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Posted by Anke 
Random Intermission story
July 01, 2012 03:13PM
"Sure, miss. Ta." With that, Bern wandered off, exchanging a few jokes with faces familiar.

Sebaatian glanced at the ceiling and looked pensive. "Polite kid."
Random Intermission story
July 01, 2012 07:24PM
Sylvie hummed more-or-less affirmatively, keeping a comment about being lucky too herself, and after a quick look at Sebastian picked up her spoon and stirred the contents of her bowl. Still steaming slightly, and looking delicious.

"Is the food not to your liking?" she asked quietly.
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July 01, 2012 08:34PM
"It is. Rabbit is always good," he said, looking at her with a faint smile. "Taste good to you?"
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July 03, 2012 11:14PM
She tried it and answered, "Yes."
Mind still working on absorbing the news, and hunger finally demanding attention, she concentrated on the food. With something in her stomach the results of their work would probably seem less ambiguous, too. You could not start down in the direction of blaming yourself for not solving things faster. That way lay madness.
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July 04, 2012 10:05AM
Those were his thoughts as well, but then -- he was used to being the vessel of two goddesses doing what they could not do without shirking their own duties. Metaphysics aside, he had never quite understood why they even needed Foxglove, Hat or the Fortunate. He'd just accepted it. The best he had ever come up with, once the eventual spiral into despair began in earnest, was that all gods played games with each other through pawns.

Sebastian supposed it said something of his track record that he had won or at the very least escaped most of the time. Knowing Luck, some of his failures had been engineered to steel his resolve later on. He was, after all, one of those pieces on the chess board that moved unpredictably, against the rules -- most others followed patterns, pawns of lunatic gods did not.

His food remained mostly untouched, but he worked at it anyway, outwardly calm.

In the end Sebastian finished only half of his meal, listening to the slowly dying din of drunken voices for a moment. Suddenly feeling weary, he half-emptied another cup of moonshine with a huff and looked toward where Reuel was, escorting someone out.

Then he saw Sylvie again, and this time did not stop to commit her features to memory. Instead, he relaxed and let down the barrier he normally had. "Sleepy?"
Random Intermission story
July 04, 2012 12:35PM
"A bit." She looked from his drink to his face and smiled amusedly. "If I'd been drinking that, I'd have keeled over already."
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July 04, 2012 12:38PM
Sebastian looked at the cup. "You know, I feel slightly tipsy. Still, that lot," he pointed over his shoulder with a thumb, "probably had more than me." Pause. "I hope."
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July 04, 2012 01:02PM
"All put together, certainly. If you're used to it..." He second cup still sat there untouched - that at least meant she hadn't had to fend off a third. "I got drunk once. Put me off strong liquor, waking up nauseous and tied to my bed."
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July 04, 2012 01:08PM
Sebastian's expression went from amused, then to blank, then to a twitch of lips and ears both. "I've been there too," he said quietly, sipping from the cup. The blush wasn't because of the alcohol. "No, I've always had a good tolerance for toxins and poisons. I suspect my other employer might have something to do with that."

He couldn't help. "...naked?"
Random Intermission story
July 04, 2012 01:26PM
"No, that would have made trouble certain, rather than a possibility. They must have been a good deal more sober than I and kept that in mind." She was perfectly relaxed, only keeping an eye out for Reuel to ask if she could get water, or something else that could not be lit on fire.
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July 04, 2012 01:37PM
Reuel whistled as he came over, and gladly offered to fetch some water for Sylvie. Before he left, however, the innkeep proudly said, "That's prime dragonfire booze! Been keeping the cask around for a special occasion!"

"I'm ashamed to say, I've found myself in, er, yes, just that predicament." Quietly, Sebastian added, and coughed afterward: "Several times."

Reuel had plonked another cup in front of him on the way elsewhere. He looked at it carefully, with a hint of trepidation.
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July 04, 2012 02:33PM
"Entirely my failing that I can't stomach it." Sylvie's smile at Reuel grew just a little fixed at the mention of dragonfire, but she relaxed after a moment - it seemed like this time she had really left Ayu-Asra behind.

After discarding two or three things she could have said, she just watched Sebastian curiously.
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July 04, 2012 02:36PM
"Failing? Maybe not so, but common sense." Sebastian was silent for a while, meeting her gaze. "Yes?"
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July 04, 2012 04:25PM
"I was just wondering if I should mention that I've had way less time to repeat mistakes."
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July 04, 2012 04:52PM
He chuckled. "But now we shall make mistakes together, and happy memories, hm?" Sebastian smiled, offering fingertips to Sylvie.

Reuel arrived with a jug of water -- and more moonshine.
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July 05, 2012 12:22PM
Sylvie mirrored Sebastian's gesture, chuckling with her eyes closed. She leaned closer to him and said, "Hopefully the former can be turned into the latter."
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July 05, 2012 12:28PM
"I hope so too," he muttered back, watching Reuel go. Judging by the flush on the man's face, he was inebriated, sampling his own cask. "How about we start on making the happy memories after you've had your fill of water?" Sebastian teased.
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July 05, 2012 05:43PM
"And I thought we had started on that a while ago." Her smile was decidedly impish while she poured herself something to drink, pretending she wasn't watching Sebastian out of the corner of her eye, and not a second believing he would miss it. She placed the jug to her left, in his easy reach.
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July 05, 2012 07:23PM
"Oh, we did. I hope we'll continue on the same track," he grinned -- admittedly noticing her look. He went for the water, just after Sebastian had poured the cup's contents on the floor.

"So...?" the half-elf purred.
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July 07, 2012 10:01PM
He made Sylvie laugh. "Gladly."

They repaired to a room before anybody started a brawl.

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On their journey further south, Sylvie enjoyed the present. Further from Hilyet the gossip and news about the Sabas were still present, but not of as much interest to the locals, making them easier to almost-ignore.

However, when the valley narrowed and the two of them returned to the highway close to the river, news travelled faster and was filtered through fewer intermediates' retelling. The Saba family being ousted and one of their scions, Ludovic, being hanged was big enough news to spread anywhere.
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July 08, 2012 12:00PM
The news wasn't that surprising to Sebastian.

He took the news in somewhat well, chewing on some wood sorrel as he digested the information. "Well," he finally said grimly and soberly to Sylvie once they were a bit farther away from other people, "I'm not sorry he was hanged." His tone was a monotone when he continued: "I'd rather have seen him see the ruins for many a year, but I suppose... stupid gets what stupid does."

After that proclamation, he sighed and put one leg in front of the other, the back of his hand touching Sylvie's lightly.
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July 08, 2012 01:13PM
"It seems just as well to me," Sylvie answered, briefly taking Sebastian's hand and smiling softly at him before turning her attention forward again. "He's gone for good, so he can't cause any kind of trouble in future." If anything, she was surprised that his parents had gotten away, but since she knew of their involvement only second-hand, and had never met them, it was easy to not dwell on their fate.
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July 08, 2012 02:00PM
"I like to think of death as too gentle a punishment. You know that: letting people see their own ruination, maybe learning from their mistakes --" he paused "-- it seems better, but you're right. He was trash.

"I just hope I'll learn to live proper, too. It feels like, well, in hindsight, I was always the one being taught about cruelty and compassion. Consequences." He listened to the wind as he spoke, then looked at Sylvie. He smiled. "Sorry. Wan."
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July 08, 2012 04:56PM
Well, that helped explain why he let Brice get away.

"That happens. I'm sure you'll figure it out."
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July 08, 2012 06:13PM
He said nothing to that. A part of him discarded sympathy the moment it was offered. What Sebastian took gladly, though, was warmth.

"It happens," he admitted.
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July 08, 2012 07:23PM
Her mind wandered a little, wondering what 'living proper' meant. After a short while she said conversationally, "Considering consequences of your actions seems to be at the root of it. Not caring a whit about how what you do is bad for other people is how you get, well, Sabas."
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July 08, 2012 07:29PM
Sebastian thought about it for a while. "But I have the impression that you at times considered me callous," he finally said. "I am. Just deserts, so forth."
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July 08, 2012 07:33PM
She blinked and gave him a surprised and slightly amused look. "What comes to my mind is you being surprisingly soft-hearted, actually."
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July 08, 2012 07:36PM
Sebastian stopped, incredulous. He stared, tried to find the words, then settled for closing his eyes momentarily and saying: "I never thought I'd hear someone say that about me."
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July 08, 2012 07:42PM
She looked around for other travellers, but no-one else was in earshot at the moment. Leaning close and lowering her voice anyway, she said, only just holding back a chuckle, "Getting someone who tried to kill you patched up, and giving someone involved in flooding a city the means to get away? Well, I was surprised."
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