Blood Rites

Terreille => Dena Nehele => Topic started by: Makoto no Ariake on Jun 18, 19, 05:54:29 AM

Title: breaking the hearts that wouldn't bend
Post by: Makoto no Ariake on Jun 18, 19, 05:54:29 AM
Makoto had prepared himself for it. Rather: he had tried to prepare himself for it. For all that he expected it there had been the smallest of hopes that it would not be. The Warlord Prince had, in fact, been calm as the small box of his things from the Conservatory were finally delivered to his prison.

He had known that what clothing he had left behind would likely be either ruined or in need of repair; that the pair of frames (the very ones that Yua had shattered the glass of) sitting on his desk would be twisted and further ruined; that whatever was left out in the room would likely need to simply be thrown out because it would be a lost cause then he would have told them to just not bother bringing anything to him.

His mood had maintained an even level of disconnected annoyance as he picked through the box. All of that fell to the wayside when his hand came into contact with a cube that was responsible for the dampness that had spread to the rest of the box. For a moment he stared at it, not sure what he was looking at before he slid a nail under a piece and peeled it back. Slowly pulling it free, the room temperature began to plummet.

Even without his jewels, without the Green of his Offering, he was still a Warlord Prince and the world bent when his mood was foul. At least something still listened to him when nothing else did. Releasing a slow breath, he stared at the blue lines, the lighter gray that flowed with it. Makoto knew exactly what this was and-

--and--

He wanted everything to burn and he could not do that. It did not matter that he could not, though that exacerbated the anger that he fell into. Any moment that the door to his room so much as moved, the doorknob turning, something was thrown at it--some unfortunate thing from the box of his trash--before he returned to his meticulous peeling of each and every piece that remained of the draftbook.

Makoto sought no meal, aggressively rebuked any attempts to intrude upon his space, and temperature within the room never grew warmer. It stayed cold, the Warlord Prince long past the point where his breath was visible in the air. He sat upon the floor instead, soggy paper was strewn everywhere as he tried to make sense of it.

Was there a point? It was all ruined. Yet they had taken everything and this ... This was the one thing he had not wanted to see lost. So many hours at his drafting table, working upon design upon design and now those hours were gone.

Seething, the Warlord Prince crumpled up the pieces close to him. Yet when he instinctively tried to call to hand fire, to see them burnt and destroyed, nothing came. His mouth opened, as if to yell, to scream, to do something, but it snapped shut with an audible clack. That would be insult to injury, given his dislike of his voice, so he started to systematically tear each and every piece into small pieces.

If Yua no Ariake and his sycophants were going to destroy his things they could at least do it right.
Title: Re: breaking the hearts that wouldn't bend
Post by: Arkadie Graveworthy on Jun 29, 19, 06:50:52 AM
Arkadie visited Makoto at least twice a week. Sometimes they talked, but usually Makoto just sat and glowered, his dark gaze boiling over with hatred. The bond between them practically rang with it, too, even as it told her his hatred's target: himself. For that reason alone, she continued to meet with him alone, with the guards stationed outside the door. He didn't really hate her, though he might tell himself that he did. It was his own weakness that he really despised. So she sat with him in silence, usually with a stack of paperwork as thick as her hand was wide, waiting for him to speak.

Today, she could sense the sturm und drang behind his door from down the hallway. That didn't stop her from rapping smartly at the door and pushing it open. The guards arrayed themselves outside Makoto's door again. They closed the door behind her.

She regarded the scene before her: Makoto and sodden gray papers. They were staining ink onto his fingers as he tore each piece of paper into strips, then into small fractions of confetti. Letters, she wondered, but he seemed far too annoyed for it to simply be a communique from Tacea. Arkadie reached out across their bond, tasting, testing. No, this went beyond annoyed. He was upset, enraged--if she'd felt Rabin this way, he would've been crying, she was sure--and if he'd been Cid, she would've let him be.

Makoto was not Cid. He was substantially more unstable than her Umbral: cut off from the life he'd known, thrust into a new one that was much less welcoming. Arkadie settled down across from Makoto, the wet gray-blue of the papers like a river between them. She ghosted a hand over the nearest sheet, and then frowned. Drafting paper?

"Good afternoon, Prince," she said. No name, though he still had the right to the Ariake title. "I..." But her voice trailed off. The words wouldn't come. "I suppose they delivered your things from the Conservatory."
Title: Re: breaking the hearts that wouldn't bend
Post by: Makoto no Ariake on Jun 29, 19, 07:27:41 AM
On two separate occasions Makoto had tried to bar Arkadie access to his suite. Tried was the operative word because it never worked. The Black Widow Queen did not even have to reach for the Night-Be-Damned Bond between them for her to eventually gain access, pulling upon a connection that made him resent himself even more.

She had done as others would say he could not. She had respected his boundaries while firmly holding her position by sitting in the doorway of his room. He had eventually snapped at her to come in because-- Well, it did not matter why he had told her to come in. Just that she had been given access.

The other time that he had tried to bar her was no so much noteworthy and far more damaging to his own self-image (not that Arkadie had done anything wrong, only that Makoto's self-hatred was that strong). Today, if he had realized she was approaching, would have marked the third occasion of trying to keep her out.

Makoto was too invested in what he was doing, not even looking up at her or acknowledging her as she entered. The disrespect wasn't intentional, the Warlord Prince hyper-focused upon his task at hand. If he destroyed it, if he ripped it all apart himself, perhaps that would ease the pain of it.

... until he saw a pale hand brush through the air over the papers that he had not yet destroyed. Her greeting was met with a snarl of breath, nothing more. The sound could have been in pain just as much as it could have been anger, the Warlord Prince turning his attention back to the destroyed designs.

It was a few minutes later, as he snatched up another piece, that brown eyes fixed upon the Black Widow Queen. "Trash," he corrected in a low, tight voice. "They delivered my trash." There were other things that were salvageable within the box that had contained his belongings, things that were most certainly not trash. All he cared about was the drafting paper he was further destroying.

Nothing else mattered.
Title: Re: breaking the hearts that wouldn't bend
Post by: Arkadie Graveworthy on Jul 05, 19, 04:09:33 AM
Without his Craft, Makoto's voice was soft and pretty, almost gentle. A tenor, not a baritone, and a higher one at that, his Tacean accent twisting the words in delicate hesitations and graceful waves. It was the sort of voice that would have, in another man, left Arkadie sighing and imagining what it would be like to be in his bed. With him? She didn't have to wonder. She'd seen his fantasies of her, and she would not submit to that with him. Still... if he weren't a monster...

Arkadie blinked, slowly, at the Warlord Prince across from her as he snapped and snarled. Cat-like, she tucked her knuckles beneath her chin and watched him methodically shred the remainders of the sketchbook. He had expected this, she thought, tasting the currents of the air; he had expected this and yet he was still torn apart within himself at the reality of his loss. The drawings on the drafting paper had meant something to him. By that token, they meant something to her: they'd been something pure inside the black and twisted garden that Yuina no Ariake had grown.

She picked up a sheet of the damp paper and spread it across the hardwood floor, smoothing out the surface of it, and with a snap of Blood Opal Craft she dried the sheet. If she held it up to the light, she could see the pattern there. No graceful arabesque curves, no enzo circles. The hand that drew the building on the architectural draft had been confident, certain, in a way that she did not see reflected in the male before her.

"Healer Moon does like to tear things apart when they displease him," she said, not thinking of the drowned and shredded sketchbook before her but of a different encounter in the bedroom that now was empty, her First Escort gone away. Though... this seemed much more deserved than what Arkadie had been subjected to at Yua--Aleksander--Lyoshka's hands. She set the sheet she'd been examining down, returning to her feline contemplation of the Warlord Prince in front of her. "Makoto. How are you feeling?"
Title: Re: breaking the hearts that wouldn't bend
Post by: Makoto no Ariake on Jul 09, 19, 12:27:28 AM
Dark eyes focused sharply upon the Black Widow Queen as she picked up a sheet of paper. Makoto did not snarl again, as much as he wanted to--what point was there when it drew no reaction, when it did nothing but show that she had little fear of him--and watched her instead.

"Healer Moon is not--" started Makoto before his jaw snapped shut. He had meant to say that Healer Moon was not a male but he was not stupid. Makoto knew what the name meant and what it meant for the Ariake. "He did it. He shed the Ariake name by being adopted by one of those backwater Hanwa." Perhaps Arkadie had more influence upon him than he realized because he subconsciously curbed his insults. It was only a little bit better than calling them something far worse.

Makoto found that the mere idea that Yua had freed himself, had ensured the Ariake would no longer have a say in his life, only made him angrier. The temperature in the room plummeted again, his mood turning far more sour. Was he jealous? Envious? The Warlord Prince could not pinpoint any particular feeling other than anger.

With a sneer upon his face, doubting very seriously that she even understood what she was looking at as she set the loose sheet down, he snapped forward to snatch it back. "Why do you bother to ask what you already know?" The sneer was still in place as he started to tear apart the sheet he had taken back. Makoto almost stopped himself from destroying it, recognizing that it held one of the designs that he had been most proud of.

It had been something he had created upon arrival to Dena Nehele. A place that he someday hoped to build that would be far removed from anyone or anything that he did not want to be around.

He started tearing it apart again, the action almost frantic. "The sooner it is destroyed," said Makoto, "the better it will be." The sooner he could no longer be bothered by its destruction.
Title: Re: breaking the hearts that wouldn't bend
Post by: Arkadie Graveworthy on Jul 12, 19, 11:47:34 AM
"Those backwater Hanwa treat him better than the Ariake ever did," said Arkadie. She spoke without heat, knowing as she did what he wanted to say, what he would have said if she'd been someone else. Perhaps the elder Healer Moon would have been treated to his full invective: Hanwa sluts, or something along those lines. Her talks with Makoto were reducing her admiration for the formerly-cloistered island Territory. If they could breed such twisted flowers as this one, then their garden was more like Dena Nehele than she'd wanted it to be. Surely there would be somewhere in the Realm that wasn't broken beyond recognition?

The temperature dropped low. Careful, she warned herself, careful now. He's angry. Even a Warlord Prince without Craft would be dangerous if he made it to the killing edge. Arkadie's venom was not fatal in a small enough dose, and it would knock him out quite handily, but she didn't want to hurt her patient. All the warnings in the world didn't stop her from lunging across the room to catch his hands in both of hers as he shredded the beautiful sketch she'd just been looking at. The dark ink of the waterlogged sketch-pages would, no doubt, soak into her pale skirts as she knelt upon them, but it seemed a small price to pay.

Her grip on both his hands was tight, but not bruising, and dry where his hands were damp with the water that came from the other pages. She held him still and tight, green eyes meeting his brown. "I ask because I'm not sure you know," she said. "Why are you angry about the sketchbook, Makoto? Why did the news that Healer Moon's adoption is completed upset you so?"
Title: Re: breaking the hearts that wouldn't bend
Post by: Makoto no Ariake on Jul 13, 19, 02:37:34 AM
Did she even fear him? Makoto wondered this as the Black Widow Queen lunged forward and caught his hands in hers. It was strange that a woman's hands could possibly be larger than his. Where his were wider, the width of the palm greater, hers had long, nimble fingers. The kind, he imagined, were good for working with the spidersilk her and her ilk were known for weaving.

The Warlord Prince stared at her, not quite seeing her. No, what he saw was someone who had dared to stop him, to not let him do what he wished to accomplish. As the temperature in the room lowered, Makoto tilted his head and regarded the Black Widow Queen. Would she be able to use her fang upon him before he snapped her neck? Was her venom even poisonous? He did not know but at that moment the possibility of her death and what it would mean to him seemed to appease some part of his fury.

He blinked as the moment passed, her words heard distantly over the roar in his ears. His lips moved but no sound came in response, just a growl. It took another beat, a breath slowly pulled in, before he finally managed to speak past his desire to destroy that which was in front of him.

Whether it was the Queen or his designs, Makoto was no longer sure.

"Do I strike you as unintelligent, Lady?" It was a rhetorical question even as it seemed to completely ignore what was asked of him. "I know well what I am and what fate my actions would bring me to if I were found out." Actions he would own, regardless, because to admit how much his mother had control over him would be to admit that he had none at all in the end. Now, he thought, he had even less but he had no one to blame but himself.

The depths of his self-loathing and more were impressive even if he did not understand fully why he did so much.

"I carried them out because they were the only path I saw that was viable." And here he got back to her question, here he was going to give her the answer. "The only one that would ensure I could have more than a semblance of control and freedom." The temperature in the room had finally leveled out despite the visible puff of air as they breathed out in the cold. "The sketchbook is similar. It is mine. It was untouched. It could not be taken from me." It was, whether he realized it or not, the only thing he had the control of that he desperately sought.

"... and yet," he said with a sneer, "it was because of my hubris. So, my Queen," the claim was meant as a barb and nothing so sweet, "release my hands so that I might see it destroyed. The sooner," he repeated, "the better." If there was more to his anger, to the pain he wanted to ignore, he was not acknowledging it.
Title: Re: breaking the hearts that wouldn't bend
Post by: Arkadie Graveworthy on Jul 14, 19, 05:03:01 AM
Makoto kept trying to dodge around the subject: do I strike you as unintelligent? Arkadie had never considered the Warlord Prince before her to be an idiot. He'd accepted her punishment, her every command, with ill grace but nevertheless with grace; she didn't imagine that he was not resigned to the Price she'd meted out. Lying to himself was not, as they said, his metiƩr. Makoto was not unintelligent, but he was... dense. Despite the depth of his own emotions, he'd never been given leave to feel them, and that left him without the language he needed to speak through the problems he faced. No language, no context, and no support beyond Arkadie herself. That was a deadly combination, if allowed to flourish, but who else would agree to rehabilitate a rapist? If he were anyone else, if she hadn't been forced to bond him with her blood, she wouldn't have done it either... but he was hers. He represented a part of herself that she wanted--no, that she needed--to understand.

He didn't struggle against her restraining hands, and he hadn't yet tried to break her neck or gauge out her throat with his teeth. Arkadie decided to count this as a victory. She released her grip upon him, sitting back on her heels. Her posture kept her between him and his sketchbook. "Never," she said, steady and self-contained, "refer to me as your Queen in that tone of voice again."

She held out a hand, palm-up. Not a formal demand for escort, but a demand for his company nonetheless. Let Cid and Gwen, Liana and Rabin, yell at her for taking a dangerous Warlord Prince out of the room modified to contain him; this conversation would come easier if they were out of his Territory and into her own. "Come walk with me," she said, "and when we return, you may do whatever you want with the remains of your sketches."
Title: Re: breaking the hearts that wouldn't bend
Post by: Makoto no Ariake on Jul 15, 19, 05:18:15 AM
There was no immediate response, not even as his hands were released and she told him to never call her again as he had. (Oh, she had said in that tone of voice, but this was the part of Makoto that was petty and spiteful. He would use it, at some later point, as another barb.)

So he watched her instead as she imperiously offered her hand to him. Makoto might have even continued to watch her, to not say anything and challenge the entire scenario unfolding before him, but her words--

"Do you live to incite your court?" he said incredulously. The look on her face said that it was not a topic the Black Widow Queen would be speaking of with him. Not that he particularly wanted to as it were but there was a part of him that did not understand her. Did not understand any part of this and did not know why she did as she did. It angered not only those bonded to her--himself included--but other members of her Court as well.

The ridiculousness of the situation alone was enough to catch his anger and reduce it to a simmer once more.

"... would you leave me be as well?" asked Makoto, eyeing her hand. "Until it is time for another 'therapy session'." Regardless of the answer, he rose to his feet. The Warlord Prince did not immediately take her hand but instead flicked his eyes to a mirror to fix his attire and sweep his hair back over a shoulder so that everything looked to be back in place. It did not matter what his mood was, how he felt, because no one was allowed to see him at anything but his best.

There was was a stiffness to his shoulders still as he did finally take her hand. The way that he looked to the remains of his sketchbook briefly and then to her spoke a great deal but he was, for the time being, willing to follow her so long as she held to her bargain. (There was a part of him, so used to his mother, that he almost expected this to not end as promised. Arkadie was a Queen and while she was decidedly different than any other he had known, his past experiences dictating she acted in a manner that benefited her best.)
Title: Re: breaking the hearts that wouldn't bend
Post by: Arkadie Graveworthy on Nov 02, 19, 07:48:00 PM
Once he'd taken an Escort's posture, Arkadie opened the door with a wave of her hand and a flick of Summer Sky Craft. "Prince Ariake and I are going for a walk," she said to the nearest guard as she swept past. She ignored the protests of the quartet of males, her steps quick and clicking as she passed one unpleasant door after another, as they descended the stairs and broke into the late summer heat of Silca.

Her gardens were beautiful to no one but herself, and that was as it should be. This was her domain, not created to impress or astonish. Here, she was a Graveworthy, and that alone. She could not turn off her Queen Caste any more than she could abandon the Black Widow, but here, her Caste was not a burden. Her senses sang with life, with the rabbits and voles that crept from sheltering-bush to sheltering-bush. Here, she felt at peace.

She set a slow pace, strolling as if he were any other Escort. "I am what I am, Prince," she said, shifting her hold on him until her arm was tucked through his. "I am a Graveworthy Queen. I protect those who stand behind me, and I destroy those who oppose me. Rather like a Warlord Prince, I suppose." She stopped at a wild bramble-rose. "You and Seiha are rather a large departure from the choices I would prefer to be making."

Everything would be so much easier if she'd just executed them. It was within her rights. And yet... "We were bonded before I forced it. There's something in you that mirrors something in me; that's what the Bond is. Like calls to like. I want to know what it is that calls us together. Surely you want to know what that thing is, too."
Title: Re: breaking the hearts that wouldn't bend
Post by: Makoto no Ariake on Nov 04, 19, 10:57:28 PM
If there was something to admire, it was in the way that Arkadie Graveworthy commanded her Court. He did not see second glances and wary looks when she appeared or when she was obeyed. They simply did, trusting in the Queen they had come to serve. It was so strange to Makoto, more foreign than the land of Dena Nehele himself.

Once within the garden, the guards just out of sight, the Warlord Prince relaxed inch by inch. This was not the carefully cultivated, well-manicured things that he was used to--even the one at the Territory Court of Dena Nehele was still heavily maintained--but something that had been returned to the wild. It was, Makoto noted, not unlike the Queen he found himself escorting.

And he was an excellent escort, though he still followed in the traditional Tacean fashion than that of the territory he was within. Makoto was not sure if he clung to it because it was a comfort that gave him footing or if he did it out of pettiness fueled by ...

What?

Makoto sneered at her words but said nothing in response. Graveworthy Queen still meant Barbarian Queen, though he had come to learn it meant that more than another Queen of Dena Nehele.

"In that way," said Makoto, voice quiet, "I suppose it is the same." That Arkadie Graveworthy was a departure from the choices he would make. Except his choices had gotten him here, led to the ability to make them be taken away, and left him feeling as if death would have been preferred on the best of days.

Makoto gaped inelegantly, caught by both her words and the way she had so easily looped her arm through his. "That isn't--" he started and then stopped himself. That isn't true, Makoto wanted to snarl. Even as he thought it out, he knew it to not be so. The bond was the same, regardless of be it of Heart or Blood but when it was both ...

So he watched Arkadie, carefully considering his words before he offered the truest words he had spoken in a long time. "Pretty words, Lady, but even still ..." Makoto turned his gaze away from her, not wanting to meet it a moment. Staring her down never lead to him winning and only left him feeling out of his depth. "I do not know what I want."

Admitting that he wanted to know, that part of him was curious, would just give her more power over him. It would be another tool against him and the Queen had so many already. It made it easier to simply say he did not know and because of that, there would be no real answer.