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Private Old Chains [M]

Sinbad

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@Edelgard von Hresvelg
February 19th, Year 109
Content Warning


Sinbad awoke to water lapping at his skin, the cold already beginning to permeate into his bones. All at once, the sleep that clung to his system disappeared in chilly clarity. The walls that imprisoned him was hauntingly familiar, as was the air that blew through the high ceiling's vent. The weight of metal on his throat was a strangling presence, as were the manacles that bound his wrists and ankles. "How" his mind questioned as he shoved himself to his feet, though he wavered in place. Already he was beginning to freeze in the cell, his breathing nothing more than labored puffs.

He was sleeping soundly in his bed, yet now he was back in her captivity. It was too vivid to be a simple nightmare; the metal ball on his leg was too heavy to be anything but real, the bite of the cuffs painful and jarring. Even in his worst of dreams, nothing had come close to this. But it made no sense if the pantheon had simply dumped him back in his world - he had long freed himself of Maader's bonds. How could he be back here, writhing under her punishments once more? It couldn't have been Pandora; unlike the odd realm, here he could feel Fate once more. It was weakened as if there was a distinct lack of people whose lives flowed through the river of destiny, but it was there.

Whatever the situation was, he would slowly freeze if someone did not free him His captors were pleasant enough to rob him of everything, leaving behind not even Zepar's ring. Unless he figured out how to burst through the metal door, he was utterly and completely trapped. Again. Sinbad raised his fists to his face, blowing hot air in a futile attempt to warm his fingers. He carefully edged closer to the door, the water sloshing up to his ankles. He could hear nothing from beyond his cell, not even the coughs of the slaves Maader put in charge of watching those in punishment. When he knocked his fist against the door, there was no answer.

Meanwhile, Edelgard would find herself in a room of cruelty. Tools of all manner hung on the walls, more on the tables that surrounded a metal bed. The floor dipped in the center of the room, the drain set there rusty and stained. At one end of the room was a door creaked open, revealing a hallway that led to the cells of the Mariadel Company. Rukh chirped as they disappeared through the entry, though their appearance was not the reason behind an uncanny feeling of being watched.

 
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Edelgard von Hresvelg

Fire Emblem
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161
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Heavenfell
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23
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Female
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Human
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Magic Research and Weapons Development
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Dating, but still open
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Another nightmare. The cold air and dark room was enough to set her on edge, only worsened as she took in the many torture instruments hung on the walls and left out on a table. Her breath caught in her throat, and Edelgard fought the urge to run in the opposite direction. This was all fake. She wasn't under the palace, and there weren't any chains holding her. Yet. Her tunnel vision let up as the panic faded, replaced with an uncomfortable sensation of having an audience. She shifted her weight nervously, wishing she had Aymr with her. A weapon to cut through anything that might be lying in wait.

There was no one else here though, except for...the chirping, bird-like creatures of light. They flitted through an open door, and with nothing else to do and no desire to stay among the tools that made her skin crawl at the thought of their use, she trailed after them. There were even more light sources cutting through the gloom of the dungeon hallway, intense enough to make her head start to hurt. If this really was just a dream, then it was even weirder than the one she had last month. There were so many cells, and yet most of them were empty. A knock drew her attention to one further away, and she stopped to grab an abandoned halberd off a rack before moving closer to it.
 
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Sinbad

Magi
Posts
66
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Cascade Bay
Age
19
Gender
Male
Race
Human
Occupation
Mercant Coterie Head
Alignment
Chaotic Good
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Sinning
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Everything felt too real to be a dream. The bitter cold sinking into his bones, the drafts of air that drifted in between the bars, the metal door that rattled when he tried to knock his fist against it. The wood holding his cuffs together made everything stiff and uncomfortable, made it too awkward to do anything to free himself. Little room was spared for his chaffed wrists, offering him no chance of escape.

Was he to beg for his release, then? Though it had been long since he had even thought himself as her property, her rules flooded back easily. If he was truly back under her captivity, to try to break himself free would only result in more torture. Was it a risk worth taking?

Sinbad raised his fists then slammed the wood down against the edge of the doorframe. It splintered and cracked against the force, but ultimately didn't break. Immediately he paused to listen for the sound of footsteps and voices. A second, then two, but ultimately none of Maader's other slaves appeared. Again, he raised his arms and brought the pillory down in a loud bang. His hands bathed aglow in Magoi as he struck the pillory once more. This time it snapped, splinters of wood exploding everywhere. He stumbled backwards, naturally flinching away in hopes that he didn't just blind himself.

This time, he heard more footsteps from down the hall-way, the telltale sign of someone investigating the ruckus he had created. Sinbad shook himself, running his now free hands along his arms to brush off the small fragments of wood that clung to his rags. Once he was done, he gripped the bars in the metallic door and lifted himself to glance at the person who was undoubtedly coming to serve him another round of Maader's punishments.

Only it wasn't a guard.

It wasn't Maader.

"Edelgard?"

 
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Edelgard von Hresvelg

Fire Emblem
Posts
161
Location
Heavenfell
Age
23
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Female
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Human
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Magic Research and Weapons Development
Alignment
Chaotic Good
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Dating, but still open
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link
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Something snapped and broke within the cell, and then the last face she expected to see was looking out of the bars. He was evidently just as surprised to see her.

"Hello again, Sinbad." Edelgard had no idea why he was inprisoned, but the key was still in the lock, and it turned without much effort. She pulled the door open and studied his condition with a blank expression. He was in rags, and wooden splinters covered the floor from what she assumed had been his hand restraints. A heavy chain was still attached to his leg, and she was quick to look away from it and back at his face, her jaw tightening. "You're in rough shape," she said, her boots displacing the water as she walked into the confined space. Even through her layers of cloth and armor, the cold air stung at her skin. How long were people meant to survive here in these conditions? A hand went to the clasps of her red and gold cape, marked with the Adrestian two headed eagle, and she pulled it off her shoulders. "Here." She held it out to him.
 
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Sinbad

Magi
Posts
66
Location
Cascade Bay
Age
19
Gender
Male
Race
Human
Occupation
Mercant Coterie Head
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Relationship Status
Sinning
Profile
link


There was no doubt about it, the person standing before him was Edelgard. A woman he had met in Pandora. Her world that Claude once described to him did not match anything of his; there were similarities, but ultimately she wasn't of his world in its present state. Then how could she be there, staring at him through the bars of the door? His empty countenance didn't betray the turbulence of emotions. Then the door fell open.

Sinbad stepped away as it swung outwards, the water already beginning to drain out into the hallway. He balled his fists and crossed his arms over his chest in an attempt to look more in control of the situation than he really was. Unfortunately, that was hard to achieve when bound around the throat and ankles in a collar and chains. They rustled with every movement, the sound loud and offensive in the quiet. "Hey, Edelgard. Thanks for the help." He cleared his throat and styled his expression into that of a smile, its insincerity obvious given the circumstances.

He hadn't expected anyone to show up and help in this place of all places, but to be offered a coat took him off guard. He eyed the cloak for a moment before carefully taking it from Edelgard. It didn't offer much protection from the cell's biting chill, but it was better than nothing. And by using a hand to pinch it closed, it kept most of his state out of sight. "Thank you," Sinbad uttered again, looking at Edelgard for a spare second before carefully edging around her and out of the cell.

"I don't mean to sound rude, but how are you even here? This... This isn't Pandora, nor I think your world." Could it have been some dream? Then why would his subconscious manifest her of all people? He barely knew her aside from his spying... Already he could feel his stomach flip in guilt.

 

Edelgard von Hresvelg

Fire Emblem
Posts
161
Location
Heavenfell
Age
23
Gender
Female
Race
Human
Occupation
Magic Research and Weapons Development
Alignment
Chaotic Good
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Dating, but still open
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That scraping sound chewed away at her nerves, even after the chains were hidden from her immediate view. It was hard not to react, but she concentrated on Sinbad's words and followed him out of the cell. She kicked the door shut with a foot, not even hiding her general disdain for it.

"You're welcome. I...don't think we've left Pandora. This is still just a dream, but a different kind." She breathed out slowly, her breath foggy in the lower temperatures. "I've had one like this before, where other people ended up within it. Don't ask me why it happens, I still have no idea." Edelgard couldn't help herself, she had to know now. "This isn't your first time in a prison, is it?"
 
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Sinbad

Magi
Posts
66
Location
Cascade Bay
Age
19
Gender
Male
Race
Human
Occupation
Mercant Coterie Head
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Relationship Status
Sinning
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Pandora was capable of making it so others could witness his nightmares? The thought was a horrifying one; Edelgard revealed herself to him in this instance, but what about other times? Was it possible that he had a secret audience whenever he dreamt of flames and carnage? It made his skin crawl to think about it.

"It's not a prison," he clarified at once as he began to walk down the opposite end of the hallway Edelgard had come from. The line of cells ended and before long they approached a staircase. "It was where Maader held her disobedient slaves." Sinbad figured that she would ask, so it was better to rip the bandage straight off. Slavery. Was it a practice that happened in Edelgard's world? He could only hope otherwise.

At the top of the staircase was a hallway, though this one was shorter. It opened up into a common room reminiscent of a church. The space was filled with tables and benches and banners depicting an inverted cross hung from the walls. "Is there any way to end the dream prematurely? Or are we just stuck here?"

 

Edelgard von Hresvelg

Fire Emblem
Posts
161
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Heavenfell
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23
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Female
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Human
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Magic Research and Weapons Development
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Chaotic Good
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Dating, but still open
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"Ah...so it's worse than a prison." Edelgard heard of prisoners of war being taken as servants, like in Goneril Territory or the coastal empire nobles when Dagda was repelled, but she'd never seen this kind of slavery before. No one openely bought or sold people's lives in Fodlan. The space Sinbad led her to was similar to the religious buildings in Garreg Mach, which didn't make her feel much better. Less likely to have a breakdown, at least. "We are trapped here until you awaken, I believe. If it means anything, I did not intend to pry into your..." She wanted to say "memories", but that would assume he really was a slave in his past, and maybe he didn't want to be reminded of that fact. "Into this." She looked down at the chain he was still dragging. "Do you want that thing off?"
 
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Sinbad

Magi
Posts
66
Location
Cascade Bay
Age
19
Gender
Male
Race
Human
Occupation
Mercant Coterie Head
Alignment
Chaotic Good
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Sinning
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Memories flooded back at the sight of the monastery-esq room. It was eerily empty without the quiet din of children. He was used to their constant presence as they ran about whenever Maader was out and about. What would Edelgard think of it if she did not know what lied beneath its stone floors? A regular church of sorts rather than the misery it truly was. "Much worse, though this room is better than some of the other places here." There was the coliseum where Masrur had been made to fight, and of course, the transportation area. Those cages would undoubtedly be empty now as well.

"You had no control, don't apologize," Sinbad muttered as he dropped down onto the end of one of the benches. He drew the cloak closer around his shoulders as he glanced back down at the cuffs still on his ankles. "You're strong enough to break them off cleanly?" He was lucky enough that the pillory was wood, but with these metal chains? Perhaps if he tried using Magoi Manipulation again, but there was the risk that he injured himself.

"I think I know where the keys might be... She kept them in the office, so they should still be there." Even if Edelgard could get the ankle-chains off, he was less sure about the collar. One wrong move and his neck could be broken or worse, and he wasn't keen on seeing if such injuries would appear in the real world as well.

The common room was not truly deserted, however. Sinbad had his back turned to them, but the silhouettes of people wavered from beyond the torch light's reach. They were nothing more than shadows behind the line of pillars that disappeared as soon as they were spotted.

 

Edelgard von Hresvelg

Fire Emblem
Posts
161
Location
Heavenfell
Age
23
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Female
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Human
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Magic Research and Weapons Development
Alignment
Chaotic Good
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Dating, but still open
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link
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"I could break the chain, at least," she said, showing him the halberd she picked up. She could never bend steel bars with her bare hands like Dimitri, but her crests could multiply her force in a more precise manner by using weapons. "The collar I wouldn't risk cutting off." Too close to his neck for comfort. Keys would be preferred. "I could check the office, then." She paused, sensing something that was off. Why did it feel like they were under surveillance? "...Are there meant to be spirits here?" Edelgard asked, frowning. She couldn't get a good look at them. Were they going to attack, like the thing in her dream did?
 

Sinbad

Magi
Posts
66
Location
Cascade Bay
Age
19
Gender
Male
Race
Human
Occupation
Mercant Coterie Head
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Relationship Status
Sinning
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link


Trying to hack off the chain with the halbert was a better prospect than shuffling around with it still attached. Sinbad was more than glad that they agreed that the collar could be dealt with a more mundane solution, one that wouldn't require a dangerous weapon so close to his throat. He had dealt with it once before for much longer than a single night. "So let's break the bottom chain and then we'll head to the office."

Spirits? Sinbad glanced over his shoulder, catching sight of the figures in question. They disappeared once he caught glance of them, leaving him and Edelgard alone once more in the common room. "Since it is my dream, then yes." While he couldn't see their faces, he recognized the clothes that the wore. It made sense that they would haunt this dream too. They had all the others. "Don't worry about them, they're harmless." Cryptic, but they were an aspect of his life he rather not explain at all.

 

Edelgard von Hresvelg

Fire Emblem
Posts
161
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Heavenfell
Age
23
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Female
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Human
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Magic Research and Weapons Development
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Chaotic Good
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Dating, but still open
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link
"If you...say so." They weren't her ghosts, after all. If they didn't act hostile, she could ignore them. Edelgard stepped on the part of the chain attached to Sinbad's ankle, keeping it in place, and then raised the halberd. The Crest of Seiros awakened, quickly engulfed by the intense burning in her chest that marked the Crest of Flames, and she slammed the poleaxe down. The chain snapped apart, freeing the heavy iron ball and bending the halberd in the process as it buried into the floor.

"There," she said, letting the magic drain out of her system.
 
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Sinbad

Magi
Posts
66
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Cascade Bay
Age
19
Gender
Male
Race
Human
Occupation
Mercant Coterie Head
Alignment
Chaotic Good
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Sinning
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The worst that the ghosts that clung to his Rukh have done was fill his nights with dreams. Painful recountings of their life, followed by their eventual massacre in Sindria... But harmless all the same. Sinbad doubted that they would be capable of doing anything as they are, given that they were just shapeless energy. Nothing that Edelgard had to concern herself over or know. Their first concern should, was, getting these chains off of him.

She was using her Blood Magic. There was that flash that had appeared during their spar, but there was nothing elemental about the process. The glow wasn't Light Magic, something just flashy if Sinbad had to guess. The strength behind the weapon seemed to come more from Edelgard than the weapon, so it wasn't akin to Magoi Manipulation either. But that's where his guesses ended.

"Thank you for the help," he uttered as he stood up, at once appreciating the freedom that came with the chain shattered. It was easier to move without the heavy ball attached to his leg, meaning that their trip through the island would go much, much faster.

"Alright, this way. Her office isn't a long walk from here." It meant that she had a better eye on the children that once filled the common room. It had been a while since he was in this place, but his mental map of the building was as clear as ever.

 

Edelgard von Hresvelg

Fire Emblem
Posts
161
Location
Heavenfell
Age
23
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Female
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Human
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Magic Research and Weapons Development
Alignment
Chaotic Good
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Dating, but still open
Profile
link
Organizer
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Edelgard tried to tune the spirits out, even as they kept flickering into existance in the corners of her vision. It was best not to focus on them.

"How long were you stuck here?" she asked as they walked. Why she felt the need to kepe dragging the subject up was beyond her, but she was still curious, and it wasn't like there was much else to do to pass the time.
 
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Sinbad

Magi
Posts
66
Location
Cascade Bay
Age
19
Gender
Male
Race
Human
Occupation
Mercant Coterie Head
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Relationship Status
Sinning
Profile
link



He couldn't help but rub his wrists as he walked. Even with Edelgard's coat, it was hard to hide the obvious scars that wrapped around them. At the very least, it was easier to walk with the chains off of his legs. That much he could thank the woman that he was technically still spying on... The thought weighed like a stone in his gut.

His younger self really would hate the person that he had turned into, huh?

"By here, I suppose you mean the actual island rather than the dream?" The curiosity was natural, even if a little morbid. Sinbad could understand why she'd ask, even if the questions drudged up memories best left forgotten. Though, one could always argue that they were here for a reason, though the idea was far from appealing.

"I wasn't born into this life." The fact that some were made his skin crawl. He could still remember the young children that had passed through Maader's "care" despite the years that had passed since then. "Nor was I here for very long, staged a heroic coup d'etat and all that." Deflection at its finest, with just a tad of hyperbole. There was nothing heroic about their rebellion, just carnage that stained his soul like the scars on his wrists.

 

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"...Whoever said 'Silence is Golden', obviously never needed friends or family around."
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