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Showers Of Spring
Topic Started: Mar 19 2018, 11:24 PM (97 Views)
Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

Belladonna. Again. What was it, his third time visiting the city in under a year? It was quite frustrating, having to chase around leads across all of Fiore, and in many cases beyond it. There was always the chance of something being missed, or in the case of the current time some information formerly brushed off as unimportant resurfacing as quite relevant. Well, perhaps it wasn't enough to warrant a true lead, but Leonidas was desperate for any grasp on a clue, any relevant information pertaining to the situation of emptiness that gnawed at his heart. So here he was, standing in the middle of another cursed flower fest, black umbrella in hand as it was raining on the few vendors unlucky enough to be caught in the middle of it. A name, that was all he was looking for, and its connection to the surrounding area.

Far too hard for anyone to discover, he supposed.

The storm clouds only served to damper his mood further. Granted, they took people off the streets and made all the celebrations a bit more bearable, but for once Leonidas had been counting on a crowd. More people meant more cover for the outcasts of society to lurk, but at the same time perhaps the shower of water would have a similar effect. More likely, though, it would just discourage any activities. As per usual, luck decided to play against him. What else was new? At least the rain was starting to lighten up, although puddles still scattered the metropolis's lower streets. A large tent was placed up ahead, however, and within it stood many a people, from various stages of drenched to not even wet. Leonidas guessed that the coordinators of the event had planned for the weather, and had moved various spring related activities inside for that very reason. Certainly a more practical approach, given Belladonna's magical technologies, but a little shower was probably welcome from time to time. It still didn't help him.

Once entering the area, he folded the umbrella, shaking it a few times before compressing the fabric and hooking the mechanism onto his belt, opposite Calamitas. Onto a hopeless search, the blonde supposed.
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Grond
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It seemed that the heavens were in a melancholy mood, as opposed to the festive disposition of the earth beneath, as the skies had been pouring bucketload after bucketload of rain since morning. Or maybe the skies were actually overjoyed, just as overjoyed as the earth beneath, that Winter had released its cold, joyless hold over Fiore, and Spring had come, even if it would eventually pass. Hence the prompted outpour of the hysterical celestial tears of joy.

Beryl, slightly amused at her own imagination, rolled her eyes involuntarily as she sat by a window in a small agricultural shop/diner, safe within the little but elegant structure, while looking through the vitreous membrane that covered the expanse of the window, shielding her from the power of the deluge outside. The rain seemed to be vacillating in degrees of intensity, as though the skies would be concluding a bout of tearful rejoicing, only to see some danged event below, like a delightful poodle dancing in the mud, to later make some not-so-delightful stains on the rug of its owner, and moved by such a golden sight, the skies would resume their lachrymal expressions.

Lachryma. A similar word, if having unrelated meaning. The stuff filled Belladonna, and had been put to great use in the city. Beryl's eyes were drawn to a particular street lamp, of course, powered by lachryma, whose design enabled it to shine as soon as illumination dropped past a certain threshold. Due to the premature gloaming caused by the weather, this lamp in focus was shining, although dimly. Beneath it walked a young chap with similarly hued hair (Beryl's was lighter, though) and a mild scowl.

"Not having the best of days, huh? He does seem familiar, though...."

Then she remembered. The strange Halloween Town. She'd seen him there. Trying to remember the details of what had happened there had been difficult; her mind clouded over when she attempted to recollect. The Seveni looked down at the plastic envelope resting on her lap which bore the seal of the Empyrea Academy of Higher Magical Studies. She had recently decided to broaden her horizons of knowledge, particularly as regarded extraplanar creatures and phenomena, and approaching the matter from an academic angle seemed the most effective manner of approach, leading her to sign up with the acclaimed school. Of course, her interest was majorly from a "know thy enemy" perspective, yet who said she could not enjoy the acquisition of information? Beryl's drive to gain knowledge, stimulated by her Conflict of the Mind, would ensure she did.

The boy probably remembered what had happened in Halloween Town. All she knew about the place was that it did not belong to the present dimension,which made knowing about it all the more imperative. She would see what she could get from the boy. Rising to her feet, the Seveni stepped to the door of the shop, and exited the building, pausing under the projection of the roof that overhung the door, as she watched the blonde teenager through the open door of the tent. She didn't want to get wet.

She was sure she would, eventually.
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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

Maybe the storm wasn't a bad thing, Leonidas concluded as he glanced around the tent. Far more than a few characters that didn't seem like they normally would attend a light-hearted festival were present under the shelter, likely seeking cover from the rain. Among them, a plethora of researchers located near thugs. Odd, he had to admit, but at the same time quite promising. He tried to push through the crowd, but almost immediately was bombarded by a shower of petals from some customers making a ruckus up ahead. Couldn't people just shut up and enjoy their peaceful lives? He was all for anarchy, but it was pointless throwing flowers, out of all things.

The blonde combed the unwanted organic matter out of his hair, his annoyance only growing with each passing moment he was stuck inside the overpopulated area. So many people, without a purpose beyond living from one day to the next. Hopeless, with no true aspirations or dreams. A sliver of jealousy rose up within him, spurred by the simple fact that the innocent had nothing to truly agonize over, no chance of death at every spare turn. Had he done that to himself? From a certain point of view, yes. Not like he could change anything now.

The patter of raindrops on the white tarp had started to decrease in its frequency, most likely signaling an inevitable passing of the bad weather. A relief, partially, but that also meant that he would have to investigate the specific group he had noticed earlier quickly. Pushing through the crowd with a more urgent stance, Leonidas got within earshot of the intermingled conversation. A woman, with white hair and a white laboratory coat, was interesting in particular. She mentioned Cinnabar and a temple, before cutting off her train of thought entirely and simply walking away. Did she suspect someone was listening? Probably. Him? Yes, yes she did, Leonidas noted, as the thugs turned in his direction.

And so he made himself scarce, quite literally vanishing into the shadows and reappearing beyond the other side of the plastic that was serving as a barrier from the elements. Instead of re-deploying his umbrella, however, he simply walked over to the nearby canopy of a storefront, getting no more than a few drops of water on him. The blonde didn't fail to notice the woman already inhabiting the area, however. She looked familiar, although it took a few moments for him to connect her face with a name. "Beryl?" he asked, looking up at her with curiosity more than anything. Quite a coincidence, that they were meeting in such a different place than the streets of the haunted Halloween Town.
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Grond
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Beryl was still attempting to make her way across the street and into the tent on the other side, but she was finding it particularly difficult to get out from under the relative safety of the overhanging roof under which she took refuge from the rain. While she was unwilling to get herself wet, it was becoming more likely that she would have to take that course of action and get under the weather, although the Seveni couldn't say that she was in the least pleased about the prospects of getting drenched.

After a bit of distraction from a cart which came without warning from a sharp corner and frightened everybody on the street (excluding Beryl, of course, who was well out of the way, being still under the store's roof), the Seveni noticed with a bit of consternation that Leonidas was missing from his former position at the door of the white tent. She grimaced. Finding him would be a hassle, and she was more likely to get wet while looking for someone, as opposed to simply closing the distance between herself and her object of interest.

Just when Beryl had steeled herself to get out under the rain, the blond boy reappeared, revealing to Beryl that her previous worries were generally groundless. And to make matters even better, the boy noticed her, just as he crossed the street, making it unnecessary for her to get wet. By now the rain seemed all but spent, although the Seveni couldn't trust that the weather would not act up again and begin drenching everyone under the open sky. Well, it was best to be optimistic. It seemed that the storm had passed.

"Well, if it isn't Leonidas, the Slayer of Vampire Spawn Zombies," the Geomancer replied with a grin. "Curious, but not at all unpleasant, seeing you here...." She trailed off, as her annoying penchant for worrying about unnecessary things kicked in. When she'd seen Leonidas, he was certainly not what you'd see everyday, with the facial tattoo and all, but given the circumstances, it was relatively normal to come across bizarre sights in the Halloween Town. This was Belladonna, a *normal* place, and it suddenly struck Beryl that he was possibly an anomaly that had survived the Halloween season up till now. A specter, possibly. She would have to make sure that wasn't the case.

Suddenly reaching out, the Seveni pinched the teenager's shoulder. He seemed corporeal enough, so she stepped back and smiled apologetically. "Sorry," she offered sheepishly.
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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

He snickered at Beryl's witty title, partially because it also applied to her, along with her later remark. "As a matter of fact, I had thought the same thing. Belladonna's quite different from Halloween Town, eh?" Leonidas responded.

Truthfully, his mind was elsewhere. The group he had seen, what were they doing in the technological metropolis, and why were they involved with a supposed temple in the Cinnabar Range? Was the notion possibly connected to the base of the White Dawn he had come across in the previous year? No, it didn't seem enough like a temple to fit the description, or any sort of place of worship for that matter. If anything, he'd call it a research facility. Maybe the two terms weren't connected, but that still left the question of a temple. Considering that there had to have been other bystanders also, he wondered why the thugs had only approached him. In reality, it was a confirmation.

Leonidas would have to pick up the trail later, though. At least he now knew that there was a lead somewhere within the city, even if it was its underbelly. He was jolted back to the present by Beryl's squeeze, which didn't in any way hurt him, but it was a curious action and his surprise showed on his visage. There was something involving Fiorean holidays and pinching, but for the life of him he couldn't recall what it was. Ah well, the question was easily enough posed without any actual words being spoken.

More remarkable things were going on, even in the bland street. The rain clouds, just as quickly as they had stopped, were swept away by the wind and sun. Soon, he assumed, people would flood out of tent and so too would vendors. Good, things would return to normal, which would make his task easier, now that he had a lead. More notably for the moment, however, was the prismatic hue of colors streaking across the sky, as mist evaporated into air. A rainbow, it had been some time since he had seen one of the arcs. They were beautiful, yes, but in the end fleeting, like all good things. A shame, perhaps, but in the end that was only the reality of the world. And so too did the most recent optical illusion fade, almost as soon as it had come into being.
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Grond
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"As different as a ball of yarn is from a nail," the Seveni replied to Leonidas' question, even though she knew it was rhetoric. "At least we don't have to worry about dodging fireballs and blood-sucking problems," she chuckled. One could only wonder where the Halloween Town had gone after its season. Sure it was general news that it had returned to whatever dimension it came from, but Beryl needed a lot more details than just general knowledge.

So far, Leonidas didn't seem to be a ghost, which the Seveni felt was relieving, although at the same time, somewhat disappointing, for it meant that he was going to be unlikely to answer her questions about the strange disappearing town. Nevertheless, there was the possibility that the blond youth might know a thing or two more than she did. Even if he didn't, there was nothing to lose by asking questions.

The storm seemed to have suddenly come to an end, with people coming out from their hiding places, and the street suddenly becoming a little crowded. While Leonidas seemed interested in taking in the sights, Beryl was more keen on finding something edible with which to amuse herself. Not particularly enchanted by the rainbow, the Earth mage turned her sights to the almost uncanny speed with which a pair of street vendors set up their stands, apparently in a good-natured race against each other to see who would finish setting up first, to the cheer and applause of a tiny crowd.

The crowd began to grow, as the vendors did a bit of charitable freebie distribution, in order to make the coin more willing to flow. A few well-packaged bags of candies an other spring-related mementos were thrown randomly to the crowd; and it only served to make the throng a bit more rambunctious. An object flew clean over the crowd, as though it had been lobbed at the two blondies, although it was merely a random throw. Instinctively, the Seveni reached out and caught it, noting its identity with mild irritation.

"Eww," she said, holding up a flower garland, and obviously uncertain of what to do with it. "What's the purpose, or function, of this? Oh, and what are you doing in Belladonna, Leonidas? You can choose to ignore the first question," the Earth mage continued, holding the item as though it was harmful or disgusting, but she was disallowed from letting it go.
Edited by Grond, Mar 28 2018, 01:31 PM.
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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

The tent was hastily taken down, and with it the crowd of people that had been contained within dispersed to the street. It was one of the more open areas of Belladonna, but still various vendors raced to get the best spots, or in some cases, like the ones nearby, just to set up in time for lines to be funneled to a few particular places. A stand filled to the brim with flowers was one, and another was manned by a woman with a straw hat, selling fresh produce that Leonidas guessed she had grown.

Beyond that, he couldn't really see much, if anything at all. Ah well, there probably wasn't much to look at anyway, other than impatient customers and performers dressed in bright colors and patterns that were practically eyesores. Every festival was essentially the same thing, perhaps with a change in location or occasion. Always there were the people, acting too happy for any reasonable intent, celebrating something they probably didn't even care about.

More flowers were thrown into the crowd, but this time Beryl was there to catch a bouquet lobbed in their direction. Maybe it was a tradition of some sort, throwing flora into the crowd. Alright, there was a basis, but that had nothing to do with spring gatherings. "Well, at weddings the bride throws it into the crowd and whoever catches is is supposedly the next to get married... but this isn't a wedding. My guess is as good as yours," Leonidas responded lightheartedly, answering Beryl's first question despite her later objection to it. He then shrugged. "I travel a lot. Some information gathering, though, to be a bit less vague. And you?"

Of course, Leonidas knew that he hadn't been elaborate whatsoever, but that was the way he operated. If he wasn't pressured for information, he would never give it; the blonde wasn't running a charity, after all. So what, anyway? He could tell that Beryl was suspicious about him for some reason, whatever that was, and to be fair she every right to be. They had originally met at one of the most strange places in, well, above Fiore, and no doubt now reacquainting in a generally normal city was going to have such sentiments attached to it. What had been her purpose in visiting Halloween Town? Maybe it had been just for kicks, maybe she had been curious, but from what he had seen Beryl was more than capable in combat, which brought up the logical concern that she was a hunter of some sort. He pushed the fear aside for the moment, however. There was no point in accusing someone before any facts were established, or so he tried to force himself to believe.
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Grond
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Beryl's first question was answered, and it was indeed strange to her. She frowned a moment, contemplating the Fioreans and their interesting culture, then she shook her head. "This is beyond me," the Seveni said with a shrug. "I believe I can understand the throwing of flower bouquets during weddings, with flowers having a lot of symbolism, and plant life being resilient and all that as a symbol of the love of the newly weds, but what do marriage rituals have to do with spring celebrations?"

Well, it seemed there would be little else in the way of further explanations as concerned flower bouquets and Fiorean culture, so Beryl observed the item in her hand one last time, as though trying to evaluate its over all utility as far as she was concerned. She then realized, seeing what others were doing with theirs, that it was supposed to be just carried about (and inconveniently, too), making her desire to get rid of the item stronger. What if a goat came out of nowhere and attacked her, in order to get at the scrumptious flowers and leaves that made up the garland? It sounded hilarious at the time, but Beryl was sure that being at the receiving end of the attacks of a goat that was out for blood-- okay, sap-- would not be hilarious in the least.

"And permit me to wonder, won't the holders of those things be liable to being attacked by goats?"

Of course, it was a silly worry, but being who she was, Beryl entertained all sorts of such things, ranging from the necessary to the totally preposterous. In any case, although the Seveni was curious about Leonidas, she wasn't suspicious enough to view him as an active threat. He did seem not so willing to divulge the exact reason for his presence in Belladonna. Information gathering was a motive, but one that had deeper underlying reasons. What sort of information did Leonidas want, and why? Well, if he didn't want to tell her, it was his business anyway... though she would have liked to know. Something told her that prying would be considered rude, though.

"Me?" she asked rhetorically. "I'm trying to waste the energies of youth, which as it so happens, I seem to have," she replied with a playful tone, "so I wander all over the place and all that." The Seveni held up the file which bore the Empyrea University seal. "I'm actually studying, and my subject matter involves traveling to gather information. So, like you, some information gathering as well."

It could be annoying, using one's answers to answer their own questions. Suddenly flinging the flower bouquet into a thronging pocket of people close by, Beryl quickly turned, pretending as though she had no knowledge, talk less of being responsible, for the thrown item, as she gave Leonidas a winsome smile.
Edited by Grond, Apr 2 2018, 05:27 PM.
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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

Beryl seemed intent on staying on the conversation of flower bouquets, spring celebrations, and weddings, in which he supposed there wasn't really much else to talk about. "A lot of weddings happen in the spring, if that has anything to do with it. Maybe they're left over from some event related to it. Or, of course, the more logical answer would be that someone's just having some fun," Leonidas replied. Ah, marriage ceremonies in the season of rebirth. He tried to block out the memory that quickly resurfaced, for once mostly successful due to a curve of words Beryl presented.

Naturally, he laughed at the woman's notion of being concerned about various herbivores attacking picked flora, not only for how random the concept was but also because the odds were more than a bit slim. "I don't know about you, but seeing a goat isn't exactly a common occurrence in my daily life, nor would I think an animal would go for something on a human being before, let's say, some grass on the ground," he reasoned, shaking his head in a dismissive nature. Goats, really? That was about as silly as one could get trying to pose a supposedly intellectual question.

Beryl soon explained her reasons for being in Belladonna, however, primary among them the presentation of a file with the seal of Empyrea International. Such a mark usually only amounted to one thing in terms of information, that of the magical variant. Was she cross referencing her facts with other sources, or was what she had sought out not covered in the databases of the academy? She had succeeded in drawing his interest, if only beyond the annoyance of small talk and reflecting statements with a slight flair.

But first, the woman tossed the arrangement of flowers she had been anonymously gifted back into the crowd, a sort of mischief shining on her face that was only present on those who had a tendency, at the very least, of bending the rules. He liked that expression, not in a physical way but what it represented underneath, someone not entirely confined to the law society laid down to wash away individuality.

Of course, given that she was researching various subjects, whatever those happened to be, such was probably an obvious observation. Leonidas returned the smile she had shone, but not speaking further on the topic. Instead, he looped back around to the question he had originally posed. "I take it your studies involve magic, then, given your folder is from Empyrea?" he asked. Naturally, she would probably respond with a query of her own, but that was fine. Perhaps her interest was just something of mundane nature, in any case.

OOC
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Grond
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OOC:


Leonidas wondered about the nature of the subject matter of Beryl's study, rightly deducing that it was related to magic. Well, it had to be, seeing that the school from which Beryl sought to obtain her degree was known for its vast magical research, which was one of the major reasons the Seveni had chosen the school. Of course, it was very likely to find some research topics which didn't necessarily broach the field of magic directly, but still, once it was Empyrea, it had to have something to with magic.

"Well, it's not called Empyrea Academy of Higher Magical Studies for nothing, so yeah," the Seveni replied. "Even if someone's research work was titled 'Excessively Mundane and Absolutely Normal Paraphernalia', the scholar would still have to find a connection of their work to magic, else the long beards of the academic board will chuck out your stuff. 'Maybe you should take that topic to one of the other schools....'"

She said the last sentence as a parody of the professors at the university, executing a rather comic imitation by her voice and body language. Then she stuck out her tongue in exaggerated disgust. Normally, she had nothing against those venerated readers; heck, even though she neither looked like, nor tried to behave like such, Beryl was an incorrigible bookworm. All the same, most academicians tended to look down their noses at the rest of the world, who could not devote time enough, as they, to become socially bankrupt. Ah well. Different strokes for different folks.

"Soooooo..." Beryl said, shooting Leonidas a mock suspicious look, "what sort of information gathering are you up to? Don't tell me you're working on an academic degree as well." While answering the (apparent) teenager's question, Beryl had not bothered to elaborate the nature of her studies, expecting a question to come of it. The question slinging was becoming relatively interesting, and pending the time she could find something more unnatural to go after, this was as decent a pastime as any. For now, there was time to waste.
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