This pair was fascinating, to be sure.
Granted, it was on a regular basis that she was both impressed and amazed by the unique gifts of the vibrant species of Pokémon that lived on the surface, above the waves. These two, if she had to call them exceptions, were such in the most positive light.
She had known of the Zorua and Zoroark's lineage and ability to use illusions to cast a disguise over themselves, but it was quite another thing entirely to see it firsthand, let alone with such a skilled technician of the art! In their dance, Noir had begun by casting his power over the stage, transforming its image from painted wood to polished silver and gold, the set pieces being replaced by a lifelike image of a beautiful castle.
And then he changed himself, taking on the appearance of Jasminami before the two curtsied to each other, as though one were looking at themselves in a mirror. She found herself enthralled throughout the entire performance as it progressed, with the true Jasminami demonstrating a lovely ability to use the ribbons in her paws as extensions of herself, creating an array of shapes and patterns while Noir danced around her freely, occasionally darting through the twirling pink tendrils like a single Wishiwashi avoiding the grasping tentacles of a Tentacruel.
All too soon, it felt like the show had ended. Topaz knew better than to regret it, though; enjoying a good performance was like a fine dessert; one that was small, but wonderful all the same.
In retrospect, she hadn't been to the Cenoreilles family theater in a while, at least a month! It would definitely be worth her time to stop by there again; as nice as it was to see Jasmine performing in a private performance, not much could compare to the wider space and finer furnishings of Theatre Vagary.
Still, that couldn't stop her from offering her support for the dedication and talent Jasmine had shown them then and there. "Bravo, you two!" she cheered, applauding the performers. "It was a real treat being able to see you up on stage again, and your partner is a wonderful dancer as well!"
"I know someone has promise when I see it." Jasmine offered a polite, gentle smile. It was just like her; the prodigy of an esteemed theater would certainly be keeping up the appearance.
Noir allowed his illusory copy of Jasmine to fade, once again reverting to his original figure towering over her, and descended the step leading up to the front stage with her paw in his larger hand. His smile was much wider than hers; it looked like he was basking in the limelight.
"For lack of better words, the two of you have an impressive set of talents!" Chandra spoke up. The Lanturn floated up from the seat she had been occupying, calling on her magnetism to repel herself from the floor. "Might I trouble you for a quick study?"
Topaz wasn't able to keep her own knowing smile from spreading over her face. It wasn't hard at all to see that Chandra had been enthralled by their show, as she so often was with the cultures of non-seafaring races. Though, to be fair, Topaz herself was impressed to see what Noir did up on the stage, and was just as suprised the first time she had seen Jasmine in action.
The Zoroark's grin got even wider as he departed from the stage with his partner and bowed to the Scholars leader. "For a lovely lady like yourself? It's no trouble at all~" he hummed.
Topaz contained a chuckle at the theatrics. Thinking about it now, she actually would like to stay and talk a bit with Jasmine as well; it had been quite some time after all since they last spoke. The Scholar leader was eager to ask questions about Noir's display of illusions and the stellar focus the two demonstrated, while Topaz did what she could to catch up on lost time and politely learn a bit more about Jasmine's new partner.
"Excellent!" Chandra began. "To begin, this illusionary technique is famous among the species of Zorua and Zoroark but you seem to have mastered it into, well, an art! What sort of training did you undergo to hone such a technique?"
Topaz couldn't be certain of it as Noir glanced at Jasmine, his gaze turning away from them, but she thought she might have seen his smile disappear in the blink of an eye. If it had, though, it was right back on his face in the next split-second. "Well, that's a trade secret, of course. True to form, the illusion ability is passed to me by inheritance. I suppose it just takes an eye for art to mold the clay, so to speak.
"I aspire to enhance my skills as a dancer and performer which is why I became acquainted with my lovely partner Jasminami." He looked at the Mienfoo seated next to him and gestured with a flourish. "She, herself, is already a skilled dancer and I could only hope to learn from her as we move further within the guild."
"Oh, you will. I'll make certain of that, Noir," Jasmine promised.
"I couldn't suggest a finer teacher than Jasmine to help you learn!" Topaz smiled, pleased by the Zoroark's support of his tutor and his general positivity.
"...Especially when she was taught well by her own parents. How are they doing, by the way, Jasmine?"
Jasmine smiled, turning her eyes up thoughtfully. "For the most part, father is doing well. He had reservations about my signing on with the Tabira guilds, but I know this will be for the better for me, and he'll realize that in his own time. It's been somewhat busier at the Vagary since mother is away - Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't mention that she left on a trip to Glory's Peak. Something of a goodwill trip, to share her dances on the other side of the country."
"It wouldn't be the first time, or the last I'm sure." Topaz knew a life much like Jasmine's in that respect; her own parents loved to travel as well, and it was from them she inherited her current position. Not that she was unhappy with it; rather she was proud of the chance to take on responsibility as well as having the power to welcome artists like she was once, creative minds who were just beginning to blossom. She could tell that Jasmine was beginning that journey as well.
"You were taught to dance by your parents then, Jasminami?" Chandra prompted.
"Yes, my father - Pietre Cenoreilles, and my mother, Thalassa Vfahn are both renowned dancers from Rubias. My family has been trained to dance for generations, and I've learned a lot from both of them, and through them my grandparents. Father found his calling with concert dancing, and mother was always fond of the traditional dances she learned in Rubias. A lot of what I performed on stage here with my ribbons was inspired by her lessons."
Fascinating! So then, at least a fair share of Jasminami's part of the act was referenced from the culture of Rubias. While not necessarily a matter of being a Pokémon's natural ability, she did still find herself hoping to find out more. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to devote some time to research the settlement in the southern region of Tabira!
"That does make me think of something else I'd like to ask you, but before I forget it I really should ask Noir about this - Jasminami has learned quite a lot from her family; can you tell me anything about yours? To have such an exceptional skill must mean your parents were quite capable teachers as well."
The Zoroark let out a quick, strangled breath as though he had been struck. He did appear surprised; Chandra hoped she hadn't offended him!
"Parents? I'm sorry, I must have given the wrong impression. I meant to say..." he scratched at his thick hair. "Well, when I say 'inherited' I mean I was born that way. Everything you saw on stage, I taught myself." He glanced at the other two, first Topaz and then Jasminami, his grin no longer reflected by the look in his eyes. "Self-taught artist, I suppose you could say! Haha... But enough about me, I'm curious: what was it you wanted to ask Jasmine?"
Although she was still relatively new to Tabira, Chandra was still enough in her right mind to realize when she had caused someone discomfort. As leader of the Scholars, she had to respect when pursuit of knowledge took second standing to respect of one's privacy.
"Of course," she smiled as warmly as she could manage, then turned her eyes on Jasminami. "Noir's natural ability is something that is plain to see in action, but yours I was not able to discern right away. Is there anything at work while you are on stage that helps you to perfect your performance?"
The girl allowed a flicker of dissatisfaction to cross her features. Chandra was beginning to worry that she may be pressing the two youths a bit hard.
"There's nothing more than training and practice that helps me to achieve the best in my performances," she said. "I doubt I'll be put in a position where my ability will come into play while I'm on the stage, but when I was young we learned that I have a sense of focus that shuts out any distractions, even ones like sharp noises or pain."
The Inner Focus ability... certainly one that would be valued even outside of combat, and possibly even more attributed to Jasminami's focus on-stage than she realized! But it would be rude of her to press the subject. Though she would have loved to learn more, it was clear that it would be for the best for her to excuse herself.
"I see. Thank you very much for your time, Team Pas de Deux," she offered a fin as she began to levitate herself once more from her chair. "This has been enlightening. And I truly look forward to seeing you spread good works for Tabira and beyond."
"And so do I!" Topaz, too, stood up and shook the two new guildmates' hands. "Thank you for giving us the time to say hello."
"It was a pleasure as always, Topaz." Jasminami looked pleased. "Please tell Kassi and Fleurir hello for me!"
"I absolutely will."
Chandra opted to wait to depart the performing arts center along with Topaz; she felt a need to share her thoughts and perhaps get some insight from the more emotional, motherly Simisear. As Noir began to murmur quietly to his partner something about her meeting with her role model (earning him a hush from the Mienfoo), Chandra began to channel her magnetic field into a rocking motion, allowing her to float forward alongside Topaz.
"I fear I may have pushed a boundary a bit too far," she began.
"Well, the first time was an honest mistake, but it did sound a little rude to suggest that Jasmine had help to make her job easier than it would have been for other Pokémon in the same line of work." Topaz smiled sadly, giving her a look that spoke of patience with her, and sympathy for the other party.
"Hmm. Statistically, it's quite possible. But I respect that they have feelings."
"Exactly. But now you've got me curious; what do you think of their chances in the guilds?"
Chandra broke her line of sight with Topaz to peer down the street at the others who travelled the road along with them. There were countless breeds with varying histories, talents and lives out and about, and the two members of Pas de Deux were no exception to this fact. But they were now in a line of work that led to a variety of tasks, in which they would be expected to adjust and grow.
"I believe that they bring something unique and valuable to the proverbial table," she said. "Vander may place value in the physical labor that comes with the territory of guild work, but that is only a portion of what our duties entail. Noir and Jasminami carry with them a rich history in the arts and an inherent knowledge of their gifts that represent what you and I foster in our branches of Tabira's guild. As I told them, I look forward to seeing their growth in the future."
"I agree!" Topaz looked very pleased, and Chandra wouldn't have resisted being able to share in that sentiment.