12 In 1 Read

Igen Weyr - [TP] Main Library
Located off a hallway accessible only from the lower caverns, a set of ornate double doors open to reveal nothing less than a literary paradise. Some unknown process was used to carve the majority of this immense library cavern straight out of the very living rock itself, the walls high and wide, and oddly buttery smooth without the having needed to be polished. The older construction is easily discernible from the newer, with long rectangular shelves and cubbies — stuffed with books of every topic imaginable — inset within the walls themselves throughout the circumference of the cavern, divided off into two separate floors with a single grand staircase enabling passage to each. Railings along the upper floor provide safety from accidental falls, the support columns of which are done in simple spiral pattern that has withstood the test of time. Newer additions, in the last hundred turns or so, are the large heavy wooden tables that can be found scattered about, their solid construction carried on into the matching chairs provided for sitting. However, for those that require solitude and privacy, there are a few nooks in which small stone tables and padded chairs can be found. A mix of glows and electric lights give plenty of illumination no matter the time of day, and the occasional oil painting or tapestry breaks up the monotony of otherwise bare stone walls, the floor scattered with rugs of variable age and design.

L I S T E N. Let's be real. No one is going to go giving Tejra a 'Harper of the Month' award, if they even did that kind of thing. It's not that she's so awful as to not warrant some consideration (she does, after all, have her journeywoman's knot), it's just that she's more the type of harper who excels in those few activities within her wheelhouse so well that her many (many, many, yes we hear you adding manys, Yaromil) shortcomings are largely forgiven. But one way that Tejra is a perfect harper is her intense love of the written word. It's thusly no surprise to the narrative world at large (even if it is to certain grumpy faces) that Tej may be found this evening tucked away in Igen's book lover's paradise. She's been here more than a while, which is why she's just exiting one of the private nooks with an armful of books, intent on the cover of the topmost and not looking where she's going.

Look, Yaromil hasn't even said a single word! (yet). 'Cause this is a library and even though libraries don't normally grow in deserts, the trader-turned-candidate knows enough to be quiet in them. Or maybe silent and judgemental is just his natural state. Whatever he's reading is not serious enough to require claiming a private nook. He's staked out a nice, large table where he can keep an eye on the pathway with his pack to the wall when he isn't actually reading. The sound of someone walking by is enough to get the eye raising and even if the sight of that particular figure turns up the dourness on his face just a little bit more, he still can't help but call out in a loud whisper. "You're going to trip." Somewhere up ahead there is certainly a stair just waiting to catch the unawares!

Maybe it is his natural state, just like maybe dragons like a carnivorous diet. Tej wouldn't place a bet because it's no fun to win without at least a little risk. Pale eyes lift and shift, though she has to turn to look back at the man whose face will surely freeze like that if he keeps it up, and a single red brow arches, expression making a subtle shift from serene to unimpressed. She rocks a step back toward him so she can keep her voice low to say, "And you're worried for the books? What a stalwart hero I've come across. And one who uses his words so effectively to keep accidents from happening." Harper Tejra knows better than to thunk her books down onto the edge of Yaromil's table and lean an elbow casually on the stack while she cocks her head the opposite direction to look at him. "I wouldn't have guessed." She lets the ambiguous statement hang as she peruses the expression that could curdle milk. (IT'S A TRAP. RUN, YARO, RUN!)

"Libraries are places of words," Yaromil will either shrug off or shrug his way into that trap. It's only natural that he has a care for books if he's willing to be in such a place long after any candidacy-mandated lessons might require. Apparently there was actually a squeaky clean and bright white knot waiting for him when he returned from the brief trip back home and now it can loudly announce his new status for all to see. That stack of books that most definitely wasn't thunked on the table gets a suspicious glance. "Why does everyone read so many at once?" Tej isn't the first harper (or former harper) he's come across in recent days with massive stacks of books potentially in need of saving.

"That you could read," Tej enunciates what she was going to say almost without regard to what he actually said. "With your great disdain for words of more than one meaning, I wouldn't have though you could manage it." Being a visitor in a foreign land, this harper really should have more manners, but perhaps she dropped them between… when she was ten. On the way to the Hall. They are certainly not in evidence now. She shifts so she can drum fingers lightly on the top of the book. "Some subjects require more than one point of references to glean the correct information, though I don't suppose you like that any better than words with multiple meaning. What would be better from your view," she pretends to wonder letting her hand come up to tap her chin thoughtfully. "A room with an enormous singular tome holding all the world's knowledge from all sources in one place?" There's no way the redhead misses the new addition of a pretty white knot, but she keeps that ammo knowledge in reserve for the time being.

Yaromil has disdain for many things and his current method of showing it to the pesky harper is to every so slowly finish that page and then flick over to the next. "If I couldn't read, a harper would have failed his job." The training of the youths of course. Or the alternative being that Yaro would have been too hard-headed or just incapable of learning. "Some might…" He'll concede at least. "But I doubt anybody could read…." He glances over the stack quickly. "Ten books in a day." Look, he can count too! As for his own preference, he shrugs. "One massive books unwieldy. Could break it up into sets." Like an encyclopedia!!!

"Or been deprived of their chronic headaches," Tej quips, expression that convincingly false thoughtfulness all over again. But then she's laughing. IN A LIBRARY! And not at the pitch of a whisper. No, her bell-like laugh carries and to add insult to injury, no one even bothers to shush her! (People that rhyme with SHMAROMIL don't count.) She gives him one of her brightest smiles and with an elegant flip of her plait she's sweeping up her ten books and is off to the shelves to set about putting them away. To do so correctly takes time, but Tej is a visitor here and she's not a barbarian. Maybe Yaromil is blissfully free of her? Even if his prophecy of tripping does not come to pass with the woman who moves like motion is as much her natural state as the serene stillness she has when she's not. … But no, Yaromil does not possess such luck. She's back some many moments later carrying a much smaller stack of no less than twelve books. Children's books. Which, of course, after plunking herself in the seat next to him, Tej proceeds to read silently with the gravity of one plotting the next Threadfall back when life and death battles were a routine thing for dragonriders.

Yaromil's eyes narrow at the laughing, both for the sacriligousness of it's loudness and for the possible insult as well. He'll continue reading only ever so often glancing up to keep track of Tejra's shelving progress (and maybe no so secretly hoping his prediction of DOOM comes true). Aside from the slight movement of his head as he looks up or down and the ever so often twitch of a finger and turn of the page, he might as well be a statue. The harper's return and with twelve very small and colorful books gets a snicker. "Cute." As for him? He'll stick over here with whatever Pern's equivalent of War and Peace might be. Pass and Interval?

"Shh," Tej flings up a commanding hand between them as if the weight of the world were carried in these twelve books. Can't he see how busy she is? Look at her, flipping pages with elegant ease and so swiftly, too! She's a speed-reader, that's for sure. The books are set aside one after another as they're completed. Then what? She has so much time after finishing twelve books in a day. So she stretches, she yawns, she rolls her head toward Yaromil and gives him a 'call' look as if she's just drawn the last card of the round.

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? SO THAT'S SO MANY WORDS in all those books. Yaromil raises an eyebrow and then gives a shrug and returns to his own reading. Almost to be contrary, his own pace slows to practically a crawl as he savors each word. And as for the stretching and the 'calling'? He ignores it. He's got like… a zillion more pages to go and he was already more than halfway through!

Life lessons by Tej: don't ignore the tunnelsnake marauding as a redhead in light blue desert garb and hope it will go away. Unless he is that engrossed, he can probably sense the movement before Tej's leeeean has her placing interlaced fingers on his shoulder, chin on them (what is personal space even?) so she can murmur right there, "What are you reading, candidate?"

Yaromil can at least pretend he's that engrossed and flinching away would ruin the illusion. He's as stoic as ever as Tej places her chin on his shoulder, just getting a low grunt of acknowledgment. "History." The candidate flicks the page again. It'd probably be more accurate to call this particular tale historical fiction but seeing as it goes of on long winded passages about all the details one must know about various aspects of mining and farming, the novel could be dry enough to be considered educational.

Pale eyes never stray to his book. "What kind of history?" Tej keeps her voice intimately low, perhaps going for the new record of 'how awkward can she make this for him before he gets fed up.' "Are you… behind in your studies, candidate?" She pops each syllable of the word that is role and title all in one.

The deep intake of breath is only the first of those tiny, tiny signs that Tej just might be getting under Yaromil's skin, but he'll keep the calm, cool and collected face on for a while. "Ancient," is Yaro's simple response while he flips over the front of the book so she can see the title even as his hand still holds his place. "Don't remember this being on the lesson plans. Although… at Fort you might have gotten fancier crap." Being all the Center of Learning and Culture that some Harpers try to pass it off as.

No, no, no, Yaromil, Tej is not so easily appeased. She doesn't glance at the book, even as he shifts it, she just stays, like the feline whose zeroed in on the person least likely to appreciate her close, personal attention. "What kind of ancient history? Unless you're just looking at the pretty shapes the words make." If the harper's voice colors with doubt… well, that's because she's still working her magic in trying to provoke a reaction from Mr. Grumpyface. Or possibly because she's a horrible person. Possibly both.

"If I wanted pretty shapes, I think I could borrow a book from you," Yaromil tilts his head back towards Tejra's massive pile of fine children's literature. "The kind with a plague." Unfortunately (or is that fortunately), it's the little germy kind of plague and not a plague of the presence of a very particular harper like he's experience right at that moment. That enough of a reaction?

"No, surely not. I think they're above your reading level." Tej's lips split into one of her Cheshire smiles, lazy and pleased, but still much, much too close to be appreciated. And yet, she gives no relief from the invasion of personal space. "Plague sounds very relevant to you, though. Good to know what to avoid. Although, it does raise the question," NO, IT DOESN'T, TEJ, BUT THAT CLEARLY DOESN'T MATTER TO YOU, "do you mean 'plague' as in disease? 'Plague' as in an infestation? 'Plague' as in causing trouble and irritation?" She squints at him from right here.

Yaromil rolls his eyes at the Cheshire grin. "Thank Farnath you weren't my harper." They can probably both be thanking that original momma dragon for that blessing. "Plague: that unwanted thing that threatens to overrun everything." It's not orderly. Its indiscriminate. It might just be one of Yaro's worst nightmares. That and Tejra.

She's not his harper, and yet, Tejra's next evenly intoned question sounds suspiciously like an oral exam query. "And what would you do, candidate, in the case of plague?" A beat. "If you were yourself and if you were a dragonrider." TWO PART ANSWER. She will finally shift away from his shoulder, but only so that leeean can be an elbow on the table right along side his book and prop her chin on her hand so she can watch him answer.

As serious as ever, Yaromil closes the book, still using his hand as a placeholder. The candidate should really, really invest in a bookmark. While he takes a moment to ponder, the questions seem to just spawn more questions. "Am I sick or am I well? Which wing might I be in? And what of my dragon?" These are all important things to consider for LIFE AND DEATH SCENARIOS, even if it is only hypothetical.

Bookmarks are obviously for the weak. Don't do it, Yaromil! Tejra gives him the most placid, patient teacher expression for all her extremely casual (and awkward yet weirdly still graceful) pose. "You tell me," it's delivered deadpan. Surely if Yaro's healer was worth their salt, it is a phrase heard more than once to 'challenge the pupil.'

Bookmarks wouldn't be needed if someone didn't keep interrupting Yaromil. Just kidding. There's no way the trader could finish that gigantic book in one sitting even if half of it were pictures which it sadly isn't. "Well, if I were sick and it was a plague worthy of getting in a book…" He holds up the one in his hand as an example. "Statistically, I'd probably die." Or be the hero, but he's not even thinking about that. "If I were well… I'm not a healer. Not much I can do except if I had a dragon, get the healers where they needed to go. Or drop supplies?" He shrugs. such an abstract concept for someone who has officially been a candidate for like three days.

Hey, woah, hey, woah. Let's keep our dreams realistic here, Yaromil. It does not seem at all likely that Tejra is about to abandon her new favorite hobby: making Yaromil wish Tejra hadn't been born. "And what," she takes another figurative swing at this Yaromil-shaped entertainment, still wearing her best harper face, "precautions would you propose to take to keep yourself from falling ill? Your dragon would die if you did." She states the risk perhaps for more reasons than just being obnoxious (although almost certainly that in addition).

What is more realistically brutal than DEATH? Yaromil is clearly a realist. He gives another shrug at the continued questions. "I didn't say I'd get close to the quarantined zone." Just drop those healers off at the edge. Or the supplies. The book is for real closed this time, no bookmark. Guess he'll just have to remember where he was. "But for now, I have a curfew. Unless you have any more questions you're just dying to ask?" He wouldn't want to be guilty of murder. Probably would violate that whole no fighting rule or at least look pretty suspicious.

"Dismissed, candidate," comes with a wave of Tej's hand as she straightens slowly and languorously stretches. The harper says it as though she had the authority to do such a thing (spoiler alert: she doesn't). There's another yawn from her, perhaps real this time, before she's getting to her feet to collect her great variety of notable works of literature to take them back from whence they came for the next not nearly as important reader, but having finished them already, Tej can afford to be generous with the children.

Authority or not, Yaromil will snap off a salute followed by an eyeroll as he gets up and gets his book. At least he'll have plenty of reading material because that ginormous honker about history and plagues and farming and mining and whatever else seems to be travelling with him. Don't worry, he appropriately checked it out. Foolishly he might have thought a library would be a bit quieter than the barracks for reading…

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