Lyrah and AugusTime:
The Maximus family EstateInteractions:
Augus Maximus III @FunnyGuy
, the rest of the family as NPCsEquipment:
a fork, a book, and a blue robe.
Within the Maximus household, dinner preparations were being made in the large dining room. Sylvia had enlisted the assistance of the two of her children who stayed home, Lyrah and Linus. Her husband and her son, Augus’ III and IV respectively, had attended Governor Talasi Brightfeather's meeting with the Avian City government officials. They were to discuss the recent news concerning Roshmi City's alliance with the Malthemoor Kingdom.
Despite Sylvia’s insistence to the contrary, Lyrah was perched in the corner on a chair. Her face was buried in a book, poring over the pages with single-minded devotion. As far as she was concerned, she had no obligation to help in any way. To her, menial tasks were boring, especially when they were as minute as dusting the tablecloth or whatever. It would all get dirty again anyway.“Lyrah could you please get the utensils on the table? I think they'll be home soon..”
Lyrah just rolled her eyes and went back to reading, pretending she didn’t hear.“Lyrah. Utensils. Please.”
Sylvia said, turning to stare at her daughter, who looked up at her with contemptuous apathy.“Why can’t dad and the fourth do it?”
Lyrah asked in her monotonous drawl.“Because you are here, Lyrah. Why is this like snatching feathers with you? Linus and myself would appreciate your help in preparing the dining area. That book will still be there after dinner. Just like all the others."
Sylvia really disliked having these spats with Lyrah. It was apparent from her worn expression.
Linus entered the dining room with the plates. Without Augus IV around, the boy was quieter. Linus was considered the mama's boy of the two, especially since Sylvia's brighter years of motherhood occurred after his birth. Lyrah resented him for this. Everyone knew it. She didn’t make it known often, but when she did, there was no ambiguity about it. And so, there was no hesitation or secrecy in the burning glare she shot at Sylvia and Linus.
Eventually her gaze softened, from fierce to lifeless. Like a rotting fruit. “Okay. Good luck with that, I guess,”
she said, looking back down at her book. “This book is here now, too, and it’s far more interesting than… what is it you want me to do, again?”
Sylvia sighed, shoulders sagging. Her daughter’s impertinence was an endless source of frustration. Every small task was an ordeal, and if it did get done, it never got done properly. “For the love of Zidur, Lyrah. Set the utensils on the table, please. It’s not that hard, you could have done it by now.”“If it isn’t that hard then why don’t you do it?”
Lyrah responded.“Because, young lady, I did everything else.”“I helped, mum!”
Linus proudly exclaimed.
Sylvia turned to her son and put on a kind face. “Yes, hone-”“Yeah, mum, give your favourite child some credit,”
Lyrah said, deadpan and deliberate in her interruption.
Sylvia slammed a hand onto the table. The plates rattled. “Fuck!”
she yelled. Daggers were shooting from her eyes. Right at Lyrah. Linus shifted uncomfortably, trying to disappear into a corner.“Case in point,”
Lyrah mumbled. She looked down at the pages, futilely trying to ignore the hole that Sylvia’s glare was boring into her skull. She slammed her book shut and dropped it on the chair. The lump in her throat cracked as she yelled, “What!?”“Let’s try that again,”
Sylvia said, her voice as sickly sweet as honey. ”Lyrah, could you please get the utensils on the table? I think they'll be home soon…”
A pain shot from Lyrah’s chest into her head, searing into her brain. She winced slightly. Words echoed throughout her mind, reverberating off the interior of her skull. This wasn’t the first time it had happened since last night, and she knew who it was. The thing in her book. Do it, Lyrah. Do it, and we can get on with our business.
Sylvia’s stare was still fixed upon her, a forced smile on her face. “Fine,”
Lyrah said, climbing down from the top of the chair. “I’ll do it.”“Thank you, darling.”
Sylvia responded, tense shoulders slackening somewhat. “Whatever.”
Lyrah said. She skulked away to fetch some cutlery. She made sure to pick out a fancy set for the occasion, and upon returning, laid it all out by Linus’ dutifully placed plates. Nevermind that the forks and spoons were on the wrong sides.
It had only taken minutes for the table to be set. It wasn't perfect, but as if on cue, both Augus' entered the home. When entering the dining area, Augus III was pleased with what he saw and smelled. All that was left was for him to taste his meal. Augus IV had a hint of a smile, knowing he had gotten out of a few chores while out with his father.“We have returned!”
The boy announced with an exaggerated tone.“Augus.”
He glared at his son's silliness, causing it to die down on sight.“Sorry, father.”
He couldn't even look his father in the eyes.“Get ready for dinner. Everyone is waiting.”
Augus IV gave a single nod to his father before heading upstairs to do just that. And brag to Linus. Meanwhile, Sylvia entered the dining area from the kitchen to welcome her husband home with a warm smile. It was forced due to her altercation with Lyrah, but Augus hadn't noticed. “I will get the food out and we can talk about everything over dinner. Just focus on changing out of that.”
Sylvia grimaced at his attire, a tangible representation of his work life that had at times come before even his family.
Lyrah just stayed in the kitchen. As far as she was concerned, the more distance between her and Augus III, the better. Besides, she wanted to see how long it’d take for her father - or anyone for that matter - to notice her after they got home. Her bet was twenty minutes: the time it would likely take for them to sit down at the dinner table. But, in the end, it was anyone’s guess. It could be as few as five minutes if Sylvia mentioned Lyrah’s attitude. And in a perfect world, maybe Sylvia might have. Just seeing her husband home momentarily pulled her away from the altercation with Lyrah. Sylvia had always despised conflict, which was a bit unfitting for a partner of Augus. She challenged his strong need to fulfill his duties. It was the reason for his success within the Skyguard but his failure within his home.“I’ll be back shortly. I don’t want you, Lyrah, and Linus to scold me for being too untimely.”
Augus joked. Probably the only one he’d tell tonight. He hurried upstairs and Sylvia re-entered the kitchen.“Hiding?”
She posed to Lyrah.That was quick,
she thought. Maybe it had something to do with their fight? ”No,”
was all she said, not even looking up from the pages. She most certainly was hiding, of course, but admitting that was the last thing she wanted to do.“Well, now that your father and brother are back, we can eat and hear about what happened with Governor Brightfeather,”
Sylvia replied. Lyrah only grunted in response. Her mother sighed, dropped the topic, and left to prepare herself for dinner.
A few minutes had gone by before everyone was seated at the table in the dining area. Augus III had been the last to arrive, dressed down in a dark blue robe, one of many he wore while at the family estate… something that was rare in itself. He was pleased with the set tableware until he noticed the misplaced utensils. He squinted at the deficiency, but took a seat anyway.“Linus, please make sure the utensils are on their proper side.”
Augus assumed it was his youngest son that had made the mistake.
Lyrah said nothing, giving Linus the side-eye, as if in warning. Hoping to avoid criticism where possible, she made sure her eyes spoke a warning.
Linus hesitated to utter anything. A long moment passed before he gulped, and decided to speak. “Uh… I’ll do better next time.”
He’d rather take the small criticism than start anything with Lyrah. She scared him and he didn’t know why. Lyrah smirked in victory.”Actually... Augus, that was Lyrah,”
Sylvia said, matter-of-factly. For the second time that night, she considered bringing up her daughter’s attitude about the issue, but decided against that. Lyrah would only cause a scene about that, too. ”Anyway. Why don’t you tell us about the meeting, dear?”
Lyrah glowered at her mother from across the table. The others fixed their cutleries' placement, while she made a point of keeping hers untouched.
Augus IV broke out into a low snicker, covering his mouth to mask it. This earned him a death glare of his own. Unfortunately, this was all very obvious. To pull attention back to himself, Augus III cleared his throat. This put a quick stop to his son’s tomfoolery. “The meeting…”
He took a second to figure out how he might explain it to his family. Keeping things simple always worked best, but simplifying a war involving several kingdoms was not an easy feat. “As you may have heard, Rosmi City… King Kasai has decided to side with the Dark Elves. Avian City, our people, will be siding with the Light Elves and aiding the peop-””Dad. You always talk to us like you’re addressing the populace,”
Lyrah interrupted. ”Why? I thought you were meant to leave work at the door?”
Sylvia glared at her daughter. Again. ”Lyrah… Let. Your father. Finish.”
she said, teeth gritted hard from the pent-up conflict. ”Please.””Yeah Lyrah,”
Augus IV said, holding back more snickers. ”Let him finish so he can tell you how cool it was.””Shut the fuck up Augus,”
Lyrah spat back. She forced a smile. ”Father. Please, continue.”
Instead, Augus III remained silent and pensive for a brief moment. All those present at the table were familiar with that look of his. “Whatever this is. It will stop…”
He took a breath before continuing. “Augus, do not antagonize your sister. And Lyrah, you know better than to use that kind of language at the table.”
Augus III looked at Augus IV and then back at Lyrah. He expected better from them. Lyrah rolled her eyes for what felt like the hundredth time that day.“As I was saying. Avian City will side with Light Elves of the Sun Elf Kingdom and we’ll be helping those that need help down in Roshmi. It means I'll be very busy during this whole thing. If you ever thought I was busy before…”
He felt like he was using the wrong words. “I just need you to all be there for each other while I help deal with everything going on down below. Augus IV you are my heir, but you need to cut out some of your foolishness. And Lyrah, you are the oldest of my children, so please help your mother here at the estate when she needs it. A lot will be happening. Refugees will come pouring into our city and there’s a chance we might see fewer resources here after severing ourselves from Roshmi.”
Augus didn’t believe the news was all bad, but it did not feel like something to have a family look forward to.
His son waited for a respectful moment before replying. ”Yes, father. I promise, I will be the man of the house while you’re gone.”
Lyrah, on the other hand, had completely tuned out after Augus III mentioned helping at the estate. That was never going to happen. Both her and Sylvia knew it. But neither dared to say anything, whether out of apathy or fear of conflict. They simply went about their meals.
That is, until Augus IV piped up again, directly contradicting his oath to be less silly. ”Oh, Linus! You should have seen them! They were all like ‘The Aquarian Kingdom is gathered’ and ‘the tradition bridge is burned’! It was so cool! And you shoulda seen Father… ‘King Kasai is disgusting garbage! They executed his sons! I will protect our true allies!’”
he exclaimed, slowly standing further and further out of his chair as he went on his spiel.
Linus’ eyes grew wider in awe with each word. His brother had a childish glamour in the way he could make boring and monotonous meetings sound rife with excitement and drama. Even Lyrah was entertained, if only by the irony of Augus’ dramatic over-excitement for such a dull, formal event.”Woooooow…. Father really showed them!”
Linus exclaimed, practically yelling.”Literally anyone can call Kasai disgusting garbage, Linus. Stop being so childish,”
Lyrah butted in.
Sylvia sighed and rested her face on her palm. ”Lyrah, let them have their fun. It’s been a long day, and they both deserve it,”
Lyrah responded by taking a large mouthful of food so she didn’t have to respond. Her fork was still in the wrong hand. ”Hey Lyrah,”
Augus said. ”Um, you’re actually holding your fork in the wrong hand.””The fu- sorry,”
she started, shooting a sharp look at her father. ”The… damn… whatever… Why should I care?” ”It’s unladylike.””Yeah Lyrah, it’s unladylike.”
Linus said, ever the echo.
Lyrah shrugged at her brothers, offhandedly saying ”You’re gonna be a shitty man of th-” ”Lyrah! Boys! The three of you. Cut it out, right now. I’ve had it up to here, I swear,”
Sylvia interrupted. Her voice was strained and agitated, yes, but perhaps more than anything, it was tired.”The house, Augus,”
Lyrah finished, throwing a withering glance in her mother’s general direction.
Augus III was unsure what he had come home to, but this
would stop now. “Did I not say that this type of behavior would stop?! If you can’t eat here at this table without bickering with one another, then leave!”
He snapped. Linus shrunk back into his seat, looking sheepishly up at his father.
Lyrah snorted. ”Alright, then.”
She slid her fork onto her plate and picked it up in one hand. Her book was in the other. ”Bye,”
she said, and walked toward the exit of the dining room.“Lyrah. You can leave the plate or that damned book you’ve been carrying around.”
Augus did not get up from his seat, but he was not in the mood to be tested. Augus IV stared at Lyrah, and then to his mother, trying to see if she would do or say anything to calm the situation down. However, Sylvia remained quiet, hoping things would deescalate on their own. Linus gulped yet again. He was preparing to witness the two most intimidating people in his life square off.
Lyrah stopped at the doorway, back turned to the table. She looked down at the book she clutched by the spine. Her back visibly tensed at the thought of what she was about to do. The plate quivered in her hand, held aloft just below shoulder height. A pain twinged at the base of her skull.”As you say, Father.”
And she dropped the plate. Right onto the ground, where it shattered into countless tiny pieces, spreading food everywhere and sending the fork flying under the table. She bolted out the door and up the stairs, to her room. “Lyr-”“Leave it! I’ll speak with her tomorrow morning.”
Augus’ eyed the mess on the ground and sighed. “You boys are going to clean that up.”“What?! Why do we have to clean that weirdo’s me-”“Did I stutter?”
Augus asked, but it was not rhetorical. “Did I?”
His voice raised some.“No.”“Then my instructions were clear. Clean up the mess after you’re done eating… by yourself. Maybe that will teach you to learn when to speak.”
Augus III said before returning to his meal.