Ask Something Like a Star

Hannibal Grayza

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In the time Hannibal had been wandering the galaxy he had seen a great many things, despite his youth. Ever since he was very young he could remember being as fascinated by different cultures, peoples, and planets as he was wary of being around them too long for fear of experiencing what they did. At the time it had been an intrusive and terrifying thing. His connection to the living Force gave him power empathy and a sharp intuition, especially after it was honed after joining the Jedi. But it was the strangest thing, as much as other Jedi sometimes received vague premonitions, visions, or even prophetic dreams, this was never something Hannibal himself had ever experienced.

The young Jedi had been laid up for some time after the mess with the dragon and everything else. Between treatment for injuries, surgery for the cybernetic socket and the healing for that, and the acquisition and fine tuning of his arm he'd been active in only a limited capacity for a while. It was during that time of inactivity, laying half-awake in his bed aboard his ship awash in the energies and sounds of hyperspace travel, that he'd felt... something.

A sound that called from very far away. A flash of light, a distant warmth that brought life to everything it touched. Hannibal didn't understand it and had dismissed it as just another thing he sometimes experienced, an odd sensation of phenomena. But it happened more than once, the same exact thing, and that had never happened before.


So he put out some feelers into the galaxy and went off to find a Jedi once he was good and ready as well as an offer for a quest of sorts to a Jedi who may be interested. The one who'd responded- rather shortly and succinctly, even- was not one he really knew all that well. But hey he wasn't going to complain.

Hannibal waited in front of his ship in an open area on Yavin, idling watching the birds and insects flutter about in the distant jungle and smoking a cigarra and looking rather deep in thought. Sevrin had been told where to find him and that he'd know him when he saw him.

The brightly coloured robes would doubtless give him away amongst the sea of greenery and simple browns and blacks most chose instead.


@Sreeya
 

Sevrin Valtiere

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Ever since he decided he would take the fight to the Sith, Sevrin was determined to hunt down any artifacts or leads that would help with that endeavor. Though he hadn’t worked with the man before, Councilor Grayza was well known among both Jedi and Rangers. Sevrin had read up on him, including about his specialties with healing and psychometry. He had also heard that he would likely be leading up the Jedi Shadow initiatives - something Sevrin had a great amount of interest in.

Sevrin could spot the bright colored robes almost at once, his very sharp eyes picking up every detail. The Sephi had no real opinions on the choice of attire, his own rather bland. He was exactly part of the masses that Hannibal stood out against. He was dressed in a tan Jedi tunic and pants with a brown belt that had his saber stashed away in it. His hair was tied in a neat ponytail, a lock or two tucked behind a fluted ear.

He could be seen approaching from quite a distance away, and he certainly didn’t speed up. Sevrin took in sight of his surroundings, familiarizing himself with Yavin again after being gone for a while.

The Sephi approached the Councilor, noticing the vibrant emerald eyes at once that contrasted sharply against the black hair. Sevrin’s own gaze was analytical and piercing, and there was no real expression on his face.

“Master Grayza, but you prefer to simply be called Hans,” He stated flatly, “Call me Sevrin,” He extended a hand to shake politely before his gaze flicked past him to his ship and then back to him, “Do we have a lead?”

@Mr. Teatime
 

Hannibal Grayza

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Hannibal didn't immediately look over in the direction Sevrin was approaching from, apparently too taken in by the movements of the natural world reflected in his eyes. His head did turn once he approached fairly close and somehow or other it might seem those brilliant emerald eyes still reflected the mirrored light of the living things he'd been looking at just a few seconds past.

They had a strange and distant light, subtly warm and yet still so very far away.


"Hans it is," the young Jedi affirmed breezily with that ever-present smirk and offered his right hand to shake. His left arm was clearly not there at the moment, the sleeve allowed to flap freely while the right was rolled up to reveal the wide array of colourful tattoos and converted scars.

"Nice ta meetcha. That we do." Hannibal turned to walk up his ship's ramp and waved his hand toward it. "C'mon in, stuff's inside."

Within looked much like a Jedi had converted a yacht into a strange variation of a personalized Jedi temple. Which is exactly what had happened, trinkets and books organized along the walls and a large section of what had once been a dance floor now filled with training equipment and sparring mats. Hannibal walked past all those things to a section of the ship that served as an office and tapped at some buttons to bring up a galaxy map.

"I've got an idea or two." He pointed to what was clearly Tython on the map. "There's an old overgrown temple here. Apparently- and don't ask me how, please- there's something like a holocron in it bonded with the plants. Something about it might lead us to what we're looking for. Related, uh..." He pointed down to the far south toward Terminus.

"Apparently here there have also been some rumours. Helpful, right?"


@Sreeya
 

Sevrin Valtiere

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Sevrin’s eyes flicked down briefly to the tattoos, some of them reminding him of the tribal artwork that he had seen back on Thustra. He followed the Councilor into his ship, scanning everything around him. It was clear that everything had been repurposed to serve the needs of a Jedi that spent quite a bit of time on it. It was not too unlike his own setup as he often traveled for his padawan bootcamps.

The Sephi was silent the entire time, following until Hans pulled up the map. He heard the Jedi out, surprised at how vague the information was, but it certainly sounded interesting. When he followed up with a sarcastic quip, Sevrin simply shrugged, “Good enough for me. Let’s get going.”

He wasn’t above chasing things down based on an inkling from the Force. It was, after all, what led him away from the path of being in line for King and becoming Jedi instead. His father had detested it, but he had since remarried. This way he got the positive Jedi publicity and could work on an heir.

Unless Hans had anything else to discuss, Sevrin would take a seat in the co-pilot chair next to him, pulling up a datapad to quietly read up on Tython. He was more reserved by nature, content with keeping to himself unless addressed.

@Mr. Teatime
 

Hannibal Grayza

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Hannibal shrugged back with a big grin on his face and turned to get into the cockpit. It was almost nice to have to try and explain every little whatever the hell it was than ran through the young Jedi's head and lead him to one thing or another. He'd been struggling with that exact concept his entire career and having to translate those things into actual helpful words.

Sevrin's aloof laid-back-ness was actually quite refreshing by comparison. How was Hannibal supposed to explain what a flash of colour or a strange sound that only he could perceive was supposed to mean, anyway?

He plopped down into the pilot's seat and did a fairly decent job of handling the buttons and everything one-handed, although several switches and controls seemed to be interacted with using a flicker of thought instead. Before long the ship would lift from the jungle clearing and angle to accelerate off toward space while the navicomputer handled a series of jump calculations to Tython.


"I appreciate you offerin' to lend me a hand," he suddenly said with a cheeky grin spreading across his face. '"Causes I'm short one, see."


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Sevrin Valtiere

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Sevrin read through the known descriptions of Tython - which were a bit sparse in places. It once had an old temple there, but it had its jungles and mountains along with fauna. The Sephi felt the engines rev up as the ship began to rise and move towards the atmosphere in preparation for a jump. He was secretly thankful for the modifications made on the ship for taller beings, and for once he was actually comfortable in his seat with enough room for his legs. Clearly Hans had run into similar issues with his own height.

He heard the quip from Hans and there was no reaction from the Sephi. Silver eyes remained on the datapad as a finger tapped to move to the next page of text. He read rapidly, drinking in the information and educating himself before they arrived.

“Tython has likely been abandoned for a while,” He explained as he continued to read, “We will not want to be caught unarmed.”

Sevrin’s gaze never left the screen, his expression blank.

@Mr. Teatime
 

Hannibal Grayza

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Hannibal's big grin widened unashamedly as his terrible joke was nonchalantly and stoically returned. He let out a short, barking laugh in his amusement and leaned back more comfortably in his seat, which had in fact been swapped out from stock for something that fit particularly tall individuals.

"Hans' hands shan't handle holocrons helplessly! Or so it seems, eh?" Hannibal laughed again, flicked another pair of switches, and then gripped a lever. "Jumping now," he warned before he pulled it to launch them into hyperspace toward Tython. Then he sat back a moment, watched the blues pass by, before turning his seat to stand and leave the cockpit entirely.

"Got fruit snacks if ya want any," he called as he passed the bar, grabbing a bag for himself on his way to the workshop corner. Hannibal popped one into his mouth and then opened a case by the wall, pulled what was clearly a cybernetic arm out of it, and placed it onto the workbench to adjust and clean it. He'd gotten into a habit of almost obsessively fine-tuning it after every use.

What was odd about this of course was that he wasn't currently using it.

"Oh, y'may want to brush up on local flora and fauna. Just sayin."


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Sevrin Valtiere

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Sevrin’s ears twitched at the barking laugh, though there was no other indication of any kind of reaction. He continued to read through his notes as the Councilor rattled off a series of puns before jumping into hyperspace. The Sephi remained politely silent as they jumped into the spiraling vortex, his gaze lifting to regard it for a moment.

He didn’t leave the cockpit at first even when Hans did, focusing back on the datapad. However, the other man announcing about snacks told Sevrin that joining him in a common area was probably the more sociable thing to do. The Sephi set the datapad down and rose up, walking out of the cockpit. Once again he marveled at the lack of a need to hunch - something that plagued him all his life since he was away from Thustra.

Sevrin grabbed himself some of the aforementioned fruit snacks. He checked around the bar for anything else, spotting the means to make tea. He would check for permission before helping himself, a lifelong fan of the drink since his noble days.

He took his tea and snacks, walking over to observe the Councilor at work on a cybernetic arm. The Sephi watched with mild interest until Hans spoke. He popped a fruit snack into his mouth as his gaze remained on the cybernetic. He heard Hans mutter about the local fauna.

“Why, you simply can’t tell me yourself?” He asked bluntly before looking up at him, popping another snack in.

“You set the posterior plating horizontally instead of vertically,” He said as he looked back at the arm, “That plate is elevated slightly more than it should be.”

@Mr. Teatime
 

Hannibal Grayza

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Hannibal waved the other Jedi on amiably for tea-making. He himself drank it fairly often and had a good many varieties laying around from his travels across the galaxy, both inexpensive stuff and a small amount of pricier leaves and mixes. Meanwhile he just kept on with his tinkering and what would seem to any reasonable person to be extremely minute adjustments.

Sevrin's verbal reply to Hannibal's suggestion got him to turn around a little, smirking once more.


"I s'pose I could." He looked thoughtful for a few seconds before the next bit of commentary came in about the arm he was working on. Emerald eyes turned down to look at it and he chuckled softly to himself, putting down a tool and lifting the mechanical limb with his one good arm.

"'Yeah it is." He removed the piece quietly, his smile growing a little strained. The servomotor systems beneath were larger and more complicated than it would normally be. "Testin' something. Need a new plate." Hannibal paused. "Maybe. Dunno yet."

He turned to look at the Sephi Jedi. "Got some mechanical interest?"


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Sevrin Valtiere

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Sevrin stared blankly at Hans as he mentioned he could share details about fauna….followed by not doing any of that. He went back to tinkering with the arm, leaving the Sephi to stare at him, perplexed. He had heard about the eccentric nature of the Councilor, but he was now witnessing it first hand. Luckily the Sephi was easygoing by nature, and he could rapidly adapt to most personality types.

“Yes,” He stated as his gaze fell back on the arm, “I train a lot of padawans and workplace hazards happen quite a bit,” Sevrin stated with a slight shrug. Being a Jedi was not a simple hobby - even padawans placed themselves in tremendous danger and often lost limbs. He popped in another fruit snack, watching him work and noting the complex system. It almost seemed unnecessary and tracked very closely with exuberance he’d expect back on Thustra.

He said nothing else, stepping away momentarily to survey some of the artifacts he had. The Sephi was not nosy by nature, but Hannibal created a comfortable ambiance that told him he wouldn’t mind. He sipped from his tea as he paused in front of a helmet with cat ears. It looked vaguely familiar, though he couldn’t remember from where. It was rare for him to struggle to recall a memory, and he found himself frozen in place staring at it.

@Mr. Teatime
 

Hannibal Grayza

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"Yeah, that makes sense." Jedi training was often personal and varied based on the teacher and not everything exactly what one might reasonably consider 'safe'. Hannibal's own training methods had been occasionally been referred to as "too difficult" on the rare times he'd actually taught anyone. Crix's had started a little slower but it certainly wasn't gentle.

Worst comes to worst he could run for a damn long time by now and sing the whole time. Mama Grayza would be proud.

But all that wasn't even counting the plain old fact that Jedi were warriors as well as peacekeepers, especially recently. Sometimes a limb was lost for a good cause, sometimes by accident. Such was life in the galaxy.

Hannibal had been oddly still at his train of thought wandered off and by the time he came to Sevrin had wandered off as well. The tool came back to hand and he very, very slightly adjusted the tightness of something before replacing the cover plate. Was he being too precise with it? Maybe, but he was doing it anyway.

The arm was brought up to the socket and pushed into place with a grimace and then grabbed another tool. Sevrin would clearly hear a grit-toothed hiss of pain as a socket was tightened to connect the arm and the socket fully, including the nerve connection, a notably painful process. After a few seconds Hannibal relaxed, his entire body having tensed up, and only then he did turn around while the mechanical fingers idly flexed.


"Found Nash's helmet I see."


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Sevrin Valtiere

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Sevrin’s ears picked up the noises coming from adjusting the cybernetic arm and placing it. He heard that hiss of pain, the sensation tangible enough to where Sevrin felt it down his spine. Dealing with padawans all the time meant he also specialized in healing, and this made him grow attuned to the pain of others to a clinical degree. It wasn’t quite empathy, but it helped him target and heal.

When Hans came over and mentioned the name, the silver eyes grew slightly wide with recognition, “That’s it...this was hers,” He mused aloud, thinking back to older times among the Jedi. Everything had seemed simpler then even though Sith existed. His mind vaguely drifted to Oren, his face twitching just slightly as he felt an unexpected streak of displeasure jolt through him.

Sevrin turned to look at Hans, watching the stiff way his cybernetic hung from his stump. It was clear he didn’t use this very often, “May I?” He inquired politely before stepping forth. Sevrin used the Force to call a few tools over, leaning in close to adjust a few things along the plates. It was against what the factory settings would suggest, but he had done this enough times for his students to know what tweaks to make, “There is a happy medium to be found between comfort and durability and it just…” He looked focused as he worked, adjusting a few things here and there as he was mere inches away from Hans, “Needs a few specific little configuration changes to find it.”

He finished up and glanced up at Hans briefly before stepping back, “Wave it around and see what you think.”

@Mr. Teatime
 

Hannibal Grayza

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Hannibal's eyes were wistfully on the cat-eared helmet. He apparently hadn't caught the minute change in the other Jedi's expression, or perhaps simply didn't react to it, instead being rather still with a strangely far away expression. Motion resumed when Sevrin directly spoke to him and he blinked, as if from sleep.

He gave Sevrin a shrug and lifted the arm for him to work on. This time he did watch what was being done to the arm. Sevrin was close to him but his attention was very specifically on his hands, the way his voice sounded, and other things that couldn't really be caught with the naked eye. Hannibal looked amused after a few seconds of the work.


"Dunno about happy, but if it works..." Hannibal trailed off as the work was finished and he raised it again. Different joints turned and whirred quietly, plates clanking as the fingers folded inwards and then out again. It was clearly designed to move closer to a droid's limb than a human-mimicking prosthetic. It was a precision and even movement aside from the young Councilor's awkwardness with it. Based on the way he looked at it he wasn't terribly fond of the limb.

Even so it seemed to move around more smoothly.

"Well now that's helpful," he said, going through a series of wrist and elbow rotations. "Y'know your stuff, Sev. Cybernetics ain't my forte. Used to droids n' such." Which was likely part of the problem now that he thought of it. Not all of that skill translated over to a prosthetic. He moved it in front of him to examine the changes.


"Still don't think I'll ever get used to it, though."

 

Sevrin Valtiere

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Sev?

Both eyebrows rose slightly at that. He hadn’t been called Sev by anyone in a very long time, normally having kept a respectable distance before anyone could get comfortable enough to call him that. The Sephi didn’t correct Hans, deciding that the man simply preferred nicknames all around.

“You’ll never get used to it,” Sevrin stated flatly, not one to sugarcoat things. Prosthetics were always a challenge for anyone to adopt, and he had heard enough whining from his students to know it never got seamless even over the years.

For a moment Sevrin simply surveyed the other man, pondering how he appeared rather young even for his species. And yet he had ascended to the rank of Councilor. The Sephi certainly liked taking his time getting to ranks, but clearly Hans had done enough to get noticed to warrant the promotions. There was a great deal of wisdom that he likely possessed and Sevrin made a mental note to learn what he could.

For now, the Sephi finished up his tea and walked over to sit down at a nearby seat. The ship may have been repurposed, but some of the areas to lounge remained cushy and comfortable. Sevrin drew out his datapad and pulled up a book to read, making himself comfortable in the space he was in.

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Hannibal Grayza

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Mid-survey, Hannibal's face arranged itself into a wry grin and emeralds looked directly at the Sephi Jedi. He didn't answer right away but figured Sevrin was probably correct. The replacement limb was purely useful but it wasn't actually alive. It felt no more a part of him than a blaster or the ship around then, their existence in the Force barely even there at all.

He left the other man to his tea for a little while he continued to mess with the tweaked arm, wandering off as well toward the center bar and going through it to make some tea of his own. Hannibal obviously favoured the use of his real arm over the other, although he seemed to be fairly coordinated with it for certain things and less so for others, mostly involving holding and manipulating the cup or kettle. He set a bit of loose leaf to steep and looked up to find Sevrin on his datapad.

Hannibal walked out from behind the bar and looked at him for a moment.


"But the real question is," The young Councilor suddenly asked, posing a little with a widening grin and an eyebrow raising in an exaggerated fashion like a magazine cover model, his flesh hand leaning on his hip and cybernetic curled up like a strongman. "Do I look dashing in my new arm? C'mon, be honest."


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Sevrin Valtiere

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Sevrin was in the middle of reading about Barnabus the Third and his theory on the healing properties of a specific kind of herb found on Ryloth when Hans spoke. Silver gaze glanced up at the grin and the sudden pose, followed with one of the strangest queries he heard in a while. Sevrin stared in silence, the datapad lowering briefly to his lap.

There was no real change in expression on his face in spite of Hannibal and his antics. His eyes flicked up and down in a very calculated, analyzing fashion. His head tilted just the slightest bit before he spoke very matter of factly, “You are pleasing to behold regardless of the cybernetic,” He assessed as if appraising a work of art with vague interest. It was certainly clear he was being honest as requested.

Sevrin didn’t go back to his reading, deciding it was impolite to do so when being addressed. As always, he had an air of dignified calm about him, face set in a focused expression with eyes always dissecting what they took in. Currently they stared into the emeralds with unwavering resolve.

@Mr. Teatime
 

Hannibal Grayza

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Hannibal was clearly amused by the fact that Sevrin entertained his joke at all, much less so seriously. He winked cheekily and moved the arm down into a more neutral position when he got the feedback, chuckling softly. Rather in contrast to the other man his reactions and expressions were laid-back and breezy, not really taking things all that seriously on the surface.

"I'll take pleasin' I suppose," he said after a moment, looking back over at Sevrin. Emerald and silvers mad direct contact for a couple seconds then, the Sephi getting a good look at that light that lay just behind the green. It was almost like a reflection of life peaking through the tiniest of cracks. It was the calm and inevitable shift of time and seasons-

He turned away to head back to the bar and take the delicate white tea leaves out of his cup, very slowly with his cybernetic fingers like a particularly shitty claw machine that only got used tea leaves, and then moved the cup over to the bar.


"Would y'mind tellin' me about the Sephi?"


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Sevrin Valtiere

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The Sephi was well versed in being coolly detached to recognize when someone else did it. For him it was largely genetic, but he couldn’t decipher whether that was the case with Hans. He could see faint traces of something in his eyes, but he didn’t know him well enough to identify exactly what.

Sevrin looked down at his datapad again when Hans walked away. His sensitive ears twitched as he bodily cringed at the sound of metallic fingers scraping against a cup. His discomfort didn’t manifest on his face, his twitching ears the only things betraying how much the sound bothered him. They were almost comical, flicking and shifting in exact concert with Hans and his scraping.

He looked up at Hans’ question, mildly surprised at the curiosity displayed at his people. Sevrin, of course, had quite a bit to say considering his royal upbringing and his father just so happening to be the king of Thustra. He would leave all that out for now.

“As a culture Sephi are very much inclined towards fine arts and luxuries. Every architecture is refined and built with care and precision to an almost excessive degree,” His gaze subtly flicked to Hans’ cybernetic arm before back up to his eyes, “They are long lived with most living out to 400 or more years. I’m told we often come off as….aloof and not entirely approachable,” The corners of his lips tugged just barely at a smile, “It’s certainly true for me as I've discovered with difficulty.”

Sevrin hadn’t exactly been asked this question before and he thought about various different things. His gaze went to one of the doorways on the ship, “We tend to be tall. I am about average height, but I have not yet reached my full stature yet. Judging by the modifications on your ship, I think you would feel right at home on the Sephi home planet of Thustra.”

He looked back at Hans then, “Is there anything specific you wished to ask?”

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Hannibal Grayza

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Hannibal only caught the last of the ear movement from the side as he turned back around but made no mention of it, although he did look a little amused for a moment. It reminded him of his cat. After being moved the teacup was solely held and drunk from in his right hand which he seemed very comfortable and familiar with and also had the benfit of not touching it with war droid fingers of auditory misery.

He listened to the other Jedi speak with a sort of comfortable stillness aside from the tea drinking and the expressions on his face. It was clear he was interested in the information and emeralds were directly on Sevrin, the tiniest hint of a lip twitch and mention of aloofness resulting in a smirk of his own. Hannibal's eyes traveled next to the doorway and his eyebrows rose a little, fingers tip-tapping on the bartop as he considered them.


"You're gonna get taller?" he mused allow and turned back, giving Sevrin a quite overt once-over. "Less a drink of water and more a pool, eh?" Hannibal grinned at him.

"What's the government like?"


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Sevrin Valtiere

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Sevrin’s thoughts were far away for a moment, reflecting back to his father and briefly his mother. He harbored hints of anger at her for betraying the family and shattering everything he knew. His thoughts vaguely drifted towards the rumors surrounding her and anything that may have come from that affair. No, it was all media driven garbage intended to paint his family in a negative light.

The Sephi was distracted when Hans spoke, sharp gaze flicking back to the emeralds when he spoke. He didn’t miss that overt appraisal. If Sevrin was amused he didn’t show it, but he responded right back without missing a beat, “Perhaps not a pool,” He stated dryly, “Chlorine isn’t as easy on the eyes or taste.”

“Thustra has a monarchy,”
Sevrin said next, the transition of topics deceptively smooth and his tone exactly the same, “The King ascends from a royal council of noblemen. Due to our longevity, kings have terms for which they can rule. No king may rule over a hundred years,” He explained, his gaze never leaving Hans. His expression never changed the entire time, always calm and collected and no subtle or tiny gestures to break the resolve.

“You are...Morellian?” Sevrin didn’t exactly feel like lingering on the the King of Thustra, the topic far too close to home for a man he had a strained relationship with.

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