Nick has been on his best behavior for two days now, and although his new Sat'htine dress livery is much more comfortable, physically and psychologically, than his much-hated Tecton uniform, he's had enough of being the subject of unrestrained curiosity. He is therefore playing hooky from the closing ceremonies, and has instead donned his old and battered Gen overcoat and escaped into the grounds.
Nick is now ~~ contentedly ~~ examining the fruit trees in the kitchen gardens for frost damage.
Daisetz has no trouble following Nick through the maze of twisty little passages, all different, that constitute Sat'htine's buildings and out into the gardens.
Daisetz is not a detective, but Nick's nager is pretty distinctive, and Daisetz is pretty good at following his laterals. He has some experience in stalking the wild Companion to boot.
Daisetz comes up to Nick, hopefully without startling him too much.
Nick is not so engrossed in the fruit buds as to startle when a strong channel nager enters the garden.
Daisetz: Ah, Sosu Nick, the fruit trees seem to have chosen to grow well this year.
Nick: A little pruning goes a long way, Hajene...
Daisetz extends tentacles. He's dressed in one of the less frequently used versions of Dar regalia.
Nick brushes the tentacle tips with his fingers.
Nick: Nick Re... ambrov Sat'htine.
Daisetz: Ah. I'm said to be Sectuib ambrov Dar, but call me Daisetz. It sounds better.
Nick feels that he is flubbing his diplomatic duties, but isn't quite sure how to regroup.
Nick: I'm sorry. I didn't recognize you.
Nick has simply met too many new faces too quickly, over the past few days.
Daisetz: That's part of the idea of the clothes. We have lots of uniforms and keep 'em all baffled.
Nick chuckles, which makes his nager ~~ shimmer ~~.
Nick: I thought I was familiar with Dar's livery, but I don't recognize that.
Daisetz: You're probably used to this.
Daisetz sheds his outer cloak and turns up his internal heat a bit, revealing "standard Dar livery" underneath.
Daisetz: This is what we use when we actually want to be recognized.
Nick: Ah. Yes, I do recognize that. Although most that I've seen were a bit more worn.
Daisetz shrugs and smiles again.
Nick: I suppose as Sectuib, they don't let you run around in rags, no matter how comfortable they might be?
Nick is ~~ sympathetic ~~.
Daisetz: Being Sectuib must count for something. If I could learn to be comfortable in lacquered wood armor, new clothes aren't going to be so difficult.
Nick: Wood armor?
Daisetz: It's very lightweight. We use it for armed combat practice, along with wooden swords.
Nick: Now, that would have saved me some bruises. And a few scoldings, as well.
Daisetz: Oh? What tradition of combat did you learn in?
Nick: Yours. At the Snake River Dam, Hajene Sylma and her brother undertook to run me around in circles and toss me here and there.
Daisetz: Hmmp. They were hardly qualified to teach.
Daisetz makes a mental note of this incident to discuss it in-Householding.
Nick: Probably not, but it has come in handy a time or two.
Daisetz picks up two pieces of downed wood and offers one to Nick.
Daisetz: Care to show me?
Nick: Why not? I'm out of practice, but...
Daisetz assumes a position of defense to see what Nick will do.
Nick reaches for one of the wood pieces, simultaneously trying to hook Daisetz's ankle to throw him. He does a decent job of not telegraphing the move, too.
Daisetz evades Nick's foot without cheating (i.e. using Sime speed).
Nick hadn't really expected that to work, but it was worth trying. He settles into a basic defensive posture of his own and starts feeling for an opening, aware that there probably won't be any.
Daisetz uses a basic attack he thinks Nick should be able to ward off.
Nick does so, and counters with an attack of his own, although not as neatly as a trained Dar fighter would have done.
Daisetz parries and ripostes using a higher-level attack.
Nick manages to duck, mostly, falling back to break the momentum of Daisetz's swing.
Daisetz pursues the attack further, attempting to corner Nick against a tree.
Nick is having ~~ fun ~~, as he ducks behind the tree. He attacks again, this time adding a touch of nageric ~~ misdirection ~~.
Daisetz falls for the misdirection -- or does he? -- delivering a roundhouse blow to where Nick isn't.
Nick follows through with the attack, pressing his "advantage".
Daisetz whirls around, winding up behind Nick this time.
Nick has an "oops" moment, and throws himself forward belly-down onto the grass, rolling to give himself more distance.
Daisetz anticipates where Nick's roll will wind up and raps him over the nearest part of his anatomy.
Nick gives a yelp at the ~~ sting ~~ and signals surrender, laughing.
Nick: As you can see, I'm very much out of practice.
Nick tries to shake feeling back into his left arm.
Daisetz: I probably need to work more with novices; I would never intentionally strike a Companion on his working bits.
Daisetz gives the standard signal for ~~ Healing? ~~.
Nick chuckles, and extends the arm.
Nick: Go ahead.
Nick adjusts his nager smoothly to facilitate.
Daisetz heals the minor damage and prevents the incipient bruise. He also does a bit of discreet zlinprying, and likes what he zlins. Not classic Dar discipline (or any other kind), but a remarkable degree of self-discipline nonetheless.
Daisetz: Impressive, Sosu Nick.
Nick: Thank you, Sectuib Daisetz. And thank you for the workout.
Katsura comes out of the auditorium just before the end of the closing ceremonies, looking for Nick. She really thinks he ought to appear with her as she bids farewell to the gathered dignitaries.
Daisetz relinquishes Nick to himself, as they say in Dar.
Nick tests his left hand and arm.
Nick: Good as new.
Katsura moves away from the building, extends her laterals and zlins for Nick with her hyperacute Sime senses.
Nick hopes that the residual stiffness won't upset the channels.
Katsura thinks she can zlin his distinctive nager over in the kitchen garden, along with a First Order non-Farris channel whom she can't quite identify at this distance.
Daisetz: Indeed. And you fight quite well for someone with second-hand Dar training, I must say. Although if you wanted to upgrade those skills, you'd be very welcome to come to us for a while.
Katsura follows her laterals toward Nick.
Nick: With all due respect to Dar, Sectuib Daisetz, now that I have made Sat'htine my home, I would like to spend at least a little time here, before I go wandering again.
Daisetz: Of course. And I think I zlin your naztehr coming to reclaim you.
Katsura enters the garden and spots Nick near the fruit trees with the Sectuib in Dar. He's wearing his garden clothes and appears to have been rolling in the mud. She zlins that he's had a substantial bruise on his left arm imperfectly repaired, probably by said Sectuib. She resolves not to fuss over him about it.
Katsura: Hi, Nick. Respect to Dar, Sectuib Daisetz.
Daisetz: Respect and apologies to Sat'htine, Hajene Katsura.
Nick: Hi, Kat.
Nick lets his nager reach out to lightly ~ support ~ Kat, without interfering with her interactions with Daisetz.
Katsura moves to Nick's left side and takes his hand, surreptitiously zlinning the extent of the damage.
Daisetz: We were doing an elementary Dar exercise -- Sosu Nick has some Dar training, it seems -- and I unintentionally struck him on the left arm, as you can zlin.
Nick: I've forgotten how to duck fast enough, it seems.
Katsura wonders how the Sectuib in Dar himself couldn't avoid an injury to her Companion's arm. Was there some ulterior motive?
Katsura: I see. It appears not to be serious.
Katsura plans to work on it later and try to get the full story from Nick.
Daisetz: There's a Dar saying that I fear is all too applicable: The greatest swordsman on earth need not fear the second-greatest: it's the beginner he need fear.
Daisetz ~~ regretfully ~~ indicates Nick with the stick.
Nick: I certainly qualify as that.
Katsura can zlin that Daisetz is sincere in his apologies, and he's clearly embarrassed at his error but trying to preserve his Sectuibly cool facade.
Nick harbors no ill will, having gotten worse many times.
Katsura attempts to set a light note.
Katsura: Are you developing your skills to protect me from arthritic dragons, then, Nick?
Nick: It's a good thing my rose-trimming skills are more up to date than my combat skills.
Daisetz: No, it was my idea entirely. Nick's firmly committed to his House. Although if you wanted to trade him temporarily in future ....
Katsura: Well, that would be up to Nick, of course.
Katsura knows that there's no good match for Nick at Dar. Even the Sectuib is substantially lower rated than he is.
Daisetz: Of course. As for arthritic dragons, another of our Wise Old Sayings ...
Daisetz winks at Nick.
Daisetz: is that it is not well-done to chain a dragon to fry tempura. So do keep that in mind.
Katsura: The tempura wouldn't be well-done -- it would be incinerated! ~~ humor ~~
Daisetz smiles back and achieves a moment of rapport.
Nick: The dragon in question had her own fish to fry, as it turns out, although it was quite incendiary, indeed.
Katsura: Nick won her over, though, with his inimitable charm.
Daisetz: And his inimitable gardening skills, I understand.
Katsura: A Gen of many talents.
Katsura looks to Nick and lets her ~~ affection ~~ show.
Nick projects ~~ ostentatious modesty ~~, with a grin.
Daisetz ~~ relishes ~~ the emotions between channel and Companion.
Katsura: We're very fortunate to have persuaded him to pledge to our House.
Katsura has written off saying farewell to the dignitaries with Nick by her side. He's much too muddy.
Daisetz bows again.