The Place I'll Find Someday [Zephyr, PM to join] | World Destiny
Welcome to Kingdom Hearts: World Destiny! We are an AU Kingdom Hearts RP with no word count. World Destiny's story takes place post Dream Drop Distance, at which point we make considerable steps in our own story direction. Feel free to check out the Plot link to find out more!
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Nightfall: Chapter 2
Two years after the events of Dream Drop Distance, the Darkness became so great that it swallowed the worlds, locking them away within its merciless abyss.
Twilight Town, now covered in eternal night, stands as one of last Sanctuaries of Light. It is where players begin their journey.
Ever resourceful, the Moogles have created a safe place for refugees. They have charged the Denizens of Light with finding Castle Oblivion: it holds a key to the puzzle of the lost worlds.
But within the dark shadows of the sanctuary world a powerful dark force still looms, waiting to strike. Each survivor must choose whether to go to Castle Oblivion or stay behind to protect the world from the dragon that lurks in the shadows.
The thick snow and the eerie silence inadvertently reminded him of Bran Bal.
Kuja smiled, a thin, wry smile that did not touch the cold of his eyes. Hmm. Of all places. Not too long did he dream of it with that curious dream stranger; now, he was being reminded of its existence in this godforsaken place. It frightened him, somewhat, but he remained poise on his hunt, pausing only to examine this next district.
The snow continued to fall as the sky grew dark - thick, puffy flakes that drifted in silence to the ground below, unmoved by the windless air, descending lazily. He watched them for a little while, stirred by the quiet beauty of it all. Even in his revulsion of the cold, he could not deny that the frosty decoration was lovely, and a sight he had not come across much on Gaia or Terra. The former was only during the fervent chase in Mount Gulug, and he'd been too power-crazed to remember much beauty; and the latter, well... the latter didn't have much in the way of weather.
Kuja wasn't sure if he liked the town yet or not. Once upon a time, he would feel nothing but utter disdain for its populace, disgust crawling along his pale limbs every time he'd chance a glance at one of those poor, awful wanderers. But now, he was one of them; one of the homeless wanderers, one of the lost... one of the crowd. That fact alone turned his stomach unpleasantly. In truth, he'd always been a wanderer. Terra was not his home, though it was his birth place; Treno was not his home, though it was where he'd eked a living; the Desert Palace was not his home, for it was where he stirred in lavish grandeur with nothing but his dark thoughts for company; and Gaia was not his home, for he'd etched his initials into it in blood - his blood, and millions of others.
The Black Mage Village very well may have been his home. Though he'd been there for a very short time, he'd... belonged there, yet still managed to be an individual. It wasn't all he wanted - but he couldn't have all he wanted, and it was time he accepted the fact.
Traverse Town was not his home. He was one of the masses here.
But perhaps he could become an individual again.
He continued along his path, stepping daintily down the stairs that lead into the heart of the Second District. He wore his usual boots, for they were appropriate for winter weather - but the inn he'd been living at for quite a long time now had been gracious enough to provide him with more appropriate winter wear. He wore thick, dark violet pants tucked into his boots (that were perhaps a little on the tight side); a long-sleeved, white, button-down, bell-sleeved shirt, with a violet vest over that; and a tattered old winter coat on top of that, a white one, with billowing coattails that reminded him of his old outfit. The hood was lined with animal fur of some kind, and though it hid his luscious hair, it kept him warm and comfortable. He'd pretended to be disgusted with the old coat, used to more luxurious clothing, but secretly, he loved it; it had his flair. He wore matching white gloves that were, unfortunately, filled with holes.
Coupled with the snow and his pale, pale skin, he looked like a wintry ghost.
But he was a ghost on a mission, and he stuck his hand in the coat's pocket, touching the treasure stored there. It was time to move out of the inn - which was cheap - to more practical livings, the way he liked it:
In a secret location, on his own, with the occasional heroic sap to do his bidding.
Zephyr hated heroic saps. Surviving a world's demise to be transplanted on a hostile, unfamiliar location, equipped with nothing but her hammer and her wits about her, she felt every inch the heroine of a tragic tale who had fallen far from grace. In those tales the hero would rise above it all and begin their steady climb to reclaim their honor, but with all she had lost and with no hand to guide her, Zephyr did not know how to climb or even pick herself up. She had been stripped of the one thing that had given her life purpose, the one thing that made her stronger than anyone else. She may have been a heroine in her own tale but that was what made her a sap, and she knew it with bitter clarity.
She had felt something in the café, a light that had stirred within her heart, warming her breast, but just as quickly as she had felt it that light had extinguished, leaving her with a void that seemed darker and more hollow than before. No matter how hard she tried, she could not rekindle that flame. She felt every inch the fool, the Ancestors mocking her as the Elements played her in their cruel game.
Her face set in a grimace as she brushed her gloved hand over the frozen basin of the fountain, parting the snow and brooding over her thoughts. It was a cruel thing the Elements had done to spare her life when they had taken so many others, placing her on a world so cold and emotionless. Gazing upon the street lamps lining the district, she watched with hazy vision the snow fall around her. Though she had to admit the sight was pretty, she did not like how the lights lacked the warmth of a proper flame. It was one more thing to be bitter against, but Zephyr felt she could spare the thought. She had deserved it.
A heavy sigh escaped her, her breath frosting before her eyes. The night's chill was settling around her just as the snow that fell from the sky. She needed to get moving. Her aim had been to explore the Districts, something she had not done since awakening, and she had declined Leo's offer of companionship to sulk alone in her thoughts. At least she had proper clothing now, and was not forced to borrow patches of Leo's belongings to keep herself warm. While she kept her boots and gloves, her veiled bottoms had been swapped for corduroy pants, khaki in color, and it went well with her leather bomber jacket, lined with sheepskin inside and around the collar. It had to be adjusted for her wings, and as such was separated into three tails in the back, fastened by buttons to give a snug fit to the feathery appendages that sprouted from her shoulder blades. A cerulean blue scarf kept her neck warm, and under the jacket was a simple yellow halter shirt.
Rising from her seat at the fountain's edge, she began to make her way deeper into the District when she heard the unmistakable crunch of snow underfoot. Hesitating, she stood and watched until a pale, wraith-like figure emerged from the staircase. Zephyr narrowed her eyes, trying to focus. She was not so foolish as to believe it a Nightstalker as she had first mistaken Leo, but she was still superstitious by nature and ghosts and spirits were not out of the norm in her world, let alone whatever specters roamed the streets of Traverse Town on their own. Resting her left hand on the iron block of her hammer, she took a step back in alarm. She may be a sap of a heroine, but she was not so foolish as to let her guard down to a strange being just yet.
She watched with narrowed eyes as the figure moved, and the way he glided over the snow really made it seem as though he were some specter come to haunt the streets of Traverse Town. Fear placed its icy fingers over her spine, the hair at the back of her neck rising as she fingered her hammer. Her feathers rustled in an involuntary shiver, her left still held in bandages. Squaring her stance, she held her position, content on letting it pass by without sparing her a thought, but her heart skipped a beat and her breath caught in her throat. She was sure it had glanced her way.
Fighting through her fear, she pulled the hammer free of the belt and held it at her side. "Who are you?" she called out in a challenge.
As Kuja neared the end of his descent, he paused, his instincts curling up like a cat hunkering down. His breath misted in front of him, but when the mist cleared, a figure was visible - only a few feet away, but form mightily obscured by the snowfall. He couldn't tell the shape of it; he thought he saw legs, but the shadowed figure seemed hulking and oddly proportioned... like it had... hmm. Well, there was one way to test this theory.
He continued his graceful stroll, but slowed down a touch, eager to become visibly harmless (though he knew full well that he was far from non-threatening). The closer he got to the being in the snow, the more he could tell the shape it took - and his theory was correct. The being was humanoid, and also winged.
"Who are you?" it - she - called out, fear and aggression heavily pronounced. Kuja's lip curled; was she prey to the impudence of naïveté and over-caution, certain that every strange figure in the shadows was out to harm? Had she waited and not taken an aggressive stance, he could have glided right by her, and the "danger" would be gone. If he had meant her harm, as well, she made herself a target by announcing her presence, and that was surely not her goal. Instead of being confident, her entire portrayal of a strong, capable girl was ruined by the one trying-too-hard-to-be-tough phrase. Impetuous brat.
And what an idiotic question! What, did she want his name? Yes, the telling of a name somebody else gave him definitely allows one to grasp "who he is." Oh, for sure. Did she want him to list of things he'd done? Because accomplishments and failures are so telling of one's personality. Of all things she could ask, she picked the most imbecilic route. Hnng.
He felt his expression become that of utter disdain, but remembered that he ought to keep up good appearance, so he remained perfectly - beautifully - neutral.
Perhaps he was so annoyed not only with her poor choice of action and question, but with her wings; he felt a pool of jealousy stir in him, jealousy that had existed for as long as he could remember - hatred and jealousy of other people that made him desire their opinions. He'd always wanted wings. Not only were they symbolic, but his name was the Angel of Death; though the "Death" part was no longer apt, "Angel" had always been, in his own (not so) humble opinion. Tch. And this young chick - for he'd gotten close enough to see that she was probably a decade his junior, give or take a few years - acted like she had just hatched!
All of these judgments passed without a single expression change from his lovely neutrality, though perhaps his lips curved ever so slightly upwards in a sardonic mockery of a smile.
"It's all right," he called out, coming to a stop on the bottom most stair. "My name is Kuja" - hardly a real answer to that question, but what else could the girl possibly be expecting? - "and I mean you no harm."
He gracefully held up his palms in a distinct sign of surrender. Now he was far more visible to the little bird, and his pale skin seemed to glow in the whiteness of the snow. Though he despised it, he looked like he belonged in winter, like he could just fade in the snow as a spectre, like he'd never existed in the first place.
To be honest, that was probably why he hated snow.
Despite his innocuous demeanor, Zephyr's grip tightened on her hammer. She did not quite believe his words, not with the way he kept fading into the snow and how his voice passed like silk over her ears. Anger bristled within her—it was offensive how he was being so deliberately disarming. Indeed, if this Kuja wished her no ill-will, he would have passed her by. No spirit paid attention to the living unless they sought to gain something, and she would not be used by some forgotten haunt to service his needs.
With her ground established, she stood there motionless, her eyes narrowed to thin slits as she dared him to come closer. Snow continued to fall around her, obscuring her vision as silent flakes settled lazily over her hair and wings. She ignored the cold, suppressing the shivers that would show weakness to what she considered a hostile threat. The young Aeristocrat was on guard, this she knew, despite having no reason to feel threatened despite her own superstitions. She had been mistaken before and been made a fool because of it, but that Kuja was borne of some otherworldly power she had no doubt. No living being wrought of the Elements could blend so easily or sound so beautiful.
Drawing herself up, she unfurled her good wing, casting off snowflakes to make herself appear larger. "What do you want?" she demanded.
Kuja sighed, a sweeping, lovely sigh with a tinge of exasperation that allowed his eyelids to flutter shut. Despite the soft movement, he was resisting the damn near overpowering urge to clasp his forehead in his hand and weep for all of humanity. Sarcastic tears, of course, that probably weren't tears at all, but choked back, mirthless laughter. He forgot how stupid teenagers were, since he was no longer trying to best them in his conquering of Gaia.
One day, she might redeem herself from this moment of imbecilic proportions. He'd like to say his doubt on that fact was not without foundation.
"Peace, dear girl," he said aloud, poetic as ever, but a bite of impatience to his smooth tone. "I am a civilian, simply passing though." He eyed her shrewdly; it didn't take a genius (though he was) to observe her tetchy demeanor and the lost look in her eyes. "Much like you, I've lost my home as well."
He continued to walk with that enigmatic statement, making sure to walk past her and not straight at her - though close enough for reassurance that he wasn't some corporeal being. "I take it your home world didn't teach you manners?" he mused as he passed her, somehow managing to be snide while retaining his elegance. "Hmph. A pity. But no matter."
The former Angel of Death paused and waved his arm lazily, as if brushing aside the previous thought. His back was to her, now, as he had passed her, and he inclined his head ever so slightly behind; it was as though he wanted her to be sure he was speaking to her, but thought himself too far above her to actually grant her with eye-to-eye contact. "I am searching for something. Would you care to accompany me, little bird?"
He would only ask her once. In fact, he was only asking her at all because of those damnably beautiful wings of hers - and maybe perhaps it really wasn't a good idea for a weakened shell of a man (however lovely) to go traversing the more dangerous districts on his lonesome. While the invitation expressed the guise of companionship, Kuja had more selfish notions; that hammer of hers could do more damage than a half-recovered Thundara spell should the Heartless come to play, and he was admittedly curious about where she hailed from.
And, reluctantly, he didn't think she'd last long, sitting out in the cold by herself with that pouting, unhappy expression. He felt like he was being a good Samaritan for taking pity on the girl; in a place such as this, company was preferable to dangerous walks alone.
Still. The invitation would not hang in the air forever. Should she refuse, he would walk on without another word - except to spare a lofty "farewell" over his shoulder.
The young Aeristocrat hesitated, folding her wing back as her grip loosed on her hammer. A civilian, no more, whose world had also been swallowed by darkness. At once Zephyr realized the fool she had been, sensing the hostility in the air that had been her own doing with unwonted precision. She bit her lip, warmth rising to to her cheeks in a flush. This was the second time she had been made the fool for her actions. She had to stop assuming every unfamiliar presence was some spectre intent on devouring her soul.
His words stung, deepening the blush and making Zephyr uncomfortably warm despite the chill. Her lips drew back into a thin line, feeling the bite of his words and fueling her anger at his indifference. He was the one who had invaded her territory, disturbing her peace and threatening her with his ghostly presence, and he had the gall to call her out for being uncivilized? She was not the one wandering the streets like some ethereal being set to haunt the streets at night, and she would have told him as much if he did not continue and interrupt her thoughts.
Zephyr shifted on her feet, her mouth curving down into a frown. If his snide remarks were one thing, what was worse was his dismissiveness. She was sure his back was to her, watching him pass by without any indication of turning, and she was sure he did not truly care for her company, but perhaps simply showing her how kind he was to offer redemption for her earlier folly. She bit back a cursed, feeling trapped. She did not like the way things meted out and in any other situation she would have left in a huff, yet … she had been rude, and he did pique her curiosity. She had always been poor at searching for things—as she had learned at a very young age around other Aeristocrats—but this man was no Aeristocrat to jeer at her, and he did not know her one flaw just yet. Asides, he was asking for accompaniment, and that, at least, she could handle.
"Fine," she said, sheathing her hammer in its loop on her belt. She trotted over to him, letting the chilled air and drifting snow cool her embarrassment, though her ire was left smoldering. "But I'm not the one wandering around like some wraith bent on haunting the streets of Traverse Town," she said once she reached him. Her head bobbed in an unconscious nod, pleased that she could still release the jibe she had held back before. That made her feel better.
Standing close, she had the opportunity to study him, and she did so with a brazen lack of inhibitions. Eyes narrowed, she very nearly stuck her head in his hood to get a good look at his face. What she saw pleased her, though she knew it was too much to hope him a Tamerran. She had realized that too soon after her second little episode in the café. Still, he was very pretty, gorgeous, even, with perfect features and light-blue eyes as deep as the sea. She knew the question was not out of place, not here where the refugees of so many worlds commingled together without rhyme or reason, so she felt no reservation in asking it. "What are you?"
Kuja offered a light smile at her semi-reluctant acquiesce (albeit a smile without mirth), but it twisted into a disapproving pucker as she continued her thought. Idly, he wondered where this sprout got the idea that he was bent on haunting the streets or some such nonsense. It was mildly insulting, if he cared enough, but also rather flattering that someone would still be frightened of him. (Most would not find that flattering, truth be told.) But he did not retort. Not yet. It was not the time.
He made to continue his walk forward, but she poked into his bubble. She darted in front of him and came unabashedly close to his face, intrusive, obnoxious, a repulsive peasant. He paused, locking eyes with her, his face still a mask of calm despite the irritation curling up in his stomach and throat. How dare she be so impetuous? How dare she provoke and shout to and ogle at him without even bothering to so much as introduce herself? Without an apology? He had no stomach for this child's absurdities. He briefly debated on rescinding the invitation, for she was proving to be far less of a well-mannered lady than he had originally thought.
Instead of chasing her off, Kuja continued to pause and stare at her as she was uncomfortably close to his face. He reached out an elegant, gloved hand, and gently - his touch as light as the puffs of snow that were continuing to spiral around them - placed a finger under her chin, so as to keep her face tilted up to his and maintain their closeness.
"I wonder," he mused aloud, his voice quiet, thoughtful, casual, and smooth (despite the words he were about to utter, which were not an answer to her question), "what role, exactly, are you attempting to play here, my dear? I wonder" - and as he continued, his fingers curled her chin with a slightly stronger grip - "what sort of impudent thought has possessed you that allows you to think it is all right to treat a complete stranger with such audacity?"
Kuja may have destroyed one world (and very nearly another), but he knew what his was talking about when it came to manners. He was impeccably polite, and she was impossibly impudent.
"I wonder," he went on, his voice dropping slightly more in pitch and becoming colder, and his eyes turned to ice, "why - when I have given you my name, when I have still not moved to harm you, when I even extended a gracious hand of companionship to you - you feel the need to treat me as a spectacle instead of another creature of sentience?" He was angry - almost furious at this winged brat - but his voice was still quiet, even, and cold - and that was almost scarier than shouting. His hand still had not moved from her face.
"I walk these streets as any other man who has lost his world, and you accuse me of overstepping my bounds as though I am a 'wraith'." Cold as he was, he almost sounded pleasant in a twisted way. "I ask nothing of you - you have not even offered me your name - yet you throw personal questions my way as though I am not another being with feelings and secrets to be considered. You have made me a threat simply because I exist."
He locked eyes with the little chick, and his lips curled upwards in a closed-mouth smile, one without humor or warmth, and touched her cheek with his other hand, cupping it. "There is nothing, my dear," he said softly, "that gives you the right.
"You do not deserve any more information from me." With that, he released her - despite their intimacy having been momentarily warming in the frigid air. "Calm your tongue, little bird, and you may learn as much as you wish about me. But only once you are courteous, and become aware that there is so much more to life than simply yourself."
Kuja sighed, shaking his head as though the thought of her doing anything but shouting impulsive, rash questions at him was infinitely beyond her. After all, despite the cold - though truthful - words, he'd been nothing but courteous. With that, he continued to walk away from her. The invitation he'd extended to her so graciously now had rules.
It seemed strange that once the greatest villain in Gaia would give a stranger a lecture on courtesy. But he'd always been polite, and it had been years and years since he'd done anything remotely villainous, thanks to his time in the Black Mage Village. He was still manipulative, and still had his own agenda stashed away - but he would not suffer impudence from fools and strangers.
At once Zephyr realized how far across the line she had fluttered. It wasn't the words he spoke, she had heard like of their ilk enough times when she was being particularly aggressive and disrespectful towards her peers and elders. No, it was the way he held her fast in his hands, his touch light but commanding, and the icy demeanor that conveyed through his tone. It chilled her more than the snowfall and she would have shivered had she had not been so anchored by his touch.
When he released her, she staggered, swaying on her feet as he withdrew. For once, she had nothing—no retort, no sharp reply. Her mouth drew a thin line, her eyes watching his receding back. Kuja's words hit her hard, too hard, and she was left once more without direction, feeling more alone than ever before. She wished to depart, take her leave from this awful encounter, dragging her wounded pride behind her, but as her eyes roved for her quickest egress the world was awash in grey-blue and white, with light sparse and darkness looming.
She shivered then, wrapping her arms about herself as the full weight of Kuja's threat settled heavy in the pit of her stomach. Who was she? Who was she to demand such things, to intimidate and dominate those around her? Nobody. She was nobody, her stature stripped the moment she had awoken on this snow-cursed world, leaving only her overbearing personality to establish herself. That was not enough. It was enough for Leo and Nyra, who fell to her side as easily as tamed servants, but it was not enough for her.
This Kuja, Zephyr thought, her eyes seeking him out but his delicate form was already lost in the snowfall, had once been something great. If the young Aeristocrat sought to gain anything in these worlds, she needed people like him as allies. Giving one last glance about the District, Zephyr gave chase, following the direction she had last seen him and hoping he had not strayed from his course. She wasn't sure she would be able to find him if he had.
He hadn't. His hazy form appeared like a ghost amid the descending snowflakes. "Wait," Zephyr called to him, quickening her pace, the crunch of her boots in the snow loud in the silence that followed. She slowed as she reached him. "I did not …" She trailed off. It was not often Zephyr apologized for her actions, and so she had to search for the words. " Mean to offend," she finished.
She hesitated, unsure how to proceed. Should she explain herself? Did he even want to listen? She tried, anyway. "I'm still new … to this whole thing. You looked like a wraith. I was," she stumbled over the word, "afraid." Crossing her arms, she averted her gaze to the snow dimly lit by a nearby streetlamp, effectively closing herself off. "We have superstitions, on my world. And yes," she said, realizing how silly she must sound, especially to one who did not share her beliefs. It hardened her voice, and she raised her eyes to his, defiance strong and unwavering. "I believe them."
She held her gaze for a moment before relaxing, a heavy sigh escaping her as she averted her eyes once more. Her arms tightened around herself, and she loosed a shiver. When she spoke next, her voice was soft, almost defeated. "Perhaps I'm wrong, and if my world is well and truly destroyed then these concerns should not bother me." She thought then of Jispo, of her Guardians. If her world really was well and truly destroyed, then she was right, her superstitions no longer had merit and she need not concern herself with them. But were that true, it held the same to her Guardians, and she was not yet ready to accept that fate for them. It gave her hope, and she clung to it because it was the only thing she had left. "I suppose that makes me ignorant…"
She had forgotten herself. Her eyes snapped back up, locking on his. "So," she said. Her hands clapped together low, and she gave Kuja a short bow, the feathers of her good wing rustling. "For that I apologize."
Kuja did not care whether or not the impetuous chick followed him after that. Truly, it was a matter of apathy, for if he was honest with himself, he was fairly sure she would come trotting back to him like a dog to its master; while he may have wounded her pride, he considered himself far too interesting a specimen for any commoner to simply allow the chance to learn more about him slip by. Well, he would've drawn that conclusion if he'd given it enough thought; either she'd follow or she wouldn't, but the result would be of little consequence to him. He was not out here in this frightful weather for her, anyways; he was on a mission, and he would not be deterred, especially not by an upstart little girl.
He was not surprised when a distant "Wait!" echoed through the snow, and he paused, his head inclined ever so slightly to his right as he listened. Sure enough, the little bird had hurried after him, stopping by his side. He waited, as she'd asked, to hear what sort of cock-and-bull story she'd cooked up in order to keep herself in his presence. Was she going to accuse him of being frightening again? He almost smirked.
Her demeanor had made a drastic change from their last exchanged words; she was polite and respectful, and her emotions - when expressed - where quiet and not so explosive. How childish to think she'd have to prove to him that she believed in something that might not be familiar to him... Did he look like a simpleton? Well, among the two of them, one of them was ignorant, but it certainly wasn't the sinewy, elegant man...
Her apology seemed sincere enough - but Kuja knew better than to remain unsuspecting of other intentions. A master of manipulation himself, he could sense it a mile away when somebody was trying to get on his good side. For what purpose, this time? The question was never why do you want something from me; it was always what is it you want that you expect to gain from me?
He did not let on to his thoughts; he simply nodded to acknowledge her (questionable) apology and said in a voice as smooth as ice, "Very well." No words of forgiveness - a, once again, mere acknowledgement of her existence.
Abruptly, he turned and continued to walk his path - which was more of an amble if he thought about it, even though he didn't look like a traveler that didn't know which way he was due. Assuming the girl would pursue him as usual, Kuja carelessly tossed out, "I haven't caught your name, and as you've mine, it would be fair game to offer yours up, no?"
"And, as it appears you've decided to take up my invitation and accompany me, we are searching for something in particular." His eyes darted in his sockets, noting the architecture in specific. "An abandoned building would suffice for my purposes."
He left it at that; if she was to inquire further, she would.
Well, it wasn't what she had expected. Zephyr pursed her lips, fighting the tide of annoyance at Kuja's flippant acknowledgement of her apology, until she reminded herself that this man was not one for niceties. It had been an acceptance, at least, if not of her apology but that she had apologized, and she supposed it was better to take what she would receive than expect more. She was trying to be chivalrous, realizing she may not get far in these worlds playing the bully. It had worked well enough to garner respect on Tamerra, but here, where she was out of her element and unsure of her role, she might have to play nice to get what she wanted.
And so she ignored it, catching up to him for the second time before he was out of her field of vision, which wasn't quite far, she had to grudgingly admit. He had asked for her name, and with mild shock slowing her steps, she realized that indeed, she had yet to give it.
"Zephyr," she said, putting on a small spurt of speed to catch his stride. Falling in next to him, she gave her full title. "Zephyr Arci. I'm a blacksmith." She didn't know why she told him that—surely he didn't care—but without her Guardians, it was the only thing she could hold on to that still defined her. Asides, mayhap he needed a blacksmith for something, or knew someone who did, or could give her the name of a forge if he had come across one on his wanderings. She had to admit it was hard to be a blacksmith without a forge. It made her feel hollow. It was the reason she was out here now, to search for something that could help establish her roots in this snow-forsaken city, even if it was an abandoned building to construct her own forge.
She doubted he would allow it, though. Still, it made her excited to know they were searching for the same thing even if it was for different purposes. Her eyes roved the district but the buildings surrounded were a muted grey and indecipherable. She bit the inside of her cheek then. She was never good at searching for things, and now she was wrapped up in a scavenger hunt looking for something she had not the slightest idea on how to find. How was one to come across an abandoned building? Knock on a few doors and see who didn't answer? The shops were probably still closed, or just opening, or just shutting their doors. Without a sun, how was she supposed to keep time? Even the clouds sought to obscure the moon, but Zephyr was beginning to wonder if this place even had a moon.
The silence was stretching with the two of them lost in their own thoughts, the only sound being the crunch of snow underfoot. Zephyr pulled her jacket tighter around herself, almost wishing for a howl of wind to accompany them. The chill would have been welcome.
She glanced at Kuja sidelong, curious. What did he want with an abandoned building? She knew very well why she would be welcome to one, but she couldn't fathom what his purposes were. If it were abandoned, there'd be no one to haunt. The thought brought a smile to her face, but still, she knew nothing about him. The possibilities were endless.
"What do you need an abandoned building for?" she asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.