@HereComesTheSnow @ERode @VitaVitaAR
Fionn turned away, looking back in the direction of the others as Serenity scoffed at his question. Less out of any immediate interest and more so that she wouldn't have the opportunity to see the frown that played across his face at her response; where he'd been hoping for personal wishes, he received family commentary instead. As easily as she did engage in conversation at times, it seemed like tossing a coin would be a better way to predict whether he'd receive obligation and formality or genuine personality than the bend of any conversation itself.
It seemed just as likely she might switch within the same breath, as well, if her last comment at him was any indication.
"Perhaps he's pretentious enough to have an entire court," he muttered to himself as Lein and Cecilia jumped to either side of Serenity and voiced their plans for the battle—before giving a small chuckle at both the thought and the unmistakable sound of Serenity's armour as she stepped away from the pair's grasp. If Jeremiah had seen fit to grant all his lieutenants titles in mockery of royalty like his own, then some among their order would at least have fuel for their jokes for the next month or so.
Though he doubted any of the Bandit King's knights would be honourable enough to continue to stand in his defence once their defeat was made obvious.
All such thoughts were pushed away as their advance was halted by Fanilly's cry, Fionn hastily making his way to the front of the group just behind Serenity. Gerard's observation merited a grunt of agreement, while Tyaethe's momentary instruction got a fast nod. "Was already planning on it," he replied as he took a position opposite Gerard, his blade held low to the side. Between himself and his two fellows, the Captain was well protected from any immediate assault by bandits who lay waiting in the shadows.
In the moments waiting for the trap to be sprung, possibilities raced through his mind. The bait was obvious, as easily ignored as it was recognized. Were these brigands as successful as was said, then there was no chance they would have been relying on it. Undoubtedly, they knew the terrain better than did the knights, either taking a preeminently tactical position from which to attack, moving to encircle the knights as soon as they passed beyond the relative safety of the road, or, lastly, moving to surround specifically if the bait was taken.
Straining to hear any such movements, he hoped that Fanilly would retreat as suggested; if the Captain could be safeguarded between Serenity and Renar or Fleuri, then that would free up himself and Gerard to cut a path through their ensnarement and allow the others to quickly reposition and take on the offensive. A far more survivable counter to their current predicament than having to attempt to defend on all sides.
"Gerard, on me!" he barked at the younger man, knowing that his fellow former mercenary would know when to comply with the suggestion.