[Flashback] Tolerance (Seven Xu)

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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[Flashback] Tolerance (Seven Xu)

Postby Lu Gavima on January 3rd, 2012, 6:35 am

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Season of Spring, Day 32, AV 509



Night in Lhavit. Lu had heard tales of other cities that were low to the ground, made of stone and wood and used torchlight for illumination. It sounded really dreadful to him. Not to mention that the city was more alive beneath Leth's watch, the glow of conversation and action only making Zintila's city shine brighter. As an Acolyte, his duties had been elevated from the gophering and relentless training of the Viraya. Now it was patrolling and relentless training. His job this evening had been fairly simple, to insure that the Viraya were doing their chores and training as required. The living pulse of Lhavit at night could often draw the attention and focus of the younger Shinya hopefuls due to their ages and natural wandering.

His patrol took him over the spans between peaks to the Observatory. A small group of Viraya were seated in meditation postures, another Acolyte guiding their efforts. Although they were not permitted at the top and in the Observatory proper, the large stone platform at the base of the winding stair to it still allowed for spectacular views of Zintila's grace to the unaided eye. Something was amiss, however, as he approached. The Virayas were either slouching or unfocused, no doubt due to the overseeing Acolyte.

Her name was Shan Waruma. She had been a peer and friend to Lu when they were Virayas, so it was troubling to him to see her clearly out of sorts, her attention switching from her charge to a person on the steps, back and forth. He smiled and bowed to her, receiving a bow in kind from her. She looked over to the youngers, who snapped back into posture, and stepped within reach of a whisper to Lu. "Brother, I am having difficulty. That man on the steps. It is Xu's child. The Symenestra one.." Lu glanced over as well to the older man, known in hushed tones among most of the Shinya, if not all of Lhavit. He nodded slightly and took a deep breath, his hand resting on Shan's shoulder.

" I will take over for you, Sister. Return to the Pavilion in my stead so they know I did not shirk my duties." Reluctantly, though with an obvious relaxed countenance, she bowed and looked at the Virayas. "You all listen to Brother Gavima. He is not nearly as kind as I." Her face became a half smirk on Lu's side and she bowed, which he responded to in kind. As she departed, he turned to the younger ones. "I know you all are aware of the man sitting on the steps. I want you to continue to focus on the stars and meditate on Zintila and Her use for you. Distractions are blessings to meditation, as they give you a reason to focus. Begin." He turned away from them, his arms crossed behind his back as he approached the man seated above him. " Good evening. I am Acolyte Gavima. You are the half Symenestra, are you not?"
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[Flashback] Tolerance (Seven Xu)

Postby Seven Xu on January 3rd, 2012, 4:29 pm

Seven found himself spending more nights in Iraltu’s Observatory than anywhere else, of late; the insufferably thick air of home refused to lift, even in his father’s absence. The astronomers that paced the floors beneath the vaulted skyglass ceiling were educated men of science, who cared little for petty labels or whose blood ran beneath the boy’s skin—at least, their faces did not rankle and they did not break into a din of hushed whispers, when he passed them.

When the halfblood grew tired of pacing a ring of countless tomes and peeking at abandoned scrolls upon polished tables, he relinquished the Observatory’s warm interior for its stone-cool steps, to sit beneath the upturned bowl of Zintila’s glory. There he sat, for two bells, undisturbed—save for here and there a robed astronomer or star enthusiast that passed him on the well-traveled staircase—until his respite was finally shattered, and he was yanked from the stars and into reality.

Fiery rings of crimson grew thin around wide pupils; he examined the man, the bow of his lips tightened and flattened and he gathered his reclining body, stiffly rising to stand. The acolyte was younger, though not visibly so; they shared a height, and less than three years separated them. At sixteen, Seven’s face remained pale and soft; no trace of coarse hair grew from his chin, as it did on his peers; he was short, the steps between them could mask that, until the acolyte decided to close that space, and see, that they shared a height.

“I did nothing wrong,” Garnets tipped into the corners of his eyes, refusing contact with accusing browns. There had been a question; one he was loath to respond to, but the reluctance to disobey the very embodiment of Zintila’s personal guard rang louder. “Halfblood,” he corrected, sucking his bottom lip beneath a row of teeth, two of which hung lower than the rest, virulent points of evidence that he was the bastard Xu child. “I’d prefer Xu, or Seven—why are you here?”

Had he broken some unspoken law, by loitering on those stairs? Seven took a shuffling step backward, separating them by another step and a few inches in height. “I mean,” he finally found resolve to look the acolyte in the eyes, “why are you talking to me?”
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[Flashback] Tolerance (Seven Xu)

Postby Lu Gavima on January 4th, 2012, 4:08 am

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Lu could see instant agitation in the man's face once he had asked the question. It was no surprise to him, but it was a valid question nonetheless."Of course you did nothing wrong. I actually was going to apologize for the others and their rudeness. If the Shinya did not want you here, you would not be here. Zintila's motives are Her own, but they are as populous as Her stars in the sky." His hand flourished a bit toward the heavens to illustrate his point. The existence of the one before him was as natural in the larger picture as was a thirteen year old who was advanced for his age.

He chose the latter moniker as everyone knew the former too well and it was obviously a sore point. "Well, Seven, I am here to aid the younger Virayas in their meditations. Why I am here beyond that will be shown to me by Zintila during the Awakening, I imagine." He smiled lightly, without teeth, watching the man step back and higher, an air of suspicion still lingering. He remained where he was in order to avoid any sense of confrontation.The space between them gave Seven license to look him in the eyes. His question caught Lu off guard.

He turned away from him for a moment, his own eyes focused on the younger group now slightly below him. Whatever they had been doing just prior quckly snapped back into meditation when Lu focused on them. He wished his Projection was more potent so he could smack a few of them in the back of the head. He hoped his stern glare did the job instead. Turning back, he cocked his head to the right slightly, allowing his words to come naturally. " If I may, why is it that you are so concerned with my talking to you? Perhaps if you didn't wear suspicion like a cloak, others would not see you wearing it."
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[Flashback] Tolerance (Seven Xu)

Postby Seven Xu on January 5th, 2012, 3:03 pm

Warm bitterness burned the tip of Seven’s tongue. He resisted the urge to spit the caustic mouthful on the stairs, and fixed his hardened stare on the Shinyama; the unmistakable opalescent glow of skyglass beneath Leth’s silvery light wrapped its Pavilion. “When I was eight years old, on the cusp of turning nine, my father took me there,” a finger lifted, pointed, as white as if touched by the glow of the city itself, before dropping lazily to his cheek, “my uncle, Shian—you may know him, you may not—was an acolyte, at the time; much younger than my father, more successful.”

Bony digits worked their way through a mop of alabaster, slick-smooth and the color of the hoary moon that hung lazily above Lhavit’s five peaks after having chased off the gloaming clouds and warm fingers of dusk. “You have no sons of your own,” Seven murmured, his lids heavy in thought, trying to place words to a memory, “you must take Seven, ask your sponsor, take him beneath your guidance, make something of him. My uncle was offended, to say the least, being that I’m,” Seven paused, let his wandering hand fall to grip at his stomach; two obsidian nails dug between the folds of a deep blue robe, “You insult Zintila with your proposals, with your Widow bastard, brother; is it not enough you’ve tainted our name, you seek to taint the very blood of Lhavit?

Silence grew thick in the air between them. Seven’s brows were bent in a rankled scowl, his unblinking leer still lingered on the vaulted domes that gathered atop a lower peak. Finally, and with a dismissive sigh, he spoke. “A chance. It’s all I wanted.” He stole a sideward glance at the boy, “Gavima, was it? Acolyte Gavima. I wrap myself with mistrust, because I have lived in a city that cannot trust me. I don’t blame them, the Harvest is as terrible to me as it is to you; but when you walk around with a face like mine, no one likes to think you were born and raised on the same peaks, with the same values, that they were.

“Maybe I’m just as guilty, for assuming your motives.” Seven’s attention tipped over Gavima’s shoulder, at the gathering of Viraya pretending to meditate at the foot of the steps. His brows rose, and he wrestled with a heavy countenance in an attempt at a halfhearted smile. “I’m sorry that I’m such a distraction.”
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[Flashback] Tolerance (Seven Xu)

Postby Lu Gavima on January 7th, 2012, 5:05 am

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If a question put Lu off guard, this answer threw him off the Peaks. Watching the finger point to Shinyama, he listened to the tale, venom dripping from its recollection. he did not know of a Shian, but then again, there were many Shinya. Social graces were not his cup of tea when self discipline and perfection were tantamount. He gave Seven his full and unwavering attention. It made much more sense that he would wear scorn, never having been given the opportunity to prove himself solely because of his blood.

What was the proper response? Lu could only nod and bow to Seven. His bow was full, clean and polished. His eyes matched the eyes of the supposed abomination. " I cannot begin to understand the weight of such a thing, being denied that which calls you. I am sorry for your loss." His spine straightened and he stood again, his features softening. This was no demon, come to steal his mother. It was a person in pain.

At the mention of distractions, Lu turned on his heel and stepped before the class of Viraya. He knelt down, his weight leaning one direction so as not to bang his arm on anything. " THis man is not an enemy of Lhavit. I will not tolerate the belief in poison whispers. It is no better than the tales that are being spun of him. You shall all report to the Monestary and meditate on this. You shall all clear the poison from your hearts. I will follow up and if you do not do this and do this fully, I will run you all until Projected legs are all you will be left to walk with! Now go!" He stood, the young Viraya scrambling and bowing, shuffling off with a quickness.

Returning to his previous spot, he nodded again to Seven. "Gavima is my family name. My name is Lu. Would you like to walk with me for a bit? I would enjoy hearing more about you." The worst the man could say was no. Considering all he had been through, Lu would not push the issue should that be the case.
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[Flashback] Tolerance (Seven Xu)

Postby Seven Xu on January 13th, 2012, 3:35 am

Four fingers and a black-tipped thumb ran a course through a gathering of smooth, white hair that seemed to emit a glow as ethereal as the flora that was scattered sparsely around them. It was if the moon Himself pulled the light from the Kalean peaks to sing against the blackness of night. Something muddied his pallid cheeks; they grew warm and prickled against the cool night, where winter had not quite relinquished its hold on the land for summer.

“You didn’t have to do that.” Leather scraped against the harsh stair as he fell into step behind the boy. He fished through the dark folds of the navy shift traditional of the rise his family dwelled upon. Fingers wriggled beneath a silken belt the cinched the fabric at his waist, hoping to draw warmth from his hips. “It’s usually better when I let people think what they want to think, than try to change their minds.”

Clouds were moving in, blotting out the stars above. Seven’s stare found the sky again; he could trace the path from the Observatory’s stair to hard ground in his mind. “No one has ever asked to know more about me, though. I mean, there was one, once,” A Symenestra, he thought to add, but held his tongue. It was an encounter he was not like to forget in his lifetime, but it was a poor story to recount to a stranger. “To be honest, there isn’t much about me you don’t already know. I’m a Lhavitian,” A hand slipped from a makeshift pocket, gripped the folds of navy that surrounded his chest, “I was raised here. I live here. I’m flesh and blood, and I’m mostly human.”

On even ground, Seven trailed a boy not much shorter and far more hardy than he; the halfblood was sinuous and lanky by contrast. “What else is there to know? I don’t drink blood, or steal women. I have a curfew and I like to draw the stars. I have two half-sisters that aren’t as annoying as I make them out to be.” His brows knitted together. “I’m normal.”
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[Flashback] Tolerance (Seven Xu)

Postby Lu Gavima on January 14th, 2012, 7:15 am

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Lu let the man before him speak of the Acolyte's dismissal of the Viraya before continuing. He held a haughty grin and waved his hand in a dismissive manner, smiling. "I wouldn't worry about them. You did not cause them to be sent off. They did that all on their own. As you know, the ascendance to Shinya is supposed to be difficult and arduous. We must guard this city, Her people and Zintila from danger at all times. To do so requires a solemn disposition. If one wishes to frolic and play their entire lives, there are as many avenues for that. Choosing the life of Shinya requires sacrifice." Places like the Shining Diamond, the Red Lantern and the Fleeting Comet were daily examples of the other side of life of Lhavit. However, balance was required in all things and those places of exquisite luxury would not survive long without the watchful eyes and capable hands of the Shinya nearby to protect their interests.

Listening to Seven's version of talking about himself still rang of a defensive posture. Lu thought momentarily of bringing this up, but the moderate state they had reached, displayed by their standing on an even keel, was tenuous at best. No reason to cause the little spider to retract further into his silken cocoon. A polite grin graced the Acolyte's features as he listened. The only things that seemed to resonate with him were the mention of half sisters and an interest in art, specifically the 'drawing of stars.' His curiosity was piqued. He flourished before him to indicate that they could begin walking when Seven was ready.

"Half sisters, you say? I probably do not know them unless they are also in training. I do not get much chance to socialize." Truth be told, it was his clear choice to avoid women and the temptations they brought. he admired their form and their scents, but Awakening was the primary motivation for him. The thought of a certain wild herbalist made him shiver slightly. He quickly brought his attention back to the conversation. "What is this drawing of stars you speak of? Do you mean it literally? I have never heard of such a practice. Do tell me more." He listened, his eyes on Seven and the clouds passing Leth and Zintila's features. The concealment of light and its attribution to his thoughts of Haeli were not lost on Lu a bit.
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[Flashback] Tolerance (Seven Xu)

Postby Seven Xu on January 23rd, 2012, 4:32 pm

“You don’t know what it means to draw the stars?” Seven’s brows rose, incredulous, before he stole another glance at the shrinking observatory at their backs. A hand followed the question; a single white finger crooked over his shoulder, and urged a second pair of eyes to drink the curves of skyglass surrounded by the black silk of night. “Have you never been in there? It’s practically all they do. That, and mutter to themselves, and scratch the dried breadcrumbs from their beards!”

Seven had more respect for Lhavit’s astronomers than his flippant mask showed; he attempted to wash bitterness from his tongue with a glib smile and a titter all the same. “A Lhavitian that’s never heard of astronomy,” the laugh rang a second chorus, but he held his candid tongue. “That’s—certainly interesting.” The corners of Seven’s lips curled, like smoke from dying candlelight. Perhaps the Shinya would have little need for an Awakening, if they simply opened their eyes once in a while.

“Of course I’ll tell you,” in a flourish, Seven was ahead of Gavima, gaining a half-step on the acolyte and dipping svelte hands between the folds of navy silk again. Height made no difference, now; sandaled feet scrabbled down the cobbled walkway, offering rhythm to Seven’s words. “Stars change like seasons. They wobble, sway, and turn themselves on their heads, always landing upright, only to start the cycle all over again. Some people—a lot of people, considering our location—want to know why. They want to know what secrets those points of light hold, beyond legend.”

Seven fell quiet. His tongue found a fang, moved into his cheek. “A lot of what they knew perished with the world. But, they’re rediscovering what was lost, and new things, too.”
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[Flashback] Tolerance (Seven Xu)

Postby Lu Gavima on January 24th, 2012, 3:43 am

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Lu's face remained unchanged as Seven's turned into one of surprise. He listened quietly, giving his full attention to the learned man. Many in Lhavit were full of vaulted ambition and a purely intellectual approach to the City and Her secrets. That was all very fine. The fallen children of Syna and Leth were as populous as the birth of the citizenry at times, so ethereal subjects of the occult were not news to him. He wanted to remain calm, however, as his was the only hand reaching out currently.

His own lips turned to a grin, the mood settling into something almost friendly. "I have heard of Astronomy, but it is the role of the Shinya to serve Lhavit as Her protectors. There are plenty of philosophers and intellectuals to study the stars and everything else up there,there, there, there and there."--his own finger trailed from the Observatory out to the Library and then to the three towers of Magic. "The only time I would concern myself with the heavens above the City would be in the case of a Zith attack. Or for meditation. We all have our roles to play here." He smiled, his palms pressed together as he smiled and bowed slightly to Seven.

" Are you one of these who would see the knowledge of the past return? What do you do to accomplish this goal? In my case, I train my body, mind and spirit relentlessly in order to serve Zintila and the City. What do you do to train, Seven?" His tone was genuine, he meant no harm. Thought the two had hailed from the same city, they clearly had lived in different worlds for most of it.
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[Flashback] Tolerance (Seven Xu)

Postby Seven Xu on January 31st, 2012, 12:20 pm

“So you don’t care to learn unless it concerns you,” Seven’s feet made quick work of a short, steep collection of stairs, before turning onto a narrow span of skyglass that had been worked across a narrow chasm. He held the unnerving grace of the Symenestra in his willowy frame, in every languid flick of his wrist to the steady grip-and-push of his toes through leather boots on carved stone. “That is why you are a Lhavitian with no eyes for the stars unless beloved Zintila asks you to look.”

Bitterness rolled from Seven’s tongue like the sharp pink flesh had been made for it. A scrabbling of feet on the flat, glistening bridge drew the halfblood from one peak to the next; night hawks wrestled in the black expanse above the boys’ heads, drawing a crimson gaze skyward. “Sorry,” he conceded, clasping his hands together behind his back. “That was uncalled for.”

Whether he had apologized for the guilt that roiled in his stomach, or to smooth over what was so easily wrinkled by a face such as his, even he could not tell. Seven’s eyes fell from the birds, now a hazy pair of black dots on an even blacker canvas. “Would you not see that knowledge return? Certainly, knowledge was not what ended the world. We live closer to the heavens than we do to mortal ground; why not reach for their secrets?”
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