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A LEGEND OF ZELDA ROLEPLAY
Welcome to ZRP! We are an non-canon RP site with an original tale taking place within the
lore of the Zelda Franchise. While the events of this site are entirely non-canon, we take advantage of the canons of other
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during this process. Thank you for your patience!
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jul 4, 2020 11:29:46 GMT -5
"If such is your belief, I beg to differ, Princess." Her tone, which she had so skillfully brought down from her wounded pride before, was starting to climb again. "Now I find even less of a reason to impress The Queen. Not to mention someone like you."
If The Duchess had been unwittingly insulting before, though she meant none, the way she phrased her words just now left no room for doubt.
She was insulting the princess. Even a donkey would know.
Now, there were two ways to do this. She could return the unwarranted outburst with an outburst of her own, something which might evolve to dangerous levels, not to mention unseemly for such nobles to act like that. A younger Maedhra might have opted for this option. Her blood was boiling so high she found herself hard to focus.
But in the end, her greater wisdom won. No. Her business was with Queen Zelda, not to this royal brat who was not even the heir of the throne. She would be better not to fan a rift, no matter how satisfying a retribution might be.
It was true then, that age do not reflect experience. A younger person might act more appropriately than an older one.
Maedhra took a deep breath. Oh how Lucia would be proud on what she would be doing right now. She was always so fussy about temper.
"If the whole point of this detour is to whine to me about your misery and crabby complain about your hardships, Your Highness, I am afraid I have more pleasing matters to attend to." She turned her heels, not even feeling the need to look at The Princess as she spoke. "I feel sorrow for what The Royal Family had endured, and how I wished I was there to prevent it. Shout about the sins of a parent all you want. My father is dead. And what will you do? Frying execute me for treason? Now, if you'll excuse me...."
Maedhra was not one crazy enough to risk a civil war so soon. But perhaps the Princess was stressed enough to consider that? She could not guess.
There were a few words to say as she began to walk towards the other gate, but she held her own tongue when two of her Crimson Order knights rushed forward. One of the most famous regiment in the land. Maedhra inexplicably felt pride on seeing their crimson capes gallantly swaying as they hastened their steps to her side.
"Your Grace! We were looking for you when we heard a shout from here. Is everything alright?"
'No doubt from when The Princess bacon shouted towards her guards before,' Maedhra thought, before raising her hand to dismiss their worries. She had already several steps away from The Princess, her crimson-covered back facing her.
"Worry not. I have just decided to leave anyway."
At that point she turned a little, only enough so that she could look straight at The Princess' eyes as she spoke.
"Oh, at least you are right about one thing, Princess. Respect is something that is earned."
There was a smirk on The Duchess's face, but her eyes were as cold as winter.
"And as I see it, your beliefs and grudges do not beget fealty, nor respect. At least I am assured that you, Princess, are worthy of neither."
"I only hope that Queen Zelda would prove to be a more upstanding person than you are. Otherwise I shall be...sorely disappointed."
Before her ascension, Maedhra was often curious as to why so few were willing to answer the call of the Royal Family of Hyrule.
Now, she wondered why anyone would bother at all.
Esme Hyrule This thread has some very interesting viewpoints!
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jul 4, 2020 11:21:50 GMT -5
In truth, Maedhra was infinitely curious. Before her ascension, she was often curious as to why so few were willing to answer the call of the Royal Family of Hyrule. Were they that bad? Were they simply that weak? It was a sad reality in every feudal kingdom that those underneath the top lords would generally drift towards amassing their own fortunes first and foremost. That was the inherent way of the system. After all, who would the lower lords turn to when they land was in danger? Their liege? They would be barred from interfering in interna affairs barring an external invasion, and even then the crown was always looking to enlarge their own personal domain. Their fellow lords? They would more than willing to divide the lands among themselves and took their titles. No. In this world, each one was ultimately their own.
But there were few who really took their obligation seriously. Those who, for better of worse, still held high the notion of honor. Maedhra had always believed her father to be as such. Indirectly he had helped the Royal Family in exile by providing supplies and arms. He had always told Maedhra that he and she should prepare to fully commit their cause when the time was right. When their own safety was assured and perhaps after the major repair of The Bion Canal. But Maedhra, being the naive, hot-blooded leader she was, decided the time was right and immediately ordered her armies to march just in time for the siege. Some minor repairs could be finished while they acted.
This was her worldview. She thought she would get more information from the Royal Family themselves as to the reason of their predicament. The Duchess was simply curious. Her question was pure with curiosity, free of malice.
So, she was more than surprised at the answer.
"Lady Maehdra, I would find it advisable to still your tongue."
"Huh?" The Duchess tilted her head a little. "On which part, Your Highness?"
And then suddenly the two guards from earlier came closing. Their gait were slow, careful, as if afraid for something. Maedhra took a step back, visibly confused. Did something happen which she did not notice? She herself was more than enough to protect The Princess should anything happen. Even with that thick tree branch on the ground she would still be more deadly than most. Not to mention her Crimson Order knights were nearby.
"Your Highness, I think-"
Now this was strange. Maedhra raised an eyebrow.
"What might be-"
And then the two guards stepped back as Princess Esme launched into a limitless tirade!
"Think what I may of my sister, I can say without a doubt she is the greatest woman I know, and I will not stand idly as my blood and house is spoken ill of. Our vassals..." And bla bla bla bla bla (in Maedhra's head).
If anything Maedhra was wide-eyed with honest surprise. Well, yes The Princess was free to think of what she may of her sister. Who was Maedhra to judge? And spoken ill of? What?
The Duchess stole a glance at the two guards as The Princess continued her vomit of words unabated. They almost seemed resigned. So this was a common occurrence? Strange.... She had thought that she was a calm person at first. Someone who could enjoy beautiful gardens and such. Maedhra had listened to some of her input on the grand strategy in the siege and she seemed to had a good head on her shoulders, although she clearly needed some more real battle experience.
Perhaps The Duchess had been mistaken.
To her credit Maedhra neither cowered nor balked, but stood firm and at least tried to listen, although it was clear that she was utterly dumbfounded. It wasn't her fault that at some point her gaze wandered towards the garden and then the guards again before focusing back, such a long long line The Princess was saying. And the warrior Duchess was not exactly famous for her politeness.
But as the rant continued, Maedhra's expression gradually changed from honest confusion to disbelief, and at the end of the speech The Duchess was visibly upset.
She accused her of invalidating her family's pain? And she complained that The Duchess found it was unfair for them to trust?
...And they said Maedhra was the one who oftentimes jumped into conclusion....
Perhaps... this child of a Princess had no grasp on how a vassalage worked. Perhaps she thought vassals were the same as servants. Maybe she had rarely studied history. Then again, maybe she was conditioned to believe that way? Maedhra did not know how she was raised so she told herself that this was a possibility. She should not be so quick to judge something.
The Duchess grinned. In an instant the image of gaiety who happily held a four-leaf clover before seemed to darken with storm clouds, a danger so obvious it was almost palpable. From the corner of her eyes she could see the two guards gripped their weapons tighter, feeling the chill of her fury even from this distance.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jul 3, 2020 12:46:41 GMT -5
If anything was clear for Maedhra, The Queen was tired.
In any other occasion The Duchess would have felt a little insulted on such a lack of interest vested in her. She was used to being the center of attention, even in the merciless battlefield. Yet her liege's eyes seemed so empty that Maedhra almost felt pity for her.
It was strange how really similar they looked like. From their striking eyes to the shape of their faces and their blonde hair even styled the same. Maedhra had of course knew that people found their faces eerily looked alike. It was a source of bullying and some unsavory words which often ended with Maedhra throwing herself into fistcuffs, if it were other children. Well, it was fistcuffs also with the adults, although less often. For a better part of her childhood Maedhra somewhat resented this Zelda person, although she had only met her once or twice all her life.
But looking at each other closely right now, Maedhra felt they could not be more different. If she had such a lifeless face such as The Queen right now Maedhra would rather be dead for real.
Slowly, Maedhra rose from her curtsy. She was a little shorter than the queen, although her brimming confidence made her seem a little taller instead. It was amazing how a perception can be colored.
"I understand, Your Majesty. Indeed I had been here for quite some time, and it was not an easy feat keeping a force extended in a foreign land." Tried as she might, she could not prevent a hint of annoyance slipping into her tone. "Though with the recent destruction which I myself witnessed, I am sure you have plenty in your mind."
In her childhood, The Duchess was well-known for her utter lack of tact and brashness. Years of intense lessons and a fair amount of scolding from her parents and her mentors had tempered this tendency, although shades of it tended to appear from time to time. This was one such time.
She cleared her throat. No grand openings needed.
"As I am sure you are aware, Your Majesty, it has been only a short time since I am vested as the duchess of my humble domain." She began. "It is tradition for new rulers to renew The Oath, and I am ashamed to admit that I had been lax in fulfilling this duty of mine. Our first meeting in the war camp was in a less... desirable time, so I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me for postponing the renewal of the oath until a more suitable occasion allow itself. I think now is the right time."
And with a simple command of her hand, the host of Bion all bent their knees in front of the queen. The knights feet were spaced apart, on their left knees, while Maedhra, the only woman in the entourage, had her knee just shy of actually touching the ground, and was almost parallel with her right heel.
Young though she may be, when The Duchess spoke her voice was clear and confident. "We of the Duchy of Bion, wish to reaffirm our fealty to the throne of Kingdom of Hyrule, as had our forefathers before us, and our ancestors before them, as had been in our pact." She paused, taking a deep breath.
"Will Her Majesty The Queen of Hyrule accept our renewal of the oath?"
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jul 3, 2020 11:21:24 GMT -5
"Rest assured, Lady Maedhra, your assistance on the front lines was greatly appreciated, and key to our eventual victory. But I can understand where my sister has... Reservations in her approach. The issue, I'm afraid, goes back further than the battle."
"That so?" The Duchess answered nonchalantly, still absorbed in admiring her lucky find. "How?"
The Royal Princess leaned against the wall and crossed her arms, which succeeded in drawing Maedhra's attention. She could recognize the signs of someone preparing to give an exposition, and an exposition did followed. For her part Maedhra's listened attentively, courtesy of her manners. Yes, she had heard how the Royal Family lost their holdings just after they had gained it back, and how it was said that The Queen's favored hero had fallen. Although judging from his actions in that last siege, he got better. Maedhra and her father had been given an opportunity to assess the recent situations in the safety of their own duchy. And although their viewpoints differed, Maedhra knew that her father had come to the same conclusion as she had.
The Queen was weak.
There was no other way to put it. Forced to flee her castle twice in her lifetime in such short a succession.... The Duchess of Bion did not know nor cared about how her liege's court worked, but she surmised it must be rotten to allow such shameful result to happen. And what was a kingdom but a reflection of it's king? What would a weak kingdom tell about the king who lead it? It was good that The Duchy of Bion had decided to come to Hyrule's aid, owing in no small deal to its new Duchess' recent ascension and her strong sense of duty fostered since childhood.
And where were the other Dukes and Duchesses and all those Counts and Lords and Ladies? As far as Maedhra aware, her Duchy and a tiny others were almost alone in their support, though thankfully not one duchy was outright hostile.
Then again, for the string Duchess it was a pitiful state of affairs.
Maedhra almost voiced her sympathy to her liege's cause, knowing full well the pain of separation. Alas, the princess' last sentence derailed her response.
The Duchess of Bion held her head high.
"Fortunately, Your Highness, I find no icing need for myself to impress anyone, The Queen included," she answered, a fire in her eyes. Her tone was calm and even, but behind it one could feel her pride bristling, like a wounded lion shaking its mane. The Bionders were proud people, and none more so than their spitfire of a Duchess.
To her credit, she stopped her words there, although in reality she had many more... stronger things to say. Instead, she shifted her gaze downward, tactly lowering her tone. "Forgive me if I find such way of thinking dangerous, Your Highness. Should The Queen keep clinging on to past resentment, I fear we might-" And she made a gesture of counting her fingers in one hand. It did not even reach a second hand. "-lose more allies that we can gain."
She tilted her head, apparently a new idea was formed. "Your Highness, was this the reason why so few were willing to help in our last siege?" she asked, her tone pure with curiosity, free of malice. "Because you royal families resented the other Dukes for not helping out at first and offered them repercussions when they offered their help?"
Or maybe no one had offered any help anyway, choosing to simply wait it out the way her father had done. But Maedhra was an objective leader. She always liked to hear things from both sides.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jul 2, 2020 9:54:28 GMT -5
"Maedhra, I think you may be misinterpreting the situation."
Maedhra looked up from her bending position, bewildered. She... did not understand. She could not understand. She thought she had sorted the entire thing? Or was there something she missed? Perhaps, fruitcake forbid, she had-
"Farrah is my daughter. She and Nex have been interested in one another for some time now, before I began my relationship possibly. Nex doesn't have any romantic interest in me. He's just an old friend with some odd character traits."
-grossly misinterpreted things.
Maedhra's eyes widened. She was almost too confused to really hear what the Zora mouthed. Which was fortunate, perhaps. In a more tense situation, and with a more irritable Duchess, heads would have rolled. Thankfully she had only managed to process that she was being called a "child". It did not help that the Zora's voice was far from clear. Almost like he was paralyzed in half his face.
It seemed that she had been thrust in a very strange situation indeed! Maedhra had heard of those...people who were somewhat... more relaxed in their view of... acceptable partners. Even including family members. But never in her life Maedhra thought that she would actually met one.
Crackers. She had really felt uncomfortable now.
She only managed to catch the last words of Nex. "Pastry chef? Hey how did you know-" but then the Zora had quickly dived back down into the lake, seemingly in a hurry.
"Oh, crackers." Maedhra's extended arm grabbed thin air and it fell limp to her side. "So long then, Grandpa!"
She then straightened herself and turned towards Maude.
"Well I... seem to have involved myself in something I shouldn't have... Haha..." An apologetic grin was on her face. Maedhra really wanted to leave right now. "I am glad you turned out to be okay, Maude. I don't know a ginger thing about you two but I'd look for less... shady friend, if I were you." She raised both of her shoulders, as if implying that, for better or worse, it was not her business anyway.
She would have a lot to think about on her ride back home this evening.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jul 2, 2020 9:07:29 GMT -5
Maedhra could not quite place it but she seemed to have heard the name before. Maybe it was from one of her knights tall tales? Or perhaps something she had heard when she campaigned in foreign lands as part of The Free Company? Or maybe it was something from her father?
One thing for sure, this Osin family must have been quite famous for Maedhra to have heard of them. She was not the best at remembering names, so the ones that do surely had something to it. Which begs the question of what did this Osin do being a grunt of an army like this? Interesting....
True to her fearsome epithet, The Red Demon attacked Randio with such savage speed and precision that the onlookers could not help but drew a sharp breath of admiration, even though they knew their rupees were on the line. It was always the ways of the world that, once in every generation, there would be someone born which seemed to be blessed with singular purpose, their innate abilities and way of thoughts geared towards a specific route which they would inevitably excelled at. People who would be called a "natural talent" or even a genius. If trained in a correct environment and supported towards their chosen path, they were the ones who would in the end show the world the pinnacle of what one being could achieve.
Maedhra was not in her pinnacle yet, but her people believed that they had found that special one in her. Someone who was born for her chosen path of warfare, trained in it by the unique tradition she was born in and the ruthless parents and peers she had all her life.
And it seemed that most people present agreed.
Maedhra could see it. Her opponent's movements: his body naturally sent signals which helped him prepared his next move, but which registered to her instinctual mind as information to adjust her own movements even before the action was executed. He was well-trained, that much was certain. Someone like Maedhra could easily picked the hints of experience, and this Randio had plenty of it. His fighting style seemed orthodox enough yet effective, and Maedhra noticed with glee how her initial attacks mostly failed to connect, though her sheer speed put him in the corner somewhat.
She could tell that after some time, he had managed to pick her unique style, her own improvement on the traditional Bion style passed through generations. Early in her life she had deduced that deception was the key in snatching that single blow that so often decided a match. Two people could have similar speed and strength and perception of what their opponent would do and the experience necessary to respond to it. But if one could deceive the other of their own intention and subsequently did what the other party did not foresee, she would gain a tremendeous advantage. The body naturally sent signals before it moved. that was non-negotiable. But perhaps a trained mind could control it and perhaps even twist it to her advantage. To that end she studied her duchy's extensive manual treaties and even forced many mock battles between her best nights to understand their movements. Which after years of honing it herself, she had arrived at the way she fought now: it almost seemed that her limbs and her body were separate entities. One of her fondest memories was the baffled look in her swordmaster's face when he found out that he could not guess where she would strike next. She still needed more experience to perfect such radical approach, but the fundamentals were there.
As her precise slashes continued unabated, Maedhra could see her opponent's muscles became taut. Ah, that changing shape in the forearm which indicated an increase in handgrip. That legs taking a stance. That involuntary hunkering of the shoulders as if expecting an impact... True enough, a shield bash soon followed. That was an advantage of her opponent: having a shield. Maedhra herself wielded only this wooden sword since she only brought Caledwelfch in battle anyway. She was not accustomed in shieldplay.
The shield bash brought a momentum to the squire, which Maedhra deftly avoided by taking a quick step to her left. A swing would inevitably came, which she parried as she turned her body. The end result was that she was on Randio's right side, but with her facing him while he was not.
At that moment, the most experienced spectators thought that The Duchess would finish it with a swing to the squire's exposed back. Surely, it was the most sensible thing to do. But instead, The Duchess took several steps backwards, enlarging their distance considerably and allowing Randio to once again face her straight on.
She was grinning.
"Impressive," she declared, amidst her panting breath. She was far from tired but it was not like she was superhuman anyway. Those heated, ferocious exchange must have had some impact to both parties. "I wouldn't want to get truffle dead in the way of your shield."
It was hard to see the implication for the less seasoned ones, but thoughts did swirled inside the mind the most senior of the Crimson Order.
Did...The Red Demon missed that golden chance? Or was she anticipating something else which the spectators failed to see? Or did she have other...plans?
It was impossible to tell. Yet, judging from the happy glint on The Duchess eyes she seemed not to regret anything. Those same eyes focused on nothing but Randio, taking his whole figure fully. Almost like a predator who had sighted their next meal and would not let go.
A second later, she attacked again.
Yet, she seemed to take a different approach now. Instead of the previous close-quarter, energized slashes and parries, now she seemed to keep her distance, utilizing thrusts and deft footworks keeping Randio at sword-length. Even so, her attacks were no less dangerous than before: each of her wooden sword thrusts would have fatal were she used a real sword.
But it was strange.... It seemed that her attacks were full of... holes? Even right now, that swing seemed unneeded.... It would not be clear to all unless the most experienced of fighters, but it almost looked like her body was wide open for a hilt thrust or even another shield bash....
Of course, for most of the soldiers present, The Duchess stance was as flawless as always.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 21, 2020 13:19:44 GMT -5
The young Duchess chuckled with glee. After her sudden tirade, she certainly looked very happy. Each of her gesture was almost too expressive, showcasing that, without doubt, The Duchess was in a pleasant mood. Her smile never faltered too!
"Haaaa that feels mushroom good~" she exhaled, and glanced apologetically at her retainers. Some still tried very hard to maintain a straight face. Others had wholly given up the charade. With a toothful grin she focused her sight back on Maude. "I apologize for my behavior. I just can't hold it! It's been too long and your little signs just.... pickled my fancy." At this her most senior knight from before let out an audible groan. Maedhra raised both of her hands in a mock gesture of surrender. "Yes Yes Lucia I'll stop. Geez you don't like me having fun, do you~"
But now for business! Now that Maedhra had been given a quick overview of the produce, she was eyeing them all with interest. "It's good that you still remember me! And... no. I don't remember doing you any favor in the lake? If anything it was frying embarrassing." She let out a laugh. "Mmm and yes! Greens are good. Lessee here.... Pumpkins. Of course." She pointed at the pumpkins displayed. "As you so eloquently described pumpkins are very versatile. And I must say these pumpkins look very big and plump! Count me a flan- I mean, fan. No, I swear, Lucia, that was unintentional!" she giggled. Clearly the opportunity for puns earlier had put her in such a good spirit!
"And I like these," she continued, pointing at the cabbages row. "And those." Now her finger shifted towards the broccoli. "And those." Onions. "And these... I don't know Lucia. Do these potatoes look good?"
The senior knight from before took a step forward and scrutinized the potatoes closely. "They are of good quality, yes, Your Grace. However, that depends on the price being asked."
Now, unlike the clearly grocery-naive Duchess, this lady retainer of hers without a doubt knew all the ins and outs of shopping produces. Already her eyes swept across Maude's whole stall, stopping precisely where there were signs of defects or when it did seem that a particular produce was sub-par. And her eyes narrowed at some of the price listed.
This one would be a tough costumer.
"Ah, yes. You know this better than I do." The Duchess waived her hands nonchalantly. Already her eyes had wandered to the next stall. "Maude, I'll leave Lucia to deal with you here- Lady Lucia for you. We'll prepare a banquet for our men so it'd be great if you can help her!" She looked at the stall one more time. "Just make sure to get the pumpkins and the onions, Lucia. I insist. Oh, and those cabbages. The rest I leave to you. Maude, I'll see you again soon I hope! Farewell."
And so, if there should be no more distraction, The Duchess would part with an energetic smile and gracefully moved to another stall, leaving the stern-faced knight Lucia to pay her purchase for her. While Maedhra would likely had bought the entire produce just for the convenience of it, this Lady Lucia would proved to be a much tougher consumer. But at the very least Maude would have sold a full three-quarters of everything she was about to sell. And at a reasonable price, too! Inviting the look of envy from many other merchants that her stall was almost sold out so early in the day.
All thanks to a particular Zora who liked to stalk women swimming in the lake, it seemed. Was it not very lucky that he had chosen that exact moment at the lake to do his deed?
Maude If there is no unseen distraction, exit Maedhra (or interact with other stalls). Maude is free to interact with others too! I totally did not join for the sole reason of making puns
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 20, 2020 8:14:08 GMT -5
And this farmer's market was quite a gathering indeed! The Duchy of Bion was never particularly famous for their agriculture until the recent completion of The Grand Canal, so the myriad stalls selling various farm produce and numerous other goods were a delight for Maedhra's sight. She quickly bought a handsome horse sculpture that almost seemed life-like (for about two hundred ruppees), a few hundreds badges containing emblem of Hyrule for her retainers (she had to put an extra request), and was thinking of hosting a banquet for her troops with so many fresh produces on sale when one of her faithful knights nudged her and whispered near her ear.
"See that, Your Grace," she chuckled, pointing at another stall not far away, "'I carrot believe it' Creative."
The Duchess grinned. "Don't be like that. We've all bean there."
At this the knight rolled her eyes. One of Maedhra's most senior and most trusted retainers. She had served Maedhra ever since she was a toddler.
Immediately The Duchess skipped towards the stall, attracted especially by the bright orange produce they were selling. Pumpkins! And also there were more cards with those little pun there. With each of step getting nearer, and with more punny cards getting into view, also did her grin getting wider.
The knight from before, who faithfully followed her along with the rest of her entourage, stared at The Duchess's face.
"I know what you are thinking, Your Grace."
The Duchess was grinning from ear to ear.
"Don't do it."
"I want to."
And finally the owner of the stall came into view. And who else was it other than Maude Lif herself! They had parted in an amicable way after the clearing of misunderstandings almost more than a week ago. At that time Maedhra left her and continued her ride after she made sure she was in no danger from that Zora Nex.
If at that time Maude had not known that she was a noble lady, despite her obviously pricey attire, there would be no mistake now, what with the important-looking knights following her every step and the pages shouting "Make way for The Duchess of Bion" around. Maedhra herself was clothed elegantly, a mark of her duchy's prosperity. A fitted bodice, colored with soft gradation of reds, with straight neckline cut across her shoulder bordered with gold trimmings. Under it she wore a very full, very long, white skirt, embroidered with crimson roses. Her sideless surcoat were similarly colored, with a large armhole displaying her gown underneath, trimmed with fur and with the insignia of The Duchy of Bion proudly displayed on her left chest. She was the very definition of nobility.
"Maude!" She shouted, once she was close enough for both of them to see each other. Several people looked at Maude strangely, for being called so casually by a noble whose station was just a little under The Queen herself. Maedhra's entourage, however, didn't even bat an eyelid. They were used to their Duchess' easygoing ways.
"You butter believe that I am so grapeful to see you again," said she, as she stopped right in front of Maude's stall. "How was Nex? I beet he has no more raisin to disturb you again, yes?"
As the knights arrived, one of the knights mumbled something like 'forgive her' and 'bear with us' , But the smiing Maedhra was having her time!
"Oh. Are these your gouda products?" She picked a pumpkin and scrutinized it, "Such a celery' bration of nature bounty! It makes miso happy!" And she looked at the full shelves with delight. "They are all so rice! I have fillings they'd make for an egg-citing banquet, right, everyone?"
She turned towards her retainers. Some were clearly amused while the older ones tried to keep a straight face. "Lettuce all mark our departure with a chiaful feast, incorporating these cherri-fic and berry good products." And suddenly she turned back towards Maude. "Maude, this may sound cheesy but I think these pumpkins are grate. How much do you want for them all?"
Maude Forgive me she have not had such pun for quite some time.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 20, 2020 8:10:58 GMT -5
With the siege behind them, it was time to move forward for everyone, including The Army of The Duchy of Bion
It had been a long week of fighting and even longer weeks of waiting around Hyrule Castle Town. Finally Maedhra and the hosts of Bion were ready to return to their own Dukedom, leaving the stories of their deeds and whatever other things they had done to aid the reconstruction initial efforts behind. With her business with Queen Zelda finished, The Duchess was looking forward to arrive at her wind-swept Castle Bion once more. Far less glorious than Hyrule Castle, perhaps, but her home all the same.
With the date of departure fixed to about 2 days from today, Maedhra had a lot of free time. Her capable retainers and quartermasters had managed all the logistics and other preparations. Maedhra herself only oversaw the packing of her own bearings and those of her handmaids and pages, and even that she was being helped a lot.
So, it was merry time to walk around and perhaps see how Hyrule Castle Town had started to life again! Even happier now that there was a farmer's market. While Hyrule Castle Town proper had been heavily hit by the last war, the countryside was mostly spared from The Rogue Order's insanity. It was with good faith that they had arranged a gathering now, a terrific way too bolster the morale of the populace.
"Make way! Make way! Make way for The Duchess of Bion!"
As her errant pages cleared the crowd and a dozen Crimson Order knights flanked her left, right, and behind, Maedhra easily glided through the crowds now swarming the Farmer's market. While she would not mind walking unannounced like the peasants, she also did not mind the amenities that her station brought. She was a product of her times, and she should not feel disturbed by it.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 19, 2020 6:44:21 GMT -5
"I apologize for meeting you in such garb, but with recent events, I've decided to err on the side of caution. If my men can't put an arrow through the eyes of a threat at sixty paces, I'd well like to ensure that I can do so."
The Duchess grinned in agreement. "An admirable sentiment, Your Highness. And one I can agree. Though, don't let your men hear that from you." She tilted her head. "They'll feel pasta useless, and there are no worse guardians than those who feel they are useless."
Her words... held some weight. The reason why The Duchess was able to freely walk inside the castle as defenseless as she was was because she had complete faith in her retainers, and her retainers in turn believed in her. She had personally oversee the clearing of the Town on her part and her capable attendants had her routes cleared and guarded in intervals like it should be. Why The Duchess felt safe was because she trusted that her men, and by extension, her liege's men, were keeping safe places safe.
Then again, she had come from a stable and progressive Duchy, with none of the destructive internal turmoils Hyrule had fell victim into lately. It was possible that her view on safety was a little different.
The Duchess followed Esme's steps without much fuss, since her path was originally where she wanted to go anyways. The way she walked was delightful to look at. Light and springy, as if each of her steps carried her boundless energy and enthusiasm no matter the foul mood she felt. "Your offer is much appreciated,Your Highness. But if my message can be relayed, I'd have sent a letter a dumpling long time ago~" And a small laugh did she let out, though it failed to mask her annoyance still. "The renewal of the oath must be done by a vassal herself to her liege, or else they'd tell me I don't respect the donut tradition," she huffed, "Though I am starting to suspect that The Queen doesn't care much about tradition after all.... Maybe our help was not that much appreciated...."
Her tone had decidedly become dark, though one could not easily tell from that prideful face, always held high. But at that moment they had arrived at the castle gardens. The shining sun gleamed merrily and The Duchess's face and the cloud on her face was lifted, if only just for a moment. She looked around the garden with delight, almost childishly so.
"I'd be happy to oblige, Your Highness," she answered sincerely. "And I agree. This garden is a sight for sore eyes." She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, as if enjoying the sweet scent of flowers wafting in the air. When she exhaled again her opened eyes were radiant. "We don't have many beautiful gardens in Castle Bion- Oh, look!"
Suddenly The Duchess bent down and plucked something from the side of the walkway they were on. It was a four-leaved clover, and as she straightened her back she showed her findings with glee. "They say four-leaf clover is a sign of luck! May this be a sign of good beginnings ahead."
At that moment, a warm breeze blew softly past them. And in that instant, with her green eyes smiling and her blonde hair swaying gently in the wind, The Duchess really looked like someone else Esme might have known very well. If...that someone was a few years younger.... If that someone didn't have to sit her ass on the throne all day and was free to walk as she pleased.... If that someone did not have to look heavy all the time as though being burdened by something she could not share with everyone.... If that someone was spirited and free like this lady in crimson....
If that someone was happier, her face would look just like The Duchess Maedhra here, at this moment, gaily showing off her four-leaf clover like it was an absolute find.
Esme Hyrule It is funny that this is the same Red Demon so highly talked about by the knights~
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 18, 2020 23:00:45 GMT -5
Maedhra's lips spread into a wide grin as she burst in laughter. "Cupcakes! I like you already." She exclaimed matter-of-factly towards the squire in fighting stance. "I knew I can realize an artichoke good fighter when I see one." She turned towards the Holodran soldier. "All's good as gruel, then?" To which the Holodran, though clearly still unsure, gave a half-hearted nods. It wasn't possible to prevent anything. The mere mention of the possibility of receiving five thousand ruppees had made other soldiers in the tournament streamed into the ring. Granted, they would get much smaller ruppees since The Duchess did say that the amount was to be divided to all, but it was still a significant sum!
Amidst the rising cheers The Duchess glided effortelssly to take her place opposite the squire, carrying herself in such a confident manner which showed that she was no stranger in a duel. "Call the Exchequer." She ordered to her knights without looking, as she gracefully but firmly took her stance, her eyes locked on her opponent like a hawk to its prey. "He'll have five hundred ruppees to pay up front. And a truffle more perhaps~"
It was clear in her tone and the ready obedience of her Crimson Order entourage that such amount was trivial to The Duchess. Or maybe they had been accustomed to The Duchess' whims anyway. One of the knights promptly left the ring and mounted his horse. Soon he was riding towards The Castle Town, where the Exchequer and perhaps other Bion important personages were being accomodated.
Her smile never left her face, The Duchess raised her wooden sword and held it front of her chest. A knightly, official salute. Whoever taught this lady had done a good job, though she might have had many experience of it too. "I am Maedhra Ellipsis Bion, The Duchess of Bion," She declared, her tone firm and had such a commanding quality to it. "State your name, my opponent, so that our deeds can be known and remembered."
But she then glanced sideways to the sort-of-referee, after her opponent's introduction, her jolly face a remembrance that this tourney was indeed for fun. "So, what are you doing?" Grinned she. "Sound the frying signal already!"
The referee was still a bit shocked, perhaps, because he scrambled to raise and brought down his hand in a proper manner.
And instantly, without even a single word, The Duchess advanced.
Was it...was it allowed for someone to move that fast?
Perhaps that was the privilege of nobility. Or perhaps she might have inherited a long-line of warrior's genes from her famed ancestors, the warlike Dukes and Duchesses of Bion. Or maybe she was just that skilled. Hidden behind that small stature was an explosive power, as she closed the distance between her and Randio in such speed and precise movements. While clearly not in the realm of supernatural, it was still amazing how quickly she could move, a product of a lifetime of training. Likely one of the nimblest opponent Randio had ever faced.
And her sword-arm seemed to have a mind of itself, positioning itself to strike any weak point almost seemingly independent from her legs movements. She was a dangerous foe, this one. Her every movements were calculated for lethality. It seemed that The Duchess did not care to gauge her opponent first. Then again, she had the advantage of having seen Randio fight before.
In an instant her sword came slashing from the right, followed by a fast strike to Randio's left executed in such a maneuver which seems to seamlessly moved from one end to another. In a complete contrast to the lady that Randio fought before, this one pushed the gas full throttle since the very beginning.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 17, 2020 20:15:20 GMT -5
One of the main organizers, a Holodrum soldier, was understandably nervous. Beads of sweat were under his helmet.
"Y-your Grace, you can't possibly be joining in such capacity!"
"Oh? And why the berries is that?" She answered easily, while still concentrating on twirling her sword, trying it on different angles, "Did I not pull my weight as a soldier like the rest of you? Or are you telling me you doubted my cheddaring deeds? .... Pancakes! This sword is off-balance. Can I have that one, good Sir? -Ah, yes and thank you~"
Without ceremony she took another "tournament" sword from another onlookers, who was understandably stunned.
"Ah, yes! This is much better!" She exclaimed happily, as she brought it sideways and suddenly made a perfect, straight, absolutely precise chop in the air. A mark of expertise. "So, what's the asparagus deal? Oh! I know. The entering fee, right? Hmm... how about five thousand rupees? Sounds right?"
The exclamation of shock was everywhere.
"But, Your Grace. We cannot- No one is possibly able to wager such amount!"
At this The Duchess grinned. "Well, not one. But every grilled one of you if chip in should be able to, right? So, if I lose, you ladies and gentlemen get five thousand rupees. If I win, you all have to chip in until it reaches that amount! Sweet as pie, no?"
"Still. Who would want to risk-"
"All right all right," The Duchess raised her hand, impatient. "If I pay five hundred ruppees up front, I get to choose my opponent. Win or lose you get to keep the mashed five hundred. How about it?"
The Holodrum soldier stopped to think. "Well, I guess we-" "Then I choose that one over there," She declared, merrily pointing her sword towards Randio who was holding a glass on the table. "The one who smartly won his battle against a knight before by a thrust to her abdomen."
All eyes were turned towards the soldier. Five thousand ruppees -enough to give each and everyone present three days of decent meal- was at stake.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 17, 2020 20:11:42 GMT -5
And then the murmurs started.
Soft at first, coming from the fringe of the crowd and slowly traveling inward to the very "ring". What started as whispers became spoken words of shock and admiration and heads turning to see the one being hushed about. Snippets of words could be heard, mostly tinged with reverence. Some were slightly annoyed, but this was a minority.
All the voices, it seemed, zoomed into one personage who somehow had been in the ring, stretching her arms while twirling a "tournament" sword she had borrowed from one of the spectators. She was a rather short woman with blonde hair tied in a bun, framing two bright emerald eyes which right now shone in delight. She was lithe yet clearly powerful -the usual built of an officer of some sort. Her face, somehow, looked very much like Princess Zelda of Hyrule, even more so than her own siblings. Of course, this had been the source of court gossips for some time.
But The Duchess of Bion was not one to care about gossip. For the lady in the ring was none other than Duchess Maedhra herself. The feared Red Demon, who had led the brutal charge which finally broke The Castle Town impregnable walls just days before, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with her infamous Ironhearts and stubbornly held the line.
It was said that, during that battle, no corpses piled higher than those underneath The Duchess feet.
Even as jovial as she was now, smiling merrily, with none of her silver-and-red armor and fearsome horned helmet in sight, the soldiers around her was still a little nervous. Except a few Crimson Order knight she had brought with her, of course. She wore a simple buff coat decorated with bands of gold lines, a mark of her status, paired with riding trousers which was clearly meant to be worn under armour.
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 17, 2020 12:32:06 GMT -5
"You only shake hands if you are swearing an oath or making a promise. I'm a merchant. I don't shake hands at someone's behest."
At this The Duchess giggled, "Yes. Yes. I know. Fritters! You really make a big freezing fuss of this, don'tcha?"
Oh, but Maedhra really liked how her words had helped the lady finally realizing the truth! Yes, this world is too full of people who repress their own feelings in fear of hurting others' feelings and Maedhra would have none of that! She would tell a burdened prince to firmly say enough and enough and would encourage an unsure princess to boldly declare what she wanted! Sure, not everything can be achieved. But the first step is to be brave to say so!
And Maude deflated that Zora's burgeoning feeling with a swift deathstroke which made Maedhra beamed with pride. A statement that she was already engaged, and with a ring to prove it! Now, surely faced with that ironclad argument any self-respecting man, even a Zora, would understand that their amorous advances were ill-natured?
"She is already engaged, and you still sauteing stalk her?!" The pointy finger was now even more sharp towards Nex, almost like a judgmental spear, "I can't believe you, Nex. Or whomever your anchovies name is. But now it is clear. You. Have. To. Frying. Stop."
But... maybe they had been too harsh?
The Zora staggered, clearly not taking the news well. Maedhra's once straight finger bent unsurely as she watched the Zora being plunged into a dark despair. He shouted disbelief, before taking a step back and raised both of his arms in panic.
'Well, now..." She started, before Nex unexpectedly sunk into the grass and pulled his knees in a saddened state! Poor guy was having a moment even The Duchess was a bit worried now!
Well, to be honest she had never experienced heartbreak herself, although she had heard plenty of tales and stories about how hurtful it was. How painful and scary heartbreak was that it would drove some into eternal pit of torment of despair. She had always thought that it was all exaggeration. But this own experience of seeing how this Zora man was utterly ruined at the mere show that his object of affection had already belonged to someone else made Maedhra scared even on the notion of love.
Was it really that hard.
The Duchess arms went down, now defensively crossing her chest, "Ah, Maude... he doesn't seem to take your engagement very well...? Perhaps we-"
"But I like Farrah...."
Okay. Now this is really confusing. So this Zora had already liked someone else? What had he been doing, then? Why did he take the news of Maude's engagement so hard? Unless.... Unless he was quickly shifting his attention to someone else! Cupcake! This man had a really callous, fickle heart!
With a surprisingly tender movement The Duchess bent down on one knee (she was wearing her riding attire) and gently pat Nex on the back.
"Well isn't that puff-pastry good news? So you have this Farrah now. You can stop annoying Lady Maude here, you hear me? She already has a sweetheart. You should be happy for her too!"
And she even found it appropriate to gently hit the confused Zora in the chest, a la her sword instructor. Her honest face was full of teasing grin. "Come now, apple. Be a gentleman, at least? You are in the presence of two leavening ladies!"
MaudeNex Nis really showed all the wrong signals here~
Post by Maedhra Bion on Jun 17, 2020 8:02:28 GMT -5
To his credit, the Zora did try to be menacing, as he stood up and gathered his bearings. Or at least that was what Maedhra thought. She did not know. It had been a long time since she truly felt fear. Or being threatened for that matter. Duchess of Bion was bred and raised in the battlefield of life and death. As to this Zora... Maedhra was confident she could turn her back towards him and sleep and still sensed his attack from miles away.
But that didn't mean she would not respect him all the same!
The Zora rebuked her assertion with a sharp "As if!" and even spat on the opposite direction. Maedhra raised her eyebrows. "Well now, chowder. Don't get too worked up," She said, a little reprimanding. "If you hate her that much you can always state so~"
Then the lady arrived, taking some time to dry her long hair a little. She rebuked the Zora, like a mother would her son, which made Maedhra grinned in approval. "Thank you, by the way. I doubt he was planning anything malicious, but I also don't like how this is becoming a recurrent problem." She said, to which The Duchess nodded. But the Zora's next quip raised an alarm.
"It's hardly my fault you fall into such insidiously exposed situations."
... Wouldn't Maedhra be forgiven to think that this Zora has been A Creepy Stalker and that this reputable lady's convenience had been compromised for far too many times?
But let's be civil, shall we? Starting with introductions.
Again, the lady, now she knew was called Maude Lif, seemed to gently teach the Zora the proper way to respond to introduction. Which the Zora followed, although he refused to shake her hand, which she understood. Long ago she remembered meeting a family of Zora who had transited in her Duchy. The young mother -a very beautiful Zora with long blue hair- was decidedly graceful, and would much prefer to bow rather than shaking hand.
"Nice to meet you, too, Maude Lif. And I understand, Nex," She smiled a little, "Though what frappe oath you talked about I don't have a single donut idea."
"But, ma'am if this man has been bothering your.... 'insidiously exposed situation'... 'in a recurrent way', you should firmly say no to his advances," She continued, suddenly her tone became sage-like, "Sometimes this kind of men needs very strong refusal before giving up. Or! Better yet find yourself a good man and tie the cherry knot! That should deter a boiling few of them, at least~" She ended, smiling jovially.
Her finger moved to point towards the Zora. "And you! Shouldn't you stop pestering a respectable lady who's clearly not interested in your potato face and find yourself a suitable match? Sometimes... you need to learn to let go, you know."
Oh look, the teenager Duchess inadvertently acted so high and mighty. Even Maude was a full head taller than her. But dried jerky if Maedhra didn't have the charisma!