Could not stop laughing at this. :3
Could not stop laughing at this. :3
Had the Cat witch pushed to hard and fast too soon? Maybe Katrina does have nine lives after all.
Sayaka had simply watched the woman with that same gaze, a gaze of someone who was impossibly serene. The look of someone who had suppressed their emotions to such a point it nearly killed them as a person. Sayaka didn’t change that look till an eyebrow raised at the woman’s comment and her chanting. She didn’t particularly understand, nor really care, what this woman was supposed to be to her, or at least, she didn’t care what the woman thought she was worth to Sayaka. Then as it finished Sayaka felt something she hadn’t in a long time, and it hit her like a bus without warning. Her left hand shot to her temple just before it ended up taking over, tensing up for a split second before it took over. A twisted grin took over only moments before her right hand rose up in a motion that was almost questioning, her fiery golden eyes glowing brightly.
“Truth..? Heheh, overrated! It’s so much more fun to lie, cheat, steal! To kill is the be-!”
Sayaka’s hand gripped her head once more as she wrenched out of that wretched curse’s grip. Sayaka stood quietly, holding her head quietly with her eyes hidden now behind that long hair, but her hand was still in motion as the sound of snapping fingers filled the air. The moment that sound resonated through the air, the earth erupted with three black jagged rocks that all stopped inches from the woman’s neck. Sayaka wasn’t kidding around, the Black Earth having dissipated the surrounding blaze of power the moment it stopped, especially if she was using Black Earth and not her sword. She dropped her hand before looking up once more, with that same cold, icy gaze; however this one blazed with true anger.
“If you intend to play a joke like that again… I’ll rip your heart out and bury it in a tomb of Black Earth so that it never rots.”
Kingdom of Wrath – Castle.
All that theatrics and green mist. The song and the dance were all to do exactly what Katrina hoped it would. In order to slip beneath the calm facade of the Princess of Wrath, she needed to get right under her skin and tease the very beast like you would with a worm on a hook. Appeal to her darkest desire, which of course was to fight. Bring her up and show her to the room, that mystery that plagued Katrina’s mind. It was cold and calculated. Start with a bit of mischief and then turn the game on its head in a blink.
The witch was willing to gamble with being attacked as that came with the territory. A game of cat and mouse, but who was the cat and who was the mouse. Like a ripe opening flower, the beast had awoken and that smile was a dead giveaway that the mask had slipped. The voice to come was not the true one of the Princess of Wrath, it was the hidden enigma.
“Truth..? Heheh, overrated! It’s so much more fun to lie, cheat, steal! To kill is the be-!”
“YES!” The witch roared in triumph as the power she was charging grew from the telling of the truth. To the creature that we know no name for, truth was overrated. This one thought that to lie, cheat and steal were the fun things in life. Deceit, deception, betrayal. For that glorious moment, the mask was gone and then the Demon launched a blistering attack, that sent great black jagged rocks hurtling for the witch’s throat. But did the witch flee? No, she stood her ground and pulled her chin back so that the rocks could easily pass straight through and sever all her critical veins, thus ending her right there and then. Proud?…no.. This was not about Pride at all. it was about being right.
But just as the rocks may well split her head from her shoulders, they blasted into fine rock and simply fell back to the ground as the Demon of Wrath reigned in her power. She dropped her hand, but the look of pure and unadulterated anger was still in those cold haunting eyes.
“If you intend to play a joke like that again… I’ll rip your heart out and bury it in a tomb of Black Earth so that it never rots.”
All the green mist and sparkles dissipated, as both had shown their hands. But if you think that Kat was terrified, or fearful at this point, she reacted totally differently to what even Sayaka would have imagined. The cat like charm was returning, the witch’s curiosity sated.
“I had to see for myself if it were true, and you proved to me that you are more than worthy of being my Mistress. A test…nothing more. I shall be honest with you, as you have been with me.” The woman’s wand shrunk back and she placed it in her ear, before she morphed back into the domestic looking cat. The black cat shivered from her front paw to her tail, and then scampered towards the throne, only stopping two feet away to bound up and onto the Demon’s lap. Here, she purred and settled down to sit.
Sayaka had to give the cat props for her courage, ticking off a Princess of Wrath took guts, especially when she was of the quieter sort and not so hot-headed as the others before her. No, she was not like that at all, in fact she was more dangerous because of it; she had the calm disposition to think through her actions and what she was doing, planning and plotting into things that could take down even the strongest of targets. Battle was nothing more than a game of chess, and if you couldn’t stay calm enough to plan, then you lost; and with losing came one dangerous consequence: you died.
Sayaka heard the triumph in the cat’s voice, and it made her want to rip the woman’s head from her shoulders without a second thought, even if she had already reigned that anger back into straights, placing that icy mask back into its original position once more. She didn’t speak until she sat down, or that had been the plan anyway, as it seemed that the cat had more to say to the Princess of Wrath. She could tell the creature wasn’t fazed by the threat and that was fine and dandy, didn’t make it any less true at all. Sayaka’s eyes burned with calculation and an icy type of fire, that fiery gold looking almost like a sun in itself in this darker light. Sure, her servants knew better than to mess with her typically anyway, they never knew when she might finally snap and lose all control over her emotions that she had. Hmph.. as though that would happen.
Sayaka watched, and listened to the cat, with a calm, but definitely keenly analyzing gaze which showed that she was now on guard around the woman. After all, she’d forced that Curse to take hold of Sayaka, unleashing a bout of primal insanity. That’s the secret of one reason why Sayaka hasn’t ever been seen using her flames, not that she needed them; the curse laid upon those flames caused her to go into a more primal state, throwing her sanity and cognitive ability out the window and setting her into an instinct run state. She didn’t swat the cat away, much as she would have loved to do so, no, instead she simply looked down at her with a rose eyebrow once more. Wondering just what her entire purpose was with Sayaka.
”Mistress.. hmph, you’re a confident one; but that can be a good trait in a Kingdom like this. So, what was the whole purpose of that test, what was your purpose in revealing the curse which restricts me so?”
Did you expect her to ask any other question really? After all, the cat had just unleashed a secret Sayaka hadn’t revealed in years. Though, at least she didn’t have anyone else to have seen it, even if it would have further reinforced their fear of her; showing even she had a sense of insanity and destructive impulse. She was Princess of Wrath, and even if this was her persona now, that didn’t mean she wasn’t like everyone else.
Kingdom of Wrath – Castle
Oh but Kat was a confident one. So confident in fact, that she shape shifted to her cat like form and took up residency upon the Demon’s lap. The way she glanced up with those eyes of hers as if waiting to see if Sayaka would flick her off in another bout of released anger, or hold it in. Keeping that mask down intact now. It was yet another gamble that the cat was willing to take. Bold and determined. She had got exactly what she had sought and her exhibition was a game to see if the Princess would take the bait. No man would have gotten away with such a ploy. It took a creature that was a true hunter and willing to bet her life on what she believed.
“The whole purpose of that was to see what you could become, and the whispers all pointed to it. I wanted to know for sure, your Highness. My journeys across the realms have lead me to see things, things that all pointed to greatness. But with greatness there is always a price. You have yours. You seek control and that is why you wear the mask of ice cold calm. But if one were to get fired up, then there would be a battle royale to control the flames.”Though the cat had not seen the walls of flames and power that went with it, she was clairvoyant enough to know that this power brought with it a curse unseen till now.
The cat used it’s head to try and get under the Princess’s hand to show affection once more. “You would have no respect for me, if I was a simpering little cat. Sure, I can comfort you in the cold of eve and catch your rats, but I have my own powers and foresight that could be of use to you.” The cat’s gold eyes illuminated as she said this.
“I needed to show you my truth, so that I could gain your trust. A bit reckless perhaps, but you would expect nothing less. Am I right?”
The cat spoke in such a way that she was trying to make her point known. She did not wish for the Princess’s destruction, nor to challenge her throne. This was about seeing past the mask, knowing what lay behind…..and perhaps in a way, helping her. If the Princess could see it that way.
“We are all at war within ourselves, my Lady, but an alliance of minds may ease the burden.”
Sayaka had to admit, the cat was definitely smart about how she decided to go about this conversation now. Instead of risking ticking off the Princess, instead she was using her head and trying to stay on better terms. Making a powerful ally in doing so. Sayaka let out a small sigh as she ran a hand through her long crimson hair, only to set it down on top of the cat’s head and began to rub her head softly like she had before the whole incident.
Sayaka had to agree with the points that the cat was making st the moment. Perhaps the cat was just what she needed to break this damnable curse… to have control once again.. to be able to defeat those who were beyond her reach at this moment. Though she could still use those flames, they’d cause her to be thrown in a battle royal for control against the curse. Leading to a dangerous inner battle that may end with her death spiritually.
“I think I see your point here. Hmmm…. well… welcome aboard is all that I can say. After the war, I think it’s time I started getting back what’s mine. My power. My soul. My fire.”
Kingdom of Wrath – Castle
It could have all gone pear shaped. Though the cat spoke with a wisdom that came from thousands of years walking the realms, the Princess might have taken it all as foolishness and ripped the cat up by the scruff of the neck to feed to her hounds. Thankfully, the Demoness did listen. The cat spoke in a calm and concise manner that was in no way threatening, but more to explain why she did…what she had done. In order to gain respect, you needed to show your colours. Be willing to take what was coming, good or bad. The added show of affection towards the Princess, which came natural for a cat sealed the deal that the cat spoke true. Why walk the path alone, when you could have someone beside you, that not only had your back but had seen the dark side of the Princess and not fled in terror. As much as it could be the scariest thing imaginable, it took a great deal to ruffle her fur.
Cats think differently to most other creatures. They have a predator like instinct, and see themselves as being above the likes of dogs and in some cases humans. Humans like to think that they are the Masters, when it is very much the other way around. Since the dawn of time, cats have been revered and even used as figure heads for the gods and the great Pharaohs of Egypt. They must have cottoned on early as to their spiritual significance. Painted and carved onto stone for thousands of years, till the time when religion painted them as something evil. In fact, had it not been for the mistrust of the Europeans in the dark ages and beyond, there may never have been a black plague. That was the price man paid for his folly and distrust of cats.
Katrina’s eyes showed a very old soul beneath. Sure, in her bipedal like form she appeared youthful and vivacious. The reality was a very very old woman. Being a cat in form had many advantages. Not to mention the nine lives that went with it. The only problem. Curiosity. It was this same curiosity that brought her to Wrath in the first place, and she was willing to be one of her lives that what she understood to be a rumor, was in fact true.
Rubbing her head to the Princess’s hand it was almost like the deal was struck between them. A way of bonding. The cat then marked the Princess’s skin with the glands in her cheeks, as though marking her territory. From this moment on, the cat would serve the Princess faithfully regardless of the price she may pay.
Kat was welcomed with little word, except that Sayaka put forward that it was now time for her to get back what was truly hers.
Her power, her soul and of course, her fire.
Leaping off the Princess’s lap, the cat then morphed back to the bewitching cat woman that she was when she first arrived. A huge grin on those red lips, that were set against the white of her skin. Her body was enveloped in a black leather suit, and her hair covered with the black cap that only allowed her ears to peek through.
“Then…what are we waiting for, your Highness?”
Sayaka had to give props to the cat, she was smart and wise, and definitely knew how to earn someone’s respect even if it could have gotten her killed in this case. Of course it could have though. And she was courageous to have stood there while Sayaka lost utter control over the Curse laying in wait. Yeah, normally she might have grabbed the cat and murdered her on the spot, but for some odd enough reason Sayaka didn’t; not that she would have, nor could have, explained exactly as to why the Princess didn’t do so.
Sayaka continued methodically stroking the head of the cat, thinking silently about the fact that she was going to have to somehow deal with the curse that was lying upon her Flames. She was thinking about how she would unlock her flames again without losing complete control over herself, for even strained control would be better than none at all for her. For her anyway, but there were catches for just using the flames with the curse active. Even if she could take control, until the curse was broken the flames themselves harmed her.
Sayaka rose an eyebrow at the cat as she jumped off her lap, tilting her head to the side in a bout of curiosity. What was the cat up to? Well, a question that didn’t have a full purpose as it was answered by the cat’s own question. What were they waiting for hmm? Well, that was a good question but…. how did this cat plan to handle this?
“Hmph.. that’s a good question. What’re you thinking?”
Kingdom of Wrath – Castle
There is a thing about wearing leather, it feels so good to the touch and Kat was really enjoying her latest fit. Smoothing her own gloved fingers down her sides and purring at the same time. Bizarre to see a cat woman behave this way though it was totally natural to her. Her pink tongue was showing between her teeth as she minced about waiting to see if Sayaka would get up from her throne. The cat had suggested that there was no time like the present to get up off her butt and start working on that curse, but it turns out that while Sayaka though it was a good idea, she wasn’t sure exactly where the cat had in mind to train, so to speak.
“There is this place, called the Hangman’s noose. Before you get ideas, its not some sadomasochism hell hole. On the contrary, its a wrestling pit and fight club. We could go see whose up to get their ass kicked, and maybe earn a few coin in the process.”
Seeing as there were no wars presently, it was not like Sayaka could just roll up into another kingdom’s barracks and start killing soldiers without cause. The idea of going to the club to…spar, was the next best thing to that.
“I’ll even be your tag team partner. We’d be quite the team.” Kat wiggled her brow at her own suggestion. “I can hold my own in the ring, and make it look damn sexy. No man can resist playing around with some wild pussy.”
Kat giggled as she said that. Saying things that mean something dirty was kind of her thing.
“Oops…I did it again baby.” Kat winked and then skipped towards the door. “Come on!”
Sayaka rose an eyebrow, her left eyebrow to be exact, as she tilted her head to the right, curiously watching the cat act fairly strange to Sayaka, but the Princess did have a small smile on her face from laughter. She found it quite amusing that the cat was so excited over an outfit. Sayaka’s own outfit was of mostly leather, with some exceptions here and there, being of a dominantly crimson color alongside other various darker colors. She wasn’t the type to really worry about clothing though to be honest, it never made much sense to her in that respect.
Sayaka’s fiery golden eyes showed an interest in what the woman was saying, in fact her head straightened and both eyebrows climbed upwards in a small show of amusement. Well, the woman had a bunch of ideas in her skull, a good trait to have when surrounded by a bunch of meat heads; which described the Kingdom of Wrath fairly well with few exceptions. Hmm…. well, it wasn’t a bad idea at all.
“Hmm… sure thing. Sounds interesting, on every aspect.”
Sayaka gave the cat a small wink as she followed suit, even she had a joking side on occasion. Sayaka grabbed her long katana-like sword and followed easily, gracefully as well. A small smile on her face.
The tears flow freely as Ruby is struggling to understand her feelings and how it was even possible to find a friend in Valmont.
Razorbackwriter: What greeted Valmont’s words was the most tragic thing he could have seen – the last thing he ever wanted to see. With her hood falling back and showing off her face to full view, it was the utter sadness, the spill of many tears that had now soaked her skin. Even her stitches were wet. Valmont’s heart sank. Did he cause this? The incubus was now questioning himself. Everything he had done up to this point, what was it that brought about her pain? You could see the quizzical expression along with regret. Regret for whatever it was that he had done wrong. The girl just sat there and stared up at him. Almost like looking right through him. No one had ever done this to him before. Valmont had never seen a girl cry.
“What have I done?”
Valmont knelt down upon the grass on one knee. He wanted to know what it was that was wrong, and how he could fix it. The ambassador was very good at diplomatic work, but dealing with someone’s feelings. Watching on in silence, he saw Ruby take out the chalk board that he had given her. Her hand was shaking so much it was hard to see what she was trying to write, but soon it became apparent just what it was.
“Hurts?” Valmont saying the very word that she was feeling. What hurts, how does it hurt….where? Again, the ambassador was at a loss on where to begin. His eyes searching hers for answers, till it dawned on him.
“Has no one ever shown you affection before?” Was that it? Had Valmont innocently brought about a wave of sorrow from her lost memories. Valmont reached across for her hand. “How do I make it stop?”
Zu: Ruby saw that she wasn’t the only one hurt by the current state of affairs. Valmont too, for what he was, felt sorrow for what had happened. Ruby didn’t want him to feel sad, he had no need to be sad. It was Ruby who should feel this way. She looked at him with this expression of don’t be sad, even if her face showed little resemblence of that. Ruby stared at him for what seemed like hours, til finally she went for her board again. Valmont understood her, but how she even wrote down what she wanted to say was something short of a miracle. Another word came crashing through her skull, and she wiped down the board furiously to make room for it. She stared to write again, though this time with a little more shake. Maybe if she kept her feelings bottled up, it’d work out and she’d feel better about it. When she finally wrote it down, she showed Valmont again.
She didn’t want it to stop. It was a feeling she never felt before, the feeling of being loved and cared for. For Valmont to ask how to stop it was something she was terrified for. Ever since she grew comfortable around Valmont, for what little time she did, Ruby wanted nothing more than to be around him. Ruby let down her board, which still hung over her chest, and held her arms out to Valmont. She wanted a hug, because if she was to feel better she’d rather be in Valmont’s arms to do such.
Seeing the sudden change in Ruby’s face, as though she was asking Valmont not to be sad, the Ambassador had trouble responding to it. He mirrored her in a lot of ways, and it was only natural that he should take responsibility for whatever it was that he had done to make her feel this way. What he didn’t understand was that Ruby wanted to have these feelings. Odd as that might sound. Why?
Watching her start to scribble madly on the chalkboard again, Valmont would read the one word that asked him how to help her.
The Ambassador held his breath as his brow creased and he sat there, almost dumbfounded. Women were so incredibly confusing at times. But then, she dropped the board and held out both her arms towards him. She wanted to be held. Maybe being held she could come to grips with her fears. Valmont genuinely did not want to hurt her at all. It was the last thing he’d ever do. So, carefully, Valmont drew Ruby up into his lap as he made himself more comfortable upon the ground, and brought her head towards his chest, so that her cheek would be pressed to his coat. His arm enveloped her, while his free hand gently stroked her hair. If she listened, she could hear the beating of his heart within his chest. A smooth rhythm that would be soothing. Steady and strong.
Valmont wouldn’t speak a word. Instead just rocking her gently and letting the gentle breeze play about them as they became closer, due to the solitude of the gardens. Would she grow to accept this affection he offered her?
Zu: Ruby watched as Valmont read the word she formed onto the chalkboard. She could tell that he didn’t know what was going on in the slightest. That was okay, she didn’t need him to. All she wanted to feel was his love, that was the only thing he had to do. She was taken into his arms, and she felt comforted. Ruby felt well, though tears streamed down her face; this time, they were happy tears. It may not take a short amount of time, but Ruby hoped she’d get used to this. Though she could have had the mind of an adult, and the experience of one too, Ruby was only a child in actuality. Ruby took Valmont’s shirt, and gripped it with her fragile hands, resting her head against his chest. She shouldn’t have ran from him, but it felt too much for her to handle and for that, she did have to stay away from Valmont until she could get a hold of herself. Now, she did; it felt lovely.
Feeling the soft fall of Ruby’s tears upon his shirt, he knew that he had not been able to stop the flow of tears. Course, he didn’t realize that these were happy tears. Ruby tugged at his shirt and pulled it to her face with her tiny hands, her head nestled to his chest – being as close to him as she could possibly get. Valmont would hold her for as long as it took, till the shudders from her tiny body abated, and she was able to gain control over her emotions once more. Valmont let out a sigh, almost like he was relieved in a sense. She could have run from him again, but instead she confronted her fears and held on to him to help her get past what it was that she feared most.
Valmont’s hand came to a stop at the back of her head. Keeping it there firmly so she could feel the comfort that he’d never let her go. How would this have looked from the Embassy windows? Was anyone watching the pair? Maybe. But Valmont didn’t care. He’d tried to teach her a great deal in a very small amount of time, and it is completely possible that he had overwhelmed the poor girl into such a state that she fled from him in the ballroom.
“You don’t have to ever fear me, Lady Ruby. To some, I am a monster, beneath the frill and lace of my attire. But to you, I will always be your friend. You can count on that.”
Zu: Ruby felt safe, this was something she never even thought of before. She had always been on the run, always hiding from others thanks to her job as a killer. Nobody ever gave her love like Valmont, she didn’t know what to do with herself. Now she realized that this feeling would always be around, and she’d just get used to it soon. Ruby didn’t want to leave Valmont’s side and she thought to herself that he didn’t want that either. She felt his comfort rest upon her skull, and because of that she looked up. She was greeted by a soft-spoken Valmont who did not steer away using his eyes.
Ruby didn’t know a word that could response to that, but if there was one thing she knew how to do, it was show her emotions without words. She only dug herself more into Valmont’s breasts, having her stitches move slightly, very invisible, to a grin. Never before had Ruby grinned before, and though it didn’t look that way she felt good about this grin. She could tell that this relationship would last forever.
Razorbackwriter: They say the greatest rewards in life are the simplest of things. Who could believe, that the girl whose mouth was sewn shut so crudely, could ever be able to smile. And yet, this is what Ruby did. It was by far one of the most wonderful moments of Valmont’s life. Did the girl understand what this made him feel? It was better than any word that could be spoken in gratitude or thanks. As each stitch moved, so to did the strings on Valmont’s heart. It swelled with pride to know that the hooded girl believed in him. Believed in their friendship – which was still so new. For both of them, this was a change in their behaviors, but so rewarding. Valmont was not feeling the same urges he did with women. This was a love of a different kind. Not that Valmont had ever truly loved anything or anyone before. No one was deserving of such. All had their ideals and ambitions, such as Lydia. That woman could turn the purest of joy into ashes in your mouth.
Valmont gazed down at Ruby with a fondness and affection that one would expect from a father figure. Ruby was a child in her form and the ambassador had no idea that beneath the sweet face, lay the heart of a woman that had lived a long time. There was so much still that Valmont did not know about Ruby, but for now he was at peace to know that he had stopped the unhappy tears and given her a source of comfort that no one else ever could.
“As time and the elements shift across these lands like sand in the hour glass, you can always count on me to be by your side.”
Zu: Every word spoken by Valmont was like elegent music gracing her ears. She took every word in, and never let it out of her mind. His voice was so soothing, comforting. Ruby was glad for the bond they had, and it was still fresh. There was so much out there for them to explore and enjoy. Though Ruby could not speak, her actions spoke louder. Sure, there were barriers but Ruby was content with that. Every relationship did have it’s problems, no? Ruby was about to write something when a small flash of memory entered her mind. Her face tensed a bit as she struggled to remember what that just was. She looked at Valmont, confused, then at th ground. What the hell was that flash? It seemed like a memory, but was it really?
Razorbackwriter: Yes, their bond was one that was now unshakable, that was how Valmont viewed it. Seeing her smile was worth any heart ache or confusion. But as they enjoyed this new found closeness, it seemed that there were some things that still troubled the girl. She was about to write something on her small chalk board, to express how she felt, yet something made her pause. Her face tensing, like her eyes narrowing and the happy smile fading from view. Perhaps something had been triggered in this moment, but without her way to communicate this, she simply stared up at Valmont, then looked to the ground.
“What is it, Lady Ruby?”
Valmont knew that there must be something she wished to tell him, but for now she was unable too. They were obviously going to have many moments like this one, where she experienced flashbacks of sorts. The awakening stream of new emotions were bound to trigger them. A simple word, a piece of music, or even the joy of being held, can remind a person of an event long before this time.
Valmont was a patient enough man to wait for her to be ready to tell him.
Zu: Ruby looked back up at Valmont when he asked this question, and her face showed the one emotion she felt at the very moment. Confusion; Ruby had no idea herself, so there was no way she could convey what she was confused about. Ruby slowly pushed herself away from Valmont to stand back up again. She was fine, so there was no need for hugging anymore. Ruby looked at Valmont, maybe if she was to leave here she’d find out just what happened. She grabbed her chalk, thinking of what the word was. She’s seen it once, and the word did flash in front of her face. After using her excellent memory, she wrote it down.
Razorbackwriter: The bewildered expression upon Ruby’s face caught the Ambassador off guard. Feeling her push away gave Valmont the chance to get to his feet, and lightly brush himself off of the grass and leaf litter upon the ground. Had the ambassador’s reassuring embrace done the trick?
Watching her take out the chalk and the board again, Valmont leaned forward – wondering just what she was going to write this time. It could be anything, now that she had regained her composure. The chalk squeaked as it ran along the black board surface, shaping two letters only.
The fact that she could write in the common language, actual words meant that there was a side to Ruby that had once been schooled in how to write and communicate this way. It was actually a relief to see, because this alone meant that it would save them weeks, or months of tuition. But back to the word. ‘Go.’ Did she wish to leave the Embassy, to find herself?
“You wish to leave, Lady Ruby?” Was that what she needed to do?
“The gate is just a few hundred metres that way.” Valmont pointed in the right direction, before asking. “Do you want me to come with you?”
Was this a journey that she wished to take on her own?
Sharing his knowledge, Valmont wanted to show Ruby a world that he was from. He was trying to invoke memories, that may help her remember her past life, and who she really was.
Scene setting: The Embassy of Hell : Seven sins series.
Co-written with Zu.
Zu: Ruby took the arm offered to her, and the both of them went their way to the training room. It had been awhile since Ruby used her weapons against someone, but she had a feeling there would be no killing involved. In a way, Ruby was disappointed but it was just her nature for a long time; not killing would go against that very nature. She saw the… whatever that was that Valmont took from Nicholas, and it may be the thing that she’d use to talk to others. Ruby didn’t mind, but when she thought about it, wasn’t it that thing that others used to make words? She didn’t know how those things worked, but she’d learn very soon. She placed her hood back over herself, almost as if to calm herself down.
Razorbackwriter: With Zachary and Nicholas both set tasks to do, this meant that the Ambassador was able to escort Ruby freely to the training room. The incubus had taken from Ruby’s expression and demeanor that she was uncomfortable with all the fuss of the sudden arrival of staff. It was something that she might have to get used to if she had any plans on staying at the embassy on a more permanent basis. Taking his arm and placing the hood back over herself, the crimson hooded girl now seemed to be more at ease just in Valmont’s company. With the board and chalk in one hand and Ruby on the arm, he escorted her through to the next corridor and down a passage.
“This room does not get used much. Training is something that only happens in a time of war and thankfully the last war was pretty much over before it started.” The doors would be opened by two guardians and this allowed Valmont to walk Ruby through without trouble or letting her go.
On arriving inside, Ruby would find herself in a large expansive room with coloured floor mats that criss crossed the marble floor, and on every side wall there was armaments from across each and every kingdom. A sample selection of the very weapons used by each creed of Sin. There was also suits of armor and mock battlements set up for practice runs. It was a very odd set up for an indoor arena. Which is exactly what it was.
The doors were closed behind them and this was when Valmont turned to Ruby.
“Show me your sword, and just how you wield it.”
She may not be able to have the gift of speech, but he wanted to see just what kind of warrior lay beneath the ruby coloured hood.
Zu: Ruby was glad that the others were gone, it made her feel more comfortable to deal with just one person rather than a group. Even since they expressed themselves to one another, not even a day ago, Ruby had gotten very comfortable with Valmont. He understood her in a way others wouldn’t try, or couldn’t. He gave her a place to stay, and a good sense of companionship. The two guardians gave her no trouble, and she had hoped not either. Ruby looked around the new room they were in. She had never been in a training room before, and knowing that they’d be alone, she let down her hood to once again show her face. She looked a bit amazed, but not as overjoyed as once would suspect.
She looked at Valmont, who now addressed to her and her weapon. He called it a sword, but it wasn’t really a sword. Ruby knew what it was, and she wouldn’t be able to say what it actually was. Still, in Ruby’s world, seeing was much easier than talking about it. She pulled it out and with a flick of her wrist, it popped open in it’s full length. Her scythe was taller than her, almost twice as tall, but she seemed to wield it with ease. She looked at Valmont and put it to her side, standing up, wondering what he wanted her to do next.
Razorbackwriter: The weapon that Ruby unsheathed was larger than when he remembered seeing it up at the Isolated cliff. Interesting that this was the choice of weapon for a petite girl in a hood. Not one that those she faced would expect either. He remembered that she drew on it when she was afraid, or intimidated. This left the Ambassador to wonder if she used it out of a love for the weapon, or solely as a source of defense. Ruby had drawn her hood back as well, when she was in Valmont’s company. Again observations about this girl were starting to paint a picture of one that was both insecure and afraid in this place – Hell. Someone went to a lot of trouble to stitch up her mouth and then leave her here.
The girl handled the scythe with relative ease, considering its size and presumed weight. She had a natural and fluid ability to wield it as though she was incredible experienced in its used. A scythe is more commonly owned by a reaper, or at least that is what Valmont had thought before now. But Ruby wasn’t a reaper of souls? Was she?
“Very impressive, I must say.” The Ambassador gave her an encouraging smile to see how well she handled the long scythe. He had no intention of trying to disarm her, or cause her reason to take fright. Valmont had been careful as not to be impulsive or reactionary. There was simply no need. Too much too soon might be detrimental to their very new friendship.
“I can now see that you are more than capable of using it. Though the physics are astounding considering its size.” By this he meant that it was almost twice her height and yet she moved it effortlessly. “Thank you for showing me Ruby.”The training room was probably the best open area in which to have a demonstration of her weapon safely. The Ambassador then explained more about the room. “Here, we have all the different types of weapons commonly used by the different Kingdoms of Hell. Each donated by the reigning monarch of the time. Fascinating, if you like museum pieces.” What the Ambassador meant by this was that few if any of them were used. It was more for studying and understanding how each kingdom went about warfare, which was common place.
Remembering the chalk board and the chalk that Nicholas had acquired, Valmont took them out and then he wrote a simple letter V on the chalk board. V standing for Valmont. It was written in a cursive style and the Ambassador showed the board to Ruby. He was hopeful that the girl might understand. This being the first opportunity he had to try and teach her.
“This is the letter V.” He then pointed to himself and said his name. “Valmont.” Once again he pointed at the chalk board and back to himself. “V.” He took out a small cloth and erased the V, replacing it with an R. Valmont turned the board towards Ruby and said. “This…is an R. R…for Ruby.”
The Ambassador offered the board and chalk to Ruby as a gift.
Zu: Ruby felt a bit of happiness and warm in her cold body when Valmont gave her that genuine smile, she even grew a bit transparent by that. It had been awhile since she’s gone transparent, but so far nothing happened yet. She kept it out until Valmont thanked her for the demonstration. She put it away just as effectively as she had taken it out, focusing back on Valmont who was giving her a bit of a history lesson on the weapons in the room. This was an entire different culture she was not exposed to. Throughout her time here in Hell, Ruby only knew a few things; death, blood and loneliness. She was a killer, after all, so there was no time for friends. Before now, Ruby didn’t care about anything besides what she already knew. Now, with Valmont’s kindness, she became more open and especially with Valmont, more than with anyone else. Ruby was right behind Valmont, watching him explain about the weapons.
The subject now turned to the chalkboard and chalk, which was given to Valmont by Nicholas. This was the thing used for this “communication” that seemed absolutely necessary. She didn’t know why it was that way, but if that was part of Valmont’s world then she might as well get used to it. She stared at the board, seeing the smooth movements of the chalk running along the blank space. It amazed her, and after Valmont was done, she took it with the up-most quickness and started out trying to do what he did. It seemed the board and chalk too all her attention.
Razorbackwriter: Valmont was more than just curious to see how Ruby took to writing on the chalk board. He wanted to see how she held the chalk between her fingers, the way she poised the tip before starting to make sweeping strokes. The ambassador was of course rewarded almost immediately, when Ruby took to the first attempt with a flourish that had him smiling effortlessly. The girl had taken to the task so well that all her attention was now focused on the small chalk board and the way she used the chalk to make lettering like Valmont had done.
“You are a natural, Ruby.”
The Ambassador brought his hands together before him, interlocking his gloved fingers as he watched her with a growing enthusiasm. He had never envisioned himself as any sort of teacher before, but then again he had not been challenged to teach a girl to communicate. Though in a way, they already had a bond that was beyond the need for speech. Valmont was finding himself more and more at ease with the girl, and not in the least bit acting out in his nature. It was something of a relief. Unusual though.
Ruby may well wonder why writing was considered such an important form of communication. Valmont saw it as more than just communicating however. It was a way in which many were able to learn about the past, their histories as so written by scholar and men of great learning. From the simplest of drawings on rock walls, to the many tomes that filled the great libraries, it was an integral part of civilization.
The ambassador would wait silently for Ruby to finish with her chalk board, before deciding to extend the tour to the great library of the Embassy. It was a place that held thousands upon thousands of books. The answers to many a question lay within the walls and naturally it was a place that Valmont frequented when he had the chance. Now he had another reason to go there. In a way this was a manner of sharing himself with the hooded girl. Spending this quality time and embarking on a friendship that he hadn’t realized up till this point that he actually needed. He felt a closeness to Ruby that was hard to describe.
“Would you like to see where the books are kept?” He asked, knowing that the training room would be boring to her now.
Zu: Ruby didn’t write the typical way, but instead used her whole hand to move the chalk. It would be a long while before she could actually use it the way others did. Ruby did try doing it like Valmont, only for the chalk to slip out of her hands. She picked it up quickly, before it even had a chance to fall to the ground. She may not have been a writer, but being a warrior until now, she had the reactions of one. She “gave up”, in the sense that she’d try again later when she was away from Valmont, which probably wouldn’t be likely as she would most likely stay by his side the entire time. When asked to see some books, Ruby just agreed with a nod of her head. Ruby put the chalk in it’s proper place, and the board around her neck as they continued through the Embassy.
Ruby was brought to a place where books rested until it was their time to be used. Ruby looked a bit anxious when seeing the monstrous amount of books in one place. She’s seen something like this before, but not to this degree. Words were in these, just like on the chalkboard. Ruby wondered, would she be able to write books for Valmont? In less than a day, Ruby was doing and thinking things that never crossed her mind; Ruby never saw herself as more than what she was before her meeting with Valmont. A tool only to be used for killing, now brought into another world.
Razorbackwriter: The library was a darkened hall that had all the curtains drawn and the shutters over the windows. No natural light was allowed in, and the only illumination came from either lit candles or small reading lamps that could be found on tables that dotted the interior. The surrounding walls were filled with books, and the way to reach many was to scale ladders that ran along on coasters at the bottom. Fed into tracks, they could go as far as ten metres, before you would need to scale another ladder.
Valmont walked along now with his gloved hands behind his back – the back of his right hand slapping the left in a fluid motion. His body was fairly rigid and he had an air about him. It was natural to him, as he thought that slouching was a form of being lazy in one’s self. When he regarded Ruby once again, he noted a look on her face that showed anxiety. Was the library too much for her? Or did she think that the ambassador was going to try and get her to write great novels, after only just giving her a board and chalk just a short time before. Valmont acted quickly to allay her fears.
“Ruby, fear not. This is just a place that I enjoy a quiet moment, to reflect and also to learn. I wouldn’t try to get you to write long stories like the ones in the books.”
He had hoped that his explanation would suffice and that she could go back to being relaxed in his company. They truly were very different, and Valmont was doing his utmost to ensure that he did not upset the girl. This in itself was unusual, since he was having to suppress his own natural feelings and urges. Valmont had managed it when he had to meet with female royals before. But this was different. The ambassador felt this overwhelming sense of responsibility for the girl’s well being. Almost father like with a child. It was all very new to him too.
Valmont stopped and thought for a moment. There was one place he could show her, that would give them a way to interact on a level that required no words at all.
“Have you ever danced?” Valmont was thinking of taking her into the grand ballroom, where parties were hosted for dignitaries. It was a short walk from the library.
Zu: She was told not to fear, and that she wouldn’t be writing much outside what was around her neck. This made her look comfortable, but she was actually a bit sad. It might have been a scary thought to Ruby, yet she would have loved to try it if it would please Valmont. If she could, Ruby would have the cutest smile on her face. Truly an innocent soul, despite her abnormalities and her current state in Hell as a killer. As they were speaking, Ruby saw herself becoming transparent when her hands went missing. Unlike many times before, this actually didn’t matter to her. Ruby’s focus was so much on Valmont, nothing else mattered at the moment. Ruby didn’t realize it yet, but she had developed the most intense relationship with Valmont. He was something Ruby couldn’t have, a friend. Someone who wouldn’t turn their back on her, someone who saw her as more than just a killer. It was the only thing Ruby ever wanted.
Valmont asked for this… dance. Ruby never heard of that, it must have been something only fancy people in Hell do. It did interest her, so with a nod of her head, she agreed and stood next to Valmont, following his lead. She began to become visible again, in her hands at least, as it was the only thing that turned transparent. She clung onto Valmont’s arm as they walked, her eyes showing her daydreaming on this… dance.
Razorbackwriter: Down a long corridor that was just off the library, was the grand ballroom. This room was kept locked for most of the time as the hallowed hall was filled with treasured art and of course a massive chandelier. There were columns along the sides of the hall made from marble, that went all the way up to painted ceilings. Murals featured many of the previous Princes of Hell – a testimony to their leadership. The Ambassador paused a moment to take out a golden key and placed it into the lock, turning it so as to show Ruby the wonder of the ballroom.
Ruby’s easy acceptance to follow along gave Valmont hope that this was something she might like to enjoy. The doors swung open with ease, to give both the Ambassador a sight that would captivate. The ambassador looked down at Ruby, who was clutching his arm tightly. He couldn’t help but feel a touch of pride that he somehow had made her feel good about all this splendor.
A servant came in behind the pair, and bowed low.
“Shall I put on some music, Ambassador?’
“Yes, Gregory. If you would be so kind.”
The servant snapped his heels together and then strutted across the floor to where there was a beautiful phonograph. There was a stack of old records on a table beside it, and the servant carefully took one out of its sheath and placed it on the turn table. Lowering the stylus arm, after giving it a good crank, a soft waltz began to play. The sound was of course carried by the vast expanse of space within the hall. Valmont reached for Ruby’s hand and led her to the center of the room. Watching them, the servant took his cue to leave and this meant the Ambassador was alone with his charge.
“And this….is how we dance.”
Placing his right arm around her waist, Valmont took her right hand with his left, and then slowly began to make steps to lead her into a waltz. The music provided the perfect mood and tempo, and the Ambassador lifted his head back, speaking an incantation that had the chandelier erupt with a dazzling light. Around and around, the Ambassador would lead Ruby on this magical dance. If this had been the first time that she had experienced this, it may well give her a new found joy. The Ambassador was attentive to her needs, and he kept his eyes focused on hers as he danced her around the room.
Scar has done all he can to help the boys in finding their way to the doorway of Hell. Now, it was up to them to save their sister…..
Scene setting – The World in Scar’s hat. : Seven Sins series.
Co-written with Dessy.
Dessy: This was going to be a tough job for the boys – but it needed to be done. They had to be strong and brave. They had to do this. They didn’t want their sister to die again – they wanted far from it. Sean thought over what Scar had said; the power of three. Then it hit him. The three closest people to Mariela needed to unite to open the door to Hell. Those three people being Mariela’s dear brothers, and Mariela’s best friend. It was clear now – even if it meant having to go through the painful memories again, they had to do it.
Scar jolted up, and Sean looked at him as he did so. He was a bit dazed, and his hair smoked – but he was awake. That’s all that mattered. And, that creepy eye thing was gone. “Do you believe now that magic does indeed exist in this world? Mariela was proof of that.” he said, watching Scar. “Sam is outside, on the phone with Tes-” Sean started, only to have Sam run back in. “I’m heading over to Tessa’s to pick her up. She said grab everything you need, as well as the book and Mariela’s amulet. She said if Marie really is in deep danger, then she’ll need her amulet. It holds all of her power.” Sam said, receiving a nod from his brother.
“Teleport yourself and Scar to the place. I’ll teleport me and Tessa there after I get her.” Sam then said, nodding and then leaving the room. He wrote a note for their parents and pinned it on the fridge, saying they were out late with some friends and would be back later. Who knew how long this would take them? No need to worry their parents – and they couldn’t tell their mother what was going on. He then left and went – quickly – to grab Tessa. Sean turned around and picked the amulet off of the floor, before turning to Scar. “Sorry about that. It was the quickest way to wake you up.” he apologized.
Sean took a deep breathe, seeming to prepare himself for going back to that dreaded place. “Alright… Let’s go.” he said, and with a quick flick of his free hand, they disappeared from the house, and then reappeared a few feet in front of their old house – where Mariela was killed.
Razorbackwriter: The basement room swirled into nothingness, only to next have Sean and Scar arrive on the footpath just outside what remained of the house that Mariela died in. The picket fence was still there, but you could see where the palings had been damaged by fire crews. The hinged gate was hanging by just one bracket and swung back and forth as though almost restless. The trees that were once full of flowers and brightly coloured leaves were still charred black. In the center of the yard was the burnt out remains of what was once a family dream home. It was like a skeleton, a hollowed out shell that still carried the air of death about it. Yellow police tape fluttered from tree to tree where investigations had taken place. It was both forlorn and in some ways very sad. This was not the place the boys would ever dream of having to return too. It was here that Mariela left this earth to never again feel the love in the families embrace, or the joy of being one with her family that she loved so much.
Scar’s face fell at the sight. He had seen many horrid things in his centuries of life, but this….this was made all the worse to know that Mariela suffered here. She gave her life so that her brothers may live theirs. Scar walked up to the broken gate, and at the touch of his hand it simply fell off the last hinge and collapsed to the ground with a clatter. The Alp winced and glanced back over his shoulder at Sean.
“Sorry about that.”
Letting out a sigh, the Alp ventured further up the path, as the breeze ruffled his hair. It was almost like Mariela’s fingers were teasing him. Was she with him in spirit? The Alp closed his eyes as though he wanted to feel her. Feel her so deeply to his core. Opening them again, he let out yet another sigh. Soon Sam and Tessa would join them, and then the spell could be cast to send the trio to her.
Dessy: They arrived at the footpath of the house, and immediately Sean flinched. He was already having flashbacks of that terrible day, as was obvious from the horrified expression on his face. His eyes looked around; the charred trees, the picket fence, the broken gate. This all brought back painful memories. But Sean took a deep breath, and began walking towards the house anyways.
Sean frowned as Scar touched the gate and it fell to the ground. When he apoligized, Sean just shook his head. “Don’t worry about it.” he said as they kept on walking. Mariela’s magic could be felt in the air – it was still here even after her death. Either that, or Mariela was somehow with them right now – to help them. Sean honestly didn’t know.
Once they reached the burnt up house, Sean froze. Visions of the fire reappeared again, and it took everything for him to not fall on his knees and cry. The plsce looked just like they left it – only difference being that there was police tap around it. Police tried investigating, trying to find out information – but they foung nothing. It was useless. Sean closed his eyes and held his breath for a few seconds, walking forward again as he opened them.
Meanwhile, Sam appeared with Tessa – who was a slim, tall, pretty brown eyed brunette who had short, shoulder length wavy hair. At the moment, it was in a ponytail. Sam and Tessa ran up the path, also getting flashbacks from the incdient… and they too, were having a hard time making it to the house. “We’re here!” Sam called, gesturing over to Tessa. “This is Tessa… Marie’s best friend. This guy is Scar, the one who I told you about.” he gestured to Scar next.
“So, you’re the one in love with Marie?” Tessa gave a laugh. “I always told her that people crushed and fell in love with her all the time, but she never noticed. For her to notice you… that means you must be pretty special.” she said with a smile.”And if she cares for you as must as it seems, judging by what Sam told me, and from the way her magic is felt in the air… especially aroudn you… she must love you, too.” she spoke. Tessa knew Mariela well – that much was obvious. She walked up to Sean, taking the amulet and the book, and then turning to face Scar. She looked at Scar, then the boys, and nodded. “Let’s get to work, then, shall we? Marie needs our help.”
Scar didn’t need to be a clairvoyant to feel the sadness that had now gripped Sean. When the young man came up alongside Scar and froze in his place, the Alp chewed on his bottom lip in an awkward fashion. He knew that this was not at all an easy thing to do. To face your fears. The greatest one, was the place that his sister gave up her life for him. For Sean, he could see not just the burnt out remains, but also the house in a different time…a time long before the hatred of the non believers would break their family apart.
The Alp was almost about to pat Sean’s back, when Sam called out from behind them.
It was Sam, with the girl that Scar had seen in the picture. So this was Tessa. The human friend of Mariela. Her best friend, and the keeper of her memories. Whether the twins believed it or not, it was Tessa who held the key to get to their lost Mariela.
“This is Tessa… Marie’s best friend. This guy is Scar, the one who I told you about.”
Scar bowed politely, though it was a bit showy by ordinary standards. Everything was over done…but that was the Alp’s nature. On rising, he examined her with a critical eye, before hearing her laugh and comment about how he was the one that was in love with Marie.
“The Duchess…yes. And I prefer to call her, Mariela.” Scar’s cheeks flamed a bit, as the girl appeared to be making light of Scar’s crush for the young witch. When it came to Mariela, and her well being he was serious. At all other times, he was a wicked scamp of a creature.
“I always told her that people crushed and fell in love with her all the time, but she never noticed. For her to notice you… that means you must be pretty special.”
Scar made a hmmph sound. He knew that Mariela didn’t feel the same way or as strongly as he did. He gave a false laugh, like a titter with a slight head wobble. “Oh, she can’t help but notice me. Mariela found me….hard to ignore.” It was then he beamed a large cheeky smile, before rolling his eyes and looking back at the twin boys. Tessa saying that Mariela must have loved him if her magic surrounded him. There was a connection….a very real one, but Scar had so much to worry about, and this would not concern him for the moment.
The girl was eager to get started, and Scar clapped his hands together.
“And…about time too.” This was the beginning of what would be Mariela’s rescue.
Walking up into the charred remains of the house, Scar scanned for the spot where she died. It wasn’t hard to find. The police had managed to do a good job of that, and this meant that it was easier for Scar to prepare for the ritual.
Seeing Tessa had the amulet and the book, Scar made a loud whistle for the boys to follow.
“Sean, you are to tie the handkerchief to the collar.” He then looked at Tessa. “You…dear, are to wear the amulet.”This may not have been what Tessa was expecting, but the alp had his reason for this. “Give me the book….and then I want all three of you to form a circle. You are all to place a hand on the collar in the middle, so that each of you are one with it.”
If Tessa gave him the book he would hold it out a few feet away from where the trio were standing, and let the pages fly open to the right spell.
“Oh….just one thing. I’m not coming with you.” Scar’s face grew dark as his eyes changed colour. The book had indeed a very strong power. “Only Mariela can summon me back. If she has the hat…..tell her to call for me. If not…..tell her I love her….and always will.”
Scar began to say the incantation, the words illuminating off the page in bright gold symbols as the wind picked up and howled around the trio. The jewels on the collar all started to illuminate one by one and their hands would start to tingle as the magic and power of their beloved Mariela was to take them on a one way trip……to hell.
The sky erupted over the house and a massive bolt of energy fired down, opening the ground beneath where the trio stood. Scar screamed the final words that was to send them on their way.
“DESTROY THE MIRROR!”
Dessy: Scar bowed to Tessa – and maybe over-did it a bit. Tessa just smiled and nodded her head, looking to the brothers before Scar began talking. He called her a… dutchess? Mariela was a dutchess? That was a bit shocking to the trio, to be honest. “Dutchess, huh? Never imagined Marie would ever be a dutchess. But, that’s not the concern at the moment.” Tessa spoke, shaking her head, but laughed when Scar said Mariela found him “hard to ignore”. “Hm… I bet.” she said. Tessa followed Scar up to the charred remains of the house, finding the exact spot where Mariela had died. Well… the police did one thing right…
Sam and Sean had waited, and once Scar whistled for them to go over there, the boys followed. Scar then began shouting out instructions… and they were eager to do as they were told. Sam held the collar, while Sean took the handkerchief and tied it around the collar like Scar instructed. Tessa gave a confused look when Scar told her to put on the amulet, but she handed him the book, before slipping the amulet around her neck, pulling her ponytail through it.
Tessa pointed to the spot where they were supposed to stand, before instructing the boys to stand in a certain spot. Tessa looked at them both, giving a nod of her head. The brothers looked at each other, before nodding at Tessa and then taking a deep breathe. Sean had his hand on the collar first, then Sam followed, and last Tessa.
“Oh….just one thing. I’m not coming with you.”
This caused all three of them to look at Scar… but Tessa just nodded. “I’ll make sure to let her know. See you soon, Scar.”Tessa said, before her and the boys shut their eyes. They felt the wind pick up, and their fingers started tingling. But neither of them let go. The sky erupted, and soon they felt a bolt of energy hit the ground… before it opened a hole and all three fell into it. They heard Scar’s final words right before they fell, and they all just nodded in agreement.
Then… they were gone.
Razorbackwriter: And so they were gone.
Scar stood motionless as the great beam of light opened the hole beneath the trio that held onto the collar of Raul. As they all fell into it, there was an enormous crack as the earth groaned and protested for being violated so. Within a trice the hole closed once more, leaving Scar to be there alone in the charred remains of Mariela’s families house. The Alp bowed his head, closing his eyes as he felt Mariela’s magic slip away with them. The book that he had read from fell from his hands, with the pages falling open and turning, faster and faster till arriving at a blank page. Slowly Scar stared down at the empty page. Like the ending of a journal, or an unfinished diary. Was this significant? Crouching down, the Alp picked up the book and closed it slowly – bringing it to his chest. He didn’t know what Mariela was going through in the maze, or…if Raul and that bitch Lydia had her captured….or worse Would the twins and her best friend find her in time? Can their combined efforts save the witch….or will she be led to greatness?
Standing in the middle of the ruined house, Scar knew that it was futile to remain. The only way out was via the hat. It was how he was sent there, and again another rule he forgot to mention.
The only solace Scar had was that if and when the boys found their sister, she would have the family reunion to remember. Scar hoped that his sacrifice….was worth it.
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.
Anime is more than violence & fan-service. For my WP friend, Garfield Hug. ❤
The award winning AMV by Baka Oppai, 2013.
Breakfast is always better when someone else makes it. Frank and Isa are about to enjoy the delights of Jax’s Coffee house.
Scene setting : Jax’s Coffee House.
Co-written with Chor.
Razorbackwriter: Pulling the door open for Isa, Frank peeked inside to see how bad the crowd was this morning. Thankfully, Jax’s was about half full which meant that they would easily get a table and the wait would not be all that long. Following Isa in, Frank stared down at those white shorts. The tell tale showing of Isa’s panties, which Frank had seen earlier gave the detective reason to smile. He had acted like a total goof when she emerged from the bathroom looking for towels. Thankfully, Frank felt that Isa would have forgotten about all that by now. The welcoming aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans invigorating the senses.
Seeing a table free, Frank ushered Isa towards it and then pulled out a chair for her, just as you would expect a gentleman to do. “This is so much better than sharing a bowl of cornflakes and stale milk at my place.” Waiting for Isa to get comfortable, Frank moved to the opposite side of the table and took a chair, reaching for the menu. He knew one thing. Frank needed a large cup of coffee, and then he would see what took his fancy on the menu.
On the way over, the conversation had been light. Mainly about how his little boy loved to play soccer on Saturdays. Much of the time, Frank was working, so he had missed many of his son’s matches – much to his own disappointment. In all honesty, Frank didn’t feel like he had been a great father to his son. So much of his important milestones had been missed, and all because of the job. It made him wonder if having kids was such a good idea in the first place, but his son was an accident. Do you tell your child such a thing? No. Well, you shouldn’t. Frank tried to hide the sadness of how he missed his little boy, but his ex had made sure that Frank would never get custody or visitation. All Frank had was a handful of photographs, and one small soccer shirt. Maybe one day, when his son was old enough he would seek Frank out. Or would it be too late? Missy had remarried and the guy was a writer with plenty of time at home to be there for Frank’s son. How easy it was to be replaced.
Taking up the menu, Frank held it up and whistled.
“Eggs Benedict. My favorite.” Frank had already made up his mind.
“See anything you fancy?” This was asked as a waitress approached their table, tablet in hand ready to take their order.
Chor: Isolde was a little hesitant to enter the restaurant, because just in stepping from the cab she’d already had enough looks – mostly at her backside- for the morning. The woman braved it, though, and allowed Frank to kindly open the door for her to enter. Her escort immediately found them a table and gladly sat down in the chair he’d retrieved. The whole place was aflutter with quiet chatter and Isa caught conversations here and there. She was not really listening in, but when the ebb and flow of the words came like a wave; there was only one conversation left to hear and she couldn’t do anything to stop it. Isa had barely even glanced at the menu, but had mostly made her mind up on the way that she would have waffles.
“Be careful what you wish for: I survived my childhood eating muesli every day,” Isa joked, though it was true. In the dark, quiet mornings as her family sat around the worn wooden table eating their typical German breakfast, Isa would have killed for cornflakes. The thought of that made a smile curve her lips. Suddenly, Isa’s eyes caught something on the menu. Crepes. Oh god, that was it. Her waffle-filled morning had come to an end. It would be crepes with black berry jam and she decided this all before Frank even uttered a word. When the waitress appeared, she looked to her with a light smile.
“guten Morgen,” she said, then closed her menu and placed it to the side, “I’ll have the crepes, with blackberry jam…or preserves, whichever you’ve got? And coffee; one cream and…well, I suppose if you can bring me the sugar it’ll be easier.”
Razorbackwriter: It was nice to listen to Isa speak with that slight accent that Frank had not really picked up on before. Easing back in his chair, as he went over the menu he only lifted his eyes away from it to watch Isa give her over to the barista. “No waffles?’ Frank was a little surprised that Isa had changed her mind so quickly, but obviously she preferred the idea of crepes that morning instead, now that she saw the full range of breakfasts offered on the menu. The waitress took down both their orders and spun on her heel – quickly away to go and get their breakfasts started. Frank had to admit, the service was great. Placing the menu back in the holder, Frank couldn’t help but say something about those white shorts.
“Amazing how you are the same size as my ex. Those shorts are pretty…uhm…”Thankfully he stopped himself before he made a massive gaff. “….nice.” He let out an loud exhale of breathe followed by a smile as he decided to change tact. “You really stuck your neck out for me, you know. The Commander has probably been at the station all night.” The meaning behind this statement was that Commander Bracks was probably destroying her computer files and anything incriminating on it. It was a fair bet that he had people that owed him favors around the office. Some people got promotions that they didn’t earn. Not by performance results, anyways. It was troubling, to say the least.
Remembering his cellphone, he took it out from his pocket and then placed it on the table in front of him. “Tommy messaged me. Sounded mad as fuck.” Frank ticked his head a little to the left, remembering what state he had been in the night before. Frank toyed with the phone for a moment, almost too nervous to call Tommy back.
“I really do owe you one, Isa. You pretty much saved my life.”
Did she understand the gravity of his words? Truth be told though. Frank was not out of the woods yet. There were people out there with objectives. Dishonest and clever people. Frank was a pawn that many wanted seen taken off the board.
Chor: Isolde wiggled in her chair. Funny he should mention the shorts; they weren’t the same size, as Isa’s hips definitely did not lie about how these white atrocities were, but enough where she wasn’t bursting at the seams.
“Nice isn’t the word I’d use, but ja, they’re…int’resting, to say the least.”
The way he said it though, she knew he’d jsut stopped himself from saying something very, very different. The way he attempted to change the subject had her laughing on the inside, then what he said had her truly laughing. Bracks? Do work?
“Yeah, that’s not likely. That fat pig probably slept like a baby with his new wife while his dirty lackeys did his job for him…” Isa nearly spat, just thinking about the Commander putting her off a bit. She had a particular bone to pick with that man, and not just because of the situation with Frank or just his shitty human being status in general. There was far more history between the two that Isa hadn’t divulged on yet. She’d hoped she’d never have to, but eventually someone has to know. Especially now that Claura’s files have gone missing. Isolde rubbed her leg where a few symbols could be seen, sighing. So much to do, yet she just wanted to enjoy the happiness she was truly feeling here with Frank. She could only imagine the sight of her office, her lab, maybe even her apartment? At the mention of Frank’s friends, Isa felt guilty for forgetting about them. The poor woman who’d been shot and the other man…the reporter? She hoped they fared well. Isolde was caught off guard by Frank’s words and the utter sincerity of them. Blinking, she looked to his eyes.
“I was only doing what I wish someone had done for me,” she said a little sheepishly. Old scars, reminders of those days when she hadn’t had anyone to tell her that it would be okay, burned on her wrists.
Razorbackwriter: Isa’s laughter was infectious and of course the way that she described Commander Bracks had chuckle. Frank would have laughed a bit louder save for the fact that what Isa said was pretty spot on. He was a disgusting pig of a man, and you had to feel sorry for the woman that he went home to at night. There was just something not quite right about the man. Frank couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but Bracks had a sinister streak. The kind of guy that gained pleasure from torturing animals. Just the mental picture of him sleeping as Isa said made Frank shudder. Frank tapped the table twice with his open palm and then said “Enough about him, okay? Wouldn’t want to ruin your breakfast.” Yes, a change in conversation was a top idea and of course when Frank had said that he was grateful for Isa for everything she had done for him, he softened when she said that she was doing what she had hoped someone had done for her.“Really?”
Frank’s brow knitted slightly as he reached across the table to take her hand. He remembered her placing down a white rose as a symbol for the one she lost – Claura. That was her name, Frank thought. Frank’s thumb moved delicately across the top of Isa’s hand as he was about to ask about Claura, when the waitress brought over the crepes with blackberry jam as well as some cutlery. It sure did look good. Frank knew it was time to pull his hand away. “Don’t want it getting cold, now.” A simple nod and he gestured for her to eat as he waited for his meal to be brought out. A cup of coffee was placed down and filled by the barista and he thanked her kindly, before looking back at Isa.
“This is nice.” Frank, the King of small talk. If he could though, Frank could talk underwater when the mood was right. In this instance, the detective was wanting to ensure that Isolde enjoyed her breakfast. He took up his coffee cup and blew on it gently, then took a sip before placing the cup back down in the saucer with a gentle clink.
“You never did tell me about those tattoos.”
How cool is this? Opening a door to another part of Europe and interacting with the people behind the door. Simply brilliant!