There was a very specific thing, a very specific want that had fluttered in her out of her consciousness as of late. A want that had not been completely her own.
Xun Jiang was rather predictable, sometimes. She knew very well what the dragon wanted so much, with no need for him to even speak of it.
He wished to see Him. His Lord and Master. This was not a request that Illisia was opposed to futfilling, and so she had set off, leaving the comfort of her own rooms to have a look outside.
Perhaps she would get lucky. Perhaps she wouldn't, or would meet someone new. It was better than staying inside and doing nothing at all, at any rate. The night elf walked, barefoot, with only the sound of the grass ruffling following her.
The bounty of night once was the innumerable jewels that mirrored above and below. Silence had swallowed so much, and yet the cycles could not be denied. Nor instinct of the supposed peace of them.
Peace and silence came and were needed in tidal reminders. There was still much to be done by the hands of the Pantheon.
But not the least of things to be done was bathing. In many ways, pure waters were his close kindred. In the stories of heroes, waters provided the backdrop for great decisions, counted time, counted miles of travel.
Illisia continued on her search, unhindered by the relative darkness of her surroundings. It was in the dark that her sight was at her most effective, after all. Her sight, and the sound of running water, guided her, and then at least she found what she had been looking for.
...She hadn't quite expected the scene unfolding in front of her, however.
The elven woman stilled, hesitating for a moment, when she caught of the first sight of hair the colors of a shifting sunset.
".Ah..." So much of a silent exit. Illisia bowed her head forward, in an attempt to hide her own embarrassment. Things like that never really bothered her before, but this... this was different.
"Shan'do... Should we return at a later time ?" The last thing she wanted was to bother a god.
" Thero'shan, " Recognition of the honorific was instantaneous. The speaker could only be a specific woman, the only kaldorei within worlds of there. Creation turned in glancing for her whereabouts. It made sense that she would be active now, even if most others were not. It was a detail that slipped his grasp.
With a night elf about, no hour would be wholly safe of pleasant mischief. "If you are troubled, so be it. But I am not ashamed of your coming, and I see no purpose for you to be. Join me? The waters are cool and fine, and community wisdom found oft amid the tranquility of water. "
She could have done just that. That had been one of the choice she could have made. But it went against her coming outside to seek Him out, wouldn't it ?
And she wasn't quite sure Xun would let her. Had the dragon had any control on her body, he would probably have ran the span of distance to be at his side.
Overeager dragon. She smirked to herself at the thought, amused at how he suddenly went silent, as if embarrassed by his eagerness. She did come forward, but in a slower, more demure pace. "As long as we arn't bothering you."
She stopped at the edge of the water, observing it for a moment. "Yet it is fitting that we should find you here, my Lord." Her words were... different, delayed. Another's relayed in her own voice. "Water as source of life."
" I had been considering just the same myself of the subject. "
"You are no trouble, unless you purpose to splash me." He smiled, coming nearer the bank. Plain that Creation had very little sense of bodily shame, or clothing as anything more then adornment. That she was a woman, or a different species, or even a host, seemed to have no particular impact on his stance or comfort level.
"Countless worlds and civilizations have based their profit and war on the control of water. Without it, nearly all life fades to ash and sand. It is old worship, to offer decanters of water and oil over sacred stones. "
"What brings you out tonight, other then to stumble on an unsuspecting fool?"
Now that would be an idea. Xun Jiang was, once again, amused.
Illisia's ears stood up nearly straight at that mental comment. Feel free, but im not doing it.
The elf, for her part, was slightly less comfortable, but did eventually end up stripping, letting her skirt and top fall to the floor with little care or ceremony before entering the water. He had probably seen much worse than a naked night elf, anyway.
"Unsuspecting perhaps." Some of the amusement liked through her voice. "But no fool, I wouldn't think."
"I've had a dragon antsy to meet his master for himself, you see."
I am NOT 'antsy'. came the slight huff in her mind.
And she smirked again at that. Liar, liar, pants on fire....
"He'd been literally bouncing in my mind, you see, like an human child who's had too much sugar. Much would be the same of all your dragons, I presume ?"
Well, that made sense. In way. It was just how they... were ? In a way.
It was his second question that made her pause for a moment. "I have." She hadn't thought it had been that evident... but then, she'd always been... motherly. Even before her son. "One son. I wouldn't imagine having to watch over..." How many gods were there, anyway ? "Well. You know."
The water helped her relax a bit. "Not that he really needed much watching over, the last time I saw him."
I will take care of him. When he comes. He told her, the previous amusement in gis voice absent.He had already told her this, more than once, but it bore repeating. For now, he was content with being silent, His presence so close being soothing enough.
I know. The exchange of thought was lightning-quick.
" I am less and more lucky then that. Of birth I had a single child by the empress long ago. Universe, the eternal skies. But of other methods, I have had many, many children. My dragon sons I created alone of my own body. They were shaped of scales shed by my balanced for, one each cupped and curled in claw into eggs and breathed into with my blood and mana. Dragonkind first embodied and named. They number nine, but perhaps he has already told you as much of his brothers." He began to walk out to the deeper water again, trailing his hands out to his sides to ripple the water.
" The count of grandchildren, great grandchildren, half-relations....that becomes exponential. I cannot say I have had the joy of raising from youth such glorious trouble as dragons in ages of stars. "
Ilisia listened intently, captivated by the explanation given to her. She did not know if all of that was literal or simply figure of speech, but it was interesting all the same. "So, the great aspects... descend from your dragons, in some way ?"
Universe, she remembered hearing of that one. Elune. Lost. She inclined her head in respect for a moment in silence.
The mental image of Harmodius running after nine little scampering whelps was almost too much for her, but she managed to only look amused rather than explode into laughter. "I had enough of running after one..."
"I have met many. Not all of them. But close. It seems that if I am ever in trouble, I will not be lacking in help." She turned pensive. "They greatly value each other, that much I can tell."
" It is so. Long ago when I cared for them, In gave into them virtue and love of each other. They were a brotherhood, an order which I trained to turn first and foremost to each other in need. If you had read tales of the greatest of knights, you would not have found them lacking in any account. "
"Curiosity and enthusiasm for all new problems posed them. Lessons of the strength of their bonds and what they could accomplish out of loyalty to each other. The hardest days for them were the first when their number was decreased. They never learned...how to deal with endings. They did not know what to do when one of them could not walk, could not speak or purr. The scars of those last years, sick and under duress of betrayal by their once loyal followers certainly remain. The lessons of unity as well. "
"You will find no family close then the Dragon Kings. And now you are a part of that honor. You are a little sister, a light which kindles their flame again to glory. They will remember teh cadence of your voice and the light of your eyes when all the rest of time has forgotten your name. "
It was heart-wrenching, to hear of it spoken like this. In fact, she only noticed having brought her hand to her chest well after she had done the movement, as if trying to quell some phantom pain that wasn't her own.
"I remember." The same delay in her voice again. "...Not with my mind, but with my heart." Illisia could feel it, all of it. An hollow hole in her chest where her heart was, a pain beyond any of her understanding. No true image or memories, but they're weren't needed.
And the elf, at last, understood.
That's why you wanted them. Why you wanted to find Shuo and Shen Lung so badly. It made sense. It all made sense. And now many before them had failed, and she wondered if with each failure came this heart-wrenching feeling, this pain, when one that had been there suddenly was not anymore.
"I understand." Her words were her own again, pale eyes closed. Her own definition of family had been somewhat different. She was an only child - it was rare for night elves to have more than one, unless they were twins. "I will prove myself worthy of such memory. We will not fail again."
Creation turned to face her, still drifting with slow steps backward until he was at the center of the water.
" Always the focus comes to failure, to living up to or proofs of cause and kinship. You have nothing to prove, Illisia. You are already a bearer. You are already bound to the dragon king. "
"I wonder that no one thinks to celebrate their triumph and the joys to come. The flight and tumbles, the scratches and purrs. Have you ever seen the hearts of planets and held them in your hand? The Dragon Kings are the greatest of serpents, and you are now cut of that same clothe. Woven into it. You are accepted, so rejoice."
"Ah..." Alright, now she was embarrassed, truly, face turning a deep shade of purple, hidden only by the darkness around them.
Or perhaps not. It was foolish to think that Creation's sight might be hindered by the lack of light.
"We come to expect only the best of ourselves, perhaps." She did finally say, his words having indeed made her think. Why, exactly ? She wasn't the only one that was that way. Many of the numerous people she had known in her long life would have likely said similar words than she just had. "We do not think to celebrate what feels like should be normality. That doesn't make it actually make any sense, but..." She trailed off, then.
"How does it feels ?" She asked, but then seemed to realize she had spoken out loud instead of thought. "The cores of planets... how do they feel like ?" Warm, burning, soft and pliable like clay ? Or perhaps a sensation that she couldn't even come close to relate to. It was possible.