Sapphires and Suitors
On a township waiting for a wedding...
The anathema had been beaten. Fangs-of-Winter and Gin had became famous and great as goddesses throughout all the nearby nobles with a single stunt. They would never forget their fear, Fangs' prowess, Gin's soothing beauty. The nobles had all been calmed, the wedding was being set... and the little township, now tripled in size with wagons and barracks all around, breathing a sigh of relief to know Burning Star of Demise would not come, enraptured by the poems and still getting over the 'Hallucination Day' from a week before... goes on with its life in frantic pace for the wedding! And Wrynn had returned... and could finally take good care of Sapphire.
And thus, it was in Aquamarine's temple that she was asked to go to wait to meet her suitor... who was, clearly, the boy dressed in white and red in the room. Beautiful red hair framed his face, but his eyes were deep blue like Aquamarine's. He was waiting, until he saw her... and just knew the wait was over!
... there was no mistaking the tell-tales of such powerful breeding, after all.
And thus he walked up to Sapphire with a smile, taking her hand and kissing it, "Sapphire of the Still Water, yes? I am Graceful Spinel. It is a pleasure to meet you..." He says, with a long bow, and quite a courtesy, while kissing her hand...
Sapphire: Dressed in her own trademark aquamarine color to match her hair and eyes, she looks perfectly serene, though feeling both excited and nervous: this is something new for her. Recognizing the figure, she steps over to greet him, smiling back as she extends her hand, just a hint of a blush at the kiss. "Graceful Spinel, likewise! The red and white suits you."
Graceful Spinel: "As blue and green suits you." He says with a soft smile... "Can I touch it?"
"It is... so different from the river. I suppose it is like a bay... or the sea."
Sapphire: "Oh," she blushes a little more with a grin, "I've never had someone ask that before, certainly! I... suppose it is," she nods, "I've always liked the sea... my hair used to be blonde before I exalted," she adds with a grin.
Spinel: "Exaltation..." He says slowly, as if he was tasting the word. His touched her hair, feeling his fingers drift on its curls, like water, like water held in the shape of strands... "It is... it is like a flowing river. What was it like, before you Exalted? What was it... after?"
Sapphire: "Before? It was a couple of years ago. People used to think I was cute. When I Exalted... it was when I met Leaf. And the first time I killed a man; but he was trying to kill me at the time. It's kind of a longish story but I'll tell you if you like."
Spinel: "Oh, please, tell me. I would love to hear that!" He said, walking out of the temple, motioning for her to come with him...
- Sapphire walks along, enjoying the afternoon sunshine - not to mention being the center of attention from a lad as handsome and charming as this! "Well, I was raised back in," she names her home town, "by the House of Silken Gold... I was taught to serve and entertain, and also to steal and kill; the idea was that I looked like butter wouldn't melt in my mouth," she grins. "Anyway, they had a grudge against a man named Seven Leaf Sorrow, so they gave me to him as a gift, my instructions were to slip him a knockout drug and open the door for... a colleague... so we could steal some documents..."
"They didn't tell me the real plan, because they figured I wouldn't be up for cutting a man's throat in his sleep. They were right! So that got me and the assassin into a fight... you know the way they say a lot of the time when you Exalt, it happens when you're under stress, such as when you're about to die? They're right!"
She pauses a moment to find the words to describe: "It was like I was falling into the sea, like calm water... then like I was riding a wave, like I was the wave."
Spinel: "Oh, the House of Silken Gold! I heard about them!" He nods, listening to her as they walk under the sun... and then he brings her to a place under a orange tree, the scent of its white-and-yellow flowers and some of their fallen petals on the ground, one seat there of pure stone... with a good view, looking sideways to the Aquamarine Crossing... "This was my favorite spot when I was little." He says with a nod, leaning against the tree.
""And you chose not to kill.. you could not kill, even when the only family you knew told you to?"
Sapphire: "It's nice!" she smiles, inhaling the scent and sitting down on the stone bench.
She nods, then, at the question. "If it was in battle that'd be another thing... but I didn't believe Leaf was an evil man, even after just meeting him... it was maybe the strangest thing I ever felt, like I was standing outside watching myself... but I couldn't just see him murdered in his sleep like that."
Spinel: "And you could, couldn't you? You are an Exalted, so powerful..." He looks down at her, smiling... "That is what happenned to the assassin, right? He stood in front of this wave... but you know, from what my mother says about this Leaf, I would not say this story to her," He chuckles, "she hates him."
Sapphire: "That was it," she nods, and giggles at the last, "so I'd better not confess to saving his life then," she pauses and adds, "um... why exactly does she hate him?"
Spinel: "Your mistress." He nods, plucking a flower. "One of the Nine Companions. It is a great honor to have one... and my mother is so jealous of it. And at the same time, your teacher seems to flaunt her without any... respect for her. This infuriates my mother so much..."
"She wishes to be grand. To have one of the companions would be a great symbol of status for her."
"But she is not even keeping that southern wonder."
Sapphire: "Oh!" she smiles wryly. "It's not really Leaf not being respectful; that's just his style... he never looks like he respects anything, you know? But it might be kind of hard to explain that to your mother. ... What's it like, being the son of a river goddess? If that's not a silly question?"
Spinel: "It is... interesting. There was no moment of apotheosis, for me. I just... felt it all my life. A kinship with the running water... I could always swim better, I would not drown... and it was always easier to get others to the other side. And then I had to learn... it was so hard to learn, Sapphire. There was no moment of light, I just trained... and trained..." He holds out his hand... and water comes from the river, forming a tentacle up to him, and the image of a flower... "... until I could do this. Of all children of my mother, only three can control the water, can touch their power. I am one of them."
Sapphire: "I like it! - But if you're feeling jealous, no need - I did get a moment of light, true, but that doesn't mean I don't have to spend years and years training." she adds with a grin. "We ought to go swimming together sometime!"
Spinel: He picks the flower, sending the water back... and he takes a step to her, holding her hands and placing the flower upon them... and then it slowly loses cohesion, vanishing through her fingertips, his face close to hers'... "We can do it now?"
- Sapphire smiles softly, gazing at the flower until it runs through her fingers, then into Spinel's eyes. "That'd be nice." He's definitely making a good impression on her so far!
Wrynn Diermidis: --and as Spinel makes his move, Wrynn is there. Just there. There is no flash or pomp, just the sudden yawning gaze of a tiny fluffy kitty atop Sapphire's head. "Ah-ah now--" he chirps in, "--not without a lifeguard."
Spinel: "... your kitten talks?"
"And I thought cats hate water?"
- Sapphire giggles! "My chaperone," she explains. "Wrynn, meet Graceful Spinel; Spinel; meet Wrynn. Er, good question, do you like water, Wrynn?"
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn walks down the side of Sapphire's head to sit on her shoulder. "Yes, I-- am miss Sapphire's assigned chaperone" he nods. "--and yours too I suppose, Suppie; can I call you Suppie? Of course I can. Now, cats do rather dislike water: wet fur and all, you understand? That won't be a problem though, since we will not be swimming today: issues of national security and all-- specifically miss Sapphire's securty." he nods.
Sapphire: "No swimming today?" she blinks in dismay. "Why not? I'm a Dragon-Blood of Water Aspect, I'm not going to drown!"
Spinel: "Suppie...?" He raises an eyebrow
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn nuzzles against Sapphire's hair with a purr-- apparantly his job as a chapperone hadn't specified that he keep himself away from her. "Ahh, you must understand miss Sapphire, that with a spirit such as our young boy here, I think that that is the sort of recreation best left until after the wedding, if you get my meaning."
Sapphire: "Oh foo, I'm a Waster Aspect, I can't never swim again until after I'm married! Tell you what, you can sit on the shore and watch us and keep your fur dry and enjoy the sunshine."
- Sapphire pets Wrynn while she gives him a look that's at once appealing and looking like she's a perfectly sensible girl ^.^
- Spinel blanches. "Hey... I did not mean it like that! It was swimming! Purely normal!"
Why the faces needed to be so close for that, of course...
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn purrs under Sapphire's administrations, but is still adamant. He'd been dancing around the issue to avoid offending the boy-- and his type was so good at being offended-- but that didn't mean he would just let it go. "You see miss Sapphire? The boy understands my meaning."
Sapphire: "Well yes and he says we're just going to be swimming. And like I said, you can keep an eye on us and make sure it's just swimming. And you get to relax in the sunshine while you're being a good chaperone."
Spinel: "What she said." He nods, looking sideways at Wrynn, a little cross. "It is a good plan."
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn sighs and shakes his head, wondering exactly where the idea came from that he should be good at assuring chastity. "--as well protect a thief from the safe..." he mumbles to himself "Very well miss Sapphire-- if you insist-- but please, call me if you think the water is groping you... Or don't, I suppose. Whichever you prefer."
And then the kitty is gone once more. Gone, but not forgotten.
- Spinel can't help but breathe a little sigh of relief, offering Sapphire a hand. "Shall we?"
- Sapphire giggles. "Well you were right about cats not liking water!" she takes Spinel's hand.
Spinel: The God-Blood walks to the edge of the river with Sapphire, then opens his red-and-gold jacket, then his belt, leaving his sword aside, his brown traveling boots... and then his white shirt, leaving only white-and-red pants on. "You are going to swim in your robe?"
- Sapphire smiles, doffing shoes and socks then slipping off her robe, looking pure and innocent in white vest and underwear. "This'll do."
Wrynn Diermidis: Somewhere in the shadows, Wrynn rolls his eyes and sighs. "Eeyyup. Nothing chaste and pure as stripping in public... I'm great..." ... though that doesn't stop him from watching...
Spinel: Spinel takes his first steps into the river, then, laying slowly on his back, making waves with his arms to go deeper... waiting for her to come. "This is my aunt, almost. My mother up there..." He points to the bridge... "And here, her sister. It feels so... natural. It has been so long.."
- Sapphire dives into the water, gracefully, not making a splash; surfacing next to Spinel floating. "Mmm, I like it here," she smiles. "I've never swum in a place like this before... So long? You don't get to swim often?"
Spinel: "I have not been around much. I do not live around here. I only came for my sister's wedding... Lily. I hope she will be happy. I talked to Mirai a few times, but it is hard to know if he will be right to her or not... and I don't really know him. Mother gave this blessing for the king of Kashan, and she bore him a child, whom he took home and 'cared for as one of his own'." He nods.
"That is me. The Queen hated me, and so did the local gods. The queen warmed up after a while, though..."
Wrynn Diermidis: ...watching her strip... along with the boy's aunt. Uh-huh.
"Maybe I should get Snowy down here to record it with Sorcery-- all this wanton chastity and all, you know? 'Wedding Watersports XVII' we'll call it."
- Sapphire nods. "I don't know Mirai at all, but I hope they're happy together."
She blinks at the last. "eep! That's not nice of them. I'm glad the queen's improved, do the local gods still not like you? Why didn't they like you to begin with?"
Spinel: "Why would they not? I am the child of a goddess from far away, who holds no sway there. But my legend, by itself, gives her some power there. After all, she is my mother. Every time I am talked about, and my lineage recited, she gets some power, if just by acknowledgement. And in this heavenly struggle for power, that made the local gods angry. They felt they needed kids int he royal line, after all! Or more of them, in a couple of cases."
"The rivers there were so different... so angry. Hard to walk on. I had to tame them."
"Here... my aunt is simply so accepting, isn't she?" He says... and lets the current take him a little, touching her hand as if dancing.
And about them, Sapphire can feel fishes circling for a moment, before scattering.
Sapphire: "Oh! I suppose that's understandable at least," she nods at the explanation.
And giggles at the circling fish, wiggling her toes and holding Spinel's hand as we float. "Yes. This is nice! I can see how you're glad to be back even for a little while."
Spinel: "And what is your life like? Training with one of the Companions must be... interesting."
He blushes, just a tad.
- Sapphire giggles too. "It is! We've been on the move a lot of the time, Leaf runs this sort of traveling martial arts school - he's also got a portable mansion so it's comfier than you'd expect and you get to see places - Gin is a good mistress," she launches into some stories about the places we've seen and things we've done on our journey. Omitting mention of certain sensitive aspects of current affairs.
Spinel: "Hmmm, I knew about Leaf, I was privy to the... preparations. And the might of his students."
"You in special... but I must say, the training of a Companion is very different than what I imagined!"
Sapphire: "Oooh, what did you imagine it'd be like?"
Spinel: "Well... techniques of fighting, to learn some... I am not sure, you know, some secret to be as graceful as her... the nine-tailed one. She is so... you know. You told me of education and prowess... and seriously, that makes my fencing training pale in comparison... but there was not any secrets..." Then he looks around, as if he was going to say something the river shouldn't hear... "And, well you know..."
".. but no, you are... so pure." He smiles. Obviously, that is a good thing!
Sapphire: "Oh!" she giggles. "Honestly, I do have some training in how to be charming and entertaining, but, er, not in the sense you were thinking of, nope. I think Wrynn would quite disapprove of the very notion, judging by earlier on!"
Spinel: "Yes. Yes, he would not! And we certainly don't want to make the kitten angry, do we?" He winks
Sapphire: "Nope, angry kittens are not a good thing." She looks up at the sky with a happy sigh. "How long do you have before you have to go home?"
Spinel: "I have a week, still, I think. I'll have to go after the wedding..." He looks around, swimming a bit to a fallen orange flower, picking it in the stream... "I am a little like this flower, adrift in the river. One of your... nobility, I am sure my mother would wish to keep close to her. If I marry, though, I will take my share in the kingdom's lands and my title... will we stay here? There? Nowhere?"
"At least, I have this week here with you. That is one week where I know what I want, at least."
- Sapphire smiles. "It's something to think about, but we have our week together in the meantime." She pauses for a moment in thought, looking up at the sky. "I mightn't be able to settle down just yet. I might be needed on this mission we're on. If I am, would you be interested in coming with me? It'd be dangerous, and you don't have to decide right now, you've got a week to think it over."
At this point in time she's not sure she's needed on the current mission; it will become clear to her, after the incident at the wedding and subsequently with the prisoner, that she is.
Spinel: "Coming with you..." He ponders... "Come with you on your great adventure, or go back home to be another pampered prince on a court that sees me as an outsider, constantly reminded I do not really belong even by those that do love and have grown found of me. Um. Now, see, that is a hard thing to choose..."
Sapphire: "Oh," she smiles softly, "you don't need a week to think it over, then?"
Spinel: "I will need a week to convince my mother at my caretakers, at least. I am not sure if I will manage to..."
Sapphire: "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you make your case," and she relaxes and floats in the current, pointing up at the sky. "What do you think that cloud looks like? A nose, maybe? With an eyebrow behind it?"
- Spinel floats behind her, leaving the flower in her hair. "Seems like a sword to me... a legendary blade."
Sapphire: "Mmm," she smiles as she feels the flower being tucked into her hair, "thank you... oh, yeah, I see what you mean now. It suits you."
Spinel: "It suits me? How?"
Sapphire: "I can imagine you wielding a legendary blade."
- Spinel goes silent. There is a long moment of silence while he thinks on it... "I wish... to protect you, to have great fights... but that is for you, not me. To wield a legendary blade, to make a legend... you are a Chosen after all."
- Sapphire blushes. "Thank you," she smiles. She doesn't often get complimented like that!
Spinel: "Me... I will be lucky if I get to witness your greatness."
And then he looks down... "Oh, look! Come, look!" He says... and disappears underwater!
Sapphire: "You might get to do something great too - oooh?" she ducks under the water, swimming down, curious as to what Spinel found.
Spinel: Underwater... Spinel is not as graceful. He does not seem to have problems with breathing or sight underwater, as Sapphire does not, but he lacks the... freedom and grace given to Water Aspects, swimming like a normal person, not like Sapphire, who moved in it like a fish, like a dragon in the sky. He reaches down... and plucks something from the riverbed, a shining uncut gemstone rock... a tourmaline, going from moss green to deep viridian, then to red... he places it on her hands...
... and then, out of a spur of the moment, plants a kiss on her lips!
- Sapphire smiles, taking the stone in her hands and gazing at it...
blinking then at the kiss, eyes wide, mouth open, cheeks pink! Heart fluttering... not that she didn't like it, oh no.
Spinel: The kiss is brief, placing his lips over hers', closing his eyes, touching her tongue... so brief, a taste of paradise for him. And then he places a finger upon her lips, for silence, shaking... shaking a bit. Oh, he wishes he could give her a knowing smile of a charmer, but in fact, he was so nervous he was wrecking everything! And then he floats up... and walks to the shore! "Be.. beautiful... I think that is a tourmaline. Must have floated downriver from the mountains..." he says, trying to cover what happenned with knowing glances to her...
- Sapphire takes a moment to try to recover her composure, but like her companion this is not entirely successful, and she's still a bit flushed as she emerges from the water. "It's lovely!" she replies with a dizzy smile, she can't help it.
Spinel: "Se... see?" He asks of the air, trying to not be blushing heavily. Failing at that.
"It was... it was just an innocent swimming about!"
Sapphire: "Mmm-hmm!" she nods, trying to look like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, though not succeeding quite as well as she did on the way in.
Wrynn Diermidis: The air however, remains silent. Perhaps Wrynn thinks that the watcher not seen is more fearsome... or maybe he just fell asleep. Knowing Wrynn, either was likely.
Sapphire: "Maybe Wrynn's asleep," she giggles. "Cats don't do all their sleeping at night the way we do."
Spinel: "I... guess." He looks around a little uncertain... "Say, what else does the cat do... aside from talking?"
Sapphire: "He takes on other forms sometimes, he's not always a cat."
Spinel: "He is a... shapeshifter? Not... he is not like your mistress, is he?"
- Spinel freezes at the thought he was in front of a Lunar anathema... and that one looked so... cute?
Sapphire: "Mmm-hmm," she nods. "You sound, um, disconcerted? You seemed fine with my mistress being a Lunar?"
Spinel: "Well... yes. Back in Kashan we respect them more than hate them, not being aligned with the Realm. We could not stop them if we tried. Your mistress is... she is all I imagined one could be, heavenly and graceful... but Wrynn... you know. To know I was in front of something so powerful... and so deceptive!"
Sapphire: "Oh!" she giggles. "I'm supposed to be the one doing that trick! The being powerful and deceptive because I look cute part, that is. I guess Wrynn's better at it than me."
"Cool!" she follows happily along.