The Shield (1x1 w/ Tayssi)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by grapedrank, Jan 31, 2014.

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  1. Scarlett was currently holding her favorite broadsword in both hands as she attacked the target dummy in front of her. She was currently outside the soldiers' barracks practicing her form once again after the training session with the new recruits early this morning. Looking at the young faces before her, Scarlett was brought back to her first days in the Royal Army many years back, which had put her in a bit of a nostalgic mood.

    She typically trained with the other soldiers and knights, however, and working with the new recruits who were still unsure and untrained, she felt that some extra training would be necessary for herself. Taking a pause to catch her breath, Scarlett leaned her sword against the wooden post of the dummy she was using for her target. She pulled off her gauntlet and wiped her arm across her forehead, feeling the sweat that had gathered at her brow.

    Looking up, she noticed that the sun was high in the sky which meant it was probably near noon. It didn't happen often, but Scarlett currently had no clue as to where His Majesty, Prince Rhys Alexander Tavian, was, but felt that if she was needed, she would be called upon anyways, and the king himself had made sure to clear her schedule to greet the new recruits coming in. It was something Scarlett tried to attend every time, she liked seeing the young, hopeful faces (faces that would become dejected and hopeless after their first week of training with her, but that is neither here nor there) that reminded the knight so much of her younger self and she would slowly see these young recruits become soldiers before her eyes. It was quite a privilege if she were honest. And besides, she and the other members of the Guard took bets as to which recruits would crack first and Scarlett had gained enough coin the last three occasions to buy drinks for everyone at the tavern, much to her fellow soldiers' dismay (and joy - it is after all, hard to be angry at your loss when you get free mead regardless).
  2. Rhys leaned forward, running a gloved hand over the sleek black coat of his Andalusian stallion, Sage. His dog, Athis, a mutt in dog standards, walked beside the horse. His short and relatively soft cream and white fur gleamed in the midday sun, his pink nose at the ground, sniffing at all the different smells before he raised his head and sneezed violently. Rhys laughed at the dog and pushed his horse into a canter. Within minutes, the city came into view and he slowed Sage to a walk once again when they stepped foot inside. He halted his horse, dismounting and ran a hand through his long, ashen brown curly hair with a sigh. Grabbing the stallion's reins, he walked towards one of the churches, where an elderly lady came outside and smiled at him, some of her teeth missing and her skin sagging and wrinkled with age. He pulled out a small pouch with a couple of gold coins, which he handed to the old lady. She smiled at him gratefully and pulled him into a hug before she turned and scurried back inside the church walls. Craning his neck to look up at the palace, he shook his head slightly and looked around the city, at the children playing without a care, and then the adults were working diligently. He had always felt sorry for the people. As, he knew in the slums of the city, the homeless would be struggling to live.

    Gripping Sage's reins tighter, he looked down at Athis who wagged his tail happily as he stared at a ball a couple kids were kicking around. Nudging the mutt with his foot to get his attention, he mounted his horse and turned back towards the palace. If he was gone for too long, his father would certainly have a field day lecturing him. Groaning under his breath, he spurred the horse into a gallop, getting back inside the palace walls quicker than he had gotten to the city. He swiftly dismounted and handed Sage to a groom with a smile before he walked inside the palace, Athis on his heels. He walked to the palace library and pushed open the heavy doors before he walked over to a shelf, trailing a finger across the spines before he selected a random book and then turned around. Leaving the library shortly after, Rhys' bright green eyes turned to look over at the training grounds, where he caught a glance of his personal knight, Scarlett, practicing before she took a break. He watched as she pulled off her gauntlet and wiped it across her brow.

    Rhys studied her for a short moment before he huffed, thankful that he had a break away from her for once. She was constantly following him and this was the first time in a long time she wasn't around him. Turning away from her, he made his way towards the palace garden. Looking at all the flowers and neat shrubs and trees, he smiled lightly before laid down on the soft grass. Instantly Athis came and licked his face and the man pushed him away before opening his book and he started to read. Before long, however, the warmth of the sun made him drowsy and he closed his eyes, the book opened on a page about 1/4 way through, resting on his chest.
  3. Scarlett's armor was maneuverable enough to move around in swiftly and quickly, however it was incredibly stifling after having worn it all day. She has, after all, done nothing but stand in the heat, train, and sweat all day since the sun rose over the horizon. Finally, after who knows how long, Scarlett decided it was time to call it quits and find out where the Prince was. She went into the guard's barracks to her own bunk and undid her armor, having long since become efficient at putting on and removing it herself and loosened the bandages on her breasts a bit now that she was out of the chestpiece. She pulled a simple linen shirt over her head and brown breeches, feeling much more comfortable after the hours she had just spent training. Stretching a bit, Scarlett then gathered the armor and stored it in the armory -- all except for her Claymore which she had strapped to her back. Even a calm day like this, she refused to put away her sword, although it was saying something that she was even relaxed enough to take off her armor, something she typically wore (or at the very least the chainmail) until Prince Rhys went to his own chambers for the night.

    Done with her tasks, Scarlett left the bunk that she often slept in. At times, she would sleep in a guest room adjacent to His Majesty's chambers, but only ever when there was a threat on the Prince and they needed her nearby in case something were to happen. Other than that, Scarlett essentially lived in the barracks. It got a little bothersome at times, but these were her fellow men at arms and comrades so she could hardly complain. If she were honest, she'd say she quite liked the sense of kinship that existed in the barracks.

    Scarlett figured that the best place to start looking for Prince Rhys was the palace's gardens. On a day like this, she assumed the young prince would want to relax outside, and her guess had proved correct when after a few minutes she spotted him taking a nap with a book resting on his chest. She wasn't quite sure if she should wake him or not, but decided against it. Not every day would be as relaxing as this day has proven to be, so she might as well let him enjoy it while it lasts. She leaned against one of the garden trees and cooled off in the shade, taking a glance at the book laying on Prince Rhys' chest. She briefly wondered what the title on the cover said and what it was about, before shrugging off the thought and leaning her head against the bark of the tree to peer up at the sunlight shining through the leaves.
  4. It was close to half hour later, Rhys stirred and heard footsteps on the grass, but refused to open his eyes. Even through the sleep enduced fog in his mind, he guessed it was Scarlett, by the way the steps sounded to him. He let the darkness drag him back under once he knew she wasn't going to wake him. However, it wasn't even fifteen minutes later that he woke up again. He blinked rapidly, clearing his vision as he pushed himself to sit up, his book falling into his lap. Staring down at the book, his brows furrowed for a moment before he picked it back up again and swiftly flicked through the pages to find where he was up to. Finding his page, he folded the corner of the page in the classic dog-earred style before he closed the book and gripped it in his left hand. Pushing himself to his feet, he brushed the loose grass and dirt off of his white doublet and long white pants. Raking a hand through his ashen hair, he finally lifted his gaze and looked around to find the source which had disturbed his nap earlier.

    It only took mere moments before Rhys' green gaze landed upon the young woman and an easy smile spread across his features and he strode over to where she stood, disturbing Athis and waking him. The dog barked in irritation before curling up and falling to sleep once again. "Scarlett," he said lightly as he stopped a couple metres from her, "fancy seeing you here. How did you ever manage to find me?" he asked dramatically with a chuckle even though he knew the answer already. It wasn't hard to find the prince when he was inside the palace walls. His favourite place was the garden, or if it was raining, he could generally be found in the library or his bed chamber.

    "How did everything go with the new recuits?" he asked, not leaving her time to answer his earlier question. "Any promising ones in there?" he grinned down at the woman and looked at the sword strapped to her back before he noticed she wasn't even wearing her chainmail. Obviously she thought today was safe enough, but for the life of him, he wished she would ditch the sword from time to time. His father often asked Rhys to wear his sword, but every time, the young man would make a show of saying how it hindered him in everything he did. Even now, he could remember his father's face getting red with annoyance and he couldn't help but chuckle at the thought.
  5. Scarlett was startled out of her mind's wanderings by the sound of a familiar voice. She quirked her lips up slightly at his ironic inquiry as to how she found him and stood up straighter against the tree she was leaning on, pushing herself off of it. "You're as predictable as ever, My Lord," she commented before answering his other questions.

    "The new recruits are young and cocky, as always, but that'll be gone by the end of the first week," she commented, smirking just a tad. Many of the soldiers who came to enlist in the Royal Army came from noble families in the hopes of being knighted by the King himself. For that they were oftentimes arrogant and unaware of what it was truly required of them in order to be a member of the Guard. Within the first week, however, they quickly learned that not all would be that easy for them and some of the more cowardly would return home to their families (an event which the other soldiers and knights loved to wager on who of the new recruits would quit). "They'll make fine soldiers in time though," she said in all honesty. Because they would. The Knight Commander would train the arrogance out of them and these would make fine men someday.

    Scarlett crossed her arms in front of her and leaned her back against the tree. "Now where have you been all day?" She inquired with a raise of her brow. "Does the King require your presence at all today?"
  6. Rhys couldn't help but roll his eyes - a totally unprincely thing to do - when she answered how she had found him even if it was a rhetorical question. She went on to say the new recruits were young and cocky and he couldn't help the short laugh when she said that'll be gone by the first week of training. He noticed the slight smirk on her features and he automatically knew she was going to enjoy herself seeing it happen. He smiled when she said they'd make fine soldiers one day. "I should hope so," he said lightly and watched as she crossed her arms over her chest and leaned against the tree again, asking where he had been all day. He merely gave a sheepish laugh. If he told her he had been giving money to the church she'd probably say something he couldn't be bothered listening to, so he stayed silent about it.

    When she asked if the King required his presence today, the man shrugged. "I don't think so," he said, scratching the back of his head absentmindedly, trying to think whether his father had asked for him today. "Not that I remember," he said and then turned on his heels with a groan. "Athis," he said bluntly, tapping the dog's ribcage with his boot. The dog growled out a whine before he stood and stretched before sitting and looking up at him. The prince smiled at the mutt. He remembered when he had brought the dog home as a pup four years ago from the city and his father had flew into a rage about bringing such a filthy animal into the palace grounds. He had went on to tell the prince to kill it. But as usual, Rhys had ignored the king's orders and hid the pup in all different places until he was older and too well trained for his father to say anything. Now, Athis was a better hunting dog than the palace dogs bred for exactly that.

    Sighing, Rhys glanced back at Scarlett momentarily before he started to walk off, saying to her, "you need to learn to relax and put that sword down." He walked out of the gardens, watching as Athis ran ahead of him, probably to go sniff out some rabbit somewhere. To be honest, Rhys had no destination in mind, he just felt like walking. He glanced down at his book momentarily before he looked behind him to see if Scarlett had followed. He could care less if she hadn't, however.
  7. Scarlett looked at Prince Rhys and the dog, Athis, as he took off to who knows where. The dog bounded alongside happily, and Scarlett found herself smiling slightly at the site of it. Athis reminded her of the many strays down in the marketplace and yet he was a formidable animal able to keep up the purebreds in the castle. If she were to guess, she believed that Athis would make a mighty fine warhound. Dragging her attention back to the prince, she rolled her eyes at his comment that she needed to relax.

    "Considering that holding onto this sword is my job," she emphasized, "I don't think it'd be appropriate of me to set it down, Sire. And besides," she went on as she walked behind the man, "what if I should come to need it at a moment's notice?" The calm of the day seemed to work against that hypothetical situation though, although the site of the Knight Commander by the castle walls beckoning her over had her tensing once more. From his stance, she could tell that he had been waiting for her and from the look on his face this had little to do with the new recruits and something else was going on. Scarlett slowed down in her stride behind her charge and bowed slightly at Prince Rhys. "If you'll excuse me, My Lord, it seems that I am needed," she said and took off before the man could even grant her permission to leave.

    As she approached the man who had trained her in many of her skills, he said "Scarlett," in greeting to which Scarlett simply nodded and said "Knight Commander," back at him.

    "What's happened?" she asked, getting straight to the point. Knight Commander Lucius glanced over at where the Prince Rhys and his dog were walking before looking back at her.

    "Nothing yet," he assured her, but Scarlett was not fooled by the tone and the man sighed, "I just got back from an assembly with the King's Council. The palace will have some guests from the neighboring Arundale kingdom staying with us for the time being."

    Scarlett's brow furrowed. "The people of Arundale are no allies of ours, what business do they have here?" she asked, but was quickly catching on to why he felt the need to seek her out.

    The Knight Commander simply shook his head. "That, my dear, is between the King and his Council, but I came here to tell you to be on your guard either way. Perhaps it is nothing, and they are here simply to negotiate and nurture a partnership of some sort, but one can never be too careful." Scarlett nodded.

    "Aye," she agreed, "thank you for brining this to my attention," she said before making her way back to where the Prince was, the corners of her lips tilting into a frown as she puzzled what this could mean for the next few days. The Knight Commander took off in a separate direction, likely heading back to the barracks to address the new recruits or to inform the other knights of what she herself had just learned.
  8. Rhys snorted at Scarlett's comment about needing it at a moment's notice. He looked at the woman for a short moment, "On a day like today?" he sommented, gesturing to the surrounding area. It wasn't very often there was such a calm day and he couldn't imagine anyone trying to ruin it. However, he noticed her tense and he followed her gaze to the Knight Commander who he flashed an easy smile to the man. He heard Scarlett slow down and glanced back at her when she excused herself, walking off before he could even say anything. The man waved her off even though he knew she wouldn't have seen it. Rubbing a hand on his right shoulder lightly, he watched the pair for a moment, noticing they were speaking about something, probably of atleast relative importance by their expressions. Turning away, the Prince kept on walking, not caring enough about what they were talking about to stick around.

    Suddenly, he saw his mother, Queen Lillian and 13 year old sister, Rose walking together, towards him, probably going towards the gardens where he had just been. He cast them a swift smile, "Hello, Mother. Rose," he said with light nod. Rose grinned up at him, stepping up and wrapped her arms around his middle in a hug. The man smiled, giving her a light hug back before she stepped back to stand beside their mother once more. "Rhys," the Queen said simply before they walked off. He watched them for a moment, noticing Rose's hair, the same ashen brown as Rhys's, was braided back and pinned into a bun atop of her headand he couldn't help but chuckle. The girl hated having her hair up. Shaking his head, he continued his walk, wondering whathe was going to do now.

    He heard Scarlett coming back up behind him and he looked back at her, seeing the frown etched into her features and his brow furrowed. "What's wrong? Has something happened?" he asked her as he stopped walking and turned to face the woman. He hoped he wouldn't have to be shooed into his chambers. It had happened a couple of times before when there were threats upon his life and it bored him to tears having to stay in his room.
  9. Scarlett looked up at Prince Rhys from where she stood. The man was slightly taller than her, but the knight was decently tall herself and as she looked up at him, she could see the slight nervousness in his face. Although Scarlett figured it had less to do with what might be troubling her and more concerned as to how what she would say next would affect his freedom to roam wherever he so chose. She simply shook her head and furrowed her brows before speaking, "It may not be anything, but it seems the palace is going to be home to some new guests," she said simply before continuing to walk, this time towards the palace courtyard.

    "From Arundale," she added, her arm stretching to reach for her sword out of instinct. "It just seems like not so long ago that our kingdom was at war with Arundale, has it not?" It has in fact, only been two years, but who's counting? She continued talking though, trying to puzzle what this all meant - if the Knight Commander had come to address the issue with her, he obviously thought there was something here to be weary about. Having some foreign ambassadors visit the palace was hardly uncommon, but Scarlett had a bad feeling in her gut about it, but it's like she could act on anything simply because it gave her a 'bad feeling.' "I suppose there's nothing we can do about it," she said, although her tone of voice showed how clearly she didn't like that fact. "Just," she paused, lips pursing, brows furrowing once more, "be on your guard, okay?" It wasn't often that Scarlett asked Prince Rhys to keep an eye out, the young prince was a bit of a free spirit who despised the restrictions his noble birth had given him. Scarlett's warnings to be more careful usually fell on deaf ears. However, this situation was strange enough and fragile enough to warrant a bit of extra caution. Things were tense between the two kingdoms at the moment, the peace treaty was only recently signed and trade negotiations were fragile. Having ambassadors could mean several things and could mean that something had happened along the border of the two kingdoms where the tension was greatest. Still, Scarlett dreaded the idea of relations with Arundale getting more strained than it already was.
  10. Rhys listened to the woman as she spoke about the palace having some guests coming to visit. Guests? Was that all she was worried about? They had guests had the palace all the time, that shoudln't put her on edge. He watched as she started to walk off again and his curiousity got the best of him; he followed her. She went on the say the visitors were to be from Arundale and he stumbled slightly, caught off guard. Arundale? Why would they be coming here? He watched as she reached for her sword out of pure instinct and he tensed slightly, unsure of what she was going to do. Rhys stayed silent through the woman's musings, listening to her every word, trying to tell if she knew anything. Even he hadn't known they were coming, so he had no clue as to why. But why would his father not tell him? Oh wait.. Maybe he had and Rhys hadn't been listening, like usual. The man sighed heavily and glanced at the woman when she said to be on his guard.

    The man snorted softly and waved his hand absentmindedly, "Don't worry about it too much, Scarlett," he said to her, "my Father probably invited them here to try and kiss up to them. I wouldn't worry about it," he chuckled lightly and looked at the woman walking in front of him before he tilted his head back and stared ino the sky, quinting his eyes slightly against the light. "They probably won't be here for long," Rhys said to her as he straightened and stretched his arms above his head with a yawn. "Anyway, is there anything else you have to do today other than baby sit me?" he asked. He couldn't call it 'guarding' as nothing had happened for a while for Scarlett to 'guard' him from. So she was basically his glorified baby sitter for now and it irked it. He couldn't stand being tailed all day. It was bothersome. So he could only hope that the woman had something else to do to give him some more alone time.
  11. "Me worry? I would never," Scarlett said, fixing Prince Rhys with the absolute flattest look she could muster. It was her attempt at humor. Despite what many people thought, Scarlett was very much aware of how she came across to others and how others saw her. They thought she was an uptight, temperamental hard-ass. And they were completely right and completely justified, however, Scarlett very much liked the way she was. Well, 'like' is a strong word, more accurately it would be to say she believed that her personality fit well with her duties and was given no reason to change the way she is.

    She wasn't very much eased by Prince Rhys' explanation, but she had to admit that his reasoning wasn't wrong. "But I- perhaps you are right," she grudgingly agreed, forcing her hand that had reached for her sword to relax at her side. Scarlett smirked at the Prince's next inquiry. She knew he was only asking because he was hoping she would have more pressing duties other than guarding him. She was aware of how much he loathed having her around constantly, and how much he believed it was unnecessary, but Scarlett couldn't care less what his views on the matter were. "Nothing going on to note of other than my daily duty of guarding you," she commented, off-handedly. "Where would you like to go, Sire?"
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