(1866-08-20) On the Road to Lonnaire
On the Road to Lonnaire
Summary: En route to Lonnaire, Alaric has a conversation with one of his guards. Plans are laid and crass jokes are made.
Date: 1866-08-20
Related: None
Alaric  Jehan  

Lonnaire Countryside
In scene set
20 Aout 1866

It's mid-afternoon on the road to Lonnaire, the sun hanging high in a cloudless sky. Even by summer standards, it's quite warm, enough so that Lord Alaric's party has needed to take a great many breaks to stave off exhaustion. They're presently seated to enjoy a late lunch in a makeshift camp, a dozen or so in all including a handful of guards and several more servants.

Alaric himself has chosen a spot a bit away from his guard detail, on top of a little rise overlooking a valley that's the last major landmark before they get to Lonnaire itself. With his back to the others, he lifts his eyes and gazes out over the terrain, squinting to just make out the outline of the city in the distance. Nodding, he turns his attention back to his meal for the moment.

"And so I said to her 'Well, yeah, but it didn't have spikes on then!'" Jehan's voice drifts across the camp as he finishes yet another unlikely story, followed by assorted laughter and groaning in equal measure from those around. "Didn't have spikes on then!" he repeats, in case the hilarity hadn't sunk in first time. "Where's himself gone anyway? Somebody check he's not keeled over in his stew?"

Keeled over? No, not quite, even if Alaric sits quietly enough that one might almost assume he did. Still, his hearing is good enough to hear Jehan's voice, and he responds with a raised hand and a glance over his shoulder. "Not yet," he replies, and there's a little chuckle following. "Send the funny one over," he adds, with a smirk, "to make certain that I stay awake. The heat can be rather draining, don't you think?"

Jehan shuffles to his feet with a groan, arms stretching over his head as he flexes tired muscles, then he ambles his way over to Alaric's ridge. "Couldn't find a funny one, sir, so you just get me. I'll do what I can to keep you awake, but bugger me, you're not kidding about the heat." He exhales, blowing upwards to puff his thinning hair. "My ball's been plastered to my leg so long now I think it's set up its own barony there."

"Self-deprecation is humor of a sort, you know," Alaric deadpans, though the smile curling his lips betrays his mood. "No, not at all. But at least when we reach Lonnaire it will be cooler. The sea does that, you know." There's a little chuckle at the Brigadier's joke, accompanied by a little sympathetic wince. "Hopefully a well-guarded one," he remarks. "Master… Jehan, wasn't it?"

"Jehan Lefevre," the horseman agrees amiably, kicking away a piece of brush so there's a clear spot to squat. And presumably aid with air flow, but let's not think too hard about that. "I wouldn't mind, but it's starting to chafe, and if there's one place you don't want chafing, it's right there. Bit of butter, though, that's what you need. Lubricate the whole area. Bish bosh, job done. You finished your supper, sir?"

"Right. Master Lefevre." If Jehan's rather blunt talk bothers Alaric at all, he does a fine job of hiding his displeasure. If anything, he seems rather refreshed to hear it - a sort of preemptive respite from the flowery language of the court of Lonnaire. Looking down at his stew, he replies, "Yes, I suppose I am as done as I will be." Shoulders roll in a shrug. "Beautiful day, isn't it? If you can get past the heat."

"Ah, we've had hotter," Jehan rejoins, rocking on his heels. "'52. That was a hot year. You thought you were going to burst into flames every time you put your armour on. This is just… well, summer in Lonnaire. It'll be grand for the wedding, at least."

"Grand," Alaric repeats, though his smile diminishes just a touch at the mention of the wedding itself. Precisely why that is goes unsaid. His attention turns fully to the Brigadier, and for possibly the first time, he gets a good look at the man he's speaking with. Older than he expected, perhaps. "How long have you been in the Lightning Brigade, again?" Pause. "You served under my father, I'm sure."

"Taught him everything he knows," Jehan agrees glibly, flashing an amiable grin. "I've been riding with the Brigade from the moment I could ride a horse, and a couple of years before I could ride a woman."

There's a few moments of silence from Alaric, as though the man is searching for the right things to say. Eventually, he settles on laughter. It's a short, understated thing, a low chuckle that probably doesn't make it much past Jehan's ears. "Is that right?" He's unconvinced, but more amused than frustrated. "Mmm. Then surely you're the man for my next… venture, as it were."

Jehan eyes him appraisingly for a moment or two, glances back, then lowers his voice. "Yeah, I can sort you out, boss. I know a couple of girls in the area. Clean. Discreet. Not too pricey. Just let me know when."

"Hrh." That, too, gets a chuckle from Alaric. "No, not quite that. This is merely a waypoint, you see. I plan on traveling a little further afield." Pause. Eyes fix on Jehan's for a moment. "Over the border, to Rivana. And I'm not /quite/ foolish enough to go alone."

Jehan considers this for some time, absently stroking his chin. "Well… is this sanctioned, or are we scouting?" The we is automatic. One might assume that he's agreed in principle already. "Or is this some appointment you're keeping?"

"A bit of all three, shall we say?" Alaric leans back a little, resting his hands in his lap. "Politics. That's likely as much as you would need to know. We'll be visiting Seaguard, and Normont." In that order, presumably. "You are with the Brigade. That means you're capable enough. And I need the sort of man who will… blend in, so to speak."

"She'd better be worth it if you get caught," is Jehan's advice on the matter, but he nods, dusting off his clothes as he rises. "I'll draw up a plan this evening for you."

"Very good, very good." Alaric flashes a grin. "I'll write Sir Carey, make sure you can get a month's leave or so from the Brigade. Should be plenty. And then…" Shoulders roll in a shrug. "Once we get to Lonnaire, we'll talk more. Afternoon, Master Lefevre."

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