Argent steps into one of the private rooms, secured thanks to her requesting permission-if a bit brusquely-from the church staff on-site.
The temple of Phoenix in the Ethereal capital. A beautiful architetire, built from the same crystal that composes the entire city. The violet crystal here in the temple is one of two places wherein it's color is different, a deep red tinge. You were taken in as a travellers, no questions were asked, and the only priestess in the temple, an old Viera, has shown you to the inner rooms. The
Sarah: temple itself is very large, there are many rooms in which prayer is had, and many rooms for the lost and needy to be tended. Your room is spartan in nature, but comfortable nontheless
Each one of you has been given a separate room, although nearby. Sarah is currently out in the hallway, looking at a mural
Argent sits in the room, waiting pensively with a few things on her mind, to say the least. Even without being in prayer, she is sitting practically in the corner, looking around and deep in thought…
Argent: But then she looks through the door, seeing Sarah, and calls out to the person she sees first and foremost as her employer. "Oi, Sarah." She maintains her rough tone as usual, but there's a hint of concern in her voice.
Sarah‘ turns around and looks at Argent "Hey. I was, hum… Just thinking"
Argent: "Hm. Is now a decent time to talk?"
Sarah nods "Sure! It wasn’t important"
Argent: Argent looks around a bit before continuing, "…hm. Mind coming in here? I'd rather not risk the chance of the others walking in on this."
Sarah tilts her head, and gently walks over to Argent's room "Looks serious…"
Argent: "It is. As far as I am concerned, it's of utmost relevance to the current situation."
Sarah fidgets a little, a bit unsecure "What is it?"
Argent: "Do you still wish for me to continue under the current contract? I ask this because I have come to the realization that intra-group issues have become…worse than normal, I guess I could say."
Argent: "To the point where I am concerned that it may adversely affect the group in a life-or-death situation."
Sarah takes a few moments to answer, thinking well her words "Hrm… I'd rather you continue… I'm… I'm not sure what is the problem, i'm sure we can solve it and… You know, you're part of the group, one way or another"
Sarah: "And… I'm sure that when we're driven to an extreme situation, we're going to make out of it, one way or another. From watching you all, I can see you're that special kind of people"
Argent: "Hm. Part of it, looking over it objectively…is a matter of culture clash, and-okay, hold up."
Argent: "Think I'd have to make this clear. I'm not special. I'm not special at all."
Sarah looks down, more pensative than anything else, arms crossed "It's true, there's absolutely nothing unusual about you."
Sarah: "That… I'm curious, why do you focus so much on that?"
Argent: "I'm not a hero in any particular sense of the word. And frankly, I don't think any of us are. Those two," Argent adds with an acerbic tone, likely referencing to the Transcients, "harp on about it, but…kgh." Argent sighs upon the next question, deciding to change the topic, "…Okay, guess it's time for me to describe where I came from, as far as my life goes. And I don't mean that forest."
Sarah nods
Argent: "Farthest back I can remember, I was part of some merchant family. Probably found who knows where, we have no idea what they do with the babies from that forest."
Argent: "Anyway, one day when I was…hell, I can't remember anymore. Caravan I was on was attacked by bandits. I was…well, a casualty. Well, captured, but close enough. Not like I could have done anything there anyway."
Sarah just looks at Argent, trying to not have a strong reaction, but can't help but wince a little
Argent: "So yeah, turns out that apparently my kind? Not that common. Uncommon enough for me to be sold for enough money and then to be stuck in one of those out-of-the-way slave markets as an 'exotic'." Argent elaborates the last word, hoping that'd key Sarah into what the implications were.
Sarah bites her lower lip "I-i see"
Argent: "I'd like to say that I one day somehow summoned the strength to break out of my prison, kicked the living crap out of every single one of those bastards, and went off on my own, but that'd be the worst fabrication made in this group by far." Argent sighs uncomfortably.
Sarah: "That's… Actually pretty horrible"
Argent: "No, I was bought. By someone who decided to use it as a workaround to set me free. Hell if I know why they did it. Perhaps pity." Argent shakes her head. "Anyway, no…I decided -never again-. If there was anything in my power, I'd never let this happen to myself again."
Argent: "So, learned how to fight. How to hide some of the more, er, obvious visual cues of what I am. Adopted a pseudonym."
Sarah shakes her head slightly "It's… Almost the same tale of the queen of the empire that sponsors my mission"
Argent: "And so pretty much started on a life as a mercenary-wait, you're shitting me."
Sarah shakes her head again "No, except by the time she was… Freed, she was already an adult, with a lot of… Experience, you could say"
Argent winces
Argent: "…that…hell. As someone who was almost subjected to that fate myself…" Argent shudders.
Sarah: "Do you remember a little after we started our mission, that creimire that knew me? Kind of flamboyant?"
Argent: "…Yeah, the one that Jnezdie wouldn't leave Gavriel alone about."
Sarah: "Lauren… She had a similar fate too… And took a route closer to yours, she became a warrior, a mercenary… Look where it took her, far away from a homeland, in a hostile environment, hunting for a truth that is unrelated to her"
Argent: "…hn. I see. Doesn't make any of us heroes, though. But then again, as far as I'm concerned in this world, there are no real heroes."
Sarah: "Then, that doesn't compares to the story of the greatest hero of my people, Arc Knight Christof. He was… He was just a soldier, not even high-ranking, by your people's standards, Gavriel outranks him. All he did was do the missions assigned to him, but he was swept up in fate, and directly saved many people (tale says he was even involved in rewriting time itself but that's just
Sarah: a romantic exxageration, I saw the reports of his missions) "
Sarah: "… You are wrong, Argent… Maybe your people have their problems too, but everyone does… I'm… It's just that your people are so far above already, it's hard to notice"
Sarah: "Argent, what is the death count on the war?"
[OOC] Sarah: Would Argent care to know that? It's pretty small, actually
[OOC] Argent: Probably not the exact number, but she probably knows it's not that high
Sarah: "Your people are so powerful, in this whole war… There were not twenty thousand deaths…"
Argent: "For all the fighting that goes on, it's pretty damn low. People like to pull their punches, though there's a few I wouldn't have done so against."
Sarah: "The siege of the kelsha shore. A single engagement, three hundred thousand dead"
Argent: "…holy hell."
Sarah: "And it's just a single clash, there were many others, on a war that has been ongoing for centuries"
Argent: "…Centuries? The hell kind of time measurement is that?"
Sarah: "Century- It's a hundred Jaar, which is half a cycle. The war has been ongoing for I think a hundred and a few cycles"
Argent: "…hell."
Argent boggles at the concept of a conflict lasting that long. "And that's without, er, outside intervention, I take it."
Sarah: "Yes. In the end they ended up taking a different take on the war, it stalled int oa war of attrition, they've begun taking the opportunity to turn it into a social war- Social overtake of their empire, to end the war in a peaceful manner"
Argent: "Guess both sides got tired of the fighting."
Sarah: "One did, at least"
Sarah: "The other, not so much"
Sarah: "Only the truly powerful can defeat their enemy without taking their lives… The people of this land, Argent, you're not aware but they're of near godlike strength compared to my people. You're capable of far too much, so yes… As far as I know, all of you have the 'power' of a hero. And- You're fighting for a goal, even if it is one i've set. It's not like you lack the capacity,
Sarah: believe me I chose you for your skill, maybe you don't like the attention, maybe you don't like to be flamboyant, you definitely are far more realist and prefer a safer approach, we need somebody like that on the team, too "
Argent: "If you say so. The culture clash is frustrating to say the least, though, and Gavriel seems like he's changing for the worse at times." Argent sighs in frustration
Sarah: "Hrm… Is it frustrating because… It looks like they're just not doing anything, or because it's just irritating? I mean- In the end, you all get the job done and that's what matters"
Sarah: "I can't… Can't really help to trying to make you all to like eachother more without having everyone together, but i'm sure they're willing to hit a compromise"
Argent: "Closer to the second. This is going to sound judgmental as hell, but judging from how those two act; if they're representative of it, I'm surprised Transcient Town or whatnot has an actual economy at all."
Argent: "I don't get the partying. I don't get the laid-back attitude, the predilection towards flamboyance and ham-fisted theatrics."
Sarah looks out the window, and closes her eyes… "They're a carefree people, far more than the kingdoms. They're also small, no bigger than a medium village"
Argent: "Hell, from the way they were talking about it it sounded like it was at least city-sized."
Sarah: "E-eh, it's not big, is what i'm getting at. It has a lot of people, but it doesn't holds a candle to the big cities material-side"
Sarah: "And… Hum… I think the partying, laid-back attitude and flamboyance are a natural trait"
Sarah: "I mean, from those two"
Argent: "…was about to say, if they were representative of the place, I'd go insane after five hours spent there, tops."
Sarah: "But that place is… Pretty unstable, actually. Your magitek is… Incredibly advanced, but volatile. It has shaped their culture, but i'm sure those two go above and beyond the call of duty"
Sarah: "Hum… I'm sure we can try to reach a compromise, though"
Argent: "…hm. Might as well." Argent nods. "And can I ask a favor?"
Sarah nods "Sure"
Argent: "Don't tell Jnezdie or Jack of the details of my past. I don't trust the former to keep it a secret, and I don't trust the latter to not make a mockery of it in his theatrical production."
Sarah: "Alright… I won't, I promise you"
Argent nods
Sarah: "… Hum… You know, one thing"
Sarah: "You spoke of your past and- It'd be unfair if I didn't share at least a little…"
Argent: "Of yours?"
Sarah: "Yes"
Sarah: "I don't have much glory in my past either… My father was a DIRT operator, my mother a technician. But- My and my brother were very unusual births, mine was taken as a good omen and I can't understand that, my brother- Let's say my parents got in trouble for letting his pregnancy carrying to term"
Argent: Argent's mind totally boggles-over arguably the wrong thing. "…wait, I thought your parents were of entirely different species from both each other and you."
Argent: "I remember the picture."
Sarah: "Oh, that's not a thing. The proper term is races"
Sarah: "All of the different races are part of the same species, you just… Don't see cross-race relationships too often here, much less those with children"
Argent: "…I…see." Argent decides to just let that slide.
Sarah: "Child is born the race of one of the parents or grandparents, in simpler therms"
Argent: "…Ah."
Sarah: "I… People have already put a burden of perfection on me since birth. People wanted me to be perfect, not just nearby, even people I didn't know, across the entire country… See, because of the way I was born 'naturally skilled' with the power of my land's demon… 'pure-blooded' they'd say- They expected me to be perfect… And i'm just… Just a failure"
Sarah: "They expected me to be the perfect lady I- I tried to get away from that, joined the army- I ended up getting excited about the Hvezdami Knights, the elite forces of my lands. There was a time there were two openings… Me and brother tried to join"
Argent listens intently
Sarah: "Turned out… For all that I was taken as perfect and my brother a- a monster- My brother made it in, I couldn't. I was inept, unable to do the one thing that defined the knights, the one great ability everyone always expected me to have, the one I was unable to do"
Argent: "…that being?"
Sarah: "I only- I only managed to make it thanks to my brother's intervention… He gathered a veritable army of scientists, built me a 'crutch' to make do…"
Sarah: "… The biggest power of my people is that of transformation, the great power of the 'demon' of my lands"
Sarah: "I can't do that, or rather- I can but only very, very limited"
Sarah: "Anyway… That's- That's pretty much it. That's why I had to seek out a team, I can't work alone. I've always needed help and always will… I'm not a third of what people think I am, of all i'm the least likely to be a hero"
Sarah: "So I know how it is, Argent… I'm just trying to do my job and I need everyone's help. I'll see what I can do to make life easier for you, too, try to reduce attrition"
Argent: "…heh. As far as I'm concerned, then, you're in the same boat as the rest of us." Argent actually…smirks a bit?! and pats Sarah on the shoulder.
Sarah smiles slightly "Right"

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