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- Posted: Thu, 03 Jan 2013 05:01:07 +0000
THERE WAS no movement nor any other sign that answered Becky's cries for help, much to her despair. She knew there was no chance of her outrunning or evading her pursuers, which left fighting her way out as her only option. Scuffing the heels of her boots, she skid to a stop while somehow keeping her feet underneath herself. With the grace of a trained soldier, Becky turned on her heel to face her opponents and immediately sank into one of the many stances she knew. The 'shhhk' of her shortsword being drawn from its sheath masked the noise of the great door opening just enough for Lord Koven to be seen through.
Her arm tensed, ready to nudge her buckler to its place over her knuckles. Becky remained coiled, prepared to attack or defend as needed even when her- pursuers stopped in their tracks. Their shared cautious expressions and steps made backwards confused her. Was she that intimidating? Ha, hardly. But it wasn't as if there was anything else around to scare these ruffians into standing so still, right? Curiosity and a strange feeling of dread prompted her to take a glance over her shoulder to find Jhandel Koven at the door, wearing a most frightening visage. The sight was enough to make her jolt out of her stance and take a few steps towards the very men she'd just fled. However, Jhandel's expression was not exactly new to her and the initial shock wore off fast. Knowing better than to look a gift horse in the mouth, Becky rushed past Jhandel into the entrance hall
Better to face the devil she knew rather than the devil she didn't. Becky helped Lord Koven pull the door shut behind her as quick as she could. She kept her eyes turned down when she could, never looking at the very man she sought as she slid her blade back in its sheathe and her buckler further up her arm. There was hardly any doubt left in her that the Lord Knight was the very man she'd seen in Master Tierson's care. Having the sight of Jhandel's aggressive snarl made fresh in her mind also renewed her simultaneous fear and pity for the man. As he rubbed at his eyes, Becky regarded him with the same worry and apprehension that her twelve-year-old self did.
Though she nodded at the hand he waved towards the staircase on the other end of the hall, Becky did not follow after Jhandel immediately but trailed a little ways away after him out of respect and fright. She kept the same distance between them even after Jhandel's knees seemed to give out below him when he took a seat on the third step up, though she didn't dare think of coming any closer to help. She refused his invitation to take a seat with a quiet shake of her head, not yet feeling that it was alright for her sit at his side. Though she was the only one standing tall, Becky still felt so small before Master Koven.
"Ms. Carver, please tell me what brings you here at this hour. I was not expecting guests." It seemed that Jhandel mistook Becky's nervous glances as her observing the strangely emptiness in the hall around them both because his next statement was, "Ah, you will have to pardon the poor hospitality. The castle hands are quite... occupied at the moment."
"Oh no, that's alright, I'm not bothered by it at all." Truth be told, she didn't even notice the lack of the castle's usual hustle and bustle, though she did find it admirable that Master Koven would take on the responsibility of guarding this entrance all by himself. It was quite puzzling for Becky to look up and find Jhandel's features drawn tight in a way that really didn't match the casual tone of his voice. What an excellent Lord Knight he was, she thought, to remain so calm even in a situation such as this! For all their differing opinions, Master Tierson and Master Koven certainly shared the quality of being unflappable. Wait, speaking of Master Tierson, wasn't that why she was here? "Um! I-I hope I'm not being a bother or anything like that but it's just that there's something going on outside! All these fires are starting all over the place and I'm pretty sure there's people behind because I really saw them spreading it with just their hands. Oh, yes, there's also these people going about in groups, I've only seen them going around in handfuls, but they're none too friendly with anyone they see."
"A-and I think they've got something flying up the skies too, I-I mean, I heard noises b-but I didn't really take the time to look up. I'm so sorry, I'll do much better next time-- not that I hope there will be a next time, goodness no! And..." All the advice Becky had learned about looking at a person when you talk to them hardly did her nervousness any good. Jhandel hardly made things better as the subtle straining of his face made her feel uneasy and unsure if he really didn't mind what she was saying. Becky just had to drop her gaze to the floor before she could quite go on. "Th-there was also that group outside the castle gates but I guess you already know about them and, and-- and I-I don't mean to pry but, um... A-are you alright Master Koven? N-not that I mean that there's anything wrong with you, I'm ju-just wondering, is all!"
Yeah, this really shouldn't have taken me so long to finish. ~ fin.