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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:49 am 
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Eira stood on a balcony overlooking the ballroom as nobles and royals from across the kingdoms made their way inside, each wearing a mask that covered their face, obscuring their identity--in theory, anyways. The masquerade ball that was to be held tonight was the idea of her advisers. She had initially been opposed to the event, given the state that the kingdoms were in. They had more important things to worry about than throwing parties and trying to marry her off. There were people in the kingdom who had little to eat, and they were throwing a ball with a feast in which much of the food would go to waste. Of course, she would ensure that whatever food was left was given to those in need, but such festivities still seemed to be in poor taste as far as she was concerned.

The main reason she had agreed was because they were right about one thing. The kingdom did need a strong alliance with one of the kingdoms that was less effected by the war and who could provide assistance to their kingdom. Whether the alliance was between the ruler, or future ruler, of another kingdom, or between one of the powerful houses in one of the kingdoms was yet to be seen. So long as the alliance would benefit her people, and she could stand the other person, she would do her duty and marry whomever could provide the assistance they needed.

Her advisers had also suggested that the festivities would be a welcomed distraction for many in the kingdom, but Eira suspected that, while it may be a welcomed distraction to those of wealth and power, it wouldn't serve the same purpose for those who had nothing. They wouldn't have a status that would earn them an invitation, nor the money to buy an outfit, should they be allowed in. Still, her advisers had insisted that it would be in their best interest, and a wise ruler listened to the council of those they trusted, even if they didn't always take that advice. In this case, she had listened. She'd spent years refusing to marry, and she had proved to everyone that she was more than capable of ruling without a man at her side. Now, however, they needed an alliance, so she would play her part in acquiring an alliance and securing the aid that her people needed.

Now she stood on the balcony, overlooking those who were guests at the ball as they mingled and danced as if there were no troubles in the world. A mask hid her face as she observed them, but it did little to hide her identity. She was the tallest woman in the room, as per usual, and her almost ice blue eyes could be seen behind the mask. Her pale blonde, almost white hair was pulled back into a partial up-do, the remaining locks draping down her back and over her shoulders onto the elegant blue and white gown she wore. A necklace made of blue stone that very much resembled ice hung around her neck, with matching earrings dangling from her ears.

She held herself with all the grace and elegance expected of a queen as she looked out over the people, many of them rulers from other kingdoms, others nobles and those in some position of power in some kingdom or another. Many had traveled a great distance to get here, while others had come from neighboring kingdoms. All of them had come for one of three reasons. They wished to have the opportunity to marry or to have one of their children marry the queen of Eirwen, they were invited and simply didn't want to refuse an invitation to such an event from someone such as Queen Eira, or they were looking to escape the realities of the state of the kingdoms, if only for a night. Whatever the reason, they were here.

Rhoswen, one of Eira's most trusted adviser, and the main culprit behind this ball and Eira's potential marriage, stood before the crowd and welcomed them to Eirwen, thanking them for coming and letting them know that they hoped they would have a good time throughout the evening and enjoy the festivities. Once she had welcomed them, she allowed the festivities to continue and the room was soon filled with music and laughter and the buzz of idle chatter.

Eira was not fond of idle chatter, but she would play her part as best she could. She descended the staircase with effortless grace and joined the crowd below. As she entered the crowd, those around her parted, standing on either side of her as she wordlessly passed through the crowd, stopping only once someone finally had the nerve to speak up. She turned to look at the man who held out a hand, asking her to dance. Normally she would have been hesitant, but given the setting and the purpose of the ball, she supposed that it was for the best. She gave a bow and gently placed her hand in his, allowing him to lead the way.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:46 am 
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Somewhere off in the distance, a man had seen an opportunity. A young man (a prince, judging by the attire) was late to arrive. He had not wanted to go to this ball, fighting his father tooth and nail, an uphill struggle that resulted in him getting kicked down said hill and covered in mud, since his family had received the invitation. He sat bored, looking out at the scenery as the carriage passed. The two horses, one a bay and the other chestnut, both Thoroughbreds, pulling the carriage were looking a lot livelier than he was.

That was what Egil got from the situation. This young man looked like a typical spoiled son who did not particularly like playing along as the obedient puppy his family hoped he was. He took note as he skulked alongside the carriage, several feet away, unbeknownst to the young man and his (assumed) caretakers. He didn’t see the king… Up close, he recognized the kingdom’s insignia: they are from his homeland. Oh, how things have changed, he thought briefly, then turned his thoughts back to his objective.

They all seemed to be off in their own minds, looking at the sights with stoic expressions. Unsuspecting. The perfect targets.

However, much to his dismay, they were not too far behind some other stragglers and some people had approached them.

Egil was not really the socializing type. What brought him here tonight was difficult to say; perhaps he was just bored, in need of something to do. When he caught wind of this ball, something that was supposed to bring people together, he was drawn to it. Perhaps he was drawn to it for the same reasons many of those attending tonight were. But… he needed a mask to get in, and an invitation. His mind was only set on the mask. Forget about the invitation; who said that an invitation was absolutely necessary.

Truth be told, he could have easily found a mask in town. Since the event was announced, small shops seemed to start carrying them, and some of the shadier people, who knew how to obtain things they probably should not have in their possession, could have lent him one. For a small fee, of course, something that didn’t really appeal to him.

The late prince and his caretakers were too close to the throng now. Egil decided to set his sights on some people who were on foot -particularly, one man who was closer to him than the others. A mask of royalty would have been more preferable, but he decided that beggars can’t be choosers in this situation. He kept his feet light as he approached one man from behind, clasping a hand over his mouth and whisking him away from the excitement and into the shadows. The man looked at him with wide, pleading eyes as he carefully peeled the mask from his face. He was breathing heavily and Egil took care to clasp his hand back over his mouth swiftly once the mask was completely removed.

Egil then held a finger to his lips and whispered, “You won’t be needing this anymore.” He wasn’t really the devious type, but damn it felt good to have some fun once in a while. “Run along now, my friend. Go home. You never even saw me, understood?”

The man’s expression went from pleading to annoyed, like he was about to protest. But Egil had the situation under control. With his free hand, and while grinning, Egil pressed his index finger against the man’s throat. After uttering something quietly, the man’s eyes rolled back into his head and he dropped to the ground. After that, he made haste. The ball had already begun, even as more and more people poured in.

He needed a distraction. Thinking quickly, he slapped the rear of a hose that was standing nearby. The stallion flattened his ears and turned his head toward him, nostrils flaring, as if to say ‘nice try, pal, I’m not going anywhere’. But something in Egil’s eyes made the horse jump, and he ran through the crowd of people at an impressive speed, knocking a few people to the ground in the process. That was his ticket in.

What a grand ball this was. Egil has never experienced such an event before, and he wasn’t sure if he should be amazed or cynical toward the whole thing. He has seen such things from afar. The flashiness, the music, the laughs and general good times people seemed to have. But here, there seemed to be a tense and almost uneasy atmosphere. The masks people wore had a bit more meaning behind them.

Ah, yes. This world needed to be mended.

When he saw her, he had hesitated a moment. From what he had heard, they were looking for someone to marry the Queen of this kingdom; he thought for a moment, if luck would have it, if this was her. She had an air about her. From what he understood about these events, the Queen was usually expected to take the hand of royalty. Egil was not royalty, but he was right here in the moment and was not about to let this chance slip through his fingers. With the mask obscuring his face he felt confident that she wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The people from his kingdom sure as hell did not seem to realize who he was.

He stepped forward, bowed slightly, and met her eye with a small smile. It was then he extended the invitation to dance.

He was no dancer. That much was obvious, but he did his best to keep up with her movements. It was difficult to tell if she was a dancer herself; if she was not, she was at least decent enough for it not to show. There was silence between them as the music took them away. His attention was mainly on her, but out of the corner of his eye he wondered if someone might by chance recognize him. He thought of the man he had knocked unconscious... Oh, what was he going to do if he spotted him?

“You look lovely, miss, if you don’t mind me saying,” he said gently, a thin smile on his lips. Honestly, he had decided to say the most cliché thing. He knew it. But, he didn’t really care. He wanted to make sure he seemed like he belonged here.

Sometime around the time Egil had taken her hand, the bratty prince had entered the ballroom.

At the same time, the man who Egil had rendered unconscious was beginning to wake up.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:33 pm 
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Eira regarded the man who had invited her to dance. She placed her hand in his lightly and allowed him to lead her into the dance. He wasn't a dancer, she could tell, but he kept up well enough. She wasn't much for dancing herself, but she could dance as well as any queen was expected to. Given that he wasn't much of a dancer, she took the liberty of leading, but did so without it seeming obvious to anyone else. As far as everyone else could tell, they were simply dancing along as though it were the most natural thing in the world.

She could also tell that his attention was not entirely on her, but she didn't mention it, although she was a bit curious. "Thank you." she replied in a somewhat simple manner. She found it curious, the way he addressed her, calling her miss. That wasn't typically how one addressed a queen. Even if he didn't know who she was because of the mask, 'My lady' would have been a safer bet than miss, given that most people here were highborn. Excluding those who were royalty, most of those here were lords and ladies. It didn't matter too much to her whether someone referred to her as 'your highness', 'your grace' or any of the many titles she was given, but he had never been called miss by anyone, regardless of kingdom or status, so it was rather curious.

She didn't particularly care, really, she was simply curious. She didn't say anything, simply continued to dance. She noted when the younger of the princes of Pyralis entered, late, and clearly not enthralled to be here. Not that she blamed him, really. Balls were not for everyone, that was for sure. Although, most people at least pretended to enjoy it, even if they didn't. Of course, his face was covered with a mask, so most people wouldn't even notice what he wasn't happy to be there, but his body language told her everything she needed to know.

She returned her full attention to dancing and the man before her. She couldn't say that she recognized him, which was unusual. Still, she couldn't be expected to know the face of everyone in every kingdom, especially when they were at least partially obscured by masks. And of course, she couldn't very well ask who he was, given that this would defeat the entire purpose of wearing masks. She wasn't much for conversation, but it was sort of expected at these things, so after a short time she spoke up.

"So, what made you decide to come to this ball on this lovely evening?" her voice was light and airy, taking on a more polite and pleasant manner than what was typical of her, but it suited the event better for her to be a pleasant host, or at least a pleasant enough dance partner, she supposed. The question itself was not quite so odd as it might seem. Every person here had their own reason for attending tonight, just as those who had chosen not to attend had their reasons.

Whether they came because they welcomed the distraction after the war, because they enjoyed parties, because it was a formality, because they wished to see how the kingdom of Eirwen fared in the days after the war, or for some other reason. They all had a reason, and that reason would tell her a great deal about the one who answered. Perhaps more than one might think. Not to mention that she was rather adept at telling when someone was being honest and when they were not, and this, too, would tell her a great deal.

Whatever answer he chose, even choosing not to answer, would give her a glimpse into what kind of person her was. And all of this was done while seeming nothing more than an innocent question meant to pass the time and fill the silence. Never mind that she was not typically one for idle chat. Every word she spoke had a purpose, whether or not that purpose was clear to the other individual.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:49 am 
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The question had not surprised Egil at all. In fact, in a way he had expect her to ask it. Admittedly, he wished she would have held off on the question and let the conversation flow a little bit longer. He was still looking for that answer, or at least a better way to word it where he wouldn’t raise any alarms. Assuming she was not wary of him already that is. But he had no complaints, since it was in no way odd and the question seemed innocent enough anyway.

He smiled a little, “I received the invitation and figured, ‘why not?’” His tone was kept calm and casual, as if to match hers, trying to appear genuinely interested. Which he was for the most part. “I think balls are lovely, and the masks are also a very nice touch, I must say.” He took his gaze away from her for a moment, looking around the room and nodding to a few people waring particularly interesting masks, then added, “You never know who could be behind these masks.” It was an attempt at humor, or at least to see if she had a bit of a humorous side to her, though rather poor.

At one point, he had misjudged a step and stumbled a little. It was corrected fairly quickly, but it still threw things off a little.

“Perhaps I should have paid more attention during lessons,” Egil chuckled, keeping the mood light. “I do not attend dances very often, do forgive me.” There was a bit of silence. He was taking in his surroundings again, seeing if he could spot anyone taking notice to him, hoping that little slip had not gotten any unwanted attention. “I can’t be the only one with two left feet here, surely,” he added, nodding toward a pair who seemed to be having some sort of disagreement before turning his attention back to her again, once more adding a bit of humor.

He continued on, relaxed, letting the dance take him to another place, as if he had not messed up at all.

This was going a lot smoother than he had thought it would originally. He had expected to be leaving here much, much sooner, but much to his delight so far, nobody was taking notice to him. They were all focused on the ball. He kept looking for signs of a shift in the crowd, a sign that he needed to get out of here, but things were quiet. It was just him and his lovely company as far as he was concerned now. If the night continued like this, well, it would be time well spent.

Then again, even if he was caught, Egil knew that it was time well spent regardless.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:02 pm 
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Eira watched him from behind her mask, careful to keep her gaze from seeming like she were observing him the way she was. Instead, it appeared as nothing more than the casual gaze of a woman towards her dancing partner. She was observing him to see how he responded to the question, not just verbally, but through his body language. In this case, his body language told her little. In fact, it seemed entirely unchanged.

His response was about what she expected. His voice seemed calm and casual. In reality, he didn't really seem all that suspicious. Still, she couldn't help but feel like he wasn't meant to be here. She couldn't quite say why. It was nothing more than a feeling, a conclusion drawn from her short interaction with him. Not that she truly cared. If he had gone through this much trouble to be here, she hardly cared if he stayed. All that mattered to her was whether he was interesting company.

Of course, if he wasn't royalty, or at least nobility, she wouldn't hear the end of it if she spent too much time with him and not enough with anyone else, but that was beside the point. That wasn't what she cared about. It would be a pain, for sure, but otherwise it meant little in the grand scheme of things. What was most important now was deciding whether or not he was, in fact, someone worth keeping around.

She followed his gaze when he looked around the room at various masks after confessed that the masks were a nice touch. She responded to his attempt at humor with a rather enigmatic smile. "Indeed. I suppose anyone can be anything they want to be when they're hidden behind a mask," she replied with that same light and airy voice. "At any rate, regardless of your reason, I'm glad you chose to attend," she added, her tone making it difficult to tell whether she was saying this as a formality or if she actually meant it.

"Perhaps you should have," she responded to his comment after he stumbled a bit. "Next time, perhaps a practice session ahead of time might be in order," she suggested with a small smile, her own feeble attempt at humor. He fell silent again, looking around at their surroundings. Was he simply observing the others around them, or perhaps attempting to gauge whether or not his cover would soon be blown? She wondered.

"No, I imagine you're not," she allowed before adding, "Although, most people who know that they can't dance generally avoid dancing as much as possible, rather than choosing to dance with the one person in the room whose presence is likely to inadvertently draw attention to that fact." She was smiling, this time with a hint of amusement in her eyes. "I suppose that makes you different from the others," she added.

She had to admit, it was a rather bold move on his part. Even if she was wrong and he hadn't sneaked in, it was still rather bold. She found that rather intriguing. If nothing else, he had that going for him. As things stood now, that still gave him a leg up over the others in the room. She was at least a little curious about him. Perhaps the night would be a little more interesting than she had anticipated.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:36 am 
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“Well, I suppose you might be right. I don’t see too many people attempting to dance.” Egil said with a light chuckle at her comment. “Maybe they aren’t much for conversation, or they don’t know how to approach a lovely lady.” He was enjoying this woman’s company more than he wanted to admit. She seemed to carry herself well, though that could have been the mask, and even had a bit of a sense of humor. It made him feel a lot more relaxed than he should have been at this point in time. On the other hand, at least she didn’t seem to mind his two left feet.

A brief moment of silence passed between them as he thought about how to keep the conversation going.

When he opened his mouth to speak again, out of the corner of his eye, saw the man he had stolen the items from speaking with who appeared to be one of the guards. Perhaps that man had been more importantly than Egil thought? This was not good, he thought to himself. He tried his best not to allow his tension to appear anywhere on his countenance but he couldn’t help that his overall mood changed. Hopefully he was not exposed before he got to know the woman behind the mask a little more. It would be a shame if he had to leave so soon.

“I must admit, I’ve never been good with either myself,” he continued, keeping the mood of their conversation despite his increase in awareness. “I hope I haven’t made that obvious.” When the music shifted, he took the opportunity to turn his body slightly to keep his face (or rather, his mask) out of the view of the guards now on the move. Maybe he would have to cut his time here short after all. The last thing he wanted was to be thrown into some dungeon… And if the wrong people knew he was here…

“What would make this night memorable for you?” The words slipped out before Egil could think them through. Mentally, he placed the blame on the guards moving about. The thought caused him to briefly wonder if she was suspicious of him. She didn’t seem like she was, but she had made it clear she was at least interested in his presence. Maybe he was just feeling bold tonight. Bold, or possibly stupid, perhaps, but either way he was going to leave here without any regrets.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:49 pm 
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"Perhaps. There is, of course, also the possibility that it's me in particular that they don't know how to approach," Eira replied with a smile that bordered on self-deprecating. "After all, most people find me rather intimidating. I hardly see why. I'm a perfectly pleasant individual. When I have to be, anyways," she added the latter with a smile that once again made it difficult to tell whether she was joking or being serious.

She didn't miss the way his attention was temporarily diverted, or the way his countenance shifted somewhat. The ever-so-slight tension in his muscles, the shift in his eyes, the way he paused, all of it told her that he was a bit tense, that he was acutely aware of his surroundings, as though he were watching and waiting for something.

She noticed the guards moving after speaking with someone. They appeared to be searching for someone--him, she supected. Nevertheless, she kept her attention focused on him, not letting any of her thoughts slip through. There was no reason to let him know her suspicions now. Somehow, it was more fun this way.

"I've met at least a few whose dancing skills were far more lacking than your own, and I've certainly met worse conversationalists," she replied honestly, as she had never had the desire to lie for the sake of flattery. "Not that I'm the best judge of the latter. Conversing has never been a strength of mine," she added with a small smile. She took note of the way he turned his body slightly when the music shifted. Clever. It was a subtle move, unnoticeable to anyone not paying close attention.

She was a bit surprised by his next question and a hint of curiosity showed in her expression for a brief moment before she quickly wiped it away and replaced it with a small smile. "Good question. I have a feeling that this night will be rather memorable as is," she replied, her voice and expression making it impossible to figure out what the meaning was behind those words.

She was silent for a few moments, until the song came to an end. As the others around gave their bows and curtsies to their partners, she did the same. Once she stood up straight once more, however, she took his hand and gestured for him to follow her. "Come with me," she spoke the words as she turned to lead him off of the dance floor, towards the adjacent balcony. She got the distinct feeling that he was the one the guards were looking for, and they were getting closer to them now that the song was over.

Despite her position, there wasn't much she could really do if the guards caught him. After all, her country needed all the allies it could get right now. She couldn't afford to upset a potential ally to save someone she barely knew, no matter how intriguing he may be. It was frustrating, being constrained by politics. She hated playing the political game, but for the sake of her country, for the sake of her people, she had to. It was one of the unfortunate downsides to being a queen.

Nevertheless, she could help him to evade the guards, at least for a little while longer. After all, she had a feeling that he was likely the most interesting company she would find here, especially outside of those she was already well acquainted with. She wasn't quite ready to surrender herself to the inevitable boredom of the evening just yet, so she would do her best to keep him out of sight, without seeming like it was her intention.

Once they reached the balcony she released his hand and closed the doors behind them. It was a little chilly out, but the cold didn't bother her in the slightest. She expected that they wouldn't be bothered out here, as most people would prefer to stay inside where it was warm. She hoped that the slight chill wouldn't bother him too much. "It's a little quieter out here," she gave this as an explanation for why she had brought him out here. "I hope it's not too cold for you," she added, wondering if it would bother him or not, although she had a feeling that he would rather face the cold than the guards, even if it did.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:20 am 
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Egil didn’t hesitate when his dancing partner pulled him from the crowd and out into the balcony. Several questions ran though his mind, one of them being: was she suspicious after all? Part of him wanted to believe that she was, and the more time passed the more he couldn’t help but actually think she was. But then, if she was, surely she would have handed him over to the guards? Regardless of how much she seemed to enjoy his company he was still here uninvited.

No, he really should calm down… Wasn’t his all just his thoughts getting the best of him?

“The cold doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, you must have been reading my mind, it was beginning to feel a little stuffy in there,” Egil said with a chuckle and a slow, dismissive wave of his hand, leaning over the edge of the balcony and taking in the sights before him. The slight chill in the helped set his mind at ease. The view up here was certainly spectacular as well. When he arrived, he had been too focused on getting in to noticed much of what was around him.

However, he was still feeling a bit… energetic, so to speak. He couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened should they have stated inside; he had been preparing himself to act accordingly if the guards got too close. He was coming down from that small burst of adrenaline. How would he have made his escape? The thought lingered because he knew he’d have to cross that bridge eventually. She was buying him some time, certainly, but at one point or another he would either have to get caught, and get into a whole world of trouble, or leave her.

Egil met her eye again, “Do you believe this will change anything?” He paused for a moment, “Pardon my curiosity, it’s just that you seem like someone important around here.” It was a bit risky, sure, because in a way he letting the cat out of the bag that he was not supposed to be here. But… He had to know what the people here were thinking. When he left his homeland, things were rocky. In his absence, he has fallen out of the loop quite a bit.

He turned his gaze back out to the city briefly. “If it does, then… what might improve?” He inquired, to nobody in particular.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:27 pm 
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Eira smiled lightly when he implied that the reason behind his approval of her actions was because it was getting a bit stuffy in there. It wasn't entirely incorrect. It was stuffy in there, but then, she had felt that way since the moment she had stepped into the room. "Mmm, yes, it was rather stuffy," she concurred. "Then again, these things usually are," she chuckled, leaning lightly against the edge of the balcony next to him. It was quite a pretty sight. Perhaps not to some, but to her, there was nothing more beautiful that the sight of her kingdom at peace, and it was.

The snow remained mostly undisturbed as it blanketed everything from the mountains and the trees, to the houses that dotted the city. It was picture perfect in the moonlight. The only thing that disturbed the perfect scene were the footprints, hoof prints, and the wheel tracks in the snow off to the far right, barely within their field of vision, where the walkway leading into the palace was lit with torches. Everything else seemed perfectly undisturbed, just the way she liked it.

She turned her attention back to her guest after surveying the scene, noting that he seemed a bit different, like he was full of energy, though he didn't seem to be in a hurry to act on it. She didn't wonder why. Instead, she wondered if he had figured out yet that she knew, or at least suspected that he didn't belong here. She hadn't made it obvious. In fact, she thought she had done a rather good job of hiding it, for the most part. After all, she thought it was rather more fun this way. Then again, it couldn't last forever. For now, however, she was content to let it last for as long as possible.

His next question surprised her a little, although she tried not to let this show too much on her face. So far, their conversation had been light, even playful, and now it had turned serious. She turned her gaze back to the sight of her kingdom, covered in snow, quietly reflecting on the question, smiling just a little at his comment that she seemed like someone important around here. It was clear enough that most people knew who she was, that she was important. After all, a mask can hide your face, but it can't hide your presence, and hers was rather distinctive, she supposed. At least to anyone who had ever met her, or who knew enough about her to make the deduction. "Important, huh?" she mused, looking up at the moon this time. "Yes, I suppose so," she didn't bother to elaborate. It hardly mattered at this very moment. She was rather enjoying being treated somewhat normally, rather than being treated as the queen. She thought that, before he left, she would tell him her name, but until then, she would keep it to herself. If he figure it out, she wouldn't lie, but she wouldn't go out of her way to hand him the answers, either.

She let the silence fall around them once more as she once again stared down at the kingdom below--her kingdom. Would this change anything? Would things really improve? She wondered. In truth, she had her doubts. Still, her advisors seemed to believe it would, and a good queen listens to her advisors, at least so long as they don't advise things that go against her conscience. "I don't know, to be perfectly honest," she answered, her voice soft, her eyes reflecting the snowy kingdom below with a fondness that couldn't be explained. There was something else reflected in her eyes, but it was difficult to make out what it was. She wanted things to change. She needed them to, because she hated to see her people suffer. But she honestly wasn't entirely sure how to bring about those changes. She was doing everything she could to help, but even so, the change she wished to see was happening far slower than she wanted it to.

"I hope it does. I hope that they are right, that this, as crazy as it seems, will start the chain of events that will bring about change," she paused once more, glancing his way to gauge his reaction before turning her eyes on the city once more. "They deserve for things to improve. To return to what they once were. No. To be better than they have ever been," she added with a bit more of a determined resolution in her voice. After a moment she turned her eyes back to him and smiled a little, "But, I suppose that doesn't really answer your question, does it?" she chuckled a little, at herself, for getting so carried away.

She glanced at the door when she heard guards talking nearby. Her eyes lingered for a moment, waiting to see if they would open the door. They did. It was one of her guards that stuck his head out. She used a little magic to soften the look of his mask, or mask it, as it were. She stood up straight, facing the door as the guard stepped through. "Yes?" she looked the guard in the eyes, her own eyes easily distinguishable to the young man, who quickly bowed low to her. "Forgive me, your highness," he apologized. She winced a little when he called her that, but shook her head slightly. "It's fine. Carry on," she commanded him with a small wave of her hand. "I will ensure no one bothers you again," he added before stepping out and closing the door behind him.

"Honestly," she sighed lightly, turning back and leaning lightly against the balcony's edge once more. "Well, so much for anonymity," she gave him a small smile, but left it that that. She didn't plan to actually reveal any more than the guard already had. At least, she wouldn't volunteer it, anyways.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:33 am 
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As much as he hated to admit it her answer was somewhat disappointing. On the other hand, it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing either. Egil felt his jaw tense a little while he wondered what he should say next. In truth, there was a lot he could say but he needed to choose his words wisely. Maybe he… just wanted to hear more. Maybe he… No, he should not think like that. He, too, hoped things would change for the better, or at least work toward becoming better than ever before. His expression softened a little.

Yes… he would love to see a chain of events, to work toward improvement, unfold.

When the guard opened the door, it took everything Egil had not to jump. He thought for sure, this was the end of his night of fun, they were going to throw him out or, worse, decide to throw him in the dungeon. He had been prepared to run, but when his newfound partner stepped forward, he stayed back. So she was someone important after all? Highness? Was she perhaps the princess here? Or… maybe even the queen of the kingdom herself? It was difficult to say for sure, especially with her face covered by her mask. He made a mental note of it as something to look into later on.

“Well that was rather rude, wasn’t it?” He said, deciding to keep the mood they had before the guard showed up. “What’s the matter with him? Is it strange to see people leave the main party to get some fresh air?” He made a playful gesture toward the scenery and leaned on the balcony. Every part of him wanted to question her importance further, but it was a lot more interesting this way. Neutral. She was not questioning him, and so he would not question her. He was enjoying his time with her so far, he wanted to see how far he could get into the night before they had to part ways.

“Where were we? Oh, right.” Egil let out a slow breath, “To tell you the truth, I don’t know if I have an answer for the question myself.” He frowned as he spoke, wishing that he did have an answer suddenly. It was unknown to him why he didn’t say everything that had been on his mind previously, but he guessed it was because the guard had come out of nowhere and made him lose his thought process. Maybe it was for the best, he thought. She was not the one he needed to take out his energy on after all. If she was part of the royal family, perhaps she had arranged this? Or played some part in the arrangement? If that was the case, she was doing her best, right?

That was all anyone can do.

“This will work out, one way or another,” Egil smiled. Despite his confidence, he wasn’t really sure how well everything would work out in the end. But it was best to keep in good spirits while things unfold. “Even if it’s slow, it will work out. It has to… I don’t want to see another war break out.”

Suddenly, his expression showed a bit of resolve as he looked out to the city once again. One of the reasons he left home to begin with was because of a disagreement. He was a soldier at heart, fought many battles, the last thing he needed to see was more destruction. This time, he wasn’t going to storm away from a disagreement, should another one break out. If he could help it, he would do something that helped things improve.

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Eira couldn't help but feel a little relieved, if perhaps a tiny bit disappointed that even this didn't seem to give away just who she was. Perhaps it was better this way. At the very least, it was more interesting for the moment. She didn't know who he was, so it was okay, she thought, that he didn't know who she was. For now, they were just two people having a chat. In truth, she was happy to just be able to talk to a man as a woman, rather than as a queen talking with a potential suitor. There was less pressure, and it was easier to just be herself. Though, perhaps that was just as much because of the company as it was the fact that her identity was a secret.

She chuckled a little when he asked if it was strange for people to leave the main party and get some fresh air. Despite knowing that he likely knew the true reason that the guard had showed up, she let it go, instead choosing to go along with it. "Perhaps not. Perhaps it is who left that has them interested," she suggested with a casual shrug of her shoulders, as though it weren't a big deal either way. The statement was meant to imply that they were checking up on her, but she realized that it could also be taken as a suggestion that they were looking for him. She was curious to see which way he would take it. Why his responses interested her so much, she couldn't say, but he was a rather entertaining individual so far, so perhaps that was it?

He then brought the conversation back to where they had left off before they were interrupted. He didn't have an answer either, yet he stated with surprising confidence that it would work out, even if it was slow. Her eyes were focused on him as he spoke, rather than the scenery. After he had made this assertion, and admitted that he didn't want to see another war break out, she saw resolve in his expression. The reason, of course, was hard to tell, but whatever the reason, she couldn't help but smile a little.

"I wish I had an answer. But I don't need one to know that things will get better. Whether it is this or something else that sets that change in motion, I can't say," she paused, looking from him to the city below. "But I know that things will change. I will make sure that they do. And I know that everyone else feels the same way. No matter where they come from or what their status is, everyone wants things to get better. They might not know how to help, but they want to, and one day, we will find the spark we need," she stared out across the city, a resolved smile on her face.

"Sorry if I'm carrying on again," she chuckled a little. "I don't usually do that, just for the record," she admitted, although she wasn't entirely sure if she was saying that to assure him that she wasn't a chatterbox who would talk his ear off, or to let him know that she was enjoying his company enough to do so. Why she cared enough to explain at all was another question entirely. She had never found herself in such a situation before, so the answers escaped her, at least for the moment.

"I suppose that's one of the beauties about the masks, huh?" she spoke up after a moment, "You are free to be whoever you want to be--even if that just means actually being yourself--without worrying about what anyone will think about you later," she mused, leaning farther against the edge of the balcony, until her chin rested on her arms. "Of course, it appears that my mask didn't exactly fool many people. Except you, apparently," she tilted her head ever so slightly to look up at him, a small, somewhat enigmatic smile on her face before she returned her gaze to the scenery. "Not that I'm complaining. It's nice to, for once, just be a woman talking to a man, instead of the complicated mess it usually turns into," she smiled, this time it was something of a lonely smile.

"Anyways. I know it can't last forever, but it's nice, for however long it lasts, so..." she paused for a moment, glancing up at him with a small smile, "Thank you."

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:23 pm 
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“No, no! I don’t mind you carrying on,” Egil said with a chuckle. “Coming here was worthwhile, even if it was a last minute decision,” there was a wink under his mask. It wasn’t a total confession that he just sneaked in uninvited, but it was more relaxed nonetheless. There was just something comfortable out here, speaking to her like he was. After all, what she said was true, he agreed wholeheartedly that they were free to be who they were. The mask, he supposed, was added comfort, but somehow he felt that there was something more. Or he could just be overcomplicating things.

Whatever the case, he did feel better after speaking with her. He had gotten a few things off his chest that he’d been holding onto for far too long.

When she mentioned that this night can’t last forever, his expression fell a bit. He hadn’t intended for his reaction to be so intense, but carried it well regardless. A small nod of agreement was given. “Likewise,” he said softly. Indeed, this night turned out to be much more exciting than he expected. He would have likely been chased out, or arrested, by the guards by now if he had approached any other person.

Egil took in a deep breath, letting her words sink in a bit more. Since their time together was soon coming to a close, he thought it best to wrap things up quickly. She might have waved the guards off for now but there was no telling when they would realize their search was not getting them anywhere and come back. Or, perhaps they had given up their search, thinking that he already left… He decided it was best that he left here soon, regardless. Best not to take chances.

“You said I was fooled, but I must be honest with you,” there was a slight pause. He was comfortable, but he was still choosing his words carefully. “As this seems to be a time of honesty, that is. I had a feeling, since the moment I extended the invitation to dance, that you were somebody important. The way you carry yourself was enough to tip me off, and this conversation we’re having. You’re passionate.” Why he’d chosen to mention this, out of all the things he could say, was simple really. Call it pride, but he didn’t want her to believe he was some idiot. “I wish everybody showed as much passion as you’ve showed me tonight.” He looked down below, at some people who appeared to have gotten some fresh air as well.

“Either I’m lucky, or fate is just toying with us,” he was being somewhat facetious, but there was also something truthful about that. To think, out of everyone he could have approached, he ended up with someone so important to this kingdom. “It’s strange, eh? How some people are brought together…” He grinned. By now she likely figured out he was not royalty. “I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I’m truly enjoying my time with you. It’s refreshing, knowing that even someone of royalty can let loose once in a while.” He glanced at the doors, thinking he had seen movement on the other side again, but brushed it off as people that were attending this event.

Egil took a step toward the doors, “Shall we go back inside then?”

There were two options for escape: slip through the crowd or jump from the balcony… Neither were favorable, but perhaps his newfound companion could aid in his escape somehow. He wasn’t going to completely rely on it, but it was a thought.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:04 am 
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Eira smiled, somewhat relieved when he insisted that he didn't mind. She gave a small chuckle when he said that coming here was worthwhile, offering her a wink under his mask. "Well, I'm glad my company wasn't too terribly boring," she was half joking, but half serious. It wasn't all that long ago that people were often afraid to approach her because they found her intimidating, and she gave them good reason to. She hadn't exactly been easy to approach or to talk to. She didn't want to get close to people, so she had built walls around her heart, both to keep them out and to keep her emotions in. As a result, she had seemed cold and aloof. It kept people away, which was fine by her. At least it was for a time, until she needed people, until she needed them to believe in her when she had given them no reason to. It was then that she realized that she couldn't keep the act up forever. Not if she wanted to be queen. She had to show people that she cared, that she wanted what was best for them, that she would do whatever it took to protect them.

Time had thawed her heart, but it didn't erase the preconceptions many still held. Many still kept their distance, or approached very cautiously, believing that they didn't stand a chance, or afraid of how she might respond to them. It wasn't entirely terrible, but it hurt her chances of finding a husband, at least a little. Not that she was terribly upset about that, given that she didn't particularly want a marriage right now, not one that was nothing more than an alliance, but her kingdom needed aid, and she had a duty to do what she must to ensure that they got it. Still, she wished it weren't this way, that she could let herself fall in love, that she could marry whomever she loved regardless of status. But alas, it seemed as though such a thing was never meant to be, no matter how badly she wanted it.

When she thanked him for allowing her at least one evening of pretending things could be normal, he replied with a simple word, spoken softly. It was his expression that spoke volumes, it was a more intense reaction than she might have expected. He carried it well, but his expression had fallen. She couldn't say she disagreed with the reaction, though. It was surprisingly disappointing. She turned her gaze back to the scenery to avoid seeming like she was staring as she fell silent, entertaining her own thoughts briefly, before his voice broke through the silence.

He explained that he had suspected she was someone important ever since the moment he asked her to dance. He then explained the reasons why he suspected, starting with the way she carried herself. That was no surprised. She had been groomed to be queen since she could walk. It was as natural as breathing at this point. He then said that she was passionate. That, she hadn't expected. She had never really seen herself as a passionate person. But she supposed it wasn't wrong. When it came to the things and the people she cared about, she was. She supposed that was what ultimately saved her from herself. Still. Was she really that passionate? For him to wish that everyone was as passionate as she was? She didn't know, but she supposed that she would take his word for it.

At any rate, she was glad he had figured it out. It showed that he was intelligent, or at least observant. Not that she had suspected him to be unintelligent. The fact that he was here when she was fairly certain he hadn't been invited was proof that he was at least clever. "Well, I'm glad you think so," she replied with a hint of a smile. She chuckled somewhat weakly at his somewhat facetious comment. "The latter, probably, if my previous luck is anything to go off of," she replied with her own rather facetious comment, although she, too, was speaking with some truth.

"Mmmm. Yeah, it is strange," she replied with a smile in response to his grin. "Me, let loose? When did that happen? That's never happened before," she joked a little, although there was a hint of truth to it. It was meant as a joke, though, despite the fact that joking certainly wasn't her strong suit. "In all seriousness, though, I'm glad. Really," she replied with a small smile. "I enjoyed myself, too. Surprisingly, considering I was fully prepared for a dreadfully boring evening. I'm glad I was wrong. It was nice, pretending to be normal, if only for a moment," she mused as she stared down at the people below before looking back at him as he took a step towards the door.

"We could. But you're probably going to get caught if we do," she suggested, knowing that the guards wouldn't have given up that easily. "I can help you escape, if you want," she offered, tilting her head just a little, the smallest hint of mischief twinkling in her blue eyes. "On one condition," she added with an almost impish smile that belied the hint of worry beneath, the fear of him turning her down, and the smallest flicker of hope that he wouldn't. "Come visit me again sometime?" she asked a little more seriously, not entirely successful at hiding the little hint of hope that lingered somewhere behind her eyes. "My position often leaves me wanting for interesting company, so..." she didn't need to add a reason, she didn't know why she did, but it had sort of come out. Oh well, what was done was done. No use worrying over it now. All she could do was await his answer with bated breath.

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