“Can I have more than one?” you ask hopefully. All the artifacts sound really cool.
“Let’s see how you do with one artifact first,” Akachi watches you carefully as you pick up the Dragonfly’s Ranging Eye. He replaces the other artifacts in their respective cases. He looks over the other cases on the shelves for a moment. He then pulls out another case.
“Two artifacts. I’m not going to leave you completely undefended. “ He opens the case and pulls out two small bracers with starmetal etchings. “This is Discrete Essence Armor. You won’t be able to wear it with the armor Yeva is bringing, but you can use it when you go wandering around the school at night. Here is a set for you too, Wanahton. “ He places a much larger case on the table.
Yeva comes into the equipment room with a large duffle bag. She sets the duffle down on a table and pulls out a set of green jade armor.
“Wood Aspect? Wasn’t Svante’s Great Grandfather a Fire Aspect?” Your ears perk up as Akachi’s mention of a great grandfather.
“The circle Svante is going to join already has a fire aspect.“ Yeva explains as she fits you with the Jade Armor. “It is not unheard of that a DB can exalt as one aspect and look like another.” She places a helmet on your head. “Is that tight enough for you?”
“Great Grandfather?” you ask. The helmet feels too tight on your head, but that is how the armor is made.
“You should add a few more greats to that. “ Yeva sighs. “If Cinaed Torkil used the time he spent diluting the bloodlines actually doing his job, the North would have less of a barbarian problem. Akachi, you must be busy today. Why don’t you go and I can take care of briefing these two on the School.“
“None of my meetings are important this morning.” Akachi settles on of the tables to watch Yeva work.
“That will give you time to work on that large stack of paperwork Yaogin put on your desk last night.”
Akachi shrugs “He can wait.”
“Have you eaten yet today?” Yeva asks hopefully.
“You are trying to get rid of me.” Akachi says with a smile.
“You are dodging the question.” Yeva turns to you. “Did he eat this morning?”
“Don’t answer her, Svante. Your Sifu cannot be trusted.”
“You can’t be trusted not to reveal too much about Svante’s mission. You need to eat something.”
Wanahton watches the exchange between the two with a hint of a smile.
“You and Wanahton go on ahead. I want to talk to Svante before he goes.” Yeva gives Akachi a stern look. “I am not going to tell him anything he doesn’t need to know.” Akachi assures her.
“Fine. But you are going to eat. I’ll be back this afternoon. If I find you haven’t eaten, I’m going to shove food down your throat.”
Akachi pretends to look frightened at Yeva’s threat. She rolls her eyes and leaves with Wanahton. You and Akachi are now alone in the equipment room.
“Svante, I owe you an apology. I was rather short with you this morning and it really wasn’t your fault. This whole festival…. It brings back painful memories.”
Akachi pauses for a moment before continuing. “I want you to know that this mission wasn’t my idea and I am not punishing you for anything.” You are confused. How is going on a mission a punishment? “You won’t be gone for more than a few weeks. And Wanahton will be there if anything happens.“ Akachi looks like he want to stay something else but he doesn’t.
You realize that he is worried about you. “I’m a Sidereal. Missions are what we do, right?” You try to be nonchalant about the situation, but you are picking up on Akachi’s anxiety. Rikali died during a mission, so you knew they can be dangerous.
He smiles. “You are probably the only Sidereal that actually wants to go on a mission.” He holds his arms out. “Do I get a hug before you go?”
You consider Akachi’s request for a hug. You are going to be thirteen soon – almost too old for hugs. But it looks like Akachi needs a hug, so you go to him. “Be careful. Don’t do anything crazy. No fighting. You’ll find that Dragonbloods are more formidable foes than god blooded children.”
“I’ll be okay.” You are reluctant to break the hug now that you are here. After Nanny left, Akachi has been the one to take care of you. When you have nightmares of blood apes, he is the one who you go to. Yes, there is the Owl and Sasha, but they are often busy with their own lives.
Akachi is like a father to you.
“We should probably get going. It’s a good thing Yeva doesn’t have Anima Flux or she’d skin us alive.” He raises his voice at the last sentence.
“I heard that!” you hear her yell from just outside the door.
Yeva helps you and Wanahton create Resplendent Destinies for the mission. Then Wanahton left separately to find his own way into the school. Your heavy duffle bag makes you sway a bit as you walk through the streets of Vanchow. You can feel the Quiver push at you. It’s worse than the Key. The false destiny feels like an ill-fitting and itchy set of clothes.
“Did you know my parents?” you ask Yeva.
“You parents are Cinead…” she starts to repeat the backstory of the Quiver.
“Not them. My real parents.” The Quiver itches when you clarify your question.
She stops you and looks you in the eye. “You are Cinead Svante. You parents are Cinead Astrid and Yeh Igoo. You are a Wood Aspect who exalted four months ago. You showed promise, so you have been sent by your Gent to the Blessed Isle for schooling. Any other discussion about Svante Visscher would create paradox. Do you understand?”
You nod wordlessly. Both Akachi and Yeva explained about Paradox. You still want to push the topic, but the Quiver keeps you silent.
“Good.” Yeva continues walking and you follow, feeling frustrated. Frustrated with the Quiver. Frustrated with your Sifu.
You and Yeva cross a large courtyard, where other children of obvious Dragonblooded breeding are lounging around bored. You follow Yeva into a large building and through a maze of hallways. You start feeling nervous. You didn’t expect the school to be so large. Yeva enters an office and speaks to a man at a desk. The man waves you and Yeva though.
An air-aspected woman with violet hair and pale blue skin is sitting at a large desk reading through reports. When Yeva enters, she stands up and bows to her. “Good morning. Is this the boy?”
“To the point as always, Vantish. Yes. This is Cnead Svante. Svante, this is Headmaster Raijin Vantish.“ The Quiver prompted you to bow to deeply to the Headmaster.
Headmaster Raijin comes around and stands in front of you. She looks you over and says “Such lovely green eyes. Though it is a shame you didn’t exalt as a Fire Aspect. It would have suited your coloring better.“
“I think Wood Aspect suits him well.” Yeva does not elaborate as to why.
“Ah. So you want this one in Lung’s group.” The Headmaster sits back down at her desk. “I have already told Osamu to expect a Wood Aspect to join that group. “ She leans back in her chair and observes Yeva carefully. “I also told him about the existence of your student.”
“That wasn’t what we agreed on.” Yeva said in a frigid tone.
“Yes, but will not have one of my Chuzei be uninformed of the Nitei in his care. I would not worry. Enki Osamu has been on countless Wyld Hunts. He understand how to work with others like you and your student. “ You realize that the Headmaster is talking about you. She and your Chuzei – whoever that is- knows that you are a Sidereal.
“That may be, but it was not your decision to make.”
“This is my school and I will run it as I see fit.”
“Vantish, am I really the best person to try to assert your authority over? Don’t start a war you are unable to finish. “ Yeva casually sits on the edge of the head masters desk. “I am on your side, remember. I chose this school for my student because it is the best in Creation. “
Headmaster Raijin opens her mouth to say something and then thinks better of it. Instead, she says “I apologize for not consulting you on Enki Osamu.”
Yeva waves her hand as if the argument the two woman were having was of no consequence. “You are forgiven. And you are most likely right about having Enki in the know. I will trust your judgment in this matter. “ Yeva stands up. “Though it has been a while since I posed as an instructor. I could clear my schedule…”
“I thought you trusted my judgment?“ the Headmaster interrupted. “Looking over my shoulder isn’t a good way to prove your trust in me.” You realize that the headmaster doesn’t want Yeva here. Something MUST be going on at the school.
“I would assume leaving my student in your care would prove my trust in you.” Yeva turns to you. “Do you remember everything I told you?”
“Yes, Sifu… “ The Quiver itches again. “I mean, ma’am.”
“Good. Headmaster Raijin will watch over you. Trust her in all things.” You have a feeling that the last part was said more for the Headmaster’s benefit than yours. You and Yeva bow and your Sifu leaves you alone with the headmaster.
“Follow me.” The headmaster leads you out of her office and further in the building. You memorize the route from the Headmaster’s office so you can find it again. You had a feeling that you will be visiting it again. Probably later tonight after everyone was asleep.
The headmaster takes you to a room. “In you go, Cnead.” She then heads towards an Earth Aspected Dragonblood who was walking this way.
You enter the room and find three Dragonbloods about your age. The two girls, obviously Fire Aspects by their orange and red hair, are practicing sword katas. The long orange haired girl moves with a hypnotizing grace as she leads her partner though the Katas. When she notices you, she smiles and your heart speeds up. She is very pretty
“Hey! It’s another boy.” The third Dragonblood in the room is a Water Apsect, who is sitting on a bench reading something called “Kill Sword Fire.” He sets his manga aside and looks you over. “Fire?”
“Wood,” you reply.
“You are like Aiko. She’s Earth, but doesn’t look like it. But don’t worry. We don’t judge here.” The orange haired girl says, as she resheves her sword and walks over to you. Aiko, the red haired girl follows. “My name is Lung Chiyoko. What’s yours?”
“Cnead Svante.” You try to think of something witty to say to Chiyoko, but your mind is blank. “You are really good with your sword.” That was really lame. Aiko smirks as she watches you flounder.
The water aspect hold out his hand, obvious to your daft comment. “My name is…oh shit!” He looks towards the door.
“FALL IN!” The earth aspect you saw talking to the headmaster stroms in to the room. The other dragonbloods quickly race to stand in a line. The Quiver pokes you and you follow the others’ lead.
“Despicable. I’ve seen legless mortals move faster than you scumbags.” The stocky earth aspect walks down the line, radiating disapproval with each step. He stops in front of the Water Aspect. “I hear you have a new name, Mayim or should I say Oh Shit. “
“Sir, no, Sir. My name hasn’t changed….sir,” Mayim adds belatedly.
“I think the name is more fitting for a shithead like you. What do you say, Hui?”
“Sir?” Aiko looks like she’d rather be in the pits of Malfeas than here.
“I asked your opinion, Hui. Maybe if you get your head out of all those books, you might have a thought of your own.”
He turns towards the orange haired girl. “Though that is better than Lung here. If she saw a book, she’d probably stab it with a sword, rather than read it. A disgrace to the bloodline…” Chiyoko stares straight ahead, trying to not let the Chuzei’s comments bother her.
Your blood boils as you watch this man bully the other dragonblood. Is this what a Chuzei is? Just a big bully? You were in the middle of making friends when this asshole interrupted.
What do you say?
- Stay silent and wait your turn for bullying…yeah, like that is going to happen!
- Make a smart alec remark
((OOC: Custom Dialogue time! What do you say to your Chuzei? ))