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Touring the white city (closed)

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@Old Man Jean

Nu Martyr, the bustling capital of Renovatio, was everything Maya had hoped it would be and more. After her successful diplomatic negotiations with Primera, the Grand Kommandant, Maya had expressed interest in exploring the city to get a better feel for her temporary home. Primera, a gracious woman among other things, had suggested a few sights to see and places to visit during her stay. While she had taken a brief trip to another kingdom in Oo'Xora directly after her meeting with the Grand Kommandant, the diplomat had headed straight back to Nu Martyr in order to work on Primera's list. Ever the go-getter, Maya had resolved to visit every attraction in one day- after all, she wanted to feel at-home in this beautiful, ornate city as soon as possible for her own comfort. It wasn't just about comfort, however. Her intellectual curiosity toward the city was insatiable, especially having viewed its sprawling, green landscape from the Grand Kommandant's palace. Such a mystical city deserved her full and undivided attention, which was vast now that the hardest part of her trip, the proposal, had wrapped up. 

Maya practically skipped through the streets of Nu Martyr, her feet light with excitement and joy. The entire city seemed to be made of marble, from the highest tower to the sidewalk beneath their feet. It had been a little slippery in the morning dew, but had become more tolerable in the afternoon; at first, the diplomat had been afraid to step foot on the smooth, unmarked white stone, but watching other passers-by walk carelessly had given her courage. Many of the pedestrians in the morning had been personal shoppers for the city's elite, but now that the sun was gradually starting to fall in the sky, more and more elegantly-dressed men and women were traversing the streets, each dressed to the nines. Maya smiled each time she spotted one of the aristocrats, delighted by the sheer art that was their wardrobe. Everything about this city was lovely- perfect, even, with its smooth uniformity and elegance. 

She had not been wandering alone today. Her new guardsman, a strange elf named Itylra, had been shadowing her with a dark, stormy look in her eyes ever since they'd left their accommodations. Maya had tried to make conversation, chatting about this and that- to mixed success. There were certain subjects Itylra seemed vastly knowledgeable on, but there were many others that drew genuine cluelessness from the elf's dark gaze. Maya was curious about Ityrla's homeland, but wasn't sure how to breach the subject in a natural way. It seemed like the elf had been separated, or perhaps exiled from her country, and the diplomat didn't want to bring up any painful memories. 

Still, it was nice to be in Itylra's company. Her Terric was improving every day, and with it vanished that annoyingly vague accent Maya had been struggling to decipher. As they strolled through the streets, stopping often for Maya to catch her breath in the high altitude, they came across a boulevard with shops on either side of the street. Window shopping gave the diplomat an excuse to pause often, which her oddly thumping heart seemed to appreciate. Staring at one such window display, in it containing items far beyond the humble military woman's price range, she turned to Itylra with a smile. "Have you ever seen anything so beautiful, Itylra?" The vases and masterfully crafted pottery had been hand-sculpted by a master. "In Terrenus, I'd only see this kind of work in a museum. There's one in Casper called the Dragon Iris museum, which I actually recently visited, but that's besides the point- Voss Sirief! Ah yes, Voss Sirief, that's the name of my favorite sculptor featured in the Dragon Iris. We actually commissioned one of his pieces for the meeting with Primera."

Realizing she had been prattling on in her excitement, Maya paused and shot her bodyguard an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry for rambling. This is just ... more than I imagined it would be, and I'm having trouble processing." The woman's dark eyes flicked back to the pottery, then to her bodyguard. With a little wave, she began to move forward at her same leisurely pace. 

Edited by roboblu

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Itylra had initially resisted the idea of going about the town with her charge, frankly the security concerns of that sort of action was immeasurable - but as had almost become routine between the two Itylra had argued the security concerns and then Maya simply insisted, with that same smile of hers she used on high ranking foreign officials. It was foolish to debate a professional speaker, and as always Itylra found herself playing to the tune of Maya - and enjoying it. That was always the most frustrating of things, to be forced into something Itylra had resisted and be infected by Maya's own enthusiasm. Ityrla's eyes were rarely their neutral solid black around Maya, her emotion reactive eyes filling with 'stars' today as well. One thing Itylra was happy about was to be out of her military dress uniform and back into her light blue Terrenus combat fatigues, the only constant her Recon beret in her two outfits. Eventually Maya had dragged Itylra to a shopping district of some description, the kind of place Itylra had little experience with; her own demiplane had no currency and thus had no shopping, the community simply shared everything. 

Her time in Valucre had been one mostly of battle, and she had found little use for the money she was making as a soldier. Shopping as an act Itylra had no experience with, and little desire to experience - the material was not something that had concerned her, her two outfits both being military issue made that abundantly clear. Itylra was an honestly beautiful girl, elegant of features and with exotic eyes and an alluring accent mixed with an oddly raspy, almost sultry voice she struck a cord that many couldn't resist - however if she knew it she showed no sign. He hair was cut roughly and short, about chin length and seemingly by hand; she wore no makeup and her gait was strong and masculine - the pair of Maya and Itylra were quite different in that way, Maya was strong and bold but still assuredly feminine. 

Itylra was simply strong, her masculine nature almost making some wonder if she wasn't simply a very attractive male elf. Maya suddenly exploded, her eyes drawn to a vase with wonder - it was an attractive piece, the kind of thing sculptors in her home plane often made, a place so focused on culture and the arts was filled with such things. "Have you ever seen anything so beautiful, Itylra?" Maya suddenly asked, drawing Itylra's attention more fully to the objects in question. They were beautiful pieces, but not the best work she had ever seen and honestly not something beyond her own skill level, her life in her demiplane one of an artist, and quite a skilled one. "I have." Itylra declared dryly, her mind recalling a piece one of her classmates had made shortly before the Void had destroyed her home. "My home was one of cultural pursuits." Itylra said, her eyes flickering more 'stars' as she did. "I wager I could craft something similar." She said finally, her tone so assured it was clear she was not joking. "Would you like me too?" She turned to Maya as she said that, smiling as soft as she could to show she was being genuine. 

Itylra had grown to very much like Maya despite their differences, and if her old skills could give the diplomat some joy she wouldn't mind using them once more. 

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When the star elf responded, it was with an oddly dry tone that implied something mischevious behind her black eyes. Maya's head turned sharply, an uncertain smile on her face as she tried to ascertain whether or not her guard was joking. If so, it would mean Itylra was attempting humor and needed to be encouraged for the effort. If not- well, as Maya soon found, the star elf seemed to have more than a few tricks up her sleeve. The hesitant smile grew into an all-out grin, with the diplomat hanging on every word to leave Itylra's mouth. She would have never pegged the stoic, masculine, analytic star elf as anything but a warrior, and the juxtaposition of 'artist' and 'soldier' was most curious, indeed! The offer of a homemade gift only stunned Maya further, though she was too sensible a connoisseur to refuse. "I-oh! Of course! I need to decorate my office with something other than marble." A small jab at the white city was worth the heart-warming offer, she thought, and the smile that had melted onto her lips would not recede for a few days at the very least. 

"I didn't know you were an artist," she added matter-of-factly, though she doubted Itylra would be surprised. "My younger brother is an artist, too. He's a painter." A warm, reflective smile played about her mouth, mind lost in memories of Andreas. He was probably around Itylra's age, but carried himself with much much youthful abandon than the serious elf beside her. She hadn't seen him in a few weeks- or had it been a month or two? Maya and her brother were alike in that they both chased their ambitions with fierce focus and determination, often neglecting other vital parts of their lives in the process. At one point before Maya's deployment, the two had been thick as thieves, bonded by the loss of their older brother. Not many knew it, but Maya, too, had a creative side, and, as a teenager, had enjoyed long weekends painting by the mountain lake near her childhood home. She and Andreas would leave early with their easels in hand, and not return home until many hours later, covered in mud and grass and little flecks of blue paint. Though Maya had caved under her parents' pressure and joined the military, Andreas was a wild, rebellious thing, and had started out on his own in Casper just over a year ago. 

Maya bit back a sigh, returning to the topic at hand. Her next words were a little more careful. "Are you from a region of Genesaris? I must admit," Her dark brow furrowed very slightly, "I haven't been able to place your accent, especially now that your Terric has improved." She was taking a leap in asking Itylra about her homeland, but her curiosity had grown too large to ignore any longer. 

The diplomat noticed a clothing store up ahead, and eyed the window display with envy. The citizens of Nu Martyr were certainly stylish, she thought, admiring the clean lines and cool, crisp colors. It provided her with something beautiful to stare at while she awaited Itylra's reply. 

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