The rain fell heavily during the night upon the great metropolis of Patricia. Patricia was one of several large cities in the country of Omalia; and while it wasn't the largest it had the distinct honor of being the only city that has the mighty river, Julien, flowing through it and where this story begins.
In the city of fifteen million there were many places to be seen and even more to not be seen . One such place served as both. It was a humble little bar by the name of Legal Drink. It was tucked out of the way. No one came to the bar unless they wanted to be hidden away, find someone, or of course have a drink.
This night one such patron was a young cobanious woman named Jorui Amori. Being that she was only Forty-two she was quite young as members of her species lived several hundred years as did many of the other races on N'iaps. Her ebony scales were as dark as the night. Her piercing neon-green eyes surveyed the bar around her casually. She was calmly sipping on her Leeche, a slightly sweet alcoholic drink that was blood red in color, as her tail lazily swished behind her. Most people know not to mess with a cobanious, especially one from the country of Asier, and most of the regulars at Legal Drink knew that Jorui had an extremely bad temper for having her drinking interrupted. That was discovered several years ago when she put seven others in the hospital and caused eighty thousand rubies worth of damage. Being that this was her favorite bar, she paid for the damages and apologized to the owners as she didn't want to be banned.
The owners of Legal Drink, a middle aged couple by the names of Leonide and Fabrizia Majida, were the only ones who could interrupt Jorui's drinking and not get beaten to within an inch of their lives. Jorui had the simple philosophy of not crushing the hand that served her her drink. Which is why when Mrs. Majida approached her, she didn't so much as bat an eye.
"Jorui there are two men here to see you," Fabrizia whispered. "They're sitting at the table by the door."
Without turning her head Jorui's left eye snapped towards the table in question. At said table were two tall lupons. One had soft brown fur and his partner had dark grey fur. Both were wearing suits and it didn't escape her notice of the pin on their lapels. It was an emerald C with a T inside of it. 'Tagliano,' Jorui thought is anger as her hood flared open and her forked tongue flicked in anger. "What! Do they want?" Jorui hissed.
"I don't know," Fabrizia replied. "They said that they're here to talk to you and will wait until you're finished drinking to talk to you. However long it takes you to finish."
Jorui rolled her eyes at their stupidity; she could drink for hours. "Thanks." She said to Fabrizia, who nodded her head and left to rejoin her husband behind the bar.
'Fuck it,' Jorui thought to herself after a couple of moments of staring down at her drink. Thanks to these to pricks she was now no longer able to enjoy her drink. 'May as well see what that ass wants," she thought as she grabbed her drink and chugged it down. Once the drink was gone she set the glass down on the table hard, pushed back her chair, and began to make her way over to the two who had ruined her evening.
The heels of her three inch platform lucite shoes clacked lightly on the hardwood floor of the bar as she made her way across the bar. Her jeans hugged her legs tightly as her shirt did the same to her heaving bosom.
Arriving at the gentlemen's table she stared down at them and said, 'What do the two of you want?"
"Good evening Mrs. Amori," replied the soft brown lupon in what he probably thought was a suave tone. It made Jorui want to rip his throat out. "I'm Orgulas and this is Yokota. We are here on behalf of Mr. Tagliano, who has a proposition for you."
"Why would I want to help that piece of crap?" Jorui asked. Claudio Tagliano was a lupon who was one of the slimiest, dirtiest, pathetic beings to ever walk the planet. He was also a powerful mob boss who had his fingers in everything from arms to slavery. Which is how some of his men came across Jorui as her job was a mercenary hunter. They had tried to move in on her job and she moved their souls out of their bodies.
"Recently, Mr. Tagliano has had a problem develop that requires help," Yokota continued where his partner left off. "Several of his businesses have come under attack. The latest one happened early this morning. This morning's attack was different as a message was left behind." Yokota then slid a turned over photograph towards her.
Carefully, she picked it up and looked at it. If Jorui was shocked by the image, she didn't let it show. The picture was taken in what looked like a warehouse. In the picture there were bodies slaughtered about on the floor, against the walls, on the production table of what appeared to be one of Tagliano's counterfeit handbags and wallet production areas. All of this paled in comparison to the most noticeable thing of all. Centered in the photograph across the wall from the camera that had snapped the image was a message, a message written in blood. "I'm coming for you little Claudio and I'm going to make a nice fur coat from your hide."
Looking back up at the two men Jorui asked, "and what does Tagliano want from me with this?"
"The man doing these attacks is-"
"Man? These attacks are being done by one person?" Jorui asked, interrupting Yokota. "Who is this person?"
"Dreg." As soon as the name left Orgulas lips all sound in the bar stopped. Dreg, a name no one wanted to hear and certainly not be connected to. It was five years ago and on the other side of N'iaps when his legendary massacre happened and people still shuttered at it. It was during the height of the Cipa/Lutones war. For several months the Cipans had been losing badly to their brutish eastern neighbor Lutones, home country of the lupons. It soon came to light that there was a traitor in King Thomas XXV's army. That traitor was Dreg. It was revealed that he had snuck in an army of seven hundred lupons to overthrow the kingdom from inside. No one knew how he did it or what led to the series of events that followed, but a young serf came upon the scene in the castle's lower caverns to see Dreg, who at the time had been a member of King Thomas XXV's royal guard, slaughter the seven hundred lupons, strike down Queen Evonia and thirteen of her maidens. Once word reached King Thomas's ears there was underside to pay. Dreg became the most wanted man in fifty-eight countries across seven of the thirteen continents. Cipa won the war a month later and once peace had been established the hunt for Dreg began.
The only problem was that Dreg was a beast in and of himself. He was the strongest of the King's royal guards and the youngest to ever hold the position of captain. Then there was his fighting ability, no one was a match for him. Dreg would take on multiple opponents during sparing matches and face entire platoons during the war. Add in the rumors that he had connections to the otherside and that he was the reincarnation of Uemura god of chaos. What really hindered the searching were three things. First, there was the fact that no one had ever seen Dreg's face so no one knew what he really looked like. He had always worn a mask. Second, there was the fact that Dreg worked alone. He relied on no one. And finally, there was the fact that Dreg killed anyone who came after him. Brutally. It soon became well known that if Dreg wanted you dead you'd die.
"What does Tagliano want me to do with Dreg?" Jorui asked. "If you're thinking I can kill him for you, you can forget it."
"Mr. Tagliano doesn't want anything like that. He is planning to go into hiding and is currently getting his affairs in order. What he wants from you is to track Dreg down and stall him."
"What do I get out of this?"
"Mr. Tagliano is offering to pay you this much," replied Yokota as he slid a small folded piece of paper towards her.
Jorui picked up the paper and her eyes widened in shock. 'Gods above,' she thought to herself. 'There's enough here for me to never have to work again or any of my children's children's children.' Jorui's eyes glazed over slightly as she thought of what she could do with the money and what it would mean for her business. If she could find Dreg when no one else had she would become the most famous hunter in the world.
"Also," Yokota continued interrupting Jorui from her thoughts "Mr. Tagliano is offering to move his operations out of Omalia and Tepotto."
At this, Jorui's hood snapped open in anger. Though it had been many years since she moved from her home country she still had a deep love for her native desert land. The thought of Claudio Tagliano or any of his people in her country made her blood boil. It took a great deal of restraint to not reach across the table and slash their throats.
Instead, her hands shot across the table and grabbed the collars of their shirts. Jorui then yanked them across the table and pulled them close to her face. "You go back to Tagliano and tell him this," she hissed at the two of them. "I'll take the job, but any interference and I'll come after him myself." She then shoved the two of them back into their seats. "Now leave before I decide to kill you."
The two men quickly stood up from the table and quickly left. Normally, they would have retaliated, but Mr. Tagliano left very specific instructions that if the job was accepted to do as the young woman asked.
* * *
An hour later as Jorui was leaving the bar, she never noticed the two masked eyes following her. "This is going to be fun," the voice belonging to the eyes replied.