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  2. Mephorash Azmat pinches the bridge of his nose.
  3. Mephorash Azmat: "All of this is ridiculous."
  4. ★G'aubryn Celah: "Going to have to put in an order to the G4R-DN3R Mammet to fix this up..."
  5. ★Sophine Beaujont: "...It usually is, in all honesty."
  6. G'aubryn Celah swipes excitedly at her tomestone. Nothing happens.
  7. Haztion Qerel peeks over the edge, noticing most of the higher-ups are gone.
  8. ★G'aubryn Celah: "And as for you....breaking my fingers, eh?"
  9. Mephorash Azmat: "Four... five? Six different sets of instructions over the past two suns? For something ultimately so trivial in scale."
  10. Haztion Qerel: "... Talk about a shitshow. Sorry, dove into that hedge over there when I saw uh... Y'know. The storm."
  11. ★Sophine Beaujont: "You...hid?"
  12. Mephorash Azmat raises his brow at Haz.
  13. Alyx Noirtier picks up the stone pillar part of the bench and throws it off into the distant waterfall, hitting it about half way down.   "Yaaahhhh!"  He then looked at Bryn.  "Oh, Hi.  I think we need to replace that stone pillar now.  Can you have someone do that please?  I dont know who to ask."
  14. Haztion Qerel: "If you uh, saw what was going on earlier, it wasn't wise to approach at all."
  15. Haztion Qerel: "Meph can attest to that."
  16. ★G'aubryn Celah glared and stuck out her tongue. "Thanks."
  17. ★Sophine Beaujont: "Trust that I have seen much worse here."
  18. Mephorash Azmat: "...It involves me, so I would not have hid either way. Why would I have?"
  19. Haztion Qerel: "Well, obviously. I was just playing it safe."
  20. Alyx Noirtier: "Oh, yeah.  The fingers thing.  You're fairly macabre, I assumed it would be better to have me break them than someone else.  Think of it as endearing pain, than enduring it."
  21. Mephorash Azmat waves to the air. "...That is one way, but I doubt it will get you very far. If nothing else, you will be spared some headaches, I suppose."
  22. Haztion Qerel: "As long as I'm alive." He quipped, giving himself a thumbs-up.
  23. Mephorash Azmat 's aether sparks.
  24. ★G'aubryn Celah: "Know you, it would've been my good hand, though."
  25. ★Sophine Beaujont: "If you hide at every squabble and disagreement here...." She sighed and shook her head.
  26. ★G'aubryn Celah 's tail poofs out at the sparks. "DAMMIT MEPH!
  27. ★G'aubryn Celah: "*
  28. Mephorash Azmat: "If that were enough, then none of us would struggle so."
  30. ★G'aubryn Celah huffed and smoothed out her tail again.
  31. Mephorash Azmat squints at Aubryn.
  32. ★Sophine Beaujont took a step back from the scary dark aether. Nope nope nope.
  33. Mephorash Azmat sighs. The darkness dissipates as he shakes his head.
  34. ★G'aubryn Celah peered around Alyx's arm and made a gesture towards Chika as she approached. "Psssst...Jebei's in his chambers...waiting for you."
  35. ★Sophine Beaujont: "...A little warning before you do that again would be nice."
  36. Mephorash Azmat: "...I am in this situation because I cannot give such warning."
  37. ★Sophine Beaujont tilted her head. "...How so?"
  38. Haztion Qerel: "Maybe a limiter of sorts until combat, perhaps?"
  39. Alyx Noirtier stood still, quietly vacuuming up any extra aether in the area.  "What sparked off this little tiff between Eiai and Sa'ran?  I thought they got along?"
  40. Mephorash Azmat: "I have been 'limiting' it. I suppress the majority of my aether in order to starve the darkside and restrict its emergence."
  41. Mephorash Azmat: "...At times, that fails."
  42. ★G'aubryn Celah shrugged. "I can only imagine it's because Eiai does as she wishes, and Sa'ran prefers to follow protocol?"
  43. Haztion Qerel: "I guess we'll see if training with Alaste helps a bit with that, one way or another."
  44. Alyx Noirtier nodded his head.  "Fair enough.  That would likely cover it."
  45. ★Sophine Beaujont bristles a bit. "Alaste would help yes..." She glanced toward Alyx and Aubryn. "That sounds about right, honestly..."
  46. Mephorash Azmat flashes the soulstone chained to his wrist. "Forgive me if I am not optimistic."
  47. Haztion Qerel: "As long as you're not dead." He repeated again, flashing a cheeky grin towards Meph. Man boy needs to lighten up.
  48. ★G'aubryn Celah: "I need to place something in my office. Will you still be here when I return, or did you have business to tend to?"
  49. ★G'aubryn Celah beamed up at him as she brushed a section of hair from her cheek.
  50. Mephorash Azmat studies Haz for a brief moment before waving him off. "Fair enough."
  51. ★Sophine Beaujont opened her mouth to say something, then decided to just...not.
  52. Haztion Qerel: "Welp, suit yourself." He quipped, sighing at being waved off. He looked around at the rest, stepping back before going; "Be safe, folks. You know where to find me." he said, bowing slightly, tapping the linkpearl attached to his earring.
  53. Mephorash Azmat: "...You are welcome to speak your mind, you know."
  54. ★Sophine Beaujont: "...Sometimes death is better than a curse." She hummed. "But that is my own macabre sense of life and death."
  55. Mephorash Azmat: "I might have agreed, once."
  56. ★Sophine Beaujont took a few steps before stopping behind Meph. "I'll be in the morgue...if you need me." She said quietly before heading inside.
  57. ★Maiya Maiilah nudges a cigar between her lips. "Play the game. That's what this is to her in a way... Oh! Aaaand, Sa?"
  58. ★Sa'ran Kha nods. "Yeah?"
  59. ★Maiya Maiilah: "The jacket looks awesome~"
  60. Maiya Maiilah winks at Sa'ran Kha.
  61. ★Sa'ran Kha smiles. "Thanks."
  62. ★Maiya Maiilah steps back toward the stairs. Lighting her cigar and offering a twofingered salute over her shoulder
  63. ★Sa'ran Kha sighs leaning forward and rubbing her face. "...What am I going to do...?
  64. Mephorash Azmat hesitates as he drags his feet into the morgue. He knocks against the door in a short, slow rhythm, remembering her assertions the first time he visited.
  65. ★Sophine Beaujont: "Come in."
  67. Mephorash Azmat steps forward. It is clear to see now that he has been run ragged since their last conversation; his eyes are red and marked with dark circles, to say nothing of the cloth over his mouth.
  68. Mephorash Azmat: "Quite a reversal, this is."
  69. ★Sophine Beaujont raised an eyebrow at him. "Quite. Though you aren't...crying persay." She scrunched up her nose. "Though you hell if I am being honest."
  70. Mephorash Azmat throws his hands up and shrugs. He grimaces at the memory. "Yes, well... much has happened since we last spoke. Too much, to be frank."
  71. ★Sophine Beaujont: "Well, do you want to tell me?" She hummed and then held up a finger. She reached down and pulled open a drawer, rattling around for a moment before producing a bottle and two glasses. She steps over and sets both on the table, uncorking the bottle and pouring a glass each.
  72. Mephorash Azmat: "...Where do I even begin?" He takes one of the glasses and raises it to her, but does not lower the cloth to drink. He starts running his thumb against the fingertips of his other hand. "Well..."
  73. ★Sophine Beaujont: "Begin wherever you wish."
  74. Mephorash Azmat: "Eiai expressed a desire to temper my darkside to Jebei. Jebei accepted. Kataani did not."
  75. Mephorash Azmat: "She saw fit to attempt to smother me with her darkness. Whether to convince me to reconsider, force Eiai to relent or satisfy herself I know not."
  76. Mephorash Azmat: "Whatever the case may be, she forbade me from pursuing training with Eiai, irrespective of Jebei's decision."
  77. Mephorash Azmat: "Eiai would not stand for that. She dragged me to the Churning Mists and forced the darkside out of me."
  78. Mephorash Azmat: "...I overwhelmed her, and she retaliated by doing this to me." He gestures to his face.
  79. Mephorash Azmat: "Hizu had me sent to isolation for Eiai's insubordination. Jebei freed me soon after."
  80. Mephorash Azmat: "Eiai was meant to write a report detailing our fight, and she submitted... whatever foolishness that was."
  81. Mephorash Azmat: "Matters escalated to what you saw before you."
  82. Mephorash Azmat glances down at his glass.
  83. Mephorash Azmat: "...Oh, and I was made Aspirant, I suppose."
  84. Mephorash Azmat shakes his head.
  85. ★Sophine Beaujont frowned slightly, and leaned against the table. She brought the glass to her lips and slowly sipped from it. "I know firsthand the power of darksides, I have been...on the recieving end of it." She said and shook her head. "Though I believe Eiai's intentions were good, I do not believe they were constructed well. You are better with Alaste, truely, who will teach you the way to control it, and not force it out of you to suit their whims."
  86. Mephorash Azmat scratches his horn. "...Yes, I know that I may well be in better hands with Alaste. But it does not sit well with me. Eiai put her trust in me and I wish to return it."
  87. ★Sophine Beaujont: "You were given multiple conflicting instructions, and then followed the lead of your mentor, it is Eiai's burden to bear and not yours."
  88. Mephorash Azmat: "...In terms of the politics of this place, perhaps. I am still the one being thrown around."
  89. Mephorash Azmat: "All I want is to control this power and use it as I see fit. Until then, I am a danger to myself and others."
  90. Mephorash Azmat: "Eiai knows this."
  91. ★Sophine Beaujont shook her head. "Perhaps I am biased due to my own past experiences, but Eiai can also be a danger to others too."
  93. Mephorash Azmat: "...More than a few people have said as much. The Magistrix, Sa'ran, even her own husband."
  94. Mephorash Azmat: "Perhaps she has done reprehensible things in her past, to be sure. Some of you may not ever forgive her."
  95. Mephorash Azmat: "But..."
  96. Mephorash Azmat: "I believe this organization touted itself as a place for those without one. We have all made mistakes. What makes her so different?"
  97. ★Sophine Beaujont: "I am not saying that. I am saying perhaps she was not the best choice to teach you in the first place." She sighed and shook her head. "You have a thing for rescuing women, you realize this yes? Your loyalty and drive to stand by others, while noble and kind, weighs heavy on you.:
  98. ★Sophine Beaujont: "*)
  99. Mephorash Azmat frowns and glances aside. "...Man and woman have nothing to do with it. Is it so wrong to think for the well being of another?"
  100. ★Sophine Beaujont: "No, but you almost must think of yourself."
  101. Mephorash Azmat furrows his brow. "...Suffice to say that I am not much the introspective type. I pay more attention to what is infront of me."
  102. ★Sophine Beaujont sighed. "Do you remember what I said to you? During Sa'ran's hunt?"
  103. Mephorash Azmat: "What in particular?"
  104. ★Sophine Beaujont: "To not let this place and these people drag you down."
  105. Mephorash Azmat: "...You presume that I will ruin myself by sparing my thoughts for those here."
  106. ★Sophine Beaujont: "I don't presume. I know. I have experienced it."
  107. Mephorash Azmat: "And yet here you are, speaking to me."
  108. ★Sophine Beaujont: "I not wish to see you go down the path I did."
  109. Mephorash Azmat sighs and runs a hand through his hair. At last, he tugs down the cloth over his face to drink from the glass, revealing burns across his cheeks and jaw that, while carefully treated, have yet to heal. He downs the entire glass before speaking once more.
  110. Mephorash Azmat: "...I know you do not trust me, but will you believe me if I promise that I will be fine?"
  111. ★Sophine Beaujont narrowed her eyes at him. "You are using my own words against me now." She hummed. She started to reach out for his face and then hesitated, figuring she should probably just keep her hands to herself.
  112. Mephorash Azmat instinctively grins, but winces slightly at the movement it forces upon his cheeks. "Forgive me. I simply find it funny... I barge into your affairs, accomplishing little more than seemingly irritating you."
  113. Mephorash Azmat: "Yet now you worry on my behalf."
  114. Mephorash Azmat tilts his head. "Or do I presume too much?"
  115. ★Sophine Beaujont scrunched up her nose. "...Me? Worry about you?" She huffed. "..I worry about the path you are traveling down, yes. But I have nothing but confidence in you. You are....strong."
  116. Mephorash Azmat 's grin settles into a closed smile. "Then have faith that I am strong enough to weather this storm and emerge as I am."
  117. Mephorash Azmat gestures to her. "As I have faith that you will not allow your ails to overcome you, of course."
  118. ★Sophine Beaujont: "We can only hope." She said quietly. "Perhaps you will be worn down, but...hopefully still whole."
  119. Mephorash Azmat: "...If I lose anything, it will only be what was detrimental."
  120. Mephorash Azmat: "And..."
  121. Mephorash Azmat: "In such an event, I would hope that I might gain something of worth in exchange."
  122. ★Sophine Beaujont nodded a bit at that. "One can only hope for such a perfect scenario, though...this place will take more than it's fair share...and could provide you nothing in return."
  123. Mephorash Azmat stares at her. "...Perhaps, but to fear for the destination before I walk the path is foolish."
  124. Mephorash Azmat: "And I daresay with your confidence that I am more ready to walk it."
  125. ★Sophine Beaujont: "And we will see where you end up, hm?"
  126. Mephorash Azmat nods. "That we will." He sets his glass down on the table. "Thank you, Sophine."
  127. ★Sophine Beaujont leaned back on her hands slightly. "It is no problem. I am glad I could lend an ear."
  128. Mephorash Azmat: "Just remember that you can expect the same from me, of course." He purses his lips. "...That aside..."
  129. Mephorash Azmat: "...It occurs to me that our previously agreed upon arrangement is rather lopsided. These questions of ours, I mean."
  130. Mephorash Azmat: "You can start asking me questions, as well, if it pleases you. I will also answer truthfully."
  131. ★Sophine Beaujont hummed. "How did you come to discover your darkside?"
  132. Mephorash Azmat freezes for a moment before raising a hand to his head. He scratches at the spot.
  133. Mephorash Azmat: "...The result of resentment toward's my tribe's cowardice. The discrimination I was made to watch and endure for it."
  134. ★Sophine Beaujont thought over that a moment. "I suppose that is a good reason for it."
  135. Mephorash Azmat purses his lips.
  136. Mephorash Azmat: "...I have done regrettable things in my youth because of it. Misguided attempts to prove myself above them and the live they chose."
  137. Mephorash Azmat: "Thinking back, I suppose those acts were just fuel for the darkside."
  138. Mephorash Azmat: *life)
  139. ★Sophine Beaujont: "More than likely, yes, but I could not even begin to understand what having a darkside is like."
  140. Mephorash Azmat 's expression grows solemn. "Jebei described it as constant gnawing; I would agree. A constant reminder of that which I am not proud, and an invitation to partake again."
  141. Mephorash Azmat: "I had the opportunity to learn to control it, once. But I failed time and time again, until the chance slipped from my grasp. It... only grows more difficult for it."
  142. Mephorash Azmat: "I can settle for no more than stifling it, as I am now."
  143. ★Sophine Beaujont: "Alaste is in full control of his power, and you stand to learn a lot from him with it."
  144. Mephorash Azmat: "...The first master to try and teach me died for his trouble... old though he may have been."
  145. ★Sophine Beaujont: "I like to think Alaste is heartier than that."
  146. ★Sophine Beaujont: "But if you break him....I'll be impressed to say the least."
  148. Mephorash Azmat thinks back to what he did to Eiai just yesterday. He shakes the thought away and forces another smile.
  149. Mephorash Azmat: "Well! I had better make an attempt to do so, then."
  150. ★Sophine Beaujont snorted. "If you wish it."
  151. Mephorash Azmat waves to the air. "Hmm. You have your answer, then. A touch on the pettier side compared to others like me, I am sure."
  152. ★Sophine Beaujont: "And what is your question for me?"
  153. Mephorash Azmat glances away and thinks for a moment.
  154. Mephorash Azmat: "...Has no one else attempted to speak to you of your loss?"
  155. ★Sophine Beaujont brought her glass to her lips. "Some have...yes. But..." She said quietly. "It wasn't in the same way."
  156. Mephorash Azmat furrows his brow. "What do you mean? Did they not seek to console you?"
  157. ★Sophine Beaujont: "One tried...but truely the loss affected them as severely as me. It was not as comforting as they wished." She said quietly, staring at the cabinet infront of her. "Another....blamed me. For his death."
  158. ★Sophine Beaujont: "And they are not wrong, truely."
  159. Mephorash Azmat frowns. "Do not say that."
  160. ★Sophine Beaujont: "But it is the truth. My absence caused his death, it was not I that physically killed him, but...emotionally I ruined him." Her voice had a harder edge to it than normal, and sounded more robotic, like this was something she had repeated before.
  161. ★Sophine Beaujont: "Had I not left, he would not have taken the risks. He would not have been so numb and foolish. And he would be alive."
  162. Mephorash Azmat ran a hand through his hair as he listened in silence until she was finished. His brows furrowed and his lips pursed. "...Why did you leave?"
  163. ★Sophine Beaujont: "My father died." She said quietly. "....And I was afraid."
  164. Mephorash Azmat: "Afraid of what?"
  165. ★Sophine Beaujont: "Of myself."
  166. ★Sophine Beaujont: "I did not wish to burden him with my own emotions....and that was selfish. And in the ruined him."
  167. Mephorash Azmat 's eyelids fall slightly as his gaze lowers to the ground. "...I understand that feeling well... it is not something so easily brought to the fore. You cannot blame yourself for not having done so."
  168. Mephorash Azmat: "...Nor would he blame you, I am sure."
  169. ★Sophine Beaujont: "He did. He did blame me."
  170. ★Sophine Beaujont: "I never...had the chance to truely apologize to him."
  171. Mephorash Azmat drops his shoulders at her decidedly blunt statement. He raises his head to study her, silent for a moment as he finds the right words.
  172. Mephorash Azmat: "...Then you live your life to honour him. But not as you have been doing."
  173. Mephorash Azmat: "You... show him. Show him that you will not make those mistakes again."
  174. ★Sophine Beaujont kept her eyes forward. "I already am."
  175. Mephorash Azmat: "...Closing yourself off is not the right answer. But I suppose you knew that I might say that."
  176. ★Sophine Beaujont: "I am not closing myself off. This is more open than I have ever been...."
  177. Mephorash Azmat scoffs and nods. "So it is. I apologize."
  178. Mephorash Azmat: "I appreciate you speaking to me, Sophine."
  179. ★Sophine Beaujont looked into her glass. "Thank you for listening, I suppose."
  180. Mephorash Azmat: "And you to me." He sighs through his nose and turns towards the door.
  181. Mephorash Azmat: "...Remember, again, that I am willing to do this for you anytime."
  182. ★Sophine Beaujont turned to look at him, her eyes softening a moment. "...And I am for you."
  183. Mephorash Azmat smiles over his shoulder as he makes his way out.
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