intense ambivalence

Castle Anvard

Tyren slips into the kennels, carrying a small bundle of some sort in a hand.

Lanisen is standing by a table in the back, working with four or five mostly-grown pups at once. A bowl of meat-scraps on the table seems to be acting as incentive for them to follow his orders, and it seems to be mostly successful. Until the door opens, anyway, which is far more interesting. The pups as a group tear off to terrorize the invader.

Tyren gives the kennels a cursory glance, in all probability looking for Elek, who makes his approach the same time the pups do. Having so many of the canine persuasion rush toward him at once makes the knight mutter a bit under his breath, which sounds vaguely akin to this getting interesting very quickly.

The pups greet him with much clamorous doggy vocabulary, bounding in happy excited circles around him. Surprisingly enough, none of them actually pounce him, though a bronze-furred greyhound turns her hind legs into springs for the express purpose of getting a closer look/sniff at the bundle he’s carrying.

Tyren manages to keep the bundle out of the way with a flat, “Oh no you don’t.” With only one free hand with which to give attention to the various canines, he decides to use it to attempt to calm the most rambunctious-looking of them.

Lanisen makes his way up from the back at this point and calls off the dogs. They cluster around him, tongues hanging out in canine-grins and tails wagging wildly. “Sorry, sir,” he says, and bows. “I had ’em at it too long, they wanted a distraction.”

Tyren shifts his attention-giving hand to Elek once the other hounds clear out, and nods. “Quite all right. I can understand the sentiment, after all.”

Lanisen bends to scoop up the smallest and whistles sharply, beginning to herd the rest away from Tyren and Elek.

Tyren observes this for a moment, as Elek sniffs at Tyren’s hand. The knight doesn’t seem to particularly mind this coming from his own hound.

Lanisen returns to the table, pups in tow. Rather than return to putting them through their paces, however, he takes the bowl from the table and distributes the last handful of scraps, then sits to rough-house on their level.

Tyren chuckles softly as he watches this. “Energetic bunch, it seems.”

Lanisen glances up, wrestling with the bronze greyhound, who has a hold of his already-ragged sleeve. “Guess so, sir.”

Tyren glances to Elek again as the hound nudges his hand, and he hehs quiet as he unwraps the bundle, which turns out to be a portion of meat. Elek looks to Tyren questioningly, and as the knight nods, Elek quickly starts in on it. The knight chuckles. “Well, thought you deserved a portion, after all.”

Lanisen cranes his neck a bit to see what it is Elek is being fed, frowning slightly.

Tyren doesn’t seem to catch this, ruffling Elek’s fur as the hound finishes.

Lanisen asks, a little uncertainly, “What’s… what is that, sir?”

Tyren replies, “Fox. Took my bow out to the forest for a little practice, and brought Elek along. Thought he deserved a portion of the spoils, seeing as he helped.”

Lanisen ohs, looking away from Tyren. Finding him distracted, one of the pups goes for his arm.

Tyren quirks a brow faintly at this. “Something on your mind?”

Lanisen lifts his eyebrows at the knight, then ducks his head. “Nothin’ new, sir.”

Tyren says simply, “I see. How fares the arm?”

Lanisen shrugs, glancing at it. “Fine.”

Tyren asks, “Good to hear. Hasn’t been acting up, I hope?”

Lanisen just shakes his head.

Tyren nods a bit. “Again, a good thing.”

Lanisen says, “Yes, sir.” He watches the pups gnaw on his boots and sleeves for a moment, then detaches himself and stands, much to their chagrin. “I– uh, sir… I got a question.”

Tyren quirks a brow faintly at this. “Indeed? Then ask it.”

Lanisen twists his frayed sleeves, hardly improving their state, and doesn’t look at Tyren. “Uh…” He swallows and flushes, looking like he regrets bringing it up. “I– what would happen if somebody… uh, came for me?”

Tyren’s brow inches higher, apparently needing something more specific than this.

Lanisen definitely regrets bringing it up. He glances briefly at Tyren, then looks again at the floor. “Uh, my… my family, sir,” he clarifies in a mumble.

Tyren ahs quietly. “That would fall outside of my jurisdiction, I believe. However, as you hold your position here in order to answer for what you have done in the past, I doubt either the steward or His Majesty is going to let that situation change lightly.”

Lanisen swallows again and nods, his color alternating between stark white and red. “Th– um, thank you, sir.”

Tyren’s brow again raises as he notes this aspect of Lanisen’s demeanor, though all he says is simply, “Merely the truth.”

Lanisen nods again and rubs the back of his neck with a hand that appears to be shaking slightly. “Sorry, sir. Just–”

Tyren waves a hand. “I believe I’ve said before that I generally do not mind questions, so I’m not certain I see need to apologize. ‘Just’ what, though?”

Lanisen shakes his head, eyes again on the floor. “Nothin’, sir… just… was curious, ‘s all.”

Tyren does not seem /quite/ ready to leave it at that. “Nothing else? I rather doubt mere curiosity would… affect you in such a manner.”

Lanisen only shakes his head again; apparently he’d rather not elaborate.

Tyren merely replies, “Very well, then,” and lets the subject drop, returning his attentions to Elek. The hound wags his tail and looks quite comfortable – at least, as much as Elek ever looks comfortable.

Lanisen stands where he is for a moment, then kneels again, clicking his tongue. The pups seem more than happy to return to rough-house, but Lanisen’s heart is obviously not in it.

Tyren continues to observe, his brow furrowing a little.

Lanisen draws his hand back with a hiss of pain from one whose teeth were a little too sharp, then abruptly stands. The pups are baffled by his apparent change of mind, but they don’t worry about it too long before beginning to tussle among themselves. Lanisen nabs the hound-book from the table and crosses to the hearth, plopping with the book open to a random page. Also: upside-down. But it takes him a distracted moment to realize this.

Tyren frowns a bit, straightening. “You certain everything is all right, Lanisen?”

Lanisen sets aside the book, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees and cover his face with his hands for a moment. He lets his hands drop, staring bleakly through the floor. “‘S fine, sir.”

Tyren says, “Doesn’t seem so to me.”

Lanisen doesn’t answer.

Tyren says in soft tones, “Clearly, though, you are not at liberty to discuss it. Nor should I press you to.” He gives Elek another pat on the head. “I suppose I should see to a few other things, then.”

Lanisen glances up to him and stands, bowing. “‘Course, sir. Sorry.”

Tyren gives a small nod. “Again, I see no need for apology. Good eve, Lanisen.”

Lanisen replies, “Evenin’, sir.”

Tyren nods once more, and departs.

Lanisen, as the knight leaves, resumes his place by the fire, elbows on his knees and forehead in his hands.


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