OoC: Sorry it's so short, but I figured we might as well get it up.
BiC: Mark wasnít expecting anyone to visit the mansion today; in fact, Mina had gone on a little flower-picking crusade, leaving him alone to review what notes he had.
Mark wasnít sure if he would be able to combine any more potions, especially with the luck he was having lately. He would kill Annabelle instead of bringing her back to life. If he only knew the last few parts of the formula and how to put them together, it would be a lot easier.
Instead of working on the potion directly, Mark had recently turned his attention to something else. He did remember this woman, although her name escaped him, that worked with his parents when he was a child. He recalled his father working frugally upon this specific project called M.I.R.O.R, even if he didnít know what that meant. Mark had only found this out through much excavation and research into his fatherís journals that did survive the fire.
It had taken the scientist quite a long time to build up the library to what it was now, books lining from floor to ceiling, hundreds upon hundreds of different volumes. By delving into these, Mark had discovered how to find out things he never knew, but he still didnít know this womanís name.
He knew he had met her before, and he knew he had to find her, because if he found her, she would know more than he did about bringing someone back to life. She was the only lead he had, and Mark had to find her one way or another.
He was fiddling with a cup of tea while sighing to himself when he heard a loud knock at the door. Another one? Man, they just keep coming. What now? He moaned, setting the cup of tea aside and approaching the front door, opening it. ďCan I help you?Ē
OoC: Just a note: I've upgraded Monroe, so check out how interesting he is now. ^_^
BiC: The dark clad mercenary walked through the fields of flowers, not really paying any mind to the scenery. He'd seen it once before, and didn't really care to look at any of the flowers again. All sight seeing was, to the former assassin, was a waste of his time. Vossler rested his right forearm on his sword as he walked past a small, blonde-haired girl who seemed to peer up at the modern fencer.
"Girl, is your brother home?" Monroe inquired as he looked down at her, his eyes covered by his hair.
The girl nodded slightly. She was collecting flowers, just as the last time Monroe had passed by, and didn't really seem to say anything to him. He didn't care, his business wasn't with her, but rather, her brother. The modern fencer adjusted his jacket and continued walking through the flower field towards the house where the scientist was. That man had made a promise, and Vossler was intent on seeing just how much of it the Vandibrough heir would keep.
Firm and fickle as the madman seemed, he did appear to be trustworthy. The mercenary didn't care either way on this matter, so long as he got the things that were requested of that blonde haired person. This Mark Vandibrough.
What Vossler did know he had learned in a search on Mark that he had performed. Apparently, Mark's parents had died in a fire, along with the rest of Red Hill, and the scientist had returned and rebuilt the mansion. Despite being clinically insane, he was a very wise man, which didn't amaze Monroe in the least, since that was normally the case.
Even if that was the truth or not, the former assassin didn't care. He now stood before the door, and knocked with a lingering annoyance at the fact he had yet to capture the biggest bounty he knew of: the fencer Zorlo.
The door opened, and the blonde man looked up from his cup of tea at who was at the door. "Can I help you?" he had asked while he stirred his tea, but now that he knew who it was, the scientist merely turned and entered his house. "It's just you. Never mind. Come in, we've got business to discuss, I trust," Mark responded dryly as he headed towards his study, followed by the dark clad man.
The madman sat down in his chair and looked at the mercenary, who still stood, and placed his finger under the center of his glasses, pushing them up slightly. "So, what have you brought me?" Mark asked, waiting to see what more of the odd things that this man wanted the man had brought.
"I've brought the other blueprints I've got," Vossler said as he placed down four sets of blueprints, and the scientist instantly began to scan them. "Like the first, each of these is extremely specific and has everything you need listed. All you need to do is-"
The former assassin was cut off by the laughing of the scientist as he looked at one of the blueprints. "A photon sword? Are you joking. Photon energy doesn't even exist. What pipe dream are you living in."
Monroe's eye twitched very slightly as he reached into his pocket and removed a glowing green stick and placed it on the table. "That is a unit of concentrated photon energy. I'm sure you can figure out how to make it, and then use it to power that sword. If you make these things, I'll do whatever you ask..." Monroe said reluctantly, knowing full well he needed to do whatever Mark asked of him anyway. It was just how things were.
"You're kidding. You want me to make this stuff? Well, that would take years. What you ask is impossible..." He fingered the stick in his palm, a cloth wrapped around it before he dared touch it. "I suppose I can have it done in about two weeks, maybe. If I'm lucky. And you say you want a sword for it, the casting, that is? I can't do that. I'm a scientist. I can't handle metal like that."
Monroe sensed the scientist wasn't finished speaking, so he remained quiet.
"Hm... I do know someone that could do it, though. He could do it quickly, too. Maybe three weeks, tops. So you don't have to worry about anything." Mark said with a flash of a sly smile. "He can do it, no problem. He's experienced with building things, and really good at it. Anyway, it shoudn't be too much of a problem. How much of this do you want?"
"An endless supply of the cartridges," Monroe replied, leaning forward to point out a few things on the blueprint. "Make sure the casing and hilt are tough. Titanium sounds fine. And gold for the wires, to be conductive."
Mark seemed to think about this. "Gold won't be very sturdy. You'll have to gentle with her if you take her out fighting much. Especially if too much friction-based heat builds up. If you use it too often and too much, you could even melt the gold wires, forcing a small explosion once the photon energy has no place to run through. It would result in... well, let's just say it's not good. Don't use it too much, in short. Make your order five weeks. It will take a while to get all that metal."
"Can you continue making photon energy for me?"
"Oh, please." Mark waved a hand non-chalently. "That's easy enough. It's just that it will take me a while to get it the first time. Still, each one of these... will take me about... well, as an estimate, I'm going to say a week. Your sword should be able to recycle enough, if we alter these plans a little, to keep you going until then, assuming you won't be smacking your way around every person you meet."
"What is it you want in return?" Monroe asked, wanting to know his part in the agreement.
"Hm... For now, you can basically go about your business. I don't really have any special arrangements. Keep an eye on the goings on around Red Hill, will you? Let me know if there's anything suspicious you learn, it could come into handy. I do mean anything at all."
"Alright. I'll be back to see how things are progressing in a bit," Monroe replied, standing up to take his leave, before Mark's voice stopped him.
"There is one thing you can do now. Mina is so lonely most of the time; there are so few children her age around this town. I'm so busy with work and all, I must ask you, go and keep her company for a little while. Just until I call her for supper. It would mean a lot for her and I, both."
Monroe's expression could not be seen since his back was turned on Mark, but he couldn't really say no, since he had just told the scientist he would do anything, so his latest mission was to babysit this young girl, probably not much older than twelve.
As the door to Mark's study closed, the modern fencer removed his sword from his belt and rested the sheathed weapon on his shoulder. Monroe knew what he was talking about. Golden wires were more resistant then copper, also it would allow the battery to transfer energy into a more solid shape. The weapon would be fine. The fencer knew this, and couldn't wait to try out the energy blade. Oh would that be fun.
Vossler pushed the main door open with his sheathed sword and headed back outside. Walking through the sunbathed field of flowers and towards where he had last seen the girl, the former assassin searched for that lovely girl. Monroe, who would have preferred training at this point in time, now found himself baby sitting some rich snob's sister. Well, it could have been worse, but the mercenary assumed things would be all right, since they had no reason not to be.
The bounty hunter slid his sword back onto his belt and rested his right forearm on his sword's hilt as he continued to wander through the fields. Where had that little girl gotten to? The enhanced sense of sight and sound allowed the enhanced human to find people normally, but for some reason, this time he wasn't having such luck. If Monroe hadn't been asked to do this by Mark, by now he would have left, but for now, the modern fencer would do what the man asked.
Finally, when Monroe didn't see the girl, he became slightly annoyed. It was time to speed this up: "Mina! Where are you? I want to hang out with you, if you wouldn't mind," he called out to her, trying to find where the young girl had gotten to. "My name is Monroe Vossler, and I'm an associate of your brother's. He wants me to keep you company until dinner," the modern fencer stated with a smile, hoping she might come out.
She heard her name from a distance and looked up from where she was laying down in the wild flowers of the field. "Mina! Where are you? I want to hang out with you, if you wouldn't mind." She shrank down slightly. Was that the scary man that had spoken to her earlier? "My name is Monroe Vossler, and I'm an associate of your brother's. He wants me to keep you company until dinner."
Mina didn't doubt that, but that might be a while. Her brother was not the best cook. She waited for a few minutes before replying. She skipped towards the sound, a weaved basket full of random flowers, most of them weeds, laying inside. "Okay!" She chirped as she saw him in the distance, her face making her cuteness nearly impossible to resist.
She finally caught up to him, having to look up to see his eyes. "You're really tall, Mr. Monroe." She seemed shy to continue to talk.
"Maybe you'll get this tall, too. Someday." He seemed nearly as awkward as she was, unsure of what to say or do. "What are you doing?"
"Pickin' flowers." She replied plainly. "Wanna pick with me?" she asked, handing him her basket.
"You should go somewhere where you can find real flowers. The only blooming things around here are weeds and a few common flowers," Monroe stated, sorting a hand through her dried collection. "Why are you always picking flowers every time I come?"
"I guess, 'cause..." she paused, putting a finger to her mouth in thought. "'Cause they represent life. And I guess 'cause they make my brother happy. If I can make him happy again, that's all I care about!" She flashed him a large, gentle smile.
"He was always happy when he used to play with me. I brought him flowers from around our mansion all the time! So I thought if I pick him enough flowers, maybe he'll be like he used to! And maybe he'll be full of life like they are!" She skipped to another patch, her ruffling yellow and white dress billowing out behind her, a golden ribbon hairband slipped into her hair, the exact color of Mark's. "Do you want to help me?"
Without waiting for an answer, she returned to his side, putting a few more flowers into the basket about the man's arms. "You're nice to talk to, Mr. Monroe! Thanks for coming to be with me! Maybe with your help, we can make my big brother happy again! Do you think we have enough flowers to bring back when he calls, after a little bit?"
"Yes..." Monroe replied shakily. What a strange, and energetic young girl. There were two likely outcomes here: either the former assassin would go mad and shoot himself, or he'd hang around this girl and try to survive this torture. The first option seemed to be the one he'd opt for at that moment, but when he thought about what Mark was working on, the warrior knew he had to live. He still had a bounty to bring in.
Meanwhile, Vossler sifted through the flowers. For some reason, at the moment, Monroe had the strange feeling of poetry enter his system. Well, whatever it was, it helped him kill time mentally. After all, he needed something to keep him from thinking about how sucky this mission was.
field all around.
A hint of wildflower dew.
A taste of the flu.
Perhaps it was
But the bee who buzz?
An unclean man of the flock
Who did not but watch the clock.
With a content sigh at the imagery and descriptiveness of his unusual poem, the modern man removed his tape recorder and recorded what he had come up with. Something about poetry to describe your setting helped it feel more relaxing then it was. Even so, reality soon slapped Vossler very hard in the face as he began watched Mina pick more flowers.
Slowly, the fact she was picking flowers fazed him less, and her youthful charm seemed to melt his heart a bit. he decided it was best to help her gather flowers... eh... weeds, because he knew she had a good heart, trying to help her brother who was cooped up doing the mercenary's work. Even so, the bounty hunter knew he couldn't have created those things on his own. He simply didn't have the resources to do it, so he'd rely on others to help him, as people did. That's why societies formed, right?
Monroe helped Mina as best he could, showing her where exceptionally beautiful flowers were and helping her collect the more dangerous ones. Finally, Vossler felt the urge to ask her, "Mina, how old are you?" he asked her, watching her carefully, unsure of if that was a good idea or not.
She giggled. "How old are you?" She reflected the question back at him, quite pleased he was helping her pick flowers when she didn't expect him to. After all, he was a grown-up, and they usually didn't have time for her. She was thankful for him picking the more thorny flowers for her and more pretty ones.
"Twenty-four," he replied, smiling as he sat down in the field. It was probably best not to lie to the little girl, it wasn't like she had anyone to tell anything, anyway.
"I'm eight and a half." She said, smiling. "Yup, I'm eight years old. But Mom and Dad always told me I'm smart for my age." She seemed to finish as well, sitting down by him. "Mr. Monroe, where is your family?"
Monroe was neglectful to answer this question. He didn't know. "I don't really have one."
"Oh. Well, you could always be a part of our family, if you want." The innocence and pure child-like wonder in this question would have easily softened anyone, and Monroe was probably no exception.
"Thanks..." He probably already was, in a way, since Mark and he were growing closer by the visit, though their relationship still had a lot to be desired. "I'll think about that."
"How about you take a flower, Mr. Monroe? Then, when you're away, or gone somewhere, you can think of me, okay?" she asked, reaching into the basket next to her and taking out a rose, although it looked withered. She must have picked it a while ago. "This one is special. It pricked me. I bled a lot, but it was worth it because it was so pretty. Here." She put it in his hand, but the impact was too much for the once fresh flower and the petals began to fall about Monroe's palm, until hardly a stem was left.
Mina's eyes began to fill with tears as she looked at her precious flower. She had wanted so badly to bring joy to others. Monroe seemed to notice this. "Hey, look, I've still got the petals. I'll just keep them." He wasn't sure what he would do with them, but he allowed her to watch as he slipped them in a pocket. "See? Good as new."
When Mina saw this, her face lit up. "Okay! Well, do you want to do something else? Like maybe play a game? Like hide and seek or something?" she asked. "I want to try and find you, Mr. Monroe!"
Monroe sat silently at the thought of playing a game. It was something he hadn't done in a dogs age, much less something he normally did. He needed to pass some more time, since the scientist seemed to be taking his sweet time. The former assassin stood up and dusted himself off a little bit, smiling as he did so. The modern fencer couldn't wait to see just how much fun this game was.
"All right, so you want to find me?" he asked her as he began to turn away, although still looking at her. "Okay, we can do that. I'll go find a place to hide, and you can come find me. Only one thing though: Let's only play in and around the mansion. No going into the forest, 'kay?" he asked the little girl, smiling slightly. The small girl nodded and the fencer began to walk off, intent on finding a good hiding place.
The sounds of heavy feet moving through the field ever so lightly filled the air as the modern man continued to run around the complex, looking for some place to hide. At first, he thought he should head into the mansion, but that wouldn't be very fair to little Mina, so instead he figured he'd hide somewhere outside. It wasn't like hiding outside was an impossible feat.
Monroe knew the time was coming for her to start looking, mostly because his enhanced sense of hearing could hear her counting from not too far away. The former assassin leapt onto the porch and ducked behind a couch on the porch and kept an eye out from there. He was almost too childish right now, but perhaps that was why he enjoyed this so much. It gave him a chance to experience childhood, something he didn't remember. It was almost godly how he felt, and he figured a little while more like this couldn't hurt.
She giggled and uncovered her eyes, finishing her count. "Ready or not, here I come!" Mina was pretty sure that Monroe didn't know a lot of where to hide in the mansion, but if he did, it was inside one of the lower rooms. She came to the front of the mansion after exploring around the back, deciding not to go in the basement, as she was frightened of the dark.
She neared Monroe's hiding spot, but passed right by him. She went into her home, searching out every crack and crevice. She didn't find any results. "Aw..." She hung her head, disappointed. She could have sworn that Mr. Monroe would be be near the inner part of the mansion. Would he really go down in the basement? That scary place? She opened the door, staring into the darkness of the house.
"Helllooo?" she asked, biting her lip. She heard her brother in the kitchen, and smelled the good scent of food even through the musty scent of the dark area. She slowly felt her way down the stairs, her eyes adjusting slowly. "Mr. Monroe?" she asked again, nearly positive that he wasn't there now, but still curious. "Are you... here?" Her voice was easily muffled, as she went lower and lower, unknowing of her brother's tricks and expirements that lay not too far from her.
Mark wiped his hands on a towel, finishing setting the table. He set the dish of chicken and vegetables in the middle of the long wooden piece of the furniture, smiling as he inhaled his success. "It feels good to be right about something." He lay out silverware, sparkling sterling, including a third plate. Why not ask Monroe to stay for dinner? It would be nice to have company, and most likely please Mina. Speaking of which... Mark approached the front door. He paused when something strange caught his eye.
The basement door, which usually was always closed and locked, was open slightly. Mark certainly wouldn't want Mina to get into there. Who knew what could happen? He approached the door and pulled it shut, taking the key and locking the door, slipping the bronze key into his pocket.
Mina froze as the only sliver of light she had went out, alone in the dark, with no idea of where she was or what was nearby. She trembled slightly, backing up. Her back brushed against something, and she reached a hand back, feeling a sharp, bumpy surface. She wasn't sure what it was, but she winced and gave a small cry as she felt a brief pain. She felt a trickle of liquid on her finger and began to let tears escape as she realized she had cut herself on whatever it was.
Mark opened the front door, and noticed Monroe behind the couch, crouching down as if he were avoiding something. "... What are you doing?" Mark asked. "Dinner's ready. Where's Mina?"
Monroe stood up, staring blankly at Mark as if he had gone and lost his mind. "You mean... she isn't... with you?!" the former assassin asked, his voice quivering slightly. "But I could have sworn she went inside," the modern fencer stated as he hopped over the couch and looked at Mark. "Are you sure you didn't see her?" Vossler asked as he poked his head inside of the building.
"Not at all," the scientist responded. "I could have sworn she was outside playing with you," the madman continued as he simply walked back into the house, trailed by Monroe.
"Well, I know for a fact that I saw Mina go inside the house like two minutes ago. You didn't see her?" the modern man asked as he looked at the madman, both of who's faces had gone slightly pale.
"YOU LOST HER!" they yelled in sync, nearly ready to kill each other, one would assumed.
"All right," Monroe began, catching his breath. "Let's split up, you take the second floor, I'll take the first!" Vossler said as he was off like a bullet, searching through room after room in search of the lost little girl. Vossler tore through room after room in search of the girl he had been assigned to watch, but found not a trace of her.
After a few moments, the two met at the locked door, that the former assassin found himself trying to open. Somehow, Monroe had the bad feeling that Mina was down here. The dark clad man's eyes looked to see Mark's, and to give the wealthy man that bad news. "I think Mina's in this room. It's the only one that I haven't checked out. Open it up so we can go get her!"
"If it's the only one you haven't checked out and it's the only one I haven't checked out, then it must be the one!" Mark exclaimed as he fumbled with the key. He slid it in the door and opened it, light illuminating the dim darkness of the way to the basement. "Oh, no... please, God. Have mercy upon me, and please don't let her have come down here!"
He nearly vaulted down the stairs, even if it would take time to get adjusted, despite the light that assisted. In doing so, he stumbled. "Mina! Mina, where are you? Are you down here?"
"Big brother?" she asked, a crunching sound coming from her voice.
"Mina! Thank God! Mina, are you alright? Come to my voice." Mark released a pant of thanks.
"W-where are you?" Mina asked, trying to move in the darkness where she was told. She came upon Monroe before Mark. She didn't care who it was, as long as it was another person. She had spent ten or fifteen minutes in this place, but she was in great pain. She grabbed the person's waist and hugged them close, crying.
"Mina? I found her!" Mark rushed over, and the two brought her back into the world of light. As her form entered the day once more, Mark gagged slightly out of impulse.
"Oh my God... Mina! What happened to you?"
The girl had a small cut on her finger she was nursing while in Monroe's arms, but her face also had small nicks, all of which were bleeding a little. "I cut my finger, Mr. Monroe... it hurts..." The cuts were not just on her forehead and face, but also situated around the back of her head, where they were the most prevalent. "Can you give me a band-aid?"
"Yes, yes, Mina. We'll give you... several." Mark said, his face quite pale. He had forgotten all about dinner. He looked towards Monroe, torn about how to feel. The man should have been watching her. How could this happen? "Bring her into the bathroom. We have to get all this cleaned up and get her some new clothes. I'll go get the clothes and peroxide for cleaning the cuts while you take her and make her a bath. She'll want that."
"All right," Monroe said as he looked at Mark and lifted up Mina and prepared to carry her upstairs. "Oh, and bring her some food. I bet not only is she scared, but hungry as well. After all, she's only a little girl," the dark clad man said as he headed towards the nearest bathroom and placed the small girl on the toilet seat while the bounty hunter turned on the bath.
Monroe had noticed something a bit odd when he had lifted Mina up, but decided not to make anything of it and simply tell Mark when the bath was done being set up. Vossler felt the warm water as it rushed out of the metal head and into the bathtub, filling the room with a warm feeling. Monroe patted Mina on the head and smiled at her as he readied to leave. "I'm going to go talk to your brother for a bit, you just relax and take a nice, warm bath and I'll be back with Mark," the dark haired man said with a smile.
"Mr. Monroe," Mina said in a small, sweet voice. "What about my cut?" she asked him, giving him large, wide eyes.
"I'll put a band aid on it when I get back, okay?" he asked her with a smile as he headed out. "I'll be right back," he told the small girl as the dark dressed man headed downstairs. He had several questions for Mark, but first he wanted to tell the madman what he had learned.
Mark stopped about halfway up the stairs and looked up at Monroe at the top of the stairs. "Well, what were you doing that you weren't watching her?" the madman yelled up.
"She wanted to play hide and seek, so I agreed, but I didn't think she'd head inside to look for me," he told Mark. "Anyway, she was already kind of wet before when I picked her up. Is it particularly... moist in the basement, because her entire dress was soaked," the bounty hunter stated as the madman past. "What is down there?"
Mark looked back at Monroe, a puzzled expression on his face. "Her entire dress was soaked? Did you notice any peculiar smells?"
"No, not really." Monroe replied, confused about this as well.
"Well... I suppose... come on, maybe if we look for ourselves." He said this as he went up the stairs, visiting with Mina and helping her into the bath while he set her new clothes on the sink. Bestowing a kiss upon her forehead, careful not to touch her cuts, he left her alone, grabbing a nearby lamp and bringing it into the basement. Mark began to explore alongside Monroe, hearing a loud crunching as he neared where he stored his weapons. "Hm?" He looked down and bent to feel the floor.
His fingers were touching glass, he discovered as he brought the lantern closer. A lot of it. Oh no... He lifted the lantern so as to look at the shelf above, upon which several half-full beakers lay, corks in them. "Monroe! Come over here!"
Oblidged to do so, the bounty hunter approached the scientist. "Did you find out what happened?"
"I think she must have hit something to cause a beaker to fall. The floor is wet and there's glass shards everywhere. This is where I perform my expirements, besides my lab. More of a storage place."
"So she had chemicals spill on her, then?" Monroe waited for a moment. "Well, what was it?"
"I don't know." Mark admitted. "I don't label them." He looked slightly sheepish. "I know them from their sorting, and these are random. I was meaning to begin to sort them, because I know which are which, but to know which it was specifically, I'd have to look at all the other fifty-something." He motioned to the rest of the shelf. "But if it fell and hit her head, which would explain the cuts, it's already entered her bloodstream. That means that I don't have enough time, really, to figure it out before whatever was going to happen happens."
"Tell me you didn't have any poisons or anything in this shelf."
"I don't think so. I think this was more of an enzyme-shelf. Like, potions for producing more, producing less...mass amounts or small amounts."
"Enzymes." Monroe stated. "Okay, well I'm sure she'll be fine."
"Yeah, I suppose so." The rest of the night, nothing really seemed to happen, as Mark and Monroe both kept a close watch over Mina. She was perfectly alright after her wounds were bandaged. "Do you mind staying over for dinner with us? I already set out the plates and all." Mark asked Monroe later that night, after he had tucked Mina in and given her the food she needed earlier.
"Of course, I'd like that, thanks." Monroe and Mark sat together while they ate, talking and enjoying each other's company. Mark even found himself inviting Monroe to spend the night in one of the upstairs rooms, so he could rest after such a tiring day. He suggested that perhaps tomorrow they would discover what the potion was meant for.
Meanwhile, Mina felt rather strange, but decided not to tell her brother. It wasn't like it was that big of a deal, right? He had helped her cuts stop bleeding, so she didn't mind. She snuggled down under the sheets and went to sleep.
Monroe sat silently in a room that belonged solely to him... for tonight. It was a nice place to think about things, here in the dark. The dark clad man rested his head against a nearby wall and rested his sheathed sword against his shoulder as he sat there, hunched over like someone who seemed to be sad about something. Monroe's head laid back as he continued trying to rest himself a little bit, but found himself unable to sleep.
Slowly, thoughts filled the modern man's head as he sat in the room. Why in the world had he come here? For what reason did he desire to be in this place, aside from getting what he desired? Vossler looked at the ceiling and pondered what would happen next, and, better yet, what that potion did. The modern fencer had things he wanted to get done, and those included mostly getting to work on his next big case.
Monroe hung his head low again and looked at the ground. How tired was he really? Could he actually sleep tonight? He'd slept two days ago and felt very awake at this moment, but the fighter wasn't entirely sure what he could do until morning. Sleeping was out of the option, since Monroe didn't exactly feel the need to rest, but perhaps he could do something of interest for a bit... although what he didn't know.
The dark clad man relinquished a sigh and hung his head again, his eyes suddenly feeling heavy again. He'd been working hard all day, so perhaps he would sleep. Before long, it turned from a may to a certainty, and the fencer fell asleep, falling from his perched back to on his side, sleeping peacefully. Peaceful sleep was, perhaps, just what the dark man needed.
Sunbeams peeked into her room, causing her to moan and turn a little. "Mm... big brother..." her higher voice whispered as she tossed back and forth. She wasn't very comfortable, in fact, her body felt cramped in this bed. She finally opened her eyes and yawned. She felt strange. She soon discovered that her pj's were tatters around her. Her eyes became wide as she felt herself, discovering that overnight her body had changed intensively.
"Oh? Huh? Big brother!" she cried, hugging the sheets around her.
Mark came quickly, stumbling over himself as he did, afraid something had happened. Indeed something had. "You... Mina, you're... huge!"
The girl was in fact bigger, in fact, she had sprouted from an eight-year-old to a twenty-year old overnight. She looked just like Mark's mother in her portraits, a proper, strict, yet extremely radiant woman. "Big brother, what happened? I'm big!"
"Enzymes..." Mark muttered under his breath, trying not to pay too much attention to his new sister, for fear of seeing something he didn't want to see. He was used to taking care of her when she needed it, but there were now huge differences. "Don't worry, Mina. This will wear off in a little over a few days, at the most. You'll be back to normal in no time. Let me get you some clothes, and you'll be fine." He exited, running a hand through his hair. How was he going to deal with this?
He entered his own room, sorting through the closet to reach a frilly light blue dress that reached to her middle calf, large and silky, much like a nightgown to give her movement. He also added in a small headband with a bow tied about it, knowing Mina would appreciate it.
"Here you go, Mina... just change into these, and I'll see you in a few minutes, okay? I'll go make breakfast."
Mina smiled as she took the dress. "But aren't you going to help me, big brother?" She was very much used to her brother helping her with everything, even dressing and sometimes bathing her. She enjoyed him more than anything else in her life, never being angry with him.
"I don't think I should this time, Mina," Mark said as he looked away from her. "Just get changed, and come down."
"Okay..." she sounded a bit sad, but she accepted it.
Mark left her room, thankful that she wasn't hurt or sick from the potion and that it was simply a growth potion. He would have to cut down on the enzyme count, though. Seemed it worked a bit too well. He knocked on Monroe's room door. "Oi! Monroe! I have a question for you. Wake up, sleepy-head. And come down to get some breakfast so I can talk to you, alright?" He wanted to ask the man if he would watch Mina again, even if Mark was angry with him, it only made sense for him to watch the gir- er, woman. This would give Mark enough time to begin the blueprints and get help from the lycan.
Countless leaves fell from the tree as splinters, bark and other pieces of the tree continued to fall from the damaged tree. The large crater left in by the fist even had indents belonging to a fist. The tree cracked throughout the bark, the force nearly knocking the tree over, and seemed to fall if anything else struck it. Such a destructive power was to be mastered if he hoped to defeat that man.
Monroe looked at the tree, slightly disheartened by the fact he still couldn't knock over a tree with a single punch. After a heavy sigh, the man quickly spun himself and kicked the tree, sending more splinters everywhere and the tree flying off of the trunk and onto the ground. The broken pieces of the tree and the splinters broken off of it were testament to the fact that the dark clad man had become stronger, but how much stronger had he truly become?
A few things about Monroe's new strengths were true. For one, he was definitely at least three times stronger then a normal human, faster too. Even so, the enhanced human knew that there were many people much stronger then he was in the world. Zorlo was one, and there were a few others he'd met that had impressed him. Some, however, hadn't satisfied his urge to fight, which only seemed to grow with his strength as well.
Slowly, the dark clad man began heading back towards Mark's house to get a little bit more sleep. After all, the sun had yet to come up yet, and Monroe was still kinda tired. Even so, he couldn't lose time in his training to sleep that his body didn't fully need. Being three times stronger meant more endurance, after all, and Vossler intended to use that for all it was worth.
Monroe entered his room from the window he had left open and rested in the bed for a few hours. Finally, a knock came at the door, followed by words from Mark. "Yeah, I'll be down shortly," Monroe responded clearly as he left his weapons in the room and left his room, heading downstairs. "So, what do you want to talk about?" Vossler asked the scientist, hoping that it was good news... although Monroe sensed it wasn't.
Mark spooned a little breakfast onto Monroe's plate, motioning for him to sit. "Well... I figured out what the potion does. Good news and bad news. Good news, it won't last long. Bad news..."
"Morning, Mr. Monroe!" The newly-grown Mina chirped as she entered the room, seating herself beside the man and flashing him a smile. "I'm all big now! See? I'm old, too!" She began to eat, smiling with a great pearly white set of teeth.
"There's the bad news." Mark said as he seated himself. "The effects, like I said, will wear off in time, she's just had a great surplus of enzymes in a little time, and that's triggered great growth. Great... growth. Anyway, I'm going to start work on your weapons today, and that means I have to go to town, get a horse, and ride it to meet that man to make the shell. I'll be back, though."
The scientist didn't really give Monroe time to talk before waving to Mina. "Be good, and.." He looked straight at Monroe. "Watch her this time, will you? I'll be back by the end of the day, see you later. Just cook for her, or get her something to eat. Everything else should be good." With that, the man left the scene, intent on getting what Monroe needed.
Mina turned to Monroe, smiling still, though this time, showing no teeth. "My cuts are all better, Mr. Monroe. See?" She pointed at her forehead. "And big brother says that I'm just going to be big for a while. Do I look the same?" she asked.
Monroe's eyes went wide when he first looked at Mina, and after the explanation it all, suddenly, seemed to make an odd bit of sense. This God damn place. Every time the bounty hunter came here, things got more and more stupid, but at least he was getting something out of this: He'd have new hunting gear to bring in bigger catches. For now, however, he had to deal with this fiasco.
After all, it hadn't been the dark clad man's fault that Mina had wound up like this. She had suggested the game, and she was the one that decided to go downstairs. The modern man had suggested neither of these things to her, and that was the thing that the scientist didn't seem to understand. For now, the dark haired man just needed to keep Mina busy to the madman came back. Then Monroe would simply dump the girl on her brother again.
For now, the first thing the dark haired man needed to do was answer the little girl. Her question actually made him laugh a little, for some unknown reason. He simply couldn't help but be amused by her young mind; so pure and unaltered by the true nature of the grim and evil world. What a lucky girl she was, but still, that didn't prevent the fact that things in the real world sucked. Well, at least Mina was sufficiently defended from the terrors of the real world in this place.
"Yes, you do look very much liked you did," the modern fencer told her with a smile as he continued to eat his breakfast. The two ate their food, mostly in silence, and when breakfast drew to a close, Monroe stood up and pushed his chair into the table. "Well, Mina, what do you want to do today?" the dark haired fighter asked, pondering the question slightly himself. This day would truly be interesting.
Mina rocketed up from her chair, smiling. "I don't know! We probably shouldn't play another game of hide-and-seek. Because that really hurt," she mumbled, rubbing her head.
"Don't worry, Mina. We won't play that again." Monroe shuddered. "No, definetely not that."
"It was my fault, Mr. Monroe... I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have gone down there by myself." She took on an apologetic look, her large blue eyes brimming with tears. "I just thought you might have gone down there to hide, and I wanted to find you so bad."
"It's okay, Mina..." Monroe smiled at her. "You didn't know better... don't cry. Just don't do it again. If you get lost, stay where you are. I'll find you."
"Okay." She responded after a few sniffles. "I guess... that's okay."
"So what did you want to do today?" Monroe asked, putting the dishes in a pile and beginning to carry them to the sink. He wasn't going to do them, but he might as well put them there for Mark.
"I don't know. What do grown-ups usually do?" Mina asked, putting a finger to her mouth and tilting her head curiously. "I've read books about something called 'porn' and then there's 'getting drunk' and 'sex.' Mister Monroe, should we do any of those things? I don't know what they are, but the book made them sound like awful fun!" The girl exclaimed, not knowing what it was she asked.
This predicament was one of those where a person wasn't quite sure how to feel. At first Monroe blushed slightly, but that soon faded. Next, he became a rather sickly shade of white, and finally he simply laughed slightly. He wasn't entirely sure what response to that question would be effective, but he knew there was, in fact, one.
First, there was a rather awkwardly setting silence between the former assassin and the young girl, but before long, the dark clad man recovered some of his composure and spoke. "All of those things are no good. You couldn't quite understand why, but they aren't things we should do," the modern fencer stated bluntly. After all, porn was a waste of time; due to the dark clad man's enhanced body, he was nearly physically incapable of becoming drunk without serious amounts of alcohol; and lastly, he'd never had sex, and he wasn't about to do it with this little girl.
The man's dark eyes flashed back to the window as he stared at a freedom he so deftly desired to run out to. For now, however, he'd keep a keen eye upon this girl and make sure that nothing bad happened. "For now, Mina, why don't we go explore the woods outside. I'm sure there are many interesting things in them," the modern man stated in facade, trying to pretend that he hadn't scoured nigh all of the woods. For now, he could go find out what was in the unexplored areas.
Hey, if it kept her busy and him from being in that insane house, it was worth it. "What do you say?" the modern fencer asked as he smiled and looked at the young girl, pondering if she'd agree.