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For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby Flame » 05/03/2016 7:56 PM

ImageImage
Mei-Ling
[Paragon and Kuhna forms (currently in human form)]

The sound of creaking wood planks permeated the air as the world around her rocked gently like a bough swaying in the wind. That was the first thing that registered in Mei’s hazy mind as consciousness sluggishly returned to her, as if waking from years of slumber. Her mouth tasted stale, like what she’d imagined the bottom of a shoe would, and as she stirred she felt stiff muscles complain at the unwelcome motion. Biting back a muffled groan at the dull ache of her entire protesting body, she forced her eyes open to gaze into poorly-lit darkness in front of her. Her gaze met more dark, stained wood planks, ones that boxed her in on all sides save for one. Directly in front of her lay a lattice of iron-wrought bars, clearly placed there to confine her within what appeared to be a prison cell.

Memory stirred faintly at the sight around her and the musty smell that accompanied it. The incessant rocking reminded her that she was on a ship, but the memories that that realization conjured up only brought bitterness to the forefront of her mind. It was only now that she recalled the circumstances which had led to this moment, and to her current imprisonment aboard this strange vessel. A small grimace came unbidden to her features as the realization of her current reality struck her afresh, but just as quickly as her fists had clenched, she mastered herself once again, allowing the emotion to flow from her features. Just because no one could see the emotion there didn’t mean that it didn’t still exist beneath the surface, but now only she was privy to it.

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It was only as Mei instinctively moved to prop herself up that she realized she’d been leaning against something, and as she turned to look, she realized that the slow, quiet tide of noise that washed over her wasn’t due to the waves washing against the hull of the ship after all. Dark, seemingly empty sockets stared out of the twilight at her, a gaze that would have chilled most any other living thing to the bone, but to Mei, it brought a sense of comfort. “At least I still have you,” she murmured hoarsely to the large, spiked lizard laying directly behind her, its tail curled protectively around her form. The creature rumbled in what was likely the closest approximation it could make to a purr, considering the fact that in every way, shape, and form, it looked for all like the very apparition of death and carnage itself. She reached out to stroke its neck, only to realize that her hands were bound behind her back, tightly enough to chafe her wrists raw. In any other situation, she would have simply burned through the bindings herself, but she remembered – sorely – the terms of her incarceration, and as such, left the rough shackles as they were. A small price to pay considering just how much she’d given up.

Aside from being on a ship and no longer in her own homeland, Mei had hardly an inkling of where she was, or where she was going. That concern was no longer hers; she’d given up that right when she’d handed herself over to her captors. That had been at least a week and a half ago now, and since that day, she’d seen a harshly different type of hardship from any she’d known in the past. And that was saying something, considering the culture within which she had been raised. The heavy sound of boots on wood announced the arrival of another person down the only set of stairs which led to her lonely quarters. “Oh princess…” the singsong tones of the mocking words clashed in a harsh contradiction with the rough, rasping voice which floated around the corner. A part of her cringed involuntarily within her at the sound, but somehow, she maintained her outward composure despite the dread which flooded her thoughts. It was the only voice she’d heard since she’d embarked upon this insufferable journey, and it saturated her body with waves of anger, hatred, and fear in turn.

A large, muscular man in uniform appeared in the doorway, blocking out what little light managed to filter down. The captain, the man who’d threatened to raze her homeland, burn her country to the ground, and destroy everything and everyone she’d ever known or held dear. This was the man who’d turned her entire life inside out, and who now effectively owned her as well – the only price he had been willing to take in exchange for sparing her family and her people. And he’d spared no time in exercising his domination over her either, in more grotesque and twisted ways than she’d ever imagined possible. In the short time in which she had belonged to him, she’d learned more about the dark, unspeakable, and vulgar crevices of the human psyche than she’d ever wanted to know.

The only thing which had saved her from further degradation was the Lusikross which now had her wrapped in its protective coils. Originally, she had been housed in quarters near the captain’s, but the massive wounds and gouges along the wooden walls of this prison cell showed just how close the saurian had come to breaking out of its confines and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake in order to search for its mistress. The creature was willing to take any amount of abuse doled out to itself, but as soon as it heard Mei in distress, no human-wrought confines could hold back its wrath. As such, Mei had soon  been relocated to the prison which held the lizard, and no one had been brave – or stupid – enough to approach them since, but at least this arrangement meant that the ship remained above the sea for the duration of the journey rather than below it.

“It would seem that our honeymoon is finally coming to an end.” The man might have been handsome if not for the cruelty which showed in both his face and his voice. “A shame, really. There was so much more I was hoping to do.” The sinister note in his words sent a quiver down Mei’s spine, in spite of the defiance she stared back at him out of hard, golden eyes. “But perhaps the king will graciously allow us to see out the rest of our time together after we arrive. After all, it would be a small prize to ask for the years of faithful service I’ve given him.” His grin was predatory as he stared at her through the bars, teeth glinting in the half-light. "In the meantime, I would suggest you prepare yourself to disembark. We're pulling in to port right now, and you wouldn't want to be late to your own party."
.
... . . . . . . . . .Am I made of paper, 'cause I tear so easily?
Am I made of vapor, because I disappear?
Do I have to have a reason for anything I feel?
Just be glad I'm real, glad I'm real
Am I real?

Are you made of lead paint, a bulletproof Picasso?
All the virgin saints put you here to care for me
You don't need to sell me on anything at all
Just say what you mean and mean what you say to me

Did you ever see the waves break into a million pieces?
Or stay awake with someone who was dying?
You don't have to tell me anything at all
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..I'm just glad you're here, glad you're real
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Are you real?


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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby ToxicShadow » 05/04/2016 6:11 PM

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[Arcadia] [Cenric]



Although it had been his soldiers acting on his orders, undertaking the task of making the smaller country drop to its knees, the man that orchestrated the destruction of her land, peoples, and country for his selfish agenda was the young king, Arcadia Livius Solari I. It had been his orders to bring back their country's princess, only relenting if that demand was met. In that aspect, perhaps he was the real enemy. He simply wanted to possess her, for all that he would gain to lay claim to one such as she. It was his demands, his orders, that had caused the life that she knew to perish.

The day prior to the ship's due arrival, a letter had arrived on the wings of a messenger bird from one solider whose loyalty undoubtedly lied with the king, or perhaps one that wished to curry favor with him. It detailed several transgressions made against the foreign princess.

Awaiting the ship's arrival was not the ambassador and his party, as was initially intended and customary. Instead, the young king, no older than fifteen, had come to the private port reserved for the country's naval force and ships delivering stock directly to the castle. His party was made up of his head secretary, Cenric, a man that stood proudly by his side, always, several soldiers stationed within the capital, and a handful of others. One was likely to assume that the king had arrived, personally, to praise and reward them for succeeding in their endeavor. Their assumptions would be incorrect.

When the ship finally docked, Arcadia was quickly received by the lower, laboring ranks, and boarded the ship with his secretary and soldiers, which, in all appearances, were his security. A king could not very well leave the castle grounds without protection.

He issued the immediate command, "Summon your captain and bring the princess to me." Before the king, any member of the crew of soldiers could only answer, "Yes, your majesty."

While the young king was shorter in stature than most of the adult soldiers, as he certainly still had some growing to do, and his face showed his youth, his eyes were piercing and his aura frightening. It was as though he had witnessed horrors and tragedies far beyond his years; that he had an old soul trapped in the body of an adolescent teenager. He rarely smiled and, when he did, it was twisted and warped. Otherwise, his expression remained serious, dark, and difficult to read, unless he was furious. At the moment, it was evident that he meant business, but, otherwise, what was going on inside of his head was not known.
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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby Flame » 05/05/2016 3:33 PM

Mei settled back against the warm, scaled body of her only remaining companion, a soft, inaudible sigh escaping her lips as her thoughts turned inward once again. She had no idea what to expect in the next coming days, hours, or even minutes. For as much as she knew, this might very well be the end of the line for her – there was a distinct possibility that she’d been brought here simply as a figurehead and an exhibition of power. And what spoke of greater dominion over another nation than executing their crown princess on foreign soil in front of a captive audience?

It wasn’t her own mortality that Mei was concerned about – she’d come to terms with it at a startlingly young age, but that was simply a fact of life for someone brought up in a culture such as her own. To serve one’s country was the most honorable life’s duty; to die for it was step beyond even that. Many had done so in her nation’s long and bloodstained past, but no other death would have such a great impact as her own. With her own life, she would buy the right to continue living for her entire country. A small price to pay for stakes so high.

However, there was just one thing that disturbed the peace which she had otherwise come to; no one else in her homeland was aware that she had willingly turned herself over into the hands of their oppressors, least of all her own family, including the emperor and empress themselves. If things had gone the way that her parents had wanted, the entire nation would have perished long before they ever conceded to giving up their crown princess. Pride had always been one of her people’s strongest attributes, but now, it became their greatest weakness. It was this realization which had led her to sneak away in the dead of the night to surrender herself, accompanied only by her lifelong companion. She would have left the Lusikross behind as well if she could, but Mei knew full well that her companion would have perished soon after; the bond formed between them from infancy was simply that strong – another customary tradition passed down amongst her people.

Mei was sure that they would have noticed by this point that she was missing, but by now, she was long gone across the sea, bound for a foreign land and an unknown fate. Whatever happened to her now was out of their hands, and in an odd way, that brought a strange sense of relief. For the first time in her life, she’d decided her own fate, and it was a decision unguided by her parents, elders, or councilors. Grim as her future might be, it was at least an ending of her own choosing. A small comfort in these dark times.

Above deck, the captain had finally emerged to greet the honored guest upon his ship. He’d glimpsed the young king at least once or twice before in the past, but this was his first opportunity to actually deal in-person with the ruler. It still came as a surprise to him just how young the king was (and it some way, that fact rankled – after all, a man of his age and experience would have been much better suited to ruling), but he swept an unnecessarily deep bow to Arcadia, a pandering smile adorning his lips. “Welcome aboard my humble vessel, your majesty,” he greeted loudly. “Captain William Abner Wright, at your service. I have come to deliver the most exotic of jewels from the East, if it pleases your highness.” A jerk of the head sent one of the deckhands scuttling below decks to fetch the princess from her cell. Groveling was not one of the captain’s chosen pastimes, but he knew when his pride needed to be swallowed. After all, the prize he would receive for his duties would well outweigh what humility he had to suffer for this child now.

Mei heard the deckhand’s approach long before he rounded the corner to her prison cell, and she could hear the timidness in his very footsteps. Clearly, the captain didn’t think she was going to cause any trouble if he’d sent this man to fetch her, and he was correct in his assumptions. It had been made painfully clear what would befall her family and her people should she refuse to comply with any and all of his wishes, and she had no trouble believing that he had meant every threat-laden word which had come out of his mouth. Of all the people in the world, the captain would lose no sleep over carrying out the threats which currently shackled Mei to docility. “You’re wanted above deck…ma’am.” The words were awkward coming out of the deckhand’s mouth, but one couldn’t blame him, considering the dead-eyed stare the Lusikross behind her had leveled him with.

“Don’t worry,” Mei finally managed hoarsely, her voice surprisingly calm and quiet, “No harm shall come to you from him. I swear upon my life.” The deckhand hesitated, but finally gathered the courage to approach the bars with shaking hands, taking longer than it should have to unlock the one padlock holding them in. Still looking for all as if he were going to faint at any moment, he picked up a large, heavy set of makeshift shackles and iron chains which lay by the cell and slowly inched his way into the prison. Mei simply stood to one side patiently as the quivering man approached the Lusikross, flinching as it rumbled a low growl at him, but moving forward again when the lizard showed no sign of budging from where it lay. A few tense minutes later, and the Lusikross had a heavy manacle clamped tightly around its jaws, attached with iron-link chains to shackles bound to its front ankles. It was the closest they could come to transporting the creature under its own power while still maintaining some semblance of control. After all, it was too large to try and move as deadweight.

Leading the way up the stairs, the deckhand guided Mei – with the Lusikross in tow behind – up to the deck where the king and captain now awaited their arrival. Despite the fact that Mei was still wore the same clothes she had been taken in – now considerably torn, tattered, and stained after a week and a half of abuse – she carried herself with the air and grace of her stature, as if she were visiting this country as an honored guest of her own accord. They could take away her country, her people, and her rights, but the one thing they could never take from her was her pride. Bright eyes the shade of liquid fire blinked momentarily in the sunlight which she hadn’t seen in many long days as she emerged onto the deck, and she glanced about herself, trying to get her bearings in this new, foreign environment amongst all of these strangers.

“I present to you the crown princess of Askaria,” the captain announced grandly as the young woman – she couldn’t have been older than seventeen herself – ascended the steps and came into view. She, like Arcadia, seemed old beyond her years, and there was an edge of fierceness underlying her calm exterior, as if poised perpetually on the cusp of flashing into motion despite her bound hands. Like the king, her presence alone seemed to demand respect, and few dared to meet her gaze, even though she was their prisoner. Between her presence and Arcadia’s, it was like two apex predators amongst a herd of prey, although Mei was yet unaware of the identity of the young ruler. For now, she simply assumed that this was another step in her transport to her final destination, wherever that might be.

[Feel free to PP to your heart's desire with any of the NPCs, including the captain. Also, I promise it won't always be text-walls! Expository posts are always hard since I feel the need to cram in details. XD]
.
... . . . . . . . . .Am I made of paper, 'cause I tear so easily?
Am I made of vapor, because I disappear?
Do I have to have a reason for anything I feel?
Just be glad I'm real, glad I'm real
Am I real?

Are you made of lead paint, a bulletproof Picasso?
All the virgin saints put you here to care for me
You don't need to sell me on anything at all
Just say what you mean and mean what you say to me

Did you ever see the waves break into a million pieces?
Or stay awake with someone who was dying?
You don't have to tell me anything at all
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..I'm just glad you're here, glad you're real
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Are you real?


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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby ToxicShadow » 05/06/2016 12:16 AM

Not made to wait long, Arcadia was pleased with this, at least. However, he was wholly unimpressed by the captain's antics, his attempt to charm him with his over flattery. In fact, if one knew the young king at all, they would know that he held little interest in such people, whose words and actions were empty. He was all too aware that many people belittled him or resented him as king, even a great number of his own subjects. Much of which had to do with his young age. The number of attempts made on his life, only counting those that had occurred since his coronation, were far too many to count.

The captain's introduction did little, other than identify himself as the very man that Arcadia had traveled out to deal with personally, the one that had committed crimes against the princess, thus, against the crown. The small grin he wore at the introduction was taken as a good thing by the captain, although that was not the case. The king was simply delighted at the older man's idiocy in believing that he would not only get away with what he had done, but also be rewarded for it.

When the crown princess emerged from the lower deck, Arcadia's eyes were drawn to her. Within that moment, he took in many aspects about her. The fire in her eyes, the same aura as he, one that demanded respect, but, even more so, her tragic state of physical appearance. There was no denying that she was an attractive person, it was not that, but the state of her clothing, tattered and torn, and the way she was bound to the point of agitation. Seeing that was all the proof he needed.

"Unbind her at once," the king commanded, his gaze shifting to the eyes of the deckhand that had fetched her. The timid man jumped with a start when he was addressed by the king of his country, impolitely nodding and hurrying to do as he was told. He hastily untied the bindings around her wrists.

While that was going on, a smile dawned on the young king's face, his eyes finally returning to the captain. It seemed as though he was pleased with the princess.

When he had not looking, the captain had sized up the young king. He laughed, internally, at the sword he wore hanging from his belt on the right side. The little king must have not even known how to use it, wearing it on the wrong side as he was. He must have just been using it as a prop, something just for show.

Arcadia did something unexpected. He held his hand out toward the captain, evidently wishing to shake his hand. It was something unheard of, unless the person was at least a diplomat, so simply shaking the king's hand was considered a great honor. "As the man that has done this, I would like to shake your hand," he king declared. This, really being the abuse of the princess, not fulfilling his orders to bring her.

The captain grinned, feeling as though this was most certainly the beginning of the rewards he would reap for all that he had done. As he reached out for the young king's hand, already imagining himself swimming in women and finery, he found that he was never able to shake the hand of his majesty.

In that very moment, Arcadia withdrew his right hand and drew his sword with his left, crippling the captain in the swift movement. The captain's very hand was sliced off in one, clean motion. Blood splattered on the deck and his disembodied hand thumped as it hit the ground. It happened in the blink of an eye. His mind was frozen, at first, until he screamed in terror, desperately clutching the remainder of his arm with the other.

"You should have never laid your filthy hands upon on her! She, a guest to be treated with honor as my wife, not a prisoner of war." With his words, it was finally obvious that the young king's smile was malicious, and that it had been all along. "Arrest him! For the crimes committed against the crown." Arcadia commanded, and the soldiers that had escorted him rushed the captain, easily overwhelming him.

((It's okay if it's long sometimes! It happens, see? xD; I even intentionally didn't write much from the perspective of the captain, just to keep it shorter. Haha. I really don't mind length, as long as we're both happy writing what we want. No need to stress about length, short or long~ <3))
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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby Flame » 05/06/2016 1:54 PM

Considering just how long Mei had been confined below decks and away from all human contact aside from the captain’s, her sudden reintroduction to the outside world meant that there was a lot for her to take in. The last time she had been under the open sky, she had watched as the familiar terrain of her homeland faded away into the distance from this very deck. Now, the world around her was a strange, cold, and foreign one. Even the people here were alien to her, with their light-colored hair and blue eyes. She’d only vaguely heard about these people who lived in the distant lands across the ocean, but until now, they’d been nothing more than stories to her. Her nation was one which liked to keep to itself, and before this recent incursion, their borders had never been breached by any other country.

She cast her gaze from person to person in turn, eyeing each individual who shared the deck with her with a deceptively casual yet hawk-like scrutiny. It was easy to tell apart the upper crust from the lower classes by their livery alone, but the clothing here was foreign to her as well, and as such, it made it difficult to differentiate any further than that. There were clearly men of power aboard this vessel though, if even the captain was prostrating himself in the current manner that he was. Maintaining her air of cool collectedness, she followed the hated man’s gaze to the object of his groveling and was surprised to find that it wasn’t a man, as she might have expected, but a mere child. Her gaze roved curiously over the gaggle of newcomers on the ship, certain that she must have misread the situation, but a second pass made it distinctly clear that it really was the teenage boy that he was pandering to.

That alone was enough to warrant closer scrutiny of the young man in question. The soldiers standing around him certainly acted as if they were a personal guard of sorts, which further supported the theory that he was the man of the hour on this ship. When he finally spoke, the manner in which he addressed the captain all but solidified Mei’s suspicions – perhaps this man was a wealthy merchant (or the son of one), or maybe even a lord of the land. Again, she knew nothing of the customs here in this country, so for all she knew, perhaps nobility was given power at a young age here. Sure, she wasn’t much older than him and she commanded just as much authority as he did in her own homeland, but she was the crown princess after all. It was expected of her to take on such responsibilities at a young age, but no others of her age range wielded anywhere near as much power as she did.

There was a rattle of heavy chains as the massive Lusikross emerged from the much-too-small corridor behind her, causing several startled crew members to scuttle away hastily at the sudden and unexpected arrival of the beast in spite of its shackles. He simply stood and waited, patiently obedient as he loomed over his mistress’s shoulder, his body language unthreatening but clearly showing that despite his chains, he would kill any person who so much as dared to look wrong at Mei. The princess, on the other hand, was surprised to hear the order given to unbind her; perhaps the captain had already made it clear to his superior that she would not be causing them any trouble one way or another. If the deckhand had looked like he was going to faint before, he certainly looked like he was on his very last legs now as he ducked below the Lusikross to undo Mei’s bindings. Never had she seen a man look more relieved than he did as he finally moved away from them, clearly hopeful that it was the last time he’d have to be in such close proximity to either her or her companion.

Mei subconsciously rubbed her raw, chafed wrists, feeling the blood finally rush back into the deprived extremities of her fingers. Otherwise, she made no move to escape or even thank her liberator – it was still not her place to act at the moment – her best course of action now would simply be to do as she was told, nothing more, nothing less. Whatever she might have been expecting to happen within the next few minutes though definitely didn’t go the way she had anticipated. In the span of a mere few, short seconds, the captain was suddenly writhing on the ground, screaming in agony under the weight of several armed soldiers, his disembodied hand still twitching sporadically several feet away. The spectacle would have been enough to make any other woman swoon, but unlike most women, Mei wasn’t so weak as to be unseated by the sight of blood and violence.

In spite of that fact though, she couldn’t hide the flicker of surprise which flashed briefly across her features. It wasn’t the captain’s plight which she was concerned for – no, he could burn in the fiery pits of hell for all she cared – what had caught her off-guard was the look on the punisher’s face. Crimson blood still dripped from the blade in the hand of the young lord, his features twisted in the cruel mockery of a smile as he admired his own handiwork. For even Mei, she hadn’t expected such a sudden change in mood, nor had she thought that he would have it in him to actually carry out such a deed himself. That was normally what henchmen were for, and despite how close in age he was to her, it still stunned her that someone so young would do something so brutal without even blinking an eye.

Arguably though, even that act of violence wasn’t what had triggered her momentary surprise. After all, her hands weren’t unstained either, so she didn’t take it upon herself to judge others for their actions either. No, the only thing which had taken her so aback about this situation were the words which the young man had chosen. If she wasn’t mistaken – and she rarely ever was – she’d heard the word “wife” in his sentence. An incredulous part of her mind laughed at the words, as if it were all one big joke; there was no way her country had been pillaged and brought to its knees simply so that she could be brought back to be some prized possession to a lowly lord. And a child, at that. If anything, she would have at least expected such a man to be one of great wealth, and likely of failing health or in his later years. Those tended to be the men who turned to such debauchery to fill their final years, as if playing god over another human being would give them some sort of power over their own doomed fates.

For a fleeting moment, the urge to take on her other form – that of a dragon – pervaded her mind. It would be so easy right now to make her escape, but she quashed the thought as quickly as it came. Sure, it would have been easy at so many different points along this journey for her to have broken free, but at the same time, it would have undone everything she had suffered through to achieve. So, for her people, she simply stood by and watched silently as the scene unfolded before her, her features now once again trained to a perfect smoothness, belying no emotions which lay beneath the surface. If she were to be entirely honest though, she couldn’t deny the fact that she felt at least a tiny hint of satisfaction as she watched the man who had made her past few days a living hell dealt the punishment she’d always wanted to see him receive.

[Haha, okay good. XD I promise I only write so much when I really love a plot and I have a lot of muse for a character, so it's a good thing. I also just wanted to make sure that you don't feel obliged to match any text walls - the amount I write correlates to how much I feel needs to be addressed, so post lengths will vary organically over the course of an RP. <3]
.
... . . . . . . . . .Am I made of paper, 'cause I tear so easily?
Am I made of vapor, because I disappear?
Do I have to have a reason for anything I feel?
Just be glad I'm real, glad I'm real
Am I real?

Are you made of lead paint, a bulletproof Picasso?
All the virgin saints put you here to care for me
You don't need to sell me on anything at all
Just say what you mean and mean what you say to me

Did you ever see the waves break into a million pieces?
Or stay awake with someone who was dying?
You don't have to tell me anything at all
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..I'm just glad you're here, glad you're real
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Are you real?


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Flame
Don't stop now, you're in bat country!
Don't stop now, you're in bat country!
 
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Status: Coping with some major RL stuff, but still here~

Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby ToxicShadow » 05/06/2016 8:42 PM

In the moments after what had just transpired, Arcadia elegantly flicked his sword, effectively ridding the sharpened blade of the fresh blood that had been dripping from it just moments before, but he did not sheath it. His eyes had been preoccupied with the foreign princess, and the task at hand, but that did not mean he missed the sight of the creature that looked much like death itself at her side. It was chained, sure, and if this princess really was compliant, he did not imagine it would attack, but it was a precaution he would have to take, for the moment.

The soldiers had easily secured the captain, two of them escorting the bound and crippled man off of the ship. Many of the deckhands had either fled, or became morbidly curious onlookers of the situation.

The young king moved a few steps toward the princess, as did the unarmed, silvery haired man beside him, that appeared around ten years his senior. Cenric stood only one step behind the king most of the time, and he never once looked away, or even had much of a change of expression as the captain's punishment had been dealt out. However, he took two steps forward before bowing gracefully in the direction of the princess. "Crown Princess of Askaria," he addressed her formally as such, not yet knowing her name. "I present to you, his majesty, Arcadia Livius Solari I, King of the kingdom of the Never Setting Sun. From this time forward, you will be in his care."

Just enough time had passed for these words of introduction to set in, when Arcadia moved once more. He'd locked eyes with the princess, but the malicious expression had already long since faded away. His mouth drew into a line and it was impossible to tell just what was on his mind, or even what he had planned for the princess.

It was a strange occurrence, meeting her gaze, although he would never let on. It was the first time Arcadia felt he had peered into eyes like his own. Not in appearance, necessarily, but with everything that hide behind their eyes, despite their young ages.

He closed the space between himself and the princess, and although his movements were quick, they were, perhaps alarmingly, gentle. He grabbed her by the arm, intentionally reaching above the raw flesh of her wrist so as not to cause her further pain. For a brief moment, his eyes peered at the empty eye sockets of the beast with her. He did not show any fear, nor did his voice tremble. It carried its same air of importance, demanding respect, as it had from the moment he spoke. "Come along." The words were intended for both of them, her and, evidently, her pet. With that, he began to walk at a fast pace, leading her along behind him.

"Cenric. Identify the man that notified the castle of what happened here. Bring him. As for the captain, do not let him bleed out, I don't want him to die before his execution, but go ahead and let the wound fester. See to it all." These additional commands were dealt out as he passed by his secretary, leading the princess off of the ship and toward the awaiting party. There was a single carriage and a few horses, along with the remaining soldiers and staff that had escorted the king.

He lead her to the carriage, which was grandly decorated in the same manner as his clothing, obviously prepared for him, and the inside plush and comfortable. At least, as comfortable as such a thing could be. It's sheer size alone would have fit both of them and several others, but Arcadia did not move to step inside. "There's a doctor inside. The doctor of the royal court." In other words, Arcadia's own doctor brought from the castle. "Let them treat you," he told her, before finally letting her arm go.

The truth behind the young king's actions were not as gallant as it may have seemed to any onlooker. Inside, he was simply livid that someone dared to touch his own little toy. He could not allow anyone's filthy hands to stain her. Anything that happened to her would be his doing, whether it was keeping her alive and well or slicing her head off. It was his decision to make. Her life, her body, was his and his alone, and he would make that perfectly clear to anyone.

"We'll be moving to a tavern to stay over night," he added, so she would not be alarmed when the carriage started moving.

((Feel free to control the doctor, too~ They're androgynous. xD; And move things along, if you want. Like he said, they're moving on to stay the night elsewhere before returning to the castle. Either moving on to the tavern or the castle is fine. Or whatever pace you want. o3o))
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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby Flame » 05/11/2016 3:47 PM

Mei watched impassively as the captain, the man who was the cause of both her physical and mental suffering, was hauled bodily off the ship, still moaning pitifully over the remaining stump of his hand. She had the sneaking suspicion that the injury would soon be the least of his worries, but dismissed it as simply an ominous byproduct of the calamity she had just witnessed. Had they been in her home country, the man would have been beheaded there and then on the spot – there was no tolerance for philanderers and those who preyed upon the weak. Part of her wanted justice for the captain, but she no longer held jurisdiction over anything. Not while she remained prisoner to these foreigners.

While her gaze wasn’t upon him, she could feel the young lord’s eyes upon her, and as such, maintained her composure, somehow managing to appear demure to the inattentive onlooker, yet still holding her chin high. She wasn’t about to show any weakness to these people she viewed as her enemies; there was no other way for her to see them – they had come unprovoked to her lands and given her no choice but to surrender herself for the sake of her entire culture. She held no love in her heart for them, but still she obeyed. It was only when the man most closely escorting the young lord spoke that she finally turned her attention back upon him, her gaze unsettlingly piercing once again. However, even with just a simple glance, she could tell that these were not men that would be shaken simply with a searing looking. Perhaps they had more spine to them than these other plebeians did, but that might soon prove to be a challenge. Only time would tell.

It turned out that the surprises of the day weren’t over yet, if for some reason Mei had been foolish enough to believe that they were. The brief, yet formal introduction that the guard gave for the young lord took the princess aback even more than anything that had happened prior to this moment. Surprise flashed through her amber gold eyes as they flicked to the face of the boy once again, lingering longer this time as if to read more from it. A tiny frown furrowed her brow when she realized that his features were schooled to an impassive expression as well, and for a moment, their gazes met, a brief, fleeting, yet almost heated meeting of wills as each measured the other.

Then suddenly, he was upon her, and she felt the sudden sensation of his hands upon her arm. A quiet rumble, falling just short of threatening, bubbled from the chest of the Lusikross behind her, a soft but bone-chilling sound of displeasure. She almost flinched involuntarily – one couldn’t blame her for it, considering the type of physical contact she’d had from men in the past few days. A small part of her almost reared up in retaliation for his brash and uninvited familiarity – touch was an intimate part of her culture, and not to simply be doled out lightly – but just as quickly as the emotion rose, it subsided again, as if it had never existed. Instead, she averted her eyes demurely, the picture of obedience as she let the young lord – no, the king – escort her off the ship like a lamb.

She was still coming to terms with the idea that this young man was the infamous ruler of this strange country. True, she wasn’t much older than him in years, but it was still hard to imagine a person of her age having such a position of power. To command an army the size of which had invaded her people, his kingdom must have easily been much larger than hers, and he was the king, to boot. From what she understood, that meant that he was the sole dictator of this land, whereas she had only been a crown princess herself, not expected to ascend the throne for many years yet. She now observed him with a more pensive scrutiny out of the corner of her eye, knowing that he ought to be the object of her hate for what he had ordered to be brought down upon her people, but still curious in spite of herself. Mei knew that despite his young age, he was a man to be feared and respected; she could simply sense it in the way that he carried himself and directed those around him. However, while his own people might leap to his beck and call, and knowing that she would have to do the same, she held a tight reserve upon her respect – that was something that was earned, not given freely. Something told her that she would never respect him; not after what he’d done to her country.

Nevertheless, she followed his lead, the loud rattling of chains behind them showing that the Lusikross shadowed them. She didn’t need to give him commands for him to know when to be obedient – after all these years, he was proficient in reading his mistress’s body language and following her lead. It took only a few moments for the small procession to reach the carriage which was obviously awaiting their arrival. It was grandly decorated in trimmings fit for a king, and Mei dismissed it just as quickly upon their approach. Such things were bulky and unwieldy, in her perspective – one could neither travel quickly nor efficiently in such a contraption, and she would much rather have taken her own companion as a steed. There was no doubt that she could have gotten wherever they were going much faster that way as well. However, that decision was not hers to make, and as the young king ushered her inside where the doctor waited, Mei spared only one glance back for her cold-blooded companion. The Lusikross snorted lightly at the look, but as soon as the carriage started moving, he would fall in alongside the car which held his mistress, following wherever it went like a honor guard delegated by Death himself.

To Mei’s surprise, the door swung shut behind her, separating her from the king. As she glanced around in the half-darkness, her gaze fell upon the individual who must have been the doctor of which the king had spoken. “Well, you certainly look like you’ve seen better days, my dear.” The comment was dry, but not unkind. “Let’s take a look at you and see what we can do about patching you up.” The doctor’s movements were deft and deliberate, clearly no stranger to handling patients, even ones in conditions such as her own. It took only minutes before her wrists had been cleaned, salved, and wrapped in gauze, and she’d even been given a quick but thorough physical check, she suspected for more reasons than simply to look for more injuries. After all, a king couldn’t be given damaged goods, especially if she were to be his future wife - yet another strange concept she had yet to come to terms with. For the rest of the ride, she rode in silence with her strange, seemingly genderless companion, her eyes fixed on the wall of the carriage in front of her rather than on their face or even out the small window. She’d begun to grow accustomed to not knowing where she was going or what was going to befall her, so she simply waited patiently until the wheels of the carriage ground to a crawl, then a full stop and the door swung open to let her out once again.

[Let me know if you want me to edit anything pace-wise in this post. I wasn't sure what the overnight arrangements would be (a.k.a. if she was going to be spending any time in the tavern with Arcadia), but anything goes. I can also just skip ahead to the castle in either this post or the next, if it works out easier that way. Whatever you have in mind. ^^]
.
... . . . . . . . . .Am I made of paper, 'cause I tear so easily?
Am I made of vapor, because I disappear?
Do I have to have a reason for anything I feel?
Just be glad I'm real, glad I'm real
Am I real?

Are you made of lead paint, a bulletproof Picasso?
All the virgin saints put you here to care for me
You don't need to sell me on anything at all
Just say what you mean and mean what you say to me

Did you ever see the waves break into a million pieces?
Or stay awake with someone who was dying?
You don't have to tell me anything at all
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..I'm just glad you're here, glad you're real
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Are you real?


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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby ToxicShadow » 05/12/2016 6:37 PM

Arcadia entrusted the princess' care to the doctor, they being one of the few that the young king held some amount of faith in. Even within their small party, there was few and far between that he was willing to leave her alone with after what had happened on the voyage from her kingdom to his. Although, what happened had made one thing very apparent. Arcadia would never be finished purging the kingdom. When one atrocity was stamped out, another would arise to take its place. In a way, such a thing was delightful, as it meant he would never be too bored, which was was good, since he'd been awfully bored, as of late.

Shutting her inside the carriage, the young king did not join her, leaving her to her privacy. He was certain that his presence would be unwanted during the examination. He offered one glance to her monstrous companion, but dismissed its presence as something hazardous to him, his sword finally sheathed once more. He presumed it would willingly follow along, so didn't bother with it any further. Rather than riding in his own carriage, as he had given it up to her and doctor, he mounted one of the horses gathered up and rode it for the duration of their trip.

Their initial trip was not long, no more than an hour, affording the doctor enough time to examine the princess and a short amount of time for her to, perhaps, regather herself. Arcadia was not ignorant enough to believe that she would be anything more than compliant, as she was only here for the sake of her country, in spite of the care he had already began to afford her. He did not show any obvious traces of compassion at any point; in truth, it seemed like such a thing was not able to exist within him. But he had gone out of his way to receive her at the port himself, to deal with her tormentor by his own hand, and even brought along the court doctor so that she could be immediately treated by the hands of someone that could be trusted not to harm her any further. In that respect, he was showing her great consideration.

When they slowed to a halt, the doctor was the first to move between theirself and the princess, climbing out and then ushering her along. "Come, my dear." She would find herself in front of the tavern that they had made arrangements to stay in.

Arcadia had already dismounted his horse and came greet them. "Doctor, I will have you escort her to her room. See to it that her meal is prepared. I will be there shortly." After a short pause, his gaze shifted to the princess momentarily. "Keep your pet close." He only came to issue these commands, before turning to leave and tend to other matters. He could not be with her every single step of the way when there was so much else to tend to.

As they were told, the doctor lead her, and her pet, inside of the tavern which, aside from one or two staff, was otherwise void of life. Two soldiers followed behind them for security. Before their arrival to receive her, it had been arranged for the entire tavern to be rented out only to them until they departed the next day. A room had already been prepared, so he lead her there. It was one of the largest, finer rooms available. Aside from the door that served as entry, there were two other doors, one that lead to a personal bath area, and one that lead to an adjacent room.

The doctor advised her to stay and rest while her meal was being fetched.  They also reminded the soliders, which were stationed at her door, not to enter the room unless it sounded as though something suspicious was happening inside or she called for them. It went without saying that entering without reason would land them in prison.

Roughly twenty minutes had passed when the doctor knocked on her door and announced theirself before entering. However, with them, was the young king wearing his usual expression that didn't give away his thoughts. Each were carrying a tray with a variety of dishes, in an attempt to offer her something she could stomach. To drink, they had provided water and an herbal tea of their own creation that would help with her fatigue.

With the clatter of the tray as Arcadia roughly set it down on the table in her room, it was evident that his being somehow roped into bringing her meal was an annoyance to him. As it was not something a king should do, it was frustrating to be doing it at all, but he preferred coming inside himself, than letting one of the soldiers come with the doctor. It was an  effort to keep other men away from her. Besides, he had his reasons to come.

The young king produced a key from his coat pocket, one that would unlock her companion's chains. It was still a risky move, but Arcadia was fairly certain that even those chains wouldn't hold back the strange beast if it had the intention to do harm.

"This will unlock its chains," he told the woman he'd brought all the way to his country just to marry, despite still not yet even knowing her name. "Keep that pet of yours close." They were the same words he had spoken not all that long before. He was aware that if anything could protect her well, it would certainly be the seemingly well trained creature that she evidently was unable to leave behind, whether it was just simple attachment or something else. "If anyone that's not myself, the doctor, or Cenric, the man that had been with me on the ship, enters your room, you're welcome to have it attack."

"If your pet eats something we can provide, I will go fetch something for it, as well," he doctor announced. From what they could imagine, after hearing of the princess' situation, it had not been provided a meal during their journey. In all likelihood, they would not have fed it in an attempt to weaken it. The doctor would have possibly advised to keep it that way, at least until they returned to the castle and had a proper way to confine it, but the king had advised otherwise. If they compromised its life, there was no telling how the princess would react. Perhaps breaking her pet would, in turn, make her unusable.
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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby Flame » 06/03/2016 12:47 PM

The entirety of the carriage ride was borne in solemn silence after the doctor completed their examination of Mei. She hadn’t particularly seemed to mind the gentle prodding and prying and general fussing they’d made as they worked, but then again, it seemed she wasn’t particular to any sort of visible emotion, not since she’d first boarded the ship which had brought her to these lands. Nevertheless, she cooperated quietly under the doctor’s ministrations, never protesting, but merely looking through them at the wall of the carriage in front of her as she patiently waited for it to be over. At least they were deft about their work, and the entire examination – patching up included – was said and done within the first quarter hour of the ride. The rest of the duration of the journey was spent in silence, neither party seeming to particularly want to strike up a conversation, Mei moreso than her strange companion. Perhaps it went without saying that they probably wouldn’t get much out of her anyhow.

The ride took approximately an hour, and be it slow as it was, Mei had to admit that it was at least comfortable. Of course, that wasn’t saying much, considering the experiences of this past week that she’d been comparing it to. After all, the cushioned interior of a royal carriage was as far a cry as one could get transportation-wise to the dark, dank cell she’d been locked up with only cold, hard wooden planks for cushioning. The faint rattle of chains outside the carriage told her that the Lusikross still remained close at hand, and she drew a small measure of comfort from that. To be honest, she was surprised that she’d let her keep her companion this long, and so close at hand as well. She would have expected a creature of its size and appearance to have been written off as a liability long before now, but no one had tried to separate them just yet (and perhaps for the best as well – there was no saying what Xin might do if anyone tried to take his mistress from him).

Mei had also been somewhat surprised when the supposed king hadn’t joined her in the carriage. Based on the behaviors she’d seen from him thus far, she had fully expected him to not let her out of his sight – not for a good while, at least. New toys were always the most jealously guarded, after all. She had no doubt that he wouldn’t let the separation last long though, and her hunch was confirmed when the carriage rolled to a stop and the doctor led her out of the cabin. Mei followed without hesitation, her gaze casting about her new and unfamiliar surroundings, taking in the tavern before them, the streets around, and the young ruler who was now making his way towards them. She somehow managed to maintain that air of docility that at the same time seemed imperious, her eyes once again latching on to his as he approached. His orders were brisk – clearly all of this had been arranged beforehand, and he only spared her a moment to tell her to keep Xin close before turning to leave once again.

As such, Mei simply did as she was told, following the doctor into the establishment – the Lusikross somehow managing to squeeze its way through the entrance without causing too much damage to the frame – noticing immediately just how empty the place was. At a time like this, any respectable tavern ought to be bustling with business, but something told her that this too was preordained. She felt the eyes of the few waitstaff and soldiers upon her (and moreso on her large companion), but in the manner of royalty, she spared them no more than a cursory glance before mentally dismissing them. Just as the king knew that Xin would behave, Mei knew that none of these people would try anything, as most likely they were under the threat of death, or imprisonment at the least.

The room which she was led to was spacious and comfortably furnished. Perhaps a little too frilly for her liking, but Mei was also accustomed to a less extravagant lifestyle. In her country, they spared little for small comforts – it was their belief that chores and some degree of discomfort kept one’s edge honed and prevented them from becoming too soft or complacent. Apparently, the culture was somewhat different here, if the number of plush pillows and other small comforts were anything to judge by. The doctor politely excused themselves, telling Mei that her meal would be brought up to her, and that she ought to rest up while she waited. Soon, she was left alone with Xin in her new, temporary abode with nothing to do but wait. The Lusikross took a few moments to examine the interior of the room, and seeming to find it suitably non-threatening, soon settled down on an open patch of floor to watch his mistress silently. Mei took the opportunity to explore the bathroom, puzzling her way around the discrepancies in technology before taking the chance to wash over a week’s worth of grime off her face and arms, reveling in having clean water once again. She figured she probably didn’t have the time to properly bathe herself, but she was sure there would be plenty of time for that later.

Feeling considerably refreshed, she made her way back into the main bedchamber, perching herself on the edge of the unnecessarily soft bed to await the return of her keepers. With a rattle of metal links, Xin made his way over simply to lay down once again, this time at her feet, his long neck reaching up so that his spiked head could rest in Mei’s lap. A soft rumble emanated from the lizard’s chest as she scratched his scaly chin, his tail flicking back and forth languidly. It was such that the doctor and Arcadia found the pair when they finally reentered the room, and as they walked in, both sets of eyes flicked up to watch them. The smell of food, albeit foreign, drifted across the space between them, and Mei was suddenly reminded of just how long it had been since she’d last had a meal that didn’t consist of the barest of cold, flavorless rations. She didn’t move as the two entered though, instead waiting patiently to see what they would do and what they would ask of her.

Mei’s expression was calm, if closed, as she watched Arcadia’s motions as he pulled an object out of his pocket after setting the tray he’d been holding down. His words didn’t elicit any visible emotion from her, but she was somewhat surprised when he mentioned that the key was to unlock Xin’s shackles. She hadn’t thought that they would willingly let the Lusikross wander around unchained, especially when its mistress was their prisoner, but perhaps it was a gesture of goodwill. Of course, the king probably knew that it was a relatively safe gamble, considering the fact that her own obedience likely guaranteed the obedience of her companion as well. But it was a gesture nonetheless, and perhaps an attempt at some kind of kindness or hospitality. There hadn’t been a direct question in any of their words, and as such, Mei might have been happy to maintain her silence – she’d still yet to move from her seat on the bed either – but the doctor’s last statement piqued her interest. It had been even longer since Xin had last had a meal, and although he made no outward complaint, she knew that he was famished at this point despite his slow metabolism.

“He will eat any sort of fresh meat you might be able to provide.” She finally spoke, her voice still hoarse from her voyage (and considering the fact that she still hadn’t had anything to drink since her arrival). Despite that fact, there was still an ease and fluidity in her tone that bespoke no fear or discomfort, and her words lilted with a foreign accent that clearly showed that their common tongue was not her first language. Being a crown princess though, it had been part of her studies to learn multiple languages, and it seemed that skill was coming in handy now. Her golden, flame-colored gaze was even as she held the king’s eyes, ignoring the doctor for the moment despite the fact that it was they who had offered the food for the Lusikross in the first place. “The fresher the better.”

[Sorry about the super late reply! Finally snagged some time to get a post up, although I've been raring to reply to this for so long, haha. Also, let me know if you need more to work with - Mei's being a bit reserved right now. XD]
.
... . . . . . . . . .Am I made of paper, 'cause I tear so easily?
Am I made of vapor, because I disappear?
Do I have to have a reason for anything I feel?
Just be glad I'm real, glad I'm real
Am I real?

Are you made of lead paint, a bulletproof Picasso?
All the virgin saints put you here to care for me
You don't need to sell me on anything at all
Just say what you mean and mean what you say to me

Did you ever see the waves break into a million pieces?
Or stay awake with someone who was dying?
You don't have to tell me anything at all
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..I'm just glad you're here, glad you're real
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Are you real?


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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby ToxicShadow » 09/23/2016 3:40 AM

Something about those last words of hers made the young king smirk, all while holding her gaze evenly. It was all too evident that, in spite of these circumstances, neither party was really giving an inch. Each firmly held their ground, though without insult.

The doctor lingered for a moment, hesitant of leaving the two of them alone, no matter how briefly. They watched the king and the foreign princess silently, for a long moment, before speaking, although they doubted either of them would acknowledge them now. "I will return shortly." With these words, they took their leave.

Left alone with the princess and her frightful companion, Arcadia approached them from his place beside the table, only after taking hold of the cup of herbal tea the doctor had blended and steeped.  When he was within a reasonably close proximity, he offered her the tea. He could not very well allow her to continue to strain her voice, if he had any intention of exchanging words with her. "It's not poisoned," he informed her, before she could even give it a wary look. "I have no desire to take your life. You are of no value to me, if you're dead." In other words, he needed her alive, and he valued her life, although, the reason for such was unclear.

He then flourished the key, which was held in his other hand. It seemed as though he intended to unlock the creature's shackles himself. Arcadia had questions, about the creature, among other things, but he did not speak them right away. He was curious, perhaps, but not all that concerned with many of the details. After a moment, he moved toward the creature without the slightest hesitation, so as to free it. As he did so, he spoke.

"You have a name, don't you? Had your transport gone as it was intended to, we would have been formally introduced, and you nor your companion would have been reduced to this state." It was an oversight, on his part, to allow anyone other than himself to be the one to bring her forth, but he had no intention to admitting his own fault.
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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby Flame » 09/27/2016 3:20 PM

The doctor didn’t get so much as a passing glance despite the charged silence which fell upon the room for a few short moments. Clearly, they were hoping to either diffuse the situation, or at least be acknowledged in some form, but neither the young king nor the captive princess seemed to notice their presence. To the two of them, the doctor might as well have been a potted plant in the corner of the room. The king’s attitude towards the doctor marked them as a servant in Mei’s eyes, and her royal upbringing had conditioned her not to see serving folk. Perhaps if the circumstances were different, she might have treated them with a little more graciousness, but in her current state, she wasn’t feeling particularly benevolent.

Nevertheless, there was some modicum of relief that came with the doctor’s departure, primarily due to the fact that it meant Xin would be fed. Currently, her concerns were more for her companion than for herself, and knowing that he would be cared for set her slightly more at ease. Only slightly, but it was a start. Now, that left only herself, the king, and the Lusikross alone together in the same room – it was the closest the young monarch had come to being alone with Mei, and the fleeting notion that she could easily kill him where he stood now flitted across the forefront of her thoughts. It was true that they had very thoroughly disarmed her when they’d taken her aboard the foreign ship, but they would be fools to think that she couldn’t kill a man in fifty different ways with just her bare hands.

However, she allowed that errant thought go just as quickly as it had come. As satisfying as it might have been to feel some semblance of control once again, even if it was only over a single person’s life, there was no gain to be had from senseless violence. After all, even if she killed the king, she would still be stuck in a foreign land with no clue as to where she was and how to get away, and she had no doubt that his forces would be upon her like starving wolves on a carcass within moments. Even with Xin at her side and her own combat prowess to depend upon, she wouldn’t hedge any bets on her chances of escaping in less than twenty different pieces. On top of all of that, he’d been the only one to show her any semblance of respect, if not kindness (the doctor aside, but their actions were under orders), and there was no sense in harming the one person who likely had the most say over her eventual fate.

Orange-gold eyes followed the boy-king’s every movement unwaveringly as he brought the steaming cup of strange-smelling herbal liquid to her. Mei was wary and ready to spring into motion at any indication that he meant her harm, but his movements were slow and deliberate, no doubt in an attempt to assuage her worries. She imagined that to him, she likely appeared no more predictable than her saurian companion did, and as such, she allowed his approach, only her eyes moving to follow him. His words were less than comforting, but Mei had no need nor use for comfort – he simply stated a truth, and she accepted it at face value. She was alive only because she was still of use to him, and she noted the veiled threat that came with it, should she choose to jeopardize the fragile peace which currently prevailed between them.

As such, she simply took the cup which was offered to her, feeling the welcome warmth seep through her fingers. She gave the liquid an experimental sniff, her gaze never leaving the other man’s face – she could only identify a few of the herbs which made up the concoction. Nevertheless, she took a sip of the steaming liquid without hesitation; whether that was because she trusted the boy’s word or that simply she had no fear of death was up to his interpretation. The tea tasted as odd as it smelled, but it provided her raw, dry throat with instant relief as it rehydrated her parched mouth. The next few mouthfuls were closer to gulps in spite of the fact that the liquid was still at a near-boiling temperature, but that didn’t seem to faze her in the least. As she drank, the young king made his way towards the Lusikross, key in hand. To his credit, there was no hesitation in his step as he approached the beast, despite the flat look which Xin leveled upon him with his unsettling, empty-socketed gaze. Any other person wouldn’t have dared come so close to the creature, let alone close enough to undo its shackles, but the king showed no outward fear of the Lusikross. Once free, Xin merely sniffed briefly at the young man, but otherwise remained where he sat, although his jaws still remained within easy snapping distance of the king.

Placing the now-empty cup on the bed beside her, Mei considered the question which had been asked of her. The language was still very foreign to her, and therefore it took her a little time to extract the meaning of his words and formulate a response. “I do have a name, Arcadia of the Never Setting Sun. However, it is not a name that would be easily pronounced in your tongue. If you must have a name by which to address me though, you may call me Mei-Ling. It would seem that you're already familiar with my title.” Her voice, now somewhat less hoarse thanks to the herbal concoction, was even more imperious, her response to his question not an answer, but rather a command within itself. She might not be in a position of power, or even in a position from which to negotiate, but despite her situation and her current state of being, she was still every inch the crown princess she’d been raised to be. “Why have you had me brought to your lands, and under these circumstances?”
.
... . . . . . . . . .Am I made of paper, 'cause I tear so easily?
Am I made of vapor, because I disappear?
Do I have to have a reason for anything I feel?
Just be glad I'm real, glad I'm real
Am I real?

Are you made of lead paint, a bulletproof Picasso?
All the virgin saints put you here to care for me
You don't need to sell me on anything at all
Just say what you mean and mean what you say to me

Did you ever see the waves break into a million pieces?
Or stay awake with someone who was dying?
You don't have to tell me anything at all
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..I'm just glad you're here, glad you're real
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Are you real?


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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby ToxicShadow » 01/25/2017 6:48 AM

Even after unbinding the Lusikross and discarding its shackles onto the floor, the young king remained unconcerned with the dangers it posed against him. If it was his unavoidable fate to be snapped in half and eaten by the beast during his attempt at this venture, then so be it. In order to do what needed to be done, to accomplish his goals, Arcadia was prepared to take those risks. His life was worth gambling. Always. Because it was all he had as bargaining chip to begin with, and it has originally started with so very little value, in the eyes of many.

He stepped a few paces back as he returned the key to a pocket on his person, not out of fear, but simply to afford the creature its own space. Creatures weren't often comfortable with strangers, so he'd respect that fact.

"You may call me, 'Your Majesty,'" he informed her, addressing that before her question. No. Her demand for answers. "Ah, no, you may call me 'Arcadia.'" On second thought, it would be far more amusing for his soon-to-be-wife to openly call him informally. He was certain that his retainers and advisers would have a small fit about it. It was a well liked idea, going against the formal traditions of the monarchy.

Mei-Ling. It was an appealing name. Unique. Not exactly something commonly found in his country. That was one of the beauties of her being a foreign princess.

"Mei-Ling," he addressed her more intimately, sans titles, but still with a tone which was befitting of their positions. "You have been brought to these lands to become my wife." And, of course, by association, the queen. He had her stolen away from her own lands to hand her the most powerful position that any woman could hold in his kingdom. Others would have looked upon the very thought of it as nothing short of insanity on his part. "I do believe you will be of greater use than another woman. You are certainly far greater than another noble."

Even before the time he had become of marrying age, his advisers made it a point to parade potential marriage candidates before him. There were princesses and the daughters of a great many nobles hopefully vying for the position, desiring an alliance between their nations. But most noble women weren't for much more than looking at. They were useless decorations that he had no desire to keep.

As for the circumstances, "I apologize for the crimes committed against you. Those men wont live much longer." But they were certainly going to wish they were dead before they finally breathed their last breaths, and that much was evident by the dark undertones in his voice as he spoke those words. They would pay for what they'd done. They would regret defying him and daring to lay their hands on her or for treating her for anything less than what she was.
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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby Flame » 02/24/2017 2:55 PM

To Arcadia’s credit, Mei’s demeanor had eased – if only slightly – and there seemed to be less tension in her posture than there had been earlier. As uncertain as everything about this situation remained to her, she had at least been reassured that no harm was meant towards her or her companion. The simple yet significant act of freeing Xin appeared to have the greatest effect upon her; after all, it took a certain kind of person (either extremely fearless, or exceptionally stupid) to not only approach such a bloodthirsty-looking beast with no trepidation, but to remove its restraints willingly. Mei’s golden eyes were quietly calculating as she scrutinized the young king, but it was clear to see that his actions were not based in madness, but rather carefully calculated risks. It began to become clear how one so young as himself had come to be – and remain – the ruler of this foreign land.

Hearing her own name echoed in Arcadia’s strange accent was an odd experience for Mei. Her only experience with languages outside of her native tongue were the lessons she was taught by her teachers, and the only reason why she could even converse with the king of this foreign nation at all. However, she was accustomed to hearing the common tongue of this land in her own native accent, so hearing her language parodied by a non-native speaker was something of a jarring experience for her. She took it in stride though, and just as well, considering what the answer the king had prepared for her question was.

To her credit, if she was shocked or surprised at all by the new information, it didn’t show in her face or her body language. She took the information with the grace and composure expected of someone of her stature, but the discovery was certainly an unexpected one. Her mind raced to piece together the fragments of the puzzle which were slowly coming to light, and although she didn’t have much information to go off of yet, the big picture was slowly beginning to come together. It now made sense as to why the king had wanted her to address him by such an informal title – even as a princess of near the same stature as himself, she would otherwise have been expected to address him by his title, or at least as “Your Majesty”. Even politically, it made some sense, seeing as joining nations by marriage was a long-honored tactic for creating even more powerful empires. However, there were still a few things that she had trouble puzzling out; for example, why her? She’d never heard of this child-king before, and had only peripherally learned of his country’s existence, so why was he so dead-set on marrying her, of all the nations nearby? Also, why had she been kidnapped and brought here under conditions which weren’t even suitable for a leper, let alone a crown princess? One would have expected a courtship to have developed between the two nations before even broaching the topic of marrying their royalty to each other, but it seemed that nicety had been completely forgone. In fact, it was only under the threat of war and destruction that she had even given herself up in the first place.

Mei wanted answers to all of her questions, but she knew that now might not be the time to ask all of them. However, the most pressing of them did warrant at least some attention, and she voiced her concerns as such, although her tone remained so detached and conversational that she might have been talking about the tea or the weather. “Your customs are strange to me – are there not bloodlines to be preserved amongst your royalty?” For one speaking in a foreign tongue, she had a surprisingly good command of the language, although her words carried the distinct Asiatic accent of her land. “Also, why take your wife from a nation which your army could crush? Would it not be more strategic to join yourself to a country of equal or greater power?” For all she might have seemed, Mei was an astutely pragmatic individual – after all, one couldn’t be slated to rule an entire nation without having the mind for it, as well as the ability to separate themselves emotionally. After all, emotional decisions were not often ones which were in the interest of the greater good.

She did appear satisfied, if not pleased, with the judgment which was to be passed upon those who had mishandled her journey here. Mei wasn’t one for senseless violence, but she had no qualms against the proper measures being taken when they fitted the crime. “I am glad to hear of your judgment. One cannot rule effectively if they cannot command complete control over their subjects when necessary. Perhaps our cultures are not so entirely different after all.”
.
... . . . . . . . . .Am I made of paper, 'cause I tear so easily?
Am I made of vapor, because I disappear?
Do I have to have a reason for anything I feel?
Just be glad I'm real, glad I'm real
Am I real?

Are you made of lead paint, a bulletproof Picasso?
All the virgin saints put you here to care for me
You don't need to sell me on anything at all
Just say what you mean and mean what you say to me

Did you ever see the waves break into a million pieces?
Or stay awake with someone who was dying?
You don't have to tell me anything at all
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..I'm just glad you're here, glad you're real
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Are you real?


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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby ToxicShadow » 06/01/2017 5:10 PM

It was fortunate for Arcadia that this princess was well versed in his country's language. In spite of her obvious accent, he was able to understand her well, and they were able to converse easily. In one aspect, it was surprising, given that her country seemed to have no idea about the existence of his, initially. Although, it was true that his wasn't the only country to use it. Especially since he began his quest of conquering other countries, the language was spreading farther and farther.

Evidently, desiring the answers to her questions won over the likely aching hunger that she felt. Although, he could also presume that she was waiting for her companion's meal to arrive, before eating, herself. Looking at it from her perspective, it was not surprising that she didn't comprehend his motives. After some quick, silent deliberation on his part, the young king decided to be perfectly honest. There were some unsavory pieces in his past, but there was hardly any use in denying them, or withholding them, from the woman that was his future queen.

"The bloodline of royalty in this country is considerably irrelevant now," he informed her, although his tone was surprisingly casual. "I am not born of my country's late, former queen. It's true that the late, former king is my father, but my mother's pedigree left much to be desired." He didn't say it so directly, but there was no doubt that one would understand what he meant. His mother was no better than a commoner. She lacked ties to any nobility, and was probably from one of the lowest families. It was her family's poverty, in part, as to why she even agreed to lay with the former king. "Fortunately, there were no legitimate heirs, and the citizens of the country had more faith in someone with my undesirable background, than another member of nobility."

He risked Mei-Ling looking down on him, as many other members of nobility did, for revealing such information, but that was part of why he told her. Arcadia wanted to see her reaction. Probably, deep down, without himself even realizing it, he wanted someone to acknowledge him for himself, not because of who his parents were or, in this case, were not. And he hoped that this princess from a foreign land, one that had never before heard of his country or had any ties to its nobility, would be that person.

Without missing a beat, not giving her a moment to yet respond, he moved to answer more of her questions. "Perhaps, if I allied myself with larger nation than yours, I would have decent immediate results." There was really no denying that. "But, although your nation is much smaller, don't you suspect, that with my support, that it could, one day, be far greater?" Although, at the current state of things, his army could burn her country to the ground, they put up a fight far greater than one could imagine. If that was cultivated, they would, surely, one day, be more beneficial. But that wasn't concrete. It was all too likely that they would refuse his support, in the future, because of their pride. "Besides, as I told you, you are far greater than any other noble woman. Those around here, they're only good for looking at. That's not the case with you, is it?" It truly seemed he disregarded the advantages of allying himself with a larger country. Of course, Arcadia had long since made the decision that he didn't need that sort of support. It wasn't satisfying. "I don't need someone frail and useless by my side."
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Re: For Duty, Honor, and Country [P] [Toxic & I]

Postby Flame » 07/10/2017 5:22 PM

To be honest, Mei wasn’t expecting much outside of a well-manicured, extremely political answer from her keeper (for a lack of a better term, at the moment). After all, it was imprudent for a country’s ruler to give away the secrets of his people to a complete stranger, or worse yet, a potential enemy. Some people might even call this information a weakness, but Mei found herself surprised when the boy-king launched into a pragmatic – if extremely blunt – explanation of his claim to the throne. Even more unanticipated was the scornful tone which his voice took on when it came to describing his predecessors. In any other country, this kind of talk would have been paramount to treason, but then again, he was the king after all. Still, it was a rather jarring experience for one who was so ingrained with the belief that elders – especially one’s parents – were to be respected and revered, almost without question.

“Would it not simply further weaken your hold on the throne then, to take a foreign wife from a weaker country?” Now Mei asked, not only out of curiosity, but also out of concern for her own life. After all, should she have no say in the matter, her life would be tied to Arcadia’s, and there was no question in her mind that if his rule were overthrown, she would meet a much grislier fate than the one she’d faced at the hands of the ship’s captain. However, there was a distinct – if faint – glimmer of consideration, if not respect, in her pensive crimson eyes as she evaluated her supposed to-be husband. To rise from nothing, a bastard, to the ruler of a country, that spoke of a certain will and steel that only graced a very rare few. If he hadn’t before, Arcadia certainly held her attention now.

“Be that as it may, what would you do should I refuse your…proposition? Or if your people oppose your decision? After all, peasants and commoners aren’t known to take kindly to foreign rule.” There was still a distinct, challenging light in the princess’s crimson eyes as she unblinkingly held the king’s gaze. “And what would my country gain from losing a princess to a tyrant nation that burned much of their land and cut down their people? After all, it’s much easier to raise another heir to the throne than submit to another country.” Even when she had nothing to bargain with, Mei held her country’s well-being at the forefront of her mind. As she had essentially said, her life was ultimately expendable in the grand scheme – she wouldn’t have agreed to journey across the sea otherwise. There was no disrespect in her tone, but she wasn’t beyond challenging him as if they stood upon equal ground, even if Arcadia currently held all the cards in his hands.

The king’s last statement brought a sudden, surprising chuckle to Mei’s throat. For the first time in his presence, she showed an emotion outside of her frozen composure. “Upon that, I believe we can find common ground.” Her voice, still colored by laughter, took on a surprisingly musical lilt as she replied. “A head on a pike is useful to no one, regardless of how pretty the face is to look at, no? Crows are not picky eaters, after all.” Clearly, the idea of death didn’t strike this woman the way it did others, considering the offhanded way in which she joked about it. “In my country, my people would sooner be ruled by a commoner who can fight their own battles than a royal who couldn’t. Luckily, our bloodline is strong, and my family has reigned impregnable for several thousand years.” Of course, it was also believed that her bloodline had been touched by the gods themselves, as her blood granted Mei herself some rather…unique attributes. “It sounds like your country is in need of strong blood upon which to build its new foundation.” In truth, it seemed to her that Arcadia was already well on his way to rebuilding his broken kingdom on his own – from that perspective, his need for an equally strong queen made perfect sense, especially when the bloodline of the nobility ran so thin today.
.
... . . . . . . . . .Am I made of paper, 'cause I tear so easily?
Am I made of vapor, because I disappear?
Do I have to have a reason for anything I feel?
Just be glad I'm real, glad I'm real
Am I real?

Are you made of lead paint, a bulletproof Picasso?
All the virgin saints put you here to care for me
You don't need to sell me on anything at all
Just say what you mean and mean what you say to me

Did you ever see the waves break into a million pieces?
Or stay awake with someone who was dying?
You don't have to tell me anything at all
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..I'm just glad you're here, glad you're real
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Are you real?


User avatar
Flame
Don't stop now, you're in bat country!
Don't stop now, you're in bat country!
 
Keystones: 2071
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