Experiments {Silv/Astarte}


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Posting Elemental
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Post Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:20 pm

Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

OOC| I'm going ahead and getting this up, because they won't stop tromping around my head, but feel free to wait to reply. :)

BIC| Faster, OakHeart snapped, and the small filly flattened her ears as the tendrils of plants ripped at her hooves.

If I go any faster you would not be able to keep up, AuraSidra snarled, and kicked her trot into a gallop.

She was almost right; he couldn't keep up, not at first, couldn't make the plants grow fast enough to grip her as she ran by. It was hard to get the timing right, hard to know exactly where her hooves would land.

But there was a rhythm to her gait; there always was. It didn't take him too many strides to find the right formula. No sooner had she begun to smirk than she found herself ripping at vines almost as thick as her legs.

Your timing is off, she grunted, switching the pace of her gallop into something with a longer stride that almost hopped. Leave room for adjustments!

He couldn't, though; every time he found her rhythm, she would settle into a new one. Each time she shifted her gait he floundered, had to start again to capture her legs.

They were both sweating, both shaking with effort, and neither of them wanted to call for break. Eventually, OakHeart huffed out a breath and flopped into the soft grass, bowing to her greater willpower; she would collapse where she stood before she asked for a rest. Enough, he grunted, and let the plants ease back into their natural state, motioning for her to come closer as he summoned a small pool of clear water. I would prefer not to have either of us faint in efforts to outlast one another.

Her legs may have been slightly wobbly, but it was no worse than the training she had endured with Eternal or Caustic. I could keep going, she insisted, but even so she drank deep of the water he had summoned. Can you bring something that you won't have to maintain?

Showoff, he thought sourly, but only said I could make a maze of obstacles, but you need to cool yourself first.

Stubborn, she thought, and narrowed her eyes. Because when I use this later everyone will be certain to give me time to cool off, she said coldly, and watched the temper flare in his eyes before the ground hurled her through the air.

She flapped, her not-quite-grown wings still efficient enough to right her balance before landing in the middle of a twisted layout.

Have fun, he said dismissively, and the sound of splashing came to her through the tangled bark that crawled with thorns.

That wouldn't matter to her. She had trained with Thorn, too. He'd shown her how to handle painful terrain.

You'll have to do better than that, she challenged, and started climbing over a vine-coated log to get a better look around. The Lady taught me how to think, Death taught me about pain, and my Knight has shown me how to maneuver.

What about the Ghost? OakHeart asked, lifting his head with surprise as he saw her already making a direct line for him. What does he teach?

Nothing, yet, she huffed, and he smiled at the miffed tone she used. He said his lessons would be for when I was older and left.

Silence stretched. OakHeart was older, fully grown where she was still fun-sized, and yet she got to boss him around. He was an elemental, controlled nature itself, and yet the sheer magnitude of her personality gave her the ability to tell him when to run. He'd taken issue with it; old enough to be insulted by the status quo now, although he had been given the same treatment based on his heart when he'd been but her size. It was somehow fine that his smaller size be disregarded while insulting that he had to do the same for her.

That was why they were here, why he gripped at her, forced her to strengthen her legs, her back. If they insisted on fighting then their bonded would insist that they work together, train together, and return with peace. Which of course meant that they had better stay gone until they worked things out.

But they weren't the only ones that had been sent out.

Where is the Hermit, anyway? he asked, finally breaking into their sulking thoughts. He's the only one that hasn't been sent away.

He's also the least irritating, out of the top Guardians, AuraSidra countered as she landed in front of his nose. He jumped, not having realized she was so close, and glared as she laughed. He won't kill anyone unless they're trying to hurt me, she added with such innocent confidence that he was forcibly reminded once again that he was following a filly's lead.

What would you know, he grumped, and shot a webwork of grass over her back, slamming her to the ground.

She pulled at first - instinctive response - and then he was tilting his head, watching her with interest as she shifted almost instantly from a general effort to raise up to a more intentional effect on those braided strands of grass around her shoulders. She bit as she pushed with her front legs, even as she dug her back half in the ground. OakHeart was having trouble keeping up with the speed they were snapping apart - either from her teeth or from the bulk of her strength being pushed through the delicate roots.

It wasn't until he managed to get hold of her face, as well, and pull her nose down to the soft earth that he could claim victory. Not bad, he said, instantly releasing her once she stopped yanking against his plants, localized effort was almost effective.

I have to watch for anyone trying to control my head, though, she admitted, and shook off hard, sending fragments of greenery flying everywhere. And I know that something is happening, the same as you do, and that the main ones at home right now aren't anyone that I would worry about causing trouble.

You admit that you cause trouble? he asked, only half teasing as he rest the landscape from the maze he'd set for her.

Every chance I get, she crowed, and her grin gloated of her enjoyment.

OakHeart laughed; and just like that, they were friends again.

((Teenagers. :dies: If they're not killing each other, they're working together to kill me. :looks: ))
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Post Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:56 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

Her Circle was not right.

Well, Astarte couldn’t really call it her Circle—she’d simply been born to it, after all. The making of it, the binding of it, all that had been in place before her. A system, a tradition: she, the latest product and iteration. A cog might as well ponder the workings of the forge.

They did, though. She knew they did—at least, the ones she touched.

And that, too, a part of it. What she had made. What she’d been made from. All of it coming together, but not the way they were supposed to. Her Circle once again whole—Dayi Avalir returned, Khala Eve at a fragile peace, finally, and Amma with her. Avi, grounded enough to leave as he must. All the parts in their place—but the working was off. Hollow. Disjointed.

They did not hide it from her, at least not intentionally. They hid it from themselves and knew not how much she saw. Well, except for Amma. Amma always understood, and they’d catch each other watching with the same kind of eyes. But they did not speak of it. Not in words. Only the shared look, promising—
Do what you must. I trust you, the best of us all.

Amma knew her; that she believed. And with that small blessing, she worked. Books, spellwork, research. Finding, fixing, seeing. So much
reading. She could spend days in Sive’s tower without knowing, until the girl—her bonded-to-be, this she now knew—found her between the dusty stacks and closed them to her.

“You’ll wilt in just lamplight and fireglow. Be away from here awhile, in the sun, the Fields.” The golden eyes glinted, still so kind over dark circles and faint lines wearing through. “We have—time, if nothing else. Go.”

So maybe Sive knew, too. Some impression of the Bond forming, perhaps—but she had not looked into that yet, did not know if such words could be found. But she remembered what magic had taken from her, when she’d ignored the chamber for it. Her body, relentlessly marching towards adulthood beyond her control. Sometimes she wished it’d move faster; sometimes she wished she could slow it down. But remembered, again, the cost of pushing.

The cost of many things, come to think of it.

She shook her head with a sigh, cleared the rubble and tried to feel ‘present’ as Avi had taught her to do. Feel the almost-there span of her limbs, the soldering of her bones, the beat of her heart. Feel the change of the wind, the listing of the grass. Listen to the song of her skin—
largest organ of the body, her reading supplied—and center.

Well, she was no Warrior. What came to her was the obvious harshness of the sun, and the prickle of a hastily plaited mane. She’d taken to wearing it so after Sahar Lock, at least while she worked—kept the blonde strands out of her eyes and out of her way, and gave her an exercise to fine-tune the workings of her ‘hands’. Glad there weren’t many souls around to see the mess of it.

Wait—

The ground—ebbed? Just for a moment, like standing on water, before it was solid once more. Curious. As she bent down to look, she heard—sounds. Not on the wind, particularly. Almost like—the earth? Something like the sound growing might make, if pushed forward and
fast. Some murmur almost like voices.

And then one voice, crowing high and joyous and familiar. That came not exactly from the ground, but from not too far off. Astarte lifted her head, ears forward to catch the direction and—there perhaps? Well, no harm in checking. She could be hearing things, lonely as she’d gotten of late, but it would be useful to confirm it. So much better if her expectation proved true, for once.

She crested the hill, and there below stood a proud form she recognized. Same coat of royal blue, same sky-glow edging her wings. Her heart swelled, and she was glad in a way she hadn’t been, not in a while.

“AuraSidra!” she called, as she started down the slope. Hoping she, too, would be remembered, and so caught up that she didn’t quite notice that the distant greens and browns at her friend’s side were not simply part of the landscape.


((Sorry for the wait! And I love the sibling dynamic between these two--teenagers indeed :lol: ))
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Post Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:24 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

The first reaction was reflexive, the sounds registering before the words. AuraSidra spun, bracing herself in front of the young stud behind her; and OakHeart flattened his ears as he found himself waiting for instruction, gathering his feet beneath him in readiness but otherwise remaining still. Attack or run? What would she choose?

Astarte!!

Screeching? Really? What was she even trying to-

And then she was gone, barreling towards an interesting russet-sunset not-quite-mare.

I am so glad you're here, I was wanting to talk to you and just did not know how to find you and now here you are in the middle of training!

She babbled in the excited manner of the young and young-at-heart, her speech still fluctuating between the various dictions of those she was growing with. It seemed she was still a bit confused on how to talk in general; she wasn't as stiffly formal as her mother, to never use contractions, and yet the extremely relaxed speech of her father didn't quite suit either. It might be something she eventually grew out of; and then, it might not.

For right now she drew up just short of barreling into the larger mare and pranced a happy circle around her, crow-hopping her pleasure. She'd been uncertain about something for a while, but recently it had all clarified nicely in her head. She had seen the mare Spectrum as a close friend to her heart almost instantly; but with Astarte, the young mare was just close enough to her own age and her mannerisms just reserved enough that AuraSidra had been unsure how they stood with one another. Perhaps she was simply kind to the little filly that kept hanging around her; it wasn't until they had started talking through her last big scare that it had crystallized for her. If Astarte cared, then she wasn't just putting up with the little blue ball of havoc.

It was her confession to Astarte, the actual speaking of learning real fear, that had helped the most to settle her anxieties. If her friend hadn't tried to look after her, if she hadn't made a point to jump straight into something else she had been struggling to learn - swimming as well as any non-water Serian could manage - she could have curled in on herself and given up trying for anything that would slam her back down. It didn't have to be dangerous to underscore her own inabilities.

But her friend had asked, had shown care, and had done so while they fiddled about in a gentle pocket of the sea that would let her get a feel for the water, would soften that fear that the next time she would fail; and that failure would bring a high price.

She'd gone home and continued along that very same vein, had tackled swimming lessons with gusto - because it was harder, came less naturally to her, and helped her tackle this new-found lesson of fear with options to ease back into gentler waters to recollect.

And every single time she had thought of this russet mare.

Let her breathe, OakHeart chided, and trotted up behind her at a leisurely pace. The newcomer was certainly interesting; add rainbow hues to the markings that spotted her hide and she could easily be a sunset that AuraSidra had "painted" on with her auroras. He rather liked the single purple hoof.

This is GreenHorn, AuraSidra said, and gave him no more personal acknowledgement than to flick an ear in his general direction. I was training with him because he annoys me.

My name is OakHeart, he corrected with such casual ease that it made her smirk. He was so busy studying the interesting look to her mane that he couldn't even be poked at; typical, for him. Did you do that to your mane? If anything his voice was pure, eager curiosity. He'd woven plants together to make them stronger, as he'd seen it happen naturally - especially among vines, and rarely with trees - but he'd never considered true knotwork. The closest he knew of was the moss that hung from his trees at home, stylized to represent the things he loved. He didn't grow them into faces, merely into the shapes of things that represented them. The moss to signify his mother was grown in twists and swirls, for both the dances she greeted and parted the suns with, and for her spirit. She'd proven highly flexible with both patience and how stern she was, while dealing with him.

I know that tone, AuraSidra said in mock-dismay, The last time you sounded like that you lived in a dead tree for two moons.

You weren't complaining when I let you watch the beatles, he countered, and grinned as she stuck her tongue out at him. There had been a lot going on in there, once she finally wandered over to see what could have possibly gotten into him this time. You wouldn't think a dead thing had so much life!

But she wasn't about to admit to that.

This is Astarte, she said belatedly, with all the pride of my friend, so nyah!

The famous Astarte you talk about so much? OakHeart asked, and grinned as the little filly beamed - not an ounce of shame, in this one.

Yep! The one and only. I think? she added, and gave Astarte a rather confused look - was there someone else running around with that name, maybe? Surely not.

How about we try not to almost get her killed this time, OakHeart added, only half-joking, and gave the russet mare a wink. I'm sure I can keep you safe from our little Princess, here.
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Post Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

Her heart swelled like hearthfire, quickened her step. To be remembered—only recently, she’d come to know how precious such a thing could be. But no, that was a thought for book stacks and dark rooms, and AuraSidra was light and life and here.

Astarte laughed as they almost collided, dipping back on her heels with an almost too-young toss of her head. She couldn’t quite prance with that light step her younger friend still possessed, but her excitement was still infectious as ever. “I know, I know, I’m sorry—we left so quickly last time.”

And with that, her eyes fell to the wing—to the sweep of it, whole and unbroken, fluttering with the same vital energy that moved the filly like a force of nature. She hadn’t known how long that worry had lingered, until she felt it finally lift. “I’m so glad we’ve found each other,” she said, blunt and graceless in honesty.
I’m so glad you’re alright.

“Let her breathe.”

Wait, who was—oh. She hadn’t even noticed the stallion’s presence, and it was not a thing she should’ve missed. Not just the stirring of Elemental magic that she remembered from a cave dive so long ago, but the bands of sky-color that set his coat apart from the green of the field. The gold in his mane, the impossible architecture of his wings. He’d—grown.

AuraSidra called him GreenHorn. He called himself OakHeart—and that, too, had changed.

“Wasn’t it Darroch, last time we met?” she said, half to herself, as he drew near—nearer than any male outside her bondherd and blood had ever come, she realized quite suddenly. But his gaze and voice revealed nothing more than an acute curiosity, which eased—something, somewhat. “Yes, well, I mean, I tried. It ended up being more complicated than I’d thought, and I still can’t keep the spell up that long. At least, not for precision work.” She grinned over at AuraSidra. “Perhaps I’m also in need of training.”

Their banter flowed easily around her, and she blushed slightly at ‘famous’, the warmth rising in her again. Had Sive foreseen this, sending her out today? Who knew, really, only that she should keep better care of a bond that seemed to forgive her many awkward fumblings. She should strive to be worthy of it.

She met AuraSidra’s questioning glance with a shrug and smile. “I am the only one I know of, but the world is wide yet. There could be possibilities.”

“How about we try not to get her killed this time…I can keep you safe from our little Princess, here.”

Even with his easy wink, the light air, she felt the guilt stir ever so slightly. That she’d been careless, that so much could’ve gone permanently wrong. But she was learning to bear it so much better, all the broken bones of things she’d done. Her grin turned a touch rueful at the edges, but nothing more. “Sometimes I think I’m the one who should be warded against, after the cave and the—gem.” Memory sharpened her shyness, and she wondered how much AuraSidra had told her companion of what had happened on the beach. “But I’d not be kept from someone dear to me, long as it’s been.”

And this was true, even if the certainty made it seem less so. She was no wordsmith nor secret-keeper—at least, not her own. She’d seen what unsaid things could do; like dead trees, taking on a life of their own. Actually, that reminded her—

“I should find some way we can keep in touch,” she mused, tilting her head as she flipped through pages in her head. “I’m sure one of the books must’ve said something.”

It'd been a while since she'd made anything harmless.
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:18 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

Books? OakHeart asked, latching on to the curiosity of something else new, something potentially useful. He was still studying the pattern in her mane, trying to discern all the twists - several vines were sprouting at his feet, shifting and writhing as he tried to match the weave. It was more complicated than he had thought, but that could also make it stronger in the end...

Like the magic Tome at home AuraSidra provided with obvious pride, and beamed at her friend, rather oblivious to the slight rueful twist her smile had taken on for a moment, Astarte told me, when you saw her last time. Tomes hold magic, Songhue says, and Grimoires hold magic to share and are passed through families, but they are all still books.

Last time? OakHeart asked, and paused in his studying to take another look at her. Oh, yes. Of course.

He swept her an elegant bow, and AuraSidra gave Astarte a secret grin of fond amusement as the climbing vines mimicked his extended sweep. One front leg nearly reached his chest, the opposite back leg sweeping long and crossing over, his wings extended in a delicate flutter - the grace of his mother, shining through for a single moment.

I must offer my deepest apologies, sweet maiden, he said as he straightened up again, and the vines seemed to straighten and focus on her even as he tilted his head to look her over once more. The horns had grown in, the neck held a more elegant arch, the smaller frame grown into something graceful and lithe - but even with the subtle shift of her markings, the difference in the length of her mane and tail, he would know that single purple hoof anywhere. It was clearly the same mare.

We met twice before, once little more than a simple glance before we met again and I walked you home from the caverns. You've changed, become a beauty almost beyond my paltry skills of recognition. I shall strive to be less blinded, in the future. And still, I have yet to thank you for helping to keep an eye on our little imp. Please, do forgive my distraction; and thank you for helping to see her back home again.

AuraSidra barely blinked at all this; this was the normal OakHeart, when he wasn't being stupid or distracted. He was a product of his heritage, no doubt of that, and had been this way all her life.

And I am so glad you mentioned keeping in touch, she said on the tail of his apology, That was why I had wanted to talk with you. I learned about Circles recently, and I was thinking that maybe when we're old enough for that level of binding magic - well, Astarte, I kind of hope you might be a Circle-sister.

OakHeart blinked at her, surprised, but only because she'd never spoken of such contemplation. That is a long way off , he said cautiously, Why mention it now?

Because it is a long way off, she answered, and her vibrant green orbs held a very distinct note of duh as she looked at him. It is important; there needs to be time to think about it, to be sure.

And you're sure, are you? he asked, slightly affronted by something he couldn't quite name - the way she looked at him as if he were the younger, the way he hadn't realized the answer to begin with, the way she was growing faster than he could keep up with - she was the size Astarte had been, when he'd last seen her. He hadn't realized it until he realized who was with them, but she was growing as rapidly as the plants in spring.

I am sure, AuraSidra said, clearly dismissing his question out of hand - or hoof, perhaps. She turned back to Astarte, her face warming as she added I would do it all again. I am sure.

She wasn't made for such an influx of magic; the memory alone made her skin twitch as if beset by a hoard of biting flies, but there was certainty in her face, her voice. She had tackled that fear with ferocity, refusing to allow it to keep her from painting her skies, refusing to shake and cry at the feeling of the energies twisting under her requests. She would not fear magic; but she held a true terror for when magic went wrong.

It had hurt so much, but if it had helped Astarte in the end, if it all concluded with healing, with the piecing together of Thorn into her Knight - more than a Hermit, more than isolated in misery - then yes, she would do it again. Even knowing already how bad it could get.

Knowing that, she was sure. She loved this mare; she knew she was sticking her neck out, but she'd already decided she was seen as a proper friend, at the least. If it wasn't quite that level of friend, a friend was still to be cherished, even if ultimately the answer was no.

You think you're sure, OakHeart said, and his voice was kindly patronizing, it may be you'll always love her, but it isn't that sort of bond. Or you may say such promises, only to run crying if such were to happen.

He turned from her, focusing again on getting the weave right - there was some way he could improve it, increase the integrity, make it sturdier, he just had to figure it out - and said, You should worry about finding sweets and leave these things until you're bigger than a stump.

AuraSidra stood perfectly still as he spoke, drawing herself up to her full height as he turned from her; dismissed her. Perhaps she had done similarly to him, yet in her case it was focus on her friend - whom she had just made a rather serious offer to. It had not been, as it so clearly was with him, an outright dismissal.

Once he finished, she drew her back legs up, spinning on her front hooves with the momentum the movement brought, and kicked him square in his front right knee. She was small, yes, but if you know how to fight smart, you didn't need to rely on power. Joints were a weakness.

And enough was enough.

His knee cracked as it bent sideways, making him stumble. The only reason he didn't scream was because of surprise.

I warned you, she told him quietly, coldly. She sounded older than should be possible, looked far more matured than her body should be able to convey as he struggled not to crumple; as she stood perfectly still and watched, almost dispassionate.

She had warned him. Challenging, pushing, disrespecting; she had told him before they left that he had to lay off. That their arguments would turn nasty. That, eventually, she would do more than push back. Those were her exact words, in fact; If you keep pushing me, OakHeart, I will have to push back.

Yes, Princess, he ground out, finally finding his balance, You did.

She watched him, wondering in a small corner of her mind what Astarte thought of all this, and said He chose to be called OakHeart in an attempt to avoid his own assignation - he has been known as GreenHorn his whole life and still thinks it means "Hey, little fella." I have been told not to show him the obvious truth he is missing that lays behind his given name. Everyone calls me Princess, and they will until I die.

Perhaps it had originally meant something different; she had gone through a few names, a sidhe-foal, or the teasing translation of her proper name - AuraSidra could loosely be referred to as WindStar. She rather felt that such a name sounded a bit too fanciful; luckily OakHeart had outgrown that particular play before it became an issue. Now, and almost for as long as she could remember, she was their little Princess.

But names changed over time, just as the person did. GreenHorn may have begun as "Little Fella," but by now it was synonymous with "Mage." The name was an honorific for his talent; he was just too dumb to see it.

This isn't going to get you out of training, he told her, squeezing his eyes closed as he used the vines to yank his dislocated knee back into place. Bone had clacked on bone when it popped out, and he may have chipped something; it was hard to tell, since a simple dislocation hurt enough on its own and caused plenty of swelling. But still, if he couldn't set that aside to continue, he didn't deserve the ranking he did have.

Good, AuraSidra answered. Maybe now you'll stop holding back.

She looked back at Astarte then, her face lightening with a shy kind of hope as she said Did you really want to train with us? We can show you what it would be like first, if you prefer.
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Post Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:48 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

It was not the violence that startled her. Her dayi were Warriors; Avi had been raised in their keep, and still bore the scars of his forging. She knew, intrinsically, of such lessons that needed to be taught in body, as others in books. Never on the receiving end herself—no, she was far from that calling—but she had watched. Sometimes, she’d been meant to; more often, not. It had never shaken her.

And, even now—it wasn’t quite that. It was the memory, of the beach, of AuraSidra willing herself whole. Of some elemental understanding that had raced through her with the magic wild.

Princess.

Maybe she’d sensed it—some part, kin to Amma’s, beyond her knowing. Her watched words, her natural deference to a filly much younger than she. She’d thought it her own awkward way, her lack of socialization, but perhaps it was simply a recognition. Of this cold, regal presence, the command that—though it was the first time she’d seen it—felt as natural to her friend as the boundless vitality that moved her. As the shy hope that flickered in her now.

What souls were these—far wilder, greater, more beautiful than she.

“It would be best for me to watch first, I think.” She winced at the grind of bone, the decisive snap of the vines in the corner of her eye. “I haven’t had lessons from my dayi in a while, and even so—well, it’s never been my call.”

Her call—things lost, things broken. The way her gaze was drawn ever sideways, to the bruise and swelling that spoke to some lingering damage beneath. He’d moved so gracefully before, as graceful as the words that set a burning in her she couldn’t place. AuraSidra’s look told her this was normal—that he, like the filly herself, was a kind of impossible, intricate collection of elements tangled into mortal form.

He’d been graceful, and he’d been kind, behind his drifting and distractions. She could not let such a working—be it living or not—go unstable.

She looked to both of them. “It may not be my place, but that knee looks—testy. I’ve learned some healing, since the beach.”
For you, she did not add; AuraSidra seemed to know her heart well enough. “A simple spell, just so it won’t worsen. I could, um, if it’s alright.”

Far from eloquent, far from the poetry they used as easily as breathing. But she was no silver-tongue, like Khala Eve. She meant the heart of things. Sometimes she wished she could be better—especially in light of what she’d been offered. She’d not doubted AuraSidra’s gravity; if she had, the dispensing of her judgment would have been quick to rectify it.

“You’re right, a Circle is a long time away, and a heavy choice.” Her birth Circle, the broken thing that dogged her still; yes, she knew the weight of it. But when she looked at AuraSidra, she knew what she’d choose—almost as it had been with Sive. She bowed her head, smiled small and true. “I don’t have gifts to offer, really. But if you’ll have me still, when the time comes, I would be glad to stay at your side.”

Such a simple promise, for what it truly was. But she’d trusted AuraSidra at the heart of the wild magic—she would trust her now.
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