A son of adam wearing silver spectacles is sitting at one of the desks in the library, reading a book that lies open in front of him, occasionally pausing make a note on a piece of parchment. Standing at a respectful distance away and looking rather bored is one of the Archenlander servants who have been tasked with keeping an eye on him.
Lanisen enters quietly, casting a quick glance around the large room. He doesn’t seem to recognize the prince from behind, or simply doesn’t think enough of the sight of another person reading in the library to look closer, and he crosses to one of the shelves on the east wall. His limping gait makes an uneven shuffling sound on the thick carpet.
Roshan turns a page in the book and frowns slightly, his quill pausing over the parchment. One hand drums the edge of the desk briefly then, with a shake of the head he stands and walks back towards the bookshelf casting a brief but disdainful glances towards the new comer.
Lanisen’s head cants oddly to one side as he tries to read the sideways titles, frowning. He reaches out to pull one book from the shelf and glances toward the other man. He does a double-take.
Roshan’s brow furrows further as he takes another book from the shelf, “Respect is clearly not something that they teach here” He says in a low but cold voice.
Lanisen pulls a quick breath, dropping his hand from the book as if burned. He takes several steps back and bows deeply, eyes on the floor. “I–I beg your pardon, your highness, I d-didn’t–”
Roshan spends a moment scanning the first page of the book before snapping it shut and turning to face him, casting him a disapprovingly appraisal look.
Lanisen folds his hands in front of him, standing straight but keeping his eyes on the floor. He swallows nervously.
Roshan looks distinctly unimpressed, “Do you have to be here.” His voice suggests this is not so much a question as a statement that Lanisen really ought to consider the wisdom of leaving.
Lanisen shakes his head quickly. He bows again and backs toward the door.
Roshan turns his attention back to the book.
Lanisen makes his escape.
The servant casts him an apologetic look that somehow manages to encompass some amount of envy at Lanisen’s ability to leave.
Inner Ward of Anvard
Lanisen leaves the northwest hallway at a rapid pace, glancing behind him.
Megren stands leaning against the curtain wall beside the gate to the outer ward, but she pushes off and straightens a little when she sees Lanisen’s hurry.
Lanisen aims for the outer gate, his limp more pronounced with his haste. He catches sight of Megren, and he gives her a round-eyed raised-eyebrows have-I-got-a-story look, blowing out a breath.
Megren gives him a round-eyed raised eyebrows what-in-the-Emperor’s-green-pastures-have-you-just-come-from look back.
Lanisen glances behind him again and slows, coming to a halt near her. “Um,” he says. “The Calormene prince is in the library.”
Megren grins, and settles back against the wall. “Oh, him.”
Lanisen says, “Yeah, him!” He looks like he’s just found a scorpion floating in his bathwater.
Megren says, “Well? You’ve got opinions. Let’s hear them.”
Lanisen says, “I didn’t expect he’d be in the /library/!”
Megren laughs. “What, Calormenes don’t read?”
Lanisen says, “What? No, I mean–” He runs a hand through his hair, turning to look at the hallway door again. “/Lion/!”
Megren giggles. “He did a turn when he saw me in livery, too,” she says empathetically.
Lanisen asks, “What’d he do?”
Megren says in a flowery voice, “‘How very CURious.'”
Lanisen lets out a ‘pfff’ of laughter. He quickly covers his mouth with his hand, looks over his shoulder, and laughs again, muffled. “I ain’t felt so much like a bug for a /long/ time. Thought he was gonna step on me then and there.”
Megren turns a little so that he can face her and still see the library hall. “Well, tell, won’t you? You’re an awful storyteller, you know. It’s all about the specifics.”
Lanisen shrugs, spreading his hands. “No specifics to tell, really, I went in for a book and he was there but I didn’t notice him right off and he told me to leave and that’s it.”
Megren shakes her head. “Terrible,” she says again. “What did you need in the library?”
Lanisen says, “Um,” and looks sheepish. “I was, um. There was a book I came across a few weeks ago that was… you know, not hard to read. But still interesting.”
Megren says, “Maybe they’ll let you take it with to Carmichael.”
Lanisen says, “No, I meant–I read it already, I thought maybe you’d…”
Megren’s face grows a little pink. “Oh–”
Lanisen says, “I’d go get it but I think he’d step on me.”
Megren tucks her hair behind her ear. “That’s all right. I’m having enough trouble with figuring the letters, anyway.”
Colin walks into the ward from the quarters, fixing a strap on his pack. Or trying to as the pack is heavy and he is also walking.
Lanisen shifts awkwardly and seems relieved to catch sight of Colin across the ward. “Oh, hey,” he says. “I better go get my stuff, looks like he’s ready to take off.”
Megren asks, “Need help?”
Lanisen shakes his head quickly, giving her a grateful look. “Nah, I’m good. I just got the one bag.”
Colin looks up at the sound of their voices and makes his way over, struggling with the strap. “Hello…” he grunts, giving it a tug.
Megren bows to the knight. “Hello, Sir! Can I help you while Lanisen gets his pack?”
Lanisen asks, “You got everything?”
Colin hms down at his arms, showing that he is balancing a sword in a scabbard in the crook of his arm as well. “Yes, actually…” he turns to put the scabbard in her vicinity. “Could you hold that please?” He looks at Lanisen and nods. “Yup, think so!”
Megren slides the scabbard out as best she can without toppling the rest of the pile.
Lanisen eyes the sword situation doubtfully. “You don’t got any unsheathed knives in that pack, do you?”
Colin nods his thanks to Megren and sets the pack down and checks that his personal sword is attached properly to his belt, along with his dagger. He looks at the pack and shakes his head. “Just one and it’s wrapped this time.”
Megren mouths “this time?” to Lanisen.
Lanisen mouths back, “needs a minder,” and gestures with his thumb at Colin.
Colin picks up the pack and begins pulling at the stuck strap again. Suddenly it gives and his hand jerks free and accidentally pops Lanisen in the arm. Good thing he’s on the uninjured side. He looks surprised. “Oh, sorry Lanny. You all right?”
Megren’s brows rise as she shoulders the belt of the scabbard.
Lanisen gives Colin a longsuffering look and raises his eyebrows at Megren as if to say ‘see?’
Colin gracefully shoulders his pack and looks pointedly at Lanisen. “That all you takin’?”
Lanisen snaps to attention. “Be right back.” He heads across the ward toward the nobles’ tower and disappears into the staff quarters.
Megren indicates the scabbard. “Where are we taking this? Stables?”
Colin nods. “Yes, the stables.”
Megren exclaims, “Lead the way, Sir!”
Lanisen emerges from the staff quarters after a moment, scrambling to get his bag and quiver sorted.
Colin starts walking, then pauses his steps when Lanisen returns. “Got everything you need?”
Lanisen says, rather impatiently, “Yeah, I checked three times.” He makes an ill-advised move to sling his satchel over his right shoulder and lets out a yelp.
Megren moves to help him shoulder it on the other side.
Colin starts to move towards him but halts when Megren beats him to it and he gives a little nod.
Lanisen mumbles his thanks.
Megren asks, “Stables?”
Colin waits til everything is sorted and he nods. “Aye. Stables.”
Colin pauses outside the stables to talk to one of the stablehands, who is standing there keeping an eye on one of the simpler carriages the noble folk tend to use for winter travel. Coalblack is tied to the back of said carriage.
Lanisen doesn’t even notice the carriage. He keeps on walking into the stable, focused on not dropping anything.
Colin reaches out and takes hold of Lanny’s tunic to hold him back.
Colin says, “We’re here.”
Megren watches them both, unsure who to follow until Sir Colin stops Lanisen.
Lanisen makes a surprised ‘urk’ noise and turns around. He looks at Colin. He looks at the carriage. He looks at Colin. “Seriously?”
Colin lifts his hands helplessly. “Well…I need to be able to bring Ara back in it…and it wouldn’t do to take one of Lord Ast’s.”
Lanisen says, “…Ohh, all right. I see.”
Megren climbs up to get access to the storage area and puts the sword away, then holds out her hand for the next thing.
Colin holds his hands up higher. “I swear upon…something.” he stumbles for words, then moves to hand his pack up to Megren. “Thanks, Red.”
Lanisen lifts his chin and eyes Colin, made suspicious by the extra protestation, then shrugs.
Megren slings the pack up, with a little difficulty, as it’s quite heavy.
Colin moves to check on Coalblack and talk to the man again, who appears geared up to be going with them. “Lanisen, this is Percy.” he calls, pointing to the stable man, who nods his head in greeting before going inside to fetch something. Colin goes into the stables as well, returning with a bag which he also hands up to Megren.
Megren takes the bag and stashes it away as well.
Lanisen hands up his satchel when Megren has a free hand. “Afternoon, Percy,” he says, dipping his head politely.
Colin finishes handing Megren his gear and looks to Lanisen. Percy comes out of the stables and takes his place at the reins. “You ready, mate?” He asks with a grin.
Megren jumps off the carriage, standing back and surveying the damage.
Lanisen shrugs a little, grinning crookedly. “Guess so, sir?”
Colin makes a sweeping bow and gestures to the carriage. “To Carmichael! Red, thanks for all your help. Hold down the fort til we get back, yeah?”
Megren exclaims, “A lot easier with you two gone, Sir!”
Lanisen makes a face at Megren.
Colin bows deeply to Megren and pops back up to standing with a pleased grin, touching two fingers to his forehead. “Glad to be of service!”
Megren bows. “Safe journey. Remind Lanisen he’s supposed to bring me something back.”
Colin climbs inside. “Lanisen, you’re supposed to bring Red something back.”
Lanisen says, climbing after Colin, “I’ll bring you a whole pickled cod!”
Megren sticks out her tongue, open-mouthed.
Colin’s voice can be heard informing Lanisen, “Eel’s better. Trust me. All right, Percy. Later, Red!” The driver nods and they are off, Coalblack trailing behind.
Megren crosses her arms, watching until they are out of sight.