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 [Yuzan] Lahrukans aren't that easy to spot after all [Atoro]

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Things that I am :
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  • Dragon Hoarder
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Female Loveliness : 69
Join date : 2008-06-13
Age : 24
Location : Snuggling with Rintho under the bed, hiding from my family

PostSubject: [Yuzan] Lahrukans aren't that easy to spot after all [Atoro]   Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:38 pm

Damn her luck entirely! It was only the case that one moment she was setting out to visit the western countries on that boat, and then the next it was seized by the Surahnian scum of the east, apparently the rats still clustered together and were strong enough to prize away valuable sea-strong ships.
And that had been it really. She could not have turned the ship, and were it not for her knowledge of the Surahnians and her small talent for magic, she would have been dead, or worse.
Since then, Yuzan had been perpetually masquerading as a Surahnian, caught up on an island she thought should not even exist and was exposed to all kinds of new creatures and sorts of people. Yuzan was not at all interested in such ones, her only desire was to be back in Lahruka, to see her family again, to wed her beloved and live a life as any respectable Lady of Lahruka should.
But no. Here she was attending a Surahnian festival, the murderous race that had recently dominated a defenceless, peaceful population. They did not even subvert it, or ease the people to them, they simply crushed them and then pretended to become their saviours. Apparently they had learnt nothing from their grand hex so they would deserve all the retribution they had. All these months with them had done nothing to change her opinion. Surahnians shouted about their culture, but what did they know? Many of them were worth barely more than the ground she stood on.

Today the rain was on the mild side, it hadn't been the best weather, quite changeable. More relevantly, there was a gathering in the square, people craning their necks and pushing to get a glimpse of their so dearly held superiors, and what were they out for? Did it matter? In any case the King was not present, but other second-up officials and apparently the King's personal favourite tactician were. To what end she didn't understand, but she had never seen them. Yuzan was reeled in by the flashiness of it all, what was so mind numbingly wonderful?


The rain was putting a bit of a dampener on the festivities of the day, at least from Atoro’s point of view. He didn’t so much mind all the pomp and ceremony that came with being in such a distinguished position (unless it coincided with something else he wanted to do, or went on too long), because he did occasionally enjoy showing off; but as he was the tactician for longer and longer, and he had to continue going to these sorts of events, they were starting to wear off on him a little. And when rain was factored into the equation, well, it didn’t make for a pleasant experience.

At that moment, he would much rather have been back at the palace, sorting through books, or trying to plan out their new movements in order to secure Jiluria. He even had the faint urge to go and look through his maps again, which hadn’t really happened since that scumbag Rintho had stolen his best map. At least now though, the rest of his collection didn’t fill him with such frustration and upset.

Thankfully, things wrapped up to a close relatively swiftly with the onset of another shower of rain, and Atoro was more than happy to leave without staying to amuse and awe the locals. He didn’t even have to force his way through the crowds; that was done for him.

His life had gotten quite cushy, in some ways. Although, it was better for all the Surahnians that had come to Dragons’ Cove; that much was obvious, from their happy, well-fed faces.


How exciting, no sooner had she decided to take a look, they were finishing and all parting ways, all the merrier for it in spite of the rain.
Yuzan looked on to see the man at the center of it all, and his own entourage. If there was anyone that had the power to send back a ship to surahnia, so close to Lahruka, it was one of his rank or higher. So he must have been the second or third, that would have to do and that was all she needed.

But what did someone like that need with one of mere "good" class. That was all, "good" class, not even elite. She would even then somehow need to make contact with him without his stock of armed men ready to throw her back because nobody of his ranking deserved to suffer the presence of somebody of /her/ rank.

It was a gamble, but one she would have to make. This spell was not infallible and it would not last forever. Now, first, she needed his attention.
Yuzan quickmarched her way in his direction, this was /so/ beneath her...
But not enough that she would not attempt it. When the eyes were off of her, she threw herself forward between the guards, startling them immediately as she crashed onto the ground, shrieking.

"Eh! You fool what do you think you're doing!"

The man behind her looked baffled, as she faked her having been thrown to the ground.
"A weak sort of man you are! Oh, Oh my, I am so sorry" She moved her attention toward the entourage surrounding Atoro...


As much as Atoro now wanted to switch off and stop thinking, he kept his guard up as he and his men moved through the crowds, barely giving the people around more than a cursory glance before moving on. If they wanted him to play up to them, then they were asking for the wrong dog to do tricks. No doubt looking for Andyr, instead.

He didn’t take much notice of Yuzan as she made her way quickly towards him, wriggling between the other Surahnians around; probably just another eager one looking for a closer look. Those appeared, now and then. However, he did not bank on her getting as close as she did, falling through the circlet of men around him to almost land at his feet. He hadn’t seen her before; not one of the fighting elite, then, but possibly part of a lower archers’ division somewhere. Or otherwise, he couldn’t tell.

But that was unimportant for now; just marching past the squealing woman would put him in the worst light, especially when she was so close, almost between the guards. He looked her up and down, noticing the cut of her dress and pretty black hair.
“Help her up,” he said to one of the nearer guards, pausing for a few seconds, to make sure that she was… well, he had no interest in whether she was alright, but it put him in a favourable light.


Yuzan looked up at him and made cert ain to make eye contact, before then being hoisted up by a firm hand of one of the guards, once on her feet she was sure to bow and salute quite dramatically.
"Oh My Lord, you are most kind! Everybody is here to bear witness to your compassion." She announced, still rubbing her side ruefully pretending to be in minor pain.
The murmur of nearer people agreed heartily and they paid their respects while passing by as a nod or salute. Perfect, the group had halted. She had seconds now to act.
"My Lord, how is one to serve you best?" She made sure to have an audience listening...waiting on his response. He wouldn't be able to move.


Atoro was not expecting such overt display from this stranger, but on contemplation, he probably should have- a fanatic. Wonderful. He accepted her words with a slight twitch of a smile, then, satisfied that she was unharmed, looked to continue again. But of course, she had not finished yet. As he had already pegged her, a fanatic, she would want to wheedle as much time out of him as possible. And because there were so many people around, he had to indulge her.
"Serve me best? I think you mean serve the Rebels best." Had to cover the exits. "King Zartear has great plans for this island, but it requires soldiers, trained weaponmen and women. I suggest you devote your time to the bows." That was how most Surahnian women were occupied these days, if they were not otherwise occupied with children, the pursuit of children, or rebuilding the economy.
"No doubt as a Surahnian, you will make a fine archer. If you have not yet reported to one of the generals within the archery unit, I suggest you do so swifty."


"Wise words me Lord, so very wise...!" She responded, taking another deep bow and in the blink of an eye, her fingers had relieved him of an icon to his side, a medal of sorts to compliment his status. She let them continue walking away on their steady march back to...well, she didn't know where, but she kept ahead of them, far enough to not appear to be trying to make any contact with them though.
She was going to have to wait...
Yuzan had followed him through the day as if it was her living, and whenever he went where she could not go she had waited. It was now quite a nice early evening so the light was still fresh and warm in that hue of orange and gold.
Now would be the time, Atoro was training by himself in the area of the palace reserved for those of only the highest to be undisturbed. The man seemed to like his peace, from what she had seen. More importantly though, he was powerful.
The area was well tended, trees surrounded the grassy parts and there was garden-esque parts, it was clearly a place intended for duelling and the like.
Yuzan had gone through hell to make sure she kept clear of the guard and arrived in this part.
She pulled herself from out of the shadow of trees that lined the enclosure, making sure that nobody else was in sight and made sure to stay in his full view. She then very simply raised the medal she had snagged earlier, as distinct as it was (surely he would recognise it as his own lost one?) and then she put the other hand to her lips coyly.


After the day's long list of things to do, people to see and problems to sort out, Atoro decided that spending his evening poring over books again probably wasn't the best end to it, especially as the sun had now decided to come out again. He had taken his bow down to the small private training area in one part of the palace gardens, thinking to get in a little practice; although it was seen as pathetic for a Surahnian man to be dependent on a bow, Atoro could also use a sword. He just enjoyed keeping up his level in both, and he didn't want to lose the edge with archery that he had slowly gained in Surahnia, using a bow for many years to hunt, out in the barren steppe.
He was pleased by the way he managed to hit the targets that evening, and after an hour or so, took a break for a few minutes. The garden was quiet, none of the others training as well. It was during this time, when he had sent one of the guards off to fill the jug of water again, that a woman appeared at the edge of the trees, barely more than a shadowy figure with a sparkling medal in her hand.
That was his! It had gone missing earlier, he had noticed, but had no clue where it had gotten to, and with so many people around, there had been no way of telling whose hands it had ended up in. He felt a twinge of annoyance at that, but with the accompanying gesture from the woman, relaxed a little, slinging his bow across his back and stepping towards her. It was that woman from earlier! He felt a spark of surprise as he recognised her, but then again, what was coincidence for you, if not this?


"Oh, you are so very discerning My Lord, and it is a pleasure to finally speak with you on less...brief terms. I wonder, can you honour me with with a few minutes of your time?...I do happen to have something I'd like to speak with you about...not money, nor house nor status or the like...If you will be so kind." She said, her voice was respectful and humble, but she made sure not to break her eyes away from him as she searched out for any spark of hesitance in him.
"Afterall, one does not go to see the swords master or the bowmaster...or the other war disciplines...on more intelligent matters."


He couldn't help but smirk at her words. Perhaps he had underestimated her a little, that morning.
"Those things do easily make for unenlightening conversation, especially on a fine evening," he said as the woman listed off all sorts of menial things that people seemed to want off him. They didn't seem to understand he had little interest in the personal affairs of other people. But this one, he may be able to make a little time for, especially as she had been so... unusual in her approach. He held her gaze as she looked at him, resting a little more on one leg.
"No, the bowmaster or the swordsmaster are not quite the same. Natives of this place are rather different to us, they do not have the same pride or thinking as a Surahnian. I don't doubt they would appreciate a woman such as yourself sneaking in here in the same way as I do."
His smirk grew a little.


Yes, she had been well received, her foot was in the door...now it just needed a good shove.
"No they do not, pride and self respect, good surahnian values...do not come through idle chatter of money and such do they now?" She chimed after him, though wanting to simply vomit in her throat at such lies.
"Then, would you kindly allow me an audience with you in one of the many meeting halls? I only need minutes my lord, I would never want to keep your from your duties, so far more important as they are." She etched her way slowly towards the sort of atmosphere she needed, out here in the open, was mere ice breaking. Meeting rooms were for serious talk.

"I know I may not be as significant as all other guests of yours, but I hope you will find as much value in what I say as much I find in you. The very reason I have worked so hard to simply find you."


"Only minutes? And I thought I might have your company for a little longer," said Atoro, the thought of even more meetings irritating him slightly. "And in a little less formality than a designated meeting." He wasn't quite sure what the woman wanted now, as she was giving mixed signals, from her previous ones, to now. He straightened up again, slipping his hand into the pocket with his medal in and running it through his fingers. "Considering you have chosen to find yourself here tonight, at this point, I would have assumed that whatever it is that you wanted, you were ready to speak of it now, rather than at some later date. Why put off things in order to comply with pleasantries?"


"If the Lord wishes it, he may have my company for as long as he pleases. Is he not the second greatest in all Surahnia?" She then added, quite pleased with the flow of this conversation, she was making good headway. Though now curiously, he seemed a little, put out? She didn't know, but his tone changed and he seemed less in a mood to speak seriously with her.
"Well, if you wish to speak of such matters now we may, but can this woman rest her feet? May we sit there?" She looked over to the arrangement of long benches, typically reserved for small meetings of high ranking surahnians. Such as had been the time when Atoro was made tactician.

"Indeed, I am not a person to comnply with pleasantries either where not needed, not when things like this are so pressing...I am sure you will sympathise." She smiled again, and began to walk over to seat herself.
"May I?"


Well, this woman did indeed know how to make herself look appealing to Atoro, her flattery barely masked this time. Of course, she had to be reacting to him, just as he was to her, and he probably had just read her words the wrong way before. Returning to his previous mood again, he gestured behind him to a couple of benches near to the training ground, allowing her to pass and following like a /gentleman/. Huh, not many could stand for so long without yet irritating him. Then again, not many were able to hold his attention in a conversation for so long, without him discarding them for being below him. It probably happened a little too regularly.
"We shall discard with a few of the formalities, then," he said as she sat, removing his bow and leaning it against the side of the seat before sitting himself, next to her. "As you already know, I am Atoro, but your name, I do not know." He gave her a sideways look.


Yuzan smiled cattily to herself, out of Atoro's sight, the man was surprisingly easy to speak with when one knew how to flatter him correctly. If she'd known it'd be this simple she would have mustered the courage to do it far sooner. At this rate she wouldn't even have to try anything drastic, things couldn't be much better.
"My name, Lord Atoro, is Lady Yuzan. Though of course, you may call me however you please." She paused, thinking how to broach this nicely but keep him hooked on her line...
"I must cut to the chase, so as not to bore you. I have family in Surahnia, many links, which were broken as they did not make the ships..." She took her time, Surahnia was always a tough subject to navigate. "I know that they will still be there, but I also know there were contacts amongst them in Kahruna and Lahruka...they will, know much. Many secrets to magic that can help the present in Surahnia...if only one were to be given a means to see them and send them to the haven here..."


"It is good to meet your acquaitance, Lady Yuzan," he said. Interesting name, certainly one he had not heard before now. "I doubt that you could bore me at this moment, but indeed, it is not wise to aspire to that." He listened to her story, understanding the position she was in; many were in the same, himself not, but that was beside the point. There were things left behind in Surahnia for him too, even if they might be merely memories. He tried not to bristle at the name of Lahruka as he normally did, forcing himself to stay calm, understand that the name would appear in any story concerning Surahnia. However, at the mention of magic, he did pause.
"Secrets to magic? What are these magical secrets you speak of?" His tone suddenly became guarded, and his eyes narrowed a little. "It was magic that brought Surahnia to what it is today, the last thing that our country needs is more meddling with that poisonous substance." He thought the magic that was present on Dragons' Cove bad enough as it was, and this was a prosperous land!
"Who might your contacts in Lahruka be? I know of none who stepped into that place and returned; I saw for myself what happened to our kinsmen. Unforgiveable things occured there, and possibly still do."


Oh the man had a tale or two to tell of his own it seemed! All the better, he seemed drawn in to this quite thoroughly, she continued.
"I do not imply that Great Surahnia uses such magic but rather, understands it. So that we may best /fight/ it. Know thy enemy and such, I am sure you agree?" She flashed him a playful smile, searching for agreement.
"Please ease yourself my lord, I only wish for the best for us, our country...But to do these things I need you, or rather, your bidding. I cannot charter a ship back to surahnia, but I know that you can. Will you help a woman help us? The extra information may be invaluable to us..."
She leaned in closer as she said these words, as there appeared to be an intensity and urgency in how she spoke.


"Hmm..." murmured Atoro under his breath, trying to ease his suspicion a little. She was Surahnian, that was clear from her blue eyes and dark hair, but anyone who mentioned magic and Lahruka together in a sentence either wanted to stir up something, or was foolishly naive. "I think we all want the best for our country, but it is not many who can make a large difference to it, in the positions many of us are in." Thankfully Atoro had risen to some sort of commendable position now; something he had been striving for for a very long time, it seemed.
He put his head on one side as she leant forwards, regarding her thoughtfully. "Indeed, I could charter a ship, if I see fit to. However," he tipped her chin up with two fingers, meeting her gaze after a quick look over her face, "You may have to continue to convince me why I should go through so much trouble, when your associates are probably dead already." It was cold for him to say, but she couldn't be deluding herself into thinking they would all still be alive, after at least six months in the unkind countries around Surahnia.


Well, that was quite unexpected. So fast she had expected she had him hook line and sinker, if not for her charm but for her undeniable reasons. But now, things were starting to get a touch uncomfortable. She didn't dare let that show, she had falsely read him it seemed. Nope, he was not just impatient to formality, he was simply far more interested in a line of thinking that couldn't be further from tactical use of contacts remaining in Lahruka or Surahnia.
She did not pull away or flinch as he moved her, but rather, rested a hand delicately on his arm as he did so.
"Please understand me then, the trouble would be well worthwhile. All I'd require is a small ship, mere timberwoods worth enough for a small cabin crew and a drop in the ocean of your wealth. I am a humble sort." Her speech was more furtive as she felt he was becoming more interested, so she would have to be careful now. "Can you do this for me? Are you not convinced of this noble endeavour?" She slid her hand down his arm slyly, but never taking away her fingers from him yet, holding his eyes with a seriousness that demanded an answer. Yet she felt her bargaining grip was slackening.


"Now, we could not have you taken by the sea, could we?" Atoro said, his gaze flicking to her hand, then back again. "Mere timberwoods may allow you to travel back to Surhania, but you would not arrive in a happy state, nor, I would think, would the crew be feeling particularly endearing towards our endeavour here." As much as this woman was almost a stranger to him, he could feel her pull on him, convincing him of her worth. If she would do all she said she would, once she returned to /home/, then it may give them a great leap in returning Surahnia to what it once was... no longer the barren land at its current state.
"And to let such a lady as yourself, Yuzan, sail away from here, would be rather a shame. At least, for me." He slid his hand to the back of her neck, brushing her curls of hair. "Is there noone you could convince to sail in your place. Indeed, it is an important journey, but not one for a lady to be making, six months back and forth on the ocean. I am sure you can be brought around to stay here, in New Racksom. Would that not appeal to you?"


Yuzan listened to him carefully, his tone seemed to have taken on a softer lilt to it and she felt his hands brush her neck, enough to send shivers down all over her and just how dangerous a game she was playing dawned upon her. Still, it was her only hope...
He seemed to be inviting her to overstay her welcome in racksom, not out on the oceans at all, in fact she dared to think, in the palace.
She straightened herself up a little, not quite leaning in to his touch but not refusing either, she then put her hand on his leg with one smooth movement.
"Appeal to me? Of course it would, as much as my idea does too. Can you give me your word on this? Nobody tells me that I have to leave on the ship the moment the agreement passes your lips." She smiled back, leaning in a bit closer this time, feigning innocent friendliness. She then entirely pulled herself back and kept her hands to herself. "How do you say wise Lord Atoro? Can't I both stay /and/ go?" She said, internally her stomach was turning in disgust with herself but...if it worked, she could not complain. She then thought for a moment of her love in Lahruka, he could never know of this. "Or am I displeasing to you?" She enquired, her fingers appearing to nervously touch her collarbone and smooth the skin.


"I am sure I can convince one of the captains to take you back to Surahnia, indeed," said Atoro, not quite giving her his consent, but close enough. Even to such a good cause, he disliked being tied down immensely. "But perhaps, as you say, not quite yet." He smiled a little as she leant forwards, inticed by her ways, and was surprised when she suddenly broke away, his brows dipping into a momentary frown. Letting go, he let his hand run down her arm.
"There is not much to leave /for/," said Atoro. "As much as I would like Surahnia to be a pleasing prospect to return to... there is more here; I would say to stay, not go. There is much to look forward to, in this place."

He pulled her twitching fingers away from her throat with his own, trying not to be too rough about it. "You are being anything but displeasing, Lady Yuzan," he said. "Which is not something many people achieve, I might say."


"You are still not certain then are you? How about you allow me to give you a better reason then." She let her hand be taken by him and allowed him to have his piece in the circles of his words, apparently he felt quite firmly about this and would need a little bit more.
"Please let me make it so that we agree." She moved her hand closest to him up to his shoulder and then leaned across, her face drawing closer to his neck. "Forgive me if I seem direct or rash, but, you have a great presence about you." She spoke smoothly, poised, with the smallest of breaths on his skin. She was however, fuming with the solidarity of this man, he simply would not give in to her demands but was happy to take the other half of her.
"The kind of presence one doesn't find often, I was right to find you. You can help me best, can you not? All I need to hear is that you'll say you'll help me..." She smiled flirtaciously. Apparently her ability to act opposite to her feeling was a talent of hers.


Atoro's skin tingled at the feel of Yuzan's breath on his neck, and he almost forgot what they were supposed to be talking about. Almost. He couldn't lose himself completely however, he was too conditioned to taking note of everything to stop that, even now.
"You are good at saying the right things," he murmured, not having to speak loudly for their close proximity. "And I don't know if you think this directness a bad thing, but I find it very agreeable." He slipped his arm around her waist, holding her close, then turned his head to brush her lips with his own. He had not expected this, not at all, not once in the past few days. Perhaps it was too fast, but she was being rather flirtatious, it was not as though she was hiding it... And someone so passionate about their homeland, well, it was a rare thing to find, and when coupled with intelligence, then it was something worth holding onto.


The bastard needed everything to make him give out anything. So, Yuzan, knowing full well she was under no authority to refuse the man now moved her hands around to him and feel over his back, to then kiss him deeply yet all the while be thinking of the terrible betrayal she was committing and how she hated to kiss a man so coldly, without an ounce of passion in her heart. Though, there was a lot to be said for this man himself being cold from the inside and out.
Yuzan felt the situation was building more than she could handle here and pressed him away from her lips for a moment, to speak again to his side, while holding his body close.
"I plead, not here of all places. I shall do whatever it is that will please you best, but first settle me at your quarters, Lord." She moved her body away from him, tracing her fingers up over him so she stood behind, waiting for his direction.


Smiling as she kissed him back, he wrapped his arms more firmly around her, very much enjoying this new twist to the evening. As much as he didn't want her to stop, he let her pull away when she did, tracing his fingers through a few locks of her hair. She was a pretty girl, which just added even more to her allure.
"Of course, this is not the best place to be," said Atoro, sparing a glance for the sky. It was getting cloudy again, a slight chill in their air with the departed sun. "I am sure it will be the easiest of tasks to find you a place to stay in the palace, rooms fit for a lady of such standing as yourself." He would make the servants run, all right, to make sure that she was not disappointed.

Following her with his gaze as she stood, her trailing fingers sending little shocks all over him like it was magic, he regarded her with much less coldness than he usually exacted, taking her hand again and standing as she settled herself nearby. He picked up his bow, sliding it over his shoulder before holding her hand to his lips and kissing it, gesturing towards the castle with all the romance that the setting deserved. Hah, odd, from him! Of all the people.
"This way, lady, there will be a place for you to stay soon. Until then, there are places in the palace where I am sure we will not be disturbed by many."


So, Yuzan had made good progress. Sort of. She'd gotten far closer to the tactician than many were even able to, though she was still not certain she could bargain a boat from him as near to the tipping point he may, be...or not...She couldn't tell, he kept a lot to himself.
She still hadn't wanted to do that so easily, the whole thing was quite shameful by any culture she'd come across yet, but, if it would send her home? Atoro seemed not to mind one bit; of course he didn't. What a life it must be for him.
By now though, it was morning, the sun had found it's way through the window and softly warmed this unfamiliar room. Yuzan was wide awake, looking about it and feeling decidedly sleazy. Hmm? So this must be what it was like to feel like a typical surahnian woman.
As for her bedmate? Well, she didn't even want to think about the things she'd done for him, he was next to her there, sleeping still? She wasn't sure, but it must be late enough to give him a friendly wake up call.

Yuzan rolled to her side and moved up close to him, pressing herself to his back while sliding a wandering hand over his side to caress his chest; probably the most friendly wake up call he'd had in a while she reckoned. He didn’t strike her as the sort that was a natural for the ladies, given all she’d learned of him.
"A good morning to you Atoro." She said warmly but quietly, the kind of quiet that comes with a still morning when everything else feels by comparison, far too loud.
"I hope you slept well." She purred, again, feeling a spike of self disgust in herself. But, not enough to dissuade her actions.
To make sure he got the point, and indeed, men often needed a little help understanding, she shifted her upper leg over him slightly so they were closer still.
Yuzan hadn't banked on actually spending so long with the tactician, long enough for her disguise spell to wane, her hair having becoming a smooth even brown and her eyes, though shut for now, their true colour of a rich liquid green. It was just as well they lay as they way they did.


Yuzan’s soft touch woke Atoro slowly to start with, making him push his face against the pillows to go back to sleep again, still tired from their late night before. That only lasted a few seconds however, and he suddenly shot awake, unused to finding himself next to someone else in bed. Wait, no, this was planned- well, planned as much as, he had definitely expected to wake up to Yuzan in the morning when he went to sleep the night before. Sleep-muddled from waking up, that hadn’t registered straight away, however.
“Good morning to you too, lady,” he mumbled, blinking away more sleep. Ugh, there were probably things to do. For once, he really didn’t feel like starting the day. Maybe he could put them off for an hour; he was always prompt at every other time, he deserved a lie in every now and then. Wrapping his arm over hers and pulling it a little tighter round his waist, he decided that yes, he was not getting up this instant.
“I slept well. I hope your dreams were pleasant?” he asked, tapping his fingers along the back of her hand. “You can go back to sleep, soon; I shall have to get up and attend to my affairs.” Sadly. “You shall have to amuse yourself in the palace for a few hours, I am sure that will not be difficult. The guards will not bother you, the servants will tend to your needs.” He tipped his head back a little, the edge of her face just coming into view.


Yuzan remained close to his body, entirely wrong as this all was, she'd quite missed this sensation and sort of contact, though it was a hollow kind of pleasure...she would not, in her mind anyway, allow herself to enjoy it.
"My dreams were so much more." She responded fondly, then hearing him. So it seems she now had a good amount of time to take his fancy again and hopefully work him around a bit more. Nothing out of reach, in all fairness. "I am flattered you'd allow me to stay at all Lord Atoro." She moved a hand of hers to stroke his hair tenderly as he looked back, slightly her wa. Officials were so much more /manageable/ when in a post-sex haze.


"You'll come back soon I hope...a lady can only keep herself amused for a time..."
As if to then make a point of that too, she rested her cheek by his. "Of course, you don't have to go now...business can wait a little while can't it?" Yuzan continued with this, she wanted to keep him as sweet as possible. Still fondling his hair and then delicately stroking the outline of his face, neck, shoulders...."We'll save our little talk for later too." She slipped that in while things were all smooth and good...no use rushing and annoying the man.


"Mm, you can stay," he said. Damn, he should have gotten a girl round before now. "I will try and be quick, but my duties tend to take up at least most of the morning." He never wished that he was anything lower than the tactician, but at this moment, it was a little annoying that he always had so much to do- and before he had coveted it. Now though, he wasn’t going to leave his bed so quickly, not when Yuzan was being so compliant. Then later, they could ring for a servant and get them to bring up breakfast. He closed his eyes and enjoyed her touch for a bit, then eventually sighed and sat up, rubbing his hands over his face.
“I am sure we can talk about your wish later, but I will have to discuss with the others, as well. There will be questions if I suddenly send a ship back to Surahnia. Especially if there is magic involved.” He was hesitant himself, in doing so, just because of the magical aspect of it all. And it was too early to be talking about this, not when he had to be thinking clearly, and he was thinking anything /but/ clearly at the moment. Instead, changing the subject, “Breakfast?”


Yuzan nodded to herself, waiting until later was a good enough response for her. After his work he'd no doubt be seeking out her company, and now she was on "good" terms with him, it'd all be quite a simple affair. Regrettably, she was not so thrilled at the prospect of having to perform again.
"Yes, breakfast." she echoed, then stretching and with a yawn she pulled back the covers and pushed herself from the bed, Yuzan was never a shy sort of woman. Hmm, surely there was something around here to use until she was back and able to dress correctly at her own home. "My Lord, would it offend you if I were to take your robes until I find something more, ah, fitting?" She enquired. Perhaps the first genuine question she'd posed to him since their acquaintance.


Atoro tended to skip breakfast, but he knew that it would be an easy enough task to get one of the servants to bring something up for the pair of them. He yawned, running one hand through his hair, before looking across at Yuzan as she got out of bed.
"No, take my rob--" he paused, his words stopping in his throat. This was not the same Yuzan as yesterday- yesterday she had been Surahnian, black hair, blue eyes.
This Yuzan was /Lahrukan/.
A cold shiver washed over his skin, his mouth opening in shock, then he leapt out of bed and towards his rapier, levelling it at the woman.

"So kind of you." She had taken the robe and covered herself with it, then turned around and gasped abruptly to see a rapier levelled straight toward her and she immediately staggered backwards in shock.
"Lord! What offends you so!" She called out nervously, a pitchiness of sudden and strong fear through her voice. "I, what do I do to deserve this? Please do not hurt this poor woman..."


Wide-eyed, Atoro didn't falter his aim at the woman at all, even through her shock. A mage, she was a /Lahrukan/ mage. He spat at her feet, taking a few steps forwards. Damn it, what had he been thinking the night before.
"Poor woman? You're a /Lahrukan/," he growled, a deep scowl on his face. She had been playing him the whole time, he felt like a fool- and not just for then, now too. "Don't act scared, you witch."


Yuzan scowled, "A witch? By no means. Lahrukan? What possesses you?" she backed off a little further, as he was clear about his disgust. "Please calm yourself my Lord, I believe it must be your tiredness that skews your view in such a way. Every single surahnian knows that a Lahrukan could never survive such a voyage without retribution for their deeds." She smiled meekly, and ran her hands through her hair, only then noticing how it was no longer the inky black it should have been. "Lower your sword so we can talk in a civil manner, if it pleases you, Lord."


Restraining himself (with difficulty) from running her through right there, he took a few steps to the side, grabbing a big piece of fabric left lying over the top of one of his chairs and wrapping it round his middle. It turned out to be a flag.
"Tiredness? Even if I were half-asleep, I would be able to tell a Lahrukan from a Surahnian." Although the otherwise was painfully obvious; it had taken him until now to realise. "Stay where you are, if you move again, I will not be giving you any mercy." He had to be wary; he had seen what magic could do, and he had seen what Lahrukans could do. Both together made for a very volatile mixture.


Yuzan remained still obediently, and although at another time the move might have called at least a smirk to her face, Atoro with nothing but a surahnian flag to defend his modesty was all the same, a dangerous man. Did snakes need clothes?
"Where are you going My Lord? Are you sure we can not resolve this...insignificance amongst ourselves? I am not your enemy, as much as you may believe it." Her eyes called out searchingly to him with the innocence of a child. Yet all the same, she knew she had to get him to put that darned weapon down...maybe he would see sense once she was allowed to be her usual charming self and, maybe he could overlook this small obstacle...maybe.


"Oh, I am sure I can deal with you on my own." He backed off to the door, making sure it was locked. She was not going to escape, they didn't need a Lahrukan running around wild. Especially when it was wearing /his/ clothes. "The fact that you are Lahrukan is much more than just an 'insignificance'. Any Lahrukan scum is an enemy to me." Suddenly what she had been wanting all evening before became painfully dangerous to look at.
He stepped slowly across the room towards her again, his look cold.
Dammit, his archery set was leaning against his desk, from the night before, and much too close to her for his liking. He hoped she wouldn't notice.


Well, if it came down to fighting, Yuzan was not going to win.
"I have no proficiency with weapons, My Lord." She stated plainly, then turning away from him and walking cautiously back toward the side of the bed, before sitting down upon it cross legged.
"Then why don't you kill me right this moment? Aren't I just a delight to the eyes?" She smiled like a vixen, well aware of both her exposure and her poor circumstances. She was angling to win him round again. "If it interests you, a boat...not for your people, you are all dead or gone from Surahnia. It is a wasteland, the same wasteland you left, and I left behind. It was never my intention to come here, rather, my ship was stolen by your people and the crew killed. I was set to visit a western country. Now, all I wish is to see my people again."
She relaxed a little, leaning on the backpost.
"All it takes is a single, precise stab, Lord. Then you won't have to fear about this "witch" ever again."


He followed her with his sword as she moved, backing around to his desk and feeling to make sure his bow was still there, even though she hadn't taken it. It made him feel a little more in control to know that she was poor at using weapons (cosseted Lahrukan, no Surahnian would have said such a thing with such blantant lack of shame), but he folded it over his shoulder all the same, keeping it away from her. She still had magic at her disposal, she didn't need a bow as well.
"You're everything but a delight," he said. He was not going to let himself fall for her charms again- and her brown hair and green eyes were there to remind him now. "My homeland is a wasteland because of you, your people; do you think that I would send you back to them, so you can cause more damage? Or return to /this/ place instead?" It didn't pass him by that she would have full means to try such a manouvre. He stepped closer to her.
"Do not think you will escape with such an easy death. I have never had such a chance to kill a Lahrukan; it will not be so quick for you to just be stabbed."


"Then what?" She stated boldly, "You can choose to accept me as I am, another person passing through your life, a drop of water in the ocean that cares nothing for politics nor warmaking..." She sighed a little, "Or you can try and alleviate your horror through killing me; a hollow victory all the same. Lord Atoro, I beckon you to come closer, to come kill me if you believe you can." Yuzan relaxed a little more, showing off her best assets; nothing to lose. If he was to kill her, then a cut right through the skin was so much better than through the cloth too. "My offer still stands. I'll do anything for you; but all I ask in return is a means to be home again."
"Come now Atoro, I am a practical woman and you are a man with few that understand you, are you not?" She smiled catishly again, yet inside, quivering and terrified that she had been discovered and at any moment could be sent to her grave.


Whether Yuzan was interested in politics or warmaking was of no interest to Atoro; she was still Lahrukan, she was still part of the race that had caused so much destruction back on Surhania.
"You know nothing of what I can do. Nothing! Do not invite your death, do not make it as though /I/ am in the wrong." He tried to ignore the shift of her robes over her shoulders, but it wasn't completely lost on him. Dammit! "Why should /you/ be able to return to your home, when I never can? You do not understand this, do you?" He was angry, his voice raised, and stepped closer, angling his blade at her throat. As much as he wanted to kill her, not yet... this was a Lahrukan, and he didn't quite know how to judge the situation. This had never happened before, and he had certainly not planned for this eventuality.


She remained where she was, not wanting to set him on edge with a sudden movement.
"Me? Well, if you don't let me go. So be it, I'll have to find somebody else who can help me. Think, if you were in my position, would you not do the same?" An indignant air passed over her. "You are a surahnian and I am a Lahrukan. For whatever fate decided this, that is how it is." Still, she wondered how best to defuse this mess... "In truth it matters little to me where we belong to. I only yearn for my family."
She smiled a little in spite of the blade teasing near her throat, yet was eyeing it anxiously and breathing a little harder for its imminence..."Sit with me! Let us talk! A Lahrukan and a Surahnian. Nobody would have imagined it."
Indeed, she found this just as abominable as the man, yet, anything to make him surrender such an offensive stance.


"I would not be in your position. I would be dead, by another of your men's hands." Atoro said shortly. It was the truth, he would never have made it into Lahruka without being killed. Perhaps the Willow Mother had sent her to him so he could finally exact some sort of revenge.
"It might not matter to you, but you are the one who came out of Surahnia unscathed; not even being able to use a weapon, without being the least bit fearful of such a fact, that shows how different you and I are." He narrowed his eyes. "You may long for your family, at least you have family to long for." A spiteful part of him hoped she had some close relation waiting for her, a husband or children.
Although still extremely wary of her, he did relax his stance a little, keeping his blade in place however.
"This is the only way a Lahrukan and a Surahnian should talk, with a blade in the Surahnian's hand." He did not want to talk any other way with her, however much she tried to persuade him.


Spiteful or hurt? She didn't know or care, he had no right to speak like this but she was in no way to comment much on that. Rather Yuzan said
"What of this? Are you going to stand there all day with that blade to my throat? My oh my, let's see who dies with no water first." She wanted to add then that Surahnians should know all about starvation, but thought better of it.
"Perhaps it is, but we all know the blade indicates nothing in the grander scheme of things." She removed the robes entirely with some small arm movements, daring not to move much. "Take them. If I am to die I would not want the shame of wearing the surahnian second's robes. Tell me, what will you do?" Her eyes were suddenly all the more enquiring and yet masked her own intentions. It was true that Yuzan epitomised what Lahrukans meant to many people.


"Perhaps I will stand here all day, or at least, until a servant arrives." He did not like her second comment one bit. Dammit, why had he ordered the servants that he was not to be disturbed in his room, unless it was at the king's personal order? Although, once again, he had not expected a situation such as this to arrive.
Did he even want a servant to find them? This was a debatable situation at best.
He scowled deeply again at her insult, again trying to ignore how exposed she was. It was not an easy task, especially considering the events of the previous night.
"What will I do?" He didn't really know, but didn't show that; the anger and upset in his eyes easily hid that. "You will be made an example of. Perhaps I will take you to the king, he will enjoy seeing you die, I am sure." Or that might be a terrible plan, Zartear would ask where he found a naked Lahrukan. Yes, that was not a wise move.


"Bold words my Lord, very much so." She replied, though she wouldn't let on , her throat was dry and her blood ran hot at the thought of her punishment. There was no escaping this unless she twisted this man one way or another. Now just surviving would be an achievement.
"As yet I have not seen you act once though...forgive me but, I believe you doubt yourself. A man like you shows power, so...this seems untypical" Still not risking a move too great she stayed lying on her back, eyes still fixated between him and more importantly, the rapier which tickled just beneath her chin. Quite a different touch from the two fingers of before.
"Please. You do not have to do this. Kill me now, or rest the rapier and kill me later."


"Would you like me to demonstrate, how I can act?" he growled, pressing his rapier a little more against Yuzan's throat, and drawing a bead of blood. The first one. It was strange to see, against her pale skin, and reminded him unconciously of the blood of a Surahnian; she had the similar paleness to her skin. "I do not doubt myself. I do not doubt /this/. What interest do you have in Surahnia? There must be some, not one of your people are indifferent. No doubt you were amongst those screaming for Surahnian blood when your kind burnt mine to death." It was difficult for him to say, bringing up such harsh memories, but she would not silence him.
"Whatever you wish, if it is death, then do not think wishing for it will make me hurry it for you. If anything, it will be opposite the case."


So sharp was the rapier, she barely felt the cut itself and was unable to see the blood, but the feeling of the press was enough to make her shiver.
"My interest? None for Surahnia! Your entire people can die or live for all I care. My only interest was in you. That is the truth. You could have helped me and that would be all. Now if you won't believe me I cannot help that!" She exclaimed, her voice growing more urgent as she held herself not to rub the blade.
She wouldn't simply lie here and accept her death at all though, she just wished she were a better mage, though. Lahrukans, in their local area, were masters of magic, by comparison here, merely mediocre. Yet she was never particularly great to begin with and was quite defenceless.
What to do?
"Cut me then if it makes you feel better! Bleed me until the floor is red!" She challenged him, looking for a window of opportunity...


"And what would be your interest in /me/," Atoro said dangerously. "Just to gain some passage back to Lahruka? You disgust me even more than a common whore might." His nose wrinkled in disgust, both at her, and her values. For one to be so careless towards a whole race of other people, it was a blinkered view of the world. Nobody should have been so lax with their ideas. But that was Lahrukan thinking for you.
"Are you so fearless in the face of death?" he said, bringing his sword up to her cheek and tracing the line of her cheekbone. He didn't care whether it hurt her or not; he rather hoped it did.


"Yes. That is correct, I hope you are not offended that I was not looking for anything else..." She refused to comment on anything more he said though; she didn't want to die right this moment. But when he started to trace her face with the sword, there was little she could do to mask her feeling.
"I am not fearless, I am very afraid."
She swallowed hard and took another gasp of air, afraid for every breath, so she had to speak in small parts.
"What am I to do?" She pleaded, "My Lord, please tell me."


Annoyed by her bluntness, Atoro knew that he should not have expected anything more of this woman, but even still. He should have known from the first moment in the gardens that there was only one thing she was after.
"Good, you should be afraid," he said. She looked frightened too, and he had to remind himself again that she should be nothing, /nothing/ to him.
"For one, do not think you are returning to Lahruka, and do not think that you will for some considerable time, unless it is in a box." That was cruel. "Perhaps I will send you to the Surselea; have you heard of this place? No doubt you would not have forgotten it, if you have."


"Answer me! What must I do!" She repeated, and now couldn't help but start to sweat at the prospect of that. She'd spent enough time amongst them to know of the surselea, possibly the worst of all places to be for a prisoner, even back in Surahnia there existed no place so dedicated to human torture. Yuzan did not want to imagine it, but could see the coldness staring down at her.
Ugh, what a disgusting creature.
"I say it again, anything at all, I will do it, but spare me. I'll be your enemy if you wish but there is no need to kill what is certainly already dead..." A genuine bargain, she wasn't sure how to escape this, he seemed to keep circling in his words back to the fact she was a lahrukan. "Gods damn it, I can't lie here forever!" She struggled a little further back to edge away from the rapier, pointless as it was. "No human deserves the surselea, as ill as you may think of me. I would never do the likes of that to you. So have mercy on this woman..."


Atoro watched her coldly, then removed his rapier from her cheek, holding it away from her, enough that she could rise. "Get up. Put on some clothes. I will decide what to do with you at a later point." He backed off, scowling at her, but shifted his sword a little to hold it differently as he pulled on a pair of trousers. How he was going to explain this if he marched out with a Lahrukan in front of him was going to be difficult, but he was sure he could find some way.
Unconciously, he positioned himself in front of his map table, wary of where she might go. The door was locked, but the window was close- was she desperate enough to leap out of it?


Yuzan was happy to comply with this request, though, she did no know the full implications.

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PostSubject: Re: [Yuzan] Lahrukans aren't that easy to spot after all [Atoro]   Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:09 pm

Later that day, since yesterday, the weather and overall tone had taken a turn for the worst. Here she was, standing listlessly in the courtyard for her alleged punishment. Who needed to "think" about punishment in surahnia? As a lahrukan, she need only look at any one of the rats to merit a stoning, lashes, torture or worse. This man had shown his true colours, though what else was to be expected of Surahnia's second?
He had shown no compassion then and she expected none now, but she would not satisfy him with an easy death. Despite all her machinations in the time being, she had been unable to escape.
Here, in her dress attire of the day before, she waited. She was looking ahead, as if straight through the man in front of her.
"Be quick or be dead, Surahnian filth." Se jeered quietly.


The weather was now grim, but that hadn't deterred Atoro from making Yuzan stand outside- all the better, she could freeze in the rain, for all he cared. Truth be told, he was only delaying because he had no idea what to do with her; he had already been subverted by her words at least twice now, and he did not trust himself with her a third time. As much as he recognised her as part of the race he hated, all his kinsmen hated, he could not lose the picture in his head of the night before, or that morning, before he had realised what she was.
He had been pacing, before deciding to come out in the rain and deal with her. He still had little idea what to do with her in the long term- she could not be returned to Lahruka, that was for sure- but neither did he want to consign her to the Surselea. There were some punishments too great for just coming from a certain land.
Now she stood in front of him, looking much too proud for his liking. At her words, he scowled deeply, then smacked her across the face.
"I should have you killed for such insolence. Perhaps the Surselea is not too harsh for you, after all."


She hadn't expected him to hear her jibe, but was punished all the same for it, so she staggered back half a step and when he moved again she flinched by instinct.
Why on earth she wasn't already dead yet was a mystery, but whatever he had in store for her could only be far worse.
A part of her knew her fate was sealed, the other, was constantly scanning for an escape from the snake's nest.
She hadn't wanted to dislike him, from what she'd seen and done to know many more personal details about him than the average folk would ever know...there may have been things to like and others to hate. Though his reaction, as half predictable as it was, was one of pure horror. Enough to immediately see her for nothing so she must now show the same.
Which was hard; Yuzan was not cold to the core, much less in fact. She could be quite sentimental.

"The surselea...no. I apologise for my misgivings my Lord." She murmured with the sounds of defeat, half regretting her even uttering the words she did. Yuzan was still vainly hoping a glimpse of his own humanity would show through. "It is never too late for us to forgive and forget."
So much for vetting her words; they were tossed to the wind.


Still scowling, angry that Yuzan was so meek now that she had been caught, Atoro folded his arms and looked at her properly. He could not let her leave Dragons Cove, couldn't even let her leave the palace now- he had no wish to keep her hanging around however. But despite what she had done, the Surselea would break her too fast, it was too horrible. Even Atoro hated to think of that dark place, and what happened inside- what had happened, too. No, he did not think it fit to consign a woman- even a Lahrukan- to such a dark fate.
"You will be confined to the castle," he said, deciding what to do with her. There was one idea that stood out amongst the rest, it would remind her of this for years to come, if she could not fix it with her magic. He did not know how much she could conceal with it. "If one of the guards finds you trying to escape, you will be shot." He ignored what she had said, except, "You will not forget this."
Putting one hand on her shoulder, he pushed her down to her knees, then tipped her chin up with his fingers, like he had done the night before. This time, there was not a pleasant experience following. He took one of his daggers from his belt, and ignoring any noise she made, drew the point across her face, crossing her nose and cheekbones, then at two diagonals down through her lips, then another long cut underneath her mouth, joining the bottom tips so a crude representation of the Surahnian flag formed.
That done, he cut an extra wound across one arm, then leant close, so she could hear.
"A matching wound for what I recieved for entering a Lahrukan town once, and a reminder of the Surahnians."


Far from a torture, the punishment was (relatively) quick.
The first part sounded worrying though unthreatening, she would find a way out of this place, surely...Though she did not reckon her odds well or the chance of her going unscathed. In the least...but then the worst was yet to come. Buckling to her knees, she made no attempt to run from her captor, but her scream was shrill and fraught with agony. Tears fell freely to mix with the fall of blood that seemed to tumble endlessly from her maimed face.

The reminder would show in any reflection, if there was one thing she was unlikely to be able to have in the Surahnian Palace, it was magic. Her sources were cut, so was her freedom and her face, of all things the emblem of her enemies was now her defining feature.
She had struggled not to thrash and make the wound worse but once he was done she simply crumbled forward, rasping for breath from raw and burning lips, the scream only seemed to have worsened the wound. There was no thinking now, only the most acute pain and despair.

It was now a week later, the bleeding may have stopped and the scars formed deep too, but the shock, pain...had been enough to keep Yuzan from being able to speak in an audible manner. She found herself in palacial Surahnian clothes that befitted the other servants, the difference being they were there for entirely different reasons. Some of them, fully fledged citizens and not merely pseudo-citizens. The mark on her face though branded her as the target for all aggression, hatred and unresolved conflicts. The conditions were if she fled she would die but they could not kill her while she resided here.
Yuzan was kneeled neatly before Atoro; today apparently she was to be given the guidelines to her new "life" as a resident of the palace, yet paradoxically perhaps the lowest of the low in people of Racksom. She looked up at him with glazed eyes of resentment, but the coals burning in the pits of them were steady and unable to ignite into blaze.
Yuzan was stifled just to be here and she tremored to simply be near him.
She did not speak, but awaited her orders.


After Atoro had finished, he did not wait for Yuzan to be retrieved by some guard and taken to her new quarters- they would send for a servant, clean her face. He was not so cruel to leave her in such a state. Her screams had been horrible, but he had tried to ignore them; now the best way to ignore that was to leave. He coldly did not allow himself to dwell on what he had done.

Now she was looking little better, her face clean at least, but definitely changed- not just in appearance. Atoro paced up and down a few times in front of her, avoiding her bleak gaze. She had said nothing to him since a week before, pleading with him… he had expected at least some sort of vocal abuse, as much as it would have landed her with more trouble. Finally he turned towards her, pausing in his pacing and regarding her. She was not pretty, any more.
“You are to be confined within the palace, as you know,” he said, keeping his voice level. Truth be told, he was a little shocked still at what he himself had done to her. Had it been too cruel?
No, his reasoning was fine.
“As is the Surahnian way, which you will now live by, you are to make yourself useful. What are your strengths? Speak.”


Yuzan opened her mouth to speak for the first time, and the words still came out as normal, but there was moments of pain and some words more hurtful to say than others, so her pace was at times slow or disjointed. She hoped this would change.
"I have no strengths." she responded, a fair answer. She had minor skills typical to a woman but nothing about her skills shone through. Her social grace, charm and other characteristic strengths had been what made up her talents, specific skills...not so much.
Plus there was the fact the last thing she wanted to do was make herself "useful" to the Surahnians. She'd rather drown in her own bile.
"I am no use, for you, I am a deadweight, My Lord."
And that's how I'd like to be, she would have wanted to further add. But this would earn her discipline. Something she had come to hate quickly already.


Although it was honesty that Yuzan was saying, it did not make Atoro any more accepting towards her. He narrowed his eyes, but did not snap at her for it. Spoilt Lahrukans, they did not have to do anything with their time, yet were still valued, each and every one of them. How cosseted they were.
"Despite being a deadweight, and an unappealing one at that, do not think that will grant you any leniency," he said. She needed to be taught how to make proper use of her time. A passing thought also told him that she needed her mind to be on other things; this was not the same woman as he had held at swordpoint in his room a week before.
"Can you read? If so, you will be given research work. If not, needlework should occupy your hours." Obviously, she could not be sent to train with the rest of the Surahnian women in the castle, at bows.


"I am Lahrukan, Lord, I am able to read." She said plainly. Surahnians by comparison, their common populace, was illiterate and so uncultured. A war culture was no kind of culture to have, one that delighted in punishments like hers. She fingered the trace of the scar on her face, it was calloused and deep with an alien feeling to her fingertips.
She did not want to be openly disrespectful and have any more pain inflicted upon her but instead chose to simply stare directly and unwaveringly toward him.
Yuzan was dissecting the possible thoughts going through his haughty tactician's head, how he must relish this kind of opportunity because it was the only thing to make him feel of worth, she concluded.
All this served to do was remind her of her own sadness, to have lost the last thread to see her family. Curse him to his grave, if the future would not let her change him, then she would have to poison him. Did he expect to outwit a scorned Lahrukan?
"And so?"


Atoro frowned slightly at her response, but again, allowed it to pass. He was feeling lenient today, she was out of sorts, that much he could tell. So, his actions had cut deeper than just her flesh. That was… good, in a way. He did not want her to forget any of this.
Returning her stare, uncaring of what she thought of him- she was nothing, now- he quickly decided what to do with her. Obviously she could not be trusted with important documents, but it was good that she could read. That could come in useful.
“Then, you will be brought books to study from. They will concern this isle. You will study them, and take note of any important features, the landscape, dragons, magic and such. Your work will be brought to me every day; if you refuse to take note, or sabotage your work, you will be punished. Do you understand?”


He didn't appear to care, but she carried on with this anyhow, just to keep making it clear how much she truly wished the lumber would fall from above and impale him this moment.
"Certainly, I understand, My Lord." She said thereafter him blankly.
Her feelings were a mixed bag between the soddening defeat that permeated her bones and the constant watchful eye she had, to ferret out all the loopholes she could until she was free to roam again.
How far could one go from the palace though and expect to go unchallenged, both as a lahrukan with no disguise and with the crest cut into their face?
"Is there more you'd ask of me?" She enquired in a low key voice, her quietness seeming uncharacteristic to the confident and youthful lady of days before.


Her responses were so empty, it was frightening to see in someone who had been so /alive/ before. But, he should not care about that. What should he care, about this woman? She should be nothing to him. There was nothing between them. Yet, he wished she would have a little more fire. It would have been better than this complete lack of anything.
"No. Get up. I will show you where you will work." If she was going to give him sparse answers, then he was going to return equally clipped ones- he was not one for long speeches, in any case. He backed away a pace as she got to her feet, wary of her, despite her inability to do anything- with one shout, the room would be swarming with guards. He did not want to take any chances with her, however. Even when she was going to be working with books, he would give her only the more common copies, those he knew were in circulation, and never any maps. He would not let his vigilance slip, not with this one, who had already thwarted him once.


Somehow, she knew she'd have to seeten her naviete to bring this man to her line of thinking, as much as she also would quite like the earth to swallow him up. Yuzan was never a grudge bearer, and already she knew of the drain this would be...she did not want to hate this person as much as she did.
She obeyed him and rose to her feet if a little shakily. "Yes My Lord." She said again, glancing out the corner of her eyes to see where she might be lead off to and moreover, who she might encounter...whom to avoid. She briefly wondered the taboo in her head of how he might react to her doing some outrageous acts but dismissed them. Either as wishful thinking, suicidal or shameful.


Atoro waited until she had risen to her feet before leading her out the door, making sure that she was close enough that the guards would not assume she was on her own, and have her shot. After all, she plainly was not Surahnian, now. A few had already been told of her presence in the castle, but Atoro had tried to keep this whole thing under a little cover; it was embarrassing, the whole story. Not many knew it, and he wanted to keep it that way.
When they passed other guards, who did not know of Yuzan, he scowled at their shocked reactions.
Thankfully the walk to Yuzan's day quarters did not take long; the little room that he showed her into had a small window, a desk, a chair, and a few shelves for books, a neat stack already piled there for her use, with writing equipment. It was obvious that she was to get started as soon as she had been briefed.
"This is where you will spend the day, and days to come, until I say otherwise. Someone will bring you a midday meal. There will be a guard to take you back to your room; you are not to leave without him." He was sure he did not have to add this was for her own safety, as well as for guarding her. "If there is something you need, you can ask him, or a servant, but do not expect it. If you do not work, you will not be rewarded." He eyed her coldly, uncaring of how she was thinking of him, his actions. "Is there anything that you want."


"I want for nothing but approval." She said, a bizarre response even for her...But there was truth in it. Her future was looking to be a long and lonely one, the only people she would see would also be all her enemies, even the persons apparently protecting her. She wondered how far surahnian discipline extended; would they still obey orders to leave the lahrukans?
She was born to doubt such things.
With the loss of her beauty and freedom she had to wonder now what would become of others, and maybe if this was only temporary. Surely there may be another thing she'd be sent to do. Maybe if she was well behaved she could earn herself places nearer to the outside...
Until then Yuzan seated herself at the desk and picked up her writing implement deftly before exchanging a sordid look towards Atoro.
Had she not held such a sublime pokerface, her split lips would have curved into a suggestive smile.
"I appreciate your graciousness My Lord."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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[Yuzan] Lahrukans aren't that easy to spot after all [Atoro]
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