(1310-09-06) After the Duels
Summary: Irene congratulates Cyriel on his win, but it becomes clear that she is not feeling well.
RL Date: 13-14/09/2018
Related: Happens right after this.
cyriel irene 

Tourney Field — Eisandine Countryside


It had required a lot of energy and focus to emerge as the victor of the duel contests. And now Cyriel Charlot seems somehow eager to evade the throng of congratulators, moving to the sidelines instead. The tourney blade is handed off to a servant, and the Kusheline Vicomte receives a fresh cloth to wipe some transpiration off of his hawkish features. But something is different about him, a very pleased glint in his pale blue eyes, and an overall contentment that seems to have settled upon him. Relaxation. Relief. And gratification, to have given a proper demonstration of his dueling skills.

"It's yours," a soft voice almost whispers behind Cyriel's back. A muffled effort to withhold a cough follows the words. A whisper continues after a quiet sigh, "You were absolutely worthy of a victory. Not even for a moment I doubt it." The words are spoken slowly with a firm assurance in the tone. Obviously, it's lady Irene standing behind the big bad wolf. An honest smile adorns her features even if it trembles. A blush covers her cheeks but this time brought by a fever instead of a shyness which always surrounds the young woman. Even her excited gaze is dimmed by water as if she is almost soon ready to sneeze. Few steps away an old house servant clad in fine black silk is lingering. His worried gaze heavily lays on Irene's shoulders.

She herself keeps her arms wrapped around her slim waist. Her body shivers now and then and she rubs her upper arms with pale fingers. One hand clenches a white napkin embroidered with green floral ornaments. A side of that napkin floats in the breeze in same playful way as her brown curls circling around the neck, shoulders and tickling the corner of her eye.

<FS3> Cyriel rolls Perception: Good Success. (6 7 4 5 8)

That soft voice, female and of that slightly higher pitch of youth can only belong to one particular acquaintance, and so the Charlot turns to regard Irene, that faint smile still curving his lips. “I couldn’t be so sure,” he counters. “There were some strong opponents. Lord Augustin Trevalion. Lord Foulque de Shahrizai.” There is a glint though in his gaze, meeting her eyes, before he looks down. “I thank you though, for trusting in my abilities.” His eyes lift to consider her more closely. “You don’t look well, Irene. Is there something amiss? Are you ill?” And here a bit of concern dims his overall victorious mood.

Irene curls her lips up even higher when the man turns toward her. She sniffs and quickly brushes her nose with a napkin. Her gaze is lowered down for a brief moment, "I apologize that you have to see me like this," a bite of her bottom lip and a flinch of her petite body stops another cough from leaving her throat. A mild frown of her eyebrows marks a gust of small pain, though. A shake of her head brushes it off and the young woman straightens up one more time to look at the man with caring and adoring orbs. "I'll be alright. This day is not about me. It's about your achievements. Lord Augustin Trevalion and Lord Foulque de Shahrizai were strong opponents indeed, but you were always one step ahead! That's how you do things, m'lord. I thank you that you carried my ribbon during the duels. I hope you would agree to hold on it for a bit longer? I would like that you would perceive it more as a luck charm than my favor." She chuckles. Her hand is brought to her chest reflexively. A pause. A frown. A smile which comes back to her features lights up at the end, though. "I know you don't need it. You achieve your goals through hard work, but just in case you ever will lack a tiniest grain to win again, I hope that it will be this luck charm which will add that small grain in order to have a full goblet."

“You are not well,” Cyriel repeats, and the last remnants of a smile fade from his features. “And yet you came to watch the contest?” His hand lifts, fingers touching against the favor, before he begins to fidget with it to remove it from his arm. “Of course. This has brought me luck. I shall keep it if you wish.” The smile returns, even if in more of a wry twist of lips. “But I shall insist on escorting you home, Lady Irene. Right away.” Pale blue eyes capture her gaze, as he gives her a somewhat stern luck. “I would not like to be blamed for you jeopardizing your health, or your state to worsen any further.” A glance is given the crowd that is slowly beginning to dissipate. “You came by carriage, I presume?”

"Thank you, m'lord. It would be my pleasure if you would spend a bit more time with me, even if you have many who would love to celebrate with you!" Irene smiles and gestures toward a small path. "Our carriage should be a few steps over there. You also shall not be worried to be blamed for my current situation. It's actually my own wish to assist one of the healers. I was gathering herbs out of Marsilikos when a very heavy storm came. I was hiding under a large oak tree when two Trevalions and your cousin approached that same tree seeking for shelter!" She laughs and quickly turns away from the lord in order to cough. She covers her lips with a napkin. The cough seems to be quite heavy and coming from very deep down of her lungs. The young lady even has to stop to catch her breath after it and then she can follow Cyriel again. "The fiery and most beautiful lady Ailene Trevalion and your cousin seem to have had a sparkle out there. I can swear I saw her blush and everyone else around lord Thibault seemed to disappear for him. He could only see the beauty of fire! I could feel it out there under that oak. Isn't it beautiful how life sometimes brings people together unexpectedly?.."

After a small pause she points toward the carriage, "That one," she says and briefly turns around to see if her house servant is following them. He is. "Anyway, do you plan participating in any other events, m'lord?"

“I am not the type who enjoys being the focus of many,” Cyriel Charlot counters, and as if to prove this, he glances about them, offering a nod here and there, to people who wish to congratulate him. “And truth be told, it shall probably be more gratifying to receive the prize from Her Grace, the Duchesse de Mereliot at the closing feast, than to stay here for much longer.” He offers Irene his arm, and then accompanies her along the path that leads to where the carriages are waiting. “So you caught a cold while being out in the wilderness?”, he wonders. The gossip about his cousin and Ailene Trevalion earns Irene a lift of his brow. “This should please his father, and the Comte de Charlot. At least one of us will have no effort in being matched — and put up far less resistance than I. Now, that is a somewhat reassuring thought.”

The moment Irene needs to check for her servant, Cyriel uses to give instructions to his own. He gestures to where his horse is waiting and then adds some more words to the Charlot man. With that seen to, he turns his attention back towards Irene d’Eresse. “I beg your pardon? Other events? No. I shall be content to leave it at that. While I am also able to handle myself in battle situations, I will pass on the melee. Technique matters little there. Also… I believe I should grant others the possibility to shine.” He offers Irene his hand to help her into the carriage, following soon after.

Lady Irene accepts the man’s offer to assist her to the carriage. Once she is comfortably seated, the young lady shifts a bit to keep her focus on her companion. “I will not visit any other of the Tournament events. I shall stay in bed to get better. Will you visit me, Cyriel? It would definitely help me to recover faster. Maybe you could come and teach me of the other matters? I am pretty sure that you are good not only in physical activities. You are very intelligent. Maybe you know other languages? Or maybe some history?..” She slides a bit closer to the man. “I wouldn’t mind simply hearing more about you while resting…”

Her eyes study the Charlot lord before Irene tries to wrap her arm around his in order to cuddle if he allows. “My condition is not contagious,” she assures. If the man will allow her, Irene will keep her arm wrapped around his and she would lean her head to rest on his shoulder. “Do you have any news about the man you have been looking for? If you need any further assistance, let me know. I would always help you. I hope you know it.”

<FS3> Cyriel rolls Investigation: Success. (1 2 2 8 4)

It is a closed carriage, and Cyriel draws the curtain of a window back to glance outside after he has settled himself beside Irene. “This seems to be a wise decision, especially if you are not feeling well and need to rest to recover.”, he agrees, tone casual, eyes attentive as they flick their gaze back to the young lady at his side. His brows lift at the next question, a question he is not so quick to respond to. “You know how it is. I have some matters to see to, regarding Chavagne, but… I can pay you a visit now and then, if you so wish. You are staying at the palace still, yes?”, he asks, curious.

“I can hardly offer any tutelage in languages, but perhaps, you could tell me one or two things about what is happening at court at the moment. I hear, the Duchesse entertains a high ranking guest currently? Lady Charlene Morhban de Fhirze. Did you know, she is the daughter of the late Duc of Kusheth?” The fact that young Irene d’Eresse elects to lean her head against his shoulder came as a surprise indeed, the wrap of her arm as well, the Charlot seemed a bit undecided about at first, whether to accept the intimate gesture or decline. There is a very faint shrug, as he decides to grant her that shoulder to rest against. After all, there will be no one able to see, as the carriage has begun to rumple down the road that leads back to Marsilikos. “I am of a healthy stock,” Cyriel assures her, before his smile dims and he shakes his head. “Alas. No. I haven’t heard of him, but then again… things have been keeping me. I shall confer with Thibault, if he has been able to dig up something.”

“I have been staying at my residence when I got ill. I wanted to be closer to my family and I did not want to make people worried too much back at the palace or by the Companions somehow affect the duchesse’s health. Now I know it’s not contagious but still…” The young lady shrugs lightly. Her eyes are focused on the ornaments of the carriage. “So, I may disappoint you but I have no new rumors to offer. As well as I was not aware of the daughter of the late Duc of Kusheth. But once I will get better, I can promise to slip you this and that from the court.”

The young lady nuzzles her head lightly into Cyriel’s shoulder. She slides her hand across his arm in order to slip her fingers into his palm and wrap them around his if Cyriel allows. She closes her eyes. “If lord Thibault is at least a little bit as devoted to his duties as you are, I am pretty sure that he will give you a decent amount of information. I really hope that you will both find your family members. I can not imagine losing one without any words…”

“A cold is contagious,” Cyriel declares, his pale blue eyes flickering slightly as they regard Irene. “And you did well to withdraw to your family’s residence. A pity that…” The corners of his mouth twitch in faint displeasure as he directs his gaze once again towards away from the lady, to look out of the carriage as it rumples on the road in the Eisandine countryside. “I need more information, and now it seems I must rely on my cousin to retrieve it…” A pause follows, a silence that could be perceived as slightly accusatory. Only to be broken when the Kusheline’s fingers are captured in the cautious twine of a young lady’s hand. “Perhaps,” he begins, glancing down at their hands, “perhaps he has gone into hiding. But I would wonder why? That letter he sent me… Hrrmm…” Cyriel wrinkles his forehead. “Either way.” His fingers tighten about hers in a light squeeze. “I believe you should not emburden yourself with my concerns, for now. You should rest and recover.”

The young lady nods slowly when the man corrects her in regards of her condition. She closes her eyes and nuzzles her head at the man’s shoulder, and she listens. His concerns are her concerns and Irene wishes to assist. Unfortunately, the matters still sound so strange, even difficult. Her body twitches slightly when Cyriel’s voice starts to fade in the distance and blur with the sound of carriage wheels rolling over the stony pavement. Irene’s heavy breathing becomes lighter and more peaceful. She curls up closer to the man, nuzzling to his side a bit more as if a lost kitten seeking for a warmer shelter. Finally, when the man suggests that she shall not burden herself with his family matters, Irene’s hand tries to slide off from Kusheline’s tighter grasp and her arm tries to embrace the lord by being gently placed to rest on his abdomen and chest. The only answer he receives from the lady is her slow breathing.

<FS3> Cyriel rolls Medicine: Success. (2 4 8)

As the slender frame of the young Eisandine lady slumps more and more against him and her breathing slows to that regular pace of sleep, Cyriel frowns at first. But with the roll of the carriage and her no longer being able to hold herself upright, the Charlot’s arm comes to rest on her back and his hand holds her by the shoulder, to steady her and keep her from slipping off the seat and hurting herself. “Kushiel’s Balls…” The curse leaves him in a low hiss, and he glances out at the scenery, a faint frown forming on his features as he sees the high walls approaching that wrap around the city of Marsilikos. A deep inhale there, nostrils flaring, before he turns his attention back to Irene in his arm. His vacant hand reaches out to touch to back of his fingers against her forehead as if to check for signs of fever — not that he would be very knowledgeable in these things.

Her forehead is burning. One doesn’t need much knowledge to know that her health is taking a worse direction when it’s coming toward the evening. Despite that, Irene seems to be smiling and currently having one of her best dreams or sleeps. She looks to be calm and at peace as if Cyriel’s shoulder would be the most comfortable pillow.

Very well. Things are as they are. The dark haired lady-in-waiting has fallen asleep and they are at least heading towards her home in the carriage. Even so, Cyriel Charlot draws the curtains forth, as not to catch any fleeting glances of the pedestrians they will pass, once the city gates have been braved. The driver knows the way to the noble district, and it will be there that the carriage will take them, coming to a halt before the townhouse, the family d’Eresse entertains in Marsilikos. Another low curse is muttered under his breath, as Cyriel Charlot carefully draws away from the sleeping Irene, leaning her against the backrest before he slips out of the carriage. Into the beginning drizzle of rain. A harsh knock to the door will alert the Eresse staff, and back to the carriage Cyriel goes, to take up the sleeping shape of Irene d’Eresse, and carry her on his arms towards that door. “The lady is not feeling well,” the Charlot informs the head servant curtly. “She needs to lay down. Where?”

The door has been opened by a plump lovely woman with rosy cheeks and concern in her eyes. “By the angels! I was so worried! We will have to tell everything to Lord Belmont. Her brother went completely crazy for me allowing the young lady to participate in the event!” She opens the door widely and gestures toward the stairs. “Upper floor, my lord. Third door on the right…”

Once Cyriel comes inside, the woman closes the door adding, “How fortunate that you were there, m’lord, to bring our lady back home. She is not a wild child. She is usually peaceful and quiet. But this time she definitely caused some tantrum in her desire to seek for that lord with her favor…” She shakes her head and leads Cyriel toward the room, where she would open the door to Irene’s chambers, bright and girly, filled with flowers, sketches and pillows. “Do you mind staying for a second with the lady before I bring her potions?” She asks and before receiving an answer - and leaves.

“Lord Cyriel Charlot,” the same introduces himself to the head servant, his tone quiet and composed, even if the faint frown remains on his features. “She shouldn't have attended, not in her state.” A ghost of a grin there, “I happened to be around. As such happens when one wins a contest.” Tone matter-of-factly and with a faint hint of sarcasm. He follows the woman up the stairs, carrying Irene on his arms and only sets her down once they have reached her chamber. Carefully he places Irene onto the bed and then steps away. A nod is given to the head mistress, before she leaves, and the Kusheline is left in the very unlikely surroundings of a room that looks so very contrary in its interior to what his own quarters look like.

The young woman curls up in the bed, wrapping her arms around the corner of a pillow. “Will you stay with me?” She mumbles almost through sleep. “Please… I would appreciate if you could stay, m’lord.” She opens her eyes slowly and focuses her gaze on the man. A small smile curls her lips up but her eyes are overshadowed by consequences of fever.

Cyriel looks at Irene, the way she curls up on the bed. Fortunately for her in her current feverish state, she may not catch the slight shift in his expression, from concern to a more detached cast of cool indifference. Her muttered hopes and wishes he listens to, and perhaps these words are enough to remind him of how his actions could have been perceived. “I cannot stay,” he replies, and there is a faint edge to his tone. “You know this. It would only stir rumors. Besides…” He draws a breath of air, “there are things I need to see to.” Pale blue eyes consider her features, that smile there of hers, as it must already be in the process of dimming. “I might call on the morning. Once your handmaid returns, I shall leave you to her care.”

“Lord Cyriel, I do not care about the rumors. There are far worse things happening in Terre d’Ange than a friend staying with a friend in the hour of need…” She chuckles and pushes herself up a bit in order to sit comfortably in the pile of pillows. “But I understand, m’lord. You have a reputation to keep and you do not have time for a simple annoyance such as me…” Irene’s gaze wanders from the man to look through the window. “I could feel your displeasure back in the carriage and I could hear your mind hoping that nobody would notice your kind assistance to the childish lady because you are a big bad wolf…”

Irene sighs. “I am alright. Thank you for helping me today. Congratulations with your victory!” She briefly looks at the man and smiles. “She will be back soon. You can go and attend more important matters!”

<FS3> Cyriel rolls Composure: Success. (5 3 7 4 1 6)

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

Maybe Cyriel was about to object, maybe Irene manages to ruffle his feathers with her insisting to know his motivations. But his composure is not broken, on the contrary, his features become an unmoving mask, his eyes flashing brightly until they dim into an expressionless pale blue. “Do not pretend to read my intentions,” he tells her quietly. “Besides, I have already seen to duty, and seen you home safely. There is nothing more I can do. There is nothing more I want to do here. And if I were, you would be ill advised to tolerate it. You need to rest.” An almost imperceivable furrowing of his brows there, as he straightens, hands joining at the small of his back. “Whatever you mean to have observed in the carriage — it was aimed to protect you rather than me, Irene.”, is added in a flat tone. “I would consider us allies, rather than friends. With that said… I would hardly wish to incur the wrath of your family for keeping you any longer from your recovery.”

There is a soft knock to the door, and the head servant returns. “I have stayed for long enough. Lady Irene seems to be slightly better, already.”, he tells her. A pointed glance he gives the dark-haired Eresse lady on the bed. “Have a good day.” A courteous bow he offers to Irene, along with the faintest of smiles as Cyriel Charlot takes his leave.

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