the darkness is always there firstStarted by Kasang at Oct 19, 2019 6:56 pm
The only problem with sleeping in trees was, they did have a habit of giving him a backache by morning. The sun was barely peeking up over the horizon, and mostly, it was dim and hiding behind the trees. Kasang rolled over on the branch, and then dropped down, landing with an audible thunk, and then raised his arms over his head to stretch out. He was too young to pop so much.
Well, what now... the only problem with being this far from the colonies was he wasn't so sure how things were going over there. He couldn't really help being worried about it. It wasn't like the Dragons couldn't manage without him, they knew him and their overall goals well enough to keep going just fine, it was just... eh. He didn't know what to do with himself if he wasn't in the colonies fighting injustices, apparently.
What did other people do all day, anyway? It wasn't like he'd know, but now that he had all this time and no idea what to do with it, he had to wonder.
First thing was first, he supposed. After taking a moment to run his fingers through his hair, grab his bag, and meander off toward that tea shop Takeshi had been so kind as to show him the location of. He should probably also think about breakfast. Sang almost wondered if he could catch a fish or two. He thought about stopping by the docks to see if there were any fishermen willing to part with some of their catch for a few coins. Yeah, he might do that next. He hadn't brought a whole lot of money, but he'd not figured he'd need it.
It wasn't like he didn't know how to live on the land, after all.
Eventually, as he made his way down the streets, he turned a corner and ended up face to face with someone he happened to know. ... really? "... are you serious?" was what he asked. He'd not expected to be followed, that was for sure. Then again, this one was pretty stubborn.
Yuanjun wasn't actually sure where Kasang had ended up, but he was almost certain that he hadn't beaten him here, because the earthbender had left almost a day after Kasang, and if he'd beaten him here then... maybe something had gone wrong, really wrong. But the docks didn't have any stories of a ship that had run into trouble that they were aware of and it mostly kept him from worrying too much.
Kasang stood out, he'd find him eventually. Yuanjun had no doubt about that. He wasn't allowed to doubt that, because in the end, the Dragons needed Kasang, and if this trip to get help from the Fire Lord ended in him disappearing then Yuan had no idea what they were going to do, but it wouldn't be pretty.
... Hah. Well, there was Kasang alright. The Earthbender met Kasang's eyes with a smile. "Nice to see you too." Was what he responded with, completely unperturbed by the fact that Kasang was probably going to be at least a little annoyed that he'd been followed without permission. On the other hand, Yuanjun didn't ask so there was that.
He didn't think that was a good way around the not having permission thing, so he wasn't going to use that defense, but he also wasn't exactly afraid of Kasang. The kid had a good heart, and he meant well, even if he did get a little temperamental. ... Yuanjun was one of those people who were all but immune to his aura so there was... that. Anyway.
"How's the trip going so far?" He wasn't sure if Kasang had already attempted to meet with the Fire Lord or something similar, so asking seemed wise before he assumed. Knowing the state of things before trying to help was certainly a more useful way of inserting himself into a situation.
At first, Kasang didn't say anything, just looked rather exasperated. He was, however, unsurprised. Again, this one was pretty stubborn, and seemed to have this weird thing about following him around with an odd determination Kasang never did really understand. He supposed he didn't have to understand. But he may yet have to accept it. Not that this was surprising, either.
Uhuh. He didn't say anything to that, just arched one eyebrow, and then left that alone. To be fair, it wasn't like it wasn't nice to see him. Sang did cross his arms in mild annoyance; he'd intended to handle this one alone, but apparently he wasn't allowed to do anything alone anymore. He supposed there were worse things than never really getting alone time, and honestly, it was probably for the best.
He didn't really get along with himself very well, after all. Some of the things he thought would probably be alarming to normal people.
"Fine enough," Kasang answered. "I haven't gone to the palace yet. I'm waiting." Sooner or later, someone would start talking about where the Avatar was, and that was important to this particular mission, at least somewhat. "... did you at least bring more coin? It'd be helpful about now." Not because he hadn't brought any, but he wasn't sure if he'd brought enough, but probably, Kasang had come somewhat woefully under-prepared. Not that this was a reality he had problems facing, but he wasn't so sure he'd be able to get away with his normal methods with this guy around.
He had weird attachments to Kasang eating right and whatnot, go figure that. Sang really didn't understand the purpose too much. Sure, eating and sleeping right were important, but having to cut back on extravagancy here and there really wasn't going to kill him. Really.
Yuanjun seemed reasonably unperturbed by the clear annoyance that Kasang was showing, even before he'd spoken. The Earthbender kept his head up and his shoulders squared and met Kasang's gaze easily enough. Yes, he'd disobeyed the implied order that they were to stay in Yu Dao, but if it hadn't been him, it would have been someone else. Kasang did know that, right? That they all worried about him, and they all cared enough to go out of their way to make sure he was okay? Even if that wasn't what he wanted them to do?
Maybe he didn't know that. It wasn't like Kasang regarded his own safety or wellbeing with any real seriousness. It was sad, and it was at least half of why the rest of the Dragons insisted on taking such good care of it. Because in the end... Kasang wouldn't. And they didn't want to lose him, either. Honestly, Yuanjun wasn't sure what they'd do if they did lose him. Certainly, nothing good would come of it.
Just a lot of pain, and maybe at least a temporary loss of momentum while the gaping hole had to be mended within them. It would be better to avoid it entirely, and Yuanjun fully intended to. Whether Kasang liked him doing this or not. They'd all lost enough, they didn't need to lose Kasang, too
"Waiting for what?" Yuanjun asked curiously. He would have thought that Kasang wanted to get this taken care of as quickly as possible, so he was curious about what it was that he was waiting for. ... There was probably a good reason for it, he just didn't know it yet.
"And yes, I did bring more coin." Because Kasang had a nasty habit of deciding things like a safe place to stay or proper meals were "excess" and didn't take care of himself fully unless someone made him.
That was a fair enough question. In any case, even if he wanted to tell Yuanjun to just go back to Yu Dao, he probably wouldn't really win that argument. It was rare that he did. And besides, maybe he could use someone else around to keep him from saying something stupid, because there was very little Kasang cared more about than this. Saying the wrong thing out of insistence or something sounded about right.
If only he had this much drive for literally anything else, right?
"Good," Kasang answered, sighing a little and dropping his arms. "I slept in a tree last night and now that you're here, I don't think I'll be able to keep doing that." Probably not. Unfortunately, he didn't budget for such things as rooms at inns. "And the Avatar. Sooner or later, someone will mention where he is. I'd prefer if the Fire Lord, the Avatar, and maybe the Earth King and Water Tribe Chiefs were all in the same place before I started spilling the details of this lovely adventure, but then I suppose the Fire Lord should know first if any of them should. Still, only one repetition would be nice." Yes, so it would.
"I don't suppose you're here for a reason besides following me around?" It was a question, and yet in asking it, he also realised he didn't need to. Still, he could hope, and assumptions were dangerous things. Maybe there was something else out here he was here for, and Kasang just happened to also be here.
He could hope.
Yuanjun wrinkled his nose slightly. "No, you're not going to keep sleeping in trees." He was far too important for such things, and their adventure had certainly earned him enemies. Yuanjun didn't know if those enemies extended as far as the capital, but he absolutely did not want to find out the hard way. Losing Kasang would be devastating for many reasons, and that was just not something he was going to risk happening.
The earthbender nodded slightly, accepting that answer. "Makes sense. I guess retreading this conversation repeatedly would get annoying rather quickly and be a waste of time." And time was important, to be totally honest. No reason to spend more of it than necessary bringing everyone up to speed. On the other hand, just hanging around could be considered spending time unnecessarily, since they weren't exactly making progress from it.
Depended on Kasang's views, apparently, and he seemed to think this was the better way, so... well that was that.
"Not really," Yuanjun admitted mildly. "Mostly here just to follow you. Though, seeing the capital of the people that decided to conquer the world is its own sort of interesting." So there was that? But it wasn't really why he'd come, he'd come for Kasang. Everything else was secondary - perhaps neat, but still secondary.
But then the Dragons were home and family so pretty much everything was secondary to them anyway.
... Yes, he knew that was sad. No, it wasn't going to change his particular order of importance. It wasn't like there was a home out there for him beyond the dragons, after all.
Despite trying not to look annoyed or anything, Kasang did end up making a face there. It was... perhaps exasperated was the term. Kasang never did understand everyone's weird interest in paying far too much attention to what he ate and where he slept and when... it was probably just their way of showing they cared, but it made no logical sense to him. Honestly, it was even something of a waste of time.
That was probably his entire issue with it. It was an unnecessary waste of time to him.
"I haven't died over it," Kasang said. "It's not like sleeping in trees is really that big of a problem." So he came back down out of the tree a little more sore than he might've been otherwise. Oh well? If he found a good tree to stay the night in, there was plenty of room on the branch and it slept like he might anywhere else.
"And I guess so. Not much different from the colonies, though." Kasang paused only a moment, then quickly corrected, "actually, no, very different culturally. But that's it." They had a lot in common otherwise. But then, most places did, at surface, basic level. It was hard to imagine there were any other places in the world that operated drastically different in day to day.
Go figure, most places were full of people that were just trying to live.
"Just because you haven't died yet doesn't make it a good idea," Yuanjun responded calmly. "And it does make you sore and it's generally unpleasant." There was no reason for him to do that to himself. None at all. Except that he seemed to insist anything that didn't immediately kill him, regardless of the longer-term effects, wasn't worth worrying about.
That was why the Dragons worried about him, of course. Someone had to make sure he didn't waste away while he wasn't taking care of his own needs. And whether Kasang liked it or not that often felt like a very valid concern. Kasang didn't seem to have much in the way of concern for himself, so the Dragons made up for it by caring about him and making sure that he was at least mostly taken care of.
They needed him, and the world would be far darker without him in it, Yuanjun figured.
"Hmm. Interesting, but not surprising. I guess the Fire Nation did influence the colonies at least somewhat after all." And people, in general, weren't all that different on the broader side of things. They did have the same general needs and many of the same wants, after all.
"Do you have a particular goal for the day? Have you eaten yet?" Both were good questions, though the second one was added as almost an afterthought. He'd just been mentally going on about how Kasang didn't really take care of himself, so it was an important question, even if it hadn't been the first thing he'd thought of.
He couldn't help the exasperated sigh at that. "It doesn't make it a bad idea, either," he argued, under his breath and more to himself, because he didn't really expect Yuanjun to listen. He was like that. Logically, of course, Kasang understood the concept of caring about someone else's well-being, it'd simply never made a lot of sense to him in practice. There were plenty of other things to be concerned with than whether or not Kasang was sleeping in trees, right?
Maybe it was just him.
"Not really any goals, no," Kasang answered. "And I just fell out of the tree. ... not literally, just... anyway, I was going for a teashop I happen to know where is. No thanks to curious strangers that are impervious to my intimidating aura." Yep, apparently there were more of those outside of the Dragons, and Kasang wasn't sure how he felt about it. Then again, the war probably caused a lot of people to have to turn a blind eye to certain, terrible things, so perhaps Takeshi wasn't going to be the last of them.
It was likely even a good thing. It meant he might get a little further outside the colonies without as much effort. Less effort for the same results was always a nice thing. People always said work smarter, not harder, after all.
"Thought I'd go catch some fish or something," Kasang said, shrugging one shoulder. Sure, he wasn't great at fishing, but it wasn't that bad, and besides, it was something to do. The last thing Kasang needed was to get bored, because unfortunately, he was relatively intelligent and tended to get into trouble when he was bored. It was just a thing. Sang was long accustomed to it by now.
Yuanjun nodded slightly, accepting that bit about there not really being any goals for the moment. He did frown at the mention of falling out of the tree, his expression only easing once Kasang added that it wasn't a literal fall and thus more he'd just woken up. Which was... well, it was early and it wasn't surprising that Kasang was only just getting up to be fair about it.
"You found a stranger impervious to your aura?" That was sort of impressive, Yuanjun had begun to think that only those of them who had been rescued by the guy could really look past it and see a person who wasn't so bad in the end. Ah, not the point.
"But a teashop is a good place to know where is." It could also be a good place to hear bits of gossip if one listened closely enough to the other patrons. Sometimes that gossip turned out to be quite useful when they were investigating to pinpoint an exact location for various rumors. So yes, Yuanjun had done quite a lot of listening in places like that before. And probably would again in the future.
"Fishing?" Hm... well that was an interesting choice. Logically Yuanjun knew it was partially to avoid spending coin if he didn't have to, but it was something to keep hands busy, and there was a bit of pride that went along with catching one's own meals. "I suppose that's not the worst way to spend the day." Presuming they actually caught something.
But, if they didn't, Yuanjun did have coin and it wasn't as if they would starve.