Amar Decides Not To Jog - RPLOG
It is early in the morning. Very early, even. Just about six AM, and Ambrose is already out and about, knocking raptly and loudly on Amar's door, a smile on his lips. He's lightly dressed, a shirt and a decent pair of pants, nothing fancy and no bells and whistles. "Come, cousin. The air is fresh, and the day is young."
The door opens after a moment to reveal a young, feline girl in a white, linen robe who bows low to Ambrose. "Master Widestripe is expecting you sir," she says demurely, "Would you like to come in and wait for him?" The old house that Amar bought has been restored in magnificent fashion, incorporating architectural styles from all over Promise, and the front garden is really very pleasant in the early morning cool.
"I'd rather he'd already have been ready, but if he isn't, fair enough," the jaguar offers, following after the feline as she steers him around the house. "Not too shabby," he offers after a moment of pause, an idle flick of the tail, his eyes settling on the feline maid for a moment. "Y'got a name, lass? I hardly feel referring to you as 'girl' while we wait would be suitable, no?"
The girl leads Ambrose down a short hallway to a sort of indoor garden. The floor is made of dark, laquered wood and bamboo plants are artfully placed around the room along with recessed boxes of artfully raked sand and large, round stones. A small, artificial waterfall even trickles over a bamboo deer-scare in one corner of the room. There are a number of soft, white cushions placed beside shading bamboo plants for guests to relax on.
The servant bows low again to Ambrose. "You may call me Hannah, Lord Longtail," she says in a melodic voice, "Master Widestripe will be with you momentarily." She waves him toward a cushion and steps back to stand unobtrusively by the entryway.
"Relax, Hannah. I'm far too old for titles and formalities. Ambrose'll be just fine," the older jaguar offers, as he flashes her a friendly smile, and relaxes on one of the cushions, shrugging lightly, and looking out over the room with piqued curiousity. "You don't suppose he forgot, do you?" the Jaguar offers with a playful-looking smile. "'s a good thing I showed up, huh?"
"No, No," comes the voice of Amar from another doorway as the immense, purple tiger waddles into the room, "Though I rather hoped you had." Amar has foregone his usual attire and is wearing only a loose pair of short pants tied with a heavy sash around his prodigious waist and a pair of soft, leather shoes. "Let's get this nightmare over with," he growls, "The sooner we start, the sooner I get my breakfast."
"That's the spirit. Well, almost," the jaguar offers with a smile on his lips, a twitch of the tails, as he rises to his feet, and gestures for Amar to follow him. "You need me to show you the route on the map, or would you prefer just following wherever our feet might carry us?" the jaguar asks after a short pause, standing by the door. "I'll be sure to deliver your boss back home in a couple of hours, after breakfast."
Hannah only smiles demurely and bows low as the two felines depart.
"Probably better that I don't know where you plan to go," Amar grumbles, "I'll just follow you. I can't believe I am doing this. You had better not skimp on breakfast."
"As you wish, cousin," the jaguar offers, already jogging lightly in place, before heading towards the gates, regularly making sure that Amar is still, well, following him... They've got a long trek ahead of them, after all. At least a mile or two to the farm, and at least a mile or two back... Definitely not an experience Amar will forget lightly.
Amar does his best. Which is not saying much. The best the blubbery behemoth can really manage is a bouncing sort of waddle. By the time the duo reaches the gate at the end of the garden, he is already puffing and panting. "How. . . WHEEZE. . . long are we. . . PUFF. . . going to run?"
"Until we're back, cousin." the jaguar offers with a smile on his lips, a flick of the tail, as he seems to be jogging -backwards- for just a moment, grinning broadly, before turning back ahead. "The jog usually takes me about two hours and a bit. Might be a bit longer together, but I don't mind."
"Two. . . HOURS?" Amar wheezes, staggering after Ambrose. This had better be one HELL of a breakfast. And it will certainly take more than two hours at the not-quite-walking pace that Amar is going.
"At least. Though, at this pace, it's looking more like five," the Jaguar offers with that ever-pleasant smile on his lips, tail twitching behind him as he gestures to the path ahead. "Just a bit earlier, you didn't want to know how long the trip'd take, though. Changed your mind, cousin?" he adds, smiling broadly. "We could also head east, towards the forest, if you prefer. Similar trip, different sights."
Amar is no longer talking. Just wheezing along indignantly. It is not long before he can no longer manage even that bit of defiance and he is simply limping along as fast as he can. Which is not very fast at all.
A little distnace away from the city, Ambrose continues his talking, still just as cheerful as ever. "Life is a journey, Amar. Learn to enjoy it. It isn't always about the destination. Look," he offers, as he gestures to, well, all around him. "What do you see?"
Amar is lagging quite a ways behind, though Ambrose is no doubt doing his best not to lose his overweight companion. The fat, purple feline does not answer the question as he staggers to a stop a few feet from where the Jaguar has stopped. He rests his hands on his knees as he pants and wheezes, though he does manage to make a rather rude gesture toward Ambrose.
"Take your time. Look around. What do you see?" Ambrose offers, either missing or flat-out ignoring the rude gesture. One thing is for sure. Despite his age, he's still full of life. Around, there are sprawling farmlands and beings working it, squirkiks stealing some seeds before being chased away, and various birds flying high above...
Amar takes this opportunity to stagger to the side of the path to heave into the brush. He does not seem to be much up to conversation.
After a few more moments, he staggers back to the trail, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. "I see a gods-awful hour of the morning that I hope never to see again," he gasps.
"Come now. The air is fresh, the sun is pleasant. Why on Promise are you complaining, cousin? It is a wonderful day, and there is nothing wrong with a bit of exercise in the morning," he offers with a twitch of the tail, gesturing at the path ahead, before, once again, repeating his earlier question. "Now, what do you see around you? Stop focusing on your goal, and enjoy the journey."
"I hate you so much right now," Amar wheezes, "I should be happily in my silk sheets with three beautiful servants massaging me into a stupor." He looks around at the morning scene. "Birds. Trees. Dirt," he gasps, "What do you want?"
"I want you to enjoy life to the fullest, cousin. Both the journey and the destination. Do you remember what you said yesterday?" the jaguar says, still smiling lightly, as he continues walking. "As for hating me, that's your call, cousin, not mine. But please, try and enjoy our walk a little."
"I was enjoying life quite well on my own, thank you," Amar wheezes, "Are we finished? Can we get back into town for some proper breakfast?"
"We're not even halfway to the farm yet, boy. Unless you want to give up? The great Amar Widestripe, unable to jog to the farm? Sounds great for business to me," the Jaguar offers, before shaking his head. "You -do- want that breakfast, don't you? Besides, if you turn back now, you'll be paying for your own breakfast. I'm not turning back yet myself."
Amar growls at Ambrose. "Then stop trying to teach me a lesson and let's get on with this nightmare," he says and starts to waddle toward the farm, still panting and sweating in a most unflattering way.
"I like to walk and talk. And I want you to appreciate the moment to moment of the walk, boy. I hope that, when you're a little older, you'll appreciate my advice more," the jaguar offers, simply strolling along, and waving at one of the farming beings, receiving a wave in return. "Tell me then, how do -you- spend your free time?"
"As I please!" Amar snaps, limping along, "I eat the finest foods, drink the finest wines, enjoy the company of intelligent, pleasant people. I listen to music. I enjoy the theater. I do things I LIKE!"
"Are you calling me unpleasant, cousin? I hope not," the jaguar offers with a small, sly smirk, tail still aflick as he actually starts whistling. Whistling, of all things. "Those are all fine, but do you never make time for the little things, boy? A simple stroll through the market, a beautiful sunset, seen from the walls of the city?"
"Not every good time has to cost money, boy."
"Yes," Amar pants, "I am calling you unpleasant. And as soon as I have the air to do it, I will call you many other things." He stops walking and leans against a fencepost. "What have any of those things got to do with you making me bounce through the bleeding countryside?" he gasps, "I always walk through the market! I tend to my gardens! I watch sunsets! I JUST. DON'T. JOG!" The obese tiger turns and waves to a young man working nearby in the field. "Boy! Boy!" he calls, "Come here! I've two scepters here for you to run a message for me."
A chuckle, a shake of the head, and a soft rumble. "You should start, boy. This is hardly a walk, let alone a jog," he teases, before shaking his head. "You want to call it quits, be my guest, Amar. You'll have plenty of time to walk back, too," he offers. "Your call, of course."
"Well, old man," Amar says, leaning on the fencepost as his paid messenger starts running toward the city walls, "You have taught me one thing. Don't trust sneaky old men with offers of free breakfast. No such thing. I'm not quitting, I'm just coming to my senses. They warned me about people like you when I left Shralesta."
"Care to continue walking, then? At this rate, it'll take us another three hours to make the roundtrip. If not," he offers, before setting off on his own walk. "It was a pleasure talking to you, cousin. I trust you can find your way back?" he offers over his shoulder... Seems Amar has a choice to make, right then and there.
"Ambrose," Amar says, frowning at the Jaguar, "I have already made arrangements. You're problem is that you think that the only right way is your way." He waves a fat paw at the departing Jaguar. "And you've no compassion. This is already the most I have ever exercised. I suspect you want me dead."
"I've plenty of compassion, boy. You think I would risk my life aiding the Lady if I didn't? I have no heirs, I owe her nothing. You think I like having someone walk with me who obviously doesn't want to? To see them heave and breathe heavily? I'm simply concerned for your well-being. A being in proper condition wouldn't be out of breath before the city is out of sight," he offers as he gestures towards the city, still visible in the distance. "Let alone before they're past their garden-gate. I'm not expecting you to run a marathon, boy. I do expect you to be able to make to the nearest guard-post if your life depends on it. When the other half of the family comes knocking. Because unlike myself, -they- won't let you know beforehand."
"Not all of these scars are from Shadows, lad. By all means, eat and feast as much as you want. Enjoy life the way you want to enjoy it. I'm not stopping you. But make sure that when push comes to shove, you can do more than call for help."
Amar stares at Ambrose. "Creators above," he says, shaking his head, "Is that what all this is about? My defense? Gods and spirits. You ARE backwards old man. You think I'm defenseless?" The purple feline starts to laugh, a little short of breath still.
"It is. Listen, boy. I've seen what lengths the family will go to, and whatever security you have, double it, and -then- consider if you've enough. You may not like me, but would you rather lose your life or lose a few more scepters or a couple pounds?" the cat offers. "Now, if you'll excuse me. I'm going to finish my jog and enjoy the morning air.
Amar sighs and reaches into his sash, raises his hand to point at a nearby fruit tree and a beam if red light lances across the distance to incinerate a low hanging fruit. "Enjoy the jog," he says, easing himself down to sit by the fence post, "I will be waiting for Gavin and my cart, thank you."