(122-01-29) Humble Paths
Humble Paths
Summary: Camillo has a request of Lady Marsei the day after treasure was discovered underneath the Hightower.
Date: 29/01/2015
Related: The Treasure Hunters, Citadel & Sept plot

"I do hope it doesn't go to the King, at least not straight away!" Lady Marsei, beaming with excitability, sits in at a small, sturdy, mosaic-inlaid table near her window and the rather jaw-dropping view high above Battle Island. This section of the her space is sectioned off to resemble the set-up of a small solar; like the rest of her chambers, it is decorated finely. Her conversational companion is utterly quiet except to agree here and there; it is Siva, her handmaid, the same girl who has been at her side for many years. A bowl of berries and several ornate jewelry boxes, half of them open and revealing their rich contents to the gentle greyish morning light, sit upon the table.

A sound at the door summons Siva to rise, but rather than sit and wait to be attended by a servant or visitor, the lady follows after. The door only needs open but a crack before she gently ushers Siva away by the shoulder to do her own greeting. Fresh off of last night's mysterious adventures, Lady Marsei is still bright-eyed. There's an added layer to the glimmer in her gaze that may be due to lack of sleep, but her spirits are far from dampened by it. Her dress of choice today is a soft peach hue, simple and lightweight in design — it would have been better suited to underground roving, if not by much.

"My lady," Camillo greets in his usual soft-spoken way. "Good morning. I hope you feel no ill effects from the activities last night," he opens.

"Good morning, Camillo," Marsei greets cheerfully, more light and unburdened than she's been in some time — a rather fine detail, given that she is almost always positive as it is. "Scrapes and bruises, easily forgotten!" Especially now that her ankles are well-hidden. Her steps are taken gingerly when she steps backwards to allow Camillo freedom to enter, but she is soft-footed every day. "I don't expect you're here to inform me of another conspirator or secret code this time," she inquires by way of good-natured jest.

"I am sure Mistress Peri treated any wounds well, but I can perhaps bring you some herbs good for pain if you have any need," Camillo offers. But that is clearly not why he came. When Marsei makes space for him, he enters, keeping close to the door rather than crowding a noblewoman. "Fortunately I know of no further maddening codes. But I wondered if I might speak with you," he says, giving a glance to Siva that subtly indicates he would rather have a private conversation.

Marsei's certain nod confirms that her injury had been treated well. Her grateful smile could easily be a yes or a no thank you to Camillo's offer. She grasps his quiet intent, then, and looks to Siva; they have a silent language al their own, for the dark-haired young woman nods congenially and winds her way out without needing a word. "Please then, Camillo, have a seat, of course we may speak," she gestures toward the table, bathed in morning light. She herself heads that way, stepping up onto the short stair that's been fashioned to elevate this one portion her chambers. "Would you like some raspberries?"

Camillo is just taking a seat when Marsei offers him food. He seems surprised by the offer, hesitates, then says, "If you truly don't mind." He finishes the motion of sitting down. "My lady is, as always, very kind."

As she sits across from Camillo, she goes so far as to pluck the bowl of berries up and set it down a touch closer to him thoughtfully, although in truth the table is not so big to warrant overreaching in any case. "Please!" she insists lightly. "There's always more where that came from." Sitting neatly, as ever, she regards the servant with a friendly sort of curiosity. "I hope all is well?"

"Yes, my lady, very well," Camillo says. "I was glad that our work resulted in the recovery of such an important artifact for the Hightower family." He pauses, then reaches for some berries. He seems incapable of casually eating while talking, so he eats two and then resumes. "I only wanted to make a request of you," he says. "That you not…discuss or praise much my part in things." He glances at Marsei. "Not to say that I am deserving of praise, but because you are so kind, I thought I should… You see, in the servant's halls, learning above one's station can cause…problems."

Marsei listens with the type of inquisitive interest that can only come from not being able to guess how a story will possibly end. When Camillo, explains, the noblewoman's fair face turns utterly quizzical for a number of seconds. "Oh!" she exclaims, as if such a notion would never have occurred to her. Realization dawns, however, followed by a narrowing of her eyes, a look of distance in them as she recalls, "I believe I do understand. Siva went through such an ordeal when we were but children… although that was a—I suppose an entirely different matter." Lips that had grown tense now burst into a reassuring smile. "You are the humble servant, Camillo, and will remain so in the eyes of your brethren here at the Hightower."

Camillo lowers his head, seeming gratified by how graciously Marsei accedes to his request. "Thank you, my lady. You are very understanding," he says. "I am new to the household, yet, and must be careful. Disagreements and jealousies among servants can result in difficulties for the nobles of the household, as well, which I am anxious to forget." He eats another raspberry, looking thoughtful. "If I may say so, your handmaiden seems terribly well-trained. I hope she is a good companion to you. She seems as if she would be."

"Disagreements and jealousies … hmm! No different than nobles ourselves." She gives a nod of further understanding. "Siva is the best companion I could ask for," she replies, a glowing accolade, "She has been by my side for so long— I have no need to train a friend." She idly opens and closes the lid of a jewelry box — the contents of which look as though they've been rifled through repeatedly — and ponders, "You were wonderful throughout this mystery unraveling, Camillo. If there was a job within the Hightower that warranted such skills always, and wouldn't cause issue, you would easily be appointed to it," she says, growing more thoughtful word after word.

"Thank you, my lady, that is very kind of you to say," Camillo says. "In all honesty, I only wanted to protect the Sept. Though I am very glad," he hastens to add, "To have been of service to the family in the end. I feel less guilty for pursuing the matter outside of my duties."

"It is unfortunate that the pursuit of knowledge should cause guilt in any soul," Marsei states regretfully. Her stance certainly isn't one shared by all nobles, of course; can't have too many educated servants running around. "I do wonder if the trouble is over at the Sept or if it's only just begun." She sidelines the worrying thought in favour of remarking, "You serve the Hightower well. A fortunate coincidence our paths criss-crossed as they did."

Camillo frowns thoughtfully. "I hope it is over," he says, but like Marsei, he doesn't sound convinced that it is. But he nods at her final remark. "I feel it is very fortunate indeed," he says. "Though anyone is fortunate to cross paths with you. You seem to see the best in all things."

Marsei tips her head down, smiling in modest thanks for the praise yet struggling to accept it. "Thank you, Camillo, but oh, I— I don't know about that." A humble dismissal of sorts — yet kindly as ever. She closes the jewelry box she'd been toying with a moment ago; its tiny mechanisms snap shut slightly sharper than she expected and she gives a little jump at the sound, but it livens into a soft laugh. "Ah! I must still be expecting ancient traps and dragons in the dark."

Camillo smiles a little. "That was a rather…anxious time," he says. "Not knowing what might befall any of us. I thank the Seven no one was seriously hurt. Even an animal could take to dwelling in a disused space like that."

"I thank them as well! I never expected all this would lead to such an adventure. It was enchanting!" Her youthful fascination with it all far outweighs her fright in the labyrinth. "I wonder if there are more mysteries still trapped below the Hightower, hidden behind walls of rock." Reminded, she leans slightly toward the edge of the table to note, "I know it goes without saying to you, Camillo, that the truth of what we found should remain as quiet as possiblefor the moment … but should rumours abound, I should like to hear them, to stay astride of the situation."

Camillo nods once, solemnly. "Yes, my lady. I hope that ownership of the item will not become a matter of dispute. I'm afraid that in the end, I regret that the Maesters had to be involved at all. I am concerned they may wish to lay claim to such an interesting item."

"Yes," Marsei intones her own worry. Her lowered brows overlay the thoughtfulness in her gaze, which trails distantly to the door. She appears conflicted. "I shall pray it winds up safe in the right hands." Whose hands, however… therein lies the potential dispute she too suspects may arise.

"I shall do the same, my lady," Camillo agrees. "I will follow the item's fate with great interest. I have never seen such a thing with my own eyes." He looks toward the window. "Forgive me, I am taking a great deal of your time."

"It's no bother," Marsei assures, but rises from her seat. She sweeps her gaze about her chambers searchingly before landing upon the dwindling bowl of raspberries. She sets it upon an empty plate and hands both to Camillo. "Clear this out — a reason explaining your visit. No cause for concern, I don't think, but for peace of mind, we wouldn't want you seem favoured," she offers, looking about again, wishing she could find something more substantial, but everything — save the jewelry boxes — is recently cleaned and in perfect order.

Camillo seems pleased rather than insulted that Marsei is kind enough to give him an excuse. He stands and takes the items. Then he glances toward the jewelry boxes and finally must ask, "Forgive me, but there is nothing missing, is there?"

"Oh, those; the only thief is my memory," Marsei says, not seeming expressly worried, only distracted by a bit of disappointment, shoulders falling as she looks back at the abundance of jewelry, "I've simply been searching for a hair-comb I seem to have misplaced… somewhere in the course of moving from Cider Hall, I think. It has rubies shaped like apples — I meant to give it to Lady Gala…"

Camillo frowns thoughtfully. "If it should turn up anywhere else in the tower, I shall bring it back to you," he promises. "But I hope you will find it yourself, soon." He heads for the door and makes a bow toward Marsei. "Thank you for your time, lady."

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