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Julan was equally as perplexed at Rhazii that Aurana, as old as she was, could not have learned to swim. He understood that anyone who was not Argonian would have to learn instead of knowing by instinct, but the notion of never learning seemed bizarre. Regardless, it was not the first strange thing about city dwellers that he had learned, so he just accepted it for now. "Okay...yeah, I'm sure we can make it work."

The trio continued on down the alley, then made their way carefully down to the edge of the canal. While the water did have something of a foul odor overall, the farther upstream they went, the cleaner it became. Once they reached the city wall, where the water flowed into the city, it seemed just about as clean as any other body of water. At the very least, it did not have any noticeable odor.

It was well after nightfall, and while Julan's lycanthropy gave him enhanced night vision, he still had a hard time seeing into the water from above. Rhazii could probably see more clearly, but he wanted to get a better look for himself. Julan held his hands just slightly apart in front of him and closed his eyes, concentrating. Julan was at the age where he was beginning several types of training, from hunting to basic combat. His father and all of his aunts were skilled with magic, so naturally, he had taken an interest as well. Granted, he was also quite new to the practice, but dedicated, just like with anything in which he could be competitive with Rhazii.

After a few moments, a small light flickered to life between Julan's hands, which he sent out over the water. While it was not the brightest of lights, it did give a good enough view as to the depth of the water. "It, um, looks like the water is kind of deep out in the middle of the canal, but you could probably just stand in the water over near the sides. You don't need to swim to do that. Does that sound good?" Julan asked.
Julan looked down at the ground, obviously feeling bad for Aurana. She essentially just wanted the same thing that he did. She asked him if he could just describe his father to her, but he wanted her to be able to meet him too. Not to mention, if she was right and her parents were lying to him about going to the courtyard the next day, then Julan would not have had much time at all to spend with them. He wanted to take the time to speak with Aurana too, but it did not seem like that was going to happen the next day. If he was going to talk to her, it would need to be right then and there.

"Um, well maybe..." Julan began, rubbing the back of his neck. "I want you to be able to meet him too. I just know father would love to meet you. He just, um...well he didn't want anyone here to know he's alive. Since he's with the Penitus Occulatus. I just don't want to get in too much trouble. Like I said, we were going to go act like we were swimming in the canal. Maybe...do you think we could say we found you already there? We could say we went out to swim and you were just already there swimming too. I know I saw people swimming earlier today, so there has to be some place clean. Do people swim at night here? I always love swimming at night; it makes the water feel warmer."

Julan started to look a bit more excited as, at least in his head, his plan was seeming to make some sense. "Maybe we don't even have to say that we knew you were my aunt? If we wait long enough, father will come looking for me eventually. I know it. He won't go to sleep with us gone. We could just wait in the canal for him to find us, then you can meet him there. If you introduce yourself, he'll know you're his sister. Maybe that could work?"
I suppose that we can pick up again with their parents whenever you would like to have them find them.
Julan was appreciative to Rhazii's sympathy, but he did not have much time to respond before they were interrupted by Aurana. Julan was confused at first, but once she drew close enough for him to recognize her face, he relaxed. She was older than either of them, so she was not a child, but Julan still doubted that her parents would be happy that she had followed them. In the short time Julan had been around them, he had the impression that they were...strict.

"Yeah, I'm Kaj-Julan. This is my brother, Rhazii. If you're my father's sister, then...that makes you my aunt. I'm glad to meet you too. I was really hoping to be able to meet my grandparents and the rest of my family. I guess I kinda have, at least for my father's family. My mother's family is still all in Black Marsh, and we don't go there very often." Julan said, though he quickly realized he had gone off on a tangent.

"Anyways, um...you said you want to meet my father? Janius? I, well, I guess you would want to meet your brother, just like I want to meet my grandparents." Julan reasoned, but after thinking about it for a few moments, he became worried. "Will you, um, be going to the courtyard with your parents tomorrow? That was where I was going to try and get my father to go, so he could meet his family again. He really didn't want to come visit you all earlier; I think he's afraid to, since it's been so long. He would be really mad at me if he knew we came and saw you all, and I, uh, don't want to get in too much trouble. And I don't want my brother's parents to get mad at him either. I want to take you to see him right now, but if we did that, then wouldn't he know that we went to your house? We were just about to go to the canal to see if we could find a clean place to swim so we could act like we went for a bath. Our parents probably wouldn't be as mad at that. If they know we left by now, then they'll probably even come to look for us."
Ahnasha was already starting to move closer to the door to wait for the others to start following. She wanted to find the boys as quickly as possible. "Everything on this side of the canal is just housing for wealthy nobles, right? i can't imagine it would be that interesting for anything except the fact that you grew up there."

Kaleeth quickly started to share Janius' look of concern. "Julan had a lot of questions about your parents before. He really wanted to meet them. You don't think...he'd do anything rash, do you?"

---

Julan gave a sigh. "Okay." He conceded, standing up with Rhazii and proceeded to follow Harald back to the front door. His mind was thoroughly occupied with any and every excuse he could possibly conceive of as for why they had left the castle. If they were lucky, their parents would not yet know they had left, but it had been long enough that he was not hopeful.

As he did have some practice coming up with small lies and excuses, his thought process started in a logical place with the dinner they were supposed to have been eating. His note had claimed that they had gone to the kitchen, so that would have to be a part of their story. But, how could going to the kitchen lead to leaving the entire castle? That was not something that would normally happen, so their story would have to contain something that did not normally happen to motivate them to leave. As he and Rhazii stepped out of the house, it was a faint, constant sound in the air that gave him inspiration. The canal was close by.

"Okay, so...we need to make it make sense that we left. They're going to be upset no matter what, unless someone forced us to leave. But...I don't think we could make them believe that. But maybe we can make it seem...less bad? Maybe we could get in the canal, for a bath? There isn't any water we could use in the castle, so that's the only place we could do it. We could say we got dirty somehow, maybe when we were eating? Maybe something got in your fur? I know the canal smelled pretty bad before, but I still think I saw some people in it when we were walking over the bridge. I think they were up at the part near the wall where it comes into the city. Maybe it's cleaner there? I don't think they'd get nearly as mad about a bath. Should we try it?" Julan asked.
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