Morning Rituals - 01/04/21


It was morning- at least if one could call it that. The sun had not yet begun to rise and the birds were slowly beginning to stir from the highest branches of the trees overlooking the little residence that Blue and Lami had been offered by the Namazu. The length of their stay here was still uncertain, but Blue sought to make the most of her mornings- she was an early riser anyway.

There's a sudden rustle as the shadow in the shape of a Xaela hops onto one of the trees, causing slumbering birds to panic and flutter off as the girl tested her balance on one of the branches, dropping into a crouch.

Eyes bright and markings faintly luminous in the dark, Blue crawls her way up the branch, drawing her hand back and reaching for one of the two daggers strapped to either side of the belt she wore. She glanced around for a moment before squinting at a tired bird who had chosen not to move from its spot. Bad decision.

The Xaela lunged for the bird, thrusting her dagger for the small animal in a jabbing motion but miscalculated the strength of her leap and went flying past the snoozy bird and into open air.

With a surprised little bark, Blue began to plummet. She quickly angled herself to fall for the rooftop nearby, and barely managed to grasp the edge of the slanted roof with her free hand. The lizard dangled. Her target chirped. And that was how Blue began her morning.`


Lami came from outside the courtyard, Holding a bag and a grin. Seemed Lami either went out that night and hadn't returned or she'd been up earlier then her usual time. Flipping a coin as she strode in she bit it as if to check if it was genuine before she found Blue, Dangling from the roof. She caught the coin and just stared for a few moments.

“Miss?” She asked simply seeing the birds having taken flight from the tree from outside the courtyard and assuming Blue was terrorizing the local wildlife.“Ya know, Next time I go tradin' the with Namazu I might take ya with. Yer habit of lickin' yer lips when ya see one seems ta have a real charm ta it. In me favor. Paid me abit extra ta keep ya away.” She said with an almost evil laugh.“Maybe ya would like ta try a few Moogle Bites as well?” She said with a teasing grin as she drew closer.“Ya always start yer mornin' lookin' ta stab shite, since ya got them pretty stabbers?”


Blue blinked at the sound of Lami nearby, taking a quick breath before she released her hold from the rooftop and dropped to the ground in a crouch. Nailed the landing at least. She stands and dusts herself before walking over to her friend. By all accounts, any bruises or cuts from her encounter with the machina a couple days prior were completely gone, and the Xaela looked as healthy as could be, giggling at the mention of how much she unsettled the Namazu.

“I can't help it, they smell delicious. They need to cover themselves in some other scent. Had to stop myself from salivating the other day.”

Blue hooks her dagger back onto her belt and kicked at the dirt a bit at the question. “I figure early morning is the best time to practice before training…” A sheepish, almost shy grin follows. “At the Grindstone, I kinda just…pretended to be a wild animal or something with my claws. Was trying to figure out if I could do the same with these.”


Lami chuckled and shook her head abit.“Stabbers require sum…Elegance? Finesse? In orther werds, Ya can't just go slashin' 'bout like a mad women and hope ya mall the shit. Precision! That's the werd. Slidin' between ribs has a dance ta it and the like.” She said twirling her finger abit.“So, Ready ta do 'bit more? Seems ya are fit as can be now from yer run in with them machines…”


Blue taps her cheek thoughtfully. “It's really hard to be elegant..” She admits. “Maybe it'll be easier when I get more used to them and more confident..” She perks up at the question and nods eagerly. “Of course! I gots a lot to accomplish in a week!”


Lami nodded.“Aye. Ya did, Practice makes perfect. Ya did manage ta take on four pieces of garlean Magitech alone. So ya aint doin' half bad at all…yer sneakin' could use…'lot of werk though…”


Blue puffs out her cheeks. “Someone coulda told me they scream a lot when they die!”

“Plus, you saw me all hidin' and stuff. Not like I was waving at them from behind a buncha rubble!”


Lami held up a finger.“But ya didn't manage ta kill any of em without a fight. So, Ya lost points. I coulda told ya. But figured I'd see how ya went 'bout yer business.


Blue huffed softly but gave in, shrugging her shoulders a bit. “I never fought Magitek things before. It's easier finding a weakness on a beast than trying to figure out how those things tick.”

“Sneaking is fun but that's a game. I know to fight. Maybe not properly but I try.”


Lami shot Blue a look.”Sneakin' aint a game.“ Turned towards Blue scowling at her.”The reason ya had so much trouble is, One, Inexperience which can be fixed and ta, Stabbers, Daggers, Whatever ya wanna call em. Do their best werk when yer target doesn't see ya comin'. Sure, They can werk just as well when ya outfight face em. But where they shine is from the shadows. I'm not teachin' ya ta use em like a brawler. If that's how ya end up usin' what I teach ya after the fact? Knock yerself out.“ After her short little rant Lami turned and headed into their lodging. “Ya eat anythin' yet this mornin'?” She'd say as she rounded into the kitchen area of their small one story abode.


Blue rubbed at her arm, her lil frame drooping a bit at the rant. “I know sneaking is serious too…I just need to work at it.. I'll do better next time!” She pipes in after the fact, following after Lami soon after.

As they entered the kitchen area, the Xaela shook her head. “Nah, just woke up and went out to practice.” Her eyes flitted over the space, a small smile spreading on her face. “Planning to cook a meal?”


Lami nodded.”Aye. Makin’ sum omelets and biscuits. Sound good ta ya? Whatcha like?”she said without really waiting for Blue to even confirm if she would want one or not. Already pulling out the needed utensils and ingredients.


“Sounds good to me, put whatever you like in it, I'll eat most anything!” With a grin, Blue wandered over to a nearby table and plopped herself down at one of the seats, watching Lami work. She was reminded of how Tret used to make her breakfast in the mornings back in the Shroud, feeling a pang of loneliness being apart from her hyur. The Xaela props her elbows on top of the table, kneading her fingers into the scaling of her cheeks slowly, mind drifting towards other rampant thoughts.

”…I wonder if anybody is following us.“


Lami paused in thought as the sound of cooking filled the air.” Who’s ta say? Still not sure if that auri noble or whatever she was accepted me exchange er not. Let’s hope she did.”After adding a few bits of salt, onions, peppers and a few other flavors to her meal she’d continue.”But if I had ta put a bet on it? I’d bet we are.” She would let her first cooked omelet onto a nearby platter.”Here. First ones yers.” Sumthin’ ‘bout yer play date with Veldi’s and the short stacks enemy tells me we should expect ta get dragged in regardless of what we do. So best ta prepare and hope yer ready ta handle whatever hell we are gonna find ourselves in.”


Blue looks down at the omelet, clearly distracted with the platter placed in front of her to continue the conversation- at least, not till she hurriedly takes up a fork and digs in for a few happy bites.

After munching a bit, her eyes dart up again to Lami, thinking on her words before answering.

“I'm less worried bout the lizards than my talk with Veldi's enemy…” Her eyes glaze over briefly for a few seconds before they refocus on the miquo'te.

“I don't think she saw anything too special bout me though. If I or you are being followed its probably just through being associated with Veldi n' Eligor.”

A pause.

”..I just wanted to understand what Veldi might be fighting against.“

And it was a lot bigger than I thought, the Xaela muses to herself.


Lami stood at the stove for awhile before she started cooking for herself.”I figured not. I mean the worst that could come ta past from the Raen is they attack us. Which is manageable.”

Now adding some bits to her dish she’d continue.”So I can’t say I disagree… anythin’ involin’ the short stack er Veldi tends ta be…extreme at the best and outright… hmm…” Lami flipped her omelet as she thought.”and I suppose say hopeless at worst…But that’s from personal experience so I wouldn’t mind bein’ off the mark in this case:”

Finishing cooking she’d shut off the stove and join Blue starting to munch down on her meal.”The world.” She said after a short while.”Feels like it’s always the world in some form or another she’s fightin’. Hells that’s more accurate for us all.” She snorted.”Didn’t wake up this mornin’ expectin’ ta recite a fools outlook on thin’s fuck it’s ta early fer this.” Her trusty flask finding its way into her hand and down her gullet.”


Blue twirls her fork around in the omelette, watching the metal tines spin as her ears flick at the sound of Lami taking a seat nearby.

“I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Most of my life my world was really small. Just a place that was home until it wasn't anymore. I didn't know about things going on anywhere else because I couldn't leave, or wouldn't.”

“Everything here is large and complicated. I don't understand war. I spend most of my time trying to get the world to accept me, not fight it.”

“But people who I'll probably never meet are getting hurt just the same as people I know are. That's enough reason for me. I wanna call this place my home too and I don't think I could just turn away from something extreme or hopeless and pretend everything is fine. Specially not when my sister's deep in it.”


Lami took a large bite and chewed.”Aye…I won’t say don’t go inta it cause ya will anyways… nor do I have any advice cause… well nuthin’ anyone says can prepare ya fer… well it all.” Munching abit more she’d finish off her meal quickly and adding another swig of her flask for good measure.”Seems ya have a better heart then I do. But I suppose I felt that way at some point. I’m not here ta sound like sum old hag so, do what ya want.”

Looking to Blue.”But remember ya have people that care ‘bout ya. And savin’ everyone isn’t yer job. Savin’ yer friends er in this case Veldi… which actually side note she’s not her blood sister… right? No… not possible nevermind ferget I asked.” Coughing abit more.”Save those ya care fer. Let everyone else fend fer themselves. Least that’s how I see the world these days.”

Standing up and taking her dish into the kitchen to begin cleaning up after herself.”But that’s AFTER. Ya learn how ta be sneaky and stabby properly.” Giving the Xaela a teasing grin from the kitchen.


Blue took another bite of egg before she leaned forward and placed her chin on the table in front of her plate, staring out at Lami.

Her mind wanders to a recent conversation with a certain knightess. “I'm possessed of what it takes to protect those I care about, as well as the strangers I come across. It just depends on how I do that..” Blinking over at her friend with her mismatched eyes. “Training with you is one of those ways.”

She turned her head to one side with a soft sigh.

“And no, Veldi's not my blood sister. My real sister died a long time ago when I was too young to do much about it. Mother too.”

“But blood doesn't matter much to me. When I see Veldi..I- I just want to hug her and tell her everything will be okay. That no matter how hard she's got it, I'll keep being there for her and support her and be something in her life that's not a bottle of alcohol or somebody to shoot.”

“To be honest, I don't know what she thinks of me. She'd probably never call me her sister. But she hasn't pushed me away, and that's all I can ask of her.”

Realizing she'd just gone off on a miniature rant, Blue blushes and adds awkwardly, “So yeah, I'ma try and protect her if I can. She's family.”


Lami went about cleaning the dishes as Blue spoke. Waiting till she was done with nod.”Noble. And only heartbreak awaits ya if ya want ta save every soul ya come across.“ Stating simply before she started to put said dishes away.”I thought my siblin's dead fer the lon'est time as well. But well, Turns out they are all kickin'. For a brief moment I thought my parents had survived as well. But they are buried in a sum place I am sure of it. Though I doubt the Knuckle Draggier will ever tell me where.

“She found her way back to the table.”I have no problem teachin' ya. Obviously, But I won't be held responsible if ya fail at savin' sum poor random sod. Just throwin' that out there.“ Taking a long drink of her flask with a satisfied sigh.


Blue nodded at Lami's words and shrugged her shoulders some. “It doesn't hurt to try. We'd be poor randoms to anybody else but each other after all.”

“Am sorry to hear about your family though. At least you've got your brother and sisters!”

Blue cups her cheeks in her hands, sniffing up at the air after Lami took a particularly long swig of her drink.

“I know what I sound like. You wouldn't be the only one thinking I'm childish and silly 'bout what I want to do. But I care about everybody. I wouldn't be me if I didn't. All I can hope is your training will help me do better and be more prepared to face things like that and avoid the heartbreak a lil more.”


Lami snorted.”Ya. The sisters that I only know still draw breath via bein' told by sumone. Not even seen the shites since…well that's not important.“ She said cutting herself off quickly and shrugging.”Do what ya will with it.“ Now taking another drink. “Alright. We should….do sumthin' 'efore I decide it's a good time to acquire tomorrow's han' over.” She said as she shuffled through her tunic she'd grown.”I should really only brin' one fuckin' coat ta these thin's.“

Standing up and finding her quarry she'd find a cancer stick equivalent and she'd move to open a window and lean against the sill to light it with a relaxed sigh. She watched Blue for a time before looking outside and taking in the new day. Seeing if anything caught her eye in particular.


Blue listens with interest when Lami began to detail the whereabouts of her sisters, curiosity evident in the Xaela's expression before she abruptly cut herself off. As Lami walked over and retrieved her terrible toxic cancer stick of death, the Xaela stood up herself, looking with dismay at her barely eaten omelette. She waited for her friend to look out the window before scarfing up the rest of the food on her plate with a surprising amount of speed. She picked up her now-empty platter and happily skipped over to the sink to wash it.


Lami quickly killed her horrible habit stick. Turning to Blue as she exhaled the last of the smoke. Pull on her usual coat she'd fasten various bits and bobs, Mostly various kinds of throwing knives, And some strange looking elixirs within the breast of her tunic, Patting them gently as she did all this.

Walking over to Blue afterwards and sitting back down at the table, A bottle of rum having appeared in her hand during this whole process, filling her flask back up and placing the bottle dead center of the table, Getting up as quickly as she sat down.”I'm gonna go feed Edel. I'll meet ya outside.“Waving over her shoulder as she left the room.


Blue was busy getting sudsy, so she didn't notice Lami up until she sat back down at the table…and just as suddenly got back up again. The girl looked at the miqo'te strangely in response but nodded at her remark and called out cheerfully, “Okay!” Once her plate was clean, the Xaela gave the kitchen a once over to make sure everything was clean again before looking down at her own attire.

Blue did not carry much on her person, and the outfit she wore only had so many pockets and loops and whatnot. Patting the daggers nestled to either side of her person, the Xaela walked out the door not too long after Lami had.


Lami was kneeling over Edel, giving her some greens and petting her beat, Whispering to her some random thing not having noticed Blue exiting just yet. Adjusting her custom made saddle that allowed her gimp wing to sit at her side as it would have before it's unfortunate injury.


Noticing that Lami hadn't seemed to notice her yet, the little lizard looks around a moment before staring up at the rooftop she'd been dangling from not too long ago. She chances a quick glance at miquo'te and bird once more before scurrying off to the wall that bordered the roof of their residence, hopping on top of it and then scrambling a bit along the roof tiles before she grabbed a proper hold.

Eyes bright and mischievous, she drops into a crouch and makes her way back to where she'd seem Lami, trying to sneak up on the cat.


Lami had heard abit of a rustle but she disregarded it as birds or something else. Not thinking Blue would be in the right state of mind for mischief


Blue was always in the state of mind for mischief! Plus, wasn't this training all on its own?

The Xaela's head pops up over the rooftop, peeking at Lami, her tail in a constant state of motion- but at least it's silent motion!

Stifling a giggle, the sneaky lizard launches herself straight for Lami in the attempt to tackle her over.


Lami was utterly unprepared, and the moment the xaela made contact, Lami genuinely thought she was being ambushed and was caught completely off guard. Before Blue know what happened she’d find Lami facing up at her and a dagger at her throat having managed to twist around with an insane amount of reaction time.

Her teeth would be bared with a hiss, though if Blue was observant she’d be able to tell the skin on her fingertips had turned Black as coal. Though the most obvious thing to see would have been her eyes, her odd colored Blue eyes would have been replaced with black pits, the veins and arteries around the edges of her eyes would be black contrasting heavily with her skin tone.

Though this lasted for but a second, instantly recognizing Blue before she did something she’d regret the dagger would disappear seemingly out into the air and all of her features would return to normal falling back.”Fuck… okay… Maybe I wrote ya off a little ta much.” Lami did look genuinely frightened for a few moments longer.”Good one, could you please get off me now?”

Edel having seen Blue coming gave Lami a look that seemed to scream.”Why are you such a spaz?”


Blue probably should have thought better of ambushing the miquo'te mere moments after discussing the possibility of being tracked down but the little Xaela didn't know any better.

Soon as the dagger grazed her throat, Blue's markings flared up briefly in response though her eyes were wide with surprise and she uttered a little chirp of a sound. She took note of the change in Lami's appearance, though it faded so quickly that she almost doubted what she'd seen at all. She wriggled in place atop the cat and only went back to grinning again as soon as the compliment was given, to which Blue would roll off of Lami and offer her a hand up.

“Sorry Lami, I couldn't help myself. Gotta make up for not being able to sneak on machines after all.”

Gal seemed pretty calm for almost having her throat slit. She trusted Lami enough that the idea itself was absurd, even if the little slice to her neck said otherwise.


Lami took the hand.”Aye… well ya sneak up on people really good.”dusting off her tunic.”S-Sorry bout the whole… stabber bit. Seems I’m more on edge then I realized. Was in a rebellion last time I was here. Guess I still feel like I could find meself in the middle of a garleans bombardment at any moment…” sighing to herself.”And while I’m on the topic the idea of walkin’ inta what could be an even worse situation with Bozja… doesn’t exactly put me mind at ease.”Scratching at her neck abit, she wouldn’t exactly look at Blue feeling guilty for nearly taking the life of a friend over a silly jest.


Blue smiled brightly at Lami and merely shook her head. “It's a good thing to know you're being careful- just means I'm extra safe with you!”

Upon the mention of Bozja, Blue dropped her hands to her sides and gave a little sigh. “You'd be more prepared for it than I at least. I've a good imagination but I don't really know what to expect. Just lots of death…”

She side-eyes Lami after a moment, seeming to want to change the subject somewhat. ”…You know anything about a drug…Pyrefly?“


Lami gave Blue a look.”Do ya know what it does? I know of A drug. But it might not be the same….“


Blue shifts uneasily. “I- well I'm not completely sure? The lady said it was the future. And she seemed all about…improvement? Maybe it makes people stronger or faster or better but I'm not really sure.”

“If Veldi is against it, then it's probably quite bad for everyone.”


Lami tapped her chin I thought.” Well based on what I’ve gathered from me brothers comin’ and goin’ I’m sure it’s that drug. I’m sure there is a heavy price ya pay fer those boons.” She’d say with a sigh.”But guess we will find out tagether.”


Blue crossed her arms and looked away before responding honestly, “I'm kinda afraid of this drug. The lady seemed all too happy to have all sorts of testers all over the world, but something tells me a few of those folks weren't willing or wanting of that drug or whatever other things she's been doing.”

“But yeah…I guess we'll find out sooner than later…”

Blue lifted her hands and rubbed at her cheeks distractedly. `Gotta stay far far away from this drug stuff…it kind of scares me.`

She glanced back up at Lami, a flicker of worry resonating on her face briefly before it became a warm smile again.

“Anyway! You said we had some training to do today?”


Lami nodded and turned without another word out of the courtyard. Obviously mulling over this new information.

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