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xxxWas Vespaden, the utterly atrociously boring and mediocre land void of anything that brought even slight delight, with food and wine that left a vastly great deal to be desired, worse than Kaer Morhen and the years of pain and suffering and unyielding trials and torment he faced alongside Jasper? Certainly not, but he wasn't in a mood to grumble and grouch, and truthfully, to him, it wasn't that far off. Nothingness and the feeling his mind would soon leave him and never return because there was absolutely nothing of interest to occupy it, or even a woman he found remotely enticing and intriguing, was a whole other kind of miserable dreadful pain, and he was more than done with feeling it. Unfortunately, the distance between them and Buina Pass which had to provide something more flavorful than this bland place, couldn't be any more painfully longer, and he hated the words as they left his lips in response to the question of his friend. At least Jasper gave an understanding nod in response, and didn't ask him to check again. That helped the tiniest tad. He was glad he understood, and not too upset, at least visibly, with him for declaring the reality or the situation for being so, but he was sad it seemed as if the both of them had resigned themselves to the truth that it would be a long while before any light and hope of fun crept through the metaphorical clouds of utter dreariness. Thank the gods for the interruption, it couldn't have come at a better time, and finally, they might have some true fun.
xxxEven if trying to find the supposed monster the old, likely- in the most loving way he could think it- senile men spoke of turned to be fruitless, and without any fruits to show for their dreadfully hard labors of doing the tremendously difficult tasks of simply sniffing the air and following a trail that seemed to appear before his very eyes as well as his nose and seeing if there were any tracks to follow and following where both may lead, it would at they very least be mildly more interesting than swallowing the ale equivalent to dirt, and give them something to do. At least, something to do that wasn't sitting around at a table drinking the most hopeless of drinks, and then him sitting alone wallowing in his own sorrow and pity and dramatics into the night as Jasper went up to be with the lady in his room- he was certain the both of them had quite nearly forgotten existed many times already, and he at least had already completely forgotten her name after speaking it once with brows raised in mischief and knowing as he wished Jasper a good time- for a night he assumed would be as mediocre as the place she was from and not nearly as delightful as spending the night talking with his best friend who had many good and right jolly jokes to share that could fill a whole room with laughter, if he didn't say so himself.
xxxHe wanted something decadent, and drab Vespaden was certainly not going to give him that in any form, but perhaps a creature of darkness and night and monstrosity could, especially if it had any left overs of the sheep. Some mutton he could season and roast over an open fire, or make Jasper season and roast while he instructed, would be quite delicious. After burying the poor thing and thanking it for what it gave them, of course; Nate quite liked sheep. They were fluffy, and soft, and gentle, like pillows and he'd quite like to hug one, perhaps even take it on their adventures and let it trot beside them while they rode their trusty steeds Lhazar and Dewlap. Perhaps the men would give them one in thanks, and he could name her Daffodil, or something that began with a T- he had always adored T names, they were especially beautiful-, and then traverse the lands with his brother in search of the perfect sheep sized saddlebags so she could be his darling cheese carrier, and the very finest one of them all. He would take the very best care of her, and keep her safe from all the mean beasties they came across, fit her with a little bow of fine si- Ahem. The monster could, ah, give him a grand story, or at least enough of one that he could embellish, and then sell it to a beautiful bard in exchange for a kiss and night, and her signing it back to him when they awoke, and in all the taverns she crossed, so that the world would know of the great Witchers Jasper and his dashing companion Nathaniel, and how they saved poor old men and their sweet little innocent sheep from a beast as tall as the skies. Truly, he just longed to go to a land with adventures as plentiful and varied as the stones, a land that could give him even grander stories to sell to even more beautiful bards, and that land would never be Vespaden, but at least there was one possible adventure to be had here along with the possibility of something interesting and horribly long last, if they could get anything tangible from the old men and it wasn't clearly just a few of 'em seeing things that weren't true in there ah, elderly state. Even if it was only that, at the very least tracking down a sheep murderer and snatcher who seemed to have a taste for the more gory details would be far more entertaining than listening to them squabble or sitting here any longer, and it could be fun to play city guard for a time. After all, when he was a child he had hoped to be a knight to the greatest of kings, so long as that king was Jasper. That sounded exactly the type of fun he was looking for, but then again, he was currently quite desperate for anything that could potentially be called fun by the most boring of sorts in the most boring of places. Gods he could not wait to get out of fucking Vespaden, and he hoped to all that would listen that this would finally lead them out.
xxxA broad, genuine smile crossed his features when he felt the familiar arm of his brother wrap around his shoulders and heard his voice ring so closely to his ear. He had finally decided to join him in the fun it seemed, and thankfully he had been holding up and sorting it all out just fine on his own, and soon they'd have a monster to hunt without Jasper needing to do much at all- Excuse him? A strong pat from his friend hit his back, and then another. Nate's eyes widened, expression aghast. His mind didn't wither with the ale, truthfully he found that is best work came when he was quite drunk, as did his best and most enjoyable moments. Arse. He didn't need to pat his back so roughly to emphasize it, they and he got the message already. He wasn't offended, truly he wasn't, and he deserved it most certainly, but the old locals didn't have to know that, and he found he did his best work when his thoughts echoed what was coming out of his mouth. Given the words his friend had spoken, it seemed he was attempting to rescind the cheese instruction for something else, so his performance had to be most convincing, and the offense had to look truly real. Besides, it was always fun to play along, and he needed some fun in this place.
xxxAs his friend's eyes slid to the apparent grandmaster of the bunch who had been most vocal of the denials, and he expressed knowing the man would understand, Nate's features began to curl in an even more offended mock expression of being cut to the bone with such cruel words from his brother, preparing to retort, the smell of the table finally hit him, and he instead found himself trying not to gag, and cough, while his eyes blinked and he turned his head. Good god, what was that? How could the soul that came from live with smelling so utterly and completely rank? How had he not noticed it before? One, or more, or all, reeked of goat shit, and he felt some bile rising up in his throat he had to force back down with an equally forced smile in an attempt to hide the way his nose was currently burning. Expelling his guts in front of the men because one of them smelled so abhorrently was certainly not a way to get cheese, or whatever Jasper would ask for instead. At least they weee speaking and beginnging to argue again, and that provided a distraction, even if the painful reminder of the smell was still there, and would probably be stuck with him for weeks.
xxxSo, the deniers name was Osewe? Good to know. He listened closely, trying to ignore the smell, and watched as their swquabbling quickly returned. Impressive that. How were these man friends? If they even were friends, he couldn't be sure, but then again he doubted people who couldn't tolerate each other, or barely knew each other, would go at each other like this; clearly they had some personal ammunition. It was getting a bit tiring though, it was entertaining before, but now he just wanted to be out of there, and get hunting a monster. He looked over to Jasper, glancing over to his friend as their voices raised, and noticed his eyes, eyes not too different to his own, staring right back. Thankfully, it seemed he felt the same, and again they were the same page. As Jasper's eyes turned back to the men, Nate's did too, and he found his brows raising faintly in surprise as with a raised voice to draw their attention and quiet them, his brother kept his request of cheese. A tiny smile crossed his lips, grateful for the friend his brother by all but blood was, and he listened as he carried on in a normal volume now that their attention had been regained, and added directions to list of what was needed for them to solve their plight. Ah, right, directions. He probably should have asked for those too. At least one of them had mind for their true mission, to get the fuck out of this dreaded place where getting positively wasted until he was on his ass with no recollection of how he got there wasn't ever going to be even a slight possibility.
xxxNate's eyes snapped up to the man he believed to be the one who claimed the land the sheep had been cruelly snatched from as he spoke up, eyeing the two of them, before giving a dismissive,skeptic glance. He certainly didn't blame him for that, cheese certainly was an odd request for a watcher to make, probably one that had never been done before. They were rather known for coin, instead. However, as he continued, offering to buy the next round if they found it, he mentally smacked himself. Fuck, they did have coin to spare. Better be some damn good cheese then, and direction- oh right, the directions. Were those the words the codgerly old man was rattling off? His eyes raised to Jasper's, which were already gazing at him, and he looked at his brother expectantly, before realizing he should probably be listening to the directions too, though that thought didn't last long and his mind quickly drifted to other thoughts instead, as it usually did, trusting Jasper to listen and remember. He was still truly relieved that Jasper had seen an interest in seeing what all the shouting was about too; he would have investigated anyway, but it was always more enjoyable to make likely poor choices with his brother by his side, and clearly he was needed if Nate had already forgotten something so crucial. Wait, had one of the, gotten up? Were they going to get cheese? He could have ordered cheese here? He had expected one of them to have it on their farms, not get it from here. Now he felt well and truly a fool, but no matter, at least they were getting directions, or Jasper was. He was a bit too wrapped up in smacking himself mentally again to hear.
xxxWhen he recognized the sound of words had stopped, he realized the man was done rattling off directions, and quickly slid in beside them at their table, attention returned and ready to get down to business. Clearing his throat, to catch their attention, he began. "So, ah, if I may, what is it exactly that we're going to find? What did you exactly, ah see?" Nathaniel asked, leaning in, looking between them. "Werewolf, mangled brute, fur, scales? Mangy monster? A uh, very hungry sleep walking man having a particularly rough night?" Nate raised a brow, leaning in further, hands coming to rest on the table as he surveyed them. "Were there any-" He raised his hands to the sides of his head, closing his fingers into a fist save for his index fingers pointing up to mimic horns, his elbow bumping into his drink and unbeknownst to him yet again sloshing some out. "-horns?" A pause for a dramatic effect. "Big sharp pointy teeth?" The horn shaped hands flew down to his mouth, first a reverse of the horns, and then with all fingers outstretched, wiggling, before they suddenly slammed on the table and he leaned in even further, lowering his voice and looking between them with wide, serious, eyes as if he had a secret to tell, or was about to reveal something of utmost importance. "Gruesome glowing eyes?" Nate allowed his eyes to quickly dart over to Jasper and back with brows raised, attempting secrecy, while full well knowing their eyes were exactly the same, differing only in color. He leaned back then, enough to prop his head up on hands raised by elbows, watching them expectantly with a smile, waiting for their answer to his inquiries. Hopefully Jasper wouldn't be too offended.
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xxxGods, what would have happened had she not found them? She had heard small whisperings of Damon and the family at Aretuza, but nothing like this. How could the boy contain something so vile within his small frame? With Borys she could understand, he was no longer a child, but a man growing, an innocent no more, but with this boy, she couldn't, he was too young to know the evils of the world that lay waiting for him, of the people within the very walls of his castle, and it should have scared her. He was the type of monster she feared becoming, the one thing she was truly terrified of besides losing those she loved with all she possibly was, but she wasn't scared. Most were born with an innocence, even if they traded it away in exchange for cruelty as they grew, but to be so young, and so cruel, she could only imagine that he had never had it, or if he had once possessed innonce, someone, or soemthing, had already ripped it away, and she almost felt sad for him, almost pitied him, almost. She just felt fury towards him now, and heartbreak for the girl that had no doubt been the subject of his darkness within, and she was not going to feel sorry for someone who preyed on someone they deemed weaker, for a tyrant in the making who would surely grow to be just that if no one stopped him beforehand, either with teaching him to be better, or ways she didn't allow herself to think about in regards to a child. Yana just wanted to protect Tyllei, and at least be the person to stop him right now so no more tears fell down her face.
[color=#transparent]xxx[/color]Once her world had been only light; her mother's smile, her father's pride as she took so naturally to being the former heir, Brenn's arms around her after she tripped in the woods and found a thorn stuck in her foot, helping her calm so her parents would never have to know, the goodness in this sweet girl, but for some years now there had been darkness too; her parents casting her aside for heir when her brother was born, the secrets at Aretuza and their ways she had been blind to, even now as she took so naturally to their lessons and would continue to learn as if all were fine and as if she had never heard the whisperings that would always remain as a faint prickle in the back of her mind until they could finally come to light, the way Borys gripped her wrist until it bruised and would no doubt do it again, the malice within this boy. She had had a cruel, slow awakening to the truth of the world and its darkness after being sheltered by her parents' protection and love, and goodness, and her own innocence and desire to see the best in those she met, and the light in those the world had already witten off, but for Tyllei, she imagined it was much different. She wasn't sure if the girl had ever known the light since her brother became old enough to do exactly what she had walked in on and much worse she was sure, and she could only hope that amongst the darkness he had been clouding her with there was some light peaking through, and hope that she could be part of that light for her. No one deserved that treatment, especially not from their own brother, and her heart ached for the pain and tears the young girl had already endured, and how the darkness she saw had probably long overwhelmed the light.
xxxAfter she spoke, practically seething with anger where she stood, there was silence, no response from the boy, and then a moment later there was. He told her she couldnt, and to that she simply stared at him, eyes cold and filled with ice. Her form furious, unmoving, unbending, and certainly not backing down. She noticed the girl peeking from around her body, and allowed herself a quick glance down to see Tyllei's wet eyes blinking at the sight of Damon staring up at her, before her gaze quickly snapped back to his. He didn't say anything after that, he didn't even look as he had for a moment, as if his mind was too heavy, too clogged, to form the words, acerbic and hateful, that he had been existing on before she came in and spoke to him in a way she now knew he had never been spoken to before. He was stunned, unsure of how to respond, and then his eyes narrowed, and she knew he had finally found the words, and no longer was speechless and small. He was himself again, and his words, of how it was his job, how he was to be king, to be Cintra, and that he would show her it was his place. She felt the girl behind her tense at the words, her very soul sensing that she had, and narrowed her own eyes back at him. "But you are a brother first." Elyana replied plainly, her eyes still fixed on his, her voice cool and calm, containing the rage that raced within as she reminded him of the fact he seemed quite eager to forget. She could hear Tyllei's heart pounding, and continued to stare Damon down, expecting him to throw more words her way, but instead he turned and stormed off, into some other room. Before she could stop herself, as she watched him retreat, a shout calling after him escaped her. "It's a king's job to be kind and protect his people, including his sister! No good king would be cruel to his own blood." She could feel the magic gathering in her palms, sparking at her finger tips with all the anger towards him and her mother and Borys still welling up within her like a quickly filling stream that was about to overflow with a storm of rain, and she could even see some nearby flowers out of the corner of her eye begin to wilt, just screaming at her to send some magic after him so he would learn his lesson and never even think of harming his sister again, but that wasn't who she was, and doing that would just turn her into him. She could tell she had already done enough for now, she had left him shaken by speaking to him in a way he had never experienced, and the young, sweet girl didn't need this to turn into anything more than it already was. With a deep breath, as he finally left her sight, she let the magic flow from her and back to the flowers, returning them back to their former pristine color filled radiant life. Then she heard the girl, thanking her, and quickly turned to her, and dropped to her knees, offering her hands for comfort. Yana was taller than Tyllei, and after the way her brother had spoken to her, she didn't want to tower over her and risk making her feel fearful or intimidated or like she had traded one gloomy storm for the darkened shade of another.
xxx"Are you alright? Has he hurt you? Physically, or... are you harmed?" Elyana asked quickly, her eyes filling with concern, her expression now soft, and worried, and earnest, and completely void of the anger she had shown her brother. Now all that was left was worry for the girl, and desire to hold her close and comfort her and make sure she felt safe, and that she was safe. Her eyes were searching, and then suddenly the girl spoke, asking if she'd help her look for Lady.. Chicken? She blinked, taken aback for a very brief moment, and then the smell of a cat reached her nose, a smell tainted with fear. Had that been what caused this confrontation, had Damon scared her cat? Or did she have a chicken, and had Damon set his cat after it in some cruel game fun only to him? Either way, she felt horrible for the girl and the Lady, and as the girl rushed to explain, telling her how Damon had frightened the Lady and that the kitchens were no place for a scared Lady to be alone, Yana wrapped her arms tightly around the girl, bringing her close in a hug, trying to reassure her and calm her and bring her some comfort. She didn't have to explain anything, there was no way Elyana wouldn't help. Tyllei trailed off, unpleasant memories surely filling her that were the spurs of her worry, and then a thank you escaped her, and Yana pulled back to look at her with reassuring eyes, her hands moving to rest gently on her shoulders. "It's not at all trouble, of course I'll help you find her, no lady should be left to bare the burden of her fear alone, we must rescue her from that fate. Which way did she go? I believe I heard a clatter before I arrived, but I don't know where it came from other than within the room." Elyana promised with the weustioj, hoping her words would some how ease her, and show her she had no problems helping with what she had asked, and give no doubts, so they could begin whenever the girl was ready. She was ready to help whenever she was, but oh, was she indeed going to help her look for a cat? She could only smell a cat, and not a chicken, but she didn't know how strong her senses were yet, and she hadn't been trained to track them and tell them apart, and truthfully she wasn't sure if she had met enough chickens, especially lone chickens, to tell their scent apart from all the others flooding her nose. She didn't want to upset her by asking, especially something probably so obvious, but to search properly she had to know, and she didn't want to disappoint the girl if she had a chicken, and instead unkwnougly found the cat meant to chase it with a feather in its mouth. That would be disastrous, and cause more tears than those that had already fallen, and she was not going to let that happen. "And forgive me, but is this lovely Lady a Chicken, or a cat? Just so I know which Lady I am looking for, of course, so I do not find the wrong Lady and give you false hope." Yana asked carefully, hoping she did not offend. Tyllei had suffered enough already, and she wanted only to bring her some happiness and a little peace, and to help her reunite with her Lady Chicken, whatever she may be.