A meeting by chance. Two very different beings. One was the Ambassador of Hell’s Kingdoms. The other a mysterious girl whose name….is Ruby. Though Ruby cannot speak, Valmont is able to see past the crude stitches….and beneath the red hood, he finds a friend.
Scene setting – Isolated cliff : Seven Sins series.
Written with Zu.
Ruby just stared at Valmont blankly, having no idea what he was thinking at all. He was seriously hard to read, which was usual for someone of her… particular skills. She just stared at the hand that was presented to her, then back up at Valmont who had taken it away from her face and stared once again into the abyss in front of them. Ruby turned to that same abyss, wondering what would happen next. Nobody truly knew why Ruby couldn’t speak, and frankly she hated that fact. It was like she was a ghost, which ironically she was. She almost felt herself going to turn into that very thing, it did happen randomly though it sometimes there was a warning. However, Ruby would be surprised that Valmont actually asked, which surprised her so much she instantly turned her head to him as if to ask did you really ask that? This was… almost great. She finally was looked at by someone, someone finally wanted to know a bit more about her. She was so excited, she almost instantly threw off her cape.
Ruby turned to Valmont, and lifted her hood from her face. Valmont was greeted by stitches on her mouth, crude stitches that looked very sloppy and this is why she could never speak. Ruby was cursed to never speak, ever. She wondered what his reaction would be.
Valmont was accustomed to seeing the most gruesome sides to some of Hell’s nobles, and yet he found himself staring at the girl’s sewn lips in wonderment. So this was why the poor girl had been unable to utter a word. Her lips, so crudely sewn together would make it impossible to partake in a verbal conversation. It was the way she reacted to the question that brought him to fix his gaze upon her. Almost like she took his question as an honest query into her state of being. Her hood was cast back and it was there for all to see. Now, some may flinch in horror. Others might flee in fear. Not Valmont. He took out a monocle and placed it to his eye.
The ambassador brought his hand up to his chin and stroked it thoughtfully as his eyes traveled from the coarse stitches upon her lips, and back up to her eyes. Valmont wondered just how this came to be. Why would someone wish for this girl to not speak? Was it a punishment? What could she possibly have done to deserve it? It was clear from early on when he had come down the path, that she was easily startled, but more than willing to defend herself. Not that she needed to from the likes of Valmont. As much as he wished to ask the flood of questions that had filled his mind, Valmont took a different tack.
“Do you sign? Can you use your hands to speak? A chalk board?” He had seen in the past how others that were muted were able to communicate. Valmont figured that this girl must have found some way, unless….she had been banished and left to rot.
Ruby couldn’t believe it, nobody has yet to see her face and the first person who has taken a good look at it didn’t even run, as she had thought so many would do. He treated her like a normal person, not a monster. Ruby didn’t really know what to think, there was so many things she’d like to express to this one man, a man who had not known her yet gave her a chance, saw her as more than a mess of a being in Hell. She was being observed, though that was to be expected. Ruby forgot what she had looked like, it had been so long but the cruel stitches and the feeling of a shut mouth gave her enough of an image on a daily basis. He then asked her a question, a question that wasn’t expected at all. He asked if she was able to speak, but she only shook her head. Ruby had not once communicated anything with someone, let alone use tools to help that. Ruby didn’t even know how to write, nor did she know what those things were.
She couldn’t fit this feeling anymore, a feeling of comfort that was all too new to her. Ruby just flung herself onto Valmont; finally, someone that understood her though he was far from being a nobody. Yet, as she went for the hug, her body became transparent and disappeared in front of his eyes, causing Ruby to fall to the floor. She quickly got up and looked at herself in horror. No, no no no! She can’t just randomly become her ghost self, not now! This was the first time that someone acknowledged her existence! She broke down into quiet tears, as her mouth prevented her from screaming.
How does one describe seeing a girl become overjoyed by the simple art of conversation. The facial expression, coupled with the horrid stitches that forced her lips closed was enough to melt a dark heart, even one like Valmont. This companionship, friendship if you could call it that must be so new and needed to the hooded girl, that she flung herself at him to embrace him in her arms. There was however, one…small…problem. Instead of catching hold of Valmont, her body went straight through him – only to crumple to the ground below. If it was a surprise for Ruby, it was even more of a shock for the Ambassador, who had little time to ready himself for either the embrace, or the fact that she was….a ghost.
Valmont barely had time to spin around, but when he did he saw the poor girl was on her feet and tearful about what she had now discovered. The girl, who could not speak….was a ghost. It left the Ambassador speechless. He could see the abject horror in her eyes. If her lips could part, she would be screaming for certain. Amazing what one can convey when they are unable to use their voice. Valmont racked his brain. How could he comfort a girl that he could not even touch? She had no answers to whether she knew to sign, or to write. Silent screams.
“Oh my dear.” Valmont was quick to move to her side, though he tried to pat her shoulder – his hand kept missing the mark. If she looked up, she would see a genuine concern in his eyes. Valmont stood firm whereas many others in Hell would turn their backs and go about their sinful ways. The ambassador felt a sudden urge to help the girl if he could. It was the least he could do.
“I can’t resurrect the dead, and you probably don’t know where your body is….or even what time it would be in.” He knew that for a certainty. “But what I can do is help teach you how to communicate and give you a home.”
Valmont waited for her response, be it a simple nod or the shake of the head in rejection.
Zu: Ruby couldn’t handle this, the first time she finally was able to make a friend and now, even if it was for a short period of time, she couldn’t feel the embrace of this person called Valmont. This was a cruel life for someone of her age, added on top of the fact of how alone she truly was. Ruby heard Valmont talking to her, and turned her ghostly gaze to him, astral-like tears streaming down her face. Her face was like an injured animal, looking for the one who gave it attention to help comfort her. His words almost inspired her, and she felt a rise in feelings that she was only now experiencing, this time only amplified to extreme levels. It was at that moment she became herself again and feeling herself become visible again, took that opportunity to fully embrace him. Finally, after all these years, she not only found a companion but someone who could possibly help her solve her mysterious past. It was at that moment Ruby knew this was the most trustworthy man.
Razorbackwriter; If Valmont could brush away the astral tears with his gloved hand then he would have. But how can one touch a spirit? How could he allow her to feel the simple caress of his fingers upon her skin? Truth was he couldn’t. But that didn’t mean he didn’t have the power to make her feel a renewed sense of worth in the most important place of all. Her heart. She needed comfort, yes. But not physical. That was unobtainable for now. What he could do was use words to soothe her troubled soul.
“Often it is the simple things that we feel that are done, not so much by a kind embrace, but with a gentle word.” The Ambassador knew many great and wonderful words, but simplicity is always best. Cut to the chase and be open and frank. Valmont had no idea the length of time the girl had wandered the desolate planes alone. No one in which to share her thoughts and feelings, and no way to express it till now. It was as though Valmont had a way through the curses barrier. Seeing beyond the crude stitches and the blood red cape. There was so much more to this girl than met the eye. The Ambassador had all the time in hell to find out.
Though he had sent his carriage on home when he had arrived at the Isolated cliff, he didn’t at all mind walking the long road to his home. A vast estate granted to him by the Seven kingdoms. It was best that he lived off their lands, since he was not one to form alliance or attachment to any one Kingdom.
“The road to my home is a long one, my dear; but I feel that it would do me good. You too.” His smile was a genuine one as he gestured in the right direction in which they should go.
“You shall never be alone again.”
His word was his bond.
Zu: Ruby had no idea what that meant, but it sounded like a good thing. He continued to show his kindness by just being there, he hardly had to do anything else to please her. Ruby had just wanted a companion and forgot about those thoughts when she had been alone for so long; Valmont brought those feelings back and now she was more in need of it than every before. She got up so he could do the same, as Ruby didn’t want to be too much of a burden on Valmont. She rubbed the tears that came from her face, this time able to touch herself as she had become “human” once again. He was powerful, and rich, by the looks of him so obviously he’ll have a nice place to stay in. Ruby wasn’t used to that, and wasn’t expecting him to be that kind to someone he just meet.
While she couldn’t speak, his promise to never have her be by herself anymore, and that he would take her to his home, filled her eyes with hope and joy. Never before has she looked like this, her usual mood seemingly dry and blank, but now thanks to Valmont it was filled with that joyful innocence once again. As of now, only Valmont knew of her true face, and she intended to keep it that way. With a nod of acknowledgement, she hooded herself once again and took Valmont’s arm, so to not leave his side.
Razorbackwriter: This was to be the start of an unique and beautiful friendship, the likes that had never been seen in Hell before this day. Twas a chance meeting and yet there was a kindred feeling that they shared. Both were lost really. Valmont had seemed to lose his sense of direction, the young girl had no idea that she was dead. Though they were not able to touch each other physically, they had moved towards sharing with each other’s minds and hearts. Walking along they would have made an interesting sight. The dashing and aristocratic Valmont and the red hooded Ruby with the sewn up lips. Their eyes shone, as they both found a new purpose, a reason to exist or not in Ruby’s case. All she had to do was nod to agree to follow Valmont wherever it was he would lead her. The walk was a quiet one, only interrupted by the light crushing of gravel under Valmont’s boots. Ruby of course made no sound. How could she? She bore no weight upon the earth beneath her and she was unable to speak.
“Time is on our side, my dear.”
And it truly was.