That Imogen’s enthusiasm matched his own was no surprise given her exuberant aura, but it delighted Jorah just the same; she emanated a childlike joy that reminded him of the endless entertainment his baby sisters gave him, amplified by ten. Jorah was sure that kind of energy would be infectious even to those with no sensitivity to others’ emotions, and as for him, it made him feel like he’d been struck by lightning—and he wanted more.
He scarcely had the chance to reply to Imogen with more than some laughs and a joyful smile by the time Raimund swung around, as always injecting some charm at the perfect time. “If you thought that was entertainment, Momo, wait until you see this man bring out his mandolin.” Raimund put a hand on Jorah’s shoulder, slipping him a sly wink. “Would you honour us this evening?”
Jorah's face lit up even brighter at the mention, but he quickly returned Raimund's sly look with his own. “After all this time, my friend, you'd struggle to stop me!" He assured him, already vibrating with anticipation for a real, proper party. Sneaking off to the waterfront for a good time had its charms, sure, but the idea of making merry under his real name for once had Jorah all aflutter with excitement—not to mention fingers itching to make use of the mandolin he’d painstakingly hidden from his father in the weeks leading up to his departure. Raimund was sure to be surprised, and with any luck, a little jealous; in their years apart, he’d been practicing.
Imogen was kind to reach out to Isolde, but it was clear enough from the mortified look on the poor girl’s face—not to mention the stormcloud perpetually perched over her, judging by the tumult in her aura—that she probably wasn’t interested. It really was a pity; under all that gloom she looked to be a pretty girl, but Jorah could imagine the obstacles she faced in her father’s wake were beyond his expertise to deal with. Besides, if Imogen’s aura wasn’t so deafening, he was sure Isolde’s would suffocate him. Hopefully she’d find some solace soon so he could have some hope of talking to her.
Before he knew it, though, Jorah’s thoughts were ripped back to the arena as Imogen all but dragged him out of the classroom. He kept her pace readily, happy to leave behind somber thoughts and lose himself in her symphony again, snickering all the way to the arena.
The place was expectedly spartan, really just a rectangular room with an opening in the ceiling to light a pit of sand in the middle, but from the few people milling around Jorah could tell it could probably hold more spectators than it appeared. He wasn’t sure if the arena would hold much particular interest for him throughout the year—not for any moral objection per se, but he was pretty sure there were other endroits in the monastery which would better capture his fleeting attention—but only a fool would turn down the chance to see a colt of an Adrestian noble’s challenge to an actual Knight of Seiros play out.
And play out it did, much to Jorah’s delight. From his and Imogen’s spot on the edge of the sand, they had a great view of the whole fight—which, to Jorah’s surprise, lasted longer than the ten seconds he’d allotted the cocky Aegir boy. Why, he’d almost made it to twenty! He’d have to drive a celebratory drink into Valerian later.
“Bravo!” he called at the battle’s conclusion, clapping loudly. He supposed he couldn’t mock the kid too harshly; he had the brass balls to challenge Michail in the first place, and didn’t crumble the second he stepped onto the sand. Jorah doubted he himself could do much better, but then, maybe it wasn’t a fair comparison. He didn’t have any melee training to speak of, though he’d be interested to see how a Knight of Seiros would fare in a hunting competition. An avenue for later exploration, perhaps.
“And look at that, the Black Eagles stay whole today,” he commented to Imogen, nudging her gently. “What did you think? Wait—is pulling out a thunderstorm even legal in duels? What about lightning? That'd pose a problem to an armoured knight, don't you think?”