An Evening of Wonders Oct 9, 2017 20:24:46 GMT
Post by Cat on Oct 9, 2017 20:24:46 GMT
"It's been a long, long time." Ouranias spoke, sat on the shoreline with her back to the earthly world. Before her marble paws hovered a poised snake, nestled in the reeds; both the woman and the reptile held their steady gaze upon a frog perched ever so contentedly on its lily pad. While she spoke, the world held still - it did not hold its breath, per se, but it paused to hear her words though she spoke not directly to it. All three were predators in their own right, as all could become prey in their own ways. It was a whole other era when the white woman lived as though she were prey, and the approaching individual to which she spoke knew this all too well.
"It has." Xyresic answered, his voice hushed. She was small, but not fragile, and the peaceful quietude with which she spoke was somehow natural unlike his forced near-whisper; it was not a quality her father had held, and if her mother had held it, then Ouranias had perfected it. "My apologies for the intrusion." The knight spoke softly as he continued his advance, attempting to walk as delicately as possible for his lumbering form. He had never been dainty, never shrunk or downplayed himself, his pride, his power. In his youth he was a mighty warrior, a devout ally, an avid hunter, a steadfast friend. All these qualities still leaked through the dust and wear of age, though it was clear time had taken its toll on the once-renowned leader. His slate fur was kept well enough to still hang over his form like a royal cape, hiding the loss of muscle and movement that had not only begun, but begun to advance. At a gentle walk he hid it well, though ask the man to run and a different story would be told.
He softly came astride the young - at least young to him, as she would ever be - heiress, as he had known her, reclining to a sit as gently as possible. He was immediately glad to be cradled by loamy soil and cool grass; the sun had dipped below the horizon, but its light still extended into the impending darkness. "I hope my appearance here is not inappropriate, my lady." He looked upon her with once-bright eyes which now were dusky citrine. "You know you are always welcome here, among us. When all of Zero's allies left, you remained. Haine remained. That will always be remembered." She spoke so succinctly, so devoutly, that there was no doubt in his mind of her convictions; there never had been, and never would be. She was not the sort that came about often; her kind was born, not created. All the terror and horror and chaos that she had been born into, raised around, and yet she took the ashes of her family's empire and birthed it anew. It was not an easy feat, but neither was life.
"That is an honour, as ever it has been." A pause, as he watched her watching the other animals before her, neither of which had moved, even as the wolves conversed above them. He had to look down upon her, even while sitting, his curved neck arched to aim his muzzle downward. Xyresic had half a foot over the holy mother, but together they sat in an easy harmony. "I heard you took in some of the Carnage captives." His tone was not inherently judgmental, but it was obvious - especially to one as trained and astute as Ouranias - that he held reservations about such a decision. Still, she did not falter; his dubious curiosity was warrented, his doubt repelled simply as though it rolled off silky, sloping shoulders.
"It was not my place to rescind Zero's decrees, its history. We took in several of the captives and wanderers, showed them the path to retribution and recovery. As expected, there was some variance. Some are fallen, some entered the Gregori; there is one who has not only remained, but overcome. The Golem has completed all his rites. He is the only member of the first sphere that remains."
Xyresic gave some minor nods as he listened to her debriefing, understanding where the woman was coming from. Her origin story, that of Caeleste, was a complicated matter, though she had handled it exceedingly professionally. He was surprised, however, when news came that Hesperian had climbed the holy latter, especially in as short a time as a couple years. And that he was the only remaining member was cause for not quite alarm, but concern, and all these emotions threatened to breach the surface of the man's weatherworn face. He did not bother hiding the subtleties from his company, as she would be able to suss it out of him easily enough. Perhaps the softest - though most righteous - interrogator to exist sat astride him and shot him a pastel side-glance, and he knew with that look she had garnered all.
"A lot has happened since we left the lands of my birth. I imagine you have your own series of stories to tell. I would like to hear them someday." She was being kind - perhaps too kind. He knew he did not have forever left on this earth, and as a devout knight he would not make promises he was not sure he could keep. Further still, however, he would not let the loving light of such a pure soul pass him by. He sighed heartily. "Perhaps some day you will hear of them." He had no wife, no children of which to speak; he had had a few flings in his early youth, but none he knew that bore any fruit. He had loved one woman, and she had disappeared without a trace. Once he took his vows of knighthood, however, he needed nor sought no romance, nor desire except to uphold the greater good. "My daughter has begun to fully take on her duties as Caeleste's Scion as well." Was she a mind reader? He knew such things did not exist, but since her childhood the woman had shown an uncanny comprehension of empathy and the thought process of those around her. "I did not know you had a child." He responded calmly. "She is not a child anymore; she is growing into adulthood before my very eyes, and perhaps for the first time I understand my parents' decisions growing up, how they were with myself, and with Astrella." Her sister had passed some time ago. He had heard that much.
"But enough about me. I imagine you did not travel all this way to reminisce?" Finally, she turned her statuesque head to look upon the mighty man, taking in his appearance placidly. Her parents had not lived to the age he was, nor had her sister. Ouranias could not help the fleeting feeling of dread below her breast that the same fate - an early death - would befall her as well.
"It is true, I did not." He admitted passively, watching her watch him openly. There was an understanding among those like- though not same- minded; a silent camaraderie that went beyond words, beyond souls. "In all honestly, I did not intend to stop here at all; I am traveling further inland, as part of a personal journey. But you are hard to miss." She was petite in stature, but strong; thick-boned and finely-furred, she could have lived a fulfilling life as a Seraph or Cherub, had Astrella been the chosen one, the Scion. But she had been destined to walk a different path. For that, he was grateful. Having seen the wiles of war time and time again, it was not a hell he would wish on the worst of his enemies.
A slight, mild smile flittered across her evangelistic lips at his admittance, and she breathed easy. Her vision returned to the snake and the frog before them. "Then I will hold your journey up no longer. Rest easy, Xyresic. You will find easy prey here. When you've had your fill, I wish you a safe and fulfilling journey. May you walk freely in light." Appropriately, the hardy man lowered his head to chest level, allowing Ouranias to softly press her nose to his forehead kindly. She lingered but a moment, a sacred moment, before meeting his gaze for one bold, encompassing moment. And then, she was gone. He watched her go, fade into the forest of nightfall, and not a moment later did the aforementioned snake strike and envelope the perched frog. There was no struggle, nothing but the quiet splash of the now-empty lily pad rippling on the water's surface. The snake disappeared, and the man released his breath, all but collapsing to a lay on the shoreline of the pond. He would rest his weary head where he lay and sleep soundly; then, he would seize the opportunity to hunt come early light, and leave the holy land to continue his journey, reinvigorated by his homeland memories.