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Cerin After searching the manse for Cerin, Lucent comes to the conclusion that if he is anywhere within the Labyrinth Cascade, he is in his own chambers towards the lower levels of the manse, and when he knocks on the door, Cerin does answer him. "Yes, come in Luc." The door is opened to reveal a quite large study, Cerin sitting at the desk, several piles of papers stacked on the desk. Apart from the desk, there are a couple of (...)

Cerin bookshelves in the room, though these, rather than being filled with books, have all manner of strange things on them, including obsidean black claws, what appears to be a large seed, a tank filled with a couple of strange, pulsing spheres, an orichalcum box rimmed with ice and a tiger's claw made of fire. Tacked up to a large board appears to be an exceedingly complicated drawing, entitled "Atomnos, A study of Primordial (...)

Cerin Anatomy"

Lucent walks in, watching the drawing of Atomnos, admiring the rest of the room...

Lucent "Interesting room. Wish I had been here before."

Cerin "I keep a few things here." He shrugs. "Please, sit though." He gestures to the chairs.

Lucent reaches out to touch the black claws... "I will. Hmmm, what are those?"

Cerin "They are the claws of a type of hundredfold we encountered in the Orichalcum Mine as we were opening it up."

Lucent "Ah, Hundredfold." He pings it, trying to see what sound it makes... "What are all of those? Trophies?"

Lucent "Or," he points at Atomnos' map

Lucent seems downright composed, compared to what he was the last time Cerin had seen him...

Cerin "Trophies and trinkets and things of interest."

Lucent "Ah..." He pings the claw again, listening to the crystalline sound...

Lucent ... before he turns to Cerin, his mien blank, unreadable. "Why?"

Cerin eyes Luc a little oddly, not exactly used to this behavior, and not good enough to read him. "Because." He shrugs. "I have kept trophies since I learned to hunt."

Lucent "No." He shakes his head, "Sorry, I should have been less vague."

Lucent "Why learn how to hunt? Why do you do what you do?"

Cerin "I learned to hunt because that is what everyone in my village did. Then I went away to Great Forks, and there I learned to be a scholar and a thaumaturgist. And then I returned to my village and found that the god had slain them, so I learned to hunt gods. And so I Exalted, and so I learned to be a better hunter, a better occultist."

Lucent "So you are who you are... because a god killed those you loved?"

Cerin "I think that is a rather simplistic way to look at it. My life is not defined by their deaths. It defined my first hunt as a Solar, but beyond that, I do not think so."

Lucent "And even if you found that they deserved their deaths, and that they plotted your own in their place, what would it change?"

Cerin "Then I would have killed them myself, I would probably have not killed the god."

Lucent "What if you found about it now, not then?"

Cerin "Then they would still be dead, and I would not let it trouble me. If their ghosts still wished to plot, when I discovered this, I would eat them."

Lucent "Like that? Don't you... I don't know... believe in something? Isn't there anything that makes the world make SENSE for you?" He finally sits down, "The world making sense is the reason I did what I did."

Cerin "I believe in my own excellence. I believe in Zahara. I believe in you and the others of Circle. The world, by and large, does make sense to me. Those things that do not, I investigate, and then I know. Why, does the world no longer make sense to you?"

Lucent "We used to have a right. A duty. Appointed protectors of heaven."

Lucent "What are we now?"

Lucent "Criminals? Tyrants? Usurpers among usurpers?"

Cerin "We are the rulers of Meru. If not by the Sun's Eddict, then by skill and might."

Lucent "I see. And that is what you think it means, to be... like us? What do you think this means, Cerin? What is being a Chosen of the Sun, for you?"

Cerin "It means that I am the best." He says simply. "That I can excell in any field I choose to take an interest in, and achieve power and insight exceeding that of all but my peers, other chosen of the sun. That I have a great deal of power and that it is my choice of how to use it. That is what being a solar is."

Lucent "The best. The greatest paintings. The greatest poetry. The greatest songs, and the greatest government. The greatest arts, the greatest cities. We are the best and brightest of the world. We are all Humanity, the world's children, should aspire to be. We protect them, and show them all they can be. Do you believe that as well, then?"

Cerin "Yes. I believe it is better to build up than tear down, at least until there is something I wish to see destroyed." He shrugs "Though I very rarely devote specific thought to the vast masses of humanity."

Lucent "Then WHY THE FUCK" He whirls about, backhanding the board with the study of Atomnos, sending it crashing down with a thunderous sound, "Are you wasting your time with THAT?"

Lucent raised his voice like Cerin had never seen before, like he only had with Thirteen and Selonis. Face flashing red in anger, caste mark burning on his forehead. It was safe to say he was /quite angry. Which would come as no surprise to Cerin considering what he is going through... if anything/ would come as a surprise to Cerin!

Cerin "I will thank you kindly not to destroy the things that I work on, Lucent Copper Haze." Cerin says, in a very calm voice. "I would ask that you treat such things with the same respect that you would wish for me to treat with Amika or the Kashaen. I am 'wasting my time with that', as you so disparagingly put it, because I wish to know all that this world has to offer. I wish to understand the functioning of those who created it. I (...)

Cerin wish to know how they work, and how they might be killed and perhaps how I might take aspects of their construction and use it in the wider context of my work."

Lucent "Haven't you heard of our talk with Selonis? Haven't you been LISTENING? Those like us... they are being darkened. Lai's... THINGS... might be made out of them. You study essence. You study Exaltation. You HAD to know it!" He jams his finger in front of Cerin accusingly. "And YOU. DID. NOTHING."

Cerin "That specific aspect of the conversation had not been discussed with me, but yes, I have known that the dark exalted were our twisted mirrors for some time. That the god exalted were also made, in part, from our shards was not something that I was aware of, nor that my studies have revealed, and believe me, I have studied them very, very closely. As for what to do. Would you rather I freed one dark exalt, or stopped the South and (...)

Cerin all its people from being destroyed by the Shadowed Unlife Equation? Would you prefer that I stayed my bow when fighting the God Exalts and allow them to destroy a village with weapons that ate the villagers souls? Would you have me study solar sparks in all their myriad complexities without studying other complex beings of essence such as primordials? Do you wish your dark solars saved luc? or will you reduce me to gross (...)

Cerin experimentation on their structure to determine how best to restore them?"

Lucent "We don't know for sure. But Lai certainly has some... Selonis was silent, he seems to always be when it's important... and... and we must do SOMETHING! You have to do SOMETHING. It is greatness like OURS'! You love Zee, imagine, it is the potential for her greatness, broken, darkened... if it is gone... THAT is our priority, or we will just save a world that is worse than it was!"

Lucent "That CAN'T be what we are here for!"

Cerin "Lucent, are you listening to what I am saying? Do you wish for your dark solars to be saved? Or do you wish me to bumble around in the dark trying to do so?" He regards the boy for a while. "Solar shards are fantastically durable and fantastically complex and right now, I could not even tell you how to unmake one, and I assure you that is a far simpler task than reformating one to the light. To understand them, I will need to study (...)

Cerin them, free of the soul, for they set up an incrediably complex web of essence within there, that is unique to both shard and soul. I do not have that large group of shards to study Lucent. What I have are other complex structures of essence. Sorcery. Demons. Malakim. Dragons. Primordials. Quite excepting the fact that you cannot save them yet, would you have us make war upon them and the lily at once, for I find it unlikely they (...)

Cerin will willingly submit to such studies. While they would be ferocious allies, right now they comprise a threat best left alone until we have both a solution and time to enact it."

Lucent "But... it cannot be just that! There must be something we can do! Anything! We... if it is so complex, maybe some of them are still whole, still normal, we could... we could..." He stops, "The Lily. We have to find out that. I..." He looks to Cerin's eyes, his own streaming with tears... "Promise me? You are the one to do that. Promise me to find out? If they re there? If it is them, with Lai? Please?"

Cerin "I assure you, Lucent Copper Haze, that if Lai Misuna has been destroying Solar Shards to fuel his war upon us then it will be added to the many and multitudinous reasons that he has to die, and that you will be told about it."

Lucent "No... no..." He shakes his head, closing his eyes, trying to dry the tears. "I... I have to leave, Cerin. I can't.... I cannot do anything as I am. But someone has to pursue that. You have to find this out. I won't be here, I will not... be able to do it. I'm pleading you, Cerin..."

Cerin "You will still be told Lucent. I said that I would find it out. If you are not here, then I will have to find you first."

Lucent "I do not have to know! You need to know if they are there or not. If they are, they need to be solved... is all. It is not for ME, Cerin! I'm not asking because I am curious. I am pleading because it should be a priority!"

Cerin "Lucent, I do not understand people as surely as Zahara does so I may well be mistaken, but this is something that you need to know as surely as you need the Kashaen. You might deny it but you feel deeply for all of our shards, your reaction here proves it. So calm yourself, it will be discovered."

Lucent Cerin was so calm, there is nothing else Lucent could do, but calm down himself...

Lucent "Please. You don't have to mean it. I just need you to promise."

Lucent "Ymir could not fail. If you promise, even half-heartedly..."

Cerin "How many times must I tell you lucent that it will be discovered? That I will discover it? Listen to the words with which I speak to you."

Lucent "Why won't you promise...?"

Cerin "Because I have said I will do so! What further word would you demand from me, Lucent Copper Haze? Must I write us out an elaborate contract in the way of common merchants, or will you accept my words saying that I will find out?"

Lucent "No. You just need to promise. Because when someone promises... we know they mean it."

Cerin "Leave."

Lucent "Then you do not." He dries his tears and turns around. "And that is another thing I will have to do by myself, then." With that, he turns around... and does just what Cerin asked him.

Cerin "Lucent Copper Haze, you are a fool if you believe that."

Tags: (:tags Hundredfold, Atomnos, Selonis, Sol Invictus, Abyssals :)

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