Bookshelves line opposite walls, reaching from ceiling to floor. A thick stripe of red runs around the room on the walls where they meet the ceiling, silver eight-pointed stars showing the StarCraft's symbol. A few tables are centered in the room for studying and soft chairs are scattered around for those who aren't at the tables. In one corner, a large chair stands with more chairs in a semi-circle around it, a setup suggesting that classes might be taught there. Another corner boasts a potted plant, bright and green due to the careful work of an apprentice or two.
Cress moves slowly in from the StarCraft Main Hall.
Cress comes in quietly, nose in a book and almost walks into a chair, before changing direction to a table, but doesn't see Lin there.
Linora looks up from her book, feeling more than hearing another person entering - being alone in a quiet place for hours will do that to a person, apparently. Spotting Cress, her eyes light up, but she doesn't speak right away... just watches him. After a long moment of that she gives up on her own reading, resting her elbows on her open book and dropping her chin into her hands. Watching.
Cress feels something, and looks up seeing Lin, which makes his smile come out, brightening his face. He leans back, just to look at her, then finally breaks the magic of the moment, "what're you reading?"
Reading... oh, yeah. Linora actually has to check. "Charting." A flush comes to her cheeks even as she says it - of /course/ she should be reading about her specialty! "What're you reading?" Actually, she's kinda glad to see he's studying, or she would've felt even more guilty.
"Red Star," Cress mumbles, flipping through the pages of the rather large book. Good thing they'd actually both been doing some reading, but what would happen now that they 'bumbed' into each other? "So.. Is it interesting?"
Linora grins. "Course it is... or I wouldn'ta picked it for a specialty. Lotsa people prolly wouldn't think so, though," she admits. Good thing they're in the archives, really... hard to imagine breaking the rules in such a stuffy place. "You decide on a project yet?" Oh, back to projects!
"Project?" He hadn't really considered that yet. What with Riina being away so much, and not having a lot of lessons with her. "No, I don't s'pose I have..."
Linora nods thoughtfully. "Well, me neither. It'll prolly be easier t'decide after I have the advanced class." If Keris ever has time to teach it; he's so busy! She slumps down in her chair, tipping the bottom edge of the book into her lap and looking over the top of it at Cress, pale eyes twinkling. Not saying that it's harder than ever to wait, not mentioning exactly how much willpower it's taken for her to even /open/ that book, much less concentrate on it! But thinking it. And hoping he's trying his best to get promoted soon, too.
Cress takes a deep breath, nodding slightly. "I haven't has the advanced class either. Been a while since I even seen Riina," he says, glancing down at the book, thinking that maybe he should be reading it, since he might not get a class from his mentor anytime soon. "How's it coming with Keris as mentor?"
Linora grins, still not reading. "I like him. He's funny." So he'd scared her silly when she first went to talk to him; she had a distinct feeling he hadn't meant to. "An' he's really smart, too. I'm learning lotsa stuff." Well, mostly from copying charts, but she never would've done that if he hadn't asked her to. And they /were/ interesting... and as long as she made sure she got plenty of fresh air in between, they didn't even make her feel sick anymore.
"Tha's good," he says, not really knowing what charting involved. But if Linora liked it, he wasn't going to criticize it. "At least you see him, eh?" Cress is still a little dissapointed that Riina hadn't been around all that much, but he couldn't exactly reprimand a journeywoman, now could he?
Linora giggles. "Sure. Every time he's got another chore for me, I see him." Cress should feel /lucky/. He'd only had to clean the observatory. "Sometimes I think I'm the only mentee he's got, even though he /says/ there're others." She decides to at least make a pretense of reading, and turns a page.... but her eyes are still on Cress.
Cress follows Linora's example and opens his book to the page he'd marked before he'd closed it. Not even halfway through the book yet. "At least you see 'im," he mumbles, sounding perhaps a little sour.
Linora shuts her book with a little thump and a puff of dust, stifling a little cough. "Wanna take a break? Go for a walk or something? I been in here too long anyhow." That and she /really/ hates to see Cress unhappy. She fixes hopeful eyes on him, knowing she'll have to go soon anyhow, before she just can't breathe anymore.
Cress sighs, then shakes his head slightly. Really, he /did/ want to go with her, but when his mentor wasn't around to keep an eye on his studies, he had to keep himself on track. "I think I better study." That what he'd come down here to do in the first place. Quesion is, whether he'd get any studying done anyway?
Linora can't hide her disappointment, but deep inside she knows it's the right thing to do. Sigh. She nods once, slowly, and gets to her feet. The heavy charting book is carefully returned to its shelf, and she heads for the exit. Just inside the door she stops, just looking at him, chewing her lip. For a long moment she's silent, then... "See ya, I guess."
Cress turns his head to look after her as she leaves, "bye," he says, not really loud enough for her to hear, and his eyes already show longing. "See ya."
Linora slips out the door with a sigh... but her relief at hitting the fresher air of the hallway is almost palpable. Guess she'll just have to miss him some more. Oh, yeah, and study or something...
As you walk along the path, you find yourself near the center of the valley. Situated here, is Crystal Lake. This lake is named for its clarity. At nearly 100 feet, things can still be seen as if they were closer! Unfortunately, this is also a danger, as one has trouble gauging depth, so swimmers beware! A natural spring feeds the lake from underneath, keeping it a nice 80 degrees, even in the winter, though it can get much warmer in the summer. A large square has been set up a short distance for the shoreline.
It is a summer afternoon.
Natch is here.
Natch is a woman standing 5' 4 tall, but her bearing makes her seem a bit taller. She is healthy and fit from working hard at whatever she does. Her fair, almost transluscent skin, is complimented by her long fine brown hair that is plaited intricately on her head. Her brown eyes take in all that goes on around her. There are lines on her face that most assume are laugh lines.
From where they fit snuggly on her round hips, Natch's red sisal pants flair into folds that end at the tops of her thighs, fluttering when she moves or in the occasional breeze. A band of the same red sisal is wrapped around her chest and secured in a tight square knot at the front. The long ends brush against her firm bare abdomen.
A knot composed of the Forest Green and Royal Blue threads of Gar Hold plaited intricately with a silver thread into a double cord with a single loop ending in a long tail and two tassles showing Natch's rank.
Natch is 35 Turns, 11 months, and 1 day old.
Natch smiles at Linora when she discovers she's not alone. "G'day."
Linora is making her way down the lakeshore to the water's edge, so focused on her destination that she hadn't really noticed another there. With a bit of a start, she turns, then smiles as she recognizes the Holder. "Afternoon, Lady Natch," she says, remembering her manners.
Natch continues drying her limbs and nods. "Natch is good enough," she says with a chuckle. "Here for a swim?"
Linora shrugs. "Prolly more of a wade, actually," she admits. She sits down on the shore and tugs off her sandals, taking a quick look out over the lake... almost wistfully. Then she grins back at Natch. "You been swimming?" Since she seems to be wet...
Natch mm's and laughs lightly "Just watch out for the lake monster. He seems to have a mind of his won today.:
Linora grins widely. "Lake monster, huh?" She doesn't believe those harpers' tales, gullible though she may be. "He prolly won't waste his time on me." Since she's not more than a mouthful, really. And kinda bony. Even if the monster /was/ real. Which she's pretty sure it's not.
Natch laughs as she wraps her unpinned hair in the towel and sits in the sand. "I meant the wooden one. He's bobbing all over the place!"
Linora laughs, coloring slightly. "Oh!" She looks over at it, then back at Natch with a sheepish expression. "I don't go near that thing," she says. "Mostly I just swim. Or I useta."
Natch ah's and makes designs in the sand with her finger before looking at LInora "He's good to help you stay afloat sometimes," she says with a smile.
Linora's face lights a bit; that hadn't occurred to her. Well, she hasn't needed help in the water since she was just a little kid! "I never thought'a that," she says. "Maybe I'll try it? I haven't tried swimming even in ... well, a while." She gets to her feet and pads quietly down to the water's edge, poking at the lake monster experimentally.
Natch watches, pulling her knees to her chest and hugging them there, very un Holderish. She laughs and calls "He doesn't bite. Really!"
Linora flashes an uncertain smile back at Natch, then drags the lake monster into the water. A little awkwardly, until the water begins to take the weight of the thing. Then she wades out until she's up to her chest, finally ducking quickly under the water and resurfacing, her hands reaching for and clinging to the unwieldy monster, as if she doesn't trust herself away from its dubious safety for a moment.
Natch gets called away to deal with an problem in the orchards. A bit later...
Tierza walks in from the Hold Field.
Tierza says, "Hey Lin.. How's the water?" Stripping down and dropping a towel stolen, er borrowed, from the baths, heads for the edge and waits. "want company?"
Linora is about a dragonlength from shore, hanging onto the carved lake monster for security. Hearing a voice, she looks up with a smile and paddles in to shore, still dragging the stupid lake monster with her. As soon as it hits bottom and looks like it won't float off, she wades over to her friend. "Hey, Tie." Beam. "That'd be nice. An' the water's great." Like always.
Tierza says, "Good.. " with that and a smile, she steps into the water and heads for a deep enough length to actually swim. "How are you doing, by the way? You looked a bit upset when I saw you with Alex. He do anything to you.. again..?"
Linora wades back out and sits on the lake monster. "Ah, I'm okay," she says. "Alex is a pain. I mean, he's a funny kid, and he's fun sometimes, but ... " Her voice trails off, not really wanting to go into exactly how much of a pain Alex had been. Because she really shouldn't be talking about that. Not even to Tie. She shrugs and kicks her feet in the water, not quite ready to trust herself swimming.
Tierza says, "I understand.. say no more." She swims languidly beside Lin and just enjoys the warm water. "Great day today though, don't you agree?"
Linora nods. "Yeah." She lifts her face to look around. Clear sky, fresh air, warm lake... yeah. Great day. She almost doesn't mind hanging on the stupid lake monster like a kid learning to swim. She kicks her feet some more. "You got the day off from the gardens?"
Tierza says, "Well, I usually don't work in the middle of the day. The plants don't like it and neither do I. I get up early, work 'til mid-morning, then head back later, when it's cooled off some."
Fade To Black...