"Black Rose" (Chapter 18 up!)

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"Black Rose" (Chapter 18 up!)

Postby BBkat » April 25th, 2011, 5:18:49 pm

I started writing a novel when NaNoWriMo(National Novel Writing Month) started in November last year. However, college caught up to as did writer's block and I couldn't finish. However, I'm still currently writing the novel, but I'd like some input. It is of the fantasy genre.

Here's the synopsis I put up on my NaNoWriMo account(edited slightly to work with the way to story ended up going)-

Jarl Eld was a knight of the queen's, one of her most trusted. Then he did the unthinkable, he tried to assassinate her and seize the throne for himself. However, his plans were thwarted by a brave young knight and he was executed as a traitor.
Now, year later, his daughter, Sierra Bellarose, an assassin for hire known as The Black Rose, is trying to renounce any connections to him, wanting nothing to do with the man who was branded a traitor.
Darren is a young 'knight-in-training' who's mentor has been working to solve a series of bizarre murders of seemingly unconnected people all done by the same person, who has been dubbed The 'Black Rose killer' for the black roses left with the victims.
By accident, Darren discovers The Black Rose's identity, but before he can do anything, he is framed for a violent robbery and murder involving a powerful artifact and the former lawman who owned it. Now, he must turn to her for help in recovering the object and clearing his name before he is executed for a crime he didn't commit.
But, there is more to both of them than meets the eye and trust is vital. Can they solve the murder in time and recover the artifact, and what secrets do they keep, secrets that could very well tear them apart?


I will warn anyone reading now, my chapters end up long(the first is about 5.5 pages in a text document) but I am trying to shorten them for the purpose of posting them here(i.e cutting them in half).

edit: I recently wrote a short story that sort of ties in with the novel. You can read it here- 55-the-parlor/129767-the-silver-guantlet-a-dark-fairy-tale.html

Chapters-
Last edited by BBkat on March 23rd, 2013, 12:58:16 am, edited 26 times in total.

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Re: "Black Rose"

Postby BBkat » April 25th, 2011, 5:24:09 pm

Prologue


It was an age of chaos in the land of Atatia. His name was Sir. Jarl Eld, and was one of the queens knights. He’d risen up in rank from squire to knight and soon to personal guard along with another, Jason Brightheart. Both were the queen’s most trusted and personal knights. However, Sir Jarl’s greed and lust for power caused him to do the unthinkable, he tried to murder the queen and seize the crown.
He was ultimately stopped by Sir Brightheart. It was also discovered that he had murdered several partners to climb the ranks and staged their deaths to look like accidents. He was tried as a traitor and executed.
Eventually everything settled down, but after the betrayal of one of their own knights, nothing was ever the same in the court.
Time passed and gradually the people recovered from the shock of what had happened, but they would never forget.

...


“Sir, are you in there? Sir?” a slight woman knocked at the door to the study. “Sir, I need to clean in there.” she said. As she went to knock again, the door swung open and she screamed at what she saw. The man lay dead on the floor, throat slashed cleanly through and a black rose had been placed atop his chest.
Outside, a slender, young figure hid in the shadows, wiping blood from the offending blade. At the sound of the scream they bolted towards the darkened woods, making barely a sound as they ran.

Chapter 1


“Hmm, seems this ‘Black Rose’ is giving the local authorities a real run for their money aren’t they?” The speaker was a young woman with shoulder cut blond hair.

She was looking at a sign posted to the wall of the local inn. A merchant, known for having done some, underhand dealings, had been found murdered the night before. The only reason they knew who had done it, was because of the black rose that had been left with the body, something that had been done to the past several people who ha been murdered. The killer didn’t seem to have a pattern to his kills either. Sometimes they would kill only days apart, other times weeks. It had the authorities baffled and chasing themselves in circles, as the only lead they had was the black roses left behind at each kill, the signature that had given the killer their name in the first place.

“I noticed.” sighed her companion, a very tall man, though you could only tell it was a man from his voice as his face was covered up, his blue eyes the only thing to be seen.
“What’s with that tone Nuada?” she asked.
He rolled his eyes, “Nothing, I wish you’d stop disappearing at night, it makes keeping track of you quite difficult Miss. Sierra.” he said, his voice strangely calm.
Nuada was her guard or protector, and had been assigned by her father to protect her and keep her alive and safe. “It just means I’m actually making you work.” she said, before taking his hand. “Come on, let’s go get something to eat, I’m starving.” she said. “Afterwards, we can hit the road again.”

Nuada was tall and lanky, easily towering a good couple heads over Sierra. He was dressed in dark clothes; a long scarf covered the lower half of his face, his nose and everything below it, the hood of his cloak shading the rest of his face. He wore equally dark gloves on his hands and most of the time seemed to be hidden in his cloak, looking more like a moving shadow than a person. This almost made it hard to determine how old he was, but Sierra assumed much older than her as she’d known him since she was little, and even then, he had looked pretty much the same.

Sierra had affectionately nicknamed him ‘the ninja’ because of the way he dressed and how silently he could move. He also had a habit of making himself scarce, but at the same time still being close to her.
Sierra was nearly the opposite of him. She barely brushed his shoulder. Her hair was a pale blond colour, nearly white. Her eyes were brown, “doe-eyed” as Nuada put it. She was dressed in an off white shirt and leather jerkin over top, tanned leggings and a long skirt and boots. Around her waist sat a belt that held a coin pouch and a dagger. She had a slight and lithe build and looked as if the slightest breeze would blow her away.

Hand in hand, they made their way through the crowded tavern to get something to eat before leaving once again.



“I’ll be back in a little bit Nuada, just wait.” said Sierra as she pushed her guard back into a sitting position.
“What if you get attacked, or hurt?” he protested.
“Then I’ll take care of myself, I need to wash up, and you aren’t coming.” she said. “Now stay!”
“I’m not a dog.” he muttered, but stayed where he was sitting as she left.

Sierra sighed as she walked; Nuada was over protective of her, acting as if she ran into trouble at every turn. “I don’t get into trouble at every turn, just most.” she said to her self, grinning as she walked.
The forest was beautiful in the mid morning sun, the ground dappled by the light that filtered down through the leaves. Dewdrops glistened on grass, shining like glass beads in the sunlight.
Somewhere overhead songbirds chirped away, hopping from branch to branch as they sang. Small animals scurried though the under brush and in the distance a river burbled softly. She followed the sound of the river till she reached the small lake it flowed into.

“Perfect.” she thought, she needed to wash up. She rolled her sleeves up to reveal an arm sheath with a sheathed dagger, and old blood stains.

Kneeling down at the river’s edge, she removed the sheath and the dagger to begin washing them in the water, scrubbing furiously to try and remove the bloodstains. Soon, the water around her hands began to tint red as the dried blood flaked off and was scrubbed clean. She pulled the leather sheath out of the water; the stains were still there, albeit faint. She tossed the wet object onto the shore and sat down on a nearby rock to get ready to wash herself. She kicked off her boots, and undid her belt, loosening her shirt. She tossed her jerkin on top of the pile and rolled her leggings up as she stepped into the water.
She shivered; the water was chilly, like ice. The smooth rocks beneath her feet were coated in moss and algae, making keeping a footing hard. She had barely taken a few steps when she slipped and fell in the water.
Sputtering, she pulled herself from the water, her clothes now soaking wet. Muttering under her breath, she stripped down the last layers of her clothes and dove into the small lake, soon immersed in the cold water. She surfaced a little ways from shore and pushed her wet hair behind her head.

“I really need to find a neater way to get the job done.” she thought to herself. “I won’t need to bath every morning if I can do that.”

With that, she set about cleaning herself, having managed to get a footing on a rock, despite it being slippery. Sierra hummed softly to herself as she cleaned her hands and arms and started on to the rest of her body.
Suddenly, a noise at the top of the hill caught her attention and she quickly dove behind a rock to hide herself.

“Who’s there?” she asked, trying to hide the nervousness in her voice. “You better not be spying on me.”
There was a snort of a horse, followed by a yelp and thud as someone fell threw the bushes. He was a young man, dressed in mail that was clearly to big and he wasn’t used to yet. He carried a sword, but seemed to be wobbling on his feet where he stood. She could see he had messy brown hair, and sweat clung to his brow. He didn’t look to be any older she was.

He looked around and caught sight of Sierra, who was hiding herself behind a rock, only her head visible. He looked, to her, like a knight, or someone who had stolen a knight’s armour to pass themselves off as one.
“Were you spying on me?” she asked, resting her forearms on the rock in front of her.
“N-no, I wasn’t, spying on you. I was lost and, I heard a noise and,” he stumbled over his words as he spoke, clearly unable to form a coherent sentence.
“What are you stuttering for?” she asked.
His face turned red, “I’m not stuttering.” he protested.
“Really? It sounded that way to me. Now, you peeping Tom, what were you doing up there?” she asked again. “You were spying on me weren’t you? Hoping to catch a glimpse of something were you?”
He turned even deeper red, “I’m a knight, I have more dignity than that.” he said stiffly, or as stiffly as he could.
“Hardly, knights think that they get special privileges for being one and think they can sleep with any woman they want, don’t pull that, dignity or honour or, whatever, card on me. You’re all perverts.” she said, sinking down in the water to hide herself, though he couldn’t see anything past her neck for the rock as it was. “And I know because I’ve had several try to get me in bed with’em. Now, you’d best run off, before I start yelling, you don’t want that.” she said.
He raised an eyebrow, “What do you mean, yelling couldn’t do anything.” he said, skeptical.
“Nuada!” she called at the top of her lungs, scaring some birds from the nearby trees. “Help me!”
He froze for a few seconds, and then bolted back through the bushes and she heard the sound of a horse snort, followed by the thudding of hooves. She grinned to herself, “Coward.”

A few seconds later, Nuada emerged from the bushes, “I heard you scream Miss Sierra, is something wrong?” he asked.
"Well, I did have a peeper, but as soon as I called out for you he bolted with his tail between his legs, so you can leave now.” she said.
“But-” a rock bounced off his forehead, cutting him off mid sentence.
“Now!” she repeated, pointing. “I need to get changed and I can’t with you here, and don’t even think about peeping.” she said.
“What sort of person to you take me for?” he asked.
“The male sort, now march!” she ordered.

With a heavy sigh and an annoyed grumble at the fact that he’d been made to go all the way there, just to be sent back, Nuada ambled off slowly. “You know you are a little witch right?” he said before he left.
She just laughed and rested her forearms on the rock while she waited for him to leave.

Once she was sure he was gone and was far enough away, she made her way to shore to get out and get dressed, though she was still dripping wet.
She wrung her hair out, trying to get out any excess water, before pulling on her white shirt and leggings. She strapped on her thigh sheath and put on her belt. She picked up her arm sheath and pulled her jerkin on. Still wet, her clothes stuck to her body awkwardly. Sitting down she quickly pulled her boots back on and then headed in the direction that Nuada had come.
She laughed to herself at the memory of the strange young man, he probably hadn’t been spying on her like he’d said, but messing with people’s heads, especially those of the male variety, was always fun and she couldn’t pass up the chance to do so then.

Nuada was right where he said he’d be, at the small encampment they’d set up so they could stop and rest.
‘What are you grinning about?’ he asked.
“Nothing, I just enjoyed toying with him.” she said as she sat down. She’d once tried to mess with Nuada’s head, it backfired and resulted in her having her head run in circles and wondering what the hell had just happened. “I’m not sure who he was, but watching him squirm like that was highly amusing.”
“You are sadistic at times.” he said, shaking his head, before muttering something under his breath.
“What was that?” she asked sharply, having caught part of what he’d muttered. “Did you just compare me to my father?”
“No. I said nothing about him. You two share some strong similarities; your borderline sadistic nature in watching people squirm, your manipulativeness and most importantly, the fact you like to kill.”
“I am nothing like him.” she snapped, her voice harsh like ice. “He was a traitor who tried to kill the queen for his own person gain. He got what he deserved. I don’t shed any tears for him and would never wish to meet him, not even in the after-life. He was a cold, merciless bastard. You’d think the fact that he had a family would make him change his ways, but it didn’t. He may be my father, but that is all.” she said. “Don’t ever compare us again.”

Nuada flinched at her tone slightly, comparing her to her father was one thing he was never supposed to do for this very reason. He’d been executed when she was only two, so she didn’t know him, and she expressed very clearly that she didn’t want to know him either. Although she shared some of her father’s, less than endearing qualities, she mostly resembled her mother in appearance, mannerisms and personality. Having met both of her parents he knew this was true, yet he could still see some of her father in her, as much as she would deny it.

“Then, tell me why you take us these, jobs?” he asked. “They’re risky and could get you killed or thrown in jail. I hate it when you do them.”
“Because it’s something I’m good at. And someone needs to do it.” she said, leaning against a tree and running her fingers through her damp hair. “And I won’t get caught, no one even knows what I look like.”
“Except the ones that hire you, they know, and if it get’s traced to them it won’t be hard to figure out that they paid someone for the hit.” said Nuada. “And they’ll talk, especially if it means keeping themselves out of prison or the gallows. If you’re going to insist on taking those sorts of jobs, at least keep your face obscured when talking to, who ever’s putting out the hit.”
She sighed, “You are such a worry wart, but you have a point. Next time I get a hit, I’ll pull a leaf out of your book on concealment.” she said half teasingly. “Why do you keep your face covered up so much?” she asked.
“I have my reasons.” he replied, “Now, are we to keep moving, or stay here for the rest of the day?” he asked.
“Keep moving.” she replied. “We can cover more ground.”
“And, where exactly are we headed to?” he asked.
“Anywhere.” she replied, “There are plenty of cities we can go to.”
“I’d like for once to be able to stay in a city for more than one night, you know, actually rest.” said Nuada as he pulled himself to his feet. “Or perhaps we can buy horses, it would make travelling much easier and quicker.”
“We don’t enough money to buy any.” she said.
He scoffed, “Yeah right, considering how much you get paid, we should have plenty.”
“I get paid, but I have to spend it on food and lodgings for us, unless you’d like to give up eating and sleeping outside that is.” she said. He gulped and she laughed, “Didn’t think so. So stop whining you ninny and let’s get moving.”

Having made her point, Nuada followed Sierra as they began to walk once again, following the heavily trod path through the dark woods. The footpath had clearly been used many times as no grass grew on it from all the traffic that had gone over it. There were also many footprints, not all of which were human in nature, covering it. People walking over them had pressed leaves into the dirt.
An earthy smell clung to the air, emphasized by the rain that had fallen the night before.

Sierra folded her hands behind the back of her head as she walked, her mind deep in thought. The “jobs” that Nuada kept worrying about her taking were hits. She was, an assassin for hire of a sort. She kept her ears sharpened and listened for who and what she wanted and sought out the people who could direct her to her mark.
Nuada had tried numerous times to talk her out of it, but nothing would sway her, even the prospect of going to jail, or worse being put to death, didn’t seem to frighten her.
She always moved under the cover of night, when she was less likely to be seen, and hid herself well. Nuada once said that she was more the ninja than he was, but she disagreed. After each hit was finished, she would make sure to leave town so no one could connect her to the crimes, and so far, they hadn’t. In fact, everyone thought that the one responsible was a man, simply because they didn’t believe a woman was capable of that sort of thing. Normally this would have enraged her, but it kept her from being caught, and she hoped to keep it that way.

Nuada watching Sierra carefully as they walked, he’d been charged with protecting her since she was a baby. He was her guardian, and it wasn’t an easy job. When she was younger he’d spent most of the time chasing after her, trying to keep her under control and within his line of sight. Once, he’d had to carry her under one arm as she’d run off, annoyed with him always being around and wanting to lose him. It hadn’t worked as he’d caught up with her easily. There were times like that where he felt more like he was her father rather than her bodyguard, though she once likened him to a big brother, which made him feel a little better. Despite having been hired by her father, he had no other connection with the man and, like Sierra, did not agree with his actions.

She become a little more tolerable of him and more even tempered as she grew up, and was easier to keep an eye on as she didn’t run away from him anymore, though not necessarily easier to handle as she still got herself into trouble.

“You’ve been awfully quiet Nuada, something on your mind?” she asked, glancing over her shoulder.
“Just thinking about the past, and how much of a handful you were,” he said.
“Were?” she raised an eyebrow.
He chuckled, “Perhaps that wasn’t the best choice of wording. You’re still a handful, just not as much anymore.”
Sierra laughed, “Really, you want to test that?” she asked.
“You aren’t to big that I can’t carry you,” he threatened, “And you still can’t out run me, so, what would the point be?” he asked.
She huffed, it was true, she had yet to be able to out run him as, for some reason or another, he managed to keep in pace with her with ease. It was as if he flew over the ground, and she couldn’t understand it at all. He also could carry her over one shoulder, or under one arm, and would do it if he had to, no matter how embarrassing or awkward it may have been for her. “One of these days I will out run you.” she said.
“Is that a promise?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
“You bet it is,” she said with a grin, turning to face him as she walked.
“Alright, I look forward to that day,” he said. “Now, let’s keep going."
Last edited by BBkat on December 10th, 2011, 10:42:54 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: "Black Rose" Chapter 1

Postby BBkat » April 26th, 2011, 9:55:08 am

Is anyone willing to give me feedback?

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Re: "Black Rose" Chapter 1

Postby BBkat » May 8th, 2011, 12:05:08 am

Bump? Feedback please? It's much appreciated.
I know it's long.

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Re: "Black Rose" Chapter 1

Postby Seiryuu » May 8th, 2011, 2:50:20 am

i think its really good and i hope you post more soon :t-^_^:
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Re: "Black Rose" Chapter 1

Postby BBkat » June 22nd, 2011, 6:11:33 pm

Chapter 2

The young man sighed as he steered his chestnut horse down the path, somehow he had managed to get himself lost, and then, stumble upon that girl.

“Oi, Darren, there ya are, were have ya been?” called out another rider from up ahead. He was older than Darren with inky black hair with flecks of grey and dark brown eyes. He was also dressed in mail, though it actually looked as if it fit him. He had a sword at his hip and was mounted atop a bay stallion, which pawed the ground impatiently. One arm was resting upon the horn of the saddle as he waited. The man was his mentor and teacher, Eric, a retired knight who had been training Darren and had taken him out for a trip that day. Although from another city, he was staying in the town to help train Darren.

“Lost,” he replied meekly. “I, took a wrong turn.”
The other rider raised an eyebrow, “What’s with that face, catch a glimpse of a nymph did you?” he asked teasingly.
Darren’s face flushed, “No,” he replied quickly, perhaps to quickly.
The man laughed, “I was teasing you boy, now come on, let’s get you back, I don’t need your father flaying me alive because I lost you,” he said as Darren drew up beside him.
“My father wouldn’t do that,” he said, “He’s a nice man.”
“Well thank heavens for small mercies,” said the other man, “Because I’ve met some that would. So, what are you thinking of your training?”
“Boring,” replied Darren, “I haven’t gotten to do anything interesting, and this little trip was just to get me out from under the hair of the other actual knights. All they make me do is polish their armour, wash their leather, help them suit up, and cool down their horses. I want to be a knight, not a servant boy.”
“You can’t start out as a knight, you have to work your way up,” he said, “It’s the sad truth, but it’s still the truth.”
Darren groaned, “But I’ve been stuck at this level for ages.”
“Patience, how much have I stressed that? A knight needs patience.” He ran a gloved hand through his inky hair as he spoke.
Darren sighed, “I have been patient Eric, I’ve waited long enough, how much longer will I be forced to wait?”
Eric just smiled and looked ahead down the path, “Just, keep a positive out-look. Good things come to those who wait you know.” He urged his stallion into a trot, and Darren soon followed suit, his mount keeping pace with his mentor’s as they headed back to the city.
As they neared the city both riders pulled their horses up and slowed them back to a gentle walk, their hooves clattering loudly over the cobblestone road.
“After we put the horses in the stables we have another stop to make,” said Eric, “Think you can handle that?”
“Of course, but where are we going?” he asked.
Eric just grinned, “You’ll see, remember what I said about patience.”

The streets of the city were bustling with people who were going about their daily business of trading and selling goods. Crated animals squawked and yowled from inside their wooden cages waiting to be sold and likely cooked for that night's dinner. Fruit and vegetables hung from the rooves of stalls. Other merchants had laid out their wares on a cloth so they could be admired easily; a large guard dog lay on the ground nearby to deter thieves. On a street corner a gypsy was dancing for money while her companion played an upbeat rhythm on a drum.
At the sight of the horses people stepped aside, some out of respect for the aging knight, others simply to keep from being trod upon by the horses' large hooves.

The stables were the only wooden building among the stone buildings and were located at the back of a large inn. Nearing the stables the two riders dismounted and walked their horses the rest of the way into the stables to prepare them to go into their stalls. The horses shook their heads and snorted impatiently and Eric laughed.

“It seems you aren’t the only impatient one, they can’t wait to get out of their tack,” he said as he clipped his mount to the long bar that ran the length of the barn, stopping only when it reached the stalls. It was used it to tie up horses while putting on or taking off tack as well as while they waited to be ridden or were having their stalls cleaned. “Can you fetch me their halters from the storage room?” he asked, tying up the second horse and loosening the girth of their saddles.

With a sigh, Darren made his way through the stable, the smell of damp hay and horses filling the air around him. At the end of the stable was a small room, which was dimly lit at best. The walls inside were covered in hooks, on which hung saddles, saddle pads, and bridals; the ones that didn’t have any tack simply had a halter hung on the hook. Above each hook were carved the names of the horses on small metal plates. He searched the hooks and soon found the ones he needed. Carefully, Darren removed the halters from the hooks with the names Baron and Toby above them, their horses. With the halters looped over his arm he made his way back to Eric, trying to avoid stepping on the mangy barn cat as she wove around his feet, meowing and purring happily, waving her bottlebrush tail.

“Out of my way cat,” he hissed, aiming a kick at her. The cat simply stepped aside nimbly and his foot missed.
“Oh, leave the silly cat alone, you look like a fool,” laughed Eric. “You’ll never hit her, she’s far to clever.”
“Are you saying that cat is smarter than me?” he asked, handing Baron’s bridal to his mentor, who draped it over the hitching bar.
“She’s smarter than everyone. They tried to get rid of her once with a pack of dogs, she simply took to the rafters and sat there watching them as they ran in circles trying to figure out where she was.” He laughed. “That cat isn’t stupid.”

Turning back to the horse he undid the girth and removed the saddle and saddle pad, setting them on the ground in the isle behind the horse, Darren copying his actions and doing the same for his horse. Picking up the halter, Eric carefully began to undo the bridal, slipping the halter over the horse’s head to replace the bridal as it came off. Baron pawed the ground and flicked an ear where he stood.

“Easy, I’m just about done,” he said, stroking the bay’s massive neck to keep him calm as he adjusted the halter. “Just wait a little longer, you won’t have to be here much longer,” he said, keeping one hand on the horse’s side as he made his way around him to gather up the tack; the bridal draped over the saddle and saddle pad which he scooped up in his arms. “You about done there Darren?” he asked.
“Yup, just trying to keep the halter from coming off,” he replied.

He nodded and made his way up the isle to put away the tack before putting the horse in his stall so he could rest and eat. Darren, who was awkwardly carrying his mount’s tack, soon joined him at the closet.

“You know, there is an easier way to carry that,” he said, taking the objects from Darren to put them away. Darren had been carrying them in an awkward manner and several times looked about ready to drop them.
“Really, I couldn’t find one,” he said once the tack had been taken from him.
“You’ll learn, don’t worry,” said Eric, patting his shoulder, “Now, we have to get moving, can’t be late.”
“You still haven’t told me where we’re going,” said Darren.
He just smiled, “You’ll see in a bit, and I guarantee you’ll like it.”
“You are as bad as my father about keeping secrets, you know that?” he asked as they walked, mild annoyance in his voice.

Darren could get no more out of him other than ‘you’ll like it’ as they walked through the streets. He looked around; they were heading into the industrial part of the city. Smoke billowed out the top of large stone buildings; the loud clanging of metal filled the air around them as they walked.
“Why are we here?” he asked as he looked around. This part of town was exceptionally dirty and grimy.
Eric smiled, “What did I tell you about patience?”

He sighed heavily and followed his mentor’s footsteps as they walked down the road. They stopped at a large building, a blacksmith’s and Eric rapped on the door loudly,
“You in there?” he called, peering in.
A burly man looked up form his workbench, tongs in one hand and a hammer in the other. An anvil sat in front of him and in the tongs grasp was a shard of metal that glowed red-hot.
“Ah, ‘bout time you got here.” he said, placing his work down, “I was beginning to think you’d forgotten.” He glanced over at Darren, “Ah, so this must be the young Darren.” He stood up and wiped his ashy, gloved hands on his apron. “Why don’t you come see it, tell me what ya think?”
“Come see what, Eric, what is he talking about, and how does he know you?” asked Darren, following the retired knight through the hot forge.
“As inquisitive as a young pup,” chuckled the blacksmith, “You weren’t kidding were ya?”
“Nope, he’ll ask questions till your ears fall off,” said Eric with a laugh. “Anyways, I assumed you’ve finished it?”
“Course I have, and I must say, I am quite pleased,” said the blacksmith proudly. He stuffed his leather gloves in a pouch on the apron and picked up something wrapped in leather from a nearby table. Carefully he handed it to Darren, who nearly dropped it in surprise at how heavy it was. “Go on, open it up.”

With shaking hands, Darren undid the thin cord that held the leather wrapping around it. Inside was a gleaming sword, polished to a brilliant shine. His eyes nearly bugged out of his head as he gaped in amazement.

“It’s for you,” said Eric. “You’ve been working awfully hard and, well, every knight needs a sword right?”
“But, I’m not a knight yet.” he said.
“No, but you’re a knight-in-training, which is pretty close, an unofficial knight if you will. What do you think of it?”
Grasping the hilt tightly he gave it a test swing, the weight felt comfortable in his hands and it arched gracefully through the air. “It's brilliant,” he said with a grin. “But, what about a sheath?”
“Don’t worry, I’ve got that covered too,” he said, his eyes crinkling as he smiled.
He felt like a child on his birthday receiving a present, so giddy with excitement he could barely contain it. “I can’t wait to show my father this, now I’ll actually be able to practice something, something useful,” he said as he admired the new sword.
“He’ll be glad you like it, it was his idea to get it for you after all,” said Eric. “Now, you’re going to need a sheath for that first.” He glanced back at the blacksmith, “I assume you picked that up as well?”
He nodded, “Yes sir, got it right here. Tanned deer hide, exceptional quality I must say,” he said as he handed it to Darren. Taking it from him, Darren set about adjusting it on his belt before sheathing the sword, now he felt like a knight and not just a stable boy or squire in armour.
"Today’s lesson is done for today, so if you wish to tell your father you may,” he said with a wave of his hand.
"Thank you sir, thank you very much.” he said, trying to hide his bubbling excitement as he turned to leave.
The blacksmith turned to Eric, who had his arms folded across his chest watching Darren, “The boy’s really grown up, I remember when he was just a little tyke no taller than my knee,” he said. “One of these days he is going to take his father’s place I’m sure.”
Eric nodded thoughtfully, “It must run in the family.”
“It must. The Brightheart boy really takes after his father so it’s no wonder,” said the blacksmith as he put his gloves back on, ready to start working again.



Sierra groaned as they walked, “How much farther till we reach the city?” she asked in a whiny voice.
Nuada sighed, “Even after all these years, you may have matured to become less rebellious, but you haven’t matured past the point of being a whiner,” he said with a headshake. “No, I don’t know how long till we reach the city, probably about an hour or so, so stop asking, it makes you sound like a child,” he said teasingly.
“Well my feet are aching, I’m hungry and I want to be around civilization again, not all these trees infested with bugs that make you itch,” she said, scratching her arms as she spoke. “And possibly find a way to cure this merciless itching,” she added after a moment's thought.
He laughed warmly, “You are full of complaints today aren’t you?” he asked. “If you were smaller I’d piggy-back you like I used to when you were younger.”
“Are you saying I’m fat?” she asked.
“No, I’m saying you’re too big for me to carry on my back for long distances anymore,” he replied without missing a beat. “Despite your appetite, you are still as skinny as a rail, where do you put it all?” he asked, gently poking her in the ribs.
She squealed and bunched up as he poked her, “Don’t do that, you know I’m ticklish,” she said. “As for the food, I probably walk it all off with the insane amount of walking we do.”
“And all your sneaky night-time activities,” he added, “That most likely helps.”
Sierra opened her mouth to speak, but closed it again quickly and stopped and looked around, for a split second she’d thought she’d heard something. “Did, you hear that?” she asked in a low voice.
He frowned, “Hear what?”
“I thought I heard something, a soft rustling of leaves, but, maybe it was the wind, or a small animal,” she said shaking her head. “Or I’m hearing things.”
They continued walking in silence until, yet again, she stopped and looked around, “Ok, I’m not imaging it, I did hear something that time,” she said.

Then, before they could react, several people emerged from the bushes, surrounding them entirely. They were dressed in dirty, raged clothes and all held drawn knives or long blades.

“An ambush,” she grumbled, “Lovely. What do you suppose they want?” she asked as she scanned the group.
“What most people who ambush want, money and/or valuable things,” replied Nuada.
“He’s a smart one,” said one of the bandits, gesturing with his knife to Nuada. “People like you are bound to be loaded with money and valuables, so start emptying your pockets and we might not kill you.”
She smirked, “You really think I’m going to do that? As if.” She rested a hand on her hip and shook her head. “You must be crazy.”

Suddenly she felt something cold at her throat, “We said empty’em, or we’ll simply take you instead. Who would need the money when we could have fun with you?”
“You sick bastard.” Her elbow shot out behind her, catching him in the jaw and jerking his head back forcefully. He stumbled, stunned and dazed from the hit. She spun around, grabbed one arm and pulled him towards her while extending her other hand, curled into a fist, into his gut. He coughed and dropped his knife before also falling himself. “Anyone else care to try me?” she asked, resting her foot on his head as he lay passed out in the dirt.

Nuada laughed, “You’re really done it now, you’ve set her fighting.”
“She’s just a woman, we can take her,” said one, the ringleader. He had a piercing in one ear, ink black hair and stubbly beard growth on his chin.
“Really, you’re going to gang up on a girl now?” she asked him, “That’s just low, and besides, if you’re all fighting me, who’s dealing with my bodyguard?”
The bandit stopped and looked around, wary about Nuada.
Then, “Psyche!” She hit him hard enough to knock him over. “Really, you were that worried about him that you’d let your guard down around me? Nuada doesn’t get involved unless I ask him to,” she said, kneeling down, one knee resting on his chest and knife drawn, pointed at his throat. “Now, call off your goons or I’ll have Nuada take care of them, and you don’t want that, not if you want them to still be able to do anything.”

“Y-you heard the lady,” he stammered nervously. The remaining bandits backed off, one of them carrying the unconscious man.
Lifting her knee off his chest Sierra went to stand up. Then, she stopped and slashed the blade across him, leaving a cut along his cheek.
“What was that for?” he asked, his hand flying to his cheek.
“A warning. If I ever see your sorry tail again you might not be so lucky. I’m in a good mood today. If I wasn’t the blade might have gone, a little further south.” she said.

He gulped nervously as he quickly pulled himself to his feet. As he stood, one hand still on his cheek, something caught her attention, a mark on his arm. She grabbed his arm and turned it over to get a better look, it was a tattoo of an emerald green serpent twisted around a sword and rose. “Where did you get that?” she asked.
He jerked his hand away, “It’s just a tattoo,” he said, before quickly retreating into the bushes with the rest of the gang.
Sierra narrowed her eyes, something smelled fishy, and it wasn’t their odour.
“Is something the matter Miss Sierra?” Nuada asked.
“Did that seem, a little to easy to you?” she asked. “I mean, they just gave up. Bandits are persistent, they won’t go down without a fight, they just went, belly up.” she said, her brows knitting together thoughtfully.
“Perhaps they were amateurs who simply chose the wrong target?” suggested Nuada.
She shook her head, “No. That one, the ring leader, he had a tattoo on his arm.”
“Lots of thieves and rogues have that sort of thing, not uncommon you know.”
“No, but the tattoo he had is.” She turned to face Nuada, her voice serious, if a bit nervous, “It was a serpent, coiled around a sword and a rose,” she said.
Nuada’s eyebrows raised up, “Are you sure?” he asked. “I haven’t seen that tattoo for a while.”
“That’s why I’m worried, why would he wear the same tattoo that my father’s supporter’s wore?” she asked. “My father has been dead for years, his supporters are either dead, in jail or in hiding.”
“There is one though, that might still use that tattoo.” said Nuada.
“You think?” She asked, as if reading his mind and knowing exactly who he was thinking about.
Nuada nodded, “Yes, very much so, he seems the very sort of person who would use that symbol.”
“Then, perhaps this ‘ambush’ was merely a test for us,” she said. “To see how strong we’ve gotten, or how strong I’ve gotten.”
"But why?" asked Nuada.
Last edited by BBkat on December 17th, 2011, 12:59:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "Black Rose" (Chapter 2 up!)

Postby Glacial » December 10th, 2011, 4:12:26 am

Story revival tiemz! :yey:

...LULZ I think u shud post moer :derr: Its really really goooooooodo

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Re: "Black Rose" (Chapter 2 up!)

Postby BBkat » December 10th, 2011, 1:18:17 pm

Length- Yes, the earlier chapters are long, I've been going back and editing and slowly finding spots to break them in half to shorten them after asking around on how long a chapter length should be. It wasn't until I started writing it again for NaNo that I asked a decent length and realized my chapters were, more twice the length they should be (at least for easier reading-chapters in actual books tend to be, rather long sometimes) *derp*

Text blobs- In Word I'm able to indent paragraphs and it looks, a lot neater (at least to me) but here, I can't I'm afraid(unless I go in an manually indent every paragraph section) so they end up looking thick and chunky. I'm trying to find a way to make them look easier to read.

Dialogue- You hit the nail on the head there with 'you speak it out loud/in your mind like the character would' I don't want the speaking to seem, stiff, but more natural as if it were two people chatting. Which is probably where the random comas come from too because I place them where a slight pause but not a complete stop is. I'll keep that in mind while editing.

Commas- Yeah, still working on that. I tend to use them to much and I've been trying to fix that(I'll keep that in mind when I go and, re-edit the older chapters, again).

Characters-
Nuada: Yeah, quite describes him, he is a rather quite individual xD And I love writing their banter, it is very amusing at times. (I may end up having to write a few more scenes for him to flesh him out a little more ^^; )
As for the others, you'll have to wait and see. ;p

Also, fixed the beginning of the first chapter a bit and fit in the 'prologue' (which I forgot xD )
I'm glad you enjoyed reading it though.

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Re: "Black Rose" (Chapter 3 up!)

Postby BBkat » December 10th, 2011, 10:14:36 pm

I made the chapter much shorter this time, so hopefully it's not to over whelming(I had to split the existing one in half). Also, I made some edits to prior chapters.

Chapter 3


They finally did make it to town, though by the time they did the sun had begun to set in the sky, painting it in brilliant shades of orange, red and gold.
“I hope somewhere still has a place left,” said Sierra as they made their way through the streets. “Ugh, I can’t believe it took us till sundown to get here.”
“Well, look on the bright side, it could have been worse,” said Nuada.
She looked at him over her shoulder, eyebrow raised, “How could it have been worse?”
“It could have rained,” he replied, “Then we would wet, cold and tired.”
“You always manage to find a bright side, no matter how odd it is,” she said with a headshake. “Now let’s find somewhere to stay for tonight.”

Much wandering, and the asking of a few people later, found them in front of a small inn, though Sierra thought it looked sort of shady.

“Stop complaining, at least we found something,” said Nuada as she’d begun to complain when they stopped in front of it.
“Fine, but I’m sleeping with a knife nearby tonight, I don’t like the look of this place,” she said as they stepped inside the small, run down looking building.

It was dusty and rather dingy looking, as if it hadn’t been properly cleaned in a while. The lighting was dim and it smelled, dingy.

“Excuse me!” she called out, knocking on the counter, “Is someone here, we’d like rooms for the night!”
Suddenly, a man appeared behind the counter from seemingly out of nowhere and caused Sierra to jump.

In fact, he’d just come in from the other room but Sierra had looked in the other direction in that split second and had not seen him enter.

He was rather large, both in height and weight, almost as tall as Nuada and much heavier set.
“Ah, customers, so what can I you for tonight?” he asked, resting his meaty forearms on the table.
“Two single rooms, if you have them,” she said, “Preferably next door to each other.”
The man nodded, “Lemme see what we got available here,” he said, digging though a drawer, which seemed to be full of, to much stuff. “Ah, looks like we have some rooms available. So, singles you say? Ah, yep we got some oh those, most couple wants just one room if you know what I mean.” he said with a wink.
“I know what you mean, and we aren’t a couple, he’s like, way older than me,” she said, her face reddening a little bit. “Single rooms are quite fine.”
“Alright, here’s yer keys, the rooms are just down the halls near the end, just, match the number on the door to the one on the key and yer good ta go,” he said.
Sierra took the keys, handing one to Nuada and paid the man before heading down the hall to her room.
“Keep your eye on him,” she said under her breath, “There’s something shifty about that innkeeper.”
Nuada glanced discreetly from the corner of his eye at the man, who seemed to be watching them, or at least Sierra. “You mean besides the way he’s staring at you?”
She shuddered, “Ugh, that’s creepy,” she muttered under her breath. “I’m sleeping with my knife drawn tonight, just in case.”
Nuada chuckled, “I thought you always slept with a knife close by.”
She punched him in the shoulder teasingly. She dropped his key into his hand once they reached his door. “I’ll see you in the morning, alright?”
“Of course you will,” he said before vanishing into his room, the door closing with a click behind him.

Sierra entered her own room, it was small, smaller than she’d expected, but she was only staying the night, she didn’t need a big room. It contained only two things, a small, one-person bed, and an old wooden dresser, both of which looked as if they’d seen better days. The walls were a dull, stony grey, the curtains that hung over the small window equally as drab and boring.
She groaned as she dropped onto the bed, “I wish I did have a hit, then I wouldn’t have to stay in this boring ass room,” she grumbled.
Closing the door she undressed for bed, loosening her clothes so she was dressed only in her loose, airy undershirt and thin leggings, and she lay down on her back and closed her eyes.

A tiny breeze blew through the partly open window, playing with the curtains and anything else airy enough to be blown.
Strands of blond hair were gently brushed from her face, but not by the wind, but a hand. A hand, which was attached to the arm of the innkeeper, the man who had been eyeing Sierra like a piece of meat earlier that evening. He towered over the sleeping girl, her form made to look even tinier than it was in comparison to his. She lay on her side, one arm under the pillow to hold it to her head, blond hairs laying over her face. His hand hovered over her, as if he was deciding what to do. Then, just as his hand was about to come to rest on her, he stopped. The tip of a knife was pointed at his neck and Sierra was sitting upright, wide-awake. The hand that had been under the pillow had been holding onto her knife and she hadn’t been sleeping at all.

“What the hell are you doing in my room?” she asked.
“Technically it’s my room since I own this place,” he said. “And you need ta pay fer sleeping here.” he said, grabbing her wrist in one hand. “Now, you’re gonna be real quiet for me,” he said, disarming her as he knocked the knife from her trapped hand.
Sierra’s face paled nervously, without her dagger and in this position there was no way she could fight back against this man, he was more than double her size. In the next instant, she found herself pinned against the bed with the innkeeper hovering over her, her knife now on the floor. He held her hands out of the way in one hand, making it impossible for her to get to any of the other knives she had or to even fight back.
“I don’t usually get women as lovely as you in my inn,” he said in a low voice, whispering in her ear.
She wrinkled her nose in disgust, he smelled awful, like a mix of damp hay, wood, stale beer and sweat. “Get, get away from me,” she hissed, trying to wiggle free.
“Aww, stop fighting, it’ll be fun,” he said with a cold smile that sent chills down her spine.
“Like hell.” She swung leg up, hitting him right in the one spot men are most sensitive, between the legs. He reacted the way any man would, he curled up in pain, letting her go in the process. Seizing the opportunity, she scrambled out of bed, falling to the floor painfully as she got tangled up in the covers in the process of running away. Scrambling across the floor, she made her way to the bedroom door. Before she could reach it, she felt his hand grab her leg.
“Where do you think you’re going?” he asked, flipping her on her back as he hovered over her.
“A-away from you,” she said, trying to hide the trembling nervousness in her voice.
“Now, why would you want to do that?” he asked, caressing her leg with one hand.

She shuddered, wishing he would stop and leave her alone. If felt, gross to have him touch her, especially like that. His hand moved to her hip she felt herself become paralyzed with fear as he started to remove her leggings. She clenched her eyes shut, wanting to just disappear from the place and hide.

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Re: "Black Rose" (Chapter 3 up!)

Postby Glacial » December 14th, 2011, 9:10:18 pm

I went back and skimmed the story for your edits. It's a bit easier to read now, thanks. And the prologue clears things up.

I also forgot to mention- you mix up your "to" and "too". "Too" is the one that means excessively (or also, depending on where you're using it). Almost everything else is "to".

Huzzah, new chapter! :o
/reads
This isn't the best situation for Sierra. So, Nuada, y u no there even before she calls for you? D:
I guess he's not psychic. Though I think he'll be able to hear what's going on in the room.
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