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Chapter 7
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Joined: 18 May 2004
Posts: 3750
Location: Virginia

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:12 pm    Post subject: Chapter 7  

Desmond has traveled far since leaving his home village. Found by Lord Renef, Desmond traveled to the Capital in hopes of preparing himself for his fight against his brother Icrius. But murder and false accusations forces Desmond to flee into the forest. There he finds a friend captured by unknown men.
Last Decision: Fight the agressors
NOTE: I wrote this chapter since when I was last here, and that was the choice in the lead. I noticed that people still voted, and changed the percentages, so I am sorry if some of you do not agree with this choice. But I assure you, this chapter will still be to your liking.

Chapter 7

“No one, of any concern,” Desmond choked out in response. The air was thick with tension. The tapping of stranger’s foot seemed to be the only sound easily discernible within the heavy air. Beside him, Sanae just clutched his hand.

“If you are someone of no concern whatsoever, then why are you dealing with someone that is of concern, ours especially?” The low voice asked inquiringly. “Now, move.” Desmond felt the toe of a boot ram into his side, forcing him to let go of Sanae’s hand.

And under her fearful gasp, he rolled over holding his injured side.
Desmond crawled backwards, so he could move a few feet away from his injurer. Now the man stood between him and Sanae, who with sad eyes looked toward him. If he could distract the man, he thought, then Sanae could escape.

“What do you want with her?” Desmond tried to hide his fear with as much bravado he could muster.

“Do not think for one minute, I will take your bait and give you time,” the man snarled angrily. “I am going to bury you deep in the ground, when I am done with you. Mac, get your sniveling self over here, and make sure the girl does not escape.”

Damn, Desmond thought. For the man had caught him motioning his head to Sanae to get up from the ground. Mac strode forward and dragged Sanae up from the ground, pulling her head back by her hair. Desmond looked from the man to Sanae’s capturer. He was at a disadvantage now; the brute could just hold a knife to Sanae’s throat and they would be caught. He had to do something now.

Taking out the same knife he had used to cut the ropes binding Sanae, Desmond held it in front of him, and began to circle the man. As he did this, he tried to determine what would be the best move to make first. From where he first stood, there was linear line made by all of them, with the unnamed man standing between him and Sanae and her captor, known as Mac.

“What are you trying to do, little boy?” the man sneered. “The first step you make toward the girl could be cause for her death.”
Desmond ignored the man’s words, and kept his face impassive as possible. Whenever he moved, the man moved at the same time, keeping that same linear line made by all of them. It would seem the man was waiting for Desmond to make the first move. If that is what he wants, Desmond thought grimly. Best give him it.

Throwing all caution to the wind, Desmond strove forward with a yell, his dagger forward. Desmond clearly saw, as if time had slowed, astonishment cross the man’s face when the blade plunged deep into his side. Blood spurted out from the newly formed wound. He quickly withdrew the dagger and attacked again; this time aiming for the shoulder, which he savagely slashed. The experience he had learned back at the Capital came back to him. With quick, small steps, he slashed and swirled like a blur, while at the same time barely avoiding his opponent’s attempts at retaliation with a dagger of his own.

His opponent kept coming at him with fast stabs of the dagger, always changing his point’s direction, that as Desmond began to tire he had trouble dodging the deadly point of the blade. Each time he avoided one direction of the blade, another one came from a different direction. Watching these constant attacks, Desmond finally saw a pattern in their periods.

For his opponent too was tiring, and kept a steady stream of attacks for some time, and then he left an opening when he his slowed his blade’s attacks, so he could catch his breath for a moment. When one of those opportunities came, Desmond rushed forward, like he did before, and aimed straight in front of him. He heard success when the man, who he was fighting, gurgled a groan of agony and collapsed onto the ground holding his free hand over his stomach where blood had begun to flow steadily out the dagger wound. Desmond caught himself before he swayed over with exhaustion at the fight he had barely won.

He stared at the fallen man, his dagger clutched into his right hand. “You better stay there on the ground, or I swear I will finish the job I started.” He turned and headed toward the grove where Sanae sat under the watchful eye of Mac. As he did this he missed the pleading look the wounded man on the ground gave to Sanae, who in return responded with a feral grin. If Desmond had seen the man’s crestfallen reaction, it would have given him cause to suspect something devious going on around him.

“Don’t you dare do anything,” Desmond threatened brandishing the knife he held right under Mac’s nose. He brought himself down to his knees, and clasped Sanae’s hands in his own. “Are you okay?”

Sanae hid a sly smile. So the little brother of Icrius is not what he seems, she thought musingly. He had learned well from Renef she admitted grudgingly, but that did not have to change her opinion of the man himself. He was always so nosy, and looking into events that were not of his concern at all.

“I am fine, Desmond,” she replied with a small smile. Desmond watched her eyes turn toward the man in the middle of the field, and eye him wearily. “I sense some kind of danger around him,” she said with a shudder. “Like he would revenge himself on us, if we let him live.” She allowed her words to come out slowly, so that anyone who could hear her would hear the veiled command.

Hearing her voice left Desmond shaken a little. Who was this girl that sat next to him? True, he did not know Sanae that well, but from her behavior now compared to what he experienced back at Court, to him she was a totally different person with the same name. “What should we do then? Tie them up to a tree, and leave them?”

“Or you could just kill them both with that dagger of yours,” Sanae answered levelly. Looks of horror appeared on both the man in the middle, and Mac’s faces when her next words came out. “No, I am decided. You should kill them.”

Desmond was taken aback at her words. He even took a few steps away from her to put some distance between them. “I am not their executioner, nor have they done anything that drastic against me. And you, you don’t look that seriously injured. I am sure if we can get you to a safe, sheltered place, you will be well rested.”

“Do you want to even know what those two did to me?” Sanae asked in the same even tone from before.

Desmond shook his head. “And, no, you do not need to tell me,” he added hastily when he saw her open her mouth to give the explanation.

He gave a low whistle, and Pontius soon appeared after crashing through the forest along the way. Desmond walked up to the horse, and patted its neck. Along Pontius’s side hung a saddlebag, and after a moment of digging through it, Desmond found the coil of rope he had taken from the storeroom. “Why don’t we just tie them both to a tree, and then we can head off?”

Desmond eyed Sanae oddly when he caught her fighting with herself mentally. What did she mean by saying that “they had to wait?” Who were “they?” And what was she waiting for?

Desmond just shoved the questions into the back of his mind when he could reach no reasoning for such questions. Instead he busied himself with tying up the two men to a nearby tree. He had to threaten the man not named Mac with the knife to get up and stand against the tree where his partner was. As he tied the two men, recognition hit him.

“You’re the two I met at that gathering in the mess hall when I first came,” he said accusingly. Confusion raked over him. What were two noblemen doing out here in the middle of the forest with a young girl? Even he would have used his own soldiers to do the job of finding a girl if he were a rich lord.

“Bravo,” the taller man answered sarcastically. “If it took you that long to recognize us that must mean we are truly masters of disguise.”

“Who are you?” Desmond asked waveringly.

“They follow my orders,” a soft voice answered. Desmond turned away from the two men tied to the tree to only sight a taller version of Sanae standing before him. She was dressed in the same blue dress Sanae had worn when he had first met her in the mess hall.

“What have you done to Sanae?” He demanded.
The woman gave a light laugh. “For once, I think Beren has actually said the truth. You are truly naïve if can think such thoughts.” Her golden eyes, just like Sanae’s, hardened. “The question that comes upon us is whether or not I should tell you the truth of what happened to your friend.”

Angry words demanding the presence of his friend stayed frozen in his throat. He did not know what to say. He was still processing the sudden appearance of the woman before him. She had the looks of an adult Sanae, yet her behavior was different. When had this change occurred? Realization hit him. His mind traveled back to when he and San first squared off with her captors. She had clutched his hand tightly in what he assumed was fear, yet was it really that? He looked up again at the woman, and only to meet cold eyes.

“Do you really think your friend would quiver in fear of two men, who can’t even save their own lives?” A smirk appeared on her face when Desmond’s eyes widened with shock when she asked him the same question that ran through his head.

“No,” he answered forcefully. He wanted to say something to prove to this woman that he was not weak and naïve. “She would not. She would…” He was at a loss though because he did not know what the true Sanae would have done. He had only been with her a few times, and even those times did not give him much insight of the girl.

“I remember wanting to punch a boy, but restrained myself because I would have gotten the same attention as him,” the woman said musingly. “But of course, I was able to put all of my energy into plunging two knives into to unfortunate souls later.”

“You murdered the emperor, and his heir, didn’t you?” Desmond demanded angrily. “And you had me framed? Why would I want some dumb throne?” Thoughts of Sanae and her honor were pushed away to be replaced by fury.

“It was necessary,” the woman answered coolly. “It was to make you come to the meeting with the Master that night. But, you must have forgotten about it, after experiencing all that shock and anger all in one time and place.”

“Who are you?” Desmond ignored her words that assumed what his feelings had been after the event that took him away from the place that he thought would be his new home.

“Your friend is no longer here. She never was, nor will be. She never really existed,” the woman said with a shrug. “I am she to answer your question. And I wish to help you.”

“Don’t believe that witch!” One of the men snarled. “You’re that woman from before, the one that owned the blue siphrous.” He strained against the rope that he kept from any movement.

“Do you really think you’re strong enough to know the truth of why your friend is such a swine?” The woman had walked up to the man, and stroked his cheek teasingly with her hand. “And is in that state, and why you’re still alive in your human form?”

Desmond saw the man raise his chin high to stare straight into the woman’s eyes. “I can take anything, even when tied like this.”

The woman smiled knowingly, and bent forward to whisper into his ear. The man’s reaction was as she predicted. Desmond watched in horror as the man pulled against the rope like a rabid animal. He was twisting furiously, while at the same pushing furiously against the binds.

“Both of you have been actually deceived.” She turned to include the other man, who unlike his furious companion was instead silent. “You thought you could escape him? Did you not learn your lesson from Nera? I hear her bites can be quite vicious.” The man she referred to stopped his mad attempts to break his bonds. She focused her amber eyes on the silent man. “You were the first to leave, so did not meet the full wrath of the Master. But he told me, I was to give you this if I were to meet you again,” and she handed the man a little box.

He opened it, and his face paled suddenly. Desmond saw a slip of paper float from the opened box, and picked it up. You’re no snake in the shadows, despite your name, for I am the only one who matches that description, Desmond read. Snakes and shadows?

He turned to the pale-faced man. “You’re the one I met when we were in that abandoned house. You told me to beware a serpent that walks near my shadow. The snake you speak of, who is it?”

The man lifted his head. The visage of a simpering pudgy man had been replaced with the serene face of a man tired of deception. “I do not know who it is. I had only met this person when dark was his light. I never saw his face. But she may know,” he said tilting his head toward the woman, who watched the scene play out with amusement.

“It seems that this whole truth revealing session has ended with you, two. With that said, I have nothing more to say.” She snapped her fingers. And within a second, black clothed men appeared surrounding the group. “You know where to take those two,” she said in a commanding air. “I have no use for them.” And with a wave of her hand, the men with the addition of two other persons disappeared, leaving Desmond all alone.

“Ride through the forest, and when you see two trees with a shoot growing out between them, stop. Use this ring, and knock it against the shoot. Then shall you have your answers.” The tone in her voice was still cold and emotionless, but her last choice of words had a hint of a challenge in them.

Desmond eyed the ring she handed him suspiciously, his back facing the woman, so his words came out a bit muffled. “How am I to know you’re not trying to trick me or something?”

The woman shrugged her shoulders, and replied, “You don’t.”

When Desmond turned around to ask her what she meant by her parting words, the woman was no longer standing there. Instead Sanae’s prone form was on the ground. He heard a groan come from her as she awoke from her state.

“Desmond,” she asked weakly. “What just happened?”

Sorry for the long wait. Read and give suggestions.
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Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 1765

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:55 pm    Post subject:  

Excellent, I thought the character interaction was good.
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Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:18 pm    Post subject:  

Woah. That was kinda confusing (in a good way). When I finished reading it, I wondered if you actually told me anything important. I had to reread it, to find all the information. It was excellent.

Anyway, he should go to the place to find answers, and he should keep Sanae with him, but be very wary of her.

Oh, and in the end of the the second paragraph, you forgot the word 'go'. It says 'let of her hand'.

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Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 2567
Location: USA

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:13 am    Post subject:  

Explain what just happened to Sanae. Doubtful she'll tell you anything enlightening (or even be able to, for that matter) but telling her may help you collect your thoughts.

You have a ring, and a set of instructions. Is there anywhere you could go to find out more about this ring? Is there anywhere you could go to perhaps find allies? Surely that would be better than just blindly following the woman's instructions.
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Night Walker

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject:  

ethereal_fauna wrote: You have a ring, and a set of instructions. Is there anywhere you could go to find out more about this ring? Is there anywhere you could go to perhaps find allies? Surely that would be better than just blindly following the woman's instructions.

Agreeing.It woldn't be wise just to rush to the tree,because there's probably a high change that it would be an ambush
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Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8882

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:39 pm    Post subject:  

Well, bearing in mind I have only read this chapter, I say follow her plan. I was a bit confused by her attitude. One minute she seemed 'hostile' the next almost helpful.

The guy tied to the tree, what diet doe she have? I mean, stabbed countless times but still okay? One tough cookie!

Voted to follow the plan, seems to me if she had wanted to kill him she could have easily done it already.
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Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:33 am    Post subject:  

I voted to follow the instructions, mostly for curiousity's sake. It will take too long to find other information about the ring, they seem to be in the middle of nowhere at the moment, and the most information he'll probably find is that it's magic.

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Joined: 18 May 2004
Posts: 3750
Location: Virginia

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:35 am    Post subject:  

Three-way tie here, darn. Okay, I need a tiebreaker here. :cool:
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Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:27 am    Post subject:  

Looks like someone broke it.
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Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:08 pm    Post subject:  

i think that he should go find out about the ring because she is trying to do something and this time he should find out all he can instead of listening to someone who is trying to manuplate him into doing something else ;)
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Joined: 18 May 2004
Posts: 3750
Location: Virginia

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:52 am    Post subject:  

Were you all trying to do a countdown or somethingwith the vote? :cool:

Well I am closing the poll. I probably should be reprimanded for posting this chapter late. But I don't think that Chapter 8 will be up until next year. I go on vacation Christmas Eve and won't be near any computer or internet probably until New Year's Day. So it is not likely there will be a chapter for the month of December.

I should probably blame it all on midterms and college stuff for keeping me away from writing... Thanks for reading the story so far. I can't believe I have been working on this story for over a year now.

The decision decided is to follow the woman's instructions.

Use this forum as you like until I have the next chapter. Although I probably shouldn't offer it so freely when I am to be gone for the rest of the month. :D
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