"Tell me, Ajbatharian, what is your name ... unless you'd prefer I give you one?"
Hyacinthe almost growled at him....almost, but immediatly rejected the action as foolish so she instead simply sent him an angered look and spoke up boldly. "Stop calling 'Ajbatharian', I wasn't even born there, I was actually born on the Pvethian border so I am a citizen. And stop calling me 'halfbreed' as well, it makes me feel like an animal. I am called Hyacinthe." She pronounced the name Hi-a-SIN-thay; a very Ajbatharian name that her mother had bestowed upon her in an effort to have the child come to terms with half of her roots, but it had only succeeded in having people believe she was completely foreign.
The door he had been racking on for several minutes was finally opened by a young, plain looking maid with her pale blonde hair pulled back in a tight bun and secured under a small little cap that was fastened under her chin. Her brown eyes were a little too small for her face, and she kept them downcast as she curtsied respectfully to the Prince before turning to Hyacinthe was a soft expression. "We were told to expect you; we have a bath and a small meal waiting for you. Follow me, please." And with that small command she turned on her slippered heel and began to walk down the hall fully expecting the gypsy to follow her. Hyacinthe turned to look up at Fenris but his face was in a hard line and his expression was forward, away from hers. So with a shrug of her shoulders she moved from behind him and followed the little maid down the dark hallway.
They passed guards fully decked in stainless steel armor lined the hallways as still as statues, on alert for any threat or sign of mischeif. The curious woman even stopped right before one in particular to see if he would make eye contact with her or would remain with his eyes forward and emotionless. Only when the young girl she was following hissed at her to keep moving did Hyacinthe take off to keep up.
The stone walls were cold to the touch but the Keep in of itself was warm and well insulated by the many fires that burned in their hearths in every room. Her bare feet hardly made a sound as she padded after the maid, her eyes taking in the huge tapestries that lined the walls from floor to ceiling, the oiled paintings that hung from the walls that dipicated all sorts of war acts and violence, and the many flags of fallen countries that the Pvethians had overwhelmed on the battlefield and were now overseeing. The gyspy frowned when she came across the Ajbatharian flag, with its red crescent moon on a grey field of cloth, but she said nothing as they walked and walked and walked. And just when Hyacinthe was about to open her lips and ask how much further they were to go, the young female stopped before a thick wooden door, knocked four times, and then waited. Hyacinthe could hear shuffling within the room and little whispers of "shes here, Catalyn has brought the woman" and "go open the door" before there was a sound of many bolts sliding to unlock the door and then it was finally opened to reveal a little room, comfortably furnished with a warm fire in the hearth to the right and a large copper tub next to it, steam rising from within. The maid, Catalyn, grasped onto Hyacinthe's hand and pulled her in before the door was shut behind the women and bolted shut. Once inside the new surroundings, the gyspy could see two other women; one older woman was standing by the tub with a bar of lye soap and a towel in her hand with a gentle smile while a middle aged female sat on the bed frowning at Hyacinthe with profound distrust.
There was a little table to the right of the bed with a tray that contained a small loaf of brown bread, some yellow cheese, a slice of sugared ham, and a tin goblet. Hyacinthe immediatly made her way to the food, mouth watering when Catalyn pulled her back with a "no, no. You must bathe first" reprimand as she led her to the steaming tub. The older woman giggled with soft mirth as she watched the foreign woman's facial expression grimace with disappointment as she was turned around and Cat began to untie the strings that held her dirty white shirt up. Next the red linen skirt was dragged off of her dirty body, and Hyacinthe was left with nothing on but her henna drawings and jewelry. She felt extremly naked before the three strangers in the room, and frowned when the woman who had been sititng on the bed stood up with her hand out, palm up. "You must take off your bracelets, anklets, and necklaces. The Wolf doesnt mind the earrings and he didnt mention your nose peircing, but everything else is too noisey for him; he wants them gone."
The gyspy's mouth dropped. "But...these are all I have left from my mother; the guards that brought me in took everything else."
The woman's expression dropped for a second with a plea for her to understand that she was simply following orders as she thrust her hand out again towards the naked woman. "Please. I won't throw them away. You just cant wear them when you are servicing the Dark Prince. This will be your room as you stay here in the Keep, Ill put them over there on the table for you. Now hurry up, he doesnt like to be kept waiting."
Hyacinthe slid her bracelets off her browned arms and handled them to the woman with a heavy heart then knelt down to slide the belled anklets off her trim ankles. As she was working her headband off the older woman tsked her tongue in apparent disapproval. "You are going to have to learn to eat less; Pvethian men prefer their women much thinner than you." Hyacinthe turned with a confused expression, then caught her full bodied reflection in the mirror; she had certainly taken after her mother instead of her father when it came to how she was built. Her legs were long, making her the tallest woman in the room by far, and they led to her full thighs and backside, perhaps an area she could afford to lose alittle. Her waist dipped inward like the middle of an hourglass to her soft belly that was still adorned with a little silver drop hanging from her naval, and her breasts were very full. Hyacinthe kept looking at her reflection up her long neck to her large emerald eyes under high arched brows then finally to her bountiful chocolate curls. She then turned towards the women in the room, who were all eyeing her figure with a judging eye, and could see that they were all very thin. She huffed, "If the men here dont like the way I look then they will keep their hands off of me."
The older woman looked scandalized for a brief moment before a knowing smile spread across her face and she nodded towards the tub, which Hyacinthe crawled in with relief. The steaming water felt perfect as it washed away her henna drawings along with the dirt and grim and stench of the prisons. She was handed a bar of soap and she went to work scrubbing her body and hair until the water had turned grey and she was ordered out to dry. The older woman wrapped her up in the towel and Cat went on to begin brushing her thick hair as the woman who had taken her jewelry went to the closet and pulled out a dark crimson dress with a silver trim. It was a very plainly designed dress, but the color was rich, too rich for what she was expecting a mere servent to wear. As Cat was brushing out the water and tangles out of her hair and began to braid it back, Hyacinthe asked why she was expected to wear something like that.
"You are expected to serve royalty; directly to the Prince. This is how the female personal servents are to dress, the ones that serve the Princess. Put this on." She laid the dress down on the bed and walked back to the closet to pull out a small box and then went back to sit on the bed to wait pateintly for Cat to finish brading the gypsy's hair. It ended up being a piled high braid with the excess trailing down her back in massive curls. The dress was then pulled over her head and then Cat opened the little box and took out a red stained brush, dipped it into a little paint pot, and then extended forward and began to paint Hyacinthe's lips blood red. After that she took out a black kohl pencil and told the woman to look up as she outlined her eyes. Once the little makeover was finished, Hyacinthe was allowed to eat. She sneaked a look into the mirror and balked at her new appearence. Her eyes stood out with the dark outline and her lips looked the colors of rubies, but she felt so naked without her many peices of jewelry and the henna drawings that had washed away from her slender arms; her hair was high and brushed, shiney, something that she rarely had, and the red dress was fitted to her figure, but modest with long sleeves and a scopped neck that exposed only the top creamy caramel mounds of her breasts. It was obviously made for someone with a smaller figure. Immediatly she brought her hand up to brush the back of her hand across her lips to wipe away the lipstick. The action caused an immediete shriek from all three women.
"No! What are you doing? Stop that!"
Hyacinthe shook her head and went over to the food and began to eat. "Im not here to impress anyone. The Prince can burn. He may have forced me to pay for my 'sin' through working for him, but I will be damned if I am to be delivered to him looking like a harlot on a silver platter." She took a large bite of bread layered with the cheese and ham and practically swallowed the food without chewing, she was so hungry. The women merely stood there looking at each other with shocked faces, but they kept silent as they cleaned up the room.
"Very well, Hyacinthe. But remember: chin up, shoulders back, but eyes downcast in respect. You are not to speak unless spoken to, you are to answer all questions honestly, and end all statements with 'My Lord', or 'My Prince'. Got it?"
The gypsy female was hardly listening, purring in her own world as the food's flavor filled her senses, but she nodded to avoid any confrontation, and when she finished her meal, Catalyn brushed her face of any crumbs and lipstick residue with a napkin and then hustled her out of the room and back into the chilly hallway.
"Put these on," she whispered, handing Hyacinthe a pair of cloth slippers.
Hyacinthe shook her head stubbornly again. "No, I prefer to go barefoot."
"But.....oh fine, its no use arguing with you. You will be the death of us all with your foolishness." With that she tossed the slippers back into the room before scurrying down the hallway with great haste. Hyacinthe had to almost jog to keep up, her full breasts bouncing in her rushed movements.
"Where are we going off to now, Cat?"
Cat looked back at her with a suprised face before turning back forward as she continued to move quickly. "Now I take you back to Prince Fenris. He's waiting for you in the Library."
Fenris left the woman to it. Hyacinthe, a good name he thought to himself as he made towards the keeps study. Though it irked him slightly, she had to change it. He would bring it to her attention at once when she came to him. Within his dark politic games amongst his brother, sister, and father, he could ill afford to have something so close to him stand out for them to attack. Though hiding her Ajbatharian blood would be difficult, he had to try his best to do so. On that note, it still surprised him that she was a half breed, half Pvethian and half Ajbatharian. It was a mix that was despised, himself included, which made him all the more hypocritical.
As he entered the main hall, a thought struck him. Instead of going straight, which would lead to the dark doors of the study, he turned off to the left and ascended towards his temporary quarters. It had been some time since he had change. Though the stickiness of grease and uncleanliness was not new, the luxury of feeling pure still appealed to him. Subsequently that also meant being in clean clothes.
He finally arrived at a hovel with the two sentinels from before standing guard. They both snapped to attention as he passed without a word. His casual dress was already laid out for him as he quickly changed into it. A snap sounded as he slowly removed his dark silver armored pieces. As they fell upon the bed, he felt a tremendous weight lift off of him. Soon enough his dark outfit came off as he stood naked before the burning hearth. Though it roared with great intensity, the heat was quickly consumed by the chill, which in turn provided little heat for Fenris to change in. With haste, he slipped on the formal silken shirt and pants then donned his overcoat. The silver buttons twinkled from the fires light but quickly was consumed in darkness as a great fur coat was wrapped around it. Fixing the color and strapping on his sword, Fenris quickly made for the door before he could move any further, something caught his eye from the corner.
He sprang back as a knife flew before his eyes and clanked against the stone walls. In a matter of moments, he had his sword out only to have his steel clash with another's. His eyes narrowed as his assailant was clothed within dark garments. His face was obscured with a shroud, an assassin.
With a push, Fenris stumbled the man back as he thrusted forward with the tip of his blade aiming for the heart. The silver fang found purchase within the man's shoulder flesh as a brief cry grunted from the cowl. "A very sloppy job for a wet boy, don't you think?" he asked as the door suddenly burst open with the two Sentinels fully drawn and moving towards their lord. "Stay back! He shall suffer for a moment longer!" hissed the dread prince. He twisted the end of his sword and plunged it deeper as he felt muscles and tendons alike strain from the edge then snapped altogether. "I shall know who posted a contract for my head. Until then, you speak and embrace death quickly or hold your tongue and await the uncertainty of limbo."
"Death does not frighten me," spat the man in a harsh accent. A Ajbatharian. "Your sins against those who you've enslaved will not go unpunished Pvethian," hissed the man as he threw a blade that his hidden within his sleeves. Fenris grunted as iron hot pain seared across his cheek.
His eyes glinted in a murderous rage as the Sentinels couldn't stand their ground any longer. "High Sentinel!" One of the two rose their sword to end the assassin's life, but was stopped. "Lord?"
"I told you to stand back," he hissed as he walked forward as he blood on his cheek congealed then slowly rolled down his taut face. He snapped out with his fist that connected with the assassins head and snapped back against the stone wall. His eyes rolled up. Grabbing hold of the cowl, Fenris ripped it off as it revealed a young Ajbatharian boy, too young. He paused for but a blink before grabbing hold on the boy's throat in a Viper's embrace. "Your people are too foolish to see that this option is far better than what his Majesty proposes. May you find peace within your gods boy, for you've done a terrible deed for your people. You and the damned rebels!"
He took one of the knives that the boy had used against him. It was crudely made yet fitting for the job. "As you did for your people, you shall die by your own tools of destruction." He plunged the stiletto-like knife into the assassin's gut multiple times as he left him out to bleed like a slaughtered animal. Fenris felt no sadness for his deed. In truth, he felt pity for the boy. It wasn't his time to die, but he had chosen his path, which he could respect. He turned at once as the Sentinels stood their in uncertainty. "Send word to our saboteurs and informants. Tell them to blend within the populace and find the rebellious faction. We shall make gruesome examples out of them be it man, woman, or child."
"Yes High Sentinel. I shall see to it at once sir," said a Sentinel as he set off to complete his task. "You shall notify the guards to clean this ... mess."
"Pardon sir, perhaps it'd be more prudent to ensue--"
"Don't make me ask again Sentinel."
"...Very well Sir."
He was left alone as he stared at the still dying boy. He crouched to study him then frowned. "I'll tell you a secret boy. A parting gift since none are here to hear these words," he said as his eyes softened. "Contrary to all, it is I that prevents the genocide of your people."
The boy grinned as the life slowly ebbed away from his dark brown eyes. "I-if you ... care, let us have ... freedom." Before Fenris could respond, his head fell limp as he succumbed to death's kiss.
Fenris closed his eyes, a rare ritual for him, but the boy proved his worth to the very end. As he stood up with his handkerchief press against his skin, the boy's dying words forever echoed in his mind. "It is not so easy," he said as he made his way to the Library. "It is not so simple either."
Fenris, after ignoring and waving off crowds of Guardsmen, Sentinels, and even Guards-Captain Leo, was mere steps away from the library as he turned his face and stared at two women that were walking his way. He was taken slightly aback as the Hyacinthe was a changed woman. She looked so different without her gypsy-like trinkets, her dirtied blouse, and the strange markings she had tattooed to her skin. She was as close as she could have gotten to being somewhat Pvethian, a good first step.
He looked with on with disapproval as the women stopped before him. His handkerchief had now been soaked with dried blood. "Admirable job maids woman. It was Madam Catalyn was it not?" He waited for an answer then looked at her feet. "Were you not provided slippers Half Breed? Maids woman, you will go procure a pair at once."
The woman named Catalyn curtsied respectfully towards the Prince, her head bowed in submission. She cast a sidelong glance over towards Hyacinthe with narrowed eyes, telling her to do the same. But when the gypsy didnt move to incline her head as well, choosing a more bold posture of soft defiance, the maids woman didnt push it and stood up straight to answer. "Yes, m'lord. I am Madam Catalyn. This woman has been readied to your specifications but she refused to wear the slippers, preferring to go barefoot. I-" Catalyn paused, leaning a little closer before gasping in utter horror, her petite little hand flying up to cover her mouth. "Prince Fenris! What has happened? Your face!"
During this entire enterchange, Hyacinthe had been looking elsewhere before the entrance of the library, ignoring the conversation and scene that was unfolding just a few feet from her. The entrance was encased in a large stone archway with thick wooden doors of cherry oak. The woman could just imagine the plethora of books that were hidden behind those magical doors. The gypsy loved books; was enamored by them, entralled by them. She was so distracted by the thoughts of tall bookshelves filled to the brims of thick bound volumes that she didnt hear Catalyn's cry for her to go and fetch supplies. It wasnt until the small palm of the blonde woman was struck across her right cheek that brought her out of her trance. For a brief moment, Hyacinthe was stunned, then her anger brewed forth with a growl that caused Catalyn's boldness to evaporate quickly like the dews on a hot slate, and she shrank back before remembering that she was the one in charge of her.
"You stupid little fool! Do you not see that your Master has been injured by an assassin of your godless race? Run and go fetch the doctor immediatly before I have you flogged for laziness!"
Hyacinthe didnt move from her spot. She merely blinked towards Catalyn, not intimidated by the threat of getting canned in the servent's courtyard for all to see, before turning to the man that had indentured her into his service. She felt naked under his eyes without her jewelry and her hair flowing down her back and shoulders. The tight braid pulled back her features and exposed her almond shaped eyes that were outlined in the black khol. The crimson dress was too tight for her to take a deep breath in and her lack of jingling sounds make her feel invisible. But her bared feet made her feel somewhat normal as he looked at her under his hard gaze. The woman stood up straight, meeting his silver eyes, her right cheek slightly burning from being slapped, but her pride seemed to be completely unfazed by the insult.
She spoke smoothly: "I refused the slippers becaused I am not accustomed to wearing shoes. My name is Hyacinthe; would you like me to fetch you a doctor?" She spoke as if Catalyn had not given her a direct order because she recognized that, despite what the blonde thought, Hyacinthe only answered to the Prince. If he wanted her to get someone to stitch him up then he would send her for someone. She could even do it herself if he asked, being a woman of the world. Looking at him now she noticed how he pressed the cloth to his torn cheek, blood quickly soaking the material. Despite the fact that he was attacked and bleeding like a pig, he still held an air of dignity and respect, along with the feral bloodlust in his eyes. He must have ruthlessly killed his attacker.
As she awaited his answer, she caught a longing gaze towards the library in desire to see the endless rows of books and items of knowledge and interest, but she also remembered how thin her lifeline was, so if he desired her or someone to stitch up his injury or to fetch him a doctor, it was what she would do.
Fenris stood there unfazed at Hyacinthe's defiance. It was after all in her blood, which also held a trace of Pvethian blood that once again made him question just how exactly to regard her. She was proud, there was no questioning that, but he had to keep his cold demeanor up, for he had already asked for his Sentinels, his people, to commit an act that he was trying to avoid. It wouldn't be as radical or drastic as his father would have done, but it was going to raise his family's suspicion to new heights while his plan would no longer be supported. Though he loathed going back on his words, he couldn't make himself just forget what had happened.
"Enough Maids woman. Go fetch a needle and a thread and bring it to the study. Do not dawdle." He pressed the bloodied handkerchief to his face and dabbed away the blood. "While you're at it, do bring a pair of slippers." Fenris narrowed his eyes. "Our guest shall at least pretend to act proper and not voice any dissent ... Will she now?"
He growled under his breath as his temper was ill indeed. Perhaps he also needed to have a talk with the Guards Captain for his negligence. How could an assassin have snuck in with the place brimming with guards. It spoke volumes of how sloppy and poorly run the guard detail was in this forsaken place. With his temper running on maximum volume, receded into his study where the room that had once been bathed in light had been dimmed to a solemn atmosphere. He had beckoned the Half Breed in as he ascended towards a table and fell within its welcoming chair. He saw multiple tombs and maps that he had planned to entertain to draw up boundaries for an extension of furthering further co-exisetance between the Pvethians and Ajbatharians. However, that notion was no where to be found within his thoughts, a mixture of rage and retching anguish. He did not want this.
He looked up as he laid eyes upon Hyacinthe whom had followed him in. A brave woman. "You look calm on the outside, Half Breed. Within though, within I can see your unease." He gestured towards a chair. "Sit I shall not harm you ... presently anyhow."
There were two glasses on his table. He took two and poured Privobia into its volume. The liquor had a bitter sweet taste to it. It was from fermented fruit and various other things after all. Other nations never dared kissed the chalice that held the vibrant and prominent drink, but then again, it wasn't meant for those other than the royal family. To give a glass so casually ... it made Fenris laugh.
"It's not poisoned," he said as he took a sip. "I have a question that you will answer." He took the clothe and dabbed at the blossoming drops of blood. "Ever since the subjugation of your people, I've been trying to prevent their death and genocide, but I find that my efforts are meeting ... troublesome obstacles." He took another drink as the nectar burned down his throat then leaned forward with his arm leaning against the table. "You wouldn't happen to know of those that resist against us would you? It'd be better to tell me or I will find other means my dear Half Breed."
Last edited by Noctis; 01-09-2013 at 06:27 AM.
After Catalyn scurried off to do the Prince's bidding, Hyacinthe followed him, assuming that was what he wanted her to do. A pit had begun to weave through her belly at the sight of his injury.....as if the man needed anything to make him look any more dangerous. A deep scar down the side of his cheek was something that was definitely unneeded, and the young gypsy couldn't help but think that whomever had attacked him, she would be questioned.
They sadly did not enter the library, instead turning towards the Prince's study which was impressive in and of itself. The large room smelled of rich and heavy wood; it smelled clean, and the fire that roared in the hearth to the right let off profound heat from its bickering flames. She padded into the room, her bared feet walking upon the soft, warmed carpet until she reached the massive desk which Prince Fenris sat behind. Hyacinthe followed his request and sat down across from him, her back straight, her head high with her hands neatly folded in her lap, and her emerald pupils boring into his. She narrowed her darkly outlined eyes at him, frowning slightly at his dark expression as he seemed to look over the piles of maps and papers that were sprawled across his desk with disdain. Curiosity overwhelmed her, and she too leaned forward to examine the parchments that he had spread over the beautiful wood. They were blueprints of the City, and of other places beyond Dectx that had various changes done to them that were written in red ink. Words were scrawled in the margins of the maps along with documents of advice, orders, and plans. The gypsy couldn't make out what exactly the writing said, the scribble all but legible to her eyes, but she was able to make out a few words: "Ajbathar", "section", "expand", "patience", and something about combining cultural ideas.
Her head shot up at his harsh words as he poured a strong smelling spirit into a heavy looking crystal glass before handing it to her, which she accepted with both hands. She couldn't help but smirk at him, not in a condescending way, but in a knowing way; revealing to him that despite she having a have a healthy fear of his power, she did not fear him, the man, himself. He seemed to chuckle at something internal before taking a sip to prove that it wasn't poisoned. Hyacinthe then brought the thick glass rim to her cherried lips and tilted the chalice back to take a sip. Not a second after the liquor touched her lips did she cough gently, shocked at the burning it caused as it ran smoothly down her throat. Placing a hand on her chest, she tried again, now fully aware of what to expect, and she smiled after the second taste, her long tongue snaking out to clean off her full mouth. The young woman turned to the Prince and raised her glass in his direction in a mock toast.
"Is this your plan, my Prince? To get me drunk off the royal wine, extract information from me, then kill me? You know we gypsies love our wine." She took another long swallow, the long fingers on her left hand curled around the heavy goblet, her tanned throat working it down before the door to the study opened with Catalyn curtsying quickly, then rushing to the desk to lay down a small pouch that was filled with basic medical supplies, including the requested needle and stitching thread. Turning to Hyacinthe, her eyes grew so wide at the sight of the gypsy drinking Privobia that, for a brief moment, Hyacinthe thought the orbs would roll right out of their plain sockets. But she got over her initial shock and dropped the pair of slippers at her feet before bowing again with respect towards the Prince then scurrying out of the room.
During the entire exchange, Hyacinthe had simply blinked, so sure she was of what was going on. And once the door was closed, she sat up more in her chair on the other side of the desk and took another sip. "Why did Pveth want Ajbathar? If not to kill their people? The racism between the two races stretched back long before any of us were even born, of course it is to be expected that, once combined, there would be obstacles." She reclined again, easily speaking and sipping from her glass, which was close to being finished already. She swirled the contents in her glass, releasing the aroma of fermented peaches, oak barrels, and a slight bite of tobacco. It was delicious.
"I know not who exactly works against you, but there is a small group of young lads who call themselves The Revolutionists right here in Dectx who might have had something to do with..." she paused to flutter her hand in his general direction. "...your pretty face. They mostly meet in a small tavern in the eastern side of town. Talk was spreading of these boys trying to re-initiate a fight of the two races here in the Capital City, and hoping for another all-out war. They are immature, foolish, and do not hold the same opinions of most Ajbatharians. As much as each side hates the other, I do believe neither want another bloodbath on their lands."
She finished her drink, sliding her tongue across the rim, licking any stray flavor away before setting the heavy glass back on his desk, silently asking for him to refill it for her. Hyacinthe then leaned on the edge of his desk on her side, folding her arms and resting them on the wood. She raised one finely dark arched eyebrow and chuckled without humor. "They are children, Wolf. Boys who were born in the midst of the war your family began and grew up only knowing the hatred for Pveth. Killing them would anger anyone, even the older ones who agree with nothing they say. What will you do with the information I have told you?" She tilted her head softly to the side, regarding him. "Will you punish to an extent, show a measure of mercy, and prove them wrong; that you people are not all about demolishing and crushing? Or will you do what everyone has come to expect from a DeAlmieda? Publicly execute a group of sixteen to twenty year old lads in the most heinous of ways?"
She lifted her shoulders up and down in a soft shrug before sitting back in her chair, and lifting her long right leg over her left one. "I am merely your servant, Wolf. But despite my low station, I have seen more of either world because I am of either world. It might be wise to take my words, pointless as it may seem, at least into consideration."