A silver-scaled lizard raised an endearing cry. It was about the size of a loaf of bread, with two leathery wings growing from its shoulders, ending in a set of hooked claws.
Without taking her eyes away from the book she was reading, the girl sitting beside the Wyvern gave it a small stroke along its back. It gurgled happily, then curled up to go back to sleep.
The girl who had somehow acquired a Wyvern for a pet had thick white hair tied up in pigtails and thin glasses over her pale blue eyes. She had very light-colored skin and wore well-made robes, that complemented her hair and eyes, with silver laces. Also, though they were clearly robes, her dressings were styled according to modern fashion, looking more beautiful than austere.
Despite this girl clearly being a Human, the text she was reading was written in Elvish. Her eyes traced the words with serene interest.
By this example and others, one might consider that the most frightening thing is the anger they themselves can display. Minya Velin lost everything he had built to that anger, when he should have finally secured a stable safety for his tribe.
We must be wary of anger, it seems. But it seems also that the force driving the destructive power behind anger lies elsewhere. Wrath is often linked with anger, and there exists in this world a Wrath Lord. Perhaps our pursuit merits turning our attentions to an unsavory place.--
The carriage gave a lurch: the sign of moving from dirt road to stone pavement. Raising her eyes to look out the window, the girl saw the outermost district of Andorin city, and she carefully closed the valuable text.
Standing up to exit the carriage, the girl demonstrated herself to be short and flat-chested, but even a careless person would manage to notice the elegant sword at her waist.
“Marilyn!” An emotional voice called out from the girl’s blind spot, and she was promptly embraced when she turned to locate the source. A taller woman held her tightly, burying her face in two soft mounds.
“Sister Silvia,” the girl said flatly in a muffled voice.
The eldest daughter of the Sartiella house did not release her grip. Instead, she clutched the second eldest even more tightly, twisting the both of them as she fidgeted.
“I'm so sorry we had to call you home for something like this! Huu!” Silvia choked back tears.
“Marilyn!” From the house, another woman came running, almost as tall as the first. This one had a more modest chest, but she also forced her way into the hug. “Thank you so much for coming!”
“Sister Claudia,” the girl said in through abundantly-filled fabric. The little silver Wyvern she brought with her hovered in the air nearby and released a worried, infantile roar.
“Oh! Sorry, Marilyn. I got too emotional,” Silvia apologized, and both girls finally returned her freedom of movement.
“How are you dealing with the news? Are you feeling okay?”
Marilyn adjusted her glasses which had been forced out of place. “I'm alright. More importantly, when are we departing?”
“In two more days,” Claudia said, putting on a firm expression. “There are still a few preparations that need to be made, but you came right on time.”
“I see. Then, if it’s alright with you, this trip doubles as my vacation, and I'd like to have some quiet to read in.”
“Ah, I see,” Silvia straightened her dress, just to have something to do with her hands. Though they were faint, she seemed to have developed stress circles under her eyes. “Of course, you’ve been working hard. Take some time to rest.”
“Then thank you.” Marilyn bowed her head and walked toward the manor, the silver Wyvern following behind her.
Claudia pushed her short blonde hair behind her ear. “Do you think she’s really okay?”
But Silvia could only smile unsurely. “She’s always put her extra energy into studying. As long as she has an outlet, she’ll be alright, I think.”
Meanwhile, Marilyn withdrew to the drawing room. The curtains were shut and there was no one else present, so she made herself at home in her favorite rocking chair where she used to read while watching her younger siblings play.
The old book made a crisp sound as she separated the stiff pages, and the small Wyvern settled atop the back of her chair to nap.
But I think you will conclude, as I have, after considering all the evidence, that there is no nefarious force either causing, or benefitting from, your anger. We experience anger purely as a consequence of our complex minds which were created with the intention of us experiencing it, as I have said previously with respect to sadness.
So although we’ll be visiting a dark discourse in a moment, I do not wish for the reader to despair. Take comfort knowing that your anger is natural and impermanent, and we will consider later how you may expedite its departure.
The sun has already set, yet we haven't left to fight the Fomors.
I suppose it was awfully late in the day to call a war council. Should I have just flown off on my own after all?
Littered around my feet were small lumps of quartz, lapis lazuli, and marble, carved to resemble the heads of roses, small turtles, rabbits, and other pleasing things.
I looked them over with a sigh and scattered the collection back into dust.
No. I can't make my little sister worry like that.
Doing something I used to enjoy was supposed to help me relax, but it just left a bitter taste in my mouth.
But I regret not leaving immediately to fight. I regret swallowing my anger. I did it for momma, and I did it for Fiara, but will I have to keep doing it? Family isn't about self-sacrifice.
I sighed again, but there’s nothing around for me to take my feelings out on. I mustn't hurt the people and I mustn't damage the city, especially considering that it’s alive in its own right. Since fighting was impossible here, I left to go see momma.
I found her having returned to her room in the castle.
“Hey. Did the war council end?” I said from the doorway.
Momma smiled, apparently not at all surprised to see me.
“We decided to take a break for the night. There are a handful of things to discuss tomorrow. More importantly, do you need something, baby?”
“Advice, I guess,” I muttered, inviting myself in and dropping into the nearest chair. “Do Orc mothers do that sort of thing?”
Momma pressed her lips tightly, “I haven't given you much in that area, have I? Other mothers give advice. I was worried about saying too much.”
“What would be too much, I wonder? Well, whatever. I’m having conflicting feelings about this war.”
“... Oh?” Momma frowned slightly.
“I had legitimate reasons to start it, and I have legitimate reasons to finish it, but I feel like those reasons aren't really why I'm doing it. Earlier today, I was ready to leave on my own and bring violence to the enemy, just because some human who I barely even care about was killed by them.”
Momma’s expression had relaxed, and she listened patiently. “I see.”
“I excused it before because I thought it was the Holy spirits inside me that were making me emotional about it, but just earlier I found out that my aptitude for Demonic spirits is even better than my affinity for Holy ones. I don't know why I'm so worked up lately, and suppressing my anger feels dissatisfying, so I’d like to just not be angry in the first place. I don't know what advice I need, but if you know something good, I'd love to hear it.”
“I see,” momma said again. She sat on her bed and put her elbows on her knees, lacing her fingers and resting her chin on top. “This is my fault. Your brother was one matter, but I should have told you what it means to be the Orc Lord much sooner. I was wrong to think that doing it this way would worry you less.”
“It’s something to do with the Orc Lord again?” I know it’s a big deal and all, but why do things keep coming back here over and over? “Please tell me everything you know about it this time.”
“Yeah. I guess I should start from the very beginning, with the War Lord, Irmethes...”