07.16.3013: A Question of Marriage
Summary: Ariana finally finds the time to ask Percival about her betrothal.
Date: 16 July 2013
Related: This immediately follows Welcoming the Navy's Return. Also related to Cotton Candy at Phylon
Percival Ariana 

Grand Atrium — Sky Palace, Summit
The Grand Atrium is accessed through one of the six evenly spaced entrances, guiding visitors through hallways that cut through the rest of the palace without interruption before opening up to the expansive and beautiful sprawl of an interior greenhouse and foyer. The ceilings soar high above, completely crafted of composite panels that allow the sun to shine in, and directed by a system of mirrors to fully illuminate the atrium below. The floors are fashioned from high-shine marble that compliment the stone pillars that stretch from floor to ceiling around the exterior circumference of the room. Traditional stairways are evenly spaced around the exterior of the atrium and lead up to lifts that grant access into the upper levels of the palace.
16 July 3013

Gracefully, Ariana leads her father all the back to the comforts of their heavenly home. There was almost a moment where she would have stopped somewhere in the gardens and hold her discussion there, but no, she carries onward. Eventually, her steps begin to slow and while Percival can only see her profile, her fair features look determined, as if something were on her mind, while remaining as soft end elegant as is usual with the young woman. "I spoke with Young Lord Declan during the bonfire festivities."

Percival seems intent on retiring to his den, presumably so that he is at his workstation to follow up with all the various matters related to the Titan's Wake and its repairs. She knows well how he likes to keep busy, and indeed, the man looks a little perturbed when he notices that she's slowed and finally stopped instead of following him, and pauses to turn back in her direction. "What's the matter?" he wonders first, as she stands at some short distance. "Oh? I hope it went well." Whether his earlier obliviousness was intentional or perhaps a product of simple distraction, by his recent return and the subject of strange moon bears, he seems to catch on a little more quickly here. "Did the young Lord speak to you about our negotiations? I did not have time to formalize things, with our deployment, but now that I am returned and free for some time, we are likely to finalize the matter shortly."

Ariana knows her father all too well and perhaps this is why she stopped short rather than trailing him all the way to his den. She does not shy away from his gaze, now that he looks upon her and, in fact, meets his eyes with her own. There is no odd fidgeting on her part and despite the tension that may be seen within her posture and body language, the youngest Larent child looks as calm as calm can be. "Our discussion went well enough, though it did come as a surprise to me and the Young Lord had caught me off guard when he decided to bring it up. I was just curious as to when you were going to mention it to me, but I suppose there was nothing really to say without the negotiations being finalized." A pause, before she asks, "Will it be finalized?"

"I did not think it was wise to bring it up before things were fully settled and, with my upcoming deployment, there were other things on my mind," Percival remarks. "But I expected it would be something we would talk about after my return. But you've beaten me to that." He gives a gentle laugh, and then slowly nods. "I imagine it will go forward. Obviously, a match to a paramount Heir is a great boon to our House. The Young Lord and I spoke sometime before I departed, and his family likewise seems eager for access to the sort of technological and material advantages we can give them and that their rival Orelles would never surrender directly. I realize it may be a little… rural a setting for you, but your real home will never be far away with the Ways, and I always thought you would be pleased to marry so highly." He does know -that- side of his little girl very well!

Ariana forces a humored smile to her lips to go with the comforting sound of her father's laughter, though other than that, her own expression looks neither pleased or displeased by this news. "It is certainly not an overly terrible match, this much is true. And the Young Lord seems kind enough. Even if he is not an esteemed naval officer." Or a knight! Her smile looks all the more genuine when she brings up the navy, knowing full well that Percival is quite proud of his work. "As I had said, it took my surprise. I did expect Veryna to be married first and…" She draws out this part of the her sentence, before continuing on, "I've come to realize how much of the Arboren ways that I would need to adapt to. It's a little frightening," This statement is a brief one, but her own pride pushes her to quickly add, "Though not something that I'm unable to do. I just imagined something different, but, I'm not disappointed." She lies, "And I know how much this alliance will mean for us all."

Percival breathes a low, somewhat frustrated sigh when Ariana's elder sister is brought up. "Your sister does not socialize as well as you, I fear, and so she generates less interest herself. And I personally have few of the skills of a matchmaker. By whatever fortune, you seemed to have piqued Young Lord Declan's interest and it was the Arboren who brought the offer to us. For your sister, no such approaches have been forthcoming." He does seem to fret over this a little, and the subject allows him something to discuss other than her own discomfort. "Since she will need to remain in Summit, we will need to find someone whose family is willing to part with them in turn. I had considered that a local ally might be useful, in the sense of her handling long term politics for the family. Someone from another one of the Lashes, perhaps. Do you happen to know anyone?" Then he offers again, in his usual kind and doting fashion, "Whatever we need to do to keep you comfortable and help you adapt, we will. Remember, marriage does not rob you of your own life or interests. It is a biding between families, but you will be free to continue all your favorite pastimes here. Perhaps you can get the Young Lord to adapt a little to you, since he seems fond of you in more than just the political sense."

"Veryna had mentioned that we could hold a contest and whomever bested her in combat would be allowed to marry her." Ariana decides to share this now with her father. "Of course, it won't do to have citizen knights or any other sort of citizen entering this contest merely to raise up to a respectable noble status." Subtly, a hand lifts to wave off in a dismissive manner. "I, personally, wasn't sure what to think of such an idea, but I think she was hoping that it would generate interest for both Nubilus and Summit as such a thing would be televised, I'm certain." She then quiets down to hear out the rest of what her father has to say and once more, her face becomes an expressionless mask. "Oh, I am certain that if the Young Lord does wish to marry me, Lord Father, he should expect to spend much time here, where we don't have any feral animals looming about and where our citizens know their place in society." This last part she adds in an airy tone. She even smiles all the more beautifully now, for whatever concerns she had earlier seem to be better masked, or even swept away at this moment. "As for Veryna… Why not one of the Arborens? Young Lord Declan has several brothers. It will be quite the culture shock for all of us, I think, to switch places." If she has to suffer, so will that Arborens, apparently! "Though," She adds, "I believe she is wanting a Sauveur, but to be honest, I've only truly met with the female Sauveur cousins."

Percival reaches up to pinch the bridge of his nose, falling just short of a literal facepalm. "Careful political planning and contests of arms have little enough to do with one another. What precisely is the point of such a thing? Finding the biggest, dumbest brute around… and making him part of our family?" The distaste here is fairly obvious. "And we do not put our family on display like circus animals to generate tourist revenue. Now, if there were a suitable selection of possible candidates, I would not object to putting them to some sort of contest if she would prefer it, but I am not going to allow the possibility of anyone marrying who we do not want for our own purposes." But he actually smiles over the way she asserts the House's values and seems pleased with the idea of her maybe trying to get some of them to… rub off on Declan? Clearly, he's not interested in sending his beloved daughter off as a pretty trophy to be abused by savages. "So long as the two of you can balance such things, I imagine it will go well. The Young Lord seems sharp enough, so it would not hurt to have him spend more time here." His brow furrows again at Veryna's various preferences. "A second Arboren match does nothing for us that yours does not already. If there is some bachelor Saveur in the market, I would not put the idea aside, but I think there is more to be gained for her by looking close. If she could make a good relationship with say the Daltons or the Granthams, for instance, that would go towards creating a strong alliance among the Houses of the Lashes, assuring our independence against Orelle meddling. Or, I suppose if she married an Orelle that might also suit."

Ariana does notice her father's displeasure, or at the very least, she knows enough that Veryna's idea for a match was not going to be acceptable to him. Though she found some interest in the idea of a contest for suitors, even she knows that far more underqualified individuals will more than likely try their hand for such a match. With one arm now crossed over her shoulder, the elbow of her other arm resting upon it, she taps gently at her chin as if mulling this over completely. "There is Lord Cynan Grantham, cousin to the Grantham mainline, who seems quite the devoted fighter. So much so, that I'm afraid he may not wish to leave his post and be away from his family… " She then considers further, "And the rather young Lord Sir Ronan of Iah, though I have my doubts that Veryna would be interested. Why, he is around my age. As for Orelle, the only ones that come to mind are cousins to the mainline, like Lord Sir Kaedin. Actually, I have not seen Lord Frederick Orelle in quite some time, personally, but as far as I know, he is not spoken for." A pause, "There are many a Khournas son in their own mainline."

"I do recall Sir Cynan. We spoke some at the military meeting about the situation on Niveus, and he was one of the ones who seemed… more logical in his approach to things, and not just to be spouting silly ideas," Percival notes, with the man's military intelligence clearly being a selling point to the Captain. "In any case, it is too broad a subject to figure out here and now. I will mull over it, and perhaps you can exercise your social talents to suss things out as well. For the moment though, you ought begin thinking about your own situation first and foremost. We should be ready to announce the formal courtship shortly."

Ariana doesn't hide that she is pleased that her one main suggestion seems to be something her father can agree with. "Perhaps, I will see about holding some little get together where both Veryna and Lord Sir Cynan can meet." That said, she nods slowly when told that she should be thinking of her own predicament. "Of course, Lord Father. Arboren may not be Phylon or Mare Maris," She hints that these are the places where she would rather be sent to instead of the Arborenin woods, "But it is a good match all the same and I will do what I can to make House Larent proud that a Paramount Heir would choose one of our own." With that, she lowers herself into a curtsy, her fingers digging too deeply into the soft fabrics of her skirts as she does so, "Thank you for sparing this time to speak with me, Dearest Father. I do not wish to hold you back from your work any further and there is certainly much to be done before this announcement is officially made, I'm sure. I should be making my own preparations as well." Whatever that may be!

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