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Fantasy All's Fair

Sub Genres
LGTBQ Friendly, Magical, Romance

Conifer

Junior Member
The dance was completely forgotten now. She moved with Avther, her feet remembering to do what her mind could barely keep track of, but the steps of it were more muscle memory than intentional anymore. He was much too distracting for that.

"I think," she says, quietly, faintly amused and entirely overwhelmed in the best ways, "That we would cause a scandal large enough to power tohe gossip mills for weeks." Despite its truth, there's humor in her tone. "And, I think," Remin adds. "That it would be the most genuine emotion that room has managed to see in years."
 

Aerynth

Member
"I mean, if they're so bored as to spread gossip about two married people, perhaps we should give them decent material to work with. Proper behavior probably won't make them like me more, so we may as well bring some spice into their lives, eh?" Not that Cyreia actually planned to do that, but the idea still made her smile. "Who knows? Maybe, if we try hard enough, they'll forget the part about me being a Eupriunian invader and I'll come down in history as that guy who can't help but be embarrassingly affectionate with his wife instead." There was no way they'd ever let her forget who she was, of course, and she didn't even want it. Forgetfulness led to repeating one's old mistakes in one way or another. Getting too comfortable and losing sight of what had landed her here would have been far too dangerous, far too irresponsible. As a fantasy, though? Harmless, definitely harmless, even if it made her heart hurt a bit.

They continued to dance, enjoying the anonymity the crowd provided, until the music stopped and they came to a halt. It didn't seem like the event was ending just yet, but the performers needed a few minutes to recuperate before the next song. It must have been terribly hot on the stage with all the fire-swallowers and the like, moreso than in the streets, and Cyreia admired them for being able to keep going despite that. Even if they had no real excuse to remain in each other's arms, she was reluctant to let Remin go, to spoil this perfect moment and go back to the appropriate ways. Eventually, the spell had to be broken, though. "Thank you for the dance," Cyreia smiled at her as she moved away, at which point it occurred to her that she had no gift for her wife. This had been their first real dance - the chaos that had happened in Caldora could hardly be regarded as one - and the Eupriunian tradition demanded for her to commemorate it with a gift. It was probably a silly thing to dwell on, really, especially since their relationship hadn't exactly followed the traditional pattern, but... well, maybe that was exactly the reason she wanted to do it now. To make up for not being able to court her properly before. "Wait a moment," she told Remin, "I'll be right back."

What to get her, though? Technically, Cyreia could probably buy the entire city now, but what meaning would it hold? It wasn't her money. Didn't that kind of defeat the purpose? Besides, Remin was likely used to receiving extravagant gifts; she had to be, as the only daughter of the late king and queen. How could she ever hope to give her something worthy of her? Something that would stand out amidst the sea of other presents? That was when she noticed a patch of flowers in the middle of the square. They were wholly ordinary - flowers you'd find growing in meadows and such - but they bloomed with the kind of resilience reserved solely for plants nobody bothered to water and care for. Maybe I can't give her anything of value, but perhaps I can give her something nobody has ever given her before. Cyreia sincerely doubted that anyone had been brazen enough to offer the crown princess flowers that were probably deemed to be weeds; that would have been colossally stupid. It did sound like a stupid idea even to her, but had that ever stopped her before? No, of course not.

When Cyreia returned to Remin, her arms were full of bright flowers. "Here," she said and handed her the improvised bouquet with a sheepish smile. "It's not much, I know. Almost nothing, really, but... well, it's a custom in my country to give something to a woman after your first dance together. If you value her, that is. Not that I didn't value you in Caldora, it's just that I didn't think you wanted to be approached like that back then, and there was also the mess with my magic, so I kind of forgot." God, why did communication have to be so complicated? How did she always manage to turn herself into a blubbering fool in front of her wife? So utterly pathetic. "Maybe I should just shut up at this point," Cyreia sighed. "That would probably make me look better."
 
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Conifer

Junior Member
Remin laughed brightly at the suggestion, imagining the reactions to the two of them being like this - or worse than this, even - at the party. It wouldn't go well at all, of course, but she could imagine a world where it would. Where their affection for each other would slip in neatly and replace the distrust of him, the effects of the war, and could be the focus instead. Where their sneaking away to spend quiet moments together would be a source of amusement instead of scorn. Maybe some day that could be the case, but that day wasn't yet.


She watches with faint amusement as Avther slips from her arms, seeing him vanish off into the sparse crowd that surrounded them. She tried to keep an eye on him, but that didn't prove to be manageable for too long. Gods, what was he getting up to, she wondered? She waited in place, amused, until she caught glimpses of him through the people talking advantage of the lull in entertainment to to chat.


What she hadn't been expected to return with him was this haphazard collection of flowers, bright and colorful as the dancers from just before, offered out to her. She also hadn't expected the way that this gift, earnest as anything and expecting nothing from her, would affect her. She was struck speechless as she accepted the bouquet. /If you value her/. "--Gods." She laughs softly, starstruck and hating the way her eyes stung. They were just flowers, probably plucked from the side of the road. They should affect her this much, and yet, these were the most important flowers she'd ever held in her hands. "Thank you, Avther. Truly. They're beautiful."
 

Aerynth

Member
Cyreia was convinced that she couldn't have chosen worse words to explain the nature of her gift to Remin. That assessment was probably right, too. Few people managed to preface an act of kindness with a speech detailing all of the failings associated with performing the said act. As always, though, Remin looked past the clumsiness of her statements and focused on her actions instead. That was one of the things she loved about her; that ability to understand her, really understand her, despite Cyreia going out of her way to make it as difficult as possible for her. Maybe it didn't matter that she couldn't express herself as eloquently as she would have liked at times. Not when her sentiments reached Remin anyway.

"You're welcome," she beamed at her wife, moved by the honesty in her voice. It had been a poor gift for a queen, really, and many people would have probably taken it as an insult. A mark of disrespect towards her status. Not Remin, though, never Remin. God, Cyreia was so lucky to have her. Had she been married off to someone more conservative, they would have probably clawed each other's eyes out by now. "I would have bought something for you, but it didn't really feel right as I wouldn't be buying it with my own money. I'm afraid you will have to make do with handmade gifts in the future and since I have no experience with crafts, you probably won't get anything more beautiful than this," Cyreia laughed gently. Perhaps she would learn in time, though. Perhaps it was never too late for her to learn new things; things divorced from the shadows of her past. She would certainly try. Finding a new hobby to keep her hands busy couldn't hurt. "Anyway, would you like to see something else before we return to pick up the clothes? I suppose they should be ready by now, but if you want to explore some more, I wouldn't mind." They wouldn't have a lot of free time after they left Thornhold, after all. Lady Everbright's birthday party would be no place for foolishness of any kind.
 

Conifer

Junior Member
“Not yet,” she shifts her beautiful prize into one arm, making sure it’s settled close against her and protected from the crowds - she can’t keep them long, not when travelling like this, but she can keep them looking nice for as long as she can and press them into a spare notebook while they travel tomorrow. She won’t forget these, and she won’t let time take them from her. Perhaps she can have them pressed between glass when they return - framed and hung in her room. The first gift he’s given her besides his understanding and the ring against her finger - which she’s well aware he had no hand in picking out, just as she had no hand in his. Those hardly count. With her now-free hand, she takes his, and begins to lead him. Where - she’s not really sure, but she’ll know it when she sees it.

There. A quiet service road ducking off the main one, where nothing but an empty cart stood - easily out of sight, with the way the buildings were shaped. “Allow me to to show you how quick a learner I can be, my fool,” Remin teases, determined, tugging him down into the alleyway. She’s grinning and giddy and nervous as she pulls him into a particularly out of view place. Some grass is trampled beneath their feet, against this corner. “And let me show you my understanding of your first lesson.”

And then, without further preamble, she kisses him - it’s soft and sweet and nearly innocent, if not for the way it drags out to almost neediness. She trusts that he can see her appreciation for the flowers, but she wants further than assuming he knows - and, honestly, she’s been dying to kiss him properly again since the night before. They can’t get that lost in it again, not for a while, but they can have this tiny moment.
 

Aerynth

Member
"Alright," Cyreia surrendered to her enthusiasm for exploration, "but I don't think there's anything particularly interesting in that direction." It looked like Remin was leading her away from the chattering crowd, away from the streets pulsating with life, away from everything, really. Not that Cyreia wanted to criticize her choices, but what kind of entertainment could she hope to pursue in this empty alley?

Oh. Oh, I see what this is about now. That was the extent of her analysis before her thoughts - and she as well - melted in the kiss. Had she had the capacity to do so, Cyreia would have asked herself whether this was a wise course of action, arrived to the conclusion that no, it really wasn't, and pulled away. Anybody could see them here, after all. It wasn't like this location was secret or especially hidden from the public. Scenarios of people wandering here to enjoy some peace from the chaos of the celebration weren't unfeasible in the slightest. But honestly, so what? The likelihood of anyone recognizing them at this point seemed slim to none and the small chance of it somehow happening anyway was actually rather thrilling. Few things could be as exciting as flirting with danger. Remin was one of them.

Unable to stop herself, Cyreia moaned quietly and deepened the kiss. Once again, her arm ended up wrapped around her wife's waist and she pulled her closer. In direct contrast with Remin, her way of kissing certainly wasn't innocent. She wanted her too much for that; wanted to lose herself in her, wanted to do more than this even. How long had it been since they had kissed the last time? It must have been an entire eternity. "What a talented student you are," she whispered when their lips finally parted. "Maybe you'll even surpass me in the future." Cyreia caressed her cheek softly, her eyes full of fondness. "I can't wait until we get home, though. Then I will be able to teach you... more advanced lessons." What exactly did she mean by that? Cyreia didn't really know, but they would certainly find out together when the right time came. That made the promise infinitely more exciting.
 
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Conifer

Junior Member
“I’ll have to practice where I can with this lesson, then.” She murmurs softly, grinning softly at him in the shadows provided by the buildings. “Make sure I really understand it before you get more complicated on me.” She wanted to kiss him again (and again, again, again,) but he had been right, before - his clothes were likely ready, or would be shortly, and they had places to be. Reluctantly, she moves away from him and reaches up to re-fix her scarf over her mark. It was time to stop this silly dalliance in washrooms and alleyways, at least for now. There would be unfortunately little time for it - and more importantly, little space for it, away from judging eyes - once they got back on their horses, but she would survive. She had for the rest of her life until this point.

“Come on, my fool,” She offers out her arm to him, pressing one last kiss to his cheek when he takes it, before they emerge back into the brightness of the world beyond that tiny street. It’s not far to the tailor’s, and it doesn’t take long to collect his clothes. Usually, Avther would try them on again, make sure they truly fit properly, but Remin thought it might be best if they skipped that step, judging by the trouble he’d caused in here before. It would fit, and if it didn’t, they would figure it out. She was handy enough with a needle when she had to be, or there would be tailor on hand at the party to fix any last-minute rips or tears.So, it was as simple as paying the man (an amount she hoped Avther didn’t notice,) and collecting the neatly packaged robes, before they were back out the door and headed to the carts. “Was there anything you wanted to do, before we left town?” Remin asks, as they head back over. “We should leave soon, but we could make time.”
 

Aerynth

Member
All pleasant things had to end, it seemed, and they also had to return to their duties. Cyreia sighed, her unwillingness to leave crystal clear, but she didn't dare to protest. They weren't really supposed to be here in the first place; even that little moment they had allowed themselves to enjoy had been stolen. She should be grateful for it instead of being greedy for more. That was exactly the problem, though, wasn't it? With Remin, she always wanted more. Would she spend the rest of her life in this state of constant longing? Well, I can certainly imagine worse things. Like not yearning for anything at all, for example. Cyreia hadn't realized it before, not when she had been caught up in the rhythm of her old life, but god, her existence had been so grey back then. Just waking up in the morning, eating some food, training for old time's sake, then disappearing under mountains and mountains of paperwork and going to sleep. Most of her days had looked like that. It hadn't really bothered her back then, except that now when she had something to actually compare it with, it had felt like being stuck in a coffin.

Unfortunately, Cyreia did notice how much they paid the tailor for the robe. It didn't surprise her at this point, not really, but she still had to bite her tongue because the words that threatened to spill out of her mouth were not pleasant. This wasn't just about her not being used to handling large sums of money anymore. After witnessing Easthaven, Hadsberry and everything in between, spending so much money on a single article of clothing - clothing she wouldn't even wear most of the time - seemed downright immoral. Of course, deep inside, Cyreia understood that this was how the game of politics was played. Nothing but shadows and illusions, really. It was empty, so tremendously empty, except that didn't mean that she could just ignore it. Not in the slightest. In the strange world of nobility, being perceived as powerful somehow translated into actually being powerful. If it required wearing ridiculously expensive outfits, Cyreia would do just that. Probably through gritted teeth, but she would do it, as much as she would have liked to show up in her old armor instead and watch all those scandalized stares. It's for the good of the realm, Cyreia reminded to herself. If they approve of me, it will be easier to bend them to my will.

"Well, there are things I'd like to do," she smiled at Remin as they exited the shop, hopefully to never return again, "but none of them could be described as a good idea. Let's continue with our journey. God knows that we don't want to arrive late." They would attract a lot of attention even without that, that much was sure. "Nothing really seems to go according to the plan, so we should probably head out in advance so that we have some time to fight off all the assassins that will inevitably try to kill us and such. You know, the usual things."

Despite Cyreia's grim assessment of the situation, the rest of the trip passed rather uneventfully. The weather was good, too; sunny, but not too hot, the sweet breeze in their faces felt refreshing. As always, she opted to ride her horse instead of hiding in the carriage and she didn't regret that decision. "So," she turned towards Remin, "lady Everbright and her family. You said that they were rather extravagant. What does that mean, exactly? What will be expected of us? And will there be anyone in particular I should be wary of? I know that the answer is everyone, but it doesn't hurt to know your enemy beforehand." Was she being too pessimistic? Perhaps, but Cyreia didn't really have the best experiences with the Athean nobility so far. She couldn't blame them for hating the usurper, she supposed, but her understanding of their situation didn't mean that she would quietly let them dispose of her. Cyreia wasn't nearly as kind.
 

Conifer

Junior Member
“Everyone.” She confirms with a soft laugh. “I unfortunately don’t know the entire guest list. But it’s safe to guess that there will be a good amount of people who...don’t enjoy us terribly.” Hopefully, the sheer amount of people keep them safe. No one would dare try to do much besides subtle words and judging looks. “The birthday girl herself is harmless. She’s...scatterbrained at the best of times, and downright foolish any other. But she’s sweet. She really is. I don’t know her terribly well, admittedly, but I wouldn’t expect any trouble from her besides romantic ideas of your career as a soldier. Her sister heads the house, and she’s much more dangerous.” She admits. “I don’t think she means anything against us. It’s hard to tell. But just...be careful around her. Don’t tell anything to Lady Everbright that you wouldn’t want the other Lady Everbright to hear about. They have a younger brother, but I’d be surprised if we saw much of him. And if we do, I’m not too concerned over him.”

“Mostly what will be expected of us will be for us to chat nicely, compliment dresses, dance occasionally.” She shrugs softly. “Not seem too fond of each other. It won’t be very exciting, I admit. But the food will be delicious, and thankfully unpoisoned.” It might be fun, though - she looked forward to it more than she'd dare admit to him. After they'd both snuck out of their wedding ceremony before all of the actual party parts, it might be nice, to be together at a party like this. To pretend that this was their party, perhaps. Too see him dressed up and want to look at him, not away from him.
 

Aerynth

Member
"Naivety can be nice if it's administered in small doses," Cyreia said with a tiny smile. There wasn't anything bad about innocence, really. It might be refreshing even, to have someone think that her career had been full of... rescuing fair maidens and slaying villains, not full of largely senseless bloodshed. She wouldn't pop lady Everbright's bubble. If she wanted to believe in the kind of world where such things were true, it wasn't her place to destroy that illusion. Life would probably do it on its own sooner or later. Besides, it would be easier to win her approval if she considered her to be a hero rather than a butcher. Wasn't that why they had set out on this journey in the first place? To foster friendly relations?

"Alright, I think I can do that," Cyreia nodded. She wanted to say more than that, wanted to complain about the futility and shallowness of it all, but she swallowed her words. Remin had been right. This was part of her life now and protests would get her exactly nowhere. In the end, it would only impact Remin's mood and that was the last thing she wanted. No, her wife shouldn't be expected to deal with such childish behavior. So what if Cyreia didn't enjoy parties? She also hadn't enjoyed many things that had been required of her back in Eupriunia. A single birthday party wouldn't kill her.

It didn't take terribly long for them to reach the castle belonging to the Everbright family. This time, servants were expecting them, not the lady herself. They showed them their chambers first ("So that you can prepare yourself for the occasion, your highnesses"). That, of course, meant putting on something that wasn't their travel clothes. Frankly, the idea of wearing something as expensive as her new robe filled her with dread. How did people ever manage to relax like that, knowing that they could lose fortune with one wrong move? Did they just not think about it? Being surrounded by such luxury for your entire life probably did that to you, Cyreia supposed. Well, there's no point in trying to understand their thought processes. There really wasn't, so she got changed and met Remin outside.

"That tailor really wasn't lying about being good at his job. It fits me perfectly," Cyreia smiled at her wife. "And I must say, you look beautiful. I mean, you always do, but this is absolutely your color." They weren't supposed to look very close, granted, but she could at least use those last moments of privacy to praise her wife, couldn't she? Remin certainly deserved it. "Shall we go?" It wasn't really a question; they had no choice but to go, and so they did exactly that.

The moment they stepped into the main hall, Cyreia wished they hadn't done it. The atmosphere felt oppressive in ways she wasn't used to; loud music, colorful decorations, and masses of people. God, so many people. She had known that there would be a lot of guests, of course, but this? This exceeded all of her expectations, and not in a good way. How was she expected to breathe here, let alone engage in conversation with anyone?

"Welcome, welcome, your highnesses!" A young woman with fair hair beamed at them. Lady Everbright, Cyreia guessed. "I'm so glad that you made it! I shall tell all of my friends about it." Yes, definitely lady Everbright. "Congratulations on your marriage! It must have been so exciting, but unfortunately, I couldn't be present. Too many duties, as I'm sure you can imagine. Anyway, I hope that the journey wasn't too exhausting? Because there are many games to participate in!"
 
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Conifer

Junior Member
The party was certainly in full swing by the time that they’d both changed into their partyware are made their way, arm in arm, to the ballroom where the festivities were being held. A band played loudly over the chatter and laughter of everyone in attendance - which was far more people than even Remin expected. She shouldn’t have been surprised, since this was the first big event besides their wedding, which had been more of a rush job as far as parties went. It was the first chance to break out new clothes, to indulge, to truly celebrate without a shadow looming overhead. Of course half the country was here. Remin delighted in it as much as it terrified her - what would they all say to her? About her? About Avther? How many times would she have to bite back a reply at his defense?

Thankfully, none of that started now. Lady Everbright was more than excited to see them both, or was a wonderfully convincing liar, and Remin allowed her to direct her cheer towards them. Maybe her welcoming Avther like this would set a precedent for the rest of the party - no one would want to upset the birthday girl, after all. “Your party is beautiful, my Lady,” Remin smiles warmly, taking the girl’s gloved hands in her own equally covered in soft fabric. “It’s an honor to be here. I’m glad we were able to make it. Is that the band from Waynescoast that everyone’s been raving over? I’m impressed you managed to have them here. Last I’d heard they were booked through the year.”

Gods, this was nice, though. To be able to be free of handling bandits, to be free of anything that actually mattered. She could simply compliment frivolous things and charm those who benefitted from charming, and not worry about being stabbed for it. It was stressful in its own way, as anything was when it involved knowing what to say and want to stay silent over, but it was a familiar sort of stress. It was the second-skin stress she’d grown up with. “My king, come along,” She instructs, careful of her tone, as she lets Lady Everbright lead them into the party. Lingering near the door would only gain them looks. She catches a glimpse of someone in the crowd - oh, now that was an idea. “My lady, does there happen to be anyone from Olyveire in attendance tonight? I was explaining our method of schooling here to my husband, and he found it all very intriguing.” Maybe that would be good - a distraction from the party for Avther. A chance to sate his curiosity, or at least give him someone safe to talk to. “We wouldn’t want to bore anyone with too much talk of business, of course, not when there’s games to be played, but you know how those academic sorts are. Always eager to talk about their newest thing.”
 

Aerynth

Member
Thank god for Remin and her ability to blend in with these people so seamlessly. Blend in? No, that's not right. She's one of them. The days they had spent among smallfolk had almost made her forget about it; forget that she had been born and raised to do this. It was admirable, really, the way Remin could easily exist on both ends of the spectrum without insulting anyone. Cyreia, too, would have to learn how to do it, and since no amount of theory would help her in acquiring that particular skill, she would have to learn in the old-fashioned manner. By trial and error. Lady Everbright at least looked like a convenient person to practice on. She didn't seem to hate her, which was a good start. Cyreia took a deep breath.

"Yes, what a... grandiose event," she said. A little bit of flattery couldn't hurt, could it? Unless it, of course, sounded insincere. Cyreia certainly hoped it didn't; that was why she stuck to speaking the truth, more or less. The party really did feel grandiose to her, even if she didn't necessarily consider it to be a good thing. The lady didn't need to know that, of course. "You must be very well-loved, my lady, to have so many people celebrate your birthday."

"Oh, you are far too kind, your highnesses," lady Everbright smiled. And you have a remarkably good ear, my queen. Indeed, it's them! Aren't they wonderful? We have my sister to thank for their presence. I don't know how she managed to convince them, but she did. One of her little secrets, I suppose. I swear that she could make a bald man buy a comb." What had Remin said about her sister? That she was dangerous? Cyreia could see a glimpse of it now. People who knew how to get things done were not to be messed with. This was entirely benign, of course, but it painted a picture of her being a capable negotiator and that absolutely could be weaponized.

Lady Everbright furrowed her brow slightly when Remin mentioned Olyveire. "Why, yes, there are a couple of people. Magister Tyforth, for example, but I wouldn't really recommend seeking him out. He will bore you to death if you let him, and probably even if you don't. Not the best way to enjoy my party, I believe. Do you happen to be the scholarly type, my king?"

"Well, not in the traditional sense of the word, but I do value learning," Cyreia smiled. "I also think that your way of educating people is fascinating since it differs so much from what we did in Eupriunia. There's still so much I don't know, unfortunately." Talking to the magister actually did seem like a nice idea. At least they could discuss something of substance, if they managed to hear each other through the music. Once again, Cyreia was thankful for Remin and her interventions.

"Is his highness always like this?" she turned to Remin with a charming smile. "Work, work and more work? That's commendable, I know, but so boring. Come, let me introduce you to my friends instead! I'm sure you'll love them. We will have so much to talk about!" It seemed that their host wouldn't let them go so easily. Did Remin know how to escape from her clutches without offending her? Cyreia certainly hoped so, otherwise they'd be doomed to spend the evening with lady Everbright's inner circle. God, did the prospect of that terrify her.
 
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Conifer

Junior Member
“Well, the king has quite a bit to catch up on, you know.” Remin laughs - it’s charming and every bit intentional, all flattery, not the soft things that Avther’s coaxed from her. “He’s not boring, not by any means, but simply...dedicated. To improving himself for the sake of the kingdom.” It felt strange to talk of Avther as if he were elsewhere, but it wouldn’t hurt to leave his praises in the ear of someone like Lady Everbright. She had charmed most everyone she could, and her little group of friends had charmed the rest. Getting her vote of confidence in the king out there into the world might not serve them well with the common people, but with the higher society? It wouldn’t convince anyone, but it’d be a tiny push in the right direction. Her eyes scanned the crowd for the man - she’d seen him once or twice, when he’d come to speak with her parents on matters pertaining to the school, and she could only hope to recognise him now. “Oh, there he is,” She smiles, spotting him off in some corner, sipping from some glass and watching the crowd. He was an impressive looking man, with dark robes and red-turning-grey hair, neatly tamed into submission. “Avther, my king, he doesn’t seem busy at the moment. Why don’t you go speak with him? I’ll come to your rescue in a short while.” She would certainly not do that, unless he seemed like he needed rescuing - but a conversation over academics was probably less likely for him to need saving from than this season’s styles, or whatever Lady Everbright was dragging her off to discuss. However, it might be an excuse for /her/ escape later.

“Lead the way to your friends, my lady,” Remin turns back to their host, attention departed from Avther, hoping that he’d take the distraction to slip away. “With all this travelling, and the wedding, and-- all of it, it’s been ages since I’ve been up to date on anything. Are people still putting live birds on their shoulders in -where was it? Ecron? Or was it lizards on hats in Ecron, and birds in Tartuan?”
 

Aerynth

Member
"I think I'll do just that," Cyreia said, thankful for the opportunity Remin had created. "If you'll excuse me, lady. Worry not, I'll be sure to meet your friends later." The meeting wouldn't be very long if she had anything to say about it, but avoiding them all evening wouldn't be very wise, either. They had come here to make friends, despite her reservations, and nobody would be impressed by her arrival alone. No, she had to work on earning their trust. Cyreia just needed some time to... get used to all of this, really. The atmosphere, the music, the sheer number of people present. Talking to someone like Tyforth might help with that. Not that it would prepare her for conversing with the aristocrats - academics tended to communicate in a... rather different style - but it would probably make her lose some of the nervousness. If everything went right at the very least.

"Very well then, your highness, but don't say I didn't warn you," lady Everbright chuckled. "Do not hesitate to join us when you inevitably get tired of his lectures. I'm sure he doesn't mean to be the way he is, but once a teacher, always a teacher, I'm afraid. You'll know what I meant when you talk to him." With those words, the lady turned back to Remin. "Oh, I'm sure you must have been incredibly busy. And no, the bird thing was just a fad. There were... a lot of complications, as you can probably imagine. Too many robes were ruined by a bird's need to heed the call of nature," lady Everbright laughed. She led Remin to a table reserved for her friends; it was a bit isolated from all the other tables, so the people sitting there enjoyed a modicum of privacy. "If I remember correctly, wigs are all the rage in Ecron now. Wild, colorful wigs. You'd have to see it, your highness. Blue, I believe, is a particularly popular color. Look who I brought!" the lady beamed at the group of young men and women. "Our dearest queen." Suddenly, all eyes were on her. "I would have brought our king as well, but he couldn't resist the prospect of being lectured by magister Tyforth for some reason," she chuckled. "But no matter, perhaps it is good that he isn't present. At least you can speak freely, my queen. Tell us of your husband! Are all the stories true?"

Meanwhile, Cyreia managed to reach magister Tyforth. It was a good thing that he stood out so much in the crowd; she never would have been able to locate him otherwise. "Magister Tyforth, I presume?" she smiled at him. "I don't believe we've made acquaintance, but I would like to. I'm Avther." The king, though Cyreia supposed that she didn't need to add that bit. There wasn't a man, woman or child in Athea who didn't know her name by now. "Would it bother you terribly to talk about work-related issues? I know that this probably isn't the occasion, but, well, there are so many things to do, so little time and we are both here. I'm rather interested in your education system and improvements that could be made." She was also interested in other things, things of more personal nature, but Cyreia would have to determine whether the man was trustworthy enough for that first.
 

Conifer

Junior Member
“That depends on the stories you’ve heard, I suppose?” She laughs softly, taking a seat at the table. “But I’d wager whatever you heard’s been greatly dramaticized. He’s...just a man, really. In over his head, certainly, but proving a quick learner. Not as unkind as the stories of Euriunians would lead you to think.” She had to be careful to keep her fondness for him out of her tone. They weren’t lovers, they were barely even friends - to this lot, at least. To this lot, she was a woman forced to marry a war criminal. Some tragic, romantic thing /that/ whole story was. “Granted, I don’t know if that rings true for the rest of them, but he’s...Avther will make a decent king, and a husband better than some.” It, strangely, felt some sort of phantom hurt to diminish him so much. She wanted to speak honestly of him, of their relationship, of the fact that their relationship was turning into the brightest spot in her life. But here wasn’t the place for that - nor would there ever really be the place for that, unless it was just between the two of them.

Across the room, Tyforth was more than happy to meet Avther, shaking his hand with a too-tight grip and a slightly too-wide smile. “Your highness. An honor to meet you, honestly - no, it’d be no bother at all. Admittedly, these sorts of events are growing less and less to be my cup of tea, so any chance to focus on something else is more than welcome.” He chuckles. “What aspects are you interested in specifically? Do you know much about what we do? I’m never sure how much word spreads through country lines, especially in messes such as those of late.”
 

Aerynth

Member
Was it disappointment that flickered in lady Everbright's eyes? If it was, it disappeared quickly. "Well, I've heard all kinds of stories. It is good, then, that the worst of them don't appear to be true. I certainly wouldn't wish that on you, my queen." Those words, at the very least, sounded sincere. Whatever her motivations seemed to be, she didn't seem to wish Remin ill. "But there have to be some interesting stories to share. Would you indulge us, my queen? It's my birthday, after all!"

"Stop interrogating her, Mel," one of hef friends reprimanded her gently. "Her highness has barely had some time to breathe."

"I'm not interrogating anyone, least of all our queen," lady Everbright chuckled. "I wouldn't dare. It's just that the whole situation is so exciting. Marrying a foreign warrior? Honestly, I wish I was as lucky. My marriage prospects don't seem half as interesting," she said with a sigh. "All nice young men, of course. Very solid, from good families. Not too adventurous, though."

Discovering that Tyforth might be a kindred spirit, at least when it came to his opinion on parties, lifted some of the weight off her shoulders. It was a minor thing, really, but both this and his warm demeanor made her feel a little more at ease. "Likewise. And in that case, let us find a more quiet place to talk. I swear that I can barely hear myself." Cyreia looked around and indeed, there it was, a small balcony. Probably a place better suited for lovers who wished to enjoy each other's company rather than for two men discussing business matters, but it wasn't like they had a lot of options to choose from.

"I don't know much yet," Cyreia admitted when they retreated outside. The night air was cold against her skin, but it was pleasant, refreshing even. Hopefully it would help her think more clearly, too. "I'm afraid that I didn't have many opportunities to study the inner workings of other countries while in Eupriunia. I'm eager to learn now, though. My queen has described some of it to me and I like that you reach out even to people who live in isolated communities. That's an admirable pursuit. I've heard that the program is fairly new, though, so I imagine that there are certain aspects of it that you're struggling with or that could be improved. Is there anything like that?" Waltzing in and offering solutions to problems they had probably been working on for years would be downright foolish. Cyreia didn't think that this man who had dedicated his entire life to teaching others would be interested in being condescended to by a complete amateur. No, she would ask him first and share her opinions later.
 
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Conifer

Junior Member
"I'll be sure to send any dashing young warriors suitable for marriage that I might meet your way, my lady." Remin offers, teasing - though, there's enough people who come through court. Maybe she will send someone. "Or interesting folk, at least - perhaps a bard?" Few bards would be appropriate for her to marry, but there might be a few. But Remin wasn't here to play matchmaker (or was she? What else was she here for, really?).


"But, in all honesty, aside from some expected complications," unexpected near-death experiences, "Our trip here has been mostly mundane." She reached for a story that might clear the disappointment from her face, but came up mostly empty. Anything entertaining either revealed too much about their relationship or revealed too much about other things it would be best not to share with this lot. "We came across a town being tormented by bandits," she finally settled on. "They were hiding off in the woods and sneaking in. And - instead of sending our guards, or sending word from the castle - which we were not even a full day from - to handle the issue, Avther decided to charge in himself. I thought I'd be a widow before I'd even been married two days. But he came back shortly, barely a scratch on him, and the bandits dealt with. I'm not convinced they didn't die at the sight of the king charging in after them himself." There was no harm in being a /little/ dramatic. They'd put the drama in when they told the story next anyway - she might as well give it a bit of direction.


The magister seemed eager enough to escape the stifling warmth and sound of the ballroom, and followed Avther out onto the patio. "Oh, yes." He smiles, leaning out over the railing. Gorgeous gardens sprawled out beneath them, lit by tiny, flickering lights that flitted and floated along the path like multicolored fireflies. "It's still a smaller program than would be ideal. The people we do have are dedicated enough, but there's just never enough for all the communities we'd like to reach - and then in some of the larger communities, we have only one person where three or four would serve better. But that will all come with time. The program's been growing by the year. By the month, almost. We're just preparing to send three more teachers out. Cost is thankfully only a small issue, thanks to the crown, but unfortunately this isn't something money alone fixes. We have to have people who want to do the work. Who'd likely do the work even if no coin was coming."
 

Aerynth

Member
"Oh, what an absolutely delightful idea," lady Everbright said, clapping her hands like an excited child. "I'm sure you meet a lot of interesting people every day, my queen. Do let me know of any promising young gentlemen you come across!"

When Remin started talking, the entire table fell silent; everyone was soaking up her words as if it was gospel. Lady Everbright in particular seemed to be captivated by the story. "Our king really did that? I can't decide whether it is brave or foolish, but the line between the two tends to be very thin, doesn't it?" Her laughter, high and bell-like, somehow managed to carry itself above the music. "No, I merely jest. Still, you must be so brave, my queen. I couldn't let my husband just ride off to deal with some bandits! That's so scary. The idea of losing your loved one to some outlaw's sword? No, absolutely not. I couldn't handle that."

"I thought you wanted a dashing warrior," a woman sitting next to her pointed out. "He wouldn't be much of a warrior of he shied away from a battle."

"Well, yes, I suppose, but he doesn't have to follow his old ways after our marriage. Making me worry for his safety is just straight-up rude, don't you think?"

"I don't think that a warrior would be too concerned about being rude, either. Besides, what's the point in desiring certain traits in your husband and then expecting him to suppress them? You're being unreasonable," she teased.

The conversation continued to flow, cheerful and unrestrained, as the friends bickered among themselves, seemingly uncaring that the queen got to witness all of this. Apparently they weren't too interested in appearing formal in front of their ruler; not when said ruler was so close to them in age and nonthreatening.

"My queen," a smiling man with black hair and an impressive beard spoke to her, "would you care to dance? I don't mean to speak ill of my friend here, but this might be the only opportunity to escape her pleas for more stories. If you let her, she'll keep you prisoner for hours and squeeze every last bit of information out of you. My name is Balin, by the way. Balin Aramac. Surely you've heard of my family?" Most nobles in Athea certainly had. The Aramacs were an old family, with their roots stretching back to the old age of prosperity. They had lost a lot of their properties over the recent decades due to a serious lack of foresight, but somehow, they always managed to have friends in the right places, so it didn't matter that much. Despite everything, they remained major political players.

Meanwhile, Cyreia listened to Tyforth in silence, weighing his words carefully. She had half expected him to ask her for more money for his program, but he hadn't even touched that topic. On the contrary, he seemed to be saying that the funds they had at their disposal were more than adequate. It would have been easy for him to spin a story about how poor they were and coax a promise of more money for the institution from the naive new king, but he hadn't even tried to use her inexperience against her. Tentatively, Cyreia was beginning to like the man. She didn't trust him entirely, of course; not after spending what, grand total of five minutes in his presence? The encounter with lord Vestat had taught her that surprisingly dark thoughts could be hiding under the veneer of pleasantness and she wasn't one to forget her lessons. Tyforth did seem promising, but only time would show whether her assessment of him was correct or not. How to help him with his issues, though? Had he asked for money, it would have been easier. Cyreia would have just promised more funds to him and worried about actually getting them later. She couldn't very well manifest qualified teachers with the power of money alone, nor did she know people suitable for that role. Having absolutely no connections in Athea certainly didn't help. What Cyreia did have, however, was an idea.

"Ah yes, I imagine that educating teachers must be very time-consuming," she began slowly. "Forgive me if I'm being too presumptuous, magister, but I believe that there may be a way to speed up that process. I know that it's not really my place to offer you advice, as you are much more educated than I am, though perhaps an outsider's perspective might help you in refining your own ideas." A second opinion, even from unexpected places, had been invaluable to Cyreia many times in the past; people had been able to point out mistakes in her plans that she hadn't seen before and such. Why should it be different for magister Tyforth? "And if not, feel free to disregard everything I'm about to say," she smiled at him. "Essentially, what I'm proposing is to involve the smallfolk you've already educated. My queen said that the program has been running for about ten years, which means that a lot of your pupils must be adults at this point. Why not let them become teachers? Of course, the extent of their knowledge can't really be compared to the people educated in the university, but is that even necessary? Most people just need to know how to read and write, and perhaps they'd even prefer to be taught by locals. By those who grew up in the same village or city. We might even incentivize learning that way. If people can actually teach for a living, they will be more motivated to study. I know, I know, knowledge is its own reward, but I'm afraid it doesn't always work like that for a lot of folk who worry how to put bread on their table," Cyreia chuckled gently. "What do you think, magister? Not that I want to diminish the importance of your teachers," she added quickly. This is just a suggestion to battle being understaffed. Running such a far-reaching program must be especially difficult for you considering the fact that your institution focuses on magic first and foremost. Or is that not right?" Her mention of magic wasn't accidental; Cyreia hoped that it would give him an opening to talk in greater detail about how they approached teaching magic at Olyvaire. Academics tended to jump at every opportunity to speak about their research, after all.
 
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Conifer

Junior Member
“Of course.” She smiles, grateful for the distraction from the chatter. It was nice, to sit and let it wash over her, but there was little she could find to participate in. Remin pulls herself to her feet, facing the man. “I remember your family’s name coming up often enough. It’s wonderful to finally put a face to it.” Remin takes his hand as he leads them to the center of the floor, where people are dancing idly, filling the time and space with graceful but pointless movement. Should her first dance here be with her husband? Should she have turned him down? Avther wouldn’t care, not really - it was only her strange sense of guilty attachment to him that made her feel out of place with the other man on her arm. Still, that guilt was there. She’d dance with Avther when he finished his conversation with the Magister. “Tell me,” She says, distracting herself from those thoughts. It was fine. It was better, even, if she wasn’t seen tied to the king’s side. “How is your family faring now? The war didn’t hit too terribly, I hope?”

The magister hums softly, sipping at his drink as he thinks about the king’s proposal. “We’ve had some luck with those we’ve educated offering to take up the task, but admittedly, we haven’t done much to encourage it. Perhaps I’ll speak with the rest of those that run the program, and see what we can do to change that.” He turns to Avther with a smile. “We do focus on magic, yes. This is a side project if anything - though, one that’s becoming a project in its own right. Which is wonderful, really, we just had never planned for its depth in its first years. But magic...well, we’ve been doing that since this country was founded.” He chuckles. “I’m assuming by the way that you aren’t cursing our existence, angry and terrified of things you don’t understand, that you don’t share your homeland’s thoughts on that matter?”
 

Aerynth

Member
Remin and Balin left at a strategic time; the musicians were just beginning to play a new song, slow and sweet, and it was easy for them to slip into a dance. Judging by the first two steps, Balin seemed to be a talented dancer. He carried himself with the kind of grace that Cyreia just couldn't hope to possess after her single lesson. "How kind of you to ask, my queen. We were fortunate, though, so there's no need to worry about us. My family didn't lose much." 'Unlike other people,' his eyes said, blue and full of sorrow. "I would like to apologize for my friend's behavior at the table," he said as he led Remin into a small spin. "Interrogating you like that was distasteful. She means well, truly, but she is... still a child at heart. A child who gets all excited over the beauty of a wedding, over the pretty lace and vows of love, and refuses to see the implications. I doubt that she understands your plight," he said, observing her expression carefully. Was he searching for something?

To her surprise, Cyreia was actually having a fairly good time with the magister. Thinking of solutions to various problems always felt like a fun intellectual exercise (at least when her life didn't depend on it) and he seemed to appreciate her ideas, too. It gave her the impression that her presence here was actually meaningful in some tiny way. It felt nice, really. Cyreia chuckled silently when he commented upon her relationship with magic. The man didn't mince his words and she liked that. People generally avoided pointing out her origins, probably in fear of insulting her and facing her wrath, but here he was. "Don't get me wrong, magister. I am terrified. Not as much as I initially was, granted, but still. Then again, I believe that being scared of something isn't a good reason to despise it. Especially when I don't really know what I'm afraid of in the first place. I was hoping you could help me with that, actually. With my ignorance. Tell me, how do you study magic at Olyvaire? And is there a reason Athea seems to be brimming over with it compared to other countries? I have never met a magic user in Eupriunia, while everyone seems to have some kind of magic here. It is quite a cultural shock, I have to admit." She would start with general questions, Cyreia decided, and possibly ask him for help with her own magic later, depending on his reactions. Tyforth clearly knew that Eupriunia didn't favor magic, so opening up about her own talents might be risky. No, she had to proceed carefully here.
 

Conifer

Junior Member
Her expression stays controlled - he wants to see a woman trapped in her fate, and she shows it to him, tucked away behind a mask that’s equally a ruse. “I can’t blame her for her eagerness,” She smiles, (soft, sad, careful,) “In fact, it was charming, to see that sort of optimism after all of this mess. Just because my fate is this one doesn’t mean that hers can’t be one of pretty lace and vows of love. If she sees happiness in me, then who am I to take that from her? If I’ve learned anything recently, it’s that finding happiness where we can isn’t as terrible as it’s made out to be, even if it’s a naive, selfish sort of thing.” She gives a soft, polite laugh. “It’s best she doesn’t understand my plight, I think.” Her plight that exists much more in line with the fantastic ideas of love that the woman thought than with the horrible existence that Balin was thinking it was.


“You’ve most certainly met magic users in Eupriunia.” He says, shaking his head lightly, looking more amused than anything else. “Or people with the capacity for it, at least. The main difference between the two places is that it’s welcomed, here. Magic, where it isn’t welcomed, tends to hide itself away, and present itself where it’s safe to. Maybe a child never falls and scrapes his knee, maybe the food tastes just a bit better to someone, maybe someone tends to be just a bit luckier than others. Things no one would notice. Magic’s smart. Everyone has a bit of it - whether they know it, or not, and whether they can learn to control it, or not...well, that’s a different matter entirely.” This seems to be the topic to get him talking. He seems perfectly content to ramble, to explain, in a voice well-adjusted to teaching. “Even you, my king, have some. But sometimes there’s simply too much of it in someone for others to not notice - Athea welcomes this. Teaches and trains the user. Encourages the magic, and them. Eupriunia tends towards the opposite - constraining the magic, shapes the magic to how they want - which has its merits, I’ll admit. Perhaps not morally, but no one can say that what magic Eurpiunia does use isn’t effective.”

“I apologize,” he smiles warmly. “This all must be a lot to take in. And, admittedly, most of it is a theory. A theory that has been proven time and time again, but a theory, and there’s disagreements even among its supporters. To some, magic is a secondary force to its wielders, and to others, it’s innate to the person. I’m of the first mindset - we’re conduits, little more. Some are just better conduits than others. Some have been tampered with by culture, by upbringing, by anything, really. While magic’s smart, it’s finicky.”
 

Aerynth

Member
"That is true," Balin nodded, now eyeing Remin with clear interest. "It was not my intention in the slightest to condemn our lady for her innocence. It is the most beautiful thing, especially in this political climate. A rare flower. I do hope that she will be able to find her honorable knight, no matter how unlikely it seems." For a while, it seemed that this was it; that he had said his piece and they would focus on more pleasant things. On things such as dancing. That hope was dashed, though, when Balin opened his mouth again. "Still, I felt it appropriate to let you know that there are people who understand you, my queen. Who don't consider you to be a traitor." It was probably the music that allowed him to speak so openly; even if there were people everywhere, they couldn't hope to hear more than muffled voices saying something. The ever-present chatter, too, concealed his words. "Have you ever wondered, my queen, whether there is a way out?" he asked in a neutral tone. Tone way too neutral for what he was suggesting.

Once again, Cyreia found herself listening with great interest. In Eupriunia, they had taught her that magic was wrong, that it was sinful, and it had felt right back then. Of course it had. There had been no other perspective, after all, and young minds accepted all kinds of information eagerly. It didn't really matter whether it was true or not; it was something, and that always felt preferable to nothingness. Tyforth's explanations were more nuanced than what they had told her, which only made her curiosity grow. And the way he spoke of her potential to use magic so casually? That seemed like a good sign. Perhaps he didn't see it as a weapon aimed at her neck. Perhaps it would even be a boon in his eyes, a point in her favor. Wasn't it better for Athea to have a king who had... more intimate experience with magic than one who condemned it on principle? Tyforth of all people wouldn't benefit from getting rid of her too much. Even if king Loran did decide to depose her, it likely wouldn't result in Athea being left alone. Far from it. Of course, Cyreia knew nothing about his plans, but she supposed that he would just pick another ruler for the conquered country. One that wouldn't be nearly as tolerant when it came to magic and institutions that studied it. Maybe it was safe to tell him the truth. More than safe, actually. It was downright necessary, considering the manner in which her magic, wild and untamed, had been acting up. Hadn't she and Remin agreed to contact Olyvaire regarding this issue anyway? Why not do it now? This opportunity seemed as good as any. "No," Cyreia smiled, "don't apologize, please. I asked a question and I received my answer. It is a lot to take in, that much is true, but it is also fascinating. I have to admit, though, that I may have had an ulterior motive for introducing the topic in the first place. I'm very much aware that I do have the ability to use magic, mostly because I already have. Not consciously, mind you, but it happened, and it wasn't very pleasant. I hoped that we could arrange some lessons for me. Learning how to use it properly seems like the most practical solution and, well, I would forever be in your debt," she said and bowed slightly.
 

Conifer

Junior Member
She hadn’t entirely thought it possible for her to feel so fine - so good, almost, enjoying the dancing and the environment - one moment and then so filled with dread the next; Balin managed to drag her there with his words, though, so intentionally vague that they couldn’t mean anything good. “I’m afraid I don’t understand your meaning,” She says softly, carefully, not too eager, not too skeptic. If there’s a plot on his life, she should learn of it. She could play the fool for a moment or two to understand the situation entirely. “Of course I have. I imagine anyone in my position would. But--” Remin gives him a tight, humorless smile across the small amount of space between them. She doesn’t want to be touching him anymore. She doesn’t want to /look/ at him anymore. “--there’s little that can be changed about the situation without facing consequences that wouldn’t serve anyone.”

This is one of the few things that seemed to actually take him by some amount of surprise - his bushy grey brows raised slightly, drawing wrinkles against his forehead deeper than the ones that already existed there. “Is that so.” The magister says, plainly. His eyes are sharp where they study Avther. “Well, we could certainly arrange something. We can’t have our king using wild magic now, can we? That’s -- frankly a danger to everyone. Tricky thing. Would you be interested in encouraging it, or in...in something more in line with Eupriunia’s methods?” He doesn’t seem to have judgement for Avther in either option - they’re both simply laid before him, a choice to make. “Or some middle ground? Not encourage, but not stifle? All have their merits, especially for you in your role.”
 

Aerynth

Member
Fortunately, Balin seemed to be blind to the shift in Remin's mood. If anything, it seemed as if her response only served to embolden him. How could it not? Seeing his queen so resigned to her fate, resigned to the fate of being bound to an enemy, must have stung. "Indeed," he said quietly. "Should something happen to the king, needless complications would arise from that." He paused for a moment, looking Remin up and down. Despite the intensity of the situation, Balin never missed a single step. "Unless, of course, nobody noticed. There are... ways of making that happen, my queen. We could find someone nice and pliable for you. Someone who would wear his face." So that was what he was getting at. One of the more enigmatic fields of magic. Also one of the more stigmatized ones, and possibly with a good reason. "We'd need your help with that, though. It would require... well, the kind of access to the king that we just do not have."

Had her choice to tell him been wise? Cyreia certainly hoped so, because she couldn't exactly take it back now. It was hard to read his face, to guess what might be going on in his head, but trying to do so would have been pointless anyway. She had taken the leap of faith already. That meant that the consequences would come knocking on her door sooner or later, regardless of whether Cyreia thought about them or not. It seemed, at the very least, that he was willing to help. Perhaps it would cost her dearly, but everything in this world had its price, didn't it? She took a deep breath. "I... don't think that I want to suppress it," Cyreia answered after a few seconds of contemplation. "Not before finding out what exactly it is. I assume that once I get a hang of it, I can just choose not to use it. I am not terribly interested in becoming a master sorcerer," just the idea of that sounded absurd, "but it may come in handy at times." Without her magic, she never would have uncovered Vestat's secret. That alone served as a powerful argument for not rejecting the gift entirely; perhaps it would prove to be invaluable in the future as well. Another reason, besides the potential utility, was distancing herself from the Eupriunian ways. Tyforth didn't seem to judge her, not really, but Cyreia still wanted to err on the side of caution. To choose like an Athean would have. "Besides, I don't believe that what I do is particularly dangerous. Once, I managed to slow down a fall. I also saw a vision of something that happened in the past. It doesn't seem very destructive if you disregard how it affects me."
 

Conifer

Junior Member
Gods. Where was Avther? She’d lost track of him once he’d slipped away to meet the magister - she couldn’t see him now, couldn’t spot either of them in the crowd. Was he alright? Was he safe? Or had someone already started enacting this idea on him? But -- no. They needed access to him to do it. They needed her. He was safe, he was fine. (that knowledge did nothing to calm her.) Hopefully, the worry she couldn’t hide would be interpreted as resignation to her position, or-- or something that didn’t reveal her, at least. “I--” She falters, briefly, feet fumbling against the dance floor. Gods, she needs to get herself under control. She can fix this. “I think you underestimate how pliable he is now.” She says, trying to sound confident in herself, in her abilities to handle this perceived problem. “He’s an undereducated soldier, and more trusting of me than anyone expected. I’ll keep your solution in mind, if the task proves itself too great, but...While the situation isn’t ideal, it’s certainly not the worst case it could be. I think he could be a great asset, honestly, once he’s...more accustomed to what this country expects of him.”

He shifts to look back out over the balcony, looking out over the horizon, where the sun had long set and stars were beginning to poke their way through the light cloud cover. “It can be overwhelming if you don’t understand how to channel it properly, yes.” The magister agrees. There’s silence for a beat, as he contemplates solutions. “If you’re looking to come to Olyviere, we can certainly arrange for you to have lessons with some of our finest. If you’re looking for more convenience - which, I’m sure you’ll be very busy - there’s some graduates in the area of the castle that I think would be more than capable of helping you get a handle on it and at the very least help temper some of those post-magic side effects. I could arrange that for you, if that was of interest.”
 

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