[P] [M] Your blood's as good an ink as any
P. Mistral
#1

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

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She had been out on the training grounds, hacking away at wooden dummies with her sharpened Dane axe, when he found her. She had long since figured that they could construct new dummies if it became necessary, if her axe had worked to chip away enough at the wooden vestiges of their being (which, undoubtedly, they would and had, in some instances), and went about her training without further consideration as to the longevity of the training ground's current stoic residents. He had watched her a while, silent as a shadow, and then announced his presence in a gruff voice, telling her that he required she come with him.


Already on edge from her training session, she had swung around with the spark and ferocity of a lightning bolt. But the man — a guard of the false queen's whose name Thyri had not bothered to learn — was undeterred. He insisted that she drop her weapon and follow him. Thyri had almost laughed in his face before she refused, holding her axe in front of her chest defensively. They faced off but, in the end, age and experience won out over anger and injustice.


Achilles disarmed her with his great sword, nudging the weapon away while he tied her hands behind her back with rope. She growled. She growled and she snarled and she spat, her fur bristling and her lips curled, but the man was bigger, stronger, and under her control — the usurper; the false queen. Much later, Thyri's axe would be found by a fellow Courtier, a young man named Reblin who had come looking for her, and returned to her room in Chien Hotel with a multitude of confusion and curiosity.


But before then, Thyri was lead away from the training grounds at swordpoint and in maddening silence. She payed attention to where they were going but she was primarily focused on stalling their journey than of their final destination. Perhaps she hoped that, by tripping or staggering or falling, she'd buy enough time to slip out of her bonds and give someone enough time to come upon them, but no such fortune shone upon her pale golden pelt.


Before long, she was nudged before the petite woman with the bulging belly and, rather than kneel, Thyri bared her teeth. "Usurper," she greeted through a hiss. "What more do you want?" she snarled defiantly, her eyes fierce and her head high. Tell me so I can laugh in your face, her expression seemed to say. And continue to fight in order to deny you it.


[WC — 431]


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#2
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Achilles led her down a careful and little-traveled back route from the training grounds, to the outer territory, and past the borders. At first, it resembled she would be led away just as her father had been. He said little, and pushed her to move as fast as possible. The Kokinos did not want to be caught. He did not care for any more of this pointless strife.


Take her to the meeting point past the borders, Mistral had told him. I don’t want her to stain my Kingdom any more than she already has.


He followed direction, but did so with a silence a wrinkling of the brow that spoke volumes beyond simple and mindless obedience. Achilles said nothing still when they arrived, at that southern place near the ocean, where winter waves crashed and drew Mistral into near-shrieks to be heard.


The axe that took the King’s hand jutted from where it was buried in the sand behind her.


“I heard you’ve been pushing around my people,” she said, the winds wild in her winter mane. Treska had been vague, but Mistral needed little more excuse than what she was given. “You’re under orders to help them, not hinder or hurt them. What is your defense?”


She minded her Queenly manners. She showed she could hold proper court given the same respect was returned to her.


Mistral knew it wouldn’t be.

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#3
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Flurries, erratic and small, sifted from the sky like abandoned urchins. They flitted downwards, spit out from a pearly sky, and fluttered around her stiffened figure as though afraid. Thyri's eyes were sharp and dangerous as she glared upon the woman who stood before her, proud and regal despite her minute size. Behind her back, sticking out from the hard sand around them, was an axe. All around them, wicked winter winds pushed marine waves against the coastline and nearly drowned out the usurper's distinctive voice.


Thyri's eyes narrowed, her lips twitching where they were curled away from her teeth. Oh, if only she could bare them further! If only she could wrap them around the bitch's little throat!


"Your people are liars!" she hissed, her eyes wild. Thyri inched forward as far as Achilles would let her and flexed her arms against the rope binding her arms. Pushing them around? Rage nearly blinded her at the accusation, her tail stiff and her hackles raised. "Anything I've done, it's been to defend my friends and family, or myself," she growled, hating how composed the petite woman was. "Your people are monsters." Thyri snapped at Mistral, her teeth clicking sharply against one another. "They've vandalized homes, they've destroyed property, they've stolen." She glowered into the usurper's eyes. "What would you have me do?"


But Thyri thought that she knew the answer before Mistral could utter the words and she set her jaw in anticipation, muscles bulging against the features of her face. She would not stand by and let her friends and family be pushed around and, in the shimmering surface of her pale jade eyes, the truth of that shone bright.


Behind Mistral, the axe stood like a silent sentinel that Thyri had long forgotten.


[WC — 305]


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#4
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The Queen’s palm and ringed finger slapped across the woman’s cheek, a fire burning in her eyes. A delightless fire, fueled by rage, by dissatisfaction, by insult.


“Who is the monster?” the narcissist shot back. “Mine, working under command and discipline, or yourself who refuses to see clearly? You threaten them, you accuse them of terrible things, and yet you never stop to consider if it’s you that’s screwed up. Your fucking father’s already ruined everything. I have to rebuild from the ashes he made! Where do you expect me to start?”


Why was it so hard for them to understand? One could not create anew without making space, without finding and gathering materials. Sure, Treska took things too far. Sure, she had her trend for unpredictability and acting on whim. Sure, Chaska should have tightened her grip on her—but did not, despite Mistral’s coaching. If anyone, Chaska was to blame.


No. No. That was wrong. If anyone was to blame, it was the King. It was the King and his stupid family, who didn’t understand processes because Silvano had taught them all wrong.


“I’d have you keep your mouth shut and listen to them,” she said. “I’d have you help. Help tear down the false kingdom your father built. Help clear the space for a new one, a better one. And if you can’t do that, you can fucking leave, or you can fucking die.”

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#5
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There was a flash and her vision failed her. She did not feel the pain right away, her mind still reeling from the blow to her face — the solid force of the woman's hand connecting with her skull; cheek; nose. Claws finding flesh, slicing through fur and skin like a knife.


The pain came after, when the shock faded and reality came into sharper clarity. There was blood in her eyes; her nose; her mouth. A tooth had bitten a chunk out of her tongue and crimson beaded out from between her lips. She snorted to clear her nostrils and sent a clot of something flying.


Then came the raw, rampant rage.


"My father..." Her voice was a rumbling growl, foam mixed with blood and bubbled gently from the corners of her mouth. She tried to look at Mistral, tried to find her in the haze of blood and tears and anger. One eye refused to open, swollen shut; inflamed. The other cast about frantically in its socket, searching. Searching. Her body trembled. Her teeth were red. She looked like a feral beast gone mad. Rabid.


But for all the madwoman she looked, Thyri's voice was dangerously calm. "You'll never amount to the greatness of my father." Thyri licked her lips. "You'll never amount to any greatness. And I will never sink to your level." She gnashed her teeth. "You're nothing but a coward."


Finally, she found Mistral's turquoise eyes and spat. "Nobody will ever bow to a coward."


OOC: D:

[WC — 255]


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#6
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Coward. Coward. Again and again she said it, the ignorant child, the vomit from the loins of frauds and fools. Beneath Mistral’s nails blood and blonde fur had been trapped, and now shook with the rage animating her fingers. How she hated the woman’s voice. Her face. Her sheer existence, always unyielding, always disrespectful. So damn disrespectful.


“Coward? Okay, okay, sure,” the Queen said, a wild look blossoming in her eyes, and a nodding of the head too many times to seem quite right. She twirled as she looked about the sand, then stormed and collected the axe. “I’m a coward. Okay. Let me show you how much of a fucking coward I am.”


She raised the axe over her shoulder and swung, smashing the flat of the blade against the woman’s ribs and throwing her into the sand. The axe reeled back. “How’s that?” she hissed in high pitches, standing over the downed Dawnbringer. “You still think I’m a coward, like, like I’m just all talk? You think I’m not better than your stupid dad? You think he’s, he’s fucking better than me?”


Achilles, not steps away, called out for her to stop. If she heard him, it was never acknowledged.

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#7
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From beneath the swelling of her eyes and the blood spilling from her face, Thyri caught the look of mania — like a frenzied beast caught in the throes of madness — that flashed in the usurper Queen's teal eyes. Despite herself, the shieldmaiden felt a chill trickle down her spine for now, more than ever, she felt confident in her assessment that the woman was truly, utterly deranged.


Mistral twirled and a gust of her scent assailed Thyri's senses. She followed the woman with unfocused vision, craning her neck as far as she could in an attempt to keep her eyes on the Mad Queen. Blood filled her nose and mouth when she bared her teeth at the sight of the axe, fresh pain blossoming from the lacerations Mistral had clawed across her face. "You've lost your mind!" she snarled. "If you kill me, you'll lose any support you've managed to find." She struggled against the rope binding her wrists behind her back, pulling and twisting and tugging while her mind raced and filled her with the realization that oh gods she was going to die here.


And then there was pain. Oh, there was pain! The air in her lungs was violently expelled and a misty cloud billowed from her mouth. She wheezed. She tried to breathe but it hurt. It hurt and she could make her lungs work and she felt as though she was suffocating in a sea of burning agony. Curled against the cold sand, Thyri gasped and coughed and groaned and heard absolutely nothing the usurper was saying. Tears pricked the corners of her eyes, a combination of the searing torment in her ribs and the aching need for air in her lungs.


OOC: *screaming*

[WC — 292]


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#8
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Mistral heard these insults, though just barely, for they were muffled in her ears by rushing blood and voices screaming for her to prove herself. The words meant nothing, but the tone made their nature obvious. How could Thyri continue with such idiocy with sand in her wounds and blood across her face?


Seizing the Dawnbringer’s chin in her claws, the Queen hissed something unintelligible, though mouthed and enunciated as if in proper form. She then struck across the cheek without minding her nails, dragging fur and flesh and blood out with it.


Thyri could not rise, but The Queen still had Much More To Say. She found the woman’s braid in the sand and grabbed it, pulling it taught and Shiloh’s daughter along with it. “If I kill you I’ll be one step closer to my vision,” she hissed, turning the axe in her hands. “If I kill you, the Court will have one less false heir to destroy it!”


The Queen raised the axe, aiming high and obvious for the Dawnbringer’s skull. In the moment it fell, her bodyguard intervened; the blade cut clean through the braid drawn taught, and Thyri was released once more to the sand.


She turned on him, screaming. “Never do that again! Never get in my way, do you fucking hear me? I'll fucking kill you too, you piece of shit Kokinos, and I can fucking kill your sister.”


Achilles reeled back, bewildered. The Queen turned on the girl in the sand, spat at her, and hurled the broken braid at her. “You get out of my kingdom and you never come back. Understand? If I ever see you again, I’ll beat your stupid head in.”


Queen Mistral shoved the axe into her bodyguard’s hands, cursed once more at him, and flicked her braid in her exit. “Achilles, we’re going. She’s learned her lesson.”

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#9
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There were words coming from the usurper's mouth but Thyri couldn't make sense of them. Was that because they made no sense or because her mind was fading? She didn't know and, in an instant, she no longer cared. A fresh explosion of pain scaled her face and made her cry out in agony and rage and fear.


Fear. There was fear. Thyri was no stranger to fear but allowing it to take over her was something that she had learned to restrain.


But there was no restraining this, not when the false Queen had her braid in her hand and was pulling her up and up and dragging her across the sand; not when, with the axe in her other hand, she raised it high and aimed for her head; not when it was brought down and down and toward her skull and Thyri's last thought was of her mother and her father and the sister she'd never had the chance to know.


This type of fear was uncontrollable and innate; a deep and tangible fear for her own life.


She expected nothingness to follow the pain but there was still pain. And sound. Screaming. Someone was screaming and there was still so much pain and Thyri realized, as Mistral turned to her again and spat in her face, that she was not dead. Something was hurled at her and she yelped in anticipation of more agony but whatever it was was soft and light. It hit her shoulder and bounced into the sand at her breast.


Thyri was only half aware that Mistral was exiling her from the Court, only half aware that the woman and her bodyguard were leaving her, only half aware that she was alone in the cold with her pain and her shame and her fear.


But she was intensely aware of one thing at least: she was alive.


OOC: "...I'll beat your stupid head in." ;___; Shiloh. Hnnnnggg okay I'ma post once more with Reblin and then archive. Thank you for the thread, my dear! <3

[WC — 320]


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#10
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He did not see everything, but what he saw was enough.


A chill lifted the hackles down his back as he watched wild-eyed Mistral – the Queen that he had given his full support and allegiance to – beat and slash the woman who, despite their differences in opinion, he still considered a friend. With his tail tucked between his legs and his voice caught in his throat, Reblin saw, for the first time, what those who defied the Queen had perhaps recognized from the beginning.


He was frozen in place when Mistral raised her axe, unable to come to his friend's aid. Had the Queen's own bodyguard not stepped in and altered the axe's course, Reblin realized with a violent lurch of his stomach, Thyri would have died.


Hardly daring to breathe, the young man stayed in the shadows long after until Mistral and Achilles had departed before staggering to Thyri's side. "Thyri! Oh gods..." He held his hands up toward her body helplessly. She groaned and looked as though she was trying to see him, but there was so much blood and her face was so swollen. Muttering to himself chaotically, his hands dancing in the air above her, Reblin finally landed on a decision and rested a tentative hand on shoulder. She flinched, but with her hands still bound behind her, was unable to do much more.


It took a bit of time for him to untie the rope around her wrists, his trembling fingers too thick to get at the knot, but he worked as carefully and quickly as he could. He was afraid. He was afraid of Mistral and what she had done. What if she changed her mind and returned to finish what she had started? But he unbound her before the Queen could return and scooped Thyri up from the frozen sand, holding her against his broad chest. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," he kept whispering to her as she whimpered and whined and wailed into his neck.


Reblin carried her, strengthened by adrenaline but still panting under her weight, the way back to the hotel and away from the blood in the sand.


OOC: fin!

[WC — 369]


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