Blood stained her sleeve as the thief wiped her slashed face again. The bleeding had slowed down significantly by that point but the stinging only grew. She glared at the assassian, though there was a smugness in her expression. Her attention turned towards the Zaestro royal as she approched. By the way she looked and the rage present in her hazel eyes, she was out to see the assassians hurt likely even dead. The princess leaned towards the spy and she paused for a moment, as if deciding what to do with her. Kellan stepped back in slight surprise as the princess drove a knife through the the spy's neck.
The princess stood back up and thanked the three of them. "Of course, though I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help," Oswald replied as a twinge of guilt rose to his chest. He had been useless throughout the fight. To make matters worse, the thief saved him twice! Kell gave a simple nod in response to Kiran.
"Yes, thanks for the help," Oswald echoed, though he was mostly referring to Cruva out of a slight pettiness. He turned towards the thief and glared at her. "You stabbed me! You-You stabbed me in the shoulder with this knife!" The prince gestered towards the blade in his shoulder. His blue coat was stained with blood from the wound and his arm hung limply at his side. Kell rolled her eyes.
"Well yes, but I did it to save your life and it worked! So quit whining about it." The half-orc prince angrily muttered something under his breath. The thief didn't catch it either out of distraction or simply because she ignored him. Kell noticed the guard teleporting away to care for the fires. Soon after, the Zaestro princess addressed her and Oswald once more. She was clearly tried and enraged. The thief could tell she wanted to see everyone who had attacked dead. Kell could hardly blame her after all the destruction they caused. It was also clear that the princess didn't know what to do with Oswald or the thief. She simply dismissed them. The thief was free to go. It was the best thing that could happen to her tonight. Before she left, Kell paused as she remembered the pocket watch from earlier. Digging it out of her pocket, she tossed it towards Kiran.
"Before I go, I have something you might find interesting. When you asked me to help bring people inside earlier, I picked this off a guy." She paused briefly so the woman could get a quick look over it. "Now why would one of your guests have a golden watch with a Ereva symbol engraved into it?"
Oswald glanced towards the object with interest. He headed towards Kiran to get a better look at the watch.
(Decided to bring Cruva back in the next reply lol)
Sheathing the artifact, Kiran just felt lost. Letting her eyes sweep the surroundings, she only grew angrier. It wasn’t like her to be this angry, but at this point she felt it was fair. She didn’t even bother counting the bodies of the citizens, knowing that could be done later. For now she wanted to ensure that the fires were at least contained and figure out who was the cause of the attack. She didn’t listen to the exchange between the two as whatever they were talking about didn’t really matter to her at the moment.
It was until the thief tossed her something that she even realized they were still here. Snatching the object out of the air, she looked at it. She turned it over in her hands a couple times, frowning a little as the blonde spoke. “When I asked you.... you knew...” her voice was but a whisper as she stared at the watch in her hand.
Letting the golden accessory slip between her fingers and to the floor, the young woman began talking towards Kell. “You knew!” She shouted, clearly angrier than she had been before. At this point, she was honestly blinded by her rage. “My people are dead and you knew they were here!” When she was close enough, she reached forwards and grabbed the thief by the collar of her shirt. She closed the rest of the distance between them, stepping close enough that their noses were almost touching.
Now, she didn’t actually want a reason. She wanted somewhere to direct her anger and the thief gave her the little shove she needed to hit her breaking point. At the moment, the princess wanted nothing more than to rip into her, let her die a slow, painful death. “You break into my castle, you tell me you had nothing to do with the fires, but you knew they were here. You knew and not once did you bother to speak up.” Kiran was grinding out her words now, resisting the urge to pull the knife from her own forearm and use it on the blonde. “Give me one good reason I shouldn’t execute you myself.”
(Sounds good! Also sorry about the reply, it's a little shorter than what I usually do.)
The princess caught the watch with an impressive motion. The thief nodded with a slight smile. All things considered, everything had calmed down and was going relatively well. That is until Kiran dropped the watch and started to yell. Kell leapt back some and held her arms up when the princess began to walk forward. The thief slowly continued to back away, not really know what to do. Attacking would be unwise, especially because the princess hadn't done anything. Running also wasn't an option because it would make her look guilty. Before she had a chance to decide what to do, Kiran quickly approched and grabbed her shirt collar.
Kell's heart thundered in her chest as the princess leaned in. She kept silent as the Zaestro royal continued to yell and accuse her of being part of the massecure. Oswald glanced between the women, concerned about the situation. He wouldn't be able to do anything if a fight broke put between the two of them. He carefully approched the pair, worry lacing his brown eyes. Kell stared at the woman, brows furrowed with unease.
"I was asked by you to bring everyone inside when I pick pocketed the guy. By the time they were inside, you were leading then away. Then the fight broke out before I could get this to either of you," she explained calmly. Now wasn't the time to be smug. She was vaguely aware of the prince coming to their side. A glimmer of relief rose in her chest as the man approched. She didn't get a chance to give a reason on why she should live before the Mithran half-orc spoke up.
"Kiran, maybe we should calm down a little," Oswald offered. He didn't like the thief, but he couldn't deny the good she did. She saved his life and helped with the spies.
Normally she wouldn’t act like this. She was a logical person normally. If she was in her right mind she wouldn’t have blindly accused the blonde woman of anything. But here she was, grabbing her up by the collar and yelling at her, insisting that she’d had I’ll intentions. Part of the problem was that she didn’t want to cry either, which is what would happen as soon as she allowed the anger to pass.
When the thief spoke up, Kiran could help but settle into a glare. It’s not as if her and Oswald had been attached to the hip, she could’ve gotten it to one of them. In reality, she couldn’t have. Everything has happened to quick, but right now she didn’t want to acknowledge that. When the Mithran prince spoke up, she glanced at him. “Don’t tell me what to do,” she snapped, eyes turning back to the blonde before her. “If you don’t give me a good reason, I swear-“
The demon had finally returned from his last job. It had taken the last of his magical energy reserves, but the fire was contained and would extinguish itself in an hour or two. What he came back to was his summoner holding the mysterious blonde by her shirt, and the prince likely attempting to diffuse the situation. “Kiran, let her go.”
“You don’t even know what she’s done!” Kiran responded, hazel eyes turning to the demon.
Cruva glared, knowing there was really only one way this would end. Kiran wouldn’t hurt an innocent person. “She’s not the reason for this and you know it.” The princess met his glare with one of her own, but the difference was he meant business. Her visage faltered, and very slowly she released her grip on the other’s shirt. She diverted her eyes, unwilling to meet anybody’s gaze now.
Kell wasn't sure what to do. The princess was emotional, but the thief couldn't put it oast the woman to kill her right then. She saw how coldly Kiran dealt with the assassian. The thief could easily fall to the same fate. Prince Oswald attempted to ease the tension only to be snapped at by the Zaestro royal. The man stepped away slightly, trying not to make the situation worse. If a fight were to break out between him and Kiran, he would still lose despite her weakened state. More importantly the peace needed to be kept, especially during the delicate time. The life of a common thief was worth keeping it in tact, though the prince would help her as much as he could.
Princess Kiran contiuned to shout at Kell, demanding an answer from the woman. Her words were cut off by the guard, which the thief assumed was Kiran's personal guard. As he spoke to her, Kell felt an odd sense of relief. She wouldn't have expected him of all people to help her tonight. After words were exchanged between the two of them, the thief felt the woman's grip loosen on her collar before disappearing completely. Kell fought every instinct to run away as soon as the princess let her go. Muscles tensed and fingers twitched at her side. Instead the thief backed away a little, moving slowly away from Kiran's reach. The blonde woman let out a sigh, as though all the tension she held was being released.
Kiran didn't look at anyone, almost like she was at a loss on what to do. Moments ago this woman seemed ready to draw blood. Now she didn't acknowledge anyone. Aganist her better inclinations, Kell spoke. "I am many things. A thief, a scoundrel, a rogue, whatever you want to call me. But I promise you I am not a killer." She spoke softly and clearly, like a friend comforting someone. But there was a strength behind her words. Kell said what she meant and she wanted to make that explicit. There was a point she would never cross and that was the cold-blooded murder of innocents.
Oswald watched as everything unfolded, passively standing by. Cruva returned and managed to talk Kiran down, much to the prince's relief. The situation had been diffused innate non-violent manner. There had been enough bloodshed tonight, they didn not need more. The half-orc watched Kiran for a moment. She didn't look at anyone. It was like she was afraid what they would say or think. Aganist his better judgement, Oswald carefully approched the woman and placed a hand on her shoulders trying to comfort her. He was never good with strong emotions. They were fickle things. However he hoped he could do something helpful.
"What happened tonight was a tragedy," he began. "The people who committed this act will be brought to justice. They will pay for their actions tonight. However we all need to keep a calm head and work together to take care of this." Oswald didn't know if his words worked, but he hoped it eased some of the tension in the room.
Truth be told, she was at a loss. At the current moment, there was nothing to be done and it was killing her inside. To top it off, she’d outright threatened a stranger who had stayed to help when she could have just as easily left. As it stood, she felt like there was nothing she could do, and she was angry and upset. As the women she’d previously had barely an inch away only moments ago spoke, she didn’t react much. Despite being those things she called herself, she still stayed and helped. ’And I still had the nerve to grab her up like that...’
It wasn’t until Oswald laid his hand on her shoulder that she even moved. She glanced up at him, then over at Kell. As the prince spoke she only gave a slow, vague nod as her eyes slid back to the floor. “You’re right,” she murmured, voice much quieter than moments before. The princess had lost her fire for the time being, and it was probably for the better. He did have a point, though. Nothing would get done if she didn’t keep it together.
Cruva watched the exchange silently, glancing at the thief when she spoke. He’d be lying if he said he hadn’t been surprised by her honesty. Then again, maybe she thought it fully necessary in this situation. He couldn’t blame her for that - Kiran was a different person when she was angry, and he was sure that being around him almost 24/7 didn’t help.
Even still, he had developed his own limits, albeit temporary, under her. Simply killing somebody out of angry, while one of his specialties, was generally unacceptable. That being said, the situation currently playing out was going in the a much better direction than it could have. He concluded this based on her response when she finally gave one. Sure, she sounded a little broken and possibly on the verge of crying, but it was better than her being ready to draw blood in a blind rage. Honestly, he would’ve let her if he thought she wouldn’t hate herself for it later. That, and the thief truly hadn’t done whatever she had been accused of.
“I’m sorry for snapping and threatening your life.” Kiran’s voice remained quiet, though when she spoke she looked at Kell. Hazel eyes sliding to Oswald, she continued. “I’m sorry for yelling at you.” She paused gently removing the other’s hand from her person. Pulling the knife from her right forearm, she dropped the weapon on the floor before turning away from the little group of three. “I’ll get the medic.” Without waiting for a response, she walked away from them, taking herself out of the room to do as she said. By the time she even reached the doorway, the wound that had been plugged with a blade was bleeding enough that it was running down her hand and dripping from her finger tips.
The demon didn’t bother trying to follow, knowing he would be dismissed without so much as a second though. Rather, he looked between the two remaining in the throne room, a little curious as to the exact events he’d interrupted. “What exactly happened?”
Oswald watched the princess for a moment, eyes laced with concern. The woman was silent, but began to move again. That was a good sign. She glanced between the prince and the thief before agreeing with Oswald. "You're right". The words made the prince let out a smile of relief. She seemed to be thinking clearly again. At least clearer than she was before. Kiran finally spoke up, giving an apology to the thief. The half-orc gazed towards the blonde woman who let out a small snort.
"Don't worry about it. It was hardly the worst thing to happen to me." She could only hope her words helped the on edge atmosphere everyone had taken on. Kell was still uneasy about the situation. Moments ago the other woman had the look of death on her eyes. Now she seemed numb. Judging by how her guard and the prince reacted, the thief assumed Kiran didn't usually act that way.
Oswald glanced at the thief for a moment. What could she mean by that? He didn't have much time to dwell on it before Princess Kiran addressed him. "Anger can make us do things we later regret. I appreciate your apology, Kiran." The half-orc prince offered a friendly smile. The woman left to get some medical help, which they all needed. Not a single person went uninjured in one way or another.
Right the medic. Kell wanted to leave, but getting free care from a well-trained medic would be foolish to pass up. She took a quick look over herself. Everything else was fine, but the wound at her side still bled. Focusing on that, the young woman carefully looked it over. The wound was bigger than she initally thought. Concern danced in her blue eyes as she placed a hand over it. She inhaled sharply as her hand pressed aganist her side. It wouldn't do much, but it was something to focus on. As Kiran left, the thief's gaze briefly passed over the scene before jer. Kell grimaced. She had seen some terrible things in her life, but the party massacre probably topped it all. Blood stained the once pristine room while bodies laid limp. Finaly moments of fear were frozen on many of the faces. Kell flickered her gaze from as her attention was turned away by the guard. He had questions about what just happened. It made sense, he missed it.
"She placed me in charge of getting people in. One man in particular was being stubborn so I pick pocketed him. The watch had an Ereva symbol on it. I tossed it to her and she got...mad." Kell gestered to the golden watch on the floor. Oswald nodded to confirm the thief's words.
"Kiran was convinced she helped with the attack. I think she wanted to blame someone and it just happened to be the thief over there." Kell shrugged when the prince gestered to her. She was a criminal, so it made sense she would be blamed. As the prince spoke, a sinking thought suddenly popped into the woman's mind.
"Where did the fires happen? How bad was the damage?" Worry flashed in her eyes as she questioned the guard. She wanted to go see it for herself, but stayed where she was at. Moving probably wasn't good for her injuries.
The demon watched his summoner carefully. She hardly reacted to the response she receive, which was concerning. She did manage a nod in both of their directions, which was better than nothing. Even still, by the time she left, he was still trying to get to the source of her negativity. Something was lingering there but he didn’t get the chance to put a name to it.
As soon as she was gone, there was silence for a moment or two. In these moments, he took the time to genuinely assess how much damage had actually been done. A quick estimate told him there were at least fifteen civilians dead in this room. He hadn’t bothered looking for the spies bodies, though he couldn’t help but wonder just how many there had been. It wasn’t as if he’d been keeping track during the fight, but it would be good to know.
Soon enough his question was being answered, and he looked over towards the thief. He nodded slowly, looking to Oswald as he added onto her words. That sounded like Kiran, alright. The conclusions she drew when she was upset were far from the most logical, although he hadn’t seen her this bad since he’d been dragged here six years ago. Eyes sweeping the floor around them, he quickly found the bloodied watch and picked it up. Examining it, he couldn’t help but frown a little. Costly, definitely somebody who at least made good money. Either a mercenary or a man directly from their armed forces. He’d sent it back to Ereva, blood and all.
And he did, casting a short teleportation spell on the object. It wrapped in smoke before disappearing, leaving his hand empty. Somewhere in the Erevan’s castle, it showed up on the table. A promise that somebody was going to come back for them.
As a question was posed, Cruva looked at the thief. The fires? Right... “The first town before the city in the northern border of the city, Otyx.” He caught the worry in her eyes, and part of him felt bad for breaking the news. He decided in this moment he had spent too long as a human. “There’s hardly anything left of the town, about fifty casualties. The hounds are on their way back with survivors from the evacuation.” The pack of search and rescue cerberus has done a wonderful job considering the circumstances. Most of the town’s population were on their way to the packs den, which did lead to a secret safe area below the palace. In there, the head of the pack was trained to seek out the medic.
It was about it then that two staff members walked in, briefly bowing at the doorway. They were clearly part of the medical team based on how they were dressed. One went Oswald, and Cruva waved the other one off the Kell. He knew how bad his injuries were, but he also knew that he could wait. “She’ll want to go out there. To Ereva,” he commented, reaching up and finally letting his dreads loose. Some of them had caught some blood, which would be a pain to get out, but for now, he would let it be. In the meantime, he had finally decided what that feeling he’d been trying to pick at was. “She wants revenge.”
Oswald watched Curva pick up the watch and looked it over for a moment. It disappeared in a puff of smoke. The man blinked in surprise, but didn't say anything. It was clear Kiran's guard was a magic user of some kind, so the half-orc didn't over think it. The thief asked about the first, which Curva answered. Kell nodded. She had been to Otyx a few times. She didn't really know anyone there, but the destruction of an entire town wasn't something she enjoyed hearing about. She didn't say anything as her attention turned towards the doors.
A pair of staff members bowed before they entered. The medics were here. The guard signled for them to care for her and Oswald first. The thief glanced at the man and gave him a nod of thanks. The medic looked a little confused, but didn't say anything as she approched the theif. After a quick assessment of Kell, the medic pulled out some supplies. She poked and prodded the theif, taking a quick look at her wounds. Kell squirmed around uncomfortably. She didn't like being touched, even if it would help her. This earned a mumble of annoyance from the medic.
"Quit moving. I can't help you if you're fidgeting around." Kell huffed, but said nothing as the woman continued her work. She wiped the blood from the thief's face then put something on it. Kell wrinkled her nose and pulled away slightly. The medic rolled her eyes and sighed. She grumbled something again, but Kell didn't quite catch it. She was distracted watching the prince as he was taken care of.
The medic helped Oswald sit down. He leaned aganist the wall, his shoulder still throbbing. "I'm going to pull the dagger out now. It shouldn't hurt much," the medic said calmly. The prince clenched his fists as she dagger was suddenly pulled out of his shoulder. He helped in surprise, the noise echoing through the hall. The medic jumped slightly in surprise, but didn't say anything. After a moment, the dagger was tossed aside. Kell moved forward slightly.
"Hey that's mine, please be careful!" The thief called over. Throwing daggers, especially as nice as the ones she had, weren't cheap. This earned her a glare from Oswald and both medics. She awkwardly cleared her throat and leaned back for the woman to continue to care for her wounds. As her arm was bandaged, the guard said something. Kell listened curiously and heard the mention of revenge. The thief was glad she wasn't on the Kiran's bad side anymore. As the medic moved onto Kell's side, she began to wonder what she would do after. She wanted to go, but wasn't sure if either royal would let her. Kell wasn't entirely sure what she would do if that happened. She was a thief. A self-proclaimed thief at that. She could get in trouble. The young woman hoped that her help would make things easier for herself.
Otyx had been a good town. That is to say, he like all the towns of the oasis based kingdom, this one, however, he just favored. Or he had, that is. Until everyone recovered and the town was rebuilt, Otyx didn’t exist. Like the thief, knowing of its destruction wasn’t something he particularly enjoyed. He only watched as the medics came in and did their job, ignoring the confusion sent his way.
While demons weren’t skilled in healing magic like angels, he would heal just a tad faster than the other two. Well, he would if he would just calm down and rest. It was hard, though. Kiran still hadn’t come back, and he could feel everything just below the surface. It seemed she was in turmoil. The sensation was a bit bothersome to him, honestly, though also a bit distressing. In his six years of serving her, he didn’t recall any negative feelings quite this strong before. It was interesting, but he would prefer if it stopped all together.
Then again, he knew how to make it stop.
Cruva listened to the exchanges between the small group, red and near white eyes glancing over everybody. As he watched, he slowly sat on the floor. There was no point in standing any longer. Outside, the faint sound of howls could be heard approaching the palace. Ah, they made it back. Or some had, that is. They were traveling in smaller groups, it had seemed. About 20 people with one or two of the hounds where traveling in a line back here. By the sounds of it, at least three groups had just arrived.
The princess finally rejoined the group, wounds untreated and eyes red and a little puffy. Her arm had stopped bleeding, which was a plus. She crossed the floor slowly, taking up a place on the floor next to the demon and leaning on his uninjured arm. He didn’t move, only casting a sideways glance at her. She, however, didn’t meet his gaze. Rather she let her eyes slip closed, drawing in a few deep breaths. She’d stayed in the medic’s office for a bit, having refused treatment and requesting to be alone. In there, she’d sobbed to the point that her throat was sore and her voice probably sounded rough.
The medic bandaged up Oswald's wound quickly. He was the least injured out of the group. His shoulder throbbed painfully, but he was going to be alright. As the medic finished, the prince took in the scene. It was terrible. Bodies of Mithran and Zaestrin guests sprawled on on the floor of the throne room. The prince looked away and closed his eyes. He whispered a small prayer to the sea goddess, Maren, before turning away. He wanted answers about the attack. He wanted to understand why it happened. Most of all, he wanted to know how much Ereva were involved, if at all. The last thought concerned him. If Ereva was involved, what did that mean for the peace? How would Zaestro and Mithra react to the news? Although he knew it was unlikely there was a small concern at the back of Oswald's mind. He was worried thay his people would want to back out if the peace agreement. He would fight it if it came to that, but hoped everything would turn out alright.
Once Kell's side was cleaned, the medic looked it over. She didn't say anything as she pulled out some medical thread and a needle. The wound would have to be stitched. Kell sighed, but didn't protest as the medic began her work. Occasionally Kell would slightly pull away or drew in a sharp breath. She wasn't enjoying this. Eventually the medic bandaged the wound and finished with her work. Kell was glad that the medic was done. She was tired of being touched and looked over by the woman.
"You'll need to stay off your side for a few days and be careful of you stitches. You don't want to undo them. The bandages will need to be removed to let your injury dry out once or twice a day. Got all that?" Kell simply nodded in reply. The woman rolled her eyes, but quietly packed up her things before heading to the next person who needed help. Kell glanced towards the door when Kiran entered. By the redness and puffiness of her eyes, it seemed she had been crying. The thief didn't say anything and just simply glanced her way. She didn't say anything at first, just took a look around the room.
"I'm leaving for Ereva in three days."
The sentence was simple, but effective. It seemed to capture the attention of the people in the room. Kell stared at the princess, blue eyes wide. What was she thinking? The thief didn't say anything, it wasn't her place. Also she didn't want to end up getting yelled at for overstepping. She wondered what caused the woman to come to that conclusion. Even if the decision didn't concern the thief, she was curious to find out more.
"What?!" Despite the protests of the medic attending him, Oswald quickly got up and headed towards the princess. A million thoughts ran through his head as he stopped a few feet away from the woman.
"What...um...What made you decide this? Should we discuss your plans? What do you plan on doing?" Oswald was caught off guard by the woman's words. He didn't mean to ask so many questions at once, but what Kiran had said wasn't anything he expected. He also wanted to make sure she wasn't jumping into anything.
The demon watched the medics work, heaving a gentle sigh. He personally didn’t like being touched, but he’d grown accustomed to it under very specific circumstances. Medical attention was one of them. The medics knew him for being unnaturally still when they were working on him, something they were thankful for and also unsettled by. Pain was almost a foreign concept to him - or most kinds were. He didn’t really understand emotional pain, and he had a high tolerance for physical pain. Whatever he sustained in battle was almost always worse than what the medics put him through.
So when the medic that had been working on Kell wade her way to him, Cruva didn’t move at all. When the medic got behind him to work on the stab wound in his back, he just sat there while she cleaned it. The only time his expression changed in the slightest was when Kiran came out and sat besides him. As she leaned on him, he just looked her over. No medical treatments, and she just seemed drained. He frowned a little, watching her.
By the time she spoke up, the medic had stitched up his back and moved on to the gashes in his arm. He jolted a little at the statement, looking down at her. Despite his sudden movement, the Zaestrin royal didn’t react. The hell did she mean leaving in three days? It’d maybe been half an hour that she was gone, there was no way his was a proper decision.
Kiran only opened her eyes when Oswald began to ask questions. She simply looked up at him from her spot on the floor, eyes dull. It was a significant different sight compared to earlier in the day. Honestly, she didn’t know what she was going to do. She couldn’t just murder the royals of the kingdom - she didn’t have solid evidence, and it would only come back to bite her in the end. At the same time, she couldn’t do nothing. So she only gave a slight shrug. “I want answers,” she murmured quietly.
Glancing between the three of them, she took note most of her guard’s reaction. “None of you are obligated to go, hell you didn’t even have to stay this long, but you won’t stop me. I’m leaving at dawn in three days.” While she didn’t sound as strong as she typically would have, her words were most definitely final. She had no intentions of putting a hold on these plans - she wanted her answers as soon as possible, which meant she needed to not be in excruciating pain at all times. So she’d take three days to rest, and then she’d leave.
The demon only stared at her. Didn’t have to go? That’s not who summons worked. That, and he’d developed a soft spot for the young woman - she wasn’t going alone. He huffed, raising an eyebrow. “I’m going.” To anybody else, he likely sounded stubborn, which wasn’t too far off. For the princess, it was also a reminder that he was tethered to her.
She wanted answers. That was a good reason, but they needed more than that. They couldn't just show up to the kingdom uninvited. But that was the exact thing the assassians had done. And if Ereva royals had anything to do with the attack, they needed to know why. After a moment, Oswald sighed. "I want answers too. We need to find what exactly happened here and why. It will also give us a chance to find out why no one from Ereva showed up. Assuming they really weren't the cause of what happened tonight."
He knew it was what everyone had on their minds. The evidence strongly suggested the royals likely had something to do with the attack. It was better to come out and suggest it rather than sugarcoat the possiblity. "Needless to say," he continued, "I'm joining you. As your ally and friend I promise to be by your side until the situation is resolved." Everyone had agreed to go, except the thief. She had remained silent, only watching the situation.
Kell was free. She didn't have to go with them. She could head home, pack up her things, and leave the area. It would be unwise to stay in the city any longer. Part of her was curious to see how it would end, but she wasn't going to stay any longer than she needed to. Kellan collected the discarded dagger that had been in the half-orc's shoulder and grabbed her satchel. She was ready to leave. "Well good luck with your journey. I think I've overstayed my welcome. Thank you for the medical help and have a good night." Kell began walked away. She had everything with her, her bag, the daggers, and the servant's clothing she could burn. As she began to head towards the exit, Oswald spoke up.
"No so fast, thief. I actually think it could be useful to have someone like you around." Kell froze in her tracks. She let out a long sigh and shook her head. She was not going to be some pet for a royal to use.
"No. I have nothing to do with any of this. Also like I keep reminding you, foolishly I may add, I'm a thief. I'm not entirely sure you want someone like me around." She did not want to go with them. She had enough of dealing with the royals to last her a life time and just wanted to go home. She waited to see what the half-orc would say, hoping he would give up the trying to get her in his employ. He did not.
"But that's why it would be good to have you come with us. You have skills that we don't and know how to sneak around. Hell, no one knew you were in the castle stealing from Kiran!" She could be useful to the royals. However judging by her body language and what she said, it was clear she wanted to leave. The thief presented an opportunity for Oswald and Kiran. Even if they didn't need her, they would at least have her in their employ "If you won't come with us, may I at least get your name? I want to properly thank you for your help." It was partically true. However perhaps he heard of the woman before. No unskilled thief would try and steal from royalty. She knew what she was doing, and if she gave her name it could be useful to use aganist the woman.
Kell finally turned to face the prince. She glared at him and was silent. After a moment, she reluctantly spoke up. "You can just call me Tempest if you wish. Not like you'll use it anyway. There are hundreds of thieves out there in both of your nations. If you need a thief, there are plenty for hire."
"Tempest?" Oswald ignored her last comments as a smile spread across the prince's face. "There are some warrants for your arrest in my kingdom. You're quite well know I might say. I can arrange for your arrest now and you'll be brought back to Mithra and tried for your crimes. Alternatively, you can come with us in three days when we head to Ereva. What do you say?"
Kell snorted. "So? I can escape. Run away and hide somewhere you'll never find me." There as almost a taunt in her voice as she spoke. She knew there was a danger in running, however. Was she willing to risk that? They had means of tracking her not just through rangers, but highly effective magic users. Kell glanced towards the princess, curious to see what the woman would say.
"If you run that could result in a death sentence. If you come with us, don't betray us, and fulfill the tasks we give to you, I can drop all charges aganist you, Tempest." He would have to deal with a few angry nobles if the woman took the offer, but their anger wouldn't be hard to take care of.
Kiran frowned a little as he responded, just staring at him for a second. Find out what happened? They were here, they knew what happened – a party was to be hosted, assassins crashed it. That’s what happened. All they actually needed was the ‘why’ part of it. Still, it seemed as though he would be joining her. Interesting, yet appreciated. She only nodded slightly, thanking him quietly as she let her eyes close again. She wasn’t making assumptions – a large part of her was sure that if she were to search the bodies of the assassins, they would all have something that indicated their origin. This, however, was a later task.
The guard had only watched the exchange, regaining his statue-like composure as the medic worked on the gashes in his shoulder and the slice in his arm above his elbow. He would be receiving the most stitches out of the group, although he didn’t quite mind. Rather, he was more interested in the fact that Oswald had agreed to accompany them. While he didn’t say anything, the half-orc wasn’t much of a fighter, and the journey to the mountainous kingdom wasn’t exactly easy. Still, it wasn’t his job to convince him to stay back.
He glanced towards the blonde as she said her farewells, hearing the princess hum lowly in response. Personally, he was unsurprised that she was taking her leave – after all, she had no true ties to them or the event. She just so happened to be here on a bad night. It wasn’t until the prince spoke up that she even stopped. Useful? While he could see it, he didn’t see the need for an extra person. It was nothing against her, but the larger the group, the more complicated long-distance traveling became. Gathering more food, more stops to hunt and the like, it was just too much. Well, no, he just didn’t have the patience for it.
It was Oswald’s comment about nobody knowing she had been here that finally elicited some sort of physical response from him. His jaw clenched a bit, and he’d turned to look at him a bit quickly. Still, he said nothing, listening to their exchange. As the Mithran threatened her, surprised danced subtly across his features. Well, Cruva didn’t think he had been capable of such a thing… He liked this prince a little more, now. He had a very interesting way of dealing with this situation.
As blue eyes turned to her, Kiran had only just opened her back up. She’d been listening to the entire exchange, though a little half-heartedly if she were being honest. Her ally’s offer was honestly one any other criminal would have jumped at, though she figured it was a freedom problem. “Look – I don’t have any tasks. I’m tired. I’m not trying to be mean but I really don’t care if you go or not. It’s not like we know each other, yeah?” The freckled woman finally sat up from her leaning position, sighing. “If you come along, cool, I’ll probably pay you as thanks. If not, then fine, have fun being constantly on the run from your bounties. You’re your own person, ya know? We can’t really force you to do anything you don’t want to. Anything you’d like to add, Cruva?”
The demon looked at the Zaestrin, then up at the thief from his place on the floor. “You’ve got an interesting power about you. One that needs some work but has potential. It’d be interesting to have you along, but I don’t quite care either way.” He wasn’t one to try and convince people to join him. “I would take Oswald’s offer into consideration, however. Lockdowns in Zaestro aren’t don’t make for an easy escape, and the city has been locked for about two hours now.” Cruva was always one for logic. In all honesty, in his current state even he would have trouble leaving the kingdom. He couldn’t teleport for the time being, and he’d lost more blood than he thought.
The princess wasn't on board with Oswald's plan, but she also didn't care what either of them did. That earned a smirk from the thief. Perhaps he would back off on the suggestion and let her alone. She locked eyes with the man. He wasn't backing down. When the guard- Cruva was his name apparently -spoke Kell glanced at him. She was curious by what he meant by "interesting power". She was a wizard, there was nothing interesting about it. She didn't have much time to dwell on the thought before he talked about the lockdown.
That was a problem. Tonight she couldn't do much about it but maybe scout around. The next day however she would be able to try and make an escape. Kell tilted her head as she considered the prince's words. His offer was interesting. She could chose between running and now possibly death, or going with a few royals to Ereva and getting her charges dropped. She didn't want to stay with the group, especially because the half-orc was getting on her nerves. But she would be brainless to pass up the opportunity to have her charges dropped altogether. The woman crossed her arms and let out a long sigh.
"Alright fine. I accept your offer, princeling." Kell didn't bother to hide the contempt in her voice. It was bad enough she agreed to it, she wasn't about to pretend she respected him. Oswald nodded. He was satisfied with the result. Kell turned to leave, she wasn't going to be stopped again. She would still try and escape of she could. If not, she would go with them and maybe try to leave then.
Oswald was glad with how things turned out with Tempest. Even if the others didn't see a need for a thief, he felt it was good to have one around. He glanced at Cruva then Kiran. With a sigh clicked his tongue. "I'm...going to turn in for the night. I suppose I'll see you tomorrow?" He wasn't sure what else he could do at that time. He would send a letter to his parents to inform then of what happened. Beyond that, he wasn't sure what else he could help with. As he slowly began to head out of the throne room, he paused. He wasn't helpful during the fight and in three days they would be going into likely enemy territory. It would be unwise to go in without knowing how to defend himself. Turning on his heels, the prince looked towards Kiran.
"Is there any way I can be trained to fight? As you notice fighting isn't my strong suit to say the least."
Cruva met her gaze evenly. He already knew she would be curious about what he’d meant, however, he didn’t leave any room for her to ask. If her questions were that important, then she’d stay long enough to ask. Even then, it wasn’t as if he had concrete answers. He could only sense so much, and without her working on that potential, he truly only knew as much as he’d said. After he’d said his piece, he simply listened as she agreed to go with them. While he wasn’t sure if she actually would, he took it at face value just in case. To him, it just meant having to put in more effort when it came down to hunting.
Kiran, on the other hand, didn’t react too much to her agreement. It was the logical conclusion, really, however, she found that she couldn’t care right now. She didn’t have the energy to. Still, it seemed Oswald was happy with his outcome, which she decided was a good thing. At least somebody was happy with something right now. She watched as the medic finished up the with demon’s shoulder, waving her off when she attempted to work on her arm. “I’m okay,” she murmured to the women, who stared at her in confusion for a moment before nodding and leaving with her supplies in hand.
Rather than move like everyone else was, she watched as the women who went by Tempest left the throne room. Only a moment after that, Cruva was standing and offering his hand to pull her up. “I’m staying here…” He frowned a little, but he nodded, leaving the room and heading upstairs. By then, it was only herself and Oswald who was also preparing to take his leave. When he spoke up, she nodded. “Mm, tomorrow,” the freckled princess replied, glancing down at her lap. At some point, she needed to change out of these blood-stained clothes. Right now was not that point.
She assumed she was alone now. Right… She had to pray for the lost souls before morning or else she’d never get to sleep. It would eat her alive if she didn’t send these innocent people off with a prayer. It wasn’t until the prince spoke up that she realized he hadn’t left. Looking up at him, she just stared for a moment. Trained to fight…? “I spar with Cruva, if you’d like to join.” It was the only thing she had to offer. Up until she’d summoned the demonic entity, she had been self-taught – it was the reasons he was still so informal.
Oswald nodded. Sparring was a good start. It was at least better than him doing nothing during a fight. "Alright. If you don't mind me, I'll join you during your sessions." Without another word, the prince left Kiran alone in the throne room. He silently made his way through the halls of the palace. His thoughts were plagued with the horrors of the night. What was supposed to be a celebration of peace turned into slaughter. A chill rolled down the man's spine as he thought about it.
The half-orc quickly reached his room, he changed from the party clothes. They were stained with blood. It was mostly his. Once he was settled in, he began to write to his parents. They needed to know what happened tonight. It was also something he could use to distract himself because the prince dobuted he would get any sleep that night.
Three days had passed since the attack. The sun was starting to rise over the city, bathing it in a reddish hue. Oswald had already packed up some things from the previous night for their journey to Ereva. He had been anticipating the day to arrive for many reasons. One was he felt at a loss on what to tell his people. It had been three days and they didn't have much to tell their citizens. Two, he wanted to see if Tempest would show up or if he would have to have someone chase after her. He still had her dagger from the party. There were ways she could be tracked with that. And three, he wanted answers. If the Ereva totals had something to do with it, he wanted to know why. If they didn't, Oswald wanted to know who had organized the attack. Of course there a slim chance that they had nothing to do with that. The thought bothered him. If they had a problem with the peace, why not say something?
Oswald temporarily chased the thoughts from his mind as he focused on his task for the morning. Kiran wanted to leave at dawn, or at least be close to leaving then. He didn't want to make her wait. The young man wasn't entierly sure where the princess wanted to meet, so he just headed towards the throne room to start. As he walked through the palace halls, his thoughts drifted to his parents. They had reacted poorly to the news, they wanted him back in Mithra immediately. At least there they could ensure he would be safe. Of course the prince declined. He made a promise to Kiran and wouldn't leave their ally in their hour of need. Although Mithran lives had been lost at the party, it was a bigger hit to Zaestro. They were in charge of keeping everyone safe. It was an attack in their kingdom. Of course if the event had been held in Mithra, Oswald didn't doubt the same thing would've happened there. The thought was chilling, but logical.
Oswald reached the throne room doors. Golden like the rest and very beautiful. His mind flashed to the horrors three nights ago. He hadn't been in the room since then. After hesitating to go in, the half-orc finally built up the courage to enter. The room was clean, pristine, and beautiful. If he hadn't seen it himself, he would've believe there had been a massacre in there. Of course he was there. He witnessed everything. Drawing in a breath, the prince focused on why he was there. He searched for Kiran or Cruva for a moment, but didn't see either of them. Am I in the wrong place? He wondered as her glanced around for them.
The night of the incident, she had stayed up and searched the bodies of every assassin that was either dead or unconscious. Each seemed to have a token of the mountainous kingdom on them, which only reignited her anger. The bodies were taken care of, and the few that were only down and out for the time being were thrown into cells for later questioning. There, she’d probed each of it the spies, later sending the demon to do it again. The other difference was, his only restriction was to keep them alive. Two of them now had at least one broken limb, and understood what it meant to bring the wrath of hell upon somebody. To them, her guard was now their worst nightmare.
Sadly, the only information she’d gotten was the name of the person who hired them. The name was odd - ‘Ga-Julei’. They all said the same; this was their contacts pseudonym, however nobody knew their true name. In fear of their lives, they also confessed that they didn’t know who hired their contact, and that they met in a tavern on the very outskirts of Mithra, just before the kingdom’s border with Ereva.
The queen had returned from her travels the day after, and Kiran has told her of everything. The party, the massacre, the fires. Though, the last she had seen for herself. She also told her that she would be leaving for Ereva the following morning. Her mother was, well, less than pleased with this decision after hearing of all the other events. Still, she didn’t try to stop the princess considering she took after herself. They were both stubborn, and it would be a good learning experience. Her mother had told her that this could end poorly, but sometimes things had to be done. It wasn’t that she disagreed with the decision, as it was the next logical step in her mind as well, however she was more concerned about her daughter’s safety. This had the potentially to go bad very quickly, but something had to be done.
In short she received her mother’s blessing, but not without her worrying about who was going with her and telling her to take Vistri’s weapon. The sun goddess was big in their family, and they have been champions for many generations. So, the princess agreed, however took a common sheath from the armory as to avoid carrying the gold one. Not only did she not like the sheath, but it would draw too much attention.
On the day she had set to leave, she was up hours before the sun. The freckles woman packed a bag full of clothes that she kept when she went into town without a guard. Over the years she’d grown skilled at looking like a commoner, more specifically, a common thief. In her kingdom, her face was recognizable, and she’d grown used to wearing a cloak with a mask attached that she would pull up over her mouth and nose. So, she pulled on her leather armor, noting each pouch she had that she could make use of. Pulling on the cloak, she left the hood and mask down and grabbed her bow and quiver of arrows. The bow itself was crafted of obsidian, and the arrow heads were steel. A good combination if you asked her.
Picking up her back, she made her way downstairs and into the thrown room, finding Oswald was already there. The room had since been cleaned, and a proper burial had been held at her requests. “Glad to see you’re awake,” Kiran commenter, grinning a little. She’d regained her typical composure for the most part, though still seemed to have her moments of unusual negativity. “You’re ready, yeah? Cause once we leave, that’s it.” She had no plans of turning around after leaving the palace. Once she was outside, she wouldn’t be returning home until she reached the mountains and got her answers.
Oswald looked towards the door as someone entered. It was Kiran. He dipped his head to acknowledge her presence as she joined him. She greeted him, which he returned with a slight smile. "Same with you," he replied simply. He knew she and Cruva had a diffcult couple of days dealing with the remaining assassians and trying to get information out of them. The only got the name of their contract, 'Ga-Julei', and even then it appeared there were few details about the mysterious person. Their employer could be anyone. A disguised royal, someone who was hired by the royals to pass on the information, even a chain if people as to ot leave a trace of their plan. Oswald wasn't fond of the possiblities presented with the strange Ga-Julei.
"Yes, I'm ready. I have everything I need packed up and no plans to return." Packing his things had been diffcult. All the clothing he brought was nice and things people would expect a prince or noble to wear. He had to buy a few garments from the local markets as to not risk standing out while they were on the road. If anyone thought they were wealthy or important, during the mission it could mean disaster. Both royals had many things riding on their journey and couldn't risk silly things messing it up. He wouldn't know what could happen to them if they got caught. Turning his attention back towards the Zaestro woman, he titled his head.
"If that's everything, should we go ahead and get going? The sooner we leave, the sooner we can get to Ereva." And get answers, he added silently. Of course that was their goal. They would travel through the desert and mountains to find out what happened at the party those nights ago. He glanced around the room for a moment. There was still no sign of her personal guard. "Where's Cruva? Is he getting ready for the trip?" He asked curiously. His mind flashed to the mysterious guard for a moment. There was something odd about him. Perhaps it was his magic capabilities or maybe there was something else about the man. Oswald couldn't put his finger on it. Of course he didn't trust the man any less with his life.
It was especially true because the prince was able to intrude on their sessions. Sparring had gone well the past few days. That is to say it had gone well for Kiran and Cruva. Oswald wasn't ready for a proper fight if it came to one and he had been bad at sparring. Of course he had weapons training back in Mithra. However he would often skip them in favor of his studies or bribe the tutor to let him leave halfway through. Now he wished he hadn't done that. If he had some type of combat training, he could prove to be more useful during the trip. He hoped he could get something in during their journey.
Kell had a rough three days. Her wounds hurt, she was tired, and worst of all she found no means of escape. She tried constantly for the past two days. After she had gotten to the place she called home, she had gone to sleep. Then at the crack of dawn, she tried to find ways to leave through the lockdown. She was very unsuccessful. Guards were everywhere patrolling the streets and questioning people. They kept eyes on the look out for people like her too. Kell almost got caught a few times. She didn't want to find out what would happen if she were captured by them, though knew Prince Oswald would've loved to deal with her himself. Escaping the city was a near-impossibly task, which wasn't helped by her wounds. Even if she wasn't injured however, she doubted she could make it through the lockdown. The city was well protected and guarded by the Zaestro military. She would've gotten caught eventually.
In between scouting the city or trying to escape, she had burned the server's clothing as well as the map, which destroyed the spell it had placed on it. Of course the charm placed on it and her pendant would've worn off within days, however she wanted to leave little trace of her plans. Even if she was already caught, it was the wisest decision in her eyes. After getting nowhere with her attempts to leave the city, the woman had decided it would be better to go with the royals. A few hours before they were set to go, she packed up a bag with everything she needed. It wasn't enough to make the backpack weigh her down, but it was everything she thought she needed for a journey.
Now here she was outside the palace waiting for the rest of the party. It was diffcult to leave from inside the city, but outside in unfamiliar lands? It would become a lot easier. Of course there was the matter of her crimes being completely erased as well. She wasn't entierly sure if she wanted to leave with that prospect hanging in the air. Besides that, death was an unfortunate possibility if she ran. Kell wasn't entierly sure if she wanted to risk that just because she didn't want to go on some journey that really didn't concern her. She had plenty of time to think it through, she didn't have to rush the decision.
She nodded when he said that he had everything he needed. Good, that meant they were just about ready to leave. He patted herself down, giving herself a once over. She had the artifact, her bow, fifty-two arrows in her quiver if she had counted correctly last nights, and she was dressed like a common mercenary. In two of her many pouches she stored medical supplies, including small vials of healing potions of various strengths. She figured they could be useful. She nodded to his statement about leaving eager to finally get a move on.
She’d made an arrangement with the stables further from the palace and closest to the edge of the last town. The thing about her kingdom was that a large portion of it was inhabitable but made for good resources. It consisted of mostly open desert, teeming with wilds unknown. Eventually it did give way to something more solid that lead very slowly into fields and things of that nature. This land generally went unclaimed as far as she knew, aside from bandits and the like. Still, it was an enjoyable area, though she’d only been out there once. They would travel on foot to the edge of the oasis, obtain their horses, then begin their first stretch of travel through the sands of her kingdom.
When Oswald asked about the whereabouts of her guard, she grinned a little. “I’m sure he’s around. Probably trying to decide what weapons to bring. He doesn’t do it a lot in sparring but he dual wields things.” The princess paused, thinking on it for a moment. She had never asked where he learned to do that, partially because she almost didn’t want to know. She also hadn’t seen him since she’d gone to bed only hours before now. “Cruva! It’s time to go!” The call was vague, and just echoed around the large room.
He was down in the cells, but he heard her. Frowning a little, the demon looked at the assassin he held in his tail’s grip. Poor thing looked scared out of his mind. Dropping him unceremoniously, he sighed. He’d confirmed the information gathered the previous day, wanting to ensure that Ga-Julei was who they were truly looking for first. And he’d decided to have some fun, not knowing when he’d get to take on his natural form again. A slow grin creeping across his features as the man backed away from him, he learned down. “Don’t bother telling the queen before she orders your execution. Let’s be real - her daughter’s favorite guard, a demon?” He leaned in close, grabbing their face with clawed fingers. “She’ll never believe you.” It was but a whisper before he was gone.
He reclaimed his human presentation before teleporting into the throne room. “You called?” He was met with a smile from his summoner, a sight he couldn’t believe he was thankful to see. After the last three days it was nice to see her acting mostly normal.
The freckled woman, gestured towards his belt, where she found doubled-sides battle axes on either side of him. “Good choice,” the young woman mused. “Alright boys, lets get a move on. The stable owner won’t wait all day.” Except he would - she was the princess and he was under strict orders not to give those horses away. She started towards the main doorway of the throne room, going through the foyer and pushing open the main doors. While her eyes adjusted, they landed on the blonde thief who left them when given the options. Huh. “Welcome to the party - we’re leaving the oasis in foot and getting horses at the very edge of it to cross the desert.” She figured she should definitely fill her in on the current plan. As for what she found out, that could wait until later.
"Makes sense." Kiran called for her guard, her voice only echoing through the room. For a few moments there was nothing. Oswald looked at the door curiously, waiting for something to happen. Cruva appeared suddenly. The prince jumped slightly in surprise, though was impressed with how quickly he acted. In fact, it was oddly fast. Perhaps there was some connection between the guard and the princess that Oswald didn't understand. It made sense there would be a way for Kiran to call her personal guard. If she needed help, she would need someone to act quickly on that.
He was pulled from his thoughts when the princess spoke to them and lead the way out. Following the woman out if the palace, he was blinded for a moment by light. Guards were patrolling the area while in the distance he could see the citizens preparing for their morning. He didn't notice Tempest standing nearby until Kiran said something. So she had shown up. He was a bit surprised that she arrived at all and on time at that.
She was spotted. It wasn't like Kell was hiding, but she hoped to enjoy freedom for at least a few more minutes. Thw princess welcomed her, which she only replied with a nod. It was a good plan. Walk through the city then use horses to get the rest of th way. She was thankful she could ride, assuming they would give her a horse. She wouldn't blame them if they didn't as it could give her means of escape. At least that would be the case with the half-orc prince. As they began to head out of the city, the thief trailed behind the party. She was close enough to keep them in sight and to follow them. She was silent as they walked through the city.
As the party headed off, Oswald occasionally glanced back at the thief. He wanted to make sure the thief was following them as they moved through the city. It didn't appear she had any intentions of running away, which was good. Warm scents of food and spices fluttered through the air, which earned a smile from the prince. It was different from the fishy smells and salted air of the seaside kingdom, though he wasn't complaining. Brightly colored, ornate drapes hung from the buildings and windows while the people seemed lively despite the time. He rather liked the city. It was rather charming to the prince.
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Cloudy Sky: Seeing the name gave me flashbacks to certain events that happened about two weeks ago.
Jun 22, 2021 4:51:35 GMT -5
Violetsky: Her name is Tika. She's a Cymric, or long-haired Manx.
Jun 22, 2021 6:27:08 GMT -5
Violetsky: I left the gel pack in the freezer overnight and now it's a solid thick sheet of ice.
Jun 22, 2021 6:32:05 GMT -5
Violetsky: Cymric is the technical term for a Manx cat that has long hair.
Jun 22, 2021 13:48:50 GMT -5
Violetsky: Technically they are Manx's as well; they are not a separate breed but an alternative variety of traditional Manx's, which are short-haired. They're also called longhair Manx's.
Jun 22, 2021 13:50:11 GMT -5
Violetsky: It's okay, I thought she was a traditional Manx for a while
Jun 22, 2021 14:02:13 GMT -5
Violetsky: Well, she is. It's like if brown bears that lived further up North had thicker and longer fur than their southern counterparts. If that was true, then they would be the same species and "breed", they just have different adaptations.
Jun 22, 2021 14:02:52 GMT -5