(1866-11-30) Archery Confessions
Archery Confessions
Summary: The pretext of private archery practice in the tourney grounds is in fact a lure, for Clara to get some confessions out of Adrienne. But it soon becomes clear that they will come with a price, one secret traded for the other.
Date: 30/11-13/12/2015 (Date of RP)
Related: On Hairdos and Kisses
Clara  Adrienne  

Sunsreach Tournament Grounds - Rivana

An open space in the middle of the city the tourney grounds is a wide flat field divided by rose bushes that have been allowed to grow here since the ascension of Queen Alysande.

The outer ring of the grounds is set aside for competitor pavilions and the stalls of merchants and food sellers fortunate enough to win a space from the master of the games to ply their trade. The inner ring is the tourney grounds themselves; a flat oval of earth ringed by a fence with openings on each end and a high gallery to one side and a flat open space to the other. On tourney days the fence is freshly whitewashed, the rose bushes are trimmed and the gallery is swathed in green and gold cloth while all around spectators and competitors mingle with gallery filled with nobles and the common folk packing in cheek and jowl across the lists to watch whatever event is on offer be it the melee, archery or that highest of competitions: the joust.

When the grounds are not in use the lists are off-limits to casual visitors and the grounds remain fanatically well-tended, lest the field become uneven and some future match be lost due to loose dirt or a wayward puddle.

Novembre 30th, 1866

With the tournament less than a week away, the threat of being overwhelmed again with seekers of favor and courtly hanger-ons has started to rise once again for the Princess Clara Tracano. Truly, the threat never truly lessened, but the influx has started to pick up again, as if Clara hadn’t already had everything blocked out and planned months ago. Still, the pressure has started to mount…and Clara has taken to more creative means to find time for herself to pursue her interests.

Such as archery.

The Princess has claimed the Sunsreach tournament grounds for the day. Her reasoning that she had given was so that she can inspect the ground to ensure they are properly ready for the events as the day approaches. And, truly, Clara had done that. She ran her proper inspection, complimented the grounds keepers on a job truly well done, and saw to it that they were given the rest of the day off.

So why is Clara still on the grounds, with it sealed off to unwanted eyes?

Quite simply…Clara wants to practice her archery. And…she wants to do it without interruptions. But, she has no intention on doing it alone. She had sent a runner to offer an invitation for a private archery practice to a certain Huntress…and no, it is not Emilia. Not this time. The invitation was sent to Adrienne Cassomir, with specific times offered as to when to arrive…and as to where. Perhaps it may seem odd to Adrienne that Clara has requested her company, and maybe it is odd that Clara has directed the meeting to be at the tournament grounds.

However, once Adrienne enters, she may find it perfectly perplexing to see that she is the only invitee to the grounds, with Clara’s own Lancer detail a good distance away…far enough to not hear, but close enough to react, should they need to. Seems Clara may have something in mind in addition to simple archery practice.


Adrienne arrives on the tourney grounds, her own Cassomir guard in tow, because being a lady of noble birth in the Capital still required her to see to certain precautions, at least for the way to her destination. The invitation, even if it roused the freckled Cassomir's curiosity, was swiftly accepted, the Huntress arriving just in time, casting an eager glance about the tourney grounds and finding them more or less deserted. A brow is raised when Adrienne continues on her approach, feet moving in a confident gait, she wearing the usual Huntress garb of tunic and leggings, her brown hair worn in an oh so practical braid. And of course she carries her bow along, and a quiver of arrows, along with a dagger at her belt, the dagger of fine quality she received for her service during the Battle of Sunsreach.

"Clara," Adrienne greets with a smile, closing the distance to offer the Princess a hug, should she feel inclined. Alaina Cassomir, the relative charged with Clara Tracano's safety, is spared a glance and a nod of greeting from afar. The distance is noted though, and will earn Clara a somewhat curious glance of this freckled Cassomir Huntress. "Thank you so much for the invitation. You know I can hardly say no to a bit of archery practice…" Her gaze shifts to Clara's bow. "I daresay you are planning to compete in the contest, right?" A faint smile curls her lips. "You are serious competition, you know? Not that I would mind such."

The hug is freely accepted, as is the smile, as the Tracano beams a smile in return. “I am so pleased that you decided to accept my invitation. I had hoped that the promise of archery practice, even with one such as I, would entice you to come.” The eyes shift, catching the glance backward to Alaina, which only serves to give that smile a slight conspiratory twist to it. With Clara’s bow upon her back, an elaborate affair of rosewood with finely carved arms, themselves etched with roses from the tip of each arm to about a third of the way down, it is apparent that Clara fully intends on practicing, too. Her own attire is much the same as Adrienne, though she has the added benefit of leather armor, obviously tailored for her with gold embroidery. The very same that sits in her room.

The question about competing…along with the compliment of her shooting skills, is greeted with a nod and a soft blush. “Indeed, Adrienne…I had planned on competing. Though, would I happen to win, I would pass the intended prize on to whoever precedes me in placement. It would not do to accept my own prize, I would imagine.” There is a soft laugh, as Clara frees her longbow from her back, standing her quiver of fine arrows (green and black fletched, of course) down upon the ground lightly. “So, in a way, this little arraignment is to help me to get back into form. It has been far too long since I had regular practice.”

Then…a much more wicked little grin curves Clara’s lips. “And…as for the solitude of our current surroundings….” The tip of the longbow is used as a pointer, indicating just how alone the two are. “I had thought that this…without the possibility of intruding servants or other prying ears….may help to make you feel more comfortable with talking to me about other matters.” That smile means that Clara certainly has a specific idea about what those other matters could be. With a laugh, she steps back, and indicates the targets on the opposite side of them. “Come, Adrienne, to the altar and feel free to confess whatever is on your mind.”

“Even with one such as you…?”, echoes Adrienne with faint amusement, shifting a little in her stance to give the Tracano Princess an assessing glance. “I know a competent archer when I see one, and I have watched you at several contests…” One corner of her mouth lifts into a wry grin. “So… let go of that faux modesty there, princess. You are a formidable archer, and you know it, even if you try to hide your skill beneath the delicate phrasings of a royal princess.” And with those words of what could be perceived as impertinence said, the Huntress turns and catches that conspiratorial exchange of glances between princess and Royal Lancer. A brow lifts, as she turns back to face Clara, her arms crossing before her – but neither comment nor question pertaining to that silent communication leaves her lips. As she comments on the bow instead, with a curious smile. “Such a fine bow you have… Fine enough one could suspect it to be a tourney win…” Whereas Adrienne’s own is a rather plain bow, of good material and making, but devoid of any adornments.

The statement of the Tracano to pass the win on to the next, should she be able to best all others elicits a slight crinkling of her brows, when the freckled Huntress shoots Clara an incredulous glance and shakes her head. “That… of all things is what you won’t do, Clara! I mean… if you should place the best shots… You would deserve the prize. What a silly thing to suggest. It’s part of that odd kind of modesty you display all the time, right? No, seriously. If you should win, I believe no one would object to you receiving the prize, as you would have earned it, by all means…”

Then… Clara elaborates on the arrangement of the two of them being almost alone on the tourney grounds. Adrienne raises a brow, unable not to look slightly amused – if such is possible with a slight rosiness creeping into her complexion. Still, she chuckles, in response to Clara’s laughter, and when she shakes her head this time it will be in a slightly different manner, slow, and expressing some sort of admiration for Clara’s boldness. “You’d like to hear my confession…?”, she smiles, as she moves past Clara, grabbing her bow as she steps to the mark, drawing an arrow with blue and red fletching from her quiver. Placing the arrow against the string then, taking aim at the target, she will pause, and glance at the princess over her shoulder. “I’d believe you mentioned some sort of confession as well, last time we spoke. Something you wanted to tell me. So yes.”

<FS3> Adrienne rolls Bows: Failure. (2 4 4 3 2 6 6 2 4 3 2 5 1 5 4)

Adrienne Cassomir lets the arrow fly – and it flies past the target, a fact that will bring a slight frown to the freckled lady’s face, which is still there as she turns to face Clara.

“We can do this. Perhaps in bits…” One above! Is there so much to confess??? “Meaning… if I tell you a thing, you need to pay back my trust by telling me something in turn.”

<FS3> Clara rolls Bows: Amazing Success. (8 6 2 7 3 7 4 4 8 8 4 4 8 8)

“Oh…you think it’s false modesty, do you?” The question comes with a raised eyebrow from Clara, along with an amused lilt to her voice. “My dear Adrienne….I am not the Huntress. While I have practiced alongside Emilia and Raelyn both, I most certainly did not have the same tutors. My skill, such as it is, will never be as great as one that truly devotes her life to the bow.” She offers a smile and tips a nod to Adrienne. “Like yourself. You are a Huntress. You have gone through whatever ordeal is needed to call yourself that. I have not, though I have wondered much if I would be able to. I am only pretending to be what you are.” The upfront words of Adrienne are not seen as an affront to Clara at all. In fact, she is rather refreshed to hear someone speak so plainly. “Delicate phrasing aside, I know there are those better than I…and I know they will be in the competition. Would be foolish to think I would win over those that are my betters. Present company included.”

The longbow in her hand is regarded…then a soft chuckle escapes from Clara’s throat. “You think this was a prize to have been won?” The sudden and passionate plea to keep the upcoming tournament prize, should Clara win, only elicits more laughter. The accusation that Clara would pass up the prizes as part of her modesty isn’t regarded at all. “My dear Adrienne, I can tell you exactly where I came upon my longbow and why I would be oddly modest enough, to borrow from you, to pass up the prizes for this upcoming tournament.” With her own longbow in hand, she walks up to the line, too, though allows Adrienne the first shot. “Yes…I did state I would like to hear your confession. Hence the elaborate ruse to get you here under pretense of archery practice.” The princess tips a wink, cheeky thing that she is, as Adrienne sends her arrow along towards the target…

…and past it. The surprise upon Clara’s face is evident as Adrienne turns with that frown towards her. Then…at the offering of trading confessions, there is an acknowledgment in the form of a smile and an incline of the head. “Of course…it sounds only proper. I will offer this. After my shot, I shall go first…and confess as to exactly why I will be forgoing the prizes should I win the competition.” But…then Clara steps up to the line herself to face the target…with a green and black fletched arrow in hand. “Right after this shot.” The longbow is picked up…careful aim is given…and the Princess releases the arrow, watching it speed along its way to the target…

…and striking it dead center in the bulls-eye. Another look of astonishment is given…this one just as pure as the one offered when Adrienne missed. It seems that the One is trying to prove Clara wrong in her modesty. With a pause…Clara turns and presents the longbow before her. “I…I will give you two confessions. First…I have never won an archery tournament ever. This bow…was the first thing that Martyn bought for me, when I…when I was returned to him a little over a year and a half ago. Just before the great raid of Pacitta. It…was a test of the name I had just acquired, spoken to a merchant, and he produced this in response…the best bow he had in his possession. So…this was no prize. At least, not in that respect.” A beat is given, then Clara gains a bit more of her composure, that grin finding its way to her lips once more. “As for the tournament prizes. I know exactly what is to be given for the winner of the archery tournament.” How could she not? She planned it, after all. “And…I can tell you this. I already have one of everything that is being offered. There would be no sense to own a duplicate copy. Besides, it would be only the proper thing to do for one who is competing in her own tournament, apart from not competing at all.” If it wasn’t clear before, for Adrienne, then it may be clear now. The longbow. The quiver with the finely crafted arrows. Even the leather armor Clara is wearing, with the elaborate gold embroidery. The prizes for the tournament are near exact copies of what Clara already has.

As if to confirm Adrienne’s suspicions, Clara adds softly. “Except…my arrows are green and black. And my longbow is more unique.”

<FS3> Adrienne rolls Bows: Great Success. (7 3 2 8 7 4 4 4 3 7 7 2 1 2 1)

“That you did,” states Adrienne with a slight roll of her eyes, to Clara’s words stressing her previously expressed wish of hearing her confession. Outwardly calm, it may not reflect how she feels truly about this, or maybe she is just distracted, when her first arrow goes astray and Clara’s first attempt turns out to be such an awe-inspiring example of that one perfect shot! It leaves the freckled Cassomir gawping at the target for a moment, before she closes her eyes and shakes her head at herself. “One above.”, is grumbled through gritted teeth, before the evident disappointment is somewhat compensated by an incredulous chuckle. “What a poor demonstration of a Huntress of Ironhold,” she mutters, obviously grateful when Clara begins with her first confession, which are in fact two. “Neither have I,” this the comment to Clara never having won an archery competition before, offered with a smile. Her demeanor turning a bit pensive when the origin of the fine bow is explained. “I see…”, Adrienne drawls, as she shoots the Princess a glance, becoming aware how little she does know of the Tracano, and her time before her rediscovery. Even so, the truth about the tourney prizes brings a smile to her lips, amusement glinting in the Cassomir lady’s eyes. “I never accused you of any false modesty, but… I see how any of those prizes would not serve you in any way…”, she agrees, the smile dimming when she realizes the ‘confession’ had not been a dramatic affair as the announcement had made it appear.

“I should like to win such a fine bow, even if it may not be quite as unique as your own,” Adrienne states then, as she pulls her next arrow out of the quiver, a faint line appearing between her brows as she takes aim. “So… In return for your entrusting me with these truths…” Fingers release the string, letting the arrow fly. “I will tell you as much, that the kiss your servant witnessed was neither the first nor the last I’ve shared with Lord Aidric Carling.” There is a perceptible TWONK, as the arrow hits the target, not quite in, but at least close to the bull’s eye. Which will bring a relieved smile to the freckled features of the Huntress.

<FS3> Clara rolls Bows: Great Success. (8 1 1 3 7 1 8 2 3 4 3 8 2 1)

Clara was watching Adrienne as she took aim. And…when the Huntress admits to more than one occasion of intimacy, Clara’s attention remains focused on Adrienne, missing the flight of the air and the good solid hit within the inner ring. “You kissed him before…and since? Oh…now that is certainly a confession!” It is only after the arrow has stopped vibrating from the impact that Clara actually notices the shot, giving Adrienne a firm nod in approval. “Well, then, my turn again.” A two-fold statement. Her turn for the shot…and for another confession. “Since you are being so open with me…and trusting me…I shall trust you with a secret that I have told no one. Not even Emilia.”

Taking her place, Clara breaks her attention from Adrienne, fitting arrow to string and taking careful aim. “Before I came to Rivana, when I had thought myself merely a bastard heir of a minor noble house in Couviere, I had an infatuation with another. A person that I saw as an equal, in perceived birthrights, and one that I had thought would be my saviour.” A slow deep breath…”A person that you and your fellow Huntresses would have no love for.” The breath is released…along with the arrow. There is only a moment’s pause, before Clara speaks the name, in the exact same moment that arrow finds target with a solid thunk, just to the outside of the one true shot from before, nestled in the inner ring.

That name?

“Master Corvin Fremont.”

Even if Adrienne is smiling she shoots Clara a glance, and the relief about her second shot after the shock about her first rather disappointing attempt, expands to Clara’s reaction, she catching her lower lip with her teeth, as she inclines her head to Clara’s comment. The freckled Huntress reaches for her next arrow as she watches the Tracano Princess prepare for her next shot. An odd expression of gratification flashes in her green gaze, and she cannot help but step a little closer to Clara, oh so tempted by the prospect of learning a secret from Clara that she has not even confided to the touched Cassomir. “An infatuation?”, the freckled Cassomir echoes, lifting a brow, obviously intrigued, her gaze lingering on the princess even as the arrow is released. Only briefly flitting towards the target, noting the shot is on par with her own, before it returns to look at Clara. Stare at her when the name is finally dropped.

“That cocky bastard of a Wraith???”, Adrienne gasps, taking a step backwards, her brows wrinkling in an incredulous expression, the distaste for that particular specimen of the arch-enemies of any Huntress so very obvious in her mien – until it dims somewhat, and air leaves the Cassomir lady’s lips in a still slightly astonished exhale. “Well… I can’t blame you for that,” she allows after a moment of consideration. “He’s handsome, and well… not knowing your true origins, I’m sure, you’ve been easily charmed by him…” Her mien turning pensive there as she considers further. Finally, her shoulders lift in a shrug. “Why, who am I to reprimand you anyway for that? When I am in a way… um…” Her words trail off. Before she ends the sentence. “No better.” A pause. “Perhaps even worse, actually.”

Her own arrow she has held in her hand all the while is placed against the string of her own bow, Adrienne Cassomir taking aim, before she shoots Clara a slightly nervous sideways glance. Green eyes flitting back to the target, narrowing as they focus on the bull’s eye.

<FS3> Adrienne rolls Bows: Amazing Success. (7 2 8 7 2 6 2 1 2 2 8 7 4 8 2)

The arrow is released, flying steadily towards the target, as Adrienne turns to regard Clara and to make her next confession: “There’s been more than kisses between Aidric and me.” This enough of a statement to keep the Cassomir lady’s green eyes locked on Clara’s features, that she seems to forget even to check out her own third shot and is completely unaware the arrow has hit right beside Clara’s first, into the bull’s eye.

<FS3> Clara rolls Bows: Great Success. (3 2 2 2 8 3 6 8 8 6 8 4 5 3)

There isn’t a reply….at first. The Tracano merely lifts her bow and fires off another shot, placing it besides her second shot…within the inner ring but not quite the center again. Even the admission of more than kissing didn’t get an immediate response…nor did the striking of the center for Adrienne. Clara seems slightly detached…as if debating within herself if she should admit anything more. Then, upon coming to a conclusion, Clara speaks. “Master Fremont was perhaps more than an infatuation, at the time. At least, for me. I have no doubt I was probably just one of a string of girls he had fancied. But…I had intended more than just mere kisses with him.” A brown eye strays to regard the Huntress besides her. “For yes…he is handsome and clever and all sorts of roguish qualities that we girls all seem to fall for. But, I also saw him as a saviour….and he is, to a point. Don’t let the mantle of the Wraith blind you to his good qualities. He does have them.” A soft sigh. “Just like Aidric, with all his bravado, does have good qualities, too. It is just that most still see the cloak of the Thorn draped over his shoulders, when he has cast that off. So, your Aidric is actually better than my Corvin, for at least Aidric does not take to the Thorn willingly now.”

The point of the bow is set to the ground, while Clara leans upon it gently. “You see…I am usually a good judge of character. I am somewhat sensitive to people. Call it intuition if you will. It is what made me suspect that you had more than mere kisses with Aidric. I suspected since the day I gave you the dress. But, that’s besides the point.” Clara grows pensive, withdrawn. Almost opposite her usual cheerful mein. “I….was not comfortable around what I thought was my father. It was minor at first…but as my 16th birthday approached, I felt him…watching…me. It was not the fatherly gaze I had known before. Corvin was at my 16th party, as a representative of the Duchy of Lonnaire. I…I had arranged with him to come to my chambers that night. For…I knew my father was having impure thoughts…and I…I….didn’t want him to be my first.”

As Clara offers her own confession, there is no grandiose statement. No major proclamation. Just a girl, barely a woman herself, telling a friend about truths she herself never speaks of. “I…I wanted Corvin to help me. And, he did. He took me and my mother away from that place, that very night. But…he never took me up on my initial offer.” The offer that Clara refers to is never mentioned…but the implications are rather clear. Clara had intended to do more than just kissing herself, that night. “He delivered me from evil and placed me on the doorstep of a brother I never knew I had.”

A pause. Then a turn fully to Adrienne. “Puts that cocky bastard of a Wraith into a new light, doesn’t it?”

Adrienne’s bow is lowered as well, she has not even yet reached to draw another arrow from her quiver, her own last shot and Clara’s ignored for now, when the Tracano Princess currently holds all of her attention. Noting the hesitation there, and then the manner with which Clara begins to confess more of her past. Green eyes focusing on Clara, a slight twitch of her brows occurring when Clara’s speaks of Corvin’s and Aidric’s good qualities, the mention of the latter resulting in a softening of her expression. Even so, Adrienne will remain silent, an astonished exhale leaving her lips when the Tracano speaks of her supposed father and what she had planned for her 16th birthday, and the freckled Cassomir takes a step towards the Princess, her hand reaching for Clara’s arm.

“One above, I had no idea, Clara! I… can hardly blame you for such thoughts, when indeed, you had such a valid reason…”, Adrienne allows in a murmur, her mien grave. “But then again, you didn’t carry through with it…” Her green eyes turning distant as she considers. “There may be more than meets the eye in Master Corvin Fremont. Okay, he is a Wraith, and for that… I have any right as a Huntress to dislike him. But such is the case with Lord Aidric Carling as well… Despite his reputation… Despite his past… It should have troubled me more, certainly.” The freckled Huntress exhales. “In my case it is not so much the impending threat of a supposed relative having impure intentions… But rather the fact that I am what I am, and have so far thought it would suffice.” Unable to meet Clara’s gaze, Adrienne looks down at her hand that has withdrawn from a princess’s arm to fidget with a Huntress bow.

“The duty, first and foremost, has governed my life so far, and will, until the day I die. I will most certainly do my duty, to serve my House. A duty all of us Cassomirs will have to serve, even if my own brother Graham somehow tries to ignore the fact… With Jaren now married to the Queen, we are becoming pawns in the game of political marriages, and have gained even in relevance. Of course, there is Devlin to be married off first. And Emilia… she has told me there have been insulting offers, due to her being Jaren’s sister. Anyway…” Adrienne’s shoulders lift in a shrug. “I’m sure it may be my turn soon. And I won’t refuse. I couldn’t.” Her eyes lift slowly. “In that, I am a Cassomir. But I, Adrienne, am not willing to… grant that first time to a so politically advantageous match I will end up with. So, I decided to pick the man in question myself. A man of…” A slight smirk curls her lips despite the slightly nervous flicker of her eyes, “obvious experience, without the dangers of assuming to be more than…” She exhales. “A dalliance.”

“But you don’t understand, Adrienne. It isn’t that I didn’t want to go through with it.” The brown eyes of Clara drop, regarding the earth beneath her feet. “I had every intention of following through. It is Corvin that refused my advances. Whatever my reasoning be, regardless of good or ill intentions, I didn’t follow through only because Corvin did not take advantage” Those eyes lift up…peering into Adrienne’s own. “I would have done it. Without hesitation. For the same reasons that you chose Aidric, it seems. I wanted my first to be on my terms.” There is a flutter of a hand, as if to brush aside the topic. One that has left Clara much more timid and withdrawn than Adrienne might have seen before.

“As it was, it was for the best. He got me out of the house…and my false father received what fate the One had in store for him. For…the house fell to a fire that night, after my mother and I fled….and, from all accounts, he fell with it.” There is a sigh from the princess…a low, deep sigh. “I…I never told anyone about that night. Not even Martyn. I…I would be most grateful if you kept this between us.”

In the moment Clara's gaze drops to regard the earth at her feet, Adrienne's brows are raised, wrinkling even as she listens to the Princess's reluctant explanations. The freckled Cassomir inclines her head, keeping any comment to herself at first before she lets a murmured "I understand…" slip, her hand resting of Clara's lower arm as if such would ease the confession. A flicker there, in green eyes that linger on the red-haired Tracano, when the noble conduct of a bastard Wraith is somewhat accepted, as is the expressed intent of the Princess herself, from a time when she did not know her true identity. Another incline of her head occurs at the words 'on my terms', this in fact something Adrienne can relate to. Still, she will listen until Clara is done, with the account of the grim end of a supposed father with lewd intentions. After the Tracano's plea for confidentiality, a long moment of silence follows.

"I had no idea…", the Cassomir admits after a while with a light reassuring squeeze to Clara's arm. "You've had so much to endure… And of course! You can count on me, I won't tell anyone. This I swear by the One above…" The expression on her face is astonished, still, also a little relieved that she is not the only one carrying around her little secrets. A faint smile curls her lips, when she adds: "If you promise to keep mine." Her hand shifts to Clara's as if to seal this vow between them, her green gaze seeking Clara's brown eyes, expressing how much this means to her.

“You have my word.” Four little words from Clara…but the weight of them far exceeding. Just that simple expression and it is obvious that Clara intends to keep her promise. There is a sort of half smile given to Adrienne, then another statement. A half-hearted attempt to lighten the mood. “Have you more you wish to trade confessions for? I…might need a moment to recover, from that last one.” It is a slight jest, but told in complete honesty. It is obvious that Clara doesn’t like dwelling there…in that moment between childlike innocence and painful realization.

There is a deep breath….then another….as Clara tries to push that weighty thing from her mind. And…as she does so, a semblance of her normal self returns. Not fully there, but enough to continue. “Now…you see why I had asked Alaina to stay within sight, but out of earshot. And why there is no one else around. We simply can’t have the gossip mongers catch wind of our little conversation now, can we?” Then…in an effort to keep things moving, she indicates the target opposite them. “Would you care to take your turn? I…find that archery calms me. It helps me to focus. It’s why I practice.”

Which…may strike a thought. If Clara shoots to calm herself, to find a balance…and she is as good as Adrienne believes, then Clara must have had a most interesting childhood, indeed. Even if Clara herself is not completely aware of the reasons why she needed to find balance.

Four little words that will make her freckled features twist into a warm smile. "Oh," she smiles, green eyes going distant for a brief spell of a moment. "No… enough confessions for today, I daresay. But even so… even with the confessions made, I believe I hold you in much higher regard than I did before. As generous donator of dresses. It's somewhat… relieving to learn that a princess may be more human than I thought… Even if I am shocked at what you… almost had to endure." Especially to owe her gratitude to a Wraith… and rightfully so.

"I'd like to have more talks as this," Adrienne Cassomir then admits, her gaze flashing towards Alaina momentarily, before it shifts back to Clara Tracano. "Of course… I am referring to… that we can speak more openly perhaps now, that we are aware of some of the other's secrets… It is nice to have someone to share such confidentiality with." Her smile grows in warmth by a few degrees. A last reassuring squeeze is given Clara's arm, before the Huntress turns to assess their last round of shots.

"Oh my!" A chuckle escapes her when she sees her rather skilled shot hit right into the bull's eye. "It seems, there may indeed be a point to continue, at least for a bit, with me gaining a little ground on you…?" The question posed with a raised brow, the freckled Cassomir obviously quite relieved that at least some of her form has returned. "And aye… It can be quite calming," she agrees with a nod, in the moment her right hand reaches for the next arrow with red and blue fletching. Which will be placed against the bow string. And released.

<FS3> Adrienne rolls Bows: Good Success. (6 6 2 4 2 8 5 4 6 3 8 5 7 3 2)

The arrow flies towards the target and hits in the second ring. No comparison to previous shots that hit into or at least close to the bull's eye. But by no means as bad as her first attempt, that did not even hit the target at all.

<FS3> Clara rolls Bows: Amazing Success. (1 3 6 2 7 8 7 6 2 1 8 7 5 7)

The princess returns the smile. “Before Her Majesty declared me a princess, I was but a Lady. Considered a bastard child of a commoner in Couviere. Believe me, I am still rather new at this whole ‘princess’ business.” A small laugh is returned. “Besides, dear Adrienne. Princess is only a title given to people by others. I am still human, same as you. Though…I am happy to have surprised you.” Ah….a bit more of the Clara that Adrienne is familiar with is returning. With the confessions behind her, it seems that Clara is finding herself again.

The possibility of speaking openly is greeted with a nod. “It would be nice. As of now, I really only had Emilia that I could speak plainly to. Maybe Tiadora, too, though to not the same extent. And even then, there may not be the same sort of understanding about…certain issues.” Clara turns with Adrienne to regard the shots, offering her own congratulations for that shot, a Cassomir arrow nestled right besides a Tracano arrow within the center of the target. “It seems that you are recovering nicely from our first foray. Maybe the threat of confession threw off your aim.” There is a light giggle as she steps back, to allow Adrienne freedom for her shot….

….which is a little wide, but still a good shot. Clara then takes her place, allowing herself to calm down. All her tension…all her worries and fears and uncertainties. Everything negative is taken, sent down and focused upon the tip of the arrow. The bowstring is pulled…the arrow given aim, and released. The sharp twang of the bowstring rings out as the arrow takes flight, slicing through the air as it homes in upon the target….

…and strikes it soundly in the center, adding green and black to the collection of arrows within the middle. There is no sound of elation from Clara. Not yet…but it is clear that she is rather pleased with herself. “If only I could do so well during the tournament.”

The expression on Adrienne’s features dims somewhat when Clara speaks of Emilia. “Ah… well… I am aware you and her are close… even so… Things between me and her are difficult.” This another confession that leaves the freckled Cassomir’s lips. “We may be cousins, and yes, she is my Huntress sister. But you heard her, when we discussed Aidric Carling in Pacitta. It’s best she does not learn a thing about this. And yes, I do trust you to keep this to yourself,” this she adds a bit hastily perhaps as if to forestall any objection on Clara’s part. A moment of silence follows, her eyes going distant as she considers. “Emilia was different. Before the destruction of Castle Ironhold. We were getting along nicely.”, Adrienne remarks pensively. “She was changed, by whatever happened there. Who can fault her?” She exhales, and for a moment it seems as if she were about to add more… but a shrug ends this brief shift of topic.

As does the Clara’s next shot! Adrienne’s jaw is about to drop again. “One above!” Astonishment fades into a pleased grin, as if this new link between the princess and the Huntress could make the latter forget that she as a Huntress of Ironhold would be supposed to give the more impressive showing here. “I believe you shall,” Adrienne chuckles, shaking her head in obvious admiration of the shot. “It seems this focus you spoke of earlier, you’ve mastered it quite well. Just let us do another round of shots to see if I can keep up still…”

<FS3> Adrienne rolls Bows: Success. (6 2 4 3 3 5 3 8 3 2 3 4 3 4 4)

And indeed, another arrow with Cassomir colors as fletching is taken from Adrienne’s quiver, as she gets ready for her fifth shot. Her eyes close, a faint line appearing between her brows; trying to focus; with lips that curl into a smile as she opens her eyes and takes aim. Perhaps a distracting thought passing her mind, in regards to a certain Carling distraction? It would appear so, as the arrow hits so far from the bull’s eye and Clara’s previous shot, even if it does hit the target this time. Air leaves the freckled Cassomir’s lips in a slightly disappointed exhale. “I give up… It seems me and any archery contests are not a working combination…”, she admits with a chuckle, green eyes shifting to regard Clara with curiosity, eager to see how the next shot of the Princess will go.

<FS3> Clara rolls Bows: Great Success. (6 1 4 3 7 8 4 5 5 8 1 8 7 5)

Chuckling softly, Clara offers a small concession. “Alright, this will be our last shot.” She lifts her longbow one final time, taking aim with a green and black arrow, and releases. Moments later, the arrow finds its target…just a little to the side of the center. All told, there is a little group of Tracano arrows, some in the center, some just outside, while the Cassomir arrows are a little more scattered. The bow is lowered as Clara turns to Adrienne with a smile. “perhaps I need some more distractions to make things more fair. Really, I hadn't expected to do so well. After all, this is only practice!”

There is no mention of Emilia…nor of the event that seemed to have changed her. Of course, there is no need for Clara to ask…for not all confessions were made, and Clara knows why the ‘touched’ Cassomir is such. Instead, a hug…rather impetuous…is given to Adrienne. “Thank you for coming…and for being such a sport. This day went far better than I had imagined it would.” Clara then steps back. “I hope we can do this again. If you are not too upset if I were to win, that is. I would rather enjoy it.” A sincere request.

Adrienne's brows lift when Clara agrees to a last round of shots, but after her own rather mediocre attempt she seems more than fine with wrapping their archery practice. The Tracano princess's arrow hits the target, and once again it is a splendid shot, very close to the bull's eye. "Clara! With shots like these I shan't assume any other will stand a true chance against you," the freckled Huntress chuckles, shaking her head. Her arms come up when Clara flings herself at her for a hug, which Adrienne returns, after a moment, the smile curving her lips deepening further.

"Thanks for sharing your time with me… precious time, I know, but I enjoyed this as well, the archery and the…" Her gaze meets Clara's as Adrienne pulls back, giving her a warm glance, "conversation. It makes me hope for more encounters of this kind…. of confidential archery practice. And no… I think I'd be more upset if such a cocky bastard of a Wraith would take home the win… Oh, forgive me…" Her fingers move to cover her mouth and hide the smile. "Even if he may have some hidden qualities… He remains a Wraith." A light shrug of the shoulders there, as Adrienne straightens. "So by any means… do your best at the Archery Contest. I would not wish nor expect any less from you." And here comes the sincere response to the sincere request.

Adrienne approaches the target and reclaims her arrows, even the stray one that missed the archery butt, collecting them and storing them in her quiver. "A good day to you, princess. We shall meet again.", this the freckled Cassomir lady calls over her shoulder as she walks away, leaving the well guarded and scarcely populated expanse of the tourney grounds behind her.

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