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Xander pls.

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Edalene
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Date: 15th Cylus 717

Quietly, Eda worked in the stacks. Slowly adding one dusty tome after another back to the shelves, she took longer than she ought. She had been tasked with putting back the manuscripts that the Institute of Sciences had finished with. Normally, Eda would not have complained about the opportunity to spend time in the library, but these dense tomes filled with equations and hypotheses did nothing to interest her. Silently, she longed to be back to her research. She had just finished a paper on the effect of nobility and class on how resources were allocated to the lower members of society in Andaris. Dull to some, perhaps, but Eda itched to be back in her study working on the paper, a paper which she privately thought exposed the nepotism of the nobility. Whether or not her superiors would allow her to circulate such a paper, especially by a mere Assistant Researcher, remained to be seen - but it did not matter. Only the work mattered.

Finally, her hair frazzled and dust on her thick woollen dress, she was finished. Without a second glance, she wandered from the stacks, an area she had little reason to visit - sciences were useful and interesting, but held no allure to Eda. Brushing her hands as she walked, and flicking her bothersome hair back behind her head - once again, ribbon to tie her locks forgotten at home - she moved through the research section, where students were bent over their work. Smiling as she caught sight of a few students from her class, she nodded respectfully to them, but did not want to interrupt their research.

A muttering caught her attention as she walked through the library, a place usually silent but for the scratching of pens and the occasional odd sigh of frustration. She observed the man disrupting the quiet - she had never seen him before. Not a student, then, nor someone who worked at the University, unless he were new. She took in his attractive physique, built like a warrior, and wondered how such a man could have found himself here, a place where he looked wholly out of place. A thick tome she recognised sat before him, and he seemed to be reading the same page three times. A History of the Andaris Family, a well known manuscript, though - in Eda's opinion - a little dry, and perhaps too positive to accurately reflect the realities of the current state of the nobility. Still, essential to her research - and apparently to this man's, too.

"Excuse me," she whispered, bending over to address the man. "You are aware this is a library, correct? I'd have to ask you keep your muttering to yourself. It's a little distracting for the others."
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Last edited by Edalene on Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 471
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Xander Andaris
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Xander felt lost in the library, surrounded by books and so much knowledge. He had never seen such a vast array of information and all of it available to read. Xander was no researcher that was for sure, he new how to gather informetion in other ways but trawling through books was not something he was well versed in. For that reason he struggled with where to start, there were rows upon rows and they all contained books about different subjects. He was looking for information on the Andaris family, he knew it was important to know your enemy and he had no doubt that Andaris would be likely to stand in his way when the days of reckoning came.

So he managed to find his way to the history section, a place filled with centuries of knowledge. He was sure that if he spent long enough reading he may even find an explanation for the creation of Idalos. However, this was not the reason he was here. No, he needed to find information about the long and complex history of the Noble House Andaris. So he started to walk through the 'A' section of books, his finger running over the many spines of the thousands of books as he searched for titles he may find useful.

First he found himself pulling out a relatively hefty book titled 'The Andaris family history: Ser Verne Andaris to Duke Thomas Andaris.' One would not be enough though, especially one that only focused on who was who and not what they did. Xander kept searching through the books, stopping next and removing a much smaller book titled 'Andaris and the King'. Finally he removed a big heavy book titled 'A History of the Andaris Family.'

The three books were stacked smallest to biggest but he quickly decided to start with the heaviest. In his mind it meant it would contain the most information, clearly he was not trained and did not practise sensible research. He opened the book to its first page a small plume of dust being sent out into his face. He suppressed a cough as best he could, trying his best not to disturb those around him and started to read. HE traced the sentences with his index finger attempting not to lose his place.

He was there for around a break but only made it through the first 12 pages. He had to read them multiple times to get the gist of each page, maybe he wasn't cut out for this kind of research. "This is pointless, I am never going to learn anything." He muttered to himself as he let out a long sigh, struggling to keep track of where he was and what was happening in this very extensive account.

However, in his focus he did not notice the woman approach and lean down to speak to him. He almost jumped and if he hadn't had better control of his reactions he would have done so. Instead, he turned his head to face that of the woman. He was surprised to find a rather attractive woman, if you looked past the messy hair and the rather drab clothes. Xander, however, admires simplistic attire, not really appreciating the ridiculous amount some people spend on clothes. He himself was just wearing simple brown wool trousers and a white shirt. His blue overcoat was rested over the back of his chair.

"Oh, yes, of course I am sorry. I was in a world of my own, I did not mean to disturb anyone." His voice was a whisper as he realised he had been too loud. He smiled casually and bowed his head. "It is just these frustrating books, I can't make heads or tails of them. I guess I'm not meant to be a researcher." He rubbed his temples as he looked at her, she seemed to know better than he what she was doing. The smell of old books was quite strong on her, although that might have just been the air of the library. He knew he probably looked like a fool, but he would rather look like a fool trying to learn and maybe find something useful than be caught out by something he could have found in a book.

He realised he hadn't introduced himself. "Oh and how rude of me, I am Lord Xander Krome. But please call me whatever you want, I am not fussy about niceties." He held out his hand in greeting hoping his high born status would not make her treat him differently, he knew it did usually in the past. Sometimes he would even use his middle name so people wouldn't know of his position but he had decided against it now. "I will try to keep it down, maybe I will finally get the hang of understanding these books." he suppressed a chuckle.
Last edited by Xander Andaris on Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 828
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He was pretty. Eda would give him that. Far too loud in a library, yes, and struggling with research, but pretty. She wasn't blind. He was well dressed, and though his attire was simple, it was obvious he had spent some money on his clothing - unlike Edalene, who never spent money on clothes, to the point where her brother, Aeodan, would often have to insist on purchasing new clothes for her, given her dresses were worn to the point where they were threadbare, often with holes here and there. Still. Appearances did nothing to impress Edalene; nor did the smile and the bow of his head. She crossed her arms, raised an eyebrow. Charm would not work on this studious woman - respect and knowledge would.

"A world of your own?" Edalene whispered in return. Her raised eyebrow stayed pointed like an arrow. "Perhaps. But it is good to remember there are others who share this world with you," here she gestured to the students bent over books, like him, some of whom were beginning to shoot glares towards the pair, "And they deserve peace and quiet as much as you do."

Her skin prickled - frustrating books? For someone who spent her life dedicated to the tomes, she could not help but find perhaps a little offence in that tone. She did not complain about frustrating swords or frustrating politics - okay, she definitely did, often and loudly, mostly spurred on by wine consumption - but the fact remained: this was her job. Her livelihood. Her passion. These frustrating books? Here was obviously a man who felt he could get along on strength and good looks alone, never needing to seek out knowledge.

She was about to chastise him further, but he introduced himself, and the hackles raised further. A noble? Of House Krome? No wonder he felt so entitled as to mutter loudly in the library. She glanced over to the books on House Andaris, and back to him. Now both eyebrows were raised. What could a Krome man want with studying the ruling family? Surely he knew them by name. Surely he thought he knew everything already.

Still, reluctantly, she took his hand as if she were touching something unpleasant. "Charmed, Xander," she said, her tone holding all the pleasure she felt - which was none. Let him make of her using his first name only what he would. She, however, would make no introduction herself.

She sighed, dropping his hand. "Bring your books. Come with me. If you're going to be struggling to do basic reading and chuckling to yourself, you'll do it somewhere you cannot distract the other students." Eda waited for him to collect his books, though she would not offer assistance, and waited for him to follow her from the main study hall. Though, again, she would not offer any information as to where they were going.

Eda turned, swiftly moving through the library, nodding an apology to the students they had interrupted, raising a hand in apologetic greeting to a classmate of hers. Once outside of the hall, she spoke, this time at a normal volume. "We'll go to my office. We can talk there. At least this way we can respect the sanctity of the library." She moved at a brief pace through the halls, taking twisting turns as she headed to the history rooms and her desk in the Institute of Humanities.

"Of all the things I thought I'd be doing today," she muttered to herself, uncaring as to whether Xander heard, "teaching a noble how to read a damn book was not on the list."
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Last edited by Edalene on Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 615
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He observed her looks of clear disapproval, obviously she did not approve of someone struggling. In fact he even thought that her judgemental, maybe even pompous. She seemed to be some sort of supremacist, that was his first impression of the woman. Although he could not blame her for being passionate about what she did, he himself was passionate about his aims. If someone were to come in and try and attempt to do what he was doing and do so badly he would be pretty unhappy about it too. Yet, it couldn't hurt for her to learn how to hide her obvious distaste a little.

Besides her bad manners he could forgive her, he did not really care and so he stood as commanded and gathered up the books in a stack and then pulled them into his side wrapped in his forearm and hand. "Lead on." He said calmly, having much less of an issue as she appeared too. He grabbed his coat in his left hand and then followed her. He had no qualms with following the woman and he did not really care where she was leading him. Clearly research was her area of expertise and she knew the university much better than himself, following her would probably be better for him than sitting alone, distracting people and learning nothing.

She walked quite quickly and he matched her pace and stride staying alongside her once they were out of the library and into a wider hallway. She spoke now no longer a whisper but an authoritative tone at a normal volume. He was happy to respect the 'sanctity of the library' as she said, even if he would never truly understand why it had to be a place of silence. He was all for acquiring knowledge, he knew how important it was to learn. What he did not understand was the snobbery with which some people in education treated learning and recording of knowledge.

He himself was more liberal with learning, he knew that not everyone learned the same way and not everyone needed such vast amounts of knowledge as was available in the library. He for one knew that he would never be able to learn to use a sword from a book, instead he would learn far better from doing and practising with a tutor. Doran himself had come from the university and he had known this. Maybe he was just far more liberal than the current company Xander had. Her personally gathered information in a different way, his focus was not often on the past but instead the present and possible future. Intelligence gathering was much more in his field, the use of spies and not even spies just normal people as sources of knowledge. He for one knew that slaves could be the most useful sources of gossip, a lot of which would be enough to bring down a man in power. People often forget that their slaves who they treat as less than human actually do hear and remember things like any other person. The ones badly treated were also much more likely to give out incriminating evidence, it could be seen as revenge by some.

He did not mind her remark about not expecting to be doing this today. However, the current comment and the earlier comment she made had shown Xander that she was misunderstanding what he had trouble with. He could read perfectly fine, he had no issues there. His issues lay more in picking out the important parts of the text, knowing what to remember and what to forget. This was why he had to read over and over again as he would try to remember everything rather than being able to see and remember key parts.

"I think you misunderstand my problems." He looked across at her as he made note of all the twists and turns, of which there appeared to be many. He would need to remember the way back when the time came to leave, so he noted the key parts and where to turn. "My issues are not with reading, I can read perfectly fine. The issue is instead with knowing what is important and what not."
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Eda gave no consideration as to whether he kept up with her, but he seemed to match her stride for stride. As she walked, she gazed resolutely straight ahead, not offering to help him carry the books, leading him deeper into the twisting warren of the university.

Why she was doing this, she did not know. She had had to right to send him packing from the library; or even leave him there muttering to himself, to face the wrath of the students whose study was disrupted. But something had possessed her to bring him into her offices. Perhaps it was the subject matter of the books - she had many opinions on House Andaris, and even more on the books before him. Perhaps, even more so, it was that a noble himself would be doing research into the other noble families, something she very rarely saw. In Eda's view, most nobles seemed content to live amongst opulence and wealth, worrying only for the future, never looking to the past. Still. Something had possessed her to bring him with her. She refused to give too much thought to that just yet.

She rolled her eyes at Xander as she walked the pair of them to a set of large imposing wooden doors, "Institute of Humanities" printed across them. Barely pausing, she pushed open the doors, revealing a long corridor, with several old doors on either side. As they walked past each, Xander would notice names and their disciplines printed underneath. Antius Cryme, Philosophy. Melina Barke, Religion. She led him into the warren, pulling up to a door that simply said "History Staffroom" - no names.

"Obviously you know how to read," she said, leading him into the staffroom. Desks with books strewn around them were there, with one or two individuals bent over their work. Here, however, she did not lower her voice, continuing to speak at a normal volume - if these staff members had wanted silence, they themselves would have gone to the library. "Have you not heard of sarcasm, Xander Krome?"

At the name of the nobleman, one of the other men in the office looked up, seeming startled. "Hello, Edalene," he said cautiously, though Eda scowled. She had not wanted to reveal her name just yet. "Do you need the office?" Eda shook her head, gesturing Xander to sit with her at a large wooden desk, where she pushed aside the manuscripts that were lying there. Inkwells and parchment were strewn across the desk.

"No, Marcus. Unless we are disturbing you. Today I'm simply teaching a nobleman how to read." Eda did not elaborate as to whether or not that was a joke, and Marcus smiled uneasily, before bending back to his work, bemused by Eda's antics.

Sitting, she turned to Xander. "Did you not pay attention in schooling? Or did you not need to, as a noble?" She shook her head, gesturing for Xander to place the tomes on the table. "Now. Why did you pick these books, and what are information are you searching for?" She did not ask why. Eda presumed she'd find out soon enough.
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Each door in the hallway had a name and a subject printed on it, most of which held little interest for him. He was certainly not a philosopher and definitely not a religious person either, they were all of little interest to him and in fact history was not really a great interest as a broad subject. But on a smaller scale it was something of use, not enjoyable for him but useful. He knew there was a lot he could learn from the past, especially about the weaknesses of future enemies.

What a ridiculous question, he knew it was rhetorical and resisted the urge to respond. Deep down he wished to laugh and tell how it was much to the contrary in fact he rather enjoyed the use of sarcasm. However, it helped when people used it properly, the subtle change in the voice and the use of tones that revealed the sarcasm. Instead the woman before him had sounded far too serious about it.

So her name was Edalene, an interesting name and in fact quite a pretty one. He just wished that the woman’s temperament would mirror the sweetness of her name more. So far she had done nothing but make fun of him, in fact he had no clue why he had even followed her. He was not self entitled and normally enjoyed the good humoured bashing of another person. Yet, in the case of this woman it was much more like she was attacking him for some reason. He was unsure what he had done to offend her but he would not ask, he did not feel like he needed too. If she wished to act such a way that was her choice.

The reading jokes were getting old now and at first he had even found them a little amusing. Now, though, they just felt worn out and more like cruelty than humour. Xander sat and placed the books gently on the table, they seemed relatively old and so he would not throw them around like a sack of potatoes. He noticed how messy the table was and in fact the entire room, clearly these researches were not very neat. He wondered how they even remembered where they out things.

“I payed a lot of attention during my schooling, more than some in fact. Me being a noble did not mean that I was free of the need to be educated, I think maybe you are a little ill informed of the truth of what it means to be a noble. We aren’t all rich pricks who spend too much money on clothes and beat slaves for fun.” He was a little offended now, he hated when people assumed because he was of noble birth he was a snob and like the others of his class.

He didn’t know why he had chosen these particular books in truth, but he knew that they related to what he needed to learn about. He wanted to learn about the past of the Andaris family so he could look for things to exploit in the future. Mistakes once made he could force a repeat of. So he said the most simple answer. “They are about the history of the Andaris family. Two describe certain aspects and one is a large overview, I hoped that they could give me a little bit of a varied view.” He shrugged as he looked at the small stack of books. “I am looking for the successes and failures of the house, particularly politically and militarily but also just in general. Really anything they did well and anything they did badly.” He did not say why but she had not asked.
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Edalene watched the careful way he put down the books, before gingerly taking a seat. While this endeared him a little more to her, as anyone who treated manuscripts with respect clearly had some virtue, she also did not miss the way his eyes scanned the messy staffroom with perhaps a little bit of coolness. A smirk twitched on her lips; clearly Xander Krome had very little dealings with the harried and frantic historians of the University. They were not the Institute of Sciences; they had no need for order anywhere other than their writings.

Xander, though, was clearly getting sensitive. Her smirk fell a little as he objected to Eda's jokes. Perhaps she was being too hard on the man; noble though he was. Still, Edalene could not help but feel a little riled up. After all, all she had done was attend the public school; she had not the luxury of endless streams of gold to pay for tutors from all corners of the earth. His knowledge came easily to him - it was handed to Xander on a silver platter. Edalene had to work to get where she was today. He was born into it.

"Perhaps," Eda acknowledged, bowing her head a little at his frustration. "I'm sure not all of you are rich pricks, as you say. But still," and she gestured at his clothes, "I would wager what you are wearing right now, simple though it is, costs more than a day of work for me." She soured at the mention of slaves. "And you might not beat your slaves, but you have them. You, Xander, are a different class."

Coolly, she shook her head, bending over the manuscripts he had brought with him. "Well," she murmured, tracing her hand along the cover of The Andaris Family History, "You may not like me, but I assure you there are very few here who can help you like I can. My specialty is the history of nobility in Rynmere; particularly Andaris."

She sat up straight, addressing Xander. "Hmmm. Odd for a Krome to take such an interest in the Andaris family." Eda flashed a smile, before reaching over to pick up the slimmest volume, Andaris and the King. "Honestly, do not bother with this one. If you are looking for something which has both failure and success, you won't find it here. The writer was employed by the Andaris family over forty years ago." Without waiting to hear what he thought, she tossed the book onto a neighbouring table. Not the safest handling of a book, but Edalene had no patience for bias in history.

"These two," and she turned her attention to A History of the Andaris Family and The Andaris Family History, "Are much better bets. Though it depends - what are you looking for and why? Is this a historic undertaking, or are you looking for more recent events?" His answer would be telling, but Edalene simply waited. Perhaps Xander would notice the jokes had stopped and her mocking tone, disappeared.
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He wished to tell her, like he so often did when people misunderstood hi,. Yet, he could not, he did not know her and who knew who was listening in a place like this. So he kept his mouth shut, he could cope with her believing he was some kind of rich noble who loved to keep slaves, if it was up to him it would be abolished or at least new rules protecting the rights of those owned by others would be put in place. Another technicality that crossed his mind was that technically he owned no slaves, his family did but that was just being pedantic.

She was rather calm for someone who was so eager to earlier judge and insult him. He watched her as she traced the cover of the book, clearly she held some love for them. Everyone loved something and if her love was for books he could not hold it against her. "Is that so, it appears that luck was on my side today." He smiled a little now, his cool and charming facade still in place as it always was around people he didn't know and even those he did. "I did not expect to be getting private tutoring from an expert in the field I was researching that is for sure."

This was the first time he saw her smile as she finished her statement about his actions odd. It was a fair statement and he had worried that his interest might arouse suspicion. This had been one of the factors in not hiring someone else to do the research or to help him with it. "Maybe it is odd, maybe it isn't. Is it so wrong to wish to learn about your peers, learn from the mistakes people made in the past." He was speaking first and foremost the truth, what was missing was his intentions for what he found out. He wished not to learn to avoid making the mistakes himself, although a useful side product, but instead to try and cause repeats of such failures by the Andaris family again.

Xander watched as the book she clearly believed to be a waste of space was tossed behind Edalene to another desk where it landed with a soft thud. It was quite surprising for the man who just moments before had been sure she had some kind of love for books. He obviously, at first, did not make the connection between the bias and the writer and employer of the writer. However, it was true he would not have trusted a brother of the Duke as a good informant so why would it be any different for a writer who had been hired by the family and told exactly what to do.

This more serious and educating side of Edalene was much preferred by Xander. He could appreciate the seriousness with which she conducted herself and in fact he found it to be a redeeming trait after earlier. "I am looking for anything both recent and ancient failures and successes. I know it is a broad topic and not the most correct way of saying it but what can I do." He flashed his own smile again as he examined the book covers. He would say little more especially not why he was searching for the information.

"Thank you for helping me, I am lucky to have the assistance. Alone it would take me trials to find the information I am looking for." He rubbed his chin, the small early bristles of stubble already making their way through. He had no doubt this woman would be thorough with her research and although it would be useful and interesting he couldn't help but feel like it was for the best. He awaited her instruction on what to read first and then she would explain what to do with the information and what needed to be saved and wat could be ignored and discarded.
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Of course it did not escape her notice that he did not refute her comments. What he was wearing most likely did cost an exorbitant amount; Xander most likely did own slaves - and it would not surprise her if they were beaten on occasion. Still, by some miracle, Edalene kept her mouth shut. Perhaps she had noticed she was being a little hard on him; bringing up topics Xander couldn't possibly help, but still. Edalene did not apologise. Her apology was helping him learn.

Edalene tentatively smiled back at the man, a man who was clearly trying to put up with her, despite her aggressive treatment of him. "Oh, no," she protested, and for the first time, she chuckled, a natural laugh, pleased to have been complimented so. "I'm not an expert, not by any means. But the nobility of Rynmere," and here she gestured toward the two large tomes left still on the table, "are my fields of interest. Perhaps someday I'll be an expert. And besides," she laughed, "Maybe I can even do some research on you."

Grinning, she shook her head, turning toward the books. Perhaps that joke was a little cruel. She was trying to be better, but still - old habits die hard. And all that.

Xander's response, though, was odd. A little too general. And specific at the same time. General, in that the answer did not really tell anything. Her eyebrows narrowed. Specific... "Of course not," she said, watching him carefully. "But most peers don't usually come and read two giant books to learn about what not to do as a noble. In fact," she continued, leaning forward onto her elbows. "I can tell you, as a historian, you're not going to find what not to do in these books - you're going to find backstabbing and plotting. Are you learning how not to have that done to you, perhaps?" Her tone was casual, and her head cocked to the side, but she could not help but feel Xander was evading something. Something big.

She crept on, continuing to speak dangerous words. "And again, it is a whole other thing to learn about your peers - but seems oddly specific to focus on the ruling family. Unless, of course, and I may be wrong," and she smiled at him, "You're borrowing manuscripts on all of the families, and today just happens to be Andaris day."

"You seem to have a vested interest in their failures, Xander. So which is it: all the families on a little research project, or are you going to tell me what you're really looking for?"

Edalene folded her arms, grinning like a shark. She could not know just what a dangerous game she played.
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Xander smiled as she said about researching him, keeping a face that would not show his actual discomfort at the idea. Even though he knew she would find nothing of his plans, he still feared that she might find something else. Maybe she would discover the things in his past he would rather keep secret or the things he would rather not discuss. It would not be hard for a person to find out about his sister, Zara, and what happened to her. Although it was not something that was secret or particularly damaging to the noble it was a weak spot. "Maybe so." He said chuckling casually, his outside showing something very different from the inside.

"Maybe I am not like my peers, I like to know what those have been doing around me so why not know what they did in the past. One can learn a lot about a family from its past." He smiled casually as he thought about her question. Was he trying to learn how not to get back stabbed and plotted against. Not really, in truth he was trying to find out where the house had failed in the past, ways he could possibly exploit them now. He was looking for any weaknesses in the great and powerful house, somethings he could abuse when the time came he might have to face them. He would do the same with other houses, this included those who were his allies like Venora. He needed to learn more about the house who's heir he had agreed to support in return for help achieving his own goals.

He was happy to have her help but now the questions were getting dangerous, she was asking for information he rarely shared. The information she asked for was far beyond what she could expect and if it was revealed to those who supported the king would result in their deaths. "You know not what you ask." His face was straight and his voice low and barely audible to anyone else in the room. His face was straight and his eyes serious, all the good humour and fun was now gone from them as he looked at her. He wondered if he could trust her, if she was really someone he could impart this information to.

Suddenly, however, his face was again bright the facade quickly falling back over his true emotions. "I am just trying to learn it is a simple thing. I will at some point look into the other houses, if I can figure out how to research quickly." He smiled and sat back in his chair. Looking at her, trying to judge if she could be trusted and whether it would be useful for her to know.

Eventually he decided she might be of use, someone to research for him and to keep an eye on what is happening in Andaris for him. A researcher and a spy of sorts and so he leaned forward and smiled. He gestured for her to come close so he could whisper to her. He would say a total of seven words. "Low Town, alley, Blacksmiths Arms, tomorrow evening." He sat back now and continued to look at the books like nothing had happened.
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