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Pasion Pasiva

A tale of loss--

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[FONT=Garamond][CENTER][img]http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs21/f/2007/237/e/6/persian_armory_by_shanyar.jpg[/img][/CENTER]

[box]Irene Gabriela DuGrace[/box]

-Although she had been tempted to ask, she settled instead for applying an old skill that she had been neglecting. He had a very distinct smell—through the sweat and musk that belonged to any mortal man, there was a breath of fresh air. It was cool and reminded of the color green, the sort of green that only the youngest of saplings sport upon their leaves. It reminded her very much of the shadowy portions of the Ellwood Forest, where the overhead canopy was so thick that even she could manage to sit out while the sun still roamed the sky.

Over all, it did require a good amount of effort, which again seemed to point out her dwindling strength and dire need to feed. What had it been? Nearly a month since she tasted Zenahriel’s blood? But his had been strong and it had given her so much more than what she required at the moment. And somehow her body had portioned off the strength, feeding her lust tiny morsels whenever the hunger became too great. There was of course no fear that she might lose control—Gabriela was far too familiar with this dance, she knew her body too well, and was rather proud of the fact that she had conquered her bodily needs to such a vicious degree. Of course that did not meant she was not susceptible to death due to starvation, it only meant that she would not be reduced to a mindless animal in her diminishing moments.

[I][B]Such morbid thoughts you carry, your Majesty. [/B]

Indeed.

[B]Why don’t you feed? I am certain Zenahriel will be more than willing to donate his blood again—oh wait, that’s right, he didn’t done it last time, did he? No, you lost control...you attacked him and took it. [/B][/I]

Her jaw clenched.

[I][B]Treated him no better than a beast in a slaughter house. [/B][/I]

She’d arrived at her destination. The large ornate doors were already open, allowing the flickering torchlight of the wide hall to wash the room within in warm golden light. Without a thought she went inside, and stopped only for a moment to regard the long rack of weapons that stretched out before her on either side. There were a number of people here, but the gallery sized room was so large, and so intricate with its shelves that she did not see a single one of them. All she knew was that he was in here somewhere, and she intended to find him. From the moment she had laid eyes on him she had craved a moment of his time—but for what purpose, or what ends, she was still uncertain.

[I][B]You want him to forgive you. [/B]

Shut up.

[B]You want him to absolve you of your sins.[/B]

I did not sin.

[B]I know that. You know that. So why are you letting those ignorant imbeciles bother you?[/B]

Go away Darkness.

[B]This man won’t give you answers you’re looking for. Those people, they're dead and gone.[/B][/I]

And then he was gone, and she was alone with a hand stretched out and clutching the wooden frame of a shelf. Her other hand was up with her fingers at her forehead and temple, smoothing back the throbbing pain that coursed just under the surface of her moonlight flesh. Trembling fingers drew back a curtain of black hair that had fallen over the right side of her face, pushing it back over a small exposed shoulder. Dressed in only a pair of black breeches and a matching black silk top with wide cutout sleeves, Gabriela would have melded perfectly into the shadows cast by the weapons rack had it not been for her alabaster skin.-
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[spoiler]Art by shanyar [/spoiler]

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Gloved digits firmly wrapped around the hilt of a claymore. The weapon was heavy and oddly unbalanced compared to what he was use to. Hefting it from the rack with a single hand he uncomfortable held it for a few seconds before placing his other hand upon the hilt to steady it. There was something about the size of the weapon that was enchanting, the reach, the weight, these were all useful things for a man who had trained with a two handed sword. Syven however had not and because of this found himself completely unsure of how to try to efficiently use the weapon. No Syven's preference was toward slender, precises, fast moving weapons. Weapons that he could use to chain together quick and light hits, to rack up exponential damage with fast consecutive attacks.

Feeling his muscles start to fatigue from supporting the weight, he clumsily returned the claymore back to the weapon rack. As the weapon settled into place it fell to one side knocking several smaller swords, axes, and maces to the ground. The loud clutter drawing the attention of several other 'shoppers' toward him. Lowering himself to the ground he immediately began to clean up the mess, a sheepish smile moving across his lips. He couldn't bring himself to look at the others that awkwardly stared. His cheeks brightened exponentially as they reddened from a blush, casued by embarrassment.

After a few seconds he returned the last of the weapons to the rack, finally standing up to face his audience. Fortunately no one seemed to still be staring at him. They most likely assumed that he was just a drunk noble playing with toys that he had no right to touch.

"Sorry." Near silent words that were murmured to no one in specific softly fluttered from partially parted lips. He had a sneaking suspicion that no one was going to take him seriously as a knight, if he couldn't utilize a weapon rack without making a mass.

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[FONT=Garamond][box]Irene Gabriela DuGrace [/box]

-She felt the warmth of embarrassment shortly after the ruckus of gracelessness. It made her smile through the throbbing tempo of pain that drummed on the inside of her skull directly above her right brow. But the smile seemed to have some healing properties to it—or perhaps it was the refocusing of her attentions, for the pain disappeared just as quickly had come. It was somewhat disorienting to be released from the throb, which is why she stood there for a moment with a perplexed expression. The headaches had been happening for a long time now—more than three months at least, but never had they behaved this way. Usually the pain came and lasted for hours, ebbing off slowly. Still, the residual sensation made her once again rub at her smooth white forehead.

Moving forward, searching out the sound, Gabriela tucked her small elegant hands into the shallow pockets of her breeches. The sound of her booted feet easily joined the shuffling paces of the others—there were six people in here. Most had moved away from Syven after his small accident, frowning and carrying on within themselves about the sanctity of this chamber. It was very much like a library, with its rows and rows of weapons and armor. She knew for a fact that there was a private room, somewhere with, that housed a number of enchanted weapons. It was Lucis’ assortment—amassed through some three hundred years of dutiful collection.

She had never seen it.

Rounding the corner she saw him, standing there with the enduring warmth of a blush about him. It warmed her, though she could never hope to produce such a rosy coloring upon her cheeks. The sound of her footfalls would announce her, but still she kept her pace slow so as not to appear as if she were trying to sneak up on him.

“Good night—Syven, was it?” said the Black Queen softly. Usually used as a departing wish, Gabriela always used the two joint words as a greeting. After all, it was night—and she did hope that it was a good one. She stopped, not too far from him, and lifted her golden gaze to the weapon he had been handling not too long ago. It’s thick leather-wrapped hilt still warm from his touch. “Oh—that’s Lucis’ favorite,” she said with a touch of wonder. Gabriela looked a bit out of place among all these weapons, with such a small frame, such delicate looking limbs—no, she seemed better suited for the fine throne rooms and grand halls. But her eyes expressed a genuine interest as they traced the length of the long silver blade.-
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[COLOR=#666666][FONT=Garamond]“Good night—Syven, was it?”
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Syven nearly jumped, not because he was caught off guard ((He was in fact caught off guard, but that wasn't the reason for him jumping.)) but rather because he hadn't been expecting to see the Queen.

"Your Highness." The comment was made with a bow, the corner of his head catching the extension of the weapon rack. Immediately his head recoiled up as he brought his right hand to his brow. The ivory of the glove tainted, turning crimson, as the cotton absorbed the blood trickling from the superficial wound. If he hadn't been embarrassed before he definitely should have been now. Fortunately the pain was great enough that he hadn't 'thought' to be embarrassed.

Even though the wound was minor cuts to the face had an unfortunate tendency to bleed profusely. It would stop on its own and heal without a scar, but for the time being it would look far worse than it really was. If he stopped providing pressure, if he moved his hand, he was willing to bet that half of his face would be coated in blood in maybe twenty minutes.

As the early stages of a headache began to settle in, Syven decided it was best to simply ignore his affliction. There was no point in making a big deal about something so minor nor a point in getting everyone spun up.

Taking a second to recollect his thoughts, he then brought his gaze level with Gabriela's.

"Sorry about that but uh yes, Syven is correct. You have an exceptional memory. I think I'd be hard pressed to remember anyone's names if I had to meet and greet as many people as you. And the Prince must be a man of great strength if his favored sword is a claymore."

Syven's gaze broke from The Black Queen's for just a moment as he looked around. He didn't particularly have any desire for a bunch of snotty nobles to see him bleeding, he couldn't even begin to imagine the kinds of gossip and rumors that would sprout from it. Fortunately for now the coast was clear, of course with how popular Gabriela was there was no telling how long it'd be before she was swarmed with admirers and suitors.

"I think I ruined this glove." The words weren't really spoken to anyone, it was more of a vocalized mental musing. Blood was notoriously hard to get out of clothes, especially white ones and this suit was unfortunately a rental.

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[FONT=Garamond][COLOR="#800000"][box]Irene Gabriela DuGrace[/box]

Unlike what might have been expected—some sudden uncontrollable fall into a bloodlust frenzy brought on by the delicious smell and sight of his blood, Gabriela looked terrible concerned. Her features became tortured with the sight of both his pain and it’s manifestation as blood upon his flesh. Dark brows, elegant in shape, lofted high above the bridge of her nose as worry, akin only to the sort of expression a mother would show for a child, spread over face.

While he was apologizing and making small talk about Lucis’ strength, or her ability to remember names, Gabriela had stepped to him rather boldly with little regard for personal space. A white hand dug through her shallow pocket, and although it seemed almost impossible that anything should fit there, especially since it hadn’t made any sort of bulge on the rather tightly stretched material—she managed to produce a black handkerchief. Having to look up into his face, for the man was nearly a foot taller than the Queen; she reached up rather unceremoniously and pressed the soft material against his face. It was clear by his utter lack of concern that he didn’t mean to do anything about the fact that he had a gaping gash on the side of his head.

Were all knights this reckless?

“It’s just a glove,” she said in response to his comment, though after a moment she realized it had been nothing more than musing on his part. Still, she found it a rather odd thing to be worried about—ruining a glove. “Here—hold this in place until the bleeding stops, otherwise people will think I beat my knights—soon to be knight,” she corrected herself after giving him a warm smile. Once her mothering was done, she stepped back, gave him his space back and dug her hands back into her pockets.

“I apologize—this all probably seems very strange and it’s not my intention to make you uncomfortable. You’re from La Cierra—right?” she paused, and then oddly enough seemed somewhat flustered. Of course she knew he was from La Cierra, how could she not? But this was so much harder than she had anticipated. Looking away, glancing down the empty space that they shared between these two high weapon racks, she struggled to put together the words she had been reciting in her head for hours. “Not many people from that town survived—I am sorry for your loss.”-
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Placing his hand onto the handkerchief he firmly held it onto the gash, his face contorting into a brief wince. The sting of pain that rolled through his body faded after a couple of seconds, his visage relaxing accordingly. He could already feel the onset of a headache, the pain on the wound was radiating, a throbbing was building behind his eyes and it was slowly moving to the back of his head.

It was the distraction of the pain that had kept him from noticing the queen's mannerisms. So as the throbbing and aching settled in and the sharp stinging and pulsating faded away, he was caught off guard. Here stood Irene Gabriela DuGrace the Black Queen of Orisia staring down at the floor, unable to make eye contact, like a small child that had broken a vase. For a second he was in awe, not completely sure what had been said, her following statement immediately cleared everything up.

[I]“Not many people from that town survived—I am sorry for your loss.”[/I]

Frown lines along the corners of his lips became more defined as his eyebrows furrowed briefly. Briefly only because the act of furrowing his eyebrows caused an unfathomable pain to shoot through his face. The sudden pain caused him to wince once more which in turn agitated the wound. Within seconds Syven had caught himself into a self sustaining cycle of pain and wincing. It was only after his face had scrunched up so much that it was completely impossible for him to wince any harder or more that he was finally able to relax his facial muscles again.

"No one survived." The response that he gave sounded almost empty, as if he didn't care. The truth however was far different, the events La Cierra defined his life. They molded, sculpted and changed him. They influenced every action, every thought and every goal. La Cierra stirred up more emotions that he cared to have, rage, sorrow, despair hysteria, and confusion to name a few. It was all of these emotions hitting him at once that made him sound empty. "As far as I know anyway."

The way Syven saw it, he hadn't survived. He hadn't been there for it. Fortunate, good luck, a divine blessing... something had seen to have him out of the city that day. As far as he knew everyone who had been in the city was dead, undead or a poppy.

Taking a second to compose himself and construct his thoughts into something more articulable he carefully weaved his next statement. A statement that was expressed in a low whisper. "You have nothing to be sorry for, your highness. What happened in La Cierra is a tragedy. There are however some things that are out of our control. Forces in life that will do as they please no matter how hard we try to stop them. If the sun decided to stop shining tomorrow we could not stop it. And though the darkness would be a burden upon your people, you would have nothing to be sorry for."

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[FONT=Garamond][box]Irene Gabriela DuGrace[/box]

It was obvious by the throbbing pounding of blood, the near strained beat of his heart, that he was experiencing pain. It made her noble features settle into a slight scowl, but nothing to reveal the depth of her worry. The truth of the matter was simple—Gabriela did not believe it was prudent for men and women to miscalculate the afflictions that caused them discomfort. Not only did his discomfort trouble her, but discomfort was a weakness, a thing that could get in the way of concentration and dutifulness. Still, he continued his stance and ignored the signs that his body gave him. At the very least he took the handkerchief and attempted to stop the rather profuse bleeding.

From there she had dropped her gaze, she had come to say something and now that it was said she felt somewhat awkward and empty. If anything, she felt like she was wasting his time—whatever he had been doing she had come and interrupted him and that wasn’t fair or right. He answered, first with a statement that made her lift her gaze quickly, settling those golden eyes upon his with a pinched frown.

“A few did,” she said—not challenging his information, but rather bringing to light her own. “A woman, by the name of Annabelle Lee—she hid in the basement,” the Black Queen paused and suddenly looked doubtful. A slight shake of her head, and once more her eyes were cast away, looking to the row of elegant swords to her right, “it’s not my story to tell—but she did survive. She was found sleeping among the poppies and was taken to Versilla, I met with her there, learned her story. There were a few like her, not many—not enough.”

[i] "You have nothing to be sorry for, your highness. What happened in La Cierra is a tragedy. There are however some things that are out of our control. Forces in life that will do as they please no matter how hard we try to stop them. If the sun decided to stop shining tomorrow we could not stop it. And though the darkness would be a burden upon your people, you would have nothing to be sorry for."[/i]

She had thought that this is what she came for. He had, like Annabelle, removed all possible blame from her. And it wasn’t a lie, or some foolish sense of comfort and sympathy that had made them speak these similar words—in the end they were right. Gabriela knew they were right. There was no way, no conceivable way that she could have prevented what happened from happening. Someone had done this—just like someone decides to kill, to steal, to hurt, she could not remove free will and she could not be responsible for the acts enacted from this source. Some might argue that more could have been done to save La Cierra—like Corvinous or even Roen, but they were fools and now Gabriela saw and understood that. They had done what they could, and had saved countless lives, but felt that their actions were cheapened by Gabriela’s plea to the High Lords of Genesaris, which had resulted in the MegaStorm that finally ended the death and decay. She knew their reasoning well enough—they thought themselves to be dispensable in the eyes of the Black Queen, but not one of them had spoken to her, gathered her reasoning—which she believed to be obvious enough. There had never been a guarantee that the High Lords would help—and Roen and his knights and Corvin and his Legion, had saved so many, but they wanted the glory of ending things regardless of the price of life or blood that came with it.

Yes—Gabriela had thought that this is what she came for, and yet she still felt empty.

“If the sun stopped shinning—then I would find a new sun,” this she said with a weary smile. Obviously it was poetics and nothing more, but there was a slight edge to her, an uncomfortable honesty in the way she had made that simple statement. She would, regardless of the situation—regardless of how impossible it seemed, always try to find a solution. What good was she if she did not? What purpose did she serve if she valued her own life, her own safety, her own worth above that of Orisia?

“I am sorry for troubling you Seyven,” she then made to turn, to walk away.[/FONT]

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[COLOR=#666666][FONT=Garamond][I]“If the sun stopped shinning—then I would find a new sun,”[/I]

[/FONT][/COLOR]"As would be expected of someone of your devotion, your majesty." Syven made no attempt to stop the black queen as she parted, only stood and watched the relatively short woman depart. He could sense her burden and even if he couldn't relate to it, he could understand. There were some people who expected the governing body to have the solution to all problems, to prevent all catastrophes to stop the world from spinning at a command. This however was not their job nor practicable. The best one could do was pool resources to respond, to put in place laws and regulations to help prevent tragedies and to help relieve their people of their burdens. And that is exactly what Gabriela had done.

She had utilized all available resources to respond in doing so she had saved countless lies. People who hated her for relying upon the high lords were fools that sought glory in death. There was no glory in death, war, violence nor combat. These were all asinine notions created to pressure normal men and women into service. Knights were the greatest victims of this brainwashing, poor souls manipulated to believe that glory was obtained by desecrating life. Syven of course was not a victim of such reprogramming and while he lacks any qualms for taking life there is no honor in it nor glory. As there is no honor or glory in being slain.

"May you find the strength to overcome your troubles Black Queen of Orisia." Softly spoken words rolled from his lips as his whisper chased after her. Once more on his lonesome the knight to be turned back toward the weapon rack. Lowering his hand from his head he takes a few seconds to study the ebony handkerchief.
[I]
Return it or not? I wouldn't think anyone would want a blood soaked rag handed back to them.[/I]

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[FONT=Garamond][box]Irene Gabriela DuGrace[/box]

As she walked away she once again pushed the tips of her fingers into the shallow pockets of her skintight breeches. This caused her elbows to bend, to push out from the slender shape of her midsection. And in the darkness of so many shadows being cast, the pale glowing flesh of her bare arms was so vividly pronounced that there could be no room in any mind to accommodate her as some sort of normal being. She was too different—too visibly different to be ever be human, to ever be normal. But with that same uniqueness, came the pride of many Orisians, for they felt that their queen was as different and distinctive as the lands over which she ruled.

Her pace became a languid stroll as she heard the whisper that chased after her. Surely he knew she would hear it, and although he could not see her face, perhaps he’d have some inclination into the good that it had done. Her small round shoulders pulled back and her posture straightened just enough to give her perhaps a half or even a full inch of added height.

Although she may never be as strong as her knights—for some of them commanded extraordinarily strange and powerful gifts, she could be and must be strong for them. She would never use her knights as a wall to guard herself with—they did not serve her, they served Orisia first and foremost. Therefore, they were all part of the same family; they were servants first and foremost. And she would carry the burden of servitude with all the strength of both her will as well as her body.

Gabriela smiled. Empty or not, this was all external, her responsibilities were not a means by which to fulfill herself. Having put a good amount of distance between their two bodies, Gabriela stopped; she glanced over her shoulder, the heavy veil of black hair shifting to clear her view. From here she regarded Syven, and again felt the corner of her lips curl into a confident and bright smile. But then it was over and she was walking once more, out the main doors turning a sharp left towards the corridor that lead to the training yards.

If he meant to return the bloody handkerchief then he best hurry after her. [/FONT]

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The moment of hesitation passed and Syven's indecisive vanished. Quick steps sent light pats echoing out along the weapon racks as he hurried after the Black Queen. Hastening his pace a moment passed before he he had caught up and passed Gabriela, his right foot firmly planting as he pivoted to face her. What he considered to be quick was probably slow by the vampire's standards. Undoubtedly his footsteps and heartbeat had announced his coming well before he'd laid eyes upon her again. What he saw as the world blurring around him as he turned, probably seemed like a slow and ungraceful pirouette.

Squaring off with the Gabriela once more, Syven's hand slipped out producing the handkerchief. A nervous and uneasy smile slid over his visage as he half bowed his head. "Sorry to disturb you, your highness, but this is yours." The following words were spoken with a laugh, one that was uneasy to say the least. "Wouldn't want to be accused to stealing from the queen." Was he being serious, was that why he was nervous? Maybe he knew it was a bad joke? Or maybe, just maybe he was genuinely uncomfortable in her presence.

His cheeks suddenly redden as he remembers his earlier dilemma. "Of course, I suppose you haven't much use for a blood soaked cloth. In hindsight, I should have washed it first and then returned it, yes?" In truth Syven had never had to talk to anyone of an official status until recently. He was uncomfortable with the formality, uncomfortable with the attire, uncomfortable with the etiquette.

What a pathetic poor Syven must have been. Blood caked above his eye, his pure white dress suit stained red, his cheeks flush, and an absolute nervous wreck. Undoubtedly had he been an outside observe looking in, he'd of never picked this joke of a man to be a knight and surely by now the queen was second guessing his worth.

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[FONT=Garamond][box]Irene Gabriela DuGrace [/box]

But what right did she have to second guess anyone? If his heart was truly dedicated to Orisia then all that he needed would come in time. Even so, she did not think herself in a position to think poorly of anyone—though by his flushed expression and seemingly inability to walk in a straight line was making her wonder if he wasn’t better suited to serve the Island Nation in one of the temples rather than in the direct line of fire—should fire ever come. But here he was now, bright eyed and with a thundering heartbeat that made her genuinely glad. He held out her bloodied handkerchief, and explained that he didn’t want to be accused of stealing. For a moment she weighed the implications of the comment and wondered if there was really a place anywhere upon this world where someone could actually get in trouble for stealing something as inconsequential as a piece of cloth. Of course her handkerchief was quite expensive, but still she failed to believe such a crime could really be punishable.

“Thank you,” she answered and took the small black token back. It was heavier now, soaked in his blood, and still warm. A disturbed expression crossed her face before she settled her eyes on his, “—that’s quite a bit of blood you lost there. Probably not enough to make a dent in your constitution but more than enough to be cause for concern. I am sure that cut is much deeper than you think.”

And then, without any sort of ceremony she reached out and caught him by the left arm. She walked forward, nearly into him, before side stepping and sliding her slender white arm into his, effectively linking them elbow to elbow. Her other hand reached over and held his forearm like one might a very ill individual. “Come—we’re going to the medical hall to get you checked out, you may very well need some stitches.” Although her hold was soft—feather light, there was firmness to the hold spoke to what might happen if he tried to resist.

“While we walk, tell me, what did you think of the First Dance—and the Tournament so far? I was fortunate to have you there that night of the dance. I lost myself when I saw Ira and when I heard the things that were said to her.” A worried frown touched her brows, causing a tiny wrinkle to show on her forehead, a rather odd sight upon such a smooth face. But her expression, full of concern as it was, pointed downward as if she meant to hide this fact. “You’ve a peacekeeper’s gift—a very noble quality in a knight.”
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For a moment Syven's face paled, in that briefest second he looked whiter than the vampire queen. As if all of the blood in his body had drained from the wound on his head, he could have easily passed for dead. This new event was not brought on by Gabriela entangling their arms or even by the idea of being lead around by the Queen like he was a personal friend. No the fear that gripped him was brought on by the very idea of needing stitches. Slow steps that barely covered any distance were taken as he tried his hardest to delay his arrival. Unfortunately Gabriela would have no trouble simply forcing him along, if she so decided.

"Uh... hmm. I really don't think it is that bad." Meek and timid were the best words to describe his quivering whisper. Of course at the mention of the first dance and the tournament, his demeanor suddenly changed. Color returned to his cheeks and his voice bolstered a strength that hadn't previously been present. "Well, to be honest... The first dance seemed like a smashing success. But it also appeared that you have a lot of security issues. Along those lines I wouldn't doubt that for as successful as it was, it was also equally troublesome for you."

Syven offered a brief grin, "I don't know that I have much of a gift." As he thought over her words sorrow struck his voice, a small tinge of pain rolled from his lips in the form of a sigh. "I've seen and felt enough loss, there is no reason for there to be more." A frown caused his face to scrunch initiating a small trickle of blood that flowed along his eyebrow from the wound. "People are very ungrateful. They come to eat your food, drink your drink, and cause trouble. I don't understand why.... why we seek conflict. Why can't everyone just be happy?" He paused as he punctuated his question. Pivoting he turned to face the Black Queen, his eyes destined to meet hers. "What restless evil slumbers in all of our hearts, why is it there?" It was hard to say if he was truly asking her or if he even expected an answer.

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[FONT=Garamond][box]Irene Gabriela DuGrace[/box]

She felt his resistance and was made the connection almost half a second before he admitted to the fear himself—though of course he did so very subtly. It caused the Black Queen to smile just a little, a tiny private smile that reflected her growing affection for the young man. It was one thing to be infinitely strong, to wield a sword or any other weapon with unmatchable grace and skill—but to show vulnerability in such an endearing and obviously unintended way touched Gabriela. Of course she could not have imagined that his fear was specifically about a needle piercing his flesh over and over, drawing with it string with which to close a wound. She imagined it was an overarching fear of medics and the treatments they were so well known for providing.

Really—who ever wanted to be a patient?

Still, his timid and nearly child like resistance only made him more precious. In fact she felt very sorry that he would have to suffer the agony of getting stitches but decided in that moment that she would offer a hand to hold while the procedure was being taking place. Of course there was magic, but she didn’t quite believe in it, though she’d make no protest if Syven decided that a little healing balm was better suited for his wounds.

The conversation continued, with the young man taking command of it and voicing what seemed like rhetorical questions that had no clear answers. Still walking arm in arm she weighed what sort of option she should give—if any. There was no assurance that he actually wanted to hear what she thought on the matter, but she was lonely and had not yet looked at her with eyes that laid claim or sudden unabashed obsession. It was a refreshing interaction.

“Happiness is ambiguous,” she said after a pause, lifting her free hand to touch her chin. “What makes one happy may make another sad—you truly understand this when you become a parent,” she added shortly after with a firm nod. Fondly, her mind turned to Dollya and Lucis who had, only the night before, been bickering about who would have to go play host to a new guest. By the end of the discussion, when she had to step in to make a decision, one was happy and the other was sad.

His finishing thought left her worried and made her look sideways at him. “Evil does not exist.” This was a strange statement, which she suddenly felt a bit embarrassed to have stated. Looking away, back to their path she continued, “—all it ever really is confusion, misunderstanding, doubt. That’s what resides in people and that’s what makes them do evil things. I assure you that nothing evil slumbers in you—it is not inherent, I don’t believe.”
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What a lovely and heartwarming contradiction, 'let me assure you... I believe'. Syven was pretty sure he didn't agree with the queen. Evil was real, it wasn't poor choices or inaction. It was a tangible force that operated outside of the morally acceptable. It was breed by people who cared more for themselves than others. There were people who sought to hurt others simply because they enjoyed it, there were people who raped, maimed, and murder for no other reason than they could. These people were real, they were not misunderstood, and they would hurt any foolish enough to think that they had an ounce of good in their heart.

Syven's face seemed frozen as he studied The Black Queen, he couldn't help but feel sorry for her. She was a nice lady and a loving [I]mother[/I], these were good qualities. Unfortunately these were qualities that people would take advantage of, abuse, and attempt to manipulate. she was the prime source of food for all that was wrong and vile. Of course who was he to try to explain this to her? Who was he to challenge her beliefs? He was no one.... just a boy with a sword.

Resigning himself to silence, Syven continued to follow Gabriela to the medical ward. Solemn thoughts rolled through his mind as marched to an unsung dirge. Finally after several painfully long moments, his gaze once more turned to her. "Do you think all actions are worth understanding? Should we fill pity for the mindless undead that feast upon the living? Should they have been understood, your highness?"

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[FONT=Garamond][box]Irene Gabriela DuGrace[/box]

Under the weight of his doubtful gaze she felt herself smile for she knew all too well what his thoughts were. If he thought himself the first to bring forth such clarity and reasonable insight, well then he was wrong. Gabriela knew that she was a minority in her way of thinking and had spent a good amount of time defending her beliefs; it didn’t mean she was bitter about it—in fact she enjoyed discussion and could often learn as much as she hoped to teach others. But that was simply not possible if Syven refused to speak up for she would not, in turn, pretend to know what he was thinking even if she had a good idea.

Instead, she reacted to what he gave her, and spoke directly to the words he shared. Still walking side by side with him, their arms interlaced, she heard his question and pondered for a moment. When she at last spoke it was softly but with the self assurance of one who believed in her heart that understanding was the only true method by which peace could ever be attained.

“Yes—I believe all actions are worth understanding. However, that does not mean I believe all actions are can be absolved of blame. Just because I do not believe that people are inherently evil, does not mean I remove responsibility from their actions that would only make me a tyrannical force attempting to negate the existence of free will. But understanding can help ups prevent future tragedies. Understanding can help us understand why one person might choose a certain path,” here she frowned, her brows knitting as she considered what he was really asking.

“You did not feel pity for those who fell under that accursed affliction that robbed them of their life and of the capacity to see the value of the lives of others? I was filled with anger and pity that they were forced to become agents of such terror. Do I believe they were evil? Do I believe that the children whom I had to run through with my sword as they snapped their jaws and reached out with their clawed fingers to tear at my flesh—were evil? No—I believe they were undead monstrosities who acted on an impulse that became natural to them. They hungered so they feasted. They destroyed life so we destroyed them. But in my heart, I mourned that their lives were lost. And while there’s not much more to understand about them—there certainly is much to be discovered about the perpetrator of this crime. Just because I wish to understand what sort of person could do such a thing doesn’t mean I don’t want to see justice for those that he or she destroyed. I do not believe this individual was born evil, I believe they committed evil acts for which they will have to answer, but even so I do not believe they are inherently evil. God only knows what sort of hardships could have led someone to do this thing. That, dear Syven,” she said, looking sideways at him, “in my opinion—is worth understanding.”
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