What little interest Paplo held for the scene resurfaced once the avian entered the scene. Of all creatures, it was she the one he held the biggest interest for. With her proud gait and her glorious wings, whatever envy Paplo could gather was immediately pointed at her. His hand instinctively reached for the makeshift pouch in one of his pockets, where two pills awaited to see the female’s insides. Regardless of pacifism, an expression of distaste came to the male’s features whilst he watched, the female quickly taking control of the situation and most of the crowd’s attention. Paplo, on the other hand, remained just one more face in the background.
“Nice to see you, Nightshade,” he announced, voice raising as he stepped forth from the crowd, eyes starting towards Eld. “Even if the circumstances are not so pleasant.”
After a brief and coy smile, Paplo glanced towards the guards, whom were about to push him off the crime scene. None of the faces were recognized, and thus the individuals present in his recruitment were absent. He had to win their affection.
“Judging by the damage done to the corpse, I’d imagine this Ripper does not practice his torture in the open. Breaking a limb as such is bound to fuel some desperate screams, don’t you think? Perhaps you should begin your investigation in the nearest medical facilities. It is unlikely the body has crossed the city wall---”
“Back off, pal. This is official Etzori business.” Said one of the guards, whom started pushing Paplo back into the crowd.
“Yet the Ripper is still not caught,” replied the Mortalborn, offering a bit of resistance. “Allow me to help, please.”
The guard doubted for a moment, for the male before him was rather persuasive. Nonetheless, he did not let go.
“I’ve worked with the guard before. The winged warrior can vouch for me,” added Paplo, eyes shooting towards the female.
The guard looked over his shoulder as well, an unspoken query being placed upon Nightshade. The guard seemed somewhat annoyed at his own gesture, for asking the permission of a filthy mixed blood humiliated his own pride as a man. As such, he violently pushed Paplo into the crowd.
“I said back off, all of you!”
Chaos erupted once Paplo was shoved onto the mass of witnesses, the male falling to his rear and taking a few of the witnesses with himself. Exclamations of both disgust and outrage escaped the gathered crowd. Paplo stood up, helping those he had taken with him in his fall back to their feet, and offering quick apologies to each and every last one of them. Shooting a last glance towards Eld, Paplo walked away.
Winning the female’s affections would be easier if they were to work together, and unlike in the previous occasion, this once Nightshade had to depend on Paplo. As such, he had to hijack the investigation and make significant progress so that she begged for his help. As he walked away, he came across some teary features that stared towards the gathered crowd, woman hugging a gruff-looking male for comfort. Pain and grief spoke of the relationship she had shared with the victim.
“Excuse me,” whispered Paplo, his tone soft and non-threatening, honeyed with emotion. “Did you know the victim?”
“Yes,” replied the female after wiping a tears off. “That’s Rosamund. We used to be childhood friends.”
“I’m sorry for your loss,” replied Paplo, offering a sad smile. “Can you tell me a bit about her?”
“Why would we tell you anything, you?” spoke the male, perhaps her husband or significant other, unaffected by grief.
“Because I care about what happened, unlike the guards. How many other victims has the Ripper claimed?” asked Paplo, using the question as an argument. In truth, he didn’t know a thing about the Ripper. “If they won’t try to solve this, then I will try. I dislike living in fear.”
“We weren’t friends anymore,” replied the female before her man could intervene. “I never got the chance to forgive her for… for…”
“Do you know where she lives?” interrupted Paplo. Listening to the mortals cry was extremely annoying.
“She has a small cottage by the butcher shop,” replied the male, whom hugged the female tightly, muffling her speech and covering her ears. Protection from emotional pain? Such a noble man. “There’s a broken cart in the front, so you can’t miss it. Now leave.”
“That is very helpful, thank you, and I’m sorry once again.”
Now, Paplo looked over his shoulder towards Nightshade. Offering the information learned would only lose his own leverage over the situation, and so sharing it was not viable. Instead, he began walking forth into the night, setting his course towards the butcher shop he used to stalk in the day, for the smells of fresh and bloody meat were sometimes as good as the meal itself. He made sure to advance with haste, for if he was able to find out about her residence, then Nightshade would too.