The Small Town of Bhaltor

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Agentized on Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:15 pm

"I don't think a lot of people would, but that doesn't seem to stop them from judging me for it. As you have seen." He scoffed. Listening to her, he let out an amused breath.

"Mis-- Spoon," he corrected himself, letting out a small laugh at his own expense. The formality, it really was habit. He'd been taught his entire life to give everyone their proper formalities, lest he should offend anyone and it should reflect poorly on both himself, his family, but most importantly-- his mother.

"Spoon," he said again, "I will try to keep that in mind. But, don't worry yourself over what they have to say about me. They've been saying things about me my entire life, most of them untrue," he lightly shook his head from side to side, "this is nothing new. I can handle it." He reassured.

"You have nothing to worry about, Taro. I understand. It's okay." He reassured again about their original interaction. He was already over it, and he genuinely couldn't blame her for it. if anything, he was more concerned about what this could mean for her reputation, and what it might mean for her when Triton was alone with her next. He hated the thought, but knew there was nothing he could do about it and didn't want to think any more on it.

"His name is Fenrir, by the way." He gestured to the chestnut stallion underneath them.

"You rode him well, even despite being in a dress, I must say. I think the only other person I've seen pull something like that off so well is my sister Zanna." He complimented.

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Bec on Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:51 pm

“Fenrir…” she murmured, pondering the name as she looked to their shared mount. At his compliment, she simply couldn’t help a sly grin from slipping onto her face. All at once, it was lost to a pure and unadulterated panic.

“Thank you, and, I’m sorry! I truly should have realized that he wasn’t one of the stable’s stock horses, he is far too high quality for this town. Even the Whittakers don’t... I’ll repay you for my time borrowing him; just name a price, please. I can’t imagine how upset you must have been this morning when you saw him missing... You’re already being far too nice to me for all the blunders I’ve made in the past day. Really, it’s only making me feel so much worse.

She groaned, falling forward into the stallion’s neck.

“Strike me down, O’ God of Death.” she muttered, muffled by the chestnut mane as it hid away her sorrows. Even drunk she should have noticed how out of place the horse was in that barn. Or, was she really just that gone last night? That was something she wasn’t sure of, but something she did know was that there was a swirling storm of embarrassment forming in her stomach. And it wasn’t about to be going away any time soon.
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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Agentized on Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:41 pm

He was taken off guard by her apology at first; he'd forgotten how things must have seemed from her perspective. In his head, he'd already made the decision that Fenrir was now hers, and hers alone. Sure, it was because he wasn't about to back peddle on her now about what he'd said the night prior, but also so she would have some freedom from the Whittakers. She wouldn't be solely dependent on them for travel. But also, that they couldn't deny her of a horse any time she wanted one because all the horses in their stable were theirs. Among many other reasons. By the time she had finished, he let a small laugh and a shake of his head.

"Mi-- Spoon!" The rise in his voice was at himself. Just call her Spoon, you idiot.

"It's fine. If anything, last night I wasn't specific. I did say any two horses in the barn. In fact, when I awoke this morning I was beside myself; but only at my own stupidity." He chuckled.

"And I intend to keep by my word, as it is only fair. Listen, Fenrir has been good to me. He's carried me through an entire war and beyond. The least I can do is give him a nice retirement. What more could a horse want to do for the rest of his life other than carry around a pretty young lady?" Instant regret. He didn't mean that he thought she was pretty, he was just trying to generalize; not that he didn't think she was pretty, it's just, she was already with Triton and that would be overstepping boundaries-- he was a mess.

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Bec on Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:51 pm

As the prince caught himself once more beginning to call her ‘Miss’, Spoon all but devolved into giggles.

“Perhaps it wasn’t the unclarity that was stupid, but rather the fact that you offered a complete stranger free horses in the first place.” she smirked, a bit taunting as she looked back at him from her slouched position atop Fenrir’s girthy neck.

It wasn’t until his next words that she finally lifted her head from the stallion’s mane, a look of positive shock apparent on her face. He was giving him to her? No, no, that couldn’t be right. Wait. Pretty? Her mind was ablaze.

First of all, it was painful for her to know the Prince’s intentions for his steed, versus the reality of it. Were she to take his horse… it would be no peaceful retirement. While he may not know it, she was still a rebel; a rebel serving a cause that would directly impact him. This was a battle-hardened war horse, intended to carry soldiers into the fray. Were she to take him up on this, there was a very real chance that she would one day end up riding his own horse into battle against him.

The very thought made her stomach churn with anguish. As well, there would be no convincing her family otherwise; they did not have the resources to spare. Unbeknownst to Ashe, he may just be giving them one of the greatest tools—intended to destroy his very way of living—that they currently had.

She tried to quiet away the thought, hoping to find an answer for it later. With that now hushed, yet another buzzing notion filled the void in her mind. When was the last time someone outside of camp had called her pretty? Surely he didn’t mean it like that; he’d seen her twice now, and neither time was too flattering.

He’d seen her dirty and drunk in her commoner’s garb in the bar the night before, and now? Now she was in a tarnished dress, covered in blood and mud, twigs all in her windswept hair. Were it Triton she was with, he’d be calling her exactly what she was: a mess. What did he have to gain by speaking in such a way about her? They were alone, it wasn’t as if he had anyone to impress.

Trying to rationalize it, she figured it must simply be a formality. He, as royalty, must need to be complimentary of any woman he speaks with. After all, no kingdom needs rumors spreading of a rude Prince. Yes, that was it, surely. And yet she still felt her heart flutter.

Grasping at the cloth over her chest, she tore her eyes away from him. She quickly pulled her hair over her reddening ears, trying her best to keep him from seeing just how much he’d undone her.

“You really don’t need to do that. I’ve never had a horse before, what tells you I’d be suitable to care for one? You don’t even know if I’ve the space for one.”

Immediately she realized what bullshit that was; she was fully willing to let him buy a normal horse for her earlier. If she hadn’t the room nor knowledge, why would she have taken him up on his initial offer at all?

“I mean--” she started, stumbling over her words, “He’s clearly much more suited to you. And-- Emile’s horse is fine! I’m sure he’d be more than happy to allow me to borrow his.”

A sinking feeling swallowed her up as those words left her mouth; had she referred to Emile by name the night before? Did she ever introduce him? And, if so, was it in human or wolf form? Why was she losing face like this? This was unlike her. There was just something about being in the arms of your enemy that made things confusing, who knew. She had to fix this, before it went on any further. She was the one making the biggest deal out of it all, she needed to pull herself back together. What would a normal person do in this situation? He was the Prince. Of course they would accept any gifts he offered them, was it not rude to do otherwise?

With a pause and a deep breath, she forced herself to relax. She nodded, reaching down to pat Fenrir on the neck as she did so.

“I… thank you, Pr-- Ashe. Thank you, Ashe. I will give him a good home, I swear it. I can send letters on his well being, if you’d like.” she offered, still in recovery from his last comment and trying to direct her mind elsewhere.
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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Agentized on Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:25 pm

"Maybe so." He laughed a little at her response to his initial words. Though her demeanor noticeably changed shortly after the words had left his mouth about him giving her Fenrir. There was an apparent look of shock, and it was ever so clear as she began to stumble over thoughts for a reason to deny him. It brought an amused smile to his face. It was cute. Not romantically, just cute in the way of a fluffy bunny or a puppy. Finally, she relented, accepting his offer, also extending an offer his way.

"I would love to hear about how you and he are doing, if you've the time to write me." He replied jovially. There was something else of interest she'd said during her stammering. It was a name. Emile, had it been? Was that the name of the man that she'd left the Inn with the night before? The one with the silver eyes, that had matched the "dog's"? Not that he really cared if he really was a non-human, but, it was something to certainly note and put into the back of his mind for later, just in case.

About just as quickly as his smile had come to him, it had dropped. Having returned to the path some time ago, ahead of where they had left the Whittakers, he could now see the three of them down the path in the distance. They were still standing where they had been when he and Spoon had taken off. Just the sight of them was enough to take the cheerfulness out of him, and there was a noticeable change in his demeanor. He wasn't just Ashe anymore. He was the Prince, ready to handle business with the three hooligans down the road, and whatever they had to say about what had occurred. It wasn't often that he took full advantage over his power and position over others, but this was one of the few times he was prepared to do so if he must, and would have no qualms about doing it.

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Bec on Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:36 am

It was tense, and she could tell it wasn’t just her. As the Prince returned to take Ashe’s place, she could feel him stiffen behind her. Returning to a much more rigid form than he had been since they left the town-- it would be jarring, if only she wasn’t doing the exact same thing.

As the noble triad came into sight, her muscles tightened. Straightening her back, she inched herself forward in the saddle, putting as much distance between herself and the man that sat behind her as she could. She could feel her hands trembling.

A massive weight of guilt fell upon her, threatening to drag her to the ground if she wasn’t careful; she had enjoyed the Prince’s attention more than she should have, and she was terrified of what that may mean. She had no disloyal intentions, it was all happenstance that caused it, yet she couldn’t shake the feeling of being dirty.

Gripping the saddle’s pommel tightly in her hands, she squeezed. It was all in an effort to cease her shaking, and help her regain her grip on reality. Surely Triton would understand. Surely.

But that was not her first obstacle to tackle. Now, she had to deal with his parents.

“I am sorry,” she began, projecting her voice just loudly enough to announce their presence hopefully without spooking anyone, “I heard a scuffle, and I could not ignore it. There were four bandits robbing an old man; has he come by here yet? I informed him that you would be here and able to direct him to safety.”

She tried to maintain some form of authority and dignity over her words. They came across as well as she could manage, albeit hollow and ever-so-slightly shaky. She was desperate to know if the old man had heeded her advice, partly to know for certain he was alright. But, also, because he would have acted as a buffer for this moment. Had they met him, he would have readied them—at least somewhat—for her tattered return. He would serve as proof to her tale, and to her triumph. Perhaps they would even be proud.

Or, perhaps, they would be furious. Perhaps he hadn’t made it to them, and perhaps they would not believe her. Perhaps they would see her as a liar. As a harlot, running off with the Prince in tow. Returning on but one steed alone, together. No bandits in custody, no proof of the old man they had beaten; only a torn gown and bloodied fist. It didn’t look good.
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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Agentized on Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:54 am

Ashe could see her character change as they approached, as well. She became more tense and rigid. Only, it was even more than that. Her demeanor didn't just change into a more professional, lady-like one, he could sense and see her nervousness, too. Immediately, he felt bad. It was because of him. It was his fault. She would get in trouble on his behalf. He hated that. But, he couldn't let it show. Looking back to the three Whittakers as they finally drew close enough to see the detail on their faces, he could see an obvious scowl on Triton's that was directed towards him and Spoon. Oo, if only he could knock that ugly frown off the little brat's face. Of course, Triton was tucked behind his parents, so they had no idea-- although neither Erik nor Gwynn looked very pleased with them, either. Even though Spoon tried explaining the situation, their expressions hardly seemed to have changed.

"No, we have seen no older man. In fact, we have seen no one else pass us by on this trail since you two departed." Lady Gwynn replied. She wasn't outright calling Spoon a liar, but... she was telling the truth, too. So where had this supposed older man gone, if he had been directed to them? To her, it wasn't adding up.

"Yes," Lord Erik agreed with his wife, looking Spoon up and down, "It was a good thing our beloved Prince was here to save you, by the looks of it." The surface value of his words certainly weren't their true meaning. He was definitely, although subtly, insinuating something else. Yes, by the looks of things, she very well could have been in a fight. But it also looked like that perhaps the Prince had taken advantage of her, or that they had fooled around consensually, among other possible things. Though the Prince was older than her, it wasn't by much. They were both young, and foolish, and lust at that age was often to ignore, from his experience. In his opinion, he was almost sure something else other than what she had said had occurred, and they were stupid enough to believe that they wouldn't see through their facade. Or, perhaps the Prince was just brazen enough to believe he could take what he wanted when he wanted without consequence.

"Truth be told, sir, she did most of the work." Ashe replied; he was trying to help by giving her credit where credit was due while also backing up her story but in trying to help he unknowingly hurt things further. First and foremost, if they believed that they had fought the bandits and brought them into custody, then they would be mad at Spoon for showing the Prince, their enemy, that she knew how to fight. Or giving him an inkling that she was anything but a lady marrying into their family. But secondly, his words could be taken into a second context wherein he could have been perceived as being cheeky about what they believed he was really doing with Triton's betrothed. The apparent disrespect he paired with the words by calling Erik sir rather than My Lord only made it increasingly likely in their minds that one way or another, he had fooled around with Spoon.

"I bet she did..." Triton piped in slowly, glaring at both Ashe and Spoon. There was venom in his voice-- it was masked, but barely so. Ashe returned his glare without hesitation. As if on cue, there was a beat of wings drumming in the distance, rapidly travelling there way. In seconds, directly overhead was a loud, familiar screech, followed by more loud drumming of wings as it travelled away, and then it was gone. The only two who didn't so much as flinch were Ashe and Fenrir. The Prince hardly seemed to move a centimeter, and the chestnut steed beneath him and Spoon did nothing but shift his weight lazily. Meanwhile, Lady Gwynn's horse reared, nearly throwing her as she gasped in surprise and clung to its neck. Lord Erik's mount bolted to the right of the trail as he jumped with it, fighting it to regain control. Triton's horse darted and bucked, nearly unseating him as he fell forward onto its neck, barely regaining his composure and seat to finally settle his mount again. By the time they had regrouped back onto the path, it was with silence and newfound respect. It seemed, in the moment, they had forgotten who they had been speaking to.

"My apologies for Veraxes, sirs, Lady." Ashe's apology was hollow-- he didn't really bother to hide it. If they were going to blame him for something that he genuinely did not do, then they were forcing his hand. So he would force theirs. It wasn't often he used his power in such a manner but, he felt they deserved it at this moment. After all, they were accusing the Prince of a heinous act that he really had not done. Considering everything he could do to them for that alone, they were lucky, and that realization was coming to fruition. They wouldn't verbally apologize, of course, as they had never directly expressed what they had believed to have happened but, it was apparent by their shift in how they spoke and how they acted.

"No need for apology." Lady Gwynn spoke hastily.

"Yes, it is always a pleasure when he comes by." Lord Erik agreed. Triton kept silent. Satisfied, Ashe looked down to Spoon.

"Would you like to dismount and ride with someone else, Lady Spoon? If you are most comfortable where you are that is fine too." He inquired. He was more asking if she felt okay enough to at least ride back with, what he guessed would be, Triton or if she didn't even feel safe doing that much within his reach.

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Bec on Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:59 am

The whole situation had spiraled out of control within the matter of just a few seconds as Spoon’s worst nightmares were revealed to be reality. She felt a knot catch in her throat. Pale, she could do nothing but stare helplessly at Triton as he and his family blatantly accused her of adultery. She pleaded him with her eyes, begged him for understanding. While it may not have been quite as outright as she was imagining, it was certain that it was what they were thinking.

The horror and the heartbreak was evident on her face as Triton made his snide remark. She could feel herself lurching forward, as if about to grovel at his feet and beg forgiveness for a crime that she did not forget. She caught herself. Narrowing her eyes with sullen, furrowed brows, her mouth fell agape as if to ask, ’why?’ She had no need to beg forgiveness. She should not be feeling guilt for someone else’s sins. Instead, she opted to feel betrayed. Arguably, it was the better option of the two. After all, what would she have to gain from laying with her enemy? Why would Triton think so little of her? His parents, now they were another story, but him? It was rattling her bones. It wasn’t even as if she had intended for him to follow her in the first place.

It was then that the dragon came, shaking them to their cores. With the wind on her side and the drums of war in the air, Spoon found herself able to hold her head high. She glared down her nose at the three nobles as they scrambled to regain control over their mounts, now unwavering in her stance.

“Your horse was spooked by the fighting. I’m sure it will be found safe and sound, soon.” she stated coldly once all the panic over the dragon had subsided.

“Yes, I believe I would.” she started, smiling gratefully to the Prince as she accepted a hand down from their mount. As she set her feet upon the ground, she grimaced, making a show of it as she lent down to rub her ankle.

“Thank you for allowing me to ride with you for as long as you did, Prince Ashe. I don’t think I would have made it all this way by walking.”

Turning towards her loving betrothed, she let her legs carry her with a slight limp to his horse. Looking to the beast’s face, she frowned for a moment.

“After how he reacted to the dragon, I’m worried about him spooking.” she said, stating her concerns as if she had not leapt upon a wild stallion from above just the morning prior, “Triton, my love, would you hold him? I’m afraid of what would happen to my leg should he throw me.”

She knew it was bullshit. She was never the type to ask for help. But who was Triton to reject a plea from his frightened lover? Who were his parents to allow him to reject a maiden’s request before the eyes of the Prince? The thought crossed her mind that she shouldn’t be acting so deviously before him, lest he realize that she was anything more than a mere commoner, but what was done was done. Besides, she assumed he was equally as infuriated as she, and would likely enjoy to see the accusatory bastard walk. Boy, she was going to have a talk with him later.
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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Agentized on Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:51 am

"Aye. I apologize for losing your horse. If the horse isn't found in a few days' time, send word to the Crown via raven and you will be compensated fairly for your loss." Ashe said, once again his apology coming out flat. He wanted them to understand that he was being more than fair with them. He didn't have to sit their and take their accusations as calmly as he did. He didn't have to make up to them for losing their horse. He was the Prince. He could do whatever he wanted without consequence, at the expense of being a bad ruler. It was only by his mother's raising that a good Prince was fair with his people, and courteous. Aside from that, he was being so forgiving because he genuinely didn't do anything. They were just being ridiculous. Bringing his position of power into play was never something he really enjoyed doing, but some people... some people brought it upon themselves.

Watching Spoon as she lowered carefully to the ground with his help, he showed the slightest bit of concern as she reached down to touch her ankle, before remembering that she had seemed fine before they had left, and had shown no signs of pain during their ride up until this point. It didn't take him long to figure out what she was doing, especially given the words that left her mouth as she spoke to her "beloved". A quiet snort left him at the thought. He'd seen the bruise on her wrist. The way Triton so easily believed that she might lay with another man, and blatantly so... he couldn't decide whether Triton loved her so much jealousy and insecurity blinded him, or whether Triton just didn't love her at all. For there to be love, there had to be some level of trust, and it was obvious the to-be Lord didn't have a shred of trust in her.

"Of course, Lady Spoon." He replied, managing to keep a straight face. He was quite amused with her tactic, though was trying his hardest not to show it. He ran a hand through his hair and pretended to rub the scar on his face in a fein gesture of exhaustion to hide the grin that was forming on his lips. Thankfully, Lady Gwynn and Lord Erik's eyes were on their son, and Triton's eyes were on Spoon.

"Yes, of course, my dear Spoon." Triton tried to keep his tone pleasant, as he could feel his parents' eyes boring holes into the side of him. He had no choice, so he begrudgingly dismounted from his horse, helping his betrothed into the saddle. They let Lord Erik and Lady Gwynn lead the way back to the keep, with Triton walking beside Spoon, and then Ashe bringing up the rear. On the way back, Ashe got a little cheeky with Triton.

"Ah, Triton! Last I was here, your sword fighting seemed to have come along well. You must be a professional by now." The Prince began.

"Yes. I'm quite good now." The young noble replied with little zest in his tone.

"Mm. You and I should have a little spar once we're back to the keep, to show me what you have learned." Ashe suggested.

"It would be my pleasure." Triton replied. Most of the ride was spent in silence, right up until they got to the gates. Much to the bewilderment of the Whittakers, there was an old man waiting at the gates that specifically called out to Spoon. The man certainly seemed worse for wear.

"Ah, young lady! I was hoping I would see you again, so I could thank you for what you did! You probably saved my life." He thanked her. Immediate regret hit both Gwynn and Erik, and Triton was taken by surprise, albeit he tried to hide it. As before, none of them would verbally apologize since they never directly said anything, but their demeanor shifted again to a more apologetic one.

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Bec on Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:41 am

Spoon kept to herself during the ride back, refusing to give Triton even an ounce of her attention along the way. If he truly believed that she didn’t care for him, fine. He could believe that all he wanted. And she would oblige him. It was the least she could do, after all.

Despite her current lack of attention to her betrothed, she couldn’t help but feel bad for him as the Prince challenged him to a spar. Not in the sense that she really cared, but more that she knew just how humiliated he was going to be. The thought, currently, was actually rather amusing.

As the keep came into view, it was all too apparent how relieved Spoon was as she saw the old man. Her entire being lit up with delight. He was alive and well, he’d made it back to the keep, and the Whittakers now had solid proof of her loyalty. She was ecstatic.

“Please, please, do not worry yourself over thanking me.” she said, letting herself down from her mount. She walked past the noble family without even a glance in their direction, holding her hand out to the bandit’s victim. He took it graciously.

“I wasn’t sure where to go, without my cart I was lost. The guards came by and took the unconscious fellow away, as well they brought me here.”

“And I am glad for it. My only regret is that I hadn’t shown up sooner.”

Their chat went on for a while longer before the elderly man finally took his departure. At her request, he was headed to the local doctor. Much to his protest, she insisted that she cover his tab; it was her idea that he get checked on in the first place, after all. Besides, he had no idea how much grief he had just saved her by being there at all.

Excusing herself, Spoon headed into the keep to find a change of clothes. While she did not necessarily want to miss Ashe and Triton’s little battle, it was time to get out of those dirty silks. Having had her fill of dresses for the day, likely much to Lady Whittaker’s dismay -- or perhaps not, considering she’d just ruined one -- she once again donned her town clothing from the day before. They had been freshly cleaned, and they were much more comfortable.

She took a moment to relax and reflect, mulling over all of the events that had just transpired in her head. It was truly an odd day. She wasn’t positive that she wanted to share any of this with her family, though she knew that to be irresponsible. Glancing out from Triton’s window, she caught eye of the two heirs readying themselves. It was just about that time.

Hurrying herself from the inner sanctums of the keep, she quickly found her way out to them, taking up a seat next to the Lord and Lady as they waited for the battle to begin.
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