Coraline dreaded the passage of each and every minute. It felt like the more time that went by... the less likely they'd find Felicity alive.
The passengers and single crewmember of the Golden Eagle faithfully searched the ship-- and for well over the ten-minute time limit that Elladan had proposed.
They kept in groups... their accountability, perfect, even amidst the chaos. Coraline kicked and screamed and very nearly cried in order to accomplish that...
Felicity wasn't in the hold. She wasn't in any of the rooms... They even checked the two with the bodies. The dead men were still present, which was a very slight reassurance.
Besides the engine room, there was one place left to explore.
It was the top deck.
Coraline felt a deep pain in the depths of her stomach... like her anxiety was tearing a tiny hole in her insides. If Felicity couldn't be found on the ship... then she may have very well been... *off.*
An 'accident', Olesya called it. If Felicity had an accident, then...
"Coraline..." Lone whispered softly into her ear... "You have to calm down."
Calm? Absolutely not! There was nothing to be calm about-- not when someone was MISSING so many malms up in the sky!
Coraline clenched her teeth so hard that her jaw hurt, "I am calm, you-- you... dummy. I'm... I'm just worried. What if Felicity-- what if she's d--"
"She's not DEAD!" Elladan shouted from the far side of the deck.
Right. He had Elven ears, too.
Coraline shut her eyes... squeezing the tears out. Elladan wouldn't give up on Felicity. Neither should she.
"Maybe she's in the engine room?" Lone offered.
"Improbable," Tychon approached the two of them, shaking his head, "The engine room is off-limits. On airships belonging to the Windwright's Guild, the Elemental Spirits are hostile and dangerous to normal sentients, save the ship's Captain."
Coraline nodded in agreement. The last thing she wanted was to aggravate a Metal-Rank elemental...
"We've... we've looked everywhere, though!" Giorgio wheezed, wiping his sweat upon his sleeve.
With all the rushing around, the older Popoto struggled to catch his breath. His greying hair was matted to his forehead and he looked generally miserable. His wife was in a better condition, but only slightly.
Coraline gulped... they couldn't keep searching for much longer. But... at least *she* had to keep going! She couldn't give up on Felicity!
She... she trusted her.
Lone held her hand... and held it tight, "Hey. I'm here..."
Without thinking, Coraline buried her face into the boy's broad chest, "We... we have to keep looking... You have to help me..."
"I know..." Lone whispered.
"Gahhhh..." Ramon groaned, "We looked everywhere. We gotta head back! Let me go calm down my elf-friend, alright?"
The tiefling moved-- but not towards Elladan. First, he stepped near Tychon, confiding something in quiet whispers.
Though the cold, cutting winds on the deck made it difficult, Coraline could hear Ramon clearly as long as she focused...
"--to watch Maisie, will ya? She ain't in the right mind. Don't want her to, uh... jump ship, yea?"
Tychon narrowed his eyes, "I'm assuming you're requesting that I prevent any... potentially self-harmful actions."
"Yeah. Just until I get back," The tiefling smirked, "Can you do that for me, guy?"
"I will do so," Tychon nodded. "Go about your business."
"Be back in a sec. Might get ugly, but I'm sure it'll be fine," Ramon waved.
The horned man turned and began jogging towards the half-elf.
"EYYY!" He shouted, "Let's go back, man! Yo girl-- she ain't up here!!"
A sudden gust of wind buffeted against the ship, causing Coraline to reflexively grab onto Lone's arm and shield her eyes.
It was... so very strange seeing Tychon move... or rather, how she didn't see him move. Closing her eyes for that brief moment, the golden-eyed noble had stepped adjacent to both her and Miss Maisie.
...A movement technique? The weak-looking youth could use a movement technique? That was something only high-level adventurers were capable of doing.
No... It made sense. She knew what the young master looked like underneath his robes. That kind of body didn't belong to a simple, studious scholar.
No one else seemed to notice the green-haired noble's... repositioning?
Oh, Mister Lone did. The cheek-scarred boy gave Tychon a nod of acknowledgment.
Everyone else was focused on Ramon and Elladan in the distance.
"Goat..." Elladan took in a deep breath, "Tell me you didn't have anything to do with this."
"Uh. Sure?" Ramon scratched his cheek, ��I didn't have anything to do with this?"
"...My Felicity... she..."
"Hey, man," Ramon held his palms out, "She's my guild member, too, in case you forgot."
"Felicity..." The half-elf's eye twitched, "--is... Mine."
"Uh huh?" Ramon shrugged, "Well, the fact o' th' matter is: I found her first. I found both of you's. In fact... you should be THANKIN' me for intra-ducin' you's! ...So let's just-- you know? calm down... and head back. You and me. Together."
Elladan didn't budge... "I've seen the way you look at her, Goat."
Ramon took in a deep breath, a deep grimace set in his face, "Y'know, I'd... really... REALLY appreciate if ya stopped callin' me that."
"The 'fact OF THE matter' is..." Elladan tightened the muscles in his jaw, "--you've always been jealous of me and her! How about you just straight up admit it? Goat!?"
The tiefling bared his sharp, pointed teeth. His tone of voice grew very solemn... his words, spaced and measured... "You better calm down, knife-ear... or I'm gonna *put* you down..."
Elladan walked up to Ramon, sneering defiantly, "I've been f*cking her so good, she doesn't give a rat's arse about you, anymore."
The half-elf jabbed a finger into the tiefling's armored chest, "So, f*ck. You. You pointy-toothed. Mushroom-brained. G O A T ."
Coraline blinked at the wrong moment. By the time she realized Ramon had attacked, the bigger man had already swung his fist.
That heavy red-skinned fist... it connected with Elladan's chin... and the impact shook the half-elf's entire body.
Elladan collapsed backward onto the deck. The back of his head slammed upon the wood... and his arms and legs splayed out awkwardly.
The fight was decided in a single move... quick, precise, and without any unnecessary motion. It was a honed strike that was a result of a hundred thousand strikes before it...
"ERRRARGH!!!" Ramon kicked the unconscious half-elf in the side.
Then... he stomped on the back of his companion's head.
The fight was over-- but he wasn't stopping.
Coraline's eyes widened.
He wasn't going to stop.