(1310-08-09) A First Lesson
Summary: Irene visits Cyriel to offer him a certain piece of information. Her high hopes are once again about to be quashed.
RL Date: 09/08/2018
Related: This and this.
cyriel irene 

Cyriel's Chambers — Charlot Residence

Sturdy doors of dark red cherry wood open into the main chamber of the suite, which combines a study of sorts with a living area. A hearth governs the wall to the left, white marble chiselled with gargoyle faces peeking out from the mantlepiece. It will be on this side of the room that two comfortable long-backed armchairs flank a smaller table of dark mahogany wood, red and green predominant in the upholstery and the cushions used to provide a certain amount of comfort. In a niche to the right is a rectangular window, shedding light during the day, beneath a smaller round circle of stained-glass depicting a red deer that is pursued by a black wolf. It is here, that the vicomte will usually deal with paper work, sitting on a plain chair at a desk of mahogany. A few documents are scattered here, next to an inkwell and a neatly cleaned quill.

It is the wall though, opposite the entrance, that draws attention, plastered surface painted a neutral grey, where several iron hooks and spikes have been forced into the stone, to put a number of decorative but no less deadly weapons on display. Sharp blades blink in the flickering light of torches and lamps, expertly made handles and guards drawing the eye, the design mostly d'Angeline, but there are also some curved blades of a saber or two, from far away lands like Khebbel-im-Akkad and Bhodistan. The assortment of swords is flanked by a pair of doors. The one to the right leads to an adjoining smaller chamber with a medium sized orderly made bed beside a wardrobe holding a moderate assortment of courtly garments; while the one to the left is usually locked and most often remains that way.

Late morning it is, and Cyriel has been busy with doing paperwork. The steward of Chavange is meticulously dutiful, and likes to keep Cyriel informed about each and every occurrence at home. It is now, that a knock to the door precedes a servant entering, with the information of a visitor. While Cyriel usually would have left his chambers to greet a guest in the salon of the house, but the mention of the name of the visitor makes his eyes alight, and he decides to deviate from what would be usual. “Show her in. And bring us… some refreshments. Watered wine. Cheese. Lemon water, if she prefers that.” When Irene is shown in, she will be greeted by a Charlot who has moved to stand to greet her. And what is even more, he leaves the current pile of parchments on the table to approach the young lady. “How unexpected,” he remarks with a fine smile. “And here I was, doubting your duties as lady to Her Grace would allow you to visit. Not that I mentioned an invitation. What brings you here, my lady?” He gestures towards the seating area and makes sure the servant arrives with a bit of food and drink, before he is sent away. Taking a seat opposite of Irene, the Kusheline studies her with eyes that glitter with faint curiosity. “It has been awhile since our last conversation. How is our art? Have you done many drawings lately?”

Irene takes only one step inside Cyriel’s chambers. Then she pauses and looks around as if making sure it is safe. Her curious eyes slide over a couple of those sharp edges of blades which hang on the wall. She smiles. Her gaze is briefly lowered before the young woman takes a glance at Cyriel and moves deeper into the room.

“I didn’t mean to disturb you,” she says apologetically upon noticing all those papers on his table. D’Eresse lady seems to be wearing one of her finer gowns - long as green as summertime water trough. It features a strapless sweetheart sheer-lace corset bodice that laces up the back and has shape-enhancing stays for an alluring look and a secure fit. Detailed embroidered lace, accented with pewter sequins and glass beads brings life to this dress as it adorns the bodice and trails elegantly onto the skirt. The latter stretches and flows for a comfortable fit from the natural waistline to the floor-length hem and romantic small train.

Irene nips on her skirt and raises it just a little bit while taking an offered seat. She adjusts the skirt making the fabric nicely flow around her legs and armchair. She is being quite. The young woman once more takes a look around the man’s chambers as if trying to read more into his personality, likes and dislikes.

“You are not disturbing me, Lady Irene,” Cyriel assures with a tightening of his gaze. He studies her, the way she gets settled upon the seat opposite from him. An inspection and assessment of her as well, as it would seem. Pale blue eyes give the impression of looking deeper into her, past the facade, but maybe this is just an illusion stirred by the rumors about those of Kushiel’s province.

“Had you not been welcome, I doubt I would have asked you to be shown to my chambers.” A dry remark, and with a very faint smile he perceives her interest in the interior. “A lord’s personal chambers are very telling of his personality,” Cyriel observes then, reading her curiosity in his person perhaps correctly. “These blades over there are a focal point of interest. A pastime. I collect them. And I know how to use them.” His tone is detached but not unfriendly. Leaning forward he reaches for the flagon of wine. ’Are you scared?’, he could have asked, but instead he inquires, “Would you like some watered wine? The morning is already quite warm, as I can tell.” He glances towards one of the windows.

“It is a very interesting collection, m’lord…” Irene smiles not able to withdraw her gaze away from the decorations. “Have you used all of them sparring with other lords or servants? Or did you participate in the tournaments? Or maybe you used them in… a battle?”

Her attention is finally taken by the suggestion of wine. Irene sighs and nods, “Yes! It’s quite warm outside. I would love to have a glass of wine. Those snacks look quite delicious as well…” She gestures toward the plate. “Thank you. But I will have to refuse those.” Her cheeks blush just a little bit and the young lady reaches for the glass.

She sets it on her lap and leans back. Her fingers dance on the edge. Dark brown eyes look at the collection one more time and a slow thought wanders out from her lips, “Do you think your cousin brought you a gift to add to your collection upon his arrival? I heard he might visit you soon.”

“I’ve tried out each of them,” Cyriel replies, directing his gaze towards the collection at the wall. “Some of them have drawn blood, if that is what you wished to know. Those pieces over there will mostly remain decoration, however. For duels, I have my rapier, and battles… I have been in some, but swords I’ve used there were no fine weapons, merely a tool to kill, and not in a graceful nor elegant manner.” Her accepting the offer of wine prompts him to pour her a glass. It is a light red wine, watered down a little.

“You have already broke your fast?”, the Charlot then asks, as she declines the offer of food. “Well. I haven’t. So I hope you don’t mind, if I eat a little as we speak?” He lifts a brow. His fingers snatch a piece of cheese from the plate. Her next words have his brows furrow a bit, before his demeanor lightens up a little. “Ah. You are referring to Thibault? I heard he is in town. A distant cousin of mine. Very young. You have met him?” Not really evading the question, but not actually responding to it.

“Would you… would you show me someday how you use them?” Lady-in-waiting to the Duchess asks an older lord. “I used to love watching how my brothers spar. I have never hold a blade in my hands myself.” Then she is quick to shake her hand. The one which does not hold a glass of wine. “Not that I wish to do so. But I would like to see your talent, m’lord.” Irene chases that thought down with a gulp of wine.

“Please, feel free to eat. I don’t mind. I just simply want to wear my old dress. I need to lose a couple of… well…” she chuckles and lowers her head down. Her cheeks blush a bit brighter but it’s hidden under her thick curls which fall down over her cheeks. Looking down at the goblet, she continues. “I have met your cousin. Yes. He is much like you.” She then peeks at Cyriel and offers him a shy smile. “Well… He is not very emotional but enjoys a mild humor. But I must say that you are more handsome than him.”

After a small pause she adds, changing the subject. “I have learned something about lord Esekiel… Not much but maybe it will be of help, though. That is why I came…”

“You’ve expressed interest in learning the art of the blade before.” Cyriel observes this with that faint smile remaining on his features, his light blue eyes however continue to linger on Irene d’Eresse. “I can show you a few things. Sometime, when we are both at leisure.” Saying that much, as he turns his aquiline gaze more fully towards her when she mentions her reasons for not eating. “Ah… I don’t see any reason to refuse a bit of food, just for wearing an old dress? You could have it worked over. There is a tailor in town.” A beat. “To me, you look perfect as you are, Lady Irene.” A flattery that comes somewhat awkwardly, perhaps, especially for someone not used to giving it.

A furrowing of his brows occurs, when Cyriel receives a rather unexpected compliment in turn. “You don’t say. I hear Thibault is handsome, and young. I would think him to be more suited for your admiration. Also, he is to inherit Châteauregion. A prestigious match. Perhaps you should put your sights on him instead?”

Then, his demeanor changes immediately. When Cyriel Charlot reclines against the backrest of his chair, his fingers still holding the morsel of cheese in his hand, his eyes boring into those of Irene d’Eresse. “What did you learn?”, he asks, his voice a low murmur and yet clearly audible through the sudden silence in the room.

“Maybe… someday…” She smiles at the suggestion to be taught of the art of blades. She then straightens up and a smile broadens in her features when the man compliments her. She does not give an audible answer but her expression says more than any words would. Though, when the man starts to give praises to his cousin, Irene frowns. She waits when he is finished. The smile is gone and quite a serious expression adornes her now.

“M’lord, I do not like your cousin and I will not. I am not sure if this is just a simple Kusheth blindness or you just hope to ignore my signs but I do like /you/. I am going to be improperly blunt about my desires but… there is something about you, m’lord, what really attracts me. You are not an heir. You are already a Vicomte. You are a strong and quite serious man who obviously knows what he wants from his life. I actually spend some time thinking about political and economical opportunities and I came to a conclusion that our families definitely have reasons to join each other. I know that you are seeking for someone like you. Maybe harsh, maybe also strong and… but I think that I would be much better option because I have the traits you lack. Meaning no offense, but I speak of empathy, maybe an easy and more pleasant means to resolve various conflicts or issues which arise to your people.” Irene takes a sigh. She was not in a hurry to rant all what she has been holding in her heart. She was speaking quite calmly but a sigh of relief still had to leave her chest. A relief of being blunt. “M’lord, if you are absolutely against it, then I will understand. Though, just don’t take ages of making a decision. That it wouldn’t be too late. I myself do not like to wait. I know what I want. Do you?” She stabs her eyes straight into his.

His brows lift just a fraction, expression shifting into a cast of detached, yet slightly exasperated patience. Cyriel does not interrupt Irene when she launches into her speech, no, on the contrary, he lets her have that moment of voicing her primal intent. Despite the fact that she - deliberately or not - failed to give the information he had asked her for.

“We already spoke about this,” the Charlot replies after a moment, with a sigh. “And I assume you are behind the letter, my cousin, the Comte de Charlot received from your brother,” he pauses, trying to recall the name, “Lord Gauge.” A moment of silence passes, in which Cyriel shakes his head ever so slightly. “I don’t want to encourage you, in any way my lady. I am… flattered by your interest in my person, and I think it is in order to thank you for the high regard you seem to hold me in. However.” He sits up, pale blue eyes narrowing as they meet Irene’s gaze. “I do not intend to marry in the immediate future. Perhaps in a year or two. Your honesty is admirable, and it deserves no less honesty on my part.”

The glass in his hand he swirls a little, regarding the watered wine there for a brief moment. “That does not mean I am refusing to tutor you, in a things or two. I see potential in you. And talent. And someone who may become an ally, which would work both ways, of course.”

Irene lowers her gaze down. She sits there quiet watching how her hands twirl the glass and the wine waves as a deep ocean. A deep ocean of her emotions. There is a moment when she briefly parts her lips as if wanting to say something but no words leave her throat. She remains just sitting there and drowning in her own thoughts.

Cyriel’s eyes narrow, and perhaps she can sense that assessing gaze resting upon her. He does not address her in that moment of silence she seems to need for herself. Brows lift and he takes a sip from his glass. Takes his time to digest a first sip, before he sets the glass down onto the table.

“Did my candidness hurt your feelings?”, his voice can be heard after a moment, “then consider this your first lesson, Lady Irene. Don’t let others see if they have managed to hurt you. Especially, if you must suspect that an open display as this will not get you to your desired goal.”

<FS3> Irene rolls Composure: Success. (5 7 2 5 6 1 3)

Irene smiles and shakes her head. “No, m’lord. You did not hurt my feelings. I may have wandered to my own thoughts but that is not a sign of hurt feelings. Why would I be hurt?” She looks up at him. “I offered you a chance to have a beautiful future and you refused it. That’s fine.” Indeed, her voice is calm, but a more keen ear could hear a small tremble. “Let’s go back to your request. I’ve spoken to some servants here at the palace. None have heard about Lord Esekiel. However, Noelle, handmaiden to the Duchess, a lovely girl… she mentioned that she heard someone speaking of this man. But then she seemed to get scared. She immediately changed her opinion, saying that she might have confused something, and suddenly she was in a hurry to run off to complete her duties. I believe that she knows more than she tells. I am not going to push her further. I am not going to disappoint the duchess in case my questions would become known. My position as lady-in-waiting is important. But if you desire to learn more about the man you are looking for, you should seek out for Noelle. It’s quite easy to be fair. Just visit the Palace a bit more often.” Irene takes another sip of her wine and then sets the glass on the table.

“I believe I already took more than enough of your time. I see that still many papers await for you,” she gestures toward the pile on his table while standing up. “Have a nice day, lord Cyriel, and good luck!”

<FS3> Cyriel rolls Perception: Failure. (6 4 2 2 6)

“People such as I do not look for a beautiful future. They do not seek the easiest way, Lady Irene,” Cyriel tells her, studying her attentively, but it seems, her assuring him that she did not take offence in his words has convinced him to not pursue the matter any further. He also seems to be oblivious to the subtle tremble in her voice, and so the Kusheline looks quite intrigued now when Irene elects to share her information. Pale blue eyes flash brightly, as he digests the words. A nod then, towards the brunette lady-in-waiting. “I owe you my thanks for this. You have already done enough for me, so I would hardly ask you to risk any more than you already have. Noelle.” He repeats the name as if to mark it down in his mind.

Irene moves to stand and leave then, and so Cyriel rises as well, reaching this time for her hand to administer a gallant kiss to her hand. Old-fashioned gallantry as is so common in Kusheth. “I shall see you to the door, my lady. Thank you for you visit. And… let me know when you would have time for an introductory lesson in swordplay.”

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