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Heya! I'm your friendly neighborhood Larsinny, a demon here to keep you updated on the current debacles going on within the site! Okay, maybe not debacles... Anyway! The Endymion Plot, our Third Main Plot, is underway! We also have our sideplot taking place called Junction! If you're a new member looking to join the new plot, you will want to choose Endymion. However, if you're interested in our sideplot, you may also join that one aswell. The choice is ultimately up to you! The Dungeon Master of the Junction plot is CWIS and the DM of the current Endymion plot is Godai and Grantus.

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 A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]

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Steele

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PostSubject: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:34 am




The autumn wind stirred the fabric of the apron that Nadia was still wearing. She hadn't wanted to lose time, and forgot to change clothes before leaving the inn.

Satchel slung over one shoulder, and the cuffs of her jeans only barely hiding the fact that one sock was a different color than the other, she left the house with Wilting flowers in hand. She'd left the vase behind, instead wrapping the snapped stems in a paper towel, which was already soaked through in places, making the tips of her fingers damp.

down the road a ways was a patch of flowers, left to overgrow in the fields, these wild flowers were resilient, and would likely not be dying for another month or better, not until right before the frost set in. Or at least, that's how long they'd lasted the year before. Crouching besides the flowers that poked underneath the beams of the log fence that corralled this particular field, Nadia withdrew a few twist ties from her bag  - snagged from the housekeepers' supply room - and tied one of the wilting flowers to the stem of one that was quite alive.

A few more minutes of arranging, and she had a bouquet of vibrant flowers and dying ones. Sitting back a few feet into the dusty cobbled road, she pulled out her book and began to sketch her arrangement.

She was applying soft chalk pastels to the page when a cast shadow alerted her to another presence on the road. There had been a few other such passerby in the hour or two that she'd been sitting here, but she hadn't payed them much mind. This particular boy, however, piqued her interest. Her first glance told her he was caught in the throes of some inner turmoil, the harsh fading light of dusk cut his features into morose relief. He seemed lost in whatever thoughts tormented him, and his blond hair stirred gently in the autumn breeze.

Something about his brooding posture held her interest, and she simply had to capture it. She spun around in the road, the dirt and pebbles probably ground dust stains into the tail of her white top. A poor choice of garment for any artistic adventure, really. Without asking, without saying anything, she began to hash out his slouched form in broad strokes of pastel.

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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:50 am

For all he knew this was likely the best his lot in life was probably going to give him, he still had to wish the constant study he'd started putting himself through wasn't quite so strenuous as it was. Working for several hours straight after the ending of hours for the institution already designed to do so wasn't great for you, admittedly. The library had already started to become something of a haunt for Cecil, staying a good time after the school closed. If he was just going to do this the moment he got home, better to save some time and just go right to the resource designed to aid with endeavours like these.

Perhaps he managed to set something up with Tomomi, he would have a chance to leave the building before the dreary haze of overwork set in, without having Ankou harass him to go back and work til it did.
At least for that day.

Heavy, plodding steps took him forward until he spotting something strange in his peripheral vision. He slowed down a little, and sure enough...someone was drawing something, sitting in the path. And if he wasn't wrong, it was him he was looking to.
A slightly tired, but relaxed look washed over his features as he removed his headphones and slung them about his neck. His steps evened out as he approached, though the lethargy wouldn't completely drain from the motion. "Uhh...what are you doing...?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:17 pm


She had captured his posture, had started a larger sketch of his face when the boy noticed her, and turned to approach. A more relaxed expression replaced the look of solitary brooding he'd had before, but his eyes still reflected that initial lethargy she'd originally caught onto.

Now that he was approaching her, she did her best to start a new sketch, lightly outlining the planes of his face...

"Uhh...what are you doing...?"

Stopping her sketch, Nadia glanced up at the boy with wide, interested eyes and an otherwise blank expression. What was she doing? Drawing, of course. But that wasn't the heart of it, was it? He could see what she was doing. His question was more concerning the subject, wasn't it? She tapped beside the corner of her eye with a chalk smeared finger. "There's something sad in your eyes. I wanted to capture it." she responded truthfully, as though it were the most natural thing in the world.

Fleetingly she remembered what Bridgett had said to her earlier about getting herself a date. She still wasn't interested in anything quite like that but...maybe it wouldn't be so bad to spend some time with another person, though she wasn't quite sure what it was they would talk about. She had a tendency to scare people away with her typical conversation starters. "Do...you think that's strange?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:10 pm

There was a pause, and then a long sigh as Cecil ran his hair between his fingers, eyes closing briefly. "Of course it'd be that someone wants to preserve..." He shakes his head, and turns his attention back to the grounded girl. "No...but I'd rather not have my apparent misery immortalised without even being asked." He was doing a good enough job of making last forever himself.

He started to wonder when he'd become less hesitant about this stuff. Was something different, now? Was he just too tired to care about it? For whatever factors in his mind that held him back before to have a chance to play out?
He didn't really have an idea, but it'd probably be more comfortable not to stand around the whole time.
Moving over, Cecil settles down on the path not far from Nadia, being sure to maintain a reasonable distance as he turns to face her better. "I'm sure there's better subjects to draw. Nothing special about me looking unhappy, so why's it so interesting that you had to get it down?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:35 pm


"I apologize." So he didn't like being drawn. He wasn't the first to point out to her that they didn't want to be observed. But, was that supposed to stop her? Her sketches were how she captured things she saw. To not draw the things that interested her would be...well, it would be a waste, wouldn't it?

Still, he had directly asked her not to, so for this time atleast, she flipped back to the page she'd been working on before, the flowers, some pristine, some wilted, mirroring the still tied-together stems behind her.

"I'm sure there's better subjects to draw. Nothing special about me looking unhappy, so, why's it so important that you had to get it down?"

As If in answer, she shifted around so that she was half facing him, half facing the flowers where she had tied them. She was losing light, afterall, and continued sketching the blooms.

"because, it is Special." she said finally in a whistful tone. "Sadness is as special as happiness is. They are both proof that you are alive and human." her eyes shifted to regard the boy with a slight curve to her lips. "So, to me, You're the purest form of humanity I have seen today. I wanted to capture it because, one day you and I will be gone, and only these pages will remember that I saw you here."

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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:36 pm

For a moment, Cecil couldn't help but look at her as if she said something strange. As if there was some mystery to her words that he couldn't quite decipher. And then, a wry smile comes to his lips as dark laughter escapes them. "I...that's a new one. Embodying humanity by being a miserable bastard. Glad to do my part for the species by being such a shining example of their miseries even after we pass."

He laughs again, quiet and bitter, drawing twisted humour from the thought that his fatigue and unhappiness with things was somehow valuable. The only thing valuable to come from him - the only value that would forevermore. "It's...a unique, perspective, but I can't really say there's anything wrong with it."
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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:35 pm


Nadia looked up from her sketchbook and studied the boy for a long moment after he had finished speaking, as if she was digesting his words. Being a miserable bastard... Such strong words, even in the midst of laughter. It made her curious, mostly, and a little sad, which she didn't mind. He'd successfully pulled her attention away from her flowers now. Propping her chin on one palm, she looked at him with shrewd, curious eyes.

"What is it exactly...that has you so deep in misery?" She asked suddenly, watching the lines of his face as he moved, committing them to memory for later retrieval. It may have been a strange question to ask, but he had humored her so far, and watching him interact with his misery first hand was intriguing to watch. "If you don't mind my asking, that is."

Then, looking up as if she'd just remembered something she'd forgotten, she added, "I'm Nadia, by the way."

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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:53 pm

Cecil's mouth opens - and any words that might have come out quickly choke as the introduction manages to interrupt him. It takes a moment before he's able to regather himself again. "Uhh...Cecil. And, ah, it's fine." He swallows and shakes his head clear. How was he supposed to answer this, this time...?
"I...guess I've just been working a lot. Studying. Didn't do it that much before but..." He shrugs. "Just don't get any peace of mind now if I don't spend several hours on it each day. There was this constant nagging feeling until I started doing this." He glances away. "Kind of rough, but...better than the alternative."

That was far from the whole of it, but it was an accurate summation of why he looked so washed out now.
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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:18 am


Nadia's quick introduction seemed to catch the boy off guard and he stumbled over his words for a moment. She studied him as he found his words again, and introduced himself. Cecil. That was an interesting name, she liked the way it sounded.

As for his explanation...it was hard for her to believe that studying and work were causing anything that could be called "misery." Not the kind he was trying to hide behind a mask of embarrassment now. But, how could she really have expected the boy to tell her, a perfect stranger, the truth? Nonetheless, It did sound like he was running himself ragged. And that, she knew a little bit about.

"Just don't get any peace of mind now if I don't spend several hours on it each day. There was this constant nagging feeling until I started doing this... Kind of rough, but...better than the alternative."

When Cecil glanced away from her, Nadia leaned to follow his eyes. "Have you considered perhaps you're looking for peace of mind in the wrong place?" She asked matter-of-factly, as though her words didn't carry some moral imperative along with them.

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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:36 am

...
.....
.......

Another burst of bitter laughter erupted from Cecil, louder and self-deprecating as they actually leaned over when he looked away to ask that of all things. He knew this didn't make him feel better. It would help to better him, but that was another matter. "It's not like I've got anything better. Got a lot of lost time to make up for...and even if I feel awful after all of this, there's only further down to go if I don't." Otherwise known as having to deal with the literal voice in his head harassing him and telling him he wasn't doing enough again. "I'm fully aware this isn't great for me, but it just won't work through my mind to accept much else as anything other than me wasting away my time again."
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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:06 am


Another peal of rueful laughter from the other as he reacted to her comment in the strangest of ways. When his self-defeating laughter had finished, he half-explained himself again. But still something was missing. The rueful look on his face and the way sorrow spilled through his laughter like water through a sieve...

A small enamored smiled tugged up the corners of her mouth, and she leaned forward a little bit, sketchbook forgotten at her side. "Lost time to make up for?" She repeated, savoring the familiar ache of her own memories. "I can relate to that." she admitted, whistfully looking past him to white walls and empty rooms.

She thought about what he was saying. That anything other than what he was doing was wasting time. Was he wasting time right now, sitting there with her? Pouring emotions out for a stranger? There was something deeply and bitterly romantic about that, and she liked it.

But still, she was only growing more and more curious about his motivations. He was running himself ragged, it seemed, but to what end? Her small smile shifted into a musing frown as she considered how best to word that question. "Tell me, in this city at the end of the world, why are you studying so hard? I'm curious what drives you to push yourself to this point, when so many others would say it's a meaningless pursuit." There was genuine curiosity in her voice, no judgement whatsoever. How could anyone ever harshly judge this level of conviction as such clear emotional cost?

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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:27 am

"Other people don't really tend to need to do things like this...they've got their own stuff to pull on so that they don't have to resort to these measures." Other people had values to them he lacked, and potentials they would actually be able to reach whilst he spun his wheels. "I...never really spent any time developing my own stuff. And as time goes on, that's just going to cause more problems if it keeps up. So, I need to make up the difference."
End the isolation, drag himself forward by tiny measures...
Go nowhere slightly slower than he was before, until maybe he manages to at least stop getting closer.

Things were better. There was Tomomi, Kevin, and Kats now. He was talking right now to a random stranger...well, Nadia, but he still didn't exactly know her.
It still wasn't enough though. Not enough not to make sticking around with him good for anyone.
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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:59 am


"I...never really spent any time developing my own stuff. And as time goes on, that's just going to cause more problems if it keeps up. So, I need to make up the difference."

Nadia sat back after Cecil had finished speaking, her eyes wide and questing, as if some answer to her own suffering could be found on his person some where. Then, when she spoke, it was almost a whisper. "I'm the same." The light that had been in her eyes dimmed suddenly. Part of her wanted to spill out her own past onto him now, to tell him about the empty rooms and hallways she still wandered in her nightmares.

But, he hadn't given specifics, and it wasn't exactly his problem. Wasn't anyone's problem. It wasn't even Nadia's problem, she told herself, as her eyes rose to meet the boy's once again. "I'm also trying...to make up for time that was squandered." Only instead of enhancing her own mind and body, as he was doing, she was busy filling her void with the world around her. Funny how different people dealt with the same problem differently.

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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:09 am

"I'm the same."

Cecil seemed to jerk into attention at those words, a brief flash of panic, of terror running through his eyes. They were not the same. Or rather, they mustn't be the same. Couldn't. It was bad enough if it was just him in the wastes...to make two of him? That would be an awful, terrible thing. Nobody deserved to be him.
But it faded quickly as he let that run by and listened to what was said after - that she had time to make up on too.

There was no way she had any idea what was running through his head. She had no idea how dire that comparison truly was in full.
But in that detail, it was probably fair.

Once more, a wry smile comes to Cecil's lips. "You're doing a better job of it than I am, I'm sure."
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PostSubject: Re: A Walk in Andante [Cecil Erinforth]   Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:39 am


For a second, as she watched his eyes, a strange look of ...recognition? no, it was something darker than that. A nameless dread beyond anything that had entered this conversation. Then, he stowed it away. A little bit of the somber air was replaced by something else, though Nadia couldn't have said what it was.

"You're doing a better job of it than I am, I'm sure."

Was she doing a better job of it? She was seeing things, living how she chose to live, but she still spent so much time alone in her room at the inn. Even wandering the fields alone...in her mind, was she still wandering those empty hallways? Maybe she needed to try harder herself. The change she was looking for, the metamorphosis she had to believe she was capable of...there were steps on that path she couldn't foresee. Since leaving home, she'd had trouble seeing what those next steps might be. It was at once exciting and terrifying, and she loved it.

At the center of that terrifying, exciting thing, right now, was this boy Cecil. A sorrowful book of which she had only glimpsed the prologue, and wanted to read more. "Perhaps. Maybe...we can find out who is better at it together." She stated finally. She didn't have anyone in her life she could call a friend, but maybe she could find one in this boy who shared some level of her own regrets. She had a feeling that was what the next step in her journey looked like.

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