The Road to Azalus

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Post by Kinetic Kimo »

Volera rolled here eyes at the whole situation, rocking lightly backwards as if struck by a strong wind, and let her legs give out where she stood, seating herself awkwardly on the ground. She rested her chin on a paw and watched the small assembly bleary-eyed, agitated with the confusing sequence of events and her own sluggish reactions. It felt almost as if the world was trying to race by, and kept having to pause and wait for her to catch up.

Her ears flicked towards Toyomi at his subtle offer, and she licked her lips instinctively at the mention of food. It had been a long time since her last meal, and at that, her portions had been meager. However, for the sake of a shyness that had embedded itself into the forefront of her personality in response to bitter feelings after the deaths of her gypsy family and that had been made distinct by the harshness of the past couple months, she kept quiet. Instead, she contented herself with the sound confidence that she would dine well with her former teacher that night.
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Post by Flickerfinger »

It was quite interesting to see a blue fox blush. Lystar himself was the type to blush easily, though he hadn’t in a long time; so almost as much for Toyomi’s sake as his own, he replied, “Why not? I eat these often enough. And if we need not be strangers, know that I am called Flickerfinger.” It was name enough for anyone, and as long as Volera didn’t call him by his given name no one would be the wiser. “I’m afraid there isn’t much to go around . . .”
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Post by Bigfox3 »

At Flickerfinger's approval, Toyomi jumped at the opportunity to exercise his long lost ability to cook seafood so it didn't taste like where it came from. Flickerfinger said that there wasn't much, to which he replied, "It should be enough." He pulled out a rather fancy set of cooking utensils, at least for that day and age, and had a nice pot of noodles set for a dish of what we like to call fettucini alfredo, but of course it had its differences.
To fill the time while the noodles themselves were cooking, he congenially went on about how he'd gotten his cookware off of a trader near the Edwinian border, and for a rather nice price as well. As the noodles were beginning to simmer, he asked the question he was dying to know the answer to:
"This is the first time I've ever seen a taur before. I'm originally from the Arctic Islands and only began traveling the world recently. Are there lots of taurs on the other continents, or am I experiencing a rarity?"
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Post by Flickerfinger »

Lystar watched closely as the blue fox gradually made his handful of shrimps into a full meal for six, through a complicated process that bore great similarity to magic. Seeing this he went out on a limb and waved the other fox and his companion over. Toyomi proved as smooth a conversationalist as he was a cook, and the wolftaur found himself for the second time that day hearing without really listening – not an enviable position. Eventually Toyomi said something that required his full attention: "This is the first time I've ever seen a taur before. I'm originally from the Arctic Islands and only began traveling the world recently. Are there lots of taurs on the other continents, or am I experiencing a rarity?"

Flickerfinger favored him with a startled glance, prolonged into a searching one. After an awkward moment he burst out laughing - a rich, rolling laughter from deep in his lower body. He laughed far longer than seemed appropriate, onto the border of hysteria, until tears came to his eyes. Eventually he collected himself and said, wiping his eyes, “Rarity indeed. There are others, but I always seem to miss them. I haven’t seen another taur since,” a sudden pause, and whatever he was going to say was absolved into the bland phrase, “in many years.”

He had no way of knowing that it wouldn’t be long before he would have to amend that statement.

The look in his large lupine eyes was hard to read. “On other Continents, perhaps, but through Domus, Edwin, Gawain and the Islands we of the four-footed persuasion are few enough.” Inwardly he realized he had just repeated himself, and he trailed off, shaking his head and chuckling, “Rarity.”

((To give everyone fair warning, I’d like to sort of time warp to the Academy itself after a couple of posts. Exactly when is sort of up to you guys.))
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Post by Bigfox3 »

((Sounds good enough to me. Ready when you are! XD))

When Flickerfinger favored him with that searching stare, he suddenly felt like he was treading on thin ice. His apology was interrupted by a roaring laugh that wouldn't have startled him so much had he expected it. It was a nice laugh, and he was glad Flickerfinger was making light of it. Something in his body language and mannerisms, however, told Toyomi it was a topic best avoided.

He blushed only slightly this time as he said, "I'm sorry if that was probing too much. I've always had a thirst for learning, and asking questions like that is a bad habit of mine. Ah! It's done!" The last part was directed at their meal as the smell wafted over to his nose. "Please help yourselves!" he said as he began serving up a small dishes of it for everyone.

"My home village had a small library, and when I was old enough, I was tearing through the collection like a goat through a field of grass. It was mostly tribal histories and local legends, things of that nature, so you can imagine my surprise when I learned of Azalus. Here." This last part was directed at Flickerfinger's traveling companion, who had been rather distracted by her thoughts and looked rather travel worn. "I saw you licking your lips earlier, so I know you're hungry. Gypsy by your clothes, am I right?"
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Post by Kinetic Kimo »

Volera, despite her crowded thoughts, listened with possibly too keen intent to the simmering and bubbling sounds of the food being prepared, but kept humbly quiet. Instead, she distracted herself with the old teachings of her master, and the simple but grueling exercises he used to illustrate the basic skills. Focus, patience, balance, endurance. The very first exercise, so silly to watch, so easy to laugh at, but so damned hard to manage. And no matter the circumstance, he would never, ever accept excuses.

She almost smiled.

However, her comforting thoughts, as was often the case, were abruptly interrupted. She turned a wide-eyed stare towards Flicker's outburst, and only when he recovered enough to speak again was she able to guess the initiating words. The meaning and the complete cause of the laughter, of course, was as mysterious to her as the rest of the group. She watched with sharp eyes and a burning anticipation as Toyomi served the freshly cooked meal, and she felt a surge of quiet relief and delight when he brought one of the small plates to her. "Here."

She accepted the food graciously, and murmured, "Thank you," almost under her breath.

"I saw you licking you're lips earlier, so I know you're hungry.-"

Oh, really, you have no idea, Volera thought, smirking in the corner of her jaw, and readying a mouthful of the shrimp.

"-Gypsy by you're clothes, am I right?"

She choked and coughed, completely caught off guard. Huh? She paused, momentarily debating whether she should answer him or just pretend she hadn't heard, then settled on the polite route and vaguely acknowledged her stomach cringing as she lowered the plate. I used to be, I wish I were, I am at heart, I'm thinking about it... "Um, I guess so."
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Post by Bigfox3 »

Toyomi was startled by the sudden sputter, and quickly filled a small cup from a fresh canteen of water to give her. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," he continually apologized, not knowing what else to say, except, "I really shouldn't be asking so many questions." He smiled congenially, not worried if she said anything as far as gratitude was concerned. "Y'know, reality is a relative thing, and has a lot to do with what we believe. I would've believed you if you'd said 'yes.'"

He sat down next to his serving dish and decided to stop talking long enough for everyone to enjoy their meal. Goodness knows he didn't want anyone else choking.
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Post by kitsuni89 »

Slimtart gave his share to the professor. "I will eat when my mission is done thank you anyway." He sat down and closed his eyes to meditate. He made his nose twitch every so often to the smell of the shrimp. He ignored it after a while then went into deep meditation.
(ready when you are people.)
Slimtart: I am known as the twin spirit fox.
Kovu: No...your known as a the demented creature from the darkness.
Slimtart: Oh and you have what power to give me a title? Come here and I will show you why your known as the broken tooth wolf.
Kovu: Noooo! *runs*
Slimtart: Why you running? *Chases*
Benice: *Steps out and punches both their noses making them fall* Stop you two or I will chain you out side again.....males..always a rock in my boot. *sigh.*

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Post by Flickerfinger »

((Post number 700!))

They learned a lot about each other over that meal, but everyone was left with as many questions about everyone as they had answers. Except Toyomi, who always had more questions.

They struck out together to enter the Academy, some for the first time, others not. It was a testament to the breadth of the Academy that they walked for some time around its high, ancient walls before they stood before the massive double gates. Lystar didn’t see the point of these gates, though they were beautifully wrought of polished hardwood and banded in shining black metal - they were open, and by what he had been told they always were. Through them could be seen the great garden courtyard, meticulously maintained according to the principles of feng shui, the art of the Yamanese garden, and one of the more esoteric disciplines the Academy could teach. A cobbled path wended its serpentine way through this exquisite garden, on to the many towers of the Academy and the dizzying web of catwalks among them. Details of the scene were fuzzy, though, as though one were looking over a great distance to see through the gate. It was a disconcerting phenomenon, and it prompted the wolftaur to turn his eyes to the marble arch over the gate. There, among the veins of pyrite, were carved these words: Ame niraki domaka, yurari azeku shiha'na. Adomeri kono ahashurami, nohiko kiru sayuaberi. Flickerfinger read the charm aloud in Edwinish, loosely translated:

Enter with no harmful intent, and when you leave, good will be sent.
Lest in coming evil's delt, judgment oft is tarrying felt.


The Academy permits no one of ill intent to enter,” he explained, “a spell wrought in the stones of this place, unto the very bones of the earth on which it rests; it cannot be denied.” He noticed the rest of the group staring at him. “. . . or so they say,” he added. It was a truism, a fact made irrefutable by centuries of trial, and so it gave him some pleasure to step foot across the threshold in calm assurance that the charm would permit him. Immediately he felt a tingling along his back, and he realized that the body of his instrument was vibrating ever so slightly. Strong magic was indeed at work here, and he gave his tail a sudden flick as his hindquarters passed the gate, and in the moment he did the last of the setting sun vanished behind the horizon.

Immediately the Academy became sharp and clear, and he felt the peace of this place like a physical presence. There were a few of the Academy’s denizens about, moving among the placid trees and bushes of the garden. He could hear water falling somewhere.

Kon ni chi wa, travelers; Azalus welcomes you,” said a bright voice over his left shoulder. It belonged to a young serval robed in light green, a lanky, spotted fellow with the over-large ears of his species. He had been careful to stay ahead of the wolftaur’s foreleg, in order to make it easier for them to converse; it was a peculiar point of etiquette that could only be relevant to a taur, and Lystar was flattered that this cat should both know it and observe it. “My name is Senyu,” the young cat continued, and Lystar noticed that his tail was constantly moving. “How may I direct you?”

((Feel free to catch up and embellish as you like, but don’t use the serval; I’ll be playing him for the duration of the thread.))
Last edited by Flickerfinger on Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by kitsuni89 »

Slimtart walked in and stood near the professor. "I will stay with you untill we get to your quarters sir." He walked normally and looked around. He held his mouth about to puke. "Ugh."
Slimtart: I am known as the twin spirit fox.
Kovu: No...your known as a the demented creature from the darkness.
Slimtart: Oh and you have what power to give me a title? Come here and I will show you why your known as the broken tooth wolf.
Kovu: Noooo! *runs*
Slimtart: Why you running? *Chases*
Benice: *Steps out and punches both their noses making them fall* Stop you two or I will chain you out side again.....males..always a rock in my boot. *sigh.*

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Post by Bigfox3 »

Toyomi remembered his entering the first time that day, and was a bit more expectant of the tingle of the gateway spell. The whole memory dissipated when Slimtart suddenly looked very pale. Toyomi was rather indignant when the fox said he wouldn't eat, since he looked about as travel weary as Volera, and had admonished him on a couple of occasions during the conversation over dinner. He quickly pulled out his fresh canteen and mixed a few herbs and flavorings in it to quell Slimtart's protesting stomach. "Here, Slimtart, if you won't eat anything, at least drink this."
Toyomi had his attention split between everyone, but was at least able to bow slightly and ask the young serval if they had an infirmary where the professor and his newfound protectorate could both rest.
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Post by kitsuni89 »

Slimtart rejected the liquid. "I am not sick this place is just too bright and happy for my taste." He walks with the professor and shakes his head to the rest offer. "He can but I can't rest till I know he is where se is supposed to be."
Slimtart: I am known as the twin spirit fox.
Kovu: No...your known as a the demented creature from the darkness.
Slimtart: Oh and you have what power to give me a title? Come here and I will show you why your known as the broken tooth wolf.
Kovu: Noooo! *runs*
Slimtart: Why you running? *Chases*
Benice: *Steps out and punches both their noses making them fall* Stop you two or I will chain you out side again.....males..always a rock in my boot. *sigh.*

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Post by Kinetic Kimo »

Volera dug in, thoroughly enjoying the meal, and though she acknowledged Toyomi's apologies, she wasn't quite polite enough to pause her eating and respond. "Y'know, reality is a relative thing, and has a lot to do with what we believe. I would've believed you if you'd said 'yes.'" This made her pause, if only for a moment, but she resumed her feasting again more slowly, this time mainly because she couldn't put together a proper response than because of her hunger.

The air grew steadily cooler, and the afternoon crept along the edge of early evening as the sun slid slowly towards the horizon. The group chatted all through the meal, and for Volera, it seemed there was scarcely enough eating and far too much pausing to answer questions. As it was, she kept any responses brief and vague, and made little unprompted contribution.

She could easily have excused her behavior with stress, exhaustion, shyness, or simply distraction by the deliciousness of the food, but the core of her timidity was based almost solely on discomfort. The scene was too eerily familiar, too reminiscent of the occasions when her gypsy band came across and camped with another party, and they exchanged inquisitive banter over fire and feast. The setting sun and brightly painted sky looked like a favorite portrait, and the smoke in the air smelled like the countless summer evenings. If she closed her eyes, she could almost hear Rossa poking fun at 'Sir' Burgus across the fire, little Malerie throwing in her high-pitched giggle, and Jaquer taping his bare toes and humming to an endless tune in his head. And herself...Hah, since when did I become the quiet one?

Volera's ears flicked towards the present assembly, and she gathered herself to her feet as everyone began to move. The Academy, closer now and looming impossibly grander in the golden afternoon light, rekindled her earlier awe, and temporarily drove away the unsettling thoughts.

She nodded when Lystar read aloud the charm; although it had been too long since her last passage through these gates to recognize the specific words, she remembered the meaning of the charm, and the strange tingle in her fur when she stepped through the open gates. As soon as the scenery became clear, she scanned the faces of the people milling about the outdoors, looking for her opossum Master, or a student who might be able to help. Her ears perked hopefully towards the serval when he offered his services, but Toyomi approached him first, and not wanting to interrupt, she looked elsewhere impatiently. Another fur—a young donkey, similarly dressed—caught her attention, and Volera called out, “Excuse me! Excuse me!”

“Hmm?” The donkey turned her head towards Volera expectantly.

“Ah, excuse me…can you help me? I’m looking for someone. Um, an opossum. Mr. Dinnesu.”

“Mr. Dinnesu-sensei? In basic martial arts?”

“Basic—?” Volera frowned, and responded without a moment of hesitation, “Isn’t it fundamental?”

“Yeah, that’s him,” The donkey said, rolling her eyes. “Just a minute, I’ll find out the room. Hey!” She called out to the serval, ignoring Toyomi’s prior inquiry, and crushing Volera’s attempt to humbly not interrupt.

(OOC: @ Flicker

The Donkey's name is Ariel, in case the serval might know her. Otherwise, she's just kinda rude, but is temporary anyways :mrgreen: )
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Post by Flickerfinger »

Seeing that it was a professor they spoke, Senyu bowed low, placing his paws together under his chin and fully averting his eyes. Lystar made a note of this behavior. “Certainly, Toyomi-san, right this way . . .”

“Hey!” came the call across this conversation. “Where’s Dinnesu-sensei at these days?” Senyu answered indignantly, “The Hall of Martial Arts, Ariel, west wing. He takes his meal about this time.”

“The Hall of Martial Arts, west wing,” Ariel repeated to Volera, quite unnecessarily. “Come on, I’ll show you.”

Shaking his head, Senyu turned his attention to Slimtart. “Though you find our Academy distasteful, my friend, I offer you my thanks for bringing our teacher thus far. You may refresh yourself in whatever manner you deem appropriate within our walls. I will show the master to the infirmary.

Master taur, how may I direct . . . you.” But the four-legged musician had gone, unnoticed while Senyu spoke.

He wasn’t hiding, he was just elsewhere, far enough away to be invisible. Specifically, contemplating the fountain responsible for the sound of falling water. A bolt of white velvet, it seemed, spilling from a vine-entangled marble chute, splashed aggressively into a blue-green pool chiseled out of cool, white stone. There was a mosaic on the bottom, but with the pool stirred up by the waterfall he couldn’t see what it was meant to portray. Apparently this pool was responsible for a good deal of the irrigation of the garden; he guessed it was fed by the river beyond the walls.

His right ear twitched; over the sound of the pool he could hear the voice he had heard identified as Ariel. He smiled and turned to follow it.

((Mix it up, people!))
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Post by Bigfox3 »

(Mix it up? I'm starting to get mixed up, actually... <_> )

Toyomi was rather surprised at the response Slimtart gave him, and was equally impressed with the smooth tone Senyu had addressed Slimtart. Seeing that all was well, he was debating returning to the main library to retrieve the book he'd been looking at before the episode with his newfound traveling companions had begun. His curiosity overcame this when he remembered mentally that the main party would be traveling to a portion of the academy he'd yet to see.

"I had no idea that the Academy had a Hall of Martial Arts. Mayhaps I'll hold off returning to the library to come with you guys." In all honesty, he knew the least about Volera, and he was naturally curious about her past, especially since she'd become more animated when the professor was mentioned. He addressed Slimtart as Volera and Flickerfinger began to follow loud-mouthed Ariel, "Well, it looks like Senyu will be assisting the professor to the infirmary. Do you want to come with?" he asked, beginning to fall in step with the others.
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