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


by BHRmasay 0 reviews

Category: Soul Calibur - Rating: G - Genres: Drama - Characters: Ivy - Warnings: [!] [V] - Published: 2008-09-14 - Updated: 2008-09-14 - 2139 words - Complete

Chapter Three

Ivy took a train north from the city to a small station in the middle of nowhere. She then boarded a carriage that trundled through the picturesque countryside. She was accompanied on this leg of the journey by a German woman and a British woman obviously traveling together. The German held a small movie camera up to her eye and shot pictures out the window while her friend chatted with the other occupant of the carriage. a youngish man who seemed uncomfortable sitting next to her. It was because of this that she learned her companions where Greta Kaster who fancied herself some kind of artist and filmmaker, Her companion and secretary Rose-Marie Blanchard, and Robert Lake, some kind of writer or journalist. Like Ivy, he was attending in place of someone, the publisher of his Newspaper. He kept glancing in her direction as thought expecting her to bare teeth at him. She tugged her coat around herself and looked out the window at the passing scenery.

"Lausiger Blick eines Lausigen Landschaft" The harsh voice cut through the aimless chattering of the German's companion.

Ivy looked up. The British woman flushed and quickly spoke up "Frau Kaster was just commenting on the view."

The small man coughed and spoke up "Yes it is quite lovely in this part of the country."

"I imagine you think so but the lovely Frau Kaster does not share your opinion." Ivy supplied snidely.

The British woman flushed an even deeper shade of red. Her companion was more direct. "You speak German?"

"Among other languages, It would be the height of arrogance to assume everyone can or should speak English."

If you don't mind my saying Arrogance not in short supply in the British Empire." The German replied sharply.

Nor among the Germans." Ivy responded.

You seem sure of yourself Miss…"

Valentine, Isabella Valentine, and yes I am very confident in my abilities. "

Her companion smiled "You're Augustus Valentine's Granddaughter. I met him at a charity event when I was much younger."

"Then you saw him much more thin I ever did."

" Halten Sie Ihr ist spionierend Rosie, auf oder ich werde Sie vor jedem bestrafen." The Nordic filmmaker snapped. Her hand slapping her thigh sharply. Her friend fell silent leaving Robert to ask what the problem was.

"Greta was just reminding her friend that it's rude to be too curious about someone's personal life."

"I apologize Ms Valentine, " Greta said "Rose is young and impetuous she needs firm guidance in the ways of polite society."

Robert looked at the exchange as though they were all a little mad. Ivy smiled at his discomfiture. "So, Mr. Lake why did your publisher see fit to pass on Mr. Mugson's hospitality.

"He is not fond of the company that Mugson keeps. Agitators, extremists, Persons whose political views are …not as moderate."

"And where do you stand." Rose asked timidly

"Firmly on the fence I assure you. I was hoping for the chance to get an exclusive with the man. With the amount of power brokers he has courted, some are saying he is coming out of the county and making a play for political power, possibly ministerial office. I think readers need to know what his views are not who he has lunches with.

Bravo Herr Lake, Bravo." Greta smiled "I too am interested in the plans of our host for the future I want to record and document him. I find filming such leaders to be an artistic statement all on its own in fact Herr Lake if I could run my camera during your interview that would be ideal. A man of vision speaking with the press, the images would be stirring."

Lake smiled at the thought of his possible immortality on film. He then turned to Ivy. "Ms Valentine, what brings you to Mugson house."

"I am visiting an old family friend I would like to reconnect with my past."

"Really how delightful." Rose gushed "I always appreciate my family more when I see them through the eyes of another."

Lake smiled as well. "Indeed I used to see my father as a hard cold man but then I met friends who had know him as a youth and a saw a whole new side to him."

Ivy let her eyes glaze. The truth was she had thought that Cervantes was a bastard and everything she had learned before and since discovering the role he had played in her own birth had not changed that opinion in the slightest.

Thinking her tired the rest continued their discussion as the carriage trundled through the back roads eventually a long low squat looking mansion came into view. It was a two-story structure with exquisite stone carving on the facing of the house. The carriage turned and traveled up the well-maintained driveway that meandered in a curve toward the house. It was in its way as neat as House Valentine had been. Ivy glanced on the home and wondered what thoughts had been in her fathers mind the last time he had seen this house.

The carriage pulled in front of the house and a doorman in livery yanked open the door and pulled the stair s down so those inside could descend. The four travelers were ushered quickly into the main lobby of the house. Both floors looked out on the front entrance that boasted a circular tiled mosaic in the center of the lobby. Ivy looked around, smiling Mugson obviously had money, and liked showing off.

The group stopped in front of a tall skeletal man who allowed them to gaze at the view for a few moments. Ivy soon learned his name was Curtis the head of household, the butler. He assigned them rooms upstairs and told them to be ready for the big reception that evening. She discreetly asked where Mugson was. Curtis explained that both father and Son would be appearing that night. She startled. Mugson had a Son. She wondered what the boy was like .No doubt he was a rich entitled dandy. Living off his trust fund and spending his days hoping his father wouldn't pass on until the boy had found a richer family that he could marry into and sponge off for the rest of his days.

Rose stopped by her room later that afternoon. She was dressed in a robe and slippers and was asking for concealer. She had discovered a pimple that would be all too visible with the dress she had brought for the party. The two women spoke and Ivy decided to learn all she could about her hosts.

"Well I imagine you already know a bit about Carter Mugson. He parlayed the family fortune into speculations. Purchase land here and sell it to some land baron. That kind of thing."

"And the son what do you know about the son"

"Victor Mugson, not much. No one does."

"Don’t you find that odd."

"Not entirely, the old man is private. His son is less so but concerns himself with making all the right friends."

At this she slipped a piece of paper out of her pocket and flashed it at Ivy. "Guest list, Lake passed it to me under strict instructions that I not reveal from whence it came."

"Household staff no doubt, they are notorious for lining their pockets with bribe money."

Rose giggled in agreement, as they checked the list. "Lord and Lady Davenport, Bennet Crew, two of the Le Prize Triplets, not surprising I heard the other is with child. However, she refuses to disclose the father. Silly really, everyone knows Lord Foredom is the father. Hell, everyone's happy for the old man. Have you met his wife, such a bitch. In fact, the only unknown element on the list is you my dear."

"What do you mean?"

"Adopted daughter of fine family fallen on hard times, traveling abroad for the last few years. Several think your are here to catch yourself a husband."

Ivy looked at her and then burst into laughter, Rose looked hurt. "Well anyone here would be a good match and Mugson himself is said to be quite handsome."

"He could be the Prince of Wales for all that I care for the idea of marriage."

"You're making fun of me aren't you."

"No Rose, you can tell Greta I have no intention of monopolizing young Mugson's time she can shot pictures of him till Armageddon, for all the interest I have in the outcome." She slipped a thick pen into Roses hands. This should cover your pimple assuming you even had one.

"Surely I'm not that obvious am I."

"Obvious no, in fact that is the one thing I miss about having the company of other women. The endless scheming, Mother was particularly adept."

Rose smiled and hugged the taller woman for a moment then scuttled from the room to deliver results of her spying.

Watching her leave, Ivy contemplated asking the prying minx to assist in her search of Mugson's records. Then she decided that the direct approach was best, first she would learn all she could about was Mugson knew about SoulEdge then she would deal with the matter of Tripcotts murder. According to the Gentleman, she was the prime suspect in Tripcott's death. If Mugson could shed light on her innocence, it was in her best interests to persuade him to do so.

After all, consummate killer she may be, but she was not taking the blame for someone else's slipshod work.

The moon was just raising as guests gathered for the party in the main Hall. Lake was dressed in his best suit. Rosie looked pale in a black off the shoulder gown. The expanse of pale flesh broken by the beauty mark on her bosom and a ruby necklace that resembled a collar. Beside her in matching black stood Greta who had donned a suit with tails for the evening. She further inflamed a few delicate sensibilities by smoking through a holder.

The trio turned to look at top of the stairs where Ivy made her entrance. In a long crimson crushed velvet gown. The form-fitting dress started at her neck and went down to the floor. It might have appeared demur were it not for the tear drop shaped a peek-a-boo bodice and the slit up one side that almost went to the waist. As she descended the steps, she noted the looks she drew from the men in the crowd. As she reached, the group, Lake nervously polished his glasses. Greta smiled broadly. "Isabella, a stunning entrance." The choice of the dress had been simple, she had simply looked at the clothes she had had and asked herself what she would wear to impress that preening dandy Maxi. She occasionally found it annoying how intriguing she found the dashing rogue.

"As an associate is fond of saying, Go big or go home." She responded. Her smile was predatory as she surveyed the room. "Where are the hosts. I was hoping for an introduction."

"Delaying till the last moment." Greta supplied as she searched the room. "In the meantime you can meet the rest of the guests. Lake gestured and offered her his arm. Ivy looked at the man for a moment. Judging by the guest list she had seen, the little nebbish was probably the best man she would meet this night, including Mugson's mysterious progeny. The four of them made the rounds many men making overtures toward Ivy practically in front of wives and girlfriends. She rebuffed them all. It was not that social niceties held no interest for her. Nevertheless, these people bored her. Men like this played at being big and powerful. In an arena with sword in hand and Nightmare or Astaroth racing toward them however, social dignity would slip away, along with a good bit of internal organs.

She was just calculating how many seconds the overweight Lord Foredom would last when the music swelled and Curtis announced in a loud voice. "Ladies and Gentlemen your host for the evening. Lord Carter Mugson and son Victor." Applause swelled as the older man hobbled down the stairs helped by his son whose dashing good looks escaped the attention of no one in the room. Indeed, there was an audible gasp of breath from nearly every woman including Ivy. Lake smiled. "Isabelle you struck me as too jaded for this kind of thing."

Ivy barely noticed the comment but if she had, she might have pointed out that the reason she was gasping was not how handsome the young lord was but rather the fact that his aura fairly reeked of the Souledge. This man was a destined one and since her sword was in her room, she was at his mercy.
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