(1876-05-02) Home At Last
Home At Last
Summary: Cervantes and his forces return to Murias.
Date: 2020-05-02
Related: Specifically The Battle For Rykers, Part 5 Or The Death Of Evil
NPCs: None
Players:
Cervantes  Lillian  

Murias, Galenthia
A castle, in the mountains. But not in a mountain.
1876-05-02

To the victor go the spoils.

That has been the very attitude of success in wartime, and after the two-week battle, Rykers had finally been reclaimed by Arkanin, Tarris, and Imperial forces, the soldiers of Galenthia finally came home to Murias to be with their family and friends again.

Viscount Cervantes Arkanin was no different. Though he was popular with the people, sometimes they forget that he has a reason for fighting all his own: the safety of his beloved in this brutal, insane world.

So do the champions of Galenthia come marching in, with Cervantes leading the pack on horseback, a smile on his face as they are welcomed as heroes back into their own. He looks then onwards at the mighty fortress of the mountains where he has made his home with Lillian, and he smiles, a whisper on his lips. "I am nearly home, my love."

Though those who pay attention to such things will realize that on his back is a blade of Sidhe Steel.

-

Lillian had had word that the Murian forces were on their way back to the city, and yet, she had not ridden out to meet them at the gate. She could, however, not miss the sound of the cheers of the people as they welcomed their own home. And so she was not, as she had been doing, seemingly for most of the time Cervantes had been away, either embroidering in her room, or managing the flow of goods and supplies that were needed to support the healers that had been sent to the field. But she was near the main hall, overseeing the last preparations for the meal, a feast, rally, that was being laid in his honour.

-

As his men stopped at the great hall, Cervantes dismounted his horse and looked upon them.

"Let all who doubted us — rue this day!" The soldiers and civilians both cheer, their voices enough to shake the city. "Revel in your victory, soldiers! Husbands, wives, sons and daughters of Murias. The enemy has been repelled. When the world needs us again, we will rise to its defense."

He lifts his hand. "Du Bekar!"

The soldiers stamp their weapons and lift them high into the air to repeat the battle cry. "Du Bekar!"

and with that, the soldiers are permitted their informality, their ability to return to their families and loved ones. Their time to do as they wish has arrived, for their rest is well-earned.

Now it was time for Cervantes to return to his fold. He approaches the his home and the great doors are opened for him, and he sees all that is prepared and he seems so touched at this warm and proper welcome.

"I can see my wife still loves me." he says with a bit of a laugh.

-

"I would certainly hope so, or else she'd never put up with your desire to run off and raise your sword at every occasion." Lillian, coming around from where she had been settling the last of the wineglasses at the place that had been set for Van, offered her hands, first, as she came close enough to do so, "Is it finished then? The battle for Rykers? The threat to the West?"

-

Cervantes chuckles a moment as Lillian comes around the corner and offers her hands to him, hands that he happily takes. He had missed her. Her warmth, her love, her kindness, and…everything that makes her who she is. He knows that there is no other for him, in this life or the next.

"So true, my love. Alas, it is my greatest flaw and my most noble trait."

When asked if the threat to the west is ceased, he nods. "For now, it is over." he says with a smile. "Which means, for the first time in a long time, I may yet remain home." he squeezes her hands in love before he leans in to give her a passionate kiss.

No, he does not care who is watching. This is his wife and he'll constantly remind others of this fact.

-

Lillian's hands tightened in Van's. There was something solid, and comforting and right in the feeling of having him here. Home. And then, suddenly, she laughed, "Do you rmember the first time that you too me to court of the Queen?" She glanced down at herself, dressed in the red and black of her Rikton home." She shook her head, looking over Van's shoulder, "I would not say it is your greatest flaw." The kiss she accepted, returning it with no small mount of enthusiasm, "And speaking of your sword."

"What, is that thing on your back?"

-

Cervantes smiled warmly to Lillian as she asked him her question. "Of course I do. It was awkward for both of us, since I had only attended the Queen's court a few times before. But even still, you were magnificent." He does smile at her words.

THe kiss is eager and loving, though not lustful. When the kisse ends, Cervantes gives a playful little bite to her bottom lip, before she's looking at the blade on his back.

"The spoil of victory." he takes the blade off of his back and holds it in his hand, though he seems to close his eyes very briefly. "This blade once belonged to Teleko, who was slain at the Battle of Rykers by the combined efforts of myself, Ludovic, Brennart, Ramius, and Darius. He was a tough bastard to put down…but I took his blade as payment for all Arkanin had lost, fighting a war on two fronts, this past year. It is crafted of Sidhe Steel, and given to me with the joined approval of all minus Darius."

-

"I think many in the court were more concerned to see the colours of Rikton so brazenly displayed in the heart of Galenthia." Lillian had not worn the red and black of her House that day, of course, but the red and white of the Reliants. Ah, the days of memory. When Van removed the sword, she looked at it curiously, her expression falling as she heard the story of from whence it came, taking a wary step back from her husband, "You took the blade of that ancient evil?" Her frown did not list, even after hearing that it was taken with the approval of almost all who had been there, "You know what is said of such blades. of the curses they bear and the evil that they can bring. And I can think of none more evil than that one, save perhaps the one I met in the houses of the dead."

-

Cervantes chuckles a tad at Lillian's words before he looks at the blade in his hand, taking a deep breath. "There is indeed a curse upon this blade and I dare not speak of it here." He looks at Lillian a moment. "I did. I had a mind to throw it into the depths of the sea…but in the coming chaos, such a weapon will be needed before the end." he takes a breath. "I will ask that you not lay a finger on this weapon, for I have a fear in my heart that the curse may affect you. I have accepted the risk."

Cervantes looks Lillian in the eyes, before he moves to rest the sword on one of the sword stands, but seems reluctant at first to let it go before he does so, a deep breath taken again. "But..you have painfully prepared a feast for me. I would not refuse such kindness."

-

Quite uncharacteristically of Lillian, she kept a wary distance from Cervantes, as he held the sword, and spoke to her of what he knew of it. She did not even look comforted when he set it aside, noting, no doubt, how difficult it was for him to let it go. "I have no desire to touch such a thing, nor should you, even if needs must.

But as his attention turned to the meal, she nodded, hiding whatever reservations she might have and indicating that he should sit at his place at the table, "For you, now, but there will be festivities for the soldiers and their families as well, and the city as a whole. It has been a long road." And then, because there was always an an then, "And when does the Empire intend to begin the journey to the east?" She had not forgotten that Cervantes had pledged himself to that cause as well.

-

Quite uncharacteristically indeed. Cervantes takes notice of it, but he does not seem angered or upset by her caution. Instead, Cervantes looks over at Lillian and in a serious voice. "My love, you must not fear me. I ask only for your trust." Cervantes says as he looks her in the eyes, before he does indeed take his place at the table, removing his gauntlets before he does so of course and setting them aside for future use. "I know not when the Empire will be moving to the East."

He sighs lightly.

"But, I am not exactly counting the days until I'm dealing with Darius again. He makes a habit of lording himself over others and convincing himself that he has authority when he does not. My personal issues with him aside, the Imperial's strength is waned, they will need time to restore their strength."

-

Lillian, taking things in hand, as she tended to do, waved in the servants, who all began the process of serving the meal with had been prepared. A selection of the foods Cervantes enjoyed best from his homelands as well as those foods he had come to enjoy during his time in Rikton. "It is not you, Cervantes, who worries me, it is who you might become when you pick up that sword." Lillian, though, once all was in order, found a seat for herself, offering words of thanks to the servants as they continued their work, "Though I have not had chance to meet with him, is he so different from the old Duke Tarris? He too, enjoying such things. Perhaps that is the way all men who are made to hold much power must conduct themselves. Very rarely are battles won or men well commanded with kindness and fellow feeling. And he can no more show weakness before his men than you could in front of your own men."

-

Cervantes looks at Lillian as she calls in the servants to bring in only the best. "Lillian, should I leave more often if I'm to come home to this delectable feast?" He chuckles humorously, before he turns far more grim and serious when Lillian mentions she fears who he may become when he lifts that sword.

"I know. I'm worried of it to. But we need this weapon against the enemy. I fully expect you to slap me when I start acting foolish."

He says with a light smile.

"Perhaps. Though it is not much an excuse to start acting like an ass when you hold the greatest disadvantage you can possibly have."

-

"They have not had to cook for you for many months. I have no doubt when the enthusiasm of that fades, we will return to more normal fare." Lillian nodded, accepting the wine that was poured for her, before she spoke again. "I will do more than slap you, if you lose yourself and become the monster that Teleko was, Cervantes. I love you. But I will not allow you to fall into evil even if I must lose you to save your soul." Lillian remained at her seat, not yet taking up her knife and fork. "Make no mistake in that regard, Van. I am still a knight of the One." There was no threat in her words, it was simple honesty. "I fail to see what disadvantage he has. The legion well outnumbers the combined forces of both Aequor and Galenthia." She shrugged, "Men at war will always act as men of war tend to do. Now the war is done. Until the next war rises."

-

Cervantes looks at Lillian with a soft chuckle. "So true. I suppose I should reward each of them ever so handsomely." of course, Cervantes treated the staff of the fort extremely well, and there was no servant under him that was uncared for. But, when she looks him in the eyes and tells him that she will kill him if it means his soul will be saved. "I'll hold you to that, my love."

When Lillian further speaks about the disadvantage not being existent for the imperials, Cervantes speaks. "A force that has been continuously stretched and weary from constant war. From both his skirmishes with the Aequorians and his constant battle with the Quatunax. All the same, he's arrogant. Thankfully, he has allies to reign it in. Bah, I just don't like the man, and I allied with him only so that Arkanin would not have to fight the threats of the world with our backs to the wall…even though we fight best when the odds are stacked against us."

-

Lillian ah-ed, as she finally began her meal, "In war, we often do not have the luxury to choose our allies. Only to choose how we deal with them. This has been a fruitful alliance, for we have regained Rogers, something which, I have heard, the Archduchess is quite happy about, and we have driven that great threat from the West. We must, of course, continue to be vigilant that they do not return. They came across the mountains once, they can surely do it again."

-

Cervantes gives a grim nod. "Fruitful indeed, but for how long?? Cervantes questions a long moment before he takes a breath. "Indeed. I have already placed a watch on those mountains and the more consistent roads the Quatunax take. This time, we will be ready. Alas, we must also be watchful of Partharia to the south."

-

"As long as it needs to be. One part of the bargain you made has been fulfilled. The lands of Galenthia have been returned to the kingdom. Now, the next stage of the battle is set to begin. And it is as much for the Empire as it is for us. You would not sleep easy at night if you were not certain that you had eliminated the threat of the Qatunax entirely." Lillain ate slowly, her words thoughtful, "You will be doing as the Empire did, when they left their own lands and ventured into territory unknown. I hope that you will have all of your allies around you. I doubt, though, that Tarris will want to provide their assistance. I had to shame the old Duke Tarris into aiding at all." It had, after all, been Lillian who called Gauvain out in the front of the nobility for his inaction regards Rykers.

-

Cervantes nods softly to Lillian with a small humm as he listens to her speak, he eats slowly and looks like he's in heaven. Quickest way to the heart is through the stomach. "The empire will wish for permanent settlement to have a foothold in these lands. They will try to expand." He ponders this for a long moment. "I remember. But it is something of a conundrum all the same. Alas, I am home. Let us speak no more of politics my love. let us enjoy today."

-

"The Empire has a foothold. And it is not in lands that belong to Galenthia, so for now, we do not have to worry." Lillian seemed more than happy to allow the conversation to turn to other things, as their meal continued on, and she caught him up on all of the things that he had missed while he was away at war.

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