(1310-10-16) Within the Maze
Summary: Cyriel Charlot finally encounters his relative Esekiel at Châteaugiron. Questions are asked, provoking answers both evasive and cryptic.
RL Date: 07-08/11/2018
Related: Kusheline Snakepit plot, and this.
cyriel esekiel_npc 

Châteaugiron — Kusheth

Upon arriving in Chateaugiron, Cyriel had taken the opportunity to speak with the current vicomte, a distant cousin of his, Cyrano, father of Thibault, Melville and Belladonna — all of which were in that far away city of Marsilikos, at the opposite border of Terre d'Ange.

"Was it your intention to have your children reunite in a port town of Eisande? And for how long do you think, Thibault will elect to stay?", Cyriel had asked with a sardonic smile. Only to receive a somewhat dry counter, "Please keep your needling witticisms to yourself, Cyriel. As for Thibault… He can stay for as long as he is not required here." Conversation had been brief, however, circling more around matters of horse and wine trade than on Charlot kin.

Soon after, Cyriel had excused himself to leave Cyrano to his duties, while he ventured out into the gardens, reacquainting himself with the elaborate hedge maze. The weather, despite the season and the rough climate usually encountered within Kusheth, was comparatively fair, a slight chill in the breeze that drifted through the gardens. A warm cloak of dark wool offered the other Vicomte protection from the weather, while the wind tore at brown hair that was bound in a ponytail.

It took Cyriel a moment to find Esekiel, right in the center of the maze.

Dark eyes came to settle upon Cyriel, when the brother to the Vicomte de Chateaugiron turned and met the stare of pale blue, and with a chuff of laughter, deep and guttural, Esekiel crossed the distance and caught Cyriel in an embrace of good-natured familiarity.

"It's been quite a while, and it seems we missed each other several times ever since…", Esekiel began, with the ritual of greeting completed as he took a step back to assess his distant cousin.

"And yet you were aware of me travelling to Marsilikos, on a trail that was already cold when I arrived.", Cyriel countered dryly. "Or you wouldn't have sent me a letter. But tell me… how did you fare, and what of that mysterious item you mentioned…? Something that would be able to shake the foundations of Kusheth?" A beat. "Thibault asked me to pass on a kick to your backside for not writing."

"Let us sit for a moment," Esekiel said, instead of offering an immediate reply. His hand lifted to indicate a bench, and the way a thoughtful smile pulled at his features drew attention to the scar, a faintly disfiguring detail in an otherwise darkly handsome face. Upon the remark about Thibault, it became even more apparent through the grin it inspired. "Ah… well… I have written enough letters already, to be honest. Sometimes laying low is the more advisable route." A cryptic remark that came with a pointed glance towards Cyriel.

"The mysterious item… I shouldn't tell you a thing about it, probably. As to keep you out of trouble," the uncle of Thibault stated with a faint lift of a brow. "Unless you'd absolutely like to know, of course. But first off, tell me… Where do your loyalties lie?"

"With House Morhban, of course," Cyriel replied without thinking. "We all serve the Sovereign Duc of Kusheth. Don't we?" Sitting back, his legs crossed loosely below knee level, as he turned his head to regard Esekiel with his fullest attention. "It is not treason that you have gotten yourself into?" The question sounded casual from his light tone, but both knew it was anything but.

"Treason," Esekiel echoed. And his features pulled into a wry smirk, as he left that word hanging there ominously, and the question without a direct reply.

"The message has been passed on, and there are others that are worrying about it now." His shoulders lifted in a shrug. "I am no longer part of the game, Cyriel. I have told her as much… so in case there will be more… she will have to seek someone else to 'help out' and pester."

"Her? She?"

Cyriel's eyes narrowed. "Do I really want to know?"

"You don't.", Esekiel countered. His own gaze dark compared to the brightness in Cyriel's eyes.

"Some of the Duc's men were chasing me all the way down to Marsilikos. I believe, that should show you the extent of the mess I've been in."

"What makes you think you are safe now?", the Charlot of hawkish features asked, leaning back a little, even as he remained slightly turned towards Esekiel.

"I don't think I am safe. But perhaps a little bit more out of the primal focus of danger, as others will work with the information I gave them.", the scarred Charlot responded quietly.

"You are in league with the Duchesse of Eisande?" The question was posed lightly, and Cyriel gave Esekiel a probing glance. "What is her part in this? As I found out you've been a topic in her chambers." A pause. "I heard you were helping Jacquet's daughter, Charlène. What is this about? Fighting Quintien's claim on the Ducal seat?"

"Charlène." Esekiel repeated the name, and his dark gaze hardened. "You have no idea. It is her that is in danger. She is one of the last two remaining from Jacquet's line."

"Hmm…" Pale blue eyes were lowered, as Cyriel Charlot's expression became thoughtful. "But why should her descendence put her into a perilous position? And if she passed on information to you to deliver… She is in Marsilikos, so that part of your story doesn't make any sense."

"She passed on information? Cyriel, you misunderstood.", Esekiel said with a faint frown forming on his fatures. "When I spoke of her." He emphasized the word ominously. "I was referring to someone else entirely."

"Who?" the hawkish Charlot asked, his gaze alight with intensity.

"That, my dear cousin," Esekiel replied with a soft sigh. "I cannot tell you."

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