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Thevshi

Still as Water (IC)

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Claremont Academy

Freedom City, New Jersey

Wednesday November 27, 2019, 11:00 AM

 

"I appreciate your willingness to mentor another student Giang." Headmistress Summers stated as she and an Asian young woman walked down the path from the administrative building for Claremont Academy towards the Roberta Isley Gardens. "I believe Heroditus could benefit from being able to talk to someone who had a similar experience as something of the outsider among the other students. Your familiarity with Atlantean culture will be an added benefit."

 

"As always, I am very happy to help Headmistress." Giang Trang replied as she walked alongside the older woman. Giang stood about five foot three, with a lithe build and moved with an easy, fluid grace. Despite the cold of the late November morning, she was not at all dressed for the cold, wearing a pair of jeans, a white T-shirt and a red windbreaker. However, the Asian young woman did not seem bothered at all by the cold. "Although I am curious why you thought of me and not Thetis or Thelia?"

 

Callie Summers gave a small chuckled as she glanced over to Giang. "Well, certainly either has had a similar experience as Heroditus. However, both are also members of the Atlantean royal family, which could make it more difficult for him to fully feel comfortable expressing concerns to them."

 

"I see." Giang replied simply with a small smile and a nod as the two continued toward where Heroditus would be waiting.

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Heroditus was sitting on a bench in the garden, under the shade of a black spruce tree.  He wore sandals, dark blue knee-length breeches, and a dark red short-sleeved tunic, cinched together with a tan belt and bandolier which contained numerous pouches; all were made of a variety of kelp.  He was gazing up at the tree's purple cones, which reminded him of certain varieties of coral.

 

A gentle breeze moved both the leaves and his long hair, obscuring his view momentarily as Giang and Headmistress Summers approached.  When he did see them, he sprang to his feet and bowed to Callie, "Headmistress Summers."  He glanced at Giang and nodded to her, then extended his right hand, "ah, and I take it you are the one who shall be mentoring me?"

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Tsunami

 

Giang regarded the young Atlantean with a small smile as she gave a small bow of her own before shaking his extended hand. "Yes, I am Giang Trang. I am very pleased to meet you."

 

The Headmistress gave a small nod to the Atlantean student before adding, "Miss Trang graduated a few years ago. While she was here at Claremont she was roommates with Princess Thelia and has visited Atlantis a number of times." She glanced between the two before focusing back on Heroditus. "So, I will leave you in her capable hands." She stated with another nod before turning to make her way back towards the administrative building.


Giang gave a small bow to Headmistress Summers before she turned to leave and then focused back on Heroditus. <"So, how have you been adjusting to life on the surface so far?"> She asked in Atlanetan.

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He bowed again to Headmistress Summers as she left, then did a double-take at Giang.  "<About as well as one might expect.  It is not my preferred environment, but I do not stumble as much as I used to when walking up here.>"  He walked in a circle around her, making an exaggerated show of wobbling.  "<And as long as I can stay adequately hydrated,>" he patted the waterskin attached to his belt, "<I can get along fine.>"

 

He knew other Atlanteans -- warrior Atlanteans -- would put on more show of bravado, claiming they could stride across the dryland as well as any Surfacer.  But he had no use for such displays.  He knew where his strengths lay, and where they did not.

 

"<I can see you have learned much of my people,>" he touched fingertips to his lips and ears, "<and I am given to understand that you shall do the same with me.  But I do not plan on being just the student here,"> he shook his head, then held both palms up, "<for I am quite willing to share what I can of Atlantis' culture and history with you.">

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Tsunami

 

Giang waited for Heroditus to finish his circle around her before fixing her gaze back on the young Atlantean with a small nod as he spoke about being able to get around on land better now. <"That should continue to improve with time."> She replied. <"There are a few exercises that could help with becoming more acclimated to the surface if you are interested.">

 

As he turned to mentioning her knowledge of his language, she gave a small nod, <"I had the good fortune of having Thelia as my roommate shortly after I arrived here. This provided me opportunities to visit Atlantis and other parts of its realm, as well as learn your language. I would be honored to learn more about your culture and history.">

 

<"As for why the Headmistress asked me to work with you, that is a bit more nuanced that simply helping you learn more about surface culture, although I am certainly happy to share what I do know in that regard."> The Asian young woman then continued. <"But perhaps more importantly, when I came to Claremont I was in a relatively similar situation to you. While I grew up on the surface, I did so on the far side of the world, in a remote village in Southeast Asia. I also had very little interaction with peers my own age until I came here.">

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Heroditus nodded, "<I had heard you were Princess Thaelia's roommate, but was not told of the extent with which she had shared our culture with you.  Which parts of Atlantis did you visit?  Was it just the primary city, or did she take you to some of the other colonies?>"  He scratched his chin, thinking for a moment of the full beard he would one day have, and being able to stroke it while in thought.  "<I myself have only been to a few of them, though do hope to visit more someday.>"

 

This one projects a calm and thoughtfulness I have not seen in most other students here.  More... Atlantean than most.  A welcome difference!  Is that her own persona, and why she was paired with Thaelia?  Or was that something she picked up from her trips to our homeland?

 

He smiled warmly at her personal revelation, "<so, we are both fingerlings far from our spawning grounds, and isolated from our peers.  Summers is quite the matchmaker, I will grant her that. So, shall we get to know one another better?>"  He pointed to the bench he'd been sitting in with one hand, and gestured towards the paths with the other, "<and would you prefer to do so while seated here, or while walking among the flora?>"

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Tsunami

 

<"I have visited the capital and some of the surrounding towns several times."> Giang began in response to Heroditus' question about what parts of Atlantis she had visited. <"We also made a trip to Crantorium during my first visit to the underwater kingdom.">

 

As the young Atlantean suggested continuing their talk at one of the benches or while walking, Giang gave a small nod and moved over to the bench, smoothly sitting down to regard Heroditus with her clam even gaze. <"The Headmistress follows after her father."> She stated in response to the teen’s comment about her skill as a matchmaker of sorts. <"He was headmaster when I was here and was the one who felt Thaelia and I would benefit from being roommates, and as was often the case was entirely correct. We may not see each other as often as we like these days, but Thaelia is still one of my closest friends, and likely knows me better than anyone.">

 

With that thought in mind, the Asian young woman focused things back on Heroditus. <"Have you found any classmates with whom you seem to share any common interests?">

 

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"<Crantorium?>"  He was obviously impressed at her visiting the noble's resort town, though he quickly subdued his expression as he sat next to her.  "<Well, of course our Princess would take you there.  Was it as decadent as the stories say?>"

 

Now that he was closer and could get a good look at her, he noticed a strange aura about her.  Thought I'd caught a glimpse of something on her while I'd walked around her, but wasn't sure if it was a trick of the sunlight.  Now I can definitely see it is within her.  But what is it?  Something to do with directing and redirecting... something... something elemental, primal... water, yes, but something else...

 

"<Apologies,>" he said after a moment of silence, shaking his head, "<I was distracted by... so you said Headmistress Summers is the daughter of the former headmaster?  Is that typical here?  I know academic institutions tend towards some degree of insularity,>" he clasped his hands together, fingers laced together, "<but an institution such as this being lead by a single family?>"

 

At the mention of roommates and classmates, he cocked his head slightly, lets his hands fall to his side, and made a few pop-click sounds, the Atlantean equivalent of non-lexical fillers.  "<Even back home, I was... never adept at dealing with people.  And my interests are very rare, even among my people; up here they are nearly unique.  Tell me,"> he leaned forward a bit, "<what do you know of Atlantean technology?>"

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Tsunami

 

Giang smiled slightly at Heroditus' question about the Atlantean resort town. <"It was certainly a place designed for luxury and relaxation, but no more so than similar destinations here on the surface. Truth be told, I much preferred visiting the areas outside of the town, the coral reefs and kelp forests. I would say that and my other visits to Atlantis led me to study Oceanography in college, such as those on the surface truly have been able to learn about the world's oceans.">

 

The Asian young woman then noticed that the Atlantean teen seemed to be studying her as he went silent for a few moments. Just as she was about to ask if he was alright, he seemed to regain focus and asked about the Summers’ family and their control over Claremont. <"Not that I have extensive experience, but it is my general understand that no, normally a single family does not have such control over an educational facility, even a private one. However, I am sure you would agree that Claremont is something of an unusual institution.">

 

When Heroditus turned to responding to her question about how he was doing in interacting with peers, Giang could sympathize with his view that he did not quite fit in, as she certainly had felt rather out of place when she had first arrived. But then the Atlantean teen asked about what she knew of Atlantean technology.

 

<"Well, I would likely say only a little. I certainly have been around and observed it."> She replied. <"As I know it is very different than what is used here on the surface, being something of a combination of actual mechanics and magic.">

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