Tsinghua - Reading Behind the Lines

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Description: Moondyne Mouse gets hired by Sybil Katherine to swap out the malfunctioning amulet of Tsinghua, the young messenger. All goes well, until..

A certain night, and deep within the forests past the town of Zhumiqiao, sits a walled-off village hidden from tourism any sort of common visitor. A singular, dirt-road would lead through the woods and to the main gate, where a single sleepy guard was stationed. A young, bald man. Dressed in a simple, loose dark-green tunic. It was a type of garb common amongst practioners of Tai Chi. Vertically along the middle, it was closed off by rectangular white straps.

The main gate itself is fairly unassuming. A simple, large wooden door- The wall that emerged from it, however, was impressive in a traditional sense. It spanned all around the premises of the village, made from a pristine white, cracked stone. The entirety of it was covered by the archaic 'hanging hill' sloped and curved on both sides, ending in a horizontal, decorated bar. the tiles layed on top of it are a jade-like green. These walls, well- They were high enough to prevent the common Hiker from sneaking it's way in. But otherwise, the wall itself was some 16 feet high. Far from an infallible defense.

And more importantly then that, unprotected. The masters seemingly found no interest in manning any sentries. Beyond the wall, peaks of it's higer buildings would be visible. Tower-esque structures with one to four seperate roofs, and similalry to the wall, white walls, and green roofs. There is obvious uniformity in this place's architecture.

Moondyne Mouse was not at all adverse to being a jewel thief, in fact--it was one of the more lucrative ways to be a thief. Jewels weighed far, far less than even paper money, which was deceptively heavy, in bulk! However, Moondyne first had to convince her new employer that she wasn't interested in being a 'bug' herself, and wasn't really into that. Once Sybil was sufficiently briefed on what Moondyne could and could not do, she offered her a job for a jewel heist of a sort--one that called for her to switch a certain pendant with a duplicate...

Which brings Moondyne to where she is right now. And being in a forest--especially one with streams and lakes around it--is not exactly her first place to take a vacation.

"Damn humans, I can't even get poison oak or a rash and I still feel like I could, out here... hmmph," Moondyne held a hand up to her red tinted visor, switching through infra-red to instead magnify the existing light in the environment, much like a pair of military-grade night vision goggles.

Right now, the 5' mouse lady bot was standing up, while cloaked of course--her holographic emitter allowing whatever light there was to simply pass through her, making it seem as if nothing was there as she approached, her head cocked up and to the side as she surveyed the structure, noting any of the weaknesses in it's construction, points of egress, and the location of any of the people watching it.

Very likely, she'd simply coat the feet of her sneaker-boots in some very soft, fine substance and just proceed to walk up cloaked to the main gate, while testing to see if the guard was watching, before circling around the walls--then trying to find a weak point where she could scale them, if she couldn't just walk right past the guard, that is.

The wall itself was rather uniform in it's construction. As far as one could tell, the only guard visible from outside was the one at the gate. As Moondyne would get a little closer, though, the yawning guard reared up his head- As if he got a hint of something in the area, looking vaguely in Moondyne's direction.

But there.. does not seem to be anything there. He looks a little hesitant as to what to do, likely speaking for his inexperience. But in the end, he stops actively watching. One could almost imagine him thinking. 'I must just be imagining things'. Seemingly, walking past him might be a bit of a risk.

This would, eventually give Moondyne plenty of opportunity to circle around. Admittedly, all parts of the wall look like they might be scalable with relative ease for one as experienced as her. A judgement could be made about the inner layout of the estate- With the south side of it housing the largest buildings, and the northern the smallest. In the eastern corner there was a impressively large, 8-roofed palace.

The lone sentry posted apparently could not /see/ her, but he could feel her. He sure hadn't /heard/ her, as she was very sure made no sound as she approached. Right now, Moondyne was essentially walking on sneakers padded with low-pile carpeting. No tracks, very little noise. It was more or less the same thing the drug cartels used in the southern United States to disguise their movements through backwoods cattle trails.

This however necessitated her slow careful movement around the guard--and to a section of the wall which was along the sides, far from the sentry, and she began to scale it.

Under the stealth field, she looked quite like a white furry humanoid fly, carefully climbing up the side of the sheer wall via her hands and feet, till she cleared the top and carefully swung herself over the summet, and proceeded down the other side.

With Moondyne's circling and subsequent scaling of the wall, she would end up on the village's southern side. The top of the wall would make for a decent vantage point- This section seems to be made up of wide variety of buildings, averaging a larger 2-3 stories high. Eventually, further past the buildings become smaller. House-or-cottage sized. Looking past the intial uniformity of the architecture would show that most of these closer buildings seem to serve some practical purpose. Moondyne would land next to a building with an overhang jutting out. Underneath, a large table with an in-progress wooden statuette sits. Tools would be strewn about somewhat haphazardly, waiting for the artist to return and continue his progress.

Similair workstations for weavers, painters, tailors, and various other types of craftsmen would be visible both in and outside the buildings. A crafter's district, perhaps? Nontheless, it was mostly empty, as was to be expected of the time of day. One could assume that these places would not serve as homes and living spaces.

Yet sitting outside, under a yellow, flashing electric light, are a pair of people- Talking and drinking tea, smiling and laughing amongst themselves. Both men, and both dressed in simple, yet elegant brown tunics of thick cloth. Should Moondyne wish to come closer, the conversation could become audible.

Moondyne did indeed creep closer, using those big radar dish-like mouse ears of hers to spy for any potential clues. Likely Sybil would have told her where she could find the pendant, though where in the compound it /was/ specifically might have been left out. Right now, Moon could take the shape of anyone in the compound that she had seen so far, but that wouldn't do her much good if she copied someone who wasn't where they were supposed to be, either.

'Lets see what these humans have to say...' she thinks, positioning herself against a wall just out of sight.

Indeed, The amulet would be on Tsinghua- Moondyne would have Tsinghua's physical description, but not much else. But perhaps, hints could be gained from these two gentleman?

"-es. I will be heading out. I aught to get home, and a good night's rest while I can.. My student will be up early, she's.. the rebellious and rowdy type." The other man sighs, and responds. "And that part is worrying me, mr. Deng. You must be painfully aware that such behavior is not tolerated well. I once again implore you to instill some more discipline in the girl before it's too late-" A rather... ominous statement, aluding to something that neither of them wants to mention. "Yeah- Yeah, I know. It is simply hard to get her to do anything.. Listening to me being the first hurdle! Well, have a good night, mr. Zhu" The portly master shrugs, and shakes his head. The conversation ended in a frustrating manner, and he begins walking away northward, towards the smaller buildings. The other, more gaunt gentleman, remains in his chair, sipping the tea as he watches his friend off. He looks rather distracted at the moment, looking up to gaze at the starry night.

The strange melody of the Mandarin language was at times hard for her to parse out--she had to play it back several times in her head and do some heuristic calculations of trial and error to pick out exactly what they were saying. With some effort, she was able listen in. 'Hrnn... a girl, not who I'm here for,' Moondyne betrayed no emotion as she slunk back into the shadows from the wall, though she is disappointed in a way that is subtly noticable. Her tail flicked around behind her, restlessly, looking up around the buildings. Time to do this a bit more systematically.

Keeping to the shadows and out of sight while stealthed, Moondyne would then proceed to go around to check over each dwelling, listening, looking and even trying to scent the target out. She had the image of him, of course--a tiny young teenaged boy. Messenger boy--who better to track, she supposed. It made sense at least--and these humans often managed to not do so, on many occasion.

There didn't seem to be motion sensors in this backwoods little estate or villa, which made her skulking about easier--looking through windows and scanning over the structures through her visor, she'd filter out the people that were around based on age, gender, shape, etc.

By following the man, Moondyne would find herself in the place that is likely to house her target- The housing section of the village. This area was noticably prettier, simple, but uniform one-story homes surrounded by their own small gardens filled with grass and flowers. Roads from stone tiles leading between them- It looked like a nice, if dull place to live. Most of the homes are individually fairly small, white wooden walls, green roof- Windows decorated with intricate rectangular carvings- Most of them lacking curtains, and easy to peek through. Around 5 dozen homes in total.

Quite a few to have to peek in, but still mostly managable. Around the tenth house, Moondyne would have seen quite the variety of people- Well, mostly middle-aged men, in actuality. Each house seems to have a mostly idential layout. The inside walls are unpainted, dark-brown wood. There are four moderately sized bedrooms branching from the initial entrance corridor. No real communal space, kitchen, or even bathroom to speak of! Functions of that nature might have their seperate buildings-

But coming up on the eleventh house, footsteps suddenly ring out from behind the corner. Accompanied by a yawn, someone seems to have woken up and left their house! They seem to be following along the path going past the house Moondyne would be investigating.

...Did they hear something, or is it just a midnight bathroom walk?

With the ornate and rural decorations and gardens around the estate, Moondyne couldn't shake the feeling that the place was infiltrating her somehow--as much as she was it. What was it about these sorts of environments that made her feel like she could get a rash somehow, despite not being organic? Was just the place, or the human dwellings themselves? It was odd. Maybe she'd picked up some form of dementia from Boskonovitch or someone else she'd scanned the mind of--she wasn't sure...

Getting closer to the light, the blurry silhouette effect of her stealth would be a bit more noticeable, rather than undiscernable as it had been in the darkness--she quit moving and stood perfectly stock still as the yawn was heard and the person stumbled out into the night, trying to also get a handle on who this person /was/ and also if this provided a chance for her to slip around them...

A few tense seconds pass, as the footsteps come closer. Moondyne mostly hidden by the cloaking, except for very observant.. observants. The tension reaches it's peak when the mystery-person finally comes into view, under 10 feet away from Moondyne! A younger chinese man with long, flowing black hair, dressed in a sleeveless tunic and pair of pants. He was a little attractive.. muscular, but not overly so. Toned! Though in his sleepless night, he did not have the visual acuity to notice anything out of the ordinary. He glanced toward the mouse for but a moment...

But continued to walk, shrugging, and eventually turning a corner and behind other homes, out of view- Around five minutes later, he would be back. Ample time to leave and continue her search, should Moondyne want to.

Perfectly still, the man might not be able to discern the visual distortion effect, especially in this horrible lighting conditions--they were basically by moon and starlight, and whatever was coming from the windows. The guard seems to fail his perception check and Moondyne is able to continue in the way he came, keeping herself unseen but keeping a record of what that guy looked like in case she needed to impersonate him--which she didn't, for now.

For right now she'd picked up a trail of scent particles in the air, illustrated by the technical readouts in her robotic vision which was leading her to the abode of her target. Think the detective vision mode from the Arkham Asylum games.

Now she just had to slip in, get the pendant, and get out, unseen...

Now that the 'locate the boy' part is over, that is probably the most frustrating hurdle out of the way. Using that smell-o-vision, it leads her right to the correct house. It looks strikingly similair to.. all of the others. Not that striking actually, it's all uniform. And indeed, a quick peek through the decorated window would reveal the boy. He was laying in his bed, covered by a blanket with only his head being visible. It is rather unmistakable. Green hair, petite, and quite adorable.

Slipping in seems be a fairly simple task- The front door was a little creaky, but opening and closing it slowly would prevent that issue. After that, it is a straight walk down the corridor and one door away from Tsinghua's room.. Only a few more rolls, and the session would go down without a hitch.

The amulet itself.. was not actually directly visible. Not on his neck, or on the nightstand- But it should be around, right? Moondyne would know that the boy was always supposed to have the amulet nearby, according to Sybil's instructions.

To outside viewers, if there were any--the door seems to open and close by itself. The carpet-like padding of Moondyne's boots thump softly down the hall, until it comes to the green-haired boy's room. Jeez, they're coming in green now, even. This must be a new breed, Moondyne thinks, as she proceeds into the room. Watching him sleep for a few more seconds, like a creeper, Mouse then directs herself to the room and it's contents, her fingerprint-less hands roving over different surfaces to check for any deformities or possible hollow spaces inside the walls.

Now where could this little metal object be...

Tsinghua claims his hair color is natural, but... green? Unusual.

The room.. is cozily furnished. There's a single-person bed, which Tsinghua is sleeping on. A nightstand with a row of drawers, a thin wardrobe, and on the opposite end of the room, a desk and chair- Upon which lays an open notebook, pages full of Hanzi Characters in a extremely precise and meticulous handwriting. Every essential furnishing a young man such as himself would need.

Fondling the walls would not reveal much in the way of secrets. The boy seems to be a quiet sleeper, no snoring and little stirring to be noticed. Quite... serene, if you ignore the creep factor. He does not seem to notice Moondyne, and remains undisturbed.

Where is iiiiit. Moondyne was patient, but even her patience had her limits, especially since she knew she could be discovered on the way out, potentially--and she wanted to remain unseen. Scanning around the room, her vision swapped from light amplification, basically Iraqi desert night camera footage--to Infra-red, then to thermal. The thermal vision she possessed reduced the world around the boy to black and blue, with his shape outlined in chartreuse and lime green, red filling out the core parts of his body which heat sprang from. She crept closer and peered over him--was he wearing it on himself...? Then it would turn red and yellow like the rest of him, potentially!

Well, that didn't work. Moondyne switched her gaze back to 'light amp' and instead started going through his drawers, nighstand--the spartan wardrobe, and then through the desk at the far end of the room. She wasn't hurried, and so she was quiet, though she still had to get going--because if the kid was sensitive at all, he could probably detect movement in the room, even if she he couldn't /see/ it. Like how one can feel something creeping around in their room by the subtle noises and whatnot, even if its entirely dark, like it was right now.

Unfortunately, her irritation might have to continue. Thermal vision showed.. the boy. That was about it. A light visible from the outside window to, but that is rather useless for her current predicament. The boy stirred once, turning his body from facing straight up to laying on his side, curling up underneath the blanket. He looks very comfortable... considering the fact someone is skulking about a few feet away.

Now, where would one be likely to put their jewelry before they go to sleep?

And Moondyne would strike gold almost right away. Moondyne would -finally- find it. Where? In the top drawer of his nightstand. It is a.. painfully obvious place for it. He placed it their because it was convinient, not even to hide it, really. It was an exact mimic of the one Moondyne is in possession of, same shade, same engravings.

A operation with elements of frustration for it's agent, but one that, for now seems to be heading toward success.

Moondyne felt a sudden spike of frustration, but then relief and sense of joy--because it was right in the freaking top drawer of the nightstand--it was like the kid had hidden it under the bed. The basest, most childish place someone would hide something in a bedroom--and also the most easily detected. Which is why that wasn't the first place she looked.

She had the fake pendant in one hand as her long-nailed hand (think Sombra's) reached down to pluck at the chain of the one inside the drawer.

Of course, even Moondyne could feel the sensation of a duck walking over her grave when the metal came in contact with her hand. There was a sudden... pulse, of something, she could not articulate, holding the pendent up.

It made her wince, holding it dangling there--already moving to replace the one Sybil had given her in the drawer and close it, pocketing what she had been told was the 'deactivated' pendant and moving towards the door.

Something was already wrong, and she didn't like it.

The prickling sensation of eyes on the back of her neck persists as Moondyne opens the door out into the hall. A low, humming sensation of something lurking just out of sight, growing more intense as she slips out into the hall. In and out, quick and clean.
A glance toward the front door reveals nothing but empty hallway, as does a quick look up the hall in the direction she hasn't gone. And still there's that feeling she's being watched...
"This must be why the English saying is, Quiet As A Mouse?"
The voice comes from the direction of the front door, words respectfully softened in the home of those who are sleeping. But even still the tone is playfully teasing, full of a mischievous joy at what he has found. Speaking initially in Mandarin, the last is said in thickly accented English, as if trying the language on for size.
Glancing in the direction of the speaker reveals the front door to be wide open, a boy of about Tsinghua's age standing in the frame with a sturdy wooden broom held loosely in both hands. What little light their is reveals his skin to be deeply tanned, almost weathered, while his hair and brows is the pure white of freshly fallen snow, pulled back into a long tail that drapes thickly down his back.
Teeth flashing in a grin of quiet amusement, the teenager braces the end of the broom between his bare feet and folds both arms around it, leaning upon the cleaning implement at lazy ease. Wearing only a loose brown vest and pants tied with a black belt, he very well could be some sort of staff here, but the fact that he appeared out of nowhere without making a sound, in a doorway that was empty half a second before, makes it clear something isn't quite right.
"Are you one of these mysterious lady friends that Tsinghua has hinted keep appearing in his life? I did not expect so much, ears."
Still quietly teasing, prodding but not meanly so. In fact, it's hard to believe the youth could have a mean bone in his body, what with the way his dark eyes sparkle with contained delight. On the other hand, he has the well-defined musculature and easy confidence of a fighter, something that is all too apparent to an agent of Moondyne's caliber.

The strange feeling seems to have manifested itself as a... deeply tanned young man with snow white hair, and blocking her path. Clearly whatever she had felt was of consequence, though she could not articulate exactly what kind of feeling it was. This was clearly some kind of trap, that she had no way of knowing about.

"Something like that," Moondyne Mouse said, as she let her holographic cloaking that rendered her nigh transparent dissipate. Clearly whatever this individual was it wasn't seeing her with it's eyes, exactly.

"He's traded up, you see--he's discovered he needs more murine women in his life," Moondyne grinned and stroked her light blue hair back, causing her large conical ears to flick as they snapped back from being bent lightly by the hand and arm.

"Anyway... what do you want?" she asked, more serious now, apparently full aware the jig is up, here.

"Hmmm." the stranger responds, eyes remaining focused upon the mechanical mouse as she drops her attempt at invisibility. How he is able to see through it is anyone's guess, but clearly he can. On the other hand, with the young man now standing before her, that feeling of being watched has vanished, the creeping tingle faded away to nothing.
"It is just as it appears," the snowy-haired young man states. Continuing to smile faintly, he taps the side of his broom with one hand, head inclining to get a look at Moondyne from a different angle. "There is a mess that must be cleaned."
Coming from anyone else the words might seem like a threat, but the young man makes no move to approach, injects no tone of menace into the statement, and doesn't seem like the type to be cheerfully indifferent about violence. With the door wide open and the summer heat creeping in around him, he seems content to watch for the time being, seeing just what the intruder might do.

The talking turned out to be enough.

When it was only Moondyne shuffling around in utter silence, the boy did not wake. He stirred a few times, but his dreams were not interrupted.

But there is still a reason Tsinghua's fighting style is based on observation.

He has an accute sense of perception, both through the simple quality of his vision, and his honed mind. Even when the speaking behind the door was soft, his ears picked up- Rubbing his eyes, he sat up. Listening for a few more seconds to confirm he was not imagining things as unease grew.


Nervously, he got out of bed: His bare feet thumping softly on the wooden, carpeted floor. Likely audible for the pair talking in the hallway, on the other side of the door. Soft, slightly panicked breaths could be picked up for those with supernatural hearing.

Should the talking pair decide to stick around, the boy would stumble into a surreal dream indeed.

"So... what is it? Are you this person's guardian? Why did you appear?" Moondyne looked around, giving a cursory glance to the structure of the house--the exit was through the white-haired one--and suddenly, the boy behind her had awoken.

"Oh, see--you woke him up," Moondyne Mouse said in a bit of a accusatory tone, as if this was Raiden's fault, of course she seemed to be joking. She turned her head to look back at Tsinghua, and the boy would see her eyes glowing in the dark--though they'd appear tinted red through the visor over her eyes, which perhaps isn't the best thing to see when one just woke up out of a dead sleep.

There's also the fact the very short figure with the glowing eyes has the huge ears, and that tail lilting about behind them.

"Tsing." comes Peng You's familiar voice, words cutting past the glowing eyed creature as the white-haired teen pushes up from his casual lean. "Is this not a friend from your travels? I caught her creeping about, much like the song."
Lifting his broom, the bare-foot young man rests it over his left shoulder and saunters forward, dark eyes twinkling as he first hums, then quietly sings the lyrics to the childrens' rhyme.
"One rat known as a thief, two oxen drive a plow. Three tigers on a rugged hill, 4 rabbits visit Tokyo. Five Dragon Emperor..."
Having closed much of the distance between himself and the other two, he lifts his white brows and trails thoughtfully to silence. And though there are no outward signs of anything happening, a faint charge can be felt in the air, as of a gathering storm. For Moondyne that fact alone might be concerning, but even more so are the odd electronic blips that started sparking within her the moment the young man decided to approach.
A twitch of a muscle, the sudden inability to access her cloaking mode. Vision modes clicking over on their own. It is as if the very electrical impulses that power her circuits were being toyed with, plucked lightly by an outside force as if to test how they work.
"Hmm..." Peng You murmurs, flicking a glance toward Tsinghua as he comes to a halt before Moondyne. "What is it the Dragon Emperor must do?" gaze returning to the mechanical mouse, there is a final, experimental twitch before the feeling fades away, leaving her completely unharmed.
Peng You's smile grows.
"I suppose that is for us to find out."

And the boy would open the door, being met with an utterly confusing scene. Closely in front of him, the white mouse with glowing eyes- A tiny humanoid, though somehow still taller then him. A glance further down the hall would show the boy the familiar face, Peng You- The boy gasps, stumbling back two paces in surprise, toward his room. "Wh-Wha?"

Face displaying utter confusion.

Dressed in naught but a pair of silky red long underpants, his hair tangled up from the laying in bed. "I don't- Who... are you.." He recognizes Peng, vaguely- But the other, feminine and large-eared figure? Not so much. She actually scares him, with that alien appearence in the middle of the night. The other teen's words, well, their meaning is not understood with the boy being how he is at the moment.

It is frightening, all of it- Not just the mouse. The blue-eyed boy's cryptic words and subesquent malfunctioning mouse contribute greatly. To a degree, it feels unreal- It seems it would take a few more seconds for the boy to come to his senses. "Stay.. Away."

Looking for an escape, there weren't many options in open view. The hallway ended into a blank wooden wall with the only visible exists being the front door past Raiden, and the window in Tsinghua's room, where the young messenger was still standing.

"What...?" Moondyne was not used to having this--she wasn't used to it at all. When the electrical discharges started to be felt--it flooded her with the same sort of alarm that a feeling of pain might for a human--though as she held her head and stumbled around, she probably seemed more like she had a huge migrane headache. In truth, her design was much more 'surge protected' than most other robots, but that wasn't to say she wasn't entirely sensitive to it, and right the small charges of electricity zapping her were doing /something/.

"How did you--ahhh!" she clenched eyes shut as her vision started to go hayware--bumping into the wall next to her and the pendant she was supposed to steal back tumbled from the pouch on her hip, not noticing as it rattled onto the floor.

"N-Nechist..." at first, one might have thought she was going totally hayware, but it was actually Russian, something she had picked up from Dr. Bosko--right now her memories were getting mixed up and she was confused--whirling around as she tried to look for a path to escape!

Moondyne would try to find a window, and hurl herself out of it--if it was open, or not! Barring that, she might just try to blow a hole in the wall, to get out--if Raiden was not about to let her through.

Much can happen in the heat of the moment. With a staggering, jabbering mouse before him and a frightened Tsing retreating back into his room, Peng You decides, privately, to take matters well in hand.
Just as Moondyne begins to turn toward Tsinghua's room and the safety of the window beyond, her left knee buckles while the right surges, electronic currents manipulated with masterful ease. Rather than hurling herself toward the window and the green-haired boy in front of it, the mouse finds herself lunging sideways toward Peng, who dodges neatly to one side. Control over her limbs returns to her while she is still mid leap, flying down the hall and toward the open door with nothing between her and freedom.
"Hmm." Peng You grunts quietly, head turning to watch her go even as he extends his broom handle and hooks its shaft through the dropped necklace. Whirling the cleaning implement into a casual spin, he tosses the item up into the air and darts a hand out to snag it, not even bothering to look at what he's doing.
"I have scared away the danger." Peng You comments, still watching the open front door while Tsinghua takes a moment to gather his wits.

Tsinghua's eyes widen at the unfolding scene- He sees the amulet fall, an amulet he recognizes immediately. Looking back up, the mouse-kind looks toward him! Well, in actuality, the window. But in the heat of the moment, panick grows as he enters a fighting stance.

But most peculiarly, the feminine figure gets /tossed/ the other way, down the hallway and out of Tsinghua's view. "Huh?!" He stumbles forward toward the doorpost, looking around the corner to see the end of Moondyne's flight, his eyes move, toward Peng You as he's holding the amulet.

"Did you... save me?" He questions. The blue-eyed boy was mildly frightening before: But as the situation calms down, Tsinghua feels that comfortable presence again. He stumbles, and falls backward a little, breathing in and out heavily, grasping his face.

Behind the three other doors, confused mumblings and rustlings become audible- The boy is not the only one that lives here, and the brief scuffle seemed to have made enough noise for the other three occupants to wake. None of them have opened their doors yet, but that occurence is inevitable.

Hopefully for Moondyne's escape, are those three the only individuals that have woken.

There is only a few brief flashes of the white armored form of Moondyne as she heads off into the night. To anyone watching, it might look like the white figure is phasing in and out of this plane of existence--well, the image of her is, sort of. Moondyne herself is scared and confused by what she's encountered, not the least of which is some kind of terrible energy signature which had her senses rattling fromc contact with it--though, she was not damaged. Odd. Either way, the figure is off and away into the night. At least for now...

"Save you? I do not think so." Peng You replies, finally tearing his eyes away from the departing thief long enough to offer Tsinghua a brief flash of a grin. Apparently encountering mysterious robo mice in the middle of the night and scaring his friend half to death aren't concerns enough to bump him out of his good mood. "Only your property."
Closing the distance to the other teen with casual familiarity, he swings the soft bristled end of his broom down in an attempt to whap the slender youth lightly on the head, voice full of chiding amusement.
"Perhaps it is I who should wear the lady's favor? It is I who defended it..."
Lifting the broom away, the playful servant steps neatly around his nervous friend and deeper into his room, moving out of sight of the hall as he wanders over to the small side table beside the bed. Pulling the drawer open, he drops the locket carelessly inside, half turning to glance over his shoulder toward his friend.
"You are not hurt?"
As he asks this he drops the end of his broom to the ground, the passing of the bristled head blocking the other boy's line of sight to the open drawer for only a moment. But a moment is long enough for Peng You to palm the other locket from within, concealing it in his pocket as he bumps the drawer shut with his hip.
Pretending to be mortal is actually pretty fun.

Moondyne's escape would go mostly smoothly- Certain inhabitants saw the passing of a spectral, shimmering form- Rumors would spread, but a quick climb over the nearest outer wall would be everything the Muroid had to do to escape into the forest that lay behind.

"Th-The amulet.. Why did that creature..." He begins, as Peng you enters his room. *whap.* "A-Ah!" He exclaims in surprise, stumbling back against the far wall as the soft part of the broom grazes past. "I- I am fine, mr. Peng You." Quickly after, he realizes something- And bows deeply!

"I thank you for your protection- I am greatly indebted to you.." He begins profusely thanking Peng, and at that point- A grumpy old lady dressed in a sleeping gown peeks into the room, brows furrowed. She went out to investigate the noise, it seems. "Grh- What's all this commotion, Tsing- Oh. I see." She snickers, seeing her scantily dressed housemate bowing in front of Peng You- It seemingly did not register to her that the white-haired boy was not a member of the estate. "A-Ah, I am very sorry, Lady Wan. I was-" "Oh, you don't have to explain yourself- Have fun, you two!" She would stick around for another second or two, giggling- Before slinking back into the hallway and closing the door.

All of that made sure that Tsinghua did not notice the other teen's pinching of the drawer-amulet- He was oblivious to the true nature of events that transpired. Though after that little encounter, he looks confused again- Though for a different reason.

"I- I do not understand what she was speaking of.. do you?"

Log created on 14:28:30 07/28/2021 by Tsinghua, and last modified on 14:59:28 07/30/2021.