|Role-Play Name: Garden of Kings|
Date Started: 17 October, 2018
One to OneEdit
"What... what's this place?" His voice was rough, his mask was gone. His vision was fading, his being was tired.
The moonlight shone upon the water, which reflected enough of it to brighten up the grass. A shipwreck stood much to the water's side, plants and trees covered the border of the area.
A laugh, "Ya' don't remember?" Her voice was calm, her face was bright. Her senses heightened, her body stood strong. "It's so close to your home. I know it's been a while..."
Breath. "Close ta' home?" His back laid against the umid ground. "I-"
"I can smeeeell that doubt," She sighed. "It'd be cool if you trusted me."
"...Ya'd be the first in a long time."
"How lovely, I'm jumping in happiness," She sat on the ground, crossing her legs. "Go to sleep, ya're better when quiet."
Another breath. "S't okay for me to be 'ere?" He spared a glance at her face, "That dude may come to get ya' guys-"
"Awww, worryin' about us now?" She tilted her head, part of her hair flocking into her face.
Beat, "Yeah, maybe-" His eyebrows arched. "Except for he-"
"Except for her, yeah." She said in unison. "Don't worry, she is not here... yet. Plus, our other leader is, like, amazing." They stopped for a second, then, laughed.
"How's yer father...?"
Her teeth sank into her lower lips, "I haven't... found him-"
"Sorry, shoulda' not asked." They both lowered their stares. "Though," Her head perched up. "On the subject... I know one that lost two-"
A gulp, "You mean... amongst those in the rescue operation?" He nodded. "I see... and they are coming soon, right?" Another nod. "Alliance. I wonder if this would even work, considering our differences-"
"Hmmm?" He hummed, finding no strength at all to speak full sentences. "Why?" His eyelids felt heavy.
She smiled and his breath caught in his throat. "Oh, y'know, the Round Table Pirates are quite rowdy, yet, we manage our own business!" He chuckled in his sleep.
Upon the TableEdit
"We arrived! Finally!" Elizabeth repeated to herself, figure standing several meters into the air outside the island of Brine. Breezes hustled by her face, prompting her to take in a large intake of air and smile. "Aaaah, the sanctuary... what's that smell?"
Meanwhile, Harlan still hung asleep by her side, "It's the smell of a crowdy bunch of idiots that I love!!" Elizabeth continued with screams, the sound of her voice travelling through ripples. Turning to her asleep partner, Elizabeth crossed her arms, "Wake up, furry!" She swatted at the air.
He was so eager to arrive and then he was sleeping. Then again, she didn't really pay too much attention if he was still floating through her power. "WAKE UUUUUP!"
"GHASDGASHDGDS!" Harlan exclaimed, jerking his eyes open and moving wildly about while he floated in the air. He saw Elizabeth and groaned. "Damn it, I wasn't having a nightmare, you're actually real..." he murmured.
The hybrid looked around the vicinity, taking in his surroundings. The overwhelming stench of seawater filled his nose, the gentle cool breezes blowing by. "This... this is where those... Brown Cable Pirates are?"
"Says the guy with the scary power," Elizabeth mused, suddenly they were both hovering towards the base of the island. "Y E S, it is!" She replied at his question, "Rsrsrsrs! That's a good nickname for them." Not even glancing back at him, Elizabeth only eyed the island before her, the both of them arriving to its base.
Well, it was a base of sorts. A good deal of the island floated in the sky, while this bit of the land was on the ocean's level. The part of the beach they reached had an inward oval outline, vegetation could be seen from afar, covering a good deal of the rocks. Amongst the plants were several palm trees, moss hung from the rocks. Even more afar were large mountains.
Much to the side were some tents and wooden buildings, although small. Behind them, was a wood platform that extended into the sea, akin to docks. Many ships could be seen docked, something which didn't go unnoticed by Elizabeth, it meant most of the members were present.
"These are some of the civilians that C H O S E to live with us!" Elizabeth suddenly gestured for the small buildings, "Some of the Alliance members also have shops, since not everyone leaves the island." She clapped with a smile and eyed the exit of the beach, which directly led to a small, round town. "Salin, ahhhh, we should be meeting anyone soon!" In fact, she could already feel many auras coming in her direction, all at different distances.
The clatter of steel on steel could be heard approaching the pair. A giant of a man, standing over ten feet in height and clad in plate, was slowly walking towards the pair.
"I greet thee Lady Elizabeth, I hope your trip went well. The king has sorely missed you in your absence. I trust your trip went well?" Yoroi Armis boomed from underneath his helmet with a deep bow. "I also must ask there, who is this knave that you carry with thee?"
"Tiny-head!!" Elizabeth beamed and clapped her hands, looking up to see his face properly. Gosh, was she the only one with a normal height in that group? "I bet she did," Her eyebrows went up and down twice, she took out a pocket mirror and briefly checked if she was presentable. Although Elizabeth was about to ask about details on Judith, she recalled that they had set up a meeting with this Tombstone guy.
"It was nice! I went to this niiiiiiice brothel in this island, got to claim a treasured sword! The fake owner chased me down," Elizabeth slapped her lap and threw the mirror aside, "But he got no shit on my bitchself."
At the mention of Harlan, Elizabeth whipped her head around and laid her hands on her hips. "Oh, just some lost puppy, rsrsrsrsrsrsrs!" Her eyes widened, "Armis-kuuun, don't use those C O M P L E X words in front of him, he can't understand it. How you been though?!"
"God yer so annoying. Mostly late too, not that I particularly care." An ominous voice rang out from the area. The hand mirror in the sand shook as a blue clad arm shot out of it. In grasped the sand as it another arm shot from it, anchoring itself to the sand as well. Finally with a push a head and the upper torso of a blue haired man emerged from the mirror. Shortly followed by his lower half. This was Griffith Francis, known to the Round Table Pirates as Agravain. He raised an eyebrow at the three. "Oh stop gawkin yeev seen me hop outta yer damn armor before Armis." Francis commented.
Screeching in on a tricked-out motorcycle is Fergus D. Frederick now coming to greet the rest of the crew. "Yo Elizabeth, Wassup". Frederick steps off of his motorcycle his belt clanging as he steps of his motorcycle. he takes off his helmet to reveal his face hanging it on the handlebars of his bike. "Damn, there's only four of us so far, I don't think I've ever been this early". He walked closer as to join the conversation further. He moves next to Armis standing at the same height if not taller than him. He slaps the back of his suit with a loud clang. "How's it shakin small head." He then throws a playful punch at Harlan. "How bout you, Candy Corn, doing anymore spookin these days"
Armis politely bowed to his two superior officers before responding to the Lady and both of them in turn. "I shall endeavour not to confuddle the knave with my superior vernacular, and I have been well. The king keeps me busy, but I did get that one knot in my shoulder out that has been bothering me for some time. It's made life easier."
"I had forgotten just how flexible you were Sir Agravain. My apologies, my armour is a much greater mirror." He responded before turning to Palamedes. "Everything is shaking fine sir, I am just keeping to the patrol schedule."
Elizabeth clapped her hands once again, a large object flying beside her while wrapped by some cloth, "You guys truly are random!" She eyed Francis and suddenly pointed two fingers at him, "Don't use my mirrors like that, P E R V E R T! ...Do it when I'm taking a bath or something!" Her arms opened wide.
Turning to Frederick, Elizabeth beamed again, "Indeed, this is a first." She gave him a thumbs-up and mentally noted, "Reminder to mock whoever else for arriving after fuckin' Fred." People were really slow these days. Which was completely their fault, she nodded. Her line of thought, however, was shattered once Armis responded her request.
"PFFFFFFF- RSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRSRS!" Elizabeth laughed loudly, "KEEP IT UP, ARMIS-KUN." She floated to pat his head lightly, the object floating along. "So, what is the schedule for the Alliance today?!" Her hands rest upon her hips yet again.
When Harlan first heard the term Armis had used to describe him, he shrugged it off, but of course, Elizabeth had to open her mouth. "HQKEFHJSKDKHSJGJKLS DO YOU WANNA FIGHT AGAIN?!" he exclaimed. "I'LL SQUARE UP WITH YOU RIGHT NOW, HURRICANE BITCH!!!"
He growled at her, but then Harlan looked around the group of newcomers. They looked as if they for some reason actually respected Elizabeth. That mere fact baffled Harlan beyond comprehension. The growl faded away, replaced by confusion. "So," he began. "How drunk do you all have to be if you willingly...respect this...green-haired thing?"
"AAHHHH yer fine Armis, just keep poishin that beauty there." Francis laughed before whirling his head to Elizabeth. "I've already used em while you're bathin and I will again ya daft harpy. If ya want me to pop out of em maybe wash yer damn underarms." The knight exclaimed, turning the rest of his body towards her and grinning. Due to Fredrick's lack of greeting towards him, Francis simply ignored the man. "Oi cat boy don't ye be disrespecting yer elders. In the underworld people like you get sold to the weirdo pirates for disrespectin and sometimes existin." He shouted, pointing a finger at the Harlan's wolf ears.
"HAHAHAHAHA! GREEN-HAIR DOESN'T DESERVE ANY RESPECT!" Harlan retorted. "AND I AM NOT A CAT, I AM A MACHINE OF DEATH!" he spat, a low growl in his voice. "Plus, I'm clearly about to be sold for free to this gaggle of...idiots, willing to look up to Hurricane Bitch."
"The king is currently in a meeting with Mr. Redgrave, Sir Lancelot is off doing his thing like usual. That's all for tonight, but in the morning Sir Palamedes is due in the tribunal for the four hundred and sixty-one noise complaints that have been filed against him in the last month. That is all of note beyond various minor meetings. Though I think there may be a full council assembly coming up, the King has not given me an exact time." Armis responded matter of factly. As the King's squire and secretary, he was intimately familiar with the crew's schedule. "Is there anything else I can help you with Lady Elizabeth?"
Then he responded to her... Hostage. "Drinking while on patrol is a dereliction of duty. I guess manners is the first thing you will need to be taught."
"Shush, shush, shush," Elizabeth waved repeatedly at Harlan, not even looking at him and still sporting a smile. "Shit gets sold all the time in the undeworld, rsrs," She shrugged. "Plus, I earn my respect."
Eyes perking up at Armis's response, Elizabeth clapped, "I see everyone is still doing their J O B!" Indeed, that was how they operated, never stopping, never sleeping. Well, not never sleeping, she was sure they were not that crazy yet. Maybe they were. "Oh, of course he is due," Elizabeth rolled her eyes.
It was only when the mention of an assembly that Elizabeth paid full attention and responded yet again, "Oh yeah! That is supposed to be T O D A Y!" She gestured for the floating islands above their heads, "This dude Redgrave is to meet with all of us! Indra, Judith, Archer, and me!" Elizabeth eyed the object flying next to her for a second. "I will be going- Guys, show the island to this furry!" She pointed around and quickly took flight, pushing some sand away.
"COUGH, COUGH, HGXCFTESAK WHAT THE FUCK, A TRIBUNAL, AGAIN" Frederick began wheezing and coughing out of anger and shock. "Time to break out the DILF shirt again, round up my 80's Rock CD's, and get the bicker gang back together. I'm sure you all remember what happened the last time I had a tribunal, nobody got to sleep for weeks, at least I get to where that DILF shirt again, it really shows of my guns, I've had sex with 48 guys, 58 girls, and 9 okama's in that shirt". Frederick lets out a large grin, as he drools recollecting his past sexual rendezvous. Blood dripping down his nose he reaches into his motorcycles trunk area pulling out the famous DILF shit. "O shit there's a stain, from god knows what let's just hope it gets clean in time for my riot." Frederick vigorously begins scrubbing at said shirt drifting off away from the conversation
"Have you tried not riding your motorcycle through the middle of the town at 3 am?" Was Armis's only response.
Harlan looked up at Frederick, a perplexed expression on his face. "Yeah, theres no way you've ever gotten laid. Unless...whatever you slept with was drunk beyond hell. Or it was a rat."
The hybrid looked at Armis, and chuckled. "You are way too...stoic."
Frederick looked at both Armis and Harlan with a smile then began to clean his shirt once again only saying. "Armis, when I choose to ride my bike is my business if you have a problem with it confront me face to face and Harlan if you talk so much shit your breath will smell just as bad as the shit you talk." He said trying to be serious and intimidating but instead begins laughing uncontrollably. "HAHAHAHA, ya'll know its all jokes around here". He grabs both Harlan and Armis wrapping his arms around them pulling them into a hug. He then mounts his motorcycle, waving and speeding off in what seems to be the direction of the Bar.
Francis glanced between the three before looking at the now distant motorcycle. "Why'tha hell does that man talk ta people." His eyes flicked back to Harlan. "They'd still sell ya on the market in this warld, cat or dog." He tilted his head.
A surging scream filled everyone's ears, "SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Should anyone look towards the floating islands, they could catch sight of a humongous beast, whose feathers were green and wings were wide open. Beating its wings, it caused several air waves through the beach and pushed some sand away.
Before any of them could talk about it, another flying thing soared through the skies, briefly covering the sun. Clip-clop, clip-clop, the monster bird roared back at it. "Keeping me waiting... is out of question~" It was a person, someone singing and sitting on top of something akin to a... Pegasus.
Its roofs stepped on the air itself, while its wings beat from time to time. "Who do you think I am?" The person on top of it had strikingly blue colors, their robes, their hair. They held a Lance with their right hand, a silver jousting lance with blue borders and several small holes.
They jumped, the lance held tightly, a faint amount of Haki surrounded it, "Amanogawa!" A feminine voice. She slice the air before her, throwing the lance in a spinning motion towards the beach, much like a disk it shone brightly. Due to its holes and the air passing as a rotation through them, some kind of melody ressonated throughout the base island.
It hit the bird just as it entered the trajectory, landing on its blunt tip and producing an air ring. Coughing saliva, the bird weeped and sank into the beach, while the impact itself sent the lance flying upward back towards the person. The person still hovered high in the sky, opening their right hand as the lance flew towards her, she clutched it and went even higher, back to her "Pegasus".
As soon as the monstrous bird hit the ground in another weep, the woman and the pegasus quickly descended, landing over the monstrosity. It was then that they were much more recognizeable... with the Pegasus not really being a Horse, but, actually a white Alpaca with bird-like wings.
"Apologies, my seniors!" The person unveiled their pilot-helmet, letting long blue hairs fall to her back, the lance rested at the Alpaca. "Thank you, Hatsune~" She beamed at the animal, before returning to the others present. "One of the monsters ended up escaping the fauna sanctuary of our island!" This was indeed, Miku, a Squire of the Round Table Pirates.
"Why does everything have wings, but me?" Harlan thought to himself as the winged...alpaca landed, and a girl slid off of it. Harlan looked at her with confusion, wondering where she had found such an animal.
As Harlan looked at Hatsune, his stomach growled, and a smirk appeared on his face. In the past, he had obviously had chicken wings before. But never alpaca wings; he'd be the first person ever to have such a delicacy!
Harlan pounced at the alpaca, a wild grin on his face. "FOOOOOD!"
Hatsune made a typical animalistic sound, even going towards Harlan. However, Miku's eyes widened and she put herself in front of the alpaca, "NO! Tsu-chan!" Hatsune's expression looked puzzled, though, it hid behind Miku. The latter looked behind briefly, "This is a big bad wolf!"
Another sound went off Hatsune's mouth as its eyes widened and she covered them with her frontal limbs.
Turning to the others, Miku asked, "Who is this, Senpais?! How did he get into our land?" Her right hand held the lance, while her other arm waved around.
Harlan noticed the Alpaca retreat behind Miku, and Harlan managed to stop his pounce, landing awkwardly. He shot back up like a bullet and smiled. "GWAHAHAHAHAHHAHA! SOMEONE RECOGNIZES THAT I AM A WOLF!" he yelled in pride. Elizabeth was wrong; he wasn't a furry, he was a mighty wolf!
"I am Harlan, a WOLF." The hybrid began. "As to how I've gotten here, I fought the green-hair bitch, we destroyed a town, and she kidnapped me! She wants me to join the Clown Stable Pirates or something."
One to TwoEdit
"D'ya... d'ya really wanna' do it?" His voice was soft, it complemented the quiet and small waterfall of the pond. He was much close to her now.
She took a step back. "If, if you don't touch me," She whispered out, he blinked and stopped just before doing so. He would surely laugh at her, how could she ask that, knowing that she was a fighter? Someone who was constantly in fights, she shut her eyes, "I-"
"Y'don't need to explain." Her eyes opened to glance at him, pupils trembling. He sighed, though, a smile came to his face and his eyebrows perked up, "I mean it."
The atmosphere was dark, it was still night, the night before that reunion. She still had time.
"Yes," She said.
"I want to. I have a way for us-"
"Yeah. The warmth would still be there..." She fidgeted with her fingers, looking down, just like he did. Her hand extended towards him, "L-Let's sit."
He only nodded.
"She's 'ere," Her eyes flickered open, only to meet his clutching over her forehead gently. They widened, sunlight partly filled the area.
"You..." Yet, she felt heaviness on her eyelids, even if she pushed them, they still threatened to close. "What..." She had to get up, stand up. "You... touched..."
His figure was a blurr in her vision, "Sorry." He muttered and stood up, the sound of steps faintly reached her ear. "I won't kill anyone."
"Wh... yo... com..." Her body shuddered, her head only rose so much before it fell down. Get up, move, she had to, she would. Her teeth grinded weakly against one another.
Glancing upon the floating islands that stood at the middle of the land, he sighed. Before he bent his knees to jump, he told her, "Temporal Order lasts for a while." One of his hands held a rock, while his other hand prepared to apply it on himself.
"G-" Her eyes shut close.
"-Then, I hath dialed the correct signal." A deep voice said, pertaining to a man that was completely clad in some sort of orange armor. A wide hat could be seen atop his head, his robes akin to a kimono. To his left side, there was a sheathed katana.
Splash, water descended through the rocks and air, forming a waterfall to his right side. Moss could be found on some of the side rocks.
In the man's armored hand was a Den Den Mushi, from it, came a somewhat rough voice, "Yes-gar-" A cough, "Apologies. Are you pretty sure of it then...?"
"Most certainly," The man nodded. No regrets, only certainties. That was the path that he chose to take.
"Very well, we shall be organizing ourselves to arrive to this meeting." The voice laughed, "Thank you for your cooperation, good-bye."
A pair of blue eyes shone through the man's intricate mask, "It art no trouble." He moved to switch the Den Den Mushi off, "Sir Ascalon." Indeed, only certainties.
He rose from the rock which he sat at and took hold of the katana.
Dinner of KingsEdit
Indeed, much like Elizabeth had imagined it, there really was a reunion planned between the Pirate Alliance and a man well known throughout these seas. Much further into the territory, one could access a special elevator that could take them to the upper yards of Brine.
The Space Gardens, also known as Eden, were a special area within the upper reaches of Brine that only a select few individuals could access. It was, as its name described, a garden situated atop the clouds. The plants that were grown here bore a medley of distinct colors and shapes, providing an eccentricity to an otherwise very simple area.
In the center of this grand garden lay a single, silver round table, accented with helmet, sparrow, phoenix and bovine insignias across the center of the table. On the far north end of the table sat a knight, adorned completely in their light gray armor, including their helmet. They sat with a high posture, and authority exuded from even their breathing. Three figures sat on the same table, with one man with bright red hair directly opposite from the masked knight.
"Your feats are impressive, Redgrave." The individual spoke, and a deep, but feminine voice, was projected from the helmet. "However, wealth alone would not grant you a position among us in the Alliance. Exactly what can your archaeological prowess provide to us, that the Sparrow Pirates do not already?"
This was Dianoir Judith, Arthur of the Round Table Pirates and the founder of the Pirate Sanctuary Alliance. She was a woman, no, a knight of noble convictions. But more than that, she was a pirate who sought freedom from the oppressive power structure that exists in the modern world. To that end, she required allies. But she could not simply welcome everyone in her banner. Much to her chagrin, she had to employ the same methods as those dreaded Yonko in order to fight against them.
She was a woman who steeled her resolve after years of failure and betrayal. No smooth talk would pass through her armor, and nobody would be able to resist the spear of her interrogation. Beneath the helmet that concealed her eyes, a powerful gaze from her blue eyes sought to peel the truth of this man before her.
Redgrave regarded the Knights words with some deliberation. He knew the power in words, for they were no less than any weapon held in hand. But the words he heard did not reflect the conflict and resolve in the heart of the King of Knights. Her armor, elegant and masterfully crafted would no doubt withstand the might of any attack, but it has no place in this battle. She must rid herself of its defense if victory is her ambition.
"Speak Knight King! Speak truly and justly. Wield your tongue as you would your blade. Do not speak as though its edge has become dull and rusted. Hide not the true intent behind your words, unsheathe the veracity of your resolve!"
His words cut through the tension before them, his intent clear. If they were to speak it must be in a language of pure meaning, unburdened and unbound by mere convention.
"My wealth and my gifts to you were just that, gifts but they are not what you seek. Such baubles could be provided by any nobleman, and I am no nobleman. What you desire is the strength to stand against the Three Great Powers. Speak to me O King of Knights, lay bare your words that possess your convictions."
A snicker found its way out of her throat, "My, this is a first!" Elizabeth revealed herself above her designed chair, floating with her legs crossed and holding a large sword. Looking at Judith, she blew a kiss and several ripples went through the air, forming a gaseous small heart that would approach Judith.
Through her power, Elizabeth had been briefly invisible, the various ripples resonating on the air around her. "I am Elizabeth, as you probably knoooow," Even so, Elizabeth knew that it was just something fancy, after all, by a man with an aura so large, she knew that she could be sensed.
"This is for H E R to respond," Elizabeth stuck a tongue out towards Judith with her eyes closed and swiftly went back to Redgrave. "You chose some good words there, but, to stand against... is not to seek these fights." She crossed her arms, knowing she was already overstepping the boundaries. After all, it was redirected for Judith.
"Crunch, Crunch... CRUNCH!". The sound of eating resonated through the room, cutting the tension like butter under a knife. The conversation soon turns to a man sitting at the farthest side of the table, Bovidae Indra. She sat legs up on the table comfortably with a bag of his favorite chips. He placed the bag taking his last crunch, he squirms further into the curves of the chair as to get even more comfortable.
"I guess, I should introduce myself". Indra lets out a sigh before arising to a normal seated position revealing his incredible height. "I'm sure you know of who I am but just as a formality, I am Bovidae Indra, Captain of the Bovine Pirates, and member of the Pirate Sanctuary Alliance. Formalities now aside let's get down to the nitty-gritty.
"Elizabeth, your laugh, giggles, and your incessant snickers, aren't needed, it's rare I take any situation seriously, so on this rare and special occasion can you grant me this kindness and act less like a child". Indra spoke directly at Elizabeth. he then returned his gaze towards Redgrave. "So, Mr. Redgrave do you feel as though you have the strength to help us challenge the Three Great Powers, how so, because contrary to what you say, all I see here is another nobleman speaking words to big for him to back up, so rather than dodging the initial question asked of you by Judith, show us what you can provide us with". Indra returned to his past comfortable seated position feet up and leaning deep into the cushions of his chair.
The intriguing gaze in his eyes disappeared replaced only by a cold and calculating stare. His posture, once respectably relax now lethal and deadly. "Even with two eyes you are blind to the world before for even your ears deceive you." He did not face Indra as he spoke, his attention was focused like a razor's edge on the King of Knights. "I shall reiterate once more. I am no nobleman."
Redgrave then fixed the Mink with a bemused smile. "Shall I illuminate the truth your eyes refuse to see? A sword rests at my side. I did not travel by ship nor crew and I lack the fresh scent of seawater. Yet here I am, wealth and treasures abound. If you possessed the awareness, a simple observation would have revealed the biography of my travels and ability. Yet your eyes show a reality found only in the realm of imagination. "
With that he turned towards the Knight of Kings, dismissal of the Mink evident in his posture and features. His hand found the pommel of his sword. Its golden hexagonal shape fitting comfortable in his palm. The gesture itself was not deliberate as it was an unconscious natural action. He spoke again, his voice was bold and measured. "I will part the veil you have cleverly weaved for yourself. The Sanctuary is an enemy to the Three Great Powers. You will find neither allies nor mercy among their ranks. For your ideal of freedom to bear fruit you must become a power all on your own."
He stood from his chair, a fluid motion that beguiled preternatural grace. His stride took him around the assembled as he traced the perimeter taking in the aesthetic beauty of Eden. He peered out from the garden towards the clouds below. "The fear they shall come to know at your growing presence will embolden them to destroy you. Wealth will fund your operations and fill the bellies of your people. Treasures, weapons and armor will guide those whose ambition pushes them to even greater heights. But most importantly the mighty strength of your Knights, Pirates and all those who take up the gun and sword will defend and if necessary obliterate those who desire your destruction. It is the last that you lack, and the last that you so terribly need."
He turned to face the King of Knights. "I am not here to beg nor grovel for a seat at your table. You are here to convince me as to why I should."
"Ideal of freedom?" The King of Knights spoke, after listening to the discourse of her fellow Alliance members. "If you are aware of that much, Redgrave, then please reminisce on what my ideal truly was." A pause. There was something that Judith had to do before confronting Redgrave about the reality of this situation. It was an action she rarely undertook, but it would be discourteous as a knight to continue this charade any longer.
Placing her hands at the side of her helmet, she slid it off her head, revealing Judith's long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes that had their sights set upon Redgrave. "I won't continue to talk to you as the Faceless Knight, but rather, Dianoir Judith. I am not so discourteous as a knight to engage in this discussion without revealing who I am."
Judith's tone was strong, but it was not malevolent. She was simply speaking her truth. However, her face was quickly painted with a splash of irritation, "My ideal of freedom does indeed require us to possess enormous power." Judith began to speak, "But, do not forget, I dreamed of this vision with the eyes of a knight. As a knight...no, as the King of Knights, I have but a single duty – to protect those who have flocked under my protection."
Judith's raised voice had calmed down now, "Now that you understand my intentions, Redgrave. Let me explain one more thing to you. I ask of your power not to turn this sanctuary into a battleship. Think of this sanctuary...as Noah's Ark. With mighty power, we will sail the seas with our heads held high. We will have power, indeed. But that power will transform into a mighty shield that will ensure our resolve does not cripple, and we will stand, holding our own vision of piracy, continuing to move forward."
Judith took a breath, but did not remove eye contact with the man before her. Her silence indicated that she awaited a response.
A pregnant pause filled the void following her words. If Redgrave was impressed by the removal of her helm, he made no indication of it. Yet she could detect the faint traces of someone who is pleased that a plan is going accordingly. Drawn out of her thoughts his voice pierced the silence. "The worth of a thing, even an ideal can be determined by only one arbiter --- that thing's ability to exist, to go on existing, and to remake existence to suit its survival."
He paused and his face took on a pensive look, nostalgic even. He continued almost ruefully. "To protect others is a noble cause. To become the shield for the weak, the sentinel that stands ever vigil against tyranny. This, I know. Heed my words Lady Judith. Do not allow yourself to be possessed by senseless heroism that you deny the people you protect the true lesson of life--- the ability to adapt and endure, to reshape the world around them entirely for that purpose. You must make them strong. Strong enough to step beyond the shadow of your shield. Never forget these words of mine Lady Judith. They will serve you well."
He fixed Lady Judith with a hard gaze, conviction steeling in his eyes and body. To determine the measure of her leadership, he could not be kind. For the Warlords, the Pirates and the World Government will not. They will sully her name, degrade her cause and undermine her efforts at all possible levels. Will she bend to pressure? Or will the veracity of her claim rise to the surface? He would see it, must see it before he decides.
"Your argument to appeal to my heroic sensibilities was admirable, but mistaken. If I am to ally with you, provide for you resources, wealth, arms and armor and treasures beyond the ken of imagination, then in doing so I will become an enemy of the Three Great Powers. What do you have to offer that would make such a risk worth taking? And if I leave here not as an ally, what will you do to ensure that I do not reveal what I have learned and seen here?"
This man... this man was something. Elizabeth's mind, body, spirit, all concluded it, she shouldn't be thinking it again. She had to speak up as well, Judith was, Indra was, not for her pride, but, for the alliance. "We are not only those that protect the weak, Mister Sir Highness Redgrave," She clapped her hands briefly and opened her arms wide, "A sanctuary is a place to rest, to defend, to be taught.
"An ever learning place, life is just about that," Elizabeth rose one finger, the cloth conceiling the Caladbolg floating by her side again. "If you leave without our comradeship, you have already seen and been told about our beliefs, our resolve. You just proved to us that not everyone truly knows our objective, and that is undoubtely one of the factors that allowed us to grow without absurds amounts of strength."
Elizabeth smiled, though, it was more of a tender one, "But, if you stay... you will be contributing not only to our objectives, also to your own." She clapped and several ripples flew across the area, taking the form of birds. "In this sea, birds don't survive alone."
Jacquie sat quietly in the corner while this unfolded, a small animal resting in her lap. It didn't feel as if it were her place to speak within this increasingly tense conversation; indeed, Jacquie wondered why she was here at all. Given her status as a keeper/sniper, she figured her purpose was to stay put. Yet here she was, watching three captains of the Sanctuary Alliance negotiate with a powerful, wealthy, and highly wanted fugitive in Redgrave.
For now, she resumed stroking the sleeping animal, awaiting Redgrave's response to her captain's words.
Judith thought to herself as the conversation continued to transpire. To be cornered this quickly, this effectively...she was losing her edge. No, perhaps, there simply weren't enough people that could bring her to think this deeply. But a grin crept upon her face, before she laughed aloud, "Mormormor!" A bizarre laugh, but the intention was clearly to cut through the tension that lifted the air, even if all the attention was drawn back to her.
The King of Knights spoke, "You aren't wrong, Redgrave." She admitted without hesitation, a bold move. "Under my guidance, my people have gone soft. No, rather...I began this endeavor with soft motives to begin with. I stretched out my own hand to no longer be helpless towards the tidal wave known as the Three Powers. But our vessel continued to run, and run, and now it holds too much weight, and can no longer move backward."
Her eyes lit brightly, as if an epiphany struck her. "This is where you make your mark, Redgrave D. Zelgadis!" Judith spoke boldly, "I will offer you this refuge, and this military power, but I require you to assist me in shaping this sanctuary into a blade! A blade so sharp, so powerful, that any manner of obstacle will be cut in its wake!"
"Of course, if you refuse even after all this, then we shall have nothing more to do with each other. But be warned, there are few in this world that will appeal to topple the hierarchy of the seas. As I have learned myself...a lone man cannot endure the storm, no matter how mighty his vessel. Will you see your ambitions capsize, and fall into the sea, forgotten?"
"POP". The sound of a popping snot bubble resonates in the ears of a dozed off sleeping Indra. He slowly opens his eyes and ears only to hear the end of Judith's last statement. He looks down seeing that his chips have fallen, he gets slightly angered at how long this deal is taking. "Before you make your decision Redgrave take into consideration this".
Indra sits up in his seat once again most likely for the last time she folds his hands resting his chin upon then directly addressing Redgrave. "If you decline our offer, how simple do you think you will be able to leave?" Indra says raising his eyebrow at Redgrave. "Though you haven't seen much of our more sensitive secrets, tactics, and plans, you have seen more then most have of our island we call brine, if you decide to decline depending on the terms of your rejection we may have to take more extensive actions as to ensure the safety of our sanctuary. Just to remind you as Judith said, a lone man cannot endure the storm, no matter how mighty his vessel. If you decide to leave here today without our alliance the storm to take down your vessel may just be us, so I just ask you take this into consideration not as a threat but as a friendly reminder as to your position compared to ours". Indra rather than putting his feet up he raised his hood leaning back on his hand resting on his armrest, once again dozing off.
Redgrave looked around the room, carefully observing the reactions of the others, his gaze lingering on Indra for a moment before returning to Lady Judith. He smiled joyfully and laughed. It was boisterous tempestuous laugh that boomed and thundered like the heavens clashing against earth. He swept his arms wide. "In one hand you offer peace, in the other war! Indeed, your cause is a worthy one to consider. Keen is your mind to see where I stand. A single man sailing through the storm that is the Three Great Powers. Such is their might that should I brandish sword in hand, mine would be the life that is consumed by their overwhelming might. Know this Lady Knight. A King that cannot hold his power, must|will be betrayed. Should you take this blade of mine, I will keep you sharp. At your blessing those who serve you will be tested, their strength and mettle pitted against dangers once guarded by your impervious shield. Thus your blade will never dull."
"On th' subject of blades," A voice filled the open area, Elizabeth's eyes widened and her hair flared. Before she could turn her head around, something blurred by her, an arm. She jumped and rolled into the air, followed by the Caladbolg. If they could, Elizabeth's eyes would grow even more, for she did not simply swallow the fact that "he" stood before them.
Elizabeth had landed swiftly on both feet, "You!" Her index pointed at the figure of Blumenthal Gerhard, who wore some kind of large leaf around his neck and jaw. The aforementioned pirate simply chuckled and wrinkled his eyebrows.
Flashes of many days ago filled her head, "How are you even A L I V E?" There was simply no way, Elizabeth clutched the hidden Caladbolg.
"Cool of ya' t'ask," Gerhard arched his eyebrows, "I've been hidin' and eatin' CUP NOODLES! Like some fuckin' homemade soup," A scowl filled his face, whilst he waved his hands in a cupping formation. Suddenly, his eyes widened, "Oh, gentleman-" Gerhard glanced at all the other figures present, taking one slow step backward, "I didn't notice y'all 'ere... so many... serious people." He clapped his hands.
A grin was about to appear on Judith's face in response to Redgrave's affirmations, before another voice awoke in the room. It caught her off guard, and her eyes murderously stared at the newcomer. From the leaf that he wore, Judith was a little bit confused by the identity of this man. Although, to brazenly be able to make their way here must mean he was taken care of.
"Elizabeth...have you been playing your games with this man?" Judith sighed. It was a habit of Elizabeth to play around with people that often bit Judith back, but she couldn't change her ways now, so she played along. "Mind enlightening the rest of us before he runs away?"
As soon as Gerhard moved his finger, Elizabeth cut him off through her hurried words. She bit her lower lips and pointed her right index at Gerhard, "That guy over there tried to S T E A L! Like, wow, no dignity!"
"Mate, 'xcuse me?!" Gerhard bit back, though, he took a step backwards instead. "Run away? I mean, yeah, why not." Sweat glistened his face at the many looks pointed at him, "Tis' shit is me property!" That time, he turned to Judith, "Apologies, mat- Ma'am? Yer' Knightness? Th' name's-"
Elizabeth took a glance at Judith, "Do you see it, Jout?!" Her teeth further sank into her lips, "This man, whom you may know as Blumenthal Gerhard," The aforementioned pirate rolled his eyes, "Barges in the middle of our reunion and accuses me of playing games!"
A frown, "T'was 'er," Gerhard pointed at Judith, "Who said I-"
"We don't lie in this place," Elizabeth wrinkled her eyebrows and slapped the air, "How are you here anyway?! I know that Marine emprisoned you for trying to steal this sword back at that island! I was simply passing by, Jout, so as a tresure, I took it!" Caressing the hidden Caladbolg, Elizabeth laughed, "Rsrsrsrsrs! Captured like that, you got to be the lamest pirate I've seen-"
"But at 'east you've heard of me," Gerhard shrugged.
Elizabeth blinked, teeth fully visible, "I said 'seen'."
Beat, Gerhard pushed a finger into his earlobe, "Fuckin' shit, mate..."