07.13.3013: Family Gathering
Summary: Cindravale and Larent cousins come together to discuss Hostile, plagues and marriage prospects.
Date: 11 July 2013
Related: None
Valentine Densoric Ariana Veryna 

Common Room — The Rose Inn, Imperius
Stepping through the artistically carved rosewood doors, there is no doubt that this inn is for the affluent. Roses are the predominant theme; they are carved into the wood and painted on the walls with their fresh counterparts kept in vases and bowls spread throughout. The floors are dark, polished woods. Directly before the small foyer is a graceful wooden staircase that leads up to the guest rooms. To its left is the main dining room where a full service menu is served, but only at breakfast and dinner. All the tables and chairs are crafted of solid wood with roses carved out of the chair backs, and table and chair legs; rose-colored velvet upholsters the seats, and they are amazingly comfortable.

Opposite of the dining room, on the other side of the stairs, is the barroom where lunch is served in the afternoons and drinks are served all day long. There is a pub-style bar that runs the entire length of the room with blush-tinted mirrors that reflects the entire room in a rosy hue. Seating includes the barstools, various sized tables, and a small cluster of chairs and sofas around the mastercrafted hearth. Attached to the barroom is a private salon that can be reserved for meetings or intimate meals.

13 July 3013

Today Valentine is dressed to suit decor, in a light red coat that verges on pink, the damask fabric patterned with roses. He has on a silvery white shirt, and a cravat of the same damask as his coat. It is completed with pants of the same hue, and leather books matching the shade of his coat. He is currently sprawled elegantly, if not properly, over a chair and a glass of wine to hand and the remains of a light lunch in front of him.

Entering the Rose Inn is a young man dressed in cyan and dark turquoise in a mildly formal style typical of what most would call 'mildly' formal attire. An arming sword hanging from his left hip it remains safely sheathed. Lord Densoric Larent looks about passively as he takes in the blatant rose decor in silence.

It doesn't look like Lord Valentine bothers with carrying a sword, of course resting against his chair is a chest-high sorcerer's staff, carved with symbols, the golden head engraved and topped with a large ruby. He idly runs the fingers of one hand along the shaft as his somewhat distant dark eyes glance around the barroom. Spying the new arrival he pauses a moment, and then with a glance beckons a server over, he murmers a few words and she heads over to Densoric "Ah excuse me m'lord, Lord Valentine Cindravale requests the pleasure of your company, should you so wish of course" she adds, as the man himself lifts a wineglass in a salute to Densoric.

Densoric looks to the server and nods simply saying, "Of course." gesturing for her to lead the way. He then follows her lad, and once at the table takes a seat across from Valentine with a polite nod saying, "Lord Cindravale." in a perfect example of etiquette.

Valentine politely arises as the other nobleman takes up his invitation. A bright, if perhaps slightly brainless, smile lights up his delicate face "Lord Densoric, you honour me. Please, sit" he says, a graceful sweep of his hand motioning to the chair opposite. He awaits the other man's sitting before he himself does "May I offer you a drink, then have several reasonable Valen vintages, and some from the Ring too I believe…" he muses, as his glances down at the wine list.

Densoric says, "I favor the fruity wines, citrus ones preferred. Was there something specific you wanted to speak about MiLord?"

Valentine browses the list for a moment, full lips pursing in thought before settling on something "I think you will find that acceptable…" he says then sets it aside and pauses to make an order, thanking the waitress politely before turning back with a soft "hmmm? oh nothing in particular. Just something of a lack of company perhaps. Also I do tend to enjoy the sound of my own voice, and talking to yourself tends to raise questions" he drawls with a faintly sardonic smile.

Densoric says, "I hear it is more effective in private. You get fewer looks from others." with a soft smile. "I imagine the wines here are good."

"It is at least a little more civilised than many places…" Valentine says agreeably "In truth I am mostly celebrating being able to walk freely, I was foolish enough to go into battle when still under the weather as they say" he says, rolling his eyes slightly at himself "Sudden rush of blood to the head, or perhaps from the head" he quips with a somewhat mischievous smile "Although from the gossip you are no stranger to adventure yourself m'lord"

Densoric smirks and says, "Hardly, there was the crash when I was younger but that is all. I've spent most of my time tutored, in the Academ, or more recently in a lab."

A bottle of Valen wine arrives, the server uncorking it at the table and pouring a measure into a fresh glass. Valentine picks it up elegantly swirls it in the glass as he sniffs, takes a small sip and after a moments consideration nods. At that the waitress pours a glass for either of them as Val nods to the other noble "Rather more exciting than my youth, although I did manage to set fire to much of mother's gardens one time" he admits a little ruefully.

Densoric nods and says, "A tragic loss." his tone seems to suggest he's serious. "Besides I've known enough pain the one time I have no wish to make it a regular recurrence if I can avoid it. Though I do still have the one visible reminder in case I might forget." with a half-grin as he idly rubs the scar on his brow.

"I seem to have gotten one of those things myself, sadly it is not in a place where I can easily reveal it to impress ladies" Valentine laments as he motions to his rather slender chest and offers an exaggerated sigh. One the wine is poured he lifts his glass up in a toast "To your good health, and confusion to our enemies" he offers with a brief smile.

Densoric smirks and returns the toast saying, "If only my planned research was successful it may well have led to that potentially." as he takes a sip, tasting it for a bit then places the glass down saying, "Besides a small scar on the brow is hardly a war wound to impress. I had more serious injuries then a fractured skull anyway, but they were internal."

Valentine drapes himself back down, idly adjusting his clothing so it sits just so as he listens to his fellow noble. There seems to be a genuine curiosity in his dark eyes as he looks over the table "Might I ask what the research was?" he inquires politely "I wouldn't wish to wager on me understanding much of the science mind you…"

Densoric shrugs and says, "I was studying Hostile programming trying to translate it. If we know their code it could be used from anything from intelligence to counter-intelligence."

Valentine's brow furrows as he considers, dark curls tumbling about as he tilts his head to one side "Hmmm" he says, pausing to take an elegant sip of his wine "Interesting, although I fear to me computers are a strange and foreign object. I do wonder though…" he says, sitting up a little to gesture with his wineglass "…do you have any opinion on the origin of the Hostiles?"

Densoric nods and says, "I was only able to gain a few snippets of coding, but the findings I have has given some evidence, but nothing definitive enough for a real judgement, but enough for a philosophical debate at least."

This rather does get Valentine's attention, something approaching enthusiasm entering his distant, mocking eyes as he leans foward "Well?" he says as both finely arched eyebrows arise "Don't keep it to yourself my lord" he chides playfully.

Not having the time to get changed into anything other than of her medical attire as she seems to always be shuttling from one triage to another, Ariana comes into the establishment for a quick meal still dressed in her fitted labcoat getup, her hair tied up in a neat bun, despite how many hours she may have already put in for the day. She doesn't seem to be speaking to anyone on her comm just now, nor does she look at her tablet. In fact, the young Larent seems to simply want to unwind from such a grueling schedule and, from what she can see, enjoy some fine familial company in the process. Approaching the table shared by her two cousins, the tall and thin lady lowers her head in a light bow as she speaks, "Now isn't this a pleasant surprise. I never thought I'd see the both of you here together, that's for certain." And of course, upon making her way to their table, she does catch some of the conversation going on. "I hope that you gentlemen do not mind extra company?"

Densoric says, "There isn't enough to judge to any exact degree, but what little could be recognized seems to be that the code is based on the Havenite codes used prior to the First System War. I have also heard that some Hostiles have been said to speak our language when they wish, which if true. It suggests a human origin." He then looks to his cousin who's eyes are pretty much an exact match of his own in shade and nods politely saying, "Of course not." gesturing to a nearby seat. After all Ariana is the family member he gets along with most after his mother.

Valentine politely arises as Ariana approaches their table, offering his cousin a gracefully theatrical bow "My lady cousin, it would be our honour" he says whilst arising, a faintly crooked smile on his delicate face. He shifts a little to hold out her chair, and only once she is seated does he return to his own "We were just discussing science, and Lord Densoric's ideas of the origin of the Hostiles…" he says as he picks up his wine glass "Hmm, but could it not equally indicate natives that somehow subsumed the original colonists?" he ventures.

Ariana gracefully takes her seat at her cousins' table, "Thank you, My Lords." She then idly scans the menu places before her as she continues to listen to the men speak of the ideas of Hostile origin stories. "Subsumed…" Her nose wrinkles gently, "I can't see how that could be too pleasant nor would it be better than the alternative." Death. Which she does not speak. Her gaze looks to Densoric when she asks, "Did you make any further advancements with your research? I am still scouting out individuals who may be of some help, but unfortunately, I've found myself placed in several triages and a freezing outpost on Niveus in the past… oh, few weeks."

Densoric nods to Ariana and says, "Thank you all the same. I am mostly seeing if I can find copies of older coding manuals and the like, it would be the easiest method to simply study them as you would any other manual." He then looks to Val and says, "Though it is more a very loose theory then an idea. As to the Hostiles somehow incorporated the original colonists, I know little of such things but I find it doubtful. It might explain the rumors that they speak our language, but if the Hostiles were there before us, then they would have their own code and there would be no real reason to incorporate even our ancient coding into their own. Think about it, it would be like us using their code and incorporating it into our own programming code we use today. There is no reason to do so. For one you would have to make the two codes compatible with each other, then you would have to update all the software used in your entire civilization so it all uses the new code. It is just more trouble then its worth. If its true that the code is of the same origin as our own then that would suggest a divergent evolution which implies the Hostiles were the colonists we sent and for whatever reason they became the Hostiles as we know them. Once again however I stress this is a very flimsy theory as the code was heavily fragmented and there isn't enough for a proper translation. ALso why I am looking into old manuals to confirm with a greater degree of certainty if the code fragments could be connected."

"Perhaps a technologically inferior, but numerically and or physically superior race of aliens?" Valentine offers with a gesture of his wine glass, the graceful motion punctuated by him taking a small sip to wet his lips. Lowering the glass a somewhat mischievous smile casts his delicate face in a playfully devilish expression "I am admittedly playing devils advocate here, as is my wont" he quips then turns to Ariana "Many of us have reason to be thankful for your efforts my dear Lady cousin. And yes about the Niveus thing, I heard rumors of some kind of plague?"

After having placed her order, Ariana's posture straightens up all the more, if that's even possible and her eyes focus completely on Densoric once the man begins to explain his theory and such. "All of these theories do make for quite a frightening idea on what may have happened to our colonists so many years ago. I do wish we would have been able to try communicating with that one hostile that we had captured and brought to the Ring, but the very idea is probably far too dangerous to perform. The creature did break out of the lab and started slaughtering our scientists after all." A cup of milk tea is set before the Larent lady and she lets it cool before even attempting a sip. To Valentine now, she nods slowly, "Yes, there was an outbreak that stemmed from an area on Niveus, a dig site where, I believe, they were planning to expand into. A beryllium and nitrate compound, combined with water, released a poisonous gas into the air. The workers and even those back at the outpost, who were washing the work uniforms of the ill, contracted the illness, their bodies becoming feverish and sore with the symptoms quickly elevating."

Densoric also looks to Ariana at the mention of a plague, obviously hearing the same rumors. Taking a sip of his own wine he then asks, "Anything yet on a cure for the condition?" After a moment he then adds, "As to Hostile prisoners from what I understand they weren't expected to still pose a threat so its not a surprise they weren't they well secured. but at least their cybernetics gave me something, though a living or att least inactive subject would be more helpful. But then I've also requested from your father that if possible bring back one of their ships intact, or at least the computers as I could likely extract more complete code from that for study. As far as the original colonists reaching the Hostiles we know now, it could theoretically be said they had an even more extreme take on technology then even House Orelle." He then looks to Val and says, "I doubt they are technologically inferior, the degree of cybernetics blending rumors claim wouldn't be easily done as I believe the human body would reject that much alteration without some serious work."

"So something more akin to a poisoning then. Sounds a little less, well less likely to spread and kill us all" Valentine quips drily, as responding to Ariana's body language he gracefully shifts to a slightly more proper upright position. Managing to do so whilst taking a sip of his wine as he listens "I feel I am rather out of my depth here, so I will concede the field. However to what do you attribute the thing they rather lack that us humans posses in growing abundance. To whit…" he says as holding up a hand he makes an elegant gesture an a small globe of light in the shape of a butterfly appears in his palm.

"An antidote has been found." Ariana states as her gaze now lowers to view her cooling cup of tea. "The air at the outpost had been compromised, thus many of those who did not go to the dig site were still getting ill. That's where the idea that what ailed them may have been contagious. For the most part, I am glad that I had on a hazmat suit for most of my visit there. Some of the other doctors… were not so lucky. We took a few casualties, but our science team at the makeshift laboratory were able to work their magic once the rest of us helped to figure out the cause of the sickness." Those blue eyes of hers then watch the glowing light-shaped butterfly that suddenly appears within Valentine's open palm.

Densoric is already sitting with perfect posture to the point he couldn't do moreso. He looks to the globe of light passively for a bit as though studying it and then says, "Though I'll admit I am not as knowledgeable at the circuitry of their cybernetics and such, though my research has been purely electronics related thus far I have been more occupied with the coding then the physical layout of the cybernetics. Of course the pieces I have aren't in the best of condition either as the… Owner was among those that had to be… I suppose the kindest term would be 'shut down' after the attack on the ring. But I plan to study the components in greater detail while I wait on the hope of gaining access to their computers." He then nods to Ariana and says, "That is good news at least." offering a soft smile.

The three are seated around a table. Valentine is dressed in his usual elegant clothing, coloured and pattered with roses to compliment the decor. There is a bottle of wine on the table, and he has a glass in hand, the other idly resting on his chest-high intricate sorcerer's staff. He listens with polite attention to his cousins, although his posture is rather more indolent. He offers a lazy smile to Ariana and lifts his palm up to blow a kiss, the playful motion appearing to send the butterfly fluttering out to circle around her head before flying up and vanishing. He offers a bright smile then looks back to Densoric "But my point, if they are human, why do they. Mercifully. Show no signs of awakening?"

While three cousins sit chatting at the table the fourth cousin, either unaware or forgetful of such a meeting of the minds, makes her way down to the Rose Inn. Upon entering, Veryna first hits the bar, ordering a small glass of something bright, sweet, loaded with booze, and topped with a little rose rather than an umbrella. She's dressed plainly, in functional slacks, tall boots, blouse, and of course, sword belt complete with both sword and dagger. At first, she doesn't notice the three of them, but the sound of their voices soon drift from dining room to bar, and she wanders over, saluting them with her drink. "And what's the topic of conversation this evening?"

Finally, satisfied that her tea is at the correct temperature for drinking, Ariana lifts the cup within both of her hands to take a sip, though her attention is soon distracted once more by the magical butterfly that flutters brilliantly in her direction, to hover over her head. As her eyes remain focused on the sight and just before the light show vanishes within thin air, she takes a drink of the soothing tea. She has no answer for Valentine, but she does bring up, "In one of my previous patients, I saw signs of burned flesh on their skin, perhaps from an electric current of some sort that made contact there. Not even the patient knew exactly what had happened to them. Surely, the Hostiles are part living thing and part machine, but I had a thought that maybe such a wound was given by an Awakened Hostile. Then again, it could just be some electrical gadget on their armor that issued the jolt for all anyone knows." Placing her cup back onto the table, she turns as she hears her sister's voice and she gives Veryna this look as if saying 'We need to talk', or something close to that. Still she smiles and gestures for the elder Larent to join them, "Do come and keep us company, Dearest Lady Sister. We were discussing the Hostile, which is a hot topic no matter what the conversation.. as well as the mysterious outbreak on Niveus. Which a cure was found for, just so you know."

Densoric watches the display with the light butterfly while it lasts, dressed in his typical mildly formal attire then shrugs to Valentine and asks, "Do we have proof they don't? For all we know one of them have the ability and either are rare or their abilities manifest in a different way due to their altered state. Perhaps they are even the 'field commanders' for all we know." as he takes another sip of his own wine. He then looks over to the new voice and nods politely to Veryna and says, "Seems to be a kind of mini-family reunion it would seem. If my Lord Uncle or my Lady mother shows up we might need to start to worry if we were not ambushed with a family get together and wasn't informed." smiling softly as Ariana brings her sister up-to-date.

"Well yes, absence of evidence is not quite the same as evidence of absence…" Valentine drawls in reply to Densoric, illustrating his point with some more elegant gestures. As Veryna approaches he politly arises and offers her a playfully theatrical bow "A pleasure to see you again Lady Sir Veryna, it has been far too long" he drawls with a bright smile lighting up his delicate face. He motions to the unoccupied forth chair "Please, join us?" he offers, sitting once she does "I am assiduously avoiding my parents at the moment. There has been dreadful talk of the 'M' word" he says then casts a mock suspicious glance to Ariana "I wonder if someone has been speaking to them to encourage such things…"

Veryna does indeed take the free seat there at the table, sitting down carefully to avoid knocking her sword scabbard into anyone or anything at the table. To her sister, she smiles and nods. "That is excellent to hear. I've been rather more concerned with Nubilus, however, but it's so good to hear that the outbreak has been contained." Rather than insert herself into the conversation with an uninformed comment, Veryna seems most content to sit back, sit up in her chair, sip her drink and listen around silently.

"It was more of a poisoning really, than an infectious disease. But once that mixture gets into the air anyone who breathes it in can be affected." Ariana speaks to Veryna to update her on that fact as well. "Unfortunately, several of their citizens succumbed to their illness before the antidote could be found. It was partially due to their deaths that we were able to further explore the damages done by this toxin." She takes another sip of her tea now, before her eyes flicker in Valentine's direction. "That does remind me that I probably should speak to them, but I've been /far too busy/ to do so as it is. In fact, I just returned from the triage at the Spine and will be returning that way before the night is over at the time of my rounds." Considering something now, she then asks aloud, "Speaking of the "M" word." And her gaze looks directly at Veryna when she says this."

Densoric looks to Valentine and says, "Marriage is part of the duty of any noble, members of the main line of a House especially. Others such as myself are simply less useful tools in the political scheme. You are old enough for marriage, if plans are being made to those ends, then accept them as your duty as a nobleman." in a casual tone, though he also sounds as though he believes every word of it. Of course he himself, if rumors are to believe, has never courted anyone. There is no evidence he has pursued interests in a companion either for that matter, which could be claimed to make him a hypocrite. Or simply picky or unlucky in his options, after all main line nobles are more sought after. He then reaches up to tap the bud in his ear and listens to something before saying, "Please excuse me, but I've been informed of something that might be of help in my pursuits. Perhaps we can continue this discussion at a later date if its needed." as he starts to stand, downs nearly half a glass of wine without spilling a drop and managing to swallow it with a good bit of grace and refinement. Adjusting his arming sword, that his cousins at least would know was a gift from his mother when he finished weapons training as a teen, then returns the glass to the table and makes his ways at a casual pace to the exit.

Both of Valentine's elegantly arched eyebrows arise at Densoric's reply, but he does offer the other man a graceful wave as he departs "Good gods, did that poor man have his sense of humor surgically removed? Or did it happen during his infamous accident?" he inquires in an tone of mock concern. Reaching out he picks up the wine bottle and motions towards an empty glass "Can I offer you some cousin?" he asks of Veryna politely "And do you mean speak to mine, or yours?" he asks Ariana "Because if you can get both of mine in the same room you will be doing better than myself"

In response to Valentine's offer of drink, Veryna holds up her more-than-half full tumbler of girly liquors. "Do you take me for a lush, cousin?" she offers with a bit of a smirk. As to the prospects of marriage, Veryna's already-tired expression seems to grow that much more tired. "When an attractive offer is presented to me, I may seriously consider such matters," she states matter-of-factly. "Until such time, I think it more prudent to worry about repelling Hostile forces than on appeasing some noble matchmaker's control fetish." She even rubs the bridge of her nose a little, a sign that marriage is likely not her favorite subject to discuss.

"Oh, you never very well that Lord Densoric is right on this matter, Lord Cousin." Ariana says in a slightly serious tone now, lacking her playful teasing when it comes to the topic of marriage and her unmarried relatives. Perhaps something about the very subject concerns her as well. However, when Veryna speaks, she does remind her eldest sister, "You are the Heir of Larent, dearest sister. And with the dangers of the Hostiles lurking every so closely and growing even closer by the day, I can't imagine our Lord Father or Lady Mother not being a little concerned of your marital status. From what I've heard… there are talks of many an heir being matched up as of recent, just because of this fact."

"Perhaps I was offering something rather more pleasant?" Valentine counters Veryna with a flash of a grin, and a playful wrinkle of his nose as he casts a look down at her drink. He tops his own glass up and with all this talk of marriage takes a rather longer swallow than is strictly polite. He turns a somewhat arch glance towards Ariana, considering her a moment before quirking a grin "Hmm" he says as that grin slowly broadens. He remains silent and takes another sip of his wine before speaking "And yes, my marriage is destined to be arranged to some awakened lady of suitable rank"

"If an available Sauveur suitor should become available, that might be…acceptable," Veryna relents. Just a bit. The line must be drawn somewhere, right? "Or, perhaps better…find a man who can best me with a blade, and we may have a worthy suitor." At this, Veryna sits back and looks a bit smug. "Perhaps if I wait for all the heirs to be married, I'll have less pressure to do so."

Finally, Ariana's meal is served and a lovely garden salad is set before her with a serving of buttered bread on the side. Taking up her fork, she gently prods at the spinach leaves though her gaze glances briefly at Valentine when she considers, "My unmarried Awakened friends list seems to be dwindling with Lady Talayla's betrothal to Lord Barton Ibrahm. Though I do know a few others who may fit the bill." Taking a small bite of her salad, she raises a brow at Veryna's statement, "I highly doubt that the other heirs being married will make our parents forget that their own heir is not. But… you do have an interesting idea there. A tournament to see who gets to marry the Heir of Larent! We really need to bar citizen knights from entering, of course, and anyone else with an unsuitable lineage."

"Ariana my dearest lady cousin, I would be a simply awful husband. If you truly must marry me off do so to someone you dislike" Valentine drawls in reply as he hoists his wineglass up. Taking a sip he considers "I met Lady Talayla. Pleasant enough girl, rather brave if a little…hmm…awkward. Still a battlefield is not the most salubrious place for a little chat" he concedes. Sipping his drink again he considers "Well the new King is widowed, as is Lady Alexis. Although truth be told she rather scares me…" he admits with a melodramatic shudder "Actually I think most of them are. Hmmm…" he muses thoughtfully.

"There's nothing wrong with Lady Alexis. She simply…doesn't appeal to your nature, cousin." Veryna leans over and gives Valentine a little elbow nudge, right on his wine-glass arm. "I think such a tourmament would best be saved until the people require a more intense morale boost. Hosted on Nubilus, and televised the moon over on the sides of airships. Yes…"

Taking another sip of her tea, Ariana lets out a lyrical laugh, responding to Valentine, "Believe me, there are many who fit exactly what you described. On a serious note, despite some of your… vices, you aren't as terrible as other noblemen that I've encountered. Terribly uncouth and with a vile mouth. We are nobility and yet they speak as if they are ill-bred citizens of the lowest sort." She then continues to nibble on her salad and without looking at Veryna is response, her sister's words do make her features brighten. "That sounds like a fabulous idea…. if our parents don't have anything else in mind." And now her gaze lifts, "I mean, they do their matchmaking in private. The very next thing that you know, surprise betrothal."

Valentine gasps in horror as he spills some wine, luckily graceful enough that he manages to avoid his clothing. He sniffs at Veryna, a mock offended look on his face "My dear this is Valen Damask, it is worth a moderate fortune" he protests whilst shifting away with another mock glare. He takes another long swallow to forestall a repeat then lowering it he nods "Yes indeed, she is from all accounts a shiny example of a Knight Officer, who probably should be of higher rank than she is. There is some gossip there about the Knight Commander I believe." Shrugging his slender shoulders his turns his attention to Ariana and winces in memory "Yes. I considered myself something a rake, even a roue. Then I happened across a gathering of some young nobles and knights of the Khournas and associated houses" he says with a shudder than is not entirely feigned.

"Thankfully, you only spilled enough to waste a /minor/ fortune. An average worker's paycheck, perhaps," Veryna jests. "And yet, it seems to provide you with less enjoyment than this concoction of mine!" Once again she holds up her drink, which is now more or less finished. Strong. And finished. "Surprise betrothals would not suit me. It seems an imprudent thing to surprise a woman with marriage, especially when she carries such a sharp sword!"

Ariana quickly rises to help dab away at some of spilt wine as if the wine was spilled at one of the tables within her own home. "Wine must be handled with care, dear Cousin. Even in our modern of times, wine stains are difficult opponents to battle. Especially when wearing white." Resettling herself down, she considers this all for a moment, her gaze now turning back to Veryna, "To be honest, Lady Sister, your position is an enviable one. You get to reside, for certain, at the Sky Palace. Without a care that you will be sent off to…. the Crescent of all places or…" There is another part of Haven that is at the tip of her tongue, but she continues, "Or anywhere else like that. I will surely miss the beauty of our home and will long to return to the Sky Palace every day that I am away."

"The clothing my dear, the wine is only a small fortune" Valentine says as he helps clean the small mess up. He looks to Ariana again as he settles back down, arranging his clothing so it hangs just so before picking up his wine once again "Or where Lady Cousin" he asks Ariana curiously, although there is a mischievous knowing look on his delicate face.

"Oh yes, sister…oh where. Is there something you're not sharing with the class? What place could be worse than the Crescent? Well, aside from, perhaps, the moon of Inculta. Or Ignis. Or Niveus. What could be worse than any of those places?" Veryna shares Valentine's mischievous look, though she honestly has either not heard anything in this matter, or it's gone in one ear and out the other with all the other matters. "The Ways surely will make that easier, and who knows, perhaps whoever you marry will learn to love our home as much as you and I!"

No, Ariana's features remain unphased by the prodding and questioning and while she takes in some tea, all composed-like, she shakes her head quickly afterward, "I don't think anywhere could be worse than the Crescent, to be honest. Maybe Ignis would come next." But Ignis wasn't even on her mind when she made the statement, "I actually meant the Spine. Out of everywhere one could live on Imperius, I would hate to live in the Crescent or the Spine." Another casual sip of her tea, "As I would hate to live on any of the moons mentioned." Another sip and her eyes watch the pair of relatives with a scrutinizing gaze, but eventually, her eyes brighten up, "If only it were that simple, Dearest Sister. I wouldn't mind so much if my husband were to spend more time at the Sky Palace rather than.. wherever else that they currently reside…"

Valentine considers a few moments as he idly sips his wine "I do supposed the forest would be an interesting view from somewhere civilised" he muses eyes absently considering his wine glass. Lifting it he takes another sip then turns his gaze up "Has the Young Lord Arboren escorted you anywhere lately?" he asks, an expression of artful innocence ill-suiting his delicate features.

"Oh, it's the Young Lord Arboren, is it? Yes, I can imagine that living in The Spine would be moderately horrible. All those trees and wild…things." Note, she doesn't say /animals/ as the only things living there. Veryna does, however, stand up out of her chair, straightening her sword belt and sliding her chair back in to the table. "While this conversation about marriage and all things relationship-wise was engaging, I'm afraid I'm needed on The Ring shortly. Cousin Valentine. Dear Sister. If you'll both excuse me? We should do this again soon!" Holding the hilts of her weapons, Veryna makes for the entrance, only wobbling on her first few steps!

"And no, the Young Lord of Arboren has not escorted me anywhere else." Ariana makes it a point to say in response to her cousin, her head tilted slightly to allow her piercing eyes to make contact with Valentine now in a near-side-glance. Veryna's own addition to the wonders of living in the Spine does not help things, but as the elder Larent sister rises to depart, the younger of the sisters finally states, "So who did you hear it from, Lord Cousin?" She obviously assumes that someone must have told Valentine.

"We spoke of it at tea, the festival with the masks?" Valentine points out with another small gesture. He drains the last of his wine and considers the bottle "Would you like some Cousin before I polish it off?" he offers graciously "But where was I. Hmm curious though. I do suppose we are all rather busy of late" he concedes with an elegant shrug.

Ariana knows that much of their conversation, but as he adds in no other sources, she assumes that his are simply guesses. "Yes. Of course." And she will leave it at that, dismissing her pointed question altogether so as to not bring it up any further. She, instead, continues with her meal though at the gracious offer, she shakes her head slowly, "I'm afraid not, My Lord, no matter how tempting your offer truly is. I must return to the triage at the Spine after this. I have no desire to fill myself up with spirits, even just a mere taste, before then."

Valentine ahhs softly and with that pours the last into his glass "Yes I am sure your patients would rather you were entirely sober" he says agreeably before taking a sip from his own. He savours the taste for a moment and considers "I suppose I should get in some more training before the next wave descends. I imagine there will be scant peaceful opportunities in coming years" he says quietly, expression falling a little for a moment. Comforting himself with another sip he brightens slightly "And how are our woodland cousins? did they fare well?"

"In actuality, the Arboren forces did well enough against their opponents. Perhaps, their plans of an ambush of sorts worked out well enough for them." Ariana considers this idea as she speaks. "Not that all terrain were made for such a tactic, of course. And yes. We all should continue our training and practices. There is no telling when we will be confronted by our enemy and whether there will be time enough for help to arrive." Even as she says this, she ponders on her own abilities, or lack there of, to protect herself. She then slowly rises after paying for her meal and drink. "It's been lovely conversing with you, Lord Cousin. Perhaps, we will have the luxury to entertain one another's company in the near future. For now, though, it's back to the trees and wild things, as my Lady Sister so politely put it."

"And that is just the Arboren nobles" Valentine quips as he politely arises just as she does. A dazzling smile lights up his delicate face as he offers her another of his theatrical, sweeping bows "Thank you, a most charming way to spend lunch" he says agreeably "Shall I escort you to the ways?" he offers along with his arm.

"I'd be honored, My Lord. And aside from the citizens of the Spine," Ariana states as she gracefully links up an arm with her cousin's, "There were quite a few knights from other Houses that fought as well. The injuries that I've encountered, personally, weren't life threatening." She continues with the conversation as she is lead off towards the ways.

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