At the Edge of the World

  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    All Anfrih could do was nod when he offered to teach her one day, gazing up at him. Another faint blush heated up her cheeks when she noticed him shiver as she adjusted his armor. She'd never been with a man before, always too busy with her training or looking after the princess, and all the men in Redania were pigs. But Egon didn't seem like a pig, at least not to her.

    She looked up at him as he closed the space between them, straighten up a bit until she really was pressed back against the door. She could feel his breath, see every little detail of his handsome face. Reaching up she gently traced her fingers along a scar on his jaw, feeling the bit of stubble under her fingers, and noticing how warm his skin was. "Egon.." she began, but lost her voice when her eyes met his once more, the intensity of his gaze making her forget what she was going to say.
    Geralt frowned as the princess began to yell at him, clenching his fists at his side. She wasn't getting it. She was an ignorant child, spoiled by the comfortable life she'd been living here. Sure, it wasn't perfect. No one's life was perfect. But she didn't realize how truly lucky she had it, and it was foolish of her to be willing to throw it away so quickly. He took a few steps after he to follow, before stopping when she told him that he could leave.

    "You'll come to regret your decision, Verris. You will die if you leave this place. I only hope for your sake it's a quick and painless death." He said simply before turning to go find Egon so they could get the hell out of here.
    January 21st, 2020 at 03:31pm
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    Egon leaned his face even closer to the guard, his eyes perfectly set on her lips, watching as they moved to say his name. He almost thought he was about to kiss her and felt some weird fluttering in his stomach, but it was all gone in an instant when he heard Geralt's low growl of a voice yelling his name. For a moment he faltered, ignoring his friend's voice. He let his gaze wander up to Anfrih's stormy pale-blue eyes and he stayed there for a few moments, his shoulders already beginning to slouch. Who knew how long it would be until they met again, if ever?

    Egon stepped away from Anfrih quickly, dropping his arm to his side and letting out a loud, frustrated sigh. Dropping his shoulders, he turned in the direction Geralt's voice had come from. That had been a rather quick visit. Glaring in the direction his friend walked, he balled his hands up into fists, wondering for a moment if he should tell Geralt to just leave without him.

    The white-haired witcher stomped towards him, a look in his eye saying that it was time to go. Egon turned back towards Anfrih and gave her a slight wave, "Sorry, maybe I'll see you again one day." If it hadn't been for the promise of payment for a kikimora queen's death to the east, Egon might've told Geralt to go ahead without him. Unfortunately, the witcher was low of funds at the moment and couldn't turn down a payday like that. "Goodbye, Anfrih." He turned to begin walking towards Geralt, meeting him closer towards the gate of the courtyard.
    Verris had stopped in her place at the mention of her death and felt her heart run cold. She looked down at her feet and just shook her head, he doesn't get it... Verris would rather die trying to find something better than the life she lived here. She wanted to be surrounded by people who loved her, not a father who saw her as a threat, a mother who turned a blind eye and two brothers who pretended she didn't exist. She had a kingdom at her feet filled with poorly treated subjects and she couldn't do a thing about it, none of them even knew her name. The best memories she had of her life had been the past two, learning to swordfight and ride horses with her best friend.

    She wanted more than what she had here.

    Verris wandered in the garden for a bit longer, hours passed and all she did was sit on a bench, staring at the rows of neatly kept flowers. It wasn't until she knew Geralt had to be long gone before she stood up and turned to head back inside. The sun was lowering behind the horizon now, beginning to turn the sky a shade of orange and pink. She began undoing her armor, pulling it from over her head before she entered the castle, stepping into a parlor off from the ballroom. Surprisingly, her father waited for her there with a strange woman to his left.

    "That Witcher still hasn't decided to take you with him, I see?" Her father shook his head and looked over at Tissaia and gave her a nod. The red-headed woman looked Verris from head to toe, hesitating for a moment before saying something about five hundred crowns. Her father just nodded again and turned to leave from the room.

    "Come now, child. You won't be needing anything where we're going." The redheaded woman turned to exit the parlor, not giving Verris a chance to argue or ask any question. When she hesitated, beginning to refuse to leave, the soldiers standing in each corner of the room began to walk towards her, their hands already beginning to draw their swords. The princess gasped, completely in shock that this was the severity of the situation. Her father had just sold her to someone? Her stomach began to tie up in knots and she felt like she might get sick from the anxiety at any moment, but she raised her hands slightly in the air to the soldiers before beginning to follow the strange woman.

    @ katahdin
    January 21st, 2020 at 04:22pm
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih straightened slightly as he leaned closer, her eyes beginning to close as her hands moved to gently rest against his shoulders. He was going to kiss her, she could see it, feel it as she leaned in, although the moment was shattered when she felt him tense and heard Geralt's voice calling his name. She opened her eyes to look up at him pleadingly, silently begging him to do the impossible; to stay, to ignore the white haired Witcher, to close the last bit is space between them and just kiss her already. "Please, Egon.." was all she could whisper, her fingers moving up to caress his cheeks, gently brushing against his skin as her stormy eyes gazed up at him sadly.

    She dropped her hands to her side as he pulled away, looking away from him as Geralt appeared and told him it was time to leave. She gave a slight nod of her head as he said goodbye before turning and hurrying away from the garden to go get changed, needing to do something to distract herself. She knew he wouldn't come back to see her, at least not just because he wanted to. Everyone knew Witchers didn't have emotions, so she knew that he didn't have whatever it was that twisted in her gut and made her heart ache over him leaving, that he didn't share her feelings for him.

    After hours of busying herself in the library she went to find Verris, although she was stopped by a pair of guards, and had to watch from a distance as the king sold his daughter to a witch.

    "No! Verris!" She cried, pushing her way past the guards to get to her friend, to stop this from happening, but the guards quickly grabbed her and dragged her back. She was brought to the dungeons on the King's orders, the guards beating her senseless before leaving her there for who knows how long. For all she knew it had been an eternity that she'd laid on the stone floor in agonizing pain, Verris getting further away from Redania with every moment. The time in the cell gave her a chance to form a plan to find her, and when she was finally released from her cell a month or two after Verris had been taken she gathered her things, 'borrowed' a horse and set off to find her friend, or the Witcher who could track her down.
    Geralt stomped through the garden, calling out to Egon as he made his way toward the courtyard, pausing at the exit to wait for his companion. He couldn't help but roll his eyes as he watched the young Witcher pull away from the guard and wish her well, waiting until Egon was a few steps behind him before heading out into the courtyard. Once he untied Roach from the stable post he wasted no time in mounting the chestnut stallion, looking over at Egon as he did the same.

    "Don't look so pissed. I'll pay for your whore tonight, as a consolation." Geralt grumbled as they began to leave the city, riding off toward the village where the kikimore queen was.

    ---

    The next few months were largely the same: killing monsters, getting paid, wasting the money on ale or whores, and repeating the process over and over. However, his thoughts kept returning to Verris and her idiotic plan, and he found himself worrying about her safety, and wondering if he'd made the wrong choice in not taking her with him. At least if he'd taken her with him, he would have known exactly what sort of danger she was in at any given time. But now, he had no idea where she was or what she might be facing, and it troubled him more than he'd like to admit. It didn't help that Egon seemed pissed with him as well, the young Witcher bringing up the Princess nearly every day. He knew he was just bitter about having to leave that guard behind before he'd gotten into her bed, but he would have thought that he'd have forgotten her by now, especially given the number of brothels the two of them had visited in the last few weeks.
    January 21st, 2020 at 07:34pm
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    Egon had left Geralt alone only a handful of times during the next few coming months. They would always meet back together sooner or later when jobs were harder to come by, finding it easier to share the coin rather than compete for it. Though every night he spent with Geralt only reminded him of their business back up to the north. So it was no wonder why he would constantly remind Geralt of the princess. Especially when he found out what the princess had told his friend.

    The pair sat in a tavern, getting themselves out of the battering rain that fell outside. They were posted up in Cridam, a village in Eastern Lyria, the bar they sat in was dull and musty, and fortunately for the two witchers, pretty barren of people. Egon looked out the open window to their side watching as the rain crashed down and lightning struck the ground. "You've been doing a pretty good job of avoiding destiny, so far, Geralt, but don't you worry about-" He was interrupted when the doors to the tavern blew open and for a second, he was concerned it was danger. He shut his mouth and quickly straightened up, looking towards the door, but to his surprise, it had just been the storm. "Weak doors." He grunted, relaxing back in his seat as he crossed his arms. "What was I saying?"

    He looked back to Geralt, his friend was hiding under the hood of his cloak, probably paying him no mind. He looked deep in thought, or at the beginning of a drunken haze, one of the two. "Don't you at least want to know if she's alive or dead?" The howling wind broke through the door once more and Egon, aggravated now, turned around on the bench and hollered, "shut that fuckin' door!" Only this time, it hadn't been the wind that had blown it open. A woman stood in the doorframe, in Redania armor, her braided hair wet and falling around her face. His breath caught in his throat when he caught her scent. He rose to his feet slowly, wondering if it could truly be...

    "Anfrih? You've left Redania...?" As much as he wanted this to be a happy reunion, he knew Anfrih would have never left the kingdom unless... Egon looked over his shoulder at Geralt, fearing the worst.
    Crazily enough, Verris wasn't far from the kingdom of Redania. Off to the east sat the Isle of Thanedd, one of its three parts being Aretuza, an academy for training young females in magic. Upon arrival, Verris had been confused, terrified, wondering what she had done to end up in this place... Everyone she had spoken to had told her that the mages of Aretuza found specially gifted young girls to come train at the academy, but in her case, she had been sold here. Nonetheless, she was treated just like the rest of them, even though she had never exuded magic from her fingertips in her life.

    The first few months were rough to say the least. The princess spent her time crying alone in a bedroom that resembled more of a prison cell, being berated in front of her class when she couldn't perform the simplest of magical tasks and wondering if there was any hope at all that Anfrih, or even Geralt would come and find her. It was this exact anger and sadness that had awoken something deep within the young girl and before she knew it, was slowly catching up to the rest of her peers.

    Tissaia had been the most shocked, having already made the decision that Verris would be transformed into one of the many eels that powered the academy. With her newfound power, however, Tissaia was now not so sure. More weeks passed and Verris's abilities only grew stronger, ultimately leading her to pass one of the harder trials girls of the academy faced: catching lightning in a bottle.

    @ katahdin
    January 21st, 2020 at 07:58pm
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih had ridden from village to village, asking if anyone had seen the pair of Witchers recently. Most ignored her, but in the few villages where they had helped the townspeople the people were kinder, giving her directions and any information they knew on the whereabouts of the monster hunters. When she was finally told that they'd been making their way to Cridam she rode day and night for nearly a week, not wanting to risk them moving on before she got there. Of course, when she arrived in the small town it was in the middle of a storm, and she barely had the energy to walk into the tavern after tying up her horse. The rain had soaked her to the bone, soaking through the leather armor and clothes someone in the last village had been kind enough to give her. As hard as she'd worked for her position as a royal guard, she'd never go back to Redania as long as Verris' father ruled.

    Looking around the practically empty tavern she felt her stomach drop, worried that Geralt had moved on. But over the sound of the storm behind her she heard a familiar voice shout to close the door, and when she turned to look her stormy eyes locked with Egon's fiery ones. She was so relieved to see him standing there that she might have cried if she'd had the energy. Taking shaky steps forward she moved past Egon to where Geralt sat, although the white haired Witcher was now staring at her intently. She braced one hand against the table to keep her on her feet while she pulled her coin purse from her side, setting it on the table in front of him.

    "He sold Verris to a witch. Please, I don't know how to find her on my own, I need your help. This is all the coin I have, but I promise I can get you more-" she began to explain, but before she could finish Geralt had stood, and was pulling on his cloak and gathering his things.

    "I'll find her." He promised as he headed toward the door, pausing to look at Egon. "Stay here with her until she's gained her strength back. Then come find me." He said simply, knowing it would be easy for the other Witcher to track him down. Heading outside he apologized softly to Roach for making him go out in the storm, but he knew he had to get to Verris as quickly as he could. There was only one spot in the continent that she could be, and he hoped he would get to her before it was too late to save her.
    January 21st, 2020 at 10:32pm
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    Watching his friend walk away from the table, slinging his swords onto his back without so much as a glance towards the coin purse, Egon stood with his jaw dropped. Not exactly the turn he had expected. He let his head turn to meet Anfrih, who looked like she was about to drop dead. "I guess he does care about the princess, then." Egon shook his head and slowly reached for the coin. The weight in his hand felt nice and he could hear the clinking of copper and silver as he rolled the bag around in his hand.

    God damnit..., he thought to himself before reaching out and tucking the strings of the bag back into Anfrih's belt. "Keep your coin, lass." He felt like an idiot, but he knew it was right. He wouldn't feel comfortable taking her money anyway, "And now, don't worry about your little princess, Geralt will find her." He laid a hand on her shoulder, hoping it would give her some sort of relief. "We also had a room here in the inn, c'mon, follow me. We will get you some rest, you look fucking exhausted."

    Egon led Anfrih to the back of the tavern to some stairs, where above were a few rooms they rented out for the night. "You look like you've been riding for weeks... Have you slept at all?" He didn't want to drag the conversation out, knowing talking anymore about Verris wouldn't help Anfrih relax. He led her down the dark, dusty hall to the last room on the left. Beyond the door was only one bed and a dresser and the rest of Egon's things. Looking down at his bag on the floor, he felt bad for his friend. Geralt hadnt even had the time to look at his room, let alone set his things down. They had all still been sitting with him downstairs at the table.

    "We can ride out to meet Geralt tomorrow when the storm stops. You need to sleep anyways." Egon moved over to the bed and took a seat, sighing as he ran his hands through his hair.

    [I'll just leave it here with Egon until Geralt makes it to Aretuza!]

    @ katahdin
    January 22nd, 2020 at 01:04am
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih started to protest as Geralt said he would head off alone, that they could meet up with him once she was rested. She couldn't rest, not until she knew her friend was safe. "No, I'm going with you." She stated, but as she turned to follow him Egon stopped her. Had she had all of her strength she might have been able to put up a fight, but she was exhausted and freezing from the rain, and could barely lift her head to meet his gaze. It was hard to tell whether the dark circles under her eyes were from lack of sleep or old bruises left over from the Redanian guards beating her senseless during her stay in the dungeons, and as much as she wanted to follow the white haired Witcher, the promise of sleep was too appealing.

    "I fell off my horse a few days ago, ended up passed out in the mud for a few hours, if you count that as sleep.." She murmured softly as she allowed Egon to lead her to the back of the tavern and upstairs, doing her best to memorize the layout of the tavern in case she needed to make a quick escape. She didn't think that Egon would hurt her, but she couldn't say the same for any of the other men in the tavern. And after having been beaten more times than she could count over the last few months, she had a right to be a bit paranoid.

    Looking around Egon's tiny room she nodded a little when he promised that they could ride out tomorrow to meet up with Geralt, setting her small bag down before taking off her cloak to shake some of the water off of it before laying spreading it on the floor by the fire, ready to use the cloak and bag as a makeshift sleeping spot. Egon had already claimed the bed he was sleeping on, and the tiny thing looked like it would barely hold him, let alone two people. Besides, she was soaked to the bone and filthy, and there was no sense in him having a bad night's sleep from sleeping on the floor when she knew she'd still be exhausted by morning. "Villager a few miles back said they didn't think the storm would stop for days.. I can't sit here that long, Verris could be in trouble."
    January 22nd, 2020 at 02:15am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    "You're taking the bed, Anfrih." He grunted, placing his hands on his knees." The witcher wasn't about to make her sleep on the cold, wooden floor. The only positive to it would be how close she was to the fire. He wouldn't put up with any protesting either, he'd just wait till she fell asleep and then place her on the bed anyway. "I'm just sitting for a moment."

    "And we will leave tomorrow morning, regardless rain or sunshine. But tonight you will rest." He said it with more of demand in his voice than a request. The girl looked horrible and she had been beaten black and blue. Egon's eyes began to light up in anger, glowing brighter than the fire Anfrih sat next to. He didn't want to ask what had happened to her, if he knew, it wouldn't be pleasant for the people involved. Instead, he just dropped his head and closed his eyes for a moment, trying to relax.

    Suddenly, he stood to his feet, heading over to his bag on the floor. He bent down and began to rifle through it and it didn't take him long to find the only other shirt he owned. He pulled out a black cotton ghillie shirt and shook it out before handing it over to Anfrih. "Here, so you can get out of those wet clothes. We can hang yours from the bedposts to dry."

    @ katahdin
    January 22nd, 2020 at 04:30am
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih looked up from where she was kneeling by the fire when he grunted out the order, frowning a bit as she looked over at him. "I won't get any decent rest anyway.. You should take the bed, so you'll be well rested." She pointed out, smoothing out her cloak further. She looked up at him when he said that she had to rest, looking like she might cry, whether from sadness or exhaustion it was hard to tell.

    "How can I rest when I just let them take her? I was her guard and I failed, I couldn't protect her." She murmured, turning away from him to look at the fire instead, fingers working to undo her braid so that she could try to get it to dry. She looked up at him when he came over to offer his shirt, hesitating a moment before taking it. "Thank you.." she murmured, standing with a little groan before shuffling over to the darkest corner to change. It wasn't that she didn't want him to see her in her underclothes, but she didn't want him to see the bruises all over he body.

    Once she'd discarded her armor and stripped out of her wet shirt and pants she slid on his shirt, the large garment more like a very short dress on her, the sleeves hanging down a bit past her hands and the one side of the collar starting to slip over her shoulder. Picking up her wet clothes she moved to hang them up by the fire to dry, shoulders slumping tiredly as she turned to look at him. "I feel pathetic.." she huffed softly as she looked down at the ridiculously large shirt for a moment before looking back up at him.
    January 22nd, 2020 at 05:24am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    Egon kept his gaze low to the floor while Anfrih stepped off to the side to change. "Be honest with yourself, Anfrih. You could've never stopped the king from sending her away, whether you had been there or not. It was going to happen." Her armor clunked to the floor, but he didn't lift his gaze until he heard her footsteps scurrying back over to the fire. "You don't look pathetic, you look dry." He laughed, standing up from the bed. The fire lit up her skin and the witcher couldn't even take a moment to enjoy her beauty, cuts and bruises littered her body. Her exposed shoulder was almost entirely covered in a large dark blue bruise. His eyes dropped down the rest of her body and he could feel his hands start to shake, so he quickly balled them into fists.

    "Come on, get into this bed." He waved his hand in the direction of it before he turned around and pulled the blanket down for her. "Don't argue with me, either." He stood back, stepped away to go sit in a wooden chair that hid in the corner of the room. It was completely shadowed, not even the light from the roaring fireplace touched it. Egon had changed his mind about the bedding arrangements, he wouldn't even give her the satisfaction of winning the 'argument' and letting her fall asleep on the floor before moving her. The poor woman's body looked battered, completely demolished by her attackers. He refused to let her even sit on the floor.

    He crossed his arms over his chest and also crossed his feet at the ankles, "I promise, we will leave the moment we wake in the morning. I bet Geralt will be there before sunrise anyways, so there's no need to worry about your princess." Tilting his head back against the wall, he let his eyes close, reinforcing the fact that she was taking the bed. Egon had fallen asleep on a lot worse than a wooden chair.

    @ katahdin
    January 22nd, 2020 at 05:45am
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih hated that he was right, that she really couldn't have done anything to stop it. But she felt she could have tried harder, that she should have done more to try and keep her friend from being taken. She looked up at him when she heard him laugh, forcing a small smile that didn't meet her eyes. She looked away though when she noticed him looking over her body, although she did notice how angry he looked and the way he had to clench his fists at his sides. "I'm sorry.." she didn't really know why she was apologizing, or what for, but she felt like he had to be disappointed in her somehow, that she'd somehow let him down.

    She knew he wouldn't take no for an answer regarding their sleeping arrangements, so she simply nodded and shuffled over to the bed when he pulled the blankets back for her, moving past him to crawl into bed. She let out a faint little whimper when she finally settled into the mattress, relaxing into the blankets as she laid down. She felt like she could fall asleep immediately, closing her eyes as she rested her head against the pillows. But it didn't feel right for her to be taking Egon's bed, not when he'd been the one to pay for the room. She sat up with a little huff, reaching over to tug lightly at his shirt.

    "Egon.. Egon come lay down..." She murmured softly, looking at him tiredly with pleading eyes. She didn't want to argue with him about it, and hoped he'd relent quickly and just join her.
    January 22nd, 2020 at 06:07am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    He grabbed her hand tightly, stopping her from yanking on his shirt any further. It wasn't the newest of shirts and he was afraid any harder of a pull and it might rip somewhere. "No, Anfrih." He huffed, his eyes still shut tightly. Egon held her hand to his chest for a moment, hoping she would just lie down and just go to sleep. "You know it won't be comfortable." He chuckled, relaxing his grip on her hand so that she could pull it away if she so wanted.

    The witcher could care less about the money wasted on the bed. Regardless of the circumstance, and if he could he would wish it had been under better one, he was happy to have reunited with the girl. He was happy that this wasn't a quick fifteen-minute visit under the glaring of many guards. Of course, he hoped that the young girl Anfrih was worried about was safe and Geralt got to her quickly, but he was still content knowing Anfrih was sleeping under his watch.

    Egon patted her hand gently before he slowly succumbed to sleep's embrace.

    In the morning, he awoke to the sound of a loud chicken cawing like an annoying alarm clock outside. "For fuck's sake-" He groaned, running a hand through his hair, slightly tugging on it in frustration. No one told him that when he bought the room it came with an obnoxious morning's greeting.

    @ katahdin
    January 22nd, 2020 at 06:27am
  • katahdin

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    Anfrih frowned as he refused, although she relaxed a bit as he squeezed her hand, finding it reassuring. She sat there for a few minutes while he held her hand against his chest, able to feel the warmth of his skin and his heart beating steadily under his shirt. She felt herself starting to drift off to sleep sitting there with him, blinking awake when he patted her hand. Shifting the blankets and pillows around she adjusted herself so that she could lay down with her hand still resting in his, finally succumbing to sleep when her head hit the pillow.

    By the time Egon woke up she was still sound asleep, curled up under the blankets as she shivered a bit in the cold room. She looked paler than she had the night before, looking rather sickly as she slept through Egon's cursing and the rooster's crow. Her hand was still resting against him as it had been when she'd fallen asleep, fingers lightly gripping his shirt when she felt him shift as he woke, although the poor girl remained asleep. She didn't look like she was in any condition to go anywhere, even if she'd wanted to.
    Geralt had ridden all through the night to reach Aretuza, and he'd arrived at the island shortly after dawn. He knew Verris had to be here. Where else would a witch have taken her? He thought about simply trying to march in, but he had no idea what to expect inside the magical fortress, and decided it would be best to wait for Egon and Anfrih to arrive. That, and to tell one of the servant girls that were in the village nearby to bring a message to whoever was in charge. To tell that Geralt of Rivia had come to take Verris, as the Law of Surprise dictated.
    January 22nd, 2020 at 07:34am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    His back felt stiff, it cracked and popped in a few places as he straightened up, gently resting Anfrih's hand back on her side. He tried to move, standing up and stretching his torso left and right. He figured he'd be sore for the rest of the day. "Anfrih." Her name left his lips slurred from him still being half-asleep. He bent down and grabbed her shoulder, shaking her slightly to wake her up. Even with his clouded vision he could tell she didn't look any better from the night before. The color was flushed from her face except for a bit of redness in the center of her forehead and on the sides of her face, she even looked a slight shade of green, hinting to Egon she probably felt sickly. He wasn't surprised, she had mentioned how she had passed out in a puddle of mud and rode a horse through the majority of the storm.

    Which, he could still hear beating against the roof of the tavern. "For fuck's sake..." He repeated, looking to the door of the room. He rested a hand against her forehead, feeling the heat immediately. Anfrih would be in no condition to take a horse-ride to the next village over, let alone one across the continent. Who knows how far Geralt to go? Worry filled his gut when he realized he was going to have to tell her they would need to wait a little while longer, at least until she regained some of her strength back. He anticipated her fighting his every word and that's what had him a little on edge. How could he convince her to just trust in Geralt and to rest a little while longer?

    "Anfrih, are you feeling okay?" He already knew the answer, but he wanted to know what she would tell him.
    Tissaia stood in the hallway outside of Verris's room after receiving the message from one of the outlying villages on the isle. A witcher had arrived, a white-haired witcher. Tissaia knew all about the Law of Surprise and Geralt of Rivia, the king had filled her in on all of it. Therefore, she had made sure to have watchful eyes set up around the isle to alert her if he ever decided to show up. The witch wasn't sure if she truly believed in destiny, though she also feared to invoke its wrath at the same time. She had been standing still in the center of the hall for quite some time, mulling over if she should keep the witcher from entering Aretuza and keep it a secret, or tell Verris and let her make her own decision. When she stepped towards the room, pushing the wooden slab of a door open, she had her answer. "Verris... a man name Geralt is on his way to see you." Tissaia narrowed her eyes, trying to decipher the girl's reaction.

    Verris had been completely taken off guard. Geralt was on his way here? She hadn't expected him to ever return for her at Redania and even if he did, how did he found out where she was now? Bigger question; why did he even care? "What would you like to do?" Tissaia spoke. "Would you like to see him?" Verris was confused that Tissaia was giving her this choice to make, but before she could even think about it, she just nodded her head yes. She wanted to know why he had come now. The girl stood from her bed quickly, looking down at the hideous blue dress she was forced to where within this academy. Her mind was searching for any possible idea of why Geralt would be coming for her now. Was Anfrih alright? Verris turned to her teacher quickly, fear beginning to set in, "Tissaia, I need to see him now."

    "I will send for him." She sighed, turning with her hands folded tightly together as she left the room.

    @ katahdin
    January 22nd, 2020 at 07:23pm
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih whined as she felt the witcher shaking her awake, squeezing her eyes shut tighter in the hopes that he'd leave her be. She couldn't think about him or Geralt or Verris at the moment. She just wanted to sleep. Opening her eyes slowly it took her a moment to focus on the witcher crouching over her, frowning as he placed his hand against her forehead. Her body ached, and she felt like if she moved she might vomit, and despite knowing she probably had a fever she felt like she was freezing, tugging the blanket tighter around her.

    "Did the fire go out..? It's freezing in here.." She complained softly as she looked around the room before looking back up at Egon, meeting his gaze. She could tell by his concerned look that he wouldn't let her leave today, and even though she was worried about Verris, with Geralt after her she'd be in safe hands in no time. "Can I sleep a little longer, Egon..?" She asked after few moments, frowning up at him. "Just five more minutes, and then we can get going, I promise.." She sighed, reaching out to move his hand from her forehead to rest against her cheek, humming softly as she leaned her head into his palm. "You're very warm.."
    Geralt was relieved that he wouldn't be having to break into Aretuza as he made his way through the doors after having been summoned, although he was being mindful of all the exits. While he possessed a bit of magic himself, it was nothing compared to a house full of sorceresses, and he didn't want to have to get into a fight with them if he could help it. He was led to a small courtyard where he was told to wait for Verris to arrive, the white haired witcher pacing back and forth anxiously like a trapped cat. He looked up when Verris finally entered, shoulders sagging in relief as he stepped toward her, gaze raking over her body looking for any obvious signs of injury.

    "Verris, you're alright. Anfrih told me what happened." He explained once he was sure that they were alone, and that no one was lurking around a corner to eavesdrop. "I'm here to get you out of here." It was a simple statement, and he assumed that she'd want to leave with him, given how much she'd wanted to leave with him the other times they'd visited.
    January 22nd, 2020 at 08:25pm
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    dezz (100)

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    His hand ran down her face, embracing her soft, but clammy skin. "I'll start the fire again, don't worry," he whispered, pulling his hand away to light the fire. That went easier than expected, she had such determination in her step last night to get after the princess, he would've bet on her arguing with him now. She really must not feel very well... Egon sat in his thoughts for a few moments, poking the newly roaring flames in the fireplace. He sat the poker down and rubbed his hands together to warm them up before he stood back on his feet.

    "It should get warmer in here soon. Rest some more, we can leave when you're feeling better." He moved back over to the bed, running his hand over her hair, hoping her illness would pass soon. Hopefully, it was just a little cold and not something uglier about to rear its head. The witcher turned back to the chair in the corner, sitting down on the creaking wood for a moment. He placed his hands on his knees, closing his eyes tightly. He couldn't let her sleep all day, they only had the room for a couple more hours... He didn't have enough coin to buy the occupancy for another night. Trying to relax back in the chair felt almost impossible, but it was easy to forget the soreness in his spine when he looked down at Anfrih. What were they going to do with two girls? It wasn't safe for the girls to travel with them and Egon didn't want to put Anfrih in any more of harm's way.

    He let out a deep sigh, trying to push the thoughts from his head. Why do I care? He found himself thinking that thought often around Anfrih.
    Verris stood in the doorway to the courtyard, just staring at Geralt for a moment, almost not believing it could really be him. Who else would have hair that white? It was just hard for her to believe he would care enough to come and find her. He was going back and forth, a few steps to one side before slowly turning back around and pacing the same distance. It was obvious to Verris that he wasn't anywhere near relaxed. She could see how he stood, his shoulders tensed up tightly, his hands balled into fists at his sides, even his steps seemed to be so heavy.

    The girl took a few steps into the courtyard, instantly catching Geralt's attention. He gave her no time to greet him, though she was thankful for that as she didn't really know how to, thinking back to how she had left him the last time. She had been pretty harsh towards him and she had regretted it. The witcher moved to meet her, stopping only a few inches away from her. Anfrih... Verris was instantly relieved hearing him speak her name, that had to mean she was okay. She looked up to meet his orange glowing eyes when he mentioned taking her with him.

    "You're here to what...?" She furrowed her eyebrows at him, in shock he was willing to offer something like that. It was hard to fight the urge to not instantly accept it. "Geralt..." She frowned, biting on the inside of her cheek, dropping her gaze from his face. "You know that's all I ever wanted before, but... I feel I... need to stay here." She couldn't believe the words were leaving her lips.

    @ katahdin
    January 22nd, 2020 at 09:04pm
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih hummed softly when he promised to get the fire going, watching him tiredly as he moved across the room to rekindle the flames. Once he returned she closed her eyes again as he ran his hand over her hair, reaching for his arm to try to get him to stay, but he avoided her grip and sat back down in the chair he'd slept in the night before. She was exhausted still, and let her eyes close for a few moments, as if she were going to go back to sleep before she opened her eyes, groaning a little as she tried to sit up.

    "Here, take my coin.." she murmured, sitting up just enough to grab the coin purse from her belt before laying back down, holding it out to him. "Use it to pay for another night. I can stay here and rest while you find Geralt and Verris, and then when I'm well I'll come find you." She suggested, looking up at him tiredly. "If this isn't enough to cover the room, sell my horse. I'll manage on foot." When he didn't immediately take the bag from her hand she set it carefully on her lap before curling back up under the blankets with a tired sigh. "I'm sorry you wasted your coin on me.. You can keep all of it if you want, I'll find a way to pay for the room."
    Geralt frowned when she refused his offer to go with him, shocked. He'd been so sure that he'd find her unhappy, that she'd happily go with him. He still had no idea what he'd do with her after they left, but at least he could protect her until they figured something out. But to hear her refuse him..

    "What are you saying?" He asked, worried perhaps she was under some sort of spell. "Verris, your father sold you to a witch against your will. You're a prisoner here. They can't keep you here against your will." He frowned, wanting to make sure she understood what he was saying. "Your friend, Anfrih is worried sick about you. She rode for weeks without stopping looking for me to let me know what had happened. She was practically dead when she found me last night. She won't rest until she knows you're safe." He hoped maybe that would convince her. He knew she had a reason not to trust him, but he knew she'd trust her friend, and hoped that was enough to convince her to come with him.
    January 22nd, 2020 at 09:28pm
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    Egon believed the girl to be talking out of a bout of illness induced delusion, especially when she mentioned selling her horse and continuing on foot. Her resting here for another night was probably a good idea, but he didn't want her to waste all of her money on it. He moved from his seat and crouched down on the floor near the bed. Grabbing the coin bag from her lap, he opened it before taking a look inside. He jingled the coins around, taking a good guess at how much he saw.

    "I'm not leaving you." He finally spoke, closing his fist tightly around the bag before hiding it away in one of his pockets. "It probably is a good idea to stay here for another night. If we head out in this storm, you're likely just to get worse. Geralt will keep Verris safe while you recover." He wanted nothing more than to comfort her, but he wasn't sure what more he could do besides his words. "I'll return."

    Leaving the room, Egon drug his feet down the stairs to the bar, tossing only a few of Anfrih's silver pieces at the innkeep. "I'm keeping the room for another night and I'll take an ale." The man looked down at the silver pieces and grumbled before grabbing them up in his grubby hands. The witcher had helped him before not many years ago and he knew better than to try and argue. Without any lip from the man, he placed a tankard in front of Egon and just trudged away to help others in the tavern.
    "I am safe." Verris tried to convince Geralt, knowing it would be hard to make him understand. "This place is horrible and I can't wait until I do get to leave and...hopefully when that day comes you'll still be willing to accept me." The girl looked around the courtyard, all of the flowers and herbs that grew here were all special and used in some way or another in her studies. "I'm not sure how, but after coming here, I've learned to control magic and I want to continue learning."

    Tissaia believed it had been the anger and sadness Verris kept bottled up inside that once they had unleashed it had helped her in summoning her magical abilities. The girl leaned against one of the large planters, closing her eyes. The first couple months here she had been tortured into complying with them, starved and mishandled until...one day something inside of her just broke. From that point on, she had taken no time in catching up with her peers. "I'm one of the best students here at the moment, if you can believe it."

    @ katahdin
    January 22nd, 2020 at 09:58pm
  • katahdin

    katahdin (100)

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    Anfrih watched him closely as he came to crouch down by the bed, reaching her hand out to gently brush her fingers through his hair and over his cheek. "You don't have to stay." She repeated, watching as he counted her coin. "Geralt and Verris are bound by destiny, they're meant to be together. There's nothing tying you to me, Egon." She murmured, withdrawing her hand as he stood. She gave a little nod as he said he'd be return shortly, shifting to get more comfortable now that the fire was going again. It wasn't long before she was sound asleep, spending the next few hours resting and healing.

    Her fever broke during that time, and when she woke she was a sweaty mess, but at lease she could think a bit straighter. She sat up with a little huff, and when she didn't see Egon she pushed herself to her feet, tugging her pants and boots on and tucking his overly large shirt in to make the outfit more presentable before she quietly headed out of the room and downstairs, eyes scanning the crowd for Egon. She shuffled up to the bar, asking the innkeep for a mug of water, realizing how parched she was. Once the mug was in her hand she gulped down most of it's contents before setting it down with a sigh, feeling a bit better already as she turned around to continue to try to spot her Witcher.
    Geralt's brow furrowed as she began to explain how she'd come to learn magic, watching her carefully. He'd known when he first met her that she was a strong girl, someone who would make a name for herself one day, and while he'd hope that that would have been through her being Queen of Redania, being a powerful sorceress was good enough. He could tell that she wasn't giving him all the details, but her saying that she hated it here was enough for him to understand that she wanted to leave. But he didn't understand her wish to wait before her departure.

    "Verris, if you stay they'll think they own you." He frowned, stepping closer so that he could speak quietly, not wanting anyone to overhear. "If you don't die, they'll manipulate you and shape you into someone you won't recognize. You'll just be a pawn for them. We'll find you someone to teach you magic where it's safe." He promised, reaching to take her hand, relaxing a bit further as he brushed his callused thumb over the back of her soft skin.
    January 23rd, 2020 at 01:10am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    ///
    January 23rd, 2020 at 08:05am