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Kresst made no comment towards Mevann, nor towards the Captain's comments. What was important here was the goal of claiming the Sith relic, not winning over a moral argument with the Captain. Mevann could still perform her role securing the area, and Kresst could hopefully come to an agreement more quickly with the Captain without her. Kresst, for the moment, simply gave a chuckle as he looked to the flask. "I'm afraid I will have to save the drinking for after we are done. I weigh less than twenty kilograms, and I'm sure you would be able to drink me under the table by halfway through the first round." He commented. It was not exactly true, given a Jedi's ability to deal with toxins, but it was a convenient enough statement for now.

Kresst motioned for the clone, Mach, to follow him. "Come, come. Hopefully we shall not be too long. I know your commander will likely want us to get back soon."

Following the Captain's lead, Kresst made a quick leap up into the speeder in an effort to pick up the pace. The Captain might not have been the most respectable of individuals, but he was currently being receptive enough to Kresst himself that he felt they would be able to go through with their agreement once Kresst had the relic open. Hopefully, there would be enough surviving inscriptions in the temple to discern the nature of the stone vault. He could read even ancient dialects of most languages that the Sith might have used.
Kresst remained calm with an outward peaceful demeanor, despite his irritation with Mevann's interjection. He held his hand up towards her, as if to order her to back down. "Indeed, I am sure you know how excitable the youth can be. She is loyal and dedicated to her cause, though, much like your men. Sometimes, we need that kind of fire to stand up against threats like the Separatists. But, I digress."

Pausing a moment, Kresst seemed to look more closely at the relics at the back of the room, though he did not move from where he was sitting. He did not need to see the minor details to recognize the shadow that the relic cast through the force. The larger issue, obviously, was the fact that the object seemed to be contained within some sort of dark side-imbued stone structure. "Yes...that is indeed genuine. I can feel it reaching out to me, but this stone structure...I did not expect it. I believe there is something within it, perhaps a holocron or some other important Sith relic, but the stone itself is also imbued with the dark side. This is a most interesting discovery, I have to say; I have never seen anything quite like it in person. It has obviously shown itself resistant to physical damage, so it is likely meant to protect whatever is contained within. An ancient safe, perhaps? Simply fascinating. My first instinct would be that the key lies with the force itself, but I am not sure what exactly I would need to do. But you say you found this in a temple underground..."

Kresst's voice trailed off as his mind began to run through his knowledge of ancient Sith lore. He climbed down from his chair and stepped somewhat closer to the relic, though still keeping a respectful distance. "I propose an exchange. You wish to understand the history of your new home, but a force user is required to open this relic without completely destroying whatever it protects. If I can examine the temple you discovered, I may be able to figure out how to unlock it. I can record and copy anything I discover about the temple and the relic, if we can open it, for your records, while we take the relic itself for safekeeping afterwards. You will be able to build out your understanding of your planet's history, and we will be able to prevent the relic itself from causing any potential harm. And I am only referring to the stone and whatever it is protecting, of course. The lightsabers are not nearly as dangerous, ironically. Despite being weapons strongly associated with force-users, they are ultimately just pieces of technology with a minor connection to the force. Fancy laser swords. I would not recommend trying to repair or reactivate them, given their age. They could malfunction. But, you can keep them with no arguments from me."

The Captain was, obviously, getting straight to the point, and foregoing some of the pleasantries that they had been greeted with. Kresst, being the least threatening of the group, aimed to keep the attention on himself rather than his allies. He stepped up and climbed his way into a chair at the table in the center of the room, and remained both calm and friendly in his tone in his reply to the Captain. "It is the dangerous sort of artifact, I'm afraid. We would not wish to take it from your possession if that was not the case. Based on the descriptions I was given, it is an ancient relic of one of our past enemies: a sect of dark force users. Their relics tend to be imbued with their dark power, and can bring great harm to those around them. Not to mention, they can make anyone who possesses them into a target for those who seek to abuse that power. It is the intention of the Jedi Order to take the relic for safekeeping, as we have experience containing and protecting these sorts of artifacts. We can provide a fair sum of Republic credits to compensate for any inconvenience, of course."

Kresst paused for just a moment before adding one more addendum to his statement. "Though, it is true that all of this is based on the description I was given of what you uncovered. If I can see the relic, or, if you are not comfortable with that, at least an image of it, then I can positively identify if it is indeed what we have been assuming. If it is not a dangerous relic, then we can safely leave it in your care. Otherwise, I will be able to answer whatever questions you might have about it."
"Not since I first left them." Kaleeth replied, a tinge of regret showing through her voice. "We couldn't really exchange letters to a tribe like we can between cities. I just left and...was never able to go back. I still don't really know for sure if it is a good idea, but I want to try."

Julan mostly looked confused at Janius' explanation. The concept of makeup and perfumes was not completely foreign to him, as there were a few rare individuals in the clan that made use of them from time to time, but they were much more rare among lycan clans. Perfumes in particular would have to be specially mixed to be appreciable to most lycans, since standard mixtures were usually far too strong for a lycan's nose to be experienced in the intended way. "People pay gold just to smell nice? That can't be true, can it?" He asked, finally looking towards Ariel.
Kresst returned a nod towards Mevenn. "I can certainly agree with wanting to be through with this quickly, prepared to be patient. And be particularly patient with the locals. Some of them may not like us, but that does not mean they will be violent as long as we show that we are here peacefully. Now, let us go, and try not to put your weapons on too much of a display."

Without further delay, Kresst walked down the ramp ahead of Mevenn and the clone, setting the pace for the both of them. The outpost at which they had landed was situated within the dense jungles, and it was difficult to get a clear view of the sky above through the trees. The heat was sweltering, which, for the Humans at least, was only worsened by the humidity. The purpose of the outpost was unquestionable, considering that it was both well-defended, and well-hidden. Even from their landing area, they could see multiple entrenched heavy blasters, covered from above in foliage to make them even more difficult to spot from the sky. The main buildings of the outpost were prefabricated structures that had been quickly put together on-site, with yet more tents and other primitive structures surrounding them. Naturally, their landing area was surrounded with armed resistance members, but the demeanor of the majority of them were not particularly threatening. Likewise, the man who step forward towards the ramp to greet them was polite, and did not even appear to be armed. Although, he did not waste too much time with pleasantries.

"Greetings, master Jedi. Shall I take you to our captain right away?" The Human asked, after giving a slight, respectful bow. Although the locals were strongly independent by their culture, there was still some recent goodwill between them and the Republic. They were still allies, after all, so the negotiations would not immediately be an uphill battle. Kresst just knew enough of their culture to realize that the situation could change alarmingly quickly if they made any mistakes, and any of the friendliness that the locals were currently showing could disappear in an instant.

"Yes, thank you. We appreciate your hospitality." Kresst replied, following behind the Human.
"Safer than they have been in the past, though there is certainly still a lot of work ahead of us." Meesei replied. They could not speak in specifics until they had the privacy to sit and talk, but Meesei was glad to have a cool cup of water and at least catch up on the basics with her for now.

Kaleeth too joined Meesei at the counter, while Julan stayed closer to his father, though he was curiously looking around at the displays. He was not really sure what the purpose of most of the concoctions around them were supposed to be, but he was sure that they had quite an odd assortment of scents about them. Some of them smelled nice on their own, but all of them mixed together rather strongly in the air to his enhanced senses.

Kaleeth took one of the slices of fruit that Ariel offered, glancing back towards the entrance to the store before speaking. She had no intent of saying anything risky regardless, but it was now a habit for her to be aware of her surroundings at all times when in a city. "We are able to have a bit more time to ourselves now, so we are going to go find my family's village. My first family, that is. I...want to see them again."
Once they parted ways, Kressed headed inside his squarters and climbed up onto the bed. It was much larger than what he used back on Coruscant, but at least it was not uncomfortable for him. He sat down, then pulled out the pouch he carried under his robe to retrieve his camera. He set it to record, then hovered it in front of himself with the Force. "I will need to show at least some restraint with these journal entries; I do not have too many storage drives with me. But, at any rate, it seems even the battle of Coruscant was not enough to stop this assignment. I suppose I had been avoiding them for too long. The escort I have been given are professionals, which will hopefully extend to their sense of subtlety during negotiations. I have prepared my knowledge of Belkadan history as much as I can, though in truth, there is not much there to research. It is, and has always been, a minor footnote in galactic affairs. Its population in small and insular, and I highly doubt they will be willing to open themselves up to the Republic more than they already have. Before the war, the Republic mostly ignored the planet, much like the rest of the outer rim, but the natives were perfectly happy with that arrangement. I will just need to focus the conversation on the artifact itself. Unfortunately, we have not been given a detailed nor consistent enough description of the artifact to know precisely what it is. They did not even describe its size other than the fact that 'it can be held in the hand.' I think it is most likely a holocron, though, which at least makes it less likely that they will accidentally activate it. Still, that would not be something that should be in their possession..."

Kresst, as usual, recorded his thoughts for quite some time, albeit less frequently during their voyage to the outer rim. It was not as long of a trip as it could have been, since Belkadan was not too far off of the Hydian Way. Still, it took days for them to finally enter the system. During that time, Kresst was not terribly sociable with the other passengers on the ship, even his fellow Jedi. He did not avoid them, and was polite on the occasions where they did speak, but he mostly kept to himself when given the choice. He did not take Mevenn up on her offer of sparring, nor did she join him for meditation. The times they did meet were usually to discuss the specifics of how Mevenn's squad should conduct themselves during the negotiations, and once for Kresst to complain about the rookie of her squad making too much noise near his quarters.

Upon landing on Belkadan, Kresst had already been prepared to leave for hours, though he still was not the first one to meet in the common room. The planet was heavily forested and lightly populated by mostly Humans, and now that the loading ramp was presumably lowered, Kresst could feel the humidity even inside the ship. They had not landed at a proper settlement, but rather, just outside one of the local resistance bases. From Kresst's understanding, the artifact was on-site, so they hopefully would not need to remain for too long.

"Well, I am ready to begin if the rest of you are. Do you feel there is anything we should address before we go meet the welcoming party, Mevann?" Kresst asked.
"Oh, everyone else is fine." Kaleeth replied as Ariel pulled away from her hug. To see Ariel in such an overjoyed state certainly put at ease some of her own anxiety. Sabine's meetings with her family were usually nothing but pleasant. "Not everyone is here. We have some business in Black Marsh, so we thought we could stop in for at least a few minutes since we're here."

Meesei too could not help but to smile with Ariel's enthusiastic greetings. That kind of excitement could turn even a foul mood, though unlike Kaleeth, Meesei had already been in a perfectly pleasant mood to begin with. "Well, the three of them have some business to tend to. I simply wanted to visit. It has been far too long, Ariel, and you do not know how happy it makes me to see you doing well."

Julan, in truth, had a more difficult time relating to Ariel's excitement. He did not have strong memories of her, so meeting her "again" was not as much of an event for him. Still, he was finally getting to meet her for the first time, from his perspective, and he was curious how much like his aunt Sabine she was. Although, as was usual when the adults around him were talking to strangers, he was staying quiet for now.
"I did not say that they necessarily need to remain on the ship, just that they should not be present in the meeting itself. Regardless of whether or not I agree with the...need for security, I understand you and your men just want to fulfill your assigned role. Just think of this as something of a...stealth or infiltration mission." Kresst remarked with a light chuckle as they were walking through the halls of the ship. "They need to be close enough to provide assistance in the unlikely event something goes wrong, without drawing too much attention to themselves. For the most part, we just need to avoid threatening, or appearing to threaten, the locals. When the Separatists tried to intimidate them into joining their cause, they responded with a planet-wide resistance movement. That may be one reason I was assigned to this task; to the uninformed, I am as non-threatening as one can be."

Kresst showed little in the way of a reaction to his quarters. While perhaps not as comfortable or arranged to his liking as his quarters in the Jedi Temple, he was not bothered by a layer of dust. They were flying to the outer rim, so there would be a decent amount of travel time, but he still doubted this assignment would last long enough to worry about the particulars of his quarters. He saw that there was a comfortable place to sit, and it was quiet enough for him to meditate, so he needed little else. "I think I will be quite all right, thank you. I expect I will be spending much of my time meditating. I would appreciate relative silence near my quarters, but I can deal with having distractions if need be. Should you desire to train your force techniques, you will know where to find me. After all, practice makes...consistent."

Kaleeth did look at the shop when it was pointed out, but it seemed that her attention was more fixated on the city as a whole around her. It was not uncommon for her to be awestruck at some of the places they visited if there was something about them that was new to her, but she never would have expected to experience it in a city in her own homeland. "I can't believe I never visited this place when I still lived in Black Marsh. I know the tribes don't always think the most highly of more settled Saxhleel, still would have been nice to visit."

Julan, meanwhile, was staying quite close to Janius. This had not been the first time that he had visited a crowded city, but he was now at the age where his beast spirit was more of an influence on his mind. Being that he was born a lycan and was able to adapt to it gradually, it had not taken him too long to reach an acceptable level of control, but he was still a werecrocodile like his mother. It made him at least somewhat more comfortable to stay close to his parents.

Meesei stopped, taking a moment to look at the displays through the window. Apart from the time she had been helping them, Ariel had been running a shop for over a decade, and that experience showed in all the little details of how she arranged her displays to best advertise her store at a glance. Merely having coin was not sufficient to be a merchant, or at least, not a successful one. Reward or no, Ariel's business would not still be open had she not developed those types of skills. "I had wondered what Ariel would do with her reward. It seems she invested it, or at least part of it. I am glad she has found her success. Well, I think you should naturally be the first to see your sister, Sabine, so lead the way."

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