Surprise Inspection

Xanadu Weyr - Forest
The trees grow thickly here, avians nesting in their branches and flitting about after insects. Flowers sprout up and speckle the ground between, the green of small plants and their blooms of bright saffron and cheeky rose that creep all the way up to the bases of the trees and adorn the fallen leaves and mulch of the forest floor. Those trees rise upward in their aged magnificence, gargantuan limbs casting often welcome shade, the general atmosphere and scent of the path is one of freshness and wild abandon.
A path winds its leisurely way through the trees, wide enough for wagons to pass. As it goes through into the forest, a number of other trails branch away, both more and less traveled. Many of them lead to private weyrs, but there's a few more trodden paths - notable among them a road to the feeding grounds, set against the western slopes.
The forest grows wilder the further north one goes, deep growth and ancient places, and the road splits in two against it. One branch leads to a clearing with a large stone building finished with wooden cladding, while the other turns back toward the meadow. Just before it emerges, a trail veers off to the Firelizard Theatre.

There are as many varied reasons for K'vir to be roaming the forest as there are among the leaves now drifting groundwards. Autumn is in full swing, this particular day mild and clear skied. Perfect for a little outdoor wandering — which is what the bronzerider is doing. Being Wingsecond means he doesn't often have time to idle (except for when he MAKES time and in those instances, it's for specific reasons). Now he has a small chunk and while he'd originally had it in mind to do one thing, his subconscious had another. Even before he could pull himself from the depths of his inner thoughts, K'vir's lead away from one path and onto another not yet trekked — this one leading right do the would-be, eventual, home of his semi-estranged cousin. Only Ru'ien isn't there and that keeps K'vir from doing an immediate turnaround and exit out. It's not even the so-called gossip of hearing the greenrider is proddy that would do it. He just is not in the mood for antics (and if that isn't stripping a page from his father's book of 'stick in the mud' personality, then…). So it's with some relief that he exhales, blue eyes focusing now on the work-in-progress structure before him. "… oh." K'vir wasn't surprised by OTHER gossip he heard but this!? He wasn't quite prepared for it to be, well, REAL.

Ah, yes, Autumn. The perfect time of turn for sweaters and hikes through the forest, if only the hear the crunch of colorful leaves beneath your boots. Thus, it was perfectly acceptable and not at all out of the ordinary for someone to wander by the construction seemingly out in the middle of absolute nowhere. Indeed K’vir, this was a thing that was happening, with workers milling about the place putting screwdrivers into things— turning them and adjusting them, hammers being brought down on nails. The framework was finished, stairs installed up front to a small deck in turn attached to a completed wrap around porch. The walls of the first floor were in place with a single window only just sliding in place as the bronzerider arrives, the second in the process of being enclosed, scrapping and sawing heard from inside, as well as the sound of sanding and soft conversation. Basically, there was a lot going on, but perhaps not so much that the tapping of mallet to a bevel doesn’t stop and a youthful figure steps out of the doorless entryway to see what a few of the workers had been going on about, “Hello there,” he says, lifting a hand in a friendly enough greeting, “There something I can help you with, sir?” The knot on the kid’s shoulder— for the one that steps forward had to be still in his late teens— was that of a Journeyman woodcrafter and in bore Fort’s colors, but the rest of all that was going on isn’t immediately forthcoming.

K'vir's gaze will take in M'ti overall, before landing pointedly on that knot. A brow quirks at the colors, but he doesn't ask. Instead, he gathers himself, shoulders rolling slightly as his posture adopts a more proper stance. It's not as stiffly formal as his father, but it's clearly more business like. Pinned to his shoulder would be his Wingsecond knot, along with Galaxy's badge and Xanadu's colors — so perhaps his behavior can be partially excused. "Afternoon," he greets, tone level but warm despite the not-so casual encounter so far. "Ah, well… Not exactly? I'd not meant to intrude, but was just coming by out of curiosity. I'm guessing Ru'ien's not about?" His gaze darts past M'ti for a moment, scanning the surrounding tree line like he expects just naming the greenrider will summon him upon both their heads. Satisfied they're not about to be set upon, he relaxes a fraction. "I'd no idea the project was so far underway… or that he'd actually intended to do it." A small admission, with a mildly apologetic half-smile for M'ti's sake. No offence meant?

Tilting his head ever so slightly to one side as he is, observed, M’ti soon takes the necessary steps forward that will leave him at the railing around the deck and folds his arms over it one on top of the other. Leaning over, K’vir is given a once over as well, not at all as familiar with this weyrmate of Risali as he was the other. In fact, he had no idea who this man was on sight, but that didn’t mean that the second he spots the knot on the bronzerider’s shoulder that he isn’t offering a friendly enough smile (now that he knows K’vir probably isn’t some axe carrying murderer or something), “Fort’s duties to Xanadu and her queens,” he replies, speaking just loud enough to carry without shouting. The politeness of pleasantries extended, the greenrider’s brows lift as his previous question is answered, “You’re not intruding at all, I was due for a break.” Honestly? He should have hours ago, his hands aching and back more than relieved that he wasn’t stooping anymore, as even the young can push themselves too hard. The mention of Ru’ien sends Matty’s eyebrows skywards, “Ru?” A few blinks later, “Mhmm, no. Not at the moment. He’s sort of…” Okay a lot. “…handsy…” The greenrider ignores or isn’t aware of the implications his word selection applies, “…right now?” Pausing for effect perhaps, M’ti rolls a shoulder back in something apologetic, “So, I’m trying to keep him off site as much as I can.” Faranth, at least till the Proddy was worn off. Twitch. M’ti just smiles to himself as K’vir looks around, undoubtedly picking up on what that was all about, “You can come up and have a look if you’d like? We’re a couple sevendays behind, but still holding onto the hope we’ll be done before the first snowfall.” A moment later, “Oh?” Matty can’t speak towards anyone’s intentions, especially that of Ru’ien’s, but he’s curious all the same, “What makes you say that?”

"That doesn't surprise me." K'vir's delivery is a touch flat, to match the half grimaced smile he gives in relation to M'ti's description of Ru'ien's quirks (or the implication of other influences). "Smart of you to do that. Might have to ask you how you did it, because not all of us are so fortunate…" The invitation to come up further onto the structure is met with a significant pause and a thoughtful furrowing of his brow. Should he? K'vir takes a moment to deliberate on the options and eventually agrees with a gentle, reserved, smile. Up he goes, slow but more in a ponderous way than dubious or cautious. He's trusting the Crafters work here! "You might luck out and the snows will be delayed too." he offers as some reassurance, as his gaze wanders over the completed work thus far. Is he impressed? It appears so! As he approaches closer to M'ti, it's only then that he dips his head politely. "Xanadu's duties to Fort and her queens." Belated, but not forgotten! "You've got a lot accomplished already," he remarks, though whether it's near the truth or not — he doesn't know. K'vir was never in the Crafts, a rider too young. Blinking, he'll finish his curious inspection and face M'ti again. What makes him say what? Then it clicks and K'vir chuckles dryly. "It's Ru'ien, that's why. He's always been up here," He taps two fingers to the side of his temple. "With his thoughts. A lot of his plans are not practical." Said like he knows the greenrider well enough to make that claim with confidence. "Maybe he's grown up a little, but…" He doesn't seem to think so.

The greenrider’s lips form a thin line and very slightly lift at their corners, lashes lowering as remains purposefully silent, keeping whatever he may think about K’vir’s reaction to what he’d said to himself. In the quiet that follows, M’ti’s gaze never leaves the bronzerider, studying him very closely indeed. It was clear that this man knew Ru’ien, perhaps even better than he did, but what that meant exactly wasn’t something that he could discern by observation alone. “That’s not to say that I’m always successful, it’s just been easier since Kihatsuth went proddy.” Because suddenly Ru’ien had quite a lot to distract him, which likely had put the build as well as the greenrider who’d been put in charge of it to the very back of his mind, at least to some degree. M’ti doesn’t push K’vir to accept his invitation, letting the man deliberate with himself as much as he wished before finally accepting, waiting for him at the top of stairs that were as naturally beautiful in their construction as they were steadfastly sturdy. Somehow the greenrider had incorporated bark and wood together into a curving ascension of steps that looked as if they’d been carved straight out of the broad trunk of a tree itself and upon closer inspection, it proves that he had. “Perhaps,” M’ti says with a bob of his head, curling the escaped chunk of hair back behind his ear with a gentle sweep of his fingers, “Regardless, I’m not willing to take any chances. It’s important that the walls are up, windows and doors in, and the roof in place before the snow falls. Otherwise…” Well, otherwise the interior of the building could be compromised by moisture which would only cause problems, to say the least. Closer now, K’vir would be able to see the sawdust and curls of wood that clung to the greenrider’s clothing, something that he pays no attention to on his end. The deck beneath their feet is perfectly flat and doesn’t give way even remotely beneath his weight, railings above smooth with a natural finish, the accenting safety barriers below shaped by bending branches the thickness of a man’s arm into a looping and continues pattern that was as eye catching as it was immobile. With a smile and nod to the bronzerider’s returned pleasantries he now extends a hand to offer a clasp, as was customary, “I’m M’ti, green Cherith’s…” Whatever similarities in appearance that K’vir might have with Ru’ien or a certain Fortian Weyrleader are either overlooked or dismissed, Matty’s default friendliness ever in place. “Progress, yes, but…” comes with the heaviness of a sigh as well as slow sweep of his eyes over the immediate vicinity. It probably felt like there was so much more left to compete, especially with a set deadline that was so very important to him. Turning and gesturing towards the open entryway, sans door at present, he offers a look at the interior but waits for K’vir to move ahead of him before taking a single step himself. Though, a brow arches faintly for what the bronzerider says of the absent greenling, “Ru hasn’t been in charge of any of this, it’s all me. He asked me to design and oversee the project but does check in, only asking that if I need anything that I let him know as soon as possible to give him time to get it to me.” While it may seem as if M’ti was tooting his own horn, the very edge to his voice a smidgen defensive and yet somehow still remains well-grounded in politeness, “That shows maturity, don’t you think? Knowing when to rely on others…” Regardless of the answer, the greenrider smiles genuinely enough, willing it seems to move past any thinly veiled dislike he might have picked up on. If K’vir chooses to head inside, M’ti follows suit, another window sliding into place behind them. The inside looks considerably more finished than the out, the flooring down and a mason in the process of placing stone to what would undoubtedly be a very large fireplace, something that would be needed to keep such a dwelling warm in the winter months. Another feature, a second staircase, which also was— in part— carved out of the trunk of a single tree before seamlessly flowing upwards to the loft above. In fact, two other younger trees come up through the floor and provide support to the second level— remaining branches incorporated into the design to snake across to the ceiling above— and over the turns would continue to grow and further stabilize the whole structure. There was a bathroom straight ahead, the plumbing and fixtures already installed, though the walls that would divide it from the main living space were still missing. That banister though? While it might be still in the process of being carved, the ornate design, (which would continue from there to the railing of the loft) would beyond the shadow of a doubt make the stairway the most eye catching aspect of the space.

“Of course,” K’vir’s reply covers both M’ti’s admission to Kihatsuth’s proddiness lending some relief in a way and overall to how there is a list yet of building to complete to ensure all that is done, so far, is not lost. The offered hand is clasped in one of his own, firm and steady, if brief in the exchange. “K’vir, bronze Zekath’s. Wingsecond of Galaxy.” As though that wasn’t obvious, but the rest slips from habit. Stepping inside of the structure, he’ll resume his quiet study of the work done so far. His focus, however, is more on the conversation and M’ti himself. “That so? Huh. Didn’t think Ru’ien had the marks on him but — I guess he’s full of surprises?” There’s a hint of amusement there, along with a small smile. His steps appear to draw him near the stonework, though he doesn’t approach too close as not to disturb the mason at work. Turning, he’ll face the young greenrider again, unaware that he’s struck a chord (funny how that runs in the family, right?). “Yeah, that would be considered a trait of maturity but…” he lingers on that a moment, before shaking his head, a touch regretfully. “Never mind. This place is coming together nicely and the Craftsmanship is obvious.” So there’s some high praise! Was it concern, then, for his cousin, that brought K’vir here?

Being what it was, M’ti has little more to add, hazel eyes following the man on approach and then watching him quietly thereafter. Hand extended, clasped and returned, “Well met, K’vir,” is next to emerge past his lips, of course knowing in part who he was merely on introduction. After all, that Risali had two weyrmates wasn’t a secret at Xanadu, and neither were their names. That in all the time between candidacy to now that he’s never met him? Trivial. People had lives and they didn’t at all revolve around some Fortian Impressed greenrider. M’ti follows K’vir inside after that, checking on the workers and work alike briefly, and apparently has nothing to say about Ru’ien’s financial situation or what surprises the greenling might be full of, merely smiling in that thin and wholly polite way. That’s right, mums the word. It’s entirely possible that M’ti believes that it is not his place to judge, wager a guess, or share any personal information about the man who hired him— not even with one of the weyrmates of the Senior Weyrwoman. Instead, he continues his close observation of the job site’s second visitor today, head slightly inclined and expression gone thin as K’vir speaks again. Muscles shift and stiffen, fingers twitch, but he presses his lips together rather than jumping the gun. Thus he remains for several moments, lashes low, seeming to be bracing himself for a defence that turns out to be unnecessary as the bronzerider censors himself. Although given the cool and calm yet ever so slightly strained tightness to Matty’s expression, it might suggest that K’vir might have said quite enough as well as outstayed his welcome already, “Thank you,” he replies softly, rolling shoulders back and turning half away to run fingertips over the half-carved banister of the staircase, “Tell me though K’vir, did you come here to confirm something you’d assumed of Ru’ien, or just to disparage him?” follows, hazel eyes slide back the man’s way, a single brow lofted.

Cue a rather baffled looking bronzerider! Once he picks up on M’ti’s change in stance, his brows furrow slightly. K’vir may have already started to take a few small half-steps back towards the door. “What? No, I just thought…” He begins to reply, only to pause and hesitate with gesturing to the greenrider and then to ‘nothing’ which implies the absent Ru’ien. “… maybe you two knew each other? So you’d know him.” Know him well enough to get at what K’vir was implying but clearly they’re not anywhere near the same page. Nor did it ever cross his head that M’ti could strictly just be a business partner and the one hired to help construct things. That may be sinking in now, to judge by how K’vir scrubs at the back of his neck sheepishly. “Didn’t mean to assume anything or… make it seem like I thought bad of your client.” Oh, how awkward is this getting? K’vir can take a hint, however, and he’s just gonna see himself out the door — with just one pause at the threshold. “I won’t hold you up any longer. Best of luck and…” Another lapse of thought, before he meets M’ti’s gaze one last time. “If it isn’t too much trouble, if Ru’ien does come this way? Tell him his cousin says dinner is a no go tonight.” For REASONS. Namely that a proddy Ru’ien and a potentially proddy Risali is a terrifying combination that not even K’vir wants to deal with. “I’d get Zekath to bespeak Kihatsuth but that’s probably not going to go over well.” And he doesn’t trust a firelizard message to get through either — so this is one option at least.

Turning back again towards K’vir, M’ti tucks hair that’s fallen into his face back behind the ear it’d escaped from, but the way he holds himself doesn’t alter. There is no interruption as the bronzerider stammers, trying to explain himself, he merely waits for thoughts to be collected and shared, “We do, know one another,” he exhales, “But I think the Ru’ien that you know, isn’t the same one that I do.” It may seem like M’ti is going to leave it at that, the way he was looking at K’vir as if he would like nothing less than his departure, regardless of his gentle intonement, “I’m just confused as to why you’d come here and say those sort of things when he’s not here to defend himself, or why you’d assume that anyone who might be close to him would want to join you in criticizing him.” Pointedly, M’ti does not clarify whatever relationship he might have with Ru’ien, and so there’s no correction when K’vir implies that it was nothing more than a working one. There might be some relief that Matty doesn’t have to actually verbally request that the bronzerider leave, but it’s overshadowed by the irritation that the man had inspired. How dare he! The audacity! Cousins? What? Okay, that puts a skip on the needle, and it shows in how the greenrider’s eyes enlarge scantily with a flash at his throat. M’ti does his best to cover for himself, swallowing and nodding his head crisply just once, “I’ll let him know as soon as I see him.” Which would be later, no doubt, when all good little workers were home and not canoodling with whom had hired them. Cough. “I understand…” Seeing as K’vir was heading out (as he should!), M’ti nods again and stoops to pick up a tool, gaze scanning the banister he had every intention of getting as complete today as possible as he rises back to his feet, “Clear skies, sir…”

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