"Laurent, we all worry!" Yarne said assertively, leaning in slightly. "You really think you’re the only one worried about everyone else here in the army? Heck, I’m afraid one day my cowardly actions will cost someone their life!" he admitted, his voice gaining a bit more life and concern in it. "Laurent…you’re not alone in this…"
Truth be told, Yarne perhaps wasn’t the best person to be counseling the sage through all this but the taguel didn’t feel right just leaving the man to wallow in his worry like this.
With all the genuine enthusiasm Yarne was offering him, Laurent felt guilty for lying. His comrade was good and honest, and if he were to have told the other the truth, he had little doubt Yarne would have run off to tell anyone else. Still, he couldn’t afford to cause the other any more stress or concern than he already shouldered. It wouldn’t be fair. Not in his mind.
"I don’t doubt others are weary of the days to come," the sage spoke, his expression soft. "I merely didn’t want to add upon the burden so many around us already carry." It was an honest excuse, but an excuse none-the-less. But how could he allow himself to falter when so many relied on him? "I simply… got myself worked up. Though I thank you for the assurances."
Lucina felt guilty, but at least Laurent didn’t seem too sad. “Um…sure,” she said. She didn’t want to disappoint Laurent, and she still thought that seeing what his mother looked like would be interesting. She had probably seen a picture of young Chrom somewhere, but she didn’t want to bring that up and make Laurent feel bad. “I’m not sure how long I can stay here though…” The people at the party were probably starting to worry by now. Maybe they’d send guards after her.
Faltering in mid-step, Laurent looked back at Lucina with a small frown. He’d gotten so excited about the prospect of the library, he’d completely neglected the fact for why he’d come to the castle in the first place. “Your party,” he murmured, looking at the ground. “I’m… sorry. I didn’t mean to distract you from your friends. If you want to leave, it’s okay.” He didn’t want to keep her there. After all, not everyone was as bad at making friends as he was.
She’d likely forget him anyway.
Clearing his throat, Laurent took a half-step back, surveying Aversa in silence. While he did, admittedly, wear glasses himself, it wasn’t as if he were the only one. They were common enough in the world, but his bafflement fell on why he was suddenly being addressed with this rather odd fact. Perhaps she wished to know more on glasses care to assist someone else?
"I see," he murmured, inclining his head, "Many people find that glasses gives off the appearance that one is highly educated. However, the need for enhancement in one’s vision holds no relation to intelligence, thus making the standard attraction for them false in assumed nature." He paused, pushing his own glasses up his nose. "Are you intending to find a tomb for studying the proper care for corrective lenses? I should have one."
That was something of a vague order. Laurent prided himself on being clever, but he was far from a mind reader. Although, Aversa had not yet joined their wayward group until rather recently. Perhaps he could make use of the newer invention he’d made with his mother. They were, after all, very visually stunning. “If you’re interested, I would be most willing to assist to your interest in the sciences. Do you by chance have any colours you find favourable in appearance?”
Okay, he had her attention now. “My three favorite colors are purple, gold, and black. In that order.” She watched him closely, excited by the prospect of what he was about to show her.
Relief shot across Laurent’s face when he heard his question answered. At least she wasn’t feeling the need to invade his personal space anymore. That was a start. He hoped. He just needed to keep her occupied for the time being.
"I see… Purple and gold will work nicely," Laurent murmured to himself as he strode quickly over to a table covered in jars and bottles. His eyes scanned the various labels, gathering several of them together on an another smaller table nearby. If memory served, purple would be the harder to create. He had managed to make a rather stunning shade of violet with his mother once; hopefully his audience would approve of that.
Yarne was a tad confused over everything Laurent had just said but then again, he always was with Laurent’s rather extensive vocabulary and speech patterns. He nodded slowly with a blank look on his face until finally he felt like he knew what Laurent was talking about. “L-Laurent were you…having a nightmare or something?”
The words made Laurent’s blood run cold. He prided himself at being able to hide both his feelings and thoughts — though it wasn’t something to be terribly proud of. He couldn’t remember having ever lowered his guard around the taguel enough to be read so easily. He knew well that the gentle rabbit meant him no harm, nor was he convinced anything he said would leave the tent, but it wasn’t in his nature to open up so easily. Based on his deductions, Yarne had plenty of concerns as it was. He couldn’t so easily drop more on his comrade.
"A nightmare? No, rather, I suppose I was allowing my mind to elaborate and hypothesis on rather meaningless things. I fear I was allowing anxiety to get the better of me and I imagined worse-case scenarios in my mind. Such things are hardly conducive for acquiring rest." Laurent shook his head and offered the other a light smile. Hopefully it might reaffirm his words and offer reassurance. "I apologise if my actions tonight caused you to worry by any means."
Lucina smiled. “That’s…very interesting.” She was trying to think of the nicest possible way to tell Laurent that she wanted to fight with a lance, not make a lance. “I’m not really sure making weapons is my thing yet, though. Frederick always says the forges are too dangerous for me.” He was probably right. Lucina didn’t like it when people were overprotective of her just because she was a princess, but it probably wasn’t a good idea for children to make weapons.
"Hey, why don’t we see if you can find that book you told me about? The one with you mother?" Lucina asked, trying to change the subject. She was impressed that Laurent was having such an easy time finding his way around the library, especially when it was his first time here.
Laurent’s expression fell slightly as he peered at Lucina, the tome still clutched tightly in his hands. Now that she said it, perhaps it was rather silly to think that the two of them could make a lance to fight with. He was hardly able to wield a sword, making a new weapon would have been far beyond his skill set. If she wasn’t able to do it, why would he? He was younger.
Fortunately, the sorrow was short-lived as another book was suggested and he perked up. She was interested in his mother? No one ever listened to him when he got started. And history could be so interesting. “You… want to see her?” Laurent smiled, setting the arms book down. “I can find it. Maybe we can find a picture of your father when he was younger as well.”
Lucina’s eyes widened as Laurent took her hand. It wasn’t that she didn’t like him, it was just…what if someone saw them and thought something bad was going on even though everything was okay?
Anyway, it was nice to see how excited he looked. “Yeah, I think we have some. I can’t reach very high, though. Usually Frederick helps me get books It’s cool that your mother helps out with all of those things.” Lucina had had enough of war, but it would probably be rude to say that when Laurent seemed so interested in the military tomes.
Like a bumblebee in the gardens, Laurent was darting about the library in seconds, highly impressed with the endless number of tomes before him. His eyes grazed over the various titles, taking them in as he tried to find what he was looking for. Surely they had to have at least one, as his mother had the same book and she’d claimed it would most certainly be in the castle as well. He just needed to find the right title. Again and again he repeated the name in his mind, only to stop short as something else caught his eye. She talked about that earlier…
"Aha! Lucina! Lucina…!" Hugging the book to his chest, the young mage scrambled back to where he’d last seen the princess standing. "Here, look at this," he beamed, holding the novel up. "This time has instructions on how to make various weapons. We might be able to find a lance in here."
"Really, just plain Lucina is fine…Anyway, thank you." Lucina always thought that being complimented on her name was strange. After all, she hadn’t picked it out. But she always thought compliments were nice, so she wasn’t going to question it.
Lucina looked around cautiously. What if a guard saw them together? There seemed to be no one else around, but one could never be too sure. Then again, Lucina really didn’t want to go back to the noisy party just yet. “Okay,” she said. “But I can’t stay for long.”
Almost immediately, Laurent’s expression brightened as he took Lucina’s hand and proceeded to drag her inside. If there was but one thing that could get him passionate, it was books. He wasn’t a genius, nor was he the best student, but he did have the drive at the very least. “Libraries are the best,” he began, smiling back at the young princess. “If you have military tomes, I could show you my mother. Maybe… I think she’s in some of them. She said she was helping write a record here before.”
It wasn’t much, but maybe the library would be enough to make them both more comfortable. He’d just… have to make sure to pick a fun one. That couldn’t be too hard.
"I want to learn how to use a lance, just like Frederick! He’s one of the knights who serves my dad and he’s really strong. Even if he does act more like a nanny than a regular knight sometimes." Frederick wouldn’t mind being called a nanny, right? He would probably care more about Lucina talking to strange common boys.
"You’re welcome. It’s no problem. I do like reading, even though it’s not my favorite thing to do." Lucina paused. Miss Princess. There it was again. “You know, you can just call me Lucina if you want.” Was that too much? At this point, she didn’t care. Laurent was the only one at this party besides her family that was treating her like a person instead of a doll.
She was full of, what was that word his mother had taught him? Ambition. That was it. Even though his passions laid elsewhere, he couldn’t help but admire someone who sounded so honest about their goals. Someone with passionate eyes and honest words was always the best to trust. So said his parents.
A brief look of hesitation flickered across Laurent’s face before he offered Lucina a hesitant smile. If she asked him to, that meant he wouldn’t get in trouble, surely. Names were much easier t use than titles, and it’d be a lie to claim he was unhappy with this development - if only a little nervous.
"Miss… Lucina," he tried, carefully pronouncing the name to make sure he had it right. "Your name… is very nice." It was an odd compliment, but ‘pretty’ seemed as if it would get him in trouble. At least this way he was still honest. "…Um, do you… want to come inside?" It was quiet in the library; that’s what she’d said she wanted earlier, right?
Looking up from his task at hand, Laurent’s expression switched from surprise, to bemused, to utter bafflement. If his assumptions were correct, then this person was doing… something with their voice, though he couldn’t begin to guess why. For several moments, he didn’t speak as his eyebrows knit together in thought. He couldn’t remember having seen this person before, but that didn’t mean he could neglect proper manners.
"Good evening," Laurent began, eyeing the other. They didn’t seem dangerous, not particularly. Just faintly odd, especially with their current choice of attire. Still, Laurent wasn’t one to judge too heavily on appearance. The choice of false hair was certainly a bit much though, in his opinion. “May I help you?”
Nils sighed. “Oh well. I can’t sew that well anyway. Might as well just let Ninian be mad at me and let her fix it up.” He shrugged a bit then blinked and touched his nose again. “I wouldn’t mind help, but I don’t think it would get infected, it’s just a little scratch…Oh! My name is Nils, by the way!”
"I apologise for not being able to help," Laurent replied with a faint smile. "I wish you the best for seeing that your attire is mended in a reasonable time."
Opening up the bottle of elixer, the young mage poured a portion of its contents onto a cloth before using it to dab carefully at Nils’ nose. He wasn’t a medic by any means, but he had the confidence to tend to small wounds at the very least. Not the best, but at least useful. “I see… A pleasure, I’m certain. My name is Laurent.”