At the Edge of the World

  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    "I'm laughing because it's funny watching a Witcher fuss over a human." Anfrih reached for the herbs when he set them down, picking a few leaves from the ones she needed before placing them in her mouth to chew. She grabbed a one rag on the table and took a deep breath before lifting her shirt enough to see the wound, wincing as she quickly pressed the rag over it, glancing up at Egon. "Ok.. Maybe I shouldn't be laughing. But you've probably lived a hundred lifetimes by now, and you'll live a hundred more after I die. One human dying is nothing to someone like you." She pointed out, nodding a little when he offered to stitch her up. She knew she could do it herself, but by the way her hands were shaking she figured it'd be better to let him do it.

    "Alright, just let me know when you want-" she was cut off when he suddenly pressed a piece of his shirt to her cheek to stop the bleeding there, wincing a bit in surprise and from the sting. "Now you'll definitely make me give you all of my coin, I ruined your shirt." She teased lightly, leaning back in her chair slightly as she looked at him, and then the needle in his hands. "Whenever you're ready.."
    "Your father allowed a woman into the Royal Guard, but barely acknowledges you as his child because your a woman?" Geralt asked as he looked over at her, surprised to hear that her friend was her guard and not her maid. "Bastard." He mumbled as he turned back to look out over the garden and out to the see, breathing in the fresh air. He was used to traveling through swamps and other foul places, it was nice to be able to see something beautiful for once.

    "I don't think you're pathetic." He said almost immediately as she spoke, glancing down at her. "You're strong. Your father is the pathetic one." He said simply before moving to take a seat on one of the benches with a tired sigh. He knew they'd have to be getting back to the castle soon, so he could return her to her family and so he could find Egon, but he wanted to give her some more time to enjoy the world before she got locked back up again.
    January 20th, 2020 at 12:20am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    Egon tensed his jaw when she mentioned a dying human was nothing to him. That was true, but her death would be a different story. He pulled his hand away from her face and laid the ripped fabric of his shirt on the table. "You would've only owed me coin if I had saved your from getting stabbed." He teased her back before he readied the needle and held her still with his free hand. "Ready?" He let his eyes flicker up to hers before he glanced back down. He could feel her tensing up underneath his hand, but it wouldn't get better until it was over.

    He pushed the needle through her skin, over and over, going as quickly as he thought was safe too. Her hand was clenching his shoulder so tightly he thought her nails might scratch his skin underneath. He watched as the stitches began to come along, tightening the wound back together. "Almost done." He grumbled, poking the needle through her skin, watching as blood trickled down her skin. He grabbed his shirt once more to wipe away the bleeding before he finished the stitches and tied the thread off. "There, good as new. Can't even tell you where ever stabbed!" He joked, trying to get her to laugh.

    The witcher was still cursing himself in his head. If he had only kept up with her without getting distracted, this wouldn't have happened. "You're pretty tough, for a girl, you know." He chuckled, sitting back in his seat.
    "I'm not strong." Verris laughed, walking over to sit down next to the witcher. "But..." The princess began to remember the thought she had earlier, about asking Anfrih to teach her to fight. "I know my father just wanted an heir, to be able to succeed him on the throne. He doesn't want me here. What if... if I learned to carry a sword?" She paused for a minute, almost terrified that she had actually asked the question. Verris instantly feared rejection. "Would you ever let me go with you?"

    The princess just wanted so badly to escape her father, she didn't care to leave her life behind, abandon the crown, have nothing. Letting it all go would give her the chance to build her own life. But she couldn't just leave on her own. The only way her family would ever let go was with the witcher and only because of how much her mother believed in the Law of Surprise. A frown was already slipping onto her face because she was sure that she knew the answer. It had been clear from the moment she laid eyes on Geralt that he didn't really want anything to do with her.

    @ katahdin
    January 20th, 2020 at 03:35am
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih rolled her eyes as he said that she only would have owed him money if he'd saved her from getting injured, about to say something about how he should have kept up with her and stopped the man himself, but she saw something in his eyes that made her stop before the words left her mouth. She gave a brief nod as he shifted closer so that he could stitch up her wound, one of her hands braced against his arm, while the other held onto the table in front of her. She let out a little whimper when he first broke the skin, closing her eyes tightly as she tensed instinctively, although she was trying very hard to relax and make it easier for him.

    "Mhmm.." It took her a minute after he gave the word that he was finished for her to loosen her grip on him and open her eyes, taking the chewed up herbs from her mouth and pressing them against the wound before sitting forward so she could begin bandaging it up. She looked over at him a faint smile at his teasing, rolling her eyes when he said that she was tough for a girl, assuming it was just another joke to get her to laugh.

    "I'm sure that Egon the Witcher wouldn't have even noticed a wound like this if he'd been the one to get stabbed. It would have been like a bee sting to him." She teased as she finished taking the last few pieces of the armor off of her legs before standing with a little groan and shuffling over to a water jug in the corner, grabbing a cloth to begin cleaning the blood and sweat off of her skin. She went to clean her cheek as well but kept wincing as she touched the tender wound, giving up after a few moments with a frustrated huff before setting the cloth down and shuffling over to open up one of the windows to let some fresh air in.

    "Thank you.. For helping." She murmured softly as she turned around, leaning against the wall for support, still a bit wobbly on her feet.
    Geralt let out a sigh as he heard her question, looking out over the sea. "Verris.. Even if you could wield a sword, you're safer here, in the city, whether you like it or not. I face death every day, and you've seen how people react when a Witcher shows up." He looked over at her, studying her face. "You'd come to hate traveling with me, and would wish to be back here." He looked away again, staring out at the ocean for a while longer before standing with a sigh.

    "Come on, it's getting late. I should return you to the palace before your parents send the guards after us." He said, holding his hand out to help her up.
    January 20th, 2020 at 03:57am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    "Can I ask you a question?" Egon followed her every step, watching how she tensed at every painful movement. "Why do you stay here if this is how you are treated? Just to take care of a princess?" Egon crossed his arms over his chest, not necessarily meaning she should travel with him, but he could just tell by looking at her, she could achieve so much more. "Don't you want to see the world? Get rich? Anything else besides let scummy shitheads put their hands on you in the streets?"

    He didn't know if he would be overstepping a boundary or not, after all, he didn't really know Anfrih. He had only seen one side of her, he didn't know how close she could possibly be to a princess or anything else that could have put her where she is right now. It was just his anger getting the better of him again, it was too loud for him to ignore. "I suppose the good outweighs the bad and I just stumbled in on a shitty day?" He hoped that was the case, it wouldn't be hard for him to believe. Witchers usually show up on a shitty day.
    She couldn't help but try to argue, at least just a little bit. "But what's my life going to be, Geralt? Stuck in a castle until I die? Kept a secret for how long? Forever? I don't want that. Imagine being stuck in a house for your whole life, sixteen years, Geralt." The princess was pleading now, but she was afraid he was going to stand firm. She took his hand and rose up off of the bench, but didn't start walking with him. Verris held his hand tightly in hers, "Will you please come back?"

    For a second she thought he might've looked a bit shocked, even if for only a second. "It will give me something to look forward too. Please, even if it's just to tell me some of your stories, or just to walk me through these gardens again." The princess had never begged for anything in her life, but she supposed there was a first time for everything.

    @ katahdin
    January 20th, 2020 at 04:13am
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih watched him as he moved over to her, grabbing the wet cloth from the table before taking his hand so that she could wipe the blood from his fingers. "I don't have anywhere else to go. And the princess is my friend, and I'm her only friend. Her father, the king.. He's not kind to her, and I can't just leave her." She sighed, looking up at him. She gave a little nod when he asked if he'd come on a bad day, offering him a faint smile as she released his hand once it was clean. "Every day is a shit day in Redania.. Today was just one of the worse ones."

    Pushing away from the wall she had to grab onto his arm to steady herself, smiling up at him briefly before releasing his arm to move past him toward the little pantry where she kept her food. "I don't really have much here I can offer you.. But you can help yourself to whatever I have." She offered, pulling a few small rolls from the pantry, holding them out to him. "I ought to change out of these bloody clothes anyway. Then I could show you around the city, and try to help you find your friend?" She was in no condition to be wandering around the city with him, but she didn't want to just send him off without any help.
    Geralt was shocked when she held onto his hand and begged him to return, staring down at her as he tried to figure out what to possibly say in response. He barely knew where his travels would take him day to day, and his profession put him at risk of death constantly, it made it impossible to be able to promise something like that, that he'd return to her.

    He squeezed her hand with a little sigh, giving a little nod. "I cannot promise that I'll return, but if I don't get killed by a monster or an angry mob, I'll try to return to Redania. Is that fair?" He asked, knowing it wouldn't be satisfying to her, but it was the best answer that he could give. Tugging on her hand he began to lead her back toward the castle, deciding to use streets that would avoid the crowded market, so that they didn't run into any angry crowds.
    January 20th, 2020 at 04:55am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    "No." Egon shook his head, relaxing a bit more in the chair before he would have to get up. "You're in no condition to do anything, let alone be running me all over the kingdom. I'll be able to manage on my own." He didn't mean to sound rude, but he was stern in his answer. If the guard was so concerned with having to take care of a princess, she didn't need to worsen her wound by not letting it rest. He did, however, accept the rolls she pulled from her pantry, wrapping them up in a napkin he found lying on her dining table before stowing them away in the satchel he carried around on waist.

    "One day, you're going to have to live your life for yourself, though." Egon rose to his feet, dusting off his hands. He knew it was probably time for him to leave, he had definitely overstayed his welcome. "I hope to see you again one day, Anfrih. Perhaps if I'm ever near Redania again, I'll stop to see if you're still here, if that wouldn't bother you?" He looked up at the maiden, taking one last good look at her, his gaze lingering on her eyes for a bit longer than he intended to.
    Verris just frowned and let her gaze shift back to her feet as she began to follow him back towards the castle. She held no hope he would return, the answer he gave her sounded like he didn't hold much weight to it, so why should she? The only reassurance she had received was the squeeze to her hand and that had disappeared as quickly as it had come. There walk back to the castle seemed much shorter than their walk away from it. Before the princess knew it, they were back at the castle gates. She faltered before passing through, watching the witcher take a few steps without realizing she wasn't following anymore.

    "Here, witcher." She tossed a black coin purse at him, not giving him an opportunity to reject it. Her mother had given her the coin on the way out of the castle in case she had seen something she wanted. She had intentionally forgotten about it, having already made her mind up long before that it would go to Geralt. There was enough coin there to buy two horses and then some ale, hopefully, it would help him for a while. "Think of it as payment for saving my mother, or just as a gift for coming to see me. I don't care either way." She walked past him but couldn't help but look up at him as she did. Verris wanted nothing more than to go with him, but she had already tried her best to convince him, there was nothing else she could do. She walked through the entrance to the castle grounds, believing she would never see him again.

    @ katahdin
    January 20th, 2020 at 06:18am
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    -Two Years Later-

    After two years of monster hunting and facing death more times than he would have liked, Geralt was headed back to Redania to see Verris. He'd ended up having to tell Egon why they'd gone in the first place, and for the past two years he'd been harassing him on and off to go back, to keep his promise to the princess. So, after the pair killed a particularly nasty werewolf in a village not far from the city, Geralt had announced that he'd be going back to see Verris, and was about to take off when Egon said he wanted to tag along, the young Witcher sounding a bit too eager for his liking.

    "What could you possibly want to do in the city?" He asked, knowing that he hadn't received a warm welcome the last time they were there, and may or may not have been part of a murder. "There are plenty of brothels outside of the city you can visit, if that's what you're interested in." They'd made enough coin from the past couple monsters they'd killed to give them each a decent amount, plus the coin Verris had given Geralt had helped them both out considerably over the past few years in emergencies. As they neared the city's gates he slowed down Roach a bit before dismounting completely, leading his trusted companion by the reigns into the city.
    "Again." Anfrih ordered, watching Verris do one of the many drills she'd come up with to help her practice her swordsmanship. After she had returned to the castle to attend to the princess she'd told her all about meeting Geralt of Rivia, and how the Law of Surprise had dictated that she belonged to him, even if he refused to acknowledge it. The princess had also insisted on learning to wield a sword, and after some convincing her father finally agreed, and nearly every day since Anfrih and Verris had spent most of their day in the courtyard practicing. The first few months had been spent just getting Verris in the physical shape required of wielding a sword, and after that she'd spent a lot of time with a wooden practice sword, but by now Anfrih had decided she was ready to use a real one, even if it was on the dull side.

    "You keep leaving an opening for your attacker, here." Anfrih pointed out as she picked up a wooden practice sword of, waiting until Verris ran the drill again before meeting her blade, the princess's parry not effective enough to stop her tutor from thrusting the tip of the wooden blade into the princess's stomach, not hard enough to bruise, but hard enough that she'd remember not to leave the opening again.
    January 20th, 2020 at 05:00pm
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    "I'm not looking for a whore's bed to warm," Egon grunted as he pulled on the reins of his own horse, slowing to an easy gallop once the soldiers standing near the gate came into view. "I met someone last time we were here... she's actually the princess's personal protector." Egon didn't like the idea of returning to the city, knowing full well they weren't welcomed, but he wanted to see Anfrih again. Hopefully, this time no one would be murdered or stabbed, but with a witcher around, he wasn't too hopeful. Dismounting from his smoky gray horse, Egon followed Geralt's lead, guiding his horse behind him.

    The pair were pretty silent as they made their way through the streets of Redania that led them to the castle overlooking the whole kingdom. Egon thought about their first time being here, how the moment they stepped through the gates, Geralt had disappeared into thin air like a ghost. He couldn't help but scoff as he thought about it, now knowing he was disappearing to see a princess. It sounded like something out of a romance novel.

    It was obvious to Egon by the time they arrived at the castle gates that their presence was already known. A line of soldiers was waiting to meet them, hesitant on opening the gates, but they did anyway. "Witchers." The apparent sergeant of the group spat out a greeting but motioned for the pair to follow him. The king had already been notified and not wanting to speak to Geralt again at that moment, had instructed he be led straight the princess.
    It had been two years since the witcher had left Redania, and it had been immediately from that day forward that Verris had begged Anfrih to teach her to swordfight. Every day the princess woke up she, wondered why she was still so hardened on learning to carry a sword when part of her had lost hope that Geralt would ever return. If he did, would it even make a difference? Breathing heavily and with a few beads of sweat dripping down her face, she tightened her hand on the hilt of her sword. Again. The princess wasted no time in dancing with her best friend, listening to the clashing of the steel against wood, the way the scraping of the swords made her ears feel like they were bleeding.

    Verris didn't care, she was just over the moon with excitement at actually holding a real sword, no matter how dull it may be.

    Shooting her hand to her stomach, to rub the spot where Anfrih had jabbed her, she exclaimed still with a smile on her face, "I'll learn." It wasn't going over her head just how serious this could be. She knew she was in no real danger in the courtyard of the castle, sparring with her friend, but she knew if she ever did get the chance to travel with Geralt... Real danger lurked there and she had to be prepared. "Again?" She asked Anfrih, her feet already finding their way to the stance Anfrih had taught her. The pair readied and began to clash swords again, spinning around each other and circling the statue of a deceased king that decorated the garden.

    Her father refused to let her practice on the actual training grounds. She still was held prisoner in her own home, so no one was allowed to see her, not even dressed in the leather armor Anfrih had gifted her. Who would guess she was a princess when she was dressed in attire such as that? Her father had hopes that if she did learn to carry herself, perhaps that would persuade Geralt to take her off of his hands. That was the only reason Anfrih had been granted permission to train her.

    @ katahdin
    January 20th, 2020 at 06:36pm
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    "Not a whore's bed, but a warrior's then." Geralt tease with a smirk. He recalled Verris mentioning her personal guard being a woman, but he thought it odd that while Geralt had been busy dealing with the royal family, Egon had been talking to the princess's guard. It had to be one hell of a coincidence. He remained silent as they walked through the streets of Redania, no one outright cursing them, although once they arrived at the castle's gates the guard's less than friendly greeting proved that Witchers still were not welcome. Once inside the gates he tied Roach up to one of the stable posts, giving the horse a pat on the neck before glaring at the nearest guard, a warning to not harm his companion, before following the sergeant through the courtyard and passageways of the castle before arriving at the garden.

    When he didn't immediately see Verris sitting on a bench somewhere reading a book, like he expected, he grew worried that this was part of an elaborate trap. And although the sound of clashing swords caused him to move his hand to his own, he relaxed when he spotted the two girls on the other side of the garden training, instantly recognizing Verris, and assuming that the girl she was fighting with was the guard that both Egon and the princess had talked so highly of.

    "I see why you wanted to come back." Geralt murmured to his friend as he leaned against one of the stone pillars at the entrance to the garden, watching both of the girls fight. Verris was certainly doing well, and could likely hold her own if needed, but it was clear as day that Anfrih was the master, and that at times she was purposefully letting Verris get away with mistakes.
    Anfrih chuckled as Verris promised that she would learn one day, tucking a stray piece of hair that had fallen out of her braid during their sparring behind her ear. "There's more than one way to learn that lesson. And getting stabbed is definitely the hard way." She stated, taking a few steps back from the girl, giving a simple nod of her head in confirmation to doing the exercise again as she adjusted the simple leather surcoat she'd put on over her leather armor, letting Verris make the first move. She easily dodged the swing before her blade connected with the princess's, their training like a dance as they made their way around the garden.

    At some point Anfrih stopped going through her usual parries and thrusts that she used in this exercise, wanting to see how Verris would react to unpredictable attacks. She'd always told Verris exactly what she was going to do in their lessons, and now she wanted to see if the princess could keep up, could react when necessary. She swung her wooden sword harder and faster, moving quickly to close the space between them, putting pressure on the princess to move or block or call for them to stop. Despite always telling Verris not to get distracted when fighting with someone, Anfrih spotted a flash of silver hair out of the corner of her eye, and when the pair spun she spotted the Witcher standing at the entrance to the garden watching them, her eyes going wide. She quickly knocked the sword from Verris's hands, knowing she'd have to apologize for the bruises that would certainly form on her fingers, before gesturing toward the Witcher that was clearly waiting for her. "I think we'll call it a day, your highness." She panted, offering her friend a small smile before heading toward the back of the garden where she'd left her things, wanting to give the princess and her Witcher some privacy.
    January 20th, 2020 at 08:02pm
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    When Egon stopped in his tracks to the left of Geralt, he had to take a moment to realize the girl Anfrih was training with was the princess. He watched as they fought, and even though he counted each of the princess's mistakes, he was still impressed. He watched as Anfrih knocked the sword from the young girls hand, and from across the yard, he could hear the conversation between the two. The darker haired Witcher let his eyes glance to Geralt, only responding to him with a slight huff. He wasn't going to delve into any talk about the guard, slightly embarrassed he had let his eagerness to see her again show. Instead, he poked fun at his friend as he walked passed him, "Keep your eyes to yourself, Geralt."

    He headed towards the statue, glancing down at the princess as she picked up her sword. "Watch your feet, you should know every step you're going to take before you take it." Egon didn't stop though, he left the princess with that little tip before continuing on further into the garden. It had been two years since he had seen Anfrih, but she looked like she hadn't aged a day. By the strands that had fallen from her braids, her hair looked a bit longer but regardless she was the same. He, on the other hand, looked a bit more rough around the edges.

    "Now we're training the princess?" He asked as he walked up behind her. She was rifling through her things, tending to their swords, almost as if she hadn't expected him to want to see her. Egon walked around the beauty before taking a seat on a bench that was guarded on both sides by overgrown rose bushes. "Tell me your are not filling that girl's head with false hopes?" It was clear to him why they were doing what they were doing and he knew his friend would never hunt with a princess.
    "Anfrih!" Verris was quick to shout when the sword left her hand, flying a few feet before hitting the stone ground they practiced on. "What are-" The princess had been completely oblivious to the new sets of eyes watching them, until she noticed how Anfrih's stance has changed. Anfrih's eyes flickered over her shoulder for a moment before she motioned to ending their session. Suddenly, the princess was filled with anxiety watching her friend walk away into the garden.

    Verris bent down to pick up her sword, her hands shaking in fear. A little voice in her head told her it had to be Geralt, the Witcher had to be standing at the gate. Why else would Anfrih just dismiss her and walk away with that look in her eye? If that was the case, why did she feel so terrified? She was nervous to be caught with a sword in her hand by him, especially after the answer he left her with two years ago.

    "Watch your feet..." Verris was quick to grab the sword and jump back to her feet, startled by the voice she didn't recognize. He hadn't even given her a chance to see his face, already he had his back to her, the stranger following after Anfrih. She swallowed, before ignoring the pair and turning around to see Geralt with his arms crossed tightly over his chest.

    He didn't look exactly ecstatic to be here, nonetheless, he was met with a warmer welcome from the princess than the first time they met. Joy overfilled her, pushing out all seeds of anxiety and fear. The sword dropped from her hand again and she took off towards him at almost a run. "You kept your promise!" The princess didn't stop running until the garden was behind her and Geralt was only a step ahead.

    @ katahdin
    January 20th, 2020 at 08:43pm
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih jumped a little in surprise when she suddenly heard Egon's voice behind her, nicking her finger on one of the blades she was putting away, causing her to pull her hand back with a little his as she checked to make sure it wasn't too bad. Looking over at the Witcher as he moved to take a seat at the bench she offer him a little smile. "Seems whenever you're around I get injured." She pointed out teasingly. A little cut it the finger was nothing compared to the wound she'd received last time, and she didn't blame him for either injury at all.

    She shrugged when he asked about he training the princess. "She insisted on it, and her father didn't seem to mind too much.." she went back to putting her things away, making sure eventing would be ready for their next training session tomorrow morning. "I'm not filling her head with anything. She asked me to train her, so I am. It's better she learn how to handle herself anyway, in case her father throws her out one day. At least then she'll be able to protect herself." Anfrih sighed as she finished packing everything up, turning to look at him. She didn't want to admit to herself how often she'd thought about the dark haired Witcher in the past two years, and training Verris had been a welcome distraction. He looked like he'd been through a lot, and as much as she wanted to ask about his new scars she refrained. The cut on her cheek had scarred over, although compared to some of his scars hers was barely noticeable.

    "If anything, you and your friend showing up are giving her more hope than I ever could." She pointed out, moving to take a seat on the bench next to him.
    Geralt rolled his eyes at his friend's remark, watching as he quickly followed after the princess's trainer as she disappeared toward the back of the garden, a light chuckle escaping him. He'd certainly tease the younger Witcher later for his infatuation with the princess's guard, although on some level he felt bad for the man. Caring for someone like that when you were a Witcher never ended well. He turned his attention to Verris as she spotted him, chuckling as she dropped her sword and rushed over to him, pushing himself off of the wall and taking a step forward to meet her, offering her a little smile.

    "Princess." He greeted, fishing through his pocket to pull out a few small items, holding out his hand toward her. Once she held out her hand he dropped his gift into her palm, crossing his arms over his chest once more. "Dragon's teeth, and a few scales. Figured you'd want something from the outside world." He explained, shifting a bit awkwardly on his feet. He didn't really know why he'd held onto them for so long, especially considering he could have sold the teeth and scales for a decent amount of coin. But when he'd taken them he knew she would have liked them, and so he'd carried them with him ever since, just in case he saw her again.
    January 20th, 2020 at 09:13pm
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    "I'm sure if she got thrown out on her arse one day, she'd have you there over her shoulder." He thought about their conversation from last time when he had asked her if she ever thought about leaving the kingdom. Maybe that would be the only thing to get her to leave behind the guard. He looked over at the girl, feeling a strange wave of comfort fall over as she sat down on the bench to his side. "And I guess that you can blame entirely on me. I've been pestering Geralt to return for quite some time now, to hold good on his promise."

    A small smirk played on the corners of his mouth, knowing full well he didn't care if Geralt kept a word to anyone. He wanted to return himself, to see Anfrih, to make sure she was still okay. It made his stomach flip thinking about how a vendor so easily attacked her. Except for himself, a complete stranger, she had no one there to help her. It plagued him at night to wonder if someone had gotten the best of her. Maybe there was a little something else too... But Egon was having enough trouble still trying to find out why he felt protective of her in any capacity. "What would you do if Geralt decided to take her right now?" He couldn't help beg the question, would Anfrih try to tag along also? Or would she feel that it was finally her own time to forge her own path and leave Redania alone?

    It was an easy question to ask as it seemed completely impossible at the moment.
    Verris looked at the teeth and scales in absolute confusion at first, until she realized they had to be real. The scales shimmered like a orange-hot fire, a shade similar to Geralt's eyes. She clasped her gloved fist around the little trinkets, before tucking them away in a pocket at her waist. "So dragons are real then, huh, and you killed one? Are they as large as they're portrayed in stories?" She gently grabbed Geralt at the elbow, guiding him to follow her away from the center of the courtyard.

    The princess felt like she had grown a considerable amount in the time Geralt was absent. For starters, she had celebrated her eighteenth birthday with Anfrih only two months ago and had grown a considerable bit taller, standing now at 5'3, still rather short, but four inches taller than he would've remembered. Other than, emotionally she had gotten over a lot of things. She came to terms with how her father felt about her, not caring, either way, to have the throne or not, and other than learning how to fight- both by fist and sword- she had learned to ride horses. Not to mention, she definitely was not as timid or quiet as the last time Geralt met her, she didn't seem as sad either.

    Verris knew somehow that whether Geralt decided to take her or not, she would be out of the castle soon. She was hoping by her own terms, however.

    "This is weird to say, but I've oddly missed you." Verris continued walking them through the garden, getting further from the castle and from his friend. She had only thought about him every day since he had left, unable to stop him from crossing her mind usually first thing in the morning, of every morning.

    @ katahdin
    January 20th, 2020 at 11:03pm
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih leaned back against the bench with a content little sigh as she sat, her hands resting in her lap as her eyes closed and her head tilted back, enjoying the early afternoon sun shining on her face. She felt happy, truly happy to be sitting there with him at her side, and it scared her. He'd be gone by sundown, there was no point in her thinking otherwise, or getting excited that he was here, and that he'd come straight to see her. She opened one of her eyes to look over at him with a little smirk when he said he'd been bother Geralt about returning, rolling her eyes before closing them again. "Why so invested in whether or not Geralt takes Verris? And if you are so invested, why are you spending time with me, when you could be with them to help convince Geralt to take her." Anfrih teased, knocking her knee against his with a little laugh. As much as she tried not to think about it, it made her heart flutter knowing that he probably came back only to see her, but then again, if he'd wanted to see her why hasn't he come back sooner, and without Geralt?

    Anfrih hummed in thought at his question, shifting to get more comfortable on the bench while she mulled over her answer. It wasn't a serious question, as it would never happen, so she decided on not bothering with a serious answer. "Hmm.. Perhaps I'll quit being a guard, and marry a baker or a little farm boy, and raise a dozen children or so. Or maybe I'll travel around for a while, and when I run out of coin I'll settle down and work at the nearest brothel. After all, that's what every girl my age wants, right?" She teased, struggling to hold back her smile at the absurdity of her answer.

    "What would you do, if Geralt took her?" She asked softly after a few moments, opening her eyes to look at him, pale blue-grey eyes taking in every little detail of his face.
    "Depends on the dragon." Geralt said simply with a little smirk, glad that she seemed to like her present. It wasn't much, but he supposed gold and jewels didn't mean much when you were a princess. He allowed her to take his arm and lead her away from the center of the garden, relaxed knowing that there were no guards around that could possibly attack him. Besides, Egon was here too, and he'd like to think that if he were in trouble, Egon would stop flirting long enough to help him out.

    Geralt looked down at the princess for a moment while they walked, taking in her change in appearance. She'd changed quite a bit in the last two years, both physically and emotionally, it seemed. She carried herself differently, like she wasn't afraid or sad anymore, which he was glad to see. He his gaze lingered a bit on how well she filled out her leather armor, knowing that she hadn't possessed those curves the last time he was here, but he quickly averted his gaze. She was a princess, not a commoner or a whore who he could have in his bed that night.

    He hummed in response when she said she'd missed him, not terribly surprised by the confession, given her reaction to seeing him again. He couldn't say the same, but he had thought about her occasionally during his travels, and he supposed that could be considered a form of missing her, but he wasn't about to share that with her. "I see you've been busy training with your guard. She seems tough. I can understand why Egon was so eager to come back to see her."
    January 20th, 2020 at 11:50pm
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    dezz (100)

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    Egon raised a brow, his stern gaze steady on his boots. "What would I do?" He flicked his eyes over to meet hers. "Serious answer- I'd go on my way." He crossed his arms over his shoulder and leaned back, feeling the heat from the sun on his face. "If Geralt decided to take her now, it would only be for one reason. And it wouldn't be for her sword fighting." He closed his eyes for a moment, to block out the bright sun that was burning his eyes.

    He didn't mean to be so distasteful, but he couldn't see any other reason Geralt would take the girl. Actually because of destiny? He would sooner laugh in it's face. He didn't see the hypocrisy in his statement, because if Anfrih had asked to leave with him last time, when they spoke about her ever leaving, he might've taken her. Geralt would've been fine on his own, he always had been. So had Egon.

    He opened his eyes again and looked over at Anfrih, hoping he hadn't crossed a line. He wasn't sure of how protective of the princess she was.
    Verris' brow furrowed a bit at the mention of his friend. They had been dressed similarly, had he been a Witcher too? She couldn't help feel a bit of jealousy from Geralt's words. "She is very tough." Verris spoke, letting Geralt's arm go, only to place her hands in front of her. The sun was at it's highest point in the sky, beating down over the garden. It was a nice warmth, better than the freezing winter they had just had.

    "So you killed a dragon?" Verris smiled, turning her head to look at Geralt as they walked. "What else have you done?" Geralt looked exactly the same, he hadn't seemed to age a moment. Even his facial hair was at the same stubbly length. She was excited to hear about his stories, likening to imagine what hers might be like once she escaped.

    @ katahdin
    January 21st, 2020 at 12:45am
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    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih tensed as he spoke so crudely about the princess, opening her eyes to glare at him. "She's a child, Egon. She may be of age, but she doesn't know anything about the world, or the horrible people in it." She turned away from him angrily before standing to move over to her bag, furious with him for saying something like that, although she turned back to look at him before she could get even a few steps away. "Serious answer- I'd go with her, because even though your friend can protect her from dragons and werewolves and all sorts of monsters, he can't protect her from himself." She turned away from him again to grab her things, lifting the bag over her shoulder with a huff before heading toward the little storage room where she'd been allowed to keep their training equipment.

    She didn't know why she was so worked up over his comment about Geralt and Verris. Sure, she knew that he was likely right, that Geralt would only take her to keep his bed warm, not because she'd learned how to fight. Maybe it upset her because she worried that that's all Egon thought of her whenever he asked her if she'd leave Redania, if he was really just asking her to warm his bed, and he was only complimenting her on how tough she was to butter her up. She felt like a fool as she tossed the bag into the equipment room before locking it up, knowing she'd be upset with herself in the morning for making such a mess.
    "Seems like it. She's skilled with a blade, you're lucky she's your teacher." Geralt said, glancing down at her. "I know I wouldn't want to cross swords with her." He offered her a little smile, hoping to let her know he meant it. Looking ahead once more he was glad that it was a nice day, finding it relaxing to be walking around in such nice weather, especially after however many months of hard work and conditions.

    "Egon helped. But yes, I killed a dragon." He confirmed as they walked, thinking back on all of the monsters he'd hunted over the last two years. "Hm. Hunted a werewolf or two, cured a striga, got rocks thrown at me more times than I'd like to admit." He recounted, glancing down at her. "What about you? You've obviously been training."
    January 21st, 2020 at 01:08am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    Egon had expected more like a punch to the shoulder or just a few choice words if he had upset her, but watching her get up in a whirlwind and storm off ... That surprised him. He rocketed to his feet quickly after shaking off the surprise. Following her to the storage room, he thought about what he might say to cool her off. He stood behind her, his arms at his sides. "Anfrih." His voice was rough and low. He tensed his jaw, not sure of what else to say, apologizing didn't feel right to him. Why apologize for the truth.

    "I shouldn't have said that. How am I supposed to know what Geralt would do? I should've keep quiet. Can I join you on your way home?"

    He didn't mean to upset her and he truly didnt want their visit to end so soon. "Or we could go get a drink? My treat." She had loved teasing him about coin last time, she knew how stingy Witcher's were, heard the tales of how they'd rob a village blind to rid them of a monster. None of it was necessarily true, except the part about being stingy. He was very stingy with his coin. "I came all the way back here to see you, let's not end it like this."
    Verris nodded, placing her hands behind her back, "I've been doing very few things." She wondered if it would be a smart idea to tell Geralt she planned on leaving the kingdom, more than likely on her own. She wasn't sure yet if Anfrih would be sweet on the idea. She looked over her shoulder across the gardens to see if she could spot her friend, but the guard and Geralt's friend had vanished.

    Suddenly, she thought about what might happen if Geralt returned after she had vanished. Her father would no doubt order soldiers to attack him, the way he spoke about the Witcher sometimes promised her that... "But soon, I plan on leaving." She spoke it like it was something simple, easy, a little footnote to not give much attention. She wasn't sure if it would be a shock to him or not.

    @ katahdin
    January 21st, 2020 at 01:30am
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih kept her back to him even after she'd finished locking the door to the equipment room, staring at her hand on the door handle, wishing he'd just go away. It didn't help that her knees went weak when he said her name like that, that his next words were probably the closest thing to an apology the Witcher had ever given. Closing her eyes she took a breath to help calm down. She knew she had no reason to be upset with him for speaking the truth, and it was she who owed him an apology for getting upset over nothing, especially when the reason she was upset was because she'd hurt her own feelings. But just as she was about to apologize to him he spoke again, his words causing hers to die in her throat. I came all the way back here to see you. If her heart wasn't about to beat out of her chest, it certainly was now. Maybe she hadn't been imagining the way he'd look at her sometimes, wasn't imagining that there was something connecting them.

    After what felt like an eternity, but was only a few moments, she slowly turned around to face him, her arms tucked behind her back as she leaned back against the door, looking up at him. After a few minutes of studying his face a slow smile formed on her lips, kicking the toe of his boot lightly with her own. "Are you saying you missed me, Witcher?" She asked teasingly, although her voice was soft, and it was a serious question.
    Geralt stopped in his tracks when she spoke about leaving, staring at her as she continued to walk ahead of him. "Verris." he said, voice low and rough as he waited for her to stop and face him. She knew nothing about the world outside of this castle, and while training with a sword might help her a little, it wouldn't save her in the end.

    "What do you mean, you're planning on leaving?" He asked, taking a step toward her. He hoped that maybe he was mistaken, maybe she meant that her father was sending her somewhere else, or she and her mother were going to travel to stay with some distant relative. Anything other than her meaning that she planned to run away, go somewhere where she wouldn't be safe, where he wouldn't be able to protect her.
    January 21st, 2020 at 01:56am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    Egon's heart had been beating in his throat, worry filled him that she would turn around and scream at him. He had really put his foot in his mouth, he deserved it if she told him to kick rocks. Her hand lingered on the door handle for what felt like minutes, before she turned around and had appeared to calm down. The Witcher let out a quiet sigh of relief, slouching his shoulders when she came over and kicked his boot.

    "Perhaps, a little." He gave her a short smile, refusing to give her any more than that. His eyes ran down her curves as she moved back to lean against the door, before they worked back up to meet her pale eyes. "I will watch my tongue more closely." He chuckled, but meaning it completely. He didn't like how it felt to upset her, to think he was about to get told to get lost.

    He moved closer to Anfrih, resting his hand against the door, right above her shoulder. Realizing he had yet to compliment her swordsmanship, he looked up into her eyes with a smirk, "You looked pretty impressive out there with that sword. You seem to be a great teacher."
    "I'm going to try to convince Anfrih to leave Redania with me." Verris turned around to look up at him, seeing his eyes were glowing more intensely. She ripped her gloves off and twisted them in her hands. "I want my own life, Geralt. Surely my life isn't mean to be wasted hiding inside of a castle? I want..."

    She turned away from him, looking out at the sky, knowing this was already a mistake. "I want to be able to make my own decisions. I can't have a life here under my father." Verris wanted to leave with him, travel the world and see what life had to offer her, but that wouldn't happen. So instead, she wanted to go out and build her own life, escape her prison.

    @ katahdin
    January 21st, 2020 at 02:08am
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    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih returned his smile as he promised to watch his tongue in the future, her smile only brightening as he admitted to having missed her a little. She also noticed the way his eyes raked over her body, and despite her best efforts she couldn't hide the faint blush that heated up her cheeks when his gaze finally met hers again. "Surely a Witcher wouldn't travel all the way to the other side of the continent to see someone just because he missed them a little." She teased, biting her lip as she watched him step closer, until there was only a foot or so of space between them, the dark haired man blocking her in on one side with his arm. Her training told her to panic, to look for openings to escape, to fight him off, but she remained calm, despite her heart beating a mile a minute in her chest, although that wasn't because she was afraid of him. She knew he'd never hurt her, at least not intentionally. She had no reason to fear him.

    Biting her lip as he smirked and complimented her swordsmanship she smiled, giving a humble little shrug as she broke his gaze to let her eyes take in the rest of him, reaching out to adjust a bit of his armor that had gone askew, although once it was fixed she let her hand linger on his chest for a moment or two. "I'm sure you're much better with a sword than I am. I bet you could teach me all sorts of things." She murmured as she finally let her hand drop back down to her side, her eyes meeting his again.
    Geralt let out a frustrated sigh as she began to speak about her plans, shaking his head as he ran a hand through his hair. She had no idea what she would be asking of her friend. What she would be getting them both into. Sure, Anfrih was good with a sword, but she couldn't protect Verris from everything by herself, and two women traveling alone together would draw all sorts of attention.

    "Verris," He started, stepping toward her. "The world is not what you think it to be. It will devour you and your friend in a heartbeat. I understand that you hate it here, but you're safe. You'll never be safe outside of these walls, not truly. And your friend can't protect you both by herself. Asking her to go with you will get you both killed."
    January 21st, 2020 at 02:38am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    He just gave a little nod as an answer. He hadn't traveled the continent just to return to Redania, but the moment they had were close, he had started reminding Geralt about his promise to the princess. So, no, a Witcher wouldn't travel all the way to the other side of the continent for anything other than pay, but he kept his mouth shut.

    Egon shivered at her touch, all she had done was straighten his chest plate, but it didn't take much. It had been a very long time since a woman had caught his eye. He thought about how annoyed she would have been, had she stormed off somewhere without accepting his apology. Egon could find anyone, it wouldn't have been hard to track her down and he would have.

    "Maybe one day I can teach you a few tricks." That was another thing he didn't expect to happen. The only reason he was outstanding with sword, or even just his fists, was due to his Witcher training. All the trials they had to complete, all the shit they had to endure. In a fight, Egon could usually sense his opponents next move, that's what made them such masterful fighters. He took a step closer, really pinning Anfrih into place. There was perhaps only enough space to slide a paper between the two.
    Verris was sick of having no support from anyone, "Then let it devour me!" She turned to look at Geralt. "It's better than this life!" She pointed to the castle, anger burning in her face. "I know that might sound crazy to you, considering the only thing that wakes you up in the morning is a jingling coin purse." She dropped her hand back down to her side, clenching it into a fist.

    "I'm told every move I can make, where I can and can't go, I..." She tensed her jaw, "I can't even meet a boy without my father intervening." A lot had happened over the last two years. "I'm not wanted here Geralt, so I want to leave and I will."

    The princess was trembling from anger, spinning back around on her boot to continue walking away from the Witcher. Years had passed and all she had cared about was seeing him again. He finally shows up and only reminds her of how disappointing men can be. "If all you're going to do is try to berate me about it then just leave."

    @ katahdin
    January 21st, 2020 at 03:07pm