Tales of Glory and Valour: the Seafarers Main RP Topic

Nico had not expected this.

He had been preoccupied with other things. Coping with his memories, trying to get an assessment of the ship’s affects, and getting a mark on his fellow privateers. Their weaknesses, their proclivities, how much of their personalities were masks.

Not this.

This was an opportunity, he supposed. A withering, condescending glance, and then striding past the boy. That should be the course of action. The boy seemed to be the most … poised of the party, and to make him look - and more importantly, feel - like a sniveling, crying child could cripple any possible threat, at least for now.

He didn’t want to do that, though. In reality, there was no chance Nico would ever do that. Empathy was ingrained in him, was how he liked to put it. What he intended to do instead was completely natural to him, just as natural as finding the space between ribs with a knife, or crushing a nose with his club.

He approached the boy from the opposite side of the corridor, and then stopped when he was across from him. He removed his jacket, slinging it over his arm.

He sat.

On the Saint, most of his crewmates - and later crew - had been much older than him, and most had been grizzled, cutthroat veterans. Most of them don’t think about- But Nico knew how this felt. Or he liked to think he did.

He would have pulled his legs up to his chest, but he was a tad gangly for that. Instead he stretched them out in front of him, crossed at the heels. He didn’t let silence stretch out. He smiled for an instant.

“Are you scared?”

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The figure quickly looks at the ground, “Hello.” He says shortly, and kind of makes a Skittering motion to the side to get around Mako. “nice to meet you, good talking with you, same time next week” he speeds this all out in one conglomerate of a sentence, his tone emphasizing how nervous he is. “Goodbye other Human” he goes to turn for the door.

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The tension seemed to dull out every sound on board the ship until the only sounds were the noises of Nico finding a seat and the beating of Dolphus’ heart. When the question came Dolphus tensed, his arm moved slightly, and his throat locked up to keep his breath inside lest someone find a way to steal it.

There was a metallic click and a sensation against his palm.

Dolphus’ eyes slowly traveled down, eventually dragging his head along when they could go no further. His sword had been drawn just enough to disengage it from the sheath, and his hand was gripping it by the handle with enough force to turn his knuckles white. Cautiously, as if the blade could suddenly turn upon its master, he drew it fully from its sheath, looking at the flat in a perfect worried state.

“Yes.” His voice weakly replied. “I am afraid, Nico.”

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Mariner stands in the Shallows, staring desperately out to open water. He longed to be out there, where he belonged, where he felt free. His domain. He turns back to Hethila.

“Unfortunately we must be parted soon, I do not wish it, but our duties carry us apart”

“Oh don’t be so dramatic Mariner, I’ll come visit at some point. I know how much you hate the shore. You belong out there. Don’t feel bad about leaving.” She smiles at him, and sees his head incline in response. “Tharwin said I’d be heading out to sea soon on some mission of great importance, I’ll take some time to check in.”

“It’s not the shore I hate. It’s who lives on it” Mariner mutters darkly. “What they took from me is irreplaceable, I shall never forgive them. Not truly”

Hethila didn’t seem to know what to say.

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The idea of being self-conscious was foreign to Nico. People were people. For Nico Markl, at the end of the day, the difference between what you tell a friend and what you tell a fellow mercenary in the same situation was not significant.

Nico’s eyes traced over the weapon wistfully. His eyes avoided Dolphus’. He had started to sweat.

A corridor just like this one. Hot. So hot. Need to burn. So hot.

His voice was quiet.

“I’m scared too … I think. I don’t know what we’re getting into, but it’s not what I expected.” He let the silence drag, after that, and then, “It’s a beautiful weapon. Have you … been learning, for long?”

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Mako paid no heed. Why would he? He hated the pointless blathering. Monologues are worthless without some intent. Metaphors useless if they don’t give a morale or message. One of the main reasons he hated officials. The other, was a bit more private.

" Same to you."

He replied, leaving with his collection of fishing supplies.

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Dolphus’ eyes traveled back up to Nico’s, eyeing them as they refuse to make contact. This young man had been accommodating in his past remarks, occasionally accusatory to others, but even though his words now seemed artificial, there was a ring of sincerity in his mannerisms. The concern was made genuine not by his speech, or his tone of voice, but the silent sound of his mind influencing his actions in subtle ways.

It may at first appear to be a Gorov trait, but Dolphus found he carried it far more than his father ever did. Perhaps that was because his father never cared to monitor people’s interests outside of manipulating them.

Dolphus slowly drew his eyes back down once more to his sword. “Nine years.” He replied. “In my eighth year I had surpassed the rest of my peers and had to be trained separately. I dueled naval officers every other week.”

Dolphus could not help but look at the pearl embedded in the hilt of his sword every time he looked at it. It was infinitely detailed, a reflection of the wonder and splendor he had once seen in everything.

“Lost most of the time, but still.” This forced casual conversation was mostly for defense, but the subject matter helped enforce a boundary, at least in Dolphus’ mind. I can hurt you if I choose to.

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Andreas’s mood is not soured by Tharos’s hesitations.

A great captain then and a great one now.

“Granted, Bellthorne was never the brightest star in the night sky,” he says chuckling.

He turns his head to peer out to the distant sea, and his face shifts into a more serious expression.

“So then, you’ll be accompanying us here on our little mission?”

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Nico’s eyes widened briefly as Dolphus spoke, his eyes not leaving the weapon. They narrowed not-so-subtly at the not-so-subtle undertones of the conversation. He’d walked into that.

“That’s … impressive. I’ve been fighting for maybe just as long, but never with something like that.” He nodded at the rapier. “Tooth and claw for me, I suppose. Or knife and club, more like …” His voice trailed off and a bleak, blanched crossed his features. Maybe it was genuine, but maybe it was calculated, for he suddenly refocused on Dolphus’ eyes. The hidden message was less than hidden.

“Why’re you scared?”

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Dolphus’ eyes held a questioning light, focused in on the young man sitting in front of him, wondering what his motivations were for forcing the point. Was it a sense of inadequacy, or did he feel threatened by the claim of nine years’ experience? It could be a total lie… Or had he already bought his confidence?

Dolphus’ jaw locked, his mind fighting a very vicious battle with itself. Would he risk being genuine about it, or deny ever being frightened and leave Nico in doubt? Could he afford to be so real so soon?

“I…”

Dolphus could feel his hand trembling. Was it obvious? Yes, it was obvious. Why hadn’t he noticed that earlier? Was he staring at it for too long? Yes, he was staring at it for too long. This was incredibly inconveniencing. Where should he look next? A destination must be decided; you can’t stay in this position forever.

Suddenly, an overwhelming sense of danger sprung into Dolphus’ mind. A point had to be made to ensure his safety in the future. His skepticism, too, must be protected. But this would not be the best course of action after his indecision. The best course of action would be to return the blade to its sheath before anything else happened or became obvious.

The boy’s eyes had returned to Nico’s a moment before he swiftly returned the sword to its sheath. “I’m afr-”

His entire body jolted and his expression contorted for a brief moment into one of absolute shock. The hand holding the sword gripped the handle so tightly the idea it might break under the pressure entered Dolphus’ mind. This might appear somewhat peculiar for Nico, as it would appear Dolphus had simply missed his sheath by a few inches and stabbed somewhat into his military cape by mistake.

Dolphus, however, slowly began to push himself up the wall to reach a standing position, his eyes frozen on Nico’s in terror. He couldn’t risk removing the blade lest the blood now on it be visible. But perhaps too much had already been revealed.

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