2019-05-15: It's Like A Massage...

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  • Log: 2019-05-15: It's Like A Massage...
  • Cast: Seraph Lanval, Ivan, Chime Isa, Lydia Seren, Naelle Sylkirk
  • Where: Luca - Residential District
  • Date: May 15, 2019
  • Summary: Mortals have their problems, their desires, their needs. Elemental spirits have their own. One of them has been proving challenging to fulfill in a landscape where just about everyone can see and interact with them. This does not stop them from trying, and attracting a whole lot of attention while doing it.

===========================================<* Luca - Residential District *>============================================

The people of Luca live in the center of the city, where massive seawalls and dykes have kept the weather at bay. There are markets here, but they are smaller and less bustling affairs; these are places for locals to shop at, with predictable goods. Many of the stores trade in the official merchandise of Blitzball teams. There are also cafes, restaurants, and other amenities those from beyond Spira might be used to. The environment is cosmopolitan.

It is, however, dim -- not in cheer, but in lighting. Both stone structure and huge canopies cover the tops of the city, save for the Blitzball Stadium. This helps keep frequent rains from putting a damper on the city, and life here is as frantic as it can be elsewhere in Luca.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CIlRCYnZcg
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    There was a moment of joy when it was found that nearly all the mortals Lanval consciously considers a friend are alive and either in one piece or been glued back together in one piece, after the Operation. Relief! Happiness! But it is fleeting at best, because even if many of them are still here... so's Sin - Obsession. The terrible beast has withstood a direct assault by some of the best that Spira, the rest of Lunar, and Filgaia has to offer. Sobering, after the decisive victories claimed over the likes of Mother and K.K. - a return to the reality that they're not always going to beat one-in-a-million odds. (Mathematically speaking, they have nine-hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine-hundred and ninety-eight odds left to be beaten by in order to fully appreciate this lesson, but for the sake of limited lifespans, the one will have to do.)
     There are day-to-day needs to be met. To figure out where gil is coming from, and all that, as the Otherworlders are finding themselves being eased (...not at all eased) into what life on Spira is truly like. Living at the very prospect of oblivion happening in an instant, at any time, almost anywhere, and scarce having any ability to do something about it outside of one specific practice that doesn't take care of the problem permanently.
     For one Seraph Lanval, displaced Oracle of Schturdark, today's task to keep his mind off of things is to - once again - try to think of ludicrous ways to lie down on the road and not be thrown off by sentries or passers-by. Which is nigh-impossible because they can all see him.
     This has not stopped him from trying to engage his technical lack of a brain for a solution. What he has seen is that mortals tend not to like it when their stuff is moved around, so now comes the next phase of this ridiculously petty ambition's realization.
     He has secured a wooden box. It has been a bit of trouble pushing it around, but now it is in position to curious stares. Then, the rotund manifestation of the water elemental engages in the next intelligent play in which he will secure ultimate victory in lying in the road as much as he wants.
     "Hm, hm, hm. Shoooo... if I'm in the box, they won't move it... 'caushe they'll be afraid of makin' whoever ownsh the box angry," he puts on a stupid smile, "thish time I got it...!"
     So he slips into the box. For his perceived bulk, he's good at fitting inside anywhere water can seep in or out, and so - with only a few dozen witnesses to this act - he lies inside the box and has himself a laugh!
     "Ha ha ha! 'm on the road now...!" Victory at hand! He starts to settle in, until he realizes only the surface of the iceberg of the problem.
     "...thish ain't the road." He figures out. Moments later.
     "...'m lyin' on the bottom of a box."
     :(

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan, passing through Luca and minding his own business as much as a Guardsman who moonlights as an assassin can ever be said to be minding his own business, is witness to the strange display of a seemingly drunken individual squeezing himself into a box in the middle of the main thoroughfare of a busy city. He drifts closer as this goes on, unsure exactly he's seeing, how much of a problem it might be, and whether it is any of his concern whether it is or it isn't. When he draws near enough to be heard, he leans down a bit with brows skeptically furrowed, and says:

"Whatever is going on with you, it seems like someone should be doing something about it." He puts this opinion out into the universe, despite not wanting to be the person who does anything about it, or even knowing what it is that should be done.

<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    Vest jingling pleasantly with loose metallic items, the child-sized elf Drifter hums as she moves along the streets of Luca. The ARMs Meister hadn't taken a hand directly in recent Operation. It wasn't her direct business and she didn't really want a second encounter with the creature they picked a fight with. Specially not with her intitution telling her it was a bad idea.

    So instead Chime had stayed in Luca for the time learning and mingling. While it's not the largest of cities, appearently a place called Bevelle was bigger, it certainly had a wide array of people and things to help keep the inquistive elf busy. She's even made friends with some Al Bhed thanks to her techincal skills.

    The humming doesn't stop, but the jingling does when Chime spots a familiar looking rotund oracle manhandling a crate. She shifts of to the side of street with an amused smile to watch out of curiousity. A light lilting giggle comes from the elf as Lanval fits himself into the crate. The quick arrival of someone to question him over it only makes the scene more amusing.

    Jade green eyes gleam with cheerful amusement as she watches Ivan confront Lanval, waiting to see what happens next before she decides if she should meddle or not.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Don't you, like, have a job now?" Lydia asks.

She has completely avoided Operation Mi'ihen except for that one early visit and hasn't even gone to help much with recovery efforts. She wants to, she really does, but something just... keeps her from wanting to go. Or talk about what that is. Or think much about it really. So Lanval wanting to totally slack off and being something to complain minorly about is actually kind of a relief for Lydia right now. Also she just happened to be looking at various bakeries for no readily apparent reason that certainly isn't cake related when she saw Lanval just lying in a box there.

She looks up after and sees Ivan. Her cheeks silver faintly and she says, "Y-yeah. Someone should do something."

She proceeds to also do nothing. Well no she does do something. She forces herself to look towards the giggling elf.

"Oh. Uh. Hey. Chime, right?"

<Pose Tracker> Naelle Sylkirk has posed.

"Ivan? Is that you?" Naelle Sylkirk is in full guard uniform, because she is on duty! She got stuck with extra night patrol because of a misunderstanding that was totally not her fault and could have happened to anyone, and if the Boss were here he'd totally have stood up for her against that Borgan guy and how could anyone expect her to focus on what's going on in this state of grief?!

In fact the only reason she even noticed Ivan is because she recognized his voice.

She recognizes Lydia's voice too, though. "O-oh. It's...hi."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    The plan was so solid in theory, but alas, the amazing plan to be Solid Lanval is a wash because he's basically liquid instead, and now finds himself in being in a state of leisure that is not to the exact specifications of his strange, waterly desires.
     "Mmm... yeah! Shomeone shouldn't move it, 'caaaaaaushe... they'd be mad. That'sh a thing~" He says, in a not at all persuasive way. "Uuuuuunlessh it'sh ta make it go upshide down. And then not look under it... nope. Nnnnot at all... not at all."
     There are some murmurs among passers-by, and that's really getting off lightly in so far as making a strange public spectacle of things go, as he hopes the young man who just is passing by falls for it and just turns the thing over.
     Then, Lydia asks the all-important question.
     "...yyyyeeeeeah... shure do," it's some sheepish slurring from in there. It's a sobering thought about things he can, and should be doing... sometimes he thinks if he lays down long enough and stares into the sky, maybe Schturdark will come through again.
     If anyone picks up the box, it's not really any heavier than it would be without anything in it. Seraphim and physicality are weird subjects.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan is a bit surprised to look up and find Lydia has materialized on the scene, but it's less shocking to bump into her in Luca than it might be elsewhere, so he only blinks at her a bit rather than jumping out of his boots.

"You know him?" he asks. Actually, she also seems to know the diminuitive red-headed woman who just walked up, as well.

It seems Naelle is here, too, looking as though she's on patrol. Maybe she can do something about it!

"It's me, yes." Ivan raises his hand in greeting uneasily, wondering if he needs to worry about Lydia spontaneously revealing anything inconvenient about him in front of a fellow Guard member. Probably not, but his nerves still jump at the imagining of it. People aren't supposed to, like, know things about him. In general. He is supposed to be nobody and doesn't like having to think about how conspicuous he's been.

The mysterious man in the box reveals more clues about what he's up to, not that Ivan can understand them.

"Were you hoping it would go somewhere?" he asks, picking out some words and getting their meaning backwards in an effort to make some sense of it. Maybe the man thought he was getting into a vehicle or something.

<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    Chime smiles brightly at Lydia, saying "Indeed~ What job is he suppose to be doing here?" she askes her, nodding slightly at Lanval. She glances at Lanval during his attempt to get Ivan to move along that then changes to flipping the crate over and moving along. Another giggle.

    "Oh my, amusing. But hiding like that isn't likely to be helpful~" she chimes sweetly at Lanval. "Through you could've used a crate without a top or bottom. Next time I suppose~" she offers helpfully to him.

    "Of course," Chime then offers to the Ivan and the others if they're looking to do something about the not quite crated up Lanval, "You could pick up the box and move it out of the way~ Or tip him out into the canal~" her tone amused as she offers options all around!

    "Or help him hide away flipping the crate over~" she adds at the end as she clasps her hands behind her back ontop of her toolkit not answering the question of if she knows Lanval while she examines first Ivan and than Naelle with interest.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia seems to know everyone like a dirty cheater. "Hey Naelle!" She guesses she would know Ivan. "You doin' ok?"

She gets distracted by Ivan (as she easily does as of late), "Oh! Yeah. I know him. He's a total creampuff." Lanval started with a good impression with Lydia and has only confirmed that initial impression ever since. Naturally, this does not mean she isn't going to give him a hard time for slacking off so much. Lydia is a hard worker for all her flaws and when she slacks off it's because she's frankly pooped. And maybe Lanval just gets pooped a lot more easily, but Lydia isn't that sympathetic about that line of thinking.

She picks up the box and experimentally, for science, holds it upside down. "His name's Seraph Lanval."

She shakes the box a few times. Note that she isn't setting the box back down here.

"Why is he hiding? This is like the one place everybody can see him. He doesn't have time to be laying around probably!"

On the plus side, her giving Lanval a hard time means she isn't giving Ivan a hard time which means that she probably isn't going to spill anything on purpose at least.

<Pose Tracker> Naelle Sylkirk has posed.

Naelle takes a deep breath. Her posture is, in general, defeated--her shoulders slumped, ears and tail drooping, and so on. "Well, this is...I don't know. You probably aren't allowed to do this in the middle of the road. Whatever...this is."

She doesn't sound particularly energetic about the idea of trying to stop them, though.

"An' he's just Lanval, Seraph is like, a holy title and he's not allowed it anymore." She shrugs, ears drooping again after her momentary outburst.

"Not that this is being especially evil right now or...making sense...as how it could be..."

She sighs, expansively.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    "....Nnnnnnope, jusht wanted it ta shtay here on top. Y'know... sho I can be under it... 'n feel the road." This is a statement and sentiment that probably makes zero sense to the more corporeal among the gathered, but that's okay, it's the truth. Right now he's feeling the bottom of the box instead, which he has decided is less than prime real estate for slouching.
     Chime cheerily points out the flaws in his plan, and in it, there's a quiet, defeated, trailing "...yeaaaah. Mmmph." He perks up with hopeful laughter as she mentions flipping it over!
     Lydia picks up the box and shakes it experimentally, for science. She can feel something in there, which means an important thing in Seraphim Physics - he's not using the box directly as a vessel, so his projection is an external presence to it. (Science!) Then she holds it back upside down, and...
     There he goes. There is suddenly an overweight, long-bearded, silver-haired-with-blue-tipped barefoot wastrel in kind of swanky aquamarine robes (the barefoot thing inside) just lying out on the ground.
     "...Hi Lydia~" He says pleasantly. This is easy to do because now his back is on the road.
     :D!
     "Thaaaat'sh the problem, they keep throwin' me off the road. Shoooo I gotta get clever." This is not easy to do when you technically lack a brain. Naelle has the right of it, though, he's not allowed to lie down in the middle of the road and obstruct foot traffic. No matter how amazing the road feels to his everything.
     An eye opens half-lidded to Naelle's assertions. "...Well I am one though," he says as he rocks back and forth to sit upright, hands now clasped over a humble-seeming drinking gourd as though it were a heavy, precious thing to carry. "Ahh... it'sh okay if it doeshn't make much shenshe... 'caushe I'm water~"
     ...And he tries to lie back down while the going's good, even if it's just for a minute. He turns that lazy half-opened eye to Ivan, as if to size him up. "...Hi there... yer a Guard too, huh."
     Beat.
     Stupid smile forms.
     "It'sh okay, I won't shay anything if ya won't..."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Is he trying to hide?" Everyone else seems to be better at interpreting the man's strange mutterings than Ivan.

Of Chime's various suggestions on what to do about the situation, the proposal to tip him into the canal gets Ivan's attention, and he looks scandalized, making a 'nope' motion with his arms.

"How about not the canal one!" Admittedly, the entire world in general and Spira in particular seem to be a whole lot less stressed out about drowning risks than Ivan is, but the man is obviously pretty incapacitated and should probably not be thrown into a body of water to see what happens!

Ivan's brows shoot up at the formal introduction of the box man from Lydia.

"Seraph? Aren't the seraphim supposed to be... mystical, holy beings?"

He boggles both at this reveal, as well as Lydia's easy manipulation of the box containing a rather large adult person, not sure whether to assume the effect is Lydia strength or seraphim magic or some overlap between the two. She dumps him out of the box and onto the ground, in a moment that seems to defy physical logic. So... maybe the Seraph one.

But then, Naelle reveals that--perhaps he isn't a Seraph after all? Demoted from mystical holiness? "They can lose their titles?"

As far as Lanval goes... holy or not, he has confusing preferences, which he continues to attempt to clarify, and which continue to boggle Ivan.

"You want to... feel... the road....?" He says it slowly, hoping that if he says it slowly enough, comprehension will dawn. "Uh...why?"

The attention of Lanval turns on him fully, and Ivan looks to either side of himself, hoping that maybe it was meant to be directed at someone else.

"...say anything about what?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"To be honest, I've yet to met a Seraph that really acted like they were supposed to be mystical or holy." Lydia asides to Ivan. "Though I guess Lanval manages it sometimes but usually he's like this." She boops Lanval's nose with a finger. "Ain't that right, buddy?" She smiles at her friend.

She just booped a holy seraph on the nose.

She stands herself up, frowning at Naelle's words. Is that how it works? Is it just Lanval? It's not weird to say Lanval without Seraph in front of it but it feels weird if that's not an option. She decides to not let the Althena church dictate her opinion.

"Well he's a double seraph to me. So I guess he's Seraph Seraph Lanval now." Lydia quips before looking back down to Lanval. "You could do this outside of the city too, you know." Lydia says. "Though they might think you're in trouble. I guess I can see how 'being able to be seen' can be pretty inconvenient if you like to lie down in the middle of the road now that you mention it."

She seems to even kind of get why Lanval might like to do that.

She looks back to Ivan and adds, "He's been really helpful on Filgaia."

<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    Chime's smile never falters. Nor the amusement in her eyes. She even adds in her own question aimed at Ivan and Naelle, asking "Is a Seraph a who or a title?". As Lanval is dumped out onto the road, the short elf pulls out a spool of wire and begins to make something it in her nimble hands even as she listens to Lydia.

    "And why would he be evil, in your eyes~" she adds to the first question on the heels of the answer if it comes or just after a few seconds. As she continues to work the wire between her fingers off the spool, the work mostly hidden in her palm, say asks Lanval "I'd say just get really drunk and collaspe on the street but that probably only works at night and in cities without a proper policing force."

    "She's not wrong from what I know~" she adds in support of Lydia's comment on Lanval being helpful.

<Pose Tracker> Naelle Sylkirk has posed.

Naelle still doesn't understand what Lanval is trying to do and then answers Chime. "Um, it's both. An' the Goddess herself said he was excommunicated, and now he's signed on with like, anyway Althena said. But like..." and Naelle droops even more. "It doesn't matter anymore anyway."

She sounds like she's on the verge of tears, actually. "There's more important battles to...to die fighting."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    "If ya believe in it," Lanval's voice trails as Ivan asks for clarification. Taking in the strange man's form, there is some sort of aura to this individual. It speaks of the fresh rain, the mist from a waterfall, the humidity of swampland... there's also alcohol but that can be chalked up to an ordinary physical sense. There is also a touch of mirth.
     He has a bit of a smile as Lydia playfully boops his nose. "'m jusht li'l ol' me... ha ha ha! Mmm. All right..." He rolls back and forth again to sit up, one hand atop the gourd as if to prevent its contents from spilling any. Even if he is, in some ways, the manifestation of a spill of water. Sort of. There is already the beginnings of a puddle of the clearest, freshest water forming underneath him. "It'sh... uhh.... how do I put it," he puts one hand on his chin as he sits up, the drinking gourd upright on his lap, "I dunno how you'd feel the... contoursh, the cracksh... of the road beneath ya, like I do. Kiiiiiinda like a... a... uhh... a masshage."
     Beat.
     "Fer water." He laughs. Bodies of water getting massaged by the ground underneath it! This probably makes no sense! "All the mortalsh walkin' all over it really add to the character of it... mmm." This is as good an explanation as he can give, as he tilts his head up and looks about as wistfully as he can to the Gaia above. That big Blue Star.
     He's brought back to earth (okay, the moon) by Chime's queries.
     "...Ahhh, ya shee, Althena," the Goddess, does he really have the 'right' to say her name like that "hash her shervantsh... mosht people can't shee 'em, hear 'em, do much with 'em, but they're there. That'sh what they're called!"
     He starts to rise, which is itself a challenge, and even when he stands upright he seems to make a mockery of the concept of standing upright. He sways, he staggers... but he keeps his feet on the ground, even if a part of him (or maybe even all of him) just wants to lie back down.
     Water's natural state is to rest until someone or something moves it, after all.
     He looks to Naelle as she seems to lose her resolve in telling the harsh truth about how he's seen by the people of the world he comes from, both eyes opening half-lidded as he regards her sadness. Even as she condemns and chides his existence.
     "...'m shure it meansh a lot that yer faithful, even now," he says... encouragingly? OR IS IT AN EVIL TRICK? He doesn't draw any physically closer to Naelle, though, in her feelings of doubt and inner turmoil over it all.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Helpful with what?" Lanval does not look like a very helpful person. On the flip side of that, he doesn't seem like he has the energy to be evil, either. But perhaps he got this drunk after... doing evil deeds. Ivan has not experimented with strong drink enough to know if it really has the fabled power to ease a troubled conscience. It certainly has a reputation for being an oft-attempted solution for that particular problem, though.

Lydia seems to like and trust Lanval, but come to think of it and Lydia's past history, that gives Ivan absolutely no useful information about Lanval's character. Probably Ivan shouldn't be worrying about whether anyone else is evil, anyway.

Lanval continues in his mysterious behavior... that the ground feels like a 'massage' is, at least, an answer of sorts, even if it's a weird one. Ivan is starting to pick up on the 'water' references now that he understands Lanval is a Seraph. Though he's never given much thought to what water wants or why it might want it.

"Does it have to be the road?" If it's a matter of lying on the ground unseen, somewhere, they could probably find him an alleyway or something. But is finding him a comfortable spot to lie exposed to the elements really the right goal here?

What's also going on right now is that Naelle, who is understandably still reeling from the horrible events of their failed mission--looks about ready to crumble. Ivan is zero percent qualified to be any help in remedying this, and glances around at the others with 'does anyone know how to do emotions?!' written on his face.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Oh like saving our planet helpful. And also being a good listener." Lydia says too casually.

Lydia likes and trust Ivan too so yeah maybe that isn't something you can rely on. On the other hand, maybe it just means you're secretly a good person Ivan!! MAYBE IT MEANS THAT!!! Lydia does not say it, but she does think along similar lines. Sorry dude. You made a good second impression, it's too late for the first impression to stop her.

Lydia does not hug the catgirl though she does say, "Hey," to her with concern. "Something botherin' you? This about Ghaleon?"

This isn't that she's unwilling to hug catgirls or anything but she just got done insulting Lanval so maybe she's not in a super huggy mood with her now. It'd feel impolite at least.

"Althena's really big on bureaucracy huh. Like the Guard, the Heroes, the Dragons, the Seraphs--it's a pretty major operation." she can see why Kaguya respects it.

Ivan asks a good question. Lydia smiles widely. She has sharp teeth.

<Pose Tracker> Naelle Sylkirk has posed.

Naelle sniffles, wiping her nose on her sleeve. "I don't know how not to be," she says to Lanval. "I don't understand how *anything* makes sense otherwise!"

She's getting pretty worked up, but there's not anger in her voice--more, desperation.

"It's...yeah, it's about the Dragonmaster, and--how can he be gone, how could we lose him to Sin, how do we ever hope to win against--"

She stops, kind of hyperventilating.

"I can't do anything but believe, but..."

Tears roll openly down her face now.

"I can't understand how Althena could allow this to happen."

<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    Chime listens to the flow of conversation, her own comments about Seraph sniped out from her by Lanval since she was going to point out the title of a person is not the whole of a person. She does shot Ivan and amused smile and a subtle look that he should be the one to hug Naelle. She does the same to Lydia but is shot down quickly on that front.

    The wire in her hand is shaping out into... A turtle. She finishes a simple wireframe turtle in just minutes and begins to twist and bend the wire till it snaps free. As Naelle begins to cry, Chime holds the wireframe turtle up to Lanval with a wink, and then her smile softens as she looks at the crying catgirl.

    "Well dear. Appearently it did happen." her voice is firm, but kind and gentle. "And yet time continues to flow. Would your Dragonmaster want you to wallow so in despair? Does your Goddess encourage such?" as she slips the spool of wire away. "Grieve child, don't hold it in on yourself."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    Lanval sure does look like a wastrel! He sort of is, even if there is that undercurrent of some greater dignity that seems to have been put on the wayside in favor of getting to enjoy the feeling of this specific stretch of road on his very back.
     "'caushe I like thish one!" He responds cheerily to Ivan's good question, met with an answer more appropriate to an unreasonable toddler and not this... centuries-old spirit, with a stupid cat-like smile and everything. Even with the explanations, his fixation on it being this well-trodden path is more than a little bizarre and even petty. But it is what it is!
     The silliness fades a bit as others address (...or don't) the sadness of the Guardswoman mechanic. It is a tricky subject to broach for him, as Naelle questions how Althena could let something so terrible happen.
     I asked the same thing, it's almost on his lips. He saw things happening in Meribus that should not have been. A Malevolent Domain should not have ever formed there. He caught another one trying to form where he used to preside. That shook one who dedicated their life towards keeping that Boundary reinforced - but that is a well-told tale among his friends now.
     Tactfully, for one whose natural state of being is 'giggle, be drunk, trip over himself and then lay down wherever water collects,' he silently takes a deep sip of his drinking gourd - maybe in hopes that he'll hear Schturdark this time.
     He doesn't.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"He saved a planet?"

To Lanval, Ivan repeats, almost accusingly: "You saved a planet?"

Naelle asks a series of questions that don't have answers... or at least not good ones that should be said out loud to someone who is distraught. He auditions a few responses in his head.

Obviously, Althena lets all kinds of horrible things happen all the time!

...no.

I've been assuming Sin will probably just kill us if the leadership doesn't give up on the whole thing!

No, no, no.

Mercifully, Chime attempts to tackle the subject matter with a great deal more grace than Ivan was able to muster, even in his imagination. Well... it sounds nice, anyway. He doesn't know if he agrees with the sentiment. Don't wallow, because your authority figures wouldn't want it?

Well, maybe Naelle should wallow, then! Makes it seem like an act of defiance.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia is probably also thinking things that she is dissuadin herself from saying because it's inappropriate even if it's probably true. She looks at Ivan for help but--yeah that's not happening. She exhales and rubs her neck awkwardly before giving Naelle a pat on the head with a hand. She's a tall lady she can do these sorts of things.

"Hey, we're heathens, remember? You gotta be brave for us. Not like suicidal brave, but like--not thinking everything is hopeless brave."

She laughs awkwardly. She did her best there but sometimes your best is slightly below someone else's average.

She does look over to Lanval though because even though she can't read Lanval's thoughts, she knows dang well what got HIM excommunicated. And sure, maybe Naelle should be excommunicated. Maybe everybody should be so it no longer means anything, but that's way beyond her pay grade. She can't even murder Ivan's dad yet and sometimes you gotta appreciate the scale of what you want to kill. Or don't kill. Honestly the idea of killing anyone makes Lydia feel queasy though Lubov really feels like he deserves it. How can one dude be so unlikeable??

Especially when his kids are SO likeable. Even when they're trying not to be!

She looks at her feet thoughtfully.

<Pose Tracker> Naelle Sylkirk has posed.

"I-I'm being as brave as I can," Naelle protests.

it's weak. She's weak. She's a disgrace to the Guard and to Althena.

She swallows hard.

"Also I'm confiscating that box."

<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    Chime smiles brightly up at Naelle. She's like only a bit taller than the four and half foot tall elf. It's almost impossible for anything but an actual child to be smaller than the red-haired elf.

    "Very brave~" she says in a cheerful voice. "Don't be afraid to falter or fall, just be brave enough to pick yourself and keep going." her voice encouraging and hopeful. "Ooo, and do~ Make the ragamuffin find a new way to hide in plain sight~" her voice amused as Naelle makes her intent to take the box known. While she pokes and prods Lanval with the wireframe turtle she made.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Okay." Lydia says, putting the box on Naelle's head.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    "Not alone, buuut, yup," he replies with as straight a face as someone like him can muster. "It'sh my job ta protect a part of it now, too." From up here, stranded from it, but it is.
     When Lydia looks over to Lanval, she can see that he's holding up all right enough. They're good friends now. She'd probably know if he wasn't. The stars do shine and reflect off the water, after all.
     Naelle commandeers THE BOX. Lanval opens both his eyes half-lidded at her, and there's that momentary intense feeling of something that might be grave, deep-set disapproval of the id--
     "Aww, okay, shurrrrrre..." Never mind. "When ya share the wealth, there'sh more of it." He laughs when Lydia helps share by putting it on her head, and also because of all the poking Chime does with the wireframe turtle. It turns out he's sort of ticklish. Given he has the appearance of a fat man, there might be something weirdly fun to seeing if his manifestation conforms to those kinds of physics in interactions with the suitably Resonant--
     And then he reaches out to try to take it off of her. Riches are to be shared!! and it is not at all annoyance maybe
     "Jusht sho! Richer... ha ha ha!"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"But how-- what-- I guess you have magic, probably...?"

Ivan is still kind of incredulous about Lanval in general. But a seraph must have some pretty significant power--or else Ivan's father wouldn't be so interested in them.

As for the effort to help Naelle, Ivan kind of likes Lydia's take on it, to be honest. An appeal to pride like that might've worked on him, if he were a devout follower of Althena, being overwhelmed by doubt and fear. But, of course, he isn't devout, and doesn't have feelings, about this or anything. Ever.

"It'll... take a while to absorb, I think." Ivan finally pipes up. "We were there in the middle of something that was so..." he trails off, trying to think of whether he means to say horrible, or enormous, or what, without the word he chooses reflecting too much back on him, but a box being placed over Naelle's head while he's saying it renders him speechless.

<Pose Tracker> Naelle Sylkirk has posed.

Naelle props the box up for a moment. "Thank you," she says.

Then she slowly crouches down and hides under the box, curled up on the road.

WAS THIS THE FALLEN SERAPH'S PLAN ALL ALONG?

<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    Chime releases the wireframe turtle to Lanval without concern. She's also too busy arching an eyebrow at first Lydia, then Naelle response to the box being placed over her. Then she's softly snickering in an amused tone, the faint response of "Like a house cat." coming from the soon giggling elf.

    After a few moments she gives her head a little shake and looks at Ivan saying "Tragedy often does take time to come to terms with. So long as you don't run away from it, you can overcome it." with a smile. "So long as you hold to hope, in anything, the way will eventual clear and the path be found.".

    Chime adjusts her bangs, saying "Well, looks like you now have an extra excuse to lay about Lanval. Keeping an eye on the box and it's contents~ Enjoy~" her voice cheerfully bright as she clasps her hands behind her head.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Naelle seems happy to have a box to hide her from the world right now. Ivan doesn't bedgrudge her that. On reflection, he thinks maybe the box would have worked on him, too, if probably for different reasons.

But why does today need to have so many decisions specifically regarding whether it's okay to leave people in the middle of the road in boxes? It's really not a moral question Ivan was prepared to grapple with.