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Old 06-07-2019, 02:00 PM   #3
'Till we meet again
lilboocorsola's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Searching for the summer endroll
Posts: 4,916
"2000 years ago, huh... Strange, how come I've never heard of this tradition before?"

Jess leaned back against her Lapras' neck as they lazed across the river, unwrapping a zongzi to thoughtfully munch on as she mulled over the surrounding festivities taking place on both sides of the bank. The previous year had seen the celebration of her heritage's New Year for what felt like the first time as well, and as much as she appreciated seeing more widespread acknowledgement of her ancestral homeland, something felt... off. She couldn't quite put her finger on it, but it reminded of those nagging gaps in her memory she experienced when first setting foot upon the Springtide Isle...

"Welcome one, welcome all! Thank you for coming today, as there is no greater time to celebrate and rejoice in our prosperous nation as there is on the eightieth anniversary of the day Connor fought for our lives and continued freedom! Please enjoy the festivities we have on offer, and the games and contests there are to play. Most importantly of all, the Hero's parade will begin at noon, and the Legendary Battle re-enactment a 2pm sharp! In the meantime, please rejoice and be merry!"

...Once again, a melody disrupted from her reverie, and her mount craned around to nudge her trainer comfortingly as she cooed. Jess smiled apologetically as she stroked the singing steed.

"Thanks, Tess."

Again, the name seemed to tug at something in the back of her mind, but she pushed it aside to pull out another zongzi, offering the second sweet dumpling to her friend. Tessie hummed and took it gratefully, nibbling from the girl's palm as she nuzzled into it; tongue tickling skin as she licked up every last sticky grain of rice (including the leaves as well), causing Jess to giggle. Giving one more pat, Jess cast another look towards the shore, where people were gathered with their own dragon partners, or else lantern replicas of them. For some reason Jess felt a bit shier than normal to join them, as if she didn't have the right to partake in her own parents' culture's customs, when she was faced with the fact she didn't quite "fit" within their expectations on a daily basis, barely possessing little knowledge of their native language even. (It had already been embarrassing enough last year trying to say a simple greeting.) As much as she had been slowly improving in learning bits of phrases here and there, just based on what she could pick up by ear, she still couldn't help but feel like a disappointment - in more ways than one. (To be honest, she didn't even know much about the holiday's origins to begin with - although the rice treats and red envelopes were familiar enough to draw her.) Even her choice of comrade could once again be considered an "imperfect" candidate for not being of pure dragon-born blood, but visually at least - like her - she was a close enough relative to pass for one on the surface.

As Jess observed a father and his son at the distant edge of the water, setting free their makeshift paper crafts simultaneously, she sighed softly:

"You can't just hope darkness sails away on a boat."

Tessie twisted about again, cocking her head in confusion at her companion's mysterious mumbling, but Jess shook her head and beamed in reassurance. Despite whatever misgivings she may have, they were here to relax and enjoy in their own way, and that's what they were going to do.

"It's nothing. Come on, the race is about to start." She grinned as she watched the Lapras' sparkling eyes light up in excitement. "Let's go take a closer look, shall we?"

As they set off towards the docks where impressive and elegantly carved vessels prepared to voyage out, a certain poem once again echoed in her head: "Like a river's flow, it never ends... The clear water's surface reflects growth..." Maybe, she hadn't made much personal progress from where she was before in the past year - but she was still changing, bit by bit. She just had to keep facing forward towards the future, and not look away. ...After all, life itself wasn't a race, and while people may come and go throughout - like the ebbing of tides and ever-altering currents - her own teammates would still always be there to support her, no matter where the waves ultimately took them. Even if storm and stress were to blow them off course, they'd keep steering straight ahead and overcome any resulting challenges - together.

Picking up:

1x Zongzi (feeding to Tessie the Lapras to teach EM FUTURE SIGHT)
1x Net Ball
1x Sea Incense
1x Hongbao (contains $500)

Thank you!
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