(1867-01-20) The Wicked Princess
The Wicked Princess
Summary: Emilia braves the wiles of the Palace during Court season to visit Clara.
Date: 01/20/1867
Related: General Emi/Clara stuff
Players:
Emilia  Clara  

Clara's Suite - Sunsreach Palace - Rivana
The room is large, for it is the Palace, after all, but Clara's room isn't as palatial as one might think. Certain corners have been selected for various tasks, showing the different aspects of the person that is Clara Tracano. In the far corner along the back wall is the bed, a canopy affair with thin translucent curtains enveloping it, enough transparency to allow light, but not enough to see anything beyond shadows within. Next to the bed is the vanity, with a large mirror, close to the walk-in closet with choice selections of clothing. In the near corner on the same wall as the bed stands a worktable of sorts, with a few scattered pieces of cloth and a dress form mannequin besides it. The mannequin has the beginnings of what appears to be a more toned-down ensemble consisting of a modest skirt with a loose top paired with it, more suited for a minor noble lady than perhaps a member of royalty. The right front corner holds a desk, with all matters of paper upon it. Though it is neatly arranged, it still looks rather daunting upon first glance. It is quite obvious that Clara does her major work at this desk, for the chair looks well worn and, fortunately, comfortable enough for prolonged sessions. The left corner holds the final aspect of Clara, as this is where she keeps her more athletic pursuits. Her rosewood longbow, with the elaborate carving of leaves and small roses along the upper and lower limbs, rests upon a weapon stand, along with her ash quarterstaff. A small dagger is on a stand, too, but looks relatively unused…perhaps a new addition or just not a favored weapon. One more dress form is here, too, but this one has a set of leather armor upon it, surprisingly similar to the style Huntresses would wear, if perhaps a little more decorative than not.
20th of Janvier, 1867

Sunsreach was all a bustle again, certainly nowhere as near as busy it was before the Royal wedding, but the opening of Winter Court had brought about a certain surge of people back to the city. And with an Archducal election to be had, and a new King, a few who might have forgone the whole affair have likely turned out. Yet one who had perhaps not been seen at that opening gathering was Emilia Cassomir. If she had been present, she had truly kept to the shadows and escaped all notice. Not that but a few would likely mark the presence or absence of the ‘touched’ young woman.

But it is one such person who seems to be getting a visitor this day, and even if Emilia is dressed in those usual leathers, there is not quite so much sneaking about. After all, Jaren was no longer Viscount, no longer a Cassomir, Huntresses visiting to deliver news or word had likely dropped to nothing…unless on business from Raelyn. Less to blend along in with. And Emilia knew, sometimes she did need to be seen…Winter Court was in session afterall. Which is to say..Clara had received word about the visitor and there had been some turn of protocol that actually occurred before the young Cassomir was brought along to the young Tracano’s rooms.

The dark haired, dark eyed Emilia canting her head after stepping through the door,”Were we not supposed to vanish of to Ironhold for of a time, and yet it is seeming we are still of being bound to this forest made of buildings, not of trees. Is there even any hint of pixie left to be of calling for such a freedom?” Oh how the Cassomir have perfected the dead pan delivery, ever helped on by that ever stoic mien of Emilia’s.

—-

There was a reason for that small little bit of protocol. Well, a few reasons. With it being Court season, there was the trifle matter to see if the princess was even in her quarters for visitations in the first place. For, even though she is a royal and has no say over the archducal elections, there was always someone waiting for her to try to bend her ear and give support for one candidate or another. Not that Clara actually had given any. It was, however, amusing to her that those that have spoken against her suddenly seem so inviting, when they seem to need something. And so…it was rare that Clara was in her chambers…just because it was easy to trap her there. Fortunately, for Emilia, Clara was in.

However, unfortunately for Clara, she still had Emilia’s painting within said quarters. So, the second reason for the protocol, as relayed by the amused Royal Lancer Sir Alaina Cassomir to her detail, was to delay Emilia slightly…but not terribly so…to allow Clara opportunity to hide said painting. The canvas is covered, gently, with cloth that was intended for a dress, so that it is protected and yet obfuscated. Then, as quickly as she dared, Clara carried the painting to her dress wardrobe, and placed in along the back, obscured by the dresses before it. Taking a moment to study her handiwork, Clara closes the wardrobe….just in time for Emilia to enter with her profound lament for the pixie within….the pixie responsible for the painting purchase and other wicked little plans that float in the back of Clara’s thoughts.

There is a sigh as the wardrobe door finishes closing, with Clara turning to face Emilia. “The pixie within is yearning for such a diversion, dear Emilia! To think, when I was in Lonnaire, I imagined Court to be this grand and glorious thing. Now, what I would give to be within the forests of Varna again! Though…now? It may be a bit cooler than here.” The princess closes the distance between her and the Huntress, embracing her spirit sister. “It is so good to see you, Emilia. I know how awkward it must be to have to return here, after being here for so long prior.” The hug released, Clara steps over to stand more in the middle of the room. “At least I hope you had a pleasant time for the short stay you had at Ironhold? Otherwise, I may have to send you back…with me to accompany you to ensure you have a proper rest from the tribulations of city life!” There…may be an ulterior motive with Clara’s last statement…one that is fairly obvious, what with that wicked little grin of hers.

—-

Whatever added little delays came in coming to Clara’s chambers, Emilia did not seem to think a thing of them. Afterall she knew it entirely possible her friend might not be available for a visit. With the work carefully tucked away and out of sight before her arrival, Emilia is left to be none the wiser about the obfuscation that has occurred surrounding the purchase of her last contest piece. For now.

“Of grand…of aye,” after all one could hardly argue that the grandest fashions and food were often to be found at Court,”glorious…not of so much.” Though some did likely think otherwise. “But of aye, would be thinking the forests of Varna to be of cooler then of here, and of Ironhold as well. “ which with its mountains was a bit chillier than some of Rivana. Easily stepping into the embrace and returning it warmly. Though Emilia does peer at Clara as it loosens,”You are of sure she is yet of in there? Not squeezed of out by some overtight of corset because it is being the fashion of the week?” It was an easy tease. And the One knew some of the odd fashions that could show up at times! “It is good to be seeing of again, though I am not of sure awkward is exactly the right of word. And not exactly of sure what need there is of me to be at a Court.” It was not like Emilia was considered to be any sort of player in the grand game amongst the nobility. Nor was her family actually seeking a match for her for that to be a factor.

A light breath actually at that bit of a question, akin to a sigh. “It was being more of pleasant then of being in the city. “ Emilia pausing slightly before she gives some mild explanation, “There is more of duty that falls to my of shoulders now.” Oh that wicked little grin on the Princess is not missed,”And while there will be of a returning before to of long,” even if not soon enough either,” for of the Hunt Raelyn and I am to host….you are having something much of specific in of mind…just what are you of plotting about?”

—-

“Oh, just using you as an excuse to leave Sunsreach for a while. I am sure you wouldn’t mind that in the least.” There is a definite honesty that rings true with the words, even if they were spoken with a teasing air to them. “If for no reason than to prove that the princess pixie is alive and well…and not choked to death upon taffeta and lace.” There is a giggle that punctuates that statement, as Clara flashes that smile back to Emilia….the one that good little princesses never use, but sneaky young women have no hesitations. If it wasn’t apparent that the sprite within Clara was active, that smile would be all the proof needed. “It would be somewhat cold in Varna, but I would find a way to climb a tree or two. As it is, I am about to climb the walls here.”

There is a sigh…then another laugh. “Really, Emilia, people think that I have all this political sway now and keep asking me to endorse a ducal selection. It is really out of my hands, and thank the One for that.” The Tracano pauses in mid-step, turning back to glance towards her wardrobe, for no particular reason as Clara offers a confession. “Of course, I don’t actually tell them it is out of my hands. I don’t tell them anything really.” Clara turns back towards Emilia, as she brushes aside a stray lock of red hair. “It doesn’t matter if I tell them what I can do or not….everyone chooses to believe what they want. All part of playing the role given, I suppose. I can tell you, honestly, because you know. I only have power because people give it to me. I…I don’t ask for it. Not really. I only ask to do my part.” A shrug of the shoulders, and the pensive look that was upon Clara’s mein dissipates.

And…replaced with an inquisitive and thoroughly happy demeanor. “So…why did you decide to brave the wiles of the castle? Just to visit me? I would have surely have gone to you.” A thoughtful expression…that probing look within Clara’s eyes is back. “Surely it is not solely a pixie hunt. What can I do for you?”

—-

“Of true, for such of a reason I am not minding to be used.” Granted it helps if Emilia is actually out of the city. Her head cants a little at the particular image gets painted…or more so just what They do with the imagery concerning taffeta, lace and choking. It was colorful….to say the least. Shaking her head as she tries to push aside the image and put Them back in check..least as much as They ever are. “You will be of coming out for of the Hunt of then? Perhaps can be setting the pixie of free after such duties are being of seen to. “ As co-host, Emilia would have to…socialize a bit. The horror! But oh the rather stoic look,”You could, you of know, they are not that hard to be of climbing, harder then of trees, of course.” Spoke like someone who might have done just that.

“Technically, it is out of the Queen’s hands of well,” sure she /could/ just appoint someone..because hello, Queen….but that would not go over too well. “But that does not of stop of people from trying all of the same. Even when she has made of rather clear her preferences.” Least it was clear to anyone who had perception to such matters. There is a half shrug as Emilia agrees,”They do believe as they of wish, and shall continue to be of doing so. After all most of them do think I am quite of ‘touched’….insane of even.” A mild sigh before she gives a full shrug. “But it is not of power they give of me in thinking of that, as of with you….They should just be of thankful that you do not of abuse such power, or in of turn them. “ There is a small twitch at Emilia’s lips,”Though that you are not being of the sort to abuse such things, I am of grateful.” Clara did have power over Emilia…or could if she ever wished to given what she knew, oh what a field day the Inquisitors would have with Emilia if they ever found out….and could find a way to get her isolated from….well her family.

The questions though have Emilia flopping into a chair, well as much as Emilia could actually flop…it was still an awfully graceful maneuver. “Because it is of Court… If I am not of here, there are of whispers…If I am of here, there are of whispers. But there must of some. So I might as well get on with the being of seen in some of way, of aye?” Then there is a sigh and Emilia’s gaze drifts to the floor. “ And because the Huntresses of hate me….” Her lips purse a little,”No…not hate, just think I am of insane…un-of-fit…..And it really isn’t being all of them. But of enough…Some think I am…of OK…Least I think of so.” A hand flutters about in the air after another sigh comes. “It is becoming of an issue, for you of see, Raelyn is no being Mistress of the Hunt any of more….I am.” There, it had been said. Certainly not a piece of information of much important outside of Ironhold.

—-

A sideward glance is cast to Clara’s combat corner, resplendent with leather armor, quarterstaff, and Clara’s rather unique bow. Clara returns her attention to Emilia, providing an affirmative gesture. “Yes…I fully intend on joining the Hunt. One way or another, I will find a way out of the city, if but a short time….and the Hunt is the perfect opportunity to do so.” The comment about the difficulty of wall climbing is not missed as Clara smirks a touch at the image, but actual verbal commentary is not offered. “I need to practice my hunting anyways. Never know when I am going to need that skill.”

There is a wave of a hand…essentially waving off the courtly power imagery. “I…don’t like to use people like that. I know that…that my father, I mean Lord t’Myrin, was just using me, as well. To secure his own legacy….among other things. I would never do that to anyone else.” The brown eyes focus upon Emilia, the raw emotion of the moment just simmering there, despite the pleasant countenance Clara wears. She looks…haunted…if only for a few seconds, before a shake of the head clears away any visible signs of emotional trauma. “So, no. I am not an opportunistic hanger-on ready to sell my soul, or anyone else’s, for a scrap of perceived power.” Strong language from the Tracano. “If I am granted such power, I treat it as a privilege…and a responsibility. Not some blunt instrument.” Clara may not realize it (for she is still a little wrapped up in herself, unfortunately) but she just given Emilia perhaps the solace she needs. Clara isn’t even thinking of abusing her relationship with the Cassomir. It hasn’t even remotely colored her interactions with Emilia….and that just might give the Huntress a sense of relief.

The flop into the chair, such as it was, is still a sight to behold. Clara may be graceful, but not ethereal…and Emilia is ethereal. There is a moment of hesitation, as Emilia offers her reasoning for braving the wiles of the castle, where Clara just listens. There may be a start of a comment, but as Emilia slides onto the topic of Huntresses…and their general perception of Emilia, as least to her, Clara’s commentary silences. That pleasant expression shifts to an inquisitive mien…and then to surprise as Emilia betrays the fact she is now the Mistress of the Hunt. Surprise tempered by concern. “So…this isn’t a joyous occasion? I shouldn’t be happy for you becoming that which I envied, even when I was a Couvieri bastard?” For, even being in Lonnaire, home of the Wraiths, Clara always did admire the Huntresses…and the Mistress of the Hunt in particular. “Though…I do see your concerns. The Huntresses, with the exception of Raelyn, have no idea what burden you carry. Of the other deep within you. Of ElK'a'athren.” The name is spoken in almost a whisper…and only because of Clara’s certainty of no one within earshot. “If…if they only knew, then what is perceived as insanity would be recognized for what it is truly. Bravery and steadfastness.” A pause. “But…you are worried about how the others see you. Your sisters-in-arms.” Then…a question of Clara’s own. “Do…you want to be Mistress? Is it something you have to do?”

—-

A nod comes,”Of aye, it is of good to keep up on your of skills. It is best to be of prepared and not of need of such skill, then the of alternative. “ And in Rivana, well…never know when another war is for to break out. Right? “And I am imagining many will be of using of the excuse to be of being away from Sunsreach for of a stretch. “ And check out how Raelyn is doing, cause it was still an opening for politics. “People do of enjoy a hunt. And I of hear mine-sister has been inviting of the Alhazred to be of coming to Ironhold as of well.” Emilia cants her head some,”Have you had much of time with them of yet? What is your thoughts of them?” She knew Clara had perhaps some contact with them through her hosting-ish duties with the wedding…and well Princess.

Dark eyes quietly take in Clara as she gets lost in that brief turn down memory lane, it was not an area Clara spoke about much, and Emilia did not press or pry…no more than Clara prodded about Emilia’s. Though Clara had fallen into much on that accord with the wayward faegate trip. “Of no, you are not of an opportunistic hanger of on, nor of seeking of power,” Emilia’s hand drifts a little in the air, though those dark eyes look to Clara,”if you were of such a thing, my dearest of Clara, you would not have been of needing of rescue amongst of the shadows and needing of help to set of loose the pixie once of again.” Also meaning, they would not likely be the friends that they are. Though there is some comfort found to hear Clara speak those words, for Emilia’s friend did have a great deal of power in the knowledge she held about the Cassomir. “And that is of why you are likely you come to be of having even of more of power, Clara. Much like of Jaren. You do not of wish it, do not seek of it, yet when it is of coming to of you, you treat it with care and in of turn wield it only when of needed. It will gain of further of trust and of respect…Some of hangers of ons will of tire, for of certain, some will not of care of either of way, simply be of wishing to be of seen with of a Tracano and of your of kindness will give them perhaps a few of such of moments. And there will be of yet simply trying to wield of their own of power in some of way and dis-of-liking because you will not be of swayed, and then there will be those who will be of gaining of more of respect in seeing how you of are, and in of that you may be of gaining of your own of circle.” Rather like the Queen’s inner circle really. And for one who is rather put off by court and avoids it as much as possible, it seems Emilia has a fair grasp of it with the high level playout delivered. “And in of it all, you will of pleasing of the Queen for being of the you that you are. “ A thing that Emilia knew Clara had worried about along the way.

The question that comes at the little bit of news that has been put forth has Emilia’s head tilting a little as her gaze settles upon Clara,”I am of gaining of position because of mine-sister of gained of position and married…before mine-brother gained of further of position because he of married. So I am not of sure such of a thing is to be of envied.” There is a mild pause a brief study of Clara before Emilia adds,”And I am not being of mine-sister.” While Raelyn did not have quite the storied existence as Jaren, she still had something of a reputation. And had proven herself many times. The mention of ElK'a'athren did have Emilia turned her head a bit oddly for a moment as a strange look briefly flitted to her eyes. Perhaps having to put down an attempted mutiny to Clara’s speaking the Bane Sidhe’s name. A small blink and a minor shake of her head sends the moment along. “There…are being of a few that are of knowing, least of the truth of what was of occurring….Even if not so much of the truth of me and what of exactly I am of facing. As some of them are being of Vigilant of as well, were of helping of Jaren in of times.” That little bit laid out there. “But it is not like I could be of telling of people, you know of that. Be-of-side, you know most would just be of seeing it as of proof that I am of insane and should be of locked of away for mine own of safety. “ There is a faint shake of Emilia’s head,”It is not so much of a worry of how they are viewing of me, as more of a worry to of the safety of Ironhold if they will not of listen simply because it is of me saying of things.” Which may well be the same thing in the end.

There is a pause, a slight hesitation before Emilia answers the last. “Raelyn asked of first, before of telling of anyone, if I thought I could be of doing of it and would be of willing. I of told her of aye.” Obviously! “It is not being of a matter of having to of do it, it is of mine duty as of a Cassomir, Clara.” Cassomirs and their infernal duty and stoicism. “Be-of-sides, I promised of Raelyn I would be of helping her in whatever of way she needed of me, and this is what she has asked.” Double duty whammy!

—-

A pair of fingers are held up, with about an inch of space in between the two. “A little bit.” is the verbal answer given, accompaniment to the small measure of emptiness between the thumb and index finger. Clara continues, elaborating on her interactions with the contingent. “The Shahsadeh and her husband are mostly visiting with Alysande and Jaren. They are pleasant to me, but beyond that I don’t have much of an impression on them. The Mirza Khare….well…she is flat out indifferent to me. Doesn’t talk to me at all unless she has to…and even then, it is with a frosty temperament that you wouldn’t think possible from lands warmer than here. Not really too sure what she has against me, but she certainly seems to like the more, ahem, adventurous types. I am sure you have seen her at the ball with that Giraldi.” There’s a roll of Clara’s eyes as she laughs. “I think she sees me as a challenger. Not that I would care to challenge her in whatever it is she seems to be wanting to do.” The fingers shift, tapping on Clara’s chin as she considers. “However, the other Mirza…Ghazi Demir. We have had some talks. He seems to find my conversation stimulating, even if it is clear we have different views on the treaty and such. He doesn’t believe the northern kingdoms are worth associating with, save for a select few. It seems I made the list, at least for him.” A smile now graces Clara’s features. “Ah…but my favorites, if I had to chose? Kabede…I mean Shah Aman…and the Prophet Hashim Nejem.” There is a little bit of a blush as Clara referred to Kabede by first name only….something she does again. “Kabede is the most favorable of relations between kingdoms, of what I have seen. Alas, we have a bit of trouble talking, mostly using a translator, but he is a wonderful man. Truly cares for people.” The slight blush turns a little brighter as Clara mentions as an aside. “And quite handsome and single, besides.” Clara flashes a look to Emilia that could only be defined as a wistful expression…which slowly dissipates as she moves on. “The Prophet seems to like me, too. We speak somewhat, though perhaps nothing of major import. He is a lover of art…I’ve told him of some plans I have for the Menagerie, adding a bit more culture to the dusty old dragon bones in there. Though he seemed more taken in with Jaren at times and others. Still…I rather like him, too.”

“If they are going to the Hunt, then I may still need to play the role of hostess, at least partially. That is, if you don’t mind, Emilia.” There is a slight laugh…”I can’t imagine Mirza Khare risking getting her nails damaged with the prospect of actually hunting. But Kabede might enjoy it, since it will truly be a Hunt…and not just some play for the nobles. Meaning the beasts are not being killed just for fun..but for a purpose as well.” There is another giggle…”Oh…I wonder what the Alhazredi would think if I were to release the pixie within during the Hunt. Or the rest of the nobility, for that matter. Could you imagine, Emilia, the look on Alaina’s face were I to climb a tree in order to help track our target? Or some of those stuffy old lords in Court. Why, they would just burst their buttons in shock!” Clara does a flop of her own into a chair…and it is certainly not ethereal like Emilia’s. It is rather unladylike…and hints at the playful spirit that is within Clara still. Which provides a counterpoint to the seriousness of the topic of power. Clara waves off the concept of power…but not with a hand. Rather, a foot, stockings exposed since losing a shoe to the flopping, waves. “Yes, yes….I suspect that’s why Jaren likes me. Because I don’t let those sort of things go to my head. Other than the fact that we are close friends, for which I am always and shall be eternally grateful.” Despite the lounging, the Princess listens carefully to Emi’s breakdown of courtly politics, with a wry grin upon her face. “See…and you purposely avoid court, yet have such a distinct grasp upon courtly politics. And people wonder why you and I are so close! Let them wonder….serves them right if they can’t see.”

A bit of seriousness returns to Clara as Emilia speaks about the title she just acquired. With her attention fully on Emilia, it is not hard for Clara to catch the internal struggle between her friend and the malevolence within her. “I’ve upset Her…or Them…or whatever. I’m sorry.” Apart from that, Clara doesn’t interrupt Emilia…not until she is finished. “I realize that not many people know. I would imagine rightly so, for otherwise things would be very, very different. And…that does put a strain on appearances.” For Clara knows that keeping up appearances is a chore all on its own. “And….I get that it is a duty that you feel you must do. But…you don’t have to do it alone. You can ask for assistance. And, if it is really the Huntresses that may not listen to you for what they only perceive you to be….then give them a reason to know why they should listen. Set forth a challenge or something.” Clara shrugs lightly. “If it would help at all, have all the Huntresses participate in something. You…have that Harrowing thing, where you hunt prospective Huntresses, yes? Have everyone in to hunt a prospect and show how well you have learned your lessons. Why, I would volunteer to be hunted, if I had any sort of chance. Or…whatever. I…don’t really know all of the Huntress traditions, so I wouldn’t be a good person to ask on what to do. I am no Huntress.” Clara settles into her chair…focusing on Emilia. “You could ask Raelyn her opinion on how to handle dissension. After all, she is Viscountess. She might have ideas.”

—-

Ironhold, it would be good to have a slightly better grasp about the measure of the group since there would be greater chance of actually interacting with them. A small nod to hear the Shahsadeh and her husband were spending most of their time with Alysande and Jaren, it made sense enough really. Though dark eyes flit to look at Clara with a slight raise to an eyebrow as the Mirza Khare is spoken about,"Of aye, I was of seeing her with the one of Giraldi. But of truly she is seeming to think of you as some of challenger? That is seeming of rather of odd in all of rights." It was not like Ania would be long in playing amongst the Rivanan Court. And anyone with eyes knew Clara wasn't anything like a female Tristan. A small headshake follows soon enough after, some mixture of disbelief and amusement on it really. There is a little nod concerning Ghazi,"Does sound like of interesting of conversation to have, and I do of imagine there are those amongst of Rivana who share of his views in of that. But of rightly, I am of betting there are those in of Couviere that think much of the same in of turn about of us." Oh but there is more interesting things afoot as that bit of color comes to Clara's darling cheeks causing Emilia to give a closer look towards her friend. "My, my…mine spirit sister's cheeks are of coloring. I am of believing she would rather like to be of sharing more of time and perhaps of some dances with this quite of handsome and of single Shah Aman. And not just be talking of treaty. Perhaps if he is of coming to Ironhold we shall have to be ensuring these it chance of this?" Lightly teasing Clara, after all…Clara had happily joined Lon in doing so to Emilia! Though talk of the Prophet has Emilia becoming properly stoic again. Not that the variations from it are much noticeable save to those who have come to know her well enough, like Clara, who perhaps feels the difference more than actually see's them upon that stoic mien. "I have of met and spoken with of the Prophet." There is a slight pause as her gaze finds Clara's. "He came of to Ironhold of briefly…with the Sirrah." Which probably says something in of itself. "He knows about me. Of the truth." Even if Emilia does not know just how much he truly knows, he seemed to know enough. And it seemed Sirrah trusted him enough to tell him all, if he wished.

A small sigh slipped as Emilia lounged back in the chair,"Of no, I would not be of minding. Though it is of Raelyn who should really be of having of say, not to say I would think she would be of minding any of either. " It would be Raelyn's first official 'event' as Viscountess, and Stephen too! "Of course they are not being of killed simply for of fun, we would not be of doing that in Ironhold, that would be much of wasteful." The very idea boggled Emilia a little, she knew it was done. Just not in Ironhold. Dark brown eyes flit to Clara as the corners of Emilia's tug up a moment,"I think it would be of amusing, and I do of imagine Alaina would be the least of surprised of them, even if quick to give you of a chiding she knew was of useless, but must of do as part of her job. " Swinging her legs up on the side of the chair as Clara flops into one of her own. "And you know they would just of say you have been spending too much of time with me, such of a bad influence I am being upon of you." Proof Emilia was contagious! "Though I am suspecting you of being of mine-friend is of playing of a part in Jaren's of opinion of you." Likely anyone who genuinely took time to get to know Emilia got extra marks in Jaren's book. "I never of said I did not of understand of how Court of works. I am not of blind, and I have learned of a few of things from my time of helping Jaren with of Ironhold. In-of-deed, let them of wonder." They would never believe it of Emilia! And surely..it is just another Cassomir-Tracano 'thing'.

"Them." Is Emilia clarification on the matter. It..They were separate from Her, even if a product and part of. Emilia's hand raising to give a small fluttering wave in the air,"There is not of need to be of sorry." Simply waving the matter aside. "But of aye, it can put of a strain upon of appearances, hence of why I prefer to be doing as little of appearing as I must. Besides, it is not of like but a few truly of care if I am about or of not." Clara clearly being included in those who care if Emilia is present. Even if there was more attention given to Emilia with the rise of her brother and sister in turn, few truly actually sought to interact with the 'touched' Cassomir. "I of know I do not have to do of it alone, I have spoken with of Adrienne of already, she has promised her of help. And is of admitting that she was perhaps of hasty upon her of judgement of me. We are to be of working upon of that of together. " It was a good start at least. But Emilia does give Clara's thoughts due consideration, fingers lightly dancing along the chair a bit. "Of aye, there is of the Harrowing…it is of being the final step before of becoming of a Huntress. Some of them think mine was just of for show." This causes a small snort. Some really are blind to just how skilled the young Cassomir is. Especially at evading. And like being 'hunted' by Huntresses could compare to being hunted by a Banshee? "But it is of an interesting of idea, hopefully one that might not be of needed. Though am needing of time to show them I am of capable. I am of sure Raelyn will have of ideas." Like tying people to trees. "But will also have to be of seeing of…how of bad it shall truly of be as of well, of what must be of done. It was just of announced, so they are of yet getting used to of the idea."

—-

That blush remains, for just a moment longer, as Emilia prods her Tracano friend. Clara offers a partial explanation as to what she meant by playing hostess. "Oh…I just meant that, since I have already been established as acting hostess here that my duties might extend, by means of familiarity, when I attend the Hunt as well. Though, I would be happy to give that up for a day or two." The blush dissipates with a wink. "But…I don't recall dancing as being part of a hunt before. So you may have to wait a while before you get to see Kadebe and me dance." There may be a light laugh…maybe, as Clara considers the idea. She is definitely not adverse to it.

But, then, Clara sobers considerably. "Them, it is." Clara leans forward, observing Emilia….and yet, not. It is that self-same expression Clara conveys when she concentrates. She is seeing Emilia…but almost seeing through Emilia, as if looking within for the corner They sequester in. "They didn't like me saying her name then. I…don't do it lightly. It kinda helps, you see. Saying the name. It…makes the idea a bit more solid, you know? That the problem isn't some misty apparition, but a physical being. But…I won't use the name again." It did seem to help Clara handle the whole situation. The comment of the Prophet knowing about Emilia draws a curious expression from Clara…but she doesn't comment on it. Instead, she stores that away…for future conversation with the Prophet, perhaps…and shifts to the Huntress situation. "The Huntresses do need to see that you are stronger than you appear. I suspect that some might think you were given an easier time, because of perceived events. Perhaps the best thing would be to do that test again. With all of the Huntresses that doubt." A pause…"Though…I would have all that will follow you as backup. To ensure a fair exchange." A sigh follows the pause. "But yes…it will seem like things may be divided in two. I am glad Adrienne is agreeing to help, though."

—-

One might even find a flicked of amusements in Emilia's eyes as the blush lingers on for a bit. It wasn't the depth of crimson Clara had gotten out of Emilia, but it was still something! A nod comes at the turn of hostess being spoken,"I will of leave that up to Raelyn and what she is wishing. But you may of well get the time of off, since you will be of a guest to Ironhold as of well." A slight brow raises,"Part of the hunt, of no. But do you really of think that with the Cassomirs of playing host that there shall be a lack of other social of functions in the days of about the hunt?" The Cassomirs were known for throwing a fine party, contrary to their stick in the mud, stoic reputation.

There is a half rise of Emilia's shoulders at Clara's statement, not seeming to give any mind to that look that that seems to try to see Them within her. "They don't much of like it, but then They aren't much of caring for you of exactly." A faint nod occurs,"It makes of sense…though She…is a bit of misty and cannot really be of seen most of days, least to most of people…and while of being within the Circle. " Explaining a little about the Widow and all. "Use of it if you wish, it is nothing that I do not of deal with at other of times." A hand flutters slightly in the air as the conversation turns to focus on the situation with the Huntresses,"Some of do of think that…that my Harrowing was just for of show. Even if Raelyn did of send of extras after me to show of otherwise." Her head cants a little,"It is of an interesting of..idea. Though I have never of heard of one to be of put of through a Harrowing a second of time." Least not if they succeeded the first. "Not of sure how having of..backup would of work, since the of candidate is to of go alone through of things. But if things do seem to carry of on, I will see what Raelyn thinks as of well. As it may of yet not be enough to end of their doubts." A slight nod comes from Emilia,"OF aye, I am of thankful that Adrienne is of willing to of help and to of give me a chance. "

—-

The focus remains on the Huntresses for now. "Well…like I said, I don't know anything outside of reputation for the Huntresses. It was not exactly a welcomed topic of discussion in Varna." For good reason….being the duchy of Lonnaire…and part of the Wraith's stomping grounds. "I did had have a mind to be a Huntress. I was enamored of the idea. But then things changed and all." A great many things changed. Still…Clara doesn't seem upset about it. Instead, she continues onward. "You can blame Alaina, your cousin, for the idea of a 'back up'. She is always saying I should have back-up plans in case one fails. She has been teaching me to use a bladed weapon, to go with my archery and penchant to beat things with long wooden sticks."

—-

"Of aye, I would of imagine it not to be of exactly a popular of topic," unless the Wraiths were making sneering comments. But even then, not likely a thing that comes up oft. Emilia cants her head a little,"Of really? I was of knowing you were of liking the idea of training. I did not of know you thought of pressing of yourself to of more." Emilia nods a little,"She is not of wrong," considering how many times such things have been needed….and yet even have failed…" How is of the training going? Graham has been of helping me work of with mine of sword skill the last of year. I will never be as of good as mine-brothers."

—-

Ah…there is a little of the smile back. "Alaina said she can trust me not to hurt myself with a shortsword now. I guess that means I am improving." A light chuckle at that. "But…yeah. Before the whole 'Princess' thing happened I was considering it. It…just seemed like something I would like. You know….archery and horses and outdoors and just not being stuck indoors." Because…yes….being indoors was bad. "But then, you know…discovering all this. It kinda changed things."

—-

There is a faint tugging at the corner of Emilia's lips,"Of aye, that would mean you are improving and that she does not think you are as of likely to cut of a toe as to of hit the sword dummy." A faintly curious look is given,"Would such have been of allowed? I am of meaning in would you have been of allowed to actually to be of pursuing such a thing…of before?" Unlikely the Huntresses would have welcomed a northerner to their fold..but that is a different story. Emilia nods,"But of aye, the of 'Princess' of thing has much of changed things." There is a slight bit of hesitation before she asks,"Do you ever of miss it? Your of life before? Of wish that things had not been of discovered?"
—-

"That…is hard to decide, Emilia." It is a very honest answer. One that is given without any hesitation. "I…suppose I miss parts of it. Perhaps the quiet part. Having a father that I thought loved me, maybe. Being able to ride through the forests without having to take a contingent of guards. Things like that." But…then, after a moment or two more, Clara shakes her head. "But…I am glad that things were discovered. Because, if not, my mother…would have kept on believing her eldest son was dead. She would be abused even more…and I. I….probably would be, as well. Lord t'Myrin….that fell creature. He would have continued on with his charade and no…no one would have cared." There is a crack in Clara's voice. She's close to tears.

—-

It was a thing Emilia was honestly curious about, Clara did not speak oft of her life before. Sure, of the lands…but not of the life lived there so much. The emotion that starts welling up in Clara as she speaks does have Emilia slinking out of her chair like the fae creature she is and ending up by Clara's chair. Seeking to grab up Clara's hands, if not outright gather her in a hug with the tears that seek to come into existence. "I have always been of glad to have found friendship with you. But I am ever of more grateful that you were of found for such of foulness to have ended. That you and your mother have been freed from that of abuse, and have of family that of truly of loves you both again. And to have of others who are of caring for you, no of charades." There is just a faint tug at the corners of her lips,"The of quiet..can still be of found, even if not always of able to be rid of the guards."

—-

The tears that threaten to fall do not. With the embrace of her friend…and the reminder that Emilia is there for Clara, just as Clara is there for Emi, causes Clara to perhaps gain a bit more of that Cassomir stoicness. Enough for Clara to regain her composure, at the very least. "That makes two of us, Emilia. For both the friendship…and the end of such atrocities." A more stern expression is adopted as Clara's thoughts turn towards her mother. "I only wish we could have been saved sooner. I fear that my mother will never fully recover. She has endured too much." She turns to regard Emilia. "She's over in Greenmeadow. Tended to constantly. She…had her good moments, when she can remember who she was. But…there are other times, as well. When she thinks she is still Angel, and not Angelina." A sigh is given. "I hope that Martyn and Johanna will come to Greenmeadow. After the baby is born. I think having Mother see her grandchild might do her some good."

There is a wry grin from the Princess. "Well…I think I am used to the guards now. Your cousin has been kind and we are getting to know what the other can do." A moment….then the grin grows just a bit. "I did threaten her with a rough go at guarding me during our training session. We shall see just how rough."

—-

That embrace lingers for a moment, the warmth of friendship given within it, that support that existed between the two. And it would seem, to lend perhaps a little of Emilia's stoic strength. "To have suffered so, it is changing of a person." Emilia may know a thing or five about that. "She may never of be of the same of person she once of was, but she may yet of heal and recover in of time." It had taken Emilia time to 'regain' her own mind after…things. "Perhaps they of shall, it does of help to have of family of about, reminders of care, something to help find of the way of back. Like of a light in the darkness to head of too."

Drifting back, even if Emilia stays near that chair for a few moments. Easily taking to a half crouch-half kneeling sort of position. "Oh? I am of glad you have been of getting to know one of another better." Truth of the matter, Clara probably knew that cousin better than Emilia did. And visa versa. "Oh, I have no of doubt you will give her of a rough of time. Though I do not of imagine you shall ever truly of cause her grief."

—-

"Oh…she knows this. Which is why she feel the need to tease as she does." There is a pause…as Clara tilts an eye towards Emilia. "I do suspect that the Cassomir stoic nature is mostly for show. Get one in private and that coolness dissipates." A laugh echoes out…the first one in a while. "Well…for everyone other than you, of course, Emilia. I am still working on you yet." The Tracano holds up a finger…"but I am getting closer. Soon, we shall crack that shell." And…with the way Clara said that, it seems almost a certainty.

That thoughtful expression crosses Clara's features again. The reason for the expression becomes clear enough when Clara randomly changes topics. "Would you like to go on a horse ride? I have decided that I could use some fresh air…and I don't care how cold it is outside. Would you like to come along?"

—-

Emilia cants her head a little bit as Clara makes this…declaration about the Cassomir stoicness. And how it relates to Emilia. There was a small tug at the corners of her lips to hear that laugh, it had been awhile. Not that one ever really hears such from Emilia herself though. There was much that could be said, but in the end a hand flutters a bit in the air as Emilia says simply,"A rock is of having no of shell to be of cracked, my dear spirit of sister." All so very…dead pan! Trust a Cassomir to make such a joke.

A brow quirks just a little as Clara turns thoughtful on her once more. "Of course I should of like to come of along. I have braved of the Palace and of Court long of enough to have earned of it, have I of not?" Looking ever stoic and innocent as she says this. "And it is not of really all that of cold any of ways." Drifting up to her feet with this new plan had. To the horses!

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