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The Ronin & The Serpent

Part Seven

The Girl in Black and White

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Writers
IceTe3a
CharlotteCarrendar

IceTea: The warlords eyes darting around the room looking for those who would cause treason towards him and his kingdom, the cards showed his paths and Kayne was never wrong about them this the warlord knew to be true. Finally his son came forward, quickly he ushered his son to the back near the shadows where the serpent was now dwelling, unknown to him of her presence he continues to explain to his son what the cards have read “death will be our path son, something is amiss here I can’t put my finger on it but the cards have foretold of someone or something in this very castle, bringing it down from the inside, I want you to keep an eye on everyone tonight, Anything out of the ordinarily usual I want everyone to deal with on their own terms I trust you have the experience by now to be able to do that, This goes double for Serpent” Little did he know the cards spoke of Ronin and the old warrior who by now had to be half way out of their lands. “Has anything happened of late that you cannot explain, something unusual” he grumbled as he shook his son by the shoulders, glancing around he stopped for a mere moment “Where is your wife to be son, should she not be by your side?” He had so many questions so many worries all due to what the cards read, he was on high alert. His time had not yet come and he’d be dammed if he let his chances slip from his fingertips, his eyes dart around the room falling upon Keke, he must ask her advice on what the cards said and what should be done, quickly he turns to face his back to his son “You have my orders, I do not wish to be disturbed you and Serpent are to deal with what issues arise until I have returned” with that he walked hastily towards the gypsy dancer, his eyes glance behind her as he noticed Kayne walking up behind her with a devilish grin on his face, whisper something into her ear, kiss her neck then walk off into the crowd; No doubt to go and woo some more ladies. Finally making it to keke he composes himself so he does not look fazed “ So, Keke what do you take of these cards and what advise do you give” he asked as he extended a arm towards his private throne and table, Inviting her to come sit alone with him so he may pry answers from her. The table was set with only the best of foods, to one side there were the main meals, Bowls of roasted Vegetables, Suckling pig, Roasted Pheasant, an assortment of cooked seafood to the likes that most have not seen, on the other side were sweets such as sweet dumplings, sweet bread, cakes and other assortments of goodies. He quickly takes his throne seat and pulls a chair next to him so he could whisper his talks with Keke away from prying ears. Kayne watched as keke turned to stare at him, they were inches apart he could feel her warm breath touching his skin as she softly whispered ‘Now wasn’t that fun?’ She always knew just how to deal with him, he never minded that she had him figured out although there were certain things about himself he was sure she had yet figured out, Watching as keke stood up and took leave to go play with the warlords brain, he smirked coming to a stand; spinning around on the ball of his foot he clapped twice above his head ‘Ole~ ‘ he stated as he made a single Spanish style dance outwards towards the grand hall He loved a good dance, but he loved his music just as much, coming up behind Keke he presses his chest to her back as his lips seek her ear ‘ The old man looks worried are you sure you should play with him?’ he knew Keke enjoyed playing with men, almost like a child with toys she found the male race to be all to easy to control and play with. That’s why at times he kept his distance as he knew she may have him under her spell of webs if she wished it, giving her neck a kiss he smirks as he spins around her to come in front of her his eyes glancing into hers “To late, here he comes.. Do try not to break him” he smirks as he vanishes into the crowd to find himself another lady. He was picky with who he chose to keep company with, Not just any female would do as he could easily have anyone he wanted he enjoyed a challenge, His eyes falling onto a female hidden in the shadows he had not seen this female as of yet, Who was she? He had no idea she was the Serpent as he walked closer out of view, leaning against the wall beside her, he would have seemed to have just appeared out of nowhere as his lips part “ Ahh… Ma Cherie one as beautiful as you that certainly makes the cherry Blossoms jealous should not hide in shadows where none can bask in your beauty” His famous silver tongue known throughout the lands to sway that of anyone who hears him speak; But he did not know this was the Serpent and although he thought his words would work on her, Would they really, being who she was? He extended a hand as he slowly moved it towards her face intending to gently brush the skin on her cheek.

CharlotteCarrendar: – Almost breathlessly the gypsy girl Kekeyama coos as her brother places a teasing kiss to her neck, whilst uttering warnings about toying with the Warlord. This was not a game one should enter lightly, however the gypsy could barely help herself. Already he had taken hr word in counsel, and would do so again. Hearing her brother spin and shout “Ole’” Kekeyama giggled softly before turning her attentions back to the Warlord, who for now needed her solace; a word or two of reassurance. Comfort, yes…and she could give that in spades. Her words like delicate fingers caressing his mind and freeing it from worry. She had watched with marked interest as he took his son to the side of the room and shook his shoulders, barking orders at the young man that hopefully he obeyed. With the Warlord know approaching her with a quickened step, Kekeyama composed herself, and listened intently as he asked what she thought the cards meant. He sought her advice on the matters at hand, and she was all too happy to oblige. Taking his offered hand, she glided across the floor to join him at his throne and table, away from prying eyes of the gathered throng. Seating herself so she was as close as she may dare, Kekeyama ignored the vast array of foods that were stretched right across the table, and instead took liberty in stroking the Warlord’s thigh with her slender digits. If Kekeyama was going to play, she was going to play dirty. “My lord, the cards were brutally honest as was my brother’s explanation. The death card, though while troublesome, was directed at those within your house, not you.” She sucked in her bottom lip and then let it pop out, moist from her tongue, as she crossed her right leg over her left, and leaned in closer. “I see your death as being so far off, for you are but a legend amongst men. When your time comes, it will be when a full life is lived, and you shall be laying in the golden sheets….with a fair maiden’s lips held tightly to your cock.” This was said with a wicked smile. This was said as much to amuse as it was to excite. Often, when a man thinks of sex, his blood rushes from his brain to his nether regions. He doesn’t have enough blood for both, tis why they get so….dopey. Kekeyama smiled and then continued to stroke his thigh playfully. “Was there…anything else you wanted of me?” :: The Serpent hung back well in the shadows, but did not miss the altercation between the Warlord and his son. Seeing him so annoyed especially since she had yet to speak of the Ronin that was now imprisoned, the Serpent knew she had to relay everything, but that was when the Warlord sought comfort from the gypsy and led her away instead. This was not good. She couldn’t interrupt him when he was with the likes of her. Cursing under her breath, she didn’t catch the approach of Kayne, until it was too late. As he started to serenade her with words that were to compliment, the Serpent let out an exhaustive sigh. Now? A man wants to get to know her now? Dark eyes flashed as he was so bold as to caress her cheek. The Serpent turned her head to look at her admirer, and then showed a smile she saved only for those that were about to be made into a meal. “I bet you say that to all the girls. But unlike the rabble of this court, I am no wall flower.” She then leaned in, so her breath was to his ear. “Tis men like you that wish to sample the dew of my flower, that I crush with my thighs. So tell me, am I to die for?” :: Meanwhile, the son of the Warlord had raced to his bride to be’s chambers. He knocked, only to have silence in return. “My love?” He uttered, pushing the door open, only to see the room vacant. “GUARDS!…WHERE IS MY BRIDE?” :: On the outskirts of the forest lands of the Warlord, the old Warrior rode as fast as his horse was able, the child bride holding on for dear life. <3>

IceTe3a: -The warlord sat in his throne his eyes glancing around the room and then back at Keke, he was overwhelmed with what the cards said it affected his mind slowly corrupting his judgment the gentle stroke of Keke’s hand across his thigh brought him back to the same realm allows him to listen to reason with what Keke was advising him ‘I see your death as being so far off, for you are but a legend amongst men. When your time comes, it will be when a full life is lived, and you shall be laying in the golden sheets….with a fair maiden’s lips held tightly to your cock.’ Hearing this reassured the would-be king, as potent as kayne’s words were the reassurance of Keke allowed him to calm down and make sense of the entire situation. He sighs a deep sigh of relief from hearing keke reassure his death would not be today, that in fact it was well down the path he sort after. “ I would have you and kayne take part in this war, I need your advice to win this war dear Keke, Therefore I extend my welcome for you and Kayne to stay within the castle; any room you like take it and it’s yours, be my guests of honor” he extended the warm welcome and add to their title because he feared the future events and war, he wanted Keke and kayne nearby so he could get their advise on the future and current events. He was indeed showing he had a back bone but what man would not fear the news of death, shaking it off he grabs a cup of beer and drowns his worries down, throwing down the cup he growls “Who am I to show such fear, I am the great warlord. WE SHALL HAVE VICTORY” he bellowed across the grand hall as everyone cheered to his statement. “Tonight is about my son, and finally becoming a man, Please insure everything runs smoothly. I have a feeling something is out of turn” he grumbled out of his breath as he raised Keke’s hand giving it a gentle kiss, For a king and the warlord to be showing such respect to someone who’s title is not equal was one of most grand respect, he truly enjoyed having these two around to further council him towards victory. Kayne looked deep into the serpents eyes with a devilish grin, ‘ Ahh a challenge he hasn’t had one for quite some time’ he thought to himself as he continued to listen “Par contre ma Cherie, I have to but look at a female to woo her in this court, I knew you were not as these ladies were, Otherwise do you think I would be standing here?” he smirks as he flicks his wrists a single card appeared between his fingertips it was a simple playing card, the ace of spades, his smirk became more sinister as he once more flicked his wrist allowing the card to disappear, taking a step closer; forcing her back to press against the wall, his right hand balls into a fist as he smacks it clearly against the wall under and between her legs, *crack* the wall started to crack behind her slightly. His devilish eyes never leaving her gaze as his right fist still pressed up against the wall between her legs lifted up, slowly and caught her between her thighs; his arm still raising up as she was now more or less sitting on his right arm her feet lifted off from the floor. “My Deadly lotus flower, You are to die for, Shall we?” he gave a slight chuckle as he awaited her response to his actions. Darkness all around him, the cold as his only company as a moan in the dark ** Ughh..* Ronin was getting restless as he slowly started to regain consciousness. But would he remember what happened, how he got there? The only thing that was certain at the moment was the noise of the chains rattling battling against the noise of his painful moans every now and then, showing signs of his body attempting to kick back into gear.

CharlotteCarrendar: The wise words from the Gypsy did their job. Soothing the mind of the Warlord to a point where he was able to once again have belief in his own mortality and then enjoy this feast that was offered. Course, he wanted Kayne and Kekeyama to remain under his service. With their knowledge and insight, he was assured of having an upper hand when it came to the War and the aftermath. But what the cards had failed to reveal was that there was an important piece to the puzzle missing from his grasp. It was a matter of time before that became known to all. For now, though, the gypsy kept up her good graces, allowing the Warlord to kiss her hand, and then she took up a piece of sweet meat and chewed it, as her attentions fell back to where her brother had gone. After a choice female no doubt, and she was not wrong. In the shadows, the Serpent had laid down her challenge to Kayne, who took to it like a moth to a flame. Forcing the Serpent to the wall, he balled a fist and then slammed it between her thighs to crack the wall that was in behind her. Their faces practically inches apart, as he boldly declared . “My Deadly lotus flower, You are to die for, Shall we?” His arm was held up between her thighs and had her lifted off the floor. Like a serpent, she coiled her legs around him, her arms draped around his neck, as she used her tongue, like a serpent tasting the air, to run up his chin to his lips, which she flicked with. He could carry her off if he dared, and she would not stop him. The Serpent was hungry… :: As the room continued to buzz after the call from the Warlord for all to enjoy for Victory would be theirs, the Son of the Warlord raced in the room, and ran straight up to his father’s table. Panting he bowed and then croaked. “My bride….she’ gone.” <3>

IceTe3a: – The warlord was sitting there enjoying Keke’s company as he signed once more in relief “Thank you Keke, you have brought me back to my senses” he smiled lightly as he grabbed a piece of meat, starting to devour it from the bone, his eyes watched as others were dancing to the music, eating and boasting with one and another. “Your brother always seems to disappear from sight, Does he linger in the shadows? Or are his intentions more simplistic” he questioned Keke as he could not lay eyes onto kayne. He chuckled slightly waving off the question about kayne as he started to listen in to the boasting of other warriors near his table, he loved a good battlefield story; and as any warrior they all enjoyed showing their scars and boasting about it “ I got this when I was in the middle of the battlefield in my youth, He took my eye but I took his life” he was pointing to his dead eye the old warlord laughed out boastfully as the other warriors on looking to the story, joined him in laughter. The doors to the grand hall slam open as his son comes running in “Ahh my young boy has returned with haste” he said right before his son bellowed out ‘ MY bride.. She is Gone’ the warlord came to a thundering stand, pushing his throne chair backwards, his lips curled and snarled “WHAT DO YOU MEAN GONE” slamming his fists on the table he growls “Are you sure you are not forgetting where you left her?!, GUARDS SEARCH THE GROUNDS FOR INTRUDERS, FIND MY DAUTHER TO BE” he grumbled as he glanced down to keke “You..” he gripped her by the skim of her dress and picked her up off the ground to come face to face “ Why was I not warned, Why did you not do your job?” he growled as a card came flying over at great speeds followed by a shadow; The card hitting the Warlords wrist forcing him to drop Keke, as Kayne appeared in time to catch her “ The card’s warned you of treachery , I believe you may have forgotten that old man” Kayne said to him adding insult to the already damage he had done to his wrist “What did you say boy…” He said in kind. With The serpents legs now firmly wrapped around his waist, he watched as she licked his chin slowly coming up to his lips, he freed his hands from between her legs only to place it on her ass, supporting her stance on him as he smirked, nipping at the tip of her tongue “ Do not toy with devil you don’t know, it’s better to do that to the one you do know” referring her to toy around with the young boys and not him. “You must be the serpent of the castle, Oh how your name has met my ears before only to add excitement” he smirked, as he followed suit using his left hand to run down the side of her face, he leaned in nipping at her neck “But one does wonder, my Deadly viper Have they defanged you completely or do you still have some…” he pricked his thumb on her tooth on purpose allowing a small amount of blood to swell up on his thumb, using the blood he rubs it against her lips, changing the colour of her lips, almost like lipstick “..Bite?” his voice was low so only they could hear but had his usual silver tongue tone towards it after that he bit the air before him, making his teeth click together once adding simple cause to the query. After a few moments of playing with the serpent his ears perked as he heard the bellowing voice of the warlord, spinning on his heels he turned around, The serpent still wrapped around him as he supported her, his eyes glared towards the old man, In all honest opinion Kayne disliked the old Warlord, but he would tolerate him for now, Or at least he thought he would as he saw the old man grab his sweet keke raising her in the air. Kaynes left hand escapes The serpents face only to have a card appear in it, flicking the card from his fingers he sent it flying towards the warlords wrist, Looking back at the serpents eyes apologetic he leans in Giving her a passionate kiss, the tip of his tongue peeking in between her lips before he dropped her on her heels gently and ran off towards the Warlord and keke, Making it just in time to catch keke in his arms “The card’s warned you of treachery, I believe you may have forgotten that old man” Kayne stood there posed to strike keke in arm as he glared a devilish glare at the old warlord “One should not lay hands on a female in such a way, least be it my Keke or they shall find there untimely end” He watched as the old warlord grumbled at the thought of being dishonored by Kayne, though the Warlord knew not to cross paths with kayne and he had done so by touching Keke in a harmful way, A simple nod came from the warlord in agreement, but have Keke and kayne lost their stature with the old man? Only time would tell. “Guards Check the grounds, find anyone who sticks out. Search everywhere, the towers, the cellars, The gardens. The dungeons. Kill those who are not of our kingdom, bring me back my sons wife now” the guards saluted and massed out on a armed search, prepared to kill for the name of the warlord.

CharlotteCarrendar: – There are many kinds of serpents in the world. Many would rather slither away and hide than face an intruder or attacker, then there are others that are far more aggressive, that will rise up and even chase off those that dare to prod and provoke. It was clear, that this Serpent was the latter. A man bold enough to enjoy the sensual enrapture of the warrior maiden, who used her arms and legs to gain a good hold on the man who teased. But he did give fair warning, that she was to be careful who she played with. Kayne questioned if she had been defanged, or was she still capable of giving a good bite. Amused by this she whispered. “Most die with a smile on their face when I do…sink my fangs in.” Kayne pricked his finger on one of her razor sharp teeth only to smear his blood on her full lips. The Serpent’s chest rose and fell sharply, as she licked it clean. He did taste good. In the darkness of the shadows, Kayne and the Serpent continued to tease the other, while up at the head of the dining tables, the Warlord was learning of the disappearance of the Child bride. His reaction was harsh and violent. Needless to say, his closest victim to his outrage was the gypsy Kekeyama, who was seized by the wrist. The girl cried out as he spat a barrage of accusations at her, for not forewarning of this situation. How could she have known directly that someone had spirited the child bride away. Her duty was to allay his fears, not read the cards. That was her brother’s affair. Suddenly, a card whizzed through the air, and sliced the Warlord’s wrist, which made him loose his hold of Kekeyama, who skittered away from the angered man. She would of course be caught by Kayne, whose fury at the Warlord was for all to see. Though he spoke with composure, the underlying threat was there. Having left the Serpent to her place in the shadows, and now feeling the sting of Kayne on her lips, she decided now was the time to redirect the Warlord from Kayne and back to the one that would have answers about the disappearance of the child bride. Sashaying out from the dark corners, she made it to the centre of the room, and then raised her head proudly as she faced her lord. The guards had already been given their task to search the grounds, but she knew where the Ronin was held. “My Lord, before this evening’s festivities had begun, I was attacked in my chambers by a man that had chased me from the Warthog Rikken’s lands. I suspect he is behind the disappearance of the Child bride. He is locked in your dungeons, awaiting your judgement.” <3>

IceTe3a: The Warlord composed himself after that past event with Kayne, he dared not upset kayne or Keke, for fear of what they might do; No one knew the full extent of their powers as he sighed slightly, bringing his anger down he glanced at the Serpent who stood in the centre of the Grand hall proud as ever. ‘My Lord, before this evening’s festivities had begun, I was attacked in my chambers by a man that had chased me from the Warthog Rikken’s lands. I suspect he is behind the disappearance of the Child bride. He is locked in your dungeons, awaiting your judgement ‘ He growled in a low tone, she stood there smug and proud but she forgot to mention of this… this Ronin in her report to him “You say he was at Rikkens? Why was I not Informed of this, How did he get here now; What are his plans?!’ he growled displeased with the serpent he glanced at his son “Son, come here I demand you fill me in on this.. this… Ronin.. Serpent.. Make yourself useful, go down and learn what you can from this Ronin, and once he has given all he can give. He is yours to do as you please with” Although giving The serpent the pleasure of doing this may seem like a reward, it indeed was a punishment, Removing her from his sight for her failure of telling him this… his mind flicked back to the cards… Kayne mentioned this would happen, he remember kayne saying ‘ There is much you have not learned yet of what is going on around you, Someone in this castle will be your downfall.’ Could the cards be talking about this Ronin.. Perhaps but he had to suspect more than just one person would be his downfall. He summons his son over once more to impatient to wait for his to casually stroll over and fill him in, he wanted to know everything about this Ronin. Kayne had keke in his arms as he hugged her with a warm and comforting hug “Are you alright darling? I suggest you go to him seek to tell him your advise; listen in to what’s going on, you have fallen from his grace at the moment but do keep in his gaze, He can’t withstand you for long, No one can” he kissed Keke’s neck reassuring her of her powers over men and her on stature. As he helped her up on her feet and pushed her towards the Warlord gently as he smirks slightly, he glances over to the Serpent hoping she’d catch his eyes as if she did he’d give her a gentle nod, insuring this was not the last she’d seen of him. Back down in the depths of darkness Ronin was coming in and out of consciousness more than a fat person stuffing cake in their mouth. *Ugh… where am ..” he said before losing consciousness once more, minutes passed as he woke up once more in a shock, breathing heavily. He could feel the cold iron of the chains wrapped around his wrists holding him in place in the centre of the room, He could not budge his arms as his muscles were forced to harden all over his body from the pressure the chains were putting on him “ugh.. captured..” he fell back into a light comer once more hanging in the cold darkness.

CharlotteCarrendar: – The fury of the Warlord was absolute. His prized Serpent had kept valuable information from her report, and now there were repercussions for this. Even with the Ronin held in the dungeons, it was not enough for the Warlord – whose questions were many. The Serpent held herself straight and tall, as the Warlord barked and spat at her. In the light of his counsel from Kekeyama being incorrect to a degree, he wanted truth…answers, and he wanted them immediately. Punishment was simple. The Serpent was to go to the dungeons, and get the information pried from the Ronin, in any form that she could. His fate after the interrogation was to be left to her choosing. The Serpent bowed low, and left the great hall, but not before casting a sly glance at Kayne. They had unfinished business, and her heart raced at the thought of it. With the Serpent out of the room, the Son now had to explain to the Warlord about the Ronin. “He was a sell sword hired by the Warthog Rikken to protect him from any attacks. But he was only one man. We had organized ourselves to attack on many fronts, and the Serpent did her duty to act as a distraction. She even took hits from this Rikken and continued on to assure the success of the mission. My bet, is that after she had gotten away his taste for revenge for the deaths in Rikken’s lands brought him here. All I know…is that my Bride is missing!” The son finished with an angered fist smashed down on the dining table nearest the Warlord. All through this Keke stood with her brother, upset and angered at being harmed by the Warlord in his fit of rage. Only through her brother’s actions did she not suffer greater injury. It took a great deal to compose herself, and then act in accordance with her brother’s wishes, to return to within earshot of the Warlord, as he discussed with his son what to do about the current situation. They still had a war about to hit their doorsteps, so was it wise to expose a force outside the gates in search of a child? Was she truly that valuable? Only time would tell. :: Down in the dungeons, the guard opened the gate to Ronin’s cell, and the Serpent entered to see the Ronin chained to the walls and roof, his head hanging low. She heard his muffled words, realizing he had been captured. “The Child bride is missing, Ronin. You are to tell me where she is and who has her…before I end your life.” She moved to stand in front of him, so he would have no choice but to look at her. <3>

IceTe3a: The warlord taking in everything his son had to say about Ronin… a Sellsword, to take on such a task by himself was either very brave or very stupid, either way it sounded like he was a skilled warrior things could have easily gone the other way, But he was a sellsword and he had a price.. Interesting, perhaps he could be persuaded to being on the warlords side. Coming back to reality he comforted his son “We will have her back in your arms soon, I know you are but a boy still so I will forgive this once, but once you are a man. You must not let this happen, Defend what is yours, This can be seen as a great dishonor son.” He signed lightly and gave a reassuring pat on his sons back as he glanced over to Keke who was now close to him “hmm.. Keke, What is your thoughts on this? Is the Ronin the only to blame or are there others” he wonders exactly what the serpent was doing at this point in time, he felt sorry for the Ronin having to deal with the serpent in such a situation, No man should have to go through that but it was needed. “keke, I want you to be by my side advising me once more, I am sorry for my outrage earlier, Please accept my apologies” he glanced over to Kayne who stood close to keke but not too close, he obviously did not trust him with his dearly loved one, Giving a slight nod to Kayne he reassured him that it would not happen again, as he saw kayne give a slight bow and turn on his heels to walk away. Kayne was watching the old man closely, if he slipped up again, he would teach him a lesson he would not soon forget, as his hues flicked from Keke to the old warlord and back again, Noticing the warlord apologise and then nod towards him he gives a slight bow, Keke was more than enough of a woman to handle Kayne, he on the other hand had another woman in his mind as he wondered how his little viper was doing, he sighed slightly as he walked off into a corner sitting on a chair, gripping his guitar he started strumming away at it, the cords singing a sad tale as it echoed throughout the room “Blood will be spilt tonight” he said in a low tone. A door opening and slamming shut, was the only noise Ronin heard as it awoke him, opening his eyes there she was, standing in front of him “Serpent..” he growled in his low tone as his muscles tightened even more, he tried to lunge forward but was held back by the chains, he was stuck hanging like a puppet on strings in the centre of the room, still wearing his dark black trousers and vest the old spa lady had made from him, the guards forgot to take the Shruiken amongst other things off him, as he had 2 smoke bombs stuffed in his vest on the left side pocket and the picture he always carried with him, on the right side, The shruiken were stuck on his waist just near his hip. If only he could reach one of them he could release himself or end her life where she stood, The chains would not allow such defiance though. “You will get nothing out of me” he said not confirming he knew anything about it, nor denying it. His hues glared at her as he continued to watch her “ End me now and be done with it, For I am done speaking to you. Nothing you say will change that” he growled at her before going silent.

CharlotteCarrendar: The exchange between the Warlord and his son, was now very interesting. Kekeyama kept a close focus on what was being said, learning of the sell sword who was now locked deep in the dungeons of this very castle. So her brother was right about the cards and the fate of the Child bride. The gypsy licked her lips as she bent forward a little more, where she witnessed the Warlord try to actually comfort his son, about the abduction of his Child bride. So, the Warlord did have a heart after all. The son was a mere boy himself, and not world wise like that of the Serpent, who had bravely told the Warlord the truth of the situation with the Ronin. Asked for her opinion, the gypsy was quick to respond. “Every man has a price. If this sell sword worked for a man like Rikken, who was a known cheat and scoundrel, what is to say he would not work for you for the right price. I imagine that if he is left alone with your angered Serpent, she may well remove his tongue…possibly his hands, if you are not careful. I saw the anger in her eyes. A woman is not to be toyed with, especially when their life is at stake.” Surely Kayne would have heard his sister giving advice to the Warlord, who now had to weigh up his options. Sparing the Ronin and getting him to work for the Warlord, or letting the Serpent finish him. The gypsy once again moved to the Warlord’s side, taking up her place in the chair beside him. She had forgiven his actions….for now. :: Down in the dungeons, the Serpent was hissing violently as the Ronin was not being co-operative with her interrogation. With his hands shackled, and unable to block her attempts to frisk him, that is exactly what she did. Her hands sliding under his clothes, into his pockets, to get whatever he had on him, that may give away clues to the disappearance of the Child bride. In his vest…two smoke bombs. She took each out carefully, and placed them on the nearby bed. “How…typical.” The guards having not searched him properly. But the second item…a picture. Stepping back, she unfolded it, and what she saw had her stand there in shock. She had seen that face….a thousand times. Both in her dreams and awake. Slowly her head rose as she whispered. “No….it can’t be” <3>

IceTe3a: The warlord was listening closely to what Keke had to say, Perhaps he could sway the sellsword to his side, He could always use another experienced fighter that was for sure. “Hmm… I do believe she would have almost be done with him by now, She will return to me to tell me what she has learned before she goes down and actually starts playing with her new prey.” He was sure of this, she disliked being bothered once she started toying with her prey. “I will think on bringing the sell sword over, though this may upset Serpent, On the other hand could he be trusted in becoming one with my ranks, No one can tell surely.” He was certain that Ronin could not be trusted even if he was a sell sword but he would have to wait and think weighing up the options he had before him. Kayne was sitting in a the corner by himself, strumming away at his guitar as he overheard what was going on, Poor lad stuck in the dungeon only having the serpents wrath to accompany him, Keke was smart to play both hands for the warlord this was sure; he knew she would handle the situation as best as she could. Perhaps he’ll go down just after she’s done playing with her prey, so she could play with him. A smirk came across his at the thought of the serpent having her way with him, this was something he’d like to experience. : Ronin growled at the serpent as she came forward frisking his body “Get your filthy hands off of me woman” he snapped at her as he watched helplessly as she took his items away from him, and then it hit him, she took out his picture and was glancing at it “DON’T YOU TOUCH THAT” he yelled in a threatening voice towards her, he was pissed; the only memory of his father and sister in the hands of this wench his arms rattling the chains as he continuously tried to defy them in order to get closer to the Serpent “GIVE THAT BACK NOW, OR I WILL KILL YOU WHERE YOU STAND” he threatened once more, surely anyone could notice how important this picture was to him as he continued to make a defiance against his chains he did not care if he had to rip his arms off to get free, he would get free and snatch the picture back from her grasp.

CharlotteCarrendar: – The Serpent was in a state of shock at the image on the picture, then the Ronin’s reaction to her having such an item in her hands had her finally look up. He was practically salivating, angrily pulling on his chains in an attempt to get the picture back. He swore that he would kill her, all for a simple picture of a child. But who was the child, the one that meant so much to a simple sell sword. The power now was in the hands of the Serpent, who resumed her emotionless facade. She waved the picture just out of his reach and whispered. “You can have it back. All you have to do is tell me, where the Child bride is, and who took her.” She was making a deal that she knew he simply could not refuse. Too make her point, she walked over to one of the lit torches, that was bolted to the stone wall. The flames licking at the air, as she made sure he got the right idea. “I will count to three, and either you tell me, or I burn this sweet picture.” The Serpent raised her hand with the picture pinched between her fingers, as she looked back at the Ronin. “One….two…” :: The gypsy Kekeyama had managed to plant the notion that taking the Ronin in his own employ could prove to be beneficial, if the Serpent had not already dispatched him to his maker. Time was now of the essence. The clock was ticking, and with no one in the great hall able to see what the Serpent was up too, it was a waiting game. <3>

IceTea: Ronin could do nothing but watch on as the serpent threatened his picture, attempting to strike a deal with him, blackmail… he can’t.. he couldn’t… He wouldn’t sell out his new friend and doom the young lady to this life just for a mere picture.. He couldn’t do it, if he did that he would be no better than those who stood before him, how his sister would think of him after learning this. “Burn it, I will not betray anyone. It will not stop me from finding my sister” he growled deeply as he watched her hold it up to the flame. He had looked at that picture so many times he could remember it detail by detail, but how long would that memory last, he did not know. He kept hope that his sister would return to him one day. “As I Said might as well kill me, I’m just going to waste your time” he growled at least at this rate the longer he could hold out the longer he gave them to escape to safety, his death would not be in vein. The warlord still sitting at his table son on one side and Keke on the other, sighed slightly. We will be going into war soon, my mind is made up we will withstand the siege that the dragons lay upon us, and crush them from the comforts of our homes. Son I want you to prepare the people and make sure our food and water supplies are overflowing, We will find your wife do not worry, you will have to be patient” he glances over to Keke and smiled slightly “Any advice, I will not seek advice from the cards again dare I learn the more horrors awaiting us in our future” he chuckled slightly as he glanced over to Kayne who was walking around the room from lady to lady trying to occupy himself.

CharlotteCarrendar: – In all her days, she had never seen a man change his tune so quickly from practically wanting to end her for taking the picture, to then saying she could burn it, for he had the image of that picture in his mind for almost a life time. The Serpent lowered her hand, but she did not burn the picture, instead looking at it with renewed interest. So this child, the one that he cared so much about was his sister. Instead of giving the image back, she tucked it inside her dress, for safe keeping. A look came over her face as withdrew her hand, that was hard to read. Slowly, she approached the Ronin, and spoke to him in a different tone from that of the wicked Serpent. “I don’t understand you. You work for the Warthog. A man who goes back on his word – a sham. A crook, and yet….you are here, chained and about to be killed, and you would rather die than reveal who took the Child bride and why?” She placed a finger under his chin, raising it so he could look into her eyes. What would he see, if he did look upon her? “You like other men, can be bought – yet what you truly fight for is something you already lost a long time ago. I don’t know who this sister of yours is, but maybe by your actions here…you may have just gotten another chance to find her.” The Serpent then turned and walked to the gate, calling for the guard. “I am done with him” She said simply. The guard opened the gate, and with a last look back, the Serpent left the Ronin to his devices. On returning up to the hall, Kekeyama was the first to see the Serpent return, with no blood on her hands. She had not killed the sell sword, and she wondered why. Her head turned to the Warlord, and she whispered. “Your viper returns.” The Serpent stood before the Warlord, and his son, and said simply. “He refuses to speak, even under the threat of death. Whoever took the Child bride rode in with him and was able to get past the guards. My guess is they are on their way back to Rikken’s land. A land with no army. It would be easy to get her back, but….you have a war looming, My Lord.” The Serpent laid it out for the Warlord, and so now it was up to him, on what fate to deal to the sell sword. <3>