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A room filled with contempt. For the elf it was the human, and the entire human race, their ways seeming barbaric for the above-everything cultured elves. For the seething dragonkin the three humans and the elf deserved contempt; the humans for using her, the elf for treating her differently from the humans. Unlike the humans which the elf knew, or thought he knew, everything that was needed to know, the dragonkin came as a mystery. And with the elven habit of dissecting novel things and creatures, the dragonkin sat in the aim of these arrows; she could only receive shot after shot somewhere different.
Disgust washed over the dragonkin’s face. No surprise that the elves treated these humans this way, but the dragonkin has been raised by and around humans. Not all humans deserved such disrespectful treatment, but convincing such stubborn and prideful elves such as the ones living in this forest was an impossibility.
What was not an impossibility was furthering this farce. The dragonkin, gazing upon the fear-filled human with a tired and confident gaze, pointed first at him and then at the table. The human, no doubt awaiting consequences, glanced around; neither the guards nor the finely dressed elf moved. As the human once again looked at the dragonkin, she once again motioned for him. As the human crawled on all fours the dragonkin closed her eyes, fingers locking between both hands as the elbows came to rest on the table. She assumed a tired expression, the entire body and tail completely relaxed while the face took on a sleepless expression.
The human crawled with as much grace as remained within him after seeing a friend pin-cushioned with arrows, blindfolded and dragged, mocked and beaten, and tossed around. This crawling seemed on par with a fast snail but eventually he reached the table, pulling himself up and sitting down.
The dragonkin slowly opened her eyes one at a time, faking that glazed, sleepy expression which occurs after waking up from a nap or deep sleep. Her voice protruded more forced than relaxed and with a tired tone of urgency: [+purple “I don’t have too much time, convincing these elves of even this was a nightmare”], poking her head at the elves, [+purple I don’t even know why they agreed to this.”] The dragonkin yawned, disconnected one hand to rub her face. Lowering the hand back down she grimaced slightly, as if someone had beaten her up in the shoulder area. [+purple “Not, not the most kindest folk, but here’s the deal. Only one of you will be allowed to leave, two more of you will die. The other caveat is I cannot leave, I will have to stay behind; but seeing as I signed a contract...”]
The dragonkin’s voice dried up, another elf entering. With her shift of attention the human’s attention shifted in the same direction; both of them noticed a vial of a mysterious red liquid, but for the dragonkin it wasn’t a mystery. Slowly resuming, [+purple “That is a vial of my blood to represent me. Since I will not be able to finish the contract, my blood should be enough evidence”]; during this sentence the dragonkin raised and pointed at the vial, using the arm which had been knicked and making sure the human noticed the bandaged portion of her arm.
Holding her arm for a few seconds, the dragonkin then lowered it. Swiveling her head and then her eyes at the guard, a meek and defeated voice popped out, [+purple “I, I am done. Do with us what you will.”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Fiery, that was how he liked this woman. She had momentarily looked weak and in need of help. A lesser or perhaps more empathetic man may have offered her a seat, to delay the executions and allow her a night of rest. Even someone like him, intrigued and lost to allure of the dragonkin’s being, should have used this as a means of pressing his advantage over her. Use it to leverage what he wanted from her without too much complaint.
For now, he stayed his hand, or rather it was pushed aside as she gained back her resolve and stood up to look at him with her more regular glare of contempt. She disliked him, he could tell, but a sly smirk tugged the corner of his lips and he nodded at her request.
[+firebrick “Of course. I don’t like having my time wasted, and by humans no less.”] Her little show with her tail left him a little curious at her dexterity and he gazed around her figure to glance at the appendage. It was all quite blatant, but she knew his interest in her was very [i thorough].
The footfall and light knock at the door heralded the guards return and the Crown Prince briefly turned his head to look over. A nod between the men sent the guard a few feet off, the rustle of metal keys and a heavy lock turning before there was muttered words. Moving to one side the lithe elf would watch with utter contempt as the human peasant was brought it, roughly pushed forward and a kick thrown at his knee, forcing him to buckle with a cry of anguish and be thrust down on all fours.
Alloen said nothing then, only stared in silence at the human who looked about him with bleary eyes and fear. If he was feigning ignorance of what he had planned for Insae and more importantly her blood, then he was making a good show of it, staring up at the horned woman with trepidation as it was left to her to decide what to do with him.
This wicked measure left a taste akin in taste of a bitter wine, followed in turn with a stomachache as the bitter liquid upset the stomach. Insae didn’t care for killing the humans, most likely they were being used as pawns in someone else’s game; this action felt much too forced, but elves had their own ideals and if she wanted her plan put into action then she’d have to give-in to these ideals.
And this was where Alloen easily pierced her weak veil hiding her vulnerability. His mannerisms drove Insae slightly mad, specifically touching one body part or another and manipulating it toy-like. This time he’d grabbed her chin and rudely swiveled her head upwards, dark and bright pairs of eyes staring into each other’s depths. Insae fully knew he could see, and maybe smell, the confusion and weak will coursing in her mind, while she could see a confident curiosity in those annoyingly bright and glinting eyes.
Using the back of her left hand, Insae politely brushed away Alloen’s hand. Instead of roaring, Insae quickly shut her opening and teeth-barring mouth which produced an annoyed, sour grumbling rumble. Both her head and tail swung clockwise in a smooth, precise motion. The darkness of the eyes took over the void of the pupils as they narrowed, constantly jumping around. The last inch of the tail slapped rhythmically and abruptly against the cold, stony floor. Then Insae rotated only her head back to its original position while the tail stopped slapping the floor.
With cold, narrowed eyes filled with anger, resentment, and annoyance Insae glared into Alloen’s eyes. The tone took after the eyes but with less resentment, [+purple “I am strong but not in everything. I have my strengths and my weaknesses, and no doubt someone like you can tell which is which with ease”]. Then barring her teeth, [+purple “Now, let’s get this farce over with”]. This last phrase was ended with a bite, an open hand slap of the table, and a lowering of the head.
In truth Insae could also feel the fear coursing through her body. She had definitely snapped at the elf, while not the worse snap who knew what the elf thought. Maybe after this interrogation he’d lock her up as well.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Her face showed little discomfort from the cut though he hadn’t expected anything significant. She held herself in high regard, like one of the human high-borns, and he had had a lot of interaction with them in his life. Whilst he understood the desire to seem invulnerable, he found it humorous to see it in a girl as young as herself. Often the sense of being infallible came with age, experience, or outright power, not one of which he thought she had. But silent critique of the dragonkin would do for another time.
With the blood drawn and corked in the vial he moved back over to the doorway, nodding for a guard who awaited the call to bring in the prisoner from his cell.
[+firebrick “Take this to Master Aleath and have him nullify it’s magical properties. Tell him I want it [i pure]. Then come back and bring the prisoner in.”] The vial was handed over and with a nod of understanding the guard would turn and leave, footsteps echoing behind him as he left. It would leave him a little more time to talk with his unique guest. That was when Insae spoke, and his lips curled in a wicked smile as she decreed to only let one live.
[+firebrick “How wonderful; it seems one of such honour and grace is learning that there is a time and place for more… wicked measures.”] He turned back to her, stepping over to her once more as she hunched over and stared down at the ground. There was no look of concern about her condition, more so he was curious – as ever – about why she was in such a state.
[+firebrick “Come now, a strong dragonkin like you should be able to take a small cut on the hand.”] A hand brushed her cheek, curling under her chin and lifting her gaze as he stopped before her.[+firebrick “Or is there something more about you I have yet to learn?”] She was unique, that was granted readily, but whilst he had fawned over her more positive and strong features perhaps he had overlooked her flaws.[+firebrick "Perhaps you aren't as strong as I thought."] He added softly.
Insae resumed her stone demeanor once more. If Alloen turned down her plan completely then she wouldn’t be surprised. After all in the elves’ eyes these lowly humans had trespassed, did not matter the accidental nature, and such law breaking required death as the only suitable punishment. But some baseline needed to be established, for without a baseline neither party would understand the other and a compromise wouldn’t be able to reach.
Alloen’s next action only strengthened as to why Insae, instead of sharing the humans’ plight, found herself next to an arrogant, but not always, elf. Just as humans perceived anything rare as exotic, so to did the elven race. Any new item or specimen just needed to be documented extensively and written down for posterity. No doubt after all these interactions, such as touching the cold and scaley arm of a dragonkin, Alloen would hide in whatever quiet place he used and document with great detail.
Insae only made an one confident nod in response to Alloen’s question. For now she couldn’t discern a tone which signified distaste at her idea, which meant either Alloen was still thinking and using this question to stall or his question was meant to be rhetorical.
Alloen’s response confirmed her suspicions. Now while humans would of course question, Insae thought that these farmers would simply thank whatever lucky being they prayed to at being released from an inescapable death sentence. But it would be the elves, Alloen’s own people who’d whisper behind his back. Most of them would know about the events and they’d wonder about possible collusions, something a leader like Alloen would not want.
Insae grinned her teeth, the knife leaving a slowly reddening line in her palm. While having scales did help in preventing painful cuts, those cuts that were just right still felt somewhat painful. Rotating her hand so it was angled downwards into the uncorked vial, Insae watched with fascination. Now she’d seen her blood multiple times before from battle wounds, but today was her first time seeing it with an inkling understanding of its power. She still found difficulty in believing that the red blood flowing inside of her, the same color blood shared by many species, had uses in doing powerful things.
Once the vial filled to three quarters full Insae shut her hand into a tight fist, a tight grip to keep pressure so blood wouldn’t flow. She hunched over, arms on her legs and leaning on the left arm which had the tight fist. Her gaze settled on the floor just left of her fist, a slow and methodical tap emanating from her right foot. She tried keeping a straight face but Insae felt lost, only one side of the lips drooping downwards and eyes glancing around every which way. Shrugging her shoulders, [b [+purple “Maybe just leave one alive...”]], her voice giving out at the end of the sentence. She could feel her state of vulnerability , something which she didn’t want to show Alloen but his eyes probably already noticed all the body signs which showed vulnerability. How was she supposed to make a plan when she couldn’t control herself at the moment, fighting her different halves.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat As mysterious as she was alluring, Insae was driving him quite mad with her mannerisms. At times defiant and aggressive and in an instant she becomes sweeter, almost playful, in the curve of her lip or flash of those bright eyes up in his direction. It spoke of a hidden intelligence he had not at first seen, the task of breaking her down to win her over now morphing into one of showing equivalence between their goals so that he may utilize her.
So far it looked like she was oblivious of his motives, her removal of armour and offering of her limb for blood letting a clear indicator that he was doing exceptionally well in hiding his desires. Looking down on her pale skin he gazed with interest for a time. Her words sparked some interest though he lifts hand and takes a hold of hers. Lightly his fingers glide along the scales and he can't help but turn her hand back over, to watch the action with quite some interest.
[+firebrick “You want to take all the humans, offer them a vial of cleansed dragons blood, and allow them on their way, all so you may track them?”] He spoke calmly and softly due to their closeness as he watched the way her skin and the scales fused, how they reacted to his touch and it all was so fascinating.
Having left the door open purposefully it allowed the clinking footsteps of the approaching guards to flow through to his ears with ease and he glanced up as a single man, the one from earlier, stepped inside. He gave a faint bow, moving forward and offering a small vial to Alloen. Hand leaving her forearm he took the vial and the guard quickly dipped his head and returned to the hallway, the sound of a key turning in lock and door groaning as it opened returning to this little chamber.
[+firebrick “You know I cannot let them all live. That alone would spark rumours and questions, not only by my own people but by the farmers themselves. To let them escape is shameful by itself.”] He would not allow his people to question his leadership or ability to protect them by just letting these men walk free.[+firebrick “So, how do you imagine to let them escape in a manner that they do not see the ruse? And if you only plan on releasing them, why go through with interrogating them?”] He uncorked the vial in his hand, the knife that had sat patiently in his other hand having been brought across subtly and now pressing into her palm. His bright gaze has come to settle on her pretty round face, not concerned that he may cut too deep or hurt her – after all she had been the one to remove the bracer. He removed the knife and allowed the slow trickle of blood to fall into the vial, briefly looking down to ensure it didn't fall entirely on the floor.
Neither the dank smell nor the heat bothered Insae. A lifetime of travelling gave plenty of opportunities for smelling a battlefield of rotting corpses and other nose-turning smells, and the variety of weather from bone-chilling to heat-cooking took care of the temperature adaptability.
No extra words were needed, only a nod of the head required for conveying his understanding of her broken Elvish. Alloen proceeded to summon a guard via a rap of the knuckles, a few words spoken ordering the guard before they disappeared with echoing footsteps.
Whatever had been done had been set in motion and could not be undone.
Insae answered Alloen the same way he'd answered her, with a simple nod of the head before proceeding to follow his lead. Their path took them past the human prisoners, all slumped against the floor and walls as the heads turned to witness their [i 'guardian'] trail freely behind an elf. That would probably get them talking, have them debating all sorts of theories as to why she was free, at least in appearance, and they weren't. That would only make the rest of her plan easier to carry out.
Passing through an entrance, not a problem for the short Insae unlike the tall Alloen who needed stooping, which gave away to a more elegant in appearance room. The only weird thing, aesthetic wise, was a hoop poking through the stone. The glinting shine gave it away as a loop made of metal, but what was its purpose?
Ah yes, the game of building trust. Insae noticed the details with ease, from the question to his grip on the blade instead of the handle. The most ironic part was him offering her own dagger in this bloodletting stage of the plan. Insae let out a chuckle, showing amusement, more friendly than going after, at Alloen's choice of blade, a quick flashing smile before turning to business.
Insae undid all the straps attaching the right lower arm armour, letting it fall with a metal clang while exposing the slightly scaley, pale white skin. Extending her arm, the under part facing upwards, [b [+purple "No doubt you are wondering what plan I've concocted. It will sound disagreeable as it does involve releasing the humans, but I want someone to trail them and listen in on their conversation. No doubt the close call with danger will make them relaxed, especially after managing to escape with a vial of my blood."]]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat It was a little hot in the dungeon of this elven stronghold, the number of prisoners coupled with the heat of the multiple torches was stifling. Not enjoying the unpleasant smell that this room provided, Alloen was eager to get this over with and move on but it seemed the diminutive woman wanted to speak first. She stopped before him and looked up at him almost expectantly. Having little idea what she wanted, and not accustomed to someone being so brazen as to speak to him without outright permission, he lowered his head a little so that she might speak softly into his pointed ear. Her elven was rough, very rough, but he understood the general idea of what she wanted and why she was speaking a foreign tongue with such men around.
Offering her a nod of his head in understanding he moved back to the entrance, rapping his knuckles against it a few times to summon the guard left in the stairwell. Door swinging away the man leaned in close as Alloen spoke in quiet and concise words, hands gesturing behind him down the hallway of prisoners. The man nodded repeatedly before turning and heading up the stairs, his footsteps rebounding behind him as he went. As he did so the young vibrant eyed leader returned to his young dragonkin friend. [i Was she a friend yet?][+firebrick “If you will follow me this way.”] He spoke softly, rather formal as he led her down the row of cells. He did not look aside, to look upon the humans whose lives were forfeit. It was as if they didn’t exist.
Passing by the last cell there was a turn to the left and a smaller door hidden away at the back. A torch that sat on the wall was removed from its holder and brought with him to light the way. Not the largest of entrances, for the tall man, it forced him to stoop just a little to get in, though it opened into a larger room within. Here the floor and walls were lined with smooth stone though channels ran in each direction from a central point where a single metal hoop protruded from the rock, sunk deep into the ground. Moving to each side he lit secondary torches before placing the one in hand into a holder at the far side of the room.
Turning to Insae, he was curious as to her request. What could she want with dragon’s blood that is devoid of magic? It was an unusual request but it was one he was eager to find the answer for.[+firebrick “The prisoner will be brought in shortly. Meanwhile, do you wish to retrieve the blood yourself or shall I do so?”] Here he rather humorously retrieved her own dagger from his belt, holding it by the blade so as not to panic her that this might be the end of her path in life. He was still building his trust with her and would take any chance he might have to do so.[+firebrick “Dragon’s aren’t easy to come by if you did not know. But I am sure dragonkin blood, especially from such a pure source as yourself, will suffice for your needs.”] A soft smile tugged the corners of his lips.
So the conversation had not been about food but about something entirely else, but then what was Alloen attempting to allude to? Whether all dragonkins understood metaphors or not would've been an interesting question to answer, in Insae's case she disliked metaphors. When selling yourself, along with your sword, Insae made business deals in a similar manner to her actions when only using the sword, brute and directly to the point. While using metaphors might've increased her chances of being hired, clients were equally disappointed when the mercenary didn't match up to what they said.
Another low, quiet whistle which summoned another elven servant who quickly disappeared with the empty cup. The servant didn't jog off to far, taking a place near the double doors in whose direction Alloen had turned and began walking to. Dropping her hands back down to their respective sounds, the familiar handgrip of her sword making a dawning smile, Insae's steady steps followed Alloen's.
The servant swung the doors open, a miniscule horde of elves looking their direction. Insae took note of most stares directed at her instead of Alloen, minutely examing each visible nook and cranny which Insae consisted of. For those who never saw an elf they'd be intrigued by those sharp and pointy ears, although Insae didn't have those she did have those obsidian horns protruding straight to the sky. Those horns might not match the size of even small adult dragon, their potential to gore someone to death was equal. And just as non-elven folk were intrigued by elven weaponry so were the elves intrigued by non-elven weaponry, especially when such a petite female like Insae carried a sword as big as her.
She didn't mind the attention, Insae would be stuck here for some time so might as well get used to being stared at by one elf after another.
Another interesting stroll, this time observing the smaller elves, the children no doubt, running or playing accompanied by delightful laughter and smiles unaware of the non-elven creature off to the side. What a time it was to be a child, innocent and unaware of the harsh reality that was this dark and cruel world. Some children unluckily entered this cruel darkness because of fate, either born an orphan, parents and/or family dying, or traumatic event.
Eventually the two of them stood underground in front of the three humans, sitting behind their locked cages with beaten expressions on their faces and bruised bodies. She already knew with whom she wanted to talk tête-à-tête, the leader who sat in the far right cell with a not as beaten expression as his fellow compatriots. But Insae stood there silently, wondering how to turn the recently acquired knowledge of the magic qualities of dragon's blood.
Insae walked up to Alloen, leaning in so she could whisper. Just to be safe she spoke in Elvish, not taking any chances in having her plan revealed. [b [+purple "I er farthest na i foeir. But im will require a vial -o blood an hi interrogation, anui blood will ceri- but if ennas was a waui na get i gúl ed- -o lúg's blood i would n- i best."]][size7 1*]
[size8 1* The one farthest to the right. But I will require a vial of blood for this interrogation, any blood will do but if there was a way to get the magic out of dragon's blood that would be the best.]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Alloen disliked the little tricks and turns and pirouettes she made. It showed she was far more flexible, spry and limber than he originally thought. With such a bulky weapon he had assumed she was a stocky and robust figure. She would plant her feet and use that dragon heritage to be unyielding and hit hard. In a way it was interesting, subverting his expectations and showing she was able to use her tail as an extension of her figure not just as a weapon, but he still eyed her with caution as she rose up to all five or so feet of her height. He did well to hide his wonder and interest behind a impassive eyes, tucking the dagger into his belt on being told he could keep it though he was quite delighted by the gift. It would fit well in his collection.
Seeing her settle into a more relaxed stance he inclined his head toward her.[+firebrick “I think you misunderstand my words; clearly metaphors are not a dragonkin’s strong suit.”] He spoke in a quiet voice as he turned away from her, giving a softer whistle than before and in quick order the servant returned. Alloen gestured to the empty cup for the man to collect before beginning to move toward the entrance at a leisurely pace for the smaller woman to turn and catch up. The elfin man waited at the door until she had stepped up closer to him so that as the door was pushed open those who were waiting outside saw her immediately. They were equally interested in the woman with the horned protrusions and her large sword.
It was uncommon in elven culture to have women fighting, special exceptions made here and there though most were guided towards easier and more forgiving lives in childcare or pursuing interests in the arts and humanities or in religious and historical readings. To have such a clear opposite before them in the shape of Insae was most peculiar, and that was before her heritage was considered. The hushed whispers only grew as the doors were held open by two guards and Alloen nodded for her to follow.
The small elven settlement was quite alive at that time of night, just before the moon reached its zenith and most would head to their early morning slumber. Children were off playing in the distance, their cries of delight and laughter at contrast to the hushed tones of those watching both Alloen and Insae.[+firebrick “I doubt you much care, but their interest in you is not a negative thing. Most elves live lives of seclusion. Your arrival is the first new and non-elven face many will have seen in a few years.”] Though their interest focused on the pairing they were respectful and allowed them to move freely, not following after them as they made their way through the village toward where the humans would be kept. Unlike the stereotypical belief many had of elves living in the tree tops, though several had been built into the trunks of smaller trees. Flowers flourished wherever the path did not follow and in the glow of dozens of torches the place was rather beautiful. That was what Alloen thought of course, no doubt it was the mirror opposite belief of his guests who seemed to prefer simplicity over anything else.
Regardless he led her to one of the corners of the settlement, near to the palisade where a door was set into a tree and two men in emerald cloaks stood guard. Offering informal salutes to them both as he walked forward they opened the door to him, guiding her inside to a spiral staircase. Heading down several meters they came to another door, a single guard here who again opened the door to him. Inside was a long corridor, the breadth of five or six men and two or three high, lined with multiple rooms all bared by metal bars. The air was musty and stale, not able to circulate very well though the high ceilings allowed any smoke from the torches to rise above their heads. The cells were small affairs, enough for a man to sit at best, but of course those inside were not here to be given comfort.
[+firebrick “Go ahead Insae, pick someone to go first.”] He commented to Insae as he stepped aside to allow her into the hall, a hand waving for her to take the lead. She knew these men; she would be better able to select who she thought might offer the best information.[+firebrick “I suggest the more talkative the better.”] It would make this all easier.
Insae kept the chuckle silent, soundlessly propagating inside her head, no need to provoke the poor little elf any further. Who would think a high poshy, arrogant elf lost control of their face, and the first shown, very visibly, would be a flushing of that pale white face? Insae had flustered many a creature, but this one took the number one spot in trolling, amusing fluster.
Oh! And what was that?!!? Insae knew Alloen tried to keep his voice controlled with that tone of authority, but every few words a single syllable popped out betraying the authoritative tone as unnerving. Even his arms, thought not by much, betrayed the outwardly calm appearance. Why else would hide their arms, specifically at and below the wrist, behind the back? No one wanted to look a fool by having the hands do weird things, especially not a personality like the fair elven statue that was Alloen.
What's this, what's this, Insae believed her eyes. What's this, Alleon approached her close. However he still kept the distance, his few glances betraying something, perhaps fear, at the sight of the tail. Insae couldn't make fun of Alloen if he indeed feared the tail for she herself knew the destructive force of such an animated whip. Even with a light flick of just the tippity-toppity of her tail would send Alloen planting his smug fair face into a surface which would make him ugly.
Speaking of fair looking, smug bastards, why wasn't this one sneering? Those orchid orbs with black spheres weren't squinting in combination with a wicked smile, but what else it what even Insae couldn't decipher. Alloen could keep this win, if even this had been a mind battle, Insae was satisfied with her twisty turning victory.
Insae couldn't help but twist her head 45-degrees clockwise, her point-of-view, the tip of her tail giving a few flicks before settling down. The head then twisted 90-degrees counter-clockwise, the entire tail closely sweeping around her body and lay to rest near the right leg. Not only did Alloen offer help in standing up and giving back her dagger, he also offered to eat. Although the way he offered food lost Insae. The conjunction [i or] presented an alternative item or idea, but she failed to see the two different alternatives in Alloen's conjunction phrase. She being a guest, a light way of identifying as a prisoner, meant it would be rude to eat first, especially if starting off with the main meal.
Insae gave up. She decided to give her own little show.
Rotating her head so it made her body more or less symmetrical, Insae brought her hands together and cracked her knuckles. Some preferred a one-by-one crackling while others leaned towards the all-at-once firing, Insae belonged to the latter. Sliding the tail directly behind she coiled it onto a spring while shifting her legs slightly; Using the stored energy Insae used it to help stand up while lightly dusting herself off.
Now the next part of her show. Insae moved her feet apart while placing her, hands holding each other, in the lowest notch of her spinal chord; Her entire body becoming a rigid stone. Sweeping her Prussian blue eyes up and unflinchingly locking with those orchid orbs, she slowly extended her tail out. Once close enough she curled the tip and shook Alloen's free hand that way, instead of a warm semi-scaly hand he'd feel a cold and very scaly tail. After giving one firm hand-tail-shake, Insae unwrapped her tail and relaxed it straight behind her. [b [+purple "You can keep the dagger as a keepsake, especially if some accident happens to me during my stay"]], poking fun at Alloen's earlier phrase about being a co-conspirator without any trace of insinuation. Dipping her head up and down, not a bowing motion, [b [+purple "As to the food"]], a few seconds of pause, [b [+purple "I can't eat first, that would be rude. Especially if you want to start off with the main course. I'd be happy to eat, but I can't breach the morality of the laws of hospitality despite me being a prisoner still."]]
Insae relaxed her shoulders by a fraction, a slight dip being the only thing visible.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Alloen was more than a little perplexed and caught off guard by her reaction. Had he said something offensive? Perhaps hearing how he would not openly just give her priceless dragonborn tomes was distressing to her? Perhaps releasing her bonds had not been the wisest of choices, especially when that gentle roar began to build. He reactively took a step back to the throne as his eyes widened for a moment and he grasped her dagger a little tighter. Her rhythmic thump of her tail gave the impression this was some ritualistic chant she was making and he was equal parts wary and fascinated.
Here, before him and right now, he had a dragonborn girl who was giving him some kind of personal showcase of the like he could only link toward her scaled kin. No human could make those noises nor that reverberating sound that echoed around him, not without a drum or other instrument. He was captivated by this young girl so much so he could have sworn he saw a light haze of smoke expelled with some of her breaths. Was he about to see her fire breath? [i Could she do that?] He couldn’t help but lean in a little closer and narrow his violet elven eyes on her lips. But there was no further smoke. No flames licked forth like a fiery tongue. In fact all he really noticed was her smiling. Before he had realised the thumping had ended and his ears adjusted to what was perhaps the more ominous sound; laughter.
His cheeks flushed when he realised he had misunderstood and that he had been played a fool. Standing upright he brushed at his clothing to smooth it out and frowned across at her. Whilst she revelled in her moment of success, winning this small battle of the minds, he sighed and brushed a hand through his raven locks.
[+firebrick “Firstly; apology accepted. Secondly; you may not be in bonds anymore but do not think yourself devoid of punishment yourself. Mock me like that again and we will throw you in with those humans as a co-conspirator.”] He was trying to sound authoritative yet his voice belied a touch of nerves. Thankfully he had drawn his hands behind his back where they flexed about her dagger in a calming manner.
Stepping down off the throne platform he approached her though he did not get too close for that powerful tail to whip out at him. Sat down or not, he was wary of this woman.
[+firebrick “I have an idea of the background to all this, but yes, an interrogation is required to learn the full truth.”] Looking down on her he could quite easily have sneered on her as the low blood a lot of his kin would see her as. Yet he saw the potential in her. She was quick witted and careful with her words and also her actions. There was intelligence in those dark Prussian blue eyes of hers. They were certainly captivating in their own right, not to mention something more alluring that he couldn’t put into words. His hand came forward in offer to help her up, the other following not long after holding her dagger. He held the blade so that the handle was proffered to her. He would’ve liked to keep it as a genuine dragonborn crafted weapon, but he still had need of her and this could be a further sign of his trust in her.[+firebrick “Would you prefer to eat first or go straight to the main course?”] Being Alloen that had many meanings, a vast majority sexual in nature, but for now he truly just meant the interrogation.
As she sat soundlessly Insae fully expected Alloen to either confirm or deny her questions disguised as statements. That was the only logical follow-up to those questions. The biggest factor fell upon whether or not those disguised statements had been actually said, which in Insae's case they had not.
So when Alloen began to speak about books, poor Insae, along with her mind reeled with confusion. Of course out of habit she showed naught this expression upon her rock solid face, but inside none other than the absolute opposite to solidarity, chaos, reigned supreme. The information though useful didn't help in either those questions or the new ones popping up. Even Alloen's face dropped into curiosity from that sickeningly amusing smile of his, though it did make looking at that hypocritical elvish face much easier, that only led to further confusion.
Insae let out a quiet annoyed roar, a most curious mix of human and dragon; Higher pitched because of the human half while having that characteristic vibrating rumble from the dragon half. A fast slap with the tip of her tail bounced around the hall. The stress, since being kidnapped, slowly had built up and finally snapped. Not polite or showing good manners, but even Insae had her limits with certain things.
This bloody fucking situation being one of those!
Her erratic tail-tip snapping slowly calmed down as the seething breaths, was that smoke, followed suit. Insae reigned her mind back in its place and started figuring out what had gone wrong.
A single minute in deadly silence followed, broken by a light chuckle from Insae which then broke into a short laughter before quieting into a chuckle and then back into nothingness. Insae finally understood from whence the confusion had come from.
[+purple " Even though you wouldn't admit to such a mistake, I do apologize for that confusing moment. What I had meant to say was this: If what you say is true, you do realize the implications of that? You are implying those farmers aren't just any farmers, but they are a part of that cult. And the reason they reached to me and have me give them my cooperation was to make me give up my blood. Then remains the question whether they were actually in the cult or being used as pawns. Me thinks that will be answered in the interrogation, correct?"]. Ending with a smile and a half-devilish sort of gleam in her eyes.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Yes, her reaction was indeed a surprise, certainly not what he expected and it brought a smile back to his lips. She had yet to do one thing he expected of her save for the dagger being kept secret. And even that was more a lie by omission than her defying him. For Alloen her approach to everything he had said was rather calm and tranquil. She was being informed that the ‘peasants’ she had been escorting were actually escorting her as their bounty; that her blood held the key; that she was quite integral to a plot to change the entire world; and yet she was now sitting down on the floor sipping her water as if this were a slumber party.
Watching her finish her drink quickly he wondered for only a few moments on having another brought, perhaps a pitcher this time. She had been stopped before they had eaten and surely a platter of food would not be turned down either. But to do that would make him too hospitable. She was here for a reason and he needed more answers. He was intently staring at her now, judging her as her tail flicked and she stared down at the floor as if turning in on an inner monologue. Just as he went to speak up – she did.
[+firebrick “Books? I have a few.”] He answered without hesitation, though he looked curious more than amused now; why would she ask a question in such a way?[+firebrick “I can’t be sure they are directly linked to your particular family history or your unique heritage. But they are interesting reads nevertheless.”] Why was he telling her this? He should have held this information back, withhold it from her and use it at a later date. Oddly he felt a need for her approval.[+firebrick “You help me and I am more than happy to offer them to you – to read of course. They are rare and I would hate to diminish my collection.”] Very noble and inkeeping with his persona thus far.[+firebrick “And of course you will have the help of my lands and people too.”] A very broad offer, but a lovely addition.
And yet another pause filled the silence between the two of them. Even though they were having a conversation they also played a game. Just like with certain card games it involved having any advantage over the other while not giving any advantages to the other; Insae knew that Alloen held all the advantageous cards in his heartless hands, but she knew as well she could bleed through both deck and cards until the roles would be reversed.
But for now, she'd thin out the deck and their sets of cards, one thing at a time.
Alloen stood up, dusting his pristine clothes, which probably contained neither dust nor dirt, before proceeding to walk down the stairs. Of course his flashing, grinning, stupid looking smile hadn't left his face, Alloen probably had countless years perfecting such an irritating smile.
The next offense committed by this impertinent bastard of an elf came in the form of crushing any idea of her personal space. Their chests were so close to touching, Insae had to control her tail lest it whipped and accidentally tripped Alloen. Out of the options of looking at his cloth covered chest or those bright, smug blue eyes, she chose another option; closing her eyes. The elf could think whatever he wanted to think about that.
Closing he eyes meant relying on the other senses, and even though Insae had no sense specific training at least her ears were up to par.
She could hear her own breath, quiet, small, meditative almost. Alloen's breath differed substantially, long and a touch of exhilaration, no doubt accompanying his 'borrowing' of her dagger. And then a touch, a small bolt of frost on the bottom of her hands as if the cold be asking the hands to move. Insae obliged Alloen and lifted her hands up somewhat higher, to which she felt something against the ropes binding her wrists together. So he planned to cut the bonds? An interesting and most curious development.
She most definitely never said that! Not a single part of her monologue of impure dragon's blood mentioned not being a dragon! Despite him mistaking her words, the feeling of being able to twist and turn one's wrists felt refreshing. Insae definitely was proud of the dragon part, it literally made up half of her existence.
Although him taking the knife was irksome. Yes she did have her sword, but anything one made with one's own hands one wanted to keep.
With his back turned Insae heard Alloen's voice slightly muffled by his own back. Opening her eyes, which blinked hard once readjusting to the warm fire light, continuing to examine Alloen's movements.
After he finished his monologuing Insae felt the urge to sit down. Putting a hand on the grip of her sword and pushing it away, Insae slowly settled down into a criss-cross position while her tail wrapped around clockwise and came to rest on her left thigh. Hunching over like a tired traveller over a campfire, Insae drank the entire cup before setting it down almost soundlessly. The cool water wet the parched throat and settled the slight thirst.
Then Insae hunched even further, setting her elbows upon her thines and resting her head on her curled up hands. She did know of a few tales of what dragon's blood could do, but this one she knew naught. It wasn't that Insae disbelieved Alloen, just the sheer jump from a tiny drop of blood, her blood, could be used for such a catastrophe. This idea unsettled Insae, it could be seen in her narrowing eyes and in her tail as the very tip of it flicked.
[i [+purple If what you say is true, you do realize the implications of that? You are implying those farmers aren't just any farmers, but they are a part of that cult. And the reason they reached to me and have me give them my cooperation was to make me give up my blood. Unless they didn't know, which meant someone else was pulling the strings.]] [+purple "Wonder if he has books on dragons from where I am?"] Unbeknownst to Insae, she did not realize that she had swapped what she had wanted to say and what she did say, continuing to gaze at the floor.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.