15th day of Anais
Location: Harrows Keep, Markets
A reunion of old friends
Harrow’s Keep was even more beautiful in the evening. The streets were faintly illuminated by the golden light of the dying sun, with the fires from lamps and candles casting a warm glow over the area. Even at this time, many people were still out and about. The atmosphere was more relaxed than it had been in the morning, however, crowded streets and rabid bartering replaced with gentle chit-chat and laughter.
Not everyone spent the evening pleased. No longer having to worry about shoving people out of the way, Leras Grant was dragging her lady through the streets, her sharp voice cutting through the ambient noise.“You’re more trouble than you’re worth, Eli- my lady! It isn’t difficult to just stay with me. If you wanted to talk to people, just let me be with you,”
she snapped. “See, it was fine when we were with the Aureolin boy. There really isn’t any need to run off. What if something had happened to you?”“I can take care of myself,”
Elise whined back.“And if you couldn’t? The amount of luck that brought you into this world, and you’d let yourself leave it just like that?”“Oh, Leras. I’ve heard this so many times before. Spare me, will you?”“You’re nothing short of a miracle, my lady. The first daughter of a lord with a useless gate and a woman with no magic whatsoever - and look at you. Lady Cassandra can’t have more children and Lord Alfonse refuses to have any other women. The second you leave my sight, House Dalris is as good as fallen.”
“I know, I know, I just-”
“Bad people don’t care about what you know.”
Elise pulled Leras to a stop. She huffed. “Is there not anyone else that can babysit me?”“Do you despise me that much, my lady?”“Yes.”“You’d do better to treat me well. Stay with me or go back to the tower,”
Leras said. Elise just whined.“If we must.”
It was at this moment someone bumped into Elise, the pair nearly falling over onto each other. Yet even as gravity pulled them down, a gust of wind passed through Elise's hair and across her body in that direction, and the someone that had collided with her was holding on tight.
For Leras, it was a more obvious picture. An avian beastman hadn't been looking where she was going and nearly toppled her Lady over. But they were saved the misfortune of actually hitting the ground by a strong flapping of the Avian's wings, pulling the two back to a standing position. The woman was dressed in a set of armor that looked ready for a play, it was so unique."A thousand apologies, miss. Are you alright?"
The avian asked as she let go of Elise, though was still ready to catch her if the woman was still unsteady.“I- Well, I’m quite-”
Elise started, eyes darting to Leras as her guard reached for her sword.
A sharp and sudden blow to the back of the leg would crumble Rendyl to her knees, eliciting a high pitched yelp of pain.
“Do it properly!
A righteous voice warned, monotone and cold, filled with a silent disappointment and anger for having to correct his servants actions.
The slave nodded and touched her head to the ground, folded over her still stinging knees. "Please forgive this stupid slave, Miss."
“It is not a servant’s place to touch a lady without request.
Drakus stood tall and imposing behind the kneeling avian, garbed in his finest noble clothing fit for an appearance of a lord, brandishing an ornate sabre prominently sheathed at his side. While he spoke to Rendyl, his steely eyes were affixed to Leras.
“Don't you agree Miss Grant?
Along with Rendyl kneeling before them, Drakus was surrounded by a small entourage of people. Women dressed finely, servants clearly distinguished and another armed guard.
Abbi watched near her maid and guard near the back of the train. She kept her body language still as Rendyl had been teaching her to do. It was not easy as her temper moved almost as quick as her tongue. But her face showed her disgust and anger in its color. The use of pain wasn’t needed, Rendyl would have humiliated herself willingly for her master. Abbi had already been told by Rendyl that Lord Drakus had to treat her rough and that she should not be overly kind to her. She was trying but, like some of the martial combat games, she found them to be plainly barbaric. Abbi’s maid put a hand on her mouth and pulled Abbi’s arm up locking hers with her hand covering the fist Abbi was making. Her guard also aware moved the pair off to the side so they were out of the way since a weapon was drawn.
Leras sheathed her sword once more, blowing a strand of ashy brown hair from her face. She regarded Rendyl with a strange mix of disgust and pity. After a few seconds she had noticed the wings - the mark of an inferior race, yet to see someone of the same position her be treated in such a way was aggravating. She didn’t care to hide her displeasure. “I would think that one of you Immolis brats would-”
Elise cut in as soon as the name of Drakus’s former house came out. “Oh, Drakus, Drakus! What a pleasure!”
She stepped in front of Leras, clasping her hands together and looking delighted. Her smile slipped as she glanced down at Rendyl, but quickly reformed as she looked back up at her childhood friend. “Oh, you mustn’t worry about your little birdie, no harm done. No, there are much more important things to think about! Drakus, Drakus. It’s been so long, hasn’t it?”
Behind her, Leras stood uneasily. She looked ever so slightly less hostile, though her hand still rested on the hilt of her blade.
Along with the armor, Rendyl also had her shield strapped to her back, though at that moment on her knees with her forehead against the ground, her wings weren't hiding underneath the highly decorated shield.
Drakus smiled and bowed deeply, breathing in and savouring the familiar voice. As he lifted from his bow, he shot a malicious challenging glare at Leras before creating a near inaudible click.” It truly has my lady, it truly has.
The avian heard the click and quickly got to her feet, sparing a second to wipe her forehead before straightening, ignoring the pains in both her legs and pride. Her eyes remained downcast, and Rendyl stepped backward to fall in behind her Master.
There was a pause and a slow exhale as Drakus stood admiring his old friend, seeing her again for the first time in a long time, features slightly different, adorned in a new dress, yet still the same girl beneath. No woman.
It caused a secret and silent fight against the zone of nostalgic familiarity and comfort that surrounded her. It was one perhaps exclusive to him, that only he experienced, it came from knowing her for many years. Truly knowing her, and knowing that she too knew him, or at least the truest version of himself.
Almost growing up together, they shared much between themselves.
From grand ambitions to dirty little secrets, they shared it all, and not just their own.
Back then things were simple, she was simple. And honest. With him at least anyway. In ways, she was closer to him than his brothers ever were. Sister like, she seemed to understand him better than most.
For this they had an odd sense of honesty. Brutal with their deep truths but not afraid to shy away from superficial lies if it benefitted themselves, but they were also honest about that.
Around her Drakus didn’t have to pretend to be someone he wasn’t. He didn’t have to act or hide. She bore no weight or expectations on him like the rest of the world. They had openly shared their ambitions and pride before each other without judgment. For this, Drakus could let down his guard, relax his towering walls that encased him and remove the many heavy burdensome masks he layered upon his face throughout the day. Finally, for the first time in a long time, he might be able to breathe easily in the presence of another.
Just in the act of nearing her the world became lighter.
And for that his first mask began to slip away, the one that refused to let him have a true smile, the one that limited his expressions to those either serious or spiteful. There were muscles on his face that had been tensed or forced for so long that they forgot how to be in any other state, until now.
Feeling it coming on, yearning for it, Drakus caught the mask and held it in place for one moment more, waving a hand he spoke. “Now leave us!
” He commanded, looking around to all that were not lords... even Rendyl.
“Miss Grant needs an escort back to the tower and Lady Eliona could use some company to the amphitheater.
” he commanded, almost letting his servants and followers decide their own fates, almost, all whilst his eyes never left Elise.“Oh, you’re dramatic as ever,”
Elise said. She waved her hand at Leras. “Very well, then! Off you go, Leras.”
Leras pulled out her blade ever so slightly, gritting her teeth. She released the hilt and walked up to Elise, staring at Drakus with narrowed eyes. “I won’t allow it, Elise,”
she muttered to the taller woman. “I don’t like the look of this one.”“Drakus is perfectly trustworthy! Honestly, you’re so stiff. Why don’t you go and enjoy yourself? If I recall… you wanted to go to that amphitheatre, didn’t you? The markets, too.”
Elise replied, at full volume.
Leras flushed. “How did you-”“Oh, you mentioned it on the way here,” Elise said, smiling angelically. “Run along now. I’ll even pay you back for anything you buy along the way if you’re quick.”
Leras grimaced, though there was a hint of a smile too. As insufferable as her airheaded lady could be, she didn’t dislike Elise at all. They argued frequently, but it was all in good spirit. That was just how their relationship was. Underneath all of that was a mutual understanding and respect. Well, that was how she
felt about it at the very least.“Well, then,”
Leras said, clearing her throat. “I’ll be going. I will accompany your Lady… Eliona, if you would like me to. Of course, Lord Immolis, if you’d rather I didn’t, I would happily go on my own.”"Lord Solaris. Of House Solaris."
Rendyl spoke up firmly, seemingly defying her station once again. This did not seem to trouble her lord, instead a slight proud smirk tugged at the corner of his lips. Rendyl was stationed right behind him, That is, up until the moment he stepped away towards his old friend. It clearly didn’t sit well with her to be without a shoulder to stand at, and so she moved over to attend Lady Eliona.
Lady Eliona graciously accepted all aid with a pleasant soft smile and thankful nod. Her murky eyes moving emptily to the direction of the body behind each voice or touch.
“The streets are no place for nobility to mingle. We should find some place more suited to continue our conversation.
” he suggested. Eyeing off a young dirty child hugging and peering around a corner wall. “They’re quite pleasant if you ignore all of the dirt, you’ll find,”
Elise laughed. “But very well. I’ve heard there’s a wonderful cafe near here. My treat, of course. I take it you’re hungry? I have eaten already, but I’d fancy a little more.”
” He questioned. “How… quaint, I guess I could sample some of the local delicacies. Very well, please allow me to escort you my lady.
Drakus offered Elise the crook of his elbow. Upon her touch, her close proximity, her presence and aroma he felt his second mask begin to tremble, threatening to fall away. It was the mask of walls, the one that held his constant rigid posture and cold demeanour, the one that scoffed at affection and held compassion at bay always screaming ‘weakness’ at it. This ghost from his past was causing cracks in his armour, and he wasn’t yet sure how he felt about it.
Elise gave one last wave to Leras before she took Drakus’s arm. “It’s just a few minutes from here. Thank the goddess, I couldn’t bear these shoes any longer.”
Indeed, her heels that only added to her height looked very uncomfortable. She sounded less enthusiastic, but really, she was just feeling more relaxed. “Ah, it doesn’t matter. I trust you’ve been well?”
” Drakus let out a half chuckle half scoff at the notion. At only a few steps with this woman he was already starting to relax.
He looked to the sky as he contemplated his words. Preparing for an old game they used to play of truths and lies.
“I have made a living free creature into a slave and kept them against their will.
I publicly executed a religious man under the guise of a fair competition when their was none. I simply wished to silence him.
I not only knew that a man was plotting against my wishes but I aided him to do so and he still lives.
I have in my employ a servant who’s parents death was by my own fault, a fact they are not aware of.
There has been two attempts on my life and I am still unsure of by whom.
His words lacked the usual ployful and playful tones of trickery he used to use. It was flat and empty, each statement sounding the same as the one before it. His new strategy making it sound more like a confession.
“Oh, none of those are particularly pleasant,” Elise whined. “Still, that’s what makes it more fun, isn’t it? Nothing has ever been both bland and interesting. Anyway, where were we? Attempts on your life, that’s plausible, isn’t it? Happens much more than one would think. That’s why I have Leras around. So yes, I’d say that was true. If not, then just give it a few years.”
“Was that a threat?
” He asked with a smile as he gave her a playful nudge, shaking off the seriousness of the matter. Elise hit his shoulder lightly.
Elise hummed in contemplation. “A servant, hmm? You do seem to have all sorts around you. Ah, I’d call that one true as well. You don’t seem the murderous type, though. An indirect cause, I’ll say.”
She smirked. “Unless there’s a part of you I have yet to see. My, my! How rude, hiding from your dear Elise.”
Had it been anyone else to assume him ‘not the murderous type’ Drakus would be tempted to prove them wrong on the spot, but coming from Elise, it made him feel. Good. He simply gave her a soft musing “Mhmm
” and allowed her to continue.
His steady steps perfectly timed with hers, his eyes appreciating what they could of the streets they passed.“A plot against you… also likely. Ah, I don’t know enough about this one. Maybe if I had gotten the chance to look through the archives beforehand. I’ll call it false, simply because I’d rather there be no one to oppose you.”
She rolled her eyes. “Then the execution.”
Elise paused for a minute. “False,”
she decided, though she sounded unsure.
Drakus only sighed as his eyes fell to the floor. In a whisper he spoke.
“I grow so tired of fighting for that which should already be mine.
his voice took a dark turn as a tired anger and frustration infiltrated his final words.
There was something liberating in sharing with this old friend of his. Something almost magical in releasing words and thoughts that had been bound for so long to only him. The realisation swept over him on his next inhale and the mask that covered all his insecurities, worries and need for companionship nearly crumbled to the floor, untill…. he remembered something.
“Elise, it truly has been too long.
He said formally, his body shifting as he stood taller, retaking his firm posture and beginning again to move with rigid proper steps.
“I do believe it was at my fathers funeral, and even then it was only in passing.
Why, even during your more visit to Immolis you couldn’t find the time to visit. If I at all thought I could still read through your lies I might question where your loyalties lay.
Elise flinched, her posture stiffening. “Loyalties… those are to House Dalris, Drakus. The people who I associate myself with have nothing to do with that, nor our relationship. Ced-Cedric and Ruel are as much my friends as you are. I hope you can find it in you to respect that.”
She looked down at the floor. “Though I do confess, I haven’t been making much time for you. Maybe you could come around next week for… nevermind. I will try and clear my schedule sometime soon for you.”
Drakus simply frowned, not content with her answer. It was a logical response. Elise did not have to choose one or the other, especially when doing so would potentially alienate her house from the other. Still, reason aside it left him uncomfortable, although nothing else she could have said would have turned out any better.
“[/color=goldenrod]You can’t toe the line for ever.[/color]”
He grumbled, relaxing slightly but not as much as before.
“[/color=goldenrod]So then, how have you been? What plots for power will your house be bringing to the table tomorrow? [/color]” he asked.“Dalris may not have too much to show militarily, but we are still a very powerful house. We have no one to please. Why, it’s others that should be trying to get in our good books. So, we’ll be voting in our own self interest. As you may expect.”
As they continued to walk and talk they soon turned a corner. Drakus lead the way despite not knowing the path. Once around the wall Drakus quickly moved towards it as he released Elise’s hand and lifted a finger up to his lips, giving her the universal ‘shh’ motion.
There was a moment of silence and then as if on cue the sound of soft hurried footsteps approaching. “Hmm? Drakus, what is it?”
Elise asked. She didn’t whisper, speaking at the same volume she normally did. Sometimes it wasn’t clear whether she knew how to.
“The goat who thinks he’s at the top stops climbing.
” Drakus said in a single exhale as he lept around the corner. Elise’s voice had caused the coming footsteps to pause but Drakus wasn’t about to let them get away. His hands found purchase on a ragged dirty collar, with ease he lifted the thin dirty child off the floor as the child squirmed around mid air, wide eyed and with panic.
“So what should we do with this rat sneaking around after us?
” Drakus asked Elise, never taking his eyes off the frail street rat. She took a look at the child.“Oh, you can’t expect much from the rabble. For every child that steals, there are ten more in hiding. Ah, Leras tells me often that I need to be nicer to common folk. In that case… well, it would do us no harm to let it run away.”
She gave a pointed look to where Drakus was holding the child. “You’d better put it down too, lest you get some filthy disease.”
“Stemia’s heart must have fallen from the stars and stuck you in the chest.
Drakus said with lighthearted sarcasm to Elise. He pulled the child in close and whispered something in his ear that caused his eyes to grow wide. After that he placed him on the floor and shoved him on his way before dusting his now free hands in slight disgust.
Drakus had a hundred quotes on lawlessness at the ready, stored within the back of his mind, deeply ingrained into his very being through repetitious chants, mantras and house brainwashing, but that was not him anymore and he pushed the thoughts away.
“Sorry for the disturbance M’lady. Shall we?
He offered his arm once again so they could continue their journey.
Elise took it. “Oh, sometimes I forget how repulsive commoners can be. I had spent so much time inside that it had slipped my mind. Well, I… ah, nevermind.”
“Come on, don’t be so secretive with me. You have told me little of how you have been and what you have been up to.
” “Just the usual,”
she groaned. “You know how House Dalris is. It’s work, work, work. I’m sorry I haven’t been to see you, Drakus. I haven’t left the estate in months. I’m glad I can get some fresh air now.”
She paused to take a deep breath in. “I don’t even remember the last time my father said anything to me that wasn’t an order. But I’m being looked after, so it’s alright. I’m here now, at the very least.”
She turned to look at Drakus with a smile. “Let’s see if I can get out of paperwork to pay you a proper visit sometime.”
Drakus slightly tensed at the mention of fathers but nodded approvingly at her offer. “I’ll have someone fetch you by wyvern, or I suppose I could come myself.
” He said with a smile.
“Solaris has become an amazing place, I really would love for you to come see it.
What he really wanted her to see and understand was his vision for integrated magic and technology, for her to understand his plan and realise his brothers and father were all wrong.
But now was not the time for such heavy topics. “Before the end of the year, I’ll come, okay? Oh, I’ll make sure I check the archives before I go. Plenty of juicy stuff in there to talk about.”
“What rumours have you heard as of late?
” “Oh, people have been saying that Pachel’s got a mistress on the side. Honestly, I don’t know why it’s worth talking about. Of course he does! Why, it’s just a matter of who. There’s that one general who he’s close with, but I don’t see it…”
“Is that all you have? Old news and loose ends? Unless you can give me something better my dear, I may fear you’re falling out of touch.
Elise frowned. “Well, if you want to know why Eric Granis broke up with Hallie on Lover’s Day, I can tell you that. There’s also a very particular member of the Holy Knights who they’ve been trying to sweep under the rug as of late. Oh, what else… I heard Idella’s sister got a boyfriend.”
Now Drakus seemed more impressed, impressed yes but not surprised. This lead to a moment he had been steering towards. He reached into his coat and drew out an unmarked envelope sealed with unmarked wax and handed it over to Elise.
“Once you open it read quick and ignore the first paragraph. There are certain ‘benefits’ to having a guild or group of bards in most towns.
” He smiled proudly.
Elise slipped her arm out of Drakus’s, daintily taking the envelope. She looked at it with a furrowed brow, opening it with care. “Hmm? What is this, anyway?”
She quickly scanned over it, her eyes soon widening as she went through it over and over. Soon, she was done, and passed it back to Drakus. She may as well have handed him a blank piece of paper, because the ink had soon faded.“Oh my, oh my. How interesting,”
she muttered. “We used to have such things in Dalris. I’m not quite sure what happened to them.”
Drakus took the paper and folded it until it fit in the palm of his hand, when he released his fingers it was gone and replaced with ash that fluttered away in the breeze.
“Even with all the ears and eyes out there I still can’t learn why father chose Ruel.
Drakus paused and looked to Elise, waiting.“The late Lord Immolis was… a character, I will say,”
she sighed. “However, we must accept his decision and move on. Drakus… I know how you must feel, but little Ruel is doing as fine a job as he can. You have House Solaris now. Isn’t it time to move past this petty conflict?”
“I don’t have it yet.
” He reminded her. Tomorrow would be the first time he presented himself as head of a new house before all the other Lords and the queen.
“And If I’m to accept his wishes then the only options left to acquire more land and control is through conquest or marriage…
Drakus mused playfully for a moment.
“Do you suppose the queen is looking for a new suitor?
Elise laughed. [color=d8cfbe]“Oh, older women are more to your taste? House Dalris shall treasure this fact, Drakus. Though it’s not as if the queen does much these days. She’s a figurehead of the church, nothing more. Marrying for power - Verity Seler would be quite a good choice on that front, wouldn’t she? A few years older than you, but we’ve established that isn’t a problem.”[color] She grinned wickedly. “If only she were less bland.”
” Drakus fake gasped, bringing a hand to his chest and wearing a shocked expression. “I’m insulted that you’d even suggest that I’d marry for anything other than love.
Then a wicked smile slowly crawled across his face, “I just so happen to be in love with power.
He pondered for a moment.
” he tasted the name and looked to the sky for memories and information.
“Met her brother once, still owe him for that black eye.
All I did was raise the correlation between his hair colour and that of the northern whores and he got quite upset and quite quickly.
“But yes, I do believe she posses an appropriate favour and gate type to compliment my own gifts. For Solaris to last into the future and truly be my legacy I need to think carefully about heirs. And soon.
”“Heirs, heirs,” Elise hummed.
“I’m one myself, yet now I have to think of my own. Father was lucky to have me, but I can’t go around picking up a partner with no gate whatsoever like he did. Oh, I wonder if a weak one would be alright. Truly, it is a hassle.”[/color]
She winked at Drakus. “But if you’d like me to set you up with Miss Seler, I’ll do what I can. She doesn’t have the same temper as her brother. Plenty of other women in the sea, too! Why, you could go for dinner with whoever you please. There’s the other Seler girls, though some of them are a bit too young I would say, Pri… Prina Granis, lovely girl - though Eric can be rather overbearing - then the Teglo one. Oh, Rie is simply awful to be around. Such a diva, really. You could do so much better. Croan has some ladies as well, but they’re so stuck up! They think that they’re superior to everyone else, even when it was very, very obvious that poor Rae is just wearing hand me downs. You see, the dress she had on the last time I saw her was the very same one that Katarina had worn the year before! You know, it’s a disgrace-”
Elise coughed, flushing slightly. “You understand what I mean.”
She was speaking and had his interest with every word, but emotions and thoughts tugged on his attention. He held an honest smile as he watched her gossip, it was… it was so normal. It had been so long since he had spoken with anyone like this, it felt like a taste of what could have been, conversing on small frivolities like the old days. He reminded himself it was only because she did not know of the things he had done, of what he had become. Such simple pleasantries, planning of heirs and happiness were not for his type, it was not for monsters in masks.
“I hope you get free of your fathers influence and find a good man.
” Drakus interrupted with a sudden strange open honesty.
“Although just make sure he’s got more brain than looks, we both know you have it the other way.
he teased with a playful smile, giving her an underhanded compliment.
“But of course this meeting is not all about pleasantries or that Croan has more children than money, there is business to discuss.
Drakus handed her a second envelope.
“I know every house wants favour with Immolis but I can be a powerful ally too. Consider these two notes gifts in good faith of what we can offer.
The second letter was not sealed but it bore the variation of an Immolis seal on it, the Solaris emblem.
It was detailed instructions to all bard guilds of new songs to sing, stories to tell, what variations to make and what focus to put where.
Curiously it revolved around seafood.
It’s presence and appearance became a focus in plays, mention of hero’s snacking on it and good fruit-of-the-earth people eating it for health while nobles gorged on it’s delicacy.
Furthermore it was dated from eight months ago. There was a hint of proud excited confidence in his eyes. The fruition of their games so many years ago played out on the grandest scale of all. He knew of the recent and unexpected increase of demand and profit in seafood. Stonge, he was responsible for it.“House Solaris, hmm,”
Elise murmured. She glanced over the letter before putting it away - well, trying to. She didn’t have any pockets so she opted to hold onto it for the time being. “I do like seafood… why, I had some earlier. I’ll pass this along to my father, if you’d like that.”
Drakus paused and looked at her for a moment of confused disbelief. He expected her to be more elated than this. The numbers may not have been huge but it was noticeable and his guilds were still forming, besides, any advantage was an advantage.
This new tactic was not one he wanted to reveal to too many people, his power to influence public opinion and spending, now he feared that he had shared it with the wrong one. Had his friendship with her overrides reason.
“I was hoping to deal with you directly but if you are not interested, I can find another house to ally with.
” “Well, it’s not as if I’m not interested. I just… is there not anything else we could discuss?”
“Elise, I’m going to need help tomorrow. My entire future falls on that meeting. I have no one at my side. I would love nothing more than to talk to you of those rumours and the latest fashion but it will all mean nothing if…
Drakus sighed, realising the intensity he was speaking to her with. It was pathetic. He was only happy his father was dead and could never hear of it. He broke the deep eye contact he had created and lifted his chin to the air and regained his composure.
He was of the blessed mage queens blood. Fear and insecurity held no place in such people’s heart. He was destined for greatness. He could not hold doubt or show weakness like that, not to Elise, not to anyone. He pulled his emotions back in with a deep inhale and continued speaking.
“Never mind, oh look, isn’t that the cafe over there? Oh speaking of seafood I heard that a single prawn nearly killed lady Oxsollus last month. She couldn’t breath and became overcome by a rash.
Elise’s eyes went through a few emotions, all of them unclear, while her face maintained her bright smile. Eventually, her eyes settled to be happy too. “Oh, that woman! Yes, they had a murder investigation because they believed she had been poisoned, but eventually they concluded that she was just that much of a fool. I haven’t told you about the knight, have I? The entirety of House Croan must be as stupid as their daughters are, because they…”
Elise continued chattering, rolling off pointless gossip effortlessly. She accentuated her stories with wild hand gestures. She looked genuinely excited about it - to be talking about such useless things with her dear friend. Politics just weren’t for everyone.
Drakus used all the skills of every method actor he had ever met and did his best to summon the essence and enthusiasm of his younger self. The conversations were exciting as they were long. The two swapped stories and laughs deep into the night forcing the owner to stay open longer than usual. All was joyous but hidden deep down inside the Immolis child felt empty and hollow.
He gave her that night, he gave her the best of himself, of who he used to be. He gave her a night that he should have been using to do something productive. He gave her all he could give her, for childhood sake, he gave her his last ounce of generosity,