Posts tagged ‘Carlo/Norabardal’

Try to praise the mutilated world.

“It’s… nice,” Ian said, his voice soft. He gave Allen an uneasy smile and shrugged. What did Allen expect him to say? He was uses to rolling hills and greenery, not pavement and towering buildings. If he were honest, the place looked frightful to his eyes. He was trying to be kind.

Carlo, seemingly oblivious to his true meaning, just grinned and slapped him on the shoulder. “Thanks,” he said, sounding cheery. “I think it has real potential!”

Giving him a sidelong glance, Ian frowned. “You’re welcome,” he said, sounding just a bit unsure.

Too Much Energy

“Watching her tires me out,” Franklin said, his voice soft.

Carlo nodded slightly. He grimaced faintly and whispered, “It’s like watching some little windup doll. I keep expecting her to just… crash.”

“What are we talking about?” Ian said, looking from one to the other. His eyes twinkled with mirth, like he knew something neither of them did.

“Not what, who,” Carlo said, shaking his head. “Noellie.” As he said her name, he gestured at her with his chin.

Noellie was gliding around the room, tidying here and straightening there. Her face was set in a serious expression as she worked with a speed and ferocity that was almost frightening.

Ian nodded slightly. “Don’t let her hear you comparing her to a doll,” he warned. “She hates that.”

“People who don’t want to be compared to doll shouldn’t wear frilling dresses,” Carlo said, giving Ian a knowing, almost arrogant, expression.

“People who like to breathe shouldn’t compare her to a doll,” Ian replied. He looked at Franklin and added, “I do agree with you, though. Just watching her is enough to make me able to sit quietly for hours at a time.”

desperate situation

Ophelia tried very hard not to roll her eyes at Carlo. The man truly infuriated her. He acted like he knew everything about everyone’s circumstances. However, he really knew very little about her people or those of her siblings. Finally, she’d had enough.

“Hey,” she said, her tone sharp. When Carlo stopped speaking and all eyes turned to her, she stood. “You don’t seem to realize the gravity of the situation. The resources of the homes our children have chosen – out of necessity – are insufficient for their needs.”

“They can’t move and there’s not enough food for them to sustain themselves,” Madeline said, her voice soft. “Without help from you, our children will starve.”

Allen’s brows furrowed. “The state of affairs is so dire?” he asked.

“That’s what we’ve been trying to tell you,” Cecil said, rolling his eyes.

Ian nodded slowly. “Then,” he said, glancing at the other, “how can we do anything else, except to help them?”

“You understand what it means, though, becoming protectorates of ours?” Franklin said, his voice soft.

“We don’t seem to have any other choice,” Hana said. She shrugged and said, “At least, a protectorates, we’ll retain some level of autonomy.”

“If we let Berklia conquer us, we won’t have any,” Noellie said, grinning brightly. “We don’t like it, but we have to do what’s best for our children.”

“Fair enough,” Allen said, nodding.

People who make good first impressions usually suck

“He seemed so sweet and innocent,” Carlo said, shaking his head.

Ian chuckled softly and shook his head. “Yeah, well,” he said. “Ophelia seems that way at first too. I’ve learned that you can never trust first impressions.”

“Guess not,” Carlo said, as he stared at the hole in the wall that their visitor had left. “I should warn the others about that pipe, yeah?”

“Couldn’t hurt,” Ian said, nodding.

but too late

“What she needs are allies,” Ophelia said, looking from Allen to Ian and then to Carlo. She shook her head. “She doesn’t need someone to take her over again. She needs help to become free and self-governing.”

Allen sighed. “Jeffrey wanted to ally with her,” he said. He looked at Ian and then Carlo. “I told him he couldn’t – he’s still my colony, after all. I didn’t realize why he was so… determined.”

“Not until she announced her intentions at the meeting,” Ian said, blinking.

“She won’t accept help from me,” Carlo breathed. “I missed my chance to help her.”