Mother Luna shone perplexingly bright where Lenny had been. Her gentle rays somehow invigorated Lenny’s mind, sending great swathes of purple and green in and around the dirty, thin man and granted him visions which most heard as vapid delusions. Silent One could see what most could not, however, he could see that the drunk’s essence reserves were more than large enough to grant him the abilities of a true Ta’ Seer. Added to that, Lenny's way with words would have made him a great Weaver of tales.
Silent One had watched the man talk to more than a couple of passersby before building up the courage to go up to him. Seeing Lenny for what he believed to be reverent, Silent One had given the entire sack of coin to him as payment for letting him use the spot for just a few moments; hoping to be gifted a vision himself. Creator knew he needed a good one.
Lenny had hesitated only slightly before taking the offered pouch. In hopes of avoiding being bothered, the bandaged man had cast a crude image of Lenny over his visage and willed shadows to cover the image’s eyes. He was tired and knew which areas he struggled in, making believable eyes was one of them. They always ended up looking..off. One too high, one too small, usually the iris looked melted, so it was best to cover them altogether if he could.
Adorned in his false skin Silent One allowed himself to fall into a short, shallow slumber. Utterly aware of the man laying behind a nearby stone wall, Silent One cast a small charm on the bottle between his legs. It would act as a radar of sorts and make the man in hiding think he was awake. He’d not gotten but ten minutes of some well-needed rest before she was there.
He could assume her bulging pack meant she was out for food so there was no reason for her to be in this area, where food was obviously in low supply. Silent One struggled not to speak, not to explode in a fit of rage laden concern, as he so dangerously desired. He was tired, weary from casting so much but her safety would keep him up to the night’s end. It nearly shattered Silent One’s very core when she posed her question.
When she asked about him.
Distracted by the fatigued young woman Silent One, almost missed when the bottle stopped searching and started pointing. He couldn’t use his sight because the sapphire glow would definitely draw attention now, especially coming from Lenny, but he had seen her soon enough. Heria was the name he heard in their brief exchange. An Alta woman...
An Alta woman who wore the White of the Councilor’s estate guard. Silent One felt conflicted about jumping into action. It was apparent that the young Nomad could handle herself but she seemed worn, stumbling every so often with her heavy pack wrapped tight on her back. He also desperately wanted to feed bloodlust upon seeing Heria’s immaculate white armor.
Silent One chose to respect the Nomad’s strength and simply watched the two until they bolted by him and ran to the rooftops.
The bulging pack the young woman wore had slowed her down enough to make it a fair chase for Heria, who lumbered around oblivious to the intricate Ta’ carving replicated in her armors. Armor that also shone brilliantly enough that Silent One could track it from afar with ease. Silent One gave their hidden watcher a quick salute before he pursued.
Smart man. The Alta woman would’ve flattened the older eavesdropper in seconds and each had seen that Amberosin was no easy target herself. He hoped his salute would hold the man’s tentative peace in place. Silent One wasn’t sure what it meant that the man had followed but he left it alone while he could.
One thing at a time. For the time being Heria had his attention.
For much of Noctra’s history, it was the only truly safe place for what his people referred to as Dah’ Sachu, The Blessed. He’d seen as many Alta as he had Ta’, Nomads, and Trallens combined in his childhood. Men, women, unidentified, and uncategorized sexes and genders abound, not a single Alta truly looked the same but their conditions followed one absolute rule; they were only blessed by one sacred Wilder beast.
Silent One had seen some with full hound snouts, ears, and eyes but a man’s body, a man’s voice, and intelligence. Some had animal bodies and human faces, some had one finger of a beast, others had nothing “human” to show. Always from the same beast no matter the severity. Heria had the arms of one and jaw of another with wicked scars down each side of her face and shoulders. He also couldn’t fathom a reason she would choose to wear the armor of The Grand Councilor, but it couldn’t matter. The outcome would be the same.
If he used his Venerable Sight he knew it would be easier to track Heria, even a false Alta would put off immense essence, but it could also give away his position, so Silent One moved on trusting tired eyes to guide him in the pale light of Luna. It didn’t take long for them to lose him.
Cursing his worn state and pushing his protesting muscles to the furthest corners of his mind, Silent One raced on towards where he had seen the last shadow disappear. He noted that as they moved northward that the homes and streets became nicer, more immaculate, and pristine than their southern neighbors.
More guards and Watchers were also stationed in these areas, even with a large bulk of them flooding to the Southern Border, it was at least double the personnel who had been stationed on the border wall. Their armors were nicer as well and he was certain if he used his sight there would be faint communication lines running from each one.
Silent One reprimanded himself for using such reserves of energy and essence for his morbid display but he was sure he would find the strength to push through. He had to; the young woman from the Wilders wouldn’t have been there had she not come looking for him. She looked more than capable of handling things herself but she too had been winded, likely starved, and was encumbered with what was sure to be quite the meal. He wouldn’t forgive himself if she died.
Silent One slowed his pace despite the panic that had begun to overtake him, the worry he would be too late. Bending his knees far as they would go he crouched, arms out to his sides nearly parallel to the ground, he undulated his arms up and down slowly as he moved. Knowing it would benefit him to save energy he didn’t cast any shadows or tricks to hide his presence. There was little need with how dark the night had become.
Such an increase in guards for the northern areas of Blancana meant there were few thieves or undesirables moving among the corners and crevices so populated elsewhere in the city. If any lurked alongside the four streets he passed in search of the two women he didn’t encounter them. Perhaps they hid, focused on their own tasks, or they saw his garb and thought better of disturbing him.
There was no sight of the Wilder woman or Heria from the streets and Silent One was forced to scale a large building nearby to scan the area. Aware of the guards and Watchers swarming rooftops and upper levels he decided to cast a slight shade over himself. Had he been at full strength the task would have been minimal, but being so drained after using copious amounts of casting, the effort he put in was great enough to tense his muscle and illicit a cold sweat to run between his shoulder blades.
Silent One's ascent was slow and cautious, making him shake with strain as his fingers gripped at stones and ledges unwilling to offer a reprieve. As immaculately detailed as Northern Blancanan homes seemed, they too suffered from rushed developments and quick decay. Nearly every piece he latched onto trembled along with him, sending dust down onto Silent One more than once. He realized then that the city truly was a new wilderness; one he had not tamed.