(1311-06-18) Some Kind of Empathy
Summary: Desarae encounters a foreigner from Chi'in in the Grand Plaza, and shows a lack of empathy towards him. Or does she…
RL Date: June 19th, 2019
Related: None
desarae sun aeric 

Grand Plaza- Marsilikos

No humble, cobbled, crowded town square, this: the grand plaza of Marsilikos gleams, a true centerpiece of a wealthy, international port city. The marble tiles of the square itself are fitted smoothly together, alternating white and greyish-blue with obsidian equal-armed crosses inset at the intersections. Four raised planters, ten meters square, offer cool travertine seating around swaths of raised ground, grassy and tended in all seasons with foliage best beautiful and suiting to the weather, positioned in each of the corner quadrants of the square, and, in the center, a concrete-laid pool is lined with marble, into which four ichthyocentaurs are pouring cool, clean water from carved vases of striking white marble. On a pedestal half-hidden by the winding tails of the ichthyocentaurs is an ancient obelisk, one solid piece of red granite, imported with great expense from Menekhet, mounting twenty one meters into the sky and casting a winding shadow around the corners of the plaza as the day progresses.

On the western edge of the square a grand marble stairwell overlooks the port and the harbor below; to the north, two strips of marble extend far between the stoate pillars of the marketplace, embracing a well-cultivated spina of greenery.


It's a warm, spring evening, and a light shower of rain falls from the sky. The Grand Plaza looks quite magical at times like this; the marble painted a faint shade of pink from the slowly setting sun, and sparkling where slicked with water. The rain isn't falling heavily enough to keep the good citizens of the city from continuing about their business however, for the streets — whilst not overly crowded — are busy enough. Children dart between the more sedately behaved, playing tag with mischief firmly in place whilst the city guards keep watchful eyes on their behaviour, and nobles and commoners alike stop to pass a word or two, or make their way home after a long day of business. It's into this mix of humanity that a dark-haired young woman inserts herself. She exits the premises of the Ange Luthiers, a recently opened shop that caters to those of a musical bent, and takes a moment to gather her thoughts as people pass by. She's in the company of another young woman, a maid from her looks, four guards in the livery of the Sovereign Ducal family, and a tall man dressed drably in the garb of the Cassiline Brotherhood. "I would like to sit by the pool for a minute," she might be heard to state, were anyone close enough to hear her. And thus it is that both she and her entourage head for that grandest of settings.

The grand plaza. Sun Liang recalls when he first stepped off of that ship and crossed the port to reach such a destination. Even now as he walks, his services as a bodyguard dismissed for the evening, he can feel his memories peeking back at him from beyond the veil. He wears his usual clothing with the addition of a black cloak to keep him sheltered from the rain, though he eventually comes closer to the poolside area, to look into the water with his amber eyes, until his sight eventually finds Desarae, and the tall Brotherhood member she's with. He doesn't speak, though he does give a small bow towards her.

Desarae's maid is quick to wipe the seating at the edge of the pool, dispersing the rain gathered there so her lady might sit. She's perhaps in her early twenties, this maid, and well-trained it would seem since she also has in her possession a thick blanket of blue and gold wool. Thrice she folds it and lays it on the marble. It's wide enough for both to sit side by side, and so they do; their cloaks and skirts neatly tamed by the smoothing of their hands so they don't crease beneath them. Though Marsilikos is the gateway to foreign lands, and therefore terribly cosmopolitan, those that come from as far afield as Chi'in are still relatively rare, and it'd be no surprise that when green eyes feel amber upon them, they narrow somewhat and return like for like gaze. Desarae's chin lifts as her mouth tightens and flattens, and anything she might have been about to companionably say to her maid is stayed for a second or two as she takes a moment to stare at the now bowing foreigner.

Another figure approches the pool just then stolling along with casual grace. The wandering form of a tall, dark haired man with bright ocean colored eyes. Unlike the other man this one is purely d'Angeline and it shows. His features regal and handsome. Dressed in a doublet of silvery grey over a shirt of deep black with matching black trousers and boots he looks refined and elegant. He glances between the lady and the forgien man calmly. A tilt of his head is give, regarding them both with a faint smile before he bows low for the Lady in a gesture of polite respect.

Sometimes it still takes Sun Liang a solid moment to remind him that he is still a stranger in a foreign land. His eyes look upon Desarae as she stares at him, and while it doesn't make him uncomfortable, it does raise his curiousity. "Good day." He speaks in the common tongue of this land, though he seems to have caught the attention of another. He turns his head slowly to find Aeric also looking towards them. "Good day to you as well. It seems this place is mildly popular." he admits.

When Sun directly addresses her, Desarae blinks. Her shoulders push back and down, a self-conscious response and wholly reflexive, and the stiffening of her spine would tells of a discomfort on some deeper level. "This place?" she asks of Sun. "Do you mean the plaza, the city, or Eisande in general, monsieur?" Cold detachment sits heavily in the tone of her voice, and she does nothing to disguise it as her eyes dig hard into Sun's before she's distracted away by the arrival of another. Having grown up in Rose Sauvage, Aeric might well recall her as the Novice she was so short a time ago. Or he may not, of course. There would certainly have been occasions when their paths might have crossed, though she would most only have appeared in a serving capacity at any parties or fetes that were given that she'd yet to debut. But she remembers him. "Good evening, Aeric. How lovely to see you again. Won't you sit with us a while and tell me the gossip of the Night Court?"

"Good evening Lady Desarae. I hope you are well?" It seems Aeric does remember her. He seats himself nearby and offers her a warm smile. Glancing to Sun he inclines his head breifly at the other mans greeting. "Hello. You are far from home." Its a statement not a question but it isn't aggressive, merely calm and somewhat calculating. Looking back to the lady he smiles. "What would you like to know? I haven't been keeping as close of a watch on the other houses but I can relay a few things that might be interesting."

Sun looks at Aeric. "You speak of this as if I do not know." huh, is he fluent? Nice. Then his eyes look to Desarae, though he seems nonplussed about her cold detachment. "This plaza. I remember when I saw it for the first time when I stepped off of the vessel that brought me here. Though I must admit, the rain makes it a little bit better." He looks between the two, and doesn't interrupt as Apparently Aeric has news for Desarae, though in other news, he has learned their names thanks to their familiarity with one another, though he doesn't reveal his own. Not unless asked.

"I'm very well, thank you." Desarae notes to Aeric. "How quickly this last year has gone. It feels not five minutes since I left La Rose Sauvage." Her breath escapes her lips in a facsimile of a sigh. "I don't know." she admits. "Perhaps some harmless piece of gossip about how Glycine celebrated The Night of Love. Did Cochonnet do anything outrageous this year?" Her eyes cut back towards Sun on the heels of her questions to Aeric, and the smallest chew is given her lower lip. "It takes many months of travel to arrive here from Chi'in, monsieur. I wonder, what is your purpose in doing so?" The question is nothing if not direct and to the point, a stillness to her posture as she awaits his response.

Sun was nothing if not honest, and he looks upon Desarae. "And what purpose do you believe that I have come? I have heard many reasonings, born of fear, caution, or curiosity. I am here because I have no home, and a ship captain took pity on me for my story. I serve as a bodyguard to the House of Baphinol." He looks upon her. "I do not know what this Night of Love is. Is it a ceremony of Consumnation?"

Slim fingers knot in Desarae's lap and, beside her, her maid murmurs something quietly. It has the sometime future marquise lofting one brow, and causes the faintest of smiles to reveal itself at the corners of her lips. Something quiet is issued back, and her attention returns then to Sun. "The Night of Love is a night where we celebrate the freedom given to us by Blessed Elua to love whomever we wish. However we wish. If you are engaged as a bodyguard to the Baphinol's, I am only surprised that you're not already aware of that." A breath is drawn, and she counters Sun's questions with two of her own. "Why have you no home, and what is your name?"

Sun Liang looked upon Desarae as she explained her query and the Night of Love. Understanding, Sun gives a light nod. "So I see. While I am a bodyguard, I am still learning much of this land. It is as foreign to me as my land is to you." As she asks him his name and why he has no home, he seems hesitant, before he indeed responds. "My name is Sun Liang. I have no home because my family, the equivalent of a House in this land, was killed by assassins from a rival house. I fled, knowing it was the only way to survive. I have no home, because I am the last of my House."

<FS3> Desarae rolls Empathy: Failure. (5 4 1 1 3 1 6)

"I'm sorry to hear that." Desarae states flatly. Despite the similarity of Sun's story to her own, no emotion reveals itself in her tone, nor in those vivid green eyes that don't waiver from his. A pause and a gathering of her brow. "I find it surprising that you ran so very far, however. I wonder, how might you take your revenge upon those that have wronged you so, when you're now halfway around the world? Do you intend to return, or to hide here forever? Infrequest as it is, there are others that come here from Chi'in, so are you considered a criminal and traitor within your homeland? What should we tell them of you, should we be asked?"

"You ask many questions." Sun Liang states. He doesn't want or expect the pity of others. But as she tells him that its surprising he went so far, she shrugs. "I sailed with the trading ship that ended up saving my life. A several month journey, before it was the end." he states rather flatly. "I am lucky to be where I am. Someday, I may. If the hunters ever come here, I will kill them with my blade or join my family in death. If they ask of me, tell them wehre to find me. I would rather not endanger you by my presence alone."

"I find that asking questions negates the need for guesswork," Desarae states, breaking away from the contact of their eyes. She stares into the middle distance, unfocused and silent. Perhaps she does feel some kind of empathy for the foreigner, but if she does then she keeps it buried deeply inside. Certainly there's a pallour to her complexion that hadn't been there earlier, and noting the change in her, a quick touch is given her arm by the woman at her side. There's concern in her voice. "My Lady. The hour grows late. Perhaps we should return to the palace?" Whatever spell holds Desarae in its thrall, is broken by that touch, and she blinks quickly with a brightness to her eyes. "Yes. I suppose that it is and I should." And then back to Sun. "Monsieur Liang, you pose no threat to me by your presence here. If you have not already done so, I might suggest that you introduce yourself to the Chi'in Ambassdor in Elua, and see whether they've any advice or help for you. Unfortunately, we have not enjoyed the company of one here in Marsilikos for quite some time, so it would entail vacating our city and travelling north." Her attention shifts to her Cassiline, and with a fractional nod his way, she takes to her feet.

Sun Liang falls into silence as Desarae finally takes her eyes off of him. He thought she was going to stare at him forever! Though as Sun looks at her handmaiden, he looks at her. "I am aware of the Chi'in ambassador and where they are. I have no intention to leave. I have been gifted with position, and it would dishonor the Baphinol House to give them such discourtesy in return so soon. But, I wish you a good night." His amber eyes shift back to the pool, apparently letting her leave.

Desarae nods. "I wish you a pleasant evening then." And holding her skirts an inch or so shy of the wet travertine marble, Desarae turns and leaves, her maid's head bent close to her own, shadowed by her Cassiline and the four Mereliot guards.

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