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#1 Multilingual 

Multilingual | Français | [English]
To greet politely the apartment caretaker and to enter the tree-house.
To ascend and stop before the door.
To check, one last time, ones outfit. To straighten up ones shoulders. To breath a big inspiration.
To knock the door.
To smile to ones mother who’s opening the door.

Usual ritual of holeth lunchtime.

Like every time, Copal entered the apartment and bowed slightly before his mother: “Deles silam lumnimae.”
Like every time, she smiled back to him and kissed him softly: “Deles silam na nidram.”

Behind her, seated at the table, his father glared at him in silence. Wrapped in his usual disapproval.
Copal greeted him prudently with a nod: “Deles silam valyenimae.”
Then he seated in his place. His back straight. His head high.
His father kept silent. An obvious sign that he had found a new gripe to reproach him for.

Copal kept a carefully flat face.
For once, he had hoped for a different reception.

His mother brought the dishes, and all murmured the prayer to Jena.
Then the meal started.
Oppressive atmosphere, that his mother tried to lighten by talking about this and that.
She began to say one by one the names of the young hominas of the neighbourhood. Asking her son what he thought of one or the other.

Copal mumbled vague answers, and kept his eyes on his plate.
How could he explain to his mother that these hominas, however charming, seemed to him now so dull compared to the ladies of the Chamber of the Nobles?
That they were only pale floret in the shade of these magnificent rotoas?
Of course, the flowers of the Chamber weren’t for him. He knew too well that he wasn’t the gardener who’d pick them.
Not counting that some had bloody thorns.
He felt himself blush at some of his memories and coughed to hide his confusion.

He drank some wine, saving time to pull himself together.
He shouldn’t have coughed. His mother was now worrying about his health.
Was he eating properly? Was he sleeping enough? Was he covering up enough when he was going out? Wasn’t his work too tiring?

Copal put his glass back. He looked at it without seeing it. Waiting for the paternal explosion.
Which didn’t take long.
“His work? What work? Moving old dusty parchments around all day long, is no work!”

His father was a warrior.
He had covered the retreat during the Second Exodus. He now was protecting Avalae as a guard.
And Copal had always respected and admired him for that.
But he only believed in his pike.
His son’s administrative career was a shame in his eyes. A stain on his name.
Of course, Nobles could be poets. And there was grandeur in being a renowned botanist or artisan. But pen-pusher in the archives was worse than useless.

Copal forced himself to count till ten before answering calmly: “We all serve the Kingdom in our own way, valyenimae.”
His father’s growl turned into a roar.
“Serving? You’re calling that serving?
Getting yourself knocked down by a kitin kilometres away from Avalae without even hitting him, it’s serving?
Wandering in the Hovel with no weapon and counting on your comrades to protect you, it’s serving?
Nattering like a Tryker instead of fighting, it’s serving?”

So, he had heard about his trip with the botanist. And about the kiban that had attacked the rear of their group.
Copal’s hand went instinctively to his chest.
His comrades had lifted him up. But he remembered the pain.

“Ser Cuiccio Perinia had no weapon either. But he was serv…”
His father cut him off, hard-voiced.
“Don’t compare yourself to the Royal Botanist. You don’t have a hundredth of his skills.
Actually, you have no skill.
You’re no warrior. May Jena save us.
You’re no artisan.
You’re no savant.
You’re not even an artist.
What good does it do to spend your time in the middle of the poetry books and amber cubes of our greatest thinkers, if you’re not even capable of taking something of it?
You can do nothing. Nothing.
You’re just a parasite of the Kingdom.
Are you even a Matis?”

Copal heard a surprised gasp.
His mother had put her hand before her mouth when hearing the biting conviction of her spouse.

Copal had dreamed one hundred times of this day’s meal.
What he would say. What his father would answer.
He had hoped for his parents to be proud of him.
Ten times, twenty times, he had put on the whole new badge before his polished amber mirror.
Ten times, twenty times, he had removed it. Uncertain.
Finally, he had left it at home.
A bit because he didn’t really feel worthy of it. He was only there to assist serae Boreale, after all.
But especially because he was so certain that his father would already know about it. As he had known about the least of his gaffes. Real or imaginary ones.
But no.

He looked at his hands, placed on the table.
Strangely, they weren’t shaking. They weren’t twisting.
He felt composed. Really.

For the first time in a very long time, he rose his eyes and dared to sustain his father’s glare.
His mother was already opening her mouth to fix what could be.
To say that it was just that they didn’t understand each other. That the words shouldn’t be considered just like that. That all this had to be seen only as the normal wish of a father who wanted the best for his son. And that, of course, they were both loving him.
He had already heard such speech. Too often. Even if never after so harsh words.

But not this time.

“You’re right, valyenimae.”

His voice was calm and controlled. It surprised him.
His mother stopped, open-mouthed.

“I’m not a powerful warrior.
Nor a talented artisan.
Nor a great savant.
Nor a renowned artist…”

He paused, his eyes still on the stern face of this father.

“But whatever you think, I’m no parasite.
I’m a Matis.
And I’m serving my Karan.
The way it pleases Him the best.”

He saw his father go red, ready to explode once more. He hurried to talk before him.

“At the last Chamber of the Nobles in Avalae, I’ve been appointed Royal Scribe by Duke Rodi di Varello.
The Karan himself confirmed my appointment before the whole of the Nobles of the Kingdom gathered in the Throne Room.
I know it. I was there.”

It sounded so grandiloquent, said like that.
He felt he had to correct a bit.
“I’m fully aware that it doesn’t turn me into someone important.
That I’m only a servant among a lot of others.
And that if the Nobles stand my presence among them, it doesn’t mean I’m one of them.”

He didn’t dare to add that the Karan had probably only been reading some notes passed to Him by a councelor.
The Karan had told his name. And all the Nobles had heard it. It was all that mattered: his father couldn’t say anymore that he was dishonouring his name.

His father, currently, seemed to have turned into a statue.
Copal glanced to his mother. She was still open-mouthed. But she looked less panicked and more impressed.

He desperately searched for something to break the strange silence that followed his declaration.
“But I won’t let you say I’m useless.
Not when the Karan himself decided differently.”
It wasn’t much of a conclusion. He preferred to drink some wine before adding the word that would ruin everything.
He suddenly felt exhausted.

His mother finally took care of filling the silence. First in a shy and then more and more confident voice.
“Oh, you went to Yrkanis. There have been years since I last went to the Great Greenhouse…”
She continued for a while to detail her last tour over the place. Accumulating unimportant details.
Both homins, as for them, finished their meal in a prudent mutism.

When he finally went back home, Copal contemplated for a long time the badge of his office.
So many hopes. So many responsibilities. In such a small thing.
Finally, he hooked it on his vest and started working.
Whether reading a paper or thinking every and each word, the Karan had entrusted him with a task. He had to prove himself worthy of it.
His father’s opinion was of no importance in front of this.
And, who knows, maybe serae Boreale would smile to him again.

Last edited by Copal (4 years ago) | Reason: Version anglaise

#2 Multilingual 

Multilingual | Français | [English]
To return the respectful salute of the caretaker and to enter the tree house.
To ascend and stop before the door.
To check, one last time, ones outfit. To adjust ones insignia and straighten up the ones of ones House. To breath slowly.
To knock the door.
To smile to ones mother who’s opening the door.

Usual ritual of holeth lunchtime.

Like every time, Copal entered the apartment and bowed slightly before his mother: “Deles silam lumnimae.”
Like every time, she smiled back to him and kissed him softly: “Deles silam na nidram.” With a light move of her hand, she smoothed out an imaginary fold on the uniform of his House. Straightening up in passing his Royal Scribe insignia that hadn’t moved yet.

Behind her, seated at the table, his father was waiting in silence. Like every time. An upset silence today.
Copal bowed respectfully: “Deles silam valyenimae.”
The old warrior answered with a nod: “Deles silam nidram”.
Copal sat at his place. Hiding his relief. He wasn’t the source of the irritation that was veiling his father’s eyes and had him screw up his lips.

His mother brought the dishes, and all murmured the prayer to Jena.
Then the meal started.
And with it, the long list of questions. His mother wanted to know everything about her son’s connections.

So Copal had to reel of, once again, the litany of all the Nobles he had met closely or not in the past few days. Even the ones who hadn’t granted him the least glance.
To give news from his House leader. As if wearing the same colours as the Viscount of Avalae turned him into one of his close friends.
To tell the least details of the last Chamber of the Nobles. While his mother had probably already read ten times his report carefully transcribed in the archives. And to remember to expurgate any reference to the eccentricities of the former Clerk of the Court.
To detail the outfits worn by the Karae’s Ladies in Waiting at every occasion. And, finally, let his mother speak. So that she could go into ecstasies at leisure about the fashion show organized by Ser Mendell, the new Royal Couturier. Once more.

He wouldn’t complain about the exalted pride of his mother on his account. No. Definitively not.
But if she could have taken a bit more interest in him. And a bit less in the ones he was meeting.
He refrained from sighing.

His father was still chewing vigorously and was staring straight ahead of him. Finally, he swallowed the last mouthful with a drop of wine.
He turned nonetheless kindly to his spouse: “It was delicious, nae mindalae.”
She accepted the compliment with a graceful nod: “Fila, my spouse.”
Copal smiled to his mother: “It was delicious, lumnimae. It’s always a pleasure to eat what you cook.”
His mother smiled back. “Fila. It’s always a pleasure when you visit us.”
She took the empty dish. Then she left the homins among themselves.

Copal turned finally to his father.
This one was returning his glaze. Seemed to weigh him. To search… something.
“You were at this… that… this tournament.”
It wasn’t really a question. But Copal nodded: “Sil”. Wondering which word his father had held back.
“You’ve seen the… kamists.”
Copal swallowed and nodded once again. Silently.
It wasn’t a nice memory.
“And you have heard the Karan.”
His father’s voice was more of a growl by now.
Copal refrained from frowning. You didn’t criticise the Karan. He was… the Karan. Sentence.
He nodded prudently.
“Honouring kamists! And Fyros! In our own lands!”
Copal thought for an instant that his father was going to spit on the ground. But he didn’t. His mother would probably not have accepted it.
“How could they do that?”
This time, Copal frowned. What was his father talking about?
But this one was started.
“They did not only let those woodheads win! But they also get humiliated even by mercenaries! Mercenaries! Two teams of Matis, and they both end last! That’s the kind of Nobles you’re serving? Not even capable of taking their responsibilities for their decisions?”
His father was looking at him. Visibly furious. Copal realized with amazement that he was not afraid. Not really in any case. New feeling that he was not accustomed to.
“The Viscount of Avalae fought. While Avalae had voted against the participation of the Fyros. Filirae Remigra fought, though she’s no seasoned warrior. La Firme provided also several fighters. But the aim wasn’t the victory of the Matis.
-WHAT?”
This time, it was a roar. And Copal jumped despite himself. But he got a grip on himself.
“The aim was to know if Serae Zendae had the skills for a Master of Arms. For a leader. She proved her worth on this point. And the Karan had her rewarded as fitted. And if some Fyros are wearing swords with the name of Jena, maybe they’ll find Her light.”
Copal had to admit he had been impressed with the way the Karan presented these weapons to the winners. He shouldn’t have. It was the Karan after all. He may have been forced, by the choices of His Nobles, to look contented in front of his abhorred enemies. But certainly not to the point of letting them brag after their victory.
His father was looking at him. Less furious probably, but not really convinced. And Copal had to admit that his argument was a bit poor.

All the Nobles who had voted in favour of opening the tournament to the Fyros hadn’t fought. And whatever he said publicly, the Karan would probably not be satisfied with the fighting skills he had seen. Serae Zendae would have lots to do.
The next Chamber of the Nobles would probably be heated.

But in the meantime, it was out of the question to let the people doubt about its nobility. And even less about the Karan.
So Copal was doing his share. And tried, on his level, to fix the damages caused by this defeat.
And he would never mention some of the exchanges he had witnessed. Nec. Never.

Last edited by Copal (4 years ago)

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