Rhodes had said he would head to Tao with Udon, but... he had to get to the bottom of this. It was important. “Miss Udon...” he began, though not taking his eyes off of the Banette, who looked somewhat impatient by now. “I think you should go ahead to the village without me.”
“I’m not sure about leaving you with... whoever this is!” Udon replied, briefly scowling at the Banette, who hadn’t really been much more than rude this whole time. He seemed thoroughly unfazed by the notion.
“I’ve gotta find something, and I was told he’s the best. Like I said, it’s business,” the Banette chimed in. All things considered, he’d been remarkably calm about the events that had taken place.
Hiding some building frustration, Rhodes gave Udon a reassuring glance. “I’ll be fine... everybody’s counting on at least one of us to go to Tao right now! I’ll catch up when we’re done here, okay?”
Though Udon began turning around, she still hesitated. That wasn’t enough to put her mind at ease. It was entirely possible that nothing would, in this case. It wasn’t as though she didn’t also notice certain similarities, here.
However, Rhodes remained confident. “I’ll be there, I promise!” he assured once more. Perhaps the worst part was the Banette watching this exchange with amusement. Whatever was going through his head, Rhodes didn’t like it.
Finally, Udon flashed a brief smile. “Okay... see you soon!” she bid farewell, beating those powerful wings of hers to take flight above the trees. In the end, it was probably better this way, as she covered ground much faster while flying unhindered.
And so there were two. The Banette scoffed and trudged over to the nearest tree, leaning against it casually. “Well, you managed to get all of your buddies to take a hike before saying a single thing to me. What gives?” he asked, never wiping that grin from his own face.
With everyone else gone, Rhodes felt as though he could be more straightforward with the puppet-like ghost. It may have been a little scary, but he needed to know what was going on here. “I wanna know why you know stuff about our gang... and I wanna know why you have that scar! Is this some kinda joke to you or what?!” Rhodes asked, raising his voice more and more as he let his frustration come through loud and clear.
“Easy, kid! I ain’t flesh and blood like you,” the Banette shot back, reaching up to point at the mark on his cheek. “It’s a patch. That stupid little “tailor” cut my face ‘cause he was stumbling around with scissors. This is what he called fixing it,” he explained, picking at the soft cloth on his cheek in brief dismay. “I got no clue why it bugs you, unless you just think it’s that ugly, in which case I agree.”
“Oh... uh...” Rhodes didn’t expect that sort of answer. Right away, some of his suspicions started to feel out of place. The strange puppet-like ghost didn’t quite act like who he was reminding Rhodes of. It did connect this particular Banette to the one that was assaulting the tailors, though! With a perk of his feathery ear, Rhodes pointed accusingly toward the ghost, “Hey! You better not have hurt Winston! Mr. Chrys will be really mad!”
In response to such accusations, the Banette frowned for the first time, looking agitated. “What do you take me for, kid? Did I not just finish telling you how he cut my face wide open?! I didn’t lay a finger on him!” he explained, crossing his arms in a huff. “After he told me about you, I told him he was a worthless tailor and kicked him out of the hut,” the Banette concluded, though after a brief moment of thought, he outstretched one of his arms and rolled his eyes, adding, “eh... metaphorically, of course. He probably could’ve used a real kick in the ass, though.”
This was a lot to take in at once, and still didn’t answer everything on Rhodes’s mind. His stance relaxed somewhat, though. The more the Banette talked, the less of a threat he seemed... though he was still a jerk. “Seems kinda harsh... but you didn’t answer before. How do you know stuff about our gang?” Rhodes asked once more. It was the more important question to him, when it came down to it.
“Heh... well, that’s the mystery!” the Banette replied, returning to his previous state of being happy for no apparent reason. “I know bits and pieces of stuff. I shouldn’t, but I do. That’s where you come in,” he explained, leaving his relaxed lean to pace toward an untrusting Rhodes. “You’ll help me get to the bottom of this, right?”
Things were starting to come together... or maybe Rhodes’s imagination was being over-active. He couldn’t be sure. Still somewhat nervous, he took a step back as the Banette approached. “W-well... how can I help with that? I don’t... I mean, I don’t know how to handle ghosts. Maybe you should ask Mr. Devonshire...”
The Banette stopped in his tracks, seeming surprised to hear that name. However, he quickly disregarded it with a shake of his head, not at all letting it break his somewhat creepy stride. “I don’t need whoever that is. I already know what’s going on, y’see,” he explained, beginning to pace around Rhodes in a circle. The young Sneasel’s gaze never broke from him, in a continued show of distrust. “I can’t remember a lot of stuff, only bits and pieces. Aside from that, I keep getting a nagging feeling to come to this forest. So, I come here, and...” he trailed off momentarily, stopping in his tracks and turning his head to meet Rhodes’s gaze, “... I remembered more. The feeling’s still there too. It’s tellin’ me to go somewhere important, but I don’t know where. That’s where you come in!”
Rhodes couldn’t help but be a little confused. This was an issue that went over his head, somewhat. “So... it’ll help you remember stuff if we go somewhere? How does that work?”
“Hell if I know,” the Banette replied. A hint of annoyance in his tone suggested that perhaps he was getting tired of the nonstop questions. “I don’t know anything for sure except that I woke up in that stupid hut with that stupid little face-butchering fuzzball. It’s like the whole rest of my life doesn’t exist, unless I can figure this out,” he explained, while pacing further away. His head eventually turned to look back at Rhodes, showing that his oddly cheerful demeanor was beginning to wane. “Are you gonna help me or not?”
That sounded kind of sad, when it was put that way. Rhodes couldn’t help but give it some actual thought. “Well... normally Mr. Shroomsworth says I should charge, and Miss PK says ‘No freebies unless they’re gonna die’, but...” he thought aloud, pondering to himself with a claw held up to his lower lip. Rhodes himself was now curious as to what would happen if he did this. “Can you tell me... uh... anything? We have more than one important place here!”
This brightened the Banette’s expression right up. “Hey, you’re a pal! I almost feel bad about... uh... ... your friends getting tied up, yeah! Glad that’s over!” With that sudden hasty admittance out of the way, he began looking about at nothing in particular, as if discerning a direction. “I dunno... I remember water. Lots of rushing water! Like a river, y’know?”
A river? … That was an interesting coincidence. However, many more activities went on at the riversides in Creeping Forest than... well, the most recent death. Perhaps taking him up the river rather than straight to the waterfall would cause something to give, and put to rest the notion that the Banette was who he resembled. “That’s easy! It’s not far this way,” Rhodes called out, beginning to hike in the direction of the river. He was always excited to put his knowledge to the test for someone, even in this case.
And so, the Banette followed in full, jolly steps, somehow easily able to eventually catch up alongside Rhodes. It was an interesting choice for him to walk, considering he seemed to have the ability to float. Furthermore... after all that chatting, the trek was conspicuously silent.
It made Rhodes worry, as his imagination went wild again. What if this was all some big prank? Or maybe some sort of actual, dangerous trick? Should he really be doing this? Maybe the ghost wants to hurt him..? If that was the case though, why didn’t he hurt Winston, even after Winston cut his face? The more Rhodes thought about it... the more he realized he wanted to do this. If the Banette remembered what he needed to, it’d answer all of these questions.
Minutes of walking went by. The silence remained unbroken for a time. For Rhodes, it felt a little awkward. Not to mention, a slight bit physically uncomfortable. He was enjoying the cold weather, but since Sorbet was dealt with, things rapidly became rather warm again, giving him little time to adjust.
“What’s with you?” the Banette suddenly asked. He leaned his head in close to Rhodes as they walked, which forced Rhodes to lean, and eventually distance himself slightly, “Are you... scared? Heh!”
“No..!” Rhodes shot back defiantly, appearing a little flustered. “I just... I don’t really know you, okay? Please don’t get in my face and stuff...” the young Sneasel politely requested. He was never much of the type to pick fights with anyone, and despite his distrust of the Banette aside him, he wasn’t going to start now.
Surprisingly, the Banette backed off, though not without a brief scoff. “Eh, you’re no fun. Not like we’ve had a chance to know each other!” he complained. His zipper-mouth curled into a more heartfelt smile as he continued to gaze toward the uncomfortable Sneasel, “The name’s Gnasher. That enough of a good start for ya?”
Gnasher... the coincidences just piled up. Rhodes gritted his teeth at the thought of such a similarity and stopped in his tracks. At this point, he felt like he was being toyed with, and he didn’t like it one bit.
The Banette walked a few more steps before realizing this, then stopped to look back, puzzled. He raised a brow, then turned to face Rhodes, “What?”
“Just... just stop it!” Rhodes exclaimed, throwing his claws in the air. He’d never been so frustrated in his life, and he couldn’t hide it anymore. He pointed one of them at the offending ghost accusingly, “You have that patch that looks like his scar, you somehow know stuff about our gang that you’re not supposed to, and your name is almost the same! Tell me why... or...--”
“Hey! You got some nerve, kid!” Gnasher yelled and interrupted. He frowned in anger, balling his fists and throwing his arms forward in a gesture of his own frustration, “I told you before, I got no idea what you’re going on about! Whoever you’re thinking about can screw off, ‘cause it’s not me! Know why I know anything about your stupid gang? I sure don’t! I can hardly think straight for all the garbage floating around in my head!!”
A few days ago we
had a chat to
issues and solutions
(see the original
thanks to everyone
who came and raised
took 45 minutes for
the volume of talk
to max out Sta.sh
limit and this chat
went for two more
For this tutorial
series I am
elements you can
create or modify
with the help of
CSS. The level of
experience that is
needed to be able to
tutorials can differ
and will be in no
order. However I
will try to explain
the things as simple
The Price Cap For
Commissions Has Been
30% Off Fine Art
Last Day to Shop
etpurple: The Stock
Don't forget to
feature if you like
it.You can also "+1"
a selection from
r:Have a close
hope you are alll
well, I'd like to
thank my new
watchers for the
watch and I will
eventually drop by
you page to have a
nose through your
galleries. Work is
just crazy at
the moment a lot of
things going on and
I am hoping things
will calm down soon
:phew:. One of my...
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More