(1311-04-13) Noble Pastimes
Summary: A week before the opening of the club, Belmont receives a surprise visit from a distant cousin of his.
RL Date: 19+20/04/2019
Related: None
belmont cedoric 

Le Requin — Grand Plaza

The interior of the Requin Club is currently being restored to its previous glory. This is why some of the walls have been bared where red damask used to cover them. Golden paint has flaked off from ornaments of stucco and wood over the years, adding to an aged and worn overall look. Crystal chandeliers have been taken off their chains that had them suspended from the ceiling, to have them brought elsewhere for maintenance. The fresco in the ceiling of the parlor is hardly recognizable, covered with a layer of dirt and soot, colors dimmed and badly in need of refreshing. People are already at work here, cleaning the surface carefully from where they stand on a scaffold.

The only thing more or less intact seems to be the hearth of red marble, with two sculptures of graceful and scarcely clad maidens playfully sitting on the two sides of the mantlepiece. Furniture has been moved to the center of the room, and canvassed against possible damage from the ongoing renovations.

At the far end, an archway opens into a circular chamber with stairs leading to the upper floor, and a door to the side leads out to the inner courtyard.

The opening night of the club is only one week away, and so shopkeepers near the Grand Plaza will have noticed an uptick in activity around the building of the old Le Requin club. Belmont visits the place every day, keeping track of how far the renovations have progressed. Even today, with the wonderful spring weather outside, the young vicomte (by marriage) is checking with the artisans that are restoring the painting at the ceiling to its former beauty. Belmont has discarded the doublet, now merely clad in shirt and breeches. He listens to the report of the man, nodding his head here and there, while his gaze is scanning the fresco above them.

One week will see ample time for Cedoric to be settled in the city before the club which had drawn his attention with rumors of its upcoming opening comes to the event itself. For the rest of the month he's taken a suite of his own not far from the market, while arrangements are made and a suite furnished and staffed to his liking in the Eresse residence. Until then he's got time to putter about— not that he doesn't, in general. Just back from a stroll in the park with a ball and a colf, he's ambling up the way to the plaza with the latter over his shoulder and the former tucked into an inner pocket of his long walking-jacket. Whistling an air, he comes, then draws to a halt not far from Belmont, looking up to the workmanship.

Belmont seems to be quite engaged in conversation, not really paying any attention whether anyone approaches. The door to Le Requin stood open, and this is how Cedoric probably sauntered in. Finalizing his dealings with the artisan, Belmont watches the man return to his work and climb up the scaffold, before he notes that someone had whistled, and in turning his head, catches sight of… Cedoric. It takes Belmont a moment to recognize one of the younger sons of the Comte d'Eresse, but when he does, his demeanor lights up — apparently pleasantly surprised. "Why, cousin, it's you. It is, isn't it? Cedoric d'Eresse. I haven't seen you in ages." In the meantime, this Eresse (Belmont), had been married out to become the husband of the Vicomtesse de Rognac and heiress to the ComtĂ© de Delaunay.

Cedoric is just looking around, anyhow; he hardly seems to be in a rush to catch anyone's eye. A slow rock of his hips travels through his back and makes the head of the colf draw lazy figure eights in the air behind him to the vague beat of the tune he's whistling. When he is issued a salutation, he whips that colf down from his shoulder, passing it to his off-hand and resting its head on the floor while extending his other in joyful greeting. "I hope it is, coz, or else someone else is wearing my trousers," he grins, using his colf as though a walking stick and stepping to to clasp arms with his cousin. "And look who's gone and made good, hey?" is meant by way of congratulations, whether for the advantageous marriage or for the refurbishment of such a fine club. "I heard of your grand opening next week-end and had to come have a whiff of the place. Looks mightily, coz, it truly does. As do you, mind, you're looking very well."

"It is you," Belmont says with a grin, His gaze brushes the colf and he wrinkles his brows. "So you are still pursuing this… pastime?" A light shrug of his shoulders and he laughs. "Forgive me, cousin. The club here has become sort of whim of mine. I have been permitted to bring it back to its former glory." He lets his gaze sweep through the parlor, noting the last things that are not yet fixed. "And we are not done yet. But I believe, everything will be ready, a week from now. Why, you're lucky that I allowed you to walk into this place. Nobody's supposed to see it yet, but well…" He shrugs his shoulders again and grins, "you're family, and I'll be happy if you'd come by on the opening night." The next observation inspires a faintly sheepish grin in Belmont's features. "Oh… I am feeling well. Things are going well for me. You're staying at the residence?" The Eresse Residence, of course.

"Oh, the colf? Yes, and I'm getting pretty good, if I say it myself," Cedoric beams, utterly neglecting any negative connotations held within the question— he's used to doing so, by now. "Ah— yes, I'll be staying at the Residence, though I'm not yet installed. I'm at the Reumont Suites just past the market, for now, but the room should be ready by month's end, and then I suppose I ought well to stay at least the summer, to make use of the new bedclothes and carpetry being installed. But, truth be told, I'm better curious about your club. I'll be at the opening with bells on, coz, you have me at my word. I've come into town just to see it, and it looks. Well, I've already said how well it looks, even now. I'm very excited for it; are there members' fees?"

"Ah, I see." Belmont inclines his head, when Cedoric explains about his current lodgings. "The thing with the club… Well. I thought I needed something. A project. And when I strolled over the Grand Plaza I spotted this building and got curious as to its history. Did you know that Auguste Trevalion de Mereliot founded the club? It is in fact property of House Mereliot, that's why I had to approach Her Grace about a certain arrangement, that would allow me to resurrect Le Requin. Through my marriage and my new position, I have some money I can spend on investments. There will certainly be a member's fee, albeit a small one. Only meant to cover its upkeep."

"I think it's a tremendous project. I would never have thought anything about it other than 'oh, my, a building,' and but walked past. Even as it stands I've just been educated a great deal more about its history than I ever have before. Though I'm less interested in what it was than what it will be," Cedoric admits with a sly slant to his grin. "I had to wonder whether it was some sort of distress signal about the perishable nature of wedded bliss," he adds with a jestful sparkle in his eye. "To build a club with such imposing defenses against the encroachment of les femmes."

A fine smile curves Belmont's lips, when he replies, "What it was will probably very much affect of what it will be, cousin. At least. the late Duc de Eisande and I had as much in common, a wife, who by birthright has the say in her realm." He blinks a little. "Still. It is not a requirement to have a wife, per se. Speaking from history… I believe the Duc was seeking a space for himself. Whereas I… I am seeking an area to prove myself, at least, in the way of establishing connections. Ironically enough, none of those, my wife will have her hand in." He lifts his hands, "Not that I am opposed to Gabrielle in any way. She has to stay in Aix, for the moment. But House Delaunay requires someone here in Marsilikos, so that part of duty falls to me."

"Well, yes, I would say it's a fine excuse for a lads' night in," is what Cedoric seems to have taken in from all of that, coherent contemplation on Belmont's place in the cosmos as it was. An astronomer this one is not; distant through his gaze might grow he is hardly contemplating the music of the spheres. "And what has the Vicomtesse to say on the endeavor? Does she approve, or merely tolerate?"

"She encouraged me to find an area of mine own," Belmont confides with a vague smile. "I've written to her about Her Grace giving her agreement. So I suppose, she approves. Even if I will have to deny her the delight of showing her around at the club. Because. House rules." The vicomte lifts his hand to muffle a cough. "Nevermind, that I have paid most of my monthly funds to finance this endeavour."

"And, for that, I'm certain that the composite masculinity du Marsilikos will compensate you generously by way of drinks and good beef dinners," Cedoric laughs and swaps colf-hands briskly once more in order to pat Belmont's shoulder after a friendly fashion. "In fact, let me be the first; come 'round to my suite before the month is out and I'll have its hired staff put to good use in the production of a meal. I may have cousins Odric and Vinx come 'round as well to fill out the table."

"Ah, I'd be glad to," Belmont says with a smile. "It's been awhile since I visited the residence. After all, Gauge has been away on his own adventures, and Irene, well…" The Delaunay by marriage lets out a sigh. "She prefers to stay at Beaucare for the moment. Some… personal matter that did not quite go as she wanted, or something in that vein." He rolls his eyes and lifts his shoulders in a light shrug as if to say, "Sisters!" But then again, he remains silent, at least on that matter. "Just let me know when you have a good dinner ready, and I'll gladly come around." Saying as much, as he gestures about where the final stages of the renovations are still ongoing. "But I suppose this will occur sometime after the opening."

"Oh, rather, yes. Ah, but I should let you back to it, coz. Saturday comes quickly on the heel of Saturday, doesn't it just?" Cedoric chuckles, dipping in and giving Belmont a familial peck on the cheek. "How good it was to see you; if you have any need of my aid in your endeavors — though what I might contribute I've no notion — still, I have a pair of arms and a strong enough back. But call me 'round," he offers up and makes to take his leave.

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