The Scarlet Letter - 03/16/21

[Blue]

Perhaps it had been sheer tiredness from working at the Hearth that night that had left Blue to simply take the letter Rina had passed on to her without reminding the Seeker that she could not, in fact, read. She'd stared at the piece of parchment, pulling it closer to her eyes and then further away, but it made no difference. The Xaela wasn't going to miraculously learn how to decipher the strange, familiar words just because she wanted to. Rina never had a reason to turn to Blue. It had to be somewhat related to what she'd learned from her blood those many moons ago, and so she couldn't ask just anyone for help in reading it out to her.

Blue paced a bit atop the stone wall that bordered Buscarron's Druthers in South Shroud. She wasn't there for a drink though, carrying a linkpearl in one hand and a letter in the other. Not knowing whether she was gonna be bothering Veldi in the midst of some bloody battle or in the middle of an overdue nap, the little Xaela decided that she could at least offer her sister a drink afterwards for the help in deciphering her letter. The faintest noise of occasional glasses clinking together and the uproar of the occupants inside Buscarron's could be heard as Blue brought her linkpearl close and spoke.

<“Veldi, are you there? I could use a little bit of help.”> The Xaela wondered if her bashed-in linkpearl would even reach her. She paused, and decided to add,

<“Oh, but if you're bleeding or in danger or in the mouth of some beasty, I can wait a while, no worries!”>

[Veldi]

There was no immediate response, but eventually a telltale click resounded in the Pearl.

<What happened? Someone after you?>

[Blue]

Blue hummed to herself, wondering if she was indeed busy, but perked up almost immediately afterward at the click and the voice the followed.

<“Uhm I don't think so…I got a letter at the Hearth after you left and, well, I can't read..”> She coughed a bit, rubbing at her cheeks and feeling abashed.

<“..Anyway! I don't know if it's got strange stuff about me in it and I was just wondering if it's not too much trouble..could you read it to me?”>

[Veldi]

<…..How old are you?>

<Wait your husband can’t read either?>

[Blue]

Blue pulled the linkpearl away from her face and glared hard at it. Nothing happened, so she brought it to her earfin again.

<“32, but that don't matter none! We both can't read…or write really.”>

[Veldi]

<…..I can come by in a bit. You should learn your letters. Useful for more than just reading.>

[Blue]

Blue laughed in bubbly, victorious delight, embarrassment fading quickly in favor of joy. Bright smile and excitable nod unseen, she answered,

<“Yay! I'll be over near Buscarron's. And yeah…you're probably right. Just another thing I gotta work on learning.”>

[Veldi]

<Yeah I’ll be over soon enough.>

Veldi clicks off and goes silent. Some time later, she appears in the given location, wearing what appeared to be a torn up suit one might wear to a ball.

[Blue]

Blue was in her trademark attire. Not knowing how long soon could be, the Xaela had kept herself amused by pacing, running, dashing, and jumping atop the stone wall. She was in the midst of doing a walking handstand across before her focus flickered over to Veldi. An excited little noise escaped and the lizard rolled forward, hopping to the ground and darting over to greet her.

“Hi Sis! You're all dressed up- kinda! Why's it all torn up and stuff?”

[Veldi]

“There was a disagreement about my interest in a meaty lad. What’d you need me to read again?”

[Blue]

“Meaty…” Blue mused but shook her head and drew the letter from her pocket, passing it over to Veldi.

She crossed her arms and rocked back on her heels.

“It's from Rina. Dunno if you know her that well, but she's the one that I gave a little of my blood to a while ago.”

[Veldi]

“So why’re you accepting letters then? Last I remember dealing with that one left you sad in the forest….another, different part of the forest.”

[Blue]

“Well… it'd be mean if I said no. Plus…she never ended up doing anything about it besides making a scene once. And she seems nicer now. It's just…not sure why she'd give a letter to me.”

[Veldi]

Veldi remains silent. Her stare is blank, but the intensity of her gaze betrays a flurry of curse words waiting to be unleashed.

Instead of voicing them however, she simply held out her hand.

“You want me to read it right here?”

[Blue]

Blue flattened her ears at the look and glanced away at the question instead, fidgeting slightly as she peered about for onlookers.

In truth, it seemed the only ruckus nearby came from inside the tavern. Not a soul seemed to be outside the building, at least so far as Blue could see. With clear view of anyone coming into the grounds from the road, the Xaela looked back at her sister and shrugged her shoulders.

“It seems okay to read.” She gestured to a rocky outcrop nearby for a place to sit because standing could be uncomfortable, claiming a perch for herself not long after.

[Veldi]

“Alright then.”

She followed behind, still standing by the end and waiting patiently before reading the letter:

[Blue]


I decided a letter would be easier and I can't get chewed out by anyone if it's just meant for you. You know something I've been curious about. No one ever comes to me asking about what I can make to help them. Which makes me wonder, what is it you want to keep away? If its anything like me, then what I'm proposing is simple. Me and you have a meet up, alone. We promise and try not to kill each other and then when all is said and done, we pretend like nothing has happened and it stays that way. I'm only asking you because if we are indeed similar, then you won't be too worse off after it's done with you. You know where to find me when you're ready to answer.


Blue had been wriggling around expectantly, unable to keep still up till the moment Veldi began to read it out for her.

As she processed it, the Xaela tilted her head and leaned back on her perch, drawing her hands into her lap.

“Hum..she wants to fight then? Not sure how that helps anybody…specially with what she's asking me to do.”

[Veldi]

Veldi lowered the letter, staring into the distance with a blank expression.

“You got any reason to trust this person at all? Even the smallest bit?”

[Blue]

Blue blinked and pondered. “Um..well, she didn't let Tret go off and die when they went on a treasure run while I was away. As a companion she'd probably be considered reliable..”

“And while she did make a scene at the bar, she never brought it up again, which could have been bad if she had continued.”

[Veldi]

Veldi grunts but doesn’t say anything.

“That all you needed me for?”

[Blue]

Blue frowned and cocked her head to the side.

“Do you got somewhere to go? I wanna tell you bout some stuff that's happened while I stew on this. It relates a little bit to the mission. Maybe you might already know.”

[Veldi]

She crosses her arms.

“I’m listening.”

[Blue]

Blue flicked an ear. “I guess just before I got back Tret got approached by Wisty. Course he didn't know much about her or her connection to all the weird stuff till I could match my own encounter up with his…anyway I guess she's doing stuff in Fallgourd somewhere.”

The Xaela crossed her own arms.

“And then the stuff about tearing down facilities and things not mattering no more?”

[Veldi]

“Wisty?”

[Blue]

“Yeah. The purple-eyed lady is too long of a description. I dun wanna call her Purple though, so I call her Wisteria, or, er, Wisty!”

The Xaela beams and almost seems to puff up proudly as she continued.

“Wisteria are pretty but super invasive purple plants that spread and strangle things and are hard to get rid of….I thought it fit anyway.”

[Veldi]

“Alright, I’ll keep that in mind. He didn’t look like he went through anything when he was giving me food though.”

[Blue]

“Nah. He's more careful about things like that. I just wanted to let you know she's been around and we're being carefuls.”

Blue blew a stray strand of hair from her face and eyed Veldi gingerly.

“Is everything real again?”

[Veldi]

“What do you mean by real exactly?”

[Blue]

“You said you didn't know what all was real anymore~ right before I beat you up mercilessly. Was a bit ago though..back East n' all.” She hopped up to her feet and circled Veldi before tugging at the sleeves of her suit….blinking, and then pulling at the back of her suit, clearly trying to pull it off entirely.

[Veldi]

“………..”

“The fuck are you doing!?”

She yanks her suit back, quickly getting more irritated.

[Blue]

Blue stuck her tongue out playfully, tugging at her sleeve again. “If I poke and prod and bother you enough, you might get the message. And you still didn't answer”

[Veldi]

“What message are you sending sides please put me through a fuckin wall?”

[Blue]

“That I want a hug.”

[Veldi]

“Just say you want a damn hug so I can tell you no normally!”

[Blue]

“Seems boring.”

[Veldi]

“Not a hugger.”

[Blue]

“Hugged me in Bozja.”

[Veldi]

“For work. There’s a big difference.”

“Besides, you’ll get stuff on you that can’t be washed off like this.”

[Blue]

Blue peers at her, examining. “I don't see anything..”

[Veldi]

“I’m not a good kind of monster.”

“Anyway if that’s all, I’ll be on my way. Still gotta check the forest.”

[Blue]

Blue frowned and didn't say anything for a bit, staring down at the ground.

“I went to Rina for something to stop my monster from coming out.”

[Veldi]

“Why?”

[Blue]

“Because the things I showed you I could do that day what feels like forever ago isn't all. There are things I can't really control, and once it starts, I'm just not there anymore to stop what happens.”

“Kinda caused a mess in Sagoli for a while with it…couple days at least. That was rough.”

[Veldi]

“And you think she can help?”

[Blue]

“At the time I thought maybe she could. This was back when I went and gave her my blood. She told me about a suppressant she'd been using for her own issues.”

“But it seemed like there were a lot of side effects. Like not being able to stop taking it, not being able to have children…it didn't feel worth it to rely on something like that.”

[Veldi]

She sighs and seems to relent a bit.

“So why are you going to her? I don’t get it.”

[Blue]

“I didn't take it, and I went to her just the once. Just..thought it'd be nice not to worry about hurting people I care about anymore. But I do that anyway when I go follow after them into a warzone all recklessly, so maybe I'm just supposed to.” She smiled wryly.

Blue shrugged her shoulders. “I'm just bringing this up cause…It's not like you and I haven't had long talks about monsters. Good ones and bad ones- but what does it really matter? Just some derogatory term someone made up that says you're strange and unusual and maybe dangerous in all sorts of ways.”

[Veldi]

“I pervert life.”

[Blue]

“And?”

[Veldi]

“You do not.”

[Blue]

“I don't see how that matters. What you do or have done doesn't change who you are to me.”

[Veldi]

Something snaps.

“That’s the problem! I can’t just live doin whatever I damn well please because I can! No one should! How am I supposed to save anyone stomping on their neck? How am I supposed to stop what’s bad if I’m leagues worse!? You don’t understand because you don’t see it. I don’t want you to either. If you could, you’d vomit at the sight of me. Scream and run. And I gotta live knowing that. Knowing I’m what people should be scared of. All it’ll take is one bad day and I’ll become…that.”

[Blue]

Blue was quiet for a moment, merely listening. Then,

“Aren't you the one who gets all annoyed when I assume things you're thinking about? Seems you're doing the same with me, like I'm gonna treat you any different for the things you've done.”

“Just cause I'm all happy and all positive and all loving all the time doesn't mean I haven't been weathered by all the terrible things out there. Don't put me on some pedestal. Nobody is pure, not even me.”

“Whatever you've done that's so bad in your eyes- are you gonna do it again?”

[Veldi]

“………Probably. It’s an impulse.”

[Blue]

“Is it an impulse or a last resort?”

Blue observed her fellow Xaela for a moment, tail swaying about behind her.

“Cause an impulse is like…you wanting to smoke, or…or reaching out for a bottle! And you're really strong and even more careful, specially with important things.”

[Veldi]

“I got a tool, an’ it’s sentient. Thing changes to match the wielder, and what they want. I want to save people. In the moment I’m not gonna care how they are saved or what’ll happen after they are okay, it’s just what I’ll want. Deeply. So yeah, it could happen again on impulse. You know how you felt out there in Bozja. Thinking won’t be much of a factor.”

[Blue]

“I don't see how saving people in any way could be a bad thing…they get hurt after or something?”

[Veldi]

“They become more like me.”

[Blue]

“I'd say that doesn't seem like a bad thing, but it's probably bad, else you wouldn't be so concerned about it.”

Blue frowned in thought, lifting her hand and poking Veldi in the forehead.

“I'm not gonna pretend to know what you're going through right now. I just know what I see, and I see someone who wants to help and save people, and who sometimes needs help herself.”

[Blue]

“You probably don't know how much of an effect you've had on me. Or maybe you do and that's why you act weird about things like this when I'm around. But I can't see you as anything other than good for me.”

[Veldi]

She reached for a cigar that was not there.

“Yeah, well….I’m gonna go eat. You should stay safe.”

[Blue]

Blue pulled her hand away and nodded, drawing both hands behind her back and rocking on her heels.

“Prolly gonna end up doing this fight…but I should be fine, so don't worry!”

[Veldi]

“You sure it’s a fight?”

[Blue]

“Well..if I do recall the letter said to meet up…alone, and then not kill each other. I dunno what else it could be.”

[Veldi]

“….Kick between the legs then I guess. Should be worth a chuckle.”

[Blue]

Blue stared at her for a moment, then just giggles. “Okay, I'll do that.”

“I don't think she knows what she's asking for anyway. Guess if it gets bad n' she's more than I can handle, I can change into things and make it even.”

[Veldi]

“Or call me. No need to play by her fuckin rules. Specially since she forgot you couldn’t read.”

[Blue]

“Yeah…that's true. Maybe. I'd like to know I haven't been doing all this work just to get beat up by a cat though.”

She paused and smiled.

“Anyway, I won't keep ya. Buscarrons is pretty busy it seems, if you want bar food. By the way, do you like plants? Or er, gardening?”

[Veldi]

“Depends on the plant. Why’re you askin?”

[Blue]

“I gots a project I'm working on at the new house. I wanna make….” She hushes and looks around warily.

“A forest! Or um, something like it! We got a lot of space downstairs and running water and bright windows for a buncha plants to be happy. I could use the help making it all work out though.”

[Veldi]

“……If you can tell me what to do sure.”

[Blue]

Blue clapped her hands together and beamed. “Of course!” The excitable Xaela skipped around Veldi and waited till she was at her back to give her an affectionate hug from behind before dancing back and away.

“Stay safe too Sis n' have a good meal!”

[Veldi]

“Yeah, thanks.”

She walked away several steps before disappearing into the shadows.

[Blue]

Blue waved Veldi off until she disappeared before pulling the linkpearl from her pocket. She shook her head before scaling up the stone wall nearby if only to dangle upside down from it like some sort of scaly bat.

“..I guess if she wants a fight, she can have it.”

The Xaela brought the linkpearl to her ear and began to speak.


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