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[ P ] Observed Wonder
#1

Nastasya
Let me carry your sins


Paws itched for adventure, to see something new, anything she hadn't seen before would send her into a tizzy of happiness. She had seen the same things over and over, the only new thing being that the redwood had been destroyed and that was not a sight that gave that blooming joy but instead a fevered sorrow for the loss of such an old entity. So what better than to go to her favorite place; a land of snow, ice, waterfalls and beauty. She could not think of another, the Cascade she had determined to be her home and refuge even in the death wish of a climate that inhabited it all year round. Even with her dense coat, she would freeze here, become a statue to entertain the crone. To die to the hands of such beauty that lied in a blanket of white powder, she could not say it would be the worst way to go but she was by no means here to end anything.

Prancing eagerly along the goat trails, headed toward the hidden grotto, excited to see it again with hope no strange sand wolves were to intrude on her sightseeing excursion, this time. As much as she liked company and really wouldn't mind running into someone there, she preferred not to be scared to death of a pair of wolves that could easily tear her limb from limb, if they so chose. She didn't think it likely to run into them again but all the same, she did not think it impossible. With winter over, she could not see why wolves that looked from the desert by the tone of their pelts would linger here any longer than needed. It would make her a hypocrite to say they wouldn't, she very much not being a wolf others would think could even survive this treacherous scape.

As she was only a few more hops away from the tunnel she had found before, what sounded like a high pressured geyser stopped her in her tracks. Her ears swiveled every which way in search of where it had come from, both fright and curiosity coursed through her veins. Turning her head toward the coast, she followed the noise without thinking of where she was stepping, leading to her abrupt tumble down luckily smaller slopes. A spray of white dusted into the air as her body kicked up the loose top layer. Once the world stopped spinning, she giggled at her own mindlessness, simply glad it had not been anything worse.

Pooosh! There it was again, interrupting the steady silence in a peaceful place. Easing back onto her legs, she walked a few more steps till she reached the edge. There she saw the vast ocean, ice only reaching out little by little as it broke apart the further it went until it was purely open water. Water flared high into the air and it took a few moments for her to notice the culprits as it slipped in and out of the water. It seemed she found what she was looking for, that something new.

"Whales..." she breathed, eyes glistening with wonder.

“I am speaking”
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@Raiden

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#2

TAKA RAIDEN

He had been wandering around Cyrileth and Hia for no particular purpose beyond documentation. There were so very many creatures to see and so very many things that those creatures did. The rutting deer herds, the foxes cajoling their young, the rabbits busily eating and looking for predators. He'd long since separated from his brother, it had been a few seasons since they explored together but there was a migrating flock of geese that he'd been keen to attempt to keep up with and that was where their paths had diverged. He hoped his brother was doing well but he knew San and knew that it would take a lot to bring that fellow down! There was a spirit in him that the dark male wished that he possessed. For fighting, for determination, for quick wits... Raiden's own spirit was fiery but in a different way, he liked to think. Research and study. That was what he very much enjoyed.

It was what lead him northwards back towards Hia. He knew of many creatures of the land but what of the waves? Northwards was frozen but his fur was thick enough to shield him now that it was spring. He wondered what he would find up northwards? Something new? Maybe he'd stumble upon a winter hare or even a winter fox or maybe something even more exotic. He'd spied a polar bear once this far north --though he knew better than to test his luck by getting too incredibly close-- and had the luck to observe it. Ah, how wonderful it was, even better than the dead one he'd managed to find.

[b]Poosh![/i] The sound hit his ears as he walked along the goat trails. Now that was certainly something very new! There was a renewed pep in his step as he came down the snow-clad landscape. There was a brief pause as he surveyed everything before him, taking in the trails and the ice and the frigid waters and the wolf and-- wait, the wolf? His golden eyes snapped back to find a she-wolf at the edge of the water looking out towards.

Oh... By the Crone's Eye...

The flash of a great horn caught his attention and another fwoosh of air cascading from the waters like a geyser. Whales! Great horned whales! Raiden did a little jig of excitement before bounding down the rest of the way so that he too sat at the edge of the water very near the brightly colored she-wolf. “Oh my, have you ever seen anything so incredible?! Whales with horns!" His mouth turned towards her to speak but his eyes were still on the scene before them so that he didn't miss an instant. His mind was busy cataloguing all that he saw so that he may remember, just as he did with all of the wildlife that he saw.

Nevermind that the other wolf might not want his company or could otherwise be dangerous. There were far more important matters here.

“I am speaking”

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@Nastasya
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#3

Nastasya
Let me carry your sins


Her heart felt as though it had busted at the sudden approach of another, admittedly, smaller than average wolf she had met as of late. Near everyone she had met was at max height, so to see someone only a couple inches taller was almost relaxing in a way. The loud crunching of his stepped showed he either lacked a leery heart, did not see her as a threat or he was simply infatuated with the sight of something she was sure few had seen in their lives; that they simply tossed aside their caution of a stranger. Any which way, it lightened the constriction around her chest in one fowl swoosh and gave her a peace of mind and soul. First the earth toned male and now this orange tinted dark wolf that merely skipped into her small space, two wolves that did not instantly make her feel unwanted or build up quickly to wish to flee. Just as the other, he also had molten honey hues but there was no time to get lost in them.

Oh my, have you ever seen anything so incredible?! Whales with horns!

Her attention flickered swiftly back to the whales that pierced their enlarged tooth well past the surface in a remarkable display, having not noticed that detail upon her first glance. "I have o-only heard stories...they sounded from a f-f-fairytale. I believe they are called Narwhals," she smiled at the astonishment and excitement in the stranger's voice. Not only was it a thrill to see something new but it was equally stunning to see someone so passionate about really anything, far away from the woes of life that could pull one down back to the ground. Even if he was bounded, she swore she could see a shadow of wings protrude from his back, like a eagle free from limitations.

Her tail gave a few wags as she caught sight of what appeared to be a smaller whale with a much smaller tooth, traveling with the blessing of whales. "A baby!" she chimed. She was eager to run onto the ice to get closer look but kept her wits about her, that the ice was not sturdy enough to keep her above water. Coming out safe from one bad situation was a miracle enough, thinking her leg or back could be broken from the tumble if she had gone tried to correct herself, she would not test her luck with a second careless action. "It seems this place is filled w-with enchantment and secrets few will ever see," she added softly but louder than she would normally keep her voice. Another water beast purged itself from the water, showing off the horn she would assume it was rather proud of. If she had one, she would have a little pride in the protruding spindle wrapped in golden thread that bounce sunlight off of it in a short blinding flash before it was submerged back under the billow of water that surrounded it.

“I am speaking”
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@Raiden

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#4

TAKA RAIDEN

Narwhals! Now he had a name for the being and did they certainly look like something from a fairtale! He might have believed it at first if he hadn't seen it for himself. Eyes were still on the creatures as they made an extraordinary display for their watches, horns flashing and water gushing from their backs. Needless to say, the younger wolf missed the friendly female's smile as his eyes were glued to the display before them.

"A baby!" In an instant his gaze was breaking away from one particularly large specimen to one that seemed smaller. Its horn was smaller than the others, as was its entire body. Raiden gave a nod of his head, “Ah yes, how cute!” He chuckled lightly, finally tearing his gaze away from the display to look at his companion. Her grin was reflected on his own face as he added, “I wonder how many wolves ever get to see something like this?” Or ever really cared to watch. He could think of quite a few that would call the whales "big fish" and just continue on their way, never taking a second glance back. Survival was important, yes, but it was also important to not lose sight of other things that could bring you joy in life.

His eyes were back on the scene then, watching the cajoling creatures in the waters. His ears perked at her words and he nodded along, agreeing wholeheartedly. “My sentiments exactly. I feel that life in general is that way.” What an interesting she-wolf to echo thoughts that he'd often had. Not just about here but in general. There were so many things to explore and to see. Would he ever have time to view them all? “I must admit that I wish I were gifted with flippers. Then maybe I could study them up close.” He grinned and gave a wistful laugh at his words as he watched the blessing of narwhals at sea. How much longer would this beautiful display last?

“I am speaking”

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@Nastasya
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#5

Nastasya
Let me carry your sins


Ah yes, how cute!

Her ears perked at the last word in particular, thinking it rare to hear a male refer to anything as cute besides maybe in talking about a pup. It didn't linger on her mind for long as she caught a little bit of movement in her peripheral of his head turning to look at her now, making her tuck her head a little timidly. It was easier to be in the same space as or to admire someone else when they weren't paying any attention to you in particular, kind of preferring he look off toward the water more than acknowledging that she existed, luckily she could keep herself distracted and away from his gaze for the moment.

"Only those willing to go push past their instincts and w-w-walk a path of a nomad," she answered softly, thinking what he asked was a question and not anything rhetorical. It was true, if she followed what was in her mind's eye, she would be swiftly lost to the desire to hunt when she saw any prey and to never return to the frozen tundra she liked to call home. Sure ignoring one's instinct was probably going to get her killed one of these days but it just didn't feel like she would be herself if she faltered from a less traveled path than the one she already had been so attracted to. Traveling with a small caravan over a year back had taught her the true value of looking at things past the surface and to bask in the beauty of everything around them, those teaching never seeming to fade even after having departed from them two seasons past.

Tendrils of fur lightly swayed as wind grazed past them, knocking away some of the snow to reveal even further brightened fur along her back, sticking more and more out like a sore thumb. Luckily for them, the creatures of water did not care for those that were bound to the earth in such frigid temperatures. Relief flooded her as she felt his own gaze had returned to the waters, resuming their eager watch of the mammoths that flung water around and created rainbows from their geyser like sprays. As his voice came back into the air, she listened intently as she always tried to do for everyone, no matter their walk of life. A breathy laugh rang barely above the sound of the chaotic nature that made its presence very well known. "It seems we follow the same feather," she hummed softly. "I too have wished I could be of another species if only to get a closer look o-or for them to not fear me," she finished with a gentle sway of her tail.

Her gaze migrated to a few other odd animals that had taken to the cold climate, though they were almost like specks from the distance they were currently at. She could spot a couple leopard seals and some kind of bird she could not really make out, however, it seemed capable of flight as it shot into the air when the seal got too close. Perhaps a bunting or a loon, either way their feathers were of pearls and ebony that allowed them to blend well into their environment that made them near impossible to see, if one was not actively looking.

“I am speaking”
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@Raiden

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#6

TAKA RAIDEN

Raiden found himself agreeing with her once more. Were they not pushing past instinct everyday --if he could assume she too was alone-- to live alone without the company of others, just to see what was out there? He gave a nod of his head to her words with an enthusiastic "mmhmm!" before his gaze once more found the waters. It was a dangerous thing, instinct was what kept them alive, but he felt that the rewards far outweighed the cost. He hadn't come into too much harm as of yet but he knew his whole life was ahead of him and maybe one day his number would be up.

But not today!

Today he even seemed to find someone that loved the world just as much as he did. When he spoke of wanting flippers she agreed with him when usually he received odd looks or laughs at his "silliness". Never had he found someone that would want to shake off the cumbersome paws for limbs that would be a boon in the waters. “You are one of the first! Usually our kind would rather eat or ignore these other creatures rather than join them.” He grinned at her, the action easily detectable in the tone of his voice. He was so perfectly content to sit here with this stranger and watch the whales...

Oh... He could see them, still cajoling about but become distinctly smaller as they headed further out to sea. A shame but at least he'd seen much of them! He would remember it and hopefully could find another time to come back and watch those narwhals.

His golden gaze shifted, seeing that his companion had focused on something else. Seals and birds of some sort. Admittedly he almost missed the birds because of their camouflaged plumage. Instantly he was hooked on this new thing, tail wagging slowly behind him as he was happy to just observe and piece together their actions. Did the seals eat those particular birds? Or were they just flying away because they didn't like anything getting too close? “I often wonder how many creatures and phenomena there are in the world. What we will be able to see and what we won't...” He sighed, sounding wistful as he viewed the proceedings but his mind was back on the ocean and the whales beneath. What other countless creatures were below the waters that they just couldn't get to in those fathomless depths?

“I am speaking”

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@Nastasya
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#7

Nastasya
Let me carry your sins


Her gaze skated along the chilly currents, tail gently brushing along the snow behind her as she felt her whole body relaxing in the other's company, lost in her own little world of peace and unspoken lullabies. So when his voice wisped around in the air once more, evident in his tone that he was not joking or teasing her own statement, she smiled to herself in return. "And you for I. I have met others that cherish the earth and declare that they wish to keep it pure but they always fill their stomachs before trying to fully quench their curiosity. Well unless they were hallucinating from a herb or lethargic from dehydration but I don't count the merriment of a mad wolf. Funny thing, their the ones that taught me more than anyone else how beautiful this world is," she mused.

She was surprised to see the currents still housed to whales that were lessening their display of grace and unusual flaring of the water around them, showing their superiority in the water in so many ways. A breathy giggle crept past her dotted pale lips, seeming to finally take in the idea of the other with large flippers to hopelessly flail in the deep waters, trying to possibly do the same as them and not just get closer. "As charming as you would be with flippers, it probably is for the best they wield them alone," she cooed, moving her head a little closer toward him but not into his personal bubble. She hoped he would take it as playful banter and not that she was mocking his desires or something else that was not intended.

Shifting her gaze between the narwhales and seals alike, the joy slowly died down as she noticed them fully abandon the area they laid. Her ears pinned slightly as she felt the meeting would surely be cut short as the world started to become still once again, apart from the flipper owning water leopards that taunted them from a distances. It seemed one bird was about to land closer to them, clarifying her suspicion of it being loons but upon looking at her bright russet pelt returned higher to the sky. It was not surprising, her fur made her clearly visible along the mostly white and grayscale landscape. If it had been the dark stranger beside her that was here alone, perhaps it would not have noticed that predators lingered so close to the water, a threat to any prey. It could have been their new spectacle to stare at till days end but alas, instincts in the other creatures often won to survive long enough to make their species thrive.

Her attention slid over to the large male as he continued on, seeming to state something he already quoted before but in a different way, a different set of words. Now that there was a little less distraction from things that could not fully be understood, she thought about it more in depth before hopping to her cream and caramel paws. She went down into a playful pose, tail wagging in the air as she lowered her front half part way toward the ground like a puppy wanting to ignite play in another. "Instead of wondering, find them! Find as many as you can before age or a stupid decision stops you in your tracks. You will never see them all but if you do not look..." she encouraged, standing back straight and her voice goes back to that soft hum. "...you may miss something right behind you."

She sprang up the mound she had tumbled down not long before, making ground the same way a fox might spring in a pounce. It was the best way she found to move in deep powder, free of the traction it offered as it sprayed like dust and glistened in the sunlight. After going a couple yards back up the slopes, she stopped and turned to him. "I can show you something far more amazing than some grumpy seals, if you come away with me," she extended, waiting to see if he would take her offer or stay lost in the ocean tides.

“I am speaking”
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@Raiden

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#8

TAKA RAIDEN

“One can't always discount the mad. Sometimes they speak more truth than the sane will ever know.” Sometimes. Plus, it was interesting to study the effect of such things on a wolf's mind what the chemicals in a fermented berry or a certain type of mushroom could do to a perfectly sane creature that they would rattle off nonsense... or speak their mind's truest desires.

Words of teasing came from her lips next and he let out a laugh, going right along with the flow of her banter. “Perhaps you are correct. Wolves have legs for a reason and whales their flippers for another.” Another laugh and a toothy grin as looked back at her. Pleased that she was coming out of her bubble a bit and into his own. Camaraderie and bonding over a certain belief in life that they seemed to share.

Silence fell upon them both briefly as the watched the splendor around them. In the next moment the woman next to him had dipped into a play-bow excitedly. Her energy was infectious and soon he too dipped down into a bow with wagging tail and tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth like an excited pup. “Such truths you speak. Have I found myself a she-wolf that can keep up with my curiosity and more?” His words were light, teasing, but they rang true. Had he truly found a kindred spirit here on the ice? A wolf that would help him uncover the secrets of the world?

"--if you come away with me,"

Seemed that way!

There was no way that he could say no to such a promise!

He bounded after here, eager to see what she would show him. “Of course, my lady, consider me the student and you the magnificent teacher!” A laugh as he followed along right behind her.

“I am speaking”

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@Nastasya
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#9

Nastasya
Let me carry your sins


A smile lined her muzzle and she gave a small nod, thinking about a few different wolves she had met upon the subject they spoke of, though one name sticking in her head more than others. A wolf made from things she knew well and half experienced herself; take on a path completely different than her own, labeled many things but sane was not one of them. It did not stop her from caring or wanting to understand their mind, to be that shoulder few would willingly offer but she had come to terms that not all madness could be salvageable. This was not the time to think about that though, she wasn't supposed to be depressed and thinking of what she couldn't change or mend, she was supposed to be enjoying her time and letting her mind be swept up in mysteries and grandeur. There wasn't room for the darkness she sometimes couldn't shrug off, she had company and not one that appeared to have their foot half way into the grave yet. He seems pleasant and inquisitive, something she admired in anyone that lived in Cyrileth. Of what she got of his scent, she could be near certain he was not just a lone traveler passing by, he did not smell clearly of an unknown world.

Her ears flicked to his response to her little joke and tilted her head away from him after catching a glimpse of ivory that reflected a bit of light, admittedly finding it a little cute. "More just...I think they'd be a little too big for your body. Wouldn't want you drowning before I even got the pleasure of knowing your name," she mused, tail giving a thump from one side to the other.

Upon his body moving to copy her own, she felt like a puppy again, ready to take on the world and play till the days end. It was a feeling she had not experienced in so long, a face beaming with the energy of a thousand suns and her body supple, not restrained with the age many could see if they looked hard enough. A merry laugh rang as she witnessed his tongue drawl down from his lips, it having its own odd charm to it, even if it looked like one wrong move for him could cause him to accidently nip his own tongue off. That laughter lightened at what he had to say, her face feeling like it was going a bit flush, perhaps reading into it a little more than she should. Call it wishful thinking as she waited for him to answer her offer.

It didn't appear to take any thought for him to come after her, heaving himself with a little less effort than her, his height lightly providing him with that needed leverage she did not have in this depth of snow. A warm smile and soft gaze echoed the bit of feeling that peaked its way from her heart, if only because someone seemed to trust her without a second thought and appeared to be willing to follow her to the edge of the earth. It wasn't too often she found someone like him, often only stumbling on young pups that gave the same kind of attention and eagerness in learning. To see a grown male provide that same excitement and spirit, it sent her heart soaring.

Be it the blood pumping from the childish mindset that was being drawn out or the fact she just was overcome with excitement. Instead of running the way she had started, she charged back down once he got closer, she attempted to tackle him onto his back, offering an affectionate hug. If she succeeded in the poorly thought out action and they didn't tumble into the water in landing it, she'd shower him in puppy hugs, lightly rubbing her face, neck and shoulder into his neck fluff and under his jaw. It was rather infantile, to say the least but she wasn't the most formal creature in the world, succumbing to the occasional childish urge that lingered.

"Thank you!" she chirped, knowing well he wouldn't know the reason why she was grateful. There was that slim chance he would, if their spirits really walked the same path, knowing how lonely it could be or how rare it was to find someone that didn't consider them crazy, slow or just unusual. "Thank you..." she said once more softer, stilling in the actions as some embarrassment took back over.

"S-sorry. I don't know what came over me," she murmured, sheepishly, actively removing herself.

“I am speaking”
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@Raiden

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#10

TAKA RAIDEN

It seemed as if he'd been tricked! Bamboozled! As he took off after his newfound companion he didn't even get to crest the hill before she launched herself back at him. Raiden didn't have the time to calculate what was happening --indeed, his mind was built for evaluations and calculations for inquisitive observations not for defending against an assault-- before the lighter-pelted woman was upon him. There was a huff of air leaving his body as she successfully tackled the unsuspecting man and knocked him clean onto his back. Oh dear, what would brother Sanada or Kenshin say now? That he should be more suspicious of unknown wolves? That even if he found what he thought was a kindred spirit he shouldn't let his guard down? Whelp, it was a little late for that.

And in this instance it seemed to be just fine.

After he landed onto his back he could feel the gentle squeeze of a hug and the woman's head in his fur on his neck. If he hadn't such a dark complexion the blush might have been palpable but instead a rush of heat came to his cheeks and ears to have a maiden embracing him so.

She thanked him and for a moment he wondered what for. Then, he remembered the whales and everything else they'd shared. Their believes and a similar love for the world around them. It wasn't as if you found a wolf with your own world views so readily. “No, thank you, miss.” He didn't say it out loud but he had a hunch that she knew more about this world than he did. Knowledge was a powerful thing and he always ached to know more... Could she teach him?

He wrapped his own paws around her to return the hug sheepishly, unused to such tender gestures with the rough-and-tumble play that came in a household of all brothers.

When she disentangled herself from him he offered no resistance, instead letting her go and silently wondering if she was full of such little surprises. If so it would certainly be intriguing. He did not stand, instead he rolled over to lounge on one side while he reclined on one forearm... watching her with a thoughtful expression. “My name is Raiden, by the way. Taka Raiden.” A pause before he went on. “You seem to know an awful lot and... well, I would be a fool to let an opportunity like this pass. So, I wondering if I may so bold as to ask if I could travel with you for a while?” He smiled at her, hopeful that she would agree. One curious mind was one thing... but two? There was no telling what they could find out together.

“I am speaking”

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@Nastasya
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