Cerin Cerin set the broach, storing it in his pocket. "Before we leave the Chrysanthemum, Lucent, I would like to converse with you on a matter of some importance. If you would walk with me for a while until we reach somewhere appropriately private to talk."
Lucent leans against the Coronal-Mandala that carries the charred documents, trying to make sense out of one of them. A futile effort. He puts it back on the mandala with a sigh. "This place is deserted. Is this not privacy enough?"
Cerin Cerin shakes his head, "Deserted, but so open." He leads him back into the Chrysanthemum building, pressing on an unobtrusive section of wall which opens inwards and walking down a series of corridors of a brilliant blue jade, decorated with a fine tracery of orichalcum. The corridors are quite long, but they eventually open out into a small room which has a table and a couple of chairs within. "Please, take a seat," he gestures as (...)
Cerin he takes one himself.
Lucent watches Cerin suspiciously... but, nevertheless, takes his seat. "What IS it?"
Cerin smiles mysteriously and makes an obscure gesture, and then waits a few seconds. The Orichalcum grids on the walls suddenly start to scintillate and Lucent feels his essence being drained away, his charms locked out.
Lucent The Mandala breaks, the papers scatter on the ground, the Coronal's orbs rolling away as children's marbles unto the floor. Lucent's eyes widen, losing something terribly important, jumping up so the chair falls eyes wide and moving as far as he can from Cerin, "... what? CERIN?!?"
Cerin "Today, Lucent Copper Haze, I would like to talk of your assassination," he says, mildly.
Lucent "No..." Cold sweat running down his face Lucent runs towards the door, fast as he can!
Cerin The door is, of course, locked to maintain the field which denying Lucent his essence. Cerin still beats him to it, moving with what is obviously charm enhanced grace. "It is not me who will hold the knife in this plot and it is my ardent wish that it does not succeed," he says, still mild but perhaps a little more reassuring.
Lucent tries to slide back as he sees Cerin on his path, falling down and reaching to the first object he can use to force it or Cerin off, one of the Coronal's orbs, still a shimmering laticce of Essence even within the White Room. He grits his teeth and looks up at Cerin! "Oh? And who are you in bed with, then? Still working for Sarifen, now?"
Cerin "Lucent, calm yourself. If I wished you to be dead, I would now be devouring your soul. But what I am about to say requires privacy," he continues to speak calmly. "And there are few places more private than an essence null zone such as this room or our own White Room in the Cascade."
Lucent does not appear very reassured, "And that is precisely why I am trying to run." Many others might have wanted him alive, but he never knew, with Cerin, if his last breath could be his last. He got up slowly, Jupiter orb still in hand like a rock. "Assuming this is not a trap, what are you so scared of that you would need THIS much secrecy?"
Cerin "I give you my word that I did not bring you here to kill you and that you will walk out of that door unharmed by me at the end of our discussion," he says, formally. "But it is not so much that I am scared as that I am ... wary. Of the capabilities of my foes. And it is not simply my life that is at risk."
Lucent assents, still keeping his distance. In a moment he was farther away, the table between them. He set the orb down, attempting to stop shaking. "You should admit when you are, you know. Otherwise, it will be worse when you cannot deny it anymore. Trust me." The trembling stopped. "... who might those foes be?"
Cerin He shrugged easily. "They do not scare me. Some things do, but they do not. But tell me, does the name 'Broken Suns' mean anything to you?"
Lucent sits down and considers, calming. "Never so much as heard of them."
Cerin "They are a cult of no small numbers, apparently dedicated to our downfall. They operate in loosely organised cells, coordinated via prophetic dreams. In one month, they intend to tear apart the heart of Solaria."
Cerin "This will not be allowed to happen."
Lucent "Hmmm. And how is that related with you apparently orchestrating my assassination?"
Cerin "I wish to place either yourself, or someone played by you, in a position of vulnerabilily so as to distract several of the cells of the cult from attacking the citizenry and instead planning your demise."
Lucent "Oh, I see. Hmmmm." He considers, rolling the Orb over the table - Jupiter - back and forth, the shimmering essence casting light about them like water in a cave. "Of course it will be me, I will not put ANYONE else in danger if I can help it. If you could have warned me in advance, however, I could have infiltrated one of those cells..."
Cerin "It has been an effort of some weeks for my mortal agent to get where she is now. You would be missed if you and you alone vanished for that long. You are one of the more visible of us, after all."
Lucent "I am? Hmmmm." He patted the Orb, "In some ways, it was better when I was not in the Perfect Circle, just one of the many Sunchosen in the South."
Cerin "Just consider the Sunlands. Or Solaria, even. Do you really think you could vanish without creating a stir?"
Lucent considers. "Hmmm, it would need to have a visible, dramatic reason..."
Cerin "Perhaps a particularly bitter argument with Varanim?"
Lucent He stops rolling the orb, a sharp pause. "Well, me, and nim... it is... complicated."
Cerin "Is something the matter?" he enquired, concerned
Lucent turned the Secrets Orb to face him, seeing his reflection in it. "In that she is so... infuriating! She never hears a word I say. Always, always... damnit." A deep, long-suffering sigh, "What I am trying to say is, I do not think we need to ENGINEER an argument."
Cerin "I suppose not. You do seem to tear at each other quite a bit and push each other against a wall with some regularity. I suppose it would be quite believable you'd finally had enough for a while and wanted out."
Lucent freezes. A violent fiery blush creeps up at his face, perfectly still, not noticing the orb that begins to slide down the table and falls between his legs. Even in the White Room his body had been changed, infused with Essence, hard as IRON... but there were places where even the strongest man still hurts when punched by an infant. And a solid, heavy globe of Essence...
Lucent ... he doubles over the table "... ow..."
Cerin "Lucent, are you alright?" He sounds concerned.
Lucent lifts his face from the table "... just... hurt. And that... was only ONCE."
Cerin "The rumours of the cascade have such arguments happening a lot more than once."
Lucent "Rumors...?" Eyes widen, backing out on the chair, "No, no, that was just one time! Those are lies! We argue alot, but like that, it was just one time, it is not like it is going to happen again, it was a MISTAKE!"
Cerin "Like that?" a single eyebrow has been raised.
Lucent "Like... what you said, tearing clothes, pushing against the wall!"
Lucent looks quite desperate
Cerin "Oh, I am sorry," he says, quite apologetic. "I had gotten the impression your impassioned arguments were rather more common."
Lucent covers his face, breathes deep... and then gets up. "Wait, you are talking about arguments, right? Angry words? Insulting one another? And that is... it? Just that? Right?" He asks tentatively.
Cerin "Yes?" he seems rather puzzled.
Lucent sighs as if the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders. "Thank the sun." He straightened himself, still hurting so much between his legs, crouching to pick the Orb. "So, I will endeavor to leave the Sunlands in the most spetacular way possible. Anything else?"
Cerin "Well, not the Sunlands. You would merely have to move out of the Cascade. I would like to remain within Solaria so I do not have to monitor large plots in two cities."
Lucent "We should work some code." He says, color receeding from his face. "Some way you can communicate with me without the others knowing. Hmmm." He puts a hand to his chin, "Paintings. A series of them."
Cerin "Ah, that is easy enough. I can render myself unrecognisable. You will just have to look out for messages with the Night Seal."
Lucent "If you were afraid of them seeing you here, would those messages not be intercepted?"
Cerin "Those messages will be carried by myself. And there will not be many, nor require a lot of conversation."
Lucent "Very well, then, I will be sure to burn them soon afterwards." He nods. "Will they countain the plan? I imagine all I will have to do is survive the attempt on my life, and take down my assailants... I imagine, with your help, or that of concealed bodyguards you will place around me?"
Cerin "I shall endevour to be there to help, yes. Altough not knowing the specifics of their other plans, I can make no promises. One of my reasons for asking you to do this is just how very hard you are to kill."
Lucent grins at the Wolf, "Let us just hope they do not have the brilliant idea of throwing me in a White Room."