(1311-09-01) Avoiding Fun
Summary: The Illyrian ambassadress is accosted at her labours by a local nobleman, bent upon amusement.
RL Date: 09/01/2019
Related: None
alphesiboe marco 

Stables — Marsilikos

Grand and spacious are the stables of Marsilikos, a flat building built and rebuilt over the years, with windows located further up the walls allowing the rays of the sun to enter during warm summer days. When shutters are drawn in the colder months or when it is too dark outside, a number of oil lamps will shed a cozy and comparatively safe light in the stables. A thick wall runs through the building and divides it into two separate parts, only connected through a portal of double doors that are open during the day and barred at night — and watched by Mereliot palace guards at all times.

The part facing the Rue du Palace has public boxes to use for visiting nobles or merchants, whereas the other part within the walls of the palace is where members of the Mereliot family will keep their horses, with a few boxes spared for visitors lodging in the guest tower.

The ground is covered with straw that is changed out regularly. Buckets of water are provided and refilled by the stable hands, as well as generous sacks of hay and grain, offering appropriate nourishment for even the most excellent and spoiled breeds of horses.


The day after the massive crowd convened at the palace for the trial — a day which the Illyrian Princess and her entourage spent in their chambers high above in the guest tower of the palace, merely looking down in wonder at the occurrence — Alphesiboe is down in the stables, visiting the pens in which her flocks are being kept while on palace grounds. Happy to see the goats and sheep are her two herding hounds, who harass their charges lovingly and bring to Alphesiboe one ewe at time. She, in turn, is settled with her knees parted in a manner most unladylike upon a stool, and when her ewes are led forward with their udders full she milks each after the other into a pail, singing a song in Illyrian as she does.

Marco makes his way into the stables not as much for the sheep as for the horses. He makes his way in towards a particular stall but he pauses in his movements as he raises a brow at the odd sight. He just pauses at the small fencing area in which the hounds and the goats are being tended to by their princess. He raises a brow and just watches for a time, "You know… I think that's the first time I've seen that done in the stables at the palace." He says in delight watching in curiosity.

The goats and the sheep— goats on the left, sheep on the right, like the good shepherd wills. Alphesiboe hears Marco approaching and looks up over her shoulder, but finishes the milking, first, patting the ewe on the bottom and sending her away, then standing up and wiping her hands on the woven wool of her garment, narrowing her eyes and listening very closely to Marco. "Teh en haide ampelinoe? Neaboule!" she calls, that last word addressed elsewhere in a lofty call from her rick, dark, husky voice before she turns back to Marco with an apologetic smile. "En a epein an d'Angelideia," she explains. "Depes Hellenikei?"

Marco considers that for a moment and he chuckles, "Sadly no… Not Hellenic." He pauses and then he tries a variety of languages, "Argonia? Caerdicci? Eirea? Akkadian?" He says each of the languages trying them out to see if he can gauge recognition from the farmwise visitor. He studies her with that husky voice thoughtfully though clearly bemused as he glances around to see if there's a translator.

"En… en," Alphesiboe laughs, "Entade," she beckons him with a hand, inviting him into her sheepfold; the dogs are keeping the animals more or less at bay. "Galatta, potes?" she gestures at the pail of freshly drawn ewe's milk, then to her lips, then to Marco, brows aloft with the offer or a taste. "Galatta Illyrikei," she kisses both her first two fingers, "Ambolistima."

Marco considers that for a moment and then he shrugs and he hops himself into the pen. He approaches slowly smiling at the animals watching them curiously. He blinks for a moment and he moves over closer studying the woman with the pail of milk, "Hmm? A taste?" He asks and blinks, "Ambolistima?" He asks moving over towards her and he leans forward sniffing at her fingers and the milk. He looks curious and uncertain clearly hesitant to dip his fingers in, "Is it safe?"

"Amboles," Alphesiboe repeats, a little more slowly, then, "Mmmm," she half-closes her eyes, licking her tongue-tip across her upper lip with the noise and rubbing a hand over her stomach to indicate the meaning. "Na," she nods, "Amboles," she assures him, bending down to get a small wooden dipper out of a pack near her stool and bring up a dipper full of warm, fresh milk, from which she sips, first, then steps to Marco, meeting his eyes and holding his gaze, "Potes," she whispers, smiling, holding the dipper toward his lips, in turn.

Marco blinks at the miming of the flick of tongue and sound. He grins faintly, "I really hope you're flirting with me." He says playfully and then he she sips and he nods and he leans forward towards the dipper and he takes a sip tentatively himself. His amusement at the oddity seeming genuine clearly not what he expected but not unpleasant.

The ewe's milk, warm to the tongue, has a buttery feel in the mouth and coats both palate and tongue with a rich film, leaving a faintly sweet, wildflower aftertaste. Alphesiboe watches his face while he processes the taste of the liquid, almost waiting for that last flavor layer to strike. "Teh?" she asks, unsure what he's said to her.

Marco smiles as he takes it and swallows. His tongue working along his lips. He smiles and nods, "Good.. very good." He tilts his head and then grins and he leans in to take another sip before leaning back, "Yes I could certainly enjoy that…how fascinating." He grins and he gestures at the pale, "Very good."

"Na, sti 'good,'" Alphesiboe agrees, adopting the d'Angeline word from context, even if her 'ooo' is a little bit rounded, her 'd' a little under-vocalized: 'guut,' she almost pronounces it like a Skaldi. She's not too shy to lean in and feed him from the dipper; when he leans back again she finishes it off and leans down to beat it against the edge of her stool before setting it atop her bag again and standing up. "Em Alphesiboe Khersides," she introduces herself.

Marco ahs at that, "Alphesiboe?" He smiles, "From Illyria?" He asks and he smiles as he wipes off his little milk moustache. He considers her chuckling, "We really should get you a translator. Or well I suppose I should add another language to my list." He says thoughtfully considering her. He then gestures at all the animals, "Yours?"

"Na," Alphesiboe nods to his pronunciation of her name, then, "Na," again, to her place of origin. The rest, she only shakes her head, not knowing, but smiling, no less, as she settles herself back down on her stool and tsks at her herding dog to send her the next ewe to be milked. She has a translator, but where that girl has gotten to, who can say? "Na, mena pana," she sweeps her hand in a similar gesture, then holds her palm to her chest before taking to the milking again.

"Bo? Bo!?" Here she comes, down along from outside.

"Ecet, Neaboule stin," Alphesiboe laughs to Marco, then, to the dark-haired maiden, "Neaaaa… ekei nas teh waneroi," she tells her rather breathless interpreter, who steps up on a rail from the outside of the pen, and doesn't quite climb over.

"I am sorry to have been absent, Lord Monsieur. I can translate for Her Highness, the Princess Alphesiboe, daughter of Kherses. She wants me to ask you who you are, of men."

Marco waves his hand at the woman who rushes over. He laughs softly, "Oh relax nothing so terrible. Marco de Mereliot, Vicomte of Touloun. Please tell her she has delicious milk and thank you for letting me taste." He says with a straight face and he smiles, "Daughter of Kherses?" He looks interested and he chuckles, "Princesses truly do come in all sorts."

Nea is relating all of this, and Bo, who is… evidently not used to travelling with a translator, quite yet, just looks at Nea, turning her head to regard Marco during the gaps in the report. "Epe en…. Poi ge Toulon?" she asks, then, eyes glittering with mischief, "Mala manthana ke ti Khersides?"

"Ah— she wishes to know where on earth Toulon lies… and…" Neaboule hesitates, in fact, half-sharing in her companion's smile, "Whether you insult her, in doubting her heritage."

Marco smiles and chuckles, "Touloun is one of the towns closest to Marsilikos." He gestures in a direction, "Many miles that way." He blinks, "Oh… no I did not doubt or mean to insult her. It was only surprised. She is not like any Princess I've met before."

Alphesiboe's brows rise when he points her in the actual direction of the lands he rules, and Nea relates how close by they are. His reaction to her accusation makes her laugh amid her milking chores, without even any translation necessary to convey the consternation on her face. "Lord Marco, the Princess was only having a joke at you, and was not taking any offense of your words in actuality," Neaboule tries to explain her companion's sense of humor. "You may wonder why she is milking the ewes, but in our homeland, all the best women are prized for their skill in working milk. She will make cheese and butter with her own hands, fresh, for your Exhibition, and takes pride in taking the milk herself." It's as though this were a cultural gap she had been prepared to cross.

Marco considers this, "So… this is an exhibition she does? Showing off her milking skills for those who come by?" He asks in amusement, "I wonder are dirty jokes about this encouraged or insulting in your culture?" He asks of the translator amusement and he chuckles, "Ah well I look forward to the tasting it at the exhibition I'm sure the cheese will be delightufl and all the more sweet for knowing whence it came."

"I apologize, Lord Marco, I meant to say that the cheese and butter will be available to taste for the exhibition," Neaboule is careful to clarify before she relates the rest to her companion, who turns her attention back to her interpreter. "Attat, gelet?" she asks her, then, turning to Marco, "Geles?" she asks him with a smile.

"Lord Marco, she wishes to hear your joke."

Marco considers softly for a moment and then he shrugs, "That while she seems so skilled at milking. I do hope she has a gentler hand in bed or I will worry very much for whoever she weds." He says with a grin and waits to see their reactions.

Oh, how Neaboule's face grows red. She laughs, but she hides her face in her hands, and she and Bo argue a little bit while Nea seems reluctant to share it back with the Princess— the two of them truly seem more like friends than the former a subordinate of the latter. But soon enough Bo has prised the joke out of Nea, and her jaw drops open when she turns to Marco, grinning incredulously and then just laughing. "Em epei pani a bunolestoi d'Angelinoi. Epe i de galatta riano," she goads Nea back again, who seems to have recovered from her blush. "She says that everyone told her the d'Angelines were filthy-minded. But we have a saying like it, too: Do not milk the ram, you will not like the cheese." And even this she blushes to say aloud, but she giggles while doing so.

Marco watches the two looking back and forth curiously and he grins at the jaw drop. He looks pleased with himself, "Well we do enjoy discussions of sexuality. But I assure you. I'm far more filthy-minded than most." He says and he laughs, "Oh that's a good one. Well you know I'm sure some people would like that." He says while smiling, "I'm glad the two of you were not offended."

Alphesiboe prattles easily with Nea and pats away the next ewe, clicking her teeth at the dog to bring the next one while the two Illyrians exchange dialogue, over which, once Alphesiboe gets into the rhythm with the next ewe, Nea begins to translate, trying to keep up like a professional translator. "She says that it's good you like the joke, and if others will like it, you may tell it as your own with her permission. That she… agreed to this journey knowing well the filth of the d'Angelines, and will not be shaken by it, but will match it in manner— so long as she may return home in a proper state for her marriage. And she and I have been long friends together, and she and I have shared dirty words since we were little, in private together."

Marco grins faintly, "Oh? Match it in manner?" He asks and he looks amused, "How wicked. The idea of the two of you together in private." He says with a wink, "Well I hope people have been making you both feel welcome?" He asks hopefully as he watches the Princess continue to milk the creatures amusement remaining

Alphesiboe breaks out laughing again, a delayed reaction, but from the color of her ears, Nea must have just related Marco's insinuation about their relationship, and she retorts with another saying, not quite as scandalous as the first, which Nea announces as: "A cow will mount a cow if you leave the bull in the pen," with Bo looking on to Marco to see whether she can truly perv on the d'Angeline level. Probably not, but there you have it. Then, brows furrowing, she sits up and rests one fist on her hip, scritching through a ewe's butt-wool thoughtfully and going on with Nea for a while. "She says she isn't sure about yesterday, but that she didn't feel comfortable coming out of the tower, for all the people in the courtyard. She was not told of any exhibition events, and she heard from another ambassador that someone was murdered. Is that true?"

Marco raises a brow at that and he grins, "Well… it does seem like a comfortable enough pen." He says glancing around eyes lingering on the two before winking again. He pauses and he grows more somber, "I have not yet read the full report but it seems there was an assault, and an investigation, and then justice was rendered. But I do not know the full of it. It seems the outlander attacked an elderly noblewoman."

Alphesiboe swats the tail of her current ewe and leans back, lifting one sleeve of her finely dyed gown to rub her chin and lower lip while considering the details of the case, such as they are, related by Neaboule. She lifts both brows and issues a slow shake of her head as she stands. "Ma, en pomoi aut agetoi xenoeia," she issues in a flat, low tone, to Neaboule, who, for Marco's benefit: "She says that's not at all the proper way to behave oneself when invited as a guest."

Marco sighs, "No one would expect not. But it seems done with for now. But unfortunate." He admits and then he smiles and he considers the two, "Then again it's also not abnormal for guests to behave a little differently than normal."

A little differently. Just look at the Illyrian Princess playing milkmaid in the stables— really, cultural differences spread across the board, don't they? She stoops and gathers the pail, lifting the handle evenly in both hands, heaving it up and over the wall for Neaboule to take while she receives her translation. "Es ma takaie," she speaks quietly to her companion, then, glimpsing back over her shoulder to Marco, "Na, nun a belepolis se ekages, a tregei gnete te, bunolestos," she laughs, putting her hands on her hips and leaving Neaboule with the task of relating: "She wants me to accompany her to the tower again. But she wants to make sure you leave the pen, first. That… filthy men should not be let with the nannies and the ewes. But— she is joking with you, Lord Marco," she tries to explain, if that much weren't clear from the sly smile the Princess is giving him.

Marco winks at the two, "Oh? So we can't be trusted alone with the ewes and the nannies, but with the Princesses it's alright?" He asks and he smiles as he makes his way to the exit of the pen. He does chuckle softly, "Well let her know I very much look forward to trying her milk and the like."

Alphesiboe wets her lower lip, issuing a sharp whistle, and calls her herding dogs along with her, following Marco out of the pen. "Pasa Khersideies aut oplaeisin mala," she lets him know, flanked by her two shepherds and turning to secure the pen once they're all free of it. From the other side, coming carrying the pail, Neaboule: "She says that in Illyria, the Princesses know how to fend for themselves."

Marco grins as he considers the large dogs as he exits and he smiles, "And can I offer you both wine? As for fending for themselves. And how does one fend off someone as charming as myself there?" He asks with a playful wink.

Alphesiboe moves on ahead to meet up with Neaboule, setting a hand on the pail's handle and carrying it along with her in an easy concordance of motions, as though they've shared this duty for a long time and are long past the days where they might jostle and spill the milk. After conferring with her companion and interpreter, the latter calls back, "By not allowing such charmers to pour strong drink for us!" and they both laugh together and glimpse back to Marco.

Marco grins faintly at that and he smiles, "AH? But what's the fun in that. Think of how much fun can come out of strong drink and charming men." He says brightly without offering at all to carry the load as he follows the two enjoying the view clearly.

The Illyrian ladies continue ahead, dogs at heel, neither of them even trying to get a nose into the milk, which is more than can be said for Marco! They both take long, easy strides, inner legs and outer legs moving in unison, and they talk girlishly to one another before Nea calls back, "Yes, this is the very sort of fun we were thinking of avoiding, Lord Marco."

Marco watches the two go and then he grins, "Well then, with that I shall let you go. But thank you both for an entertaining afternoon." He says eyes twinkling eyes watching the two looking clearly amused. "I shall look forward to my next taste."

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