(1866-11-21) Crimson Cassomir
Crimson Cassomir
Summary: With the slight lull between the weddings and the forth coming tournament, Emilia arranges for Clara and Lon to finally meet one another. It does not go entirely as planned.
Date: 1866-11-21
Related: The Adventures of Clara and Emilia
Clara  Emilia  Lonar  

Cassomir Manse - Sunsreach - Rivana
See scene…

It is an unusual thing, for the Elder Changeling called Lon, to be summoned. Or perhaps that’s not quite the right word, but regardless, Emilia Cassomir did ask that Lon…or “Lonar” as he has now taken to calling himself, meet her in this place, a few minutes from now. He actually arrived…considerably early. Over an hour, but none have seemed to pay him any mind, given that many of the Cassomir’s guests for the Wedding(s) have already departed (though several may return for the Tourney in a couple of weeks), and he kept to himself, seated on the large sill of an even larger window that dominates this private sitting room, watching the cityscape outside in silence. Chances are he could sit there for several hours and not even realize it, and indeed his own earliness was from an overabundance of caution in not wanting to be late. Sometimes the way that mortals mark time moves a bit swiftly for him.

So he sits, and waits, clad in fine leathers and bearing the look of woodsman and warrior (though of course sans weapons for the time being…those get left with the guards at the door unless you’re a fellow guard, huntress, or noble guest). He’s already familiar to some of the Huntresses, with whom he spoke before and during Raelyn’s wedding, and a select few of which may even have encountered his “father” Old Lon in the days he was living on the edge of Iron March. Either way, they seem accepting of his presence…though Raelyn may well have passed on commands to do just that. In any case, it is a sunny but cool fall afternoon in Sunsreach, just a couple of days after the wedding of the Viscountess and the Greycen Lord.

Quite true, Emilia would never dream to actually summon or otherwise demand ‘Lonar’ to appear at a particular time or place. Inquire or ask it of him, certainly, but the rather ancient being was far to respected for her to try and order him about. Not that Emilia ever seemed to come off as ordering much of anyone about. Yet, he had not been the only one asked for an invitation had also been extended to Clara as well. A thing not infrequent really, invitations to the Cassomir manse. It was time the two had met properly, even if they had at the very least seen one another at the wedding and reception the days prior.

With acceptance by both, Emilia had awaited the arrival of her friend to the manse. A warm welcome, well highly stoic but still warm for Emilia, given when she had greeted Clara upon that arrival. The Princess’s Lancers having been left along as they most often were for these visits before Emilia took them along to that private room where Lon would be waiting. For Emilia had faith, even with how he marked time differently, he would be…cause he had said he would be there.

A glance was cast along towards Clara as the doors were reached, “Of ready?” A few beats passing, awaiting a response before the doors were opened and the room entered. If dark eyes lingered a bit long on the man found waiting in the room in the fine letters, so be it. Of herself, Emilia had returned to the similar attire of a Huntress, the leggings and tunic. Even if she wore a slightly nicer tunic with the turns of embroidery to be found along the edges.

“Lonar, I am of glad you could of come,” the simple statement coming with the doors still open. “I was of hoping to properly introduce of you to Clara, my good of friend and Princess of House of Tracano.” There might be a slight bit of mirth to her eyes when she glances towards Clara in using that title. “Clara, this is of Lonar,” though as the doors close behind them and the trio is given privacy,”or as you were first of hearing of him, Lon of The Elder.”

Of course Clara had come. If there was but one truth to be had of the princess, it would be that she is swift to action for those that she has deemed her friends truly. And Emilia has certainly earned that distinction. So, it is with all due speed that Clara has made her arrival. Her Lancer shadows safely tucked away, the leading to the room by Emilia herself is enough cause for curiosity. And then, that simple question…’of ready?’…catches Clara by mild surprise. Is Clara truly ready? With a gentle nod, she indicates as such, quelling any nervousness that might have arisen, of which there most certainly was.

And then, with the door opening, Clara steps into the room. She herself is clad in much the same way she is normally…that of nobility, if not of royalty. Always, there are appearances to maintain when within the city. A rich blue dress (almost Cassomir blue) with simple silver embroidery adorns Clara’s form, the waist slightly cinched with a corset. The hair is in a single braid, rich red draped upon the covered shoulder, while her arms are enshrouded with loose sleeves, falling to her wrists. As she steps in, a sideward glance is cast towards Emilia, a slight smirk pulling the right corner of her mouth as Emilia uses the title…a habit that she knows full well Clara does not explicitly think is necessary. Nonetheless, those brown eyes come to bear to the form of Lonar..and only express surprise when Emilia drops the other name given. That of Lon the Elder. Another shift to Emilia, expression of concern upon Clara’s features. “Lon? He knows?” Obviously a reference to a time spent outside normal time…but, with the doors open, nothing more is given. Instead, Clara turns back to the male figure, offering a regal curtsey, well practiced, to him. “It is a pleasure to formally make your acquaintance, my Lord.”

Lon glances up from his seat at the window, then moves to rise to his feet as the door closes. He blinks a bit, not so much at the introduction so much as Clara’s greeting, before shaking his head, “I am no Lord…Highness.” The pause seems to be so he can remember the proper title, and there’s a bow in reply. He’s been practicing his modern courtesies, you see. The better to blend in. “I may have once been a Knight, but that was a very long time ago.” A bit of that wolfish, wry grin appears as he notes, “And while some lords have tried to grant title to me, it is a fate I managed to avoid.”

He adds, “And the pleasure is mine, if you are friend to Emilia.” He moves to sit back down on the deep sill, though his blue eyes watch the two women attentively, “So you too saw the Labyrinth. And met he who rules it.” He adds after a moment, “I cannot offer overmuch insight into what you saw and experienced. I may recognize this Last were I to lay eyes upon him or find his scent, for the Sidhe were familiar to me, but without sight or scent, he is a stranger to me.” He inclines his head towards Emilia, “And until Emilia told me of him, I only knew him in the same tales and legends that most mortals do. As the Goblin King.”

He pauses, “It is…good that Emilia has a friend that knows her tale.” He looks between the two, “She has her family, and they share much in both triumph and loss, but it is well to have the comfort of those that are not kin from time-to-time.”

A nod is given to Clara in confirmation,”Of aye, he is of knowing.” There is perhaps a little turn of amusement that touches Emilia’s eyes.. For both greetings given, knowing well of Clara’s love for title..and yet she imparts such with ease…to one who bares title with about as much love. The stoic Cassomir is surely permitted her bit of amusement in the moment. Dark eyes do certainly note how Lonar has been practicing his courtesies, brushing up on how to fit in alongside the current crop of mortals.

“She saw of it, of aye, and has remembered of it as I was of remembering of our time of there, of what she was of seeing,” there is a faint look towards Clara at that, for Clara quite saw what is within Emilia during that time. “And she is bond by of oath like I am of, to speak naught of it, save to each of other and of you. It was of his of gift…boon to of us…..me, for the memories to not be forever of lost. “ A lips briefly edge into something of a frown before Emilia shakes some thought or another off.

“Though she is not of the only, even if I am much of grateful of now to have of a friend who knows of me,” Emilia looking to Lonar as she adds,”but she makes of two. Since I am of having you as of well, of aye?”

Fingers trace and faintly turn in the air as one point is considered by Emilia,”Am doubting scenting or of sighting is a thing to of occur without of his of wishes….But I could be of perhaps sketching of him, to show in such of a way? If it would be of your wish to see if the face of seen is being of familiar of to you?”

At the comment of avoiding titles, Clara’s expression brightens, even as she offers a slight smile towards Lon. Yet, Clara’s slight smile might as well be a beacon, in comparison to Emilia’s often stony expression. She is amused. “Well then, once-Sir, if you are not a Lord, then I am not a Highness, unless for some reason we are speaking about elevation.” That slight smile gains a somewhat more mischievous bend to it. “For it was merely an accident of birth and events beyond the realm of my control that granted such frivolous titles to me. And, as such, are not needed for those unconcerned with such trifles.” Ah…the precociousness of Clara takes short work in coming to the forefront. A stolen glance to Emilia is all the evidence Clara needs to see that the stoic one is enjoying the exchange, though little might have changed to an inexperienced eye.

Now that the pretense of title is cast to the side, Clara seems to be a bit more comfortable. More herself, rather than her role modern society has placed for her. A gentle nod is given. “Yes, I have seen that which few do and remember to tell the tale.” Another aside to Emilia..then back to the changeling that Clara knows is before her. “I believe only Emilia and I have done so….and no one shall ever know, besides yourself, of course.” There was a pause, as a momentary fit of confusion clouds the Tracano’s features. “But…with the way that the Master of the Maze spoke, you do not seem to rival him in years of existence, at least in terms of appearance.” Then, the thought springs to her…as she ties mythology to reality. “Ah…but that would make sense. After all, to be a changeling is to actually be able to change. Silly me…forgive my momentary ignorance.” A touch of rouge colors Clara’s cheeks…a moment of awkward embarrassment.

“I am grateful for the Last’s gift to Emilia, to allow someone to share in her burden. It is the least that I could do in repayment for Emilia assisting me to find myself again, after I thought all was lost.” There is no mention on what Clara knows, nor is there a need. She assumes that Emilia already has informed the Elder of their time within the Labyrinth…including the revealing of She who is within. However…Clara does offer to echo Emilia’s offer. “Would it help if we provided a sketch? I am sure Emilia would far surpass my meager efforts, but together, we could provide a somewhat accurate depiction, I am sure.”

“Yes, you have me.” Lon replies to Emilia, that grin still in place, golden brows lifting in a bit of amusement, though the expression shifts to something more somber, “But I am not of men. My thoughts do not always travel in the usual directions of mortals, and so it can at times be a difficulty to…understand some of your troubles and vexations beyond that largest one.” He gestures to Clara, “Not so with your spirit-sister.” That’s not a term in common usage, certainly. Something old, most likely.

His attention turns back to Clara and he laughs, briefly, “This is my true face, or perhaps more truthful to say one of two true faces. But I can assume the aspect of age should I wish. It was in such a guise that I first came to know Emilia and her family. But they are aware now that it was not my true face.” Well, except maybe Devlin, but he’s probably heard at least a few of the details from Raelyn, if not as many as Jaren. He does look to Emilia and note with that touch of amusement, “Should I demonstrate?”

But regardless of the answer to that question, Lon glances between the pair and shrugs, “Your sketches may be of interest, but the form of the Sidhe was often nearly as changeable as my own once was, and what could not be masked with change of shape could be altered with illusion of the senses. I may well not recognize him, but it would be no harm in seeing for myself. That he is male does at least provide some winnowing of possibilities. Though if a Sidhe wished, they could appear as whichever gender. But I do not have the feel of such trickery being employed here.”

There is a mild shake of Emilia’s head as truly it does take little time for the precocious nature of Clara to surface, a mild bit of amusement perhaps had about that. But the stoic nature does return in full, even if the difference was most subtle. A slight incline of Emilia’s head going to Clara, it was quite true. Emilia and she both had seen a thing few had been allowed to remember, if any of the few who had stumbled through that gate had ever before been allowed such. And Clara…well even Lon had not seen Emilia’s beast surface before…..yet.

There is actually a little smile that comes in way of response to Lon’s words. A nod,”Of true, for of your years your thoughts travel of different and in of turn my understanding lacks…But it has been of this largest… vexation that I have had none of other to even of begin to of understand. And perhaps there is of none who can fully of understand, but there is much you can of understand that no of other can. And other of things that Clara can be of understanding in of turn as of my spirit-sister.” There is a little twitch of her lips after trying out the term herself. A look to Clara, seems she might like it.

“Oh of aye, you should of show of her,” some marked return of amusement at Lon’s question, with a glance at Clara, those dark eyes certainly seeking to take in the other’s reaction should the ‘elder’ form be shown.

“Uh..of aye, was most definitely of appearing as of male,” a minor hint of pink actually touching to Emilia’s cheeks. Sure she had told him about the trip…but at a high level, there were a number of details that had not been gone into. “But can be of least making of a sketch to see if the face of shown was of one you are of recalling or of not.”

A pair of hands lift up, waving gently. “Really…there is no need for that.” Clara offers a sincere treaty to the concept of showing her the change. “The fact that you already know of our encounter within the Last’s domain is all the confirmation I need that you are the Lon that He spoke of.” There might, just might, be a little trepidation in that voice of hers. Maybe a sense to ease herself more comfortably into the realm of that which was once fantasy. Or, she just could be really polite. To Emilia’s practiced eye…it certainly seems more the later than the former.

And then…it is Clara’s turn to blush. A considerably brighter red than the Cassomir’s cheeks, as Clara remembers just how male the Last was. It is enough to cause her to stammer a bit with her words, an unusual reaction for one usually as eloquent as Clara. “ye…yes. Mo…most definitely male. No denying that.” The sudden remembrance actually prompts a giggle from the princess. An almost mad giggle that is no doubt a release mechanism to help cope with the memory…an involuntary thing that Clara immediately silences with both hands to her mouth and an even brighter shade of red to her cheeks, were it possible. It does take the Tracano a moment to compose herself, bringing her demeanor more in line with Emilia’s. It would actually be more of Clara’s impression of the stoic one, which allows her to actually speak without the threat of those stray giggles overtaking her once more. “Definitely male. From the point of view I had.”

The facade is not perfect, as a hint of a smile curls the corners of the lips, threatening to shatter the calm demeanor Clara has adopted. “I feel as if I had stumbled into a deep mystery. That I am just starting out of the gate while you all have been running for some time. And yet, truth be told, I am glad to be in it. I never knew my actual sisters…so having a spirit-sister is a welcomed sensation.” At last, the mask shatters…and it is Clara once more, without expression of calm or royal reserve. The true face of Clara, just as the changeling is showing his own. “I may not know much of the world as it is truly…but I am willing to learn. To help my foundling sister in spirit.”

Lon glances between Clara and Emilia, able to detect their embarrassment as much through scent and hearing as sight. After a few moments he laughs softly and notes, “The Sidhe did not share the modesty of Mortals. Clothing was little more than occasional decoration for many…or consideration for others that may have been in their company.” He shakes his head slightly, still clearly amused (and clearly having made the correct connection between the vaguely described events and the reactions). Still, at Clara’s semi-insistence, he does not change his form.

“The world is not so different from what you have believed.” Lon notes towards Clara, “There is simply…more of it…than you might have realized.” He glances towards the window, gesturing, “The sun still rises and sets every day. The winds blow and the rain falls. Mortals sleep and wake, sow and reap, love and hate. Time passes, and is constant in that passing. Be grateful, for it was not always so, though I only saw the very end of Time’s ascent.” The Changeling shrugs, “Yes…there are secrets both dark and bright, for those that seek them or those that stumble upon them. But even today, save on rare occasion…” A glance towards Emilia, almost seeming apologetic, “Much of the world that was stands apart from the new. Remote…and ultimately unimportant. The Silver Blades have done their work well.”

“Of aye, I have long been of getting that of impression,” says Emilia with her hand giving a slight flutter when Lon laughs as he does. “Between of things you have spoke of…and His afterthought of the of robe. It certainly made for quite of an…entrance.” Though Emilia’s tinge of embarrassment at the memory is quickly tempered by the memory of what came next. Even if she makes some attempt to cover the deep sobering by quipping towards Lon,”And I am of knowing if it were of you, these of weddings would be following of older of customs.”

“I am not of sure it is so much of a mystery as of being a part of the world simply of un-of-known before. Though cannot of disagree to have been knowing of longer, but is same with of Archery, it is of a thing I have known and practiced of longer as well, of aye?” The matter of showing Clara least that one other face is simply let slide along, leaving it to the pair to decide that. And it does seem to have been decided.

“Silver Blades are the knights of the stories,” explains Emilia for Clara. “Those of the Vigilant who yet of watch for such…for there is more of purpose to them then just keeping of watch and guard upon of the gates. Even if not all of their of number are being aware of this. And some of times their of work is of done of blindly for not knowing, some of times it is of intercepted to of…unpleasant of results.” Even if Emilia herself only knows little truly, she knows that much…There is a faint hesitation, perhaps the look from Lon having bidden something to the forefront of her thoughts. A look is given to Clara before those dark eyes turn towards Lon,”If any of way would of arise to rid me of the Beast of within, is it of a thing that should be of done?” A slight motion of her hand occurring, fingers dancing slightly in Clara’s direction.

There is a little hint of confusion from within Clara’s countenance…and then that familiar far-away stare that Emilia has some to expect of her friend when Clara is working out something within her mind. “We…already talked about the Vigilant before, hadn’t we, Emilia? About who might be in their number. And…now an identifier? Silver Blades…” Clara lets that name twist in her mind for a moment longer…but that only allows another stray thought to come in. “If…if the Vigilant is present to keep the mortal world blind to that of the secret world…the world that was and is…then what would they do if they discover we know more than we ought? Not….not that it will ever happen, for I gave my word. But…for the sake of argument, what would they do? It is all so very dangerous sounding.”

As Emilia asks her question about if there was such a way to free her from the Dark one’s hold over her, Clara falls silent. But, only because she caught the wave of the fingers and understood their intent. She is not to speak on what she knows was possible….what scenario Emilia was offered within the Labyrinth. It seems that Clara, too, is intrigued by what answer may be forthcoming.

“I have not found the Silver Blades to be unreasonable. Perhaps there are some in their number both past and present who were or are hateful in ignorance, but none that I have met of the present seem to share that trait. I cannot speak for them, but from all I have known of them, they would likely make the offer of joining them, at least in support, if not in direct battle against the hidden things of the world…” Lon glances towards Clara, meaningfully, and adds, “And make no mistake, many of those hidden things should be battled. Perhaps not all…but even those that do not bear malice can still be a danger to mortals, and this world is theirs now. It is proper.” He seems to…agree with the “Silver Blades” mission, at least.

At Emilia’s question, Lon frowns and cants his head slightly, “I do not know if I am best-suited to answer that question, for I should think that you are the only one that could do so in full awareness and truth.” Lon considers a moment, “There are diseases and maladies that are painful and difficult to bear, but sometimes the cures to such maladies inflict as much or more harm in curing the illness as the illness itself would, if perhaps in different ways.” He glances to Emilia, “If you were free of the Beast, but left with nothing of or for Emilia either, what purpose would be served by the cure?”

Lon shrugs, “Yes, you might be a danger to others, but the same can be said of all mortals towards each other. One does not need a creature of legend crawling in their head to inflict harm, and if anything, you have proven yourself less dangerous than most.” He adds, “I know it is not the same and I do not pretend it is, but how many men has your brother-king slain, and by comparison…how many have you?” Lon shrugs a shoulder, and smiles slightly.

“So again…while I cannot answer for certain, if pressed I believe my answer would be “no, not any way.” He frowns, “I know that some may find my hopes foolish, but it would be my hope that a proper cure would give you the possibility of a full and unimpeded life, and would bring both you and your family a measure of peace rather than more pain and harm.” He makes a somewhat dismissive gesture, vaguely in Emilia’s direction, grinning just slightly, “But you already know this.”

A nod goes to Clara,”Of aye, we have spoke of them, who might be of amongst this secret of sliver within of the Vigilant. And…” Emilia takes a faint breath,” there would be of many of questions, to of us both. And likely they would of soon be of trying to of make of contact, and of perhaps such had been of made before…Gatefinder having of found His of gate, but were not of returned like of us. “ That was amongst the options presented when they were there. “But some amongst them are of aware I know of more than I ought, even not of this. It is being of why I know of them, have of endured of questioning before. Though I am thinking not even of all that are of amongst the Silver Blades of the Vigilant are of knowing of me, not of the full truth.” Perhaps what happened to her…but not what she harbours within.

What answer may come to her question does have Emilia watching Lon with a measure of intentness, it seems more than simple curiosity drives the question and interest in how he might answer. “Of perhaps, but we both of know, mine-sister wishes a cure to be of pursued to all of lengths.” It was rare for cost or what would remain of Emilia after to come up. “And I would be of agreeing, if nothing is of left in of the after, what is of the point? It would be of simpler to be simply of ending me of where I stand…if such was to be the result.”

The rest is listened to quietly, a few moments of silence coming before Emilia nods. “I am of knowing, it is why you were of offering to help of me.” Dark eyes look to Clara…who knows Emilia could have been made whole, before her eyes look to the floor. Eventually looking back to Lon as she says,”He offered it to of me, to be free of the Shadow of within and to be of me once of again. “ Some explanation perhaps to why she asked the question. Though she says nothing more on the matter, for it is obvious that the offer was not taken. Turning slightly and making to a desk in the room as she murmurs,”I will find of parchment for of sketching. I am of sure you have of questions that he can be of answering, Clara.”

“Well, dear Emilia, I might have, at that.” Clara shifts her attention from her friend to Lon, offering a smile. “However, I find it in very bad taste to simply bombard a recent acquaintance with questions without at least offering the same opportunity.” It is then that the smile becomes wider…an almost devilish tilt to it. “Then I will not feel as nearly as intrusive when I start asking about a certain favor sported during the last tournament.” And there is that cheekiness…the giggle as brown eyes flicker over to Emilia. Yes, Clara has seen the dance after Raelyn’s ceremony…and the interplay here gives that final piece to allow Clara to venture her assumptions so boldly.

Shifting to the previous topic, Clara nods. “Yes…I remember the offer He made. And the conditions of it.” It looks like Clara would have said more…but, since Emilia did not, Clara does not as well. Following her friend’s lead. “Emilia and I already had a discussion about what went on there…and about the Vigilant. We…decided that we wouldn’t speak of it to them, even if we were not bound by an oath. The repercussions of what may happen should the mortal world, as you call it, were to find out would be devastating.”

“Perhaps I am behind on my courtesies, but I believe it is for the bearer of a favor to decide whether he or she reveals the identity of whomever bequeathed it…” Lon tilts a brow at Clara, grinning with just a touch of wry mischief, “Though if that has changed in the past centuries, I will mark it a lesson learned.”

At the next though, he frowns, “Offer? An offer was made by this Sidhe?” He glances in the direction of Emilia, then back to Clara, “And it seems he also made the conditions clear. A most serious event. Sidhe bargains are often great boons and great curses all in one. He among the mortals who first learned the making of Sidhe Steel was granted the knowledge he sought, but could not refuse to speak of it if another asked him the secrets of its’ making, thus the great riches and power he hoped for never materialized as the technique spread.” Lon shrugs, “They are, as is often said, a blade that cuts both ways.”

Lon looks curious now, “May I ask as to what offer was made, or are you forbidden from speaking of it?”

Even if Emilia’s expression manages to remain as stoic as, when Clara delves so impishly into /that/ topic, there is a hint of pink that comes to her cheeks. Though it is Lon she first addresses,”No, you are not of behind on of such…But the bearer was not being of asked of before to speak of the source of the favour she was being most of pleased and honored to of bear.” A look given over towards Clara as she does confirm, “It was of Lon’s of favour I of wore of tournament of last. And in of truth am hoping to again have of the honor to be wearing of again in the tournament of next. “ Those dark eyes turning back to Lon as she does continue,”For I would not ask for nor wish to wear any of others.” A hint of a smile actually flickering into existence for a moment, even if there is yet that bit of color to her cheeks for speaking so with a witness!

The other topic does have Emilia casting her gaze to the desk gone to in search of parchment,”You may be of asking, and we may be of speaking of it to of you. Such was of the agreement within of the second of offer of made and of accepted. Which you are already knowing of, that we would be of regaining of the memories of what of passed during the time within His of domain but we had to be of agreeing to not speak of it save to each of other and with of you. Our Oaths given to that of end…A boon in of ways, but as you of say, two of edges of exist. “ A quiet look given towards Clara, for while Emilia did now have her spirit sister to share in what burden Emilia carried….Clara now shared in that burden and held knowledge and secrets she must hold to.

Fingers idly search for a bit of charcoal perhaps after the parchment is found, a minor distraction for her before speaking of the first offer. “His first of offer was made after Clara asked if there was not of something that could be of done about of Them.” Emilia’s hand making a absent fluttery motion towards her head. “Because of His of hand in of it, for he said it was by His of actions that ElK'a'athren and of the others are of what she is now of being….even if He could not have foreseen my of fate. He made of the offer to remove of the shadow of within, a simple of thing He said for him to of do. But as you have of noted, it was not being without of terms…to accept to be free of the burden, to free of my family of it as of well. “ For while Emilia carried the brunt of it, it impacted her family in turn as well. “The price for of such freedom was a different of freedom to be taken in of turn, for I was to remain of there within of the Labyrinth. Cause even if I was believing myself in-of-significant…did not mean that it was being of so, especially for such of Power to be of used for such. “ The answer that was given, clear enough. Emilia was here not there, even if looking rather stoically at the empty bit of parchment. A slight tension at the corners of her eyes, They likely having a word on the matter.

“With either choice possible, Emilia would not have been alone.” The solitary statement made, without any further explanation, is all that Clara offers. And, as most certainly Lon would sense (with sight, sound, and smell) that the statement, while addressed to him, was not made for his benefit. There is not a glance back to Emilia, as the Cassomir would note. Instead, the eyes drop, studying an apparently particularly interesting bit of flooring right at the Princess’ feet. Those eyes flicker back up, regarding Lon as he mentions the nature of Sidhe bargains. “Are…are these bargains often so balanced between blessing and curse? For, I remember only that we were bound to not speak of our time within the Labyrinth to naught but ourselves. An oath I found rather easy to give, for who else would have believed such, from me.” There is a slight paling as Clara considers that…perhaps, she got off too easily…and that more is in store for her that she cannot fathom.

“In…in any case, I still fully intend on helping you, dear Emilia, to free yourself from the cold grasp that ElK'a'athren has over you.” This time, the gaze locks on Emilia fully. “I said as such before within the presence of the Last…and I still stand by that promise.” With a smile, a hand falls gently upon Emilia’s…a gentle caress. Then, the fingertips depart, but not before tapping lightly upon the charcoal scribe held within Emilia’s grasp. “Shall we provide Lon with that visage now?” We…another indication that, for whatever reasonings Clara may have, they are in on this journey of discovery together.

“I….” Lon blinks, then frowns, “I do not think I need to see the picture, though if you wish to complete it, I will look.” He shakes his head, “The Sidhe were powerful by the standards of Mortals, but…to so casually suggest that he could remove Her influence from you…no…there was…is…only one who could do so.” He glances between the two women, looking alternately surprised and a bit shamefaced as he admits, “And while you no doubt will have questions, I may not be able to answer many. His secrets are not mine to tell. Suffice to say he was the most powerful of the Sidhe. I suppose it would make sense that he would be the Last. I cannot say for certain…but he may also have been the First.”

Lon looks to Clara and adds, “To answer your question…no. Not all are so balanced. Or even balanced at all. The Sidhe were nothing if not changeable in their whims, though bound to their bargains once made.”

Another pause, and a look to Emilia, more quietly, “I am glad you chose to return.”

“Of aye, Clara, I know you of promised of so and will of keep to of your word. Just as you remain of a friend even with having of seen of the Beast or within and knowing as you of do now.” Emilia’s head cants a little,”But am not knowing of what can be of done to be of freeing….He said it was not without of possibility, of true.” A small wince had, not a particular option that pleases Them. “But what is of saying that it is being much of a possibility to be coming across of a way to be of free? “ Her hand does a little fluttery turn in the air, perhaps warding off protest and counter from Clara, and Lon as well…”I am not of meaning that I have not hope that it will one day of be of so, or give up for it to be….Just not of counting that such will be upon of the quick of path…”

A nod goes to Clara,”Of aye,” though Emilia’s hand pauses in that turn to begin sketching at Lon’s words. Her dark eyes turning over to him as she gives another nod slowly,”He spoke so casually about of it, of aye. Was of a simple of thing to Him, even if yet of having cost and consequence.” Some hint of curiosity flickering into her dark eyes to see his surprise, a faint glance to Clara. There is a minor frown of thought with this particular turn and revolution,”I, we would not ask for telling of secrets that are not of yours for the speaking. But then you know this of me, and am understanding some of knowledge is not meant for of us as of well.” If The Last were the First….that does make the fact she surprises Him…even more startling! “Questions of perhaps to be of hand, but I am of thinking manners and courtesies have Clara of holding her of tongue from of asking, since you are being just of met.”

His quiet words do have Emilia looking at him a moment before a faint smile comes,”I am of glad as of well. “ Even if They may stir her doubts, there were many more reasons to make the choice she did…and those within the room were certainly amongst those reasons.

A bright laugh escapes from Clara, working at dispelling the solemn nature that has gripped the room. “Am I so transparent, Emilia?” That laugh does well for Clara…the seriousness of her countenance fading to more of a jovial bend as she turns to Lon. “She’s right, you know. I am holding off on a multitude of meanderings and rather forward inclinations because truly we have just met.” There is slight hesitation from Clara. That probing look is clearly upon her face, the one that Emilia knows so well, yet confusion as well. Perhaps she isn’t as clear of a read on emotions or her intuition as she would like. So, she is playing it safe and proper. “Still, that does not mean you are exempt by any means.” A hint of playfulness in her voice. “After all, I do reserve the privilege of questioning at a later time. Tis my right as princess of the realm.” Such serious words.. completely spoiled by the obvious jest underlying within the tone of her voice. And, of course, the wink she gives utterly ruins the soberness, as well.

The First who is Last is not mentioned, at all. Nor is His boon that was granted. Instead, the attention shifts from Emilia, to her paramour, then back. “You see…anyone that brings happiness to Emilia automatically gains my favor. And…that means less of the incessantly persistent questions and more of the casual nature of inquiry.” A shift back to Lon. “After all, how else am I going to get a read upon you if I drive you off with needless questions?” That wicked grin comes back again…as Clara admits to exactly what she is doing. Damn that anachronism between the two. So hard to pick out what the other is thinking when the other has a few millennia of years on Clara.

“A read. Heh. But how can you read if you may not yet know the language you are looking at?” Lon quips, chuckling softly and waving a hand, “But I only make fun. I should warn though, that many find the answers I give disappointing. While I remember much, I also have forgotten much, and many of the deep secrets that men seem to seek were never known to me at all. I did not forge Sidhe Steel. I was a warrior and a hunter for the Sidhe, and little else.” His tone isn’t grumpy or admonishing. Just a sincere caveat before any questions are truly asked.

He shrugs a shoulder, “But I am difficult to run off. Even if you did…it may well be weeks or months of your time between making the decision to flee and actually enacting it. Time is a commodity I am rarely lacking.” He grins just a touch, “It is…an adjustment to live among Mortals again…to remember how quickly things must be done. Do not take me for naming that haste a flaw of mortality, though…it is simply different. One does not compare a river stone to the water that rushes over and around it, after all.”

With the drawing no longer needed, the Last perhaps guessed to be a particular Sidhe known to Lon…least known of, that parchment is left be and the bit of charcoal set aside. “Perhaps not being of entirely of transparent, but I am of knowing of you, Clara,” counters Emilia with some lightness. A mild glance between Clara and Lon, a hint of ‘see, I was right’ when Clara admits to holding off on her questions. A mild tugging occurs at the corners of Emilia’s lips as Clara presents her case for later questioning, noting to Lon,”She is quite of planning to corner of my suitor so she might put him to question, I do of believe. Or so she was saying of the other day.” The delivery is perhaps a bit deadpan, but there is a hint of sparkle in her eyes. After all, Clara made this declaration before she knew just who that suitor might be.

“I am of thinking, Clara may be of understanding of answers not always of being able to be of given or of had, the of Last gave of some of examples in of this of way as of well. “ Emilia’s eyes drifting back towards Clara as she notes,”Be of sides, if mine of questions nor of the Sirrah’s of questions have sent him of vanishing of off, I am thinking you will be just of fine in of asking what you of wish.”

Emilia does confirm to Clara, her tone a touch soft,”He does of make me happy, even if he is yet of a stern of teacher in our of lessons. “ Her dark eyes going to Lon,”And seeming to be of implying that I am perhaps of to of hasty in seeking of distraction or to of quick to seek of warmth when I am finding myself of cold at night.” Yes, yes she went there in that teasing of the Changling. And there is just a hint of pink that touches her cheeks for the somewhat bold (and perhaps cheeky) tease in front of Clara, even if her expression remains quite stoic.

There is that impish grin of the Tracano’s, followed by a remark to Lon about him being a language yet to be learned. “Oh, but you will see, Lon the Unchanging Changeling, that I am a very quick study.” Boldness seems to come to Clara easily….at least far more easily than it had in the past. The talk of understanding answers is given a nod. Of course Clara knows that some answers are never exactly what one desires…but any answer is better than none at all. It doesn’t seem to lessen the cheer in Clara’s countenance, though there is a blush, slightly, when Emilia makes mention of Clara’s earlier desire to corner the once-mysterious suitor.

The cheer remains, if not increases, when Emilia confirms that, yes, Lon does make her happy. A pleasant expression that soon shifts to an expression of surprise as Emilia all but admits of sleeping with her suitor. There is almost a girlish giggle….almost, until Clara remembers that yes, Lon is still in the room. It is a matter of great self-control, a battle Clara barely wins, to not erupt in a girlish squeal. Instead, somehow Clara regains her composure and speaks in a cool, calm, and decidedly not gossipy tone…asking a single question.

“Would you like me to give the two of you some privacy, then?”

A perfectly innocent-sounding question, if it wasn’t for that gleam in Clara’s eye…or the wicked little smirk that broke through the facade to rest upon her lips.

If either Clara or Emilia are expecting Lon to blush, they’re likely in for disappointment, but then Emilia well knows that Lon is…frank about such things, even if he doesn’t tend to mention them when in the presence of others more out of a sense of mortal decorum about such things than any personal aversion to discussion.

Which isn’t to say he is without reaction, as a wry twist to his lips appears and tilt of a golden brow as Emilia now takes up the role of the brazen one. “Indeed. Distractions and warmth have their temptation, but responsibility to the first task remains. Besides, your blood-sister would likely have a changeling-skin rug if she thought I only spent time with you for…distraction.” Despite the morbid turn there’s humor in his tone.

“Privacy?” Lon glances to Clara and shakes his head, chuckling softly, “Apparently she has grown so bold that I am not sure privacy is a requirement any further.” Apparently two can play the “try to make the other blush” game! Ha!

Between the question Clara oh so innocently asks and Lon’s own play in the game, it is quite a game poor Emilia loses for how very crimson her cheeks turn. Though truly it is a game she is more likely to lose than naught when played with the Changling. And whatever Emilia had been about to say in response to Clara’s question, what Lon says has the Cassomir simply closing her mouth again.

Not to say she has nothing at all she manages to say in turn,”I am of thinking as long as I was being of helped….whether by of lessons or of distractions, mine blood-sister would not be of minding.” The brightly blushing Cassomir does look over to Clara as Emilia continues,”Though it is seeming I am being of dully of reminded of the tasking at of hand and where mine focus should of be. “ Just how the blushing Emilia manages to keep that stoic expression is anyone’s guess! But it would seem the minor turn of brazen-ness has passed with the minor bit of chastening that followed.

Lon may have only a wry smile…and Emilia, while nearly glowing red within her cheeks, may be able to keep that impassive mein. But Clara is neither Changeling nor Cassomir. Her delight is plainly seen, and heard, as laughter erupts from the lithe form. It is a happy and healthy laugh, as if she is laughing not only for herself, but for Emilia, too. And, in a quite un-princess-like motion, she turns and embraces Emilia, sweeping her up into a hug. “Oh! You see!! He is helping! That is the most natural reaction I have seen from you outside of neverending mazes!” She releases Emilia willingly, her laughter reducing to giggles as she turns back to Lon. “I do believe that the lessons are indeed working.” Then, with a nod and that grin of hers, she takes a step back, so that both Emilia and Lon are in her field of vision. “Therefore, be it by lesson or distraction, do continue doing what you both are doing. Raelyn may not mind, and I most certainly approve.” Not that the two of them needed the approval of a forward young woman, but Clara offers it anyways.

“In fact, I should really leave you two to your….distractions.” Another coy remark from the Tracano. “You certainly don’t need me about for that!” Another step backwards is given, as Clara urges Emilia onward with hands that push at air…as if somehow trying to will the Cassomir over to her paramour. “Go on now…work some of that scarlet out of your cheeks.” Then, with a flash of a smirk, Clara turns and makes for the door, leaving the teacher and student behind for any extracurricular pursuits they may have in mind.

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