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A Twist in Time.

Discussion in 'Mixed-genre & Uncategorized' started by MJK2431, Feb 13, 2018.

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  1. MJK2431

    MJK2431 ✿❀❁

    (Sorry for the long wait. Finally finished all my exams and my Honour's year is officially over. :))

    Markus tumbled over possible replies in his head, brows furrowing until they nearly knit together at the centre of his head. His usually towering figure was curled over, back arched and shoulders folding inwardly. He had been a proud man once. A good fighter too, at least enough to keep his blood from being spilled to threatening standards within his short time at the arena. Or, on the battlefield for that matter. However, life as a slave had a way of changing a man. His appearance reflected this, his body appearing to almost shrink and shrivel away under the harmless questioning. Markus had learned from plenty of stories that a slave being questioned was always something to worry about.

    However, Kaeso just seemed genuinely at ease. His appearance as a soldier, his gait and posture recognizable to Markus from the moment he had first seen him returning with Valoria, also held with it a sort of respectful authority which the slave recognized from his early days in the military. Not the type of authority that was demanded, but rather earned. He stood a little straighter, still somewhat hesitant to answer but speaking anyway.

    "As much as I hate to admit it, Roma could be as dangerous as Britannia. Except the danger here is somehow worse - it comes dressed in charming smiles and full of pretentious horse shit." He knew he may be speaking out of turn, but by speaking his mind he could properly asses just what Kaeso was like and just how honest he was being in his intentions towards his Lady Valoria. "Last night was stressful to say the least. She remembers nothing from her time here before and all the careful steps she must take. I am protective of her, I won't lie about that. My job of being a watchful eye over her started out as a means to just escape a death in the arena, but after I spent time with her....things changed,"

    The words were flowing now, Markus staring off into the distance at the dusty road ahead. Despite the edge of the verge being fringed with trees, the shade did little to help escape the already rising heat. The shimmering mirages in the distance made it appear as if the road were covered in water, Markus focusing on that rather than Kaeso as he continued. "She reminded me of my sister. I lost her shortly after joining the ranks. Some sort of illness, I don't know what it was. My folks had been too poor to afford any apothecary or medicine. The Lady was the same age as Merina when she died and she has her same spirit. The protectiveness I feel for her..."

    He paused, running his hand along his shadowed jaw and scratching at the sparse beard there. After finding the right words to continue, he spoke again. "The protectiveness I feel for her developed into something beyond duty as dangerous as it is for me to say that. Her returning here is my third chance of redemption - firstly for not joining the ranks sooner so that I could have afforded the medicine to save Merina, and secondly for failing in my duties of looking after the villa that night Valoria was taken. I need to do all I can now to repent for the mistakes I've made."

    His cheeks reddened, the man's hands balling into fists at his side. Markus kicked a stray stone in his way, the small pebble bouncing along the dirt road before skittering to a halt. "I don't mean to speak above my station when I say this, but Lord Calamis' son does not seek any well-being for the Lady. The things I have heard of his....ah....exploits in the last few months has convinced me of that. Not all gossip should be believed, but the sheer volume of talk the man creates is worrying enough."
     
  2. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    (oooh! Nice! :D )

    Kaeso was glad the man did not rush into his reply. He had seen and heard many who rushed their reports and often forgotten to express it properly or left out key points in the reports. Having that initial think allowed for one to properly formulate and recall what needed to be shared. Quite often it just allowed the person to take a quick breather too as most were usually running to and fro for such matters. He glanced at the other as they walked along. The man's demeanor spoke more volumes than words and for Kaeso, it was both sad and humbling. He wondered at the man's history for him to have landed in his current predicament.

    The Centurion certainly appreciated the candidness Markus gave when he did eventually reply to his statement and he certainly didn't hide that appreciation, a smile creeping to his rugged features that conveyed understanding and agreement. It was a Centurion's job to lead and train their men and often knew each and every single one of the men who served under him. It helped to provide a unit that reached a peak performance in their function and cohesion. Swearing was just as much of a rankers life as adhering to the rules and being bawled at by their Centurion. Kaeso certainly excelled in the use of swearing. It helped to relieve tension and he was not about to stop Markus from using expletive or being candid. Kaeso knew or had felt strongly that Markus could potentially be a really good ally to have.

    He nodded, the previous night was certainly a high stress situation and had been for all of them. There was so much they could get wrong or get in trouble for. He listened to Markus speak with an attentive ear as if Markus was more of a man of standing such as his Optio or a free man than as the slave he was. It was a poor Centurion who failed to listen to his men's needs as much it was for rankers to ignore their Centurion in turn. Glancing to Markus, his heart reached out to the man when he spoke of his loss. He was not hard on that front... they were all human after all but it certainly helped him to understand why Markus was so protective. The man's body language last night had been poignant to a breaking point.

    Markus spoke of redemption then and again Kaeso understood that. There were varying reasons why men joined the ranks and they could vary from patriotism to being forced to by law. Redemption was not the most common reason for joining, but it was a common part to life.

    Kaeso watched as the man kicked a stone and watched as it bounced away, spinning to its halt a little aways from them. The man was showing several tells that were useful to Kaeso without needing to hear the man's words. He felt he could definitely lend trust to Markus in keeping Valerie safe from the vile reaches of Calamis and others with designs on their futures. All except for Claudius, naturally. There was little one could do to defy an Emperor's wishes without falling to treason. Kaeso had a healthy wish to avoid that fate knowing it would land Valerie and himself in dire trouble and there would be little to no controlling things beyond that point. He hoped he could prove to Markus that he was worth trusting as well, he didn't want the man to view him as someone to be wary about.

    He smirked and nodded, "Oh, beleive me, you're not. You have the advantage over me... Those of Calamis' ilk, they don't acknowledge your presence. That, for me, is both useful and helpful. I don't trust either of those two... Not for the finest instants. Snakes in the grass... and we have to watch out for anything they're planning. You can bet on that, they're already scheming."

    Kaeso hated the world he was getting into. He was happier with the simpler life of commanding men on the battlefield and only having to deal with higher ups such as preened Tribunes or Legates. He didn't have to normally deal with the plots and schemes of the echelons of the upper classes. However, he had made a promise and an oath to protect Valerie and keep her safe, and he would not break that promise he had made to her. So, it meant he would have to swallow his distaste and enter this world whilst looking out for the dangers it would so willingly weild upon them all.

    They turned a corner upon the route to the Legion barracks and parade grounds, "I need you to keep those eyes and ears open, especially when I can't be there myself. I think you're a man I can trust, a good man and I know those are rare in this place." Kaeso looked at him for a moment, offering a smile that was genuine. He certainly felt he could trust the other and not find himself betrayed. There was a sense of loyalty and duty about the man and that he could use.

    He sighed softly, "I made her a promise to keep her safe, to protect her, but I also know I won't always be able to do that. There will be situations she's going to be placed into where I cannot go but where you can. I'll need a man I can trust to help me keep that promise and if what yo've told me is true, you're a man who can do that. Perhaps not so much in action, but atleast with listening and watching where I might miss it."

    "I have only known her for a short time, but she a woman of good heart and strength despite everything she's gone through. I don't want her to fall victim to some preening shit who cares not a fig for her wellbeing. Regardless of your position now in life, I hope you can trust me as well in what I say and do... That I'm not another danger to her." He gave a snort of amusement, "I know it's above my station as well but, I consider her a friend."

    He looked at the other man and nodded after a moment, "I feel like I can trust you wholeheartedly but Aquila... How far do her loyalties extend? What's her take with Lady Valoria's return? Her wishes for the house?" He scratched his jaw.

    "I get the feeling she's... skeptical towards me. She looks at me differently... not badly, but you can see thoughts passing through her mind. She's certainly a woman used to running things, and knows what goes where, what does when and the rest of the needs a household demands. Or at least I can assume it demands." Kaeso was used to living on barracks set up by the army and the only other home he had known was the small house of his father's which was entirely far more modest than Valerie's villa. He wasn't even sure how his father had managed to scrounge the money to buy a slave to tutor him growing up. They had lived by what the sea had given them in terms of food and trade.

    "After all, she's had free reign up untill the Lady Varloria's return, no?" He wanted to gauge or determine whether Aquila had her own designs on Valerie's future and knew they may not necessarily be in conjunction with Markus' and his own promises to protect their charge from the dangers that surrounded her. In a perfect world, Valerie wouldn't need it, to be able to make her own decisions about how she lived and who she chose to marry. A second preferable prospect would be that Valerie could be partnered with someone who cared about her or at least let her live without the schemes and plots lesser individuals would enforce.
     

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