(1310-06-27) To Make A Story of His Own
Summary: Irene learns of Belmont leaving Marsilikos and is not amused.
RL Date: 27-28/06/2018
Related: D3 to G7
belmont irene 

Eresse Townhouse — Noble District

The Eresse residence combines rustique naval charme with a certain noble elegance, as can be seen from the interior of the parlor, where a few windows light the room generously during the day. At the wall hangs a shield with the family crest, the green ship on a field of white. Dark mahogany furniture provides a nice contrast to the green color favored in the upholstery in the furniture. A table with a number of elegantly carved chairs govern one side of room, set before a wall that sports a few paintings of naval scenes. To the other side, there is the hearth, plain dark grey marble, which has a variety of small ship models arranged upon the mantelpiece. Before the hearth, a few comfortable armchairs have been arranged, green cushions thrown in to add more comfort.

A door at the back leads to the kitchens and a stairway leading upstairs towards the private quarters of Eresse lords and ladies currently residing in the city.

Belmont is hard to come by, these days. And he has been rarely about at the Eresse residence lately. One reason for this may be that his intended lives in a townhouse not too far away. And another, that he may indeed have been busy.

To see him downstairs on this morning may come as a surprise though. He is attired in his favorite doublet of dark green and breeches of the same color and wearing comfortable slippers on his feet. Right now, he is sitting at the table, enjoying some sort of breakfast. There is a plate with cheese and some smoked ham sitting before him on the table, a small basket with slices of bread beside, and a glass of watered wine in his hand. Belmont appears to be a bit thoughtful. His gaze is turned towards one of the windows, but one can tell that his eyes look distant, as if caught in contemplations of sorts.

A young lady rushes inside and her cheerful but honestly apologetic voice echoes in the hallway, "Thank you so much and I am so sorry that we were caught by the rain. Have a great day!" She closes the door and then is quick to brush off the drops of a morning rain from her cloak. Then the clock is removed and reveals a dark brown gown under it.

Irene slowly moves deeper into her home while her eyes are excitedly looking for a familiar figure. A wet skirt of her dress sweeps the floor leaving a bit of summer mud on the ground. "Belmont? Is that you? Is that really you?!" She chuckles and approaches her brother.

"I came here to spend more time with my brothers but it seems I am not able to find any of them. I may be in the need of new siblings! How have you been, Belmont?"

Belmont looks up, drawn from his thoughts when his sister enters the house. “Ah… Irene… How have you been?”, he asks, a smile touching his features as he moves to stand and crosses the distance to give her a sound brotherly hug. It takes a moment before he will let go of her. “I’m good,” he responds to her question. “It’s just… I will leave soon. And you must not tell Gauge. I wonder when he’ll leave for his own little mission anyway.” Something is off, a rather unusual sincerity in his tone that his attempt at sounding light and casual does not quite manage to conceal. One arm stays wrapped about her back. And the hint of a smirk chases that thoughtful look away for a moment. “By the way… was that you who put itching powder into my boots? I had to get them thoroughly cleaned before I could go out last night.”

Irene's eyebrow raises up in question and her smile fades, "Mission? What do you mean by that? Gauge and you are leaving to some sort of a mission? Is that dangerous? I don't understand… I thought that you both are preparing marriages but that is not what should sent you both away? I mean… At least one of you has to stay and take care of our family’s matters. I really…"

Irene's thoughts are cut off by the last remark of her brother. She shyly lowers her gaze and her cheeks blush, "I've met this priest… He said he is quite good at pranks and he happened to have itching powder on him. I got a bit excited about that… It was childish of me. I apologize."

“There is something… Something that has happened to Ambassador Aziza on her way to Marsilikos,” Belmont tells her quietly. “She was attacked, and some of her property was stolen. She barely made it here. It is Gauge’s idea now to look into that. It means, he has to travel into Caerdicci territory. He is gathering people who shall accompany him. And I believe, Lady Aziza will come along as well. With her Menekhetan guards.” There is a pause as he gestures over to the table. “Come and join me for a moment, so that we can have some breakfast together.” And he will wait until Irene is properly seated before he claims his own chair from before.

“As for the boots… well. It was a surprise. I didn’t expect, my own sister would wish to put me through torment as that. Can you imagine? It took me more than half a day to get till my calves stopped itching.” He smirks. “Since when do priests impart ‘counsel’ like that? He must be an odd kind of priest, who gave you that itching powder.”

Pouring her a glass of watered wine as well, Belmont adds, “For your information, Gauge has told me that I must not come along with him. As I am his heir, until he’ll have children of his own. Can you imagine?” The tone is casual, but that doesn't make his expression any lighter. “He thinks it will be enough to put one of us at risk in this mission.”

Irene takes the seat she has been offered. Though, she does not show any interest toward the meal or the drink. The young lady keeps quiet till her brother makes a much longer pause. She is also not quick to react or answer and seems to take time for some consideration. Few deep breaths seem to help her combine words into sentences and just then she speaks out.

“First of all, that priest was still young and he told me some stories about his apprenticeship. It seems that his tutor had a good dose of humor. Monsieur Tavi is his name and I regret falling for his silly stories. I shouldn’t have done what I did. This is not going to repeat.” Her voice is firm.

Irene’s smile completely fades before she continues, “The same way you shall obey to our brother. I heard that Lady Aziza has been attacked. Though, she sounds as a tough woman. I know that Gauge’s mission is to impress her family and her by assisting the lady in catching those villains. You would not just interfere into his plans but you would endanger our family’s lineage…”

Irene decides to take a small sip. But when she touches the goblet with her right hand, she keeps her left raised a bit. A motion for Belmont not to speak up. She still has a lot to say and that is why she is quick to continue, “We do not know exactly who attacked Lady Aziza. It’s our brother’s decision to conquer her family’s and her heart, and he puts himself in danger but he is at least wise enough to keep you away from this. Belmont, it’s going to be reckless of you to go. I love you, my brother, but I will have to warn Gauge about your plans. You don’t need to prove yourself to a lady. Lady Gabriella already lost her mind over you. You need to think about our family, and our mother and I can not lose two more men.”

<FS3> Belmont rolls Composure: Good Success. (1 3 8 8 6 6)
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Belmont=Subterfuge Vs Irene=Perception
< Belmont: Failure (3 1 3) Irene: Good Success (2 2 5 8 7 4)
< Net Result: Irene wins - Solid Victory

“I am not mad at you,” Belmont insists, looking a touch surprised to see Irene react the way she does. “Not at all. You don’t need to apologize, and what wrong is there in playing pranks. You played me some pranks when we were younger, so where is the fault in that?” His brows furrow slightly as he considers her. “You’ll always be little Irene to me. Remember how you jumped up and down in excitement, when you watched Gauge and me play with our wooden sticks? Dueling?” He lifts his hand and makes a dismissive gesture. “I was actually relieved you have retained a certain sense of humor.”

Irene is not done though. And Belmont inhales a deep breath as she launches her lecture on how he is not to act against Gauge’s wish. It makes a stubborn look flash in his gaze, for a moment. “Sister. I never even mentioned I would go and accompany him,” he retorts, a bit vehemently perhaps. “Do you have any idea how it feels to be always - always - left behind? Do you think I won’t be able to hold my own? I’ve been abroad before. I’ve been to La Serenissima. To Aragonia… I…” He catches his breath and bites back a remark that was about to slip past his lips. “I shan’t travel with Gauge. This much I promise to you.”

There is a slight roll of his eyes, at the mention of his intended. “Gabrielle is very fond of me, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. Fact is, there are no plans of mine, you’d have to share with Gauge. None at all. As I won’t be going with him. Nor do I plan to follow him.” As perceptive as Irene may be, especially when it comes to things concerning her brother, she does notice a slight flicker of guilt in the moment he refers to Gabrielle. Also, she cannot help but suspect that he may withhold some information, if going by his slightly nervous fidgeting of hands before him on the table.

“I will leave soon. And you must not tell Gauge…” Irene repeats Belmont’s words. “Maybe you are right. Maybe we still did not forget our childhood. Or maybe even when we grow up we still lie and hide the truth from our family members. Except that when we do it in childhood, we do it because we are afraid. Grown ups do that because they are fools or stubborn, or reckless. I consider you stubborn, Belmont, and I honestly hope that you are not a fool and you are not reckless for the sake of our and your future.”

Irene reaches out to touch the hand of her brother if he allows and offer a supportive pat, “This is not about leaving you behind. This is about giving Gauge an opportunity to prove himself to the woman he loves. What if you will be thousands of times better in his battle? What if you will be the one to save him in his battle? That’s going to be shameful to Gauge. You should trust more in our brother.”

Another small pat on the man’s hand is offered and Irene tries to move closer to her brother by pushing her chair. She focuses her eyes on his, “Especially, you shouldn’t go now since I sense that there is something more in the relationship between Lady Gabrielle and you. I hope, that you still have trust in your sister… May I help with anything? Do you need to talk to someone? You know, that I am here to hear out your worries and assist in resolving them?”

“Ah… that…” Yes, those were the very words Belmont had uttered towards Irene when she came in. His forehead wrinkles a touch, and the younger Eresse brother cants his head a little, gaze dropping to his hands. “That is not about what you think it is. I’ll be leaving. Yes. But not to follow Gauge on his mission to prove himself for Lady Aziza…” His jaw sets and he swallows. “You see? He gets to go to find adventure. It has been like that, always it’s been like that. Who sailed off to enjoy life as a privateer? It was Gauge. I… was asked to sail with shipments of Eresse goods to La Serenissima. Going the easy… The safe route. Can’t you see how frustrating such can be… When I had dreamt to make myself a name, sister. I know I’m more than decent with the sword. It is all I ask. That once. Only once I shall be allowed to do something on my own, to see if I have it in me. To pull it off and for once be the hero, Gauge has ever been.”

A low snort there, as his expression softens. “Ah… Everything is fine with me and Gabrielle… There can be worse things that can happen to a man, than a betrothed that is greedy for his attentions.” A faint smirk there. “But there is more to life, than lengthy pleasurable exploits in the bedroom. I want to see battle, just once. To prove my worth there and return… a hero.”

There, he said it. Even if with a voice that has dimmed down to a whisper.

Irene chuckles but more from desperation than amusement, “Belmont, I do not understand why are you so focused on reaching your own glory at the same time when Gauge leaves. Where you will go and what are you planning to do? Why can it not wait till Gauge comes back? Why can’t you chase your dreams one by one?” The young woman sighs and leans back in her seat.

“What would happen if everybody would chase their dreams whenever they want? Don’t you think that I have no dreams? I would love to travel across the world and sketch everything that attracts my attention. I would love to see my works hanging on the walls and I would love to have my personal workshop and just focus on that. Though, our mother taught me that a family comes first. So, I am not gathering my things and sailing off to seek my adventures. Belmont, I am here at Marsilikos trying to conquer respect of our Duchess and find a good husband that our marriage would be of value to our family. I know that I will have to assist my husband afterwards with the household and grow my own children. Sometimes we just have to do what we do. Now I am asking to just wait until Gauge comes back before you leave. You don’t have to give up on your desire for adventures, but do not abandon your family.”

An exasperated sigh leaves Belmont as he slumps against the backrest of his chair, his grey-blue eyes staring at Irene, incredulous and astonished that she would question him so. “Haven’t you listened to me, Irene? I think I made it clear already. I won’t get another chance. As soon as I’m wed to Gabrielle, I’ll be Vicomte de Rognac, swamped with duties and the need to learn… to act sensible.” The latter part he admits with a chuckle and a lift of his brows. “Why I have to go now, is that the opportunity is there. And I won’t get another. It is not up to me to decide the time. I may be around for another week or two. It is an assignment, it may last one week or more, I can’t tell yet, but I’ll be back in time to travel with Gabrielle to Aix for the wedding.”

He bites his lip. “I am sure you’ll do great. And that you’ll achieve your goals. You have more sense that Gauge and I together.” Tossing a wink at her, Belmont leans forward again. “Just… I know Gauge may not approve as well, of me going on this adventure. I’ll be travelling to Genoa and then Milazza. There is monetary compensation, but I’m in it for other reasons. Reasons I tried to explain to you, little sister. Be it, just to learn new stories… and make a story of my own.”

Irene takes a moment to think on her brother’s words. “I understand your desire to seek adventures before marriage. But I still wish you would talk to Gauge about it. I will not tell him, I guess… Even if that will be a disappointment to our mother and Gauge. But I trust you, Belmont. I know that you will not endanger yourself, and that you will come back to us. Though, would you mind telling me more about this adventure of yours?”

“It is about some political dispute, regarding Milazza.”, Belmont explains. “There will be a siege of the city state.” Choosing his words carefully to provide the information, perhaps considering how much of it to give to Irenne. “I cannot tell you any more of it. It’s all you need to know.” He considers his sister for a moment, then reaches for the flagon to refill his glass with watered wine. “Maybe I’ll talk to Gauge. Maybe I won’t. That shall not be your concern.”, he adds after a moment, lifting his gaze to meet hers. “You’ll tell him anyway, I guess.” Knowing his sister too well, he draws his own conclusions, especially after noting how she reacted to the news.

“Maybe I’ll talk to Gauge. Maybe I won’t,” Irene replies and smiles warmly at her brother. She sets her hand on his right shoulder if he allows and focuses her eyes on his, “Everything I do, I do to protect you. I love you both and I have more sense than Gauge and you together. I will try to use that sense in order to keep my family safe.”

Irene stands up and then will lean to place a peck on her brother’s forehead if he allows, “Have a great day, my dear Belmont.”

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