Y.Z.: Act II (PG16)
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October 18th, 2007 (8:37 AM).
that evil mod from hell
Touhou land, grazing danmaku all the way
"Mama's research." Faewyn replied to Adela's rhetorical question. It just came out spontaneously, but the girl was not about to take it back. This was her homeland they were discussing, and this person was trying to belittle it, "I-I took some of it with me when I...left home." she struggled hard not to let her mind slip into dark thoughts at this point, using Isair's predicament as motivation, "But I know mama kept copies of everything she ever wrote somewhere. If...if we just search around a bit I'm sure we'll find something we can use. She did work with offensive mahstion, and we need to get stronger, right?" she directed the last question to Reid, "Wionus was here specialty, but she did a lot of research on others too. And, well..." she bit her lip, "I'd like to know how that Cress person could use two types of mahstion. The answer's in one of her journals, I just know it is!"
It was then that Reid shifted the subject by mentioning that they didn't need any burdens. Though it seemed to be primarily directed at Reece, a number of others seemed to react, including Alicel and a stranger who had just joined into the conversation, the latter seeming particularly mindful of covering his left arm for some reason.
"Burden?" Reece echoed, his expression hardening slightly at the boy's rude manner, but soon reverting to the usual pleasant one, "No, I understand-" she added, raising a hand to silence Faewyn's objection, "I imagine I would want to know as much if I were in your shoes, but I assure you I'm no burden. I've served in the Tealian military for the last eight years, though seeing as how I've spent the last three years of my career patrolling some forsaken backwater - courtesy of certain officials who shall not be named - I suppose I can't blame you for not knowing. I've got quite a bit of experience in not getting myself or my unit killed, and this weapon isn't just for show either." he nodded towards the glaive strapped across his back, "But if you want proof, feel free to test my skills for yourself." he grinned confidently at Reid.
"I-I can vouch for him, Reid." Faewyn interjected, "Reece is the one who taught me how to use a staff. And, well..." her gaze traveled to the floor, "He's the first friend I ever made, so I was sort of hoping you two would get along. I know-I know that's not a good reason." she added, raising her gaze again, "But it would really mean a lot if-"
"Fay, that's enough." her friend interrupted.
"But-" the girl protested.
"I said that's enough." Reece persisted, "Look, I really appreciate you sticking out for me, Fay, but Reid's right; if my skills aren't enough then I shouldn't come along to burden the group. I want to get accepted on my own merits, you know that, right?"
"I...I know." Faewyn replied, "I'm sorry."
"Don't." Reece objected, "You haven't done anything you should feel sorry for." he turned his attention back to Reid, meeting the younger's gaze calmly, "It's your call, both on who gets to go and where they go." just as he had finished, however, the soldier's pose suddenly jerked in an odd way, his lips forming out words in a far lighter, more feminine tone than before, "If I may interject?" Sieglinde spoke through her host, ignoring his objections, "It would be prudent not to rush to conclusions about the worth of anyone in this room. As descendants of the goddess, our fates are intertwined. Whether we walk together or not will not change our destiny, but a united front is often stronger than a scattered one." a serene and decidedly un-Reece-like smile played on the soldier's lips, "Please do consider this if you truly value what's at stake." with that, the body jerked again, a decidedly disgruntled-looking expression confirming that the original Reece had returned "Sorry about that." he grit out, "But it looks like a
" he received an interlude of meaningful silence from the back of his head at this point, "-got very wordy all of a sudden. Like I said, it's your call."
As tended to be the case in such situations, Velin betrayed no sign of shock as Kira lunged at him from behind, bombarding him with questions before her more mindful sister managed to drag her down, forcing her to join her in courtesy as she presented an apology. The voices had been enough for identification, as if the very act hadn't been a giveaway. Kira and Kyra - the double trouble twins, as some of the Carn soldiers had dubbed them - if Velin could have been considered to like anyone it would probably have been these two. To an outsider it may have seemed strange, especially considering that Kira had a tendency to get on the nerves of even the saintliest of people, and in all honesty Velin couldn't quite comprehend it either. The best explanation he had was that the girl showed no fear of him - it was not the usual bravado that some put on, the kind which people like Cress thought could somehow hide the revolting stench of terror beneath it, no; Kira seemed genuinely oblivious to the prospect that anything seriously bad could happen to her and strangely enough it made Velin feel obliged to live up to this expectation in his own peculiar way. It was comforting to know that at least one person didn't regard you as a monster. Kyra, on the other hand, was one of the few apostles who actually used that head of theirs as something other than a meat shield. Besides, both had been loyal to him, and Velin rewarded it in his own subtle ways, often letting them off with less in the way of lasting pain than most misbehaving apostles - like now, in choosing to let Kira be pulled back unharmed, when an average person interrupting his meditation would have walked out at least one limb short, provided that they could walk at all. Normally, this kind of mercy would have been the queue for the offending party to make a run for it as soon as possible, but Kyra had probably divined enough of his mood to know that they weren't in the immediate danger zone, and thus proceeded to explain their case instead:
"As you know, we have have been cooped up for weeks now without work, and Azyla isn't the best man to act as an entertainer."
'Try months like me.'
Velin's mind jabbed in,
'Because obviously I'm the funnyman who'll turn that frown upside down.'
"We were curious as to if you had any possible work for us."
Velin paused at this, giving the two apostles in front of him an appraising look as he pondered his response, "No further official missions have been assigned at this time." Velin replied in his usual monotone, "However..." he added, weighing his coming suggestion one last time, "If you are truly so bored, I may have a task for you." he paused, "I take it, you know that the good padre-" he always referred to the supervising cleric in this fashion, so there was hardly a risk of misunderstanding, "...has been quite...enthusiastic in his work as of late? As your probably know, he is currently in the process of attempting to prove that we are all vicious, priest-killing abominations created not by the power of Thylonstus but through inhuman mahstion experiments." this was all completely true, of course, at least on Velin's part, but people weren't supposed to know it, "From what I gather, he has even pilfered information from the secret archives to support his case; he wouldn't leave it far from his person, probably concealing it in a file somewhere within his office. The contents of this file, I admit, I'd be quite interested in getting to know. However, the file in question is no doubt highly classified, so it would be best if the good padre wasn't aware of the information passing hands. A simple distraction strategy would no doubt buy one of you the time necessary to find it." he shrugged, "Of course I have no official backing for this assignment, so getting caught would have...unpleasant consequences. As such, I won't hold it against you if you don't accept, in which case this conversation never took place. There is also some risk-free work in keeping an eye on the two failures..." again, the implication of the youngest apostles was not hard to spot, "...but baby-sitting them usually isn't a worthwhile task. That is all I can offer at the moment, so take it as you will." he gave a small, indifferent shrug, "Now that the sacrifice is here and Cress carelessly left her companions alive, I have no doubt that more work will have arrived by the end of the week. If you can wait that long, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Regardless, I will be here if anything important comes up."
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