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Snippet #2556183

located in The Kingdom of Valexia, a part of Ter'Ciel Saga: The War of Akyel, one of the many universes on RPG.

The Kingdom of Valexia

The sights and sounds of bustling Valexia are enough to overload one's senses.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mariette Renard Character Portrait: Ilana Valencia
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Mariette Renard

“Excuse me. I apologize for following you, but I must admit I’m a bit concerned. Will you walk with me?”

The Paladin had followed her. Of course she had. Mariette probably looked more suspicious with her less than graceful exit than if she had stayed behind with that Locke fellow.

’Just be casual. The Paladins are supposed to help people. It’s their job. She probably just wants to make sure I’m all right.’

Looking up at the armored woman, Mariette nodded softly. Her voice was knowing. Calm and not prying or saturated with false concern. It soothed the girl’s nerves, although she did not notice.

“I hope you don’t mind me saying, but you seem a bit out of your element. I was thirteen when I first came to the city. It was the most overwhelmed I’d ever been in my life. I didn’t have a drop of guile in me. Thankfully, I didn’t have more than a couple coins to my name.”

Mariette felt her face grow hot and she looked down at her boots.

’How could I have been so careless? It’s obvious I know nothing about the outside world. I was a fool to think I could blend in here.’

She kept her face down as Ilana continued to speak, watching her steps over the worn cobblestone.

Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot…

“What I’m trying to say is that this city can do terrible things to the unprepared, and I would rather not see that happen to you. I’ve only just met you, but you seem like an honest young woman, with a kind heart. So… is there anything I can help you with? Perhaps we could start with your name, since you already know mine.”

“Oh! Forgive me, please.” On reaction, Mariette looked up, her eyes apologetic. It felt like such an agonizingly long time since she’d felt this close to someone. Ever since leaving Harlemont, Mariette hadn’t spoken more than a few words to anyone. Just enough to get by and to keep moving forward. Walking alongside this woman, one whose words were kind and helpful, made the girl realize just how lonely and frightened she’d been.

“My name is Mariette. Mariette Re-“ She stopped suddenly, anxiety taking hold of the edges of her mind once more.

’I can’t give anyone my family name. It would be too obvious…’

The girl’s words had trailed off awkwardly. Attempting to hide the blunder, she repeated herself politely.

“Mariette. I am grateful to make your acquaintance, Miss…Ilana, was it?” She stopped to give the Paladin a slight bow.

The two had rounded a corner and were now walking down a side street. The bustle of the main district had died down considerably. Feeling more at ease, Mariette found herself opening up to this stranger.

“I thank you for your concern. It’s true I am unfamiliar with Valexia. I don’t quite know my way about the city just yet. I ended up running into some trouble back in this old tavern and…the rest is as you see now.”

A soft sigh escaped her lips. The sudden remembrance that she was truly alone in her cause was overwhelming. Claustrophobic even.

’Davonshire. I must get to Davonshire.’

“If you please, Miss Ilana.” Mariette kept her voice as pleasant as possible, hoping the mask would reach the despair in her eyes. “I am hoping to board a ship for Davonshire as soon as possible. Would you be so kind as to point me in the direction of the harbor?”

She hoped this would be enough to end their conversation. In truth, Mariette was enjoying the woman’s company. She did not want to part ways just yet. But the weight of her satchel tugged on her arms and anxiety lingered impatiently at the edge of her mind. She couldn’t have this Paladin get involved.

Overhead, the sun had reached high. Bells tolled, marking the arrival of midday. The ships in the harbor would surely be setting off soon.