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The Ronin & The Serpent

Part Five

The Tarot Card

https://i2.wp.com/img.moviepilot.com/assets/tarantulaV2/article_images/1384856491_47-RONIN.jpg

Writers
IceTe3a
xZephyrZ
CharlotteCarrendar

IceTe3a: It was getting late in the night as Ronin was in place waiting to strike, He hid under the shadow of the serpent’s desk, knowing all too well it was only time before she entered her chamber’s, He could not rush in to attack otherwise he would lose his advantage of surprise, she would have to be close, he was going to have to bide his time as to not spoil such a rare chance, blood mixing with the sweat building up on his face, a drop of it running down the bridge of his nose, a slight sigh as he wipes his face with his sleeve, closing his eyes he starts to meditate his plan of attack whilst lowering his heart rate and breathing. This would make sure his breathing would not give him away as he already knew she had acute sense of hearing, He should wait until she’s close her back turned against him, sneak out slowly and end her there; Perhaps he would have to venture further towards her to be able to attack within proper distance, He did not want to wait too long that the chance is missed and she walked back out of her chambers, but striking too soon and she may catch him in the act. Ronin really wanted her to see his face as the last thing she saw before she died, but this may not be something that he was able to fulfil; only time would tell. His ears twitch as he hears footsteps in the corridor, Could this be her? Is it time already? He wonders how the Old warrior faired in his task, hopefully better than he was fairing at this very moment, either way he readied himself with one last deep breath. On the other side of the castle the Warlord was deep in thought sitting on his throne alone in the darkness of the room, he had his thoughts to accompany him for awhile his left fingers extended towards his chin as he rubbed his digits across his fully bearded chin, “Mmmm.. So much to do, so little time.. I suspect my enemies are preparing to go to war with me” he burst out in laughter aloud as he slapped his knee at the thought of the dragons army attempting attack on his lands “They don’t have the guts nor the skill required to pull off such a feat”, His mind dwells on what the serpents report entailed, so much onslaught, no quarter held as he demanded it so He was thrilled with how it all went down and that the plan worked out without a hitch, Little did he know the serpent forgot to mention Ronin the sellsword in her report, this could possibly be a mistake; His mind fell to the man who constantly reminded him of the true meaning of weakness.. Rikken ‘Good, Rikken died a slow and painful death, he deserved no less for the gluttonous sweatbag he was, did Rikken really think he could get away with such dishonor?’ Coming to a stand he had a devilish smirk across his face, walking towards the battle map, with each step echoing throughout the room, his one good eye glancing down towards the map, as he tapped a location “They will come from here” he said aloud to himself, he knew the Dragon’s army would retaliate, After tonight’s celebrations he would rally his defences in preparation for a possible siege war, This meant making sure his food supply did not fall short, amongst other things. “Mmmm… This will be a war for the age’s “ he said once more aloud to himself as he stood up straight, slowly pacing around the room going over the possible path’s of his enemy’s army he stopped at the window as he glanced down at his people partying and celebrating the honor that was brought to their lands. “Brace yourselves… War is coming” he said to himself once more as he stood there his hand resting on his swords hilt.

CharlotteCarrendar: Entering the bridal suite, the hooded old Warrior bows low as the child bride has her attention turned to the window and out looking at the hordes that were in mass celebration of the might of the Warlord, the upcoming wedding, and the return of soldiers to glory once more. Her restfulness meant she was not preparing herself, and this was the opportunity that the old warrior needed. “Child, the Warlord has requested that you be taken to the font of the temple to be cleansed before wearing your bridal gown.” He sounded so sincere, and of course he looked every part a monk of the cloth. “Oh, but I thought…never mind. Please, led me to this temple, and I shall do as you wish.” Again the old warrior bowed, opening the door, and letting the girl follow him out. This…was going just as planned. :: Having given her full report to the Warlord, then instructed to go and prepare for the celebrations herself, the Serpent followed the shadowed lines of the corridors that led from the Warlord’s hall to her own small apartments. Graced by his honour she fared well against many others of her station, and she was allowed to travel the rooms unhindered. Such was the trust the Warlord had in his protégé’. On reaching her door, the Serpent paused a moment, closing her eyes as she pressed her hand to the carving on her door – that of a serpent. In her own quarters, she could dispense the mask that she showed all living, and become the girl that had been dragged from her home so long ago. Opening the door, she padded in lightly and took up a match, lighting the many candles that filled her room. Passing one picture that was framed specially, it was of a man and his son, with a baby girl. The picture’s edges were frayed and the face of the man obscured, but the boy…the boy’s face was clear as day. A boy filled with hope, dreams and a bright future. Who could this family be? She always stopped to pay reverence in the quiet moments to reflect on what she had lost. Sighing, she moved to her closet, and here she started to disrobe, her back covered in the hira shiruken strikes that had been sealed shut with a hot instrument. Disfiguring what was once the perfect skin of the Serpent. These were to be a testimony to her prowess as a fighter. Marked by the one known as the Ronin, and yet she lives. As she moved her back with her shoulders rolling, she twinged and you could hear a cry of pain. Yes, it still hurt, they were still fresh. No one would hear her, at least, that is what she thought. No one dared enter the lair of the Serpent, unless of course they were prepared to lose their life. <3>

xZephyrZ: He had not been met with a warm welcome, he didn’t really expect one, the Eyes had setup a small temporary camp outside the city (Mitsunari) “Your return will stir many, I will attempt to manage this but you must not allow your forces in to this city, I cannot contain chaos any more than I could contain you back then”. The Young Dragon wouldn’t be allowed to forget his past, not by anyone, he had been given a room to stay in, his own in fact, just as he remembered. Tears came to his eyes when he had first entered, has his father really forgotten him? Had he instead hoped for his return? He couldn’t bear the thought of his time outside his old home all being for nought. Shaking his head he entered the War Room. It was dull, walls undecorated and unmaintained, so unlike the rest of the palace, the roof outside even sat extended so that minimal sunlight entered the room, the atmosphere was almost grim, as if to represent an unwillingness to wage war against the Empire’s enemies, perhaps that they did so with a heavy heart, wishing above all else for peace and harmony.
xZephyrZ: Of course it was impossible to avoid now, the Imperial counter-attack would be swift, it had to be, soldiers and civilians alike called for blood and it had to be delivered. (Seiyuu) “Excuse my tardiness, I was attending to my men, they had many questions, as do I”. Mitsunari and those who surrounded him glanced toward him for but a moment. (Mitsunari) “It would not do for you to interrupt these proceedings, wait quietly outside if you are late in future, this court and this kingdom do not wait for those who fall behind, even those who are to lead it someday.” Mitsunari said calmly without much regard for the Young Dragon, of course he didn’t demand respect, he didn’t even expect it, but the old general was simply cold just as he had always been. It seemed strange to think how much he had changed, the Empire going on without him as if he were not there to begin with. (Seiyuu) “My apologies, please continue” Seiyuu replied with a respectful bow, he strode quickly to the nearest empty space in the room and sat, patiently waiting for the discussion to continue.

xZephyrZ: The Brazen General continued to speak, referring to the map that lay in front of him (Mitsunari) “There are three possible locations the enemy could be located, reports from forward scouts seem to suggest the majority of his forces are concentrated in one area, we will send small contingents to each area to confirm these suspicions and proceed from there, the bulk of our forces will remain just outside the Warlords lands, to maintain a position whereby we can readily attack each position.” He paused for a moment, most likely to wait for questions. Each man represented decades of wisdom in the Arts of War, these were the warlords who occupied the majority of the lands of the Dragon and had pledged fealty to recently deceased Emperor. How civil war had not broken out after the announcement of his death was a mystery, even Mitsunari could not control the minds of nine men as experienced as he, could he? The Young Dragon’s thoughts were interrupted by a beaten and hoarse voice, come from a man clad in baroque grass green armour, indicative of the traditions of the Samurai. (Tazuka Ken) “What of the enemy’s spies, surely any mass deployment of our men would not go unforseen.” Obviously they could not avoid detection, the armies of each man were large to begin with but together they numbered tens of thousands of men, another piped up. This one sporting blood red armour which was clearly battle-worn (Madoshi Narumi) “We should not concern ourselves with spies and sabotage, a full frontal assault is the only option, our foe is without honour, we cannot stoop so low.” With that another piped up, and another (Kaguya Takai) “Do not be foolish, we shou-“ (Daijiro Baruda) “NO! We must starve him out, cut off all food and supply lines”. It was another after another, by now all nine warlords were bellowing over the top of one another, it was clear Mitsunari could not control these men, he made little effort to break through the roaring with his own voice, it was as if a pride of lions was fighting to elect a new alpha. (Seiyuu) “Well, if you won’t, I will” the Young Dragon muttered under the thundering of egos, pulling his pistol from his waist, he cocked the lever, raising it above his head before unloading a single shot.

xZephyrZ: The combustion of gunpowder was seldom an event in silence and the Warlords turn to face the Young Dragon, not having previously borne witness to such technology. (Seiyuu) “My sincerest apologies, I mean no disrespect my lords” again, he bowed respectfully “I apologise for my behaviour, but I must speak here” (Iruka Rondo) “You are unaware of your place, you-“ the hand of Mitsunari had silenced the Warlord (Mitsunari) “We will listen to what the Young Dragon has to say, despite his shortcomings he is as skilled as any of us here.” (Seiyuu) “Thank you my lord” he continued, “I only wish to say my men just as any of yours will not ride under the banner of any other, as I have pledged my own life to the service of this Empire, I have pledged them, I request only to be allowed to ride for the concentration of our enemy’s men, I wish to meet him face to face and this will allow me the best opportunity” he bowed again, waiting for a reply, unbeknownst to him this was more or less the usual scene of such meetings, the Emperor having little regard for war himself would stand inattentive, musing over his own thoughts while Mitsunari handled all else. The nine looked to Mitsunari, his word was final, and he knew now this is how it would always be. (Mitsunari) “Our Young Dragon is eager, perhaps disregarding the lives of his own for the sake of revenge, however the enemy will not expect this, you will each lead your men toward a different fortress, it will seem as though we intend to fight across a divided front, this will be but a veil, all forces will turn to the appropriate target when the time comes, we will crush our enemy swiftly, you will all be allowed a day for preparations, remember your oaths, we fight for the Dragon.”

xZephyrZ: With an act so simple it had begun, a war which would raze the entire country to the ground should it be required. Only one would stand to lay claim to this kingdom. The Young Dragon returned to his men, giving them each their orders and setting off, they would be the tip of the spear aimed to pierce the heart of the Warlord.

IceTe3a: He had to hold back from jumping out at first sight, It was her The serpent as she slivered into her chambers and closed the door behind her, Little did she know Ronin laid in waiting under the Desk in her very Chamber. His eyes flowing her slow and feminine movements, her stance seemed to change as her body movements gave off a different perspective of a entirely different person, watching as she gave reverence to a picture of some sort, ‘What is she doing? This is not the same woman I faced back at Rikkens’ Ronin thought to himself, the woman from the battlefield was vicious and had no emotion, but the woman who stood in this very room showed of a difference, No matter he waved it off as a mere distraction to himself. He needed to find a weak point in her, somewhere he could strike if need be as he studied her movements, her flexing muscles; it seemed she was injured from his shiruken more then he thought she was or so his eyes tell him. Suddenly out of nowhere she started to disrobe, deffently not the situation Ronin expected to be in, as he could not help but look on he had to keep watch of her just in case she showed sign of knowing his presence, His eyes fell upon her Disfigured skin upon her back, ‘Ahh so she is still affected by the wounds.. Interesting” this information would come in handy. The time was now or never, She had no weapons and was wounded with her back against him, slowly he creeped out from under the desk, coming to a stand silently; his katana unsheathing ever so carefully and slowly, he extends one leg at a time keeping on the ball of his feet, as he moved closer to her, not making a sound, he could almost feel the warmth of her body when he extends his katana’s blade allowing the sharp blade to run down the side of her cheek and rest on her shoulder pressed against her neck. “I Always get my kill” Ronin said, with a low tone, He wanted to see her face as he took her life, this was a must for him, so he threw out the idea of hacking her apart before she knew what hit her, What could go wrong? Banging on the door of the Map room * Boom Boom Boom* “ENTER” The warlord bellowed, there could only be but one who would disturb him and his thoughts, the doors swinging open to show a the wall of the hallway and two lit torches suddenly the torches went out leaving the hallway pitch black, there stood a man covered in a full black ninja outfit, the only skin to be shown was that around his eyes as a decretive spiked Jaw piece covered his entire jaw line this of course was connected to his suit, his eyes glowing in the darkness; “Raiden… “ The warlords voice rumbled in a low tone, He knew those eyes anywhere; They belonged to The warlords personal Adviser and one of his top warriors, Raiden was born into the realm of darkness, his entire life living and training in pure darkness so his eyes adapted over time, it is said he can see through the darkest of shadows as if it was daylight. No one else but the warlord has ever met Raiden lest lay their bare eyes upon him. He was well known, but some though him myth or rumor only “I Return from the Isle’s of the north, my task completed, the witness’s silenced or otherwise disposed” Raided was a one man team able to Infiltrate any fortress, or disappear completely in a blink of an eye. Raiden appeared near the Warlord, who was used to his quick movements by now “I agree.. This is where they will strike from “ Raiden said, the warlord took his conical wisely, as he nodded “Go and scout our enemies numbers, find out their plans” the warlord ordered Raiden, as soon as he had finished, the torches came back on almost magically as if they never went out. He needed not look around to see if Raiden was still around he knew that Raiden had already disappeared with the shadows. Sometimes he wondered exactly how skilled Raiden actually was, he’s never failed any of his missions but this was a question he dared not ask the silent shadow known as Raiden and one day he knew the serpent would become just as powerful as Raiden is, He had to admin Raiden gave the old warlord the chills, but to think The serpent and Raiden both at the same skill level; God help japan. He did not envy the army to face those two, perhaps one day he would force them to meet it would do them both good to learn off each other, although he did not know how either of them would take it. Raiden was battle born, Is first taste of blood was that of his mothers who died pregnant in battle, he was cut out of his dying mother and given away to a passing monk, who promised the dying mother that Raiden would be looked after, as a new born Raiden was perfect for training untouched by the weakness of the world, he was handed to the shadow ninja tribe to train in darkness, upon his 21st year of life he was a fully trained agent of the shadows, taking his first blood contract with the Warlord (( -more- ))

IceTe3a: ( A blood contract being a contract bound and written in blood, binding Raiden to the Warlord until the day the Warlord dies)It was time for the warlord to get ready for tonight’s feast and make his way to the Grand hall He stormed out of the map room, down the hall as the guards quickly played keep up making sure not to stray to close to the warlord as he preferred his space, The warlord was making his way down to the party to get drunk and boast about his past war stories with other fellow warriors. Meanwhile Raiden had already made it outside of the castle wall, he moved quickly on his horse who stood 24 palms tall, A beautiful black mare, and pure black skin color, the horse was trained in warfare and knew its way around a battlefield, She did not spook easily and she was taller than most horses in Japan, this particular horse was brought over from one of the neighboring islands they galloped at full speed in the darkness of night, barely seeable towards the lands of the Dragon’s who would most likely be massing their armies. Flying above Raiden and his horse, was a pure black raven; simply known a Skuttle, the one pure thing about Raiden was his pet raven he loved with his merciless heart. Skuttle was perfect for distractions amongst other things, tired of flying Skuttle soars down towards Raiden landing on his shoulder as he galloped onwards, “Kaaah!!” Skuttle crowed as he nuzzled Raiden’s cheek slightly, you couldn’t see it as mouth was completely covered but he smirked slightly at Skuttle’s craving for attention although he knew skuttle just wanted a snack. The rumors about Raiden’s eyes were true, His senses were heightened from the years of training in complete darkness, The first was his hearing; Unable to see in the pitch black of the cavern system he relied heavely on his hearing to pinpoint people and creatures around him, then came smell; finally came his sight, allowing him to see in the darkest of places; Once a person’s eyesight allowed complete sight in Darkness they were ready to become a true agent of the shadows, signaling their training was complete and there need to make their first blood contract. It was the ways of the agent of shadows. ((E ))

CharlotteCarrendar: – The old warrior was clever in his deception to make the Child bride think he was a monk, about to cleanse her at the font of the temple. With many a guard now drinking in celebration, few paid heed to the pair, as they wandered through the castle and on their way to the temple, WHICH happened to be near the gates. Keeping his hood low, so as not to expose his face to any that may be curious, he walked with the aid of his boa staff, which was also a key weapon when used correctly and by someone with talent. The young Child bride, who was not yet dressed in splendor, looked like a servant girl. Her age making her seem less likely to be the very Bride of the Warlord’s son. She kept her head down, as she had been instructed by her now dead father, for he hated her bringing attention to herself. Now within range of the temple, the old warrior turned and gestured with his hand to the girl. “Just through this door, and we shall have privacy for this service. The Warlord and his son are busy dressing and meeting with dignitaries. To the child, she knew nothing better and accepted his reasons for the lack of people to see her be blessed. It was probably a formality that bored the socks off the likes of the powerful Warlord. Taking the child inside, there was already a monk who happened to be in prayer. He looked up from where he was seated, cross legged on the ground, curious about the pair. The old warrior was fast to allay any concerns. “By the Warlord’s orders, this girl is to be…cleansed.” The monk made a face, having not heard this decree. “I know not of this.” The old warrior chuckled and said. “The Warlord wanted me to inform you, that he wished YOU to do the wedding. He requires you right away, leaving the blessing to me.” The monk leapt to his feet. A key role in the festivities? Why it was too good an offer to refuse. Food, drink…and of course the beautiful pleasure slaves. This monk…was one who enjoyed the spoils of serving the Warlord. “Thank you, brother, I shall make my way to the Warlord’s hall.” Taking his leave, the old warrior knew he was on borrowed time. He turned to the girl and said. “I need you to change into a special…outfit for this ceremony.” Course the girl had no idea that this was all part of the kidnapping attempt. She was only a child after all. “Please show me where I might find this outfit.” He directed her to a small room, where they had clothes for the poor, and he selected a dress that was most unflattering. “Here we are. To be blessed one must remove all signs of wealth and station.” The girl didn’t like the dress, but she dared not refuse, and went to change, as the old warrior kept a look out for the return of the monk, or a wandering guard. Thankfully, none were coming. When the girl was dressed, the old warrior smiled. “Perfect, now, the service is to be held out in the lake that is beyond the castle. I forgot to mention that part.” He then led the girl outside, and made a beeline for the gates, the young child foolishly following behind. Once they made it safely outside, the old warrior led her back to where the horses had been tied, and promptly sat the girl on the back of his horse. She did not complain, but kept looking back to the castle. “Won’t we be late?” she asked. The old warrior chuckled and replied. “All good things are worth waiting for.” He then mounted the horse and together, the two started off for Rikken’s town. :: The sound of the slithering of the snake on the Serpent’s desk made the female warrior stop a moment, as she moved in pain from the hira shuriken scars. Her snakes were not normally unsettled, but something was bothering them. About to turn, she felt the sudden touch of cold metal to her cheek. A dark voice filled with foreboding. “I Always get my kill” That voice. The Serpent had heard it before. The Ronin. She chuckled darkly and let the rest of her robe fall to the floor. “Ah, of course. A man that kills a woman who is both without cloth or weapons is a warrior true.” She turned slowly, wanting him to see her face before he ran her through. “I dare you to stare me in the eyes, as you cut me down.” <3>

xZephyrZ: With great haste they made way for the Warlord’s fortress, unaware of what awaited them, the Ronin and the Serpent, the Young Bride as she was sped away from the Warlord’s land under cover of night, the agents of shadow in the Warlord’s employ, stalking his prey as if it was their own. To the Young Dragon the world was simple, he would confirm the Warlord’s presence and slay him, he knew The Eyes had skill enough to best a force double their number and he was not unfamiliar with campaigns of this kind. Though, it certainly would not be this easy, when they arrived he would await cover of night and launch a surprise assault, the majority of his forces would use hit and run tactics, harassing the enemy enough to keep them occupied whilst the Young Dragon and a number of his Inner Circle led a bloody charge directly for the Warlord himself. It was extremely simple, but in his experience always effective, he knew The Eyes could adapt to almost any situation without so much as an uttered command and each of them was fully aware of his expectations. Ever-faster they rode for battle, for death, the Warlord’s last sensation in this world would be the bite of the Young Dragon.

IceTe3a: Ronin’s eyes glaring at the serpent with a deathly look, as she turned to face him ever so slowly. Dropping the rest of her gown she stood before him fully naked this did not faze Ronin in the slightest as he was not physically attracted to her, he heard her call him out on his honor ‘A man that kills a woman who is both without cloth or weapons is a warrior true.’ “A true warrior never gets caught off guard, what’s your excuse?” he threw back at her, as he grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and pushed her a good distance away from him. Throwing down his blades on the floor, he glances towards her before taking in a deep breath, moving his arms in a clockwise formation in a circle in front of him his right arm bent at the elbow coming backwards towards his chest as his left arm extended in front of him almost completely, both palms were open and ready to counter. He was in an unarmed fighting stance known from Din-Mak as he was well trained in this form, a smirk cracks across his face as his lips spread slightly “Since you’re a female I suppose I can give you a advantage” as he wiggled his left hands fingers back and forward once more to single her to come at him, this time she would not escape the fight they would have, unlike last time. The noise and commotion getting louder as the warlord came closer the grand hall, he could hear the banter between warriors, chant of the people as he finally entered the room an uproar from the crowd ‘Warlord!! Warlord!! Warlord!~’ the crowd chanted continuously, the warlord raised his arm to quiet down the mass “ LET THE CELEBRATION BEGIN!! “ as he walked further into the grand hall his good eye peered around, seeing the various spectacular entertainments for the night, from the Jesters to the fire breathers and sparing matches in the middle between brothers at arms, Unarmed of course. It was just one big brawl party to the untrained eye but the warlord knew it was good for moral, coming to his main seat up the back where all could see him, and he could see all; he fell down into the throne with a large thud, a servant girl quickly scrambling to bring him his jug of beer as he snatched it from her and waved her away. “ Where is my son?! I demand his presence at once!!” He bellowed to the nearest guard who almost looked like he shat his pant’s right before going off into a sprint into the distance “ARHARHARHAHAHA” the Old warlord loved intimidating his guard’s, he knew they feared him and rightly so as he chugged down his beer, some spilt over down onto his beard. Letting out a ghastly belch from his lower stomach he roared aloud at the ongoing brawls in the centre of the room, watching him men fight for honor and fun. From a distance a loud strum of a guitar could be heard, as the crowd cleared path, the sight of a man in a gypsy like outfit, rugged long pants, brown tanned leather boots, and a ripped vest. His hair was black and styled in a young and popular way with the ladies men, his facial features promoted that of a Confident, strong man, on his right cheek a tattoo of 3 tear drops from the corner of his eye, going down to the bottom of his cheek, the strumming started as it played on the music was from a distant land, as this man seemed well versed in music and well travelled. The music indeed was that from the lands of Spain his piercing blue eyes, glanced around the room as he walked in a almost dancing fashion “All our times have come Here, but now they’re gone Seasons don’t fear the reaper Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain” he started singing in his special tone, it was a mesmerizing tone to be heard, he was known for his silver tongue the way his music had effects on people, to either boost their power and emotions or to make them feel low, weak and exhausted, rumour had it that his music had the power to give life or take it, though this were only rumours as people have died through his music but no one ever saw what really happened, for he was quick with a slide of hand, he was a con man at heart, and a hustler in the head, His partner the beautiful female that was always by his side, was known for her Mesmerizing voice as well but more so for the way she dances, able to mesmerize an entire army with the sway of her hips, was the myth following her around, although most feared the pair they preferred them to be on their side rather than have to face them. Kayne glances around looking for his partner in crime knowing all too well she would be around here somewhere as he continued to throw out a solo dance as he walked and played his guitar whilst singing “Come on baby (Don’t fear the reaper) Baby take my hand (Don’t fear the reaper)

 
IceTe3a: We’ll be able to fly (Don’t fear the reaper) Baby I’m your man” It was like he was calling out to her, the men giving way to his casual dancing walk around the hall, Kayne the bard knew the warlord was watching him with interest as he and his other half was another of the warlords advisers there were 5 all up, including the serpent. Doing a little spin, Kayne quickly sent a tarot card flying towards the warlord, who was quick enough to catch it; Glancing down at the picture of the tarot card, it was the hanging man. He chuckled slightly as he looked back up Kayne was bowing with one arm extended outwards into the air, the other folded back into his chest; His chin lifted up so he kept eye contact on the warlord, Kayne’s eyes and smile were often compared to that of a demon “His eyes and smile are devilish” they would say, as the same went for his other half “ A temptress for sure!” ahh the rumors a travelling gypsy pair had to endure.

CharlotteCarrendar:- Thrown unceremoniously to the floor by the Ronin, the Serpent practically bounced upon the floor, her hair thrown in front of her face, which she flicked back violently. How dare he assume that she would never be prepared to fight an adversary, even in her own chambers. Hissing angrily, she flipped up to her feet, and with gritted teeth faced off against the agile warrior. So, he wanted to fight hand to hand, his weapons discarded in favour of taking her on as she was only to use her body as a weapon, nothing else. Dark eyes followed the Ronin’s arm movements, and she detected his fight style off the bat. It was known from Din-Mak. He gestured to her, beckoning her to make first strike. Gladly, she would oblige, as she rolled back her shoulders, and with right left foot forward, right foot back, she angled her body side on, to present her left shoulder at the front facing the Ronin. Propelling herself forward using the power of her right foot, she launched herself at the Ronin, with her left arm swinging outward from her fist being at her chest, to make a strike against his right arm, as a measure to block a right handed attack, as she followed through with her right fist to strike at his throat. Her left arm would be drawn back sharply in the follow through :: In the Warlord’s hall, the bard’s partner was a sensually dressed gypsy girl, with long flowing hair that draped her backside like a gossamer veil. Smiling wickedly as her brother sang to amuse and entertain, she gyrated and spun, with hip movements designed to enthral and captivate. Her voice like liquid honey as she sang to appease the crowd. “Creatures of desire are for men to devour, but there is nothing as delicious as the ripening of a flower. Soft and succulent petals to taste, but there is plenty to go around for her virtue is chaste.” The singer licked her lips, batting her eyelashes at the swollen male horde of guards and elders. She sang of lust of want, or insatiable need…planting ideas that were like sewing a seed of thought. Dare the men try to break from the spell of this bewitching beauty and her bard companion? <3>