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Lucent The heat of the fire had dried their bodies, and Lucent was already mostly dressed. Time went by, talking on the cave, and he felt... calmer now. "Say, Zahara, that thing you did with Varanim, so she could aid in repairing Pluto... how did you do that?"

zahara stretches, looking up from her contemplation of the flickering flames, distant once again. "Ahh, that? It is something of a trick I learned." She launches into a digression on what happens when she uses her Essence towards the purpose of typical crafting, and how she could use such knowledge to impress the ability upon another soul for a time.

Lucent "Ooh." He nods intently, even though he understands so little of it. "And you think you could... do that to me?"

zahara "I could... when did you become interested in making things?"

Lucent "I thought I was always a creative person?" He gives a bit of an awkward smile. "Well... in fact, there is something I need to destroy about me. To change. To learn Spring's lessons better I will need to let go of older ones..." He looks at his palm, fingers opening and closing. "... and I want to set down what I knew. So it is not lost."

Lucent "My handwriting is terrible, however." He grins, "So I thought of sculpture."

zahara "Ah, Lucent the sculptor. I rather like that idea. What are you going to... destroy of yourself?"

Lucent "Swordfighting." He gets up, looking into the fire... "Helios was one of the Four Best Swordsmen in the South, you know. And on a time when there were hundreds of Celestials, that was an important distinction. Once, a Behemoth tracked us all down, and wished to have our skills..."

Lucent "It was the Red Mirage Style. I learned it as Adagio did." He smiles, vacant.

Lucent "It would be lost now..."

zahara "Is it so important to you, to be unlike Helios?" she asks quietly

zahara "Or is it just that you no longer want to be who you are now?"

Lucent "I could never be as good as Helios. It would be futile to try. He was a hero, after all." He smiles a bit sadly, "I am Lucent Copper Haze." He nods. "But no... my ability with a sword is just not in use with the Coronal, now. I used it to defend with it before making myself unbreakable... and now it has little use."

zahara "Of course you could be as good as Helios. What makes you think you are not a hero?"

Lucent "The fact that I can never remember what it was like to be him." He shrugs. "Zahara, with Cerin the Ebon Dragon had to... change his viewpoint in the world. Helios, however... he had to be broken. Erased. I remember things, but it is harder to feel for them, and what I feel for, it does not feel the same, after what they did to me... you have seen me before. And after."

zahara x1;ACTION frowns and moves closer to Lucent, taking his hand. She looks into his eyes, searching his face. "We can't go back to who we were, Lucent. None of us are the same as the people we were once. A millenium ago; an incarnation ago; a lifetime ago; even a year ago. But who we were... we were flawed then too, in different ways. We can't be who we were, but we can be who we are now." Her grip tightens on his hand as she speaks, trem

zahara trembling slightly.

Lucent holds her hand. "I... try. I still feel incomplete. This is why... if I can get rid of loose ends, if I try to be the best Lucent Copper Haze I can... maybe... maybe I will feel like a person again?"

zahara nods slowly, then half smiles. "At least you know what direction you're heading in. That's good."

Lucent looks into her eyes. "And do you?"

zahara 's eyes cloud, and she looks down at their joined hands. "Forward."

Lucent "You know we are all here with you." He joins his other hand with hers', closing his eyes... and all of their faces appear around her, the feel of his crystalline anima going through her almost like water, showing their friends, their faces, and many of him.

zahara looks up at the light, her eyes skipping from one face to the next. "Not everyone is still here."

Lucent The faces changed to faces she could not recognize. A boy with Helios' color, but visibly different, orange eyes and scar of brass with a Daiklave on his shoulder. A wicked girl of viridian hair. A man whose grin could only be the Mask of Winters'. An old man with a cape of the sky. A woman with viridian lips. A Fire-Aspected girl, so sweet, a burning flower on her hand. A woman of moth-wings and veils.

Lucent He brought her hand to his heart, and all those shapes flew there.

Lucent "Remember them. They will always be with you. All of them. You can never let go of their smiles."

zahara pulls her hands back and looks down at the fire again, silent and distant.

Lucent "Markuran. Birds. Your Family. Remember them." He nods. "And save those who still are here."

zahara "Why did he have to come back?" she murmurs, still staring unseeing.

Lucent "Charming bastards never quite go away. Written somewhere as a rule of existence, I think."

Lucent "Quen is unliving proof of that. I must say, from the little I have seen, that Rosada was not charming at all, however."

zahara laughs a little, looking up again. "Fucking rules of existence. Isn't it our job to change those?"

Lucent laughs with her. "Well, that IS why I intend to kill him again. Maybe you could hope Markuran is evil now? He WAS particularly avoidant when I talked about their mission..."

zahara tenses, a shiver running down her spine. "Once is quite enough for him to be evil in this particular lifetime."

Lucent puts a hand on her shoulder, sensing the shiver. "His evil?" He asks, "Did he... hurt you?"

zahara "He was working with Akuna, is that not enough?" Her answer is surprisingly harsh, though she does not raise her voice.

Lucent His hand shakes a little. "Did he... help Akuna? In what he did?"

zahara "He... was" She withdraws, "Siram."

Lucent "But it was still his face." He nods. "The Yozi liked to do that with me. Their faces."

zahara "Do you remember it still?"

Lucent "I try not to. But you can never let go of that, can you? All you can do is... move past."

zahara looks down at her hands, and in the firelight, the golden lines look red, liquid. Her own or someone else's... she can't tell.

Lucent "You HAVE to. You cannot let them have that victory. You have to look up at Akuna... and let him know that he could never break you. And even if he could, that you can piece yourself together." He smiles. "The Dreambreaker's dreams cannot be broken."

zahara "It was not the torture that broke me, Lucent..." She closes her eyes, "But that does not mean they did not succeed. And if they had not succeeded, it would have happened another way."

Lucent "What did?"

zahara "It was the... sacrifice that Cerin made for me."

Lucent "He came back from it. And so did you. We made sure that happenned."

Lucent "If you... if you do not piece yourself together, he will have done so in vain."

zahara looks out over the river, with a sigh, blinking at the change in light. "What good is a sacrifice if you come through it unscathed?"

Lucent touches her hair. "But you did not. You are different. The old Zahara Zhan is gone now... but a new one is blooming. Just make sure she is GREATER than before." He stops for a moment, then goes, "Can you give me that ability? There is something I would like to do for you, now...

Lucent "

zahara "The... oh... crafting?" She shakes her head a little, clearing her mind. "Just a moment." She closes her eyes and reaches back for Lucent's hand. When she can feel the warmth of his skin against hers, she opens a tiny portion of her soul, and the knowlege ripples through her Essence, melting into his.

Lucent feels it... a moment of revelation. In his eyes, techniques appear, the origin of all things, his eyes breaking... and re-piecing themselves again. His self breaking, and mended in but a moment. "This is just... so..."

zahara "I suppose this makes you my new apprentice, hmm?"

Lucent smiles as his eyes finish rebuilding themselves, and he puts his knowledge to test, "Oh yes, teacher. But since I forgot an apple, here is another gift." And thus, he holds her hair and begins braiding it, "A new look for a new Dreamweaver~."

zahara "Are you...?" she sighs softly, and closes her eyes. "I'll be grading you on this later," she says sternly.

Lucent pulls her down softly, so they can sit down over the rocks, in front of the fire, as he works on her hair. Braiding such a smooth dark blue. "Is the grade based on the size of Cerin's smile?"

zahara lets herself be pulled down onto the rocks, letting herself relax again, though she unconsciously rubs the tattoo on her middle finger. She smiles at his question. "Of course."

Lucent "Well, then, Empress... let us make you perfect."

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