(1310-07-06) Of Blades and Dolls
Summary: Arsène goes to the market and runs into Evangeline, after which they encounter Vira, Augustin, and later Colombe!
RL Date: Fri Jul 06, 1310
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
colombe augustin arsene evangeline vira 

Market Promenade

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.%r%rEvery 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.

It is, all in all, a glorious day to be out. While the sun has begun to set, it remains high enough in the sky to shed its full light upon the promenade, while a cooler marine wind helps make the hot summer day more pleasant. Less suffocating than yesterday, certainly. And thus, the Vicomte wanders the walkway clad in his more usual outfit, complete with cape. His sword remains at his side, as ever, yet he pauses every now and then when a weaponsmith exhibits their wares, testing the various blades, but ultimately discarding each and every one. Until he arrives at a particular shop, with a most interesting dagger. He has it in his hands, looking it over. Stylistically intriguing, the blade serpentine rather than straight, with lines that… Why, could it be made to contain poison? He smiles. The snake pommel makes it even more obvious. Oriental make, certainly. And so very sharp… Why, could this day get any better?

A little window shopping is good for the soul, or so they say. Amidst the throngs of people meandering in the promenade is a particular thorn who appears to be anything but sharp. The fairer weather allows for a bit of respite, but Evangeline is a hot blooded woman and as such, takes full advantage of the delicious Summer heat to show off as much flesh as possible. Whether her style is considered scandalous or not is of no concern to her. She stands tall, elegant and confidant by the jeweler's window watching as the setting sun captures the light on a few gems through the glass pane. The refraction catches on her skin depending on where she looks next, giving her something of an ethereal glow. Caramel locks are gently swept up into a styling that is both feminine and soft, threatening to uncoil at a moment's notice and yet it does not. Her gown of brilliant ivory is heavy enough to drape downward in perfect micro-pleats for texture, but the neckline plummets to the base of her sternum revealing quite a bit of skin. The back of the gown mirrors the front, exposing the marque of Mandrake. While her gown is simple in design, it is the gold necklace that circled her neck and travels down between her breasts then circles her waist that draws attention. Something in the window does keep her linger there for a moment longer than perhaps the other stores and when she finally turns to move, she comes nearly face to face with Arsene. Her hand lifts to come between their bodies, break her from barreling into him and therefore presses directly to the center of his chest. "Lord Trevalion. Pardon my haste." It is an odd greeting.

Instinct, perhaps, has Arsène place his hands upon the woman's waist. Either to prevent her from falling, or throwing her out of the way, is not so certain. Still, as his eyes travel up from the gold at her waist, up between her breasts, then to her neck and finally her eyes, he does recognize Eva. "Mandrake." the Vicomte greets in his peculiar fashion, never using one's name until it suits him. "I may forgive the faux-pas, but in the future, do try not to throw yourself at me till assignation, or else I might get ideas." he smirks. He never did bother to move his hands away, or move her own from his chest. "In a rush for the latest jewelry? Don't tell me you've had a sudden change of mood and need something glass-related."

"Of course, My Lord. We would not want you to get any of those." Ideas that is. Evangeline's own smirk touches her lips and it appears she seems perfectly fine to keep their proximity in tact. The evening breeze kisses her cheek and blows wayward strands of hair before her face, lightly veiling the violet-blue of her eyes. "Jewelry fascinates me." This sounds like a secret, the way her voice dips into honeyed tones. It is not a flirtatious sound but clearly she is excited by something she saw prior to bumping into the nobleman. "Glass has its purpose, Lord Arsene." It is with that sentence that she teases him now. "Were you strolling about or on your way somewhere? I could accompany you as the weather is agreeable and I do not see myself retiring to the Salon right away."

"Does it now? And what about jewels provokes such interest?" Arsène tilts his head to the side, black eyes focused on her, banishing all else. After all, what are the daily worries and troubles of the common, when he has the infinitely more amusing Mandrake right there, thrown into his metaphorical lap wraped up as a gift should be. It almost makes one want to give in to the urge of ripping the paper apart right there and then. But he smiles, instead. "I'm sure it does, but unless it is to hold my wine, I've little interest in it. And past events have made clear I certainly can't trust you to handle that particular glass properly." he arches a brow, teasing in return. "Strolling, actually. I've no grand event to attend, no one to humiliate publically with either words or sword, and find myself in the unfortunately familiar situation of having nothing to do save wander the shops and get some new knives. You have your fascinations, and I have mine." he smiles. "But by all means, lets walk together. I'm curious enough, for now." And he moves, their bodies pressed for a breath as he steps around her, to be side-by-side, and offers her his arm.

Evangeline gracious accepts Arsene's arm, tucking herself near his side as they being to stroll together. "Jewels, well, gemstones specifically are natural creations. I suppose there is a way in which a skilled jeweler could fabricate stones to appear like gems but the real gems like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, they are mined from deep within the earth. This might sound odd coming from a Mandrake, but I enjoy all facets of natural beauty and wonders." The woman smiles a touch warmer now and the expression reaches her eyes. "There are many things one can do with jewelry. It could be fashionable or it could be fashioned into an instrument that offers pleasure and pain. It could be added to clothing and weapons. It could be left raw, in its most natural state or polished to a gleam. Now, the same can be said for glass and I do wish to apologize for last night. I saw an opening and I could not help myself. If you were another sort of man, I would have made you crawl after me on that broken glass. Alas." She pauses to tip her head upwards and consider Arsene a moment. "You are not the type." And she does not seem disappointed by that. "Now, knives. You've piqued my curiosity. I've quite the collection of blades. Shall we head towards the weaponsmith shop to peek and see if there's anything of interest?"

Arsène glances back at Eva as they walk, and she describes her fascination further. "Not so odd. While those that come to you with the desire to feel pleasurable pain may only see that side of you, and think you only this, I know better than to believe there is but one side, one face, to anyone. It's not so odd." he replies. "I enjoy paintings of landscape, home and foreign, far more than I do of people. Natural, earthly beauty and wonder holds far more appeal than whatever countess decided her beauty was something special and needed to be immortalized." He rolls his eyes. "Though it seems the way you feel about jewelry, I feel about blades. The most versatile of weapons, no matter the enemy. And they have a beauty of their own, one unique to each smith." And there is genuine enthusiasm as Arsène speaks of such, the smile honest rather than mocking. When she apologizes, he laughs. "Don't, else I might think you soft, and then I'll lose interest. But perhaps that's your intention, mm? Either way, you're quite correct. The woman for whom I would walk in broken glass, or fire, for has not been found. Nor would I ever tolerate one to have so much of a hold as to make me forget myself." Control, his own, and no one else's. "Let's. While I've bought myself a new dagger, one never has enough blades. Any preference as to your own? Perhaps we can find a jeweled one for you. My treat, I'm in a good mood."

To say the Mandrake is impressed is an understatement. Eva watches Arsene with a quiet glance and one can assume there is a myriad thoughts going through her mind at the moment. The only inkling to this is the simple, "Hmm." she offers when the man describes paintings of landscapes and earthly beauty. She tears her attention off of him for a moment to gaze over towards the smith and yet, the corner of her mouth curls into a grin. "Versatile indeed. I couldn't agree more. Some are far too beautiful to use. I have one I am saving for that special someone. Like you, I've yet to find that which truly challenges me; mind, body, soul. Nor have I been looking. I assume it will one day simply fall into my lap, or it won't. My service to Naamah is all I need." The young woman looks to Arsene once more. "If you ever do find such a woman for whom you'd walk on glass or through fire for, I would pay handsomely to watch such a display." Her lips press together into a smile that contains her chuckling. "Trust me, I do not apologize because I feel badly. I apologize because I am a woman who understands courtesies. I am not a soft woman. I would not be a soft woman if you paid me to be one. I would graciously introduce you to someone who would better suit your needs. As for intentions, the only one I have with you at the moment, my dearest Vicomte de Dreux, is to marvel over some fine steel and if you are in a giving mood, I will gladly take."

"Like anything else, some are more practical than others. Beautiful blades are often weaker than a simpler sword, sacrifices to style. But you don't need a war blade if you just intend to cut someone up lightly, do you?" Arsène smirks. "Or, I suppose, to a worthy challenger. Doesn't matter if the blade shatters in one use, does it? If it was for that special someone." he chuckles. "Though one would hope it did not do so in the middle of use, lest all involved be left wanting." He does not dwell on it, instead following her words with a nod. "How does it… sustain you? This service. You must find something from the whole arrangement." he asks. As to watching, he shakes his head. "I'm sure you would, but I doubt it shall ever happen. I'm not looking, breaking the candidates has been far too much fun. Maybe if one remains whole longer than the rest… but then it might just mean that I need to try harder, doesn't it?" As to being soft, he smiles. "I know enough soft women for three lifetimes. I would rather have you at your worst. At least you make it interesting. Any clue as to what might catch your eye? A piece that remains missing from your collection?" he asks, as they step up to one of the shops offering their sharpened wares.

Vira arrives from the Grand Plaza.

Vira has arrived.

"There is beauty in destruction." Evangeline says calmly, as if this were a fact everyone knew and called upon. "If a blade shattered during use, then that was its purpose. If it was that someone special, it could symbolize many things for me and that person. The beginning and the end of something we will never have again. Wanting is another form of desire. There are varying degrees of want. I test those boundaries and everyone has a different threshold. Myself included." They continue to stroll, not pausing when the conversation becomes a bit more involved. The Mandrake doesn't seem to flinch even if she does cast Arsene a look every now and then. Observing his features while they converse. "My service to Naamah sustains me because it is her will. It is believed Naamah chose her patrons like victims and whipped them to violent pleasures, leaving them sated and half-dead when it was over." It is at this juncture that Evangeline's steps come to a halt. She lifts her chin a touch and sets her eyes upon his own. "It is akin to a religious experience. Being that close to death or the assumption of what death must feel like, as I mentioned everyone has a different threshold. It is my job to pay attention to when someone is getting too close and watching for their signale. Have you ever been on either side of the whip, Lord Arsene?" His remark about having her at her worst draws another smirk and a soft exhale through her nose, "Hmm." The quiet contemplation lingers a moment longer than intended and Evangeline glances away from the man's face. She smacks her lips carefully and offers a shrug of a single shoulder. "It is difficult to say. I have many different kinds. Some serrated, some truly more for show. Perhaps something that would offer a quick nick. Smooth like silk. Leaves a cleaner wound to tend to. Not everyone likes scars."

Augustin arrives from the Grand Plaza.

Augustin has arrived.

In one corner of the market sits a rather colorful stall, its pale wooden frame painted with brightly colored butterflies. That frame reaches high, forming an awning of sorts over the booth from which equally colorful silks have been draped. Standing quietly under that awning and manning that booth is Vira. The doll faced Tsingani girl running a sharpened blade over a wooden flute, etching beautiful designs into it while she watches the crowds. Her stall seems to hold an asortment of goods. Woodworks crafted in great detail much like the flute of all shapes and sizes. Dolls of porcelain made to look remarkablly lifelike and dressed in d'Angeline fashions. And even a few neatly packaged herbal remedies and teas. From behind that neatly organized booth Vira watches, honey colored eyes drifting idly as she works on her carving as though it was second nature. The exotic barefooted girl in her wispy white gown and golden coin jewelry may very well draw a few curious eyes just like the stall she runs.

Augustin is neither barefooted nor exotic, so he might escape attention. He steps in from the direction of the noble districts, his hands folded together behind his back and his curved foreign sword resting easily on his hip. He moves with a casual grace through the crowds, very much keeping his own counsel as his eyes cross the wares. H looks at the dolls and woodwork. "Those are lovely," he offers politely.

"Ah, now I could not agree more with you, my dear Mandrake. There's nothing quite like watching the final embers die, of defiance, or love. Of the end of an era, the end of someone, or something. It's one of the rare pleasures in life, so satisfying… so we must seek it out all the more." Arsène replies to Evangeline. "Mm. I've half a mind to find out what yours are. Perhaps another time. I enjoy this more… leisurly discovery of you. No point rushing it." He listens with particular attention, however, when she discusses her service to Naamah, and when she stops, so does he. "I have held it, and some misguided soul once thought to use it on me. I doubt they'll ever touch a whip again in their life, my correction was quite thorough." he smiles, and there, rather than the enthusiasm of passion, is its darker cousin. "None have tried in some time since. You see, I am no Mandrake. I do not have your training, nor am I called to service. The enjoyment I find in destruction is my own, and whether the other feels the same is no concern of mine. On that fundamental point, we differ." When her gaze moves, so does his, from her body to the blades thus showcased. "Thin blade, then. Thin, sharp, and unless in expert hands, sure to to cut deep and draw lifeblood. Mmm… Like this one?" He picks one such blade, small, yet the blade is so thin as to appear fragile, yet all it takes is the softest of touch to draw blood from Arsènes' thumb. "It should do nicely." And then his eyes stray to Vira, and he smiles. "Or I suppose you could ask the girl for her own. Perhaps apply it to your puppy's own flute?" he grins. A familiar voice is heard, however, when a man approaches the girl. A man Arsène recognizes easily enough. "Why, if it isn't my famed cousin. Auggie, I'm told I should call you. The Heiress was quite insistant." He glances back to Eva. "Have you two met already? If not… I'm sure he can supply a better introduction I ever could."

Honey colored eyes lock onto Augustin and Vira smiles softly. "Why thank you my Lord. They are all hand crafted by myself. Is there anything in particular you might be looking for?" Catching sight of light gleaming off the blade in Aresene's hand she looks over that way, her gaze assessing the man and his posture carefully. The smile he offers her is met with an arched eyebrow and a faint smile in return. As he mentions asking her for her knife she glances down at the simple yet expertly sharpened thin blade with its polished bone handle that she wields before blinking and looking back up at Arsene. She smiles fainly once more as she offers a soft spoken and calm reply. "I would not dream of assuming this humble knife is worthy of being in such esteemed and skilled hands My Lord. You look to be deserving of far more than a simple carving knife…" Her soft tone is matched by an intense gaze as she studies both Arsene and Augustin, falling silent to watch them trade words now.

Evangeline has partially disconnected.

Augustin shakes his head. "I am not looking for anything secifically, just looking, madamoiselle," he offers with a small smile. He then hears what is very much a familiar voice to him as wel, and sighs slightly. "Arsene. I doubt Reina actually told you that, as opposed to her saying it and you thinking it amusing; and the Companions deciding I needed to be punished for some sin I cannot imagine." He turns and offers a polite bow to the woman he is with. "I have not; Augustin de Trevalion, Vicomte de Rouen, my lady. A pleasure."

Evangeline briefly offers Arsene a whisper after he assesses the edge of the blade against his thumb. She observes the way the hint of blood bubbles from the superficial wound. Her lips curve with amusement. "It is perfect." She murmurs with delight. When Arsene motions to Vira, Eva's light eyes flat towards the woman with the dolls. "There is a special place for dolls in my line of work." Mischief plays on her tongue. Caught in thought, she nearly missed the introduction.

"Vicomte de Rouen, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Evangeline." Her white silk gown isn't completely becoming of her canon, but the Mandrake marque on her back speaks for her.

"Very perceptive, cousin. Surely you weren't lurking in the shadows when she and I met?" Arsène laughs at Augustin's response. "I would say it was to keep you humble, but you never had any issue with that, mm? Perhaps it is to serve not you, but us poor mortals, to humanize the ideal legend would have us worship." he grins. Arsène, it is clear to see, is having quite a bit of fun. "Fret not, little girl, it is not for me, but for my Mandrake friend here." He motions to Evangeline. "And trust me, I doubt one can truly call such knife 'simple' once it has been in the hands of one from her House." he chuckles, but makes no move to press for Vira's knife. Instead, the thin blade he tested is bought, and he hands it to Evangeline. "As promised. I expect a thought for me when you first use it." he says, the smirk back on his face while his eyes move their entirefocus, if briefly, upon the Mandrake. And when both Evangeline and Augustin have been introduced? "Excellent. You really should spend more time in the Rose Sauvage, cousin. They're a delight for company."

Vira's eyes narrow at Arsene a touch, just enough to show annoyance and defiance. "I am not that little my Lord. I would be most thankful if you would save the little girl comments for those they actually apply to." She drawls back with a touch of bite to her tone. She doesn't seem to be going out of her way to disrespect him or even intend to be rude but she isn't going to stand there and be patronized either it seems. Looking back to Augustin she smiles warmly and nods. "Let me know if you see anything you like then. Evangeline's mention of dolls draws a curious look and an arched brow. "Oh my Lady? Well if you need a doll custom made for whatever reason…I'll be happy to be of service."

"Oh, everyone has a line, cousin. You seem so awfully fond of finding them, however; I doubt that you'll tarry too long in finding some more," Augustin points out with a shake of his head. He shrugs. "I have been to the house socially. I am afraid that I don't find pleasure in as sharp a thing as you do. Not that Lady Evangeline isn't a sight, and no doubt terribly skilled at her profession." He quirks an eyebrow at the response from Vira.

Vira's reaction, rather than insult, instead seem to only bring a larger grin upon Arsène's face. "You are so cute I feel the urge to put you in my pocket and take you home. Or to throw you a ball of yarn." Possibly not what Vira might have hoped, all things considered, but the Vicomte does not show a hint of remorse in neither action nor word. It's not helped when she speaks of being of service to Eva. He turns his gaze to the Mandrake, unable to restrain his amusement. "Please. Make my day." But he hardly gives her enough time to react, for his attention shifts once more to Augustin. "Why, I simply enable others to confront that which they really are. Sometimes with a demonstration that makes clear how very little that actually is. Surely you cannot take issue with the manner of soul-searching I offer?" he grins again, but as before, what amusement there is has a darker source, unapologetic cruelty never one for warm gestures. "I've actually no clue as to her true ability. I've yet to see such a demonstration. Perhaps when her puppy comes licking her boots." he shrugs.

Vira arches a brow at Arsene her honey colored eyes openly defiant as she stares him down. She calmly lowers the flute she had been carving but keeps her dainty hand gently wraped around the knife she holds. "You may be handsome my Lord but you should be careful. You compare me to a kitten but cats are notoriously fickle in who they let handle them. And I will scratch and bite you." She smirks faintly her eyes narrowed, equal parts annoyed and amused perhaps? Its hard to tell. She lets her gaze drift away now, regarding Augustin and Evangeline carefully now as well.

The Mandrake is not thinking of those kinds of services directly when Vira offers her assistance. Evangeline is focused on shopping. She admires the other woman's work and gestures to a particular doll that might resemble her in complexion and fairness of hair. "You make all of these yourself, mademoiselle? They are lovely. I have a client who might truly enjoyed your craftsmanship." A dark glint in her eyes is subtle but telling of her nefarious thoughts. "You are incorrigible, Lord Arsene. If you were mine I'd have you on a leash." Her smile and laughter alike are light. With the Vicomte de Dreux this is no serious threat. Merely poking fun as he likes to mention her 'puppy' time and again.

That one raised eyebrow becomes a second, and Augustin snorts. "Not quite the response I expected from you, Arsene. You surprise me. And not unpleasantly," he adds, in a tone of voice which implies it may or may not be the first time. "It is still antagonizing someone, of course, so somewhat true to form. Have you bled anyone interesting in the city?" He asks curiously.

"And if you were mine I'd have you wear the same and little else." Arsène replies casually to Evangeline. "I'm sure that necklace of yours could be repurposed into something more suitable." As to the dolls, he smiles, the amusement alive and thriving, in fact. "As many times I've heard that song and made that dance, it never does quite lose its charm." he remarks. "Well, perhaps a little." he adds as an afterthought. To Augustin, he shrugs. "What can I say, I have my moments. Though alas, no one worth mentioning. I've not yet had time to attract the ire of the local sons of the Realm, my only 'duel', and I use the term loosely, was with some half-blood barbarian sellsword. I hope she survives long enough to provide more netertainment, but she did last longer than the usual sort. Frida, I think her name was? Something like that. Skald."

Evangeline is tickled by Arsene's comment. Her head rolls back while laughter sings on her lips, edged by a sinful cruelty that is all her own. "Ah, my darling Vicomte." The laughter settles and she exhales softly. "That was rousing. I was not expecting comedy from you. But here you are, surprising me again."

Vira falls silent now, listening and watching with an alert gaze. She seems attentive to her surroundings even as she moves to straighten up the contents of her stall to better display what is availible. A soft little smile is given to Evangeline. "Indeed I do. Crafted from scratch." A tilt of her head has those wild curls shifting slightly as she smiles in amusement. "Planning something are you my lady?" Her own eyes gleam with wicked mischief and she glances between the group once more now. Arsene's comment is met with an arched brow. "My apologies if that was a tiny bit repetative…there are only so many times people can call me cute without me getting a touch…feisty. This kitten likes challenges but she likes to choose her challenges all the same." Another faint smirk is given.

Augustin snorts. "You two could just fit one another for matching collars and call it good," Augustin teases wryly before he laughs a little and shakes his head. "Yes, Frida. So you did fight her? How was she? I've not yet had the chance, and I've been curious if she has the steel to back up her pride." He grins to Vira. "I can only imagine that it would grow grating, Madamoiselle, and you are not wrong to insist on not being called so. I try to avoid pejoratives to anyone actively using a knife with such skill."

Colombe arrives from the Grand Plaza.

Colombe has arrived.

"I know. The necklace really is fine the way it is." And Arsène, quite obviously, making no attempt to hide it whatsoever, gives it and the body that wears it a good, long look. "But I've little interest in marking anything or anyone as mine. That would imply caring, and that, I fear, is rather scarce within mine heart." he sighs, mockery in every word. And it's then his focus turns to Vira, and he arches a brow. "Don't apologize. Really, one shouldn't be sorry for their nature. Or the one of others. What sort of challenge is it, however, when you choose it?" he queries. Yet it is his cousin that has his attention next. "No, that would ruin the whole point. There's no equality to be found here. As to Frida… She's still got a long way to go before reaching our skill. Not a complete disappointment, but not a challenge to get one's blood singing. Potential yet unachieved. Perhaps with training, if you feel particularly generous with your time. I'm already supposed to teach our Heiress of a cousin." he shrugs.

The courtesan's brilliant ivory gown made of small precise pleats, is a sleeveless affair with a plummeting neckline that reaches the base of her sternum and exposes the expanse of skin between her breasts. The skirt falls straight to the ground where the hem lightly brushes her toes. Like the front, the back is opened to display the full marque of Mandrake. The pleated fabric on the shoulders overlaps the back making it appear like a pair of small wings that billow softly in the evening air. Around Eva's neck is simple gold necklace made up of joined coin sized flat coils. The necklace covets her throat then traverses down between her chest and circles her hips, almost caving her in with its design. "It is so true, Lord Arsene. If only you had such capacity in your heart for such things. Alas, we did have that brief moment just a second ago and I will cherish that second." Evangeline sighs wistfully. "And now it is over." Her dark smile touches her lips once more before she regards Augustin. "You are the chivalrous Trevalion I take it?"

Colombe strides into the square with a sort of energy to his gait. The sailor has his waterproof satchel slung over his shoulders, strap across his chest, and he makes his way to a food vender selling some roasted nuts and buys himself a bag. Colombe grins widely at basically everyone he sees, even taking the opportunity to swing a passing woman in a quick dance near the buskers. If one needed an example of someone who enjoyed life, Colombe would be the very picture of it. Spotting Evangeline, his grin only widens, but he does nothing more to catch her eye. Of course, should he catch her eye, she'd get a playful wink from the man, and an almost polite bow.

"Yes, what a terrible thing it would be to show the human emotions of fondness or love, Arsene. Please forgive I ever thought to assign them to you, and perish the thought I ever shall again," Augustin offers with a roll of his eyes. He snorts. "How disappointing. And really, Reina is interested in sword lessons? Interesting. She does have a name, you know," he points out, befor turning more fully to Evangeline. "Apparently so, although I am afraid compared to my cousin it is a rather low bar to clear. I am the one who is a chevalier, at the very least."

"It shall be our most treasured memory, I'm sure." Arsène tells Evangeline, placing his head upon his heart, as if overtaken by the meaningful nature of the moment. "Never again shall there be its like, oh the tragedy of this life." And then he laughs, the Mandrake's smile reflected in his own amusement. "Mm, this is fun." And then he catches sight of Colombe, and the big grin addressed to Evangeline. "One of yours?" he asks. "What is worse, cousin? The lack of either, or the lie that there is? I make no attempt to deceive those who convince themselves that they might inspire either within me. Does my honesty not merit praise?" he asks Augustin, smirking. "How am I to be blamed for the self-imposed delusions of others? Do you blame the reefs when fools sail their ships right into them?" As to their cousin, he waves it aside. "I know, I know. But it pleases me to call her by another name. For now, anyway." And as far as any bar is concerned… "I believe one merely needs to walk to pass it." Arsène notes, hardly helping his case.

Evangeline says, "Is that so?" Evangeline replies to Augustin. "Always in command, lord and master of his sword, protector of man. How noble." And while it is a compliment, the Mandrake is sizing up the other Trevalion Vicomte. As a thought passed her mind, she bites her bottom lip. Lips part to speak but Arsene steals her thought. Sje idly passes a glance over her shoulder and offers a predatory smile. "Not exactly. Lord Colombe d'Eresse. Here to study more architecture and decor?" She gestures to the sailor and speaks to Arsene and Augustin. "My esteemed Lord Arsene Trevalion , Vicomte de Dreux and Lord Augustin Trevalion, Vicomte de Rouen, this is Lord Colombe d'Eresse.""

Colombe changes his direction slightly when he's addressed, that smile threatening now to split his head in two. He offers polite nods of greeting to the new people who are introduced, and says to Evangeline, "Not here, no. I was just out for a walk, as it happens. But, it seems my luck has held up, as here you are." He says to the other fellows, "Evangeline has been making strong efforts to live up to the Mandrake reputation in all of our meetings," and he's smiling almost proudly at the report, "and she's come close to striking to the mark with a jibe or insult. So, if any of you are looking for that sort of thing, I should recommend her."

Augustin shrugs artlessly at his cousin, with a little bit of a roll to his eyes. "No, I suppose the one thing we can always give you is that you're always honest. If you're going to be terrible you might as well be honest about it." He snorts to Evangeline. "If I was always in command my life would have been very different than it has been, my lady. Perhaps a master of the sword, although there is always someone better waiting in the wings." He raises an eyebrow as he looks over to Colombe, and gives him a nod. "Lord Colombe, welcome."

"Interesting. Implying that she has failed to hit home with you, My Lord." Arsène remarks, amusement clear as he considers first Colombe, and then Evangeline. "I suppose if I want effort rather than result, I know who to call. Yield all indeed." he says wryly. "But that's what makes it interesting, cousin!" he replies, turning to Augustin. "How boring, how dull, a life without challenge, without someone to come along and give you the thrill of a good fight? Without that, only boredom awaits. Terrible, unending, boredom."

Evangeline finds her snarky laughter on the tip of her tongue once more as she regards Colombe. "Have you fallen ill, my lord? Must I send you to the Salon Coquelicot for an evening with one of the women or men of Balm? You may be feverish for I've not begun to expend the energy on you. Though it is adorable you believe I have made such attempts. I do however recall denying you a trip to go swimming. I had something better planned that afternoon. Anything else." She turns to Augustin now, "Should you ever feel the need to lay such control in my capable hands, I promise to have you shivering and begging for that sweet release. It will hurt, but you will be grateful."

Colombe just smiles at Eva's retort. He shrugs those broad shoulders Arsene's way and replies, "Not every tactic works with every opponent. And not every engagement need be adversarial." He looks to Eva again and corrects, "You declined an invitation. You didn't deny me anything. I went swimming, just as I'd planned. And if you found your afternoon to have been better than one in my company, I'm glad for you. Fortunately, it would appear the young woman I went swimming with after all rather enjoyed my company. A few times." He looks to Augustin and says, "I believe her, my lord. As I said, she appears quite skilled. Just chose the wrong tactic with me. I wonder whether that means the tactic should change, or a new target should be chosen… On the ships, I'd just choose a new tactic, but this is a target-rich environment, so perhaps the latter…" Now he looks all contemplative.

Augustin shakes his head. "I have often wished for some more boredom in my life, Arsene. I am not someone who goes and seeks it out, excitement or blood; just someone who finds it all too often," he says with a sigh before he turns to Evangeline, and his smile turns wry. "I am not sure I would be, my lady. My tastes don't run much that way, I'm afraid. As I said, I don't seek out pain or bloood or danger; either real, or by consent. But if I decide to search for it I will certainly seek you out, for one so beautiful and confient does have much appeal." He chuckles to Colombe, and shakes his head. "Sometimes it's best to know when to cut ones losses, after all."

"My, but how he riles you up." Arsène grins, evidently approving the snark of Eva's laughter and the sharpness of her tongue. "But the time has come for my departure, admittedly from entertaining company. Don't do anything too interesting now, I'd hate to miss it." he smirks. "Till we meet again, Evangeline, My Lord, Cousin." He nods to the group, and with that, walks away, never looking back.

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