05.21.3013: Not a Hologram
Summary: Solon and Declan both coincidentally show up at The Ways of the Ring, having business with the Orelle. But they bump into Ariana and proceed to have a discussion and a brief tour that only kinda sorta happens!
Date: 21 May 2013
Related: None
Ariana Declan Solon 

The Ways of the Ring
As one of the major Ways hubs on the Ring, this domed circular plaza possesses two dozen or so graceful archways of varying sizes. This particular hub is primarily for personal travel instead of freight which requires far larger archways. They are constantly active, glowing as individuals arrive and depart the Ring. The Ways station itself is quite simple with little flare or flourish, emphasizing the typical functionality of the Ring. It is floored in polished metal tiles that create a spiraling moisaic at its center. High above are hexagonal transparent composite panels that create the perfectly sealed dome above, supplying a spectacular 180-degree view of the stars and the glowing planet of Oculus.

Leading out of the Ways hub and into the circular Halo surrounding the spherical heart of the Ring is a large rounded corridor with a transparent arched ceiling. Crawler carts are often seen puttering along, ferrying people from the Ways to the Halo.

21 May 3013

While it's only been a few hours since speaking to the princess and resting up, Solon is wasting no time in trying to talk to the Orelles about the scouts. When he walks in, it's in his usual silky sleeveless jerkin, greatsword on his back and all. Around four armored guards with Cindravale emblems on their chests and more Reversion-centric armor than most accompany him, he carries himself like a man who doesn't much feel he needs them. His arms are notably covered in bruises, and the back of his right hand is pretty much purple.

It's later in the noon, Ring time, and he stops in the middle of the rush of people, the citizens seeming to walk around where he stands due to the guards giving them not-so-savory looks. But the young heir, the Lion of Phylon, isn't exactly in a rush, and is staring up at the video screens. "Why isn't that woman on Imperius?" he asks as if this sort of thing should be common sense. Obviously that woman should be on Imperius! "And what exactly is her name?"

The guards don't much have an answer, shrugging. It's not like they do much than follow him around.

Its a bit of serendipity that has the two Paramount retinues arriving simultaneously, although Declan's is perhaps a bit more reserved in their appearance, dressed in the muted earthtones and greens that serve them so well in their native land. Conversely, it might actually make them conspicuous here, robbed of their camoflauge and standing out in their conservative attire amidst the more fashion-forward preferences of the station residents. Not that the man at their lead seems to take much note of what anyone is wearing. As they emerge from the Waygate, he casts a quick and measuring look about, and then wonders, of a man that is presumably some sort of steward or assistant, "Do we have some sort of… address for where my brother is residing?" His nose scrunches up and he looks over toward some kind of information kiosk. "I suppose we can look it up."

Of course, when he approaches the terminal to request the information, it is none but one of the many Ariana-clones who greets him on the screen. It takes a few moments of figuring out how to ask the thing the right questions and go through the menus properly to get what he needs. Armed with the information, the small group begins to depart toward their new destination, and at this point stumble across the other entourage. "Ah, Young Lord Cindravale. It seems we're both out for a bit of an excursion among the stars."

Dressed in her science whites, Ariana looks nothing like the fair maidens in their gowns which one sees elsewhere on Imperius. The tall and slender blonde noblewoman wears a pristine white tunic — form fitting to follow the subtle curves of her willowy figure and rather formal, looking to be some sort of uniform for the science sector of the navy, perhaps. A glowing cyan emblem of House Larent is worn as a clasp at her throat, keeping the lapel collar of her jacket connected. The part that is an rather uncommon sight outside of the Ring and the Lashes is the fact that she is wearing matching pristine pants, which is something that would be frowned upon by most noblewomen on Imperius. Still, Ariana is working, so this formality is a necessary one.

Having past through this section of the Ring several times as it is, the young medical scientist and botanist looks to be waiting for new arrivals, most likely science recruits. When she spots the entourage draped in Cindravale colors, her ice blue eyes immediately flicker in that direction, only to take note that the entourage of yet another Paramount House has also arrived. Though she is on scientific duty at the moment, she is still seen as one of the represenatitives of the Ring and the Lashes, especially for tourism, so in her graceful, yet brisk fashion, she makes her way in the direction of the two Heirs and lowers herself into a formal bow. "What a pleasant surprise to be visited by two very important figures this day." Mimicking her image on the video screen which greets the new arrivals, Lady Ariana Larent announces in that exact same tone, perhaps at the exact same time as her clone on the video screen, "Welcome to the waypoint of the Ring of Oculus." And here is where her words drift off from that on the video, "I am Lady Ariana Larent of the moon of Nubilus. Is there anything that I can do for you today?"

"Young Lord Sir Arboren." Solon respectfully nods his head to the man, offering a friendly smile. "Yes, normally I'd be resting after such an intense sparring, but I learned some rather distressing news that I need to discuss with the Orelle. What are you doing here? If you don't mind me asking."

Solon stares at the woman for a long moment, even tilting his head like some confused dog. "Wait…" He looks around for a moment, then shakes his head. He seems like her speaking was a little disorienting. "Oh, excuse me! I thought you were some sort of particularly advanced hologram. I didn't expect you to be here in— did you say Lady Ariana Larent? You were in Cindravale at some point, but you look rather… different." That's a good word to go with.

"Well, I imagine some of the business is the same- I'd like to discuss the recent hostile landings with the other House leaders, and offer some assistance in tracking down any strays. Our wardens do tend to be fine tracker," the Arboren heir explains. "But actually, one of my brothers is already here, he brought some enemy technology we recovered for the Orelle to analyze. And since he was already spending some time on the station, I thought it would be a good opportunity to launch a slightly more extensive diplomatic mission. So I'll be staying a little while."

When Ariana approaches them to play hostess, however, Declan's reaction is a rather more comedic than anything else. At first, he has a simple smile ready to greet her, but when his mind makes the connection, he quickly focuses a little more intently, brows narrowing, and then looks back and forth between her and the recently-departed kiosk in a literal sort of double-take. "Oh." He laughs at Solon's comment. "Yes, precisely. I could have sworn I was just speaking with you a moment ago!" Then as the other young lord hints at some relationship, he grins. "Oh, you know this lovely lady? I am a little envious. Lady Ariana, it is a great pleasure."

While she might not be too familiar with either man, Ariana knows their faces, for they both are heirs and not just that, but heirs of Paramount Houses. So in her professional and polite voice, she first speaks to Solon once he addresses her. "Goodness, no! I just happened to have been in the area awaiting several new faces for our science division." Her striking blue eyes even lift to peer out into the distance for a quick second before they return to look upon the young man once again. "That is correct, Young Lord Sir Solon Cindravale. My Lady Mother Ancelina Larent is first cousins with your own mother. I fact, my older sister, Young Lady Sir Veryna Larent spent a few years training as a Squire in the Vale since she was 10. I was there to watch her be knighted."

Turning to Declan now with that same bright smile on her glossy lips, she greets him with, "And Young Lord Declan Arboren. Actually, I ran into your younger brother just the other day… He'll be quite surprised, I think, to learn that you are here as well. He has a lot to say regarding the Hostile that was captured and the pod that was found. I was hoping to be able to assist in the research of this pod and the contents found within it."

"Ah, right. You've definitely become a beautiful woman. And yes, as she says, they stayed with us in the Vale. I'd have a more extended stay here, but I've been preparing for the tournament as well. I never get tired of the reaction from the audience when I wield my sword." Solon states rather boastfully, smiling back at Declan, then to Ariana again. "And please, you're both free to simply call me Sir Solon, unless you have a lisp, then you can choose either one. But yes, I met with the princess a few hours ago, so war planning is definitely in motion. I believe those scouts could be the key to our victory. I very much want to decisively make this the last war."

"Well, I hope you have luck uncovering its secrets," Declan enthuses. "Knowledge of their technology should provide important prewarning to new threats we may face when war is joined in proper. And I suspect that if anyoe can make sense of it, the denizens of the Ring can. Well, and Keanen might even prove helpful in it. He has an odd knack for such things, as far as our family goes. So you met him then? I hope he's given a good impression."

There is a bit of a frown then, as Solon speaks on the tournament. "Its likely that I'll miss my best event, with how they've scheduled things and my business here and at home. But, nearly all my siblings are exceptional shots, so I'm sure one of them will take the archery title." It hardly seems to matter to him which one actually does, so long as its a member of their little clan.

Ariana smiles brightly at the compliment given, knowing all too well that Solon's words are truth. "You are generous and kind with your words, My Lord, but I do appreciate them." The mention of the tournament most certainly lifts her spirits, "I've been awaiting this tournament for months now. It truly is exciting. One of the rare opportunities, I think, to see many of our most skilled knights and soldiers in action. Residing in the Lashes, it's a rare treat, to be honest, to watch these events. I know that my Lady Mother will not allow us to miss this for anything." When the Princess is brought up, Ariana gives a slow nod, "The Princess paid us a visit as well, but unfortunately, I was unable to attend that meeting. My sister, however, did get to speak with her."

Her gaze then returns to Declan and with all of this talk of Keanen now, the Larent maiden does bring up, "Yes, I met just a couple of days ago. Though I've known him in the time he spent at my home on Nubilus… before his accident." Now, Ariana looks a little discomforted as she brings this fact up, but she does quickly state, "Good luck to both of your Houses in these tournament events."

"The scout apparently sent some sort of signal. If we have ways of decoding and figuring out the nature of this signal, we could learn anything from their language to figuring out a viable way of actually spying on them. And an archer, well, that does make sense, of course. The heir of Arboren and all." Solon sounds more than a little smug at the idea of Declan being an archer, but then he smiles and moves a hand to pat the man on the shoulder. "While we may look down on archery in Cindravale, there's no doubt that it takes an incredible amount of skill to be good at it." he adds, sounding quite sincere now.

"Keanen… the woman who gave me these bruises in our spar, Lady Sir Ellinor Sauveur, mentioned something about refusing to cradle rob a young man named Keanen, four years younger than her. Though I'm not entirely sure what her age is, either." He doesn't seem entirely above gossip, but appears more amused by his words than anything else. "Tell me, have you ever seen me wield my sword? I find that most are rather impressed by it. Not to boast of course, though I suppose it is in my nature. And I certainly wouldn't do so out in this crowd. But many do appreciate feats of strength."

If offended, Declan gives little sign of it. "Different traditions serve different conditions and necessities," he remarks. "Our forests and mountains do not lend themselves to heavy cavalry or formation fighting, and mobility and range can quickly make short work of a superior foe on rough terrain. Though, I can make at least a reasonable accounting of myself with horse and lance. We tend to use spears when hunting- getting close enough to some of the sort of beasts that roam our woods to use a sword is decidedly unwise. In the end, the varied strengths of the different Houses yield a rather diverse force when we join to face our foe, do they not?"

Nor does he let mention of his brother's injury sour the mood either. "I suppose his time with you helped him toward those technological talents of his. It's good, I think. He'll be a very logical liason between our Houses for work on the pod and its contents." Again looking to Solon, he smirks. "He does have a bit of a… fondness for the ladies, and them for him." Then a thoughtful pause. "I'm sure I've seen you fight at some prior tournaments. I do recall it being quite impressive, everything one would expect of a Cindravale."

All of this talk of this hostile scout does intrigue the young Larent lady, thus Ariana's gaze moves from the face of one heir to the other and then back again as they continue to discuss such dire matters. "I do wish that I had more information to offer you both, but I am certain that if there is a code to be cracked with that signal, that one of our personnel will do just that." She does keep silent on this discussion on archery, though her cold eyes do flitter over in Declan's direction when she notes Solon's initial smug tone.

The topic changes to Keanen once more and Ariana can't help but look a touch amused by it all. "Lord Keanen is a year younger than myself as well. Quite the young Lord, he definitely is." She says nothing of the youngest Arboren's fondness of ladies, though the corners of her lips do tug into a subtle smirk once Declan brings this up. She does, however, quickly add, "I merely was tasked to watch over both he and Lady Soleil when they spent time on Nubilus. I can certainly say that the pair brought excitement to my lovely home."

Returning back to Solon now, Ariana looks thoughtfully, "Yes, I was witness to a few of your victories as well, My Lord. You are clearly the epitome of Cindravale chivalry."

"They do indeed, though I would not necessarily agree about hunting with a sword. Granted, my parents do their best to send guards with standing orders not to allow me. During my squire days, the knight who trained me left me in the woods with a sword, some armor, and a horse that I had to keep alive. So I'm quite confident that I can kill wild beast with a sword, I enjoy the challenge. Though I'm not so sure I'd do it for three months again if I had a choice." Solon looks to Ariana, suddenly seeming to change his mind, practically puffing his chest up. "Or perhaps I would."

He crosses his arms at Ariana's assessment, seeming to take it with all the modesty a Cindravale heir can muster. "Well, I do my best. But on the topic of Lord Keanen and Sir Ellinor, I personally don't understand this cradle robbing business when another is of age. But I'm also not much of a skirt chaser. Watcher, perhaps, but…" He reaches over to take Ariana's hand, as if to give Declan a demonstration, gesturing to said hand with his other. "Every woman is special, and should be treated as such. At least, that's what I believe. That is why I have my byname, of course. If every woman isn't treated as specially as she deserves, then I will treat that man in a way that he deserves to be treated."

"I've no doubt you could kill a beast with a sword. Though whether it would be the wisest way about it, on that I am unsure," Declan allows, grinning just a little. "There have been signs of what might be drakes on the prowl down from the mountains. Its of a lesser concern and priority than the hostile sightings, of course, but it something I am sure we will be looking into." There's not much sense of boast in his own tone as he speaks of potential hunts for the Arboren rangers, making it sound more business-as-usual.

Only a shrug can answer all the uncertain discussion of his younger brother. "As long as he didn't give either of you too much trouble, I am satisfied," he tells Ariana. "And if he should become troublesome, you can certainly let me know, and I will see to modifying his behavior somewhat. Even if only temporarily." He seems to hold little hope of long-term rehabilitation. "I can assure you it is not a general Arboren trait. Really, he's just young, and the youngest among many siblings on top of that. He'll no doubt mellow some as he comes into his own."

Ariana simply blinks as Solon describes to them of his training. "I don't believe that my Lady Sister had to go through something so terribly gruelling… Would that not have put you in true danger? Is that what training to be a knight is all about?" Looking thoughtful now, she does add in, "It's not that I ever had the chance to train to be a knight, unlike my Lady Sister, but I'm not sure that I would have been knighted at all. Then again, I've been known to accomplish many things once I've put my mind to it." Adding to the mention of cradle robbing, Ariana decides to state, "Perhaps, Lady Sir Ellinor," She may not know the woman personally, but she does know the name well enough to note that Ellinor is a Sauveur noble, "just wishes to marry a man older than she. I think many a woman would prefer someone older, taller and perhaps stronger than they are. The last part may not be true for all women, of course."

Returning to Declan and the discussion on Keanen, there is this flicker in the Larent maiden's eyes as if there were something that she may wish to bring up, but instead she nods slowly, "Lady Soleil and Lord Keanen were quite the pair, nearly similar in personalities… I'd think. For the most part, I felt like their babysitter, but not that I minded. I just think that Lord Keanen may be a little tense as he's away from his family and his home. Other than that, he is quite eager to learn more about the Hostile's technology."

Then there is a pause once Solon cares to demonstrate his own chivalry by taking her hand in his. Quietly, Ariana observes the man's gesture, looking rather pleased by all of the gallantry of his actions. "You do have quite the man fans all over Imperius and even here on the Ring and the Lashes… even if some will not admit to liking the Reversion."

"Though some say that the rumors of drakes could have also been those scouts. One would hope that drakes aren't beginning to migrate." Solon points out with a bit of concern in his tone, but smiles and chuckles a little at Declan's assessment of his younger brother. "Don't worry, if he ever truly disrespects anyone, I'll challenge him to a duel and he'll know better."

"Oh, I was definitely in true danger. There were times when my life was in definite danger and I had to kill a predator or be killed myself. But in the end I learned to survive, and just how precious my life really is. The knight met with me once a week to make sure that I was alright, but he brought no supplies." He reaches back and pats the hilt of his sword after releasing her hand, looking more nostalgic than anything else. "He's the entire reason I use this sword. From the very beginning he said that if I couldn't use this sword one handed, then it was a waste of natural strength. The first few years of having to wield a greatsword with one hand were possibly as bad as the wilderness training. His goal was not to train just another knight. He rarely takes on squires at all."

But he can't help but look himself over when she mentions the criteria of the average woman. "I like to think that I'm taller and stronger than most people in general. I can't do much about who I'm older than, of course. And if you are a fan of the reversion, you're certainly welcome in the Vale at any time. I'll personally see to your entertainment, safety, luxury, and comfort."

Declan does seem curious of the way Ariana describes his brother and this other Saveur lady, smirking a little when she compares herself to a caretaker for the pair. "Is that so? Perhaps that is something to look into. Just because he is young and… varied in his interests, it does not mean it is not wise to consider potential matches for the future." And clearly he feels some responsibility for his young brother as well. "I am sure he will do fine, indeed. I look forward to hearing to what the two of you and the rest of your own house and the Orelles are able to come up with from it."

A slight bob of his head about the drakes. "It's unclear what has been responsible so far. It could be any of number of things. But, our wardens make it our business to know the goings-on within even the more secret corners of our lands, and I am resolved to track down the cause, one way or another. We are peerless when it comes to such things, so I will know the truth of it." Which leads him into a further admission, "I am surprised to hear that your knightly trials took such a wilderness-focused bent, Sir Solon. I would expect, I don't know… many duels, mounted tests, and those sorts of things. If you should ever have the inclination to flex your old hunting lessons, you should feel free to come join my family for a hunt. We enjoy hosting others on them, so that we might show them some small portion of our wilds - and show them both how beautiful and terrible they can be."

All of this talk does make the youngest daughter of the Larent Head of House remember something which she had heard just recently and so Ariana quickly states, "One of these pods was found out in our own wilderness on Nubilus. I believe they have found one on many of the moons around Oculus. This does make me nervous that, perhaps, one of the Hostile may be closer to home than I would like. I believe that my High Lord Father or my Lady Sister may be sending out a scouting party to try and locate any intruders in our territory." That said, she returns to listening to details of Solon's training and then back to Declan when Keanen is brought up once more. Here, an amused smile finds its way to her lips again, "I have a feeling that Lord Keanen's thoughts are as far away from marriage as possible. He's young and probably believes he has his whole life ahead of him, rather than getting married so soon."

"Oh, my training was much more than that. That was a small fraction of it. The three months in the wilderness was a test to see if I could endure such a trial so that he would know if I was worthy of becoming a knight in two years. The rest of my time as a squire was spent enduring the most harsh training I've ever experienced, but I still put myself through some of it. Sometimes I would have to fight with this greatsword in one hand, with one leg tied up. Other times in my left hand with the right arm tied behind my back. And then there was blindfolded, with earplugs… I was taught to never take anything for granted, but to always make sure that I can defeat someone with at least one of my arms available, no matter what else I may lose. I like to think that we had rather legendary skirmishes." Solon laughs at the latter part, apparently not taking himself too seriously, and just shakes his head.

"I don't think about getting married or not getting married. When the right woman comes, she'll come. I simply want a woman who I can make happy in every sense of the word, but one whose very presence makes me feel as if there could not possibly be anything of higher value than her." He states this as if it's a dreamy-eyed romantic notion that he's held for some time, and smiles a bit warmly. Though he very quickly regains that boisterous composure when he notes Ariana, and as if not wanting to appear too soft, immediately states, "But of course a woman should also be able to appreciate my physical prowess, and not find it too exhausting."

"Not so soon, necessarily," Declan agrees toward Ariana. "But still, a link made now might be important in a few years, and politics being what they are, a bit of natural compatability never hurts." He shrugs a shoulder, then, as if easily dismissing the whole thing, "Of course, such things are not yet something my mother delegates to me. Probably for the best, as I'm hardly a born matchmaker." Then his look turns more thoughtful. "You might pass on to your father that my house would be willing to provide a tracker or two to assist in such an effort. Not that I doubt in any way the ability of House Orelle or House Larent to monitor their own lands, but it could speed the process and I consider it only a fair bit of repayment for hosting my brother so graciously and lending your considerable expertise to working on the pod." Amidst all this, he listens to Solon's rather impressive tales and smiles just a little wider. "Cindravale's trianing methods are impressive, to be sure."

Ariana just has to repeat, "Blindfolded… and with earplugs? That is amazing. Are your senses so honed that you would easily be able to defeat an opponent in such a manner? Truly, I cannot wait for your brilliant showing at the tournament this week, My Lord." She even continues to watch him when Solon gets all dreamy-eyed as he thinks about this dream girl of his. A touch of faint bemusement plays on her lips. "And I would love to be able to visit with you and your family more often. Admittedly, I was a tiny bit," Quite the fib, "jealous that my Lady Sister got to reside with your family. Not that I don't love my home at Summit, but still… new experiences and many here like to claim that they are anti-Reversion and yet with my own Lady Mother being Cindravale by birth, I have come to embrace it." At Declan's words, she nods quickly, "I shall let my Lord Father and Lady Sister know of your offer of assistance. You may wish to speak to your Lord Brother, however, before you depart. He could certainly use your support and guidance."

"The trick, that I learned after many fractured ribs, is to feel the vibrations in the ground, feel the break in the air around you. And when you have a sword with a particularly long reach, if you can't do any of that, then make sure that any opponent who comes anywhere near you is slain until you can see again. I learned many unorthodox fighting techniques, but the greatest technique is the elimination of weaknesses. Granted, my weakness is probably the fact that I don't think I have many of them." There's an amused smile at that, and Solon stares down at the purple backside of his hand, wincing a little as he flexes the fingers. "I may go back home and rest before I speak with the Orelle, but I would like to rest here and talk for a little while longer, if you don't mind?" this is asked of Ariana, and he adds, "And, as I said, you're free to come to Cindravale whenever you like. You missed meeting the princess, but I can surely do you the favor of making you feel like one."

"Checking in on him is the first and foremost reason for my visit, and I may remain here for a short while as well. There's always business to see to elsewhere, but travel is no concern and I am curious to see some of the progress on the pod, as the two of you work on it. Not that I'm likely to understand the work as you do it, but I'm still very curious about the whole thing. And that it will give me an opportunity to enjoy a bit more of the famous Larent hospitality is a distinct plus as well." The last Declan tacks on just a little more easily, grinning with the words. He regards Solon again with some curiousity, but then nods at the suggestion of a bit of respite. "Indeed, a sound thought overall. Perhaps the lovely lady can give us 'the tour' before we settle in? Though I'm sure if she is otherwise busy with her duties, one of her 'sisters' can take on the task." He gestures to one of the screens bearing her likeness.

"If you wish, My Lord." Ariana addresses Solon now, "I can see what I can do about your bruised hand. I'm both medic and scientist." She says with a small smile, her words coming out matter-of-factly. Then at what Declan says, her own gaze looks around at her image that flickers about on various screens in the vicinity and the professionalism of her voice can be heard as, even now, they continue to greet new arrivals. "On top of my promotional work for the Ring and Nubilus, that is." Once more, her wary eyes then look beyond the two heirs to see whether her own new recruits have finally shown up. "And I would love to give you both a tour. This can't be your first time on the Ring? How about Nubilus? You will find the views so amazing if you do decide to visit my home. I will need to check up on the whereabouts of several individuals," And even now, she draws out her datapad and begins tapping away at her screen, "But it looks like they may be a no show or may have been delayed."

"I've visited both before, but I can't say I ever had the pleasure of being escorted by the face of the station in person," Declan replies, the first part steady and uninflected, but a bit of amusement showing through at the latter. "And I'm sure the personal tour is much, much more interesting. Shall we then?"

Once Declan has been dropped off to see his brother at some after they've toured the ring a bit, he steps off the cart and holds a hand out to help her off as well, looking to the Way arches. "So, would you like to show me Nubilus? It should not surprise me that you're from the clouds. There is very much something otherworldly about your eyes. Have you been told that?"

Ariana does look somewhat relieved to note that Keanen is in the good hands of his brother now. So as they continue on the tour, the Larent maiden gracefully accepts the Cindravale heir's offer of assistance as she makes her own departure as well. "If you wish, then certainly, My Lord. Though my time here may be cut short as I'm still on duty and my shift is not yet over, so while I can show you around the Ring, the tour of Nubilus may have to be postponed." She then pauses, blinking once, allowing her thick lashes to brush against her cheeks as they briefly hide those 'otherwordly' eyes from view. "I can't say that I've heard that exact term used for them, but I do receive compliments about my eyes."

"That's fine. I may ask you to look at my hand later. It was hit with a practice greatsword around four times. I switched hands, but then I decided to show off and used my practice sword in this hand again anyway. I don't care much about the other bruises. If I'm not covered in bruises then something's wrong." Solon laughs and stays in step with her, never going too quickly or too slowly. He seems, despite his generally boisterous demeanor, one who's been educated in even the most trivial of noble graces and gestures. "I believe that a man should tell a woman exactly what he's thinking about her. 'Otherworldly' may sound strange or maybe almost like a bad thing, but I believe that it was the word I was meant to say, the word placed on the tip of my tongue by the gods. I believe your eyes are otherworldly in the sense that I do not believe that another woman in this world would be graced by the gods with such eyes."

Ariana catches sight of the young heir's bruised hand from out of the corner of her eyes again as she assesses the damage done to it. "I have an ointment that can help and a cooling wrap that should assist with the swelling and discoloration." She then laughs lightly at his words, when she adds in, "Men like their scars and bruises. Knights and naval officers alike, I'm sure." Her steps then slow as she listens to the further compliments which she is now given. A look of light surprise appears on her face, but she offers a faint smile all the same, "Your words are very beautiful, My Lord and I am honored to be graced with them." She then continues with their tour, her graceful steps starting up once again. "So this is what chivalry is all about? Here on the Ring and the Lashes, everything is so… sterile and scientific. The ways of the world just feel different from yours."

"Chivalry, to me, is about defending the honor of anyone who can't defend it themselves, and even if they can defend it themselves, defending the honor of those who won't. Chivalry is about being honest, treating people properly, making them feel as respected as you would want your own mother or father to be." Solon reaches to take her hand again, his touch gentle, though his hands are obviously a bit rough from battle and training. "While it is true that any woman is my equal, I believe that a woman is delicate, even if not always delicate on the outside. And some women, which I will probably never admit when more than one woman is in listening distance at the same time, are of a grace, beauty, and delicacy above others. And I want nothing more than to make her feel as if I think she has no equal. That is possibly a bit more than chivalry, but it's how I am."

"And I'm certain that there are a few women out there who may be offended to be thought of as delicate." Ariana says with a hint of very light jest in her tone, but she nods, nevertheless. "But I do understand what you mean, My Lord." There is only the slightest of pauses in her footsteps when her hand is taken once more, those "otherworldly" eyes now lifting to peer up at the Cindravale heir when he speaks. "Perhaps chivalry was not the right word, but you are certainly a gentleman… and a bit of a ladies man, I can tell. How many hearts you must set aflutter, especially during the tournaments."

"While true that I may have a great deal of fans, particularly during and after tournaments, I'm sure you've probably never heard of me having much of a reputation." Solon's thumb lightly runs over the back of her hand, staring down at her as he steps at the Way arches. "A secret of mine, something that very few people know, and certainly none of the men who know me, is that I go through great pains denying myself a woman's touch. While it is true, especially in the presence of a woman like yourself, that I would want nothing more than to ravage anyone who throws herself at me, I want a woman to believe that she is truly special. This is less to do with more, and more to do with how I want to make a woman feel."

One of Ariana's perfectly arched brows lifts gently — not by the stroking of her hand but by some of the things which the Cindravale heir now reveals. "You must have a strong will then, My Lord, to fend off all of your adoring fans. That willpower will soon be tested again in a few days at the tourney, I'm certain." A soft smile forms on her lips when she says this, but she quickly adds, "And I hope that you are fully recovered so that you do not go into these matches with one strike against you at the start."

"I suspect that any woman who would be a true test of my willpower would not be one who would simply rip her clothes off. Though I suppose there is always room for surprises. And I'll trust you with my hand, though I suspect my parents will make absolutely sure that I'm well by the tournament." Solon tilts his head a little curiously at her, a question on the tip of his tongue. He, of course, quickly poses it. "I am curious, though. A woman who looks like you and carries herself with such grace, you're surely courting someone right now, are you not? Or, if you aren't why aren't you? You should have your pick."

"I will do what I can for your bruising, My Lord, but yes, your parents would only want the best for you. You are an heir." Ariana states this with pride, for this heir is a part of her family! So, of course, she is proud of this fact. At his next question, however, she takes the time to ponder upon this though she does not pause as she leads the way, "For the most part, I had left that up to my Lord Father. Whatever he wishes of me, politically, that is where I shall go. Unlike some other young nobles, I know my place in society and while people talk about love matches and things like that, political matches are still valid."

"As an heir, I'm definitely one who believes very much in political matches. They are, after all, sometimes a necessity. But I do believe it would be a shame if you had anything less than absolute happiness. I know I made this as an offer earlier, but please, if you'll allow me to make it as a request…" Solon stares down at her for this, and sounds as if he might possibly sincerely expect her to reject it. "Come to the Vale, allow me to take you hunting in the fields, or even riding on the back of a warhorse. After, of course, I'll have the servants dress you in the finest things show you the many sights in the Fortress of Phylon. I'm sure it's been a while since you've visited."

"I would be rather disappointed if that were the case as well, My Lord and.." Ariana then drifts off when Solon makes this request of her. "Of course, My Lord. I am truly thrilled to receive such an invitation. I usually tend to make the tournaments, but rarely have the time to spend on much else… other than shopping. My Lady Sister has spent so much time there in her youth while I remained here studying the sciences like a good Larent would… but to explore? I never had the opportunity." There is a near hint of excitement in her tone, just as her datapad begins to beep, the light at the top flashing. "That must be my new recruits. I'm afraid that I must cut this tour short, My Lord, but if you still wish, I will see to your hand after I give my new arrivals their orientation."

"Don't worry, if they don't let you out, I'll throw you over my shoulder and then we'll see what they have to say." Solon states very firmly, then laughs, politely bowing his head before turning to one of the Way arches. He'll never admit it, but he's in a bit too much pain to meet with the Orelle today.

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