In The Tiny Cottage
In the pit of Lyra's stomach, there was an odd feeling that something was going on. It wasn't anything specific; it wasn't a feeling that could be put into words in any way. All it was, was the dark and foreboding feeling that something was about to go horrifically and terribly wrong, when as her current condition stated there was no real reason for that to happen. She could not detect any presences here other than herself and Olivia, even in full range of her senses that were currently sweeping the area at the thought of something being even slightly off about the situation here. There was, in theory, nothing to worry about.
"Lyra, dear. Is something the matter?" Olivia prompted, seeing that Lyra was visibly on edge. Her eyes were darting around quickly and it seemed that paranoia was starting to take a hold on her. By contrast, Olivia was the picture of patience; she could not have cared if things were off-kilter. Nothing here was bothering her in the least. She was calm, moving around her tiny house with little more than refined grace as if nothing were wrong. To her perception, nothing in fact was wrong at all.
"I think it's just my mind playing tricks on me, Olivia. Maybe I'm just... tired. I don't know."
The older woman offered the young mage a warm smile. "It certainly seems like it. You haven't touched your tea, and it almost looks like you're expecting trouble." Never mind that Olivia knew exactly what it felt like to be constantly searching for danger over your shoulder. There was a certain expectation that, at a certain point in your career, there was going to be something that did in fact keep hunting you down - this was not it. Lyra was getting to that point. She was not a strong mage, she was not an experienced mage in the real sense of the word. However, Olivia had been through hell and back, which was now rather evident when it showed through her totally relaxed demeanour. Nothing could faze her.
Lyra sighed, shoulders drooping as she did so. However, in that moment and at the quiet prompting of her companion, it was as if she could feel the tension running away from her as she breathed out. Had she been holding that in the entire time? It was absolutely possible that Lyra was losing it and was now searching for trouble over her shoulder. Truth was, since her last conversation with Rela, things seemed different. Like her perception of danger was spiking and she had to search out places that she did not know just in case the blade was waiting around the corner for her and she needed to fight it. Rela's blades were in fact that dangerous, that fast, that there was no "I am. Truthfully, the last time I ran into someone I really thought I could consider a friend for a long time, I... things went poorly, and I regret it a lot, because I exploded on her. I think about it all the time. Trouble is, she's so dangerous that..." Another sigh. "I've made a very deadly enemy. I wish I didn't."
Little did Lyra know that said enemy could hear every word, see every sigh. It would have been so, so incredibly different were Lyra to know that fact. Gosh, would it have been so unbearably different.
At that, Olivia rose to go and fetch them another pair of cups of tea from the still-warm kettle, decanting over her freshly-plucked tea leaves into the wonderfully polished and patterned cups forming the tea set. Once prepared, they were placed on the table at their seats, to which Lyra murmured her thanks and contemplated the swirling cup of amber liquid before her. It was beautiful, fragrant, delicious - things all good tea should be. It was a welcome distraction from the storm that was brewing inside her mind, one that threatened to rage and consume her senses as she searched for things that were simply not there.
"Was she important to you?" Olivia asked, raising the cup to her mouth, ostensibly to take a sip - but to mask her face as Lyra answered. This was a very measured response to the young lady whose inner conflict was now beginning to show itself. She was intereted, curious; this was something that mirrored her own growth as a young mage, many moons ago. Everyone had their own fair share of enemies, and obviously she was no exception; this was just Lyra's way of learning the importance of being able to handle proper conflict. Olivia was more than glad to lend a willing ear and listen to her burdens. It sounded like she'd been carrying them for quite some time with no real outlet.
"She was important to me. Not the other way around. I considered her a friend for a long time, but I guess I learned that she didn't feel the same about me. Honestly, I..." A pause. "I know I'm foolishly naive sometimes, and this is certainly one of those times. She'd laugh at me for saying it, because as far as she's concerned I'm as foolish as they come."
Oh, Lyra. If only you knew.
Olivia's cup lowered, tapping gently against the china of the teacup beneath it. "It happens to everyone," she bagan, preparing to drop a gentle truth bomb on the pink-haired girl in the middle of her own internal struggle. "There is no shame in trusting the people you surround yourself with. The only shame is not adjusting your expectations after that trust is broken."
That was sufficient to give Lyra pause and reflect back upon how she'd handle that situation. On one hand, could she consider herself having adjusted those expectations of Rela? Surely, knowing the truth of her nature, she could at least say that she wouldn't just let her back into her life and her heart so easily. They come into conflict far too much morally for that to happen-- surely. Yet, there was still just enough of a shred of doubt in her heart that she'd want her friend back...
Lyra sat motionlessly, staring down into the cup before her. She had not taken a single sip of the liquid. All she could do was cast her emerald eyes down at it, knowing full well that her weakness here was going to be her undoing.
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