Summary:Spring engages in single combat with the mind-controlled Roseblack.



< An Ill Wind Blows | Sol Invictus Logs | A Fiery Orchid >

Spring stands in the hall, watching as the last of the various servitors file away into their respective rooms, to begin preparing their masters for the Deliberative which will begin soon. He removes a coin from his pocket, and looks at it thoughtfully -- a relic of the First Age, on one side is imprinted the indistinct face of a king, while the other bears a snarling wolf. He shrugs, and flips the coin.

The king side falls gently and decisively into Spring's hand.

Spring glances at its face for a moment, then swallows the coin and begins walking.

Spring ::Zahara? Are you and the others prepared?::

Spring ::Please ready yourselves and prepare, at my mark, to engage Linwei. I will speak with Tepet Ejava...personally.::

zahara ::This should be interesting.::

Spring reaches the chamber of the Queen of the Blessed Isle, and knocks politely.

The chamber prepared for Ejava's use in Crystal is large and stately, as befits her stature as ruler of the second most-important nation in Creation. She has chosen to mark her door only with the image of the black rose, and that door stands closed now, before Spring.

Spring '''switch that

There is a brief pause. Then: "Hello?" says the recognizable voice from within.

Spring "Greetings, Roseblack."

Spring "I humbly crave an audience. I am Long-Awaited Spring."

There's another pause, and then after a moment she continues: "Alright. Come in."

Spring opens the door carefully and walks in, dipping his head in courtesy.

Spring "Ejava. It is good to see you again."

Ejava's office is not ostentatiously furnished, but the decor exudes confidence nonetheless: Spring recognizes the antiquity of the writing desk, the origins of the small (but, with the proper knowledge, unmistakable) trophies of major battles scattered throughout the room, the awards from the old Realm military tucked into inconspicuous corners.

The Queen stands now in front of her desk, daiklave hilt clasped in one hand even as the blade rests across the surface of her desk, green jade armor glinting in the lantern light, other hand gripping a piece of the moulding with a tightness that suggests a great effort.

Spring "How long has it been since we have had the chance to talk alone?"

"...why are you here?" she says, disposing of niceties entirely, and continuing to stare down at the desk with what Spring can see is a slightly pained expression.

Spring steps forward a few steps, glancing down at the desk. "I wanted to...well."

Spring "I would like to apologize for the way in which I treated you, when you were the General of the Army of the Sunlands."

Spring "At the time, I believed that I was right; that you needed to acknowledge your weakness."

Spring "But people change."

Spring "I suspect neither of us is entirely the same person we once were."

Spring "Do you not agree?" Spring looks up, into her face.

Ejava looks up, catching Spring's glance with her own -- slightly crazed -- eyes. "You are right," she says, pulling herself up to a full stand, but not releasing the deathgrip on the hilt of her sword. "Many things are very different from when last we spoke alone," she says. "It's hard to see the world through the same... eyes."

Spring watches her, carefully. "Some changes are for the better."

Spring "Some changes..."

Spring glances down at her hand.

Spring "Is something wrong, Ejava?"

KaralLinwei "...yes," she says. "Something is wrong."

KaralLinwei She squints, slightly.

Spring "Can I help?"

Spring takes another step.

KaralLinwei closes her eyes. "No," she says, and as if in a gust of wind, her hair blows out behind her, and Spring sees green light begin to leak out from underneath her shut eyelids. "I don't think you can."

KaralLinwei ''' TepetEjava I mean

Spring "I believe we have had disagreements of this nature before."

Spring "What is happening, Roseblack?" He speaks quietly.

KaralLinwei "The world is a lie," she says, whispering now. "The Realm, a lie. All of humanity: a lie." She opens her eyes now, and a brilliant green light blares out of them with unusual ferocity. "It just took this long for me to find out."

Spring "What is the truth?"

KaralLinwei "A field of ivy, that takes root in all that lives," she says -- and suddenly, her arm is up and her sword is swinging...

Spring takes one last step, his hand landing neatly behind her wrist, the sword screaming over his head, while his other hand hangs in the three inches air between them, snarling threads of Essence around its fingers...and he pulls.

KaralLinwei Ejava moves with an unprecedented swiftness, and Spring can see something seem to snap into place, somewhere inside her soul. Her first strike was held back, slowed by the remnants of a basic human affection -- but now the ivy moves her, and her strikes come much harder and faster.

Spring 's grip tightens on Ejava's sword arm as the first strike arrives -- then pulls away, a single tendril of ivy emerging from her pulse point and wrapping itself around Spring's wrist. He pulls on this living thread, yanking Ejava's strikes off center, wrapping it around the blade with a careful twist and flipping her a step away from him. Three drops of sap plunk against the desk.

Spring "I will stand my tree against your ivy any day, Majesty...or is it your ivy?"

Spring "Do you submit to Laerad willingly? Or do you struggle against him with all that remains to you? For if you have given in, I must fear for Creation. But I do not believe that you have given up."

Spring "You are the Blood of the Wood, the Heart of the World."

Spring "You are Exalted."

Spring "Do not let them make you into a worm."

KaralLinwei A voice like, and yet unlike, Ejava's flows out from somewhere deep inside her. "The will of the Yozis is manifest," she says. "There can be no resistance to the natural order. Ivy covers all...." She leaps up on her desk and brings her sword down in a vicious strike towards Spring's head.

Spring bows his head. A blossom grows from the palm of his left hand, and he brings it up to meet the sword...

KaralLinwei The blade swings down and cuts into Spring's palm, blood splashing out as blade cuts through skin....

Spring is still, as droplets of blood mingle with the sap, then looks up again, into Ejava's eyes.

KaralLinwei For just one brief, tiny moment... Ejava hesitates.

Spring closes his maimed hand around the blade, and brings the other hand forward, touching Ejava's heart with his open palm, then thrusting his fingertips into her chest. With his careful, sudden skill, he seeks out the corruption that has infiltrated her, and tears it out, bringing it forth into the open air.

KaralLinwei Spring draws out an infinitely beautiful flower of green Essence, three symmetrical stalks of Essence trailing off from its base, and holds it up into the air -- where it almost immediately withers and rots, dripping down over his fingers in Essence sludge and falling to the floor with a sickly '''plop*.

KaralLinwei Ejava stares at Spring with an odd, surprised look for just a second, then slumps over onto the ground, unconscious.

Spring lets out one deep sigh, then another, then leans against the desk and examines his hand with a look of irritation.

Spring ::Mark.::

< An Ill Wind Blows | Sol Invictus Logs | A Fiery Orchid >

Page last modified on May 06, 2009, at 06:49 PM