Huh... Anger and annoyance, Cecil really did experience a full range of genuine emotion. Why? For what possible reason would a Machina ever be fashioned to harbor emotions? He had a suspicion that gnawed at his gut like a rabid dire wolf. But suspicions were unfounded, he'd have to ask some questions and see what he could dig up on Cecil. Not wanting the Machina to notice anything amiss he put on a smile and made another playful jest as he loaded the next round, aiming just off center-mass and letting it fly. Ripples but no shatter, a sign the shield had actively deflected the projectile and held firm. The density of rock and forged metal was still quite far - closer than metal and wood to be sure, but hardly a good measure of the shield's ability. And this was nothing to say of its ability against magic, something which could only be tested by a Magi. Which with luck would come courtesy of his friend and not one of the Church's people.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to insult you. Just a playful jab, nothing more! All in good fun yes?" Very curious. But again like so many other things with Cecil neither here nor there. Now was time to test the shield, and to be more precise, to fire the metal munition. It was the heaviest round they had in the shop and probably the equivalent of the heaviest physical strike Cecil's shield would take. "Brace for this one, no guarantee the shield can take this hit. I'm firing to your right as well just so you're aware. Counting down from ten." Perhaps not the best choice of words to instill confidence but he was being honest. Honesty was the best policy right? As the count hit zero Norman let the weapon do its work, hurling the weighty object at Cecil's shield. In the blink of an eye it struck and sounded as though it slammed against a brick wall, a thunderous crack echoing through the shop and causing everyone present to cringe and cover their ears. When the sound had passed Norman looked up and laughed, a wide grin plastered on his face, his fists raised in celebration.
The shield had stopped the projectile! While he and the others had missed what had happened - too busy covering their ears - Cecil would doubtless have seen the shield shatter partially and fold in on itself only to replenish and repel the metal orb. Laying several feet away and partially flattened was the metal weight, Cecil's shield having repelled it with relative ease. "Astounding! It works, it completely works! The sound was a little unexpected but I'm sure we can work that out! Your shield just stopped the equivalent of a cannonball!" the engineer exclaimed excitedly before cupping his chin, "Well admittedly a low velocity cannonball, and a small one, but a cannonball nonetheless! If you channeled even more energy to the shield however I'm certain it would withstand any blast! We couldn't have hoped for a better result!" The rest of the workers chatted excitably among themselves while Norman approached Cecil, grinning broadly as he slapped the Machina on the back, shield down. "I think we can consider today a success! Now that we know the technology works its a simple matter of mastering it. Well done Cecil, very well done!"
Lionel smiled at Adrianna as she chided him, though it was rather forced. Through clenched teeth and closed eyes, perhaps trying to hide his emotions, he uttered lowly, "I never said they don't matter. I'd never say someone's life doesn't matter. They're just useless to us. There's a stark difference between being useless and not mattering. I'll help anyone who's worth helping." And he'd kill anyone that was worth killing. A bit contradictory perhaps but he knew full well what it meant, for himself and for anyone he dealt with. Simply put he wasn't here to make friends or be nice - it wasn't generally in his nature to do so - he was here for his own reasons. He cooperated with Taliya and her people because he deemed it worthwhile, and he helped these people because he was asked. Their lives weren't meaningless, he'd defended them by risking his own, but as far as the people themselves went? He could care less. He didn't wish death upon them but he'd just as little desire to remain in their general proximity. Once they reached Mutebo he'd be just as fine if they never crossed paths again.
"And I suppose that's a fair point about Taliya, maybe I took some creative liberties with her words," the healer admitted with a laugh, "Nothing gets past you huh? You know people so well." Oh Saints be damned why was she trying to encourage
these people? That woman was hopeless, she HAD been trained according to her story and she was still a dolt, trying any more was a waste of time and energy. Let her find her true calling, something that didn't involve potentially killing patients. He got it, Adrianna was trying to be supportive, but they didn't have time for niceties and for buttering people up. The world wasn't that sort of place anymore, certainly not if you were a Magi. You either made yourselves useful to the Church or hid, and Magi who were useless to the Church were killed. Magi who were useless to Taliya? She was a little more forgiving but even she had her limits, you had to pull your own weight or you were out. He wouldn't say it aloud but just because these people were being brought to Mutebo didn't guarantee their stay.
With their destination just a little further along Lionel was already planning his next "trip". On to the next thing, he could probably even hand off their little gang at the gates and leave immediately. Though he really should rest, the trip had taken way more out of him than he'd have liked and he did need some supplies before going out. Damn, that meant he'd probably have to help these people get settled. Glancing back again he met the group's collective glares and made a face at them, sighing and scratching at his head. "I've never understood diplomacy or being a "man of the people." How anyone can deal with the public is beyond me..." he grumbled, looking to Adrianna and smiling thoughtfully, "How do you do it? Deal with people and not want to smack each and every one I mean. The questions most people have about the most basic
things... I never realized how dumb people are. Makes you pretty fortunate the Church actually teaches you a bit."
Nymira furrowed her brow in frustration hearing Kensen's reply. Of course she knew fire magic was more than combustion. She understood the fundamentals of her own magic - her father had gotten her some of the best warriors to help show her its use - she just couldn't make her magic do this
. Did they perhaps possess different kinds of fire magic? Ralthor's blessing took many forms and no two were wholly identical. Even her father had a form of fire magic that was unlike any she knew, both beautiful and terrifying in its power. And for her own part she had her smithing magic, the ability to melt and work with metals without a cumbersome forge. So was there just a possibility that her magic simply couldn't do what Kensen was demanding? Or was she truly this incompetent?
"Gage doesn't want to be what exactly?" Spoiled runts, they have to labor for a single afternoon and already they complained, wanting a new tutor. While the matter of who taught Amuné mattered little to the man it was a small matter of pride. Like hell his instruction wasn't good enough. He'd taught dozens of men and women, he'd trained a handful of those in Taliya's ranks now. Gage was reluctant to admit the fault was his own and rather blamed Amuné for lack of initiative. Anyone could fire a crossbow, that was the beauty of the weapon. Any regular person could pick up a weapon and with some basic training use it in combat. And the beautiful thing about weapons? In a world where magic reigned supreme Magis were still just people. They died like the rest of them. It was something the girl would be wise to learn instead of looking at Magi as some supernatural beings.
"Perhaps if you weren't as unapproachable as a Vox she'd take more to you," Nymira offered up dryly, the mention of a native beast to her homeland flying entirely over Gage's head. Not that it mattered, the man was simply insufferable to be around. Having a tough teacher was fine so long as they were just in doing so and taught you a lesson in the process. None of her mentors had spared any favors for who she was and she'd come out the better for it, and Amuné would too. If her mentor wasn't just a foul man to begin with. Nothing of what she had seen of Gage since their arrival redeemed him in any sense of the word.
Well this was fun. Everyone was having fun right? Not really too many positive ways Ethan could spin this. With Amuné cowering behind Kensen and Gage and Nymira looking like they might go at it... Probably a good idea to step in. Placing himself between the Dimuran and Gage he held out his hands, smiling uneasily as the two never stopped glaring at one another.
"H-Hey, shouldn't we be getting to training, Nymira? There's a lot left for us to learn!" Ethan urged with a chuckle, "And uh... Maybe there's other stuff for you to do instead, Gage? I uh... I bet Taliya's got some work for you?" Meeting the man's gaze he let out a meek sound as he was grabbed by the shirt, being pulled closer and grabbing at Gage's arm reflexively. Stupid mechanical arm, he couldn't even budge it!
"Do you think me her lap dog then boy? That I just do what she asks at the drop of a hat?" Gage growled, rolling his eyes as Ethan stammered unintelligibly. Letting go of the younger Muran he shook his head and gave Amuné a final passing glance before turning and leaving. "Your problem now Kensen, I'll take the runt back when she's done being ridiculous." He'd better things to do than chase around a fitful child.
Ethan managed out a farewell to the grumpy man as he left them be once more. Fixing his shirt and collecting himself he shot Nymira a look of disbelief as she called Gage an "insufferable bastard." While maybe not wrong she wasn't helping the situation any, if Gage were still here they'd be right back into it. So much for a nice, easy training day. Nymira was going back to her training now and Kensen was preoccupied with Amuné, and Ethan himself felt thoroughly spent. "Hey Amuné? How about we let Kensen train with Nymira and we do something fun?" he offered, probably to the disapproval of his instructor. He wasn't trying to get out of training but it was obvious Amuné was not going back to Gage, so someone needed to stay with her. And he was happy to do as much. "That is if Kensen's okay with it? I'll train extra hard later, I swear!"