It's been a while since part one so if you need a recap then go here:
And for a better look at Monika you can take a look here:
The Silver Sabre Tavern, Neroon City
A thick cloud of nicotine-filled smoke hung in the air like a fog, obscuring the roof of the small chamber and casting a haze over the six occupants that sat around the circular wooden table. The room at the top of The Silver Sabre tavern had a single window that looked out to the street below, but it was nearly always kept closed, resulting in the trapped air becoming somewhat fragrant from a combination of the smoke and nervous sweat of the people inside.
Monika Korshanska flicked her emerald-green eyes from the hand of cards she held to the one-eyed man that sat opposite her at the table. She watched as a single bead of sweat ran down the side of his scarred face.
'Well?' she said as she chewed on the end of the large cigar that was held between her ruby-red lips.
The tension in the air was almost as thick as the smoke and the four other players at the table looked at the one-eyed man in anticipation. He glanced at his cards, then down to the loot that was piled up on the table. The current hand had gotten somewhat out of control and there was a large amount of gold coins and assorted gems heaped there. Only Monika and the one-eyed man remained in the game and it had come down to the clinch.
'Call,' said the man.
'Finally,' replied Monika. Had she detected a quiver in her opponent's voice? 'Let's see what you've got.'
A confident, smug smile covered the man's face as he laid his cards down on the table. The hand that showed elicited a low whistle from one of the players.
'A Knight's Pyramid,' said the one-eyed man.
Monika looked at the cards that had been played, took a drag on her cigar and blew out a long plume of smoke before breaking into a wide grin as she revealed her hand. The cards caused a collected gasp.
' Clutch of Dragons,' said Monika with a sly wink to her opponent. It was an unbeatable hand. 'Looks like Lady Luck's not with you today, my pirate friend.'
The one-eyed pirate stared in momentary stunned silence as the redhead leaned forwards and reached out to rake the collected loot towards her.
'Well,' continued Monika. 'It's been a real pleasure, boys, but it's time for me to go and spend your money.'
Her smug, satisfied grin proved too much for the pirate. His hands shot out and slammed down on Monika's, preventing her from hauling in her winnings. 'Wait! I've heard of your reputation, Monika.'
The four other players murmured in general agreement.
The redhead's eyes glanced quickly at each of them. 'I'm known for a lot of things, fellas, so if you can't stand the heat then stay outta the forge.' Her gazed then settled on the pirate opposite, staring into his single eye. 'And unless you want to lose that other eye, I suggest you take your fucking hands off me. Now!'
The pirate snorted then sneered at her. 'You're not going anywhere.' He glanced at the four other men and, as one, they rose from their seats at the table. Two quickly flanked Monika and grabbed her arms, pulling her to her feet and restraining her. The remaining couple went to stand by the room's only door.
The one-eyed man walked around the table to stand in front of Monika.
'You're making a mistake,' she said.
'Am I?' replied the pirate as he reached out and took the cigar from Monika's mouth. He placed it between his lips, took a long pull, and blew a stream of smoke into the redhead's face. Monika blinked but showed no other sign of discomfort, her expression fixed into a stony glare. The pirate then addressed the other players.
'Well boys, I think this bitch has cheated us. A Clutch of Dragons? In all my years I've never seen one played! But, I'm not the kind to make accusations without proof.' He smirked as he looked into Monika's green eyes. 'That just wouldn't be fair now, would it? Best check for hidden cards, eh?' His smirk transformed into a leering grin as the other men murmured their agreement. They could tell where this was going.
Sure enough, the pirate grabbed the bottom of Monika's crimson vest-top and yanked it upwards in a sudden motion, exposing the woman's large, naked breasts. This met with cheers of approval from the men but Monika didn't even flinch at being laid bare.
The one-eyed man enjoyed the view for a moment before addressing the others. 'Well, no cards here! Now, where else could she be hiding them?' He reached out and took hold of the fastening on Monika's belt.
'You son of a whore,' her voice was calm and filled with venomous loathing.
The pirate smiled and stepped closer. 'I'm just getting star-' His comment was cut short as Monika threw her head forwards, smashing it down onto the man's nose.
There was a crunching sound as cartilage snapped and the pirate spat out the cigar as he collapsed to the floor, clutching his bleeding face. Seizing her chance as the men holding her stared in momentary stunned silence, Monika slammed a booted heel down onto the toes of the man on her right. It was enough for him to release her arm and hop backwards, allowing her to focus on her second assailant. She twisted and her freed hand lashed upwards in a palm strike directed at the man's nose. His face became a picture of surprise and shock, his mouth forming a wide 'O' as Monika's palm drove his nose up into his brain.
As the man fell to his knees, dead, the redhead turned at the sound of running feet. One of the gamblers by the door charged at her, intent on taking her off her feet and down to ground. As he leaped at her, Monika grabbed one of his arms, threw herself backwards onto the floor, pulling the man with her as she placed a foot on his chest. As the attacker went over her, she pushed her foot, adding to the man's own momentum and sending him sailing through the air where he crashed through the closed window to plummet screaming to the ground below.
Even as the man was airborne, Monika nimbly flipped back up to her feet just as the gambler whose foot she had stomped on came at her.
The new aggressor threw a wild haymaker punch, intending to smash the redhead in the jaw. The attack was clumsy and Monika stepped inside the blow, grabbing his fist with her left hand while her right thrust out in a knife-hand strike to the man's throat, causing him to falter as he gagged. It was enough for the woman to use his own force against him and she twisted the man's wrist as she ducked under the arm and turned her hips. The gambler was lifted off his feet as his arm torqued in a corkscrew, the bones snapping under the pressure. Monika kept hold of his wrist as he went through the air and, when he was at his highest point, she jerked her grip down towards the floor. The man screamed briefly as he was slammed into the table, shattering the wood and scattering the cards and collected loot. When he didn't move, Monika finally released his mangled arm. She turned to face the other man that stood by the door.
'Well?' she said.
The man threw his hands up in a disarming gesture. 'Hells no! Far as I'm concerned you won fair and square!'
Monika smirked, knowing fine well that his change of heart was more likely a result of what she had just done to his companions rather than his opinion of how she played the game. She pulled her top back down and adjusted herself as she surveyed the carnage.
The pirate lay on the floor, groaning and holding his gushing nose. He was either oblivious to what had just happened or too concerned with his shattered proboscis to care. One man lay facedown in a pool of his own blood. He was clearly dead. Another was crumpled amongst the broken ruins of the gambling table. Monika glanced at the smashed window idly wondering if the man she had sent through it had survived the fall. Could she hear laughter from the street below?
The redhead spotted her cigar amongst some scattered coins and picked it up, wiping the end where the pirate had had it in his mouth. She quickly gathered a few of the largest gems and a handful of gold coins, securing them in her belt pouch. A groan from the fallen pirate caught her attention and she moved to stand over him. Taking a draw on the cigar, she blew a long plume of smoke over him.
'Told you you were making a mistake, didn't I?' She then kicked him hard in the face. The pirate's head snapped back and he slumped back onto the ground unconscious.
Monika looked meaningfully at the man that remained by the door. He quickly pulled it open for her. The redhead strode over to the exit and paused in front of the gambler, hiding a hand behind her back.
'Hold out your hand,' she said to him with a hint of a smirk.
The man blinked and looked apprehensive, but did as he was instructed. Monika revealed her hidden fist and opened it, dropping several previously concealed playing cards into his palm. She gave him a wide grin.
'Life's a bitch, huh?' She broke into a laugh at the man's wide-eyed expression then walked out the door. She may have cheated, but she had just left the remaining loot to the shocked-looking man so she was sure he wouldn't mind too much.
As she made her way down the stairs to the bar below, where she planned to compensate the owner for the death and damages, a small gem-encrusted ring on her finger began to glow, radiating a pale blue light.
Monika glanced at the stone and blew a stream of smoke out in a mildly annoyed sigh.
'A woman's work is never done.'
It would have been easy to do an image here of Monika with her tits out, considering what happens in this chapter, but I thought this approach was better. The image is only meant to be representative of the text so your imagination can fill in the blanks.
After some thought, I have to decided to pretty much stick to posting illustrated written pieces. I believe it is probably my stongest ability - though I'm not going to blow my own trumpet like some people do - I just think that my writing ability is better than my rendering ability. Especially when compared to many of the, frankly, AWESOME artists found here.
There may be an occassional one-off image (I still intend to do the monthly pin-up thing) or character study, but I mean to keep the stories rolling out. It may not draw as many views (not so many naked ladies! LOL!) but I hope that the few that take the time to read enjoy what I produce.
Thanks for any views or comments left.
Jan 16, 2013 5:25:25 amby Diemamker Homepage »
AWESOME!!!!!.... I knew she was cheating... she probably just does it for kicks... poor dum shits didn't know who they where messing with!...
I think your stories and renders are AWESOME, far better than mine... I just wing it the best I can. reading this, It would make an great series of action scenes.
Can't wait to see more... Excellently done!!
Jan 16, 2013 9:42:03 amby barryjeffer Homepage »
You keep doing what you do my friend... those who don't take the time to look and read are the losers at any rate. Your descriptive style of writing and the illustrations you do are some of the finest here. You keep clicking those keys and we will do the trumpet blowing for you!
Bravo Zander, and good choice to go with the render you did!!!
Jan 16, 2013 11:36:00 amby KnightWolverine Homepage »
Well for me Big Z I find a balance between what you write and what you create and what really is most important is that your happy and comfortable with what you create no more or less.I for one enjoy a good read/scene depiction and especially so when it makes ones imagination see the out come from just reading.
So IMO you really shouldn't be so hard on yourself about your abilities and last time i checked this is an "Art" site and you do allow critiques so that means your open for suggestions to improving what your ability is already allowing you to do. For myself....One can't grow without imput.Like i mentioned before...I enjoy what you do no matter what and i for one like the balance between your renders/images/writing's (though i wish for me that they were longer...yes i said longer..lol)...as when I'm deep into what is going on in any particular chapter to not be able to begin the next chapter until you finish it...lol....You know them kinda books...The ones written so well that once you begin you can't put it down until you come to the part that says "The End"...
Jan 16, 2013 11:49:28 amby SidheRoseGraphics Online Now! Homepage »
Glad to see Relic Hunters back Alex! There is absolutely nothing wrong with your renders. I think they rock :) This is perfect for the story, which is outrageous and well-written. With Monika in the mix we can always expect some action and this does not fail to deliver!! Your stories are awesome!!