Completed Arrival of the Stormriders (Ayela)

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Arrival of the Stormriders (Ayela)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 27th, 2020, 2:13 pm

Marino took a seat beside Ayela, and splashed the water with his feet. Then he watched how the ripples change the seafloor below. He was procrastinating, he knew. Avoiding asking the questions he wanted to ask because they seemed a bit prying. Because they concerned his family who he felt distinctly separated from at the moment. That was half of it. The other being this moment, living in the moment that is. His questions threatened to drag him into the past, to dwell when he wanted to swim free of that burden. To not second guess his decision to come here. He was no longer In Irons. Marino Oceangem was free to approach Beam Reach.

At last he took his eyes of the horizon, and looked over at Ayela. “I suppose I’ve been wondering about how long the Oceangems have known the Stormriders. Its something I’d ask my Lia if she were here, but alas, they departed not long ago. Imagine my surprise though when they sent word that I was here. Makes me think she knew them long before I was ever born.” He said softly, trailing off as he considered what that meant. “Is Mura a long way off? I’m thinking so if we haven’t crossed paths before.” Marino imagined it must be very far for the pod to have seldom traveled this way to the Suvan sea that held so many of their kin. An if they belonged to the far flung portions of the outer oceans then they must be hardy Svefra indeed. It would be good if they decided to stay in the inner sea. They could use the added strength.

Once they’d had time to converse about that, Marino set his pack down sideways behind him. Then he leaned on it as he considered his own tale coming here. “My own part coming here isn’t nearly as interesting as your own. We had just come back to the inner sea from Lhavit, carrying a Symenestra of all things. She’d given us a bounty of silk for the trouble, and wanted us to let her off here. Naturally, after selling off such a bounty, we had a few tendays to spend here. Sometime between when we arrived and when my pod left, I decided to stay. To be honest, I made that decision when I first stepped onto the sandy shore. There is so much about the place that drew me in, but what kept me is the people here. You’ve already met two of them, and the rest are soon to follow, I assure you. People here like to keep a tight knit group, just like in a pod. I think that is why I feel comfortable staying here even after my pod left for the open sea.” He visibly relaxed after getting that off his chest. It felt like a great weight off his shoulders, and he inclined his head to look above the horizon. With the warmth of the sun, the water on his feet, it felt as pure a moment as it always did on these shores.

Marino shifted to face her then, one foot dangling into the water while his left curled underneath him. “What’s it like being able to breathe underwater?” He asked, propping an elbow onto his leg while he rested his chin against the back of his hand. It sounded wonderful in his imagination, to be able to swim as long as you want beneath the waves. There were still predators of course, but he didn’t let that thought spoil the fun he was having.
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Arrival of the Stormriders (Ayela)

Postby Ayela on June 30th, 2020, 5:05 pm

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It took a moment for Marino to answer her, and he looked deeply thoughtful until he spoke. When he mentioned the ties between their pods, his pensive look made sense to Ayela. She hadn't stopped long enough to think about it, but Marino was a resident of Syka too, meaning he left his pod to stay behind. It suddenly hit Ayela how difficult that must be for him. He didn't seem like the kind of person who would make decisions of that magnitude without careful thought, so he must've stood by his choice, but that didn't mean it wasn't hard on him emotionally. Ayela understood that completely. She stood by her choice to leave Mura, and now her second choice to leave the Stormriders and stay in Syka, but she still felt the weight and depth of those decisions. They weren't easy. "It is my understanding that the Stormriders were once Oceangems. They split off into their own pod give or take about twenty-five years ago if I remember correctly, so a little before either of us were born. The Stormriders ended up working for Mura for a while as escorts for the transportation of Mura's Vision Water, among their other travels and trade ventures. That was actually how Varyn met my mother. She started as a healer but ended up accompanying those transports later on and they fell in love and here I am, haha." She paused a moment, reflecting and also noting that he also asked about Mura. "Mura is indeed a long way off. Between the transport escorts and other business in that area, the Stormriders stayed pretty nearby and didn't get back over this way very much." A chime or two followed behind her words, settling those statements for at least the moment.

Marino's tale came next, and Ayela was delighted to be able to hear it. He told her of a Symenestra he helped transport to Syka. A Symenestra! Ayela could barely believe she was hearing him correctly, and surely her face betrayed her shock. She'd heard loose tales and whispers of them before, but nothing of significance back on Mura. Ayela knew essentially nothing about them, and here her new friend traveled with one! Coming to Syka was turning out to be quite the adventure indeed. Only momentarily distracted by her surprise, Ayela returned her attention to the rest of Marino's story, listening carefully while he explained what the dynamic was like living in Syka, pointing out it's similarities to pod-life. Here, she chimed in. "It makes sense then why I feel comfortable here too. Life on Mura is much the same as life in a pod too. Community homes, everyone knows everyone, everyone helps with children and work and trade. More of one extra large family than dozens of smaller ones." Ayela could see him relax when he was done with his speech, and she wondered if her asking about him was something he'd been anticipating, or dreading. Feeling she'd pried enough for one day, she decided to let her thoughts on the matter rest for another time.

He turned more to face her then, and out of respect, she did the same. He curiously asked about breathing underwater, propped up like a child being told a new story, or perhaps an old favorite. It was mildly humorous and definitely adorable, and the notion had Ayela grinning widely and giggling. "I don't really know how to explain it. It's as natural to me as breathing above water is to you. It's a bodily reflex and not something I ever have to focus on or think about. My body just does what it needs to do on its own. In truth, I really can't imagine what it's like to have to hold your breath, and be limited in what you do in water by having to resurface to breathe. I've never really thought about that either I suppose. I guess I'm more grateful for my circumstances of birth than I once realized." She paused again, letting the weight of that realization settle over her. Moments later she snapped out of it though, quickly backtracking over her words. "I'm sorry Marino. I didn't mean to turn the subject so serious." Glancing back out over the horizon once more, Ayela gathered herself and stood up, eager to move beyond the present moment. Politely offering her hand to Marino despite knowing he didn't need it, she posed her next question with a bubbly tone and a bright smile. "Any other stops to make on our rounds?"
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Arrival of the Stormriders (Ayela)

Postby Marino Oceangem on July 1st, 2020, 3:28 am

Ayela’s tale about the Stormriders was an eye opener. Marino didn’t know what he had expected, but it certainly wasn’t what came out of her mouth. Family? Thinking back on it, it made perfect sense. He leaned forward on the deck, keen on the story now that there was a familial link. To think he might have some distant relatives staying however briefly made him feel unexpectedly joyful. While he had been happy just to have more Svefra coming here, now he knew they shared some past together, he looked forward to trying to get more stories out of them later tonight. He wanted to know everything from how the family branched to what was their paradisa. "I must get your family to tell me some stories then. I think I would enjoy hearing it was like when they traveled with the Oceangems and some of your own stories of Mura as well!"

Excited, his mind was off in a dozen different tangents as he stumbled across an unfamiliar term from Ayela’s lips. “Vision water?” He asked not really expecting an answer. It was more so that he felt a good deal more comfortable in her presence now that she was family, and didn’t balk at voicing his lack of understanding with certain words she used. His eyes would watch her mouth carefully as she continued to speak, making sure he interpreted every word correctly. “One of the reasons I felt drawn when I first came here, the other being the fact that the sea is at the doorstep of pretty much everything here. I never lack a reason to take my Seasilk out for a swim.” He grinned broadly, and brushed a mosquito off the back of his neck. “That’s one thing you’ll have to watch out for here. Pests, but it isn’t so bad when you when you’ve got the appropriate salve. Uta’s actually been teaching me how to make some.

His eyes lit up as he said this. He was quite proud of what he managed to accomplish under Uta’s wise gaze. The pack he carried with him was breathing proof of that. Glancing at his back pack he picked it up, and plopped it between his legs. “In fact, I could show you some of the stuff she showed me now, like how to pack and what to carry around with me.” With a quick pull, he undid the ties across the top. Flipping the flap open, he immediately started digging within. First thing he took out was the bedroll which had been put on top, and then reaching deeper he pulled out an iron pot. Inside were a collection of supplies that he identified as he picked them up. “I keep a lot in this pot to try and keep the contents as dry as possible. Starting with this butcher’s knife.” He said, carefully extracting the knife that he laid carefully on the deck beside him before getting onto the rest. “This is a whet stone, used for sharpening said knife among others like the hatchet and bowie I’ve got strapped to the outside of my pack.” He pointed out, turning that side of the pack towards her. “Next I’ve got a small first aid kit, some needle and thread, fishing supplies, a compass, oh and some insect repellent” He said, tossing the tin towards her.

You might want to slather some of that on. I can always get more.” He said with an easy grin before continuing on with the contents of the pot. “I’ve also got this bundle of hammock, and two more tins. One containing some dried rations, while the other I keep my tinder to help me light fires with. Again, kept in these to further make sure no water gets in. I’ve also got some extra clothes in a rucksack I bring if I’m venturing out in the jungle. You’ll want at least an extra pair of socks before you go out there.” Marino wished he had the eloquence of Uta in this moment, but alas he didn’t know how to phrase things quite as she had. He felt he did a pretty good job none the less though. Slowly he started putting things back into the pot and then into his pack as he answered any questions that Ayela might have.

After he moved on to the subject of her gills and was impressed that it was that easy. He supposed he should have expected that for what she had told him of the Konti so far. Still, it intrigued him throughly how exactly that might work going from land to see. It was something he would just have to see for himself one day. Marino laughed in response to the suggested serious tone, and took her hand to help himself up to his feet. “You may be Konti, but you are Svefra through and through. I see that now.” He smiled warmly, and stretched out towards the sun. “How about I show you just how far Syka stretches. By sea of course, I don’t want to walk all day.” He laughed and then gestured for her to follow him back to the Seasilk. Once aboard he got them swiftly underway, intending to take them first to Sharktooth point and then onto the Sawmill. Her being a fellow being of the sea, he had a feeling she might appreciate the point as they swept by it, giving it a wider berth than usual thanks to the outgoing tide. “Beautiful isn’t it.” He said when they had a good view of the coral that stretched beneath the shallow water.
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Arrival of the Stormriders (Ayela)

Postby Ayela on July 3rd, 2020, 5:44 pm

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"I'm sure they would love to share some stories later on, and of course I'm happy to tell you of Mura any time. I can't believe I didn't make the connection myself that we're distant family! I guess I was just so caught up in the wonder and excitement of being here that I hadn't stopped to think of it long enough." It warmed Ayela to see Marino so invested in her and her family and her background. She noted he quizzically mentioned Vision Water but didn't seem to expect an answer, so she decided she'd save that story for later. He chattered on about his Seasilk and his enjoyment in Syka and then of course mentioned the pests. They had of course been bothering Ayela too, but truthfully her focus had been so wrapped up in everything going on that she'd put them out of her mind. Once he brought them back up, she felt the bites on her and had to do all she could to stop from having to scratch like crazy. He mentioned another person there that had been teaching him how to make the proper salve for the pests in Syka.

Intrigued and curious, Ayela leaned a bit more towards Marino, completely invested in what he had to say. He was going to give her a completely rundown of how to smartly pack and carry in Syka, valuable knowledge she otherwise would've had to figure out through trial and error on her own. He went through his belongings one by one, explaining them to her as he went, as well as showing her how he had them packed for ultimate efficiency and dryness. Ayela carefully watched and listened, compiling her own pack in her head to put together later. Marino tossed her a tin, insect repellent, and she eagerly started coating it all over, eager for its soothing properties for the bites she'd already required, and anticipating her relief that she'd be left alone going forward. "So much better, thank you." Turning her attention back to Marino, Ayela studiously watched him as he continued explaining his pack to her and giving her tips and tricks along the way. When he was done, he began placing his things back into his pack just as methodically as he'd removed them.

He spoke of being able to see her dual nature, embodying both of the cultures she grew up in, and Ayela couldn't help but beam at him. For years now she'd felt so conflicted inside by the two cultures, for they held plenty of similarities but a lot of differences as well. Those differences had always weighed on her and made her feel out of place and confused, and for Marino to see them in a positive light really turned a lot of those struggles around for her. She felt their burden lift from her shoulders and she felt freer than she had in some time. They boarded the Seasilk once more and set off for Ayela to see Syka in its entirety. They sailed by what Marino called Sharktooth point. The tide was on its way out, but Ayela gawked at the outcropping of stones on shore and gawked wider still at the gorgeous coral reef below. The water was shallow with the outgoing tide and Ayela leaned on the side of the Seasilk, taking it all in with breathless silence. Once able to compose herself, she called out to Marino without taking her eyes off the reef. "This is incredible! I've never seen anything like it! Is it always so shallow and clear here?"
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Arrival of the Stormriders (Ayela)

Postby Marino Oceangem on July 4th, 2020, 4:55 am

Marino looked over, and a curious look passed across his features. It was so easy to forget that she did not bear the same mark as he. “For the duration of this summer at least, though I have seen it get deep occasionally. One of my passengers even told me a fanciful tale about a shark swimming in when it got deep and being unable to leave when the tide went out.” As he spoke he leaned over the side of the railing to study the water below. “Though it is a good place if you’re a fish I suppose, so I could see a shark wanting to try it once and a while.” He stepped back afterward to look away and make sure they were still going where he wanted them to go.

With that piece of mind, he walked towards the wheel and idly leaned against it. “I’ve a mind to fish there sometime soon. Mayhaps you’d like to come, and get a closer look?” He said in a friendly tone while he steered them out and away beyond the point. The breeze was inconsistent today, fluttering away at the sails so they slowly crept passed the point as they sailed around. “Can you believe that this is just one of many beautiful places like this, and not many of them are on the coast mind you.” Marino said thinking aloud as he looked down the stretch of coast before him. It was part of what made his job so interesting. Syka was stretched along the coast, and from the Seasilk he could touch all of it. Well not all yet, but he was working on that part.

I’ll have to introduce you to Uta sometime. She’s really good with the plants around here and mixing things from them. Also has a lovely house if you don’t mind a little bit of a walk. Uta is quite friendly, so I’m sure she wouldn’t mind showing you a few things to get you settled here.” He mused as he drummed his fingers against the wood of the wheel. His eyes fell on his fluttering sail and he felt a pang of frustration at how inefficiently it was catching the wind.

After a few ticks he decided to do something about it, and walked quickly over to the mast. He didn’t bother with the outhaul, instead just went to tighten the sail flush against the mast by pulling on the line rigged to the luft. Then he did the same for the foot, pulling the clew all the way out till the sail was taut against the wind. It wasn’t the greatest fit for this fickle wind but at least he didn’t have to see his sails billowing impotently every little breeze. Satisfied he walked back behind the wheel and started scanning the coast to spot another familiar sight.

He needn’t had to because all the pigs lounging in the shallows were apparent enough. “You can probably guess why this is referred to as the Swine Swells.” Marino said with a smirk that he was trying on to hid the slight tension in his voice. His experiences there had been less than ideal. Not that he wanted to walk down that particular memory with Ayela right now. “I wouldn’t go there alone, predators abound here for obvious reasons.” He said simply before they continued on.

Fifteen chimes later, he pulled them up along the beach and brought the Casinor to rest against the sand. “Here at last, the Sawmill.” Marino said with a grand gesture towards the jungle after they had hopped off the Seasilk and onto the beach. “Well, theres a path of course.” He added after he’d drawn a look from Ayela, and then he burst out laughing. Feeling much less tense away form the Swine Swells, he lead them across the beach and up the narrow path to the Sawmill. There while he didn’t immediately spot Lars, he did see what he’d came here to show Ayela. The Ashta, a couple of which loitered in a spot across from them. “They call these creatures, Ashta.” He whispered after a few ticks of staring at the animals. Then he looked over to her to see what she thought.
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Arrival of the Stormriders (Ayela)

Postby Ayela on July 6th, 2020, 3:15 pm

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Marino educated her about the Point, explaining about the tides and fish and even a shark getting stuck in there at one point. Ayela could only imagine how crazy that would be but managed to keep most of her surprise off of her face. He then mentioned wanting to fish in that pocket sometime soon and invited Ayela along to better examine the area. Grinning, she hastily agreed. "I'd love to. Depending on your method of fishing, I may even be able to help," she said tapping a finger to her gills. "Could be interesting." The fluttering sound of the sails drew her attention for a moment, the Seasilk slowing to more of a gliding pace rather than full on sailing speed. The lessened pace only meant they had more time to admire the beauty and the water around them. Ayela didn't really mind. Mindset seemingly on point with her own, Marino mentioned the beauty himself, explaining that not all of Syka's beauty lies on the coast. That intrigued the Konti.

He gently mentioned this "Uta" again, speaking of what she does in Syka and how helpful she could potentially be to Ayela. From all she'd heard of Uta, Ayela was eager to meet her and get acquainted. She would be endlessly useful to Ayela with their respective lines of work, and Ayela had much to learn in Uta's field, so a mentor would be fantastic. Acknowledging Marino's words even though she was deep in thought, Ayela nodded to him so that he didn't think she was ignoring him. In that moment, he went to adjust the sails and his boat. Ayela watched him but requested no explanation or details. Perhaps one of these days she'd inquire about learning to sail, but today was not that day. It would wait. He introduced her next to a place named the Swing Swells, for apparent reason as she noted all the pigs posted in the shallows, lazily enjoying the sun and the water. He made a note about predators in that area, which made sense to Ayela with the abundant food source laying about, and then they moved on.

Some time went by before their next stop. When they reached it, Marino expertly guided the Seasilk to the shore and secured it in place, helping her down again to the beach when he was finished. He told her he was taking her to the Sawmill, and at the momentary look of confusion on her face, he gestured in front of them and pointed out a path. Smiling and her confusion fading, she followed him up the path through the jungle and to the Sawmill. Built like many of the other buildings in Syka, Ayela took note of it but her attention was quickly taken and fixed on a new creature. They looked like elephants, but had extra appendages hanging from their ears, and they were a mix of colors unlike elephants. They were extraordinarily tall, taller than anything Ayela had ever seen. She was completely astonished and mesmerized by them. She barely heard Marino whisper next to her, telling her they were called Ashta. The name was as beautiful as they were. "They're beautiful, Marino. I've never seen anything like them in my whole life. They're stunning. Clearly they're wild but are any of them friendly?"
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Arrival of the Stormriders (Ayela)

Postby Marino Oceangem on July 7th, 2020, 11:09 pm

Nodding, Marino made a point not to stare at her gills while he agreed with her. Ayela would indeed be useful on a fishing trip with that unique ability of hers, though he hadn’t the heart to tell her yet that he was not so useful on the water. Not long past he had been throwing his net all wrong and had Shoal come along to set him right. His fishing hadn’t improved much since then, however at least he could decently cast a net. It would just take some more time he was sure before he got a proper hang of living on his own. Till then he was stuck furtively casting in the dark for any help he could get. Which thankfully was in good supply within Syka. He was glad that he was surrounded by such capable people in such a challenging environment.

It was breathtaking for as difficult as it was, with the lush jungle at their doorstep. Inside he knew were carefully manicured groves that the Sykans used to supply the community. Surrounding all of that was the far more wild jungle that he was training to venture into some day.

Eventually they came upon the Sawmill, and with it the curious looking Ashta. Even having seen them before, Marino found it hard to take his eyes off of them. “I think so. I’ve seen them around here more than a few times, and they seem kindly enough.” He said as he admired the beasts. “I tend to come here often when their is building to be done. Easier to transport the cut wood by my Casinor than haul it through the jungle.” There wasn’t any of that prepared wood for him now, so he turned to head back down the path towards the Seasilk.

Its all rather spread out, Syka I mean. Hence why I find good work ferrying people.” Marino joked as they meandered down the path towards the beach. It had been a good day so far and now that the sun was starting to stretch down to the horizon, his stomach rumbled. Patting it, he laughed. “I think thats enough exploring out of me today. They’ll probably have something cooking up in the commons soon anyways. There is a way they roast pork that you just have to try.” Then reconsidering his words for a moment, added. “Or after we head back we could swim for something to add to the pot if that is more to your taste.” He wasn’t sure what Konti ate exactly and didn’t feel comfortable enough to ask it outright. It was silly considering how friendly Ayela had been, but he’d only known her for a blink all things considered. People were far more unpredictable than the sea.

Whichever they decided, Marino soon had them back out to water once they had boarded the Seasilk. The wind was a shade better, though it felt like it had gotten even hotter prompting him to more than once soak his head in the water. As they traveled he consumed the time with idle questions like “Can Konti drink sea water?” while readily supplying his own ability to do so as the need arose. Part of him also daydreamed about what Mura must look like a city both in and out of the water. His mind then drifted to the relationship between the Konti and Laviku, among other similar things. Needless to say, he was bursting with questions, though he contented himself to just sail them back. Ayela was here to stay so there would be time for all of that in due course. Right now, a good meal with a swim was his focus. Keen on that, he got them back to the dock with the sun hanging low in the sky.
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Arrival of the Stormriders (Ayela)

Postby Ayela on July 11th, 2020, 9:03 pm

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Marino answered her question about the Ashta, clearly as awestruck as she was although he'd certainly seen them before if he'd had the thought to bring her to them. He mentioned that he frequents the Sawmill and why, Ayela nodding gently to let him know she had heard him. Her eyes never left the Ashta, still in awe of their beauty. She felt she could safely say they'd become her new favorite creature. At least thus far. Marino then turned to go back towards the Seasilk and Ayela followed him as she'd grown accustomed to doing. He spoke to her then of how spread out Syka truly is and how he's able to find good employ ferrying people. "Oh I can only imagine how handy you are to have around here." It made sense to Ayela. His casinor was large enough to fit some people or supplies without being too large to get into smaller waters.

He mentioned dinner, Ayela's stomach growling in agreement alongside his. He mentioned a pork dish made in the commons that he considered very good and mentioned that they could also go swimming to catch something to cook up as well. Thinking carefully for a moment, Ayela decided that either would be fine with her but maybe heading to the commons and relaxing was more in order after the amount of exploring and walking they'd done today. "Haha, pork is fine with me. I think we could use to sit and relax after they day we've had anyway. A swim after sounds like a good dessert though."

She climbed up onto the Seasilk after him and they were soon on their way back to the main area. Ayela giggled as Marino dipped his head in the water along their journey. It was indeed quite hot out but she'd cool off enough to be content once the sun finished setting. She believed it never truly cooled off in Syka, but figured it couldn't be too terribly bad without the sunshine. He then asked if Konti could drink sea water. He mentioned that he could thanks to his Laviku Mark, Ayela once again noting the ocean waves rolling across his chest. Smiling, she nodded. "Actually yes, we can drink sea water as well. Perks of being of both land and sea I suppose. I know I'm grateful that I'll never have to worry about becoming dehydrated, haha." Not terribly long later, they arrived back at the main docks, Marino swiftly securing the casinor and helping her down. Telling Marino to go ahead to kitchen area and see what was cooking, Ayela explained she'd meet him there soon and headed off to find Mathias again.

Seeing as it was dinner time, he wasn't hard to spot, Ayela swiftly making her way over to him. Patiently waiting for his current conversation to subside, she gingerly got his attention. "So good to see you again Ayela. I trust Marino took good care of you today showing you the island?" It was phrased more like a statement than a question, a testament to the Founder knowing Marino well. "He did sir. I love it here even more than I'd imagined I would. With your permission, I'd like to become a Sykian. Outside of what healing abilities I possess, I believe I have a possible export venture to speak with you about another day as well. Marino also showed me a place I'd like to work towards purchasing as well as began my introductions to other members of the community here. I'm here to stay if you'll have me." Mathias looked thoughtful as she awaited his decision. He seemed to like her when they met earlier, but understandably this was not a decision to be made lightly or on a whim. A chime or two passed while he weighed his thoughts, finally turning to her with a smile and an outstretched hand, enthusiastically shaking hers while he spoke. "Welcome to Syka Ayela. I look forward to your contribution here. Come see me again soon and we'll iron out some of the details of your stay and your employment." Grinning so wide it hurt her cheeks, Ayela thanked him and bid him goodnight, promptly returning to Marino. Sitting beside him, he'd barely acknowledged her before she burst with the news. "You're looking at the newest resident of Syka!" Reigning in her excitement, Ayela settled in to eat dinner in her new home. Her and her companion were content for now to eat a good meal and then see what the night had in store for them. It'd been quite a day for the Konti, and she was just getting started.
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