Nice and peaceful, Nabias offers a great place to start your journey or stock up on supplies before heading out to brave the rest of the wilderness out there. They also have Barakka's largest hospital facility to treat all sorts of injuries you could get out there. (+2 Precision)

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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 10:49 AM

"What are you doing?" said Sendou. Cantus nearly startled at his voice, feeling at once defensive and guilty, though he hardly knew why. When he looked at what he had drawn, he could make neither head nor tails of it. Nevertheless, he smeared his hand against it, blurring the whole thing into a streak of condensation.

"Nothing," he said. "I... I'm going to find a bathroom." He rose abruptly and walked away, carefully avoiding looking into Sendou's face. He didn't want to see what he would find there. He didn't know why, but the avoidance was an instinctive one, and Cantus had gotten into the habit of relying on his instincts.

It wasn't hard to locate the bathroom, which was just as well, considering he was in no real state to be asking for directions. It was by some miracle empty when he walked in. Closing in on the mirrors, he inspected himself in the glass. What he found there was not reassuring, though it was hardly a surprise either. He looked unkempt, and his clothes needed mending, or perhaps replacing. Sendou was always saying as much. But his face--- his face looked haggard, in a way the last few months couldn't have accounted for.

Bakery 24




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 10:49 AM

Nothing had happened--- at least, not to make him look like this. There was no reason he should have looked worse after having met Sendou. Defending him from the occasional onlooker who got a bit too smart, and telling him about all the workings of human society that he wasn't following... It wasn't to say it wasn't tiring, but he had been through worse, surely.

And yet, the man who stared back out at him from the mirror was gaunt-faced, not with starvation but with something else. It was as if he had been hollowed out from the inside. The dark beneath his eyes ran deep, for all that he had slept, and dreamed of nothing all this time.

It felt... it felt... It was like a piece was missing. Out of the corner of his eye, he thought he saw something, but he closed his eyes against the apparition. He knew how it would go by now. He would turn to look and there would be nothing there, and he would be the fool. It had been going on for a while now.

When did it start? He couldn't remember that either, somehow.

Bakery 25




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 10:50 AM

Sighing, he turned on the tap, and let the noise of it wash away all his thoughts. Dipping his hand, he splashed his face with it. The water was ice cold, but he didn't so much as wince. The sensation was bracing, and it kept him grounded. He had done the same before, when his mind was wandering and he couldn't afford to allow it to do so. Granted, back then the consequences tended towards something more dire, but...

He didn't know how long he stayed like that, but eventually he did have to come out. He couldn't leave Sendou unattended that long. With tea to occupy him, perhaps he would be content to stay as he was and not make a fuss, as he sometimes did. But the crowd worried him; Sendou never did like heavily populated areas. There was no telling what would happen, and Cantus didn't want to wait to find out in case something did.

It was a relief when he walked out and scanned the crowd, and found Sendou still at the table, with nothing obviously amiss. He searched the faces of the other nearby patrons as he closed in, just in case, but a cursory glance didn't reveal anything out of the ordinary.

Bakery 26




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 10:50 AM

There was none of the glassiness in their expressions that the couple at their table had sported. He shouldn't have been as relieved about that as he was. He wasn't going to think about that, however. There were enough things for his mind to get bogged down on already, and he wasn't going to add another to the list--- not tonight.

Sendou looked up slightly, registering his return, but otherwise continued to sip at his tea. Cantus had the inane urge to ask how it was, despite the fact that that would have been much too obvious a tip-off. He wasn't the type to ask about these things; he wasn't the type to care. He was only looking for something to say. He held his tongue, but only just; if Sendou cared to tell him, he would find out regardless, later.

With nothing else to distract him, he took another sip of his coffee. It had cooled some by then, to an almost drinkable temperature. Pity. He needed the burn more than the caffeine at the moment. Still, it was better than nothing. It gave his hands and his mouth something to do. And what it lost in warmth, it made up by being especially bitter.

Bakery 27




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 10:51 AM

Contrary to what he expected, however, he soon began to feel... drowsy. Maybe drowsy wasn't the word for it. He wasn't sure. It was getting hard to think at all, actually. He felt his eyes growing heavy, and he let them flutter almost closed before he caught himself, and snapped back awake. Sendou was watching him, so he waved away the spirit's concern, but almost immediately he drifted off again.

Eventually he couldn't fight it, and had only the sense to lean against the window before the dark closed over his head, and he was gone.

Sendou watched him fall, and reached out a hand to steady his shoulder. When Cantus did not stir at the touch, he nodded slightly to himself, and took Cantus's coffee away. Opening the window, he dumped out the drink, along with his own. It was not a bad cup of tea, but nevertheless, it could not compare to what he was used to.

Something made him snap to attention the next moment, however. Sendou looked up, scanning the crowd. He had the distinct and uncomfortable sensation that he was being watched.

Bakery 28




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 10:51 AM

Not here... Not there... There.

Image


By now, most people had left off staring, which made it easier to find the person who was. A boyish-looking young man, he didn't even make any effort to hide the fact that he had, in fact, been staring. He was wearing a grin on his face, and the gaze he directed at Sendou was not at all what the spirit would have expected. There was no wonder there, no surprise, not even the disapproval and occasional revulsion that the spirit sometimes saw. This stranger looked at him with only mild surprise, and this secondary only to amusement, as if chancing upon an unexpected gift. As if Sendou's notice had been some kind of permissions, he even stood up, making his way over with a smile.

"Excuse me," said Sendou, when it became clear beyond a doubt that the young man was approaching him. "Have we met?"

"No, we're perfect strangers," the young man replied. "May I sit? Look, I've even brought a chair." He indicated the chair in question, which quelled Sendou's first protest. Sendou closed his mouth, drawing it into a thin unhappy line. He did not give permission, but he could not refuse either, not without making a fuss or with Cantus's interception.

Bakery 29




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 11:16 AM

Unfortunately for him, Cantus was currently indisposed. The timing couldn't have been worse, really. The stranger cheerfully pulled up his chair, and sat himself in it as if he had been welcomed.

Sendou honestly didn't know what to make of him. Most people didn't simply approach him; Sendou both exuded and cultivated an air of aloofness specifically to deter this sort of thing. Those who did usually had something they wanted, and were much more brusque about demanding it from him. He suspected the man was after something, but if he thought he could talk his way into a contract...

"So," the man was saying, "do you come here often?"

"No," said Sendou. "I believe this is a seasonal attraction."

The man nodded."That it is. But it's been running for a while now. Say, you weren't here last year, were you?"

"No," Sendou said.

"Ah, well then. Welcome! What brings you here?" The man beamed, holding out a hand. Sendou regarded it with an air of vaguely surprised distaste, but rather than retracting it, the man simply left it there. At length, Sendou had no choice but to shake it gingerly.

Bakery 30




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 11:16 AM

"My friend," was Sendou's short and terse reply. The man only nodded as if he had given an interesting answer. He was rapidly proving to have great talent for being unable to take a hint. Deciding that his usual tactics would not serve him here, Sendou opted for something more direct. "Why have you come here?" he said.

"Me? Oh, I'm here for the festival myself. It's my first time too, you know. Say, maybe we can look at the displays together." The man went as far as to nudge Sendou's shoulder, for which the spirit gave him an affronted look that was not at all artifice. The young man smiled at him, apparently amused at having stunned him beyond words, before nodding to Cantus. "I must say, he's a surprise. I wouldn't have thought you'd go for someone like him."

"I beg your pardon," said Sendou, but then the realization struck him in full, and his eyes went wide. "No," he breathed, and took another long look at the strange man sitting at his table, searching his face intently. It was an open face, full of mischief, a little handsome but not very much so. He was tall, though the way he carried himself made him look smaller than he was. He had long hands, with long fingers, and he was wearing an outrageously ugly sweater with... some kind of deer on the front.

Bakery 31




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 11:17 AM

"Elirian," said Sendou. The man's grin widened, and he held a finger up to his lips.

"Shhh. It's a secret," he said.

"Where--- no, no, I do not wish to know. But your servants must be informed. They have been searching---"

"Ah ah ah, Sendou." Elirian held up a finger, to Sendou's own lips this time. His eyes hooded, and his smile took on a different quality. It wasn't threatening--- Elirian was never threatening--- but there was something there, nonetheless, that reminded Sendou that he was not to be crossed. "Not just yet, if you please. I'm rather enjoying myself, and in the meantime they've been managing perfectly well in my absence." There was a melancholy air to these last words, and Sendou wondered at it. Elirian had never expressed much outward displeasure at his own imprisonment, beyond the beginning, when his duties had not been relegated and the world was falling to ruin without him. Mentions of it produced chagrin, generally, and he laughed it off as if it was some small embarrassing past trifle.

Bakery 32




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 11:17 AM

He conducted himself in a carefree manner even when he had still resided within the Garden; it was some small wonder Sendou did not realize his identity sooner, in retrospect. Therefore it had not occurred to Sendou that the old god of chaos might have been bored, or displeased at the idea that he had grown unnecessary, barely better than a figurehead himself. Or at least, it hadn't, until that moment.

He was silent, and Elirian took that as agreement enough, removing his hand. Sendou stared at the pattern of his robes. He was technically not a part of the Garden and its staff himself, and the distinction was always something he had marked out clearly before. There was no reason to help the dream-weaver and the archivist, especially over the whims of the god himself. And he wasn't going to say anything, not after a warning like that. Yet he still couldn't help himself from saying, a little helplessly, "Things cannot be like this forever." He wondered how far he dared push the subject. "Eventually your essence will fade from your realm, and then your servants' hands will be tied."

Bakery 33




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 11:19 AM

Elirian beamed. "Why Sendou," he said. "I'm touched. I had no idea you cared so much." Sendou opened his mouth to issue a rebuttal, but thought better of it almost immediately. No, he would not allow Elirian to redirect him, at least not indirectly like this. As he continued to stare, Elirian sighed. "Yes, I am aware. The years, long as they have been, have given me time aplenty to study the specific terms of my imprisonment." He stared out at the window, at the spot where Cantus's hand had been. "But they will manage well enough for a few more years, and in the meantime, I have not... I have not had so much fun in ages. In eons, you could say." He grinned, and winked, inviting Sendou to share in the joke. Sendou's frown signaled his denial, and Elirian sighed again. "Well, I suppose you aren't obligated to enjoy my puns. But that's not what we were talking about, is it?" He indicated Cantus again, and arched a brow.

Sendou's gaze flicked over to Cantus's sleeping form. "I have no idea what you mean," the spirit said.

Bakery 34




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 11:19 AM

Elirian raised both brows this time, in a look of feigned surprise. "As in why I thought you wouldn't go for him, or as in what we were talking about? Because I think the latter is pretty clear." He reached out to pat Cantus's shoulder for good measure, and Sendou could feel his hands tightening into fists, though he couldn't have said why. Elirian wasn't one to harm or tempt mortals, after all.

The young man--- the vessel Elirian wore--- leaned back in the chair. "And as far as me being surprised--- he's not your type. Not at all."

This time, Sendou's frown of confusion was genuine. "I have no idea what you mean," he said.

Elirian stared at him, then laughed. "You're really going to deny it? But you definitely have a type. Say, then can he write poetry?"

"No," said Sendou immediately.

"What about tea? Can he brew a good cup?"

"... No," said Sendou, more slowly this time. He wished, for his own sake if not Cantus's, that he could have said otherwise. Unfortunately it was the truth; he'd partaken of the bitter brew that Cantus had dubbed his tea, and immediately recoiled.

Bakery 35




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 12:15 PM

Elirian smiled, as if he had just proven a point. Leaning back with his hands behind his head, he said, "See? Not your type at all. But you've taken a real shine to him, haven't you?" There was something else in the god's eyes now, which Sendou could not immediately read. Whatever it was, it wasn't the playfulness that he had been putting forth until now. Sendou wondered if this was why Elirian had approached, and he was finally getting to his point. He did always like to beat around the bush.

"If you have something you wish to say, then please say it," he said.

Nodding towards the cup, Elirian said, "That's you, isn't it?" Sendou tensed again, his spine going rigid and straight. Elirian's eyes seemed to bore into him, suddenly cuttingly sharp. "You can't keep doing this to him. He won't stay if you do." His voice was soft, but there was a warning undertone to it.

Sendou felt the force of the god's personality being brought to bear on himself, and felt a surge of anger spread through him. "You do not know this," he said. "Mortal hearts are not your jurisdiction. Almost nothing is, anymore."

Bakery 36




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 12:15 PM

It was a bad thing to say, and he knew it as the words left his mouth, but--- loath as he was to admit it--- Elirian had struck a nerve. Elirian took it in stride, giving a slight shrug. It told of how good he was, that it could look effortless, and even Sendou could not spot the lie in it. He knew only because he had seen, before, how the irrelevance of the god's absence had hurt him. Something that Elirian had allowed him to see, in all likelihood.

"You aren't wrong," Elirian said. "I've discovered just how limited my jurisdiction is, since becoming like this." He motioned to himself, then grinned, and produced a string of colored paper stars seemingly from nowhere, like a cheap magician's trick. "Did you know that if you make a thousand of these, you can make a wish? It's an old urban legend; they didn't take this away from me because no one had managed it, and we all--- myself included--- forgot that it existed at all.

"Ah, but to get back on topic. You are right, but I was once the god of dreams, of death and rebirth, and of spirit. I may not know the whole, but that is enough, I think."

Bakery 37




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: .:Millie's Winter Event:. [LAST 5 Slots]

Postby crow » 01/22/2017 12:17 PM

Sendou still wasn't convinced, and his expression must have betrayed as much. Elirian's expression softened, and he said, "What do you think he will say when he finds out?"

"He will not find out," said Sendou, but the words rang dull in his own ears even as he spoke them.

Elirian was nodding again. "Very well, so he doesn't. But you'll have to keep taking, because they can't function with such a large gap missing--- and you took something big the first time, didn't you? You can already see that he's faltering. What do you think will happen if you keep taking more?"

It was a thought Sendou himself had had, watching Cantus in his far-away moments. He'd been having more, rather than less, since Sendou had taken away the death of his friend, and then the friend altogether. There were fewer nightmares, but Cantus would wake dazed and unresponsive, while Sendou could do nothing but watch. He had thought it in those moments by the fire too, when Cantus had been talking around the things in his memory that he felt compelled to avoid.

Bakery 38




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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