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 Thoughts and Prayers [Cyrus]

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Subject Post 1PostSubject: Thoughts and Prayers [Cyrus]   Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:02 pm








The Melody

Artist: Carrotwine - Song: Dark Side Of The Road


It was no secret that the Quincy kind was yet again on its proverbial decline. For one reason or another, the race experienced a form of near extinction at least once or twice every millennium. This time however it didn’t stem out of the genocide committed against her people, or even one they had chosen to orchestrate themselves. Instead, the race was simply dying off as other prominent race took the lead, and as ideas once thought to be tradition were replaced by ones of a much looser and unrestrictive kind. Even today, there was a certain level of negativity that surrounded the faction of the Vandenreich. Despite their efforts, the stigma of their past continued to work against them, making people feel uneasy, and casting doubt on those who fell within their ranks.

Within its leadership, Sofia had taken on the task to help seek out Quincy that had left, and those who couldn’t bring themselves to join just yet. Doing so wasn’t part of her duties however. Her job as the Sternritter Grandmaster was simply to support and advice the Executive positions and the Elect and be a powerful force for her kind to look up to. Still, the girl had to admit she performed her more bureaucratic job just as was needed, but never going above and beyond. That kind of effort was saved primarily for training, battle, and trying to convince others like her to align with their people. Why? It was simple. For someone as powerful and without fear as the prodigy, not many understood the very simple fact: she was scared. And perhaps because of all she had done and accomplished, most seemed to gloss over the fact that she was young at a mere 23 years of age.

It wasn’t a fear of death or being hurt though. The Vandenreich had a long infamous legacy of truly awful leaders who had been remembered by nothing but the chaos and death they brought upon the Earth. Worse still, from her point of view, were those leaders who’d never be remembered. The leaders that simply lived and died, without making a real change in the structure, the drive, and the perception of her people. It wasn’t a mentality that was commonly shared, but it was hers; for now. When she was a bit younger, Sofia believed she could do anything. She rose through the ranks, created useful Quincy technology, and pushed on with the drive to be the strongest of her people. She wanted to lead them into better times. She wanted to clear their names and poised them as true pillars of right in a world that was undoubtedly very wrong.

She soon would find out that words were meaningless without action. Despite her power, and the extents she had gone through to secure it, it didn’t matter. Even with everything she had done, and everything she had accomplished, in relation to the true powers in the spiritual realms, Sofia was but a speck of dust in a sunbeam. Disheartened, she felt as though her contributions would be in vain, and that she’d be remembered by nothing. Even worse still, she could be remembered as the leader that let her people go extinct. For those reasons, the Quincy slowed her advances gradually for some time. At one point she was ready to challenge the Elect for her position, and then, she wasn’t. Leading the Quincy was something she still desired, but pride and fear were too tough an opponent to best just yet. In getting stronger, and trying to convince people to join their ranks, she found what could be described as a form of momentary redemption. Perhaps the increase in numbers and ideals would cause a shift on the organization, or even herself.

“He should be here any minute,” said Sofia resting a coffee cup over the table.

Her connections and resources had lead her to the whereabouts of a Quincy that had long thought to be missing by some, and dead by others. The man known as Cyrus had a very positive reputation among the people for the work he did, and the ubiquitous nature of the power he possessed. It seemed as though his ideals weren’t all too different in nature to those of Gift. Though at least she didn’t think Cyrus had the ingrained hate for the Vandenreich, and an abhorrence for everything they stood for as the forest Quincy had. Seeing as she had made some progress with Gift, Sofia was confident she could try and reason with this man too. In a perfect world she’d hear him out as would he and agree to come help them in their struggle to rebuild what they had. Of course, the fact remained that he was largely enigmatic, and could prove a difficult variable in her attempts to reason with him. Still, an outdoor café seemed to be just the right place for such a meeting. It wasn’t overly fancy, and there was enough room and privacy at that time of day to ensure what would hopefully be a pleasant yet decisive conversation.




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Subject Post 2PostSubject: Re: Thoughts and Prayers [Cyrus]   Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:50 am






Cyrus

Artist: Kota Hoshino - Song: EG Expression


Cyrus had not been called to a meeting in at least a hundred years or so, and he had to concede that even being asked to one had been something of a shock. Normally the desert quincy would not have even considered giving audience to someone like this woman, but he had to admit that he was faintly curious as to what exactly this was all about. He had the broad strokes, of course, and he could make some assumptions, but that hardly meant anything at all in the grand scheme of things. Best to simply find out directly from her.

Arriving on the scene in a finely-made blue and white suit, the colors all too appropriate, Cyrus glanced around for only the briefest of moments before spotting the young woman who had invited him here. She was young, certainly, but there was something about her that suggested the light of youth was long past from her. Perhaps that was simply his own age talking. Definitely a pretty girl, though such a thought was more a simple acknowledgment than any sort of interest on his behalf. Straightening out his suit (which of course had no wrinkles in the first place), Cyrus approached with a completely plain demeanor, his eyes clearly inspecting but not quite judging. He did not sit right away, but offered a small bow to her. It was no sign of deference, for he showed deference to none, but merely a sign of respect. This girl seemed to show some promise, certainly.

“Miss Montero, was it? Welcome to this small desert oasis, as it were. Cyrus ast-Auramazda, at your behest. You may simply call me Cyrus, if you wish. Whatever makes you most comfortable.”

The enigmatic quincy did not wait for a response before taking his seat, a motion done quickly but with purpose, his jacket seemingly removed in a single motion and set neatly over the back of his chair as he did so. He leaned on the table with only a single elbow, making a nominal effort to look over the menu, but more interested in how Sofia would begin this discussion. Cyrus, of course, knew exactly what he wanted, but he did not want the young lady to feel completely alienated. The desert was an unkind place, and it was best not to make it even moreso. Snapping his fingers once, Cyrus looked to the waitress that arrived at his behest with altogether gentle eyes, a small smile on his face that had certainly not been given to Sofia.

“A karkadeh, if you would? And one for the young lady here as well.”

Cyrus' attentions then returned to Sofia, and his smile once again seemed to simply disappear, not out of distaste but out of simple neutrality. The gentle desert winds blew a bit of sand across the area, but much like all the locals, Cyrus seemed completely unperturbed by this.

“It would not do to come to a place like this and simply have a coffee, after all. Traveling should be an opportunity to find all manner of new things, would you not agree?”



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Subject Post 3PostSubject: Re: Thoughts and Prayers [Cyrus]   Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:23 am








The Melody

Artist: Carrotwine - Song: Dark Side Of The Road


Just as expected the man had arrived not a second too late. His attire already ratified the impression of just how stories had portrayed him to be. It showed class, etiquette, and a devotion to what he represented. It would however receive no comment from the woman beyond a subtle smile in approval of his taste in fashion, and a nod and bob to her head in response to his vow. Sofia had done well in dressing as she had. Preoccupied about whether she should have opted for a more casual or formal attire, the Quincy instead decided for the more standard military look of her Sternritter uniform. One aspect about him that did take her by surprise was his physical appearance. Cyrus was relatively easy on the eyes, and though that was neither here nor there, it certainly made the outing far more entertaining. Likely judging by his name, she had expected a hulking man with broad shoulders, pointed chin, and a tenebrous attitude. It was an interesting and welcoming surprise to know she was mistaken. She prayed there were yet points of contention she had also misunderstood.

“That’s right,” said the girl as she took a quick glance to her surroundings. “But please, call me Sofia.”

Although aware of the common pleasantries that came with wealth, power, or simply having manners, she considered herself far more down to earth. Sofia wasn’t foreign to common courtesy, and would extend it at a moment’s notice. However despite being the one imparting discipline among her ranks, she prided herself in being relatively easy to talk to and approachable. Looking around, she couldn’t help but try and piece together the reasons such an area would attract him or anyone for that matter. She didn’t like sand. It was coarse, rough irritating, and it got everywhere. Typically those who loved a setting or an area more than their own people had some form of aberration that was not beyond medical help. That didn’t seem to be the case with Cyrus, though she had met a powerful Quincy once that cared more about the fate of the trees and the weeds than that of his own people. Once a lost case, Gift had slowly begun to turn his mind around. And if she had helped him do so, she had to believe the man before her wasn’t beyond reasoning either.

“Yes, I agree. And thank you,” smiled Sofia. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a drink like that.” She hadn’t.

Once the drink arrived, she had to admit it was a sight to behold. It looked almost too beautiful to drink. The deep crimson look held her gaze for more than a moment, as the lapse displayed what could have been the most subtle and innocent of smiles. The most beautiful of sights sometimes came from the most simple of things. Without further ado, she drank; the cold of the drink the necessary means to stave off the desert’s scalding heat. The drink would be left half empty and placed to the side, before her hands came together and her gaze once more focused on him.

“Let me start off by saying the drink was beautiful and refreshing. Thank you.”

“But let’s get to business, I know of you, and you know of me. It’s no secret your relationship to the Vandenreich is, how should I put it?” said Sofia taking a moment to think, “Lacking. Now, I’m not here to blame or accuse. A letter would’ve sufficed. I’d like to know exactly what in our organization keeps you from contributing, and what you’d think would be a step in the right direction to fixing it.

“I’m not here to promise change, but in hopes of bringing our people together, I’m willing to make change if change is required, and let evolution be the means through which we see seek out our survival; together.”




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Subject Post 4PostSubject: Re: Thoughts and Prayers [Cyrus]   Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:42 pm






Cyrus

Artist: Kota Hoshino - Song: EG Expression


Aha, so that was what this was all about. Cyrus had anticipated as much, as he had hardly spoken with other quincies during the last century or two. Still, to travel to his own domain to ask for his input, with that faintest note of chiding for not being a more contributing member... It was something akin to watching a harmless spider attempt to bite oneself. Endearing, in a sense, and worthy of some attention and respect. Normally the man of the desert would have already ceased to listen, for he was something of a lone operator, but Sofia had a level of confidence that he found it hard to ignore.

Tapping the rim of his teacup idly, Cyrus pondered how he might respond. He did not wish to flatly push Sofia away, as that did no one any good. At the same time, however, he could not be gentle about it. This was an issue worth discussing, and one that, in all truth, brought a faint bit of excitement with it. Perhaps the winds of change were finally blowing in a good direction.

“Well, Sofia, I do hope you won't mind if I get right to the point on this matter. Before anything else, I should make it clear that I have never been a member of the Vandenreich. I have been approached on the matter before, though I must admit that was during more peaceful times, and I, rather obviously, declined the offer. I simply am not one for working with others.

“All that being said, things are different now. The people of Earth are in need of protecting more than ever before, as they quite simply do not have the power to do so themselves. My question to you is whether or not the Vandenreich will take a different stance than they have prior. I think it is no secret that for quite some time now, you have stayed sequestered away in the frozen wastes, biding your time. I am aware that our kind have been lost in great numbers on numerous occasions, and such a thing surely gives some merit to the idea of hiding away and recuperating.

“But, Sofia, it is often said that to die honorably is better than to live a coward. Personally, I do not subscribe to such a basic understanding of honor or dishonor, or even give it the time of day. But I do wonder, how do the quincy look at themselves in the mirror, or sleep at night, knowing that their purpose of keeping the world free of spiritual contamination goes undone? What purpose is there to our kind at all if we are to toss away that goal? Is there any pride in the knowledge that you live simply hiding from your duties, waiting for the day you might be secure in them?”

Cyrus was quiet, then, and he leaned back in his seat as he took a long drink of his tea. He had not allowed his voice to change inflection, but he knew that he had allowed the faintest bits of both contempt and genuine curiosity to slip through. It was a genuine question in his eyes. He would not associate with those he saw as failures, for the divine was never a failure. The Vandenreich, however, were not doomed to that failure, not as he saw it. They had every chance to improve, to be greater than they currently were. It was simply a matter of whether or not they listened.



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Subject Post 5PostSubject: Re: Thoughts and Prayers [Cyrus]   Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:35 am








The Melody

Artist: Carrotwine - Song: Dark Side Of The Road

From the very start, Sofia had been ready to expect the worst. Cyrus however had enough class, so she doubted he’d be one to cast blame, insult, or even demean. Still, it was clear he’d have some very jarring and polarizing opinions. After all, regardless of his own personal convictions, there were clear and evident reasons as to why he had not aligned with his faction just yet. As he spoke, she couldn’t help but let a smile glide over her expression every so often. It wasn’t at all of a mocking or condescending fashion however. Instead, it meant to reflect satisfaction as she listened to him, mostly because she had heard it before, from herself. His questions and his goals were indeed righteous and to be admired. They were, with no reservation, pretty similar if not identical to the views she once held. In fact, had they met far before and under different circumstances, they would’ve likely turned out very differently. Unfortunately life experiences tore away at her ideas, and failure and reality continued to gnaw at the resilient foundation she once possessed. And while it wasn’t a battle in futility just yet, she had been fighting up and against the ropes for a quite a while now.

“I understand,” said Sofia taking another quick sip of her drink, “trust me, I do.”

“I had the very same ideals just a few years back. I thought we could do anything. I thought we could at least grow strong enough to protect humanity, and rid it from the oppression of the Demon kind, but it wasn’t that simple.”

To further explain her point, the Quincy would do something she had not done for anyone ever. But, despite having just met Cyrus, she needed to be upfront. If he was to truly listen, understand, and try to trust her, she needed to take the first step in doing that as well. And if she couldn’t go the extra mile for her people, who would? Extending her left hand, she removed the black glove from her right. A small reishi knife was then materialized onto the palm of her left hand before causing a very small cut on her right. The cut wasn’t anything serious, and likely no deeper than a mild paper cut. The knife would soon dematerialize as well to diffuse any potential thoughts of hostility. Beyond the sudden randomness of the act, one would find a method to the madness as Cyrus would be able to notice something rather odd and disconcerting on the Quincy. Her eyes would flicker momentarily from their usual golden hue to a deep red. The color would maintain its presence for a good second or two before receding to allow the golden look to attain its prominence once more. While she wouldn’t explain exactly what it meant, she really didn’t have to in order to illustrate her point.

“I’ve gone through great lengths to secure power, sometimes not through the most wise of ways. It was back during the time when I believed it was the only means of achieving our goals. When diplomacy failed, simply push through. I was wrong.” Pressing on the little cut some, she’d placed the glove near her cup and tried to relax; the thought of her story noticeably unsettling to her.

“Power alone won’t get us anywhere. I know that now. I can’t hope to defeat the forces that be, such as Mana; not yet. But perhaps I don’t have to. I believe we can’t realistically claim to save humanity before we succeed in saving ourselves. We can’t take the stage and fight for this Earth and its rightful inhabitants if we can’t stand and fight for each other first. I do not fault you. And I agree the track record of our organization is, questionable, that much is clear. But I believe that by bringing a diversity of opinions, like yours, we may yet have a chance to change for the better. If we can change and evolve, we may yet have a chance to bring our people together as one and thrive. If we can do that then there’s yet hope for this world, for it’s saving, and for the good and glory of mankind.”




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Subject Post 6PostSubject: Re: Thoughts and Prayers [Cyrus]   Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:18 am






Cyrus

Artist: Kota Hoshino - Song: EG Expression


“I understand.” Words surely spoken countless times with not one single modicum of truth to them, words Cyrus placed quite little stock in. The girl spoke of ideals, but it seemed as though she misunderstood their very nature if she discarded them so carelessly. Nevertheless, he listened, and watched, for propriety was every bit his role as divine as judgement of those below him. His faint interest turned to something of genuine curiosity for a moment, before rapidly shifting into a well-contained disgust at what he saw within Sofia.

Was he intended to sympathize? To pity or to feel kinship? He did not, even if that were the case, but he maintained the same calm expression as always. Simply casting her aside would not do, for that was not the act of a benevolent leader. That was rash, foolhardy, the behavioral mark of accursed demons. It seemed Miss Montero wished to atone for her actions, and that knowledge allowed Cyrus to push past his disdain and continue to look at her as, for now, a potential equal. Forgiveness was key in these things, especially toward one so young. She still had much to learn, he suspected.

“If it is a diversity of opinions you wish for, then I imagine I will be able to offer you a great deal. I do not pretend to agree with the Vandenreich's actions, and I will not feign respect if I believe something is being handled in a way which reflects poorly on us and, by extension, on myself. We may not be able to protect the people as we are, but we should not debase ourselves in a misguided attempt to gain the power to do so. The ends do not always justify the means. 'Doing good to others is not a duty. It is a joy, for it increases your own health and happiness.'”

For the first time in the conversation, Cyrus seemed to allow himself some genuine emotion as he spoke those words. It was not anger or indignance at anything Sofia had said, but rather a sort of pride. He considered it a good bit of wisdom for the young lady to consider, and smiled just a touch to himself as he continued on.

“I will certainly join you in your Vandenreich, I think. It will be good to spend some time among other quincy again. But, as I have told you, I will not hold my tongue when I see what I believe to be trouble. If you wish for my cooperation, you will understand that I intend to always make my best attempt to guide things in the right direction. Perhaps my ideals will come into conflict with those of others, perhaps even yourself. I consider this an inevitability, but one which should be taken as an opportunity for further improvement, on my side or yours.”

It wasn't that Cyrus intended to be rude, or to constantly nag about everything even slightly wrong. But he had been asked to join with the understanding that he would provide a different viewpoint, and even this discussion with Sofia had told him that his own opinions would, certainly, differ quite a bit from those of the others. He did not consider this a burden, or feel any sort of dread for such discourse. It was the natural way things developed.



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Subject Post 7PostSubject: Re: Thoughts and Prayers [Cyrus]   Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:12 pm








The Melody

Artist: Carrotwine - Song: Dark Side Of The Road


Having finished her drink, the girl paid close attention to his words. His mannerisms were of little interest to her, as were likely hers. She hadn’t gone there to try and make a friend. But although she wasn’t trying to be liked, she did want to make sense, and be understood. It would be foolish to deny the truth and reasoning behind his words, but it would be equally as foolish to discard all she had said as well. Still, it seemed as though their conversation was wrapping up nicely with a goal and a direction they could both agree on. But, she had something else to say; something rather important that needed to be mentioned as to prevent misunderstandings down the road.

“I would like to make something clear, Cyrus.” Her voice was firm, not having changed in tone, and giving no sort of notice or fluctuation based on emotions. It was as neutral as it had been from the start.

“I don’t need someone to simply say what’s wrong with the Quincy. I could throw a rock in any direction and it would land on someone that has something to say, and something they dislike. I need people that can not just point out what’s wrong, but those that have some sort of idea on how to fix it too. I’ll welcome your criticism, so long as you have concrete ideas on how to improve. If its simply pointing flaws with no real direction or advice on how to move forward, then I suggest you save the trip.”

The words were finished off with a smile. It wasn’t at all meant to be seen cynical however. Sure, the smile didn’t mean happiness, but it was the simplest of expressions that could be offered at a moment's notice beyond a mere monotonous nothing. The Quincy really shouldn’t misunderstand though; Sofia did indeed wish for him to join them. Had that not been the case, she would have certainly thought of more satisfying and welcoming locations to spend her day. She was there because he meant something, not to her, but to her people as a whole. Every Quincy was important. From the leader to the lowest of grunts, each and everyone had a role to play. And whether he chose to accept it or not, joining the Vandenreich meant extending a hand to people that would become his family.

With that being said she stood up, bowing lightly in respect just as he had initially. As she extended her hand, the shake was meant to symbolize a form of agreement, if that was something Cyrus was ready and willing to do. Throughout their conversation, Sofia had shown no signs of being sad or apologetic. She had nothing to be sorry about. In fact, even the extents to which she had gone to procure power, though misguided at the time, were not in vain. She didn’t regret it. It was all worth it, from the power she received all the way until she had the seal removed. Cyrus was right though. Power often times created a sort of tunnel vision that prevent people from seeing what surrounded them. It zoned in one things that though important, tended to make the individual loose sight of other equally as vital things. The Quincy could still be saved, but while power wasn’t essential, she wasn’t as naïve to believe it wasn’t imperative to their goals as well.

“One more thing,” said Sofia with her hand outstretched to him. “If you join, you have to understand this not just my Vandenreich, its yours too. Its our Vandenreich. We have to be on the same page before we can move on. Strangers take jabs at each other. A family criticizes but helps itself improve by building up on their shortcomings. Are you ready to be part of the family, or are you a stranger? I believe you need to answer that question first before jumping so carelessly into my offer.”




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Subject Post 8PostSubject: Re: Thoughts and Prayers [Cyrus]   Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:29 am






Cyrus

Artist: Kota Hoshino - Song: EG Expression


In younger years, Cyrus might well have taken Sofia's retort as all he needed to dismiss her and the entire Vandenreich as a waste of his time. Of course they needed more than simply words, was he some sort of imbecile? But, as he had done thus far, he continued to give the young lady the benefit of the doubt, attributing it to youth and well-meaning rather than anything he might normally have expected of another.

“Well, Sofia, I would certainly hate to think I might have made you, in turn, waste your time by coming to my humble oasis to ask my assistance. I understand quite clearly that words without action, ideas without substance, are of little use to the Vandenreich right now. Criticism without reform is simply the negative side of such behavior, but I might suggest you keep a close eye on those who would demonstrate undue pride in us at present. It does not do to instill false confidence.”

Ah, was the meeting finished already? For the best, certainly. Cyrus was already starting to grow bored of it. Sitting around and talking was all well and good, but he could not say he was immediately personally invested in his company. In future, perhaps. The girl certainly had promise, that was for certain, and the prospect of working alongside someone he might mold into a success was enough for him to consider even a failed venture worthwhile. It was the little things in life, really.

Listening to all this talk of family did, admittedly, make the desert quincy just a touch upset. Not with Sofia, per se, but...it was talk he did not much engage in, so to speak. Even so...a family, hm? Our Vandenreich? It was endearing, genuine, a good direction for them to be taking. He approved, and he smiled just a touch at all this as he shook Sofia's hand, firmly but not aggressively so. Confidence emanated from him as if this had all been predetermined by him from the very beginning. Perhaps it was simply the fate laid out for him. Who could say?

“A family? I suppose that is only fair. Very well then, Sofia. You may consider me the prodigal son.”

Though there was undeniable ego behind the statement, Cyrus delivered it with all the same cool, unwavering firmness of the whole discussion. He did not say it as some sort of boast, for what sort of god needed to confirm his nature? No, it was simply a statement of fact, a glimpse into the truth of who he was.



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Subject Post 9PostSubject: Re: Thoughts and Prayers [Cyrus]   Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:35 pm








The Melody

Artist: Carrotwine - Song: Dark Side Of The Road


“Very well,” said Sofia in regards to his suggestion. “I can understand your concern and its validity.”

With the meeting coming to a close, the Quincy reflected back on how it had transpired, and she was surprised at how well it had gone. Although that was the expectation all along, she had foreseen some further complications, the lack of which were certainly not missed. It was obvious Cyrus still had some reserves, as he likely should. Quincy, like almost every race of power had a form of internal pride about what they represented.

Some projected that pride solely from their own power and the god like status they thought they represented. Some based that pride into the organization they stood for or the people whose lives they claimed to fight for. And some others had a much more complex, but no less valid approach, though with the same basic set of ideas. Being proud wasn’t a weakness to her, but rather a strength. However, it was very simple to turn that strength into a weakness by allowing pride to surface and drown the individual with far more praise than it should. She could understand his concern, and it was something they would certainly watch out for.

“I’m glad to have you on board Cyrus. You may come and go anytime you’re ready. I’ll make the preparations so that you have your area there for whenever you choose to use it. I’ll suggest you see our openings and find what you believe makes better use of your talents. I can’t wait to weigh the wait of your contributions and see what that means for the transition of our organization as a whole. Until then.”

As she got up, Sofia would offer him another smile, this time it was a far more sincere and friendly one. It didn’t matter whether he reciprocated or not, or whether he cared for it or not. She didn’t need a reason to be friendly, and this time it was done because she chose to rather than because she had to. Another simple bow would follow, an interest choice from her part given her position. Most people of her rank in other organizations did not stoop to such a level. They didn’t bow, people bowed to them. The Quincy however didn’t hold such an archaic view.

While she did believe in respect, she also firmly believed respect was earned and given. Regardless of her position and what she thought, she would offer a professional behavior to someone that would extend the same to her, regardless of their thoughts on her. The meeting was a success, and though she left, she was sure she’d see the man in the City of Light relatively soon. He had the will and the ideas to lead, the only question was if he had the drive, and where in the organization that drive would place him.




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Subject Post 10PostSubject: Re: Thoughts and Prayers [Cyrus]   Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:55 am






Cyrus

Artist: Kota Hoshino - Song: EG Expression


That all-too diplomatic response told Cyrus far more than any words might have, but then again, it told him little he wouldn't have already suspected. This girl was certainly prideful, and that was to be admired, at least in a sense. Those with no pride in themselves at all may as well simply die off now, for what point was there in living without some confidence in one's own value?

Ah, but he was allowing himself to be distracted. This was still a meeting, after all, even if one in its final moments, and becoming ensnared in his own thoughts could easily be taken as rude. Of course, Cyrus' own thoughts were more interesting than most things he came across, but that could hardly be held against anyone else, now could it? He listened intently to Sofia's words, and allowed himself a small, not entirely false smile.

“Well, thank you for the hospitality, Sofia. I have very little to square away here, so I believe it should take only a day or so for me to begin my own journey down to see you. I quite appreciate sending that forward, and I suspect it will be quite helpful for settling in.”

As Cyrus stood, he was genuinely a tad surprised that Sofia offered him a bow. He had hardly expected it, seeing as the nature of their organizational roles put her squarely above him. Whether it was a matter of courtesy or simply understanding the true nature of the natural order here, Cyrus found it quite endearing, in a certain sense. This girl certainly did earn his interest, which was far more than he deigned to give to most, and as she had bowed first, he felt it perfectly justified to give her a slight bow in turn. She had certainly earned it.

Watching her depart only for a moment, Cyrus returned to his tea, still unfinished, as he watched the sands blow across the dunes and the town to some small extent. He had spent most of his life in this place, always protecting it from whatever it needed saving from. Would it be alright without his presence watching over it? He suspected so. If worst came to worst he could simply return, but he believed genuinely that, whatever might occur with the Vandenreich, it was his calling to assist them in that time. Whether it was for a long while, or only the briefest of times, was irrelevant to him now.



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