• Closed • Another Arc Older

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect

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Maebella
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Thu May 31, 2018 10:23 am

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63rd Ashan 718

Thirty arcs. It was how old Maebella was to-trial but she certainly didn't feel as if she was an arc older. It was a silly thing for someone to ask: 'How does it feel to be an arc older?' or 'Do you feel an arc older?' The answer would obviously be no, given that a whole arc didn't spring itself upon you but crept up on your gradually. You could certainly say that you felt older but could she really say that you felt every last trial right down to the last trill since your last birth-trial? Obviously not. On paper and in theory, time was easy to quantify but it didn't feel that way.

Thirty was just a number, a number that was still too small for her to be accepted as an adult by her race. It was a number that had no bearing on the maturity she felt she'd attained a number of arcs ago. Oh, she still had plenty to learn, plenty of wisdom to suck up like the happy little sponge that she was but some arbitrary digit didn't determine her adulthood. Had she not made adult decisions? Was she not engaged to Virikai now? Was she not living with him (albeit under coercion)? In her own eyes, the scholar was old enough but not to the rest of her race.

In truth, it wasn't an important birth-trial, it didn't have the same significance that the next one would have, after all, it was only a commemoration of when she'd entered this world. It wasn't a time to get excited about and she doubted that Virikia would make a fuss about it. She didn't want him to, given that in her mind, this trial was as equally mixed up with life as it was with death: to-trial, her mother had been dead for thirty arcs.

The young woman was sombre as she pulled herself from bed, taking the time to wash slowly and methodically, taking care as she ran information about her degree through her head. She tried to debate mentally with herself, to puzzle over old arguments, anything that would keep her mind occupied so she couldn't dwell on less pleasant matters. She made a real effort to discipline her mind while she dressed simply and padded quietly out of her room, heading for the dining table where she imagined she'd find Virikai. It was still early enough but didn't know what he'd gotten up to on the previous evening. Although they lived together, she could have privacy when she wished it, time to herself; she wasn't joined at the hip with the man after all. Still, she imagined that he'd be awake and up before her, hopefully not plotting some sort of surprise. The Eídisi didn't think that she could handle surprises to-trial.

She walked into the dining room with an unhappy expression, an atmosphere in her wake that told of the rain cloud of misery she tugged along with her. Even without using Xypha on her, Virikai would likely know how she was feeling. However, without it, he might grasp neither the full magnitude of her misery and despair nor the guilt that she carried with her. It was not a pleasant trial for her and one that she wished to get over with. However, just as she stepped through, a slave approached, bowing low, no doubt ready to discover what might interest her in terms of food. His immediate concern appeared to be a letter though, one with familiar handwriting that only made the corners of her mouth take an even greater downturn.

"I'll just have something simple to eat, thank you. And some tea," she murmured, although her eyes were transfixed on the envelope that she didn't appear to have any pressing desire to open, holding it tentatively by one corner as if it was dirty or she anticipated it turning around and biting her.

"Right away, my lady," the slave murmured. For once, she didn't take note of the use of 'lady,' an honorific that they'd begun using out of respect for her fiancé. She was just too concerned with the letter to notice.

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Last edited by Maebella on Thu May 31, 2018 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Virikai Talius
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Thu May 31, 2018 10:23 am

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Often an early riser, Virikai had spent the first part of the morning making small talk with his parents over breakfast. The two older eídisi had since left the apartments: his father for the government offices, his mother for some philanthropic endeavour or other. Virikai had a class later today, so had the morning to relax. Though, for the first time in his life, he was silently debating not attending the class. The girl had, little by little, been worming her way into his consciousness. She had changed much about him - his mannerisms, his demeanour, his emotions, his ethics… and now something even trumped his desire to learn more.

Regardless, the scholar had settled down with a large tome at the dining table as he nursed the dregs of his coffee, and was still doing that when Maebella finally emerged. He glanced up, mostly expressionless, before turning to the slave, who had just asked the new arrival what she wanted for breakfast, and indicating silently that he could do with another refill on his coffee.

Good morning, Bella,” he greeted with a soft smile. The expression disappeared quickly, however, when he noted the downward turn of her lips when she spotted the letter addressed to her waiting on the table. Virikai had, initially, planned to wait to present his gift to her. But the girl had clearly woken up upset for whatever reason - though their relationship had been strained for a number of trials now, since Virikai had forced her to move into his apartments. He needed no gifts from Yvithia to judge her mood most days, as Maebella had never been shy about displaying them publicly.

The letter clearly wasn’t helping, and if this was her reaction when she saw the neat scrawl, he dreaded to think how she might react when she actually read the mysterious thing. Curiosity shoved aside, he pushed his chair back and stood. Stepping over, his slender fingers brushed along her hairline before he leaned into a kiss. “Happy birth-trial, my love.

Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a soft box and opened it before displaying the pendant inside. The chain was wrought of polished silver (of course, he could afford gold, but the yellow metal looked garish upon the cerulean neck of the eídisi, Virikai thought. Resting inside the actual pendant was a turquoise precious stone, with streaks of white cascading across it. It was a rather rare stone, certainly not found in the Northern Regions of Idalos, but money had never been an object for Virikai, and having the jewellery shipped to Viden was of no concern for him.

Larimar. It is said to be a crystal of serenity, soothing emotions and nurturing growth,” The young scion murmured as he delicately reached into the box to remove the pendant and lift it up. He then leaned back as he swept his hand across his fiancée’s shoulders, pushing the hair to the side. “The bright blue will fade with time, when exposed to sunlight… amazingly, use and wear will only increase its value.” Virikai unlaced the clasp and, separating it between too hands, pulled it around Maebella’s neck. Once he had redone the clasp, Virikai’s hands came to rest on the others shoulders. Dipping his head, his lips met with her shoulder blade.
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Price of pendant removed from ledger: 106gn, 9sn, 2cn
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Maebella
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Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:50 pm

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Maebella could never explain to anyone just how difficult this trial was to her. To explain it to Virikai - who she was almost certain viewed most of her emotions as illogical - was impossible. Still, she was trying to hold herself together, even if it did mean that she was openly miserable, openly in mourning. At least, she hadn't been moved to tears. The appearance of a missive from her father was certainly a painful blow but she should have expected it. However, if it was going to be like past arcs where she'd either had to deal with him on this trial in person or on parchment, it would be bittersweet. Something along the lines of 'Oh, how wonderful that you're older now and becoming such a lovely young woman. Such a shame your mother isn't here to see it. The Eídisi wondered if the man did it on purpose. It didn't seem unintentional, this subtle twisting of the knife, especially as he understood the important of words but he was also her father; she hoped he wasn't so knowingly cruel. She dropped the envelope on the table, wondering if she should open it at all or save herself time and pain by simply burning it.

However, Virikai didn't seem inclined to let her stew alone in her own miseries this morning, rising to greet her properly, earning a small wince from her when he wished her a happy birth-trial. Oh yes, what a joy it was to her! A soft sigh left her before she forced her lips to tug upwards in a facsimile of a smile. The scholar couldn't have dredged up any genuine mirth although she was trying, she really was. Her expression froze though when the box emerged, the girl's white eyes fixed on it, unable to move as her brain attempted to come to grips with this even before it was opened.

Oh no, oh no, oh no! Not to-trial! She couldn't deal with it to-trial!

She knew he was partial to getting her little things, knew how much they'd irritated her in the past but it had not dissuaded him. Then he hadn't had a legitimate reason for a gift, whereas now he did. It was such a very common custom that she knew that she could say nothing. Instead, she was supposed to be grateful, to accept it graciously as if she really deserved a reward for being alive!

The gift he unveiled was a simple one, tasteful and delicately beautiful. Something in her tore, one part actually delighted with it, rapturous in fact, while the other screamed denials as it urged her to back away, to not allow herself to be given such a thing when she so clearly didn't deserve it. She remained frozen in place as he slipped it around her neck, letting the pendant sit coolly on her bare skin. Her eyes went to the gemstone itself as he described it, the utter irony of him bestowing such a thing on her right now not lost on her. She could have laughed but she didn't. Instead, her gaze became hazy as she peered down at the gem, tears threatening. The shimmer only intensified as he explained that the gem became more valuable over time. It reminded her of how he'd explained that her own worth was revealed over a duration as well.

She couldn't cry, not now, especially as she didn't know what the emotion behind it was. Happy tears or sad ones? Angry ones or a mixture of all three? She didn't have a notion but she was feeling things. The young woman had to put it somewhere though so in a move that was likely to shock her fiancé, she wrapped her arms around his neck and made to bury her face into his shoulder, hoping that that would hide the fact that she was on the verge of sobbing. At least, she hoped to regain enough self-control to stop the threatened flow before she was forced to straighten.

"Thank you, Kai!" she whispered, voice giving a treacherous crack, even at that low volume. "You're nothing but kind to me and I don't think I've ever told you how much I appreciate you."

If he tried to remove her, she would detach herself with obvious reluctance but she would allow the separation with a blush and a downcast, shamed expression.
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:17 pm

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It did not happen often, but on occasion, Maebella’s emotions seemed to vacillate between two extremes. Currently, she was teetering between quiet resolve and outright panic, however Virikai could tell that the dam was not far from cracking. He did not ask why, unwilling to push the girl, as he knew she would come to him when - if- she was ready to discuss it.

What Virikai definitely didn’t expect, though, was Maebella’s reaction to the gift. He had expected happiness, or for her to be pleased with the thought. He could have even accepted displeasure from Maebella - that at least would be in character with how she had reacted in the past. This, though? This apparent terror? Followed by... what was it? Celebrating the anniversary of something he had no control over had never made any sense to Virikai. He had always enjoyed the attention, certainly, but he also received attention on any other trial.

Despite his own personal feelings, Virikai had expected Maebella, with all her emotional openness, to conform to societal norms of celebrating a birth trial. Too late did he remember that the trial of Marbella’s birth would not have been one filled solely with joy. Her mother had died in childbirth and the girl was all but estranged from her father and brothers. An orphan from the day she was born in all the ways that mattered. Once again, Virikai couldn’t exactly... empathise with this unique position - he had not lost his mother and, while his relationship with his father was strained at best, the male eídisi simple didn’t care.

Whereas Maebella did. She cared too much.

From his position behind her, lips resting on her shoulder, the scholar had a mere moment’s warning as he watched the colours pulsate, bright and beautiful and terrible all at once, before his fiancée spun and grasped him in an iron tight grip, elbows interlocked with hands and face buried deep into the crook of his neck. It was instinct, more than anything, that had his hands lifting to rest against Maebella’s back. Only after he had done it did Virikai remember the action was designed, in this context, to indicated security and comfort. He silently congratulated himself on falling victim to a reptilian reflex.

Hearing his future wife’s voice crack as she spoke was what had his hands moving upwards, downwards, and in circles across her back, this time a conscious choice, based on memories of seeing his mother comfort his sister when they were children. He could think of nothing to say to her - here in his arms was a girl apparently on the verge of breakdown. “I know.” Virikai whispered his reply into her hair. Then, after a moment’s silence, unrelated to her words, but a response to her body language, stopped circling his hands and wrapped them just a little tighter around his Bella as he kissed her temple. “I’ve got you.
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Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:49 pm

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When she hugged him, he didn't recoil as he might have done or stiffened at the abrupt invasion of his space. Instead, his hands touched her back, a movement that made her press against him, not aggressively but simply so that they fit together. She sighed softly, relaxing under his touch, quietly inhaling his scent and drawing comfort from his gentle embrace. It was moments like this that made her feel that she was half of a whole, a wonderful completeness coming from their proximity that she didn't feel when she was alone. It was moments like this that she remembered, no matter how angry or upset she might be with him, that she did in fact love him. She loved him very much.

His hands circling against her back made her cling to him more tightly, the desire to cry still within her and hoping that she could absorb some of his strength or stoicism. Her fiancé seemed to understand the desperate need in the gesture, holding her more tightly in return, the brush of his lips against her temple sending a tear dribbling down her cheek despite her desperate desire to contain it. Maebella brought her hand up, swiping it away quickly in the way one might take a swipe at a fly, a momentary nuisance of no real importance. She let her arms wrap comfortably around his neck anew, tilting her mouth up to place a brief, tentative kiss on his lips.

"It's beautiful, Kai, truly. I won't even complain about you going to such effort. For a change," she murmured, gaze lowered once more, head bowed demurely as she stared at the point where his neck blended into his chest. Silently, the scholar wondered when she had come to view such features as familiar and as belonging to her. If she thought about it, it was somewhat odd. They'd only met at the start of Zi'da, engaged by the end of it and now it was only halfway through Ashan. It was such a short time and yet she couldn't deny how she felt, couldn't deny that while she might hate the control he sometimes exercised over her, she wouldn't leave him. Recently, she'd had her doubts. She hadn't told him but the Eídisi suspected that he'd guessed. He'd given her space on more occasions than she would have imagined but then he was quite perceptive and highly observant so in all honesty, she should have made the connection sooner; she shouldn't have been surprised.

But yes, she was glad she'd agreed to this engagement, glad that it hadn't been some ridiculous mistake born of an overheated brain, a momentary weakness of heart, an intoxication of spirit. Maebella was happy with him and she deserved him, she wasn't so far beneath him as to consider herself unworthy of one of his station. She was better at seeing her own self-worth now but on a trial like this one... it was difficult not to see the flaws, not to see what she needed to fix for his benefit so he could have what he deserved, what a future lord ought to have in a wife.

The girl moved her head back towards his shoulder, words bubbling up unbidden but dropping so naturally from her lips that there was a real rightness to them, something that strengthened her belief that she was correct in her assessment of her own feelings.

"I love you, Kai," she whispered, eyes half closed, gaze lowered so that she wouldn't meet his own. It wasn't that she was embarrassed, just that when the words slipped out, she knew she'd never said them aloud before, not to him. It made her immediately self-conscious, oddly vulnerable. It reminded her of when she'd originally admitted harbouring feelings for him over lunch that trial. That had been different though. She'd said those words intentionally, hand-picked them and shaped them with incredible care, not simply allowed them to slide casually from her tongue.

Her face warmed, a slight tension returning to her frame as she nibbled on her lip. He wasn't one to declare things, to wear his heart on his sleeve or even act as if he had one so she sometimes forgot that he evidently felt something towards her. He just wasn't one to do it openly and in that moment, she felt quite keenly that he wouldn't say it back. Even if it was a sentiment he held, he wouldn't tell her; it wouldn't be his way.

"I didn't mean to- I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that," she whispered, blushing to the very roots of her hair.

Oddly enough, she'd almost managed to forget that it was her birth-trial at all and she certainly didn't recall that troublesome letter, not now.
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Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:21 am

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The concept of marriage was a varied, idiosyncratic one, in Viden. So diverse were the citizens’ means and foci that it would be impossible to say that every eídisi thought this, every human did that... and while this diversity ultimately created stronger breeding pairs in the city, it made for interesting courting rituals, where differing opinions would collide. Virikai Talius and Maebella Arval, both of noble eídisi blood, were two such individuals with clashing ideals.

Maebella... she sought love and romance, security and trust. She looked for companionship, to bond with a partner, and to share interests and to honour that person above all others. She dreamed of those moments the greatest bars sang about in poetry: of a trill that could last an eternity, or a life that passed by in a trill.

Virikai had factored none of these things into his plans when he began courting Maebella. For him, marriage was a business deal. He sought security too, but of a different kind - security for his family name, the strengthening of the Talius family influence, wealth and power through good matches. It was the promise of children, assuming Maebella was fertile, though there was no reason to suspect not.

The lordling knew his chosen spouse would not provide him with the power an heiress, say future Máthisi Caeli Fahe would. But Maebella was high-born in her own right, and Virikai could make an educated assumption that the Arval family be pleased at the prospect of increased influence for themselves at the union with the Talius Dynasty. He would be unsurprised if Maebella took her mother’s place in the line of inheritance, if only as a business deal.

Regardless, because of Kai’s own motivations, he could not appreciate why Maebella would feel the way he did, or why she would share it with him. He did not reply in kind, only repeating his earlier, “I know,” as he smiled. If the girl hoped for her feelings to be requited p, she would see what she wanted to in his feature, even if he didn’t say it aloud. He wouldn’t lie to her, but he wouldn’t stop her from believing any assumptions she invented for herself...

But the colours shifted around her, dulling, something Virikai was fast learning to be a sign of her embarrassment, a self-conscious desire to sink into the ground, to be unnoticeable until the situation passed. “Stop doing that,” slender fingers caught the girl’s chin before she inevitably dipped it and tried to step away and lifted, his touch gentle but unyielding, his voice low and vehement. “You cannot just apologise and abject yourself to get out of any difficult situation. When we talk, we talk like this - like equals.

The aristocratic heir let out a frustrated breath, searching for words, then shook his head. “But not now, Bella. This trial is for you, and not one to be filled with sad memories form the past, nor doubts for the present and future.” Before he loosened his hold on her chin, Virikai stole a kiss. “Have I ever given you reason to doubt the depth of my affection for you?
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Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:07 pm

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She'd known that he wouldn't say it back but that didn't mean that it didn't cause her a stab of pain. Of course, he knew though. He'd have to be blind, deaf and dumb, as well as having no access to any faculties at all, in order to miss that fact that she was in love with him. It was stating the obvious because how could he not know. Still, he wasn't the one who needed to hear such a thing. She might as well have made a comment on the weather for all he cared. She sighed, nodding in acknowledgement, knowing that she wasn't going to get anything better.

When he grasped her chin, berating her for apologising, she lifted it, turning her head in an attempt to free herself from his grasp.

"Don't, Virikai. I apologised because I didn't actually mean to say it. It was totally unnecessary. I might as well have told you your own name. It's not like it was new information, was it?" she shot back, a irritability to her tone although if he was examining her emotional palette, he'd see the overwhelming hurt.

In truth, the scholar knew better to expect straight up reciprocation from her fiancé. When he'd suggested an engagement, she was fairly sure that it had been a political arrangement for him first and foremost. It wasn't that she doubted that he held some affection for her, just that it wasn't the typical idea of what affection meant, at least in her mind. The Talius heir seemed to view her as an interesting specimen in one of his classes that he wished to learn more about. That's how she felt sometimes, as if she was under intense scrutiny. Other times, she felt like some sort of pet that he was trying to train; sometimes, she imagined that she wore an invisible leash. It had been that invisible leash that she'd strained against at the season's start, resenting his decision that she move in with him. Maebella had allowed him to steer her in multiple things in her life and he appeared to expect it, her willingness to give in.

The same appeared to be true now, the aristocrat evidently ready to sweep all of her concerns away. Whose sarding birth-trial was it? If she wanted to wallow in misery to-trial, wasn't that her right?

"No, Kai, I don't doubt that you feel... something for me. Just sometimes, you're colder and more inhospitable than the Tundra," she told him, a chill entering her own voice as she turned from him, moving to pick up the letter that she'd dropped on the table. She slipped her thumb under the flap, dragging it up and across, wincing as the crisp paper sliced into her skin. "Damn it!" she hissed, instinctively placing the digit into her mouth to soothe the new wound. Maebella loathed paper cuts. It didn't seem right that something so small could cause so much irritation. It was like the very missive that she'd just slipped open, shaking out a single sheet which she unfolded, brows creasing as she skimmed the neat handwriting.




Maebella,


I believe that congratulations are in order. I've been informed that you are engaged to Virikai Talius, son of Lord Verity Talius, who will one day be a lord in his own right. I'm surprised that you did not tell me yourself but perhaps I should not be. Your mother was one of the few entitled Videnese to consider me worth speaking to at all; you take after her in unexpected ways although not in the ways I would have liked. I did not expect you to fall in with the type of society from which she came.

Hope your birth-trial with your fiancé is pleasant, a shame I could not be present.
Aoden Arval




The young woman laughed bitterly, tossing it aside with a shake of her head. "He's heard about our engagement although he's surprised he didn't hear about it from me. He didn't think that I'd be inclined to rub elbows with the upper echelons of Videnese society. And then he's wished me a pleasant birth-trial as an after thought. He wrote a paragraph and signed it; it was hardly worth the effort of writing and sending it," she remarked, waving towards it. If he asked if he could see it, she'd wave a hand dismissively, not really caring if he read it or not.

"Even for him, that's cold but perhaps... this is the Eídisi way. Is it any wonder that I think there's something wrong with me? As if my nature is wrong for what I was born as?"

She plonked herself down at the table, burying her face in her hands although she didn't cry. In fact, the young woman felt more like screaming.
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Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:50 pm

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Virikai both loved and hated the fire within Maebella’s soul. He approved of her passion, and the knowledge that she could hold her own in the social circles he ran in. But he despised her utter lack of deference to him when it mattered most. He let her go, silenced with no idea what to reply following her retort. What did she expect? She knew who - what - he was when she agreed to marry him. In his eye, he was the pinnacle of what Yvithia had strove for: the result of good breeding, which had created the perfect vessel for research, particularly within the FRA.

In there, he had no qualms about suggesting, or answering, some of the most morally reprehensible research questions. He could serve Yvithia and the city with a clear mind, unimpeded by a clouded judgement and making decisions that would benefit the masses. In most cases, and to the majority of people, Virikai’s lack of empathy was a positive quality,

Only Maebella had expressed her displeasure. Multiple times.

The problem was, she wasn’t wrong. Virikai treated his fiancée like a queen just so he could get away with his covet manipulations of her like a pawn. It was his strategy to achieve checkmate. With any other partner, she either would not have noticed, or she would have been playing her own complementary game with enough expertise that they balanced each other out perfectly.

The fabricated character, the role he had fallen into with Maebella clearly hadn’t been crafted well enough. That or she had genuinely gotten under his skin enough for the façade to fall aside just a little to reveal the truth of his genuine feelings. The fault was on him, for he doubted Maebella was worldly or intelligent enough to see through a perfect ruse, had it been perfect.

The crux of the matter was that Virikai did not feel emotion. Oh, he was more than capable of feeling primitive emotions (though he detested such a description), such as rage. In the right conditions, it appeared as a flash, often disappearing as quickly as it arrived, replaced by a calm sense of purpose. But that was the extent of it. Love, happiness... these were things he could understand in a concrete level, but not in terms of abstraction. He could express feelings; he was an accomplished liar, but that was different from actually experiencing them.

I would think,” he began quietly, unmoving as the girl moved to pick up her letter, “that my respect and affection for you is evidenced in my reluctance to lie to you.” He watched as the girl slid her finger through the letter and opened it, but turned away as she unfolded. He looked to the slaves in the corner of the room, silent and unmoving. Just as a slave should be, unobtrusively waiting on their masters. “Lady Maebella will have salmon and eggs for breakfast,” he ordered a favourite of hers, as was now almost natural for him to do without consulting her. He knew Maebella hated it, but he didn’t care.

Once a slave had scuttled off, he drifted away from the table, sorting through his own notes. He had a research proposal to perfect, and a multitude of tasks passed down from his father. It was hard enough to keep track of when slaves, who were clearly trying to be efficient and helpful, kept moving everything around. The Talius scion was barely paying attention to his partner when she began speaking, and did not note the distressed tone of voice as she spoke, words cracking every so often.

By the end, though, he was listening. Was she some faulty version of what the eídisi strove to be? Probably. Virikai often thought she was far too ruled by emotion to be effective in any meaningful way. But then she would do or say something to surprise him. That was what intrigued him so thoroughly. That was why he hadn’t cast her off after bedding her. He was reminded of meeting the Scalvorian Professor Hamilton-Smith, an abhorrent man, where he had expressed an opinion just as relevant to this conversation with Maebella.

Homogeneity has the consequence of stagnation, Maebella. We see animal species die out each arc because they have not evolved enough to survive against the ever-changing world. Without diversity, there is no progression.” It was a rational answer, one spoken without inflection (unsurprisingly). Virikai had tried to be kind, romantic even, and she had scorned him. “If you are different, that does not make you wrong.
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Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:42 pm

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The young man didn't appear to have been moved by her words. If anything, he seemed to have simply grown more stoic and unresponsive. Maebella didn't know why she'd bothered. Sometimes, it seemed easier to simply go along with things, agreed to anything that he wanted, allowed herself to bend so far that she broke. However, the one occasion when she had tried to submit to him utterly, he hadn't been pleased. He wanted her spirit apparently. He didn't seem to realise that an iron will wasn't the only way to kill it. The feeling of neglect was enough to dull the fire in her some trials. One trial, it might well just go out. She'd liked to see him try to rekindle it then.

His comment about lying made her purse her lip. No, she didn't expect him to lie but by Yvithia, sometimes it was better to keep your mouth shut than toss potentially damaging words out. Even the scholar had begun to learn than difficult lesson. She hadn't expected him to lie about loving her but... the implications were more painful. If he'd said nothing, she could have lived in ignorant bliss, whereas instead, he seemed to have confirmed that he didn't love her. What was worse, she now doubted just how great his affection actually was. Was she someone he was fond of in the way that one might be fond of a loyal pet? Was she an amusing distraction until he found something more intriguing? Maybe it was her unusual nature that made him want to marry her, inject something of note into the aristocracy but he would inevitably grow bored, finding amusement elsewhere.

Honestly, the Eídisi didn't know what she was supposed to do in this situation. She was crazy for loving him, that certainly couldn't deny and perhaps she would simply have to marry this ice prince for the sake of staying close to him, constantly needing him while receiving the barest scraps of what she needed. A little bit of her might die every trial but she couldn't imagine an eventuality where they parted ways. In that eventuality, she didn't think that she could survive it and that was even before he chose to get back at her. If their engagement was broken off, even with his agreement, she didn't think that Virikai would take to it kindly.

She seated herself at the table, wondering if her fiancé was even listening. Given how often she complained, how desperately dissatisfied she often was, she wouldn't be surprised if he'd just started to tune her out. After all, no matter how much she complained, she always came crawling back to him, always gave into the things that he wanted. The best resistance she'd put up against him had been when he'd come to force her to move in with him. Given that she now lived in the Talius family home, her resistance ultimately hadn't amounted to much.

His longer speech made her sigh, the young woman's hands dropping away from her face to land in her lap instead, Maebella staring at the table, face unusually devoid of emotion. "Difference doesn't make me right either, Virikai. The idea of adaption is to survive, yes, but not every difference is fit for purpose," she pointed out. She wasn't debating, just simply stating what she viewed as fact. "You know those Eídisi women over one hundred who bear children? It's ill-advised for a reason; they don't form correctly, something in the body or the mind goes wrong. My mother wasn't over one hundred, far from it, but I've always wondered... there must always be a chance, mustn't there? After all, there was a small chance of my mother dying in childbirth and look how that went."

She idly traced patterns on her legs, a slight frown on her face. "I might be fit for something, I'm not a complete disaster - I've come to terms with that much - but I don't feel fit for this. I feel too much, Kai. I can't be as detached as you and I don't think I can manage to be me if I'm detached. I'm such a disappointment to Yvithia," she sighed, eyes fluttering closed.
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Virikai Talius
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Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:03 am
Race: Eídisi
Profession: Researcher/Student
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Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:56 pm

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When Maebella was hit by one of her - more and more frequent - bouts of hysteria, much like she was now, she became somewhat unmanageable. There was no room to reason with her when she was like this. The aristocrat sighed as the commoner sat down. With her looking the other way, he rubbed firmly at his temple in an attempt to relieve the building pressure his mind felt as he realised that this would not be the easy trial he had hoped for.

Put it to Maebella to find negativity on a trial that was ordinarily thought to be a happy trial, as decided by culture. She certainly did not disappoint.

There were one hundred and one things he could say to the younger eídisi in response to her words,. More, probably, if he really put his mind to it. As always, ration and logic took over in Virikai’s mind, and he knew he could present at least a dozen or so studies that proved evolution was a good thing. On occasion, they saw a mutation which was not beneficial to growth and development.

But that was irrelevant. In that moment, Kai realised he had no idea how old Maebella’s mother had been when she had birthed his feisty little fiancée. Did she truly fear that she was not… right? Maebella was not infallible, that much was a given - few people were (though, of course, Virikai came close). But she was something so beautiful and bright. Diamond dust. Was it as simple as, rather than spouting scientific research as argument, reminding her of how he saw her?

Still, he did not.

She did not want to hear it; anything he said would fall on deaf ears. And what could he even say to her to make her understand the value she had? Did she… still think she was little more than a passing fling, and when Virikai had had his fill, he would discard her once again. If he were to do that, he would never have made a public announcement about their status together: he could, of course, destroy the woman, but his own reputation would be damaged, no matter how well he tried to control the situation.

Or, if not any of those things, the young scion wondered if Maebella actually doubted Virikai’s intelligence. Did she genuinely believe that Virikai had made the wrong choice? If that was it, the scientist thought that was probably the worst option out of a selection of poor rationales. “Why do you think I asked you to be my wife, Maebella?
The Ice Prince-
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