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May 21, 2022 2:12 PM
Daémon Fleet characters dropped on The Untamed
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Oh my god, Verity.

"Sect Leader Jiang has been very generous in allowing us to find our footing in this new land.  We are very grateful for the opportunity, and for his assistance in finding out what the connection between Sect Leader Nie and Iarlaith could be."

Which is what he was actually looking for, Verity.  It's a shame that these tables are too far away for him to surreptitiously elbow her.  Why does she always do this?

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That is what Jin Guangyao was expecting.  Oak Azure can get a more genuine smile out of him. 

"Yes, being permitted entry into one of the cultivation sects is a great privilege and rare opportunity.  Though you are also welcome to visit Carp Tower, should you prefer a change of scenery."

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Sect Leader Jiang takes that moment to step into the bubble of clear space between their conversation and the gawkers, glaring harsh enough at the assembled onlookers that several retreat back to their seats. 

Nie Huaisang had been hiding out by the side of one of the streams they'd played beside as children.  Even though their correspondence had clearly indicated that Jiang Cheng wanted to find and talk to him.  Which is just typical of Nie Huaisang, really. 

Jiang Cheng isn't dragging Nie Huaisang, but he gives off the impression that he would.

Hearing the last sentence, he scoffs.  "Trying to steal my guests, Jin Guangyao?"

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"Not at all!" he lies. 

"It's so good that you're here."

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Nie Huaisang doesn't seem to be paying attention to Jin Guangyao and Jiang Cheng's conversation.  Though, there is a brief flare of intense anger when he happens to glance at Jin Guangyao as he asks after the nephew the two of them share.  It doesn't show on his face; only Florentho is able to catch it amid the churning of anxiety that makes up his default mood.  He is, despite his age and his familiarity with the area, actually much more nervous than Iarlaith.

He lets himself get distracted looking over this Rys Iarlaith, making a grand show of examining.  "My, what a handsome young man."

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"It's like looking into a mirror," he comments. 

They even have similar expressions.  Somewhat wary of the other, not sure whether or not to show it. 

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Nie Huaisang leans close to his doppelganger.  "I think we ought to go find out exactly how similar we are.  There's over an hour left before everyone actually has to start sitting down, and the Lan are so by-the-books that they won't actually start the meal just because so many people are already sitting.  Let's see if the similarities go all the way down," he says with a lascivious smile.

And more importantly, lets him get his copy out of view of Jin Guangyao.

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"Oh, that sounds like fun!" 

And will let him ask questions without an audience.  He'd feel bad about the deception, but if Nie Huaisang really is 'him' in some way he'll understand, and if he's not then he doesn't especially care right now.

Emerimis stays in the daemon pile, since he can now, and just because he's interested in where he's going doesn't mean that he's not also interested in where he was.  They're so happy that they can be in multiple places now.

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"I know a shortcut," Huaisang says, using his years of exploring Cloud Recess for 'good'. 

They vanish through a side hall leading towards the kitchens, which also has a quick way to the Nie guest quarters if one happens to step over a narrow border between the official paths. 

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What the Fuck? That is the most disgusting thing that Jiang Cheng has ever witnessed.  Ew!  Jiang Cheng would never do that with his mysterious alien doppelganger, if he had one.  The very thought turns his stomach.  Nie Huaisang wasn't even being subtle about it.  The least he could do is not make Jiang Cheng think about it.

And now another sect leader is trying to steal his guests.  His replies to Jin Guangyao get even more snappish.

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It doesn't look like the cultivators who were talking to them are paying them any attention right now, since doing so would attract the ire of Sect Leader Jiang.  Verity moves back to talk to Alizara and Azure.  She doesn't like that this means her back is to the room of staring watchers, but she might as well get to talk to them before the formal event starts and she has to sit still and be quiet.  Araeneve watches the room.

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Azure is horrified.  Though at least the disgust he feels is only being shared by one other person - no one else in range seems to care.  Somehow.  Ewww.

He hopes that Iarlaith's actions don't reflect on the rest of them.

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Verity is mostly just amused. 

"You wouldn't be tempted, if you found another version of yourself?"

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"The other Alizara would also be a girl, so no."

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Aaaa why are they talking about this.  He wants to gouge his ears out.  Both at having to imagine his sister doing anything, and also at the thought of having to...

"Ew!  No, that's basically incest.  Gross."

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Verity laughs and pats his arm, and shrugs.  "I mean, it wouldn't be the first thing I'd do," she whispers, trying very hard not to laugh.

"I wish they'd stuck around for a little while.  I'm curious about this shared-face-thing too."

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This is the worst conversation and he is done with it.

"I'm sure they'll tell us anything important later."  And this way he won't have to overhear their flirting. 

Though, Emerimis is still in the daemon pile with Florentho and doesn't seem to be picking up anything of the sort from his human.  Azure is beginning to suspect that Iarlaith and Nie Huaisang just used that as an excuse, and they're actually talking about something else.  Which is still annoying - it still has the negative effect of people thinking him improper. 

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Nie Huaisang leads Iarlaith into his personal guest quarters.  Switching his fan to his other hand for a moment, he takes the time to carefully draw a sigil in the air and send it to the far wall.  He then repeats the action for the other three walls, the ceiling, and the floor. 

"These'll stop us from being overheard." 

He says this much less flirtatiously than before the barrier went up.  It's not that it wouldn't be interesting, but he isn't that irresponsible.

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"Aww.  You were only teasing me?  How rude," he flutters back.  The implied 'oh good, this is going to be a useful conversation that answers my questions' is still fairly obvious. 

"Almost as rude as making me look bad by association."

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"It's not like I could have known that an alien with my face and personality would show up."

He prepares tea and settles himself at the table.  Iarlaith is motioned to join him. 

"I am lazy," he points out.  "And do hate fighting, and training, and stress, and any sort of work that isn't painting.  I'm a nervous wreck who is barely keeping my sect at a functional level.  Very little of what people know about me is technically wrong. 

"But enough about me.  What are you like?"

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Nie Huaisang extracts the entirety of Iarlaith's life history from him. 

His paternal great-grandmother was in the Rys noble line, but his grandfather wasn't the first-born.  By the old rules of how Fleet noble names used to work back when they were still in use, he wouldn't be a Rys.  But he needed a name for this place.  He... might have counted as Rys if he'd been born here?  But they have their heirs gendered for some reason, so maybe not. 

His parents died young, leaving him with his older half-brother.  Muiredach-and-Valaxa.  Who might be a match to Nie Mingjue?  Their fathers also seem to match, insofar as he has information on either of them.  Valaxa is a steelix, an unusually large daemon variant.  He makes some money through using Substitute to harvest fiber, which is... taxing.  But profitable.  Enough that they live comfortably.

(This gets diverted into a discussion on social tiers and just how few people on the Fleet need to be farmers compared to here.)

Iarlaith himself is in school to become a teacher.  He likes kids, and needs to do something with his life.  Mostly, though, teacher was the least unpleasant thing on the list of jobs that honchcrow daemon'd people were supposedly good at.

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"Do you need to do something that honchcrow are good at?"

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"No.  We don't have legal castes or anything.  There's a lot of pressure for it though.

"Lots of jobs require special abilities or moves.  Generating sand for glass, or standing around casting electricity into the generators, or teleporting things between ships... Honchcrow can fly, which means we could be delivery people, but lots of daemons can fly.  That means that we get to do the jobs that theoretically anyone can do.

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"I would have liked to be an artist, I suppose.  If I had to be something."

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"I like poetry, but I wouldn't want to do it for a job.

"Anyway, we're getting off topic.  What have we fallen into and how do I stay out of it?"

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