Snippet #2786947

located in Fódlan, a part of Fire Emblem: Apotheosis, one of the many universes on RPG.

Fódlan

A continent divided into three different factions: The Adrestian Empire, The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and the Leicester Alliance.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Senka Rinaldi Character Portrait: Cyril Eisner Character Portrait: Vridel von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Jeralt's Journal
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I.Y. 1180 - Verdant Rain Moon - Tuesday the 12th
Derdriu - Early Evening - Warm
Senka Rinaldi


When they had arrived at the von Riegan manor, Senka had never seen anything so beautiful. The designs of the architecture were beautiful, and not at all like the ones back in Duscur. Not even Faerghus could compare to it. They had been greeted by a few other nobles of the Leicester Alliance when they'd arrived further into Derdriu, however; none of them seemed as elegant as Gloucester made himself. She'd spotted one of the lords, or Dukes—she really didn't know who he was—staring at her, specifically. It didn't make her uncomfortable, though. Senka was used to people staring at her for various and obvious reasons.

Their mounts had been led to the stables, and everyone had been ushered near the foyer of the manor, however; she been separated from Sorcha and the others by the time she'd made it to the foyer. Glancing around, she pursed her lips together until she spotted Lady Judith. The woman noticed her, and grinned. “Hey, kid, you lost?" she asked, making her way towards Senka.

“No," she replied. “I am waiting on the others," she continued, keeping her eyes on the von Riegan woman. Judith huffed lightly, and shook her head.

“You'll be waiting for awhile. Gloucester wanted to speak to your Princess, and the von Kreuz lady and her sister were escorted to their rooms," Judith spoke, causing Senka to purse her lips. “Don't know about the Imperial boy, but your teacher was around here somewhere." She shrugged in a nonchalant manner, reminiscent to Mercer's shrugs. She grinned, then, as if a thought crossed her mind. It was sly, almost mischievous in nature.

“You can join me, though. I'm headed out for a drink, and I'd love to hear all about my future daughter," she stated suddenly, grinning at Senka. She wasn't so sure if she should be seen drinking with a lord of the Alliance, let a lone Mercer's mother, however; Senka thought about it briefly, before shaking her head.

“I couldn't tell you much about them, honestly," she stated. Judith barked a short laugh as if she found something funny. Senka wasn't too sure what it was, though.

It wasn't more than another moment later before Cyril appeared from a side door—one that led into one of the guest hallways. He held it open for a moment, and Vridel stepped out behind him, looking somewhat more irritated than usual. They spotted Senka and Judith, and made their way over.

“Did I hear something about drinks?" Vridel muttered, flicking his eyes between them. “Because I was just going to ask where the nearest tavern is."

“That's right," Judith replied, nodding in Vridel's direction. “I invited your pretty friend, here, for some drinks so that I could learn more about my future daughter," she seemed to explain. “You're her Teach, right Cyril? And you've," she turned her attention to Vridel, “spent some time with her. Care to tell me all about Sorcha Blaiddyd over drinks?" She seemed to be inviting the other two. Senka wasn't so sure that was a good idea, however; some part of her didn't mind.

“I do not mind going if they are as well," Senka stated as she nodded her head in Cyril and Vridel's direction.

“Great. What say you two?"

The two exchanged a glance, after which Cyril shrugged. Vridel seemed to take this as an acceptable answer, because he turned his attention back to Judith. “If you're buying, you can ask me whatever you want about her."

Judith huffed lightly and crossed her arms over her chest. “I can ask, yes, but you better answer them. I know your type, Imperial boy, but yes, I will be buying the drinks," she grinned at them and motioned for them to follow her. It wasn't long before they reached the nearby tavern, and Judith ushered them all inside. They found a table nestled in the back corner of the place while Judith seemed to place an order. She returned not too long afterwards with a large pitcher, and four cups. She placed one in front of Cyril, Vridel, and Senka before she sat down.

“Alright, so, let's start with you since you seem to be glued to Sorcha's hip. What do you know of their current relationship?" Judith seemed to jump right into the questioning. Senka blinked slowly as Judith began filling up her cup, and offering the pitcher to the other two at the table.

“They are friends, however," she paused, her eyes sliding towards Vridel before she returned her gaze back to Judith. “I'm not sure it's my place to say..." Judith pursed her lips together and leaned back in her chair, one of her arms draped casually over the back.

“C'mon kid, take a drink, and then tell me," Judith drawled, motioning towards the cup in front of Senka. Senka furrowed her brows, and sighed. Reaching towards the cup, she lifted it to her face, and breathed in the scent. It smelled fairly strange, stronger than most drinks she remembered her father used to partake in, however; she finally placed the cup to her lips, and took a drink. She immediately regretted it as she coughed, the liquid burning the back of her throat. Judith seemed to find it amusing as she laughed.

Cyril lifted a hand to pat her back, with just enough force to help the cough settle. He seemed to be having no such difficulty with his own drink; half of it had been summarily consumed already. Vridel was a little slower, but he'd clearly had at least a little practice, if the lack of spluttering was any indication.

“It's not that big a deal, Sen," he said with a shrug. “Gossiping about your friends is practically in the rules of friendship. You don't give away anything you were told in confidence, but everything else is fair game if you want to mention it."

That was easy for him to say. Everything Sorcha had told her was in confidence, and if she told... well, she supposed it didn't really matter. Sorcha was, technically betrothed to Mercer, now, and Judith was Mercer's mother. She supposed it wouldn't hurt? “Well, Sorcha has fancied Mercer for quite a while," she began, pursing her lips in the direction of her cup. She took another drink, going a little slower, and winced slightly as the burning sensation in her throat subsided a little.

“For as long as I've known her, which has only been four years." Judith seemed intrigued by that statement.

“But Mercer hasn't been at the Academy not even a year, yet. How could she have fancied him for almost four years?" she asked, tilting her head in Senka's direction.

“She mentioned that she came here when she was a child, did she not?" Senka retorted, causing Judith to snort, and wave a dismissive hand in front of her face.

“Ah, that's right. Sorcha was just a small thing, then. Oh," she seemed to recall something suddenly, and leaned forward to rest her forearms on the table. “Mercer said he lost his stone around that time she was visiting. Does that mean... she's fancied him for that long?" she seemed rather interested in the answer. Senka thought it better to nod in reply, and did.

“She didn't know it was him, I don't think," Vridel added, taking another swallow of his drink. “Her memory's always been sort of patchy, but I met her when I was ten, so she'd have been about nine, and she told me she'd gotten the stone from 'a nice boy who made her smile,' I think were her words. She calls him her 'first love,' though if I'm being honest I doubt she's had a second. And innocent as it was, it meant a lot to her."

He pursed his lips, then, almost as if he were considering whether to say something. He must have decided it was worth doing so, though, because with a soft exhale he continued. “She's never really fit in, in Faerghus. She's too soft in a lot of ways, too radical in others. She's got it in her head that she's not allowed to like anything or be in any way feminine, because she has to be as close to a boy as possible. She used to think they'd like her, if she was. Even asked me how to act more like a boy. Me." He pointed to himself, no doubt an oblique reference to his rather pretty features.

“It was kind of flattering at the time, but only until I figured out why she cared."

“Why does it concern them so much, anyway?" Cyril asked, already refilling his glass from the pitcher.

Vridel sighed. “Since Loog, Faerghus has been a Kingdom. As in, only kings, and all of them with the Major Crest of Blaiddyd. Culturally, they take a lot of pride in being able to weather the harsh conditions of their country, and in being powerful despite their relatively small population. Every man in the country has military training, and they prize physical strength and chivalry, where the Empire favors a mix of magical supremacy and infantry, and the Alliance is best known for their archers, flyers, and cunning. No one says women aren't as important, but..."

“When you consider the average man and the average woman, the man comes out better on the traits they value, in part because he's trained for it," Cyril finished, brows drawing together.

Judith rolled her eyes, hard. “Yeah, well everyone knows Faerghus is ruled by idiots," she muttered, almost as if she were trying to offend the Kingdom. Senka didn't blame her. She knew Sorcha had her issues, but for them to be stemmed that deeply? For those things that were not in Sorcha's control? It made Senka angry. Sorcha was her gentle-hearted friend, the person whom Senka had depended on when her country had been destroyed, and her people killed. To her, Sorcha has always had a strong conviction, and would make a great Queen one day.

In Duscur, that wasn't the case. Everyone who showed the slightest talent, man or woman, in any field was trained for it, however; Duscur wasn't a war-trained nation. They had been much too peaceful, then. Her father had even allowed her to train with some of the knights, and learned the magic of her mother. She was trained in whatever she wanted. It didn't seem fair that Sorcha didn't get that chance.

“Hm, she doesn't have the best confidence in herself," which Senka understood. They shared a lot of those negative traits, but Senka thought that they were working through them. “It is a shame that she doesn't want to be feminine," Sorcha was a beautiful young woman, at least to Senka.

“Indeed, it's a shame. Well, that's going to have to change," Judith stated, throwing back her drink as if it were second nature to her. “There's a merchant in town who specializes in clothes and tunics that are quite beautiful on the right person, but are made in a way that even someone like Sorcha would enjoy them."

“How so?" Senka was quite curious, and Judith grinned.

“Well, there are tunics that shape the figure rather nicely, but they don't restrict movement. They'll make her look and feel like a warrior, but also help remind her that she is, first and foremost, a lady. There might even be a few things that will look lovely on you, kid, especially with your figure," Judith was quite bold in her statements, but it was enough that Senka felt her cheeks warm. She'd never been complimented like that before, and wasn't quite sure how to take it.

“Probably not even necessary," Vridel said with a teasing lilt. “Sen was ogled twice today. Even if you don't count Gloucester, since he stared at every woman with a pulse in our group," his lip curled in a faint sneer before smoothing away. “There was still that other fellow. Redhead, Deirdre was talking to him? I think she said he was her cousin, so that'd make him a Goneril, I suppose."

“Duke Alaric," Cyril supplied mildly. “My father and I did some work for him once, up near Fódlan's Locket. Border skirmish; he wanted it resolved quietly, so it would look like two groups of bandits had a dispute and both countries could overlook it. That was..." he paused, thoughtful. “Five years ago? I think he'd just inherited."

Judith barked a laugh at the remark. “Goneril? Really," she drawled, glancing towards Senka. Senka, however, pursed her lips in Vridel's direction, a strange burning sensation on her face. If she remembered, Sorcha had said that was what a blush felt like. She'd never had a reason to blush before, but now, what these people were saying? They were slightly embarrassing. “Goneril doesn't have a wife, yet, though I've never seen him interested in anyone before. Maybe he intends to woo little Sen, here," she continued, leaning her head onto her fist, her elbow propped up on the table as support.

Senka wasn't entirely sure how to take that. Woo? What did that word mean? “I'm certain he wasn't looking at me," she murmured into the rim of her cup, taking another drink. After all, why would anyone look at her? She wasn't... well, she didn't think she was, anyway.

“Oh, but Vi, here, says he was. It's alright, Sen, you're a beautiful person. I'm sure you've had your fair share of admirers." Judith stated, causing Senka's blush to deepen.

“I... haven't, no." She admitted softly. Her father had never pushed her into an arranged marriage, nor saw it fit to try and find a suitor for her. He wanted her to know what he had known, and fall in love with someone she wanted. She was loved by her people, but it wasn't the same thing. It didn't matter, though.

“Really, now. Well that'll change, I'm sure," Judith stated, her eyes sliding towards Cyril before they landed on Vridel. Senka thought she saw something mischievous in Judith's eyes, but it might have been the poor lighting in the tavern.

Vridel arched an eyebrow back at her, then shifted his attention to Senka with a sniff. He poured himself another drink. “Really. You and Sorcha are ridiculous. It's fine to admit you're attractive, you know. I, for example, am very good-looking. Does it make me a better person? No. But it's the truth; no point denying it." He shrugged. “Lady Judith here is likewise quite lovely, and no doubt partially responsible for the fact that Mercer is." He seemed to have absolutely no issue saying any of this. To him, they really did seem to just be facts.

“Professor Cyril, you'd say Senka's pretty, wouldn't you?" he asked offhandedly.

The table's attention moved at that, but Cyril only blinked, blank-faced as ever, and sat back in his chair, still working on his second drink. “No," he replied with a shrug of his own. “The better word is beautiful." He tilted his head, regarding her with sympathy. “But if you'd rather the topic of discussion change, you need only say so."

Senka could not bring herself to look Cyril in the eye. Her face was burning, and she was certain the color would be visible even against her skin. Judith seemed to find it amusing since she was laughing rather loudly. “Aren't you smooth with the ladies, Cy?" Judith spoke, glancing in Cyril's direction. Senka merely swallowed thickly, and kept her gaze on her cup.

“No?" he replied, seemingly vaguely confused. “Usually people are unnerved by my face. Including women." He pointed at his face, which if the sound of his voice was anything to go by, was characteristically inexpressive still.

Vridel barked a soft laugh. “Oh I'm sure not all of them are. It's a very nice face."

“It doesn't seem to bother the professionals, at least," Cyril agreed with a nod. “But I suppose they wouldn't show it even if it did."

Vridel snorted—hard enough that he immediately had to reach for a cloth napkin and hold it to his nose. He started to cough, interspersed with laughter. “You just—" He coughed again. “Mercer's going to be so mad he missed this."

“Vi has a very good point, though, Sen. Even Cy agrees that you're lovely, so now we just have to show the others how lovely you are. You and my future daughter, and maybe even the little verdant-haired girl. That's, of course, assuming I can steal her away from her sister. That von Kreuz lady seems pretty intense," she stated as if it were the easiest thing in the world to say. For someone like Judith, it probably was.

“I... um. Thank you. Vi. Cy—Cyril," she stuttered. She really couldn't look anyone in the eye right now.

Vridel, still chuckling, shook his head. “No need to thank us for stating facts, Sen."

Cyril, on the other hand, seemed inclined to take mercy on her obvious discomfort. “You were asking us about Sorcha, though? Or perhaps there is something you wish to tell about Mercer?" He seemed to have grasped the concept of gossip fairly quickly, if bluntly. He picked up the pitcher and topped off everyone's drinks as they awaited Judith's answer.

“Ah, you're no fun, Cy," Judith stated, waving a hand in front of her face. “As for the boy, you already know how he is. He's a little shit, but oh, did I tell you he used to be afraid of fish? Couldn't look at 'em at all. He said they were bad, or something like that. The boy was strange in his youth," she stated, throwing her drink back rather quickly. Senka merely pursed her lips together, taking a slow drink from her cup.

Vridel's laughter redoubled, though it wasn't clear why.

“He was also a very chubby kid. Cute as a wyvern, though," she added as if she were recalling a fond memory. Senka couldn't picture Mercer as a heavy-set child. He was lanky, but had strength in him. It was like his frame belied his true capability, but she supposed that might have been the way he carried himself. She could understand wanting to appear less threatening, or even not at all.

“You know, I could see it. Sorcha was this bony little thing—and small enough that she looked like a doll." Vridel shook his head, putting his chin in his hand and bracing his elbow on the table. “She had the fiercest eyes, though. Refused to cry about anything, though I suppose now I know why that is."

“As I remember it, the boy said he gave her that engagement stone as a way to make her stop crying," Judith responded, finishing off her drink. “But it was rather adorable when they were running together. The boy was this little ball of a kid, and Sorcha was chasing after him because of something he'd said. I wish there was a way to have captured that moment. It would be embarrassing to him if I could have shown it to everyone." Senka felt her lips tilting up at that moment.

She missed this. Missed talking with her mother and recalling fond memories with her father. To have her parents talk about her like that when they had visitors. It was nice, and she'd forgotten what that felt like. Even if they were teasing Mercer and Sorcha, she missed things like this.

“Oh, is that I smile I see, Sen?" Judith pulled Senka from her thoughts, and she turned to face the Lady.

“It is," she admitted, though she didn't know why, exactly.

“You really are too much," Judith stated and huffed lightly. “Well now, anything else I should know about the boy and Sorcha? Other than what's been stated? I feel like I have an understanding of my future daughter, but is there anything else I should know?"

Vridel appeared to consider this, then finally shook his head. “Honestly, just watching them will tell you the rest better than I ever could. They're idiots, both of them, and rather oblivious, but I suppose time might wise them up a little."

Judith huffed. “You've a point, Vi. It wouldn't hurt to push them in the right direction, though. The boy is stupid, but he's not dense." She glanced in Cyril's direction before turning to Senka. “I know a couple of people who are like that; they need the right push." Senka wasn't sure what that had meant, but she did not doubt Judith knew plenty of people. She was a Lady, after all.

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