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A Little More Than Interesting | Rook Hunt

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This isn’t my forte , you nimbly thought to yourself as you put your head in your hands. You felt the weight of thousand-pound dumbbells on your back. It felt less deserving on there than it usually did during the holiday blues.

You could’ve sworn this time you most definitely tried to attend those dancing lessons. It was never something you ever expected yourself to be able to do in the beginning anyway, but you really did try and you really did want to succeed in them. However, unfortunately, you happened to be born with two left feet because none of the choreographs got any easier for you. Maybe they’re not supposed to get easier…? you thought to yourself. Maybe dancing’s just like that. Lots of people start sweating at the end of the first hour…

“Maybe I’m just the only one who can’t seem to enjoy it.” Whispering softly with your head still in your hands, you sank deeper into the bench as your classmates fluttered about and talked about the lesson. “That… wouldn’t be the first time, if I’m being realistic… but…”

Looking around the dance studio again, you noticed a few of your classmates huddled together. It would be a little more than pitiful and self-centred to say that they were talking about you, right? However, nothing interesting happened during the dance lessons -- that is, nothing interesting but your mess-ups. So maybe it wasn’t that self-centred to think that they really were talking about you. But it really was pitiful, so you decided to distract yourself in the beauty of the dance studio itself instead. Marble, beige, gold… Now, isn’t this a little more than cliché?

“Ah, our ever-prevalent Directing Student!” a familiar voice exclaims. At first, you were worried if anyone heard. And even though it looked like everyone in the dance studio did, for the sake of sparing any more of themselves from the vice dorm leader’s eccentricities, they continued on in conversation without a pause. On the other hand, you quite enjoyed the enchanting company of Rook Hunt. As you focused your glance on him, he seemed to brighten up at your attention. “ Salut! You seem to be enjoying the beauty of our dancers and our studio just as much as I am. What can I do for you today, Directing Student?”

Enchanté … ah…” You thought about it for a bit, lost in thought. It was a little weird to just say that you wanted to attend these dance lessons to hopefully get closer to Rook, right? Because that holiday ballroom festival was happening pretty soon… You couldn’t explain your motivation to be here any other way, but you also know that was probably not how you want to come off to him. You bit your lip and kept eye contact, hoping that you also were not coming off as nervous. This isn’t my forte, either, a small, already-understood understanding flicked across your mindscape.

“...I understand!” Rook sighed with a slight upbeat. “Would you like me to show you something a little more to your liking, then?”

Already curious, you couldn’t help but quirk an eyebrow. “It… has nothing to do with dancing, right?”

Rook gave another one of his elusive smiles. “It can and it can’t. Allow me to be a little vague here, Directing Student; the surprise is always a part of a good hunt.”

Coming from any other student with anything less than well-dispositioned intentions, that would’ve almost seemed like a threat to you. However… coming from Rook, it’s an entirely different story. And that meant two things.

One; if this were to turn out like anything in the fairytale stories you read as a kid, maybe this was your chance to magically learn how to dance and learn through dancing with him. Because that’s definitely how real life works, you scoff at your imagination.

The more plausible option, numéro deux -- the surprise the two of you are going to rendezvous with is just another one of Rook’s whims… and you may or may not actually get anywhere definitively.

You didn’t know which option you were more afraid of wishing to come true. Even still… something drew you in. And a hunter always has to be careful of the wonder that he may happen to become a prey one day.

And to be quite honest, you can’t help but spare yourself of any sort of patience here.

You smiled at this as you walked with Rook. You knew a promenade with Rook will always be -- at the very least -- a little more than interesting.

“Ah, Directing Student, you wouldn’t believe where I found this beauty!” Rook paused in step to exclaim once during their promenade. “It’s nothing and everything you would believe it is! Something about it just draws me in so… It’s certainly something you’d enjoy, I know it!”

You chuckled a bit to yourself, still walking. “You still haven’t told me what it is. What if we came there for nothing and I were to turn back right when we get there?” you decided to tease, happy to inspire another one of his spiels. You weren’t the best at keeping conversation, so you relished in staying in the good books with the company of someone who can.

“You may, Directing Student!” Rook still exclaimed happily. “Although I can promise you that it’s one of the many beautiful sights I’ve ever had the grace of laying my eyes upon… as will you! Because if not, I’d have to question what it is my prey truly likes then, hm?”

You shake your head. “I guess so, but the trouble would be worth it anyway.” Speaking in ups and downs can be a lot of fun sometimes. An outsider to your conversations with Rook can either understand everything or nothing the two of you are talking about.

“I would hope so, Directing Student!” Rook resumed his steps to catch up to you. Or the bunny he happened to take a liking to. “ S’il te plaît, we wouldn’t want anything less for an admiring hunter and an admirable prey, oui ?”

You smiled, a little more than happy that Rook always seemed to understand. Understand in his own right with probably less than publicly-acceptable word choices, but that wasn’t really a personal issue you particularly minded. “Where might the surprise be, then?”

“Ah, we are just about nearing it, Directing Student,” Rook said, pausing in his step once again to stroke the in-betweens of some nearby leaves. “Please do mind the branches; this part of the forest near Night Raven College doesn’t get tended to as much as other parts, poor thing. However… it makes for a grand field, meant for discovering undiscovered beauties like this, ce n’est pas ?”

Just beyond the reach of his arm that swept away the leafy greens, beyond the repetitive view of grass and more greens, was something… you couldn’t possibly put into simple, coherent sentences.

Vines crawled up and around the marble pillars, deceptively laced with gold linings that looked to be small flowers rather than an intricate, man-made design. The ground was laced with small whips of greenery, delicately placed across the pale beige to look like a part of the structure. A few of the bits and pieces of white strewn about looked like they had no right to be in a place like this, but for one reason or another, they added to the flow of chaos and majestic view. Small bits of marble even hung themselves in the air, levitating with some residue force of magic left onto the build. Glass spirals clung onto the edges of the marbled form to the best of its care — to what should be more likely of an occurrence but somehow proves less of an avail than the gravity-defying marble pieces. A hooped, semicircular roof topped itself on the build to complete the composition.

In short… you were looking at an abandoned ballroom.

In the corner of your eye, you saw Rook take out an old-modelled camera from his bag. 

Magnifique , isn’t it?” Rook smiled, finally turning to look at the ballroom. “However perished it may seem… my dear Directing Student appears to be the type who would enjoy the pilgrimage of blooming in an environment such as this, no?”

You had to smile a bit. “I can’t imagine any dancer dancing in here,” you said with slight glee. 

Rook sighed with an extra layer of his usual ambiguity. “Perhaps not, but…”

He aimed the camera at you.

“...whether or not my prey decides what it is they’d like to do today, this will surely be a moment I’ll capture with heart-pounding vigour!”

Simply put, you thought to yourself as you scrambled up to the marble bits to pose, I just wanted to spend some time with him, huh…

The frays of your lips lifted in bliss, soft murmurs off and spoken into the wind. “...It really is a little more than interesting when you’re around.”