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Kenna Arianna Santioa

Flirting is the art of keeping intimacy at a safe distance.

564 views · last seen in Irisu
a character in “The Hidden Star”, as played by Tales of the Wraith

Description

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"If you can't fight for what you want, don't bother crying over what you've lost. "





The Basics

ImageName Kenna Arianna Santioa

Nicknames/Aliases: Anna, Ria, Naari

Age 21

Gender: Female

Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual

General Appearance Kenna is a beautiful young lady with brown wavy hair and brown eyes. She has a healthy glow and has a confident posture. Her measurements are 34,24,34 (Breast/Waist/Hips) and she wears a size 5 in shoe. Her dress size is a size 4, so she is rather petite.






"Magnify your rival's weaknesses, and their strength will crumble. "





On the outside

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Height
5'1''

Weight:
100 lbs

Hair color:
Brown

Eye color:
Chocolate Brown

Skintone:
Light Tan




"You can't fix yourself by breaking others, but it's a fun way to pass time."





My Skills

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✦ Flirtation ✦
Kenna, being a social woman, is quite educated in flirting. She enjoys it, whether it is written or verbal communication, but she is just as proficient when using body language as a seduction method as well. Seeing as this skill involves sexually suggestive communication, one can understand why many frown upon the princess using it.

✦ Lying ✦
She has been telling lies since she could speak, so it isn't hard to believe why she's become quite skilled at acting. She is royalty, but she still had to present a believable show in order to convince her parents. She got away with countless misdeeds as a child due to this ability, some she regrets, but others she still smiles about. Seeing as she's become quite the trouble child, Kenna has become accustomed to lying even more. Sometimes when she would sneak out of the castle Kenna would make a game out of taking on a persona and portraying it as if it were her own.

✦ Horsemanship ✦
She can ride a horse, seeing as her father gave her one when she was ten. She had to tend to it, and teach it on her own. Since then she has tended to several horses. She knows basic horse care including; Grooming, stabling, nutrition and proper exercise.She had to teach her horse how to wear a halter, lead, be blanketed, and simple manners.

What makes me different


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Likes


    Like || Traveling

    Like || Shopping

    Like || Fencing

    Like || Arguing

    Like || Parties

    Like || Flirting

    Like || Violence

    Like || Horseback Riding
Disikes


    Dislike || Being defenseless

    Dislike || Cold weather

    Dislike || Passion

    Dislike || Meat

    Dislike || Rain

    Dislike || Honesty

    Dislike || Getting dirty

    Dislike || Rules






Flaws

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    She can't give a compliment || She can dish out plenty of insults to others, but when it comes to giving someone credit for anything, Kenna clams up. She feels that compliments she comes up with just feel phony. She doesn't feel comfortable when she's in a situation where she is expected to give a compliment to someone.

    She is conceited || She loves herself, far more than one should. She is incapable of seeing her own faults to the point that it is distasteful, and more than a little alarming. This is mostly because of her isolated upbringing.

    She blames victims just as much as the bully || She doesn't believe anyone is capable of being victimized unless they let it happen. Her thought's on the matter are; If you're old enough to walk, can walk, then you've got the ability to stand up for yourself and the means to stop others from taking advantage of you.

    She is easily fatigued ||
    She has never completed a single day of honest work in her life. She has always been pretty spoiled. She's given practically anything in their financial means. She does not have a lot of muscle, and has poor stamina.





    Fears


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    ☠ Aquaphobia (Fear of drowning) ☠ || Kenna has always had is a persistent and abnormal fear of water. She never has swam in her life, so her worst fear is drowning. This anxiety extends to getting wet or being splashed with water unexpectedly, and she often freaks out. It is at it's worst when being pushed or thrown into a body of water.

    Autophobia (Fear of being alone) ||
    She is afraid of being isolated in any form or fashion. Kenna has a unrelenting fear of being alone, to the point she thinks about it any time she even thinks she might be close to being left by herself.. She begins to panic whenever she feels ignored, and often will go out of her way to be the center of attention. She isn't even aware of the fear, yet it's overwhelming at the same time.

    Agraphobia (Fear of sexual abuse) ||
    It has never happened to her, but she has an intense a fear of the experience, and takes precautionary measures as a way of 'ensuring' that the event does not occur.




"Some women were never meant to be tamed."





How I tick


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Personality

Kenna had always been girly and skittish since she first came to be, but something changed her as she grew up in the castle. Constantly being treated like a porcelain doll has done a toll on her, and she's become quite rebellious. She went from being the type of girl that is defined as "one of the pack" and has become a proper leader. She is a confident young woman that is well aware of her attractiveness. She isn't afraid to do a little flirting to get what she wants, typically that is getting out of the castle and getting into a little trouble. She is very kind on the outside, because it gets her through life much easier. She is not beyond bribery, seeing as she has been 'daddy's little girl' her entire life and has always gotten whatever she wants. She speaks her mind frequently, and could be easily defined as someone oblivious to the dangers of the outside world. She doesn't exactly have a reason to care what happens to her, especially due to her father's... condition. It's been so long since she last saw her father, she has lost perspective. She knows she is of royal blood, but what is she to do with it? She has no true power, she feels helpless in her own home and it has brought on some nasty backlash. Despite still being a hardworking and driven young woman, Kenna's depression is almost tangible. She hides it the best she can, but to anyone who actually takes time to notice, Kenna isn't the same as she once was. She is growing bored of her existence. Being princess has also had a few other negative effects on Kenna, for one she has a bad habit of holding grudges. She doesn't easily forgive others for their wrongdoings, why should she? She isn't a normal person, forgiveness is for those who have no other choice. She is stubborn, despite her better qualities and once she's set her mind on something it's almost impossible to deter her intentions. She is fairly high maintenance and isn't afraid to ask for presents and is definitely spoiled enough to demand better treatment.




" The world spins.. with or without you. "





The path that led me here



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Bio


Kenna was born a healthy, beautiful baby girl to the King and Queen of Silanos. The three of them were happy, for a time. Kenna would arrange flowers with her mother, she studied, and was a fairly sweet and generous child. Her mother was a softhearted and selfless woman, she reflected those traits on her daughter, whom she was absolutely crazy about. Though tragedy struck when Kenna was only ten years old. The Queen of Silanos was pregnant! The capitol rejoiced, along with the rest of the world, no doubt. Though not Kenna. She was jealous, she hated the idea of a sibling. She wouldn't be as special, to anyone.. For ten year she was the sole royal child.. She couldn't fathom having to share that title with anyone... and if she had a brother, she'd lose all claim of the crown. He would take it from her. As months ticked by, Kenna grew disobedient, childish, much unlike her normal self. Royal advisers blamed it on her spoiled upbringing, and they were right, but no one knew of her jealousy. No one knew how she PRAYED that the baby would die. She didn't realize how horrible her prayers were, not until the day came for her mother to give birth. It was a cold December morning and all of the midwives rushed to her mother's chambers. Her father wasn't allowed inside, something about jinxing the pregnancy.. but Kenna stood outside with one ear against the door. After a few hours, one of the ladies opened the door, and Kenna stumbled back, "The Queen is dead....as is the child. She died giving birth, mi'lord..." she announced to Kenna's father, not realizing the young princess was present as well. Her father fell to his knees in anguish, and Kenna fled. It took the guards several hours to find her, but the young child was retrieved, cold and grieving. Ever since, Kenna has been a selfish, spoiled, and rebellious girl. She once had a girl beaten for scuffing the brand new boots she got for her twelfth birthday. It wasn't long before Kenna became isolated from all those her age. The only time she was accepted was when she would sneak out under a false persona. Though she hasn't been able to sneak around much these days. Ever since her father caught wind of a possible assassination attempt he even shut down plans for Kenna's marriage, much to her disapproval. She needed to marry, if this assassination succeeded, she had no claim on her father's throne if she was unwed and without an heir. She loves her father, but she also has the heart of a ruler, a reckless and rebellious young girl... but she loves her kingdom dearly... She just has a bad way of showing it. She still hasn't forgiven herself, blaming herself for her mother's death. If she didn't pray for her younger brother's death... her mother would have lived. Her guilt plays a large toll on her unforgiving and sometimes cruel actions. Honestly she's just trying to get her father's attention and perhaps some affection. Their relationship was strained before, but ever since his paranoia began it's been a little over six months since she has seen his face... Between her guilt and striving for her father's admiration, Kenna has done many things she isn't proud to even think about.


So begins...

Kenna Arianna Santioa's Story

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Kenna sat in her room with a downhearted expression as she stared into the mirror. She was princess, had a beautiful room, and
lived in the most beautiful city located in Irisu. What more could a woman her age ask for? She was successor to the throne and 'Daddy's little girl'... Yet she was still unhappy. No one outside of the castle walls was aware, but Kenna hadn't seen the king in months. At first even she believed the rumors of the king falling ill, because eventually his private doctor refused her presence as well and told her his illness was contagious. Though as months passed she began to learn the truth, no one remained bed ridden that long without dying.. No one she'd heard of anyway. However one thing was true inside the enormous lie; her father was plagued, that much she was certain, but not by illness. Paranoia flooded her father's mind, and it was effecting every decision the man made. He had become a recluse in his own home due to the rumor that someone has after his life. Honestly, Kenna was growing disgusted. Most of the royal meetings with villagers was being taken over by her. For the past six months, Kenna might as well have been Queen already. When it came to meeting with the general public, she was the face that met their worried faces. SHE saw their terror, their anxiety. Her father, regardless of whether the threat he so feared was real or not, was failing to inspire his people. If the rivaling ruler, the King of Nuhardos, didn't kill him... she was almost certain his behavior would lead his own people to assassinate him themselves. He was making matters worse, and she detested his cowardice. She didn't notice, but during her thoughts she formed a rather sour expression. Her fists were pale white from prolonged clenching, so she brushed her hair behind her ear and slammed one fist on the vanity table to release some of her building irritation.

She stood, approaching her wardrobe and picked out a white dress with a matching fur lined shawl. She dressed herself, corset and all, she didn't enjoy the company of her servants anymore, they always asked questions she was unable to answer.. Like; When is the King going to be well again? Is your father alright? It enraged her, she wanted to shout in their face that she was just as excluded as they had been. Once she found herself presentable, she stormed out of her quarters and went straight for her father's. She made a beeline past the guards and nearly turned the knob when she was seized, enraging her even further, "I WILL see my father, if it's the last thing I do! Unhand me!" She shouted, thrashing and kicking as best as she could. Though she never was a strong girl, which she surely regretted at a time like this. Being spoiled definitely wasn't doing her any favors at the moment. She honestly wished she'd spent more time practicing with a sword.. Then she could have gotten through with ease... "I will have the whole lot of you HANGED when I am Queen if you do not let GO of me!" she threatened. She could feel their bodies stiffen as they drug her away, releasing her once she was a safe distance from the King's quarters. They blocked her path, so she let out a huff of pure rage, "FINE!" she shouted in a dangerous mixture of exhaustion and anger, glaring at fancy wooden door. She could almost see her father on the other side if she used a little imagination, "If I must say it from HERE. Father, you are ridiculous! You're ruining this kingdom all on your own! Your cowardice, your people can sense it! I am losing faith in you, what have you become!? Mother would have never stood for this!" she spat, shoving the guards in anger, though they did not budge. It was comparable to watching a small child punch their father. It felt like little more than a meaningless tantrum. It certainly didn't hurt, "I am repulsed by you. I shall not claim you as my kin while you continue to behave this way." She stated in a serious tone before abruptly turning on her heel to depart. She stopped however after a few steps, feeling a bit spiteful, "You'd be far better off dead, at least it would mean you died with some dignity!" she snapped just before she marched away for good.

This was the first time Kenna voiced her opinion on the entire thing, never before had she mentioned to anyone how absurd she found her father's behavior. Though she was growing rather fed up with him hiding away like a child. It was unbecoming and she felt it was pathetic for a man to cower in his bed like a child afraid of the boogeyman. She was losing all respect for him, so she knew their kingdom must have been. Why can't you just be the father I remember? She walked through the halls until she found her favorite window, staring out at the water she feared so much. She'd never left Silanos before, so she would always try to imagine what was beyond those terrifying waves. What were the other cities like? She was dying to travel, but as a princess, she had no such luxury. I miss Mother... She'd know what to do.. I can't do this on my own..

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Kenna left the window, giving a fleeting smile to the waters outside of the Castle. She made her way through the castle smiling and giving brief greetings to necessary nobles. She bowed to the guards outside of the castle, and told them she was leaving to visit her horse, and they nodded to her. She did not stop until she reach the stables, which was rather odd, seeing as the princess didn't come across as the type of woman who would be caught dead in such a place. She did have to admit, she wasn't fond of the smell and worried for her dress, but at times like this she really needed Araiah. She stood in front of Araiah's stall, smiling brightly at her beautiful white horse, "Have you gotten proper exercise today, girl?" She asked, reaching forward and caressing her silky mane. With each stroke against the animal, Kenna's anger began to deflate. She opened the stall, sliding in and closing it behind her. She took the proper measures to saddle her up, leading Araiah out of the stables before mounting the ivory horse.

She lead the horse into heart of the city, smiling at the people of Silanos. She noticed a few children eyeing a food cart and she dug into her coin purse and flipped three gold coins their way. They gave her two large grins of appreciation before picking out the treat they wanted. A few civilians gave her gentle smiles of admiration and she gave them a kind wave, "Just because the King has shut you out, doesn't mean I will... you are all my people, and I'm not the same bratty little girl you once knew. I will do what I can to assure each and every one of you that you're completely safe and taken care of." She told the surrounding people. She ran her fingers through her long brunette locks, avoiding her intricate braids as she ushered for them to approach with her other hand. She untied her coin purse, emptying it out into her left hand and passed them out until she ran out. She gave the townspeople a total of 30 pure gold coins before continuing on her way. She heard rumors of a strange traveler, but she never saw anyone particularly out of the ordinary, but it wasn't like she was making a point to search either..

She grinned once she made it just outside of the city limits, "Let's go girl. Yah!" Kenna said, using her command that let Araiah know it was alright to run. As soon as she spoke the words, Araiah began to gallop freely in the open fields and Kenna laughed as she felt the wind blowing through her hair. Nothing felt better than letting Araiah run. She only wished she could just keep going. She didn't know what she would do, or how she would even survive, but she did dream about leaving her responsibility behind...even if it were only for a few days... but she couldn't. Her people needed a familiar face. There would be civil unrest if there was no one there to remind them that the monarchy hasn't forgotten them. Handling the kingdom behind closed doors wasn't enough, the people wanted to visually see the royal family, they wanted to feel cared for. If she left, they'd surely start a riot... She knew regardless of her own dreams, her people would always come before herself. It wasn't fair, but it was her responsibility due to birthright.

She dismounted Araiah when the reach a stream, and led the horse to it carefully. Although the water was shallow, she still felt wary approaching. She let go of the reins and let the horse quench her thirst in peace. Araiah never ran away, so she felt confident allowing the horse a little breathing room. She took this moment to stretch out on a rock, making sure it wasn't going to stain the white fabric of her dress first. Her maid would have a fit if she got her clothes dirty again... but it wasn't like Kenna did it on purpose... she hated being dirty just as much as the maid hated the stained clothing.

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It was getting rather dark outside when Kenna finally returned to the Castle. She walked Araiah to the stables, locking her up. She brushed the horse off, removing her saddle and left her some feed before she left. As she entered the castle, the guards gave her a weary look. It was their job to protect her, it was the King's orders.. The remaining twenty percent of his royal guard was left to defend the castle and watch his daughter...but it didn't always work out that way. She had a rebellious soul, and was always pushing for freedoms she would one day grow to detest.

Once inside, her handmaiden scurried over to her, putting a blanket over the princess's shoulders, "I'm fine, Mahayana." Kenna insisted, but the maid led her through the castle, bickering and shaking her head in worry. Rolling her brown eyes, the princess followed. She was really kind to Mahayana, one reason this girl was chosen as Kenna's servant. No matter how rude Kenna was, how entitled the girl behaved, Mahayana adored the princess as if she were her own daughter. She shoved the princess into the room where she had kept a hot bath. How the woman kept the water warm so long was beyond Kenna, but she was always grateful, "Mahayana...you must tell me your secret. By Leirina, I must know." She laughed, allowing the servant to strip her of her clothing.

Kenna's lightly tanned skin was a little dirty from her nature excursion, but it was still breathtaking in the moonlight. Many assumed that the princess was blessed by Leirina herself. Although she'd never seen the Goddess, Kenna was very religious and prayed to Leirina every single night since she was around five years old. She stepped into the bath, her smooth skin glimmering under the moonlit bath, "You're so beautiful my dear, just as your mother was." Mahayana whispered, picking up a cloth and began to bathe Kenna. She lightly scrubbed the young woman's skin, avoiding anywhere considered indecent. Though she allowed her thumb to caress the girl's shoulder soothingly "It's a shame your engagement has been put off..."

Kenna's brown eyes shifted to Mahayana in a sorrowful gaze, nodding her head, "Mother was the one to teach me of Leirina's grace. I have no doubt she was greatly rewarded. She died young, but that isn't so horrible. No one got to see her wrinkle, she died the epitome of beauty." Kenna smiled halfheartedly. She was being genuine, but she really did miss her mother every single day, during every breath. Somehow under all the stress in Kenna's life, she remained just as beautiful as the day her engagement to the lord of Untsul's son.

Sure, her suitor wasn't the most handsome, nor was he the smartest in the land, but it was a logical and beneficial match. Kenna would simply have to pray to Leirina like she'd never prayed before once the day came that her father would return to the issue of her marriage. Mahayana soaped up Kenna's entire body, sans her intimate bits, and allowed the brunette young woman to clean those areas herself. Kenna returned the cloth to Mahayana's hands once she was done, and stood up so the handmaiden could rinse her clean. She poured fresh water down the princess's body and Kenna shivered as she felt cool water trickle down her torso. The water passed her abdomen and after a second douse, she was clean.

Kenna stepped out of the wooden tub, soaking wet as Mahayana draped her in a towel and dried the young girl off. She dressed the brown haired girl in her night gown and sent her to bed. Kenna sat up most of the night, thinking about her mother and praying to Leirina that her father would overcome his paranoia.






Kenna woke rather late, possibly around eight in the evening. She hated that she slept most of the day through, but she just couldn't get to sleep the night before. She didn't understand why, but how could she? No one in the entire capitol of Silanos would even GUESS that the actual target would be Kenna. She was young and relatively innocent. Sure, when she was younger she had a bit of a sketchy track record and she still held an irritating sense of entitlement, but she was becoming an icon of hope for the Kingdom during these dark months. Besides, Kenna was young. She never even put thought into her own death, not even once. The way she saw it, she had at least another fifteen years, minimum.

She sat up in her bed, yawning. She heard a knock at her door, "Come in." she shouted, only to see Mahayana. The woman brought her a tray, most likely her dinner. She sat on the edge of the princess's bed, running a hand through the young woman's luscious locks, "Are you feeling well deary?" The older woman asked in a worried tone, checking the princess's forehead for a fever. The brunette shook her head, grabbing a piece of bread off of the tray and nibbled on it slowly. She didn't even feel as though she'd slept through two entire meals, until she swallowed.

Hunger overwhelmed her and she began taking bigger bites. She swallowed several before speaking again, "I just didn't sleep well. That's all.. I was plagued with nightmares." She responded in a weary tone. Then a small little creature hopped onto Kenna's bed. It looked like an outrageously cute crossbreed between a rabbit and cat. Most of the locals called the creature a cabbit, but Kenna called her's Shiva. Mahayana smiled as the gray cabbit rubbed against Kenna's arm lovingly, it's golden eyes gleaming with hope.

Kenna scanned her plate, giggling a bit when she found the carrot. She threw the carrot in the air, and Shiva jumped for joy and caught it in her mouth. The little tyke made at least a three foot high leap. Kenna never got enough of the little animal's capabilities. Cabbits were just so...interesting. Every time she thought about Shiva, she began to wonder just what other kinds of creatures existed in this world...creatures that no one discovered yet. It made her heart beat excitedly just imagining them.

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Character Portrait: Tannin de La Roche Character Portrait: Kenna Arianna Santioa
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Tannin finished his meal and then began sharpening his weapons one at a time. He found as the time passed that he was getting more and more anxious. He was more than ready to get this over with. He sighed softly as he continued. He was unsure of how long had passed before he finally stopped sharpening. He replaced his weapons in their normal places upon his body, the sword at his hip and the daggers along his waist, located at his lower back. He then decided to try to relax for the remainder of his time. He sat back down at the small table, simply content to wait.





When it was nearing midnight, Tannin finally began getting ready. He pulled his cloak on, hiding his face. He then unlocked the door, that way the innkeeper would be able to get in once they began wondering why he'd not left the room. Once ready, Tannin made his way to the window. He slid it open and then slowly slid out of the room, hanging expertly from the sill. He then carefully dropped to the ground. He was thankful that he'd not bee too high up. Otherwise, it would have been much more difficult to get down.

Once he was on the ground, Tannin quickly moved. He began heading back towards the dock. He knew that he only had a short window if he wished to complete his job. It didn't take him nearly as long as it had earlier in the day to reach the dock. Once he had, it was easy to see that none were there. They had all turned in for the night. The Assassin made his way along the dock until he came across a very small, aging boat. He made his way onto the old vessel and picked up the oar.

He then untied the tether and pushed off and away from the dock. The oar struck the water as Tannin began making his way towards the palace undetected. As he neared the palace, Tannin found himself looking up, eyeing the large structure. It was a beautiful building, every much the part of a palace. As he reached the side, Tannin moved the boat as close as he could and then sat the oar down. He then began slowly moving up the side of the building.

It wasn't easy, he had to find any stone that was jutting out just to continue. Before leaving Axijan, Tannin had gotten as much information about the building and its inhabitants as possible. He knew where he needed to go, what room was the Princess's. It would just be a matter of finding it. He finally, after about thirty minutes, reached a fairly high window. He was able to open it quietly and pulled himself up and into the palace. He froze, being silent. He did not hear anything and so silently began walking through the hall. By the decorations that lined the hall, it was clear that he was in the Royal Wing.

He suddenly heard voices and so he plastered himself against the wall. But, they were slowly getting farther away. He moved again, heading in the same direction that he'd been heading. He was not used to being around such nice things and he did not think that he could ever get used to it.

It was a short time later that Tannin came across a door that was unguarded. He approached, pressing his ear to the door. He didn't hear anything coming from within. He opened the door as quietly as he was able, finding himself within a sitting room. There was another door within the room and so Tannin quietly made his to it, opening it. It was easy to see that this was the Princess's room. He was glad that he'd found it first.

He made his way into the room, closing the door behind him. She was in the bed, asleep from what he could tell. He made his way to her, stopping only once he was close enough to touch her. He gazed down at her, regarding her for a moment. She was quite beautiful. Not that he'd suspected anything other than that. She was a Princess after all.

He reached behind him, pulling out one of his daggers. He then held it above the young woman, above her heart. He had to do this. He suddenly allowed his arms to move, the dagger moving dangerously fast towards her form. It was only right before it struck her that Tannin suddenly stopped. If he'd been a moment later he would have killed her. He found himself looking down at her again. He knew in that moment that he could not kill her. She'd done nothing to warrant it. To do so would to go against everything he lived by.

He put the dagger away suddenly, his eyes never leaving the young woman. He knew that Lorn would simply send someone else after her. She would not be safe in Silanos. Not once the news reached Nuhardos. He could not allow her to remain here. He suddenly began searching himself until he found some rope. Gently but surely, he moved her wrists together and then tightened it so that she would not be able to get free. He then tore off a piece of fabric from the end of his cloak and tied it about the woman's mouth so that when she awoke she could not alert anyone to his presence.

Tannin moved suddenly, pulling her up and over his shoulder. He then headed towards the window that was in her room. When he reached it, he opened it and exited onto the room. He then walked to the edge, looking down at the water. He would not be able to climb down with the Princess. They would have to jump. "I would suggest you take a breath and hold it."

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Kenna went back to sleep shortly after her servant Mahayana left, seeing as she had nothing on her schedule for today, and she didn't feel all that well in the first place. She spent the next few hours sleeping rather peacefully until she felt herself suddenly being jerked out of bed. Her chocolate eyes shot open, and her fist instinctively shot to clobber her assailant. Though there was a small problem with that, her hands were bound together. Her next line of action was to scream, but judging by the cloth wrapped over her mouth, he predicted that response already.

Enraged by this man's arrogance, she did the only thing she saw possible, she swung her leg back and with as much force as she could muster, (Not a lot) She shot her leg forward, kicking him with all her might (weaker than the average woman). There was little else she could do as far as resistance went, but if this man wanted her dead, he wouldn't have went through the trouble. Her mind began to go through the best and worst case scenarios. In the best case scenario, he was kidnapping her for a ransom, but the worst case scenario, since he obviously didn't want her dead, was one of her worst fears.

Too often royal women were defiled by those who wished to hurt them or their chances of marriage. She began to thrash violently at the thought of having her body dishonored. Despite the fear swelling up in her stomach, Kenna didn't cry. She didn't want to give anyone the satisfaction of seeing her in such a vulnerable state. Though her attire didn't comfort her nightmarish conclusion. Who abducted a young princess in her nightgown (Link here) and didn't have ill intent? She fought to free her wrists, violently so. She may have been a spoiled brat, but she apparently had the will of fire. Her determination was admirable, and despite the pain of having rope rub the skin raw, she didn't cease her attempts to loosen the bindings.

"I would suggest you take a breath and hold it."

If she wasn't already frightened enough, he was implying that they would jump from the balcony into the water?! Was he insane? There was no way they would survive the fall. Plenty of their servants committed suicide this way! This man was insane, she had to find a way to notify someone of their position, she had to find a way to free herself. She attempted to pull her wrists apart, realizing the attempt would be fruitless, but she had to try. She really wanted a word with her father right about now. HE was apparently never the target, this whole time he was paranoid for naught. Had he been less worried about his own life and even a little bit concerned about his only heir to the throne, this situation would have NEVER happened. She was feeling REALLY bitter right about now. If this strange man would have let her go, she might have went to her father's chambers and killed him herself. She never felt this much hatred for anyone, she hated King Santioa and this unnamed kidnapper and possible owner of a brothel, black marketer, and/or rapist. It was times like this that she regretted not being born male. If she had been born a man, he would have simply assassinated her while she slept and would have been done with it... but no. Women never got the easy route in anything. Men were always captivated by women, wanted to own them. She was so angry that she'd nearly bitten a chunk out of her lip. The inside was already bleeding.

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He could feel her still struggling though paid little attention to her actions. He needed to concentrate. He took a few steps back, almost as if he'd changed his mind about jumping. He tightened his grip on the Princess slightly. He needed to make sure that they both made it past the stone structures and the ground below. Suddenly, the assassin took off towards the edge again at as fast of a pace that he could while carrying the young woman.

Just as they reached the edge, Tannin pushed off as hard as he could, sending the pair almost flying through the air. For a moment, Tannin worried that he'd not gotten enough leverage. However, his fears were erased as they began falling towards the water below. They would just miss the stones of the street and wall. It seemed like forever that they fell but it was only a few moments before they hit the water.

The pair sunk below the water and Tannin was forced to release the Princess for a moment. He removed his hood and then grabbed her by the waist. He pulled her up to the surface with him, ignoring her still. He took a breath and then shook his head to get his soaked bangs out of his eyes and then replaced his hood.

He began swimming, helping to keep the Princess's head above the water. He began heading to the other side of the dock, where he'd gotten the boat from originally. "If you don't stop, you're going to cause us both to drown." He threatened suddenly.

After some time, they finally reached the other side. Tannin had to admit that he was rather glad of this. There was a wooden ladder that was connected to the wooden dock and Tannin made his way to it. He used his free hand, pulling himself up onto the first rung. Slowly, he began climbing and bringing the Princess with him. He was relieved when they were actually on the dock. Tannin sat the Princess down, allowing her to walk. However, he did not completely release her. He kept a hand upon her elbow as he led her into one of the side alleys. It would be the quickest way to the stables.

He made his way through the dark, pulling the woman with him. Within a few minutes, Tannin having to struggle with the Princess somewhat, they reached the stable. Oachi was waiting, ready, as promised. The horse was tied outside at a post, waiting patiently. As they reached the horse, Tannin turned to the woman. "I will help you up." He gently placed his hands upon her waist, easily lifting her up. He released her the moment she was up.

Tannin then untied the horse and mounted behind the woman, making sure that the woman could not get off. Oachi then turned and Tannin nudged him into a gallop. The horse took off on the road. Tannin only allowed this for a short time before moving the horse back into the woods.

He wanted nothing more than to tell her why he'd taken her. Yet, he could not tell her everything while they were out in the open. There was no telling where Lorn had his spies. "I will explain everything to you once we are no longer out in the open." He told her. Tannin was trying to come across as nice...nonthreatening. He was unsure if he was successful. The assassin knew what needed to be done. She needed to be protected. Something that her father and guards were unable to do. Lorn would stop at nothing to get to her but would have a much harder time facing the entirety of the Assassin's Guild.

They needed to get to the inn that he'd stayed at a few nights earlier. He'd already paid for the room and so it would be waiting for them. However, he was unsure of if the Princess would cooperate with him or not. He would not be able to leave her alone until she came to understand that by staying with him, she was safest.

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She realized that her efforts were more or less futile against the assassin, but she knew her mother would roll in her grave if she allowed this man to have his way with her without her daughter offering him some sort of struggle. She didn't begin to really panic until he made a sprint for the edge. Her eyes widened, and in that exact moment she wished that the man would have blindfolded her instead of putting the cloth over her mouth. Honestly she could barely breath, let alone scream.

She kept her eyes shut, fearing the water more than anything the man would do to her. Honestly, despite her fears, part of Kenna prayed to Leirina that she would just drown.. or wake up. She'd be so relieved to wake and realize this was all just some horrible nightmare. A VERY realistic, horrible nightmare. She'd be ecstatic to wake up to Mahayana's and Shiva's faces. Somehow, despite never swimming in her life, Kenna managed an instinctive breath before submerging. For a moment, she believed Leirina answered her prayers, because the man released her, but apparently it was too much to ask for. Almost as soon as she was free, he seized her again. Just wait, if I get a chance to make your life a living hell, I will.. You better kill me, because I will have you brought to the dungeons and torture you myself if I ever return to my Kingdom.. she thought to herself, attempting to focus on her hatred, because she could feel her lungs attempting to hyperventilate. She was moments from allowing the water to fill her lungs, yet he ruined it. Sure, she was terrified, but she heard that the death was quick enough, and once underwater she didn't find it as horrible as she thought. She couldn't exactly fight the water so it wasn't as anxious as it could have been if she was struggling to stay afloat. It would have been a rather easy way to die.

"If you don't stop, you're going to cause us both to drown."

She instantly panicked after surfacing, and she wanted to yell at him, honestly if she had a sword she'd do her best to smite him down. She would have informed him that she COULDN'T swim, with or without her hands being bound. She couldn't even doggie paddle. Swimming wasn't exactly on her resume. It wasn't a requirement as royalty to learn how to swim. It wasn't like she was truly -meant- to leave the castle, she was just simply defiant in that respect.

Once they were on dry ground, she glared holes in the back of his skull. If looks could kill, Kenna would be strolling back to the castle with little more than a cold and post traumatic stress disorder. Though she was human, and had no such ability. She followed behind after a while, though she did decide to make things harder on him every now and then, purposefully tripping on things... Anything to prolong whatever it was he was trying to achieve. Maybe, just maybe the guards weren't complete idiots and they would rescue her. She just had to bide her time. She dropped pieces of fabric from her dress as they went, though she didn't manage many, seeing as her hands were bound... but they needed some sort of discreet trail to follow. How else would she survive this? She started complying, if only to keep her kidnapper from realizing she was sabotaging his efforts. How was she supposed to know he was the bad guy sent to kill her who had a sudden change of heart? Her chest was still going through spasms, seeing as two of her worst fears were becoming reality tonight.. She was having a panic attack, really. She was actually very glad that she was being ignored, it was the LAST thing she wanted this guy to see.

Her eyes widened a bit, and she gave an obvious sound of protest, but found herself atop the horse regardless. I REALLY am starting to question my faith. She thought in a VERY pissed tone of thought. What the hell did she do to piss the Goddess Leirina off this royally? She prayed EVERY night, she went to her temple, in fact, she was probably one of the most outspoken and faithful worshipers in the Castle. Kenna was very proud of her religion, but it seemed it was a fruitless effort? Why would their goddess allow something so cruel to happen to the Kingdom?

She felt every muscle in her body stiffen as he got onto the horse as well, highly uncomfortable and not to mention terrified. She kept as much distance between them as physically possible. Sure she was a flirtatious person, but honestly, she had never been this close to her own fiance, let alone some strange man! This situation was bad enough, but she had never left Silanos before! Well, never past it's outskirts. She continued to take fibers of her dress and drop them as discreetly as she could manage on a horse. Once in the woods, she began to calm down, if only because she could distract herself with the scenery. She knew sooner or later she'd risk a hole in her dress, but she could easily explain it due to their route.

"I will explain everything to you once we are no longer out in the open."

I'm sure you will.. She rolled her eyes, ignoring him this time. She stared off into nothing, considering the deeper they got in the woods, the darker it got. Even though she had nothing interesting left to gaze upon, she remained as stubborn as always. Sure, she had no choice when it came to being abducted, but she did have the choice whether she would amuse him. THAT she refused. She would be the most BORING and uncooperative victim alive. Maybe she could teach this man that a woman may be weaker physically, but she could definitely annoy him to the point he would want to commit suicide...Or perhaps he'd PAY her father to take her off of his hands, either way, he wanted her alive for some reason, and she would GLADLY abuse that knowledge.

If those imbecile guards do not notice my trail, I will have each and every one of them killed via the guillotine if...WHEN I find a way out of this. She didn't know it, but her Hansel and Gretel trail was probably attracting the WRONG sort of company, and due to the bad communication between Tannin and Kenna, well...actually, the lack of good OR bad communication, she was probably leading the true enemy right to them instead of her own soldiers. Despite being soaked, and chilly, she continued to bite into her already sore lip rather than allow a single shiver to pass through her frame. Be strong, be resilient, be stubborn... Be strong, be resilient, be stubborn... It was becoming a mantra of sorts.. but it did help ignoring the cold. She didn't want to even express her basic human needs, let alone excess. Accepting anything from her abductor, she'd vomit at the thought. It was as pathetic as one could get to drop their dignity to that level, at least in her opinion.

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Oachi continued through the woods at the fast pace Tannin was demanding of the creature. The assassin was rather close to the Princess, something that he was quite aware of..however, he could not help it. He kept trying to put space between them but it was futile. He was suddenly trying to keep his mind from the current event. He was focusing on the horse's direction. Tannin was unsure of how long had passed before he allowed the horse back onto the road. It was only then that he allowed the hose to slow down to a walk.

The inn was within sight and it was easy to see the stable that was located nearby. Tannin directed Oachi to the stable. He would need to make sure that the horse was taken care of before they could head into the inn to rest. As they reached the stable, Tannin slid off the horse but made no attempt to help the Princess down. He'd decided that it would be best to leave her atop the horse for now. He opened the stable door, leading the horse inside. He was then quick to shut it behind him.

He then led the horse farther in. There was no sign of anyone being within..just a few horses that were stabled there. As they made their way farther back, they soon came upon the end and so Tannin stopped. Off in the corner was a large hay pile and on top of it was a rather weathered older man, asleep. Tannin rolled his eyes. Onar had known that he was coming and yet here he was asleep. Unacceptable.

Tannin brought Oachi to a stop, allowing the horse to rest for a moment. He then tied the horse and then made his way over to the man. He was completely out. The assassin sighed softly before picking up a bucket. He then dunked it into a nearby barrel that was filled with water. He moved quickly then, pouring the water over the sleeping man's head. Within a few short moments the mad was bolting up, sputtering. "Wha' do you think yer doin'?!"

It was clear that Onar was not happy. It seemed that he was ready to clobber whoever had dared to awaken him. That is..until his eyes settled on Tannin. The man was quick to suddenly change his attitude. He dropped to a deep bow before the short man. "F..forgive me, Master. I..I didn' realize that it was you."

"I gave you one task, Onar, and you can't even seem to do that." Though Tannin had not raised his voice, it was eerily calm. "I can do it. P..please allow me to do as you wish." Tannin was silent for a moment before suddenly moving back to the horse. From within the saddlebag he pulled out a small piece of paper, a small quill, and a small bottle of ink. Onar was suddenly watching the Princess closely. "Who..is she, if I might..""She is no one. Forget that you've seen her. Here." The Assassin had quickly written a short letter explaining everything to his second in command so that preparations could be made. "You will deliver this to Verrengar. No one else. You will leave now. There is no time to waste."

Onar suddenly looked back to Tannin, nodding. He left them, quickly retrieving his own horse and leaving quickly. Only once they were alone did Tannin turn back to the Princess. He was uncertain if she'd realized that he was not from Silanos. If not, she would soon enough. He pulled his hood down, finally, fully revealing his appearance to the woman. He then turned his gaze to her. He helped her down from the horse though was keeping a close eye on her. He didn't trust her at all and had no idea how she'd react. "I am Tannin." He said suddenly.

"I am an assassin that was..blackmailed into murdering you." He'd slowly begun untacking the horse as he spoke though continued to watch her. "Your father has a dangerous enemy. One that wants nothing more than to see him suffer..and to take his kingdom. The easier was would be to make sure that he has no heir and then to kill him. However, I could not kill you. Before coming to Silanos I did much research on you and your father. You've done nothing to warrant death. So I sparred your life."

He paused for a moment, finally putting the horse in one of the stalls. Tannin then turned back to her. "However, I could not leave you in Silanos. Lorn will learn quickly that I did not kill you and will send someone else to finish the job. You are unsafe here. However, in Axijan you will be safe. I intend to protect you until Lorn can be defeated. Then, I will return you to your home. Safe and untouched. However, I must insist that you do as I say." Tannin suddenly moved closer to her, removing the material that had kept her silent. He could only hope that she believe him. Truly, he meant her no harm.

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Once she was free to speak, the bite wound in her lip became pretty obvious, but she didn't waste a second. Instead of checking on herself, she began an instant verbal assault, "I will work my way from the end of your message to the beginning." She stated in a sharp tone, unimpressed by him. She honestly resembled an angry snake right about now. Her words definitely were coated with poisonous intent, "Untouched? Can you HONESTLY tell me that you believe none of tonight's events, or any of the events to come will have no physical effect on me? I'm a woman, but I If War is truly approaching you have done the one thing that will make my people bend the knee to Lorn. I was the only thing keeping Silanos faithful to the crown!" she shouted in anger, obviously taking her position very seriously. Her entire body was shaking, mostly from anger. By then most of her dress was dry at least.

Her chocolate brown eyes glared at him, "Whether you've chosen to spare me amounts to naught. Silanos WILL fall and I will be the ruler of what? It's ashes?" She would have thrown her arms up in disbelief if they were not bound, but sufficed with shaking her head. She really wondered if he thought this through or was thinking in the moment, "I care not for the crown, nor my own life, but for the people I am no longer in contact with! At least at the castle I could have aided them until the next attempt. There are people starving in the slums." She clenched her jaw, thinking of the two children she bought food for just the day before. She wouldn't be able to aid them financially from here, "Children are starving. Do you think my father cares about their lives anymore? I haven't seen his face in nearly a year!" All of her anger, towards the king, towards Tannin was being let out in one swift rant. If her hands were free she probably would have slapped him for doing this to her people, "You might have spared one life, but you've doomed thousands more. What makes my life so important?!"

Then she finally admitted what she was feeling the entire time, "You can get one thing out of your head right now; I will never trust you. If anything, I am memorizing your voice and your face." She sneered, her lip trembling in anger. She was doing just that, the entire time, her eyes did not flinch, not even once. She was never going to let herself forget, "I am going to remember it.. and I hope you can run.." she warned him, glaring daggers into his skull for the second time that night, but this time she made sure he was aware of it. She was not going to be a victim, and she was not going to sugarcoat her words. She was not afraid for her life, nor would she cower before any man, "Because if I return to my kingdom, I don't care where you run, or where you think you can hide... I will have you smoked out." she wasn't bluffing, this was indeed a threat and she did not stutter. She was a very arrogant woman, especially for the era. Most women were soft spoken an ladylike, but Kenna had a fire to her, a raw, feral temper. She wasn't very strong, but her name held all the power she needed, "You should have killed me, because I will have you tortured for every child that is going to die in Silanos because of tonight's events."

She tore herself away from him, but not to run, not toward an exit. It wasn't like she'd make it very far with her hands bound anyway. Instead she sat down in the far corner, staring into lost space, "I hope you weren't expecting me to be grateful, because I'm not. I'm from house Santioa, we do not bend, we do not bow." she informed him, rolling her eyes. She would have nothing to return to. Her fiance, Her father... they were both in danger. They could die while she was stuck here with a complete stranger.

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Whatever Tannin had been expecting from the Princess, it certainly was nowhere close to what he was hearing from her right now. He did not interrupt her, instead allowing her to speak her mind. He watched her, however, looking quite unbothered by her words. However, he could not say that he cared for how she was speaking to him. Only once she began moving from him did the assassin seem to unfreeze. In his honest opinion, the Princess looked silly sitting in the corner. He knew that she was angry. That much was clear.

He sighed silently. He hadn't prepared for this and had no idea how to handle the young woman. "I would not expect one from the house Santioa to be grateful for anything." He suddenly commented, mirroring part of her last statement. He was revealing to her his distaste for her family though would never outright say such a thing. As far as he was concerned, her family was rotten to the core.

"Lorn will know who you are with, drawing his attention from your precious realm. You are his target. He will not rest until he has your head on a pike. I do not need you to be grateful. I'm not doing this for your benefit. You can try all you like to hunt me down once you return..but you will find that your reach does not extend into Axijan any longer. Your father has long since lost his grasp on our land. The Assassin's Guild will stand between you and I until the end of time. You might as well get such thoughts out of your silly little head or you will only cause more bloodshed."

Tannin paused for a moment, turning his gaze to the woman once more. He knew that hearing that her father was loosing his hold on any of the realms would be hard to hear. "I'm not going to stand here arguing with you until we leave. That would be silly on my part. It's late. I suggest you get some rest. Once Oachi is fully rested we will be leaving."

He made his way to her, pulling her to her feet. Tannin led her through the stable, pausing once they reached the doors. He could not leave her tied up. It would draw far too much attention. Of course, the way she'd been acting would draw attention as well. "I will say this only once. If you draw attention to us, I will personally see to it that Lorn destroys your homeland. You will watch it burn to the ground."

It was the only threat he would give her. He unbound her wrists though did not let go of her elbow. He pulled her along with him, heading towards the inn. Once there, Tannin entered and noted that there was no sign of the innkeeper. Though, it was quite early in the morning. He suspected that the man had snuck off to get a bit of rest. Tannin led the way up the stairs, still pulling the woman with him. It did not take long to reach the room he'd rented. He opened the door, leading Kenna inside and then shut, locking the door. He'd released her, moving past her.

He removed his cloak though this time kept his weapons upon his body. He didn't trust the Princess not to try something if he were to part with them. He made his way to the wall farthest from the lone bed and leaned against it, eyeing her. He'd gone silent since he'd sort of lost his temper with her and he had not intention of breaking it now. He at least hoped she'd rest. It would do her no good trying to continue their journey with her exhausted.

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"Lorn will know who you are with, drawing his attention from your precious realm. You are his target. He will not rest until he has your head on a pike. I do not need you to be grateful. I'm not doing this for your benefit. You can try all you like to hunt me down once you return..but you will find that your reach does not extend into Axijan any longer. Your father has long since lost his grasp on our land. The Assassin's Guild will stand between you and I until the end of time. You might as well get such thoughts out of your silly little head or you will only cause more bloodshed."

"It doesn't stop my people from starving. My father is not running a Kingdom. He is hiding in his living quarters with his advisers like child hiding behind their mother's skirt." She shot back, obviously not seeing how this benefited her in the slightest. Then she sighed a bit. She knew things were getting bad between Silanos and Axijan, but she wasn't aware that the Santioa had NO pull in the area. What was her father doing to their kingdom behind closed doors?

It made her blood boil to know she would one day have to clean up his messes, "Don't judge my future reign based on my Father's." she snapped in a very serious tone. The line of succession, her father, politics seemed to be a very touchy subject for Kenna. She apparently spent a lot of time thinking on the matter. Although spoiled and entitled, she did care for her people, and hated anyone who got in between her and her duty to her people, "I will not judge people based on minority or majority. I will not judge someone based on where they live, unlike my father. You may have researched me, but you do not know me, or my plans for this Kingdom." She stated matter-of-factly.

She ran a hand through her now messy brown hair, instantly disgusted. They both smelled like rotten fish. She was NOT going to sleep like this. She'd wake up with horrid consequences, like monstrous acne, "If you MUST know, I don't hate you because you're Axijan I hate you because I cannot help anyone while I am with you. You've taken my life from me. You may not see it, but I do." She did lower her voice as they went to the room, but did not cease her rant. She took heed of the threat, but she was burning every single misdeed into her mind, she would not let her forget a single thing that Tannin has done, nor would she allow herself to forget the things he will do, "I have NO choices, no say in anything happening to me, I might as well be dead already. What is the use of living if you cannot control how to live?"

Kenna went silent as soon as they entered the room. She stood silently where he'd left her for what felt like hours, but she was sure it was not near as long. She made her way to the foot of the bed, sitting down with her back against the wall, facing Tannin. She never once turned her back to him when she was in full control of herself. She straightened out her dress, trying to press the wrinkles out of it. She did not lay down, and she did not close her eyes. She told herself it was because she was doing it to defy him, but honestly she couldn't sleep if she wanted to. Even if she was back home in her own bed, even if she was out of his presence, she could not sleep. After that plunge into the water, it was almost all she could think about.

She saw her fingers trembling in her lap, but thankfully her bent knees shielded her hands from his sight. Her dress was long enough for her to sit this way, so she felt comfortable enough to do so. Though the other reason she couldn't sleep was the fact that she did not know this man, and regardless of what he said, she did not trust him to not touch her inappropriately as she slept. He was not beyond killing women, his only excuse for sparing her life was that she was "innocent" whatever the hell that was supposed to mean. No one was innocent, children aside... but even she knew incredibly evil children. She was one of them... She was not going to trust the word of a murderer. Her brown eyes barely blinked as she stared down at her knees, obviously in deep thought. She would attempt to pull the tangles from her hair once he went to sleep, but she didn't want to go one step near him while he was awake, let alone cross the room for the brush or metal bowl of water on the dresser.

Then she got a wonderful idea. She'd play along as best she could, she'd listen for the most part.. Aside from sleeping, she wasn't sure she would be able to sleep anytime in the next week, let alone that night. She knew exactly what she needed to do. She just had to do it slowly, else he'd see it coming. Instead she raised one hand in front of her head. Her fingers were stretched out, and she placed her forehead against the tip of her index finger. She prayed every night, she was not about to change that for this man, or any other man to come. She mentally voiced her anger toward Leirina, upset that the Goddess allowed something this horrible to happen to her. She remained chaste, she made offerings to Leirina's temple daily, she even was charitable to those around her. What did she do to earn this sort of fate? Was it wishing her mother's unborn child dead? She was a child, but it was the only truly horrible thing she'd ever done. Nothing else resulted in the end of a life. I can't believe this is where I end up.. she thought to herself, gritting her teeth.

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Tannin continued to watch Kenna as she made her way to the bed. He found it rather odd, as he watched her, that she was intent upon straightening out her dress. He saw no point in it. They both looked rather rough and even though Tannin would have liked nothing better than to clean off..well..there was no way that he was leaving Kenna alone. He knew without a doubt that she would try to get away if she got the chance. He could not risk such a thing. It would not be the first time that Tannin would have to go without being clean. It was something that, for some reason, he found himself having to do quite often when on a job.

He allowed his focus to return to the Princess. As far as he could tell, she was deep in thought. It was only a short time later that she began, quite obviously, praying to her Goddess. Tannin, himself, was quite religious. However, he often found himself quite busy. It was why he'd gotten a statue of Darale placed within the hideout. At least that way he could still pray to the Dark Lady.

He would not do so, however, before the Princess. The Dark Lady heard and saw all. She would understand. Tannin was beginning to think that perhaps the Princess was not planning to sleep. It mattered little to him. It was only hurting her..not him. He resisted the urge to roll his eyes at her. Instead, the assassin opted for sliding down to the floor. He remained propped against the wall, one leg out straight and the other bent. He then removed his sword and its sheath, keeping it against his shoulder, close in case he needed it. The assassin then closed his eyes, head bowed. He knew that he would not be able to sleep much if at all. When he was out, somewhere on a job, Tannin just didn't sleep very heavily at all. The slightest sounds typically would awaken him.

This night...or...morning, as it were, would be no different. He tried to relax, knowing that he would have quite a bit of things that he would need to get done that day. Oachi would need at least until the following day to be ready to travel again. They would need supplies and the Princess needed something different to wear. The weather would be changing soon. Something that Tannin was not looking forward to. Especially since it was likely that they would get caught in it. The rainy seasons were terrible upon Varnaya. It was times like that Tannin was glad that he did not often venture above ground, out of the hideout, during the season.

Tannin suddenly began falling into a light sleep. He'd fought it as long as he could. However, the extra work that he'd ended up having to do had worn him out. As he slept, the assassin found his mind going back to a time before he was a murderer. A time when he'd truly been innocent. As a child, Tannin had been very close with his mother. He did not dream about their short time together very often. It was usually only when he found himself stressed out by his life. He was glad to see her form now.

However, he knew deep down that the dream would end as it always did. With her death. It was part of the reason Tannin hated the King of Silanos. His mother had been hunted down just because she'd married his father. It was his father's last name that had brought her death. If Tannin had not been hiding, he suspected that they would have killed him as well.

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Kenna waited, making sure that he was asleep before sliding across the bed. She tiptoed over to the dresser holding her breath to keep her nerves at bay, eyes stuck on Tannin. If he moved, even a bit, she was prepared to dart to the other side of the room. Please don't wake up... She allowed her eyes to dart over to the brush, cloth, and metal tin of water, grabbing all three before making her way quickly over to the bed once more. She let out a relieved sigh once she was at a safe distance again.

She did not hesitate to unfold the cloth, submerging it in the water. She began washing her legs, arms, neck, and face, wringing the towel out every now and then in the bowl. Then she submerged the towel in the water, moving away from the bed and squeezed it over her head. It did the trick in wetting her hair and she began running her hands through it, trying to remove as much dirt and grime as possible from their midnight plunge.

She finally began brushing through her hair once it was very wet, seeing as it was the closest she'd get to a bath any time soon. She was not going to compromise her smooth complexion because this Tannin guy wanted to play hero, or whatever his true motives were. She let out a huff, rolling her eyes at his sleeping form, before taking the blanket and pillow off the bed. If she had to sleep, she wasn't doing so in the open. She crawled underneath the bed and curled up there. It felt safer, regardless of how uncomfortable the floor actually was.

Kenna kept her back to the wall, still staring at Tannin while wrapped up in the blankets. For the longest time her eyes refused to close, she didn't trust him.. She couldn't. He was a murderer and murder was not taken lightly in their kingdom. Considering it was his profession, her opinion of him was even lower than the average murderer. At least most murders were done for a reason, this man murdered for a bit of coin. Her nose crinkled in disgust. How could a man do such a thing so easily? How did he sleep at night knowing he wast responsible for so many deaths?

She began softly singing a lullaby that her mother used to sing to her. She didn't remember the words very well, so it took her a second to get the words out. Though, it always calmed her down as a child, she never sang it after her mother died.. It was about Leirina, but ever since her mother's death, Kenna never felt she deserved to sing the song.. but right now, she needed the comfort. She was also glad that Tannin was asleep.

Song belongs to: Celtic Woman - When You Believe Lyrics

"Many nights we've prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hopeful song
We barely understood

Now we are not afraid
Although we know there's much to fear
We were moving mountains long
Before we knew we could

There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill

Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will
You will when you believe

In this time of fear
When prayer so often proves in vain
Hope seems like the summer birds
Too swiftly flown away

And now I am standing here
My hearts so full, I can't explain
Seeking faith and speaking words
I never thought I'd say

There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill

Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will
You will when you believe

And when you're blinded by your faith
Can't see your way clear through the rain
A small but still resilient voice
Says hope is very near

There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill

Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will,
somehow you will,
Now you will

You will when you believe
You will when you believe"


It didn't take long after the song, Kenna fell asleep underneath the bed, but her dreams would surely torment her as much as she was bothered by reality. Most of the time she didn't dream, but the few times she did, she had dreams of her mother, her unborn siblings, who in her dreams was always a girl, the life the could have had... It was horrible, because she'd always wake up to find that they're both still dead. It was a horrible tease.

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As the woman was moving about the room, Tannin was awake though made no move. He remained as still as he would have if he'd been asleep, his eyes remaining shut. He listened as she plunged something into the bowl that had been in the room, filled with water. She continued with whatever it was that she was doing, the assassin trying to relax once again. However, the sounds of her movements kept him awake.

Some time later, he could hear movement again. He could not tell what she was doing but he still remained motionless. He, however, could suddenly feel her eyes on him. Tannin, so far, had found the Princess quite odd. Not that he had any princesses to compare her to. He'd just not imagined her the way she was. The silence in the room was soon broken, the woman's voice soft as she thought him asleep.

Tannin listened to her as she sung. It was not a song that he was familiar with, that much he knew. He had to admit that he rather enjoyed her voice. Not many within the Guild often sang. They did not have much to sing about anymore. He allowed himself to listen to her. It was in that moment that Tannin knew that he would have to tell her who he really was. He was well aware that she would never trust him after learning his name...who his family was. Yet, he could not keep such a thing from her. She would find out once they were within the Guild. Best she hear it from him.

The woman went silent and Tannin hoped that she'd finally gone to sleep. She needed the rest. The assassin, however, knew that he would likely not get back to sleep, though he tried.




The following morning Tannin was up quite early. He straightened himself up, making sure that he was at least a bit more presentable. He was surprised to find that the Princess was not in the bed. He knew that she'd not left the room and so he checked the bathroom and then, finally, under the bed. He was surprised to see her there, curled. She was so afraid of him that she'd refused to sleep in the bed.

He simply shook head, rising. He would allow her to rise on her own. He made his way to the door, exiting. He was met by one of the girls that worked in the inn. Tannin asked for a small meal be brought up for him. The girl nodded, taking off quickly. Tannin then reentered the room.

He was quiet as he moved through the room. He stopped once again near the bed. "If I were you, my Princess, I would get out from under the bed. Breakfast will be here soon and I would very much like to speak with you." He knew that she most likely would want nothing more than to ignore him. However, he had to tell her. He felt that they were far enough away from the main city that speaking his name would cause little harm. At least if it was overheard.

There was suddenly a knock on the door and Tannin answered, taking the tray and thanking the girl. He then returned, placing the tray on the small table. He then offered Kenna one of the small plates and took the other. He would not force her to eat but he hoped that she knew that it would be best if she did so.

It did not take him long to finish the small meal and Tannin replaced the plate on the tray. His eyes suddenly landed on the Princess. "You need to know who I am." He said suddenly, seriously. He regarded her closely, knowing full well, the terrible things that she'd most likely been told about his family...and he supposed that finding out that there was still a La Roche alive..and living would not be something that she would be planning to hear from him. The King believed his entire family dead. "My full name..is Tannin de La Roche." The assassin went silent, waiting for her to take in his words.

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She woke shortly after he peeked under the bed, though she refused to stir. She didn't want to be heard right away. She allowed him to go about his business while she came to complete consciousness. She did not want to approach interaction with Tannin when she wasn't in a state of complete clarity. She had to make her plan work, or she feared she'd never see her homeland again. She almost jumped clean out of her skin when she was directly addressed, but kept quiet.

"If I were you, my Princess, I would get out from under the bed. Breakfast will be here soon and I would very much like to speak with you."

Something with how he worded his sentence shook her composure, perhaps the honorific? No, she didn't care about that. Why was an assassin sent to kill her calling her 'my princess'. THAT was what got her curious. Not many would accept to take the life of a royal, they would live forever on the run at best. Regardless of how many peasants you kill, eventually they will stop looking.. For someone who seemed to against her family, why did he bother? It triggered her rage, but also her interest. She was about to slide out from under the bed, but hesitated as the food trays were brought in.

The smell of food tempted her, but she did little to prove she was awake. She did not want to come across as the type of woman that submits to her temptations so easily. Kenna crawled out from under the bed once the girl left, and she accepted the plate. She stared at it for a while, but deemed it edible. It wasn't like Tannin cooked it himself. She worked around the meat on the plate, but ate everything else in a quiet, slow manner, despite having missed two out of three meals at the castle the day before, "I would thank you, but this is far less....edible than I am used to..so I won't." Her eyes landed on the meat, but how was anyone outside of the castle supposed to know? Very few knew it made Kenna physically sick when she even thought about eating a dead animal.

"You need to know who I am. My full name..is Tannin de La Roche."

Though now she was glad the plate's portions were small. Had she eaten more, she'd of definitely vomited at this news. de La Roche? Seriously!? How many times will I want to punch you in the face before I die? She thought to herself venomously, but said nothing for a while, actually she left several minutes of silence. She half expected to begin foaming at the mouth. She wouldn't put it past someone in his family to poison her. Though despite her attempts to keep quiet, she'd eventually reopened the self-inflicted wound on her lip from the night before. It started bleeding again, pulling her out of her enraged gaze. Finally as she wiped at the blood, her anger got the best of her and she finally spoke up, "So, this whole 'I'm bad guy who despite doing bad things, still has a tiny heart that wishes to be redeemed' thing was a complete load of crap? All you wanted was petty revenge for the hate between our families? Was whatever Lorn had in mind for me too quick for your tastes?" She asked in complete disbelief, standing up and giving him a hateful glare. She never trusted him, but she expected more from Tannin than this. She always was a bad judge of character, though this was definitely the worst case so far. She really wanted to crawl back under the bed and die, "Whatever. Take the revenge you apparently want, go ahead. I don't blame you. Though it won't matter." she laughed, cynically one could say. She wasn't even sure if she would be given the chance to finish her next sentence, but it was worth a shot. It never really occurred to her until now, due to the fact she thought her father wiped out the last of the de La Roche, "Regardless of whose blood is spilt, be it Santioa.. or de La Roche.. it wouldn't end this. I don't care who started it.. You're living proof that people's pasts come back to haunt them in ways they'd never expect. I'm glad I threatened your life before I knew, now you know it's nothing to do with your family name."

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Tannin watched the Princess closely after he'd gone silent. The young woman was quiet for what seemed like a long time. He noted her working her lip and he could only assume that she was less than pleased. Not that he was surprised. At last, she broke the silence yet Tannin still remained silent. He'd decided to allow her to speak her mind. It was least he could do. It soon became quite clear that the Princess had been well informed of the hatred that was between their families. It was only as she finally went silent that Tannin moved.

He moved so that he was still quite far away from Kenna. He saw no reason to near her right now. She believed that he wanted revenge. Wanted to see her dead. He doubted that there was anything that he could do or say to make her believe otherwise. "Tell me something..Princess. Why would I go to all of the trouble of getting you out of the Palace alive if I was just going to turn around and kill you? How would that make any sense?"

Tannin paused for a moment, regarding her closely. "I am well aware of the hatred that flows between our families. However, I have long since accepted where I am in life. Killing off you or your father would do me little good. I would still be labeled a traitor. I would still have to remain far from Silanos. You know nothing but the lies your father has fed you your entire life. Do you even know why our families hate each other so?"

He was silent for a few moments, carefully watching her. He'd allowed her to creep under his skin..not something he allowed too often. He was quick to hide it, however. His face became oddly calm as he listened to her. As he thought about it...it would make little difference if she knew the truth. She would think it lies. So, he would not say anything else on the subject.

"It matters little." He said softly. He pushed off of the wall, moving through the room. "We'll be leaving the moment Oachi is rested enough for the journey. I've some supplies that I need to get before we can leave. You will stay here in this room until I return or I will do as I promised you when we arrived here. I won't be long."

He meant what he'd said. Even if she did run...he'd be able to easily find her. He doubted that she'd ever been on her own before. He then adorned his cloak, hiding his appearance and then left the room, heading down the stairs and out into the small village. It was not hard to located the general goods store that was located there. It was a small building but they would have everything that they would need. Tannin entered and approached the counter.

A rather tall man approached him, asking what he needed. It didn't take long before Tannin had all that they needed until they reached Axijan. He'd gotten Kenna a few dresses, ones that were suitable for traveling, as well as a cloak. He knew that with the rains coming she would need it. He also had gotten them food, a few bedrolls, and a few waterskins. He paid the man with gold that he'd stashed in the room before he'd left for the main city.

Only once he was done did Tannin head back to the Inn, carrying the supplies. He made his way back up the stairs and to the room. He closed the door behind him and then sat the items down on the desk. He was doing the only thing he knew how to do in order to prove to her that he truly wished to help her.

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"Tell me something..Princess. Why would I go to all of the trouble of getting you out of the Palace alive if I was just going to turn around and kill you? How would that make any sense?"

"Isn't that precisely the definition of a prisoner of war?" She retorted, still confident with her assumption. Plenty of men were taken alive, but slaughtered due to having an inadequate amount of holding cells. She knew a lot more about the battles Silanos had been through than she let on, she saw a lot more death in the Castle than her father, or anyone else knew. She was a sneaky, quiet child growing up. She would sneak around the castle in curiosity, and saw a lot more corpses than a child should have.

"I am well aware of the hatred that flows between our families. However, I have long since accepted where I am in life. Killing off you or your father would do me little good. I would still be labeled a traitor. I would still have to remain far from Silanos. You know nothing but the lies your father has fed you your entire life. Do you even know why our families hate each other so?"

Her face instantly became angry, feeling rather insulted. Did he think she didn't study her own family history? She was the princess, sole heir to the Santioa bloodline. Woman or not, she was highly educated. She read that the de La Roche family betrayed the Santioa family down the line, and ever since, different members of each bloodline have spilled immeasurable amounts of blood over the decades.

"It matters little."

She scoffed at this, crossing her arms. Why bring it up if he was just going to brush it under the rug again? Honestly she was beginning to think that her captor was a bit mental. Luckily she left a trail for her soldiers. If she calculated things right, perhaps they would make it in time, before Tannin rushed her away from this horrid excuse of an inn.

"We'll be leaving the moment Oachi is rested enough for the journey. I've some supplies that I need to get before we can leave. You will stay here in this room until I return or I will do as I promised you when we arrived here. I won't be long."

"If anything keeps me here, it's not your threat. The only thing that makes me care about whether or not I live or die is my duty to my people." She snapped as she watched Tannin leave. She waited patiently until she felt he was far enough away, and she ripped the bottom of her dress. She stuck the ripped piece of silky fabric under the bed, and another inside the dresser. She had to make sure that the guards knew she had been there. She paced the room, staring at the door, but withheld all temptation to flee. She didn't know enough about peasant life just yet, she had to also earn Tannin's trust if she were to find an opportunity to escape.

She knew it would be difficult learning to hide how she truly felt, but it was her only chance to make it back to her people. She had to sell that she was slowly learning to trust him, but she had to make sure that she didn't fall for her own act along the way. The last thing she wanted was to actually humanize her captor.

Kenna sat back down on the bed, humming her prayer under her bed to calm her nerves. It was times like this she really needed to know if she was going down the right path.. It didn't take long for Tannin to return, seeing as she heard the door open. She stayed leaned against the headboard of the bed, but opened one eye, watching him sit the items down. She almost immediately burst into a fit of laughter, there was no way she was changing into one of those dresses in front of him. She managed to keep a straight face, staring at the ceiling. Where are those good for nothing soldiers? I've left them plenty of clues.. Anyone could have followed those strings from my dress! Though she was grateful to have a change of clothes, she doubted any of the dresses would be comfortable compared to her own. She was prolonging the change for as long as possible.

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Tannin turned his gaze to Kenna, regarding her for a long moment before he finally spoke. "You need to change." He paused, pulling his gaze from the woman. "Remaining in..that will only draw attention to yourself. You're filthy." He moved then, taking hold of the closest dress and throwing it to her. He then walked towards the door and left her, giving her time to change in privacy. He slowly made his way down to the bar in the inn. He then made his way off to one of the darker corners and took a seat, relaxing.

He planned on giving her time to herself. He knew that it wasn't easy hearing who he was. The hate that ran between their families was deep and the pain that still lingered there was great. However, as in all things, life would continue. The Innkeeper came by, asking Tannin if he'd like anything. The Assassin declined, waving the man off.

Soon, he was alone again. There were not many within the Inn. He doubted that many came through this area and when they did they did not remain long. He sighed before finally rising from his seat and slowly making his way back up to the room. He knocked and waited a moment before entering. Tannin made it a point to ignore the Princess. He saw no reason to speak with her. She was no doubt still angry at him though he did not blame her. Even though everything he'd done so far was to protect her, she could not see that. It was something that Tannin accepted.

He found himself leaning against the wall again, his eyes closed. The evening meal would soon be served and they could turn in for the night. The next morning Tannin was planning on leaving. He hoped that Oachi would be ready. There was little reason that he wouldn't be. "We'll be leaving in the morning." He said quietly, not bothering to look at the woman.

In truth, Tannin was ready to be back in Axijan. He was tired of scuttling about Silanos like some common criminal. He was so much more than that. He would have quite a bit of work to do however he look forward to it. It would be nice to be back home where everything was normal. He sighed silently. He had sent word with Onar as to what was going on so that Verrengar could prepare. The Princess would have a room all to herself as well as clothing more fitting a Princess.

It would be hard for Lorn to reach her within the Guild's protection. "Tell me something, Princess." He said, suddenly breaking the silence once again. "Your father..the King, when did he become so withdrawn for his world? Was there something that set him off? Lorn did not become persistent in his actions until as of late. From what I've heard your father has been like this for some time." He was unsure if Kenna would answer him though it was something that he'd been wondering. He had never met her father and honestly he never cared about him. However, he knew that there had been a time that the King had been much loved by his people.

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"You need to change."

"I suppose so." She scoffed, continuing on. It was his fault she needed to change in the first place, she couldn't understand where he found the gall to point it out. Well aren't you cheeky. She thought with a glare on her face as she glared more daggers into his skull. How she wanted to shut him up, by any means, if necessary, "I assume anyone who falls from a tower into the disgusting depths of the sea would look ,more than relatively horrid."

"Remaining in..that will only draw attention to yourself. You're filthy."

Her mouth dropped as his next words came out, and had he been any other man, she would have immediately slapped him. Not one person aside from Mahayana and her father got away with spewing such blatant insults, "Such is the price when one finds herself in a man's care." she shot back with venom in her tone. She waited for him to leave, ignoring the dress until she figured he was long gone. She looked the fabric over, sighing. She was very disappointed when she had her wardrobe at home to compare it too. The dress was very plain compared to what she was used to, and the bodice of the dress looked very itchy.

She eventually caved. Any dress was better than her wrinkly and smelly one. She walked over to the door, with the bowl of water and cloth she'd used the night before and began washing off the rest of her body. Of course the water was used, but regardless it had to help with the smell of the nasty ocean water in her hair and on her body. She wiped her entire body down tediously before slipping into the dress. She was right, the torso was itchy.. but at least her undergarments provided a layer between her skin and a majority of the itch.

She then sat back down on the bed, staring out the window, glaring. She wanted to make a break for it right then and there, but she needed more experience. She needed to know more about the weather and land, and most importantly, she needed a horse. She couldn't escape until she found easier access to one. Timing would be everything. If she failed, she wouldn't get a second chance. Seeing as Tannin wasn't present, Kenna decided to take this time to finally cry. She couldn't believe her situation. She wanted nothing more than for her life to go back to the way it was.

She cried for some time, and probably would have continued to do so, had something furry not touched her face unexpectedly. Almost instantly Kenna squeaked in fright, instinctively jumping back away from the source. She was relieved to find the culprit was a small mess of brown fur that fell onto the bed in front of her. It was her pet cabbit, Shiva, "Where did you come from? My goodness... I'm so happy to see you.." The tears quickly stopped pouring down her face after she wiped her eyes a few times, and she hugged the small creature. She looked around at their dirty dishware, but saw no carrots in sight, "I don't have a way to feed you I'm afraid..." She muttered, regretting that her pet followed her, despite the obvious dedication it must have took for the tiny creature to keep up with the horse. All Kenna could think about is what would happen if Tannin realized the cabbit followed them, "You should have stayed at home. This is no place for the likes of you. For all we know Tannin might try to eat you if it comes down to it." She instantly grew quiet as the man returned, hugging Shiva close to her form. Even if she couldn't protect herself, she had to protect Shiva. Not many people knew the secret ability that cabbits possessed. Kenna would not allow Shiva to be harmed, especially due to the cabbit's resemblance to humans.

"We'll be leaving in the morning."

She simply nodded, not breathing a word to him. A collection of all the things he'd done since kidnapping her, well, let's just say they didn't put her in a sociable mood. He lacked charm and chivalry, so she barely noticed how attractive the man was. Not to mention she's only seen him covered in dirt, seaweed, and saltwater. It wasn't an appealing look, regardless of who wore it.

"Tell me something, Princess."

She quirked an eyebrow, petting Shiva as she listened to what he had to say, not that she'd reveal any more information about her kingdom's status. What if he simply was pretending to befriend her to gain information about the castle.. What if he is honestly still working for Lorn? This whole rescue mission could have been a farce to gain some sort of trust from me. she thought skeptically to herself She didn't understand his motives, why would a de La Roche want to rescue a Santioa in the first place? It didn't make sense.

"Your father..the King, when did he become so withdrawn for his world? Was there something that set him off? Lorn did not become persistent in his actions until as of late. From what I've heard your father has been like this for some time."

"Yes, something did cause this behavior. I remember the day, just as I remember the night I lost my mother and younger sister in one fell swoop. Neither have left my mind for an instant, but I do not wish to share such information. Why would I tell you something I haven't even told my handmaiden whom has practically raised me since infancy?" She asked in disbelief, but also in mild amusement. Did he honestly think they were in such a place where her family, no, political secrets were something she would comfortably share? It certainly wasn't the case, she did not betray her loyalties so easily. Anything that came from her lips, passed her tongue, could be used against her father, "My credibility as a royal may be tarnished, but I will not condemn my father. He can always have other daughters." When she said credibility, she meant her chastity. Whether or not Tannin touched her inappropriately, everyone in the Silanos court would assume that her virtue had been sullied. Her fiance would probably deny her, she tried to not think about it, because it was causing her fingers to tremble once more. Once she returned to Silanos, if she ever did, she would never be considered again as far as marriage was concerned. She began brushing her fingers through her hair tediously, trying to keep her mind off of what would become of her if she survived this. No one would want a bride with questionable purity.. She thought solemnly, closing her eyes in attempt to keep her thoughts to herself. She had to keep calm. It was the only thing she could control about her own life these days..

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"Yes, something did cause this behavior. I remember the day, just as I remember the night I lost my mother and younger sister in one fell swoop. Neither have left my mind for an instant, but I do not wish to share such information. Why would I tell you something I haven't even told my handmaiden whom has practically raised me since infancy?" The Princess said in reply to his question. The assassin simply tilted his head, regarding her. He decided against speaking up, allowing her to continue. "My credibility as a royal may be tarnished, but I will not condemn my father. He can always have other daughters." Silence again. Tannin watched the young woman, watching as she closed her eyes.

He felt almost bad for her. In saving her from Lorn's plans he had damaged her reputation. "Is not a tarnished reputation better than a painful death? Or perhaps you would see it the other way round.." He'd taken notice of the creature that Kenna was holding. Sudden curiosity showed itself upon his face. He'd never encountered such a creature before. "What is that?" He asked her, his gaze simply taking in the creature's appearance.

Tannin waited for the Princess to speak, not really knowing if she would even give him an answer. After a few moments the Assassin decided that perhaps he should clean up a bit. He could only imagine what he looked liked. He turned suddenly, walking back out of the room. He felt no need to tell her where he was going. If she valued anything at all she would stay put.

He made his way through the Inn, stopping to speak with the Innkeeper. It seemed that there was a public 'bath' that was not being used at the moment. Tannin had not brought with him any change of clothing. He'd seen no reason for it as his trip was not supposed to last a long time. Which, was why he'd bought a new outfit which he'd left at the counter earlier before going upstairs. He took it and allowed the man to lead the way. It didn't take them long and before he knew it, Tannin was alone with the door locked.

It was a simple bath, already filled with heated waters. There were soaps sitting near. He undressed and then got in. It felt good to be in something so warm though he knew that he could not take a long time. He needed to get back to Kenna. He began washing his body, making sure to leave no trace of dirt or grime upon his skin. Only once he was done with that did he submerge himself completely. After he'd come back up, Tannin washed his hair thoroughly before getting out of the bath.

He dried off and then dressed. He decided that perhaps he could take a few extra minutes as he was in no hurry to get back to her for the sole reason that she was rather unpleasant to be around. He ran his fingers through his hair and then went ahead and pulled it back as he normally kept it.

Once he was presentable, the assassin left the bath and then back up the stairs to the room. He entered the room once again, this time simply ignoring the girl. He went to the wall that he'd been resting upon before and took up the same relaxed stance against it. They both needed to rest..the following day they would be traveling quite hard and he did not wish to have to stop unless absolutely necessary. He would allow her to keep her pet. He saw no harm in it. Though, he decided that he needn't tell her right away. It was far too much fun to watch her fret about it.

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"Is not a tarnished reputation better than a painful death? Or perhaps you would see it the other way round.."

Finally he hit a nerve, but the opposite of what he'd hit prior. This nerve was more of an insecurity, "You're right, I do see it the other way around.." She replied in a soft voice, petting Shiva's warm fur to calm herself. She grew close to tears at the thought. She let out a sigh, standing up, sitting the small animal down on the bed, "You've been trying to get under my skin since last night, so fine, you win." She stated, her entire form quivering as she stared him down. He obviously didn't understand what it meant for a princess to have her virtue questioned.

"If my purity is brought to question, I could lose my claim to my crown. I cannot become Queen without a husband, and who would want to marry a Queen who the public would deem as a surviving prisoner of war? No one would believe my claim, or yours." She responded, voice shaking as she explained the situation she will face in the future, should she survive the oncoming war. She never thought about this before, she never had a reason to question her reign before now. Thoughts about losing her claim were unnerving, it left her feeling so helpless. The pain it would bring her would be immeasurable. She spent her whole life getting groomed to become Queen. To lose her birthright would destroy her.

"I would have nothing. No home, no power, no husband." She laughed, growing more upset as she continued. The tears were swelling up in her eyes, threatening to fall, but she was using every fiber of her being to keep them at bay, "My whole life I was raised to become Queen, I cannot do that.. Once a woman's virtue is gone, finding a suitor becomes nearly impossible. Men do not want a wife that society deems a harlot. I will have nothing, At best, I'll be deemed a duchess, but I'll lose that title as well, because I have never worked a day in my life. S-So I apologize if I'm not throwing myself at you in gratitude." Finally a single tear fell down her cheek.

"What is that?"

Though she quickly turned her back to him, wiping it from her face discreetly as she picked up Shiva, "You're telling me you've never encountered a cabbit on your journeys?" She asked, forcing a smile onto her face, feeling a little smug that she knew of a creature that he didn't. This was her first time outside of Silanos, so she was very proud of herself for the moment, but her mood still didn't rise. She kept wondering how she'd survive on her own.. She never had to contemplate that before, she never felt so "They're a hybrid, No one is sure how it happened, but they're a crossbreed between a rabbit and a cat that's diet consists solely of carrots." She informed him, presenting Shiva to him. She ran her fingers through the cabbit's soft brown fur, gazing down at her lovingly. She was scared he'd tell her she couldn't keep it, but perhaps if she educated him in her capabilities, he'd allow her to travel with them.

She watched Tannin leave the room, without explanation. Did I say something? She asked herself mentally, shaking her head. She tried to not take it personally, brushing it off as a weird guy thing, and simply took the liberty to lay down in the bed in peace for once, besides, she felt he was going to take a while. She wasn't tired, but the blanket was comforting, it gave her a false sense of security. She put Shiva under the blanket and the tiny creature crawled in front of her chest and curled up, purring happily. She always found it weird, it purred like a cat, but it's diet was carrots. The animal was a breathing contradiction and a living example that anything could happen.

She was still awake when he returned, just laying in the bed, cuddling Shiva, "They have a very special ability, you know." She mumbled, seeing as she wasn't in the best of spirits. She just came to full realization that her life would become a great deal more difficult, far more than she could have anticipated, "They can transform into a humanoid form." She added, smiling a bit. She couldn't believe he hadn't heard of them. She figured Assassins would use cabbits to their advantage. She sat up, staring out the window, wrapping the blanket around herself.

Once he was presentable, the assassin left the bath and then back up the stairs to the room. He entered the room once again, this time simply ignoring the girl. He went to the wall that he'd been resting upon before and took up the same relaxed stance against it. They both needed to rest..the following day they would be traveling quite hard and he did not wish to have to stop unless absolutely necessary. He would allow her to keep her pet. He saw no harm in it. Though, he decided that he needn't tell her right away. It was far too much fun to watch her fret about it. She noticed the outfit change, but said nothing of it. What was it to her? She had a fiance, one she would likely lose by the end of the war. She still felt depressed just thinking about it. She couldn't imagine life not being royalty, it was all that she ever knew. It looks fairly nice on him... for peasant wear. She thought to herself, but quickly dismissed her thoughts.

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"They have a very special ability, you know." Kenna said, her voice not as strong as it had been earlier. "They can transform into a humanoid form." The assassin watched the Princess calmly. These creatures were not found in Axijan. Yet, he found them rather intriguing. They would serve his kind well yet he knew better than to start such a thing. Those that he oversaw would be come lazy and that was not something that could be afforded. The Guild had to remain at the top. Otherwise, they would not survive.

The Princess moved, drawing Tannin's attention to her once again. She had sat up and was now looking out the window. The assassin regarded her for a moment before he suddenly closed his eyes, trying to will himself to rest. They would have a far rougher road in front of them the following day. "Get some rest, Princess. You will need your strength about you in the morning. He would say no more on the subject. By now she should know that their road ahead would not be a easy one. He allowed himself to slowly drift off into a light sleep.




The following day Tannin was awake rather early. He rose from his seat upon the floor and straightened himself. Only then did he equip himself with his weapons in their usual locations upon his body. He then moved through the room, making sure that he'd not missed anything. He then made his way over to where Kenna was. He refused to touch her though spoke loud enough that if she was asleep, she would hopefully awaken.

"Princess, come. You need to get ready so that we may leave. The sooner we do so, the sooner we'll be able to rest again. They would have to travel across the mountains first. This was an easy enough task if one was traveling alone however, Tannin was not. It would slow the travel considerably. Only once he was certain that Kenna was up did he leave, heading down through the inn and out to the stable.

He was quick to find Oachi and made his way to the creature. The assassin began to ready the creature for their trip, placing the tack upon him and double checking him to make sure that everything was secure. Only once he was happy with the horse did he make his way back to the inn and up to the room. There, he glanced at Kenna before gathering the supplies that he'd bought the day before. "Come. It is time we go." He paused, glancing at her for a moment before continuing. "Bring your pet if you must. However, the moment it gets in the way is the moment that it will be sent from us."

The assassin waited for the Princess to join him before leading the way out of the room. He walked slowly, staying close to the young woman. He doubted that she was glad of this yet he would not risk anything happening to her. It did not take long for them to reach the horse. Tannin helped Kenna up onto the creature and then made sure to finish securing the rest of their supplies. Only then did he pull himself up behind the Princess.

He reached around her, taking hold of the reins. The horse then began moving at a walk, out into the outdoors. Tannin then directed the horse in the direction that they had been headed before they'd stopped to rest. The horse moved, taking them away from the small village. Tannin could not say that he was sad to leave. In fact, he was looking forward to it. He did not like being in Silanos and the sooner they were out of it..the happier he'd be.

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"Get some rest, Princess. You will need your strength about you in the morning."

She simply scooted back on the bed, with her back against the wall as she did her best to do as she was requested, but regardless her pride decided to rebel. It sounded too much like an order for her inner demons to accept. She answered to no one except her father.. Though eventually she caved and fell fast asleep, despite her subconscious refusing to let her. She dreamed about her family, what it could have been. Her mother and father old and gray, her Queen, and helping her younger sister dress for her wedding day. Though she didn't get to enjoy the dream, because it felt like she was being woken up as quickly as she'd fallen asleep.

"Princess, come. You need to get ready so that we may leave. The sooner we do so, the sooner we'll be able to rest again."

"Rest...? This place is hardly worth whatever you've paid for it.. I had better rest on the floor than this bed.." She mumbled, sitting up and running a hand through her hair, Shiva springing to life, the small creature's stomach growling as it mewed in her direction. She sighed a bit, shrugging down at the tiny cabbit. She didn't know if they would get breakfast first or not. She did feel sorry for the little tyke. It hadn't ate in almost two days.

Kenna stood, fixing her hair and making herself presentable. She didn't want to come across as a troll lady just because she was no longer in the castle. She had an image to uphold, regardless of whether or not the civilians they crossed paths with would recognize her. She had higher standards for herself, and would not lower them for anyone.

"Come. It is time we go."

Finally she chose a moment to oppose him, "I care not whether I get to eat, but Shiva will die if we make her wait until the next stop. She hasn't ate since I was staying in the Castle.. I insist we at least take something for her on the road.." She stood firm, lifting her head high as she addressed the issue, like the royal she was, but not so high that it would make her look ridiculous..

"Bring your pet if you must. However, the moment it gets in the way is the moment that it will be sent from us."

"She isn't the meddlesome animal you take her for. She has to eat every two days or she gets weak, she'd be a lot more compliant and you wouldn't even notice her presence on this next trip, so long as she has a carrot to sustain her. I will go, but only when I have some food to give her." She added, defending her choice. She wasn't refusing to go, but simply refusing to continue until she was certain she had means to feed the cabbit. The last thing she wanted to do on this journey was watch her beloved pet die. She was like Kenna's child, especially since she could turn into a human-like child. It would be like losing a daughter, and she held a mother's stubborn mentality.

She did not budge until a carrot was presented, but after, she followed quietly, plucking off pieces of carrot to feed Shiva, it was probably the most cooperative Kenna had been since they met. She even let him help her onto the horse despite her obvious dislike of the gesture. She began feeding the cabbit again once Tannin joined them on the horse, because it was now sturdy enough to where she nor Shiva would drop any of the carrot.

"So, what happens when we get to this...guild of yours? Am I to spend the next few months, or who knows? Years confined in a glorified box waiting for the war to end? Perhaps released with no kingdom left to go back to?" She asked only once they were away from public ears. It was the life her father would have preferred for her, especially after his paranoia. Though, she couldn't accept being locked up. She was easily bored, and she only had limited youth left. She planned to enjoy her youth, one way or another, "Have you thought this through, or is this purely last minute instinct?"

Then she brought up something that was bothering her, "Why do you always put me in front, it is perfectly possible for me to ride behind you, I'm beginning to think you're flirting with me." She teased, putting her plan in to action, but she was also kind of curious about it as well. Her accent (Short example here) was actually a little different than most of Silanos, seeing as she took some mannerisms from her mother, whom never told Kenna about where she once lived..

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"So, what happens when we get to this...guild of yours? Am I to spend the next few months, or who knows? Years confined in a glorified box waiting for the war to end? Perhaps released with no kingdom left to go back to? Have you thought this through, or is this purely last minute instinct?" Kenna asked. Her words..they did not please him. The assassin was silent for a moment. However, this allowed Kenna to continue speaking. "Why do you always put me in front, it is perfectly possible for me to ride behind you, I'm beginning to think you're flirting with me."

The Princess's words caused him to become confused. Why would she even say such a thing? However, her tone had not been as it usually was. It was almost as if...she was teasing him. Oachi suddenly pulled them to the right a bit, heading towards the path that would eventually lead to the Mountain. "If I'm flirting with you then truly I must be mad." There was a a light laugh upon his voice. He honestly could say that he would never allow himself to flirt with a Santioa..or even become close with one.

It was simply unheard of. "As for your earlier questions. I suppose that it is safe for me to answer you here." He paused, allowing a brief silence to flow between them. "When we get to the Guild, you will remain there unless given permission to leave. We cannot have Lorn finding you an easy target. You will only remain with us until Lorn is dealt with. After that, you will be escorted back to your precious Silanos. The state of your Realm is of no concern to me. Protecting my people is all that I am concerned with."

That wasn't all true. He'd taken her to protect her. Regardless of how much he was finding that he disliked her, she still did not deserve to die. It was a thought that he kept repeating to himself, he realized. It was true though. "We will travel for some time this day. I would very much like to get as much distance between us and the village. The sooner we reach Axijan, the better. The moment Lorn realizes what I've done, he'll be after us. His wrath will be terrible."

It was hard to know what the other man would do once it was realized that the Princess was still very much alive. Honestly, Tannin would welcome the challenge. It had been some time since he'd had anything of this magnitude to focus upon and he was finding that he rather enjoyed it. It had given him purpose once again. Tannin knew that the letter he'd sent to Verrengar would arrive soon and everything would be made ready for their arrival. "Tell me something, Princess, Shiva...how did she come to be your pet? The two of you seem rather close." He was unsure if she would answer him but he was at least trying to make things a bit more comfortable between them. Even if she continued to fight him...he would still act so.

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"If I'm flirting with you then truly I must be mad."

"It wouldn't surprise me. Anyone who willingly leaps from a tower has questionable sanity." She chimed again, continuing to feed her pint-sized pet. Her voice wasn't cruel like it had been the day before, albeit there was still a trace of irritation in the way that she spoke. Despite forcing herself to be more pleasant, she obviously wasn't in her 'ideal' environment. She noticed the horse move of his own accord, reaching out and stroking his mane. She loved animals, especially Horses... Shiva was a close second, but she craved Araiah's presence. This horse looked nothing like her four legged and ivory haired friend, but she missed her all the same. She never realized just how much she'd miss her. Suddenly she found herself thinking about the first day she met Araiah, when her father brought her to Kenna as nothing more than a foal. She was so strange looking back then, but now Araiah was a very beautiful horse.

"As for your earlier questions. I suppose that it is safe for me to answer you here."

Her thoughts were broken as he finally decided to answer her serious question. He couldn't see it, but her eyebrow raised as he spoke, and she awaited the rest of what he was going to say. The pause was causing her to grow impatient so she gave Shiva the last few bites of carrot to occupy herself. If she didn't, she probably would have said something out of the way.

"When we get to the Guild, you will remain there unless given permission to leave. We cannot have Lorn finding you an easy target. You will only remain with us until Lorn is dealt with. After that, you will be escorted back to your precious Silanos. The state of your Realm is of no concern to me. Protecting my people is all that I am concerned with."

"If that was your only concern, we wouldn't be here with two very different personalities and moral codes struggling to coexist on one horse, now would we, Assassin?" She stated in a calm tone, despite an obvious sigh escaping her lips. She wasn't sure who he was trying to convince, but he obviously wasn't being very honest as far as his 'concerns' were concerned. She had not qualms about pointing it out either. In fact, she found that she was rather enjoying getting underneath the Assassin's skin. Unless he caught her in escape, there was little he could do about her behavior.... so taunting, teasing.. it was all free game, and despite his 'big' and 'bad' status, she had diplomatic immunity in this situation.

"We will travel for some time this day. I would very much like to get as much distance between us and the village. The sooner we reach Axijan, the better. The moment Lorn realizes what I've done, he'll be after us. His wrath will be terrible."

"Good thing I've got a relatively short man, a very distinctive horse, and Shiva by my side then I suppose. I feel better already." She actually gave a light chuckle as she said this, holding no real malice or contempt in her voice but definitely slightly mocking him.. Tannin was a rather short man for his age, and Shiva wouldn't amount to a lot of protection.. Everything she said had a certain point... Especially since she'd never met an assassin before. How was she supposed to know he was telling the truth..? She did however believe him about who he was, but even still, would he be able to properly protect her or were they simply racing against the inevitable?

"Tell me something, Princess, Shiva...how did she come to be your pet? The two of you seem rather close."

"My father used to go hunting a lot before my mother died and left shortly after she died as well... I took it harder than most when we lost my mother.. and I eventually fled the castle because no one spoke of anything else the entire day." She informed him, thinking back on the day, she could even see her younger self running through the snow to escape the loud gossip of the adults inside. They had so many opinions and yet none of them had any ideas on how to bring back her mother....so why did they feel the need to keep talking about it?

"I nearly froze to death that night, because I was too stubborn to go inside. People that barely even knew my mother were acting as if they'd grown up with her their entire life.. That's part of being a royal I suppose, but I was only nine at the time... Anyway, my father just returned from a hunting trip and found the two of us nestled in the snow. We were both blue in the face, and he rushed us both inside only to find that Shiva wasn't actually a child, she was a Cabbit. She'd found me in the snow and curled up with me in her larger form so I wouldn't die... She's around the size of a six year old child in that state so she couldn't do much else.. Besides, she was a baby then too, she didn't know the native tongue at all." She didn't see the harm in telling the story. There was little he could use against her from it. Though she only found herself petting Shiva afterward, remembering how she owed her life to that little ball of fur.