Kissing the blarney stone
Warnings/notes: Darres-Yujinn, Yujinn-everyone, Darres-Ishtar, snippet.
Disclaimer: I don't own Vampire Game.
written at 19th march 2005, by Misura, for the livejournal-community daily15. (word: blarney)
Yujinn, Darres thinks, flatters too much.
It wouldn't be so bad if he knew that Yujinn was, indeed, a flatterer, someone with not enough brains to know who's good and who isn't, who's important enough to want to make a favorable impression on and who isn't, but that isn't the case.
Sir Keld, for example, not once receives one of Yujinn's flowery compliments, and not merely because his hearing's not as good as that of a younger man anymore. If Darres didn't know any better, he'd say that Yujinn doesn't like Sir Keld, which is too absurd to be true, since Sir Keld is the one who got Yujinn appointed as the princess' tutor.
And Sir Keld, Darres knows, is not generous or broadminded enough to assign a man to a duty simply because he's the one most likely to do a good job at it.
Of course, if the rumor that Yujinn has had to beg for his position, he might bear Sir Keld something of a grudge. Darres can imagine that, can all too well imagine a man as proud as Yujinn intensely disliking the reminder of his humiliation. (Imagining Yujinn to suffer that humiliation in the first place comes a bit harder though.)
For Yujinn does possess great pride. A far greater pride, in fact, than a mere mage, even a highly skilled one, might be expected to have. Combined with his flattery, it makes Yujinn a hard puzzle to figure out, a mystery even. Something doesn't add up in Yujinn's personality, and Darres finds himself drawn to that, fascinated by the challenge of finding the real Yujinn among all these contradictions.
Yet at the same time, Darres wants nothing to do with Yujinn. He doesn't like the way the mage kisses the princess' hand at the start of each lesson, telling her how beautiful she looks.
Ishtar ignores him, of course; she gets so much flattery from her courtiers that she's practically become immune to it, but somehow it still rankles. Yujinn is not a fool; fools don't get very far in the magical arts and they definitely don't net themselves royal appointments. So why then does he continue with his useless gestures and empty words?
Darres can't solve the matter, and so he finds himself pondering Yujinn over and over again, until the man seems to have become an obsession to him, someone whose face he sees in his dreams, whose name is on his lips as he wakes up.
This is definitely not a good thing, Darres decides. Perhaps he should take a more direct approach to this whole mess, simply go and have a chat with Yujinn, see what he can pry loose. Keeping his distance isn't going to bring him any closer to a solution, after all; any idiot can see that.
However, the problem with such a course of action is that Darres thinks it just might be possible that to seek out Yujinn, to deliberately expose himself to more of that mocking flattery and that flattering mockery, could result in something much worse than the current situation.
After that first step, he might actually find himself dreaming and thinking of a Yujinn that's real, a Yujinn who doesn't speak empty words and won't make worthless promises, but a Yujinn who's smart and intelligent, and much more beautiful than Princess Ishtar will ever be.
That risk is not one Darres is willing to run.