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Ex Cathedra (Taiyomichi)

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"Surely you understand. I don't doubt your ability to survive on your own, it's just..."

He paused in thought of the most precise way to word his thoughts before delivering, for he'd only have one chance to say it correctly, lest he wished to draw false suspicion from his Queen. Thus spiraling the point into a maelstrom of twisting his speech against him. Then again, she could smell lies, and perhaps an imperfect delivery could be well received; so long as he was being honest.

"I have this innate urge to protect you. I cannot risk losing you again. These people cannot risk losing you with your coup still fresh, nor can they risk losing one another. If Dredge and his Legion are as they claim to be, then you understand they cannot be tamed. It's not impossible to live peacefully among one another, though the probability of such is slim in my perspective."

He refused to bring it up, though his mind easily considered her last attempt to tame chaos. Which resulted in her growing it exponentially.

"Of course, you know you have my full support in your endeavors."

Everything happened so fast, in seriatim. First was the return of Akako, leading up to her swift coup; And now the return of Red, mysteriously and with nigh perfect timing. At least he'd already been back to get his son. Had he known sooner of Red's absence he'd have gone to him prior. Though sooner than he'd wished, it seemed his ties to the Scarlet Region were also severed. The Bastard Prince an inadvertent consolation, delivered her by nothing more than sheer luck. They just happened to be away at the Hanami festival when she resurfaced. While would have preferred to let the his son have some more direct development around psions, he'd have to settle for the few that remained loyal to him. Otherwise, he didn't doubt that the his own academy will serve Khaliq well. 

"That reminds me, if the Commander hasn't already shared word with you or one of your familiars, it seems the Scarlet Queen is slowly finding her throne again. While you have your sights on another target, we must avoid tunnel vision. There's three threats at the moment as far as I'm concerned; The Datsuzoku, The Scarlet Region, and The Legion of Doom. Khaliq can't go back or I risk him being stuck there however long, and potentially losing him. I however, have some things I need to sneak in and get, hopefully before I'm removed from my prior council seat formally."

@Akako Akari

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It was irritating, so incredibly, mind-numbingly, annoying that the Cambion felt this persistent need to protect her, a daiyokai. Still, Akako understood it - empathized with the sentiment because she too had felt the same when it came to the psion she'd so easily betrayed and abandoned. She wondered if she was annoyed with him, not because of her ego, but because of his concern for her well-being only showed how unbalanced their relationship was. It wasn't precisely one-sided, but Xartia certainly felt for her more than she felt for him. Guilt perhaps fueled the vexation she felt.

The kitsune sighed, her eyes still closed as she leaned back, laying fully in the grass. The sun's rays were warm and pleasant, a balm to soothe her mild emotional discomfort. The curtain of white and gold locks sprawled beneath her, her tails rested on the ground, only the tips occasionally flicking at the air as the demoness rested. Akako was dressed more casually, a pure white hanfu dress with flowing sleeves and her coat of arms stitched into the shoulder in black matching the slender band of black around her waist. 

Rolling onto her stomach, Akako propped her chin in her hands and opened her eyes to glance at Xartia with a look of exasperation. "I have contingency plans for everything. This will be different from Ursan." Her tails shifted and rolled off to her otherside, closest to Xartia. Then she rolled off of her stomach and put her back to the Cambion before continuing, likely, so he didn't see her expression. 

"I will handle Red when she decides to face me." It was painful to discuss Red. It was better for all involved if Red stayed far away, but no one needed to know that. 

Akako didn't give enough time to pause; she continued speaking, without allowing Xartia to interject.

"There are more than three enemies, and I am aware of all of them. You speak of the more... obvious ones. As for Khaliq, he is welcome to stay. In fact, I think it would benefit him to take courses at the academy and to intern within my estate. He can learn the fundamentals of the government and how a nation should be managed. Especially in times of war."

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It went without saying that Xartia was almost certain that Red wouldn't lift a finger against Akako, especially while she aligned with the Carmine. As impressive as it had grown, the Scarlet Region was not prepared to stand toe to toe with the Carmine. While he didn't wish to see harm fall upon Red either, his alignment had already been established. This was an irrefutable truth that carried all the way back to the Golden Necropolis. After endangering her life in a petty bout of words, steeped in vengeance for her selling out his son, Xartia sought to rectify the quarrel with providing protection to the life he so carelessly endangered. As time and infatuation progressed, the desire to protect her grew more and more. While she accredited such simply to his feelings concerning her, it was deeper than that. Not only did he feel more obligated by her act of saving his life that last time he was in Sigil, but also because his would be perfect copy had managed to endanger her life by claiming her orb; Not so different from the first blight against her well being, in essence anyway.

"If there are only two things in my life that I've learned it's that everybody is the enemy given the right circumstances, and that children need to learn for themselves what benefits them. While I don't disagree with your sentiments, I believe it's best to just expose him to the idea or the environment. Should he decide however, that he is disinterested in either case...You won't see me pushing him towards them."

Staring at the ceiling, she could probably see it in his eyes that his mind was still spinning, and that he undoubtedly wasn't finished talking. Though he steeled his tongue, refusing to speak his whole mind in this moment. Akako was mot a delicate creature, in fact, she was the opposite of such. He had no doubt in the Daiyokai's ability to care for herself, as she had done for thousands of years before the thought of him was even conceived. That did nothing to diminish the fact that he'd lost her, and the pain of such was vivid and extreme enough to warrant the behaviors that she found annoying in the least. Never again did he wish to have her visit him in his dreams partially to warn him, and partially to say a goodbye.

"Speaking of one's interest, " he began speaking before turning his head and shifting his eyes just enough to look at her once more. "Make sure to stop by the shop overmorrow, I have a surprise for you that's nearly complete. It should certainly be ready by then."

Bthe shop, he was undoubtedly talking about his little Haberdashery. With a lack of staff to accommodate his needs, it was on him to set it all up himself, which he had done, as well as to teach himself the skills and trades necessary to provide his soon to be customers with the best experience viable. Despite his charming good looks and his one of kind hair styles, he had yet to commit to tonsorial studies. Perhaps the Khaliq could serve as one hell of a guinea pig in this case. Not like most people knew what he really looked like to begin with. If his hair was ugly, and like his father he wished not to impress upon it with the arcane forces, then he could simply make people see it in a more favorable light.

Edited by Twitterpated

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Akako refused to turn back over to face the Cambion. Her eyes were glued to something meaningless as she followed his words and frowned to herself. She supposed it was fine if Khaliq was given a choice as her son had recently returned to her. It was a coincidence, but one that gave the daiyokai a bit of relief. There was an heir, even if it wasn't Xartia's. If something were to happen to her, her kin could take her place. He had made himself scarce for quite some time and managed to find himself in the port city. It was Jun and Rin that had managed to find him during their most recent mission. 

"Very well," Akako acquiesced immediately regarding his son's upbringing. While she was connected to the boy, she was not his mother. Not in the truest sense at least. 

His scent was strong enough that Akako could scent whatever conflicts he had. There was emotional discontent to be sure and she didn't need to look at him to garner that much. The Cambion didn't voice whatever it was that bothered him though, instead, the subject was avoided and he spoke of a surprise. Akako wasn't thrilled to hear it, rather she was apprehensive at best. She barely had a second to get over whatever tryst she had with the alchemist and now some other man was offering surprises, gifts perhaps. 

The vixen sighed then rose to brace herself on her hand. Her back remained to Xartia. "A surprise?" There was a hint of exasperation in her tone. 

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"Indeed."

He responded rather plain and short. He knew how she loathed surprises in general, though he insisted on granting her with one on occasion. This one wasn't so frivolous compared to those preceding it. A fitting tool for a rising Sovereign such as herself. An added layer of protection, especially important for when he wasn't with the Vixen. It was still too soon for her to tell, but the day approached when Xartia would undoubtedly begin abusing his newfound freedoms. He could only hope that she'd grow to miss him in his absence. Perhaps then she might appreciate his being protective when she was in his company. 

"No need to worry about it this moment. Perhaps we can table the business talks for another time."

Not that he only viewed both The Bastard Prince and the surprise as strictly business, though to exclude them from the genre completely was no better a mistake.

"Soon I'll be traveling west, there's a temple in the desert I've been dying to visit for quite some time. Allegedly, only women are allowed to enter the temple."

The way he said it made it sound like he'd already made it inside. Being only half human, he was genuinely curious as to if he could perhaps bends the temple's rules. If enforcement came in the form of divinity, then he'd just have to try and account for such when something so drastic arose. Still, it meant going completely undercover as at least one, possibly two figures. For sure he had to be careful to conceal his actual identity in the chance that the temple was simply overseen by some extreme feminist heretic. 

Edited by Twitterpated

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When he mentioned the temple, Akako chose that moment to turn and look at Xartia. His reputation with women still weighed heavy on her, and she narrowed her eyes at him. There was no doubt that he would get into something. It was inevitable as it was his nature, as it was hers. Pursing her lips in resignation, she looked away again.

"So be it. Do well not to get yourself killed." 

It was the best she could come up with. Relationships weren't an easy thing for her, especially when she still didn't trust the object of her affection; though, there was no affection shown. There was no telling how long she was planning on holding back, or maybe she had no intention of letting her guard down at all. Maybe their moment when she had first returned was a fluke. In any case, it was sure that she was still not convinced by him, or she was still trying to forget her most recent fling. 

Their idle conversation reminded her of their time in the City of Doors and the company they kept. From time to time, she wondered about Ursan and the Baron. She had heard of Ursan's fate but was a rumor at best. Still, she mourned the loss even if he had deserved to spend eternity suspended in nothingness. Then the Baron was an enigma to her. There had been no rumors of his whereabouts and what he was currently doing. It was well enough, though. The vixen did not doubt that he was doing well. 

Akako didn't speak again because she fully expected the Cambion to fill the silence. There was nothing for her to talk about really that wasn't work-related. The vast majority of her time was spent strategizing and doing paperwork. It was endless. Otherwise, she didn't have much of a social life these days. 

@Twitterpated

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"So be it. Do well not to get yourself killed."

A grin was all that followed his gaze as he watched her speak. How she showed concern in the most awkward of ways was perhaps one of the cutest things about her. He knew better than to breath a word of any of it, lest he wished to incur the wrath of the Nogitsune. Silently he admired her for a moment, careful not to make it uncomfortable should she notice. Finally, his head turned, casting his gaze to the ceiling once more as his grin faded. Stepping back into the shoes of mortality came with implications he hadn't considered prior. While he was theoretically ageless in this state, he failed to be truly immortal. Regardless, as a man that had the ability to live countless lifetimes, having already lived the span of several...

"Having lived for so long, have you always embraced your immortality?"

That was the best way he could word it in his mind without limiting the answer he might receive so severely. Just in case she felt some type of way about being asked something somewhat heavy so suddenly, he opted to continue by giving his current personal opinion in comparison.

"Especially as something as almighty as a God, life just eventually became redundant, boring....Empty. I had spent so much time defining the meaning of The Verse and supporting my Court, I lost the meaning of my life. I lost the image of myself. Perhaps it's just the human in me, but in the absence of all ego and the presence of all knowledge..."

He paused, as if he'd momentarily slipped back into that empty feeling; Evident in his gaze. Truth be told he spent the last couple of centuries in The Verse in isolation. He thought that such would allow him the space and time necessary to rediscover himself, to find passion in life once more. Though it was't until he was forced to return to the Material Plane that he ultimately realized that this was what he'd been missing. Mystery, wonder, love, joy, pain, suffering. Balance.

@Akako Akari

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