Gifts of Understanding

Uta comes to aid Rylen with building the ranch, and discovers he has built a gift into it for her.

Carmina Gadelica Marina

Carmina Gadelica Marina remains one of the busiest of ports in Yamato. It is still the first landing point for those who are escaping Ezzo. Perhaps that is why Rylen has chosen this area as the site for the upcoming peko ranch. The location has already been chosen and people are starting to break ground on the site. There are a group of workers who are currently putting together the framework for one of the main barns, others seem to be moving supplies. There seems to be much work still needing to be done.

Rylen is easy to spot, though. With the weather warming and the effort of manual labor, he is shirtless (to no one's surprise), hefting a large hammer and using it to pound in fence posts. White hair hangs against his back, lightly obscuring the tattoo of swirling wings on his skin. Every now and again, he grabs a new post, shoving it down into the earth, and then hefts the hammer again to slam it down.
Carmina Gadelica Marina

    Uta approaches from the general direction of the city. Her trusty staff taps rhythmically on the ground, maybe not as loud, but certainly as regular, as Rylen's hammer. Definitely quieter.

    "Master Corvus...", she smiles, as she she approaches the construction site. "I feel so honored to partake in this momentous conjuncture of history!" There is no sarcasm or mockery in her choice words, some amusement at most. She might have had fun picking the phrasing, but she definitely believes what she's saying. "Truely, a Peko farm posterity will sing legends of!"
Carmina Gadelica Marina

Rylen is just lowering the hammer to grab another fence post when Uta's voice catches his attention. So, he lets the hammer drop, lightly leaning on the handle. "Lady Furore." He inclines his head, then raises an arm to wipe sweat from his brow. It's then that he realizes that a few strands are dampened to his forehead, so he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a hair band, using it to tie back the white strands.

"I wouldn't exactly call it momentous." He laughs, easy-going as ever. "And I doubt anyone will sing our praises either, but if we can help at least a few people with acquiring mounts and working with them, then it'll make it worth it." His own peko is currently being used as a pack animal, it seems, as the bird approaches with more fence posts. "Ahh, thanks Moko." He reaches over, scratching the bird under the beak before starting to untie a few more bundles.

"Either way, I appreciate the help." As he unloads the posts, Rylen looks over at her. "Trying to get done as much as I can before I head back to Breg Epona." He pulls a waterskin from his mount taking a drink before adding, "Xander expects me back, otherwise I think he's going to assume I've vanished off the face of the planet. So I'm still trying to disprove that part of him that thinks I'm an asshole in disguise."
Carmina Gadelica Marina

    "Always the gentleman, aren't you?", replies Uta at Rylen calling her a lady.

    She takes a few moments of silence to look around; she takes in what has already been built, and to study the space where the future building is going to take place.

    "I don't know, I would never underestimate what a few mounts can do. Mounts are kind of a huge deal in plenty of cultures and the definition of their self-identity. Sometimes the greatest changes come from the most unexpected of places. For want of a nail and all that..."

    The same sly, playful smirk that appeared on her face for the first time when she 'ran off with the circus' returns. "Xander's falling victim to a common human fallacy: we tend to assume that everyone else is like us." She probably doesn't mean it, but she seems to enjoy the little jab. "And since I do not like to make fun of people behind their back, feel free to tell him I told you so."

    She spins in place, and rests against an already planted pole, gloved fingers tucked into the black belt of her gi. "I should probably head back there myself. As you've probably seen, the guild's message boards are teeming with requests for support with this tournament. I get the impression that they're in good enough a shape for now, but barely; they'll still take any help they can get, and it seems that they're a few medical types short in particular."
Carmina Gadelica Marina

"I try." Rylen admits, chuckling to himself as he inclines his head towards Uta. He does try to act as a gentleman when possible, though there's plenty of people who would second guess that sort of behavior from a performer.

"The hope is to help improve transportation speeds at the very least." The Pooka explains, "A peko can cross the same space a person can on foot in a quarter of the time. Which would make it easier to move goods, support personnel, or to come to someone's aid." However, that seems to remind him of something, and he reaches for one of the packs on his peko's back, pulling out a rolled up set of plans.

"Speaking of aid..." He holds the plans out towards her. "You should take a look at the secondary barn. I had them add something for you." Should she take a look, there is clearly a small room at the back of the barn that has small square structures in it, possibly cages. It is labeled as 'Slime Research'. "Figure you're one of my closest friends here, so it's something I can do since I'm not so great at White Day gifts."

The comment about Xander has a thoughtful look from the elven male, "Maybe." He doesn't know the man well enough to know for certain his reasoning, but he guesses, "I think he's had too many people walk out of his life, so he just expects that's how everyone is going to act." Ry smirks, "Luckily I'm pretty stubborn."

The thought of how much need there might be in the world is enough to have Rylen sigh slightly, plucking up another post and the hammer. "Most I can offer is entertainment. It makes me envy healers." As he walks over to set the next post in place, his silver eyes look at the Spriggan. "I was a physical therapist and trainer back in the real world. But very little of that translates into this world."
Carmina Gadelica Marina

    Uta stares off in the distance, silent, her tongue rolling in her mouth. She's thinking, but says nothing. Even after looking flattered at being called one of Rylen's closest friends.

    "One of the most common cliches of fiction, especially the popular kind," she eventually begins, "is some sort of mad scientist taking over the world through advanced machinery. But if one looks at history, the skill that actually defined the most effective leaders, the most inspiring revolutionaries... it was people who could tap into the crowds' hopes and dreams, who could leverage them, create a narrative, who could single-handedly unite a whole country, or even multiple ones, behind them, and could lead the masse to deeds, be it good or evil, of massive historical relevance."

    "It's people who could work an audience."

    She flashes Rylen a playful-but-not-too-much smile. "One does not fear the mad scientist, but the mad performer. Now that you know your true power, use it wisely."

    She accepts the plans, but does not look at them yet, preferring to remain pensive for a moment.

    "Being a healer is overrated. Oh, that reminds me of a poem by Metastasio..."

    She closes her eyes, and declaims, in surprisingly fluent Italian, made understandable by the translation system,

        "If each man's internal toil
        on his forehead could be seen
        Oh, how many you now envy
        would elicit pity instead!"

    Again a pause. "What's the point of being a healer in a world where you can't die and you just respawn a bit shaken but without a scratch? I don't feel like I can contribute much myself..."

    There is silence again. She turns to look back into Rylen's silver eyes. "I waited tables." She smirks. "I mean, I had to make do by starring in a ridiculous number of A-grade movies before getting there, but thanks to lots of hard work and a certain amount of luck, I was finally discovered by a bartender!"

    A shadow passes over her features. "I suppose I have been too harsh with not-dad. He must feel like I've forsaken him as well."

    She thinks, looks resolute, and nods once. Having taken care of all discussions, she can finally read the plans...

    And her irises grow one size, or possibly two.

    Her look of gratitude is unmistakable. "...this is gonna be /glorious/. Thank you, Rylen Corvus, you filthy liar who says he sucks at White Day gifts. I am forever indebted."
Carmina Gadelica Marina

Rylen raises his eyebrows, obviously taken in by Uta's way of sometimes waxing philosophical in a way that people simply wouldn't expect from her. It's one of the reasons that he has such a fondness for her company. There is always something to surprise him, and that makes life interesting.

"If only I was interested in taking over the world." Rylen smirks. "But the problem with the life of a performer is that you rarely know how many others around you are just playing their own part." He replies, shaking his head. A few strands of silver escape the hair tie, and he tucks them back behind one pointed ear. "I've been there in the real world. How quickly people can turn when you are no longer the center of attention."

He chuckles to himself, "When you fall, you find out real fast who your real friends are." That said, he gives her a side-glance, tapping the post into place to get it at least settled for heavier strikes. Hefting the hammer onto his shoulder. The brief glimpse into Uta's reality has him feeling he should return the favor in some way. "I... was a gymnast."

There is so much more he could explain there, but he shakes his head, drawing the hammer up and then slamming it down into the post. It felt good to do something physical. "It didn't work out, so being a trainer was the next best thing. Let me still be involved in that life, even if it wasn't my life anymore."

He seems to hesitate, waiting to see her reaction, his lip quirking into a smirk when she calls him a liar. "Seeing that look on your face makes it worth it." He chuckles. "Well, you're welcome."

As for Xander, well, he speaks more softly on that regard, "Maybe send him a chimlink? Let him know he isn't forgotten. He's going to be fighting this week, and I feel like a right ass not being there to cheer him on."
Carmina Gadelica Marina

    Brief glance into one's falls is repaid with another brief glance into another's fall.

    Uta goes dead serious. She crosse her arms, and looks away into the distance. "I almost made it to my dream job. In my case, things hit just before I could get there, when there still was nobody who cared except me."

    "Academia," she offers, her eyes turning towards the ground before any questions can be asked. "Things hit so hard that any reference to what could have been, even exact title of my in-game profession, brings back unbearable memories. That's why I hurry to explain to people that I'm a 'nurse' instead."

    She turns her chin up, to face the sky. "There are selections of the random generator I still do not understand, but that one- oh did the generator hit the nail on the head there. Definitely not what I wanted, but..."

    She sighs, and smiles.

    "You know, Rylen? You do things to people," she begins, out of the blue. "I think I told you that never in a million years I'd have picked this avatar, and I'm still kind of self-conscious about it." She turs to face the Pooka. "But with you it's different. When I'm around you everything feel fine and I'm at ease. Heck, I even feel all flattered instead of offended or embarrassed when you call me a lady."

    She leans over, her eyebrows lowering conspirationally "You know, at first I got worried, and thought, hey, are you falling for him or something? Has the game gotten to you /that/ much? But no, as much as that would have been the obvious answer, that was not it. I also consider you one of my closest friends, and you're probably the adventurer I admire most... but, and please do not be offended, I definitely do not like you /that/ way." She pushes herself to stand, and starts walking towards Rylen, hunching over a little and jabbing the air as if to make a point. "But then it /hit/ me." She straightens up to her full height (wich isn't much, to be fair). "The thing is, you just /ooze/ stage presence." She spins in place, arms extended upwards and away, and she declaims, as if addressing an audience, "When you are around, you somehow tickle my acting bone just by existing. When you are around, everything within sight becomes a stage, everything is a massive play, and I suddenly find myself thrust into this part, you deliver the first lines, set an exciting, compelling mood for the whole improv troupe, and you know what? I forget about everything else and just know I'm gonna rock this scene! It's silly? So what. It's the magic of the stage!"

    She smirks. "In a roundabout sense, then... I guess you /are/ a healer." She approaches Rylen and gives him a look of approval and even admiration. "Remember what I said about my reasons for joining the game? It's not about what we want, but what we need. Maybe you are also on a journey to let go of what you are holding that is also holding you back, and embrace the skills you so reject."

    "...That said, yes. I should send Xander a chimlink or two. Maybe cheer on him. Or jeer. Whatever the situation calls for. Maybe I can shout along anything you might want to tell him while he's in a duel and hence blocked from receiving messages."
Carmina Gadelica Marina

There are solid thuds from the hammer hitting the fence post as Rylen slams it down a couple more times, reaching forward to check the depth and stability. It's only then that he realizes that Uta is staring off into the distance. If nothing else, Rylen is good at listening. So he leans the hammer against the post, watching the Spriggan with that calm, curiousity in his silver eyes. "The world real or virtual, has a way of not letting us escape some aspects of ourselves." His expression holds a measure of understanding, "I know that, all too well."

He raises a brow when she says he 'does things to people'. His head tilts, just a subtle motion, "Well, if there's a different title you'd prefer me to call you, you're always welcome to let me know. I aim to please." He chuckles, "Though, I'm glad you feel comfortable around me. Better than the opposite, that's for certain."

As she leans in, he returns the gesture, one pointed ear in her direction. Others might react differently, but Rylen just smiles, the expression shifting into a laugh when she expresses that she just is not into him that way. "Not offended in the least. I've learned that the vast majority of the world is not swayed by my charms, despite my best efforts." There is a slightly teasing tone to his voice.

"But I'm glad. If I can be your muse, then I'll take that as a success." The Pooka draws a hand to his chest, closing his eyes as he bows dramatically. "If nothing else, it's good to see you more comfortable in your own skin, or... at least in the skin you've been given."

Her comment about the game, though, that seems to strike home with him, "Perhaps." He gives her that much, "I think it isn't so much what I reject, but certainly what I had to leave behind. Other things became more important." He looks at the leather band on his wrist. "When someone you love needs you, everything else becomes secondary. Something you don't even think about because they matter more." He explains, "Here, I'm just starting to learn how to live for myself again. Seize every damn moment because this is what we've got."

He grins then, motioning to the building going on around them. "So we build a new life. Travel with the troupe, perform, give wonder and joy where I can. Then have someplace to come home to at the end of the day."
Carmina Gadelica Marina

    Uta laughs at Rylen's offer for a new title. "Heck, you could title me 'Majestic Mouse-Seal and I'd squeak and clap my hands with floppy arms while balancing a ball on my nose, and /love/ it. You're that good," she jokes

    "We build a new life. Travel with the troupe. Perform, give wonder and joy where we can. And have someplace to come home to at the end of the day," she repeats. "Hey, sounds like a great plan to me, at least for the time I'm stuck here in this skin I've been given. Deal?" She says, raising a hand in a offer to do the high-five-ending-in-a-hand-clasp thing.
Carmina Gadelica Marina

There is a moment where Rylen seems to consider Uta, lightly rubbing at the edge of his chin. "No. Majestic House-Seal seems not quite right." He makes an audible hmmm. "I am going to have to think about it and see if we can find something more suiting." Oh, and he most certainly will. If nothing else, it gives an avenue for being playful.

"Deal." He chuckles, then slaps her hand in return, going through the motions of one of those elaborate hand-shakes that ends with clasping forearms. Because it just looks cool and for no other reason than that.

"For now, I will be working here the better part of the week, and then I need to keep my word to Xander and scout the tower before heading back." Ry explains, "After the Tournament, there is a pit-stop in Ninetails to pick up the first batch of pekos. Then, maybe there will be a few days to actually relax." He has certainly taken on a lot in the past few weeks.
Carmina Gadelica Marina

    Uta exclaims, "Deal," going through the elaborate Handshake Arte. Memorizing and performing complex motions is a big part of this new life, after all. "...I am going to regret this, aren't I?" she smirks, in a way that has more an undertone of 'challenge accepted' than 'uh-oh'.

    Uta takes one last, longing look at Rylen's plans (cue irises growing and pupils dilating, eyes going all lucid and that), and once that has been taken care of, the drawing is offered back.

    "If you need anything, just let me know. I might be traveling to and fro, drop me a word and I'll see what I can do. Chances are I might be able to help." She shields her eyes with one hand and looks up at the sun, an art lost on the modern man, but essential for people stuck in a world where only medieval technology is available.

    "...Nope, still haven't learnt how to do that." She flicks one hand, and making the necessary selections if necessary, she looks at the clock in her menu. "Goodness me, look at the time!"

    Her staff is tapped once on the ground. "Well, farewell it is, Master Corvus. May we meet soon again, to bring joy to the world and a little coin in our coffers." She turns to leave, but almost immediately looks over her shoulder, "Oh, by the way.. Remember how you've told me to pick a theme for my act? How about I acrobatically martial-arts juggle potions and play music with bottles? I mean, for one, it's proven, and for two, being a kung-fu nurse requires practicing three jobs at once -- might as well optimize time, and get as much done in the same slot..."

    "...unless, that is, you have a different suggestion."
Carmina Gadelica Marina

"Probably." Rylen agrees, returning the self-same smirk. He reaches out a hand, taking back the plans and rolling them back up before neatly depositing them back into the carry bag on the side of his peko. There is still a lot of work to be done, so it will still likely be some weeks before she has space to experiment with her slime obsession.

"I'll let you know. Best thing you could do for me is see if you can't make Xander's match in the tournament. It would put my mind at ease if he had at least one person cheering him on." He motions around them, "This just requires time. With everyone's attention on the tournament, it's hard to recruit as much help from the Guild as I would like, but it will get there."

As she takes her farewell, he bows in return, "Fair travels to you as well."

And he, at first, seems to turn back to his task, but then she starts to explain her idea for her act. "It's... elaborate." He admits, chuckling softly. "How about you work on plotting out each of the stages of your performance, and then show me it all put together when I get back to Breg Epona?"
Carmina Gadelica Marina

    Uta blinks back at Rylen. "...stages? There are... stages? I thought I could just... you know, uh... walk out there and do my thing? But you make a good point. I'll think of something else, I suppose. And maybe show my original plan. So you have two alternatives to pick from."

    "Fare thee well!", she says, and begins her journey towards Breg Epona, her head soon filled with dreams of her future slimarium.

    It's gonna be glorious.