What's new
  • This section is for roleplays only.
    ALL interest checks/recruiting threads must go in the Recruit Here section.

Fantasy All's Fair

Sub Genres
LGTBQ Friendly, Magical, Romance

Conifer

Junior Member
It occurs to Remin that she doesn’t...really care what Avther did. Yes, it’s a little concerning, what a soldier might have done that he regrets. But Avther isn’t just a soldier, and what he’d said hadn’t seemed like his regrets weren’t borne out of misplaced violence, and despite all, she was beginning to trust him. She had seen that he knew how to control his anger, his violence, and somehow she doubted that this skill hadn’t come from protecting himself from accidents.

“And I don’t doubt you,” She says lightly. She wants to be back to before, when it felt like they could talk freely, when she could ask him genuinely to talk to her, to let her help, instead of abandoning him to his demons and offering vague pleasantries as armor. She doesn’t miss the words he’d said at the ceremony tying them to the other. They’d felt twisted and awful and mocking then - and now it felt, still, like that, but with some elements of truth to it. She didn’t think he would take a blow for her, but at least he would defend her with words when it was necessary to.

“Come on.” She says, moving to the next set of images, somewhat selfishly hoping that stage of the conversation would be left here with this terrible art. She had half a mind to buy it and hang it somewhere they’d see it - it was awful and she kind of liked it for that. But it might prove more as a reminder of the horrible thoughts that were plaguing him than a note of humor in their home, so the thought is fleeting.
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
They continued with their little tour and, gradually, Cyreia began to feel like herself again. Remin's presence certainly helped. In the past, she had sought isolation when confronted with poisonous thoughts, but maybe that had been the wrong approach. It had to have been because with someone else at her side, it was easier not to get lost in her own mind. Sure, nothing really changed. None of her issues disappeared magically; Cyreia was still a fraud, still someone who belonged nowhere and probably never would. It mattered a lot less for some reason, though. If nothing else, the moments they shared together were real. Perhaps she should have found a confidant sooner, but then again, it might not have worked. Perhaps it only worked with Remin.

The pictures proved to be more fun than Cyreia had initially anticipated. Some of them were genuinely beautiful, but the terrible ones, those that looked like random ink blots, entertained her exponentially more. Before long, she was genuine in her smiles once again, the tension in her body almost gone.

"You know," she told to Remin when they looked at one such painting, "I wonder what went through the painter's mind when he was creating this. I mean, is this some joke where we are the punchline for even being here and trying to find a meaning in all of this or did it somehow make sense in his mind? Could I become a famous artist as well if I just painted a circle on a white background and called it something like, I don't know, Yesterday's Contemplation over Spilled Milk?" Cyreia looked at the price tag out of curiosity and did a double take. "What?! This cannot be real. People are actually willing to pay this much? I could survive for three months with this sum and I'd still have some money left." Her tone sounded half impressed and half indignant. It still hadn't fully set in that, technically, she could buy this stupid thing now and it wouldn't make a dent in her assets. Was this what it meant to be rich? Some things I will never understand.
 
Last edited:

Conifer

Junior Member
“Maybe that could be your hobby,” Remin teases without thought, having slipped as graceful as a downward tumble back into joking with Avther as they’d wandered through the paintings. “Simplistic paintings with terribly long names, to help with all of your cluttered thoughts. Could I suggest a pale triangle on a blue canvas? You could name it something like...We’re Sailing But I Think We’ve Gotten Lost. Have You Seen The Land Anywhere Nearby?

“Most of these pieces won’t be sold,” Remin admits, joking aside. The thought had passed through her head to buy this one too, if just to see that baffled amusement on Avther’s face whenever he saw it hanging like some prized piece in their hallway (Gods, no, that wasn’t a thought she was allowed to have, or a reason she was allowed to rely on. That was dangerous thinking. That wasn’t who they were) but the price was honestly...a little much, especially as he pointed out how much it was in the context of his life before. Buying it, right after he’d said that, wouldn’t help anything about their relationship or this evening in the least bit. “In some cases,” She explains instead, leading him away from this monstrosity and onto something else. “Art like that is just a way to allow money to exchange hands, or a way to...invest it, I guess, as well as show it off. If everyone agrees that the cost of that painting’s that much, then anyone who sees it will know that whoever bought it can easily afford something like that, and should they ever need to sell it, it’s likely worth that much, if not more, again, simply because they’ve owned it.”

“This,” She says, a bit softer, as they enter a small, off-shoot hall. “Is where you really buy art, if you’re here to buy art, and not statements.” This hall was a little bit quieter even still - two people stood by a painting, talking. Another stood by a sculpture at the end of the hall - some sort of roughhewn thing cast in copper. They came to a stop in front of a painting at the entrance to the hall. It was a detailed portrait , done in a careful hand, of a woman hard at work carving into stone. Remin knew, and hopefully Avther would recognise at this point, this woman to be Nuhena - dark skin, brown-red hair, soft eyes, dressed, usually (at least in paintings) in blue. The painting was hardly larger than both Remin’s hands, but there were infinite places to look, every section more detailed than the last. The price was still high, but markedly less than the ones in the main passageway.
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
"Maybe I'll do just that," Cyreia agreed with a gentle smile. It was surprisingly easy to return back to where they had been; as easy as it was unwise. Walking the thin line between coldness and formality would have been smarter, probably even kinder in the long run, but she couldn't do it. Not with Remin enabling her. "I'll turn it into a series, too, and each long-winded name will be a reference to something only we can understand. Did I happen to stub my toe while paiting it? The name of the picture is now The Cruelty of our World Lies in Allowing Such Atrocities to Happen."

Cyreia listened with interest as Remin explained the reason behind those terribly inflated prices. It should have occurred to her earlier that there was some meaning to them, but she had been so shocked by the amount of money that it had been difficult to think about anything else. "So, in other words, this is rich people trying to one-up one another, mostly." That she could understand. It sounded petty when phrased like that, but impressions could be immensely powerful. You could win an entire battle through controlling your enemy's perception alone. Other ventures of life must have been similar in this regard. "You know, maybe I should really become an artist," she said, apparently deep in thought. "I mean, think about it. Pictures painted by a king must be immensely valuable in the eyes of collectors. Historical importance and so on. We could charge a stupid amount of money and treat it like additional taxes for nobles, except that they'd be happy to pay them now." Was she even joking? Cyreia didn't know at this point. It sounded ridiculous, of course, but it was the kind of ridiculous idea that could potentially work with some minor tweaks. Her best plans had been born out of what initially seemed to be ridiculousness.

All thoughts of finding a practical application to her newfound knowledge were, however, pushed aside once they entered the next section of the gallery. "Incredible," Cyreia murmured, her eyes full of wonder. She didn't know much about art, but the extent of loving, painstaking attention to detail that had gone into creating this particular piece was evident even to the untrained eye. "It would be nice, having something like this in our home." Home. What a strange twist of fate. Cyreia had never really had a place to call home, not when she had spent most of her life on travels, and now she was thinking of decorating one. It... didn't displease her, quite the contrary, but it would take some getting used to. "Or even something like this." The painting she pointed at was abstract as well, though it couldn't have been more different from the pictures they had mocked earlier. The shapes were intricate, each stroke of brush decisive and yet careful at the same time. One could study the pattern for ages and never really discover where it began and where it ended. The colors were mostly warm, red and yellow and orange, and the way they interacted with each other made her feel warm as well. "It's beautiful," Cyreia said. "Somehow, it makes me think of you." Well. Perhaps she had said too much again.
 

Conifer

Junior Member
Oh. Well. Remin looked over the painting, seeming busy in her thoughts as an excuse to give herself a chance to have a moment to recover from the faint feeling - what, alarm? delight? - that had swept through her at his words. The painting was beautiful, it really was. The brush strokes and colors were deliberate, made with intention. She didn’t mind being compared to it, but...well. It was utterly confusing, and she felt something akin to whiplash in the face of it. Maybe this is what it took to allow them to find comfort in the others presence - the level playing ground that is making fun of terrible art.


And then, instead of really saying anything, she waves over the woman in charge of the selling of the paintings - that was a quick enough process, arranging for payment of the two of them, and for them to be delivered to the castle. There was the faint nagging at the back of her head that Avther would find issue with this - the hasty spending of this much money (it wasn’t quite as much as that ridiculous one had been, but between the two of them...it was certainly close) when he’d just voiced his opinion of that, more or less. But-- well, she’d brought him to this hall for a reason, and they were going to buy art regardless. That was, more or less, their unofficial duty here: to support the local communities and artists in a public way. “Thank you,” She smiles as the woman finishes up the transaction, pushing all of those thoughts aside. If Avther had issue with it, Avther had issue with it, and it was too late to do anything about it. It didn’t matter much what he thought about it anyways, she tried to convince herself.

“We’ll have to decide where to hang them,” She comments, off-hand, trying to not make a point of her non-reply to his comments, even if what she’s saying doesn’t matter at all. She’s nearly entirely sure he won’t care where the paintings are hung, but she needs to say something. “Maybe near the breezeway? The light in that hall would serve them well.”
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
Remin... didn't really react to her offhand comment and Cyreia found herself grateful for that small mercy. What had she been thinking, running her mouth like that? No, that wasn't right. The problem was that she hadn't thought at all and just... voiced whatever came to her mind. Why, though? Poor impulse control hadn't been something Cyreia had ever struggled with. Quite the opposite. Maybe she had gotten a bit too comfortable with Remin by her side? Either way, it shouldn't happen again. This is just... awkward, really.

Before Cyreia could say anything further, maybe apologize for her outburst, Remin went and bought the two paintings. That price, too, almost gave her a headache, but she managed to stay neutral during the transaction somehow. A soldier's spending habits shouldn't match the spending habits of a king. It would have been entirely inappropriate for her to show any kind of restraint in this situation. And besides, as Cyreia reminded to herself, it wasn't even her money. Well, alright, it was, at least according to the law, but she didn't see it that way. The money belonged to Remin's family and, having lived surrounded by wealth since childhood, surely she knew how to manage those finances better than Cyreia did.

"I... hmm. I suppose? I haven't really seen most of the castle yet since we left so abruptly, so I'm afraid I don't really have an opinion. Maybe we can decide when we come back," Cyreia shrugged. Since there wasn't much to see after that, the pair left the gallery. It was sunny outside and it took a while for her eyes get accustomed to the change. Sweet music could be heard in the background; somewhere close to them, people were dancing and enjoying the warm weather. "Let's buy something to drink," Cyreia suggested. "I'm feeling a bit thirsty." Alas, it was not to be. Before they even reached the stall, a group of young men approached them. They were tipsy, their cheeks red from laughter, and they bickered among themselves about something Cyreia couldn't quite make out. Finally, one of them - a tall, tanned lad with a beard - gathered enough courage to address them directly.

"Will you join us for Nuhena's dance, your highnesses? It's a tradition!"
 

Conifer

Junior Member
“It’s a tradition,” She laughs, pleasant, as the walls that may have dropped down in the gallery slid neatly back into place. Remin isn’t who they wanted to dance with - it rarely was. The queen, though, that’s a far more exciting dance partner. Turning them down was an option as much as it wasn’t - so she turned to Avther, holding out her hand. It would look good on him to join the festivities. It may gain him a small number of kind words murmured about him in the streets, and right now, she was nearly entirely sure he could use all the kind thoughts he could manage to scrape together. “My king, would you join me and these lovely men? It’s tradition, after all.”

She leans in, a stage whisper, voice full of false humor she’s confident at least the men won’t see through. “Don’t worry, it isn’t hard. Everyone’s half drunk and no one really ever remembers all the steps.” She teases. “Just try to keep time and smile, and you’ll fit right in.”

And with that, they’re dragged off towards the small gathering of people readying for the dance, who cheer when they join the forming circle. The band starts up quickly, not giving Avther much space at all to protest his involvement in this dance.
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
Everything happened awfully fast. A dance? What? Cyreia couldn't dance. She, of course, knew how it worked, but being vaguely aware of something didn't really translate to possessing that particular skill. That went double for Athean dances. Cyreia knew that they existed, but that was the extent of her expertise. "No one ever remembers all the steps?" she whispered towards her wife, her voice suddenly full of panic. "Remin, I don't know a single goddamn step. That's not the same, I can't just--" But apparently she could, at least as far as everyone else was concerned, because they somehow ended up right in the center of the circle. Well, I suppose that this is only appropriate. I don't know a single thing about ruling a country, either, and yet here I am. It was almost symbolic.

By the time the song started, Cyreia resigned herself to her fate. You had to choose your battles. If they wanted to see her dance, or at least her terrible impression of it, they would get just that. Her getting embarrassed in the process was probably a part of the reason behind asking her to join them in the first place, so why not? She could let them have their fun. They hadn't enjoyed much of it during the war, after all.

And, well. Cyreia did struggle, her legs suddenly more of a nuisance than help with all those fast-paced sequences. It must have looked thoroughly undignified, too, the way she tried not to trip all over herself, Remin and other dancers, but... in a way, it was fun. It was easy to get swept up in the rhythm, movements and laughter; she found herself smiling, too, and - more surprisingly - improving as well. Remin had been right. The dance wasn't particularly difficult and she, well, on some level, Cyreia just knew how to move. With each repetition, her movements got more precise, more deliberate. The crowd cheered them on and with that, her confidence grew as well.

Purely on a whim, Cyreia grabbed Remin's hand and spun her around. The crowd roared in approval, so she did it again and again, except that something went wrong this time and their clothes got tangled. Suddenly they were falling until they... weren't, not really. The two still wound up on the ground, but something slowed the fall down to the point that they floated there, more or less, Remin ending up on top of her. As for Cyreia, some part of her was thankful for getting to lie down because she felt utterly drained at that moment, but that didn't stop her from trying to wrap her mind around what had just happened. "Alright, what... what was that?" she looked up at Remin, her eyes vacant and confused. It didn't seem that she was planning on getting up any time soon.
 
Last edited:

Conifer

Junior Member
Remin was honestly a bit impressed by how well Avther managed to at least look like he was having a fun time not knowing what he was doing. It had maybe been a little cruel of her to drag him into this without really checking in with him, but it had turned out almost /fun -- and then he grabbed her, spilling her around, skirts flaring as the crowd cheered them on. No, this was absolutely just fun. She laughs, delighted, as he grabs for her again and pulls her into another spin -- but this one goes sideways, literally, her feet slipping out from under her as she steps wrong, or her skirts catch on something. Remin scrambles for stability, grabbing for Avther and inadvertently dragging him down with her.

She’d expected for them to land in a heap. She’d expected the pain of knees hitting together, the heavy collapse of her falling on top of him, the impact of them hitting the ground. And those all come, but it’s...almost in slow motion.
“Um.” She blinks down at him, looking for an answer herself. Her mind’s too busy trying to catch up to the situation to supply one, or do the thing she really should do and stand up. “I-- don’t know. Are you okay?” She asks, the proximity barely a thought at first.
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
Was she okay? A good question. Nothing was broken, as far as she could tell, but Cyreia felt... sluggish. A strange feeling considering the fact they had danced just seconds ago, that she had been full of energy just before the fall, but somehow, her strength had been sapped away. As she was, Cyreia could barely lift her hand now. "I am... unhurt, I suppose," she said, somewhat uncertain of her answer. Nothing hurt, that much was true. The fall had been so slow that it had almost felt like landing into a pile of pillows. Still, the fatigue that gripped her seemed peculiar. Cyreia was no stranger to exhaustion; it had accompanied her for most of her life, in one way or another. This time, though, it extended to her mind in a manner wholly unfamiliar to her. Her thoughts were suddenly like honey; slow, dense and impossible to grasp without them escaping between her fingers.

"I feel... strange, though. Tired. Mainly mentally? It's hard to describe." Maybe it didn't matter, not with Remin's face so close to her. She really is beautiful, Cyreia thought and a blissful smile spread on her lips. "What about you? Are you... fine?" It probably looked terrible, just lying on the ground and making no effort to stand up, but Cyreia couldn't care less about impressions at the moment. She was quite comfortable down there and the rest of the world could go to hell.
 

Conifer

Junior Member
"...alright," she says carefully, brow furrowed as she sits up. Distantly she's aware of the crowds around them, looking at them, watching them, but they're an afterthought to her concern for Avther. She looks him over, as if that could provide the answer to what happened, and then all too quickly realises how their positioning looks - her straddling his hips, the both of them a little breathless. Incredibly unbecoming for the both of them. She scrambles up, nearly falling again, face a little flushed with the mixture of exertion and embarrassment.


"Perhaps we should be getting back." She says quickly, offering him a hand to help him back to his feet, and making sure he was steady there before letting go of him, distance deliberately put between them. There was a fine line to walk between 'getting along with her husband' and 'straddling the enemy' and that had been already crossed - she had no desire to learn whatever it was that was being said behind them by the witnesses as they retreated, heading back to the manor.

Remin made little effort towards discussion until they left the festival properly and were into the quieter streets where people paid them less attention. "I was...unaware that you had magical talents," She speaks up when they're a few blocks from their destination, aware that he may very well not have known either, with the way their conversation about magic had gone the other day.
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
All nice things had to end eventually and Cyreia knew that, but damn, couldn't it last for a little longer? That position was pleasant. She almost opened her mouth to protest, but something in Remin's expression nipped that thought in the bud. Oh, right. This must seem terribly inappropriate. The realization was sort of subdued at first, almost as if someone whispered it to her in a crowd of chattering people, but then it finally hit her full force and Cyreia felt like dying. The fact that the people around them apparently found it all terribly entertaining, at least judging by the laughter, wasn't helping, either. God, I am never going to live this down, am I?

"Yeah, that... that might be a good idea," she agreed and took Remin's hand, grateful for the support. "Thank you." And there was much to thank for because, without her steady guidance, Cyreia would have collapsed again. Her legs were terribly weak, so weak that the mere idea of walking all the way back to the mansion seemed almost daunting. Had she been poisoned again? No, that couldn't be right. They hadn't even managed to buy anything before they had been dragged off to the dance. What was happening, then? If not for the fog that had settled in her mind, she would have found this distressing. There weren't many certainties in her life, but she could, at the very least, rely on her body to function like it was supposed to. Like it had been trained to. Right now, though, just putting one leg in front of the other took some focus.

"What?" she looked at Remin and frowned, clearly not seeing the connection her wife had made. "I don't have any magical talents. Why would you even suspect..." Oh. Oh, indeed. The peculiar fall. Blaming magic for how that had turned out was a natural conclusion, but why attribute it to her? "You think that I did that?" Cyreia sounded incredulous now. "I didn't do anything. I'm fairly sure that I would know about it if I used magic. You can't just use magic without actively trying. Right?"
 
Last edited:

Conifer

Junior Member
"Well, ah. Yes, actually." She says, shaking her head a bit. Gods, her hair is probably an utter mess, between the dancing and the falling, and the flush to her skin isn't doing their respectable appearance any favors. "Especially if your body thinks it's in danger." She fights back a laugh, mostly uselessly. How had a soldier not learned he had magic before now? But it wasn't her doing, certainly, and his symptoms made sense for it to have been his. "And-- magic takes a lot from the body, especially if you're unlearned in it. When I cleaned your arm I had a headache the rest of the day." Remin explains.


They make it to the manor quickly as they speak, and Remin walks with him up the stairs to his room, not trusting him to keep himself upright while attempting that. She was endlessly grateful that Sarah was nowhere to be seen, as she would most assuredly comment on their appearances, and explaining didn't seem all that appealing at the moment. "It might have just been a fluke," she offers - unsure if that's meant to be a comfort to him or not, and unsure how he'll take it. "That happens, sometimes." Very, very rarely.
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
What? Cyreia stared at Remin now, horror clearly reflected in her eyes. People could just cast magic spontaneously? No wonder that Eupriunians preferred to stay away. They may have been in the wrong when it came to certain issues, but clearly, the fear of magic was just an expression of common sense. Why didn't Remin find it terrifying as well? Was everyone in Athea just... fine with the possibility of some strange power hijacking their body and doing whatever it wanted with it? Because she wasn't. "Ah, yes, the mortal danger of me falling on my ass." Under normal circumstances, Cyreia would not have dreamed of using such words in front of Remin, but propriety was the last thing on her mind now. So, hypothetically, if that fall really was my doing, what kind of implications does it hold for the future? Would she react like this in any instance of danger from now on? Cast a single spell and then just... become completely useless? Wasn't this supposed to be a protective mechanism? So far, Cyreia liked her sword much better. At least her sword knew how to behave itself and didn't try to stab anyone without her permission.

With Remin's help, Cyreia somehow managed to reach her room. It felt strange to have to rely on her to get there, yet she was grateful for her assistance nevertheless; without it, the staircase could have been an insurmountable obstacle. "Right," Cyreia said, "that would be the best case scenario, which means that it's not true. I know my luck, Remin. There's no way this isn't permanent now." She sat on her bed and buried her face in her hands, too beyond caring to play any of the roles they had assigned to her. Right now, Cyreia didn't want to be a king, didn't want to be a hero and certainly didn't want to remain calm. She was just tired, tired, tired, too tired for any of that. Besides, it didn't feel like she had to keep up the pretense in front of her wife. Despite the two of them meeting just recently, Remin had already seen her in less than dignified states. Witnessing one more instance of it couldn't change her perception of her, right? This cannot be real. Except that it was and Cyreia had to deal with it somehow. "But how?" she asked finally in a small voice before shooting Remin another glance. "This has never happened before. Why now? And, more importantly, how do I make it... not happen again?"
 
Last edited:

Conifer

Junior Member
Remin hovered awkwardly - first standing in front of Avther, then half-kneeling, mostly leaning towards him to be closer, and then, finally, just sitting on the bed beside him, ignoring the lack of space between them as her knee bumped his as she settled. They’d been in closer proximity already today and he hadn’t seemed in much of a rush to move from that position (magic exhaustion aside,) and so she doubted it really mattered whatsoever. If it did, then she made it infinitely worse by wrapping her fingers around his hand and giving it a soft squeeze and not letting go. “If it happens again,” She says, gently, “then we’ll reach out to someone who can help you get a handle on it when we get back home. Then you can learn how to use it - or never use it. Learn how to control it. It might still happen in emergencies, but...not silly ones like the two of us falling. And you can ignore that it exists all other times, if that’s what you want to do.”
That was, at least, if he didn’t end up being too powerful - but the fact that he hadn’t discovered his powers until now made her doubt that something like that would be too much of an issue. He’d just...learn how to not use it, and it wouldn’t be a problem at all. It would be like this evening didn’t even happen.
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
Cyreia squeezed Remin's hand in return and adjusted her position slightly so that they were facing each other. There was almost no space between them now. Unpromted, her thoughts wandered back to the kiss they had shared once; through her fatigue, Cyreia wondered distantly how her lips tasted today and whether Remin would mind if she kissed her again. She was silent for those few tense moments before finally looking away. Such way of thinking, if not unchecked, would surely lead to her ruin.

"That sounds... reasonable," she conceded, still unable to meet Remin's eyes. There was nothing reasonable about her suddenly possessing magical abilities, about those abilities possessing her, really, but Remin had offered a solution. A way out. Why was she so nice to her, anyway? Cyreia had already learned to lean on Remin when it came to matters concerning Athea, sure. This was something quite different, though. Despite her being a hated enemy, her mistakes would, by extension, also be seen as Remin's mistakes. Marriage just worked like that. It was thus in her best interest to advise Cyreia, although she certainly didn't have to be as courteous about it as she had been. Helping her deal with her personal issues, though? She didn't have to do that. In fact, Remin's reputation would suffer from this if the word got out. So why? Cyreia had no answer to that question. What she did have, however, was gratitude. Gratitude so immense that she could drown in it.

"I'm worried about something, though. I... wouldn't mind as much if it only happened in silly situations." Speaking objectively, Cyreia had to admit that the whole incident was kind of funny. Too bad that she couldn't find it funny, at least not now, not in this state. "What if we run into danger again before the end of this trip and I... just make things worse?" Cyreia had no idea what she was doing, after all. "Is there some... some exercise involving control I can perform before we find someone qualified to help me? A stopgap measure of sorts? I don't need to become an expert, I just want to know how to prevent accidents." There had to be something. "How did you learn about magic, Remin?"
 
Last edited:

Conifer

Junior Member
If his wonders about kissing her had been made known to her, she would have echoed them (in some world that’s this one but not quite, at least). The first time had been brief, and had felt for whatever strange reason, natural, and while her mind didn’t wander there on its own, too concerned for him and too busy trying to think of solutions to problems that didn’t yet exist, given the space, it would have. And then that moment would have been broken when he looked away from her, and she would have been...something. Some indescribable emotion akin to either relief or disappointment, and she would pull her hands away entirely, retreating their bodies to a safe distance from one another.
As it stands, though, she does not think of kissing, and she does not pull away. She thinks of magic, and she thinks, briefly, of their closeness earlier.

“Tutors,” Remin admits. “As I learned most things. But I never learned much. My magic isn’t powerful enough to be worth pursuing.” She says, moving one of her hands from holding his to brushing a bit of leaf from his hair that had been clinging there since the fall, and then -- oh. Well, now she’s thinking of kissing. “That, um.” She falters for a moment, unsure whether to pull away now, or to linger, and it makes her forget what it was she was saying. Her hand hovers near his hair for a moment before she sharply pulls it into her own lap and resists the urge to look away. “I- truly doubt you’ll make things worse with it. And I doubt it will be an issue again, if you’ve gone all your years without discovering it.” She wondered, though, if it was something about being in Athea had triggered it. They did have a higher percentage of magic users, after all - something that the causes of had never really been investigated. Magic existed or it didn’t, and finding out why felt like a dangerous path if any peoples who wished them ill found out the answer. “But awareness exercises might help. Just - being aware of the dangers of a room you’re in. Being prepared for something to happen at any time, and learning how to manage your reaction if something unexpected does happen. Nothing I’m sure you didn’t likely learn as a soldier. If it does happen again, you might begin to learn what sort of feelings signals your magic wanting to be used, and you'll be able to get a better reign on it. But that comes with time."
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
Remin touched her hair briefly and Cyreia could swear that there was magic in her touch, too, because in that moment, her entire world shrunk to that tiny gesture. She almost wanted to recoil, surprised by the intensity of it all, but at the same time, she yearned to lean into it. To see where it would lead if she just seized the opportunity and did... something colossally stupid. It wasn't her place to do so, though, and it would never be. In the end, Cyreia didn't react. It should have felt like a victory, like a triumph of will over her instincts, but for some reason, all she felt was faint disappointment. In whom, though? In herself? In Remin, for not taking it a step further? Her feelings were a mess and Cyreia wasn't about to try and untangle them. At least not now. And well, to be frank, probably not later, either. The possibility of reaching the real answer to her questions frightened her. Some things, she supposed, were better left undiscovered.

"Hmm. Perhaps that is the reason none of this has manifested before," Cyreia suggested as she listened to Remin's explanation. "I mean, in my line of work, you always had to be very aware of what was happening around you or you just didn't last very long." It sounded logical, didn't it? It also sounded incomplete, like a half-solved puzzle. No matter how dangerous path she had walked, Cyreia had also experienced prolonged periods of calm. Prolonged periods of boredom, even. Soldiers didn't just fight; they also had to get from one place to another, often on foot, and there was hardly anything exciting about marching for days on end. Yes, it had been exhausting at times, but also utterly boring. Well, I suppose that there's no sense in trying to find out why it happened. It happened, the result is still the same regardless of the trigger, and I should learn to live with it. The learning part would have to come tomorrow, though. Right now, Cyreia only managed to stay awake through sheer force of will and her supply of it wasn't endless.

"Anyway, I will keep your advice in mind. Thank you, Remin. And... not that I want to chase you away, but I'm really tired. Could we maybe go to sleep?" Cyreia drifted off the second the door of her room closed behind Remin, her sleep deep and dreamless for the first time since she had arrived in Athea. Even exhaustion had its benefits, it seemed.

The next day came faster than she would have liked. It seemed to Cyreia that they had barely begun to get to know Caldora and yet it was already time to leave. Too bad that they couldn't adjust their schedule a bit; she would have loved to stay for a little longer, explore the capital some more and even listen to Sarah's never-ending stream of chatter. Sarah and Tamrel, two people who had accepted her as easily as if she was their long lost son. God, Cyreia would miss them. Something told her that very few encounters that lay ahead of her would be half as pleasant. "I think we should return when we have some time," she told Remin as they were getting ready to leave, distantly aware that the right opportunity might not appear for years to come. Duties awaited them, after all. Athea was still a country ravaged by war and they had the responsibility to restore it to its former glory. The history would not look kindly upon them if they spent their years on the throne neglecting their people. After saying goodbye to their generous hosts, they embarked on their journey once again.

Cyreia had to admit that traveling, too, was pleasant in its own way. The memory of Caldora still lingered in her mind and for a while, it seemed like nothing could compare, but being so far from other people for a change felt soothing. Nature truly could heal, that she was convinced of. Cyreia spent most of her time with Remin, just talking about anything and everything. The topics ranged from proper table etiquette (she didn't feel like repeating the cutlery faux pas from their dinner with the councilors) to inventing absurd stories just to avoid boredom. The feelings towards her didn't disappear, much to her chagrin, so she at least made sure that they didn't spend a lot of time alone. Whenever Remin retreated back to her carriage, Cyreia remained on horseback and chatted with the guards instead of following her there. Surprisingly, some friendships were forged during this section of their journey; before she fully realized what was happening, the guards were trading jokes back and forth with her. It made her feel a bit nostalgic. Wasn't this how she had earned the trust of her compatriots back in the army as well? Cyreia could tell that they were still a bit cautious in her presence, but now she also thought that they would warm up to her eventually. Well, I certainly hope that entire Athea will mirror their behavior.

It didn't take that long for them to reach their next stop; a large castle that loomed over the horizon, isolated from all the other dwellings. "I suppose that this is our next stop," Cyreia stated. "What should I expect, Remin? Anything to be wary of? Not that I want to be suspicious for no reason, you see, but some of my recent experiences have taught me the value of expecting the worst outcome possible."
 

Conifer

Junior Member
Remin retreated back to her room when it was asked of her. That was safer, certainly, than lingering, even if the thought of sharing a bed didn’t put her off as terribly as it once had. Her own bed felt abstractly empty where she lay alone that night, but sleep eventually came and drove those thoughts from her head. When she woke, equally alone in the morning, she didn’t allow herself to linger there for worry of where her thoughts would wander. There wasn’t time for lingering, anyways - there was a road to resume travelling on. A honeymoon to resume. A mess of things to handle when they returned, and so, a schedule to keep.

It’s a quiet journey, which leaves Remin feeling conflicted. Where exactly they were headed next hadn’t settled in fully until she settled onto her horse for the first part of the day, but Avther’s quick, whether he intends it or not, to whisk her out of her cluttered head and into soft conversation that drifts between them on the wind. His conversations with the guards, when she eventually grew tired of riding, and retreated to rest in the carriage, were a nice background sound to listen to as she sat in silence and worked at a bit of needlework. It was a task that felt useless in the face of the ever-growing closeness of the stop on the trip she dreaded the most, and it seemed that every stitch had to be pulled out because it wasn’t quite right. But eventually she gave up, as they began to near their destination, and resumes riding at Avther’s side. It was the polite way to approach, anyways - approach openly, show trust that they don’t have men on the walls waiting to strike you down.

“Lord Vestat’s family has been friends with ours for generations,” She says, in response to Avther’s questions. “His mother passed when he was young, and his father passed a few years ago - it’s just him and his sister, now, though she’s away at schooling.” She sighs softly, looking over the castle. They’re close enough that she can tell that the section that had been caved in had since been repaired, but the skeletons of scaffolding remained in place. “There’s nothing to be suspicious of here. He’s a quiet man, but kind enough, and shouldn’t prove to cause us much trouble. Remember your table manners, but you can remain mostly unguarded.”
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
"That should be simple enough. Feel free to kick me under the table if I mess up. Don't go easy on me, either. I need the constant threat of punishment looming over me if I am to remain vigilant," Cyreia joked. Not that she actually believed that it would be necessary; her memory was quite impressive and now that Remin had explained everything to her, eating properly shouldn't pose much of an issue. Having a separate fork for everything still seemed downright absurd, but oh well. No foreigner had ever earned a local's love by questioning their customs. Though, she supposed, this wasn't an Athean thing as much as it was an aristocracy thing.

"I sincerely hope, then, that Lord Vestat will turn out to be out friend as well." God knew that they needed friends in this climate; especially friends in high places. As much as Cyreia disliked that, she knew that politics was mainly governed by personal relations. People just worked that way, probably since time immemorial. Since most of the nobles of this country probably hated everything Eupriunian with passion, making a good impression here was more important than ever. They had the advantage of Lord Vestat being familiar with (and presumably liking) Remin; from what she had said, he seemed to be a supporter of theirs by default. Such an opportunity couldn't be squandered. Cyreia took a deep breath as they lowered the main gate for them to pass through. "Remin?" she asked a hint of nervousness in her voice. "If you ever get the impression that I'm acting in an inappropriate manner, just... stop me somehow. Step on my foot or make me trip, I don't care. Just let me know that I'm going overboard. I don't intend to, but... well, I also didn't intend to threaten the council of Caldora and look at how that turned out." Was it a bad decision to remind Remin of that particular blunder? Maybe, but it made no sense to dwell on it now.

They didn't get much time to discuss this, though, because Lord Vestat was waiting for them already. Cyreia got off her horse first and then offered Remin a helping hand. She didn't need it to get down, of course, but it felt like a right thing to do in that situation. After that, Cyreia put on a polite smile and approached the lord. It must have been him; he was surrounded by servants and his robes indicated his position clearly.

"I am happy to see you in such good health, Lord Vestat. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Avther. It is a pleasure to be able to stay in your ancestral home."
 

Conifer

Junior Member
“My king.” Lord Vestat offers up a polite smile, bowing his head. He’s young looking - hardly older than the two of them, though the years have settled heavily on him, marking lines across his face and the beginnings of grey at his temples, making it difficult to place exactly how much older than the two of them he is. “I welcome you here, and hope that you find it much to your liking. And Remin, it’s good to see you again. You’re looking well.”

Remin found it difficult to look at him for terribly long. The past was ignorable, for the most part, until she saw him properly. Instead of the composed man standing on the stairs to greet them, she saw a harried man rushing into her chambers at night in his bedclothes, tears in his eyes as he delivered the terrible news that the wing where her parents had been sleeping had caved in. A structural accident, he said they’d determined. That didn’t mean much to her - what meant anything was that her family was gone. Remin glanced away, blinking away the image. That wasn’t where they were anymore.

“And you, my lord.” She greets him politely, allowing him to press a kiss to the back of her hand, and then lead them both inside.


"I'm sure the both of you would like some time to recover from the journey, but I invite you both to join me for tea when you're ready. Eloise here,' a serving woman steps forward as Vestat continues "Will show you to where you'll be staying. I'll be in the sunroom, but take your time."
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
"And we shall be happy to accept the invitation," Cyreia bowed her head slightly. So far, the man seemed... agreeable, really. It was difficult to judge his character so soon after meeting him, of course, but at least his presence didn't instantly put her on edge the way it had happened with the councilors. Then again, it may have been Remin's endorsement that had convinced her to put her guard down. Was it truly wise? We shall see where we stand with him soon enough, I suppose. Either way, there is no reason to act standoffish, especially if I want to win his support.

"Let us go, my queen." Even though Cyreia had already got used to calling her Remin, she wasn't quite sure whether the permission to use her first name extended to social situations. It couldn't have, definitely not considering how the councilors had reacted to any perceived intimacy between them. Lord Vestat may not have been an enemy, but she still remembered the consequences of her latest misstep, remembered Remin's deathly pale face. "My queen" was simply the safer alternative, even if it felt strange on her tongue now. "Well, Eloise, feel free to lead the way," Cyreia encouraged the maid. The woman didn't need any further prompting to carry out her task. They were being led through the narrow corridors of the castle until they came to a light, airy room. Oh no, Cyreia thought immediately. It wasn't that the room offended her taste, not at all, but... she hadn't anticipated to share it with Remin. Why am I even surprised? Of course that they were expected to stay in a room together. They were newly-weds; such an arrangement made sense, or at least it would have made sense if they were an ordinary couple. "Your belongings have already been delivered, your highnesses," Eloise bowed deeply. "I shall give you some privacy. Should you need something, do not hesitate to let me know."

"Wait a moment," Cyreia stopped her. "Do you think we could get one more room? I understand that this is unexpected, but... that is what we're used to."

Eloise smiled in an apologetic manner. "I am very sorry, but no other room is currently available. The interior hasn't been repaired fully yet. Is that a big problem?"

Yes! It's an enormous problem! "No, not at all," Cyreia heard herself saying instead in a cheerful tone. "Thank you, Eloise. You're free to go." The woman bowed once again and did as instructed.

"Well, we aren't staying for long," she finally said after a few seconds of awkward silence. "I suppose that we'll manage somehow." At least there was a changing room as well, so she could undress herself and put on her sleeping robes without the fear of being found out. Sleeping with her chest bound would not be the most pleasant of experiences, but she had been through worse. There was no grounds for panic, absolutely none. Everything would be fine. Or was she just lying to herself here? Cyreia looked at Remin to determine how she felt about all of this and frowned slightly. "Are you alright, Remin? You look a bit... off."
 

Conifer

Junior Member
The steps that they follow, trailing after the woman, are familiar, and the bedroom they're led to all the more so. If Remin didn't know better, it would almost feel like cruel prodding on their Lord host's part. But that's almost assuredly not the case. The castle is small, and while the outside was repaired, she guesses that that wing of the castle isn't suit for company yet - and if it were, being there would be far worse than being here again. Remin certainly hears the conversation happening around her - something about rooms, and-- and the castle not being fixed. Gods. She guessed right, she supposes, but she doesn't linger long on that fact until she remembers cluttered and broken stone and shattered windows instead. The talking continues, with Eloise's gentle voice cut by Abther's rougher one on occasion, and then there's the sound of the door. Avther speaks, and she's aware it's to her (who else?) but it takes her a moment to be aware of it.


"What was that?" She asks, turning her face towards him, and then a moment later, her attention. "--I'm alright, my king." She says, and then corrects herself, as if saying his name could clue him into her need for comfort she doesn't dare speak aloud. "Avther. Just...tired, from the journey. I may lay down for a bit, instead of taking up the offer for tea."
 

Aerynth

Junior Member
Well, that certainly happened awfully fast. Remin had seemed to be fine mere minutes before, but then again, perhaps she had been hiding her fatigue the entire time. That wouldn't surprise her. Her wife was a woman who had wanted to go deal with her would-be assassins personally moments after narrowly escaping death by poison. Concealing exhaustion in order to keep up appearances likely wasn't too difficult for her. It all made sense on the surface level and yet, yet some unknown instinct warned her that this didn't seem right. Why would Remin risk leaving her alone with a powerful man Cyreia didn't know? Remin, who was always so mindful of protecting their reputation? Granted, Lord Vestat likely posed no danger, but still. The potential for destruction was great and Cyreia had proved that trouble found her wherever she went. The most telling sign of all, however, was the fact that Remin simply looked... sad. More distressed than tired. It bothered her seeing her in this state, the usual spark gone from her eyes.

"Remin," she said softly and sat down on the bed. "Are you... are you sure that you are fine? You know that you can talk to me, right?" Cyreia asked, echoing Remin's earlier offer of lending a listening ear. She hadn't taken her up on that offer back then, mostly because there had been no way to make that work, but it didn't mean that she couldn't repay the favor. That she didn't want to repay it. "If you really want to rest, then I will go on my own. I'll simply tell the lord that you were too tired to join us. If there's something bothering you, though, I promise to do everything within my power to help."
 

Conifer

Junior Member
It would be...so easy to tell him. She thinks it would be, at least. It’s certainly just...words. Just words that hold weight that she’s already carrying - but maybe that’s the problem. She’s carrying it already, she’s managed to get a good hand hold on this whole mess and balanced it perfectly as she can, and the slightest upset might send the whole thing tumbling. Now is not the time for tumbling. Now is the time for -- Remin sinks onto the bed beside him, looking shrunken and small. She has no idea what now is the time for. “There is- nothing that can be done to help it,” She admits, shaking her head. “Nothing you can do to help it, at any rate, unless you’re in well with the gods. There are just...a lot of memories here. I hadn’t expected to be so overwhelmed by them.”

That was...enough. Enough that he would be satisfied in her answer, in her attempts at transparency, but not enough that she would lose her grip that had taken her time they didn’t have to spare again. She’d tell him eventually. She’d tell him when they were back home, and dealt with the slew of messes that followed them in the wake of this trip and their marriage. Months from now, at best. Years from now, most likely.
“I’ll be fine.” She assures him again, quieter this time. “I just need some time. Go, enjoy tea. Tristan is a good ally for us to have, and a good friend, above the rest of it. He’s safe to enjoy some tea with.”
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 1)

  • Top