"Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

J'ai la flemme d'exister.

:condor: Chapter 7: She Shall Face the Beast :condor:

The afternoon was warm, with cicada-like bugs humming in the court gardens. It was a delightful summer day, and everything was hinting at rest, laziness and peace. It would have been a fantastic day to go about and wander the grassy fields.

Alas, Zia was cooped inside practicing writing.

Not that schooling wasn't important, of course. But the sun's heat and the sounds of the sea were calling to her, drawing her attention away from her slate where she's been tracing Muan characters over and over, trying to get the traits just right. They've been at it for hours, following lessons on reading, numbers and history. She knew she'd have to learn the customs and practices of this time, but she'd never have guessed it would be so tedious!

“Princess, please focus.”

Meliad's voice brought her back from her thoughts. She turned back to her slate, and resumed copying the letters he had written on his own. Lucky for her, he was a patient teacher, and she'd never have to expect any scolding from him, even though he was older.

That was his way. A soft, harmless boy who spoke with great reverence, and did his best to uphold the strict values Kane'Oro had asked of him. Even though he and Zia were on excellent terms, he took his role as a mentor very seriously, even if it meant spending hours every day teaching Zia about the world of Mu.

And of course, he had this weird habit of calling her “princess”. She figured it was something from his homeland, or her bad understanding of a common politeness. If she had tried at first to make him stop, he's been so reluctantly polite that she's had no choice but to accept it and move on.

She finished copying the last line and handed it to him for review. As he read, she stared out the window into the court gardens, watching birds and insects carelessly trail by. Oh, to be a little animal and wander peacefully… Why couldn't her life be as simple as Pichu's, who's taken to spending his days out in the trees now? It was unfair. Out of the two of them, she didn't know who was more of an ornamental pet.

Needless to say that she hated the idea.

“It is very good. You're progressing.”

She smiled, relieved that at least this one exercise was done with. She got writing down for the most part, but to keep a neat handwriting was the tricky part.

“We should practice a little more. Here, we could start with the major gliphes, and move on to-”

“Oh, not again. We've been writing all afternoon!”

Meliad blinked.

“Well...such is your goal.”, he answered with confusion.

“I know, I know. But my hand starts to hurt. Can't we take a little break?”

He looked around, genuinely at a loss for a second.

“Well...I...I suppose we could, yes. If you would like we move on to another subject, I will need a moment to prepare it.”

“Thank the gods.”

And she let her face fall on the writing desk, not without sending her tutor into a shudder of inappropriateness. Ah, let him be shocked! She wasn't a princess, after all; merely a little country girl in a palace.

“You did very well.”, Meliad reassured. “You are learning faster than I would have thought. By the end of the month, you should have all seven levels covered.”

“We only ever use four.”

“His Majesty the Emperor insisted that I prepare you for the high-end classes of the Academy. To enter, it is required to have basic knowledge of all seven writing systems.”

Zia sighed, knowing very well she wouldn't escape it. Why would Kane'Oro want her to enroll in the Academy? She barely spoke the language right yet. Clearly, whatever “big plan” he had for her, she was starting to get nervous about.

“Would you like I fetch a cup of siris for you, princess?”

“I'm not thirsty.”

She raised her head from the desk, remembering her posture. In the library, only the sounds of books, slates and scrolls were coming to distract her from her thoughts. She stared through the window for a moment, trying to find relief in the dance of butterflies. How she longed of home...was Kane'Oro truly doing everything he could to get her back to her era? Or was it just something he said to soothe her? She didn't want to doubt him, but it's been a good while since she came here, and she's yet had to see any sign of him holding his word.

In the midst of her bitter contemplation, she noticed something. A hint of music coming to her ears. She sat up, listened for a moment, unable to locate the source of it.

“Do you hear this?”

[...]

:condor: Read the rest at https://archiveofourown.org/works/25015 ... s/61572088 :condor:
:condor: Le meilleur personnage de toute la série, c'est la mère d'Esteban.:condor:

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Este »

J'aime bien ce chapitre surtout la fin sur le site mais un peu moins que les autres... mais c'est quand même super !!
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Saison 2 : 13/20
Saison 3 : 19/20
Saison 4 : 20/20 ?

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

Celui-là est plus doux.

:condor: Chapter 8: And Become its Kin :condor:

“I just don't know what I'm going to do.”, she admitted softly. “I don't know if any of this is true.”

She messed with the needle aimlessly, twisting threads between her fingers. On her lap, her latest work looked like a sad attempt at continuing something, only to fail miserably.

“Was I really meant to end up here? Was it my fate all along?”

“Fate is a tortuous thing.”, sighed Vai'Sina as she kept painting threads. “No one can see it, no one can decipher its meaning. It might as well not have one.”

“It doesn't make sense. If I'm meant to be here, then...why was I born in my time? Ten thousand years from today?”

“Who knows? Perhaps the answer is not what you expect.”

Zia sighed, putting down her work. With tired feet, she walked to the window, watching the trees in the gardens below. She had such a lovely view from the bedroom, but even that couldn't drive her thoughts away from all the questions that plagued her mind. Questions about fate, about destiny, and about herself, all twisted and tangled together like threads on a failed weaving attempt.

What was she doing here? Why was she kept prisoner in this palace, why was Kane'Oro keeping his motives from her? She didn't understand. It was all too confusing, too overwhelming for her, and the more she tried to make sense of it, the less she succeeded. But she couldn't just ignore it. She couldn't turn her back to perhaps her only chance of going home.

“Are you not happy here?”, the quiet woman asked after a moment of silence. “Would you rather be on the road with your friends?”

“I...I didn't say that. Of course I'm happy here. I can't complain.”

Still, her eyes sought out the window as she struggled to follow through.

“I see.”

Slowly, Vai'Sina put down her work and stood up as well. For a while, the two of them looked out the window, without speaking a word; simply watching birds live their life in the branches. Zia wasn't really in a loquacious mood, and it felt nice to be understood nonetheless. A soft hand rested on her shoulder, and she glanced up for a moment, but returned her attention to the gardens soon after.

“You miss them.”, Vai'Sina said in her quiet fashion. “And that is fine. If you did not, it would have been strange, don't you think?”

Zia shrugged, not really knowing what to say.

“What about your family? Do you miss them?”

Again, Zia pondered for a moment.

“My mother died when I was young. My father...”

Her throat got stuck for a moment.

“I...I was taken from him. I never got to see him again until the day he died.”

“My poor, poor child.”

The hand on her shoulder brought her a little closer, and Zia accepted the embrace. She wasn't particularly into it, but after a moment, she did return it. It felt nice, that was all. It'd have been rude to refuse.

“You have gone a long path. I see it.”

Vai'Sina's hand cupped Zia's face with an utmost softness.

“I see in your eyes that you have suffered. No child should ever live such horrible events.”

“But I'm not a child. I'm...”

She tried to run the numbers in her mind, but it turned out that she had no clear idea of her age. Upon her arrival in Spain, she had been given a new birthday and her age got arbitrarily decided upon, and even today she struggled to recall how old she exactly was. She barely even knew just how much time had passed since she left with Esteban and Mendoza.

“...I'm lost. I'm so lost.”

She didn't know why, but her throat hurt again. She tried to hold back a sob, but failed at it.

[...]

:condor: Read the rest at: https://archiveofourown.org/works/25015 ... s/61673299 :condor:
:condor: Le meilleur personnage de toute la série, c'est la mère d'Esteban.:condor:

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Este »

Ah ceci remonte mon estime ! Ce chapitre me redonne goût surtout le début !
Saison 1 : 18/20
Saison 2 : 13/20
Saison 3 : 19/20
Saison 4 : 20/20 ?

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

Ce n'est guère un chapitre long ni rempli d'action, mais plutôt une charnière nécessaire. En plus, à la fin ya un plot twist de ouf guedin.

:condor: Chapter 9: She who Brings the Rain of Sand :condor:

The moon was beautiful, tonight.

It brought light to the world when the whole island was asleep. It brought some of the sun's warmth into the night, as if to remind everyone that it'd come back soon. As if to reassure whoever was still awake that everything would be fine in the morning.

“If only.”, Zia sighed.

With a gesture of her finger, she picked up another pebble, and sent it floating up to join the others. Through sheer worry and mindpower, she's put together a whole sea of little stones floating above her head in a circular pattern, idly spinning around on the path of her thoughts. Thoughts which wouldn't calm down anytime soon, it seemed.

She looked at the medallion she still carried in her hand, let a sliver of moonlight dance on its engravings. Once again, her mother's gentle words echoed back to her ears, into an illusion of words that she couldn't exactly remember, but whose impact still lingered on. Her voice that was so distant, that she imagined more than she remembered, that almost haunted her the more she thought back on it. Yes, she recalled her mother. She was not a certain face, but a myriad of scattered sensations: the embrace of her solid arms, the touch of a chubby hand over hers, a slight tug in her hair as it was being carefully combed. She was kind, gentle, and brought some flowery fragrance with her wherever she stepped.

Even when she was sent away from home, Zia fought to preserve this image of her. She fought to preserve her memory, her secret, the mission that was entailed to her in keeping the medallion of her foremothers. She fought so hard that it had imprinted into her; and now, she was supposed to...give it up? To leave it be, to replace it?

She recalled her father. He's always been such a gentle and soft man. As far as she could remember, he's always had white hair and wrinkles, and a slight tremble to his voice that told of his upcoming weakness. She's never heard him scream or speak above a whisper, and each of his words seemed to carry some deeper, profound meaning whenever he spoke. She's come to associate him with the sound of a brew boiling away, with the scent of freshly-chopped herbs, with the soft pounding of a pestle into some squishy leaves.

That day, when he died, she's sworn to protect his memory. She's sworn it for him, for the world, for Maina who had also known him. Even though she wouldn't voice it, she had decided to bring revenge against those who have killed him, against those who have taken her away from him. It was in his memory that she had decided to be strong, for that she'd never bear to see his legacy and his efforts wasted. When she'd hit a low point, she'd remember him, remember the gentleness in his words and his hands, and it'd give her hope that the world wasn't all bad and evil. There were good forces in it too, and he has been one of them. But now, would she have to abandon it as well? Would she have to forsake his memory and replace him, like he's never mattered at all?

This prospect was already horrible enough on its own. But the worst part of it was that she couldn't oppose it either. She had refused to call her Spanish captors “friends” for all these years, on the basis that they were rotten and despicable at their core; but this time, it was different. Kane'Oro and his partners were great people, who had helped her so much since she arrived here. There were many reasons why she would do good to accept their offer, and many why she <i>wanted</i> to.

They had good intentions, a good character and they've long wished for a child, so they would treat her right. Already, what time she had spent with them had proven delightful, and she would love to get to know them more. And as she's seen the other day, the friendship they had could very well evolve into something more.

She remembered with what gentleness Vai'Sina had brushed her tears away, hugged her and comforted her. It was a gentleness she hadn't known since she was a little girl, one she's almost forgotten. The gentleness of a loving mother, one who cared deeply for her child's well-being. Without thinking, Zia touched to her cheek, where she had been touched so softly, and again that feeling rose in her heart. A feeling of <i>want</i>.

She's missed it. She never knew just how much she's missed it.

[...]

:condor: Read the rest over at: https://archiveofourown.org/works/25015 ... s/61737034 :condor:


Avec celui-ci, on quitte la partie "théorie de malade qui n'a aucun sens" de l'histoire, et on pourra se pencher un peu plus sur ce que j'avais prévu de faire à la base. Ca veut pas dire qu'on va tout laisser derrière non plus, mais disons que comme Zia a fait l'essentiel de son parcours, on pourra se pencher plus en détail sur la cour de Mu et l'empire en général. Étendre nos horizons.

Et oui, on va parler de l'Atlantide aussi. T'croyais quoi, que j'allais pas y passer? C'est l'heure de la géopolitique!!! (ou pas, en fait. lol.)
:condor: Le meilleur personnage de toute la série, c'est la mère d'Esteban.:condor:

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Este »

Tu dis qu'il n'est pas long mais j'aime les chapitres courts.
Saison 1 : 18/20
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Saison 4 : 20/20 ?

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

:condor: Chapter 10: She who Holds Time in her Grace :condor:

As days passed, Zia thought she's maybe chosen wrong. As weeks passed, her doubts slowly faded away into the back of her mind. As months passed, she started to forget about it.

And two years after she first came here, Rana had made this place her new home.

Of course, getting used to it had been the hardest part. There have been many days when she felt she couldn't do it, many nights when she cried herself to sleep thinking of home, many moments when she considered giving it up altogether. Even though she had accepted she wouldn't be coming back to her time, there was still a part of her that wished, that <i>yearned</i> to hear Esteban and Tao's voices again, to feel the rush of the Golden Condor under her feet, to follow the path of adventure. She missed it all, she missed it so terribly! But there was no changing the past.

Her adoption into the royal family was her point of no return. Her new name was the first stone with which she'd have to build her life.

Of all the things she'd had to get used to, this one was the hardest. A new name meant a new identity, a new self; but this was a tradition she couldn't escape. If she wanted to face the crowd and be part of Mu, she needed a Muan name. Out of all possibilities, however, it surprised her that Kane'Oro chose to name her Rana'Ori, “the bringer of sand”. Out of all the names he could have come up with…! Either it was a pure coincidence, either her life would go in directions she dreaded to consider. Needless to say that she grew very afraid for the few weeks following the adoption; but she eventually settled her mind by telling herself that she couldn't be <i>the</i> Rana'Ori. It was a coincidence, and nothing more. As for any proof of the contrary, she made sure to stomp it away so far into the back of her mind that her existential anxiety would never find it.

Luckily for her, the people close to her knew what she felt like. Now that she was Crown Princess, she needed to learn the ropes of ruling, which meant that she could spend more time in Kane'Oro's company. Of course, it was very formal company, and most of the time she'd simply sit somewhere by while he took all the decisions. But she'd get to be with him, and he'd always find a moment to answer her questions at the end of some meeting or assembly. Mostly, she'd learn from watching him do, learn the duties of an imperial person and what sort of situations she'd have to face in the future. For she would be Empress one day, and she would need to be ready.

No pressure, really.

Yet with all these expectations came great support. The Emperor was always ready to answer her doubts, with some way to reassure her. With time, it became natural for Rana to seek out his advice and good words, since he always seemed to have some at the ready. He was guiding her, training her, comforting her. Loving her. If at first she felt too guilty about forgetting Papacamayo, time and memory helped ease her thoughts. And that's how she gave into it, gave into this strange paternal love she was being offered, and accepted her new parents as her own.

What a strange unit they were. The simple fact they were three had been enough to thoroughly confuse Rana, who's always been used to more traditional ways. What kind of greedy child was she, to have three parents where many children had none? It did take her some time to understand that this was simply one of the ways of Mu, and that it was natural.

Those of the imperial bloodline were, in a sense, above humanity. Bestowed upon with powers no one else was able of, they were thought to be of a completely different world, akin to gods. Yet they ruled over mere humans; so, to keep in touch with the earthly realm, it was customary for them to marry two people at once, from the male and female worlds. This guaranteed a lineage regardless of the ruler's gender, and eased the strain of a relationship by giving it three pillars instead of two. And most curiously, Rana was expected to do the same when she comes of age!

All things considered, it wasn't a bad situation.

[...]

:condor: Read the rest at: https://archiveofourown.org/works/25015 ... s/62050210 :condor:
:condor: Le meilleur personnage de toute la série, c'est la mère d'Esteban.:condor:

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Este »

J'aime bien la fin ! Vivement la suite !
Saison 1 : 18/20
Saison 2 : 13/20
Saison 3 : 19/20
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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

:condor: Chapter 11: When the Bridges that Were :condor:

In the middle of a meeting with the city's nobles, a servant hurriedly snuck in to tell the Emperor a message. Kane'Oro replied with a slight sigh, and the eyes of someone who didn't want to do this at all.

“Right. If you will excuse me, sires, I have an important engagement to attend to. We shall resume tomorrow.”

And just like that, the meeting was dismissed. Rana raised her head from the documents she's been reading over, wondering what could have prompted such a reaction.

“Father, what is happening?”, she asked once the others had left.

She's never seen him look so tired. It was barely noon, and yet he seemed mentally exhausted like he's had a long day of complaints and pleas.

“Our brethren from Gaderis have sent their dignitaries, as usual.”

“Our...brethren?”

“You will see in due time. Please, go make sure everything is ready for their arrival, while I...prepare myself.”

“I will.”

Whatever was going to happen, he seemed to be dreading it. If only for that, Rana was more surprised than ever. What could draw such a reaction out of him?

“It ought to be a big occasion.”, she thought to herself, as preparations were being made. “But I wasn't told we'd receive guests today.”

From the windows of the high towers, she could see clearly into town. Nothing seemed out of the usual: it was a gray autumn afternoon, the sky littered with clouds that heralded later rain. Bad day for a visit, it seemed, yet that didn't seem to be a problem.

Was that a ship in the distance? Hard to see from here. She tried to get a little higher, but footsteps in the hallway stopped her from climbing on a nearby dresser.

“Your Highness, there you are.”, sighed Meliad once he saw her. “Do come, you have to get ready.”

“I will, I will. Say, are we receiving anyone today? It was not in our schedule.”

“I know it seems sudden. Unfortunately, these people never announce their arrival until their ship is already in Muan waters.”

He chuckled at that, and Zia blinked further.

“These people? Whom is it?”

“The Emperor has tasked me to explain it all to you. But first, you need to get ready, for you will make a public appearance.”

Rana wanted to press the matter on, but she knew it would be useless. So she simply did as she was told, and let her chambermaids put her on her best looks to impress that mysterious visitor.

Formal occasions were always a bit of a hassle, but she's rehearsed so many of them that it'd barely be a problem anymore. It wasn't that hard: be polite, courteous, remember the right greeting for the right rank and class, and all should be good. The Emperor would be handling the more political negotiations, so Rana didn't yet have to worry about that. But she needed to make a good impression, as she would be the one in charge someday.

“We have had a long relationship with the people of Gaderis.”, Meliad explained. “They are not on the same level as Mu, gratefully, but their society is an advanced one. Every hundred moons, some of their nobles come to Patiala and recruit nacaals freshly graduated from the Academy.”

“I suppose <i>that</i> is the 'reaping of knowledge' that I have read about. Why are they doing this?”

“They appreciate Muan culture and knowledge, but have yet to form their own institutions.”

He chuckled lightly at that.

“They are too lazy to do it.”

“What do they give us in return? I doubt we would let out best scientists be hired into other countries without some reward.”

“They have a very impressive trade network, that goes where our fleet cannot yet reach. There are so many goods that we can only get through them, some we cannot do without.”

“Instead of money, we pay them with science. That sure is an interesting concept.”

She finished getting ready, admiring the embroidery of her dress and the elaborate decoration in her hair. As a princess, she had to dress the part, but that didn't mean it wasn't a pleasant surprise every time. It sure helped her feel regal.

“What a shame we have that much rain.”, she sighed, looking out the window. “It would have been better if...”

She blinked, lost mid-sentence. Something...something, just now, had seemed a little off.

“...do you feel this?”

“Feel what, Your Highness?”

“I do not know, it's as if...”

[...]

:condor: Read the rest at: https://archiveofourown.org/works/25015 ... s/62209702 :condor:
:condor: Le meilleur personnage de toute la série, c'est la mère d'Esteban.:condor:

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Este »

Ah merci !! Ca faisait longtemps !! Enfin longtemps... pour toi.
Saison 1 : 18/20
Saison 2 : 13/20
Saison 3 : 19/20
Saison 4 : 20/20 ?

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