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« ═══════╣ Handwaving of what happened during previous events to catch up ╠═══════ »

While most other students had found other things to attend to and busied themselves, Saskia had taken to her room. Compared to how often the siblings had managed to travel prior and to what events, this was much more to take in. She found her peace in unpacking her things and making small rearrangements to the room, sorting what few books she had brought, and wandering the halls after all else was done. Compared to the estate she had resided at this place was truly expansive in some ways.

The cathedral itself would be the most obvious and sizeable difference, though given as it was a monastery after all. It wasn't extremely often she had the chance to visit proper churches either so it would be quite the stark jump. Besides the most obvious choice, the library also stood in great contrast to what the Aegir's personal library held. Diversity, quantity and quality were all improvements to what limited choice she had before. Choice that dwindled as she aged and depleted herself of new material. Something she was all too curious to start pouring into as the bell sounded in tune with the growing groan of her stomach. Her own form of excitement had distracted her from all else and hunger's reminder had finally pulled her back. It wouldn't take too long for her to find her way to the Dinner Hall, joining the others belatedly.

Finding a meal, she'd find her brother already had a place as Adrestia's Heir walked off to join others. Puzzling, but she'd seat herself beside, taking a breath as she rested.

"An... exciting first day. You didn't cause too much trouble did you brother?" She'd ask, almost sarcastically, though some of her attention still held to Kayden leaving the table without finishing his plate. "Did you... upset him or something?" Her thought drifted outward in a slightly confused tone.

Even with it now being some years after the Adrestian Empire had truly put forward efforts to re mobilize and repair the country from the plague's effects, Saskia had remained a homebody as she had during its worst effects. Travel was a unique opportunity, bettered by the fact she wouldn't have to do much work during it. Not that the woman was unused to horse riding but given the option of transport by carriage to Garreg Mach, there was clear preference. Their things packed mostly for them, she took a few personal items before wishing her family well.

She would have used much of the time and opportunity to catch up on studies, but she was accompanied by her brother Valerian. Whether it was the opportunity to get out and travel (and be away from his father), or chance to train under the best of teachers that gripped him would be hard for her to say. He was certainly eager to share his thoughts aloud at the least. Something she would deal with for a fair few days before finally asking for some silence. Silence that held to some degree until the Monastery came into view and would excite even Saskia.

This place held awe in a sense. An academy where numerous talented individuals resided. Teachers that were experts in their fields. Her previous tutor would pale in comparison to those hosted here. "I wonder what they'll be like here, brother." Her words drifted open and vague, as they drew ever closer to their destination.

« ═══════╣Later╠═══════ »

While the welcoming by Ioannis was the sort of thing she had expected and listened to with a sparkle to her eyes, the homeroom was not. The immediate dismissiveness had taken her off guard, though she hadn't had much time to react before Malathice has made his exit. The crown prince being announced somehow surprised her as well. Likely easily attributed to her not getting out much and having hardly seen the man before. It did at the very least make it obvious who the House Leader would be.

A larger surprise when she was pointed out quickly by Kayden. Normally this is where she would let Valerian take the spotlight as he seemed prone to do, but new times called for changes. She would be the one doing introductions for once.

"A-Aegir, your Highness. I am Saskia Aegir." There was almost an uncertainty to the last name. "The Same as Valerian von Aegir here." She'd tilt with her head slightly to the side, to a fairly look alike man. Her words lacked some flair you might expect of more pretentious or upper nobility. There wasn't any followup, leaving the air open for her brother's own remarks.

What with Saskia and Valerian being close to twins. Backstories are going to be essentially identical as we wrote it out together. Possibly will work on writing out more stuff related to more current events and their actual childhood to give it more depth but spent a while figuring out the whole situation and wanted to finally get the character posted.

There was a benefit to negotiating with multiple men at once. Not only could they outbid one another without Emilio saying a single word, but it made some of their thoughts more privy to wary ears.

He would address the man who came more openly forward, surely one after his own heart, first. "I can appreciate someone who knows opportunity and a fine deal when they see it! Before agreeing for my friend here I'm sure we'd like to make sure such a space is adequate to suit his needs. There might be a few adjustments in order to make sure his work is steady and I wouldn't wish to hamper any of our early orders. The most important impression we make is our first after all eh?" He would put his smile into the very words themselves. "Ah, and the wording of grant. Is it for us to presume we would keep it for work after or?" His question would hang in the air, though not for long as he had more things to say to the others.

His head then turned to Valence, the one with a more generous offer of supplies. "A quarter cost? Well that is certainly fascinating! If you wouldn't mind I would be most interested in seeing some of your other recent contracts to show volumes. I could only agree to such in good conscience that Wēlanandaz will have no ending supply to satisfy you fine gentlemen and any other commissioners." There was a hope that the contracts would help give him a measure of the market prices in this land. A discount matters not if the typical price has suddenly skyrocketed.

Not to leave any out he'd speak then to Bertram. "We are open to all sorts of deals my friend. Soon enough you will be unable to deny the quality of craftsmanship you get from Dwarvern wares. As to discounts, that will matter on many factors itself no? Making a sword from a dagger leaves us short and I wouldn't wish this other fine man-" A hand would gesture softly out towards Valence. "to go short of business either after offering us such a fine deal. Something it seems we can discuss more once you lay your eyes on his crafts."

His words would then come more openly to the trio. "I am excited for our prospects, truly, and am grateful for all your fine offers. If I may impose further, what matter of residence is there in this refuge? Certainly the Dwarf here most of all will need a quality nook to sleep if he is to fulfill the contracts of you fellows and any else that pass through. That is unless of course the first offer of workspace had its own humble spot for us to reside as well."

It was then he'd finally rest his words for responses. Not much good talking up more things without answers.

If I keep telling myself that I'll finish Fates and open my copy of Three Houses I've had for 11 months now surely it will come true.


"See? They wouldn't hurt respectable fellows like ourselves!" Emilio would proudly declare as they were escorted along the path forward. There was some part of him that was glad they no longer had to push the cart along, but also less than happy as the brush was thick and dirtied his outfit. If this was common certainly there was an opportunity to be a washer of clothes right? Wherever there are towns there are royals in need. It was a thought he held aside from wondering what the landscape itself held, and what business was ripe with opportunity.

Truly if people were terrified of coming here there had to be untapped potential. Lumber certainly would be in no short supply, though he'd have to get an arbor's opinion on its qualities. With all the hills there had to be at least a few deposits of ores in the area that had to be of some worth. Perhaps he could work out something with the ferryman if this place itself was lacking in professionals. Paying for their transport at discounted prices in exchange for each man's expertise. Such ambitions would have to wait as they'd have to work up some funds, and certainly get Wēlanandaz a proper forge again at the least.

His theories got disoriented slightly as they finally came out of the thicket and could lay eyes properly on the wall in front of them. Walled in protection was certainly a boon, but it immediately ripped away the idea of a 'town' as he had thought of it before. Space was ever in demand in these places and that certainly could be a hinderance, especially depending on how these folk valued coin. Though all the same it left room for specialty, causing the man's mind to race once more. A few pats on his donkey's head would be a reward for now having helped them make it this far. His eyes would immediately scan inside as the gate lifted, trying to get a scope of Olderin's Refuge.

Immediate of note was the lack of 'buildings' in this section. This was obviously property of the Knights of the Skull, and likely the occupants further inside would have better answers of what service exactly they provided and at what cost. His immediate business thoughts would be set aside however at the eyeing and listening in to the two seemingly 'nobles' of this area. Or at least what passed for nobles. He'd curse silently at the brush that had dirtied his clothes on the way here, as he quickly worked to get what matter of foliage lay stuck to him off. Had he more time he would of changed into his good clothes, but that sort of sight now would be unseemly. He'd have to kick it up a notch with his words to make up for his lackluster appearance was his obvious thought.

"I'll handle this one Wēlanandaz, see if there's anything we can sort out or lock in agreements for. Perhaps they can help us find a place to settle in for the night as well." He would mutter softly to his companion before striding forth, not one to dilly dally and await a reply.

As with everything, he would walk with flair into their view before announcing himself. "Gentlemen gentlemen, please pardon my intrusion into your conversation. I couldn't help but overhear your current woes. Me and my companions-” A hand would give a stroke to the donkey’s head. “Are but recent arrivals who wish to cure your worries in what ways we can. I heard some fine men have gone missing? Alas, were I more skilled with my blade I would venture out myself and thrash whatever foul miscreant or miscreation was responsible. What I can offer however is mine and my friend’s services. Ah, but let me introduce us so that you might understand.”

The Dre Costan would puff out his chest slightly as he made ready to add all the more gestures to the introduction. “Emilio Virtoli, merchant and intellectual of the Dre Costan nation. Behind is my quite capable and sturdy companion Wēlanandaz, skilled smith who knows his way around almost anything you throw at him. Finally, our reliable pack animal Bertillo who carries the burdens of our work.” A smile would flash as he happily introduced each of them.

“Alas, I would be more than happy to help ensure ample supply and good steel in fine fashion was of the men’s use, but do you know how heavy all the things for a forge are?” His voice seemed to turn quite dramatic, his face and actions following in quick fashion as he certainly exaggerated for effect. “I’m sure my dwarf friend could give you quite the answer, though he’d as quickly call me a weakling for complaining of such as his people are built as mountains!” A laugh was added on as he quickly shifted tone with each line.

“Anyways, not to drag on too much but if you wish something could certainly be arranged I imagine to help render our services.”
His eyes held some interest in her words, feeding off of all the information she openly gave him. In a way she proved him correct. She was the warden so to speak in that she controls the barrier, though she in the self same made it clear she would only abide by the strict wording of agreement. The others she spoke of were certainly of at least the same tier of power as the two he had seen. Something he would be hopeful to avoid.

So engaged in her words as he was he'd follow her hand as he moved to speak himself, quickly taken aback by her offer. The blush he had managed from earlier at the sight of her quickly returned with a vengeance at her proposition. He choked on air as if he had been caught off guard sipping water. Looking away now would only prove to serve as an answer to her question. Instead he'd shoot his eyes back up, doing his best to dismiss his surprise.

"I-It's as I said before. I am wary of becoming tainted by the sight of your form. Certainly it is an scheme to sway human to your bidding. I won't be beheld by a maiden's form." He managed out as he turned his apparent focus back to the bars. A silent curse went through his head at his word of choice being maiden. Truly a demon did not deserve such a title.

Given the barrier's lack of budging, it seemed unlikely he himself would ever break free as he was. After a few moments he'd speak up, seeming quite happy to change the subject.

"Whatever magics you hold are beyond me, though it seems obvious you have a way to erase it as you were the origin of it." Hikari's words came more clearly and confidently than earlier. Perhaps because it was a topic he was more practiced in. "Surely if you are racked by boredom, staring at me lay about a cell would be boring affair."

He left the question hang before he suddenly cleared his throat. "And don't mistake that for some acceptance of that proposition of yours."
Hikari's hands clenched at his kimono, bunching up the fabric. Though they didn't seem to mean any immediate harm, there was an intensity to meeting beings of such power. There was one left in the room but she seemed less intent on his eternal damnation and more bored in general. His glance would finally turn to the woman after a few moments, the beads of sweat obvious if inspected closely enough. There seemed to be a difficulty in maintaining eye contact.

"That... is a strange question to ask as the warden." A hand would finally raise to his collar to tug it free from the bit of sweat holding it in place. "It's your job as the... Seventh demon to do so no?"

His other hand raised to the bars, gauging a reaction of the barrier if he was slowly push energy at it rather than his sudden violent burst of before. There wasn't quite a clear attempt of escape yet, but he had to better figure a way out. Perhaps she'd get bored enough too and leave. Or Perhaps conversation would distract her as it had earlier? She seemed desperate for it after all, overly proud as the other women seemed to as well.

"You demons have a... peculiar manner of dress."
The man would decide he keep his attention mostly elsewhere, only occasionally glancing over. One time seeing simply her touch seemed to have a stronger reaction on the barrier than what he had been able to conjure up. A worry beset him once more as the gravity of the situation kept sinking in. Surely whatever training he had completed and light he held inside could not prevent her planned eternity of the realm's influence let alone years of it. His grip redoubled on the red ribbon, doing his best to not show his own panic. He was a man now. He was still responsible for all of Shiroiwa. He still had to break free before the next red moon.

The thoughts flowed in repetition in his mind, though with the negative side poking its head through all the while. He had barely finished his first ritual. There was no way another Lunari Priest would notice his disappearance in time. He doesn't even know a way out of the cell, how was he planning to escape the entire realm?

Sweat slowly started to form and beaded down his head. Worry, concern, even panic. What were his options in this situation? If he acted grateful surely there was no way he'd be let out of the women's sight right? She was overeager and seemed desperate. What did she even mean by in another life? She was a demon, a greater demon even. How would she have been someone he had known before? This had to all be part of their trickery right? Was it acceptance they needed to turn him into their kind or break past whatever protected him inside the realm?

There was the 'advice' given by Airi, though mostly it seemed to be a request for her own amusement. At the least she seemed more of looking for something to do than a eternal chain to put about Hikari's neck. Was that a way out? Was that also a trick? He was alone down here beset by two powerful demon women.

Isn't this what his entire life had been for? Wasn't it the purpose of Lunari Priests to deal with demons? Why was he letting himself be toyed with and afraid to look at them. Surely with his eyes off of them he was even more vulnerable. Their manner of dress was surely also a trick and something he himself had to look past. As Airi had said, most men couldn't resist her but her form was just... dressed lewdly. On any normal woman it'd be embarrassing surely but it must be something the moon's blessing had made him immune to right? After all, it seemed easier to look away than straight at her.

Finally, the man would seem to finally give some pause to himself and his thoughts. His hands would tighten on the ribbon as he pulled it taught, before letting it and his hands rest in his lap. Shifting in place, he'd face the two demons head on. A mostly neutral expression painted his face. His eyes did their best to politely avert his gaze and his cheeks tried to hide what blush was produced by seeing the women's lack of modesty in appearance. He had some strange plan formed in his head.

"Foul and hurtful untruths. Your body and soul is a tainted eternal thing. Why you pull my people down here I do not know. To turn or feast upon our souls? I will not fall in to such." Hikari seemed to heave steadied his voice mostly.

Given his earlier reactions, his resolution could seem surprising, though perhaps it was easier given the literal barrier of safety separating them.
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