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Cats in a Bag


Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

"For now, something that needs entertainers. They are both dancers. Shanuri is the senior, Haneul is still in need of training. They need a gentle introduction into society. They need a place to showcase their skills. I expect it will take some time to garner a reputation, and I won't bother to ask for grandoise at this stage. Eventually I would like them to appear before the Judges themselves at one of the better salons, but for now. . ."

Aurelio's hand lifted in a simple, aimless gesture, indicating general acceptance of whatever was easily available.

"That is, if you can stomach being around them."

There was a trace of apology in Aurelio's expression. But only a trace.

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

A glimmer of excitement crossed Erebos' face, he always did appreciate a challenge. From his lips escaped a small laugh of amusement. Erebos dealt with people he found nauseating quite often, Ourea being one of them. They were blood, him and Aurelio, their ties were only strengthened by the last hour of conversation. Erebos was faithful to those that were faithful to him.

"I think you underestimate my stomach, or over estimate them. " His wolfish smile played on his lips.

Erebos thought about the amount of time it would take to build a notable reputation, in his experience Marnians did not take too kindly to outsiders. Of course if the public eye were to see Erebos with the two women regularly, they might be a little kinder. But then there was the complex rules of the dance they all performed when it came to powerful and wealthy people. They would have to know how to behave, and would have to be wonderful entertainers especially if Aurelio planned for them to be anywhere near any of the Judges.

"It may take time, and a fair amount of work but I have hope."

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

Aurelio settled himself back against the sofa. He appeared relaxed compared to the amount of tension he'd displayed at Erebos' display of magic earlier. "You don't think much of the, ah, 'fat men on thrones,' do you then?" He returned Erebos' smile, though his own had fewer teeth. It could even have been called 'mannered.'

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

"Ah, yes...The men of our beloved city that hold all the power don't know how to take care of it's citizens. They sit on their thrones of wealth and hypocrisy without caring much about the people that live in the dirt." Erebos grinned devilishly, this was a topic he did not get to talk about openly with anyone else. He felt strongly about the failing government in Marn.

"People are hunted down because they are different. They are cast out of society. Can you imagine what would happen if word got out about my...ability?" Erebos raised a dark eyebrow, he was dead serious but at the same time he was smiling because he could speak freely with his cousin.

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

"I don't need to imagine," Aurelio replied, voice bland. "Society would be the last thing you'd need to worry about, were that to be the case."

He downed the rest of his alcohol. It took him three consecutive swallows.

"Do you ever wonder why?"

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

"I don't think they could dispose of me so easily." Erebos' smile was dark, maybe even violent.

His fingers rested on his lips, taping in thought. Several seconds passed as he thought of his response. Finally he lowered his hand, his smile had disappeared and his face was stone.

"I have wondered why since I knew I was different. Perhaps it is because they are afraid of things they do not understand, or maybe it is because of the great war. What they don't accept will destroy them eventually. I sense a storm, cousin. There are whispers every now and than I catch of rebellion. When the blood starts to run, I will not weep for those that have forced magic out of this city. Magic can not be ignored, it builds inside a person, scratching to escape the from flesh."

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

"Cousin. . ." Aurelio's expression turned wry. "I appreciate your pluck, but please do try not to go asking for trouble when it is not necessary. Safety here is only assured in laying low." Something passed across Aurelio's face. His eyes narrowed for a split second, eyebrows drawn together and lips tightened. Then, as soon as it had appeared, it was gone. He was back, looking over at Erebos with a collaborative glint in his eyes.

"The yoke is heavy, indeed, and there are those who chafe under its weight as you say. But come, perhaps we shall speak at length of this another day. If you've time, it's possible I might be able to introduce you to Shanuri, if she's where I think she'll be."

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

"Have I ever been one to stir the pot?" Erebos' mood lightened once again, that trademark grin crossing his face. "I sit and wait, because I know that the person who sets the table is able to poison kill the guests. Trust is something I don't intend to lose."

Erebos nodded, a mischievous glint to his eyes. "Yes, let me meet this lovely friend of yours." He raised his dark eyebrows at Aurelio. "I would like to see what I have gotten myself into, cousin."

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

Aurelio nodded to Erebos and stood. The glass was left where it was on the table as Aurelio started to move towards the door. Though his clothing had not undergone much in the way of wrinkling while he sat, he still tugged and pinched at it; ever concerned with his appearance was Aurelio, even when he was relatively dressed down. He paused at the door to look back at Erebos and wink. "Something fun, I hope," was his cheerful reply, even though it did not match the set of his lips.

Swagger was his bitch as he strolled out into the common room. The larger group of men had dispersed while they talked, replaced with a few clusters of dapper gentlemen engaged in whatever erudite activities they deemed worth their time. It was quite puffed-up, really. Contradictory too, if one considered the general haughtiness in regards to Aurelio's favored dress; he chose to show with his clothing what they hid behind closed doors. No matter what trends they followed, they still thought themselves richer and better than many of their fellows. But, none of them was proof against it. It was a fault of mankind to divide by social status.

Aurelio did not wait for Erebos as he moved for the bar, sliding another stack of bishani towards the 'keep with a cherubic smile. The offering was well received with a pleasant sort of grimace and a nod, and like that Aurelio's favored treatment by Jaded's workers was maintained for another day. Men could not be trusted to remain pocketed indefinitely, but Aurelio could work against the flow of time by making use of careful increments in money and favors rendered. They were businessmen, all.

From there, he walked past his peers, nodding to two men in passing -- each in distinct groups marked by quiet conversation and the shuffle of cards or click of dice -- and receiving similar gestures of respect in return. There would be no stopping for the sake of appearance or networking right then, however; Jaded was not the spot for that. They all held to its tenuous code, watching and waiting for moments that could be held for future use. Safe to admit to interaction (in most cases), but bad to showcase it; even if Aurelio trusted what went on in Jaded, there was a reason he still paid for a secure room. Things paid off in spades.

At last he pushed open the door, stepping out into a world much less appealing then the soothing elegance Jaded provided. It was because of that step that Jaded was so well preserved.

He held the door open for Erebos.

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

Erebos followed after him, pulling himself up with grace. Unlike Aurelio he picked up his glass, taking it with him. He didn't much like the thought of people cleaning up after him. Finding his ability had changed his opinions on a lot of things. Though he played the stuck up spoiled child of a high class businessman well, underneath he felt differently. People with his...affliction (as the city superiors would call it) were looked down upon, causing them to have trouble getting and holding jobs.

"It's always fun when I am involved." Erebos remarked, rather sarcastically.

As Aurelio stopped at the bar Erebos set the glass down on the counter. With sharp eyes he watched his cousin, taking in the relationship he had with the employee. He wondered how long he had been frequenting Jaded. Erebos still preferred his house as a place to have conversations that he didn't want overheard. But he was glad for humoring his cousin, Erebos' world had shifted in the past hour more than it had in the past year.

Everyone at Jaded seemed to know Aurelio, though they didn't throw any words his direction. Erebos got the feeling there were unspoken conversations going on in the room. Erebos saw a few people he recognized, thankfully not very many. His cousin had become very close to him and although Erebos would defend him in whatever situation he got himself into for Aurelio's request to be carried out Erebos had to remain a respected part of the wealthy descendant families.

As Erebos walked outside he grinned at his cousin, feeling considerably better than he had in a long time. His head still had a dull ache but it was far from unbearable.

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

The two cousins scarcely had a need to talk as they set off with Aurelio leading the way, idle conversation aside. Passersby who looked at them would see their family resemblance -- though it was not an obvious one -- and many even knew one man or the other (sometimes both). Where reputation and familiarity did not precede, their state of dress and confidence of bearing did the introducing for them. They were noticed. Heads would turn to watch them pass, and those dressed with the conservative flair of the poor either did their best to get out of their way or would step forward from the skirts of merchants' stalls and alleys to reach for charity with empty hats or palms.

Aurelio ignored the majority of them with a customary smirk, sometimes winking at a particularly pretty girl should their eyes happen to meet. Matronly sorts would cluck their tongues and scoot any unattached girls along, experience making them sensitive to the leers of rakes. They needn't have bothered. Aurelio did not slow as he lead Erebos along to his studio (though neither did he hurry them), though he did occasionally turn to murmur some joke or acerbic observation to his younger cousin as they passed the crowds caught in daily routine. The two men had the luxury of taking a day to attend to their personal endeavors -- many of the people they passed did not and would not ever have that. Not that it mattered to Aurelio. He seemed amused by the daily grind, if he noticed it at all.

The walk took them half an hour before he took the final turn onto a small, hard-packed dirt road. The theater could be seen towards their right, past empty lots that had been overrun with grass and scrub, while two over-sized buildings took up the length of the short road on the left. At the end of the road was their destination, which Aurelio gestured to. "Here is where I have housed my troupe, though I have had to place them into the basement, much to their chagrin." He did not appear apologetic, or chagrined himself, in the least. "I saw no need to purchase them their own building when I had space available here, though I have promised them an upgrade should they be profitable at the end of their second year in operation. Right now. . ." he shrugged, an indication that profits were not at projected margins. He smiled, and it didn't quite reach his eyes. "This is where you act as my marketing manager and adviser, appealing to all the puffed up shirts and coming up with ingenious ways to book the girls."

Aurelio talked as they entered the building, coming into a tastefully decorated front room dominated by two impressive desks. One of them was occupied by a bored looking young man who looked up, saw, Aurelio, and got smoothly to his feet. Aurelio waved him down, not otherwise acknowledging or making the effort of introductions. He took a key from his pocket and unlocked an iron grate that covered a side-door. Another key was used to unlock the side door, which in turn lead to a stairwell. It was not so nice as the front room, its stairs worn and the walls made from undecorated, unpainted plaster. He took the stairs down, and opened the door at the bottom to reveal a plain, though handsome, room. It was large and rectangular, the length of the room covered in mirrors -- proof that Aurelio had invested a good bit of money into his dancers as it was. There were two doors at one end and one door at the other. It was only a fraction the size of the building above it, proof enough that there were either sizeable offices or more practice rooms further along.

"My Eyropan flower, I have a guest to see you!" Aurelio called out, startling two young women who had been engrossed under the direction of an older, more severe looking woman. Said severe looking woman frowned at the two Merynir men, gesturing to the left door at the far end of the room. Aurelio winked at Erebos. "Thank you, lovely Sara. I'll introduce you all later, I promise." The latter was added airily as Aurelio started walking towards the indicated door.

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