Acceptance thread  Wheat and wildflowers
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*Lotus* She
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#1

Guess who's back?
-----------

Home.

When her paws finally touched soil upon Inarian borders, she took in a deep breath, trapping the air in her lungs for a moment before releasing it again. It felt different here, better... But that was probably just a feeling. The air couldn't really be different from one area to the next, just as the stars that had shined over the skies of her exile had been the same as viewed from Inaria. 

She had left with a sorrowful heart, and returned the same though not for the same reasons. The medic bag at her shoulder was worn, an item loved an cherished, and it was full to the brim with plants, barks, and roots. Now however, it also contained a few more trinkets at its bottom... A few precious stones, and the skull of a crow among things. Gifts from friends she'd left behind to return home. Unlikely friends, strange and eccentric, but friends all the same. They had braided wheat and dried wildflowers into a crown around her neck, and she hoped she could remove it without damage so she could place it in her den.

If her den was still even there...
If they'd even let her come back...

She sat at the border, standing on the edge of a wide open space within the forest. The grass was yellow here, but not for lack of water or sun; It was just the kind of grass that grew in that particular prairie. She imagined if she had been a deer or a rabbit, this would have been her favorite grazing spot. It seemed to be the case for some already, as she spotted a rabbit casually munching on the grass a few meters away. It hadn't spotted her yet and for a moment she was tempted to try and catch it until she remembered she was no longer a part of the pack, and thus could not hunt on their land. Pity... She was quite hungry now that she thought about it.

If she waited too long for someone, she would simply lie down and rest, perhaps even fall asleep. She tried not to dwell upon the exchanges that would follow; the questions and possibly the punishment. She knew she should be punished for leaving without a trace... But honestly she did not care if she would be or not. 

She couldn't be punished more than she already had....
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Aeolus ...
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#2

He was patrolling the borders as his duties required but now he did not patrol just for the sake of his own job and protectiveness of his home but also for the sake of his new trainee, Dali, who was to be tested and if approved, made into a full Sentinel. What he came upon sitting at the border was unexpected. It was one he recognized as being an Inarian, or noting how lacking in Inarian scent the other was as he approached, a former Inarian. Hm..this was probably not going to be a very pleasant affair. However it would provide a good lesson or two to the trainee, if his trainee was near enough to hear him, which he would soon find out as he let out a howl calling for Dali. Then he would wait for a bit to see if his student would appear but of course he could hardly keep this, or any individual, waiting indefinitely on the border so if Dali had not arrived after being given time to do so he would simply assume the other was either already busy with something else or simply hadn't heard him and would proceed with things accordingly.

"Greetings Healer..it is long since you have been seen within Inaria's borders, not since the challenge for the title of Medic I believe". He began not wishing to cause the other pain but because as a Sentinel it was his job, his duty, to address such things. "Where have you been for such an expanse of time?". He finally asked phrasing his question to be vague both out of an attempt at being as sensitive as he could be under the circumstances, but also because he didn't want to provide any information on the packs doings since the others disappearance that could be used to formulate a lie, should the former Medic be inclined to make an attempt at such.  

@RJ. If you wanna throw Dali in here for training with Aeolus feel free


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*Lotus* She
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#3
(This post was last modified: August 06, 2018, 12:09:34 AM by *Lotus*.)

Just as she was about to contemplate a rest, a howl echoed nearby calling for someone she did not know. Perhaps a wolf calling for a guard or a sentinel, she could not tell. She did not recognize the howl of the caller, nor did she try to. She knew that soon someone would appear to intercept her, and her mind unwillingly raced upon the many scenarios that could unfold in the current situation. She had developed a knack for imagining the worse possible outcome at any given time for future and ongoing events... One of the many gifts of learning to live without a pack. She had learned that sometimes bad things happen for no reason other than they can.

The wolf that appeared was familiar in appearance, but not by anything else her mind could recall. Not a name, nor a rank, though she suspected he was a sentinel or a guard if he approached her at this moment. It was simple deduction.

"Greetings Healer..it is long since you have been seen within Inaria's borders, not since the challenge for the title of Medic I believe". 

The reference to the last events before her departure did not provoke her any discomfort. It had long ago been buried by other uncomfortable subjects, of which she would avoid on this day if possible. She nodded to the Inarian with a short bow of her head before providing a response.

"It has in fact been many moons since I was last here. I hope Setebos is well"

She wasn't expecting him to give her any news of the one that had taken her rank. She was in fact curious to know if the Medic had done his new title proud .She had no qualms about the matter, and if asked she would certainly agree that his challenge had been well placed. She had reached a point then where she could no longer fulfill her duties and the residents of the pack that needed care would have been the ones to suffer for it, had Setebos not been there to take the torch. She was fully aware of all this, and also of the fact he would be wary of her due to her disappearance, hence why she wasn't expecting a response from his part.

 "Where have you been for such an expanse of time?", he asked.

"Wandering neutral grounds for the most part. I became a nomad of sorts... Except for the past month or so, where I settled in a densly wooded area of the ancient forest."

She still smelled the rich aroma of the giant trees that populated the forest, the moss and the earth. It was there she had met the three sisters whom had shared with her their humble refuge, and their knowledge of the world. Though she felt Inaria was her true home, she still could not shake the feeling she was leaving behind a piece of herself in that forest.

"I felt I had to come back. Inaria is the closest thing I've ever known to home."

She had come to make amends and face her demons. The words of the eldest sister still resonated in her heart: 'He stood between you and your duty. You did what had to be done. Do not let his ghost stand between you and your fate.' Though she tried not to let it show, there was fear in her heart. Not at meeting the friends she had abandoned, not even at facing the leaders of the pack. It was always harder to face your own mistakes, and he had been hers....

The soldier in the thornbush.
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#4

He listened to the admission or absence the other gave, to the length of that absence. It had indeed been quite awhile. He likewise noted her remark regarding the one who had displaced her from her rank but was disinclined to comment. The explanation for the absence was listened to carefully, and assessed carefully. What he was hearing, while not entirely unexpected, still wasn't what he wanted to be hearing. It implied disloyalty and dereliction to duty and to the pack. Those were both quite serious and would require further attention in determining the reasoning for doing such especially given the claim of Inaria being home. He recalled Lotus not just from the challenge where she had lost her title of Medic, which he had been an official observer for having already gained rank of his own by then, but he also remembered her from the war when had still been new to the pack and thrust into a fight for its very survival.

To question her now was not something he wished to do and yet it was his job to poke and push and find the holes in the stories other presented to him and determine the reasoning for those holes and he would do the same here. "You say this is the closest you've even known to home and yet when you were needed you left it. Why?". And then there was the other matter about being a nomad and then deciding to not be a nomad, which would also need to be addressed, just in case the shift wasn't entirely voluntary. First though he would watch Lotus carefully and wait for whatever explanation regarding her departure she would provide and then he would go from there.


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*Lotus* She
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#5

"You say this is the closest you've even known to home and yet when you were needed you left it. Why?"

It stung. Though she knew he was saying the truth, it still hurt to hear someone say it. She tried not to let it show, but probably failed to some degree. 'Why?'; the question was decidedly easier to formulate than the answer, but answer she must.

"I didn't run away because of the war, if that's what you're implying"

'But I did run away', she thought bitterly. How could she explain to him that she had been sick in a way herbs could not cure? She had been slowly drifting into a shadow of herself and avoiding all the other pack members before her departure. 'when you were needed', she'd heard him say. When she had left she didn't believe she was in a state to be of use to anyone. She hadn't felt needed at all. Setebos had things under control. She agreed she shouldn't have left without saying anything to the Alphas... But what was done was done and regrets never fixed anything. At least she was trying to fix things.

"I shouldn't have left the way I did. I understand that..."; The question was, would anyone else understand her?

"I came back to right my wrongs, set things right, apologize and work towards earning back my place in the pack if they'll have me."

And if they didn't? She tried not to think of that possibility, but it carved it's way into her mind like a worm in a rotten apple. The sisters would take her back, and she would adopt their solitary lifestyle probably. There was a time in her young timid life where that would have been all she'd ever dreamed of. A small pack of four... A hidden home within the roots of the giant trees... Never speaking a single word if she didn't wish to... But now she had known a bigger life, a better one as a member of Inaria's family. If she couldn't return, she could at least say she had tried.

"If Inaria deems it wiser not to take me back into its ranks then I.... I promise, I won't make a fuss. I'll just leave."

She would simply ask for someone to retrieve for her, a strand of purple grass from the garden... She would take it along with her regrets.
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