Lucent As Phoenix gets to Lucent's room... she sees lights, of many colors, shining down the door. And opening the room... she sees a crowd.
Lucent All the coronal, spread to the sides of the room, no light overpowering the other, turning the room into a kaleidoscope... where a calm Lucent berates an angry Lucent, where a Lucent with knives of sand and a grin mocks a general in a plate that is not gold, although Birds can't make out what it is, being iti s just... a phantom of light.
Lucent And others, young and old, lovers and children, and Lucent himself is knelt in the room, hands moving in and out of the ground, saluting the last remains of the sunset.
Phoenix stalks through the halls of the Manse in darkness, following the rush of flowing water and grumble of moving stone to where Lucent's apartments have settled. It takes a while, and a lot of chalk marks and hastily drawn wax sigils interrupting geomantic charms until the sweeping demons clean them away, but she eventually finds it.
Phoenix wanders into the room without greeting Lucent, and waits silently behind him until his prayers are finished.
Lucent The room has many little trinkets, but they do not seem southern. There is a little silver statue. A pendant, a memento of emerald and... some glass of twilight colors entwined. A rose colored in grass. Paintings in sand on his walls, depicting the sun, scorpions, and one, a myriad of caste marks of colors they should not be. And then Lucent finishes, saying a final prayer in Old Realm... and opening his eyes. "Phoenix?"
Lucent The room has many little trinkets, but they do not seem southern. There is a little silver statue. A pendant, a memento of emerald and... some glass of twilight colors entwined. A rose colored in grass. Paintings in sand on his walls, depicting the sun, scorpions, and one, a myriad of caste marks of colors they should not be.
Lucent And then Lucent finishes, saying a final prayer in Old Realm... and opening his eyes. "Phoenix?"
Phoenix "Hello, Lucent Copper Haze."
Lucent "How are you this..." He looks out of the window... "... evening?" Please... make yourself at home. As he says it, all the phantoms, and all of the light, quiets down, and the kaleidoscope becomes as just another room.
Phoenix "I am alive." Phoenix paces irritably. "I'm given to think that is the best I can expect under the circumstances."
Phoenix "I hope I did not interrupt your supplications."
Lucent "No, I had just finished with them. I hope... my room was not too strange a sight. I have been... communing with myself since that day. Trying to focus. To calm some emotions and rescue some pieces of myself. It can get quite... graphic." He nods, "But it is so I will never act with someone like I first acted with you."
Phoenix flinches a little at that "you." She studies Lucent for a moment, running her fingers through the curtains at the window. "You are very thoughtful, Lucent, but I hope that you are not performing penances on my account."
Golden Cat "I am performing penance on account of the world I endangered when I threatened you."
Phoenix , who has just been gazing out the window, turns on Lucent without warning. "You endangered WHAT when you threatened WHOM? I suppose that like all the others you think you are the axis of worlds and all things turn to please you, and your hand is like the hand of a God (she speaks the word with an array of reverent inflections), doing as you decided uninterfered-with by the actions of any other? I suppose you think tha
Phoenix I suppose you think that threatening me endangers me? I suppose you think that this matters to the world at large?"
Lucent watches Phoenix with widening eyes "..."
Phoenix grits her teeth and squeezes her eyes shut and takes a deep, slow breath.
Phoenix "Excuse me. I've been a little tense lately."
Lucent "... I can see why. I have come accross as rather selfish for you, I imagine."
Phoenix sits down on top of a chest of drawers and rests her head in her hands. "Whatever. It's not just you, and of course I don't -blame- you. You have your reasons and all."
Phoenix "But all of you - Zahara with her...pain... and Imrama's penetrating questions and Thirteen being so strange, it's exhausting."
Lucent "I imagine. You know, I was going to apologize to Birds about being so foward. But there is no one to apologize to now. I think I decided I had been wrong at the exact same time you rem... you were born."
Phoenix "I didn't blame you for that either, Luc. It's your way."
Phoenix "But you cannot simply ask Birds-of-Trinity a question, you know? It has -implications.-"
Lucent "I guess I never understood her... what do you think she felt, when I asked her that? You are... well, like her sister, at least, right? You probably understand her better than I do. Me... I think I liked her because I did not understand her."
Lucent "Or, to phrase it more directly, what sort of implications?"
Phoenix "It was a great honour and also something to be happy about for other reasons, but above all it was a QUESTION and to leave it unsettled...well, that was unsettling. To not have an answer for it."
Lucent "Birds did not deal with uncertainties very well?"
Phoenix plays with the one bead in her hair made of black, flawed crystal. "Well, at that time I was a searcher after answers, right? But there is no answer for love; it cannot be investigated or examined or dissected, and if it isn't clear then it is very very murky."
Lucent nods, thoughtfully, picking the pendant with the emerald and the twilight glass. "Yes, love... is a very strange thing. You cannot be analytical with it, you cannot be logic with it. It requires faith." He nods... "But... what does Phoenix of Ashes think of uncertainties?"
Phoenix "I don't know."
Phoenix thinks about this for a second and curls up laughing helplessly.
Lucent watches Phoenix, a little surprised... "... apparently, they are funny."
Phoenix recovers her poise. "Extremely."
Phoenix "Say, Lucent, have you been to the water pillar at night? I suppose you must have, since you live here and all that."
Lucent smiles. "You know, I was not being selfish when I said that. I am... well, I am playing a game. I have a plan. But for it to work... you have to be alive. Phoenix of Ashes should not die, if the book is to end like it has to. And... um? Water Pillar?"
Phoenix "You know, that big hole in the middle where the water comes out."
Lucent "Ooh. I thought... nevermind." He gets up, dismissing the thought. "No, I do not think I have. I have never explored the cascade too much... well, just the gardens, and setting up the shrine on the caves."
Phoenix looks at Luc with amused disappointment. "Then you and I have a trip to make. Let's go."
Lucent "Let us!" He offers her his hand... and walks out to the pillar!