This post has the following content warnings:
May 21, 2022 2:51 PM
Daémon Fleet characters dropped on The Untamed
+ Show First Post
Total: 514
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

Typical.

Jiang Cheng kind of wants to chase after him anyway, no matter how immature that would be.  Instead, he straightens himself and fits his face back into a scowl.

Permalink

???

 

"Who was that?"  Azure asks quietly, eyebrows raised.

Permalink

"Hanguang-jun, brother of the Lan's Sect Leader.

"He has a problem with me."

Permalink

Azure noticed!

"Why do you suppose he hates you?" he asks, automatically going for a phrasing that doesn't technically confirm it.  

Permalink

He is answered by a torrent of various other emotions, all tangled up.  Rage, annoyance, guilt, grief.  Nothing positive.

"It's a long story."

One that he doesn't want to tell at all.  Oak Azure can get it from someone else, and Jiang Cheng doesn't especially care whether or not he gets it accurately.

His cultivators quietly grouse about getting relegated to the dining hall early instead of getting to look around.  Jiang Cheng ignores them - the gardens are going to look the same tomorrow as they have for the past several years.  

"Keep them out of trouble.  And you four," he says to the aliens, "Don't go running off.  I'm going to find Nie Huaisang."

Permalink

The aliens stay put.  Like everywhere else on this planet, there aren't designated spots for daemons to sit.  This is complicated by the assigned seating.  Cloud Recesses' hall isn't cramped by any means, but it does lead to a bit of milling around and asking whether they ought to nudge the back rows of tables a bit forward or not.

Permalink

Jin Guangyao has been keeping an eye out for the Jiang contingent, and carefully disengages himself from his previous conversation once they show up.  

He is somewhat panicking about the lack of proper preparation for daemons.  Not that he could blame Er-ge for not considering the daemons - not when Cloud Recesses had a strict no-pets policy.  They just don't consider animals and the spaces they take up beyond the abstract information that Jin Ling has a dog which he never brings, and that horses and donkeys need to be handed over to stable hands at the end of the day.  

In either case, he can swiftly offer Er-ge helpful advice for shifting them, if Er-ge wishes?  If the Jiang sect is moved to the front, then the daemons can sit in the corner space currently holding a pair of easily-moved plants.  And the lesser sects can be nudged here, and here, and there... Cao and Ren shouldn't be put together, not with the falling out between their daughters, but Cao would fit well between Ouyang and Lai.  But of course the final decision is up to Er-ge, Jin Guangyao only wishes to assist him.  

Permalink

Xichen appreciates the help.  A-yao is always so thoughtful, and talented at keeping the peace before anyone else would even suspect a conflict.  This makes the shuffling around of the little markers denoting each clan's seats go very quickly.  Fast enough that they can then speak with the newly re-seated aliens before Jiang Cheng manages to find Nie Huaisang.

Permalink

The Yunmeng Jiang cultivators are kind of leery about this, but rise and bow to their host.  They have been told to intimidate anyone who approaches, but Zewu-jun is far above their station.  So, he can talk to the aliens, and they'll just glare at anyone else who comes near?

Permalink

Introductions are made.  He is known as Zewu-jun, the sect leader of Gusu Lan, and this is Lianfang-zun who leads Lanling Jin and is also the Chief Cultivator.

Permalink

From their emotions, Azure is also fairly confident that they're romantically involved.  He keeps this to himself.

They provide their own names, including the family names for everyone who has one, and motion to which daemon matches which human. 

The daemons separate long enough to do the best approximation of bows, but go right back to their pile afterwards.  The humans are doing their best to fit in with the customs of this place, but daemons have never followed those anywhere and they've all decided it would be best to make that obvious early on.

Permalink

Jin Guangyao doesn't know exactly how to react to the daemons.  He's not offended by their ignoring of him, at least.  It helps that rocks and animals don't normally pay deference.  Florentho might be bipedal but he really doesn't look human. 

He repeats the names back.  Jin Guangyao has always been very, very good at names.  This stands out especially well in this instance, as he is so far the only person they've met on this planet who manages to pronounce all of their names properly on the first try despite the foreign sounds.  He even makes it sound natural, rather than like he's trying too hard to get their exact sounds and winding up sounding like he's vocally italicizing them like most people wind up doing.  He does wind up referring to Verity as Ver-guniang, since it's not verbally obvious that there was a difference with hers.

Permalink

Verity winces, but doesn't correct him.  She is just going to have to adapt to that.  Well, unless she gets impressive enough to get a title or moniker of some sort.

Permalink

The others have all taken to being called by the names of their noble houses much more readily.  Verity is strange among them in that she doesn't care if the syllables are mangled so long as they're all there.  The others mostly feel the opposite way.

"I've heard that you know Sect Leader Nie?  Sect Leader Jiang says that we have similar personalities, not just appearance."

He is visibly distressed by this.  The Head-shaker was incompetent, lazy, and a nervous wreck, according to everyone they'd met since arriving.  Iarlaith doesn't have a fan, but fidgets with the ends of his sleeves.

Iarlaith is younger than Nie Huaisang, but Nie Huaisang is a cultivator and still in the extended phase of his life where he looks twenty-five.  The other three aliens are wearing borrowed formal robes matching their daemons' colors, if not quite as bright and lacking in the mimicry patterns that the clothing would have had on the Fleet.  This was both easier and harder with Verity, who wears Yunmeng Jiang's signature color but is unusually tall even by the standards of cultivators, who developed with golden cores that nudge their bodies taller and prettier on top of being wealthy enough to afford decent nutrition.  Iarlaith's is instead white and a reddish taupe, like Emerimis' wings and chest.  Nie Huaisang would be wearing some kind of gray to the event, and Sect Leader Jiang (or more likely whoever he'd sent to handle clothing for them) apparently wanted to make sure they couldn't be mistaken for each other. 

Permalink

If he didn't have other confirmation he would have suspected that Nie Huaisang was playing some kind of elaborate prank.  Nie Huaisang would likely have enjoyed such a prank, but Jiang Cheng would never have gone along with something this outrageous in front of everyone. 

That's the look that Nie Huaisang usually gets not long before he starts crying.  Jin Guangyao is concerned but not surprised at Iarlaith's reaction.  He's momentarily rather angry with Jiang Cheng - if anyone was speaking about Nie Huaisang, it would have presumably been him.  This reaction is kept very well hidden.  He considers what he can say that is both comforting and not going to be shown as false as soon as Jiang Cheng shows up.

"Nie Huaisang is a good friend of mine," he says, putting on a comforting smile. 

Permalink

That's nice.  Well, maybe.  Iarlaith will choose to be happy about it, he supposes.

Permalink

He doesn't sigh in relief, because he has far more control over his face than that.  Nie Huaisang is precious to him, but of everyone he could have had two of Nie Huaisang would be far down the list.  A second Zewu-jun would have been lovely. 

Speaking of Nie Huaisang, it seems that he's managed to hide himself pretty well.  Jiang Cheng still isn't back.  None of the other guests are willing to interrupt the Chief Cultivator and Zewu-jun, though a number have moved into the hall early after them to gawk at the daemons from a polite distance away. 

"How have you found the trip here?"  He asks, focusing on the others.  Specifically, Verity, who took the other front seat.

Permalink

She regrets that.  Even if it was only to let Alizara and Azure take the back seats together.  She hates talking to politicians.  At least she has a script to follow.  'Just agree with anything they say that isn't obviously wrong, and compliment things,' as Azure had told her numerous times in the past several years.

"Our trip here was peaceful.  This place is so much larger than the Fleet."

Permalink

"Does the scenery around the Fleet look very different?"

Permalink

"Very different.  Outside of our ships is only empty space, like the night sky.  There are stars, but we aren't traveling fast enough for them to be visibly moving."

Permalink

"Ah."

He is having difficulty imagining that, or how it's even possible.  She doesn't seem to be lying, at least.  He pictures the largest ocean merchant vessels, their narrow wooden hallways and crowded crew quarters. 

"Landing in Lotus Pier must have been a very different experience.  The lotus lakes surrounding it are some of the most beautiful terrain around any of the homes of the Great Sects.  Cloud Recesses being another, of course," he says, turning to Lan Xichen with a smile.

Permalink

"Yes, Lotus Pier is very beautiful," she agrees dutifully.

Permalink

"And how have you found Sect Leader Jiang?"

Jiang Cheng isn't the most welcoming person in the world.  He pays close attention, curious what reaction they've had to his attitude.

Permalink

"Sandu Shengshou is also beautiful," she says, visibly uncertain.

Verity is pretty sure this isn't the correct response.  Why is he talking to her anyway?  She is going to swap seats with Azure as soon as Lianfang-zun goes away so this doesn't happen again.

Permalink

He pauses briefly.  "I doubt many people would argue."

Lan Xichen is prettier.  Not that he'd ever say that, of course.  Sect Leader Jiang might hear and spend the next six months in a snit about it and no one wants to deal with his dramatics.

Total: 514
Posts Per Page: