Enduring Star (Nephrite)

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Enduring Star (Nephrite)
Date of Cutscene: 31 January 2016
Location: Nephrite's Spooky Mansion
Synopsis: Nephrite asks the stars about Jadeite
Cast of Characters: Nephrite

The great doors of the inner sanctum slam with a resounding echo. Nephrite is still battle-worn as he stomps across the smooth black tile. Dusty, uniform torn, hair a mess. His shoulder has stopped bleeding, but the blood still soaks through his uniform jacket, a sticky and half-dried bloom of red-brown that matches his furious eyes.

He stops in the center of the dark chamber. Stained glass windows send long reflections across the polished floor. Nephrite's dark cathedral, where he communes with no gods, but speaks to the heavens themselves. "Show me," he growls, a curt command that does not at all fit the deference he normally shows the stars.

The universe bursts open in his mind and in the room. The cascade of stars floating in the air is enough to dim even the stained glass windows.

Nephrite skims the stars impatiently. The starscape could have opened anywhere, and tonight it centers on Leo. Normally he would take his time, comb his way through the piece of sky that first opened up to him before seeking out his goal. He shrugs impatiently, his hands twitching at his sides as though he could possibly reach out and grab the illusory stars themselves. "Where is it? WHERE IS IT?"

The stars blur with movement, like a globe being spun, and pause at a different point in the sky. And then--there. He sees it. A bright star on the tip of Virgo.

Spica, the horn of the Azure Dragon. Spica, short for spica virginis: Virgo's Ear of Grain. A star of good fortune and wealth. But Nephrite is not looking for either right now. He searches the sky around it--where is Mars? Where is Saturn? What asteroids have crossed it?

Every muscle in Nephrite's body is still as he studies the web of celestial bodies around the star. Only when he is absolutely certain does the tension release. He's alive. Jadeite is alive. In fact, judging by the position of his star, Jadeite was never in any real danger to begin with.

He makes no movement to dismiss the stars. Only turns away and walks back to the great doors. Sensing he is done with them, the stars fade of their own accord, leaving him in darkness.

Nephrite lays his hand on the door's ornate handle. That is when he finally sinks to his knees.

There is no reason for it. No reason why the rush of relief should hit him so intensely that he wants to throw up. No reason why a sob should choke him.

Nephrite's sanctum is just that--a vault that seals out all other latent energy, to block any possible interference when he gazes at the stars. It is only a fortunate coincidence that it also blocks out any casual surveillance from certain monarchs. Unseen in the darkness, only the stars know whether Nephrite sheds a tear.