｢ TAKUMI ｣
Takumi’s eyes shut momentarily as the wind that had once gathered in Venti’s hands suddenly flowed outwards, reflexively protecting them from a danger that wasn’t even present. Only when he was positive there wouldn’t be a literal second wind did the merman finally allow them to open, peering this way and that before locking onto what was now being extended his way.
For once in his life, this excitable chatterbox was at a loss for words as he hesitantly reached out for the object that had been so graciously bestowed upon him. One that he never thought he’d be able to wield. Once in his palms, Takumi cradled the vision close as if it would break from just breathing on it, staring down into the seafoam orb all the while. Goodness, what should he say? A simple thank you didn’t seem to even scratch the surface of how serious of a gesture this was, and anything else would simply pale in comparison….
Wait a second.
The merman finally snapped back to reality, eyes wide in disbelief as he looked right back up at Venti.
“Those statues are you!” Thankfully they were outside of town, cause that outburst would have been pretty awkward otherwise. “But… where are your wings? A-And your flowy cloak?” And more importantly, “when were you gonna tell me!?”
“It is,” affirmed the archon, “go on.”
With the vision no longer in his possession, Venti was able to plant his chin in the palm of his hand and watch as the mer soaked in the moment. He understood what it felt like to be presented power so abruptly, so he made no move to rush Takumi for a reaction. His mind needed to process a great many things, one of which occurred to him seconds sooner than Venti anticipated. Clever.
The realization that flashed in Takumi’s eyes was all he needed.
“Please, my pearl, feel free to shout it to the world.” His sarcasm wasn’t rough or biting. If anything, he was amused. That amusement didn’t last, however. His posture relaxed, and his smile became solemn. “What do you think would happen if I walked around looking like that? I don’t want people to depend on me. Prayers are fine, asking for help is fine, but I want my people to be free to treat me how they please. If I looked like Barbatos and not Venti, most would feel obligated to act like someone else and not themselves. Maybe when we can guarantee that we’re truly alone, I can show you, but not today.”
He sighed deeply through his nose and slumped further. “I wanted to, but it couldn’t be planned. I had to wait for the opportunity, and there it was.”