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“Brother please— these are forces beyond our control, any further and I cannot ensure the safety of our crew!” Cedric clutched the open tome to his chest, his vibrant eyes gazing upwards to his brother, the Captain of this ship. The deck was illuminated by the light of the full moon, as well as various lanterns and strangely colored candles with flames that had once burned orange, now an unearthly shade of violet. His fingertips were already burned and his voice shook, but he knew one stutter could damn them all, and so he had done his best to control it so far. But this part...

“Cedric.”

“Brother please don’t do this. Don’t make me.”

“As the Captain of this ship, “ Jason snapped harshly, standing with his arms crossed, “I’m telling you to continue. Now read.”

Cedric cast one more pleading glance, but it was no use- Jason’s eyes were determined. It wasn’t like he could blame him- desperate times call for desperate measures, right? And Jason wasn’t magically inclined in the slightest, nor did he understand the arcane and the respect you must have for those forces. He didn’t respect them at all, in fact; Jason was a fool, though Cedric would never say such a thing to his face. Jason was like most nobleman- there was nothing he couldn’t have in his eyes, and these forces were just another tool at his disposal to handle his troubles. And with Cedric being the only one able to channel such energies....

He turned his misty eyes back to the pages in front of him, taking a deep breath and resuming his readings from the pages.


———————————

As the sun began to rise, Cedric’s mind began to stir, his mind noting the horrible ache in his chest and leg, and in fact all over his body. He could feel the waves lapping at his legs, and given the gritty feeling of sand between his teeth and tongue, he could only assume they had hit land.

Literally.

He couldn’t recall the impact, and the harder he tried the more his head throbbed, his memory of the following night hazy. But one thought stuck out in Cedric’s mind, and it was a single name: Jason.

His eyes opened slowly, unfocused as he tried to blink away the haze of unconsciousness and pain. He could see, further up the pale shore, where the sand collided with the grasses and formed large dunes, people had begun to gather, staring. He could only assume they were humans, and slowly, his hands moved to push himself up. The moment Cedric lifted his torso from the sands he quickly emptied his stomach of the saltwater and anything else that had been in there (which wasn’t much; he hardly could eat, anxious as he was), and with that he felt very motivated to move from where he had been laying.

In one hand, he held a gold circlet that matched the one around his own head, embedded with rubies and surprisingly suffering only a few small scratches and scuffs- nothing a good polishing and a trip home couldn’t fix, certainly. As the young man pulled himself to his feet, his damp hair stuck to his cheeks and shoulders; from a distance he could almost be mistaken for a woman, though it would eventually be clear that was not the case.

One step, two steps, three- he lifted his head up to look at the onlookers, and then turned his gaze back towards the ocean; strewn across the beach was the rubble of what had once been their ship; The Diamond they called it, their trusty partner in adventure. Reliable as it was, it had served its last purpose, the rubble guiding Cedric and a few others to the shore. Though it was clear some of them (in fact most) hadn’t survived the impact...what had they hit? What had hit them, rather, to do so much damage?

The people on shore spoke of a storm that had hit, and it was enough to quell most worries- save for those who were quick to note a storm that could destroy a ship like this would’ve had to have some effects on the coast. How had they not even had rain, or thunder, and yet this storm appeared to have put a violent end to most of a crew and a ship? And concerns that perhaps these were pirates had begun to be silenced as Cedric stood, exposing the Golden circlet and his own identity to those who kept up with rumors and politics; one of the runaway princes from Dicon, a small island Kingdom farther north. Much, much farther.


Cedric stared at the rubble of the ship, and scanned bodies. Guilt had already begun to eat away at his head, but he found himself unable to tear his eyes away. He could see Raed on shore as well, thankfully, and he hoped the woman would find herself in stable condition. But he could not, no matter how he looked, find his brother.

“...Jason...?” He called, his voice raspy and harsh; he licked his lips and tried again, this time louder, before Cedric resumed his silent scanning of the debris along shore. Where had they ended up? He couldn’t force himself to focus enough on the horizon to identify any distant land masses, and this place wasn’t recognizable.

And then, the pain began to settle in; though he hadn’t noticed, those on shore would certainly see the dried and watery blood that had ran down his back and arm, and it was clear enough that he was injured (who wouldn’t be though?).

Cedric dropped to the sand, much faster than he had gotten up from it, and remained lying there, his mind going blank once more.


————————


It was quite a ways away when the second Archerson washed up on shore, much further than one would naturally expect, and in a similarly unknown land with similarly gritty sand. Jason was crownless, though this he wouldn’t note until much later, and he had found himself quite alone. Where had he even been? What had happened...?

Slowly, he began to stand, rubbing his head; the lone braid down the side of his face was undone, his cheeks and shoulders burnt from the time spent lying in the sand, and altogether the young man was quite the mess, his bandages around his eye gone and exposing an unsightly scar that would render that eye useless. His expression was one of pure confusion, trying to sort out the blurry mass of colors in front of him- having one eye certainly didn’t help- and the strange looking man simply settled on seating himself in the sand once more, inching closer to the water in hopes its chill would clear his mind.

Jason watched the water lap at his hands, the waves pushing sand and foam up across his fingers; he slowly began to recall the night, though only in little flashes of memories, and guilt sank into his stomach like a stone.

He could hear his Father’s scolding tone in his head, as he had many times, ‘Jason, you must realize your actions have consequences beyond you. A future King cannot live so recklessly, you have people to protect and lead.’

“Sure did a great job o’ that.” He sighed, resting his head on his arms. Where had he even ended up? And where was Cedric? He wasn’t the strongest, or the bravest, and certainly wasn’t meant for adventure all alone...had Cedric even survived...? The knowledge that, because of his own haste, he could’ve cause the death of his brother hit him like a punch to the gut, and the prince felt his stomach lurch, opting to drop his head between his bent knees and try to control himself. If he was in such terrible shape...what about Cedric....

A woman spots them a woman in a dark cloak and a large shining sword in her hand she spoke “ young men I am princess Lucy Minoku of Aberdeen and I need your help on finding my father!” She removes her hood to show a young beautiful woman with long blonde hair and bright blue eyes and she appears to be magical

And if not you will be taken to my castle and salughtered and fed to the pigs Or we could make a deal...so your answer?

((Hi Livi! Please be aware this is a CLOSED RP, and is limited to those who responded in my LFRP for this prompt. Sorry!

I suggest if you’re looking for your own prompt, making a post in the LFRP, as this one already has a plot that does not include finding your characters father.

And at the very least if you intend to speak more with me on this subject, direct any conversation to the OOC Discussion for this RP.
If you could edit your posts to reflect this mistake and perhaps put them in double parentheses so that they can be marked as OOC that’d be super cool if you.))

"Are you sure that your eyes saw correctly?"

The reply was quick and differential, "Yes, my prince."

"Well then, it seems it is our duty to welcome this newcomer to our lands, they are a rarity after all. Although do not speak of this yet to my family, that is a royal order. We do not wish to cause any undue excitement."

The robed soldier nodded, their expressions hidden under the customary azure mask which hid the face of every soldier of Selene. After waiting the customary five seconds for another order they bowed deferentially, moving like a stiff plank bending in two, before turning and marching out through the door flap and out into the blazing sun. Making sure to stand to order, ensuring no one else bothered the prince before their excursion. The guard knew all too well from rumors how impossible it was to stop these little flights of fancy on behalf of Opal, resigning themselves to ensuring his safety instead.

Opal watched the guard leave the room before allowing his body to relax, the corners of his lip to curl up in an ecstatic grin. It was so rare that he managed to interact with a foreigner and even more so that one turned up on their shores. Usually those that came were stiff, boring and constantly watched to ensure they never explored too far, but here, here was his chance to get to one first.

Hastily he began to throw his royal robes on, desperate to get there before anyone else could spot this stranger, then he remembered himself and more importantly his place in things. Forcing control over himself, the young prince (or at least young for elven kind) began to slowly dress himself in the usual formal attire of a member of royalty. The familiar crimson mixture of robes and metalworking outfit which marked him as both an artificer and nobility. Each further step brought with it a small spring of excitement, the tiny shudders of anticipation, all of which flattened to quiet dignity and precise steps that Selene mentally linked with such ease to their nobility.

"Are you ready my prince?"

Opal nodded, eager to get on his way, to find this newcomer, that the usual flatness of the polished stone underfoot didn't feel so boring that day. The pristine rivers and buildings with their intricate network of bridges, running along perfectly laid out grids, somehow had a life to them he'd never noticed before. The people, the city, it all felt so fresh. This was what he'd needed, he knew that in his bones, a sudden and unquestionable universal truth. His life had become stale, a mysterious stranger was just what had been needed.

Of course, the journey held no difficulties, no citizen of Selene would dare think, openly at least, of getting in the way of a Royal, the imperious and impatient eyes that gazed down on the townsfolk only speeding the process.

"How much longer?"

The voice was hushed and almost inaudible, still, the guard's trained ears picked up the faintest whispers and worked out the rest. "Not too long my prince, the stranger lay just around the coast."

For what amounted to simply half an hours walk, it felt agonizingly longer for the young dark elf. Even beyond the city limits he spent much of the trip forcing his limbs to not even betray the hints of excitement that ran through his veins. It didn't matter that the guard knew, it somehow felt wrong to every fiber of his hammered in instinct to allow even a single member of a lower class to see him for a normal person.

Then he saw him, the golden-haired figure, sitting despondently, half in and half out of the waves and he audibly gasped. The sight of such a pale-skinned figure doing nothing to contain his excitement, his right foot placing itself a step closer before he even realized what was going on.

Flitting into his mind suddenly came one of the many tales his parents had taught him of the many outsiders who wished to learn their nations secrets of artificing and his step became more cautious. Gently easing his carefully forged hammer from its holster by his waist and backed by the spear-wielding guard he approached this figure, not caring if they were spotted or not. He was a prince and it would be only natural that he spoke first, they must be able to understand that he reasoned.

When he spoke the idea that even the potential for a language barrier to exist never crossed his mind,so used to only knowing one nation, one language. "Stranger, this is prince Opal of the line of Draldo and third in line to the throne of the mighty kingdom of Selene, who are you and for what purpose did you arrive on our shore?"

A persistent murmur could be heard over the sound of the waves behind her. Only loud enough for her to recognize as the hushed voices of many. Raed lay still, no change apparent between when she'd been unconscious and now, and appreciated the feel of the shore pressed against her cheek. Maybe if she stayed here, the locals would assume her for dead and go away. Surely everyone else was dead after... whatever it was that happened.

Considering how much saltwater she'd inhaled at the time, she'd fully expected to be. Dead and drowned and swallowed up by the sea where she'd had no business being in the first place. Woman from a desert flood-plain who should never have--

Oh. That was the younger prince. She recognized his fear-filled voice, asking that question she'd come to associate with him. 'Brother, where are you?Please don't be dead.' condensed into the utterance of the elder prince's name. That was a talent if ever she saw one.

Deliberately slow, testing her limbs and core with the motion, Raed curled into a kneeling position. Aches and pains bloomed with the effort, but none sharp or lingering. As far as she could tell without a more thorough pass, she was battered but otherwise no worse for wear. Or not. Her head throbbed wickedly, lights exploding across the back of her eyelids when she tried to sit up.

Seemed as good a reason as any to rest. Better, even.

Forehead now pressed into the sand, she risked peeling an eye open. Dawn. Sun bathed the shore in a barely tolerable glow and Raed didn't bother trying to focus further. She leaked a few pain tears and closed her eyes, listening again to the waves and the distant crowd until the headache settled somewhat.

"Hey," she croaked, then coughed which sent another flash of pain through the dark. Her face scrunched until it passed and then she chuckled. "You know I'm gonna fight him when I see him, right? And he better hope he wins."

No answer, which was expected considering she didn't actually address Cedric. Then a dull thump, and Raed risked another blinding bout with the sun to see what happened. "Hey." She could barely make out a humanoid lump in the sand and two glints of metal with it. Which she assumed to be him but could just as easily be debris.

"Younger Dicon, don't be dead already..."

She attempted to reach her feet and pitched sideways, instead. Which was probably for the best, since it cut off what she was about to say: "I like you better of the two, anyway, and we gotta find the older Dicon. I'm gonna wring his neck for bein' so stupid." So she rolled onto her back and, when the world stopped lurching awkwardly, used the one support technique she knew.

"MEDIC!"

She barked that word in as many languages as she knew, hoping that at least one might be understood by the locals.

And lo, there was the sea--the cruel sea that had so rudely interrupted the Hanged Man's westward journey. Ever on it stretched until the wide horizon, flat and placid, as though it hadn't just hours ago smashed the Diamond to flotsam and jetsam. Theoretically, the wanderer had seen the whole thing, though he had no recollection of it. He had been standing just above the high-tide mark since the evening before, staring openly across the waves as the moon and belt of stars flowed overhead. The shipwreck spoke of the ocean's stormy wrath, yet there were no other signs of it. Not a bit of the Hanged Man's attire was wet or out of place. The soft, sweet lapping of the surf mocked him.

His eyelashes were crusted with salt from the saline air, and it took several slow, deliberate blinks to clear them. For the first time his neck tilted--it was a little creaky and stiff--to take in the sight of the bodies stirring in the wreck and gathering up in the dunes. Another blink. Someone was calling out for help.

Without thinking, he took off across the beach towards Raen and Cedric. The wanderer was utterly graceless in the sand, stumbling and bumbling his way through smashed timbers and torn scraps of sail. Once at their side he dropped his shield in the sand, curve down. Both of them looked worse for wear, but the boy had fallen still while the woman was still hearty enough to roar for help. The Hanged Man reached down to pull Cedric onto the shield. "I'll c-come back," he told Raen, his voice dry and raspy. He needed to get the boy out of the blinding sun. With a grunt, he heaved on the shield's leather strap, pulling Cedric over the beach like a sledge. Hopefully there would be people waiting in the wings to assist.

The boy was clearly exhausted, and yet his fingers wrapped tight around the crown in his hands; Cedric’s face had relaxed since he fell unconscious, his cheeks flushed red from the sun and the heat. The young prince had pushed himself too far, that was clear.

His eyes shifted beneath his eyelids, trying to will himself awake; they fluttered but rolled back only moments later, and Cedric let out a small groan. Jason would’ve been fine after a little crash like this...Jason was always fine, he seemed to be like a spring, always bouncing back into shape.

”But any spring will break when stretched too far...” His mind mocked his optimism; Cedric was more of a realist, he had never been one for blind cheer in the face of such conditions. But Jason would’ve lived, that wasn’t optimism, right? Sure, his brother was an idiot, but he was a sturdy guy...he couldn’t have died out there...

The young prince’s eyelids fluttered once more as he tried to wake himself, his free hand slowly balling into a fist as his vibrant eyes slowly opened; they were vacant despite their color, his pupils tiny in the growing light. He struggled to focus on even the clouds in the sky, doing his best to avoid falling unconscious once more. Now all he had to do...

“T-Thank you...kind stranger....” He rasped; opening his eyes had been one feat, but talking seemed to be all he had in him; his eyes slid shut with a small huff of air, pain washing over his expression once more.

The Hanged Man’s actions seemed to have spurred others in the crowd; men came stumbling through the sands after him, some running off to fetch the local guardsmen. While some helped the Hanged Man, a few had taken it upon themselves to attempt to get Raed to her feet, “Can yuh stand, Miss?”

—————————


The water had done good to sober him up, though it only made the guilt in Jason’s stomach heavier, and his head throbbed. It was his fault...if he hadn’t forced Cedric to continue with the ceremony...

Footsteps. He picked his head up to watch the approach of the strangers, and noting their odd clothing he would realize he was very, very far from home. Jason slowly stood at their approach, his own hand moving to the belt and the hostler that, in any other situation, would’ve held his long sword. A blade that, by now, rested comfortably at the bottom of the ocean with the rest of the wonderful lost treasures of the sea. Damn. He let his hand fall to his side, standing calmly as they neared, and tried to do his best to remember the maps Cedric had poured over just a night ago.

Jason wasn’t known for his good memory though, and so he listened to Opal’s greeting, staring at him for a moment with his face wrinkled up slightly as he squinted in the light of dawn.

“...I uh....” He cleared his throat out and bowed his head, “I...didn’t really intend to come here...my ship...” he glanced out towards the ocean, and then to the small pieces of scattered wood that had floating with him; a particularly large board was in the sand near where he had been sitting, and he only assumed that had been what carried him to safety- his good ole Diamond making sure her Captain got somewhere safe. He could only pray Cedric had been as lucky, “I...let me introduce myself, I am Prince Jason Nicol Archerson, heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Dicon...it’s a little place uh...we’re pretty talented with mining, great rocks and stuff. Here I—“ his hand had gone up to his head where his circlet would’ve sat, and his stomach dropped; the feeling was enough to rattle him and he curled over on himself a bit, falling to the sand on his knees again.

Jason raised a finger as if to signal ‘Hold Up’, and breathed slowly for a moment, before looking up at Opal with misty eye, “S-Sorry. Not handling this whole, ship-wrecked adventurer thing very well...You wouldn’t happen to know a doctor, normally my brother is the one...did you see a boy here? His name is Cedric, He’s gonna be less than 6 foot, uh, long blonde hair- probably about as long as yours. He’s clumsy, he’s weak, he’s uh....umm... really smart....” He has begun to ramble, the anxiety getting to him. Jason put a hand on his head, exhaling as a wave of pain washed over his body, “Sorry I...I think I knocked something loose...” He was starting to look visibly troubled, the pain obvious across his expression.

Opal stared almost transfixed with the being in front of him, everything about this ... prince was so enthralling, he'd never seen clothes like it before, hair so golden or such an entry into Selene. For the first few moments, it was all he could do to maintain his composure while keeping his gaze firmly fixed on the man before him, not willing to miss even a moment of their introduction or fail to detail their mannerisms.

It nothing had changed Opal would have stood there all day listening to any shreds of information he could glean from the outside world, something that had become altogether a rarity, despite his growing interests in it. Then came the moment where Jason curled over and returned back to the sand once more. In that split second, all his limbs twitched forward, willing himself help, yet the gaze of the soldier behind him rooted him in place. "I...m sorry, I've not seen this boy." The word shot from his lips before he could control himself.

A light grasp on the shoulder restrained him from further action, the hand belonging to that of the soldier, who still kept the other firmly pointing his weapon towards the bowed prince. "My Prince, you cannot be even seriously considering trusting this man? He has not even a crown to prove his claims."

"Well of course! What reason could he have f...." As Opal paused his thoughts caught up with his worlds and everything began to slow. He had a choice, a choice he needed to make. He could either accept the story, something he really wanted to be true, if only that it gave him a chance to explore the outside world and smuggle this man in. Or reveal his presence and watch this supposed prince be shipped out on the first boat leading to far away. He had to choose. "Is there any way we can take this man to my chambers without notice?"

".......My prince?"

In a snap he drew himself up to his full height. "That's a Royal Decree, find a way to bring this man to my chambers so I can question him."

The soldier twitched anxiously before snapping to attention, "Yes my prince, it shall be done."

As fast as his mind allowed Opal slipped closer to Jason, hiding his left hand on which the fingers had begun to twitch in anticipation. "You say you are a prince? I don't know of your land ... although I don't know of many, but I would love to hear things of it.. but I'm getting ahead of myself ... first, we need to sneak ... wait that's second, first I can be a doctor? I know a bit of medicine? Or my guard can too? If you don't mind it not being altogether good... I mean we can't really take you to a proper one... ah yes, you can't be spotted ... that's important! But please do tell me about your lands ... when we have the chance! After we sneak in!" He paused for breath, taking in a long gasp, before asking in a manner both sheepish and regal. "Did ... did you get everything?"

Just as these survivors thought that the worse was passed, their day of woe and misfortune was about to take a turn for the worse.

The naying of the horses and the well known shouts of the raiders would likely cause the locals to flee in terror and try to find shelter, hidden from sight, away from the beach that was known to be slavers and pirates domain.

These ruthless thugs often came out to take any castaways as prisoners alongside any loot that survived the shipwrecks.

When it came to captives, those too wounded to survive would be executed where they lay upon the sand, after all, dead men tell no tales. Those likely to survive would be shackled and tossed into the cart, and those that were awake and with sufficient strength would be chained and taken to be sold into slavery, put to work at servile chores, plantations, mines and quarries, all the lucrative yet ungrateful tasks that paid too little and demanded too much for the free men to consider doing.

Calico and quite a few of his crew came to scavenge the beach, approaching Raed who laid under the sun whilst Aynor and his bandits diverted course and followed the trail of footsteps on the sand that led further away to where The Hanged Man had taken Cedric to, the men quickly taking up arms in case there were more than just two of them

"Disarm... surrender... and you may live a little longer, if you comply and do as told..." demanded Haldor with a sly smirk across his face

The Hanged Man shushed Cendric, not wanting him to waste breath on platitudes. As he pulled the shield through the sand, he checked one of his brandy flasks. He briefly considered giving it to the boy, but would it do more good than harm? He decided to wait to see if water could be found instead, and swigged the flask himself.

They reached the timberline's merciful shade, but relief was short lived as the hooting bandits rode up the beach. The Hanged Man grimaced and took the two crowns from Cedric. They looked important. After a moment of racing thought he paniced and shoved the crowns into Cedric's tunic.

And not a moment too soon, for just then Aynor rode up over the dunes to surround them. There were too many to fight, especially while protecting the weak and dehydrated young man, and the stranger could hear backup down on the beach. "W-wait," he said. The stutter would be easy to mistake for fear. He lifted up his index finger in a "hold on" gesture and proceeded to gulp down the rest of the contents of the flask.

When one of the strangers first tried to help her to her feet, Raed would sway heavily, pulling them off of theirs if they weren't prepared. That piercing sensation blinded her once more and she groaned.

".... Don' think I can manage without help," she eventually mumbled, fighting back tears and trying not to barf. "Not yet."

After a few minutes of being up, however, the vertigo and splitting pain in her head would both become manageable (or at least she would insist so). She turned her head slowly to see who was helping Cedric, blinked slowly as she processed the scarred blonde's appearance, and tried to steer her assistance that direction.

Then a new ruckus started up and Raed felt her helpers go stiff with terror. In their haste to escape, they jostled Raed, nearly knocking her over again, and she got to watch their backs as they scrambled across the sand. It felt like only a second had passed and then new strangers entered her line of sight and she was surrounded.

Raed couldn't help but grin when she recognized what they were, though it was certainly not a friendly sight. The noise and the vertigo caused her pain and it was thanks to these raiders that said pain would continue now for some time. Now that she was out of the sand, half-dried blood could be seen caked in her hair from an otherwise unseen wound.

"So who're you all s'posed to be?" She swayed heavily as she tried to turn and face them all. That action was too much, it seemed, and she coughed up some bile and wound up on her ass. If any tried to touch her, though, it would be clear she wasn't done when she tried to swing at them. She was just as full of life as ever, just a bit impaired.

A pause down there, and then her grin would return. "If I beat one of ya, do I get to take your spot in this merry band or nah? Y'all seem fun."

Cedric seemed to tense when the Hanged Man took the crowns; they were family heirlooms after all, and if Jason was....if he died, that crown would be all he had left of his brother. He didn't say anything when the crowns were slid into his tunic, and gently he set his hand over them, nudging them between his waistband so they could be a little more secure, in case he ended up jostled around.

At Aynor's arrival, the young prince grimaced, opening his eyes to stare at the blurry shapes and faces that had approached. Lovely. Had Jason been here, in his place, he was certain his brother would've been on his feet already, prepared to defend himself. Cedric was not his brother though, try as he might. Where Jason was hot headed and brave, passionate and courageous, Cedric was slower. In battle he was slippery but he had proved time and time again that when he was caught, he was more of a liability than a help. Cedric didn't run as fast as Jason, or climb as steadily, or fight with the same ferocity as his elder brother, and it was a point of shame in his life; so of course, cornered by these rogues and laying on this sheild while this stranger stood was certainly a situation he was familiar with.

Didn't make him feel any better, though.

The least he could do, however, was push himself to be seated, his damp hair sticking to his flushed cheeks as he let out a shaky breath. "G-Great, a bunch of filthy rats..." He sighed, muttering to himself beneath his breath; his voice was so hoarse it hardly sounded like anything, and he regretted trying to speak at all, opting to just hang his head between his knees while he tried to calm the swaying he felt in his body. His head snapped back up though as he heard the commotion on the beach, the sudden motion enough to drive his nausea but his will holding him together-- Raed was down there. If there was one person on that ship that would survive, of course it was her...but she was injured too, and the idea of ending up separated from her wasn't a pleasant one in his mind.

Slowly, he got himself to his feet, ignoring the splitting pain in his shoulder-- he had most definitely reopened the wound, blood beginning to creep down his arm once more as he got to his feet. And then he looked up at Haldor, narrowing his eyes slightly. Disarm?

'An Archerson never goes without a fight', that's what Jason always said. Cedric's hands balled into fists slowly, and there seemed to be some kind of slipping in that brilliant common sense of his that told him to shut his mouth and go quietly, "And w-who might you lot be?"



Jason stared for a good moment, watching the exchange with increasing confusion. He pulled himself up from the sands as Opal turned to speak to him, his face slowly turning into a smile, and though his nerves were rattled he was certainly more fond of Opal and this guard than he was of the rowdy bunches in other kingdoms he had crossed.

Oh. His mind had gone wandering as Opal finished, and he caught the last question, and stared for another good moment at the elf, "Oh, yeah...yeah I got that," he said, though he most certainly had gotten none of that. He gave a good moment of just plain staring at Opal with a cross between confusion and happiness written on his face, before he laughed a little and rubbed the back of his head- it stung but he hated the way his damp hair stuck to his scalp and neck, "So...I hate to question things but...why do we need to sneak in? What kind of place have I ended up?"

Opal certainly had been hoping for that answer so when it came he didn't even bother to question it, the other was a prince and royalty could always be guaranteed to quickly understand any information they'd been given, at least he'd been taught that. He'd always believed it too, his elder siblings always seemed to grasp what he rattled on about, it having never crossed his mind that this might be out of having grown up with him, thereby giving them a better understanding of it. Whatever the result he allowed himself a small grin, one hidden by the direction of his face from all bug Jason.

What he hadn't been expecting was the grin to be returned, seemingly before he even before he'd shared his own. There was a pause and in which he spent the tame Jason used in returning the same gaze, the only discernable difference was that Opal's was far more repressed like he was making a conscious effort to hide his smile. The moment he listened to the laugh the prince turned his face away, as he moved he accidentally exposed the excited twitching coursing through the slender but course fingers.

The question, however, forced the Prince to return his full gaze back towards the prince and once more the excitement stole its way through his well-trained muscles to show itself off as a sparkle in the eyes. To the watchful guard, it was clear the idea of a foreign prince washing up on the shore mysteriously infatuated Opal.

"Umm, yes ... sneaking ... well you see the laws, umm ... forbid foreigners to walk around outside of designated areas, especially ones who just ... show up..." He paused, wondering how to phrase the rest before blundering clumsily on. "We've been rather protective of our ... ehhh ... artificing skills, so no ones really allowed in ... or out. If you're seen then ... you'll get sent away without any treatment on a random boat."

(( whose turn is it?))

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