save a little light for me
Mar 30, 76
35 Replies
Kassandros Essair @ Jun 21, 2018, 05:32 AM
80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
Sandalio made a very displeased noise. "Well if he tries that too many times I'll just snarl at him." Sandalio wasn't afraid of Salonus, not by a long shot. Ah, but he really didn't have any patience for the monstrosity, either. Ah, but he supposed if he did have patience for him, that would signal something wrong with him too.

The conversation that unfolded was rather... interesting. Sandalio felt a little uncomfortable listening to it, but... it seemed unavoidable. The way the acoustics were, he ended up hearing far more than he'd intended to from where he stood on the edge. Sandalio didn't interrupt, he didn't say anything. He just... watched. It was more than he had expected to be given, but still the answers were... well. They left something to be desired.

Give back that which was stolen to whom it was stolen from. That was a cryptic as hell thing to say.

"That was... enlightening." There was a sarcastic edge to that that made it relatively clear that he wasn't serious. It was in some ways, to be fair, but there were far more questions than answers. But Kass had gotten something of an answer from the gods, as strange as that seemed. It was interesting though, that the second the god had posed Sandalio as the Messiah, Kass had started thinking about ways around it.

"... Maybe you could use a minute before we do that. That was quite the discussion." Mildly. "But yes, that was next on the list." Unfortunately, because neither of them actually wanted to go. "Not that I'm in any hurry to deal with him." Not in the slightest.

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
The visions weren't his to bear... maybe that was why they were killing him so gods damned fast. If they weren't supposed to be his, though, then whose were they? Icarus remembers, Cygnus dreams... Cygnus, then? Cygnus had never displayed the ability to - on the other hand, Kassandros was so powerful, it wasn't hard to imagine he might've inadvertently stolen that ability from his brother. Aura worked a lot like gravity; the more of it there was, the more of it was attracted. Kassandros protected Cygnus in literally every other way, why not that one, too? But then, what would happen, if he did manage to knock his aura down? Would Cygnus spontaneously get his seer abilities? And then... like Kassandros should now, it'd be Cygnus that died, instead.

No. No, damn it, why did this not want to work out in a way where nobody fucking died?

Pfff... "Enlightening is a word," Kass answered, flatly. "... aggravating is another." At least Ytias had answered him, even if the answers he gave did not necessarily make sense, immediately. Kassandros was accustomed to puzzling out what he meant, though. Icarus remembers... Cygnus dreams... what'd that mean, though? Well, no. If you were going to create something as powerful as the Messiah, you wouldn't want to create them standalone. There'd need to be something in place to prevent them from losing their fucking mind, right? Maybe that was what he had brothers for. Kassandros would admit, quite easily, that Icarus and Cygnus were part of why he hadn't gone goddamn insane already, and he knew it. Too well, maybe. He was fairly sure the visions were what made him hear it, when the light whispered. Did his brothers hear it, too? Maybe that was another thing he'd incidentally stolen, from them. Something they should be able to do, but as typical, Kassandros was too bright, and drowned out that ability, or incidentally absorbed it, or something.

"Neither am I," he said. "... spiricite." That probably sounded random. "It's a gemstone, primarily mined in the west, ergo, the Free Cities. It's a pale lavender colour, by default, turns almost translucent pink in the light. Under special circumstance, it turns a deep indigo, and shimmers a dark red in the light. That special circumstance is exposure to aura. It basically absorbs loose aura in the atmosphere, and if you purposely channelled your own aura into it, it'll take it. That aura can later be unleashed in other ways, or given back to the original holder, or someone else, and used in sorcery. The Free Cities find it pretty invaluable. Sounds like the Messiah might, too, if he didn't want to lose control of his powers and unleash the aura wave before he intended to."

Kassandros unconsciously tapped his lips. "... Saqqara is often called the Jewel of the Desert. If you rearrange the letters of Lucain, you get a name with roots in an old word meaning 'light.' I'm pretty sure Ytias just sort of told me to go talk to Sahura. Unfortunately, I'm missing a son, but if I take Spartacus, even if Regillus lets me, it'll cause trouble for him. ... first, I need Titus to be quiet." Canius wouldn't be much of a problem, but Titus was another story. And of course, Sati probably wasn't going anywhere without Alexios.

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
Well that was fair, Sandalio supposed. Aggravating might have been a good way to describe the conversation, given it hadn't really gone the way Kassandros wanted it to. It could have been worse, but it could have been a lot better too. Sandalio wished things weren't stacked in such an unpleasant way for Kassandros, but that seemed to be the way life was for him.

"Well that... sounds like it could be useful." If he wanted to go the route of keeping his Aura below a certain level. That could then let him keep the Aura for use in other things while putting off the whole messiah thing until he was ready to deal with it or... whatever. Spiricite. It wasn't something Sandalio had ever heard of before but that wasn't really surprising in the longer run. He wasn't a mage, he wasn't terribly well educated.

And it didn't sound to be all that common any way. "So now you have something of a plan for this." Which, slowing things down would be a good idea. Given it seemed Kass wasn't so ready for this as he had thought he was. But it was impressive that all it had taken to get Kassandros to build a plan was to make him think about it as if someone else was the Messiah instead. Funny how that worked out. ... Actually, it was a little sad. Not saying that.

"... Well I'm glad someone understood that at least." Sandalio most certainly had not understood it. "Getting him to be quiet might be, ah, challenging." If that was what it took to get the other son of Saqqara, that would be... he wasn't surprised. It would be a pain though, for a lot of reasons. Titus was not an easy man to shut up, and Spartacus was... very important to Lancaster.

Then again, Kassandros seemed to pull the most interesting things out of his ass as far as getting what he wanted done. So maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be as much of a pain as he thought.

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
Kassandros made a non-committal noise, there. "Plan, yeah," he said, after a few moments. "If I'm guessing right, though, once my aura knocks down, the visions will switch to one of my brothers. If there's going to be any good news here, though, it is that whichever one it moves to should be able to make it another twenty years or so. There's time." Time to figure out what to do. "Because the visions are not mine, this also frees me up to figure out how to stop it. Ytias dropped a few loopholes in my lap." Honestly, Kassandros wasn't certain why, but, he also wasn't complaining too much. Cygnus hardly knew how to live to begin with. For that matter, Icarus wasn't much better.

And maybe, just maybe, Kassandros was right behind them.

Ah, not really. Kassandros smirked a bit, shaking his head. "I know exactly how to bring his glass castle down," he said. "Sepheres happens to be a Dalmascan citizen, according to the citizenship registry. He's an Allendale. His mother registered him sans a father. I'm sure the justicars would love to hear all about how Titus treated him." With any luck, they'd be too busy with that to really squint at his registry papers too hard; but without a father on it at all, no one could prove anything. There were plenty of commoners and nobility alike that could've fathered him. No one could prove it was a slave, without a name.

He had a vague plan for after that, too. "... unfortunately, I at least do need to make an appearance at some point during the Festival of Iuna. I also highly doubt I can talk Icarus and Cygnus into staying home." That was unfortunate in its own way.

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
Sandalio inclined his head slightly in acceptance of the answer as he thought. "Well, that is something of a bright side, really. Having another decade or more to figure out what to do about the fact that the visions would kill. And while late twenties or mid thirties wasn't a long life necessarily, it was far longer than Kassandros had had so far. What he didn't understand was how Kass had ended up with the visions that weren't his to start with.

Maybe it didn't matter how it had happened, just that it had.

"Well, you being able to think about ways to fix it... that helps too." Yeah, it did. Kass seemed to have quite the brilliant mind if he was allowed to think about things, and he'd spent so long accepting it because he didn't think he could change it... but he could, as it would turn out. And that would serve him well, being able to make his own path this time. It seemed he had expected to be pointed in the expected direction because maybe he always had been.

It was kind of sad to think that Kass had never really lived for himself, but he'd noticed before that trying to get Kass to admit to what he wanted was a strangely futile effort.

"... Oh." Oooooh. Man that was going to be quite the leverage. Ah... though if the justicars ever knew the truth of his parentage that could go terribly. On the other hand, by the time they figured something like that out, it may be far too late before they could change what had happened to Titus. "Well if you can keep them from thinking too hard about the lack of a father on the paperwork, then that might work.' Ah, maybe.

"Though, getting Sepheres to talk about it might be very... difficult." The kid was likely to really, really hate that idea, go figure.

"Probably not. Cygnus at least seems the sort that would love the Festival." Probably. "The only good news is that the Festival of Iuna usually isn't completely terrible?" He would hope at least. Not that he was looking forward to going, but he would, to make sure that things didn't turn out terribly.

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
If nothing else, his being able to help stop the visions from killing his brother would at least make Kass feel like he was actually doing something worthwhile. He'd spent his whole life on what his father wanted, what he thought the gods had laid out in front of him, and he hadn't bothered with too much outside of that, because before now, it didn't matter any. Maybe one could argue that it was strange he cared now, suddenly, but there were reasons. Some part of him wondered why he was even considering bothering with it; he'd failed at so many things he'd tried to do, it seemed like a waste of time, and maybe it'd only succeed in giving his brother a false sense of hope. It wasn't like he needed to fail at being a brother yet again. He either failed or didn't. Maybe, either way, it didn't matter. He either got it right, or he didn't let anyone's expectations down.

"They won't," he answered. "Sepheres isn't the first to be registered under only his mother's name. It's fairly common for the mother not to even be sure who the father is, particularly in our circle of nobles." That seemed terrible, and maybe it was, but at the moment, it would serve Kassandros well, at least, insofar as it'd get him what he wanted. "I had already presumed Sepheres might be difficult to talk into this. I may be surprised, though." Certainly, it'd be one of the few pleasant surprises Kass had ever gotten.

Kass snorted. "Cygnus goes to every festival, typically gets drunk, and I usually have to drag him home before he ends up in an orgy." It was rather trying, but Cygnus loved the interaction and attention, ostensibly too much. 

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
... Well he supposed that really wouldn't be uncommon given Dalmascan orgies. And there were probably, honestly, a lot of children with slave fathers who were not registered that way because Dalmascan women liked to have sex with slaves just as much as Dalmascan men did, if they were all being honest. The feeling of domination, it was a universal thing, so it would seem. So things went.

"Well that's good at least." Them not squinting at it too hard was a good thing in the longer run. It would get Kass what he needed in the longer run, and  ... well. It was illegal, most likely it would get Titus in quite a bit of trouble, the way he'd been treating Sepheres. It was unfortunately really that the kid had had to go through so much before anyone bothered to bring it up, before anyone tried to fix it. but he supposed it wasn't an easy thing to take advantage of. "Unfortunate that so many kids out there don't know who their parents really are, but there we are." More or less.

Ah... hm. "You might be surprised." But Sandalio wasn't going to hold his breath. "Then again I'm not sure he'll actually argue." Sepheres was under the mentality of a slave in many ways - one generally did not argue with their owner, and Sepheres was not nearly so bold as Sandalio.

Snort. "This is not surprising information." Not really. "Hopefully it doesn't get too messy at least." But Sandalio was not above dragging Cygnus off by the back of his shirt again, so there was that, if it came down to it.

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
Kassandros made a face. "If you had any idea how much accidental incest happens..." Not that Dalmasca seemed to have any real aversion to such things. Actually, some houses seemed to believe they needed incestual relations, you know, diluting the bloodline and whatever. In about five or six generations, they'd figure out why we don't fuck our sister.

... anyway.

"I'm not really expecting him to," Kass answered. "... much to my exasperation, but, you know. He'll... hopefully figure it out eventually." He either did, or he didn't, and it wasn't like Kassandros could make him. At least, not if he wanted to actually enforce the idea he could make his own decisions. Kassandros either made them for him, or he didn't, there was no middle ground. Unfortunately, it was kind of the same with any other slave he had; he either acted like their owner, or he didn't. Even if he thought it was a better idea if they weren't here, he couldn't really make that choice for them, and yet in the same breath, pretend they had any personal agency.

One could hope. Kassandros wasn't sure if he'd learned anything, because Cygnus never did, and he didn't expect last night to have changed anything. He decided to just leave that alone, pursing his lips for a moment, but then his expression flattened back out. It wasn't like he'd run into him today, maybe he'd actually thought for once, but he doubted that, too. Eh, Cygnus was another issue, one he would much rather pretend didn't exist. "Suppose Salonus isn't coming to us." Thank the gods for that, but, it wasn't like he was really in any excited hurry to go. ... well, he was, if only because he wanted it over with. That in mind, he just, headed that way.

Funny, he had fewer qualms about waltzing into House Salonus than he did wandering into a temple. Imagine that.

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
"I can guess at it." Yes, yes he could. Given how much actual intentional incest happened, yeah he could imagine that at orgies when everyone was way too drunk, there was a lot of accidental stuff that happened, too. Sandalio shook his head slightly, deciding to just, let that go. It wasn't really what one might consider a comfortable conversation topic, especially after last night.

By now he did know, yes. For some reason, Kass wanted to enforce that they could make their own decisions and things like that - which in the longer run was really strange given he also had things he'd like them to do without arguing all the same. Sandalio didn't point that out, because they'd had the discussion about the whole situation being strange before. It did mean that his willingness to be argumentative from time to time to get what he wanted (or thought was necessary) didn't get him in much trouble. It just, you know, ended up with a slightly exasperated Kassandros. That was okay though.

Sandalio scrunched his nose slightly. "Thankfully." No kidding. "But you're right, about that." So if Kass wanted to get this done they would probably have to like, go. As much as Sandalio maybe didn't want to do that. Salonus was so... unpleasant to be around. The only good news was Kass wasn't above letting Sandalio snarl if the idiot got too handsy with Kass. ... On the other hand, he'd rather just not have to worry about it at all.

No one really asked what he'd rather though, so there was that.

Sandalio followed behind Kass, of course. Like he'd said, the other house wasn't coming to them.

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
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.

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
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.

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
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. What was that supposed to mean? Icarus never - though Cygnus did have a penchant for parties, and it just so happened the Salonii did, too. Cygnus wouldn't know not to talk to them, Kassandros had never explicitly - primarily because even if he did - ... 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.

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
Sandalio's stance didn't really relax any, and he held relatively still. It turned out to be easy enough to keep Salonus where he wanted him - apparently the fool did have some sense of self-preservation. Gray eyes held no mercy - and if Salonus pushed him he probably would kill, whether Kassandros actually wanted him to or not. It was just as well then, that he wasn't going to be pushed at all. Not... today at least.

The screaming was concerning, that which he could hear. It was not, however, the right voice for it to be Kassandros. Sandalio relaxed marginally after ascertaining that, and remained where he was. He still wasn't going to let Salonus interfere, especially not when he didn't know who's scream that was. It wasn't much longer before Kassandros rejoined them and indicated it was time for them to leave.

Before Sandalio could move, of course, Salonus decided to press his luck one last time. Gray eyes hardened, but his hand didn't move. Sandalio made no effort to do more than restrain him, despite the sudden urge to just shut him up. It was for the best that he didn't, Sandalio reminded himself. It was for the best that he kept himself collected and didn't do anything that would eventually turn Cassimer on them - sooner, rather than later.

Wouldn't stop him, hm? Well that was both surprising and not. Not, because obviously Kassandros had no love for Salonus. But... on the other hand killing him would most certainly anger Marcus, and Sandalio would have thought that Kassandros would want no more trouble with him. On the other hand... Kassandros would know that Sandalio knew that, and might extrapolate that if Sandalio chose to kill him it was because he saw no other path available.


Kassandros had turned to leave and nudged the girl-child they came for ahead of him, it was only a moment before Sandalio followed. He kept his guard up, of course, for he did not trust the man behind him, but still, Sandalio left. "Well, at least we got what you came for." Sandalio's tone was even enough now that he spoke.

He was still angry, somewhere deep inside, but for now... yes for now he could stay calm about it. There was no sense in scaring the girl.

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
"And a bit more besides," Kassandros murmured, more to himself than anything. It was fairly well-known among his inner circle, he could become quite the vicious tempest in defence of someone that was not himself, and this, of course, was no different. Salonus, of all the houses for Cygnus to trip into dealings with, he should've - it didn't even matter, because Cygnus wouldn't have listened, no matter what he'd said, done, tried. He should've thought better of setting the eldest ablaze, probably. If Gaius decided to squeal and flail and spew righteous anger in Marcus' general direction, breathe Kassandros' name, even, it'd likely cause quite the bit of trouble. And should, as he intended, Kassandros move to depose of Titus, Marcus would no doubt view the two incidents as a declaration of war.

Even in realising this, he found it quite difficult to care. Cygnus made mistakes, yes, but he never blundered quite that terribly on his own, for these were thought processes and internal connections he, typically, could not make unaided. All along, Kassandros knew that these thought processes and internal connections had not made themselves, that they had come from some other source, and yet, all along, Kassandros had ignored them, because Cygnus didn't listen to him, because he didn't want to think about it, because because because...

Half his damned life was excuses, wasn't it, and what good was it doing? He only had about half an idea what was going on in his own damn house, it was something of a miracle he'd ever managed to shield any of them from anything. How was it, that he managed to shield Cygnus too well, and yet also not enough? Only he could fuck up that spectacularly.

"Are you the scary one that keeps the bad people away?" Estelle asked, peering up at Sandalio.
In spite of his rather foul mood, Kassandros loosed an airy snort in amusement. She'd only been there a few days; Kassandros had known about her, for a while now, but she didn't know Sandalio, and Sandalio didn't know her. It'd have been maybe pointless to bring them together, and then the light told him she'd caught Salonus' eye, and that thought process got shattered quite instantly. He'd made his move as soon as he knew, and could, and whether he could've, should've, was still somewhere in the air, given his head was only partly on straight. At least he'd not lost control of his aura again, today.

Maybe that was his problem. How was he supposed to protect them if he couldn't even figure out how to protect himself? Why did it even matter. No one had asked him if he wanted to die. Nobody had asked him if he wanted to live, either, and frankly, which one seemed a better idea tended to change day to day, moment to moment. Sometimes, he wanted to live so much, it nearly physically hurt with the force of it, burning in his heart and his lungs, screaming he was alive, alive, alive, and to hell with everything else, because he wanted to keep being alive. Other times, well, there were reasons you killed animals that'd stepped beyond hope of saving, and maybe he'd never really be alive in the way he should be.

He wouldn't tell Sandalio she was his, yet. They'd get home, first, he'd turn the girl loose into the fabric-bolt and needle-and-thread wielding Leon, and then he'd tell him. Curiously, Kassandros found, the thought of not saying anything about it ever had crossed his mind, now, more than once, for concern of upsetting him more than he already was. Dealings with Salonus were quite trying, of course, but it occurred to him, that if someone told him later, or he found out by some odd flick of fate's hand, he might well be more upset to find Kassandros knew and didn't tell him, and while he'd decided (when?) that he'd rather Sandalio were alive and angry with him than he died, he didn't think he could stand him being angry with him too long, either.

What was that, exactly, that feeling - no, he knew what it was, albeit he'd never really felt it before, not - not for someone that wasn't Icarus or Cygnus (and yes, despite what he seemed like, he did... he did love his brother, idiot as he was). He'd seen it, when Livia and Alcides happened to catch one another's gazes, he'd seen it when Aurelia and Umbrius happened to be in the same room as one another, he'd seen it when Surya and Victoria had been reunited, he knew what it was, but it was foreign and strange, like it didn't belong in him, and perhaps that much was true, by now. Fuck the gods, he'd screwed this up, too. He was used to other people growing attached to him. It wasn't supposed to go the other way, too, but by some odd flick of fate's hand, so it had, and Kassandros wasn't sure what to do with that, if anything.

"... how'd you get so tall, anyway?" Estelle asked, not long after her first question, perhaps a heartbeat, but it seemed the span of forever to Kassandros, and he gave another of his airy snorts, and almost smiled toward the streets they were headed for. "I'm Estelle! Er. Calista?"
"No, Estelle," Kassandros corrected. "You said you liked that name better."
"Oh." Even that one word sounded rather quite confused, and he supposed, after four, nearly five, years of everyone calling her a name she didn't necessarily want to be called, she might well be confused when suddenly someone changed her name back. It was normal. This was something painfully familiar, albeit it ached in much a similar way, as none should be so confused when being called by their name.

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
Sandalio looked down at the little girl - his expression softening just a hair. "You could say that, yes." Normally he wouldn't have necessarily called himself scary, but he supposed to a girl as young as she was, he might very well be. And keeping bad people away... well. That was the point of a bodyguard, so he couldn't argue with that assessment. He supposed it had to have come from Kassandros anyway. "I'm Sandalio." She would probably break that up in some way she could manage, but hey, he could figure it out.

Not that he expected he'd have all that much contact with the girl once they got home. It depended, of course, on a multitude of things starting with what exactly Kassandros decided to have her do and ending somewhere around just how busy their mutual master was going forward because of course, he was going to keep stalking Kass - it was going relatively well as far as dealing with assassins went.

Then again it had been surprisingly quiet recently. He hadn't seen nearly the number of those who were trying to attack Kassandros in recent days - it was refreshing but also concerning. Had the person who wanted him dead actually given up, or were they just waiting for the right time to strike? And what, exactly, had actually happened with Salonus' son that Kassandros had backed him up into a candle - or whatever had actually happened there? He didn't ask. Now wasn't really the time, still it weighed on him a little.

Sandalio shook his head slightly. "I just did." He didn't really know how that worked, to be honest. Just, he'd gotten tall - his brother was tall too, honestly. "Probably got it from my dad." It was hard to estimate, exactly, how tall his father had been, but yeah, if he had to guess that was probably what it had been. From his parents, he'd gotten his height.

"It's nice to meet you, Estelle."