: Late afternoonLocation
: Avalia Greenhouse, underneath a willow treeAmbience
: Verdant Greenhouse
The luscious Greenhouse of Avalia had become the secret meeting place for rebel forces within the immense city. Gathered underneath the hanging branches of a weeping willow tree near the edge of an artificial stream, Cade, Ayita, Sakura and Ilan discussed important business.
Or rather Ilan was watching the shimmering water of the stream, tinted orange in the setting sun. His jade eyes were glazed over. The faun was lost in thought, dreaming as he was often seen doing. He dabbled some on his lyre, and while it sounded pleasant, the notes lacked any direction or purpose. In a sense it was also beautiful, as they were melodies he could not replicate in that same order. Fleeting melodies, to match his fleeting thoughts.
Sakura was a bit pissed. The group didn’t even stop to go grab a bite first before going into this large Greenhouse, but she admitted that she loved how beautiful and peaceful this place was. Simply put: it was the complete opposite of Daka Island and she was more than happy for a change of scenery. It was also the perfect meeting place for the group. It was easier for Sakura to sense any lingering presence with magical powers near them that might eavesdrop on their conversation. The only other person with them was Regulus and it gave the group another sense of security as the centaur served as a guardsman over them.
What made the demoness happier was the load of information she’s been getting from the group. She was sure Aklenroth will be very pleased with her report but she decided not to be hasty. She might get more information from them soon when they ran into a couple more rebels and humans.
The greenhouse turned out to be the perfect place for the group to reunite themselves. Not only it was decently away from the center of the city but it was also unlikely that anyone would come to interrupt them.
At first, Ayita was distracted by Ilan as he mindlessly played his lyre, but after a few minutes appreciating the sound, she finally remembered why they were there."I don't think it's a good idea to tell them what I am yet, is it?"
Ayita asked to Cade and Sakura, whispering in a low tone. Even though both Regulus and Ilan seemed to be quite friendly, they should still try and know what side they were on."So... What is your story? I know my group isn't exactly a 'normal' one but a centaur and a faun are am equally exotic one, right?"
Ayita asked with a chuckle.
The pleasantly calm voice of Ayita woke Ilan from his daydreams. He stopped playing and placed the lyre on the soft carpet of grass which stretched out around them. As per usual Ilan hesitated to speak, waiting for Regulus to provide an explanation. He stroked the blades of grass with his fingers, looking at Ayita with wonder. There was something about her Ilan couldn´t pinpoint, and at the same time he did feel like he could trust her.
He relayed the events of his journey to her. Everything that happened on the day he left Roshmi, to meeting his first human, whom he took back to the city and into the infirmary, where he sadly passed away, because of his injuries. After that tragic event he met Kuroi. Ilan continued to explain about the rebel forces in a secret sanctuary underneath the city, their leader Baraian handed over his leadership position to Belle another human. “Regulus and me came to the city, to find more of them.”
With them Ilan was implying humans. When his name was mentioned the centaur turned towards Ayita and Ilan. He merely nodded sternly in agreement with Ilan’s story. “If we find them, we can help them stay safe, and we can defeat the Lich King together.”
Ilan explained, sounding both hopeful and fearful at the same time. He picked out a small daisy flower from the grass and started to pick at the leaves.
Cade enjoyed the greenhouse, it was bright and peaceful, filled with greenery and even had many plants he’d never seen in the forests. His tail swished back and forth to melodies that Ilan the faun strummed. He gave a nod to Ayita when she asked if she should continue the elf ruse, while these two seemed trustworthy he could see no harm in keeping secret the fact that she was human just in case. He listened quietly to Ilan’s story of how he came to join the rebellion against the lich. While Regulus remained as stoic as any warrior, the way in which Ilan told his story made Cade absolutely certain that they were to be trusted. Ilan’s tone and mannerisms were genuine, as was the empathy in his voice as he told them how the first human the faun had met died. “It would be an honor to assist your cause, Ilan, if you will have me. For far too long a creature of death and destruction has ruled over Avalia, and it is time for that to change.”
Cade said, keeping his voice down in case anyone else nearby was listening. He waited for his companions to voice their support as well, thinking they would, as finding allies for Ayita had been their main reason for coming to Roshmi after all.
Ayita was a bit surprised when Ilan stopped playing and started telling his story. Even though she had met him only a brief moment ago, just looking at Ilan's eyes, she knew that he was a good person and could be trusted. He was innocent and didn't seem to have even a drop of malice on him. The fact that he was also very shy wasn't new so she was pleasantly surprised when Ilan showed himself willing to open a bit more and talk about himself and his story.
As he continued talking, Ayita found herself surprised when Ilan mentioning having already met a human before, having even taken to the infirmary to try and treat his injuries. When he mentioned that said human had died though, Ayita couldn't help but be reminded of what she, as a human herself, would have to face in Avalia. It didn't take much explanation for her to realize that Ilan and Regulus were in fact allies, having met and tried to help other humans before and even mentioning a rebel force and the location they used as their hideout.
Turning to Cade and Sakura, Ayita gave them a nod and a small smile, indicating that they could indeed trust Ilan and Regulus after they both finished talking. Their goal to find more humans and help them, coupled with the story they had told them immediately identified them as valuable allies to Ayita, Cade and Sakura."Thanks for sharing your tale with us, of trusting us enough to share it."
Ayita said with a smile and a small bow."In return, I also have something to tell you both. I'm sorry I kept it a secret but I had to be sure I could trust you before I revealed my secret..."
Ayita said as she turned to Sakura."Would you mind dispelling your illusion for a second?"
Ayita asked with a silent nod, making it clear she was ready to show them that she was a human.
The moment Sakura undid the spell, both Ilan and Regulus would be able to see Ayita's real self. Her exotic appearance not only immediately identified her as a human, but it would made it clear that she was even more 'exotic' than they previously could have thought.