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Tʜᴇ Cɪᴛᴀᴅᴇʟ > The Streets

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

The main streets in the Citadel are usually cobbled, while alleys and more minor streets are usually dirt. Shops are typically located on the ground level while residences are on the floor above. People are often crowding the streets, thus the rule that no wagons are allowed within. Horses are, however, permitted inside the wall.

Twice a year are festivals, in which numerous wares are sold to people. Much money and frivolities are enjoyed. There are also monthly markets, when artisans and merchants may sell their goods to the people.


message 2: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments The getaway carriage clattered along the cobbles as, far behind them, the alarm was finally raised for Eliza's impromptu escape. "You do realize," she told the guy across from her, "If you had waited for my own organization to save me, negotiating might have gone a little more easily?" Of course, she would have said no. She still wanted to. But he'd just saved her neck, quite literally, for an affirmative answer. She rattled the handcuffs. "No time to remove those, either, huh? Unless you nabbed the keys."

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

((Oh, and the Brannons are from the Kingdom. Zinerva was a duchess in this kingdom before marrying Eion. This is when she's about to start impersonating Caitria then?))

Aleksanteri looked down at he handcuffs. "I'm not big on doing this sort of thing," he said with a shrug. He held up his hands. "Merchant. I get cargo from one place to another safely. I own a respectable business. I have no reason to steal when I know a couple blacksmiths." He sighed heavily and looked at the scroll in his hands. It had been written the week before by Asha Bellatrix, one of the richer of the Ten (she was a minor noblewoman, after all). It was a note to get Eliza fitted for some of the more expensive clothes of a noble woman. It also included Caitria's tastes and attitude and everything. Since Caitria was the king's niece, everything would have to be perfect. It also included the payment for the dresses. Even though Aleksanteri was a wealthy merchant, the dresses favored by this duchess were well out of his price range. "While you're impersonating Duchess Caitira, you go through Moira Aoife Lìrio and Asha Bellatrix, okay? I'm here on occasion only." He offered Eliza what he hoped was an encouraging smile.

message 4: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((Yup.))

She seemed quite a bit miffed that he'd forgotten the keys to her handcuffs. It almost seemed as if she was still walking towards the gallows, just much less competently and prolonging the pain of it. "So I suppose I'm just cargo you don't want escaping, huh?" she accused, trying -and failing- to fold her arms over her chest. When she'd been forced to join up, she'd hoped they'd at least have a shred of knowledge about what the heck they'd all be doing. She was a bit worried now that they were far less a threat to the king then they'd first appeared. Unless, of course, he was worried she'd use her magic to escape prison and his plans. It hadn't been on her agenda, but it was starting to look like an option. "Won't parading me about in front of the general public be a bit suspicious?" she asked, when he hinted about blacksmiths. She tried to see around the back of the scroll, or through it, to get some indication about what they wanted to do with her, but it was thick parchment. "So I'm going to be impersonating some noble. I sure hope that this person has never been seen at court before, or this could get awkward and deadly very quickly." She looked over at him. Oh, so he was only here for this quick little trip, was he? So he had no ties to her or her fate. That wasn't very encouraging. This was sounding worse all the time.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

"Not just cargo. I am more for human rights than that," he protested, his voice a drawl. He raised his eyebrows at her. "But you'd be the prettiest cargo I've ever had if you were cargo." It was incredibly natural for him to flirt. He did it on so regular a basis that a number of the more prudish nobles (or even most of them, who were more than willing to ignore the king's behavior in favor of retaining the connection to their heads) found it utterly unsettling. "But I'm meant to be your escort until I leave town to sell some goods to the Tribe of Pride tomorrow evening." He sighed and rubbed his temples. "You're to be impersonating the king's nieces. She's the daughter of the late queen's late younger brother. She's the eldest living in that family." He caught the look on her face and realized that she was worried that it would be incredibly obvious that she was not said noble. "Caitria does look a lot like you. Asha was right about that. She's the one that suggested this plan, by the way. She plans to educate you in the behavior of Caitria before releasing you on the Court." He hoped that would be a little encouraging. He was not entirely sure if she knew the plan was that she would join their scheming. They would be at Ten members, a number that seemed decent and agreeable to all of the current members. He closed his eyes slowly and absently straightened his shirt. He was not a fan of being in this carriage. He did not make a habit of sitting on such a flat, hard surface like this. He much would have preferred to be riding one of the horses in his caravan, but alackaday! He was meant to be briefing Eliza on her task.

message 6: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments She gave him a glare at the obvious flirtation. "You're at least ten years older than me. It isn't happening, bucky." She let her hands finally rest on her lap, trying to silence the chains, as if to ignore them. "So, let me get this straight. I'm going into court as someone whom I look fairly similar to for the sole purpose of what now? I'm risking my life and limb and my organization against the common authority so that I can, let me get this straight, pretend to be some duchess in the royal court? What reason? And who is this Asha?" She was not very well versed in the names or connections of the nobility. She at least seemed a little soothed in that he was telling her exactly what she was going to be doing, rather than keeping her in the dark and yanking her leash around. She had no clue about the ten, only that there were rumors of a royal resistance that was fairly unsuccessful. If he wasn't a fan of this carriage, she was even less so. Being confined was bad enough, but being confined with a guy ten years older than her while in handcuffs was even more un-enjoyable.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

((Look, I am responding! Not sure how much longer I'm going to be up. I think staying up until two and waking up at 6-something was not the best thought-out plan in the universe. I'll be up as long as I can manage))

Aleksanteri snorted. "We'll see, Eliza -- or should I call you Caitria and get you used to the name?" He grinned at her. He had, in fact, slept with girls younger than Eliza before. After all, it was not technically underage; in the kingdom, people were considered adults at age 16. He sighed, and in a whisper, he replied, "Asha is one of the Ten and lady-in-waiting to the eldest princess, who is also against her father." He waited for Eliza to process the information.

The carriage came to a stop. He looked out the carriage window to try to determine if they were at the blacksmith's or the dress shops. He held his breath as he did so and released it as he realized they were at the blacksmith's. The blacksmith had been a friend of his adoptive family, and as a result, Aleksanteri would trust the man with his life. He looked at Eliza and said, "You wanted the shackles off before we get you fitted for your gowns, right?" His lips curled up in a smile.

message 8: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((Oh, darn.))

"I will weld your face to the floor," she scoffed, a little more annoyed. "Catria will do, for now, if you must." She thought it was kind of disgusting, people like him preying on the young and easily influenced. She was an adult, but she was responsible. After all, she had hundreds of lives under her care. "One of the- oh, please tell me I'm not working for that failure of a royal resistance." She rubbed her temples, like the knowledge hurt, only to be jerked from her seat when the carriage stopped.

She quickly righted herself and glanced out the window as well, moving the curtains with her fingers. It was the blacksmith's, luckily, but she sure as heck didn't trust him. "I hope your sources are good," she said, not dignifying that question with an an answer.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

((I'll be on as long as I can, and I'm stubborn. I think I might be watching a couple eps of Supernatural sans laptop in some amount of time.))

"And you'd have a crowd of ladies wanting to do the same to yours if you so much as tried," Aleksanteri retorted. He winked at Eliza and was not in the least bit intimidated by her. "I work for the Ten, and it would be wise to follow our scheme even though you may be impatient." Smirking, he rolled his eyes.

"They are." He got out of the carriage first and walked around to the other side to open the the door for her. Helping her out, he was sure to position himself in such a way that he blocked everyone's view of the handcuffs. In the same manner, he led her to the door of the blacksmith's. "Hey!" he called to the man inside.

message 10: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((GO STUBBORNNESS!))

"I don't work for the Ten," she said, sickened that his only reference for his character was the number of ladies he claimed to have slept with. "At least, not yet." She didn't roll her eyes or smirk or pretend to have any familiarity with him. She was being forced into this. Of course, he might have been the kind of guy she'd joke with late at night around a campfire with her men, in a completely different setting. Here? Never.

Her heart began to race as she realized what he was doing, and she held her hands to her chest, hiding the chains under her sleeves and at the skin of her chest, to better hide them and to appear as if the cold was horribly affecting her. She didn't have a jacket, after all, and the clothes she'd been wearing in the prison were tattered from some minor beatings.

message 11: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((Okay.))

((I can hit what I want most of the time. I think I shoot from further away, though.))

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

((Basically, that's when I shoot at school or in a class. At home, I shoot from further away, and my bow has a heavier draw weight. My arm hurts if I shoot a lot))

message 13: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((Mine too. I'm not sure my draw weight. i think it's around 30 pounds.))

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

((Mine is 30 lbs, I'm pretty sure))

message 15: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((Awesome, you should totally post now. :D))

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

((I'm actually working on it (and other responses) before watching the next Supernatural ep))

message 17: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((Oh, good. I actually really really like RPing with you. It's refreshing to RP with someone who's skilled.))

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

((Well, I failed to finish before so I am now working on it after. Thanks! I like roleplaying with you too. It's really nice to roleplay with someone who writes the longer, more intricately written posts))

"You do now," Aleksanteri retorted, leveling his gaze on her. "You're being given a position as on of the leaders of our group. Asha's suggestion. It makes sense when you think of it. Your group and our working as one whole unit. It'll be faster for us all. We're getting you inside the castle. You can thank Asha later when you meet her." He kept his voice down so low only Eliza could hear in case outside ears wanted to listen. Perhaps he did not intend for his tone to be patronizing, but in the end, that was exactly how it sounded. He thought she needed to get over this. It was because of his distance from the emotional piece of the scenario and the fact that he did not have to live it that he was able to look at the scenario more objectively. It was like how some felt that his adopted parents simply didn't wish to be found but he had yet to give up searching many a year later.

The blacksmith's shop was hot and sooty, and any chill of the outside air was well-nigh banished from memory. It was loud, and Aleksanteri winced as metal struck metal. He prefered the quieter sound of the clop a horse's hooves made or the clink money made when dropped into a bag or the sounds some of his lady acquaintances made when he saw them. He led Eliza across the smithy to the blacksmith himself. "This is the one," he told the blacksmith, who looked her up and down.

"What was a pretty thing doing in the King's dungeon?" the blacksmith asked, a lascivious grin spreading across his lips. The merchant sent him a glare. Aleksanteri himself was known for being a ladies' man, but he also knew that this girl was meant to be their superior and thus needed to be treated with respect. The blacksmith misinterpreted the look. "Is she a disgraced mistress of the king you want for yourself?"

Aleksanteri stepped between the blacksmith and Eliza. "No, she will soon have permission from the Ten -- of which she will be one -- to discipline you if you don't do your duty and keep behaving like a bleeding arse!" He watched as the blacksmith blanched, and with a sheepish smile plastered to his visage, he nodded his head. He saluted, his hand trembling as he did so, and then set to work on removing the shackles. He looked up at Aleksanteri a couple of times, but he refused to look up at Eliza's face once again.

message 19: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((YOU POSTED! :D))

Her face blanched slightly at his sudden patronizing words. "It almost seems," she said, after some consideration, "That you need my help more than I needed yours. You stopped my rescue and gave me no choice. It's not exactly the nicest way to make me a leader for a cause I'm not sure can protect itself." She hated being a pawn, being used and manipulated. She hated how the bruises she'd received and the sense-deadening drugs hadn't just magically disappeared. Of course they would have beaten her, and of course they wouldn't have wanted her using her magic to try to escape. Eliza tripped slightly over the entrance to the Smithy's, staggering for a moment.

The sudden heat was almost overwhelming, but it seemed to whisper her name, words of comfort into it. The hammering was no good for her headache, though, and she quickly returned to rubbing her temples. The noise stabbed at her head, with each clang, and she was relieved when the blacksmith finally lowered the hammer to speak. Until, that was, he actually started speaking.

Well, the pretty comment wasn't all too bad to deal with, but she saw Aleksanteri give an almost fatherly glare of reproach. It was nearly comical. He, who had been flirting ridiculously a few moments earlier, was now put completely over the edge by this man's comment. And then he said something about being a disgraced mistress and she burst out laughing, only stopped when Aleksanteri stepped between the blacksmith and Eliza, obviously not seeing the humor in the words.

She paled from his speech, quite a bit impressed. for a while, now, she'd thought of him as almost an imbecile, who made excuses for the lapses in his duties and lavished upon women and wine. She almost felt bad for the poor blacksmith, watching his trembling hand, and she frowned. This man was their comrade. What was to keep him from betraying them should he be too terrified of the next rulers? "It's all right," she soothed, patting a chained hand on his arm before sitting across from him and offering her wrists. He still didn't seem to be able to look up. "Most of the time, I wonder what it is he drinks," she joked lightly, looking up at Aleksanteri reproachfully.

Of course, she saw the sense in his actions and approved of them. However, she couldn't very well go giving him any encouragement, now could she?

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

"No, the Ten has numerous workers," Aleksanteri countered, "and both groups are large enough that combined we'd be unstoppable." He smiled at her. "We need you, and you need us." He still wondered why she was fighting. They were (albeit forcefully) putting her in a position where she had command of even more people. Besides, it made more sense to have only one major group going against the King because multiple groups could by accident ruin one another's plans. He noticed the sour expression on her face and said, "Things'll get better. That's just what things do." At least, in his experience, they had. Good things came from bad things, but nothing came of nothing.

Aleksanteri was a little confused at the lack of horror Eliza seemed to feel about what the blacksmith had said to her. Then again, he supposed that from a different view, it could seem like flattery. Flattery that was not well-done. A friend of Aleksanteri's adopted family had been one of the king's mistresses. She had told him about all the horrible things the king had done to her and her fellows. The topic was not a joking one to him. His friend had ended up losing the king's favor and had been executed in a brutal and public manner. This man was one Aleksanteri knew to be only mildly better; he could not get away with killing a mistress. Other than that, his treatment of women mirrored the king's. Aleksanteri believed that when the Ten took over, this man would meet his justice even though he was helping them. He wiped his forehead, and his hand came away shiny with his sweat.

The blacksmith then did chance a glance up at Eliza after taking a furtive glance at Aleksanteri to make sure he would not be dead if he did so. Aleksanteri, his jaw gritted, allowed him to do so. "Thanks," the blacksmith told Eliza. With one final smash of the handle, the handcuffs were off, leaving only the ones on Eliza's feet. "May I?" he asked Aleksanteri. Some of his courage had returned; his voice contained a fair amount of sarcasm. Aleksanteri nodded in response.

Aleksanteri snorted at Eliza's comment and replied, "Well, it's wine tonight, and then water for a week." The prospect was one he did not care for, but it was purely logic as only served to further dehydrate a person. He sighed and looked at the wineskin clipped to his belt. As if realizing something for the first time, he looked back up at Eliza and back down at the wineskin. "You must be thirsty," he stated. He detached the wineskin from his belt. "Would you like some? I'd offer you something better, but this is all I have on me."

Trying to make small talk (or really any kind of talk) and peace with Aleksanteri, the blacksmith turned to him and asked, "Where are you going next?" He smiled hopefully, displaying his smile, which was missing multiple teeth. He briefly turned his gaze back to Eliza and patted her foot. Aleksanteri caught sight of that and bopped the blacksmith on the head with his booted foot. Aleskansteri shook his head at the blacksmith, whose only response was a simple shrug.

"Nowhere concerning you," Aleksanteri told the blacksmith. His voice was clipped. He trusted the blacksmith not to blab about Eliza, but he still figured the fewer people who knew where he was heading and the errand he was running for Asha Bellatric the better. He sighed and looked down at Eliza's feet to assess the blacksmith's progress. Just as the blacksmith finished, he whistled long and low. Then, people were coming in from the back room with their swords drawn. Aleksanteri glared at the blacksmith. "You betrayed us!" They would have to kill all of these people who had rushed in; they could all blab and ruin the Ten's plans and get both Aleksanteri himself and Eliza killed. Without so much as another word, he slit the blackwmith's throat.

message 21: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments She sighed at his insistence that things would get better. She'd been kidnapped and was in chains. Granted, they were getting those chains off right about now, but his protectiveness was a bit unwarranted. Hadn't he just sworn that he'd trust this man with his life? How could such a bond of trust be poisoned by such absolute mistrust?

Eliza was only laughing at the compliments because they were so horribly awful. It was almost written right out of a comedy, what despicable and horrific things this man called her. So, he didn't know anything about her or anything about where they were going, which was good, in retrospect. When the shackles came off, she felt a wave of nausea, balancing herself where she sat quickly. "Thank you," she said, offering her ankles his way.

She didn't generally find this man as someone she enjoyed being around. His hands were large and swarthy, like they'd had practice strangling pigs, and he sweated far too much, giving off a horrible odor. She wasn't one to talk at the moment, but at least she had a decent excuse. She shuddered slightly as his fingers worked their meaty way around the shackles on her ankles. "You really could have just stolen the keys," she said, obviously very uncomfortable. She felt like her legs were being prodded with sausages.

"Makes sense," she said, looking down at his belt, where the wineskin was. Part of her wanted to deaden the pain with the liquid, just drown it out and be completely indecent, just as they were completely indecent to her. It was a plan she immediately discarded, but she considered it, just out of spite. Besides, she was truly thirsty, and the wine would only make her thirst far worse. "I'm fine," she said, glancing down at the straw rather guiltily. "I'm all right, for now. Just don't forget to feed me later." She crossed her arms, looking at him indignantly as if she was a pet.

However, her eyes immediately sharpened when the blacksmith started getting nosy. She was no stranger to betrayal, nor was she anywhere near stupid. She might not have minded his smile, if it had been anywhere further than three feet from her face. His breath was odious, stinking of onions and garlic and dead mice, as if he didn't bother to empty out traps properly. She nearly coughed directly into his face, and found a very good excuse to kick his face away with her own foot when he patted her ankle. How disgusting a creature.

Apparently, other than hiring a less than scrupulous blacksmith, they had a very waterproof plan. She noticed Aleksanteri looking down at her ankles and she gave him a very sharp, annoyed glare. "Ah, if I only had a dagger right now," she muttered, annoyed that she had no means to protect herself at the moment. She really wished their plan had been far more waterproof, however, when several armed men came out and surrounded them. She didn't even hesitate when the shackles stepped back and the blacksmith was killed. "I've changed my mind, Alek, I really, really need a drink of wine right now." It came off strangely, but if she could only sip it... Wine sapped water, but it welcomed fire.

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

((Okay, I decided to go temporally in order so that it is not a strange mix of times now, so the replies to the existing paragraphs are all rolled into one -- excluding the last paragraph. It's a little shorter now.))

Aleksanteri rolled his eyes at Eliza's sigh. He was beginning to realize that any attempt at being positive, friendly, or at all comforting was going to be refused. He seemed to sense Eliza's confusion at his actions. Yes, he trusted the blacksmith with his life. Anything else? No, not really. He had been forced to trust the blacksmith with his life more than once, so he knew that the blacksmith would not try to hurt them or, so he had thought, betray them. Now, he could see that he had been mistaken. . . . .

Then he realized that something had been amiss from the start. The blacksmith's son had not been there. Mentally, he cursed his mistake as the blacksmith gurgled and sank to his knees on the ground before keeling over onto the floor. Blood spread from his wound onto the floorboards. Aleksanteri wiped the blood from his dagger before aiming it at the people surrounding them. It was then that he was able to process Eliza's words over the sharp pounding of blood in his ears. With a nod, he thrust the wineskin into her hands. He had been briefed about her abilities, after all.

One of the people rushed towards them. He looked back at Eliza to assess how long she would be drinking. Unable to determine the answer in the short amount of time available to him, he decided just to parry the blow the man aimed at him. The man hopped around him as soon as the blades met and before Aleksanteri was able to reposte. The attacker was rather close to Eliza, whom Aleksanteri was meant to protect. He spun around at that moment and launched a cut at the man's head.

The man was barely able to parry and, as one who took sword would know, did the one thing a person was not supposed to do. He attacked Aleksanteri's sword. Aleksanteri was easily able to maintain control of the bind despite the fact he carried the shorter weapon. He pressed through and stabbed the man's cheek. Unfortunately, in the man's howl of pain, he managed to shove Aleksanteri away from his weapon. "Shit," Aleksanteri cursed, shaking out his hand. Unarmed combat, unlike fighting with a dagger, was not his strong suit. He peered behind him to see how Eliza was doing.

message 23: by gabbu (new)

gabbu | 853 comments Mod
((As one of the casual stalkers of your RP, I am extremely grateful you decided to go this route))

message 24: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((Got it, I'm glad you went that route too.))

message 25: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments Eliza repeated herself once or twice, sure that Aleksenteri was rather wrapped up in the battle. She was extremely relieved when he stopped fighting to actually pass her the wineskin. She was weak and rather just barely on her feet; she'd need magic if she hoped to get through this battle. As she glugged down a few gulps, hating the vile, repugnant taste on her tongue, she watched her guardian fight, viciously and accurately, precise and deadly. He was a soldier worth hiring. She gained a smidgen more respect for these ten.

Eliza gasped, coughing slightly, as one of the men slipped behind Alek's guard and aimed a strike at her, defenseless as she was. Her momentary respect for him vanished. "Alek, yous save me right now, or so help me-!" she demanded. She felt that familiar warmth, but so dull, so much like an ember than the normal fire it was. It was taking all her strength to merely call a few flames into existence. She stared wide eyed at her attacker, terrified for her life.

Then, of course, Alek did save her, and she felt foolish for disclosing her fear so visually. Her eyes were caught up in Alek's deadly dance with his opponent, and she returned to the wineskin, draining the remainder, wiping her lips and trembling. It was barely enough, but somehow, it had managed to be enough. As Aleksanteri was disarmed, she darted forwards, under his extended arm, using the existing flames of the the blacksmith's fire, using the blistering heat and the sweltering, boiling fire, bloated from its unattended feast, to lash out at Alek's attacker, burning him immediately.

The effort made her feel very weak, but she took a sword from the racks, poorly made, but desperate for any weapon. The men would have escaped, but the fire had created a deadly perimeter about the room. Of course, that had set the room alight, as well. With a last effort, she sent another mutilating wave of fire at the remaining soldiers. Her knees buckled, but she barely regained her composure. "Aleksanteri?" She spoke slowly, laboriously. "Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm about to faint. If you're not a gentleman-" Eliza fell over.

message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

And he was not quite the gentleman Eliza was likely hoping for. His dagger, which was only slightly worse for the wear from the heat, had been right where it appeared Eliza was to fall. Instead of grabbing Eliza, he reached down and grabbed the dagger so she would not fall on it. He had barely gotten it out of the way when Eliza collapsed to the ground. With a heavy sigh, Aleksanteri grabbed Eliza's wrist and pulled her to her feet though she remained unconscious. "On to have you fitted for the dress," he commented dryly, fully aware that the comment was entirely unnecessary.

He looked outside the shop to see if any other assailants were outside or if the carriage were still there. It was still there, but a thought occurred to Aleksanteri: Eliza might recover better in the heat. Thus, ten minutes later, he found himself sitting on the ground amidst the ash and wiping the droplets of sweat off of his forehead. Guilt about not realizing about the blacksmith's son made itself a pit in his stomach. He had killed the blacksmith even though the man had just been protect his family. A drawn-out sigh slithered past his thin lips.

He looked again at Eliza and decided that she would have to deal just as well without the heat. Besides, staying too long was not a good idea. They had probably drawn attention to themselves either by the clamor that had been created or by the fact the guards had yet to return. He knelt down to sling one of Eliza's arms around his shoulders. Having done that, he stood up. As carefully as he could manage, he made his way to the door, opened it, and made his way outside to the carriage. As gently as he could manage (to make up for not catching her), he set her on the carriages seat and told the driver to start going but not to go to the tailor's until the dress had been made. Aleksanteri then decided he would nap until Eliza regained consciousness.

message 27: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments Eliza fell to the floor heavily, her eyes constantly half slitted, the blood running through her body quickly. Everything was blurry, but she saw through the heat haze, before her eyes closed completely, Aleksanteri not even really trying to catch her. He went for his prized knife instead. With a final, nasty curse muttered under her breath, she closed her eyes, vaguely aware to the sensations around her, as if in a haze between awake and sleep.

Unlike most other hazes, though, she dreamed. And the dreams weren't exactly pleasant. Her nightmares came back, an when she normally wouldn't show outward signs of her unpleasant nightmares, in this haze, both the normal world and the world of sleep existed. She whined like a child, crying to herself, not in pain, but in mental anguish, watching in slow motion, her family's death. She could feel the heat and the ash on her skin. She knew it wasn't real. But everything that surrounded her felt of death and destruction. Only when he made her walk with him, did her feet stumble along and her eyes open halfway, slitted slightly.

She relaxed on the hard carriage bench, opening her eyes completely. "Way to go, Romeo," she snorted, smiling slightly. "I could totally see why you would value the dagger on the floor over the fainting girl. That's totally relatable and understandable." It still hurt, her bruises and all, but she could feel the drug burnt out of her system. "What happened? Did I get them all? I didn't think that last blast was powerful enough..."

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Aleksanteri opened his eyes and was dazed for a second before he shrugged. "Well, had I not moved it, you could have fallen on it. You were too pretty to let be impaled." He smiled at her and winked. "Now, have you an interest in getting your dress?" It didn't matter whether the answer was yes or no. Either way, they were heading there anyway. He was beginning to get worried that Eliza would flee once she had recovered her strength, a fact that would end up being detrimental to the Ten's plans.

He sighed. It was a bit of a relief that he would be gone the next day. The Ten never bothered him when he was going elsewhere to places that did not really concern them (unless they wished to form an alliance). That worked for him; he was able to get more money, and it allowed him more freedom to search for his missing, adopted family. He realized that Eliza had asked another question. He took a second to process it before replying. "Yeah, you did. They're all little ashes."

He smiled encouragingly at her. "More will still be looking for you. The sooner we get you a new set of clothes, the safer you'll be." He told the driver to start off towards the tailor's. He hoped she would be okay with the fact that he then put his hand on her shoulder. Shrugging, he added, "And then I must take you off to Lady Bellatrix for your education on the living Duchess Brannon." He hoped she would be more accepting of her fate now that more time had passed. It would be difficult if she resisted at every turn.

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Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments "Unless you'd chosen to catch me," she pointed out, sticking her tongue out slightly. "Flattery's not working. Obviously you're more attracted to the knife," she teased, arms crossed over her stomach. Oh, perfect. Time to go get a tent wrapped around her legs and pounce around like a ditsy noble. "Look, I don't see a point to this unless you're trying to get a knife in this guy's back from inside the palace doors. If you're just making me do this to keep me from my troops, claim an alliance, and then command my men... Well, it's not going to go well. The king will get stabbed in the back, then my next target will be you." Her eyes were harsh, but almost testing. She didn't just trust these people.

She still had half a mind to run off once she had the strength, but... Honestly, if she could ram a knife in the king... Well, she'd cut off the head of the cobra. This was a once in a lifetime chance. All she needed was an opportune moment. "I'd have thought they would have been big piles of ashes. You're sure no one got away, though? You don't want our identities compromised."

"You do realize I'm a crime lord who's been wanted for the past five years and in charge of her own operation for the past three. I've scaled the most wanted list and soared to the top. I know how to avoid people looking for me. And I won't be any safer when I'm trapped in a balloon skirt rather than a good pair of trousers. Safer. Pah." She listened closely to this whole Lady Bellatrix thing. She sounded more like the mastermind of this operation. Eliza would like to make a few suggestions. In fact... "You know, it's my professional opinion that you should stop trusting people with your life, Alek."

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Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((.))

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

((I know. It's pretty high on my list of ones to respond to, don't worry))

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Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((Oh, good. :D))

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((Yeah. =) ))

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Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((I like rping with you.))

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((And I you.))

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Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((This is really great, digging into the personalities.))

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((It is))

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"Hey, it's not me you should be making suggestions to, Caitria. If it's anyone, it should be your fellow members of the Ten," Aleksanteri told her. He was just following their orders, after all. His say in their plans were only minimal. That was why he was not here and continuing on his normal business of course -- not that he would object to this task now. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He took a long sigh. He was not used to dealing with such contrary people, and he haggled with fellow merchants and shopkeepers on a regular basis. He decided on a different tactic. "If you're not capable of espionage, I'm sure Lady Bellatrix would be able to get you back into the dungeon if you'd rather."

The carriage pulled to a halt outside the tailor's. Once again, Aleksanteri got out first. Unlike last time, however, once he got out, he did not immediately go to let Eliza out. First, he signaled to the tailor, who nodded at him before sending off her apprentices to do other things. When the tailor sent him a nod, Aleksanteri pulled open Eliza's door, helped her out, and wrapped an arm around her to make them look less suspicious and to shield her from the cold. He led her over to the door and threw it open. The store inside was only mildly warmer than the outside temperature, a stark contrast to the interior of the late blacksmith's.

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Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments "I don't know who they are and I don't like that they know who I am. I just want to know why they want Caitria." She was annoyed with this merchant. Didn't he know anything? She needed to know what they wanted with her. Of course, this merchant had a knife and swords, where she didn't have anything. He probably wouldn't be letting her walk away, not now or ever. It was pretty obvious that this was all being forced down her throat. Chained or not, she still felt like a pawn. She heaved a long sigh, slumping in her chair. She laughed shortly. "And then my own family would rescue me again. I almost wish she would." She hadn't moved from lying down, not even when the carriage stopped. Great. Time to get measured up and shoved into a dress. It wouldn't help any. She was filthy and rugged. What she needed, more than any dress, was a bath. She hated that he wrapped an arm around her, but her magic liked his warmth, and besides, he helped her walk, anyway. However, his hand aggravated a large bruise on the back of her neck and she squirmed slightly. Even inside, she was close to freezing, so she kept close to Aleksanteri.

Okay, she admitted it. The dresses were gorgeous works of art, the fabric softer than anything she'd touched in her life. This place was something she should never have set foot in, had she been raised a peasant. It might have been illegal for her to even enter. Her eyes drooped slightly as she shivered, slumping into the nearest chair, probably dirtying it, but not really caring.

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"Perhaps you won't be so opposed to the increased resources and power once you get more accustomed to it," Aleksanteri said with a short huff. This would have been such an easier task had she not been stubbornly resisting him at every single point possible. He sighed as she took her seat on the couch. "You're going to have to measure her for a dress. I pity you." He ran a hand through his now slightly greasy and partially ruffled hair. Unbeknownst to him, this made some strands of his hair stick up at odd angles.

The tailor gulped and nodded. Catching a look at the state of Eliza, she raised an eyebrow and turned to Aleksanteri. "The girl looks like she's been through hell and back. She's filthy!" She put her hands on her hips and stared irritably at Aleksanteri. "What have you been doing to the poor thing? Flirting incessantly?" She smirked at the indignant look Aleksanteri shot her. She grabbed Eliza's arm and pulled her to her feet. "Come on, you poor dearie. Off to the bath with you and then we'll get you measured."

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Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments "There's more to life than sacrificing your soul for more power." She frowned at him. It should have been much easier, but he was so horribly unable to answer her questions, he'd recently tried threatening her with the noose again unless she played along and obeyed, and she was really worried that once they'd announced this, 'alliance', they'd kill her off and command her troops in indignant rage. "Thank you for your reassurance in my character, Alek." Her eyes were practically drooping closed. She raised an eyebrow at his messy hair, sticking up everywhere. "You need a comb."

She looked over at the tailor, who had a look of apprehension on her face. She then caught her own reflection in a mirror. Her skin was stuck to her bones, muscles outlined, with nothing padding them. Her ribs were visible through the tears in her shirt. Her clothes were ripped and covered in mud, filth, and ash. And her hair looked as if someone had ran his hands into it and tangled it all together. "I need a comb," she whispered, as she was insulted, yet again, and then pitied. "I've been worse," she protested, stumbling as the tailor pulled her up and tugged hr somewhere. A bath? That sounded like heaven. Anything to clean her injuries and just rest. She longed for a bed. But a warm pool of water was just as well. "Oh, yes, he flirts far too much. I think he's more frustrated that I don't flirt back."

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"Power in a resistance group that is trying to overthrow the king," Aleksanteri amended. He was about to say something about leaving and letting Asha deal with her from then on (he was getting a bit frustrated with her stubbornness). "You know, my inanimate goods never put up such resistance. Nor do my stubborn asses." He huffed and wiped his palms on his trousers. He then caught sight of himself in the mirror. He did recognize that he looked just a bit disheveled, but he also knew that it was not nearly as bad as it was when he had just arrived at a new destination after a long journey. He was gracious enough not to enter the room after the tailor and Eliza. Instead, he literally sat down and began twiddling his thumbs.

The tailor laughed in response to what Eliza had said. "Sounds a lot like him. I've heard it said more than once that he has attachment issues with the death of his parents when he was just a babe and the disappearance of his adopted family just half a decade or so back." She sighed and poured a bucket of water into a small silver tub. "I'm afraid this is the best I've got." She handed Eliza a small thing of rather homemade looking soap. "I'll get you a shift and a loose dress to keep you decent during the measuring." She patted Eliza on the shoulder and made to leave the room.

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Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments "Great, that deal sounds so amazing," she drawled, "My soul for the power to kill somebody. Count me in." She was about to say something about leaving and going back to prison and have him deal with his superiors and the like. She was very frustrated with his attempt to completely indoctrinate her into their cause, not telling her what she was supposed to do in it, stifle her questions, and expect her to be perfectly happy. "You're stubborn asses aren't going to be part of the new government, luckily enough for everyone else. There's a reason I'm in command, and it's not to be dragged about with no answers to my questions. I can wait til... That Lady Bellatrix, but... It's frustrating. My apologies."

She left the room with the tailor. "I do understand," she said quietly, hopefully out of earshot. "He's a good man -half of the time. You can't expect everyone to act the same when they lose those who are dear to them." She wasn't sure why the tailor was spewing this personal information, but it almost made her feel guilty for being worse than a stubborn ass to Aleksenteri. And then she thought back to her own murdered family. She'd dealt with it. So why couldn't he? Oh, because they'd left him willingly, they might still be alive. That would hurt worse than having them stolen from him.

"Thank you," she told the lady, carefully moving the silver bowl to a more private part of the room, shrouded by furniture. There she stripped and washed all her injuries, finally washing her scalp and hair, as best as she could. She'd say that soap worked wonders, although it scalded her skin. A few minutes after her bath, the redness of her skin went down to normal, and she began to be very cold. She took the shift and dress and pulled them on. It felt like wearing a blanket, which she welcomed at the moment. Maybe dresses wouldn't be completely bad. She then just laid down on a carpet and pulled her knees to her chest, resting.

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Unfortunately, by the time it seemed that Eliza didn't necessarily want nothing to do with Aleksanteri, Aleksanteri had gone outside. He was frustrated certainly. He was trying to explain to Eliza that by joining the Ten, she would be able to further what she was already doing and have more men under her command. Sure, she'd be working with the other nine members of the Ten, but it was still something. However, with her resistance at every turn, he was beyond frustrated. All his efforts were in vain, and he was ready to just give up.

Sighing heavily, he leaned against the wall of the tailor's. Perhaps by the time Eliza was done inside he'd be ready to speak with her. A large part of him doubted that he would. He rubbed his cheeks with his hands and watched his breath condense in the cold atmosphere. Deciding it would probably be a while, he slid to the ground. The cobblestones were cold, and were he wearing less layers, they likely would have been decidedly uncomfortable. He glanced up at the window, but he couldn't see anything within from the angle he was at.

The tailor realized that Eliza was done with her bath. She decided that she would dump the bathwater out later after Eliza and Aleksanteri had left. She didn't want to give away that she had someone unusual in her shop, after all. She hustled Eliza out of the room to the room she used to measure her clients. She had a couple dresses that she had previously made for Caitria here already, so she hoped that it would be easy enough to fix up the dress quickly. The longer Aleksanteri and Eliza were there was, after all, the more danger the three of them were in.

message 45: by Ilsa (new)

Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments Poor Aleksanteri. Eliza was just really vulnerable, so she bit at every turn. She totally understood what was happening, but because she focused on the dangers and got no answers, she was terrifying herself because she was thrown into this situation. What she really wanted to do was check into an in and sleep for a few days. Her head still hurt and she'd more recently glugged a whole bottle of alcohol, which didn't help. Nor did the fact that she'd wiped herself out not five minutes earlier. It took a lot of her consciousness to keep from going completely tipsy. She was right on the edge of drunkenness.

She really kind of wanted to talk to someone, even if it was Aleksanteri, and she had apologized, but then again, she'd been, well, a real pain in the ass. Unfortunately, he was right outside the window to their room, the one she was getting measured in for, and she decided to strike up a conversation.

"So..." She said, imagining the murky puddle of water in the basin. She tried to sit, but stood again quickly, wanting this over with as quickly as possible. "What happened to Aleksanteri, exactly? What makes him the way he is? I mean, he's nice, a good warrior, and he's sensible, I suppose, but... He seems more frustrated and annoyed and flirtatious, but through all it, he doesn't really seem to care about anything."

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Aleksanteri left where he was sitting near the building to talk with the driver of the carriage. It was better than sitting around aimlessly for certain, and perhaps it would take his mind of his frustration. He hoped talking with the man would not prove to do the opposite. This, he decided to strike up a conversation about the weather. It was probably one of the safest and most bland topics that existed, and it only held Aleksanteri's interest for a few minutes before he excused himself to go do something. He was rather sure the excuse he had used was fetching a drink, so he wandered over to the nearest tavern, which was not far from the tailor's. Actually, it was right across the street, so he was still able to watch for any mysterious activity outside.

The tailor set to work taking Eliza's measurements. It wasn't a long process, and she was done in less than ten minutes. When she finished that, she started to work on fixing up the first dress's size. "Aleksanteri? Ooh, he's been like that since I've known him. He believes in the cause, we all know that. But he's a merchant and does a lot of travelling. I think a large part of him just wants a little bit of closure." The tailor shrugged and continued her work once she finished speaking.

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Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((On phone, will post when I get home.))

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Ilsa (eruaistaniel) | 617 comments ((I'd kind of hoped he's eavesdrop, lol.))

Eliza saw him walk into the tavern from the window, then shut the shutters over the thin glass pane. He probably needed a refill on that wine skin. Heck, she'd driven many men to the despair of drink. She was just that frustrating, especially to men. She read, beat them up, and was generally everything someone of her role shouldn't be. For heaven's sake, she even wrote her own letters and decrees to her men. "Would you mind," she said slowly, "If I wrote a letter. You wouldn't have to deliver it. I can manage. But could I borrow a page of cheep paper and some ink?" She had her own pen, of course.

She watched, feeling very awkward at the measurements, even if they were over as soon as they'd begun. Measuring her chest, waist and hips? She felt like a cattle being tested for the fatness enough to slaughter it. Eliza was practically thrilled when it ended, sitting to listen and watch. The woman was skilled with the needle, with the soothing, methodical way of altering, perfecting. It was something Eliza would have hated doing. It seemed trapped. Contained. Frantic. "Closure on his family? Who are they? What are their names?" It was a long shot, but she had a lot of friends. If she sent orders to her men, explaining their TENTATIVE alliance with the Ten, and asking for information about Aleksanteri's family name... Maybe she could do some good.

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((I thought about it))

The tailor shook her head. "I would not mind at all. In fact, it would be my pleasure to aid someone the Ten like so much." She smiled at Eliza in a way she clearly thought would be comforting. She patted Eliza on the shoulder. She thought about what Eliza had asked about Aleksanteri's family. She wondered why Eliza was asking, but she figured that it also wasn't her place to say anything. She then realized that Aleksanteri had never mentioned the names of his family. After having been silent for a few minutes at least, she stammered, "I-I have no clue wh-what their n-names are, milady." She then rubbed her hands together. "And now to ensure there are no differences in the face." It was not a procedure that would hurt Eliza at all. In fact, it would be utterly painless, a reversible operation of magic.

Aleksanteri wasn't drinking much in the tavern. He would have done so, but he acknowledged that keeping a better option was clearly the better choice in this scenario. That would not stop him from slowly drinking one glass of wine and having his pouch better. He could feel himself calming down slightly. It was good. However, he figured that Eliza would be done soon. He stood up and sauntered back out into the frosty air. He suppressed a shiver as he hurried across the street. Assuming Eliza would be decent, he threw open the door and stepped inside.

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