Solo A Life's Purpose

Don't lose sight, don't be scared.

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A Life's Purpose

Postby Asterope on August 11th, 2020, 4:55 pm

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22nd of summer, 520 AV

It was the early hours of the morning, and Aster had found her way to the water gardens for some quiet time. Cressida was wrapped around her neck, dozing gently; occasionally, her small wings gave a flutter, the white feathers tickling the back of Aster's neck.

She sat on one of the benches in the garden, absentmindedly running one finger up and down the top of Cressida's scaly head, watching the glimmering light of Syna reflect gently off of the still pools of water. It was quiet at this hour; there were only one or two other people roaming about. The still, silent air was scented heavily yet not unpleasantly with the surrounding flowers and trees. It was peaceful.

It was still a surreal feeling to Aster, after so long in Sunberth. One of the people around, a woman with white hair, smiled as she passed by; Aster could see the faint gleam of scales along her neck and forehead. A Konti, then. Aster smiled back politely, and watched curiously as the woman rolled up her sleeves and knelt by the edge of the water, leaning forward to plunge her arms into the pool.

She began to pull at some of the plants growing from the water, and as Aster watched, she wrenched a rather long plant out; it had a brown stem, with a rather pretty pink-purple bud that reminded her of lilac in its shape. "What are you doing?" Aster couldn't help but ask, and the woman glanced over at her.

"Weeding," She said, with another smile. "My name is Niama. I care for the water gardens." Aster nodded, and politely introduced herself in return.

"My name is Asterope. Those are weeds?" The plants didn't look like weeds; they were lovely. Niama laughed as she wrenched another one free from the pond, her laughter fading into a grunt of effort.

"Water knotweed," Niama explained. "They're quite pretty, and I've heard it has its uses in medicine, but you need to be harsh with them. If you leave them unchecked, they'll very quickly overtake your whole pond. It would wreak havoc on the other plants and animals, not to mention ruin the view. Sometimes I wonder," she paused and let out another grunt as she struggled with a particularly long stem, "If it's worth it to let any grow," Niama finished, with a huff and a splash as the weed finally came free, mud clumped in its roots.

"Do you...need help?" Aster offered, after a moment, and the Konti glanced at her with a raised eyebrow. She took a moment to actually take Aster in, eyes scanning the Ethaefal up and down, lips pursed in thought.

"You don't mind getting wet?" Niama asked in return, and Aster shook her head.

"Alright. I wouldn't mind a bit of company and an extra pair of hands, in that case. Be careful, they're stubborn ones. Make sure you're steady when you try to yank them up, because if you're not, you'll end up on your ass. It's happened more than once to me," the Konti admitted, without shame.

"I'll be careful," Aster said, amused. Carefully, she unwound Cressida from her neck and set the little winged snake down where she had been sitting as she stood. Cressida let out a small hiss of displeasure at having her rest disturbed, flapping her wings indignantly, but curled up into a ball and settled down.

Moving to join Niama, Aster knelt beside the Konti. The shirt she wore had short sleeves already, so she didn't need to worry about rolling them up. Taking a moment, she picked up one of the weeds Niama had already pulled to examine it. It was surprisingly long up close, at least four or five feet. The leaves dripped onto the stone and her hands, the stem still damp. "You said these have medicinal properties?" Aster questioned, as she set the plant aside and leaned in over the pond; there was a small cluster of them not far from where she was kneeling.

"Supposedly, but I have no idea what," Niama shrugged. Aster wondered if she should hold onto a few of the plants as she plunged her hands into the pleasantly warm water, scaring a few fish away, their scales shimmering in the morning sun. Grasping the stem as low down as she could, Aster dug her toes into the ground and yanked. The weed didn't budge. She yanked again, putting all of her body weight behind it; she could feel the stem loosening. Another yank pulled the roots free from the mud, and sent her flying onto her behind with an 'oof' and a soft thump, clutching the long-stemmed weed with wide eyes.

Niama laughed, then clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle the sound, but Aster could see the mirth in her eyes and the shake in her shoulders. A moment later, the Eth tipped her head back and joined in the laughter at the absurdity of the situation, surprising even herself. It felt good to laugh so freely, over something so mundane and silly.

"I told you to be careful," Niama said, after she had collected herself, though a smile was still on her face. Aster sat up, brushing herself off.

"You did," Aster agreed, with amusement. Her butt was sore; no doubt the smack against the stone floor would leave a mild bruise. But it was worth it for the bubbling joy in her chest and the fading but genuine smile on her mouth. Setting the weed aside, Aster knelt by the edge of the pond again, decidedly more careful with the next weed she pulled up.
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Asterope
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A Life's Purpose

Postby Asterope on August 11th, 2020, 5:00 pm

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She and Niama worked side by side for a little bit, occasionally chatting, until finally the Konti sat back on her heels and surveyed their work. "That should do it for now," she declared. "Thank you for your help."

"Thank you for letting me help," Aster replied, a soft smile on her face, and Niama blinked but smiled back. "Is it okay if I keep a few of these?"

"What, really?" Niama seemed surprised.

"I work as an herbalist." Used to, her mind corrected her, sending an uncomfortable pain through her chest. "I'd be curious to find out what they actually do."

"By all means, then. I was just going to get rid of them," Niama said, and so Aster gathered up three of the shorter weeds, thanking Niama again as the Konti collected the rest of them. The two stood up, and Niama shook Aster's hand before bidding her farewell, paying no mind to the small, curled-up snake, not noticing the two tucked in wings in the shade that Cressida rested in.

Aster set the stems aside, propping them against the bench to dry, and sat down again, scooping Cressida into her lap. Her clothes were spattered with water drops, her hands and arms still damp, and her butt was still a bit sore from her decidedly not graceful fall, but she felt even more at peace than when she'd first arrived.

"What do you think, Cressida," Aster spoke to the snake on her lap, who was not happy to have her rest disturbed, but seemed to accept it now that she had a warm, comfortable lap beneath her and was in a better position to bask in the morning sunlight. "Do you think maybe I should work here? Niama seems nice, and I mean, gardening is enjoyable. And simple."

The voice that spoke suddenly from beside her nearly sent her flying off the bench in surprised panic; instead, Aster whipped her head around so quickly she was surprised it didn't snap. "I don't think you should," a woman said, and there she was, a beautiful woman with dark hair and dark eyes sitting beside her. She hadn't been there a moment ago; Aster hadn't seen or heard her approach. And something about her felt...different. Powerful.

"I'm...sorry?" Aster asked, stunned. The woman smiled at her ever so slightly, her eyes gleaming with knowledge and kindness and something beyond what Aster had ever seen in a mortal's eyes, beyond even the gaze of her own kind.

"I said I don't think you should. Work here, at the garden. I was wondering where you had gone off to," the woman spoke now to the snake in her lap, and Cressida flicked her tongue out. As Aster watched, two other snakes poked their heads out of the woman's long sleeves, slipping out to twine around her arms, and as she stared in amazement, Asterope realized that both of the snakes also had wings.

"Who are you?" She whispered, with wide eyes.

"You don't know?" There wasn't genuine surprise in the woman's voice, more of a gentle amusement. "My name is Rak'keli, daughter of Syna."

OOC :
Cashing in the divine appearance coupon earned from the placeholder challenge to interact with Rak'keli!
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 519
Words: 529979
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)


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