A Garden Conversation by Trajan
Era: Halcyon Age, Conclave of Terra
Factions: Warriors of Peace, Tempest Reavers
The Jade General sat in the middle of the garden, his eyes closed as he waited for the water to boil. He breathed deeply, taking in the aromas of all the flowers and plants around him, mixing together like a cocktail. He disagreed with the way the garden had been planted, with no attention having been given to how the energy of the garden flowed. Still, he could admire the physical attractiveness of the plants, gathered from all over the Imperium. As he sensed that the tea was nearly ready, he heard soft footsteps behind him. Still with his eyes closed, he called out.
“Hello, Ezharion, I guess that you came here for the plants too?”
The figure, not even breaking step, walked around to stand in front of the General. The General kept his eyes closed, listening to the water inside the pot, still waiting for it to reach the perfect temperature. Ezharion courteously stood a little to the side, purposefully not putting the General in his shadow. The General appreciated the little things that Ezharion did that showed he understood. The General gestured at the spot in front of him.
“Would you care for some tea?”
“Thank you, I would love to.” The General could feel his smile even with his eyes closed, and Ezharion sat down with his legs crossed. The tea reached the perfect temperature, and the General opened his eyes. He picked up a small glass jar filled with dried leaves, took a small pinch from each and placed them in two cups. Ezharion studied the cups, as he had never seen such a material. It was smooth, sleek yet fragile, Ezharion being scared to touch it in case he broke it. Sensing his reticence, the General gently lifted the pot of water and poured water into the cups. Ezharion watched intently as the water turned brown, and a sweet aroma reached his nostrils.
“Even now, I am discovering new ways to enjoy nature.” Ezharion smiled. The corner of the General’s mouth raised slightly, and he lifted the small round disc that the cup was on. He slowly passed it to Ezharion, who bowed his head and carefully supported the disc with his left hand as he held it with his right. The General raised a tiny spoon, and began stirring his drink. “Is there a plant from Han here in this garden?” Ezharion asked as he looked around.
“Yes.” The General pointed over his left shoulder. “That tree started as a cutting from a tree in my monastery where I grew up. A piece of Han in here feels strange though. Like a puzzle piece placed in a different picture.”
Ezharion nodded slowly, studying the tree intently. “I see what you mean, like a machine made from different parts. While they are functional, the pieces are not in harmony.” The General put down his spoon, and took a sip of his drink. He smiled to himself. Ezharion took a sip of his own drink, allowing the liquid to fill his mouth. The taste was strange, yet rather pleasant. Ezharion went to take another slip, but the General shifted subtly, and Ezharion stopped himself.
“You came here to escape from the Conclave.” The General stated, rather than asked. “Even though you put yourself forward for the position of Primarch Representative on the Council.”
Ezharion took another sip from his drink, and nodded. “Yes, all this politics is rather unexpected for me. I do not have the political upbringing of our brothers like Alexandros or Absalom.”
“Yes, some of our brothers are more blessed with political experience. Though from what I have observed, you have a rather large amount of support for your candidacy, rivalling even Koschei.” Ezharion grimaced, seeming to actually be genuine unlike the General’s assessment of his more political brothers. “You seem uncomfortable with this? Why put yourself forward then?”
Ezharion took a second, staring at his drink intently. “I wish to do the most good for my people. I thought gaining a position high within the Imperium would allow me to do that. But now I doubt it, as there are so many factions that must be appeased and dealt with, and I am not sure how I could do a better job than, say, Koschei or Niklaas.” Ezharion took a large gulp of his drink, nearly draining the cup. “What about you, General? Why do you run? You have no support from our brothers, if you do not mind me pointing out, yet you refuse to stand down? Why?”
The General finished his drink, and put down his cup and saucer. “One who stands straight does not fear a crooked shadow. I do what I know to be right, regardless of those telling me I am wrong.” He reached down, and lifted a rock from the floor of the garden. He passed it to Ezharion, who examined it. It was a near perfect oval, smoothed from all sides. “My beliefs are as this rock. Smoothed by the water of time and thought. It is no sculpture, like some of our brothers’ beliefs, large and grandiose yet brittle and prone to fall at the first breeze. While theirs stand tall for the moment, mine shall endure.” Ezharion nodded, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. After a moment, a smile spread across his face, and he finished his drink.
“Thank you, brother, for helping me. Even though you probably did not mean to.” Ezharion laughed, not the booming roar of Hectarion but a low chuckle. He continued. “I admire you for remaining in the race when none support you. May I have some more of your drink?”
The General inclined his head slightly, and began preparing a second pot of water.
Edited by TrajantheGreat, 18 July 2021 - 01:30 PM.