The Negotiations

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by LadyHarpy, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Vataihin, a world of magic and wonder, a place kingdoms can grow for centuries and fall in an instant. A place where all races live and thrive in their own lands or among others. Here, a man can be a sorcerer or a warrior, a peasant or a king. Here, dragons fly high in the air and pixies play tricks on mischievous children. However, in the past years this world has seen more than one kingdom fall to the prey of a growing and powerful force of darkness. However, darkness isn't nearly as cruel as one would think it to be...


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    In the capital of Onhonwar, a city that has certainly seen better days, a large castle looms over the small simple houses of it's people. It's stone walls seemed to almost be carved out of the earth as it rises up from heavy stone that has been in the earth since the beginning of time. The city spreads out rather far, surrounding the castle almost completely, a large main rode having been constructed right in front of the castle to allow for travelers an easy path to follow if they are there to see the ruler. Past the houses a large stone wall stood high, parts of it still being built. It was meant to keep the people safe, just like many of the other projects that had kept the people bustling about and working.

    Onhonwar itself was a very young kingdom in the south and was also very unstable, due to its rather violent birth. It was a mix match of all kinds of races, a majority of them demons or creatures of the night. Those who were human either came from the kingdoms that had fallen or were criminals from those that still stood. However, even with such an unstable group it stood strong and proud, daring any other kingdom to question its place on the continent. The people were proud of their country, no matter how shaky it really was, there was a sense of hope in the south that had been lacking with the other kingdoms in charge. Many would agree that it was not the fact that they were free from their old kings that brought them happiness, but that they were ruled but a powerful queen...



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    "Your Highness, you are being summoned to the war room by Lord Vindicus. It seems that he has something urgent to speak about with you." A tall soldier said as he bowed to the woman sitting in front of them.

    The pair was currently in a lovely drawing room of sorts, the place covered in lush carpets and couches filled with silky pillows. Said woman was sitting on a couch, her back straight and proper as she stared down at a map of the continent. Small pegs stood in strategic places along her borders as well as within the country while a pile of them sat in a small container. Papers were set next to the woman on the couch, an ink bottle and quill perched precariously on top of them. The lady made no move to get up as she placed another peg down, somewhere in the deep south of her empire.

    "If Lord Vindicus wishes to speak with me, he knows where to find me." She said plainly as she looked to the papers, not even sparing the soldier a glance. "Tell him I am working and if what he has to say is truly urgent then he can come to me about it."

    "But Your Highness, Lord Vin-"

    "I have said all I need to say. Now go on and relay my message before you overstay your welcome." She said coolly, interrupting the man.

    The soldiers shuffled on his feet for a moment before turning and heading out the door, grumbling under his breath defeatedly. The woman paid him no mind and went back to her work, knowing very well that what she was doing was important and that her adviser would just brush off her snide comments and come to speak with her privately.
     
  2. The eastern edge of a forest near the Ashliquent and Hauden border.

    With a dark green hood hanging over his face and a cloak pulled tightly around his body, Atai Stonebarren sat, propped up, on the trunk of a huge evergreen. His massive chest heaved up and down with each breath he took, while a pair of barrel like arms lay folded across his stomach. It was pitch black at the edge of the forest, but the weather was nice enough that he needed nothing more for shelter. Above him he heard the rustling of midnight creatures that occupied the tree, perhaps an owl? Or maybe it was home to a few tree Gnomes? Atai wasn't sure, but as a lover of nature and all things living in harmony with nature, the sound was soothing to his nerves and tired mind. Atai had always had a deep love for nature, he attributed it to spending a good portion of his time in the vast tunnels in the kingdom from which he hailed. Against his back was his sword, the Nature's Kiss, the only item that linked him to the life he once lived as loyal defender to the Ashliquent crown. The sword was beautifully made by the dwarfs, and while sharp as a razor, it's true power lied in the elemental magic infused within. It had a way of reacting with the elements around him, seeming to posses the power of rock, water, fire and air. And on more than one occasion had been the deciding factor during battle.

    The events that had molded his existence to that of an aimless wanderer played through his head, as if on a constant loop. Everything leading up to his banishment from the kingdom had a dark shadow cast over it. Atai did believe in fate and good fortune to those who deserved it, however this felt like an undeserved curse. The only thing that kept him alive and kept his spirits blanketed from the harsh reality, was the possibility that he may one day regain his honor.

    Although this particular forest was very relaxing, Atai found it near impossible to sleep. In fact, he couldn't quite recall the last time he had got a full eight hours. Despite his insomnia, he felt rested, and decided to get an early start on travel for the day. Like every day prior since he had been booted from Ashliquent, he had no idea where he was going, just that he must move on. He mostly stuck to the forests and wilderness, but occasionally he would find a small path, usually one that was overgrown and more or less abandoned, and follow it. Atai was gifted in the arts of survival, but he soon realized that one could only live on nuts, berries and the occasional small animal for so long. He needed a hot meal. A couple pints of ale wouldn't be bad either.

    Just a little after midday he found a larger path, one that had been used for horse and carriage, possibly to transport goods, and followed it into the gates of Hauden. Once inside the town, with the castle towering in the near distance, he found the nearest place to get a drink as well as a hot meal, and entered. It was called "The Iron-hoof", a strange name, thought Atai, but the food was delicious and the ale was even better. After a few pints and a couple glasses of Brandy, Atai felt warm, and for the moment content.
     
  3. Somewhere around the Onhonwar castle a lone figure stands in the middle of bloody bodies and burning houses. The clouds are overcast and rain pours over all the mangled corpses yet leaving the lone figure completely untouched as if protected by a small field. Suikotsu looks up at the sky slowly as a flash of lightning erupts revealing his figure for but a brief moment followed shortly by the roar of thunder. He begins to walk over the bodies and wipes his sword clean on one of the dead bodies before sheathing it in seemingly nothing as the blade vanishes leaving only the hilt visible. As he walks along the bodies and buildings he runs a hand through his thick hair and lets out a small sigh followed by slamming his fist into one of the crumbling buildings walls causing the structure to fall apart sending sparks and ash flying around.

    "Well, the castle is not that much further from my reach. Hmmmm now the only thing i must contemplate is how to get in. Perhaps they will merely let me pass and if not.... well... they wont live much longer." Suikotsu smiled revealing his rather long canines and then quickly set off into the ever looming darkness of the forest between the town and the castle. As he entered he swore he could have seen something running through it but brushed it out of his mind as if it were just a figment of his imagination. For the next few hours he traveled by foot until he had found a small waterfall and a lake forming at the bottom. Near the lake was a massive beast twice the size of any kingdoms war horses and ten times as intimidating, as he got close to it he gave a slight whistle as the brilliant steed turned its head and walked over to him. Suikotsu grabbed Bane's reigns and mounted him before digging his heel into it's waist causing it to break into a mid paced run through the forest trampling any branches or small rocks in the way.

    The wind whipped across his face leaving a cold and refreshing feel along his face. The wetness of the rain had begun to dry as he moved away from the storm clouds and his steed carried him through the forest. As he clung to the beasts reigns and watched the trees pass by quickly he began to ponder what the queen of Onhonwar was like and how she would react to his message, or if she would even grant him the time of day to transcend the message. After a while though he stopped thinking altogether and just embraced the slow passage of time as he was carried along.
     
  4. "My Lord, the is... i-i-indisposed and says if your business is urgent you know where to find her."

    The soldier was nervous to be speaking to his despite being the tallest soldier in the entire imperial army. The necromancer was well knows for how to took bad news. But today he was strangely calm even in the face of inconvenience. "Very well I will speak to her outside of this carefully guarded chamber and where it is less secure if that is her wish." in his hands he held what appeared to be a chess piece only if was painted green and had a number attatched. He placed it carefully on the border of. "That is all captain, have my steward bring refreshments to the meeting, the empress has a tendency to underestimate the importance of the militia as an armed force, it is my duty to remind her."

    The soldier bowed and left hurriedly as Vindicus waited for him to depart. "No one enters I am expecting a report from one of my agents." the room seemed empty except for him and he turned robes billowing behind him as he exited the war room, the rooms closing on their own as he left.

    "Highness." he said lowering his eyes in a half bow once he reached the Empress. "I only wished to inform you of more troubling news from the border. An a new force has been spotted in Kishmot, very close to our border, the largest one yet." he placed a piece identical to the other in the same place. "And their negotiators are yet to recognize our sovereignty."

    He paused as the steward arrived with chilled tea and a tray of snacks, bowed to both of them before leaving. "I would have waited for our weekly meeting but its proximity to our lands and size worries me."
     
  5. The empress didn't look up from her map planning as she scribbled away on another piece of paper. She only looked at him for a second as the steward brought in tea and snacks, her gaze cool but curious. She set her papers to the side before serving herself some cold tea, humming a bit in contentedness as she started to relax a bit around her adviser. She silently motioned for him to sit down with her and once he was sitting she looked him in the eye.

    "Vindicus...I have been thinking..." She began, using the tone she always did when what she was going to say would probably upset him. "I have decided to pull back our forces and return them home, there will be no need to take action against the group you are worried about. They have only reacted to us when he pressed their borders anyway so they should certainly stop if we pull back."

    She then stood up for a moment and walked over to a pair of large glass doors that lead to a balcony. She made no move to open them but she did look outside, glancing over what she could of the city. She turned to him from that spot before heading back toward him and pointing to her private map.

    "I've been expanding this empire ever since I was 17 Vindicus, I've watched it grow and grow with every castle I destroyed...But as time passed other duties came into light, I can't just keep expanding and expect these people to be able to stand back up again after my harsh onslaught. We need inner stability if we are to hold out as an empire and the first step is to bring back the men and put them in proper jobs. I already began making the plans on the map, I would really appreciate you opinion..." She said as a small smile graced her lips, a rare sight for the usually cold queen.
     
  6. Junario was busy out in the gardens, practicing with her claymore. Robes still draped over her tall and slender form, she moved with grace and precision; anyone who happened to pass by would always have to stop and watch. A small girl like that, raising and slashing with such a huge weapon effortlessly, would make anyone's jaw drop. Once she had finished, Junario grabbed her glasses and pulled her hood over her face- leaving the area just as quietly as she arrived.

    It was almost time for the Empress' lecture for today.

    Upon entering her vast room, she freshened herself up; her long, red hair tied up in ribbons. By the window, her desk sat and before heading to the door, she grabbed the top two books and a few writing utinsils. She did not appreciate being even a few minutes late, so without even touching the refreshments on the desk- she left, locking the door behind her. Once she was out in the hallway, she moved silently to the Empress' room and bowed to the guards. Red in the face, one of them opened the door and announced her presence.

    "Your Highness, Lady Junario is here for your lecture..." The guard glanced from the Empress to Vindicus nervously.
     
  7. "H-highness to pull more men from the border when they are massing..." he stopped as the guard announced Juno's arrival. "Perhaps they will take it as a gesture of good faith now that we are not officially at war with any nation." he said before Juno entered.

    "We'd best hope they take it a a show of good faith." he said sounding unconvinced turning to look at the empress' teacher. "Juneko, glad you could join us."

    His eyes lingered on her before he turned back to the map moving several markers away from the border and thinking over the strategic nature of the current tensions. Then he removed several of the markers. "If we disband several companies of militia and turn them into tow guard and administrative staff we should be able to reduce crime and assimilate the recently acquired territories faster." he placed the markers off the side of the map. "Turn the manpower towards rebuilding castles and towns as well as building new roads to stimulate the economy." his eyes went back to the newest marker. "Your highness I hope you are not taking these steps too soon."

    He switched back to Juno. "Juneko I have had refreshments laid out in case your training overran, Highness I will have the papers prepared for your signature immediately, if you are sure."
     
  8. The empress' expression quickly went cold as the guard peaked inside, glancing at him before waving him away.

    "Send her in." She said coolly before she moved once more to sit near Vindicus and go over the map as Juno entered.

    Inaon listened intently as He went on about the map moving her pieces that she had laid out as she went about her planning, the pegs only meant as reference. Her brow scrunched together slightly as emotion returned to her face slightly, the guard having stepped back and let Juno in before closing the door and letting them be. She did not let anyone she did not trust completely see her emotions, so for only Vindicus and Juno had that right. She reached out and placed a few markers back where he moved them from, her eyes shifting all over the map and she worked and spoke at the same time.

    "I don't want to remove them all at once...We all know that as soon as I do they'll make an attack against us. Only remove a third of them and we'll see how the forces in Kishmot react. If they don't make a move we'll pull out a few more. Besides most of those men spent their lives on the field, to suddenly turn them into police might not be the brightest idea..." She said before she looked over to him. " And I am not taking these steps to soon, it's been three years for some kingdoms that I've tramped and they are still in disarray. It's about time we've done something for them...We'll have the roads put into work first once the castle wall is done, it's be easier to establish a town guard that way for all of the cities and villages."

    Just as Vindicus looked to Juno so did she, a smile on her face as she stood for her current lecturer.

    "Juneko, please sit, We were just talking about some work. I hope training went well." She said politely, her inquires all honest and truthful. It was obvious that Inaon liked Juno quite a lot since not many could gain her trust so quickly, but no one spoke up against it since Juno had more than proved herself a worthy person with her knowledge and skills.
     
  9. Junario came into the room quietly; once the guards left, a smile danced across her lips. In the presence of friends, it was easy for her to be her normal self. She found it boring to be serious all of the time and the times she was around Vindicus and Inaon made her visit much more enjoyable. Her green eyes rested upon Vindicus for a moment, before she set her books down.

    “You look busy as always, Vindicus.” She mused; a delicate finger carefully pushing the glasses on her nose. Since she arrived, the renegade princess made very fast friends with them and the few friends she had back home in Ashliquent, weren’t as interesting. In fact, nothing about back home was interesting. “Don’t you ever take time off for yourself?”
    <o:p></o:p>
    Junario knew full well that he did; it was just more fun to joke with him about it around Inaon.

    “Training went as well as expected,” Junario took a seat at the table and relaxed for a moment; her eyes idly glancing over the map and markers. She never really did care too much for strategy and politics, in her studies. Sighing, she gave Inaon a smile before leaning back in the chair. “I tired myself out and I’m afraid I might have frightened a few more of your guards. You think they’d be used to my skills, at this point…”
    <o:p></o:p>
    Picking up her very old (yet well taken care of) book, she flipped through a few pages, to the marker where she and the Empress stopped the lecture before. Her eyes moved over the text quickly, followed by her finger; the nail making a magical line under the parts she wanted. “If you have important matters to discuss, I can always wait. The lecture for today contains some poetry, if Lord Vindicus would care to sit in.”
     
  10. Suikotsu had been traveling through the forest for a while and had lost track of time. His steed began to slow down and sniff around its surroundings before breaking into a dash at his owners less than subtle motivation, after a few minutes the beast bursted through the tree line and slowed into a moderately quick trod, the castle spotted in the not too far distance. The castle had looked quite elegant despite the rest of the country being in a rather ratty disposition. Suikotsu leaned slightly to the right and reached into one of the packs before pulling out a small bag with some food in it, as he opened up the bag there were chunks of meat that had seemed to be dried out and rather tough, he bit into it and then began to chew for a while and then swallowed. Once he put the meat back away he grabbed the reigns and began to move towards the castle once more.

    As the time went by he saw very few citizens or travelers around the roads. He only shrugged off the strange emptiness and considered that most were not travelling due to the supposed bloodthirstiness of the overlords troops. If she had indeed been that bloodthirsty he really wanted to meet her, after all he was quite a bloodthirsty being himself and could use company. Regardless of his intentions though he pressed onwards and could see the castle gates. As he rode closer towards the gates a few guards kept their eyes on him and halted his horse once he got next to them. They had whispered among themselves for a bit and then nodded as one of them ran off towards the castle, most likely to inform their queen, he took it as a sign that not many people other than their soldiers had traveled. As he waited though he decided to have some fun with the guard by staring at him the entire time with his unnerving and cold glance all the while his steed towered over the man. After a bit of uncomfortable silence on the guards part Suikotsu spoke with a velvety smooth voice that seemed to glide through the air and gently pass through the ears, it was unsettling for his appearance and voice to be so different.

    "So i take it you dont get too many visitors. Do i not have the privilege to travel between towns? Why must i wait for your gates to open when the other kingdoms welcome travelers to spend their gold on their drinks and other fine merchandise. Perhaps your kingdom has some internal affairs that they do not wish to let out so as to avoid rebellion? Or maybe its just that you dont like how i look. Either way i guess i can just wait patiently and enjoy your struggling at the uncomfortable situation." His lips slowly spread and curled upwards as he revealed his fangs again. The soldier merely stood there in silence and attempted to keep his composure. Suikotsu was not an all too patient man though and it showed as he began to tap the fingers of his gauntlet across his arm, a dull and bored expression on his face that grew more and more obvious. After a bit of waiting he spoke again. "So, where is your lord at this time of day? I request an audience with them for i have a message from a foreign dignitary."
     
  11. "I will keep the more experienced men closer to the front and pull back the newer recruits." he said "Spread the veterans along the front a security force." he smiled "Fear not I will let the the Elves know our intentions personally." he took a seat knowing the empress would dismiss him if she felt she wanted privacy for her lesson.

    "We're just finishing up Juno. More boring politics I'm afraid." he said drolly "Though hopefully there will be less of that in the future thanks to our new standing." He took a sip from one of the glasses "Though perhaps something to drink before you begin?"
     
  12. Inaon smiled at Junario for a moment before looking to Vindicus once more.

    "Good, I want our borders to be safe as well, we may be working on fix the country but I want to be prepared for any unknown attacks...Don't go spreading around the news of our change to much though, someone might try to attack us while we are having the men building and not fighting." She said before looking to Juno once more.

    "Alright, enough work, time for my lecture. You may stay or go if you like Vindicus, it is no difference to me if you wish to sit and listen. Now, what poetry is it today Juno?" She asked as she moved to sit next to her teacher.
     
  13. Camus, formerly crown prince and more recently king of Hauden, was troubled. The paperwork had been piling at his desk and he needed a break. The reports had been piling in and he saw nothing besides a war in the future, a war that would consume the entire region. As such he was wandering the gardens, trying to take his mind off of the paperwork for a while.

    While he was left to himself he was far from alone. Cautious of another attempt on his life the guard always kept someone nearby. Just far enough away to not be impeding on his privacy was a guard and not much farther away were four more willing to jump in at a moment's notice. It was during this time that Camus realized what needed to be done.

    Camus turned to head back to the palace, signalling his guard to come to him. "Sir Gregir, I need to you to find a man of worth. One for a very important mission and no one should know of his ties. Furthermore he must meet the same qualifications of yourself." He told the guard who nodded and moved off. As the knight went on his way, the King returned to the palace and his papers. There was a lot that would be needed to be done, and a short amount of time to do it.
     
  14. Junario was slightly surprised that Vindicus decided to sit in on her lecture; it was not very often that they would be around each other, unless it was because of the Empress. She had grown used to their stolen time together and even managed to keep her professional demeanor intact. Clearing her throat, she stood and prepared herself as they sat.

    Once they were comfortable, the princess began her lesson.

    “Now, we have already gone over Shakespeare’s Tragedies. Many of his other works are not as well-known-for example, his sonnets. “ While she was speaking, the term of “sonnets” was drawn on the chalkboard; teaching came easy for Junario and she had plenty of spells that assisted her. Flipping through the book as the chalk finally landed in its tray, she paced.

    “Before we go over all of them, I want to start you out on my favorite one. Sonnet 65. “ Carefully, she moved to Inaon and handed the massive text to her. Page already on the words, Junario walked back to the front of the room and began to speak.

    “Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
    But sad mortality o'er-sways their power,
    How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
    Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
    O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
    Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
    When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
    Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
    O fearful meditation! where, alack,
    Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
    Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
    Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
    O, none, unless this miracle have might,
    That in black ink my love may still shine bright.”

    Junario finally say in her chair and sighed happily; joy from teaching others made the princess feel free and she wouldn’t have traded it for anything else in the world. Smiling, she watched as the empress looked over the words. “What do you think he was talking about in sonnet 65?” She asked; once they had gone over it, the lecture would be over. <o:p></o:p>
     
  15. Atia ate heartily. After a whole chicken, roasted in a rich butter garlic marinade, he still had enough appetite to put away two heaping portions of mashed potato. It seemed that he underestimated his ability to live off what he could scrounge in the wild, it was obvious that this meal was just what he needed. After finishing his food he ordered a bottle of mead and sat back, watching the people at the establishment. He noticed that this kingdom had a very broad mix of races within its gates. He saw a dozen or so half elves sitting at the bar, at least what he assumed to be halfelves as full blooded elves didn't normally spend their time in a place like the Iron hoof. There were also some halflings sitting around what appeared to be a roast pig. He was amazed that little people like that could put away so much food.



    "Here's the mead, sir. Will there be anything else?"


    "No." Said Atai, throwing a couple silver coins on the table. He avoided eye contact. Since his banishment he hadn't been too keen on looking people in the eye. He cracked the bottle and poured a healthy glass, watching as the thick drink splashed and swirled. It stood in front of the light in such a way that Atai could see all the different layers of color in the mead. However, he was quick to drink it down, for as pretty as it may look it was much better inside his stomach, where it could warm him and heal his pained mind.

    Atai barley noticed as the door opened and what could only be a royal guard entered. Atai was quickly cast back to the days of his own royal service, just the sight of the guard gave him a small boost in confidence. The way the man carried himself; Dedicated and forthright. As the guard approached, Atai caught his eye. For a moment they looked at eachother, feirce and unwavering. The weight of Natures kiss, Atai's weapon, was very noticeable to the ex-knight. However it was quickly replaced by relief as the guard came to him, with a look of deep regard.

    "I am sorry to disturb you, sir." said the guard "But I can't help but notice that brand on your shoulder blade, it is a royal mark, is it not."

    Atai was now painfully aware that his cloak was hanging loosely around his neck and his bare skin was exposed. The royal mark of Ashliquent stood out against the dim lights of the pub. The brand that linked him to Knighthood, and told those around him that he was a trained warrior.

    "Yes, it is. However I am no longer in service."
    Atai answered honestly, although days later when he looked back it was the alcohol answering. Normally he would have lied. He didn't want anyone to know what had happened in his past.

    The guard, who stood about a foot shorter than Atai, sized him up, it seemed like a long time but after a minute he spoke.

    "I would like to bring you to meet the king. Would you be so kind as to follow me to the Castle?"


    Atai was taken back. What the hell is all this now? Out of nowhere he is summoned by a King? However the alcohol inside him did the talking again. And in all honesty, Atai was honored to once again be in the presence of royalty.

    "I will come with you and attend a meeting with the king."

    And with that Atai followed the Guard back to the castle.
     
  16. Leanna had been wandering for some time and ended up in Hauden. Whispers reached her ears of a recently crowned King. Naturally curious, and without the knowledge of the way society as a whole worked, it struck her as an amazing idea to go and see him. Of course, the guards round the front door seemed like a waste of her time. The little smile which had crossed her face screamed trouble as she wandered her way round the outside of the palace.

    At a certain point, the trees started to bend and whisper. She listened intently to their words of "wisdom" - she should be cautious, the palace guards were dangerous, she was an outsider, all the usual stuff - then promptly disregarded said information and scaled one of them. The bark creaked as it shifted reluctantly into handholds, easing her path upwards. She shimmied along one of the branches that overhung the wall and gazed across. The gardens were surprisingly vibrant and the mischief fled from her smile to be replaced by a contented expression. This didn't look so bad. She dropped off her perch into the palace gardens.

    Usually, she would have landed near silently, but manmade objects were not her forte. A loud clang sounded as she knocked into one of a few tools that lived in the garden. Metal on metal. One of the few sounds that guards were jumpiest over, or at least according to the townsfolk she had listened in on. She squeaked, a high-pitched sound that carried long and far, before instinctively returning to her arboreal form. It hadn't occured to her that the garden's growth was probably monitored, and that she would stick out like a sore thumb, a new well-grown tree that appeared out of thin air. Her branches creaked slowly, her leaves ruffled as she waited for someone to come running.



    ((ooc: gimme a shout if you want this changed. I can as easily go stalk someone.))
     
  17. Inaon listened to Juno intently as the lesson began, the topic from early being quickly replaced as her teacher started to speak. She read from the page and Juno spoke calmly and slowly, allowing her to take in every word that she heard with great ease. When the question about what she thought the sonnet was speaking of came she had to sit a moment and ponder it. She had not been raised on the usual education of rulers, anyone could see that in the way she was quick to arms when she was eager enough. Lessons such as this had been left on the shelf until now, where she had the time (and the proper teacher) to pick them up and observe.

    "Writing...I think, for a moment I would say a king or ruler who is at war but when he mentioned the ink at the end, I feel that he is talking about the power of words...Is that right?" She asked quickly, not wanting to be wrong in her guess.

    She hated being wrong during lessons, it made her feel like a fool. But that was also the reason that she kept Juno around when she suddenly appeared on her door step one day. She could not afford to be blind to the arts and such if she was going to be and empress, especially once the borders were made official and the economy stable. She had to make an impression on any diplomats that came her way and Juno had stated that there was no better impression than education...She hoped dearly that the woman was right.
     
  18. Once more Suikotsu had found himself waiting in utter silence and finally broke his long standstill. The guard watched as he dismounted the massive beast and drew his sword from the sheath revealing a long and crimson looking blade as if it had been stained with blood throughout the years. In truth it had been crafted from a very rare metal found in the unknown territories. As Suikotsu drew his sword the guard got into his defensive stance. As the guard waited Suikotsu walked closer to the man and then lunged straight towards the man's heart and watched as the eyes of his lesser opponent widened and then struggled for a few moments before his last breath escaped and his body fell to the ground, Suikotsu then withdrew his sword and resheathed his blade before mounting his horse and riding into the castle walls.
     
  19. Vinducus too another sip before joining in the lesson. With a practiced air he stood and recited another sonnet as if to the room itself.

    Let me not to the marriage of true minds,
    Admit impediments, love is not love,
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove.
    O no, it is an ever fixèd mark,
    That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
    Whose worth's unknown although his height be taken.
    Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks,
    Within his bending sickle's compass come,
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom:

    If this be error and upon me proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


    He smiled when he was done before the door cracked open and a nervous face appeared.

    "I will attend to this." he said bowing to the ladies and striding across the floor and disappearing through the door to the messenger.

    "My lord, we have an intruder."
     
  20. “Well, not—“ Junario sat next to Inaon and was cut off by Vindicus. She knew very well what the sonnet he quoted was about and as her cheeks turned red, she cleared her throat. The blush spread across her cheeks and she snapped to attention the second Vindicus had left the room.

    She had a student to teach and even though she hid it well, she was distracted.

    “Indeed, words are very powerful. Some of the sonnets you will read can have basically whatever meaning you want it to. However, not everything has to do with war.” She chuckled softly and smiled at her friend, even though her thoughts were of whatever “urgent” matter Vindicus had to attend to.

    “I shall let you use this book for tonight, read through some of the sonnets and you will see that they are about all kinds of things. Love, loss, life…the possibilities are endless.” Tucking a few strands of her loose bangs behind her ear, she finally relaxed and got comfortable in the chair; now that nobody was around, they could finally ditch the formalities and (almost) be normal girls.

    “You look tired, today. Did you stay up all night looking at this map again?” Juno asked, her tone showing concern. “I really think you need a holiday, or something. Take a break from all of this serious stuff.” <o:p></o:p>