The ground outside the Seventh Knight's tent was littered with debris, presumably from his enraged passage. A lantern lay shattered, even the wooden pole it had been hanging on was snapped in half. If there had been any more stuff out there, it would've looked like a tornado went through.
It was, perhaps, fortunate that Christine stopped short of actually trying to enter Suzaku's tent. After coming within only mere feet of it, she would have felt an icy chill, as though she had stepped through some sort of invisible boundary. Her limbs felt heavier somehow, like something weighted her hooves to the ground.
If she tried to advance, she'd find herself unable. Retreat would be possible, though the eerie feeling would persist until she was sufficiently far away. Yet there was nothing but her own shadow below her.
Suzaku pointedly ignored Christine. That, or didn't hear her. It was impossible to tell since he was somewhere deep inside the spacious tent, and for all the mare knew, he had his head under a pillow.
Isolde's peaceful rest lasted for but a short time, as her attention turned away from the entertaining fights as one of the soldiers approached her - what was her name again? Day? Dara? - and relayed Knight Five's request.
"Very well." A brief sigh escaped the mare's mouth as she wearily stood up, her joints aching from the bitter cold. While she didn't particularly feel like healing them, Christine's commands were to be obeyed without question or rebellion. Isolde didn't want to do the consequences of disobeying, either.
With the faintest touch of annoyance, the hunter strutted over to the prisoners, pausing only a moment to see if Darya was in tow.
"Well, let's get a move on, now."
The emotional weight was a lot, and her tired expression grew only more tired and more sad. Christine couldn't do it, she was letting the Princess down yet again. A pain rippled through her and she was not sure the cause, but she knew the reason. It pained them both, and she knew this. Yet try as she may Christine would occasionally hit a wall with Suzaku, and this would happen. If she was bolder she would have entered the tent and snapped sense into him, but the way things dragged on now, it was a waste of energy and emotion for both of them.
No, she had failed again. Add another tally to the board, another notch on the tree. Christine pressed her eyelids together and held her breath, she had to lock it all away again and continue to lead and do her job. If she couldn't do this than she at least could keep doing her duties as a Royal Knight. The mare tried to remember a song or sonnet by Wilhelm, but it was no use. Not even Adelaide's wise words could help her. The only one who could break through was Suzaku, and they both seemed to be stuck in a stalemate.
Christine turned away from the tent and looked over to Caddie, waiting patiently for her to return. She took in a deep breath and shook out her wings, armor clinking softly. But before the knight of five left she turned her head over her shoulder and spoke once more, directing her words somewhere into the tent for him to find. "I'm sorry."
The white mare then trudged back toward Caddie, her face morphing back to pleasant leadership, but a soft saddness still in her golden eyes if one looked deep enough. "So, why don't we just talk for a bit, you and me?"
Metronome barely just rubbed the tear residue off the shining metal surface before her when an armor-clad unicorn (Vincenza) appeared in front of her. Startled, Metronome let out a hiccup and stumbled backward, shuddering pathetically. The unicorn mare was grinning widely, it almost seemed cheshire. Metronome's mane involuntarily fell over her eyes, but didn't completely hide the tiny tears dripping off of her face, only narrowly making it to the ground. "Y-y-yes s-sir- ma'am!" Metronome hiccuped again
Nodding her head as Christine told her to continue her job of getting food to the captives she couldn't help but feel a moment of relief as she said "Yes Dame."
Turning around as she made her way towards the kitchen tent she couldn't help but smell the sweet scent that often came from the tent, or miss the lines of soldiers that often watched Nalani cook when there was nothing to do in the camp. Watching as she seemed to twist and turn as she seemly danced across the tent she joined the line of ponies as she hoped Nalani had gotten the message that she was to get extra helping for the captives, or that she remembered. Nalani's brain was a bit spacey at times.
When the mare Metronome hiccuped and jumped Vincenza giggled which turned into a wilde laugh. When she was through laughing she heard the mare address her. Vincenza's face fell into a glare which could frighten any pony. Continuing to stare directly into the eyes of the mare prisoner she leaned closer and spoke in a whisper.
She kept it short but her look remained. Her eyes showed venomous thoubh something lay hidden like it wanted to burst out of her. Whatever it was it wasn't lethal. She continued to look at the prisonor (Metronome) and waited patiently leaning back into her relaxed position.
((edited for lame bolding issues |D))
No sooner had she been left alone, well if you could call being chained among a group of prisoners alone, Luna began her struggle once again. The chains rattling angrily as she twisted and pulled, and reared and kicked, though the latter two were very much restricted, it didn't stop her from trying. With each failed attempt, one would think the mare would grow weaker, and more discouraged, and altogether stop fighting, but not Luna, oh no. In fact, even in the bitter cold, it would seem just the opposite was happening. With every pull, with every yank, the palomino paint became increasingly more determined...
Just another dash of spices, aaaand-
"Lunchtime everybodyyy~!" Nalani practically sang to the camp. Many eager rumps lifted from the ground almost instantaneously to line up, but it was Cebrian she looked to first.
"Hey handsome, you want the vegetable medley stew, or the creamy baked potato soup?" she asked with a wink. "I got some bacon and chives if you want a little on top!"
It seemed Nalani had received no messages of any sort, so Angela was going to have to muscle her way in under Suzaku's orders, if she was going to get ahead of that line.
"V-V-Vinceza?" Metronome braced herself, lying on the ground like a fawn at the mere glance up at the unicorn's gaze, shuddering at her laughter. "I-I-I... I-I.... Oooh..." Metronome whimpered, bracing for some kind of beating. The events around her weren't exactly expressing tolerance, and she didn't expect to be let off the hook. She [i]shouldn't[/b] expect to be let off the hook.
Vincenza squeeled with utter joy when the Uni mare (Metronome) uttered her name. She laughed as she shuddered on the ground. "Eee! You learn so well!" her voice was very lightened and giddy with a grin that bared her teeth. She gleamed though a spark hid behind the glee in her eye. Plotting and planning.
She leaned forward almost touching noses. Her grin had a bit of a crooked meniacle twist in it with her eyes baring the same. Though the joy was still there she just liked to toy with anyone she deemed toy worthy.
Learn so well? Who did this mare think Metronome was, a dog? At least, for the time being, Metronome was safe from being in the same situation as the others. She flinched as Vinceza leaned closer, asking about the tiny mare's own name.
"M-M-Metronome..." She stammered, letting her forelock reveal a single silver eye that was widely gazing up at Vinceza with child-like fright.
Snorting when Metronome replied she giggled. "Metronome..." her husky voice tested the name. It wasn't one she was familiar with. "how would you..." her voice was malicious yet warm and loving in a purr. She continued softly, "like to get out of those mucky cold chains.."
Vincenza's eyes shined in the light as she inched closer brushing her muzzle against the mares softly. "you'd be with me and away from this" her voice changed to a posh whiny sort belating how dreadful this situation was. "the only thing is you would have to do as i say and you'd stay protected from them." she paused for only a moment but when she spoke again her voice became quick and hurried, the malacy still hidden behind the worried and hurried voice.
"But!!" she quickly got up and moved away from Metronome who would have possibly noticed the warmth of another body dissapear. She began turning around as if she were to walk away "i could just leave you here my pet to this bitter cold and sore company" by now she was facing away. Her grin was evident to any other pony who could be watching though her voice hid it well showing only the sob story mimic.
So she really was a dog to this mare, it seemed. But at the offer to get away from this degrading hold of the chains was almost impossible to refuse. In the midst of thinking about the ups and downs, Vinceza's presence was suddenly absent, listing the possibility of Metronome staying in the place of a prisoner. Without even a blink, Metronome sputtered and leaned towards Vinceza, longing hopelessly to be away from this fate. This armored mare was a unicorn and in a good place, why couldn't Metronome share that luxury?
"W-wait!" Her mind raced through all the things she'd have to do for this dagger-eyed mare. She called her a pet. Would she have to take the place of a dog or a cat? Would she have to play fetch, or do this mare's bidding? All the questions in her head clouded her judgment, and all she managed to utter was, "Y-yes..."
Vincenza's grin grew wider then quickly dissapeared as she turned around, in place of the grin was an unnearvingly soft smile. Was she truely kind after all?? "Oh! We will have so much fun!" Dropping down to the Metronome's level she continued to speak her eyes gleaming and her voice low and excited. "and don't you worry your pretty little head i shall be back shortly" a glimmer of something flashed in her eyes before she had gotten up and turned away. Stopping suddenly she turned around, "oh! I almost forgot!"
Rummaging in her leather satchel she brought out what looked like a pile of of cloth. Once unfolded she threw it over Metronome and layed it over her body. It was a dark and old tattered cloak she was keeping in her satchel. Nodding she turned heel again "i assume you can tie it yourself" her voice wasn't as soft as it had been and seemed more full of herself as she trotted away.
Approaching Christine she bowed a bit and ignored that Caddie was right there with her. "Christine, i do not mean to interupt" she paused her voice playing nobility and soldier, " i would like to request to have one of the prisoner under my posession. It would be well enough looked after. Would it be you, Suzaku or the keeper i talk to. Hmm?"
Vincenza sounded well enough and in the right place when she asked.
((oh my gosh i could not stop laughing Shiverdam))
Cebrian's arrogance already knew no bounds. To be addressed directly and first by the pretty blue WU made it balloon even further. He stood slowly and regally, trotting past the many scowling faces of Imperial Soldiers forced to wait that little bit longer.
When he reached Nalani, his tongue ran against the corner of his mouth, brushing over the crossed stitches of his scar.
"Yesss," he hissed in lieu of choosing, indicating he desired everything she'd mentioned. He held out a bi-coloured wing for the bowls. "Thank you," he added, for she was WU and not hard on the eyes either. Not to mention she'd called him 'handsome', an astute observation. Thus, she deserved his respect and manners.
Caddie blinked at Christine. "Talk?" he repeated, scratching one foreleg with the other, the familiar rattle of his skeleton armour making itself known as it moved. Nobody had ever asked for a conversation before, not unless it was to challenge him to a fight. So it would be no surprise to find that he was not much of a conversationalist. "About what?"
Christine smiled as Caddie scratched his leg. He was so simple yet so deadly, and it was amusing to say the least. "About you, Caddie." The mare nodded to him as she said this. Her voice was soft and honest, making it clear that he wasn't in trouble. Christine may have had a peculiar way of doing things but her skills were proven and that is why she was a Knight.
When Vincenza approached Christine was surprised, but she bowed her head acknowledging the unicorn and listened to what she had to say. Her face clouded over for a moment, "No one is to go bother Sir Suzaku. He is busy strategizing." It was a blatant lie, but if she couldn't help him, at least she could keep him unbothered. She returned her 'business' look to her face and tilted her head a moment, in confusion. "In your possession? Vincenza you do not honestly think you can own one of these ponies, do you?" Christine's golden eyes looked fair and innocent enough, but it was a trick question. If the she said no then she'd be disagreeing with what most Imperials believed, but if she said yes she'd be disagreeing with what Christine and Suzaku believed.
Christine glanced to Caddie briefly, hoping he would learn from this. She would teach her soldiers to be the best, because she knew no one lived forever and if these ponies were going to replace her once she was gone, the least she could do is make them honorable and just.
Caddie frowned behind his skeleton mask, "About me? What do you want to know?" The metaphorical cogs in Cadwaladr's head were moving, but he couldn't quite work out why she would want to talk about him. No-one had ever wanted to talk about him, not unless it was in hushed tones and rumours.
He watched in silence as Vincenza arrived and asked Christine about taking possesion of one of the prisoners. Caddie himself had no interest in owning other ponies, just fighting them. Actually he didn't have much interest in owning anything. The only possesions he had were the ones he was wearing.
Vincenza nodded in regards to Sazuku being hung up and smiled at her superior Christine. Her eyes hid a spark of amusement though the smile remained and her body still proud as the soldier she was.
"i do apologise Ma'm but i only mean to look out for her" She guestured to the Uni mare (Metronome) she had covered with her own tattered cloak in her posession. "She is a beautiful unicorn and would be a great help with such work i do as a blacksmith. In my posession i would only mean in the circumstances she has been brought here any trouble she would be i would be held accountable for and take action accordingly." she smile was quaint though a smirk lay beneath which played in her eyes. Her voice almost seemed pushed but most would take it as the proper way to speak to a superior.
"As an imperial i do understand the.. Situation where most of us stand. But i'd hope to see it from another view and Metronome here could be a start" she wasn't about to say she felt herself better then most, she for the most part liked toying with others faults to make them scared or angered (such as Cebrian) but wasn't want to actively harm another without them first attacking.
She waited looking at Christine to know what her reply was. Her ears were perked forward and the smile never faultered.
Vinceza's enthusiasm sort of scared her. When the cloak met her hide, Metronome let it's uneven warmth comfort her, despite the whole confusion of the situation. She watched nervously as Vinceza approached a winged unicorn (Christine) who seemed to be of higher rank. As if asking permission to take a puppy home, Vinceza appeared to be in negotiation with the WU mare. Metronome curled up on the ground, tying the cloak around her shakily.
Of course, she only wanted to look out for the prisoner. Christine simply nodded as Vincenza spoke, but there was just something she didn't trust. Honestly there were a lot of ponies Christine didn't trust... there was just so much evil out there and anything bad could happen at any moment, you had to keep your armor -your shield, up.
"It's wonderful that you have such noble intentions, Vincenza, but I'm afraid the prisoners are by order of the Empire and not to be kept for one's own." The knight thought for a moment then added, "If you are looking to help out some of the, less fortunate may I suggest going into the town after this mission is complete?" It was possible Vincenza was telling the truth, but Christine still couldn't let her simply take one of these prisoners. She also couldn't keep taking care of all of Suzaku's soldiers like this, when would he return?
Christine looked over at the prisoners and took note of the mare in question (Metronome). She was pretty, a rugged beauty. No pony would ever be as beautiful as the Princess was though, and every pony Christine looked at would be compared. It was a bad habit, but one that she couldn't entirely control. Every thought bounced back to Her, every single one.
"Perhaps you should go fill yourself up on food so you have energy for our task?" Christine gestured an elegant wing out toward Nalani and the food. If she ever got to actually talk to Caddie it would be a miracle of sorts.
Vincenza was almost shocked! But, it'll have to wait she supposed /I'll find another way... maybe when I see Suzaku again/ She had thought to herself.
"We shall see. But my intentions were for one of those who are even less unfortunate now then those who are in town. They are free, they are not" She gestured towards the ones in chains. With a quick bow and a snort she stuck her nose in the air and began to move away. Pausing only for a moment she turned her head to the side only briefly "Though. I am very approachable if your mind changes for the sakes of those in chains. You -saw- what happened earlier" She stressed the point to Christine, turned, and continued to trot away.
She made it a point not to move towards the food and instead straight for where the prisoners were. Approaching Metronome she lowered her head next to the mare's ear and spoke softly. "Keep the cloak, call for me if anyone tries to take it. Keep to your task. Unfortunately you'll be with the chains for longer." She grinned a new gleam in her eye, "We'll have fun in no time." Standing up straight and yawning dramatically she continued louder this time, "This place is so dreary and boring. Lets see if I can kick up some entertainment" She looked down again at Metronome and winked with a touch of malice in her smile.
Trotting away again she looked for a target... er.. a pony to talk to. Her stomach grumbled a bit and she saw the food table. Ah! and her "favorite" pony Cebrian. Her grin formed wider. Fluffing her fur a bit she stood tall and trotted forward towards the table. When she arrived she purposefully pushed herself next to Cebrian remaining only and inch away. (I'm not touching you >P) "I'd like 2 bowls of food if I could." She stated to Nalani "Please"
With that she turned to Cebrian and Winked.
"Keep the cloak, call for me if anyone tries to take it. Keep to your task. Unfortunately you'll be with the chains for longer."
Metronome tried hard to swallow the lump in her throat, trying to suppress the tears welling in her big, silver eyes that stared, nearly broken-hearted, up at Vinceza. She sniffled and whimpered like an abandoned foal, turning back to the armor before her and staring at her warped reflection. "M-m-meeh..." Metronome made incomprehensible whimpering noises while slowly polishing the metal with a quivering hold. She sniffled and pulled her legs under the cloak again, shivering, "M-m-mommy..." Her voice was low and squeaky, imagining where she would be if her mother had just kept her instead of leaving her behind.
Yes? Did that mean the vegetable or the potato? Both? It was a little too much for poor Nalani's mind, but if there was one thing her parents tried to teach her, it was how to try to embarrass herself less. She decided to play it safe.
"Anytime!" she responded enthusiastically, pushing forward a bowl of each to Cebrian. "You'll be needing these for those big strong muscles!"
She was also taught to play up Imperial egos before they had a chance to find too much fault in her. Granted, it was mostly parroting, but...
Grumblings turned her attention to the gathering, which was a little disgruntled that both Cebrian and now Vincenza had pushed their way in ahead of them. Momentarily confused again, Nalani just turned to look at Vincenza and plastered a big smile on. If the cook cared that Vincenza wasn't a WU, it sure didn't show in the form of a grimace or any other negative expression, because she was just as happy to serve-
"Of course," she said, giving Vincenza a big ol' genuine smile so that happiness practically sparkled in her eyes. "A bowl for each wing! They'll grow back someday," she said, suddenly looking a little more sullen and attempting to be reassuring.
Trolling, or just stupid? Well, it was definitely the latter, but in a camp full of silver-tongued Imperials, it was hard to tell if she wasn't just a really good actor making a joke at Vincenza's expense.
"A bowl for each wing! They'll grow back someday,"
Vincenza was a little befuddled at first and looked to both her shoulders. Realizing th WU must have noticed the shaved fur and symbols where her magical wings form and thought she was a WU. Looking back toward Nalani she stood proud but the grin on her face held a warning.
"I grow wings when magic allows, you'd do best to ask for i am a Unicorn." she would never say directly that she felt herself better then a WU but she could hint. "Thank you for trying to care, but seeing as i am a Unicorn i shant be growing wings unless i am in battle." she thought a moment, "one of each please. Of the soups i mean."
Now that Vincenza was gone, Christine turned herself to face Caddie. "I did see what happened earlier. And I saw that same mare with a violent streak against one in her own ranks." Christine's golden eyes looked deep into Caddie's. "Now I am sure I cannot trust her."
Christine let her cape fall over her sides as another chill hit her. The snowy mountains were certainly not her favorite place to be. The mare settled herself and then smiled at Caddie. "So why do you like to fight?" It was a rather simple question, and she meant it as such. Everypony had a reason, and Christine was very much curious about what Caddie's reasoning might be. She knew he was a gladiator, but did he know that Suzaku had been one? Is that why he wanted to fight the seventh knight? Or was it the usual hate for his kind that spurred the violence. Christine may not get a straight answer that explained it all, but she would at least to try reach and understand Caddie, the way she hoped to do with all her soldiers.
Why did like to fight? Caddie couldn't quite answer that. Fighting had been the only thing he had ever known. "Um," he began with as the wheels in his head tried to get started, "Because I'm good at it." There was probably another reason besides that, so Caddie went looking for it. "Um, I've been fighting ever since I was iddy diddy, it's how I know I am alive. I fight, therefore I am."
((Daaww, but dp! All you saw was vinny defending herself after that big 'ol meanie brute Cebrian attacked her after she was starting innocent conversation! ;P kekekeke))
Not at all what Christine was expecting, but honest indeed. "You fight to feel alive, I suppose I can understand that." The knight of five really could, for a long time she had wondered as everything felt so numb. It was certain all of these ponies knew of Euphemia's death, but many probably didn't realize how it truly effected Christine herself. Her golden eyes swept down and to her black ribbon, then back to Caddie's face.
"I hope you know how I stand when it comes to violence. I myself am a protector, and would much rather focus my energy protecting than fighting." Christine's smile had faded, the talk turning more serious. "My soldiers, like you, end up doing most of the fighting and I will protect you, as you know. But that fight you had with Sir Suzaku, it makes me worry. I cannot protect you in battle against everything that is out there. There are things far stronger than Suzaku, and I hope you will think before you attack something on your own." Christine paused and looked sad for a moment, her golden eyes locked into Caddie's eyes. "I will not accept any casualties, do you understand?" She simply couldn't, she couldn't handle more death from those around her.
"You're very strong and very brave, a valuable member of my team. Do what you need to, but remember you have nothing to prove to me." Christine's smile then returned, smaller and weaker but it was there. She then nodded and stepped aside. "Feel free to go get some food. I'm going to take a little time to myself in my tent. If I am needed, you know where I am" With that Christine turned and headed to her own tent, glancing to Suzaku's as she did. The mare sighed as she stopped at the flaps of her own and then headed inside.
((lol don't take it personally, Christine's had a rough go and doesn't trust many... including herself.))
((oh i know. I am playing. Not to say Vinny is trust worthy LOL! Cause really... No one knows >D!))