Face claimJames Norton
"I can't believe what I'm hearing now...No available medicus in this instant? You've got to be joking!" It was probably to be expected, but according to one of the returning legionaries all of the slaves posessing medical expertise were currently preoccupied tending to other war captives that suffered similar fates to this Briton in front of him. It became clear enough that waiting until one of them didn't have his hands hands was out of the question, considering the senator could notice how much pain the Briton in questioning was suffering and he was slowly yet surely being drained out of his remaining strength as time went by without proper care and energy in the form of food. No, Lucius had to quickly come up with a viable alternative, whilst taking a look at the Briton once more who probably felt lost and scared, not knowing what's going to happen with him in the next moments, him being a complete stranger in the lands of foreigner's who ravaged his and everyone he knew back home. Luckily it didn't take long enough for the senator to realise that the solution was easily obvious.
"Let's bring him to my Domus located on the Palatine Hill: we'll make use of my own medicus. Now, could you please hurry up and fetch a stretcher with a pair of slaves to carry him?" With only a few strange looks exchanged between the Roman soldiers, Lucius' command was obeyed and two slaves did in fact arrive with a stretcher, entering the cell as it were, gently lifting the damaged Briton from the cold, hard floor and unto it making sure that they didn't cause unnecessary suffering to his leg. As the entourage exited the prisoner complex and made their way out of the Roman Forum, Lucius couldn't help but feel shamefuly pity towards the other captives sitting in their cages and cells as if they were merely animals waiting to be used for butcherous entertainment or outright pets with no seminal value whatsoever. But he had to reason wth himself about trying his best, as he couldn't simply help everyone who may have needed such a merciful aid to begin with, just like how he told himself that prior to meeting this Briton who had a chance at survival if taken care of.
The Palatine Hill happened to be the location of the the Imperial Family and their palace, surrounded by the homes of Rome's fabulously rich, located roughly 40 meters above the Roman Forum. These homes were only granted to the privileged few families who'd been long time supporters of the Caesars, which included Lucius' own, and these homes could've been considered palaces in their own right. The Domus of the Furii-Pontii family was similar like the others when it came to opulence and design, though it was notable in particular as to how the layout was presented, where aesthetics were intelligently incorporated with practicality, especially in how different sectors and rooms were divided and organised between them. Roman and Thracian symbolism in the form of motifs and mythology were meticulously chosen to decorate the interior, which was reflected clearly in the outlying garden area, offering full tranquility and contemplation to the family members. However, due to the crisis back in 63 AD and other factors, many family members either died or moved elsewhere.
Aside from his sister who was already residing with her husband's family and occasionally visited, Lucius remained to be the only member of the family to reside there permanently, aside from the hundreds of slaves who were busy in the large Domus' maintenance and making sure that everything was running according to plan. Some of them happened to be waiting already right at the entrance, expecting their master and a peculiar guest as they received a messenger who informed them of their arrival already. A dussin or so eyes were quickly aligned to further inspect the war captive lying there on that stranger, though their concentration were soon fixated on the senator giving them instructions. "Alright listen up, I want him to be transported immediately to the medical room where our Medicus will heal him. Whilst that's under way, I also want him to be given all the compliments that a regular guest visiting the Domus would receive: food, clothing, massage...You know the drill, and oh kindly clean him as well, considering it smells like a wet dog's among us." He chuckled. "Understood? Alright, let's get a move on people and perform your expected duties!"
Lucius and his two Lictors accompanied the Briton to the medical facility, instructing the latter two remain outside and guard him for his and everyone else's safety: it wouldn't have been the first time that a captive slave decided to run from it all. "Please call upon me if he tries to escape or cause violence, thank you kindly my good sirs." He left the vicinity, smiling at the the war captive who had mometarily gazed upon him, and Lucius could only imagine how it must've felt for him to suddenly receive an upgrade in accomodation and service fit for an Emperor, instead of lying there in that forsaken cell rotting away like some de facto corpse. Lucius also made sure that the ones about to attend to his wellbeing were the most beautiful female slaves he had in the household, and one could say that there was a multitude of them, a privilege afforded only by the wealthiest of senators, and having that many certainly offered additional advantages and benefits many could only possibly fantasize about. Feeling assured that the Briton would receive a momentous 'joyful' time of his life, he made his way back to what one would call an 'office'.
1 HOUR LATER...
One of the trusted slaves and closest friends Lucius had within the household happened to be his old yet wise butler (OOC: name to be determined later). He happened to have served a few generations of Lucius' family ever since he was a learned young man being a Greek in origin, and over time he climbed the ranks to attain this honorable position for someone of his status, making good use of his knowledge about law and rhetoric, and he couldn't have wished anything else than to serve in this particular household who'd literally saved his life from destruction. The butler considered once upon a time to get the hell out of Italia once he earned the freedom from years of service, though what made him stayed was the fact that he probably no longer had any family left back home in Greece, and Master Lucius became to be the other main factor to compell him to remain in the family's service, offering every piece of advice the young Master of his desired from him. "So, how's our newfound friend doing under our care, hmm?" The butler asked, about to finish the conversation with Lucius.
"Haven't had the time yet to check up on him, though I received a message from one of the servants he's well taken care of and the Medicus has done a superb job mending that leg of his. With enough rest he should be able to recover swiftly and walk properly again, thank the Lord for that. I'm still waiting for one of the overseers to arrive, so we may negotiate the terms of transferring his ownership to me, though it's sad to say that he needs to be deprived of this comfort and start training in a Ludus." Lucius said so in a somewhat depressed manner, as he knew that he had no choice but to probably send him back out there and risk the Briton's life through close combat. Not even an influential Praetor could dictate everything to his wishes and one had to comply with the customs and laws dominating the empire, and even the Butler knew this. Both of them had actually read through scrolls detailing the laws, though no matter how much their brains had to devise a solution, there wasn't a perfect ending in sight.
The paticular room there were in was known as the 'Tablinum', situated one one side of the atrium and opposite to the entrance. It happened to be the office in a Roma house, the father's centre for business where he would receive clients. The walls were richly decorated with fresco pictures, and busts of the family were arranged on pedestals on the two sides of the room. The old butler took the opportunity to sit on a chair opposite the desk, whilst Lucius was more active circulating the room with his hands interconnected with one another, playing with the fingers behind his back. "Lucius you need to always reasonably about this, and don't let the emotions take control of your actions entirely. I know this annoys you immensely by making you hear this again, but remember what's at stake here. Even if you somehow manage to pull him out of his gladiatorial servitude and place him under direct care as a household slave...This wouldn't fit well in the eyes in others of the senatorial class and you know well enough how words can spread easily like wildfire, up to the Emperor's ear. As you pointed out, the others have started to suspect your changes as a person, giving up on your tremendous amounts of drinking and whoring, something I can only feel gratitude for finally adhering to. Now I may not agree with all of the tenets of these Christians, especially how one can believe a Jewish man claiming to be the son of a God, and declaring himself to be the entire world's saviour, such delusional...-Oh well, my point is that at least this faith is sensible enough to convince thee of abandoning practices that serve no other purpose other than promoting vile morals, how it's apparently a given fact that any man can sleep with whoever he desires, with or without their consent, even young children. It just sickens me to the absolute core and makes my insides turn upside-down."
The old butler banged his fist on the desk, and Lucius espoused the same sentiments as he couldn't believe that he was once like every other senator out there acting as if they were superior Gods towards everyone else, deciding each and every other's fate belonging to the less privileged and disgraced members of society. He decided to keep his mouth shut for now and continue listening to the old Butler as he spoke, though he chuckled a bit as to how he referenced Jesus. "Going back to the point I was trying to make...You need to be more cautious when trying to implement changes; For example, it's perfectly alright that this household now only eats more fruits and vegetables without the consumption of meat, save for few special occasions of course when we're celebrating or guests are coming over to visit. I've personally felt better as a whole since we made this radical decision, and my inflamations around my ankles and joints have lessened considerably; At least this Briton will now get a luxurious taste of the type of diet he'll receive in the Ludus. If these senatores think it's us cutting costs ignoring the healthy benefits and reserving meat consumption for special occasions, then so be it. But when it comes to the matters of slaves...Your entire reputation and face is on the line whenever you try to buckle that trend; you're going to be considered to be un-Roman and a weak man. No one in this household thinks so, especially someone like myself who has everything to be great for thanks to you Master Lucius. Try to continue adapting to the current situation at hand and make the best of it, that's all you can really do for him and so many others. I wouldn't try to challenge the Emperor's wrath, as I fear that me and the 499 colleagues of mine will have a rough time ahead if something were to happen with you."
Lucius could only agree to what his trusted on friend had to say about this dilemma, and after a few seconds of contemplating the next steps, he told him that this Briton would be sent to the gladiatorial school that his family supported for decades, Ludus Dacicus, as at least he knew the owner personally and in theory keep an extra eye of him, as to which the butler nodded in approval. Afterwards, the young senator thanked him once more for the advice and that he stood by his family's side for so many years, despite being given the chance to leave as a free man when he no longer had an obligation to serve. The butler then reminded him about his faher Lucius major, who always was a man of honor if he wasn't an outright angel, never betraying Lucius' mom and his wife Tullia Maria by lying with others and always showed decency towards the slaves who'd earn their upkeep, whilst showing the same disapproval of Lucius' 'carefree' lifestyle prior to his eventual death and the son's subsequent conversion to the Christian faith. Whether he and the mother would've approved of it, one could only hope they wouldn't consider it to be betraying Roman traditions, but they would have been glad at Lucius' radical change of lifestyle for sure.
"Ah welcome, please take a seat. We have a few matters to discuss..." Lucius said, greeting the overseer of the war captives by the entrance to the office and lead him to the disk, whilst the butler stood beside the desk.
SOME ADDITIONAL TIME LATER...
It didn't take much convincing at all to negotiate the change the Briton's ownership to Lucius, as well as transferring him to the Ludus Dacicus. Now that the bureaucratic parts were taken care of, it was thus finally time for the senator to check upon his newly acquired slave that was for now spared from certain death. He waited outside the medical room for one of his other slaves, who happened to be a briton as well though it wasn't a guarantee that she spoke the same language as him. One could only hope that it was the case: "So, are you ready my dear?" Lucius asked the female interpreter, as to which she said that she was indeed for the duty at hand, right before the duo entered to see the Briton being pampered at by the female slaves. They've seemed to have taken a liking at him , rubbing in oils and what not on his skin, giggling and couldn't take their mesmerising looks on him. Indeed, he was quite attractive with those characteristic physical features of his and Lucius could see that behind those eyesied an intriguing personality that he couldn't wait getting to know more about.
"Thank you my beautiful ladies, but I would't mind spending some time with our guest privately. I'll call upon you in a bit." he smiled towards them, as each and everyone of them made a gullible sigh and joked amongst themselves how they must leave this handsome, stunning man already. With the last females exiting the medical room, and the medicus doing so as well, Lucius gathered chairs for himself and the interpreter from a corner of the room and sat opposite to the Briton resting on a bed. Nodding at the interpreter, he began the conversation, hopinh that he could understand his female counterpart. "Good day to you, I'm senator Lucius Furius Pontius Thracius and you're currently being patched up in my home on the Palatine hill, which is actually the same location where our highest leader, the Emperor, and his family resides as well. I'm glad to say that I managed to find you in time or your fate would've belonged to a different, dreadful outcome to put it mildly so. What's your name young man, and where do you exactly come from? I'm aware that your origins lie in Britannia, but nothing more than that."
He decided to take it easy at first before making the conversation a bit more advanced, knowing that there would've been alot for this Briton to take in and the circumstances he currently experienced must've felt like highly unusual and unexpected.
"I don't have one...yet, though I would love her with all of my heart, if she proved to be my one true soul mate"
Favorite type of gladiator?
"Indeed, it must've been the Divinity which brought us two strangers together, and out of something entirely else in a beautiful manner." For Lucius though, it was the doing of only one God when referring to that term. With no faith remaining in the 'old gods', he still respected these false deities in a way, considering the fact that they've meant so much to so many, including his own family who regarded Mars, the Red God of War, as the official patron. It tied in rather well with their supposed warlike Thracian heritage giving them their signature physical features within the red spectrum, as well as a hefty temper which wasn't something to mess with unless one could call one's self as brave and crazy enough to bear it. The senator still acted as a patron towards the family's charioteer team and gladiatorial school, making good use of Mars as a maskot and an effective maskot at that. He smiled back, as it wasn't every every he could call a once stranger of a boy his friend.
"Lexus, I would gladly give you a personal tour of the Forum, which as evidently enough is my place of work. I'm so glad that you even considered making such a suggestion for the next activity in which both of us can do. I suggest that we go now then if you feel satisfied with your honey-cakes and wine, as we can hopefully spare enough time and potentially see interesting things on the way." He had to make an edit to himself in regards to feeling depressed when having to return to the forum, as it was naturally an entirely different matter together if he took with him a friend or two, and he tuly thrived on showing others how the Roman state apparatus actually functioned, including 'Barbarians' who recently moved into the city and really had no one else to turn to other than a rather open-minded Lucius. The senator proceeded to take up the basket and motioned the little friend to start walking beside him down the hill, taking one last look on the horizon and the magnificent view of the city. He would most likely return one day with someone else he considered to be close with.
"Is there anything else you'd wish to ask me about? I'll do my best to continue answering to the best of my ability."
"Brittonic? That's a rather good first choice of language, as now when I come to think about it there are a few contacts of mine with Brittonic origins,. I can't think of any other way to show their appreciation well enough, than to learn their tongue and as you noted non-Romans show more tendency to be multilingual compared to ordinary Romans, and I do sincerely hope that my Senatorial colleagues will show more interest in taking the their time in learning foreign languages in general." Well as if these 'Barbarians' had any choice to begin with, now that there's a new 'master in the house' so to speak, though it would do his own countrymen sitting on high pedestals in society if they could show the same courtesy as well if they'd wish to be more liked, though he supposed that no matter if they were more open or not, slavery was the other issue which severely set the tone of being feared rather than loved. Whatever the case may be, he didn't want to dwell on that too much as these 'injustices' were to remain for a rather long while and it made him more tired.
"Oh my, the teacher lets the student decide where the lesson should be held? That's rather unorthodox!" Lucius teased her, though at the same time he was the client after all who requested this, and not the other way around. Ooh, where could they sit privately and quietly, with little to no disturbances from everyone else. As he had to come up with a solution rather quickly, he noticed how her stance towards him softened: Was it his good looks? The prospects of earning big time money from teaching him a Brittonic phrase here and there? A combination of both? The senator thought that they were off on a good start together, and hopefully it would remain the same for the duration of their time. "Ah to think that it wasn't actually that hard to come up with a suitable location...Do follow my lead." Motioning her with his hands, they began to make a move as fast as possible so that the lesson could be started without further delays. This was a good opportunity to inquire more about Aia and how she managed to earn her qualifications.
"So Aia, tell me...How come you have quite the proficiency when it comes to languages? He asked, taking another look at her pretty face, as there was a matter of eloquence about her when she spoke. Her experiences must've taught her how to conduct one's self in conversations, and she seemed to have the ability to soak up large amounts of information in one go, as the senator himself knew that it wasn't easy for other to keep up with him when talking, but he could see it on Aia that she definitely wasn't like other women.
Lucius almost lost track of time sitting there under the shade, munching on honey-cakes, and interacting with a boy he hardly knew before, but now felt like they were long lost friends that had now found their way back to each other. The chatting went on for quite a few hours, though it was a fun, pleasant experience for the senator who had grown awfully tired of the serious discussion and debates that always took place with the other senators, and there hadn't been a stress-relieving conversation with someone else other than the servants in a quite a while. There was plenty of honeyed wine and honey-cakes too still lying in the basket, but the pressure that was growing inside of Lucius' stomach indicated that it was perhaps a good time to refrain from stuffing more sweets into a bloated belly. He realised however that forming a family and raising children of his own, with a soul mate he could definitely see spending the rest of his life with, became a valid priority and he couldn't thank Lexus sincerely enough for this opportunity.
"Me neither Lexus, but talking about life in general with you, along with wine and most importantly honey-cakes...I'd say that it was all worth it, and I'm glad to make a new friend out of it, something which you can attest to as well. In the process, you got yourself a new job offer that's most likely too attractive to not ignore, and all of that hard earned money will be of great use to you and your dear mother. I would've probably become depressed making a return back to the Forum Romanum and continue listening to the regular complaints and other nasty things senators these would like to talk about, rather than what's most pressing in our society today. In any case, perhaps I should stop myself there since I'm starting to exhibit the same traits as them." Even if the day wasn't technically over, Lucius dedicated some thoughts to what he should be doing with the boy after their snacking came to an end, and unless he'd like to spend a bit more time on top of the hill, it would've been wise to make some preparatory alternatives in his head.
"Say Lexus, is there something else you'd like to do, or another place in mind you'd like to visit? I have all the rest of the day to continue hanging out with you, if it's by will. There's no rush either and we can rest here a little more, being entertained by this unforgettable view."
"Oh that you will my little friend, and I'd even go as far as to claim that your wisdom will surpass mine, by the time you reach my age. Ah it seems we've reached the end of the destination, and look at the gorgeous view that's greeting us!" The hill in particular they climbed on wasn't particularly high nor steep, though it wasn't puny compared to ordinary standards, in other words it served its purpose perfectly providing a fantastic vantage point of the Eternal City and her attractions. The sun may have been scorching hot, but it seems they were blessed by taking refuge beneath some well-placed bushes, the green foilage served as a great contrasting element and also emitted a sense of peace and tranquility within the area. Save for some day dreamers Lucius found himself alone with Lexus, reconning that this would perhaps be the culmination of their afternoon socialization. He made sure that the grass wasn't too dirty, leaning his back against a tree trunk and placing the pastry-filled basket between the two of them. "Mmm, a bit of honey-cake would be appropiate now".
Lucius took a bite, and as he already expected, the quality of the ingredients and style of baking didn't disappoint, bringing forth memories from what seemed to be a forgotten, distant past. As he looked at Lexus, the senator had the chance to reflect where and how all of this began, being slightly surprised by how the afternoon's turn of events came to be in favor both him and the boy. "Isn't it typical? How easy it is to judge others based on their appearances without finding out their true character as a person, even if attire and looks certainly have their uses in circumstancial cases. Working out of free will doesn't seem to apply to those belonging to those of lesser fortunes, as there doesn't seem to be a notion that it is possible for something to be in-between. Utterly shameful to say the least." This was once more a compelling reason as to why Lucius came to despise slavery in all of its existential forms, and desired for it to be vanquished one day. His face began to shine upon hearing about Oriana's role as Lexus' new employer, however, and realised how small the world is.
"Oriana Laecania?...Why yes, most certainly do I know her and much more than that, as this very fine and astute Lady happens to be among my best friends. I've always had the privilege to receive invitations to her reputable banquets, and now that you're mentioning about being offered that job through one isn't surprising at all, as she truly thrives off of these festivities whenever she gets the chance. You're under perfectly good care, and that I can attest to! I'm actually planning to attend one of her upcoming banquets in the next few weeks as we speak, as it has been an awfully long while since that happened." Lucius truly missed Oriana's presence in his life, as she was one of the few actual friends he could ever put his entire faith and trust upon, being a great confider and listener at that, especially if one had certain problems that ought to be discussed in particular detail, or secrets that no one had to worry about being exposed for. However, with his newly turned, upside down lifestyle, he had to naturally be careful about revealing it, considering it could ruin his entire life if the wrong people were to get hold of this.
"Speaking of jobs, I'm wondering if you'd be interested in having a second job, practically at my Domus? I haven't thought out yet what you could be doing, but I'm sure the household servants wouldn't mind receiving an extra pair of hands once in a while. The pay would be most wonderful, as you would be receiving in salary at the minimum double the amount compared to others in the area, and even the chance for that to increase over time. If the need would arise, you would be provided with our own living quarters as a matter of fact." Lucius made that generous offer in order to show his sincere care and appreciation towards the boy, and was willing to aid him in succeeding early on in life. The senator had already witnessed many cases where boys in Lexus' age entered into a downward spiral that couldn't possibly be overcome, criminality being the most common consequence of lacking enough stable familial support and enough funds to secure food for the day.
"Know that my offer will always stand no matter what, and you're free to decline this for now if some thinking, as well as consultation with your mom, is required before making such a decision...Also drink a bit of Mulsum, it's important to fill up with liquids." Lucius opened a portable pouch that basically contained honeyed wine, which was a courtesy of the old woman Clovia. A refreshing and suitable drink during these periods of hot climate, the senator took a few clunks from his own pouch, and the sound of a satisfied sensation could be heard.
"Must you flatter me so? I was just messing with you, Ori! Oh gosh, you've always had the talen of picking THE wine and I think its effects are starting to twist our words." Lucius gave her a complimentary friendly slap on her leg, though truth be told she also had a way with words he thought, how she could just make anyone feel special and needed around her. It wasn't any surprise after all that her parties were received quite a large attendance since everyone were attracted to her charisma, and it wasn't just the natural beauty she posessed that made it easier to open up one's feelings towards her to begin with. "Whether it's that or something else entirely, I have to also say that you've a talent of always knowing what to do for the next course of action, and how to keep your secrets actually 'secret'. So if you find this Alexius useful for your protection and possibly other needs that requires satisfaction, then I shall also feel safe." Lucius didn't elaborate further on these other 'needs' but it was pretty evident that bodyguards could be utilized for a wide range of services that didn't necessarily relate to personal protection.
He chuckled in return upon hearing Oriana's comment about the seriousness of senators failing to preserve intact marriages. "Well I'm not sure if there's too much to be said, as I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Cheers." Lucius clinked his cup with hers and took a mouthful of wine. "I find it interesting and fascinating that it's perfectly acceptable for senators to fuck anything that moves, whether it's their own wives, slaves, whores or outright strangers, both male and female kind, voluntarily or forcefully speaking. But women aren't granted the same 'luxury', if one could call it that, as punishment awaits those who are found to be cheating in their marriages, when the men ask themselves as to why everything went to hell?" He said, taking his pinky finger and stirring the alcoholic liquid in his cup. This was one of these aspects within Roman society that he no longer supported or found to be enjoyable any longer, as being this 'wild' in bed absolutely served no purposes other than to sate a temporary feeling of lust, whilst hurting others close to one's self and even one's self.
"Quiet you little rascal! We wouldn't want stir up everyone's unimaginable imagination?" Lucius jokingly said, as a few heads were now turned towards their direction for a few seconds before resuming their regular stances. "The woman that I'll probably end up with will be the least expected of all possible choices out there, that I'm sure of, but who exactly it would be...I'll let the Divine take care of that for me, as trying to find it singlehandedly has proven to be fruitless course of direction, heh." Marrying first and foremost a Christian woman would've been the most ideal, though realistically speaking that would prove to be a naive outlook on such prospects, making the second option of acquiring a Roman woman of Pagan background much more the viable alternative, though it would be trickier with other aspects of sharing a life with someone. "Speaking of that name Alexius...how's it going with that little lovely boy currently employed under your care...Lexus? I've happened to actually have a chat with him with honey-cakes on the side some time ago, and he told me that he's taking care of your garden, getting his hands dirty so to speak. I find him to be quite bright and someone who has a keen sense for someone of his age, and I can see the huge potential for him in the future, if someone would like to give him a helpful push that is."
Receiving an invitation to the Imperial Palace may not have been an occurance on a daily basis, but when someone of his status such as senator Lucius did actually acquire one, then there was no opportunity and time to be wasted at all and it would've been taken advantage of immediately. He may not have been direct connected to the Imperial Family through marriage or any other type of blood relation (within recent memory), though that didn't stop him from being invited all due to his family's loyalty towards them, something which continued still under his leadership as the living Pater Familias of his branch, aiding in the reconstruction of vital infrastructure such as aqueducts, roads and temples, as well as the development of the empire through charitable works like orphanages and soup kitches directed towards the poorer classes. It was how he came into contact with the Caesarini Julia Drussila Augusta herself, one of the most notable undertakings involved the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the aftermath of Mount Vesuvius' volcanic eruption.
This would've attracted the attention of one of the Imperial Princesses, Claudia Caesaris, who happened to be a niece of the Caesar, and even Lucius briefly met her through his connection with the Caesarini, he gathered that she was also into restoration of vital infrastructure and works of charity, being described as interested in horses, having a keen mind for education and a desire to learn. The princess's beauty wasn't to be ignored either, as her darkly thick hair, pale ivory skin, blue eyes befitting slender, curvy body marked by a routine of physical exercise yet not tainted by any pregnacy or heavy work, would make any man bend the knee for her in an instant. A reminder sprung off in his head as his eyes gazed upon her presence in the garden whilst being led by a Praetorian, and in an instant he would also get reacquainted with impressive personality as a character. Wearing his Toga Praextata, which was a toga with a broad purple stripe on its border, worn over a tunic with two broad, verticle purple stripes, Lucius was there to build a influentially powerful connection, and he'd wager that it was exactly the same thing for the Princess.
Putting on a friendly smile of confidence, he approached her to steadily greet her as the man she was waiting for. "Claudia Caesaris, let me just say that it's such an honor to receive an invitation to the Domus Augusta, and it shall be a pleasure and privilege to enter into a cooperation that will only mean great fortunes for the empire. The Caesarini has spoken highly of thee every time we've worked together for the greater good." Lucius took her hand and kissed it gently, hoping it would flatter her by the very least and possibly resolve of any tensions in this proper encounter they finally organised together.