Sleep eluded Ava, her eyes peeled open as she glared across the cell to her still lightly sobbing cell mate, his horribly broken finger now a deep shade of purple. As a few rays of the morning sun made their way through the barred windows, Ava forced herself up and off the freezing floor, rubbing at her hips and shoulders. With little idea as to the hour of the day, or even when she was to be summoned, she paced her cell, trying to force warmth and the tingling sensation from her limbs.
What seemed like hours passed as Ava paced, finally, the familiar clink of armour sounded down the hall, steadily growing louder before coming to a stop in front of her cell door. Metal creaked as it swung open, two grizzled guards blocking any escape route. In each of their hands sat a set of rusted metal shackles, “Step forward! Wrists out, legs together!”
Barked the taller of the two, motioning at the girl. With little possibilities for resistance, Ava did as told, feeling the freezing bindings clamp down on her limbs uncomfortably tight. Without a word the guards half dragged her out of her cell and into the hallway, each guard placing a firm grip on her upper arms as they marched, her feet barely able to keep up. Ava didn't resist, letting the guards lug her from hall to hall as they moved about the castle. As they never said she couldn't talk, her questions started, spitting them rapid fire between the two.“Where are we going? What exactly am I doing for the king? Am I getting paid for this? Do I have a team or am I being sent to my death? How much do they pay you to drag girls places? Can I have my stuff back? How are you going to be sure I don't just fuck off as soon as you unshackle me? Who recommended me to the king? Are you mad they're letting me do a thing for him? Does he seriously think I'm not going to just take things for myself? He seems kind stupid, is he stupid?”
Their fingers burned into her biceps, nails cutting flesh as they shot disapproving glances her way and the occasional smack to the back of her head, never once responding to her queries. She didn't know much about this adventure she was volunteered for, other than someone recommended her and it involved delving into old world ruins. When presented with the missive, it was the easiest decision she had ever made, jail time and losing more digits she couldn't afford not to have being the other options.
Several minutes passed as the trio finally exited into the courtyard of the castle, the wind whipping her short hair into her eyes as it bit her skin. “Stand here, don't move.”
The tall guard barked again, prodding her to stand off to the side of the gathered crowd in case she try to slip away, “On second thought, don't talk either.”
Rolling her eyes at him, Ava craned her neck to the side, scanning the gathered crowd. A nervous shiver went down her spine as she looked over them, she knew that the magical type would likely respond to the king's call, but she didn't quite anticipate how many. Flowing robes, ornate embroidery and unnecessary frills adorned a large chunk of the crowd, each of them standing tall, their noses pointed skyward in their presumed superiority, or at least Ava thought. 'Fucking hell, look how many there are. I'm going to die, this is what is happening. Start some grand adventure and then keel over from some misplaced spell being flung at me instead. Fuck.'
Her thoughts bubbled over into her facial expression as her eyes glared and lips frowned across the gathered mages.
As she continued peering about, four people stood out to her in the crowd. The first, a lithe, beautiful woman with flowing black hair and piercing eyes; Ava knew this one was deadly, the words “Murder Girl” flashing in her mind as she looked her up and down. While this woman wouldn't recognize her, Ava had stumbled across her and her trail of destruction. Near her stood another, Ki she knew her as, with hair like fire. Ava had spent some longer nights with her after encountering each other in a ruin, deciding to work together rather than fight over what they found. Another woman stood off on the side, a scowl forming on Ava's face as she recognized the tainted woman, or necromancer as she claimed instead. As her gaze continued, her scowl transformed into a wide grin as she spotted a vicious looking person. A hulking specimen of what man's form can be stood out to her like a beacon; leather, chains and studs strapped against bulging muscles, something she had become decently familiar with. 'Shame it's so cold out, his shirts on.' “Sully! This is g-gkkk”
A quick elbow to the gut stopped Ava in her tracks, her shackled arms dropping back down instead of continuing her attempt at a wave to her friend, Blackwall. “What did I say, girl?”
One of her captors growled, “We wait, silently, until the steward arrives.”
His eyes narrowed as he glared at her. Ava turned her head back towards Blackwall, rolling her eyes at him before being yanked by her bicep, the same guard glaring at her so hard a vein had started to bulge in his forehead.“Fuck, fine, ow!”
Ava grumbled, turning her head back towards the gargantuan doors, finally giving into the guards and just standing and shutting up. Minutes seemed to drag on as no one appeared, irritated grumbling and questions flying around the group behind her. Even the guards seemed unsure, looking back and forth between each other and the others standing watch around the courtyard. “Something isn't right. Return her to her cell, we can send for her later.”
A curt nod between the two and Ava was jerked back the way she came.“WHAT! NO! Let me stay here! Come on!”
This time Ava resisted, pulling against the guard, her shackles clinking as she stretched the other way, “No! I did so good at not killing that pervert! Don't tempt me! It's best if I stay here!”
Her voice raising to a frantic shout as she protested. The guard simply marched where he was told, dragging Ava quite easily as she stumbled across the cobblestone, too tired and weak to put any real effort into it. The last of Ava's protests quickly being drowned out as a door slammed behind them, disappearing back into the castle.