How I Became an Errand BoyStarted by Axelius at Apr 06, 2019 2:26 am
Einmanudur 9, 76
On the one hand, it was understandable.
Livia didn't have too many people she'd be willing to trust with sensitive information and item transport, of course. It made sense she'd want someone she did trust taking messages to Kassandros. Certainly, Alcides was at the top of that list (Axelius would be... uh, confused, if he wasn't, but it wasn't as if he could read her gorgeousness's mind, either, so maybe he wasn't), and Axelius was maybe somewhere down there on it. So, it made sense, but it was also kind of, why him? He wasn't a messenger boy, obviously, he was a giant Macenian tower of a blood fighter, not that anyone could tell he was Macenian at first glance, anyway. That was beside the point.
In any case, here he was, wandering around the streets of Nydema, trying to figure out where in the hell he was. He remembered roughly how to get to House Essair, but he had to admit, it wasn't like he went there a whole lot. The way was somewhat lost in the back of his mind somewhere, but it shouldn't be that hard to figure out. He just had to find it in the mess of estates back here, and then figure out the best street route over there, right? Right, also wrong, see, these streets were nuts. He'd forgotten just how difficult to get around in they really were, but, he supposed that was really unnecessary melodrama.
Anyway... he thought this way. Axelius made a face, more to himself, and headed down this random street. As it turned out, he was almost right; it led to the side of the street he did need, but it was close enough. Hey, he got there, don't judge him. Though, after finally approaching the gates, he paused right there, because one of their guard looked awfully familiar, and he was having a hard time figuring out why... ... staring was rude, but, that was going to bug him...
Lycaon had originally be purchased as one of Kassandros' personal guards, but somehow he ended up here, acting as a house guard an awful lot. The Macenian blood fighter didn't actually mind, it meant he was here more often than Sandalio was, which meant he could see the boys and Thetis more often - even if it was only to lay eyes on them for a moment and know that they were okay. Or at least, as okay as they could be. It was nice to know that, after all that had happened.
It also meant he ended up face to face with interesting people - sometimes Kassandros warned him they were coming, and sometimes they just showed up. Today was one of those days that he'd ended up at the gate instead of patrolling a portion of the back or up on the wall or something of that nature. It had been quiet for a short while. No assassins and nothing particularly explosive going on - merely the occasional visitor from here or there. Today it seemed was one of those days they had a visitor.
For a moment familiarity pulled at him, but the pink hair stopped him in his tracks. No, he'd remember if he new someone with hair that color. Though of course, that color could only be dye, so it must have been a different color at some point. Still, after focusing on the features Lycaon couldn't shake the feeling of familiarity but also couldn't figure out where he might have known the other from. That was going to drive him slightly crazy. Anyway, it wasn't really important.
He inclined his head slightly in greeting. "Something I can help with?" The other was sort-of staring at him too, he'd noticed. ... Either way, they both likely had a job to do at this point, and maybe it was best not to dwell on it for too long. Staring was rude and slaves came and went, maybe they'd been in the same house briefly or something.
Well, yes. Probably. Most likely, at least, this one probably had a better idea of where to find Kassandros off-hand, than Axelius would. He uh, he didn't have a particular habit of keeping track of the guy (he had a hard enough time keeping track of Livia, but thankfully, Alcides was infinitely better at it than he was, and that was a good thing). Something told him, from what Livia had said of the guy, Kassandros would be even worse to try and keep up with, and uh, he was good on that one, yep.
"Well, her gorgeousn - .... Asheron. Miss Asheron," he forgot most people didn't know her as 'her gorgeousness,' and he was still confused as to why she let him get away with that, anyway, "sent me to pass on a message to Master Essair." He paused, there, to hold up an envelope with the Asheron dragon seal on it. "The blond frown-y one, as she put it. I suppose I can wander around until I find him, or maybe you have a better idea where he is than I do." He still really was familiar-looking, and that was probably going to bother him.
... ah, what the heck. Was he, or was he not, mother-fuggin-Axelius. "I'm Axelius, by the way." If he recognised that name, and he'd been paying attention, he was fairly sure he was one of maybe three Axelius' in the entirety of Dalmasca, then that said a lot. And then maybe he could just, go from there. The worst that happened was, someone extra knew his name. Whupdidoo, not like it was a particularly important name. ... though, it was starting to get some arena clout, if only because probably a vast majority of the arena-goers kept wondering why and how the fuck he was still alive.
Frankly, he had no idea. Luck and... and stubbornness, or something. ... and not being pit against a damned spearman. If ever that happened, something told him, he may not get away from that one entirely unscathed. Not that he usually did, which only lent more credence to that thought.
Ah, of course a note from Asheron. Well, Lycaon could certainly help get that to where it needed to go. He thought he knew where Kassandros was at the moment so it shouldn't be a difficult task at least presuming he hadn't missed something happening in the last little while.
Uh. Wait. Axelius? Lycaon's brow furrowed slightly as he stared at the other. Well that... that explained a bit, he thought. Lycaon released a deep breath slowly. "I'm Lycaon." He offered mildly. "... Alasdair, originally but most don't know that one." He had briefly tried to insist on it when he was first dragged here into Dalmasca but that had quickly been brutalized out of him. Then again, given how old he'd been, it wasn't terribly shocking that he hadn't been able to hold up to it for long.
And yet, he was pretty sure he recognized this one, and while Axelius really might not know him as Alasdair, Lycaon combined with the fact that they seemed to be familiar to each other would probably tip him off. At least as well as anything was going to. .... It was odd, running into someone from that place, though it probably shouldn't have been. Lycaon wasn't sure how he felt about it.
Mostly he thought he would try not to dwell on it for too long.
"Uh, but Kassandros is probably in his office. I can take you there." The others would be able to manage the gate just fine, probably. It wasn't like anyone was generally stupid enough to go for a frontal attack in broad daylight. Being here just gave him something to do.
Lycaon. Well, that answered his question, didn't it? They did know one another, albeit Axelius did not expect to run into any of the other slaves from that house. Normally, they didn't really leave, or went to a brothel, like he had. Mostly to himself, he smirked his boyish smirk. Lycaon had grown up and gotten hot. Axelius heard he had, too. He did have to admit, he kind of liked his real name better. "I can't remember mine," he said, referencing his real name. He had one, something with an N, but he didn't remember what it was. It probably didn't much matter, anyway.
"Yeah, shouldn't take long," he said. And he had some time if the other Macenian wanted to talk. "Her gorgeousness never minds if I wander around, so I can stay for a while, if you want. It's kind of nice to see you." It wasn't every day reunions happened, after all, though they seemed to be more common around houses Essair and Asheron than most. Funny how that worked out.
He probably missed the brothel, really, or at least the people in it, but the opportunity to reconnect with someone he practically grew up with was one he didn't think he'd pass up, given the choice.
"Alright." And that was.... good, if she wasn't goign to mind if he hung around then maybe it would be worth it to spend a few minutes catching up once the message had been delivered. .... Lycaon wasn't sure how he felt, exactly, about meeting someone from his first house. But he had liked Axelius and maybe it would be nice to reconnect to someone he'd considered a friend before.
"It's nice to see you too." Lycaon agreed with a bit of a smile as he led the way towards the house. If nothing else, getting the message delivered was a good idea. They could talk after, apparently. Being fair about it, the more Lycaon thought about that idea, the more he liked it. Axel was a friendly guy and getting to talk to him would be nice.
They'd both grown up quite a bit since they last saw each other. It would, ah, be interesting to see how they'd each changed though because Lycaon was sure they had. "... Her gorgeousness?" Sort of a cross between curious and amused, actually. That was ah, an interesting thing to call his master. On the other hand, it said a lot for his relationship with aforementioned master and that was probably really a good thing.
Getting along with one's owner was a rare treat but it said a lot of good things. Axelius had called her Miss Asheron before, so he probably meant Livia. ... Being fair about it, Lycaon had yet to hear anyone say anything bad about Livia who wasn't just bemoaning the fact that she didn't put up with much from those who thought they were better than her for whatever reason.
... yes, he supposed that was a strange thing to call your master-lady. If it made anyone feel any better, even Axelius wasn't quite sure why she tolerated it. Then again, he'd never known her to be particularly easy to ruffle. Maybe it was just a side-effect of being accustomed to being called far, far worse (he'd heard some of that worse), but it was somewhat of a moral quandary, whether to use the nickname, or start defaulting to her actual name. But then, he wouldn't really be himself if he didn't use a nickname. (Most anyone he liked got one.)
His best guess was, she figured that out, somewhere along the way. It was just fortunate she never seemed to mind it. (She really was rather gorgeous, so it wasn't like it was a lie, either.)
"Ah, Livia," he clarified. It was maybe easy enough to figure out who he meant, but he still figured he should say that. "I was going for your grace when we first met, you know, be like, respectful and shit, people don't tend to buy ill-tempered blood fighters and all, and it came out your gorgeousness. Somehow it stuck. I think I apologised for it the first time and she said she didn't mind. And then she was like, "Oh, by the way, you get a room, with a bed." And then was like, "Oh, you also get to keep your arena earnings," and I'm like, okay, so where's the bad part, and then, she put me on house guard and pays me for it. And, I can go wherever I want, whenever I want, provided she doesn't need anything. ... I think this is like, freedom sort of? It's mostly just. Weird." Really, really weird...
Maybe that was strange, but you know, you grow up always with someone else telling you what to do and how to dress and talk and think and the sudden autonomy was... odd. Axelius was better at adjusting to it than most, probably, he was a very free-spirit in general, already. "But uh, you probably get my confusion," he added, glancing up at the estate. "I hear this house is about as confusing."
That did explain how that had happened, yes. Lycaon had been sort of curious so there was that. Well if it worked and Livia didn't mind that was all that really mattered he supposed. Besides that, being fair about it he was pretty sure they could get away with calling Master Essair different things than they did without trouble so it really wasn't that weird just ah. Hm. Apparently there were a few strange houses around. But then again Livia and Kassandros were pretty close he supposed.
Axelius got the same level of practically free and he got to keep his earnings from the arena that was pretty neat. Meant he was still fighting but then again if the guy was allowed to keep his earnings then Lycaon supposed he could probably stop fighting if he wanted to, he just hadn't wanted to for one reason or another.
"I do." Lycaon agreed as they entered the house properly. "We all have our own rooms with doors that lock and beds." It was an odd thing, really. Kind of a big deal, treated as if it was completely normal. "The only things he's insistent about are clothes, the armbands, and eating regularly." Pause. "And not calling him any variation of master." Right, almost forgot that one.
It was.... strange, very strange. At some point it had also become nice. The whole... vague freedom and ability to pick and choose tasks in the house and do what he was good at or what he was interested in and not just.... whatever he was told to do. "I find I like the freedom, as strange as it still is sometimes." Lycaon had to admit that much as he led the way up the stairs.
He'd been lucky, Thetis had let him learn some of that before he and Sandalio came here. The transition here had been easier than it would have been to go back to a normal house with all the usual restrictions.
Their doors locked? Hmm, come to think of it, he had no idea if the ones at House Asheron did. Maybe, but, so far, nobody had needed to bother seeing if they did actually lock, because Livia was apparently very serious about that personal-space thing. They really weren't allowed to invade each other's space, it was almost amusing, and it probably would be very amusing, if it weren't for the fact it was so damned weird.
Right, the armbands. For some reason, House Essair all wore armbands with a cobra on them. "Huh, you know, I noticed the armbands I just never thought about 'em much. What're they for?" Maybe Lycaon had a better idea than he did, and Axelius was curious. He did, as well, remember a large number of the people on the streets wearing very similar bands. Which was odd, because he supposed that meant House Essair owned a large majority of Nydema, but that wasn't very logical, because Asheron and Lancaster alone should way outnumber Essair...
Now he was confused.
"But the freedom is kinda nice, yeah," he agreed. "Still strange, though. Not sure if our doors lock, but I bet you they do. Seems like something her gorgeousness would insist on. She also scrunches her nose adorably if someone calls her Miss or Milady or Mistress or something." It was stupid cute. Yeah, he knew, he had a serious thing for her, but he'd figured that one out a long time ago. Fortunately for him, he also had a thing for Alcides, so it worked out. "Does Kassandros? I kind of wanna find out, now." He bet that'd be pretty cute, too.
"Well for us they seem to be to mark us as being Essair property. Think to make sure no one tries anything." Because they were slaves, so no one cared about their agency. They may, however, care about upsetting Kassandros. "But I've noticed it on quite a few people that I've never met before on the streets. And sometimes people wearing it come to the house and talk with Kassandros." He shrugged slightly. "May also be some sort of a single for people he's got working for him?" It seemed a logical step but Lycaon wasn't entirely sure what it was meant to do. "But that's just an idea."
"I never thought to ask." Nah, it wasn't really his business. A slave didn't question such things.
"Yea, kinda strange." Lycaon agreed with a nod. It was strange because that was two houses in a row that really just seemed to want to remind them that they were people. Which was its own bit of weird because they weren't not really, they were property.
"He sort of..." Lycaon wasn't sure how to describe the expression that Kassandros typically made. "Looks very put upon." Lycaon hadn't ever really noticed if he scrunched his nose too, admittedly. That wasn't something that really had ever crossed his mind to pay attention to.
Ah it was this one. Lycaon tapped on the doorframe leading into Kassandros' office. .... What? He probably could have just gone inside, but that seemed rude.