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Subject Post 1Subject: Baths of Caracalla [Open] Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:46 pm
The Quincy Prodigy
Despite her youth, it seemed like such a long time since she had started her journey. The progress, both good and bad, had illuminated and shrouded in darkness the path she walked. Everything was much easier to understand, though that did not necessarily make it a good thing. She had met plenty of interesting people, strong, and not. The Quincy had faced off against some of the most powerful beings in creation, some of which had no equal save for a select one or two she was never bound to meet anyways. In the end, despite the power she possessed and the power she had grown around, her mind went back to one of her first official missions with the Vandenreich, and how time had done its duty in bringing light to concepts she had been blinded to in the past.
At the time, Gift was among the most powerful Quincy around. Of course, not many knew of his whereabouts, and half of her race thought him as dead; just as he had wanted. He had refused to lend a hand to the Quincy or anyone else for that matter. He had wanted to live alone, to be left alone, and to eventually die alone. It was a sentiment she couldn’t understand at the time, but now, now it was different. Her train of thought was temporarily put to rest as the piano began to play, a single harp stroked its cords, and an extremely large orchestra of violins, viola, and cello started off. Moments later, a pair of singers, a tenor and a soprano, projected their voices to commence the main event.
It was a very special and expensive concert held at the ancient Baths of Caracalla in Rome, Italy. The kind of music presented required a very particular acquired taste, and the ticket price required a lot of disposable income. The cheapest tickets started off at just over $2,000 and they sat the farthest away. For those sitting much closer to the front like Sofia, the ticketing price hovered at right around $10,000. While it wasn’t completely inaccessible, it was safe to assume those who attended had more than enough wealth to spend. Despite her own duties, the Quincy prodigy had continuously made an effort to find time for the things she enjoyed; lately, there were not many.
Back at the city of light, her latest position was one of power, and which inspired respect. She was the Sternritter Grandmaster. It required not just power but also a voice that could lead and lets echo be firm and provide sustenance for her people. That was it. Beyond that, the girl had grown a bit discontent with the current affair of the world. There wasn’t anything that could really surprise her anymore. The very few whose power could would likely not be met. The lofty goals the Quincy once had for were not as easily attained, and more like foolish dreams. The very best she could do was continue to do her job as best she could. The very best she could do was live her life until she died, and the world along with it.
As the concert continued, the girl toyed with the edges of her prized regalia ring. It was part of a Quincy’s power long forgotten. There were many things the Quincy and the world continued to be ignorant to, and it seemed like no one would miss them if they were truly forgotten to time. Taking a cup of champagne that was brought to her, the woman stood up and walked just past the edges of the outdoor seating area. The music could still be heard loudly there, a courtesy of the very best equipment money could buy. At almost every counter, and every area there were guards, all of which possessed semblance of spiritual energy, and a fair amount of strength. The night was calm. It was fun yet boring. With the death of the night came a morning Sofia didn’t much care to see rise. Could the same be said for things to come? Was hope truly cast away to be forgotten, and her will all but vanished? It seemed likely. For the time being she simply watched, and drank, and waited.
Subject Post 3Subject: Re: Baths of Caracalla [Open] Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:09 pm
Artist: Carrotwine - Song: Dark Side Of The Road
Happiness had a very distinct and unique nature in it of itself. It was both extremely simple, and a rather difficult concept to comprehend, both at the same time. To truly pursue and obtain happiness one eventually needed to come to the realization that they either had to do a lot or do nothing. To be happy meant to be content and to be at peace with one’s life. It meant being okay with where they had come from. It meant relishing in the moment because they couldn’t have it any other way. It meant walking blindly into the future because whatever step, be it forth or back, left or right, would lead them exactly where they needed to be: a better place than today. Simple.
There were only two kinds of people that ever got to such a point in their lives. Those who enjoyed the moment as they wished and let life and people pass them by, letting go of moments and memories they would have enjoyed. There were also those who lived for the moment and prepared for the future. Those that worked their butts off to make sure anything and everything was in prime position to work not just as intended, but even better. Sofia was such an individual at one point in her life. She was younger, and though it was only a year or two ago, it already felt like a milenia. Perhaps it had to do with her maturity, and how quickly it took her to understand largely pragmatic concepts compared to people who lived for eons only to begin to understand themselves. However, her whole world view would change in a hurry as she dove into the waters of life, soaked in its essence, and nearly drowned in its everlasting might.
The Quincy were dying. The times of power and conquest, of hope and future seemed to be far gone. Yhwach, Haschwalth, and the elite Sternritter of old were no more. Luna was reluctant to go back. Gift maintained his belief that they were not his people, and preferred to die alone, perpetually running from his problems; ignoring the fact that rather than becoming part of the solution, he was continuously choosing to be a part of the problem. Ghislain had run his course. Despite all his experience and potential he had distanced himself, lost his battle against Sofia and simply disappeared into nothing. The majority of the hierarchy of the Vandenreich was, put simply, pretty pitiful. Some of the Executives were gone or stepped down, like Misa. Others, like Ginryu, were so weak and so obviously detached from their people in regards to their participation that they might as well not be there at all. Some of the Captains, like Toshiko, had gone soft, no longer setting aside time to train and improve, instead settling for a life at home. A similar picture was painted all across the lower ranks as well. All hope wasn’t lost, but if there was ever a time her people were closest to extinction, the time was now.
That wasn’t to say Sofia was a role model to follow in regards of how to act in a leadership position. Not at all. Not anymore. At one point she might have thought about the possibility of challenging the Elect for the position. The evolution of her powers, and the path they could eventually follow seemed to be filled with hopes and dreams. But that was it, they were just hopes, and dreams. Words were beautiful, but they were empty and meaningless without action to push them forth, and proof to back up its claims as fact. For the time being, the Quincy was content in holding what shambles remained of the Quincy heritage intact. She had no problem admitting she was likely the strongest among her people for the time being, but that only made her guilt worse. The fact that she had power to be memorable in battle, but not enough to bring her people out the chasm of oblivion and into the light was one of the biggest and harshest blows she had ever been dealt.
No longer did she fault Niflheim for the way she chose to run things. At one point, the Quincy prodigy had grown angered at the way things were being conducted. It took her a while to realize the Elect wasn’t necessarily pushing for the same goal Sofia initially believed in. Triumphing over evil, defeating the Demons, reclaiming the Earth; sure, it was all good, important, and necessary. But before they could win the battle against the forces that plagued the earth, they needed to win the battle against the weaknesses that plagued their people. As it stood, the Elect was doing the same thing Sofia was. She was doing her best to keep her people stable, without fully going into extinction, and delaying the inevitable until she passed away, and passed the torch. And for the first time, Sofia wasn’t looking forward to it.
The thought of taking the torch did not inspire as much happiness and pride as perhaps it once did. It seemed troublesome and a huge burden to carry. In fact, she had come to care and sympathize Niflheim now a lot more, after truly coming to understand her situation a bit better. She just wanted to be happy. She wanted to live, and even if all the goals were not fulfilled, she wanted to die without seeing the Quincy come to their end. Perhaps those weren’t her exact thoughts, but if Sofia placed herself in her shoes, that would be her mentality. The problem was, the young prodigy would likely be the one to whom the burden would be levied to, and whom would have to fight to avoid the extinction of her race. Times were tough, and they were only going to get worse.
”Are those any more comfortable?”
Leaning against one of the columns, the girl would look back and up to Niflheim. It wasn’t exactly difficult to make out as she was the only one up there. The girl had purposely avoided going up there as she didn’t know if the Elect preferred to be left alone. Specially since Sofia had gone there for the very same reasons. Still, out of all people, the Elect was likely the one she wouldn’t mind seeing there at all. If Sofia was called over she’d certainly join her comrade. Sometimes the very best views, and the most natural forms of understanding came from above. And besides, the girl needed someone to talk to. And despite her years and her experience, there was a good chance Niflheim needed her as well.
Subject Post 5Subject: Re: Baths of Caracalla [Open] Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:00 pm
The Quincy Prodigy
She had to admit there was a lot to be desired in the way Niflheim spoke. Without mentioning it or delving too deeply into the details of why, it should’ve been obvious that it lacked professionalism, respect, and careful tact. It was no secret that the woman had been going through a difficult time, but that was no excuse. The world was on its proverbial end yet again as war came even closer. Their people were scattered around the world, what little did remain. Some didn’t even want to associate with the Vandenreich. It was in part due to all the Quincy had done throughout their past, and all that they were still failing to do. None of it would be brought up to her attention just yet however. Despite being nearly a millennium younger than her, the Quincy prodigy had one thing in spades: class.
“I have to admit, this is the last place I’d expect to see you at.”
“But I’ll take your lack of interest in my presence as simply the allure to the recital, it wouldn’t do well to dwell in how your behavior is showing you to be.”
There was no anger in her voice, but Sofia had no plans to be soft or meek with her words either. The girl had risen from the bottom all the way to the top. Despite her family’s centuries of involvement with the Vandenreich, she had long gone past them. Sofia had become the Captain of the Jagdarmee, a testament to her devotion to discipline, tradition, and the rules. Her work and experience led her to amount a number of feats in and out of the battlefield. She had battled and bested the former Emperor Ghislain and had even been instrumental in convincing him to rejoin their ranks. The girl had even faced up valiantly against the former leader of the Shinigami, and a beast from the Demons.
The young Quincy hadn’t stop just to take action with her blade however, but even with her words. Not long ago she had reached to a truly powerful force of her kind that bared a hatred for all that they were: Gift. The man had no intentions to ever return just yet. But, with her help, she had managed to shake his conscious mind enough to question himself and go down the right path. Anis, a Quincy thought lost and dead from her childhood, had been rescued, and her training planned to add her to their ranks. Even the folk hero known as Cyrus whose ideology was strong yet different to their own, had been contacted in efforts to reform and advanced the organization.
There was no doubt, in anyone’s mind that Sofia had been doing all she could, and more. Her duty to her people was as the Sternritter Grandmaster, but she had been much more than that for a long time. She didn’t have the title of leader, yet, but she had been behaving and acting unknowingly as if she was. The woman had led forces, increased the range and noteworthy of her kind, and made the most noticeable effort to reach out to those that had forsaken their name. Yet, strangely enough, Niflheim failed to acknowledge her work. She even failed to acknowledge her presence, essentially ignoring her for the sake of music. And while no one could claim to understand and value the art as much as the woman that was known as The Melody, Sofia would never do that to anyone; not to a coworker, and even less to a friend that did so much to their cause.
For quite a while, nearly a year back or so, there had been rumors that Sofia would challenge the Elect for her position, but that never happened. Why? It was simple. The woman certainly had the skill to do so, but more than that she had respect. She knew that at a certain time Niflheim had the mind and the time to do as she had, but that time had passed. Her friend could still be invaluable to their organization. Her years of experience could prove instrumental with advice for the newer generation. But Sofia needed her to see and know that the young woman was the right choice to lead, in part because she could do it well, but mostly because she had already been playing the part for a while. Like she said earlier, even the sky changes. It was long overdue for her to realize that change was needed long ago within their organization, and that the driving force for it was standing right in front of her.
Subject Post 7Subject: Re: Baths of Caracalla [Open] Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:19 pm
The Quincy Prodigy
As she listened to the conversation, Sofia couldn’t help but let her eyes gaze over her friend. It wasn’t in a sensual manner in the slightest, but more like how a loved one would see a family member. The two had never talked as much as perhaps they should. Neither of the two were the kind to go on long winded conversations, save for now. Each of them had a style that had served them well for the years they had been active. But, at certain times, the prodigy had no choice but to interrupt. Because as important as what was being said was, there were certain things that needed to be cleared up.
“Times never changed ma’am,” said Sofia as she slid down onto a sitting position. “You did.”
The way she said it, there was no insult meant or any demeaning tone that could be discerned. It was simply a point. It was true that Niflheim had changed, but for the context of the situation, that was neither bad nor good. It simply was. Change was a necessary aspect of creation, because otherwise everything was bound to death and to keep repeating itself until it didn’t. War was always the same. Different times brought different players, and perhaps slightly different practices. But in the grand scheme of things, most of the major and core elements of humanity, and of life and death had remained largely the same from the inception of creation, and into the proverbial penumbrae of the end of times.
Sofia could understand the difficulty and the pain within her friend, even if it wasn’t her own. The prodigy too had been forced to struggle to become what she was. Certainly, she didn’t wake up one day with the experience and the powers she possessed at such a young age. And most definitely she didn’t choose the life for herself as a child old enough to say a word or two. It was a life she was forced into, but that eventually she came to love and respect. Just like Niflheim, she had struggled, and clawed her way to the top, just like she had. Growing up part of her dream was to be stronger than the Sternritter of old, and for the most part she had. The other part of her wanted to lead her people into better times like no one ever had, and it looked like she was finally being able to do just that. The only thing she needed was the verbal, official blessing from the current elect to assume the position she was already fulfilling. But then her friend had to go and say something relatively stupid.
“No,” exclaimed Sofia before she backslapped Niflheim across the face with her gloved left hand. “You’re not dying anytime soon. You’re not allowed to.”
There wasn’t a tear, or even a sentimental clamor. It was said with utmost seriousness, and with a tone of voice that commanded respect. Sofia did care for her friend dearly, even if she had yet to have the chance to show it, though this was it. Her friend simply wouldn’t be allowed to die. She couldn’t. For as much as Niflheim had done for the Quincy, she hadn’t done enough; not yet. To simply drop down and die would be a disgrace on her name. She would die without knowing how her people moved forward. She would die without knowing the successes or failures of the one that succeeded her. She would die without knowing if all her efforts actually paid off, or if her long live was simply a waste of years, like the number of Quincy leaders that had simply been lost to time, and whose names very few remembered.
“You still have much to do with the Vandenreich. I don’t think you’re in the best position to lead, but allowing your existence to be removed now would be a deadly blow not just to us, but to your legacy. Allow me to continue where you left off. And I hope that my work, and my years, one day allow me to see a new generation, just like mine to today, who has the will and the skill to take up the mantle and continue on the legacy we have created. Allow me to pick up and move us on.”
Subject Post 9Subject: Re: Baths of Caracalla [Open] Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:14 pm
The Quincy Prodigy
She was upset. No. She was livid. Sofia wanted to summon all her strength and beat the elect to the ground. She wanted to grab her sword and carve her into little pieces, but none of those things would happen. Her anger was mainly directed at her inability to do more. The hug had been a surprise, and something she had sort of been hoping for, well, forever. Not being one to easily break the natural awkwardness of a serious situation turned friendly, Sofia wouldn’t say much more for now. Instead, she simply reciprocated the action. Her head was nestled into Niflheim bosom, as her friend’s head rested over hers. In a simple motion, the young woman would wrap her arms around her, one high and about her upper back, and one low in the space between the lower back and her butt. In that very same action, she tugged and pressed, the lack of words an unneeded translation as her actions of endearment spoke for themselves.
“If you really care about me, and about watching me grow and lead our people then fight. Don’t you dare leave me now.”
It just wasn’t fair. There were more battles that Sofia fought each and every day than could be recorded in data books or anecdotal experiences. She had fought for the right to bring respect for her family name, and she had. She had fought for the right to become the strongest Quincy, and she did that too. And now, as she essentially took on the reigns of the Vandenreich, the one person she wished would look over her and feel pride was on the brink of death. She wanted Niflheim to live. She wanted her to experience how much good she had done during her tenure. Sofia wanted her to feel that her choice was not only right, but necessary. If she had it her way, when Niflheim died, she would die knowing that the Quincy had done what they always should have. She couldn’t die any sooner. The moment she the young Quincy finally realized her friend loved her, and the moment she realized she was actually proud, was the same time she came to terms with the fact she’d lose her far too quickly.
“There is always a way. I can work something out. I know people that will help me. You’re far from being done in this world. And I need your input; I need you to see and be proud of what I do. I can’t lose someone I care about this quickly. You may have lived for a millennium, but I’ve only known you for about five years!”
Calming down some, the hug continued, though their position had shifted so they were both about eye level with each other. With an innocent and gentle motion, Sofia would bring her lips to one of Niflheim’s cheeks. The small peck might have been innocent, but it was full of kindness, and love. When she had first arrived at her location, she didn’t think all of this could have unfolded, but it had. It looked like in their conversation, the two had come to share and understand a couple simple but crucial facts. Sofia was ready to lead the Vandenreich, something the current elect would probably make official thereafter. But more importantly, the Nifheilm would need to fight to live to see her people and her choices pay off; only then would she earn the privilege to die not like other ex-leaders had, but as she deserved. Her legacy would live on with Sofia.