Wayward Destinies (MareepBell&Nenha)
Kira stumbled as she attempted to run down the jagged hillside. She could hear them over her labored breathing, right on her tail. The horses, the men, they were coming, and she had to keep running. Kira let out a shriek as her foot slipped and she was sent tumbling down the hill side. Her hands scrambled, attempting to dig into the earth and slow her down, but nothing helped. Her breath hitched painfully as her back finally slammed against a tree trunk, stopping her completely. She groaned, as she fell forward attempting to pick herself up. It took a few tries, her legs shaking with pain before she could finally stand. But the yells of men and the deafening sounds of the horses’ hooves gave her the spark of fear to keep running.
She weaved between the trees and leapt over the briars and branches in her way. The pain in her back was unbearable, and a cramp was beginning to stab its way into her side, but she had to keep going. She had to. As Kira broke through the tree line, a village was finally insight, bustling with life. “Thank the gods!” Kira wheezed, as her run turned into a sprint.
She was almost there! Hope filled her chest as she continued to sprint. She could get help, or at least blend in with the crowd! But just as quickly as the hope grew, it was dashed. An arrow clipped her shoulder and sent her sprawling into the dirt. Without the trees as obstacles, her pursuers had caught up to her twice as fast upon their horses. Kira tried to get up, but let out an anguished cry, as pain and blood spread through her shoulder. She could hear the horses stop and in a rush of fear, she dug her knees and toes into the dirt, pushing herself up to run, only to be kicked down again.
They had caught her. Kira grunted and glared up at one of her pursuers, as he pressed his boot hard against her back. “Give us the orb.” Came a rough voice, but Kira ignored it and continued to struggle. His boot came down hard on her already bruised back, and Kira let out a cry of pain. “Give us the orb!” The voice was angrier, desperate. “You must kill me first!” Kira yelled back and suddenly turned with all of her might, stabbing her dagger straight into the man’s leg. He howled and backed away from her, as she pulled out her dagger rapidly and weakly crouched up on her feet.
But she was surrounded. What in hell's name was she going to do now?
Wind whistled through the thick forest of pines, birds sweeping overhead the canopy of needles singing their carefree songs, the crackle of foliage as deer rushed through underneath, and then the sound of hooves clopping lazily along on a dirt packed roadway cutting through the land of pines.
A lone man led the horse by a lead and kept a lazy pace. There was no place to be in a hurry and no need to hurry anywhere. The man had ample supplies and like much for his own feet to be on the earth rather than his arse in on his horse and getting saddle sore. In truth it could be said that the man had a fear of horses.
He was off to the left and kept quite a distance ahead of the horse. This would seem odd to onlookers just for a man walking his horse rather than riding it on the long path. It was not a rough road, and even a old mare with a broken back could make the trip at a gallop. But the man continued to walk, his eyes on the trees and searching for anything ill willed.
He was a man used to deception, the worn swords at his hips could tell that tale well enough, and if that was not enough then one could see the road map of scars that went up his forearms before they came to a halt at his rolled up sleeves.
The man stretched out his wiry arms and let lose a howl of a yawn, being rather over exaggerative. His lazy dark eyes drifted back to glance at the dark brown almost black stallion. It's long mane covering half of its face. In truth it was not a large horse, it was actually a horse breed bought far away. Fourteen hands, stocky build, and short legs. But the man loved the horse. In truth the horse had its own roadmap of scars about it's gleaming body. The man gave the beast a pat and grudgingly fell back. Coming to a halt he stepped into the stirrup and mounted the saddle. His nervous nature was known to the stocky horse, yet the horse still side stepped hesitantly and gave a flick of its long mane in agitation, letting out a nickering sound.
“Alright now, calm yourself Omen. Just a little farther and we should be coming onto the village that last traveler spoke of... Then we will look into some good food and a warm place.” The young man patted the horse on the neck and gave a click of his tongue and nudge of his knees sending the sweaty beast into a trot.
They started slowly but before long they fell into a gallop, the trees whipping past, the wind sending the man's greasy dark hair whipping about. It had been a few days since Omen and the man had gone all out in the thick humid forest. In truth it looked like a great place for bandits to hide, and the young man was but one man. He could not kill everything no matter how skilled he was, and in truth he was not wanting to put his only friend, even if he was scared of him, in danger.
After the last battle the two had been contracted to fight in he felt like it was time for a much needed break. War was not everything, and he could always return to Sica Vinus later to join in the war, but for now it was nice just to get away from all of the calamity happening. His only hopes were that nothing ill would come from his lack of honor and fleeing from his house to find some peace.
Ragnvald Jeste Daussier was expected to be far more than what he was doing now. Now he would be called a coward and disowned by his father and family... Again. In truth it was nothing new. Ragnvald was used to it. He did not belong with the noble families of Sica Vinus. If he was not fighting then he would rather be laying under the pines dozing off while reading a book. If not that then practicing with the two swords at his hips and the five others wrapped in his saddle bags and blanket.
“Always have more than you need, boy... That is what father always says, yes Omen?” The horse seemed to ignore or not notice as he continue to plunge full speed down the wet dirt path that weeved in and out.
Ragnvald slowly drew the beast in, coming to a nice trot. Up ahead he could see the trees giving way and the sun breaking through the thick canopy and angry clouds above to send beams of light shining down on the path now.
The young warrior glanced around, perking his ears up, Omen following suit as they slowly came to a halt. “I hear... Nothing. That is strange.” Omen let out a low whinny and stomped his front hooves. Before long Ragnvald could hear the same noise the horse had reported. The beat of hooves, the crocking of branches deeper in the woods, the yelling of men that seemed to be chasing something. And then there was a very almost vague scream. That of someone who could be in danger. Ragnvald stayed where he was for the moment. In truth he was not sure what to do. It was not his business.
“I think we should leave off to the right and go through the woods and bypass this whole possible mess Omen... I feel like we should not intervene.”
The horse did not feel the same and pulled at the reins while stomping its hooves.
Omen reared up and after a long dramatic episode of flair the horse was off at the nudging of Ragni's knees.
The warrior held on tightly to the beast's mane instead of the reins. His eyes squeezed tight as they whipped through the rest of the forest, bugs hitting him hard in the face. Already he was regretting the decision.
The sun blazed alive as they broke from the land of pines and hit the dry dirt path leading to a sprawling village and open farmland. Ragni's eyes took longer than he thought to adjust, but after he caught the action, a person running through a field to his right and a group of men, five, on horseback close on the person's tail. “Bandits!” Ragnvald let out a roar, yet he was to far for the riders to hear as they were riding at full speed recklessly through the fields.
His dark eyes caught onto the bowman ahead as he took sight, the arrow leaving the man's string and finding the runner.
Ragnvald clicked his tongue and bent down into Omen's mane hopping for the quick horse to make it a little faster. He could kill five men if he could kill the bowman first.
He watched as the bandits circled the person. But that was all as he drew a scimitar out of his left saddle bag, leaving his two swords at his hips sheathed, as he made his galloping approach it was to late for the bandits as one let out a yell.
But already Ragni's scimitar and the charge of Omen had ripped into the side of the bowman, the blade went in deep, Ragnvald could feel the shatter of bone, the tear of muscle and skin, and the stench of fouled organs. Scarlet blood spread forth in a gush, painting the golden green field a different caller as Omen thunder past with his excelling speed. Already the horse was turning and heading back, the four remaing bandits were still in shock as they saw the bow wielder plummet from his own mount sending the beast into a wide eyed frenzy and setting the tone for the rest of the battle.
Ragnvald readied himself for yet another charge through as he saw one bandit start to regain control of his mount and ride away back toward the pines.
Yet Omen was faster than most horses since he was of course smaller. And before long Ragni found the black blade of his scimitar ripping into the thigh of the fleeing rider as he rode past only to circle back around and come to a halt to look at the three remaining bandits, two mounted and the leader still on his feet with his mouth open. The screams of the dying rider behind Ragni continued even as the other bandits finally realized what was happening.
“Death!” Ragnvald Jeste Daussier let out a bloodcurdling yell as he charged forward again. Yet this time the bandits came as well. Omen fell into a full on charge, his black fur glistening with sweat as his muscles worked. The warrior readied himself as he saw the man on his left with a spear and the one on his right wielding a war hammer. His eyes were set on the spear though. Omen continued his charge, and as the three met in the middle Ragni slid off to the left and dodged the war hammer swinging over his empty saddle, and let his scimitar rip under the spearman's arm into his armpit. Bue spear and arm were sent sailing through the air. Ragni released the saddle horn and fell to the field in a ball. He came sprinting up to his feet for the spear which had not flown far from the now fallen wielder's one arm body. Slowly he wrenched the spear from the dark soil, replacing it with his scimitar, and gave a lopsided grin, blood spattered across his handsome face.
“Come on bandit, come for you grave!” Ragnvald's eyes followed the war hammer as the man wheeled about and began to charge. It was not long before he was upon Ragni. Yet last minute Ragnvald vaulted to the other side, planting his feet and thrust the spear forward. His wiry muscles bulging on his bloody forearms as he tried to maintain his grip with his bloody hands. The bandit was ripped from his saddle and sent sprawling into the dark soil of the field.
The warrior turned and looked to the leader who was now not but twenty strides away. And ragni had no time for thinking, he was gone. The soil under his worn boots shooting up in black geysers as he drew both of his longswords from his waist. He was there in a minute, both swords dug deep into either lung of the leader.
“Now die boy...” Ragni let his bloody smile fade as the man fell to his knees. At that he kicked the man off of his swords, sending him sprawling back into the field, mouth foaming with bloody spit.
Omen trotted over, his coat covered in a sheen of sweat, blood, and dirt. In truth it only brought fond thoughts to Ragnvald. “I am glad to see you lived my friend.” The horse sent back a nicker and stomped his feet in a fancy pattern as he wheeled about.
Ragni took a step back from his mount and began to wipe his blades off on the dead bowman's shirt. He turned his dark brown eyes back to look at the man who he had saved. But as he gave it further examination he was wrong about the sir part, in truth it happened to be a young woman, maybe a girl. He was not sure.
“Are you alright mi'lady? I did not mean to... I am not sure what I did or meant to do actually.” Ragnvald stood and sheathed both of his swords. His bloody right hand falling to his side as his left hand went to rub at the back of his head nervously as he smiled and gave a light hearted chuckle. In truth what more was there to say in a field sprayed with blood and the please of still dying men he had yet to finish.
In a matter of moments, Kira watched as each of her pursuers fell, one by one. She watched, with her cerulean blue eyes wide in shock as blood splattered and the men screamed as their limbs were sliced off or cut open. She was left on the ground frozen in both fear and amazement. Just as quickly and chaotically as it had happened, it was over.
Kira watched with wide eyes as her savior stood in front of her, covered in blood and dirt, wiping his blades leisurely on the dead bowman's shirt. She swallowed nervously as his dark eyes met her's, and he finally came closer to her. Kira scrambled back as she looked up at him in shock, and it took a moment for her mind to realize that he was speaking to her. She didn't know how to respond as she swallowed her spit nervously. She looked around at the dying and the dead, her hand tightening on her dagger before she looked back at him. "Why?..." She swallowed again, her red lips pursing for a moment as she calmed down and thought about it. "Why did you help me? I didn't ask for it." She said stubbornly, beginning to become embarrassed that she had to rely on someone else for help.
Last edited by MareepBell; 01-18-2013 at 10:41 PM.
Ragnvald let both hands drift to his side as he noticed that she was as scared of him as he was of Omen and horses in general... Or large bodies of water. Ragni gave a slight shudder at the thought of crossing the ocean again.
He shook himself back and looked down at the Kira and shrugged. “I guess it was just a spur of the moment thing. Back in my homeland bandits are a common thing. This was my first sighting of one since I have come here... And well I saw one person running away by foot from five others on horseback. I wasn't really seeing the fun in letting that happen... And now that I see it is a young lady I am glad,” Ragni paused and held his hand out toward Omen and gave a slight bow, “that my noble comrade here decided not to slip through the woods like me and just make a roundabout way away from the danger... And well I saw you get shot down by that archer, are you going to be alright?”
The warrior walked out toward his scimitar which was still stuck in the earth as he waited for a reply. He picked the blade up and gave it a hard slashed threw the air sending blood, dirt, and other miscellaneous stuff sailing off into the wind.
He made his way back to Omen and the woman and sheathed the blade back into its sheath in his worn leather saddle bags, of course the saddle and bags with black as Omen's coat and splattered with dirt and blood. He would be spending half a day cleaning his equipment. Ragnvald sighed and turned back to look at the girl.
“Anyways, I was on my way to this village anyways and I heard a scream. We came, I think we saved you. And now we are headed to the nearest inn or tavern... And a stable for my friend here. But I am sure you don't want to, but I should offer. My name is Ragnvald Jeste Daussier sixth blade to the Emperor of Sica Vinus... What may your name be mi'lady?”
The warrior grabbed the lead line for his mount and began to turn back toward the dirt road leading into the village where a gathering of people had begun to congregate and look for the battle that seemed to have been ensuing outside their peaceful homes. Ragni only gave them a hard stare, he was not fond of humanity as a whole. He only had real time for a few people in between the larger groups of them and their societies. People were worse than animals and far more disgusting in his opinion.
He shook his head and snapped back to what he was supposed to be paying attention to. Ragni put his charming lopsided grin back on and glanced back to Kira, “Also, be sure to grab one of these mounts before you leave. That way you will at least have something faster than those clumsy feet of yours...”
"I will be fine." Kira said sternly, looking away and feeling more embarrassed. But she watched him as he walked over to his scimitar, pulling it from the earth, and completely ignoring her. She didn't know whether to be angry at that or not, but decided to let it go. She slowly picked herself up, holding her injured shoulder as this stranger went back to his horse and spoke to her once more.
It was embarrassing, and her pride had certainly been kicked, but she owed this man a lot. Although she hadn't necessarily wanted it, he had certainly helped her out, and for that she should be grateful. "Thank you...for helping me." Her pale face turned a tint of red at the fact that she had to admit that. "My name is Kira Lorelie." As far as she could tell, he wasn't paying attention, but she watched curiously as his face hardened. She looked to where he was staring, seeing the growing amount of villagers and spectators. Kira looked back at Ragni, and his face had already changed to a slight grin. Kira frowned as he mentioned her clumsy feet, and huffed a bit. "Not all of us are rich enough to get a steed, Sir Ragnvald Jeste Daussier sixth blade to the Emperor of Sica Vinus." She said it a bit sarcastically, brushing back a piece of her long black hair.
"Oh... Well Omen is not much of a noble steed for one myself since he is about two to three hands shorter than must other mounts now in the most common cavalries." Ragnvald looked over to the dark brown almost black horse depending on the light, he let his smile fade as the horse's dark eyes met his own. He knew the horse was exceptional. But he would never tell the beast that. He had had the beast since he was a young boy and gladly had kept him from most cavalry charges he had been in. He had a few horses die on him, but Omen was not one he was willing to let die easily.
“Anyways, off of my apparent rich appearance, let's make our way into town. I will pay for your new horse's stable brush down... Not that I have much coin left either...” Ragnvald looked down at his tattered clothes, his once black short tunic now more of a dying man's hair stained with sweat, dirt, and blood. His trousers were covered in patches and still had far to many holes to even be called trousers anymore. The only nice things about him was Omen's tack and his weaponry. Even his boots almost had holes in there soles.
For a moment he looked back to the rather well dressed bandits. But instead he just tugged on Omen's lead and began to walk away mumbling to himself, “I find it highly improbable these people would be okay with me looting these men after I viciously slaughtered them... Hmm, maybe tonight.”
The young swordsman walked back to the rode, the dying screams turning to moans at his back and fading ever farther away. Not to mention Kira, his new acquaintance who did not seem so inept at the idea in particular.
He let out a pent up breath of air as he made it to the onlookers and they all stumbled from his path. A few men smiled and patted him on the back and gave him a few encouraging words on killing bandits. In all truth though, Ragni was finding it hard to call those men bandits. He was still unhappy about not looting their fine looking weapons and clothes, not to mention any coin. But it is the way of the world. He gave a shrug and stopped before the stables at the beginning of town.
“Hello, I would like a stable for my horse!” He gave a holler and waited.
Not long after a young lad came waltzing up as though he was the greatest of all the blades in the land. Ragnvald could only suppress the urge of laughing.
“Ay, wha' d'ya be wantin' sir?” The lad spoke without ending much of any words.
“Do you speak like that on purpose lad or is that the broken dialect about this proud logging village?”
The boy gave him a cocked glance and then spit to the side, “'Was askin' afta wha' you be wantin' sir...”
Ragnvald held back his anger as he had watched the spit hit the ground, that was just something he was not fond of.
“I need to stable my horse and one other that will be following up shortly by a young lass. Here is the coin...” Ragnvald looked at the boy as he was about to pass the coin over and then to Omen. He shrugged and leaned in over the stable railing toward the boy and spoke nice and low. “If anything is wrong, or happens to my horse... I am going to find you and flay you alive you filthy little prick... And if you spit at me in my presence again I am going to cut your balls free.”
The boy's face paled and Ragni was very happy to see it so until he heard the patter in the stable mud and looked down to see the lad had wet himself. Ragni was just glad he had decided against pulling his knife on the boy.
“Now get it done before you shite yourself to...” He threw the small purse to the lads feet and Omen's lead onto the stable post for the boy to collect later. At that he made his way into the well made town.
Most of the homes were made of wood except one or two which were of stone. It seemed strange to be in a town with no real walls. This was the first one in a long time for himself. Most places he had been to were set for open war, and so more than not they had stone walls. But then again Sica Vinus was a different sort. He moved on deeper into the village. He glanced back to see if Kira had followed him. She knew he was headed to a inn at least.
Kira watched as Ragni looked at his horse. She could see the fondness he had for the creature. The way his face seemed to soften, even the slightest, and his shoulders seemed to relax a bit. Kira also looked back at Omen, and let a small smile creep upon her full lips. She always had a liking for horses, and Omen was a fine one. It seemed like he had gone through almost as much as his master had. She smiled more as Omen shook his head and stomped his hooves. But then her cerulean eyes looked toward Ragni as he mentioned the prospect of buying her some stable room in the village. Kira raised an eyebrow, looking at him questionably. As fancy as his name sounded, his clothes were in tatters. She gave him a look over, and was pretty sure he was just one hole away from being indecent. Not like she could say much for herself, she looked rather boyish, her feminine curves hidden completely beneath a layer of chain mail and her brother’s old tunic shirt, which was now soiled in dirt and blood. Her leather pants had a few rips and she was just happy her boots didn’t sport any holes. But it wasn’t like she came from money, she was lucky with what she had.
Either way, he had saved her life; he didn’t owe her anything else. But she kept silent as he began to lead Omen towards the village. Kira slowly followed after, her steps heavy as she held her injured shoulder. She looked back at her dead pursuers, and frowned. Just leaving them like that didn’t sit well with her. Kira had been raised to always respect the dead, so just leaving those bodies lying around like that, made her conscience cringe. She stood there clenching and unclenching her fists with indecision. She looked toward Ragni and saw him being congratulated by the town, already at the entrance of the village. She looked back at the dead bandits and finally gave in.
Kira moved towards them and when she was close enough, she closed her eyes, clapped her hands together and bowed. Silently, she prayed for them. They may have chased her down and tried to kill her, but they were just doing their job. She prayed to the gods that they wouldn’t spend eternity in hell, but of course a couple of years wouldn’t hurt. When she stood up straight, she immediately went to see what they had on them. Like hell would she just leave behind their money and goods, it’s not like they needed them anymore. She found a few coin purses that she immediately placed in her own pack upon her waist. The archer had a beautiful green cloak which she immediately pulled off of him. It took a few tries, and she had to kick the already stinking corpse till it rolled over but she finally pulled the cloak free. She draped it over her arm and looked around for anything else she could salvage. There was too much for her to hold by herself, and her gaze finally settled on the horses left behind by their masters. A couple had already vanished, running to the woods, she thought, but a few remained, grazing softly as if waiting for their masters to rise once more and mount them.
Kira approached a dark brown stallion; he was the only one whose saddle had enough room for her to attach her loot. He looked up at her, his head rising slowly as she stepped closer to him. Kira smiled and cautiously reached her hand out, allowing the horse to meet her first. He nudged at her hand, and Kira smiled more. “That’s a good boy…” She whispered to him and gently pet his muzzle, his coat felt like velvet under her hand. The horse shook his head and gave a snort. Kira laughed a little but turned a bit somber as she looked back at the dead men. “I’m afraid your master won’t be getting back up again. I hope you will not mind me.” She murmured softly to him. The horse didn’t seem to mind as she filled his saddle bag with what she had took from the men. Most of it wasn’t even for her, but she had picked it up for her mysterious hero. She may not be able to pay him herself, but hopefully he wouldn’t mind some loot that he could sell for some money.
She filled the saddle bag with some jewelry, and some smaller weapons that the men had on their person. The larger weapons were too heavy for her to lift so she left them. Kira couldn’t find anything else of value as she finally grabbed the brown stallion’s reins. “Let’s go see if Ragnvald Jeste Daussier sixth blade to the Emperor of Sica Vinus, has kept his word.”
Kira began to lead the horse toward the village. “What shall I call you?” She asked the horse and smiled softly as he followed her lead. “You should have a tough name right? Maybe Dagger, or Death…” She laughed to herself, but her laugh slowly faded as she tightened her hold on the reins. Her blue eyes dulled a bit as she was lost in her thoughts. Just like the men back there, more would come for her. They would try to find her, and they would surely kill her. Kira placed her small hand over her chest. Beneath her tunic, and under the chainmail, an orb was nestled against her bosom. Within the orb was a flower, said to cure any disease with merely a petal. It was said that only a single number of them existed in the entire land. It had taken a horrible amount of time for her to find it, and an even harder time to steal it. Kira’s full, red tinted lips wilted into a frown. It had been rotting away in the treasure room of a warlord. Anger sparked in Kira’s face. Her whole village was slowly decaying, dying by some unknown plague, and some rich old evil fool was letting this treasure just shrivel up in his personal collection.
She had tried to persuade him, tried to strike a deal. But she had been left with no choice. Kira sighed and shook her head. It wasn’t the time to think about this, she had to keep moving, they needed her back home. Her thoughts drifted to Ragni. He had been able to strike down her pursuers in a matter of minutes. He had done it so proficiently, that none of the men had even landed a scratch on him. As much as Kira hated to admit it, she could really use his help. Mind you, she was able to take care of herself, but with someone else’s help, she could get home even faster. Kira looked at the bag of loot, and sighed. Maybe she would be able to convince him…
Kira finally found the village stable, and her eyebrow lifted to see the stable boy quivering in his boots. He looked at her with a pale face, as if he had seen some type of ghoul. “Ah…someone may have paid for my stallion to stay here.” She started to explain, but the stable boy had already taken the horse’s reins without a word. Kira just looked at him curiously, but let it be as she grabbed the bag of loot off her horse’s saddle.
Kira huffed as she threw the heavy bag over her good shoulder and began to meander through the town. Ragni had said he was going to the inn, and she hoped she would find him there. It didn’t take her long to find the large wooden inn, and a kind man opened the door for her. Kira nodded to him and then stepped inside where she looked around, her dark raven colored hair swishing with each sway of her head. It was rather dark inside, but she grinned as she finally spotted him, sitting at the bar. She came towards him and set the heavy bag down close to his feet, earning his attention. “I found you.” She nodded at him and then scuffed the bag with her boot. “Payment, of sorts, will at least give you enough money for some better food and a good stay. Maybe even enough for some better clothing options.” Kira sat down beside him, slightly nervous and wondering about how she could possibly convince him to help her. “Are you here for any specific reason, Sir Daussier?” She asked, looking at him with clear eyes.
Last edited by MareepBell; 01-21-2013 at 05:44 PM.
It was not long before Ragnvald was pushing open a weather worn door and into a inn. And of course like many of its like it was filled with a smoky atmosphere, sour sweat, and a glimpse of beautiful here and there from the local village talent. Ragni caught his eyes wandering a few times after skimpily clad young women.
He turned himself back to his goal where his sensitive nose was pulling in a smell that he had been thinking of since he last left his abode at the keep, venison.
“Eh, can I get a decent mug of ale and a slab of venison and bread?” The swordsman pulled forth his pouch and pulled forth a silver coin. But as he glanced up to the keep the man was only shaking his head.
“It'a be two silvers for you boy!” The keep raised his voice and crossed his arms.
“What do you be meaning by two you shite thief?!” Ragnvald was already kicking back his stool and going for one of the daggers strapped to a harness which made them sit right under his arms.
“That is what I mean, you ruffians come in here and never seem to care what you break or hurt. Don't you worry though, it also pays for a small room and five drinks... Then we will work out the rest...” The man took a step back and readied himself.
Ragni could see that he was accustomed to violence from his stance alone, and his belly did not seem to be all fat nor his thick muscled arms covered in fur.
Ragnvald spit on the floor and shook his head and threw in two more silvers. “That pays for everything for the next night... And you better keep your word or by the seven gods of savages I shall set fire to your establishment and send it back to the mother!”
The swordsman picked the stool back up and took his seat again. He always liked being a little over dramatic. It was fun to see how people reacted to it. In truth this man did better than the soldier that manned the bar back at the keep. In truth the man had been more of a boy though, and Ragnvald had sparred against many of the soldiers and had earned himself some respect out of the bruises he had dealt and the coin he had won some.
“This better be some fine drink and food...” Ragnvald rested his head on in his arms on the sticky bar as he waited. His mind drifted back to Kira, she seemed an odd sort of girly to be traveling out in the world by her lonesome with barely any protection. Of course he knew that he was new to this land and should not make presumptions, but part of him could not help but question her sanity. Why would a somewhat cute girl travel by herself... Seemed a good way to get raped and gutted by some lonesome no tooth havin' whore son bandit.
“But who am I to judge a person,” the swordsman let an exhausted breath escape past his rosy lips. His lids started to grow heavy and he felt himself drifting.
It didn't take long for him to start back up as his food was presented with a knee to his thigh.
“Wake up! The beds are upstairs if you need sleep, these be for paying customers.” A young lady with mousy brown hair to her chin gave him a mischievous smile as she tossed his wooden plate in front of him and a mug of ale as well.
“Well I like to have a partner when I have to take to a bed... What do you say mi'lady?” Ragnvald stood and gave a flourish of a bow, his eyes never leaving her reddening face. Yet all he received was a delayed raise of an eyebrow and a huff puff as she stomped away. Ragni bowed his head and returned to his seat to watch her plump rump saunter away on long tan legs in the girl's low cut tan dress. Yet she did turn and flash a surprisingly tooth filled grin back his way.
Ragnvald turned back to his food, “Well at least I can still get some what lucky...”
He drew out a small knife from his waist and began to cut into the venison. It barely needed to be sliced since it fell apart. Then he started to take a gulp of his ale, but not before a thump hit next to him and something hit his stool. He sputtered in the frothy head of his ale and set the mug down. His eyes continuously blinked in annoyance as he wiped the froth from his lip and glanced to his left to be greeted by yet again Kira.
He was surprised as well as excited for some reason. She seemed to be a gal with some back story. That was always something worthy of checking out.
Ragni glanced down to the saddle bags and back to the young lady, he gave a wide grin as he looked back to her though. “Well then my dear Lady Lorelie... I was not thinking that you had the guts to loot those dead and dying men in front of the village onlookers... I still remember the first time my father had me cut arrows out of the bodies of dead men and loot their weapons and armor. Yet, I guess it was different since we were in siege had needed all we could get. But you do impress upon one.”
He continued to eat. Pausing to speak, “As for am I here for any reason...” He took another bite and swallowed. “No not in particular. I just need to kill a man and then I can take another horrible ride across that great blue ocean. I am not a fan of large bodies of water... It just isn't right for a man to travel without his own two feet. That is my problem with Omen as well, yet he does add some much needed power to a sword slash...” He took a chuck of bread and wiped it across his greasy plate and then plopped it into his mouth.
He swallowed and then looked back to her. “Why are you wanting me to travel with you? And if so are you sure I am not the unsavory type who might take advantage and this is all a ploy to take your flower?” He cocked and eyebrow and gave her a lopsided grin again. Of course none of that was his intention, in truth he just did not want to see an innocent killed in cold blood with no way to defend them self. Ragnvald just gave a sigh, “And please just call me Ragnvald or Ragni, I am not into the formality shite. It is a waste of breath.”
Kira relaxed on the stool, her shoulders drooping and her back slouching. She set her arms on the counter, but grimaced when she felt how sticky it was. She had to wipe her hands on her pants to get rid of the feeling. But she focused on Ragni as he spoke, saying she impressed him. There was a slight feeling of pride that filled her chest, knowing a warrior of such skill was impressed by her, even though she felt she hadn’t done much. Kira didn’t care much about how the villager’s felt about her. Those men had proceeded to hunt her down and attempt to kill her. As far as she was concerned, she deserved whatever they had on them, survival of the fittest, after all.
Her bright blue eyes focused on his hands as he continued to eat, bringing a piece of bread to his rosy lips. Her stomach gave a rumble, and she rubbed it absentmindedly, she had forgotten how hungry she was. But this conversation was a bit more important to her than eating. Kira perked up a bit as she heard his reason for coming here, and her eyes lit up a bit with excitement. Maybe they could both benefit from helping each other. She had a vast knowledge of these lands, and may be able to help him find his target, and she could use his protection. Kira silenced her thoughts as he finally looked at her. She sucked in a slight breath, seeing amusement in his eyes. His face looked handsome, even charming, with his lopsided grin. But then she heard what he was saying.
“Why are you wanting me to travel with you? And if so are you sure I am not the unsavory type who might take advantage and this is all a ploy to take your flower?”
Kira opened her mouth as if to respond, but thought it over and immediately closed her mouth. To be honest, that hadn’t even occurred to her. He just didn’t seem like the type do something like that, she had met many foul men on her journey, and he didn’t give the same impression. Well it wasn’t just her thought of him; it was more like she wasn’t the type to gain a man’s attention. Her body was hidden beneath layers of male clothes, her curves lost to the restrictions of the chainmail. Her face wasn’t completely feminine either. It wasn’t round like most girls; her chin was slightly sharp, with high cheekbones and a sleek nose. The only thing that gave her girlish charm was her long eyelashes, and full plump lips that were a natural shade of red. Otherwise, when her long wavy hair was pulled away in a tie, she could easily pass for a young man. A rather feminine kind of man, but a young man nonetheless.
Kira shook herself from her thoughts as she looked at Ragni once more. “Well, Sir Ragni, if that was your intention from the start, you have had enough time to do so already. You could have easily made off with me into the woods, without the villagers noticing, or caring. You have also given me time to do things on my own, when you very well could have forced me into the inn. There is also the matter, that you could have a much prettier and much more willing barmaid keeping your bed warm with a mere slip of a coin.” Kira said softly, her clear blue eyes never leaving Ragni’s dark ones. “I ask if you would like to travel with me, mostly because I could use your skills. I wish to return to my home, and under the protection of a man such as yourself, I will be able to go home much faster than going alone. In return, I can help you find your target, or if you would rather money, the chief of my village would be willing to pay for your trouble.”
She waited for his answer with bated breath.
Ragnvald paused from eating and began to suck at the inside of his cheek. He looked back from his food to her and slowly set his knife across the top of his plate. He then set his elbows to the bar and made a steeple above his plate with his fingers and stared into her eyes. His smile wavering slightly as he pursed his lips and arched his brows in a some what irritated look.
“You mean to say I am no longer pretty enough to bed a woman without coin...? Well then I considered myself to be quite the ladies man up until now. I know even with the few scars I have, the freckles, and my somewhat pretty feminine features could be off putting. But this charming personality and raw furiousness... Damn I thought I was still quite the catch for any woman's bed. I guess twenty-five winters is my peaking moment in life... Thank you for pointing that out...”
The swordsman cocked his head and then let his hands go back to the knife and food and cut off another slice of meat and began to eat it slowly. The grease smearing his fingers as he chewed the bit of food. He blew out a gust of air from his nostrils, some what still laughing and fighting a small bit of broken pride. Honestly had genuinely started to enjoy the young lass, but now he only felt wounded at the barbed words that were hopefully not meant to be so.
Ragnvald set his knife back on the plate and slid the remaining half of his meat and bread over to Kira, “Here, you can have the rest of this... I am full and as of now I have no pet to feed it too. And as for your request I shall accompany you for a small amount of time down the road or I may finish the journey with you... But if I am to come with you to be your dull witted whipping boy, do tell, who is after you?”
Ragnvald produced another small knife and began to pick at his nails which were beginning to grow to long. If only he still bit them. Yet not but a few years ago he had decided that the act had made him seem like a twitchy young boy being thrown in his first fight alone. Now it was a process to clean and cut them. He always ended up going to deep and making the nail turn bitter and sting at anything he touched it with. Ragni shook his head at the unpleasant thoughts of pain not well deserved.
“And as for you passing for a young man... Any man can smell the sweetness of your untouched skin my darling. I did not see when you were running from those bandits, but when I saw your face and was not but five paces from you I could see it and smell it. When a man goes without a woman for so long and is not in the habit of fucking boys... Well he knows a girl when he sees one or smells one. One of the main reasons women have been kept to the homestead than the battlefield for most armies. I know a few though. I even know a few women soldiers who do the raping on the battlefield... That is a sight to see in my opinion.” Ragnvald flicked his small knife back away to where he had retrieved it and took a sip from his ale which was now beginning to sour with time and warmth.
“But anyways to your question I shall come along with you...” Ragni slid his half empty mug over to her as well. “Are you sharing my room or getting your own?”