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Onyx Eye; The New and Improved
Topic Started: Jul 15 2014, 06:30 PM (3,615 Views)
Oru
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Sol
[ *  *  * ]
Vladimir was thrown off balance, and was just about to lash off - but he was quick enough to notice the life-sving maneuver as it was occurring. He took that moment to rest his sword arm, and move with the spin to wrap one arm protectively around Crina's waist.

"Vali! We have your mistress, we must fall back!" he snapped, deflecting tentative strikes while trying to push them past the trenches and spikes of the fringe of the camp. But the Turks were bloodthirsty and anxious. Vlad managed to smile at Crina though, taking quick note of her state. "My Hero, My Lady." And he bashed a Turk in the nose before pulling a long knife from his belt and slipping it into Crina's hand. She was shaking and wounded, but he knew she could defend herself if she had to - which she would.

Vladimir didn't know how much longer he could do this. He hoped his men were on their way.

--

Imrus felt his teeth grinding together as Hakan smeared his spit across his face. He could feel the raised skin of his own face, the crescent moon and star that had been messily branded there, pulling at one corner of his eye, and giving him an eternal, scarred smirk at the corner of his lip. His right side was a mess of Hakan's 'art' and it made his stomach roil violently.

Imrus pulled violently against he guards holding him, but they had been thorough in binding him. They would have to be if they had known anything sabout the Little Emperor. "I'm going to kill you this time, you worm. I'm going to tear out your eye with my bare hands."

Imrus felt the words rush out in panicked fury. Crina had to be clear. She had to be. Vladimir or Erasmus or one of Valis men must have found her and taken her away on one of the many escaped horses. But Imrus was starting to feel the frantic beating of his heart. If Vlad's forces didn't get here soon, this was about to become avery messy tent.

--

Erasmus managed to catch one of the fleeing horses, and quickly calmed it to silence. He mounted quickly, but not before taking note of where Reaper found a spot to sleep off the sedatives. He drew his sword and took a deep breath to calm his singing nerves.

Then he spurred the horse towards Vlad and Vali. "Here!
Crina, Here!"
Erasmus was in fact the superior horseman, and guided the beast with knees and heels alone. The Turks didn't seem all that concerned with him; a random guy on a horse who wasn't going out of his way to behead them. The reigns were loose and looped around Erasmus' forearm with the sword, so as to not impede the movement of the horse's head. The beast danced nervously, and with Erasmus' free hand, he reached down to Crina.

VLadimir lashed out with stored ferocity. "Go! Hopefully they are too thrilled to see me than to pursue. Go!" Vladimir called out, shouting challenges to the TUrks and pressing away from Crina and Erasmus.

As soon as Crina was in the saddle, he 'hya-ed' the mount off - but not before something sharp and painful nearly knocked him out of the saddle. Looking to the side Erasmus turned a bit green when he saw the crossbow bolt sticking out of his left upper arm. "Hold on Crina!"
Edited by Oru, Sep 14 2017, 06:48 AM.
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Elena
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[ *  *  * ]
Hakan spun about to face Imrus again. There was a thin, wicked knife in his hands- not unlike those used for carving up fish. He prodded his own cheek under one eye almost inviting Imrus' wrath. "Only the one? Surely an eye for an eye is too poetic for your tastes."

He closed the distance between the two of them and without hesitation carved a thin line along Imrus' jaw- on the unscarred side of his face. The blade was frosty cold, but Imrus would know from experience that it did not stay that way for long. With a sneer, Hakan sliced open the front of Imrus shirt. "Oh dear, I don't have my stretching table with me," he pouted. "This won't be nearly as easy without it. You'll just have to try and hold extra still. I don't want to accidentally kill you."

No, when Hakan eventually killed Imrus, it would be completely intentional- and it would not happen until he'd flayed off every bit of skin there was. This meant that he needed to go slowly. Imrus was familiar with the procedure.

---

Outside, the guards were making progress with Vlad. Even Crina's intervention only held them off for so long. Had it not been for Erasmus' swooping entrance, she would probably be dead by now. Several soldiers fired after the Greek and his damsel, but only one bolt struck. The rest went wide- buried into the dirt or nearby tents.

Vladimir, though, was their main target, and he would quickly find himself surrounded again.

"Give in, Impaler!" One man called in shoddy Romanian. "Surrender and you may live!" But also maybe not. Several men were already trying to crawl away from the battle, and others lay dead in pools of their own blood. It was a massacre.
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[ *  *  * ]
The movement of Vlad wrapping an arm around her waist, jarred her injured side, but she bit her lip to keep quiet. She moved with him as he did, noticing Vali pull her own sword from his hip, to duel wield and she hid a smirk.

She shook her head at Vlad before she focused on using the knife to strike at any opponent that got to close. She was about to protest being pulled away from the fight, wanting to be stubborn but Erasmus and Vlad managed to get her into the saddle without a word being able to come out of her mouth.

She shook her head fighting the pain when Erasmus nearly tumbled from the saddle and she ripped her skirts at the bottom and wrapped it around the crossbow and arm, to keep the arrow from moving and doing more damage before she gripped the reigns in her good hand and bent the horse in a different direction.

Disappearing into the surrounding woods. "No, Erasmus we can't, The Turks have Imrus and he can not suffer under that....pig again. We need to buy more time. And create an opening for Vali and The Prince." She said as she slowed the horse when no one came after them.

She slipped out from under his arm and onto the floor, the impact on the ground jarring her hip. She hissed in pain before she turned to regard Erasmus. "Well, I'm not leaving without them, so are you with me or not?" She said as she squared her shoulders and turned away from him.

The route she had taken came out behind all the fighting, and she smirked, half a barrel of that gross Turk ale sat unused, and she smirked. She shifted around until she laid it out and kicked it the barrel spinning across the ground soaking nearby tents and anything else it managed to land on as the ale barrel rolled away.

She picked up a torch and tossed it into the ale, watching the alcohol light up quickly setting tents on fire. "We have to make it bigger. Get the rest of the tents." She said as she grabbed another torch and lit the next tent on fire, throwing the torch when she used the Prince's knife to open another barrel and send that one rolling as well, the ale lighting up in flame like a trail.

Vali's man who had ridden hard saw the banners raising over one of the hills three over from the camp, the horses being ridden hard and his own war horse nickered out that call to let them know he was an ally.
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Oru
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[ *  *  * ]
Vlad was panting, the ferocious bloodlust in his eyes gleaming just enough to keep him desperately swinging. Part of him was delighted at the slew of bodies left about him; a confirmation of course that he was till monstrous, and could be monstrous to these creatures.

When they called for his surrender, he laughed out loud, head tossed back and dark hair flying. "I would never surrender to you dogs. You'll just have to kill me before my army gets here." And he grinned madly in Turkish to them.

--

Erasmus tried to swat at Crinas arm, but the motion only confused the horse and it stopped, ears flattened in irritation. He tried to move his left arm to get a better grip, but nearly fainted dead off the horse. By the time he'd come back to himself, Crina was already halfway back into the camp lighting things on fire.

"Of... Of all the.... stupid...." Erasmus gawked at the scene and took the reigns up again, nudging the horse gently onward towards the crazed, bleeding injured Lady. The Horse trotted quickly back over, and towards a pair of ambitious Turks making their ay to Crina and her mad pyrotechnics.

Erasmus hefted his sword, and kicked the horse forward at a run. The sudden reappearance of the Greek must have stunned them, because the first one was cleaved in the skull before he could adequately react.

Unfortunately, that meant Erasmus' sword was now gone, and he was unarmed as he moved past the second. So the only thing he could think to do was thrust out a leg. Lucky (very, very very lucky) for him, the heelof his boot nailed the man in the side of the head, and spittle, blood, and perhaps a toth flew out as he spun and hit the ground.

Erasmus pulled the reigns up beside Crina and fumed down at her with a hiss, "Damnit Crina, get BACK on this HORSE! He came here to get YOU out of here, and he'll hang us BOTH if you're still in harms way by the time he gets himself out of it! HURRY UP WE'RE GONNA DIE." His hissing whisper became urgent and he held out his now empty right hand.

As soon as she grasped it, he would heave with all his might, turn a lovely shade of alabaster, and turn the horse about, kicking it into a full Gallup away.

As they crest the hill, they would see Vlad's army, and Erasmus would visibly relax, hunching in the saddle.

--

IMrus' eyes were wide, and his breath came quickly through his clenched teeth. Someone stopped him from pulling his hed back and away - perhaps a firm grip on the length of his hair. That would do it.

As the knife bit into the unmarred side of his face, he growled. The pain was incredibly familiar and lights danced in his eyes, afraid to blink as he was. When Hakan cut open the front of his shirt, Imrus strained forward towards him, eye blazing, foolishly daring him, but afraid to say anything.

His blood was on fire with the promise of pain, and his breathing was a wild hiss. "You are a coward and a snake, and I will enjoy cutting the tongue from your dog mouth, you peasant"

He didn't know what else to do. He was sort of just lost in a world of hatred.

--

Vlad's army joined with Vali's fast riding man. A few more minutes, perhaps one, perhaps two, but soon, just hold on that long...
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[ *  *  * ]
Hakan pouted, seemingly crestfallen at Imrus' words. He was fairly good at not rising to bait, but when the word peasant dropped from the Marquis' lips, Hakan struck him across the face with the hilt of his knife.

"Silence, you filthy wolf," he scolded. Then his voice turned sickly sweet, "You don't want me cutting you too deep- remember? You might pass out, and we'd miss out on all the fun." He smiled and pushed Imrus back with a hand on his throat. The surrounding guards moved to help with the action, pressing the Marquis' back to the ground and exposing his chest to the open air. "I have the perfect idea for you, too!"

Hakan's giggle was grating, but he set to work immediately. The cuts started shallow, but they still hurt terribly. Eventually, he was cutting just a little deeper to make sure he could see the marks through the deep red blood flowing from his chest.

He was carving a symbol used in Turkish tapestries to ward off the curse of the Evil Eye. He was so intent on his task, in fact, that he did not notice the tents burning away outside. "See- this will save you," he was saying. "From your own hideous face." He ran a hand over the gashes almost loving, then traced a finger through the lines he had made in a vain attempt to clear them of blood- and a very successful attempt at causing more pain.

---

The fire alerted a great many of the men of the camp away from their individual combats. Vlad was left with only three men to face, though they were fresh faced and new to the fight. The rest were all scrambling to put out the fire- or two reassemble the defenses outside of the camp.

One man rushed into Hakan's tent and blurted, "Sir! There is a fire in the camp. The Impaler has killed at least ten men. We need to retreat."

"Don't interrupt me!" Hakan shouted, eyes going manically wide, and pupils tiny pinpricks in his eyes. His voice was high, and he did not seem in complete control of his faculties. "Leave!" The guard scurried away, terrified. He would have been killed had Hakan not already had his knife in Imrus' skin.
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[ *  *  * ]
Crina blinked up at the man, before she made a groan like sound and allowed her self to be pulled back up into the saddle. 'i wonder when he'll realize that he not only yelled at me but he didn't stutter at all' she thought as she held onto him.

Her eyes turned to look at the fire rising even higher in the camp even as they tried to put it out, but water and alcohol don't mix very well. Her eyes turned when she spotted the flags of the Prince's army and she smirked.

Vali slit a man's throat just as he noticed Vlads second barrel down the hill arrow drawn in his bow and fired as the Dragomir horse moved without the use of the reigns. The strides large and covering ground followed by Vlads own horse and the rest of the army.

He struck out with a fist and pulled his body back missing the flying arrow hitting the Turks neck. "Your Highness." He waved a hand out toward the surging group.
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Oru
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[ *  *  * ]
Imrus was so busy focusing in keeping his breath going, that he couldn't wrap his head around what was happening. His eye was open and staring.

This will save you from your own hideous face. He heard Hakan say, he heard it through the searing lines of pain in his chest. But he had to do something. Crina was gone one way or another and he couldn't do this again, wouldn't, had to do something...

He felt light dancing behind his good eye when he heard Hakan screaum. Imrus yanked against the guards again, straining for all he was worth and teeth grinding together as if they were going to shatter. His one eye was wide and he felt the veins in his neck bulging."You are a pig, a mad pig, worth less than the shit it rolls in." He kept spitting insults as he pulled against the guards. He tried to get his feet under him, but he was still flat on his back and bound.

--

Vlad's forces crested the hill with efficiency. They rallied their calls and a horn blew loud and crystal clear in the woods. Several soldiers surrounded Erasmus and Crina in a circle facing outward. And another ground started riding to where Vladimir Tepes let out an answering cry of battle.
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[ *  *  * ]
The tide of battle was turned instantly at the sound of the blowing horn. Hakan's men were only fools for serving him, and understood when they were outnumbered. The galloping hooves and shouts of Vladimir's men sent them scurrying after the loosed horses. They weren't about to die because their master was stupidly enthralled with his catch.

In the tent, the guards holding Imrus released him and rushed out, swords drawn. One was cut down immediately. The others had slightly better luck in making distance from the tent. With the horses already lost in the woods, though, the likelihood of escaping the massacre was slim at best.

Hakan did not seem phased, though. He was intent on his prey. His guards dropping Imrus only seemed to give him more space to continue his work, and with Imrus laying on his bound hands and his legs strung together as they were, wriggling free would be a difficult task.

Hakan did not want to risk it, though, and climbed atop Imrus with a frustrated snarl. "Cowards!" He called after his men, striking Imrus in the face once more with the hilt of his knife. "Silence, dog. You are a canvas. You have no right to speak."

The fire had spread to the tent they were in, and Hakan seemed completely unaware of it. The smoke was thick and black. It smelled like fear.
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Oru
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[ *  *  * ]
Imrus tried to roll to his side and worm away but Hakan was there again, relentless. Imrus let out a snarl and pitched himself to the side int he hopes of throwing Hakan off balance enough to get free again but the angle was wrong. "Stop, stop this, you're going to kil us both you fool!" Imrus looked about at the flames and the smoke.

Yes. Yes he was very afraid.

"Before we die I have something I need to tell you, Hakan,
something important, please."
Imrus' eyes were wide and glinting - one more than the other. He stared at Hakan, and gritted his teeth as hard as he could, through the pain, and Hakan's crazed eyes.

If he got close enough, Imrus was going to bite something off. Anything. His fool nose, an ear, a lip if he had to, but his skin was trembling with that mad, ferocious anger, the nervous, terrified insanity of someone just on the edge of desperation. And he was going to pitch himself force-ably over the side if it meant deforming this sadist's face in any way he could.
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[ *  *  * ]
Hakan was still trying to carve that symbol into Imrus' chest. It was an ornate piece of artwork, after all, and would take at least some time to complete. But now that Imrus was free to struggle, the pattern was becoming a mess. The knife was going deeper than it should have, in angles it should not have gone. Still, the little emperor persisted.

"Silence! You'll kill yourself!" He hissed, pressing back down on Imrus' shoulder in an attempt to get the man to lay back flat. He was not completely listening to his victim. But that desperation in the man's eyes was just too delicious. It caught him and Hakan's face twisted into something like a lover's smile.

He lowered his face closer and closer to Imrus', drinking in that terrified expression- until the Marquis' lips pulled back to reveal his teeth and he lunged up like a snake. Hakan squealed like a terrified boy, attempting to pull away from Imrus, who had latched onto his cheek. "Get off you leech!" The man screamed, clawing at Imrus to pull him off. The Marquis would be able to take a hunk of flesh with him. The Little Emperor's blade found a place to lodge under the Marquis' arm, where it stuck.

Hakan clutched at his once-handsome face, gaping at the Marquis with a mix of terror and hatred. Outside, the sounds of battle were nearly upon them.
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[ *  *  * ]
The Battle was in Earnest for only a short time until it turned into wild attempts to put out the fire. Whatever Turks Vlad's men came upon were killed. That was always their standing order; no mercy. When they came upon their Master, he accepted the reigns to his horse and slumped against he great beast, exhausted. Vlad rasped out with remaining fervor, "The Marquis is in the swine's tent, go!"

Imrus fle tthe skin between his teeth, and the blood and he felt his stomach boil with it. He was still bound and couldn't pursue the man, but he spat the piece of Hakan's face out with less relish then he wanted to - because a sudden, dangerous bolt of pain lanced through him from somewhere under his arm.

He gasped past whatever blood stained his face, and snarled, "Not... So pretty now..."

Imrus dropped his head back to the earth, dazed, eyes crystaline. And then Vlad's men came pouring through. The tent was partially in flames now and quickly spreading when someone managed to cut Imrus's hands and hand him a sword. The weapon fell from his fingers and he slumped into unconsciousness before anything could be done about Hakan.

Vlad's men surrounded him. Vlad, having gotten to his horse, looked down and spat. "DO whatever you want with him.
I don't care."
And he turned.

"Get the wounded back to the Marquis's estate, quickly! I don't have the men to care for them, Vali, I need you to go with them, now!" He would be able to take care of the rest of this... mess. Vladimir himself did not go unscathed, but lucky for him, nothing few rough stitches and a rag wouldn't fix.
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[ *  *  * ]
It took two Romanians to get Imrus out of the burning tent and onto a horse. He was bleeding heavily, but they knew better than to remove the knife right there. Instead, one man tied a strip of fabric tightly across the Marquis' chest, above his heart and looping under the injured arm. An entire cloak was then pressed up under the injury, and Imrus was carried away from the camp as quickly as possible.

It only took one Romanian to slay the Little Emperor. The man was bleeding heavily, and wailing Turkish curses into the night. He didn't even seem to see anything occurring around him. His last words were an oath of vengeance on Imrus Laszlo. His head was parted from his body with little ceremony.

They left his body to burn with the camp.
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[ *  *  * ]
Vali bristled at the orders as he filled his fighting urge down from a flare to a simmer. Slipping his blade into his shealth he did as he was told and mounted his horse and followed after the injured.

His lady had yet to show up but he knew she was with Erasmus. Though as he glanced at the fire he knew somewhere inside that she had started the blaze. Something she would be getting in trouble for no doubt.

Crina had dismounted when they got to the horses, she had watched Vali disappear before she turned her attention to Reaper who was being a drosey boy. She frowned slightly as she prodded the stallion up and took his reigns in hand and started leading him slowly across the ground.

Off in her own little world ignoring the pain that jarred her side as she walked. Her arm was beyond use at this time. She glanced behind her to see if Vlad and imrus would be following shortly. Afterall you can't rush a drugged horse.
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Oru
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[ *  *  * ]
Erasmus was dedicated to keeping a close eye on Crina. She was still injured. And her arm didn't look good, but the stubborn woman persisted to remain with her horse. Thinking that he would be just fine, thank you, Erasmus opted instead to ride beside her. Every once and a while trying to convince her to let the others take care of Reaper. "You know, Vladimir is staying behind to t-take care of things, you c-could leave the stallion w-with him. Come on Crina, y-you're injured, let m-me take you back quicker?" He pleaded with his eyes, but his heart was only half in it, at least on the surface.

He did have a crossbow bolt still lodged in his shoulder after all, and though Crina had done an excellent job in wrapping it on the spot, he still needed medical attention just like the rest of them. He reached his good hand down to Crina, one of Vladimir's horsemen approaching cautiously on the sidelines. The stranger was riding one of the Dragomir horses himself, and he tried to offer what little assurance that Reaper would be well in his company.

"See? L-let us go on ahead so we can have y-you looked at, and I'm certain R-reaper won't be far b-behind." With his tiredness came his stutter, but he hardly cared at this point.

Ugh battle was awful. And Tepes did this as a hobby? He really was Mad, wasn't he? Eramus thought distractedly.

--

A smaller group of men, including Vali and his men with some of Vladimir's scouting troops rushed ahead of the larger force as they dispatched the Little Emperor and tore down his camp. (Well. Let it safely burn, that is.)

By this time at least, Janos was groggy but mostly sort of awake. He was numb from the opiates in his system, but that obviously didn't bother him. Instead he ket grumbling about Vlad and Crina, repeatedly asking if they were all right, green eyes clouded.

Vali and the scouting troops, with Imrus' unconscious body, void of mask and all sorts of messy, were rushed in as dawn broke on the horizon.

--

Regardless of her apparent lack of skill, Phaedra donned a gray toga dress and resolutely made her way to find Lady Vivian. She seemed to be the only one there anymore, her brother having foolishly run off to go be stupid.

But as soon as she spotted the bloody rags being taken out by the assistants to Lady Vivian, she turned pale in the face, and instead disappeared into the gardens.


Well. Now I know I cannot do the sight of blood. Ugh. She shivered, wishing she could be useful another way, but lacking the focus to ask. She would just clear her head... just for a little bit...

AFter an hour, she felt composed enough to at least go and refill bowls of water and supply fresh rags until it was no longer needed. Which, after an hour, it really wasn't. At this point she was just refilling what had been used. She found herself dozing in a chair in the hall when the commotion started at dawn.
Edited by Oru, Sep 25 2017, 05:07 AM.
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[ *  *  * ]
After Janos' surgery, Vivian managed to at least wash her hands and face. She changed into a lighter gown provided by one of the servants, and managed to shove her hair up into a tight, lumpy bun. She was unable to sleep, though, and sat up next to Janos' bed throughout the night, staring out of a narrow window and waiting for the break of dawn.

The bells came first- ringing high with warning. Vivian felt her heart drop into her stomach. Was it the Turks? Had they slain Crina and the others and come to take the castle. Stiffly, she pushed herself to her feet and turned towards the door. There were running footsteps in the hall. She could use the shears on the table nearby to defend herself for a time, or perhaps it would be better to break through the window with one of the chairs...

The doors burst open and Vladimir's men flooded the room, carrying someone's body. "Vali?" She asked, recognizing the old man as Crina's general. If he were there, where were the others? This was not Crina- it was some man.

Vivian felt her throat constrict with emotion. She wasn't sure quite what she was feeling, then. Fear? Sorrow? He was mangled nearly beyond recognition. Vivian had never seen his full face before, and its scars made her stomach twist in uncomfortable knots. But now his shirt was torn away from an oozing pattern and his face had been reopened to bleed even more. His arm was tied to his side, but there was so much blood seeping out from it.

"Imrus." Her voice was low, and cracked with emotion. She was angry- more angry than she had ever been in her life. There was a certain stillness to be found in it- a certainty that she took comfort in. "Anyone who is not a doctor, leave this room immediately." She squared her shoulders and approached the bed, prepared to push her way through if necessary. "I need warm water and antiseptic immediately."

Vivian's second surgery would be even more difficult than the first.

---

"He'll be back soon," Katherine informed Phaedra out in the hall. She'd seen the woman dozing, and approached without prompting. She was holding out a bowl of porridge- which she had originally brought for Vivian- and gave her best attempt at a comforting smile. Even the endlessly optimistic Kat could only muster so much, though.

"You should eat. Lady Vi always suggests a good meal when you want to feel better." Lady Vi did have a snacking problem.
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[ *  *  * ]
Crinas emotions were conflicted, her eyes darting between Erasmus and Reaper before her shoulders dropped in defeat and she gave the reigns to the soldier and let him pull her back up into the saddle.

She leaned into him not having that much energy anymore but did not wish the sleep at the moment. Reaper made a half attempt to follow but then his head dropped down once more.

He stumbled over a stick as he picked up his feet or tried to, the great big stallion looked like a new born colt and his first steps.

Crina tilted her head up, "how is your arm?" She asked him.

--------

Vali glanced at Vivian with a nod and started directing people again. Even as a guest with the Lord of the house in care and the prince not available. As well as Janos out, it left Vali as the highest rank in the estate still able.

His words were clipped as he deligated tasks and had the ballroom set up with more cots to house the injured soldiers. He bristled with nervousness watching the doorways for any sign of both his lady and the prince.
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[ *  *  * ]
Phaedra was thoroughly worrying at one of he many full creases of her grey dress when Kat came by with the porridge. She gave the page a tight-lipped smile and accepted the bowl with a nod. "Well. Your Lady at least has an apetite when she's panicked. I feel like I'm so full of it I can't eat. But I'll try. I should be hungry." She confided, swirling the spoon in the thick gooey food. She took a sizeable spoonfull and shoved it in her mouth, forcing herself to swirl it around once before swallowing it.

Phaedra grimaced. "I saw some of The Prince's men,
but I haven't seen him or my Brother or the Marquis. Do you know what has happened?"
She patted the seat beside her, eager for any news beyond "he'll be back soon.'

--

Erasmus let out a loud sigh of relief and helped to heave Crina into the saddle in fromt of her. SHe was slight of build enough for him to easily reach around with his good hand for the reigns, and his legs seemed to be working well enough to guide the beast.

In fact, he even kicked the horse up to a trot, then a canter outside of the woods, slowing the beast again so as not to tire it out, but still making rather good time. Not as good as Vlad and Vali's men, wildly galloping off.

WHen Crina asked about his arm, he grinned at the back of her head. "Oh. T-this is the m-most painful th-thing I have ever experienced. But th-thanks to you I'm v-very much s-still alive." And yes, it was very very painful. He was trying not to think about it, throwing all of his focus into steering the animal. They had two companions on the road too, several of the prince's men, dispatched to be sure they made it safely back.

They arrived almost a full two hours after The Marquis had been rushed in. Two of the Prince's men who followed them helped Crina down first, and Erasmus slid off afterwards, contentedly sitting on one of the benches outside for Vlad to reappear.

Vladimir Tepes arrived almost another hour after that, alone, on his own horse. He dismounted in a flourish, almost missed Erasmus, but stopped. "Why haven't you been seen yet?"

Erasmus shrugged dizzily. "I was waiting for you,
stupid."


Vlad snorted, and moved to help Erasmus stand, looping his good arm over his own shoulders and heading inside.

The pair of them made it to the place the Marquis was being treated, pushed their way in, and then sat on the only bench pressed up next to the door against the wall. Vladimir didn't say anything. and luckily, Phaedra was just too far down the hall to see.

--

Imrus was in that sort of nightmarish hell where the body doesn't know how to react, therefore it does nothing. A clammy, cold sweat sort of hell, where all it did was replay every awful moment of your life until you feel you're memorized every word and instance. He was, in a phrase, the perfect patient. His eyes refused to open, breathing shallow but determinedly present... Even his heart beat rather normally for having lost so much blood.

But he had yet to awaken, as if his mind knew it would be better just to wait until the wort was over, unlike the last time. Unlike the last time.
Edited by Oru, Sep 25 2017, 05:34 AM.
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Katherine clasped her hands in front of her and rocked back and forth on her heels as Phaedra spoke. "The Marquis is back and being tended to. They say he's alive." She seemed to have her own doubts on that subject. People in the keep looked far too sad for the news regarding him to be good. "The rest of them should be on their way soon."

She smoothed out her skirt awkwardly. Behind her, the door outside slammed open to crack loudly against the wall. Vladimir was pulling Erasmus along with him. Crina had already been taken in to be seen. There were other men, Kat noticed, also injured. They smelled of sweat and blood and smoke. It made her stomach churn, so instead of greeting them she stepped aside and watched them pass.

"It looks like everyone is alive, my lady," Katherine managed as the infirmary doors swung shut once more.

Inside, Vivian was still working on Imrus. The wound under his arm had taken the longest. She'd needed to get someone to hold his arm still so she could access the stab wound without him moving around under her care. He was otherwise the perfect patient, though. The pain must have knocked him out, and they were able to keep the opium away from him for now.

The strange pattern on his chest only needed stitches in certain places. The rest of the cuts were shallow enough that they would heal on their own. A strong smelling salve to fend off infection was applied and his chest was wrapped in so many bandages he looked like a mummy. Then his arm was pinned to his side so he would not pull the stitches under his arm and he was tucked in so securely to his blanket that no chill would ever reach him.

Still, he shivered. Vivian wished she could comfort him, but there were other people who needed her help. The doctor had set to work on Crina- stitching up the gash in her hip and binding her arm so tightly that she would not be able to unbend it at all. It was taped similarly to her chest and she was instructed to wait in the infirmary for observation. She would be permitted to sleep in whichever cot she chose, but she was not to walk around- not that there was room to do so.

Vivian's eyes scanned the room as Vladimir pulled Erasmus into the room. Her eyes widened at the sight of the men and she strode forward without a word to help move the Greek to one of the empty cots. They were in short supply. "Sit," she said firmly. Vivian had lost her headscarf. Her hair was pulled into a tight bun and blood was on her neck and forehead where she had attempted to wipe away sweat. Her hands were the only clean part of her, having been rinsed in a bowl of water between patients. She sat across from Erasmus and set to feeling the inflamed flesh around the crossbow bolt.

Her eyes did not meet his. They were focused on her task, and her pupils had dilated enough to make her brown eyes seem black. She was not shaking- not yet. But if she acknowledged Erasmus, she might start. He had been the kindest to her since their arrival, and he had taken a great liking to Katherine right away. She chewed on her lip as she finally glanced up at him.

"This is going to hurt," she informed him with a voice that was stronger than it had ever sounded before. One of the nurses offered Erasmus a leather strip to place between his teeth and Vivian set to tearing away the Greek's sleeve and bandage. The blood started oozing anew.

Another nurse yanked the crossbow bolt out without any kind of warning, hoping for the surprise to be enough to dull the pain, and then Vivian's hand moved to cover the wound with a towel, pressing hard. There was dead flesh which would need to be cut away, and that would be remarkably difficult with Erasmus sitting there perfectly conscious. "How long did you let that sit in your arm?" She asked, pressing a little more firmly on the spot.
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Crina accepted the help from the horse with a soft moan of pain coming from her lips, before she was ushered off into the room. Vali's only reason for not lifting the girl up like she was a child was because of her wounds.

She tilted her head as this time, her arm was salved and sticked before being wrapped. Her dress had been removed and a fresh dress was brought while they corrected the patchwork care of her stab wound and then she was released for the next.

She brought the shall close to her, working passed the pain and the sleep that threatened her as Vlad and Erasmus finally walked in. She followed after them, stopping behind the prince to watch, "perhaps four hours if not more" Crina answered for him, from her hiding spot.

Her eyes were dark from lack of true sleep and in her good hand she held a glass of water. Her entire body movement was less graceful then usual and she had a bruise of a hand print on her face that had been tended to, along with little scratches on her face from the little emperors rings.
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Vladimir cast a glance at Crina when she answered for Erasmus but otherwise just sat quietly.

Erasmus however, tensed for the strike, expecting fully to be prepared by the count of three - OHGOODGODS. When the bolt was riped out, he didn't realize Vladimir was grasping his hand, even after his knuckles went white grasping back. He clamped his mouth shut, trying not to yelp, but instead he just sort of let out this pained hum. He tilted his head back as the stars settled behind them and tried to take some shaking breaths.

Vladimir chuckled, with a brief nod of approval.

THEN he looked at Crina. "My Lady, I do believe the doctor told you to lay down." His eyes were dead serious and there was no smile on his lips to tease her with. Vladimir was a Prince and a soldier, and when his soldiers didn't take their injuries seriously it endangered more then just that one soldier. "You don't have to go far. Go there, that cot beside Janos is free, go lay down."

Erasmus didn't really return to himself for a moment after Vladimir spoke, but he kept blinking back waves of nausea and pain.

"I have n-no idea, L-lady Loncar. I'm S-sorry." He gave her a wobbling, sheepish grin.

Vladimir slipped his hand away from Erasmus' and nimbly stepped around the ladies to go to Imrus' side. Without touching or craning forward, he subtly inspected the Lady Loncar's work. Thoroughly bandaged at least, cleaned up... And his face... Vladimir felt a clench of rage in seeing the new evidence of a scar on the previously untouched side of his face. It was a pity the Little Emperor couldn't die twice.

--

Phaedra bolted to her feet with unexpected haste when the doors banged open. She couldn't seem to move her feet, but she craned her neck down the hall to see. Had that been Erasmus supporting the Prince, or the other way around? She worried at her bottom lip and then realized her hands were shaking, so she put the bowl of porridge down before she made a mess of it.

"Do you think you could fetch me when we are permitted to go in, Kat?"
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