Well it was as suspected. Chirp grabbed tight to the scarf through the grate, tangling his own cloak tips around it and bracing himself. Atop his head Song lifted her cloak and began to peep…a song. She sang.
Though whatever it was.. it was the cue in Chirps eyes.
Ignoring that the tiny thing was now dancing on his head at this point Chirp heaved on the scarf. His pointed feet sliding in the sand a bit.
Song simply fell off his head and flapped her cloak wildly in reaction. Giggling.
Best laughs a moment at Chirp’s expense, before throwing himself into his plan. Sandsong’s singing was close enough to counting for him. He tugs, he slides! He occasionally flutters, his scarf glowing as the beam inches close, closer to the pile.
Suddenly, Best slips and crashes into the grate in front of Chirp, the sound of him hitting it drown out under the crash of metal and more rubble tumbling around. :>Ow! What happen?<: he asks, holding his suddenly slack scarf. He pulls it toward him.
Best holds up the window grate he’d been using for support on his scarf pulley system. He holds it out to Chirp as though he could explain.
Before Best can quite figure out what happened and adjust his plan accordingly, though, the floor rolls. Then it buckles up as the entire side wall falls out. Best (and most of the debris) tumble toward the gap.
:>Á́h҉̴͘͟!̶̸͝͞ Save I!<: he cries out as his scarf grows taunt between Chirp and himself. The beam shoots by, its speed and weight freeing it from his (admittedly pretty awful) knot before it tumbled down into the ruins below.
Vanem found himself beginning to enjoy his interaction with Best, not something he thought would ever happen. Maybe being outside like this meant Best was less distracted and thus more focused.
As he listened to Best, he looked off towards the light ascending from the Mountain in the distance. He had fond memories of the Journey, and of reaching that light. The only thing which prevented him from going again is that there was a possibility that his next Journey could be his last. Even though Kvailas would claim there was still work for him to do, even he could not guaranteed rebirth another time around.
And it helped him find inspiration for what to tell Best.
"I truly think it would be best to write not so much a definitive history of the world as your own personal view of the world," Vanem said. "You see, I believe we’re all meant to experience the Journey in our own way. Sometimes we come upon things we don’t understand and need guidance. That is perhaps where your account could come in, especially to those who, like you, have not completed the Journey yet."
Normally he would be hesitant to state that Best could guide anyone, but he felt the written word was innocuous enough in this case. Besides, he believed everyone should feel useful, and he didn’t want to deny that to Best.
Best nods along, a look of intense thoughtfulness on his face. He thinks over all the stuff that having someone to help would have made things so much easier. He then gasps! He has the perfect thing that people need help with!
:>Okay! I tell of own journey! You wait, I gonna write and let check!<: He falls upon his paper like a bird of prey, then shifts to hide it from Vanem with his body. :>Waaait, waaait<: he occasionally says as he scratches and scrapes dried ink from his person, twisting his head to make sure Vanem’s still there. Best is mostly just smearing ink powder now, but he’s intent on his task and careful… careful…
:>Okay, this what got so far!<: he says finally, after a painfully long, but blessedly quiet and nondestructive, time at work. His cloak is cramped from holding the much abused quill so tightly and he furls and unfurls one edge as he holds out his paper. Despite how fast he moves with everything else, like a tornado or other localized natural disaster, Best writes very slowly.
Lethe watched Best reached out for one of his arm and that was when he noticed. Never had he faced such terror. Not even the War could compare to this. OH ANCESTOR! THIS BEING HAS NO HAN—ARMS! IT HAS NO ARMS!!!
He stared in horror as Best’s cloak-that-acts-like-arms wrapped around his, tugging him. Couldn’t do much, Lethe just followed the other wayfarer all the while staring wide-eyes. They walked a few metres and stopped in front of a huge boulder. The other let go of his arm (much to Lethe’s relief) and pointed to a small gap of a hole, chirping loudly.
"Why are you showing me this roc—Oh…"
Lethe sensed a sign of life, beneath the boulder. It was small. So, what the other was trying—Ah… Now only did he understand the whole situation.
And then something hit him in the face. Panicked, Lethe tore at whatever it was from his face, only to find out it was part of a scarf. He glared at Best, who was (again) chirping with gusto.
The Ancestors must be testing me.
Knowing it would only causes more headaches trying to understand what the other was saying, Lethe decided not to bother at all. He got down to his knees and peered into the small hole.
It was quite dark in there. Lethe strained his eyes, searching for that source of life and there it was, the little being, looking back at him.
Best smushes himself against Lethe, like a bag of warm sand who is also petting him for his apparent sympathy to Best’s plight. The words weren’t well understood, but he came over, and is now looking in the hole under the rock, so they must be on the same page.
:>You see daughter, no?<: he yells, regardless of how close they are. His cloak is flapping frantically, and he’s completely unaware of how unnerving his lack of appendages is. Or his general presence, especially when he’s right in another’s face.
:>Tell daughter she need come up now! If no, we got go in and get her, no?<: Best says, even as daughter chirps angrily. She’s not saying anything in particular with her chirps, but her noises just compounds Best’s, like a echo chamber. Though she’s hard to see in the dark, what little light comes through the hole glints off of her sword. She knows someone else is up there, and is having none of this interruption of her exploring! If he hadn’t wanted her to wander off, he shouldn’t have let her down here.
She hefts her tiny sword in her non-arms and marches further into the darkness of the cave. She is beholden to no wayfarer! Parent or no!
"Well- oh-okay." Xun stumbled on their words for a moment as Best finished speaking and dashed off. They wanted to talk with him, confirm the explanation, but… didn’t even get a chance for that. The demonstration, however, answered more questions than Xun could ask.
…And it did a good job of striking some fear into them too. It wasn’t the risk of falling, for Xun could just glide and float down no lighter than a feather. Instead, it was the risk of gaining that much speed and… slamming into something. Sure, half their life revolved around moving quickly and taking a fast route, but at worst it resulted in a bruise or two.
This, on the other hand, was enough to have Xun standing on the jagged edge of the cliff with hesitation that held them in place. Even a cliché joined the moment as just one small shifting movement forward caused a few rocks, pebbles and puffs of sand & dust to fall down the cliff face… The very same cliff face that Xun was so afraid of splattering into.
Xun quickly brought their head and gaze up, staring across the short chasm to the daring, possibly insane white cloak. “You know what Best?! On uh, second thought, I don’t think I’d mind the extra few seconds it take to fly as far as I can and um, just uh…! Climb the small part of chasm wall that I cling onto! Yeah!" Their voice was just as shaky as their posture.
Best leans forward to better hear Xun, but still has some trouble making out the words. He heard something about thinking, not minding, and what sounded like an affirmation on the end, so throws his scarf up joyously, letting it flutter out over the gap between them. :>Yes! I glad this help! I gonna come back, we work out kinks, okay!<:
He plunges off the edge again, this time pulling off the maneuver with a little less harrowing near-death exploding.
:>T҉̢a̸̢̛-̕̕͜͠d̷̛̛̀͟á͜҉̸!<: Best chirps as he drops like a rock right in front of Xun. Though he might be the best at flying, he couldn’t claim to be the best at landing. :>I back! You say you want try? It easier when know what to expect! We get you across, no problem! Why you want go over anyway?<: He asks as he shakes off the sand, just barely changing the color of his cloak from grungy off-white to off-white-orange-ish. The obvious answer is just because, which is how Best justifies a good majority of his actions. He could, it was there. He set it on fire. Or drew on it. Or ran into it, whatever or whoever it was. But he realizes most people have better reasons than himself.
Vanem had certainly not set out to make Best feel bad, but he felt partially responsible for Best’s despair. Perhaps it had been a touch elitist on Vanem’s part to assume that a “correct” perspective came with completing the Journey.
He took Best at his word that he had not completed the Journey for now, though he thought it odd that Best would have a white cloak before having ever completed it once. The explanation that Best simply did not recall his first Journeys — indeed, many Wayfarers do not at first — did not work as most Wayfarers specifically needed to start remembering their Journeys before being granted the white cloak. That was how it had worked in his world, anyway.
He put aside the white cloak mystery for the moment. “Best, if it helps any, you are not the first Wayfarer to not have completed his first Journey,” Vanem said in a soft voice. “I am good friends with a young female Wayfarer who has not yet completed her first Journey either, but I value her perspective on the world despite never having entered the light at the summit.”
"To be honest, Best, no great secret lies in the light," Vanem said. "The point of the Journey is the Journey itself. The light is a gateway to rebirth and eventual enlightenment."
Vanem smiled. “In fact, I would say that your account of the Journey could be valuable to those like you who have not yet completed it.”
Best sits up, his mood passing like a summer shower. :>Oh! Okay! That good to know! I got rough start when I born, but it shaping up to be good journey so far! I teach self how read! How write! I make babies! Make friends! Maybe when I old like you, I go to mountain (even if I no find friend, but perish thought!)! Do all over! But I no want end it now!<: Best readily and easily embraces the knowledge that he’s doing a good job on his journey (because of course he is, with a name like Best), though he hadn’t really thought about the purpose of it before. Go to the light on the mountain had just been something he’s supposed to do because reasons. If there’s no rush, and he’s not missing anything important, he can put that off until he’s good and ready to go.
But now he faces a different issue. Namely, what he needs to do with his story. He’d worked hard on it, visited all the places to draw the pictures, even the scary ones. But if he’s writing to a more focused audience, he needs to revise. His mask scrunches as he stares intently at the papers.
:>So I need still write story of world,<: he continues, his confusion making him speak more quietly and slowly than he’d been all night, though his words build up momentum as he starts thinking of what he needs to change. :>Should mention I no been to mountain? Or should tell all I learn that I no think others know? Or what I be doing on journey? Skip what going on in pictures? I gonna include stories I read that no are in pictures before! But that too much?<:
((Thank you anon! The community’s been very welcoming, esp. to poor, derpy Best, and as ever I’m glad I joined. And thanks for sticking around on my weightofhistory alt as I ramble through and meander all about. She’s tough to write, probably tougher to respond to, and toughest to just read.))
Vanem had to admit that sitting outside his abode at night had its attractions, not the least of which was the cool air, the stars, and the distant glow of the Mountain.
"Yes, this is for you," Vanem said in a more friendly voice. "I thought you might want some fresh parchment after the mishap inside."
He looked off in the direction of the Mountain for a moment. “I was curious about something. How far have you actually gone on the Journey? Did you ever make it to the Mountain?”
If he had to guess, he would say that Best had not completed it yet, as that could account for some of his odd notions about the Journey. While he was never one to impose a particular interpretation on anyone, there were some aspects of it he felt were fairly obvious. Then again, he had the advantage of being able to consult an Ancestor. He realized not everyone — or even the majority — of Wayfarers could claim such a connection.
:>Yes, please! Thank you!<: Best says as he rubs his eyes with the edge of his cloak. Now where was he? Oh, yeah, the war machines! Best smooths out a place for him to work, and squeezes his cloak to get a few drops with which to write, before taking the papers. He plucks the quill that has stalwartly clung to his head and catches the bit of sandy ink. It’s horribly ineffectual and tedious for more than a few scratches of shapes, but before Best can get too far, he gets distracted by the question.
:>No! I no get to mountain! I try, but it cold! So cold, I die, I think! And how I get to light on mountain then, huh!<: He scribbles a picture similar to several in the margins and backs of his own papers. :>I return to beginning for friend to help I! I find magic scarves, but no find friend yet, so no can go back!<: He holds up the paper, an even more poorly drawn than usual pair of wayfarers.
:>This friend! This I! We gonna go together so no die!<:
Best then lapses into a motionless silence as he thinks on why Vanem would have asked such a random question. He’s rarely wondered what actually lay on the mountain, or in the light, more intent on getting friend to go with them. But maybe there are secrets there that he should know! And he’s the only one who doesn’t.
:>Oh no! I never go to mountain!<: he wails, collapsing in on himself. :>I no good enough to tell story of world!<:
Xun looked taken aback from the moment Best shouted his first line. While the shouting was nothing new, what he said was certainly something to be speechless over. And not in the shocked or confused sort of way, just… Unsure of what to say back.
So this left the personsilent as Best lunged in close, backed away, said something that… didn’t make sense, stood there in deep thought, and then finally asking something that Xun might have understood. Their answer was also a question.
"You mean gliding?" Xun thought they were already past this point. Both of the wayfarers had managed to somehow convene on the idea that getting as high as possible in a stationary spot and then gliding over was the best way to clear the chasm. So if that had already been established, then Best’s question probably meant… something else entirely.
The blue cloak looked off to their side, across the short gap of the chasm again. To think that clearing the chasm would be the hardest thing they did today. Instead, it would be understanding this loud traveller.
:>Sort of like glide, but that more fly-fall! This you gotta fall first, then fly! It different method than one I show, as you no squishy like I!<: Best says. :>Okay, this what gotta do! You swoopy swoop with scarf burst! Like swoop, burst up, fly! Swoop, burst, fly! Gotta angle self right, though, or it no work! I show, okay! Keep eye on when glow!<:
And much like when he tried to show his earlier method, Best charges off without actually waiting if that makes sense. He leaps off the cliff and dives down, then curves, using his cloak to get a dip that starts to sheer off to the right. His scarf glows for just a moment, but then Best shoots up, higher than the cliff and closer to the other side. He peaks and drops again as low as before, then repeats his swoop with another charge as he angles up. A third time, and he just barely misses clipping himself on the edge of the cliff before overshooting and splaying his cloak to slow himself as he drops.
Surprisingly, despite the erratic movements and near deadly momentum he picked up, Best has made it to the other side. :>woohoo!<: he yells, cloak spread wide as he flaps it at Xun. He’s yelling more in relief at having survived, because it was a lot windier than Best expected between the cliffs. He’d thought for a moment he was going to hit the wall and explode in a shower of dust and glyphs. That would have been awful! And probably worse if it happened to Xun. Best doesn’t even know what would pop out then.
Mun: First at all guys I just wanted to say that THANK YOU FOR 20+ FOLLOWERS!!!! and for that I wanted to make a Art Giveaway for you guys! and I’m so happy right now!
Here we go…
First place: (full body)
Second place: (pixel art)
Third place: (Sketch)
- Just Reblog
- Must be following
- Deadline August 3
- And good luck guys!
Vanem kept taking wary glances behind him so as not to be surprised by Best following him in despite requesting he stayed outside. When he did not see Best, it was at first a welcome change, but now he worried as to just what Best was up to.
He gathered the needed supplies quickly, not bothering to arrange anything neatly (unusual for him) and simply carried them as a single armload of parchments and a proper pen. He hastily picked up Best’s documents as well as he headed out.
He was surprised to find Best right where Vanem had left him, even more surprised still to see he had dozed off.
Vanem was tempted. Very tempted. Just back up inside and close the door, then go on to bed.
He sighed. The more likely scenario was that Best would wake up and pound on his door again. At least this way he got to keep the damage to a minimum if they stayed outside.
He arranged a light inside to shine closer to a window before heading back outside and closing the door behind him. He said down next to Best and waited to see if he would wake up.
Best rolls over, flinging his cloak over his face. :>Nugh! It no day, go away sun!<: he mumbles around chirps. He resumes sleeping for a breath longer, then sits up and looks around in confusion. :>Oh, wait! I awake, no go to slee— Hello!<: He continues, interrupting himself when he spots Vanem.
:>Thank you for light! I no been sleep at all tonight, so probably sleep whole night through if not there!<: he says as he stands and stretches out, doing a wiggly dance to get back to full alertness. That would have been horrible if he’d missed out on his own work, after going through all this trouble.
:>That for I?<: he asks finally, settling down. Despite his initial confusion, he’s already completely awake and ready to get back to work.