Ciri had been on the path for coming up on two years now. She didn't keep track of time much. She didn't have a need to. Traveling alone tended to get lonely. Geralt told her this when she made her decision to become a witcher. Ciri knew that the rest of them managed the loneliness just fine. Or they pretended to at least. Two witchers that she knew cured their loneliness by finding themselves a sorceress. Geralt had Yen and Lambert had Keira, the first pairing made sense. As for the second one, that's a different story. But many people believe that opposites attract and that appeared to be the case. Ciri had even heard rumors that the court adviser to King Tancred Thyssen of Kovir had been spending time with a brunette witcher with a ghastly scar on his face. She really hoped that it was true. She'd decided to "accidentally" travel through Kovir to see if it was true for herself. But for now she was in Novigrad. In Novigrad and lonely. Very lonely.
There was one lesson Geralt didn't teach Ciri, how to cure her loneliness. When he wasn't with Yen, he did this in a way that he thought wouldn't appeal to Ciri. He thought. Ciri had made up her mind. She was going to find a remedy for her loneliness by accompanying a beautiful young woman. By accompanying a beautiful young woman into bed.
Geralt and Ciri traveled together for over a year. He taught her everything that he knew. But when they weren't training, they would share stories of their many adventures. Ciri remembered one story that she was told about a gwent tournament that took place inside a very high class brothel with a very kind madame. She loved this story. A gwent tournament that turned into a heist. How exciting. Geralt "forgot" to tell her the bit where he slept with the Nilfgaardian spy but that part didn't matter much anyway. The story isn't what she cared for at this moment though. She only cared about the brothel where this tournament took place. The Passiflora, she remembered the name but could not remember the location. However, she did remember that it was near Temple Isle but she had not a clue how to get there. Ciri didn't have a map of the city but she was in luck. When Nilfgaard took control of Novigrad, they decided to do something nice for travelers. They put up maps of the city at various points in the vast urban jungle that was Novigrad. Who would have thought that Nilfgaard would help Ciri in the end after all.
She checked the map of the city located in the former "Hierarch Square" now renamed to "Riannon Square" in honor of one of Ciri's ancestors. Emhyr certainly didn't want people to forget the family that he came from. She decided to check out the local notice board there as well and picked up a contract that read "DROWNERS IN THE SEWERS!" The guard the posted it said on the sheet to visit him at the market near the Tretegor Bridge anytime during the day. It was now late at night so she had a night before she would contact the man about taking care of the drowners.
The green eyed, ashen-haired witcheress traveled north through the city hidden under the veil of her light tan hood. It was hard to look inconspicuous with a wolf medallion around her neck and two swords on her back. Both swords at thirty-eight and a half inches long and 40 ounces were impossible to conceal. She didn't care if people saw that she was a witcher, she just didn't want the guardsman who patrolled vehemently at night to see her face. An ashen-haired witcheress traveling alive and well was sure to raise a few questions. She was supposed to be dead after all. An intelligent guardsman seeing her could mean him reporting his sighting to a higher ranking officer. And higher ranking officers report to Emhyr. Ciri highly doubted that Emhyr was gullible enough to fall for such a lie as "Ciri is dead." Geralt was never the best liar after all. But that being said, Ciri didn't know what Emhyr would do if he found out that she was alive and well in the city that he now called home. The former Temple of the Church of the Eternal Fire was now the Royal Palace of Nilfgaard and home to the Emperor. According to information she had acquired throughout her travels, Emhyr was being a kinder ruler than before. He had killed all those who conspired against him but then decided to do some good. Maybe Geralt had slapped some sense and some reality into him when he went to speak with him last. "You weren't a good father to her." That sentence possibly made a gear in Emhyr's head click into place. Maybe, just maybe, Emhyr would try to be to his people what he couldn't be to Ciri.
Ciri threw these thoughts out of her head quickly and focused on remembering the route to The Passiflora. She didn't need anymore stress in her life. Just as she was closing in on the brothel she was interrupted by a scream. Two screams. One of a man and the other of a woman.
"HELP" screamed the man then the woman.
Ciri instantly went running off in the direction of the screams. The guardsman in Novigrad were now helpful but in their heavy armor, the people in need could be dead by the time they arrive, so Ciri took matters into her own hand. Helping people was her career after all. She didn't like using her powers in urban areas but time was of the essence. She dashed down the street at inhuman speeds, a bright glowing lime-green light behind her.
"What the fuck was that?" a guardsman shouted
"Fuck if I know." the other guardsman quickly snarked back.
"You're fucking useless."
"True. But whatever it was, it looks like they are heading to help those screaming damsels down there."
"Ay, let's get drunk."
"After duty you damn dimwit. Is everyone from Metinna an idiot?"
"No, but everyone in Metinna can kick some arse."
Ciri came upon the alley where the screaming was coming from. She saw the man and the woman huddled up on the ground up against a wall. "Please sirs, we haven't anything cept' but the clothes on our backs." Ciri could sense the thick Nilfgaardian accent coming from the man. "The fuck you don't, all you damn Nilfs have coin and lots of it." This thug had a thick Redanian accent to him. Ciri realized that the Redanians that inhabited Novigrad must not have taken too kindly to loads of Nilfgaardians moving into their city. Most Redanians had adjusted just fine but these thugs clearly hadn't. Or they had but they needed an excuse to rob these people.
"There a problem here?" Ciri's voice was stern and fierce. Geralt and Yennefer had taught her how to speak with great confidence and ferocity.
"Ay, looky here bitch, this ain't none of your fucking concern. Now get lost."
"You didn't answer my question."
"Ay, we got a fucking comedian here." shouted another thug. "Forget these damn Nilfs, imma have some fun with this pretty little one here instead." said another thug.There was three in total. All fat and with a steel plate on their chests that looked like a beer belly. They certainly had one of those under the chest plate as well.
"Comedian? Wow, you are stupid. How many comedians have you seen that can do this?" As the last word escaped her mouth, she drew her sword.
"You wha?" the man was cut off by a lighting fast dash of green light hurling towards him. Before the fat man could react he was dead. The steel sword speared straight through the steel plate and impaled the heart of the fat thug. Ciri lifted her leg and kicked the man she stabbed in the gut and pushed off, pulling her sword out in the process. His corpse fell straight back. The other two thugs were frozen still. Ciri abilities had worked as a northern wind bomb in a sense. Her abilities shocked the life out of most people when they saw them. She didn't give them a chance to come to their sense. Ciri spun and slashed at the men, slicing straight through the man on the right and into the man on the left, knocking him over. One stab and one slash of her sword. Two men dead. The third man lay on the ground with his neck partially higher than the rest of his body. His right arm gripping his left shoulder. He was able to get out a few words in between his heavy breaths trying to stay alive.
"Ple- please, just leave me alone. I- I'm sorry."
"Why would I leave you alone? You said you were gonna have some fun with me and now you want me to leave you alone?" She couldn't help but want to laugh. When will they learn, she thought to herself.
"Please, I'm beggin' you."
"No!" Ciri interrupted. "You were gonna harm them and I. I've met plenty like you. You never learn you're lesson."
"No, ple-." He wasn't able to finish his sentence as her blade pierced his cheap plate armor going straight through into his heart. Ciri had to do it. Some bad people deserve a second chance. But when you cross a witcher, you don't get a second chance.
Ciri turned towards the man and the woman who had now risen to their feet. They looked relieved but scared all the same.
"Sorry." Ciri said, she knew watching a witcher kill could be as thrilling as it was terrifying. "I acted on an impulse."
"Th- thank you, master. You saved our lives."
Ciri nodded her head to acknowledge the thank you. "What did they want from you?"
"Coin. They always want coin."
"This happened to you before!?" Ciri said astonished.
"Not to us." the woman spoke up for the first time. "To other Nilfgaardians that moved here to Novigrad. Most of the cities residents have accepted us and welcomed us but some don't. And those that don't have made their presence known."
"Oh, well stay safe, probably shouldn't stay out too late at night in these parts." Ciri said and turned her back to walk out of the alley.
"Wait!" the man shouted. "You saved us, is there anyway we can thank you?"
Ciri was getting a bit annoyed. Not at the man. Not at the woman. Not even at the three thugs that she had to kill. "Show me the way to Passiflora." Ciri was too stressed out to feel embarrassed. She had forgotten the route she tried to memorize. She was going to that brothel tonight by any means necessary.
"Um, uh yes." The mans awkwardness radiated off of him. He was clearly taken aback by this strange request and felt a bit strange by it. "Would you like to follow us there?"
"Yes, and don't ask why I'm going there either please."
The man nodded his hand and took the woman, knew Ciri amused was his wife or partner, in his hand. He exited the alley and headed back the way Ciri came. She followed for about ten minutes until coming upon an elegant and large brick and wooden building.
"Fucking finally" Ciri exclaimed loudly and passed the Nilfgaardians as she walked greedily towards the brothel.
Chapter 2: The Passiflora
A bouncer stood at the door. The man looked friendly enough even as he tried to keep a stern face. "Greetings madam" he said to Ciri as she approached.
"Hello" replied Ciri as she lowered her hood. She paid little attention to the man, walking straight past him and entering the brothel. She needed to relax as soon as possible. She was quite shocked that weaponry was allowed in the brothel. Inside of the brothel, there were numerous security guards. Some were workers making sure that no one got out of line and some were city guards looking to unwind after a day on the job. The building was surprisingly idle. There was a fair amount of people but not as many as Ciri expected. Maybe a new brothel has opened up, Ciri thought to herself. Without the overbearing presence of the Eternal Fire in the city, people were far more elated and relaxed. They were much more likely to visit a brothel now that they didn't have to worry about the Church's hypocritical iron fist coming down on them.
Ciri was instantly approached by the Madame of the Passiflora, Marquise Serenity.
"Greetings, miss." The madame hesitated for a second before continuing. "Excuse my impertinence but is that a genuine witcher wolf medallion around your neck?"
"Um, yes it is. Why"
"Are you a witcher?"
"No, I wear the medallion and the swords for fun." Ciri replied sarcastically. She couldn't help herself.
"Sorry, stupid question. But I believe I have met your father. Geralt of Rivia."
Ciri wasn't at all surprised that the madame had met Geralt. She was aware that Geralt had his fair share of run-ins with escorts during his time as a witcher. She was more surprised that the madame said Geralt was her father. Surely she knew that witcher's couldn't have children. But she had no problem with the comment none the less.
"Um, yes. Geralt of Rivia. Yes my father."
"Ah, like father like daughter." the madame said in her very seductive tone. Ciri was slightly turned on by it. Her seductive tone mixed with her accent had made Ciri tingly.
Ciri gave a faint smile then began to look around waiting for the madame to speak again.
So, I assume you're here for the same reasons he was, dear?
"Yes, I am. Though there doesn't appear to be a Gwent tournament here today." As much as Ciri wanted to cut the small talk and find herself a lady to spend the night with she couldn't help herself. She loved sarcasm. She was Yennefer's daughter after all.
"Hmm, did Geralt say that he only came in here for gwent? Ah, either way. I think I know why you're here. Most of the ladies and through that door. Can I get you a drink?"
"A glass of Beauclair White would be nice."
"Sure dear." The madame turned and walked towards a bar and waved her hand for Ciri to follow.
"Get this young lady a glass of Beauclair White, Jonesy dear." the madame said to the bartender.
"Yes, coming right up, and please stop calling me Jonesy madame."
"How much do I owe you?" Ciri asked politely.
"Not a copper, dear. First drink is free. Besides you're father has given us quite enough coin in the past. Should cover your tab for a while.
"Thank you." Ciri replied kindly taking the glass of wine. "Please enjoy your stay." And with that the madame walked away back to greet other patrons.
Ciri headed through the door leading to a large room with fancy furniture that spanned from tables to couches to booths. It was a bit too fancy for Ciri's taste but she wasn't there to enjoy the furniture. She was there to enjoy the woman. But of course, as this night would entail, she was interrupted. This time not by screams from civilians. This time not by a bouncer or a madame. But by a dwarf. A very familiar sounding dwarf. "Oh no, not now, not tonight" Ciri thought to herself. It was Zoltan. In the same brothel. At the same time.
"Ciri!' Zoltan said in his familiar cheer filled voice. "What're doing here?"
"Oh, you know just having a drink." She said this cheekily, slightly blushing.
"Ah, I see. Well then" Zoltan looked down and slightly to the left while scratching behind his head. "How've you been?"
"Fine" Ciri replied quickly to try and avoid getting into a conversation here and now. Anytime else, she would love to sit down and have a chat with Zoltan but not here, not now.
"What're you drin- she interrupted him.
"Would you mind not telling Geralt about this? I'd rather him not now about my being here." She quickly retorted.
"Ah, of course, not his business, not my business. Um well..."
"Well, be sein' you, Zoltan." Ciri said. She then quickly turned slightly to the left and walked towards a beautiful young lady dressed in black lingerie. She had short brown hair that looked like Fringilla Vigo's just with a different color. Ciri no longer had time for subtlety.
"How much for all night?" Ciri quickly asked the female escort. Zoltan watched Ciri approach her and was a bit shocked. He had noticed the way Ciri looked at some woman but chalked it up just as one female admiring another female. He didn't know that Ciri was a lesbian, or at least bisexual. But this had no matter to Zoltan. He shrugged his shoulders, turned around, and headed out of the room.
"Deal." Ciri quickly said, grabbing the woman's hand and quickly hurrying in the way that the escort led her. 350 crowns was pricey but the contract Ciri had picked up was sure to pay enough to cover Ciri's much needed relaxation tonight.
Ciri pushed open the door to the room, locked the door, picked up her escort and moved the both of them over to the bed.
"Wow, somebody is excited."
"Shut up and make love to me." Ciri said as she threw herself on the woman, pushing her over onto the bed.
"Don't you even want to know my name first....you know so you have something to scream tonight?"
"Yes, yes what is it already!"