A simple servant, dressed in equally simple barservant clothes, set a case of verdant-tinted glass bottles -- a dozen or so, corked and clanking together. He didn’t have a set position for any of it, and judging from the young human man’s wide eyes and uncomfortably scrunched face, the server seemed like he was barely told who the women he was serving were -- only that they were important clientele and he should treat them with the utmost care, but not to make it seem too obvious.
His face echoed odd sentiments one might only think when they’re young and in service for the first time, asking too many questions about who they were and what they were up to, and why someone so important was asking for ale from the bottom of the shelf.
Katerina just nodded at him, barely even cracking a polite smile.
“Thank you, darling.” She put on her best ‘noblewoman’ voice: A faux pas aristocratic ventriloquy she only performed when out in the Aimlenn public.
She waved him away. As soon as his back turned, the witch-knight pried open her metallic cigarette case -- now full to the brim with four neat stacks of perfectly-cylindrical little tobacco rolls -- plucking two out between her threemost fingers. A snap between her fingers and a flick of her wrist produced a light conflagration from her fingertips. Katerina drove her breath deep, the tip lighting the foggy outside day with bittersweet smoke.
Her middle and ring finger posed the second cigarette to Morianne.
Morianne accepted the witch-knight's offer, holding the cigarette between her middle and index fingers. She chuckled, looking around the quaint hovel of a bar where the two had found themselves. It definitely wasn't the type of place one would assume two knights of the Iron Roses would spend their recreational time but to Morianne, places like this were home.
"Now this," the troubadour gestured around the room, "this is a place to relax. Never really liked all that stuffy noble shit."
Katerina rolled her shoulders, glancing her eyes away at the mention, just following her compatriot’s way with a brief look-around of their surroundings. She looked back up, taking a brief drag from her cigarette, exhaling softly before her words:
“Aye -- A’ always feel like i’m going to break something when i’m oot in the castle.” she responded, “Nev’er felt too in place proper.”
Taking a relaxed lean back into her chair, little fumes of cigarette vapor trailed after her words, fuming off into the side with the mantra.
“A’ bloody break something here then it’s me an’ the whole tavern, blame some other bird for’it.” she commented, looking back onto Mori, “I dunnae aboot ye’ but a’ve nev’er been all too much for’ that lot of aristocracy-type. Makes me unsettl’ed proper.”
Morianne took a puff of her cigarette and let out a long sigh. She watched as the smoke danced upwards towards the ceiling. The troubadour nodded in kind.
"Yeah…when I became a knight I didn't think the job would entail so much bootlicking." With another puff from her cigarette, Morianne continued. "Had I known at the time, I probably would have hucked it out of here a long time ago."
The troubadour thought back to Serenity and her unjust praise for killing the griffin. Sure, in the moment Morianne might have accepted that praise but, as far as she was concerned, she didn't actually deserve it.
"After all, I'll admit that I'm not exactly a good fit for the 'level-headed, mighty dame in shining armor'," Morianne chuckled. "Unlike some people here, I don't wanna die for some songs and a history book. I'm going to be the one telling those stories." Katerina cracked a smile back in agreement.
The troubadour looked down at her lute which rested neatly propped against the chair she sat in.
"Besides, I'm hardly a decent enough spell-caster to try doing that," she said.
Kat propped up an eyebrow at her answer. She took her spare resting hand and reached forth to one of the bottles- her cigarette-resting hand nudging at the cork til it came off with an audible *thoomp!*
"You were doing right fine back in th'e weald, love." She inquired, taking a sip and a smoke while she pondered the troubadour's answer.
"Hardly," Morianne replied. "I can't do what you, or Tyaethe, or anyone else really can do." She sighed once more, taking a drag of her cigarette after doing so. "I can't keep the pace."
"Aye, it's not awl' fireballs and lightning, bonnie," Kat retorted, putting her cig down between her fingers, "From where I ken ye' were all fine. Ah, a' dunnae do something useful with your magic proper right and not just be th'e cunt in th'e back o' th'e hunting party peppering cunts with lightnin'g bawls."
Morianne raised an eyebrow. "Mind repeating that, Marble-mouth?" The troubadour chuckled, cutting off Katerina before she could snap back. Katerina chortled, fuming out a puffy trail of smoke from her nostrils.
"I get it. But I want to do more damage. I wanna shoot fireballs….send waves of swords at people…something. I'll admit blood does make me a bit queasy, but I guess I just…don't feel like I'm the right fit for this gig unless I can do some real damage, you know?"
Morianne leaned in closer to Katerina and spoke in a low tone. "You gotta teach me that fire trick."
The witch knight’s finger’s snapped -- Mori noticed from just between her two eyes a spark of flames, rupturing from her cigarette. A little wave ruptured from her, passing over her face like a bird rushing over her face about to take her eyes out. A quick, irritating burn rushed over her, irksome and incendiary in redolence. Morianne’s cremated cigarette capriciously capered in traces of tobacco-leaf embers, raining down on her like ashes from the Goddess’ cigarette.
“Not just you who can be a cheeky bird, nae’ love?” she confidently teased. The Witch-Bitch took a long, shit-eating drag from her smoke.
She laughed a soft, humming cackle -- the kind a nefarious witch only does when playing a trick, or making a deal knowing all too well the terms are skewed in her favour -- and popped open the metallic cigarette case. Katerina slid it across the uneven wooden table, an audible arboreal screech following it the whole way. She gestured for Morianne to take another.
“Take one - ca’mon.” she kneaded. Her wide, witchy grin was locked into place the whole time. “I ken aw’ll show you.”
Morianne gave an inquisitive look to Katerina. She reached for another cigarette, a bit reluctantly.
"You sure you're not going to blow my head off?" the troubadour asked. "I kinda need it, ya'know."
The witch snickered.
“Focus on th’e tip.” she instructed, “and follow after my words…”