Four Tasks

Four Tasks
Summary: The Lady Victricia and Lord Paidrig practice archery together and discover four tasks they set on each other.
Date: 22/April/2013
Related: TBD
Paidrig Victricia 

Laketown - Open Fields
Lists, archery range, open fields
April 22, 1329

Onto the archery range. Moving past the fences and the various cordoned areas along with the lists, they continue to walk until they are out past the wooden structures and into the larger fields where the targets sit, lonely upon the horizon. The guards follow close enough to be at hand, but distant enough to allow the two nobles to talk should they wish without feeling like they were being eavesdropped upon. Paidrig is still studying the woman's bow when he asks, "So, you defeated the Prince of the South. How was it? I am afraid that I missed the whole occasion, which I am quite sorry about. Had I known what was happening I would have hurried sooner. Still it was well taht you showed him up, though I do hope that there will be no reprecussions coming from such an action?" The words are phrased in an inquisitive sort of way, merely attempting to make conversation, while also curiously wishing to know about Victricia.

<FS3> Victricia rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.

Checking the string on her longbow once more, Victricia lifts a brow and then laughs softly, "Yes…" She sounds amused. "It was good to show him up but for all of that, I think he took it rather well. He was becoming somewhat familiar, calling me by my first name." The Lady of Auldholme furrows her brows. "Do southerners have a lack of manners? I thought it best not to reproach him on the topic as I had already beaten him."

That said she draws on her bow to test the string further and then reaches for an arrow, stepping up to the toed line and draws back to her cheek. She takes a moment to steady herself, release her breath, hold, and release. It hits just outside the target area and she smiles, lowering her bow and waiting for his turn.

<FS3> Paidrig rolls Marksmanship: Great Success.

"He did seem the sort to try and impress the ladies of the court, so to speak, but I am not sure that he meant harm by it. Then again, he did spend most of his last conversation speaking about his horse and what he did enjoy about it. There is the possibility that the Southerners do lay with their animals, though I've never thought it an entirely polite question to ask in their presence. Still it was good that you defeated him and it speaks well of your skill. I should wish to watch the next time you spar with someone, I believe it would be very enlightening." He falls silent, politely watching her, he examines her draw, her stance and her hold and then the way she breathes before the arrow is released. A small smile flashes across his lips and he bows his head.

"Well shot. So you can spar and loose an arrow. Colour me impressed. Do all the Iron Ladies carry as much considerable skill as yourself, or are you the exception to the rule?" There's a pause as e slowly slides his bow off his shoulder, staring at the wood and the well worn grip in the middle. There's an absentness to his gaze, a memory settling over him as he performs some sort of welcoming ritual with his bow. "It has been a long time, old friend…do we still remember what it is like to sing?" He's talking to the bow, a whisper on the wind, and it's solemn, something deathly serious and yet touching. His eyes close and his lips move but no words come forth.

When he opens his eyes again he steps forward, his body slipping into the stance of an archer through muscle memory. It's a solid stance and one that seems only like a natural position for the man to be in. An arrow is drawn, rolled through the man's fingers and he fluffs the fletching with a soft breath. Every action is methodical, ritualistic, slow, but deliberate. The arrow is knocked to the string and he lifts the bow and draws in a fluid and rapid motion that signals the beginning and end of the dance. Fingers against his cheek, he inhales, freezes, and then releases.

The arrow soars with tremendous accuracy, catching the bullseye of the nearest target, but it is not quite perfectly centred. There's a sigh from the Lord as he stares at the current mark.

Victricia dips her head to his compliments after she is done. "It is in my blood, Lord Paidrig." Her head tilts and she considers. "We have the Right of Commitment every year, tournies just amongst our people. I must know how best to fight and how best to use a spear, and a club. The bow is my choosing, Lord Paidrig. I have been learning from the royal archer until recently…it has been too long since I practiced."

This she admits and then she quiets, watching him for a moment and finds herself mesmorized. She stares and then realizes she is doing so with something that is likely very private. Thus she looks away for the moment until she hears him start to move and she barely catches the fluid draw that causes her eyes to widen.

When the arrow strikes nearly perfect, her lips part and she glances from the target to him. "My lord…" Her voice is a gentle hush, "And you speak of my skill. It is poor compared to yours." She lifts her bow, drawing it back after setting an arrow to it and with a more rough sense of understanding, she releases.

<FS3> Victricia rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.

Paidrig is staring at the arrow as though something had happened, but then he finally sighs and looks away. He hears the words of the Lady and he nods his head, his lips falling into a more neutral expression. "Ah, yes, the Riedels have often had such things as well, and you'll forgive me if I tell you that I have not truly been the greatest supporter of the games, but we do have other ways of measuring one's skill." He leans onto his back leg and watches her again. "This is my one vice, Lady Victricia. I had put it aside so many years ago…it feels good to have her in my hand again, but we are still stumbling in our dance. I will not boast, but I will say that had you seen me in my prime, such things would never have happened." There's an sureness to his voice, again, not boasting, but almost wistful, as if remembering a time where things were better.

He watches her knock, draw, aim, and release and smiles as she strikes the target true again, a little closer to the center than before. "Do not compare skills of others, that is for tournaments, which is why I tend to avoid them. Instead, compare yourself to what you did yesterday. Then at least you will have an honest partner, and only room to improve. Also, when you begin to better all of your peers, you will still be able to grow in your skill, surpassing yourself every time." He offers her some wisdom, then casually draws another arrow. His fingers caress the fletching into a proper order and then he draws again. His body bedns to the bow, just as the bow bends on the draw. They look a perfect pair of synergy before the arrow is released with a deadend twang of the string.

<FS3> Paidrig rolls Marksmanship: Great Success.

Setting the tip of her bow to the earth after the shot and there is a wry smile on her lips. "Lord Paidrig, you will forgive me forwardness, I hope, but you are not past your prime, far from it, if I may say so. Just because you are not so sure of the steps right now, they will come back to you. That is why we train, to never forget. She wishes to sing just as much as you do." She looks at his bow, looking up at him again and bows her head. "One must always compare to another, it is how you strive for more, strive to protect and that is how one is victorious in battle. Things are peaceful now..but it is not always so." She pauses and waits till he is done shooting.

She lifts her own bow again, drawing an arrow and nocking it. Her head moves, clearing her vision of her hair. She draws back, straining on the string and takes just a moment to steady before she releases. This done, she adds. "I lost several siblings to the Corsair Wars…the Ironclad always fight, man or woman. We are always ready."

<FS3> Victricia rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.

When she speaks, he listens, his head tilting slgihtly and a life returning to his eyes that had not been there before, though it is still rather muted. He watches her for a moment and then answers, "To each their own. We too fight the Corsairs and bandits in our lands, we have rebuffed them and chased them away, no matter the number. Do not think me someone who avoids combat, my Lady, I merely do not enjoy loosing for points and for applause. Hunting, battle, and the like I am no stranger to, actually I do prefer the woods and the fields and mountains. Tracking the deer, the elk, or the mountain lion or ram. Following, keeping quiet, and eventually clearing the way between you and the animal, making the draw silent and true and felling the animal in one clean shot to alleviate any unnecessary pain. That is one of the reasons I trained, not so that I could prove to my father, or brother, or any of the other nobles at the courts that I could fire an arrow into a man's heart at two hundred paces on a ship in a storm. No, we have skills that we must use, for ours is not a soft and genteel world, but…forgive me, I ramble."

He watches her draw and loose and then steps closer, "If I may?" he asks, indicating her bow, "I do not wish to instruct where instruction is not wanted, but I could offer a small measure of advice?" The question asked, he seems to recognize her methods and then he simply turns, rapid draws in a swift motion, and fires.

<FS3> Paidrig rolls Marksmanship: Amazing Success.

"I do not join tournies for the glory or the recognition, I do not spar with others to put them down. I do it to test myself, show me where I need to improve. When and if the time comes, I will stand to protect my King along with my family and lands." There is a fierceness to the Lady, her words firm and obviously sincere when he keeps speaking, she quiets, watching him until he comes closer and asks if he can show her something. That wryness is lost, causing her to study him as he suddenly pulls and releases without much of a warning.

Her head turns to take in the placement of his arrow and she stares for a long moment. She doesn't say anything and the Auldholme Lady gives a slow nod of her head. "You may offer a measure of advice.." Finally she lifts her bow again, drawing an arrow and setting it, but she doesn't pull yet. She waits. For him.

Paidrig does not look at the arrow just yet, having loosed, and sent it flying through memory alone, and sometimes it is just best not to think about what one is doing to get back into the rythyms of the past. His eyes are instead upon the lady nearby. He nods when she accepts his offer and steps closer, his voice dropping so as to not startle her, but to soothe and relax, "Your form is good, better than most, I assure you, but you hesitate in the middle. It is like a dance, much like the one we have yet to share, and so I cannot express to you my simile with actual engagement, but perhaps in the future, we will share such an occasion." His words come with a reassuring smile that he hold no issue from their past attempts at failed dances.

"Your bow however is your partner, When you move, it moves in response. It will guide you, just as you lead it in the dance, you need to feel how it reacts. When you pull it will pull back, but then it will give, the trick is to know how far you have to pull to get to the point that she is ready to give you everything. You are still searching for that spot. Your hand moves back and forth after you have drawn, still unsure of the footstep before the great twirl. So this time, when you draw, let your bow show you where it likes to be held, find that place where it allows you to feel its excitement and readiness. Locate that spot and hold it there, learn its movements and commit them to memory."

"You speak as if you have danced many times, my lord," Victricia glances up at him briefly from the corner of her eye before she nods. She listens, gazing down range at the target. She doesn't yet pull, listening to the explanation that has her smile softening. Her eyes lightly close and her chin lifts, slowly the Auldholme lady draws her bow up, not yet pulling the string. She draws a deep breath and exhales past her lips. Slowly she draws on the string, grasping at the feathered fletching as she does and brings her arm taut for a moment before relaxing.

She keeps her eyes closed, as if measuring the strain of the bow by feeling. Once she is at a spot she feels right with, she opens her eyes and instantly lets loose with an exhale of breath. The fletching brushes her cheek, flying true and straight as she begins to lower her bow.

<FS3> Victricia rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.

Paidrig's eyes narrow, but then relax at the mention of dancing, seemign to have crossed some sort of boundary with her for now while they're loosing arrows, "There was a time that I spent many a night dancing with the love of my life, but again…that was then. We never do truly lose that which we've learned, but sometimes we need the right catalyst to get it back." He falls silent when she begins to /feel/ her bow. His lips curl upwards at the edges in a portrait of pleasure at the way she now treats her instrument.

When she finds the spot and releases he reaches out, to catch her bow arm, preventing her from lowering it. "No, wait, let yourself and your partner finish the dance, do not end it abruptly. Rejoice in the feeling and the release. Take care to experience everything after the climax. Do not be so hurried that you forget the thrill so easily. Nay, absord it, welcome it and share the accomplishment. You are good at the basics and you have been trained to see that which you need to, but I can see that you have the talent to be so much more than just a simple archer," he offers with a note of praise in his voice.

<FS3> Victricia rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.

His words, however innocent give her a start and he might note the color slowly creeping across her cheeks. Victricia however plays it off with her rather sure self and smiles faintly at him, keeping her bow aloft at his biding. She breathes in and out slowly, as if measuring the breaths it takes, like slow moments after a dance. "She must have been lovely, the way you speak of her. So much gentle understanding in your voice." She lifts her chin and looks down range before she begins to lower her bow and falls to silence.

Her head dips and the young lady looks to the ground beneath her feet in thought before she draws another arrow and starts to repeat what she did before. That color remains as she grasps at the string of her bow and the fletching and closing her eyes again, she draws, slowly. The creak of the bow sounds in complaint - yet she does not release. Instead she begins to hum softly, a low lamenting tune that is rather sweet sounding. As her hand flexes, begins to strain, she opens her eyes and on a note, releases again, shoving in next to one of her previous arrows but not quite in the target.

"She was lovely to me," Paidrig responds to her unasked question, but it reveals something about his past. He's quiet for a time, contemplating as she raises her bow and hums before firing. He's silent a bit longer and then he offers, "I have not set foot outside of Riedel's borders in the last six years. You are the first person whom I have offered advice with a bow in as many. I used to be our Hunter, our guide, and for the last six years I've done nothing but piss away my life lost in regret and ennui." There's a heat in his tone, an anger at himself. "For six years, I gave up on life, I put it all aside and for what? The pain has not faded, it remains, oh how it remains…but now…I feel a seed sprouting. Helping you has helped me realize that there was anotehr facet of my life, many facets that I had turned away from the sun and left dark." He shakes his head to clear it, then realizes just how close he is to her and he steps away, "Forgive me, you did not need to hear me musing about the life of a despot."

He turns away, staring at the target and finally seeing his arrow, which causes him to smirk, "Ah, we remembered, didn't we?" This asked of his bow before he slides back into his stance and tilts his head, "That's not a bad idea, you know? The humming, I used to sing too.." he lets his words trail off but he does not fade to silence, instead his baritone begins to rumble in his chest before it spills from his throat. There's a bit of an offkey moment as he finds his pitch, but then it's clear as the rough edges are whisked away with the coming sound. It's a battle dirge, one often sung in the mountains during long stretches of travel, and as he finds himself in the thick of it, he begins drawing arrows and releasing them at appropriate portions of the tune. His feet move, shifting, almost dancing.

Victricia is young, yet to understand the loss of a heart's love. There is the loss of family but it is a different ache and she studies him as if drinking from a new found spring. The ache in his voice, the anger for what was lost and lost even after in the years to follow. Her gaze sweeps over him and when he starts to hum and fire, she listens to his tune for a moment before she closes her eyes and draws on a harmony for it.

Slowly she lifts her bow again, aiming it down range and setting her arrow. She may not be as flui as he is, but she knows pull, the feel of the fletching and she catches her breath. Releasing, her eyes open and a small line of red against her cheek where the fletching was not tied so tightly appears, marring her cheek. He will not see it til she turns. But she never stops humming, waiting for him to finish before she begins down range to pick the arrows from their spots, both his and her's when she reaches it.

<FS3> Victricia rolls Marksmanship: Failure.
<FS3> Paidrig rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.
<FS3> Paidrig rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.

Paidrig is in the middle of his tune, knocking the arrow, drawing the string, shifting his feet, sliding over and then loosing only to collapse inwards and drift backwards, with the music, he's into his third shot when her voice carries on the wind to his ear. He falters a moment, loosing the shot a little too late in his motions, which causes it to catch the second ring from the middle and his eyes narrow, but not at the missed target, but because of the unexpected reaction that his body had taken with the joining of another's voice with his own.

He breathes in and continues the song, listening to her, voice, matching and leading where he can. Sure they have not danced yet, but there are other ways that two can make a pair. Anotehr shot and it too goes wide of the center, but he's smiling, a newfound sort of smile as some of the weariness from his face is lifted by the simple motion. It all comes to an end eventually and he lowers his bow after standing still at the conclusion of the song. "Beautiful," he whispers, though it is loud enough for Victricia to hear, as it was meant for her. He waits though, watching her walk away and get to the target before he begins walking as well.

Victricia looks back over her shoulder and gives him a gentle smile that he might catch. Yes, she heard him. The Lady of Auldholme moves to her failed arrow first, the one that is stuck in the ground past the targets and she stands there a moment before sliding it into her quiver. SHe does not return to the targets at first, instead turning her face up to the sun that graces the earth. She sighs faintly, letting the wind buffet and pull at her hair and skirts before she skips faintly in what looks like a dance step, turning in place gracefully and landing on her foot again.

Slowly she starts back towards the targets, her smile unceasing as if a permanent part of her features. The woman will have premature laugh lines before she is even thirty at this rate. She is there at her target, dragging at the arrows to free them before setting them to her quiver. "You sing nearly as well as you shoot…" She comments, casting a glance at him. "I am sorry it has taken us this long to meet again, my lord. You would have been a good tutor in the bow."

Paidrig is slow to follow, his footsteps light, a weight having been lifted from his soul and a small crack of light finally shining into the darkness of his inner thoughts. It is because of this light that walks slow, almost as if relearning how to walk, how to be in the world, and how to move when the wind blows around him and against him. He does pause at the first target, leaning against its side to watch her leap. It is in that position that she'll most likely catch him watching her when she does come back for her arrows.

"I would have been?" He asks, his eyebrow arching, "Are you saying that your lessons are done and over with now? You still have much to learn, my lady, and it would be amiss of me if I did not see you through to your full potential. Nay, I may not be the best tutor, but I will be your tutor, that I have decided, of course, you would still have to accept." He laughs, it's a light sound, a deep, happy sound in that one sharp exhale of noise, "Ah, don't go flattering me now, it has been about six..suffice it to say, I haven't done anyhting for six years, I think I've established that fact now, so… you'll forgive me and we can carry on." He wears a smirk as he looks back at her, offering her her arrows as he draws them from the target.

Victricia is not all together a shy young woman. No words to describe her would be impetuous, bold, brash, gregarious and even now as the older Lord is watching her the woman smiles for him, her smile brightening. But it is his words that cause her to slow, studying him and her head turning so she can give him a side long glance before she laughs, "Is that so?" There is amusement in her tone, but perhaps delight that she tries to hide with a lift of her chin, her arrows taken - each one and deposited into her quiver.

"I am not certain I can accept…" She begins faintly and then continues after a breath to point out a few things. "First of all, we have not officially had a full drink together, one of the other. We have not danced, you have not brought me a flower and most of all." She pauses and emphasizes the next, "The most important thing you have not done kiss me." Bold?! She holds a straight face, just a slight smile as if she is all together serious. "So?"

Paidrig's eyes twinkle a little as he watches her brighten and then move. His hands rest easy at his sides while she begins to explain the conditions for which such an arangement between them can be made. His smile grows a little wider with each requirement and at the last he nods, "That seems fair," his voice slips into a sing song and he begins to compose a song on the spot, "Twas a most peculiar Lady of Iron, who did bring a bright spot in city," he steps closer, seeing her boldness, and he moves, slow, much like a cat as his body simply reacts with the song, "She cast a spot between the Princes of North and of South and brought the latter one down to his knees."

Closer he moves, his hand reaching forward, almost as if in a dance step, but it will bring his hand to her cheek, a bold move on his part, should she not resist. "Her boldness was telling, her beauty was felling," he leans in, his voice dropping to a whisper, "Then she whispered the words, 'Kiss me..'" He stops, his face a mere inch from hers, and now he drops into a low whisper, no longer singer, but speaking softly, "And the archer replied?" Closer he leans, "What sort of flower do you fancy, my lady?" His question brings a flashing, most mischevious smile to his lips and he spins away, his fingers trailing lightly from her cheek as he completes his own skipping dance step, turns, and falls into a deep bow to her, which he will hold till she answers him.

A song, it intrigues her at first and Victricia's mischeviousness only seems to grow more entranced as she watches the Lord spin his song and stalk towards her - slowly. She laughs, clapping her hands together about the Princes, the last getting a brilliant twinkle from her eye. Though as his hand reaches out, she starts to respond only to be stilled by the rough feel of his hand against her cheek. The Auldholme is silenced, her wonder still apparent even as she is stricken dumb. Her hands clasped together still from their clap, she looks up expectantly at him as her sun kissed skin flushes in red heat again. She catches her breath as he leans in and asks what flower she fancies, blinking rapidly a few times when he pulls away.

It leaves her still trying to fumble for a full breath and she has yet to answer his question. She smiles faintly, gathering herself enough to clap her hands for him together, her smile bright and her face still holding that edge of breathlessness. "Narcissus…" A paperwhite. A daffodil. Innocent early spring flower of delicate white and gold beauty. They can be found near forest edges. "A song..for me." And she can make no comment on how close he came to her.

"A song for you, of you, but it is only the first stanza, my lady, of our meeting. Perhaps it will grow and find chorus, and mayhaps, if the sounds are pleasing, it will grow to an epic, but let us not grow too lofty in our goals, nay?" Paidrig asks, then rises from his bow, "A narcissus, ah, yes they do so love their pure petals. Very well then, my lady, I shall endeavour to provide you with such a bloom upon our next meeting. Then I shall have but three tasks that yet remain…" he trails off, his humour fading to something a little more serious, but warm.

He loosens his bow off his shoulder, turning it over in his hands beofre he twists it between his legs and curves his body. A movment that takes the tension off the string and he is able to release it. Carrying the bow like a walking stick and looping the string around his hand, he watches her for a moment, "Well then, I should seek to improve my skills of teaching in the meanwhile, until such a time as all of your tasks that you have set before me have been completed to your complete and entire satisfaction."

Watching him still from a distance, there is a certain look of consideration in her gaze. Victricia starts towards him to collect her bow as well and unstring it. But here she glances over at him and then smiles faintly to herself. "I..perhaps." SHe is silent, watching her work with her own bow til she rolls the string up to slide into the quiver and then lift the bow to her shoulder. She dusts hair from her features but then boldly again hopes over on one foot, letting her bow lower a bit so that she can hop up without him stopping her if she may to kiss his cheek.

It is a brush of lips, a heavy scent of rosemary that wafts up from her before she bounces back a step or two. "That is to hopefully bring you back out of your fortress once more when you return home."

Paidrig was ready to begin walking away when he is blindsided and caught off guard. The kiss to his cheek has caused the smile upon his lips to falter, his hand reaching up to lightly grasp at the lingering feeling. There is realization there and he slowly drops his hand to his side. He carries on a few paces before he speaks, "A simple invitation would have brought me out of heaven itself to see that innocent smile, lady Victricia, but a kiss…" his eyes close and he's clearly fighting through something in his mind. "I have been given four tasks by you and why don't we see where the conclusion of each of those tasks leads?" He asks her, buying time, but also contemplative.

He relaxes a little, finding some inner peace after the intimate moment, "Did you wish to share that drink this evening? Or do you have other tasks that you must attend to?" The question asked with almost a note of hope, something that had been severely lacking until today.

There is a look of accomplishment on her face at his reaction and she even looks somewhat smug. Victricia turns to walk backwards so as best to speak with him for a moment. "Four tasks, I do hope you see them done." She admits and there is quite the twinkle in her eye now, the young sprite of a woman looking to create more mischief is possible. She tilts her head and then nods, "I think I am done for the day, though I thought perhaps if that Lohstren Lord were about, I might see to bringing him to knee as well." There is a cheerful look when she thinks of downing another Southerner.

"But I shall be yours tonight.." She begins and then falters as her foot catches and she spills backwards, arrows and bow clattering to the ground with her, the fletched missiles going astray and coming to rest in a thatch of a mess at her side. She for a moment looks stunned again and then with a rush of color stares up at the sky, her blonde hair fanned out behind her.

Paidrig is still caught off guard by the kiss and so his reactions are a bit slowed when she falls. He does not quite get to her in time, but he does strike an impressive figure standing over her fallen form. "My lady!" He exclaims rather suddenly and kneels down beside her, "Are you injured? Did you twist anything?" He asks, his eyes taking to her feet, to her knees, and then along and up to her face, at which they'll pause and note the artistic sprawl of her hair and the colour to her cheeks. "From the look upon your face, I am willing to submit that the only thing injured would be your pride?" He asks, unable to hold a grin at that huge burst of embarassment, "Still, I must say, even when fallen you would still be able to win a man's…" he trails off, simply offering her a hand to help her rise, should she take it. Even if she does not, he will find his feet and carefully look away. "I do believe that you will one day find a man who is your equal, but I pray that when you face the Lohstren Lord, that it will not be that day. I shall come by and watch, I do think…unless you will find such audience a distraction for your technique?"

Blinking, she looks from the sky to him, focusing on his features and then the grin. Victricia lets out a burst of laughter, letting it clear her lungs in a jovial sound. "Goodness, am I glad you were here and not one of the southerners. My pride is hurt, yes…but I much rather you help me up than the others." Her slender calloused hand takes his and she pushes herself up, rising with him. She laughs still, light and airy, enjoying her own misfortune. "My equal, in what way, Lord Paidrig?" She asks of him and tilts her head, slowly releasing his hand if allowed.

"A man need not be my equal in all I do to be my equal. There are other talents, skills…so many abilities that could exceed mine." She starts to gather up her arrows, putting them back in her quiver with care. "You are welcome to watch, my Lord, if you so wish." She admits and once the last arrow is put back in its place, she gathers up her bow. "I hope I do not make a fool of myself before you."

"No, I do not believe that you could…" Paidrig begins then chuckles, "…do more so than what you already have, falling in the middle of a field, really?" He asks her, his lips betraying his mirth. He does not release her hand all that soon either, preferring to allow the touch to linger a while, though he does eventually have to let go, before it becomes rude. "Still, I can not always take the measure of a man, but these Southerners, they boast much more than they follow through, such is the problems with boasting, it tends to lead to ruin. No, you will have the upper hand, I can already see the duel playing out in my mind. I don't even imagine I will have to be there to know the outcome, but still it would be foolish of me to miss such an event. A pity my skills with a sword are not that good, else I would cross arms with you, but I can conceed to a better without needing to go through the necessary beating inbetween."

A soft laugh escapes from his lips as he looks towards their guards, "I do believe my wet nurse has become quite upset about the delay in having his armor repaired…He does look funny, does he not, all jerkin and no steel. It does amuse me…ah but I am a cruel man to taunt him so…"

It almost seems like he's managed to ignore her question entirely but then he drops an answer rather unexpectedly, "A shared passion covers many things, and a difference in skills can be a most complementary union between two who would seek such things, and I could share with you many a reason why a man could be your equal, but I fear none of them are selfless."

Holding her bow in hand, Victricia is busy trying to dust herself off, freeing herself of vegetation before she blicks, looking up at him. Her lips part and then close as she glances at his guard. There is a smirk upon her lips and she replies to his first. "We should…if I am to take lessons from you, why not you from me?" The Ironclad studies him and then steps closer, a piece of grass or two caught in her hair.

"None of them are selfless, why would you go and say that now?" There is still that amusement but also a curiousity only brought on by youth. She has not sense of when to quiet and simply nod, she most poke and prod at everything rather thoroughly til it rolls over.

Paidrig waits patiently as she dusts herself and when she arrives close, speaking of sparring, he simply reaches up and draws the blades of grass out of her hair, "We should, but you have a Southerner to soundly trounce before the night is through, but if you are to be my tutor, I will have to think of a series of tasks that you must complete before I would be able to accept you, as it would only seem fair. Would you not agree?" He raises his hand to his chin, studying her, his head tilting to the side and then he chuckles, "Yes, I do believe I have the perfect task for one such as yourself."

He looks to the guards, to ensure they are still well out of earshot, "One, you shall find yourself in a most resplendant dress on the evening that you and I are to share that dance that has eluded us. Two, I would ask of you for a song, but not just any song, but a song of your heart, in words of your own. Finally, for the third task, I would offer that you break morning fast with me upon the mountain tops when we return to our kingdoms."

The motion of removing the grass from her hair causes her attention to shift to his hands and then to his face once more when he speaks. Her lips part, close and then part again before she grins at him, "As you wish…" She starts to say, suspecting he will come up with them later. But hen there they are, patterned out for her and so that it comes that her brow is raised at the first, the second is giving a uncertain look and then the last causes her to flush with color.

She has no retort for any of them save for the lack of one thing, "You do not have a fourth. What shall be my last?" She asks of him. Though there is a certain reservation about her now, as her head dips and looks briefly to his chest, her hands flexing their hold on her bow.

"The last will be fulfilled when I complete yours," Paidrig offers with a simple smile, content to leave it at that. His smile is growing, but he keeps it in check, too much emotion for one day in a man quite used to the void does cause him to be a bit brash. Like an alcoholic returning to the drink. His eyes blink and then he coughs quietly, turning to look away once more. "Such tasks set before each other. Dangerous journey's all of them, such simple things, and yet…" he looks over his shoulder to take in her face, "I think you realize what putting such things before each other could result in…or is it that you do not know this dance yet?" He asks her, his body turning to catch up with his head. He bends down and retrieves a stray arrow, one of hers, then he reaches into his quiver and pulls out one of his own, "Here, an exchange, and an alternative. For whatever reason, should it come to pass that either of us should not wish to complete the tasks of the other, then they must only send their arrow back to them, by courier, or by flight." He offers his own arrow to her, a gift, presented with solemn stance and word.

A slow nod is offered at his explanation and Victricia considers that, her eyes settling at his chest and studying it. She seems to suddenly find it so interesting. As he explains the tasks now set between them, her cheeks remain colored, eyes studying his for a moment or two before she offers him a faint smile. "I am a Lady…this dance I have not had yet but I have seen it danced by many others." She no longer seems as young as she was moments ago. She understands. There is a thrumming tension that runs through her veins and when he gives her his arrow, she hesitates but reaches out for it, taking it in hand before looking up to him. Her brown eyes study his and she runs her fingers over the fletching in her hand. She is silent, thoughtful and she lowers the arrow and adds to her own, the colors slightly different, but noticeable. Her personality is on a lower simmer, the coals still burning but now with this in thought, she starts to turn to continue walking and stops, her hands brushing through the tall grass. There are so many questions, and they can easily be seen in her eyes but she doesn't ask them, instead she is quiet.

Paidrig watches her, noting the subtle changes to her demeanor and to her excitement. He watches her carefully as she takes and stows away his arrow, doing the same with hers. "If such things worry you, do not feel trapped, Iron Lady Victricia Auldholme, you always have an out," he gestures towards her quiver, and then falls silent, allowing her to have her thoughts. He waits, letting her gain some distance between them before he follows. He doesn't catch up until they reach the guards content to leave her with all that they had discussed, not to mention he with his own thoughts. Something about seeing his guard without a breastplate causes Paidrig to no longer have the jovialness that he had with such things, "Henston, go to the smithy tomorrow and tell the master smith there that I have sent you to see about having your plate returned to you." Something in the man has changed, he's found genuine happiness again, however fleeting, and the mockery of a man doing his job apparently no longer appeals to him.

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