Two Hearts Are Better Than None

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Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by amarilloo on Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:50 pm

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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by amarilloo on Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:59 pm


The room was warm with a pleasant sort of heat. The bodies lining the edges of the ballroom radiated with excitement, all of them dressed impeccably. One would only expect so much of their richness and finery to be reflected on everyone here when in the audience of the king and queen.

Tepo was in the center of it all. The attention showered on her was like a flower turning its face to the sun. She could feel the sweat on the back of her neck sticking to her hair as another rivulet made its way down her back. It took a great deal of concentration to keep her balance and she needed both of her hands to keep her weight even. Her legs lithely outstretched to keep her body parallel to the floor and perpendicular to the pole. She trusted Blanca and Dulce on either side of it to hold it upright as she climbed her way up by way of flamboyant and showy displays of acrobatics.

The moment she reached the top she gracefully took a spin around, scanning the crowd upside down with one free arm outstretched. She smiled and waved at the faces not making any direct eye contact until her gaze landed on someone she instantly recognized. They had met on the castle grounds at least twice before. He wasn't dressed as flashy as the other party goers, but his simple attire made him do, what Tepo had assumed was the opposite of his intention, stand out.

Her smile turned impish, curling at the ends as she made her final arcing leap into the air. She landed again on the pole, quickly re-positioned like a tightrope across her compatriots' shoulders. Applause erupted all around her. She caught the eye of the purple-haired man and blew him a kiss before taking a sweeping bow.


Last edited by amarilloo on Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by kurookami on Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:40 am


Xatu watched the acrobat twirl with mild interest. She was talented, to be sure, and seemed to be reveling in the attention. He arced an eyebrow as she blew him a kiss. Oh, really? These performers will do anything for tips. Despite his cynicism, a small thrill pulsed through him - everybody loves attention, especially from beautiful women.

His expression did not change.

He made his way through the crowd towards the food table as the show ended and the performers hopped off the stage. People seemed to clear the way for him, giving him space to walk through. His reputation of being unnecessarily biting towards any would-be conversationalist left him blissfully unaccosted at this party, despite his status as the king's dragon-tamer. When he had first been appointed, his work had been constantly interrupted by people trying to cozy up to him for power. His personality had quickly turned them away.

He picked at the table, nibbling a few hors-d'oeurves: a miniature quiche, a tiny salted fish, fanciful foods that his courtly compatriots just would not shut up about. These parties were tedious and draining, and all he could think about was the research waiting upstairs in his quarters. But, he was obligated to stay at least until some of the higher nobility started to dissipate. It could take hours, and without the distraction of the acrobats... well.

He looked around the room with a casual disdain, searching for the tiny blue-haired dancer. Maybe she wouldn't be as boring as waiting for the party to pass on its own.

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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by amarilloo on Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:11 am


Flanking Blanca on either side of him, Tepo and Dulce followed his example by falling into a sweeping bow before their king, her long hair dusting the ground before springing upright to attention.

Blanca, adorned with a gently smiling mask, removed the veneer only to uncover a similar expression on his own face. Tepo glanced at Dulce, following his example, kept her mask on, but kept at attention. Where Dulce's mask was a visage of a crying clown, hers was only a mere black silk domino mask with the arching eyebrows delicately painted over the eyes. Her proud smile was visible where she also assumed that Dulce's hidden, wistful frown would mimic his own mask.

"Your Majesty," Blanca began, with a majestic and grand gesture of his arm, "We are ever so grateful to have preformed at your behest. We hope that the entertainment didn't disappoint?" Tepo's teeth showed as her smile grew. Before even starting his speech, she knew Blanca was the kind of salesman that could sell you his shit wrapped in foil, but she also knew her acrobatics were better than needing to be bolstered to the king. They would definitely be called back to perform again.

The elven king, she grasped, was old but barely managed to look old enough to be her father. The gift of long life was merciful to his face, but his mind however, was starting to wane. Clapping joyfully, "Enough of the theatrics, Blanca, of course they were enjoyable. I quite like that flippy thing the girl there did at the end. Have her do that again next time!" He giggled to himself, shooing the three away. "Now on to dinner." He added to his attended, his hands already out grabbing for the port's preeminent salted fish.

Being dismissed from the king, Tepo quickly bowed and made her exit before Blanca or Dulce could stop to talk to her.

"H-hey..." She heard Dulce's voice dissolve behind her as she made her way through the crowd. She swam through the people making her way to the banquet table where she spied that purple haired man earlier during her routine. She can't remember if she had asked his name and the stables yesterday, but she for sure remembered his attitude. She could feel her cheeks flush remembering the haughty look he was giving their performance. Her foul mood was quickly teetering over the smell of food. Buttery mince pies rich quiches were steaming just inches from her and the smell was intoxicating. She reached out gingerly for a fresh looking croissant when she knocked into another hand that was reaching for the same buttery roll. Tepo looked up, an apology on the tip of her tongue when she spotted the fluffy violet hair remembered her previous mood.

"You!" She spat, pointing furiously across the table, knocking over a tiny tower of croquembouche, "Dragon Boy!" Her eyebrows knitted together recognizing the same haughty expression from after she blew her kiss. "What's with that look on your face, didn't you like the performance or was it not good enough to impress someone as noble as yourself?!"
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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by kurookami on Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:34 am

Anger blazed through Xatu at the girl's attack, the suddenness of it catching him off guard. His eyes flashed for a moment as he drew back, but he quickly got himself under control. What in the hells did I do to warrant this? This is why I don't talk to people. He met the girl's eyes and sneered. "So insecure you have to demand attention? Surely, if your performance was good enough, you wouldn't have to ask." He looked away from her, back at the table. "And see what a mess you've made. How graceful." His eyes met hers again, quietly furious. Honestly, I would have lauded her if I had just seen her perform, but this attitude is unnecessarily aggressive and unbecoming of a performer.

A servant bustled over to clean up the fallen croquembouche. Xatu nodded curtly at the girl and walked away, seething internally. I literally did nothing. I watched the show and had some food. Gods, I absolutely hate these get togethers. What a waste of time. He noticed his fists were clenched and he exhaled slowly, letting his fingers drop. Suddenly the press of people was too much. He walked to the edge of the party and slipped out a door onto the patio. The cool night air played through his hair and against his face, and he felt he could breathe again.

The patio was a long porch wrapped around the outer edge of the ballroom, dotted with stone benches. A low wall marked the edge of it, with openings that led out to the palace gardens. Xatu leaned on the cold stone wall and looked out to the grounds. Magical lights floated in the garden paths, and there were more relatively secluded benches nestled in the flowers, so the patio was mostly empty as the partygoers took romantic walks through the foliage. He'd given it a try once or twice, before he (and his partners) realized he had no interest in such frivolity. It was a distraction from his studies and his work. No wonder these idiots will never amount to anything, he thought, looking at the couples in the garden with disdain.

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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by amarilloo on Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:56 pm


Tepo’s cheeks flushed with indignation. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, everyone was supposed to be having a good time and he was ruining it with his big, stupid scowl. 

With each seething remark pointed at her Tepo tilted up her chin showing her own umbrage. She swept out an arm gesturing at the small gathering of people that had begun to gawk and whisper.  

“I don’t have to ask, everyone else was enjoying-“ She began before he abruptly cut her off. She hated the way her voice broke as he stomped away.

Tears pricked at the corner of her eyes.
Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.” She bitterly chided herself.

Dulce hooked on to her wrist from behind as she watched Dragon Boy’s back disappear outside into the courtyard, her eyebrows slowly knitting together.

“C’mon, Tepo.” His voice was quiet and steady. She could tell by its clarity without turning around that  he’d taken off the mask. “Please don’t make a scene. we’re just getting settled here. We don’t want a repeat of what happened in Zarephath.”

She bit her lip and tugged her arm away from his light grasp. A flash of a rambunctious bar fight flashed through her mind. She glanced at Dulce, his ever-present morose expression and his disappointment was worse for her guilt than was Blanca’s half-hearted chiding.

With a huff she turned to help the servant with the pastries. “Sorry…” she mumbled, as Dulce mouthed the word to her, his disapproval showing.

“He’s always like that, miss, I wouldn’t take it to heart.” He muttered to Tepo tipping his head towards the door, his arms full of sweets. Placing the last croquembouche on top of his stack she had her resolve. She snatched a spare napkin, clenched her fists and marched out towards the gardens.

“Oh come on…” She heard Dulce plead distantly behind her.

Tepo pulled her paintbrush out from a hidden pocket in her costume’s cincher. She scribbled a time and place on the napkin, the words shimmering with a luminescence that gave away that they weren’t made with a normal writing instrument. She paused for a moment hovering over the words. With a flourish she added a compulsion charm at the bottom of her message. It sparkled and winked back at her and she couldn't help the sneaking twist of her mouth as a small smile turned up the corner of her mouth.

Tepo, came up behind him, tapping him sharply on the shoulder before jutting out the napkin emphatically.

“If I can’t make you smile one way, I’ll make you understand another way.” Forcing the napkin into his hand she turned on her heel and strode back the way she came.
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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by kurookami on Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:15 pm

You presumptuous little- Xatu thought as his fingers closed involuntarily around the napkin, but she had disappeared before he could say anything. Coward. What fresh hell is this, now? He unfolded the napkin to read it. "Midnight tonight, center garden courtyard."

Is this... a duel challenge? How puerile. he sneered in mild disgust and tore the napkin in half, putting it in his pocket to dispose of later. All this for not what, clapping at a show? I'll have to inform the organizers of this party not to hire this troupe again. Accosting audience members for praise. Unprofessional. He decided then and there he wasn't going back inside, and spent the rest of the party on the patio, watching the comings and goings of the guests.

---

11:45 found Xatu in his room, studying a particularly difficult text he had been tasked to translate. Supposedly it detailed the whereabouts of an ancient lost dragon tomb. Dragonbone was valuable, imbued with magical power, and a tomb like this one would yield tons of it. While the king wanted the bones for weaponry, Xatu was more looking forward to the high chance of informational texts and inscriptions buried with the dragons.

This text was trying his patience and he rubbed his eyes. The smoke from the candle seemed to be blowing into them constantly and they stung. I think a walk is in order. He pushed his chair back from the table and stood up. He strode to the door and stepped out, locking it behind him.

It was a warm night, and he made his way to the gardens, still mulling over the translation. He walked these gardens often, and his feet found a familiar path. Through the rose path, past the reflecting pool, he wandered, deep in thought, not paying attention to where he was going. The moon was bright and the magical lights were low for the evening, lending an ethereal beauty to the tranquil environment.

Sudden movement caught his eye and he looked up, startled, to find himself in the central courtyard. A fountain was surrounded by huge trelliced walls of flowering ivy, white blossoms open to the moon's light. In the center of it all was the acrobat from before. A thrill of fear jolted through him, recognizing he'd been trapped.

His expression didn't change. "What do you want?"


Last edited by kurookami on Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by amarilloo on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:36 pm


Tepo was walking along the edge of the fountain upside down. Her hands following one after the other, her feet pointed towards the clear night sky. The pit of her stomach was trying to convince her that maybe her charm spell didn't work. She'd only tried it on acorns with squirrels and such, who knew if it would be powerful enough to work on humans. Is he even human? He does have those ears...

The sound of crunching boots on stone snapped her out of her reverie. Spotting the silhouette enter under a floral trellis she let out an amazed, "Oh! You came!" Arching her back into a bridge, she let her feet touch the ground and in one fluid movement brought the world back to its upright position. She coughed into her hand trying to hide her surprise, "I mean, uh... Of course you came!" She laughed a little too forcefully trying to sound confident in her magic. “Always reading your books about magic but couldn’t spot a good charm spell when it’s applied,huh?” Arms akimbo she smiled smugly. Standing audaciously on the edge of the fountain's outer lip she was at least the same height as he was if not an inch or two taller. It made Tepo feel, to some extent, powerful.

His question caught her briefly off guard. It seemed obvious to her train of thought. Get exercise. Get your frustrations out. Get happier. It's a cycle, right? She tilted her head to one side, choosing her words. "I want you to um..." She frowned. "Fight someone that isn't just with words for once. Put all you emotion into this -" She put her hands up in a pugilist stance, punching the air, "So you can easily do stuff like this." She put her index fingers to either corner of her mouth and drew her fingers up with her smile, giving Dragon Boy a big, toothy grin.

"I called you out here so you get to choose the weapon. What'll it be, Dragon Boy?"


Last edited by amarilloo on Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by kurookami on Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:04 pm

Xatu sneered harshly, his lip curling to show his teeth. He rarely wanted to lash out at someone physically before, but this girl had piqued his ire. "A duel. You cast magic on me - without my permission - to get me to fight you." He frowned angrily. She's obsessed and can do magic. I don't know how powerful she is. "If I agree to fight you, will you leave me alone? I don't really understand your logic - nor do I care to - but obviously you want to fight me for some reason. And then I am going to have a conversation with your troupe director about how inappropriately you are behaving." He was shaking slightly with anger, tight-lipped and furious, fighting to keep the fury from raging out of him.

He took a breath and looked around. "I would choose a weapon if you had provided any, but it looks like you have come unprepared." He wished there were weapons. He wanted to leave this girl's blood darkening the path stones. Casting on me. Taunting me. I will tear that smooth skin like so much paper.


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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

Post by amarilloo on Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:42 pm


Tepo put her hands up, palm out, waving them in mock surrender to disarm Xatu's explanation.
"No, no, no! I didn't write the spell on you, I just put it on the napkin. It's like one of those things where you can disarm it if you weren't really interested in what I had to say.. or something..." Tepo hestitated. Clear apprehension surfaced to her face. Still not entirely sure of the parameters of the paintbrush she patted her cincher where the thing was hiding. "Stupid magical logistics." She muttered under her breath. The brush pulsated with a warm heat as a reassurance that it was still there. Drawing the thing in question out from its pocket she held it from the wooden tip of it with her thumb and forefinger like a delicate wand. "It doesn't work like you think it does. It doesn't harm, it's a good boy." She added.

She pinched the bridge of her nose in her frustration. "I don't know why you don't understand what I mean. I want you to fight me because it's good for you." She brought her head up with a decisive nod. "You ever scream into a pillow or something? You have to let out that anger somehow. Or you'll boil over like a volcano."    She threw her hands into the air with an added sound effect like an eruption. before crossing her arms across her chest, "That's what Blanca's always taught me anyway, and you seem to have a loooot of anger. I've never seen you smile. Not even once. And it's my job of jester of this court to get you to smile. And my director," She paused to add air quotes around the word, "Would probably say you should have some more fun too."

Tepo hopped down from the fountain to squat on the ground. "Psh. Unprepared," She repeated quietly. In seconds the broad strokes of her brush over stone transferred the image of two rapiers of similar size. They rolled in on themselves like dried leaves in a fire before sparking into shape. Crackling embers fizzled out along the shaft of the blade until it came to a perfect point. Tepo thrust an open palm out, pointing at the paintbrush's creations as she shot a bold look up at him.


Last edited by amarilloo on Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Two Hearts Are Better Than None

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