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1X1 Cohesion and Chaos

Discussion in 'THE ASCENDER CHRONICLES' started by Effervescent, Aug 25, 2017.


  1. Ysella Ronasin

    "So that's it then? Because my family had people working for us... I deserve this? Inhumane and tyrannical? Try being a little less ironic, while leading me to uncertain fate, chained about like a dog, would you? I'm not attempting to appeal to any sense of compassion, because I don't imagine you actually possess any. You are despicable, I stand by it. You an abhorrent, self center bastard. And that is what I'm appealing to."

    Looking ahead, she pulled her cloak around her, and while her words carried a static sense of anger and obstinence, there was a heavy weight of fear in her eyes. Desperation... that's what he had called it, and as much as she hated admitting he was right, that's entirely what it was. People were not inherently good, that much she could agree to, but they were inherently selfish, and if she had any chance at all of rescuing herself, it seemed to lie in giving him something of more value than the bounty on her head.

    "So I will ask again... And please, this time, spare me the high-horse lecture on my failing to make nice with my captor. If I thought you wanted false compliments, I would have started there. I want to know what you really want? Money? Jewels... You name it, and I will see to it that you get it... provided you stop immediately and release me."


     
  2. "You're very linear," he pointed out. The pace never ceased, and the trek continued on. And as a silence grew it almost looked as if the mercenary was not going to talk any further. His gaze kept to the road unphased and almost seemingly uninterested.

    "I'm taking you to the border," he finally said. "You need to come to terms with that. Whatever you think of me is what it is. Regardless, I am taking you to the border. You are headed to the Twisted Woods. And there's nothing you can do to change that. Nothing. You need to come to terms with that."

    He glanced over to her briefly to note her expression, hoping the realization was sinking in to some degree and she would relinquish her fight. "You assume a lot, which I suppose you have to in your line of work. But have you ever considered you were wrong in something? Do you think your initial thought is always right? I fancy you ignorant. Does that make you ignorant? Of course, you will say no. Most people don't realize their own flaws just as they don't realize the flaws of the world. Now, I'm not excusing myself or denying I'm dispicable or hypocritical and so on. I know what I'm doing. I know that collar is irritating and will bruise your skin and hurt your bone. I know you have nothing to offer that will stop it from happening. You can argue that is an assumption, but see, you assume so much about me it's clear you'll have nothing to barter with."
     

  3. Ysella Ronasin

    Her expression fell as her eyes shifted again, a sharp inhalation shuddering on a break of that emotional barrier. Coming to term with the inevitable was always difficult, but never more so than when one was facing their own mortality. She didn't want to die, and whatever he said, she had no assumptions that there was any other fate for her but death. Even if it wasn't immediate, it would come.

    The tears stung, and she squeezed her eyes shut against them, shaking her head, "...I never said goodbye. It's odd... the things you think of, when you're going to die. I was so excited to be chosen for this mission. I never stopped to say goodbye. You think you'll see them, your family. You think... you think nothing could possibly go wrong." Breathing out a scoff, she opened her eyes again, "The best part is, they'll probably be disappointed that I didn't do my job."

    Looking over at him, she reached up to dry her eyes, studying his profile with a lifted brow, "...Why do you care what I think about you? What difference would it make if I was understanding, or compliant? You said I was wrong about something. What was it? Doesn't make sense to keep it to yourself, if I'll never see you again, after all this. So what was it?"


     
  4. A smile broke from his stony expression, genuine but not malicious. It was something Ysella said that amused him in a different way. "Nothing specific," he answered. "I was just being general."

    Looking back over to her, he eyed her with more of a scrutiny, as if to read her story upon her as clear as letters on a page. "We're all given a life we didn't rightly choose. Well, for a start. Everything after we learn things is our choice. Everything the two of us did led to this moment. But you're not dead yet. And you don't know if you're going to die. I don't even know if you're going to die. Haven't given me a reason yet, anyway."

    They traveled through the windy plains as the biting chill still reminded Spring was not yet here. The sun peaked and then began its descent before the mercenary began to find a place to settle for the night. It was a patch of woods comprised mostly of pine providing enough of a wall against the wind yet a good visual of their surroundings. The man dismounted from the horse, the chain pulling at Ysella somewhat until he came around to face her.

    "We need firewood," he said. "You're going to either follow along or help me gather. But we'll both die if we don't get a fire going before nightfall. Are you going to give me any troubles?"
     

  5. Ysella Ronasin

    She fell silent, either out of resignation, or because for the first time in a long time, he had given her something to think about. She hated him for it, perhaps more than she hated him for his treatment of her in the first place. That he could propel her to consider anything... It wasn't right that her captor ought to instill in her anything more than utter outrage, yet the words resonated, and would not leave her be. Everything she did led her to this moment... Then perhaps she could still escape her fate.

    When they finally stopped, she winced as he dismounted, and putting a hand to the collar, she touched the space between the metal and her neck with delicacy. The skin felt raw, and there was no doubt some bruising. It wouldn't get better before it got worse, but she hadn't given up hope entirely that she could convince him that it wasn't necessary... and when he did give in and release her, she would get away. Whatever it took...

    As he approached, she dropped her hands to her side, determined that he would not see the pain she was in, and swallowing she shook her head at his question, "...I won't try to kick you in the face again, if that's what you're asking." Though the thought of gathering wood hardly appealed to her. She had never had to before... and she was an Ambassador for the queen, in her very best dress, after all, "...What... what do I need to do?" She asked, with an unmistakable tone of someone who very rarely was subjected to menial tasks.


     
  6. There was an unmistakeable bruise forming across his nose and cheek from Ysella's deed. The man stared down at her sternly, gauging if she was making a false promise. The chain was still gripped firmly in his hand as he pulled her to follow him through their immediate surroundings, picking up a stick the length of his forearm and showing it to the woman. "Look for sticks like this," he instructed, and then handed it over to her. "It should feel like that. Breakable, but with some give. Go ahead and break it in half. We want that kind of wood. You can get thinner sticks if you'd like. You don't need to worry about anything thicker."

    He continued to guide her through the woods occasionally pointing out sticks for her to grab as he picked up his own of varying lengths and widths. When they had enough, they would head back to the horse and set the pile down only to repeat the process again eventually gathering enough wood to stoke a modest fire for the night.

    "Let me know if you start to sweat," he said as he began to dig out a hole and set wood upon it. "That collar can also kill you if it gets cold enough. I suggest taking some fabric off of your dress there to stuff in between. It'll be tight but at least you won't freeze to death. But they say it's likely a peaceful way to die. Like going to sleep."
     

  7. Ysella Ronasin

    She certainly would have liked to kick the man again, more than anything in the world, she wanted to smash her foot into his face, but it had caused her considerably more damage last time than it had him, and she wasn't entirely sure he wouldn't kill her, after all, if she tried anything like that a second time.

    But as they started off into the woods to gather sticks, the urge seemed to only increase. They were dirty and left smudges up and down her arms, and by the time they had gathered enough, she had broken three nails trying to break them, and scraped her palms. And it was the distinct impression that her captor was enjoying himself that made it all considerably worse.

    Brushing her hands off on her skirts, she looked up at him, at his suggestion and frowned, horrified, "This is my best dress! I would sooner..." But she trailed off as she considered what she had been about to say. Freezing to death might have been a better way to die than being handed over to agents of Shadow, but it was still unappealing. Narrowing her eyes, she bent and tore a scrap from where she had separated the hem, folding it around her neck like a scarf, then tucking it into the gap between her neck and the collar.

    "...You could just take it off, you know." She remarked, coolly, " Since you're so concerned. It's not as if I'll get very far running, as it is..."


     
  8. The embers smoked and crackled to life as the man nodded his head thoughtfully. He added another stick to the fire as the heat steadily grew in a small radius. Looking up at Ysella with a skeptical look, he lofted a brow at her suggestion, a small laugh huffing from his lungs as he rose to a stand.

    "We'll never have that kind of trust," he said plainly. "We can't. What this is, what's happening between us means we can't. I know your word is worth shit because you're a desperate woman thinking she is going to die in a week or so. And you've got a lot of opinions about me. Do you really find me that much of an idiot or do you think I carry some sort of compassion towards your situation?"

    Near the fire he began situating larger branches against a tree for a lean to. He didn't bother to ask her for help, perhaps in guessing she did not know how. But his hand still gripped the end of the chain connected to her iron collar as he one-armed the task.

    "I've got cured meats for the night," he continued. "If you want something more we'll have to go hunting in the morning. I've got water and some U'gul if you're inclined to the warmth of alcohol."
     

  9. Ysella Ronasin

    That desperate frustration built deeper within her at his words. The way that he said them, and perhaps more so, her own inability to argue them driving her to a place of near hopelessness. She was a woman accustomed to getting what she wanted, and when that task seemed so impossible... it wasn't a feeling she cared for.

    Sinking down with a huff, she tucked her fingers beneath the collar, grimacing as she felt along the sore spots. She watched him work, watched the end of the change where he gripped it. Idly, she considered giving it a tug, seeing how lax he really was, but she knew that inevitably, she would regret the decision...

    He continued, and she frowned delicately. A part of her, that stubborn part that had gotten her into trouble all too often before, considered declining the offer entirely, but she wasn't dead yet, and as long as there was any chance as all she might escape, she needed to do what she could to preserve her strength.

    "Water is fine. I've had U'gul before. It's atrocious. What are you building?"


     
  10. The arrows in his quiver clattered as he unclasped and removed it from his side, resting it against a tree before slipping his hand behind his cloak to produce his canteen. The man tossed it in Ysella's direction without a word in warning and seamlessly continued with his work on the lean-to. There wasn't much keeping the sticks together other than the force between two trees and the earth he used to keep them in place.

    "It's a shelter," he finally explained. "Something temporary for the night so we don't freeze to death. This temperature might be tolerable during the day, but at night it can feel like Winter with the wind."

    His gloved hand pat the lean-to appreciatively. "This will block that out. You will want it. Trust me on that. It'll catch some of the heat from the fire as well once I'm done with it. I guess you mountain dwellers don't deal so much in fire, hmm? It'll suck the breath out of a closed room."
     

  11. Ysella Ronasin

    As she caught the canteen, she considered momentarily the weight of it, the strap... Considered what sort of weapon it might be utilized as. He was strong, and no doubt faster than he looked, but if she could get behind him... If she could...

    Her fingers brushed her neck and frowning, she put the canteen to her lips to drink. She had already learned the hard way he would not be overmatched physically. She would need to use other skills to get out of the predicament.

    "It's warm enough without... So too, I imagine, was the inn I was meant to be staying at tonight." Making a face, she took another sip, before tossing the canteen back.

    "How did you learn to do that? Or is it just something your sort knows naturally? And where will your little... hovel be?"


     
  12. The shelter was finished as Ysella's posed the amusing string of questions, his eyes looking around their location as he rounded the tree. A wolf, seemingly alone, watched the two at a distance. His gaze lingered on the beast for a moment and he pushed his cloak away from his sword to sit next to the fire.

    "I learned it from the same woman who taught me how to hunt," he answered, and took the canteen in hand. In taking a sip, he looked over at her with a faint grin that pushed up his cheeks. "I know you're not going to like it much, but we're sharing the hovel."

    He pointed back to the singular lean-to with the same hand that held the canteen. It was a rather small looking shelter, and while it looked sturdy it did not afford much room for movement or comfort between the two. It would be a tight fit, and one typically reserved for more familiar company.

    "Don't like it, then you can freeze to death. This isn't about anything but survival. I'm not looking for a romp, but I can understand you would be uncomfortable still."
     

  13. Ysella Ronasin

    "The... the woman?" Sitting a little straighter, Ysella stared for a moment. It wasn't as though it was anything strange for a woman to possess knowledge... But in such primitive tasks? Idly, she wondered if this was a mother figure... Or perhaps something else entirely. He didn't seem the sentimental type, but stranger things could be possible, she supposed.

    He came closer, and her posture stiffened as her eyes fell, with reservation, to the exposed weapon. It was an anxiety forgot swiftly with his next words, however, fear bleeding into outrage, "You're joking!" She half-yelped, before he went on, her cheeks paling in the firelight, "...You're not joking."

    Her eyes shifted to the hovel, and she breathed in, swallowing hard as her fingers glanced across the collar. Whatever he said, if he'd wanted to, he could very easily take advantage of her, and for the first time since exiting the cabin of the carriage earlier that day, Ysella wasn't half as afraid of death as she was living...

    She shifted, and her vision drifted, catching the movement at a distance. The wolf he had spied moments before. With a gasp, she edged instinctively closer, fear of her abductor momentarily outweighed by fear of the unknown, "That beast... What is it? Is it dangerous??"


     
    #33 Elle Joyner, Sep 12, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017