"Have you considered… diversifying your trade? You have a lot of transferable skills, you know. "
Lavanya winces and drops a bottle causing her to get flusted
“I know how to kill. It’s all I really know.” Speaking with a coldness in her tone Weiss frowned, moving to adjust her weapons again.
“Oh, and how to hide a body. And how to lie. And how to make really poor life choices.” Which a pause following her words she shrugged, flashing both Aryana and Lavanya a smile even as her feet carried her to the door. “If you’ll excuse me.”
Carys’s gaze follows her friend until she’s out of sight. “I’d like to know what damohi it is that thinks it’s their call to make, who’s broken and who’s not. I hope it’s nice, up on their pedastal. We’re all just doing what we need to do to get through whatever gravel happens.”
“I think Ari is right though,” Seb says. “We’re all a little broken, just like the world we live in. But we’ve got to keep the coals burning, and I’d think that’d be a lot easier with everyone united towards a common cause.”
She laughs, a short bitter chuckle. “But I’ll be cracked if anyone can agree on what that is.”
“Yo nei sasa. Does anyone know what they’re doing? Risha told me I need to decide what I want and to make it happen and the best I can come up with right now is that I wanna drink and be where it’s warm. Is that enough of a common goal for the moment?”
“I think we can all agree on that,” Seb says. “Speaking of being where it’s warm, I should get back to work. Horseshoes won’t forge themselves, after all. You all know where to find me if you need me for something.”
Seb stands to leave, but hesitates at the door. “If anyone sees Lissa, could you send her my way please? I need to ask her about something.”
Left alone at the table with Aryana, Carys shifts uncomfortably in her seat, then tops up her mug- It’s this or braving the rain, after all.
“I like what you said about transferable skills. You’re right. I’m a very good poisoner - had to be, Aunt Amalia decreed it- but that was a decent basis for understanding how other parts of alchemy work. Weiss is clever. There’s got to be something.”
“Oh there’s bound to be. Weiss is actually very good at a lot of things, but she doesn’t seem to see them as important enough to be a replacement”.
Concern flashes across Aryana’s face
“I’ve never known Weiss to seek the help of a god before now. Either something is very wrong, or Weiss has a plan she isn’t sharing.”
Carys frowns. “Both,” she says decisively after a moment’s consideration. “Weiss has more plans than anyone could guess at any given time, and it’s very unlike her to care what a god would think.” She touches her Skybreaker pendant. “Showing up Carrimorne was what started all of this.”
"Oh yes, that took guts. And then standing up to the Queen of Crows… well… I’m glad there were white path there to stop that turning into a blood bath. "
Aryana looks drained
“My first instinct is still to go for a weapon, even after all this time away from Namassis. And she was right there, with her back to us, telling us she was going to kill the person responsible for getting me out of that life. I suppose I own the white path a debt now. Twice over, for bringing Risha back.”
At the mention of Namassis a look of intense sadness crosses Carys’s face, but she takes a deep breath and shrugs it off. A second later, though, she looks at Aryana and says; “It has a way of getting in you, doesn’t it? Namassis. Even when you’re not there and you’re not playing by the same rules you still… Can’t quite believe that you’re not. Like, you know it but you don’t feel it, sa-sa? Worse for you than for others, I won’t insult you by pretending to know what it’s like for you but… I think I understand. Sort of. Maybe.” She shakes her head.
“Do you think you owe them? How do you think you’ll settle that?”
Lavanya speaks up from folding bandages “you dont owe the whitenpath anything. We do what we do to prove to ourselves and others that there is a way humans can work together that doesnt involve picking up weapons. If you truly feel like a debt is owed then incourage others to find peaceful solutions to probelms”
"I think perhaps you need to cut Namassis out of you. Or lock it in a room, and ignore the screams. "
Aryana smiles slightly. When Lavanya speaks she turns to face her
"This is yet another of those things where I keep doing what I’m doing, and have to sacrifice almost nothing then? "
"Well, I suppose that’s good enough evidence that I’m heading in the right direction. Or barrelling downhill at an alarming speed. "
“If you feel like you’re scaraficing nothing, then you are surronded by good people. I hope its always that easy for you.”
Aryana stares at Lavanya a moment, then shrugs and turns away
“Its good to be home, and I’m not making plans to leave any time soon. In fact, I might just have sworn an oath that would mean staying here forever.”
“An oath to who? What happens if you can’t keep it?”
“Hawthorne, Aleskia, and I swore the oath of the Keepers.”
Aryana stops to consider her words
“Bad things. Bad things happen if the Keepers fail to keep their oath.”
Lissa doesn’t come to the tavern that night, or for the ones that follow. People will see her out and about, almost never alone, helping with funeral organisation, carrying supplies and gifts to various households, comforting families. The village is hurt, and she’s their healer