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Dana couldn't help but smile at his light teasing tone. Something about him was quite interesting and she wouldn't mind hearing some of those stories. It's not everyday you encounter a non-human like her, especially in a noble status where they were quite rare. She was sure this event would be much more interesting than she's originally assumed.
Mao had glanced at the two other girls once more and started - reluctantly - speaking to them, it was his job she supposed. Dana turned to the two girls, who were all too eager to speak with him. Delphine was married into noble life, small girl, very petite, bubbly and there was Eudora who has been born into a long line of nobility. Very stiff, uptight if you will, and not at all a pleasure to talk to for an extended period of time.
The duchess had encountered the two a few times before this. Delphine was like talking to a child who liked looking at bright colors - not to much there - and Eudora was always so matter - of - fact and liked to talk politics.
Unfortunately, she was as dull as talking to a brick wall.
Dana merely stared at the two as they seemed to be hanging on his every disinterested word, until Mao had brought her attention back to him. Clearly not wanting to continue conversing with them passed their names. "[#093b07 Oh, yes, this is my first time. I'm hoping it lives up to all the talk I hear.]" She couldn't help buy stifle a chuckle as he spoke about customers being fully satisfied as he seemed to actively try and ignore the two girls.
Luckily for him, they didn't seem to mind one bit. "[#093b07 Well, I wouldn't mind hearing more about the Teahouse, or yourself. Seeing as this is my first visit you could always show me around?]" She gave the male a smile, she wouldn't be too opposed to stepping away from this crowd.
[size10 //Please forgive this post, I've got such a creative block its driving me nuts.//]
[font "calibri" Mao smiled brightly when Dana decided to humor him. He was always cautious with new customers, because occasionally there would be a few who refused to give him the time of day. Most of the time it was because of his demon heritage, but frankly alot of the time it was because most nobles were stuck up prudes. It had been awhile since the male had had a guest he actually enjoyed talking to, so maybe today was a decent day after all.]
[font "calibri" [#c65877 "Correct, my good lady. Mao is my name, though I could think of a handful of other things ladies tend to call me"] He teased lightly. [#c65877 "Though I think thats a story for another time."] A laugh escaped him as he peered over at the other two. They seemed to be anxiously awaiting him to speak with them, so it was better to get it over with. If Mikaela found out he was ignoring guests, he'd be hornless by tomorrow.]
[font "calibri" [#c65877 "Ah...My apologies, I haven't caught the names of you two...lovely ladies yet."] Mao could feel the fake smile taught across his face. Ogling women was one of his least favorite things. It often brought up nasty memories, but more often then not it just sparked irritation in him.]
[font "calibri" [#87b224 "I'm Lady Delphine!"] the shortest one piped up, [#b2246d "And I'm Eudora Malkov."] the second said matter-of-factly. Mao just sort of blinked at them in response. He wasn't quite sure if he was supposed to know who they were or not. To be quite honest, the demon never bothered familiarizing himself with the names of noble families. He knew his regulars ' names and that was about it.]
[font "calibrbi" [#c65877 "I see...How wonderful."] Hoping that was enough to satisfy the two, he turned back to Dana. [#c65877 "So, Lady Dana. I've never had the pleasure of seeing you around the Teahouse before. Is this your first visit?"] Mao inquired. He took a sip from the cup he poured from himself and grimaced into the cup. Ren had picked and prepared the tea and it was far to bitter for his tastes. It was probably a favorite of Linnea, but Mao often preferred sweeter teas.]
[font "calibri" [#c65877 "Well,"] He started, setting the cup back down, [#c65877 "I do hope you'll enjoy your stay here. We do our best to try and make every guest feel welcome and make sure they leave fully satisfied."] Mao was quite aware he was being sort of hypocritical as he was ignoring two guests, but they didn't seem too perturbed. At least not with him. [#c65877 "If there's anything you'd like to know of for me to do, please, do let me know. I understand that our business is a bit unorthodox, so don't hesitate to ask me anything."]]
//of course! Sorry it took me a few days.//
Dana had entered the main entrance, awaiting the others. Which only took moments before a handful of nobles filled the hall with voices and footsteps. Linnea smiled at Dana as she entered, coming over quickly to give her a kiss on the cheek in greeting.
"[i Ah! Lady Dana Temur, my dear friend, I am so glad you made it alright. It's dreadful outside.]" "[#093b07 Oh, I wouldn't miss this gathering for anything, dear Linnea. How have been?]" Dana lied through her pearly teeth with a convincing smile. How she hated these gatherings. It was either dribble of pointless gossip, politics, or merely fake niceties to keep the peace among families. Not to mention, Dana wasn't your usual noble, not often you see a duchess that wasn't a human.
She wasn't too well liked either, not just for being non-human but she wasn't even of noble blood. Most duchess and dukes gain their titles through bloodlines or marriage and yet, here she is. Adopted and given the title by her parents. Some didn't believe she was deserving of such a role. But, they all played nice like good children, so she entertained them with appearing at this functions.
"[i I am doing well! Keeping busy. I am so glad to have old dear friends here to catch up.]" Dana smiled once more at the woman before greeting the others and some friendly banter.
Luckily, the entertainers appeared pulling the attention of the others towards them, and Dana relaxed. They were kindly welcomed and Linnea seemed to have her next victim already. Linnea wasn't the one to settle but to play until she was bored. Poor boy. Dana followed the group and the two members to the comfortable and quite luxurious tea room, seated on elegant couches.
Linnea seemed to be getting quite the treatment from, Ren was it? She giggled like a school girl. He must be funny or it was probably just because he was quite handsome and totally at her disposal. Dana relaxed against the back of the couch, and was clearly amused as she watched the man, who wasn't so happy about Linnea's special treatment. The girl was certain he'd been trying to court Linnea for some time. Too bad.
The other entertainer, Mao, seated himself next to Dana. It was nice to have the company of another non-human besides herself. Dana felt a more genuine smile as she looked over at the male pouring her tea, maybe she will have a bit of fun?
She wasn't the only one he caught the eye of. Delphine and Eudora were also looking this way, ogling at the handsome non-human. How unbecoming of nobility. Dana merely ignored them, and it seemed he was one in the same as his eyes turned from them back to her after pouring their tea, how fun.
"[#093b07 No need for apologies. I believe everyone else was in a hurry to settle in as well.]" Dana brushed off his apology politely before taking her freshly poured tea and sipping. It was lovely, in aroma and taste. "[#093b07 Ah, how rude of me to not introduce myself sooner. Dana Temur.]" Dana gave a smile, "[#093b07 But just Dana is fine. It was Mao, wasn't it? It's a pleasure.]"
[size10 //Alright, I'm finally back to a pretty normal schedule!!! Thanks for waiting ; ;//]
[#399d69 [font "calibri" "Mao, most of the guests have arrived. Come see them in with me."]]
[font "calibri" Still mussing with his hair and clothing, Mao's eyes darted over to meet Ren's. He hadn't bothered helping the other set the table for their guests, but that wasn't unusual. He was better at cleaning up messes then arranging a tea set nicely.]
[font "calibri" [#c65877 "Fine."] The demon huffed, [#c65877 "It's your turn to deal with the clingy girls this time around though. I still have marks from the last girl who wouldn't let go of my arm."] Mao shuddered at the thought. One would think for being nobility, some of their customers would know how to behave in public.]
[font "calibri" With one last glance in the mirror, Mao and Ren left the tea room to make their way to the main entrance. Upon their arrival, they were greeted with at least a handful of men and women from a higher class. Mikaela stood chatting with a young woman with a dark complexion, most likely the one who made the appointment. A small flare of anger burst through Mao as the woman laid her hand on Mikaela's arm. He wasn't fond of women getting close to his friend, mainly due to the fact most often used Mikaela before vanishing forever. ]
[font "calibri" Mao brushed off his anger. This wasn't the time for that. He had guests to entertain, after all. Both him and Ren approached the group before bowing deeply. As if a pair of automatons, the two greeted the group in sync.]
[font "calibri" [#9b3b8c "Welcome to the Teahouse."]]
[font "calibri" As the two stood up, their work persona's surfaced. The usually cold and quiet Ren quickly bowed and kissed the hand of the first dark haired woman. [#399d69 "A pleasure to have you here, Miss Linnea. I was quite excited to hear it would be you who would be in attendance."]]
[font "calibri" Mao nearly rolled his eyes. Ren always was a kiss ass, despite the fact he hated entertaining guests. Still, he couldn't let him get away with being the only hospitable host. Turning to the rest of the group, a playful smile spread across his face. [#c65877 "I'm most honored to have all of you with us this afternoon! For those few of you new to our Teahouse, you may call me Mao and my friend here is Ren."] He gestured towards the mentioned, who gave a soft smile to the group in reply. His gaze scanned the group's faces, certain most had never stepped foot into the Teahouse. He was, however, quite surprised to see one of the members being non-human, like himself. Suddenly, his interest in this tea party piqued, as non-human nobles were quite rare. ]
[font "calibri" [#c65877 "Now, if you'll please follow us this way, let us get out of this stuffy entry way and sit and talk."] The two led the group back into their little tearoom, where they quickly sat the guests down at elegant couches and began serving tea. Ren had snatched Linnea's attention, along with another gentleman who fixed an angry look at Ren whenever he made Linnea laugh, so Mao took his hand at keeping the other three guests company. He was more than glad to take a seat next to the woman that caught his eye earlier and began to pour her a cup of tea.]
[font "calibri" [#c65877 "Sorry for the quick rush in here,"] Mao started ,[#c65877 "its just that Mika hates when we take too long to get you all comfortable."] The demon poured the other two women tea as well, but his eyes narrowed as he noticed the ogling glances they kept sending both him and Ren. Desperate to avoid them, he turned back to the lady at his side. [#c65877 "Now that we're all settled, may I perhaps get to know your name? I'm afraid I wasn't able to learn them before you arrived, so I do hope you'll forgive me."]]
//No worries! It was good, I hope you enjoy my reply! Have a great and safe trip. :)//
"[#ab714f Shall we be leaving?]" Dana rolled her blue eyes from a captivating book towards the tall, dark, and not so handsome man that had a look of exasperation.
Probably because Dana has been dragging her heels on this whole tea party. Reluctantly, the slender woman set down her book, sighing, and stood with a look of annoyance. "[#093b07 I suppose so. Why must I attend such...frivolous events?]" "[#ab714f The life of a duchess must be dreadful.]" The male smirked, "[#093b07 Very much so.]" Dana sulked passed the man who snickered as she did so.
Storm clouds rolled above as the rain was relentless but calming as Dana rode along, escorted by her dear servant, Barron. Dana was always quite fond of the rain. The young duchess allowed herself to quietly gaze out the window, watching the droplets of water, and thinking to herself how she'd rather have stayed indoors to enjoy this rainy weather alone.
But, alas, the duty of a duchess is ever social. She'd been invited to this particular tea house by a few of the other nobles, it was known to be a real pleasure, in more ways than one. Dana felt a smirk play on her lips with the thought it may be fun after all?
"[#ab714f You look awfully peaceful back there, Lady Dana.]" her blue eyes stole a quick look at Barron before back out to the rain. "[#093b07 You know, I have always been one to enjoy the rain, Barron.]"
"[#ab714f Ah, yes. It is a bit gloomy out today. I assumed you'd be...how do I put it? More displeased than this, having to go to this little tea party]"
"[#093b07 Oh, don't be fooled. I am not looking forward to dribbling on about pointless politics. Yet, I am interested in that little tea house.]"
"[#ab714f Yes, yes, an interesting and pleasant place to be. I'm sure they will show you a very good time, Lady Dana.]"
With that, the conversation drifted to silence once more and Dana enjoyed the rain once again. After sometime, the tea house came into view and it seems she was the first to arrive.
"[#ab714f Here we are! Shall I see you in?]" Barron grinned back at Dana. "[#093b07 I'm not a child, Barron. I can walk myself to the door. I'll call for you when I'm ready, thank you, loyal servant.]" She smiled, Barron gave a snort of a laugh in response as Dana turned and made her way into the tea house.
[size10 //Sorry this is kind of rushed but I'm gonna be out of town for the next week so I wanted to take care of this before I left!!//]
[font "calibri" It was raining and gloomy outside that day as usual. The brief sunshine that had broken through the clouds the day before was quickly swallowed up by all to common grey of storm. While the Artolian citizens were long used to the storms, Mao had never adapted to the wet climate.]
[font "calibri" With a drawn out yawn, the demon stretched out on one of the Teahouse's main sofas. The day had been slow, with only one or two appointments booked for the day and nearly zero walk ins. Mao was incredibly bored, to say the least. He had hoped to go out into town and run some errands today, but Mikaela, the Teahouse's Owner, had requested his employee stay indoors.]
[font "calibri" Mao understood why. Lately some of the Teahouse's entertainers had gone missing. In the past month, three of the newest members to their dysfunctional family had vanished without a trace. Mao and the other top four entertainers were concerned for their well beings. While their sort of career was perfectly legal, there were many who despised the Teahouse and its workers.]
[font "calibri" [#c65877 "It's all going to shit anymore..."] Mao mumbled to himself. If he didn't owe his entire life to Mikaela, Mao wouldn't have been out of Artolia in a heart beat. He felt trapped in this town, and with entertainers going missing, panic had begun to settle in his chest. Would he ever be able to escape that feeling?]
[font "calibri" Before Mao could let his thoughts sink deeper, he heard the sound of thin heels upon tile. He peeked over his shoulder to see Dahlia, another entertainer, walking towards him.]
[font "calibri" [#4f6bba "Mao, dear, you have an appointment."] Her voice was smooth as silk, which contrasted harshly against her cold and sharp expression. Despite her expression Dahlia was a kind and responsible woman, and one of the few people Mao trusted. Despite that, he still groaned at the information.]
[font "calibri" [#c65877 "Since when? Last time I checked the book, I was clear the rest of the day."]]
[font "calibri" Dahlia tossed a note onto his lap. [#4f6bba "Since about twenty minutes ago. A group of young nobles are coming in for tea, and you and Ren were requested."] A small sigh escaped her lips. [#4f6bba "If I wasn't busy entertaining Sir Lionel this evening, I'd cover for you. Please just go and I'll convince Mika to give you a day off."]]
[font "calibri" Mao grumbled out an 'okay' before Dahlia disappeared quick as she appeared. Dragging himself off the couch, the male made his way towards the sitting room Dahlia had written on the note. His coworker, Ren, was already in the room setting the table in preparations for the walk in guests that would be arriving. He gave Mao a nervous greeting as per usual, which the other ignored in favor of peering at his reflection in the mirror. He didn't particularly care about his appearance, but Mikaela would have his head on a pike if he looked ragged.]
[font "calibri" He just hoped this little party wouldn't be a waste of his time.]
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