02/11/21 - The Fervent Desire to Learn

Calling Vinalo


Blue had spent most of the evening buried in her thoughts, and it showed, fatigue on her face as she sorted through each worrying bit in her head. She was trying to learn mudras from Lami and the first lesson had been a flop.

Clearly there were still things she was having trouble understanding, and with her teacher sulking a little bit after some unwanted questions, the Xaela was left to her own devices.

At the very least, in the comfort of a real bed and with a view of the mountains of Yanxia, Blue at least felt more at peace than she had been for some time. Maybe it was time to give their favorite healer a call and let them know that she'd made it out of Bozja proper.

Toying with the linkshell a bit before bringing it to her ear, she speaks to the air.

“Vinalo, are you there?”


At this particular moment, Vinalo was returning from an afternoon meditation in the Shroud. It was a slightly chilly, but still overall pleasant day to be among the trees and streams of the forest they loved so much. Though several things still weighed on their mind, the feeling of serenity and connection with the flow around them had at last calmed it a bit.

They were walking along the path when they felt the buzz and ping of their linkpearl. A bit of hesitation. Vinalo hadn't had the greatest luck with random contacts as of late. Regardless, they fished out their linkpearl and placed it to their ear, hoping for the best. Their eyes widened as they heard Blue's voice.

“Blue! I'm so glad to hear from you! Is everything okay? Are you safe?”


Blue sucked in a breath while she waited for Vinalo to answer, her fins flattening ever slightly. The last conversation they had over linkpearl had not been the best and the Xaela still felt bad about it.

She exhaled at last when she heard her friend's familiar voice. They'd be greeted with nice, peaceful silence rather than gunshots and explosions.

“I missed you too Vinalo! Everything is…better, definitely better. I'm back to training with Lami again. Mostly done with Bozja business for now.”

She paused briefly, then continued.

“I'm sorry for worrying you. Without your help I would have been a lot worse off back there.”


The tension in Vinalo's body visibly loosened upon hearing that their friend was okay. They walked off the side of the road, sat down against one of the many trees around, and smiled.

“I'm just glad you managed to get away safely, Blue. And… don't worry about that, it's what I do.”

They let out an amused huff.

“Both help and worry, that is.”


Blue smiled. “You and I share that in common. Have plenty of worries out over here, dealing with everything.”

“..And even though that soldier didn't make it…maybe I helped ease his pain a bit. And I helped some others after! ..Stayed safe and stayed near others so I wouldn't be caught out again. Got to help my sister and though it's not quite over just yet, I'm happy I could be there and make sure she got out of there too.”


“You did what you could, Blue. That's what matters,” they said in a sympathetic tone. A thought came mind. “Not to pry or such, but I didn't know you had a sister… uhm, well… around here.”


Blue settled into a more comfortable position, directing her gaze out to one of the large windows that looked out over the grounds of the lodging she and Lami had taken up.

To Vinalo's question, the little Xaela giggled. “Not blood related sister no. She's my sister nonetheless though. Her name's Veldi.

Blue tapped her cheek thoughtfully as she pondered how to best convey her importance.

“She's the only other one besides you who knows about how much I like other beasties and creatures.”


Vinalo rolled the name around in their head. Sounded… familiar from somewhere? They were bad enough with names that they decided not to dwell on it.

“Well, she must be right special then. Someone you can trust with all that,” they said warmly. “And… I really do appreciate you trusting me with it all, too.”


Blue nodded happily even though it wouldn't be seen. “You're right special too!” The Xaela parroted playfully. There had been a point in time where Blue had wanted to tell everybody, at some point, when such a time felt right…but now she was just thankful for the two she did manage to tell, who were true to their own words.

Shifting onto one elbow a bit, Blue hummed thoughtfully.

“Speaking of which, I was wondering if you could help me with a couple things. Firstly, Lami's trying to teach me how to do mudras. It's sort of…a hand signal out east that helps activate the aether in your body to create and do things. Before I can do any of that, I need to..what'd she say… 'Search inside myself…find my source…my drive.' What makes me, me. I guess that would be my aether she's talking about.”

“I think my mind is full of so many worries and thoughts I'm having a lot of trouble finding it again. Do you have any advice?”


The Lalafell laughed at Blue's copying of their own quirk of speech, giving an affirmative hum afterword. They listened as she explained her current conundrum.

“Ah. Well. Don't know much about 'mudras' or such. Some odd sort of channeling, sounds like.”

Vinalo leaned their head back against the tree and closed their eyes.

“But the rest of that, well…” they started, taking a deep breath. “That'd be your source. The center of you where all your aether flows through. Part of your soul but… not the same thing. And it's not your actual heart or such. It's different. It's what you feel when you let the river of aether around you flow into you, the way it soothes and adds to your own. It's what you draw from when you release it to mend or… other things.”


Blue listened, earfins giving a casual flick as she tried to process what they were saying.

“How do I let the aether flow into me? I felt…something like what you are talking about when I learned how to aether travel but maybe that was easier somehow. Or maybe I'm just distracted. I know I feel things…it's just kinda faint.”

Blue was at a loss on how to describe something she couldn't see but only feel, but she was trying.

“Feels almost like when I- you know. Like there's something there to reach out for. I just don't know how.”


“Mm. Reminds me of when I asked the same thing sixteen or so summers ago. Suppose it's easier to say when you've been practicing conjury for so long. But… it's kind of like teleporting. Feeling out the flow. But instead of letting yourself flow into it, moving and flying to where you've focused on, you open yourself to the aetherflow around you. Welcome it in. Ask it for help. Listen to its song.”

Vinalo chuckled a bit, opening their eyes to look at the canopy of branches and leaves above them.

“Sounds a bit odd and silly saying it out loud, but… it's something like that. And when you let it in, you feel where it goes. And that's what you want to listen for.”


“Open yourself?” Blue repeated thoughtfully. “I guess that might be the hard part. All this time Tret and I have been here, aether has been a thing that exists…and sometimes hurts. I know it's in everything and super important and I wanna try and let it in, but I think I might be a lil afraid.”

“Is there such a thing as bad aether? What if that comes in? Ooor what if the aether doesn't like me?”


“Bad aether?” Vinalo repeated back. They hummed for a moment as a leaf fluttered down and landed on their knee. “Suppose there's some that could be called that. There's some that doesn't feel right or such. But…well, I told you before how I 'hear' the aether around me, right? Every place and everyone sound different. None of them're the same.”

They pick up the leaf with their free hand and twirl it a bit between their fingers, feeling the tiny pafs of air as it spins like a tiny fan.

“But some things sound and feel terrible. Coerthas… ever since the Calamity, it just sounds like… like a violin that's out of tune, making the same sound over and over, until it changes, and then the new sound is like it was always there. It… used to be nicer. But, that's still not 'bad' aether, I think. Just… hurt.”

Vinalo sighs and drops the leaf, remembering the old Coerthas.

“Aether from… voidsent, or other terrible magicks. Those're what I'd call bad. They feel like they'll dig and tear into you until they find your source, and never let go.”


Blue pursed her lips and simply let everything sink in. She knew Vinalo could 'hear' aether, and knew of a few others who were sensitive to some degree but it was still curious to hear described. The Xaela looked at her hands and squinted a bit. Maybe she could make herself see it.

Nope nothing but a headache forming.

“When I first got here, everything was fine. But a few years later, I got a really, really bad case of aether sickness. I got better! ..But… If I start voluntarily working with aether will it happen again?”


Vinalo hummed thoughtfully. They surely knew the common causes of aether sickness, but Blue was… different. Did that matter? Maybe aether worked differently from where she was from. They tapped their chin for a few seconds.

“Well, aether sickness usually happens when you put too much stress on your anima, like when teleporting too much. Some people's are naturally weak, and they can't teleport or use magick much at all,” the Lalafell explains. “You've teleported, so… I reckon that's not the problem.”

A few more seconds of thought.

“Common other way is when you're exposed to too much potent aether from the outside. It, uhm… overwhelms your own, making you feel right sick. Most recover just fine like you did, but… it can get a lot worse,” Vinalo continued. “Much glad that you recovered fine!”


“Yeah I'm fine now, and if bad aether is mostly around bad voidsent or creepy magic people, I must have the normal kind floating around me!”

Blue wondered to herself if she should go into further detail about what had happened with her aether sickness, but after a moment decided against it. There were a lot of questions she was itching to ask about Aether, but she didn't want to ask all of them through linkpearl alone.

Brushing a stray strand of hair from her face, the Xaela couldn't help but ask curiously,

“Did you hear things from my aether when you met me? What did it sound like?”


“Ah. Well. It's not really… just there all the time. Have to concentrate or meditate,” Vinalo responded. ”…Usually, anyroad. And for other people, well, some kind of contact makes it a lot easier.“

Vinalo smiled wistfully, looking in a specific direction for a moment.

“When you make it back, I could probably tell you, then.” They quickly had another thought. “You're coming back soon, right?”


Blue nodded, unseen, a little bit of cheer resonating in her voice. “Yes! Perhaps another week or so here learning mudras and showing Lami how cool claw weapons are. Which does remind me…”

The little lizard straightens up as if the lalafell were right in front of her, good posture, all respects. “Would you be willing to take another student in to learn about how to heal with aether n' maybe how to use it to protect myself? Or maybe just to learn more about aether in general..I think it might help me get a little bit stronger for if my sister needs me again, or any of our friends need help.”


Vinalo sat up, not expecting what sounded like such a formal request from Blue. “Oh! I.. well, if you'd want to, I'd be happy to! Lucatiel's my only, erm… student, right now. And teaching her's a bit different. Not the same area and such. Been a while since I've been able to teach what I know the best…”

They blinked a few times, realizing they were rambling a bit. A brief giggle of sorts.

“Yes. I'll do it, Blue. We can start when there's some time after you've gotten home.”


Blue cheered not-so-quietly through the linkpearl, the bubbly, excited giggle feeling almost foreign to her tongue after these past few weeks. She wriggled in place, tail thumping lightly against the nearest wall before remembering to answer.

“Oh good! It'll be fun! I promise I'm a real good listener.”

She continued.

“I think Tret has some surprise for me when I get back home. After I get settled n' everything I'll definitely make sure to come around when you're not too busy for me.”


“We'll find time, I promise. It's been a bit… hectic here. Ups and downs. But there'll be time, surely!” Vinalo said, a bit of excitement obvious in their voice. “The best places to learn are around the Shroud here, but don't think that'll be a problem for you.”


Blue shook her head. “Not at all. I miss it lots. I certainly won't mind spending even more time in it with an actual purpose aside from just enjoying nature.”

The Xaela smiled softly. “What's life without some ups and downs anyway? Sometimes things have to get bad before they get better…but let's hope we both have more ups in our future anyways.”

“Anyway, I just wanted to check in with you. I already feel like I learned a lot. Maybe I can focus a little better next time Lami comes to train me. I'm gonna settle back into trying to feel out that flow you're talking about..and try and let it in this time.”


“Mhm. I like to think there's always brighter times ahead if you know where to look, Blue.”

Vinalo slowly stood up, getting ready to be on their way again. They looked up at the sky and noticed clouds moving in. They grinned, their habit of attracting rain being a funny juxtaposition to what they just said.

“Take care of yourself best you can. If you want to talk again before you've returned, well… I'm around.” they said with a smile. “And let me know once you're back. Could meet up for tea or something!”


“A nice little chat over tea would be lovely,” Blue replied, easily slipping into all smiles. She'd missed these chats. The Xaela absently wiped away a single warm tear.

“You take care of yourself as well. Can't wait to see you and everyone else again!”

Blue gingerly clicked off the linkpearl and flopped back onto her bed, staring up at the ceiling and closing her eyes briefly.

She had one more call to make, but it could wait for a couple bells. Taking Vinalo's words to heart, she took slow, deep breaths, hoping to feel what was inside of herself.

Calling Novine


A few bells later…

Blue felt a little more in tune than she had before. Perhaps it was the way Vinalo had explained it that let her understand aether that wee bit better. She knew she felt something stirring, and maybe that could be enough to train properly with Lami in the following days.

However, the inquisitive Xaela also remembered a talk that she'd had with Novine before embarking out east. Teaching about aether in exchange for…well, Blue wasn't exactly sure just yet, maybe friendship was enough!

Feeling well rested, the girl palmed her linkpearl and this time went outside, darting up one of the stone border walls to dangle her legs off it and watch the sun slowly begin to dip over the horizon. She poked at the linkpearl with the tip of her finger and wondered if her boss was busy.

“Novine! Noviiiiine!!! This is Blue! How are ya?”


Laying on the floor of her organization's estate, tomes containing complex formulas lay open surrounding her like some kind of messy arcane magic circle. She would crawl across the floor to look up specific snippets of knowledge, a pen in her mouth that would soon be set to dancing upon the pages of the rough draft of her new formulas that she would need to commit to memory, editing them based on suggestions given to her from her father. It was on one of these trips over to dive into a tome directly behind her that she felt that little aetheric ping of her linkpearl. Flipping through the book, she answers with her mouth a bit full of pen.

“Wah ah yo ca-ing ee?” she answers.


Blue had to take a couple moments to translate what Novine just said, brushing at her cheeks a little before she jolted upright in victorious understanding.

“I wanna know if what you mentioned a while back 'bout teaching me how to do aether stuff was still a thing we could do when me and Lami get back.” She paused. “And sorry about bothering you if you're busy!”

“Just been trying to understand it all and I'm sure you're really good at it.” Admittedly the only time she had seen Novine do her stuff was during that big fight in Thanalan with her own dad, but it was quite a spectacle.


She lets out a grumpy sort of huff of a noise. The ruffling of papers might be heard.

“I gehf I cah hew. An yah, I'm bih-ee. Why oo you wah oo earn?”


Blue would begin to mutter under her breath, sounding out each word Novine spoke slowly, tail rapping against the stone each time she successfully processed one pen-chewing syllable. She dug her heels into the wall and hopped up to her feet, balancing carefully while she responded.

“Cause I wanna try to get better at a bunch of things like fighting and helping people and aether can do both of that and more.”

”..And I guess it's also kind of a weird thing to me that I just want to understand better.“


“Ayfrr hurs heehoh hoo. Oo wih hurr heehoh hoo hew 'em”

She finally finds the page she needs and crawls back over to her book like a child pretending to be an animal crawling around the floor, taking the pen from her mouth to write down her findings.

“Are you okay with that reality of it? It's not all just pretty sparks n' rainbows.”


Blue briefly stopped her wanderings, earfins giving a flick at the strange sounds emitting from the linkpearl. Her brain was only slightly slower on the upkeep this time. It was the heehohs that got her. And then…oh….people.

“Yeah…I know it hurts people. It can hurt people a lot. So can other things though and I'm already sort of practicing with Lami to be better at doing that too.”

She breathes a sigh of relief when Novine speaks proper again and resumes her balancing act.

“I'm not wanting to learn just to do tricks or entertain myself. I wanna do good and be better prepared to face anybody or anything.”


She lays back on her stomach with a little cute noise of effort, kicking her feet up and down as she writes away.

“What if that anybody's also doing good, just that good is different than your good? It's kinda subjective. Most people are doing good when they think about it. I wanna know if you're ready to be viewed as someone who's doing something wrong, even when you know you're right. 'Cause using magic in a bigger way requires some conviction if it's not something that comes naturally. Gotta have conviction or you'll prolly blow yourself up or somethin' tryin' to stop something you decide against at the last second.”


The Xaela hummed thoughtfully to herself, crossing her arms as she listened. Novine's words brought back the meeting with the Purple Eyed Woman, who had more than enough conviction to get a child involved in something Blue still didn't really understand. And she was soft, and gentle, and not really the hurting sort. But when it came to aiding others…

Blue was quiet for several moments, really taking some time to think it over.

”…I can be ready for that. If it means my friends and I make it out, then anybody else can view me as a wrong-doer if they want.“


“If you say so! Lami was supposed to help you, wasn't she? Not my first pick for aether stuff I guess, but I suppose I've not really seen her fight all that much. What'd she do for you anyway?”


“Lami's a good teacher! Currently learning bout things called mudras from her, but we haven't gotten too far into that. Got a little sidetracked in Bozja though I think I can sneak around and fight better with her lessons!”

“Least, definitely better than before. Can only learn so much from Grindstone stuff.”


“Mudras? That Eastern stuff? I mean, sure… that's aether usage I guuueessssss but that's just some flashy shinobi stuff they throw in when they can't get close if you ask me. What is it you wanna learn from me? Making that stuff stronger? How to cast a spell without wiggling your fingers around like a weirdo? Like what do you actually wanna do with it?”


Blue giggled in spite of herself. Lami would not be amused with Novine's assessment.

“Well…I haven't even gotten a chance to try doing mudras myself. I just couldn't make it work during her lesson cause she wanted me to meditate and feel out my aether and my head just kinda hurt with concentrating….think I can do it better now maybe but…”

“I wanna learn all about aether, not just what I can do with it. Lami can't really help with that part. Aether is a tool I can use alongside my own abilities and opens up new ways for me to help.”

“I love fighting with my claws, but if an opponent just stays far away, I can't do anything. If someone's really hurt and needs immediate healing that bandages won't help with, I can't do anything. I don't want that.”


She laughs. “Yeah that meditating stuff… people really like to make this stuff more complicated than it is really. It's not even hard to find 'cause it's everywhere, but the hard part is just finding how to push it out I guess. Or if you don't just wanna use your own all the time, how to take it in better.”

She puts her pen down and sits in a cross-legged position amongst her books, stretching, her voice changing to a strained one as she bends over from side to side, fingers interlaced above her head.

“You'll find I'm not gonna be someone who's digested a bunch of practical stuff. The only things I've been researching really deeply so far has just been these stupid formulas,” she complains without any context. “Nothing more boring than turning something natural as breathing into numbers n' stuff. Most of this stuff sort of comes naturally to me n' I learned it by feel rather than shoving my nose in books, so if you want book knowledge, you'll wanna talk to someone else about it. I'd say my Father but he's busy lately and he'll make you give him something in return. Or he'll study you a bit while you train. Your aether's weird so he'd jump at the chance probably.”


Blue shook her head. “Dunno if book knowledge would help me very much.” She couldn't read after all, and the thought of staring at a book of foreign looking formulas had the Xaela hardcore cringing.

“I figured it came naturally to you, which is why I'm so interested in learning from you. You already know how to do things, and I'd like to be that confident with it too. I don't know much bout this aether stuff, but there are other things I knew how to do from the time I was born. Can't really explain it that well as a result but I wonder if I can't transfer what I already know to this sort of learning too.”

She made no comment on Eligor. She'd already assumed as much and was just trying to keep a low profile. Which wasn't working terribly great so far.


Novine shrugs an inaudible shrug.

“Maybe! Have you figured out kinda where you're naturally aspected to? Like do you feel more comfortable with certain kindsa aether? I kinda naturally lean toward Lightning for example.”


“Uhm, I think so? When Lami gave me a bunch of aspected crystals to touch and feel out, I felt something different with the water aspected one. And I do just generally head towards random bodies of water when I want to think 'bout things or feel super cozy.”

The Xaela stretched, curling her fingers around the stone wall she perched on leisurely.

“I know it's not as flashy as like the fire and lighting stuff I've seen people do. Er, in fact I haven't seen anybody do anything with water save Vinalo flinging huge water balls at some beasties…but I think I'd like the challenge of learning to do different things with it. And maybe from water I can learn icy things, or do misty foggy things for sneaky ninja stuff.”


“Oh, no, water's great! It's the most refreshing one,” she says enthusiastically. “It'll be easier to do stuff if we go somewhere with lotsa water I think. Helps you get in the mood and all that. Water's just as dangerous, you just don't see lotsa people using it as much cause of the way the conjurers teach their magic. Lotsa airy-fairy healer types who don't wanna hurt anyone using it, but I've done some neat stuff with it!”

“Weirdly ice is kinda it's own thing? The system here is sorta strange. But it's fine, you'll be able to shoot off whatever you want when you figure it out n'all.”


Blue could hear a bit of the enthusiasm in Novine's voice, easily rubbing off on the Xaela across the world as she responded cheerfully. “Oooh, so maybe trips over to Vylebrand might be in order? I never get enough chance to get out there, but that's the most wateriest place I know! And I wanna see what you can do with it! I've only seen you do a buncha stuff with your pretty butterflies and that was a while ago. I bet you're much stronger now!”


“Yeah, I've got a spot I like to go to that's very water-y. We can go there.” She makes a little self-satisfied giggle as Blue showers her in compliments. “Well, I think so. I've been fixing the butterflies to work more efficiently after a talk with Father and he had some neat ideas that I think will make me able to be quite a bit stronger.”


“Nice! It'll be fun! And that's good! I hope you get super strong then!” The lil Xaela tilts her head after a moment. “Do ya want anything from me in exchange for lessons by the way? I can't offer too much. I have some flowers at home if you like plants and stuff.. I can give you some chocobo riding lessons or if you'd like one of your own that won't be too much of a problem. Do you want another cake? I know you're busy with running your organization too so dun wanna be too much of a bother.”


She hums in consideration.

“Hmm….well, I think we talked about how you've just been working with the chocobos for free so I guess it's not really a problem. I still have the other cake, so I probably shouldn't get another one…” she adds as if it was very normal to keep cakes for two moons.

“Plants'll just die 'cause I'm not home all that much. I can already ride a chocobo, even if Langston thinks I'm bad at it… I guess I need stuff for my room in the organization building. It's pretty empty, but I don't really know what to put in there yet.” She shrugs. “I dunno, whatever you wanna do, I'm not picky. You do stuff with the chocobos so it's fine.”


Blue's eyes widened at this travesty of having an empty room.

“Whaaat? We need to find some stuff you might like to fill your room with. It should be your sanctuary! I can't say much myself though. Our lil cabin doesn't allow for too many trinkets but hopefully that'll change sometime. I'll think of something nice though to give along with just helping out with the chocobos.”

Blue beamed at the darkening horizon. “But I'll letcha know when we end up coming back. Maybe another week or so. Thank you for helping!”


“Yeah, sure,” she says simply, never one for handling the niceties properly. “I'm gonna work on my stuff some more if that's it.”


“Yep that's it! Have fun with your stuff!” Blue remarks in earnest. “And see ya soon!” Tail a wagging, the Xaela clicks her pearl off and flops back onto the wall. There were lots more things for her to learn when she got home!

Home –> Roleplay Scene Index –> Discord Roleplays

Home –> Character Index –> BlueVinaloNovine