[--LOG TAKEN FROM AMBIENCE'S PERSPECTIVE--]
Ambience hurries in from the southern avenue, skidding to a halt in front of the fountain; trailing behind him and emitting a soft green glow, a tiny tree maiden floats along, leafy hair fluttering in the breeze created from Ambience's wake.
Ambience pauses, looking around for a moment before turning to the Dryad tagging along behind him. "I can't track her mana flow anywhere.. I've never had to actually look for anyone before."
The Dryad waves a tiny hand, floating up to land gently on Ambience's shoulder and pat his cheek.
Crossroads sighed, taking a drink from the fountain and sitting down at one of the benches. She had intended on leaving Truce for a bit, but after the fight with that witch she wasn't feeling all that up to travel.
She guessed she was pretty lucky that the other magical boy had shown up to help out. Crossroads thought she would have been in a lot of trouble if he hadn't.
The Dryad climbs up the back of Ambience's collar, scaling his head and sitting down atop his hair, pointing blatantly at Crossroads with a tiny hand.
Korryn waddles up onto the bench to take a few sips from the fountain. He then sat down on the bench, taking his pack from his back to rumage around, "Tell me Cross, What happened with the witch, specifically the battle."
Ambience turns about a couple of times, trying to figure out what's going on before realizing that the person he's looking for is already here; he yelps in surprise, nearly knocking the little creature off his head in the process!
The Dryad grabs ahold of Ambience's hair to avoid being tossed aside, grimacing a tiny grimace but remaining where she is.
Crossroads says ' Well it started out as a weird sort of storm in the area. I tried to clear some of the people out of the area but didn't have a lot of luck. One of the familiars ended up trying to use a boy as a human shield.'
Crossroads wiped the water from her mouth and is about to say more when she hears the surprised yelp nearby.
Ambience pulls himself together and looks like he was going to say something, but waits as he sees Korryn strike up a conversation first. He didn't want to be rude.
Korryn chuckles softly, "That's terrible," he began, but stopped as he noticed Ambience needing to talk, "You go on ahead Mister Ambi, I am just striking up unimportant information at this point."
Ambience frowns softly, tilting his head to one side. "You know who I am?"
Korryn nods, "I sold my soul, sadly by accident, for knowledge and wisdom. I know just about everyone's name. I have still much to figure though.".
Crossroads glances at Korryn, " If you feel as though the information is unimportant, then I see no reason to tell you any more." She looks at the boy next tilting her head thoughtfully, " You seemed to pick up on what was happening before my gem did."
Ambience looks thoughtful for a moment, remembering what Korryn had told him during their past conversation. "I guess that makes sense." He looks at Crossroads for a moment, unsure of how to really explain himself.
Oddly enough through all this, the Dryad remains in his hair, though she does hunch down a little bit, possibly to avoid being too prominent.
Crossroads waits for a response from the boy, but when she doesn't get one she asks " Why didn't you say something?"
Ambience lifts his head up, furrowing his brow. "I didn't know what was going on. I don't fully understand what you are.. either of you. I don't know what happened to have caused this, but when I felt it coming from all directions, I got scared."
Ambience doesn't seem to realize Crossroads is referring to the witch's arrival; he seems to think she is talking about his flight simply based on her arrival.
Ambience says 'I didn't realize there were.. so many of you.'
The Dryad hunkers down further, apparently trying in vain to hide in his short hair.
Korryn cocked his head to the side, "Felt what, my dear Ambience?"
Ambience thinks briefly, trying to figure out how to phrase it.
Crossroads nodded, " Well, I suppose that is reasonable. Something like that was pretty scary. Even for me. Next time just tell me. It would make things easier to get people to safety that way."
Crossroads pauses, " You found more of us?"
Ambience says 'The mana flow around people is something I can feel easily. I always have been, since I was real li'l. But the two of you.. it feels stunted. Like the mana flow is specifically trying to avoid you, to the effect that I can't sense it anymore around you.'
Ambience pauses, rolling his eyes upward toward the Dryad in his hair, then back down again. "I have felt.. three of you, so far. Or 'not felt', depending on how you look at it."
The Dryad lolls about in his hair, seemingly eased over a bit with the decreased tension in the atmosphere.
Korryn crosses his legs, laying both of his hands on his knee, "Well, you could still sense us, just have to look for a break in mana flow. It would be like finding the break in a grounded wire."
Ambience looks uneasy. "It isn't quite that easy.. I can feel mana everywhere, and I can follow anyone for that reason to an extent. But when I get close enough to ones like you, it just stops. Like it doesn't lead anywhere, anymore."
Mob echo> A loud horn sounds off from the bay, signaling the arrival of a large vessel.
Ambience looks up, at Crossroads. "I was.. lookin' for you. I hoped you wouldn't be hard t' find."
"Like a black hole maybe?" Crossroads suggests, "I'm afraid it might end up being a more common sight though from the looks of things."
Crossroads says ' Looking for me?'
Ambience shuffles his feet, still looking uneasy. "I wanted to 'pologize for runnin' away. I'm not scared easy, but everything suddenly felt dark, and there were people everywhere. Plus, I didn't want Da to get hurt."
Ambience says 'He's not the same as he used t'be.'
Crossroads crouches down so that she is about eyelevel to the boy. " It was a pretty scary situation so I can't blame you for running. Just next time it happens, let one of us know and we'll handle it."
Crossroads says ' Now, what happened to your Da?'
Ambience seems to be taken aback by the "don't worry, let us handle it" remark, but doesn't say anything verbal; a tap on the head from the overhead Dryad brings him back to his senses, and he nods. "Well."
Ambience says 'I think it has to do with Mama leaving, or maybe it was what happened when she did. I don't know the whole story, but there was some big fight, and some people died. Mama had to leave for the Holyland too, and hasn't come back since.'
Ambience says 'He gets sad a lot. I feel like I have to protect him, because I don't know if he could protect himself, if he had to.'
Crossroads nods " I am sure your Da misses your mom very much. And he is probably worried about her too since she has been gone so long.
Ambience nods in agreement. "I was born in the Holyland, but that's all. I don't know what it's like or anything. Mama said I was born in a dream she had, then I was born for real."
Crossroads says ' So she dreamed of you before you were born?'
The Dryad on his head shakes her leafy head, answering the question for him.
Ambience says 'I don't really know. Mama never really told me the whole story. I dunno if she really knows, herself.'
Ambience says 'But Da is a reploid. They can't have kids, 'cause, y'know. Reploids.'
"Its not entirely unheard of for a mother to dream about a child before having one." Crossroads said thinking about it. Though wondered for a moment if the kid just simply had a different father.
Ambience seems to understand how weird he probably sounds, and decides to switch topics; his deep red irises blink a couple of times, perhaps in emphasis on his erstwhile explanation. "Anyway, I'm sorry for runnin'."
Ambience says 'It wasn't the right thing to do, and I felt bad about it. So I had to come find you so I could make 'mends for it.'
"Its good that you did. And I certainly can't fault you for doing it." Crossroads laughs a little, " I will admit I was a bit confused at first though. Right before the witch showed up I thought you were just running away from me."
Ambience looks confused. "Witch? What are you talkin' about?" He looks uncertain for a moment, before admitting. "I was running away from you.. and someone else at the same time. I felt someone like you there, and I got nervous."
Ambience says 'Then you showed up, and I felt it comin' from two sides, then. And Da was there, so I got scared for his safety. So I ran.'
Crossroads blinked. If there was another person like her there, why hadn't they jumped in to help? And who exactly had it been? Certainly it couldn't have been the boy who got his foot caught, Kyuubey wouldn't have tried to make a deal with him if that had been the case.
And it probably wasn't the person who stepped infront of the boy protectively when he reacted to seeing her. That left only two others in the area that Crossroads had noticed. The one who was drinking, and one left the area shortly after they did.
Ambience seems to note Crossroads' mounting confusion/concern, and pipes up. "Hey, you okay..?"
The Dryad in his hair gets to her "feet", standing up tall and seeming to incline herself towards Crossroads from where she is, perhaps out of curiosity.
"Yeah, I am fine. I'm just trying to figure out who else in the area it was." Crossroads points to her neck where her soul gem is, " The witch produces a grief seed which cleanses these things. Apparently something bad happens when you don't do it. I wonder if they know."
Crossroads says ' Besides, I kind of want to know who it was. It would be good to know who else has fallen into this trap, and nothing is wrong with having allies.'
Ambience thinks about this for a moment, specifically her reference to it as a "trap". Ulterior motives aside, he seems to fight with himself over the morality of the whole issue.
The Dryad taps him on the head again, almost as a reminder.
"Hey, what's your name? I don't know if you told me or not, yet." Ambience lets the question fly, seemingly from out of nowhere.
" Oh! Sorry if I haven't. My name is Crossroads. I think I am in the same boat as you there. I don't know if you have told me your name either." thinking about it he might have done so when they first met, but after learning what she had about herself and the gem she probably was in no state to remember it.
Ambience nods, and almost methodically, goes into a kneel. "Ambience Sermons, at your service." He rises again quickly, his erstwhile uneasiness replaced with something of a proud expression. "I'm sorry again for the misguidings."
The Dryad on his head waves just noticeably, presumably at Crossroads.
Ambience says 'I've never run into anyone like you before. It is.. different.'
"There are bound to be more. That creature showed up and offered the contract to someone else so it seems as though he is still out there looking to make more..." Crossroads stops in mid sentence, then confusedly waves at the thing on Ambience's head, noticing it for the first time.
Crossroads says ' ...Dryad?'
Ambience looks upward for a moment, then at Crossroads again, offering a grin. "So Sylvan seems to trust you a li'l bit. That's new."
The Dryad plops down on Ambience's head, looking at Crossroads with wide (for her size), unblinking green eyes.
Crossroads leans forward, examining it. It was kind of cute, actually. " So are you the one who has been messing with Ambience's hair all this time?"
The Dryad backs up considerably, to the far back edge of Ambience's head, as Crossroads attempts to get any closer.
Ambience ponders for a moment. "They're Mama's guardians, but they look after me 'cause Mama told 'em to. They can go back and forth from here to the Holyland whenever they want."
Seeing the creature back up, Crossroads decided that maybe she should do the same as well. She didn't want to scare it. "Well, it is a pleasure to finally meet you Sylvan." To Ambience she said," Your mama sure seems like an interesting person." "
Ambience looks a little sad, but only for a moment. Almost burdened, maybe. "Mama was supposed to be the next Mana Tree. But she had me, so someone else took her place."
Ambience says 'I don't know a lot. But the Mana Tree died a long time ago, and she was supposed to be the next one. But someone else did, because she had a family. But she got stuck in the Holyland anyway. I dunno what really happened.'
Crossroads remembered Ambience mentioning this, " What exactly is a mana tree?" Obviously it was a tree of some sort, but considering what she knew of mana (which was little) she really couldn't picture such a thing or understand its significance.
Ambience thinks for a moment, figuring how to put it, but decides to go with the blunt approach. "Everything. If there were no Mana Tree, there would be no magic. No mana. It is the source."
Ambience says 'Mama told me in her stories that the Mana Tree is a "physical representation of the Goddess within the mortal realm".'
Ambience seems to recite this last line as if from memory.
Crossroads says ' So your mama was supposed to become a physical representation of the goddess? That seems like it was supposed to be an important job.'
Ambience doesn't really respond. He seems to harbor a distant look on his face, as if caught up in some memory.
As if on cue, the Dryad bops Ambience on the noggin, once again.
Ambience starts, frowning softly as his vision focuses. "I think there is more to it. Mama said I was special. She said I was born in a dream, and there was something planned for me, because we are the Mana Tribe. The details are kind of fuzzy."
Crossroads nods, " Well, I am sure they will become clearer eventually."
Ambience nods. "Mama promised we'll be a family again, someday. Until then, I'll protect Da and everyone else I have to."
"Just make sure you protect yourself too while you are at it." Crossroads looked up at the boys head where the dryad was, " You'll make sure he stays out of trouble, right?"
The Dryad nods confirmingly, offering a hearty, if miniscule, salute.
Ambience smiles. "I can take care of myself. There's lots of others who can't, though. Mama says maybe that's why I'm here, for now, and not in the Holyland. But I should head home, it is awfully late."
Crossroads nods " Yeah, it is." With that, she opens her mouth and gives a wide yawn, stretching as she did.
Ambience nods lightly, closing his eyes for a moment as if listening to something. He lingers briefly, before opening his eyes again. "Okay. If you get in trouble or need help, you can find me in Oreyndur Forest, down that way a ways."
Ambience points generally southwestish. "If you get lost, just ask Lady Ovelia at the Monastery. She knows me too, and she can help you find me. I don't know what happened, but.. I don't think it is all your fault."
"Lady Ovelia. Got it." Crossroads made a mental note to remember the name. The boys ability to detect mana, or in some cases lack of could be pretty helpful. It seemed a good idea to know how to contact him.
Ambience smiles, and waves a little. "Be careful, then. And thanks for bein' understanding." He hurriedly runs off the the west, the Dryad in his hair holding on for dear life as she is taken for the ride.