tides turn
operation confuse the blood fighters
Mar 9, 76
35 Replies
Kassandros Essair @ Apr 09, 2018, 07:04 AM
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.
It was, unfortunately, already a long day. It wasn't over, of course, as Kassandros couldn't be so lucky, but if fate and fortune were kind, this would be the easy part of his day. Typical exchanges at market were painless, and uneventful, but the two of them were not exactly what one would call docile, and both were more than capable of being rather the bit of trouble. Together, they were even worse, at times, but Kassandros didn't expect to have much issue with either. The slavers, on the other hand, did not know that, and had trouble with them already. Mostly due to them being righteous idiots, but that was none of Kassandros' business.

He did have to find them, first. Usually, this was no real problem, as Kassandros often knew exactly where to go, but the Light hadn't told him, this time. He had not had the time to ask it, either, but he figured he could wing it, this once. If he constantly relied on the Light for everything, he would eventually turn into a helpless brat, and then he'd have to jump off a bridge, because he hated those. Whether he was kidding or not, even he didn't know. Perhaps he would, perhaps he wouldn't. With any luck, he'd never know.

As he crossed the market, the familiar scent of dirt, sweat, and the faint hint of blood became stronger. It was not the first time the leader of House Essair had come here, and it was debatable of it was to be the last. Well, he had a few years, yet. Perhaps some other sad story would get his attention in the intervening time. He would have to drag these two to House Asheron. One of Livia's was familiar with one of them. They could both use friends, anyway, and it was likely to be House Asheron they went to, when Kassandros was gone. Leon he intended to take to Galace, instead.

He should stop thinking about that.

Incidentally, his gaze almost immediately found them. For a moment, he just watched, silver embroidery shimmering in the light, only a cobra on the back of his shirt hinting who he was, but then made his way over. He knew they were tall, but knowing and seeing, apparently were two different things. Leon would be thrilled they could reach the shelves. It was either that, or Kassandros was going to move the shelves down, despite Leon's protests. Something about Kassandros needed to reach them occasionally, but Leon did all the time. The ilim should take precedent.

Why was that a no? Kassandros asked himself, from time to time, as if he didn't know the answer.

Wordlessly, Kassandros turned to the nearest slaver, handing them enough for both, then tapping their chains. These two. Thetis wasn't here to do it, but she'd laid the foundation for him. He'd continue where she'd left off.

(ooc: if this is utter shit, I'm sorry, I typed it on phone.)

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
It was sort of a miracle the two of them were still close together. Sandalio had been sure after their last little snarling match with the slaver they'd have been pulled apart, if not severely punished. Instead they still sat side-by-side, though his chains, at least, were a little tighter. Apparently there was some purpose to keeping them near one another though, despite the fact that they'd lost track of the twins a few days ago.

Sandalio was watching Lycaon out of the corner of his eye, but the other bloodfighter wasn't really paying attention, or at least, he didn't seem to be. Sandalio knew the other well enough to know that that half-lidded expression was anything but complacent, even in their currently chained down state. Still, even that knowledge didn't prepare Sandalio for the slight shift of the other beside him, clearly meant to get his attention. "Do you see that one?"

The words were very low, but they were enough to get gray eyes to focus away from the blue eyed warrior on his left and to look towards the slavers. It wasn't hard to see who 'that one' was. The newcomer stood out, something about his appearance, about the air he held himself with. It was ... certainly strange. Sandalio was about to ask Lycaon what had caught his attention about this one when the white-haired boy  approached them and tapped on their chains.

Oh. Lycaon must have seen the young Dalmascan looking at them.

Sandalio couldn't immediately figure out why they would be interesting to him - but he also couldn't immediately place the house. From where he was sitting, he couldn't see the emblem. If their potential buyer hadn't been so close he might have asked if Lycaon had seen it, as it was there was no covert way to do that, so he just waited - at least not yet. Sometimes an opportunity would offer itself.

Eventually it would make sense, he was sure. In the mean time, the Macenian wasn't sure what to think of them being bought together - truly he hadn't expected anyone to be willing to attempt that. It was possible though that it was a house that wanted to acquire them for use in the Blood Games, in fact, that made the most sense now that Sandalio thought about it.

Lycaon shifted his weight lightly when indicated, but said nothing. Sandalio was a little surprised when their buyer hadn't said a word during the entire interaction. Their pair of them would practically tower over him Sandalio noted with a bit of internal amusement.

It was clear to Sandalio based on Lycaon's expression that the younger fighter had seen something Sandalio hadn't. He quirked an eyebrow slightly, hoping to get the question across without drawing their buyer's attention quite yet.

Lycaon noticed the raised eyebrow. Of course, trust Sandalio to notice his expression. 'Cobra' he mouthed at the other blood fighter, tilting his head just a fraction towards their buyer.

For a moment Sandalio didn't really understand. After a few moments the word registered - cobra - but it took a few seconds longer for it to really sink in. Essair, then? Gray eyes focused back on the buyer then, observing for the moment, but of course, it was not a slave's place to interact first.

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.
Truthfully, he should've been more surprised the cobra had been noticed. There was only one House in Dalmasca that used a cobra as its insignia, after all, and it was partly a summary of House Essair's unique means of dealing with things. House Essair were no one's friend. Quite truthfully, were it beneficial for them to do so, Kassandros might even consider turning on House Asheron, as stupid a move as that might sound to be. But thus far, House Asheron were Essair's best allies, and Essair didn't strike at allies, if nothing else. That could quite easily change. In Dalmasca, everything and everyone were either your friend, or your enemy, and you kept your friends close, and, often, your enemies closer.

For a moment, the slaver stared at him like he'd lost his ever-loving fucking mind. Kassandros was sure, some would say he had. They both had rather the reputation, Kassandros knew that already, even worse of one together, and House Essair were not known to have any blood fighters. Kassandros never intended to become a blood trainer. That much wouldn't change. But it was none of this bitch's business.

"Ah, Master Essair, I really would not recommend keeping them tog -"
Slowly, Kassandros turned to face the slaver, nostrils flared slightly in annoyance, a deadpan 'did anyone the fuck well ask you anything' expression very obviously across his features. The slaver actually nearly took a step backward, but then coughed slightly, readjusted himself.
"Of course. Right."
Yeah, Kassandros thought so... he took a breath in, his expression levelling out, as the slaver dutifully detached their chains from the posts. Kassandros took a step backward, looking them both over. ... well, slaves weren't accustomed to clothing, blood fighters even less so. He wasn't sure if they had any fabric left to make them clothes that fit, he'd have to ask Merenwen, but that could be tended to later. Seemed they'd had some perhaps heated discourse with the slavers, but that wasn't surprising. Their last House had just fallen, and the two were rather fond of it, Kassandros did imagine they'd had some disagreements. Perhaps a bath and he'd have to see about -

Why the fuck was this bloody righteous idiot handing him the chains?

Kassandros looked annoyed again, tapping the part of the chain on the darker one, Sandalio, that was around his wrist.
"... the entire chain?" the slaver asked. "You want the entire chain gone?"
His expression flattened out, looking a bit annoyed, blue gaze falling to the dirt and blinking a few times, as if he couldn't understand why he was having to explain this.
"Right..." Fortunately, the slaver didn't make him explain it, just detached the chains the rest of the way, freeing their hands. And when he was done, Kassandros reached behind him, pulling one of the swords off his back, and handing it to Sandalio, then pulled the other off, and handed that one to Alasdair. He didn't tend to like people calling him that name... Thetis had done so, but she'd earned that right. He'd stick to Lycaon, until he decided to tell him his real name.

"Are you -"
A very annoyed sound loosed, and Kassandros waved the slaver away.
"... if you're sure... hey Aldrin, House Essair thinks it's gonna control those two!"
Kassandros sighed heavily, rolling his eyes. Moving on with life... he nodded, toward one of the streets, the one that lead straight to House Essair's estate in all its stoned glory, shuffling that way.

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
The pair considered the exchange between their new owner and the slaver. Neither said anything, of course. It wasn't wise to speak before the slavers, never mind there was a high chance their new master would take any chance to punish them. Sandalio knew from experience it was better to err on the side of silence. Mind, the Blood Fighter didn't always do so - but he thought for the moment it was probably in his best interest.

Lycaon, on the other hand, usually did err on that side. Except when you had him backed into a corner. ... Or, as it turned out, implied that their last master had gotten what she deserved. But given the circumstances, no one was surprised he'd taken that badly. Or, at least no one with any sense and knowledge of that particular slave.

Wait, the entire chain? Was this guy from Essair entirely out of his mind? It was bad enough having it confirmed that yes, they had been bought by Essair - did they even have a - no. Sandalio was almost certain they didn't. Were they being bought to start one? It was possible, stranger things had happened. Still that seemed... odd. And their buyer wanted the chains entirely gone.

The pair exchanged another glance only when the blonde boy gave them each a sword. Lycaon's eyes had the slightest flicker of confusion - they weren't even out of market yet, and they were being armed? Sandalio probably looked more openly confused, but also steadied his grip on the sword faster before lowering it to a resting state.

Their new master was something. Sandalio wasn't sure what yet. Brave, or perhaps stupid. He knew nothing about them. and daring to arm a new slave so quickly seemed... ill-thought out. Sandalio shrugged at Lycaon and moved to follow their new master.

"...Not a single word from him." Sandalio said it quietly, but Lycaon still shot him a clear 'he might hear you' look and didn't actually respond. Right, of course. Sandalio wasn't actually worried about their owner hearing that given it wasn't particularly negative, more of a surprised statement of fact but well... there'd likely be time to discuss it later.

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.
Oh, it'd make sense, someday, were the gods kind. Kassandros had never known them to be, truthfully. In most cases, it'd seem the gods laughed at their plight. Fun fact, Erus and Pyxna were most empathetic to the plight of mortals, odd considering one the god of destruction and the other the goddess of chaos, but only they truly understood what it was to suffer, for they saw it all the time. Iuna had some vague concept of it, but that was the order of living and dying, of being and not being. Life, and unlife, went on, the lonely god of a forgotten era kept it moving, and mortals were but a fleeting, split-second glimmer in the darkness of the universe.

Well... that got dark fast, didn't it. It was hard not to think down pathways such as that one. But that was the fortune of one blessed with the eyes of Oanke as he was. To know one's own fate, for as long as one could remember, and be powerless to stop it. Most didn't, couldn't, maybe, understand or comprehend the vastness of one, small, seemingly insignificant change, tipping the entire course of time and causing undue destruction and suffering. It seemed so harmless, didn't it, saving one life, just one, but that one act sent ripples out across time, ripples that affected other strands of time in unforeseeable ways. Who knew what it'd do? Time was not, as most believed, for inability to conceptualise time in any other way, linear, but rather more of a giant ball of time-strand thread. Each thread gave rise to other threads, often shorter, which wove into other strands, diverged and reconnected. They converged and took shape, they tangled, twisted, unravelled, broke, and then connected again. That was time. And it was difficult, to say the least, for a mortal mind to comprehend. Even more difficult for that mortal mind to infer what would happen, if just one thing changed.

He had three years. He had a lot to do, in that three years. Truthfully, Kassandros didn't have time to be depressed or upset about it. He didn't have time to have feelings. He knew what he was supposed to do here. And that was all he had the twisting tangle allowance to do. He couldn't get distracted. He shouldn't have even gotten distracted with this, but he had personal reasons for intervening, too. Like how he was getting a bit sick of fighting off assassins by himself. It wasn't to say he couldn't. His stamina just wasn't what it used to be, never mind his patience.

"Of course not," Kassandros said, releasing a puff of air. "I don't tend to waste air on the sadistic sharks Dalmasca calls merchants." Ultimately, though, to be fair, it wasn't the slavers' fault slavery existed. Slavery existed because the Dalmascan people had a demand for them, no more, no less. Until there was no demand, there would remain slavers and slavery, and if Kassandros wanted to end it, he'd have to make the demand stop. And the only way to do that, was to make it more attractive to hire labour, instead of chain it. Just how did he intend to do that? He was working on that. ... as far as he was concerned, blowing something up should be about the trick, but well... maybe he ought to ah, explore his options a bit first, before resorting to firepower.

He could make a mean bomb, though.

He glanced over his shoulder, a slightly awkward, lopsided smile on his face, for a moment. "I'm Kassandros," he mentioned. "Master of the house. You can call me Kass. Blond twit also works, if you're in a mood. I have enemies. Many. I can't quite keep up with them all on my own. If you two are agreeable to it, I'd like if you were security, essentially. On the side, perhaps you might be up for helping the head chef? He's a tall ilim, but he's still an ilim, and can't reach some of the shelves. I keep telling him I'll move the shelves down, our last head chef was a very tall, stocky Macenian, but Leon won't let me." It was, ah, a little grating, but Kassandros didn't usually do whatever he wanted anyway, despite the fact he was, technically, expected to.

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
Sandalio had indeed been heard, apparently. HIs attention shifted back to their master rather insantly. ... Well, Master Essair wasn't wrong, but it was strange to hear such a sentiment from a nobleman.

That was one way to handle it. But Sandalio wondered if things wouldn't move faster if they didn't have to figure out what he wanted by look alone. ... Granted, it hadn't taken the slavers long to sort out what his looks had meant. ... Either it was a common theme, or they were slightly more intelligent than Sandalio generally gave them credit for being.

Sandalio wasn't sure of a safe way to respond to that, so he didn't. Allowing his attention to stray just slightly to pay attention to the bodies that they passed through. Sandalio wasn't worried, per se, but there had to be a reason they'd been armed so abruptly.

His wording was strange. 'if you two are agreeable to it' - given they'd just been purchased Sandalio wasn't sure there was - hm. There was absolutely no way this had happened twice. The chances were so astronomically low that Sandalio refused to believe it was even possible.

Still it was... odd. "As you wish, Master Kassandros." Sandalio was just cheeky enough to test the waters with that - he wasn't afraid of punishment, exactly, though he probably should have been. He could... almost feel Lycaon staring at him. Whether that was towards what to call him, or towards security detail, it was hard to say.

Lycaon, for his own, was frowning a hair. Had their new master just implied the Ilim slave was stopping him from doing something? ... The fact that he'd considered moving the shelves alone was surprising enough, but the idea that one of the slaves could stop him was bizarre. "I'm sure we can manage." Lycaon responded finally. And they could, probably.

Thetis had had them learning all sorts of little things, after all. So helping in the kitchen wouldn't be difficult. He wouldn't pretend he understood their new master, exactly, because he certainly didn't - but they'd see how things went.

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.
It was difficult to miss the confusion, not in their words, but in the subtle ways their movements changed. Kassandros was accustomed to seeing confusion. Most displayed it, around him, in some form or another, particularly those that were lower than he. Kassandros was rather kind to lowborn, too, occasionally taking it upon himself to bring kindly, elder farmers more comfortable shoes, or help clothe small, growing boys in the winter. He was kind to everyone, so long as they were kind to him, and it was always the lowborn that were such with no duty or obligation colouring their generosity. It never ceased to astound him, how much more willing to share what they had those that were most disadvantaged were.

It made Kassandros wonder, if it was really the nobility that were wealthy.

At the title, of course, Kassandros stiffened, slightly, grimaced more at the dirt than anything. "Just... Kassandros. Maybe Kass, someday." Yes, maybe someday. He didn't expect it to happen anytime soon, at least, but he hoped, someday, in the next year or two. Yeah, that'd be nice, for them to use a silly little nickname for him before he died. It'd mean, of course, he'd done his part, as he was meant to. Most thought of him as a snake, untamed, unbridled, going where he pleased, and doing as he desired. That wasn't quite right, but the public image, it suited him. Kassandros never bothered to correct it, because what did it matter, if he was misunderstood? In any case, it meant no one underestimated him. Well, except for his father, but his father was dead, now, anyway.

Ah, here - Kass stopped, immediately drawing backward a step, and an arrow whistled past his nose, burying itself into the dirt a few feet away. Instantly, Kassandros darted across the dirt, snatching the arrow from the ground, and only then did he pull the bow off his back. Which one... ah, there, and the arrow shot back across the market's outskirts. A loud, hume sounding squawk echoed between the buildings. "NEXT TIME, AIM BETTER. ... well, suppose if that was poisoned, he's screwed anyway. Sheesh, it's almost a tragedy nobody can kill me. Ninth one today. Do they send cattle instead of assassins?" It had almost stopped being challenging, and become more annoying. Well, it wasn't entirely his concern, anymore.

And people wondered why he never left his estate. Aye, he did wonder. He cleared his throat slightly, putting his bow back, and continuing on his way. "... if it's any consolation," he mentioned, "I don't leave the estate often." Not that it stopped them from invading his estate's grounds. That was - well it was a semantic. They'd figure that part out, soon enough, he was sure. You know, if one paid their slaves, he'd likely give them a raise early on, just because, Kassandros was quite aware of what a chore it was to keep him alive (he'd been doing it, the last two weeks). What an avalanche he'd unleashed, but he'd ruined several peoples' fortune gained on the back of House Essair's misfortune, by fixing it, of course.

His father was so a righteous dumbass. If Kassandros ever found him in the next life, he'd deck him, too. "... do you two have any use for hessions?" Come to think of it, maybe he would pay them.

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
"...Right." Sandalio sounded almost skeptical. This was definitely one of those things he wasn't sure how to handle. Thetis had been one thing, an odd special case that ought not have repeated itself in the Essair line of all places. And yet... here they were. Listening to the same sentiments from a man most called terrifying.

At the very least it seemed unwise to call him something like that here in public. Sandalio didn't point that out - he wasn't sure that Kassandros would particularly care for that sentiment.

"...Ninth?" Lycaon sounded surprised by that.
"...Someone really wants you dead." Somehow Sandalio wasn't surprised to learn that fact. But still, nine attempts on his life in such a short period. Honestly though, the Macenian imagined many people wanted Kassandros dead. That was, after all, generally why someone went looking for a bodyguard.

And a snort. "No, not really a consolation, given it's hardly impossible for those who want to harm you to find their way within." Sandalio said it, but Lycaon's sound of agreement made it clear that the other Blood Fighter had already thought about it.

Especially if his enemies were this determined. ... Though also, apparently at least somewhat incompetent.

"..Er." Sandalio's step faltered for a second, and then he recovered. "Not particularly. What use would a slave have for hessions?" Exactly, none. Slaves didn't really own belongings, and there was no point in gathering things to be taken away or lost. Never mind slaves hardly had time to use coin, and most weren't permitted to go to market without explicit instructions. Especially if they were charged with keeping Master Essair alive - such a thing was likely to be a full time job, even with two of them.

Lycaon remained quiet through that brief exchange, considering more the implication of the question than the answer to it. No, a slave didn't have use for hessions, but but the question itself implied some circumstance in which they'd receive them. The only circumstance Lycaon could see that happening under would be if they fought in the Blood Fights and were permitted to keep some of their earnings, but even that was rare.

And Kassandros hadn't mentioned anything about the blood fights, only their capacity as guards.

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, the ninth. That sounded somehow impressive, sure - well, no. That was, after a moment of thought, the wrong word. For the life of him, though, Kassandros couldn't think of a better one. The only other term that came to mind was grating. He supposed that was valid, too.

"Hn," Kassandros grunted, sounding partly amused, albeit distantly, as it was heavily coloured by irritation. "The best part is, today is a good day." Nine was a fairly small number, compared to the higher side Kassandros had become accustomed to. The more time he spent in the Essair estate, the more common they became, when out in public. Most wouldn't think so, but Leon, as it happened, was rather the effective deterrent in the estate. The ilim could, if he chose to, pin a fly with an arrow 500 yards away. It made sense, then, that the smart ones had learned to run, the dumb ones had died, and the ignorant ones learned.

"Leon does well, keeping them away in the estate," Kassandros said. "It shouldn't be much worse." Barring the ignorant ones, it was comparably quiet. Thankfully. Kassandros was sure, he might well burn his house down out of irritation, merely losing control of his light expelling. Concentrated light rays were, incidentally, rather combustible.

Kassandros glanced at them, somewhat perplexed. He did realise there were some who didn't know what to do with hessions, even a vague concept of what others like them may want them for. He supposed that was a normal reaction. Still, neither were born in Dalmasca. They both were native Macenian, and both had family. A glance down, at the light splashed across the dirt, listening to the hissing sounds the light made. Only he could hear it. Only he could understand.

Ah. Only one knew.

"Some have family," Kassandros said. "Others want to go home. Some drop by taverns and brothels, or spend their hessions on hobbies. You could find something for them, I think, if you tried." Perhaps, however, it'd need more thought than Kassandros had been thinking.

He wasn't surprised. Just sad.

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
Sandalio winced slightly at the implication that nine was not an unusually high number. Well, they certainly wouldn't have a quiet time of things, it sounded like. That wasn't the worst thing in the world, but that didn't mean it would be pleasant. Still it meant they wouldn't be terribly bored at least, either. Which it wasn't impossible to entertain themselves, but having a clear indication of what they should be doing was helpful too, in its ways.

A nod. "I see." Whoever this Leon was would help. Still Sandalio expected they'd spend a reasonable amount of time busy. If only because someone like Kassandros couldn't stay inside all the time.

"Well we know what hessions are for." Lycaon responded, sounding almost amused. "But  I, at least, have never been trusted enough outside of the view of my master to go to market or... whatever. I trained, I kept to myself." Things had been different in House Kenleigh, but even there Lycaon had never gone to market alone - always with someone else to carry things or something along those lines. It was a foreign idea to go and by things for himself. And brothels were not... no.

A slight noise from Sandalio. "Yes, that." Though Kassandros' response implied a level of freedom that neither of them were used to. And honestly, it would be hard to get used to it in the sense of actually taking advantage of it. They hadn't gotten that far in Kenleigh, really, even if it had existed.

He still didn't know why Kassandros would consider paying them for doing what they'd literally been purchased to do. That seemed... counter-intuitive somehow. Or maybe Sandalio was looking at this the wrong way, somehow.

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.

Well, the bright side, if there was a bright side to be had, here, that meant the two weren't completely unsure of what they'd want, necessarily, simply that they'd never been given the freedom to go get it. That was... better. Than he'd been expecting. Kassandros arched an eyebrow, in thought. It was logical, given how much trouble most other slave owners had had with them, they would be unaccustomed to such things. Other owners wouldn't know what Kassandros did. That is, almost everything, but he figured it'd be a better idea not to mention that, in case either one had something against hume magi. Many did, and that was one thing Kassandros didn't know, just yet. It'd not had a chance to come up. Cyprian and the twins were empaths, but, neither of them knew that.

"I see," Kassandros eventually said. "Well, Leon comes and goes at will, albeit he mostly leaves to market for supplies in the estate. The healers are also in and out, for similar reasons. Still, either one of you can go with them, or on your own, whichever. Just try not to cause a scene if you can help it, and ah, be back before nightfall, most of my complications occur at night. Why, I don't know, it's harder to see the barbed wire at night, but hey, their problem not mine." If they wanted to skewer themselves on his gates before they even got in his estate, that was... well, the wire was doing its job, now wasn't it.

In any case, fortunately, that would be said estate. Mostly build of brick and stucco, with a giant stone wall around its perimeter, small fires burning on the posts, the barbed wire at the top shimmering in the firelight. The house itself was several storeys, sprawling across the grounds, impeccably cared for, albeit vines were allowed to grow freely across the outer walls. A large, overhead trellis peeked out from the back of the house, covered in vines and dangling wisteria, a fountain to the side.

"Breakfast is at dawn, Leon starts a few hours before, usually. Midday meal's about noon, and by dusk, Leon's working on dinner. If you don't eat, Leon will appear and hand you food sooner or later, I'd just expect that," of course, that was what Leon did. "We have horses, only a few, but you're welcome to borrow one if you'd rather not walk. Our visitors range from commoners under the Essair banner, to other Houses' dignitaries. Miss Livia of Asheron meanders by on occasion, you may call her Livia, her nose scrunches adorably at anything else. Unless it's Regillus, no one in Lancaster is allowed past my gate. And do tell Canius to suck it if he comes by again. Try not to deck Marcus Cassimer if he's here, but most likely it'll be one of his sons, they're infinitely more tolerable." He had nothing against Lucius or Damian, but Marcus could just go choke on a -

Hmm. Something seemed off. ... ah. It was oddly quiet. Pulling his bow off his back, again... no, he didn't have physical arrows, but neither did Kassandros need them, which direction... he'd take the back... scooting around the side of the house, then.

20 Posts 17 Years Male Galace Slave House Essair Played by hephaestus
Words mean nothing. It is easy to say, but it is many times harder to do.
That could have gone much worse. All that broke, fortunately, were a few cheap vases, a container of flour or two, and one of the younger slaves had gotten caught in the crossfire. Leon didn't get them quickly enough, one of the assassins after Kassandros, of course, had to chase them through the estate, and then ended up accidentally knocking a shelf off the wall. It'd fallen onto one of the hume girls, but she was okay, just a little bruised, and a piece of glass had cut one of the older ones. Leon was fairly certain he'd chased the bastard out, but he was just making sure there weren't any others he'd missed.

Being ilim was useful for this; typically, Leon could smell them long before he saw them, and it helped him get to them first, before they got in the house and caused such messes. This was the first one he'd not caught before they got in the door in a good long while. He had a track record, damn it. At least Kassandros wasn't home, yet, they had time to clean it up and-

He was home. ... what were those new scents, though... ah, actually, smelled like blood fighter-wait, blood fighter? Now the ilim was confused, but many things Kassandros did were confusing, to be frank. His tail twitched, and he ran around the side of the house. Kassandros would probably take the back way in if he'd noticed-

And he almost ran smack into him. Squeaking, just slightly, putting his bow down. "You can't come in yet!" If nothing else, there was flour and blood all over the floor. "Uh. Maybe go take the horses for a walk or something, right? Something else. Like that. ... wait, you did get blood fighters, what for?"

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
"To be fair, it's generally easier to sneak around unseen at night as well, so there is some logic behind it." Though he wasn't sure anyone could be considered intelligent for attempting to get around barbed wire when they couldn't properly see it. Still, not Sandalio's problem if they managed to injure themselves trying to get in. It would simply make them easier to stop on the inside, if they made it that far.

It was well built, Lycaon decided after a moment of observation. The wall was solid, and the building itself was relatively attractive. The vines were a nice touch, he thought. Things were also... strangely quiet. ... To be fair, it was possible that that was the normal state of things around here.

Right, approximate mealtimes. Sandalio supposed that might be relatively important information since they were expected to also be helping in the kitchen. ... And they were not to allow the majority of House Lancaster beyond the gate. Well, alright. He certainly wasn't going to complain about having the authority to refuse some of the less pleasant individuals entry.

Sandalio also wouldn't pretend he wouldn't take some perverse joy in blocking Canius' way. No one liked Canius anyway - actually, Sandalio was relatively sure the kid didn't even really like himself but that was, ah, not really his place or his concern.

Ah... hm. Well going around this way seemed to imply there really might be something to the quiet.

It wasn't long before they were intercepted by something moving fast. Alasdair, for a heartbeat slid into a recognizable defensive stance - but relaxed when he noticed it was a small Ilim. The chances of an Ilim assassin versus the fact that Kassandros had already told him he had an Ilim head of the kitchen ... well. It was enough to make Alasdair back off, especially since the Ilim began to address Kassandros rather immediately.

Wait, had the Ilim just said - he had. Sandalio looked surprised, and more than a little confused. By the time the Ilim got around to acknowledging their existence, both Sandalio and Lycaon were staring at him like he had two heads or something.

"As guards." Sandalio offered after a moment, having apparently recovered first. "Nine attempts today alone, can't imagine why..." He left out the part that they could also double as reaching-things-on-the-shelves helpers. The Ilim would see that soon enough.

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.
Ah, that much was true. The faster they smelled like blood, though, the quicker Leon scented them. Kassandros supposed this was really sort of a lose-lose situation, but that was sort of the point, anyway, as it were. If they attempted during the day, Kassandros always knew, because he could see them even if he couldn't see them. Blood and steel was very obviously not a typical scent in the estate, and Leon had long figured that out. He hadn't been there long - only a few scant months - but Kassandros had been right when he'd presumed the ilim would learn quickly. By now, almost the moment someone set foot on his estate's grounds, Leon was chucking sorcery or aura bolts at them through an open window. It was rather quite useful, though. Once in a while, however, one got in, and while Kassandros could handle those himself, it was eternally grating.

That was what these two were for, of course. Among other things. Thetis was too kind; Kassandros didn't think they'd adjust to a typical Dalmascan owner again, at the very least, not very well. Admittedly, the twins and Cyprian ended up with Lucius - speaking of, he actually did need to detour because he needed to get Dimitrios...

Oh. Leon. Reaching a hand out to steady the ilim, just in case he lost his balance from stopping so abruptly. "... I can't? And why's that?" It sounded like another of his fans had gotten in the gates. It wasn't anything Kassandros hadn't ever seen before. He wasn't proud of it, and didn't like to admit it, but he'd spent some time in Macenia with the military. It'd made him hate Dalmasca, even more than he already did, but the people thought they were helping, giving the Macenians some purpose to their lives, as if they didn't have it already - that was beside the point, don't get mad... it wasn't like it was Leon's fault, what inane thought trails his mind blazed.

"Right. What he said. Ah, Leon, this is Sandalio and this one is A - ... Lycaon, and this is Leon, his mother named him Vaenos but he seems to prefer Leon," for whatever reason, Kassandros wouldn't pretend he knew nor understood. If it made Leon happy, he'd stick to Leon, despite instinctively wanting to call him Vaenos all the time. "I do have a side-track I need to make, but I've seen worse than whatever's in my house, you know." He was just pointing that out.

20 Posts 17 Years Male Galace Slave House Essair Played by hephaestus
Words mean nothing. It is easy to say, but it is many times harder to do.
Guards. Leon made a face, like he wasn't entirely certain he believed that, if only because it'd been this long, and Kassandros hadn't seen fit to get these guards until now. Then again, the numbers were increasing. Many were beginning to fear Kassandros aimed for Imperator, and quite truthfully, Leon was rather convinced he did, so the fears were not unfounded. Apparently, it meant the other Houses attempted to murder him with more gusto. Kassandros, Leon was convinced, would be the best thing that had ever happened to Dalmasca, and it was in their better interests to help him get there, than try to impede him.

But nobody was going to ask some stupid little ilim, who meant nothing to no one except Kassandros. If he knew it, and he might, as Kassandros knew most things, if he knew Leon would gladly die for him if he had to, Leon didn't have to wonder if he'd be upset about it. And that, you see, was why he would. He was sure many would disapprove, think he'd lost his mind. Kassandros had a way, he supposed, of inspiring loyalty, without even truly trying.

Anyone that knew anything about him, knew that.

"Of course," Leon answered, arching an eyebrow. "Nice to meet you. ... you got towers on purpose, didn't you, this is about the stupid shelves, I told you I can deal with the shelves!" So what if they were a bit higher up the wall than was choice for an ilim, whatever. Leon was at least a tall ilim (not by much, admittedly). "Make that ten. Happen to see any blood on the wire on the way in?" If the gods were kind, the idiot skewered himself on the way out. Lora would be fine, he was sure, Leon had faith in the healers, but really. Blood for blood, and all of that.

"... and what's with the faces? Never seen an ilim before or something?" Highly unlikely, ilim were quite common. But he couldn't think, offhand, of what else the weird looks might be for. "And I know, but that's really not the point, one of the shelves came down and there's glass and flour and blood everywhere! You could stain your clothes and stuff! Turn your hair pink!! Travesty." Truly.