Xenofos — After Shock
????, Earth Season, Fertility Week
Earth Season, Fertility Week, WIldday, late afternoon. Varanis has just been sparring dangerously, and Xenofos was her partner. Berra, who had threatened Varanis with a pasting over it, catches up with him. [[[s02:session-9|Session 9]]]
Berra has to break into a run for a moment to catch up with Xenofos, but she does just that, jogging over the practice dust and getting it all over her greaves.
Xenofos seems to be heading towards his room to drop off gear. But Humakti catches him well before that.
She drops into place beside him, and dips head and shoulders in a bow. “Thank you for that. For being sensible when I was losing my temper. I wouldn’t have kicked her but I really … I was annoyed.”
Xenofos looks sideways tersely and nods.
“Well, I might have. But not when someone was holding her.” Berra stops talking then, and paces along silently.
“I seem to recall we have discussed this topic earlier and I tried to discourage you from such behaviour.”
“Yeah. Well, she was wrong that time too. If she’s going to bring violence, she needs to understand she’ll create it, and it might hit her.” The silence does not last long.
Xenofos nods. He is not looking at Berra but somewhere distant.
Berra keeps pace, and asks as they turn towards his room, “How are you?”
“Right leg is still a bit stiff from that doorway, otherwise quite hale.”
“You did well, but if you’re going to do that sort of thing… can you access a Shield spell?” Berra probably unhorsed her own thinking halfway through her sentence.
“Not quite the province of the Sage god,” comes the answer with a shrug.
“Then get someone else to do it for you. You’re brave, but you had professional warriors with you. You’re competent enough to be in the van, but if you get hurt going through the door, other people have to look after you.”
“I am a nobleman of House Saiciae, war and protecting Ernalda is what we do. It would not do to ask others to do it for us.”
“Uh… you may have the wrong idea about heroism. That’s Orlanth thinking. Not quite the province of the Sage god.”
Berra has missed the drop of temperature in the corridor when icy polite tone of Xenofos echoes like lead.1Failure at Insight (Human). He goes on. “No, not province of Sage god. But neither is riding to war.”
“Yep. And one of the best ways to make sure you do well out there is not to risk death when there are other people who’ll risk less. If I’d gone through that door… well, in this case it would probably have been bad, I grant you. But now I know I’ll need to add shields. Magic. Oh! Can you afford to buy yourself something that would give you magical protection? That would work.”
Xenofos listens politely, nodding occasionally.
“I’ll be in the courtyard around dawn, if you want to spar again,” Berra says, slowing down a little after the last turn towards his room.
“That might be useful. Unless you think I would better be just practising my calligraphy. ” Xenofos says venomously. Purses his lips and breaths several times in and out ” Sorry, now I am venting my anger at Varanis to you. I should not do that. Apologies.”
Berra was taking a moment to reply, or to think before replying, and the apology gets a nod. “It happens. But you should get yourself magic to help, if you’re going to use obvious… well, ‘obvious tactics’ is a phrase in the Battalion. It means pretty much what you did, but sometimes with more shouting. I’ll leave you to it, then. I need to calm down before I see her, too.”
“Yes?” The Humakti pauses in the middle of turning to go. Her helmet is pushed back, her expression schooled to courtesy.
“Sparring would be useful – and appreciated. I’ll be there in the morning.”
Berra nods, and gives Xenofos a brief smile, although strain shows at the edges. Her weight moves fluidly as she turns back into someone who is walking away, not someone who is pausing.
Xenofos lets his eyes follow the Humakti until she vanishes to the maze that is Saiciae palazzo, before turning to drop his armour and weapons into his room.