We missed it for long years. It was only after we'd left Jawburn that we even learned what music was, what dancing was. It was ... a beautiful introduction. *smiles*
( One night on Raolin )
"I am, as I am; whether hideous, or handsome, depends on who is made judge." -- Herman Melville
*tilts head* We're pretty sure we're beautiful all the time, no matter who is looking at us.
Sometimes the person looking can't see it, though. That's their loss.
Some people find no beauty at all in the world, being blind that way. That is ... very sad. To live in a world without beauty ... a soul must wither, in a world like that.
The world is so very full of beauty, after all, so vivid and fierce and glowing, and every moment shines when you look at it, pulses when you touch it. *laughs softly* And you have to touch it. Touch everything. Touch all the wild world.
That's what life is for, or should be. To run and run, and touch all the beauty you can, all that exists.
There's no point in judging, in blinding yourself. Everything is beautiful. Even death. Even pain. Even evil. Everything is worth loving, worth touching, worth holding inside yourself.
We do not forgive. We do not forget. And we always, always love. The world deserves nothing less, and nothing more.
In that, we think we are beautiful, to any who cares to see it in us.
Ara spun at the sound, batting aside her opponent's sword on instinct, all her focus across the arena to where Nira staggered under a blow, clutching her abdomen with one hand, her enemy sneering in triumph. Ara's sight narrowed around the bright splash of red between her sister-soul's fingers, and her own blood roared in her ears.
She dispatched her opponent in a heartbeat, forgetting the show, forgetting all the unspoken rules of the arena. They didn't matter. Not now. In moments, she was racing across the sand, watching Nira strike her own opponent in the throat, the blow she saved for when she had no time or no caring left for the fight. Ara didn't particularly care, ignoring the body as it fell, her entire focus on her lover as she sank to her knees, the blood bright under her hand.
Ara caught her as she bowed forward, a brutal impact of arms and blood and scent, a howl of agony in her heart as she heard Nira's gasp of pain, her tiny huff of laughter. She crooned on instinct, laying Nira back, settling her in the sand as gently as she knew how. The wound glistened at her, a low gash across Nira's abdomen, a leering mouth torn in her sister's flesh. But it was only a gash, relatively shallow, not a stab wound. Terrible and terrifying as it was, it wasn't very serious. That was the only thought that prevented her from screaming with rage and pain.
"Ara-love," Nira murmured, smiling up at her. "Just a little tear. Just a little thing."
She smiled at her, her hands catching and holding Nira's for a moment before pressing down on the wound, holding back the blood as best she could. The healers were on their way, she knew. They had to be. She couldn't hear, though, couldn't look up and around, to search, to examine the crowd, to see the judgement of the Foreman. She didn't care about any of it, only about the blood that trickled through her clutching fingers.
"No more," Nira whispered, suddenly, and Ara looked up from the dark smile of the wound to the glittering seriousness of her lover's eyes. "No more," Nira repeated, intent rising through her eyes, dark and vicious and calm. Ara felt her head tilt, felt herself being drawn in, the meaning coming to her instinctively, and before she could think she found herself smiling, a proud, vicious grin.
"Yes?" she asked, fierce and glowing. Nira grinned at her, lips pulled back part in agony, part in victory, and nodded. As the healers rushed in around them, took Nira from Ara's grasp, forcibly pulled her hands away, she kept her eyes only on those of her sister-soul, only on the laughing determination in Nira's eyes, and felt her blood heat and rush inside her.
No more. Never again. Not one more wound in this slave's arena. Not one more drop of blood for a crowd's amusement. They had given years, blood and life to this arena, and loved ever rich and crystalline moment of it. But it was time now to take for themselves, time to run for heaven's gates through all the wild world.
She stood, watching Nira be carried away, her bloody fist raised instinctively, her eyes moving to the Foreman's box, to the friend who sat there, who had wanted them to leave long since. She met Slate's eyes and nodded once. Then, as the arena grew silent, she threw her head back and crowed in victory, in passion, in warning. No more. Never again.
Tomorrow the blood spilled would not be theirs, but that of anyone who tried to keep them here, tried to keep them slaves. She smiled, crimson and ripe and destructive. They were not slaves. They were goddesses.
And tomorrow, they would be free.
And I'm Nira. Her lover and friend. No surname either.
We, together with an ex-mine foreman named Slate and a thief named Jared, are a team of mercenaries operating primarily in the Southern Archipelago of Medath.
We used to be gladiators in the mining arenas on Jawburn, a small nation made up of five islands in the southern central region of the Archipelago. We left as soon as possible, of course, and strongly dislike being asked to return. If you want a job done on Jawburn, hire someone else, yes?
We also moonlight as thieves, and on rare occasions as women of price. *grin* And sometimes women of no price at all, but that's off the clock. It's work we enjoy, and we charge less for people who book both of us. *smile* We love working together best.
However, fun aside, our primary working joy is fighting. We didn't end up gladiators by accident, not with our looks to consider. We're pretty damned beautiful, and the arena was nearly a waste of our talents, but ... well, we're ten times as gorgeous in battle and streaked with our enemies' blood. *shark grin* You should all watch sometime. You'd soon see what we meant.
Anyway. *grin and wink* We're pleased to meet you, and hope to get to know you all much, much better.
Drop by any time.