Closed [Laviku's Secret] Fine Dining on Fickle Seas (Valour)

Orin's called in to cover at the Laviku's Secret

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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[Laviku's Secret] Fine Dining on Fickle Seas (Valour)

Postby Valour Skyglow on July 8th, 2017, 1:53 pm

Valour Skyglow


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The kitchen was up in a ruckus and people were running about in a multitude of directions, voices yelled over the ships roaring engine and the overwhelming smell of fish hung in the air. The chef and her second in command had called in sick, and so there had been no one to fill in their shoes for the past few minutes. Although they were all running a bit behind schedule, the passengers had only just started boarding. For the past two days, she had been following directions in Laviku’s Secret, they had almost always started preparing at least half an hour before the people began boarding. There was almost always a buffet, and frankly, she wasn’t sure if there was one now.

She remembered being labeled as ‘Commis’, constantly working alongside the main chef and being given tasks to gain more experience. For now, she stood awkwardly on the side, waiting for the person who they had all been told would fill in. Many bodies were running around, grilling shrimp, or baking potatoes- she witnessed salmon being taken from the freezer in order to prepare. Everyone was doing the basics, though no one was really ‘preparing’ anything to serve.

After what seemed like a good few minutes, the door swung open to reveal Hruthar, the grumpy man walked forwards with someone trailing behind him. Sneaking a glance at the new comer, she assumed he would be filling in for Chef Alia. Upon his introduction, Valour heard a few people whispering excitedly; they were referring to him as ‘an amazing chef’, she even heard someone say he was the best in the world. Blinking, she turned her violet gaze back towards the speaker, rolling her eyes as one of the more defiant workers spoke up. He was easily brushed off by Hruthar, though that left a few faces that seemed to doubt the new chef’s abilities. Valour didn’t believe that his attitude made him any less knowledgeable or better at his trade, though it would definitely hinder the overall team’s work ethic.

Everyone was now gathered around, and Hruthr seemed to take that as a sign to leave. As he exited, ‘Orin’, began talking and establishing his position. He seemed more confident and demanding, though it left her staring up helplessly. She knew she would have to inform him of her position, though that could wait. Apparently, her wait had been limited as he dismissed everyone to their stations except for her. He seemed kind, though his flurry of questions left her blinking rapidly.
“Uhm. . .” She trailed off, clearing her throat. She knew some of the answers, so might as well try to appear useful, right? “Sir, my name is Valour, ( Val – ler ), and I work under the eyes of the main chef, I am still in training.” She paused, repeating the questions in her mind. She had begun walking around the kitchen, starting from the door that lead to the dining area. “That door leads to the dining area, and it opens up to a wide expanse and gives guests a view of Riverfall.“ She moved on to his actual question.
”Set menu? Not that I know of. There’s a midday meal and a sunset meal, however there is also a buffet which everyone can freely take from. We are a sea-based restaurant, so we mainly serve seafood. I believe there may be some beef or chicken, though we always have vegetables.” Valour paused, her eyes narrowing as she attempted to recall what she had been told before.
She began leading him towards the pantry which was a few feet away, to the left of the door to the diner. “Pantry.” She knocked on the door before moving on to the right of the pantry. “This is obvious- where we wash our dishes.” Her head turned to the center of the room, pointing her hand. “Where the sauces are made… I think.” She walked over to a place to the right of the center, it was to the very end of the kitchen and held a large fridge. There was a station right beside the fridge where an array of knives and wooden boards were placed. There were also numerous trays- for the vegetables, peeling, and the final product. “I think that’s where the salads or anything to do with cold items are made? I’m not too sure of its name.”

They began walking towards the grill station which was to the front of the kitchen. Two cleansed ovens maintained a grill above themselves which heated sizzling shrimp. She could see the lit ovens cooking what she assumed to be salmon.
“I believe the fish that has started cooking are shrimp and salmon.” She pointed towards the station they had stopped at. “I don’t think any salads have started, though I do recall the smell of baked potatoes- something that tends to be served with the salmon.” She raised a brow, “So baked potatoes, salmon, shrimp- I think that’s about it.” She turned around, observing the kitchen. “Everyone’s getting to work though…”
Upon his inquiry about wine, she shook her head. “I don't think so.” She walked towards the center, front portion of the kitchen. “I’m not too sure what this part is for, though it’s got many pans, ovens and spices.”

She turned around to face him, attempting to hide the nervous aura that practically screamed from her expression. Her eyes were still a light violet, though the sweat that trickled from her forehead gave away the worry. “I’m sorry, this is only my third day and I’m not too sure where everything is yet. I’ve probably missed a lot, but I’ve told you all that I can.”


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[Laviku's Secret] Fine Dining on Fickle Seas (Valour)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 9th, 2017, 2:08 am

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Orin had to remind himself to breathe as he was led through the kitchen by Valour. It wasn’t in as dire straits as he’d feared, but this was not only one of the first times he’d run a kitchen entirely by himself, it wasn’t even a kitchen he was familiar with. I can do this, he kept reminding himself. I have trained myself for this very occassion. More importantly, Orin had to do this. Not only had he agreed to it, he didn't want to disappoint the patrons. Just as importantly, it not more, was that this could help catapult his career to a new level. He was a good chef; he knew that. But his management skills hadn't been tested all that much, and so if Orin succeeded in this challenge, he was certain that his name would reach the ears of those who followed culture around Riverfall.

Valour was even younger than Orin had thought, and she seemed slightly nervous in his presence. Orin made a mental note to alleviate her stress when he got a minute. As she explained first that the buffet hadn't been set out, and then took him around to the various stations, Orin’s mind was racing. Patrons probably know about buffet, have to distract them. Salads and cold foods, quick, easy to prepare: start immediately.” Orin was dismayed to see that there wasn’t currently a sauce being prepared, and decided that he personally would have to stand there. Luckily, it was directly in the center of the kitchen, which would give Orin oversight over the entire place. As they came to their last stop, Orin glanced at it. Valour didn’t seem to have an inkling, so he idly mentioned, “I think it’s for desserts.”

Having planned out a rudimentary set of actions to move forward, Orin decided that, while they were in a hurry, he could afford to take a few ticks to reassure Valour, who seemed to be far too unsure of herself. “You did a great job. That was perfect, I learned everything I needed to.” Orin remembered his first few times in a kitchen. It was a bittersweet memory, since he had been sneaking around, without his father’s permission, and every time he was caught, he’d been punished. But the wonder of cooking had been too strong to keep him away for long. It could be daunting, he knew, and he was always happy to encourage a young chef. “I’m going to need your help if we’re going to pull this off. It’s a lot of responsibility, but I know you can handle it. And if you do well I’ll be sure to put in a good word with Alia for you.” Orin put a hand on her shoulder, and squeezed, hoping to indicate that he was trusting her to do her best. Valour handled, he hoped, at least for now, Orin turned his attention to the rest of his underlings.

Raising his voice to be heard over the clanging pots, chopping knives, and the various other sounds of a busy kitchen, Orin shouted, “Now, here’s what’s going to happen. It’s too late to get out the buffet for the midday meal. It would look unprofessional, and frankly I’m not sure we’ll have the time. Instead, we’re going to tell them all we’ve prepared a special treat for them today.”

Casting his gaze upon the crowd, most of whom had stopped what they were doing briefly, Orin spotted a group in matching uniforms, presumably the waiters. “Where’s the sommelier. The person who knows about wines,” Orin added, just to Valour. She should start learning the terminology now. A particularly pretty blonde woman, with strange scalelike patterns, standing in the middle of the group of waiters, raised her hand. “Excellent! I need you to go pick out the wines. We’re going to want a rich white and a light red for the salmon, and an off dry white for the shrimp.” The woman nodded, and exited the room into the pantry Valour had indicated earlier. Perhaps the wines were kept in the same place to save space, or there was a separate exit, but Orin had already moved on. Addressing the rest of the group of waiters, he explained how they were going to handle tonight. “Once the sommelier gets back with the wine list, go out there with bread and olive oil, and take drink orders. If anyone asks about the buffet, explain that we’ve decided to give them a special treat and didn’t want anyone to miss out on today’s dishes. They’ll start out with an spinach, cheese, and apple salad, followed by their choice of spicy shrimp or salmon in a wine and ginger sauce, with assorted roasted vegetables and a baked potato on the side. Finally they’ll get a dessert. I’ll give you more specifics after the drink orders,” after I finalize the menu “and I’ll trust you to be charming and stall until I have everything fully sorted out in here. Now go!”

The waiters started gathering up finely sliced bread in baskets and small bowls of olive oil and started gathering by the door, awaiting the wine selection. Orin called after them, “And whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do not mention that the chefs are sick.” Nobody wanted patrons to start asking questions about how and why they got sick, and whether the boat was safe, because once it started it wouldn’t stop until there was a full on panic. Turning to Valour he smiled. “I hope you followed all that. We’ve got to smile and joke and flirt and misdirect them so they don’t ask too many questions about the change in typical fare.” Hopefully she had a brain in that head of hers.

Turning to the actual cooks, Orin briefly debated shouting at them, but decided to visit each in turn instead. First though, he'd give Valour her instructions. “Now I need you to fetch me a few things, so do your best to memorize what I’m about to tell you. First up, I’m going to need white wine, a small onion, white wine vinegar, ginger and olive oil. That's for the wine and ginger sauce Next, I’m going to need a whole bunch of spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, and dried thyme. That's for the spice mix for the shrimp. I assume you can find the first list in the pantry. The second should all be in the spice rack. If you can’t find anything, ask someone who’s been around the kitchen for longer.” Orin repeated the two lists again, and finished up with, “Make as many trips as necessary, and bring it all to the sauce station. Meet me there when you’re finished.. Oh and bring vinegar as well!” Orin cursed himself for not mentioning that earlier, meaning that she’d probably forget. Still he had to move on.

Leaving her to that task, Orin made his first stop at the salad station, which just so happened to be the station where the disgruntled cook from earlier was. Orin sighed, but approached the man. “I’m sorry we got off on the wrong foot. I hope we can work together.” From the blank expression on the man’s face, Orin realized that he wasn’t getting through. He’d have to try a different tactic. “Look, I don’t care if you hate me, but if you care at all about your job, or art, then don’t fight me. I promise I will try not to step on your toes, and besides, it’s just one day.” Deciding to appeal to the man’s sense of pride, Orin went on to say, “After all, if we two professionals can’t make it work, that’s a bit sad, isn’t it? So. Truce?”

The man glared at Orin, but nodded once sharply. “Truce,” the other chef agreed in a gruff tone.

Orin smiled broadly. “Excellent. I knew we come to an agreement.” Shifting modes, Orin started explaining the salad he wanted. “I need you to get spinach, sour apples, and feta cheese. I’ll whip up a vinaigrette for the dressing really quick for you, then I want you to peel the apples, chop them into cubes, and soak them in the vinaigrette. Next, chop the cheese into cubes as well, put it on top of the spinach, and drizzle the vinaigrette on top.” The other chef nodded, seeming undaunted by the task, so Orin gave him another smile, then shifted attention to the next station on the line, the meats. Once there, Orin peered. around the Akalak’s side, as peering over the dark-skinned man’s would be physically impossible. Orin was pleased with what he saw. The human patted the Akalak’s arm. “Great job. Just one note. You can turn the salmon less often -- let it cook fully though on one side before you switch. And once it’s done, place it in a pan, and move it to very low heat to keep it warm.” Already moving, Orin added, “Oh and hold off on frying the shrimp, I’m going to have a spice mix to coat them in.

Finally, at the last stop before his own, Orin found the vegetables. Seeing the baked potatoes were already on their way, Orin gave his last set of instructions to the dark haired woman there. “I need you to get onions and peppers, and chop them into cubes, saute them, add garlic and corn, saute those, and then bring them to the meat station. After, grab some carrots and peas, and cook them up. The onions and peppers are for the shrimp and the peas and carrots are for the salmon.” She nodded, and left to go grab the extra supplies from the pantry. Finally, Orin stopped at the sauce station, and surveyed the items laid out there. Laying his mother’s knife on a chopping board, Orin started to bring out the pots, pans, and bowls, he’d need to make this work. Hopefully Valour would be finished with her own task soon.
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Last edited by Orin Fenix on July 15th, 2017, 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[Laviku's Secret] Fine Dining on Fickle Seas (Valour)

Postby Valour Skyglow on July 15th, 2017, 8:53 am

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Valour had calmed a tad, her violet eyes staring attentively up at chef Orin. Her fingers curled into small fists as she waited in anticipation for her instructions. A burning fire of determination eased its way into her formerly hesitant gaze. She understood completely what the chef meant by remaining positive and leaving out the fact that their usual chef was not there. Many customers could jump to conclusions; some could think that the food was what got her sick, others could assume she had an accident in the kitchen- either way, the outcome would reflect badly on the ship as a whole. As Orin explained it briefly to her, she demonstrated his words with a sweet smile, accompanied by a glimmer of kindness from her eyes. “What change?” She shrugged her shoulders, a brief, knowing grin enveloping her lips before instantly vanishing.

Then came the time she’d be given instructions- simple ones, at that. Orin began running through a lengthy list of ingredients that would become a necessity. There were multiple pockets that lined her apron, and one just happened to contain a notepad and pen. She had been given this upon receiving the job; the chef tended to give her long lists of ingredients and there was no possible way she’d remember everything. As he ran through the list a second time, she jotted down everything. Clicking the pen closed, she got ready to leave before he added vinegar to the jumble. Scrabbling it down, she nodded her head briskly. Whipping around she made for the pantry, her persistent walk including numerous brisk turns in order to avoid collision with the bustling staff. Upon reaching her destination, she pushed open the immense metal door. The room held a mixed aroma due to the numerous foods that sat neatly in the containers, racks and shelves that lined the inside.

”Okay, lets see…” She lifted her hand, peering down at the untidy list. The first few ingredients were simple; a small onion, white wine, white wine vinegar, ginger, and olive oil. Glancing around the pantry she shuffled her way quickly towards a box-like container, pulling it from its shelf and inspecting the inside. The box had been labeled ‘vegetables’ and she easily found the small onion. The ginger had not been in the first box, though she succeeded in obtaining it within the second box. Putting the containers back on their individual racks, she scribbled off onion and ginger before scouring the room for the liquids. There was a metallic shelf which held an assortment of oils and cooking substances- this was where she found the white wine vinegar and olive oil. Pulling them off of their designated positions, she placed them beside the onion and ginger. She glanced around for the white wine, her eyes landing on the wine racks. Without wasting another second, she bounded towards the vital ingredient, pulling out each one to look over the label. After about a minute of searching frantically, she found the white wine. Pulling it out gingerly, she carried it towards the ingredients she had successfully located.

“Is that it?” she inquired quietly, peering down at the list. She looked over it for anything else that could be found in the pantry, and sure enough, vinegar had been written at the very bottom. ”Oh! I’m sure I’ve seen it here before. . .”She trailed off, walking quickly towards the metallic shelf, rummaging through the plastic bottles before pulling out the vinegar. She found it odd that average vinegar tended to be kept in plastic, whereas vinegar like white wine usually stayed in glass container. Shrugging off the thought, she made her way towards the group of foods. Carefully, Valour placed the white wine vinegar and olive oil under each arm, placing the plain vinegar under her left armpit, while the white wine went under her right. She grabbed the ginger and small onion with her hands and used her right shoulder to force open the metal door. She walked warily and wobbly over towards the sauce station, where Orin seemed to have just arrived.

”Here.” She struggled while placing everything on the counter, her stance awkward and unstable. However, she managed to succeed before nodding her head to Orin and scuttling off to the spice rack. Valour soon came to the realization that she was not familiar with spices, and so would have to read over every label in order to pull off the task. Not only this, but the plastic containers were all similar shapes, and so distinguishing them would not be easy. Pulling out the notepad from her pocket, she traced her thumb over the words.
”Salt and pepper- yes, I know those. Garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, dried oregano and dried thyme.” Valour muttered the rest with a grumble, though she refused to ask anybody for help; learning came from experience, after all.

She easily found the salt and pepper, placing them to the side before fiddling with the different containers. Her violet eyes peered down at all their labels, locating garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper quickly. The dried spices didn’t seem to be in the area she was looking through, resulting in her peering down at the rack beneath. Sure enough, both dried oregano and dried thyme were placed right in the center. The spice containers were all small in size, and so tucking them under her arms and holding them in her hands was not too big of a deal. She did this in a mere few seconds and walked back to Orin, dropping them ungracefully onto the counter.

”Sorry if that took too long, but everything’s here now, I’m sure of it.” As she was saying this, her gaze was switching between her notepad and the ingredients as she scribbled off what was there. A sigh of relief whooshed past her lips as she mentally confirmed everything being present. Stepping towards the chef, she stood beside him quietly, waiting for further instruction.
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[Laviku's Secret] Fine Dining on Fickle Seas (Valour)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 15th, 2017, 12:25 pm

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The kitchen was bustling now, after Orin had given everyone their marching orders. Orin was pleased to see that once they’d been given some direction, the staff, even the one disgruntled employee, were quick to get to work. With a cursory scan of the kitchen, Orin didn’t see anything that jumped out at him as being a problem. He’d take a lap, later, once his sauce and his spice mix were ready, just to check on the various dishes and make sure they were being made to his specifications. Valour returned quickly enough, and Orin scanned the ingredients she’d brought with a glance, mentally confirming they were all there.

“Perfect. Now, here’s what I’m going to need you to do.” Orin took a medium sized bowl and a ladle and placed them in front of the girl. “All you need to do for now is make a simple vinaigrette. If you don’t know how, it’s easy.” At least, it was easy for Orin, but since he didn’t know anything about Valour’s skills as a chef, he may need to readjust his thinking. It had been quite a while since he’d been as junior as Valour seemed to be, and so he might be forgetting just how daunting certain tasks could be. “Pour one part of vinegar to three parts of oil into the bowl, and mix it together as best you can. Then add salt and pepper for taste, and…” Orin looked over the various ingredients they had, before deciding what else to add “some of that garlic powder to give it a bit of a kick.” Hopefully that was easy enough, but Orin would keep an eye on her. “Oh, and I know oil and vinegar doesn’t like to mix, but if you put the vinegar in first, and then mix the oil as you pour it tends to stay blended for longer.” That was a trick Orin liked to use when he wasn’t sure how long his vinaigrette would have to stay out.

Hopefully that was enough to keep her occupied while Orin did his own work. “If you have any questions, I’ll be right here.” As he walked over to his section of the table, Orin gave Valour his last instruction for now. “When you’re done with that, take it over to the salad area, and tell him it’s the vinaigrette for the salads. After that, do me a favor and help him out and keep an eye on him?” Orin couldn’t flat out say he didn’t trust the other chef not to try and sabotage him, but if Orin hovered, the other man would be resentful. “He’d hate for me to be looking over his shoulder but he won’t suspect you’re spying on him.” Valour taken care of for now, Orin then sprang into motion of his own. In swift, efficient movements, he took the small onion and peeled it, and then taking up his mother’s knife, cut it in half. Setting the other half aside for now, Orin chopped the onion finely, his movements almost a blur. Putting the knife down, Orin took up a pan and filled it partially with the white wine, which then went on the stove. The onion went into the wine, and Orin picked up a spatula.

Poking at the onion every once in a while to distribute the heat more evenly, Orin waited until the onions were soft and the wine was reduced before taking the pan off the stove. He added the vinegar and the ginger, and then set the sauce aside for now. Next, he went to wide array of spices that Valour had collected. Taking another medium sized bowl, Orin threw the salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper in the amounts he wanted, and stirred them together. Something was missing though, and Orin nearly cursed when he realized he’d forgotten to tell Valour to get dried red pepper.

Walking briskly, but not running, since running spelled disaster in the kitchen, Orin retrieved the red pepper flakes. This was what he got for thinking he could run a large kitchen all by himself. Sure, he was an excellent solo chef, but his experience in leading others in the kitchen was minimal, and so he was bound to make mistakes like this. Still, this one was minor, and so Orin let it go for now. He couldn’t spend all night fretting over his errors. He’d go over his performance at the end of the evening and try to determine everything he could do better next time.

Adding the red pepper into the spices, Orin gave them one last mix. Picking up both the sauce and the spice mix, Orin carefully lifted them up, and then brought them over to the meat station. Setting them down, Orin tapped the meat chef on the shoulder. “Here. When the salmon is done cooking, you can put the sauce on top. Be generous with it, the meat is supposed to soak it in.” Putting the pan down, Orin held up the spice bowl. “Coat both sides of the shrimp in this, and then fry it. I’ll get you some vegetables to put them over. When the vegetables are done, mix them up, then add lemon juice and garnish with parsley.” The other chef nodded, and took the bowl from Orin.

Orin then went back to the sauce station. Taking a deep breath, he shouted, “Look alive, people! Let’s keep up the good work! Call me if you have any questions.” That encouragement done, Orin started brainstorming ideas for a dessert. He looked for Valour, interested in her progress, and anticipating that he’d need her help for the final course of this meal.
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[Laviku's Secret] Fine Dining on Fickle Seas (Valour)

Postby Valour Skyglow on July 19th, 2017, 8:20 am

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Valour was mentally hoping for a challenge, though she refrained from showing any signs of it. Instead, she placed both hands behind her back and glanced up at the chef attentively. Her feet would occasionally shuffle as she waited in anticipation. At his confirmation that she had brought everything, a wave of relief washed over her body. Valour did not wish for her first impression to their substitute at work to come off a lazy or incapable. Instead, she wished to listen and carry out without fault. Of course, she knew that her being new to the whole job in an actual kitchen would prove for everything to be harder, however she brushed off the nagging thought.

Her interest peaked as Orin spoke of a word vaguely familiar to her; a vinaigrette. She immediately decided that it must have vinegar, the name sported it quite obviously. She hoped he would explain it further, and indeed he did. This was when she flipped open her notepad and jotted down all the instructions. Everything seemed pretty basic and straightforward, however upon glancing at the ladle, she frowned. She wasn’t quite sure how she would mix with a ladle, though decided that she’d learn through the process. The second aspect that she wasn’t too sure of was the use of ‘one part’ and ‘three parts’. Naturally, she assumed he meant one fourth of a cup and three thirds of another cup. Brushing off the slight nervousness, Valour nodded her head briskly.
”I’ll have it done.” She assured, walking over to her portion of the table. She began laying out the ingredients before Orin pointed out that he’d be near her in the case that any issues presented themselves. A simple blink of her eyes and a bob of her head indicating that she would definitely take it into consideration. Though for the moment, she hoped that she would not need to be a bother to the chef- chances were, he already had a reasonable amount to tend to.

Valour added a measuring cup to the equipment she would be using; she wasn’t able to simply add ingredients off the top of her head. Grabbing the vinegar bottle, she gingerly tilted it so the opening was directly above the cup, she held it there for a few moments until one fourth had been filled. After adding the strong-smelling liquid to the bowl, she turned to the olive oil, which she assumed was next. Peaking a glance at her notepad, it did indeed confirm her recollection. He had said to mix as she poured, remembering how he had pointed out that they tended not to blend together. With the thought in mind, she poured three fourths of the olive oil into the measuring cup, checking just to be sure it was accurate. As she confirmed its accuracy, she picked up the cup in one hand and the ladle in the other. Gently and slowly, Valour began pouring the olive oil into the vinegar, her hand working as she carefully mixed them together. She did this for a while until all the olive oil had trickled out of the bowl. She eyed the mixture, noting how she had been successful in keeping them from separating. Turning to her notepad, she took a glance at what was left: salt, pepper and garlic powder. She picked up the salt container and shook it out into her hand, mentally debating on how much to add. The vinegar already had a very strong taste, and so she assumed that the salt wouldn’t need to be so heavy. Adding two pinches of salt, she stirred before adding two pinches of pepper. The garlic powder was what stumped her; he hadn’t specified how much to add. Grumbling, she lifted up the container and shook it out only a few times into the bowl until speckles were only just visible. It didn’t appear too much or too little, and so she decided that it would be reasonable. She halted a moment, staring at the ladle and debating whether to use a whisk or not. Deciding it would be more efficient, she pulled open one of the closed drawers, scanning over the utensils before pulling out a whisk.

Valour mixed the finished sauce one last time before placing the whisk to the side, over a paper towel. She knew that keeping a station clean was one of the many priorities in a kitchen, and so did not take it lightly. Picking up the ladle, she placed it in the bowl, nodding her head to Orin before walking over to the salad station. There, she noticed the man who had been aggravated and given the substitute a rude welcome.
”Excuse me, sir? I’ve made this for you to use in your salad.” Valour walked up to him, quietly placing the bowl beside him.
”Huh? Aren’t you the new kid? How’m I supposed’ta be sure you did this right?” He grumbled, turning away from his neat assortment of salads to face her.
Considering Valour never really got angry at people no matter their words, she chuckled in embarrassment. ”I know I’m new. I had the chef watch over me as I made it, I didn’t do it off of the top of my head.” She assured.
”That Orin guy?” He grumbled, again.
”Yes sir! I know it might be hard working under someone new, but please- remember this is for the customers, not me, or you, or any of us. We’re not the ones eating the food, after all.” She was attempting to calm him down, maybe lighten his mood a bit.
His stare did not falter, it remained harsh and trained. ”Where’s that sauce.” He muttered, turning back around and grabbing the bowl she had brought to him; he began dipping finely cut squares of apple in the sauce before placing them into the bowls.

Valour recalled how Orin had told her to watch over him, though she knew that this man's aggravation would no doubt intensify. Instead, she decided to admire the artwork he had managed to create with the salads. ”You’re very talented, I thought salads were just a jumble of fruits and vegetables. You’ve made them look so pretty.” She observed, realizing then that he seemed to merely come across as having a rough exterior. The salads looked as though they’d been done with a gentle touch, and the mind of a perfectionist. They didn’t appear to have been designed with his large, rough-looking hands.
”Yeah kid, it’s what happens when I’ve been workin’ for years, now let me do my job.” He brushed off her compliment, and went back to working.

Orin had appeared just as his sentence had been finished, though he did not seem to acknowledge the chef. She flashed Orin a knowing glance, followed by a shrug before pointing towards the sauce he was now dressing the salad with. ”I’ve finished the task.” She stated, triumphantly.


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[Laviku's Secret] Fine Dining on Fickle Seas (Valour)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 20th, 2017, 1:05 am

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Orin nodded at the salads. Despite his trepidations about the other man, the cook in charge of the salads had done an excellent job. “Well done. Couldn’t have done it better myself.” Realizing that Valour needed encouragement as well, Orin turned and smiled at her. “You too. Keep up the good work, both of you.” The other man shot Orin a neutral look, but at least they weren’t being actively hostile. Now that Orin had a bit more time to actually breath and reassess the situation, he should take a moment to smooth over any ruffled feathers. “Look, it’s obvious you care deeply about Laviku’s Secret.” From the quality of the salads, that much was apparent. “I just want you to know that I respect that. I also care deeply about the quality of the food that comes out of this kitchen. Patrons always come first.” Grinning, Orin added, “Besides, I love this work, and I’m sure you do too.” There was a bit more that Orin had to say. “I have no intention of usurping anyone’s place here, and, frankly, I think you’d have been an excellent choice to take over tonight. I’ll say as much to your manager. And I’ll be out of your hair before you know it!” The corner of the other man’s mouth quirked up, so slightly that Orin might have imagined it. Still they nodded to one another, and Orin hoped that they had reached an understanding.

Stepping back, Orin nodded at the other man. “Oversee the waiters as they bring this out, please. Would hate to see your hard work ruined by their carelessness.” In Orin’s experience, the waitstaff didn’t show nearly enough appreciation for the product of the kitchen. Turning to Valour, Orin smiled at her. “How’re you holding up? Hope we’re not moving too fast. Again, if you have any questions, please ask.” There was a lot of young talent here today and Orin wanted to encourage it. It would be a shame to see it go to waste. “Anyway, I’m going to need your help getting dessert ready. We’ve got to get it in the oven immediately, as dessert usually takes the longest to cook.” In fact, if Orin had been thinking more clearly, and planning as well as he usually did, he’d probably have done that task first. He’d been following the order of the meal, which wasn’t the order chefs should necessarily follow. Still, it wasn’t a huge deal, especially if he and Valour could get something whipped together right away.

Orin gestured for the girl to come closer. “So we need to get the dessert cooking as soon as possible. But I don't know what we can make until I take stock of the pantry.” Unlike the supplies that Orin had sent Valour for earlier, which were standard parts of most meals, dessert ingredients were not necessarily items that kitchens stocked regularly. “So you and I are going to take a quick tour.” With that the chef set off, hoping that Valour would follow. Upon entering the pantry, the chef snagged a empty bucket to load up with ingredients. Scanning the items that he could easily see, Orin frowned. There didn't seem to be a huge variety of foodstuffs that Orin could use. The chef saw flour, eggs, and butter, and presumably the spice rack held some of the sweeter seasonings, but even if Orin wanted to make a pie or a tart of some kind, he'd need some sort of filling.

Eventually, his eyes landed on a box of what appeared to be fruit. There you are. Inside was a sack of apples, one of the sweeter varieties. “Excellent! We’ll make an apple pie. Everybody loves a classic.” The chef gathered the flour, butter, and eggs in the bucket, and grabbed the sack of apples in the other. Making his way back out of the pantry, Orin deposited his discoveries near the oven he'd decided to make into his dessert station for the evening. Darting over to where he thought the spice rack was, Orin quickly grabbed the sugar and cinnamon and then hustled back to the rest of his ingredients. The two sweeteners were expensive, but worth it, and Orin hoped that no one would begrudge him using a bit.

Turning back to where he hoped Valour was, Orin gave her the next set of instructions. “I'm going to need you to peel these apples, remove the core -- the center -- and then slice them. It doesn't have to be precise. After that, sprinkle them with -- just a touch mind you, we only need a bit of flavor -- sprinkle the slices with the sugar and cinnamon mix I'll give you.” It was an expensive responsibility to give to Valour but it wasn't as if the task was a difficult one. “In the meantime I'm going to take these eggs, this flour, this butter, and this water to make some pie crust. Once the crust is made, we can fill the pies.” Orin would explain the rest of the recipe later Valour hopefully safely occupied, Orin reached down to the nearby stack of cooking materials and pulled out several pie tins. Next he took two bowls three and placed them on the table. First, Orin took the powdered sugar and cinnamon and poured them carefully into one of the bowls, putting about equal amounts of both in. This, he slid down to Valour. Cracking an egg, Orin let the entire contents of the inside flow into his hand. The whites ran through his fingers into the first bowl, leaving only the yolk, which he placed in the second bowl. Orin repeated this process until he had a sufficient quantity of yolks. Next, the chef washed his hands, already planning what to do with the whites for the later meal. Taking up some clean fresh water, Orin brought it back with him. Placing the water bucket down, Orin cut butter into the bowl of yolks, then poured flour until the bowl, trusting his experience to get the quantities right. Indeed, when he mixed it together, the soon to be dough had the right crumbly texture. Next, Orin carefully added water, until it was the thickness he desired. Taking it out of the bowl, Orin kneaded it with quick, efficient strokes. That done, he broke it into equal chunks, and then took up a rolling pin and spread them all into flat circles. Half went into to line the tins, which Orin placed down by Valour one by one. The chef’s task done, Orin went to go check on his new protégées progress.
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[Laviku's Secret] Fine Dining on Fickle Seas (Valour)

Postby Valour Skyglow on July 20th, 2017, 2:44 pm

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Orin had praised her and her response was a grateful smile and an intensity in the purple that glittered within her iris’s. The deepening in color was not likely to be recognized, and so she did not concern herself with the matter. Valour merely stood to the side as the chef conversed with the gruff-looking man; he was attempting to find a common ground between them. She mentally thanked him for his polite and respectful demeanor despite the repulsive attitude the salad chef had presented towards him. She knew that many would most probably yell and harshly scold, however Orin was clearly not a dominant maniac, but rather one who thought sympathetically and fairly.

Rocking back and forth on her feet, she waited patiently until Orin’s indirect negotiation for peace came to an end. Upon his question, she shook her head in reassurance. ”Nope! I’m fine, don’t worry. I’m holding up pretty good.” She promised, an unexpected gold tinge striking the violet in her eyes, though it was gone as soon as it had arrived. Taking no notice of this, Valour continued to listen, a smile decorating her youthful face as he brought up dessert. ”Yes sir!” She grinned brightly, though attempted to calm herself- after all, her eyes were a gateway to all her emotions, a gateway she wished to keep sealed. As he motioned for her to step closer, she complied, attempting to listen to his voice over the ruckus pounding around them. He was speaking of a dessert, though didn’t seem too sure of what to make. Truth be told, neither was she. Despite this, he lead the way to the pantry and she followed close by, her hands fiddling with her notepad in case he requested anything.

They reached the pantry within only a few moments, and Orin pushed open the door quickly. He seemed to be searching for something of great significance as his eyes bore holes into all the foods that rested in their designated locations. He had retrieved a few ingredients which he placed in a bucket, the familiar word of ‘apple pie’ being announced happily. She curled her fingers around the other side of the bucket, in attempt to help him hold it up. She watched as he pulled up a sack of apples, her stomach suddenly lurching. She had never had apple pie, and so making this would be quite foreign to her. However, she was doubtful that he would make her do anything too drastic; was the thought that crossed her mind as she wobbled out of the pantry with him. They moved over to the oven where she assumed they’d be working, and she gingerly set down her side of the bucket. Orin had seemed to vanish for a moment before returning with cinnamon and sugar- two components that she particularly liked.

At her assignment to core and peel the apples, she nodded confidently. Walking over to her station she pulled open a drawer where she got a hold of a Y shaped peeler. Grasping it tightly, she circled around the top and bottom of the apple, peeling the first layer off. She then began dragging the sharp edge from the top of the apple to the bottom, easily removing the crimson skin. She’d been told to peel apples before, so this was no perilous task. Removing the core was the part that left her staring blankly at the fruit. She would have to use pure logic for this task, something she had a generous amount of.

Going through the small drawers, she found a knife with an edge that she assumed would cut the apples finely. Shuffling over to her spot, she scrutinized the stationary fruit, gnawing on the inside of her cheek; she couldn’t mess this up. Grasping the knife’s handle tightly, she grabbed the closest apple to her and began chopping right around the core of the apple. Her goal was to cut a circle through it in order to pull the core out. Grabbing the stem, she yanked the loose center, successfully pulling it out. Valour then cut up the apple into reasonable sized pieces, though decided that her method was not completely beneficial. Instead, she began chopping the actual apple; removing the whole pieces around the core. Smiling triumphantly at the knifes natural adaptability, she did this with all the other apples, not forgetting to chop them up afterwards.

As she was greeted with the small bowl, her eyes lingered on the minor concoction. The strong, sweet-cinnamon aroma hit her immediately. Picking up the circular object, she began to use her dainty fingers to pick up minor amounts and sprinkle them over the unevenly chopped apples. She had done her best to make them equal, though considering she wasn’t a perfectionist or a professional, the job wasn’t near flawless. Turning towards Orin, she smiled pridefully, admiring the teamwork between them and her effort. This was no doubt a piece of cake for the chef, though she did enjoy it. The result of these emotions was a switch in pigmentation; her eyes shimmered golden. The glittering resembled a bright light, standing out against her face and dark hair. It wasn’t until she unintentionally swiveled her gaze over a reflective utensil that her heart dropped. Orin would definitely have seen this switch in color, and the dismay resulted in her eyes whipping to a dark, vibrant blue, before flickering to a pale yellow. Pale yellow being fear- fear that Orin was one of the ‘Vantha hunters’, or simply wanted the mizas. A hoard of questions began piling up in her mind and she felt slightly light-headed. She had thought that she would be able to maintain the purple color, but her years of maintaining an expressive nature would be harder to force down than she had assumed.

As all these worries built a hard wall in her mind, the yellow within her iris’s deepened significantly, and her head averted to the side briskly. She wasn’t sure how Orin would react, though it scared her.
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[Laviku's Secret] Fine Dining on Fickle Seas (Valour)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 21st, 2017, 1:14 am

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Something was off with Valour and Orin couldn't quite put his finger on it. The girl was nice, and polite enough, and was a quick study. Orin couldn't begin to thank her for her help in getting this meal prepared. But still, his subconscious was working overtime, trying to figure out what his conscious mind couldn't. There was something about her eyes when she got excited, concerned, or confused that piqued Orin’s interest. Unfortunately, what with having to run an entire kitchen the chef found himself unable to devote his whole attention to the issue. Instead, it simply percolated in the back of the chef’s mind as they moved through their various tasks. Still, Orin had a sneaking suspicion that he was missing something quite important, something that might cause issues if he didn’t stay on top of it. It was driving the chef mad, but there was nothing really he could do about it until more evidence presented itself.

Glancing over at Valour, Orin saw that she had finished with the apples. It was also when Orin saw something that confirmed what he’d been feeling for a while. Her eyes weren’t that color before. They went through a series of shades; first golden, then a dark blue, before shifting to a yellow. It corresponded to the shifts in emotion Orin could clearly read on her face. At first she was happy with her accomplishments, before some dark thought occurred to her and she became afraid. It was odd, to say the least, but Orin would deal with it later. At this current moment in time, his first priority was the desserts. If they didn’t get them into the oven, well, now then Orin was worried they would not be at all ready. “Here, follow my lead,” Orin instructed, trying to project confidence and calm. Taking one of the tins, with dough now filling the bottom, Orin scooped up the coated apples and filled the tin with them up close to the top. “You do that with the rest of them while I put the tops on.” Hopefully giving her a task would calm her down from whatever ailed her.

Orin at that point took one of the circles of dough he’d left out. Taking it in his hands, he carefully placed it on top of the now full pie, and then started spinning it, carefully pinching the edges of the dough together as he went. When it was fully sealed, Orin took up a nearby knife and sliced two slits in the top. He repeated this process with all the filled pies Valour sent his way until they were all ready for the oven. “Help me get these inside.” Orin wrapped his hands in the cloths, provided for just such an occasion, and then opened the oven. Taking up two pies, the chef slid them confidently inside, before picking up two more. Once all the pies were safely ensconced within the oven, the chef closed it, replaced the cloths, and dusted his hands together. “Well that’s a job well done. Come on, back to the pantry we go.”

Orin didn’t really have to pick up any more ingredients. There also wasn’t a whole lot of time for the chef to inquire into this mystery. Still, if something had Valour spooked, and something strange was going on with the girl’s eyes, then Orin felt it was his responsibility to get to the bottom of this and make sure it all turned out fine. He had no idea what was going on, but this was his kitchen, at least temporarily, and by Priskil he wasn’t going to let anything interfere with his work. Besides, Valour was so young, she was practically still a child. Orin hated to see any child in pain or nervous, as it brought back all too vivid memories of his own upbringing, which hadn’t been pleasant or safe. The chef had made a vow that no child under his care or around him would suffer if he could help it. Since Valour was working under him, that made her welfare his to worry about.

Once they were deep enough in the pantry that Orin judged they were safely out of earshot, the chef turned and stopped, regarding Valour carefully. The chef clasped his hands behind his back in the hopes that it might help Valour relax, since she wouldn't assume Orin could reach her as easily. “We need to talk,” he began gently. He really didn't want her to panic. They had already cast off and it would startle the customers. “Something's going on with your eyes and I need to know what it is.” There were a few explanations, none of them good in Orin’s mind, but unless he knew exactly which one he wouldn't know how to react. “Are you sick? Do you have what your bosses have? Is that causing your eyes to change color?” Granted Orin had never heard of an illness that could do something like that but he was hardly a doctor. In fact his medical skills were paltry at best. The second most likely reason for Valour’s eyes to change color was also the one that made Orin a bit afraid. “Or is it...magic of some kind?” Orin held his breath as he awaited Valour’s response. He sincerely hoped that if was something mundane, as there wasn't much the chef could do if it was magic. “Listen, I'm not going to let anything hurt you. I give you my word on my faith in Priskil.” Hopefully Valour would believe that.
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[Laviku's Secret] Fine Dining on Fickle Seas (Valour)

Postby Valour Skyglow on July 22nd, 2017, 9:52 am

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Valour’s head spun as she attempted to convince herself that Orin was not the type of man to go out and hunt for Vanthas- then again, the mizas were an attractive deal. Her jaw tightened as she considered the possibility that he hadn’t seen her, though she knew that she would be blatantly lying to herself; her eyes were beyond obvious. She couldn’t possibly clear her head, resulting in her inability to revert the color back to purple. This was a struggle she hoped she would never have to meet- prior to the current moment, Orin had clearly seen that her eyes were purple, and now she was stuck with the yellow pigment which she could not switch back. All this thought did to her was heighten the worry, thus the yellow reciprocated by deepening. Inhaling a shaky breath, the baby-faced teenager prayed that he would ignore it.

Upon hearing instructions, her quivering hands reached for the nearest tin, which she proceeded to fill with the sliced apple. She continued doing this with the rest of them until all of the tins were full, and barely any apple remained. Orin had continued with his instructions, meaning that he had probably chosen to ignore the oddity. However, the nagging worry that he would question her later on did not settle, and remained as a ticking time bomb in the pit of her stomach. This had only been the fifth day since she’d found out about the inhumane act cursed upon her sister and brother Vanthas. She worried that Orin would take her young, inexperienced age as an opportunity. As much as the youth wanted to believe he had a genuine heart, she knew too well that a person’s exterior tended to fail when reflecting their interior. This thought was made clear by the penalty placed upon the innocent races heads. She had never gone through an experience such as this first hand, she had only ever read the fliers and heard the rumors that it was true- that children, adults and elders would be slaughtered on sight for the sake of wealth.

Her unsteady legs worked as his next instructions were to place the pie tins in the oven. Getting a pointlessly tight hold on the closest ones to her, she ungracefully plopped them into the oven. She did this a few more times alongside the chef until they had all been tucked safely inside the heated vessel. She took this as a moment to turn around and attempt to calm down the heightening paranoia, her fingers curling as her hands formed tight fists. The result of this problem had been her youthful excitement- there was so much control she had yet to learn, and being a mere child did not help her situation. She would be forced to grow up fast and live a life that was not as lenient as she had hoped. Her dream back in Avanthal had been to explore, have adventures and have fun, but if she could not control herself in a simple kitchen then how would everything else be possible?

His vocals snapped her out of the painfully vivid thoughts, her head rotating only slightly to the side. He had instructed that they go to the pantry, though there was nothing else to make, was there? Or did he simply want to question her? What if it was a threat? Was she going to die so young? No one would help her. The questions piled as her gaze followed Orin as he moved towards the pantry and disappeared inside. Her legs seemed permanently glued to the ground; they felt like rock-solid, heavy bricks. Blinking quickly, she followed him hesitantly, halting at the pantry door as he made his way deeper. Why was he going so far down the pantry? The question screamed as she wobbled after him, making sure to keep a decent space between them. She came to an abrupt stop in front of him- nothing was hidden anymore. Her eyes were still a bright yellow, meaning there was no doubt something was going on.

As Orin placed his hands behind his back, Valour exhaled a brief sigh of relief. This meant that he was probably trying to appear less threatening- It was working so far. The next words he stated caused her heartrate to increase, and sweat to line her forehead. They needed to talk? She didn’t want to talk. In attempt to calm her nerves, she dug her nails into the palms of her hands, forcing her quivering knees to a stop. As much as it was expected, hearing him speak about her eyes invited dread to the party of pessimism going on in her head. She listened to him, the realization that he wasn’t aware of the Vantha race surprising her. Had he not seen the fliers and posters? Had he not heard talk of planned massacres?

She shook her head towards his assumption of sicknesses- was there even a sickness for eyes changing color? He then talked of magic- magic? She shook her head towards that idea, as well. She knew it was pointless to hide everything, chances were in a city like Riverfall, he would overhear the matter. The bottom line was, he would eventually fine out.

Her eyes had been trained on the ground the entire time, though she risked looking upwards. Orin’s face seemed genuinely concerned- but who wouldn’t be for a mere child? Upon his swear, she shrugged weakly. Many people had sworn before, it wasn’t something impossible to break. Despite these pressing thoughts, her dandelion yellow eyes scrutinized his face- she wanted to believe his word was true. As much as she’d met a fellow Vantha in Riverfall, she hadn’t encountered her upon finding out about the bounty on their heads, thus had been locking up all the pained emotions.

With a ghost-like stare, and a face drained of any color, she spoke. ”I-It’s not a sickness. . . a-and it’s not-“ She took an unsure breath, ”magic, either.” she shuffled her feet. Maybe if she had been of a more mature age she would have acted otherwise, though she still had a lot to learn, and being a child in such a foreign city often drove her to make ‘on the spot’ decisions. They were decisions that adults may not always agree with. ”I-it’s called Vantha,” she gulped, ”I-it’s a race. . . our eyes change c-c-color based on emotion.” No doubt, he would wonder why being a Vantha worried her.

She continued searching his face, the fear in her eyes dissolving into sadness. Thus, her irises plunged into a deep-ocean blue. The blue practically screamed sadness, and it was a direct result of her thoughts wandering back to her family. Valour had blocked out the whole ordeal and distracted herself with cooking, however upon being questioned, all the thoughts flooded back. She had managed to build a feeble wall against the depressing feelings, though being a child, she had yet to learn how to let go.

Still, her glittering eyes stared up at Orin helplessly, the youthful and very vulnerable emotions practically out on display. What could she possibly do against adults? She had wanted to live a life of adventure and enjoyment, though upon hearing the devastating news, she had been forced to grow up in the span of five days.
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[Laviku's Secret] Fine Dining on Fickle Seas (Valour)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 22nd, 2017, 11:41 am

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Valour looked frankly terrified -- Of me? the chef thought incredulously -- and her eyes had grown into a deep shade of blue. Whatever was going on here went beyond what Orin had imagined. The girl clearly had been through something traumatic. Orin recognized the haunted look in her expressive, many-hued eyes. It was one he'd worn many times, one that he'd learned to disguise over the years as any sign of Orin’s emotions would send his father into a rage. The chef didn't know what had caused Valour to look so haunted, but considering Orin’s own history and what caused him to break down in this sort of way, it must have been far from pleasant.

Orin didn't know what to do. He didn't think that touching her would help the issue although his heart longed to give her a hug, to tell it everything would be fine, and that Orin would help her with whatever had been plaguing her. However, seeing as at least part of her fear seemed to be stemming from Orin himself, he figured that might not be the best idea at this time. Still, it took all of the chef’s willpower simply to stand there and listen. He'd couldn't move until she'd finally calmed down enough to give the chef an answer.

Based on Valour’s reaction, his guesses hadn't been anywhere near the mark. Orin’s mind was hyperactive, attempting to come up with alternative explanations for the oddity regarding Valour’s eyes. Unfortunately, the chef couldn't come up with anything. This bothered Orin, more than it probably should have. The chef liked to considered himself fairly well informed, even if he wasn't as well read or well traveled as he liked. The girl was growing paler which only accentuated the yellow in her eyes. Orin couldn't believe he'd missed noticing that her eyes would and did change color periodically.

When she finally explained why her eyes were shifting as they did, though, Orin was more confused than ever. Orin had never heard of or met a Vantha before, but apparently their eye color changed because of their race. Orin couldn't begin to think of a single reason why this would be causing so much distress. As Valour’s became a deep blue, however, and started glittering with unshed tears, Orin saw himself after his father’s death, adrift and alone with no one in the world to stand by him. He would have given anything at that point simply for a friend or just someone to talk to, and he'd never gotten either. It was too much for the chef, and he broke his stillness, reaching out his right hand incredibly slowly, and placing it on Valour’s left shoulder. He gave her a comforting squeeze. “Please. Tell me the source of your woes. I promise I want to help.” Orin put as much kindness as he could into those words, while also infusing them with a firm tone that wouldn't accept a lie or a half truth. Whoever had done something to cause this reaction in this child would have Orin to answer to. The chef stood patiently and waited for a response.

However, not long after, Orin could hear a voice calling for him. “Master Fenix! We got a problem out here.”

Orin cursed internally. Of course there would be something wrong in the kitchen right now. Glancing at Valour Orin considered how best to proceed. “I'll be out in a few ticks,” he bellowed back, before lowering his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “I'll be back soon. Take some deep breaths. I'll handle whatever kitchen crisis this is and come right back.” Orin was about to head off before realizing there was one important detail he should add. “I'm not going to let anyone in here unless you want me to.” With that the chef went to the front of the pantry to see what was going on. Finding one of the waiters there, Orin crossed his arms across his chest. “What happened?”

The waiter looked annoyed. “Some customer is declaring they won't eat seafood.”

Orin groaned. Every meal at every restaurant had one such customer, but in all his years of work Orin had never been able to overcome the anger he felt about them. “Of all the stupid, ridiculous...why even come to a seafood restaurant if you don't like seafood?” It was baffling to the chef. Orin took his own advice from earlier and took some deep breaths. “I'll handle it. Tell him his meal is on its way.” As the waiter nodded and began to leave, Orin called out, “Oh and have his wine glass refilled. Repeatedly.” Maybe if the diner got drunk enough it would forestall any more crises.

Making his way back into the pantry, Orin made a beeline for the non-fish meats. Passing Valour, Orin reassured her, “I'm almost done, we just have a demanding customer to sort out.” Grabbing a steak, Orin practically ran out of the pantry and to the cook handling the meats. “Here. Grill this up please. It's for the squeaky wheel.” They both grinned at this reference before the other chef took the steak from Orin and started dealing with it.

That problem solved for now, Orin headed back to his other problem. On his sort jaunt through the kitchen the chef had decided that maybe sharing a bit of his own past would help Valour feel comfortable sharing hers. It would be painful, like tearing off a bandage, but Orin would endure it if it meant that Valour trusted him. Arriving back at the girl’s side, Orin cleared his throat. “Let me tell you a story.”

“I'm not from around these parts. No I grew up in a place called the Mithryn Outpost. It's a farming community that supports the fortress city of Syliras. The city is held and made safe by the Syliran order, who are knights that follow the teachings of Sylir, god of peace and civilization. But they are more concerned with consolidating their power and maintaining the appearance of power than actually spreading peace and civilization. So this is the world I was born into. My mother died having me and it broke my father. He blamed me for her loss, and made my childhood a living nightmare, abusing me in every way you could think of.” Orin’s voice was curiously detached, as if he was telling someone's else’s tale. It was the only way he could speak about it though.

“I hated him and loved him equally strongly. The Order, of course, didn't care about a single child of the Outpost, as long as it didn't spill over outside of our home. So this continued for many years. Until I was thirteen, in fact, when my father burned down our house in a drunken stupor.” Having reached the end of his recounting, although there was more history in his life, Orin felt a tightness in his chest. Even after all this time it hurt, more than he could say. The chef had long years of practice, though, at suppressing that particular emotion. “I tell you all because I made a vow never to let another child suffer as I did, for whatever reason. So, please, tell me what's wrong. You can trust me.”
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