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Duty Bound (Cynane)


Sains
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December, 73AD

 

The lone guardsman shivered for a brief moment once a small gust of air hit him. It wasn't overly cold, but the chill of winter seemed to never leave him alone once it had arrived. He moved with purpose, for it was to be his first day of guarding that niece of Caesar and he certainly didn't wish to upset that man...

Decimus had, admittedly, been dreading the meeting with the Briton who'd been in service of the princess for some time now. The thought of laying eyes upon one of the people who he'd fought against for so long on that now distant island hell made him somewhat angry as if it were almost an insult. Here he was, a legion man, trusted more than all of his fellows he'd left behind and apparently a Briton had earned the same honor! He could only begin to imagine the vulgarity that she'd bring to court, probably a giant troll of woman. He'd encountered women like that before, on the Isle, large hairy creatures with warts and war clubs... Damned if he could imagine why Caesar would ever wish to bring such a beast into his home. 

Soon enough he'd reached the steps of the palace, marveling once more at its splendor even in the muted light of a cloudy winter's morning before beginning the trek up the stairs. What splendor he now enjoyed... He truly felt as if he'd never stop admiring the view. With each step, he could feel the anxious knot in his stomach disappearing, replaced by the swelling pride that came with his station. Around him, the men of the castra had seemed rather amused by his comments on the various columns and archways he'd been privy to since arriving in the eternal city, but it had simply been the greatest few months of his life! Here he was, feeling as though he'd truly reached his goal. He'd earned this, and he wouldn't let the thought of some brutish woad-painted hag ruin that. 

He nodded briskly to the guard captain, relieved that he'd finally begun to remember his face, though it could have well been the garb and blade were acting as more effective identifiers. Once passing the great entryway into the palace, he'd quite remembered one of aspect of the job he did truly dislike. The toga... What a bloody useless bit of kit! He could hardly run in it, let alone fight, and he expected this was known to many. He was very conscious of the fact that if any harm came to the princess, he'd have to ditch the extra cloth immediately. Relying on the tunica would be next to useless against an assassin's blade, but he trusted his own ability to save him from any blows. 

He continued on his way, soon finding the hall that held the princesses' room. If she had already awoken, then there would be little opportunity to speak with the Briton, which was a scenario he was sort of hoping for, but it was still early yet. In fact, he hadn't been given any kind of clear time to arrive, simply the day he'd start. Thinking it would be best to arrive early, he'd risen before the sun and had a few quick bites at a loaf of bread before making his way over. With the sun still low, however, he may have been too eager. Stopping at the door, he raised a solitary fist and brought it against the door firmly. He'd been careful to not hit it absurdly hard, but he knew these thick oak doors had a tendency to soak up a lot of sound on the other end. With little to do but wait, he stepped back and anticipated the view of some sort of slave in a few moments. 

 


@Atrice

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Cynane had been here for a little while now, many months in fact, although she did not keep count so far. She kept count of years, usually, not month. There were seasons in Rome, but not as many as in Britannia and they didn’t seem to matter as much. But she knew when she grew a year older, because she knew when she was born. No matter though, she enjoyed her job as bodyguard to the still young princess so much more than being a gladiatrix. Sure, she was still looked down upon by the men. The praetorians had a hard time accepting a female warrior and bodyguard here and then add the fact that she had been a gladiatrix and she was still a slave. It was all wrong up in their heads – but Cynane had learned to ignore their behavior a long time ago.

 She had her usual morning routine now – wake and make sure she was clean and didn’t smell badly, before she got dressed in the light blue tunica and the leather armor. Today she wore light brown breeches that would stop just beneath the knee, since it was December and among the coldest (although not very cold) months in Rome. She wore sandals all year around and strapped on the belt with the appropriate blade attached to it. She made her hair with three long braids today, starting on top of her head and once done, she braided those into one thick braid, that would hang down her back. Then the hair wasn’t in the way.

 It was still quite early as she made her way towards Claudia’s chambers – hers were quite close, she was the bodyguard, after all - although she did not expect the princess to be awake yet. She stopped before she reached the door though, because someone else stood in front of it – a man, a guard by the looks of him. A praetorian she had yet to meet? But what was he doing here? What did he want with the princess she was guarding?

 “Greetings, Dominus.” She said, standing a few meters behind his back, “I do not believe my mistress is awake yet. Can I help you?”

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It had been some time since he'd knocked and he was coming around to the idea that he might well have to knock again... Perhaps he hadn't been firm enough? No sooner had he raised his fist than he'd heard the voice behind him explaining the situation. By the very nature of her voice, Decimus could tell that this was no ordinary house slave. Her voice held confidence, not to mention the hints of an accent that he was well accustomed to.

Turning to face her, he found that what he must have surmised was true. This was no house slave, for she carried a blade and adorned herself with the various garments of a warrior. The braids were a familiar feature as well, and although he couldn't see them in their entirety, he could imagine that they might well reach the small of her back. He'd seen enough Britons fight, and not just the men obviously. The braids made for a better soldier, one that wasn't constantly worried about matted hair flying in their face during the thick of it. Damn them, truthfully. He could name a few occasions where the ends of braids had whipped him in the face repeatedly as those berserks had thrown themselves against the shield wall and flailed like madmen. 

"Ah. You must be the Briton..."

He took a couple of paces towards her, offering a warm smile that he knew from experience might well not be returned. That was one thing about the Islanders, couldn't tell if they were happy unless you'd filled them up with all of the mead in Londinium first! 

"I am Decimus Atellus, a veteran of the Ninth Legion. If you've not been told, I've been assigned to guard her ladyship."

He certainly hoped that this would have been told to her, for if it hadn't been then it would certainly be a shock.  

"Express orders from Caesar himself..."

 

@Atrice

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There was something off about the way he stood in front of Claudia’s chambers, as if he was waiting. What did he want, what was he up to? Cynane stopped at a proper distance and informed him her mistress was not awake and that she might help him. She was instantly defensive however. What was he doing here? He turned now, looking entirely Roman from his feet and to the top of his head. And he looked her over too, of course, but she had not seen him before and didn’t know what the meaning was. He knew about her though, called her the Briton, as if that was a bad thing. Of course, he was Roman. What else would he think?

Then he introduced himself as a veteran and said he’d been assigned to guard Claudia, by order of Caesar himself. Why did Claudia need another guard? She’d not been in trouble since Cynane came and besides, she already had one personal bodyguard, who could literally follow her everywhere, so why would she need one more? Was there a bigger threat towards the princess, suddenly? Or was Cynane not doing her job well enough… or had she done something wrong? Was she going to be dismissed and sent away, perhaps back to the arena? Perhaps they’d found out that Cynane was secretly teaching Claudia a thing or two about defending herself and they didn’t like that. So they found a man and a Roman. Apparently she had come to enjoy her job a little more than she thought she would, and she cared for the princess more than she imagined also.

She lifted her chin, trying to flush out all the negative thoughts, but she couldn’t help it, “Well, greetings, Decimus Atellus. I am Cynane and I am Claudia Caesaris’ personal bodyguard.” She said, “I was not told she’d gain a second guard. Is her life in that grave a danger, that one guard is not enough?” Thinking rationally, that had to be the only plausible explanation for this. Unless Cynane was going to be sent away. She hoped she wouldn’t be; she didn’t want to.

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He was enjoying himself now. Of course, he wasn't here to start a fight, perhaps tease a little, but certainly not start up any drama on the first day of the job. In fact, he was apt to believe that if he got in any sort of disagreement with this Briton, he'd be the one sent away. She'd been with the princess for some time, as it seemed, and the girl had undoubtedly learned to trust this barbarian. If she didn't trust this woman, there was little chance she'd have been kept around for this long.

Idly, he clasped his hands behind his back.

"Perhaps... Perhaps not. It is always possible that Caesar is working on the assumption that two heads are better than one, no?"

He offered a coy smirk, thinking obscurity to be the best position to take in this circumstance. In truth, he'd no true idea why he'd been assigned to this position other than the fact that he was probably one of the better candidates for the job that no one knew needed filling. Perhaps it had been a harmless appointment only to favor the side of caution, but of course, there could be more to it than just that... There oftentimes was. 

"I actually come directly from Britannia. I've been there for many years..."

He'd dropped the smirk by now, adopting a much more contemplative look. He looked off towards the ceiling as if trying to remember some fine details about his journeys that she may be interested in.

"Fought many like you; braids n' all... Funny that one of you should end up in the palace, actually. Most of your sort end up in the arena or serving fat men songbirds, you know?" 

 

@Atrice

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She didn’t know what to make of him yet, but so far, the praetorian guards had not been too civilized towards her. Sure they didn’t touch her, but they also disliked a woman in trousers with a weapon working alongside them at the palace. A woman who was also a slave, by the way. They would either ignore her or they’d talk down to her and if this man was like them… well, there was a good reason she was feeling defensive already. Add to that the whole row of thoughts running through her mind about why he was here… what was the reason?

Decimus clasped his hands behind his back, suggesting that two heads might be better than one. Why, because she was a woman? Was that what he meant, that she couldn’t do her job well enough alone? She had done it so far and Claudia seemed very pleased with her. She didn’t respond and she did see the little smirk there.

Then he went on, stating he’d just come from Britannia and she narrowed her eyes at him. It was obvious now that he was mocking her. He said he had been there many years and at the same time, it was many years ago since Cynane was actually there. He was no different than the other guards here, she decided. Decimus then spoke of how he’d fought women with braids and thought she’d be in the arena. Gods how full of himself was he?! 

“I know.” Cynane said, but she kept her dignity and despite being a slave, she had decided she would not cast her eyes down in front of this man, “I did end up in the arena. Yet after many years it was decided I’d be more useful here, than there. And I have not once displeased my mistress.” She explained, in there discretely also saying that she’d survived the arena and she was not one to fight and lose.

Quietly she hoped those women he fought had given him a hard time. She tilted her head, her tone still proud, “What was it like in Britannia? Still raining, I suppose?”

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He listened to her speak of the arena with some minor amusement that he'd been correct after all. She certainly looked like she could hold her own in the arena, though it was still unusual to him that she should find herself being given such an honor as this... Perhaps the princess had taken a fancy to her during one of her performances? It was not entirely unheard of for foreigners to be brought into service for the military or the royal family, just unusual. As she concluded her explanation, he could only hope to meet that defiant gaze that trailed along with it. 

While not much of a brute, Decimus was certainly not doing himself any favors right now. In truth he hadn't meant the remarks to be wholeheartedly hurtful, but it was an odd situation for him to be able to toss some banter at a former foe. He had been there when Britannia was conquered, he'd seen her people shifted about like cattle, and in the back of his mind he knew he shouldn't ever make light of what he witnessed there... 

"Rainy and dreary, much how you remember her I'd guess."

 He thought for a few moments about something he might tell her of the front, something that could ease the conversation away from a hostile end. The two certainly didn't have to like each other, but they had to get along well enough to ensure that they could do their job when the time came. It wouldn't do for him to be subduing an attacker and receive a friendly blade to the ribs, after all.

"It's very peaceful there now, actually. No more trouble, save for the northerners... Have you ever met them? Fiery people, their 'lot." 

 

@Atrice

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Decimus actually looked at her and met her eyes, but she did not cast hers down. He had already made it clear that he disliked her kind and he had even mocked her, so why should she be willing to submit to him? Maybe it would have been different if Claudia was here, but she wasn’t. This man here was not her owner and master. She’d asked how Britannia was like, changing the subject just slightly and he said that Britannia was indeed still wet.

She nodded silently and then he went on, saying it was peaceful, there was no more trouble except for the northerners. He wasn't really doing much to make her like him, did he? The Brigantes had been a large tribe and not the most southern either. On top of that, he thought that it was the British people who caused trouble. She had a different view on that.

“Depends of how northern. I’m of the Brigantes.” She explained, “And it’s funny you say it’s peaceful… who was that invaded Britannia and caused trouble to begin with?” If the Romans hadn’t come, it would have been fine. But for some reason, enough was never enough for the mighty Roman Empire. And thousands of people had died because of that. She would not have had to go into that battle and then she would not have ended up here. What a different life she would have led, if she had been in Britannia. But she hadn’t seen it recently; and Decimus had. Just another reason to be bitter at him.

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He raised a brow upon learning of her tribe's name. IT had been one that he'd heard before, quite often, though in truth he'd never fought any of them... Or maybe he had. The forests of Britannia had a knack of placing the peoples of multiple tribes in battles all across the island. While not unified, many of the tribes would send volunteer-esque forces to halt Roman advances as best they could. It was, however, nearly impossible to accurately identify every soldier one came across on the battlefield for the simple reason that the Britons used no immediately recognizable uniforms or color patterns. Most of them... Well... Looked the same! Of course he'd come to learn what small identifiers and symbols they carried on their persons that might distinguish as warriors of specific family or tribe, but there was little time to doddle about rummaging through their belongings after a battle. Relentless assault, after all, was how they managed to achieve victory in the first place. 

"Ah, the Brigantes... I have heard your people. Your queen was made... A citizen? I believe I am recalling that correctly. They're under Rome's protection now, at any rate."

And then it came, the common "Invader" insult. It was one he'd encountered both in passive aggressive relations with slaves and foreigners and of course behind his shield when warriors would spit it at them as their final words. Was he an invader? Perhaps. The word invader, after so many years, had lost its' bite to him. Perhaps it was simply because he hadn't walked a mile in the shoes of the conquered, but instead chose to focus on all of the improvements he'd seen to the southernmost portions of Britannia. Walled cities had emerged with simple aqueducts and thriving markets. True law had been established. It would become, in time, another shining example of Roman governance. 

"The peoples of the south seem pleased enough with fine clothes and clean water... But no, I refer to those men north of the Brigantian borders... Picts and the like."

 

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Decimus seemed to recognize her tribe’s name, although he said he had just heard of them and how their queen was made a citizen of Rome. And then he dared to claim they were under the ‘protection’ of Rome. Well what choice did they have, in the long run? She did not imagine it was like Rome gave them a choice – as in ‘join us or continue living as you always did’. No, it was more likely ‘become a part of Rome or see your tribe erased from history’. She said nothing to it though, for she had also commented on how it used to be peaceful – but then invaders came…

 Of course though, he was Roman all way through and there was no way he’d see that as a bad thing. They probably saw themselves as saviors, after having killed who-knew-how-many British people and tribes first. She didn’t buy it. Now her mistress was sweet and kind and she liked Claudia, but most other Romans could go join their Hades or wherever else they went after they left life as they knew it. Decimus also proved now he was a true Roman, believing everyone were happy with clothes and clean water. She arched a brow.

 “Were we naked before? Did we have nothing to drink?” She wondered out loud. Rome needed sewers because it was a large city and so many people produced a lot of dirt. In Britannia when she lived there, most people lived in smaller villages and they were very unlike Roman cities. They didn’t need anything to keep the water clean. It was clean. And if not, they had beer. Decimus explained that he referred to even more Northern folks than the Brigantes. She nodded.

 “I met some and I know of them. But I wasn’t in a position to spend much time with trading with them. We had other issues, after all.” It seemed that they came back to that subject all the time and it was not going anywhere. Cynane was too proud a Brigantee warrior to believe that Roman rule was better for her people than not being ruled by Rome. And Decimus was not going to believe the opposite. Yet they were serving the same princess now, so what did it matter, in the long run? As long as he treated her well enough, and besides words, he’d not done anything wrong yet. He had mocked her people, but that was nothing new around here.

 “I think it would be best for all, if we agree to disagree on what is best for Britannia.” Cynane said, having decided to take the lead her and decide how to move on in the conversation, “What we need to agree on is what is best for my mistress.”

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He paused for a moment, considering what she'd said before nodding and bringing his hands out from behind his back. Perhaps he had gone too far and they should indeed forget about speaking their minds on the topic. His prodding had gotten him some useful information, though the knowledge that she most likely despised the empire was surely no secret to anyone. The real question was how attached she was to the manners of the princess. Were she to be freed, would she choose to stay by the girl's side or would she simply wander back up to the island she'd come from? Perhaps that question would never be answered, and for now the guardsman couldn't care less. 

"Fair enough..."

Indeed, it seemed a comfort that the topic of conversation could now begin to center around their reason for being here. Decimus did have some minor experience with the processes of guarding an individual of course, for he'd been part of the legate's bodyguard at several points in his career. The legion had its own way of dealing with the issue of a person's safety and likely the Praetorians would operate in the same manner... Or at least he hoped. 

"Perhaps you could tell me how you've handled the task in her life outside of the palace. How is she moved through the city?"

In truth, it was the topic that he were concerned the most with. Obviously the task of guarding her whilst she was within the confines of the palace and the hill was rather trivial, as the entire area was covered in guardsmen. This, at least, came from the mindset of a man who was used to all of the dangers laying outside of the walls of an encampment. For him, the walls were the borders of the Palatine. 

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She was pleased when Decimus agreed to disagree so that they could move on. Britannia was clearly not a subject they could agree upon, except for the rain there and maybe the beauty of it. But he’d come there as an invader and clearly thought her people were barbarians before the Romans came along. And she grew up there. Of course she’d think otherwise. So instead she moved on and said they ought to talk about their mistress. Decimus wondered then how she guarded the princess outside of the palace.

“She usually sits in her lectica or in a carriage. There are always at least two guards with her, usually very close to her position.” Cynane explained, “And it’s really just a matter of staying alert. Keep an eye on anything around you. When she arrives to her destination, we are still to watch her, but depending on what she’s doing, it may be from a distance. If she joins a social event, you stand guard… you’re not a part of the event.” At least the praetorians weren’t. Cynane sometimes ended up being just that, because of her looks. She was aware that she was more than just a bodyguard; she was also a showpiece.

Decimus would learn that soon enough on his own though, so she moved on, curious about how he’d take this task, “Did you ever act as a bodyguard before?”

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He'd nod as she spoke of the general idea of the whole job. It seemed simple enough. He doubted it would be a great deal of trouble for him to control the happenings of a few hallways whenever the princess wished to be alone or in private company. Based on how much she likely trusted the Briton and for her own exotic nature, he could only assume that she'd be the final line of defense for her ladyship. With that in mind, he'd have to do his best to see that she'd never need to use that blade of hers. 

Nodding at her question, he thought he might explain, "For a time I was a member of a Governor's entourage on the Island. We had an army at our backs, but moving was the most challenging time over there... Two auxiliaries in front and two behind at a distance, Romans guarding his immediate person. It was clever enough."

Of course, if he'd wished to do anything like it in the city he'd have to find some trustworthy locals to fill the role of the auxiliaries. Of course that wouldn't matter until they knew of an imminent threat. The only reason they'd taken such precaution in Britannia was due the fact that it was... Well... Britannia! There could well have been an assassin around any corner, though he wouldn't have gotten very close with the guard they kept.

"I suspect the lady has never been attacked under your watch? Most would think twice with a sword maiden so close."

 

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It seemed that as long as they were not discussing Britannia and the rule of Rome, they would be able to talk in a more civilized manner. Good. He responded easily to her question about acting as a bodyguard – he had done such work before and he explained how it was done. And how clever to use auxiliaries at the front and back at a distance – use the rented troops furthest away, so they’ll be cut down first and those closer to the man they were guarding, would have a chance to get ready to defend themselves.

 Decimus then assumed cleverly that Claudia had not been attacked under Cynane’s watch and she couldn’t help but smile a little at his comment, “They should think twice about it.” She replied, proud of her skills as a warrior, “No, she has not been attacked so far, while I’ve been here.” She then added and she was still curious about his previous position, “Were the Governor you guarded ever attacked then?”

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He'd nod, expecting the answer but glad to hear that dangerous street assaults were not a regular thing that the princess had to deal with. And of course, as was said, Cynane would have been a great contributor to that fact. 

He'd think for a few moments on how he might best bring light to the situations he'd encountered with the governor while he'd been there, as there were a few occasions where their security had been necessary and they'd all been the better off for it. 

"Admittedly, yes... The governor was attacked on two occasions while I was it his side. On one occasion a man had climbed to the top of a terrace and had let loose a series of arrows from a bow towards the governor as he walked down the high street, but we managed to root him out after an hour."

A frown would cross his face as he recalled the event simply because it had been a grim affair.

"One of the tribunes had been hit in the neck, though... Didn't make it. The other occasion was merely an attempt that we foiled before it could ever take shape but those were the only two."

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The young princess was not in grave danger so far, but she might be, because of her position in Rome and her relations with Caesar. And it was Cynane’s duty to look after her, even where the male praetorian guards couldn’t go. Decimus listened quietly to her answer and then she wondered about his skills; which he could tell about while sharing if his governor was ever attacked.

Decimus said he had been and explained both occasions and how it went both times. And both times of course, the attackers failed. Else she imagined Decimus wouldn’t be here right now.

“Sounds like you did a good job, if you even managed to stop some before it took shape.” Cynane replied to him, “Let’s hope for the same thing here. Or, let’s hope that she is never attacked. But if she is, we will stop it.” She added. It was her duty and job and she valued her job here. It was much better than being in arena and a ludus and it was much better than being prostituted. Here the princess valued her, at least.

“I hope you will be able to work with me, despite our differences. Your fellow praetorians are not always easy company.” That was an understatement though. But she decided to say it from the beginning. She and Decimus didn’t agree on how to handle Britannia, but they would have to agree on how to protect Claudia. And that was a very good reason for wanting to get along with him.

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Nodding in agreement, he'd raise an expectant brow at the idea that his fellow guardsman might not have treated her too well over time. The reasons why were rather obvious, at least to him, and it had been why he'd done a bit of teasing in the first place. First and foremost she was an outsider, one of those who came from faraway that all of his people were told from a very young age to fear and detest. They were all loud-mouthed smelling brutes who cared not but for the utter destruction of Rome and her peoples. It was in fact very far from the truth, as he'd seen, though the roots of his mistrust were far more valid. 

"I'd bet. They're not use to working with women in this way, let alone warrior-maidens. I'm sure you've come to know that they may be jealous of your station. Guarding the princess is no small detail, and to give it to a barb-... Briton!.. Well, it's unsettling for them."

A close shave there... He'd have to be more careful about using those classic derogatory terms he'd grown so use to around campfires. Feeling that they might be standing for some time, he let his back rest against the nearby wall. 

"Know that I won't wake up and wait to insult you every day of the week... It's not something i'd enjoy anyways."

Offering a kind smile, he hoped that would be a welcome surprise. He hadn't been exactly kind to her upon their first meeting and he knew that making a good impression now was far more important than creating any kind of tension that would last on into the future. 

 

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He nodded, hoping they could work together too and then he commented on the behavior of his fellow praetorians. Cynane of course knew all he was saying; she knew they weren’t used to working with women who could fight and that they were jealous. She was allowed closer to the princess than any of them, after all. She could enter Claudia’s bedroom before she had even left her bed. But that’s why she was here. Because she could protect her at all hours and be close to her at all hours.

Cynane arched a brow when Decimus almost called her a barbarian, but he corrected himself and she had to smile at that. Then he said he wouldn’t wait to insult her all the time and he wouldn’t enjoy it. And he smiled too.

“That would be a first among the praetorians. They seem to enjoy it.” Cynane said with a roll of her eyes, watching him stand leaning against the wall. It wasn’t something she often did. She had too much discipline in her to just relax, while she ought to be alert… “But I’m glad you don’t. I hope you won’t be too jealous though. I may be guarding the princess, but I’m not a free woman.” Because of the likes of him, but she didn’t mention that. She had to try and let that part go.

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It was actually quite odd for Decimus to favor leaning against the wall too as a rule. If he'd been anywhere else and among any other company he might well have adopted the more familiar formal pose that he'd learned upon becoming an officer, though it didn't seem as though it would do just at the moment. He was trying, quite simply, to appear less threatening or imposing than he otherwise might. For some unfathomable reason, he believed he might continue to lessen the tension between them by appearing to be quite cool. The reality was quite different, of course, as it was his very first day on the job! As far as he knew, Caesar himself could walk through the hall and he would be there on the wall attempting to make peace with his Britannic co-worker. 

"Jealous?..He raised a brow, "I assure you, Ma'am, I've been so honored to be allowed to be here that I couldn't imagine anything like that. Y'need not worry about that."

He'd not go into the fact that he was a simple pleb, he was far too puffed up to bring that up now. Perhaps if he'd become famous he'd often refer to the fact, though calling yourself a pleb among the nobility was hardly advisable for a career-minded veteran... Or so he'd been told.

"And what do you think of the Princess, anyways? Is she one of those few good Romans?" he'd probe, a smirk crossing his face. 

@Atrice

 

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When Cynane had suggested he should be jealous of her, Decmius said he wasn’t. Instead he was honored to work here and told her to not worry. Well, wasn’t that something else? A praetorian who wouldn’t talk about her behind her back, call her names and who wouldn’t be annoyed or jealous over the fact that she got to step into Claudia’s room when they didn’t. It would be highly inappropriate for them to be around, while she was dressing or going to bed. They were guards and they were free men. Cynane was a slave and a woman. She could go anywhere Claudia could and that’s why she was here.

“Well I shall try my best to not worry about it then.” She said with a small smile, before he wondered what she thought of the princess. This is where she probably should be careful with her words, but with this mistress, there was no need.

“She is, in fact.” Cynane said, ignoring the smirk he had on his face, “She is both kind and gentle, you can’t fault her for that. I can only hope she won’t end up being corrupted when she grows older, as it often seems to happen here.” If Claudia could stay young and pure forever, that would be something to strive for. Yet it was not Cynane’s decision to make. She had no say in what happened to her young mistress. She could only do her best to protect her… and help her protect herself, which she also did, of course.

@Sains

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The guardsman would nod at the observation finding that to be true of most of those he'd come to know that had held any real money or power. Hell, there was that fellow Ursus that had seemed to fancy himself a demigod back on the Isle, and that was not to speak of any other of the emperor's 'best' men. And it wasn't any secret after all. Often he'd hear news of yet another noblemen who'd delved into the world of corruption and intrigue too much and was stripped of titles or humiliated in other ways. That life certainly wasn't for him, though his relatively lowly existence made that much easier to say. Who truly knew what they would do if they were suddenly blessed with all of the money, power, and fame they could wish for? That was probably what all of those poets were always blabbering on about... Morality and such.

"Who knows what and where life will bring her... She should turn out alright as long as she keeps clear of certain vices... Orgies and such."

He'd chuckle at the thought, as it was a ridiculous prospect in his own mind, though perhaps it wasn't all too unlikely! With so much time on their hands, who knew what the lesser parts of the royal family got up to once the torches were set alight. 

"I'm guessing there may be a few things about her schedule that may surprise me?.. A few quirks after the ceremonial tripe is done with?"

@Atrice

 

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Decimus mused about what life had in store for her and thought she might turn out alright. And then he talked about what she could end up involved in… Orgies? Of course Cynane knew about such things, but she’d never taken part in one and she could not imagine Claudia there. And she didn’t want to. Claudia might not have a mother, but she had someone to watch over her and Cynane would do what she could to keep her on a less bad track. Decimus however only chuckled at the idea and Cynane wasn’t joining him. How was that funny? Beautiful, sweet and pure Claudia… no, she could not imagine it.

So it was good that Decimus went on, wondering about Claudia’s day and schedule. Well there were her training sessions with Claudia, but those were secret.

“I don’t think there’s anything you need to be informed about. And if there is, well you’ll find out. Right now I can’t think of anything.” She said, hoping he bought it. No one outside of Claudia’s circle of personal slaves were to know about the training. And barely all of the slaves knew.

@Sains

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