Curious Alvarado slowly looks around with some pride in his eyes “This is the place, slave girl, this is the one and only Ar” he says as both bitter and sweet memories of his past fill him.
Sefa Artemesia looks around, and tilts her head, before stretching her arms out before her, “Hm…. perhaps one day, my Master will ride the plains instead of these cold city wall!”, and she laughs, “Are You ok, my Master?”, and she looks at Him thoughtfully, hearing the trepidation in his voice.
Curious Alvarado eyes her, “You prefer the plains, I learned to appreciate them as well all these years in the wilderness, but I still have matters to solve here. I am well enough, slave” he says and starts walking slowly, “Let’s go to the main tavern”
Sefa Artemesia laughs and sticks her tongue out, “Yes, my Master”, falling in behind Him.
Curious Alvarado sits at the table resting his legs and feet, noticing his slave catching up and kneeling beside him, and he runs a hand over her touching the sides of her breast and belly.
Sefa Artemesia shivers softly, and smiles, “You must be tired, You have traveled very far to get back here. “, and she turns her palms slightly downwards to display herself as unavailable to other Free Who may pass by, “I know I am! I will be happy when I can see You filled and at rest again!”, and she smiles softly, her head leaning slightly to the side.
Fiore Pie turns around with a smile, hidden behind her veil, but her voice rather warm as she said, “Tal Sir, welcome to the inn, what can I do for you ?” She walks up to the table with a slow gait, as Curious gets seated at the table.
Curious Alvarado looks up, “Tal”, says in a slow voice, “Me and my slave have traveled for a long time along the plains to get here. We have some matters here…” he pauses, deciding not to open up, “At this moment some wine and bread would be appreciated. My slave here can help with the serving if needed”
Sefa Artemesia leans slightly forward quietly, her eyes darting up to the Innkeeper, and quirks a brow, listening for any commands.
Fiore Pie nods slightly, “Bread and wine then, Sir… ” She glanced around the inn that looked rather … empty to her own displeasure. “Umm, it does seem like the inn slaves decide to take a break on me.” She continues with a soft laugh, a bit embarrassed, “Your girl will find everything available over there at the corner. ” She turned slightly, pointing out the small kitchen behind her. “I am Fiore Pie, one of the Pie sisters, the family of Bakers here in Ar. ” She raise her hands in air, with a brief shrug, “There is a shortage of hands lately.” With a brief glance toward the entrance, she notice a stranger getting comfortable at a table but she say nothing of it for now.
Curious Alvarado looks around “Sure, I understand, I am Sir Curious” decides to not say more than that at the moment “you are welcomed to sit with us for a while, you seem tired too” points at the free seat and then says “Sefa, go bring wine , water, and some bread” and points to the corner with all the stuff
Sefa Artemesia silently rises from her kneel beside her Master at the Woman’s words, smiling with a quick response of, “Of course, my Master”, with only the rustle of clothes darting her eyes to the side as well, pausing only momentarily before she walks toward the kitchen area, stretching her arms out before in expectation of hurriedly finding a goblet and pitcher of whatever wine was available and the freshest bread on hand in the foreign cupboards, muttering about city life and it’s quirks under her breath quietly.
Curious Alvarado nods at Fiore, who sat down at the table by him, “She will do fine, she hasn’t been in any cities for a long time… but she will get the hang of it”
Fiore Pie looks back at Curious with an amused gaze, “That’s an interesting name… Curious. I take that you are curious about the world out there… travelling across the plains, you say ?” She made herself comfortable on the seat as she nods to Curious, “I don’t usually allow slaves not of the inn to serve here. But, I always wish to make customers happy, having their slaves serve them. Easier on us, anyways, as slaves should know their owner’s preferences.” She pause for an ihn, “I don’t really travel outside of Ar. It will be good to hear any tales… the plains, what are they like ?”
Sefa Artemesia runs her hands on the wood, finally seeing the clean dishes left unattended, reminding her of the Lady’s words, her finger running gently on the lip of the cup, and upon seeing no snare, she held it up to the light, “Hm…” she smiles, lowers it to the cabinet, filling it with the wine, and quickly searches for the bread left, and pokes it a bit with her finger, and she tears a bit off with her hand, not daring to touch a knife, placing the bit of loaf on a nearby plate before returning to her Master’s side, and offering it to Him, “My Master, I pray You find this snack well!”, and her mis-matched eyes trail up to meet His .
Curious Alvarado smiles at his slave as he takes a piece of bread and chews on it for a moment, later to be washed with a sip of wine, “It is just fine slave, you may eat some bread too and drink some water,the road was long for you as well, but first pour some wine for our hostess here Miss Pie” he then turns his head to Fiore and says “oh, the plains…they would have been perfect had they been safer” chuckles as his eye move on the long scar at the side of his arm.
Sefa Artemesia smiles, slinking up quietly once more, and returning to the kitchen to grab the only other goblet she had spied earlier worth serving a Free, and squints, at it thoughtfully, pouring the Lady some drink carefully at her Master’s command, before moving back to kneel near Her, offering the drink, “Wine, Mistress?”, leaving the statement a question with a friendly smile on her lips as she speaks.
Fiore Pie waits with a bit of patience, before she nods to Sefa, “Thank you Sir Curious, that’s kind of you.” She tap softly with her fingers on the table, a silent gesture where she would like her drink, a bit left to her side. She take a quick look at the scar on his arm, “Ohh, that look rather naughty. Tell me more, please ?”
Curious Alvarado runs a finger over his scar, “It is much better now, but it’s actually fine now, two more weeks of white marigold lube on it and it will be barely visible anymore”, he says in a confident voice as he signs his slave to finish the wine offering to the lady, and to get back at his side. “We had a nasty quarrel with horse thieves. They did get our horse, but I was able to stop them from killing us and taking all our luggage. Let’s just say that they came three and returned one” he unconsciously runs a hand on his dagger, before placing his palms back on the table.
Sefa Artemesia holds the cup steady placing it as the Lady motioned, before scurrying to grab another bit of bread, and a small bowl of water, as her Master had offered her to eat, before returning to His side with the items – a tiny bit of bread, and the water – , her legs spreading wider as she knelt before a Man, and her eyes watching Him carefully, as she listens eagerly to His story again.
Fiore Pie takes the cup, with a silent nod, as a gesture of thanks. Hearing the tale, she tenses slightly, her body still while she hold the cup in her hands, “Oh! That’s no good, Sir. I am glad the priest kings give you protection during the journey.” She raise the cup to her lips where she briefly lift the veil, taking a tiny sip of the offered wine. “Hmmm…” she only said, almost to herself as she put her cup back on the table. “Would you happen to need a room here, then ?”
Curious Alvarado thinks and says, “I might, I have a friend here to stay with, but haven’t seen him yet, so I just might purchase one” , he too sips slowly from his cup, “You were born here in the city, I gather then?” he asks as questions and riddles about the past and all of its event start flooding his mind. He turns to his slave, regarding her he asks, “You remember Cato, the wine merchant, right? It is him we seek”.
Sefa Artemesia nods softly, in mid dip of her bread into the water bowl, she pauses, “Oh, yes, my Master. His face is fuzzy in my mind, but the smell of wine should be easy to find”, and she grins, flicking her eyes down with a laugh, sticking the bit of bread into her mouth.
Fiore Pie was going to answer Curious’s question but hearing Sefa’s reply made things more amusing. She can’t help glancing at her cup, wonder if she, too, already have wine breath. Silly to think of, but she is glad she have her own veil to muffle the scent, and she replies, “Ah, no I haven’t met Cato yet. I would ask my elder sisters about him”. Mentioning her sisters further lifted her mood, and with a light tone of happiness in her voice, she answers, “Yes, I am from Ar here, my family is well known for their pies, long generations of bakers, with baking deep in our veins. If you walk to the right down the street, you will find the Ansar district where the merchants sell their products at the marketplace. ” She waves her hand in the direction she had indicated, “That’s where I was raised, here in Ar.”
Curious Alvarado raises an eyebrow in interest, “Yes, I remember the market here, always colorful and full of smells and goods from all over the land, his mind races to the good old days of his childhood in these same streets. He then slowly scans Fiore trying to figure out how much she can be trusted, for an inn keeper is always a good source of information – a source with much potential. “I was here many years ago, but then…” he slightly coughs, “I… had to leave and finally I am coming back “, and he turn his gaze back to her, “Sisters? Tell me of your sisters, do you all run the inn and bakery together?” He passes a third or so of his bread portion towards his slave and commands her “”Eat more. you will starve. I need you strong and healthy” momentarily turning his focus from his questions.
Sefa Artemesia giggles, quirking a funny face as she takes the bread, “Oh yes, that’s going to happen! “, and she winks, popping another piece of the bread in her mouth, speaking with a bit still in her cheeks, “Sluts of the Plains eat when we can. Not too picky, either”, and she smiles warmly, traces of affection for her Owner in the smile, “I am only jesting, my Master, I will eat only as much as You wish me to… even if the Baker’s treats look mighty tempting…” she lets the words linger as she pushes another bit between her lips, more slowly as if trying to show her restraint.
Fiore Pie shake her head slightly, amusement still remaining in her mood. She liked kajirae with brains, a bit of fire and spirit… as long as they knew their place. She already liked this girl, Sefa, her mind wandering to the dispositions of other plains slaves, if they were like the girl before her, “I take it that plains are rather dangerous, rather a harsh lifestyle.” She asked Curious, “That’s where you found her, I assume ?” Pausing, to realize that Curious asked her about her family again,”Ah, there are nine of us, the sisters of the family Pie. Our father loves us all deeply, each of us. We all have different mothers, one companion after another,” she remarks nonchalantly with a shrug of her shoulders, the fact rather nondescript as an accepted part of her own life, “As I said before, there is a shortage of hands here at the inn. My father decided that I am ready to learn how to run a business. I still have a lot of things to learn.”
Curious Alvarado smiles a thin smile as he hears the amusing family story of Lady Fiore, which again rings in his memory memories of the life he once had in the city, “Yes the plains are indeed a rough place, in fact , I once saved Sefa from murder while she was on a move, and since that day she exists only as my loyal helper and slave. She still has the plains in her veins and language”, he laughs loudly, “but don’t mistake her. Those that survive there do so with their smarts”, he keeps his sights steady, looking at Fiore and leans closer to her, “I have something to ask…” he looks around, then says, “Have you ever heard of the Augustus family?”
Sefa Artemesia brushes the bread crumbs from her fingers onto her worn camisk, quirking a brow, as she watches carefully nearby for her Master as He speaks, her eyes darting carefully at His tensing around as she moves one hand to brush some scattered near Him away absentmindedly.
Fiore Pie tilts her head to a side , a furrow appearing on her brow, “Umm, no. I am afraid I don’t know this family”. She keeps Curious’ gaze as she replies, “My world was relegated to the district and my family, with Ar being so vast, it was too dangerous at times. There are so many citizens and visitors living here, I can’t be able to know all of their names. Said that, I don’t know any visitors here in the inn last few days of this surname.” She fiddles with her veil a bit, bemused, before asking, “What of this family ?”
Curious Alvarado looks down and bites his own lip a bit, “A pity, ah, it is something of the past, I need to find more about. It is a long and delicate story…” he says wryly. He pauses and remarks, “I would appreciate it if you could find out for me from travelers around he Inn, if they know where the tombstone of the great Aurelius is… he of that same family,” he says without explaining furhter, takes a sip more of his wine.
Sefa Artemesia bounces a bit on her heels, a glint of mischief in her eyes, “Something harder to drink, my Master?” and she purses her lips in a smile, before falling silent again -her countenance one of a beam half-stopped in her crooked smile, all her own.
Curious Alvarado pauses, “Have you seen there anything?” smiles a half sad smile as the memory of his beloved from the past cross his thoughts
Fiore Pie nods slightly, with the thought, ohhh a mystery to solve, appearing in her mind, “Very well, I will ask around. I can’t promise anything, Sir. You say you will stay with Cato … ” She pauses, “See what anything ? Oh, something harder… we do have mead and paga here”. With a jerk of her thumb in the direction of the barrels behind her, “Over there against the walls, the barrels. Paga is top left, and mead bottom left.” She have no idea if Sefa can read at all, unaware of the plains education.
Sefa Artemesia looks at His wistful expression, the look hitting her hard, “Yes, Mistress, I will check the labels to make sure I grab the right one.”, and she reaches under the table to fleetingly touch her Master’s leg, before scurrying off to the barrels, looking them over a bit.
Curious Alvarado feels a sudden tiredness as the weight of the last days sinks in finally, watching his slave at the barrels. He nods once more, standing, “Miss Fiore you will have to forgive me and my slave, I think we will take a short nap at the upper room, and later go look for Cato. It has been a pleasure meeting you”.
Sefa Artemesia reads the labels quickly, recalling the last time she was in such a city, and mutters, “Oh, to be Free again…”, and with a sigh, heads over to find a wooden footed bowl, and quickly pours some of the paga into it, returning it to Him, to ease His mind and help Him to bed faster, placing it gently in front of Him, “May You drink deep, and enjoy, my Master”, and she smiles weakly, kneeling again.
Curious Alvarado pauses, and then says to Sefa “Bring mead with you as we go upstairs; seeing her with paga, he laughs and says, “Paga is even better”.
Sefa Artemesia coughs, “Sorry, my Master… never knew Men liked mead much…”, and she grins embarrassedly, picking it back up for Him, and stepping near.
Curious Alvarado reaches out for his inner pocket and takes a few coppers from there to put at the table, “This will cover our food and drink, and the upstairs room, Fiore”
Fiore Pie quickly stands up from the table, “Oh yes, there is a room upstairs, second to your right once you walk upstairs. Please place the payment on the table… it would be 10 bits for the room and refreshments. I wish you well, Sir Curious.” She nods slightly, counting as the sight of coins spill on the table.
Sefa Artemesia grins, and holds the bowl close, “I hope Your day goes well! Farewell, Mistress!”, and she scampers behind Him.
Curious Alvarado nods at Fiore and says seriously, “Remember… the Aurelius tombstone…”
Fiore Pie collected the coins from the table, replying only with “Ah yes indeed…” in return.
Curious Alvarado runs a hand on his slave, once upstairs. His other hand takes the paga, before he lays the bowl, half full, in her hands, “Here. You plain slaves are more than tough enough for this,” he smiles, and simply states, “I am exhausted, I will go to sleep now for an hour, kajira”.
Sefa Artemesia smiles greedily, “Oh, yes, my Master!” and she eagerly accepts the bowl into her small hands, “I will watch for You, my Master!”, as she giggles, “Though soberness is not necessarily always totally promised, if it is as strong as it smells.” She takes a drink of the strong liquid, as she smiles to herself, watching her Master take a well deserved rest for the day, eventually curling up herself at the foot of His bed on the thick fur rug on the floor.