The Lake The Earth Guided Us To

After the Plant Hwyaden reunion, Seliana and Whiskey Sour go to the first lake they can find - a pool graced with falling, floating flowers and leaves.

Whiskey Sour
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

Whiskey Sour had remembered there had been a lake quite close to Aincrad, and was never afraid to do some walking. If Seliana preferred to fly, she was more than welcomed to - though there would be some awkwardness if Seli could lift her, even in human shape.

Whis had hope. And, beloved of the earth (and squishy), she did not truly fear the fall.


A gentle breeze plucks the blossoms from the trees, so numerous and petal-covered that it would take no data-sorcery to ensure a steady rain of white for the whole season. Across the water, gentle falls and rock breaks maintain a serene, clean near-shallows where a bit of rock peninsulas as a natural dock. Farther away from the leaf-and-petal stuck shore, the soft slapping of water, and the rock falls is the greater lake, where the tree detritus forms bergs of green and yellowing-browning.
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

Content with walking alongside Whis, Seliana nevertheless does stretch her wings out at one point, just capturing the breeze, the cool night air. Her eyes both granting a kind of night vision see easily, just as others would easily be able to see the shifting pools of light that are her eyes.

Arriving at the lake Seliana stops to take in the scene, the various pink flower petals decorate the edges of the lake. The slight September breeze causing the nearby grasses to sway slightly, petals to fall, and with them Seliana's long white flutters as there is a gust.

Crouching down she uses a grey claw to carve into the earth as she grabs a portion of the ground. Straightening she grinds it between her fist, the earth streaming back to the ground as she does. She watches her hand, when there are only traces left she rubs her hand with her thumb, as if feeling the final grains. "I've never taken the time to really consider being this form. To actually feel it." She half claps her hands together dusting off the last of the earth on them.

"I don't feel things the same way as I do in the other form. It is more like a sensing rather than feeling." She taps the claw of one of her hands on the back of the other. "I sense it, but can't feel anything at all, the experience.. Is new." She turns to Whis, "What is it like for you in your.. glowing form?"
Whiskey Sour
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

Having tranformed back into her human shape shortly into their walk, Whis remains un-hooded and for a first occasion at least to the streets of Alne and surrounding Yamato, her outside presence of a sassy support a bit more unhooded as well. In a genuinely good mood, an unbidden 'hmm-hm' comes to her as she walks, following the signs and a bit of intuition to reach the lake. Given all the distance she needs to walk with wings stretched, Seliana is beat by paces to the lake.

While she crouches down, Whis continues on, out to the wet pier of rock, and turns, swaying on a heel. Her hair fans out in an arc behind her, before settling wild across her back and shoulders.

"I was forced to spend a lot of time in mine if I wanted to keep getting air. And there was a lot of empty hours to float and practice. It was just dehumanizing."

Whis smiles. "But, I mean, I wasn't really human in the first place. I was built different, already."

Mimicing Seliana's hand motion from the workshop, an inspecting outward push, with trim black fingernails and skin on the fairer side. Around, the palm of gentle lines.

"I knew something was different in me from the moment we woke up. I felt this sense of being... clothed, very clothed. I thought it was my gear, but even when I took off everything my whole body felt close, and wrapped up. Like I was in one of those..." Her lips purse, and, failing to find a term, she just sighs and goes with "-squeezie-tubes, the ones you can fit your hand through, with the gelatin."

Her hand switches to gesturing meaningful squoshing.

"And inside of me, was the jelly. Something sloshy. Like water in my ears. Like my eyes had dimmers, or lenses. I could feel it all, pressed in tightl and squished into this human shape. And I knew it was just a matter of pulling out. Not like a spell, or a button, or some sanitized ability, but a knowing, that I could just peel away this skin and be free."

Whis' smile remains, but her look is distant, a slouch to her shoulders, a deepening to the dark shadows under her eyes. "I thought if I fell asleep, it'd come out. In water, sometimes it felt like my skin dissolved away like rice paper on water, and the welcoming wetness just kissed me all over, and loved me, and then I would reach my human hand out of the water on the other side and--"

A tightness around her eye. "I had to forget how good it all felt, and how strange the world looked, because I needed to stay awake. It would be so easy to..."

Now her look darkens deeper, and falls. At the same time, her hand droops, her curling knuckles grasping the cloth at her side. "Fall asleep. And if I did, I couldn't make sure what was happening to me, any more. And I kept it going for a nice long while. More than anyone else could say."

Whis looks up, then, and makes a soft noise. "I'm unmasking to you, not answering your question. I'd say..." Her hand unclenches, and this time she lifts it out and away from her torso, flexing it inward. "Boneless. And when I am my other way, I feel many things, but not such a direct way as. . ." Another fail-to-find-the-word pause, and Whis shrugs at the shoulder and gives up. "Human touch? I get so... -much- more information, it's just not handled the same way."

Whis tilts her head, and her hair falls to the side. She blinks, and does not change.

"Like this, I feel... Beloved, by the earth. The ground feels soft, and it lifts to greet me. The sun bears down, and does not harm me. The water is my other home, and the air is gentle. Like that, it is much more clear. I have such a surface area for feeling, of course it has to be handled differently. It's like I'm..."

Whis brings up a finger, to tap her temple. "It really is like I'm a computer, because it's like I've got a tactile processing computer in me. I -know- it, I -feel- it, but it is within the whole of me but with a little distance."

She frowns. "Does that. . . make sense?" She wonders, a slight flush coming to her cheeks. "I, you know, feel it all. If I really-really felt it all, I'd probably go insane, so, happy I don't. The soundtrack is incredible."
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

Seliana slightly curls the claws of her feat leaving groves in the ground, her menu made slippers forgotten when she transformed back in the workshop. After another moment of just, sensing, she walks slowly forward, her wings again just stretching, stone bone-like frame them with another softer grey that seems to be much thinner.

"I had sensations, regardless of form, but its always seemed.. just like it wasn't me. Not real, even with debuffs that accumulated, it was so.." and she trails off, the thought lost as she tilting her head to the side slightly while slowly approaches.

Her tone in the gargoylic form always has a hint of earthen texture as if of sand and earth, but nevertheless still distinctly feminine. "You were awake.. well it was as if you never did sleep. It was possible to see the weariness, and yet you continued on, even assisting others as they travelled as they did whatever adventure things they do." She waves her hand gesturing dismissively. "Your determination.." and she trails off gazing at Whis.

Arriving near the seemingly human formed girl Seliana's wings retract and drape behind her back. She holds out her hand palm upwards, and as her eyes sparkle pinpoints of light start to appear around her hand, bobbing in place. Each a different colour, distinct and separate. "There is a kind of more here, isn't there?" and taking another step closer she places her free hand on Whis's shoulder, careful of her claws.

"You seem.. connected?" the lights around her outstretched hand fading into nothing. "You express it like the earth, the water, it all is.." She pauses seeming to struggle with words.

A moment passes and Seliana continues, "I sometimes see things, like I'm not even in my body. Other places. Other times. Senses just beyond the form.." she shakes her head. "That part I started to getting used to. It feels more distant, but still I think, it's just been partly.. how I looked at everything."

Giving a light squeeze, "Maybe we are just computers. I don't know what is going on with me. This world. Any of it. But I'm glad you're here."
Whiskey Sour
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

"Stubborn gets you pretty far, and spite farther. It took some stupid bastard with a big idea to get me, though. I didn't fail myself. So I have that." Whis recalls with a self-effacing humor, and falls quiet for a bit.

'There is a kind of more here, isn't there?' 'You seem.. connected?'
"Well... Yeah?" Water from the air about her condenses into a pair of spheres that orbit her hand, capturing falling pink petals out of the air and spinning them into the orbit. "In this world, I am a Druid, who took upon the powers of an Acolyte. A 'Heretic'. I touch the world of nature and spirits, and you... You're a Sorcerer - Hunter, yeah. Scourge. Do you know how many sorcerers we have in the guild? I think Proteus is a Wavebreaker, even. That, and artists. And muscle, of course, but you can't go wrong with muscle. The boys all fit in, anyway. Of -course- you see outside yourself. Of course you do. Your whole class is about seeing clearly. I don't think this is a coincidence, I think it's on purpose. And you want to see clearly, and you developed spiritual sight even."

As the claws wrap gently about her shoulder, Whis makes another of her now-usual affirmative noises, and nods consoled. "I think you chose-without-knowing, and chose right. That's lucky, right? That's blessed. I express it like the earth, the water, the sky, and I, are all connected: because they are. Stop Scourging yourself so much, Se-li."

Whis brings her palms up to pat the sides of Seliana's cloaked wings with warm hands. "You look at distant things. You're also right here. And you asked me on a date, by the lake, so how could I turn you down?"
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

Seliana gives a small nod as Whis talks about sight, "I have made efforts to at least see things more clearly. I think I just needed another perspective to start looking a little more inward."

'Stop Scourging yourself so much, Se-li.'

A little surprised Seliana turns her nose up slightly, "I'm not scourging myself right now. It's just the how." And then she looks straight on again, "I'm not really, am I?" a little more questioningly.

And then there is a pat on her wings. A question. And Seliana gives a little hum of interested question. "Well I did come out to get a little air, of which you seem to find so gentle." A rather sharklike grin spreads across Seliana's features, "How would you like to join me for a little flying, a little gliding? I've never just tried for the sake of the experience; it will be all the more memorable with a little company." Her head tilting in question.
Whiskey Sour
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

"You're an artist, Seliana. You made a thing. Are you happy with it?" Whis answers, to 'I'm not really, am I?'. "Those hands, that skin, the way you feel, 'you' made that. Maybe not the you that you call your human name, the girl who you seemed so quick to judge, but you did. I think things line up too much for it to be anything else. Either 'we' chose, or 'it' - the world - knows. And if the world knows and loves me, the world knows and sees you, then... Is that better, or worse than before?"

Seliana talks of flying, and Whiskey Sour removes her patting hands to clasp them behind her back, bobbing at the waist and chin. "Of course, that sounds fun. Do you think you can carry me, or is that why we're over water?" The druid grins knowingly. "It's okay if I watch you a little, too. If you want to practice first - or try without. It's fine, you know. I've fallen from stuff before, it's not new." Her smirk remains painted across black-glossed lips.
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

"Before?" Seliana gives a quiet snort, "Before I lamented the decay of a ghost's memory as if it were myself, that girl who created this form that I am."

Her eyes flair slightly and there is a slight tremble in the ground, as portions of rock seem to soften and become almost as like mud. It gathers upward into a pillar on either side of Seliana, until it reaches her hands and begins to flow onto them.

"But Arisu is no more." The sadness from before briefly returns before shifting to a more determined set to her features. "I am Seliana. I hold traces of Arisu's memories now, of which I value. Like a treasure I will hold them - but they aren't who I am."

The pillars of earth diminish in size until the last of the stone that was being molded gathers around her hands and forearms.

"So is it better? Of course it is, because I'm finally accepting I exist." Seliana's now enlarged claws, covered in additional rock, gesture at herself. "Me. Seliana. And it's okay if I lost a little of Arisu. It's sad. I'm still angry about it. I still want it back. But me, as Seliana, I am still me."

Her wings unfold, reach out to their full size, and with them she stretches out her arms to either side indicating the world. Her eyes flare once again and a wind begins to swirl about them quite different from the natural breeze from before. "Now, I can finally discover what it all means to me." And she grins a wide shark toothed grin. "What this world is. What I am in it."

"So, yes. It's better. I'm better than I've been in years." Her wide grin becoming a little softer, as she starts to lower her arms again - although the swirling wind about them continues to increase as if they are in a quiet eye of a tiny storm.

"Oh, I've flown before in combat. Just never have I.. really, truly, experienced it for itself. You know?" She looks over at one of her wings, "It is probably technically possible for me to glide with my wings normally, but my flight is more magic sailing through the skies than normal flight." She looks back to Whis with a smirk and puts a hand on her hip, "I may be still seem slight but this form is.. not quite hollow bone bird light." Then with a slight tilt of her head she considers. "And I think I like it that way. It's something I feel.. is right."

Then bringing both hands in front of herself she looks down at them, the stone rippling on them like liquid. "I can control the earth to hold and secure you more safely, more comfortably, and while I've flown this still is a first with another. So, yeah, the water is just a little bit of a safety." And with that she moves around Whis, pressing up against her from behind before soften giving her a hug. "Ready?" She says with a little humour.
Whiskey Sour
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

"Before, you grieved." Whis observes coolly, a functional softness to her words. She aims them away from Seliana, down to the ground and off to the side. They are not arrows to strike and cut the freshly-molted gargoyle.

The moments were critical, and Whis was a certain way. Seliana knew these faces more closely than the ones Whis wears about the cities. A focus, not singular, but encompassing. The same focus she managed a bank of ovens and bubbling cauldrons.

Obsession's quality, turned to task. Seli speaks, and Whis adjusts her stance, a step back across the flower-strewn lakestones. Her left hand cups her right elbow, and her right fingers sprawl across her cheek.

"You look better." Whis decides after an intent moment of composed gazing. "And you sound better too. It's okay to transform - this power was given to us. Not everyone. Us. And if, later, everyone can do this, then we were the ones it was given to first. It's ours, first. It's ours, right now."

Whis ripples, like a water mirage, and behind her, across the water, her reflection shifts. But not Whiskey Sour, the girl before Seliana. Cast across the shallows is an orange glow that lights the shore.

Her fingers level from a sprawl across her cheek and a palm against her chin to a pointed index, and raised thumb. "Feeling real on the inside's important, ain't it? If you're not balanced, how will you fly on feeling?"

Moved around, behind, Whis' lake-lighting back is covered by spread wings of earth.

"Hold me, then, and I'll help. If you want to fly, it's not just beating as hard as you can - it's about finding lift."

Whis cants her head up, cranes her neck up under. "It's fine. Safe even if you drop me. I'm beloved." She smirks.
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

Holding Whis close the earth around Seliana's hands starts to spread out. Softer than its appearance, the stone maintains a soft yet firm texture similar to clay, and embraces Whis. It distributes the weight and provides cushioning. With a humorous tone Seliana says, "You are beloved, but let's do our best to avoid the dropping for now."

And with that Seliana's wings flap downward at the same time as the swirling wind closes in assists to launch the pair into the air like a wind tunnel. Straight up they ascend a few stories, before Seliana flaps once again, the wind changing course with it, they start to sore forward. Still ascending, but now at an angle, the view of the lake opening up below them.

The twin moons reflect off the waters, with little rippling waves radiating outward from the point they just left - disturbed by the magic of the takeoff. Pink flower bobbing in the water. "Without you. Without the others. I would not have been able to find.. myself, I guess." Seliana sounds bemused by this fact.

"If you aren't real then things don't really matter. Someone just doesn't matter to themselves. So yeah, it makes all the difference in the world." And there is just the slightest of increases to the embrace for a moment. "You've seemed to become.. it is more than just a transformation.. Thanks for being you, Whis."

Seliana guides them in a slow climbing spiral up above the lake, the tower off to one side climbing into the sky well above them in the distance, and the surrounding land visible from the height. "There is so much to this world, and more seems to be opening up as the barriers between servers crumbles." There is a moments silence, other than the wind, as they now start to maintain their elevation and just glide out above the waters.

"I have a goal, plans for what I hope to accomplish with my research into memories, and yet I also feel as if.. now I want more. I want to do more. And this, flying now, this is just the start." And with a hint of mirth Seliana asks, "What shall we do with this world of ours below us?"
Whiskey Sour
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

'Thanks for being you, Whis'

It's hard to move, held by soft clay, but the contact isn't unpleasant. A hug with benefits. A little difficult to really carry into a fully-felt laugh, the Druid instead just bubbles lightly. She, embraced deeply, squishes and sighs.

"I'm real to you. And if I'm real, you're real to me." Whis murmurs, and the wind does not take away her words, heard as much through the vibrations on clay as through any ears. Through the stone.

"I've become connected. Not just to people, but to the world. I used to treat this as my escape. Now I've escaped, and..."

'What shall we do?'
Above pink-dappled lakewater, a shore, a treeline, among the skyline, a large rock-bat and a rock-squid glide on magic wind.

Whis droops, limp and cheerful in the grip.

"Inside of me is faith. It was, before, but now, it's not just something I decided to have, but something I chose, for myself. There's a music in me that was only there in headphones before. I couldn't read fortunes except through numbers on spreadsheets."

"Live in it."
"Let's live in the world. It seems nice. Let's make it ours."
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

Seliana starts glide lower wings outstretched but only very occasionally flapping, Whis relaxed in her grip. "Your connection to everything.. It seems like it may be going beyond.." Seliana struggles for the correct word. "The typical?" She hesitates as if tasting the words validity. "There is a depth to it that I struggle to grasp, and yet even so I wonder if it may be that ability which has also assisted with myself to re-connect?" It is more a casual question, considering out loud.

Slowly descending they once again start to circle, this time in a large lazy spiral. "The music seems to be integral to this world in ways I hope to understand more in time. Even the script that trims my cloak are the words of a song, a gift by a member of the cult."

There is a pause, "You know, that Cult of the Lost was originally to bring those who had been displaced or forgotten together, just as much as it was to research the mysteries of the afterlife. I wonder now if perhaps this would a part to focus on again." Seliana hums thoughtfully. "With the Palace Land's invasion even more individuals are being affected.. Though others are already assisting in similar efforts."

"Bah, enough of that, I will think more about it later. We may have a literal eternity after all! Now it's time to just live. Here. Now. It's a beautiful night with a beautiful being." There is a cheeriness in her words that was quite rare up until recently.

There is a side draft, a natural gust of wind that causes a bit of a tilt and correction as they glide. Nothing of concern, just a typical occurrence which is a bit rarer in the more controlled magical flight. As they get closer to the lake Seliana enquires, "How would you like to have a little dip in the lake? Are there waters that you find more enjoyable than others?"
Whiskey Sour
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

'We have a literal eternity after all!'
"Yes. We have right now." Whis agrees, and then laughs, her bright bubbles twisting and curling at the corners.

"Am I a 'being'? I-"

The druid curls and twists in Seli's grasp, the hug becoming awkward as it becomes unclear if she's wanting to get loose, clasped in the clay.

It's all to look up, cradled, and brush her sleeved hands and fingers across Seliana's face, trace the cheek and curve of the chin. Distracting, perhaps, but Whis is deeply unafraid.

"-only to me, so far."

Whis lifts, breath against stone ear. "But I'm working on it. We might be able to share it with people. This being."

Pushing off, for a moment, it's like the pair stand side by side in the air, the druid's hair gusting up in the split. Held by clay-clasped hands, Whis smirks up at the gargoyle woman, and the same bubbling laughter returns, rippling out of her. "I've not explored it at all. Let's check."

Then, spreading wide her hands, she becomes suddenly slickened, darkening, brightening, and tumbling down into the water beneath with a surface-splash that barely displaces.

The lake alights with another orange glow, and after a bubbling trail, Whis breaks the surface anew, floating in silhouette on the lake's surface.
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

Whis begins to twist, and unsure as to what was desired there was a little awkwardness. Not wishing to be restrictive while also not wanted to lose grip. Whis maneuvers deftly until she is looking into Seliana's eyes and her fingers brush Seliana's face.

It's distracting. It's new. The sensations like nothing Seliana has experienced. The sensation not felt as normal nerves of the skin, but rather a kind of almost electric tingle of presence - magical in nature. Much stronger than that of inanimate objects such as her clothing.

And then Whis pushes off, laughing as she dives downward. Seliana can't help but grin, another wide jagged fanged grin, but still radiates joy. "Maybe we will." She says more to herself than anything.

She had started to bank in the air unintentionally in her distraction, but with a flap she corrects her course, and then with another she directs herself into an aerial dive. Wings held close to her back, she falls a few moments after Whis. But rather then diving into the water, as she nears it her wings flare out. Eyes swirling in ever changing patterns as a new gust of wind helps to level her out until she skims across the top of the water. Her bare stone toe claws just breaking the surface and leaving water wakes in her trail.

And Seliana laughs, full and hearty, as she slows and circles around the point where the molten glow that is Whis now floats. At least until the edge of one of her wings touches the water when she turns a little too much. The wing catching drags Seliana over, flipping her in a summersault splash into the lake.

Sinking rapidly her eyes once again flare with light and her grey stone complexion returns to a sandy white as he wings, horn, and tail recede leaving her in her human form as she swims back upward.
Whiskey Sour
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

After a moment's aerial acrobatics, Whis transitions to the surface of the lake, to fondly watch the laughing gargoyle-were dip and skim the surface, dark fingers gradienting to gray at her as she sets her hand across her cheek, just like before, to compose herself and gaze, relaxing on the surface of the lake.

She watches, winces, and dips below the surface to watch a kaleidoscopic dive become a porcelain rise.

Their roles reversed, now, in form, from the lakeside, Whis spreads out in a shifting coil of extra limbs about the lit water, drenched a second time by the sploosh of surface-churning water from Seliana's downward passage.

When she breaks the water, Whis continues her fond gaze, swaying in the cyclical slopping ripples about the pair.

"Now, don't make fun of me, because your natural state is sitting there staring at something, but -I- actually decided to deny basic bodily presumptions of mine for years."

Whis snickers. "And it's not the one you thought. It feels like breathing. Breathing clearly, from all over. Possibility in every wet direction."

She tilts her head, her hair shifting in the water. "The game is interesting. It lets you focus on how you perceive it. Did you ever think about that? I'm a herbalist, so I can pick -real- things. If you're a tracker, have you ever really opened your senses up and -really- tracked?"
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

Seliana breaks through the surface of the water, another laugh as she runs her hands over her face to part her now long wet hair so she can see. Treading water she watches Whis, and her smile turns a little thoughtful. "How do you breath while under water? Is it through your skin or do you have something like gills?" She questions as she starts very slowly tread closer.

'If you're a tracker, have you ever really opened your senses up and -really- tracked?'

Seliana pauses as she tilts her head, but as she starts to sink she quickly resumes her treading. "No?" She considers further, "I haven't really." And then she closes her eyes, and after a moment she shakes her head opening them and then starts to look around.

"I think I need.. something.. to link to what it is I'm tracking. At least I don't just get a general sense of what things are around.." Then she purposely dives under the water, turning her head left and right as she looks down at the aquatic vegetation below them. She watches some small fish dart in and out near the tops, but she doesn't spot anything larger immediately around them. Perhaps it was the commotion, or perhaps whatever is there is still hiding in wait.

Resurfacing again, and clearing her face another time she continues, "If I focus on a fish and then study the vegetation, it is almost like I started to get a sense or knowledge filtering into my mind. Ideas, patterns, pictures almost a pull in the direction for where it will be. But just now, it was very fleeting." She again starts to slowly swim closer the warm glow of Whis, feeling the currents of the water on her now human skin. "It's.. different? I will have to explore it more."

"So tell me, how is this water after all?" Seliana asks as she grins, white teeth showing.
Whiskey Sour
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

'How do you breath under water?'
Whis has to take a moment. A waver of her expression focuses her eyes down to points, then closed. "There's something missing. I swim, but it's like I'm moving through a native medium I'm learning backwards. I'm... Missing, a key part, of it all. It feels fake. I can grasp it, if I down deeply, but--"

Whis dips her nose under the water and bubbles there, instead of finishing her sentence. Her eyes, in the rippling lake, dip and bob unblinking at the surface.

Several seconds turn into most of a minute.

Then she shifts back to a conversational height. "I think it's gills. I feel something like breath, but it might just be letting the ambient elements fill me. It's..." She pats her lower torso, around her ribcage. "Around here?"

Seli dips down below the surface herself and observes flora, then fauna. Tracking, just beneath the surface of expression. "All your aspects are important. Try to give a little time to each of them, and you'll surprise yourself."

'So tell me, how's this water after all?'
"The water's fine, isn't it? No, better. The water's good." Whis fans out, physically, a spiral of points that come from about her waist like a tworling skirt. Her feet, glowing, are visible as anchor points, but they float more like an jellyfish, with her slow blooping assisted by a purple-black webbing that veils her hips.

"I don't feel tired at all. Like all the weight's off me. But I -said- don't make fun of me for my bad ability to do basic body presumptions." Whis huffs, winking into the huff-and-dismiss, the puff of bubbles from her lips popping in the air. "So tell me, how was the sky after all? Real, wasn't it?"
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

Seliana continues to tread water, watching curiously as Whis dips under the water for a rather extended time. Just as Seliana is starting to raise an eyebrow and move a little closer Whis returns to continue.

"Breathing. Air." Seliana takes a deep breath in, slightly rising as her buoyancy increases. Letting her breath out slowly she speaks. "It still is strange. I'm clearly breathing, needing to breath, requiring it. The world, with so many traces of our last. How much of it is us just acting with a kind of muscle memory? How much are we ourselves influencing the world around us to be like what we are used to?"

Then while treading with her legs she reaches out to either side. On her right her palm is face up, and on the left her palm is face down - both resting on the surface of the water. Her eyes glow and above her right palm water spirals up to form a sphere of water that hovers in the air. On her left the air spirals down into the water to form a sphere of air the hovers just below the surface. "The connection to this world, if it is really both ways, then how far does it go?" Relaxing and starting to tread again with her arms, and thus giving her legs a rest, the spheres of water and air both release.

As the conversation turns to how good the water is Seliana gives a little smirk. "Well I'm glad you are so refreshed, but while you are at total ease I must strain myself to stay afloat." There is humour in her voice, it is clearly not so great an effort.

Seliana then gazes up, trying to flatten out to float on the surface, and with a bit of continued arm treading she is mostly floating. "There is a freedom in the sky I think I always yearned for. Er, that Arisu once yearned for." A slight flinch that is quickly dismissed. "Now at least I can experience it. Knowing that at any moment I could just. Transform and fly.." She pauses as she just stares up at the night sky and the moons. "I wonder how high I could go? Could I just reach the moons if I tried? Is there even a kind of space in this.. I've been calling it a world all this time but I guess it is more a universe."
Whiskey Sour
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

"Lungs make sense. Oxygen is important. The science isn't entirely different - we can just use magical ideas too." Whis indicates with a curl of her left hand. "In another way, the air is an important part of life, and is an elemental part of the world." Whis indicates with a curl of her right hand. Bringing both together...

Whis hears Seliana making light of her mild mismatch in medium, and, as pink petals fall onto her wet body and stick there, puts on the airs of confusion.

"Whaaaat, but the water's fiiiiine." She lingers. Seliana transitions to her back, to stare up at the sky. Whis dips beneath the water again, repositioning beneath the surface to rise besides Seliana's skygazing float.

"We yearn for air, have favorite ways to take it, notice the thinning presence, and cannot stand its absence. I yearh for water, and feel out of breath without it. You don't have to cut away things to define yourself. The grass is thick and plentiful, so graze how you will."

'I wonder how high I could go?'
"Higher than most any could follow. So stay here a while, at least, Seli. Prepare for the journey a bit. See if anyone can come with you. Those sorts of things."

A moment's pause, lilypads on the water's surface in white and black and purple and orange.

"Do you think the Baroness would be able to help you learn more? I just did some light work for her, a bunch of woodwork."
Yamato - 5 - -1 - 0

Floating side-by-side in the moonlit water Seliana continues to watch the moons high above. "Oxygen, air, I know it's all important. I interact with it and as such it's real to me, my experience. And yet.." She considers as her arms slowly tread to keep her floating. "It still seems like there is more. The menus. The data properties. The glitches. It's air, but there are levels I just don't understand. Do you get a sense like that sometimes?"

Seliana gives a brief laugh, "Maybe it isn't so much different. Not like I really understood all of what was going on with physics before." She blinks a few times quickly and then turns her head to watch Whis in the corner of her eye as she rises beside her. She smirks and makes a content humming noise.

'The grass is thick and plentiful, so graze how you will.'

"What a pretty picture." A twinkle in her eye, or perhaps the swirls just aligned right for moment. "Verdant green hills of opportunity." Seliana clarifies as she treads a little close and stretches out a hand to grasp Whis's as they float. "Oh, how I must endure with patience the wonders and beauty of life." She says in a playful mock hardship and lifts the back of her hand she was propelling herself with to her temple as if she were to faint. Only to start sinking and let out a little squeak of surprise before treading again to steady herself with a quiet laugh.

A little more seriously she says, "Who I am and who Arisu was.. Perhaps it is all me, even if she is not.." And she turns her eye back to the moons.

"So, Whis, how would you like to try magic our way to the moons? Become cosmic explorers or maybe space pirates?" She grins as she continues to gaze at the sky. "Though I'm content for the moment." And she smiles as she again side eyes the molten glowing woman beside her.

As the conversation turns to the most noble of Baronesses Seliana lets out a whispered, "Oh yeah." Before she continues a little louder. "I've been corresponding with Wake on a side research project into a relic of mine." And Seliana frowns a little. "We've kind of hit a roadblock though."

"So I'm not sure I mentioned it before, but I have a scroll of some power, it seems to be linked to why I see things the way I do. I thought that if I could learn to create scrolls of similar power it could be quite useful. But all research into who created it has just turned up nothing." She kind of shakes her head a little and spins the pointer finger of her hand in the air. "And you know what results I've determined after thorough appraisal?"

This Item Has Not Yet Been Created

"That's the readout I get. Can you believe it?" She sounds a little exasperated. "It also makes me wonder though. At times it even seems like I'm seeing a bit into the future or past, not the present moment. It's like time.. it's weird."

She trails off considering until she starts. "Eh, but you're right. Baroness Wake may be able to assist me with otherwise." And she hums in thought.