield herself from the sun. Hm, yes. Evil day star. "I guess he did fight those metal whatevers from before, so I'll lower his S Class Jobber Rank down to A." She smiles faintly as she plods off to sit down on a nearby crate. "It' a compromise." Some compromise."

But then Claude goes and starts talking to Rose as if she were... 'Special'. That actually makes Edna whip a hand up to cover her mouth. She look away as her shoulders shake with suppressed laughter.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lailah has posed.

Nope. He definitely cannot see them. Too bad, Lailah thinks to herself. If only more humans were aware of their presence. Even though she is used to it by now, it's kind of sad to not be able to communicate with all humans. They were, after all, pretty fascinating. Of course, she may be somewhat alone in that thought...in her present company anyway.

"Well, you know Sorey" Lailah says to Ragnell. "He is always aching for adventure." While she may not understand Soreys fascination with ruins, it has ultimately been useful for helping him figure things out and she always wanted him to be able to make his own opinions and come to his own conclusions about things. It takes away the mystery of life if everything can just be revealed in an instant. Still though she remarks, "I should probably check up on him."

Lailah doesn't seem to be interested in tormenting Claude like the others. As for the question of the flour, "Oh, uh..." To be honest it's something she never thought of before. "... I don't think he would be able to see. Besides that, would you really want to freak him and possibly the whole town out?" Lailah shakes her head about the paper as well. "Come on Rose, you should know better than that." The remark seems serious but there is a hint of amusement behind it.

Lailah tries really hard not to smile at Claude's reaction to Rose. She really does but she cannot help but laugh to herself a bit. "You know Rose... he reminds me of someone else..." Lailah nods towards the merchant.

<Pose Tracker> Rose has posed.

Oh no. This is her life now. Sorey where are you.

Rose brings a hand up to her temple, rubbing. "How do I put this... there's invisible spirits called Seraphim, and they're from Lunar. Some people can see them, some can't. I couldn't until recently." She gives serious thought to this fact. "... it kinda started happening when the Trial Knight stabbed me, so I'm not going to lie, you might be on to something that this is all a crazy fever dream."

If only it was. Life was less complicated before.

"Well that probably didn't help my case at all did it," the merchant sighs. Before she vividly turns to screech at Lailah. "I wasn't that weird about it! I mean I was but..." she might have to admit defeat on that point. "Look, at least I never treated Sorey like he was having a stroke! ... did I? The punch doesn't count, Mikleo decided to be all spooky, it was awful timing." It's true, in this universe, it's Mikleo who made the ghost joke. Sorey wasn't spared for it. "Besides, it'd be fine, Sorey's been preaching publicly about the Seraphim, I'm sure people could handle it."

But there's a silver lining. "So you don't THINK he'd be able to? Meaning... it's never been done!" Rose grins. See, the upside to all this packing food is, there's a lot of flour bags at arm's reach. She grabs one of the smaller bags, reaches for one of her knives, pierces it, and then...

"Ragnell, catch!"

Catch, she says, pitching the small bag like it's a baseball. It might well explode on impact. This MIGHT be payback for what the stormy Seraph said just then.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Ragnell has posed.

Ragnell chuckles. "Nothin' wrong with that," she says to Lailah of Sorey. "I was the same way, back when I was his age." She pauses, then adds thoughtfully, "Still am. Huh." She grins shark-like. "I think he's a lot *nicer* than I am, though."

A snort at Edna compromising Claude's Jobber Rank from S to A. "I didn't get to see that fight," she remarks to her. "Damn shame, really. How'd it all go down, anyway?" ...So she asks, even knowing that Edna's probably the worst person to ask for a recap. Oh well, there's always Ida or someone.

As for the flour--well, Rose was asking Lailah. If she'd asked Ragnell, she'd be able to tell her that based on hearsay of certain Zeds and Ednas, and personal experience with herself and Alisha, putting some kind of particle in the air *should* be able to allow Claude to at least see their outlines, if nothing else. Instead, Ragnell just says, "*Yeah*, Rose, you should know better than that."

Then Rose attempts to explain matters to Claude in an honest and straightforward manner, and he just kind of stares at her, then talks to her like a child. Edna's not the only one who finds it amusing; where she actually bothers to cover her laugh, Ragnell roars with amusement outright. "Oh yeah! That's a familiar attitude, all right! But hey: free milk!!" She laughs some more, then adds with open glee, "So hey Rose, you were sayin' something real funny about impenetrable walls earlier! *What* was it again?"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Ragnell has posed.

Then Rose CHUCKS a bag of flour at Ragnell like she's aiming to strike the Seraph out. Lucky for Rose, Ragnell's laughing too hard to *actually* catch it. POOF, goes the flour upon impact, whooshing all around Ragnell like superfine snow and leaving her pure white.

For those who can see her, anyway. For Claude, there is a very distinct, humanoid outline of someone who was Definitely Not There Before.

Ragnell looks down at herself, then flashes a look of annoyance at Rose. Then, not one to miss out on an opportunity, she makes spooky ghosty hand arm gestures at Claude. "WooOOOOooo, I'm haunting yooooooouuu!" she calls dramatically, mainly just to complete the image for those in on the show.

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

Claude C. Kenny rubs his eyes and suppresses a sigh. He really just wanted to buy some gear for his adventuring today; dealing with individuals with an intellectual disability was not high on his priority list. Still, as a gentleman and an officer, it is his responsibility to set an example, particularly on planets where they haven't even made it to electroshock theory yet. He sucks in a breath and opens his eyes again. "Miss, it's---" he gets out, and then Rose throws a bag of flour at the air.

And hits nothing.

By which he can only comprehend that there is literally nothing there, because he still can't see or hear Ragnell - he just sees a vaguely humanoid outline where there was Definitely Not Someone There Before. Claude's mouth drops, he blinks owlishly, and stares forward. "Holy crap, there's a ghost there!" he shouts.

There is a half second beat before everything goes wrong.

"Don't worry, I'll save you!" Claude shouts, his pack slipping from his back, his right hand flickering to his rear pants pocket, where he tugs out a dark leather object. In a motion made smooth by countless practice draws, Claude snaps his hand down, shedding the matching tan fingerless uniform glove off his hand, then pulls on another one made of dark leather, with letters stitched in bright red thread into the back of the hand:

                              EFF U
                             GOESTS!

Claude flickers forward in a rapid dash, sliding into a low crouch a scant few inches in front of Ragnell in the space of a heartbeat. There is a brief pause as he gathers his chi, after which Claude twists hard to his right, driving a powerful backfist toward the floury outline's centre mass.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lailah has posed.

Lailah isn't really sure that explaining what they were was going to help but she's gotta hand it to Rose for trying at least. "Rose, for those whose hearts aren't open to the resonance and truth of the seraphim's existence, it's really difficult to convince them otherwise."

The merchants reaction to her remarks doesn't seem to bother Lailah too much. She laughs, "That's true but still..." Rose did basically freak out when she first heard them. "Even if Sorey talked for years about the seraphim there is still a chance that people would not believe." She adds.

Lailah frowns at Rose, "Rose, don-" But it's too late! The flour gets everywhere, including some in her hair. "Hey! Not me!" While it doesn't cover her like Ragnell she couldn't avoid the cloud it formed. If it worked, Claude would probably be able to see her faintly. "This is why..." Lailah seems to think better of what she was about to say, instead bracing for Claude's reaction. After all, it's not everyday you run into flour covered seraphim.

Sometimes Lailah wonders if she really wants this job of being Sorey's Prime Lord. The company they keep is just a little too much sometimes.

And then... as she expected, Claude freaaaaaaks out. Normally, the older fire seraphim would help but she did warn them after all about this. What is it with humans anyway and they're instinct to attack? It's just a good thing she didn't sense any malevolence from him or things could quickly get worse.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Edna has posed.

People usually have one of many reactions. A) Freak out and faint. B) Freak out and run away. C) Freak out and then attack.

Claude has chosen Option C.

If Edna was suppressing her laugh before, she's having a much harder time with the combination Ragnell getting flour'd and Claude rushing in to attack with some sort of special glove.

"Pfffthehehehe...!" She is not budging. She's alsso lowered her umbrella to shield herself from the flour cloud spreading. Nuh-uh. Ragnell is on her own with this one. Not that she needs the help in the first place.

Actually, she might feel sorry for Claude instead.

Hope he doesn't job this one too.

Hm.

Let's watch and see.

<Pose Tracker> Rose has posed.

Hey it worked! SUCK IT, SOREY! Now we just need a MASSIVE bag of flour and we can show all of Lunar Seraphim are still real!

... yeah, good plan, Rose.

Sadly it seems Lailah was, as usual, Entirely Correct and showing someone ghosts isn't the best way to make any kind of point. Okay maybe Rose should have listened. Definitely, she should have listened.

"Hey, wait, no, don't -" Claude is dashing in to protect her. Normally she'd be thrilled, because ghosts are spooky, but instead she's just flailing now.

"They're friendly ghosts! Friendly ghosts! Ragnell stop making weird menacing arm motions!" Friendly is very relative, and probably doesn't apply to Edna. Dezel pokes his head back up, sniffs the air once or twice, frowns, and gets back to napping. Nope, he's not getting involved in this mess.

"Lailah! How do I defuse this?!"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lailah has posed.

For once, Lailah wishes she was sleeping like Dezel. At least she wouldn't have to mediate this. "Rose you, of all people, should understand how he feels." Since Claude can only see them and not hear them, it's not like she can try and talk him through it or something. Besides that, it didn't work with Rose anyway. Poor Sorey...

"Maybe we 'knead' to make some bread." Lailah laughs to herself then adds, "Looks like Claude is all, 'Ryled' up!" The fire seraph seems very pleased by her own remarks.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Ragnell has posed.

Ragnell herself probably could have predicted this reaction; it's just that her desire to mess with people is frequently stronger than her sense of self-preservation. Then again, let's be real: Claude would've flipped out whether she made the spooky arm gestures or not. If your instinctual fight-or-flight reaction of choice is fight, it's gonna be fight no matter how threatening or non-threatening the spooky ghost is.

Claude charges in with impressive speed. Edna laughs and protects herself with her umbrella. Lailah shouts in frustration, and Rose in panic. Dezel is still over there napping. Ragnell, as usual, is on her own.

The 'as usual' means that she's ready and willing for a fight whenever anyone brings it to her.

In the instant that Claude is gathering his chi, Ragnell draws her pistols; when he swings that backfist towards her, she counters by side-stepping in the same direction of the attack, twisting her wrist and clanking that gun against his knuckles as she--and thus, the floury outline, swings to one side around him, hissing in pain when the chi in his fist burns against the back of her gloved hand, leaving behind a scorch on the white flour.

That might have felt rather solid for an instant there? The ways of Seraphim are mysterious indeed. Less mysterious is when, upon completing the sidestep to get herself out of the way of the attack and open up some distance, Ragnell points a gun at Claude's back and introduces to him some electroshock therapy of her own. BLAM BLAM BLAM.

Three rapid squeezes of the trigger, three bursts of lightning bullets. The normal discharges are designed to deal Strike damage and not Pierce, so Claude isn't going to get any new holes in his back, but if he doesn't manage to evade or dive out of the way and the bullets hit, he's going to be feeling very numb and tingly for a second--an experience that he might find /shocking/. Otherwise... well, remember that chair Ragnell was sitting on? It is no doubt very much an ex-chair at this point.

"Well hey," she announces, hit or miss, with battle-hungry glee, "I've been wantin' to fight this asshole anyway!!"

Reminder #1: they're still in the middle of the Sparrowfeathers packing up their stuff. Reminder #2: Ragnell is an asshole, and Claude is a hothead. Rose will probably REALLY want to stop this fight sooner rather than later, at which point it's already gotten well out of hand. Ragnell's *already* laughing, and it's probably not just because of Lailah's (amazing) puns.

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

Claude's hand tightens as his fist - empowered by the GHOST PUNCHING GLOVES of his own design - makes contact, though it's a little more solid than he expected. In his (surprisingly non-zero) experience with ghosts, he punches and they just sort of vanish around his fist, at which point it's a question of whether he runs out of punches before they run out of ghosts. Hitting something sort-of-solid is a bit of a surprise, one that stops him in his tracks for an instant.

Even more surprising are the three shots in the back, which catch an unmoving target completely unawares. The rounds themselves connect with Claude's jacket and...stop, as the Federation armour weave detects the impact and causes the garment to stiffen, preventing penetration but only blunts the force behind them, leaving enough of an impact to stagger the young swordsman.

But while the Federation's absurdly advanced technology protects the wearers of its field uniforms from piercing damage, slashing damage, some impact damage, temperatures within 40 degrees above and below zero Centigrade, is machine or stream-washable and breathes like Egyptian cotton, magical electricity is not something they designed in. Which means that Claude goes something much like--

"ARGHBLLBhlblbalhdslhdblaa"

--and then straightens, looking around for his attacker, little sparks of static electricity causing his fine princessy blonde locks to poof out from his head in multiple directions. Claude's eyes flare with anger, and his hand drops to his sword...

...but then he stops, miracle of miracles, and looks at Rose. "...friendly ghosts, huh?" he asks, his tone level.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Edna has posed.

Annnnnd there Ragnell goes.

Yep. That's about what Edna expected. If she had popcorn, she's be munching on it with rapt attention right now. But she doesn't. And so sshe just lowers her umbrell a little more and watches on. "Well. That's a thing." She murmurs plainly, setting her trusty tool against her shoulder again. "At least he's calmed down."

Pause.

"He still can't hear us though."

<Pose Tracker> Rose has posed.

Rose whines audibly as Lailah provides no help whatsoever. Also puns.

And now those two are actually fighting and threatening all her merchandise! Everything has gone wrong incredibly quickly.

Also Ragnell is proving her wrong.

"Well, one is friendly and making puns about this, one is over there," she motions towards Dezel, "Basically napping. One is Edna," she motions, lower, towards Edna, "And then there's Ragnell, who used her... ghost... gun to shoot you because you came swinging at her. I don't know that I'd use the word friendly," she says, glaring at said Seraph, "But she's kind of more of a jerk than hostile, if you get my drift? I'm pretty sure she fought back just to spite me for the flour." Plausible.

"The worst they normally do is steal your food when you aren't looking. I... kind of reacted the way same you just did when I first heard one of them, although I took it out on the person making me see them." She never did apologize for that. They just pretend it never happened.

"Sorry. Ragnell, please put the gun down and stop shooting my clients. Mister Kenny, the lantern's on the house for the trouble."

The other Sparrowfeathers are in a mix of amusement and shock, mostly the former. "And sorry, Lailah, I should have listened."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lailah has posed.

People begin to talk and whisper in the background. Somewhere nearby a woman screams and a child begins to cry. Well, this is not going well. So much for a nice day in town...

Lailah did not want to intervene at first. However, now it definitely needs to be stopped before something worse happens like an innocent bystander getting hurt. She can't talk to the people in the market like Rose could so her only option is to try and get through to Ragnell. After all, she knows how the seraph is.

"Ragnell! Come on, stop this!" She looks pretty concerned at this point. Should Ragnell not stop, Lailah will do her best to intervene, stepping towards her and Claude. "Please. This is not the time or the place for this. Don't you realize what just happened?" She doesn't elaborate on her suspicions. Unfortunately, the damage was probably already done, especially considering the amount of people there in the market.

But then Claude pauses and Rose tries to explain still. Lailah sighs at Rose. "You can't take advantage of situations like this you know? There are too many innocent people around." Technically she considers Claude innocent too. His reaction is basically what most humans would do if they weren't too scared.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Ragnell has posed.

"What, are you just *stoppin'*? That's no fun!" Ragnell complains. Still, when Lailah insists she stop and steps towards her, Ragnell glances her way, then heaves a melodramatic sigh and holsters her guns. Lailah's question, though, is met with a grimace. "Yeah, I know," she murmurs. She might even sound slightly chastened. Slightly. Very slightly.

Claude, meanwhile, gets the side-eye when he side-eyes Rose for the friendly ghost bit. "Hey, *you* attacked first, bud. *You're* the one who started the trouble," she grumbles, knowing full well he can't hear her, as she takes off her hat and dusts off the flour, tapping it on the side of her hand to get the particles off. "An' I don't do *everything* just to spite you, Rose." She sets her hat, now much more transparent, to one side. "It's normal to fight back when you get attacked." She stares back at Rose dead in the eyes. "Isn't it, Miss Bones?"

She lets that stare linger just long enough to be uncomfortable. Then she takes off her poncho (under which she is quite invisible, which might be weird to Claude to have bits and pieces of a "ghost" outline be visible), grips the ends with both hands and--

Oh no.

WHUMP WHUMP WHUMP, goes her poncho as she waves it up and down to air it out. She does so while pointing the poncho at Claude and Rose, meaning when the waves of flour fly off the garment, they then fly *towards* the two humans, possibly ghostening *them* up. Now *that's* spite!

'At least he's calmed down,' Edna remarks, meanwhile. "You say that like it's a good thing!" Ragnell complains. WHAP WHAP WHAP goes her poncho on the nearest crate. Once she's satisfied that enough flour has left, she shrugs it back on. "Oh well. I guess I'll just pick a fight with His Jobbliness later." Grumble grumble. Back on, goes the hat.

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

THe blonde swordsman sucks in a breath or two, a muscle along his jawline ticcing in response to the invisible person swinging the invisible poncho free of actually visible flour. WHUMP WHUMP WHUMP. It's a sight to behold.

And then Claude C. Kenny does something he tries to avoid: he thinks, organizing facts in his mind.

Fact 1: Rose apparently sees invisible people. Fact 2: The invisible people can also hit him with lightning. Fact 3: Invisible lightning ghosts are pretty bullshit. Fact 4: A person having invisible ghost friends is pretty weird. Fact 5: Invisible ghost friends are not the strangest thing he has seen on Cow Patty Planet, by far. Fact 6: Rose mentioned Lunar. Fact 7: That Lemina girl who said she flew on a magic carpet also said she was from Lunar.

Conclusion: People from Lunar must be MAGIC GHOSTS.

Claude frowns and thinks about this a bit. He may have to work on the theory a bit, but there is one other thing---

Fact 9: Free shit is good shit.

"If I punch the one who was making puns, can I get some lantern oil too?" Claude asks, because it is worth a try.

<Pose Tracker> Rose has posed.

"No! No, please don't punch Lailah, she's actually nice and sane. Gosh I don't know how I'd handle all this if she wasn't around, she's the one who introduced me to the entire idea that Seraphim are just invisible people and not super scary horror monsters. Actually their clothes are really cool, I need to think about copying the fashion style sometime..." Think about all the things you could name a Seraphim line of clothing! Think about the slogans!

'Make sure others can see your clothes.' 'The clothes that make the invisible visible.'

Something about Althena and the Elements, maybe? Food for thought.

With a grumbling sigh, Rose dusts the flour off her clothes, courtesy of Ragnell, glancing back at her. She remembers the advice and doesn't react to the nickname, even though everyone present and who can hear it already know. "Why do you want to fight him so much, anyway?" she finally asks the Seraph, before asiding to Claude: "I think she might like you, Ragnell expresses that weird."

A nod and another "Sorry." to Lailah. Rose is in fact sorry, and not saying that to get out of a scolding. Lessons learned. "Man, being the Shepherd just seems to get harder and harder. I feel bad for Sorey. Now I get why he's all excited to find a way for humans and Seraphim to coexist again, it's because this keeps happening."

She shuffles over towards the crates again, finally pulling out a nice, high quality metal lantern and a bottle of oil. "Don't worry, oil's on me too! I made a killing from the tournament, I can afford a few gifts here and there. Just keep the Sparrowfeathers in mind if you come across any valuable merchandise in ruins you want to pawn off!"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Edna has posed.

"Woo, yay. All's well that ends well." Edna raises a fist ever so slightly. Her expression remains plain. The show finally over, she hops off the crate and back onto her feet. "Anyway, I'm bored now." She walks on, and past Claude. Just to mess with him, she pats him on the back, then presses onward.

"Your buddy in the hat has the right idea. I'm taking a nap." Like the lazy soul she is, once she reaches the nearest cart, she just taps the toe of a boot against the ground, causing it to shake as an earth pillar rises as carries her up to the roof, where she steps off and lays down. The pillar then sinks back down, pavement fixing itself.

Another point towards spooky ghosts doing spooky things.

Yaaaaaay

Zzzzz

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lailah has posed.

For all of her mediating attempts, Lailah can only do so much, but at least for the moment the fight seems to be over. 'One day, Ragnell is going to have to learn to control herself better', she thinks to herself. Unfortunately, she's not really sure whose to blame for all this though. For now she faults Rose and Ragnell more than anyone else.

When Claude asks about punching her because of her puns, Lailah shoots a look to Rose, "Hey, I was just trying to lighten the mood!" She seems relieved that Rose doesn't agree to that. Not that she really thought she would but still it's a relief. She is not a fan of fighting without a very good reason!

As for the tangent about clothes, Lailah seems to ignore it for the time being. She has a feeling though that it'll come up again sooner or later knowing Rose. Any way that there is to make money, just leave it up to Rose and the Sparrowfeathers to find it.

Nodding again towards Rose, "It's okay Rose. Humans and seraphim just don't operate the same. But I do look forward to seeing Sorey's vision happen..." Her face seems a little solemn as she glances towards the sleeping Dezel and now Edna adding, "...one way or another."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Ragnell has posed.

Ragnell fixes a narrow-eyed look at Claude. "If he punches Lailah, I'm not stoppin' at just a few bullets," she says, even-toned. Fortunately, it doesn't get that far; humans are easily pacified with free stuff. If Lailah faults her for the exchange itself... well, that's okay. But it's just as well that Lailah keeps that thought to herself.

"You need to ask?" Ragnell asks Rose, raising an eyebrow. "'Cuz he'd be fun to fight!" A beat; then she flashes her a wolfish grin. "On which note, I bet *you'd* be fun as hell to fight, too." Another beat; then she shrugs. "But if I picked a brawl with *you*, Sorey would get that disappointed frowny face he does, and I don't feel like dealin' with that." A third beat--and then she winks at Rose. "But like I said--it's normal for people to fight back when they get attacked. Keep that in mind if you ever wanna vent your spleen in a stabby kinda way, eh~?"

Edna, meanwhile, does her thing. Ragnell snorts in amusement, watching her use her rock elevator to get herself up on a cart and settle in for a nap. Honestly, Ragnell could go for a nap too... and it'd probably be wise to move herself to somewhere where she won't get in the way. Particularly with this talk of these kinds of conflicts making the Shepherd's job harder. Ragnell frowns, red eyes flicking down for an instant. Then she makes a show of yawning and covering her mouth with one hand.

"Edna's got the right idea," she announces. "I'mma let the rest of y'all work this out." And then she heads for a caravan of her own--though not being an Earth Seraph, she has to climb and jump on her own the way up.

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

Claude C. Kenny relaxes. "Well, if you say she's nice, I'll take your word for it," he says, because his mental process works something like:

-Rose is giving him free stuff -Therefore Rose is a nice person -Rose says one of her invisible ghost friends is nice -Therefore he can accept the word of a nice person vouching for a nice person

The young swordsman tugs his ghost-punching glove off his hand and returns it to his back pocket; he bends down a moment later to scoop up his discarded uniform glove, his jacket riding up in the process to reveal that Claude C. Kenny apparently does not skip leg day, or at least the parts of leg day that involve his glutes. He straightens and then stiffens as Edna claps him on the back on the way by. For an instant, he considers asking Rose whether her creepy-likes-you ghost friend Ragnell just tried to grab his ass, but he decides he's had enough weirdness for one day.

"Well then, I'm sorry for saying I would punch you, Miss Lailah," Claude offers, sketching a short bow in the direction he thinks is where she is standing (but isn't, although a stray dog about forty yards distant is urinating against the corner of a building, so that is something). He looks again at Rose, then grimaces as his conscience begins nagging at him. "Tell you what, I'll sign some of that stuff for you," Claude offers as he walks toward the booth again. "Then we can call it even."

<Pose Tracker> Rose has posed.

It's okay, Rose helpfully points Claude towards Lailah with a slight nudge. She doesn't comment about Edna's pat, because Claude seems to take it in stride. He actually takes it a LOT better than she would if she were him. She swears if any of the Seraphim start pulling invisible pranks on her she's going to spazz out.

"Sounds like a good deal to me!"

Rose produces some of the LIMITED EDITION Claude merchandise she still has, mostly artists' renditions of what they think cool action poses probably look like. And an action figure! If you tug the little switch on its back it does the Air Slash motion. Kind of. It's a good attempt at it for sure.