Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by princess
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princess

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Verrick, Charlotte, & Amir





Amir had not expected the interaction between the ivory skinned Lady Vikena to extend beyond a shy smile and some quick pleasantries. It was obvious to his trained eye that she had sought the escape of the beverage table as an excuse to leave the poor happenstance her kin had wrought. Even he did not know why he seemed to gravitate towards her. His steps had been measured and seemed to hold no particular destination and yet there he was.

Still, the two could have passed like ships in the night. There had been no need or requirement to address her. Yet his calm, confident voice had passed his lips and complimented her. Kahrem would have praised how brave she had been. After all, he had first hand experience of how harsh his father could be and their mother had told them of the great tales of the Sultan’s bloody past. Only his mother had been able to tame that beast.

Sudden realization made Amir open his eyes slightly. HIS MOTHER. There was a semblance of Esrin Kadir. To any onlooker, the comparison would have been short of the mark. Not only in complexion and body type but Charlotte could never be confused for the Sultana. Yet, there was something about her that had called to the twin.

She offered him a shrimp. HIs suspicious nature would never allow him to eat something not prepared by the cooks he trusted. Yet, he found his very own hand betraying him as he reached for one. The old Amir would have wrinkled his nose at the offer. So why was he now closing his fingers over the shellfish and popping it in his mouth. He chewed once, twice. The juices covering his tongue with the flavor. She was right…the food was delicious.

A slight smile and nod in her direction was the only sign of his approval. It was then that a man approached them. His instincts immediately told Amir that this man was no spoiled youth. There was even a scent about him that was not overpowered by perfume. The man’s eyes were the true indicator. Pale blue, like a cold winter sea. The second born gave the man a slight nod of acknowledgement. The armor that was his calm face returning.

Charlotte could easily tell Amir was very much loving the taste of that shrimp; his expression said it all without a spoken word. ” Aw I’m glad you liked it.”She said warmly as he nodded. He seemed like a quiet person, much like herself, so she thought maybe she’d pick up the work in conversating for a change. She drew a breath nervously before continuing, ”...I am sure if it’s not as good as the food in Alidasht.”

Before Amir could answer her, the sound of her own name took her attention. She changed the angle of her body to address the speaker as well. To her surprise, it was Princess Beatrice’s bodyguard, greeting her kindly. “Why hello Verrick. Long time no see.” Charlotte held out the tray of shrimp out toward him, ”Brave? I feel as if I am the biggest coward in the world standing next to someone like you… But thank you so much. How about a shrimp for the brave bodyguard of the Varian princess ?”

Verrick bowed his head as Charlotte turned her attention to him. She continued on as she offered him a plate of shrimp. He hesitated as he looked down at it, letting a soft sigh come out as he accepted her offer and took one. ” Thank you… He said before continuing with his reply. ”You honor me with kindness. I was only performing my duty. You are far from being a coward, Lady Charlotte. Willing to take upon your stepfathers punishment knowing it could lead to your own death? M’lady. That is the very definition of Bravery. Do not let yourself or anyone else convince you otherwise. ” He finished by taking a bite of the shrimp. The taste did not relieve the awful feeling he had in his mouth speaking so formally. But it was still good.

Verrick glanced to Amir and after he had finished his mouthful, asked. ”“Wouldn’t you agree?”

Amir continued to chew the shrimp that had been offered. Not because he wanted to fully enjoy it, though he was doing that, but to give off the impression that he was an innocent bystander. All the while hearing things about both Lady Charlotte and this new arrival, Verrick. This man was well known and it was due to some valiant act worthy enough to be the Princess of Varian’s bodyguard. Definitely a man to watch.

The Interchange of the two also revealed that the Duke’s daughter was held in high regard in other parts as well. The twin did not like the fact that she did not recognize her own worth. This meant she was either falsely humble, or had a low regard of herself, neither scenario a positive one. When the question was posed to him, Amir answered in his calm and cool voice.

The gentleman here has the truth of it. Even royals need to be wary of when they speak.”. His honey eyes lingered on the older man. “If Mr. Verrick offers his compliments it must be so. I doubt he does it so freely.” . The roll of the twin’s tongue played with the other man’s name. As if trying to learn more from the bodyguard as a sommelier does with wine.

Charlotte’s cheeks reddened and her gaze lowered. She set down the tray of shrimp on the table. ”W-Well I just see protecting our families as what’s expected of all of us... But I do suppose in the story of Clarissa and the Creature, Clarissa agrees to stay in the creature’s castle in her father’s place and she’s regarded as heroine in literature… Knowing my father is safe regardless if my actions had any part is enough for me tonight.”She paused her nervous rambling as she took it all in.

Me? Brave? If only they knew I’m still frightened of the dark.

Charlotte’s gaze turned to Amir to inform him as she picked up her glass in hand once again, ”Your Highness. Did you know Mr. Verrick was able to singlehandedly defend the Princess from a group of, from what I’ve heard, ten men?”

Verrick nodded his head. It is supposed to be like that. But rarely it is…especially among the nobles…and even less among the Caesonian’s. If she were to somehow catch the eye’s of one of the princes’s. She might do the family good. He didn't do anything as he glanced back at Princess Beatrice to keep himself updated on her position. Casually turning himself slightly to have an improved view.

Lady Charlotte suddenly then spoke up with more enthusiasm than before. Causing him to look back at her. She brought up the day the princess was almost kidnaped, and with that he winced slightly as a sudden ghost of pain resurfaced. His right hand rubbed the scar on his abdomen, not even realizing he did. Flashes of memories of that fight flashed in his mind. Honestly he couldn’t remember the latter half of it after he was stabbed. Only tiny portions here and there…mostly of riding back to the closest Caesonian castle. The Princess in front of him, helping him stay on the horse. Waking up on the ground of the inner courtyard of the keep after falling off his horse.

He blinked as he pulled himself back to the present. Quickly looking at Amir and Charlotte and realizing she was verifying if it was ten men. Clearing his throat he nodded. ”Yes, it was. ” He said looking to Amir ”Bear in mind it was eight years ago, and mostly luck.” He said, trying to downplay it. ”The shorter version was that Princess Beatrice was on route to Caesonia and a group of mercenaries attempted to kidnap her for ransom. They surprised her guards and slaughtered them. I was on my way to meet them halfway and by a miracle I arrived just before they attempted to take her from the carriage. After I ambushed the ambushers… I escorted the princess to the closest Castle.“ He said raising his hands, palms up. Attempting to play it down even more as if it wasn’t a big deal. Conveniently not bringing up the fact he fought off the second half of them with a short sword in his gut.

From the conversation so far Amir could gather that Duke Vikena’s low regard for himself had either rubbed off on Charlotte or the lady was trying not to outshine her low born father. If only she could see that accepting and enhancing that self worth would only benefit all parties involved. Still, it was not the twin’s place to relay this. Instead, he decided to be frank and short. “Perhaps one day, the lady will see in the mirror what others see through their eyes.”

When the Caesonian lady offered the story of Verrick, Amir gave the man an approving nod. When the man tried to offer excuses why the feat was not that big of a deal, it earned the body guard a slightly raised eyebrow. Only a man wanting to keep inconspicuous would try so hard. Only a man who worked in the shadows would shun the light. The second Kadir would have to keep an eye on the man. “Sir Verrick, I very much doubt luck had much to do with your prowess. I would be honored to request a training session. It would be true test of my skill against such a benchmark.” Out of the Kadi children, probably Mayet or Layla were the most proficient in weapons but as a swordsman, the twin was decent.

The Alidshati had lingered long enough. He offered a polite bow to both. “It was a pleasure meeting you Sir Verrick. Lady Vikena I beg you would excuse me.”Always keep moving, a sitting target is easier to hit. He had seen some people look more than once in their direction, no doubt building up the courage to come and join the conversation. The second son would remain an elusive shadow as long as he could.

Verrick looked at Amir and bowed his head. ”I am honored by your words, and humbly accept your offer. It was a pleasure as well, Shahazde Amir. As the man left, Verrick let out a sigh. So much for staying in the shadows. A training session would surely draw a few to see.

He turned to Charlotte and said softly. I am glad you are doing alright. I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.”
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by JJ Doe
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JJ Doe

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Fritz "Ryn" Hendrix
Interaction(s): Lorenzo @FunnyGuy; John @Conscripts

"It's been...what...12 years since I left Caesonia..."

With the exception of a twitch of his fingers, the count showed no interest in the doctor's remark. The good Dr. Williamson originally hailed from Caesonia, did he? Why did he leave? There were plenty of reasons to leave Caesonia. Dr. Williamson could have left for perfectly innocent reasons, such as his family simply wanting a change of scenery or there being better business opportunities in Varian that Caesonia could not provide. There were families out there who fled the country for reasons rooted in iniquity, however. Ryn was interested in finding out which side of the spectrum the Williamsons’ reason for moving lay, because if it involved the Danroses, he might be able to use that information to his advantage.

The thought left a bitter taste in Ryn’s mouth, but he swallowed his conscience down.

"... so I don't remember much at all the food here. If you don't mind introducing us to your kingdom's exquisite culinary art, Duke Vikena."

The count faced the dazzling assortment of foods placed on the table "Oh yes, please do!" Ryn made an exaggerated motion of inhaling the scent. His nostrils caught a whiff of some of the more aromatic dishes on the table, but they were overwhelmed by the amalgam of perfumes in the air. Such a waste, really. He’d have to wait for his nose to get desensitized to the perfumes first. "These… look absolutely delectable!" He randomly pointed at one of the dishes, "Such artistry! What is this one? I’ve never seen it before."

A lie. It was Ryn’s first, arguably second, lie he told since he arrived at the party —one of many he suspected he would be telling. He didn’t consider his greeting to the King to be a lie, though. It was, in fact, a great pleasure to finally meet His Majesty. Ryn waited his entire life to see the man in person. Many nights, he dreamt of how he would confront them. The days spent training and learning, just so he could stand here. Knowing that it wasn't all for naught was a reward in and of itself. It goes without saying that Count Hendrix wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for the Danroses. So of course it was gratifying to meet them.

The truth, in this case, was that Ryn already knew what every Caesonian dish on the table was. Which ones were commonly eaten in the country on special occasions and which ones were typically reserved for the privileged. He knew what the main ingredients were and how they were traditionally cooked. His family made sure that he knew the proper way to eat them in the presence of nobles, too. Whatever dish the duke decided to talk about didn’t matter to Ryn; what mattered was getting Duke Vikena to start talking about something. Anything to shift his focus away from the accident he caused and his deep-seated self-doubt.

Ryn listened intently to Duke Vikena as he spoke. Smiling encouragingly whenever the duke's mind seemed to sink back into negative thoughts.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Mole
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Mole

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L O C A T I O N : C A E S O N I A C A S T L E B A L L R O O M I N S O R I A N
I N T E R A C T I O N S : P R I N C E S S B E A T R I C E C A M I L I A , L A D Y T H E A S M I T H W O O D , L O R D L E O S M I T H W O O D , N A H I R A Y S U N K A D I R , S U L T A N R A I F K A D I R
M E N T I O N S : @Aerandir , @baraquiel , @Helo , @Rodiak , @Tae




The light in Prince Felix's eyes flickered as they assessed Lord Leo Smithwood. He adjusted his body into a bow with a polite, noble smile relaxed throughout his jaw. "My Lord, the pleasure is all mine." His hand held strongly to Lady Thea, his honorary prize for such a dutiful behavior. He preferred something with more honor to shine with the name that he was supposed to waltz around with for the entirety of his life and history. However, he could not expect too much from the lady. She had her foibles, and only so much of her could be tamed. This caused a stress in the prince, but he was not open to letting it show. "The honorary day shall come soon enough," he forced his smile to be a little more cheerful, trying to exude a friendly demeanor, for he did not wish to treat Lady Thea with any ill will despite his lack of favorable feelings for the woman.

He glanced briefly at the Sultan and his court and then turned his attention quickly back to the Lord. Both Lady Thea and he had been received by the Sultan favorably if with a little annoyance. Of course, Prince Felix insisted in his own mind that the annoyance was all with him and felt himself glad to have gotten the introduction out of the way and wished to get himself away from all the charlatans and their beastly stenches. On such a note, his betrothed smelt like the bottle of whatever she had been previously drinking. But, in all due respect, Lord Leo deserved his respect and attention. After all, he had more reasons to be privileged by the Lord's presence than he could care to acknowledge at this point in time. One of them was on his arm, making an embarrassment just by the lights shimmering against her bare skin. (She must really admire the attention, but to what end?)

The lingering thought needn't be attended to, as one of the Alidasht approached them with arrogance in her form. She addressed Lord Leo without looking in his direction. Prince Felix pretended not to note this and continued in his respectful manner. She remarked his sister Princess Beatrice well enough. "The pleasure is mine." He bowed again, as he had to Lord Leo, and of course, once again, he nudged Lady Thea to bow alongside him. As the two rose from their honorary positions, Nahir was already making her exit, and Verrick, who lacked many things when it came to noble tack (dismissed for a variety of reasons), made his vocal entrance.

Prince Felix flexed again on the hilt of his sword. The words were downright preposterous, if only more so because he had the power to whisper words of nonsense to his sister all day along. His kind would not likely understand the proper attire needed for a Varian Princess, even if he was beside one all day. He would have dismissed the comment altogether if his own had not taken to the compliment so happily. Prince Felix blamed the drinking and loosened his fist on the hilt.

He turned his attention to Lady Thea, allowing the bodyguard to maintain his own pleasure at the party. He had his rights to relax, after casting all his lots on protecting his sister so dutifully. The prince thought many of times, and now was not an exception, that the man who held little dignity with duty must be spending quite an amount of energy to have his whole life at stake for duty. In such a way, he was learning the noble way, but his gaffs were always readily noticeable.

"My Lady," he smiled at her, but before he could make a further introduction, Auguste came and made his introduction, to which Prince Felix made his automatic redundant greeting.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Heartfillia
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Heartfillia

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Location: Outside the ballroom
Mentions: Alisdasht party, @princessCharlotte @Tpartywithzombi Violet





Breath….


Crystal took a long breath as she tried to calm her nerves with her back to the cold stone of the walls just outside the grand ballroom in the hall. Her right hand against her chest and clutching the emerald pendant she wore and rubbing it between her thumb and forefinger. The pendent did not go well with her sparky dress, but she didn't care she wore it for comfort. She always wanted this, she was willing to go at odds against her parents wishes, to have them be furious with her. Just to live her life. Her eyes closed tight, trying to ignore the servant who was staring at her slightly confused. As he was about to open the doors to the ballroom for her and announce her.

Why… Why is she so scared?! Now that she was just right outside of her dream? No longer was it stuck in her mind, or on paper. It was only just beyond these massive ornate oak doors. But the thought of all of them staring at her suddenly made her frightened. After a moment of fighting her feelings she finally pushed herself up straight and with a face as red as a rose she looked at the servant and sheepishly asked…. C-could you please not announce me? I don’t think I could handle it.

The servant tilted his head and gave her an odd look, which she swore only made her feel like her face turned even more crimson. But he only smiled and bowed gracefully. He then turned to open the doors. Despite her wishes…the doors announced a new come quite on their own. She couldn't believe how loud it was as it was pulled open.

As soon as she had enough room she smiled at the servant in thanks before slipping through. The change was so intense it felt like she stepped quite literally into another world, the one from her dreams. She felt her fear melt away as her eyes were filled with wonder as she looked up to the ceiling to see multiple chandeliers glistening with the candle’s that were lit within them. She then looked around both of her hands close to her chest. So many fantastic outfits adorned both the Lords and Ladies. Large tables of food and wine. The music loud enough to overwhelm you but soft enough to allow friendly conversations.

Her eyes were drawn to the Alidasht party next. She had never met anyone from there, of course. But their clothes were so exotic, their dark skin mesmerizing. She was shocked to see they even brought animals with them! She was amazed that there was a full grown tiger in the room and it was just sitting there! Tamed!

She was about to look for her parents, to make sure she hid from them as much as she could. She also looked for her sister, to surprise her, she didn’t believe her when she said she would come no matter what. She had made bold claims before and didn’t go through with them. She also wanted to surprise Charlotte. To see the look on her face when she realized what was happening. The thoughts of seeing both of their reactions put a warm smile on her lips.

Suddenly that smile vanished as the doors behind her were slammed shut. Causing a loud *Boom* that scared her so much she jumped and twirled around. Once her mind caught up to what happened she stood there for a moment, her left hand covering her mouth as she slowly turned around. Anxiety surged through her as she grew red once again. Hoping,Wishing,Praying that it would just go unnoticed by the other nobles…her heart sank when she saw many close by looking at her.

She didn’t know what to do… She stood there frozen as her hand moved from her mouth to ear, tracing a finger against her skin to slip some of her hair behind her ear before lowering it and gripping her other hand to start to wring them together nervously. Lowering her head a bit to somehow in vain, escape the stares of the nobles. Her own eyes racing back and forth to find some safe haven, surely her parents will look over soon and see her. However, seeing the balcony it would be in vain…her legs were still frozen. She couldn’t move an inch.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Infinite Cosmos
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Infinite Cosmos XIV

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Mentions: Essentially every noble present, but not directly interacting with them.
Interactions: @Tae Lady Mina

”It is quite the pleasure to meet you, Munir. I am Lady Mina Blackwood, but perhaps you’ll call me Mistress tonight.”

This one simple, playful line from Mina resonated within Munir's soul. Mistress. Thats a word Munir is not familiar with. Being a Shahzade, he is used to others using honorifics or other titles that denoted his elevated status against their own. However, with a term like mistress, it almost seems like this lady thinks herself to be of a higher societal standing than him.

How fun.

As Munir waited to see if Mina would accept his offering of Alidasht's finest vintage, she proposed a trade. Munir raised his eyebrow slightly when she reached between her bosoms and produced a small flask of her own. The contents of which Munir gladly sampled. On first taste, it was clear that whoever the brewmaster of this liquor was was obviously a specialist in the craft. The liquor held a sting that was unlike the wine he had offered to Mina. This was sharper, more abrupt, and showed a subtle aggression. All of which Munir liked. The mid-palate was that of a field where golden fronds of grains swayed in the wind. Clean, crisp, and lingering. The aftertaste was what drew Munir to it the most. It almost tasted of freshly baked bread taken straight from the hearth. "To have this...elixir...produced from where it was being held, it makes one wonder what other wonders does that place hold..." Munir replied back to the compliment Mina paid to his own Alidashtian wine with a small smirk. The small, teasing gesture from Mina where she trailed her hand along the back of his did not go unnoticed either. As Munir went to return the flask, Munir slid it gently back to where it was produced, pushing it down with the pointer finger of his right hand but not quite so far so that his finger would have contact with her skin, but infinitely close.

"Ah, the fiasco was the highlight of my night so far. To be quite honest with you. It livened up a stuffy royal gathering, of which is bearing the most...tantalizing...fruit for me. Otherwise I have quite enjoyed this little corner of the world, though it is my knowledge that it isn't quite your corner, as it were. That remains to be seen, and daftly explored." Munir responded to Mina's question about how he has been enjoying the festivities. Munir leaned in, wrapped an arm firmly around the small of Mina's back and whispered sultrily "If you enjoy this wine so much, you must join me when the festivities end. This is but a small sample of what I have brought from my private collections. We can taste all sorts of delights, if you wish. Then perhaps it would be you to call me Master instead..." Munir made a point to linger by the nape of Mina's neck before letting go and stepping back to a 'respectable' distance away from Mina.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Rodiak
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Rodiak 𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕠𝕗 𝕠𝕣𝕕𝕖𝕣

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I N T E R A C T I O S N :
@Heartfillia
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Somehow, in the few short minutes that Mathias had wandered around the tables, he had managed to get himself stuck between two mothers trying to introduce their daughters to him. The man had only been toasting to his late wife before the two older women sneaked their way to him. Both ladies, Lady Melnyk and Lady Santos wished for their daughters to share the first dance of the evening with him. And while Mathias truly felt flattered, he did not wish to dance with two ladies who would very obviously rather dance with each other than with him.

Mathias had endured enough of both ladies as he began to search for a way out. And once they began talking about children he finally decided it was time to bail. His eyes darted around the ballroom for any way out until he spotted a new face. Golden hair framed the delicate features of the unnamed lady as she twirled around when the door closed.

"My apologies, Lady Melnyk and Lady Santos, I must excuse myself. I see that a friend of mine had just arrived." Mathias bowed to the ladies before turning on his heels and walking away from the two women before they had the opportunity to protest or chance after him.

Golden hair framed her delicate features as she spun around as the door closed behind her. From his spot, he could clearly see that she was not very excited to be at the ball.

Mathias approached the lady, steps light and quiet as to not startle the lady again. He greeted her with a welcoming smile and a bow. "My Lady I would like to welcome you to the ball- I apologize for the sudden introduction but I am Sir Mathias Larsen." He glance back seeing both of the ladies he had been talking to were looking at them. He could clearly see both seemed unhappy. "And I am in need of your help."

"I so desperately need a way out of a predicament. Would you grant me the honors of escorting you to perhaps the food tables, Lady...?" Mathias looked at her with pleading eyes, hoping that she would say yes. Escorting her to the food tables would give him enough distance and time for them to lose interest and move on to their next victim.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Tpartywithzombi
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Tpartywithzombi “Strong women are absolutely unpredictable.”

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ROMAN X VIOLET


Roman Paused and mentally facepalmed and scratched his head, “My apologies Lady Violet, Lord Roman Ravenwood.” reiterating his proper title, “It has been some time since I have come to such a gathering. Like many others here, my parents insisted that I come to more of these gatherings. I'm the oldest of a family of seven brothers and four sisters. I am also the last to marry and have, as my mother says, Many little monsters for her to play with.” he wasn't sure if that was too much or the wrong thing to say it would seem that he didn't care or mind but didn't seem like he was doing it to push her away.

“Err yes the uh temperature here is warm compared to the mountains. The city is one of the many Varian wonders. I'm certain my ancestors were reading too many old stories of gnomes and dwarves, half the dam city is carved into the mountain after all.” Roman leaned against the railing, looking up towards the stars smiling. He continued to gaze up at the stars for a moment longer as he remembered a distant memory before turning his attention back down to her. The dim light of the evening courtyard illuminated her features and he caught his eyes looking over her scar once again.

“The old gods wove the skein of our lives a long time ago, we all have a path to follow. It is what we choose to do while on that path that makes us into the people we are. I also think it is because of my profession and attention to detail that helped me find you in the sea of people that honestly make me uncomfortable.” pausing for a moment to pull his eyes off her scar and back towards the doors for a moment. The music still hasn't picked up again but there weren't any screams of bloodshed either.

“What about you? Why do you hide yourself away from others? I'm not entirely familiar with this kingdom's uhh hierarchy. Is it the positions of the families… I really should try to remember these things when I'm coming to a different kingdom but I've been working too much at the forge I guess.” great now he knew he was being awkward, what would his mother say if she knew he had forgotten the other families other than the king and queen… probably throw her ax at him again. The thought made him snicker at nothing for a moment.


Violet could feel his eyes on her scars as she stiffened. The constant eyes peering on her neck, even though most knew the story it still shocked many when they saw them. Unfortunately, her collar was the highest she could wear without feeling suffocated by her clothing.

“It is quite alright Lord Ravenwood. Truthfully, I myself don't pay much attention too titles and such. I find titles to be rather pointless , especially when they are attached to men or women who value their titles and coins more than the people in their country. “ she paused, knowing she was being rather forward but for some reason she felt comfortable talking to him. Something about him seemed different then the other boring lords and princes. It was refreshing.

“A city built into the walls of a mountain? Sounds charming , almost a fantasy of sorts. You keep making me want to visit this place Lord Ravenwood, I may have to scold you for making me want to leave my comfort” she offered him a smile and a soft laugh. She caught his eyes once again eyeing her scar , as she turned away from him to move the conversation forward.

“The sheer level of fake egos I suppose. I would just rather like to speak to someone without wondering what their other motives are. Sadly many of those royals are always keen on seeking an obedient woman to bear their heirs and live lives in separate chambers for the good of their kingdoms and I am simply not interested. “ she sighed lightly. “ Just to many egos in one room fighting over who shall be crowned the jewel and it’s rather horrifying to watch let alone participate”

She took a pause and decided to go over the elephant in the conversation. “ I got the scar when I was a babe. A small child, I ran off into the woods to adventure and was attacked by an animal. I was almost killed, but thankfully , due to my mothers condition we have so many doctors on call that they were able to help me rather quickly. However, the scars are there and rather large and noticeable. I can’t do much without people staring, and have been told on a few occasions that my scars are ugly and make me an unfit suitor for a lord or prince as I'm tarnished. “ She tilted her head as her eyes watched the stars quietly for a moment. “ Maybe I should count myself lucky, I wont need to worry about swooning men draping themselves all over me like they do the others.”

Changing the subject she turned to looked at him “ so your some form of blacksmith then I take it? Rather odd job for a Lord is it not?” she asked curiously.

The giant of a man dropped his smile slowly while he listened to her , her words were direct and he couldn't make out any lies or deception in her words. It's not like he would pick up on it anyway. The thought was there though. Being well aware that the customs where he was from were very different even to their closest neighbors don't escape his thoughts either while she talked about the other nobles. Roman did agree with most of what she was talking about until she started talking about her scar. With a disapproving or so it sounded huff and without saying anything he began to take off his intricate gloves and set them on the balcony then pull up his sleeves after unbuttoning them. Almost as one would do when about to get into a round of fisty-cuffs.

Something she had said made him a bit irritated and his body language showed it, yet for him it was what she said about her scar and what the others had said. Turning back to face her with his rough calloused palms up and slowly turning his arms revealing many scars of many shapes and sizes. “For us scars are beautiful, it shows others the hardships one has gone through and makes them stronger for it. My people don't crave strength, we honor survival above all else and scars are survival.” making sure to look her in the eye for a moment, “your scars are beautiful, they are you. They aren't going anywhere and whoever says that you are tarnished doesn't know what the fu-... What they are talking about.” honestly he was surprised he caught himself with that one. “Sure i cover mine because its part of this stupid uniform and i dont have a choice but otherwise i normally show my scars off.”

Pausing for a moment to breathe and calm himself of his irritation, Roman smiled, “I apologize if I came off as rude or angry. My sister Sarah was in an accident at a young age and has facial scarring. Because of it I have gotten into a few fights with other Varian nobles or merchants for making fun of what is in my opinion the most beautiful of my siblings.” hoping she would believe him and understand his protective nature surrounding the subject at hand.

Crossing his arms in a relaxed posture he continued, “I'm glad you don't pay much attention to titles. My family's personal view is that we are here to serve the people and not the other way around. Of course where i'm from it's a bit more brutal and harsh compared to these places so i'm not surprised as to the amount of rude or snobbish nobles that are around. I am a firm believer that everyone needs to be punched in the face at least once, it is a very good way to build character.”

“I think other than the cold, you would like Emberstoneit is nice if you keep warm and know the good places to eat around town. The people are mostly friendly but none of them will out right be rude towards you.” thinking about what she said about marriage made him glance back towards the ball room doors. “My father is a marquees which doesn't put us anywhere close to the throne, honestly i don't care who is the best jewel if there are inclusions within the diamond’s being itself its just a bad stone. I'm honestly looking for a friend, one I would be happy to spend the rest of my life with that doesnt mind having a few little minions running around and doesn't mind the cold.” Maybe he was being too honest.

Pausing awkwardly for a moment like he just let slip some big secret, “not that i think that's you or anyone here or just my opinion matters i just … should stop talking for a moment….” a moment or two passed before he continued again. “But uhh yes blacksmith right. My family is the best armor, weapon, and jewelry maker in all three kingdoms. Even your prince has a piece of art I made specifically for him. I can actually talk for hours on the subject so best not to get me started.” awkwardly smiling at her he ran his hands over his scars like a child who thinks they did something wrong or awkward.


Violet watched as he got frustrated with her and began to undress various parts of his clothing. Taking a step back, she looked towards the ballroom, glancing at her father, fearful of what he may think or do with a man acting in such a manner. However, Violet's attention was brought swiftly back as she was interested in the rather large man and what he was about to do. She was fearful but curious.

His passion and his story about his sister left her speechless, and for the first time in a long time she could feel tears welling in her eyes that she instantly attempted to hide, she choked back her words as no one had ever said something so sincere to her that his temper grew hot around it. “ I … I um, I -” she stumbled on her words as she felt his intense gaze on her as he continued. “Please ..don’t apologize for that, I just am - “ she paused. “ I am just simply at a loss for words.” she turned her head to wipe a tear from her eye before it fell. “ Thank you, I truly do mean that.” she offered him a warm smile, something she had not done in a while.

“Please..’ she reached out and touched his arm with her fingertips softly “ Don't stop talking, this has been the most refreshing evening for me.” Her finger traced down one of his larger scars “ Are they all from the work you do?” she asked curiously.

She reached for her collar and hesitantly opened up her rather tight and constraining piece of clothing, She opened it to show the top of her large scar. There were four deep scars, red in nature, looking like painting strokes with all the reds, blues, and purples. “ It travels much further along…I believe it was a bear but I don't remember. She slowly began to button herself back up, adjusting it once again. “ I wish I shared your people's confidence, but sadly when we leave this balcony I return back to my veiled self,” she whispered.

“I too have similar aspirations, but as I stated, the chances of me having that is rather small. My father has been trying to create some kind of arranged marriage, I suppose that will have to do.” she turned to lean back on the balcony “ I suppose that a loveless marriage with children will be my future, I suppose I keep fighting it because it's not what I wish, but as you said, our paths have been chosen and I'm afraid this will be mine.”

Changing the subject she pulled herself out of the darker thoughts “ I would really love to see your work, perhaps the next we meet..” she smiled at him. “ Lord Ravenwood.”

For a moment he was afraid that he had come off a little too strong from her reaction and mentaly scolded himself for a moment before she continued to speak. Her words were not of fear or anger but were thanking him for what he said, not the first time this has happened but more often than not he ends up offending someone somehow. Then she started to unbutton her dress and his heart dropped into his stomach as he thought to himself, “There is no way this is what i'm thinking.” sure enough it was just to show off her scars. Her scars were very prominent and he could tell why she would be shy about them.

He caught himself barely moving the knuckle of his index finger across her chin as to better see the scar, not paying any mind at all as to who could be watching and what it might look like to them. His observant nature took hold as he took in the details and shape of the scar. It looked strange to him the logical side seeing the shape and markings of an obvious animal attack but a thought deep in his mind suggested for a brief moment that it might just be meant to look like an animal attack. That thought was brief and he pulled his hand away quickly to make sure he didn't give off the wrong impression. “I'd like to see how far along it goes…”

The man instantly looked away and grimaced as his mouth was once again faster than his mind. “Umm to identify the source of the attack definitely not for anything lewd i wouldn't want to damage your honor because of it. From what I can see, it looks more akin to a mountain lion than a bear. Bears have 5 big claws meant for digging and ripping apart dead trees, cougars have four sharp claws for climbing and latching onto prey.”

Trying to recover and get away from what he said earlier as quickly as he could, Roman pointed out a jagged U shaped scar on his left forearm. “Most of my scars are from working the forge or training with weapons. For us you can make a weapon if you don't know how it's used, that way we can innovate or customize it without destroying the weapon in the process. But this scar is from a juvenile wolf. My youngest brother Reo thought he killed one while hunting but only knocked it out, this is what I got for jumping in between the two and dispatching the beast before it did the same to us. mother was furious and father laughed for weeks.”

Her comment about the arranged marriage soured his mood a little but as he said he was looking for a friend first. Somehow he didn't think he would be able to find someone like her around here very easily but perked up at the mention of wanting to see his craft. Like a dog when someone mentioned their favorite toy. “I never really agreed that marriage is a currency kind of thing but I understand. At the very least I do hope we can be friends through this vacation I guess. And yes I think you would enjoy being around a forge to see me work. It's a little loud but you can read as much as you like and I can show you the finished products, jewelry making is not as loud. I did bring a few smaller things with me as well for this trip.” again he found himself smiling , it was good that he felt like this at least he thought so.

“Lady Violet.” he spoke and gave her a respectful bow, “please remember your scars are beautiful and it doesn't matter what those fools think because you don't care what they think already. Confidence comes in time but I believe that you will find it.” again he gave her a smile and a nod. “I do hope i can find you again tonight for a dance possibly. Oh and one more thing if you could.” Roman began to button his sleeves back down and put his gloves on. “I'm afraid I missed your entrance. Could you point out your father and mother for me?”

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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by mantou
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mantou The Fried Kind

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W Y S T A N B L A C K M A N E
W Y S T A N B L A C K M A N E
W Y S T A N B L A C K M A N E

T H E W A T C H D O G ' S A R R I V A L
_________________
EARLY EVENING
INTERACTIONS: Princess Anastasia @princess

KISOMAN GUARD ROBES




Darting from the manicured treeline surrounding the Danrose' Royal Estate was a cloaked figure, covered in grime and leaves from his ventures earlier that day. With a dusty aroma and muddy trailing footsteps, he opted to avoid the royally-clogged front entrance of the castle altogether, rushing instead to his room located around the back. His heavy footfalls were drowned out in the chatter of the evening, while the wind zipped around him as he sprinted at full speed. It bellowed through his cloak and teased the already loosened tie that previously secured his long hair in a tight ponytail. Darkened by the shadows of the towering estate, he simply pushed to move faster. Of course, even after a long afternoon of subterfuge and scouting out the city, exerting himself a little more like this was nothing. In fact, exhaustion was a concern so diluted in his mind full of worry for the Second Prince of Caesonia, whose side he had dared to leave for most of midday light.

Finally, the man pulled himself up onto the panes of a bedroom window. With practiced familiarity, he eased the locks open and entered with a light swing. Sitting on the bed was a square box, and in front of his door, was a decorated envelope.


"𝓣𝓱𝓮 𝓢𝓮𝓬𝓸𝓷𝓭 𝓟𝓻𝓲𝓷𝓬𝓮'𝓼 𝓦𝓪𝓽𝓬𝓱𝓭𝓸𝓰, 𝓦𝔂𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓷 𝓑𝓵𝓪𝓬𝓴𝓶𝓪𝓷𝓮." In eye-dizzying cursive, his name and title arrogantly gilded the back of a sealed letter slid beneath the gap of his door. A cordial invitation perhaps, but one he wouldn't need to open to understand its contents. He flicked the gaudy envelope away with careless precision. A confounding oxymoron that saw the weaponized paper whistle through the air and land perfectly on its destination. Had the desk he threw it at been a person, perhaps today would have been it's last.

The watchdog had long since turned his attention to the flat box on his bed, labeled with a certain type of penmanship he could have recognized from a mile away. Inside it was a robed compartmental suit, ordered from a vendor hailing from the faraway lands of Kisoma. The thought of which weighed rather heavily on his mind, because though he hadn't expected such a thoughtful gift, he had an idea of where he could have gone wrong. Wystan had once offhandedly expressed to the prince during an outing that he liked the pockets in this style of clothing, for it offered plenty of space to store his weapons and move around in. Little did he know that one day it would end up in his own humble possession. As someone who barely had anything to his name, oftentimes it was a pain to endure Prince Auguste's kindness and generosity. A grimace he had no time for formed on his face, begrudging as he inwardly accepted the gift into his modest inventory. He swallowed his guilty sigh, hurriedly opting to bathe and then dress for the day’s next task at hand.

The new suit felt warm. It came in layered components, each section offering a significant percentage of utility and weather resistance. Perhaps whatever the Kisomans did to their textile was a feat he could respect; along with their many pockets and securing options that Wystan contentedly took advantage of. Equipped with at least a dozen sharpened throwing knives, two stilettos, and an anelace, the watchdog was more than satisfied. Around his knuckles were thick, long strips of black cloth for padding, and finally, the attire was complete as he secured himself with an arming sword around his hip. Even when stocked like a peddling weapons merchant, all his tools were concealed excellently and declared no audible presence. After all, the ward would never be caught dead without a means to protect the second prince– or his siblings, should he so desire.

Which led him towards his next objective: fetching the princess. Perhaps this may be the hardest goal to reach tonight-– a thought Wystan didn't know whether to feel relieved about or as if he would age five more years within the span of the evening. Needless to say, Princess Anastasia was quite the troublemaker, oftentimes a handful. However, it was nothing that he couldn't handle without a little effort.

Wystan tied his hair into a neat bun before he made his way around the halls of the estate. A moment was taken to exercise caution and listen for any strange noises, before deeming it safe and placing a triad of firm knocks on Anastasia’s door. The strength of his knuckles lent itself well to ensure his survival in the ring. However, even in spite of its excellent ability to deliver resounding knocks that could have very well been heard throughout the hall– somehow, the owner of the room failed to answer. The watchdog raised his eyebrows, already aware that this was one of the probable outcomes, and did not spare a second to go unanswered.


Tok, tok, tok.

“Your Royal Highness, I'm here to fetch you for the ball. Are you ready to leave?” The watchdog could be patient, however, they were edging dangerously close to the opening of the banquet, and the last thing he wanted for Prince Auguste was to worry. He rested one arm on the doorframe as still, no response came. It was no matter. As he was put in charge of picking her up for the evening, he would not move from his spot without her. The ward loudly cleared his throat and effectively knocked thrice on the door again. It would take some persistence, but eventually, the princess would budge; Wystan knew this much after the many long years he’s been ordered to watch over her. And it was from those many long years that she would also know: the watchdog would not back down without a fight. After an allotted time of ten seconds with no answer, he spoke to the door: “Princess Anastasia, is everything alright?”
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A collab between @13org and @SilverPaw




Mayet couldn’t help but to let out a chuckle, shaking her head as she heard Munir’s reply to her and his small ‘introduction’ to Lady Mina, the red-headed noble from before. Always the smooth-talker, Mayet could already see how effective Munir’s honeyed words would be with the Caesonian women, should they not build a resistance to his charms as soon as possible.

Giving another glance back at her father and the Grand Vizier, Mayet let out a mischievous smirk, satisfied. It seemed that even now, more and more nobles continued to approach both of them. Despite how annoyed the Sultan was, it seemed like he would still have to face all those annoying nobles, something that Mayet did not envy. In fact, she couldn’t help but be satisfied on seeing the Sultan suffer like that, after the harsh words he directed at her.

Turning her attention towards Wulfric once more, Mayet noticed him observing her. Despite being less obvious than Mayet herself was when looking at him, she still noticed his stare. Just like Mayet herself, both his image, his posture and the very air around him made it clear that he was someone who carried himself with pride. Someone who knew exactly who he was and was proud of it, something which both of them had in common. Despite that, she could also see in his eyes the overwhelming curiosity and excitement in his eyes.

“Playing with fire is always a gamble, Prince Wulfric. It can warm you and bring you comfort, but it can also burn and scar you if you are not careful enough…” Mayet said as she looked at Wulfric, curiously watching his reaction to her words.

“Oh, I am aware,” his voice deepened, and the shift in his smile hinted at approval. He had the self-satisfied mien of someone whose expectations were being met - or surpassed.

“Hence why some people are comfortable in simply watching it from far away but others… Others are attracted by this danger… The thrilling sensation of gambling with your own life on the line… The thoughts of the wonderful rewards waiting for them, should their gamble be successful… I wonder which one of those you might be…”
she said, with a mischievous smirk as she looked straight into Wulfric’s eyes, almost as if she was trying to read his very soul.

The prince laughed; a slow chuckle from his chest and throat, air sharply exhaled through his nostrils, shoulders twitching with the gesture. It was unclear if the sound was truly startled from him or something he allowed to happen, but it did not last long, as Wulfric brought himself under control. “Excuse me, please,” he shook his head ruefully. “But it is as if you have read my very thoughts,” he explained, eyes still a tad narrower in pleasure.

Upon hearing Wulfric’s next words as he mentioned that her companion, Nala, suited her well, asking if they enjoyed hunting together and even inviting her for a hunting trip, Mayet couldn’t help herself but let out an amused smile.

“You are quite an observant man, Prince Wulfric… It seems you definitely took your time ‘studying’ me, didn’t you?” Mayet asked, curiously watching his reactions with an amused, provocative smirk as she gave a step forward and leaned forward, only making it even more obvious on how revealing her dress was.

“That I did,” he teased, with the tone of ‘you’ve caught me’. As he judged that Mayet wished to show off, he let his eyes sweep downwards, appraising her assets. For her sake, Wulfric issued a small hum of approval. He was perhaps equally curious about the material of her dress; some of it was akin to cotton gauze fabric, while the rest was likely silk. The colour and jewelry had been chosen well, and while the cut was unlike anything one might see in Caesonia, such was to be expected from Alidasht.

All in all, his inspection had taken but a few seconds, and he soon raised his gaze to a respective height, peering into the green-speckled hazel of her irises. He did shift his body to mirror her open position, leaning slightly into her space.

Mayet was amused by Prince Wulfric's reactions. He certainly seemed to be much more interesting than the rest of the nobles. From his laughter as she mentioned him being someone who liked danger to him not being reserved about observing her, letting his eye dance on her body as she leaned forward, his reactions were definitely amusing to Mayet.

"You are an interesting man, Prince Wulfric... Not many are courageous or foolish enough to openly observe and look at me the way you do..." Mayet said, looking to Wulfric with an amused expression. It was clear to him that Mayet wasn't offended but instead, she seemed to be satisfied.

“I’d prefer to be classified as the former, if it’s all the same to you,” he drawled, though the quirk of his lips and his raised eyebrow were signed that he was entertained rather than offended. Given that he hadn’t been clearly rebuked for his actions, he did believe his judgement of Mayet’s aim had been correct.

“While Nala might be well behaved, she is far from being a ‘tamed’ animal. I consider her as being my companion instead of my ‘pet’.” Mayet said with a chuckle as she gave a step back, patting Nala, whom despite being apparently calm, still kept a watchful eye on Wulfric.

At the change in the topic of conversation, he straightened back up, listening attentively. He glanced at the tiger - tigress - and saw it - her - watch him. “I assumed that might be the case,” he nodded. “Here, in the Northern Kingdoms, animals are generally treated either as tools or as pets. The bond you share with Nala is quite novel, though it may be typical for those of you hailing from Alidasht.”

“I first met Nala when I was 14, on my first hunt. The tigress we had hunted ended up having a cub and as the one who dealt the final blow, she was given to me as my ‘reward’. I have been raising Nala ever since. She has been my precious companion for quite a long time.” Mayet said as Wulfric mentioned the ‘bond’ she shared with Nala.

The prince hummed to show he was paying attention, but besides curiously tilting his head at the pair, observing them with new information in mind, didn’t comment further. If they did go on a hunting trip together at a later date, he would show her how hounds, horses, and bird of prey were sometimes used to assist in the procedure. At this point, however, he didn’t feel a need to mention any of those.

“I heard rumors saying that Caesonian nobles dislike such… barbaric hobbies such as hunting or sparring… It’s quite a pleasant surprise to see that these rumors are wrong!” she said with a satisfied smile, clearly appreciating Prince Wulfric’s invitation.

At the mention of a rumour, Wulfric huffed lightly. “Now that is most certainly false,” he shook his head in bemusement. “There are plenty who enjoy either hunting or combat - or both. Though there may be many others who do not,” he lifted one shoulder in an elegant shrug.

"It seems like my stay on Caesonia won't be as boring as I previously thought it would be. Who knows... If the rumors I've heard are indeed false, Caesonia might have more in common with Alidasht than both me or my siblings might have thought." she said with a chuckle.

“Well, I certainly look forward to establishing…further commonalities,” though he did mostly mean that diplomatically, he’d put a certain emphasis on those last two words. It gave his statement a more personal, intimate touch. Though he did not intend to insinuate anything improper, it might have come across that way.

“I definitely look forward to our next hunting trip.” She said with a curious smile as she looked at Wulfric.

“So do I,” he affirmed, pleased his offer had been accepted. Adelard then quickly looked around the ballroom, judging the mood, and the time passed. Turning back to Mayet, he issued another invitation. “There should be time enough to partake in the feast before the transition to dancing. If you would agree to dine with me, I would be most glad,” he bowed perfunctorily, though gallantly. Acknowledging the tigress, he added, “Fresh meat would be brought for Nala as well, of course.”

Mayet couldn't help but let out a mischievous smirk as Wulfric mentioned that there should have some time for them to dine before the dance.

"That was a very smooth invitation. A dinner, undoubtedly followed by a dance, am I right?" Mayet asked with a chuckle, looking to him almost as if she had already discovered his 'plans'. According to her expression though, it seemed like having mentioned Nala and offered some food for her was a step on the correct direction as she seemed to be satisfied, both by the invitation and Prince Wulfric's offer to have some fresh meat for Nala.

“That is correct,” he acknowledged, inclining his head. “I had intended to ask for a dance,” he confirmed.

”I would be delighted to accept your invitation…Maybe even the other one too…." Mayet said with a mischievous expression towards Prince Wulfric.

The only indication that Wulfric was aware of what Mayet was referring to with her last remark was a light dusting of pink upon his cheeks. He realized he’d been a bit too in the flow of things to notice earlier, and had thoughtlessly implied something he usually wouldn’t have. Ignoring that, he verbally responded only to the first part of Mayet’s assent. “Wonderful. Shall we then?” he turned to sweep a hand to the food laden tables.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by princess
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princess

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Mentions:: @Heartfillia Crystal @Tpartywithzombi Violet @Silverpaw Wulfric @13org Mayet @FunnyGuy Lorenzo @Rodiak Matthias





Calbert had paused in his conversation with King Edin at the sound of the slamming door but had not expected to see Crystal the culprit of such a thing. He could not help but smile. That's my little girl. I'm so proud. She must have been feeling in very good spirits to attend all on her own. To see her and her mother in good health tonight was a dream. His eyes searched the crowd until they set on his beautiful wife. He caught her gaze. Her ocean eyes were brimming with tears and worry. He excused himself politely from his spot and hurried over to take her hands in his, "My darling, please. " His voice was hushed as he kissed her hands."This is a sign of good fortune...For her to come here all by herself, she must be feeling as well as you are tonight. Do not fret that pretty heart of yours."

Liliane exhaled deeply as her husband wiped her tears, "Y-You're right. I just worry about her so, my love. I do hope you're right and she's in good spirits." She smiled up at him gently, then glanced back over at Crystal, watching a man approach her, "Will she be alright on her own?" Calbert's eyes narrowed at the sight and he did not immediately answer. "Sweetheart?"

"I suppose. Perhaps he won't though."The count gave her a lighthearted grin.

She shook her head at him with a soft laugh, proceeding to ask only a moment later,"Have you seen our Violet?"
He nodded, his voice lowering as he replied, "Out on the balcony speaking with Lord Ravenwood. Do not worry...as I have another pair of eyes and ears."She tilted her head with curiosity at such a statement.

Count Calbert then leaned in to kiss her on the forehead, "Be well, my love. Keep an eye on Crystal for me. I will return soon." With that, he locked his eyes on Lorenzo as he moved forward. He could only see the top of his head from his spot so he weaved himself through the crowd. Once he got close enough, it was easier to see that Lorenzo had found himself some company to speak with at the food table. Still, he caught the man's eyes eventually and gave him a deadly glare, continuing until Lorenzo showed signs of being uncomfortable. Then he gave him a wicked grin and made a beeline over to his stepdaughter Lady Charlotte, who he also had a bone to pick with tonight. She was alone now as two men left her side. It was a pleasant experience to see the foolish girl stiffen as he approached her. Once close enough, he then leaned in to whisper her ear, "You will speak with me tonight after the ball...For now, you may enjoy the party, Lady Vikena... Oh and don't forget to greet Crystal. "

When it came to Lorenzo, he would make sure the two of them spoke before the ball ended. Such could not wait.

As he returned Charlotte her space, he glanced down to see her expression. He smirked then moved away, continuing to then stare down Lorenzo for a few more moments until one of his servants came running to his side. She whispered something and then pointed to Wulfric and Mayet when it seemed no one was looking. With an unreadable expression, he thanked her and whispered something in her ear. The girl hurried off.

Now he waited.

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Tae

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Time: Early Evening
Location: Caesonia Ballroom
Interactions: @Mole Prince Felix @Helo Leo @Aerandir Verrick @Inertia Prince Auguste
Mentions: @Rodiak Nahir




”Yes, very thrilling Leo. However, next time you decide you wanna dance with death like that when I’m around can you include me in it? I’d rather die with you than watch you die.” Thea said with a sigh to her brother, doing her best to keep her composure and not yell. She did manage, however, to give him a small smile in order to indicate that she was alright now. That smile quickly turned into a grimace as Leo went on to greet Prince Felix and kindly reminding her that she was to eventually marry this man. She found her gaze trailing over to the wine table as she longed for another drink now, especially as it seemed Felix grip tightened on her. It took every fiber of her being to keep from shoving him away from her. Could she find some way to justify another drink after her promise?

Her attention was pulled back to what was happening in front of her as one of the Alidasht princesses introduced herself. Seeing Nahir up close, Thea found herself entranced by the woman’s beauty. She couldn’t admire her for long, however, as Felix nudged her once again into a bow and irritation ran through her once more. This time she couldn’t hold back the small glare she gave him, but still she kept her mouth shut. She swore she could taste blood as she bit the inside of her lip in order to keep herself in check.

Thankfully Verrick pulled her attention and helped to create a bit of a distraction from her internal thoughts. Did he just…compliment me? She thought to herself briefly, taken a bit aback by the kind words, but then she found herself smiling as she saw an opportunity. ”Thank you Verrick, your compliment has brightened my night.” She responded before he left, then found herself briefly glancing at Felix, wondering what his reaction would be. She did take note of him loosening his grip on the hilt of his sword once Verrick was gone and it only caused her to grin even wider.

It was the approach of Prince Auguste and she knew the greeting that was coming that pushed Thea over the edge. Before he could nudge her into another bow, Thea yanked herself away from Felix. ”I am aware of when it is customary to bow, my Prince! No need for a constant reminder as I am not an imbecile!” She snapped at him, letting out a huff of irritation. She straightened herself, looked to Prince Auguste, and dipped into a perfect curtsy all on her own.

”It is a pleasure to see you again, Prince Auguste. I do hope you can forgive my outburst. While my mood has been soured, I assure you it is not from you or the early event of the evening.” She stood straight once more, forcing a small smile on her face before glancing around the group. ”Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find the powder room.” She spun around and made her leave, though she wasn’t truly heading for the powder room. Instead she made her way to one of the wine tables as she now desperately needed a glass.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by princess
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Time: Early Evening
Location: Caesonia Castle Ball Room in Sorian





Servants with fine china bowls came into the room suddenly. Each bowl had little slips of paper in it. Guests turned with curiosity to watch as a servant went up to each guest, letting them pick a slip at random. Most were used to this custom. It was an ice breaker meant to pair strangers at random to dance together. There was a pair per each number in the bowls, ranging from one upwards. King Edin had this done every ball but it was most interesting now that the Alidasht people were here to join in. The servants that went up to Prince Auguste as well as Prince Callum, for some reason, placed the numbers into their palms without giving them a chance to even pick a slip themselves. King Edin was secretly perturbed he did not see this occur with his eldest son, Prince Wulfric, as he had planned for it to.

A servant then went to the front of the room.” When I call your number, please come to the front of the room and meet your partner. The gentleman will then lead the lady onto the dance floor.”

He loudly read out each number for a few minutes and once this was finished, the volume of the music turned up and the dancing commenced.

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samreaper Laughing Imp

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Kazumin Nagasa




Currently wearing: Caesonian traditional formal wear

(Minus the gloves and cape)

Location- Outside Balcony transitioning to main hall
Interactions- @Potter Persephone




The door to the balcony opened with Persphone walking through first as Kazu held the door open as a gentleman should. And he did so to be sarcastic at that. Waiting a moment longer before he stepped inside with the reserved bottle of wine in hand, its content half empty while his finely pressed suit looked tussled and blonde hair all messy and unkempt as if a strong wind or possibly a hand had messed it up." Well, that was wild! It was great catching up with ya, Percy!" He called out with a wave while laughing." Have fun dancing and who knows...might get yourself some smoochy action with the lucky guy!" Calling out his last comment before she could get out of earshot which net him a scathing glare from his fiercely imposing childhood friend to which Kazu gave a wide cheeky grin in return before watching her begrudgingly stamp off.

He watched her depart with a snicker." Ah, that's a face I've seen all too often. never fun when her ire is directed at me though." Yet, it was worth incurring such wrath to see her all worked up; especially when it helped get her mind off things that were bothering her. Here he expected to gain nothing out of this party only to wind up discovering a long-time friend thought to be dead to be very much alive and fine...well fine enough considering what she had been through. But these were things he would inquire on more at a more appropriate time lest such discussion soured any chance of either actually enjoying the evening or the pleasant reunion the two just shared.

Now finding himself alone once more, Kazu took this moment to look over himself to see the disheveled state he was in having him let out a low chuckle." Whew, we really did a number back there. Thankfully nothing was damaged. " Talking to no one in particular as he took this chance to fix his suit and hair until he was properly presentable once more though why he bothered when his destination was to be the dining tables.

Seeing as how the servants were going around with bowls in preparation for the first dance made for the perfect opportunity to get the food all to himself. His stomach rumbled in anticipated agreement.

The young blonde strolled his way towards the table and taking a sip of wine as he went along. And just when he was about to reach the delicious banguet before him, did a servant appear before him with a bowl holding scraps of folded parchment extended towards him." ah, ya snuck up on me there." He replied with a half-hearted laugh while giving his left hand a little wave to indicate refusal." Thanks, but there is no need as I'm choosing to refrain from danc-"

A sudden iron grip squeezing down around his shoulder cut Kazumin off immediately followed by an ominous aura. A hesitant turn of the head revealed Baron Asteroth standing beside him to his right." Now now, young Nagasa. Surely you don't intend to be rude to our gracious majesty who went through quite a many troubles hosting such a grand ball only for you to refuse a dance or two?" The man spoke in a cooly and calm manner, but the man's eyes gave off a fiery and intense gaze such that could melt metal and yet chill the blood in his veins at the same time while that gentle smile of his masked the fury roiling just beneath the surface.

The man's mere presence left Kazu shrinking a little to avoid that deadly stare if even a little.* Sheesh..what is with everyone giving me these death stares? Guess the old grump is still seething over my little stunt.* Thinking this as he let out a weak, nervous laugh." What? No, of course not. I would never dare do something so rude." Responding with his left hand rubbing at the back of his head.

Hearing this soften the grizzled man's dangerous smile, clearly pleased to see that his ward understood what was expected of him." I'm glad to see you agree. As you would not wish to deprive some unfortunate lovely young lady an opportunity the chance of dancing with such a striking gentleman and with it have all of lady Agatha's lesson go to waste, yes?" The older gentleman asked to further let his words sink in as anything else might earn him worse punishment come tomorrow, the iron grip tightening against his shoulder.

The painfully hard grip and honey sweet words hiding his wrathful intent both had Kazu wincing. A pert nod of the head along with a nervous gulp as he turned his attention to the servant standing there waiting, seemingly enjoying the ominous exchange." Yes...it would truly be heinous and cruel of me to deny a lady a dance. And certainly not during such festivities where everyone has been most anticipating...to ruin one's evening would be most disrespectful of me." The words spilled from his tongue like prettied vomit. It churned his stomach having to talk such pleasantries and before long would have to spew an onslaught of lovely praises to whatever woman he found himself partnered with.

With the most forced grin a man could give, Kazu reached out grabbing a parchment, unfurling it to see the number thirteen and felt his face shift into turmoil. Here he had hoped to get a lower number so he could get the dancing done with quicker; not to mention that going so late meant better chance of others remembering the dance. Going from reuniting with an old friend back from the grave to this...whatever joy he had previously was instantly replaced by dread.

A pat to his shoulder pulled him from the encroaching despair threatening to pull him under to be drowned." A fine number you have chosen there. I shall be most anticipating your dance and do be sure to be on your **best behaviour**." Asteroth finished with that cool smile those last two words dripping with venom then gave his shoulder another pat before strolling off to join the other nobles who would be observing the dances.

Kazu stood there holding the strap of paper in his left and bottle of wine in his right with a look of defeat on his face." I feel like I got played....yeah I most definitely got played...and royally." A dejected sigh, he turned the bottle chugging the rest down in one gulp to soothe his wounded pride.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Conscripts
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Conscripts An Atom Trying to Understand Itself

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John, ”Ryn”, Lorenzo

Participants: @FunnyGuy@JJ Doe
Interactions: Count Calbert @princess, Mayet @13org


Despite being in good company… one might argue, great company, Lorenzo stole obvious glances toward Lady Vikena. His smile could not sell the idea he was completely happy and comfortable but it would be rude of him to say otherwise.

“Never had these?” The duke did not skip a beat as he grabbed a serving plate and used a pair of tongs to grab one of the creamy custard desserts covered in caramel. “Count Hendrix. Here.” He quickly grabbed another serving plate and offered the same to John. “Docto- John. Try it. You will love it! I am sure of it.” The duke hadn't even processed how unfitting his actions were. To serve those beneath him in front of all to see. Someone out there might be gossipping about him, once again, especially after what happened, but this time, his company today voided the ego to care about such association. People would forget about poor manners the day after, but not the wonderful taste of food, as John found out with barely a bite. He had started, and wasn’t able to stop until the dessert was fully eaten.

“Hmm…” The doctor closed his eyes briefly, letting out a short hum to savor the last of“his plate of custard. “You know, my father once said that there are no bad desserts in Caesonia. And I gotta say it’s pretty true.” Which would be somewhat true. Caesonia was known for this. “The bad ones are all in custardy.” But not for good jokes, however. From the doctor’s almost straight face as he uttered that line, he looked somewhat proud of it. Lorenzo wore the biggest grin and judging by the snorting sound he made, the count appreciated John’s attempt as well.

“All terrible jokes aside, this is fantastic stuff.” John said afterward.

"I must agree. The… deserts alone were worth the trip!" A wink. The count took another bite out of the dessert, before placing the utensil down on the plate he was holding in a hurry when a servant carrying a tray lined up with various beverages walked by. He raised his hand, "Excuse me, may we have some water?" Count Hendrix turned to the other gentlemen, but his gaze lingered longer on the duke, "... Unless there is something else you would like to drink?" The duke eyed the selection before looking at Count Hendrix with a confident smirk.

“Men, this is too fine a night to simply drink water! These events are always an opportunity to test your pallets to fine wines and cuisine. If you think I'm wrong, just look at your plates as proof of richness being served tonight!” The duke gave a nod to the server while reaching out. “The red wine is calling to me.” Count Hendrix’s smile thinned, but he made no protest, "Of course."

“Uhh…yes, indeed.” Replied the doctor, in a noticeably less enthusiastic tone. He nodded to the server as well, one hand of his pointing at the red wine bottle on the table, but the other one, obscured from both the nobles, were vaguely gesturing his request to tone it down. The servant nodded and left, but then returned with a bottle that sank his excitement into the ground. It was a much heavier variant than the red ones. The doctor cursed under his breath as he opened the bottle and gently, just gently, poured a little bit into his glasses.

“You are far too modest.” The duke smiled as he placed his hand gently on the bottom end of the bottle to assist his new acquaintance in pouring more than intended, going a tinsy bit away from spilling over. The doctor’s grip on the glasses tightened, seemingly about to break the thin spyre in a moment of surprises and dread of his incoming doom.

“I appreciate it, Duke Vikena.” John nodded nervously to Lorenzo, before turning over to whisper to Count Hendrix, his face anything but impressed. “How the hell can I finish this now?”

The count tilted his head for a moment then raised his eyebrows, "Dr. Williamson, do you not drink alcohol?" To which John replied. “Not that I can’t, but I can’t say I enjoy them.” Not just from not liking them in general, but from more…deep-seated disdain for what it could do.

Black eyes studied the doctor, analyzing his face and his fingers that were changing colors from the tight grip. Finally, Hendrix relieved the glass from his hands. "I don't think you should force yourself if that is the case. I’m sure Duke Vikena won’t take offense." He turned to the duke, "It seems Dr. Williamson does not have an affinity for alcohol, is there anything else he can try instead?"

“Oh… well I guess…. Um… Oh!” Lorenzo's solution was simple and maybe unwise. He took the doctor's glass from the count and surprisingly handed it back to the server. “Send this to… The beautiful young woman with the tiger as a pet.” Lorenzo pointed out Mayet within the ballroom and the server walked away to fulfill the random request, but didn't realize he was leaving John without a drink at all. “Apologies, John. If I knew your disposition, I wouldn't have forced it upon you.”

“No no, that’s fine…” John said, a little fleetingly as his hands still stiffened and confused face locked onto the server walking away from the three men. He wouldn’t say that he feels the same kind of doom as with the wine, but judging from how she reacted earlier, he didn’t feel like that would make it any better. “Water’s good for me. Thank you for understanding.” He said, turning to Count Hendrix afterwards ”You too, Count Hendrix” His name forced the count to tear his gaze away from the same servant John was watching.

"It’s no problem. What’s the point of a party if you can't enjoy yourself? Please don’t feel the need to force yourself, Dr. Williamson." He glanced around their surroundings, "Besides, with how wild these parties can get, I have a feeling we will need the best physician in the Northern Kingdoms to be as sober as a judge."

“It always be like that, isn't it?” The doctor shook his head with a dry chuckle. Spotting another server replacing the waters at a far end of the table, John reached for it.

"In the meantime… Duke Vikena, might we start with beverages that are not too strong and pace ourselves? The night is still very young, so many dances to dance, talks to talk, foods to eat. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities to taste all the Caesonian wine and then some." The pause was followed by a reminder of sorts, "If your daughter allows it, of course." The reminder was more effective than anticipated as the duke stopped his glass an inch from his lips.

“Well I think you have a…” The duke trailed off as he caught sight of him. Calbert. The duke appeared bothered as he and Count Damien locked eyes before he briefly averted his gaze. The man that had been slowly cheering up was lost to his company. The duke then took a long sip from his glass.

John, who got himself the water he wanted, turned around and noticed the distant worried gaze on the duke. Too did Count Hendrix, who quickly read the older man’s mood. Both glancing to the direction Lorenzo was looking towards, noticing this mysterious figure, quite older than both the men looking at him, but seemingly close to the duke’s. A brief glance back and forth in confusion, the man walked away.

“You alright?” John asked the duke. ”Who’s that guy?” Instead of an answer, the duke remained silent as if he hadn't heard him. When the silence stretched on, the younger men exchanged looks at each other.

“Count Calbert Damien.” Lorenzo's tone was an unpleasant one and though he answered John, his eyes remained affixed on the man mentioned who had found his way to Lady Vikena. “Caesonia's beloved count.” His tone remained the same before he took another long sip.

Count Hendrix watched the duke practically inhale the wine, but his interest did not seem to be on the immoderation of it, "And you disagree with this?" His tone suggested that it was less of a question and more of a statement.

“No… that would be the answer I am sure I am meant to give. Alidasht is known to have many species of snakes, yes?” The fauna and flora in that country might have been the only information he researched concerning their foreign guests.

“...Yeah, as far as I can tell.” John replied from his memory. Hendrix only continued to stare at the duke, waiting.

“Yet they thrive here in Caesonia. Perhaps that is why I am not cut out for this. Why I'm a failure. I could never be such a thing.” He took a deep breath after his cryptic answer.

"Do you…not like it here, Duke Vikena? The count whispered so that the only witness to the answer would be him and the doctor, the implication of which was not lost on the doctor. He too knew this might be too touchy to flaunt in the open.

“I…” The duke was vulnerable now. “Not in a long time. Life was better as a businessman. Not as many luxuries but people were… they were more genuine.” The duke brought the glass to his lips again, this time take a few gulps as if washing down the taste of his admission.

Count Hendrix gently placed his hand on Lorenzo’s wine bearing arm once the glass moved away from his lips, "A wise person once said that 'those who deserve power do not want it'. You being 'here' brings… so much hope to your people. And I, for one, am so glad to have met you," there was a moment of hesitation, "Lorenzo." He smiled. "It must have taken a lot of courage to come to this den of vipers and I understand that you would like to… escape," the hand on Lorenzo’s arm tightened ever so gently, "but if this place is as dangerous as an actual den of vipers… Please. Please. Don’t drown yourself in alcohol and leave your daughter behind. She needs you." Lorenzo dropped his gaze towards the ground. Shame gripped him firmly.

After listening in silence, the doctor felt personal enough to speak up. “May I say something?” The brief attention given was enough permission. “I too was from Caesonia. Like…born here and grew up.” He continued, trying to lighten it up a little for what was next. “Everything was perfectly fine until it wasn’t. To this day I have no idea what’s the reason, but one day the king’s messenger just told us we weren't welcome here. So our family had to leave, all the way to Varian. It wasn’t fun, and on so many occasions we were left to God’s good humor. Believe me, I’m breathing right now.” His words were more casual, but it too was sincere as it went on. “I’m not saying that leaving is a bad idea, but the one constant factor that allowed me to be here rather than…6 feet under, is my parents.” John knocked on the duke’s arm with the back of his hand, and too addressed him informally. ”So Lorenzo, whatever you two decide to do, you might want to do it together.”

Hendrix’s eyebrows rose slowly as he listened to John’s past, as if he was more taken aback by it than Lorenzo’s earlier confession. “You two are both absolutely right. She needs me… Lottie.” Lorenzo’s eyes were on her while he felt he would never be able to truly assist her but at least as a sober man, he could try.

The count patted the duke’s arm before releasing him. Taking a few steps back, he bowed, "I believe we have taken up much of your precious time, Duke Vikena. We shan't keep you any longer from Lady Vikena." He straightened up, "Thank you for spending time with us."

”Same, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” John gave the duke a two-finger salute.

“No, it is I who should thank you both. I'm afraid I don't know what sorts I'd be in without you both.” Lorenzo bowed with just his head and a smile. “If I don't get the chance to speak to either of you later this evening, I hope to do so during this marvelous season.” the duke walked off briskly to go see his stepdaughter

The count’s attention shifted to John, brows furrowed, "I… I can only imagine what hardships you faced, Dr. Williamson, but I think you are also immensely brave and magnanimous to have come here, despite what happened."

”Thank you, Count Hendrix. Well, you have so many cards in a deck, sometimes you gotta deal with the bad ones.“ John replied.

"Even so, I commend you. I fear I wouldn't have taken it…so… with such…" The count looked up, trying to search for the right words, but ended up with, "clemency.".

”Haha, well, that’s not an easy pill to swallow that’s for sure.” The doctor laughed, as he nodded in agreement.
Hendrix’s smile returned, "Will you also be staying over the summer?"

”Yeah, I’ll be here.” John nodded. ”I might go back for a few days to check on my team in the Institute, but for the most part, this should be what I would call a paid vacation.”

"That’s a delight to hear! I’ll be here too, so hopefully we can see each other again soon, Dr. Williamson." The count offered his hand out for another handshake.

”Likewise Count Hendrix, I’ll see you around.” And the doctor eagerly took it.

And with that, the two men parted ways.

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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Tae
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Tae

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Time: Early Evening
Location: Caesonia Ballroom
Attire: Outfit
Interactions: @Rodiak Nahir
Mentions: @Omni5876 Amir @Infinite Cosmos Munir @Aerandir Verrick @JJ Doe Ryn




Saiya studied Nahir for a moment, trying to decipher what was going through her head. Whatever it was, Saiya had a feeling she retreated to a dark place for a moment and her heart ached for her friend. The Kadir family had been through so much, far more than many would ever truly know and Saiya feared there was only more darkness in the future. She wanted to protect them, all of them, the ones that took her in. They chose her as their family and she would watch over them to the best of her abilities.

The warmth of a hand in hers pulled Saiya out of her thoughts and she smiled up at Nahir. ”You need not worry about me, I’m doing just fine.” She gave her hand a squeeze of her own before Nahir let go. ”And thank you for the compliment, but I am quite plain compared to you and your sisters. You had many admiring eyes upon you and I’m positive you’ve already won the hearts of many here.” She nudged her playfully, smile still in place as she finally took a sip of wine. She didn’t often drink the liquid, but when at events like this she would allow herself a glass or two. She much preferred to keep her wits about her, however.

She glanced back out at the crowd of people briefly, watching as Amir left the group he was once in. She also took note of servants now going around passing out pieces of paper and found it quite curious. Nahir instructed her not to worry about either herself or her siblings and Saiya merely nodded, but she didn’t voice the fact that she would always keep an eye on all of them no matter what. ”There are a few here that I find intriguing, but I wouldn’t say they’ve caught my eye as that redhead has caught Munir’s eye.” She said with a small laugh, but her eye flicked to the white haired man she’d seen with the Varian princess and then to the nobleman who had used the ‘Golden Tongue’ when greeting the Sultan. ”And what about you? Any of these intriguing Northerner’s catch your attention?” As she asked this, a servant approached them with one of the bowls and urged them to take a paper. Saiya complied and soon her question was answered as numbers were being called for random pairings of dances.
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princess

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Anastasia & Wystan





Tok, tok, tok.

”Oh shit...”


The princess’s voice was hushed as she spoke again, inaudible to her brother’s bodyguard as the sound of shuffling filled the air. After a moment, the door swung open and Anastasia in her pink gown opened the door. She leaned against the doorway and forced a cough into her hand, ”Wystan, it is ever so kind of you to come to escort me but I’m afraid… I’m just so… “She coughed again, her body slumping against the wall as if she were weak,”So sick… Oh woes is me.” She gave him her usual puppy dog eyes.

Wystan’s arms stayed crossed, but his grip on his biceps tightened as he received those eyes. The guard dog’s defenses were compromised at the sight of them, and it took some effort to resist feeling utterly… moved. Something was clearly going on– the princess knew this tactic to be one of his greatest weaknesses, and thus also knew to use it sparingly, for the most urgent matters. The only question being: what was it tonight? Without much of a word, he bit the inside of his cheek to compose himself, looked her up and down, then leaned down to meet Princess Anastasia’s eyes unavoidably.

”My, that truly is a shame, Princess.” The watchdog raised a faux-curious brow. ”Though… may I ask why you have dressed this well, despite being sick?”

Anastasia met his eyes as he spoke, the corners of her lips threatening to upturn, ”Well, I did attend, Wystan, for a moment,”” More coughing interceded. ”...but then chaos unfolded. The Alidasht dropped to the floor and the event of the ball became the event of the fall,” An almost inaudible snicker came from inside the room. She raised her voice with her another cough to try to cover it, ”I just felt simply too ill to continue on in such troublesome atmosphere.”.

“I… see.” Wystan grew concerned for two things: the state of the banquet while he was gone, and the princess’ odd behavior this evening. The watchdog could very well pick up on subtle cues, let alone strange intonations he had only ever seen Anastasia deploy when something was amiss. The only issue being he couldn’t quite tell what it was just yet.

”I may not be your ward, but I am still responsible for overseeing your wellbeing and safety. As such–” His eyes narrowed at the sight of playing cards and poker chips set up on her bed.

”...”

”Princess Anastasia, I ask that you cease your tricks and return with me to the banquet, as soon as possible. As a royal of Caesonia and King Edin’s only daughter, your presence is much needed.” Wystan told her sternly. ”...And before we depart, I would like to see your companions out.

Anastasia's expression changed and she pulled off from the wall. She gave him a small, defeated smile then sighed and knocked her fist on the wall. ”Sorry everyone! Jig is up!She called into her room. She watched with slight amusement as a gentleman and lady began crawling out from under her bed, hastily struggling. They rose to their feet awkwardly and hurried out of the room with their gazes averted to the floor. She wiggled her fingers at them with a smile. There was a pause after that.

”One more.”She informed Wystan and knocked again, this time louder. The doors of her wardrobe loudly burst open as a half-dressed man stumbled out, his clothing in hand. He began pulling his coat back on as he looked at the two of them. Anastasia giggled at his bewildered expression. Once he had himself sorted, he saw himself out as well. ”Toodaloo!”She called down the hall after him

She casually pulled the tie out from her hair, freeing her locks and running her fingers through it. Once she was satisfied, she said to the stern bodyguard, ”Okay Wystan. Ready to go!”Anastasia offered her arm out to him as if nothing had just happened.

At times like this, if his eyes could kill, the watchdog would have sent at least a couple of daggers into the back of the third man’s head– and purposely missed, to send a clear message. Even the Danrose’s own staff and personnel needed to be quadruple-checked by him on a regular basis. Needless to say, security was tight, and he needed to make it so. They could not be careless, lest they wanted to allow happen another event like the princess’ abduction in the past. The watchdog subconsciously tightened his crossed arms, glaring a hole into the trio as they exited the hallways. He made a mental note to scout around the estate three times once the day’s events were over to sniff out any remaining hideaways.

”Your Royal Highness…” Wystan sighed as he extended his left arm for her to use. ”Your safety is of utmost priority to us. In Danrose’s name, I cannot allow anything to happen to you, do you understand?”

Anastasia looped her arm within his, a smile crossing her face at his words, ”Yes, sir. I am as safe as can be… But you’ll just have to spend more time with me to keep it that way! Next time you should come join our game.” She told him with a giggle.

The princess might have said: “Join our game”. However, what Wystan heard was: “Stand watch and be around for thorough supervision.” To which the ward immediately replied with:

”Alright. Only if you would inform me in advance.”

As the two of them made their way down their stairs toward the ballroom, she glanced at him and questioned, ” You haven’t been to the ball yet tonight, have you? Do you know if my brothers are alright? Not yet mobbed to death by all the women, are they?” The guards were opening the ballroom doors for them to enter as they paused in the entrance hall.

”...”

Wystan was silent as he contemplated Princess Anastasia’s train of questions; all of which led to what could possibly be one of the worst-case scenarios imaginable for this setting. The watchdog’s eyebrows furrowed helplessly, almost tempted to question what he would do himself. This only spurred him on to tell the princess:

”You must not leave my sight. This means you may not exit the premise of the ball without letting myself or the princes know. If you are in need of assistance, do call for us. There are an inestimable number of guests tonight, and if anything were to happen–” A pause as the ward reels his worries back in. ”Please excuse me, Princess. I cannot afford anything happening to you this evening.”

Anastasia stared at him for a moment. She seemed a little caught off guard by his words. Guilt and sadness briefly crossed her expression. She cast her gaze away to hide her face a moment, her arm dropping. It always felt like waking up out of a dream when she suddenly felt something.

It was easy sometimes to forget how even though she tended to get away with her mischief, there were others who might still face consequences for the choices she made. Wystan was one of the last people she ever wanted to cause grief for but he sometimes ended up in the crossfire of her impulses. Auguste and him were always there for her, and though it had been out of obligation, she liked to pretend that perhaps she meant more than that to them. Anastasia knew especially Wystan was worried about getting reprimanded by her father surely, but there was a part of her that wished it was for a different reason.

Finally, she looked at him and gently reached up to touch his cheek. ” … Thank you Wystan. Really. You’re a good friend.“ She gave him a smile and told him softly, ”I know it’s your job to protect us and you’re afraid of getting in trouble because of me. I’m sorry. I’ll try not to drive you crazy tonight. Try to have some fun instead of worrying; it’s okay to take a break, you know?”

”That can be allowed once I’m able to ensure your safety by the end of tonight.” Anastasia’s touch was warm. Wystan subconsciously raised a hand to hers, before catching himself just as contact was to be made. That insolent, unworthy, scarred hand of his remembered its place and promptly returned to his side– discipline thoroughly exercised. The watchdog sighed. With caution, he issued a brief scan of their surroundings. After deeming it safe, he leaned down a respectful distance from the princess’ ear.

”Do forgive my impudence, Princess, but I am well-equipped to handle trouble, be it by the hands of the King or those who seek to harm you. It is not that which I worry about.” A pause as he carefully gave thought to his next sentence. Completely and utterly unsure of how to express himself, his tone softened as he simply opted to lay his facts bare as well as he possibly could– an unusual innocence interwoven with his statement. ”...I would be doing this even if it weren't tasked for it. I would still be here if Prince Auguste didn’t ask me to fetch you.”

You are important, was what he wanted to say. However, who was the watchdog to tell Her Royal Highness, Princess Anastasia of Caesonia, the only daughter of the Sovereign to their kingdom, countless leagues higher than he, exactly who was important? Even if it was spoken in the words of a friend, would that not be degrading Her Reverence? Their friendship ran deep, but his strict obligation to the rules was rigorously enforced, firmly believing the princess should not deign to listen to the words of a commoner. Not now, not ever.

With that, Wystan returned to his straightened posture, piercing eyes uncharacteristically darting away from the princess’. Wystan’s hand had touched hers, only briefly, but it was enough for her to feel as if she had butterflies in her stomach. She listened to him as if she were in a trance, her cheeks flushing red. There was something about what he said that was different from what she usually heard. It wasn’t as if he had been flirting with her, as many did and she would always reply with ease. She would always feel nothing about it. But what Wystan had to say filled her with a warmth that was unfamiliar to her. For someone to want to protect her even if it had not been their job, there was no way for her to downplay in her mind; she held value to him.

”Y-You really mean.. it?” Anastasia stumbled over her words. She was thoughtfully quiet before she brushed hair behind her ear and smiled at him, ”Well. Aren’t I lucky?”

The watchdog merely remained silent, offering up his arm once again.

After a moment, the princess moved into the ballroom with Wystan. People were crowding servants with bowls in hand, all grabbing eagerly at the slips of paper. Her expression fell with dismay. She was so hoping they had missed this part. A servant with a big smile soon approached, ”Please take one-“

”No.”She blurted out immediately. Last time, the fellow she had been paired with kept sneezing right in her face. She shuddered thinking of it. Her gaze lowered to the bowl nonetheless. There was only one left. If she took it, then Wystan wouldn’t get to have any fun. After his sweet words, there was no way she’d deprive of him having his break as she had offered him.

Anastasia thus picked the slip out of the bowl and placed it into Wystan’s palm. ”Go. Have fun.”She grinned at him. The servant opened her mouth to protest but then quickly shut it for whatever reason and walked away.

”...” The watchdog was interrupted in his search for Prince Auguste, but obediently opened the slip of paper and took note of his given number. As the announcement had already begun to ring out the designated partners, he took the opportunity to share a stern look with Princess Anastasia, as if to tacitly agree that she would watch over herself while her brothers and he were busy with this section of the event. After all, there was no doubt that the princes would be given a chance to bond with a potential candidate for marriage in this dance, given King Edin’s often ambitious yet underhanded plans. Based on his speculations on all those present tonight and the information he collected to divulge with Prince Auguste, he was sure that Princess Beatrice would stand a good chance at earning a spot next to the second prince.

"Please excuse me, Your Royal Highness.” The watchdog executed a deep bow toward Princess Anastasia before he thanked her for her generosity and the opportunity. However, he was not too interested in whoever his dance would be with tonight, because it did not matter. For Prince Wulfric and Prince Callum, however, arrangements were highly more important, though still up in the air considering the vast number of participants this evening brought. Along with this, it was a shame that the Princess herself would not be able to partake in the dance– perhaps after this was over–

Suddenly, the guard froze in place with an unreadable expression as he locked eyes with his dance partner. The two shared an inexplicable look, and internally, he could not help but simply ask: "Why?” He shot a glance back at Anastasia. Anastasia looked just as shocked and mouthed the word “sorry,” then covered her mouth as if trying to keep something in.

…Because tonight, he would be led by Prince Wulfric, the Crown Prince of Caesonia– one destined to rule over the kingdom as dictated by countless generations of tradition. He blinked once at the royal heir, his face neutral while he gave the prince a deep, well-practiced bow. There was no mistake in the respect the watchdog held for the first prince, but why had King Edin not rigged his slip? Not only was this a missed opportunity– it was also rather embarrassing, more for the first prince than for him. Despite it all, he obediently resigned himself to attempting his best and elected to follow in the prince’s lead, diligently reviewing all his learned dance etiquette so as to not further embarrass the highly-esteemed crown prince.

"Good evening, Your Royal Highness, Prince Wulfric. It is truly an honor to accompany you for tonight’s dance.”

—and somewhere off in the distance, Princess Anastasia's faint, uncontrollable laughter could be heard.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by princess
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Time: Early Evening
Location: Caesonia Kingdom Ball
Mentions: Kazumin @samreaper Crystal @Heartfillia
Attire: Click here



Charlotte had been listening to Verrickk's story starry-eyed. Such a magnificent story every time I hear it. She had drifted in her thoughts as she considered what books they might have read before to relate it to. Certainly, the gentlemen read novels, right? By the time she had opened her mouth excitedly, Amir was excusing herself. She closed her mouth and politely smiled, continuing the same once Verrick also dismissed himself. All she could do was watch as the two departed. Did I-... Did I make friends just now? Maybe? Charlotte stared at their backs. Nope. Splendid job. She leaned her hand on the table and relaxed her body as she downed a huge gulp of her wine. She blamed her racing heart for her eagerness to continue talking. After such an event, it was hard to get out of the fight or flight mindset. Her gaze set on her father as he conversated with the doctor and Count Ryn. He did not seem to be drinking up a storm, so perhaps it was alright if she divulged a little more than usual tonight. Surely if she drank enough wine, it would slow her body down.

She suddenly glanced over at the sound of the front door slamming and straightened up at full attention. It was Lady Crystal Damien in a beautiful blue gown. It was unusual for her to attend events like these in her condition, but she looked well. Charlotte loved the sweet girl and felt a rush of excitement upon seeing her. Crystal's here!? She smiled and got up on her tippy toes to wave the girl over, but a blonde man stepped up to her and blocked her line of sight. She sighed, her smile dwindling, but not dissipating completely. Well that's alright. I'm glad she's being noticed. I'll have to find her later though.

As Charlotte let her gaze wander elsewhere, she nearly choked on the wine she had begun to sip as she noticed Count Calbert coming out of the crowd toward her. She set it down to resist the urge to chuck it at his head. She looked around for a direction to quickly speed walk away in, but he was already by her side like an animal leaping onto its prey. A shudder went down her back as his cold voice whispered into her ear.

"You will speak with me tonight after the ball...For now, you may enjoy the party, Lady Vikena... Oh and don't forget to greet Crystal. "

Fear gripped her for a moment and her pupils dilated. It had been a year since she had been at an event like this and even longer since she was presented with conflict. All she could do was freeze up. Though the Count was beloved by all, there were few who knew his true nature. She was certain not even his family knew what kind of person he really was. Charlotte had never dared to bring it up with his daughters. There was a look in the man's eyes as he moved away and met hers that told her all she needed to know: he was furious with her. Then the smirk he wore told her he was also happy she was afraid. He thankfully spun on his heels and went off in a different direction not long after. Charlotte scowled briefly. Should have said oh then don't forget to stop being a jerk! She usually could come up with a snappy response, but when she was nervous there was unfortunately a delay. Charlotte did not yet have it in her to stand up to Count Calbert nonetheless.

Charlotte turned to face the table and scooped up her wine. I just want to go home at this point. Glancing over, she saw a man at another table downing an entire bottle. Charlotte raised her glass toward him as if to say, me too. She helped herself to another drink without hesitation soon after the first one. Soon enough, a woman came up to her with the bowl of paper slips. She knew exactly what it was for but still stared at it indecisively."Uhhh.... I-.....Yes. Thank you." Why did the woman have two bowls in her hand? She selected one at random, nearly missing the bowl as she had started to see double.

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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by SilverPaw
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Attire: No cane, cloak taken off
Interactions: Mayet@13org, Wystan @mantou
Mentions: Anastasia, Auguste, Edin



Wulfric had recently finished his meal with Mayet when servants with bowls started going around the ballroom. “This again,” he murmured with a resigned sigh. Turning to his conversation partner, he briefly explained the custom, then promised to meet her afterwards, “for the main event,” as he’d put it.

Soon enough, one of the servants approached them to make their selections. Wulfric leisurely put on the gloves he’d stripped for the duration of the dinner, fully expecting to be handed a piece of paper personally. Though the selection was indeed random for most of the guests, his matches were usually arranged. Thus, he was rather surprised to be offered the bowl itself. Nonetheless, he delicately grasped one slip from the top. He read the number upon it, memorized it, crumpled the paper into a ball, and flicked it upon the table. It landed perfectly on the crumpled serviette he’d used after dinner.

He said his farewells to Mayet a tad reluctantly, though their temporary separation was amicable enough. Afterwards, Wulfric secured himself a position where he could both wait for the numbers to be announced comfortably, as well as not have too far to walk to the front once his was called.

He noticed Anastasia being escorted inside by Auguste’s personal guard when the last of the papers were being distributed. It was good she’d arrived in time for this preliminary activity – ah, but there she’d just foisted her number upon Wystan, hadn’t she? The whimsy was just like her, truly. If nothing else, the guard was dressed appropriately for the formal event, the clothing tailored for him. Auguste’s work, to be sure.

When the pair ahead of him took off, Wulfric strolled towards the front. He removed his cloak, handed it off to a servant to take care of, then stepped into the leading position. As he did so, he caught the approach of his partner. The mystery of who it might be was resolved suddenly, and with no forewarning at all.

As he locked gazes with Wystan, several thoughts crowded for attention. One, this would be a publicly remarkable pairing, for several reasons. He, the first prince of Caesonia, dancing with a mere servant, high ranking one though he may be. A man with a man. Two, father was sure to nag him for this, no matter that he’d had no hand in it. Three, Wystan did have him at a slight height disadvantage. That one could be resolved easily enough, as long as the watchdog wasn’t too awkward about it. Four, he’d likely have to accommodate his less-skilled dancing partner.

But most of all, resounding in his head so loudly he wished to exclaim heavenwards; Is this punishment or a reward?

Showing nothing of the complicated swirl of thoughts and emotions, his expression the perfect façade of glacial serenity, Wulfric shallowly nodded to reciprocate the other man’s bow. “Good evening, Wystan,” he returned the greeting, tone professional. Habitually, he offered his left arm the way he would to a lady. Aware of how unlikely this all was, he wryly raised an eyebrow at the battlemaster. Once his arm was grasped, he would lead them towards the centre of the ballroom.

Behind his back, he could hear Anastasia’s laughter. He felt a dark amusement of his own arise, though it was doubtlessly for reasons radically different to his sister’s delight.

Looks like this time, I’ll be the one showing off your precious, loyal watchdog, brother dear.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Tae
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Verrick & Thea





Verrick sighed as he moved to his own corner when a servant suddenly came up to him and offered him a bowl. After a moment's hesitation he grabbed a slip of paper and looked at his number. Glancing up afterward and noticing two younger prince's of Casonia being conveniently handed their own slips of paper. Narrowing his eyes and scoffing in disgust he tossed the paper over his shoulder and grumbled something about sniveling royal brats… or something of the sort. Clearing his throat he straightened his shoulders and went to find the unlucky soul who picked his number.

He lined up at the front of the room, a fair scowl/smile upon his face as he tried to put on his ‘good’ face again. Placing his hands behind his back he took a deep breath and let it out, resisting the urge to suddenly throw the two nobles who got too close to him as they lined up. He glanced over to see Princess Beatrice lined up in front of Auguste, and the two nobles beside him gave him a weird look when they heard a low growl coming from him. “What was that?” One of them asked. Verrick quickly said, “Just clearing my throat.” without hesitation.

Meanwhile, Thea had made it to the drink table and was sipping on a glass of wine as she did her best to calm her earlier irritation. She almost snapped at the person who tapped on her shoulder, but quickly discovered it was merely a servant with a bowl full of papers. So it was time for the dances, lovely. She quickly downed the glass of wine and grabbed a slip, looking at the number. She took a deep breath, sending a prayer up to whoever would hear her that she didn’t have to dance with some pompous ass. She then moved to the front of the room as her number was called, stepping past those who had already lined up, ready to meet her dance partner only to meet the eyes of Verrick and her eyes widened. “Oh…” Was all she could think of to say in that moment.

Verrick blinked when she said “Oh” before saying. ”I do realize I’m no Prince charming. But ‘OH’ is kinda a slap to the face.” He said with a hint of his usual sarcastic humor. He then reached back and scratched the back of his head. “I do know how to dance…I think…if that is what you’re worried about.” He dropped his hand to his side before offering his right hand to her.

Thea felt heat brighten her cheeks as she realized how she’d sounded and shook her head, trying to clear it some while also trying to indicate that’s not what she meant. ”No, that’s not…it wasn’t an ‘oh’ as if I’m disappointed, believe me I’m far from disappointed. It was an ‘oh’ as in, ‘oh I’m not dancing with an arrogant ass’.” She said, letting out a small laugh as she took his hand. ”And I couldn’t care less if you know how to dance or not, you’re rescuing me from ‘Prince Charming’ currently and for that I’m quite grateful.”

”Ah… Yes, Dancing with just an ass’s is better I do believe. Much simpler..” He said with a clear amusement in his voice. He led Thea towards the dance floor and said softly as they moved so others wouldn’t hear them. ”I wouldn’t exactly call him ‘charming’. An immature brat is more fitting.” He Looked at Thea. With no one around he felt more comfortable to be free with what he said, it was clear from what he saw as well, that she was not at all pleased with her fiance. He came to a stop and turned towards and wrapped his other hand behind her back.

”Far more simple indeed.” Thea felt herself relaxing some now, the irritation of earlier fading completely now. ”He tries to be charming, but sometimes I feel as if he sees me as a doll to play with. The sooner he realizes I am anything but that, the better I think.” She let out a sigh as she placed her other hand on his shoulder, falling into position for the waltz. ”Enough about my betrothed, though. Tell me how you’ve been? Anything exciting happened lately? Any more nobles thrown out windows?” She wore a smile now, ready to hear any exciting stories he had to tell.

Verrick had a small genuine smile of his own. The thought of her father flying out the window was still satisfying. He looked up as if to recall anything before leading Thea into the beginning of the waltz quite smoothly. ”Actually yes, but not a noble. He said with a smile. "There was a young lad from the city so infatuated with trying to see the princess he managed to climb both walls and her tower. He almost made it as well without me seeing. Honestly I was quite impressed. If it wasn’t for the bath chambers he was attempting to climb into I might have let him see the princess for a moment.”

He smirked, ”So I let him believe he saw her for a few moments. Only fair to give him a tiny bit of hope after all that hard work. Only to crush his spirits when a half naked man stood up from the bath to toss him back out the window.” Verrick had caught sight of the man climbing her tower and while she had been bathing he managed to get to her first and inform her of the pending perv. Just enough time for him to replace her.. While…unorthodox…Verrick had to find his fun somewhere.

Thea listened with intrigue to his story, but then let out a giggle at the end. "Oh my, the shock on that man's face was probably priceless." The man certainly sounded like he deserved what he got and Thea only wished she could have watched it all happen. "Though if I saw a half naked you before being tossed out a window, I don't think I'd be too terribly mad." She gave him a playful smile as she mindlessly followed the steps of the dance.

Verrick nodded, the Seer confusion,disgust, realization, utter terror was worth the sprint up the up the tower, getting the princess out while trying to communicate with the princess and her maids to get her out and the rush to jump in the bath while ripping off his clothes was worth it.

Thea mentioned if she saw him and half naked he was at a loss for words for a moment, Not expecting that from her. But he looked at her and said quite seriously. ”I can quite assure you Lady Thea. There is no possible chance of that ever happening. He looked away for a moment before adding. ”I would never toss a beautiful lady out a window.”

"So seeing you half naked is still on the table?" Thea smirked at him, pausing for a brief second and then giggling. "I'm merely teasing you Verrick. It is comforting to know you wouldn't toss me out a window though, even if I may deserve it at times." There was still a smile on her face, but her eyes betrayed her as she knew most everyone disapproved of her recent actions.

”Continued teasing will change my mind…” he said jokingly, before looking directly into her eyes. ”Let me be very clear. his sense of sarcasticness gone. His gruff voice was as serious as it could be. ” For what you went through, it is understandable for you to change while you deal with it. While I don’t approve of how you handle it at times,you do not deserve it..”

Thea's face fell and she found herself looking down as silence fell for a moment. She trembled slightly as she took a shaky breath. "I'm unsure of how else to deal with it. Without drinking myself into oblivion I can't sleep. I have nightmares." She said barely above a whisper. "Will it ever get easier?" She looked back up to him, a pleading look in her eyes.

Verrick sighed and didn’t say anything for a few moments as he thought of the best answer. Fact was he couldn’t really tell her how to deal with the issue, as it never happened to him. He then looked at her then said softly. ”It will be something that will stay with you for a long time. But as I said then, and now you must not feel guilty, It wasn’t your fault at all. Nor it ever will be.” He paused again, looking at the others dancing around them. ”If it will help, blame me for not being there when you needed it.”

Thea slowly shook her head. "I could never blame you, Verrick. You were there when I needed it the most and I'll forever be grateful to you." She forced a smile onto her face. "I'm sorry, I'm being rather dull. I'll be okay in time, I promise you that." The music began to slow and instead of parting from her partner and curtsying as other women did, she threw her arms around him in a hug. "Thank you for everything, Verrick." She said softly to him and let him go, but not before kissing him on his cheek. "Now, are you going to ask your princess for a dance or am I going to have to do it for you?" She smirked at him, crossing her arms over her chest.

Verrick grunted as she said she would be ok, he felt like he didn’t say the right thing to get through to her. Personally he did feel responsible for not being able to help her. He clearly missed something back there, if he only knew…

He was pulled from his thoughts when she suddenly threw her arms around him, as well as giving him a kiss on the cheek. This was enough to make any man redden…even a tiny bit. But what made him freeze was her next statement. ”W- What do you mean? I cannot ask the Princess..” He sighed as he scratched the back of his head. Giving up on feeble attempts to hide the truth of his feelings… Apparently she was far more observant than he gave her credit for. ”There is no way she would want to dance with me. I annoy her to no end, and it wouldn’t be ‘proper’ for a common man such as me to even think about that.”

Thea stared at him, unimpressed with his excuses. "You just danced with a future princess of Varian, you can dance with THE Princess of Varian. It's a dance, not a proposal. It's to provide fun." She said with a small laugh as she moved to link her arm with his before pulling at him to follow her. "Come on, even if you don't ask I should still return you to her and then I have a prince to find that I'm probably obligated to share a dance with." She sighed, clearly not thrilled with the idea, but still trying to fulfill her promise to Felix.

Verrick sighed when she brought up that she will be a princess herself soon. It annoyed him that she was right…on both points she brought up. Depending on how the night went, he would want to make sure she enjoyed at least one dance. Even if it was with a grumpy woodsman.

He felt a sudden tug on his arm and was dragged off by Thea after she linked their arms together. He was resistant at first but gave in after a second or two. He glanced down at her as they walked as she mentioned having to have a dance with Felix. ”Well, just know if he ruins your night. I’m sure there’s a pond around here somewhere.” He said with a chuckle.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Tae
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Tae

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Time: Early Evening
Location: Caesonia Ballroom
Attire: Outfit
Interaction: @Infinite Cosmos Munir
Mentions:
Mood: Bet you’ve been a fan of me…


Mina raised her eyebrows, yet smirked as he placed her flask back where it had come from. Her skin tingled in anticipation of the touch of his finger, but it never came. It was almost maddening, but the only thing that showed it was Mina’s exhale of her held breath. ”There are a few wonders in there that I’m sure you’d love to explore.” She hadn’t been expecting to feel the thrill she was currently feeling when she initiated this flirtatious engagement. It was refreshing as it didn’t happen too often.

She felt her breath catch once again as his arm wrapped around her waist. The warmth of his breath on her neck sent a wave of heat through her core as she found herself grinning wickedly. ”I’m not sure if you could handle me sampling such delights.” She responded as he was still near, trailing a hand down his chest…his stomach…lower and lower…then she pulled her hand away. ”I do wonder, though, if I’ll enjoy your delights or the wine more?” She tapped her lip with a finger, as if contemplating the question.

It was at this point that her attention was grabbed by something behind Munir. A servant approached the two and offered them the bowl with the paper slips. Mina took one and glanced at it. ”Unfortunately I have to join this dance as I promised my uncle I would. Good way to strengthen political ties, you see.” She said with a sigh, glancing to where people were gathering for the dance. She then looked back to Munir and grinned once more. ”Find me after and perhaps I can give you a personal tour of whatever you’d like to see. Until then, it’s been quite a pleasure…” She leaned in close to him now. ”...master.” With that she turned and sauntered away from him, hips swaying.
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