Perilous Waltz

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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:44 pm

The man laughed heartily at Josephine's response. She was brave, if not foolish.
"Very well, little wildcat," he chuckled, "you shall face me alone. But know that your hatred of your cousin has already cost you a great deal."
The older man who was putting food onto the platter shook his head and gave Josephine a look of grave concern. Her captor pressed the blade hard enough to put a small tear in the fabric of her dress and guided her to the hallway that led to the gardens.
---
Not-Forrester smiled back as best as he could.
"I would be honored if you did," he said.
He took a look around the room and gave her a small grin.
"How would you like it if I showed you around the castle?"
---
Forrester crossed his arms and sighed.
"Okay, mercenary, listen. If you have any skill at lock-picking, it may save you from charges of treason. You may want to consider that."
Lachlan glanced at Erin.
"Call off your lady-knight, and I will see what I can do."
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Wolfsong » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:32 am

Christina beams as Forrester answers positive, but she felt there was some sort of hesitation in it. She wondered if maybe she had done or said something wrong. And now, as she looked up at him, looked directly into his eyes, it suddenly occurred to her that something wasn't right. There was something wrong with the Forrester before her, but for the life of her she couldn't think what.
"Thank you, it is a generous offer," she said softly, backing away. It was only five steps, but they were light and quick, he heels still off the ground, ready to run if need be. "But I would prefer to remain here. A..another dance has started..."
She couldn't help but back another step. She felt so wrong now, knowing that somehow there was danger here, but for the life of her couldn't think what. Nervously she ran her hands through her hair, looking for something to say but finding her throat had gone dry.

OOC- hope this doesn't do anything to your plans, Silvanis.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:57 am

OOC: Not at all. Let Christina do as she will ^w^

Not-Forrester frowned a little. Where had he slipped up? He searched his mind. What would the real Forrester do in this situation?
"I certainly would not want to push you into doing something that you do not want to," he said, holding up his hands disarmingly, "if you would rather stay here, that is quite alright. I did not mean to seem too forward. I apologize."
Now what? He needed to get her out of this ballroom, away from anyone who could see the test. She was a nice girl, he didn't want to frighten her more than necessary. His mind raced for the next move. He could not afford to let her get suspicious enough to talk to someone about his presence.
"You are a bit pale, Lady Christina, would you like me to fetch you some water?"
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Wolfsong » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:03 pm

After a moment, Christina nodded slightly. "Yes...yes, that would be nice." Put some distance between them. That nagging feeling of unease was growing, and she wanted nothing more than to get away from him. The second his back was turned, she would run.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:27 pm

Not-Forrester nodded and headed to the tables. He knew that she would probably not be there when he got back. He glanced around for another Sneak to intercept her. Fortunately, the old man was making his way through the crowd with a platter filled with food.
"For the guests, I wager?" he asked as the man passed by.
The old man stared for a moment and then chuckled.
"My, for a moment I thought you were him," he smiled, "you must have been practicing."
"Very kind, sir," replied Not-Forrester hurriedly, "listen. My target has guessed that I am not him, and has undoubtedly run off by now--"
"Oh, the noblewoman who was playing with her hair?"
"Yes, how did you-"
The old man winked.
"They do not call me Overseer for nothing."
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Davidizer13 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:01 pm

The gray-eyed man appeared in the doorway of the pantry, gazing down the aisles of shelves and barrels. Stephania shrunk back a little more into her hiding spot, not even daring to breathe. In the other room, she could still hear the cooks arguing, just feet away from the confrontation about to unfold with no way to reach them. Her eyes fell to her axe, still gripped tightly in her hand - it was her last option at this point. Unless...

She snapped to her feet, and with an elbow to the shelf, pans and spoons rattled to the ground. Gray-eyes was headed her way. Worse still, she hadn't thought up of the next step of her plan. She delved deeper into the shelves; with a quick glance backwards, she could see that he had her in his sight, and he was headed her way again. Quietly, as if separated from the world itself, he stepped over the mess, towards the gap between two barrels Stephania had wedged herself into. He was right there in seconds, standing over her, their eyes locked together.

"Hello?" said a voice from behind them. One of the cooks was staring at the scene, a serving spoon still sticky with dough in his hand. "What's going on in here?" he asked, studying the scene. Grey-eyes gave Stephania a quick, sharp kick, and she rose to her feet.

"Forgive us, sir, we were merely lost. Could you direct us back to the main hall?"

The cook stared them down for a while, then pointed back the way they came. "Get out before you make an even bigger mess. Already too much trouble out there for one day, without you revelers kicking through my pantry," he muttered, shaking his head. Gray-eyes smiled, then pulled Stephania away with him. They headed out of the pantry, then took turns down stairs, going deeper into the castle. Stephania thought of mentioning that fact, but with the look in his eyes as he led her along, she kept her concerns to herself. At least, until her axe was removed from her hands, she was put in a cell in the dungeons, and there were iron bars between the two of them.

"Please tell me, what have you done? What are you doing? Why am I here? Could you-" But the man had turned away and wandered out of sight. Overwhelmed, she plopped down against the wall, waiting for something to happen. Someone had to know she was here, or that something was going on - what had she done? She had seen a man at the party, and nothing more; she tried to help someone, but was blocked and even attacked in the attempt. The dire predictions in the invitation had come true.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:19 pm

Forrester heard a cell slam and woman's voice coming from deeper in the dungeon. She sounded quite cognizant and scared.
"Miss? You are not alone in here!" he called, unsure of where to direct his voice.
Lachlan perked up and went to the bars.
"Lady Stephania? Is that you?"
Forrester raised an eyebrow.
"A friend of yours?"
Lachlan scowled and said very quietly, "Do not judge her so quickly. She hardly knows me."
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby sarahleinaar » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:03 pm

Serephine listened as yet another person was dragged in. It sounded like a woman.
She felt bad that she was all alone. Before Will could protest, she walked over to the bars of the cell.
"Um, Mr. Guard Sir," she called. One of the guards walked over.
"I feel, ummm uncomforatble being with all these men. WOuld you mind if I moved to where that other woman was put," she asked.
The guard rolled his eyes but nodded. As he unlocked the cage she turned flashing the guys a quick wink just so they'd know that she didn't really mind their company but she wanted to keep the other woman company. The guard took her by the arm and locked the cell behind her, shoving the key in his pocket. She tole a glance at the key and noticed it sticking out. Ever so swiftly, she stole the key and threw slide it through the bars into Forrester's hands for he was the closest. The guard didn't notice a thing. He took her to the other cell and took out the other key from his other pocket. He put her in the cell and then locked it behind her.
"There you go miss," he said and with a quick nod walked back to his post by the door.
Serephine sighed and turned to the young woman.
"Hello, I'm Princess Serephine. Are you Lady Stephania? I thought I heard Lachlan call your name," she said.

(OOC: Hope that was okay! I didn't really have my characters doing anything and thought we could have a little action. :D
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:04 pm

(OOC: I like it! She's a sneaky one.)
Forrester quickly pocketed the key and smirked at the others. They had only to wait for the right moment. Lachlan sighed in relief. The faster he could get away from Forrester and Erin, the better.
---
Not-Forrester smiled at the Overseer.
"I should have known better," he said, "see if you can lead her away into the halls. I can take it from there."
"As you wish, my friend," said the Overseer, "but I must ask you to bring this food to our guests while I find your target. I told one of the young masters that I would give him something to eat."
Not-Forrester went pale.
"Is... well... am I there," he asked.
The Overseer frowned and thought for a moment, "Ah! Hide your face with a robe and use your talents. I am certain that in your range of mimicry that you can sound like me."
Not-Forrester cleared his throat and hunched over slightly. "I suppose," he said, copying the Overseer's voice flawlessly.
With a satisfied chuckle, the Overseer handed him the platter of food and sent him on his way. Now to find the target and bring her in.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Wolfsong » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:02 am

The second Forrester turned his back, she bolted. It came across as a graceful, if fast, walk, but it was practically running. She was scared, dreadfully so. Forrester...no, this double. It couldn't have been Forrester. Those eyes...they weren't right.
But why would someone be impersonating Forrester? Normally it could be shrugged off as an accident, but he'd answered to the name. It was all wrong, and she was afraid. She wanted to find someone, someone she knew, someone she trusted...
"I'll leave, and head home," she decided suddenly. "Its an irrational fear, but...I don't want to remain. Not without them. Stephen, Maxwell...I'll leave now. Its childish, but I must."
She hurried for the exit. She was fairly certain she remembered where the stables were. She just had to get there.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:26 am

The Overseer kept an eye on Christina, circling as well as his old legs would carry him to intercept her. There, he saw her hurrying through the crowd. He artfully placed himself to bump into her as she went through the exit.
"My apologies, m'lady," he chuckled, "where are you away to in such a hurry?"
He looked her in the eye and his smile melted.
"Oh, dear. What has frightened you so?"
---
Not-Forrester made his way as quickly as he could to the dungeons, slowing only when he reached the door. He carefully adopted the Overseer's hunched gait and pulled the robe's sleeves over his too-youthful hands.
"I do hate to ask you to reach through the bars for your refreshments," he said in the Overseer's voice, "but I am afraid I cannot risk you going upstairs yet."
He served the women first, and then the men. He moved as quickly as he dared, as the real Overseer could only stall so long.
"I will return with drinks," he said, "again, I apologize for your unfortunate lodgings. It will only be a little longer."
He made his way back out of the dungeon, closed the door, and immediately broke into a run. He had to reach Christina before a more unpleasant Sneak was dispatched to take over.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Ally-Ann » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:59 pm

The color drained from Josephine's face-- or what color was left, anyway-- and her eyes widened. As the tip of her captor's blade pressed against her back, tearing her dress slightly, the noble worried that the ma would be able to hear her heart pounding. The blade had torn her clothes so easily, and she feared that if the man pressed any harder, blood would be shed. This fear is what forced Josephine forward, toward one of the halls that lead to the garden. She walked in silence, beyond confused as to why this man wanted to take her somewhere so remote. Was he a thief, a murderer, a rapist? Or perhaps all of those?

Josephine didn't know, but once in the hall way-- where no one else was dwelling-- adrenaline coursed through her limbs, and she suddenly gathered as much of her dress into one hand (to keep from stepping on it) before dashing down the hallway as fast as her slim legs could carry her. She ran towards the garden, where the man was likely taking her, and she rammed herself into the double-doors, effectively, if not painfully, throwing them open. She ignored the pain in her shoulder from performing such a feat as she continued to run. Where she was running, she was not sure, as much of the garden was a large maze of tall bushes and hedges and trees, so she stopped, unsheathing her sword with unprecedented speed, prepared for the man to come after her. I can do this without Orion. 'Tis a rare event, but I will manage, Josephine thought, trying to reassure herself that she was strong enough to fight a man. The sun was setting, casting dramatic shadows on everything, and she was not far from the opening of the maze; only at a corner, where a few fruit trees grew side-by-side. I'm stronger than I lead on.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:23 pm

The man with the blades smiled and gave chase. He liked a good challenge. When he finally found his target, she had her sword at the ready. He clicked the trigger and disengaged his blade. He held up his hands.
"As much as I like your fervor, I think it is only fair to explain myself," he grinned, "my master is looking for adept fighters for, well, reasons that will be explained later. I heard you arguing with someone, your cousin I suppose, and thought that perhaps you could fight with a weapon as well as you do with your words. Now, I am afraid that I have you backed into a corner. I am to test your abilities to see if you are fit for our... er... mission. If you agree, we will fight until I am satisfied that I understand your skill. If you decline, I will be forced to kill you. And, trust me, you will be outnumbered if you try to run."
He gestured to the hedges surrounding them.
"What will it be, wildcat?"
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Davidizer13 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:58 am

"Master Lachlan?" Stephania called out, straightening up. "What are you doing here?" Before she could get a response, a young woman entered her cell from across the way and introduced herself. Stephania pulled away a little, not quite sure what to think of her - a princess, in jail? "Yes, 'tis my name, and 'tis a pleasure to meet you, milady," she said, giving her a skeptical eye. How could one simple peasant meet so many nobles and royals in one day after never having met any the rest of her life? Was everyone in the city a noble and she the only peasant? "Princess, you say, milady? Is that your first name? Pardon my candor, but 'tis rather unusual, yes?"
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Wolfsong » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:01 am

Christina's first instinct was to scream, but she choked that down, backing a few quick steps away. His was an unfamiliar face, and while she wasn't distrustful by nature, the fear she was experiencing left no room for trust. She desired her brothers, feeling a keen urge to have them beside her, to protect her.
"Do you realize," she said, suddenly realizing something else that had been bothering her at the back of her mind. "That there are no guards here? That this ballroom is completely unprotected? Any common criminal could be walking among us now, as no one able to do a thing about it."
Taking a deep breath, she made a weak attempt to smile. "I'm sorry. I just had a...a bit of an unsettling experience. I'm not feeling so well, so I thought I'd start for home."
it occurred to her that he was standing in her way, and she could not get past him without pushing. "If you would please excuse me, I would like to get past you, and it would be unladylike to push," she added, making a feeble attempt at humor.

Maxwell took the food graciously, managing a "thank you" even though he would rather strangle the man. He leaned back against the wall, chewing thoughtfully. "Forrester," he said slowly. "What time was the ball supposed to end? Do you suppose it is close now?"
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby sarahleinaar » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:58 am

Serephine smiled at the lady.
"It is isn't it. Call me Serephine," she said.
She looked around the cell.
"So how did you come to get her m'lady," she asked.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Ally-Ann » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:48 pm

Josephine froze, not moving an inch other than to lower her sword slightly, which she had been holding in a defensive position. Her eyes were slightly wide, but her brow furrowed in a troubled manner. Why me...? She thought with fear and dread, weighing her options in a split second. "I want his reasons explained now; not later," she stated firmly, raising her sword once more. "What is this "mission" you speak about? Is it for a noble cause?" Josephine paused. "No, of course not. People with noble causes do not back noblewomen into corners while threatening to take her life." He says he would be forced to kill me if I decline... But how do I know if he is strong enough to do that? Perhaps their is a slim chance that I could defeat him... Josephine searched for any means of escape through peripheral vision, but she could see none; the bushes were thick and filled with thorns, and the trees were packed tightly together; she was also in a corner. Her gaze suddenly turned serious, the glint of fear in her eyes gone as she glared at the blade-wielding man and she raised her sword once more. Whispering a curse, she decided to make a proposition. "If you can prove to me that what your master wants me for is a worthy cause, I will join you," she stated slowly, her voice somehow laced with hate and venom; she was practically being forced into something that, good cause or not, she did not want to be a part of. But I will be the one to decide if it is worthy or not. If it is not, I have no choice but to fight, and hopefully win.


OOC: Just f.y.i., I haven't forgotten about Orion. I'll probably write his part in my next post.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:39 pm

Lachlan sighed in relief when he heard Stephania and Serephine talking. Stephania seemed well enough, since she was cognizant and able to keep up a conversation. Forrester took a bite of bread and chewed thoughtfully.
"My guess is that it should be nearly over," he said to Maxwell, "we have been in this cell for quite a long time."
---
"I am afraid, m'lady, that he cannot do that."
Not-Forrester placed a gentle hand on Christina's shoulder, but readied to tighten his grip if she tried to run. The old man bowed his head in apology.
"I wish it were otherwise, my dear," he said quietly, "but we simply cannot allow you to leave. Please, go with the knight and do not cause a fuss. We would rather that this end quickly and painlessly."
"If you do not struggle, I swear to you that no harm will come to you tonight," added Not-Forrester.
---
The man with the blades smirked at Josephine.
"Now, why on earth would you believe anything I say?" he asked, engaging a blade and using it to clean his fingernails, "What I believe is worthy and what you believe is worthy could be two entirely separate things. But I can tell you what we intend to do could save this kingdom from war for decades to come. I do not know about you, but I am no fan of war. I am, however, a fan of a good fight."
With a short bark of a laugh he engaged his other blade and charged at Josephine.
OOC: No worries. Whatever you think fits him.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Wolfsong » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:59 am

Maxwell was quiet, then nodded. "I hope Christina makes it safely out," he murmured.

Christina stiffened, then glanced back very slowly. The non-Forrester was there behind her. She wanted to run, to break free and fight, but his eyes...they were sincere, at least. Slowly, she nodded.
"Very well," she said, dropping her hands, displaying meekness. Part of what Maxwell taught her was to play up until she could make her move. This place was bad, apparently for both her and these men. She would wait until she had a moment. "Where will you take me?" she asked, hoping for some sort of information.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:15 pm

"I thought perhaps the garden would be best," he replied, "I would rather get this sorted out in private. If you would just come with me..."
Not-Forrester used the hand on Christina's shoulder to steer her in the direction of the gardens.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Wolfsong » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:31 pm

Christina nodded and followed him, hands twisting nervously. Whatever in the world was going on?...

OOC- what a terrific post XD
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:54 pm

OOC: Poetry. X)

Once alone in one of the smaller gardens and carefully placed between Christina and the only exit, Not-Forrester dropped his hand and the act. He wiped away a fair amount of cosmetics on a handkerchief, revealing that he was, in fact, a she.
"I really hate to do this, Christina," she said, removing the remainder of the makeup, "I certainly did not want to frighten you. You seem like a very nice person and, under separate circumstances, I would really enjoy being your friend. We have a lot in common. However, my master demands participants in his mission, and you are a good candidate. I must fight with you to see how skilled you are in combat, under his orders. I am also required to kill you if you choose not to work with me. I would really hate to do that. Please, let us make this as painless as possible."
She tucked the handkerchief into her pocket and refused to make eye contact.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Wolfsong » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:09 pm

OOC- In a nutshell. :cool: :dizzy:

Christina watched in surprise as the Forrester mask came off, becoming a woman instead. She listened quietly, trying to make a decision. This woman actually seemed to be sincere, about all of it. But it was so hard to be sure...
Christina reach out and laid a hand on the woman's shoulder, smiling as best she could through her fear and slight distrust. But it was in her nature to care, to trust, and the smile came readily, even believably. "I understand," she said gently. "And I will fight you. But when it is done, would you give me your name? It doesn't seem quite fair that you know mine, but I don't know yours." She smiled and stepped back, shifting into a fighting stance. "Whenever you're ready," she said, crossing her hands over her chest.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:15 pm

The woman blinked in surprise and was frozen for a moment.
"I am Brier. It is a pleasure to meet you," she said, before pulling her sword, a twin to her brother's, from its sheath.
She snapped into action, and charged at Christina, hoping desperately that her opponent could defend herself.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Ally-Ann » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:21 pm

A gasp managed to escape Josephine's lungs, her eyes widening. In split second, she held her sword across her torso, wincing at the loud CLANG! that was issued between the man's blade and her weapon. He was strong-- no surprise there-- and the noble put forth all her might, holding her sword against his. Standing her ground against the man with such strength caused her feet to slip under her slightly, and she found that she was being pushed back towards the thorny bushes. With a sudden lurch of utmost strength, she expertly swept her sword upwards, causing the man's bladed hand to flail upwards. Narrowing her eyes, Josephine used this small window of opportunity to kick the man square in the chest with all her might in a strong attempt force him away from her so that she could strategize either an escape or another plan of defense or attack; her choice depended on how much time the kick to his chest bought her.


---


The night had worn on slowly, Orion continuing to enjoy the celebration. He had broken his self-promise not have more than a few sips of wine, and was feeling a slight buzz, all the while, something in the back of his mind telling him that something was wrong. He pardoned himself from his posse, farewelling a pouting noblewoman who had been clinging to his torso, and making his way over to a pillar near the door to one of the hallways that led to the garden. He sighed and held a hand to his forehead as he sat his glass down on a nearby side-table, groaning quietly. You idiot! You drove yourself to the brink of drunkenness! He angrily scolded himself. Something isn't right... I'm forgetting something. What am I forgetting? Come on, you idiot, think, think! The knight stood up straight, glancing around the ball room. You're on the east side of the room... It must be around seven o'clock. Ah! Josephine comes to mind! She was here earlier, was she not...? The raven-haired knight glanced around the ball room once more, legs subconsciously carrying him towards the food table. No, no, she wasn't here! She was somewhere else... With a nice-looking fellow, the tarte. As Orion rested his hand on the table to lean on it, he noticed a man a few feet away from him practically engorging himself on food. The knight remembered seeing that man near Josephine, and he stood up straight, standing in front of eating bloke. He mustered up th most charming smile he could, puffing out his chest slightly to appear as authority. "Good evening, sir!" He started with a boistrous voice. "My humble apologies for interrupting your celebrating, but I am looking for a dear cousin of mine." He nearly choked on the word "dear", but he managed to make it sounds sincere. "About 5'2, slim, baby-blue dress, porcelain-skinned with dark hair like mine... A pretty little thing; 'tis a shame she is related by blood." Orion inwardly blanched-- perhaps he was going a bit too far. "Have you seen her near here, and where she went?"
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:36 pm

The man with the blades struggled to pull air back into his lungs, but was soon back on his feet.
"My, my, little widlcat! Quite a kick you have," he wheezed, "but how is your speed?"
He jabbed his blades at her, watching to see how quickly she could defend herself.

---
The man brushed some crumbs from his front and swallowed a mouthful of food.
"I believe she went toward the gardens with her fellow. She seemed upset, as if the lad had scared her somehow."
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Wolfsong » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:50 pm

Christina waited till Brier was close enough, then suddenly dove in, jabbing her knife just short of Brier's stomach.
She'd changed her hiding places, after Forrester had guessed it so easily. The bodice of her dress, she had discovered, could hide such a small blade, and if it showed it would merely look like part of the dress itself.
When her hands had crossed her chest, she had touched the hilt enough to get a hold on it, and it had come out smoothly as she sidestepped the blade and stepped in, just like Stephen had taught her. "With knives, it isn't strength. Its strategy and tactics. Remember that, Christina."
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:00 pm

Brier smiled and swung in an arc to counteract Christina's defensive movements. She was good, probably more than good enough to meet the master's standards. Still, she needed to be sure, lest she be reprimanded. The scars from the last time had never really faded. She rolled a shoulder at the memory, which cost her a precious opening. Quickly, she tossed the sword aside and swung a fist for just under Chistina's ribcage, but the momentum of the move caused her to lose her footing and trip.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby Wolfsong » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:11 pm

Christina managed to swerve enough to dodge the fist, and saw it had knocked Brier off-balance. Quickly, she shoved her to the ground and danced a few steps away, preparing. She realized she should have gone in quickly, for a finishing-off move, but...she didn't have the heart. Defense, yes, but she wasn't yet ready...no, not yet. She'd do it if Brier pushed her hard enough. As it was, she readied herself for the next attack.
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Re: Perilous Waltz

Postby silvanis2.0 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:28 pm

Brier pulled herself to her feet and dusted herself off. She watched Christina carefully. She was a kind soul, certainly, but she had thrown away a chance to escape. What was her angle? Brier opened her arms and hands.
"Please, for your own sake, do not spare me this time," she said, "attack me. Your very life depends on this."
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