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Aug 08, 2022 2:48 AM
Daémon Fleet characters dropped on The Untamed
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Soon enough, it’s time to head back to the main section of Cloud Recesses.  There is a great deal of standing around in rows and being ordered to go this way and that.  The morning sky is painted with bands of colors that slowly shift to blue as the sunlight creeps down the pine trees and into the courtyard with them.

Eventually, the Nie group and the Jiang group wind up placed beside each other, and a random Nie guard decides to start up a conversation.  Verity is closest.

“What do you think of the cultivation world so far?”

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Oh, great, time to try and find something non-controversial to say. 

"It's very large, and has a lot of forests and trees compared to what I'm used to.  It's nice."

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"What about the Chief Cultivator, in particular?  It's quite surprising how such a man wound up in charge of anything.  Not only is he a weak cultivator, but, you know, his family history..."

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“I don’t know his family history,” she points out.  If she’d been told earlier she hadn’t been paying attention.

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“He’s the son of a whore.  Rather disgusting of him.”

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“I don’t see how that’s relevant.  If you’re going to insult someone, insult them for something they did, or shut up.”

The other aliens are looking similarly pissed, their daemons bristling behind them.  Judging from how several others have turned towards her, Verity realizes she may have said that louder than she’d intended.

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Nie Huaisang looks back, shocked beneath his fan.  He totally doesn’t know why his cultivator decided to gossip about the Chief Cultivator, and her reaction is also very surprising!  It is definitely both of those things that have surprised him and not just the latter.

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For fuck’s sake.

“What did I tell you about staying quiet?”  He glares, looking imperious.

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She doesn’t speak, instead just giving him an unimpressed look.  Is she supposed to reply to things or not?  He needs to learn how to be consistent.

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Sigh.  Fine.  This can be handled by the diplomatic ones, then.  

(He feels a bit bad about being grateful about this - dealing with other people’s problems is always so much easier than handling his own.  Florentho scratches Araeneve at approximately the spot most daemons would have ears.)

“We apologize for the argument,” Azure says.  “It is the sacred duty of Legendaries to fight on the behalf of those from lower stations.  It is literally what they were put into the world to do, according to our religion.”

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Verity is trying very hard to both roll her eyes and continue their staring contest.  It is good that, counting Araeneve, they have two sets of eyes.  Sandu Shengshou is no-doubt extremely jealous of this.

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Lan Xichen can't help but be very fond of anyone that fights on behalf of A-Yao.  He will cite the rule against gossip, then distract everyone away by reminding them that they are on a very strict schedule and according to said very important schedule must move to the next event immediately.  Sect Leader Jiang is needed in the private Sect Leader’s meeting and can not possibly be spared; he is very important and they can’t do anything without him.  

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He exhales sharply rather than argue.  If Zewu-jun thinks he is important, Jiang Cheng will of course go into the hall.

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People split up a bit after that.  The guards and everyone else who is not needed for the Important Meeting are left to their own devices.  Some small entertainments are set up.

Azure drags Verity well away from the Nie contingent because they can’t afford to start a fight when Jin Guangyao’s boyfriend isn’t nearby to bail them out.  Oh, here’s a quiet guqin performance that looks like no one will dare interrupt - Verity ought to stay in the back here and listen quietly while he explores.

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Verity agrees.  She does in fact appreciate having somewhere to be where no one can ask her annoying questions.

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Elsewhere nearby, Alizara feels like talking about glass.  Which had been interesting according to the Jiang guard she’d talked to on the way up the mountain, and probably not something to keep secret according to Sect Leader Jiang and Azure.

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It turns out that a lot of people want to listen to lectures on glass.  Aliens are cool and everyone wants to gawk.  Politely, of course.  Such a lecture is a good excuse for them, since it’s normal enough to look at someone who is explaining something.  

Alizara is directed to an out of the way courtyard, and a small crowd gracefully files in behind her.

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Alizara babbles excitedly.  They do have glass, here - one of the Jiang cultivators she'd asked mentioned that he saw something made from it in a merchant’s stall once, but it's really not used here compared to the fleet.  Silicon takes a lot of heat to melt if you don’t have a flux (which she can list!  She has memorized every online encyclopedia entry she’s ever read, and that is a lot of them).  

She is initially awkward about being in front of a group.  But they don't seem upset when she speaks and she eventually gets on a roll and just starts info-dumping all of the information on the subject that she has.

She remembers being in school and the whole class had taken a field trip to a glass making shop.  The kids still young enough to have ditto transformed into an available magmar and were allowed to play with the glass like dough and make little trinkets.  The children who already settled - including Alizara, she’d settled early - got pre-made charms of their daemons instead.  Back on the fleet, she has a tiny beldum charm tied to the pull string of her bedside lamp.

This segues into a list of things that are added to glass to change its color.  Gold makes red glass and was the cheapest on the fleet since gold is their most common and least valuable metal.  Iron oxide, sometimes with chromium, makes green.  Manganese glass is purple, and cobalt makes blue.  Though concentrations and exact chemical make-up can alter the colors a lot - some of the lists she read had multiple colors listed under a single additive - so it’s something they’d have to experiment with.

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The audience is fascinated, though exactly why varies.  Salanaya floats around in the air above her human and unconsciously mimics her gestures despite not being the one speaking.  It is new and interesting to the locals to see the way that daemon and human move in unison despite looking like two individuals when seen with mundane senses.  

Others (who make up a larger and larger percentage of the room as the more shallowly curious wander off) do seem interested in the info-dumping.  Some want to tell the craftsmen back home to try new things.  Others are curious if this will shake up the cultivation world in any way.  It doesn’t seem likely to be weaponizable - glass is sharp but too fragile for weapons and neither especially magically reactive nor suppressive, and if it were then Sect Leader Jiang would not have given her permission to share it, but something might be discovered.

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Nothing she gets to today is any sort of potential super weapon, at least. 

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Then the world is safe from glass-based super weapons for another day.

Sadly, it is not safe from bland meals, which all of the cultivators must eat in silence.

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Bland meals!  The horror!

The whole day took forever!  The Lan conferences don’t even have good snacks!  Nie Huaisang’s life is a constant trial.

He finally gets to escape after dinner, and can catch back up with Iarlaith.  It’s unfortunate that this leaves him unable to third-wheel Lan Xichen and Jin Guangyao, but life is also a constant series of sacrifices.  

“I noticed the commotion earlier between my cultivator and Verity,” he says, eventually.  He has changed out of his uncomfortable formal robes and into a set that’s muted and darker.  They almost look like two matching shadows now, though Nie Huaisang has green detailing and Iarlaith has red, as they sit across from each other in Nie Huaisang's private and warded room.

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“Yes, yeah I saw it too.  No offense but he was kind of being an ass?  I’m surprised she didn’t punch him.  Not that I would have, but - insulting someone just because their mother’s profession...”

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“Do you have prostitutes in space?” 

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Shrug.  “Of course we do.  People do like sex just as much there, and where there’s a market there’s someone to fill it.”

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