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Trace: Chapter Fourteen: Resolution



Trace (featuring cakesicle's Rosalie)
Chapter Fourteen: Resolution

Previous Chapter: http://www.loverslab.com/blog/521/entry-3440-trace-chapter-thirteen-conflict/
Next Chapter: http://www.loverslab.com/blog/521/entry-3458-trace-chapter-fifteen-rueful/




Part One


As soon as the duo entered the Sanctuary, they could hear Cicero’s voice echo throughout the halls.


"Listener! Is that you? Oh, no… it’s the Deserter and the Traitor Send the worst to defeat the best? Did Astrid really think that her stupid wolf could slay sly Cicero? Now THAT’S a joke!! HA HA HA!!!"


Rosalie: Is it just me, or does he sound a bit… off?


Trace: The man is a crazy jester that excels in playing the role of a fool. He’s madder than the Mad King for Divine’s sake! Now let’s get going.
As soon as they entered the next area, Cicero continued to spout off more of his nonsense.


"Oh, but this isn't at all what Mother would want. You kill the Keeper or I kill two of her most useful Dark Daughters? Now that's madness."


Rosalie: He does have a point. I’m going to do it because it’s what I’ve been ordered to do, but killing the Keeper? Would the Night Mother truly--


Trace: Quiet! We’re not exactly alone here…
Trace drew her weapon and fell into a defensive stance.


Trace: Shit… Prepare yourself Rose! Looks like the damn fool wasn’t alone after all!
Rosalie: Those are ghosts from the Dark Brotherhood’s past…


Trace: Seems like the jester chose was indeed quite sly in the choosing of his final resting place… WELL SORRY TO WARN YOU CICERO, BUT NOT EVEN SITHIS HIMSELF IS GOING TO SAVE YOU FROM US!!!
Rosalie couldn’t help but get riled up at Trace’s actions.


Rosalie: And here I thought that you were a complete stick in the mud. Good to see that you’ve got a fire lit under you, Miss J.
Trace ignored the fact that Rosalie had called her “Miss J” yet again and the two of them in tandem worked together in order to break their way toward wherever it was that Cicero was hiding himself.
The ghosts they encountered were indeed from a time long forgotten as they moved way too slowly for either of the two women to be pressed with their attacks…
As they were fighting the first few ghosts, Trace could see a change in Rosalie… A change that told her to stay out of the vampire’s way. As soon as she was afforded to do so, Trace jumped out of the way, and no sooner than she did did Rosalie begin pelting the ghosts with wave after wave of flames…
…Until she had cleared out the remaining ghosts in the first two areas of the Sanctuary…
Trace: (So she’s a Pyro-Spellsword like me?) Heh, not bad vampire. I’m surprised that you can wield flames like it’s second nature to you. Isn’t your kind the type to go up in flames rather than douse others in them?
Rosalie: Tsk! Does it matter how I can do this? As I said, I’m not going to let you get injured for no reason, so make sure you pull your weight as well! I noticed you slacking off back there.
Trace: Slacking off huh? I thought I was allowing you to enjoy yourself since you seemed bored, but if I’ve got to pick up the pace--


Suddenly Trace raced ahead and Rosalie was right on her heels until she saw Trace go into a large area that seemed to only have a single ghost within it.


Rosalie: …What is she doing?
Rushing head first into battle, Trace took on the ghost as Rosalie assisted her with her flames from far away…
The tactic was quite good, too good in fact. Although these ghosts were objectively stronger than the previous ones, having Trace act as the front line with Rosalie supporting her from the rear was causing the ghosts to literally go up in smoke…Trace13_14_123.png

Part Two


Rosalie finished up in that area as Trace went on ahead to see what they were about to be up against. It didn’t seem like much, just a few more ghosts. However it seemed like these ones were more prepared than the former ones…
Not only that, but Cicero’s voice resounded throughout the Sanctuary once again…


"You're... still alive. Cicero has a lot of respect now for the Deserter and the Traitor’s abilities, of course, but could you at least slow down a bit? I'm not what I used to be. Heh."


Rosalie: Seriously. I didn’t know the guy like you did, but… there’s no way his voice used to sound like that! It doesn’t sound like the voice of any man I’ve ever heard before. In fact, he sounds like a--
Trace: Arnbjorn said he got Cicero’s artery, so he might just be having a tough time breathing. I don’t know. But what I do know is that we’ve got company!!
No sooner than Trace was able to fall into a defensive stance did Rosalie wait to begin pelting the two ghosts that had tried to attack them in this corridor…
The vampire’s onslaught was so great that neither Trace nor the ghosts were able to do anything before Rosalie finished the fight…
Trace: Wow! Look at you, little Firestarter. I hope you can maintain this kind of fiery display when it comes to killing the jester.


Rosalie: Look… I’m going to end Cicero’s life, because that was what I was tasked with. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do. He is the Keeper. Astrid may praise us for this, but Sithis won’t exactly look too keenly on us killing him. Just food for thought.
Trace and Rosalie continued onward, and the Imperial was about to make a retort when she remembered Cicero’s words from his journal, ‘Her Sanctuary still stands. Still operates. But how? No Listener means no Black Sacrament, no Black Sacrament means no contracts.’


Trace: *shakes her head* Come on, we’ve prospered this far without Sithis and the Old Ways. So don’t bring it up again!


Rosalie: *shrugs* You do know that I hold seniority over you right? But whatever. I can tell you like seeming in charge, so I’ll let you do you.
Trace ignored Rosalie and tried to open up the door, but something was barring it. Just then, Cicero’s laughter could be heard from behind the door and out of frustration Trace punched the door.


Trace: Damn you!! I trusted you! I defended you!! And this is how you repay me?
Trace punched the door again and again until Rosalie pulled her away from it.


Rosalie: So you were betrayed, so what? It’s customary in this business.


Trace: Just because it’s something you would do, doesn’t mean that it’s customary.


Rosalie: …You’re wrong. Just like you were wrong about me attacking Arnbjorn. But whatever, you can ask Astrid about it later. Right now, I need you to stop bashing your fist against the door and let’s try to find another way.
Trace let out a frustrated scream, and ran off once again. It didn’t take that long to find another path for them to take, and when they did…Trace13_14_133.png

Part Three


…It didn’t even seem like they were in the same place anymore.


"Brrr! Chilly! You'll enjoy this. Not an original part of the Sanctuary, per se. Let's call it a 'forced addition.' Forced by what? Oh, come and see!"
Trace: What in Oblivion is this fool talking about n…


Rosalie: What’s wrong? What is it that you’re seeing?


Trace: I think I know why he said that this addition was… forced…
Trace wasn’t an adventurer. She wasn’t a soldier. She hadn’t fought bears, wolves, sabre cats. She wasn’t used to taking on multiple people at once, and honestly had been pushing herself to her limit each time she’d done so thus far. She was a thief, an assassin. Getting in, carrying out her assignment and getting out, that’s what she specialized in.


So yes, when she saw this troll, when she saw the elusive Udefrykte standing before her… Trace was scared…
But faced with this obstacle something finally snapped within Trace, and she wasn’t the vengeful assassin that she’d been up until now. No, she was the battle crazed woman from the Ratway, she was the intense berserker from Irkngthand. And so she leapt into action.


The Udefrykte came at them all imposing and menacing, but Trace simply slashed away at the troll as Rosalie hurled fireball after fireball at it…
After being knocked back, Trace and Rosalie swapped rolls, with Rosalie acting as the vanguard and Trace the rearguard. However, even with the cuts the vampire was inflicting on it, the troll seemed transfixed on Trace and her movements…
Taking advantage of this, Rosalie stood back and allowed Trace to lure Udefrykte into attacking her, and as soon as Rosalie was able to get into its blindside, she doused the beast with wave after wave of flames…
Rosalie: I can hold this up for only so long! Dammit, it’s like he’s not even weak to my flames at all!


Trace: (Like you’re one to talk.) Don’t worry about it, just keep the pressure on him! I’ve got an idea.
Rosalie kept pushing back the troll until the beast wouldn’t go back any further. At that moment, Trace stabbed the troll in the stomach causing it to fall over the side, however it still held onto the ledge with one of its hands. With the beast in such a disadvantageous position, Trace ran over and kicked Udefrykte hard in the head causing its grip to loosen…
Rosalie ran up beside Trace and looked down.


Rosalie: Is… Is it over?


Trace: Haa… haaa… I wish… But you know what they say about trolls…
Trace: They’re the most stubborn bastards in all of Skyrim to try to kill.
The duo heard Udefrykte’s ferocious footsteps as it made its way back up toward them, and the ladies gathered their composure and readied themselves for another tussle with the troll…
However, from the heaviness of its footsteps and the its ferocious roars, it seemed that rather than hurt it, all they seemed to do was infuriate the troll..
When it rounded the corner, Rosalie was a bit faster when it came to engaging the troll. However, as soon as she’d got into range of the beast, Udefrykte had already started drew its fist back and was in the motion to bring down a surely fatal blow onto the vampire.


Trace: Rosalie!!! NOOOO!!
Trace knocked Rosalie out of the way just as the troll was about to strike her down, and while it was off balance Trace stuck her sword into Udefrykte’s head and just like every Man and Mer she had slain before, the beast’s life was no more…
Rosalie: Whoa… Umm… Thanks?


Trace: Why are you thanking me? You did most of the work. If anything you should be mad at me for taking your kill.


Rosalie: That’s not important to… Listen, I’m sorry for what happened to your parents, but not all vampires are the same. That’s something that’s been repeatedly pushed in my face somewhat recently…
Rosalie: H-hey!! Where are you going?


Trace: I’ve already got enough issues… *mutters* I don’t need to add a cute undead vampire to the mix…


Rosalie: Did you say something?


Trace: (Am I really warming up to her? No way…) No! Let’s continue on. If Cicero is truly injured, it’s best that we don’t give him a chance to recover.
Trace rushed off again, but this time it was more because of embarrassment than anything else. She knew that Rosalie had heard what she’d said and was being polite. After all, vampires have fantastic hearing, and there’s no way Rosalie would have missed her comments…Trace13_14_151.png

Part Four


Trace’s worries about her constantly in flux love life were put on hold as they entered the next room and once again were greeted by Cicero’s voice…
…And the ghosts from days past…


"All right, so Cicero attacked that harlot, Astrid and the rest of the faux-Brotherhood! But what's a fool to do, when his mother is slandered and mocked? Surely the Deserter and Traitor can understand!"
Picking up where they left off, Trace and Rosalie acted in perfect sync as one after another they tore through the ghosts one after another.
She didn’t want to spit on the graves of her fallen Dark Brethren, but deep down Trace was starting to doubt the prowess of the Dark Brotherhood of the past.


Trace: (Perhaps there’s a reason all the other Sanctuaries fell while Astrid’s persevered…)
As Trace felled yet another of the seemingly endless ghosts that continued to assault the two women, the words from Cicero’s journal replayed in her head again…


Her family can abandon the Old Ways, and still survive, still kill, but is that family still Brotherhood?’
Whether they could truly call themselves was irrelevant as Rosalie and Trace proceeded to vanquish ghost after ghost until they had finally slayed every single one of their Dark Siblings from the past…Trace13_14_159.png




With the Sanctuary void of anymore assailants, Cicero’s incessant prattling was the only thing that the two Dark Sisters faced as they made their way to him…


"Cicero admits, he thought you two would be dead by now. Heh. Maybe we could just forget all this? Hmm? Let bygones be bygones? What do you say? Although if it's any comfort, I do feel slightly bad about Veezara and the others… Stupid lizard got in my way! But please tell me that hulking sheepdog has bled to death."
"And now we come to the end of our play. The grand finale..."


Trace didn’t need Cicero’s words to tell her what she already knew. This was it, there was only this door separating her from getting vengeance for the Brotherhood… For Astrid… Once again Cicero’s played over again in her head…


Or something else? Something new. Something different. Something wrong?’
Rosalie: Do not forget why we’re here, Trace. He tried to destroy the Brotherhood. Even the Keeper should know what would come of him if he tried such a thing.


Trace: (But did he try to destroy the Brotherhood? Or did he try to destroy what Astrid and those before her turned it into…)Trace13_14_164.png

Part Five


Trace opened the door and the two of them immediately saw a heavily wounded Cicero curled up on the ground, unable to even stand up…


Cicero: You caught me! I surrender! Ha ha ha ha. Ugh… *cough* *cough*
Rosalie: I TOLD YOU THERE WAS SOMETHING OFF ABOUT HIS… HER VOICE!! There’s no WAY a man couldn’t been talking like… like THAT!!!


Trace: Fine fine… So I’ve been wrong about quite a bit of things today, and I’m woman enough to be able to admit my mistakes but.. That still doesn’t answer the lingering question…


Rosalie: You’ve got that right, Miss J.
Trace stepped towards Cicero(?) and looked down on the jester, but suddenly something seemed completely off about this entire situation.


Trace: (I don’t know if Rosalie was trying to convince me not to kill him… her or not, but… this I wrong…) Hey jester! Who did this to you? I mean… How’d you come to be in your current… form?
Cicero: Hehehe *cough* *cough* At least tell me… that that ignorant dog is finally dead…


Rosalie: Sorry to be a party pooper, but last we saw of him, he was on a rather steady road to recovery.


Cicero: Blasts… Fine. Poor *cough* *cough* …poor Cicero will talk... The Listener… That traitor, spreading lies about poor *cough* sweet Cicero. Poisoning the pretender, spreading the lies… *cough* *cough* I didn’t mean to hurt Veezara, and as much as I would have loved to kill that *cough* harlot Astrid, Cicero’s target was Astrid’s target is your target. Everyone else just got in poor Cicero’s way!


Trace remembered Astrid’s words about the situation when she visited Trace in jail, ‘Oddly enough, she wasn’t there when he went psycho. I’m beginning to think more and more that this was planned by the two of them.’
Trace: So you mean to tell me that all of this was so that the Keeper could kill the Listener?


Cicero: No wonder you weren’t named the Listener… Seems like the Deserter has sand in her ears after all. Ha Ha Ha! Ugh…


Trace: I’m NO Deserter!!
Trace took a deep breath to calm herself and began to recite the Tenets, and although she wasn’t phrasing them like questions, Cicero answered every single time…


Trace: Never dishonor the Night Mother. To do so is to invoke the Wrath of Sithis.


Cicero: Everything Cicero does is for Mother! Everything!


Trace: Never betray the Dark Brotherhood or its secrets. To do so is to invoke the Wrath of Sithis.


Cicero: Cicero would never! Cicero may be a jester, a fool, but a betrayer he is not!


Trace: Never disobey or refuse to carry out an order from a Dark Brotherhood superior. To do so is to invoke the Wrath of Sithis.


Cicero: Cicero has been tasked with taking care of the Night Mother. Cicero is great at it, the best! *cough* *cough*


Trace: Never steal the possessions of a Dark Brother or Dark Sister. To do so is to invoke the Wrath of Sithis.


Cicero: As much as Cicero knows that he’d be a much much much much better fit as leader, Cicero doesn’t wish to lead! I wish for tradition… for the Night Mother to be respected and upheld!


Trace: Never kill a Dark Brother or Dark Sister. To do so is to invoke the Wrath of Sithis.


Cicero: The Listener may hear Mother’s voice… but the Listener is no Dark Sister.
Unable to listen any longer, Rosalie finally interjected.


Rosalie: I’ve had enough of this nonsense. Astrid gave us a mission and I plan to carry it out!


She then drew her Ebony Dagger and readied herself to attack Cicero.


Rosalie: There is only one cure for your madness, Cicero. Me.
Without understanding why she did so, Trace intercepts Rosalie and Cicero began cackling.


Cicero: Ha ha ha ha! Oh, I like that! Very good, very good! Creative! But even the Deserter knows that killing me would be a mistake! Oh yes. *cough* *cough* *cough* You would displease our mother, hmm? For she's your mother too, isn't she... Vampire? Walk away! Let poor Cicero live! Tell the pretender Astrid you did the job! Stabbed, strangled, drowned poor Cicero! One little itty bitty lie!
Rosalie: Just as I was beginning to think that we were on the same side in this whole thing, you go and betray us as well? Step out of the way Trace. If you know what’s good for you, you will stand down!


Trace: Cicero, if no one else, is an actual member of the Dark Brotherhood, and if we're to call ourselves Dark Sisters, then they... we CAN'T kill her.
Rosalie: That may be true, but we don’t follow the Tenets, and even if we did wouldn’t we be betraying Tenet Three? You said so yourself, ‘Never disobey or refuse to carry out an order from a Dark Brotherhood superior.’


Trace: (And I myself would have broken Tenet Five more times than I’d wished to…)


Trace closed her eyes trying to come to terms with what it would mean to stand up for and to kill Cicero. No matter which way she went, she knew that the Dark Brotherhood… Astrid’s Dark Brotherhood, was never going to be the same again…
Rosalie: Now then, just stand aside Imperial and let me--


Trace didn’t know if it was because Rosalie was so sure that Trace would comply, or if it was because Rosalie didn’t feel like her life was in danger, or if she was still not one hundred percent from her bout with Arnbjorn earlier… Either way, Trace was able to disarm the vampire with relative ease before she could react.
While the vampire was still stunned by Trace’s actions, the thief attempted to kick her, but this time Rosalie was easily able to avoid it and create some distance between them.
Once Rosalie landed, Trace pointed her blade at her.


Trace: The Dark Brotherhood has been a family to me. A family that is irreplaceable to me… However, I’m sick and tired of calling myself part of the Dark Brotherhood if we’re not going to follow ANYTHING that makes the Brotherhood THE Brotherhood.
Trace: Call me crazy, but for as much as I love Astrid, she… No, NONE of us are worthy of the title of Dark anything! Therefore, we wouldn’t be betraying the Third Tenet. (And I wouldn’t be have broken the Fifth Tenet as well…)
Rosalie stayed quiet about this for quite a while and the only sound that could be heard was Cicero coughing up blood on the ground. She then went to pick up her dagger, and after giving Trace a fierce look sheathed it.


Rosalie: *grins* Me and Festus had been saying how the Brotherhood COULD do with a bit of tradition. As long as that jester stays out of our business…
Cicero: But of course! Poor Cicero would never compromise the benevolent, kind, magnanimous, traitor and deserter. Nope no he wouldn’t!Trace13_14_180.png

Part Six


Rosalie: Why in the world does she still call herself a ‘he’? Don’t tell she honestly thinks that there’s a chance of her returning back into a guy. If the Listener truly did this…
Rosalie: Trace?


Trace: Huh? Y-yeah… No way, right…
As Rosalie continued to go on and on about what Cicero was calling him/herself, a voice that she’d never heard before whispered to her…


???: Thank you for sparing my sweet child Cicero…


Trace: (N-Night Mother?)
Night Mother: I know that you have feelings for the so called ‘leader’ of my Brotherhood, however know this: I have chosen you, and as such you may have to kill both the ‘Listener,’ who Cicero did indeed have a just reason for wanting to kill in keeping with the Old Ways, and the false leader… Make sure you take proper precautions if you want for everything to turn out as you wish…


Trace takes the Night Mother’s words to heart and does a silent prayer, ending it with “Hail Sithis.”


Rosalie: Are you alright? You’ve been quiet for quite some time now…
Trace: Yeah I’m alright… Let’s hurry up and get out of here.


Rosalie: *sigh* Seems like we came all this way for nothing…


Rosalie glances at Trace as they’re leaving and grins at her.


Rosalie: Well... Maybe it wasn’t a complete waste.


Trace: *blushes* S-shut up vampire!!


Rosalie: *sticks tongue out playfully* Okay Miss J!
After hearing their footsteps get further and further away, Cicero got up on her knees and let out a painful cry…


Cicero: Ha ha ha ha ha! Sweet… sweet mother… your Listener, your TRUE Listener has returned!!!
Then as if all of the energy had been drained from her… Cicero passed out in her pool of blood…
Exiting the Sanctuary, they saw that Arnbjorn was nowhere to be found…
Rosalie: Yeah… I knew that mangy mutt was going to run on home the first chance he got. Good thing we didn’t need him to watch out for us or anything, huh Trace?
Trace: H-huh? Yeah…


Rosalie: *frowns* What’s wrong Trace? You’ve been acting really weird ever since you saved Cicero’s life… What’s going on?


Trace: Rosalie… You… You’re a good person. I see that now…


Rosalie: Wait what!? I mean, I am, but where is this coming from?
Trace: I need you to tell Astrid that Cicero is dead…


Rosalie: What!? No! I refuse! We did this together and it was your decision to keep the fool alive! If anyone’s going to lie to Astrid, it’s going to be you!


Trace: I’m not and haven’t been part of the Brotherhood for some time now… Besides…
Trace thought back on what the Night Mother had told her.


Trace: I’ve got some things of my own to take care of…


Rosalie: …You do know that Astrid’s going to be looking for you, and will probably come for you.
Trace nodded and Rosalie let out a reluctant sigh.


Rosalie: Fine… I’ll do this for you. But you owe me one. No, you owe me like fifty! You got me? And I want all fifty favors from you! No exceptions.
Trace turned around and bowed, catching Rosalie completely off guard.


Trace: Thank you so much for this Rosalie. This means more than you could ever know…
Rosalie: Wai—wha—why are you doing this? It’s not like I’m doing anything amazing or anything… You don’t need to go that far…
Trace straightened her back and smiled at her fellow Dark Sister.


Trace: (Yup, definitely cute! Hehehe, I could just tease her all day and not get bored!) Anyway, shall we get going?
Rosalie nodded and with a shake of their hands, the two assassins went their separate ways, Rosalie back to the Falkreath Sanctuary, and Trace along with Shadowmere back to Riften…Trace13_14_197.png

Part Seven


After dismounting, Trace sent Shadowmere on his way and the steed headed in the direction of the Sanctuary… in the direction of Astrid… Trying to leave that part of her life behind her at the moment, Trace entered the city of Riften…


Trace: Ah Riften… Home sweet home… I wonder what’s changed while I’ve been away?
???: Why couldn’t you have died out there, you piece of sewer trash!
Trace saw who had thrown those words her way and was astonished, it was Aerin, Mjoll’s little plaything.


Aerin: You’re a worthless coward you know that! Nothing more than human waste who shouldn’t try to soil Mjoll with your filth!
Trace: All of this is amusing, but if you don’t mind me asking, why in the world would you bother with pissing me off as of now? I was in a good mood, and now you’ve completely ruined that and why? Because Mjoll would rather be with a woman that encapsulates everything that she hates rather than even look at you like a potential partner? Stupid idiot…
Aerin: I-I’m serious! Stay away from Mjoll if you know what’s g-good for you…


Trace: Or else what? You’re gonna bitch at Mjoll about me again? I know how you tried to get her not to visit me when I was in jail you bastard!
Aerin pulled out a dagger and pointed it at Trace much to her amusement.


Aerin: Do I have your attention now? I may not be stealthy like you or a fighter like Mjoll, but there’s no way I’ll miss you from this distance! Now if you unders--
Trace rushed into Aerin while he was blabbering away and the suddenness of her action knocked the male Imperial to the ground…
Aerin: I-I-I mean it!! If y-you go near Mjoll again, I-I’ll--
Trace: Ha! You’ll do what? Get thrown in jail?


Aerin: W-what are you talking about?


Trace: You threatened me, I’ve even got witnesses. *she motioned to the two guards at the gate* So please, PLEASE, approach me when I’m near Mjoll so I can have them throw you in jail for threatening my life.
Aerin: W-who do you think Mjoll will believe? You? A thief and a killer? Or--


Trace: Doesn’t matter what she believes, all that matters is what the guards know.
And with that Trace went to go find the woman that had caused so much animosity between the two Imperials…
…And it didn’t take too long for her to find her. Trace was always amazed at how amazing Mjoll looked from in front and behind…
Not only that, it seemed recently that even though her crusade to clean up Riften fell flat on its face, Mjoll had literally become a beacon… a light that brightens up everyone’s literally brighten up everyone’s day
Trace: A light…


‘Human waste who shouldn’t try to soil Mjoll with your filth!’


Trace: Maybe… maybe that asshole has a point…
Mjoll felt a chill down her spine as if someone was watching her and it caused her to turn around.


Mjoll: W-who’s there!?
Grelka: Who’re you talking about Mjoll? There’s no one there!


Mjoll: (That woman… she kind of looks like… No… She’d speak to me if that were her…) You’re right Grelka, it must be my imagination…
Trying to avoid Mjoll and anyone who might notify the Nord of Trace’s return made Trace take way longer than she had planned to get back to the Cistern, and when she got there all she wanted to do was sleep.
And so, ignoring all of the looks from her former Guild members, Trace went over to her bed and fell fast asleep…Trace13_14_215.png

Part Eight


…Fourteen hours later…
Trace got up and noticed that not only did she feel more tired than she had before she went to sleep, but she wasn’t wearing anything close to what she’d been wearing before.


Trace: *sigh* Which one of these assholes do I have to hurt now...
Suddenly the smell of nightshade mixed with lavender wafted into her nostrils and at once Trace began looking for the silver haired Guild Master who must have been responsible for her new attire…
It didn’t take long for her to find Vex as from where Trace was sitting, it seemed like the new Guild Master was having a bit of difficulty with keeping the Guild’s finances in check.
Trace’s heart told her to go over and console the new Guild Leader, but she chose to listen to another voice in her head…


I have chosen you, and as such you may have to kill both the ‘Listener’… and the false leader… Make sure you take proper precautions if you want for everything to turn out as you wish..
Trace: Sweet Mother… I may have been able to clear out your Sanctuary with Rosalie’s help… but I don’t think I can take either of them in a straight up duel…
And so with that in mind, Trace went to the Ragged Flaggon to ask the one person she knew could possibly assist her and who also had ties with the Dark Brotherhood… Delvin Mallory.
Delvin: Well I’ll be, if it isn’t the Guild Master’s little fling? What do you need from old, Delvin?


Trace: I need your help with a matter involving poisons…


Delvin: Ha! You know we’re not the killing sort around here, love. I’ll impart this little gem of information on you though, ask Vex. As hard up as she seems about following the Guild’s rules to the T,, she’s got more shady contacts than either Brynjolf or myself.
Trace cursed and sprinted back towards the Cistern.


Delvin: …I wonder what that all was about?
When Trace reentered the Cistern sh counted her blessings as she saw Vex heading toward the exit.


Trace: Vex! Vex stop!!
When she caught up to Vex, Trace took a moment to catch her breath, but she didn’t miss the warm smile that the silver haired thief was giving her.


Vex: Why Trace, you seem quite…*licks lips* nice in your current attire. I’m guessing you don’t hate them either because you haven’t changed yet. So what can I do you for?
And with that Trace told Vex everything. Astrid, Cicero, the Night Mother… Trace didn’t spare any detail and while she was explaining everything she saw Vex go from elated, to worried, to fearful by the time she was done with her explanation.


Vex: You do know what you’re asking me… You want me to help you get a poison for not only this listening Dunmer, but that bitch Astrid as well? Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for her to be out of your life, but… not like this…
Trace: You’re telling me… As much as I know you’ll hate hearing this, I don’t want to have to kill Astrid as well… But… if it does come down to it… I…
Vex turned away from Trace and sighed.


Vex: First off I don’t like this, not one bit. You said that this was going to be your final dealings with the Brotherhood and yet… Anyway, I’ll help you out. Give me about three days. I know some people who can get me two very potent poisons that can do exactly what you wants them to do, no questions asked.
Just as Trace was going to ask what Vex meant by the poisons can ‘do exactly what you wants them to do,’ the Guild Leader hurried walked off as she was before Trace stopped her…
Trace thought back to every minute little detail in Vex’s expression and felt a wave of relief wash over her.


Trace: Seems like she’s not mad at me or my request…*sigh* I really need to stop acting like a jerk and worrying Vex out all the time… I maybe there’s a way I can alleviate her worries…



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Rosalie is veeery cute. I enjoyed watching her and reading your story. Thank you very much.

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