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Trials and Travels (Semi-lit)

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Loren felt shocks of electricity coursing through him as he tried to help Kai up. He didn't care anymore, the pain was dull...He didn't care. When Noe finally came into his sight, he didn't mutter even a single word, he knew the answer. Even though she was saved by Kai, she was still injuries...like all three of them. The wind around Loren began to swell in his arms and legs, almost forming a pair of boots and gauntlets. But they soon disappeared as Loren was stable. "Don't fall Loren, don't fall" the words repeated in his mind over and over as Noe helped Kai up. When he heard that she was taking the both of them to her room, he wanted to refuse...he wanted to leave. He didn't care anymore, any hopes of leaving before morning were dashed. When he was offered to lean on her, Loren stared with his dulled, grey eyes. "I...I'm fine..." he simply said as he followed Noe to her room, wondering how much damage his body took...

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Kai's mind and body were both in shock, no pun intended. His nerves were used to having electricity run through them. All lightning elementarians must have some sort of genetic adaptation he figured. But adaptation or no adaptation, nothing could have prepared him to 'catch' a bolt of lightning.

 

He leaned on Noe, not saying a word as they headed back towards her room.

 

It's the same as before... the same as every time... it felt like before too. The sadness, the regrets, all the other incidents came rushing into his memory as he saw his two new friends now also added to the list of those he had accidentally harmed while using his lightning ability.

 

You survived a lightning bolt that's got to be worth something...

Yeah great, survived and took two of my friends out with me, not so great I think.

You were startled, you had control before hand, you could maintain with more training

I didn't have control! That lightning bold homed in on me like a beacon and there was nothing I could do about it.

You can't run from your problems forever, one day the scales will be balanced, one way ... or another

Easy for you to say.

 

Kai mentally argued with himself, the same conversation it always was. It never ended well, lightning was just too dangerous. He had no idea the extent of damage he may have caused Noe if he hadn't gotten her out of the way in time... and then there was Loren... Kai hadn't even know he was there.

 

Noe was draining the excess electricity from his system, it felt good, and it made him feel guilty all the more. As they entered the room he sat gingerly on one of the beds, examining his right hand and arm. They were both blackened but mostly from the air being burnt around them, the flesh itself was hardly singed, though Kai noticed he'd lost all of his arm hair, not that that really mattered a whole lot.

 

He finally spoke, knowing full well that these two both deserved more of an apology than an explanation, but he would give them both.

 

"Now you know my secret, and why I keep it that way. I was born with a gift in both elements, one from my father's family and the other from my mother's. An element doesn't make someone good or evil, it is your actions that define your character, but when I was younger the world was seen in black and white, and person possessing an element from the shadow alliance was as good as a bonified criminal."

 

Kai noted with distaste that his lightning symbol was clearly visible and glowing slightly along with his left eye, all the sand that had hidden the evidence before was gone.

 

"I would choose not to use lightning regardless of what anyone else thinks about it. It's dangerous, and difficult to control, I could have killed all three of us and it would have been an accident. It's always like this, every time I decide things might change and give it a chance. People I care about always get hurt..."

 

Kai noticed then that Noe had been staring at him and it occurred to him that with his sand gone his scars were no longer hidden.

 

"Living in the desert is a harsh life," he traced a few of them with a finger. "I keep them hidden because I don't like it when others feel bad for me... I don't want to be pitied." He sighed heavily.

 

"Noe, Loren, I can't ask you to forgive me for what I did. I only hope you can eventually. I'm sorry I hurt you, I never meant to. And I'm sorry I have been keeping this from everyone... I was afraid of what your king would think... though now I think perhaps he would understand." He paused, "I didn't ask for this, I was born with it. All I can do now is choose how I use it... or to not use it at all." He still wasn't able to meet the eyes of the other two, he was too ashamed of what he'd done.

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Noe Amani

 

Noe, despite all of her surprise, couldn't help but smile as Kai explained himself. There was no reason for him to be sorry. No reason at all. She stood up from where she had been sitting on the opposite bed as she listened and made sure that Loren was laying down on one of the rather plush beds. Her room was decorated simply with two comfortable beds, one dresser, and a lovely rug that depicted the different storms that occurred in the world. After making sure that Loren had a cold rag over his eyes, she calmly told Loren not to open his eyes for a while. For someone who wasn't electricity prone or at least a weather controller, the flash could be blinding and she didn't want that. The entire time, which was around thirty minutes, she was silent as she gently cleaned the black off of Loren's arms and made sure to put a salve of lavender and aloe on his arms. "Stay still Loren. You want the salve to soak into your arms." she said then turned away from him to face Kai. Her arm was still bleeding, but not as much as before which allowed her not to worry about after she tied a few cloths around the deepest wounds to keep the blood from ruining her floors.

 

"Kaimaru," came her tender voice. "You don't have to apologize and explain yourself. It wasn't your fault. To be honest, it was probably both of our faults. You as a lightning elementian have a natural attraction to the charges in electricity. When both you and I were standing closer together, the lightning decided that you were a perfect conduit so it could show off for me." she said referring to the lightning as if it were some sort of actual being. "As to being pitied...there is a difference between feeling sorry for someone and being pitied. Pity is something that the nobles dole out because they want to feel better, and feeling sorry for someone is being sorry that they had to go through such trials, but at the same time knowing that it made them who they are today." She knelt in front of him and started to gently wipe away the blackness on his right arm then looked up at him with a quizzical stare.

 

"Your mark is glowing." she chuckled and returned to cleaning Kairmaru's arms. She hummed for a moment then tilted her head slightly as she looked at the tunic that Kaimaru wore. "Hmmm, need to fix that." she said to herself then walked out of her room and came back in a few minutes with two robes. She placed one beside Lauren and told him he could change and then waited to hand Kaimaru his. It took her another few minutes to take care of his other arm all this time ignoring the shards of tiles that were grating against her bones.

 

When she was finished with both of them, she handed Kaimaru his new robe and walked out of the room so that both men could change. While she was outside, she felt herself grow dizzy and slump against the wall. "Why is blood so important?" she complained quietly before pulling out a shard with a slight moan of pain. "Well, I'll have to replace those tiles tomorrow morning."

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Loren collapsed onto the soft bed, his body caving in the demand to shutting down. The only thing he felt was the cold rag on his eyes before his body went in and out of unconsciousness. He heard some words, likely coming from Kai and Noe. He felt some sticky stuff on his arms, but didn't bother to know what it was. He shed a few tears from the pain, but he still needed to leave. If Kai's little lighting storm caused this much pain for him, he didn't want to be on the front lines, against people who want to kill him. He needed to leave, so with a groan he got onto his feet and began to shuffle to the door. But he looked at Kai with some sadness in his eyes. "Your strong Kai, stronger then I could ever be..." Said Loren in a hushed voice as he reached for the door. "Why do they make us fight? The sins of the father, pushed onto the children...almost makes you wish both alliances would disappear" Whispered Loren, the emotional tears began to pour as he opened the door. "...I'm sorry" He added before he walked away, never clarifying what he was sorry for.

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Noe looked beside her as Loren walked by although he was rather blurry much to her evident surprise. She didn't know what was going on with her eyes but she didn't really care and stood up slowly so as to not cause herself to be dizzy. "Loren, where are you going?" she asked as she still leaned against the wall. "You shouldn't be moving after such a shock of electricity. It won't be good for you. If you need some air, I have a balcony out my window that you can use, but you really shouldn't be moving so much." She said her eyes closed for a moment as she spoke to him. It was rather painful to have the tiles still in her arm, but right now she was more concerned about Kaimaru and Loren.

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Loren stopped as he looked at Noe, his eyesight was more or less on the fast track to recovery. She looked much worse for the wear, he sighed and re-planted his feet. "I was about to leave Sola...I don't stay around for long..." Muttered Loren before he went off his feet and slammed his hands against the wall, groaning slightly in pain. He realized he was in no shape to leave. "...I guess I could stay for the night, but I'll be leaving in the morning. Thank you very much for all the kindness you gave to be...Your the first friend I made in a very long time" Whispered Loren, trying to stay focused. He pushed off the wall, stumbled then made his way back into the room, not paying attention to Kai as he collapsed onto the bed, falling asleep.

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Kai accepted the robe from Noe and began to change into it as soon as she left. His head was all still a jumble. He didn't understand Noe, or Loren, but especially Noe. How could she always be so cheerful even in a situation like this, how could she accept him after what he'd just accidentally done... and shrug it off as if it were no big deal. She was so... so... impossible! Trying to figure it all out was making his head hurt worse than the residual headache from the blast. Loren came back into the room and collapsed, apparently asleep. Kai examined the rest of his body, no cuts, thanks to the sand... wherever it was. Some part of him felt a great loss at being separated from it... all of it. But another part knew now for sure... that though he'd lost his last piece of his former home, he'd found a piece of a new one here in Sola of all places.

 

He frowned at Loren's words, I've been told I'm strong... but strength only makes one dangerous. It doesn't take strength to heal and preserve, that is character and perseverance. Strength is the power to destroy, and perhaps... the power to rebuild.

 

Kai walked out of the room, stumbling slightly as his muscles continued to randomly contract as the electric charge slowly returned to the parts of his body designed to contain it from birth. He found what he was looking for in the hallway, Noe.

 

"Noe..." He began, unsure of what to say, never had he been good with words. He took hold of her and steadied her on her feet. "I don't understand you Noe." He began moving his hand over her body through the air, the stone shards from the tiles quickly left her at the beckoning of his hand, opening the wounds and causing further blood loss.

 

"You take care of me..." his other hand glowed with a spark which he quickly ran over the cuts, careful not to burn too deep or too quickly as he cauterized the wounds to seal them and prevent infection. "... but leave yourself exhausted and damaged." Kai used his sleeve to wipe the blood away carefully as he continued to work, keeping a steady hand on Noe to make it clear he wasn't going to take no for an answer.

 

"You don't hate me, you don't pity me, you don't blame me. You are happy," his hand burned slowly over another area of her arm, causing him to wince at the pain it must be causing her, even though it was doing good and healing her in a way. "You are calm, you brought balance to the situation just by being there, you took charge, you decided. I don't understand you." He repeated, finishing the last cauterization.

 

"You have every reason not to be kind to me, and yet you are. I've never met anyone like you..." Kai noticed how close they were standing, and that Noe probably didn't need his support to stand on her own, so he took a step back, leaning wearily against the opposite wall. "I think... there would be no need of people with abilities like me... if there were more people like you to take care of us, maybe no war at all."

 

He sighed, finally looking her in the eyes for the first time. "You're different. What is it that you have that I lack. I would gladly do whatever you ask to know, because I can't understand you or what you just did and how... but I know it's what I'm searching for."

 

Kai tried not to think about how weird and stupid that had all probably sounded. But that was the only way he could come up with to put it in words. Even so, the words didn't express the longing he felt, to be able to come out of a situation like this with a smile, a kind word, a laugh... All of it was so contrary to how people had always treated him, how he treated himself. So what was it that made that difference? That's what he had to know.

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((Awwwwz! Noe is going to blush like crraaazzzyyy!!!))

 

Noe had her eyes shut as Loren walked back into the room so when Kai came out she thought that it was Loren again when she heard Kaimaru's voice come to her sensitive ears. His voice was soft as he knelt down beside her and she watched as, even though he was still exhausted, pulled the shards out of her sore arm causing it to bleed again. Noe felt herself grow dizzy at the loss of blood yet again even though it was slowly being cauterized. She unvolantarily jerked as he cauterized the deepest wound which was the most sensitive.

 

Despite not wanting to, Noe felt comforted by the gentle hand that Kai kept on her as he worked. She listened to him and felt herself blushing more and more as he spoke about her. With a glance she looked at how her arm was going to look for a long time to come, and perhaps the rest of her life. Some of the gashes were rather wide and some were small, however, her arm would always be mottled now with several scars that varied in width and length. When he had finished the last one, she let out the breath that she had been holding to keep herself from whimpering at the pain.

 

When Kai seemed to notice how close that he and Noe were standing, Noe seemed to as well and blushed yet again. At this point, the paleness of her face contrasted with the blush which made it all the more obvious. As he backed away, Noe stood up slowly, ignoring the protesting of her arm and body that was now aching only to listen to Kaimaru as he looked her in the eye for once.

 

Noe smiled and looked at the ground at her bare feet. "Kaimaru," she started and blinked her eyes a few times to clear away the fog that was around them. When she looked back up, her eyes held a new light that showed her true joy and kindness towards him. "How have you always wanted to be treated? With kindness yes? With love, with joy, with laughter?" She said and then shifted her wounded arm so that it rested over her waist at a more comfortable level. "I wasn't treated with this...I was treated with contempt, hatred, yelling, scolding, fury...." she stopped to take a breath as the painful memories of her parents and foster mother came to her. The woman had raised her the best that she knew how and Noe had to believe that. "There is a choice that you have to make...to BE happy whether or not the situation calls for it. Kaimaru, never forget what happened to you, but make the choice to use it for the better instead of letting yourself be harmed by it over and over agian." she said pain finally showing in her eyes, not from her arm, but from the memories that were now starting to come back. The beatings, the unfair treatment, eating dinner in the snow because she had forgotten to clean out a fireplace for the third time that day.

 

"As to what I did, all I did was forgive a mistake....just forgive and take it in stride with a smile.""If you were to do what I asked Kaimaru, it would be for you to simply smile...a true, real smile to show whatever happiness you have ever found in your life and to never forget that happiness." she said and waited for him to respond.

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Kai stood still for a moment, leaning back against the wall as Noe spoke. Even looking away he could see the pain in her eyes rise as she spoke of her own past. How similar are we that we can look at all the hurt in our lives, and yet how different that she smiles even on the inside, and I remain stoic.

It was self defense mostly, the great thing about not feeling anything... was not feeling pain. The drawback was hiding yourself from not only the pain but also the good. It didn't make sense to most people, then again, Kai reckoned that most people had experienced more good in life than ill.

 

A way to take from pain and mine joy from it. That was what Noe was talking about. "Be joyful when you go through hardships of various kinds for this testing builds perseverance. Let perseverance work its way in you that you might be whole and complete, balanced and mature in every aspect of life."

 

Kai quoted the line from one of the books Master Tsume had instructed to read. It was never something he had understood before. The whole idea of mining joy out of hardship seemed illogical, self contradicting even. Yet Noe seemed to do it, somehow, and so it must be possible.

 

"I had always taken that to mean not to show pain when it hurt." Kai paused, thinking back to other philosopher's he'd read. "I was always enamored with the Stoics, those who could walk through any instance in life and not allow it to affect them as it would others."

 

Kai turned back to looking at Noe. "But now I understand that if you hide yourself from the pain, you feel nothing, including the good that could have been if you had mined it out of those situations." He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, thinking things through. "I don't know how to apply that proverb... but perhaps if you teach me... one day I'll be able to give you a real smile, right now I'm not sure that I can give what you ask."

 

Kai suddenly turned and began walking into the room again, afraid of what Noe might say. "We should both get some sleep, and talk once more when we feel less like fainting..." Kai entered the room and took his tattered robe and made a pillow out of it and lay on the floor, pulling a section of the floor up and over him like a blanket. There was no way Noe wasn't sleeping in a proper bed on account of him. And besides, the floor was what he was used to, beds... felt weird.

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Noe merely watched Kaimaru as she felt herself grow even more tired with the prospect of moving. She really DID NOT want to move, but knew that if she didn't there would be some trouble amongst the servants if they found her slumped against the wall, asleep. It was hard for her to understand why Kaimaru enjoyed being stoic...there were people who were that way naturally, but to her it seemed that he almost forced himself to be that way so that he could get through everything in life.

 

After watching Kai roll himself up in the solid earth, Noe smiled softly and wondered if he understood that she was also sad sometimes and it showed in her storms. She shrugged and felt rather safe with Loren asleep in one bed, Kai there on the ground and the storm raging overhead. After crawling between the thick blankets, Noe was fast asleep to the rhythm of the rain on the rooftops.

 

 

NEW DAY

Today is the day that all students will graduate from each academy, and set off on whatever mission or assignement they have been given!

 

In Sola, it is now time for Akira, Akilana, Kaimaru, Aketsu, Isa, Noe, Leith, and Nerio to graduate and join Luna and one other in their travels to find a way to go against the Shadow Queen and stop her rule either by killing or imprisoning her. This , of course, was each of their choices due to circumstances requiring immeidiate action.

 

In Whisper, Lord Jahansha, Marcus, Sklyar, Kilana, and Aamina are gathering themselves together in smaller numbers to meet the new graduates and hopefully eliminate them. There will be death.

 

 

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Skylar

 

Sky woke up the next morning with her bag all packed and ready to go on their little mission. She brought the bag with her into the kitchen as she hummed and made herself a bowl of cereal. She was still happy and excited from the night before from when Marc gave her the engagement ring but she was also feeling a bit nervous at the same time about the mission. She kept asking herself a lot of "what if" questions before just shrugging them off mentally. There's no reason to be nervous, she thought to herself as she ate her cereal, we'll probably do fine.

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When morning came, Loren got out of his bed, He wasn't in much pain, and he could do quite a bit of complex movement. It was his time to leave, to be one the road once more...to be alone once more. But, as he looked at the sleeping Noe, it didn't have to be that way anymore. Even if it was for a little while, having a friend coming with him might be a good thing. He silently grabbed a piece of paper, a pen and an envelop and began to write on the paper.

 

Noe,

 

If you are reading this, then I most likely have left the castle, and preparing myself to leave Sola. I wanted to thank you for your kindness, I almost forgot what having a friend was like. And if...things were different, I could have stayed and be taught by Tuhana. I do have a request for you however, and I really hope this isn't too much. I...I would like you to come with me, even if its just for a short time. But if that's too much to ask, then I understand...I'll be waiting by the entrance into the eastern part of the woods. If I don't see you by noon, then I will assume your answer is no...then i'll leave.

 

And if your staying, then take care of Kai. We, we are alike in a few ways, we could easily have been friends...but he has his own path to travel, one that will not be mine.

 

Again, thank you...for everything.

 

The wandering artist;

Loren Tryst

 

Once he was finished with the letter, he placed it in the envelop and placed it on Noe's bed. He silently made his way out of the room and made his way back to his own room. He found all his notebook and supplies on the bed, likely delivered by Tuhana the night before. He gather all his stuff as he rushed through the castle and out the main doors, and began to walk down the path to the village. The people were starting to wake up by the time he got there. He then reached the exit of the village, but decided to set up one more venue, just for memories sake.

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Akira Inoue

 

Akira sighed as she proceeded to pack and get ready to graduate and head out on there journey. She was sure to bring as many seeds that could help as she could, as well as a few empty pots and a small bag of soil, as well as a few flower petals. She then slipped out of her room quietly and into the greenhouse. She went from one plant to another smiling, when she was done she said "Good bye plants. Maybe I'll see sometime again. I will miss you and your calming effects." With that Akira decided to head to Noe's room. She stopped as she watched the artist boy leave there. She blinked and quickly pulled out a flower petal. She quickly blew it and it landed on his pack and settled. Akira smiled and decided to ask him what he was doing later. She then went and sat outside Noe's room. She wanted not only to check her burn but make sure she was alright with other things.

 

---

 

Akilana Kuno

 

Akilana yawned and sat up in bed. She was in a nice lonesome corner of the servant rooms. Unlike usual her face actually showed emotion, sadness. That was all she truly felt. She got up and dressed and sighed as she knew today was graduation. She quickly packed and headed out. As soon as she stepped out of her door her face was back to an emotionless mask. Nothing showing anything, not even her eyes.

 

---

 

Kilana Nitaka

 

Kilana yawned awake and sat up. She then remembered what today was and groaned a little. Great, no more comfy bed to sleep on. She then decided it didn't matter if she got to help her queen. She quickly got dressed and grabbed her bag before heading out of her room and to where she was supposed to meet the others.

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Cielo had been up long before the dawn as she had been to bed far earlier than many of the other people in the castle. What she had chosen to due with that time before graduation was to go down to a nearby river by the edge of the village and practice with her abilities. As the morning wore on though, and the sun rose, she continued her practice, cutting deep into the ground with a pressure jet made from the water around her.

 

When she moved up the bank towards the village, she found a young man, a bit older than her set up with an easel for working art. As she approached him from behind she noted a bit discontent and anxiety in his posture and behavior. When she was finally was close enough, she spoke up, her voice gentle and calm, much like a small stream. "May I ask what you're up to?" she asked.

 

She was genuinely curious, but something seemed to be bothering him, and she wouldn't mind being able to help him if she had the time.

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((*cracks knuckles*))

((OMGoodness....I just realized that I styled Marcus' personality after my brother....wow...))

 

Leith and Nerio

-The Proper Partners in Crime

 

Leith awoke first after being restless all night because of the storm as well as him being nervous about this very day. It was going to be hard from now since he and Nerio would probably have to make their own choices separate of what the other believed. However, he was actually ready without knowing it and decided to get dressed while Nerio was still snoring in his own bed. "Dear gods brother....you could wake the dead with that dreaded snore." he muttered gently before walking out of their room. His eyes weren't focused on anything ahead of him as he walked and he felt the moisture of another being passing by him but didn't look up. It wasn't until he noticed that this being wasn't passing him, instead he was actually running into this person. Leith looked up in time to find himself face to face with Akilana. "Sorry Miss Akilana....I didn't mean to bump into you." he said with a timid grin.

 

Marcus

-The Hopeless Romantic and Devoted Servant

 

Marcus jumped out of bed still enthused and excited about being married to the woman of his dreams. She would now share his name, his life, his everything! It would no longer just be his, it would be theirs. He would always have her to speak to, to love, to grow old with. She was his and he was hers. Doubts? Marcus had no doubts as he dressed while humming the entire time. With a pack already by the door, he walked into the kitchen and wrapped his arms lovingly around Skylar's waist. "Good morning love!" he said with a joyous tone in everything he did.

 

Noe Amani

- The Cheery One

 

Noe had drifted in and out of bad dreams as her body quickly got rid of any infection that had seeped into her bones. That was the one thing that she loved about her immune system; it was quick to get rid of anything. Her eyes had opened just slightly to see Loren awake and leaving, however it didn't compute even as she woke up with Akira sitting on her bed. She hoped that the girl didn't notice Kaimaru who was on the opposite side of the bed, sleeping on the ground. "Good morning Akira." she said hoping that Akira wouldn't be to suspicious of her now slightly torn dress, disheveled hair, and cauterized arm. "Did you sleep through the storm alright?" she asked with a cheery, but sleepy tone. She walked over to her dresser and quickly slipped on a pair of pants underneath her dress. The pants were a dark leather that had been softened so that she could easily stretch in them without fear of ripping the leather. However, the leather was also rather durable making it a nice form of protection from simple thorns and brush. She made sure that she could still hear Kaimaru's heavy breathing from sleep and then quickly took off her dress and put on a long sleeved shirt that was loose around her arms, but slightly tight around her torso. It made it easier for her to stretch especially since the shirt was rather long and went down to mid-thigh. "Are you ready for today?" she asked as she winced since the shirt rubbed against her burn.

 

Aamina

-Child of the Earth-

 

Aamina awoke in the in the outer core of the earth and yawned slightly the magma not even harming her. After looking around for a moment at the beauty that was the earth, she shot up to the surface and came out in a flurry of molten rock and dirt. She landed in a kneeling position with her right arm thrust into the ground. With her eyes closed, she manipulated the earth back to its original position so as to not bother the flow and ebb of the earth's movement. After doing so, she walked to Lord Jahansha's room without using the stone around her and found herself rather invigorated by the walk, however her face did not show this. "My Lord." she said and rapped on his door a few times to try and awake her liege.

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Loren seemed surprised that somebody had approached him, asking him what he was doing. Her sea-green hair seemed to arouse some curiousness from Loren, mostly because he had not seen a Water Elementian. "Oh...U-uh..." Started Loren, blushing softly. He had almost forgotten what talking to a stranger was like, it made him nervous and cautious. "I-I was going to draw for a bit before I leave Sola, I'm a wandering artist" He said gently as he looked at the slightly younger woman, giving her a soft smile. "I'm Loren" He said, after a moment of silence, he was used to giving out his first name now.

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Cielo smiled lightly at the young man in front of her as he introduced himself and his profession to her. "A pleasure to meet you Loren, my name is Cielo," she responded kindly. She tilted her head slightly to look at Loren's current drawing before continuing to speak by asking, "Could I ask what seems to be bothering you Loren? You seem a bit... jumpy." She was getting the issue out now rather than later with Loren, and even thoguh she felt a little bad butting into his business, it seemed as though he needed a little bit of help with how he was acting at the moment.

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"I-its nice to meet you as well Cielo" Replied Loren with a soft voice as he worked on his latest drawing. Before coming to Sola he had stayed with a kind family in Terra, so he was drawing a typical living room in Terra, as best as he could picture from memory. When asked why he was jumpy, he remained silent for awhile before sighing loudly. "I...tend to get nervous around people, and because of that I tend to be jumpy, fearing what they might say or do, if I offend them" Explained Loren as he contiuned to draw, hoping this conversation didn't go in the wrong direction.

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"Why are you afraid you might offend them?" Cielo asked curiously. her tone was soft and kind as she gently plied Loren for answers about what was bothering him so much. She partially doubted the traveling artist excuse, he was an artist, but she doubted he traveled to do it. Rather she guessed it was more something on the side to relax him from whatever bothered him. Besides that, he seemed a little young to have already had to engage in a nomadic lifestyle like that by choice.

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"I...don't like confrontations, and when something someone gets angry or offended, I tend to backpedal and run." Explained Loren, getting the sense she was trying to dig deeper and deeper. Loren really wanted to leave, and she was not making that easy. Deciding to change the topic after a moment of silence, he said "Do...Do you like art?" The drawing was almost done, just a few more shades and it would be finished. Edited by Lore_Master

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"I think that's a little unreasonable, Leron. People may react badly sometimes, but you shouldn't flee from them," Cielo responded calmly. When Leron moved the conversation away though, she permit him to do so with a tacit nod and by acknowledging his question. "I do enjoy art a fair amount, paintings the most though. What do you enjoy, Leron?" There would be time to push her questions later.

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Skylar

 

Sky had finished eating her breakfast and had just rinsed her bowl when Marc came in and wrapped his arms around her waist lovingly. "Morning," she said in reply as she turned in his arms and kissed him softly on the lips as she wrapped her own arms around his neck. "Sleep well?" She figured that he did but she was just curious to know if he really did. She herself slept really well despite her being nervous about the mission.

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Kai's eyes snapped open at the second Loren's feet hit the ground. He frowned to himself, trying to calm his heartbeat as his body went from asleep to high alert in a very brief jolt of adrenaline. What was I thinking... he sighed quietly to himself, allowing Loren to go about whatever he was doing. sleeping in a stone room with other people, so noisy.

 

In truth Loren was barely making a sound, but Kai was very connected with the stones of the floor through the senses of his skin and he felt it every-time Loren took a step, a vibration. He could tell just where Loren's feet were landing and if he tried hard enough... he could feel the tiny vibrations that were Loren's heartbeat as he stood still... all of this was terribly difficult to sleep through. Like trying to fall asleep to the drums of a war party... impossible.

 

Kai waited patiently as Loren left the room and by doing so Kai's field of feeling the vibrations. He was nearly asleep again when another person entered the room. Kai sighed again, staring into the blackness of the stone he had literally encased himself in, leaving only micro-fractures to allow air to pass through. This time it was another girl and she began talking to Noe. It occurred to Kai that he was a guy in a girl's bedroom... and that everywhere he'd been since the monastery... there were weird and varied cultural norms and rules about such things.

 

Well I guess I wasn't going back to sleep anyway...

 

Kai allowed himself to be swallowed up by the stone beneath him, melting into the floor and returning the parts he'd used to cover himself as he went. Then, as if forgetting something, his hand came back up and pulled his tattered robe down with him. Moving underground was as foreign a concept as flying to most people. Earth elementarians however, had learned long ago the merit of moving undetected below the surface. Many even preferred it to open travel along the road. The thing that baffled most people was that it seemed impossible, moving through a solid object... well at least moving through a solid object AND breathing at the same time. Kai would be the first to admit it wasn't easy, but it wasn't as impossible as it seemed either, once you understood what was actually happening.

 

the simplest way of explaining it was to understand that solids are actually mostly empty space... which come to think of it wouldn't actually make sense to any sensible person, to say that most solid objects are a ton of empty space. Kai wouldn't have known how to explain it either, all he knew is that it was... because he was pushing himself between that space, squishing the stone and dearth together to make room for his body, causing millions of trapped pockets of air to be released from their confinement and allowing him to breathe. Navigating a castle or a solid road was one thing, in the forest it was a completely different matter... The ground below was more of a web of tree roots than it was of vegetation above ground... and if you went too deep there wasn't enough air. Kai had, needless to say, walked through the forests he'd encountered thus far.

 

Not feeling anyone above him Kai ascended until his feet were on the top of the stone once more, in the hallway outside Noes room. That done, he knocked once and entered.

 

"Good morning Noe, and to you..." Kai's mind did a few mental backflips to come up with the memory of the other girl's name... "Akira." He inclined his head to Noe, "sleep well?"

Edited by Rakashua

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Loren remained silent when he heard Cielo's comment. It might be unreasonable, but in his experience, avoid a fight was better then showing his powers...but when asked what he liked, he smiled softly underneath his hood. "I like to draw, and to travel around. There is much beauty in the world...and someday I would like to see what lies beyond the desert to the east." He explained with a soft sigh, just thinking about it was enough to make him happy.

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Noe Amani

 

Noe brushed out her dark hair after dusting it a bit with a sweet smelling powder and brushed that through her hair as well. She glanced in a mirror and grimaced at how tired she looked but still pulled her hair back in a tight, long ponytail that would stay out of her way no matter what. With a gentle rage she wiped off her face so that it looked clean and turned to Akira only to see her door open with Kai standing there. "Wha?" she said in an open mouthed, breathy kinda way. The way that someone does when they are totally stumped.

 

It took her a second to regain her composure, but then she cleared her throat and bowed kindly in Kai's direction. "I slept well Kai, how did you sleep?" she asked him as she walked over to the other side of the bed and noticed that the stone had one small ripple in it where he had disappeared to. With a smile to herself, she picked up the envelope that she had seen and noticed that it had her name on it. While waiting for Kaimaru to respond, she read the letter hurriedly then looked between the two. Akira was rather quiet so, "Akira, can you please make sure that the others are awake?" she asked with a smile before rushing past Kaimaru and gently grabbing his hand to pull him along. "We need to hurry. It's already late morning...." she said and handed Kaimaru the letter as she stopped then turned around to run into her room, her boots not making a sound. After grabbing her sword, she dashed back to Kaimaru and started to walk quickly..........for a short person.

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