Private Finished Lie-lac

Mint

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With a sense of caution in his steps, Carmin was walking through the courtyard eyeing up the few empty benches. There were more people around than he'd counted on, making it much harder to pick out a spot. He didn't want one that was anywhere near another one with people sitting there, but there weren't really any of those. He wasn't usually so picky, but today was a different case than the usual. He wasn't just going to read, today he was going to draw. The tough part was that he wasn't all that good at it and needed to make sure that absolutely nobody came anywhere near him while it was happening.

Before long, Carmin had given up on the benches altogether. Instead he opted for sitting under a nice tree, on the ground. It wasn't exactly ideal, but he couldn't feel it anyway so comfort wasn't a thing that mattered to him. He eyed up a tree not so far in front of him, then took out a sketchbook and a pencil from is pack. He then began drawing the tree, starting with the trunk. He drew a line, then erased it. He continued this same pattern many times, but never became satisfied with the result. The trunk was more or less just two thick black lines and then some small lines in between, but it wasn't overly easy to tell. Carmin was quickly adding drawing to the list of things he couldn't do. At least nobody was around when he made this discovery.

@Keen
 

Keen

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Form: Kirintaur

Junchi was often hanging around the school when he wasn't in the woods or working. Arjean had left to play with their younger friends, which left Junchi in a sour mood. His little sibling ditched him for some babies? It was completely unfair.

In the meantime, he was tending to the flora of the courtyard. With his aura, he refreshed and moisturized the plants around him. What plants he missed were cared for naturally using a watering can.

This led Junchi to a humanoid looking plant kid. If he had horns and unguligrade legs, he may have just been an oricenta. But no, he was more like a human with a flower head. Junchi quickly approached the boy with a skip in his step. "Hi! What are you drawing, my fellow plant-pal?"
 

Mint

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Carmin was too busy mocking his inability to draw in his head to notice Junchi approach him. When the oricenta asked him the question, his sketchbook slammed shut and he looked up, far more surprised than he should’ve been. What he saw was a kid with leaves for hair, similar to his own, but a different type and colour.

Without Carmin even noticing, an extra pansy sprouted on the top of his wrist. Feeling that his location had been compromised, Carmin stood up, planning to head out after clearing a misconception up with this kid. “Look, I know it looks like I’m a kid, but I’m not some friend for you to make, I’m actually eighteen.” He was getting better at telling people that now. But it was still an annoying thing to have to explain to everyone.
 

Keen

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That was mean...

Being blatantly rejected by an elemental hurt. It was also really annoying. Junchi knew he should be respectful of this not-kid. To follow his orders and leave him alone. But if this person was going to be mean and reject his attempt at friendship, then Junchi would play on his level.

"R-Really?" his eyes widened for a moment before returning to their seemingly closed state. "I'm also not a kid. I'm actually sixteen. It's a... medical thing." He rubbed his arm and looked down.

It was an eight-year age difference, so this was going to be hard. Junchi wondered how long he could trick the not-kid. However, Junchi did have a good idea of actual physiological and psychological phenomenon. He could thank Henghai and Béatrice for that. His dad Anrong is frequently mistaken for being younger than he is a few times. Thinking about it, Rei was also very sensitive about his age. Was everyone with age problems naturally harsh and mean?
 

Mint

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Junchi's response completely blindsided Carmin. He was more or less trying to get away from this kid before, but with those few words, his attitude got rearranged. His eyes opened wide as he quickly came to understand that they weren't all that different. Carmin stared at them for several seconds before actually working out any words to say. "I'm... really sorry to hear that..."

Carmin began to nervously rub the back of his neck while he spoke. "I, uh, know what that's like..." He wasn't exactly sure how to react to a situation like this but he figured he could start with an introduction. "I'm Carmin, by the way." It was clear now that Carmin had stopped trying to run away from him.
 

Keen

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The boy had a complete change in attitude. Junchi wasn't sure if that made him happy or frustrated. He had to lie to make this person consider his existence?

"I'm Junchi. Sooo..." He put his hands behind his back and looked around the courtyard. "Thaaaat was awkward. You don't like kids? Might as well be nice to people who want to be nice to you, right? Return kindness with kindness."
 

Mint

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Carmin was already aware he was an awkward bean, but it always stung a little when people pointed it out. Still, he tried to shake it off given the circumstances.

"I wouldn't say I don't like kids... It's just complicated, you know?" He figured Junchi of all people would be capable of understanding what he was about to explain, so for a change, he actually tried to explain it "I just feel like it's weird for me to be around kids. They usually only approach me because, well, I look like one... It's like I'm tricking them without even wanting to. Then there's the fact that kid's brains tend to get influenced by those around them and I just don't want them to start..." Carmin was about to say acting like him, but decided to cut himself short. He kind of actually wanted to make friends with this guy. "Misbehaving because of something dumb I said or did..."
 

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Oh no. The guilt.

"I understand," he said gently. Junchi took some time before continuing. He tried to think about the kind of advice Henghai and Remi gave him. How they were kind with their words but firm with their points. "But, um, I think older kids will understand if you explain it to them. If you're mean to all kids from start, they'll feel bad and think they did something wrong. Or that you're just mean. Or that it's okay to treat people mean for no reason. I think that also counts as a bad kind of influence."
 

Mint

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Carmin thought about that for a minute. He seemed to confirm in his head that Junchi was in fact a sixteen year old just from the fact that they were giving him advice like that.

"You're probably right about that..." At first it may have seemed that the advice got right to him, but of course Carmin didn't take the advice properly. "I should probably be nicer when I try to get away. Maybe I should come up with excuses or something. I just have trouble talking, even with kids, it's always just awkward."
 

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Junchi let out a sound between a snicker and a sigh. "Mm, I guess. I think it's nicer to be honest. Explain what you can and say you're not interested. Like this: 'I'm an adult who looks like a child. I'm not comfortable being friends with a kid.' It sounds really similar to what you said, but it's nicer, yeah?"

He had to admit, some kids could be pushy. He was one of those kids. "If they're being reeeeally pushy, say you're busy and got to go or that you want to be alone. If you're not clear then no one will understand you." He nodded sagely at the words he definitely didn't steal from every adult that lectured him on his behavior.
 
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