(1310-07-24) Here We Meet Again
Summary: Is it an encounter by chance? When Cyriel offers a favor in turn for another; and a compliment on Irene's talent.
RL Date: 24-29/07/2018
Related: Previous encounters
cyriel irene 

Rooftop Garden - Ducal Palace

Nobility visiting Marsilikos would be a common sight at the Palace. Even those that don’t have lodgings within the palace grounds. While some would come seeking for an audience with Her Grace, Duchesse Armandine Mereliot, others would content themselves with far less ambitious objectives. Such as Cyriel Charlot, who has arrived some time ago and now can be seen venturing through the public areas of the Dome of the Lady. After ascending the stairs from the Entrance Hall, he has found the solar, and now steps out onto the rooftop garden. The arrangement of potted plants is something that has to be admired for a moment; also the care that has been taken to create tiny paths amongst the greenery and an elaborately carved bench that appears all the more welcoming from the shade it offers, through the white canopy that has been fastened between a number of medium height apple trees. A welcome refuge from the heat of a late summer morning, and yet Cyriel lingers, as of yet a bit undecided whether to sit down or not.

An old book in leather covers is laying on a small table which stands just beside those carved benches. The book seems to be old and often used since pages are sticking out here and there from behind those covers. A small pencil may be found beside the book as well.

If a keen eye would look around, it would see how a small breezes makes a multi-tiered tulle skirt with horsehair trim made out of a lighter sheets of green silk flash now and then right from behind a turn of a small path. A blooming rhododendron creates a perfect shelter to the wearer and one would not be able to see the person. Still the richness of the fabric would allow one to assume it may be someone of a noble standing.

No sound can be heard in the gardens unless it’s an occasional chirp of a bird, or shuffling of the leaves.

<FS3> Cyriel rolls Perception: Good Success. (1 8 7 5 7)

The Kusheline is perceptive. He catches the fluttering movement of a skirt from the corner of his eye, and turns his head to look over to where someone seems to hide behind a rhododendron. His hand goes instinctively to where usually the pommel of his rapier might be, when belatedly he remembers to have deposited the courtly weapon at the doors of the palace. A faint smile curls his lips, as Cyriel Charlot tries to move silently in on that hiding prey — possibly to startle them.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Cyriel=Stealth Vs Irene=Perception+1
< Cyriel: Good Success (7 3 8) Irene: Good Success (7 7 8 1 6 3 2)
< Net Result: Irene wins - Marginal Victory

And it would take someone who is really perceptive to notice his approach.

The closer Cyriel gets, the more obvious the identity of the person becomes. It’s obviously a lady and one would be quick to guess that it should be a lady-in-waiting to the Duchess. After all, she is wearing a sleeveless dark green silk dress. An enticing asymmetrically ruched bodice with a sweetheart neckline modestly reveals skin of a young lady. Additional accent which provides some glamour to the outfit is an attached beaded belt at the natural waist. The belt is adorned with the same pearls found on the neckline of the dress. Though, the most impressive in this outfit is a slight V-back visible through the jacked. An extra dose of gorgeous innocence to Irene’s style is added by that beaded embroidery and light green airy silk tulle jacket.

This time d’Eresse lady leaves her thick dark brown hair to cascade down to her shoulders and fall beyond it. There is an emerald ribbon attached to her hair on the right side of her head. The ribbon is merely a shiny decoration. Some jewels are glimmering on her wrists and chest as well. A better view can be seen when Irene turns around to face a predator who has been approaching a lonely lamb.

Maybe she heard him coming or maybe it was a complete accident. Though, when the lord gets very close to her, the lady turns around and raises her gaze up. A wide smile curls her lips. Her eyes are widely opened. In surprise? Maybe. A small ladybird is crawling over the soft skin of her crooked arm. She doesn’t say anything. Just stares at the man. Again, maybe surprised that he was just behind.

The Charlot wears his House colors, of Black and red, in an attire that is quite adequate for a visit to court. Pale blue eyes alight, when Irene turns around to greet him, and Cyriel offers a bow to her, as courtesy demands. “Lady Irene,” he greets, and in straightening, extends his arm to reach out, fingers brushing lightly the skin of her lower arm as he watches the ladybug crawl over and upon his hand.

“What a surprise.” But then again, perhaps less of one. “What are you doing here? I thought you had duties, isn’t Her Grace around?” And as if to emphasize this question, he glances here and there. Features that so often can look so intimidating are softened into a case of vague appreciation. “Could it be that I am lucky to find you at a time of leisure?”, is added with a faint smile, his gaze seeking hers, studying her attentively.

“Lord Cyriel…” Irene lets out in a hushed voice. Her gaze drops down to where the man’s fingers touch her skin. She studies the ladybird and a quiet sigh leaves her lips when the tiny bug ends up on the man’s hand. “My mother used to tell me that if you think of a wish and the ladybug flies off, that means that your wish will be fulfilled. They bring luck.” The d’Eresse lady explains.

She shakes her head then looking back up at the man. “Another lady is attending the duchess’s needs right now. You definitely caught me at my leisure time. I was just drawing…” Irene points at the table, the book, pencil and benches. “… then I just…” she points at the rhododendron but seems that she is unable to find an explanation on how this little lamb could wander off there.

“Are you considering yourself lucky, m’lord, for running into me?” Her eyes grow wide and she brings her hand to cover her lips, “M’lord, I told you that I am lady-in-waiting to the Duchess. Have you been seeking for me?” An excited woman straightens up to appear taller and presses her lips together to try and look pleasant but not overmuch enthusiastic.

For a moment it seems Cyriel’s attention is all caught up in observing the ladybug as it crawls upon his hand. His brows lift in the moment the insect decides to fly off, and in looking up he meets Irene’s gaze. “Luck would be something I could need,” he opines. “And indeed, as I came in the hope of seeing you, things are more in my favor than they usually are. Lady Irene.” He smiles, but it comes off a little odd, in a face that rarely smiles. “What have you been drawing? Plants? Flowers? This looks like quite the inspiring place. Hmmm.” He glances towards the table and then back to Irene. “After what we spoke when out in the gardens during that banquet… I have been wondering if you might be willing to help me. In a little… thing I am trying to figure out.”

“Never get too close to a wolf, you told me that night of the marvellous event,” Irene states and passes by Cyriel to move back towards her seat. “Rather than seeking a mate among the weak, they will go for someone who is their equal,” she continues speaking on her way. If the man does not chose to follow her, she will raise her voice. Not that she is angry. Her voice is pleasant. Soft, even a bit playful. She just simply wants him to hear her. “I am merely a diversion, you said. Then you just stride off into the dark, m’lord.”

Irene makes a small pause. She raises her skirt just a little bit before flopping down on a bench. Then a young lady smoothes her fabric and focuses curious, amused eyes on Cyriel. “Forgive me, m’lord. I do not want to be rude. I am simply surprised that a wolf decided to seek out for a little weak lamb.” She blinks few times, quite fast, pretending to be a clueless innocent girl. “How nothing more but a diversion suddenly can be of help?”

“Apparently my words have left their mark on you,” the Charlot counters, eyes crinkling at the corners just so, as he nods his head. “They did not please you. Maybe they offended you. And yet they were given in the best intent.” Her antics inspire a low, faintly amused chuckle, as Cyriel elects to sit down beside her. “You may send me away, my lady. Say the words and I shall leave at once. And it would probably be the best for both of us.” He gives her a pointed look of pale eyes. “You may be a lamb. But not the usual sort of a lamb. Perhaps, after thinking about our conversation later, I may have questioned some of the things I said?”

Leaving an adequate amount of space between them, the Vicomte then elects to have his gaze sweep over the garden. Crossing one leg over the other, his chin lifting a little, his features on full display, as his hair has been gathered and tied with a leather strap at the nape of his neck.

Irene does not even take a look at the man when he settles beside her and explains the change of his mind. When he is done, the lady leaves a few moments of silence. She sways her legs idly and watches how her skirt flutters in the air. But then she, finally, parts her lips. No words are said. Her lips are pressed together. Though, she slides across the bench a little bit closer to the man.

“Oh, tell me, m’lord. What is it you are looking for?” She asks and then her eyes raise up to take a look at his thoughtful expression. “I do not hold grudges for too long. Not that I even had a grudge. Since the moment I saw you, I realized that you are a very hard nut to crack. But what can I say? I am a different lamb. I love challenges.”

“I believe it doesn't occur often that someone tells you ‘no’, my lady, which explains a somewhat hurt ego on your part,” Cyriel Charlot tells her with a faint smile. “And if you consider me a nut, I would rather be seen as stone or a rock, we have so many of in my home province of Kusheth. We never crack.” He gives her a pointed look at that. “However, I sense a somewhat unusual enthusiasm in you, Lady Irene.” The fact that she slides closer upon the bench does not prompt him to shift away, he maintains his current posture as if she were a ladybug electing to fly into his comfort zone, which he appears to allow. At least for now. One brow comes up as Cyriel gives her a sideways glance that looks somewhat conspiratorial. “The thing I am seeking is information. I have heard a relative has been seen here in Marsilikos. I wonder what became of him, or whether he is still lurking in the city. I am aware, House Mereliot has connections to House Morhban. Have you, by any chance encountered anyone of House Charlot here, since you’ve joined the Duchesse as her lady-in-waiting? Has there been anything odd going on? Any Kushelines visiting?” The Vicomte utters these questions at a low volume. “The cousin I am looking for… His name is Esekiel. Esekiel Charlot. If you could find any information on him, well…” His smile deepens, “this would earn you my gratitude. And a favor.”

Irene chuckles, “Oh, m’lord, with or without your gratitude and a favor, I have my plans for you…” Though, she slowly nods afterwards, “I have not heard that name before. I can promise to listen more intently and who knows, maybe that name will catch my attention!” The young lady reaches out for her notebook and a pencil. She is not starting to write things down or draw. She simply sets her equipment on her lap. “Why are you looking for him? Unfinished business? I would ask if you are simply excited to meet your cousin, but you do not strike me as a family meeting type of person. So, I am pretty sure that he is in trouble?”

Cyriel Charlot’s features twist into a smile. A more pronounced smile than any smiles he has ever given her before. “As I said, I’d be very grateful, for any information you can provide on him. Or any others of my province. As for the reason…” He sighs and raises his brows. “Esekiel has always been someone who is quick to get into trouble. He even has a scar.” A finger lifts, pointing out an area in the middle of the upper lip. “About here. A reminder of a childhood encounter with a Shahrizai.” Pale blue eyes lift to regard Irene. “I’m not sure whether he is in trouble or not currently. But knowing him, and the fact that I haven’t heard from him in the last months… makes me suspect he actually is in trouble, yes.”

“Lets just say that I believe you,” Irene chuckles. “It’s fine. Whatever is the reason, I will let you know if I will hear anything. Though, it may take a bit since I can not bluntly approach the duchess. Is that all why you were seeking for me? To ask a favor?” Irene looks up at the man and gathers up her equipment from her lap. She stands up. “I thought you wanted to compliment my talent. Or you did not enjoy your portrait?” She smiles looking down at the man.

“You are mistaking me,” the Kusheline Vicomte counters, and the smile dims into somewhat more contained amusement. “I did not so much ask a favor, but offer to do one for you in turn for you helping me ease my concern for a relative.” His gaze brightens as he moves to stand as well. “Knowing your talent - I suspect he might qualify for a portrait as well. His features do have character as well - such as mine, that you’ve already elected to make a drawing of. Unique faces and characters sometimes have more of an appeal to them than the usual dull beauty so many of us d’Angelines possess?” Cyriel smirks in the moment he offers a bow to Irene d’Eresse. “Your portrait very much told me all these things about you, Lady Irene. It gives away a keen eye, and the knowledge that there is often more to someone than what meets the eye. I trust in your ability to…” He pauses, “handle this investigation discreetly. See it as an opportunity, my lady. To become more than just one of many ladies lingering at court, by actually entering the advanced games of intrigue…”

“Who told you that I am not a player already?” Irene laughs and then offers a polite curtsy, “It was a pleasure to meet you again, Lord Cyriel Charlot. Don’t be a stranger and pay me a visit again. Now I shall go find the duchess. She is most likely looking for me,” She bows her head briefly and turns to walk down the path toward the stairs.

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