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No title.
(2013-01-12 - 2013-03-07)
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Leida The sun has already dipped below the horizon of the Eastern continent's major desert bringing with its passing a deep and pervasive chill that settles into the sandy expanse of dunes and rocky outcroppings like all-encompassing blanket. A deep darkness that can only be found away from the highlights and neon signs of technologically advanced civilization has gripped the land. Overhead a tiny sliver of silver-white is the only signs of the moon on this eve, the night star in the waxing crescent phase of its rotational cycle. Countless stars are present overhead but these distant lights are merely faint twinkles and provide little aid to guide the way for travelers and merchants making the trek to the City of Flowers through the night.

The lack of illumination is an obstacle but not as much of one for everyone in the desert this night. A faint glimmer of inner light burns gold within Leida's corrupted eyes as she focuses on scanning the silent lonely sands for sight of her new mentor. He had claimed he would return to train her in the days following their first meeting but still there had been no sign of the tall foreboding knight. Whether his intentions had been false or some hardship had interefered, the princess intended to be true to her own word and has ventured here every evening since.

Her gear and weapon are stored nearby, a small canvas backpack with water and rations to last the next few hours or so and the massive bow that she had adopted for defense purposes. The girl herself sits on a small rock, legs tucked beneath her in the traditional sitting posture of her culture.

Over each of her shoulders hovers a single ball of green eldritch fire. The strange swirling puffs of flame seem to put off no heat nor light as they lazily drift about in small circles, occasionally darting off to inspect some oddity or other but always end up back where they started.

'You sure this guy is even gonna show, kitten? I mean we've been out here since dinner.'

'Perhaps she secretly has a crush on him? Though I daresay her girlfriend might be upset by such news.'

"B-be quiet! That's not how it is! She's just a good friend..."

'A /very/ good friend.'
Angantyr Vespar A corridor of darkness appears near Leida.

From it, Angantyr steps out, shrugging his shoulders and dropping his mace into the ground. He looks like he has some injuries on him, but nothing that seems to be stopping him...of course, the mace was bloody, and with a quick turn from the mace, he moves to clean it. He pulls the massive weapon with one hand, and quickly flips it back to his back, lowering it back into the holster.

His eyes find Leida...and of course, the two green flames sitting near her cause Angantyr to raise an eyebrow. Has the darkness already started to claim her once more? His senses stretch out, wanting to see what he sensed.

"Do not tell me that you have already started to slip, Leida?" He asks, not accuses, but asks, trying to ascertain what he sees. He walks towards her, looking right at her for a moment. He was an imposing figure, injured or not. He looks at one of the two flames, "And who the hell are you two?"

The Legion have, being a Human Network with a certain lack of individuality amongst its notable nodes, recently broken free from their fate as being 'food' for the time mage known as Cronus--largely thanks to help with the TDA and, of course, a bit of assistance here and there from the Shard Seekers. Now functionally able to do whatever they want, well--they've managed to find new purpose rather quickly, except this time--it is of their own will. And one of their goals, which is to say Imi's, is to keep tabs on Leida. Naturally, while the secret spirits that accompany LEida may consider Imi to be a girrllfrieeeend, Imi has not actually made any call one way or the other regarding that. considering the Network's past, they probably generally tend to have their minds on other subjects beyond who is boinking or wanting to boink whom. Frankly Imi doing as much as she has is probably largely influence from the Shard Seekers. In fact, right now they are mostly concerned with


Whom the Network is pretty sure is the Manhattan Princess of Heart. Is it true? WHO KNOWS but they have a good feeling because she is from Manhattan, and the Heartless are attacking Fluorgis! Practically seems open and shut. But when Leida sneaks on our to the desert, Imi spots her departing, calls over Shida, and the two follow after her from some distance, using a pair of binoculars to stay close enough--when Ang appears, it's actually Shida who darts forward first, abandoning subtlety.

"Hello!" She smiles brightly. Her smiles have this trait known as being HONEST SMILES. She is even dressed in this strange white and blue outfit with way too many zippers. She waves excitedly over to Ang. "It's you! I remember you! You were in our office. Hello! The Network repeats."
Leida The manifestation of the dark vortex sends a tingle up the girl's spine and she swivels her head about, peering over her shoulder to see what had caused this strange sensation. A faint smile starts to form on her face as she takes note of who emerges but it quickly fades to a look of apprehension at the sight of the blood adorning his wicked two-handed mace.

As is true to her timid nature, the princess hunkers down and stares at the ground as her self-appointed trainer immediately begins to lay on with his natural charms. She does have the good manners to turn and face him first though. "U-um... well..."

The ball of spirit fire hovering about her left shoulder, whom she has cleverly named Lefty, shakes up and down in annoyance for a moment at the brazen manner which Angantyr arrives. 'What?! This is the guy we spent all our time sittin' around in the heat to meet?!'

'You realize we don't feel hot or cold anymore, right?'

'Shut it! This guy just comes barging out of the night and starts demanding answers without so much as a hello? I don't like him!'

Lefty floats up and gets right in the dark knight's face, again making with the agitated wavy motions of its fireball body. 'You need to learn some manners... pal! Buddy! Guy!'

'He probably can't even hear us, you know.'

"I-I am sorry... they just showed up... and I cannot make them leave..."

The sound of Shida's completely unsubtle greeting cries causes Leida and the spirits to turn and glance towards their personal stalkers at the same time. Her eyes widen a little as a hand goes to her face. "Is that... Shida-chan? What are you doing out here?"

'Oh ho, another one of your /good/ friends?'
'Isn't she... the same one?'
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr looks towards Shida as she runs up to him. For a moment, he looks at her oddly, ELEVATOR STUCK almost happens, but...there is a flash of recongition in his eyes as he considers her. Slowly, he raises a hand charged with Darkness to try and hold Lefty in his hand for a moment, a cage if you will forming out of pure will and his mastery over the elemental force of darkness to try and keep him there for but a brief period.

"Ah that was you. Thanks for the healing...and sorry about the office, I wasn't controling where the corridors went, I had my eye focused on Riku...and of course escaping that damn nightmare judge that we had stumbled onto." he rumbles, and looks towards lefty.

"And you, I /can/ hear you. If you do not quiet your insessent ranting, I'll keep you in this." he says, and dismisses the cage. Turning towards Leida, looking at her for a long moment. "I think we'll have to start working harder now.." he pauses and looks at the other ball of flame, "You seem more reasonable, what is your deal?"
Percival While crossing the desert shouldn't be a challenge to one who can glide, it still requires a great deal of forethought to prevent daylight from cutting his journey, and life short. What with the becoming stone and sinking into the endless sand dunes. So Percival had paused the previous night before reaching the desert's edge, found a safe roosting point, and slept. Once twilight fell he awakened in the usual dramatic fashion for his race, and began the journey across the desert, eager to reach his destination before dawn came once again.

Upon seeing the gathering below, his mind weighs the possibility that these travellers might need assistance, versus just letting them be. The honorable, and dangerous approach almost always seemed to win out in these situations, and it was not long before he banked around, circling almost like a large desert vulture overhead as he descends, eventually making a not so graceful landing on a nearby outcropping. He blamed his left wing, it still ached more than it ought to have after several days of rest. Perhaps it didn't heal properly. Trying to salvage his dignity after taking a few extra steps past his intended destination, he folds his wings about his shoulders as a cloak.

"Fair evening to you Ladies, and to you my good sir. My name is Percival, esquire. While it is a great pleasure to make all of your acquaintances, I must ask if any of you require immediate assistance. I have an urgent task and a long flight ahead of me."
Emi Dennou Imi continues to hang back for the time being, because she is a spy!! a spy who tells people she's a spy ahead of time and then says 'please forget I told you i'm here to spy on you' but a spy nonetheless. Strangely this system of spying seems to work rather well.

Shida is recognized, however. She bobs her head at Leida, and then to Ang. "That's me, I am surprised you recognized me." She smiles faintly. "But I suppose with some thought it would be obvious. It's nice to see you again. We did not have an opportunity to introduce ourselves properly that time. I am called Shida Dennou, The Network has chosen that last name and I have chosen that first name. What is your name? Are you Leida's friend?"

The nightmare judge doesn't seem to ring any bells for her.

Imi however notices Percival and oohs and aahs at him, distracted for the moment. A gargoyle! Of course Percival is hardly the first gargoyle the Network has run into, but they wave a hand at him. "It's hard to say. There seems to be a ... cage?" She moves forward, making herself a bit more noticeable as well but she isn't trying to draw too much attention to herself evne if she is chatting along. "You are headed to the Shard Seekers are you not? I am Imi of the Network, I can lead you there if you want, a bit later."

Shida glances around--she has been dead once. Is there some sort of presence there? Ang seems to think so.
Leida 'Deal? There were no deals involved, except perhaps the little lady's deal with that ghastly demon. But it's all sealed away now, hmm? He was a rather unpleasant fellow, if I do say so, rather glad he's out of the picture. Was a /terrible/ influence on the young mistress. Unfortunately, when the seal was placed it also trapped those of us who had been... erm... consumed for lack of a better word under the same lock and key. Somewhat ironic, don't you think?'

Lefty bounces around like a mad glowing pinball in Angantyr's hand until it is released, swearing vehemently enough in those few seconds to make the princess look away in embarrassment. When the cage vanishes the spirit fails to notice and the little green fireball shoots off into the distance for several seconds until it realizes and comes wobbling lazily back to her shoulder. '...jerk.'

"I am sorry..." Leida says again.

The arrival of the gargoyle derails the current conversation for the moment, however, and the girl turns to glance at him with wide-eyed surprise. This is not her first time seeing the flying creatures either but the other one who hangs around at the Shard Seekers HQ was rather intimidating. Kind of like everyone else the princess ever met. She's a delicate corrupted demon flower, okay?

Leida does not respond to Percival's question herself, being the shy sort. If she weren't sitting down she's probably try and hide behind Shida at this point but she makes do with pointedly staring at the ground and trying to look as small and inconsequential as possible. The others can answer his questions just fine.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr turns to face the Gargoyle, he raises a eyebrow...but the monster doesn't seem to be aggressive...and talks. Huh...go figure. He shrugs, "Nah, I'm okay." he says to it, and then turns back towards Shida. "Angantyr Vespar. Dark Knight, Sell Sword, general all purpose bad<GOOSEHONK>." he says, with a hint of a joke. Nice to meet you then, Shida...though I wasn't expecting this to be a..." he looks around, "Community travel spot." he shrugs. "'re twins?" he asks her, motioning towards Imi.

Back towards Leida, "Stop appologizing. Your appologies loose meaning if that's all you do." he says, a bit harshly. He considers the other shade for a moment, "You don't say? Well, I am here to help with that. She's going to learn how to master that darkness, so that it doesn't control her again." he says, and turns towards Leida, "Though I fear this might be a long row to hoe." he comments.

"And for you.." he says towards Lefty, and just grins.

"I think first we should start with something easy. Physical training...something to toughen you up a bit. How familar are you with weapons other than a bow?" he asks Leida.
Percival Imi's rather forward approach and familiarity takes Percival off guard initially, and he takes in the woman's measure for a time. Deciding there is little harm in an approach that is just as forward he replies in earnest. "Imi is it? Well it is a pleasure, as I said to make your acquaintance. You have me at something of a disadvantage though. The woman upon the electronic device stated there was an Imi in the area, but I was unaware that you were listening in. Did she call ahead to inform you?"

Noting Leida's reaction, Percival takes the time to approach slowly, before taking a knee in an almost archaic courtly manner. Though it might seem passing strange that he would do so without knowing anything about the woman's social rank. Perhaps it was merely a gesture to convince her of his benevolent intent. "Madame, I do apologize if my entry startled you. It was not my intention to frighten anyone, merely to extend an offer of succor to what appeared to be weary or lost travellers. If my appearance offends, then I shall be on my way forthwith."

While the subject matter of the conversation between Angantyr and the young maiden was distressing, to say the least, he did not know the context and decided to wait a time longer before interjecting his opinion.
Emi Dennou It's almost as if she has already talked to Percival before. Earlier. Over the radio. Except it wasn't her. That was Emi. She did mention having sisters. He was unaware they were listening in? Imi laughs faintly at that. "Mm--in a sense, I was listening in? I was listening through The Network. That is to say, Emi and I--...and even Shida here--as well as all the Sisters... We are seperate, but we are also one. Does that make any sense? At any event, pleased to formally meet you." She dips her head. "Your appearance doesn't offend, of course, don't be crazy. The Network assures you that a friend of Mercade is a friend of ours." She looks to Leida. "Don't worry, he's coming to visit." She bobs her head a few times encouragingly.

Apologizing a lot may be something that Leida does but the Network is fine with Leida as Leida. Even so, one must admit that sometimes one can become greater than what they already are. Perhaps Leida can do this. Perhaps not! But if there is a way to help...

Shida is more focused on Ang. "It's as she says, we are not really twins in a sense because we are not really--seperate? Well I suppose we are, but we also are not. Nice to meet you. The rest of the Network bids you hello as wel."

She glances around a bit again, still all smiles. "That is ironic, Percival was looking to purchase a sword. Perhaps you could sell him one, ahh--The Network apologies, I have just been corrected as to what that means." She checks Ang out for a moment, seeing how he is faring in terms of health.
Leida "Sorry..." she mumbles.

Leida attempts to will herself to shink even smaller than she already is as the gargolye approaches her directly, but to no avail. When he kneels down, however, his strangely formal behavior earns him a curious look from the girl, her head tilting up slightly so that she can peek at him through her loose raven bangs timidly.

"O-oh, no...! I... I did not mean to cause offense..." She leans forward and inclines her upper body towards Percival, head lowering in a seated bow of apology. "If Imi-chan says you are a friend... then I will accept her word. A pleasure to meet you. I am called Leida..."

'He smells funny.'

'We can't smell either...'

'Who's side are you on, anyways?!'

'No comment.'

With the introductions out of the way, the princess' attention is turned back towards her instructor. She glances down at her weapon lying atop the backpack to keep its polished surface away from the harmful touch of the sand. "Ah... I... I have never used a weapon before... I do not really even now how to use the bow either... I only had a few lessons from my brothers..."
Percival "You caused no offense Madame. Nor have your jesters. I am simply honored to make your acquaintance, that is all." A tugging of his bestial mouth into a smile, and moments later he's risen from his knee. Nodding in acknowledgement of Angantyr's greeting. "And yours as well, good Sir."

He then turns about, to face Imi and Shida, gesturing apologetically with his hands. "That explanation shall suit my needs. You are individuals and to be treated as individuals, but you share memories through technology. The concept is simple enough. I do apologize that my ignorance kept me from recognizing it sooner. Do give Emi my regards then, and thank her for me for her splendid advice from earlier."
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr sighs...this is going to be some work here, he thinks.

"Well, no time like the present." he says, pulling two wooden swords out of his pack, throwing one at her feet. "We'll start with the basics of sword play, something that I expect you to practice even when I am not around to drill you." he speaks, "And if you're not good at the bow, I hate to see just how good archers were where you were from. You're skills are a bit above mine, and I consider myself a decent archer." he says, with a small smile. Encouragement is needed to push her down the path. "The weapon is of little is but a focus...discipline is what is necissary for the first step. I want you to keep that weapon on you at all times...because I will randomly come at you. At any time, at any place, with my own. If you are without it, you may find yourself with a few new wilts." he says. Seriously.

He ignores the Gargoyle's stare, darkness is not something often chatted about pleasently.

"A strong will and unfailing determination is what you need Leida...but baby steps." and be thankful it is he teaching you...and not Garland. He turns towards Shida who is looking him over. She can find a few wounds, as if given by a bladed weapon. However, oddly, there are also burn marks around the strikes. They look painful, but also on one of the stages of healing...which is even ODDER given that the burn wounds are not healing at the same rate as the more dangerous sword wounds were.

"...I don't quite get it. You're in each other's heads?" he asks Shida, "...Weird. But I guess it takes all kinds." he ponders, "...Are you all individuals, or differnt aspects of the same person?"
Emi Dennou "Would you like to learn how to use a semiautomatic rifle? The Network inquires (not seriously)." Imi glances over to Leida before returning her focus on Percival. She knows if she gives Leida too much attention she'll be overcome with emotion and be unable to learn. Or something along those lines. This is work that might be pretty important so she has to focus on Percival for the time being. "Mm, well some might disagree with your assessment, but I think that's close enough. You can treat us as individuals if you'd like." She smiles again. "But there's nothing to apologize for. We did say we were at your disposal, after all."

Shida doesn't interrupt Ang's lesson either. Instead she looks in on those injuries, not speaking up on them immediately as she tries to figure out the strangeness of the wounds. She is jarred from her thoughts by Ang's questions. She looks up suddenly and says, "Ah--well--when I was dead I was not connected with them, is hard to say? The Network only knows what it's been told." She smiles again. "But thank you for asking. I don't mean to be a bother but...are you alright? We acknowledge your bad<goosehonk>itude, but ah---the burns...they seem a bit ... off?"
Leida Standing up to slide off the rock she is sitting on, Leida gathers up the wooden practice sword with both hands, noticing the weight even this faux weapon has to it. Perhaps that too is part of the training, a heavy burden to stimulate the growth of new muscle mass. Or it could just be that her arms are about as developed as soggy noodles.

The compliment causes her to blush slightly, shaking her head in denial to his praise. "Oh... it is... I mean... I do not know how I am able to use my weapon so naturally. The skills are certainly not mine. I am far too clumsy to do such things..."

Leida glances at Imi when she suggests a different alternative but before she can even ask what a semiautomatic rifle is, the knight lays out his plans for her. The girl's eyes widen and she looks back up at Angantyr at the suggestion that he might actually attack her! The wooden blade in her hands suddenly seems to take on snake-like qualities in her mind as if it might personally be reponsible for bringing this fate down upon the princess and she holds it away from her body distastefully.

"A-attack me?! B-but... I do not even know how to wield this weapon! And I am always busy with cleaning and tending the garden and purchasing food... I-I do not think I am suited for such a trial..."

'Yeah, just look at her! She's as harmless as a kitten! I bet you just get your fun beating up defenseless girls don't you, creep?!'

'For once, I am in agreement. This seems a rather drastic first step. Should not there be many months of learning forms and movements? Tactics and etiquette?'
Percival Percival watches them in silence for a time before deciding to interject his opinion. "Sir, the Lady is obviously of a gentle disposition. If you wish to train her in the art of swordsmanship then perhaps you'll need to resort to something less drastic."

He then leans forward close to Imi and states in all seriousness, in a lowered voice. "Madame Imi, I don't think it would be appropriate for her to learn how to use firearms. Call it intuition. In undisciplined hands they can do great harm."
Angantyr Vespar "I will not." Angantyr says with a finality of statement. "Do you think the darkness in your heart will wait for you to be ready?" he asks, "Do you think it will politely ask you if you are ready for it to try and grab hold of your heart?" he continues, "What about the Shadow Lords? They will eventually find you, and do you think they will simply ASK for your cooperation, or do you think they will FORCE it?" he continues. "If you think my methods harsh, then you should see who I trained other." he looks towards Percival, "Art? Swordsmanship is not an 'art'. It is a tool, a method that you use to protect yourself or as most others use it for: to kill people. It is not an artform, but a skill."

He blinks at the Shida, "Huh? Oh I got into a fight with a Shadow Lord in the desert, a little witch who I owed a favor for a slight. She used a flaming sword." he says, which would explain why his own weapon was bloody. "It's nothing, I'll heal." he says, seemingly little bothered by the injury, or perhaps he was too focused on other things. "But what do you mean a little off?" he asks Shida for an explanaition.

"You must be ready for anything Leida. The forces that you have within your heart will not wait for you to be ready. They will strike...when you least suspect it. It will wrap around, finding any weakness it can. I will start you with exercises tonight, but after tonight, be prepared to defend yourself with that weapon when you see me."
Emi Dennou The Network thinks Ang is being a very nice trainer. Why, he's even listening to her when she says things. When The Network trained, they were told to perform a task or be sent to the wastebin, Leida really is very lucky to have someone as nice as Ang helping her out. The Network only hopes that Ang isn't being too nice, training is a hard thing after all, and without the threat of death just how inspired can Leida be?

Imi thinks about this conundrum before approaching Leida. She rests a hand on her shoulder and says, "Leida-Chan... the point of training isn't so that you succeed at first, it's so that you can succeed in the future. Don't be too discouraged by your failures. We believe in you." She smiles at her. "Just do your best and I'm sure he'll be happy to help you."

Ang of course has a more practical counterargument. Percival also has a good one about not giving Leida ways to kill everybody around her--without meaning to this time! "Ah, yes, you're quite right. My apologies." Imi bows her head to him.

"A flaming sword...hmm...well, to me--the weird thing is is that it's not the 'cut' that seems to be healing slowly, but the burns around it. I suppose--maybe--the sword was only surrounded by the fire rather than being made of fire...?" She squints lightly, trying to work it out.
Leida Leida feels her heart sink into her stomach at those words. Little did he know it but Angantyr had scored a critical hit with his mention of the Shadow Lords. Already one such person had paid her a visit, and though it had ended strangely amicably, she knows full well that the elven man could have made her go with him if he had wanted. Ironically, it was her pathetic weakness and constant apologizing that had made him turn away.

"But... I am not one of them..." The girl whimpers softly. "Why would they want me...?"

The hand on her shoulder, makes her turn to peer up at Imi with a miserable expression. She does want to succumb to the darkness again but this seems to be out of her league. How does getting whacked with a stick make her better able to deal with a sealed away demon, anyways? "I... I will try my best..."

'Well atleast this should be amusing to watch.'

'You're not helping.'
Percival "And if there is not peace in her heart, what then? Darkness feeds on turmoil and conflict. If you teach her to murder with 'tools' then you will draw her only deeper into the abyss. No, Sir, Swordsmanship is an art, for in it one can find peace. One can learn virtues such as valor, honor, and mercy. You do not teach someone 'how' to kill with a sword, but when not to kill. And when you know that, then you will know when one 'must' kill for the good of all. If she wishes to hold back the darkness, then the blade must become an extension of her, like an artist's brush upon a canvas."

The Gargoyle speaks with increasing passion on the subject, the man's callous attitude towards taking lives obviously irritating him. "If the Shadow Lords come for her, then she must find protection until she is ready. And God willing, it will be enough. But do not teach her that the end justifies the means, lest she become one of those you would protect her against. Let me ask you a question, Sir, do you fear the blade that you wield in battle?"
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr blinks a moment at Shida, then realizes what she is talking about. "Oh, no that is a...oddity of my magical style. Dark magic courses through steals vitality of those I strike in such, it might look odd because said vaility was used to heal wounds I sustained." he explains to Shida. "Not...a pleasent thing, but it is the nature of my existance." he says, and turns towards Leida and her...'friends'. "Because of the demon possessing you. Uncontroled as you were, you will still powerful and a threat. Simply put...a bomb they could direct you at when they needed something destroyed or softened up."

Then Percival speaks up, and he sighs, "You, always you types. You think before acting, thinking you know the situation. I am not drawing her into the abyss man, she already HAS it there. The demon sleeps within her, darkness flows through her as it does through me. if she does not learn to control will control her." he says.

"You did not see the destruction that demon unleashed on the worlds like I have...personally experienced. I seek not to draw her into the abyss, but for her to master herself...and if she never USES the power again, then she'd be probably better for it. However, mastey /must/ come...or we'll be dealing wht THAT again." he says.

Shaking his head, "And what an odd question. No I do not fear the blade I use, I do not fear it because I know it, I studied it, I perfected my body and my form to use my weapon to the best of my ability. I use it, as if it were an extension of my being. It, like the darkness I use, is something I finly control...not because I desire to, but because I must."

"So no you can say it is an art all day long, but it is /not/ a lofty persuit. It is a 'art' of death, a art of murder. A art to defend yourself from murderers and beasts of this world. If you want art...go mold a clay pot, go paint a picture, go /write some poetry/. This..." he holds the mace up, "Is not art. This is a tool."
Emi Dennou "Don't explode, Leida!" Imi says. She considers 'Don't explode' to be worthwhile advice for just about anybody.

"'Art' as a term is a dangerous one. 'Art', being something of a synonym to 'Skill' is often identified as being purely for aesthetic purposes but in actually 'Art' can be used in a large variety of ways." Shida smiles as she rambles on this discussion about the term of all things. "You could call just about anything an 'art' and be accurate but one should not assume that just because something is 'an art' that there is some inherent nobility to it, we believe that is what Angantyr is trying to say. And what we believe Percival is trying to say is that the art of violence, ie: martial arts, should be put to noble or righteous purposes rather than simply for its own sake, ie: the ability to do violence. This is a very interesting discussion! Please continue." She bobs her head excitedly, her smile ever broadening. She is having a great time at least.

Imi laughs awkwardly at Shiki before adding, "Well for me it's just--I'd like Leida to be happy. It's possible, though, to not realize something will make you happy until you've tried it out a fair bit. The purpose is for self actualization so as to better resist the demon, is that correct?"
Percival "No, admittedly I am an intruder that didn't know the context, but now that you have given me some I believe my words even more strongly. If you teach her swordsmanship as if it were only a skill to take lives, then how do you think the demon unleashed will react when wets her blade with blood? If it is only a skill, then how exactly is she learning to master 'herself'? You are only teaching her how to wield a forged piece of metal to deal death."

Percival gives Angantyr a self-depreciating smile, perhaps it is even touched with pity. "To a man with a past such as yours, it is not uncommon for them to claim they are not afraid of the sword. That is what they tell themselves. That fear is the enemy. But it is not true. Every time one wields a blade, they also take an incredible responsibility in their hands. A little awe and fear is a good thing, for it teaches them their limitations, and it allows virtue to shine through when previously there was none. If you deaden yourself to that, if you believe you are without fear, then you are not worthy to wield a blade at all. It means you have lost sight of the great responsibility you take each time you brandish naked steel." He turns his head to face Leida, his smile becoming a gentle one. "If you choose to learn from this man, Madame, that is your prerogative. I just pray that you will always keep what I say in mind, so that you will have a different point of view to draw upon."
Angantyr Vespar "You are wrong," Angantyr says simply, "You do not understand, but I suppose that is a blessing." Angantyr says simply.

"As for your philosophy...perhaps." he says, simply, "Perhaps your line of thinking is not incorrect. However, hesitation and fear lead to a weak heart. One must know without doubt what they want, what they are willing to fight to prtect...willing to die and kill for. You must have this desire before you ever pick up a weapon."

Angantyr says, moving off from the main group with the wooden sword. "If I was as you say I am, sir, then I would have already slain you for your words. I don't fear the blade I weild, I don't fear it because I know what I want. It sounds like you are the one who is searching for something..." he states, "But a lofty idea that I do not think is without a place. Perhaps one day when we are a better people, above such petty things like theft and murder."

"But that is a long day coming."
Percival The Gargoyle has a look of contemplation upon his expression, as he actually considers his words. "I do not believe that fear is a weakness of the heart, Sir, though I do agree that doubt is. And that is why virtue leads to a code of conduct, for which one's course of action is always obvious. I never doubt what I say, and that is why I am able to speak to you with conviction, even without all the details and context of the situation. If I discover that I am 'wrong' then I will apologize for my offense, and correct my words later, but I do not doubt what I say at the time they are spoken." He nods his head. "And I do thank you for your patience. You are correct, many warriors would have slain me for far less. It is an argument of ideology, but pride always seems to suffer in a duel of words, and the heart. As one warrior to another, I salute you and pray that one day you will see that we do not need to wait to create a world of lofty ideals."
Leida Again Angantyr seems to say just the right things to make the princess feel completely awful about herself. His callous mention of her past, while completely accurate is an unwelcome reminder. And the way that everyone is talking over her head as if she were not even present to make her own decisions is beginning to grate on what little hint of a backbone the girl actually has. It's there, if you look hard enough.

Even Imi seems to be nothing other than to encourage their behavior. She knows her friend is merely trying to be supportive but right now she just wants to be alone. Or rather, she wishes someone would understand what she's going through. While the debate about the definition of art and the uses of weapons goes back and forth between the two warriors, Leida quietly turns and walks over to her gear. The wooden sword is placed into the backpack, its long handle protruding from the corner of the flap and the satchel and bow are both slung over her shoulders.

"Um... Thank you both for your advice but... I think I need more time before I can decide what I want to do." She bows to them and then turns and heads off into the desert back towards the city, not intending to stop unless physically challenged. This was all starting to give her a headache.
Emi Dennou Imi turns her head and watches Leida depart. She sighs faintly and taps her chin lightly as she watches her go. She doesn't move to stop her. She's welcome to make her own decisions after all. But she can't help but be concerned. "The struggle between what one must do, what one wishes to be, and what one is--it's quite difficult isn't it..?" Imi sighs faintly. "The Network continues to marvel at their own luck. Our purpose--has never been in doubt for very long." Indeed perhaps that could be said to be something of a flaw for them, but even so it's not one that makes them very unhappy with themselves.

She mulls in silence for a few moments.

"Well," She admits. "True understanding is difficult."

Shida is still >:|ing pretty hard. IS IT OVER THE RADIO? Ridiculous. But while it was pretty interesting she adds, "I can treat you further if you want." quietly.
Percival As Leida and Angantyr eventually depart, Percival looks upon Imi and Shida with a smile. "Well, it seems that we'll be walking the rest of the way, as I can't carry both of you, nor would I leave either of you alone in the desert. So please, lead on. And if I might seem rather confused about the nature of others. Were all of you born this way, or were you created? If I am prying overmuch and offend, then by all means tell me and I will drop the subject."
Emi Dennou "Such an honorable gargoyle!" Imi says though really in Imi's experience every gargoyle seems to be honorable? Maybe that's just a thing for gargoyles. "What makes you say we are confused? Though you are probably right, The Network assumes anyway." She starts the long walk back to Fluorgis, seemingly quite fine with chatting Percy up for a while. Percival is asking asking, in a sense, for a bit more to their backstory and they consider for just a moment whether telling him or not is something they should do, or if they should have him 'detect' it.

But eventually they settle that pulling off the bandaid is better than nothing. Shida walks along, seemingly no worse the wear, but Imi handles the chatter for the time being.

"In our home world we were part of an experiment. We were a set of clones designed to function as a unit. We are, functionally speaking, identical." Imi glances over to Percival. "But it is not just in the physical realm, which we are working on making a bit more evident as to our identities, but as we have explained our mind to you. We won't go into much detail on that. We were not allowed to leave the lab at first but after some time we were allowed some outdoor experience. Still, compared to most people, we would admit our experience outside is a bit negligent. Our purpose beyond that was to be human sacrifices to a young man named Cronus." She smiles.

"He is not such a bad person." Shida says. "He was hurting."

Imi lets this be otherwise and continues. "We would report in to attack him, he would kill the node sent after him, then after the data was analyzed we'd repeat the process." She is quiet for a few moments before adding, "Naturally, when we came to Traverse Town there had been a disruption to this experiment...for a time." Despite talking about pretty morbid material, she doesn't seem bothered at all. Indeed, they both seem pretty happy.

"This one has actually been dead once." She smiles happily, like this was a great thing to say. Of course, to be fair, she doesn't seem dead now. "I was the last one to die, and now we will not die for a while now, isn't that wonderful?"

"Ah, yes," Imi says bringing it back. "The TDA...they helped us deal with the issues we were having. We're now free from the experiment. may be at a bit of a crossroads...but we have decided to become detectives, to help those that could receive help from nowhere else. And if you have come to us for assistance--then it is our responsibility, our duty--if you will--perhaps even our virtue--to assist you to the best of our capabilities."
Percival He walks along in silence other than the occasional subvocal chatter in the radio. While it might seem like he isn't paying attention, he is hanging onto her every word. After a time, he finally responds to her story. "You say this man, this Cronus, was not a bad person. And I can see why if he had a hand in creating you. You are beautiful beings in your own way. And you will become more beautiful still, once you experience the world for all that it is. But still I cannot help but despise a man who would raise you only to be sacrifices. There is nothing more vile than having a hand in the deaths of your offspring, artificial or not." He looks up to the sky. Even here the darkness seemed more gloomy, and the stars dimmer than he remembered. "Tell me, what is it that each of you, as individuals wants more than anything else in the world? If you were not detectives, and had no responsibilities other than the pursuit of happiness, what would each of you want?"
Emi Dennou "He was an experiment like us." Imi shakes her head. "But I suppose you could say he did have a hand in creating us, if perhaps not so directly..." Umi as far as 'The Network' goes seems to somehow be a lot more impulsive than the others which is strange since they're a hive mind but Umi is special like that. "Did you want to see our magic? We don't mind showing you but we are not nearly as powerful in magic as Isaac is."

"He did not create us. In truth, we do not know who specifically wanted us made. There was a lot of bureaucracy in VitaTek, while it was its own entity--many of them were lost when the world fell, some made it to this one. It's a place of new beginnings, Traverse Town..." Shida finally pipes in, looking at her feet. "We understand that to some that it would be seen as crass, but we are happy our world fell. Had it not, we would have missed out on so many experiences. Of course, that does not excuse the suffering and loss...and we do not wish for it to happen to other worlds and we did not wish for ti to happen when we still had a home...but in a sense, we were quite lucky that it had. We would have all been dead by this point in time otherwise."

It seems Cronus is more akin to a 'brother' than a father. They don't seem to blame him overmuch for what happened, not any more than they blame themselves. "We would have slain him if we could have, so we do not blame him. We did not know another way, you might say, but--this new world is one of new beginnings." Shida smiles up and broadly at Percival. "We are both to blame for what happened. Now, at least, we can both be better than that. I hope he can forgive himself."

But Percival asks a strange question. What do each of them, as individuals, want?

"Gosh..." Imi says. "That's quite a loaded question, Sir! We will answer, for ourselves, if you understand that we are unused to individual thought--much of who we are is not a matter of 'being ourselves'. We believe there is value in individuality, but we think there is also value in the opposite. We are happy to be together. We are never alone. Few can say that, don't you know? There is always someone to understand us."

But after a few moments, Imi gazes into the sky. "I...think...I like flowers. I don't know precisely--but I think I would like to learn more about flowers right now, and other...plants. Life like that. It's just so...pretty, really, and even if it's not flowers--well--even a nice row of vegetables, it's quite me. I'm glad I've come to Fluorgis."

Shida is slower to respond. She looks down at her feet. She sighs lightly and Imi looks over to her for a few seconds expectantly.

EVentually Shida says, "I...was not even supposed to be alive. It is hard...knowing what I want to do, as me. When I was dead, the was so horrible..." She tells Percival. "All I wanted was to come back and be with my Sisters again..." She hugs herself lightly. "...I do not know what I want to be. I happy being alive again, sir..." She smiles at him, even though she's still shaking. She's one of the best smilers around, even in such circumstances. "I'm sorry."
Percival Percival smiles wistfully, but there is obvious sadness in her features. "How unfortunate for you to be from a world so depraved that you are happy it was destroyed, Madame, and fratracide seems nearly as terrible. Perhaps he will find repentance in the end, for what he's done." He takes a few steps towards Imi, and with courtly graces, takes her hand in his taloned one ever so gently. Perhaps out of fear that he might break it or puncture it with her talons, then bows at the waist to brush his lips against the back of his hand. "Then once we are in Fluorgis, Madame Imi, I would be most grateful to see a display of your magic, and I will show you the beauty of flowers under the moonlight. I would do that anyhow though, magic or not."

Dropping Imi's hand, he grasps Shida's, and does the same. "Then if you have already achieved your fondest wish Shida, I hope you live life to the fullest. A brush with death is enough to unnerve even the bravest of Knights and Dames alike. May you never know it again until you and your sisters are fully content, and you have learned so much from this world that death becomes not something to be feared, but an old friend. That is my wish for you."
Emi Dennou The Network generally doesn't fear death. Shida might be something of an exception to that rule. Indeed, it was through Shida that they have learned about 'the fear of death'. But really it wasn't the Death. It was the isolation. Shida didn't just have a brush with death though. She was dead. Dead for weeks. Rotting even. And she is not undead now. She is just alive again. The Lord of the Underworld returned her as part of a deal. She didn't even get to make that call. "Being what was frightening." She looks over to Percival. They're nice words--but she's not certain they're the words meant for her. She doesn't feel she has achieved her fondest wish. She just feels she doesn't wknow what that is. Her sisters have dreams, dreams that belong just to them--nobody else--but she has felt 'behind' since her ressurection, like she had so much to learn and understand yet.

"Please do not die for a petty argument." She says. "You would not enjoy it, and knowing that you died and were all alone like that, it would make me sad, sir, and while 'sad' is a nice word, tightly sewn up so it can be not taken seriously, but though we do not know you well, we know you are kind and though there are things worth dying for, theoretically..."

"Shida." Imi says warningly, knowing that there's been enough discussion on such things for one day. She holds up her hand and allows electricity to crackle around hr arm. flickering around at the fingertips before dissipitating. It doesn't seem like much and, indeed, for someone used to magic it may not be much at all--but it is simply a small sampling of what The Network can do. She wiggles her hand around, magnetically drawing sand to her hand, allowing it to dance about a bit in a circular motion--before letting the sand drop.
Percival Percival only smiles. "Madame Shida. I apologize if my words offer little comfort. My tongue is that of a clumsy squire, and courtly graces sometimes fall flat. I am not as eloquent as a Knight ought to be. But I do know this. If I died tomorrow, rest assured that I believe that I have lived my life to the fullest. While there are many things that I wish I could accomplish before I make that great journey, sometimes honor demands that it be made sooner, rather than later. That is my path, and if I must walk down it for what you see as a petty argument, then I do so without regret. If that man had killed me, then at least I would know that I tried to make a difference in the life of a maid in distress. It is not always defending an individual from the fiends, but words that sometimes make the most difference. It is what the chivalric code demands of all who follow it, to strive to reach an ideal. Perfection that can never be achieved. But we must try. It is what makes my life worth living. If I died tomorrow, dear Shida, then weep not for me, for while my death would hardly be worthy of song, it would still be a good death. And the knowledge of that would stave off any chill of loneliness and sadness that death would bring."
Emi Dennou Shida is quiet for a few moments, and then-ultimately--nods slowly. Percival is very Knighty. And he only comes out at night? So he's a Night Knight? Or perhaps..a dark...squire? The Dark Squire? Hmm. Okay maybe this needs to be worked on.

"Alright." She says, still a bit nervous but ultimately accepting. "We'll be back soon."

This scene contained 36 poses. The players who were present were: Angantyr Vespar, Leida, Emi Dennou, Percival