Two Hearts Are Better Than None

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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by kurookami on Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:01 pm

Xatu was, unfortunately, impressed. Not that he would show it. He allowed himself a dismissive look at the rapiers, then looked back up at the girl. "Your job as jester is to make the king smile. I am both inconsequential and none of your business. My job doesn't call for smiling. As for violence..." he stepped forward and delicately picked up a rapier, stroking the edge carefully, feigning disinterest. "Violence is a means to an end. It is not something to do to let off steam." He glared at the girl, meeting her eyes. "Letting your emotions overwhelm you is quite childish."

He stepped back from the girl and stood casually, the point of the rapier tipped down and resting on the ground, casual but alert. His pose spoke of experience with the rapier. A light breeze rustled the leaves around them, whispering of danger. "So, can we get this over with? I am very busy and would like to return to my evening."

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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by amarilloo on Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:55 am


"You don't think the King's court matters at all? What about some sense of familial identity? Teamwork?" Tepo let out an exasperated sigh. "Why can't you just accept help when someone offers it, huh? Is that so hard? Maybe you're just as crabby to everyone else here and that's why you can't make any friends!"

Tepo studied him as he picked up the gleaming rapier. He must be around magic a lot if he doesn't seem so interested in much of the theatrics of it. Hmph, probably some blue-blood, high class snob that went to a private academy for magic. That explains a lot. She glared up at him, the fire in her eyes burning through his skull, What a waste of a lovely face, floated through her mind at the same moment, as if he heard her thoughts, their eyes met. Catching her off guard she immediately looked away, fumbling to puck up the second rapier he left on the ground.

Bringing her self to her full height, Tepo let out a sound of vexation. "Gods, you are so frustrating!" She brought the rapier up in the air in front of her face with a swift swish. "I'll just have to show you, then." With a quick, darting movement she was already on the offensive. I'll make him see what I mean the hard way, then.
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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by kurookami on Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:43 pm

Xatu drew his rapier up quickly to block the girl's attack. Why is she so insistent on doing this? Why does she care about my feelings? It wasn't self-deprecating, it was honest curiosity. He flicked his wrist around to twist her rapier to the side in a neat disengage, her point aiming past his head. "I truly, truly don't understand what you mean." He stepped forward and thrust the rapier toward her ribs.

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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by amarilloo on Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:34 pm



Tepo blocked the thrust with the middle of her rapier, a guiding hand behind the long thin steel blade to reinforce the movement. She parried again, using his momentum against him, to move him and their path rather than using her wrist to twist the sword. I wasn't that it wasn't elegant in the way she moved but it certainly wasn't a proper way to use a rapier in a duel. Or at all.

"And you're clearly not trying to understand." Tepo snapped with a sharp thrust of the sword only for her to be calmly deflected in the least amount of movement possible.  With a huff she gave another thrust and she was parried again, her sword getting knocked in the other direction.

"You just push, push, push," she articulated the last three words with a separate jab, their swords crashing together each time. "Lying to yourself that solace in loneliness is something you want." She arched the sword back around her shoulders, spinning with the maneuver, "But no one should have to live like that." She spat with a force and with more emotion than she intended to let slip. In her hurry to push back old, dead memories she greatly overestimated her own strength and underestimated her opponent.

Tangling the swords together in an easy move for the opposition she lost her grip on the rapier, it's tip sinking into the grass three feet away. Turning to chase after her weapon she saw movement flash out of the corner of her eye. A sharp cut bloomed across her cheek the moment she ducked and slid across the grass, grabbing the hilt as she spun. She held the sword in a backwards grip, the point trained on Dragon Boy. With what little expression he made in her direction she could still almost imagine the aura of sheer self-righteous air waft off of him. In the same moment she felt her mask peel off her face and tumble to the ground.

Her eyes went wide, flashing with a new emotion. That smug prick cut the ribbon on my mask!  Her expression clear to read now that her disguise was gone, annoyance was printed all over her face. That conceited, arrogant, stuck-up - Tepo picked herself up by a handspring, her velocity doubling in that split second as she made to strike again with a new fire in her eyes.
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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by kurookami on Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:44 pm

Xatu went to parry the attack, but the sudden force of the girl's fury caught him off guard. Her blade slid along his as he diverted it as best as he could, the point slipping into the skin on his arm and then slicing out. Rage exploded through him and he skipped back, anger twisting his face. He lowered his blade. "Just because you live a certain way doesn't mean everybody has to live like that! And your opinion of me and my life does not matter in the slightest!" He tossed the rapier to the ground and it skittered across the stones to her feet. "This is rude, disgraceful, and pointless. If you truly want to make me happy, leave me alone." He met her eyes, noting the flush of her ire. Good.

He wanted to turn and walk away, and normally he would have, but he didn't trust this girl. She was more powerful than most people he knew and seemed hell-bent on harassing him. He felt a bit foolish for disposing of his weapon, but it seemed like theatrics and over the top gestures would be the most effective in communicating with the girl. Also, her rapier had cut deep into the bicep of his sword arm, and there was no way he was going to be able to fight as effectively as he would like.

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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by amarilloo on Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:50 pm



Tepo's breathing was heavy. Her position shifted, poised to leap out of the way if she needed to. Her blade was trained on the man as he yelled at her. His every word digging itself under her skin. She was ready to unleash another fury of blows when he threw his rapier down. Her posture immediately changing the moment the metal touched her bare toes. Her eyes flicked from the sword, and back to him in surprise. She was about to be just as rude as he thought she was when she noticed the color seeping through the sleeve of his crisp, white shirt.

"I hurt you!" Tepo yelped, eyes growing wide with shock, a thousand things running through her head. Her rapier slipped out of her hand, the pair of weapons dispersing into the night like hot embers before hers even hit the ground. She took a step toward, him, her hand out like she was trying to calm a caged tiger.

"It wasn't supposed to be like this." She heard herself saying for the second time today. Her eyebrows knit together in concern. "I wanted to help and I ended up only making things worse." As much as she didn't want to admit it, he was right. She let her emotions get the best of her and she let this happen. The sting of his words made an apology get caught in her throat. She should apologize. She should just say it. Say it.

"I-I don't know any healing magic." She admitted, she stepped closer, testing her luck. "Let me help you with my mistake at least and I'll..." She hesitated before finishing, "I'll leave you alone."
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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by kurookami on Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:11 am

Xatu stepped back, away from her, gripping his arm. "Don't," he hissed, "come near me. It wasn't supposed to be like this? Playing with swords and you don't think someone would get hurt?" His face was twisted in anger. "If you really want to help, leave me alone." Idiot girl.

He took another step back, towards the exit, not taking his eyes off of her. Another step, and another, slowly, calmly.

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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by amarilloo on Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:35 pm


Tepo pulled her hand back sharply, cringing. 'Don't come near me,' echoing over and over again in her mind. She'd heard that before. She had done everything in her power to stop from hearing that again. She looked at her feet, her eyes pricking with tears.

"I'm... really sorry..." She gripped her arm, rubbing at the spot where the man was hurt, like she could share his pain. The moment her fingers found skin, a throbbing pain in her ankle began to swell. Oh no, not now! She'd drawn blood, and the pact always thirsty for more of it. She gripped her head, falling quickly to squat in the grass.

"You should just go." She said horasely. Maybe he'd think she was just crying. It did feel like she was trying to thickly swallow tears that were too big for her throat, after all. A similar heat was slowly crawling up her leg, she could feel it calling to her. She took deep breaths making it subside. It was only a little blood, it was okay,  I can do this. She gulped in a breath, rubbing the back of her hand across her eyes, wiping away a tear that had slipped out. She wouldn't let it take hold of her, especially not when she was doing so good with it.

She delicately touched her fingertips to her ankle, and when she looked up, he was gone.
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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by kurookami on Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Xatu took the opportunity to leave the girl's presence without a moment's wasted time, holding his arm gingerly. He walked back inside, seething, and glad that nobody was out and about to interrupt his way to his room. I will definitely need to have a word with the troupe director about this. They need to keep their rabid little mascot on a tighter leash. In his room, he pulled his shirt off and gingerly stroked the edge of the cut on his arm, wincing. She is powerful. Or she doesn't know the level of magic she is using. But I doubt that. He wrapped his arm in bandages he kept in a kit and went to bed, trying to tamp down the anger. His mind couldn't drop the image of her crumpled on the ground as he was leaving. Good. I hope she has a miserable night, he thought as he turned to lay on his unhurt side.

---

Xatu awoke to a sharp rap on his door. He blinked groggily and sat up to see a note slipped through the slot in his door. He grumbled and walked over, keeping to the soft rugs he'd put down to protect his feet from the chill floor.

"Xatu
You are hereby invited to an audience with the King in thirty minutes' time. There is a new assignment for you."

His heart leaped and a small glimmer of a grin flickered across his lips. He dressed as quickly as he could, pushing away the pain from his arm, and made his way to the King's chamber. Finally, another assignment. The sooner I can get away from the idiots in this castle, the better.

"Ah, Xatu," the doorman said as he approached. "Right on time. Go right through please." He opened the door and Xatu stepped through, standing straight and tall, a confident expression making his face more pleasant than usual. "Your Highness." He bowed elegantly, sweeping his eyes over the attendants assembled around the King. He caught sight of the girl from the night before. Good, she'll be stuck here and I'll never have to deal with her again. He stood back up and stood calmly at attention until the King addressed him.

"Yes... Xatu. We found a possible burial ground to the Northwest, about a two weeks' ride away. You'll be leaving this afternoon." Excitement bubbled in Xatu's chest, but he didn't change his expression. Two weeks! On Kiirus I can get there a little earlier and have more time to poke around. That gives me a whole month! "Now, as this will be a long trip, you have been assigned an assistant..." A pang of exasperation flicked through Xatu, and he tamped it down. It's ok, I've had assistants before, I'll just- The King gestured to the girl beside him. "Tepo here will be accompanying you on your trip."

Xatu's jaw clenched as he inhaled sharply, his good mood deflating and instantly being replaced with anger. "Sire, I-"

"She has reason to be out that way anyway, and it was easier and more cost-effective to send you together." The King leveled a surprisingly clear gaze at Xatu, meeting burning yellow eyes. "I'm sure this will not be a problem."

Xatu could feel himself shaking slightly as his mind ran through the implications of being stuck with this girl. He wanted to scream, but he kept his face as calm as he could. "No, Your Highness. I will prepare immediately." He made eye contact with Tepo and repressed the biting fury clawing at his throat.

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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by amarilloo on Tue May 22, 2018 12:02 am


Tepo dragged herself back upright, trudging slowly inside from the gardens into the servant's quarters. She both wanted to run to Blanca and be soothed by his words but she also feared what he might say. Her bare feet padded a little too loudly for her tastes, but she was too fatigued to care. Turning a corner she entered the the small common room, sticking to the wall, keeping her head down and quickening her pace towards her own room she shared with a scullery maid.

"So how'd it go?" Came a calm, silky voice from near the fireplace. Tepo slowly turned, unsurprised to find Blanca still awake. Dulce had fallen asleep, his head lolling onto his shoulder at the edge of a stiff-looking couch, Blanca using his lap as a pillow as he read a book by lantern light. Blanca gently set the book down on Dulce's lap as he sat up, careful not to wake him. The long pause as Tepo stared into his cold, grey eyes made the air heavy. She shivered.

"Or you don't have to tell me if you don't want to," He stated, a smile spreading across his lips, "I felt it." He opened his arms to Tepo and she took a tentative step toward him. He almost never scolded her, but the guilt she felt from earlier made her anxieties echo in her gut. Falling into his embrace she sighed.

"Not... well."

"You didn't kill him did you? Just when Dulce was getting so comfortable..."

---

Tepo stood to the left of the king flanked by Dulce, looking somber as always, and Blanca, who kept her close with an affectionate hand resting on her shoulder. Blanca had filled her in on the broad spectrum of what sort of errand she was supposed to be running. It seemed complicated and delicate and she couldn't help but wonder why she was put in charge of something like this when Dulce would be better suited at being careful. She ended up not getting a lot of sleep, her own moral compass keeping her from dreamland. She stared at her feet, her eyebrows furrowed until a noise at the doorway, caused her to snap to attention, a complicated expression on her face as she put the pieces together. She would be going with this man.

A smile started pulling at the corners of her mouth. The most improbable circumstances, uncommon occurrences, utmost insane happenstances, and they're thrown together on this. She almost felt like bursting out laughing. A hand covered her mouth as she nodded at the king, while he addressed her. Blanca squeezed at her shoulder and she dropped her hand the moment she felt daggers being stared at her. She turned her gaze to the man she now knew as, Xatu, meeting his eyes. She couldn't help but feel a small smug grin poke at her cheeks. It was wicked of her to think so but she couldn't help but repress the thought.

This might be fun.
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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

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