Bree smiles and caresses Rose's cheek briefly with her hand. "I'm proud of you, Dear," she says. "You're learning to ask. Very well..." Bree stands and walks to the door. "Tomorrow. Be rested and prepared. I'll see you for breakfast."
Rose smiles and leans into the caress for as long as it lasts, seeming to savor each second. "I'll be sure to eat something, priestess. Thank you."
Bree nods and exits the room, closing the door behind her.
The ensuing couple of days, Bree (with some assistance from Mai and Ember, but largely Bree herself) focuses Rose through a set of rigorous exercises. She has weighted bags and stones brought up as well as a few other tools. While Bree is mindful of Rose's actual strength limits, she pushes the girl hard. By midway through the first day, there's a significant amount of 'feeling' in her whole form, not the least of which is pain from exertion.
After day two, Rose can't lift her fork to her lips without feeling the intricate way all of the muscles in her fingers, hand, wrist, forearm, upper arm, shoulder, across her back, neck and down along her spine all work together to make the seemingly simple gesture work. There is a lingering cloud of physical exhaustion that hangs over her whole self. When she is still there is little more effect on her, apart from the constant desire to stretch. Movement however, brings a burning sensation that courses through each muscle that is required to function. When doing her chores, she is largely kept warm by the sensation alone.
While day three of the continued rigor might seem almost nightmarish, instead she is greeted by the girls in the morning and tended just a little, encouraged to eat well then once again brought before the "testers."
//feel free to fill in some blanks here as well as including anything that might be important for stage setting on this new segment.
When the girls explain that she is to meet her testers again, Rose lets out a sudden soft sob of mixed fear and relief. "I don't know if I can do what they want me to do now. I hurt... everywhere." She trembles as she tries to eat her breakfast. "What will become of me if I fail?"
Bree smiles gently and puts her hand on Rose's shoulder. "You will likely be sent back to your house if you fail, Dear," she says, her voice somewhat unclear as to how Bree may feel about this. "But if you pass, they will be pleased and the Temple will...liberate you from your house and encourage your specific talents."
Rose takes a few deep breaths with her head bowed as she tries to help the anxiety attack pass. "I can't go back there. They'll know I killed him. There was a future, but it shattered. I never meant to hurt him. I thought he was the one who killed Master Cedric and I looked, and I looked harder, and it... I think I killed him. It was an accident. Mistress knows. He wanted me. He saw a future that I didn't see and when I did see it it was gone. It's gone." She stops and holds her breath for several seconds with her eyes closed and wraps her arms around herself before slowly letting her breath out in a way that Mai taught her, but it only seems to help a little. "I never meant for it to happen. Please don't send me back there."
Bree shifts her hand to Rose's face and cradles her jaw. "It's not up to me, Dear," she says. "In truth, it rests with you."
Rose searches Bree's face for a moment and it's clear that her thoughts are locked in the present. "I need to be able to wander in order to do what they ask of me, priestess. I need something to take the pain away and set me free so that I can do what they ask. Please, help me?"
"Not today, Dear," Bree replies, smiling back just a little and shaking her head by a small amount. "It won't help you today."
"I don't understand," Rose squeaks. "What are they testing me on today?"
Bree pulls her hand away from Roses face, letting her fingers trail a bit until they leave her face completely. Standing from her seat, she walks around behind Rose, rests her hands on Rose's shoulders and bends down to speak in her ear. "You need to be here today, Dear," she says quietly. "That's all I can say." Bree straightens and starts to withdraw from Rose.
Rose's breath catches as Bree pulls away, seeming to follow Bree's touch as a cat who longs for attention, then her shoulders slump slightly. "As you wish, Priestess. I'll do my best."
"I know you will, Dear," Bree purrs as she moves away.
Rose sets in to eat as much breakfast as she can stomach and then goes about dressing herself, moving slowly with obviously sore muscles. When she raises her arms to brush her hair, she winces and a small cry of pain escapes her lips, but she pushes herself on anyway in order to complete the task of weaving her hair into a long neat braid that hangs down her back. Once the task is done, she slumps down on the edge of her bed and lets her arms hang limp at her sides. "I'm ready," she says dully, "I'm definitely here."
//The deadline for this will be extended until Sunday Nov 3rd at midnight CST due to incompatabilities with two GMs availablity needed for this story line.
**edited to add - Deadline extention due to necessary information not being available for several days through no fault of Alatriel's. All information finally obtained and quest can finally move forward. Deadline extention pushed out to Friday, Nov 8th, 2013 at 11:59 CST.
Rose is guided down the halls back to the room she's now vaguely familiar with. In her present state the room seems quite different to her. Some things seem drastically different. She only sees one person in the room, where before she though many gathered around her when she tested. The room is brighter to her eyes and yet some how far more dull to her every other sense.
The room is set up not for magic working as before. Instead the same woman she remembers from these last few days sits at a table, working on something Rose can't quite see at first, but is something to do with paper and inking, for those are obvious. Rose's eyes take in the table, fine worked marble covered in only a few items, the most obvious being a bowl of grapes and bottle of wine. These seem to be more of a display piece than something meant for actual consumption. The center piece is surrounded by silver trays, but only a few bites of fine cheeses and meats decorate each, almost in divine offering around the center.
The room is scented lightly of the same smell Rose remembers far more strongly, perhaps just a trace oder of the unique incense. Despite her anchoring state of agony, the scent easily draws back the memories of magic coursing through her as she answered test after test under the commands of the Mistress.
Plush furniture dapple the room, which is neither too big nor too small, and to Rose's practiced eye it appears this way due to style and set up more than any actual size. The room contrasts prettily in the light, but nothing that would depict more than true devotion to the Mistress. Once again her eyes are drawn to the woman at hand.
She continues to scrawl upon paper, her straw colored hair bound back into a neat lover's knot, pinned in place with an exotic hair stick, likely hailing from the islands far to the south. Her dress is modest, even understated compared to the room. Her grey-green eyes flick from word to word with a shrewed quickness Rose had not yet noticed. Suddenly Rose realizes she cannot even remember the woman's name, if it was indeed ever given. Some how she thinks it wasn't.
The older woman doesn't even look up as Rose is ushered in quietly, and simply continues to work for several moments in silence.
Rose stops where she is left, a short distance away, and watches in silent curiosity as to what the woman is doing. She does not announce herself, and waits out of the woman's way until she is acknowledged.
Finally the woman addresses Rose, gesturing toward her glass. “Only half way please.”
Rose jumps slightly when the woman finally addresses her, being taken slightly offguard from her observations. She doesn't protest, however, and moves forward to do as asked, reaching for the bottle of wine and filling the glass halfway.