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Phoebe

Tenkai. [Predator's Keep]

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Addison arrived the same way she always had, her entry into the Dawn Komturie announced by the loud clanking of her boots against the floor. Flashes of green and white, and the few distinct murmurs of the foreigner from beyond the portal.

But all of that was besides the point. The purpose of this day's endeavor was simple: Tenkai.

Walking up to the front desk, Addison requested to make an appoint with the Force Majeure Knight over something "neither urgent nor important, but meaningful".

If Tenkai were to be able to find thirty minutes for a chat, their subsequent interaction would be wherever he dictated it. 

@Tenkai Matsumoto

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Neither urgent nor important, but meaningful.

What on earth was that supposed to mean?

Since that fateful day passing through the portal, Master Knight Addison had become a somewhat regular presence around the Dawn Komturie. One would have thought this to be odd considering that the Order and the Final Bastion did not regularly work with one another, but given Master Eredas' deep connection with Addison, it didn't surprise Tenkai at all to hear that she had deemed fit to grace the Komturie with her presence. What did surprise him was the fact that she had come to speak to him, of all people, setting an appointment with a rather cryptic purpose behind it. Why would Addison want to speak to him if it was neither urgent nor important? How could it be meaningful if it was not important? He wasn't opposed to the meeting, but something rang oddly peculiar about the note. 

Something told him he was about to get himself into a very awkward situation.

In light of the number of visits and missives that came Tenkai's way, those among the Order had seen fit to prepare a small open office space for Tenkai to conduct interpersonal matters. Normally Tenkai kept to his own quarters, sequestered away where he could meditate and ruminate undisturbed, roused by naught but the emergency sirens that would have sounded in the event of an attack on the Komturie or some other matter of dire urgency. To that end, only the other Knights had the authority to drag him out of his sanctum if the alarum was not sounded. But there were also many day-to-day matters that other Custodes needed to manage with Tenkai, and sometimes that meant paperwork. Tenkai was loathe to keep anything of that sort inside his personal quarters, the one place he found himself free from all the official red tape that came with running a realm-defending paramilitary organization. So a small office was installed, a vestibule constructed from a fraction of the space that originally made up Tenkai's chambers that hadn't had much use outside of keeping all of his files in order.

In other words, they just stuck a wall in the middle of his chamber, just to keep his office separate from his sanctum.

It was in this office that Tenkai had scheduled Addison's requested meeting. Seated at a wide, curved wedge-shaped wooden desk, lacquered and framed with decorative metalwork, Tenkai sat patiently as he leaned his elbows on the desk to support his weary chin. He was already prepared to speak as soon as the Master Knight made her entrance.

"Master Nacht," he would say, giving a moderately respectful bow of his head. He would have stood up for a more respectful gesture but he already knew that Addison would have taken that as overly formal. "Thank you for coming. Please, have a seat. Tell me of this 'meaningful' matter that has brought you here to see me." 

 

@Phoebe

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"Please call me Addison," she grimaced uncomfortable. "Nacht is my husband's name, and while I do take pride in it, it carries a lot of connotational luggage which I'd rather be associated with him."

She smiled amicably, giving the door a soft tap to push it back into place.

"I hope I haven't come at a bad time. I mean to ask a few questions in regards to something I'm planning to organise in the near future.

Ever since you met James, has he ever celebrated his birthday with anyone?"

@Tenkai Matsumoto

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Posted (edited)

"Very well," he replied. Addison's statement about her married name certainly raised a few questions for Tenkai, but he figured all of it was none of his business right now. Especially when Addison had actual business with him.

Tenkai listened to her question and, combined with her statement about "planning to organize" something, he could vaguely see where this was going. But for now he didn't wish to make any assumptions, and only answered what she asked of him.

"Master Addison, I don't even celebrate my own birthday, let alone know about whether James celebrates his own."

It was true. Tenkai didn't celebrate his own birthday. He was a Buddhist, and a Buddhist monk at that. Birthdays were considered days of suffering, where their mothers endured great pain to give birth to them. Thoughts such as these were compounded further by the fact that his parents were killed not very long after his birth. This was not to say that the birth of a child was not something to celebrate, but certainly not a day to become attached to and celebrate excessively. Alternatively, they did celebrate the Buddha's birthday, which was known in the tradition Tenkai followed as Kanbutsu-e or Hanamatsuri, the Flower Festival.

There was a time as a child that he did celebrate his own birthday in the more conventional sense. Rather, it was those who had raised him over the course of his life when he was young who celebrated it, people who wished to give him some manner of joy to hold onto in what had started as a very tragic and fateful life. But this was something he was thankful for, and even after losing his eye there was still a part of him that remained thankful for it. Still, ever since that day, whatever small manner of celebration or acknowledgement he gave to the day of his own birth had been fully cast out of his mind, completely inconsequential in the cycle of life and death.

As for James, there was likely some similarity there. He was a man dedicated to his own cause, his chosen purpose in life. He probably had little time for birthdays even if he believed them to be something worth celebrating. It was also worth saying that Tenkai and James weren't exactly attached at the hip, either. They were allies with a common cause, and Tenkai would not be too opposed to calling him a "friend" despite his utter reluctance to even use such a word anymore with anyone. Beyond that, there was little much else between the two of them. If James ever did anything close to what would resemble relaxation or celebration, it certainly wasn't with Tenkai. The swordsman monk didn't even partake much in the Order's own after-battle celebrations, such as the one that followed the battle of Last Chance. 

For Tenkai, the only truth was that celebration with others bred attachment, and attachment invariably led to suffering. He had let others in before in the past, and each time it had only led to pain in the end. It was perhaps a far more darker view than what a Buddhist normally possessed, but the strongest views were those forged by experience.

"If anyone would know, I thought it would be you or Selene. Or perhaps Jin."

@Phoebe

Edited by Tenkai Matsumoto

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