7 Arcs in a few breaks

Ti and Finn catch up on what has happened since they last met.

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Ti'niva
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38th Zi'da, Arc 716
Ti stood and waited his friends arrival, the city was still busy even if it was early evening. He thought of home and how it would already be almost empty, people would be home with family or with friends in doors. But here in the big city of Ne'haer it appears that people never take a rest. He watched the many people going about there business, as well as guards that patrolled the streets. It was an odd sight for Ti as there were no guards around Desnind, the city was always peaceful and rarely would there be need for guards. He wondered if all the bigger and non Sev'ryn cities had guards.

He leaned against the wall outside of the tavern and stretched his arms, he looked around worried he was in the wrong place. He had asked a man in the street and he had shown him to this tavern. Ti still could not read and so he did not know if the sign really said what he had been told it did. Yet, all he could do was trust that this really was the place, worrying would not change anything.

His worries were very quickly forgotten, however, when he saw Finn approaching through the streams of people passing in front of the tavern. He reached up his arm and waved happily towards his friend, he was excited to hear what the man had been up too in the past 7 arcs. Maybe it would have to be the short version really though, a lot can happen in 7 arcs more than he believed could be communicated in one night.

He stepped forward as Finn approached a broad smile on his face. "Hello friend!" He said over the sound of the people and the drinkers and dinners inside the tavern. "How you?" He asked as he held out his hand in greeting to his friend. He was getting more accustomed to the greetings of humans, he had seen men grasp hands, wrists and some even hug. He was not sure what greeting he would go with now.
word count: 363
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The light shower from earlier was still hanging in the air with sharp, freezing humidity. Finn could smell the damp ground like he always could. But in Ne'haer, during Zi'da, it had a particular dull undertone. This was not dirt soaked in water, but dust that was forced to lay still, heavy with moisture. It was just a piece of finding on his side that did not matter much, nor was it any useful. It only gave Ne'haer a bit more personality.
Rounding the corner, Finn was wrapped up warmly in his clothes. He was glad that after finding Telar, he got to meet Ti once more. Surprisingly it was back in Tei'serin's house where, almost mirroring the events of seven arcs ago, Ti was learning Common. Taking that opportunity, the two managed to agree day, time and place where to meet for this long awaited and needed meeting. Finn smiled softly. It has been so long ago that they parted. So much has happened since. So much they needed to share, a promise that needed to be fulfilled. A phase of his life that was to finally draw to a close. After so many arcs, this journey would finally end and Finn could, at last, feel the full completion and set out to new journeys. It alleviated his mood as well as it unnerved him. Ti was his longest standing friend. Someone he still trusted. Yet, just like Ymiden told him during that critical occurrence in the temple in Desnind, he had to trust that the boy would find it in his heart to forgive him.
He was slowly approaching the Golden Flask when he saw his friend already waiting there. Quickening his step, Finn hoped that he did not make Ti wait for too long.
"Evening, Ti." Finn replied, for a moment looking at the hand offered before taking hold of it to bring Ti close for one of those manly embraces where his other hand wrapped around his back and patted it strongly once or twice before letting go.
"I am fine. You?" The priest asked with an unchecked smile, keeping a hold of Ti's hand with the other on his shoulder just the break of a trill longer before letting go. He was looking forward to getting inside the inn where it was warm, welcoming and where food and drinks were available. In fact, where Ti could get his first drink of mead. The idea bringing an almost childish spark to his hues.
word count: 430
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They do not yet understand the purpose of forgiveness. It is not to spare wrongdoers a punishment they deserve. It is to spare the injured ones the ongoing pain they do not.

~ Ymiden
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He was glad to see his friend and when the man pulled him in close to an embrace he smiled. He had hoped for this rather than a normal handshake, they seemed so meaningless. To Ti when you held someone close to you it had much more meaning. He sighed longingly as he realised he would soon be leaving his friend again, he wondered if they would ever get to make up for the 7 arcs they missed. He doubted the time would ever be made up, but for now he was glad he had his company and a chance to discuss the happenings of the past 7 arcs.

His friend was good and as was he and so he told him as they moved to enter the inn. "I well too, better now you here." He admitted patting his friend on the shoulder as he opened the door to the warm and inviting inn. Inside a fire was burning and warming the place, the smell of food and alcohol were on the air but the place was not too loud or full. Ti looked around the room and spotted an empty table, it was laid well and neatly ready to be used by some hungry guests. Ti pointed to it so Finn could see where he was heading and began to lead the way.

Ti took his seat and smiled at Finn. "I no know food in Ne'haer, you might choose for me?" He asked his friend alerting him to the fact that the choice would be in his hands. Ti picked up the knife and fork and examined them, metal cutlery was not common in Desnind, they did not work metal there and anything that was made with the material was imported from far off places. Ti scraped the two pieces together and scowled as a horrid sound was let out from the tools. He placed them back on the table sheepishly as he realised the sound had caused a few customers to look at him.

He decided first it would be best to inquire after Telar's health. "How be the foolish old man? Do he better?" Ti asked wondering how such an old man had managed to make it all the way out to the woods and survived there alone as long as he had. "I hope he better, I no like you lose him, you no deserve pain." He said reverting back to his younger self remembering how he had wanted Finn to be happy then. Back then he had said he did not deserve the pain or the mental torture he was experiencing, now he did not deserve the loss of his mentor.

Ti still only saw the good in the man, never had he been able to imagine Finn a cruel or bad man. Ti sat back in his seat as the waiter approached them, a small notebook in his hands ready to take the drinking order of the two men and also to read out the food on offer. Ti himself took a moment to examine the warm cozy room, he could not order the food after all so instead he would see what was around.

People sat eating and drinking at tables and a bar resided along one wall. Overall the place was quite simple and so Ti returned his attention to Finn as he dropped down his hand to be met by Áine. He had almost forgotten that the panther was there beside him, she was lying against his legs as he gently stroked her head.
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It was different coming to the inn with someone. All the trials he spent here alone that lead up to his search for Telar. The moments he tried to strike up a conversation with people who might have known something, oftentimes trying in vain. The evenings he left feeling none the wiser about where his mentor could have gone to but hoped he'd return on his own volition one day.
The warmth that caressed his cheeks as they entered was a welcome embrace. Following Ti who confidently strode towards one of the tables, Finn then shed his coat to drop it over the backrest of the chair. He was dressed in plain, white shirt. Yet, he was wearing his best one. One that was not mended yet. Finn not only wanted to leave a good impression, he always felt this to be a special occasion. As he took the seat opposite his friend, his body language was relaxed, comfortable and content. Many of his worries have vanished and life began to make sense once more.
"Yes, he better. Tei'serin help him better. Now he watched by me."Finn repaid the favour and tried Xanthea to explain. In time, it could turn into quite a peculiar conversation, each of the men speaking a different language at one another, having a conversation. To others, it might appear strange. It might earn the duo sideway looks, but none of that bothered Finn much. Not even when Ti oh so curiously examined the metal cutlery. He saw the same intrigue in the young man, that he saw in the boy seven arcs ago and it brought peace along with reassurance into his mind. There was nothing to fear from his Sev'ryn friend. Perhaps, not even rejection.
Shifting his attention to the serving boy, Finn asked for two tankers of ale and two plates of braised oxen and pecan bread. Good food and drink with a good company were necessary. Especially if he were to introduce Ti to the potential pleasures of alcohol as Finn himself breached his own voluntary abstinence. With the order placed, he looked back it his friend, eyes alight with excitement, smile wide that his wrinkles showed his true age with youthful nature.
"So what happened with you over the past seven arcs?" Finn asked, eager to hear the news, unaware that the biggest of them all was Ti's familiar which the priest couldn't see.
word count: 416
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They do not yet understand the purpose of forgiveness. It is not to spare wrongdoers a punishment they deserve. It is to spare the injured ones the ongoing pain they do not.

~ Ymiden
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"I am happy to hear that." Ti said, responding in turn in Xanthea, as he was informed of Telar's well being. He was definitely happy to hear that Finn would not be losing his mentor just yet, but part of him still knew that it could not be much longer now. The man was old and he was growing weak, it was the natural order of things and nothing could change that. He took a moment in his head to pray for the man to have just a little more time in this world with Finn, he prayed to Moseke to grant him just a little longer in life. He knew that nature would eventually take its course, however, no matter how many times he prayed. People die it is the way of the world and who is he to argue wit that, he had devoted himself to supporting the immortal of life and nature after all. Ti smiled at his friend covering his true thoughts with those of happiness.

He returned his thoughts back to being in the inn with one of his oldest and truest friends. That was enough to cheer him back up and even if it hadn't been what Áine said next was. 'You are wise to accept the natural order, you cannot change that all you can do is accept it.' Her words were accompanied by a soft warm purr that vibrated against his leg. His smile widened a little and he discretely stroked behind her ears. Finn was finished ordering the food now and Ti looked over at the man as he asked him what had happened. That was quite the tale and he wasn't sure where exactly to start, until he thought of his father.

"I start beginning." He said as he cleared his throat preparing himself for the story to come. "7 arc is long time, I will tell important thing from the arcs." He said as his explanation for why the story would feel somewhat disconnected. "I be 16 and Father and me hunt, we tracking bear, but he fall and no can walk, night come and we attack by wolfs, he no make it." Ti said looking down at his stomach wondering if he should show Finn his own scar. "I scar too now." He said as he raised his vest a little to reveal the base of the three claw marks that ran across his right side over the ribs. Ti fought back the tears that threatened to breach his lower eye lids.

"But I survive, and I live now alone in forest. After he die, little happen, most exciting thing last two season." He said looking rather glum at the lack of activity and interesting event in his life. But he quickly moved onto his tale with the shadow creatures. "I find shadow best, wolf under control darkness in Makubwa Lori. We fight me bow, wolf claws, beast hit me, cutting across left me." He took his hand and made the motion of where the wound had been. "But I also hit my arrows, they injure beast, I know no why but it run and leave me for dead." He felt himself on the edge of his own seat he could only imagine what it must be like for someone else to hear of his trial with this creature.

"Then she come, Moseke." His eyes lit up then showing the joy she provided him with just at the mere thought and mention. "She heal me, no scar no anything, she stop me dying." He leaned forward is arms flat on the table as he look towards his friend eyes wider still. "She take me home after save me and then he comes, her lover, Ymiden." Ti said knowing this would bring his friend joy to hear. "He no speak me but I see him, love he and Moseke share, I feel it on air as he approaches, the immortal love is beautiful." He smiled showing his joy at meeting the two immortals. he then moves to the next part of his story. "Then, Moseke send me here to fight and serve Desnind, I taken by Jesine, she control dream portal." He spoke like a child now, his excitement was that of a child's, but there was nothing he could do this was how it made him feel.

"Then I fight, Oscillus very cold but I fight." He looked down shamefully now unable to stop a few tears breaking free. "And I kill, people I kill them." The tears trickled down his face as he reached up with his hands and wiped them away. He was not here to cry and bring his friend down he was hear to tell his story and it was almost finished now. "Finally, she came my other half, my missing piece, my familiar." He said his eyes lighting up a little from their red tearing state. "Áine is name and she is good in the darkness of life." He nodded as he managed to cease his tears. Petting the panther again who seemed to feel as sad as he about the story. The ale was now on the table and Ti reached for it, looking down at the liquid and swirling it in the tankard.
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A lot of events were to be expected from that long a separation. Yet, Finn, like a childish boy might have hoped for it all to be good. The high of being around Ti, the old emotions of comfort and harmony numbed his senses to reality. They lived in a cruel and unforgiving world. Ti's first words about his father's death punched him in the gut with such reality, he believed that for a trill nausea might have taken over. His enthusiastic smile froze on his lips for but only a fraction of a moment as the news got absorbed. Then he grew sombre. His eyes descended to catch the faded shades of the scars where the wound must have been almost lethal.
Then the shadow beasts story exchanged one dark story for another. Finn heard of the attacks across the globe. Few times he prayed for those he knew and cared about to be safe. To hear that Ti went face to face with one of the creatures brought both chills and heavy feeling to the pit of his stomach. Some two arcs or a little more after losing his father, the boy was faced with another horror of death and suffering. Those were all rather profound experiences that Finn was sure left more than a few overt scars across Ti's body. Ti was right, however, in briefly thinking that hearing of Ymiden would bring him joy. His own recollection of meeting the Immortal was still fresh in his mind even after all the time that has passed. He could still recall every single detail of that night, every raw emotion and the calm that washed over him as he received Ymiden's guidance. To this day, he honoured the words even if it proved difficult at times. So he nodded once or twice at that part of the story, showing not only approval but also understanding and sympathy for the boy's strong emotions for they were similar to his own. But as it all drew to a close, he was left saddened and apprehensive of all that has transpired and his lack of support in those times even though there was no way for him to know of Ti's hardships at those given times.
"Ti," Finn breathed out the name filled with compassion for the heavy burden of taking a life. This time, Finn's own eyes gained a light film of moisture yet far from tears it was. The boy, so young, was forced to kill but here he sat and held himself with pride. If anything it brought shame to Finn for having fallen to his own dark nature for so many arcs until the fated journey to Desnind where his life was turned upside down. With glassy eyes, he lowered his gaze both in humility and curiosity to where he could slightly see Ti's hand moving in the empty air. Softer than a soft twist of lips hinted on the pleasure he felt as he imagined the Sev'ryn's familiar seated, or perhaps laid there on the floor providing the necessary comfort that Finn could only begin to hope to offer.
"You've had...quite the events in your life." Finn then replied as he gathered himself up, eased the strain on his throat so he could speak freely. Leaning back in his chair, he shook his head in admiration, producing a quiet huff of disbelief.
"You're strong. Stronger than I was at your age. I admire you, my friend." Those were words of truth.
"Not everyone would be able to handle the dark side of life as well as you." I certainly did not... But it was not yet time to bring the last favour. It would need to be mentioned when the time was right.
In the hush of the tavern, as more people poured into the warmth, the whispers of conversations slowly managed to distract Finn's gloomy thoughts as he watched Ti looking at the mead. An almost impish smile grew across his lips, unusual spark of thrill played around in his blue hues.
"Well, go on then, friend. Try."
word count: 704
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They do not yet understand the purpose of forgiveness. It is not to spare wrongdoers a punishment they deserve. It is to spare the injured ones the ongoing pain they do not.

~ Ymiden
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"I no think I say handle well, nighttime bring fear. In day I hide away of what I done, but night I can no hide it haunt me, they haunt me." He looked at the man, his old friend. They had known each other long ago, and in the time they had been separated Ti's life had been a roller coaster. It had been so unpredictable, he would never have expected to end up experiencing half the things he has. It is like something has been driving him to be more, he wished he understood what made things happen the way they did. If he did now he would ask why it had taken them so long to reunite the two men who now sat opposite one another.

Ti looked at the drink again as Finn egged him on. He smiled at his friend and then took a sip of the liquid, just enough to taste it but not so much that it would overwhelm his taste receptors. It was sweeter than he would have imagined, although, he didn't really know what he had been expecting. It was certainly different from anything he had drunk before and although it had sweetness, it also had a bitter taste. That taste he could not place, it was different from anything he had tasted before.

"No bad, what so bitter." He asked looking at the liquid again as if that would reveal some secret to the flavours source. It was a different taste and not bad in fact he found himself taking another larger sip now as he treasured the gift it was. His oldest friend was gifting him this meal and he would enjoy it.

"No more over me, I hear you now Finn. Please tell me what I miss in past 7 arc?" He leaned forward against the table as he awaited his old friends tale. He was sure it would be just as interesting as his, and even if others would have considered it not, to Ti it would be like listening to an epic. When you cared for someone it didn't really matter what they told you, as long as they were telling you something. Ti was just happy to be in the man's company as he took another gulp of the mead. He had found he quite liked the taste really, he might drink it relatively often now he knew what it was like.
word count: 417
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Terrors in the night, shadows turning to silhouettes of regret. He knew that well and would recognise a tortured mind quickly thanks to his own experiences. Even more so if it was that of a friend. Perhaps, Finn beckoned Ti to drink to ease his mind. Only Ti knew how haunted he was but Finn could just as well empathise. Or maybe Finn encouraged Ti to have his first taste so the boy might find it easier to delve into the ugly as that’s where Finn felt he could pay back for the friendship they’ve got, to help him take a load of his shoulder, iron the few wrinkles of worry. Either way, the priest noted the hints in the words that were said, knowing he’d need them later on
”You’ll get used to it.” Finn replied with a nod and the same reassuring half-smile, bring his own tankard to his lips. The mead caressed his taste buds before it smoothly slid down his throat. He hasn’t drunk much for a few arcs, but on occasions when he did, he savoured its sweet taste, much like a knowledgeable wine enthusiast would savour a glass. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, Finn quickly wondered where to start when prodded to share his story of the few past arcs.
”Seven arcs is a long time.” The man uttered more to himself. “As you can tell, I found my faith. Last time we saw each other, I was lost. Now I work in a temple as a priest and I serve Ymiden.” That was as good a start as any. “After leaving Desnind, Telar and I travelled the whole of Idalos. A lot has happened. A lot was seen. Never thought Viden would be so damn cold." A chuckle of old surprise bubbled to the surface. "Literally thought one day that I was going to lose my fingers to it.” Wriggling the digits in the air, Finn smile at the face of that memory. Back then, he was horrified. But recollecting the events now, he was a fool who should have known better.
”But more recently, we seem to be settling down in Ne’haer. It’s the first time we have stayed anywhere for this long.” His expression twisted as he was still getting to grips with the idea, but at the same time, he couldn't deny that it was pleasant.
“Like you, I’ve encountered the shadow beast.” And for a moment his expression dimmed with memories of that time, dark consequences. The wounds were healed, the damaged repaired, but much like Ti's recollections, his also returned at times to haunt him. Things he could have done better, save more people. Yet, he did not allow it to drag him down. He has learnt how to forgive himself, how to forgive others. An ability which took a lot of training, a lot of effort.
”Many died here in Ne’haer. Like anywhere else. But!” Emphasising the word, he brought cheer back to his features as he lifted his darkened blue hues. “I have met and befriended a Tunawa!” Clearly, the simple fact brought him joy. “They are so peculiar as a race, aren't they? The Southern temple has the refuge for them, but you can hardly see one there. Many are afraid after what they've been through. But this one, Ailluin, she was helping right after the shadow beast attack. She helped me and a few assistant priests to save a young man from the ruins of a house.” There was no pride, but relief in his words. There was no vanity either that would usually be gained from saving many lives in the past, whether from physical harm or mental torture. Moreover, the soft smile on his lips was a stark declaration of gratitude to have aided the man.
"That season was not pleasant for anyone. Darkness then, is darkness now." He tried in Sev’ryn, gently leading the conversation down one path. ”Bad things, you can forgive you.” it was a poor attempt on translating the intent of his words. Knowing he might have as well butchered the language, his fingers place on the table stretched as he thought.
”Forgiveness is a difficult and a long journey. It can haunt you for arcs. Like it did with me. Bad dreams, night terrors, they are all part of your consciousness trying to cope. It might become too much soon. Don't let it drive you to madness, Ti. Be sure I am here. Here for you like you were there for me seven arcs ago.” It wasn’t a promise. It wasn’t a plain statement. It was an invitation. An open suggestion where Finn was not to only be the priest, but also the friend he felt Ti might have needed there and then.
word count: 825
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They do not yet understand the purpose of forgiveness. It is not to spare wrongdoers a punishment they deserve. It is to spare the injured ones the ongoing pain they do not.

~ Ymiden
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Ti'niva listened to Finn's story of the past 7 arcs and he found it to be much more joyful and happy than his own. Besides the talk of shadow beasts and death of many in Ne'haer it was quite a charming story. Ti was glad to hear he had found his faith, his too had grown. Although he had struggled and still did struggle with the acts he had committed in Oscillus he had known who he did it for. Moseke had asked him for his help, for his support in that fight and he had provided it. It appeared Finn was fighting a different kind of fight in the service of Ymiden. Working as a priest for the immortal of forgiveness must test your ability to remain indifferent and he admired the fact that Finn was able to do such a hard job.

Ti'niva was thankful for the support of Finn, the man too had once struggled with something he never truly new what but it too had made his life hard. If Finn had managed to forgive himself then surely he could forgive himself for what he had done. Finn said it could haunt him for a long time, for many arcs in fact. The idea scared Ti, he did not wish to be afraid of sleeping and having these nightmares for arcs. It was just too long, he had to find a way when he returned to Desnind to get over the problem. Maybe he would need the help of his immortal or maybe he just needed to force himself to confront his inner demons.

"You good friend Finn, you even after 7 arc be like brother. I happy have you and help." He forced back his tears and broke the catch in his throat as he forced a smile, it was forced but it was sincere. He could not be happier with his friend, with the man who he had once taught. It appeared the lessons were now reversed, he was now the student and he was a student of forgiveness.

Ti took another drink of the mead, it was agreeing with him and he quite enjoyed the flavour now. The food was now placed in front of the two men and Ti examined it closely. It looked interesting, different from what he was used too but good all the same. He picked up the metal knife and fork and tried to figure out how to use them. It was more complicated than just eating meat with a wooden fork or your hands, in fact a lot of the time Ti would just eat his food like a skewer kebab. "You come back Desnind soon?" Ti looked at the man curious how long it would be until they met again after he left, hopefully not 7 arcs again.
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As he watched the young man sat in front of him, no words needed to be spoken. He could empathize with him and the inner demons that were so hard to speak about, let alone admit to one's self. He felt for Ti. It was not a fate anyone deserved and many were broken by it. Finn wished he could just transfer years of his own experience onto the man so that his suffering would be eased. So that he would find his own journey easier than Finn's was. Alas, it was impossible. Not only for the mere logistics of the feat but also for the fact that each journey of this kind was extremely individual. So Finn could only offer a modest smile at Ti's next words.
"You good friend too, Ti. Now and always. Here or far. You always here..."He pointed at his temple."And here."Finn placed a hand over his heart. Perhaps a cheesy gesture for a grown man, but there was little Finn had especially in terms of friends that those he did manage to gather over the arcs were precious to him. Precious enough he would allow himself moments like these where he could express the gratitude without pretence. After all, it appeared both of them were having quite a moment where Finn noticed the glaze over Ti's eyes. If this happened arcs ago when Ti was still a child, Finn would find it acceptable to embrace him. Now, he wished he was close enough to at least tap or squeeze his shoulder. The physical representation of the support Ti could rely on.
Alas, they were disturbed by the food and their respective hunger. Seeing and smelling the food, Finn's stomach grumbled quietly. Chuckling at Ti's loss of knowing how to use cutlery, Finn has left his own on the table and instead tore off a piece of bread to soak up the juices but the rest he would eat with his hands or the fork. He wanted to make Ti feel as comfortable as possible in a world that might be a bit alien to him. If that meant eating like a farmer, so be it. He was once meant to be that anyways.
"Hopefully soon." He then responded biting down on the bread. "I miss the place. Never felt so at peace anywhere else. But it depends on when Telar gets better and we can travel again." He admitted, smiling at the memories. "How long are you staying around here? I want to see you again before you go."
word count: 441
Favourite quote:
They do not yet understand the purpose of forgiveness. It is not to spare wrongdoers a punishment they deserve. It is to spare the injured ones the ongoing pain they do not.

~ Ymiden
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