Ruby – Part Two : SS.

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.

 

Zu:  

https://i1.wp.com/i.imgur.com/M2Maz2v.jpg
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.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Isolated Cliff 

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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.

“Intriguing.”

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.

 

~RB~

 

Zu:  

 

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.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Isolated Cliff 

https://i1.wp.com/static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/psycho-pass-character-profile-art-007_3355.jpg

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.

~RB~

 

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.

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“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.

~RB~

 

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.

 

~RB~

 

 

 

 

Ruby – SS.

 

A new chapter in the Seven Sins series, with Valmont – the Ambassador meeting a young woman known simply as Ruby.

Scene setting – Isolated Cliff – Seven Sins series.

This arc is co-written with Zu.

 

Zu:  

https://i1.wp.com/i.imgur.com/M2Maz2v.jpg
Nothing, absolute nothing.

The Path of Souls called to her as she made her way here, and now without their moans and groans, she was alone and things were dead quiet. The lonely ghost would be like this for a little while, she just wanted some peace and quiet. The girl’s name was Ruby, though nobody knew that nor knew this ghost was female. The only thing people know about her is the nickname associated with her, Bloody Hood. A drifter, lazily moving from one end to another without anyone noticing her. Was it for the better? Nobody could live this sad life, nobody except Ruby. Ghosts weren’t too common here, because they would either have their own bodies or take control of others, making it their own as time past. For Ruby, she was just… human looking. There was no body to possess, nobody would want her. Ruby would just be here, alone. That was just the way she wanted it to be, yet when that thought sprang to life, a tear fell off her cheek; was it what she truly wanted?

 

Razorbackwriter:  The black carriage drawn by two horses that matched perfectly came to a stop just off the pathway that lead to one of the quieter, more isolated parts of Hell. Resting on the window ledge was a gloved hand that drummed the sides as the carriage shunted to a stop. The driver knocked on the roof of the carriage to signal their arrival, and a loud sigh was heard from within. Valmont opened the carriage door slowly, and then descended the small foot holds till landing with both heeled shoes on the light gravel surface.

“Return the carriage to my abode. I need time to think.”

The Driver gave a curt nod, his face partially obscured by a black face mask – only his red eyes could be seen. He clicked his tongue and snapped on the reigns so the carriage would start to move and head back to town. Valmont stood solemnly, before slowly removing the ornate black mask that he was going to wear to the Greed Ball. Word was already spreading of how the festivities had turned into a blood bath. Scores of demons having fled the scene and running past Valmont’s carriage in the town square. So much for the ambassador’s plans that eve. What with the royalty scattering like cockroaches back into their own kingdoms, there would be no need for Valmont’s services.

Slowly, the well dressed Incubus strolled up the pathway to what would be a sheer cliff face with a look out. It was the perfect place to think…to contemplate. To regroup.

As he walked along, he kicked a few small stones – his face so pale, thanks to the makeup that he wore so often. He still liked to keep some traditions alive from his former life. Oh how easy it was then. Now, however there were changes coming once more. Perhaps not a war, like that of Wrath….but there was a feeling of uncertainty. If only Valmont had the clairvoyance to see that far ahead.

It was only when Valmont lifted his gaze, did he notice the outline of what looked to be a hooded woman. The Incubus glanced about to see if she was truly alone, and all he saw was dark bushes and a stone bench. There was no one else there. Could she be admiring the view on such a night?

Valmont took out a small silver box of snuff, and tapped on the lid to open it. He brought a pinch of it up to his right nostril and inhaled sharply. Throwing his head back and letting out a loud gasp. That was the ticket. He snapped the silver box shut once more. The noise sure to be loud enough to let the woman know….she was not alone.

~RB~

 

Zu:  Though she rather have some company, for some strange reason, it was nice to be by yourself. Ruby knew that more than anyone else what it was like to be alone… but did anyone know what it was like to be afriad. She wasn’t so well known, but those who could see her red hood knew she was a killer, nothing more. That sort of thought really sent a chill down Ruby’s spine, her body shaking only for a moment. It had been what seemed like years, decades even, since she first arrived here. How was the question of the century; Ruby only had the most vague of dreams, if that’s what they even were, about her past but it never was clear. Her thoughts would come to a halt, because she suddenly heard a noise behind her. Her instincts kicked in, and she jumped off her seat and landed on her feet, blade ready when she was in her readied stance. Ruby had let her guard down, but it seemed like nothing because she didn’t see anyone… at first. Ruby wasn’t too sure, but she thought she could see someone a bit in the distance. Ruby didn’t call out to this outline.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The snap of the snuff box had done the trick. Though it might have startled the hooded girl, rather than just alerting her to the fact that there was someone else there on that windy cliff. Valmont drew his head back slightly at the way that the girl leapt up, sword at the ready. A feisty one indeed. The incubus carefully deposited his snuff box back into the breast pocket of his velvet jacket, before sweeping his gloved hand across the flap to ensure it was tucked away safely.

A shock of red fabric, that was the first thing that Valmont noticed about the lass. That…and the fact she was ready to attack, should he make a sudden move. This was the reason that Valmont moved with a fluid like motion, so as not to alarm the girl further.

“Ah ah.” Valmont waggled his finger to and fro, ,before speaking in an almost condescending way. “A gentleman can be killed with such a blade, and dearie, I am not looking for a fight.” With all the finesse of a poet he added. “I have died many small deaths, well before this night.”

Slowly, he started to stroll towards the girl, before stopping just out of blade range. He still held the mask in his hand and then as any gentleman would do on meeting a young lady for the first time, he stepped back with his right foot, his arms swanning out as he made a more formal introduction.

“Vicomte de Valmont…I am the Ambassador to the Seven kingdoms.”

Would the ruby hooded young lady attempt to slice him in two, as he rose from his bow?

~RB~

 

Zu:  Ruby just stood there, scythe at the ready. However did that, they should have snuck up on her if their intention was to kill. Ruby wasn’t a pushover when it came to taking care of herself. Finally, the man that alerted her to his presence stepped out of the dark to reveal that… he wasn’t the killer type. Ruby almost let down her blade, but realized it could have been a ploy and it only made her grip it more tightly. Ruby knew that if this man, who she would know as Valmont, would try to attack her, she wouldn’t be in a great position. Who knew just how far, if there was even an end, to this cliff. Ruby knew this, and because of this, didn’t turn around to find out. He spoke, and the way he spoke wasn’t to Ruby’s liking. It was almost like he was taunting her, was he confident in his abilities?

He came closer, without any regret, and it only made Ruby tense up even more. As of late, her opponents were nothing to her but she had never experianced someone like this before. Ruby took a step back, peddles signaling her to stop because she was indeed on the edge, figuratively and literally. Just as he was close to the blade, which got even closer to his throat, he just.. stepped back. This caused Ruby to once again lower her guard a bit. After introducing himself, he just stopped movement all together. This was her chance, if he was an enemy, to strike. Yet, no matter how much she wanted to, Ruby only spun her blade behind her to put it away. She just looked at Valmont, with not an expression or a response. Her entire face was still covered.

 

Razorbackwriter:  It was almost like playing Russian roulette. The bow made at a point where the girl had every chance to slice him through if she felt so inclined. Valmont had speed, oh yes – but, this was far more exhilarating to live on the edge. He had dealt with some of hell’s worst and then some. Stood at the foot of the dais of each and every throne in Hell and managed to come out alive, either by sheer luck or the magic of his silver tongue. Though whilst in the movement of the bow, his face was partially obscured from the hooded maiden’s view, he could only bare a grin as he felt the seconds tick by and he had not been attacked. Had his actions caused her to second guess what only came natural? Perhaps.

On rising he watched the girl spin the blade and re-sheath it neatly behind her. Valmont did his utmost to hide his look of satisfaction, and decided since the girl did not wish to speak, that it would be left for him to do so.

“Thank you.” Valmont gave a light head tilt with a nod to show appreciation for her actions. The incubus reached for his right frilly cuff and gave it a small tug, before walking towards the edge of the cliff. There was nothing to stop him from falling, and he simply stared outward as though something else now plagued his mind. It was hard to tell, except when he held up the mask that he was to wear at the party. He turned it over in his hand and then without word he simply released it and watched it flutter away. The wind taking it….to God knows where.

Valmont lowered his hand slowly and then brought both hands around to clasp behind his back. He should have been at that ball this eve. Had he not been made late. Now he was truly behind the game. The chess pieces had all moved without his hand and it annoyed him greatly. Finally, he spoke.

“What is a life…without purpose? Hmm?”

The incubus glanced sideways at the hooded girl, and wondered if she felt the same way.

~RB~

 

Zu:  Just because she had put away her weapon did not mean she wasn’t watching his every move, though she felt a bit more safe than she normally would, was this just a part of his presence? Ruby had never felt like this before, being so safe. This wouldn’t mean she would trust Valmont, he looked very shady and by that knowledge, wasn’t that different from the other beings in Hell that she had encountered. He had thanked her for sparing his life, and Ruby didn’t give so much as a nod of acknowledgement to his words of gratitude. He stepped beside her, his presence not arousing any sort of hostility toward her. Ruby wouldn’t quite capture his face, thanks to the mask, but she saw some features, though they were very vague, like his ears. However, when he let his mask come off, his face was clear.

Valmont wasn’t like the people she saw daily, he was more… noble. He must have been powerful if he looked like that, only those with such a figure would be powerful, financially. Ruby watched the mask fly away, something like that simply had no meaning for him. He spoke once again, this time asking something quite obscure, according to Ruby. She turned her head toward him, giving this blank stare that wasn’t revealed as the hood was the only thing he could see out of her face. Nothing came out of her mouth, as usual, but by her body language, she was confused.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

https://i0.wp.com/p5.storage.canalblog.com/51/08/289978/12602811.jpg

“No words?….Nothing? Not even a titter? I must be losing my touch.” Valmont lamented, as the hooded girl stared at him as though she was completely confused by not only Valmont’s words, but also his actions. He held a hand out to the wind as though to shake someone’s hand.

“The mask was for a society do this eve. Not that I got to see it.” He paused only briefly before adding. ” Not that it matters.” It was almost like the Ambassador was talking to himself. The incubus smiled weakly before turning to look out at the vast expanse of emptiness that was before them both. Hell for many was a prison of sorts, for others a playground to commit wicked deeds. There were those that took advantage of the less fortunate souls trapped within its confines. To be standing on the edge of the cliff was as far as you could get from the swollen belly of sin. This was the one place that Valmont would come to think, to regather his thoughts, and to plot his next move. Course, the Princes of Hell had kept him quite busy up till now. That was before the war…before the change of guard. Women. Ha, and one of them was actually a man cursed to be a woman. Mammon had a sense of humor at the last moments of his life. The daft git.

Women were to Valmont, what wine was to an alcoholic. He was addicted, drawn to savor the warm boldness of taste, though Valmont bawked at going anywhere near the likes of Lydia. The new Princess of Greed. Foul woman she was. He imagined that her juices tasted like vinegar….or worse. He even shuddered at the very thought. Ew.

But this once, as he stood along side the mute in the flowing red cape, he did not feel the usual urges to conquer. Strange. He really was off his game. Oh…hell.

“Did your enemy remove your tongue?” He started to wonder, if this creature was in fact, a lost soul.

~RB~