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kneel at different altars, but we all desire the same

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She was cruel.

All Kyle was trying to do was reassure her. Help her. Of course her non-existent power would be impressive to him, but it was nothing at all in the grand scheme of things. She knew that and he couldn’t see it. No one could except her.

But she lashed out. He was finally seeing what she truly was like.

And the others were seeing it too.

It was only a matter of time now.

“You probably never expected to hear my opinion, eh?”

Turning quickly, she was shocked to see Nanaly standing there smiling at her.

They really hadn’t spoken much, but she learned quickly the girl disagreed strongly with her about certain beliefs. Unlike Nanaly, she could see the good Elraine did. She could see that people weren’t suffering so much anymore. She wanted them to be happy. If that meant taking away their identities then so be it. But despite the archer turning her back on that way of life, she didn’t seem to hold any resentment at Reala herself. She’d figured out so quickly she was a descendant of Fortuna and still didn’t treat her any different. It was strange.

“Well right now, your mind is invaded by both of these thoughts… am I wrong?” Nanaly inquired, tilting her head slightly to her.

She knew already knew the answer, but she confirmed anyway.

“To understand each other. To realise our mistakes. To eventually agree. If we didn’t really care about that person we wouldn’t argue, right?”

Reala had never thought of it that way. To love and care about someone so much that you cause distress to them. Driving a wedge between you by conflict, arguments and yelling. She didn’t understand. Elraine taught her to erase all suffering. Surely people would be happier not disagreeing so violently with each other? Not having to experience the pain of insulting the one you loved the most. 

“Arguing hurts and it’s painful. But once that passes, you can make up and be happy.”

She was so sincere and strong in her beliefs that Reala was almost convinced right there and then.

And yet…

 

 

A part of her had thought maybe her words might have gotten through to Reala but as soon as she woke up seeing she wasn’t in her bed it hit her instantly that no matter the sincerity, her words could not have been heard when she was feeling that alone.

I’m coming Reala. You don’t have to do this alone.

She wouldn’t let her feel like that again.

 

 

Being in this alternate world she could feel herself being the odd one out again. She thought maybe it would always be like this, her being able to see the good in what Elraine had done for these people which the rest of the group couldn’t. Of course, it wasn’t right to not let these people have any knowledge or life outside of the domes. Of course it wasn't right for them never to be allowed outside but… They seemed safe. Content. All the people they encountered they were happy, just living their lives. 

Nanaly didn’t make it a secret what she felt about this. Neither did the others, but out of their group, Reala knew she must be the one the most strongly opposed. She’d lived her whole life with the Sacred Order of Fortuna influencing her life, she knew it first-hand, better than the others who’d only caught a glimpse.

And yet…

“So, let’s try and understand her. I don’t want her to suffer all alone and run away again.”

Nanaly kept surprising her.

If anyone had the right to hate her brief moments of bravery to try bring up how there was good to this world, it was Nanaly.

But she didn’t.

What had she said to her before? It’s because we love each other that we fight. So, when you don’t understand, don’t just let it go.

She wouldn’t let go just yet then.

 

 

“Here!”

“What’s this?”

“The jungle. There were a lot of cocoa beans there and I’ve never had the chance to get any; they were always so expensive back where I lived. I'd wanted to make chocolate for Lou but well... Anyway, I thought I’d take the chance and pick up some while I could y’know?”

Reala blinked and looked down at the handmade chocolate she was pushing towards her.

“These are... just for you okay?”

“Why just me? I…”

“Reala!”

She snapped back up.

“I cook meals for everyone of course, but I went out of my way to make these for you. Not Loni or Kyle. You. You aren’t alone, okay? Will you accept them?”

She’d promised not to let go. To keep going and have faith in them all. And… this was proof right? This was sincere?

“Okay.”

 

 

She still had doubts but they weren’t as intense anymore. They weren’t plaguing her every interaction, nor did she feel out of place in the group now.

But habits die hard.

“Why are you asking that? You’ve already been saved by your hero after all.”

“Yes… that’s true…”

But there was that nagging thought. Always at the back of her mind. The what ifs.

“But there may be a time when he chooses not to…”

For a second, Nanaly didn’t respond, just a frown painting her face. She’d said something wrong again. As she was about to open her mouth, hush more ‘nevermind’s or ‘nothing!’s, Nanaly interrupted her.

“Then I’ll come save you.”

 

 

“You’re going to disappear; you know that better than I do but...” she faltered.

“There’s no other way?”

A small shake of her head. The red head looked down at the pale hands almost doll like interlinked with hers. They would be gone soon.

“Then I won’t forget you.”

Reala smiled at her.

Sorry Nanaly.

 

 

She was making chocolate for Lou. With spare gald pushed to the side each month, she could sometimes save up enough to treat him occasionally. Maybe she was spoiling him with this, it was handmade and all after all but really, she didn’t get to do this often. Might as well take the chance. 

Huh?

Nanaly stopped suddenly looking at the crushed beans in her bowl and came to a blank.

There was a feeling that came through her she couldn't identify. Something important that she just couldn’t get a grasp on. A name on her lips that she did not know nor could say. Then it passed as quickly as it happened.

Strange.

She went back to making the chocolate.