The Conqueror leader was still brushing snow off of his cloak by the time he was within sight of Clocktown’s gate. The sun was just starting to dip beneath the horizon to his right. Seemed he’d arrived just on time. Which was more of a good fortune than a feat, really, given how much his arrival time depended upon the state of the path he had to travel.
He was early for the midnight carnival, yes. But the carnival was more of a formality to him than anything else. What he was really here for was the convenient one-night lift of his exile and the freedom to traverse the city it would give him. The time he didn’t spend celebrating would prove to be an invaluable opportunity to convene with his Sect and its allies.
He dismounted at the wall, pulling the hood of his cloak up over his head, and continued on foot towards the gate. The guard keeping watch stood his ground just long enough for the visitor to adjust his cloak ever so slightly, enough to reveal the symbol on his tunic and the very particular sword at his hip. The soldier instantly stepped aside, shifting his grip on his spear to reveal an identical symbol tattooed on his wrist, and received a brief nod from his leader as the man walked past and continued into town.
Leilah had been fidgety most of the day, since she had found the anonymous message to join a mysterious person on the clock tower at midnight. Of course being fidgety translated into baking as many sweets as she could to bring with her, trying to make something that tasted as good as she could manage and always finding some issue with the batch and throwing the finished attempts into the fridge to eat later.
Finally after several hours of baking she filled a picnic basket with goodies only to realize that her clothing was no longer acceptable and rushed to change. Finally after doing all the finishing touches..
..she realized she still had time before midnight. She sighed at the clock before continuing to finish her picnic packing and leaving her house. After carefully locking up and racking her mind to make sure the stove was off and nothing was left out to rot.
She was met almost immediately by the sight of a cloaked individual walking in her direction. Her heart began beating quickly and she turned beet red— was this the anonymous note leaver? She heard the blood throb in her ears as she stayed frozen in the doorway, not entirely sure what she should do. Would they come to her? Was she wrong? They really did seem mysterious enough to leave a message about having a picnic date on the clocktower.
In hindsight Leilah really probably should have asked who it was, but it was far too late. She stayed frozen in her doorway watching the figure like a deer staring into headlights.
It took Cealla a few moments to realize he was being watched.
After finding a stable to board his horse in for the night, he had been walking through the city at an easy pace, looking around to see what had changed in the past month and exchanging greetings with those who could recognize him. The latent fear of carnival nights from the prior year’s events had all but dissipated by now, and most of those he met, even the stern members of his own Sect, seemed in relatively high spirits. He and a member of the Conquerors’ higher council had just finished making arrangements to hold a more formal meeting after the midnight festivities when he turned away to find a pair of large, immeasurably dark eyes staring at him like he’d just transformed into a Wolfos and howled a raunchy drinking song.
He slowed to a halt, looking back at the dark-haired schoolteacher from beneath his hood, before shifting somewhat awkwardly and clearing his throat.
“Miss Rowley?” He moved a hand to lift the hood of his cloak enough to let a blue eye peer through, giving the other leader a somewhat bemused look. “Miss Rowley, are you quite alright?”