Carefully she walked through the forest, hiding behind trees and shrubbery as she went. She was dressed in a man’s clothing with black tights and a black hooded cloak. She carried no weapons but continued deeper and deeper into the forest. It was her first time leaving the kingdom since all roads leading into it were closed several months earlier. Indeed, the young princess was beginning to lose hope that she would ever escape the walls surrounding the kingdom, but a lucky encounter with a sleeping guard had given her the opportunity she longed for.
The sky was dark and the air was cold. Dusk was approaching when the princess decided it was best she return to the castle. She now lurked slowly back concealing herself in the shadows. Snow began to fall steadily from the sky.
It wasn’t long after the snow started that the princess lost her way in the forest. The blanketed trail made her unsure of which route to take, leaving her lost and frightened. The blue eyed maiden continued blindly into the darkness fearing whatever laid ahead of her. She walked as long as she could, but soon the cold began to take over. Her body began to slow down as her thoughts slipped into a frozen slumber. She collapsed into the snow.
The princess’s body laid lifelessly there until being discovered by a Bathelon knight. The knight, knowing nothing of the girl’s origin, made haste in lifting her from the snow and returning her to camp. She was brought to the camp medic where she was stripped of her wet clothes and bundled into a warm cot. The medic was unsure if she would live through the night. As word spread that a woman had been found the soldiers began to pray for her recovery. They were eager for a chance to woe a young maiden.
Their fantasies were tainted, however, when the girl’s golden family crest was discovered among her wet clothes. The well-known symbol of the eagle clutching a single rose between its talons identified her as a member of the Rose Kingdom’s royal family. When she awoke the next morning she was immediately shackled and sent on horseback to the neighboring kingdom of Bathelon as a prisoner of war.
Of course the girl protested. She kicked and screamed and cried and begged to be released, but her tantrums were no match for an army. The frightened princess had never been treated as a prisoner. Over time she surrendered herself and sat quietly with the silent knight as they continued towards Bathelon. Finally the fear and anxiety within her began to have a drowsy effect and she drifted to sleep.
They arrived in Bathelon in the dead of night. The knight who had escorted her gently scooped her off of the horse and into his arms. He still had not uttered a word to her despite his indirect kindness. The princess, having been awakened by the sudden movements, withered from his arms and chose to walk. She asked many questions as they approached the castle but the man remained silent. The castle was surrounded by a moat and a draw bridge was released for the couple.
Inside the castle she felt slightly more comfortable. It was grand and spacious like her own home. They were met by the Prince of Bathelon who quickly glanced over her before ordering she be sent to the dungeons. In the dungeons she was traumatized by the sounds and the cold darkness, but her nightmare would soon come to an end.
Several nights later she was visited by the prince, his adviser, and two guards. The prince and the adviser were angry and bickering at each other. The adviser was outraged to return to the kingdom to find a princess being held in the dungeons. Royalty of any kind did not belong in the dungeon, according to the adviser, and shortly after she was brought to a large bedroom within the castle instead.
The kingdom of Bathelon offered a ransom to the Rose Kingdom. In exchange for the cure to the plague Bathelon would ensure the safe return of their beloved princess Cecil. No one suspected that the king of the Rose Kingdom would reject this ransom, but as the months went by Cecil began to hear the whispered rumors amongst the palace maids and guards: The king had abandoned his daughter.
She began throwing furious tantrums on a regular basis of which made her caretakers question whether or not her own father had been able to handle her. On her worse days her screaming could be heard about the palace. The people of Bathelon were growing impatient with the royal court about the girl's captivity. Some pitied the princess and felt that a woman should not be dragged into war affairs, but others believed that she should be treated mercilessly and made to suffer like the ill citizens of their kingdom.
The wrathful Cecile now stood staring out the window of her comfortable prison. The weather was dreary with frozen rain beating down upon the kingdom. She wasn't sure what time of day it was, or how long she had been there anymore. Her shoulders were covered in thick, black, messy curls, and her eyes were as icy a blue as the rain that fell. Almost a year had passed since she was first captured. The door swung open and the adviser followed by two guards entered.
“Good morning, Princess”, the adviser said with a polite bow. The princess did not return his greeting or pay her visitors any attention. Her gaze shifted back to the window. The adviser grew impatient, “surely you understand that we cannot care for you forever”, he said, eyeing her closely for a reaction of some kind, “Do you know how long its been?” he asked.
The princess finally turned her attention to him, but only for a moment before turning away. The adviser was pleased to have gotten her interest, “It has been three hundred and forty seven nights since you were brought here”, he said. He waited a moment for an answer but was answered only by silence. “Do you not understand the gravity of your crimes, princess? Are you aware of what the penalty is for spying?” He egged on.
“It is death”, Cecile’s voice chirped, “but you cannot afford to end my life”. She was staring out the window as she spoke.
“What is it that makes you so sure of that, your highness?”
The princess paused and slowly returned his gaze, “because I can help you obtain the cure”.
The advisers eyes widened for a moment. He had not expected such a response, “and how would a silly princess assist the kingdom of Bathelon?” he barked. “Your time is up and we have had it with your foolishness”.
“You need the cure, and I need revenge”, she said. The princess’s heart had become cold and vengeful. She knew of her father’s abandonment. Her fears had hardened into hatred. She chuckled to herself.
The adviser shook his head in disgust and turned to leave, motioning for the guards to follow. The doors slammed shut and the princess was alone once again.
Together in a corridor the prince and the adviser sat. “We have no choice, you honor. The king cannot keep waiting for the cure”, the adviser said.
The prince sneered, “but surely we cannot trust a rose”.
The adviser shook his head. Bathelon had become much worse since a year ago. Many people had died from the plague and many more had caught the plague. The city was quiet and desolate because those who were well chose to stay inside for fear of catching it. “We have no other options”, he said, “you must assemble a team of worthy knights and assist the princess in obtaining the cure for us. Your kingdom depends on it”.
[OOC// I guess I will add onto this! Let the rp begin...]
Two nights had passed since Cecile proposed her final plea to the adviser, and she had heard no more from him. She was only visited by maids for meals or occasionally glanced at by guards. In truth she was beginning to lose hope. The adviser must not have taken her seriously at all if she had still heard nothing from him. She had no knowledge of the adviser's last meeting with the prince.
The young princess sat before a mirror. Among the few activities she engaged her lifeless free time in was a form of dress up. The room where she was kept contained within it an ample supply of elegant clothing, jewelry, and make up. Sometimes the princess would adorn herself in beautiful clothes and jewels and elaborately paint her face. Her face was powdered into a snow white complexion and her cheeks a bold rosy pink. Her lips were coated in a shade of dark red and she wore a long white gown with fluttering sleeves and golden trim. A multitude of glittering pendants hung from her neck and most of her fingers sparkled in diamond rings.
She stood and examined herself in the mirror. She knew her look was gaudy, but it was all for play of course. Her black heir was knotted and messy, falling just around her shoulders in a poof. She sighed, was this really the end of the road for her? She knew that everyone wanted her dead. For almost an entire year the subjects of Bathelon had been dreaming of her slow and gruesome execution. There was no longer any reason to for them to keep her alive. Her stomach churned as she took in the fearful realization that her execution was in the near future. She quietly paced the room. For the first time in her life being the princess of the Rose Kingdom was meaningless. She was afraid for her life.
She stopped before the window. Steadily it rained; the skies were dark and threatening. Thunder could be heard rolling in the distance and the skies flickered. She placed her palms gently on the glass. It was ice cold. She longed for the cold, fresh air. She took a deep breath in and closed her eyes, "Avierta! Avierta!" She chanted, followed by silence. Sighing she turned away. The simple spell could open any window or door, but with no wand Cecile was powerless.
She stamped her foot in frustration, "Avierta!" she shouted. Cecile yelped, a crisp pain encircled her left ring finger. "Ow", she cried as she yanked off the hot ring and tossed it away. The ring bounced into the window and a cloud of smoke burst into the room. Cecile ducked behind an arm chair, frightened by the startling event. As the smoke began to dissipate curiosity got the better of the girl and she cautiously peered back out.
She couldn't believe her eyes: the window was open! Cecile now rushed over to the window, examining it briefly before searching the floor for the ring. She found the ring, but the jewel that had been in it was shattered. The ring had once been worn by a powerful witch, and a dab of that witch's energy remained in it. Unfortunately, the power had all been used up by that one spell. She frowned, tossing the remnants of the ring aside and focusing her attention back on the window.
A whirlwind of emotions were fluttering through her. Fresh air. Freedom. Escape! The thought of escape seemed possible as she breathed in the cold air. She climbed onto the edge of the window and peered out. She was high in a tower on the castle. Although the window was finally opened there was still no chance of escape for her. Unless I jump, she thought, but she knew that would mean certain death. The princess turned around, now examining what laid above her window. She could see a circular balcony, and began climbing upwards.
Even atop of the balcony there was no chance of escape. There was a draw back door that lead back into the palace, but the door wouldn't budge. She was soaked and freezing but still grateful to be outside. Now she would wait. She enjoyed giving the guards and servants a hard time. They would be in a panicked frenzy if they believed she had escaped. She smiled, amused. They would find her, but not until after having to drag themselves through the freezing rain.
Lance leaned against the wall of the large room he practiced fighting in, watching his mentor with quiet curiosity. His blonde hair, mocking the common fairy-tale prince, was tied back to keep it out of his face as it flowed down to the middle of his back. His father would have disapproved, had he still been able to actually move or talk. His expression melted into a glare--pointed at the ground; glaring at Dante was a bad idea--the very moment Dante spoke.
"When I began teaching you, what was the first thing I taught you?" Dante watched her student with a small smirk of amusement as the prince crossed his arms and muttered the answer.
"I can't hear you. Speak up, it's not dignified to mumble!"
"I said, don't let appearances fool you!" he snapped, rolling his eyes. Why are we reviewing this? I already know it.
"Correct. And what was the first thing you did?" Dante continued, ignoring Lance's annoyance. This all led up to a point, after all.
"I let the fact that a small little half-elf like you was toting around a sword the size of her ego!" He was obviously hoping to hit a nerve, something he did on one of his shorter-tempered days.
"And I beat you," Dante added, brushing aside Lance's muttered curse. She'd have to ask his adviser who had been teaching him such words. "Now, how does this apply to the Rose princess?" Now Lance's glare faded, replaced with a confused look.
"Um.. She looks harmless, but the Rose kingdom is full of savages," Lance answered, as if it should have been common knowledge. Dante shook her head, huffing slightly when she had to shove her silver bangs out of her eyes. Her own hair was cut short, opposite to her student, but it still managed to get in her line of sight.
"You're wrong," she argued, after a pause. "You think she's dangerous; that's how she appears to you. Have you really taken the time to understand how sour betrayal can make one?" Lance only stared, a disgusted expression next in line.
"You want me to help her?!"
Dante only nodded, crossing her arms as a silent warning that it was final. "Your adviser is going to take you, and the two of you are going to go to Cecile's room--"
"You dignify her with a name.." Lance muttered, interrupting his mentor, who only scowled for a moment until Lance added an apology.
"You are going to her room, and you will discuss her proposal for aid." Without waiting for another answer, Dante left the room, passing the adviser as she went. "He's all yours," she said, making her way to her room.
Lance mumbled to himself about trusting a savage Rose, but didn't raise his voice. Dante was terrifying when angry, that was for sure; he'd learned the hard way.
((You're playing the adviser, right, Enuky? Or did someone else sign up for that? My memory sucks xD ))
The adviser bowed to the prince, "Good morning, Prince. I hope you've had enough time to think about our little discussion." He paused and frowned, debating his next words, "the princess is our only link to the Rose Kingdom. I hope you realize that this is truly within our best interest". The prince was visibly unconvinced about the soundness of this plan, but the adviser ignored his attitude. "This way, Prince, you need to speak with the princess", the adviser beckoned and began to lead the way through the castle.
The prince had not spoken to Cecile since he had thrown her into the dungeons. The adviser knew that making him get along with her would prove to be rather difficult. He sighed, gazing out each window they passed. He would be lying if he said he had no doubts in Cecile, but it was their last stretch of hope. He pushed open a large door that lead to a dark, spiraling staircase leading up to the door to Cecile's room.
They climbed in the stairs in silence, never glancing at each other or uttering a word. The adviser was relieved that the prince was willing to at least accept this decision even if he was unhappy about it. "Rose Princess", he began as he pushed the old door opened. The sight in front of them was enough to fluster the adviser. He gasped, "Who opened this window?! Princess!" he quickly circled the room in search of the girl. She had been known to hide about the room and startle the guards and maids, but there was no sign of her.
"Princess!" he called out rushing over to the window and peering out. "What if she jumped?!" he exclaimed, fluttering about the room like a frantic butterfly. "Alert the guards at once!" He demanded, "I want to know who was responsible for such ignorance! Ulgh! Oh, Princess, no..." he bolted out of the room. He dashed through the palace alerting guards of the mismatch, worried for the worst for the princess. He knew she couldn't have survived such a jump. The guards and the adviser flooded the castle grounds looking everywhere for the remains of the princess.
The princess, meanwhile, peeped over the edge of the balcony and cackled to herself. The adviser could sometimes be a bit scatterbrained, and he had not considered the possibility of the girl climbing upwards.
Lance sighed, shaking his head and not saying a word as his adviser ran off. He walked to the window and looked down, seeing nothing. And he looked up, wondering, only to have his suspicions confirmed when he heard a cackle. Blinking the rain out of his eyes, he clambered his way up to the princess, remaining on the outer edge of the balcony and watching her with a guarded expression.
"For one, you'll get sick," he grumbled. "For two, if the adviser knows you can do this, he'll lose it and your chances of being listened to will drop majorly." Not that he cared. He just wanted to get this over with.
The only reason he'd realized to look upwards was because Dante had beat it into his head that, along with many other things, one should always expect the unexpected and consider the unlikely.
He held a hand out to the princess in mock kindness. "Come on, before the adviser loses his head." Besides, Lance was getting tired of the cold. He'd even started shivering a bit. The fact that the princess had opened the window was completely removed from his mind.
The princess was already shivering. She was a mess with her make up running all over her face in a smear and her hair a frazzled bed head. While watching the adviser search the premises she had forgotten about the window to her room. She flinched at the sound of the prince's words and twisted around facing him. Her fists clinched behind her back and her eyes widened. She was fearful of the prince; the dungeons had been a traumatizing experience for the pampered princess. She had not forgiven the prince for sending her to such a frightening place.
Instinctively the girl took a step backwards. Her wide eyes never left the prince as he spoke, but she couldn't utter a word. She glanced over the edge. She considered jumping. She wished the adviser was there to protect her again from the prince. The prince's extended hand drew her focus back to him. She flinched slightly and hesitated. She did not want his "help".
She also however did not want to cross him. She hadn't anticipated her trickery to ever involve the prince. Her heart pounded in anxiety as her eyes flickered from the prince's eyes back to his hand. Finally she sunk to floor of the balcony hugging her knees. She did not trust the prince to get her safely back down into the window.
"Can we use the door?" she asked, gesturing to the trap door that laid next to her. Perhaps the prince knew how to open it.
Lance's eyes drifted to the door and remained there for a moment, his expression suddenly blank. He pulled himself the rest of the way up, over the railing, and stared at the door for another small moment before furiously shaking his head. "No. But it is too dangerous to try and get down the way we came.."
He stood there for a moment, seemingly unaware of the freezing rain pounding on his back, before reaching down and flinging the door open, motioning silently and stonily for the Rose princess to go through.
"Don't say a word while you're in there," he hissed, glaring at her in a manner that spoke volumes of how much he blamed her for this.
"Who's there?" called a weak voice. "I heard the--" A long pause, filled with hacking coughs, interrupted his voice, but it eventually drifted off. Inside the room it was dark; what windows would have let in the dreary light were hidden by heavy curtains. All that could be seen was the silhouette of a bed, and on it a figure swathed in blankets.
The king. Despite being sick, he wasn't sent to the slums; he was given his own private chamber. Thankfully, his plague had progressed so far that it no longer infected people, in some weird and convenient way. Lance shuddered as he entered the room, closing the trap door quietly behind him.
"I heard the door," the voice repeated, and Lance sighed.
"It's Lance, father," he said, his own voice barely carrying across the room.
"Who the hell are you calling father?! I don't have any children.." Ah, yes, the amnesia. Old King Varudian's age hadn't helped him much, yet somehow the merchant was still alive, by some sort of miracle. Lance flinched but didn't mention anything else to do with it.
"S-sorry, sir, I must've slipped for a moment. I'm just passing through, bringing a servant-in-training back from the balcony. She tried to sneak away, you see, after messing up a job.." His voice trailed off as he led the way through the bedchamber to the door, not glancing back at the Rose princess once.
Lucius had been with the king. He usually did not move much. With his spear in his hand and the armor, he seemed to be a statue. Yet, if he did move, his actions were elegant. Lucius was with the king most of the time. Until the prince had left with the Rose girl.
Lucius followed the prince at a respectful distance, his spear now resting at his back. He had not much of a protecting job right now, the castle was rather safe. Yet, he also was very trustable. Servants and royals both relied on him when needing to speak to someone.
Lucius kept following the prince, beig ready to react if the hostage would do something dumb.
The princess stood back on her feet as the prince climbed over the balcony and closer to her. She watched curiously as he lifted the heavy draw back door. She paused when the prince gestured for her to go in first, but she could tell by his body language and expression that she had no choice in the matter. Reluctantly she stepped down into the small stairway. She did as she was told and never uttered a sound. When a voice entered the room she froze, startled by it. She turned back to the prince with a look of uncertainty, but he wasn't paying her any attention.
She had no knowledge of who the sick man was, but from Lance's words she guessed him to be the King. Along with the king a guard had also been in the room. He began to follow. Cecile followed the prince closely through the room, and felt a rush of relief when the door closed behind them. Now the trio were in a small hallway that lead to the tower's spiraling staircase. The three continued down the stairs and at the next level of the tower there stood the door to her room.
Cecile sighed, already, she thought. She had finally gotten out of that place and now she was already being brought back. She glanced around in search of an escape opportunity before her eyes fell solemnly to the floor. It was clear that she was not happy about their return, but alas there was no where else for her to go.
When they entered the room the adviser and several guards were already there. They were all soaking wet, too, and tearing her room apart in search of her.
"I hope you don't expect me to clean all of this", the princess snorted at them, laughing. She was amused by the adviser and as such was not afraid to speak to him.
The adviser nearly jumped out of his skin at the sight of the two, "Prince! You found her!" he exclaimed. He hurried over and started drying the girl's dirty face with a handkerchief. "Look at you, what a mess", he groaned, "clean her up", he added gesturing to a chambermaid. To Cecile's dismay the maid began brushing out her matted hair. She grumbled and winced.
Within seconds Cecile was stripped of her gaudy jewelry and her wet clothes replaced with a clean, white robe. Her face was washed and her hair was unusually neat. This was the usual for her. She made messes and they cleaned them up... Once she was clean she sunk into an arm chair and watched the people around her. The window was being closed and locked again as the adviser supervised the situation. Finally, the adviser dismissed the maid all of the guards except for the one who had been in the king's chamber.
The adviser approached the girl with the two other men by his side. The adviser and prince were still soaked. He let out an exasperated sigh, "Now to discuss our wager...", he said.
Cecile looked unsure, "Oh?", she asked, "you mean my execution?"
He rolled his eyes, "We want the cure", he said.
The princess's blue eyes widened. Was this a real proposition? She eyed the prince, trying to see his reaction. He only appeared cold and hateful.
Lance paused to look back once one of the guards had started to follow, shrugging when he realized it was Lucius. As he had been the whole way to the princess's room, Lance was quiet and didn't say a word, although he did seem to move a bit slower, as if he was distracted by his thoughts and wasn't the happiest--not that he ever seemed to be happy.
When they reached the princesses's room, he barely hid a small laugh of amusement at the adviser's soaked appearance, and the massive amount of guards practically destroying the princess's room in search of a girl that was not there. He coughed--his chosen method to hide it--and crossed his arms, his expression falling slightly with annoyance when he saw the adviser so gently clean the girl up. Stupid; didn't the man remember who she was?
Lance gazed out of the window, in hopes of the rain letting up. The dreariness it spread everywhere made everything that much gloomy, even the best of days. He hated it, and he hated the rain, too. He spaced out, jumping slightly when the adviser began speaking again. His eyes drifted to Cecile, and he wondered how such a savage could look--
Nope. Lance refused to give her any sort of compliment, even mental, as childish as it was. He crossed his arms and sighed.
"We've failed to bargain with the Rose Kingdom; you are returned, and we get the cure. The savage bastards--" No, Lance didn't always curse, but he wasn't happy with having to work with a Rose, either-- "said no. Normally we would kill you." He paused, gauging the princess's reaction to this news, before continuing. "Unfortunately, that wouldn't do us any good either. And since you proposed to help us, and seemed to have learned some witchcraft," he added, gesturing to the window, "we've decided it might be best to trust you and let revenge do its work through you." He didn't mention the fact that Dante had revealed a glimmer of truth in how he saw the Rose girl, and what to really expect. He refused to even admit that had happened at the moment; he didn't want the Rose princess getting comfortable.
"The savage bastards said no." Oh, how the words hurt the girl. She winced and looked away. "So you do want my help", she added as the prince went on.
The adviser was a true diplomat. He believed that women had no business in political affairs, and so he thought of the young princess as nothing but a silly, harmless child. He sympathized with her situation, although he would never admit that to the prince. This was why he had felt the need to protect her: he was confident that the princess had no influence over the greedy Rose Kingdom. She wasn't a spy. She had just been unlucky enough to be discovered by the Bathelon army. His eyes widened as the prince spoke of witchcraft, "Witchcraft?!" he exclaimed, turning to the princess, "that is not very lady like at all, princess", he scolded.
Cecile fumbled for words. She didn't know how the prince could have already known, "I don't know what he's talking about", she spat. "I'm no witch. I don't know how the window opened..." she got up and began to look around the floor again. She retrieved the burnt, cracked ring and held it out to the prince to see, "the ring just exploded and then the window was open", she said defiantly. She would never admit to learning about witchcraft, especially seeing as how she still had no way to wield magic.
The three men each took turns examining the ring. The adviser took it last examining it closely, "it does appear to have exploded...", he murmured, hoping the prince would not be offended by him believing the girl.
Princess Cecile smirked, seeing that adviser believed her. She fluffed out her hair slightly and sighed, "I think I've had a lot of time to think about this and I would rather be executed than assist you in any mission", she said matter-of-factly, just to see the adviser squirm.
"But princess--", he started and paused, at a loss for words.
She giggled, "oh fine, I'll help, but before I help you I demand to have my family crest returned to me", said the princess boldly. They had confiscated her royal crest brooch the night she was taken. She didn't care much for the Rose Kingdom anymore, but she knew that she would have to have some form of money if she expected to obtain a wand. The golden crest was her only valuable possession.
Lance rolled his eyes. Rings didn't just explode, for one; for two, Dante had taught him to read body language, in order to better himself in battle. To spot bluffs or truths, and predict moves, but it could be used outside of combat as well. He said nothing more about it, though, listening quietly and shrugging when the princess stated she'd rather die.
"That can be arranged," he muttered, shifting his weight from one leg to another in obvious boredom.
"Oh fine, I'll help, but before I help you I demand to have my family crest returned to me." Bold words. So, she was after something. Lance wandered to the window, observing it. A part of it was scorched, and the lock seemed melted. Magic, yes. But the princess's doing? That was a matter for another time.
"Do you still cling to the kingdom who has disowned you?" Lance questioned, looking over his shoulder at the princess. "A poor decision. Or is there something else?" He turned, returning to the adviser and plucking the fragmented ring from his hand, observing it better for himself. Scorch marks here, too--it had exploded, after all. The gem's remains were much more dull than they should have been, even if the gem had been old, dusty, and long left untouched. As if it were a lantern, snuffed out.
He wrenched his peaked curiosity away from the ring, shoving it to the back of his mind and hoping it wouldn't distract him again. He set the remains on a table.
"You seemed vengeful when you proposed to strike back at the Rose Kingdom. No surprises, there. Yet know you demand the returning of your crest, a very valuable item. Worth a lot of money." He paused for a moment before shaking his head.
"It doesn't matter. Fine, we will return your crest. And you, in turn, will help us. But, don't get comfortable with your life," he warned.
Cecile blushed and looked guiltily away. The prince was exactly right. He knew right away that the only reason she could want the crest was for its monetary value. Her eyes slowly lifted back up to the prince then turned sadly to the adviser, "I don't know why he has to be so mean" she said. She appeared truly hurt by the prince's words, despite the fact it was a show. The adviser instantly melted into her words, sending the prince a quick look of disapproval. Indeed the princess was well versed in playing the part of the pretty princess. She shuddered before turning her attention back to the matter at hand, "I believe that if we go back to the Rose Kingdom they will open their gates for me", saying it out loud made her wonder if perhaps she was naive, "we can bring a group of skilled knights disguised as heroes who have 'rescued me' from Bathelon".
The adviser pursed his lips in thought about her strange idea, "and just what makes you so sure they will just open their gates for us?"
The princess sighed, "my people love me". It was true the princess had been adored by the subjects of the Rose Kingdom. She had a natural gift of charming others. "Once we are in I expect there will be great celebration over my return; including the honoring of my noble heroes", she smiled and waved her hand to Lance and Lucius. "Once we are in we attack from the inside."
The princess now hesitated. Her next request was a long shot. The sound of heavy rain outside could be heard about the room. She glanced at the window and spoke, "I think that we should travel east to the kingdom of Yunkai. If we go to Yunkai and around the mountain we can avoid climbing the mountains....the weather has made traveling directly through the mountain range dangerous. I don't think I'm well enough to handle such a journey". She paused and glanced back to the adviser, hoping for his sympathy. Then she turned to the prince, "the kingdom will also offer us needed supplies and perhaps other allies". She hoped the logic would persuade the prince.
The kingdom of Yunkai was a land she had learned about from her readings. There are other witches there, she thought. It could be her only chance to find a wand.
"I think, with the daunting task ahead, more than this will be needed for you to.....return. "A voice said.
Stepping out of the shadows, a trio of Hooded beings. Leading them was a man with a silver mask, one with a rose on the front.....a wilting rose. These people were members of the wilting rose assassins. Their infamy for assassinating everyone, and anyone, that got in their way made the guards hold back. They had yet to attack, and a Rose mark was not sent.....so what would they be here for?
The man with the silver masked walked over to the princess, bowing his head. "It is an honor to see you, princess. Thank you for allowing us to live in your land. "He said, which was in a slight mocking tone. Everyone knew that the location of the Assassins was a mystery, and the only clue was that it was in the Kingdom of the Rose......somewhere. "If you all will allow me to speak, then I offer you something very......useful. "He said, before looking towards the prince.
"This plague will affect everyone.....eventually. No matter how well we are hidden, we will be affected by it soon. Maybe you need more help then whatever pitiful knight-vigilant you can throw together.....maybe, you need me. "He said to him. "I offer you my blade, and the blade of my apprentice, who shall be here soon. The price for our help is normally vast, but I am thinking.....For every subject in your kingdom, I will ask for.....3 coins, along with the knowledge of the cure."He said. While that didn't sound bad at first, add that for every subject in the kingdom, the price was daunting.
"I am a master assassin, and I have taught my apprentice every I know, and we both have knowledge of infiltration....and assassination. Surely even you could see the benefit of having someone like us in your arsenal, if only temporarily?"He asked, before holding out his hand. Appearing in the center was a large blue fire. He was casting magic.....without a wand?! "I am quite skilled, and I can help you more than you think....So what do you say, Prince?"
Lance rolled his eyes at the princess's complaint, but didn't comment on it. Despite being a Rose, the princess was smart. Her acting--for her was sure this was a ruse, and couldn't possibly trust her apparent innocence--was impressive, and she seemed to be gifted with strategy as well. It was no surprise her kingdom loved her, with her manipulative ways disguised as charm. The plan would work well, from what he could see.
Then she brought up the kingdom of Yunkai. It had stayed mostly neutral, if he remembered correctly, although he'd quickly been taught that its ruler, Queen Victoria, didn't hold the other kingdoms in that high of a light. It was a wealthy country, and Queen Victoria was ambitious; some reports even claimed controlling. She'd want a lot out of aiding them.
"Travelling to Yunkai because of the mountains is a good idea, but I'm not sure how the Queen will react to an unexpected visit. And, in return for helping us, she may want a cost we cannot pay--" He was interrupted by a voice he didn't recognize; as he whirled to face a trio of shady-looking people, he reached for a sword that he didn't have. Dante had sneaked up on him many times in order to build this instinct, but right now it proved useless. He paused in the position for a moment before slowly lowering his arms.
His eyes were drawn to the ornate silver mask their obvious leader wore. A wilting rose. Or, to be more accurate, the Wilting Rose. A band of highly dangerous assassins that always had a personal motive before getting involved, whether it was money or something else. He watched the trio carefully, but none of them pulled any weapons; they weren't even tensed for battle.
He listened to the head assassin's proposal carefully, mulling it over in his head. The plague he would be more than willing to give, and he wouldn't sell it. People were suffering because of the Rose Kingdom's selfishness, and it would improve trade between the other countries when things were finally fixed. The price, however, was a different matter.
"Three coins for each subject.." he murmured to himself. While the plague had wiped out many subjects, making this price easier to pay, and he had enough money--as worthless as it currently was--to pay it with ease, thanks to the plentiful time of trade right before the plague hit, but who knew what would happen afterwards. A price that high could cripple their kingdom if something went wrong.
He shifted his gaze to his adviser. "How much do you estimate this cost to be?"
The Rose Princess smiled and blushed when the Wilted Rose leader greeted her. It was nice to be spoken to properly for a change. She flashed the masked stranger a small, grateful smile and listened as he explained his proposition. When the man began to speak of assisting them she turned to face the prince expectantly. In truth, the princess knew very little of the Wilting Rose. She knew of their organization; including that they resided somewhere within her kingdom. She also had a vague recollection of her father once wanting the Wilting Rose to take care of someone for him. That alone was proof of the Wilting Rose's reputation and power.
Cecile couldn't help but stare as a bright blue flame formed in the man's palm. Her usually gray eyes now appeared bright and luminous staring into the flame. She knew that only a very powerful spell-caster could conjure such magic with no physical medium. She frowned slightly in thought about this. She desperately needed a moment alone with this man. Just as quickly as the flame had manifested it vanished, and the man began to talk about his costs of service.
The price was high. Three coins per subject? She wondered what the population of Bathelon could even be. Her questions were quickly answered; however, as the adviser chimed in. He did not appear particularly impressed with the Wilting Rose. "What reason do you require the cure for?" he asked. "Do you not have access to it already in the Rose Kingdom?"
He frowned, unsure himself of what the exact cost would be to pay 3 coins per subject. "We will not agree to such terms until after the mission has been accomplished".
The man would simply laugh. "As I said, we have not been affected by it, but we prefer fore-sight.......if we work with you, we stand to risk less men, less resources, and we stand to gain a lot more. You get your cure, we get our gold, everyone stays breathing......at least, until we come into the picture. "He said, before looking towards them. "I offer you skill that would take normally quite more than what I offer it for, and you get not only me, but my apprentince, so two assassins for the price of one. "He said, looking at him.
When he heard the Adviser speak, he looked towards him. "I will not commit myself or my charge into your use until we have assurance of compensation. I know how easy it would be to go back on your word. Just remember this: If you ever did betray us, do you think you'd escape alive?"He asked. The Wilting Rose have killed kings and queens before, so it wasn't a matter of 'could it' be done, it was the matter of 'will it' be done. Despite their reputation, the Wilting Rose were known for honoring their agreement, and they continued their job until either they were all dead, or their targets were. It was a well-protected reputation.
Lanister would then walk over to the princess, before removing his mask, and kissing her hand, as was proper custom. "If you need time to think this over, by all means take it.........I would like to speak to the Princess in private, at any point. "He said. Obviously, they stood to gain a lot if they helped a Princess ascend the throne, and given the Crown of the Rose's relationship to the Wilting Rose, the chances of betrayal between the two were almost none. This talk was, at best, a chance to strike a new deal. Kill one leader, and ascend another.
The adviser shifted and let out a sigh. He did not trust the Wilting Rose. For one they were from the Rose Kingdom. For all he knew it could be a set up to return the princess. It was unfortunate that Bathelon had shortage of skilled knights. It was true that their mission would require great skill, great skill they currently did not have due to the plague.
"The Kingdom of Bathelon does not leave debts unpaid", he said defensively, "but I am willing to negotiate". He hesitated briefly in thought, "we will pay approximately one coin per subject up front, and you will receive the rest of your payment after you have completed the mission. That is my final offer", he said coldly.
He appeared satisfied until the Wilting Rose leader removed his mask and kissed the prisoner's hand gently. "Don't touch the prisoner", he puffed. He then let out a mocking laugh, "Prisoners do not get private meetings". He quickly dismissed the idea altogether. It wasn't often the adviser referred to her as a prisoner. Cecile glanced over with a hurt expression before turning to the Rose leader with a pleading expression.
Cecile pouted, "why not", she complained. Everything had been going exactly as she neede it to until that second.
"I will not debate this", the adviser snapped at her, causing Cecile's eyes to slump sadly to the floor. The adviser did not normally say no to the princess, but when he did he woudn't budge.
Lance did as he often did, remaining quiet the entire time, although his eyes narrowed slightly when the assassin requested to talk alone with the princess. A rather Dante-like-sounding voice chimed helpfully, though. Be reasonable! He sighed, about to speak when his adviser jumped to the opportunity, scolding the man and calling the woman a prisoner. Which she was; and as savage as she and her kingdom tended to be, he had to raise her chances of trusting him. Maybe then the Rose Kingdom would stop giving Bathelon so much trouble.
"She might be a prisoner, [insert adviser's unknown name here], but she is still royalty, and is due to rule the Rose Kingdom. It's best we let her speak with the assassin who may one day be her right hand." He didn't mention he'd felt a small amount of sympathy when she was snapped at. "And even if she didn't get a meeting, you have no reason to snap at her so." It seemed Lance was finally being somewhat reasonable. In truth, he was tired of all of this and just wanted to eat, maybe sleep, do something else. His eyes shifted to the head assassin.
"I don't think they will be plotting against us. They've been known to honor their word, even if they did act against their kingdom at times.." Lance frowned. He was sounding awfully a lot like Dante right now; she would say something to side with the Roses if she felt it was right.
"Why don't we let her have her meeting? But.. Perhaps a guard would be nice? She will be sworn to secrecy--on your terms--but will tell us if any hint at betrayal is made." His words were first directed at the adviser, but by the second sentence he had moved on to the assassin once more. Dante wouldn't go back on her word, even if Lance demanded her to.
[OOC: You're SO right. I haven't described the adviser a single time..... xD ]
The adviser appeared surprised when the prince began complying with the princess. He started to argue but paused in thought. Finally he let out a sigh and groaned, "as you wish, prince". It was clear that he still did not support the idea of the princess speaking privately with an assassin, but the adviser typically would agree with the prince's decisions.
The adviser was the oldest man in the room at forty one years of age. He had served the Kingdom of Bathelon as a knight in his younger years, moving high in the ranks and eventually being appointed by the king as the adviser. Sir Phillip the adviser was a long term friend of the Bathelon royal family, and was once very close with the king before he lost his mind. He had been involved in the prince's upbringing for most of his life, and at times cared for him much like a father would. He appeared proper. His hair was thin and gray, but the adviser wore a long, shoulder length black wig to appear more dignified. On his face had had a sharp, black mustache.
Cecile was also surprised by the prince's quick decision to allow the Wilting Rose's request. She wasn't entirely sure where people of the Bathelon Kingdom got the idea that she was in line to rule any throne. It simply wasn't true. However, she was glad for this misconception, and would not correct them. She knew that these men would only assist her if they believed she had power. She perked up, "I want Lucius to stay!" Suddenly everyone's attention turned to the silent knight who had been there the entire time, but had yet to say a word. Indeed, the knight had chosen to stay towards the back and keep a watchful eye on the situation rather than involve himself. The princess felt comfortable with Lucius. He had been given the task of guarding her door many times throughout the last year, and he was one of very few guards to never lose his temper with her.
Sir Phillip turned back to the prince and raised his eyebrows, inviting him to decide whether or not he could agree to that.
@Ami the breadling -----sorry your character had nothing to do for this long xD
(No problem. But if interactig with me, please tag me, as my notifications are crap...)
Lucius just stood there. His head turned to the princess. It was true, Lucius had guarded her often enough. She often had been wrathful, but he never lost his calmness. With the time, she had understood it was worthless to try and get him annoyed or angry.
Lucius had no sympathy for the girl, yet he did not dislike her. The aegis saw her as a person that was necessary to be kept. He did not trust her, she was a Rose after all. It was her father that he disliked. A illness was one of the few things Lucius could not keep away from his king. The kings infection had hit Lucius hard, he considered it his mistake...
At this, Lanister let the people talk, before walking up to the adviser. Almost Instantly, he'd pull out a strange handle, before flipping it, as the blade would extend. Grabbing the handle, so the blade was pointing backwards, he placed it close to the Advisers throat, but not against it. "I am a very patient man, but you try it very easily. I will warn all of you once: Do not think for a second, that we answer to you. We have an agreement, we will 'help' each other, but that does not mean you have the authority to order me, or my enforcers. We are the Wilting Rose, we answer to no king or queen, no ruler, no deity. We answer only to each other. "He said to them all, reciting words that had long been a pledge amongst them.
He then leaned over, so the adviser could only hear. "Do not think you are bigger than what you are. I've killed worse than you. If we wanted too, we could've killed everyone in this room, while you all did not notice that I was in this shadows with my enforcers. "He said, which was partially true. They not only had the element of surprise, but superior training in murdering. Odds were in there favor. However, they did not know the skills of everyone in the room, so it was 50/50. "Do not insult my pride as a Wilting Rose, or my integrity as an Assassin, ever again."
He then flipped the blade, as the blade sunk back into the handle, before placing it on his waist. He then looked towards the prince. "Your agreement is......acceptable. We will take 1 coin per subject, to cover the cost of expenses and travel. We will take the rest when the job is done. I hope this is the start of a very fruitful relationship, Prince of Bathelon. "He said to him, before looking towards Cecile. "Come, Princess. We have a lot to discuss. "He said to her, before looking at the knight assigned to guard her. "By your leave?"
Lucius blocked the assasins way with his spear. His movements now showed a cold threat. "I suggest you neither leave without the princess permit, nor ever mention any murder of his royalty again, if you value your life. I noticed you when i entered, i just did not care as long as you stayed peaceful.", the aegis said. His voice was muffled by his armor, but it was cold and calm. He did not make it sound like a threat, but like a promise.
The aegis was a absolute elite. He did not speak or fight often, but if he did draw his weapon or use his voice, it had to mean something. If he said he had noticed the assasine, you could believe him. But it was a fact that he was very passive, he reacted only if there was a threat or disobidience. But he could not stand respectless behaviour to the royal family.
Just as Lance finished speaking the door creaked open and in stepped a girl with short black hair and a cloak. She walked straight to the cluster of assassins and dropped to one knee, ignoring the obvious tension in the room. "I'm so sorry master, I was careless and took to long." Keeping her head down she glances around the room.