A winning smile took over Rionach's features as Kazador addressed her. Of course, she couldn't take it as a sign that she'd achieved respect or recognition just yet, since he seemed to be answering nearly everyone, but it was a start. “That's right! Valentia's...okay. Old wounds never truly heal, as they say. As for why I'm here: is it not obvious? To do whatever need be done! There is suffering and misfortune everywhere, and it's a poor heroine who refuses to broaden her scope beyond just one nation.” Though already possessing more to say, Rionach fell silent, her time in the spotlight over with. It wouldn't do to hype herself up in the opening moments of the first act; if her journey of self-aggrandizement taught her anything, it was to carefully balance people's expectations.
Around her, life went on, including the opening of a nearby shop by a merchant of apparent renown. In her travels Rionach had naturally heard of and bought from the Anna sisters. The quality of her goods could never be drawn into question, but a few encounters had fostered a sort of cautious understanding between the two greedy women. Their mutual attempts and getting the most possible out of their arrangements while giving up as little as possible had led to a couple of lengthy stalemates in times past, though to Rionach's shame she had to admit her rival's charisma and business sense far better. Before the gathering crowd could fully block off the view of Anna's stand, Rionach happened to catch her eye, and the pair exchanged a cheery if knowing wave. Though at the moment her inventory could use some restocking, Rionach decided to forego bargaining with Anna for the time being, and not just because she disliked the idea of getting jostled by all her other customers.
Content to sit and watch, Rionach observed each unique individual pointed out by Kazador in turn. The idea of royals traipsing about while some sort of important meeting was going on puzzled her, but questioning them was not the duty of some random traveler. Eager though she might be to spread and make great her name, Rionach knew better than to gain the reputation of some impertinent upstart by trying to cozy up to every notable person she saw. On the subject of who she saw: Rionach's eyes wandered to a little girl and then to a woman she guessed to be the girl's mother, and there her eyes remained. An ever-so-slight grimace passed over her features as she took not of the visitor's appearance. “Hngh.” Damn sorceresses. Bet she's never lacked for people fawning over her a day in her life. Do all stacked women have the dark gift, or does it just make its practitioners more beautiful? Ugh. And she's a mother too, with that figure. Some women have all the luck. Averting her gaze, Rionach stared into the fire. With people like that around, who'd ever look twice at some spear-slinging bumpkin from the mountains? In her contemplation, she missed the stranger's question, though answering it would have strained her manners regardless.
After a few moments her attention turned to another new arrival, this one astride a horse and protected by brown armor. He introduced himself as nothing less than a prince of Renais, but his manner bespoke a disregard for formality and his location of a distaste for diplomacy. This could be an opportunity. A nobleman with connections happy to mingle with common folk. She stood up, using the butt of her spear to help, and gave Marwood a polite bow. Whether or not he cared for such niceties, it could get them talking about customs and things. A good first impression was a must. “Welcome to our little party then, Prince Marwood. The name's Rionach, and I'm glad to have you aboard! Djeld here's prepared tea, if you'd like some.” She produced the cup of tea she'd been given but hadn't actually drunk from, holding it up without holding it out in an effort to offer it without invading personal space.
The next second, the sound of an explosion rocked the camp. Startled, Rionach jumped and fumbled the cup. She grabbed at it as it fell, getting herself splashed with hot tea, but couldn't snatch it out of the air before it hit the ground. “Bollocks!” The shouting reached her as she stooped, leaving her wide-eyed. “They're fightin'!?” she blurted out, more to herself than anyone, as she straightened up. Sure enough, the camp had roared to life, thanks in large part to the inferno that had replaced the generals' meeting tent. “What in Mila's name?!” The sudden realization hit her that any number of extremely important people might have been killed—history was being made before her eyes. Yet, this was one high-profile event she wanted no part of. The noise of battle filled the air, and more out of reflex than desire to fight, Rionach yanked her spear from the ground. Quite keenly she understood that she had no allies here, no side to take. Nobody stood at her back to prevent some random soldier from loosing an arrow or plunging three feet of steel through her vitals. It had always been this way, but never before had she been in a situation in which her singularity might mean her death.
A look of terror on her face, she whirled to face Kazador when he spoke, wary of attack. “I don't know anythin'!” she exclaimed. “The big tent just blew up, and everyone's fightin'!” Based on what she heard, the erupted conflict had two sides split by race, each accusing the other of treachery. She glanced at an incoming human unit whose attention already lay upon the dwarves. Things were about to get bloody, and nothing she could say would stop it. Technically speaking, as a Valentian she should be on the Alliance's side, but turning her spear on the dwarves she's been with moments ago felt wrong. Plus, since she wasn't a soldier, she had no duty to attack anyone. Getting involved with either side would be a huge -and probably fatal- mistake. Yet, turning and fleeing would ruin her reputation and image, barely-established as it was among these people. Her eyes flitted between Marwood, Alphonse, and Sharena. There was only one option: refuge in audacity.
“Your Royalties! Considerin' the confusion and chaos, you should get clear of here immediately! If you're willin', I'll help cover your retreat!” With any luck, they'd realize that they couldn't afford to leap into a conflict with no clear wrong party. They might wonder who the hell this redheaded woman was to be offering them advice and protection, but at the very least it was clear Rionach wasn't a mercenary, and she had a plan if called into question.