|Discerning the Future.....|
The beach here is much as one would expect. Distanced from the docks to the west, the beach gazes out upon the beautiful waters surrounding Choras and typically has dozens of small children frollicing about and playing when not being taught at the Elder's House on the north end of town. At night it becomes a frequent romantic hideout for the town's youth.
Schala walks down the sandy beach, occasionally picking up a shell or two, observing their detailed textures. Its so strange... every single nook and cranny, every subtle color change, every exact ridge. Such small things... such detail in them. Surely, they must all have a purpose. She was filled with such love for everything that exists, she could hardly imagine that one day, it would all disappear. This was the fate of everything. Not even Lavos could escape that fate. Sitting down against a rock, she smiled and places a particularly large shell against her cheek, just for the tactile sensation of it... the smallest things giver her joy. Sighing openly, she placed the shells gently on the sand... her head swimming amongst the clouds.
There's a shimmer in the air about 40 feet away, and for a brief moment, a humanoid outline can be seen contrasted against the ocean horizon. A moment later, as the remains of a wave wash upon the shore, a very small area of the flawless water is disrupted by something. A splunk of water is heard, and the disturbance is gone, leaving only the sound of the waves endlessly beating upon the shore once again.
Schala, having such an eye for detail, notices the very feint outlines. The disturbance causes her to wonder for the moment, but deciding that if something bad was going to happen, it would happen shortly. Staying around, she is careful not to look about her, as a startled animal, but very calmly trying to become more aware of her surroundings. Inwardly, she inquires 'I wonder what that was...'
A voice is heard a few moments later from Schala's left, cold and sudden "Lady Schala. One of the few bright spots in the Zealian family tree that i can recall.....". The speaker then fades into existance 15 feet to her left. Munins piercing violet eyes peer into hers full bore, although there is no malice in them. Her sickles and pistol, while carried at her sides, are not drawn currently.
And to the right of Schala, another voice can be heard. "Indeed, sister..." Roughly the same distance from the Zealian girl as her sister, Hugin fades into existance, as well. Her naginata is drawn, but the blade is pointed downward, in a nonthreatening position. Her piercing red eyes are focussed on the girl, a calm expression upon the older girl's face.
Schala narrows her eyes slightly as she focuses, remembering the girl from prior incidents. However.. she also recalled that she, like her mother, was under control of something evil. Offering a warm smile, she tries to be as courteous as possible. "M... Munin, yes?" she recalled very little, but at least the name. "It is good to see you are well..." in every sense of the term as can be applied to Munin ordinarily. Suddenly, looking off to the right, Hugin comes into existence... "Oh... sisters! How wonderful!" she smiles and tries to address both, looking back and forth slowly so not to be rude or exclusive. "You remind me an awful lot of a pair of brothers I once knew. They were very intelligent and mysterious, just as you two!" she was, of course, referring to Masa and Mune... Doreen was a WHOLE other case.
Munin's expression softens slightly at Schalas. After all, most speak to her with a suspecting tone, and rightly so. The change is a bit refreshing. However, her gaze remain neutral and guarded. "It is good to know the only known sane member of the Zealian royal family still lives and remains as such. However, unfortunately, our appearance here is due to grave news. Your mother, it seems, is still alive, and gathering people to her, for reasons we are not yet certain of. The whereabouts of Magus are unknown currently, and Nadia and her forces are scattered currently. I need to know every and anything you might know about this, in case she decides to attack. Even if she's been freed, as i have, she STILL may be as mad as she was in the past"
Schala does, of course, know just about everything. However, she cannot say... out of fear for her mother's safety. Not wanting to lie outright, she does just try to avoid saying whether or not she knew. "My mother is within her right senses... she is a caring and loving person. She was possessed by something that made her do evil things... please... value her privacy. As I am sure you are both aware of, she could not help those things she did and would not wish to be disturbed or threatened. Give her time to heal. If people choose to follow her... well, they may do as they will."
Munin crosses her arms, and shifts her weight to be one one leg more than the other, in a relaxed stance "This is true. People can follow who they like. My only concern is if they will, should she still have madness in her being, become threats at her direction. If she lives out her life without causing a problem, i have no intent of doing anything to her.... " her eyes narrow dangerously as she remembers Zeals laughter as something bored into her skull ".... if she picks up where she left off in her attmpts to destroy or damage this world, one of us will do our best to personally slit her throat from ear to ear if thats what it takes to stop her" she sighs, eyes closing a moment. When they reopen, the dangerous look is gone "After what she has done, she needs an eye kept on her just in case of such an event. If we simply wanted her dead without cause, we wouldn't be here talking to you, after all".
Schala smiles and walks up to Munin, who was currently, speaking, bowing graciously. Powerful as Schala was, she never presented herself as anything but helpless. "My friend Munin... I appreciate your concern greatly. It is too bad there arent more people enthusiastic as you are about protecting others. I understand that you think you are doing what is best, and perhaps you are... but you may be assured, she is under careful watch. If something were wrong, you know I would not hesitate to assist you... she is my responsibility." she says gravely, making sure she knew how impossible it was to overstate this fact.
Hugin watches the exchange quietly, her eyes hooded as her gaze switches between her sister and Schala, no expression upon her face. As the girl moves toward her sister, the woman slowly edges closer, keeping the the same 15 feet of distance between herself and Schala at all times, her muscles tense...
Munin remains in her relaxed stance. Her eyes gain an analytical gaze. This in and of itself is a test. She doesn't reach for her weapons, or even tense up. Hugin has more than ample time to do something should Schala try something, powerful or not. However, it was never in the princesses nature to do such a thing. 'Is this still true', Munin wonders as Schala approaches, and such thoughts pass through her mind. "Then please tell me what you know. If she is truely no longer a threat, and you can tell us what she is intending to do next, or even further down the line in time, telling us is as likely to pacify as to enflame. We are, as we always were, guardians. Our focus has simply shifted as circumstances have". An eyebrow is raised "Not to mention, there are other, less open-eared individuals who would be able to identify your mother, and if in fact she is no longer dangerous, may even need protection". As much as she hates to admit what she's saying is true, it is said. The past is put in the past, grudges and all, for what must be done.
Schala ponders heavily. She looks off to the side... "I will tell you what she is not doing." she never betrays family or friends or anyone she ever made a promise to. "She is not trying to conquer or attack anyone... at least not if they do not attack first. She is a great leader... and she has no need for protection... as her privacy has protected her as well as I ever could." Looking up to Munin, then back to Hugin. "If I could tell you, I would... I think she needs protection in the worst way... so many people blame her... perhaps if I speak to her, she might be willing to accept your help... but until something happens, I cannot tell you where she is.... it is not my place to tell."
Munin listens, eyes revealing that the gears are turning, and processing what she says..... finally, she does something she rarely does. She smiles..... wel, kinda. It only partially reaches her eyes, but it's honest "Very well. I admit. I do not trust her, due to.... personal experience i shall not soon forget. However, we DO trust YOU. Your actions in the past were always one of the few that garnered respect from those in Zeal, without the familiar element of fear. Even now, under direct threat of violence against a loved one, you could have easily drawn a weapon and attacked before i could prepare any defense. It is this aspect of you that has earned our trust. If you are willing to say she is no longer a danger, we will believe you, for as you said, you would be the first to say thusly". She turns, and looks over her shoulder at Schala "Our trust is not one easily earned. You, and ONLY you, not your mother, not the king of this land or any other, command it. Do NOT prove us wrong, good princess". With that, her form shimmers, and fades from view. Hugin, after a half second, vanishes as well.
Interestingly enough, where Hugin stood are footprints in the sand, albeit only one pair. Nothing indicates where she went upon disappearing. However, where Munin stood, no footprints exist anywhere to be seen.....
Schala smiles more brightly. Once again, kindness and gentleness prevail over force. It has almost cease amazing her. Truly, there is good in everything... one need simply walk the way of peace to obtain it. "Thank you for your kind words. I am honored by your trust, and I would sooner give my life than break it." Schala really means her promises.... as they disappear, she does notice that rather interesting exit... and the strange inconsistency of their footprints. This was clearly a sign, but... of good or bad, she could not venture to guess. "May you be well in all your endeavors..." she prays vocally into the winds before gazing back out longingly to the seas.
Shortly after the sisters dissapear, a raven lands briefly in the spot where Munin once stood with a rustling of feathers. This isn't any normal raven, however...it's eyes, blood red eyes, hold intelligence that most of it's kin do not have. For a moment, it reguards Schala, perhaps silently sending a message...you are being watched. Then, it's feathers puff a bit, and it lets loose it's hoarse call...