Aug 10, 2022 11:05 PM
An unsuspecting box finds itself in the Serpent Isles
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"That suffices. - I apologise, I interrupted."

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“No, no, it’s okay. This is where my memory gets fuzzy, anyway. He, um. Wanted to make mother suffer? Which means er. Long and painful and drawn out death by poison, not ’Haha, I killed your daughter.’ He wanted mother to be forced to watch me die.“ She looks away, picking at her food. “So, uh. That wasn’t fun.”

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He shuts his eyes for a couple of seconds, then opens them again while letting out a slow breath. "I am very sorry that happened to you."

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"Me too! Anyway, um. My parents tried to find a way to save me and... well, they succeeded? I honestly wasn't very cognizant of the how, but. Um. The general idea of it is... spirit's energy, human soul, uh." She makes a pained face. "... Long story short, uh. Mother sacrificed herself. For me. Um. Rather... literally and directly."

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This is the horrified face of someone who's lived with spirits his whole life and knows exactly which parts of a spirit's life cycle involve completely ceasing to exist, i.e. none of them.

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"And that was, um. It. I was then an amulet and the next time I was awake I was somewhere else, in another time. With the undead pirate, actually, so that was fun whiplash."

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He has... no idea what to say to that. That sounds horrifying and traumatic as fuck.

"And the first thing you decided to do once you were free was find the Blessed Isles you heard got cursed and help fix them," is what he does say, in a tone of naked admiration and respect.

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"W-well. I mean. It's also self interest, I also want to never have to play mana miser ever again, and. ... Everyone I knew is dead by now anyway. I might go check on Pallas again, eventually, but. I. Might as well do something useful with myself while I'm furthering my goals, right?"

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"Might as well," he repeats, with a small smile.

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"It's just practical!" she defends.

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"I'm sure it must be."

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".... Hush, you," says Avedra, pouting.

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"If you wish."

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".... You keep making an expression!!!!"

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"Milady, I am afraid I do not buy your practicality explanation one bit and I believe you should own the fact that most people would not go through such lengths to help people they have never met from a place they've only been to a long time ago."

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".... It's any practical!!" she insists, but she's blushing this time and sounds just a smidge less defensive this time.

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"You do not need to defend your choices. You are a good person. That is enough."

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"Well! Well.

"... Thank you," she mumbles, to her food.

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"There is naught to thank me for. I am merely stating the truth."

And speaking of food, here are the trays with the main course, which, being cooked rather than just salad, has a smell.

The smell of the main course is nicer than the taste of the salad was.

"You have outdone yourself, Jermont."

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"I am almost certainly going to cry from this," she says, a little wryly. "I might start crying from just the smell, actually. Um."

... She really wants to be snuggled right now, actually. The food's nice, but it's also a lot, and he just spent a while arguing with her about how he thinks she's amazing, and. There's a table in the way of snuggling. Also he's married? Also her social skills are very much still recovering, and she has no idea how to say 'actually can you please hold me,' and probably all of those other reasons are convenient sounding excuses that don't have to do with her actual reason. Look being courted is nice and flattering and all but, but. But!!

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...okay Zerin would say that she's clearly obviously... feeling something...

You know, having a shoulder Zerin would be way more useful if he'd tell Viego what he's missing. Right now all he's doing is telling Viego that he's missing something.

Once the ghost cook is gone he says, somewhat self-deprecatingly, "Milady, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you are having trouble finding the words to communicate something." Thank you shoulder Zerin for rescuing him at the last second, it would've been nice if you'd mentioned it earlier though. "I promise you shall suffer no woes and I shall think no less of you for just saying it."

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"Oh, I don't think you'd think any less of me or cause, um, woes somehow or anything!" she says, immediately, and then she trails off and looks rather shy, fidgeting nervously. ".... It's just um. That I would really like, to be um, held by someone."

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His shoulder Zerin is saying something like "I told you so", but Viego would like to say that no you did not you lying liar who lies.

Uh.

What does he. Do.

Shoulder Zerin: "Hold her, stupid."
Inner Viego: "This table is very long and it would look undignified to go all the way around it after she just said something like that!"
Shoulder Zerin: "..."
Shoulder Zerin: "Wow."
Inner Viego: "You're not meant to make fun of me, that's what the other voices in my head are for."
Should Zerin: "No, they're right, you're being monumentally dumb right here. Go. Hug. Her."

"That is something I can help with," he says, after a moment's hesitation. There, that sounded smooth and suave, right? It'll work to pad over the seconds of silence during which he gets up and walks around the table and drags another chair closer to her so he can hug her?

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"I-I mean," she says, and she's gone from mumbling to babbling, hasn't she, "I really wouldn't want you to feel obliged? The main draw of a hug is in fact that both parties want to, a-and if you're just holding me because I am helpful and nice and asked for it while on the inside you're freaking out or would rather not, then it's okay, I'll be fine, I, um."

He has, by this point in time, closed the distance. They are successfully on the same side of the table. It would be quite easy for them to hug and for her to have the first human(ish) touch she's had in centuries. The prospect is surprisingly intimidating, despite how desperately she wants it. She looks at him like some kind of cross between a kicked puppy desperate for touch and a startled rabbit who may or may not be considering bolting. Either way, whatever she is looks a bit like she's about to start crying again.

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Look it would just ruin his image if he didn't hug her now. And his shoulder Zerin might literally spontaneously manifest just to kick his ass. She's getting hugs.

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