It would most likely come as no surprise to anybody who knew the half dragon at least moderately well. If you thought about it, put all of her personality traits and what little she would tell about her past together, it was as clear as day. If it came as a surprise or a shock to you it was more an indication of you not knowing Akeya as well as you think you might. That or you just weren't very used to connecting the dots when it came to subjects that quite honestly weren't that important. Not everybody had the kind of brain which had enough raw power and curiosity to just idly think of every single obvious thing which might or might not ever become relevant. Still, once told everybody should be able to realize that it made sense rather quickly.
Akeya preferred the winter significantly
over the summer.
Most humans and fellow mammals tended to slow down during the winter. Even beyond mammals reptiles, birds, and most other creatures you could think of tended to become lazier and less energetic during the coldest period of the year. If possible they would imprison themselves in whatever home or warm location they could find, having stocked up on plenty of food so they wouldn't starve while they waited for the sun to once again become powerful. During the winter that humongous sphere of fire, floating high up in the sky, could not even chase away the chill during the noon, instead only barely managing to turn deadly levels of cold into barely manageable. That and to illuminate everything with a cold bright light, much less warm and inviting than the one provided by the scorching rays of summer. The winter was universally seen as a period of rest during the year, just like the night was the period of rest for the cycle of the day.
And just like with the night, the winter was when Akeya would actually become active, getting out of the guild hall to do more jobs, explore, and train actively. Moving silently, both to be undetected and so nobody else would wake up, she would leave her room and walk into the open air, spreading her wings to fly up into the cold night, uncaring about the chill that assaulted her body every single time. The winter would not allow itself to be mocked by this half dragon, attempting to force her back inside with strong gales and snow and hail. The winter was strong, mighty, ancient, without mercy. The idea of somebody who had no connection to the elements of frost and snow being able to become more active in the winter than the summer was an insult, and it would do everything it could to put a stop to it.
However so far the half dragon was winning the battle, even during the worst weather still flying up there, or traveling, doing jobs, practically anything which she deemed a proper way to spend her time. Those blizzards and snowstorms weren't something to sneeze at, but Akeya had several traits which made her capable to so blatantly sweep aside the might of winter.
The first was that as a half dragon she had considerably more fortitude than the average human. Other mages of similar strength could potentially match her, but the human without very harsh training, aptitude or magic abilities would not be able to match Akeya's ability to just keep going under harsh conditions. Of course this wasn't specifically aimed at cold, but even so it was an advantage, and one that she would use without restraint or hesitation. Her body was tough and resilient, even towards the elements, and she saw no reason not to make use of that.
The second was from her heritage. Or to be more exact, her origin. Akeya wasn't one of those people from the plains, where the winters were harsh but otherwise the climate was pleasant. She wasn't from the forests either, where one had an even easier time hiding from the wrath of nature. She was born and raised in a village located high up in the Phoenix Mountains. The Phoenix Mountains, which regardless of its name was a harsh region, a place where weakness was not tolerated by the very environment. Not to mention the people living there. Up there the summers could actually be as harsh and cold as the winters on the plains, and the winters were simply deadly. The village she had grown up in had existed for ages, and wasn't visited often by outsiders. The people of that village had long since adapted to the climate, becoming notably resilient towards the harsh weather, even if that might leave them more vulnerable when exposed to climates which test your mettle on the other extreme. They would not like the scorching deserts, endless flats where the air could twist and turn from the heat. However as long as they were up there in the mountains they were in their element. The cold was not something they could completely ignore, but they were certainly good at enduring it. The snowstorms were cruel and merciless, but they had learned how to survive. And Akeya was one of the children of the people living up there, and had inherited their adaptations to the cold.
A half dragon born and raised in a place where everybody was used to the cold, and knew how to deal with it. This combination was on its own already enough for Akeya to be all right during the winter, whereas she could be considered a bit sluggish and uncomfortable during the summer, when everything would be so warm and exhausting. However there was yet another factor to be added in, one that spoke to Akeya very personally.
She was the half dragon who had also learned the magic of dragons, more commonly known by the humanoids as Dragon Slayer magic. Specifically she was a half dragon whose dragon half was of a dragon closely tied to the spectrum of darkness and shadows, night and twilight. And to add to that the Dragon Slayer magic she had learned was the one focused on shadows and darkness. This meant that she felt a lot better if the world was dark, and when the world was bright and filled with light she was cornered.
And during the winter it was a lot darker than during the summer. The nights lasted longer, the dawn and twilight were dragged out, and even the day itself lost some of its brightness because of the many, many clouds that would arrive to deliver snow and hail. They would block out the sun, an object Akeya certainly did not like, and grant her even more shadows to bathe in. The winter wasn't only better for her because she was used to the cold, but also because it provided her own element in spades, allowing her to fly for hours through the night without having to fear the dawn arriving and ruining her enjoyment with its rays of light.
Right now, however, Akeya was preparing for an event which would, somewhat regrettably, occur indoors. She was much happier using the opportunity of the winter to be outside, no longer having to rely on buildings and caves to provide darkness, but in this case it couldn't be helped. While she tried to spend most of her time at night and outdoors the humans would still all be indoors and sleep during the night, and when it was day they would stay indoors where it was warm and safe. They didn't share Akeya's traits which made her like the winter so much, made her look forward to that time of the year that most people thought of as depressing and unpleasant. They would use this time to be with other people indoors, holding feasts and the like to help themselves get through the harsh winter months, waiting for spring to arrive.
In this case the feast was a gala created and provided by one of the other legal guilds that was present and powerful in Fiore, one of the newer guilds. Infinity Hydra, which according to rumours was a guild which focused on removing anything which was classified as evil. The mages in that guild would have an aptitude and motivation for constantly hunting bandits, defeating and bringing in dark mages, doing everything to try and get rid of what could be described as a taint on the land. Blue Pegasus was a legal guild, but quite honestly Akeya was convinced that they were more legal because they never did anything wrong than that it was a guild of justice and a bastion of righteousness. She herself was a good example: she purposefully avoided doing anything considered too questionable from a moral point of view because as a half dragon she didn't have a lot of freedom in what she could do without people judging her. Dragons were seen as monsters by many, especially the ignorant, and a half dragon who acted too suspicious could quickly expect a mob. Although in Akeya's case if she wasn't forced to act nice to avoid being chased by pitchforks she most likely would have acted more like a dark mage, so that suspicion wasn't exactly unwarranted.
Still, right now Infinity Hydra had apparently decided that instead of continuing that attempt at driving out evil wherever they could find it they would instead try to make all the people who followed the rules and didn't spend their time making life worse for others get along better. So they went through the trouble of organizing this gala for all the non-dark mages to attend. This could certainly help the legal guilds get on better terms with each other, and since even independent mages and guilds who prided themselves on being neither dogs of the government nor criminals and monsters were allowed to attend, maybe some new mages could be added to the list of the legal. Not the greatest hope, but Akeya was pretty sure the people from Infinity Hydra had kept it in mind when they made the gala available to everybody but the dark mages. How they would make sure that no dark mages could slip in was another question, although if one of the strongest guilds in the land couldn't keep itself safe during such an important event Fiora was in a lot worse a state than this half dragon had thought.
Normally she wouldn't go to such a gala either. If this had happened during the summer she would most likely have dismissed the invitation and returned to either training, working or resting, trying her best to avoid being in the sun. However it was winter right now, so she felt in a lot more amiable a mood and a lot more willing to try and tolerate the presence of others. Besides, lots of important things could happen during such a gala, things which were better to observe first hand instead of hearing about it afterwards. It had taken some consideration, but eventually the half dragon had convinced herself that since she was taking full advantage of the winter, she might as well give this gala a chance. Infinity Hydra would be doing their best to make it progress smoothly and without incident, so while she most likely wouldn't be able to stop being at least somewhere wary she could be relatively relaxed there.
Although the first problem had been finding a dress. Akeya wasn't exactly a dress person. She was very focused on practical matters, including clothing that would do its job and provide her plenty of free movement while at the same time keeping the humans from being mad at her because she was showing them things they thought indecent. On her side she also didn't feel like just giving everybody an eyeful, although rather than embarrassed she mostly just felt that as a half dragon she couldn't just allow any average human to get a full view of her. They most likely didn't deserve to see such a magnificent sight, even if she wasn't a full dragon yet. A half dragon was still a lot more impressive a sight than some human, even if it was one of those human females who managed to be quite attractive or even stunning. It was a difference between races.
The half dragon didn't have many dresses. Actually she only had one, which was given to her by Akryn for another gala he had dragged her to when she wasn't in quite as good a mood. She had considered taking that, but eventually decided against it. She had told Akryn that he should come, but instead of going together with him this time she was going alone. If he also came he could just meet up with her. As for his dress, she felt that he would probably appreciate it more if she kept it for occasions were she had to wear it and they were going out together. He seemed to have a liking for taking her out to things, even if a lot of the time Akeya mostly went along because she didn't want to cause tension with her team mate by explaining to him that most of the things he found interesting she didn't exactly like quite as much.
Either way, another dress would be needed here. Akryn had managed to obey her demands that it would at least give her freedom of movement, but still she felt like getting something else this time. Although she could at least get something of a roughly similar appearance, since the last one had suited her quite well. No sleeves, hugging her torso, and while the skirt could be long she would make sure it had slits on both sides so if needed it wouldn't get in the way. Naturally because of her own lack of experience with such matters she had to ask for help from other females from the guild. It hadn't been the most spectacular experience either, but at least she had managed to get something she herself thought was both practical and suited her rather well. Although one of them had said that they found the pattern a bit too blatant. Akeya wasn't sure about that, but if it was true she would just deal with it.
Beyond a dress she actually didn't have to do much, since Akeya didn't use make up or the like. Proud as she was she felt that it would be a waste, not managing to improve upon her already impressive appearance. So after she had gotten herself a good dress, made sure it did in fact fit her requirements, and put it on, she had already been able to set off on her journey to the location of the gala. Of course since she wanted to go there fast and didn't want to deal with the weather trying to ruin her appearance beforehand she had streaked through the lands like a shadow. It might not be as fast as actual vehicles, but it was still plenty fast, and one annoying thing about being a Dragon Slayer was that Akeya couldn't really stomach vehicles. And showing up with motion sickness was even worse than having been snowed on.
Upon arrival at the guild hall of Infinity Hydra, where they had most likely been preparing this event for weeks or even months, Akeya turned back into her physical form, revealing herself to any onlookers. As always she was rather tall, with smooth olive skin. In the past her figure had been rather slender, her most notable curves being her hips, but curiously enough her transition from a human into a half dragon had actually caused her other curves to become more accentuated. She actually wasn't sure if there were many human females who could match her chest these days. Although one example almost certainly came to mind, even if further consideration made her remember that she wasn't sure if that woman was fully human either...
Either way, she was tall with a shapely figure, with long legs and arms. Her fingers were also long and slender, even if they were tipped off with nails that could easily be mistaken for claws. Akeya had yet to reach the point where her hands and feet would become the claws and talons of a true dragon. For now she had to settle for the fact that on her outer thighs, and from the knees and elbows down, her skin had been covered with smooth small scales, covering her forearms, her lower legs, her hands, and her feet. They were of a midnight blue colour, and when the light shined upon them they reflected it sharply, showing that they were metallic in nature rather than the dull scales of lower reptiles. Akeya had decided against gloves or shoes, so everybody could quite clearly see that her feet also had those nails which were notably more pronounced than what most humans had. If they bothered to look at feet.
For once her face wasn't hidden behind a mask of cloth and a blindfold, one merely a habit and the other a powerful magical item which enhanced her sight. She didn't like not wearing it, but in situations like these people would object if she tried to hide her eyes. So for once people could see her emerald eyes, with the pupils the same kind of slits as one would find if they were to look at the eyes of a reptile. Her cheeks were adorned by the same midnight blue scales, although quite honestly where her cheeks were concerned they acted more like freckles than anything else. Her rather sharp features, also part of becoming a half dragon, were also visible, the small but sharp nose, the sharp chin. A mouth slightly larger than average, and if she opened her mouth her teeth showed her predatory nature. Especially her canines, which had become long and sharp even for a Dragon Slayer. Like usual her raven black hair cascaded down her back like a waterfall of night, and she had even removed the small ponytail she usually wore which merely gathered some strands of hair from her temples. Speaking of temples, her ears, which looked like spiny fins, were also visible, the same midnight blue scales once again visible.
Beyond those features her tail and wings were also on full display. Like always Akeya had to partially sacrifice her choice of clothing to make holes in the shoulder areas where her wings could fit through. With some trickery and shadow form getting them through wasn't that difficult, but after she became solid they still needed to have holes. In the case with dresses the same counted for an area at the lower back. These draconic limbs, once again midnight blue from the scales that adorned them as well as the membrane, were kept closely to herself. The wings were folded, and she made sure her tail wasn't just idly swaying about, where it could accidentally brush against others. Most people tended to get somewhat twitchy or puzzled when that happened. And tonight Akeya was trying to not offend people. Coming to the gala only to make trouble would be rather strange and not earn Blue Pegasus any good marks from the other guilds and people present. How many of the people here would be wealthy merchants and nobles, to complement the mages?
Akeya's appearance was certainly one that combined an athletic build with good curves and a striking face. From her own point of view she was one of the most beautiful and magnificent creatures around, and would expect others to agree. From the outside point of view she most certainly wasn't ugly, although the biggest question would be how many people would be able to admire the draconic traits. Those that didn't like it would just see her as a freak, whereas the ones that actually approved of the half dragon's exotic appearance could actually find themselves agreeing with her. She was a healthy female in her prime, after all, and she had been particularly fortunate with the appearance given to her by whatever rule or being decided those kind of things.
As for Akeya's clothing, she had chosen for a dress which followed the culture from the exotic land of Midi
. The half dragon found it a lot better than the more expansive and frilly dresses one tended to see around here. It was just cloth, no tassels or bells or anything, and it provided her plenty of freedom of movement while still being elegant and worthy of being worn during such an important event as a gala. A stroke of luck that she had been able to find one in time. A lot of merchants liked to sell stuff that was either from Midi or copied the fashions and culture of Midi, but still a stroke of luck.
Looking around the half dragon noticed that there were already quite a few people there, including one that she had seen before. Shu, a somewhat petite female mage, who had accompanied her on one of her previous jobs. Somebody who was polite and graceful enough that Akeya didn't mind her presence. At least she didn't have to worry about Shu doing something stupid or rude. The girl was too focused on making sure she didn't make such mistakes for the half dragon to also worry about it. Right now Shu seemed to be acting like somebody who received the guests and looked after them to make sure they were enjoying themselves. That was oddly fitting from what Akeya had seen of the girl during their job together. Although the half dragon didn't feel like approaching her just yet. Maybe later on.
First the half dragon walked over to the giant ice sculpture of a dragon, almost instinctively heading for the giant form of a being that she herself felt very closely tied to. Of course this wasn't a real dragon, but the symbolism still got to her. Somebody else was already standing near the sculpture, somebody who the half dragon didn't actually know. However her magic power was on a similar level to Akeya's own, and from the way that she was standing there Akeya had to assume she was one of the hosts this evening, together with Shu and that man who had welcomed everybody. Akeya nodded towards Tyriel, a respectful nod that functioned as acknowledgement of her presence. The hosts would require respect for preparing all this. Standing in front of the statue Akeya looked up at it before turning back to the entrance, having positioned herself several yards away from Tyriel, in case the woman didn't want her to get too close. She didn't know what this particular person might think about non-humans, or if she wanted to be alone or not.
While the dragon ice sculpture was most certainly the centrepiece Akeya was also looking around at the other decorations. They were certainly trying their best to make the place welcoming and inviting, while at the same time giving it that spirit that most humans felt that these days close to the end of the year possessed. The half dragon had to admit that she liked the decorations, even going so far as spending her first couple of minutes in this gala to admire the work put into preparing the guild hall for it. The people from Infinity Hydra most certainly went all out on this, and while Akeya was a practical person she also had an eye for the aesthetic. She was greedy as a dragon but instead of gold and treasures she preferred art and beauty. She didn't like frills or expansive dresses, and in general her aesthetic trait didn't carry over so well into the clothing department, but this place had been made beautiful enough that the half dragon could approve and respect the ones who decorated it.
So far she didn't regret coming here. Unless something bad happened she might actually end up enjoying herself enough that she would be less reluctant to attend the next time a gala was held. Even if it was summer, although in that case Akryn would probably have to find some way to motivate her.