Categories > Games > Soul Calibur > Ivy Valentine: The Ties That Bind


by BHRmasay 0 reviews

Category: Soul Calibur - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Ivy - Warnings: [!] [V] - Published: 2008-09-14 - Updated: 2008-09-14 - 2654 words - Complete

Chapter Two

12:35am. Valentine Mansion

Ivy sat at a desk in the lab she maintained. This lab was why she preserved the family home. This was her fathers real legacy to her. A dimly lit cell of a room, a bookcase crowded with old tomes and scrolls filled one wall. In the center, a table sagged under the weight of chemistry tools. Glass Tubes, retort-stands, Bunsen burners and other arcane artifacts cluttered the obscured the tabletop. But it was iron furnace sitting unused in the corner that was her pride. She had forged the Ivy Blade in that furnace. The design had been exquisite, incorporating all that she had learned of alchemy and metallurgy. She had created a blade that, in its solid state, was stronger then steel. However, it was the Soul Edge shard she had incorporated into its design that had brought the blade to life. Now it moved at her will transforming from blade to whip at her whim.

She had spent the last several hours since returning from Alex Tripcott's home poring over the records maintained by her father, notes about the Soul Edge and its abilities.

She had known she would need a weapon to find the blasted thing, something strong. She had already been an accomplished swordsman. Poulson thought she should consider fencing for the national team or if not, then at least teaching. She sneered at the thought. The Soul Edge was all the glory she would want. Its destruction would be her lasting contribution to the world. However, there were obstacles, Taki and her mysterious order of demon hunting warriors, for one thing. They saw Ivy not as a Valentine trying to avenge her family's suffering but as Cervantes De Leon's illegitimate daughter trying control the same weapon that the Blood Pirate had used to terrorize the shipping lanes of the Atlantic. Sophitia was a errand girl, doing the dirty work for some mysterious God. Who knew what real horrors would be unleashed if she was allowed to gain possession of the blade. In fact, as far as Ivy knew the last warrior appointed by the gods to dispose of Soul Edge had instead unleashed its evil into the world. No, this time Ivy would do what others were clearly unprepared to do. The sword would be destroyed and anyone who got in her way, Well it was their tough luck.

Ivy glanced at old papers and saw the text that Tripcott had shown her. The legends spoke of a sword carried by a leader chosen by destiny. The leader who carried the blade would know neither defeat nor death until the waning of the world. Could Mugson actually believe that wielding the Soul Edge would give him power. Others had believed the half-truths about the sword and sought it out for their own purposes. She had faced many of the seekers during her own quest.

She looked at her fathers records and wondered. What had Tripcott to gain from passing her this information. No one did anything without a reason. Could he be planning some revenge. Against whom her father, Mugson, both at once by setting Ivy and Mugson at each others throats.

Distance was the ultimate barrier. If she were on another continent, all the problems would be left behind in London. Poulson could send messages till the end of the age if she chose not to respond then what could they do to her.

A chiming bell interrupted her thoughts. The bell was connected to the security system in the house. Someone had entered without her permission. She grabbed her sword and donning a long coat headed for a dumbwaiter. She had remodeled the thing to provide her secret access to the rest of the house at a moments notice. She opened the access port and climbed inside. Pulling on a concealed switch, she was rocketed to the top of the shaft from the basement levels to the upper floor she climbed out and moved silently down the hall.

She closed her eyes and stretched out her mind. There they were two men moving through the hallways. They thought they were being stealthy but their large bodies and slow clumsy movements betrayed every sound to her. She opened her eyes and waited for the first one. He was moving down the upstairs hallway. She faded into an alcove.

"Where are you, you posh little bitch?" the large man cursed as he moved down the hall past her.

"Behind you." She whispered and lashed out with the flat of her sword blade. It cracked him across the back of his skull. His legs collapsed underneath him. She kicked him in the chest and stomach sending him rolling down the stairs. The other man came running forward there was a gleam in his hand. Ivy drove her blade into the ground and the chain tore across the floor ripping up the tile and exploding underneath the man sending him flying backwards. The first man rose, grabbing for her, she took his hand and kicked him hard sending back to his knees she flipped herself over his back breaking his arm in the process and sending him crashing to the floor. The second man was climbing to his feet and running for the door the ivy blade lashed across the floor. The mans feet landed on the chain and she jerked it backwards sending him flying upwards. He hit the ground with a thud and rolled around groaning as she stocked over to him. Her boot applied to his throat silenced his struggles and groaning. In a cold voice, she announced "in twenty minutes I am going to ask you who sent you."

"What makes you think I am going to tell you a damn thing." The thug asked defiantly

She fingered the blade in her hand. "Because I am going to be very persuasive."

In tribute to her technique, the thug was actually begging to tell her five minutes before she stopped persuading him.

9:30am Morning Room at the Hotel

Poulson huddled in a seat smelling the rich scent of sausages and eggs drifting over the table. He watched the door and was relieved when Ivy swept into the room. Neatly done and wearing a simple business suit. She could have been one of the many souls gathered for their power breakfasts. After she had been seated and ordered, Poulson hissed quietly. "What happened between you and Tripcott last night?

"Not much, he spoke. I listened." Ivy was still mulling over last night and her "Talk" with the thug who had broke into the house.

"Nothing else, he didn’t say or do anything that annoyed or insulted you? "

"No, the things he said about father where pretty tame really."

"What time did you leave his house?"

"It felt like 9:30 maybe ten o'clock I went back to the hotel but I couldn't relax so I went to the estate and worked in father's lab until after midnight."

"Well the desk clerk can verify when you returned to the hotel is there anyone who can back your story about where you were after that."

"The two thugs who followed me to the house and tried to assault me, look Poulson, what is this about."

"Alex Tripcott was killed last night in his home. The person or persons unknown made it look like a suicide. But the police aren't being fooled. His manservant can testify that you where supposed to meet with Tripcott. I want to be able to establish that he was alive when you left him…"

"He was."

"…And that there is no way you could have had the time to kill him and then return to the hotel."

"Well unfortunately the only witnesses who can back my version of events aren't the type to testify in courts, had I left either of them in any condition to speak."

"Don’t be concerned Ivy, I have friends I will make sure this doesn't delay you very long. I know your are eager to resume your search for the sword."

"Actually I might be staying in London a while longer. Do you know anything about a place called the Metro Room."

"The most exclusive men's club in the city. They say the Prince of Wales is a member. Why?"

"How about a man named Addison, no first name."

"A lawyer, he apparently only has one client who provides him with more then sufficient income."

"The men who attacked me last night claimed the man who paid them to follow me met them at the Metro Club and told them to return there when the task was completed."

"Ivy, I hardly think the anyone who is a member of a the Metro Room could be involved in assault."

"They followed me from Tripcott's apartment perhaps they are the ones who killed him."

"Two thugs mention the Metro Room and you are prepared to take their word that the place is rife with corruption. You might want to question where these leaps of logic are coming from."

"Indulge me Poulson, where is the Metro Room."

"Weren't your two guests helpful with that detail."

"They had both passed out by the time it occurred to me to ask."

Poulson scribbled an address on a piece of paper. "Please try to be discreet. The people who frequent this club are the most influential in the city. I have to do business with some of them."

"I will be the very picture of restraint." Ivy smiled demurely, Poulson had seen this smile before, usually as a prelude to some disastrous faux pas.

Later that morning Ivy stood outside the Metro Room. The building that housed the club was an unassuming setup. She saw two men walk out on to the street and hail a cab one of them looked at her appraisingly. She stared back at him coldly and he moved away quickly. She walked boldly into the waiting area of the club. A tall puffed-up fat headed man with balding hair glanced at her and assumed an imperious tone. "No women allowed past this point Miss, You'll have to wait till your party arrives to escort you."

"I don’t like waiting, especially in the morning. I want to see Addison, not a jumped up desk clerk with ideas above his station."

The doorman was about to snarl at her when a throat was cleared. "Ms Valentine, welcome to the Metro Room please step this way."

The small man standing before Ivy seemed not the type to send thugs to people's homes but she could only conclude he had hidden depths since this was obviously Addison.

They strolled through the club past overstuffed chairs and oak tables. Despite the early hour there was already a fire roaring in the fireplace.

"This is a full service kind of club. Meals, meeting rooms, anything our clients require to make their day pass a little more smoothly."

"I assume that includes places to meet for rendezvous of a more risqué nature."

"As I said, a full service club."

"So which of your clients were you servicing when two men tailed me to my home and tried to assault me there."

"I am not at liberty to say but the owner deeply regrets any inconvenience they caused."

"I wouldn't call trying to kill me an inconvenience."

"Please Ms Valentine…" a new voice interrupted. "The idea those two stumble bums could be called killers is ridiculous." Her gaze was drawn to an upper floor room to which Addison had been leading her. There at the top of the stairs stood a well-dressed man. The momentary glance she got before he turned and retreated to the office was of a well-built man. She and Addison climbed the stairs and headed into the dark office. The man was seated at a desk. The room was not dark as much as it was in shadows. They played on every wall and every corner seemed more foreboding then this hour of the day could tolerate.

She seated herself in a visitors chair.

The man before her was dressed in a Savoy Row suit with all the trimmings. His hair was slicked backward in a braided ponytail. Cupid bow-lips and a strong jaw completed the handsome face indeed he might have been called perfect were it not for the total absence of eyes. It looked as though some artist determined to create the face of a handsome man had drawn in every detail and then erased the eyes leaving only the pale skin where they had been.

"You're blind." She said as she looked at him

"You're observant." He deadpanned and motioned to Addison. "Wine for the lady."

Ivy watched as Addison marched over to a cabinet and reached for a bottle, the contents of which he poured into a glass. The eyeless man's voice cut the silence. "Addison not the cheap stock. Ms Ivy is a cherished guest. She should be drinking the good stuff."

Addison reacted as though he had been struck. he quickly set aside the glass he had been pouring reached in behind the crowd of bottles and retrieved a bottle with a label she recognized as being from an exclusive vineyard.

"I thought they only made a dozen of those."

"I own two, this one is for drinking. The other is kept as a reminder."

"Of what?"

"Of the high costs of doing business with me."

"Ivy settled back in the chair with her wine. Addison had presented it to her in a chilled glass. "Why did you send men after me. Who am I to you?"

"I didn't send them I was asked to deal with you."

"By whom ?

"Surely you don’t think I am going to give that information to just anyone regardless of the threat used against me."

"I think that you will do whatever is in your best interest."

The Gentleman smiled which was an eerie sight given his complete lack of eyes. "Correct, I recently came into possession of an invitation to a small gathering in the country." He handed her a folded paper that he had retrieved from a desk drawer.

Ivy looked at the invitation. It was an invite to the estate of Carter Mugson for a solstice party It had Tripcott's name on it. "This is for Alex"

"Yes I think He would have wanted you to attend in his place."

"How did you get it."

"I have agents on the police force. They took the invitation the same time they covered up all the evidence that you where in the apartment. Tripcott's manservant has been…encouraged to change his story."

"Why cover up for me? I have nothing to hide."

"If you are answering questions here in the city you can hardly be in the country enjoying yourself with the cream-de-la-creme of society." The blind man said smoothly.

"I sense that your kind offer of time in the country is more threat then offer."

"Ivy I have the ability to make the police ignore some things but the longer you stay in London the harder it will be to make them ignore the obvious. You are the last one to see Tripcott alive and you do have a nasty habit of killing people who get in your way. Even the police aren't stupid enough to ignore something like that for long."

Ivy stood The Gentleman leaned back in his chair and smiled. "Consider this a chance to reconnect with your family history."

" You know I shall return." Ivy looked at the man and realized why he was so very unnerving. He always looked directly at her. Obviously, he could not see where she was in the room yet he always seemed to look her in the eye.

"Of course you will, I always back the winning side. That's why I always come out on top."
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