... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)

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PostSubject: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Fri May 02, 2014 7:16 pm


The sealed parchment on the table stayed in its place, in the center, untouched. She stared at it most of the time she had been in the room. It was a curious and almost cruel thing. She could not read the contents and there were only two people she could entrust to reading her its contents. Lord Rihan and Jungi. Only those two and only because Toshiro had told her to trust them.

Such a small thing to keep her waiting for so long. Still she couldn't just go up to Lord Rihan and demand he make time to read it to her. In fact, she didn't really feel that comfortable around the man. Class set aside, he was still a political person and people involved in politics knew how to pull the right strings and manipulate law and government to serve their own desires.  

As much as she wanted to trust Lord Rihan she did not know the man very well and she had a poor opinion of a Lord's word. Ariadne appreciated that he wanted to help Toshiro and in turn, herself in his absence.

Besides Jungi would be back any day. He would be able to read it without making her feel at all like she had to maintain any dignity.

She was hardly in control of her emotions as it was, she thought as her hand rested on her now obviously protruding midsection. Ariadne couldn't help but feel the baby was a measuring stick for the amount of time that had passed since Toshiro's departure. Despite reassurances that he was free, she felt very anxious about the situation and had since decided to try not to focus much on what Toshiro might be doing.



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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sat May 10, 2014 8:35 pm

The stop at Fort Weyr and any other visits along their trek back north had been fairly short, giving the Trader's Caravan time to return home and make their own preparations for winter's coming. By the looks of it, the winter was going to be a hard one, or perhaps a little longer lived than that of the previous turn. Jungi and his father had been discussing how the thickness of the leaves on all of the trees, amoungst other signs, pointed toward the likeliness that such would be the case. 

Just in time it seemed, the Caravan made its return to Telgar River Hold. The Hold was experiencing its first biting cold from a strong north wind when they finally settled down to make themselves at home there. 

Not long after their arrival however, Jungi had paid Rihan a visit, having planned to pay Captain Toshiro and his fiance, Ariadne, a visit shortly after. Before heading there however, he had inquired after the Captain, finding out that the man had been sent to Southern Telgar Hold for an urgent mission and had recently been captured, being accused of Rihan's brother's murder. After hearing the whole story from Rihan's mouth, the Trader found himself in a bit of a state of shock, deciding that he should pay a visit to Ariadne to see how she was holding up. 


It having been common knowledge to him, Rihan hadn't thought to mention that Ariadne was not only worrying anxiously about Toshiro's safety, but quite heavily pregnant also. That just made things more difficult on she and Toshiro.


Knocking lightly at the door, it was once then twice that he announced his presence that way. "Ariadne, it's me, Jungi. Are you in?"


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 11, 2014 5:50 am

She heard the knocking from the bedroom where she had been laying down for a nap. Ariadne's parents were watching Thessaly for the afternoon so that Ariadne could rest. She was getting toward the end of her pregnancy and without help, it was hard to keep up with the demands of her almost four turn old daughter.

It took her a moment to find her voice, "I'll be there in a moment." Ariadne was excited to see her friend. He was always so gregarious and fun. His energy would certainly liven things up around here just a little bit. Tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear, she unlocked the door and opened it to allow Jungi inside.

She backed up to allow him room to enter. The dress she wore was made for her pregnancy so it would have a little give or stretch in the fabric. "Please come in Jungi. It is wonderful to see you." She said with a warm smile.



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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 11, 2014 7:42 pm

When Ariadne came to the door, Jungi was all smiles, eyes searching the woman's face to gauge her mood. Though the Trader knew her to be a generally happy and optimistic person, it was difficult to have a loved one -let alone a fiance- in the situation that Caption Toshiro was in presently; so, he fully expected that she'd likely be under a lot of emotional stress. Still, he suspected that Ariadne was quite resilient when it came to such things. But everyone had their limits.

"Ariadne!" The smile grew to its fullest, infectious breadth, to the point that his eyes had narrowed into happy half-moons over slight dimples. The expression transformed into one of surprise though, when he couldn't help but notice the fact that she was quite pregnant. 

Though it wasn't with distaste, and he was nothing but happy to see that that was the case, the Trader's face shown the surprise, and perhaps the wonder he felt. "Ariadne... since when?"


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 18, 2014 3:32 pm

"Not long after you left, I should think." It was probably that first night she had been with Toshiro, which was why their relationship had progressed quickly from that point. There was no telling though, since from that day on they had spent a lot of time on lovemaking. Not that Jungi needed to know that but no doubt the Trader would guess.

"Should be coming soon." She said excitedly, leaving a hand on her belly. "Thessaly is insisting that it should be a boy because it evens things out but it is quite impossible to tell. It'll be nice to have some friends around though, when it does happen. Lyria already has a plan in place to help me and my parents, of course. But it will be a breath of fresh air to have you around."

"Come sit down. We can talk better in here." She said, still smiling warmly. Of course the letter she received was still sitting there on the table, unopened. As she closed the door behind him she offered, "Can I make you some tea? Have you had anything to eat?" No doubt he had seen Rihan first but it couldn't hurt to ask.


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 18, 2014 4:25 pm


The Trader supposed he should have expected such a thing to happen; after that time when he and Toshiro had fought over Ariadne. His friend had been more than adamant about his feelings for her. Still, it didn't diminish the shock that she was now pregnant with Toshiro's child. And though he found himself quite jealous over that, he couldn't be anything less than happy to know that they were going to have a child together. He also couldn't help but think that perhaps that kind of change in life is what would help stabilize Toshiro. Of course, the Captain's situation was anything but stable at the moment.

Remember that was the main reason he'd come here so quickly after arriving back at Telgar River Hold, Jungi tried to swallow the worry as he nodded graciously at the invitation to enter. "Thank you. It makes me glad to know that Lyria is willing to help, too. Of course... any time that I'm here at the hold, you know that I'd be here for you too."  

As the Trader spoke those words, he tried not to impart the sense that he still felt anything for her -he'd given her up for his friend's sake. But Ariadne knew that. She probably saw right through that tone in his voice.

"Tea would be nice, actually." Jungi smiled, letting that natural, amicable expression dance upon his face, so that she could see the gladness there. It was that same, constant joyfulness that always seemed to be present within him. Briefly, he hoped to himself that his own constancy could be a support to her in her own life, where Ariadne now faced many challenges and uncertainties of her own.

Sitting at the table, Jungi didn't miss the letter sitting at the center of the table, but didn't seem to take notice of it right away. Of course, he was much more astute than that. The briefest sidelong glance at the writing upon the face of it told him who it was from. Instead of immediately commenting though, he went on, "If you are welcoming of the company, I'd love to stay to eat. Food is always best enjoyed with friends." With that, the Trader took a seat.

"It's not too much to ask, is it? I don't want to put you to work if you're feeling tired. I can cook too, you know." Jungi teased her.


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 18, 2014 5:05 pm

Ari wasted no time in locking the door behind him when he entered. It was a habit and a good one to have gotten into since she lived here with just her daughter right now. Walking directly into the kitchen, she wouldn't hear of him helping with the food. "Oh I have plenty of help. I promise you that." She admitted, though honestly, she'd like less help sometimes. She wasn't an invalid. She was just pregnant.

"Tea first." She said, as she set the kettle on the fire. "And I don't have anything grande to make like they would have up at the Main Hold." OR at her mother's house. She made ends meet but she didn't like to waste money on food when she ate over at her parents more often than not. Still she could make something for them, that wouldn't take much time. "You know it'll be a nice change not to cook for a four Turn old." She laughed.

"And I'm not tired. I already had a nap." She reassured the Trader. "While I cook, why don't you tell me all about your travels this Turn. Did anything interesting happen?" She had to imagine that a million interesting things must happen to Jungi when he left the Hold.


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 18, 2014 5:18 pm

Jungi was laughing politely, "Oh, but I don't mind sharing whatever Thessaly east -if that's easier."  Still grinning, Jungi wondered momentarily at the locked door. Again, he was quite astute, and though he couldn't be for certain that it wasn't a habit that Ariadne had always been in, the fact that she did so, stood out to him just then. He wondered if she might be afraid, being alone all the time with her children, if she was living here instead of with her parents. Regardless of if she had plenty of help during the day, there was only herself to occupy this place at night.

Though he didn't question her state of mind while she was here by herself, he went on with advice -perhaps a bit cryptically at first. "Toshiro's shoes and coat." With a breath, he paused, "You should place them by the door. If someone comes in unannounced, they will see them, and think there is a man at home."

He got quiet after that, the Trader did. He'd turned to face the kitchen in his chair, where Ariadne had taken her pot to set it over the open flame to boil. Leaning onto an elbow to the side, he watched after her, hoping that his mention of Toshiro didn't make her more uncomfortable. But likely, it would be a sore subject until the Captain came home. Still, he went on, injecting a little more light-heartedness into his speech, "Speaking of Toshiro, have you heard from him?" 

Of course she had. The letter was there on the table; even if it didn't have his name on it, and only hers, he could tell...


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 18, 2014 5:31 pm

That made her stop in her tracks for just a moment. She did miss Toshiro, more than she might be willing to say out loud but she wasn't going to act like he wasn't coming back. Of course he would be. All of this was a pause in between when he would be home with her. And when he was here with her again, she would be happier knowing she hadn't become upset every time someone mentioned him in conversation. "Thank you Jungi, I hadn't thought about that."

She went on to begin cutting up some vegetables.

"Lucky for you, she is at her grandparents for the evening. She begged to stay there and play with her cousins."

As Jungi got quiet, all she could hear was the crackling of the fire and her knife slicing through the vegetables. It wasn't bad to have a little silence in conversation but he must not be wanting to divulge anything to her about his travels.

At his question she said, "Well yes and no..." Biting her lip, she glanced at the letter. "I can't read." If he looked more closely at the letter he would see that the seal was unbroken. "I know people tend to forget but most of us regular folk never learn to read. That is why Harpers pass down ballads and such."

She looked right at Jungi, "Would you mind reading it to me? I thought about asking Lord Rihan but, it just felt weird to ask him. We are friends and you know of Toshiro's affection for me more intimately than Rihan does. And I trust you more." She felt more comfortable around him.


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 18, 2014 5:50 pm

Jungi hadn't meant to ignore her previous question, but other thoughts had distracted him. He was quite willing to visit with Ariadne about his travels, but she hadn't asked; and he was more concerned about her being here by herself, wanting to make sure that she was doing alright, than talking about himself. Still, they'd get to it. He'd be staying through dinner, after all. And if she felt unsafe, he could even stay the night here with her, or have his sister stay with her through the winter, if it helped anything. Especially with her about to have a baby, it would be best to have someone close by. Ariadne really shouldn't be staying here alone.

"And to answer you, Yes. There was one particular misunderstanding with three men who would have liked to take my head off, I'm sure. But more on that later. I'm sure you're much more curious to hear what's been going on with Toshiro." Grinning, Jungi  looked down to the letter at the center of the table, and with the arm he'd been leaning upon, reached out to slide the letter closer, picking it up off of the table. 

Jungi was glad to hear that Ariadne trusted him. She was right that he likely did understand she and Toshiro's situation better than did Rihan. No matter how good the man's intentions, or how hard he would work to do a favour for a friend, he still had a world of problems on his own shoulders, which were hard to contend with. No matter how one looked at it.

The Trader didn't ask how long ago she'd received the letter from Toshiro, but he suspected not long ago. He thought that it would have been quite difficult to hang onto such a letter for any extended period of time, without being able to know just what was inside. 

Opening the folded parchment, breaking its unmarked wax seal, Jungi hesitated, feeling a little tense as he was going to start those first words. First though, he thought to ask, "Do you want to come sit down with the tea before I read it?" He didn't want her passing out or anything, if there was something bad in it.


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 18, 2014 6:22 pm

She could only imagine the number of tight spots, someone like him could get into. He had roguish mischief written all over him. Nope, she wasn't surprised at ALL! Still he was correct in thinking that she would want to hear what was in the letter a little bit more than his stories at just this moment. Mainly because she had been mulling over what might be in the letter since the day it arrived.

Taking the kettle off the fire, she poured the hot water into the teapot, which she carried to the table. Then went back into the kitchen for two of the ceramic mugs she used for tea. They were a bit more sturdy than say a tea cup would be.

Sitting down, next to Jungi, she poured the tea, into each mug about three quarters of the way up.

"Alright. I think I'm ready." She was more than ready. Her anticipation for the letter may have built it up. What if he was telling her he wasn't going to be able to come back? She would never accept that.


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 18, 2014 6:57 pm

Smiling appreciatively as Ariadne served the tea, he took the tiniest sip, just to test the flavour if he could, though the liquid was likely far too hot yet to be able to drink.

"Alright. Let's see..." And hope it's good. If Jungi felt himself this nervous, he could only guess how nervous Ari must be. The Trader paused before starting, just to take a little calming breath while his eyes found the top line where the words began, again. 



"Ariadne,

Without you, each night grows darker."



Jungi already felt as though he was peering too deeply into the feelings between Ariadni and Toshiro. But without pause, he went on.

"Any light of hope for my situation seems dimmed by an ever deepening shadow that has begun to engulf everything and everyone in these southern reaches of Telgar. It is on these dark nights I look ahead, knowing the grayness in the distance is now enemy lands. Yet all that my heart can see is you, as I strive to guard the legacy of this Hold. All that my heart can hear is the voice of the one I left behind, speaking to me still, ever so kindly. Though my intentions have only been to protect the people of this Hold, I realize ever more that my heart and my hands have been living opposing purposes. Through this haze, I have trouble seeing it now -that once definitive goal. I cannot help but worry... have I left you... for nothing more than the meaningless fortunes of war?

I am sure by now, that Rihan has told you everything, though I told him only to speak to you that I am doing well. If alive is 'well', then I am that. I am not injured, at least. But every day is more of the unknown, and it takes me back to the time of the rebellion. I can feel it sinking in, like a tingling under my skin. It is the memories coming alive. Like the fear of losing you, I fear this: losing myself to that past. 

I want you to know I am going to try to come to you. If I must hide myself from this place, I would rather be at your side. If even for a moment, though, I don't imagine getting there will be easy, so please wait for me. Until then however, know that I love you. And should something happen that I am unable to be there with you for the birth of our child, I leave you with these names.

If the baby is a girl, name her Koizora. And like the vast, all encompassing sky that brings us together across the distances, let her forever reach out her arms and look out over the world with love and grace.

If the baby is a boy, name him Dyokardeas. And like our two hearts that became one, through the conception of a son, let him be the embodiment of and bear the significance of that love, even if I am unable to return to you."







Though Jungi didn't reveal it by any outward sign, he felt his throat tighten; he was glad that the letter ended there. Despite what anyone might think of him, given his playboy reputation, he was quite sentimental, and those words also touched him. 

Of course, the Trader was only silent after he finished reading, giving Ari time to digest what he'd read aloud to her. She could respond in her own time. He didn't want to rush her feelings through this. It was probably difficult for her to hear any of it, even if it had been only good news -if not simply because she loved and missed Toshiro, feeling a deep longing for him in his absence.


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 18, 2014 7:14 pm

Ariadne sat in a stiff stillness, as if even breathing would cause the letter to spontaneously catch fire and be lost forever. She couldn't even touch the mug in front of her. She stared ahead of her, imagining Toshiro writing to her. With every word, her heart ached. Knowing the danger he was in, she was surprised to hear he took the time to tell her how very deeply he missed her and how truly he could feel her even as far away as he was. He took the time to acknowledge naming their child.

She wasn't sure at what point in the letter the tears started but they were quiet, warm tears. Reassuring herself she took a sip from her mug and she didn't care that it may have burned a little going down her throat.

"Thank you Jungi." She said in appreciation for what he had done for her. Sighing, she took Jungi's hand and squeezed it, "Really." Then she let go of the Trader's hand. Standing up she wiped her tears. In the meantime she was still thinking about all that was said. What she wouldn't do to help him through this. Anything could have happened since he wrote that letter.

In her heart she could see him walking up to the door, swinging it open, so that she could run into his open arms. That however was fantasy. Reality was infinitely more dark and dangerous. For his sake, she hoped he was still out of reach of anyone who could arrest him. He was innocent of any involvement. He should be home with her now. How she wished he would have stayed with her and not gone to investigate anything.

"I wish I could send something back but we would have no way of it finding him. Not that I can write anyway. I would tell him how much I love him, how we are waiting for him, how Thessaly asks for him to tuck her in every night and I don't think he realizes how much we miss him." The tears came again and though she tried to stop them, she could not.


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Sun May 18, 2014 8:16 pm

Quiet until after Ariadne spoke, Jungi's eyes rested upon her beautiful face, torn to see her break into tears. His heart ached for her, and though he knew that this love she shared with Toshiro was a good thing, it was hard to see that same love put them both through so much pain. 

Returning the squeeze to her hand, Jungi offered after a moment, "It's no trouble if you'd like for me to write the letter for you. You could tell me what to say. Rihan will have a way of reaching him. I am pretty certain though, that if Toshiro has not made it here by now, he may not be returning until after the snows have begun to melt off in the spring. Most caravans in Telgar will have run their last loads between Holds by now, preparing to settle in for the winter. Though, he could very well have acquired a runner and be traveling this way on his own. Traveling alone though, is risky, over such a distance. Even if he did not run into any other trouble, with the Chorong Rebels about, there's still the risk of encountering natural predators, or even exposure to the elements as he comes further north, this time of year." 

Honestly, Jungi didn't want to worry her any more than she already was, but he wasn't about to hide the truth from her. He respected her more than that. And he knew she was stronger than that. "For that reason though, I think he will have stayed in Southern Telgar Hold until after the winter. He won't have been able to move for a few days, from wherever he was hiding, because the Guard will have been out in excess number looking for him. Likewise, it wouldn't have been easy to leave the Hold, as they would expect him to try to leave the area to escape detection. 

"Also, knowing Rihan, he'll find another use for Toshiro while he's there. Rihan knows better than anybody that Toshiro hates being idle." Somehow, he couldn't help but grin at that. Ari would know it was true.


The Trader's eyes gauged her expression again, hoping that it wasn't all too much for Ariadne to take in at once. What he spoke next however, should be of great reassurance, however. "Ariadne. I don't know how much Toshiro has told you about the time he spent in Southern Telgar Hold in the past." Because in truth, Toshiro did not speak of it to anyone. He hadn't even much indulged those few who'd been closest to him over the turns. The only people who would have much information in that regard, were his commanding officers -and much of what Toshiro had been involved in through the duration of the rebellion remained a secret. There were the few rumours about what he may or may not have been responsible for, throughout the various missions he'd been assigned, but none of it was 'confirmed'. Everything was just a story, as far as anyone really knew. 

Rihan on the other hand, may have done some digging to find out what their friend had been involved in, but Jungi, out of respect for Toshiro's wish to deal with certain things privately, did not dig for details. Nor had he asked more than a handful of times out of a particular curiosity when it happened to come up. Those inquiries however, left him pretty empty handed. Of course, it was likely that Toshiro was unable to divulge any of the details, even if he'd wanted to. He might be under orders still to keep his mouth shut about certain things. To tell the truth, Jungi didn't really know.


"Honestly, I don't know that much about his time spent there either, but that's where he spent his time during the rebellion. It's unlikely anyone will recognize his face though, because, from what I know, Toshiro lived a life in hiding back then so, if he doesn't want to be found, he won't be. He'll remain invisible as long as necessary. But, even if they do happen to find him, he'd never let anyone best him. I'd bet anything he's the best swordsman in Telgar, and probably in any other territory. Most of the Guards out there probably have no idea who they are up against, nor what kind of skill a swordsman of his caliber really has." 

Indeed, it was said that during the time of the rebellion, no target ever escaped Toshiro's blade. The Captain had left a blood soaked image of despair in the wake of events at that time. Though, as Jungi had suggested, any of the few stories out there from 'eye witnesses' who'd come away to re-tell the account, could not be confirmed nor denied, and simply remained part of the legend. 


Placing the letter back down on the table, he hoped those words might console her; but it still didn't make the situation much easier. Jungi wished there was something more he could do for her.


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Fri May 30, 2014 7:29 pm

[font=Times New Roman]Ariadne did not know how to respond to Jungi's kindness. She was so used to being the one doing the giving. "Jungi, you are so kind." She said attempting a reassuring smile. He was attempting to make her feel better about what was happening to Toshiro. No doubt he was still being useful to Rihan. Like she could possibly be happy about that. It was the Lord Holder who put him in danger in the first place and then accused him of a murder her did not commit.

Still she knew that Rihan genuinely cared about Toshiro. No doubt although he was using Toshiro's skill for his own purposes, he did not intend to make him any more of a target than he already was. Once the Captain's name was cleared he would be on his way back home to her and Thessaly and the baby.

Ariadne frowned, "I do not know much about it from him either. Not that I haven't heard stories. However since those stories are generally exaggerated I pay them little mind.." Thinking over Jungi's words again, she added, "I don't doubt his ability with a blade. It would stand to reason though that to kill a master swordsman one might do better not to try to kill him via combat."

More likely someone would have to plan some sort of accidental death. Whatever his situation was, it wouldn't compare to him becing home and safe with her. She knew Jungi was simply trying to help her though, so she didn't say anything against his ideas of what Toshiro might be doing while he waited to come home.

They needed to find the real murderer first. "I'm sure he'll survive, physically but emotionally, it will only make the future harder for him." Ariadne would be the one who was there when he did what Rihan wanted only to kill more people. She would be the one picking up the pieces.

After a few sips of tea and a wait she asked the master painter. There being pretty much told that it eas a woman's burden.""What do you need in order to write a letter for me?"


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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   Fri May 30, 2014 8:03 pm

The Trader's smile turned up on the corners of his lips a bit weakly. Knowing Toshiro, he was hard pressed to decide between this new found love of Ariadne, and the absolute dedication to being a guard which he'd been cultivating for turns -through a rebellion even. 

"Please don't think poorly of Toshiro for it. He's only doing what he knows how to do. He chose this life. No one did it for him. So... I think if he thinks he can handle it emotionally, he'll be alright. Otherwise, he wouldn't have done any of it." Then again, they both knew just how stubborn the Captain could be. 


The man's smile though, grew when Ariadne spoke of writing a letter. The same gladness could be seen in his eyes. "I think if you plan on writing to him, it would do him well to hear from you." Pausing to glance about a moment, his eyes came back to look at her again, and after taking a healthy dose of tea to warm his belly, he addressed her question, "Do you have an ink well and stylus? Any kind of skin to write on?"


✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟ ~ ✟
"Yeah, just do it.
Even if you do not achieve what you dream of,
you won't lose anything.
You'll be gaining something great just by doing it.
Having your dream come true comes second.
Take the first move, work for your dream." ~Aoi 葵
[Guitarist/ the GazettE]

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PostSubject: Re: Letter Opener (tags: Jungi)   

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