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First impressions


Chevi
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@Echo

Tutoring a young noblewoman could not be any harder than negotiating with barbarians, right?...

When the Fates offered Aia a way to not die, she took it, every single time. When "not dying" involved taking on a new life in a new place, and giving up her service as an interprex for the legions, she took that too. A fancy household of a noble family could only be an improvement on her previous circumstances, surely. And if she had to teach some barbaric languages to some children, then what? She had faced down stark naked Britons waving swords and spears before. Granted, it did not always go that well, but she was here, wearing a dress (Juno damn the dress), and ready to live a better, more comfortable life.

Which, in this case, involved presenting herself to the members of the household. Among them, young Caecina Tusca. 

Aia was told that the young lady was to be found in the garden, so she headed there, doing her best to look presentable in her tunica and stola, and keeping the scarf on her head in place. Her short-cropped hair was a disaster, so for lack of a better option, she was going to keep covering it until it grew out. She looked around sheepishly, trying to see where Caecina was waiting. Or if she was waiting at all. One could never be sure about the daughters of nobility...

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Caecina was sitting in a chair, one leg draped over the other at the knee. It was a nice enough day out, with the sun shining brightly enough to offset the occasional chill wind. She adjusted her warm palla over her shoulders and sat back comfortably. The ambiance of the garden was relaxing her, but she perked up when she heard footsteps nearby. She had been told that her new tutor would be around shortly, so she stood from her seat and smoothed her skirts, looking around until she saw the other woman. 

Instantly, Caecina homed in on the fact that this woman was not comfortable in her clothes. At every party in her recent memory, Caecina had analyzed the comfort of other young women in their clothes and had gained a good recognition of the key signs of discomfort. But she wasn't ill-bred enough to comment on it. Instead, the young lady smiled brightly and approached her. "Salve! How nice to meet you, you must be Aia?" She didn't go for an embrace of greeting yet, as she wasn't sure how this woman would react. This was sure to be an interesting time. 

 

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The young woman that was waiting for her looked like a true lady of Rome. Aia did not have natural born trust for other women, especially when they were from the nobility, which was a strange and alien world for her. But right now, she was doing her best to be accepted into the family as a tutor, and to do the work she had been hired for to the best of her ability.

"Salve! How nice to meet you, you must be Aia?"

"Salve, domina" Aia nodded in greeting, looking at her new pupil. She seemed friendly enough, or at least not completely opposed to the idea that she had a new tutor. "A pleasure to meet you. I am told you are ready for your language lessons?"

@Echo

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Caecina gazed at her new tutor with a smile. This woman seemed very different from others she had met, certainly different from other slaves. Though she seemed uncomfortable with her dress and being in this environment, she had a way about her that suggested... not exactly confidence, something that Caecina couldn't quite put a finger on. She quickly ignored her curiosity at this thought and smiled anew. "I suppose I am, though I will warn you that languages are not my strong suit."

 

She beckoned Aia back toward the house. Her position in the garden had been strategic, hoping to lessen the time she would have to devote to the lesson, but she wasn't sure if it would work. The pair found an empty room and Caecina sat down, glancing at her new tutor. "What have you to teach me?" Her tone was not unfriendly. 

Edited by Echo
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There was a way people in the household tended to look at Aia. She knew she was an awkward site, and not exactly as graceful as she was to be expected, but there was nothing she could do about it right away. And this girl, even though she was a decade younger, had a lot more power and confidence, which made the former interprex feel even more at a loss about how to even begin tutoring her in anything.

 "I suppose I am, though I will warn you that languages are not my strong suit."

Well then. Languages came easily to Aia, but trying to teach them to someone who did not share the same talent might prove difficult, and she knew that. Then again, how much practical knowledge in British or Gallic would a high born Roman lady even need?... Aia followed along until they found a room.

"What have you to teach me?" 

Aia took a deep breath.

"Your parents wish me to tutor you in some of the languages of the empire and beyond. Besides Latin, I speak Gallic, the main dialects of the British frontier, and a few Germanic dialects from the Rhine. I think... it might be easiest if we start with Gallic?..."

@Echo

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Caecina had been born into nobility, so she had a natural advantage over this foreign tutor. She had been taught from birth the proper ways to sit, stand, walk, and talk, and for a moment she felt a twinge of guilt for judging the woman so quickly. She hadn't had the advantages Caecina had. 

Caecina nodded as she listened to Aia speak about the languages she knew. Sometimes, the point of her lessons escaped her. Why should she need to learn these foreign languages when the only reason she would need to speak them was if she was somehow captured by a brutish Gaul or Briton? But other times she was intrigued by the thought of languages other than Latin. "Very well, Gallic it is," she said agreeably. 

@Chevi

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Aia was not entirely convinced that her pupil was here of her own volition, or if she had any interest in languages at all. But she was determined to make a decent effort, so she offered her a choice first, hoping the girl would be more enthusiastinc about learning something she choce. Aia took a seat as well, resting the wax tablet on her knees, trying to look more sophisticated than she felt.

 "Very well, Gallic it is,"

"Gallic it is" Aia echoed with a nod, happy that Caecina chose her native language. At least she was confident of her knowledge of it, although teaching someone else one's native tongue was not as easy as it sounded. Aia paused, considering their options. "Maybe we could start with some useful phrases? Let's imagine you would like to have a conversation with someone who speaks Gallic. What kinds of things would you usually talk about?"

 

@Echo

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Caecina was certainly not here of her own volition, but she did not want to make the other woman feel bad. Perhaps it was not entirely her choice to be here either. Briefly, the noblewoman wondered what brought a woman like her here, but she felt it would be rude to ask such a question. The lesson began with Aia asking what she would talk about. "Oh, I don't know. Perhaps I would speak about the weather or the family of the person I was speaking with. Clothing or fashion perhaps."

@Chevi

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"Oh, I don't know. Perhaps I would speak about the weather or the family of the person I was speaking with. Clothing or fashion perhaps."

Aia made sure her face remained neutral; rolling her eyes at her charge would have been bad form, especially since the young lady outranked her in every possible way. But smalltalk, really? Aia was not sure she knew how to do that. She knew how to talk, and how to make friends, but talking just for the sake of politeness had evaded her in her life so far.

"Well, then" she nodded, bracing herself for the task "Let's pretend you are talking to me. I am from Gaul, after all. We will do this in Latin first, and then translate."

@Echo

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