Be Prepared! (Disney Theme Challenge)

Xanadu Weyr - Garden

An arch woven from the tendrils of a willow tree stretches overhead lightly creeping with ivy as one steps in from the meadow into this sanctuary of green. Cool gray flagstone carefully spaced enables a soft velvety moss to thrive within the cracks, and creates a single wide pathway that fluidly breaks off into two paths of stone once free of the natural arbor. It is a wonder this place, and meticulously tended from the way it seems not a single leaf is out of place.

On either side of the main path expansive grassy patches are trimmed short and edged behind with natural tan colored stone selectively chosen to stack just right. Beyond these are a line of fine puffed shrubberies in vibrant green intermingled with flowering bushes of brilliant pinks varying in hue from the very light to the very dark, which causes the occasional snowy white blossoms of other scattered here and there without worry to simply pop out of the scenery.

Directly in the center of the garden is another wall of intricately stacked stone, this of muted grays, creating what from the air would prove to be a perfect circle. It's been set high for safety, but not so much as one would not be able to lean over it to admire what lies beyond, either standing or sitting at the smattering of benches whose backs are set every four feet along it. Flush to the ground inside it's protective stone outcropping, is an enormous twenty foot wide fish pond. Within one can glean the metallic glint of playful goldfish, the unhurried cruise of fat koi, and even a frog or three among pale yellow and white flowering water lilies and their thick green pads.

The trees surrounding the entire garden were planted to give the impression that they had always been here, not only lending to a rustic look, but also alluding to the beauty that can be found among the wilds if only one might just look for it. Species vary from the ordinary Birch and Pine, but the flaming red capsules of the Indian Shot to the robust orange spokes of the Firewheel tree suggest the spice of the exotic.

Rinian is on garden duty, and as such is doing more winterizing of the garden area. Pruning tees and bushes, clearing out any unwanted plans, and raking up leaves. She's wearing a sort of sling made up of some scrap material, where her new little friend is sleeping off a full belly.

Did Rinian know that Mathis had three, count them, three firelizards? The third was a new addition. The boy comes in chatting lively to the trio that have taken up residence on his shoulders. A blue, a green, and the tiniest of stocky brown, "…and where do we feature?" he huffs at them as he plods along, "Dead last…" pausing to stare at the green who stares blankly back at him, "The lights aren't all on upstairs, are they Acacia? I need you to pay attention." Surprisingly enough, all thee firelizards perk up and move in closer to him, as if to listen, when really it was just the iciness of an autumn breeze picking up. Nodding to them firmly as he takes this as their following his direct order, he continues on. "It's the chance of a lifetime!" Rounding a corner, he nearly walks right into his fellow woodcrafter, and startled he takes a step back, "Whoa…oh, hey!" He wasn't doing anything say that brilliantly bright smile that wasn't at all suspicious.

Rinian takes a half step back, not so much worried about being bumped into, as protecting the tiny sleeping green in its makeshift sling. She has a rake in one hand, currently working on removing leaves from the pathways. "What chance of a lifetime." She looks at him and the three firelizards curiously. "I see you've a new pet to care for as well. It was thoughtful of Leirith to be sure we couldn't kill other pets before gifting these."

Oh la la la. Also not conspicuous was the side-eye that Mathis makes, shoving his hands deeper into the pockets of his puffy jacket, taking a few side steps and a turn about so that his body was more or less blocking her view of that direction, "N-nothing, what are you doing?" Far too much interest is given to the winter preparations of the garden's flora, "Gardening? Nice! You're doing a great job and oh is that you're new firelizard?" He points more than looks, taking another step back rather than forward to see her tucked into that roughly made sling. That's right Rinian, just listen to teacher, pay no attention to what night be happening/have happened behind the curtain of boy.

Rinian arches a brow, as Mathis is not being suspicious at all….ahem. She's about to grill him about what he is up to, when he very neatly chooses a subject to distract her..for the moment. At mention of her new friend she postively beams. "Yes! Isn't she just beautiful? Her name is Fern." She gently pulls the sling material open a bit so she can show her off all the more, of course stepping closer to her friend so he can see.

Mathis? Not doing anything at all, no. Certainly not tiptoeing nearer this way and that in an continued effort to make sure that his fellow woodcrafter couldn't see down towards the pond, not minding that she comes even closer as to show off her new friend, as long as she stays more or less in front of him. "Who knew that we'd be rewarded for taking care of a sock and a wooden duck, right?" Was that nervousness in his laughter? It certainly sounded off, as if it was strained. Holding his hands out wide, and not because out stretching his arms further obscured Rinain's view further, "Can you see it Rin? With Lierith, it's like our future's…littered with prizes…just for bein' awesome!"

Speaking of the pond…not that he was..but his mention of Mr Duck reminded Rinian. She starts to move pondwards as she says, "I don't know about being prizes for being awesome, but the gifts certainly are. But I did fix up Mr Duck and set him free in the pond." She hmms, "I must not have balanced the recarving well though, as he has a faint list." Despite her meticulous planning. It doesn't occur to her that the problem could have been inherit in Mr Duck before she got him.

Stiffening, Mathis's eyes go all big, "O-Ohhh, yooooou…y-you did? T-that's…sennnnnsaaaaational news…" Except it didn't sound as if he actually thought it was sensational, but rather the nervousness with which he spoke was now amplified. "He was so c-crude and…really…" Unspeakably, "…plain," he says, swallowing thickly. "Y-you did a great job fixing him up." She really had seen the glimmer of potential under all that white paint. More nervous laughter, more of a ha ha ha than genuine. Was…was he inching himself in such a way as to get in her way again? Yes he was.

Rinian pauses in her beginning steps towards the pond to squint at him, not caught unawares. She wonders what duties he has taken onboard, "Matty? What's the matter?"

His tenacity spanning, Mathis blocks her once more, his hands on her shoulders gently while being careful to not jostle the sleeping hatching, "If I show you something, you have to promise to keep it to yourself," he explains, his chest thrust out and chin sent upwards a notch or two as if it was a matter of pride.

Fern gives a little squeeky chirp, but doesn't wake. Rinian frowns a little at him, wondering what sordid thing he would be rewarded for, the murkiest scam? "You should know me enough by now that if it is not something that will harm another or cause other issues, I will keep it to myself, but if otherwise…"

Mathis glances downwards towards the chirping, but as Fern settles he sends a long look towards his friend, never having thought more than his word essential, but a shining new era was on the horizon. "As if I'd ever hurt anyone," he scoffs, grabbing her hand and pulling her down towards the pond and then beyond it to the grounds towards the back. "Be prepared!" he beams, his teeth and ambitions are bared as he reveals his magnum opus. A massive gnarled old tree, long since dead, which he had started to carve with the faces of the candidate class. Some of them were finished: Sylvarin grinning out upwards towards Nessalyn looking stoic, Elayne hugging her goat with Rinian knelt before her clutching the woodworking tools she so adored, and finally Cielo tenderly seeing to the hurts of the most adorable firelizard. The rest might only have been marked out without any defining features to indicate who they might be, but this doesn't stop Mathis from standing there with his fists on his hips and striking a triumphant pose. As if he viewed himself as woodcarver king undisputed. Sure, he might not yet be respected or saluted, but perhaps now he'd be seen as the wonder he was.

Rinian stops short, eyes wide when she sees what he's been working on. With talent like that, he'll never go hungry again! He's on his way, he can go the distance, somehow he'll be strong. The reflections of the candidates showing who they are inside. "I promise. I won't say a thing to anyone. I can't wait to see it finished!"

After almost a decade of denial from his peers, this injustice was mostly deliciously squared by Mathis's little project there, a monument to his undeniable abilities. As for hunger? Oh, he'll have food, lots of food. Though quite the feat, just for endless meat. "I killed it, huh?" he says, bristling in excitement and giving his project a squeeze by throwing his arms around it. He thought it was great that Rinian would be connected to a king who'd be long time adored, and he wanted her to be there when at last he was given his dues.

Rinian smiles and nods. "You did. Think you can finish it before the eggs hatch?" That just makes her unable to resist and reach inside the sling to gently pet the little green still sleeping there. Which is good, because she's eating every time she's awake!

"It'll be done in a couple of days as long as I avoid my Journeyman," Mathis admits, not bothering to disguise the sheepishness of his expression just then. His journeyman, a testimony to boredom. The woman wouldn't get a sniff without him, of recognition that is. It was clear from her vacant expression every time she looked at his work that she wouldn't know something beautiful unless it came up and bit her. Of course, quid pro quo, she expected him to share in her views simply because she'd been put in charge of overseeing his education and progress. But, as thick as she was in regard to carving something worth a second glance, she was totally the boss of him. "I was going to work on it for a couple of hours before it got too dark, you want to meet up with me for dinner?" He didn't want to be responsible for Rinian getting in trouble for not finishing her chore.

Rinian nods. "That sounds good. I need to get back to work as it is." She smiles, "Thanks for sharing it with me." She looks over his handwork again, "I can't wait to see what the rest of the class will think of it." Well, most of them. "Don't let Ness blow it up." Or Kaellian steal it. Waving, she heads back to finish up with her work before dinner.

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