(1311-04-30) Day of Azza: Archery Competition
Summary: The archery contest on the Day of Azza.
RL Date: 30/04/2019
Related: Days of the Companions
armandine etienne evelyne fleur sebastien timothee yves 

Tournament Grounds — Eisandine Countryside

The wind billows pennants and banners as far as the eye can see, here. The terrain is generally flat, with some signs that areas of the plain might have been built up to help flatten it— one corner in particular overlooks a steep downward hill. The plain is partitioned off by fences into walkways and competition grounds, and in the middle of each set of fences feet have long worn away the grass, leaving the centers of each area naught but earth and dust, all the better not to accidentally trod in a hole and break oneself.

On the western edge of the field a huge mass of stands has been erected out of fresh beams of wood, all redolent of pine and of cedar, nailed in place with giant iron stakes and sturdy enough to stand firm below the mass of humanity which moves onto and off of it every day during the tournament competitions. Opposite the stands are the brightly colored pavilia, each with its banner waving overhead, where the competitors of each family might store equipment, rest and prepare. In the middle of the pavilia is a raised stand where the Duchesse, her family, and invited VIPs may sit under a canopy of their own and watch the games from closer to the action.

The weather is comparatively cool on this spring day, and yet, many have come all the way from the city to watch the archery competition on the Day of Azza. People are milling about, commonborn and noble alike. On the elevated stand, Her Grace, the Duchesse of Eisande, can be seen among her ladies, beside other nobility local to Marsilikos and those that hail from further away. Whereas the stands are crowded with commonfolk, cheering wildly and mightily, clearly excited to see the test of skill that is soon to take place. A number of archery butts have been prepared and set at medium distance, forming a line. These will be moved further back during the contest, to distances that have been marked, with poles to the side. Where nobility is currently hanging around, a pavilion has been set up, where servants and handmaidens are abuzz with activity, ready to serve chilled wine or the more tempered red sort. It is here, contestants will be offered the opportunity to enjoy some refreshments, and to mingle with the high society of Marsilikos. Through the throng on the other side, several common folk are making their way, praising their wares, sticks with dried meat, cinnamon rolls and other small snacks that are available for a few coppers.

Fleur arrives, and apparently with the thought of participating in the archery contest being held on Azza's day. She wears a sky blue cotton dress for the occasion, with a soft doeskin jerkin that's laced over her bodice. Her hair is neatly caught back in a formal chignon so that wisps of it can't escape to tangle within the string of her bow, and she wears a supple leather glove upon her right hand. She arrives in the company of a small entourage, two guards in the colours of the Valais family, along with her children Bastien and Giselle, and a nanny to presumably keep them both in order. "A kiss for luck maman," the future Comte de Digne says with all the gravity that his six-year-old self can muster. A tug of her sleeve from her daughter as she dips to present her cheek to her son. "And a ribbon for your wrist, maman," Giselle says, the silver ribbon she's carried carefully all the way from her bedroom, fluttering in the breeze as neatly ties it about her mother's wrist. Gifts given and kisses bestowed, their nursemaid chivvies them both away to watch from the safety of the stands as Fleur takes a moment to look, not only at the targets where they've been placed, but also at the others whom, presumably, she'll be testing her skills against today.

Unlike the other events, Yves had shown up early to watch the archery contest. Currently milling about nearest to the competitors, he is watching them prepare and trying to pick up on tips so that someday he might be a decent archer. Probably not anytime soon, but someday. Of the events, it'll be the second most interesting event of the celebrations. As with previous events he is once again wearing a nice, weather appropriate garb in red with white detailing with his sword in white scabbard at his side.

Étienne is all fresh scrubbed and in a sapphire blue tunic cut in the Northern style, with pale blue trim embroidered with stylized waves and dolphins. He sports matching parti-coloured hose with black ankle boots. His thick, black curly hair is tied back. He is cheerful enough, despite his expectation of losing.

Évelyne Somerville de Basilisque arrives in similarly amazone-esque attire, a high waisted tunic of leather flaring out into a riding dress that is slitted at the front and reveals a glimpse of all properly covering leather leggings. Her blonde hair has been worked into one thick single braid, that hugs the side of her neck and the brushes her front. Her demeanor is calm and collected, despite the glimmer of excitement in her blue eyes. She holds a fine bow in one hand, and a quiver is slung over one of her shoulders, and it is the design of the quiver along with the ribbon in her hair that reflects the house colors of House Basilisque, black, silver and blue.

Timothee Rafael de Somerville is standing at the side with the other contestants to be. He seems to be quite focused on cleaning off his arrows, making sure that they are sharp, that his bow is absolutely perfect. Once again, the young ducal heir is wearing pure black clothes but his cloak has an apple tree embroidered on it's two bottom corners which may be visible when the light breeze raises them up a bit in the air. He seems to be not that match interested in studying his opponents at the moment.

Sebastien de Basilisque can be found in a close by stands, where he holds an attention on his beautiful and talented wife. The man seems to have brought some wine and he takes a full gulp of it. There is this pride or confidence in his eyes that his wife might actually win today. Or maybe that glint is simply representing his dizziness and gives away a fact that the man has been celebrating for awhile. Celebrating the tourney and wasting his money on alcohol to keep his mood up.

When Yves spots Evelyne, he makes his way through the throngs to be a bit closer and calls out, "Lady Evelyne!" and waves at her a little. "I didn't know you were competing today," he mentions, making conversation while he waits for the event to start. He looks around at all of the competitors as he stands there trying to engage in light conversation, and his eyes end up looking from one to the next. "I wonder if I know anyone else arch.. ing today," he wonders aloud.

Fleur picks her way across the grass, one of the guards carrying her bow for her. It's as yet unstrung, and is carried in a sleeve of soft kid-leather, the fletchings of her arrows dyed the deepest red where they poke from the top of the quiver which is also carried by her guard. A smile blossoms on the young Courcel's lips as she nods greetings to her fellow competitors. "May Azza's blessings be on you all," she generously greets, her eyes a golden honeyed brown that sparkle as brightly as apparently her mood. She finds herself close to Evelyne, and thus Yves when he approaches. "At least there's no wind to hamper us today, my lady, my lord."

"Ah, Lord Yves!" Evelyne beams as she greets him. "It is a novelty for me. Truly. I usually would have competed in the horse race rather, but alas…" She straightens and lets her hand brush in ominous gesture on her belly, a belly that does seem a touch more curved than some months ago. "Good tidings for House Basilisque go along with certain… precautions. My lord husband has forbidden me to compete in the riding, due to the risk it could pose. So instead, you find me here today, trying out my skill, to gauge the success of my archery lessons." Fleur greets them, and Evelyne turns her gaze towards the lady, "Thank you. Azza's blessing on you as well, my lady."

Étienne is way more interested in fellow contestants than his own recently purchased bow ad arrows. Wide intensely blue eyes look around like he's never seen such an assemblage before. The Northern Bumpkin Lord has no servant. he hastily replies to Fleur in an Azzallese accent, "And Azza's blessings on you as well!" His smile for Evelyne is all dimples and simplicity, "congratulations!"

"And to you, lady competitor," Yves says to Fleur when she includes him and bows a bit from the shoulders, managing to do so with only a touch of a blush and awkwardness. Turning his attention to Evelyne, he nods his head and lifts his hands in a cheer, "May all of my blessings be for the little one," he declares and looks at Evelyne and her belly with a touch of scrutiny, like he might be able to tell through her excess garments. "Though I didn't know that horse riding was hard on uh, kids, is that a thing? Learn something every day," he admits.

"Thank you," Evelyne responds to Etienne, and she offers him and Yves a warm smile that is then extended to Fleur as well. "Riding in itself is not of much peril, I think," she then begins to explain. "It is more the risk, of falling off a horse in the middle of the race, that has given my lord husband concern." She lets her gaze drift, and she looks towards the audience, until she has glimpsed Sebastien there. "He is all nervous, of course. And today, I shall try to make him proud."

As the first round of contestants gathers and is getting ready for the competition, it will be the Duchesse of Eisande that rises from her comfortable seat. There is a murmur that goes through the crowd, before the noise subsides and a certain expectant silence falls upon the spectators. "May Azza bless us today," Armandine Mereliot intones, in a voice that rings with confidence over the field. "May He inspire us to be like the string on a bow, alert and awake, may He inspire us to be like the arrow, that rushes towards its aim. And with that, I call Azza's Blessing upon those that are competing today." With her part said, Armandine resumes her seat and signals the herald to proceed, with a nod of her head.

"Competing today," the herald bellows, "are… The son of His Grace, the Duc de Somerville, Lord Timothée Somerville. Lady Fleur Valais de la Courcel. Lady Evelyne Somerville de Basilisque, Vicomtesse de Montmarlon. Lord Etienne Arguil. Get ready and take your positions. It is time for your first round of shots. Three arrows will be shot at the targets that have been prepared for you."

"Oh but it is good advice," Fleur says, turning to accept her bow from her guard. "Too energetic a ride, or a fall, could be disastrous for your child." A smile for Etienne when he approaches, though her introduction is for everyone, whether within earshot or not. "Lady Fleur Valais de la Courcel. I don't believe I've met any of you before, but then I've not been terribly social until recently." And as the herald announces the set, she fishes a stringer from one pocket, and expertly sets to stringing her bow.

<FS3> Evelyne rolls Ranged: Good Success. (1 4 1 4 7 7 7)
<FS3> Evelyne rolls Ranged: Success. (6 6 5 3 1 5 8)
<FS3> Evelyne rolls Ranged: Success. (5 6 5 5 4 4 7)

<FS3> Fleur rolls Ranged: Good Success. (3 1 2 8 2 3 6 8 8)
<FS3> Fleur rolls Ranged: Success. (7 4 1 3 6 1 4 2 3)
<FS3> Fleur rolls Ranged: Good Success. (1 7 3 2 8 3 5 1 2)

<FS3> Timothee rolls Ranged: Good Success. (5 6 4 5 5 2 8 7 5 8 5 5)
<FS3> Timothee rolls Ranged: Great Success. (6 2 7 2 2 3 7 2 7 8 2 5)
<FS3> Timothee rolls Ranged: Success. (6 5 5 1 5 1 2 2 4 6 3 8)

<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged: Good Success. (8 1 5 1 5 2 8 6 7)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged: Success. (6 8 2 3 3 3 5 3 1)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged: Success. (2 5 2 1 4 5 1 4 8)

The Ducal heir full of self-confidence moves to the position. He takes an arrow and a bow. Then he takes exactly three deep inhales and exhales. Then the young man aims his first arrow. It's released pretty soon and reaches the target quite well. Somerville lord takes his time before releasing the second arrow. Aims much better and it hits the target, scoring more points. Maybe getting too much confidence, Timothee releases the third arrow a bit more carelessly, but it reaches the target at least. The arrow is released together with a curse from the man's lips.

Étienne nods, "There is a risk of falling off on the jumps, though i managed to hang on." He bows deeply, eyes going wide with alarm as he realises what esteemed company he is in. He has encountered the temper of swans. "Etienne d'Arguil." He falls silent and listens respectfully to the Duchesse of Eisande. After, he hastily strings his bow and does his best to focus, despite his alarm. The first strikes the inner ring. Thunk. Alas, in his excitement the next two fly a little too hastily into the outer ring. Thunk, thunk.

Fleur files into the shooting ring along with the other archers who have been called, and stands at one of the marks. The silver ribbon tied at her wrist flutters as she lifts one hand to shield her eyes and scan the stands for two eager faces. There's too much noise for her to hear them above the rest of the crowds, though indubitably they're cheering loudly since their mouths are moving and their hands are clapping. A quick wave is given their way, then she turns (all business now) to stand side-on to her target. She nocks the first arrow to the string and draws it back, and it thunks solidly into the inner ring. Her second arrow clips the outer ring, and causes her brows to knit above her eyes. There's a lift of her chin on that swan-like neck as she observes the near failure on her part, and a little more time is allowed herself before she loses her last. She holds her string for a fraction longer as it touches her lips, and there's a soft release of her breath as she releases the tension in her fingers. THUNK! Her third arrow for the distance lands neatly in the inner ring alongside the first.

"Oh, you rode?", Évelyne exclaims and looks towards Étienne. "How envious I am of you. I am Évelyne Somerville. De Basilisque. Glad to make your acquaintance." When the duchesse speaks and addresses the competitors as well as the audience, Évelyne cannot help but shiver a little with excitement. She seems to beam with an inner glow, a cocktail of hormones keeping her spirits afloat in higher spheres. She had looked curiously towards the grim looking future head of House Somerville, her family of birth, but when the herald calls them to take their positions, she does exactly that. Pulling an arrow from the quiver she sets it against the bow string, and in pulling back takes aim. Closing one eye as to focus on the other, she draws a breath, and then releases the arrow, and then two others in quick succession. The first manages to hit the inner ring. But then concentration seems to fail her a little, as the next two only hit the outer ring, and she sighs.

Sebastien even raises to his feet in order to cheer for his wife. Though, the man stumbles a bit and has to grabble on a lady beside to stay on his feet. A bit of his drink spills on her dress. He immediately tries to fix the situation by helping her to clean it off but that earns quite annoyed look and dangerous approach of the lady's guard. Basilisque lord smiles apologetically, takes a step backwards and turns his eyes back where his wife is trying to win the archery competition. "Evelyne! Go go go! I know you can do it, my little sweet apple!"

The herald raises his voice again. "Lord Timothée de Somerville is leading, at a score of six points. Closely followed by Lady Fleur Valais de la Courcel at 5 points. Lady Evelyne and Lord Etienne have scored 4 points each. Set the targets further back, to the first mark." Attendants arrive on the field and lift the archery butts in pairs, carrying them further away to the first mark, which will make targeting more difficult with the increased distance. "Please, get ready. Shoot another three arrows at your targets.", the herald bellows, once the targets have been set down, and the attendants have withdrawn and moved out of the danger zone.

<FS3> Evelyne rolls Ranged-2: Failure. (6 2 3 4 1)
<FS3> Evelyne rolls Ranged-2: Good Success. (2 3 8 7 8)
<FS3> Evelyne rolls Ranged-2: Good Success. (8 8 5 2 7)

<FS3> Fleur rolls Ranged-2: Success. (2 4 5 6 3 1 8)
<FS3> Fleur rolls Ranged-2: Great Success. (2 8 1 8 2 7 7)
<FS3> Fleur rolls Ranged-2: Success. (7 4 6 6 2 2 1)

<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged-2: Great Success. (7 3 7 4 4 7 7)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged-2: Success. (3 3 5 4 8 4 5)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged-2: Good Success. (7 4 6 4 1 8 5)

<FS3> Timothee rolls Ranged-2: Good Success. (7 4 3 7 5 1 4 2 1 2)
<FS3> Timothee rolls Ranged-2: Good Success. (2 8 5 7 6 6 2 5 6 6)
<FS3> Timothee rolls Ranged-2: Good Success. (4 2 6 7 2 8 1 4 7 1)

Timothee Rafael de Somerville is quite simple about the second round. He steps forward, he makes sure to have three arrows just beside him. He stares at the target for a bit, then raises a bow and releases three arrows right after one another. It takes only one breath to the man to do so. All three arrows score exactly the same good amount of points. He snorts in content and smiles mainly for himself.

Fleur lowers her bow and rolls her shoulder to ease the tension that's started to build in her muscles. She remains perfect poised and focused as the targets are moved, and once the horn is sounded that the attendants are safely off the course, she takes a deep breath and nocks her first arrow. She manages to land it safely within the outer ring, whilst her next clips the edge of the centre. She's not so lucky with her third as it joins her first in the periphery of the target's rings, but she seems happy enough with her performance, for a smile melts on her face. "Nice shooting, my lord," she turns to her left, addressing the Somerville heir. "Consistency shows a good eye."

Étienne flashes Evelyne a quick smile, then his brow knits as he gets ready to try again, adjusting his stance, breathing slowly, carefully as he sights the target. The first shot getting so close to the center shocks him so much that his second shot barely hits the target at all. he takes a deep breath and tries again, improving a little, but ot enough to match the first shot of this round.

Évelyne didn't do too bad on her first round of arrows, but now the difficulty level increases, and for a moment, she glances towards the spot where she glimpsed Sébastien earlier — Only to see him brush over the decolletage of a lovely lady with a handkerchief. Ironically enough, this causes a wide grin of mischief to blossom on her comely features. Did this add to a bit of distraction for her next shot? Perhaps. The arrow goes astray, flying past the target and landing on the ground a couple of feet further. Évelyne frowns slightly, and shakes of her amusement to regain her focus. And voilà! The next two arrows hit the inner ring. At which the Vicomtesse gives Sebastien a somewhat sheepish grin.

Standing near to where the competitors are shooting, Yves claps enthusiastically after every round of shots, but doesn't offer any words of encouragement to anyone. He just enjoys watching their performance, and tries not to be a distraction now.

"People of Marsilikos. Here are the current scores," the herald announces. "Lady Evelyne is at 8 points. Lady Fleur is at 10 points, same as Lord Etienne. Leading is Lord Timothée, at 12 points." He clears his throats. "Targets are to be set to the second mark. After that, prepare for your final three arrows for today." Again, the archery butts are carried further away. It will be quite a test of skill to hit the aim now, even for the more experienced archers.

Etienne spends 1 luck points on I Never use these so sure..
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged+1: Success. (2 1 4 6 3 5 2 7 4 3)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged-4: Good Success. (6 8 2 2 7)
<FS3> Etienne rolls Ranged-4: Success. (5 7 1 1 5)

Fleur spends 1 luck points on And why not?! Fleur needs a bit of help now!.
<FS3> Fleur rolls Ranged-4: Good Success. (8 7 4 2 5)
<FS3> Fleur rolls Ranged-4: Failure. (5 6 1 1 6)
<FS3> Fleur rolls Ranged+1: Good Success. (7 5 1 1 8 1 4 2 4 1)

<FS3> Evelyne rolls Ranged-4: Success. (7 2 1)
<FS3> Evelyne rolls Ranged-4: Success. (7 3 3)
Evelyne spends 1 luck points on super amazing shot (with Azza's blessing).
<FS3> Evelyne rolls Ranged+1: Good Success. (2 3 8 5 6 7 2 8)

<FS3> Timothee rolls Ranged-4: Good Success. (6 2 4 6 5 7 4 8)
<FS3> Timothee rolls Ranged-4: Failure. (3 6 2 6 6 6 2 1)
Timothee spends 1 luck points on To win this thing. Maybe. Probably not..
<FS3> Timothee rolls Ranged+1: Amazing Success. (7 2 4 2 2 8 2 7 8 7 3 7 5)

Somerville lord glances at the lady beside him. He shrugs at the received compliment from Fleur. "Well, I have been hunting since the day I learned how to walk." He simply explains to her and then gets ready for the third round. He quite casually releases the first arrow. It is as good as the previous shots. But as your mother or father has told you before - too much confidence might lead to failure and hence his second arrow does not even reach the target. The man's eyes grow wide to his own surprise. He stretches his neck to one and the other side. Snorts. Timothee stares into the ground for a bit to get his focus back. Then he looks back at the target, aims, takes a few breaths and… the arrow is released only to hit right into the middle.

The target is now so far away, that Fleur has to squint as she lifts her bow. She selects one of her arrows from her quiver, and takes careful aim. It's a good shot, once again landing within the inner ring. The ribbon at her wrist dances as she nocks her second, and whether it slightly caught the fletching of that next before it leaves her string, or whether she's a little over-confident by the success of her previous shot, would be unclear. It sails over the top of the target and lands a good few feet distant, the bright red feathers marking its landing. Her eyes close, and a quiet utterance along with Azza's name is breathed as she pulls her ninth and final arrow from her quiver. She licks along one edge of the flight, running it past her lips before fitting it to her string and losing it target-wards. Straight and true it flies, landing just above her first to score her another hit within the inner ring.

"Azza have mercy…", Évelyne murmurs, her eyes widening before they narrow and she squints in the direction of the archery butts that are now at such a far distance. "How are we supposed to… have our arrows hit the mark?" But. The challenge hardly discourages herm, it seems to spur her on. With a look of determination to her face she prepares her next arrow. Taking aim, as she calms her breath until it is but a little quiver of her nostrils. Releasing the first arrow, and then the second, these two hit the outer ring, but they hit! "Ah… this isn't so hard after all," the young Vicomtesse murmurs, before she shoots her final arrow, her senses focused on the target so far away. Inner ring! She cheers, but that cheer sort of drowns in the cheer of the crowd, when the Ducal heir manages the impossible beside her, and a roar can be heard. "Bull's Eye!!! Bull's Eye!!!"

The earnest young heir to Berck whispers a soft prayer and thinks of his ancestor, who's day this is. Etienne takes his time, steadies his breathing and lets fly. At the outer ring. Again. His lips thin as he concentrates. One of those brief, bright smiles lights his face as the second shot hits an inner ring. Alas, for the third, that comes within hair's breadth of a miss. He catches Timothee's bullseye out of the corner of his eye and double takes, "good show! That's really brilliant!"

"BULLSHIT!" Sebastien shouts finishing his wine. "Her target was but too further away! Not the straight line! Wrong! That's cheating! Little apple should get a chance to repeat!" He keeps shouting swaying to the sides a bit. He even leans over the bar of the stand which separates the training ground from the seating area. "Repeat! Lies! Cheating! Favors! Booo! EVELYNE you are the BEST!" He smiles and then waves. "Cheers for Somerville lady! Ladies are the best!"

Applause can be heard and loud cheers, rising from where nobility is seated and watching, but also from the stands, where the commoners are. "Aaand. It appears, we have a clear winner in this first round. But let me summarize for you the final score… Lady Evelyne de Basilisque finishes with a score of 12 points. Lady Fleur Valais de la Courcel scores 14 points. So does Lord Etienne d'Arguil. But. Let me hear a final cheer for the winner, Lord Timothée de Somerville, as he scores some amazing 19 points!"

And it's over. It's with a smile of relief that Fleur turns to congratulate those that she's been pitted against, though naturally it's to Timothée that the first of her words are addressed. "A wonderful last shot, my lord. Congratulations. I doubt that anyone to come in the later rounds will score as well as you have today." Then she's barrelled into by a dark-haired six year old who wraps his arms around her middle, and further conversation is necessarily forfeit.

Étienne's whole body shrinks in startlement at the yelling from the stands, and he winces for the Somerville lady and tries very hard not to look in Sebastien's direction. Instead he joins in with the cheering for Timothée de Somerville. After he beams at the other contestants, "You are all really good!"

"SEBASTIEN!!!! SEBASTIEN!!! DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID? ALL THREE ARROWS, SEBASTIEN! ALL THREE OF THEM!" Évelyne cries out as she launches into a wild dance, still incredulous that none of her arrows managed to hit someone by accident. "I mean…" She stops, giggling, as she waves to her husband, he drunk on booze and women, and she sort of high on her own wild cocktail of pregnancy hormones. "Did you see that?" Remembering that there are others about her, others of less loud enthusiasm, Évelyne dims her excitement down a little, and then turns to congratulate the others. "Well… I made last place, but… You did some amazing arrow shooting, my lady. My lord." She smiles to Fleur and then to Étienne. "And you, of course," she dips into a deep curtsey before Timothée, and the faint scent of apples surrounds her. "My lord Timothée. You have made House Somerville proud today."

Timothee offers a nod when Fleur congradulates him. "Well, I wouldn't be so assured. Some of the more professional hunters might manage to score much more. While my performance here was mediocre today. I am not that pleased with it." He explains and turns to take his leave, brushing off some dusts from his shoulder. His servants come to take the young man's equipment.

"My girl! THAT'S MY GIRL. SHE IS LIKE MY WIFE AND STUFF!" Sebastien grabbles one of the lords gently to point him towards Evelyne. "Silly little thing but so BEAUTIFUL and she is also pregnant. We are about to have a SON!" He almost shouts into the lord's face. Then Sebastien gathers his things and starts pushing through the crowd, willing to reach his wife. But he kinda forgets his way on the middle. The man meets a couple of his other friends who seem to have more drinks, and they are in the same cheerful manner. Those lords pat him on a shoulder and point toward a tavern. And so a group of young man stagger away causing a bit of a cheerful chaos around them, forgetting about competition and a beautiful wife. But after all, it's festivities!

Étienne bows at the compliment, "Mostly luck really. It's my sister Agnes who is the best shot in our family." He is so terribly earnest with those big cornflower blue eyes, "I thought you were amazing on that last shot particularly Lord Timothee." He winces at Sebastien again.

Évelyne catches that wince of Étienne. And then turns to look towards Sébastien, as he staggers of with his friends. Eye-rolling slightly, with that beaming smile still remaining on her features, she comments, "Ah. My lord husband. Once could think that the day is already here and he needs to drown his anxiety in wine… still. So many months away." She smiles. "You have some fine eyes, you know that?", she tells Etienne.

Étienne lowers long lashes and blushes, completely unable to discemble with his face, "You are very kind. They run in my family. You must both be very excited for the coming blessed event." He glances in the direction of the disappearing husband. "It was truly a pleasure to compete in such company. he bows to the Ladies and withdraws.

When everyone has finished arching and the Duchesse has withdrawn, Yves moves to congratulate everyone though some of the competitors are quick to quit the field. "Congratulations on excellent shooting, lords and ladies," he calls as he approaches them. Walking over towards Lady Evelyne, he gives her a smile and mentions, "You are quite good Lady Evelyne, I don't recall you mentioning your skill with a bow before, is that a new thing you've been practicing?" he asks.

Fleur offers a quick — and apologetic — smile to her fellow competitors. "I believe that I promised the children a trip around the vendors' stalls once I was done with here. I believe there's a puppeteer somewhere, together with a particularly fine pastry stall. A dip of her head is given to Yves and Evelyne as latter rejoins the former, and with her hands firmly captured, along with her skirts, she's dragged away. Oh woe.

"Thank you, Lord Yves," Évelyne replies to the young man, turning to face him as she hands her bow and quiver off to an attendant. "It's something new, yes. Definitely. Heavens, a good thing, that I am not forced to learn all those tiring things about stewardship and leading a household alone. I would die of tedious boredom." She nods and curtseys to the departing Fleur and Etienne, and realizes with a soft sigh that Sébastien has left for another tour of the taverns. "So, I insisted that I'd learn a bit of archery, along with a tiny bit of swordplay." She shrugs. "Not that we got that far. But you know… he's Camaeline, he insists that I should be able to defend myself, in case of trouble. Why, you're Camaeline too, my lord. House Valliers? One thing I am pretty certain of is that Sébastien will make sure to stay sober on the Day of Camael. At least till after the duels."

"Yes, Camaeline," Yves confirms in his Camaeline way. Putting his hands on his sword belt, he nods his head at the explanation about drinking and dueling. "You're quite good for someone new to it, I bet most of the successful competitors were experienced," he mentions helpfully. With a laugh, he turns and looks in the direction of the departing crowds as the festivities have begun to break up. "Well, it was nice seeing you, Lady Evelyne, perhaps we should catch up again sometime," he goes on, smiling, only blushing faintly — a drastic improvement.

"Of course," Évelyne lowers herself into the hint of a curtsey. "Truth be told, I'll take a good ride into the countryside over any archery practice or even competition. I did have fun though." She smiles. "There should be plenty opportunity to catch up, Lord Yves. Especially, since the Basilisque and the Valliers residences are located not too far from another… Speaking of which. Could I ask you to escort me back home. I came here, on horseback, of course. But I have found that riding in company is always so much more agreeable." She gestures for her attendants and walks over to where her horse waits. "As long as we don't race, I shall be allowed to ride. Elua. It's five more months. Or so I have been told by the midwife…" Words become harder to catch as they move off, and Évelyne leaves the tournament field, with Yves probably in tow.

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