... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]

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Eloaene

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PostSubject: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:15 pm



After the Weyrs became wise to the Chorong infiltration of Igen Weyr, Axiar and most of the other Shadowless world spies began vacating the location. One by one, they would go, traveling by caravan into Igen in the East, or Telgar in the West. They gradually filtered out, leaving only a skeleton of their network behind.

Axiar's role was re-purposed at that point. He'd gone to Southern Telgar Hold and received orders for his next mission; after that, spending the next couple of sevendays preparing for his departure. From there, he was to head North, to Telgar River Hold. The Rebels were preparing for another stage in their game. And he was to play a part in it.


The caravan he traveled with conveniently hosted a group of traders intermingled with Holdless who were easy to blend in with. He'd brought a single drey-beast drawn cart with a couple of crates and a large chest. Everything was covered with a drab blanket, sheltering the contents of the cart from the elements -and making it appear less enticing to those who might consider stealing.

In truth, the chest on board his cart was not filled with personal belongings. For the rebel's purposes, it had been filled with a hoard of fake marks, forged by a skillful counterfeiter. It would take close scrutiny to recognize the difference between the counterfeit and the real. The marks were to be taken to Telgar River Hold with the holdless in order to make it appear as though the holdless were working to manipulate the economy for their benefit. It was a ploy that the rebels knew might not go very far, but it was worth the shot, spreading distrust between them, in order to scare the holdless away from the Settlement. If the Rebels could create fear within the nomadic population, they'd have a better chance of recruiting their help for their own cause. Of course, it was hard to see just how things would play out.


It had taken several days to arrive at Telgar River Hold, given that the terrain in some areas was difficult to traverse -especially with larger carts. But these were traders who were making probably their last journey of the Turn that way, hoping to get rid of an abundance of inventory they'd stockpiled after receiving recent trades from Igen Hold and elsewhere. And it was harvest time. Gathers would be in full swing. Earlier in the north than in the south. 

So it was, upon arriving, people were already highly anticipating festival events, making their way in to the Hold's walls from surrounding cotholds, even from miles and miles away. 

The streets were already lined with vendor's stalls, hung with banners and streamers of bright fall colours. Harpers played their lively music, and then around them children and adults alike would gather to hear their stories from afar. Games and competitions were about to begin, contestants lined up to test their skill in various arenas, while on other streets, street performers brought crowds just waiting to be awed.

The smells of seasonal food & the taste of famous Telgar beers, the laughter and the music,... the air was infused with a gaiety only found at Gather. Axiar however, did not come for those things. Today, he was an acting member of the Chorong Rebels.





It was just past midday when Axiar stepped into view for his act. Loose pants tucking into boots and a wrap around tunic, fitted sleeves at the wrist, were layered with a robe of translucent silver. The garment, belted at the waist with a broad sash and leather belt, had enough texture to appear to be of some design, it's sleeves hanging long and flowing like his hair. He wore a white wig in character, long and lustrous, likely taken from a runner's mane or tail, curtaining his shoulders and face. Regardless of how the hair fell into place however, the man's face was hidden by a mask, shaped into a dire expression and painted a foreboding charcoal grey. Copper eyes alone, peered through the small openings left for seeing, offering an intriguing, if not mean appearance. 

His act began with a short play -a skit set up to reenact a fight during the rebellion in Telgar's past. How appropriate then, that he himself, had played the part of the vile rebel. But after the skit, Axiar was to give a lengthier, more frightening demonstration of his own, displaying his skill.




Instruments started with music, and he started with dance. Poise and grace were his as he moved in fluid forms, body as lithe as a prowling feline. And there was an incredible masculine prowess behind coiled muscles that carried him with such power and ease -sometimes in sharp gestures, imitating strikes or stabbing motions. 

Drawing his blade from its sheath, the masked figure slowly cut the air sideways, as if testing it weight. But then, like a hungry fang that would toyed with its prey, the blade swung in the opposite direction before twirling in great flourishing display. The swordsman spun once, twice, three times or more, whirling the glaring weapon about his form in corkscrew like fashion. Leaping and lunging, stabbing and slicing through the air with deft control, he was clearly fighting; but more than that...

It was evident that he was driven by the heart. This man might have been formidable in combat, but he was no less beautiful and passionate in his art. 


Pausing in poses of angular extreme that required great strength and balance, the man with the dark mask allowed for moments of suspense and momentary applause. Shortly after, moving on to ever more impressive routines, his body twisted into another series of acrobatic spins, creating a flurry of argent lengths of fabric and intricate strikes of his blade, more applause was ushered. The man was comprised of great finesse. 

But when it seemed as though he might be drawing his demonstration to a close, he motioned for a path to form. Sidestepping from the middle of the path, onlookers made way while the Masked figure took off down the narrow street, moving his performance into view of others. He stopped to snake his arms, sweeping his torso low with a crouch in display before leaping into another spiral feat. And when he'd gone some distance, the crowd starting to wonder at his intent, the masked man stopped. And sheathing his sword, throwing the blanket off of a small cart, arms raised into the air. 

People slowly followed the performer, curious now that he'd reached the end of the line, standing in triumphant pose over the large chest. When nothing happened right away, they all looked to one another. 


Perhaps some grew more suspenseful, while others bored and began to turn and walk away; but the man's arms gradually lowered, eyes falling to the chest before him, watching it as though in great anticipation. Bending to unlatch the trunk, it was held open just long enough for him to reach his hands in and grab an arm full of counterfeit marks, which he hurled into the crowd. 

Not understanding what had happened at first, people looked startled until they realized what had been thrown toward them. But with that light of recognition, their faces grew excited; shouts and cheers began.

It was then, that the performer tipped the trunk over the edge of the cart, spilling its contents across the street. 


There were those who moved immediately to collect marks from the cobblestone; there were others who continued to stand in disbelief. But having overheard the great clatter, the Guard had joined them momentarily, meaning that the masked man would once more be on the run.

With his disguise, it would be difficult for the Guard to draw a profile of him to search for, so as long as they didn't catch him now, he'd be in the clear. So, vaulting into the air, off the cart, Axiar took off running. Long hair whipping behind him as he went, his sword was drawn preemptively, knowing that he'd likely have to face at least a couple of obstacles as he made his escape; but the chaos that ensued behind him, while people of all social ranks fell into a frenzy to gather marks, should make pursuit more difficult. 

Of course, some of the Guards nearby had hardly had a chance to notice what a calamity was about to take place before Axiar whirled by them, drawing his sword across one officer's throat. They were probably still expecting a performance... Realizing too late that their comrade was slain, the surprise was blatant upon their expressions just before the other two guards nearby charged at him.

The Masked man continued his dance, flowing seamlessly between parries and counter strikes. Rather quickly though, the tip of his blade slipped through one of the guard's defenses, perforating his sternum; and as the second guard came at him from an opposing angle, the blade was reversed in his grip, catching the second man across the belly as he whirled back around. Even as both men started to fall, he was moving away from them -running again. 

Before long, he did sheath his weapon, clasping it in his left hand, but it was too soon, to remove the mask or the wig he wore, seeing as there might be guardsmen still giving chase. He needed to wait until he'd moved into another, busier street, where he could more easily disappear after discarding them. For the time being, the dark mask and blonde hair would remain.


(sorry i didn't proofread or anything, if any of it reads funny Razz )


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:26 pm


Adjusting the ornate head band on her head to match her dark gray dress, her step father had asked her to wear a more vibrant color but she had decided that since everyone else was dressed so brightly, she'd be wearing something more somber. She didn't want to look like everyone else and she didn't care that they wanted her in red or orange. She looked good in almost any color, so it really didn't matter in the end. Twitching her freckled nose, she stared out at the traveling performances as they continued past her down the streets.

The problem with these festivities was she still had to work the shop. And by work, she meant stand there and hope someone wanted to buy a dress or have something hemmed or altered. Sighing impatiently she wondered why she had to have this particular shift. From the sounds of things outside, the street performance was amazing. And she was forgotten, once again.

Luckily for her, her step brother had no idea what fun was. He decided to come and relieve her ahead of schedule. Heck, she would thank him but she knew he was doing it just so he could brag about taking on extra chores later on. What a brown noser!

People were irritating, she thought as she made the usual lie err, half truth. "Whelp, I gotta run. Meeting some friends down the road. Be sure and tell Ma and Pa I'll be home late..." She trailed as she walked quickly out of the door in time to hear a lot of commotion coming from the direction of the performance. Well, she was definitely taking an alternate route then.

She didn't feel like running int he shoes she had to wear but she was in a bit of a hurry to find out what was going on, so she high tailed it down one of the back walkways parallel to the one the performance had been on. She was perfectly able to see the man running towards her. In fact she could have easily avoided running into him, but she thought she saw something flash from the inside of his coat. Nox pretended that she didn't see him, pretended that she saw nothing at all in fact.

When they inevitably crashed into one another, she had already devised a plan on how to hit him in just the right angle so that she could deftly take out what she had seen earlier. When her slender hand found what it had been looking for, it was quickly tucked into the pocket of the skirt of her deep gray dress.

The force of him running into her, caused her to fall down. She fell straight onto her back and groaned for a moment. That had hurt. Anything for a new treasure.  And she would likely have bruises and a sore neck when this was over.


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:49 pm

Disappearing around the next corner, he needed to get out of the sight of the Guard; just for long enough to make them guess... 

Looking behind him though, as soon as he'd rounded the bend into the next alley, he didn't notice the young woman right away, so it was to his surprise when his gaze turned ahead once more, finding himself nearly face to face with her already. She must have come running around the corner just ahead, just as he'd been headed her way. 

It would have probably meant disaster if Axiar wasn't so swift in reflexes, but that happened to be his specialty. Up close and personal was his game. Unfortunately, up close and personal with girls.. might be a totally different thing. Whatever the case, while he was trying to help manage their fall, he completely missed the fact that she swiped a prize from under the breast of his robe. 

As they went down, his arms wrapped around her small shoulders, tucking her against his chest. Though her back hit first, his momentum unstoppable, it still gave him the advantage of somewhat being able to control how they landed. So, it was all too quickly, that they barely even had time to hit the ground before he was rolling, tumbling aside and taking her with him to soften the impact. 

No sooner had they stopped, and he had loosened his hold on her -but not completely. Copper eyes from behind the mask seemed to inspect her in a brief moment to make sure she didn't seem injured, however time was of the essence and there were shouts from the Guards nearing their intersection, from the direction he'd come.

The masked figure met her eyes for a moment then, trying to gauge her reaction to what he was about to do... but again, there was too little time to deliberate. Motioning with a finger to his lips for her to remain silent, all he could do was hope that she could follow at least that one request. 

On his feet again in an instant, Axiar grabbed the girl by the wrist and hoisted her off the cobblestones as though she weighed nothing. With her in his firm grasp, he spun them into the crafter's shop standing next to them. It must have been a weaver's place, because there were long bolts of cloth hung at length, from high banisters either to dry in the sun, or perhaps simply to display their design to people passing by on the streets. The colourful swags however, offered a cocoon of cover for them to hide amoungst, since they were many, and set close together. 

With one hand cupping the young lady's mouth for silence, the other utilizing the sword scabbard -his weight behind it- to press her backward in a rush, Axiar did not stop until her back was to the far wall of the workshop. There, even from behind the mask, the corners of his eyes seemed to narrow dangerously, waiting to find out if they'd been seen yet. 

Axiar pressed his body against the girl in his grasp, keeping the girl captive, continuing to hold his hand over her mouth while the thumb of that other hand propped under the hilt of his sword, revealing an inch or two of glinting steel. If the guardsmen decided to come looking for them here, he would need his weapon... he just hoped that the girl with him wouldn't do anything rash.


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:53 am

Noxaura noted the agility of the man and tucked that away as information about him, should the guard ask for specifics later. For now, she had no intention of being caught with a masked man. Who knew what he could do to keep himself out of trouble? Men wearing masks were not trustworthy but then neither was she, most of the time. Still he was being a bit presumptuous touching her, even if he was trying to help her fall. She'd had worse, he should not have bothered.

When he motioned for her to be quiet and their eyes met, her first thought was his eyes were like a falcon's. So light, golden almost coppery. She'd never met anyone with his colored eyes before. Strange. Well that little tid bit of information should also help the Guard if they bothered to question her. They probably wouldn't.

She wasn't going to scream though. Not after she had just stolen something from this man and since when did she care what other people did with their own lives. He dressed too nicely to be Holdless, no doubt he had been part of the performance today. Still if he was going to have nice things, he wouldn't be a Holdless and that being the case, she didn't feel the need to turn him over.

Not that she had much choice as she was half dragged to the clothier's shop. She had been here before, several times, helping her Step father and his transactions with the clothier. Quality fabric was necessary to make fine clothes, after all. Once inside, it was her own common sense that kept her quiet, not his hand over her mouth. They were in such close proximity it was scandalous. The last thing she would want was someone to see her this close to a man she wasn't about to marry. Even if she was, this was still a little too scandalous for most people holders.

Not that she minded pushing the boundaries from time to time, she still didn't want to ruin her prospects. Not that there were any at the Settlement. She wondered if he had given any thought that she might actually know another way out of the store. They needn't be caught at all. She did not like feeling as if she would have to hold her breath while the guard searched the shop.


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:37 am

Waiting until the rush of Guards outside seemed to come to quiet down, their footsteps growing more distant, Axiar slowly removed his hand from the girl's mouth. He was looking at her again, judging her reactions as he took a step back then.

Speaking nothing, his demeanor changed in the instant that he hooked his thumb over the hand guard of the weapon he carried, fully sheathing it once more. He could think about escape now, instead of about the possibility of fighting. And he could remove his mask and wig at that point, but...

Well, Axiar hadn't considered having to drag someone else into this. It would be better if she did not recognize him.

The masked man spun away from her then, with cautious glances, retreating back out onto the street, though moving in a different direction from that which they'd come. As soon as he could get out of sight of the girl, he'd be able to discard the costume and blend in to the crowd. Not even she would recognize him -except maybe for falcon-like eyes.


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:32 pm

She was silent as a sleeping baby as the Guards shuffled by. Really, if you were planning on defending the innocent, you should wear quieter footwear. Anyone could hear them coming. Not that she thought this man meant to do her any harm, if he had, he could easily have used the blade at his hip. Besides if he hurt her, she could get out of some work and potentially garner some attention, at the very least from her step-sister. As she had thought before, he had no intention of harming her. He just wanted to be sure she wasn’t going to tell the Guard where he was going. As if she cared as long as he left her alone.

Which he did, as soon as the guards were out of the way.
Hmm, well now what should she do with the rest of her day? She smiled, there were plenty of people to terrorize.

Actually, she headed back in the direction she had come from before. A split second glance back at the direction the man had gone. Men in masks were intriguing. She would think about the encounter for a while. She could spin the story any way she wanted to garner attention. Or she might just keep what happened to herself. People had a nasty habit of prying into business that didn’t concern them as it was.

When she saw the crowd down by the open and now empty chest, she quickly heard about the marks being given away. Well that would certainly create a distraction. She also heard that the masked man killed a Guard. But he had no intention of killing her. It made her a little more curious but she made no comment when people continued to converse around her. Actually, she found it quite easy just to slip away from the craziness and go to one of the places she often went to alone to examine her new treasures.

Noxaura walked a good fifteen minutes out of the actual Settlement, the opposite direction the masked man had gone, where there was a tall oak tree. She took a small pouch out of a knot in the tree and sunk down to the ground where the soil was slightly damp and cool. She should have brought a wrap or coat but she had not thought about how cool the evenings had become of late.

She set the pouch in her lap and then took out her new treasure. The part which caught her eye was the metal casing of the tube but perhaps what was inside was actually more important. She twirled the tube around in her hands for a moment before opening it. Her fingers were long and delicately handled herbs and fabrics, the scroll inside the tube would be no trouble. Unlike many of the people on Pern, she had received a basic education by a Harper at Southern Telgar Hold. She could read.

And in reading she became more curious. These were orders of some kind. Mmm and there was a list below it. She read the names and smirked. Oh well he was going to be very sorry he lost this. She gently rolled the small scroll back up and placed it back in its tube. She pulled a second pouch out from…well it was hard to say where she kept it, but she pulled it out and placed the tube inside of it.

Then she emptied the contents of her other pouch and put on the ring she had stolen Turns ago. No one would remember where it came from here and her family wouldn’t dare bring it up. She might as well wear it. She loved it and always had, so now that she was free to wear it, she would. It was nice to have it on, she thought, as she continued to muse about the events of the day and how she had ended up with something more valuable than her ring. Information.

----


Nox stayed out of town for a few candlemarks and decided it probably would have been better to have brought food with her. Now she would have to go home and deal with her mother in order to get fed. That her mother even cared she was out was actually a surprise most of the time. She doubted anyone would care today since she had told her step brother not to expect her till later. Although he could easily have thrown her under the cart in order to make himself look better. At the insistent grumbling of her stomach and the fact the sun was going down rapidly, she decided she had better get going. Her one pouch was back in its knot, the other was hidden beneath her apparel.

Absently, she twirled the ring on her right ring finger. Once or twice, she thought she heard something behind her and she turned to look but she shook it off as nothing. It had been a rather strange day. No reason her walk home should be full of excitement and masked men and new treasures just because the day started off that way.


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:03 pm

After discarding his disguise, Axiar let himself become lost in the crowds, he even stopped back by the cart and overturned chest to see that all of its contents had been taken.

Walking casually amoungst the people and even amoungst the guards that happened to pass by, Axiar suspected that it would be some time before they could collect all of the counterfeit marks and discover the source of it. At least long enough to keep them distracted from other, more troublesome things the rebels had planned.

Making his way out to the edge of the settlement, the rebel finally reached under the breast of his robe to retrieve the information he'd acquired earlier that morning, figuring that soon, he might find a time to sit down and read through it. But his hand found no familiar tube filled with small scrolls. Feeling about the rest of his persona, making certain he hadn't placed it elsewhere, Axiar felt his heart sink.

The list of merchants!

His eyes wide and wondering, he searched back through the day's events, knowing that prior to the performance he'd played part in, it had been there, under his collar. Could it have fallen out somewhere? His demonstration had been vigorous and it was likely that such a thing could have occurred...


The rebel hurriedly retraced his steps through the streets, looking everywhere for the tube of scrolls; but it was nowhere to be seen. But he couldn't give up at that. He had to find it!! The Lord General of the Chorong would be awaiting that information -if he'd lost it and it fell into the wrong hands... well, Axiar hated to think what would happen. He might be spared his life considering the ploy over counterfeit marks went without flaw but...

Where else could the scroll tube have gone?

Jogging his memory again, it dawned on him that there was one other person who might know.


Axiar took off down the escape paths he'd taken earlier, finding the place where he'd run into the dark haired girl. Searching the area, again, no shiny metal objects to be found, he thought that perhaps -just perhaps- she might have taken it.

The man didn't know where to start looking for her though. She could have gone any distance from there, by now. She could be anywhere. It was not a promising thought. But... he was sure that she had not followed in his direction when he left her. So, Axiar turned, and followed another trail.


After spending all day searching the streets, he felt as though he should perhaps move on, and leave the area of the settlement.. perhaps the Hold altogether! The entire situation should have seemed more hopeless to him -but he was not that sort. His determination was quite hard to defeat.

Heading down a path that led away from the settlement then, hoping that somehow, he'd run into her again. Which he did. Only, he saw her, first. So, stepping into a crafter's workshop, the man awaited Noxaura's approach in silence, eyes fixed on her every move. If she was truly a thief, and had been able to steal from him, then he would need to keep a close eye on her, indeed.

With Nox's attention turned momentarily behind her, it was a convenience that there had been some distraction, because Axiar stepped out from hiding in that split second, appearing infront of her path. In fact, the moment she turned back around, she would have to stop dead in her tracks, or end up running into him again. And if she didn't notice him in time, he would let her -obstructing her path. And at the same time, make sure that there was no chance she could escape.






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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:25 pm

Nox had contemplated what to do with the scroll all afternoon. She almost brought it to the Guards immediately but thought better of it. The thought that she knew something they didn't was rather pleasing to her. She liked having that sort of control over her own future. What it might mean about the youth who had carried it, also weighed on her mind.

The only thing she was left with, once taking into consideration he was not a Holdless and not from the Hold, was that he must be part of the Rebels. She knew what they were and she honestly liked them little better than she liked Holdless. They killed honest people like her father. They were horrible to Holders even though the Holders only did what they should be, living their lives, tithing to their Lord Holders...etc.

Noxaura was glad the masked man was far away when she had deduced he was a rebel. She might have said something that would get her killed. She had to be smarter than that though. Even if she didn't like someone, if they had the upper hand she would have to be careful what came out of her mouth.

Distracted, though she was, the young woman was not blind. After her quick glance behind her, she saw the young man in front of her in time to stop, although she could not keep herself from gasping out loud. "Faranth, you scared me." She said as she placed her hand on her chest.

Seeing things more clearly, she had stopped just in time really, before her face was in his face. He was a little too close for comfort so she took a couple steps back. At first she didn't recognize him but her eyes met his and she knew immediately. He was much more attractive than she would have thought. Though again his eyes were rather interesting. The Rebel though, wasn't going to get anything from her. He was almost as vile as the Holdless, she would keep that in mind when dealing with him.

Letting him know she remembered him from earlier she said, "You know, you really do have a proximity problem." Noxaura, was probably just being a brat because she could be but it was kind of exhilarating teasing people, especially when you knew things about them they didn't realize you knew.


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:41 pm


He was surprised she deduced his identity so fast; something else he needed to consider about this girl. A thief, and a quick wit enough it might cause him trouble later.

Reaching his hand out, it was while she looked into his eyes that Axiar grabbed ahold of her wrist -this time more firmly than the last. Expression unchanged, it seemed as though her remarks had no effect on him.

Bringing her arm up so that their hands were between them, he spoke low. "I think you have something of mine."

At that, he started away from the street, whisking her into an alley nearby, where they were less likely to be seen.


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:56 pm

This was beyond ridiculous. He was not permitted to touch her! She railed at him inside her head. Remembering though that he had a sword earlier, she kept her thoughts to herself. Dragging her away from the road, she huffed.

"You know, there are ways to get a girl alone with you that don't involve dragging her and giving her bruises. My neck will never be the same as it is..."

She was going to pretend to misunderstand him on purpose. He might read it as her being uncooperative but she found the shiney thing and now it was hers and he wanted it. What would he do to get it? Murder her in the alleys?

"Oh but we've only just met." Deliberately playing dumb, "How could I have anything that belongs to you?" Maybe he wouldn't kill her, maybe he would torture her till she handed it over...she'd prefer death. Death was more glamorous.





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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:18 pm

Her neck might not be the same...? Well, she might not have a neck after this. Though, honestly, he wasn't looking to kill someone, so he wasn't sure just what he'd do if she decided not to hand it over. Some thoughts did come to him, though...And if he wanted to be alone with a girl, it wouldn't have been like this.

Axiar spun Noxaura around so that her back was to a wall again. At that point, he'd released her wrist, but he was in too close of proximity to make a get-away. So, unless she screamed for help, assuming someone was nearby to hear, or unless she wanted to fight him, she'd have to stay.

If this girl was as sharp as he thought she was, there was no way she didn't know just what he was talking about. Replaying things in his mind now, he figured she had likely bumped into him on purpose before. No, Axiar didn't think she was dumb. Even if he thought her actions were a little naive, he at least gave her credit for what scheming she was trying to manage. Of course... it was primarily assumptions at this point, that she was putting on an act at all.

As they faced one another, Axiar looked her in the eye again, pinning her with that cool, coppery stare. It was not with anger or hatred, accusatory or anything of the ilk. Instead, is gaze was heavy, perhaps a little admonishing, but and somehow... almost patient. After all, he made no move right away to try to search her or force her to give the item up. Perhaps this was more like caging her so that she would do the right thing on her own.


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:35 pm

The moment he let go of her wrist, she began to think maybe he was going to kill her. Like anyone would care. There was nowhere for her to go either as she was up against a wall with a man standing very close to her. She should scream to reveal him but it was kind of fun for her to pretend she had no idea what he was talking about. Although it did seem to her that he didn't believe she had nothing to do with the fact that his possession was missing.

He had no idea who he was really dealing with. She might be a young woman and a Holder but she had no intention of letting some rebel get the better of her. Her brown eyes were as curious as her tone suggested. "What is it you have lost? Maybe I can help you find whatever it is?"

Although she saw no reason why she should help a criminal. Other than the obvious, she didn't want to die. Maybe that should be enough of a reason to admit to having whatever it was. Who was to say he wouldn't kill her for having read its contents? Well for now she wasn't going to admit to diddly. If he wanted some kind of confession or honesty, he was looking at the wrong woman.



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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:55 pm

Well if things didn't turn out this way, it certainly wouldn't have become quite as interesting. Stepping all too close again, Axiar lifted his sword from his belt with his left hand, setting its pommel softly against her cheek, as if to turn her head aside. It was probably just a posturing to make her feel confused, or even a little intimidated, but there was no real violence about his manner. In fact, had that light touch to the side of her face been a hand, one could have imagined it to be... affectionate. Strange.

When he addressed her again, he spoke low, and calm, but with a firmness of control. "I have already looked everywhere else, you see. I think you know what it is..."


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:06 pm

Noxaura could see he was going to be persistent. She should be afraid, screaming her head off for a Guard but she was allowing this odd behavior. If he was going to kill her and search her, he would have done it already. Still, she didn't move, not when he unsheathed his blade and held the pommel against her cheek.

Exciting as being held against a wall against her will would be in a story, at this moment it was a little disconcerting. She was more stubborn than he knew but then she didn't know or trust him at all. He might not be a rebel but he was still a murderer. She was pretty sure he was both though.

Her jaw was set, both against the pommel at her cheek and at his insistence she knew what he had lost. "I do not." She insisted. Normally liars were easy to read but in her case, she seemed to blend truths and lies so much that she didn't really have a tell for when she lied. At least not one that anyone had pointed out or noticed yet.

Some people were easier to lie to. People who didn't know her were generally easiest. Her family just expected half of what she said to be lies, it was trying to distinguish between the truths and the lies that was the problem.

"What makes you think I'd want anything of yours?" Which really was a good question. She was well dressed. She had nice things, jewelry even. She wasn't lacking for things that a young woman might want. What motive could she have for taking something from him?


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:27 pm

Denying his accusations, at first he thought to believe her. She didn't show the normal signs of guilt that most people might; but women could be hard to read, and they could change abruptly as the weather. In that light alone then, perhaps, he did not fully trust her words.


"What makes you think I'd want anything of yours?"

For a moment, he was silent, expression still a relatively unreadable mask.Though, once he spoke up again, it was clear that he was willing to play her game -if only a little. "After letting me get this close to you -not just once, but twice- without putting up a fight, what makes you think I believe you to be the virtuous sort you claim?" And he wasn't just talking about the times he'd grabbed her by the wrist and drug her into dark hide aways -but how they were now. Something about a proximity problem, she said? But obviously close company to strange males wasn't quite offensive enough to her sensibilities for her to try and get away.

Curious, wasn't it?

Lowering the hilt of his weapon, so that he didn't obstruct her at all from meeting his gaze, orbs of copper hue reflected laughter. She'd amused him, it seemed.


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:40 pm

She smirked, there was the pot calling the kettle black. She didn't really care because well, he could do what he wanted. Nox wasn't his keeper but she didn't see any reason why he should trust her anymore than she should trust him.

Giving him what he wanted would be too easy. He might not appreciate the fact that she wanted to keep her treasure but the game was a little fun, he would have to admit that later.

"And how should I behave exactly?" Did he want her to scream for the guards? Maybe he had a death wish? She doubted that, but considering what was on the scrolls she had in her pouch, he could probably handle a few guards. Maybe she was protecting other people from being killed? Yeah... since she was so selfless and kind and honest.

"Would you have me run?" She asked, "You could outrun me." It was a simple fact. "Fight? You could easily disarm me and I have no weapon while you carry a sword." She shook her head. "And I don't see how you should be lecturing me on virtue."

She shrugged, "Seeing as you are a murderer."



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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:03 pm

His eyes smiled for a moment. None of her words made him flinch. Not even the accusation of murder.

"Well then... at least I an honest man, and do not deny my crime. Although-" Pausing in his speech, he abruptly brought the weapon back up in its reverse grip in that left palm, pressing it not quite flat on its side against her throat -meaning that the cutting edge was in a position that it could still cut her should he angle his hold just slightly more. She could probably feel it. "I don't see how any of this has to do with virtue. All I need is to have returned to me that which is mine."

Copper eyes no longer smiled, and his expression turned into a mask again, though it was no more grim than when he'd first brought her here. Perhaps though, that would only make someone even more nervous. Unable to read the emotion behind it, it would be hard to gauge what action he might take next.

Within him however, the only reason he had to bring harm to her was for the sake of eventually retrieving the scroll. In his heart, he had no desire to inflict harm on someone weaker than himself. It was cowardly -but he had a mission, and could not be deterred from it.

Still, instead of allowing the blade to draw a line into the fair skin of the girl's neck, Axiar held her there, against the wall, right hand lifting to begin searching her. He went for her blouse, first. And of course, started by patting her down; but when his hand moved from her left side to her chest, he paused, brows lifting just slightly as if intrigued by the whole situation. His eyes met hers again,.. were they taunting?


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:27 pm

"Oh I forgot, its virtuous to kill people and to hold defenseless young women at sword point." She said sarcastically, feeling the cool metal against her neck. She had been correct earlier. Her neck never would be the same again.

There he was with his proximity problem again. "Whoa. Ummm don't you think you are being a little invasive?" She had not given him permission to touch her there! Her dark eyes narrowed.

Taunting her? What an asshole! She did have a sword at her throat. What could she do to get out of this situation. Obviously, wandering hands over here, needed something else to do.

"Alright. FINE. I had your stupid vial. Who can read all those scribbles anyway? It was no good to me, so I sold it. I really wanted to keep the vial itself but I was persuaded that I didn't need it."

She paused, "The point is, I can tell you who does have it. For a price."


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:54 pm

So that was it? She wanted to fess up, finally? Only, he still didn't know how much to believe.

His hand relaxing away from her, his stance remained firm and angled with one him slightly forward so that it would be difficult for her to knee him or use her feet to kick effectively. "I see. Then you would gladly lead me to where it is you sold it, making sure to get it back for me." As for her price, he didn't see how he owed her anything. At this point, it was her, who in fact, owed him. Not to mention, she was in no position to be the one making demands.

Gauging her expression then, he stepped back from her a foot or so, lowering the blade. Sheathing it, Axiar reached down, tearing a strip of fabric from the bottom of his tunic. Creating a slip-knot of it, he reached for her wrist again, twisting it about her arm there, before slipping his own left hand through, and tightening it.

There.

Now she could lead him, and they could hold hands. And they would. Happily. And she would take him to where she sold his things. It was just in case something happened, that he left his right hand free, leaving him still able to use his weapon.

"Since you know where we're going, lead the way."



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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:43 pm

As he began tot take his weapon away she thought maybe she could escape at that moment but, his closeness hadn't changed at all. Other than his hands no longer working their way towards her breasts.

At first she had no idea what he was doing, tearing off part of his shirt. Then he tethered her to him. what was she a herdbeast? Ergh. Where was the trust?

When she raised her eyebrow, he seemed not to notice. "I'm not sure how much use I'll be in getting it back." She was going to have to think and fast. Where were they going? "Most people consider sales final..." At least most people she knew.

Now where was she going to take him. It was unseemly for him to be holding her hand in public. And it was her right hand, which had her ring on it. What if he tried to take it? She didn't like that idea one bit.

Well she could take him to the Guards or not. Would it be better just to give him his trinket? Exasperating her family would be so much more fun. "Follow me..."


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:51 pm

Having no idea what might be going through the girl's mind, he got quiet again as they walked, interlocking their fingers in a hand hold.

They'd gone a decent distance before his voice rose again, "What is your name?"

There may have many several reasons for him to ask it, one of those being cordiality, but there was no promise that that was quite on the mark. Nor should she think it was out of guilt for dragging her around like this -although this wild goose chase was all because of her thoughtless theft problem. Speaking of pointing fingers over personal faults.



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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:01 pm

It was odd. She didn't really remember ever holding anyone's hand before. Maybe her mother's when she was really small but even then it wasn't really the same. She had been left alone quite a lot as a child, so moments with her mother alone were cherished memories. She could not remember vividly having ever held hands with her. Nox, kept her thoughts to herself though. There was no reason for her to share personal feelings or thoughts with him. He was after all a murderous, rebel.

"Noxaura" She answered before she really thought to give him an alias. What would he do with her name anyway? Nothing. Or maybe she'd end up on one of those lists and who knew what that would mean. "What's yours?" She was kind of curious about him. Even if he was loathsome.

There were people who stared when they walked by. Either because they didn't recognize the young man or because they were holding hands. She couldn't be sure, but she knew what her family would say if they saw. Which was why they would be walking right by her mother and stepfather's shops.

She slowed a little in front of them, "Thats where my mother's shop is and my step-father's. They do a lot of business around here." She said wondering if he had had a chance to read the scrolls she carried.

Adding, so that he didn't think she was just taking her time, "Its just a bit farther."





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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:21 pm

Noxaura. A peculiar name. But there was a certain amount of intrigue and perhaps odd beauty in it that seemed to suit her well. Yes -the odd beauty! He didn't say so, but he was repeating the name in his head just then.

Axiar. It was the word that visited his mind next. That was his name, but he wasn't about to speak it. Not to her. Not to anyone. He was silent again then, and for much of the rest of their walk together. No matter how she wanted to taunt him or pry him to get his name, there was no secret to getting him to divulge it. So he didn't.

He didn't even give her an alias.



Sure, take him right by the parent's house; that's brilliant. He wondered silently if it was a ploy to get them to panic, seeing her with a boy they didn't know, and call the Guard out. It would be a perfect opportunity for her to do something of the sort.

He didn't care generally if people stopped to look their way. The settlement was a place visited by new faces seemingly every day; though that fact in and of itself might draw curious stares to new people, wondering just where they'd arrived from. Stories of distant places were usually more exciting than local gossip. When they'd reached her parent's shop, he seemed no more worked up about it. He was quite calm. Hey... he could act the part of boyfriend if it got him off the hook from looking too suspicious. Axiar simply smiled in the direction of their shop. It was a soft smile, but it was there.

Still, speaking nothing, he continued to let her lead the way to wherever it was they might stop...


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:55 pm



She was honest. What did it get her? Silence. Lies were better, this was proof that no good deed went unpunished. He couldn't even give her a fake name. Just nothing but cold silence. She didn't handle being ignored very well. She got enough of that from her family.

"I hope you remember what those shops look like because if I ever see you near either of them, I'll have no trouble setting the Guards on you." She promised more than threatened. She may not like her family but they were her family and she would protect them.

If he took the time to consider her, he might be glad she hadn't called the Guards on him the first time they ran into one another. She knew which direction he had headed. She could have told them. She didn't. She didn't scream or fight to get away. If he really thought about he might come to the conclusion that she wanted him to be free. She wanted him to be free so that he could catch her in her thievery.

When they reached the outskirts of the Settlement she stopped abruptly.

"I know the point of asking a masked man and quite likely a Rebel traitor to make a promise is about as rational as teaching a herdbeast to sit but I digress... I want your word, on whatever it is that you hold dear to you, that you won't hurt me no matter what I say."

And she wasn't going to reveal any more until he promised.


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PostSubject: Re: A beautiful performance [Tags: Nox! Closed for specific SL purposes]   Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:54 pm

Quite frankly, he didn't care about the promise in threat that she made; but it did irritate him that she admitted to looking down on him in such a way. It upset him. It made him mad, even. But more than that, it made him sad.

For more than one reason, he remained silent, unmoving, listening to her all the way through. When she was done speaking however, there was no verbal acknowledgement of what she'd said. His eyes however, reflected sadness; appearing as though she'd hurt him.

The thief, and lying girl, no less criminal than he, as far as he was concerned, was brazen enough to look down on him? Axiar did consider all that he'd put her through today, but much of it was due to her own misdeeds -if only she hadn't stolen from him.

The girl however, still could not admit that the whole situation was of her own provenance. And without consideration for the fact that he'd been quite patient with her, causing her no real harm, when he could have more easily stripped her corpse for his stolen scrolls, she only added insult to injury with her words by implying that he wasn't man enough to keep his word? She would make him swear on something?

Granted, their relationship was hardly built on trust up to that point, but he'd hardly done anything to make her think that he'd take her life. If he was going to, he would have. He would never have let things go this far. He'd played her game. But even so, she didn't even see him as human. Of course, she must think that if he was a rebel, he was less than human. Wouldn't that be natural? Though he would neither confirm nor deny it.


But now, Noxaura seemed to have something important to say, because she had stopped, and seemed nervous about his reply for once. And there were no vendor's stalls nearby -which meant no vendors to buy his scrolls back from. He could only guess what that meant, yet he still said nothing of it. No accusations rolled off his tongue at her, nor spiteful words.

Setting his jaw tightly for a moment though, he took that pause between them to taste the things he might say, before they were ever uttered. In that time, his eyes fell, wondering at everything. When his eyes returned to her, the sadness had not left them; and it was with a calm tone of disappointment that he spake, not fully knowing just how true his words might be, nor now deeply they might sting, "If it's your lonely life that you value so greatly, then you have my word that I will leave you to it."

But Axiar wasn't so disappointed because of her thinking of him lowly. He found himself more disappointed at the sense that she valued her life over anything else; where even he, as a member of the Chorong, realized there were some things that were simply more important than one's own life. Did she not have anything like that in her own life? Maybe that is why she'd sought attention from and became caught up with him? Or perhaps a great reason like that was why she wanted to live?

Anyway... he had only gotten the feeling from her that she was lonely.


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