348 RTYY 344 - Bright, Light Colors

The loud sound of the metallic lock turning startled Snow, and he immediately tried to put some distance between them. But those hot hands reacted just as fast, holding him in place, refusing to let go.

"Ermm … hmm … my lord, here is your food … and clean clothes. I will leave them right here …" Snow heard an awkward voice say and then the door was shut and locked again.

The pressure of those big hands weakening, ZaiWin finally released him, and Snow couldn't help feeling embarrassed again, awkwardly unable to decide what to do next. Even though ZaiWin had just said all that, and hadn't pushed him back when he'd hugged him ... could he really interpret all that as him having been forgiven? Should he try and tell him how sorry he felt once more?

The warm fingers that held his chin gently raised his head, and even though Snow wanted to escape, he still forced himself to face those blue eyes.

"Can you tell me what happened? From the beginning?"

Snow's eyes widened in surprise and he quickly nodded. Yes, he would tell him! If that's what he wanted, he would tell him everything!

ZaiWin gave him a small smile and, even though it was far from being one of those disturbingly warm smiles that always made Snow's heart beat faster, it still filled him with hope.

"Had you met them before Woodbridge?"

Snow immediately tensed up and shook his head. So ZaiWin had deduced that much, that he had met them before at Woodbridge.

"I met them under the bridge, when I went to see the place where I used to live ..." he mumbled. Yes, he had decided to tell him everything but, even so, he couldn't help fearing ZaiWin's reaction to the truth.

"Were they all there?"

Snow shook his head.

"Only RyuXin and RimJan. They just appeared out of nowhere."

ZaiWin gritted his teeth. Of course they hadn't sent everyone. It would be too intimidating, especially for someone naturally wary of others like Snow. No. They had sent the innocent-looking little girl, and that bastard, who was clearly the one closest to Snow's age. Who was also a male. Not to mention that, from what ZaiWin had observed, that RyuXin guy was apparently the most normal of them all. They had really thought things through, ZaiWin grunted inwardly. They had tried their best to look as friendly and harmless as possible.

Snow's hands closed into tight fists again.

"Back then I was feeling really … sad," Snow timidly declared and ZaiWin couldn't help wincing at the painful pang that stabbed his chest. He could still clearly remember, the empty look in Snow's eyes when' he'd found him on that riverbank. He really wanted to go back in time and beat the crap out of himself!

Of course he had been feeling sad, and insecure, and unwanted. ZaiWin himself had driven him to that desperate point. Add all that to the fact that they had been back to the place where he had lived with the only person that had actually cared for him, the same place where that same person had been mercilessly and senselessly murdered, and of course Snow must have been feeling very sad and lonely.

"At first, I was really suspicious of them. But then RyuXin told him that they weren't there to hurt me. They had been looking for me for a long time. And that we were the same. That we were like a family. And that there were more like us." Snow took a deep breath. "Of course I didn't believe him. He was nothing like what you had told me a Tien'Elhar should be. And so RimJan showed me her back. And I couldn't believe my own eyes. Because they both had black hair and black eyes. And … RyuXin is a boy, like me. And I was amazed, and really, really happy. Because that meant that I'm not that much of a freak as everyone thinks." Snow concluded, lowering his gaze again, and ZaiWin took a deep breath, placing a comforting hand over his clenched fist.

"You're not a freak. How many times do I have to tell you? Sure, you're different from all we know. But that only means that our knowledge is very incomplete."

Snow nodded obediently. And ZaiWin could clearly see it. No matter how many times he repeated those words, no matter if Snow believed him or not. The idea of being different from everyone else, and the knowledge that those differences would probably never be accepted by the rest of the world, still weighed on him.

Taking a deep breath, ZaiWin forced himself to focus on what was really important right now. Which was to clearly understand, not only Snow, but what those people might want from him.

"RimJan. You saw her back and her markings form the shape of wings."

Snow nodded in confirmation.

"And so you knew they were Celestials. Are her markings gold in color?"

Snow looked up at him at that, looking surprised by his question.

"No. But mine aren't golden either. Right?"

"What color are her markings?"

"Dark blue, almost black," he replied, clearly still unable to understand the reason behind ZaiWin's question.

ZaiWin released a deep sigh.

"The reason why your markings aren't gold is because you have a lot of ice markings. Even though you clearly have the markings of a Celestial, your elemental markings have somehow taken over the nature of your inner energy. That's also why your body temperature is lower than normal people. Why when you're angry or feeling threatened, you'll activate your ice markings without even thinking. And why your markings have that pearly, almost white color. If you had been raised in the Temple, or in a normal Household, if you had never developed those ice markings, I'm positive that your markings would be golden, just like any other Tien'Elhar's."

Snow's eyes widened in open disbelief.

"And you're sure about that?"

"Not only I. Anyone who looks at your back will arrive at the same conclusion. Of all the differences you may possess, that's definitely not one of them. No one will find it strange that even though you're a Celestial your markings aren't golden. Just think about it. When you use one of your healing arrays the markings you cast are golden, aren't they? So is this shield of yours," ZaiWin pointed out, raising his hand now coated by that gentle golden glow, as proof.

Snow glance down at his hand but didn't say another word, leaving a sigh on ZaiWin lips. Was he doubting his words? Still, he went on with his explanation.

"The arrays people cast always take on the color of the nature of markings being used. So, if you cast a water array, the markings and derived energy will be blue. If it's a fire array it will be red. But the markings on one's back always take on the color of the dominant energy running through one's body. For example. ZenTar has both wind and fire markings. But his wind markings are not only more in number, they're also a lot stronger. Which means that the nature of his energy is mostly wind, reason why his markings are white."

Still staring at his hand, Snow remained silent.

ZaiWin hesitated for a moment. He knew Snow wasn't going to like what he had to say next. He would either feel even worse than he already felt, or he was simply going to refuse to believe him. But they were long past the point where he could cuddle and spare him like that. In fact, every time ZaiWin had tried to do so, filtering information in hopes of protecting him, things had only turned for the worst. Clearly telling him things as they were, no matter how harsh or how hard to hear them might be, had always accomplished better results.

"You probably don't know this, but markings are always light and bright in color," he simply declared, and Snow's eyes widened in shock, or was it disbelief? Either way, ZaiWin sighed at the confused expression all over the boy's face. "Like I said, they can have different colors, according to the nature of one's dominant inner energy. Like yellow, orange, red, blue, green, even brown and lilac. But the colors are always light and bright. Even though we commonly refer to them as holy markings, the word daitai actually means mark of light. So, what you described just now cannot be."

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A/N: Hm, for a change they are actually talking things through. So many improvements

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Language:

[1] . ZaiWin: Literally zai (blade) + win (chaos).

[2] . RyuXin: Literally ryu (dark) + xin (rain)

[3] . RimJan: Literally rim (cold) + jan (flower)

[4] . Tien'Elhar: Literally tien (Heaven) + el (supreme) + har (girl child). The Heavenly Beings also known as Celestials in the common language.

[5] . Daitai: Literally dai (light) + tai (mark), or Holly Markings, considered Heavenly Blessings. They're the source of power.

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