A Symposium in Saun

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A satellite of the prestigious Viden Academy, this collaborative effort has truly been successful on Scalvoris and many great inventions and discoveries are made on a regular basis!

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A Symposium in Saun

Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:03 am

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Saun 1st, 718
For the last ten trials, the academic staff of the University began to spread through word of mouth, and through some tasteful fliers about an upcoming. It was called the Symposium on Collaborative Excellence and Expansion of Scientific Knowledge, and it was being hosted both by Chancellor Manyon and Councilor Witchbane, the University's representative to the Scalvoris Council. It was being held on the Far Lawn, for it was much too hot in Saun to host it in the Grand Lecture Hall.

Umbrellas were set up in advance, and there were light refreshments. Lemonade and juices, teas and coffees, water, as well as finger sandwiches and other snacking foods. There was more than enough for anyone in attendance to take their fill, and then some. Several hundred chairs were set up, and there was plenty of additional standing room, all focused upon a temporary stage with a lectern upon it. It was one of the best events the University had set up since its founding.

As the seats filled in, everyone was abuzz, rumors flying about as to what this symposium was truly about. It was no mystery that the Chancellor and Councilor rarely saw eye to eye on anything, but with them coming together on this, it surely must be important. The entirety of the staff was present, with the notable exceptions of the recently departed Professors Augustin. Many of the staff were still sad or hurt to have lost such dear colleagues, particularly ones of such renown. But well wishes were given nonetheless.

There were many other notable people in the audience. Several members of the Council were there, including Albarech Brandel, Accountant Fraer, Trainer Tren, and Proper Birch. The Warden of Slags Deep was there, as was Cornel and Kyniya Sherapo, Leshli, and her baby Orrick Jr, from the Council Office, and many others. It was a veritable whose who of Scalvoris. Many Elements, off duty were present. Soon it was becoming a crowded affair, as all the seats were taken, and the standing room was being filled in. The Chancellor and Councilor were yet to be seen, but there was still about ten bits left until the symposium started.
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A Symposium in Saun

Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:22 am

"Silence Reigns . . ."
The flyers had been carried as far as Almund in the hands of university couriers, though the reception to the news was at best lukewarm. The former pirate capital was like an old matriarch: unwilling to embrace the modern culture, stubborn and headstrong. Sure, the number of "scholars" who lived here had grown since the Pirate Lord's disappearance, but their presence had yet to largely tip the scales of tradition. One's education was earned on the streets, not from books or lectures. Thus, the influx of Almundians to Scalvoris Town for the University's symposium was slim.

I happened to be a part of this minority.

Granted, I didn't consider myself a scholar either. No, I was drawn to the event by the pursuit of a different kind of information. A lecture like this one was bound to bring together some very important men and women who I didn't usually get the chance to observe. Professors, Council members, soldiers and politicians . . . they all considered themselves suited for academical advancement. True for most, a facade for a few. They could have their mind games; I only sought their secrets.

I sat on the last row of the seating section, a cup of lemonade in one hand and a half-eaten sandwich in the other. The tidbits of conversation around me was largely anticipatory. The hosts of the event had yet to appear and many wondered aloud how smooth this event would run once they arrived. I wasn't away of any strife between the Chancellor and the Councilor--I didn't even know their names--but I knew now to at least pay attention to it.

Taking another bite of my sandwich, I leaned back in my chair. There was little more to do than wait for now.
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A Symposium in Saun

Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:04 am

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“What are we doing, daddy?” Ayla asked Tristan who was holding one of her tiny hands in his as they walked to the Grand Lecture Hall. The little Mortalborn who was currently wearing a blue sundress looked like a child of about four arcs of age even though she was only an arc and a half old – and she looked like a carbon-copy of the famous Faith Augustin, apart from her eyes that were a brilliant blue, just like her father’s. Sometimes Tristan was surprised that nobody had asked him about his daughter’s mother yet. Maybe they were afraid of doing so, because of who Faith and he were?

“We are attending a symposium”, Tristan replied before he realized that Ayla probably didn’t know the meaning of that word. “It’s a meeting where people talk about a certain topic. Your daddy is a student now”, he proudly proclaimed. He had begun to study alchemy the season before – and managed to impress Padraig, the terrible tutor who had married Faith, the first woman that he had ever loved, enough that the man had given him a Letter right away. They had begun to grudgingly respect each other, although nobody would ever find out, if they had any say in that matter for the world would surely end if it became public knowledge that they were not enemies anymore.

“Are you thirsty?” he asked his daughter and grabbed two drinks, coffee for him and lemonade for Ayla because she was much too young for coffee. “Let’s take a seat somewhere near the front so that we’ll be able to see what’s going on”, he suggested and pointed at two empty chairs at the edge of the second row (he didn’t want to possibly take a professor’s seat in the front row away from them). “These here look nice!” he decided.

Once Ayla had taken a seat, he opened the small bag that he had brought and handed the little girl her doll so that she wouldn’t get bored. Milly, Ayla’s doll, looked like a cute human girl, except that she had three eyes and a fluffy tail because she was a mutant doll and not a normal doll. Once he had made sure that the little girl was happy and content, the young noble who was currently dressed in black pants and a fine white silk shirt, leaned back in his chair and impatiently waited for the symposium to begin. He was, he had to admit, quite excited about being a member of these illustrious academic circles!
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A Symposium in Saun

Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:06 pm

Hikaru had never been a fan of the University. In his mind all the newcomers it attracted was ruining the local culture and was bringing in all the wrong sorts of people. That being said, he had taken notice that many a businessman had gotten some kind of tertiary education. It was aggravating to know that there was crucial knowledge being taught in the university that he might never learn on his own. It was for this very reason that the jeweler made his first trip to the university to attend a “symposium”, whatever that was. If he was going to even think about spending his small amount of savings on a class he would have to see what kind of quality he would be getting into.

When Hikaru arrived, he took a lemonade and a sandwich thinking, ”These guys really have the money to give away stuff like this for free?” He would scan the many hundreds of chairs that were set out and saw many different kinds of people and races. A man and what had to be his daughter caught his eye and Hikaru wondered why anyone would bring someone so young to such an event. ”If that kid starts crying I’m going to lose my mind.

Looking around some more, Hikaru saw a familiar face. It was a tall blue eyed man who he had met last season. He too had taken a sandwich and looked to be eating it. Hikaru would sit to his left, give a genuine smile, and say “Hi there, nice seeing you again!”
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Re: A Symposium in Saun

Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:00 pm

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A hush came over the crowd as now, Chancellor Manyon and Councilor Witchbane walked together, talking, laughing, across the lawn, having exited the main building together. They were in fine suits, exquisitely tailored and fashionable, complete with canes and all the latest accessories a man of class and wealth might have, Chancellor in deep purple, and Councilor in navy. They approached the stage, with the Councilor heading for the lectern, while the Chancellor took his seat nearby.

He looked out over the crowd, positively beaming, letting the anticipation build as the crowd fell to a complete silence.

"Welcome to the Symposium on Collaborative Excellence and Expansion of Scientific Knowledge. I welcome all of our fine staff, who all appear to be here today, except of course, for our friends abroad. I welcome our students, who I hope are here for their curiosity and desire to participate in this conversation, although..," he chuckled, "I suspect that several of you are here for the refreshments. That's fine too, eat to your heart's content. We have more than enough, and know, that nothing will go to waste. Anything leftover will be taken to Beacon, to help those who are helping themselves. I welcome our other guests, and do hope we can tease your interest to participate in the comings and goings of our fine University."

"My dear friend Chancellor Manyon will speak more on the details of our new program, I'm merely here for the introductions and the sort of thing expected of the Academic Councilor." He chuckled again, and several of the staff did as well. It was no small fact that many weren't entirely sure what the Councilor's role in the university was exactly. But still, they laughed at his jest, and he continued. "I wish to extend a special thanks to the man whose funding, and whose discussions with myself, and with Cancellor Manyon, helped to form this entire undertaking." He extended an outstretched hand toward the Warden, "To our own Warden of Slags Deep, who has given a truly massive donation to the University to not only fund this endeavor, but to further upgrade our entire campus and research. You sir, are far too generous, and I thank you. We will be sure to use your donation to their fullest potential."

The Warden smiled, and nodded his head at the Councilor, while all eyes lingered on the mysterious man. Little was publicly known about him. They knew he ran the prison in Egilrun. They knew he was one of the wealthiest people on the island. But no one knew his name, where he came from. He could always be found at events of import, with a polite smile, sparkling conversation, and always a propensity for dance if it was available.

"And now, I welcome Chancellor Manyon to give his presentation."

Councilor Witchbane stepped away from the lectern, and went toward his seat, while the Chancellor arose, and made his way over. He looked out over the crowd, "I come here today to speak to you about our new project. With our new resources, and with the achievements of our staff and students, we are now able to realize a dream of mine. A dream I know to be shared with many of you as well."

"We have seen what can happen, both around the world, and here at home, when ignorance is allowed to run unchecked, to not be defeated by enlightenment. We've seen allies close their borders, close their minds, close their hearts because of ignorance. They claim it is for the safety of their citizens, claim that it is in fear of powers greater than their own. But we know it to only be due to the ignorance that they have of the world. I wish those being persecuted unjustly in Rynmere the best, and hope they may find their escape from a land so dark. We've seen it defeated here in Scalvoris as well. With the abolition of slavery, we've taken one step closer to becoming a truly enlightened people."

"Yet, we cannot live isolated in a world of ignorance, cowering from the darkness and fear it brings. No. We must stand tall, we must seek to help those who do not know how to help themselves. We must teach them to think. To question. To wonder. To explore. To do the unthinkable and to chase their imaginations.

"And so, we are announcing our Enlightenment Outreach Program. We will be doing this by sending our finest, young minds, to the cities abroad. They will be spreading the word of the discoveries, of the inventions, of the advancements made by our very own staff and students alike. They will contact the influential, the wealthy, the curious, and the bold alike. They will seek new minds, to bring back to our University, those who wish to make their own discoveries, in whatever fields they desire. This program will bolster our ranks, will bring new cultures and ideas to our campus, and most importantly, help to fight the darkness of ignorance. "

"We do not bow to that monster, and we never will."

"To the staff, continue to do great work. We will continue to change the world, and we will make the world see our achievements. To the students, we will continue to push you, to give you guidance and drive, so that you will be the change we all hope to see. To our guests, there is always a desk for you upon our campus. There is no such person as someone not suitable to learn from others nor teach others."

"And so, I open the floor for any others to speak, to ask their questions and concerns in a public forum. Myself or Councilor Witchbane will answer these to the best of our ability. If we are not able to answer right away, we will ensure it is found and delivered in a timely manner. No more with ignorance. No more with fear. Everyone may be enlightened. And so, I yield the podium, and ask that we keep it orderly and civilized, as I know you will. Thank you, all of you."


Chancellor Manyon left the lectern, and sat down, and soon, a line was beginning to form at the entrance to the stage, for students, guest, and staff alike, to express their ideas, their concerns. And throughout the crowd, excitement was buzzing. People would be sent abroad for research purposes, paid for by the university. Researchers and discoverers would become famous around the world for their work. Discussions of inventions and ideas that people had been sitting on, that they'd not wished to share yet, were being shared freely.

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Re: A Symposium in Saun

Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:48 pm

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Tristan smiled slightly as the two very important looking men approached the stage together because they reminded him of himself. He was usually dressed after the newest fashion as well, and he had a cane as well – a very special cane that had a blade hidden inside of it – and what more, he was about to become a very accomplished academic. “Watch them”, he told Ayla who looked up for a moment before she went back to playing with her monster doll. “In a few arcs it will be your daddy on such a stage!”

Having said that, he fell silent again and listened, just like everybody else in the room, apart from little Ayla who giggled softly as she pretended that her doll was climbing Tristan, as if he were a mountain. Tristan turned to face her and smiled softly for a moment – he didn’t mind her using him in such a fashion at all, in fact he approved of her creativity – before he listened to what the two very important men had to say again.

“What’s Slags Deep?” Ayla suddenly wanted to know, and Tristan furrowed his brow for a moment. “It’s a prison, I think – a very bad place”, he finally replied. He found it strange that a man who managed a prison was able to make such a generous donation. The prison wardens in Andaris didn’t earn a lot of money, from what he knew, which made him wonder if the man was involved in something illegal – or if he had recently made an inheritance. He hoped for the sake of Scalvoris that he wasn’t yet another corrupt citizen!

As the Chancellor talked about how he wished those that were being persecuted unjustly in Rynmere the best, the young duke laughed bitterly and almost jumped up from his chair in order to tell him what exactly he thought of that before he came to the conclusion that it would be better if he listened to the rest of his speech before he decided to get mad at him. Maybe he actually had something worthwhile to say … maybe he had at least some sort of solution to the problems that troubled the world at the moment …

When the man finally gave them the opportunity to speak, the noble was the first one to rise from his chair because he just couldn’t keep quiet any longer, even though he was risking the Chancellor’s wrath and it would have dire consequences if anybody found out that he was a duke, a duke who was supposedly one of King Cassander’s closest friends not just a random man from Rynmere that had moved to Scalvoris with his daughter. He had come to Scalvoris because he hadn't been able to stand what was happening in his home any longer, because he needed to clear his mind - and because he hoped to find some sort of support here, but apparently the islanders didn't care nearly enough.

“I don’t mean to offend you, Chancellor, but anybody can wish those that are being persecuted the best. Your little program sounds nice – in fact parts of it sound absolutely great - but by the time the people you intend to invite to Scalvoris return to their homeland and spread all those new ideas there, it will be too late. The persecuted people that you mentioned need your help now. I come from Rynmere. I witnessed the executions first-hand. I heard the masses cheer as innocents burned on the pyres, just because they happened to have a spark. I will never forget the smell in my entire life. By the time your program shows some sort of effect, there will be nobody that needs your help left because everybody that disagrees with King Cassander's laws will either be dead, in prison or a refugee.”

With that he sat down again and stroke Ayla who looked at him from out of her huge blue eyes in order to let her know that everything was alright before he turned to look at the Chancellor again and waited for his reaction. If he had known that it would come to that, he would never have brought his daughter!
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Re: A Symposium in Saun

Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:26 am

"Silence Reigns . . ."
A man took the seat to my left. An expected occurrence to-trial given the limited seating and the surplus in intellectuals seeking escape from the vertical alternative. It was the recognition of the figure beside me that I had hoped to avoid. Alas. The black-haired, browned eye man was no stranger to me, despite every effort last season to keep him so. For now, I had him at the arm's length of an acquaintance, but even that was in jeopardy if he was insistent on such frequent proximity. Alas, indeed.

I nodded in reply to Hikaru, the jeweler, before turning my attention back to the stage and the impending symposium.

Silence passed through the crowd like a wave as two figures crossed the yard in tandem, engrossed in a conversation that elicited laughter between them. The aforementioned Councilor and Chancellor, I presumed, though I could not decide who was who. I figured that the distinction would be made soon enough, however, so I did not fret over my current ignorance. Instead, I admired the men's decision to enter the gathering as he had. Any strife that they might share with one another was dispelled, at least for this event, by their shared procession. Politically, I could see the value in presenting a united front at one's own event, lest rivals sought to weasel between the cracks. I could not fathom what benefit such a facade at a scholar's forum, but I imagined that too would become a little clearer as well.

Councilor Witchbane made an opening speech saturated with the niceties expected of him given his position. There was little meat on this introductory bone save for one tasty morsel: a substantial donation made by the Warden of Slag Deep. I followed the mob's gaze, which fell on a man who responded to the speaker's thanks with a nod of his head. The mysterious warden of Egilrun's prison. I knew little more than that about the man, save as most everyone else in this crowd. The information was useful, nevertheless, and tucked away in the inner confines of my mindscape for later consideration. Two men considered who were considered at odds entered together and a significant amount of nels were given to the university by an extremely wealthy and mysterious donor. There were truths to uncover . . .

Chancellor Manyon's announcement of the university's outreach program was the second revelation to-trail that intrigued me, though for different reasons. Scalvoris Island was notoriously isolated from the rest the world, both in geography and in heritage. It had only been a few arcs since the Pirate Lords' rule had collapsed; prior to that, this land had been pressed beneath the thumb of isolationists. The universities in Viden and Rynmere had made some major headway in crafting their intellectual triangle, and Desind's Flutterbuses had carried quite a few of the islanders to southern Idalos in the last arc already, but there was still ample opportunity to connect with the rest of the world. This outreach program sought to broaden the reach of the university. A wise strategy, I thought, given the the persecution happening to the west that Manyon spoke of. And with these budding scholars went ships to these faraway places. Ships willing to take on an extra passenger with the coin to cover his travels. This outreach program would offer him more opportunity to branch out, if ever I decided it necessary.

The floor was open to any would be speakers, the first of which peaked my interest. He was dressed in a similar fashion to the Councilor and Chancellor, with a cane to boot, and spoke with an eloquence that suggested a solid education. Granted, that described more than half the crowd. He was not a local, if his words were to be accepted, but a recent immigrant from Rynmere. A witness to the persecution firsthand. A man, if he spoke true, scarred by the horrors he had seen. I could relate. I had watched me own father murdered and listened as my mother was raped in a back-alley. It seems my old home hadn't changed at all since I left. Or was that just life?

Nudging Hikaru in the ribs beside me, I gestured to the growing crowd of speakers, hoping the man would take the hint. Go, talk about jewelry, and leave me to my efforts of remaining aloof to your friendly advances.
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Re: A Symposium in Saun

Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:52 pm

Hanabi wasn’t surprised when his greeting was answered with silence. If Hikaru had remembered that his acquaintance never talked, he might have used common sign to say hello, but that would have probably be awkward. The jeweler would give a polite smile then dig in to his food. Even as the presentation dragged on, Hikaru would continue getting up for more food. He realized early on that he didn’t care much for the topic being discussed and he was completely uncaring to the disturbance he was making. His thoughts were along the lines of: ”Why in the world are we sending our talent elsewhere? We should focus on ourselves and leave the others to their own devices.

At the end of the speech, when his belly was full, Hikaru was nudged by his acquaintance who seemed to want to want Hikaru to speak his mind. ”You know what, I think I will,” he would think as he got to his feet. In front of him in line was a man who shared similar views of keeping talent homebound. When it was finally his turn to speak, Hikaru would speak firmly and loudly:

“What business does our talent have outside of our borders? All this outside influence is ruining this great city! We have people of many different backgrounds moving into our city and erasing our culture and now you want to send what little original excellence we have left outside! I implore you to look at all the horrible changes outside thinking has brought upon us! We cannot even own slaves anymore!”

At the end of his ranting, Hikaru would be left standing and heaving for more breath. He wanted to go on, but he figured that he had said enough already.
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Re: A Symposium in Saun

Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:06 pm

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Once several members of the crowd took their moment to speak, it was not Chancellor Manyon who approached the podium first, but rather Academic Witchbane. His eyes were locked on Tristan Venora's as he spoke. "First, good sir, I give my deepest condolences for that savagery you witnessed. It is something which no one should experience, in any fashion. However, the scope of this particular program is not a mission of diplomacy. That's not to say that it cannot aid in diplomatic matters, but those are not within its purview."

"That said, I would invite you to speak to one Councilor Kura Mareth. She is Scalvoris' Diplomatic Councilor, and as such, oversees our diplomatic outreaches. I am absolutely certain she would welcome your impassioned discussion. And while this current program might be a bit slow for your preferences in regards to diplomacy, I can assure you that Councilor Mareth is anything but. I can schedule you a personal meeting with her, immediately, if you so desire. But bear in mind, this is an issue for the Council and Councilors, not the University."


With that, he sat down once more, and Chancellor Manyon approached next. Looking directly at Hikaru, choosing to not be nearly as pleasant with the niceties as the Councilor had, "Sir, I do believe you've failed to understand the entire point of this entire program. Perhaps this was a failure of my own presentation of the information. Perhaps not. Our talented and educated individuals are free to go where they choose. Every man and woman involved in this is a volunteer, someone who believes in the cause. They seek to spread our borders, not to close them off as you seem to suggest now. The mere fact you believe our country is not excellent now, that it has not improved during the recent, tumultuous years, shows just how disconnected you are from the people of this island."

"Five arcs ago, if you had made that claim in such a public fashion, you'd have been gutted and strung up by a member of one of the Pirate Lords' crews. And not a soul would've stopped it, nor protested. If you'd dared insult this island in the presence of anyone reviling in the lawlessness of our land, you'd be dead in a ditch, your name forgotten. You have the freedom to say such venomous, untrue words, because the people of this island chose not devolve into chaos once the Pirate Lords vanished. No, they chose to step up and work for what they believed in. To see that this already great island was made greater. We've had our burdens, as all times of great change bring, but our resolute people have stood strong against the chaos. I would suggest that you learn to think before you speak, for to do otherwise means you are a slave to your ignorance and lack of discipline."

"But thank you for sharing your concerns."


And with that, he sat down. The line for question and comments went on for a while, and both Chancellor and Councilor answered them all. And soon, the questions died off, and the symposium returned to social mingling. The two leaders of the University made themselves available in the crowds for more personal one on one discussions, the Warden laughed with a few men and women in his own slice of the event, and the world continued to turn.
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Re: A Symposium in Saun

Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:11 pm

"Silence Reigns . . ."

Most of the time, I was conscious of my disability in those moments where I wanted to laugh out loud. I could be unnerving in the midst of a conversation when I remained silent through it all, but that could not compare to the unease that a fit of hysterics. Humor was, to society, an audible expression and to do otherwise was to disrespect the expected norm. Thus, I rarely let myself show more than a small grin, leaving my appreciation for the humor internally where it could produce any sound it pleased. Sure, people thought me dull at times, but better that than a freak.

To-trail, however, I made no effort to appease the men and women around me and their sensibilities. No, Hikaru's speech, and the scathing response from Chancellor Manyon, deserved every mouth-wide-open chuckle that I offered. When I had encouraged the jeweler to to go speak, it was simply to get him away from me. As to what he would talk about, I was expecting little more than a discussion on the latest techniques in the crafting world; I could not have fathom, instead, a xenophobic, pro-slavery declaration. It had caught me wholly off-guard and no amount of discipline could help with the laughter that followed its conclusion.

And Maynon's response? Even better. It wasn't that I agreed with his rhetoric any more than I did Hikaru's,though, the thought that foreigners were the blame to the abolition movement on the island did seem farfetched; it was the venomous tone that I appreciated. That and the thought of the jeweler getting gutted and strung up, of course. That too was a pleasing image.

It was clear who had bested the other in this forum. Hikaru, it was clear, didn't quite grasp the art of speechcraft and had allowed his bigoted opinions to bludgeon the crowd without any sort of finesse to it. Of course, as a non-native to this island, I was at the very least partial to the pro-immigration stance that was offered by the Councilor. Beyond that, though, I was also a proponent of the doctrine that one's worth to a society was not inherently defined by their regional heritages but by their actions within its boundaries. Locality, then, did not guarantee anyone the right to be an awful person.

Beyond this exchange, I got little more out of the public forum than a name. Kura Mareth. Up to this point, I had not done my best with learning the political hierarchy of the island. Granted, the Pirate Lords had been in charge up until the last two arcs so this new system was still fairly new, relatively speaking. I didn't have the need for a Diplomatic Councilor as of yet, but who knew when that would change? I squirreled that tidbit away for now.

When the questioning died away and the crowds broke away into smaller clumps, I decided it was about time to make my exit. There was a chance if I lingered that I could hear a few more juicy morsels of information by hovering on the fringes of these groups. However, there was also a chance that Hikaru would seek me out, tears hanging on the edge of eyes just waiting to be spilled, in the hopes that I would validate him and his backwards way of thinking. Fearing the latter, I forewent the further.

Casting one last glance across the crowd, taking in what I could, I headed out the way that I had come in.
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