Description: Zach and Honoka take a side trip to learn about one of the legacies of Zach's family.
Zach Glenn had spent most of the day or so after calling home in a bit of a funk, mostly staying in the trailer. Finding out about his Grandfather's death was a blow to the Marine, who had been reeling from a number of metaphorical punches over the last couple of months. On the third day, though, Zach had decided to call home once more. After all, it'd probably be worse than awkward if Zach had shown up at his parents' house with a sword and a strange woman in tow. His mother had given him some advice, and good information. The Marine strode out of the trailer, a spring in his step, and in an almost palpable good mood.
"We may not have to go to the States for some answers about the sword," he says to the Juggler as he approaches. Zach has a wide grin on his face, and seem genuinely excited about something.
Both a sociology student and a psychology student learn about influencing human behavior; the difference is scope. The Twilight Star juggler has a great deal more experience with the former than the latter -- influencing crowds is her specialty, and she can put smiles on audience members' faces much more easily than she can with any one person. She can generally take a shortcut dealing with people on a one-to-one basis -- but not Zach.
And his mood has, unfortunately, been bringing her down as well. Actually -dealing- with depression, rather than supplanting it with another emotion, is much more difficult; she's not really sure what she can do to help Zach. She's tried levity, she's tried distractions, she's tried dancing and music... but in the end, she doesn't want to be overly pushy, accepting that there are some things that Zach needs to work through on his own.
Garbed in a t-shirt and yoga pants, Honoka has propped herself up on the parallel bars. It takes her a moment before she recognizes Zach's presence, so different is it from the past few days. Her smile, also, takes a moment to appear, as she shifts out of her limberness mindset and into something more amenable to conversation. "Oh? That's great! I mean. ... I thought you had to visit your parents, though?"
"Well," Zach hedges, "The conversation with Dad about his decision to not tell me about Grampig definitely /should/ happen. And it will, but that can be done over the phone. I'm pretty sure Dad won't try to dodge that like he has the sword." Zach shrugs one shoulder, pulling at the strap of that locked duffle bag to resettle it.
"I called home," he admits, "Because I figured that flying around the world to spring weighty conversations on people was not the best course of action." Zach tugs at his bomber jacket, straightening it out a bit. "Mom told me that there's a cousin of mine here in Hakodate," he exclaims with a bit of excitement, "And I haven't seen Takehiro since high school. He's something of a craftsman."
The name 'Grampig' never fails to bring an uptick to Honoka's smile -- even if she doesn't mention it. As for the alternate form of conversation, Honoka agrees, "Good plan." Unless you're planning on inflicting grievous bodily harm, or directly manipulating someone's mind, there's really no need to communicate face-to-face these days. Honoka lifts herself off the parallel bars, resting upon just one bar -- as easily as if it were a wider plan. Idly kicking her feet, she nods slowly. "I don't -think- you'd mentioned him when we were traveling through the area -- weren't that close to him, or...?"
At this, Zach looks a little embarrassed, and he shrugs sheepishly. "I didn't know he was in this town," Zach supplies. "After high school, we both went to different colleges. I went to the University of Oklahoma, he went to the University of Edinburgh. Then I joined the Marines, and he apparently moved Yokohama. We were pretty close when we were in the same neighborhood, but we both got pretty busy."
Zach takes a moment to appreciate the movement of Honoka's legs. "But given that our family came from Edinburgh, I'm willing to bet Takehiro spent some time with the family for further education. He might know something about the sword."
The acrobatic juggler has plenty of things she could be shy about -- practicing isn't one of them. Anyone who's seen her routine ought to be able to recognize the value of practice, after all!
"... Edinburgh, huh." Honoka takes a moment to mentally place that on a map, and commits that to memory. The mention of the sword does cause a slight twitch across her facial features, but it only lasts an instant. "... Do you think he knows -more- about the sword than you do, though?"
Zach appreciates training and practice, and the results of such things. Especially when they are so easy on the eyes. "Just about anything that he knows might be more than what I know," Zach answers, "Everything I /know/ about the weapon's been learned emperaclly, and only that in the last couple of months." He looks away, slightly uncertain. "I need to know more," he states after a moment of silence. "And I can't escape the feeling that I need to know it sooner rather than later."
"If you're going to be lugging it around wherever you go, yeah." Honoka had been nervous when the 'true' sword was first revealed to her, and now that she's been told more about it, she's no -less- concerned about it now. "I mean, if he's got answers you don't have, maybe that'll help. And maybe it'll give some insight into why your dad wanted you to discover the powers for itself, rather than just dropping a user's guide in your lap."
In retrospect, Honoka realized how much she enjoyed getting her family history on tape.
The juggler remembers to smile, after a moment. She's always found herself attracted to one's eyes and smile, more than anything else; a more convenient place to be caught staring during conversations.
"I'm hoping so," he finally says. He looks over to Honoka with a slight grin as he shoves his hands in his jacket pockets. "Want to come with?" He seems hopeful, but not nervous. Honoka might get the impression that Zach is good regardless of Honoka's decision, but he'd like it if she came.
Zach's smiling. This is a good thing! He seems to have found the right path to happiness that he'd been looking for the past few days -- and she's happy to encourage him in that. To an extent, anyway.
With the circus' new headliner, the pressure for her to be present -all- the time has diminished. And it seems that Zach is ready to go now, so with showtime still a few hours away, it only takes a moment of staring off in the distance for her to come to a conclusion.
"Sure!" she agrees, turning her eyes back to Zach. "Do you think we'll have enough time so I can get back before the show?" She supposes she -could- just leave him be, supposing this Takehiro isn't a murderer or something. (Or supposing he -is-...)
"I think so," replies with a nod. "He's got a booth at a crafts show. I already have the directions. Assuming it we don't take too long, you should be okay." He pulls his phone from his pocket. "Cab'll be along shortly. I was going to go regardless," he admits a bit sheepishly.
"Well, good thing I wasn't already in costume, I guess." Honoka smiles, and hops down. "Lemme grab my shoes and tell someone where I'm going and I'll be right along!"
A few minutes pass, and the cab arrives. The ride isn't a long one, but Zach is almost twitchy with excitement the entire ride as he watches out the window. The cab pulls up alongside an open marketplace to let the couple off. Tents and booths line both sides of the walkway, and Zach climbs out of the taxi, his head tilted to one side as if listening for something. "This way," Zach indicates towards one of the more colorful booths, one resplendant in familiar golds and purples.
The juggler knows better than to question Zach's judgment here -- it's pretty much all him at the moment. But while she's following, it's hard to hide -all- of the anxiety she's experiencing -- something that becomes obvious by the way she flicks a yo-yo back and forth as she follows along behind Zach. She's eager to learn whatever knowledge this cousin of Zach's would be able to impart, but some things just can't be rushed.
Zach gives Honoka a concerned glance, an eyebrow raising for a moment as if to ask if she's okay. But they arrive at the booth and Zach simply walks in. There's only one other person besides Zach: a Japanese man with that red hair that could not possibly be reproduced with dyes. He's half a foot shorter than Zach, with a face that is used to easy smiles. Various swords, both metal and wooden line the walls.
"I heard," Zach announces as he enters, "That you were a guy who knew things." Zach's smile is wide and infectious. The man running the booth bolts upright out of his chair, his own smile bright. The two men quickly hug.
Zach turns to face Honoka, his arm over the smaller man's shoulders. "Honoka," Zach says, "This is Takehiro Glenn. Take, this is-"
"You're Honoka Kawamoto," Takehiro blurts as he shrugs Zach off to give a slight bow. The man is clearly /more/ excited now. "From the Twilight Star Circus! I'm a huge fan! I'd heard you guys were in Hakodate, but I haven't had a chance to..." Takehiro stops short, then looks at Zach, then at Honoka. Zach blinks once, clearly surprised by this development, then blushes as he scratches at the bridge of his nose to mask a slightly bemused grin.
Honoka meets the skepticism with a smile: "I'm fine, just thinking!" But when her eyebrow raises a moment later, it's for a quite different reason: the red-haired nihonjin. Not a common occurrence, but she reminds herself that Zach's family is not exactly typical, either.
She can't help but smile as she watches the two -- though some redness does come to her cheeks once her face is recognized. She plays the part of an awkwardly shy Hokkaido native well at this point, though, scuffing the ground beneath her with her crosstrainers. "Awwww! That's so sweet! Tonight's our last night in town, so if you have the time to come along, I'm pretty sure we can get'cha through the gate."
While Honoka is -acting- shy, she's got her eyes locked onto the young man's expression. Gauging, searching on multiple levels. But not once does the yo-yo's orbit falter -- partly the reason she was recognized so quickly, she considers.
But too long a glance might be considered staring. "These... are all weapons you've made?" she asks, looking around at a few of the swords without getting terribly close.
Takehiro, it seems, has a smidgen of psychic talent. Unlike Zach, however, it's either incredibly subtle or simply very weak. Or possibly both. In fact, if it were not for the fact that the three people were not talking face-to-face, Honoka might have had the impression that there were only two people in the booth. Where Zach's 'presence' might be that of a fortress, Takehiro's is more like that of a shadow.
Takehiro nods once, pride in his craft evident. "Yes. Even the practice swords," he answers. "I actually prefer working with wood over metal."
Zach quickly regains his bearings, "And on that note," Zach interrupts, unshouldering the bag and undoing the lock, "I've got something I need you to look at." The bag is barely opened when Takehiro's eyes go wide.
"Zach," the other man says in an almost breathless whisper, "How... When did you get ahold of Drynwyn?" Zach stops and looks at Takehiro, his own eyes searching, before letting out a muttered curse of his own.
"Thought so," Zach finally says in a more conversational tone. "Dad sent it to me a couple of months ago," he answers. "Though I didn't know it at the time. I thought he'd sent me a training weapon."
Honoka's careful to keep her distance from Takehiro and any of the swords -- judging from Zach's family lineage, caution is probably preferable. If Zach's dad can get him this fired up, after all, there's no sense in being on the wrong side of the battlefield.
Drynwyn. Interesting, that the sword has a name to go along with its fearsome personality. Honoka stares at the sword, barely able to pull her eyes away from the 'ipetam' as she looks to Zach and his cousin for guidance. "It did -look-- different a while ago, to be fair..."
"Covered in wood," Zach supplies with a nod. Takehiro nods once. "It... gets sealed like that, when the its bearer retires," Takehiro replies, "According to the family records, Grandfather Ignatius" might explain the Grampig "Sealed it just before you were born. The sword's been inactive for twenty-six years." Takehiro frowns in thought for a moment. "Though why did Uncle Jack send it to you, then? Why didn't Grandfather just send it along," Takehiro wonders aloud.
"Something to ask him," Zach says in a low almost growl. "There's something we-I'm worried about," he says in a calmer tone of voice. "The sword has a bunch of my energy bound up in it. I'm worried that this might be bad for me. It's... it's not eating my soul... Is it?" Zach sounds a bit worried about it, despite the doubt he had expressed to Honoka about it.
Takehiro shakes his head, smiling a bit. "Nah," he says with total confidence. "Drynwyn's..." The craftsman thinks about it for a minute. "Okay. Imagine you have a weapon crafted to channel your energies. The first step, after attuning yourself to the weapon, is to charge it with your power. The charge never lasts, and it always takes a tiny little bit of time, right?" Zach nods in agreement. "The sword stores back a little of that energy when you use it. That way it has power literally any time you need it, but to answer your question, no. It's not eating your soul."
Zach looks thoughtful at this, his relief both visible and palpable. Takehiro contiunes, "It's possible that Grandfather selected you to be his heir to his job. But there's only one real way to find that out for certain."
At this, Zach scowls. "No," he answers. "I'm not going to Edinburgh." His voice has a tone of bedrock finality to it.
Honoka makes mental notes on all the names, all the places she's been hearing. Lots of details means more that she can piece together about Zach, and his multiple lifetimes. She listens as Zach expresses concern over his soul being slowly eaten away by the sword, and listens as Takehiro allays those fears. Honoka reserves the right to remain apprehensive about that explanation, all the same -- but she doesn't express it in any more than the simple flick - flick - flick of her yo-yo.
She -does- consider speaking up about what she knows about 'Grampig' -- as it seems that Takehiro might be ignorant of the recent news, much like Zach has been. But when she sees Zach dancing around the topic, she figures there's a good reason for it. And she steps closer to Zach, calmly hooking her arm around his, the faint aroma of lilac ensuring that the Marine remembers that she's still present. "How long has the sword been in your family... records?"
Zach doesn't resist the arm hooking; in fact, he seems to relax into it and offers Honoka a faint grin. He does, however, shrug with the opposite shoulder, then glance back to Takehiro. Takehiro considers, as if thinking deeply on the subject. "The records I've seen go back to about 830 AD, and the sword shows up as early as 845, when it was retired," he finally says. "There's no record of who actually made the weapon, but records seem to imply that it had been around for a while. There... were a few attempts to make more swords like Drynwyn, but none of them were successful and more than often than not fatal." This last part is made with a frown. "Crafting weapons for channelling usually carry a cost. Depending on what you want the gear to accomplish, the cost can be fairly small." The unspoken implication being that it could literally cost someone their life.
Zach frowns at the explanation when Takehiro speaks up again. "I'm sorry you weren't at the funeral," the Japanese man says, "Uncle Jack had mentioned you were in Metro City during... all of that chaos." Zach frowns at this, not meeting Takehiro's eyes.
"Wow, you really know your stuff!" Honoka certainly seems impressed by Takehiro's encylopedic knowledge of a sword that's likely to have been sealed for as long as both he or Zach have been alive. The yo-yo hasn't stopped yet, her right hand flicking away -- in a subtle fashion, so as not to be terribly distracting -- as she listens intently to the tales.
She doesn't get into her thoughts on energy channeling weaponry. That -is- something that the Ainu legends touch upon, and it's an even more grim topic, the way she thinks of it.
She can feel Zach's pain at the simple statement. She gives the Marine's arm a gentle squeeze, as she states quietly, "It was for a good reason. A lot more people would have been hurt if not for him being there. ... with Drynwyn."
She has some license to extrapolate, she feels.
"He's a man who knows things," Zach says with a faint grin to Honoka. "When we were in school, he was the only guy in the class who could outdo me in a test, and usually with less work." He knows, has accepted, that it was a good thing that he was there. The fact that he wasn't there to say his goodbyes to his grandfather still hurts, though. Zach stares at the array of weapons on the booth walls.
"Were there monsters there," asks Takehiro. Zach blinks at the other man in surprise, but nods once. "Because just about every time Dyrnwyn was mentioned, there was some kind of monster slaying involved." Zach is thoughtful for a moment.
"That may be true," he says after a moment. "Still doesn't explain why the sword wasn't sent back to Edinburgh when Grampig sealed it."
"I got nothing," Takehiro replies before glancing past the couple. "Excuse me," he says to Honoka and Zach before issuing a loud "Irasshaimase!" to a visitor poking their head into the booth.
Zach glances to Honoka, his expression relaxed but a bit tired. "Let's get you back to the circus," he says quietly, taking one of Takehiro's business cards from a small stand made for dsiplaying them. "I can catchup with Take another time."
Honoka smiles at this little bit of knowledge about both of the handsome Glenns standing before her. Who would've known they'd be such geeks, to not only score so well on tests, but to brag about it...
She knows that speaking about Metro City is yet another thing that can upset Zach, so again she lets him control his own narrative; she lets him leave Takehiro's questions unanswered. And as Zach reaches for a card, she does as well.
With a nod towards Zach, she talks towards Takehiro -- knowing that he might be of the sort of businessman who can track multiple conversations at once. "It was nice meeting you, Takehiro. There's always a spot in the stands for you!"
With a polite wave towards the shop owner, Honoka allows Zach to lead her, lacing her fingers through his. "Yeah, can definitely tell you two are related..." she notes, a mirthful grin slipping across her features.
Takehiro smiles and waves to Honoka. "I already have a ticket for tonight's show," he replies cheerfully while the new visitor, a woman, looks at the wares. Zach and Honoka leave the booth.
"Was it our taste in beautiful women," Zach asks playfully as the couple walk out of the booth together, heading for the street. "Because I know it wasn't the hair."
Log created on 19:58:40 05/31/2015 by Zach Glenn, and last modified on 11:02:49 06/01/2015.