My Ranking Points
Here’s the ninth chapter of my story! I’m still quite shocked I’ve gotten this far despite the fact I suffer from chronic procrastination.
Also, shout-out to @ArtemisEtoile for being a great writer: one who isn’t afraid to write diversity into stories. Keep up the good work!
STEEL AND BONE
GASPING FOR BREATH, COSIMA touched her hand to her throat, running her fingers over the violet bruises that had bloomed on her neck. She groaned. If in the span of a few minutes with Ronan he had strangled her, what the heII would he do in the hours they were together — and unaccompanied at that?
“What sort of disguise?” she asked, forcing herself upright.
“You’ll know,” said Kai. Cosima resisted the urge to tackle him and then slash her blade across his throat. Even in a dire situation, none of the members of the crew were privy to his plan: he was a skilled manipulator, calculating in not only his thoughts but his speech. What an arse.
And yet she had to admire that quality of his: cunning kept one alive in the Woods.
“I’m not going with her,” Ronan spat, wrinkling his nose.
Kai casually drew a dagger out of his pocket, and began running the point under his nails, never lifting his eyes from the blade. The steel gleamed in the light. “I can persuade you,” he said. His tone was as flat as ever: she heard neither warning nor threat in his voice.
Ronan’s mouth was set in anger, but he cast his gaze downwards, uttering no protests.
How could Ronan let Kai toss him around just like that: as if he were nothing more than a **** on a chessboard? Kai may have been slender and lean — wiry muscle — yet nothing stacked against Ronan. Ronan was Kai’s superior physically: the latter was a head taller, with well-defined limbs. If she’d seen both boys locked in a brawl, she would throw all her coin on Ronan.
“You’ve had your fun, Kai,” said Max. “Now stop screwing with him. He doesn’t need to go with her if he doesn’t want to.” There was a fire in his dark eyes, and in that moment Cosima feared him. She had never thought of Max as a cause for terror — how could anyone see him as such, with his skinny limbs and the look of a dog that had been kicked? Yet with his eyes blazing and his fists clenched, she saw not the boy Kai had toyed, but the cutthroat in the darkened alley in search of victims.
“He might not want to,” began Kai. “but he needs to work with her.” He cast a glance in Max’s direction. “Are you in need of further explanation?”
Max said nothing.
“Good,” said Kai. “Max, Ronan — both of you are dismissed. I need a word with Cosima.”
Ronan stalked out of the door, his boots thudding with every step he took across the wooden floor. He cast a glare at Kai, but the boy didn’t seem to notice. Max brought up the rear, silent, with no words for the remaining pair: not even a glance.
“You’ve been to that prison before,” said Kai. “Tell me what it looks like.”
Cosima nodded. “It isn’t just a prison,” she began. “It’s also a stronghold. If the royal families of Ever kingdoms can’t find a safe place to put all their valuables, they send them off to the Murmuring Mountains.”
“Mm,” said Kai. “Go on.”
“The fortress is hidden in one of the mountains,” said Cosima. “It’s only for the most dangerous prisoners and the most valuable artifacts. The prisoners being sent off to the Murmuring Mountains ride in horse carts. The nearest location to one of those horse carts would be Ginnymill.”
Cosima paused. “Anyways, the door to the prison is hidden at the foot of the mountain. After entering the mountain, the prisoners pass several checkpoints. Once it’s been proved to the guards that they’ve got no weapons on them, they’re shoved into the cells.”
Kai nodded. “How does one get to the stronghold?”
“You’ll have to pass several checkpoints again,” said Cosima. “Only from what I’ve heard, these checkpoints are . . . different.”
“They’re designed to ensure whoever’s passing through the checkpoints isn’t in disguise,” she said. “If a king were passing through the checkpoints to reclaim his grandfather’s scepter, they’d put up all sorts of tests to prove he wasn’t a fake trying to usurp the throne.”
“I’m guessing there’s no way of escape, then,” ventured Kai.
Cosima shut her eyes, and a scream lodged in her throat. Despite the experience having been two ye****arlier, she could still feel his fingers digging into her shoulder blades. Don’t run away. Come back here, my pretty. I won’t hurt you. She shuddered.
“None at all,” whispered Cosima.
The tag list is always open! Also, if you’ve any feedback: theories, suggestions, and possible pairings — feel free to mention them in the “Comments” section below. Your kind words mean the world to me.
Also, one of the sentences containing the word “toyed” should be reworked into “toyed with”. Another sentence as well should end with “she would’ve thrown all her coin on Ronan”.
Dang it. I’m so frustrated with myself. I apologise for these grammatical errors, and I’ll do my best to ensure they never occur again
lest I die of shame.
This is wonderful!! I love it, please tag me in future chapters! 🙂