Snippet #2788908

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: Mercer von Riegan Character Portrait: Cyril Eisner Character Portrait: Vridel von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Jeralt's Journal
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I.Y. 1180 - Red Wolf Moon - Saturday the 22nd
Fhirdiad - Early Evening - Chilly
Mercer von Riegan


Mercer yawned, doing his best not to make too much noise. After the events from yesterday, Mercer had to train almost aggressively to get rid of his irritation. How they'd treated Sorcha... it was something Mercer didn't really believe her about. To actually witness it and see how she just took it? It made him angry, and it had taken almost everything in his willpower to not assault the Viscount right where he was. Céleste, however, seemed to handle it rather well, and if he hadn't felt a distrusting instinct, he'd have said he liked her.

Mercer von Riegan, however, always trusted his gut instinct; it hasn't let him down. Reeling in his fishing rod, he sighed and stood from the ledge. Nothing seemed to be biting, and he wasn't going to waste the rest of the evening trying to catch something. He couldn't bother Sorcha or Senka; they were off doing something secretive. It was likely that Senka was spending time with her uncle, Rodrigue, and Sorcha was dealing with whatever matters required her attention. Maybe they were together doing whatever it was best friends did?

There was a thought, maybe he'd go bug his best friend? With a grin, he went to find Vridel.

No sooner had he stowed his fishing rod than he in fact ran into Vridel, along with Teach, Reynard, and Devon, the last of whom gave him a little wave as they approached.

“Hey. We were just looking for you," he said with a grin. “I've been put on unofficial hosting duties, I guess; but I'm not really a noble so I thought we'd go a little more into the city. Would you like to come with?"

“Ha," Mercer stated without really meaning to. “Sorry, I don't know why that was funny. Sure, I could use the stretch," he replied falling into step with the group. “So, Devon, you grew up here, right?" Mercer began, while glancing in Devon's direction, “any plans on what to do when you become Lord Margrave-Galatea?" He was only teasing Devon. He needed something light and distracting, and poor Devon was the only easy target within the group.

He could tease Vridel about Thea, but he knew that would backfire somehow. Reynard hadn't expressed interest at all in anyone, so that left him out, and Teach... well, he'd rather not. At least not yet. It was still too early, after all.

“Uh, w-what?!" Devon was predictably easy to rile. Vi snorted and Reynard rolled his eyes.

“You really need to stop losing it every time someone suggests something about you and her. Especially when she's doing the suggesting." He was smiling a little, though.

Devon sighed, waving a hand in front of his face. “I know, but..." he grimaced, leading them almost automatically down what seemed to be a very specific route. “I don't know. I just think about her and get nervous. Besides... it's not like I really have a chance. People with names like Galatea don't seriously consider people like me. Maybe where you guys are from, but not here."

“Not really in the Empire, either," Vridel supplied helpfully. “But it's not like it's never happened. Besides, who says you have to marry her?"

“Well I wouldn't—I mean, no offense, really, but I don't think I could..." Devon pressed his lips together, trying to sort his thoughts. “I don't know. I guess I want something like my parents had. I don't really see much point in having a relationship if there's not even a chance it could be the person I'm with forever, you know? Uh—maybe I'm naive."

“More like fatalistic," Mercer replied in a joking manner, but he supposed he could understand where Devon was coming from. “In all honesty, though, you'd have more of a chance than any of us. Sylvi is nobility, but she's not royalty. It'd be much harder if she were the Queen, but luckily for you, she's not. If you really like her, though, you should at least admit it to yourself. That's usually the first step, right, Vi?" he stated, grinning in Vridel's direction.

Of course, Mercer knew better than that. Admitting you liked someone was simple and clean. Admitting that you thought they could be someone you'd want to marry and possibly have a family with, well... those thoughts were an entirely different thing. He knew some people wanted that; a simple life where they shared it with the one they loved. Mercer, however, knew it wasn't something he could have. After Sorcha ascended her throne, and they nullified their engagement, Mercer would likely be taking a wife for political reasons rather than because he loved her.

It was likely the same for Vridel, however; there was a small chance that they could change that once they became leaders. It would be hard work, and Mercer knew he'd be in for a fight, but it would be worth it. Wouldn't it?

“See this is why I just did the smart thing and abdicated," Reynard said easily, shrugging his shoulders.

“Abdicated?" Cyril blinked slowly—that was Teach for 'surprised.' “You were in line for a throne?"

Vi arched his eyebrow at Reynard, not in a way that suggested he was surprised by the news. Rather, he seemed to be surprised the other man was sharing such information.

Reynard, for his part, looked entirely nonplussed. “I used to be, yes. My grandfather is King of Brigid. I was second in line after my father. But he died and I abdicated, so now my cousin's the heir."

“But your name..." Devon said, looking puzzled. It was easy to understand why—Reynard Voigt was about as Adrestian a name as there was.

“Callum Macneary," he replied simply. “We use Mac instead of von. Kind of."

Mercer was as surprised as Teach. He hadn't expected that, but he supposed everyone had their secrets and who'd they be willing to share them with. Reynard trusted them, that was easy to tell if he'd told them he was former royalty. Mercer pushed a sigh through his nose.

“It's easy if there are heirs in line for the throne. I'm sure Vi could abdicate if he wanted to, but I think we both have too much we want to do that we can't. I, for one, will actually be handing the Alliance over to Alaric when I've managed to change some things. Then, I'll be heading to Almyra to do the same. My father will be wanting me to take over, anyway. I'm the only heir to Almyra, so... even if I wanted to, I couldn't. Plus, it's a perfect opportunity, I think, to strengthen the treaties since my current fiancee is also going to be queen of Faerghus, and I'm in the good graces of the next Adrestian Emperor." He grinned at Vi.

“Good graces is a bit of an exaggeration," Vridel tossed back. “I certainly find you more agreeable than any of the boors here, however. I'd forgotten how disgustingly backward some of Faerghus can be. It's the 'Holy Kingdom' thing, I think."

“You think so?" Teach asked. “But the central figure of the Church is a woman." He seemed to at least understand what kind of 'backward' was at issue.

“Yes," Vi replied, “but it's easy to see Seiros as an exception. Think of what her faith actually calls for: Crest-bearing warriors to take up the mantle of knighthood on her behalf, and to defend the borders of Fódlan from heathen intruders. Besides, all of the elites were male. That kind of thing is easily twisted."

Mercer huffed slightly. “That's just because Faerghus is so far behind everyone else. They'd rather be stuck in their old ways than try to move forward and be progressive," he added. He honestly thought that Faerghus could be absorbed into the Alliance or Empire, and no one would really miss it. Of course, that was a rather dangerous thought, so he didn't share that one.

“Behind every way but technologically," Vridel qualified, gesturing vaguely around them. It was true that Fhirdiad had some impressive infrastructure. But that was about all.

“Vi has a point, though. Things are easy to twist to the liking of whoever is doing the twisting. Things get lost to translations, in history, or in some cases, when certain people conduct book burnings," he continued. Of course, he was referring to the church. He knew for a fact that they destroyed books that were deemed heretical or something close to it. What the contents of the books truly were, though, was anyone's guess.

“Sometimes the truth is inconvenient, I suppose," Devon said softly. It wasn't hard to tell that he was thinking of Lonato when he said it. “Oh! We're here." He brightened a little, holding open the door so everyone could enter.

It seemed to be a tavern, albeit one that had the secondary function of being a games hall. There were darts, billiards, and even a few chess setups, all of them worn with age and use; even the deep red upholstery on the chairs was faded and a touch threadbare. A couple of middle-aged men were smoking near an open window in the corner. The bar was tended by an older woman with short brown curls; she smiled when she saw them.

“Well I'll be. If it isn't Dev. Have a seat, kiddo—Lucie'll be over in a bit."

Devon grinned. “Thanks Miss Landon. This way, guys." Devon led them to a larger table and gestured for them all to sit. No one made a fuss about the slight dinginess—everything was clean, anyway.

“Can I smoke in here?" Reynard asked, glancing at the two men.

“Miss Landon's fine with it as long as you're near the window and open it," Devon replied. Reynard swapped spots with Vi so he would be, and around then a younger woman with an obvious family resemblance to Miss Ladon approached the table.

“What can I getcha, fellas?"

“I'll take the strongest thing you've got," Mercer stated, though he was mostly serious. He needed something strong that would help him forget that they were in Fhirdiad, and the way the people had treated Sorcha. He didn't like it, but he was in no position to actually say anything about it. For now, he could at least drink with the people he was sharing a table with.

“Oh, and if you have any of those bread sticks with cinnamon and sugar on it? And some jelly-doughnuts? I'll take a plate of those if you have them. Otherwise just the drink," he added. While he wanted to drink, he also wanted to stuff his face with sweets. It would help, or at least for him it would.

The others put in their orders, mostly for less specific foods and more specific drinks, and the waitress departed to grab them.

“So, Vi, Dev, how is practice for the White Heron Cup, coming along? I'd ask Teach, too, but he's not participating, so he can just sit there and look pretty," he stated, glancing in Teach's direction.

Teach rolled his eyes, but there was a sly little smile on his face, too.

Devon winced. “I'm uh... not very good yet. I can do the gavotte, and the waltz is getting there. But..." He flushed.

Reynard laughed. “Tango got you flustered?"

“Little bit, yeah." Devon pinched his thumb and forefinger together. “How about you, Your—uh, Vridel?" He still wasn't great at remembering to use first names, but he was clearly trying.

Vi hummed thoughtfully, but paused when the waitress reappeared with their food and drinks, waiting for everything to get settled before he spoke. “Reasonably well, I think. Thea's a hard worker, at least." He sounded pleased, despite the vagueness of the answer. “And you, Mercer?"

Mercer puffed out his cheeks. “I've got the best partner. The gavotte, waltz, and tango are coming along rather smoothly. And here I thought you'd be competition, Vi, love," he teased, grinning at Vridel. He shook his head, though, and chuckled. “In all honesty, I didn't think she'd be able to handle a tango, but I was proven wrong. Still needs to work a bit on her footing, but we'll be ready in time for when the competition comes along."

He believed that to be true. Sorcha was a hard worker, and she learned fairly quickly. He'd say that a week or so, more, of practicing, and they had a pretty good chance of winning. That was, of course, something changed within the up coming weeks. He wasn't planning on losing, but sometimes things did happen. He'd just have to make sure, they didn't.

“It's a shame that you're not participating, Rey. I'm sure there are a few people who are disappointed," he stated, grinning in Reynard's direction.

Reynard laughed. “You wouldn't catch me dead doing a gavotte," he said, lifting an eyebrow. “Dancing is much more intense in Brigid, more along the tango lines than the waltzing ones. There's inevitably either a lot of touching or a lot of athleticism or both." He half-grinned, lighting his pipe and taking a drink with his other hand.

“So naturally, I'd smoke you all."

“That was a horrific pun."

“I thought I was very clever." He lifted the pipe to his mouth.

Mercer laughed, even if it was a terrible pun. “It's better than Alois', though, so you win points for that one." Anything was better than Alois' puns. “Well, since it seems that the tango is an infamous dance known to just about everyone," Mercer grinned for a second to let the others catch on to what he was going to say, next.

“How about, we all have ourselves a little competition during the millenium ball? That way Teach can participate, and you have to find yourself a partner, Rey. We're all doing this; there shall be stakes and maybe a prize!" He was willing to bet they'd all get a good laugh out of it, but he was being somewhat serious. He wasn't too sure what the prize would be, yet. He was just going to have to see who was interested and who wasn't.

“Let's all have a tango competition."

“No, no, you need me to sit out, because I'd win but also because you need a proper judge. I would normally defer to your Almyran expertise," he said, nodding to Mercer with half a smirk, “but you're rather incapable of impartiality in this case."

“Well if that's the case, then I volunteer Dev to be our judge. He's the most neutral party here, and we already know he's not comfortable with the tango. Plus we need to see what you can do if you're so confident you'll win. I think Teach and I have a better chance of winning with our partners, no offense Vi," and Mercer thought he'd be a little merciful with Devon. The guy was clearly head-over-heels for Sylvi, even if he didn't want to admit it. That was fine.

“What say you, Dev?"

“I'm not sure I know enough to judge," Devon replied, breaking his pastry in half.

“We could always ask Manuela to do it," Cyril suggested. “I believe she's the reason the tango is included in the White Heron Cup to begin with." He seemed more amused by the idea than serious, but nevertheless the suggestion wasn't a bad one.

“Oh, good call, Teach," Mercer stated, grinning in Cyril's direction. “We can ask Manuela to do it, that way everyone can participate, even you Devon. And that includes you, Rey, so you have to find someone to tango with. I'm sure you'll have your pick when we get back," he stated, turning to face Reynard with a rather smug smile on his face.

“So, now, the question is, what is the prize for the winner?" he stated. “I'd say the losers have to take over chore duty for the winners, but that's too boring. What would you want, Rey, if you won?"

“Last place has to try and steal a pair of the Archbishop's underwear and fly them from the flagpole," he said in a deadpan.

For a moment, there was complete silence. Teach was doing the surprise-blink, and Devon looked utterly terrified. Then Vridel lost the battle with his laughter, leaning forward against the table and snorting so hard ale dripped from between his fingers. Teach passed him a napkin, chuckling as well.

“Maybe nothing that would get someone killed," he advised.

“Too late," Vi replied with a cough. “I just died."

Mercer couldn't breathe with how hard he was laughing. “I agree with Vi, too late," he spoke, trying to catch his breath. Once he'd finally settled, he took in a deep breath, and had to wipe away a tear from his eye. “It's not boring, I'll give you that, though," he spoke once he was sure he could do it properly without laughing.

“Hm, how about, last place has to go skinny-dipping in the lake just outside of the dining hall? Or, actually, just so it's not that embarrassing, how about in lake Seiros?"

Reynard appeared to seriously consider this for a moment, tilting his head thoughtfully. “Acceptable," he said at last. “First place should get something nice too, though. So we're not fighting to be not the worst."

“Fair point," Teach added, motioning for another pitcher of ale to be brought to the table. Mercer appeared to have gotten stuck with a small glass of potato spirits, which were indeed extremely strong, but the others seemed to favor beer at the moment. “Perhaps we should all lay some money on the line, and purchase something with it, that the winner gets to keep?"

Mercer did ask for the strongest thing they had, after all, but he wasn't quite feeling the effects he knew it would produce. He took a quick drink of one of the small glasses before slamming the glass down on the table. “Boring, but acceptable. And it can't be anything cheap, either, otherwise what would be the point of competing for it?" he suggested.

“It has to be something really nice, a weapon, piece of jewelry, or something of that sort."

“Sounds like a plan to me!" Devon just seemed relieved that punishment had been downgraded from Reynard's original suggestion.

“Excellent," Reynard added. “Now. Which one of you would like to be destroyed at darts first? Von Riegan? You look like a man who thinks highly of his aim."

“Oh, you're on, Voight."