> Xentus, alone A bright, clear, and crisp morning marked the day. A world's fair sort of presentation at a local school in the City. Xentus was among a few different people who took interest in the poorly scribbled, but colorful banner with the words 'Cultural Appreciation Month' scrawled on its surface. He was quite proud of where he hailed from, and the thought of sharing the nature of his tribe with today's youth struck him as a marvelous way to spend the day. The light blue fur of the leopard-like mammalian glimmered gently in the early sun as a set of excited footsteps made their way into the building. It didn't take too long for him to find the auditorium. It was marked by a teacher and several of the others presenting today standing outside the doors. The voice of another person who had already started leaked from behind the wooden frame, though the exact words passed through Xentus's inattentive ears.
"You must be... Zen? Zentas?", the teacher called out as the leopard approached. "This one is named Xentus, yes", he replied with a fanged grin, "He is not already late, correct?" "No, no, you're right on time sir. We have two others up next, then it will be your turn."
It was a relief to know that he wasn't late to this whole affair. Xentus took his place in line after the two who were to come before him, beaming happily at the thought of soon being able sharing some Kalenshaar culture and traditions. He was looking forward to performing the rain dance of his tribe the most. Oh, or maybe telling the kids about Kalix'ka, the spirit of nature. Traditional Kalenshaar dress would be a great think to speak of too, he was always dressed as simply as he was back home. He let his bouncing thoughts get ahead of him. He almost had forgotten about the paper with an outline of what he was to present in the first place. The small sheet was wrinkled, but legible. First and foremost was his introduction. Of course. Then where he had come from.. What its name meant...
A pair of yellow eyes darted from line to line across the paper, refreshing the feline's mind on what to say and when. A few uttered 'ah, yes' and 'right, right' came quietly from his lips, paired with a couple nods. It was only a minute or two before he was finished, satisfied with his work before it had even begun.
The line before him was soon to be shortened by one person, as signaled by a round of applause from tiny hands originating within the doors. Out from the auditorium emerged a mildly embarrassed looking ungulate, who was warmly thanked by the teacher. They seemed to have a poor hold on their various papers, but tried to leave as quickly and quietly as they could. In a few moments later, the next one in line was ushered in, followed by another round of clapping from the students. His curiosity and eagerness gained the better of him as he stepped out of line to garner the attention of the satyr before she left the hall.
"Pardon this one, hoofed miss!", his voice called out, accompanied with a a clawed hand wave, "Small question; how quickly did that one perform?" The faun turned in surprise, still seeming flushed from her ordeal, "Oh um.." It took her a moment to realize what Xentus had asked, perhaps too frazzled to realize at first. "Oh! Not too long, maybe 10 minutes? Good luck!"
Xentus nodded, though the faun was already hurrying off. 'Ten minutes', he thought, 'it is none too long'.
He fell back in line and did his best to patiently await his turn, thoughts dancing in his mind as they wandered to each part he wanted to talk about.
The time crawled by much too slowly for his tastes. That is, up until it was his turn. Xentus perked up as the teacher grabbed his attention. "It's you turn now, sir", the woman said as she motioned the leopard towards the auditorium. "Very well!"
Xentus quickly made his way into the room, his eyes darting from small face to another. Each one he saw made his toothy grin grow larger. The children were fixated on him, and he could feel their curious eyes glance around his features - primarily bouncing between his broken horn and rather unseasonal clothing.
"Greetings from Kalenshaar, young ones!", he announced loudly as he took his place on the stage, "This one is called Xentus, and he will be delighted to share of the wonderful desert land from which he came" "So first, do any of the young ones know where Kalenshaar is? Come show, do not be afraid."
There was a large map of the main continent propped up on a board on the stage. Xentus waved a hand towards it while looking to the curious faces, perusing for one brave enough to say yes. A small hand popped up in the corner of the room, and the feline gladly beckoned them over.
"It's um...", the child's voice muttered quietly in deliberation, "Here!"
The young boy pointed at a desert region on the map, making Xentus beam harder than ever.
"Excellent! Yes this young one is correct, Kalenshaar is a fine desert", he announced, "She is a domain of warm sands and winds, and the home of this one's tribe." Xentus pointed his clawed fingers towards his chest, "Now, one of the first things of notice to many is the loose garb of our tribe. It does not suit this climate, but is perfect for heat of Kalenshaar."
"It is the heat that should be revered and respected in the far desert, as the waters of life can be scarce. This silk is light and loose, and protects us from the heat while running between the dunes. Once must keep light on their feet to not scorch in the blazing heat of the sun."
The feline demonstrated his mobility in his silk pants up on stage as he explained their purpose, pretending to dash and jump about heated sand. His demonstration made the eyes of some of the kids light up in wonder, though others were less than impressed by the performance.
Seeing that he failed to woo the entire class, it was now time to step up his game. Xentus returned to the center of the stage with a flourish, before continuing his crash course lesson.
"It is traditional in our culture to dance for the spirit of nature, Kalix'ka, for she is the one who blesses us with rain and food", the leopard began to explain, stomping his left food in a slow rhythm. Stomp... Stomp... Stomp... Gradually, his footstep grew faster, growing into the base of a beat.
"Perhaps this one and the young ones can call on Kalix'ka now for her blessing", he announced in an attempt to guide the children into copying his beat. It took some encouragement in the form of long winded claps, but the students began to grasp the concept. Some simply clapped in beat, while others joined in the foot stomps.
Once a mostly steady rhythm picked up, Xentus left the clapping to the children while he stomped with both feet now, jumping up with a mix of light and heavy steps. His white corded hair bounced as he did, his tail swinging from one side to another as he got into the groove of a traditional rain dance.
Normally in a traditional Kalenshaarian rain dance, there would be a few more dancers, some musical accompaniment of drums and tambourines, and even some singers. It was not something to be performed alone, but the kids didn't know that. Even if the dance was more of a diminished one, it did help bring the full focus of the students into the rhythm of the claps and foot stomps. The audience watched with eyes in awe as the leopard swung hard into his performance, complete with high leaps, flips, and rolls all in tune with the beat. Or as in tune as it could be. Young ones weren't known for keeping the best beat, and pressed their clapping and stomping faster.
Not wanting to disappoint, Xentus kept in pace with the quickening beat as best he could. He even encouraged the children to go faster, stomping his own feet in line with the quickening pace. It wasn't long before his performance had no place for the acrobatics he incorporated before. His legs danced in a tippy-tap, silk pants bouncing in turn, with his tail flailing to keep his balance.
The room became nothing but a noisy mess of stomps, claps, and giggles from the students as they took glee in the sight before them.
Finally with a flourish, Xentus took one last jump and stomp, bringing his dance to an end. He was panting by the end of his performance, though a toothy smile never left his muzzle the whole while. It took a moment for the kids to get the memo that their fun in stomping and clapping was done, but eventually they settled as Xentus waved them down.
"Do the young ones think Kalix'ka heard our dance?", he said between breaths, nodding ever so slightly to encourage some voices from his audience. He got a few 'yeah!'s' from the children, but it wasn't quite enough for him, "Eeh? This one cannot even hear you! Louder!"
It was enough to get the high pitched squeals of the young kids roaring a collective 'yeah!'. The sound brought joy to the leopard's face, even though it was plenty wide enough with that grin of his. "Yes, yes, this one believes Kalix'ka could hear us quite well! In Kalenshaar, such a dance would bring much rain to the sands!"
He merrily praised the noise and cheers. Xentus allowed a few more moments to pass to let the children calm down before resuming his lesson.
"Now, this one has little time left to teach you all more of Kalenshaar culture", he started, a bit now weary after his workout, "Let us end our lesson with some quick questions and answers. This one wishes he could teach more, but other peoples and their lore await you."
The buzz of the classroom settled down after the bout of excitement from the dance. Some kids took no interest in doing anything other than making noise, while others had thoughtful looks upon their faces. It wasn't long before a few hands popped up with questions awaiting.
Xentus picked the child who appeared the most eager, "That one, in the blue. Speak your question." "Why do you talk that way?", the young boy asked, seeming relieved to get the inquiry onto the floor.
"Very good question", he started, "The peoples of this one's tribe are careful to avoid seeming too bold under the jurisdiction of Kalix'ka. You see, the spirit of nature rewards those who are humble. We may often refer to ourselves as 'the one' or by our name to show ourselves as such."
He paused briefly, amused by the glances of confusion on the children's faces.
"We are also taught that the names of others are very precious, and only should use the name of ones that we know very well", Xentus continued, "This is out of respect, for speaking another's name must be earned. And so, yes, it is often said this one speaks in an odd manner. But, it is all for a purpose!"
With that question answered, the feline picked out another raised hand. "Yellow shirt, what is it that you wish to know?"
"But can you speak normally?", the little girl pipped up innocently. Xentus considered it for a moment. There would be nothing wrong in indulging a young one for a moment, he determined.
"Yes, I am able to speak ah.. Normally. It is most uncomfortable, however", he replied wryly with visible uncertainty written across his face, "The way I speak has been the way for all of this one's life. It was not until recently did he hear such casual language like in this city."
Xentus's manner of speech returned to his personal normal mid sentence. He smiled, feeling it was a satisfactory sample of his linguistic ability. There was enough time remaining for him to answer a couple more questions from the children before the teacher entered the auditorium and prompted a round of applause from the class. "Now, say 'thank you Mr. Xentus", she directed, receiving a parroted response. Xentus was escorted from the auditorium, feeling quite pleased with himself and his performance for the students.
"This one has been honored!", he announced with a toothy grin, and made his exit.
Silver: I can give you one of my Baby Berries, Sev!
Aug 12, 2020 4:53:31 GMT -6
Sevyrn: Getting in to orbarus first, have half a breeding written up already just gotta get my hands on some baby berries first. But I'm gonna see if anything comes out of houlou in the future. Who knows, I could like them more than orbs.
Aug 12, 2020 4:21:12 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Oh that's awesome!!! I love breedables too, and houluh have been such a fun addition to that.
Aug 11, 2020 10:58:30 GMT -6
Sevyrn: I have two from when they were first released, so I figured why not give it a shot now that there's something to really do with them. Plus breedables. I love breedables.
Aug 11, 2020 10:29:12 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Oooh, houluh kennel request spotted. :0 Thinking of getting into houluh, Sevryn?
Aug 11, 2020 10:25:55 GMT -6
Sevyrn: I've been trying to scour through things, slowly catching up bit by bit I do think!
Aug 9, 2020 2:05:23 GMT -6
Riku: Have you read all the updates, Sevryn? You’ve missed a lot, so it’s probably going to be enlightening/exciting.
Aug 8, 2020 23:24:15 GMT -6