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Mabuz Kain Murdid

"We live to die, and yet we struggle to live. We are truly pathetic creatures."

0 · 500 views · located in Vlacroya

a character in “The Dawn of Conquest”, as played by Lyysa

Description



Imageβ•”β•—
"I don't know what you're trying to do but let's get one thing clear - I don't care the least for you or anyone else. You are just as important as dust to me. The only thing you do is bug me. I don't care about what you think or what you have to say so just shut it."


[ Dan Stevens - Evermore ]


DΙͺα΄€ΚŸα΄Ι’α΄œα΄‡ Cα΄ΚŸα΄Κ€ ✦ Crimson || TΚœα΄α΄œΙ’Κœα΄› Cα΄ΚŸα΄Κ€ ✧ Red
β•šβ•


βš” B A S I C S βš”


⌈N A M EβŒ‹
Mabuz Kain Murdid

⌈N I C K N A M E SβŒ‹


⌈A G EβŒ‹
20

⌈G E N D E RβŒ‹
Male



Image


βš” P E R S O N A L I T Y βš”


Cynical † Damaged † Harsh † Affectionate † Emotional

Mabuz's personality is very contradicting. While he is thoroughly cynical and nihilistic, he is at the same time devoted and protective, and even a little childish. He truly isn't one of the friendliest people, and will usually try to keep others at a distance. Even when he means well and is trying to be nice, he often ends up being sarcastic. Especially so when he gives advice. He doesn't like the thought of making commitments, and can often come off as insensitive and reserved. Mabuz tends to use logic; even when he tries try to meet others halfway something akin to empathy and emotional sensitivity, it rarely seems to quite come out right, if anything is even said at all.

Yet it should be noted that Mabuz isn't all bad. He may not be your typical ray of sunshine, but he is driven by his emotions, this can be also seen as a bad trait, but it is a side of Mabuz that shows that he is a human that easily manipulated and affected. He's affectionate as well, those he cares for and trust he keeps extremely close. He has a really hard time separating himself from those that are close to him
.



βš” P R E F E R E N C E S βš”


⌈L I K E SβŒ‹
† Sake † Good Swordplay † Gambling † Pushing Boundaries † Winning † Wolves † Falcons † Star Gazing † The Color Red † Versatility † Light Weapons † Throwing Knives † Swords † Sparring † Spider Lilies †

⌈D I S L I K E SβŒ‹
† Stupidity † People † Opening up to people † Bad Swordsmanship † Wasting Time † Getting Embarrassed † Religions † Spiders † Having his personal space invaded † Pushy People † Annoying People † People touching/messing up his hair †

⌈D R E A M SβŒ‹
† He doesn't have any dreams in particular at the moment

⌈F E A R SβŒ‹
† Letting people get close to him
† Betrayal
† To disgrace his parents

⌈S E X U A L I T YβŒ‹
Heterosexual




βš” H I S T O R Y βš”


ImageHere's the tragic story of a prince that was born in the city called Murdid one cold winter night. The royal family of Murdid is a traditional and perhaps a bit odd one. According to their traditions only a male can be considered an heir and once the king and the queens has brought a prince to the world there should be no more children. It's considered a sin to give birth to more children after the heir is brought to the world. The princesses are almost outcasts in their own families as well, the only good thing they bring with them is to be married with other royal families so they can create bonds between the families.

Mabuz was the first one to be born, therefor he never had any siblings. He only had his parents and those around them. A lot of adults, not so many children. He did greet and meet some princes and princesses when he was young, but not nearly long enough to create friends. Therefor he got extremely attached to his parents, he was a clingy child. Which was not appreciated by his parents, because that was seen as a weakness. He was seen as a weak child and the king and queen was extremely unhappy with his behavior. A future king of Murdid was not supposed to be weak. They should be strong and lead their subjects with a firm hand. Nothing should be able to sway them.

Therefor both the king and queen disconnected themselves from Mabuz, the only thing he got from them was stern looks and disciplinary actions. They were harsh, as they should be according to tradition. They were not loving, they didn't hug or kiss him goodnight, if he had a nightmare he had to stay in bed and try to fall asleep once more even though it felt like the whole room was evil and he was shaking like an aspen leaf. Their methods worked though, as Mabuz grew older he became more and more disconnected with the world. His smiles faded away and his gaze seemed to Image turn into stone. He was exactly what a future king of Murdid was supposed to be. Disconnected and without emotions, like a statue. Dead on the inside.

That was however until that one fateful day when both his father and mother fell ill and suddenly died just a couple of weeks after that. It was one month before he would turn eighteen. It all happened so fast, no one knew what had gone wrong. Everyone was shaken, but Mabuz most of all. His whole world turned upside down and suddenly he had no idea what was right or wrong. Everything went wrong and he was supposed to become king? He wasn't even sure who e was anymore, all those emotions which he had suppressed for so long just burst up to the surface once more and no one tried to help him up from that ocean.



βš” A P P E A R A N C E βš”


⌈H A I R ✧ C O L O RβŒ‹Image
ImageWhite
Image
⌈E Y E ✧ C O L O RβŒ‹
Purple

⌈T A T T O O S ✧ M A R K I N G SβŒ‹
† None

⌈H E I G H TβŒ‹
185 cm

⌈D E S C R I P T I O N SβŒ‹
A snake. This is what Mabuz often is compared to, with his otherworldly looks and deep, sinister eyes, a snake seems to be the only comparison humans can make. His skin is creme colored, not so pale that he looks like a ghost, but definitely not tan either. His eyes are a deep purple that are full of thought and life, when he is mad they narrow into slits when he is surprised they open wide, like a child full of awe. His smiles are rare, but when they do appear they light up a room. Mabuz's hair is a snowy white, like a fresh winter haven.



βš” P O W E R S ✧ A B I L I T I E S βš”


⌈D E S T R U C T I O N - F R O S TβŒ‹
Mabuz is far from a gifted mage, he is however trained in destruction spells. That's something expected of the princes of Murdid. Murdid has a different view on magic than Luminatio, destruction spells are those that are ranked highest while restoration and other things are considered to be something for the weak and those that are too afraid to enter a battle. Mabuz was however never as gifted in magic as expected of a royalty, which was truly a disappointment for the court. He was the first-born male and supposed to be king one day and had trouble even casting the simplest spells. That's why they concentrated on swordsman play most of the time, because the king had to be a strong and intimidating man.

In his late teens, the scholars discovered why Mabuz had such a problem with casting spells however, they had been focusing on the explosive kind - fire spells. Which is the one most royals are educated in since fire is considered the strongest element of all in Murdid. It warms the cold body and creates light in the darkest night, but at the same time it scolds the flesh and can destroy anything in its path. But Mabuz couldn't connect with that element, he was instead gifted in another elemental type of magic. Mabuz was discovered to be a excellent frost mage, he was a natural when it came to control the cold and ice spells.

⌈E N C H A N T I N GβŒ‹
Since Mabuz is a skillful swordsman he has put some effort into learning the skill to enchant his weapons. He hasn't fully mastered it yet but can put frost spells onto his master sword or knifes. These spells make it so that if he is able to slice the opponents flesh the area which he hits gets frostbites.

⌈R E S T R I C T I O N SβŒ‹
† Sadly, the royals of Murdid has always considered restoration or healing magic as the lowest kind of magic and therefor no one in the royal family has been taught how to heal themselves or others

† Mabuz isn't as efficient in magic as his predecessors



βš” S K I L L S βš”


Image
† The Leader †
† Charisma (Proficent)
† Leadership (Expert)

† The Warrior †
† Swordplay (Master)
† Climbing (Familiar)
† Intimidation (Expert)
† Swimming (Proficent)

† The Ranger †
† Hunting (Proficent)
† Riding (Proficient)
† Cooking (Beginner)

† The Scholar †
† Penmanship (Proficent)
† Knowledge - Local (Expert)
† Knowledge - Geography (Expert)

⌈W E A K E S T ✧ S K I L LβŒ‹
Mabuz isn't a good mage but he compensates is with swordsman play instead. He can't be considered a charming person either, which could be a good thing to be when you’re a king to be. Sadly, he's not that great when it comes to people skills but that's because of his harsh and unfriendly nature. And even if hunting is considered a suitable pastime for a prince Mabuz never really fancied it and therefor isn't as skilled as his parents hoped for.

⌈S T R O N G E S T ✧ S K I L LβŒ‹
Mabuz is an excellent swordsman, he's strong but at the same time fast. He's not a powerhouse as many others in Murdid, he is instead considered to be an unknown threat to his enemies because of his statue. As a king to be Mabuz was expected to have brains as well and surprisingly enough - Mabuz enjoys studying and reading. Therefor you could consider Mabuz somewhat clever as well as a good leader. That's what he's been preparing for his whole life.

So begins...

Mabuz Kain Murdid's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Edme Balric Character Portrait: Michaelis Fortrexe
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Image




Vivian desperately clung to her mother's arm as they were escorted along with their personal guards into the imposing Murdid castle. At first she had been thrilled to travel to Murdid at the opportunity to see the unique nocturnal plant life found in the mountains. What she did not anticipate was how horrifying the city was. Completely devoid of light and color, the sharp spires of the gothic architecture felt completely cold and unwelcoming. This was made worse by the icy stares the royal carriage received by the citizens on their track through the city. Never before had Vivian seen such open hostility and unfriendliness. They seemed so... empty. It seemed as if life held no joy for these people; that they blindly pressed on for no other reason then survival. The thought alone brought tears to Vivi's eyes, but she quickly wiped them away remembering what her mother had told her earlier.

"In Murdid, emotion is considered a weakness. You must appear calm and collected at all times while we are here. You understand?"

Vivian still held on to her mother's arm despite her efforts to shake her daughter off, but she held it looser now with her head held high. They were only going to be here a few days. Surely she could keep it together for that long. As they passed through the halls, Vivi kept her focus directly ahead on the guard's back. She felt stares and could hear faint murmuring from the servants and courtesans they passed. Vivi dared not look at them less she lose her nerve. She was used to being gossiped about by nobles, but at least the Luminatio nobility smiled and were friendly even if it didn't quite reach their eyes. The Murdid nobility were openly sneering and snubbing their noses at our passage loudly declaring our weakness and supposed inferiority.

Vivian quietly clenched her teeth at the comments. No one is better than anybody else. How could they say such a thing? Just because she was a princess didn't mean she was any better as a person than a beggar on the street. Their circumstances were different, but their value as living beings was the same. Sensing her daughter's inner turmoil, Johanna squeezed the hand clutching hers to silently reassure her. When Vivi glanced over at her mother, she was rewarded with a warm smile. Smiling back, Vivian took a deep breath as the Murdid guards stopped at the entrance of what appeared to be the throne room. A servant addressed them saying that their luggage would be taken to the guest wing. Forced to finally let go of her mother's hand, Vivian straightened out the midnight blue gown she was sporting. She readjusted the corset currently squeezing the life out of her chest hoping to loosen it just a tad. Her hair was curled and arranged into an elaborate braided bun on her head fully exposing her shoulders and neckline. She took another deep breath as Vivian and Johanna were announced to the court.

She walked forward into the room in step with her mother keeping her focus on the back of the room. They stopped just before the thrones. Johanna nodded her head in acknowledgment of her fellow rulers as equals while Vivian curtsied since she was technically beneath them in status as a princess.

"Good evening Thanatos and Mara. As you already know, I have come to discuss the recent border disputes with you. Shall we begin our discussions in private or did you have other plans in mind for tonight?"

Vivian began to zone out as her mother spoke with the king and queen only mildly listening to what they were saying. She kept her back straight, but her eyes began to wander around the room taking in the grandness of the room. Her eyes eventually fell upon a middle-aged man around the same age as her mother standing off to the side of the room. He was intently watching the discussion between the three royals with a blank expression. He eventually sensed Vivian's staring and snapped his eyes to her. She immediately glanced away hoping he didn't notice her staring. He seemed to be an advisor of sorts reminding her of Edme. Edme had come with them on this expedition and she knew the woman was somewhere back behind her, but she didn't dare turn around less she insult the Murdid royalty.

Her gaze drifted again until it firmly landed on a young man not much older than herself. The first thing she noted was how handsome he was causing her to blush a little. He also had a blank expression on his face and seemed to be completely uninterested in what was happening.

He must be the prince my mother mentioned... She was snapped out of her thoughts by her mother addressing her.

"Vivian, I have to go speak with Thanatos and Mara privately. You should go and speak with the prince. You are both due to be the next rulers, so you should at least be somewhat acquainted with one another." Vivi stared at her mother hopelessly. She knew she was going to have to talk to him eventually, but not this soon. Before she could say a word, her mother had already turned around and was following the king and queen to another location. Sheepishly she turned back towards his direction trying to keep it together. She had no clue how to relate to him let alone talk to him.

Okay, just stay calm. Keep it together... Stay collected and pleasant just like you were taught... she mentally talked herself up trying to work up the nerve to speak with him, but she stood still swaying slightly. Eager to break the awkward silence she stepped forward and addressed him while avoiding direct eye contact.

"Hello. Um, you must be the prince. I... My name is Vivian. It is, um, nice to meet you," she said rather weakly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Edme Balric Character Portrait: Michaelis Fortrexe
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#, as written by Lyysa
This was not what she was expecting when her queen told her that they were to visit another city, that city being Murdid. She had heard the stories of course! But she has always believed that they were just that - stories. Fiction made up by someone with a lot of imagination. But apparently, she was the fool for not believing in what she had heard. What she saw now... was somehow even worse than those terrible tales? How that even was possible she wasn't sure. But it was something about experiencing the hostility first hand that made her skin crawl.

The sight of her princess reaction didn't make this any better either. Edme couldn't really decide if she was irritated at Vivian for acting like a baby or if she just wanted to rush over to them and comfort her. It was a mixture of both. But at least she knew that this was not the proper way of acting when you try to establish a good connection with royalty. Or at least royalty like those in Murdid. Because judging by the appearance and atmosphere of the city... Edme didn't feel that welcomed.

Neither did she feel welcomed when they entered the great hall. Even if it definitively was a great hall. The moment she stepped inside the room after the queen and the princess she was overwhelmed. The size, the drapery and everything else... the statues, the thrones. Even if the thrones were created by stone they were beautiful. And scary at the same time. Edme wasn't even sure if the creatures sculpted on them was supposed to look like angels or devils. They seemed so sinister but peaceful at the same time. And the room was adored in giant forest green draperies. On the walls, there were plenty of paintings of previous kings and queens and lanterns. But the thing that made Edme feel the most uneasy was the giant moon that shined in from the window behind the thrones. Illuminating the king and the queen where they stood up on their little "stage".

As her queen started addressing the king and queen - that somehow seemed to be made out of stone, they were standing so still and their eyes were so cold, Edme felt a bit embarrassed to even admit it to herself but she felt intimidated by them. And she never got intimidated! But they were not human, at least it didn't feel that way. No, they were not human, no human would look that dead while they were still alive.

Her queen continued to talk with the other two and Edme started to scan the room, it didn't make her feel any better. Everyone seemed to be dead. She was serious, no one in this court looked human. Everyone had the same dead eyes as the king and queen. This whole city seemed to be dead. Was that a strange statement? Probably, but Edme felt that way. As her thought continued to spin away she soon snapped out of it as her queen mentioned Vivian’s name, telling her to talk with the prince. Just as dead as his parents. Everyone was living zombies, so Edme couldn't see why anyone would want to travel here or talk with anyone from this place ever. It was awful.

But let's just let that go, Edme was a professional. No need to dwell over something like this. As Vivian approached the prince Edme placed herself in the back by the wall, trying to stay away and not disturb anything but at the same time she was not willing to leave Vivian by herself. No, someone had to look over her in case of an emergency.


Mabuz was leaning back towards one of the huge pillars that supported the roof above their heads, to be honest, he hasn't even heard one word that had left his parents lips neither their guests. He wasn't interested, not at all. He was just staring at them as they entered and continued to stare at them as they spoke. But just because he watched didn't mean he listened, instead he was thinking about more interesting things than this. Like what sort of city they came from. He knew the name and their reputation inside the city, but no one ever spoke about anything else. So as the conversation progressed he tried to build a city inside his head. Something completely different from Murdid.

But suddenly it all ended, the "grownups" left and the young maiden was approaching. So, he tried to straighten up his act as smoothly as possible. He wasn't sure if he was able to do it, but he didn't care that much either. His lack of interested was his true self, this was just what his parents would wish from him.

"Hello. Um, you must be the prince. I... My name is Vivian. It is, um, nice to meet you," Well... this wasn't what Mabuz was expecting. He was used to strong and confident people, but this Vivian wasn't anything like that. She seemed fragile? It surprised Mabuz, he even lost his track making him stare at her without saying anything for a minute or two. Trying to comprehend what had just happened.

But it didn't take too long before he collected himself and gave her what was supposed to be a smile, but it was just a movement of the lips because it never spread to any other part of his face, "Yes, that is correct. I am the prince, Mabuz Kain Murdid. It's a pleasure to meet you, Vivian. What are your thoughts of our great city?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Edme Balric Character Portrait: Michaelis Fortrexe
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Vivian shifted uneasily staring at the wall behind the prince as she awaited his response. He said nothing for a solid minute, and it had her feeling very uneasy. It didn't help that he was staring directly at her. Did she speak up and say something else? Did she keep waiting? She had no idea. Vivi briefly looked behind her at Edme with a helpless expression. She quickly turned back around knowing Edme would only scold her for her cowardice. After another moment of silence he spoke causing her to flinch slightly.

"Yes, that is correct. I am the prince, Mabuz Kain Murdid. It's a pleasure to meet you, Vivian. What are your thoughts of our great city?" Although he had given her what seemed to be a smile, his eyes reflected no change in his mood. His expression showed no signs of malice, however, it was instead... empty. Like a blank canvas. This thought relieved her as much as it disturbed her. How could a person be so devoid of emotion? Mabuz was not the only one, though. All the Murdid natives displayed this eerie trait.

Vivian shifted her weight from one leg to the other when he gave his full name. She had forgotten that royalty were supposed to constantly play this absurd game of formalities and had failed to supply her own full name. Her name was so long that she found it silly to say the whole thing though. He didn't seem to mind... Suddenly she straightened realizing she had gotten so lost in her own musings that she hadn't responded to his question. Blushing, she looked out towards the large windows behind the thrones letting the ethereal light of the moon illuminate the front of the hall.

"Ah, well... To be honest with you, I don't know what to make of it. Murdid is so... different." She paused a moment and her eyes widened when she realized that could be taken as insulting. In her haste to apologize she disregarded her embarrassment and turned towards Mabuz with her hands held up. "Please don't take that the wrong way! I didn't mean that in a bad way. It's just completely different from everything I have ever known and yet..." She turned away to once again stare out the windows at the enormous full moon high in the night sky. She took a few steps forward till she was standing side by side with Mabuz; gazing upwards her face becoming like porcelain in the moonlight.

"I've seen the moon dozens of times, but never like this. I feel like a child seeing the moon for the very first time. Back home, the moon is so... dull. The majority of the time it is cloaked by clouds, so it isn't even visible. On the rare occasion it can be seen, it is small and its light is muted. No one speaks of it, so it easy to forget. But here, the moon is large and powerful. Its light is not as blinding as the sun, but it certainly rivals it in terms of brilliance. To answer your question, I find Murdid foreign and unnerving. Yet, it holds a unique beauty the likes of which I have never seen before. Is that an adequete answer?" Vivian turned her head back towards to Mabuz with a smile to evaluate his expression; nervousness temporarily overruled by her pondering.

Michaelis was casually leaning against the back wall a short ways away from the young royals. They weren't speaking loud enough to listen in on their conversation, so he resigned himself to evaluate their expressions. The man smirked at Vivian's shifting display of various emotions.

Heh, such a weak girl. I bet she would be easier to use than Mabuz, he silently mused. All in due time. He suppressed the urge to laugh and resigned himself to continue observing Mabuz and Vivian while idly running his fingers over a small glass bottle of poison in his coat pocket.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Edme Balric Character Portrait: Michaelis Fortrexe
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#, as written by Lyysa
Now it was his time to wait for an answer, it didn't bother him much. The princess seemed to be an odd character, nothing like those he was used to. But perhaps this was the way they usually act in Luminato? Yeah, that was probably it. Luminato was a strange place with strange people. Shy and timid people. Weak people. That was something he knew, or something his parents had told him. Even Michaelis had told him that, Luminato was weak since those who ruled the city was just that. Weak.

Sadly, Vivian didn't exactly open his eyes or change his mind on this subject. From Mabuz point of view she displayed everything that gave those from Luminato a bad reputation in Murdid. Not that people from there often visited them. But there were stories and everyone had heard them. Even Mabuz.

"Ah, well... To be honest with you, I don't know what to make of it. Murdid is so... different." Mabuz raised his eyebrows without saying anything, the answer wasn't surprising but her way of delivering it kind of was. But suddenly she raised her hands, which only made Mabuz even more confused, but he tried to seal the emotion away.

"Please don't take that the wrong way! I didn't mean that in a bad way. It's just completely different from everything I have ever known and yet..." As she placed herself beside him Mabuz couldn't help but glance down at her, wondering what was going on inside that head. She was strange. It had started to make him a bit uncomfortable, he wasn't sure what to expect. Everyone else was predictable. But Vivian wasn't, that was unfamiliar and a bit terrifying.

He listened to her talking about the moon, the moon in Murdid and how it looked back at Luminato. As she spoke he started to wonder how different people could have such different views on the same thing. Or how different two places could be. Once more he started to wonder what Luminato looked like. As he did so he even started to consider traveling there just so he could see it, it would happen sometime, right? Why not? Well... maybe, hopefully someday. He returned from his daydreaming and looked down at Vivian once more as she finished her thoughts of Murdid, "Yet, it holds a unique beauty the likes of which I have never seen before. Is that an adequate answer?"

Another empty smile made the corners of his mouth move upwards, "Of course." What would a good host do? Or was he even considered a host? Perhaps he was just a babysitter at the time. Well, at least he should try his best at making a good impression, right? Because perhaps the queen of Luminato actually listened to the princess? So... Mabuz was given an important job by his parents without them telling him first? Yes, that's it. At least Mabuz tried to convince himself of that.

Like a true prince he continued to force a smile as he offered her his arm, "Do you want to see more? I could show you the castle or the garden? Or something completely different if you feel like it."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Michaelis Fortrexe
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"Do you want to see more? I could show you the castle or the garden? Or something completely different if you feel like it." Vivian perked up at the word "garden". She glanced up at Mabuz her eyes darting between his face and his offered arm. She bit her tongue in a weak attempt to reign in her bubbling excitement. The initial turmoil of arriving at the castle had caused her to forget her original goal of observing the nocturnal plant life.

"Really? Well... I would really like to see the gardens if you don't mind." Sheepishly, she threaded her arm though the prince's and allowed him to lead her towards the gardens. Although she had experienced the same gesture with dozens of other noble men, she couldn't quite get rid of her embarrassment of being in such close proximity to Mabuz. It didn't help that she could feel his bicep naturally flexing beneath her own. Vivian tried to adjust her bangs to mask the majority of the blush on her face. She silently prayed as they walked that it wasn't too obvious.

Michaelis raised an eyebrow in interest when he realized that Mabuz was going to show her around the castle. The act itself wasn't bizarre; a typical interaction between royals. He had simply assumed the teenage prince would have gotten so annoyed with the Luminatio princess' weakness and would have blown her off. Not wanting to lose sight of the pair, he casually followed a reasonable distance away. Close enough to not lose track of them, but far enough away he would not be noticed. When he realized they were heading for the gardens and the courtyard, he took a flight of stairs to a central balcony overlooking the labyrinth of hedges and well-trimmed foliage. Leaning on the railing, he could keep track of the pair with ease without the hassle of sneaking around corners.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Edme Balric Character Portrait: Michaelis Fortrexe
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#, as written by Lyysa
"Really? Well... I would really like to see the gardens if you don't mind."

Mabuz gave her a small nod before adding, "Yes, of course."

As they walked he didn't say much, but neither did she so it wasn't all bad. He wasn't bothered with the silence at all, it was relaxing. Since Vivian didn't seem to mind he took the time to take some deep breathes while collecting his thoughts. He tried to think of what to say once they were there, but at the same time he hoped that perhaps she would be so busy that he wouldn't have to entertain her by talking. He was scared of saying the wrong thing or act the wrong way. Destroying something. All these worries and thoughts gave him a headache.

At one time, he glanced down at her to see how a blush decorated her cheeks, but just as he was able to detect it she suddenly started to shuffle hair in front of her face. Well, at least it seemed like that to Mabuz. The realization that she was embarrassed made him chuckle a little. It was a relief to come to the conclusion that she was just as uncomfortable as him. At least no one of them felt like they knew exactly what they were doing. For the first time in a long time he felt a little less lonely.

Edme had been watching the royals as they had kept their private discussion going, she didn't feel bothered. Everything seemed to work out better than she had been anticipated, well if she disregarded the fact that Vivian had been looking at her when she should have been paying attention to the prince instead. But Edme felt generous this time, she would act as if she hadn't noticed that since the princess had made such a progress from before.

When the pair started walking Edme prepared to follow them, it was her duty as Vivian's bodyguard obviously. But as she was about to start shadowing them she noticed that she wasn't the only one. A man was walking behind them as well so even if she knew that it was probably nothing Edme couldn't help but get anxious. Instead of following Vivian she started to walk behind the man. Just in case something bad was about to happen.

But in the end, it was just her nerves that got the better of her, the man walked away in another direction by some time and Edme could take a deep breath before continuing to follow Vivian and the prince. When they ended up in the garden she wasn't too surprised. She even smiled a little when thinking about how glad Vivian must be at the moment. But she kept herself in shadows, trying to keep her distance so they wouldn't be bothered by her.

"We're here," Mabuz gestured with his other hand which Vivian wasn't in possession of at the moment. "What do you think?"

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Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid
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"We're here. What do you think?" Vivian looked up from her intense study of the ground to glance around their new location. Her eyes lit up with amazement at what she saw. Mabuz had brought her to the central courtyard of the garden that branched out and connected to the rest. With out a word, she gently removed her arm and walked forward to the nearest flowerbed. She gently leaned down and ran her fingertips over the petals of a bush of soft white flowers.

Mabuz asked her what she thought of the gardens, but words could not describe the otherworldly beauty surrounding her. The first thing she noticed was that all of the flowers' colors were light in their intensity. In Luminatio, the plants are saturated with bright intense colors. This was not the case here. The majority of the colors were whites, light purples, blues, and even iridescent greens. There were other colors as well, but they were sprinkled throughout. What truly made the sight spectacular to Vivian was the moonlight. Wherever the light touched, the plant life seemed to glow from within and with the breeze lightly swaying the leaves, an image of the ocean vaguely came to mind. It was completely different from the Luminatio gardens and she loved it.

"I'm afraid I would bore you to death if I went into detail about what I thought of the gardens. Instead I'll just say that it is easily one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen." She turned back around towards Mabuz to give him a quick smile.

Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a small blurry shape jump into a nearby tree. An all too familiar chirping noise reached her ears shortly after. Frowning, she directed her attention to the tree branches and walked over until she was at the trunk. Looking up she glanced up and gasped. A large gray cat with a massive amount of long hair was perched on a branch terrorizing a bird's nest resting on a separate branch below. She could hear the baby birds crying while the mother bird flapped her wings wildly squawking at the intruding feline. Vivian sighed. Murdid or Luminatio, some things never changed.

At this point, she had completely forgotten the prince's presence and immediately set to work driving off the cat. Vivi quickly untied the large ribbon tied around her waist and hiked up her dress. She firmly bundled the thick blue material into one point around her thighs until it almost resembled a tutu and used the sash to firmly secure it there leaving her bare legs free. She pulled her feet out of the little slippers she had on and left them at the base of the tree. All of her movements were quick and efficient indicating that she had done this same process dozens of times. Bracing herself, she grabbed the tree bark, but quickly pulled away when she realized it was sharp.

Her mother had warned her to ration her magic reserves since she wouldn't have access to Murdid's supply. However, rescuing the little bird family was important to Vivian, so she figured it wouldn't hurt to use a little. Clasping her hands together, a light green glow enveloped her palms. She touched her feet as well spreading the effect of her hardened skin. She figured if she just used her hands and feet, she wouldn't use too much of her magic reserves. Without further ado, she took a running start and jumped as high as she could onto the tree. She managed to get a couple feet up and latched onto a nearby branch while bracing her feet on the trunk. She felt a cut on her knee from her initial jump, but ignored it and pressed on. She slowly climbed the tree taking extra care to only touch it with her hands and feet.

Finally, she got to where the bird nest was within arm reach. The bird was still screeching at the cat. The cat had been eyeing her progress as she climbed, but still refused to budge from his spot above the bird nest. Vivian couldn't reach the cat without knocking down the bird nest. At a loss for what she should do, she tried breaking a branch and shaking it at the cat, but he still refused to move.

"Ugh, just leave already you stubborn cat!" she yelled in frustration. She had another idea, but that required more magic. She wasn't even positive it would work, but she was out of options. Vivian conjured a small ball of light in her hand then floated over in front of the cat's face. The effect was immediate. The cat, enraptured with the tiny sphere, stared at it intensely with widened eyes. She directed it side to side and sure enough the cat's head also whipped side to side. She moved it away from the nest and the cat leaped up and chased after it. She flung the ball of light off to the ground and away from the tree. The cat eagerly chased after it, bird nest forgotten.

Even with the cat gone, the bird continued to scream wildly now directing its attention to Vivian. She merely smiled and started her decent down. She was more than halfway down when she slipped and fell the rest of the way to the ground. She just laid there her arms and legs stinging in pain.

"Oww..."

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Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Edme Balric
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#, as written by Lyysa
"I'm afraid I would bore you to death if I went into detail about what I thought of the gardens. Instead I'll just say that it is easily one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen."

"Interesting," Mabuz had anticipated more from her. Well at least... something? He wasn't sure what he had thought she would say but her answer made him feel a bit disappointed even though she said that this place was one of the most beautiful places she has ever seen. But perhaps one thought that bounced around in her head? Or something about Luminatio? Or some other place that wasn't like Murdid.

What should he say now? She was still so quiet, perhaps he had done his duty now and could remove himself from this kind of awkward conversation? Yeah, let's try that. "Well, princess..." He stopped himself and watched Vivian in confusion. She seemed to not pay him even an ounce of attention by now. Instead she was walking right by him towards one of the trees and Mabuz wasn't sure what he was supposed to say or do, "Princess...?"

What came next shocked him, he just stared in disbelief as she started to redress herself. He had no clue what he was supposed to do. Should he leave? Look away? Help her...? Call for the guards because it was a crazy person in the castle? The moment she started to lift the skirt of the dress Mabuz turned bright red. He didn't want to stare but he couldn't help it, this was all so bizarre. He had never experienced something like this before and neither seen naked flesh like this before even though it was only the legs.

He felt flustered and out of place, his whole head just was amess. He had no idea what he was doing. Everything was so strange and if his parents got to know about this... they would explode. He knew that. He wasn't supposed to see things like this before his wedding. That realisation made him quickly look away as he tried to calm down and act like nothing. Hopefully nobody had seen anything of this. No. Nothing of this has ever happened! He will deny it until the day he'll die.

Unfortunately, someone else did see it. But her reaction wasn't any better. She was about to die of shame. Edme couldn't believe that Vivian did something like this in front of the prince of Murdid. She was mortified. What was she supposed to tell the queen? It wouldn't surprise her if this would come back and bite her in the ass. Perhaps she could had prevented this from happening?

But it was already too late, the princess was already up in the tree and well... the prince didn't seem to have a great time either. How terrific! Perhaps if Edme had noticed the cat before Vivian, she knew Vivian did things like this all the time. If it just could've been Edme herself up in the tree instead! If she'd been a bit quicker this time. Stopped the princess before the disaster.

And suddenly a thud as the princess hit the ground, Edme covered her face with her hands as she screamed on the inside. If this couldn't get any worse. Now the princess was hurt as well! Couldn't Edme do anything right?

Mabuz had heard the thud as well and glanced back at Vivian where she lied. He wasn't sure what to do now, help her up? He was about to do just that as another woman showed up, this one frenetic. He recognized her from the main hall, she was from Luminatio like the princess.

Edme gave Vivian a look of grave disappointment as she held down her hand towards her, "Vivian... I think it's time to call it a night..."

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Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Edme Balric Character Portrait: Michaelis Fortrexe
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Vivian groaned as she lay on the ground cursing herself for her hastiness and lack of grace. Halfway down she had remembered that she was in Murdid and in the company of the prince. In her realization that he had witnessed her tie up her dress and charge up a tree for seemingly no reason other than the fact that she was insane, she had sped up her efforts to get down in order to at least halfway justify her actions. Instead, she missed a foothold and landed on her backside. Tears welled up in her eyes when she thought about how disappointed her mother would be if she heard about this. No, when she heard about it. She quickly wiped them away when she heard footsteps running towards her assuming they belonged to Mabuz. Instead she was met with a very exasperated Edme staring down at her with hand extended.

"Vivian... I think it's time to call it a night..." Sheepishly, Vivi gave a weak half smile and turned her face not yet ready to receive the scolding of her life from her long time friend and mentor. In some ways, Vivian viewed Edme as more of a parent to her than her real mother simply because of the amount of time she has spent with her. Of course, Edme was far more firm and rough around the edges, so perhaps she was more of a replacement for the father figure she never had.

"Oh Edme, fancy seeing you out here. Isn't the garden beautiful...?" She took her outstretched hand and allowed herself to be pulled up. She winced slightly when she had to get up, but quickly realized she wasn't too bad off. She had many cuts up and down her arms and legs, and probably even more on her back. Also, there was little doubt that come morning she was going to have lots of bruises. Her dress had also seen better days. It was still half tied at her thighs, but half of it was hanging loose. She pulled the ribbon and quickly retied it back at her waist. There were several rips and holes in various places, and the portions that weren't damaged were now horribly wrinkled. On the back was also a thin dusting of dirt, leaves, and other plant debris plastered on to her back. Her hair was also loose so several long tangled tendrils of pink hair were now framing her face and sticking out of the bun at odd angles.

Vivian could feel Mabuz staring at her, and she wanted nothing more than to run away and hide never to come out. Despite her blood red face and utter humiliation, she managed to turn towards the expectant prince.

"Um, I apologize for my... behavior. You see, there was this cat and it was scaring the baby birds up in the tree.
I see it happen all the time in the gardens in Luminatio and I usually chase the cats out of the trees to protect the birds and their nest. So when I saw the same thing happening here I kinda just did it out of habit, so-"
Vivian during her rambling was looking every direction except the prince, but gasped when she realized what she was doing and covered her mouth with her hands. She snapped her gaze to Mabuz's stunned expression and speaking a lot quieter she continued.

"Sorry, I'm so embarrassed... Um, despite that... hiccup. I liked talking to you. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to retire for the night. Oh and thank you for showing me the gardens! I meant it when I said they were one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen! The wind playing with the colors reminds me of the ocean." Without another word, she quickly turned around and hurried away close behind Edme.

"Edme, promise me you won't tell mother about this? I realize that Mab- um, the prince might say something to his parents, but if he doesn't, promise you won't either?"

Michaelis drummed his fingers on the railing of the balcony in utter boredom. For almost half an hour he had watched the princess stumble around examining the flowers in the garden while Mabuz stood and watched her. It was utterly maddening. Just as he was preparing to leave convinced nothing interesting was going to happen, the girl approached a tree and started pulling up her dress of all things! Intrigued, he watched as she climbed her way up one of the very tall dagger oak trees native to Murdid. Michael figured she had to be using magic in order to avoid slicing up her dainty skin on the razor-sharp bark.

It was unclear to him what she was up to until a small gray shape emerged from the branches of the tree chasing an indistinguishable object. All that effort for a cat? How dense was this girl? Michaelis was once again astonished as she landed unceremoniously on the ground. He laughed loudly knowing no one was in earshot at her expense. How such an idiotic and graceless wretch managed to be born the princess of Luminatio was beyond him. However, that simply meant it would be that much easier to topple her precious shining city. He noticed the older woman from earlier tending to the princess. That must be her attendant. That woman was sharp. He would have to proceed with caution around her. After the pair left, he decided to approach Mabuz and prod his thoughts.

"So, my young prince, I see you have become acquainted with the princess. What are your thoughts on Luminatio now?"

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Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Edme Balric Character Portrait: Michaelis Fortrexe
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#, as written by Lyysa
"Oh Edme, fancy seeing you out here. Isn't the garden beautiful...?"

Edme gave Vivian a weak smile before helping her get onto her feet’s "Yes, it is."

"Um, I apologize for my... behaviour. You see, there was this cat and it was scaring the baby birds up in the tree.
I see it happen all the time in the gardens in Luminatio and I usually chase the cats out of the trees to protect the birds and their nest. So when I saw the same thing happening here I kinda just did it out of habit, so-"


Edme was so happy that Vivian at least was apologizing for this disaster, even if Edme felt like it was unlikely that anything could make this any better. But an attempt to an apology was still better than nothing, or a runaway princess. That would have been a disaster. There were still things to improve but no one’s perfect from the beginning. At least that's what Edme tried to tell herself as Vivian continued her apologies as the prince was still standing there dumbfounded.

And that was just what Mabuz did, he couldn't do anything else but stand there helplessly. In reality, he wanted to flee from this situation. It was strange, awkward and completely chaotic. He just wanted to lock himself inside one of the castles rooms and be alone for days, no weeks. He wanted to be alone for weeks. Just so he could sort out his thoughts and relax for a bit. Gather himself once more. Get back to normal, when everything’s calm and boring.

"Sorry, I'm so embarrassed... Um, despite that... hiccup. I liked talking to you. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to retire for the night. Oh and thank you for showing me the gardens! I meant it when I said they were one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen! The wind playing with the colours reminds me of the ocean."

"Oh," Mabuz eyes were running wild, looking everywhere else than on Vivian. Scratching the back of his head as he continued with a mumble, "No problem... Glad you liked it."

He glanced at the two females’ as they left, and once he couldn't see them anymore he slumped down on a nearby bench and buried his face inside his hands as he groaned, "What was that..."

Edme followed Vivian as she hurried away, wondering to herself how to proceed next. At the same time, she wondered if the queen was finished with the meeting, even if Edme felt like it would be for the best to announce to the queen what had happened as soon as possible - so no one else could tell her first - she still felt like it would be a bad thing to let her see how bad the situation had gotten. The way Vivian looked right now... deep inside Edme got the feeling that if the queen got to see this she would take it all more badly. By telling her perhaps Edme could twist the truth some? Hide the more embarrassing facts.

She got abrupted with her thoughts as Vivian spoke once more, what she said did leave a bad taste in Edme's mouth though, "You know I can't promise you that. I will consider it... But I can't make that promise. But don't worry about that now, you've had a rough evening and night so try to... do something that makes you feel better?" In truth, Edme wasn't sure what she was supposed to say at the moment. She couldn't find the right words to comfort the princess.

Without Mabuz noticing Michaelis had approached him, so when the man suddenly spoke Mabuz couldn't help but twitch a little as he looked up at him, "So, my young prince, I see you have become acquainted with the princess. What are your thoughts on Luminatio now?"

With a sigh Mabuz semi rolled his eyes, hoping that Michaelis didn't notice it, "It seems like a strange place... I don't even know what to think of it anymore. The princess seems to be insane I guess? Or well, they act to much on an impulse perhaps? Too much emotions like Thanatos and Mara told me as a kid. I don't understand how that place can function at all, why hasn't the people rebelled? Do they want people like that to rule their land?"

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Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Edme Balric Character Portrait: Michaelis Fortrexe
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"It seems like a strange place... I don't even know what to think of it anymore. The princess seems to be insane I guess? Or well, they act to much on an impulse perhaps? Too much emotions like Thanatos and Mara told me as a kid. I don't understand how that place can function at all, why hasn't the people rebelled? Do they want people like that to rule their land?" Michaelis chuckled at Mabuz's response. Despite his harsh upbringing, he was still so naive to the ways of the world. Despite being polar opposites, the princess and Mabuz were more alike than they realized.

"Mabuz, the fools of Luminatio do not rebel because that would mean disrupting their fragile indulgent lifestyle. The citizenry there are spoiled rotten with the abundance of handouts they receive from their rulers and loose law enforcement. If they were to rebel, they would lose their carefree lives, you see. It is not in their best interest." At this point, Michael began to pace back and forth in front of the bench that the young prince had claimed allowing his words to sink in.

"This... vulgar system of "generosity" is simply another way those in power control the public. Instead of fear they use the public's adoration. However, this system is severely flawed as I'm sure you've noticed. It leaves the kingdom as a whole severely weak. The people become complacent and inattentive in long periods of false peace. If one were to latch a full on attack, they would be massacred before they could even manage a counter strike. " Michaelis had stopped pacing at his last point to look directly at the prince letting his ominous words hang in the air. A smirk surfaced on his face.

"As for that pathetic excuse for a princess, she is simply a physical manifestation of everything wrong with Luminatio. It is as you said, she pours out her emotions like a waterfall with no restraint. Just like the Lumins, she has been pampered and spoiled her entire life. She has not known any form of discipline or hardship unlike you, Mabuz. Do not let her asinine actions get under your skin. Rather, let her existence prove as an example of your own superiority as a future ruler.
Continue to entertain her for now, but they'll be gone in a few days. Now, if you'll excuse me your highness, I have some other business to attend."
With that, Michaelis left the prince and the garden for his own chambers to continue to map out his own agendas.

Vivian bit her lip at Edme's words. She knew she was going to say that. Duty as always... She could only hope that Mabuz wouldn't say anything to his parents about her tree climbing. She had no idea how they would react, but it would probably be bad and make discussions with her mother that much more difficult. As far as she knew, the Murdid king and queen were refusing to accept any responsibility for the skirmishes at the borders making it hard to negotiate a compromise. Rather, they expected compensation from Luminatio of all things! She dreaded the fact that one day she would be forced to involve herself in that political nonsense.

"I guess that's the best I can expect from you... I think I'll take a bath. I kinda need it. I have dirt in places I don't want to talk about." She giggled slightly at her own words finding some humor despite her difficult position. When they reached the guest wing, Vivian wasted no time in shedding her oppressive dress. With the bottom half torn to shreds, it would have to be tossed. As soon as the material slipped to the floor along with her undergarments, all of the cuts and bruises she had procured could be seen all along her arms and legs. She winced when she caught sight of herself in the mirror.

"Hey, will you heal these for me? It would be bad if anyone saw these..." she pleaded with Edme. Although Vivian knew it was unlikely that Edme would keep a secret from her mother, she knew how much the older woman hated to see her with any sort of damage. So Vivi preyed on this weakness hoping Edme would at least help hide the evidence of the incident.

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Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Edme Balric Character Portrait: Michaelis Fortrexe
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#, as written by Lyysa
"Mabuz, the fools of Luminatio do not rebel because that would mean disrupting their fragile indulgent lifestyle. The citizenry there are spoiled rotten with the abundance of handouts they receive from their rulers and loose law enforcement. If they were to rebel, they would lose their carefree lives, you see. It is not in their best interest."

This was new information, Mabuz had never heard of this - which wasn't that strange, the only thing his parents did was complain or drag the name of Luminatio in the mud. What was fact and fiction was not that interesting. But his lecturer had apparently left this part as well? This puzzled Mabuz a bit, because this felt like it was important information?

"I didn't know that, but that certainly explains why they would endure such incompetent royalties."

"This... vulgar system of "generosity" is simply another way those in power control the public. Instead of fear they use the public's adoration." Oh... This discussion just gave Mabuz another realization, he had only experienced the latter way of ruling. The one he was thought by his parents, how to keep the people at bay by fear. But there was of course another way, by gaining their trust and adoration instead? In Mabuz mind that sounded so much better. Wouldn’t it be better to be loved by your people instead of feared and despised? "However, this system is severely flawed as I'm sure you've noticed. It leaves the kingdom as a whole severely weak. The people become complacent and inattentive in long periods of false peace. If one were to latch a full-on attack, they would be massacred before they could even manage a counter strike."

"Right," Mabuz stopped himself with a sigh. What Michealis said made sense, of course things couldn't just work out like that. There is no paradise on earth and if people thought that things worked like that they were just foolish. Like Mabuz had just been. So stupid.

Michealis continued to rant about how the princess was a manifestation of how Mabuz was the superior one, and yes it did give Mabuz a small ego boost. But at the same time, he couldn't completely agree with Michealis even though what he said made sense in Mabuz ears. But Mabuz couldn't justify how the royals of Murdid treated their families. As Michealis left Mabuz remained seated as he sighed once more, "But how could this be any better than that?"

Not that he would get an answer since Michealis had already left, but those words were more directed towards himself than towards anyone else.

Edme knew that Vivian didn't mean what she said, but she couldn't help but feel a bit hurt by her words. So, when Vivian seemed to find her own comments funny Edme didn't join in on her giggling. Instead she was looking straight forward as they walked down the halls. She didn't say anything until Vivian broke the silence once more asking for help, "Yes, of course."

The fact that this maybe was a waste of her magic reserve didn't bother her that much, she never relied on that in any case. So, if she ran out that wouldn't be a problem. So, with a small smile she put her hands together until she was able to force out the bright white light, when it finally had emerged she softly moved her hands over the cuts. Sure, she did it to hide it from the queen but at the same time she did it in an attempt to save Vivian from any more pain.

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Character Portrait: Vivian Johanna Blair Luminatio Character Portrait: Mabuz Kain Murdid Character Portrait: Edme Balric
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Vivian visibly relaxed as each injury faded from her skin. She sighed when the last bruise transformed from purple to her normal fair skin. She already felt significantly better, but the exhaustion from the trip, the incident, and the rapid regeneration of her body were catching up to her. It still wasn't even close to morning yet. She still could not understand even after her mother had explained the reason for the people of Murdid being awake at night and asleep during the day. She had told her to try to stay up as late as possible so that she could more easily sleep during the day, but even then Vivian wasn't sure she could do it.

"Thank you, Edme. I'm going to go take that bath now." The servants wasted no time in preparing a hot bath for her. Although she was used to the excessive luxury, she still found the dark colors and twisted architecture intimidating yet compelling. Vivian waved off the servants waiting to scrub her down. It took a little persuasion and pushing, but the maids finally reluctantly withdrew. She needed some alone time. She eased herself into the steaming water after adjusting to the temperature and sighed in contentment; her hair fanning out around her in the water. She idly scrubbed her arms and legs as she thought back over the events of the night.

Mabuz was not very responsive to her all night during their conversations. At least he wasn't being openly condescending. Even if he was looking down on her, he didn't show it. Actually, he didn't show much of anything. The only genuine emotions she saw from him was confusion and shock. Was he simply an expert at hiding his feelings or did he truly not feel anything? These thoughts plagued Vivian. She could not comprehend a person who did not feel emotion.

"What kind of life has he lived that he suppresses his heart so much?" she whispered to herself.

Vivian eventually emerged and allowed the maids to fuss over her hair and dress her for bed. She was too exhausted to really resist them. They were in the process of braiding her hair when her mother the queen came into the room. The servants immediately bowed, but Johanna waved them away impatiently. She was clearly irritated by something. Most likely the first day of negotiations didn't go very well.

"Vivian, how was your first night in Murdid? Did you spend time with the prince?" she asked with a tired smile.

"Oh, um, yes! He showed me the gardens. They were amazing mother. You should see them." Vivian sighed inwardly with relief. It seemed like she had no clue about the incident in the gardens. Vivian gave a quick pleading look at Edme to not say anything. Johanna chuckled at her daughter's enthusiasm for the gardens.

"I'm sure they are, my dear. I'm going to retire for the night though. I need to rest for tomorrow..." Johanna said begrudgingly. She was going to need to think of a new approach to these negotiations. Mara and Thanatos were being infuriatingly adamant about this.

"Goodnight mother..." Vivian wanted to chat a little more, but she knew her mother was drained. She decided to go to bed herself and crawled into the massive canopy bed prepared for her. The sheets were pure silk and very soft. She promptly fell asleep with thoughts of ethereal flowers and the full moon.