(Ed. Note: Again, another RP log remade into a journal entry. Enjoy!)
(Two days after the theft)
A summer storm in the valley lashes the trees with water and wind. Thunder rolls and cracks; lightning arcs from cloud to cloud – it’s a bad night to be outdoors. In the mountains, it’s even worse, the rain freezing, the wind scouring the rocks of the ancient temple, and every sane person this late is in bed, with the shutters pulled and wrapped in blankets trying to sleep amidst the howl of wind and roar of rain. Ayia-Cho Nightpetal is apparently not sane. The mage quietly works to fill a bag with robes, and scrolls, and books – fumbling in the dark and doing her best to stay quiet, a tiny, conjured magelight sitting on the collar of her green, silk shift as she, determinedly, goes through her things.
Typically, she’s talking – very very quietly – to herself. “… no. No. No. Not that .. ah! The Histories of The Lands Beyond the Mists. Perfect! Where is that book on orcs… maybe the Yursine Scroll? … where’s that copy..” The air smells like… syrup. Sticky buns.
Ayia-Cho Kun Yi, “Earth Joy”, is perched on a table, cross legged, calmly going through various vials and bags and pouches, most sealed very, very tightly and some smelling faintly of sharp, chemical things. She fluffs her tail out of the way and eyeballs her sister. “Check on the shelves. Gawds. Are you all right, big sister? That leg ain’t botherin’ you any more?”
“Pft. No. Well, a little. ” She stomps (quietly) over to said shelves. “You should stay. You heard Uncle – if he catches us going, we’re /both/ washing dishes for a month. You shouldn’t get in trouble too – you get in trouble /enough/.” A blink, then, she turns, paws to hips, to eye the younger of the pair. “… why aren’t you doing something awful? You agreed to this far too easily. You’re not going to drug me.” A statement of fact. Ayup.
Kun Yi smiles beautifically and shrugged. “Bugger that, dishes. I don’t want to be stuck here the rest of my life, guarding something I can’t even see.” She pauses, eyeing her sister, and the hard, practical edge she wears softens. Concern, and something else. “But that doesn’t mean i don’t respect my history and my ancestors. I just do it in my own way. That yaoguai mother fucker took our stuff. Our culture. Our history. And he thinks HE’S better suited to it? Arrogant son of a whore….you’re right. I AM going to do something awful. And I’m going to watch out for you, big sis. I know the world, better then you.”
“So you say. I’ve read everything.” Defensive, ayup. “And I can take care of myself.”
Petal stuffs another pair of scrolls in her bag. “I just… don’t understand Uncle. He’s.. not even angry! ‘Don’t worry, Petal’ -” She does a credible imitation. ” – it will sort itself out. You’ll see.’ AUGH. It’s … it’s so /infuriating./ “
“That’s Uncle.” Kun Yi appears calm, but there’s a burning eagerness in her eyes, almost a impatience, barely constrained, balancing her sister’s energy. “It WILL sort itself out. We’re going to take care of that sumbitch. But.” She huffs a bit. “You might read, but you don’t know. I’ve been out to the villages, hell, Uncle even let me go to the port village because he knew I’d sneak out with the old trader ANYways. You’ll need help. You’ll need me.”
“Are you /sure/ the ship is there? Uncle is going to be /angry/.” She glances at the door – “He /forbid/ it. Absolutely. He said I wasn’t ready and it was foolish. Seriously, Kun – if he catches you…” Another book. That sack’s getting full of very heavy things. “… maybe you should come back, after we get to the village? You can say you didn’t know I was going.”
“No.” Her tone is flat and implacable. “I’m not going back once I’m free. Not for a while. And…” She hops off of the table, taking her sister’s paws in her own. “I’m not leaving you alone out there. Never ever EVER. You’re my sis, my only real blood, and I’ma stick by you no matter what. Uncle can deal with that. I know exactly what the hell I’m doing and if he has a problem with that he ain’t the male I know.”
“Yeah, well… he does.” Petal sniffles – “I really can do this, Kun. I promise. But… thanks.” And… /hug/. Fierce. “I didn’t know you were unhappy here. You should have told me. I’m so … stupid. Augh. I’m a terrible sister.” Beat. “I made buns?”
Kunyi smiles back and hugs her sister just as tight, holding her close. “You’re the best sister ever, Petal. I love you. Ain’t no one going to tell me otherwise, even you….just…don’t worry about me, ‘kay? You didn’t do anything wrong. I’m not…It’s…I mean…I like it here well enough, but I want to get out and be free to move around. This life, it ain’t for me. Maybe Uncle thinks I’m too young but age is just a thing, and I KNOW he has a proverb for that, and for me … I’m not meant for this. Travelling, with you, getting our culture back? That’s what I’m meant to do.”
“You’re probably /worthy/.” That’s teasing – an old, old in-joke. “If it’s going to pick anybody, it’s you.” Petal scoops up…. and staggers with.. that bag. “Okay. Okay. So… what next? Uncle should be asleep.”
“First of all….” Kunyi EYES the bag. “What are you all bringing? We’ll need to travel light.”
“I… I can’t leave all my books! I need them, Kunyi.” SHe pulls it to her chest, doing her best ‘lost deer’ impression, complete with giant liquid eyes. “I can… I can leave some of the clothes!”
“Clothes, sure. We can buy or steal more. But the books….” She sighs, rubbing her forehead. “Hmmm. We’ll need languages, and…well, what else do you have? Unless it’s strictly necessary we have to plan to do without. At least until we get settled somewhere else.”
“… Oh! I have histories from before the mists and …” She ticks things off on a paw… “Maps. The ones that yak-merchant brought? I copied the precept scrolls, and I have two of the chi books. Oh! And Master Li’s plant manual. There’s the storybook mother left, the one with that story of the snuggly crane you love so much? And there’s Fa Huyen’s journeybook, and .. oh! That neat volume on crocolisk cures. And that manual of Mogu calligraphy….”
Kunyi hesitates, squirming a little. She bites her lips. Hrms. She likes reading too, a lot, especially the plant manual…. “Okay. OKAY. We’ll keep the story book, and the plant manual, and the maps…the scrolls, and the chi books for you… no cures or calligraphy tho. And we can keep the journey book.”
“…well, MAYBE calligraphy, if it’s not a big book.”
“It’s the middle one.” Petal stops, flops the bag on that table, and rummages.. pulling out a two-inch-thick /tome/. “… ha! That one. ” More rummaging. The cure book comes out, another fairly massive volume that gets set aside, with a sigh. “I have the Shon scrolls, too. And ..” SHe bites her lip. “Kunyi? Don’t be mad. I… borrowed Uncle’s medallion.”
Kunyi blinks. “You WHAT? Why?”
Petal pulls her hair down to gnaw on it, anxious. “… I think it’s important. I read the scrolls and the story… and if the Yaoguai stole the weapon, he had to have a reason, right? It’s… from the same period, and… well. I’d take Shon’s robe, too, but I think I’d ruin it. The medallion won’t break.”
Kunyi pulls Petal’s hair away. She frowns. “Well…okay…but…if anyone asks, I took it, okay? You’re the good kid. I’m already in trouble, you don’t need to get into it more too.”
“No way. Not a chance. Besides.. /I’m/ the one running away. You’re just coming along because you and Uncle think I’m useless.” But that comes with a smile. “Lost little lamb, forever to be taken advantage of by passing merchants /and that was only once so don’t/…” She hoists that bag – it isn’t much lighter, but her expression becomes determined. “How do we do this, Kunyi?”
“Awww, sis….” Kunyi smiles sadly and brushes her cheek, straightening more of her hair. “I was going to run away a long time ago. I didn’t because of you. Not just to protect you. Because I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side.” She takes a deep breath and then hugs Petal tightly. “You’re not useless. You’re way smarter then me and you can use chi like no one else can. You’re the best.”
Petal hugs back … and actually laughs, ruefully. “… maybe it’s good he came. I.. didn’t know, sis. I’d probably have stayed here forever. Or.. .until I ran out of books. I’m not very brave. You’re going to miss your fluffy little smith’s apprentice. Whatsisname… Rui?” She swallows. “… I’m terrified. We have to go soon or I won’t be able to.”
That’s a quiet admission. “I need to get mother’s letter. Then we can leave.”
Kunyi is quiet for a bit. She doesn’t really care about Rui, he was fun but there’s no need to upset Petal further. She holds her sister’s paw tightly and nods. “Let’s go get it, big sis. I’ll show you the way out.”
“Yeah. ” She pulls that hair back down to chew on it again, absently… and lets Kunyi lead. “You sure we don’t need the crocolisk book?”
“No, sis. I’m sure the humans have books like that. We’ll look when we’re in Stormwind, k?” Kunyi looks over her shoulder and smiles broadly, trying to bolster her sister up. “This is fun! Just the two of us on an adventure!”
“Unless uncle catches us. Shhh. ” Petal’s preoccupied as the two wind through the corridors. … that’s probably why she doesn’t see the bag, at the top of the stairs that lead down to the temple. IT’s small, and leather… and has a bit of thin paper pinned to it with a simple, steel pin. Petal’s already past it and heading down, calling up, softly – “I’ll get the letter. Check on Uncle?”
“…uh.” Kunyi blinks at the little bag, quickly checking it out…no traps, PROBABLY, and a quick, soft huff of breath doesn’t appear to discern any secret threads. “Yeah. Sure…” She peers down the opposing hallway. Nothing. Frowns, eyes the bag, and very gingerly tears the paper off of the pin.
The paper does not explode.
There is, however, very neat – and very familiar – writing therepon:
“Little one –
This should make sure you don’t have to stow away when you reach the port. Try not to let her get in too much trouble? Go fly. When you come home, bring back stories.
Don’t tell her – she’s being brave. Consider it a last gift from an old man who loves you both.”
… it isn’t signed.
Kunyi sniffles suddenly, and tears roll down her fur. She buries her face in the little bag, crying as quietly as she can, the emotion a shock as it comes tumbling out of her. And she weeps, while waiting for her sister.
Green hair and… well. Marginally stealthy footfalls come back up the stairs – “Okay. Okay. That’s everything.” Rummaging in packs, Petal takes a breath.. “The window? I don’t know, Kunyi. Maybe we just run through the gates.”
A pause, then.. “… Kunyi? Are you alright?”
Kunyi sniffles. A lot. Nods without looking at her sister and tucks the note and bag away in her belt of pouches. She carries little else. “Yeah, I’m…I’m fine, big sis. We’ll go out the back and along the wall. There’s a spot by the trees we can sneak over under cover.”
Kunyi smiles and reaches out a paw to take hers. “C’mon, big sis. We’ll be okay.”
Petal takes it, with a smile – and squeezes. “Trees, huh? That explains why you always smell like sap and boys.” She … actually giggles. “We have to hurry. The rain’s letting up.”
“Okay.” Kunyi sniffles and tries her best to laugh in turn. She’s worried. Worried for her sis, thrilled for herself, but…it’s a big world out there. With one allyoomph she spins and heaves her sister into the lower branches. “Time to fly, sis.”