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save a little light for me
Kassandros Essair light from the shadows
Today at 01:52 AM Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
Fortunately for him, mostly, Salonus did decide to just, hold still. Since when did Kassandros get a guard, anyway? That was news. He almost wondered if he should tell Marcus about that, but Marcus was a more observant man than he, and most likely, the head of House Cassimer had already discovered that. Perhaps his getting guards should be something to be arranged, but Salonus wasn't very good with those. Hmm. Squinting at the taller, darker one. Blood fighter, seemed like, he vaguely remembered seeing this one in the arena once or twice. How the hell had Kassandros tamed one of those?

Kassandros had, at least partly, purposely left Sandalio to deal with Salonus - he wasn't afraid of him, and really didn't think he'd be a big problem, but most likely, if he was getting Estelle, she was probably in the middle of... something. A breath in outside the door he knew was the right one, and he went to push it open. Ah, the lock - a bit of magic, and the lock clicked out of place. Oh, one of the Salonus kids. "Let her go," he said, tone icy.

"Wow, Kassandros," he answered, tone airy, currently pinning Estelle down with his legs. He was the older one, if Kass remembered right. "Wasn't expecting to ever see you here."
"You expected correctly," Kass replied. "I said let her go."
"Why? Did you buy her?"
"I made a generous trade with your father for her."
"Oh? Does Lucila get a new necklace?"
"No," Kassandros answered, "your father gets to keep his head attached to his shoulders. ... provided he doesn't tick Sandalio off, because I won't stop him if he lunges at any of you, for the record."
"You're always such a sour puss," he, something with a J, answered. "We fixed your brother right up, could fix you, I'm sure."

His what. Blue eyes narrowed. ... that would explain... damn it, "I suggest you do what I said."
"Aw, come on," he replied. "This one's really cute, I could share."
"Five seconds to let her go and go away," Kass said, tone flat, reaching over his shoulder for the sword back there.
"You know you want -"
Kassandros pulled the sword, aiming at his jugular. The other looked startled, but he shut up, after a moment or two, letting the girl go, and standing, backing up. She scrambled to her feet, ending up behind Kass. "Calista, stay behind me." Yes, he knew what he was doing, steadily moving forward, Salonus' stupid son backing up as he did. Eventually, he backed up and stopped right next to a candle flame. Exactly where Kass wanted him.

"You'll be a lesson," Kassandros said. "Understand if any of you goes anywhere near any of my family again, you'll get the bigger version of this." A slight twitch of his free hand, and the candle flame's light bent - the flame followed it, catching the slightly older male's shirt hem. Being as it was made of very flimsy, albeit expensive, fabric, it lit up in seconds, streaking up his side before he even fully registered the pain, and then the screaming started.

Kass dropped his arm, nudging Estelle to the side, as Salonus' eldest son shot out the door and down the hallway, presumably looking for water. He'd bear the scars of that for a while, if he was lucky, forever if he wasn't. But he'd remember, wouldn't he, not to cross a fucking Essair.

"Are you okay?" he asked, looking at Estelle.
The girl, understandably, looked half freaked out and half confused. "I... I think?"
"Your dress is a bit... broken... can I look at it?" One of the straps had broken.
What? "... I... er. Okay?"
"It's alright if you don't want me to," Kass said, putting his sword back in its sheath, kneeling down a bit. "But we're leaving, and maybe you wouldn't want to go outside with your dress strap broken."
"Oh," Estelle answered. "Where are we going?"
"Your new house," he said, "where people won't touch you and do weird things."
"Oh." She paused, thinking. "Okay. Um. It is kind of... I don't like it broken."
"Okay. I can fix it, but I'll have to touch you."
"... okay."

Gently, Kass reached over, pulling the ends of the dress strap back together, and tying them. It'd hold long enough to get her home, that was all. Merenwen and Leon could make her something better than this, just a one-shoulder strap dress, with a slit up one side to her hip. She'd be stunning in something like that, someday, but she was far too young to be dressing like that. No, maybe some shorts, and a shirt with two straps. Something she could run around in without being incidentally indecent. He'd leave best judgement to the ilim, ultimately.

"That should stay for now," he said. "We have to go get my friend. He's not far, but he's big and scary, and he keeps the bad people away."
"Oh," Estelle said, "scary people can be good people?"
"Mhm," Kass answered, holding his hand out for her. "His name's Sandalio. Mine's Kassandros."
"Mommy called me Elle... something," she answered, taking his hand, easily following as he led the way back down the hall. "I can't remember."
"Estelle," Kassandros filled in. "Do you like that name better than Calista?"
"Yeah!" she said. "It's all I remember of mommy."
"We'll call you Estelle, then, okay?"
"Okay! Can I call you Kassi?"
Kassandros snorted, amused. "Sure." She was four or something, that was fine.

They meandered back into Salonus' office. "We can go now," he said.
"What the fuck did you do to my son?" Salonus snarled.
"I didn't do anything," Kassandros answered. "He's the one that backed into the candle."
"You lying son of a -"
"I really wouldn't piss Sandalio off more than I already have, if I were you," Kass interrupted. "He's the one with a sword very close to your throat, and I won't stop him if he decides to use it. Your son's a warning, Salonus. Stay away from my family, or I've got a lot more where that came from. Don't push me. You are no Marcus Cassimer."

Surprisingly, despite looking like he wanted to, Salonus didn't say anything. Kass nudged Estelle around him, and headed for the door. He wasn't terribly interested in staying here very long.

Ksenia Warwicke
Jul 19, 2018, 08:28 PM
Yes, well, being blood related didn't inherently - perhaps that was a moot thing to argue about. She was sure, by now, they were rather aware of that. It was unfortunate, and yet, it wasn't as if Ksenia could undo what she'd done. She should've stayed. She should've fought harder. She should've, should've, should've. They were the same old circles her mind went in, before, albeit now, perhaps things had turned out exactly as they were meant to. Ksenia didn't often prescribe to the idea of fate, not really. Still, sometimes she wondered, if maybe certain things happened for a reason. Most humes liked to believe that things had a reason, particularly bad things, if only because, if bad things had a reason, it meant they weren't just because. It meant there wasn't pain for the sake of itself.

Ksenia had been young and naive and stupid, that was all. It was, still, her fault, for leaving, she shouldn't have, but you know, maybe ending up dead wasn't much better. At least she could be here, now. Far too late, maybe (certainly, she hoped not), yet, she was still here. Still she breathed, and perhaps she was a bit wiser than she'd been, then. If Kassandros was leading the house, now, he could use her help. After her mind came back, the rest of the way, of course, certainly she'd be glad to help. He was not Vopiscus, however, and Ksenia found it difficult to believe he'd lead the house down a particularly wrong pathway. Ah, but he was young, and the young were often short-sighted. Perhaps even a seer, might be, particularly one as all-knowing as he was. It was easy to miss that which was right in front of you, if you were too busy focusing on what was still quite some time off.

Did he know? What it meant to be what he was? Vopiscus never did understand. Perhaps Merenwen might've been able to explain it, but she remembered Kassandros having a habit of hyper-focusing too hard on one, specific thing, and completely missing that there were better ways of achieving the same thing. It wasn't difficult to imagine what he really was being lost somewhere in there. Further, it wasn't like anyone knew he and his brothers were demi-gods. Ksenia had, of course, never shared that information, until... right then.

"What it sounds like," she answered. "Vopiscus is not your father. You have no blood from House Essair. It is moot, I suppose. Your real father's... a very busy person, and will likely never be the father you want, merely because he can't be. There are some things in relation to that you should know, if you don't already, but we'll get there." They had, of course, a connection to the light they likely did not realize. As their physical forms were not exactly hume, they were a bit stronger than most humes, albeit only just, if they were aware they should be. The light, of course, answered your heart. If you believed, well, sometimes it was.

"Kassi told me, when you were four," Ksenia replied. "Fourteen? That's so early... ... Icarus, he's alright, isn't he? He didn't... he didn't fall down the same thought paths Vopiscus did, did he? There's still hume in him somewhere?" Maybe he wouldn't tell her, maybe she'd have to figure it out on her own, but, Icarus would know better than she.

No Sweeter Innocence
Jul 19, 2018, 03:57 PM That's what love is; knowing they can walk away at any time, and trusting them not to.
If there was to be a bright side to this, it was that, at the very least, he always knew what he was supposed to be doing. Helene was very good at managing the day-to-day affairs, probably why the owner had eventually left such tasks to her, and no one was ever left floundering. When she could, she even tried leaving few-minute break gaps between things. Sometimes, it didn't pan out that way, but Helene tried, and most of them here appreciated that.

They had a new one, now. Kalix had decided to take that one under their wing, so to speak, but Kalix often did. There was only so much Julian could help with, anyway, given he actually had it rather easy. Technically, he was still a citizen. There were many things he didn't have to deal with, that they did. Admittedly, this often led to some semblance of resentment, and so, generally, he kept that detail to himself. This one might've been in the same situation, if Dalmasca wasn't as terrible to its people as it was to its slaves, but, here they were.

He was just meandering back, from a trip to the store. After letting Helene know he was back, he headed down the hall, back to his room, and almost ran into someone on the way. Reflexively, he started to apologize, but then looked up and froze. ... wow, that was like looking in a mirror, if mirrors showed your past self, and not the present one. How did he look so much like him? For a moment, he wondered if he should be questioning this more than he was, but, it seemed right, to him. Damian should be twenty... one, now, if he remembered right, about this one's age.

Staring was rude. Julian moved to the side, then, so the other could go about his way. It was, at least, good to know Marcus hadn't killed his son, but he thought better of saying that.

save a little light for me
Jul 19, 2018, 03:53 PM
Sandalio followed a bit behind Kassandros - a respectful distance, really. But it wasn't enough that he couldn't react if he needed to. His expression was carefully placid when they actually got where they were going, mostly because he didn't trust himself not to look disgusted as they moved through the halls here. He'd never been inside this house before, and some part of Sandalio hoped he never was again.

It took a lot not to growl at Salonus within the first five minutes of being in this idiot's presence. He did spare Sabinus a look through a narrowed gaze - but he said nothing and made no move to stop him from fleeing. It was easier if there were fewer witnesses anyway, just in case this turned messy. Sure, Cassimer would probably take Salonus' word over Kassandros' any day of the year. But it was definitely better if there weren't many people to corroborate what had happened with, say, the Justicars.

... This idiot was going to act like Kassandros was the one who wasn't being serious? He was trying to buy another nobleman! Another head of house, even. What kind of idiot - okay, well. He knew what kind of idiot, logically. Salonus was some serious level of stupid. Somewhere around the 'thirty and you' comment, Sandalio let out a low growl from the back of his throat.

What? This idiot was really... really pushing past acceptable limits of stupid. Someone should just put him out of his misery already. And the not so underhanded threats in Kassandros' direction were just making his blood boil because he couldn't say anything. Sandalio didn't say anything though, after the growl. He remained rather still, though one hand had dropped to the sword at his hip.

He didn't grab the hilt though, he didn't think he'd need it for this. Well, Sandalio had just been given orders he'd been hoping for. He'd avoid actually hurting Salonus, probably, if only because it could get Kassandros in a great deal of trouble if he didn't. But here they were.

He did indeed grab Salonus by the front of his shirt and aiming to slam him against the wall, and pin him there with one hand while drawing his sword with the other. Just in case the idiot had a knife and thought he'd be cute, or something like that. Sandalio wasn't going to take any risks. Sometimes cornered mice bit, after all. But, that didn't mean he was going to let him follow Kassandros down the hall.

Still even if he wasn't perfectly successful keeping Salonus against the wall with that one hand, he was between him and the door, and now he had a sword in his hand. Besides, he only had to deal with this guy until Kass came back with the girl.

Lucius Cassimer
Jul 18, 2018, 05:09 AM Treat your soldiers as your own sons, and they will follow you unto the ends of the earth.
Lucius tilted his head slightly, in almost a nod. "Well, Kassandros is the best healer I know," he said. "If anybody can save him, it'd be that guy." At least, that was how he was choosing to look at it. If Kassandros couldn't, well, apparently Dimitrios wasn't meant to make it. And that was a sad thing, it was a relatively stupid thing to die over, but, sometimes things just turned out that way. Lucius tried not to think about things like that, too long. It was easier, that way.

Good. He didn't think Damian would mind, and someone had to stay here and watch the kids, at least. Of course, Lucius wasn't getting any younger, and long journeys like that one were a thing he was capable of doing, but, he really preferred not to, unless he had to. Seeing Damian and their mother was toward the top of that list of things he considered necessary enough to make the trip, but, since Damian was around, and might be interested in seeing if Dimitrios was at least alive, and apparently wasn't opposed to making the trip, Lucius would just, let him do it.

Honestly, Lucius was only thirty, but sometimes, you'd probably think he was nearing sixty.

A snort loosed. Yeah, there were a lot of reasons, being honest. On the other hand, nothing specific stood out. It was just a culmination of many different things, compiled over the years, and by the time Lucius realized that collection had reached far above his head, he'd decided it was time to throw in the towel. His father was a fucking psycho, and quite honestly, wasn't a very good father. The only things Marcus was good at, were talking his way out of trouble, bribery, and ruining people's lives. Those weren't really things Lucius was proud to have his father be good at. Those weren't things anyone should be good at, but this was the Dalmasca they lived in, all the same.

Sometimes, he wondered, what'd become of Damian, if anything ever happened to him. Quite bluntly, Lucius was waiting for Marcus to turn on him, next. Damian hadn't done anything to spark his ire, but Lucius never really stopped sparking it. By now, it had to be rather the inferno, and as it happened, the Cassimer armies were starting to favor Lucius over his father. There were reasons for that, but ultimately it all led to the same thing. Lucius was, technically, a threat to him, and by now, Lucius damn well knew what Marcus did with threats.

"A combination of things, really," he said, shrugging a bit. He did sit up, finally, resting his arms on his legs. "I thought, maybe, that --" No, word that different. "... that maybe we could work things out, between us, find a middle ground. Marcus won't bend. I don't know why I ever thought he would.  He is pretty set in his ways. It's just better for me, I think, if I went my own way. At least then, I wouldn't be tarnishing the Cassimer name, or whatever the fuck he said last time he went off." After a point, Lucius started blocking it out. "I won't ask you to choose between us, Damian. You're always welcome to visit and stuff, you know that."

Icarus Essair
Jul 18, 2018, 04:54 AM
"You're still our mother." Whether they necessarily agreed with her choices or not, she was their mother and she was important to them. And clearly her own biological family wasn't kind to her. ... He didn't really understand why she'd chosen them over her own children, but he didn't want to press that just now. There was no sense in it - there was no sense in getting upset and saying something like that because honestly she wasn't present enough for it to matter.

Maybe one day he'd understand why she left though, in the end. That day was probably not today, but one day he hoped. If only because it would be a nice piece of closure.

"Oh." She'd been married before she had married their father. ... Cyprian, actually their brother. Well that was. Something. He wondered if Kassandros knew - was that why he'd taken in the Kenleighs? Or had that been completely unrelated? It didn't matter really, he supposed. Still, he might eventually ask just out of curiosity. Then again, maybe not, if only because Kass didn't generally share his reasons for making decisions like that.

"Er." Confusion, at that, of course. Of course he was? She'd just admitted to marrying him. And then there was the fact that frankly even if she'd been cheating on their father she had no way of knowing which of her lovers was the actual father. It could just as easily be Vopiscus as whoever else she might have been having sex with - their father had acknowledged them, which meant he had been confident in their bloodlines, at least. So she clearly had coupled with him, whether Icarus liked the idea of thinking about it or not, logic indicated as much. "What's that supposed to mean?" He asked instead - not really expecting an answer, but there it was.

"How do you-" He cut that off and shook his head slightly. Maybe Kassandros had known for a long time before he did it, like he knew everything else. Maybe he knew early enough he'd told her. "Yes, the flowers killed him. Kassandros has been head of house since we were fourteen."

And he was just going to leave that there. There was... not much else to say about it. Anyway, ah, up this street here was probably his best bet, yeah.

save a little light for me
Kassandros Essair light from the shadows
Jul 17, 2018, 09:55 PM Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
Yes, thankfully. Admittedly, though, that could change, and most likely, Kassandros should be a little more concerned about House Cassimer taking offence to his actions here. House Salonus were, after all, a vassal of Cassimer's, but on the other hand, it wasn't as if Kassandros really cared. At this point, he'd spent so long caring about so much, he was quite bluntly sick of it. So, here he was, waltzing into technical enemy territory, not giving a damn. Salonus was no real threat to him, anyway. He had no guards. He had no army. And by the time Marcus reacted, it'd be too late, and putting it gently, Kassandros doubted Marcus would bother over a single child he'd never seen in his life. It wasn't as if Salonus couldn't get more of them.

Salonus was a large fraction of why Dalmasca needed to burn.

Anyway, he should be more concerned about doing the thing, than thinking about doing the thing. Salonus wasn't terribly far; it only took a few more minutes of walking, and there it was. He stopped outside it, a few feet from the entryway, breathed in, and went in. Fortunately, he didn't end up with a repeat of going in the temple. He knew the way, wandering through the halls, toward Salonus' office, of a form. He didn't even bother knocking, just wandered right in. Oh, look, Sabinus.

"Get out," he barked.
"Now, now," Salonus murmured, counting hessions, it'd seem. "All are House Salonus' esteemed guests, you should extend some courtesy to your fellow p -"
"If you even call me that, I will rip your tongue from your mouth," Kassandros interrupted.
"Someone's in a foul mood," Salonus answered, setting his work down for the moment. "One of our more experienced might be able to ease that."
"I'd rather die," Kass answered.
"I'm sure that'll be arranged soon enough," Salonus boredly drawled. "What are you here for, then?"

"I see," Salonus answered, setting his arms on the desk. Sabinus, on the other hand, seemed content to flee, and had slipped out somewhere amid their bickering. "I suppose I don't have to tell you where it is."
"She," Kassandros snapped. "And no."
"And what do you offer in return? It is a rather rare acquisition."
"She. And how about your head remaining attached to your shoulders?"
"Oooh, that's very generous," Salonus replied, leaning back in his seat. "I was thinking, maybe, you?"
"That's funny, nice one."
"I was not joking."
"Could've fooled me."
"Honestly, master Essair, could you be serious for once in your life? This is why the other nobility look down their nose at you, petulant child."
"Oh yes," Kassandros mused. "I'm sure you know all about petulant children. Just give me Calista and I'll be on my way."
"You know, business transactions still go both ways."
"And I'm still not slitting your throat," Kassandros answered. Really, that was quite generous. "You know I have no interest in paying into your business. That much hasn't changed."
"How does Teresi deal with you?" Salonus murmured. Perhaps not by being a sadistic, sick excuse for a hume, maybe, a bit.

Somehow, Kassandros managed not to say that. "How much did you spend on her?"
"If I remember, it was around thirty hessions," Salonus replied. "It is not ill-behaved, just aesthetically pleasing."
Thirty wasn't a lot. Ultimately, that went back to the slavers, anyway, and he had issue feeding into the slave trade, but one person not doing so wouldn't make much difference, thereby he did it anyway. "Thirty, then," Kassandros replied.
"Thirty, and you," Salonus answered.
"Thirty," Kassandros said.
Salonus tisked. "Someday, I will win this fight. When Marcus is done with you, if there is anything left, what is will be mine. You'd likely do well, not to piss me off."
"Fine, we do this my way," Kassandros decided, turning to Sandalio. "He has no guards, pin him to the wall for me, I'll go get the girl."

With that, Kass just left the room, heading back down the hallway. He knew where he was going, anyway. Naturally, as he expected, Salonus stood up and moved to follow him, but, Kass wasn't worried.

Ksenia Warwicke
Jul 16, 2018, 06:58 PM
Oh, she supposed he wouldn't necessarily remember that. Come to think of it, though, she wasn't sure if she'd ever told them that she'd married into Kenleigh originally. Quite honestly, at the time, they couldn't really fully understand the implications of that. Cy... Cygnus was the youngest triplet. Her eldest son was Cy... Cyprus? Cyprian. There we go.

"Essair... I wasn't sure if you'd still consider me an Essair." Considering she was the one that walked away... she never should've. She shouldn't have left Cyprian, either, she should've been stronger, and Vopiscus wasn't even truly threatening, either. What did it matter to her, if he'd torn House Warwicke down? It would've saved many a lot of pain, and the worst he could've done was killed her. He wouldn't have harmed the triplets; they were too valuable to him.

She should've been stronger. Aemilius might've killed Cyprian, if she'd pushed him, but Vopiscus wasn't quite as volatile. It was too late, now, for should've, could've, would've, might be, maybe, and still she thought things like that, had for the last decade.

"Cyprian is your elder half-brother," she said. "I married Aemilius, first. House Warwicke were House Kenleigh's vassal, at the time, it was rather the honor. Aemilius freaked them out, he had a knack for doing that, and they remarried me to Vopiscus after, to try and protect Warwicke from Aemilius' wrath." Clearly, they'd done something right, given the House were still standing. "Vopiscus isn't your father, either, but perhaps that is a conversation for another time." Most likely, they'd not really believe her, anyway. Ultimately, perhaps it didn't matter, in the end. It wasn't as if Ytias would ever truly be their father, anyway.

If he said so. She'd just try and believe that, then. There was no sense in arguing. At any rate, they were already going home (she'd missed having somewhere that was home), and perhaps she should just be thankful at least one of them apparently didn't hate her. She'd been expecting them to. It would've made sense.

"I suppose, by now, the flowers killed Vopiscus, hmm?" That was the most likely outcome. She'd gone, just like Kassi had said, and if usual trends held, he'd been right about the pretty lady, too. He'd been young, then. It was debatable, if he even remembered making that prediction.
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