Snippet #2791445

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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Character Portrait: Jeralt's Journal
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I.Y. 1186 - Garland Moon - Tuesday the 17th
Derdriu - Evening - Cool
Devon Margrave


Devon shifted slightly uncomfortably in his clothes, moving his weight from foot to foot. They'd started up the dancing just a minute ago, but for some reason, these particular people seemed very interested in talking to him. He wasn't really sure why; so far it had really only had to do with sort of incidental things, like where he was from, his family, that sort of thing. He'd learned that they were from a fair ways south of Derdriu, a count and countess whose lands were in Ordelia territory.

He had hardly any idea why such people wanted to talk to him, but he supposed it must be because he was friends with Mercer.

“Your story's simply fascinating," the man said, while his wife nodded. They were both older, grey haired with lightly-lined faces. Count and Countess Jager, they'd introduced themselves as. Well, Frederick and Gertrude, but there was no way he was using their first names. He unobtrusively tried to smooth down the embroidered shirt he wore, green with yellow stitching. The gold sash and tan pants that went with were nice, he supposed, but it felt so strange to be not wearing armor anymore. He felt like he could have used it.

“Will you be looking to settle in the Alliance, then?" Gertrude asked, taking a sip from the delicate wineglass she held loosely in her free arm. The other was wrapped around Frederick's.

"Er... settle?" he asked. He was positive he'd told them he was from Faerghus.

Frederick chuckled. “Well, yes, of course. You're a war hero here now, as I'm sure you must've noticed. Surely there are much better prospects for you here than there are in Faerghus, assuming it's liberated. They've never been especially... understanding of certain things there, have they?" His eyes lingered just long enough on Devon's face and bare arms for him to understand the point being made.

He winced slightly. "Well, uh, no. I suppose not. But I do mean to go back."

“Truly?" Gertrude looked vaguely shocked. “It's really not necessary you know. Why, we'd be ever so delighted if you were to take up residence in Jager—I'm sure our children would delight in showing you the region. He must be about Gracia's age, right Fred?"

Frederick nodded, and abrupt understanding dawned on Devon about what was actually going on here. He just wasn't sure why on earth it was being directed at him.

To say he'd never had nobles offering him their daughters was a gross understatement. Flames, he'd been in love with Sylvi forever, and her father had looked at him like he was the scum of the earth. He realized he hadn't introduced himself to them as any kind of Lord, and they had to have inferred from conversation that he was born a commoner, so this was really completely incomprehensible, and he had no idea how to get himself out of it.

He thought what he should do was let them know he was married without making it sound like a direct counter to what had just been said, so they could maintain that they'd been making the offer from friendship and congeniality. Which to be fair they probably would have—they seemed like nice people, if a little overbearing. He just... wasn't sure exactly how to do that.

Where was Sylvi when he needed her?

“Devon, my love," Sylvi's voice spoke out no sooner than the thought had passed. She approached, a large smile on her face as she made her way towards him. She placed a chaste kiss on his cheek before turning her attention towards Frederick and Gertrude. She smiled warmly at them and inclined her head towards them.

“Oh, I'm sorry to interrupt. I'm Sylvi Margrave," she introduced herself, smiling still in their direction. “I hope my dear husband hasn't bored you," she continued.

And that was pretty much exactly what he'd been hoping for. Devon took her hand and squeezed it gently, brushing his nose gently against her temple.

Frederick and Gertrude were clearly surprised, so to give them time to recover, he added to the sentiment. "Well they put up very patiently with me trying to explain how it was I wound up here, but I hadn't quite reached the Academy and you yet. Count Jager, Countess Jager, this is Sylvi Margrave. Er, Countess Sylvi Margrave. My wife."

He couldn't deny how good it felt to be able to say the words like that. It was, actually, the first time he'd had cause to introduce her since they'd been married, as the other notable introductions had been to, well, her family. Those had been a little more fraught than the simple happiness this provided.

Gertrude's eyes widened. “Please forgive us, Count Margrave; we must have missed that part of your introduction." She didn't seem upset at all, just confused.

Devon shook his head, feeling his face heat a little. "Oh, no, you didn't—I just... don't really introduce myself that way. Syl's the Countess. I just happen to be married to her, is all."

Sylvi smiled, though it looked more like a grin as she squeezed his hand. “He's very modest that way," she stated, her features softening for a moment before she chuckled. “Honestly, it's one of the reasons I married him. There are quite a few other reasons, of course, but my Dev has always been very kind and sweet."

She glanced in Devon's direction after she'd spoken, a small grin on her face before she turned back to the Jagers. “His charm, though, is that he's very earnest and adorable. I'm sure Countess Jager thinks the same of Count Jager," Sylvi stated, something in her smile turning a bit sly. Her hand squeezed just a little tighter around Devon's.

Devon was very quickly being reminded that he hadn't quite ever lost the easily-embarrassed part of himself that had so easily surfaced during their lighter days at the Academy. Granted, he'd changed a lot, and maybe other things were more central now, but the way his cheeks burned was indication enough that at least when it came to her, some things never changed.

The Count and Countess chuckled, their genuineness evident in the way they seemed to for a moment squeeze each others' arms just a little tighter. It was the Count, though, who responded. “No, no, I must insist it is my dear wife who has ever been the earnest and adorable one. Most of the kindness and sweetness between us is mine, however."

The Countess's eyes widened; she smacked her husband playfully in the arm. “It is not," she retorted, grinning almost despite herself.

“See? See?" he insisted, gesturing as if this reaction proved his point.

Sylvi chuckled lightly, finding it amusing, apparently. She gentled her expression a bit more as she regarded the Jagers. “I can see it clearly, actually," she began, turning towards Devon and smiling at him. “I hope Devon and I can be like the two of you, one day; still so in love and happy," she spoke.

“I'm afraid I must steal my husband away, though. Unless Count Jager would like to stand in his place and have a dance with me?" she stated, arching a brow up at Devon almost in a teasing manner.

The Count smiled, but shook his head. “I would be delighted, my dear, but that's a tango they're starting, and I swore off tangoing with anyone but my beloved wife the day we were married."

"Sorry, Syl, I think you're stuck with me," Devon added. "Unless you'd rather save your toes." He didn't, in fact, think he was going to step on them, this time, but the joke was a familiar one between them regardless.

“You two have fun, now," The Countess said, dipping her head to them both. “It was lovely to meet you."

“It was lovely meeting you as well," Sylvi stated, leading Devon away. She didn't take them to the dancing floor, though, and had walked with Devon towards a refreshment table, instead. She shook her head, though, after a moment and glanced at Devon. “I don't think you'll step on my toes, either, Dev, but I think I'd rather just enjoy this time with you. It's... been a while since we've been able to just do this," she stated, making a vague gesture around them.

“And I'd like to enjoy this time while we have it," she murmured softly, wrapping an arm around his side so that she was leaning into him. “Who knows when we'll be able to do something like this, again. It could be months, or years, and... well, I'll take the small things as they come."

"Well the meeting people is nice, but I think I'll make sure we've taken care of the ring situation before the next party," he said lightly, eyes narrowing with the force of his smile. "The Jagers seem like really good people but I was not looking forward to having to explain that." He shook his head, still sort of unsure why anyone would approach him that way in the first place.

Devon didn't really think of himself as an unworthy person—at least not so much anymore. But for all they'd known, he wasn't noble, so it didn't really track with what he knew about how these things worked. Snugging his arm a little more firmly around Sylvi, he took up a small plate, figuring that while they were here, they might as well get some snacks.

Sylvi chuckled lightly at him. “That's because you didn't introduce yourself as such, silly. I bet you just introduced yourself as Devon Margrave, right?" she stated, arching a brow at him. “You have to introduce yourself with the proper title, now. Count Margrave. Most nobles always believe another noble to be married if they introduce themselves like that. And ring or not, it doesn't usually stop most people. I don't know how many people approached me tonight, and look," she paused, holding up her left hand to show him the wedding ring on her finger.

“I was wearing it openly. Openly," she pursed her lips at him after that. “I'd forgotten all about this, to be honest," she stated softly. “The whole noble courtesy and bearings, I mean. It's been... so long since I've actually had to use them again. We have a lot of things to do after the war, but..." she trailed off, her brows smoothing out as she smiled at him.

“I'm glad I'll be doing all of it with you, Lord Margrave," she stated, putting an emphasis on his name.

It still didn't feel natural, honestly, introducing himself as a person with a title. Frankly, Devon was content to let Sylvi be the real Countess and he just the person she happened to be married to. He'd do whatever he could to help her, of course, but it was her heritage what was noble, not his. She was the one who had all the skills and knowledge. Him, well. He had a bit more than the average fellow thanks to Lord Lonato, but not much compared to someone like her.

Still... he'd do whatever he could to support her, even if it meant learning to do things he wasn't comfortable with, like introducing himself as a Count. "I'd have thought enough nobles were single that no one would assume that I was married just from saying I'm Count Margrave," he replied, shaking his head faintly, but honestly he was happy to drop the matter. Not a mistake he'd be making again at this party anyway.

He still made a note to get an order put in for proper wedding rings. Syl had one of the bands, but she needed the second, and he needed the one that matched. Even if it wouldn't make much difference to some people, it made a world of difference to him.

Besides... "Wait, who's been bothering you?" he asked, immediately concerned. He knew she still wasn't comfortable with such things, and while he was quite sure she'd never, ever consider any such offer, he was offended on her behalf that people were making them, anyway.

She made a face at him, one that seemed more amused than anything. “The same people who are bothering you, of course. It's a known fact that we've played a part in the liberation of the Alliance from the Empire, even if it may be temporary," she began, pushing a breath through her nose, “but it still remains. Who wouldn't want to secure a marriage with one of us? Think about it, if you married one of the war heroes, not only would you earn the love and devotion of those in your territory, it'd help tremendously when it came to negotiating with other nobles."

“All they would have to do was have you in the council room with them, and that would be enough." She sighed heavily and shook her head, though. “It should be fine if you stay with me the rest of the night, though. It'll be obvious enough to most that we're together, even if they ignore my ring."

Devon frowned, but it didn't last long on his face. "Honestly that just sounds like an excuse to spend more time with you, so I'll take it," he said, pressing a soft kiss to her hair. "How are these little sandwiches? I'm kind of hungry now from all this talking."