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Default 06-09-2012, 07:14 PM

Shiki gave Harley a hug in greeting, "What are we going to do today?"



Jacques grinned, "Yes, dearie. Extremely."
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Default 06-09-2012, 07:27 PM

Cecy pursed her lips. "Well, there is an entire field of poppy flowers, but you can certainly see the end of it from the towers. I thought they were chosen for their color; the royal crest is red and gold-" she suddenly stopped and looked around at the Avians and single cat again and flinched at the slack-jawed expression on the shorter of the two ravens. "Is- is there something I'm not getting here...?" she asked hesitantly, looking unsure.

"I was thinking we could spar a little," Harley said, handing Shiki a wooden sword.


"Oh, how wonderful!" Astarte said. "But- uh- maybe you should put something on yourself other than a towel covering your- many bits," she suggested.


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Default 06-09-2012, 07:37 PM

Kioren came up beside her, "Princess. For many years Aves has been polluted and in poverty because of the Cat kingdom. The pipe he so graciously gave to you," He leaned in and sniffed, nose wrinkling, "Is an opium pipe."


"Sounds great!" He took the wooden sword.


Jacques laughed and disappeared, coming back in wearing a robe.
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Default 06-09-2012, 07:40 PM

Victor laughed scornfully. "Oh, very good acting there," the magpie said, "Pretending you don't know what those flowers are really there for. Fine, I'll bite. I'll tell you a story."

The magpie stood there, looking straight into Cecy's eyes as he spoke. Victor had nursed his bitterness for far too long to even consider the wisdom of what he was doing or to think about whether he was right to assume that the Princess did know what went on.

"Those fields of poppies," he began, "Are the cornerstone of the corruption in Ave. When the flowers finish, the poppy seeds are harvested and made into a drug called opium. It's extremely addictive; once you've had your first taste of it, all you can think of is getting more of it. A person will do anything, even sell their body, if they can get more money to buy opium.

"The Cat dealers take boats to Ave, loaded with opium. They go into the towns and sell it to the Birds there. You see, Ave is already crippled with the huge taxes that you and your father impose, so couldn't afford to pay any more. So the king Cat came up with the idea of introducing drugs for the reason I spoke of earlier."

Victor paused for a moment, then continued, a hint of maliciousness in his speech.

"I'll tell you my own story, so that you can truly understand exactly what you have done. My parents couldn't afford to feed me, what with having to pay such a large percentage of their earnings in tax, so I was abandoned on the streets. I just about managed to survive, til my fourteenth birthday. On that day," Victor said, the malice coming more apparent as he strove to convince Cecy of the seriousness of what the king had done, "A Cat dealer came up to me and gave me a pipeful of opium, free.

"Oh, he could well afford to do so, that first time. It only takes one pipeful of the drug to get addicted. After I was addicted, the only thing I could think of was how to get more opium. I chose the only way open to me; I became a prostitute and sold myself in order to get money for drugs. I wasn't the only one, not by a long shot. I've seen many girls and boys die on the streets, either at the hands of a client, or cuz their bodies were so ruined by taking opium that they simply could not survive any longer.

"Out of all the people I knew from the first time I started my rotten new life as a drug addict and prostitute, the only people who are still alive are standing in front of you. The rest are dead," Victor finished, brutally. He then stood still, waiting to see the Princess's reaction.


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Default 06-09-2012, 07:46 PM

Kioren's little tidbit had come too late, for now she was listening to the horrible tale Victor was weaving. She could barely imagine the sort of atrocities he described, and even what she could conjure up was horrible to her open, naive mind, relatively sheltered and unexposed to the horrors of the world.

Now, Cecy wasn't a delicate, weak-willed person, but what Victor had said to her shocked her so thoroughly that her vision swam and she sank abruptly to her knees, nearly blacking out.


"So, show me what you've learned so far, then we'll start," Harley said.

"You wear robes? I thought only priests wore robes," Star said.


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Default 06-09-2012, 07:49 PM

Shiki took the sword and showed him what he learned so far and then some. When he was done, he smiled.


He waved his hand, "Priest or not, these are comfortable."
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Default 06-09-2012, 07:51 PM

Remy had stayed quiet during the time Victor was speaking, now he spoke.

"What, you didn't know what was happening?" he asked Cecy.

"I was a thief, in case you were wondering. A master thief. In fact, that's how the other half of the population who don't have a means of supporting themselves, live. The other half are like Victor. I never got into opium; I'd already seen what it did to those who took it. Victor's only looking so good now cuz Aza healed him."


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Default 06-09-2012, 07:57 PM

It was literally a minute or two before Cecy seemed to register what Remy had said, then, in a desperate wail, she cried, "Of course I didn't know!" Tears streamed down her cheeks but she didn't seem to be aware of them. "I- I was just a kid when it would've started! A-and- and-" she fought violent tremors and lost; she was shivering like mad now. "I never- I couldn't have condoned- thought they were just flowers-" she babbled, her brown eyes wide.

"Yeah, don't think she's faking it," Lucy observed, watching her dispassionately. "Look at the way she's shaking, the way her ears are laid back? Hard to fake that. Even the tail is kinda worming its way under her, a sign of fear or submission."

"Alright, so take your sword and attack me," he told Shiki, holding his own sword.

"But not so flattering," she said quietly sighing.


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Default 06-09-2012, 08:05 PM

Shiki looked at his sword and back at him, and sighed. He got into position and ran at him, sword ready to strike.


"Oh~ and what would look flattering, dearie?" He looked down at her, eyes lids lowering to half mast, a flirtatious gleam in them.
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Default 06-09-2012, 08:06 PM

"What, you really didn't know?" Victor said, staring at Cecy in shock. "I thought you would have, seeing as your father and grandfather started it all."


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