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Messages - Xiaodan Tachibana

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1
Market District / Stillness and Grace
« on: Jul 11, 2018, 04:27 PM »
Xiaodan nodded slightly as she listened, considering what Haku had said about that. Lucius wasn't so bad, it was Marcus. The names only meant a very small amount to her, if she was being honest. She hadn't been paying enough attention to really absorb much about them, because she hadn't really intended to stay here, originally. Ah, so there was that. But it was still interesting that there might be such a sharp discrepancy within a single house. Then again, sons did not always follow in their father's footsteps.

"Mm. Well I'm not sure what the market thinks is necessarily... trust worthy." This was Dalmasca and it was possible he was popular with a certain number of them. ... It was also possible that those people were not good people either, or the fact could be that he was popular only in the sense that he was well known. "... Though, if memory serves they're an extremely rich family so... it's possible they are popular in the market." Markets tended to like people who could give them money after all? Hm. Something to think about.

Xiaodan nodded. "Good to know." Building she should probably not enter, that one. Just because she didn't really know her way around a blood stable, and it was probably better not to go in unprepared. She wasn't much of a fighter herself and she was small and theoretically fragile. She didn't want to end up backed into a corner by someone who could break her in half if they got their hands on her. ... It was surprising though that the doors were open to it. Maybe it shouldn't have been given they were apparently also house guards but... still.

"I'll follow your lead." Of course she would, it wasn't like Xiaodan knew her way around the grounds. Ah, but the confirmation that she wasn't going to get left behind because she got distracted might be nice.

The grounds were pretty, Xiaodan decided. Anyway.

2
Market District / Stillness and Grace
« on: Jul 05, 2018, 12:10 PM »
"Oh I agree." Xiaodan shrugged slightly. Maybe it did mean something else, maybe it didn't. Without asking, it was a bit hard to imagine that they would ever really get an answer. Then again, Dalmasca was something of an explosion waiting to be set off, Xiaodan was sort of coming to really understand that. She'd spent long enough mostly away from people here that she'd only sort of noticed it but... she had here and there. But... well. Xiaodan still didn't entirely intend to stay here forever. Just long enough to make sure the woman was cared for - Unless Haku had other reasons to be here. Then she supposed they'd stay until that was taken care of, too.

Xiaodan patted Xiaomei lightly while Haku freed the mare. "An outsiders view can provide interesting insights to the way things move." Xiaodan offered mildly. Sure, there were things he didn't know, things he hadn't seen or maybe didn't understand because he wasn't deep enough in their culture. But his observations were interesting, and Xiaodan did find them to be useful as she steeled herself to properly deal with the nobility of this place. It was always a little difficult, dealing with nobles. Even if this head of house was female, she wondered how easy this conversation would really be. Ah, and of course the bonus of having to decide what was wise to tell her, exactly.

Xiaodan wasn't really sure still. But... she'd figure it out.

"Well... I can see why. If you've been warned away from them more than once..." That probably said a lot about them. She shook her head. "I'll keep that in mind too." Stay away from the eagle house. She could probably manage that. Chances were she wouldn't approach without Haku anyway, so there was that.

Xiaodan followed behind him, giving the horse a reasonable amount of clearance to one side.

3
Market District / Stillness and Grace
« on: Jul 01, 2018, 10:39 AM »
Friendly blood fighters. Now that sounded strange, and her expression probably said as much. To be fair about it, they were people too, so it made sense that they'd have different personalities. But it seemed odd that someone who was extremely friendly had been pushed into a position where they fought for their lives all the time. But then, she hadn't ever entirely been able to get behind the whole... blood fighter thing. That was probably part of it.

Snake brand on his back... She sort of shrugged. "Maybe different trainers put it in other places?" But the back seemed like an odd place for it, to be fair. Admittedly it was plenty visible regardless, given what blood fighters tended to wear. So perhaps it didn't matter that his was on his back instead of his wrist.

The idea of this woman being a trainer was even stranger than her being head of house. "That's rather impressive." Was what Xiaodan said instead, thoughtfully. "Some of them are nice, I'm sure." Yes, she was. She was also sure that there were not so nice things that were different about the two. "I'm glad that your time here hasn't been as trying as it could be." Xiaodan really was pleased by that.

"This Livia sounds like a very interesting lady." Xiaodan looked forward to meeting her, though she was also a little nervous.

4
House Essair / Listen to the Earth
« on: Jun 23, 2018, 04:17 PM »
Was it for the best? She didn't comment on that, her gaze remaining on some of the decorative plants to one side. Brown eyes were quiet, and the soothing aura hadn't really faded much. Sometimes it was easier to rest in silence though. "If you go to the infirmary Merenwen can probably get the rest of those out." She advised mildly. And, she might be able to give him something for the discomfort as well. It was safer to say that than to display magic before him.

She inclined her head slightly, peaceably. Xiaodan didn't ask what he'd been seeking. It wasn't her concern, really. Though, she was curious what he'd really gotten to see while standing there picking thorns out of his skin. Move on. It was an odd way of wording that.

Then again, Dalmascan words still felt strange on her tongue, it was possible she was just not understanding it exactly the way he had meant it to be.

"It was a pleasure meeting you as well, Zhihao." Her attention had returned to him mostly, instead of remaining on the plants then. It was polite when addressing someone.

5
Market District / Stillness and Grace
« on: Jun 22, 2018, 12:16 PM »
Xiaodan inclined her head slightly. That was true, those were two very different things, and one being true did not make the next one any more likely. Haku knew this woman better than she did, but that didn't entirely make up for it. He didn't know if it was likely either, which meant something like going out on a limb to find out how well this was going to work. It was risky, but not so much as it could have been, she supposed.

A woman. That didn't really make any difference towards whether she would be helpful or not, Xiaodan knew. It was odd to think of a woman in power though, even though this was not Jihon. "We'll see, I suppose. I wouldn't want to cause unnecessary trouble." No, and it was possible a house led by a woman was in an uncomfortable position here, all things considered. Xiao would try not to do that, but on the other hand, this woman and her house may be the only chance for help they had.

It was uncomfortable, the not really knowing part of all this.

She nodded. That was good at least. "Ah, you're right. Let's not leave the poor girl by herself here." Almost amused, but not quite. It would be nice to see the mare again. ... Was she? Well, her empathy could give her a bit of an advantage.

But what she wasn't sure of was how to broach the subject with the woman in question. She supposed she would wait and see how things were presented and go from there. Ah. "... That..." Sounded incredibly dangerous. Xiaodan didn't say that. "Well, she puts an awful lot of trust in them." That was only marginally better, but she was taken rather off-guard by the statement.

"I appreciate the warning." Because that may have been somewhat jarring to find out in the moment.

6
House Essair / Listen to the Earth
« on: Jun 20, 2018, 06:01 PM »
"Yes. If you stay in your comfort zone forever you won't learn Zhihao. It's not even about trusting people at that point, it's about learning about the world." Xiaodan didn't think he was far off of her age, but she had already been married, had experienced the loss of a child. Had run from her homeland to find some measure of safety for herself knowing she could never go home. Maybe he had done those things too, but for him to clearly not understand the point she was trying to make, it made it difficult for Xiaodan to believe he was as world-wise as he should have been for someone who... if her memory was correct, was supposed to be the heir of a noble house.

She didn't say that. Her opinion didn't matter, she reminded herself carefully. "But I also didn't say it was easy." After a moment. "Nothing worth doing ever is, is it?" Xiaodan didn't really think so. Yes, there were risks to making friends, there were risks to just living. Making friends with the people he was sharing a house with was hardly so much of a risk as leaving his homeland completely alone had been.  He was already living with the people here, he might as well start by making friends here, right? Within the walls he'd already accepted as sanctuary enough to sleep.

Xiaodan shook her head slightly. "Forget I said anything. I speak above my place." Haku tolerated such things, but it was not wanted by most, and she should know better than that.

She looked away from him for a moment. Somewhat at a loss for where to guide the conversation. But perhaps it did not need to be guided anywhere.

7
House Essair / Listen to the Earth
« on: Jun 19, 2018, 09:45 PM »
"I suppose he is." He was young, Xiaodan could agree. But this was Dalmasca and perhaps things were different here. Certainly he was doing a good job leading for one so young. She could not find fault with that - nor did she care to. It wasn't her place - he was helpful and very kind. He had saved lives and seemed to have united families in his home. "But I imagine something happened to cause it." Who knew what, but if he was the eldest and his father died then that would do it.

That was not something that fault could be found in. At least, Xiaodan didn't feel it was. Ah, but no one asked her, she was just a girl, after all.

"Well sometimes one must take a risk." Finally. "It is dangerous to make friends, even in Jihon." She said after a moment or two. "To befriend someone is to let them close enough to hurt you, though you must trust them not to. But, Zhihao, if you do not take risks, you do not grow."

Growth only came from stepping outside of one's comfort zone. It wasn't comfortable, but growing never was. "You must ask yourself which is more important, staying safe but stagnant, or taking risks and growing into the person you were meant to be."

8
House Essair / Listen to the Earth
« on: Jun 17, 2018, 01:49 PM »
A slight nod in affirmation. ... She wondered what he had thought she was, but Xiaodan supposed anything was possible. It didn't really matter, she supposed if she'd had to have another husband, someone like Haku would have been nice. Provided, of course, they didn't remind her so much of her brother that she had a difficult time taking them seriously. That wasn't the point.

She could sense something deep inside him, empathy left many bare to her. She tried not to press with it, tried not to learn more than someone observant might. But his emotions were strong enough they were practically being shoved down her throat, despite his seemingly calm demeanor. Xiaodan wondered, idly, what it was that drove him so deeply. She wouldn't ask, she wouldn't press. Instead the young woman focused on a soothing tendril of calm, and extended it in hopes of calming something of his storm.

Mistrust danced in her gaze for a heartbeat before fading behind serenity. "So it would seem." She said finally. Allowing that was almost risky, she didn't know his circumstances, but then neither did he know hers. Unfortunately... Xiaodan did not know what had been said in the wake of her husband's death. She did not know how far the knowledge had spread nor what was spread about it. She would just... hope. That was the best she could do. And be ready in case he turned upon her.

"It does take some getting used to." She admitted mildly. "But Kassandros is a gracious host." So far he had been, at least. "Mm. Not really." She hadn't tried. For a moment she thought of the Ilim but... no. Xiaodan didn't think she could call him a friend yet, they had only met once. She hoped he was okay out there, somewhere.

[if anything in this bothers you pls lemme know!]

9
House Essair / Listen to the Earth
« on: Jun 16, 2018, 10:34 AM »
A slight little inward wince. "Yes, Haku is my brother." She said after a moment of debating to make sure there was nothing particularly harmful in that statement. It'd be fine, as long as she didn't share her magic. And yet, here in Dalmasca, eventually her magic would be shown. If he was staying here, eventually he would hear of her careful empathy lessons, or of the fact that she herself was learning to handle her magic better.

There were so many mages in the house, he would almost have to come to terms with it eventually. That did not mean she wanted to be alone with him while he did so. House Zhu was formidable, and she did not know much about Zhihao in particular.

On.. accident. She didn't ask.

"Master Essair has been kind enough to allow me access to supplies to help heal a friend." That was a vast over simplification but it was more than he needed, all at the same time. "As for what brought me to Nydema... it's a little complicated." And she wasn't sure she was willing to share that with him just yet.

10
Market District / Stillness and Grace
« on: Jun 14, 2018, 07:14 PM »
Xiaodan was listening. And what Haku said made sense - it came back to the fact that nothing happened by chance. There was always a reason, even the smallest action had a goal that needed to be completed. Everything was important in the end. Still, mortals did not always know what the end goal was, and sometimes it seemed that their best idea of it was far, far from the truth. Still, Xiao didn't have any better ideas than what Haku offered.

"Maybe." Xiaodan allowed after a moment. "It's... awfully risky without knowing who or what wants this woman dead." And a random name without a family name would be potentially difficult to just drop and see what this... Livia thought. Miss. A woman then? Xiaodan had questions but she didn't ask them, her expression thoughtful.

"I'm not sure we have a choice but to take the risk though." No, she wasn't sure of that at all. There wasn't enough time, if they were going to save her. And if Haku had been lead to this place to there had to be a reason. Could it possibly be the woman or did Kirinyaga merely want to reunite them? That was hard to say, because either one was possible. But then... if he did know someone who could help save the woman, maybe it was both.

Well, that wasn't exactly accurate. They had a choice - but the choice boiled down to essentially letting her die or taking a risk to try and save her. There were always choices, and one had to make those that they could live with.

"Perhaps we should meet this Livia before we go to the woman." Xiaodan said after a moment. "If only so we know our next course of action." It was probably better than taking the time to show Haku the woman and where she'd been staying when he wanted to show her to Livia to see if Livia could help at all, or knew someone who could. Because, of course, time was of the essence.

And it would be better to have the choice of whether to show the woman - or whatever help she offered - the place or not depending on how the meeting went.

11
House Essair / Listen to the Earth
« on: Jun 14, 2018, 06:37 PM »
"Well I figured." She was frowning a hair, attention on the scratches on his arm. Xiaodan almost itched to try and heal them, simply because they looked painful and she knew she could. On the other hand, he was still familiar and the only people who should be particularly familiar were Jihonese, and uh, well. They didn't tend to take magic very well, so probably she should keep her hands to herself. Yeah, that was a better idea.

"I'm sorry though, because that looked painful." It did. If nothing else he should probably get those cleaned up but she didn't say that either. He would... probably know that.

And then he introduced himself, and suddenly she knew who she was talking to. Yes, she should keep her magic to herself indeed. Xiaodan's gaze lowered from his face almost immediately, lingering near the ground as was appropriate. "I'm Xiaodan." A pause, for a heartbeat. "Ah, Tachibana." Better to give him her birth house than her husband's name. At least her brother Haku was here and would support her using the name if it came down to it.

When she introduced herself, she dipped her head and shoulders more deeply before straightening up. Her gaze stayed lowered, but she was sort-of watching him through her eyelashes. "I can't say I was expecting to see you here." House Zhu... hm.

12
House Essair / Listen to the Earth
« on: Jun 13, 2018, 11:17 AM »
At some point after her senses had gone somewhat on alert, she had stopped humming so that she could hear better. Xiaodan thought for a moment that whoever it was had decided to go elsewhere. The girl had started to close her eyes again, and then the sound of someone colliding with a bush jarred her into paying attention again. This time the young woman rose from her place and began to move towards where she'd heard the sound.

After a moment, she stopped cocking her head slightly to one side as she regarded him for a moment in quiet - not entirely sure what to make of the scene before her. Her arms were crossed close to her body, probably making her seem even smaller than she was. Certainly Xiaodan wasn't an imposing sort, and her expression held a friendliness in its expression.

"Are you okay?" She asked him after only a moment of assessment. His emotions didn't seem to indicate he meant any harm, of course. And then there was the fact that the girl was sure she'd seen him here and there at mealtimes. Yes, she thought this one was one of the guests of the house, though admittedly Xiaodan didn't really know his name immediately. She should have, she thought, but it was escaping her.

13
House Essair / Listen to the Earth
« on: Jun 11, 2018, 01:56 PM »
Three empaths with no training. She had had a lot handed to her at once, but it was worth it, to have the help healing the woman, it was worth it to reunite her with her remaining family members. Xiaodan didn't mind - and the chance to learn more about her magic and how it could be used was invaluable, if terrifying on its own. It had been a few days, and where she'd started with all three of them was figuring out what they could sense and if they could identify what it was. From there, figuring out if they could tell who it was.

She'd been reunited with her brother, and Xiaodan was happy about that, genuinely. She still wished he didn't know the truth. If he could play ignorant it would probably be safer but well. It was not to be, she supposed.

It was early, perhaps two hours after dawn or so. She was sitting in the garden off to one side. Xiaodan was trying to be out of the way, but she'd wanted a few moments of peace before she went back to teaching or... healing or practicing her own magic. Just  moment to breathe and take in the morning air.

The young woman had started humming under her breath at some point, with her eyes closed. But it was in that relaxed state that she thought for a moment that she sensed someone coming, so of course, dark eyes opened and she half turned to face the direction she thought they were coming from. It was possible they'd go somewhere else though, she knew that. Still, Xiaodan was just a bit too much on edge to want to be caught entirely off guard. Assassins, they did happen on rare occasion - though they didn't usually get as far as the garden.

@Zozma When you're ready~. Let me know if you need anything changed.

14
Commons' Residences / I've been living in the darkness
« on: Jun 10, 2018, 06:50 PM »
Well, she didn't mind crowds exactly. But she was tired just now, and not really up to trying to get what she needed from someone who was in no way on her side. That wasn't something to do while exhausted honestly - there was too much risk of being tricked into sharing more than was safe for strangers to know. So... she'd rather rest first and go when she was working at full capacity instead of exhaustedly hearing things that weren't even there.

"You're probably right." Xiaodan murmured.

On the other hand, she found herself more nervous then than she had been since he first entered her sheltered space. If he was going to do her harm, it would be while he thought she was harmless - while she was sleeping or something like that. On the other hand, he'd offered to help healing a woman he didn't even know.

Xiaodan took a moment to rebandage the wound, not wanting to leave it open to air or insects while it wasn't being carefully monitored. Some bugs that were drawn to such wounds could carry even more illness with them. Once that was done, she settled down a little bit away from the both.

15
Commons' Residences / I've been living in the darkness
« on: Jun 07, 2018, 08:19 PM »
Mm. Xiaodan nodded slightly. There were circumstances which made that statement true. She felt bad, in a sense, that he had to live that way. She wasn't sure how to put that into words in a way that made sense. And she wasn't sure if it would be offensive if she managed to do so. Being mindful of that, Xiaodan merely kept that to herself. It was better than phrasing it badly and having it come off rudely.

"I know it doesn't look good. I just... I couldn't leave her like that. I had to try." It was difficult to put that into words too. The feeling of absolute certainty that she had to do something, even if it seemed like it would be an impossible task. She had to try, she had to do her best. Atonement, perhaps. A life for a life. One destroyed, one saved. It wouldn't balance things, she'd still pay for her crimes one day. But she'd had to try.  But the only other way she could explain it would involve explaining why she felt the need to balance things, so she left it there.

Telling someone she just met that her sorcery was perhaps only minimally controlled seemed like a terrible idea.

"I had a little vinegar before. I'll need to get more." Vinegar, and maybe honey. "But it'll have to wait until I can go to market tomorrow and blend in with the crowds at least a little." It was unfortunate, but it was what it was. "I was using magic to help, too." It wasn't enough though, and him saying that only confirmed what she'd been afraid of earlier.

She'd have to get more bandages tomorrow anyway, so, those could be added to the list.

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