The warm summer air lingered on as the sun took its resting place at the sea's surface. Along the cobblestone paths were neighbors and strangers gathering before the extravagant mansion, each of them dressed to impress and hiding their faces to add to the allure of the unknown. Advertisements had been going out in the cities for weeks about the late spring ball, which fueled excitement among so many. It was an opportunity to mingle, rekindle, and allow for new friendships to bloom. Those who chose not to go were regrettably making a mistake of a lifetime, as some would tease.
Standing off in the distance, the young Au Ra watched as people flocked indoors with their friends, lovers, and strangers. All with someone, rarely none alone. This was a defining moment for the woman. She had managed to brave the outdoors and reunited herself with the nature of the world, but she had struggled to find the place where she truly felt part of with others. All week, she spent her well saved gil to invest in fine fabrics and dye just to prove to those back in the homeland that she wasn't so without or broken in the head. Glistening in fine gold and black silk with all the frills and fluff, Venita slid on her mask and mustered up the remaining courage left inside to take her first steps forward into an unknown beginning.
In her younger years, the Raen listened to the tales of their makers. The clash between Dusk and Dawn paving the way for the birth of the ancestors. It was known as fact that the two great beings struggled with power before settling their match. Peers of hers were convinced of this raging war between Dusk and Dawn. Thus giving life to the idea their own lineages were precious and absolute, the better of the two. Xaela tribes were the insufferable other half of the Au Ra, better off reduced to nothing more than ash given their more barbaric way of life. The Raen sought to dominate through sophistication and blood-right, which left Venita questioning what made them any different than their brethren across the line.
Questioning the divide was one thing, but to also seek truths about the ancient tales was to tread into waters better left untouched.
Inside the mansion, the party raged on. Music filled the halls and laughter from all around echoed room to room. Taking careful steps around the crowds, the Raen managed to squeeze past the large groups of people idling at the stairwell and found her ideal spot just south of the pastry table. The sweets neatly arranged by type and sizes! Bigger slices of pies and cakes filled the bottom shelves, whereas the smaller quick pick snacks laced the top shelves. Curiously, she canted her head at the mass selection and knew then that if nothing comes out of this event, at least she got to eat cake. Lots of cake.
Paying no mind to the dance floor, she missed the moment where the butler ran about to gather couples to the area. He mashed strangers, foes, friends, and lovers together to encourage them in taking part of the whole purpose of the night's event! Once satisfied, he called attention to the floor. He had to call for it a few times before the room settled down and the music ceased. As he gave introductions, Venita became all too aware of what was happening and filled her plate with a few more tasty pieces before cramming herself into a nearby chair. After his grand announcements were complete, he motioned with a flick of his hand and the music picked back up. The slow wave of notes rising and falling like a gentle breeze on the water's surface. It paved the way for those wrangled on the dance floor to find common purpose, be it by giving in or finding enjoyment in the arrangement. Though timid most of their steps were, something remarkable happened.
The Raen watched as the paired partners discovered the rhythm they shared with the other. Even if they fumbled for longer than their neighbors, there was this love of life which sparked between two souls. With balance came harmony, which in turn produced one of life's most treasured moments. Venita could not help but see what she had known for all these years to be true. Back in the homeland, her ideals were dismissed as wild stories of an ill mind, but she knew it not to be so. The legend told of the bloody war waged between Dusk and Dawn, but had their ancestors been any wiser, they would have seen the dance between two beings. Dusk reached for Dawn to feel its warmth and the Dawn craved the Dusk's endless embrace; together, their colors weaved between the lines sparking the explosion of purple and orange hues as they connected to one another. The opportunity to write and rewrite a moment in time.
It was almost prophetic watching the couples twirl and glide along the dance floor, especially as the music slowed to its end. There was a brief series of seconds were the partners could sense the world's eyes upon them and it did not matter. The thoughts of what comes next was in their control, they the creators of their own truths and futures. She watched as each individual spent their next seconds carefully and though no two choices were the same, she felt a warmth fill her soul as she witnessed the full cycle of what she had always known.
As beautiful as it were, a familiar pang rose in her heart and although she hadn't been there for long, she knew it was time to go. Stuffing her face with one last delicious pastry, the Raen left as quietly as she arrived. Once outside, she found herself breathing easy again. Wrapping an arm around her front, she wandered on to the shoreline. She may have failed to make the friends she longed for, but the night was not wasted. Until the rising sun came again, she danced to the only song she knew in her heart with solitude at her side. Never for a moment regretting what she lost to gain her truth.