(1310-04-22) A Meeting in the Market
Summary: There's a chance encounter between cousins when Desarae spots Imogen late one night in the Marketplace Plaza. Belmont finds himself caught up in their reunion, though his own reasons for being there are not as social as their's.
RL Date: April 22nd, 2018
Related: None.
belmont arielle imogen desarae louisa_npc gal marco 

Market Promenade - Marsilikos

Two massive promenades, separated by a narrow row of alternating planters and plinths supporting marble statues from all over the known world, make up a marketplace that extends in a narrow space far to the north of the grand plaza to the south. Each walkway is two two-meter marble slabs wide, one gleaming white, the other greyish-blue, and they alternate to and fro in coloration all the way down each promenade, their intersections marked with a series of equal-armed crosses in shimmering black stone. While there is plenty of space for vendors to set up ad-hoc establishments to hawk their wares, to each side of the double promenade are stoa of fluted marble, holding up a terra-cotta tiled roof over a shady, cool walkway, punctuated here and there with doorways and windows open to a long series of indoor shops, each marked with a hanging sign outside the door.

Every twenty meters or so, five stairs lift the level of the promenade as the marketplace works its way uphill, to a smaller plaza at the northern end where all the most exclusive and expensive shops are established. This smaller plaza also has an obelisk of red granite in the middle; it's shorter, and more slender, but when the change in elevation is taken into account, its tip is at the exact same height as the massive obelisk in the town square to the south.


The market promenade of Marsilikos is quite a sight to behold during the day, with all the bustle going on between the stalls, market criers praising their wares, fragments of conversation melting into an ever present murmur, languages not limited to d'Angeline alone! But it is night now, and so the market promenade is left in an almost unreal quiet, that silence broken through footfalls of the cobble stone alone, from a few late wanderers who have elected to roam through the night.

Belmont for his part only wants to enjoy a bit of air. He is clad in a garb of subdued courtly elegance, a tall handsome d'Angeline with a soft dark blue cloak worn over doublet and breeches. There is an occasional glint of steel, when the pommel of his rapier catches the light of the few oil lamps that light the place. And he comes to stand before one of those marble statues, lingering there for a moment. His eyes sweep over the place, as if he were looking for someone in particular.

Down the pathways of the market wanders Arielle. The delicate looking young blonde lady is followed closely by a guard and a handmaiden. The trio looks a bit lost, the lady calmly wandering about as though she is exploring much to the growing wariness of her guard. Clad in a gown of sapphire blue that has been accented with pearls Arielle certainly looks like a lady. A matching cloak is drapped lightly over her shoulders that are left bare by the gown she wears. She strolls along quietly her expression one of composure, unhurried and seemingly unworried or just not showing it perhaps. She turns the corner spotting Belmont and tilting her head to one side with a look of faint curiousity. Her guard tenses slightly but the lady herself doesn't seem to react other than to study the man discretely with those ice blue eyes.

A third to the seen is a lady glad in the dark blue and gold colors of Mereliot. She seems slightly disheveled, as if perhaps she's been indulging her 'no Dahlia' side more than her 'De Mereliot', but it is only noticeable those perceptive enough to break through the infamous Dahlia composure to note how her cloak is just slightly tilted and her laces not immacuately done. To anyone else she looks like one of many wandering home after an exciting evening. When she notices Belmont a smile of greeting crosses her face and she moves to greet him, though turns to an angle when she spots the blond as well. "Good evening," she offers to them both with a smile.

It'd be true to say that the novices of Salon de la Rose Sauvage are not that rare a sight within the city of Marsilikos, though perhaps they are a little moreso when the daytime hours have slipped into the evening's. It'd also be perfectly true to say that it'd be difficult to separate them from the general populace of equally lovely young women that trawl the shops and stalls for pretty trinkets unless, that is, one recognized the company they keep. Mme Louisa nó Rose Sauvage is the company the novices keep. A former courtesan of the sharper pleasures, her own particular flower has now faded to the point where her main duties are the instruction of the salon's novices and the chaperoning of them when they venture outside of the salon. Stern of face and powdery of complexion in her twilight years, there are few that would willingly enter into conflict with her, and she tends to keep severe counsel whilst vigorously protecting whichever charge she happens to be safeguarding. Her charge tonight is Desarae.

Dressed in a confection of smoke-grey chiffon beneath a lightly fastened cloak of wool that's worn to protect her from the evening's chill she walks in the relative silence with the older woman, the guard that accompanies them trailed a few paces behind. "But I do not understand," the young novice says, glancing sidewards to her chaperone. "Surely a few hand-delivered invitations would be good." Her voice trails away as she spots Imogen across the square, and her eyes narrow as she peers at the blonde. "I believe I spy a cousin of mine, might we stop and talk?" Another glance is given her chaperone as a request for permission to be granted is made, for however wild and free-spirited Desarae might be, she's not foolish enough to risk crossing Louisa. Privileges are limited enough as it is. There must have been an agreeable response, because it's only a moment or two later that the trio arrive at the spot where Imogen's descended upon Belmont. "Good evening, cousin. Good evening, my lord." And neatly she interjects herself into whatever conversation might have begun.

One moment he was on his own, only to find himself caught in a circle of ladies in the next! Belmont looks moderately startled, his eyes widening as they move from Arielle to Imogen and then to the pair of dark-haired beauty and stern looking chaperone. One thing is for sure, whomever he may have expected, it was neither of these! Nor was it the guard in Arielle's company. There is a play of emotions on the face of the young nobleman not yet versed in guarding his features. Surprise, astonishment, and something else, an urgency in his expression. His jaw sets, and his gaze is lowered as he falls back into courtly routine and offers a gallant bow to all of the ladies. "Good evening," he says, with a faint and perhaps slightly nervous smile. "I don't think we have met. I'm Belmont. Belmont d'Eresse." The family name is offered in an afterthought. His gaze flickers a little as it sweeps their surroundings once more. "How unusual to see such a crowd on the market place at this time of day," Belmont adds then.

The young Imogen can't help but smirk at the scene in question, one moment alone, then beset upon by women, surely the man must be in his worst nightmare, or most fabled dream. But his reaction implies the latter, and so the girl carefully schools her face to avoid making the situation even more awkward for him. Her eyes are drawn away at Deserae's approach though and her more formal smile is replaced by one of familiarity. "Good evening cousin, it's good to see you out and about," she offers happily and though she doesn't say it, good to see her in an area where she's not being swarmed with the formality of one of her aunt's parties. "Imogen, Imogen no Dahlia de Mereliot," she explains with a nod to the man. "A pleasure to make your aquaintence," she greets, leaving room for her cousin to introduce herself if she wishes.

"Desarae Mereliot nó Rose Sauvage, my lord." Desarae replies to Belmont's introduction, executing a perfectly acceptable curtsey. Despite the hood which is pulled low enough to shadow her features, he will be left in no doubt that he's just become the subject of a deep scrutiny by eyes that'd be impossible to discern the colour of, for whilst the upper half of her face might lie in mysterious shadows, the lower does not. Her lips are delightfully visible, and they curve into the sweetest of smiles, as on the heels of her introduction she further goes on to add. "It is a pleasure to meet you Lord Belmont." A twist of her head to her cousin. "Imogen! It has been an age. Shame on you for not coming to the Salon to take tea with me." Her voice is light and teasing in its faux chastisement, and her hands are held out in a gesture of greeting to her cousin, an invitation to her to take her own. "I am to debut soon. You must come. I insist!"

"I'm most honored to make your acquaintance, my ladies.", Belmont responds, and clearing his throat finally graces the delightful beauties, hooded and hiding in shadows or not, with his fullest attention. There may be a slight wrinkling of brows at Imogen's so very knowing smile as if she knew what he was about, but then there is Desarae, and her sweet smile that catches his focus like she intended it to. "Ah… Yes. A pleasure." Was there a bit of stammering? His hand tightens for a moment where it rests on the pommel of his rapier absentmindedly, but he remains silent, when Desarae addresses Imogen as her cousin.

Imogen giggles softly as her cousin takes her hands, which the girl accepts perfectly willingly. She brightens when the girl mentions her debut and nods excitedly. "I wouldn't miss it for the world, I'm sure it'll be one of the best events of the season!" she offers encouragingly as she squeezes Deserae's hands gently before her attention flicks back to Belmont. "I'm just returning from a meeting, and my cousin here likely just wanted an excuse to escape the salon, but might I ask what brings you out so late my lord?" she inquires curiously.

"Then you are invited," Desarae says to Imogen, her tone bright as she gives the lightest clasp back to her cousin's hands. "And oh… but you are right. My Second and I have been discussing ideas for the event, and though I cannot divulge the direction in which they are heading, it will be one of the very best that the city has seen." If there's something that Desarae can be relied upon for, it's for a complete lack of modesty when promoting either herself or her own best interests, and with her smile still wonderfully in place, she directs her attention back Belmont's way. "Does my lord perhaps favour my Salon above others himself? I would be delighted to extend an invitation to attend my debut to him also, if so?" She lifts her chin a fraction, enough that the shadows which fall upon her face are not quite so dark and so deep, allowing the light from a street lamp to catch the edges of her eyes and reveal the intense green that flashes when eyes meet with his.

"Hmm…" Imogen's directness of inquiry baffles Belmont, as can be seen from the lift of his brows, and the pause that follows before he replies. "I had some business to attend to." Vague enough to do as an answer, and not even vaguer than what information Imogen herself had given. "I haven't visited the Night Court," he admits towards Desarae. "Not yet." And still, the way the novice uses the fall of the light to draw attention to herself, it makes him clear his throat, again, while his gaze is undeniably captured in the trap of green she lays out for him. "I may not be…", he begins in faint objection, perhaps trying to explain that he is an unlanded lord of little consequence; but the sentence trails off, left unfinished, a light shake of his head clearing it perhaps in time for him to start anew, "I would be delighted." His throat may feel a bit parched, and so he swallows, the smile deepening a little as his eyes sparkle faintly with first signs of fascination.

The girl seems quite content to watch her cousin work her magic on the stranger, as she had once done so many times before. It makes her feel old in a strange sort of way, even if her cousin is only half a decade younger than her. "I look forward to seeing what you put on then, even if you can't tell me," she replies with a good natured wink and mischevious smirk, all too used to the secrets surrounding an adepts first debut, and far be it from her to interrupt that. She nods to Belmont's answer but seems to be purposefully hanging back as she watches his interaction with her cousin.

There's a well-timed clearing of a throat to Desarae's left. It's not subtle by any means, and Louisa's interruption conveys with it a wealth of meaning to the ears of those fluent in the language of chaperones. "Oh la…" Deserae sighs. "It seems that I am to be marched back to the Salon." Her voice lowers as if some great secret were about to be shared. "Imogen. Cousin. We must speak before my debut, since I would love to hear of your own, and again…" A twist of her head back Belmont's way, "It was wonderful to meet you, my lord. If you will excuse me?" Another sigh, one that is a little deeper. Perhaps too deep. A mere embellishment to her perceived sadness at being dragged away so soon. But then again, having accomplished what she'd perhaps set out to do, there's really no need to linger. Another curtsey is dipped to both the lord and her cousin before on the rise, she turns, allowing herself to be drawn away and off into the night.

When Desarae takes her leave, Belmont offers her a courteous bow of farewell, "My lady Desarae Mereliot nó Rose Sauvage…" He obviously memorized her name, his eyes trail after her as the young novice departs with her chaperone in tow. Which leaves him standing beside Imogen, to whom he turns now, with a bit of awkwardness in the silence that follows. "My lady. You are without guards. Perhaps I should escort you home?" If he noticed anything disheveled about her appearance he doesn't show. But his gaze lingers upon her for a moment, thoughtful as if weighing options or duties.

As captivated as Belmont may have been by his current company… When the approach of heavily booted steps ring hollow over the marketplace, that slightly dreamy quality to his features fades at once. He straightens, turning just far enough to catch the sight of the man who approaches, and the two following in his wake.

"Belmont d'Eresse! Is that you over there?" The voice carries a certain mockery and also contempt in its tone. With an apologetic light bow, Belmont murmurs, "Would you excuse me for a moment?", towards the remaining Mereliot lady, and steps forward, nostrils flaring. "I am right here. Ghislain de Ferraut." His voice trembles a little, but more from indignation than insecurity.

*

Someone's had a good enough night; slept in, and once he got evicted from his room for the housekeeping to do its job, he took to the streets to find some grub before it's time for him to head back on duty. He's a little broke from splurging on a nice room the night before, but he has friends in the marketplace, commoners whose families he knows and whose little girls he lifts up and twirls in the air until they squeal with delight. Chummy chats lead to gifts of plain but filling food; bread, a pear, a hank of cheese. Someone refills his wineskin with something cheap from a barrel. To boot, it's a beautiful spring evening, and there's some pep in his step while he meanders the promenade.

Arielle is wandering the streets with her guard and handmaiden. The young blonde lady keeps getting distracted or so it seems. Maybe she is purposefully making wrong turns? Or maybe she is just curious. Either way she is currently drifting through the streets, sapphire silken skirts trailing softly behind her with a soft rustle of fabric. She has a calm expression, curious but not overly revealing of whatever she is thinking, she seems to just be exploring at the moment.

The marketplace should be quiet, but it's not. Imogen's had an exciting enough evening as is, but now she's standing witness to what may end up escalating into a duel, while she can do little but stand on the sidelines. At least until she hears footsteps from two people, the blonde gets a distracted sort of nod, but the man gets a more familliar smile as she approaches. "Long time no see," she jokes good naturedly.

Gal almost walks straight past the blondes, tearing into a chunk of bread in his hand like a hungry dog. The greeting draws his attention and garners a cheeky grin hello before he startles in recognition, rendering up a faint double-take. "Oh, wow. Hey," he greets, mouth still full, coming in to give her a one-armed hug, casual, in passing, his eyes darting past her to the fight about to happen. "Oh fuck what's that all about?" he asks.

Marco wanders into the promenade where a bit of a stir apepars to be going on. He draws his way towards at least one familiar figure making his way towards Imogen and studying her and Gal curiously openly considering both as he picks his way through the crowd trying to gauge just how much trouble is going on and whether Imogen is the cause no doubt.

The young future Comtesse would be offended by her cousins thoughts if she could hear them! Instead she's distracted by the side hug of her recent aquaintence that, though caught by suprise she returns, with a small grin on her face. "No clue, one came in yelling at the other and drew him away, not sure /what/ they're discussing, or why they might wanna duel, i hope it's not because of dessie though," she murmurs with a laugh.

"Ooh, who's Dessie?" Gal leans a hip against a heavy marble plinth, wedging more of the bread into his mouth and getting crumbs all down the front of his brick red tunic as he settles in with a conspiratorial flair to watch the drama unfold, one arm crossed over his chest, eyes all but locked on the duo in conflict.

Marco laughs softly, "Leave you alone for a bit and you're already causing Duels your Ladyship?" He teases Imogen as he draws near smiling as he looks to Gal inclining his head, "Greetings I don't beleive I've had the pleasure. Marco de Mereliot." He says warmly as he shifts moving to watch the conflict as well curiously.

Imogen makes one of those open mouthed 'did you dare' looks at marco, but famillial affection shines in her eyes all the ame. "It wasn't me this time, it was our other cousin, Desera. She was flirting with one of them, got called away, and then the other came by and it led to this, so if you're going to blame anyone, go talk to our minx of a future adept cousin," she declares with a laugh. "Evening my lord," she greets warmly.

Mereliot? Huh. Gal's swimming in pretty etheric waters, here, it turns out. Chewing more slowly on his bread, he takes a swallow before he pushes himself back away from the plinth and extends a rough-calloused paw to Marco. "Gal. Hey," is only too casual, if he's a commoner, and not revealing his family name, otherwise. "Oh, Desarae? The… debutante with all the diamonds?" He lives here, he hears things, even if there's no way he could put a bid in. "Yeah, I'll bet there are guys drawing steel over that bidding war," he laughs.

Marco reaches to shake Gal's hand his own hands are soft clearly not the type for hard work, "Gal." He repeats the name with a bemused tone. He shakes the hand though cordially enough and then laughs, "Oh? Well blood isn't going to win the bidding war just coin I expect. But I'm sure a girl enjoys the attention." He says amused and then he smirks at Imogen, "Her though? well at least she's enjoying herself."

Imogen laughs softly and shakes her head. "There are, and it's a headache, but i'm sure her house is proud, she'll likely make her marque in like, a year if she's inclined," she jests good naturedly before winking to her cousin. "I dunno, Rose /savauge/ dear cousin, half the salon likely has a thing for blood," she teases. "But i think it's more just that debuts aren't nearly as common here as they are in the city of elua, so the chance of buying a local adepts virginity has whipped the nobles into a frenzy,"

"Heh-heh," Gal chuckles. "You said whipped. Like. Y'know," he grins at his own pointing out of Imo's pun, as though he were awful clever to have discovered it. He punctuates his cleverness with a swig of wine from his trusty wineskin, which, then, he offers to Imogen with a sly smile. "Pull?"

Marco snorts at Gal's admiration of the pun. He shakes his head, "I suppose they do enjoy the blood letting but it hardly counts as payment…does it?" He looks thoughtful at this amusement remaining and then he shrugs and reaches a hand out to accept the wineskin for his turn. "Well at least it's some entertainment."

"Well, blood, I've got, at least. Dunno how much I'd wanna part with, though," Gal grins, "I mean, I'd still need enough to get me hard after," he adds with a sharp cackle. "But these guys are in it to win it, looks like." Yeah, Gal and the Mereliot cousins are hanging out on the sidelines of where it looks as though a duel will break out. Gal is picnicing on a chunk of bread and his tunic is catching the crumbs for him. He's sharing an old soldier's wineskin with his Mereliot companions.

Marco glances to Gal, "Oh? Considering joining the pursuit. Well that's good. I'm sure she'll manage a way to get you ready after." He assures Gal in amusement and then he looks to Imogen and smiles, "Well some secrets are certainly more interesting than others." He's standing just beside Imogen and Gal observing with open curiosity.

*

Aware or not of those that joined Imogen, Belmont has stepped forth, ready to meet the group of three that is closing in on him. The one called Ghislain comes to stand right before the d'Eresse lord, and stares at him with a mocking smile. "Good I had a wager going here with my friends, whether you'd have the balls to actually show up.", he says, voice low but no less threatening.

Belmont doesn't back away, he holds his ground, even as his own features twist into a frown. "Have you come to tell me you're taking back the words you've said about my sister?", the young man asks, one hand resting on the pommel of the sword, ready to draw the blade, or so it seems.

A chuff of laughter rings over the almost deserted market promenade. "Take them back?", Ghislain echoes, "Oh no. I've come to add to them. Your sister sucked the cocks of all three of us." Which seems to somewhat enhance an insult given prior. "And she wasn't even very good at it, boy."

The face of Belmont grows very pale all of a sudden, and he takes half step back to draw his rapier from the scabbard. "Take. That. Back. Or. I'll make you pay for this," he presses forth between gritted teeth.

"Kushiel's balls, no!", Ghislain counters, eyes cold and determined as he draws his own blade. "Let's settle this, and I'm going to teach you a lesson, boy."

<FS3> Imogen rolls Perception: Success. (1 5 8 5 3 4 3 4 2)
<FS3> Imogen rolls Leadership: Success. (3 2 2 8 4 4 6 6 1 2 2)

Gal leans aside to Marco, "Wait, who's his sister?" he mumbles. "Just asking for a friend," he goes on, half-muffled in his simple supper.

Ghislain’s Taunting +roll, to determine, whether Belmont can be reigned in.
<FS3> Belmont rolls 5+3: Success. (6 1 1 5 6 6 1 8)

"Excuse me gentleman, I think as the duchesses niece, duty calls me to intervene," she explains before casting a look to her cousin, silently asking for him to follow her before storming over there with a commanding aura quite surprising for one her size. "Gentleman, this is a public area and i would suggest that you cease your foolishness immediately less the gendarmine are called!" she warns as she makes her way closer.

Gal would be the gendarme, as it were. Or he would be, in a little bit, when he goes on the morning shift. He's just not gonna mention that, though, and see how all this plays out. The two guys look entitled, too— so really there'd be not much to do for it. Noblemen dueling. It's not like commoners are getting rowdy. The city guard would put the quash on that pretty quick. *nomf breads*

Marco looks clearly intrigued as more of the words and specifics reach him, "Well this is certainly…" He furrows his brow, "Though the odds seem long." He admits and then he furrows his brow as Imogen decides to intervene. He gets drawn along but he seems more content to let her speak raising a brow and just watching with a vaguely disapproving look. He does shrug to Gal at the question clearly he isn't entirely tracking all that's been going on.

<COMBAT> Ghislain attacks Belmont with Rapier but Belmont DODGES!
<COMBAT> Belmont attacks Ghislain with Rapier but Ghislain DODGES!
<COMBAT> Ghislain attacks Belmont with Rapier - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Belmont attacks Ghislain with Rapier - ARMOR on Right Leg stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Ghislain attacks Belmont with Rapier - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Belmont attacks Ghislain with Rapier - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!

There is that moment of hesitation, when Belmont hears Imogen speak up behind him, and he closes his eyes for a moment, shaking his head. "Please, my lady, I advise you. Stand back and make sure not to draw the attention of these villains. They've already proven enough of their low characters." Which is all he says, before he goes at Ghislain, his rapier blinking in the sparse lighting as it thrusts forward, aiming to draw blood.

But apparently, Ghislain is quite skilled with the blade as well. Especially considering that he is of a Camaeline family. Steel hisses through air, as both manage to evade the dangerous sharp weapons. And while Ghislain's two 'friends' have stepped back, Ghislain makes a triumphant "Hah!", when his blade pierces through the fabric of Belmont's attire, cutting the courtly garb on his chest, and drawing blood indeed. This doesn't stop Belmont, even if his own strike aimed at Ghislain's leg somehow grazes the boot only. "Damn," he curses, when his free hand suddenly lifts to he side of his neck, a minimal cut there adding another line of red. But it seems, Belmont is not ready to yield. Not yet.

Gal still doesn't know Imogen's name, after all that. Oh, well. He kind of half-reaches after her as she goes after the duellers, but, then, when it's clear she'll go after them anyhow and they have no intention of stopping, he wades in after her and tries to ease her back out of the range of flashing steel, holding his bread in his mouth to have both hands free.

To say the girl is frustrated at the turn of events is an understatement, but once the blades are slashing she's /not/ going to get in the way. She does however wave a peasant girl down and give her money to go fetch some guards to break up this ridiculousness while she's forced to watch from the sidelines.

Marco watches the blades dance and he grunts, "The least you could do is resign yourselves to first blood." He says to the other men but he sighs. He reaches a hand to make sure Imogen is clear away but then lets Gal handle that and he doesn't show any signs of trying to intercede or put his own body in between the blades. He then asks Gal, "You seem a professional sort, should we at least take a proper bet? Though it seems a bit unfair after blood is already done."

<COMBAT> Ghislain attacks Belmont with Rapier - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Belmont attacks Ghislain with Rapier but Ghislain DODGES!
<COMBAT> Belmont attacks Ghislain with Rapier but Ghislain DODGES!
<COMBAT> Ghislain attacks Belmont with Rapier - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Belmont has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Ghislain attacks Belmont with Rapier - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Belmont attacks Ghislain with Rapier - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ghislain attacks Belmont with Rapier - Critical wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Belmont attacks Ghislain with Rapier but Ghislain DODGES!

Gal rests a consoling hand on Imo's shoulder if she lets him. "Yeah, this seems… like it'll be over soon. I don't know the guard will intercede. You know how these guys are with their… honor and everything," he shrugs, as though it were some sort of foreign concept to him. "Better to call a doctor. Or a… priest," he grimaces a little bit at the sight.

Gal will take his own leave to go see about summoning a doctor.

It is still late evening on the market promenade, and amidst the impressive pillars and statues there has been some bustle. Insults had rung through the night air, before a duel had ensued, between Belmont d'Eresse and a certain Ghislain de Ferraut.

Belmont has already sustained a few wounds, but there are more cuts administered to his attire and his flesh. Another light nick of the rapier at the side of his neck cuts through the skin, causing a thin trickle of blood to stain both that neck and the collar of his shirt. Cursing below his breath, Belmont continues, his rapier darting forward to finally manage a first lightly piercing hit to his opponent. He is quite a skilled fencer, but at least tonight his skill doesn't seem to suffice, when Ghislain's blade pierces skin and deals him a deep thrust into his chest - at least that's how it must appear to the onlookers.

When Belmont sinks to his knees and his hand presses against the side of his chest, the area beneath soaking in a quickly growing stain of red, he hisses "I yield." And Companions, how he detests saying those two words, but the outcome is too clear to deny his defeat.

Marco claps his hands as Belmont drops down. He steps forward to inspect Belmont with a critical eye glancing towards the opponent to ensure Ghislain's blade goes up, "Enough he's yielded." His eyes gauging the wounds for several moments, "Well I think he's going to have a few new scars to show off if I don't miss my guess." He asks of Belmont, "Can you stand?" He asks as he moves closer letting out a sigh. Clearly the blood doesn't bother him if anything he seems to be enjoying it. "Do you want me to take a look at it?" He asks of Belmont his eyes continuing to flick back and forth between the two.

Louisa must have taken pity upon Desarae when Ghislain had called Belmont out, for the formidable chaperone, along with her charge and their guard have been quietly watching from the lee of a building. In far too many ways to mention, it'd have been simply cruel for the retired Mandrake to have dragged the Valerian novice away, and an excitement clearly shows in the older woman's face as Ghislain's final thrust drives Belmont to his knees. "He yields…" Satisfaction at hearing those words is plain in her voice. "Come. Let us return to the Salon now. But as she turns to leave, she'll find that her last words have missed their mark, for Desarae is already striding from the shadows and towards where Belmont now kneels, a square of embroidered white cotton being pulled from the folds of her skirt as she approaches. A shift of her attention to Marco, and a holding out of the 'kerchief to him. "Here. You may use this against his wound. It will help until a healer is fetched." If she looks Ghislain's way, it's only to assess whether or not she knows him, for there is potential in everyone she meets it would seem.

Once the yield goes up Imogen stops lurking on the sidelines and gets in on the action, doing her best to ensure no one bleeds to death. She's no medical expert though and a doctor is supposedly on his way, so there's little assistance she can offer the poor man.

There is a flicker of chilled contentment in Ghislain's eyes as he looks down at the kneeling Belmont, and he cannot resist to touch the flat of the slim blade against the cheek of the defeated Eresse lord. "Fine.", he says, and for a moment it seems as if he considers adding more taunts, but then decides to leave it at that. With a low chuckle he steps away, and gestures for his two friends to come along with him.

Belmont meanwhile turns his gaze towards Marco, and dropping the rapier, reaches for his arm for support as he staggers to his feet. "I'm fine," he grunts, an obvious lie the increasing pallor of his skin and the growing red stain on his attire will easily betray. A quick flick of his gaze acknowledges the presence of Imogen and even Desarae, but for now he seems not quite in the state to offer either of them any courtesies.

Marco chuckles softly as he helps Belmont up, "No doubt quite fine. But still it's a terrible waste of blood. I'm told you can pay Mandrakes in that." He says brightly glancing then to Des he nods accepting the kerchief. He then begins checking Belmont's various wounds and then shrugs pressing the kerchief and then reaching for Belmont's hand to apply pressure, "Here hold this in place and you should be alright." He seems to be perhaps prodding it more than necessary but then he isn't an official healer. He then asks of Belmont, "So… do you feel you got what you wanted out of that?"

Desarae exhales a sigh of satisfaction as she watches her pristine white 'kerchief with the carefully embroidered monogram entwined in thorny roses that she'd laboured long and hard over soak up the excess of Belmont's blood. "Tis likely you will soon be right again, my lord." There's a brightness to her tone as she folds her hands beneath her cloak, and she astutely ignores the harumphing noises that the approaching Louisa makes. Resigned to the sidelines once more, she does take a closer look at Marco, though he's perhaps not as familiar a cousin to her as Imogen might be. Certainly she doesn't address him with any hint of their connection. Indeed, she doesn't address him at all, given he's speaking with Belmont.

Belmont notes the handkerchief, spots perhaps some of that exquisite embroidery, before Marco uses the fine piece of cloth to press it against the wound on his chest. His own hand is already stained with blood, as it applies pressure to the handkerchief, to stop or at least slow down the bleeding. The Mereliot lord seems to have some knowledge in healing, as becomes one of Eisande's finest family, and Belmont follows his instructions, his hand still resting on Marco's lower arm to help him keeping somewhat steady. "I.. thought I could best him, to eradicate the stain he was putting on Irene's name. My sister," he explains, with a glance towards Marco, before his gaze shifts to Desarae, and the Eresse lord adds: "And now I'm ruining your fine handkerchief…" His tone apologetic, but also grateful in a way. And then his attention is on Imogen, "You wanted to stop me. I am sorry, I should have headed your words, but then again… You heard him, I couldn't let him say these things about my sister, and not even try to demand satisfaction?"

Confessions and apologies come to an end, when the footfall of heavy boots announce the eventual arrival of the city guard, a dozen stern looking men of duty with an older individual in robes following in their wake. Ghislain and his two henchmen are already gone from the market promenade, which leaves Belmont, Marco, Desarae and Imogen - and the chaperone - for them to approach.

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