K’nert’s contract is short. Especially for one written by a demon. It’s remarkably clear of stipulations and legalese. There’s a bit in there. K’nert’s a demon after all, but for the most part it reads more like an oath of fealty than standard contract. It isn’t, for starters, limited to a particular time and it places K’nert entirely at Aliana’s service in exchange for reasonable protection.
In a way that’s more worrying than if it had been arcane and convoluted. Demons are expected to try and get the best bargain possible out of their deals. They’re even expected to try and cheat the other party. It doesn’t appear as if K’nert has made really any effort at all to do so which does beg the question ‘why’.
The little imp is elsewhere. In the short time he’s been staying in Aliana’s hideway he has evidenced a remarkable ability to just appear out of shadow though whether that’s due to an advanced ability to hide or some innate faculty for teleportation isn’t clear. Anyway, he’s not about at the moment. Aiden had gone to pick up some food from Saren’s Rest – the pantry in the castle is a bit bare – and has returned just moments ago. His booted footfalls echo through the main concourse of the citadel. He’s got a couple of canvas bags full of food floating behind him and he’s reading his tablet which appears to have some kind of data stick hooked into it.
With no one to fill the halls of the citadel, Aiden’s steps echo down the halls. He’s had time to explore the place and while in some disrepair from being empty for long enough for any of the original furnishings to have decayed to dust, the structure itself is in mostly good condition. It’s hard to tell what many of the rooms used to be for, with nothing left of what they once contained. The kitchens however, were easy to identify. Clearly whatever people lived here weren’t technically advanced. The cooking is designed to be done with wood and the lighting is all torches.
It’s eerie, being so //alone//. Not even the sense of others around. Well, except Aliana.
Aiden has good timing, as the shifter is in the kitchen trying to find something to eat and.. not finding much. There are a few rat bars that are leftover from the last time she was here, and she’s eyeing them a bit dubiously.
The psychic has to wander a bit to find the kitchen – or at least the room that Aliana now uses as such – but eventually he does. She’ll hear him coming before she sees him rather easily. This place is rather echo-y.
“Hey there…” Aiden says quietly as he slips in with the groceries floting behind him. They settle on something that might have been a table or a counter or a… very high plinth. Whatever it is, it’s a flat surface.
“Guess what I found?” Out of one of the bags comes a round and rather heavy container that’s got condensation and frost on it…
Aliana Knight looks up as Aiden finally makes it to the room, those echoes having run along ahead of him, straightening a moment later. She’s in just leggigns and tank top at the moment, even her shoes are off leaving her in bare feet on the stone floor. Luckily the temperate weather means the stone isn’t freezing. Her hair’s pulled up into a messy ponytail and she’s got some smudges of dirt and sweat. Looks like someone’s been cleaning up a bit.
The question, and the item gets an arched brow. “A… round… cold… thing.”
The rest of it? Meat, bread, cheese, fruit and vegetables. Some of them aren’t from earth which can be said of a lot of the produce and meat that is seen in markets worldwide these days. Being so close to Dogwood, some of it will be regular old pig and cow and that suits Aiden just fine.
Much of food floats out of the bags and begins to put itself away. Some of the bread, cheese and some of the meat finds its way along with a knife and cutting board in front of Aiden. Must be nice to have… a dozen extra sets of hands.
He doesn’t start cutting quite yet though. Instead he opens up the container. Inside is a cold, creamy substance. He pushes it over in Aliana’s general direction. “Take a taste.”
The substance gets a look, and then Aiden gets an arched brow. She gets a towel to wipe her hands on though, and then digs around to find a spoon. The utensils aren’t original furnishings, they’re some mismatched items that Aliana accumulated over the years. The original residents likely had wodden ones. What metalwork there is hasn’t been the delicate work making utensils would need.
“How many things can you… juggle at once, anyhow? I’d think at some point the mental coordination would become too much.” Like rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time.
Dipping the spoon in she takes a careful taste. See? Look how trusting she’s being!
It tastes like berries. And it’s pretty sweet. Milk based, perhaps? It’s also quite cold. Whatever kind of cooler it’s in, that thing’s working well.
“A couple dozen and that’s if none of them are too heavy. Beyond that it gets a bit much. That’s why I usually shove things into bags. I can deal with a smaller number of heavier objects better than I can deal with a larger number of light ones.” He can deal with them in succession at the speed of thought though which does occasionally make his cooking look like he’s in the middle of a pack of animate foodstuffs and spices. When spices can be had.
“How did the imp’s contract look, by the way?” Now Aiden is cutting up bread, cheese and meat and floating them onto a plate. It’ll do for a meal for now. It’s, of course, close enough to Aliana that she could decide some or all of it is hers. It’s possible that Aiden even expects that.
Aliana Knight gives a slow blink at the cold treat, and then pulls in the container closer to herself. Aiden might have to fight to get it back. She pats the heavy slab of a counter. “Boost.” She says, not wanting to have to climb up there. Especially not when she has someone that’s adept at picking things up and putting them back down again.
The blonde doesn’t even eye the plate, she just picks things off of it. After she’s had a few more bites of the sweet stuff. “It was good.” She says around a mild frown. “Which is a little suspect. If he’s got loopholes in there, I haven’t been able to spot them.”
Something lifts Aliana up and turns her around to sit on the ‘counter’. There’s no sensation of grip, no indication that she’s being lifted by any one point. Its as if someone has decided that gravity is going to cause her levitate up to the counter. For most people it would be odd but Aiden is willing to bet that Aliana has experience with the odd flight spell or levitation trick.
The grey eyed psychic frowns with Aliana at the report that K’nert’s contract was ‘clean’. It’s just so… uncharacteristic.
“What is it that he could want that he didn’t try to slip into the contract?” He wonders aloud. “Did you see that look he gave your sword, by the way? Is that normal?”
Aliana wasn’t always interested in walking up all 54 flights of stairs to her place in Saren’s rest.
“Mmm.” Aliana humms, agreeing with his confusion. At the question of the sword, she shakes her head. “It’s not one of those Rune Weapons that’s well known, and sometimes it goes overlooked if I’m just carrying it about.” Most of the runes are on the blade, which is hidden by the scabbard. “But even those that know it aren’t so… enamored of it.”
Blowing out a sigh, she looks over to him, “I’m going to agree to it.” She starts to say something more, and then catches herself, adjusting the wording. “Being mine means he’s entited to a measure of my protection.” Pause. “That means I’d have to object to someone trying to kill, or seriously harm him.”
Aiden snakes a piece of cheese and then a bit of apple. These apples aren’t the best stock in the world. It is the middle of winter after all, but the fact that there’s any to be had at all speaks volumes about Vepser and Dogwood’s ability to store food and avert famine.
“So no killing or maiming the imp…” He says, finishing the thought. “Well, I suppose it was inevitable that part of the deal was that I not string him up by his innards.” Of course, Aliana had also made it clear that K’nert may well have information that she needs and that being the case it’s not likely he would have done that anyway. Not right away, in any case.
There are, as Aliana discovers, small chunks of frozen berry in this cream.
The psychic suspects, though, that there’s going to be some jockying for postion to be done. Which means things might get a bit hairy. Pretty much any time he’s run into a shifter’s entorage in the past there’s been a heirachy among them. He suspects that’s just how demons think. Or at least how imps think.
“He’ll be under the same restrictions…” Aliana //did// call Aiden her ‘pet’, didn’t she? “But that doesn’t stop him from plotting. Or being damned annoying. He’s likely to know that there’s a line and if he crosses it he’ll piss me off but that still leaves a lot of lattitude for troublemakers.”
Aliana’s attention has moved back to the ice cream, digging out the frozen berries to chew on. Aiden might have spoiled her dinner.
He almost might have wanted to have some before he showed it ot her…