2019-07-21: Walk a While in 'Maybe'

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  • Log: Walk a While in 'Maybe'
  • Cast: Lydia Seren, Riesenlied, Ivan
  • Where: Mi'ihen Highroad
  • Date: 21st July 2019
  • Summary: Lydia brings Riesenlied along to rescue chocobo chicks when a hardened battle assassin appears...!!


<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

The Battle of Luca has left behind plenty of problems that haven't entirely been settled and some that were doubtful to be expected since in war such things are often forgotten. Many merchants in Luca had chocobos driving their carts and, as a result, this meant that there were plenty of choco-chicks around the city if you knew where to look and around nearby farms. Some were kept as pets! The war has displaced many chocobo and Lydia, ever hoping to encourage MOM, has suggested they go and rescue some choco-chicks. Maybe some can be returned to their lost owners. Perhaps some can find new homes!

This ultimately ends with Lydia pushing Riesenlied along the Mi'ihen highroad. "I'm counting on your fluff-senses." Lydia is telling Riesenlied. "Your Bird Empathy will be keen on the success of this mission! For I expect the chocobos to be hard to find. After all, it's a dangerous land for choco-chicks...! Fiendish chocobo eaters, other natural predators...! We must be prepared to fight in order to save our avian allies...!"

At this point Lydia has to stop because a baaaaaby chocobo has just trotted up right to the wheelchair and is looking up at Riesenlied expectantly.

It flaps its wings and tries to make a WARK noise but it doesn't seem to be entirely developed just yet because intead it just goes, "WAK!"

"...Impressive...it seems this one got the drop on us, mom." Lydia frowns suspiciously.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Between taking an arrow to the arm and other such stressors like where to navigate next for the Fereshte and how to best manage all the refugees they have to relocate and also the Black Wolves are probably going to take heat for a kidnapping and also my parents are still dead, Riesenlied has had a lot on her mind which...

Which is a good thing that Lydia has been encouraging her to go rescue some choco-chicks.

She's on her wheelchair, largely because Moccy the white chocobo is scouting elsewhere so they have more choco-power to go rescue more choco-chicks along.

"Ah... y-yes, I'll try my best, Lydia," Riesenlied smiles terribly warmly. Despite Spira's clime, she's dressed a bit warm today, with the usual light pink gown and earthen capelet combo ontop if only to hide the Medium grafted at her neck. She doesn't look particularly healthy today, but--

wak!

"Ah! There!" Riesenlied looks to the baby chocobo, cheeks colouring as she leans down and smiles. "Hello, little one..."

She looks to Lydia, then rummages around a gysahl green-printed satchel and hands a little Carob Nut to Lydia. "Here. Carob Nuts are really soft so they're suitable for baby chocobos... do you want to feed one?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan is on patrol! On the lookout for monsters, mainly, but probably also for wayward drifters and inexplicably endearing outlaws precisely like yourselves, if he were into that component of the job. But he's not! He's into pretending to be forgetful about wanted posters and such unless he actually sees someone committing a crime (and even then... who is he, an assassin, to judge??) Basically Ivan is the least effective law enforcement type of person ever and pretty much has to be explicitly aimed at a target in order to activate battle mode.

That is to say, when he sees Lydia and Riesenlied rolling around near Luca in search of choco chicks, his instinct is not to be /HEY YOU, STOP RIGHT THERE/ it's to be like, /Oh no, oh no, aah, it's Lydia and her chicken mom!/

...But they ARE on the approach to a potentially hostile city, so it may not be a good idea to just wander off in the other direction and hope everything is cool. If they're here, maybe something bad is going on? So against his better judgement, he approaches!

"Uh, hey, is everything okay?"

... whoa that is a tiny chocobo down there.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Luckily for Lydia, despite being an endearing outlaw she has managed to avoid getting either a bounty or committing assault against a Guardsman. Of course, she ASSOCIATES with the Caravan Kinship which is obviously a hive of scum and villainy so maybe she just hasn't been CAUGHT doing an evil anti althenian crime yet... but it's just only a matter of time! Like in Lupin the Third!

"I don't know," Lydia says, taking the Carob Nut. "Am I ready? I don't know if I'm ready to feed a baby chocobo..." She approaches the chocobo. "It's a big responsible I..." %rShe crouches and holds the Carob Nut out and--

  • peck*

The chocobo snags it right out of her hand! Lydia's eyes snap open wide as the choco-chick hops repeatedly at Lydia's knee but can't seem to get up.

"Ahh---! Did I upset it??" No it actually just wants a ride and Lydia eventually figures that out as she picks up the chocobo, looking absolutely terrified and sets the baby chocobo onto her shoulder.

"Oh guardians oh guardians oh guardians..." Lydia says. "It's on me. Ahhhhhhhhh---ohhhh hey Ivan."

Lydia immediately calms(?) down and throws a wave at him, trying to look all cool. "Fancy meeting an Ivan out here."

Um. IS everything okay? That's a pretty broad question. Lydia looks toward Riesenlied for a few moments and ends up looking at baby chocobo.

"Ahhh it's still on me... It's not gonna fall is it? What if it falls??"

Her eyes, still wide snap back towards Ivan and she tries less successfully to look cool and calm again. "O-oh. Hey. Yeah. Awesome. Everything's fine. We're uh. We're just looking for lost chocobos."

She trails off a bit and adds, "Oh uh. This is mom. Whom you've met before apparently?? Her name's Riesenlied. She's uh. The uh..."

Lydia shifts her feet about awkwardly.

"The coolest person in the galaxy? So um." She trails off.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied continues to be as she is last she met Ivan, the world's most harmless wanted woman this side of Jacqueline Barber and the Guard called the hit off on her but what about Riesenlied the 'Deceiver'? Ahhh... well, if we don't think about it here, you see...

"You'll be okay," Riesenlied encourages and-- giggles faintly as the chocobo snaps the nut and hops at her knees.

"It loves you!" the Hyadean cheerfully says as she looks up to it. "It's positively warmed up to you. Try scratching it under the chin..."

A pause, as she blinks towards Ivan and smiles just a bit wider. "Hello, Ivan. It's been a while since Kilika, hasn't it...?" She laces her hands together. One of the hand is gnarly and Dragon-like, but the other one manages to still be human-shaped.

She reddens as Lydia calls her the coolest person, though.

"And Lydia is the most wonderful daughter in the universe," she shoots back. "Hehe. Sorry. Yes, I'm Riesenlied, of the Wayside Outreach. We're looking for chocobo chicks that were sent astray from their flock in the wake of the battle..."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan would never have thought about lost chocobo chicks. He just isn't considerate like that. Apparently they are right on target about chocobo chicks being lost, though, since they already found one and it is perching on Lydia.

Ivan listens as they re-introduce one another to him in their family context, and nods to Riesenlied.

"It has been a bit of a while, yeah. I didn't realize you were the coolest person in the galaxy when we met before," he tells her. He does not provide an opinion on Lydia's status as universe's most wonderful daughter.

"Er... I apologize... on behalf of the Guard... if I'm allowed to do that... for the displacement of chocobo chicks," he says, gravely.

It seems that Ivan does not dare bust out his gruff act in front of Riesenlied and may be on something resembling intentionally good behavior.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Whaaat! Nooooo!" Lydia says as if a compliment was actually a mortal blow! She doesn't die though because if she dd, the chocobo chick on her shoulder would surely fall. "Man, the universe..! How did I manage that?"

She does, tentatively, stroke the chocobo's chin with a finger. The chocobo waks again happily before chomping down on Lydia's finger for no damage.

Lydia gently pulls the Choco-chick's beak free before it waddles back across her shoulder to try and chomp the finger again. Lydia keeps her hands down for the time being.

"It's really cute." Lydia admits, cheeks silvering faintly when Riesenlied points out the chocobo loves her.

"Ah--" She says, as if kind of derailed by all this cute. It is a little strange to her that despite displacing (and murdering) plenty of actual people from Luca, a technical representative of the Guard is apologizing for the chocobos but she supposes it makes sense on reflection. The chocobos can't possibly offend anyone but people can offend just by existing.

Well this one at least seems to be managing okay." Lydia tells Ivan, figuring the 'chicken mom' in the scenario is probably best suited to handling apologies to the fowl families.

It doesn't, at least, seem that Lydia is one to be bashful about her love and appreciation for her family. She's too grateful to manage that attitude but she does add, "Um--well, we are planning on going down the road but there are Fiends around so ...if the Guard is up for providing an escort, it would be really helpful?"

She looks to Riesenlied hopefully.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"Hehe. I've been trying to use the words about space you've been teaching me more," Riesenlied chimes warmly to Lydia because ever since spending time with her engineer and astronomically inclined daughter she's probably learnt a lot more about space, planets, stars, galaxies and universes than she ever did as a nomad on the steppes of Elru.

She smiles a bit more warmly at Ivan, noticing some of his awkwardness as she tilts her head. "... it's okay. I'm not about to blame the actions of a group on one person in particular," she expresses with no small amount of resolve. "But thank you, nonetheless."

She watches Lydia and the choco-chick play around, as she places a hand on her more scaled cheek, these days.

"I'd love to know more about you. Lydia's told me a bit, but... all the better to travel together?" She gestures to her wheelchair-bound self. "It is true it may be dangerous. Fiends have been roaming around more lately..."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

If Ivan knew Lydia was mentally calling him out for ostensibly being sorrier about the choco chicks than the people, he would probably jump into the ocean, so it's for the best that she didn't decide to voice that out loud. It's very confusing to be Ivan these days, and he misses the time when he thought himself to be the single, terrible blemish of evil hiding within an otherwise morally pristine organization. Now his good bosses are bad bosses and his bad boss has been eerily quiet, and the world is topsy turvy.

Riesenlied revealing that she wanted to use words about space for Lydia hits Ivan like a physical blow of cuteness, and also tugs at his heart a little because he is not immune to having, at times, imagined having a mom, and Riesenlied seems like she's a very sweet mom to Lydia.

"Okay, yeah, I can help escort you..." he says, not necessarily suspecting any ulterior motives on Lydia's part since it seems like a reasonable request. He finds himself contemplating how Lydia /does/ do with fiends in general, since she usually lets him take point on dealing with them during treasure hunts, but also roams a fiend-infested country pretty easily. Could she have been hanging back for the sake of his ego? Maybe he /should/ suspect ulterior motives. But he's not going to start that up in front of chicken mom. Besides, it makes good sense that if a fiend did attack, or more than one, one person should fight while the other focuses on staying with Riesenlied.

He starts to walk along with them as they travel, matching their pace and scanning around for motion from approaching threats.

/I'd love to know more about you./

Ivan seems startled for a moment, then makes a regretful 'mm' sound. "...unfortunately, there really isn't anything to know about me at all," Ivan says, with such sincerity that you'd almost think he genuinely has no idea that statement is ridiculous. "I'm..." he considers. "The least interesting person in the universe."

As long as they're claiming titles and all.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia's ulterior motive is pretty simple: She'd like Ivan's company.

But honestly the situation kind of practically calls for some sort of escort considering that Lydia isn't exactly a great fighter and all the firepower in the world doesn't mean much if you can't hit your target or you're out of firepower after dealing with ONE problem. Lydia can probably escape any low to mid level fiend attack but Riesenlied is stuck in a wheelchair. An escort IS a good idea.

Lydia certainly doesn't think Ivan thinks less of people than chocobos. She has, unfortunately for Ivan???, a higher opinion of him than that. She is less sure about the Guard itself as of late. She doubts Ivan is particularly xenophobic but what about Leo? The other Four Heroes? Friggin' /Naelle/ of all people?

"Oh is that why?" Lydia asks rhetorically but she does smile all the same. "I hope you found it interesting. To be honest, I haven't really researched it in so long I'm wondering if I'm going to forget everything."

Maybe, she thinks, the reason she wanted to leave Filgaia in the first place is no longer a thing and maybe that means she has lost some of her drive to even make the ship she still dreams of making.

It certainly didn't help there's like 50 ways to get to the moon apparently that are easier than any ship Lydia could make.

But she sets aside those thoughts as she gets a-pushing of Riesenlied's chair some more down the highroad.

The baby chocobo waks at Ivan hopefully??

Lydia would sympathize with Ivan on the world being topsy turvy at least. She never expected this out of the Guard before and now she just...doesn't know.

So far the road is peaceful, as if to lull the trio into a false sense of security! But then the threat...comes from within the party?!

Lydia also startles when Riesenlied asks more about Ivan. Apparently that wasn't an ulterior motive either because the last thing she wants is Ivan to press down L and R so soon after joining them.

"Pffh," She says. "That's not true." about Ivan being the least interesting person in the universe. "Ivan's great." She tells Riesenlied but does not provide any evidence in her ever futile attempts to respect Ivan's comfort zones. "He's helped me out of a ton of jams actually. Like we were fighting an Iron Giant and I got clobbered but he got me out and hung about until I fixed myself up." Ivan knows this is a bit of a sanitized version as is because LYdia was freaking the heck out and boy does she not mention that part. "He actually met Emeralda too not too long ago."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied looks terribly pleased Ivan acquiesces to their request of accompaniment. They travel along the road for a moment, her eyes peeled open for the sound and scents and tracks of the chocobo chicks... no matter how fragile and weathered she has become, she does have those kinds of senses in her time with the Fereshte tribe.

"W-well, you know I'm not terribly.... ummm, technical," Riesenlied is self-effacing for a moment. "But I do. I do find it interesting. I learnt of the land and its bounties... how the seasons shift it, from spring bloom to wintry grace..."

She tilts her head.

"Why does that have to be any different than stars and planets? I am just... learning about the beauty of space now," she chuckles. She knows Lydia hasn't really talked about space lately and maybe she wants to help rekindle that...

There's a pause at Ivan as her horns -- literally deflate a little. Horns... aren't meant to do that? Well, hers does, it seems. Droopy horn.

"Hehe..." Riesenlied is endeared as Lydia disagrees that Ivan is the least interesting person in the universe. "And... I think, even if that were the case -- you'd still be a person in the universe, like a star in the night sky. And that makes you wonderful and precious."

D-does she always talk like that???

(yes)

She listens to Lydia's tale of the Iron Giant, cupping her mouth. "Oh, I'm really glad you were there..." A pause, as she wonders if Ivan is a more practical sort. She rummages around that ever-present satchel and produces a little choco-whistle.

"Here. Chocobo chicks tend to be very attentive to their mother's call, so we might be able to coax some out of hiding with this. Would you do me the honours, Ivan?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Riesenlied uses the words "wonderful and precious," and Ivan goes statue-like and turns his attention very intently to the horizon in search of lurking fiends.

A small almost-wark sounds, behind him. Ivan turns to look at the baby chocobo 'wak'ing at him. "What does it want?" he asks the others, on the presumption that they speak chocobo better than he does.

Lydia shares some things he hypothetically did recently, for Riesenlied's benefit.

"I don't know if I really helped too much with the Iron Giant..." he says. He doesn't elaborate, because he gets the feeling Lydia doesn't want to talk too much about it, and starting an argument would be challenging her to add details.

Come to think of it, though, there are a lot of times he /almost/ helped Lydia escape something, or /thought about/ helping her swing across a chasm or something, but he can't think of a time when he actually, successfully rescued her.

"...Have I /ever/ gotten you out of a jam, Lydia?" He sounds more dissappointed than corrective to say it.

"It's mostly been the reverse --" he glances to Riesenlied. "Lydia saved my life once. Actually twice, there was that thing with the bubble..." Three times, if you count the baseball bat, but he isn't in the mood to count the baseball bat right now.

Riesenlied hands Ivan a choco whistle!

"I... suppose..." he says. He takes the whistle, and sounds it hesitantly.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"It probably wants a Carob Nut! Since I gave it a Carob Nut earlier." Lydia guesses in Ivan's direction.

"Aw geeze." Lydia says to Riesenlied after when she unleashes a full on compliment session directed at Ivan. Knowing Ivan as she does, she's practicallly embarrassed by proxy, but the faint smile might indicate she doesn't disagree with all those adjectives--it's just kind of awkward to actually say such things. Or maybe she doesn't mind because of the company.

"Well I know we lost against the Giant," Lydia admits. "But remember? I was kind of freaking out and you said 'I've only known this you. She seems like a pretty good person to be around.' and so on? And then there was that time after you set me on fire though I guess since you were checking up on me after I was set on fire I guess... that kind of cancels each other out maybe?"

"And um--didn't you save me from the toilet? Well I guess we both went into the toilet anyway but it still counts." She taps her chin thoughtfully. "And 'fcourse all the times we had to fight something but I couldn't really handle it on my own."

She swings her hands behind her.

"And then there was that time after I hit you with the baseball bat where you kept watch so I could rest?"

She seems unaware that most of this information is probably news to Riesenlied and the eccentricies are probably adding up in a startling manner.

At least she doesn't comment on the COMPENSATION FOR MY SINS part of that day due to Ivan's directive to never speak of it ever again but has she managed to avoid it enough??

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied, mercifully at least, knows when to not lay on the compliments too much and this is one of those times.

"It sounds like you two have gone on quite a lot of adventures together," Riesenlied smiles warmly, not really knowing the specifics of each adventure she wasn't there for of course, but... she knows enough that people don't talk about this time or that time without there being quite a story behind it. "You two must work really well together, hehe..."

She perks up just a little at Lydia and nods as she hands Ivan a few Carob Nuts -- maybe because she's anticipating more to come out to them soon now that the whistle's blown.

The Giant story endears her, even if they lost... but she knows they wouldn't be the type to be set back too long by that. It--

Blink blink.

"T-toilet....?" Riesenlied stammers. Oh no horn droop further. "Baseball bat??"

horn floppy

but then

... there's a little rustle from the bushes ...

and out comes

OH NO A HIGH LEVEL FIEND--

  • final fantasy woosh battle transition*

--no actually it's another chocobo chick. It's bobbling up curiously to Ivan, clearly hearing the sound of the whistle he blew. 'kweh...?' oh no, it sounds kind of vulnerable and sad...

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"I haven't got a carob nut. Can you give it a carob nut?"

Riesenlied hands a carob nut... to Ivan.

This, of course, unleashes a minor crisis about whether it is appropriate for him, a hardened killer, to be the one to give a treat to a cute animal. While he's having this crisis, Lydia then unleashes a galling torrent of historically accurate narratives from their past conflicts and adventures that Ivan responds to like a hail of arrows, literally or metaphorically cringing as each one strikes. The... ... the direct quote of the thing he said during her freakout!! The time they got flushed down the toilet... ... and worst of all?!?

"R-riesenlied knows I set you on fire?!" Ivan asks, stricken. Well, if she didn't, she does NOW.

This is it, he's really going to have to jump into the ocean....

NO WAIT, A BATTLE, MAYBE HE CAN FINALLY REDEEM HIMSE-...a chocobo comes out, and now there are two tiny adorable chocobos beseeching him for carob nuts, but Ivan is having a bluescreen moment, so he just stands there holding carob nuts, looking at the sky for help.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Well she knows now," Lydia admits because she's not sure she had mentioned it to Riesenlied before. Riesenlied seems more upset about BASEBALL BAT but maybe she figures that Lydia doesn't seem to be holding a grudge on the fire. "It's fine, though, Riesenlied gets it."

"Hmhmhm..." Lydia crosses her arms confidently as she adds, "That's right, mom! Almost all of our adventures were a success! Some were even great successes! Last time we succeeded and we only found clothes, though." She pauses looking to Ivan. "Did you ever set your uniform on fire or did you keep it?"

She's now curious!

"Come to think of it, there was that time with that small hole in the caverns--"

Luckily this is all paused as a sad chocobo chick approaches Ivan. Who has a carob nut now.

"Awww." Lydia says. "Don't worry, Ivan! It's not as hard as it looks." To feed...a tiny baby chocobo a carob nut.

"If you put the carob nut in a spot it can reach, it'll probably eat it!"

She frowns a little at the chocobo.

"Aw...I hope it hasn't had it too rough out there."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"T-th-- there was-- there was too much for me to respond to at one time...!" Riesenlied flabbergastedly says, with the processing speed of a mom who only has single-target, single-hit attacks rather than multi-target, two-hit attacks.

She droops just a little, but nods towards Ivan as she gestures encouragingly. "Lydia has the right of it. Just offer your palm down and know you're not going to hurt it... the nut has a really enticing smell, and it must be really hungry by now..."

As if to demonstrate, she picks off a small portion of the Carob Nut -- so it'll still want to go to Ivan -- and holds it out on her palm as she carefully lowers herself off her wheelchair to sit legside out on the ground. "Here you go, little one...!"

The little chocobo skitters after sniffing, nomming the little piece of nut. Wark!

Then it looks expectantly towards Ivan... tilt-head.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Alas, Ivan is too busy begging the universe to save or obliterate him to update Lydia on whether he enjoyed some recreational pyromania in destroying a uniform they found in a cave.

Considering all non-essential Ivan mental functions have essentially shut down, being carefully instructed to perform a simple task probably isn't the worst thing in the world for rebooting him. Ivan crouches down in front of the chocobo baby, once it's finished nibbling Riesenlied's demonstration nut piece, and addresses it in a serious voice, as if it were human:

"Um... here. This is for you."

He watches the tiny chocobo peck at the nut. But cute as it is... it cannot make him forget...the recent crisis... of Riesenlied knowing he set her precious best daughter in the universe on fire.

He looks up at Riesenlied and Lydia. "Should I... explain?" he asks, with a grimace. It's not like explaining it will make him sound BETTER.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"See? Easy peasy! Now you can feed baby chocobos whenever you want!" Lydia says as if this were a tutorial.

Lydia looks to Riesenlied briefly, then looks back to Ivan. "...About the uniform?"

There is a small pause. Then she says, "Oh, right! The fire thing. Um. If you want!" She doesn't seem terribly determined to throw Ivan's life history in Riesenlied's face even though she probably already knows from knowing Talia pretty much but if it lifts the weight off Ivan a bit, well, that's nice isn't it?

She glances briefly at the chocobo. The choco-chick on her shoulder (which she has named Wakker because it only waks, and it sounds strangely similar to Wakka) pokes Lydia's shoulder with a beak and adds, "I think this one wants another nut. But we probably shouldn't use all our carob nuts now."


<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Lydia cheers him on and acknowledges that Ivan now has The Knowledge.

CHOCOBO FEEDING MINIGAME UNLOCKED

(bwong sfx. you know the one)

"That's right... we do still have a number of other chicks to find," Riesenlied nods as the chocobo cheerfully hops up onto Ivan's hand and starts nibbling at the nut he's offered it.

After it's done with a few nibbles, it looks a lot more happy and cheered-up. "Kweh!" speaks the one that isn't the Wakker. This one's a bit more sullen so maybe it's a Luller? Or a Tidder? Let's not think too hard about this...

"I don't know if you've been to the Fereshte ship before... but you're welcome to visit anytime, Ivan," Riesenlied smiles warmly.

That'd be that big Dragons-headed blimp ship that's been seen in Kilika and Luca... something like an airship if it wasn't terribly beaten up.

"I know Janey and Mikaia and the other kids would be interested in hearing the kinds of adventures you two have been up to, hehe..."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"I mean, does she know..." He looks to Riesenlied. "... do you know..." Back to Lydia, more urgently. "Does she know???"

He is trying to ask if Riesenlied knows he is an assassin. Will Ivan ever finish his sentence?? Will he be given an answer, even if he does?? Who knows!

Ivan looks at Riesenlied in worry and confusion because wasn't he supposed to be throwing himself into the ocean in shame, not having the conversation continue to chug along normally as he feeds a chocobo and gets invited onto an airship??

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Um." Lydia says uncertainly. DOES Riesenlied know? She knows Talia right? And must know Talia's an assassin right? So she should know Ivan's an assassin?

She walks along the cart as she tries to figure this out. "I don't think I mentioned it, but--" Is Riesenlied the type of person to be this kind to someone who is a known killer?

Yes. So--

"--She might have figured it out through inference?" She looks back to Ivan.

"Y-yeah, I'd be happy to tell them about it." She sounds a little nervous, like maybe she spilled a secret she didn't really think was secret even though she didn't actually really spill the secret.

"You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to, Ivan." She reassures him, focusing on pushing Riesenlied along because she's afraid if she lets go she won't be able to grab ahold of the chair again.

She wonders if maybe all she's good for is making Ivan suffer. If that's true, what could she do about it? Should she leave him alone from now on?

She doesn't think she can do that.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied tilts her head in a moment of quiet between Ivan asking if she knows and Lydia dancing around the subject, with a look of quiet concern... but she tries to have the most reassuring smile that she can muster, understanding that a lot of youths have very checkered backgrounds. Her, too..

"..."

Riesenlied lowers her head, then removes that high-necked capelet of hers, undoing the eastern-style bowstring. She untucks it, so that the base of her neck is now visible.

There's more scale where it's grown all over the skin, looking rather horrific and... grafted, but visibly -- there's a glowing eight-sided emblem of some kind upon it, with a gleaming jewel in the centre. The Artificial Medium of Life.

"I... know you must have your own burdens, and I can scarce imagine what you might've gone through. I've seen and heard a lot of struggle from so many people..."

She tilts her head, as the Medium shines softly.

"... I guess, what I'm trying to say is... you can tell me at your own pace, but I'm not going to be judgemental. Okay?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan isn't sure what Riesenlied is showing him, and looks to Lydia questioningly, if she might know. The glowing mark seems... painful, maybe? But that's all he gets from it. It seems perhaps that something is going over his head.

Riesenlied encourages him to take his time, and says that she won't judge.

"It's really... an okay thing to be judgemental about," Ivan mumbles.

He keeps walking along with them, quite off balance. He... ... he can't run away, because he's protecting them from fiends! Although there haven't been fiends, only tiny chocobos. How are the tiny chocobos getting along with fiends around? ...He finds himself briefly and absurdly imagining trying to teach them to fight. No, no, don't teach the baby chocobos to fight and be tough, Ivan, Lydia and Riesenlied are going to take them back to safe places.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Wakker seems to be more energetic than the other chocobo who is a little down. It flutters over and tries to nuzzle against the sad bird. Seems like they're getting along fine. Or at least, Wakker is trying to get along fine. Maybe the other bird won't appreciate it. Maybe Ivan will have to stop two birds from fighting...!!

Or teach them to fight fiends.

Lydia has gone quiet. She seems hesitant to open her mouth as if anything she could say may be used to forge the scourge for Ivan to whip himself with.

She does however catch Ivan giving Riesenlied a look and Lydia looks over to that Medium stuck within her and then look down. It's unclear what's running through her head.

"Mom was once part of an army called the Metal Demons though their real name was the 'Hyadeans'."

"Her father--Siegfried--he waged war upon humanity though he was pretty much waging war against anybody who wasn't Hyadean or Veruni. Not sure how he managed to forge that alliance but regardless in one of their first attacks, they struck Adlehyde. They killed the citizens, its king, burned a fair chunk to the ground." She does not call Siegfried granddad. Apparently as far as Lydia is concerned, Riesenlied doesn't have parents.

"Mom was one of the attackers." Lydia explains to Ivan. "Guess she fought with them for a few centuries before too though I don't really know much of how that went down but the Hyadeans took out an entire kingdom before they even attacked Adlehyde. And they took out a second city too called St. Centour. St. Centour only had one survivor."

She looks to Ivan. "Anyway eventually mom wanted to find a peaceful resolution and ultimately got pinned as a traitor to her people." She sighs briefly beffore adding, "And I guess one of 'em decided she needed to be punished so they stuck that medium inside of her--and they tried to use her to kill our planet."

She looks back down. "We managed to stop that."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Whaaaaaaat???" says Ivan, practically skidding to a halt and whirling to look at them both.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied looks a bit nervous, perhaps, like perhaps she showed the wrong hand, maybe she didn't reach out in the right way... but... Lydia has her back as she supports and explains for her. It might be a little bit much at once, but Lydia has a better gauge of how much Ivan can digest at one time, as far as information and bombs go.

"But... are you yourself okay with it? That is more important, than another person's judgement, isn't it...?" Riesenlied speaks gently.

She tilts her head.

"It is easier to bear hatred for oneself... than to be kind for oneself. That's something I struggle with even now."

She quietly smiles as she watches the two birds play, unaware of what they're discussing about. She understands Lydia doesn't quite view Siegfried as a father to her the way she does. She can't blame her. How could she?

"... to me, it did not matter what my motivations were. It did not matter that I tried to teach them to be better, to try to minimise casualties... I still had a hand in it."

She looks to Ivan, who has a terribly surprised expression on her face.

"But Lydia saved me. Noeline saved me... every single one of the Drifters who fought so hard to protect our world, Filgaia. And now..."

There's a tender, sad smile on her face as she says, "... there are still days where I scarce think I deserve it. That there are still days where I meet people who can't forgive me. And I have to be okay with that. But ..."

She swallows deeper.

"That's why I say I won't hold judgement."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"The outside world is so much different from how I expected," Ivan whispers, clearly still digesting. It seems that so many people he meets have these complicated, dark pasts filled with violence and redemption. Even the most sweet and kind chicken moms!

He absolutely can't picture any of that happening!

Where are all the ordinary people who were supposed to be waiting in the outside world to judge him and find his actions inconceivable? ... ... maybe some of them are in the Guard?

"I... I'm sorry." It's an awkward response, especially not pinned to anything in particular, but it's just so big and awful that he feels like he ought to at least express some sympathy for it, even if Riesenlied finds herself culpable for a significant portion.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Maybe the animator didn't have time to draw them into the scene or change the npc dialogue from 'welcome to Mi'ihen Highroad!'. "Drifters tend to have wild upside down lives." Lydia tells Ivan. "I guess we usually don't talk about it either. Not that often. Cause everyone--"

Lydia cuts herself off. Her grip tightens on the wheelchair briefly before she lets go.

Chicken Mom is the sort of person Lydia doesn't just love but clearly looks up to. Perhaps that's an answer to one of Ivan's old questions: Why Lydia does seem easy to forgive things like being set on fire. She imagines that's what Riesenlied would do and tries to follow in that line of thinking.

She never feels she can ever be quite as good as she.

She sneaks a hand out and tries to hold Ivan's free one briefly, giving it a small squeeze.

She mumbles awkwardly for bit. Something unclear. She lifts her head up, avoiding looking at Ivan directly, then lets go of his hand without saying anything, returning to the chair.

Her attempt at support, maybe?

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"It's... it's okay. I was clumsy too. It wasn't meant to be about me, I just wanted to illustrate... well..."

Riesenlied is not having the easiest time too, fixing her capelet back up. It doesn't make her feel very proud or comfortable to show just how gnarled and infested, perhaps in her own colourful words, she feels she's become. She listens to Lydia for a moment, then to Ivan again.

She smiles just a bit more at Lydia's silent gestures to Ivan, then reaching for her daughter, she pats her on the shoulder supportively.

"I know it does not narrow the pain down. But I hoped to say, in saying you needn't be alone in facing it... that there are people who can sympathise and listen, when you are ready. When you're both ready."

She says that, because she knows Lydia easing the truth in probably would help Ivan with how close she is to him.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan blinks at Lydia as she reaches out to hold his hand, and continues to look after her wonderingly after, as though he can't quite believe such a thing just happened. Hand holding! In broad daylight! What is even happening anymore!

Riesenlied also reaches out in her own way, with words of offered support.

"I um. I. ...thank you, maybe."

Ivan will need some time to piece himself back together and remember who he is, whether any of the things he's learned can really change the rules and make it okay to accept such a thing.

But maybe...? He will let himself walk a while in 'maybe,' until he can remember again why the answer is always no.