Destruction and Repair: Part 2 (Marianne)

​I probably didn’t need to be so harsh to Arietta there…

Marianne quickly dismisses her apologetic thoughts as she looked down at the poor young man lying on the floor before her feet.

“We need to get you fixed up, child.” She says, in a caring, motherly tone.

She clears the table and gathers her equipment before returning to the boy’s side.

Marianne, seeing that the boy was not a child at all, but rather a young man in his middle years of adolescence, looks at him wearily before coming to a decision on how she would lift the boy up onto her makeshift operation table.

She pulls his arms up around her shoulders in a sort of piggy back formation as she strains herself trying to get him onto the table.

Arietta would be laughing so hard if she saw this.  I bet she wouldn’t even help me!  She thought.

Being a shorter girl, Marianne found herself struggling tremendously to lift this boy as his feet dragged across the floor in his unconscious state.

After much time and effort, Marianne finally makes the long distance between the front entrance and the table, able to rid herself of the non-figurative weight on her small shoulders.

She put him down roughly before gently laying him flat on his back and turning his head to the side to give her easier access in cleaning and tending to his wound.

She went into her modest kitchen to grab her morterin pestel, witch-hazel, and honey to mix into a compress for his purpling bruise.

She first checks to make sure that he even made it out alive through all of the tossing and dropping that he had experienced by touching his wrist to feel the pulse.

Oh, good.  He’s okay… Well, as okay as someone who had a rock thrown at them can be, I suppose.

She cuts a long piece of gauze and slathers it in the mixture to use as a bandage.

Lifting the boy’s head daintily, she slid the strip of bandage under his head and around the wound several times before sticking the gauze to the side of his head with a small sewing pin.

“There we go.  The herbs and pressure of the cloth should keep the swelling down and keep it from splitting open and getting infected.”  She said to herself.

At that moment, she heard a distinct tolling of a bell, and looked outside to not only see the shorter hand of the clock tower pointing at the 6, but a large gaggle of men on horses galloping over the hills and thundering closer to the hidden base with every passing tick of the second hand.

“ARIETTA!!!! Wake up!”  Marianne sceamed.

Arietta came stumbling through the passageway of her room with a dazed and tired look on her face.

“Whaddayawant?” She asked groggily.

“It’s past six and the rest of the guild is going to be here soon!”

“So, they aren’t here yet, are they?”

Marianne nearly broke her jaw, it was clenched so tightly.  “They’re right over the hills!”  She screamed.

Arietta’s tired state broke in a flash, her eyes opening and her eyebrows shooting up to her hairline.

“Well, okay.  What are we going to do about dinner?  And oh, shit!  What are we going to do about the kid?”

“I don’t know! We have some leftovers from lunch that I can fix into something else, but you have to figure out some way to get him out of here!  We can’t have the Master finding out about us letting people into our base!”  Marianne replied, the panic clear in her voice as she was already making her way towards the kitchen.

Arietta ran towards the boy without a reply, grabbing his arms just as Marianne had, but not caring enough to watch out for his legs as she pulled him off of the table in a rush.

“Where should I put him?”  She asked once she had already pulled him out into the hallway.

“I don’t care, just put him in one of the back rooms!”  She shouted.

Without a second thought, she shoved him into her room and let him drop with a thud.

“And be nice!  I just healed him, you know!”  Marianne yelled at the sound of the body hitting the floor.

“Okay!  But don’t you have some cooking to do?”  Arietta yelled back, the disdain sharp in her tone.

Marianne rolls her eyes in bitter amusement, pulls the pasta out of the larder and places it into a large pot to prepare a quick dinner.

Once the pasta is done cooking, she lets the fire out and splits the large gathering of noodles into 13 wooden bowls for each member of the the guild.

She then runs to her room to get dressed for dinner, expecting Arietta to do her job of setting up the meal.

Master wants us to look presentable for meals after all… She thought.

Here’s the second chapter!  I actually already accidentally wrote part of the third chapter instead of the second chapter, so my updates are going to be really inconsistent for a bit, but thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this new chapter!  

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Destruction and Repair: Part 1 (Arietta)

​Arietta sits in the rafters above the dining room of the old town hall, itching to get her assignment done after painstakingly long hours of staying in position.

She watches as one of the men begins slurring and leaning back in his chair with utmost disregard for manners.

Finally!  The drugs are kicking in.  Why do I always have to do things the hard way?  She thinks, rolling her eyes.

Arietta takes her own sweet time as she ties a rope taut on a crisp beam of wood, creating a way to lower herself into the assignment.

Into her battlefield.  Her war zone.

Every inch that she creeps lower and lower down the rope, anxiety and guilt for killing wells up in her, nearly drowning her and smothering out the fire that keeps her hunting for vengeance.

Stop it Arrietta, these men have murdered hundreds of innocent women and children, don’t feel guilty.  Just do your job, and get out of here.

But the guilt and angst that reaches her every time she is put on a job does not fade, and she is forced to forget about her feelings and morality to once again put up that facade of neglect and disconcern for killing others.

She then silently jumps off of the rope and grabs 3 daggers from her belt and checks to make sure that she is prepared for the battle to come.

Arietta flings a single dagger through the air, successfully puncturing a government official through the neck.

At that, all eyes are on Arietta’s cloaked figure, bringing a smirk to her face, and washing away past feelings of guilt and fear of assassinating her enemies.

That’s right.  These people were involved in cold murder. They shouldn’t deserve to live any longer.

With that newfound boost of motivation, she throws the knives remaining in her hands directly into her enemies’ heads, killing them instantly.

“Sorry for interrupting your meeting, boys!”  She calls out.

The six living men clumsily jump out of their seats from around the table with a start, and try everything in their power to stop Arietta.

One man jumps over the table with a chair, and attempts to throw it at her, but Arietta simply sweeps it aside and ducks while scurrying under the table to the other end, stabbing the man in the back.

Another man comes bounding down the table, holding a fork in an effort to stab Arietta.

“Gosh, sir.  I knew that you were hungry, but I’d advise you not resort to cannibalism.  It’s punishable by death, you know.” She says, and kicks his dead body at another man, making him tip over into a bowl of hand-brewed ale.

Arietta jumps off of the table and lands gracefully on her feet until the man that was previously drowning in beer came stumbling towards her.

She prepared another dagger as he quickly approached her, but was met with an unpleasant surprise as the man came crashing down on her as he tripped over his own clumsy feet.

“Why is it always the fat ones that fall on me?!” She yells, while pushing the man’s pudgy body off of her and jumping up on her feet.

The following man grabs her arms and pins them behind her back in a way that made her feel as though she was being arrested.  

“I don’t have time for this, you bumbling old bastard!  I’ve been waiting up in the ceiling for four hours and I am in desperate need of a latrine, so it would be much appreciated if we could hurry this up a bit without you getting in my way.” She says as she dropped to the ground to loosen his vice-like grip on her arms.  

She used her now free arms to grab the man by his own arms and maneuver around his body to get her legs around his neck, and twisting to break it.

She jumps off of the man before allowing him to crumple to the ground.

Next, a slightly aged, yet very handsome official comes to meet Arietta’s wrath, but rather than hurrying to attack her, this man leers at her while raking his bright cobalt eyes up and down her body.

“Bloody hell, general.  You should have a portrait drawn.  It’ll last longer, you boorish pig.  Oh, what a shame that this is the end of your good looks though.” She sighs, not even caring to look at him as she delivers the fatal death blow.

Arietta then turns around to find a French noble man hurrying out the window to escape his death, and she is about to make haste in the disposal of this man until a thought enters her mind.

I’m not going to kill a coward, it’d be too easy. 

She shouts out to the French man, “Good luck to you in your adventures as a milksop, my friend.  Mind your head on the way out!” And with that, she watches as the man bumps his head on the window pane, and falls out of the building to his imminent death.

Arietta is quick to leave the death-filled town hall as she clambers up the rugged brick wall and throws herself onto the roof while watching for a passing wheelbarrow to make her unnoticed escape from the scene.

Whoosh!

Arietta jumps off of the tall pleated roof, watching as the wind blows her hooded hair back, the ground nearing at every passing moment.  Just as she is about to collide with the dirty village stones, a stableboy comes and unknowingly catches her in his wheelbarrow full of hay.

Just as expected.  She thought.

The poor stableboy continues to walk at a leisurely pace, never stopping to consider the possibility that a young woman might have just jumped into his cart to use as transportation.

Arietta laid in the scratchy hay that the cart housed until she saw it coming.

Her base.

She quickly throws a rock out from under the hay and successfully hits the young man, knocking him unconscious.

Perfect. She jumps out of the cart and drags him into the cart with much difficulty.

“Thank God he doesn’t eat as much as Marianne!”  Arietta says under her breath.

Arietta then sneaks into her base using the concealed entrance underneath Shadow Valley Inn.

She opens the hidden trap door and haphazardly throws the stable boy down the opening in the floor before using the ladder to climb down into the hole herself.

A voice comes from the kitchen. “So did the plan work?”  

“Of course, Marianne.  I thought of it, how could it not?”

Marianne comes bustling in from the other room, her hair frazzled and falling out of the loose grip of her braids.

“What have you done this time Arietta?”  She asks, already clearly expecting her friend to have gotten herself into trouble.

“Oh, not much.  Magistrate Nicholi is in need of us by this coming weekend though, because that jewel thief is to come back around then anyway.  Oh, and I found this.”  She said, pointing at the unconscious heap at her feet.

“Arietta! How many times must I tell you not to harm innocent people!”

“Marianne!  How many times must I tell you that I don’t harm them!  We just can’t have them finding the way to our base after I’ve used them so that I’m not seen by any guards.”  She said, mimicking her friends tone.

“If you don’t want them to find our base, don’t use them in the first place or bring them into our base no less!”

“Why?  I knock them out so that they don’t know the way to our base, and then I know that you’ll patch them up to send on their way!

“Well sure, but what if they wake up in the base?”

“That could never happen, because I always hit ’em hard enough.”  Arietta said, immediately wishing that she could take her words back.

“Don’t! Hurt! Them!”  Marianne said, hitting her friend over the top of the head with every word.

“Okay, okay.  But I know that you’ll fix them up real good, so I’m not worried about it.  I’m going to take a nap.  You gave me a headache.”  Arietta said, rubbing gingerly at the sore spot on her head.

“Fine, but make sure you wake up before 6:00 because we need to prepare dinner for the Master and his friends.”

“Oh, fine.  Make sure to check out that bruise on the side of that kids face though.  It’s turning purple.”  Arietta calls over her shoulder.

“I am tired of cleaning up your messes, you know!”  Marianne called after her.

Arietta stops in her tracks and turns around.

“Did you say my messes?  You’re the one that leaves you’re filthy doctor-y equipment around!  It gets kind of annoying after a while when I’m trying to eat and there’s a bloody pair of scissors looking at me!”

“Yeah, and why do you think I have to get my equipment out in the first place?!!  If you don’t want my stuff all over the place, you shouldn’t injure people!”

Seeing the conversation revert back to her methods of ridding herself of people that she no longer has use for, Arietta simply walks into her dimly-lit bedroom, strips off all layers of clothing except for her undergarments and flops onto the bed on her stomach to welcome a much needed rest.

What did you think?  Did you like the first chapter of this story? Please let me know about anything that you like, anything you would change, or if you just thought this story was cool and want to vote for it and share it!  You don’t have to do any of those things of course, but it would be greatly appreciated!