Snippet #2786981

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.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amalthea von Kreuz Character Portrait: Vridel von Hresvelg
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I.Y. 1180 - Verdant Rain Moon - Tuesday the 13th
Riegan Manor - Afternoon - Warm
Vridel von Hresvelg


Vridel stretched his arms over his head, grunting softly when his spine popped into place. Dropping his arms with a sigh, he contemplated the hallway, trying to pick a direction. Professor Cyril had required only that they spend some time each day doing something that qualified as practice, which most of them had taken care of early in the morning. He didn't doubt the majority of his classmates were now out on the town, enjoying the sights and entertainments of Derdriu. Unlike himself, who was rather annoyingly under the supervision of a much stricter instructor.

Lady Lyanna had only just let him out of healing practice, saying something about needing to talk to Amalthea about something. He hoped it wasn't anything too time-consuming; they'd already been at it for hours. Vridel wasn't certain if he wanted to head out into the city himself or just take a nap. He was feeling rather lethargic, something that occasionally happened to him for no reason at all. He knew why, of course—his body was always overtaxed. It was the same reason he ate so much.

He hated the feeling, and hated giving into it.

Maybe if he stopped in the kitchen and grabbed something, he wouldn't need to sleep. The thought in mind, he altered his course slightly, intent on raiding Mercer's pantry.

He wasn't too far from the kitchen when the sounds of someone running could be heard behind him. The person passed him, however; when they stopped, almost abruptly, it was easy to see that it was Amalthea. She looked slightly out of breath as she regarded Vridel for a moment. She smiled afterwards and made her way back towards him.

“Vridel, do you know where the kitchen is? I told Lyanna I was going to make her some sweets since... well, she's been a little grumpier than usual. I want her to be happy since we get to be in such a beautiful place. Oh, and... well I could try and make something for you, too. I know you like sweets almost as much as Lyanna does," she spoke all in one breath.

He blinked down at her, raising a speculative eyebrow, though he was almost surprised to feel no irritation. He could be a bit clipped himself when he was low on energy like this, not to mention he'd just been stuck in a room with her for six hours with little by way of a break, but... somehow he felt nothing of the kind. In fact, he... was he smiling?

It took a moment to recognize the way it felt on his face, but he was.

“It's this way," he told her simply. “I was heading there myself, but if sweets are on the table I suppose I'd be better off offering my assistance to the chef." He shifted aside a little on the carpet runner, to make room for her to walk beside him, then headed for the kitchen.

It was empty when they got there; the staff wouldn't likely need to use it for another couple of hours. Dinners in Derdriu seemed to be curiously-late affairs, by the standards elsewhere in Fódlan, taken closer to nine in the evening than six.

“I could use the help. I'm not... very good when it comes to baking things. I'm actually not a very good... well, I can't cook very well and I can't bake. But I'm trying to get better at it!" she stated, furrowing her brows almost as if to herself. “I can make very small and basic things, like cupcakes. I can't make the jelly-doughnuts that Lyanna loves, though," her lips pursed into a fine line before she shook her head.

“Oh," she stated suddenly, turning her full attention to him, “I've been meaning to ask! How have you been lately? You... usually look tired and I was... well I was wondering if there was anything I could do to help you with that. I've read a few of the tea books that say certain ones can help you relax and..." she trailed off as if he would understand what she was getting at.

“I usually look tired?" he echoed, snorting quietly. “What a flattering thing to say." He arched an eyebrow at her, opening one of the cupboards to see what was inside. Jelly doughnuts, was it? He supposed he could manage that. The second cabinet yielded flour and sugar, for a start. Bringing both down, he regarded Amalthea from the corner of his eye.

“But to answer your question, I'm fine. I was..." He tried to think of a plausible excuse, ideally one that was also technically true. He didn't much relish the thought of lying to her, woman of the Church or not. “In my childhood, I was sick. It turned my hair this color and occasionally still irritates me in other ways, but it's nothing to worry about." Certainly nothing for anyone to worry about but him. Vridel preferred to take care of his own problems, and it was useless to cause other people concern over things they could do nothing about regardless.

She pursed her lips at him, but didn't say anything. She grabbed a mixing bowl and set it down on one of the tabletops. She made her way to where the utensils were, and grabbed the spoons and whisks she would need to make the baked goods. “If it still bothers you, that means you're still somewhat sick from it, right? Is... can I do anything to help you at least ease it somehow? I don't know what it is that you have, or had, but if it's still bothering you, I would like to help if I can. The monastery has a lot of books on herbs and you've been helping me learn botany..." she trailed off again and grabbed a cup. It didn't seem to be what she wanted, though, and she placed it back.

“Oh, maybe I can ask Lyanna if she knows any healing spells that might help?" Her eyes were wide, almost hopeful for some reason.

“I'm afraid there isn't much to be done. The symptoms I have now are the result of damage to my body that is permanent. Just like no amount of herbs or healing magic can remove a scar, what I have now is irreversible." That was, at least, the conclusion he'd come to after a great deal of research and consultation with dozens of renowned experts. He'd not told any of them what the real root cause of the problem was, because that was information he could not allow to be known, for the sake of the future victims it would mean. But even when all he'd asked for was a way to ease the strain on his body... any solution was temporary.

And still. Somehow he knew this would disappoint her, and somehow he found that he didn't want to leave it at that. “It... helps, sometimes," he said quietly, “if someone casts a restore, or something like that. The ones I can cast on myself aren't too helpful, of course." It was simply an unfortunate truth of healing magic that it never worked nearly as well on oneself as on others, even if one grew to be an expert in the art. “If that happens to be in your repertoire it might make me feel a little better." He almost mumbled the last, feeling rather wrongfooted, to be asking her for such a thing. The battlefield was one thing, of course—everyone did what they could to keep everyone else alive.

This felt... different, though.

“Oh, of course, Vi! I know that spell, and... maybe it'll help even more if I use my Crest with it. Lyanna said that our Crest amplifies our healing spells, so maybe... maybe that'll help you a bit more than just a typical restore?" she stated, the smile crossing her face again as she took a step closer to him.

“That is, of course, if you'd like to try it now. I don't know if you're feeling bad right now, or if... it might happen when I'm not around, but if I can do it now, maybe it'll help you feel better even when it does happen?" she asked, tilting her head slightly to the left in an inquisitive manner. She seemed almost to be studying him with the way she was looking at him, but she was a simple person. She was probably just looking at him and waiting for his answer.

Ugh. If he was going to have to put up with this... sweetness, he resolved that he was at least going to have a little fun with it. Really—he was Vridel von Hresvelg, certainly not the type of person who let himself get pushed so far off-guard by a pretty face. Even if it belonged to someone who was so different from anyone he'd ever known.

“I'd like to try it now," he said simply, picking up her hand and guiding it with his own to settle on his chest, right over the steady thrum of his heart. He kept it trapped there with his overtop of it, though loosely enough that she could pull away if that was really what she wanted. He wasn't a boor, after all.

He did take a step in, though, tilting his chin down to meet her eyes with a hint of challenge. “Unless you'd rather leave me to someone else, that is. I'm sure I could find a volunteer somewhere. You need not go to the effort if you do not wish."

The tips of her ears were turning slightly red, and it slowly spread across her face as he spoke to her. She took in a deep breath, perhaps unintentionally, and shook her head. “It's fine; I can do it here, and now since you'd like to try it. It wouldn't make sense to find someone else if I'm already here," she spoke, clearing her throat softly. She sounded a bit miffed, though, like she was jealous that he suggested he could find someone else. Her eyes went to their hands, though, and she seemed rather focused on them. The blush on her face hadn't receded, though, and she seemed to summon her magic. The faint glow of her Crest appeared where her heart was, perhaps because the tunic she was wearing was a white color. When she was finished, she glanced up to meet his eyes.

“How does that feel? Better? Should I do it again?" she asked in quick succession.

Vridel exhaled softly through his nose. In truth, such spells were only temporary relief, like the kind of herbs one might take to dull the feeling of a headache, but they were a relief all the same. The magic washed over him like cool water, easing what felt like a constant, low-level burn throughout his entire body.

“Much better," he murmured, though he made no move to release her hand, either. It was interesting, the way she seemed now to at least be peripherally aware of the power of a touch, and unless he was mistaken that was at least a little touch of jealousy there. How interesting. Was it possible she was catching on?

Letting his head cant to the side, he arched an eyebrow and narrowed his eyes slightly. “Perhaps I should reward you somehow?" The corner of his mouth turned up slyly. “Is there anything you'd like from me, little one?"

Her face was still as red, but she tilted her head slightly and pursed her lips together. “I'm not... no? I didn't do it so you could reward me, Vi," she murmured softly, her brows still furrowed. She almost looked like she was pouting about something, though she didn't seem to pull her hand away, either. “And... I think I've already received so much from you. I don't think there could be anything else." She smiled a little at that, though.

“I don't want to take advantage of you, or anything like that. It would be wrong," she added, though she didn't seem so sure about that statement.

Like one of the reef sharks off the coast of Enbarr, Vridel could smell blood in the water. Or in this case, a rather delicious, ambiguous uncertainty. He was not, of course, interested in pushing Amalthea anywhere she didn't desire to go, but that didn't mean he couldn't nudge. Unlike other people he had met, who knew what was on the table and what of it they wanted, she had yet, he thought, to really understand the options.

Typically he wasn't interested in this kind of thing, preferring to flirt with those who could flirt back, who had a better idea of themselves and what they were after, so that even if it was meaningless and for personal gain, the terms of it were cut and dried, with no grey areas. But in just this case he thought he might be willing to make an exception.

“I promise you, little one: it's impossible for you to take advantage of me." The thought was laughable, honestly. As though he'd let anyone do anything of the kind since he'd grown old enough to understand the difference.

With his free hand, he took hold of her chin, tilting it upwards and leaning down in a suggestion that should be obvious even to the likes of her. “You're sure? There's nothing you can think of that you want?" His brow inched a little higher. Nothing at all?"

“I..." she paused, looking slightly surprised by something. “I mean, I don't want anything from you, but there is something I want to give to you," she stated, puffing her cheeks out slightly. She raised one of her hands to pull his away from her chin, but she didn't move away. Instead, she leaned in and placed a rather innocent and chaste kiss on his cheek.

“That's... for being a good friend," she stated, pulling away and turning around. She raised her hand and seemed to place it on her chest, as if trying to cover her heart.

Well it wasn't quite what he'd been aiming for, but Vridel could admit there was something novel in being surprised like that. It certainly explained why his pulse had kicked up in his chest, just for a stuttering second. His smile broadened when she turned away; he suppressed a huff of laughter. He supposed that if doing something like that counted as bold for her, he was probably better off not pressing the point too much. Although...

Leaning a little forward and down, he brushed her ponytail aside and over the opposite shoulder so he could murmur into her ear. “That's not very fair," he lilted. “Here I was looking for a way to repay a favor, and you did me another. Are you trying to put me in debt so you can ask for something in particular, little one?"

He straightened, though, figuring that putting the thought in her head was more than enough for now, and set about untying the sack of flour. If she was intent on bribing her sister with sweets, then sweets they would make.

There was a soft thud from where Amalthea had been standing, however; she wasn't standing. It seemed that her legs had given out on her, but she quickly got back to her feet and dusted her trousers off. She offered him a rather embarrassed smile, and cleared her throat. “Ah, sorry, my legs gave out, but that wasn't my intention at all! I promise." She went to the table that had eggs sitting out, and grabbed a couple of them before making her way back to him.

“Oh, we should try adding vanilla inside of the flour! Lyanna likes things with vanilla," she stated, seemingly trying to change the subject.

Laughter and a rather smug smile warred for control of Vridel's features. “Falling for me already?" he quipped breezily, nodding to a spot on the counter where she could put the eggs. “And we could add a little vanilla, but it's not going to show up much in the flavor profile. Doughnuts, especially with fruit in them, aren't meant to taste that way, and for good reason."

He picked around the spice rack until he found a small bottle of the stuff, handing it off to her along with a tiny measuring spoon. “Any more than that, and it's like combining lemons and chocolate. Not everything that's good goes well together."

It was more than a little unusual for someone of his status to know how to prepare food—of this Vridel was quite aware. But in addition to being something everyone had to learn to some extent during their stay at Garreg Mach, he'd sought out lessons in the subject a few years ago, aware of his tendency to eat a lot and preferring to see to secondary meals himself when possible, to minimize the chance of talk. Any oddity was closely-watched, after all.

Amalthea had looked a little alarmed at his first statement, and the expression hadn't shifted until after he was done explaining the measurements to her. She took the bottle and spoon, tentatively and held them for a moment. “How did you know?" she asked, blinking slowly before she seemed to realize something. “Ah, I mean, how do you know about the measurements? I usually just follow whatever is written into the log book, but you don't seem to have that issue," she stated, instead.

Her face was still rather red, perhaps still affected by his earlier actions. “Do you cook, Vi? Oh, that would be amazing if you did! You're... a very multi-talented person."

He rolled his eyes a little at her, though it wasn't derisive, surprisingly enough to him. “If you get enough practice, and pay attention to the taste of what you make, you start to get a sense for these things," he said simply, letting her question pass. “As for me, yes. I do have a rather diverse set of skills, I suppose." He sifted the flour a few times before adding it to the bowl, and shrugged lightly.

“Most of them are things I've been required to know. When I learned I was to be the next Emperor, a lot had to change." He wasn't sure why he bothered to explain; he usually saw no need to do that. What need had he to justify himself to other people, after all?

The color on her face finally seemed to disappear as she regarded him with a softer smile. It seemed distant, almost, as if she were recalling a fond memory of sorts. It didn't seem to be the case, though, when she spoke. “You must have been able to learn and see a lot of things, right?" she stated, keeping her gaze with his. “Are things always this beautiful outside of the monastery?" she continued, tilting her head lightly as she inquired. “Because I think I'd like to see those things. The ones you have, and the others. Maybe... maybe after we graduate, I can convince Lyanna to let me go see the places that all of you have seen."

He didn't quite know how to answer that. There was the blunt truth, of course—that deep down things were ugly everywhere and the world was rotting from the inside out, but... that was a hell of a thing to tell someone. Instead, he expelled a soft breath. “It depends, honestly," he replied. “There are places that have much to recommend them. Enbarr, for instance, is the oldest city in the world, and perhaps its most beautiful, though that could simply be my bias speaking."

After graduation, though—he didn't know so much about that. Where would he be, in another eight or so months? Who would he be? He couldn't say. “If you'd like to visit at some point I'm sure it could be arranged." He settled on something that sounded... likely to be true, at least. Perhaps she would no longer want to see the heart of the Empire by then, but he suspected the offer would still be open, anyway.

She smiled brightly at him, though. “I'd really like that! I'd like to see Enbarr because if you think it's beautiful, bias or not, then it must be. Especially if it produced someone like... you," she cleared her throat and glanced away for a moment. “But... I think I would like to see it. If... if you're not too busy by then, maybe you can show it to me? You don't have to, of course. I know you'll probably be busy by then, running the Empire, but... if you could, and you did, would you?" She looked at him expectantly, much like the naive child she was.

He shook his head faintly. Sometimes she could make him feel like a cad just by existing. It was the eyes, he thought: big and bright amber, with those long, long eyelashes. “If I'm able, I will," he promised. He couldn't promise he'd be able, though not for the reasons she was citing. Still—

Maybe it was something to look forward to.

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