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 Do Girls Like Tattoos?, tag;; Manyara
Col Isai
Posted: Jun 26 2011, 08:45 PM


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Col liked the walk to Manyara Thandiwe's home. Or maybe dwelling was a better word. Most homes weren't like Manyara's, what with that mystic, mysterious, all around interesting aura about the place.

It was one of the reasons Col liked visiting there. Aside from the walk, which was also pleasant enough, leading him through the Refugee Quarters and past some of the most scene views of the sea beyond. More than that, Manyara lived in a part of the Refugee Quarter with some twenty or so of her own tribespeople; Col admired how so many of them had stayed together, even all the way to Escova. Going to that part of the quarter often made him feel contented, as though in some way his own tribespeople would one day do the same thing, group and live together again, even if that was not the case.

Then, of course, there was Manyara herself.

Col only remembered his first meeting with the woman vaguely, and even that felt like something of a dream. It had been their relationship afterward that he most valued. Manyara was a Refugee like him, but she had the same strength in spirituality that he and his sister had. Even though they believed in different powers and practiced them accordingly, Col trusted Manyara and felt like she was one of the few people he'd encountered in his life in Escova who really understood him and his sister. She had once been something like the High Priestess in his tribe while living in her own tribe, providing her people with the same kind of magic and hope and love...and then she had seen her home quenched by the Mainland fire too. Col felt Manyara was a bit like the mother figure he and his sister had so lacked all these years.

But she was a cool mother figure. Calm, wise, fascinating....and kind too. She was always kind to him, he thought. And they'd had some pretty unique conversations over the course of time they'd known each other, as well.

So it was a pleasure to visit her. And to take the nice walk. And to wallow in all the interesting mysteriousness of Manyara's abode.

The wind tousled Col's hair as he walked through the last few streets leading to Manyara's home, and he reached up subconsciously to brush it back down. Lately he'd been devoting a great deal of time thinking about the state of his life in Escova. He'd been following the daily routine of hunting and collecting in the early mornings, and the routine was beginning to become monotonous. Now more than ever. He wanted to know where his life was headed--if he was meant to do anything important while he was alive. Oh...and there was a girl too. A....noble girl.

In fact, if he wanted to be honest with himself, maybe Col's biggest reason for going today to see Manyara-odaiji, as he would have called anyone of her status back in his home tribe, was simply to get love advice. Or a prediction on his love life, which seemed to be growing about as much as he was. Which right now, was very very little.

Col came to a stop as Manyara's home rose up before him, and he suddenly remembered the glass container his sister had given him earlier in the day to offer to the Shaman woman. He reached a hand into the neck of his outer tunic, withdrawing a small bottle of one of Evina Isai's concoctions. This one looked about as pleasant as one of the girl's flu-type medicines--the one with mushrooms that Col so hated--but he knew how potent Evina's creations were. This one was a more simple brew, a concoction to help the drinker find peace in sleep. Col wasn't exactly sure how the potion worked, perhaps something like a special herb at work which would calm the sleeper's thoughts in some way (Evina seemed to worry that Manyara was always thinking and thus must be restless; she'd wanted to help in some way). But gross-looking or not, Col had strong faith that should the bottle interest Manyara at all, it would do its job well.

Col lifted his free hand hand, smoothing his hair down once more as the wind whispered, persistent, then rapped on the door.

"Sweet Manyara, it's your favorite Seruki boy..." He paused. Funny, considering he was probably the only Seruki boy Manyara knew. Col glanced down at the bottle in his hands, now. "Oh yes. And he brought some very nasty-looking medicine from his sister."
Manyara Thandiwe
Posted: Jun 26 2011, 10:57 PM


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She had taken a leave from fortune-telling that day, it being a holy day back in the desert. The others had ceased their productive activities, too, save the handful of women who made food for the others. Some of the men had found fresh water and brought it home, and as the shaman and ranking elder, Manyara had been given the first opportunity to use it. Now, she sat in half-meditation, a half-cup of one of her special teas before her, no longer steaming. Around her three of the younger girls sat, braiding her hair.

Unbraiding the mess had been quite a chore, but all the girls had done it without complaint, only too happy to have been chosen to dress their shaman. Although Manyara had frowned on the waste of it, she'd allowed them to braid in the colorful strips of fabric they'd torn from their own clothes, knowing it would please them to accept the gift.

There was a knocking on the door, and Manyara's eyes opened. She recognized the voice, and gestured for someone to open the door and let the boy in.

When she saw him, she smiled pleasantly, and took another sip of her tea. "Col. Your sister spoils me with her gifts," she chuckled, although she had no intention of turning it down. Evina's gifts eluded her understanding at times, being just very different from her own, but they had their uses. "Would you like some tea?" One of the women had already produced a spare cup, and was crushing dried herbs into it. Not the same herbs in Manyara's own cup -- those were special, and just for her. She'd never divulged what they did to her, although her own people were fond of speculating.

"Please sit, my little Seruki," she invited, gesturing to a spot just in front of her. The girls surrounding her glanced up from their task with ready smiles, but quickly turned their attention back to Manyara's head.
Col Isai
Posted: Jun 27 2011, 01:47 PM


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The door opened, but it was not Manyara who had answered.

Col hesitated for a moment. It wouldn't have been the first time something like this had happened, but he suddenly worried maybe he was intruding. He wasn't fully accustomed to the customs and traditions of Manyara's tribe, as much as he had tried to learn--perhaps today was a ceremony of sorts. It wouldn't do to just barge in.

Then he saw the mystic woman through the gap in the door, behind the girl who had answered. Indeed she did look busy; there were more girls around her who seemed to have been busy at work braiding her hair.

Pink crept into Col's cheeks; there was no way he could ask about "girl advice" with the three other girls around, some presumably not so far from his own age. Even if there had been three extra grandma-aged women in the house, he would have held his tongue.

"Col. Your sister spoils me with her gifts." Manyara laughed. She seemed unfazed--not that she ever seemed fazed. Smiling, she sipped from a cup of what Col guessed to be her special tea. He already knew what was inside that cup, though he had no idea of the herbs names or even how they functioned. He'd only wondered because it had been part of his daily task for the past few years to collect herbs for his sister, even when he'd been in the tribe, and he couldn't imagine the effects of the ones Manyara used. Even so, he'd questioned Manyara about it many times before to know that it would always be as pleasant a mystery as Manyara herself was.

"Would you like some tea?"

One of the girls who had been at work braiding the Shaman woman's hair had already set to work making a cup for him; Col wouldn't refuse.

Nodding in a sort of half-bow to the girl who had allowed him in, the pink never leaving his face, Col then stepped inside, carrying the bottle over to where the Shaman woman sat. "Evina loves you like family. She is always happy to spoil you." He paused, suddenly thoughtful as he looked at the bottle again. "But sometimes I wonder if the look of her potions will spoil the drinker instead."

"Please sit, my little Seruki."

Col took a place just in front of the woman, where she had gestured, then gratefully accepted the cup of tea her girl had just made with another bow of his head. Manyara's people were always very kind, even if he'd met with Manyara alone more often than with those of her tribe. He appreciated how close they'd all remained, even remaining together in close quarters on Escova and so far from their homeland. He was envious, in many ways.

Col sat silent for a few moments, watching the girls at work on Manyara's hair, then contemplated if maybe it really was a bad time. He had the feeling it was an important holiday of sorts for this particular tribe, and curious though he was, he'd never been one to intrude in on this kind of thing, especially something he knew very little about.

Col fiddled with the bottle in his hand, watching the liquid inside slosh back and forth with his gestures, then became a little restless and turned his attention to the three tribal girls' work on Manyara's hair again. That was fascinating itself: Intricate, beautiful braids. And there was not even the slightest sense of the work being rushed. The girls had to be taking their time, making sure their religious leader looked beautiful. Though, Col thought it might not even have been fully necessary; Manyara had a unique, natural beauty of her own to begin with.

Setting the bottle down in his lap, Col coughed slightly. "Manyara..." He paused. Somehow it always hurt not to add the formal title from his own tribe to the end of her name. "Is it really okay, coming today? I don't want to trouble you."
Manyara Thandiwe
Posted: Jun 27 2011, 03:23 PM


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Her eyes closed briefly in the unique pleasure of having people play with one's hair. When she opened them again, Col sat before her, and a girl was filling his cup with hot water, a placid smile on her face. Everyone was relaxed today, and there was a peacefulness about the house that she had not felt since her days in the desert. But then, her tribespeople had always had a talent for putting aside their worries for holy days -- a talent that, she was discovering, was rather unique in this world. In Escova particularly, people tended to let their worries weigh on them overmuch. She found it alarming.

In the desert, entire inter-tribal wars had halted merely for the happenstance of a holy day, and there was dancing and food. When the holy time was over, the wars had picked up again like nothing had happened.

It had seemed like a normal enough process to her, having grown up with it. It was only after divulging in such details with outsiders that she was able to understand how odd the practice was by the standards of everyone else -- when other people started wars, they finished them, regardless of how long it took or what days the violence took them through. Pale people, especially. They had a sense of such panicked urgency about them, as if the world was going to just slip right out of their fingers if they didn't take the extra measures to secure it.

A slight frown crossed her face at Col's question, a line forming between her eyebrows as she considered him, not sure what it was that left him feeling unwanted. "You are always welcome in my house," she reassured him. "And my people welcome you, too." Hospitality was one of those things the desert people took seriously. After all, a lack of the proper hospitality could be fatal, in an environment like that.

She reached forward to lightly grasp his chin, her fingers coming together and pulling away; a gesture of affection where she was from. It was always a gesture to touch someone's face, since the rest of their skin would be covered to ward off the irritation of the sand. "What troubles you?"
Col Isai
Posted: Jun 28 2011, 12:26 AM


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Col watched Manyara carefully after having spoken, then instantly felt bad. In the moments before he'd spoken his mind, the tribal woman had appeared in true bliss: calm, quiet, peaceful. Very much in her own element. He realized he'd disturbed that sense of peace by his words alone.

Manyara frowned suddenly, meeting his gaze. Col actually had to fight to continue to meet hers. Manyara was a beautiful woman, but part of her power lied in some sort of hidden, unspoken majesty. She was a true Shaman in that sense, the kind of woman who didn't demand much of those around her, but when she did, to Col, she had the disposition of someone you always obeyed. Many times she probably didn't even have to speak for it to work, as her bearing alone was so impressive.

"You are always welcome in my house. And my people welcome you, too."

Col glanced at the girls surrounding Manyara, nodded to them politely again to signify that he'd had no bad intentions, then lifted a hand, waving it through the air to gesture to Manyara that he'd meant differently as well.

"I know that, I know that!" He smiled, thought it felt a bit forced. In fact, he wasn't nervous around Manyara, or even really the girls assisting her. Maybe he was just most nervous of his own feelings. He mainly came to this part of the Quarter because it was a relaxing, enjoyable atmosphere. He certainly wouldn't have made the extra trip today if he hadn't been seeking out that kind of thing. He just...well...he'd had some selfish motives for coming to see the kind tribal woman today, and perhaps it would suffice to say that this seemed to be the Sun Goddess' way of punishing him for even so small a selfish act. There was just no way he could ask his silly questions at a time like this; not unless he swallowed his pride. Really swallowed his pride.

Col felt something soft and light on his face, like the touch of many feathers, and realized Manyara had leaned forward to reach out to him. He'd long since learned that her gesture was one that came directly from her culture, a sign of affection.

Col accepted the gesture gratefully, tilting his head up slightly as the woman's fingers tickled his skin.

"What troubles you?"

He decided to refrain from mentioning the initial reason he'd had for coming to trouble Manyara today, and instead shook his head. "Not troubles. But is it a special holiday for you? I don't want to intrude on it. I can't practice the way you do, even if I want to. And I would apologize again, but I don't want you to feel bad."

He sighed, glancing down at the bottle of potion in his lap for a long, silent moment. Then suddenly his eyes narrowed, sparkling, and his face became sly. This would be a fine detour from the conversation he'd initially come for too.

"Manyara...I have a great idea. What if I tell you the ingredients in this potion," he gestured to Evina's bottle, "and you tell me the ingredients in that tea?" He pointed to the Shaman woman's cup of tea this time, the one with the special herbs, the sly-ish smile never leaving his young face.
Manyara Thandiwe
Posted: Jun 28 2011, 01:18 AM


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He quickly became agitated, and she realized it was because of her own reaction to him, and let her expression fall back into neutrality. It seemed the damage was done, however. However, as she waited for him to naturally come to a stop from his speaking -- he could be a chatterbox, Col Isai -- she saw that he seemed to resolve his troubles all on his own, by tempting her with the elusive ingredients in Evina's bottle.

She did want to know, being a curious soul about such things, although she could not help but wonder how much good it would do her; she had her own recipes with the herbs she knew, and these ones were simply foreign to her. She was learning much about Escovan herbs, but there was a chance that these were their own breed entirely, and knowing the contents of the bottle wouldn't serve much purpose if she were unable to recreate it. On the other hand, she knew that the exchange wasn't really about sharing secrets. It was about him wanting to move the conversation past the awkward point. Or perhaps simply wanting to know about the tea she was so secretive about.

"It is a holiday," she said, smiling. "We are taking a break from life today, to celebrate the anniversary of the first man to set foot on the sands. Normally it is not so important a holiday," she admitted, shrugging somewhat. "But as we have not seen the sands in many months, we thought we would like to take the day to remember."

She took a long sip of her tea, then, her eyes dancing with amusement as she looked at him over the rim of her cup.

When she set her cup down, her tone got slightly playful. "I'm not so sure that this bargain is equal. My tea is so very, very secret, and I think if I asked your sister about her potion, she might just tell me in exchange for nothing." Her smile widened as she spoke, obviously teasing.
Col Isai
Posted: Jun 29 2011, 06:34 PM


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"It is a holiday," Manyara replied calmly, a smile dancing across her features. "We are taking a break from life today, to celebrate the anniversary of the first man to set foot on the sands. Normally it is not so important a holiday, but as we have not seen the sands in many months, we thought we would like to take the day to remember."

Col nodded his understanding. That seemed reasonable enough, and fairly interesting too. He wasn't sure if the Seruki Tribe's records went so far back. Anyway, he and his sister had never been able to continue practicing Seruki traditions as they once had. With just the two of them, it was hardly possible to do well. Maybe they also didn't have the heart to; Col was further envious of Manyara's tribe in those regards. Even though they'd moved from their home, home was truly where the heart was for them. It at least felt as though Manyara's people had kept their culture alive and well.

And then after that, Col proposed his suggestion about the tea.

He saw amusement in the gaze Manyara returned to him, and his smile widened, this time of its own accord. It was always fun to play games with the Shaman woman, even if it was natural for her to win. It was another reason why he admired her so much. She seemed as ageless as she seemed mysterious. Though she was as wise as a woman with many years of experience in life, she still retained a youthful nature that often got Col going.

After taking a long sip from her cup of tea--almost tauntingly, Col thought, given the question he'd just asked--the Shaman woman's voice became as pleasantly playful as the look on her face.

"I'm not so sure that this bargain is equal," she said. "My tea is so very, very secret, and I think if I asked your sister about her potion, she might just tell me in exchange for nothing."

There was a moment of silence, except for that of a slight rustling in the room as Manyara's girls continued to braid her hair. Col just returned the wise woman's gaze, trying hard to keep his features even and not betray any emotion.

And when he could take it no more, he scrunched up his face, feigning disappointment. "Okay okay okay. I lost that game." He took a moment, rolling the bottle subconsciously in his lap, the smile still on his face. "Some day I will figure out the secret of the tea. And if not the tea, then how to win a game against you. But....you are right. Evina would not hesitate to tell you the ingredients." He paused. "Now that I think about it, I think she would tell you over telling me..."

He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and setting the bottle of Evina's potion down on the table where his cup of tea still sat, steaming. He grabbed this instead, taking a sip and busying himself watching the tribal girls fix Manyara's thick hair into the fancy, traditional braids he was used to seeing her in. It was fascinating, watching them work. The intricacy of each gesture, the delicate way they went about it...Col wasn't entirely sure what the tribe's holiday would entail, but if Manyara was getting dressed up for it, he was sure it would be something spectacular.

Maybe fine, traditional foods (if there were the right ingredients, which more often than not there weren't, in Escova), music, dancing, celebration. Maybe there would even be fireworks. Col's tribe had never dabbled in the art of the bright, bursting fires in the sky, but he'd heard of tribes who had. He remembered seeing such celebrations even while he was back on the Mainland; he longed to see them again. It had been such a time of peace, then.

Then a thought occurred to him. "Manyara..." Col set down his cup of tea, folding his hands in his lap once they were free. "I just thought...recently, has it felt strange? Outside? Maybe not so much here with your people, but recently I feel like so many Refugee people are so tense."

He wasn't sure how to explain the sensation, exactly. Half the time he wasn't even around the other Refugees, he'd been keeping himself so busy doing the hunting and collecting work for his sister or sneaking up North to see the nobles. But the times he'd come home in recent days, passing by other Refugee families or stopping in their shops...there had been something of an uneasy air. People seemed fairly stressed. Perhaps everyone was being pushed to their limits? It wasn't easy working so hard every day. It was partly the reason why Col excused himself to go take breaks after his work.

"Maybe I imagined it..."

[OOC: Not to digress, but I thought that maybe this post would take place before the Refugee Riot, hence the last thought! ^^]
Manyara Thandiwe
Posted: Jul 19 2011, 07:53 PM


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Her face sobered at his question, and she immediately thought of Theo and his warning. Thank goodness she had such a friend. She shuddered to think of how many refugees the incident might take by surprise.

"Mm, yes," she said, softly. "I have been advised by a trusted friend to keep myself and my tribe safe and... indoors, if you understand my meaning. I dare not say more about it, but there is something brewing out there, and I would not like for you to be caught in it." The trouble was, she didn't know precisely when it would all happen -- just that it would, and soon.

She was waiting for it so avidly, she was beginning to feel paranoid.

"Inform your sister, of course. There are some refugees whom I think will... exacerbate the situation, and take great pride in this. I do not think that is a good idea," she added, in a firm tone, just in case gentle Col took it in his head to fight for the good of some cause.

Manyara sighed, and felt the last of her new braids drop against her. The girls appeared done with their work, and quite pleased with it.

She dismissed them with a gesture, and they gathered up their things and moved into another room in the ramshackle house that they all called home, leaving her and Col alone. "I'm not sure when the trouble will happen," she said, apologetically. "Just try and be ready to seek haven wherever you are. I have a feeling that the Escovans will suffer our presence not much longer."
Col Isai
Posted: Jul 24 2011, 02:48 AM


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"Mm, yes. I have been advised by a trusted friend to keep myself and my tribe safe and... indoors, if you understand my meaning. I dare not say more about it, but there is something brewing out there, and I would not like for you to be caught in it."

At Manyara's words, Col's eyes widened, and he backed up so far on his seat that he nearly toppled over. Evina's potion jar came close to slipping from his lap at the sudden movement; the Refugee boy stopped it just in time with a quick motion of his hand. "Then there is something!"

"Inform your sister, of course. There are some refugees whom I think will... exacerbate the situation, and take great pride in this. I do not think that is a good idea."

Col recognized the stern, almost mother-like tone Manyara had adopted at those words and blushed--not that he was well-aware of "motherly" tones, considering he'd had barely enough time to appreciate his own mother, but he had his assumptions. Even so, he was grateful that Manyara was worried over his sister and him, even if she thought they might do something foolish. Truth be told, she was right. The "incident" had already piqued Col's curiosity.

Though now that he thought about it...Col pushed out his bottom lip, a sinking feeling coming over him. Curious or not, he didn't like to think that something foreboding lay ahead. Especially for the people in Escova who already seemed to have enough of their own problems to deal with without more piled on. To think he'd come to Manyara's home simply to ask a, well....a question about girls, and instead he'd gotten them both bogged down into a conversation about this instead...

Anyway, it was all just speculation, right? It wasn't certain to happen, right? Though, Col had never doubted Manyara's word, and today wouldn't be the start of that.

Now more restless than ever, Col set down Evina's concoction beside his half-empty cup of tea, then got to his feet, moving back for the window he'd stood near earlier. He pushed his bangs from his eyes, sighing. As he gazed out that one window, taking in all that was beyond the glass, he realized he couldn't imagine the mayhem that could wreak havoc on this new home of his. Maybe in the same way it had in his home on the Mainland.

There was movement across the room, and Col turned. Manyara's assistants had finished for the day, it seemed. They were leaving.

"I'm not sure when the trouble will happen," Manyara spoke up again. "Just try and be ready to seek haven wherever you are. I have a feeling that the Escovans will suffer our presence not much longer."

"I don't understand all the politics," Col said softly, leaning his weight against the wall nearest the window. He folded his arms. "But I understand what you mean. We are like the thorn in the lion's paw. The easiest thing to do is pull it out and throw it away."

There was a moment's pause, then Col decided to change the topic. Now that the attendants had finished braiding Manyara's hair and left...

"Actually, Manyara..." Col slipped forward again, moving towards the table where Manyara sat, his eyes fixed on the floor of the hut. It was somehow easier that way. "I didn't come here just about nasty potions and talks about dark things. I wanted to talk about something else...too."

Somehow this was more embarrassing mentioning to Manyara alone than with her attendants present. Still...

"Do--do girls like tattoos?" Col asked seriously, gesturing to the beautiful, artistic array which adorned Manyara's body.
Manyara Thandiwe
Posted: Jul 25 2011, 08:27 PM


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Her lips tightened against each other as he spoke, initially seeming excited. Blood burned hot in the refugees' youth... normally, she would have been charmed by it, laughing as young boys and girls grew bright with hormonal fever. But here, in this dark and dreary place, such fevers were dangerous. It pained her to dampen the fervor of the young, but she couldn't allow any of her own to bring trouble upon themselves in this foreign land, where she had neither the experience nor the authority to keep them safe from the natives.

Yes, the easiest thing for the Escovans to do would be to slaughter them all. And the best and easiest things the refugees could do was lie low and try not to force the natives of the island to contemplate it.

She took a sip of her tea, and watched as Col seemed to abruptly shift in attitude. When he mentioned that he had an ulterior motive for being there, she raised her eyebrows in silent question as she took another sip of her tea. The tea calmed her from the inside out, and briefly, her vision blurred. She blinked the blurriness away and cocked her head in amusement at Col's question.

So the boy had found a girl. "Well, in my tribe, they do," she said, slowly. "For our tattoos are trophies of acts of great bravery, or great strength. In Escova, or among the other refugees... I do not know their customs well enough to say."

She smiled, unable to keep the amusement from her expression any longer. "Who have you found, Col Isai?"
Col Isai
Posted: Aug 14 2011, 08:18 PM


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"Well, in my tribe, they do," Manyara said slowly, her head angled to the side. "For our tattoos are trophies of acts of great bravery, or great strength. In Escova, or among the other refugees... I do not know their customs well enough to say."

Col nodded thoughtfully. "I see..." He admired Manyara for a moment more, after her words. If that was the case, then she must have been quite a woman indeed. She never failed to impress him. Though, she was also the only person Col found he felt comfortable just being around. Sometimes even words weren't necessary with her, she was simply so good at making one feel at home...

"Who have you found, Col Isai?"

Col met Manyara's gaze again, breaking from his thoughts, and he felt warmth rise in his face. The woman looked a great deal amused. He must not have been....subtle enough.

"Nobody, nobody! Of course there is nobody." Col laughed nervously, wringing his hands and all the while becoming increasingly aware of what a wonderful job he was doing in concealing his feelings. Not that anything could be concealed from Manyara, and not that he personally believed it was possible either. Anyway, it was a noble girl he was daydreaming about, not a simple local like himself. His daydreams were just that: daydreams and nothing more.

"I suppose...I just hope that some day I will have some chance to be recognized for those sort of good things. Bravery and strength and the like." Col mimicked lifting a sword and swinging it around. "Right now I seem only to be headed toward small, crotchety old man. Look...I am already beginning to turn crouched over from all those collecting chores."

Col grumbled to himself, then glanced out the window once more, hoping to hide his pinkened face from Manyara. Outside, despite the eerie aura about the Refugee Quarters which he'd recalled earlier, everything still looked quite peaceful. The weather was pleasant enough too. Maybe now that Manyara was done with her chores...

"Manyara...want to go outside? There is a small tavern not so far from here, maybe you know it? The keeper is pleasant and the food good enough! I have worked small tasks for him before...I think he would be pleased to see us." Col paused a moment, then had to wink. "Maybe he will offer us a treat. No need for pay."
Manyara Thandiwe
Posted: Sep 4 2011, 06:01 PM


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Her smile widened briefly at his blustering, but she quelled it, for his sake. She had no desire to embarrass the boy. "My mistake," she murmured. She wondered what he would have assumed she'd think, when he asked if girls liked tattoos. Maybe he was simply trying to catch the attention of any random girl.

"I do not think you need tattoos for that. You are very special already, and it shows on your face," she said, reassuringly. "Also, tattoos are very painful."

She took a long swallow of her tea, finishing it off, and nodded.

"It would be lovely to go outside for a little bit. Thank you for the invitation." She stood and stretched, feeling her bones protesting a bit at the long bout of sitting. She was getting old.
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