(1310-07-30) A Lady Shall Live in Luxury
Summary: Lady Helene has invited Vicomtesse Lucienne to meet at the Leaping Fish Inn. But an old family friend forbid for the lady to stay in a simple Inn and invited lady Helene to enjoy the luxury of a private residence.
RL Date: 30th of July, 1310
Related: None
lucienne helene 

Leaping Fish Inn

The Main Room of the Leaping Fish is tidy and well-kept - and warmed by a fire in the hearth to one side on colder days and evenings. An old tapestry depicting a pair of two leaping fish is adorning the opposite wall - a reference to both the ruling House of Mereliot and the name of the inn. The common room has five tables of sturdy oak with chairs and benches, between which two serving maids move to take orders or bring food and beverages. The air is filled with tasty smells of freshly cooked meals, and murmurs of conversation - and occasionally even melodies rippling through the room, when a lute player is around to provide entertainment. The fare is of good quality that even would not disappoint noble tastes.

There are stairs leading upstairs towards a number of comfortable and well kept rooms the inn has to offer.

The evening is just drawing in as Helene waits in the dining room of the Inn for her companion, looking a touch nervous to be truthful. There is already wine, a lovely red from Namarre, laid out for the two of them, the bottle decanted into a crystal pitcher to breathe. Helene's green eyes glance to the door more often than strictly necessary as she waits.

A double knock on the door draws attention of the visitors of the Inn. Unusual sound is followed by a grumbling voice. A customer who was sitting closer to the door stands up and moves to open it widely. "Aaa! Very well, at least one gentleman. Who decided to make such a heavy door at the Inn? I always thought that Inns have to have almost always open door…" And old woman is standing at the entrance to the Inn. She is wearing a bit old styled burgundy clothes with a touch of golden thread. She holds a cane in her right hand and gently knocks a few more times at the wood before steping inside. A man was ready to say something but his lips left simply parted, staring at the woman with a mild confusion. She offers a smile to the man who asissted to her, but then her gaze wanders around. When she sees lady Helene already settled at the Inn, she moves forward in firm and confident steps. Though, she is slow.

"Welcome to Marsilikos, dear," Lucienne greets when she approaches the table. Vicomtesse seems to be equally old as she was twenty years ago. Her features are bony and wrinkled, her demeanor is still strict and not tired at all. "Wine. That's great. The day is just too hot for such a refined woman as I am!" She jests and before even receiving an invite to take a seat, Lucienne settles down.

As soon as Helene sees Lucienne enter she is on her feet, moving swiftly, but smoothly, with the grace instilled by a rather strict upbringing. There is a hint of mirth on her lips as she curtseys, clearly amused by the remark. Rising once more she answers, "My Lady Vicomtesse, I would not dare to invite you to an empty table. My father would string me up by my heels." Once Lucienne is settled, she too settles down, reaching forward to pour the wine, and adding, "Thank you for meeting me. The City is still very new to me."

"And he would do good. I admire your father's feel of responsibility to teach their children of proper manners. Majority of the youth these days is just a loose chain. Flatter around the world pushed by the wind. Parents give too much freedom and too little responsibilities. Though, if you would ask me, majority of the children come back home completely ruined after their long journeys abroad. They too easily buy foreign cultures. Get excited easily." An old woman reaches for the goblet of wine and takes quite a large gulp. She sweeps her lips with a handkerchief afterwards.

"Marsilikos is still very new to me as well. I've been here many years ago. Everything seems different now. Well, it's obviously overpopulated. But what one could expect from a port town? Anyway, tell me how is your father and who brings you here?" Vicomtesse inquires.

"Less who than what I'm afraid. Trade mostly," Helene answers at once, "And father is well. He is worried though. The Baronie is thriving once more of course, but should we face another drought, he rightly fears it could all fall apart unless we build our economy elsewise s well. That is why I am here My Lady, to find new trade relations both within Terre d'Ange and abroad, plant seeds to develop a stronger port on the Siovalese coast. Fortunately for you, I have only ever been to La Serenissima, and that when I was sixteen, already a decade past. I spent several weeks here in the City as well, but the experience is very different when there is work to be done."

"Your father is right. You must be prepared. You shall also be proud that father puts so much trust in your talent of negotiation. Though, taking a first sight at Marsilikos I must say it should be quite easy. As I said, it's very different. While you were not sure who and when will eat you up before, everybody seems to be in a very close relationship now. Eager to learn, eager to trade. Of course, I wouldn't trust those conniving smiles of foreigners easily. But you may have a chance." Vicomtesse takes another sip of wine looking over the Inn. "Are you staying here? I've tried eating here but I wouldn't say that their meal was good enough. I can imagine that bedsheets also lack whiteness as well as beds lack comfortability? Am I right? Our families have always been on good terms. I am not sure why your father did not ask my assistance. You could stay at our guest chambers."

Helene does her best to hide her surprise, though it still flashes on her face before she answers warmly, "Thank you very much. I am very grateful for your hospitality. Yes, I have been here. Our Comte has a house in the city, but there have been none there to receive me, so in the meantime I have indeed been here. It is comfortable enough, and I have stayed in worse while travelling, but even only a week in, ?I am ready for a reprieve." She looks to the wine glasses and reaches forward to top both up before taking another sip. Setting it down she adds, "The food has been quite good, if inelegant, but the wine selection has made up for it. It seems many of the great vineyards like to be seen and tasted here so as to drum up their own trade. Would you care to dine here, or would you prefer to go elsewhere?"

"Wine will be enough, dear Helene. I have some business to attend to pretty soon. I believe that's where I will be dinning. I am afraid I will have to leave you, but…" She reaches out for the young woman's hand. If Helene allows, Vicomtesse will place her own on top and will offer a gentle squeeze. "You are a very proper lady worthy of respect. Your father knows quite well that I always imagined you marrying my youngest child. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Though, that doesn't mean that I would refuse to open my door to your family and you. Our home is in a Noble District. You will quite easily notice our owls decorating the gate. I will let our servants know that they should prepare the guest room, and that you will be moving in this evening. A lady as yourself shouldn't spend her time all by herself in such an Inn!" Lucienne leans back in her seat now placing both of her hands on top of the cane. "But is it only trade why your father has sent you here?" Curiosity glints up in her eyes.

Helene places her own hand atop the Viscomtesse's and squeezes it back gently before letting go, admitting, "My father never told me that. Of course, he tends to keep these things close to his chest. As for my presence, yes, trade, so far as I am officially know. My mother might hope I come home with a husband or consort in tow to provide grandchildren, but my father has never spoken of it. There were few appropriate opportunities at home, and the subject just slipped away from us I think. Of course, I am aware that that is why many others find themselves here or in Elua of course. Of course I rather think most have not yet reached the age of twenty, and I would prove rather a fuddy duddy for their tastes."

"Don't worry child. You are still very beautiful blooming flower and you carry intelligence and experience none of those easy eighteen years old ladies do. I have heard myself that there are more than a couple lords of high standing and above your age lurking around. Of course, majority of them can be found around Salons, but who are those courtesans compared to a true lady? They take money away, while you bring in a valuable contract!" Lucienne smiles broadly. "I know it's hard for you being away from home. If you will need an advice, or you will find yourself at a loss, don't be a stranger. Come to me and I will try to offer my help. But now I have to leave you. I really need to attended my own businesses and moving across the town is harder than I expected and lasts longer. But it's better to come early than to be late in my opinion." A woman finishes off her wine and then stands up from her seat with a help of the cane. A crack here and there, followed by a sigh. Though, at the end she stands proudly as a lady should and offers a bow of her head to Helene. "We shall speak more this evening since you will be staying with us. I will feel less bored. The hallways are too broad for only me."

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