Queen's Blade Championship
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Chill of the Shadow

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Chill of the Shadow

Post by The Mark on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:12 pm

Ruben Wan: "What a match"

Ruben Wan spoke to himself as he went the twisting tunnels of the QBC arena. His head was still a bit painful and his muscles ached, and couldn't explain to himself how he could have won a match unconscious...

In any case, it had been a "good experience" for him, since he had found a purpose, at least. Fighting and winning, in the hope to gain his soul back from that vicious and bossy female.

Ruben wanted to know more about his surroundings, because he wanted to become familiar with that place as soon as possible. Yet, his orientation sense had never been good in life, and the dizzy feeling didn't add to it. He got lost once more in the meanders of what could have been a dried up river. Those rocky walls seemed like small canyons, but they were also warm. The more he walked in, the more the light was replaced by darkness.

However, he could still see some sort of dim light ahead of him, and decided to check what was there. He entered a hallway whose walls were not different from all the other rocky walls if not for the passages that were too dark to see their ends.

He turned in a complete circle to look for reference points and not get completely lost. A strange stain on the wall caught his attention. After getting nearer it, Ruben could see an 'M' which seemed written in red paint. He touched that letter, and noticed that the paint was already dry. But that paint had a strange texture, and Ruben tried to scratch a bit of it.

"That's no paint, that's blood!" exclaimed Ruben surprised. His voice echoed in the hallway, and the dim light seemed to flicker for a short time.

???: "How observant."

Ruben heard a cold voice echoing in the creeping shadows around him. His senses were suddenly on high alert as he felt an additional presence with him. The problem was he couldn't see where the hell this presence was.

???: "What do you know? You are not another guard working for the queen, are you?"

Before Ruben can respond, the lights flicker again and shut off for a second before dimly returning. He hears a wheezing chuckle.

???: "Is that right? Poison... a deadly choice on your part. Although the hair... unexpected for it to have changed to such a vibrant red."

Ruben Wan: "You know me?"

Ruben's shrill voice escaped out of sheer emotion of being seen and not see, of being known and not know.

Ruben Wan: "I didn't choose to die by poison. My hair were black in life, and I suppose the colour is not due to a typo in my death certificate: dye and die."

A silence builds as Ruben feels the presence shift and move around him, still unable to get a good look at who is there. Although he manages to catch two eyes, drifting in the darkness for a moment before they disappear.

???: "You... are unfamiliar to me. A new prisoner in this game that the queen continues to play after all this time."

Finally, the figure emerges into the light. The man is dressed in a male guard's uniform, but the hood keeps some secrecy to the full face.

The Mark: "You also do not have a great fear of me... that is what is most disconcerting. Have they all forgotten? Who I am? What I am capable of?"

Ruben sees a glint of steel behind the man.

The Mark: "They've even forgotten that when you come to me and don't offer a target what the consequence is."

At a loss for words as well as for actions, Ruben stood still. He could smell the danger: that sudden flash of light foretold nothing good. And that voice, flat, emotionless, and cold, stood out with the warm temperature and sense of protection of the walls.

There was no room for jokes, and Ruben got serious. He spoke directing his gaze to the blackness under the hood.

Ruben Wan: "I've been here for a very short time, didn't receive any indication of sort. The only thing I've understood so far is that I was born to fight.

Ruben stopped for a second.

Ruben Wan: Sorry, I meant I passed away to fight."

The now red-haired wrestler took a deep breath before continuing.

Ruben Wan: "I'll certainly go to find a target for you now, if you are so kind to let me pass..."

His words didn't seem convincing to this... thing. He mentally calculated if the distance between them was enough for him to avoid a surprise attack or, worse still, a steel weapon.
And, in a delayed perception of the passing time, Ruben had also the time to blame himself for his desire to explore those evil places.

The Mark: "Indeed you shall, and it will be the queen herself."

The man disappears into shadow once more.

The Mark: "You will tell her that The Mark is alive. You will also tell her that I shall require a special audience with her. Away from prying eyes and her thousands of drones."

That same cold, unemotional voice begins to stir up as the light goes darker and darker.

The Mark: "You will make her understand that Sakuya, the one who stole away my very existence will stay far, far, away. And if you do not tell her these things-!"

Ruben hears a sharp hiss of air pass by his head and the sound of steel embedding itself in stone behind him. The upset voice of The Mark turns back to its calculated and flat tone

The Mark: "-then I will know who to strike down first to reestablish my rightful dominance."

The lights flicker again and then brighten to a normal shade, like nothing was out of place. The 'M' on the wall is now gone and Ruben is left with his task. Turning around to what made the sound that passed him, Ruben can see a knife fully embedded into the stone wall.

Ruben Wan: "That was close"

He couldn't have avoided that, despite him expecting something from that figure. Too quick, too unavoidable. Unavoidable? Only Destiny is unavoidable. Perhaps.

Ruben extracted the knife from the rock with some difficulty, and noticed its fine workmanship.

"Surely not done by a human being," pondered that lost soul. Ruben also noticed another detail: the handle had a mark on it. He gasped.

The letter 'M' that was once on the wall was wondrously forming itself on the handle.

He decided to keep the weapon in order to have a proof of this encounter, should that bossy demoness have not believed his story.

Now he could feel the rush of adrenaline. Now he felt his own fear. Something bigger than his comprehension had just happened, and everything hinted towards a gloomy future.

He started walking away from that place, trying to redo the exact path he did to get there. Many different thoughts and sensations emerged in his mind. He increased his pace, and recalled the message again and again to be sure not to forget any important detail.

He had to find Lilynette quickly, but where to go? He set forth in search of anyone who was not that hooded figure.
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The Mark
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