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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Curiosity Killed the Cat (open)


Matalina
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If one thing was certain for Nox, the visit of an Aes Sedai to the Farm had clearly intrigued his interests in things outside his own little world.  He still wouldn't stay and he could go home anytime he wanted.  The Citadel was friendly, why not visit Tar Valon too.  It was like Tear, grandoise and huge in comparison to where he'd grown up a meager child.  And the brothel and streets were nothing to compare life to in these cities, not even Tear's ramshackles were as bad as what he'd grown up in.  

 

Though Nox didn't want to run into any Aes Sedai.  Or anyone for that matter, Adrim opened a gate to Tar Valon.  Well not Tar Valon, a small village outside the city proper at one of the bridges.  It was best to keep the men from the White Tower, but they had more cause to find the men here than anywhere else.  Proximity and all.  Their small little refuge was only a house with a yard and they sent back boys to Tear to gate back to the farm.  Disorientation was key to enemies finding the Farm.  And there were enemies all around.  

 

Even from across the river Nox could spy the spire of the White Tower.  It's height shadowing everything in its wake.  He stood and stared over the rooftops at such a majestic building almost fearful of approaching it's spire.  That was were Jagen Sedai lived.  Nox would bet all his pocket money she was likely back home and safe in her bedroom high in those walls. Traveling wasn't foreign to him and he gated around the world all the time.  Why shouldn't the Aes Sedai?

 

Nox left his black jacket with pins at the Farm but still he wore black trousers and  long sleeved tunic.  His hair flopped over his eyes and he walked through the streets staring at everything.  If he didn't look like a tourist by dress alone his gawking certainly did.  Nox knew how to skirt by people without them touching him.  He kept a wary eye on any who got too close, catching a pickpocket was easy when you had been one yourself for years upon years.  And even now he felt the call to lift a purse, but he didn't.  Adrim would be angry, and Nox didn't like making Adrim angry.  

 

The noise and people were like every city.  The hawkers on the street, the children playing.  And to think there were Aes Sedai living just out of reach.  He stopped in the middle of a square and stared up at the building that speared the clouds.  What would it be like to live in such a place?

 

[[ anyone is welcome to jump on in.  I have no plans.  ]]

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Celestine was able to visit the city as an Accepted, but only for certain hours, and not very long, at that. Finally she was able to visit the streets on her terms, and there was so much to see. She wanted to take it in and do so as a sort of tourist herself. Though new to the shawl, she was not wearing it out here. Instead she only wore a yellow and pink lacy dress, descent in cut and in a nice wool, embroidered with flowers. She had a scrip at her side, her shawl and ring hidden inside, along with some money from the bank. A strap over her shoulder secured it.

 

She paused briefly here and there, to admire buildings, to try food, and to just sit and watch the city. And, in truth, she also wanted a break from the halls of the Tower; learning all she had to since gaining the shawl was as tiring as any day as a novice or Accepted.

 

Celestine paused before a man doing nothing other than staring up at the architecture of the city. Or rather, he was looking at its grand beacon, the White Tower. She couldn't help but smile at him. "Beautiful, isn't it? I can't stop finding it inspiring." She spoke a bit loudly, but her tone was friendly.

 

****

This is a larger pic of what she looks like, in case you're curious  (my own art)

 

celestinesigg2018a_by_drowelfmorwen-dc37

 

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The voice from next to him drug his eyes to a pair of pretty hazel eyes.  Nox grinned at her.  "Daunting."  His voice still awed at the White Tower.  The wry grin still on his lips he looked back up to the spires of the White Tower.  "I was just wondering what it would be like to live there.  Not as an Aes Sedai, just to live with in the walls.  The grandness of it all." 

 

Nox gave a visible shudder at the thought of living at the heights.  To look down on the world, people looking link ants, and the horses like little playthings he never had the opportunity to do as a child.  His fear of heights would never allow him beyond the first or second floor.  Knowingly climbing to such heights.  The anxiety it would cause.  So instead he turned his attention back to the woman in front of him with her pretty smile and her .... His grin grew wide.  "What else inspires you?" he asked.

 

The city streets were still crowded and people passed them on both sides.  Kids ran here and there.  Nox watched a pair out of the corner of his eye.  Dressed in rags and too thin, he remembered the look, the feel of being unclean, of being hungry.  But for now they sat and watched, and he would watch them while he flirted with the pretty woman before him.

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Celestine watched the man's eyes go to the children nearby. She pursed her lips slightly in thought. It was regrettable that children always seemed to be the first to suffer when food shortages happened. But she could only do them so much good. So many a Sister had told her when she was Accepted.

 

"They come to the White Tower, you know," she told the man before her, her accent naming her Andoran. "For Healing, when they get sick." She sighed. "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, but that doesn't mean we are helpless." Her smile grew, and it made her appear very joyful. "That makes me inspired. We have a hand in helping the Wheel to weave it's Pattern, and we should all do our part, if we're able."

 

She gave a smile to the children, at least one of whom smiled back, then she turned to the man. "And you, sir...? What inspires you?"

 

celestinesigg2018a_by_drowelfmorwen-dc37

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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Nox smirked at being called sir.  He was no sir.  He'd never be a sir if you asked him.  He was one of those kids he was watching.  And always would be.  He'd always feel like that.  "It's Nox.  Sir, sounds wrong."  He offered his hand and when she offered it up he'd pull it to his lips and kiss the third knuckle.  It was never wrong to be charming.  

 

He thought about her question.  What inspired him.  He watched the two boys watching them.  Nox knew they were assessing there targets.  Two star struck tourists oblivious to their manipulations.  One of the boys caught his eye and Nox shook his head.  It would be a bad idea to pick his pocket.  Not that he wouldn't give them all he had in his pockets, it wasn't much.  But he knew food would be a better offering.  

 

The only thing inspired him as a young child was his next meal and the next place to sleep.  Now?  There was no hunger, no worries about a bed.  Now, the children like him inspired him - still he guess.  "Children like them."  Nox said as he took her hand and walked towards the pair who had been watching them.

 

The one who'd caught his eye before looked ready to bolt.  But for now he stayed put, Nox gave him a genuine smile.  Nox pulled the few coins out of his pocket that he had on him and pressed into one of the boys hands.  "Promise me you'll feed some of those younger than you too.  Those who can't steal for themselves."

 

The other boy protested "We wasn't gonna steal from yaz..."  But his voice trailed off when Nox leveled a knowing gaze at him.

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Celestine let the man guide her over to the children, but after that she folded her hands over her skirts. She wasn't sure it was entirely appropriate for a new Aes Sedai to let herself get distracted by a man as soon as she had the shawl. Certainly, her sisters would not approve. But then, there was no rule against it...

 

Yet customs are just as important not to break as rules. She watched as Nox gave the children money. Celestine looked between them, then tilted her head. So the children were little thieves... and he seemed to understand them. She supposed she understood, too, though it would have been a mistake to steal from her. Yet the interaction struck her as quite personal.

 

"Where are you from, Nox of no last name? I am Celestine, by the way. Celestine Erebruz." And she made sure to keep her hands folded this time--after moving her scrip slightly so it hung more in her front than at her side.

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Nox gave the boys a nod so they'd know to scurry off and find food.  He took note of their direction and maybe after his distraction he'd do more than give them his last few remaining coins.  If it came down to it he could always make more money.  It wasn't hard, not even in a city like Tar Valon.  The brothels and the streets were no different here than anywhere else, just prettier.

 

He turned his attention to Celestine with a bright smile.  "Ms. Erebruz, names are what we make of them.  I really don't know how to answer your question."  He could tell her the absolute bare honest truth - he didn't know where he came from.  Or he could make her feel sorry for him, say he hailed from a brothel this side of the River Erinin - which may or may not be a lie since Nox didn't know his geography well enough to tell her specifics.  But he decided the current truth minus the status of being Asha'man. "I've been a little bit of everywhere.  There is a village in Andor I currently call home.  I'm taking in the grand sights." 

 

He grinned at her.  "I'd ask if you'd like to get a drink but sadly I gave the last of my coin to the boys.  So the pleasure of my company while we look at what the city has to offer is all I can offer you.  We can't stand here gawking all day at the spire of the White Tower."

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Her smile almost widened, but she looked more amused than flattered when he offered his company. But she was enjoying her day, and thought to accept it. But he had just given away the last of his coin by his own admission. He didn't have a bag or anything; where was he sleeping? She wondered if he had an inn; he didn't look as if he just traveled here that day.

 

"You've come all the way from Andor," she commented, putting together the pieces of information, "just gave away the last of your coin, and act as if you've not a care in the world. Determined to simply enjoy the sights..." she shook her head on wonderment. "I am wondering what you do, Nox of Andor. Are you visiting friends, perhaps? Family? This is quite a curious time to chose to travel, with all that is going on in the world."

 

celestinesigg2018a_by_drowelfmorwen-dc37

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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Nox grinned at her and started walking.  He had to move or he was going to go crazy.  Standing still wasn't something he liked doing unless he was reading a good book, and standing in the center of the square was not exactly safe with little thieves running around.  Not that he had anything of note to steal now.  "It's just Nox.  Andor is a temporary home as any other place has ever been."  Everything was only temporary when you lived on the streets.  And it was hard to think otherwise.  Even the brothel had gave little more than coin.  The beds were for official business.  Nox tried to push the thoughts out of his head as they walked past a vendor hawking jewelry, and another hawking their clothes of fine Sharan silk they treacherously traveled through the Aiel waste.  Most people stood and listened to his exploits as he described the trip.

 

"Coin is never hard to find on the streets of any city.  It's easy enough to earn a few gold pieces if necessary. I don't know anyone here.  I recently met an Aes Sedai and her story intrigued me, so here I am. The Dragon Reborn and trollocs don't scare me."  Of the two examples he'd given he'd never seen any trollocs, but he had seen the Dragon Reborn in Tear.  The Dragon Reborn though did scare Nox.  The man was scary powerful for such a country bumpkin.  At least that was what the M'hail had called him.  Nox didn't really care who he followed as long as he could touch the source.  As long as Saidin would keep calling to him and he wasn't going to die from it anymore.  That made him smile brightly.

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Celestine pondered on his temporary homes. Thinking back on the children from moments before, she was beginning to wonder if he was on the street, too. It struck her as odd. Nox seemed clean, and she was sure he wasn't underfed. Or was he simply a traveler, even a Hunter for the Horn?

 

Such thoughts were dismissed as soon as he mentioned he met an Aes Sedai. That would explain why he was here in Tar Valon of all places. Her grin was back, a twinkle in her eye. "Ah, are you looking to train to become a Warder then, perhaps? You will find this Aes Sedai and have her Bond you, and ride off into the Last Battle together, Nox who is not afraid of Trollocs?"

 

That was quite a claim. Celestine wondered if he had ever seen Trollocs before and highly doubted it. Even she was afraid of them, and she'd never seen one at all. But she knew others had, and she hoped the day was still very far off before she experienced that for the first time. He mentioned the Dragon Reborn so casually. Perhaps the man was a fool, but Celestine held back her judgement. After all, they only met and he knew nothing about her, or she him.

 

celestinesigg2018a_by_drowelfmorwen-dc37

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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Nox stopped in the middle of his path and a man slammed into him.  Nox apologized and stepped out of the way. "I'm sorry.  Pardon me."  The man glared at him as he passed them.  Nox furiously shook his head, remembering the conversation just the day before with Jagen.  No... no no... 

 

The smile that he held lot some of it's sparkle and charm as he tried to keep it together.  "I don't wish to become a warder."  He glanced up at the spire casting it's shadow over the city.  No, not that.  He didn't want an Aes Sedai touching him with the One Power.  Nox didn't want his thoughts, his feelings invaded by another so closely.  They said it was like sharing a mind.  Sharing body and thought.  Forever connected to a person by this connection.  Nox shuddered.  "I came to see the Tower.  Nothing more.  It's just a myth, a legend.  I figured I could Travel and see it, then go home."

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Celestine looked carefully from him up to the tall, main part of the White Tower. The other buildings that made up the grounds were not visible from here, but that white beacon was. It made her think of saidar.

 

"It is a long way to travel," she said slowly, "just to see the Tower and run off again." Had it been her mishearing, or had he put some emphasis on the word travel? She held herself straighter, studying him with an inquisitive gaze. "What exactly is a myth or legend to you? You stand before the White Tower in all of its glory, where it has stood since it's completion after the Breaking of the World."

 

The man seemed quite intriguing, and she couldn't help but think he was here for more than he was saying. Perhaps he wanted to keep his reasons to himself. He had gotten quite distracted when she joked about him becoming a Warder, though. "Do you fear Aes Sedai?" she asked curiously, her gaze on his own eyes.

 

celestinesigg2018a_by_drowelfmorwen-dc37

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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Nox was forcing himself to breathe.  He hated feeling like this.  It was difficult to process anything but he focused on Celestine's voice.  It helped.  Though it wasn't perfect as she questioned him, which required an answer.  More than one.  He looked into her hazel eyes and tried to make the smile genuine.  She was still there, she hadn't freaked out when he had.  That was something. 

 

Nox pointedly ignored the first statement.  He could travel anywhere in the world he wanted see anything.  But she didn't need to know that.  Fear of the male source was still dangerous. "Everything is a myth and legend when you have nothing.  Food, money, a bloody roof over your head at times is a myth.  Especially when the rain or snow is all around you and nothing will keep you warm." He'd been thankful for Al'tar's meager hospitality.  Sleeping under a roof had been welcome even if it meant more than selling his body to others for Al'tar's gain.  

 

Nox didn't miss his youth.  He missed the gang of kids he'd grown up with.  But the past few years had been a learning experience.  Al'tar's brothel and then Adrim's teachings.  And yet she questioned further with the probing question.  "I don't fear Aes Sedai.  I'd prefer to keep the chill of Saidar from my skin."

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Celestine's suspicions that he was homeless--now or at whatever points in his life--seemed confirmed by his words. By the sound of it, he rarely had a roof over his head. She wondered about his family, but she knew better than to pry so deeply. The confirmation explained why he had given those children his last coins.

 

Then Nox mentioned the chill of saidar. So. He'd been Healed before, probably, or at least someone channeled at him--perhaps the sister he mentioned he had met before. But if he wanted to keep away from saidar, Tar Valon seemed like the last place he should have come, no matter how badly he wanted to see it. A very intriguing fellow.

 

"It's too bad you do not care for saidar--if only I could describe how wonderful it actually is to you, and the wonderful things we can do for people with it." Well, no hiding she was Aes Sedai now. "We can Heal people who are sick, help those in need. And you sound as if you've felt the chill of Healing yourself."

 

But he was looking at her differently now. Something changed; she sensed it. Celestine decided to change the subject. "It was a very kind thing you did, giving your money to those children." A sigh followed, though. "It is a shame we cannot feed them all. And more and more refugees keep showing up outside the city." Celestine wished there was a weave for making abundant food; to her, it almost went in line with Healing. "I came to Tar Valon to help, years ago. And it is what I try to do now. The White Tower will help all who need it."

 

celestinesigg2018a_by_drowelfmorwen-dc37

 

ooc: If he asks her Ajah, she will give it :)

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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Bloody... Was everyone an Aes Sedai?  Nox tried to keep his smile on his face despite the shock.  Another pretty face.  At least she hadn't gone off on him about his language.  Nox put his hands behind his back and bowed his head.  Last thing he needed was to be whisked off to the White Tower and gentled for being Asha'man this close to the White Tower.  Maybe it had been a mistake...

 

"I don't need an explanation of your gift. I understand the power it has over you, and what can be done with it."  Nox sighed. "But you aren't helping those who are in need.  Those kids need food.  Where are the soup kitchens in the White Tower?  Where are the shelters for them?  Refugees come here because the Aes Sedai say they are going to help  but if the'd come to the Tower you'd send them away as beggars."  At least anger defeated the anxiety and the fears.  Anger wasn't pleasant but it was something to focus on for the moment.

 

 

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Celestine was frowning now, but only slightly. No, she stilled her face to coolness, as near as she could manage, anyway. The man's demeanor had changed as soon as he realized she was a sister. A shame. She really needed to practice speaking more carefully.

 

"There are soup kitchens, here in Tar Valon," she explained, and she kept her voice patient, hands folded at her waist. "And the city is huge, but it can only hold so many people. Many more wait on the other side of the bridges as you no doubt saw. But even we are only so many in number." She would have liked to hold such information back, or make them sound better, but she felt Nox deserved some plain truth. Certainly, it echoed Celestine's own thoughts on the matter. "If I had my way every one of these children would have a place to go at night, but that is not up to me. The Grays manage such affairs, as I understand, and I, as a Yellow, step in when Healing is needed."

 

She looked around, spotting a few children playing. Others sat watching the street; watching people, and purses, perhaps. The woman frowned again. "When they get sick and come to the Tower, we do not turn them away. Whoever told you so is quite mistaken. What else would you have us do, put them to work scrubbing floors? The situation here, at least, is much better than other cities. I'm sure there are beds for them. Somewhere." She frowned in thought; images of the half-empty novices quarters came to mind. But she doubted she could do nay such thing, and also doubted other Yellows would approve. She felt distinctly uneasy.

 

celestinesigg2018a_by_drowelfmorwen-dc37

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Nox nodded.  "There are soup kitchens in Tar Valon.  But not the White Tower.  If they are sick you won't turn them away.  But hungry isn't sick.  Cold isn't sick."  Nox sighed and shook his head frustrated.  "Yes, if they come then put them to work cleaning the floors, doing the laundry.  Give them a decent wage and then send them on their way.  That would be helping them.  The next time they lift a purse could see them under the tutelage of a person who deserved to see the other side of a brig cell.  Or worse yet they could be dead for having lifted that purse."  Nox had seen it happen.  Seen a kid lift a purse only to end up dead at the end of the chase.  It was ruled an accident though the man had pushed the boy into a wall head first.  But who cares about the homeless kid who was stealing because he had nothing more to eat, was starving and cold and had nowhere else to turn.

 

"Tar Valon is only prettier Celestine Sedai.  It is not better.  I could easily find an old building where in the homeless children stay.  And the most people would do is call the Guard on them and have them evicted so they don't ruin such a pretty place.  But it is no different here than any other city."

 

Nox sighed and looked back up at the White Tower.  "Sure is an awful big place."  With a quick nod Nox turned his attention back to her, the bright smile returned if however faked.  "But as you said there is nothing you can do about it.  So why dwell on it, right?  I should start home, I'm getting hungry."

 

[[ Not ending this just moving the topic elsewhere. ]]

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Celestine sighed softly. "I will work on a solution," she said after a moment's pause, watching him. "It will need the Tower's approval, but I do not see them not approving something that will help children."

 

She casually opened her scrip and pulled out both her ring and shawl, putting them on. The shawl had long, yellow fringe. "I suppose I should say good da--" She stopped then, blinking. "Wait, you have a home close by?" She shook her head, "No, you don't have to tell me, it is fine. I'm sure you call any place to eat home, right? In any case, I hope you fare well, Nox."

 

celestinesigg2018a_by_drowelfmorwen-dc37

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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Nox smirked more to distract himself than anything.  "No.  Home is in Andor."  He had a few more secrets too.  "But there is food where I came in at.  Food before home. I think."  Nox grabbed Saidin and fought with the power to gain the perfect control.  The sweet song of the raging torrent that was saidin.  There was no slick covering to reach through anymore.  It was clean and perfect and it coursed through his body like a song.  

 

He wove a small weave of fire above his hand and snapped his fingers and the flame lit quickly at the click and then was gone in just a flash.  Nox gave Celestine Sedai a genuine smile.  "Home isn't so far away."

 

 

 

 

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Celestine's eyes widened, and she even took a step back. Before she knew it, she was embracing saidar, and drew as much as she dared, but what she could have wove in that moment, she had no idea. She looked around quickly at the crowd, but none seemed to have noticed except her.

 

She straightened herself after a moment and regained her composure, but her mouth was tight and her hands gripped her shawl. And Celestine still held onto the source. "So. You're an Ash--one of them. Well." Her voice was cool.

The irony struck her that she was trying to hide herself at first, and here he was, doing the same. An Asha'man. She'd never seen one before, and now she regarded him warily. "Why did you really come to Tar Valon?"

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Now she was afraid of him and Nox frowned.  He'd had much the same reaction as she did so he couldn't fault her for it.  "I came to look at the White Tower.  It was nothing more than a myth to me. I don't lie if I can help it.  I may steal your purse, or..." He left it alone, last time he was crude in front of an Aes Sedai she tore him a new one.  "But I don't lie. But I don't expect you to believe me. I'm after all a nasty Asha'man.  Tainted by Saidin.  All that."

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Celestine's eyebrows rose. For a few moments she said nothing, and she was studying him. Tainted by saidin indeed. "But saidin is clean. Is it not?" she asked. "So you're not tainted. I don't suppose that's a lie, though, if..." She frowned and blushed and looked around again. Perhaps she shouldn't be keeping him, but neither suddenly did she want him to disappear.

 

"May I... accompany you? To wherever you are going to eat?"

 

celestinesigg2018a_by_drowelfmorwen-dc37

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Nox smiled at her blush.  Maybe she wasn't as bad as the last.  A little more emotions not quite so harsh.  Nox nodded and took a deep breathe then offered his elbow.  "Right this way."

 

Nox rambled on about the street hawkers trying to ease the emptiness while they walked through the city and over the bridge to the town that held the Black Tower's respite.  Their connection to the White Tower.  It was mostly a house with a small secluded yard so they could make a gateway in and out of and go wherever they needed.  There were people here like there was at the similar location in Tear.  It was like watch duty.  You took a slot and did the doing.  Nox's held his station in Tear - as far from where he'd grown up as he could get.

 

The fenced in yard was erected by Asha'man and an iron gate opened for them when the man standing guard saw Nox coming.  The rest of the fence was pure stone.  Pulled from the earth to make the walls.  The house had been built with saidin much like the ones on the Farm.  This was someone's pet project.  Someone lived her and cared for it.  But it was public space for the Farm.  He smiled as he lead Celestine into the kitchen.  There wasn't much to the house.  A few living quarters, a common area and the kitchen which was decidedly empty which Nox was grateful for.

 

"Have a seat.  Would you like anything to drink?  or eat?"  Nox busied himself with making lunch - a left over stew he'd brought with him for the men here.  No one really cooked unless they had to out here on the outskirts of the Farm.  But Nox did and he tried to spread the food so they could eat well too.

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Celestine fell in beside Nox and walked quietly. There were questions she wanted to ask, but there was no way to ask them in public, where anyone overhearing may react in quite a negative fashion. She had heard rumors, or perhaps they were more than rumors, that Asha'man had visited the White Tower, to work with the Red Ajah. It struck her as mind boggling. Reds working with men who could channel! Still, greater Tar Valon did not know, and it needed to stay that way. People were suspicious enough of Aes Sedai; they'd be much worse with the Asha'man, taint gone or no.

 

Celestine felt a bit of surprise when she realized they were headed for the town across the bridge; she had not intended to leave the city. She decided, once they were halfway across, to tuck her fringed shawl away, but she kept her ring on. Still silent, letting her thoughts take in all the information she could while thinking of how to approach some of her own questions, she took note of the house they were approaching. Fenced, unlike the others. It looked new, but then, none of the houses here were very old. Many had been destroyed in the Aiel War. Yet the town persevered.

 

Still, the house looked very new. And nice. She saw other men along the walls, and hesitated. They must be Asha'man too. Light, how many are there, right outside our walls?

She still held her tongue, and realized the gap between her and Nox grew. She didn't want to feel exposes out here, but she kept her walk steady. One inside and to the kitchen, she sat herself at a nearby table.

"Water is fine," she answered, watching him very carefully. "And yes, food would be well. I will not take too much, though." Not warily, per say, but she didn't want to look away from him for too long, either. She heard a man's laughter elsewhere, then another. Perhaps the ones they had passed coming in. Her lips tightened; she could well imagine what they were joking about.

 

"Does the Amyrlin know you are here? She must, I would think. What about the Reds? Is this where you... stay, in your agreement with them?"

 

celestinesigg2018a_by_drowelfmorwen-dc37

 

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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Nox heard the others joking.  Never really cared for what others said or thought and really didn't care what they were saying.  It was hardly the first time he was seen with a girl, far from it but sometimes people were idiots.  But the joke whatever it was didn't matter and Nox pushed it from his thoughts.  

 

He listened to her question and really didn't have an answer for her.  He didn't know.  Not any of those answers.  He just knew he had places he had to create gates too.  Nox set a simple glass and warmed bowl of stew with a side of crusty bread in front of Celestine and made his own then sat down across from her with a grin.  "I don't know the answers to those questions.  All I know is if someone needs to go to the White Tower, this is where I make a gateway too.  We have little hubs all over the world.  Usually under the radar.  No one really wants to know there is men who can channel living next to them.  The taint may be gone, but the fear is not."

 

Nox lifted his spoon to his lips and blew carefully on the hot stew.  He normally would have used saidin to help cool, but he was pretty sure that he didn't want to have an Aes Sedai with issues about men channeling in a house full of Asha'man and dedicated.

 

After a few bites, Nox asked.  "I'm sure that's not all your questions, why else come home with the crazy Asha'man you just met. "  He grinned at her.  He could very well have alluded to the bedroom and he would have if he hadn't already learned his lesson with Jagen Sedai.  Nox idly wondered if that infernal woman was going to change the way he viewed every woman from this day forward.  Clearly he was jaded now.  Aes Sedai were not ones to joke with.  Adrim would probably agree.  But then Adrim didn't particularly care for his brand of self deprecating humor anyway.

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