Indigo eyes shot a scathing look at the older Venora, one who'd grown accustom to the lifestyle he'd lived. It was true, Manu Venora was a Biqaj, and a wanderer at heart, but he'd found his true love in the lap of luxury and it was showing. Garbed in an exquisite suit, Manu looked every bit the statesmen he'd grown to be. Though his wife was the trueborn, he had taken to the position with grace and ease. He'd spent a lifetime talking to those he met, swapping stories for favours and the like. Why should it have been any different?
"Do not act like such a child, Oliver, it's unbecoming of your status," the man said, garnering a sharp inhale from his son as it fell from his mouth. Turning with a lopsided grin, the same that had wooed Kalani all those arcs ago, Manu paused. The grin slowly faded from his face as Oliver glowered at him, anger simmering behind the dark indigo eyes. Immediately, the pale blue of Manu's eyes darkened to the same shade, a familial trait of indigo irises for anger, and he frowned at his son. Sighing, disarmed, he turned back to the mirror. The suit covering him was expertly tailored to show off the physique he honed every trial by swimming laps in the pool at Notrerevé, and he ran a tanned hand laden with jewelry over his face to smooth any stray hairs that may have tried to run amok.
"I am not acting like a child, Father. I simply believe that I am old enough to attend the meetings in which I had a hand in organizing. Am I truly expected to watch others consume the sweet fruits of my labours from afar? Surely, that's absurd." The words were eloquent, as his father had expected, but only elicited a shrug from Manu.
"Melodrama is the sign of the witless, Oliver," his father commented, indicating the conversation was finished. Still glaring, Oliver nodded and back from the room, leaving his father to finish getting ready. As he exited, he bumped into a servant walking to the carriage carrying a light blanket. His mother often got cold on longer trips, and she liked to have something to keep her comfortable. Seeing it was the carriage driver, Oliver's anger abated, and he sighed.
"My apologies, Gustauv. I was not looking where I was going," he began, but the servant just nodded and smiled, dismissing his carelessness. Oliver helped him finish loading the carriage, for what else was there to do when duty expected him to travel but inexperience forbade him from participating? Why not do the menial labour of the men they paid to do such, since it was all he had left after being stripped of performing his talents for his family's benefit.
The carriage ride was comfortable, sure, but it did nothing to brighten Oliver's mood. Instead, staring out the window with golden-green eyes, Oliver allowed his mind to wander. As a child, they'd traveled all the duchies, learning the baronies and their constituents. Oliver received top marks in knowing which barony in which duchy exported which materials, and he'd kept that knowledge and wielded it during his teenage years to entice his father into making deals where they may not have been made. Of course, Oliver supposed that his father would have struck the same deals, but the idea that he'd influenced the decision was enough to keep him satisfied. Momentarily.
But it was that knowledge which truly allowed his imagination to work on long carriage rides such as this one. In the recesses of his mind dwelled the dramatic and beautiful, the poet's gift for phrases that he kept hidden unless necessary. It was an art form, of course, but one that was not looked upon favourably among the nobles. Sculptors were masculine artists, whose constructs were massive and head. Poets, their words were light and airy, indicative of a flowery soul and a body whose true strength was in its mental capacity. Though, very few would say that to Oliver's face, as his ability with the rapier more than showed the wit in his writing was truly his secondary strength. As they passed through the ripe fields of Venora, whose wheat and barleys were being reaped, the golden waves piqued his creativity.
Watching as his mother and father made their rounds, Oliver's dark scowl scanned the room. Many of the others, he knew, whether by acquaintance or merely by name. Victor Warrick, two daughters and a son, hand outstretched for his father's. Indigo eyes found one daughter, trotting towards another noble girl her own age, and then the son, whose nurse was leading him to play with the wooden blocks supplied to keep the children busy. But the oldest daughter, she appeared much the same as he did. Releasing a single chuckle, he made his way towards his father, hissing in the man's ear.
"You have relegated me to the status of child, waiting for his parents to finish their business while entertained by finger sandwiches and gossip," Oliver muttered, heard only by Manu. Manu, whose countenance was often relaxed, tensed as he turned to his son, jaw clenched like he'd been stung by a wasp.
"I will relegate you to the status of exiled beggar if you do not act your age, qu'oat. Go find a skirt to chase, or a phrase to turn," Manu replied, leaving Oliver with a stinging sense of resentment. Grunting, Oliver spun off, stomping off in the direction of the Warrick girl. Passing by her, indigo eyes landed on hers briefly, fire burning behind them to give them a near ethereal glow. Breezing by her, she felt the gust of his passing and smelled the curious scent of burning oak and rose petals, a scent he'd had designed specifically for him by a perfumery in Bellesoir. Sliding through the open door into the gardens, he paused just outside it to take in a breath of fresh air, trying to calm his lightning nerves.