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I moved to Alabama, a state over. About a 5 hour drive.
Okay, so I can never bring myself to just do nothing. Though, I was too tired to make them longer.
Kaleeth took a tight hold of Janius’ hand, immediately grabbing his attention. She looked him in the eyes, bringing her own head close to his. “We’re all here with you, dear. No matter what they say, your family always loves and supports you. If they want to be a part of that, then they can be family too. If not, then they can’t take us away from you. Now, no more waiting.”

Kaleeth took the lead to guide Janius and the others through the door, hoping to give him that last push he needed.

---

Meesei’s scrunched up expression, provided Pircalmo was experienced enough with Argonians to read it, showed that she was conflicted, debating internally on how to answer. She sighed, and gave him something of an apologetic look. “Forgive me if I have to speak vaguely, I…do not wish to reveal anything that Lunise would not say herself. Our professional business, it is so…mired in secrecy. So wrapped up in protocol and security concerns that it can become hard to talk to anyone openly. Even our personal business has inevitably become bound to professional affairs. Though, I am sure you are well-familiar with the harsh demands of secrecy. With you being in love with a Psijic monk, and your daughter being a Thalmor Justiciar, it is almost a surprise that you were able to learn anything about your own family.” Meesei chuckled, trying to present some measure of levity to the situation. Though, her lighthearted smile quickly faded.

“Although, I feel that I can be safe in saying that we have a relationship of the type that she would be comfortable showing her emotions in front of me. I suppose what just occurred makes that too obvious to hide. I cannot speak on Lunise’s behalf, but I can speak for my own emotions when I say that I do care what happens to her. You studied my kind extensively, so I suppose you know that we have a certain reputation for not giving trust quickly, but once it is earned, we give it strongly. I would not say that I break that mould, so I can safely say that your daughter has at least one devoted ally.”
I've spent the day moving, so I may not post until tomorrow.
It did not seem like there was any more to say to Aurana that could make her any more prepared, or less worried. As everyone was taking their cups of tea, Kaleeth placed her hand gently on Janius' arm. "You know you are probably going to have to talk to your parents about yourself for at least a little while once they get here, right? You can't just come back after so long of being dead and expect to just talk about their daughter right away. They'll have questions, things to say. But you won't be alone."

Meanwhile, Julan, although sufficiently nervous as a result of their conversation, moved over to sit down next to Aurana. "I guess I could...I don't know, tell you more stories while we wait?"

---

"Hmm, so neither of you have seen any part of the island in person?" Meesei commented, which was likely all that Lunise would need to realize the true intent of her question. "Regardless, it sounds wonderful. It is easy to see why the Psijic order is wrapped up with so much legend and myth in modern times. Their home sounds like another world entirely, something beyond the experiences of the average person. The Psijic order has always been reserved, isolationist, but they have shown themselves in history to have an interest in making sure the world continues its existence."

Meesei finished off the last of the tea in her mug, then placed it down carefully on the table in front of her. "At any rate, I do not wish to focus on anything that might be too depressing for you. I do have to complement you on your tea, Pircalmo. I am fairly well-traveled myself, but it still stands out as unique. It does remind me of Khajiit drinks, actually."

If my next post doesn't lead to anything interesting, then we can move on both scenes.

Though, depending, it might cause something interesting.

Ssarak Dyreackthanose

---

Ssarak continued pressing into the thief’s ward. It was much stronger than he would have expected, which only furthered his suspicion that this was no random robbery. However, he could not take the time to think on such speculation while the chase had his focus. Ssarak followed along the path above the thief as much as possible, though as he started taking routes that he could not follow directly, he took advantage of his ability to bypass buildings entirely to try to cut him off.

Raising his altitude enough to get above the rooftops, Ssarak continued to pressure his ward as much as possible, as well as to try to keep getting a sense of his location. It took a moment for Ssarak to discern the logical exit of the tunnel, and by the time Ssarak had flown over to it, his fast-moving figure was halfway through the crowd. On the ground, it would likely be difficult to track him through the mass of people, but Ssarak could help with that. He had already been giving his allies directions through the chase. This time, he created an illusion for his allies in the form of a beacon of light shooting up from the thief into the sky. It would reduce his pressure on the ward, but it would be worth it to allow his allies the ability to track, and hopefully catch up with the target.

Follow the light!” Ssarak said telepathically to his allies, just to be sure that it was clear.
Somewhat frustrated and somewhat impatient, Julan was apt to give what he saw as an easy solution to the problems they were discussing. "I mean, even if you don't know their reasons for sure, you still know what you want. It might be that they're just scared to let you do anything after they thought they lost their son. Even if it isn't, won't have to be afraid to tell them how you feel. Father said that if they get really mad, he'll say that he told you to say whatever you end up saying, so they won't blame you. That will make it easier to talk to them, right?"

Kaleeth briefly sighed and interrupted calmly. "We can do that, Julan, but we don't want to have to do it. We want Aurana to be able to speak confidently and know what she is talking about. Do you think you would be confident to speak to your parents if we agree to take the blame if it doesn't work, Aurana?"

---

Meesei smiled at Pircalmo before taking another sip of tea. She leaned forward somewhat over the table, clasping the mug between both hands. "If I find someone to be a friend, I will name them as such whether they like it or not. I consider Lunise to be a friend because of what she has done for my people. Because of Lunise, all of the people I represent have some real opportunities going into the future. I apologize that I cannot speak in any real detail about our professional relationship, but as you said, Thalmor Justiciars are not a group that is generally known for their understanding. Lunise is special. Respectable in her dedication to her service to her people, honest in her dealings with me, and knowledgeable enough in magical and scholarly pursuits to be my peer. To have common interests. It is why I consider her to be a friend. As for why Lunise calls me a friend, well, I cannot speak for her." Meesei said, turning her head to Lunise.

After a short time, Meesei showed a curious gaze towards Lunise as a thought crossed her mind. Once she had a chance, she decided to pose another question to her. "So Lunise, you have been alive for quite a long time, and you have family within the Psijic order. Did you ever see Artaeum yourself, back before they removed the Isle from Tamriel? I have always found myself curious about the Psijic order and what their home is like."
It was obvious that Julan was feeling at least slightly uncomfortable talking in this way about this topic, even if they were being purely hypothetical. Regardless, his father obviously thought it would help convince Aurana, and he wanted to do whatever he could to help her.

“I mean…it’s hard to even imagine that, but…” Julan began hesitantly. “I think we would go mad if we were locked up like that. We always travel so much, go to so many places. I’d argue with you, I’d try to get the rest of our family to argue with you. I’d just…run away if that didn’t work. I couldn’t live like that.”

After a few seconds, Julan held up his hands and looked to Aurana. “Not…that I think you should run away or anything. It’s kind of different for us.”

---

Although Lunise's solution to the problems she described was certainly manipulative, Meesei could respect that she was more understanding than her superiors. It did speak to why Lunise may have been assigned to such a position. She was someone who could identify with and understand someone who was not an Altmer, to some degree. It was a trait that Meesei believed had been strengthening in her as of late.

“Indeed, I believe it was wise of you to try to understand their people, as it shows in your results.” Meesei commented. “I have spent time in Elsweyr and worked with Khajiit for many years. It seems your superiors did not recognize how integral moon sugar is to them. It is not a simple drug, it is a part of their identity. It is integral to most of their customs, their religion, their food. Trying to outlaw it would be like trying to outlaw the practice of magic among Altmer. It would be blasphemy to them, and as you saw, something they would fight to the last. I would go as far as to say that your understanding, your ability to connect to the people you were working with, was the linchpin to the Dominion’s annexation of Pelletine and Anequina. Without that, it would have turned into a guerilla war that would have been very costly for the Dominion to fight. Something that would have weakened it to the Empire. It is surprising, sometimes, how much influence a single person can have in world events.” She said, giving Lunise a knowing look.

So as not to call too much attention to the underlying meaning behind Meesei’s praise, she continued quickly. “I suppose the challenge now will be to ensure the politicians understand how critical your deal is to the alliance. By controlling the moon sugar, you have some power over them, but if that power is abused too much, it could quickly turn back to war. A clever Imperial spy could try to encourage a less worldly politician to start a campaign against moon sugar once more, unknowing of the disaster it could cause. I imagine it would be much like if some group tried to restrict Hist sap among Argonians. It is even more important to us than moon sugar is to the Khajiit; it is tied to our being, our physiology. Not to mention, its source is the Hist itself, which is ubiquitous throughout Black Marsh. The only way to control it would be to attack the Hist, and, well…” She began, giving a few brief chuckles. “…that would be a very quick end to any alliance, and a very quick beginning to a war. I know you are wise, Lunise, and you have been a friend to me." She said, her expression seemingly, genuinely positive. "I trust you will ensure your superiors understand the intricacies of the situation. The last group to attempt to attack the Hist were Dagon’s Daedric hordes during the Oblivion Crisis. It did not fare very well for the Daedra, I would say. They reportedly closed their own gates when the Argonian armies invaded their realm. If you ever find yourself in an argument with a Dremora, I am sure it would give you no end of amusement to bring that historic fact up to it.”

Meesei did not have many intentions with her tangent into the Hist aside from furthering her cover story as a diplomat. It certainly sounded like a warning for the repercussions of the Dominion trying the same strategy against the Argonians as Lunise had implemented with the Khajiit. The parallels were obvious, and everything Meesei said she did indeed believe to be true, but it was just another layer to the façade.
"Um...okay." Julan answered nervously. He knew very well that his parents already knew the truth, just from Harald's reaction alone. But still, there was a certain hesitation about stating it directly out loud. However, the fact that Janius said he would not get in trouble for it gave him some confidence. If Julan admitted the truth right now, then his father would have to make himself into a liar if he wanted to punish them for it, and Julan did not think he would go that far.

"Well...we came here. I came here; I convinced Rhazii to come with me. I wanted to see my grandparents, and I wanted them to be able to know that they had a family. I thought it was only right. I came here, met them, told them all about you and the...Penitus Oculatus and everything. Then we left and went down towards the river. Your father said he would come to the castle today to see you, but I think that was a lie. Aurana saw us and followed us after we left, and we took the time to talk to each other."

---

Meesei turned her head calmly to LUnise as she tried to reassure her. "Do not worry, I can speak about myself. It is no trouble." She said, placing her attention back on Pircalmo. "Much like Lunise, there are some topics that I am not at liberty to discuss, but I can still give some details about myself. My role encompasses more than just being a diplomat, but I am serving in the capacity of a diplomat. Ultimately, my motivation is that of duty; to serve my people. There are few who can do what I can do, so I serve for the benefit of my people. I care deeply for them, so for me, it is as if I am working for my family." She explained.

Meesei had plenty of years of experience speaking covertly about herself, and she did demonstrate her advice to Lunise to give a lie close to the truth. She never explicitly defined who "her people" actually were. The assumption Pircalmo would make was obvious, but also incorrect.

Taking a sip of her tea, Meesei paused a moment, as the flavor was not what she was expecting. Though, it was not unpleasant. In an effort to make sure the Pircalmo did not focus to heavily on herself, Meesei brought Lunise back into the focus. "I am not entirely familiar with Thalmor protocols. What kinds of details are you allowed to share about your work? You may have far more interesting tales than me."
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