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Thread: Ribbons Red

  1. #16
    The Rough Draft WordsWillCome's Avatar
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    Chap 4 (End)

    I wanted to argue it was equally his fault for being so uncooperative but I didn't feel like making hostile conversation. This was the first time I'd felt relatively content since this whole ordeal began and I wasn't about to sacrifice it in an argument with such a stubborn minded man.

    We ate the rest of our meal in blessed silence before Levi dismissed himself to his room for the evening leaving me alone with the a few rude stares and my thoughts. I ignored the former as I stared into the hearth's blaring fire.

    When the waitress startled me by clanking my plate and glass as she collected them some times later I decided it was time I was on my way. Tonight I tread softly up the creaky stairs to where my warm, dry bed awaited me instead of back to the ship. Since the captain had given his crew the night off there was no point to returning directly to the ship anyway.

    As I laid in a real bed that night, truly alone for the first time in over a month, my mind began to wander home. Back across the sea to what Silas and the others must be doing. To worrying if the letter I had sent today would ever reach him. To what Levi had said over the meal about needing to go to Tsuibz to talk to a friend of his. Was he... were we really in that much danger?

    It was well known in Agus that Kirin's moral compass didn't point north but would Silas really had asked me to bring Levi home just so that Kirin could hurt him or worse? I liked to think of Silas as better than that but I was part of an assassin's guild. Silas was their leader and Kirin was a very powerful man. Maybe Levi was right; I would just be taking him home to take the fall but what other choice did I have? It was the assignment that was given to me. I couldn't fail Silas, not after all that he had done for me. Oh what a fine mess I had gotten myself into! Maybe this friend of Levi's would know what to do. Those thoughts and many others tumbled through my head as I tossed and turned for most of the night before falling into a restless sleep.

    I'm not sure how long Levi knocked on my door the next morning before I answered it. Once I did I followed his impatient steps down the creaky steps. We finished breakfast then hurried back to the ship. We were the first to arrive back but the rest of the crew soon staggered back. The last of the crew hurried up the ramp to their stations ahead of Captain Kayc and Einya.

    "Well now look at you and your fancy new shiny things. Crew was takin' bets on whether or not you'd ever come back land lover," he said looking at me, "few of them gonna be mighty poor til their next coins get to um." I opened my mouth to speak but he came forward, handed me Einya and said, "don't you worry about it none, Reveri. They're used to makin' poor bets and goin' a few days a little short."

    "Well, Einya, it looks like it's just you and me then," I remarked to the as Levi sauntered off leaving us alone. We spent a few hours on deck then returned to the captain's quarters when the crew began to talk of putting out to sea again.

    I tried my best to keep from suffocating under the weight of the anticipation. I wasn't sure whether to be relieved or horrified when we pulled into port 5 weeks later. The trip was long but uneventful. I was grateful for a chance to be off the ship again but anxious about what greater dangers awaited us now.
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

  2. #17
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    Chapter 5 - Blood Red

    The crew wasn't as eager to disembark here. A few of them left in groups now and then to restock the necessary supplies but as a general rule everyone remained on the ship. It was only a short time after we pulled into port before Levi tracked me down and told me it was time to go find his contact.

    As he gathered a few things I made some preparations of my own. Unsure of what we'd encounter I grabbed my short blade and nestled it in mouth of my boot before carefully wrapping up my ribbons and draping them over my shoulder. Levi raised his eye brow at me as we readied to depart. When he made a grab for my ribbons, my shoulder dodged away.

    “Leave those girly play things here. We'll have no use for them in Cil'un.”

    “No. I am bringing them with,” I stated in a stubborn tone.

    “I wouldn't go about advertising you're a girl in these parts, Reveri. There no laws or morals in this place. Leave them here.”

    We went back and forth a few more times before Levi gave a great sigh and turned to walk away. I heard him muttering under his breath for a short time but I let it pass. He didn't know what they truly were. He didn't know what I was capable of. He assumed I was some pretty little errand girl sent to fetch him, the big bad wolf. He had no idea of the things I'd done, what I was capable of and for now that was how I wanted it to remain.

    Silence followed and it seemed like we wandered in circles for hours before Levi slipped through the dingiest looking door on the street. The lighting inside was extremely poor, only really bright enough to reveal the dust lazing about in the musty air. For a short time the silence prevailed but then I heard something else move towards us a short ways off in the darkness. I looked at Levi expecting to see his guard up but he moved along as if he had never heard it. Ill at ease I moved forward with him trying to feign his nonchalance.

    “Long time it'ss been, Dussstwalker,” a disembodied voice greeted. I gasp and frantically looked about for who had spoken. In response, Levi put a put a calming hand on my shoulder. Thankfully he chose the one without the ribbons.

    “Be calm, Reveri, it's just Ekans.”

    “Jusst Ekanss, jusst Ekanss,” the voice repeated as something began to shimmer in the low light.

    As I watched Ekans slithered into the dying glow of a nearby torch. He wasn't an overly large or intimidating at first glance but his long ,white perhaps poisonous fangs looked as sharp as contract of his deep orange and gray scales with the dark. He was a smallish type fellow, more snake than man if truth be told but since his presence didn't disturb Levi I tried to relax and I tried not to stare. I had always been fascinated by how snakes how they moved across the ground like my ribbons danced through the air. Ekans, whatever he really was, was no exception.

    When the snake man's eye fixed on me I looked away and tried to distract myself with pondering our predicament. I still was unsure about it all. Where were we? Who were we going to see? Surely this Ekans fellow couldn't be him.

    “Where is Loren?” Levi asked the snake fellow who folded his thin arms over his chest as his tail shook in an irritated manner.

    “Masster is not here. Off to see Issadora he iss.”

    “When will he be back? I have urgent business with him.”

    “Back he will be sssoon. Any day now.”

    “I want to talk to him as soon as he gets back. Is there a place in Herspenot we can stay here until he returns?”

    “Ssure there iss,” Ekans responded as he turned about on his belly and headed back the way he had come, “pleasse follow me.”

    As Ekans lead us down into the earthen walled pits of Herspenot I couldn't help but feel the tension brush against my skin like razor blade edges. I kept my eyes peeled for any other strange beings we might encounter. Ones that perhaps would be even less welcoming than Ekans; thankfully we encountered none. The place appeared pleasantly deserted for the time being though the hairs on the back of my neck seemed to recognize this for the false security it surely was.

    When we reached the bottom the hallway gave way to a slightly more well lit area that appeared to be some sort of dining hall. The dingy area was sparely populated with several rough hewn tables and chairs. Only one thin, squinty eyed man dressed in black occupied the space. When he saw us enter he rose from his chair and headed off down a small hallway to the left. Ekans lead us away from him and down another hallway to the right. He slithered over to one door and nodded his head towards it.

    “Dusskwalker thiss iss yourss,” he looked to me and nodding to the opposite side of the hall added, “thiss is yourss pretty misss.”

    “Thank you, Ekans,” Levi offered to our now slightly less agitated guide. I caught a smirk on the snake's face as he turned to slither out of the hallway. Levi probably made his night. Ekans seemed to be an under appreciated fellow.
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

  3. #18
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    Chap 5 (End)

    Before I could ask him anything Levi disappeared into his room and the door was closed. I turned to mine and paused. Then, taking a deep breath, I turned to cool, damp knob and entered. I wasn't sure what I had been expecting, not much but this still managed to fall short. Inside the windowless room was a small, dirty, lumpy bed, a desk with three legs and a chair with two and there was no sign of a pillow in sight. Closing the door behind me, I moved deeper into the room and flopped down onto the bed with an abbreviated groan.

    When staring at the wall became boring and yielded no entertainment for my frazzled mind I began to attempt to settle in to my new temporary domain. After sweeping the area for whatever unwanted company there maybe, I carefully removed my ribbons from my shoulder and placed them on the desk beside the bed. Just about that time a familiar knock came at the door. I answered it to find Levi leaning against the door jamb.

    “Is everything to your liking pretty miss?” he teased.

    “It will... do,” I finished lamely. There was a momentary silence.

    “We need to talk,” he stated abruptly as he moved deeper into the room, “I want you to know what you're getting into here. Loren is a last resort. He makes Kirin look small time.”

    “So then why do we need him if Kirin is so small time?”

    “Because sometimes the mouse needs a dog to scare away the cat.”

    I frowned; as much as I hated to admit it perhaps Levi was right about the proper way to handle Kirin. However what left me uneasy was the sort of payment such a man would be seeking for his services. They were sure not to come cheap.

    “I wouldn't go around here in those skimpy little outfits you like wearing either. Last thing you want some of these men thinking is that you're some shallow, defenseless piece of eye candy I brought along to tease them. Wear your sword on your belt where they can see it and leave those fancy little ribbons here. What's so special about them anyways?”

    “They're my... dancing ribbons,” I offered lamely, “I simply don't go anywhere without them. There are other ways to talk your way out of conflict besides violence.”

    I punctuated my statement with a flip of my long ebony hair.

    “You dance?”

    “I've danced for many years. When I lived with the...” I trialed off and simply gently pressed my lips together there was no need to divulge my entire life's story to him; working for Silas had taught me that an element of mystery could be as strong a weapon as any sword.

    “Lived with the...?”

    “Never mind.”

    “What's with the sudden secrecy? You spill the purpose of your entire mission to your target but won't divulge where you learned to dance?”

    “It's none of your business,” I said with a slightly defensive tone entering my voice. It wasn't that the answer was so secretive. At this point it was just becoming a simple principle of the matter. I knew nothing of him. Why did I need to divulge anything about me?

    “Perhaps not but now I want to know.”

    “Tell me where you grew up first,” I demanded, hoping he would retreat from exposing any personal details of his own past.

    “I grew up in Swaril. I learned to pick pockets there,” he offered without a moment lost. When I simply stared back at him his hand darted forward as I stumbled over the words for my hurried protest. Everything inside me seized up as I waited for the inevitable occurrence that was to follow.

    “Don't touch those!” I burst out, sounding more horrified than indignant to my shame. As he took tighter hold of them I reached out to grab them back. Nimbly, he hopped across the tiny space onto my bed and began running small lengths of them through his fingers as he scrutinized them.

    “I don't see what the big deal is about these old ribbons...”

    “Just give them back,” I plead, my mind scurrying to calculate where the blades might be.

    “Why should I... Ouch!”

    The ribbon immediately dropped into Levi's lap as he cradled his hands together. I snatched it up before he could take hold of it again.

    “What kind of dancer are you?” he demanded in shock.

    “All you need to know is that I'm good at it,” I flung back, trying to keep my irritation contained. He seemed to sense it anyway.

    “Okay, okay,” he said rising from the bed and heading towards the door. He muttered to himself as he left. I suppose I could have followed him but I figured he was better off nursing his pride and his hand alone.

    Once he had gone I plopped down on the bed and a small puff of dust rose to greet me. I exhaled sharply to rid my air space of it then began my silent, lonely tirade. However, not far into it I began to weary as my muscles and my nerves began to relax. Soon my head was resting on my makeshift jacket pillow and my eyes were becoming heavy. Remembering what Levi said, I slept with one eye open to the best of my ability and my boot knife beside my pillow. I would clean my ribbon sword first thing in the morning was my last thought as I drifted off into a restless sleep.
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

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