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Lucius was standing by a pillar, the Forum Roman not only being the political heart of the Empire itself, but also acted as the young senator's 'second home' if one were to express it that way. Overlooking across the entire area, he liked to sometimes take his time to take a look at the various peoples who either simply passed through, or actually had any sort of business taking place in the area. However today it wasn't out of his fascination to analyze individuals that brought him out there to stand by a pillar, nor his work as a Senator and Praetor even if one might've thought so at first. No, instead Lucius was actually waiting for a tutor that he had the pleasure to come into contact with, courtesy of Flavia Juliana herself. He didn't know much about her other than the fact that her name was 'Ai'a who originally came from Gaul but through (mis)fortunes ended up in Juliana's household, teaching her children language skills that would surely be of great use to them in the future.

The Furii-Pontii senator desired to learn new languages, other than the standard Latin and Greek that every Roman noble ought to know by heart, aside from Thracian which was claimed to be his family on the father's side's ancestral language based on the blood heritage of Thracians, even if it was hard to prove it despite somewhat reddish tone on his hair and temper, mind you. Being a senator and especially praetor meant that he had to deal with Judicial matters, pertaining to the many foreigners of the Empire and not all of them had a good grasp of Latin. By learning languages such as Briton, Gallic and Germanic it would only make communication smoother but also increase the chances of getting to know these people. Besides, him embracing the Christian faith inspired him to embark on this linguistic track of educational mind to begin with, as his friends nowadays extended to the lower, poorer classes of both Roman and Foreign stock.

When he was about to drowse off to a nap, his eyes spotted a redhaired woman approaching him. Lucius straightened himself to look more inviting and presentable, as his first language tutelage session was about to begin for real.

@Chevi

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What the Sequana-blessed fuck did a senator want with someone like Aia? The red-haired interprex wondered about the possibilities as she wove her way through the crowd of the Forum. She knew Flavia Juliana had recommended her as a tutor of barbarian languages to someone named Lucius Furius Pontius Thracius Minor, which was entirely too many names for someone to be a decent person. Even after almost a year in Julaiana's household, Aia felt awkward around Roman nobility. History gave ample examples of why they could not be trusted. 

Looking up, he spotted a man standing by one of the columns of the Basilica Julia, and directed her steps towards him. She was probably easier to spot in the crowd, given her bright red hair (now long enough to be held in place with some ribbons) and small stature, which made her distinct from many of the women in Rome. She was dressed in simple but well made clothes, carrying a basket (because ladies did not wear leather bags slung over their shoulder, however more practical that would have been). She hoped the man that looked like a young senator was actually the young senator she was looking for, and not someone who was going to think he was about to be propositioned.

"Salve, dominus" she greeted him once she walked up the steps "My name is Aia. Mistress Flavia Juliana sent me?"

@The Young Pope

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Lucius became quite pleased that this turned out to be the desired Interprex that he'd heard so much about, and she certainly attracted quite the many of a eye. There was a was recurring joke within his family about the luck of dealing matters with other redheads, and so far those humourous words rang a truth about it. Taking a few steps downwards, he felt least to say thrilled about this Britonnic woman. "Senator Lucius, a pleasure and honor to be graced by your presence, Mistress Aia. Please call me by your first name, dominus isn't required if it's within the company of friends." Taking her hand to initially shake it, Lucius kissed it instead whilst staring into her mesmerisingly speaking, just to try making her aware that he wasn't the usual type of senator she'd be dealing with. "Mistress Juliana has mentioned you a few times already during the parties we attend together, how much of a great tutor you are towards her children and your language skills are uncomparable elsewhere."

The Sentor accompanied the interprex from the columns before resuming his talk. "It's my sincere wish that I'll be a great student towards you, whilst you allow yourself to teach me the languages that encompass the lands of Britannia, Gaul and Germania. I'll leave it up to you to decide which of these is the easiest one to start with, based on how quickly one's able to learn them as well as the grammar itself. You see, as my newfound role within the state apparatus, my duties as a Praetor includes acting as a judge, maintaining and enforcing the law unto everyone, including foreigners. Naturally many of them have yet to learn Latin, and it would be in the best of their interests as well as mine. I can assure you on my honor that the pay after each session will be quite the handsome sum." His smile returned to let her have the chance to voice her mind and if there were any requests or conditions on her behalf that she'd like to be implemented as well. 

"Also, is there any location you'd recommend holding these lessons?" 

@Chevi

Edited by The Young Pope
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The man walked down the stairs to meet her. He definitely looked the Senatorial type. He was a nice piece of man, even if Aia generally mistrusted most members of the nobility until she had a reason not to. 

"Senator Lucius, a pleasure and honor to be graced by your presence, Mistress Aia. Please call me by your first name, dominus isn't required if it's within the company of friends."

The man kissed her hand and called her a friend. Alright, then. Aia smiled at him, noting that he was generally friendly, even if a bit overly so. Maybe he was used to working his ass off to make a good first impression. From what she understood about politics, that was about 90% of the job (the remaining 10% being your family). "A pleasure to meet you, Senator Lucius."

"Mistress Juliana has mentioned you a few times already during the parties we attend together, how much of a great tutor you are towards her children and your language skills are uncomparable elsewhere."

"She flatters me." Aia chuckled, trying to imagine Flavia Juliana singing her praises. She had made some progress with the boy, but the young mistress had mostly been interested in phrases directly useful to her interests. Still, it was good to know her efforts were appreciated. Or maybe Flavia Juliana just wanted her our of the house... She fell into step next to the tall man as he kept talking. 

"It's my sincere wish that I'll be a great student towards you, whilst you allow yourself to teach me the languages that encompass the lands of Britannia, Gaul and Germania. I'll leave it up to you to decide which of these is the easiest one to start with, based on how quickly one's able to learn them as well as the grammar itself. You see, as my newfound role within the state apparatus, my duties as a Praetor includes acting as a judge, maintaining and enforcing the law unto everyone, including foreigners. Naturally many of them have yet to learn Latin, and it would be in the best of their interests as well as mine. I can assure you on my honor that the pay after each session will be quite the handsome sum." 

Wow. Words. Lots, and lots of words. Senator Lucius was clearly practiced in delivering speeches. As long as this one ended with 'handsome sum', she was willing to listen to all of it. Listening to men speak was kind of what she'd been doing in all her years and a military interprex anyway.

"I'd say you should start with Brittonic, then." she noted, once he paused in his speech "A lot of people in Gaul already speak decent Latin. Britons are new to the empire, though. I... know quite a bit of their dialects."

"Also, is there any location you'd recommend holding these lessons?" 

Aia paused, glancing around. Frankly, she was at a loss; she'd assumed Lucius would pick a place where he'd want to hold his lessons.

"Somewhere quiet would be nice" she noted "I am sure you are a popular man, and you probably don't want to be disturbed during your lessons..."

@The Young Pope

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"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. 

@Chevi

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"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." 

Jupiter's balls, did this man ever breathe?...

Well, at least he was talking in the right general direction. Brittonic, she could definitely do. Not that he would notice the difference.

"Oh my, the teacher lets the student decide where the lesson should be held? That's rather unorthodox!... Ah to think that it wasn't actually that hard to come up with a suitable location...Do follow my lead." 

Aia chuckled, and followed along, keeping up with his longer stride. In this case the student probably owned property, and the teacher definitely didn't. And she had a hunch that the kinds of places she would pick were not the places where a respectable senator wanted to be seen. They were barely good enough for a language tutor. Or a praetorian.

"So Aia, tell me...How come you have quite the proficiency when it comes to languages? 

Oh, thank the gods, finally a direct question. Aia was actually prepared for this one.

"My father was a merchant, and my mother died when I was young, so I ended up traveling with him around Gaul, and then over to Britannia. We transported supplies for the legions, and I just... kind of picked up languages from other traders. I guess one could say the gods gave me a gift for that."

@The Young Pope

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The location in mind for the first lesson would've probably come as a total surprise, even for the likes of someone like Aia who'd been travelling on the road for quite some time in her early life, and indeed it would've turned out to be an unorthodox location when it comes to first impressions. Lucius wasn't like any other ordinary senator though, that being evident enough with the passion for talking at rather long lengths without consideration to take a breath once in a while. "Fascinating I have to admit, since usually whenever I ask these initial questions the recipient always refers back to his or her parent for inspiring him or her to adopt this passion in life, however  I get the impression that this isn't exactly the same case with the likes of someone like yourself; Indeed, the Gods must've truly favored your intellect and ability to pick up languages on the go." He told her out of admiration and the fact that he loved what he'd heard, making her quite a different person to know compared to the amount of 'dull' bureaucrats he had to endure daily in the Curia or court. 

They were about half-way to their destination passing by the Emporium Magnum, people of various kinds in droves either heading over there or were already in the area conducting trade or discussing with one another about the every intricate detail that life itself had to offer in store. Lucius happened to be one of those who'd enjoyed a good conversation or two, and it didn't necessarily need to be about financial affairs of matters of justice. The senator enjoyed listening about the experiences that defined each and every personality he had the pleasure to meet and never grew tired of it once. "If you don't mind me asking, do you love your own line of trade; offering languages lessons to clients who've finally realised that the world is more than just Rome, and decided to widen their senses in other words...Could you see yourself doing this for an eternity?" 

@Chevi

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"Fascinating I have to admit, since usually whenever I ask these initial questions the recipient always refers back to his or her parent for inspiring him or her to adopt this passion in life, however  I get the impression that this isn't exactly the same case with the likes of someone like yourself; Indeed, the Gods must've truly favored your intellect and ability to pick up languages on the go." 

Lucius was definitely an acquired taste. Aia had her reservations about him, mostly because of his position in Roman society, and the talking did not help much with first impressions either. But as they walked along, she was beginning to find meaning behind his excited monologues, and he seemed like a more likable character than most of Roman nobility.

"If you don't mind me asking, do you love your own line of trade; offering languages lessons to clients who've finally realised that the world is more than just Rome, and decided to widen their senses in other words...Could you see yourself doing this for an eternity?" 

"Eternity is a long time" Aia smirked at the question "I do enjoy learning and teaching languages. And I am grateful to have work at a good household. I... haven't really found anything yet that I would rather be doing."

Not everyone in Rome had a cursus honorum to climb.

"How about you?"

@The Young Pope

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"I'm glad to hear that it's currently the passion in your life that keeps you moving forward, and the fact that the household is taking good care of your needs. As for myself, it's a pretty contempt feeling that's currently being experienced. My father always wanted me to embark on the military path rather than the civilian route, citing the achievements of my ancestral blood with names such as Marcus Furius Camillus and Gaius Marius, 2nd and 3rd founders of Rome so to say. Don't misunderstand me, even if I dare say that my skill with the sword in close combat isn't something to underestimate, I've always favoured using quill and parchment, transmitting these words into oratory art, which made my mother secretly pleased since I would be honoring Quintus Tullius Cicero, the greatest orator known to man or so that's what the 'wise old men' say."

The duo finally reached one of the smaller hills that overlooked the city, which happened to be one of Lucius' favorites and it's where he also brought Lexus some time ago enjoying honey-cakes and getting to know him better. It was part of his intentions of getting to know Aia as well, and this seemed to be the ultimate location to do so. He looked behind his shoulders prior to ascending hill together with the language tutor, only to notice his two magisterial bodyguards or lictos carrying those bundles of wood, symbolizing the influence and authority he thoroughly posessed. Even if a Praetor was permitted to have 6 accompany him, 2 were only permitted within the pomerium or religious boundary of the city, and they had to rightfully obey his orders no matter what. In this case, these respectfully adhered to their Praetor's wish of keeping an acceptable distance away, just enough space in order to not feel constantly under surveillance. 

"Eternity is more than enough time for us to truly find out what we'd like to do, especially given the fact that we only have one life. It's also important to remember though how quickly eternity can suddenly end abruptly without you catching glimpse of it in an instant. That's why we shouldn't waste our time too much figuring out what we want out of this mortal life of ours; I've been in that situation once, and trust me it's certainly not recommendable to dabble on." As they were ascending the hill, Lucius couldn't help but chuckle over the amount of words he'd always managed to spit out in a minute. "I apologise if I talk too much sometimes, but it's who I truly am based on my upbringing, and my profession requires me to speak a lot, as you can surely understand. Well, there's also the likelihood that I happen to share the same blood with Cicero, so it's something to take into consideration...In any case I've talked awfully about myself, so I should return the favour to you more. Say...what's your overall impression on Roman society in general; positive? negative? Is there something that we Romans should improve ourselves upon? If there are genuine concerns, I can transmit them to the Curia and see where to go from there."

@Chevi

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"... My father always wanted me to embark on the military path rather than the civilian route, citing the achievements of my ancestral blood with names such as Marcus Furius Camillus and Gaius Marius, 2nd and 3rd founders of Rome so to say. Don't misunderstand me, even if I dare say that my skill with the sword in close combat isn't something to underestimate, I've always favoured using quill and parchment, transmitting these words into oratory art, which made my mother secretly pleased since I would be honoring Quintus Tullius Cicero, the greatest orator known to man or so that's what the 'wise old men' say."

Aia bit her lips, now genuinely amused. There was no air of superiority about Lucius, but he did name drop founders of Rome like they were coins for the plebes. Honestly, Aia only had a very vague grasp on Rome's early history and great politicians; learning a language was one thing, learning millions of boring Roman names and even more boring achievements was another. But apparently Lucius was someone's someone, or something like that. Like every other senator ever. That was basically the definition of nobility.

Also, he could have just said "I like to talk more than I like to fight."

A man could have worse qualities.

They walked up a hill. It was a nice spot, different from the crowded bowels of Rome. A good place to talk.

"I apologise if I talk too much sometimes, but it's who I truly am based on my upbringing, and my profession requires me to speak a lot, as you can surely understand. Well, there's also the likelihood that I happen to share the same blood with Cicero, so it's something to take into consideration...In any case I've talked awfully about myself, so I should return the favour to you more. Say...what's your overall impression on Roman society in general; positive? negative? Is there something that we Romans should improve ourselves upon? If there are genuine concerns, I can transmit them to the Curia and see where to go from there."

"Well, that's an awful lot of responsibility to put in a Gaul's hands" Aia smirked "I thought we were here for language tutoring. But I'll make you a deal, once you can understand my answer in Brittonic, I'll tell you what I think."

@The Young Pope

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