Description: At the invitation of one of Illyria's Kings, Elisabeth decides to see what the Sacred Order is really all about.
It has taken time but Illyria is slowly making its mark upon the global landscape and the efforts of two of its appointed 'kings', Ky Kiske and Leo Whitefang, has much to do with it. For Ky, the 'First King', outreach into the world at large and even engagement in the active and influential Fighting Community has been critical.
For Leo, it has been much the same but more on the homeland turf. Directing efforts at studying and back engineering the chi-tek and leyline based technology the ancient kingdom of Illyria flourished on, reaching out to European neighbors to assure their intentions of peace towards Illyria and that Illyria herself poses no threat, and entertaining various diplomats and ambassadors and also fighters in the manner of a king. In other words, all the stuff he despises. Well not the 'fighters' part, but that's just it. leo Whitefang is a rugged lion hearted man of action and a seat at the diplomatic table is not his ideal place. When fighters come calling..that's another matter and furthermore it's an opportunity to vet and recruit for the Sacred Order which is the backbone of Illyria's defense and offense. And there's the other fact that the Novus Orbus Ilibrarium kind of has a bounty on him so leaving Illyria puts him and his entourage at risk for [REDACTED] reasons. He grows tired of that but..that's another story.
Elisabeth Blanctorche is the current story and Leo has had his eye on the legends around that noble house for years, even prior to Illyria's founding. Now word rumor of one wielding their power has surfaced? A candidate for the Sacred Order if ever there was one. So he waits in the ornate fountain filled gardens of Illyria Castle's entry courtyard while seated in a large chair and his legs kicked up on the table infront of him. A cart with hot tea and cups besides him along with two ready knights.
Keeping the Blanctorche family's name alive is one of the few things that genuinely motivates Elisabeth. She enjoys fine food well enough, and tea (even if she prefers wine most days), and -- well, fighting, but in this world who doesn't? But her obligation to her family name... that's a priority.
The Sacred Order has her attention, too, of course. She's uncertain if she plans to hook up with them immediately, but it's exactly the sort of organization that the Blanctorche have long supported -- and as the last remnant of the family, she really ought to look into things herself. Is this a genuine force for good in the world? Just another excuse for fighters who fancy themselves nobility, like Strolheim? To find answers, she must challenge herself.
.... sometimes, challenge means tea. She strides confidently into the gardens of Illyria Castle, glancing between Whitefang and his knights. There's something appraising in her gaze -- it's not quite the sharp look of a fighter, though. She's sizing each of the three up in turn, but it's not their physiques or prowess she's interested in.
"Sir," is all she offers Leo, at first. It's respectful, but not fawning, not standing on ceremony. "Thank you for your invitation," she adds, after a moment. Her gaze tracks to the cart briefly, though she says nothing; in her experience, the mere glance ought to be enough to communicate her desire for tea.
She seats herself, rather than waiting to be directed to sit; ah, to be young and impetuous. ... or just tired of formality. Hard to tell.
Direct and to the point! Leo nods in immediate approval of this. He'll have to jot that word down, or something similar to it, next to his new entry for Elisabeth in his personal dictionary.
He brings his feet down to stomp them solidly against the marble floor of the courtyard. His gesturs are big, broad, almost vaudeville like in the sense of being overly bombastic and dramatic on account of a combo of his size and sense of presence. "Lady Blanctorche..thank you for accepting the invitation! I believe this meeting will be fruitful for us both.."
The accompanying soldier-attendants act accordingly and prepare a cup of tea for Elisabeth, serving her as she wishes while Leo himself sweeps his hand around and grasps hold of one of the ornate tea kettles and sweeps it up into his hand as Elisabeth is served with the other. He.apparently attends to drink directly from it. Hot or no.
So he's king more by way of King Conan then he is any sort of man with true formal upbringing it seems.
"I've had my eye on the Blanctorche family name for some time now. The records in the Sacred Order archives speak of your lineages legendary works and abilities. To be honest, I'm surprised the previous grandmaster, Sir Undersn, had not sought you out sooner. Things have been rather hectic with us though."
Leo takes a drink..er..swig..? Of the tea and then sets the kettle down, "I believe your mission and ours may very well intersect. You must have many questions about Illyria and the Sacred Order. I am prepared to answer."
Elisabeth graciously accepts the cup of tea; she is not, however, entirely prepared for Leo to start drinking from the kettle. She looks -- not disgusted, precisely, but her mouth hangs slightly open for a half-second before she recovers. This is just how Illyria is, apparently. She, too, will need to update her mental dictionary.
She quickly moves on to business, however. "There's been some unrest with us in recent years," Elisabeth says, at the mention of her family lineage. "It's possible he reached out before I was ready, and while the rest of the family was otherwise engaged." She looks almost disappointed to have to say that -- but she moves on quickly rather than linger on it.
She looks up again, and sees her counterpart taking a huge swig from the kettle. She promptly glances back down into her cup of tea. "What is it you intend to accomplish? Holy orders have come and gone in Europe, sir -- what is it that you consider your highest priority, as a leader of both Illyria and the Sacred Order? And how do you plan to accomplish it? Neither will alone nor strength alone are sufficient."
Yeah, whooops. Ky Kiske would probaby have had a mental fit had he seen Leo do that but if it's not at least Illyria's way it's at least Leo's way and he thinks nothing of it, setting what would for most peple be an unreasonably hot source of the tea back down on the tray before he answers Elisabeth.
At least he's had the presence of mind for there to have been more then one kettle prepared. One for him and the other for Elisabeth to be served like a person with..well..some sense it seems.
Antics and bravado aside, he grows rather serious at her question and he leans back, arms folding slightly in thought as he mulls this over and then:
"My heart has always been, and remains one, that wishes to protect this world and the people in it. Illyria has no desire towards conquest. Instead, we will be a beacon of hope, honor and refuge for those who are persecuted and treated differently unjustly and unfairly be it for reasons of race, religion or creed. We also guard and protect the ancient legacy of old Illyria to prevent it fro falling into the wrong hands."
His sweeping gesture indicates the floor below as he rumbles, "Below us sits a 'thing' called the Telluric Complex. It's connected to ley lines that run throughout Europe. Just a year ago, a mad faery queen attempted to use this to do great damage and bring her reign into this world from the faery world. The nations were weak after the infighting of the war caused by The United Nations. it was the Sacred Order .. " pause as he grits his teeth briefly and then adds, "..And..the NOL..that participated in driving her back. You could say that Illyria's founding was birthed by that event." He then shrugs and adds, "And the Sacred Orders founding mission has not ceased. It existed as a defense against the dark. Darkstalkers who sought harm. Supernatural threat. Dangerous magic. The Vatican no longer supports us directly but we still have ties to Interpol. Our Order members guard this world from things that would rise against it.."
As Leo speaks, Elisabeth starts to weigh what she's hearing. She makes a mental note not to go for a second cup of tea, while she does so, instead slowly sipping at the one she already has. She listens to her counterpart's explanation of the situation as it stands, and Illyria's role in it, her expression carefully neutral the whole time.
"Those are noble ideas, of course," she offers, once at last he finishes. "Ones the Blanctorche have long supported." There's a bit of a twinkle in her eye as she notes, "There's a reason we survived the age of the guillotine, after all." That twinkle quickly gives way to a slightly sterner expression, though, a moment later.
"However... I see that you are not without your demons, either. I can feel your pride rolling off you -- you're someone who doesn't take professional slights well, and even holds grudges." She lets that stand for a moment, saying, "There's power in that -- but danger, too." Another sip of tea -- ever calm, ever professional.
"... If you'd indulge me," she notes, "I would very much like to take your measure. Win or lose, I suspect I'll learn something of your character -- and in turn, the character of those who choose to follow you."
Remarkable. Leo's not exactly opaque but neither is he so transparent that ones without keen sense of intent and ability are capable of so quickly dissecting aspects of his traits. It is said pride that causes him to tighten up ever so slightly. A mild sense of being perturbed at her swift cutting action to bring him back down to earth.
But she's not wrong and he knows it - at least so far as he'll admit it aloud. He does still hold a grudge against the NOL for what they have done and are doing..but now is not the time to explain that or weaken himself by offering excuses.
"Very well." is all he says to her request, "It is a reasonable suggestion and one I am more then happy to grant."
WIth that he rises, pulling up to his full height and then gesturing over towards a wide open space in the courtyard - unconcerned, it seems, about any potential local damage or bystanders. This is a world of fighting after all. Even here in small Illyria, people know this sort of thing happens and already as if sensing the rising energy in the area, Castle servants, civilians and soldiers alike are slowing and starting to form a safe permiter to see what happens next.
Before doing anything else, Elisabeth finishes her tea. It is important, of course, to make sure good tea does not go to waste.
She then draws up to her full height, looking her positively massive opponent over, already starting to plan. She can't guess the full depth of his style immediately, of course -- but that doesn't mean she can't take a few seconds to form a plan of attack. Certain things -- a person's build and bearing, for instance -- lead to immutable facts of life.
She strides confidently over to the courtyard, looking to the nearby civilians and knights. She knows that this is a little bit of a faux pas in certain circles -- challenging someone at the very seat of their power... but she believes she'll learn more from this than any amount of talking the two of them do.
"All right," she says, taking up her usual fighting stance -- waist slightly crooked, one arm low in front of herself, hand splayed. Her other hand rests on her crop -- but partially obscured, at this angle, by her body. "I'll show you the strength of the Blanctorche family name, sir. You'd do well to come at me like you mean it."
COMBATSYS: Elisabeth has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang has joined the fight here.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Leo Whitefang
"Lady Blanctorche.." begins Leo, once she's settled into her combat stance, "To do anything less would be insult to you, Illyria and my honor as king!"
The enthusiasm is carried by his grinning expression as a lion like battle aura bursts from him, almost giving the impression that his teeth are fang like and that the man is more Beast-Man then Man.
One shouldn't take to long to dwell on that though as he bursts into movement that belies his six and a half foot frame. A blur of golds and browns, he dashes the distance between himself and his smaller opponent while twin great swords thread themselves into existence on either arm as if liquid metal.
A moment later and he's dashed past her in a rushing slashing action that leaves his swords crossed behind him and his back to her once the blur of movement is complete.
COMBATSYS: Elisabeth blocks Leo Whitefang's Kaltes Gestober Erst.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Leo Whitefang
Elisabeth has no sooner requested Leo come at her than she learns exactly what that means; bringing up one arm, she protects herself from the worst of his series of slashes -- weaving past one, and meeting another on the flat of the blade rather than its edge. She grits her teeth, but doesn't allow herself to cry out; instead, she whirls to face him.
He's faster than she'd assumed him to be -- or at least capable of short bursts of extremely impressive movement. She knows that she can't let him maneuver around her *too* much, but doesn't want to cede ground to him, either. ... perhaps he isn't the only one with a little too much pride.
Elisabeth takes a half-step toward him, standing just a little further than arm's length. "... I can tell," she says quietly, "that you've spent much time honing your body." Swooping her hand out, she leaves a trail of bright blue-white sparks behind it -- and then quickly moves back behind it, hoping to dissuade him from getting in so close with that wave of chi. She needs a little time to recover -- and to mask that she's already feeling a little overextended.
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang blocks Elisabeth's Etincelles.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0 Leo Whitefang
Leo whirls, disengaging from his previous combat stance to find himself glaring into that incoming sweep of light. A last second arc of his blades and a flare of silver and iron-grey light occurs as his swords parry and deflect the assault while also giving Elisabeth a moment to gain some distance.
But not long. Like his namesake, Leo's assault is a form of relentless and he presses in on Elisabeth, spinning out of the momentum of his block into a sweeping roundhouse kick that's made that much more theatrical by the whirling of his mane of hair and the flourish of his great coat, like a curtain whirling about his form.
"Indeed. I have. I must!" he says, "It is not a matter of pride but necessity for the role I've been placed into!"
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang knocks away Elisabeth with Quick Strike.
- Power hit! -
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Elisabeth 0/-------/-======|=------\-------\0 Leo Whitefang
Unfortunately for Elisabeth, she just doesn't buy herself enough time. The leonine man comes in with that vicious roundhouse, and knocks her back; her eyes bug out a little, and she scrambles to find more stable footing. She finds the *opposite* -- or maybe the momentum carried through her is just too much; she finds a loose stone, and falls, adding... well, mostly, adding injury to injury.
Her teeth grit, and she's back up in a second. "Hrn," she groans, one eye still screwed shut in pain. "I suppose I'll have to... nnh... pick my avenue of retreat better." There's a moment where she's genuinely uncertain what she plans to do -- thus far, she's read her opponent substantially backward. She'd assumed him to just be a brute, but there's technique there, too...
... so she decides to try switching her style up. She darts in, looking for all the world like she's about to do the self-same thing she just did. Instead, though, the hand she'd been keeping behind her -- the one with the crop -- darts out, aiming to lance clean through Leo's guard and leave him smarting. It's a delicate, fast little weapon -- well-suited to Elisabeth's natural speed.
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang endures Elisabeth's Power Strike.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0 Leo Whitefang
The Great Knight prowls back and forth. Pacing his portion of the battle field as Elisabeth recovers, mentally re-assesses the situation and then comes back in for the attack.
He himself dashes forward, spinning the enormous swords around in each hand and then barreling into her attack directly which, indeed, catches him somewhat off guard and leaves him properly stunned and smarting as her weapon lances out and catches him in his torso, piercing the defenses of his heavy coat and shocking his toughened flesh and physique.
But while close, another attack surges from him in a counter. A build up of iron chi which explodes out from him as he thrusts his chest out and against her attack. A visible bust of himself as if formed from iron, blazes to lift and blasts forward as a visible representation of the wall of chi that bears down on Elisabeth at near point blank range.
COMBATSYS: Elisabeth easily escapes Leo Whitefang's Konigliches Gesicht!
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Elisabeth 0/-------/--=====|=------\-------\0 Leo Whitefang
Elisabeth sees the massive wall of iron -- in a form she finds, frankly, impossibly gauche -- coming toward her, and decides she wants no part of it. Before it's even fully formed, she's getting out of the way; by the time it's actually coming for where she was, she's off to Whitefang's side, an expression of relief, if only a faint one, on her face.
"... Usually, men built like you tend to have more -- conventional, expressions of their chi," she reflects aloud, once he's done. "But is that creativity, or...?" She decides to leave the alternatives unsaid, for now, and focuses back up on the task in front of her.
Elisabeth doesn't waste too much more time, either; she closes the distance quickly, using her momentary positional advantage as best she can. Her hand aims up toward Leo's face, in what at first glance looks like it's going to be a tremendously disrespectful slap.
Instead, though, right at point blank, it flares with the same blue-white energy she used earlier; there's a distinct sound as she does it, at this distance -- a pure, perfect tone, like the tap of glass.
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang blocks Elisabeth's Feiderite.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0 Leo Whitefang
Another blurring last second move and Elisabeth finds her arm knocked slightly off osition, her hand just off angle, the blast wholly off course. It ripples past Leo's face as he tilts his head to the side for good measure and lets the white flare blaze past him, even taking out some of his mane and the back of his jacket in the process in a flurry of blond hair.
"Hrm." he rumbles, musing on her words as well as on the nature of her attacks.
"I think I am a manof some tastes but also a man of a solid and stable view of himself.
He drops backwards a few paces, spinning his blades about into another ready positoin, "If you wish to know more..then let us take this up a notch!" he declares in warning.
And then he leaps at her, his blades spin in a slash that whirls iron chi up once again, this time trailing behind his sword movements in jagged arcs of silver and gold as he leaps forward and then up, wind milling his weapons around and attempting to catch Elisabeth in the wake of their furious attack.
COMBATSYS: Elisabeth dodges Leo Whitefang's Eisen Sturm.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/--=====|=------\-------\0 Leo Whitefang
*Now* she's starting to have her opponent's measure. As he readies himself, Elisabeth tenses her legs -- and when he moves, she takes to the skies, leaping *above* him only to land behind. It's -- precarious, and leaves her footing a little on the shaky side. For the moment, however, she's totally safe.
"Solid, stable -- yes, I see," Elisabeth remarks. She definitely sees that -- or at least sees his self-perception of that, in the way he expresses himself. It'd be hard to deny that she likes what she sees; even if she doesn't commit herself full-time to the Sacred Order, she thinks at the moment it would at least not be a liability to maintain the professional relationship.
She puts her head back in the game, though -- and decides to go for another quick, probing blow. She takes a half-step in, planting a boot squarely on the ground; her whole body whirls in a roundhouse of her own, one aimed right for Whitefang's solar plexus, heel first.
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang interrupts Un Coup de Pied from Elisabeth with Graviert Wurde.
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Elisabeth 1/-----==/=======|===----\-------\0 Leo Whitefang
Things are indeed heating up as both fighters are blurring into flurries of movement that the average eye has trouble keeping up with. Elisabeth seems to manage an impossible dodge as Leo blurs past her into a spinning antic that sends him skidding back a few paces only to turn and see her dashing in for a powerful counter in the blink of an eye.
His own reaction is swift and fierce and a little daring as well considering how soon she is nearly upon him. Again both of his swords come up, crossing over each other in what seems like it's going to be a block but which instead ends up being another Iron chi projectile as he slashes the swords across each other, sparking the burst of energy to life. This one is shaped like an ornate 'x' as it blasts out at Elisabeth just in time to intervene before she can bring her powerful kick forward and into the monarchs torso.
The king blasts Elisabeth squarely with a burst of chi, and Elisabeth finds herself -- for the second time in the fight -- at a loss, as she's blown back by the raw force of his blows. She's lagging behind, and she knows it -- she has to do something before things get worse.
"... Nnh," is all she offers at first, as she starts to pry herself up off the ground yet again. There's no such thing as luck in a fight, she reminds herself -- right now, she's simply being out-fought, or at worst, out-guessed. She neds to find a way to reverse that calculation -- either by picking him apart, or by taking a big risk.
She decides that the latter is the better call, for this moment -- there's a distinct sense in his movements that he's *used* to using sher daring to overwhelm calculation, after all. She comes in for another kick, but there's no spin to this one -- just a forceful, crushing hel kick aimed straight for the midsection.
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang blocks Elisabeth's Strong Kick.
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Elisabeth 1/----===/=======|====---\-------\0 Leo Whitefang
"Excellent, Lady Blanctorche! Excellent!" urges Leo on as her aggressiveness brins her into the attack. It's not that he urges throwing caution to the wind but one must sometimes be daring and risk much for great reward.
Sadly it does not bear fruit this time as both of his blades come up to deflect her attack and he rides the momentum of her strike to go sliding backwards a few more paces before he lunges forward again and drops low with a sliding legsweep effort and then from to spring up to use the flat of his blades and bring them against her to force her backwards with a heavy brute strength focused push. Clearly attempting to keep her off balance and send her to the ground.
At the same time, he is not tireless and signs of some fatigue are rearing their ugly head and after this effort he paces himself backwards a few steps to get some distance again.
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang successfully hits Elisabeth with Armed Combo.
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Elisabeth 1/=======/=======|=====--\-------\0 Leo Whitefang
Though the maneuver Elisabeth tries is conservative - a mere half-step -- that's precisely its problem: it's *too* conservative. In so doing, she's paradoxically backed herself into a corner, put herself in a position where -- now that she's planted squarely on the ground by that forceful blow -- the only way she can come back is to go all-out from here forward.
... Admittedly, she's not in a terrible position from which to do that, either. Springing back up, Elisabeth rocks on the balls of her feet slightly. "You really are a splendid combatant -- I have no doubt that you'll be able to protect the things that matter to you," Elisabeth reflects. There's that same hint of sadness from earlier, again, as she rocks backward, standing several feet from --
-- nope, she's directly in front of him, now, swinging an arm up into the air. A pillar of that pure, blue-white light springs up beneath him, threatening to sweep him up into the air abruptly. If it does launch him, she *pursues*, bringing her crop forward again to strike him twice and then send him tumbling back to the ground.
Her posture shifts forward a little, after that -- the confident crook of her hips replaced with something tense. "... and I think that, no matter what, we'll be in touch," she adds, though that tension creeps into her voice, too.
COMBATSYS: Elisabeth successfully hits Leo Whitefang with Grand Rafale.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1 Leo Whitefang
The blaze of light fills the courtyard, forcing onlookers to avert their gaze as Leo himself utters a sharp cry of surprise and then pain. When next seen, the king is tumbling backwards in a roll that is far from glorious looking, and ultimately forced to reach up and use both of his blades to arrest his backwards flight. Dust plumes up around him.. rolling in every direction as debris drifts and rains back down to the ground. For a moment he is caught off guard and then he raises back up to his full height.
"Lady Blanctorche.. you figh well and your power is great.. But you hold yourself back as well from what I can see. Against an opponent who has placed the measure of his fighting spirit and the value of his convictions on the line.. You must come with your all..wouldn't you agree?" that said he suddenly puts his blades away with a flourish of movement as they shrink back down to their original iron corss like forms.
"I think, at that end..I have seen what your family has to offer and even if you do not join us directly, I would be glad to call you an ally in any circumstance."
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang takes no action.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1 Leo Whitefang
Elisabeth flinches at the assessment. He's not entirely wrong -- there have definitely been moments in their battle where she's faltered. "... I think I would," she affirms, looking to Leo as he starts to back off. After a moment, she places her crop at her side again, before conceding, "It is -- rust, I suppose, in the classical sense. It would seem I have spent too much time in my own head, and not enough honing my strength."
There's a moment, in which Elisabeth pauses -- there's a thought that occurs to her, something she weighs for a little too long... but maybe 'be a little more forthright' has more applications than just combat.
"... If you would be so kind as to do me a favor," she says, after a second more's thought. "If you hear anything of a man named Ash Crimson -- anything current, mind you... please, let me know. I'll do my best to keep you apprised of any Darkstalker sightings I hear of, as well."
COMBATSYS: Elisabeth takes no action.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1 Leo Whitefang
"Consider it done." Leo bows and to Elisabeth and with that it seems the battle is done. He takes a few steps back, the first signs of how she -did- wear him down is truly showing at this point as he falters a few steps and then regains his balance near his chair.
"You are a great warrior. If it is training you need, you're welcome to use our facilities and training grounds. Also we have those trained i healing arts. I suggest you feel free to stay around for a small space of time until you're ready to travel again..if that is your wish at least."
All that said, Leo allows a small but sincere smile, "It was an enjoyable meeting. I'd say we accomplished much.. And the First King thinks I don't have a head for diplomacy..."
COMBATSYS: Leo Whitefang has left the fight here.
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Elisabeth chuckles, starting back toward her own seat. "Of course, sir -- I think I'll take you up on that. I'm not so proud as to refuse assistance after a friendly battle." There's more than a little bit of a wobble in her walk as she briefly stops back at her seat; she thinks of getting some more tea -- until she remembers what happened immediately prior to their fight, and promptly throws *that* thought as far as she can get it.
Instead, she says, "Then that will be all," with a firm nod to her opposite number. "I will weigh more direct assistance as well... though I have some things to consider, and other expectations to manage, as well." At the very least, it's starting to seem like it's not a *bad* idea to maintain such a close relationship with Illyria; one can discern much from the way one fights, and even if he's a slightly ridiculous man, Leo seems as though he is neither a deceiver nor a would-be tyrant, and that goes a long way.
Elisabeth starts to make her way away -- though she needs a moment to reorient herself. Her bell is more than a little rung.
Log created on 19:36:24 02/26/2019 by Elisabeth, and last modified on 00:03:36 02/27/2019.