Description: Travelling to the distant Fortress of Klis to acquire a questionable haven for her unlikely team of allies, Knight Officer Amy Johnson is starstruck to find herself in the presence of the Holy Order's poster boy... there for his own, unrelated purpose. A mere coincidence, or the hand of God once more interceding to bring the Templar together with another likeminded soul? Time will tell.
The sun is setting over the twin peaks of Mosor and Kojzak, the barren beauty of Croatia's southern limits glowing with a defiant fury that belies the warmth of the cityfolk upon the not-too-distant shore. White limestone is stark and cold, the few strands of life clinging to harsh rock paying testament service to a history rife with bloodshed, and the resilience of the landscape that has endured it.
Upon the disguised steps of the Fortress of Klis - abandoned to tourism this time of year - tread a pair of boots at once steeped in this same bleak history, and imbued with the purpose of an evolutionary mindset. Where warriors once stood to defend what they have, and what once has been, now walks a woman who seeks to play vanguard in the new world order. Mankind needs to be defended, but it also needs protecting from itself; what better way to achieve that than to ever strive forward, to change and adapt? Man is prone to stagnation when he should plunge into the heart of danger.
Knight Officer Johnson, Dame Amy, would see her fellows rise on blackened wings.
Her being here is something of an aberration to her fellows, the junior Officer quickly establishing her own rogue sub-faction within the Templar. But where the wider Order is more progressive, none are more stagnant and resistant to change than the merchant knights, harbouring their myriad vaults beneath the strongholds of civilization.
The Fortress of Klis is a relic once valued by the Templar for its strategic importance and since abandoned to other hands. But the coffers of the knighthood run deep, their assets passed from hand to greedy, beringed hand as the centuries pass. Little is ever truly lost. Amy's wanton abuse of what little authority she's been granted has led to a boon from Grandmaster Le Roi, the limits of his own mastery readily-stretched to pass favour onto the raven-haired woman and her seemingly perilous whim.
In short, Klis has been placed in her care. The outer fortifications are not the Order's to grant, but beneath the humbly-resilient terracotta octagon of the Church of Saint Vitus lie one of the aforementioned vaults, established by the knighthood during their occupation of the site. Numerous small antechambers play host to kitchens, barracks and rest areas, whilst the central vault itself is kitted with a technologically-current control and communications hub. It may not be a pivotal site, but it's an asset that should, by rights, be in more austere hands than Amy Johnson's.
She's here, for the first time, to access and inspect the facility.
Insofar as she's aware, this is a trip she is making alone.
Mounting the final run of steps leading to the uppermost reaches of the fortress, Amy pauses to draw breath and look out across the expansive valley to the south. Stormy blue eyes are filled with a distantly-warm reverence; she can feel the history in this place, smell the sweat-drenched iron of a thousand battles past, and more than that... she can appreciate the very natural beauty that lies before her, the domain of man nestled defiantly within the necessarily-rough clutches of the Lord.
She finds the location apt, a place in which she and her unlikely allies might both seclude and prepare, a base of operations that itself embodies the fierce dichotomy of their purpose. To serve and protect, but to seek and destroy, too.
Smiling with a strange serenity, she turns and mounts the final run, ascending to the wide bastion above. The sun burns her freckled skin, and the winds lash at her back, stirring the skirts of her uniform and the long, dark strands of her hair to an excitable dance mirroring the quickening pulse within her breast.
They're calling it the 'Sacred Order of Holy Knights'. The title is fanciful, drawing on mythological notions of Church-empowered do-gooders. Stories of organizations like the Knights Templar, certainly, which many people would be surprised to find are an actual, real thing, but also hints of Arthurian legend as well. Popular culture seems obsessed with the idea that an organization such as the Church would have in its employ those capable of great feats of heroism in the name of the Lord, delivering judgment and meting out justice in His name.
When he first heard of this plan, Ky Kiske had groaned on the inside a little bit. As much as he himself feels like a relic of a bygone era sometimes -- a classically-trained French noble, swordsman, bon vivant, and 'lord' whose mastery of his internal energy lends him powers that many feel would rise to the level of magic powers -- he is still a resident of the modern world. To call a hodgepodge of specialists with Church affiliation dedicated to rooting out supernatural influences on international crime 'sacred knights' seems needlessly fanciful.
But the idea, the core concept, seems genuine and good. And so Ky Kiske signed on to be its lieutenant, the second in command. In part, this was in honor to his lineage and station; but in part, it's also due to his distinction in combat prowess. The agents of Interpol who had been present for the meeting that put it together had asked him for a demonstration, hoping to embarass him. To put it bluntly: they might have accomplished that if they'd brought Chun-Li. They did not.
And so many arrangements had to be made. Thankfully with his parents still in hale and hearty condition, the house of Kiske back in France could be left in their hands. But there was a chain of command to consider, an establishment of international rights and privileges, connections to organizations, charters and goals and endless paperwork. By the time it had been arranged, Ky was exhausted... and curious to find one last email in his inbox directing him to a distant part of Croatia to acquire a package of undescribed origin.
He arrived a few days ago, a bit before the OTHER arrival who now looks over the valley and town below, and did indeed receive this mysterious package. Upon opening it, he was... surprised to say the least. It was clearly something that had been kept here, in these vaults, for quite a long time. What did it take to get it released into his care, now? And how long had it been waiting? Perhaps most strangely, why does it feel... right, in his hands?
Ky is still pondering these questions as he walks out onto the courtyard below, carrying with him the object: a cloth-wrapped bundle, long and thin. He had been in secluded meditation, but now? Now he would like to get out in the fresh air. He could not predict, however, how this will put him directly into the path of another.
Not to Amy does one need to preach the inherent ludicrosity of the Order. Raised as an effective orphan by a legal guardian - and biological aunt - with little more time to play a mother's role than her errant criminal parent, the raven-haired youngster grew into a passively-aggressive tearaway teenager with no delusions regarding the harsh realities of modern life. Embracing a pseudo-gothic lifestyle fixated on raving her way through the disenchanted youth of Yorkshire, she was tamed by the unlikely intercession of a stern, powerful older man into her chaotic existence.
Intelligent - like so many of similarly self-destructive bent - Miss Johnson could grasp the teachings of an expert martial artist, and the twist in her tale was ever going to be rooted in her bizarre abilities with chi-manipulation. Branded a witch by young peers too stupid to spot a uniquely-talented fighter in the making, and ousted from polite society because it was too awkward to attempt anything else, now she was given an opportunity to become something else. Something more.
It took many years for her to accept that this man might, himself, be anything more than a harsh French warrior keen to impart valuable lessons on the belligerently punky girl, and more again to finally embrace what he ultimately offered: her destiny. But a confident ego is ever willing to accept greatness, and it's this that led Amy to stumble headlong into her now-established identity as a Warrior of God.
What changed her mind, then? What made her embrace the call?
Questions for another day and another time. She barely thinks on it now, seeing the past as just another part of a journey still in progress. Devout because the world demands it, faithful because she's seen too much not to fill her heart's void with a rock on which to cling, she's driven now to change what she used to simply dismiss. She considers herself powerful even to do so, in the fullness of time...
But compared to a man like Ky Kiske?
Dame Amy is still a child in need of a few cruel lessons.
This child ascends the steps a few fated moments after the budding legend descends those above, meeting him in at the twain through a twist of chance that might one day be remembered with ironic laughter; or, perhaps, lost in the mists of time like so many other minor coincidences. Certainly he has no reason to consider her notable but for her timing, as with a swish of heavy skirts she reaches the summit of the Fortress of Klis and turns to survey the view one more time. She should sight Ky in the corner of her vision as she turns, and while by all technicality she does...
...it doesn't register with immediacy.
The raven-haired Templar's aura is smouldering, worthy of note beyond the current limitations of her growing talent, as if every mote of earthly energy in the area were ready to flock to her call. As if she were another part of it, herself, as naturally and easily as the brisk wind and glowing rays of the sun. There's a darkness about her due solely to how cloying this gift can seem, as if her very humanity were choked by her attachment to a greater whole. Little wonder that a man as driven in his obsessions as Grandmaster Michel Le Roi might single her out for greatness...
If nothing else, she IS certainly unique.
Her own senses nag at her, less attuned than one might expect but still capable of reaching beyond the limitations of the layman. The Dragon's Breath seems to call to her, swirling within her innermost core, an unseen tendril beckoning her attentions elsewhere. It triggers a memory of the very mundane glance that she missed, and then her heart is suddenly in her mouth, her awareness exploding with a tight gasp. She spins hard upon her heels, throwing up a burst of dust as she turns to face the man - who, perhaps, was similarly lost in his thoughts as she - in a single, dynamic motion.
Her lips part in the readiness to call a challenge, stormy blue eyes blazing. One hand lifts, fingers curling like talons to draw from the air four sinuous tendrils of the mist, gray-white loops spiralling with comforting warmth around her pale digits.
And then a distant recognition dawns. Is he...? Her mouth claps shut, her chin lifts with a sudden burst of cowing pride, and Knight Officer Johnson drops - like a rather graceful stone - to one knee, head now bowing. As is proper.
It's a noisome and distracting gesture, and leaves her gaze turned to the dusty floor. Less than regal for her own part, but her voice comes clear a moment later, the crisply-accented and distinctly-British tone rung with a respect she feels - no matter what manner of creature she might have been before her induction into the Order.
Inwardly, she's cursing: just how much trouble is she in THIS time?
There are not many people at this fortress, which seems like a place out of time to Ky's gaze. It SHOULD be notable when he passes this woman for merely a moment. Even if there were more people here, there is something about Amy Johnson that suggests you should pay attention; not some sort of subtle mental manipulation, but the inevitable gravity exhibited by all those who burn with a certain passion. Like a lighthouse, it -- ironically -- pulses through mist and fog. But Ky's thoughts are in a different place, right now, one many miles from the proverbial shore, and so at first he thinks nothing of it... until he finds saidsame woman kneeling before him in prostration.
What does it say of their potential interaction, when his first words...
"Kneel before no one but the Lord, dear lady."
...are of humility-born approbation?
But that is what burns in Ky Kiske's heart: he could not be more different than the orphan in front of him. Born into wealth and power, provided with the best of everything, yet not ruined by it. Some would say Amy developed her heart because of her trials; Ky developed his in spite of having no such trials. But servility and obeisance make him uncomfortable, as has the Church's obsession with rank and hierarchy made him uncomfortable, and so he enforces his own peculiar brand of equity.
A hand is offered, which ideally Amy will take, as Ky continues to speak. "I'll take this in the spirit of respect you intended it," the blond says with a smile. His accent is non-existent -- a suggestion, weirdly enough, of American tutoring for this specific purpose -- but his tone is warm, friendly, as if he understands that his instinctive reaction to avoid being the target of prostration could be read, in its own way, as imperiousness. "However, I've no desire to be held high by any save God Himself, so I don't stand on formality."
If and when Amy stands, THEN Ky takes his moment to actually introduce himself. Unlike her, he has no knowledge of this fortress, its current lord, or the true purpose of the Knights Templar; he only knows he was bade here to receive an object. Slipping said parcel into his left hand, he sketches a bow, folding his right hand in front of him in the process. "I feel you have the advantage of me, but in case I am wrong, my name is Ky kiske. I'm a visitor here, for the time being." He straightens, and smiles. "A pleasure, miss...?"
The Sacred Knight's words echo into Amy's soul; and she's aware, with the dawning sense of her own foolishness that's rarely far away in times like these, that her very action is a hypocrisy. Does she truly kneel before any man? Is she remotely humble? It's a somewhat complex question to answer, but that she holds great pride in herself - in her appearance, in her actions, and in all she has earned from a dim foundation - is self-apparent. Even her uniform, somewhat casually-arranged as it is at first glance, bears all the hallmarks of being worn by one who feels she deserves to wear it.
When she looks up at Ky, to his proferred hand and beyond to piercing blue-green eyes. No, she realizes, not entirely piercing; intelligent and measuring, perhaps, certainly keen, but there's no stern judgement in them at all. This is not the man she imagined, assuming he is - indeed - who she presumes him to be. She's not wrong, of course, her thorough gathering of intelligence and perusal of official files has the right of it.
But Kiske, legendary warrior and spearhead of the New Order, is nothing like her other masters.
The smile that suddenly quirks Amy's lips is a little self-effacing, but mostly worn with open, ironic amusement as she takes his grasp and stands in a single, smooth motion. Perhaps she's still in trouble, but there's something deliciously rich about the situation that leads her to doubt it on the one hand, and be prepared to embrace it upon the other. Once she's straightened, she bobs her head in less-formal greeting.
"I know who you are, sirrah," she speaks not improperly, but with a mischief in those stormy eyes that's decidedly fast and loose with its respects. "And I can do naught but hold you in high regard. Truthfully, it's an honour to meet you - and, I hope, little else...?" Trailing off with a dark brow curved in mute enquiry, Amy folds her arms behind her back, standing at playful ease. "You don't seem to be toying with me."
Her judgement made with a light cant of her head, the Templar releases a gentle sigh, her expression sobering as she makes her own introduction.
"Sir Ky, I'm Dame Amy, Knight Officer within the Order of Knights Templar. By the grace of God and my worldly masters, I'm here to-" Her brief hesitation perhaps tells the obvious deception, a glance shooting sidelong to the nearby Church of Saint Vitus, and the vault beyond. Did he come from that way? She can only presume. "Inspect the facility below, on behalf of Grandmaster Le Roi. It seems you might have performed my task for me. I should be thanking you, Sir Ky."
Maintaining composure with a toss of her head and a bright smile that doesn't quite reach her brooding gaze, Amy adds neither ungenerously nor with rancor:
"I am at your service, should you need me."
Amy might have the satisfaction of seeing a look of genuine surprise, and then understanding, wash across Ky's features as she explains who she is, who sent her here, and more importantly who are the masters of this place and why. The Knights Templar... even among the more esoteric orders of the Church, they've always had a most mysterious air. And, somewhat unfortunately, not the most *flattering* one, either. Of all the orders Ky can imagine, the Templars seem to be the greyest, walking lines that he is not always sure he would be comfortable straddling.
Whether that makes them admirable, terrifying, or both, in his eyes... this is not entirely clear.
"A pleasure. Your... use of the peerage is surprisingly archaic," Ky says, with the faintest of smiles. "It's been a long time since I heard the title 'Dame' used. Perhaps 'Lady' sits uncomfortably with you? Perhaps we can compromise; you can call me Ky, and I'll try 'Amy' and we'll see how it goes?" There is an earnestness in this, a genuine curiosity in that he doesn't wish to show disrespect, but for someone born to rank and title, Ky Kiske has astonishingly little use for it. Perhaps this apporoach is why the Kiske lineage survived the French Revolution when so many other French noble houses did not.
Her comment about 'performing her task for her' earns a quizzical look, until he blinks and remembers what he's holding. "This?" Bringing his arm forward, he holds up the cloth-wrapped bundle, inspecting it carefully. It doesn't appear to be particularly heavy or burdensome. "I'm afraid I saw none of the stores below, if that's what you mean. This was apparently to be bequeathed to me, though I know not by who." A little annoyance at this slips out in his tone, frustration at the situation, but it passes quickly, like a cloud over the sun. "Perhaps, well..."
With a flourish, he whips the cloth off, which drifts to the ground next to him. What was inside is... interesting, to say the least. It's a longsword, or so one would imagine, but made of a steel so bright as to be white in color, broadening out to a spade-like shape near the hilt in place of a cross guard. The hilt itself is a rich cobalt blue color, and curiously, the rounded end of the hit has two short protrusions of this same color. The entire affair is a bizarre combination of what FEELS 'space age' with ancient sword-smithing.
And then there's the crackling of blue lightning along its length once Ky takes it in hand.
"I'm told the blade is called 'Thunderseal'. An ancient and powerful relic of a long-ago era. Someone, somewhere, felt it should be entrusted to me."
Secretive indeed, the ramifications of the Templars' existence are a mystery even to themselves. Deeply political and steeped so profoundly in shade as to be arguably entirely divorced from the greater Order, perhaps even viewed as an enemy, their possession of a number of notably-potent artifacts is the only concrete fact about them. These are stored in locations disclosed only to the members of the sub-faction, except when deemed absolutely necessary to the preservation of the Lord's light.
Cooperation is rare, bar individual offers of support. It's highly likely, from what Ky may know of their reputation alone, that Amy should not be making such an offer at all. For all her light deception, she's astonishingly relaxed and seemingly open considering her declared affiliation. Is she even supposed to offer that much? No matter.
"Those who appreciate the archaic call me dangerously-progressive," the blue-eyed woman responds with a breath of laughter lacing her tone, "And the compromising like to tease me for being steeped in a land of yore." Her lips quirk, and this time the expression is echoed immediately in the dancing of those stormy eyes. "Amy's fine. I don't stand on ceremony with my friends, and if you'd will it--" She pauses, her mouth open, and seems to forget what she was saying. A small laugh drops her gaze, and a flatteringly-warm flush envelops freckled cheeks. When she matches gazes with Ky again, she rocks on her heels, momentarily biting upon her lip. "Well. Ahem. Ky it is, Sir-- Ky."
Well, he is frightfully pretty and so -nice-. She can hardly be blamed for being flustered.
Beyond willing to move on from introductions, she's distracted readily by the production of that covered blade - and positively-enthralled by the unveiling. Her own blade, at her side, is well-appointed but nothing to speak of by comparison, the sweeping s-shaped guard framing a polished hilt of obviously Germanic origin. It's much smaller than Ky's, too, just shy of seventy centimeters; an arming sword, to name it.
Her hand strays forward before she can stop it, a grasp that's less greedy and more inquisitive. Pale, dextrous digits soon retreat as the lightning bursts into rampant life, a thunderclap carried on the roaring winds around the fortress.
"It's magnificent," she enthuses in a low, somewhat husky murmur, before clearing her throat. Folding her arm back behind her, she sweeps her gaze up the length of the long, unorthodox blade, then settling once more on the pleasant features of Ky Kiske. "If we've entrusted you with such a thing, you deserve your reputation and more. I know from experience," her smile is bittersweet, something of the haunted in her look as it flicks askance and back, "My masters bestow nothing lightly. You're a lucky man."
The way she says that... it's hardly resonant with the literal meaning of the words. 'Lucky' almost rhymes with 'doomed', a pang of concern furrowing Amy's brow as she more deeply examines the surface of her fellow knight. It's always hard, trying to second-guess an honest face - she has the same problem with Alma Towazu, compelled to learn more but ironically thwarted because there is so little to find hidden.
"Does it make you feel anything? Blessed, perhaps?"
"I'm grateful for the largess of the organization," Ky says guardedly, though he's not looking at Amy; instead, he presses a foot forward onto the ground and, thrusting the blade forward (away from his conversational partner, for sure), tests the weight and balance of the blade by running it through some quick bladework with a shadow opponent. It's obvious from his movements that he was trained on something else, likely the epee; the weight of a longer blade makes it difficult to control it with wristwork compared to arm motions, but to Ky's credit he has already adapted to the difference.
In truth, the blade looks... *right* in his hands. At the very least, he moves like it belongs there, the weapon a seamless extension of his arm, the sort of smoothness that most swordsmen spend a lifetime trying to perfect. But for someone like Amy, there is more than that, much more. The properly attuned can tell that it FEELS right in his hands.
Bringing the blade up in a knight's salute with a straightening of his body, Ky then pulls it back and, ducking down, retrieves the cloth wrapping he discarded before beginning to wrap it around the blade once more.
"Situated between the past and the present seems like a good place to me," he says, turning to Amy with a faint smile. "Less philosophically-inclined people would call that 'the present'." Finally, he seems to have wrapped his new possession to his satisfaction, and he begins to wind a cord around the wrapped cloth to keep it in place. "As for the gift, I am... grateful. The Order of Sacred Knights is going to be a dangerous endeavor; I am choosing to see this gift as an expression of hope on the part of my superiors that it will keep me safe as I go about the Lord's work."
The Sacred Knights... they are, at the moment, as mysterious as the Templars, but for different reasons. The latter have centuries of mystery in which they have carefully garbed themselves; the former are newly-minted, ill-understood, and under-publicized. But to Ky's eyes, they may be necessary.
"But to answer your original question, Dame Amy, the vaults are a closed door to me." And perhaps it's best they stay that way, is the unspoken followup. "Are you in Master le Roi's service? I know the name, though we've never met personally."
Watching Ky Kiske work, even in this restrained setting, is an education. A neophyte to the ways of the blade - the danger in Amy Johnson lies elsewhere - she is versed enough to appreciate true mastery, and his is among the closest she has witnessed to making that claim. He seems to meld with the blade as she with her mist, perhaps even moreso; though her warrior's egotism leads her to reserve that judgement for later.
In any case, the weapon practically thrums with a sense of purpose, with a conviction rarely found in material objects - though in Amy's line of work, she too often encounters similar phenomena. It's a nonsense that qualities attributable to a besouled human cannot also be present in their forged tools. Whether or not Thunderseal, and objects like it, have a 'soul' is as debatable as the existence of ANY immortal principle, a matter to take on faith at best. But it has energy. It has presence. It's more than a tool for cutting, shape and dissecting other forms of matter.
Binding it in cloth is almost an insult. Keeping it locked away...
...it's a betrayal to all that she's supposed to embody, but Amy would call it tragic.
Grateful, he declares from his own perspective, and she lowers her gaze with a soft snort. That earlier mischief rises again in her smile, but it's sobered, too, by a greater respect for the man before her. She's still blushing a touch, but she's not a simpering girl; she can appreciate what she sees without wetting herself over it.
"Danger lies in all that we do, Ky. In all that we touch, as well. It's not for me to impart lessons to my superiors--" But. It's coming, it hangs, sees her chin rise and stormy eyes flash with the near-arrogance of one resolved to offer their opinion. "But watch where your hand guides that blade, and where the blade guides your hand. Control is so rarely more than a comforting illusion, and no man is ever truly safe."
It's spoken without a hint of neo-feminist delusion: by 'man' she signifies the race.
To his question, she bows her head, gaze briefly lidding. A gesture of humility not echoed fully in her heart. When she speaks, it's with clear reservation, her words chosen too carefully.
"I serve the Grandmaster as I serve my Order. As a junior Officer, it's rare that I'm allowed to breach the inner sanctum, but I accept the honour proudly." There's something defiant in her gaze, driven to further confidence by the environs, which she means - in a sense - to make her own. "He..." She hesitates, and the veil slips, as she once more searches Kiske's face. Deciding how much trust to extend. How far to leap. "He mentored me, the Grandmaster. Taught me all I know not just of battle but of the Lord, too. I wasn't exactly knightly material." She looks askance, lips twisting to a disarmingly modest half-grin. She's a creature of contradictions, this one. "Perhaps I'm still not. A... few of our virtues often elude me. But I strive for better."
"That's the start of wisdom, though," Ky says to Amy, with a small smile. He's not world-weary, but neither is he innocent or fresh-faced. Perhaps his biggest failing is that he believes in people who profess to believe in things he finds important. In many cases, it leaves him the potential playthings of those who know little restraint in such matters; in others, though, it leaves him uniquely qualified to comment on their situation.
Turning to Amy, he gives her a solemn expression. "Principles will support us when people fail us," he says, with an almost rueful smile of self-deprecation to follow. "No matter what force it is that puts this blade in my hand, it is just that: a blade. Curious, isn't it?" He pauses, looking again at the cloth-wrapped bundle. "How in opposition those two statements are. Justice and mercy... those are principles bigger than me, or you, or even the people we serve. They are ideas that we can look to when the acts of mere mortals fail us. But in a way, they are also tools that we wield, that are no better than the hand that guides them, much like a sword."
Bringing a hand to his chest, Ky closes his eyes for a moment, looking within. The idea that he is anyone's superior or master troubles him, for he feels that he too is still learning, still growing. It is in moments like these that he cherishes that fact, accepts that he has far to go... but that he has come far as well.
Opening his eyes, he nods to Amy solemnly. "I will remain guided by those principles. But I'll be... careful. Your warning isn't going unheeded, madam," he says with all seriousness. "But, if you'll pardon the expression, it behooves me to have faith in myself."
It's a curious thing, to stand beside and in front of one whom you know to be your better - in raw power, in physical and spiritual ability, if nothing else - and yet feel them comfortably esconced as a peer. Amy might have taken a knee at their introduction, and she'd do so again were the time right and the outward impression of great respect a desire, but she feels no principled need for it. They walk parallel paths, after all; perhaps each to find their own way, but the destination...
Such as there is one, it's the same. Justice. Peace.
Even mercy, though it can come in so many guises. Ky, even so armed, betrays a deeper sense of compassion than the Templar contrives to embody, but in her own way... yes. This is a man she could fight alongside without betraying he or herself.
"It behooves us all," she echoes and expands upon his statement with an inclined brow, "Faith begins and ends here," a hand slides around her flank to press against an arm of the cross emblazoned across her chest. It lifts then, brushing her temple with extended digits. "And here. To turn it outward is to lose sight of all that's important. But... you know that." Her hand waves as it falls away, a dismissive gesture well-accompanied by a breeze of laughter from the Templar. Teaching grandma to suck eggs, indeed. "Call me a tool, for I'm easily-fumbled and belong in a box."
Whatever -that's- supposed to mean. Amy's blush has intensified, freckles dark on windblown cheeks. Tossing her head, she straightens with a sigh, arms falling to her side as she cocks a hip. Preparing to move off.
"I'm sorry to keep you, Sir Ky. I hope you'll remember this meeting, and if we cross paths again..." She taps the smooth, shining pommel of the weapon at her side. "I'm your sister-in-arms. I fear this world holds much for us to do, and whatever position my masters would have me take, I stand alongside any who fight for the light."
She looks away, scanning the horizon and the valley below, before she looks to Ky with visage somewhat darkened and smile tight, convicted, and blessed by a heat familiar only to warriors. She's making a vow.
"Whatever you need, you have only to call."
"You do yourself a disservice, my lady," Ky says carefully. He knows about needing to be able to poke fun at onesself -- he does it now and then -- and so he knows that contradicting someone who does so is rarely the right choice in those situations. Even if they are of a mind to be disagreed with, it only intensifies the extent to which they already feel put upon.
The right path, of course, is to acknowledge their feelings as real, while implying that the truth may be more complicated than what they suggest in their moment of doubt or pain.
And, in truth, ky thinks that moment of laughter before signalled that Amy is more sincere in her statement than she'd want people to think.
"If that's the case, then perhaps you simply need someone to use you more properly, in accordance with your nature." A pause, and then Ky actually blushes, because he's ~*That Guy*~ in some inescapable way, but after a clearing of the throat, he continues. "By which I mean, it's a poor craftsman indeed that locks a useful tool away in a box because he doesn't know how to use it properly, especially if that tool is without equal for fulfilling a specific purpose."
How much does he know, really? That might be a valid question, after he says his peace on the matter. The truth is, Ky is young and inexperienced; just incredibly gifted and wise beyond his years, which are few. So without question, he speaks as if his heart were on his sleeve which, generally speaking, it is.
"My apologies. I know you must be busy. It has been my pleasure to meet you, my lady," he says, with a bow and a perhaps gently taunting use of the title which Dame Amy Johnson has specifically eschewed. "As you say, we both have much to do. But I do hope our paths cross again." He glances, for a moment, to the sword at her side. "Perhaps we can arrange to spar together someday. I am sure anyone who has attracted Master le Roi's attention must be capable indeed."
It's a reward, of sorts, that Amy is able to draw such a flush from the composed, almost-serene Kiske. Or he from himself, at any rate. The relative solemnity of her vow sees her own composure remain intact, but she's looking at him in a warmer light still now - more than just a soon-to-be legendary warrior, and more than a mere pleasant and attractive peer. As a human being, he's both compelling and admirable. It's always refreshing to meet someone who both inspires and humbles her.
Again, she finds herself rendering a comparison with Towazu.
They'd get on well, she thinks.
"Aren't we always busy? The wicked never rest, and the just must pursue them ceaselessly." There's a lilting song to the words, a jaunty rhythm assumed that - if it wasn't already becoming clear enough - highlights how much of her archaic speech is a conceit, a game she likes to play. And yet, oddly sincere with it. "Perhaps we could tarry long enough to do that, though. I'd..." Be honoured? It's the obvious choice of wording, but she dispels it with a flutter of outflung fingertips. Dropping the act, sounding little more than a friendly young woman as she says instead, "I'd like that."
No comment on her abilities - she's oft headstrong, proud and self-certain, but she neither needs nor desires to make claims against the talents of Ky Kiske. She'd rather leave that to the proving. It's an opportunity to relish, nothing more.
In case one start to believe her retiring, however...
"I'll be in touch, Ky." Tossing her head, a hand rising in tandem to push a few dark, windswept strands from the corner of her gaze, she gives him a long, lingering look. Stormy blues practically blaze for an instant, and then she turns upon her heel, still watching him with a half-turn over her shoulder. "Look after yourself, won't you? A truly fine craftsman cares for his tools -and- for himself."
A wave of her hand, and she quickens her stride, skirts swishing and arm trailing behind before it catches lightly upon the hilt of her Katzbalger. Her step is brisk, bold, almost boyish, and her retreat up the steps into the Church is made soon enough. She's left him on a promise, though, and one she intends to keep.
The Templar hopes, without doubt, that the Sacred Knight will do the same.
Log created on 14:43:33 02/13/2015 by Amy, and last modified on 20:00:16 02/13/2015.