“Of course!” Herman replied, cut off a large piece of breaded chicken and stuffed it into his mouth much to the surprise of the young Mortalborn who could only watch him, his eyes wide. “We love all kinds of food. Food is great, and food that glows is even better!” he decided.
“But I thought that hamsters ate grain and grass and such”, Devin who had finally found his voice again exclaimed and heaped some breaded chicken and rice onto his plate as well because he might as well eat something while he was absolutely flabbergasted.
“We don’t follow a specific diet”, the female mouse said in a very soft and gentle voice. “Even if the animals that we resemble are vegetarians, we aren’t. Well, we usually aren’t. We can have certain food preferences though, like all people”, she explained and gestured at the plate full of brussel sprouts and walnuts that she had decided to go for.
“I’m Miranda, by the way, and this is my brother, Marvin. I am studying logistics, and my brother is studying construction”, she said. Her brother briefly looked up when he heard that, nodded and decided to focus on his food – he had decided on brussel sprouts and walnuts as well – again. Miranda and Marvin, Devin observed, were barely three foot tall, but they had an incredibly large appetite. It did in fact rival his own appetite!
“So”, Herman said once they had eaten the main course and the desert which had been a chocolate cake and proceeded to remove several rolled-up pieces of parchment from the black leather satchel that he had brought. “I brought the floorplans for the old manor since you seem to be interested in building a new library in order to honor the late Baron Rodrigues. Floorplans can be helpful, and besides, I thought that you might derive some inspiration for the new manor from them. I have a few suggestions of my own to make, but let’s take a look at your ideas first”, he remarked and gestured for Devin’s notebook that contained what the young man had decided to call his “manor list.”
He furrowed his brow a bit as he tried to decipher Devin’s somewhat messy handwriting, and his whiskers moved a little (which looked quite adorable in the young Baron’s opinion, even though he’d never say so out loud) before he decided, “The rooms make sense, for the most part, and a wall around the property is a good idea as well, but look, Baron, on your plan, the kitchen is located be very close to the stables”, he said and pointed at the very chaotic collection of random rectangles and crooked lines that had been Devin’s attempt at a floorplan.
“If we build the manor that way, you’ll be dealing with the smell from the stables every time you open the kitchen windows which likely won’t be pleasant; and furthermore, you forgot to add rooms for your staff”, he added in a patient tone of voice, as if he were a teacher explaining something to a student before he quickly produced a pen and drew over Devin’s totally lacking floorplan. “When planning a house, you don’t just consider which rooms you need; the arrangement of the rooms in question is just as important. Lady Saoire suggested keeping the living quarters and guest rooms separate from the more formal rooms such as the meeting room and the ballroom, for example”, he said and showed Devin one of the papers that he had brought.
Meanwhile, Miranda and Marvin spread the various floorplans that Herman had brought out on the table. “Look, Baron”, Miranda said. “The old manor resembled a large tower. Do you want something similar? You could derive inspiration from it, as Herman said.”
“And here was the study”, Marvin who had been entirely focused on his food so far said and pointed.
“I’d like to have something less foreboding”, Devin decided and made a face. He liked a little black, but the old manor had had entirely too much of it. “And I’d like to have a nice and big library in addition to a study, as you know”, he said before he eyed what was left of the cake appraisingly. He realized that he was still hungry. Or maybe, he was just getting hungry again!
Either way, he decided not to eat anything more even though he really wanted to, because some of the chocolate might get onto the papers and plans that Herman had brought.
Instead, he moved on to the next topic that they planned on discussing that trial – the materials. “I was thinking of marble – a mixture of black and white and grey marble. Are there any other marble colors?” he asked as he checked his notebook. “And that rainbow-colored wood – what is it called? Phoenix Wood? And something shiny for the roof”, he continued, beginning to ramble slightly. He was getting carried away!
“May I suggest adding a hint Gemmi Wood to the shingles, Baron?” Herman asked, his whiskers twitching slightly. “It has a beautiful metallic sheen and what more, it’s very sturdy and resistant to the elements.”
“Can we make them purple?” Devin asked.
“That’s possible”, Herman said and grinned while Miranda and Marvin nodded enthusiastically. The Cadouri were quite accepting of Devin’s eccentric tastes. They loved colourful stuff.
“A tasteful dark kind of purple would look quite nice, mixed with a bit of black. I would not make the building itself out of marble though, but pick another stone that is a mixture of various shades of grey in colour. Marble would look quite nice on some of the interior elements though”, he decided, glanced at the old floorplan, at Devin’s sorry excuse for a floorplan and finally grabbed an empty piece of paper in order to note down a few suggestions.
“The interior is something that should be considered after we are done planning the exterior though”, Miranda interjected. “We can talk about that in more detail during our next meeting in Ashan. Now then”, Herman added and grinned. “I think I heard something about drinks?”
Miranda and Marvin immediately perked up.