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    I can help you. Cain wishes that someone can just make his ghoulism simply disappear but that would be an unlikely thing to happen. It was a dream and it would stay that way. He appreciated the gesture though he couldn't help but think of countless ways for it to go wrong if Strelitzia tried to step in while he ghouled out. The ghoul quietly lays his head on hers, an mumbling sigh leaving him as the pair sat there in their own silence. He couldn't think, not now, and he simply listens to Strelitzia breathe as the seconds ticked by while she struggled with herself to tell him a truth she had been withholding.

    "Novocaine, I..." Her voice catches his attention and he's realized he had allowed himself to relax more than he had wanted to. Blue eyes blink open again, ears perking at the gentle call of his name. She seemed troubled, her voice wavering momentarily. Oh, what else was wrong? He looks down at her for a moment, eyes widening a fraction as she confesses. Love.

    What was he to do here? His heart stuttered too, somehow this taking him by more surprise than when another close friend of his had done the same months ago. But it's... not the same feeling he had months ago. Here, he feels almost overwhelmed, his heart wanting to literally jump out of his chest. It almost hurt but Cain felt... happy? Was that the proper word here? He's quiet all but for a moment before he lowers his head, nuzzling Liza's face fondly. "I love you too, Strelitzia." Was it love? He's been without it for so long, it's so hard to differentiate. But maybe this was it... This want to protect Strelitzia with all of his might could be the love he felt. "I'll... I'll try to come back, just for you." He mumbles a moment later, his mind decided. Maybe he'd come back to HawkClan and see if he could just keep himself in check there. He hates what could happen there how he could act while he's there, but he wants to be there for Strelitzia all the same...

    — The hellhound hadn't a clue what the boy was going on about. Cain, unfortunately, hadn't been present when Seagi's kids had been brought into the world, so it only made sense that the Underboss would be feeling puzzled and moderately concerned for Seagi's well-being. And considering that this kid responded to him the way he did then... the Ikurusaba heir imagined that Seagi had somehow became a father and hadn't told him. He feels a bit miffed at this, although he should be happy for his son. Now the boy had split on him? Would he even be coming back? Why hadn't Seagi told him about this?

    "I'm assuming you mean Seagi, huh?" Comes his reply, mumbled out as if he'd been kicked one too many times. "Your dad's my son. That means you're my grandchild..." Grandchildren... God, he hadn't counted on being one so early in his life ( even though he was nearing four years of age, at least spiritually. He hadn't a clue how old this body was physically ). "'M Novocaine, though you probably know that already, I would assume."

    — Novocaine had been looking for Seagi, mostly to just talk to the boy and to spend a little time together. They have been far too busy to do much of anything together like a family should and he wanted nothing more than to talk to his boy before they went marching off to war. However, he doesn't find him. Instead, he finds a child. The massive hellhound furrows his brows in moderate confusion, tail lashing to and fro behind himself as oceanic blue eyes fix themselves on Agile. "Who're you? Where's Seagi?" He inquires with a deep frown on his face. He knew the boy to wander sometimes, but he was usually within earshot of himself.

    — Chicagocrimes is soon here as well, of course. Liza had called out the woman's name after all so, without a doubt would the leader come running at the caterwaul that leaves the Swan's mouth. He's tense as he sits there, tail flicking to and fro as his gaze trails along her extended stomach. Oh dear... how long would they be sitting here, waiting for the children be born? Hours? A day? Surely, it just depended on how many kids there were...

    His thoughts that were constant screeched to a stop when he registers someone speaking. Her voice is familiar ah, right, Chica was here too. Glazed blue eyes shift down to the caracal and brows furrow slightly as she commands him. Commands him. The hellhound looks troubled, his gaze shifting from Chica to Strelitzia as an hesitant whine leaves him. Fine, fine. Fine. "Right..." He seems lightheaded as he stands, wobbly, but he doesn't crash into the ground. His six foot frame finds the sink Chicagocrimes mentioned and retrieves water in an wooden bowl. He comes back quick but careful, setting it down without the liquid sloshing everywhere. "Here." He noses it a bit closer before stepping back, not yet sitting down in case he needed to get anything else.

    — How ironic was it that he had been visiting as an ambassador and how lucky it had been that Jitterpaw had shone him around the territory. Otherwise, Novocaine probably would have missed Strelitzia's birthing. He had been mostly stopping by for a moment to make sure their alliances were still intact and would return at a later date to spend a little time with Strelitzia but now... now he might be staying a little while longer than what he had originally planned for. The hellhound had been simply idle, not really doing much for the most part apart from watching the clouds roll above him.

    "CHICA!" The screech had honestly made the large creature nearly jump out of his fur. He turns his head into the hollow, pierced ears pricking as it only takes a moment to recognize who's voice that was. Liza. His Liza. Something was happening and then he remembers and it hits him right in the face. The kids. It was the kids! "Oh god... please." He had never believed in God but for once, he prayed, he hoped that this would go right for Strelitzia. The male makes his way over swiftly with his long legs and it doesn't take long for the doctor to find the girl curled up on her comfy little downy bed. She seemed prepared for it, at least.

    After standing there like an idiot for good five seconds, he finally breathes out, "Strelitzia, I'm here. I'm here for you." The Underboss would settle near, his heart palpitating as his mind runs at an million hours an hour. The time was now where Liza would be birthing her children and... he was honestly more excited for her than afraid for her.

    — Cain turns his gazes onto the two Cartelians that arrived, an newer member he had yet to get further acquainted with, and one of his closest friends, Violetwaltz. He's pleased at their arrivals, certainly, and he was sure that the other Cartelians would pitch in their ideas sooner or later. He comes down from his perch to sit amongst them, pulling his tail close to his paws as he nods at Thanatos' and Viol's words. "They live in an canyon, I doubt we can ambush them." The hellhound says this, "Their home is built into the wall of the canyon. If we ever want any chance of attacking them while their back is turned, it'd be to draw them out of their home." It was an idea that could use a little more tinkering with, but it certainly had him thinking. He turns his attention onto Violetwaltz next, who plans an revenge strategy, and the Underboss couldn't help but smirk in the satisfaction that could come of it.

    "The Veil is huge, I don't have a doubt in my mind that we'll be able pull this off. And we fight pretty hard ourselves despite being an smaller group." He comments, "Anyways. I like the idea of taking the food they tried so hard to take from us." He then sits back and contemplates for a moment, two moments, then three, and then he speaks. "So this is what I was thinking. We can use both of the ideas presented here. Some of the Shadow Veil and some of us will lure the Exiles out into the open and the rest of the party will sneak in and take what they've stolen from us and more. They'd be split parties, so one goes in after the other at separate times." He lays out the basis of his plan, looking to the others expectantly for feedback.

    — The last time he had visited the Thunderlands was for an ambassador visit when he had only been an doctor. Now he stands at their border as an Underboss and he realizes with a start just how far he's come from being his past, useless self. Quite far indeed... The six foot tall hellhound stands at the borders of the West Sundran Jungle, thankfully finding that it wasn't cold here like some of the other places in Agrelos. Which reminded him... after this, he'd have to head over to Solaris Kingdom, a desert-dwelling clan. At least their desert was hot in comparison to the Sanguine Ruins, which always seemed quite chilly no matter what time of day it was.

    Clearing his throat, the alabaster canine speaks in his carrying voice, "Novocaine, Underboss of the Cartel, here to check up on the Thunderlands." Beside him, an basket full of materials. He's knitted plenty of sweaters, scarves, and hats before and had made more than what was necessary, so here he was with the left overs. He, himself, was wearing a nice fluffy red scarf that did his short-furred body some justice.

    — Cain blinks slowly as Jitterpaw contemplates on the suggestion he's given her and a second later, she bounces back with admiration sparkling in the eyes that were hidden behind her sunglasses. He seems a bit confused at her compliment ( and a bit flustered, if here allowed to be frank ) but quickly pushes the feeling away with yet another nonchalant shrug of his shoulders. "I guess..." Novocaine was the oldest standing Cartelian in the clan that had age and seniority that he could gladly boast about and yet he doesn't. Most others would take pride in knowing the most and being the best, but he doesn't.

    However, there's something more interesting to dwell on than whether or not he was the best at anything. Chicagocrimes. This jittery kid's mother was Chicagocrimes. The woman, the first time he had met her, had been unpleasant. He remembered as clear as those hazy summer days, the accusations that were thrown his way for mistakes that had been learned from. She had come to apologize afterward, but had he really forgiven her? Who knew. Novocaine seldom forgave anyone for anything nowadays. He blinks his sapphire gaze almost twice as slowly that what he's done previously, as if he was slowly processing the information. It takes him a moment, then he says, "I know your mother." He doesn't say when he knew her from or how because, at this point, it's unimportant.

    This girl is very persistent, however. Thank god Chicagocrimes is here to tell her to lighten up. They hadn't gotten too far and he had followed anyhow because he was somewhat concerned she might hurt herself ( she seemed to be the leap before you look type of gal ) but before they'd gotten too far into the Sanctuary, they were confronted by Chicagocrimes herself. His gaze falls upon the caracal and the six foot tall beast of a man inclines his head down towards her and he recognizes her almost instantly. It was an hilarious contrast to Chica, who didn't seem to remember him at all as opposed to himself. "It's good to know that we've kept an alliance with you guys after all. It was a pain in the ass to convince you of all people." A joke falls from his mouth, an lopsided smile briefly appearing on his face for only a moment. "The Cartel's fine, for the most part. We're pickin' fights, as per usual... business is alright too, I guess." His habit of shrugging shoulders comes back. He feels fidgety and he's smoked his last cigarette on the way here... Damn, he'd need another pack soon enough. "It's good to see you're still around Chicagocrimes. It's Ryuusaki, by the way." Comes his reveal in an offhand sort of way, as if it really didn't matter, as if it were "old news." He had since moved on from the name that was associated with weakness and now here he was, standing as "Novocaine." He wonders faintly if Chica would even remember his name. It had been a year and then some, after all.

    — As Hayliel spoke, Cain couldn't help but just frown. She worried far too much and she was far too young to be having such worries pushed upon her shoulders. Novocaine was nearly four years old now and he's seen all the world had to offer him — nothing but suffering and prejudiced hatred, pointless bickering, idiots, and everything bad. It seldom had any happiness in it and the happiness was only temporary, at best, and he hated it all.

    "It's just extremely poor timing, Hayliel." Cain says, "We're weak and pathetic and if you look at it, there's nothing we can truly do about the Exiles or Breakout." He doesn't understand it. Why would Breakout suddenly turn on them — on him — like that? He hadn't even given him an explanation apart from just yelling hurtful obscenities at him. He had been deeply wounded, but it didn't hurt anymore than when he had lost Sollux. "I don't care about what Breakout said about me and you shouldn't either because you know it's not true." Novocaine breathes, brows furrowing. Breakout was... a liar. The more and more he thought about it, the deeper it cut him, because how could he have not seen it? The boy was bent on vengeance and it turned him into this... monstrosity. That was not the Breakout he had loved and cherished so deeply. It was not his Breakout. He didn't want to hurt the boy any more than what was needed, but he understood that Hayliel wanted him to see that he simply couldn't do whatever he wanted to other people.

    He shakes his head as the woman reveals her worries. She's worried that she'd lose him. Lose him to what, exactly? Death? Death had no claim on him and, honestly, he was surprised he hadn't died sooner with how weak he had been up until now. Now, it seemed it was highly unlikely he'd perish like those in Hayliel's life. If anything, he should be worried about losing her. Everyone around him seemed to die or leave him high to dry. "Hayliel, you won't ever lose me, alright? Please understand I will always be by yourself through life and death, come hell or high water."

    — The first one to approach him was an... very enthusiastic individual. It almost made his head hurt seeing how exuberant the young lass was but, admittedly, it was a bit of fresh air to witness such a carefree person. It had been nothing but stone-cold seriousness and stress back home in the Cartel — Cain had nearly forgotten how to smile with all that has been happening.

    She seemed... rather talkative, however, and the Ikurusaba Underboss merely furrowed his brow slightly as she went on to compliment his piercings. "Oh, these?" He lifts a paw to the chrome colored piercings on his left ear. He hadn't really thought about them until now, but hearing someone liked them was refreshing, at least. "Hm... Well, it didn't really hurt when I got them. It's like bein' pinched." He responds plainly, "Maybe you should get a pin... one of those fashionable ones? You could put that on your ear." He suggests mildly with a slight shrug of powerful shoulders. The ivory hellhound didn't mean to get distracted much and as things finally return to the original reason for why he was currently here, he nods.

    Her mother was the leader of this place, huh? "Who might that be?" He asks, simply curious. Now at least he knew Lucien wasn't in power anymore. Shame - he had liked the guy. After all, the male had given the Cartel the chance that no one else would. However, at the mention of being taken around for a tour, he's nearly taken aback. "I don't have a lot of time." He responds quickly, "I've got a lot of other places to visit. I'm afraid I don't have much time for tours." He would prefer not to get off track more than what was necessary. A tour would have been nice if he had simply been coming on an non-business visit, but he had a lot of other stuff to attend to back home.

    — It had been a while since he had last been back to the Sanctuary. Too long, as a matter of fact. Cain found it rather upsetting that no one was keeping tabs on their associates anymore, so he had placed it upon his shoulders to keep things afloat with their "allies" despite himself not really wanting to himself at this point. The ivory, six foot tall hellhound picks his way through the territories in an attempt to find that of the Sanctuary's and although he's passed through the area multiple times before to get to others, he has never really stopped to see which clan lived on what side of the lakes when they were transferred over onto Agrelos.

    Alas, he found the clan he was looking for though - the first on his list today: the Sanctuary. He breathes out frost as he stands upon the border, deep oceanic eyes staring past the scent line and deep into the depths of the Sanctuary's territory. He wonders, who would be here? He hasn't seen that of Lucien in a long time and he doesn't even know if Chicagocrimes was still around. Whoever remained, he'd be sure to greet them was amicably as possible for someone like him. The doctor shifts on his paws, lowering himself onto his rump as he pulls his tail close to his body. "Cartel Underboss, Novocaine, here to check up on the Sanctuary and our status." He announces clear as day, and now he waits for one to approach him.

    This can only be a secret between you and me - I'm an ESPer and apparently it traverses beyond time and space !! And yes, I'm dying for this sort of friendship because a ) Cain really needs it and b ) it's honestly pretty cute I mean, come on. And Novocaine wouldn't mind randomly shoving Jitterpaw out of the way of danger, he's kinda crazy like that - it'll be exciting for sure!

    I can probably make his visiting thread pretty soon? I'm having him visit all of the Cartel's allies to check up on stuff, etc, so it'd make IC sense for him to visit the Sanctuary first <3 And I'd love it if that is how it'd turn out with her making him give her a tour of his home.

    — The massive ivory hellhound had been gone for only a while with his son Seagi but, of course, upon their return, what they've done would probably come into light with the scents that hung heavy on their fur and skin. The Sanguine Ruins sat heavy upon them but the duo were without blood on their fur or without an flailing captive in their maws. No, Novocaine came back seemingly satisfied, as if an heavy weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. He comes into the mansion, sweeping, oceanic gaze shimmering unlike they had been before, and he calls the attention of the Cartel in his carrying voice. "Crew! I've got an important announcement to make." He makes his way to stand at the foot of the staircase that led up to the rooms on the second and third floors, rolling shoulders back. "We are no longer at war with the Sanguine Ruins. Seagi and I have smoothed things over with their leader and they've agreed to an ceasefire so long as none of us are seen on their lands for whatever reason it may be." His tail flicks as he carries on after a momentary pause. "Should anyone bring about any unnecessary trouble to us and the Ruins by breaking this ceasefire, your ass will be frozen and tossed over the cliff. Understood?" What comes with an stern warning ( or threat? ) was an neutralizing glare that would be swept across the gathering Cartelians.

    "On the note of war, this does not mean we can afford to slack off. The Exiles thinks us weak and they'll be back again to fill their stomachs with our food. We will be focusing on them for now. We have the Shadow Veil on our side - we just need to formulate a plan and now."

    — He blinks his gaze over to the ivory tigress that brings herself over and speaks, her words aimed towards that of his son. "He had been taken from me and beaten within an inch of his life, the revenge dished out by the grieving mother, Always Dead, obviously. She let him live, I presume that had been enough retribution for your Queen?" He responds simply, solemnly, and yet he doesn't feel bitter for the actions Always responded with. It was only reasonable to exact vengeance in this way — he would have if it had been solely up to him. When Achelois addresses him, his icy gaze betrayed little emotion even though she seemed to respect him putting aside his pride to right an very obvious wrong. Now his attention settles on the desert Queen again as she speaks her terms. A ceasefire. A deal. He'd take it. "Fine." The Underboss says, nudging his son as if to say to get a move on so they could return home before Hayliel noticed they were gone for too long. "Come on Seagi, it's time to go back home." The ivory hellhound begins moving along, turning back southbound towards Delos.

    Hey! So Novocaine here is pretty much the exact opposite of Jitterpaw, as in he's not too optimistic, jovial, or easily excitable or amicable in any way, shape, or fashion. Cain is kind of bitter and dealing with a lot of stress right now, so someone like Jitterpaw in his life might actually help him mellow out a lot ( so instead of being angry all the time, he's just super laid-back and doesn't really give an flying feather about anything ). Of course, given this, she'll get a massive hellhound for an bodyguard for having helped him out in a really bad time :^)))

    I was thinking they could meet while he's out and about gathering herbs ( or he can take a visit to the Sanctuary, seeing as his clan and the Sanctuary are "allies" ) and she could,, pester him with all sorts of questions and stuff and drag him off on a tour.

    — Well, of course he would ask, why wouldn't he? Strelitzia meant too much to him to simply leave something like this alone and, not to mention, he partially wanted to punch out the other guy's lights for messing around with her. He doesn't know where all of this protectiveness stemmed from but it made him so angry just thinking about it and made him even angrier just not knowing why he was feeling like this.

    The doctor blinks slowly as Liza responds to him, talking about how it didn't matter. It matters to me. He breathes in quietly, exhaling softly as oceanic blue eyes shift again, anywhere, it was hard to look at Strelitzia directly. His breath almost stills when she leans against him and almost subconsciously does he move to wrap his tail around her comfortably, to soothe her, to calm. She speaks again in an hushed voice and what she says nearly breaks his heart into a trillion of itty bitty pieces.

    "I don't know if I can come back..." He murmurs, "I don't want to hurt anyone. I'm still scared I will." Cain breathes, and guilt pools in the bottom of his stomach. He could hardly deal with being an ghoul, let alone having all of these primal instincts wanting to take him over, wanting him to just tear, tear, tear away. He didn't want to hurt anyone, not Strelitzia, not anyone... not anymore. "But I don't want to leave you alone either... I swore, didn't I?" He swore it, and he crossed his heart too. "I plan on keeping my promise to you Strelitzia..."

    Cain tips his head down towards the dark furred servaline as he makes his presence known to him and, for a moment, he had mistaken the guy for the Sanguine Ruin's warmongering brute. A moment, only for a moment, as the other's voice made it very clear that this guy wasn't Yuuki. He merely offers a dip of his head as Bravo greets him and offers to take him along. Silently did the large canine follow after Bravo though they didn't have to travel very far as Lastbastion soon came into view. She was the Veil's leader now, was she? Last time he came here, it had been Soundcheck, right? Whatever happened to him, he wondered. No matter, he was here to discuss something important.

    The ivory creature steps away from Bravo to stand before Lastbastion. His brow twitches at how she addressed him, annoyance wanting to prick at his heart whilst ghoulish instincts instantly told him to just eat her. He ignores it, thankfully, as he proceeds to go about the reason he's here. "My name is Novocaine, ma'am, and I've come to ask if we can, ah... ask for your assistance in an upcoming raid against the Exiles." He was not quite sure where this would go, seeing as they weren't technically "allies" but rather associates than anything else. "They've stolen food from us and we're an smaller clan struggling with the more frequent snow fall in Delos... We were hoping one of our associates would be able to help us out in retaliating against them." He adds nothing more and simply stands, hoping that he would get an answer quick. He doesn't see the Veil helping them, honestly, but they'd been a strategic choice in his mind.

    Oh boy, this would mark, what, the third time he's had to come over here for something war related? However, this time Cain comes bearing good news instead of reaching out to point fingers and accuse one of murdering most beloved friend's husband. The incident was far behind them and best left forgotten. Novocaine wouldn't have brought himself here if it weren't for the fact that the Cartel was struggling to hold themselves together after the shit Breakout and the Exiles had pulled. He was willing to get over his fear of this clan to help his home... This would surely count for something, right?

    Exhaling, the Underboss makes his way to the border and settles. His claws curl into the ground unsteadily as he struggles to keep his wits about him whilst he stood at the border of the clan that had tortured him when he was younger. He was just lucky that Sango wasn't here anymore, else he would probably had lost it the moment he smelled their clan scent. So, the massive six foot tall ivory hellhound makes his intentions clear where he stood, calling out into the Veil's home. "I am Novocaine, the Cartel's Underboss, here to make a proposal with the Shadow Veil. If one of you could bring me to your leader or vice versa, I'd appreciate it."

    Upon being called in, Cain nudges open the door and steps in shortly after. He closes the door behind him to allow them some privacy before turning fully to Hayliel. The serval seemed to have a lot on her mind and... he honestly didn't blame her. There was a lot to think about and the woman was going through such a tough time. He comes to stand before her now, elongated ears pressed lazily against his head as he slowly reclines onto his hindquarters. "What did you want to talk about?" Even though he had an inkling, perhaps it was best that he inquired her instead of jumping to conclusions.

    After doing what he needed to, Novocaine was on his way to meet up with Hayliel in her room. He could only wonder what she wanted to talk about - perhaps of their latest ordeal? They would possibly speak about how they would exactly get to go about bringing hell to the Exiles. Perhaps they'd also speak about how to improve their clan? He didn't exactly know, but his heart and soul felt heavy after the week's conclusion. He couldn't believe Breakout and what he's done. What had he done to deserve this? This... ultimate betrayal? It was almost as if he couldn't trust anyone anymore aside from himself. But there was Violetwaltz, Seagi, and Hayliel - what about them? He was just so shaken up, he couldn't quite think straight. He only hoped that his faith in everyone remained unchanged.

    Cain arrives shortly at Hayliel's room, rolling shoulders back so the tension would fall away and he stands tall. He refuses to let the worst get the best of him. "Liel? I'm here." He announces his presence from behind the door, waiting for her to answer.