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If Aureus was nothing else, he was a man of his word unless something catastrophic came into play. Which meant that because of the fact that he gave Ophelia his word on retrieving her amulet, he was bound to those words and to do as he promised. Even if he wasn’t bound by his own word he couldn’t betray Ophelia, not again. Which was exactly why he was currently standing in the magical vault made for only the most powerful and important of Ailward treasures. Granted somethings locked away here were due to their very nature and the fact that the powers they held were too dangerous for any to hold. In order to maintain balance something had to be locked away, never again would it be living being though.
The moment he touched the safety box which was holding Ophelia’s amulet his body fell as he was sent within his own mind. In order to be able to unlock something so incredibly pure you were forced to fight your way through some of your most painful memories an if you couldn’t make peace with them then you would be trapped in your own mind for eternity. This vault was created in order to insure it was far from easy for any to get their hands on anything locked away here. Which from time to time included his own staff. The memories came over him in tide waves which threatened to make him lose what sanity he had left. From his father trying to kill him, from running for his life with his mom, to the day she died, to once more being forced to run, to finding his father standing over his former wife and baby girl, then to the night the Isle changed as they ruled to lock away the Celestials and break whatever bond and agreement they once had. The memories crashed one right after the other, not allowing him a mental break. Which was why it was so difficult to get something from this vault. Given how unstable his mind had been as of late he wasn’t sure he was going to be able to do this. As his memories shifted from good time with Ophelia, long talks, to the shattering of his mind upon Raven’s death and then the recent expression of betrayal and pain on her face before she showed him what she had seen on the Isle of cry.
As he managed to walk his way through all the memories his eyes snapped out as trails of tears rolled down his cheeks. Wiping them away he slowly sat up, pressing a hand to his head feeling as if he had an incredibly intense hangover, nausea trying to overwhelm him. Taking a few moments just to breathe he did his best to calm down which was a slow process before he was able to stand up on his own shaky legs and open the now unlocked safe box that only he could currently access. Within the safe box was another, far more intricate and hand carved wooden box, lined with soft purple velvet. Pushing the lid slightly open with his thumbs he was able to see the amulet within just to make sure it truly was there.
Closing the box back up he slide it into his inner blazer pocket where he knew it would be safe before closing the door of the safe box and leaving the vault now that he had procured the item he was in need of. The Aspect had contacted Ophelia and explained he would return what was hers on neutral ground and he had no need to bring anyone else with him and he hoped and she didn’t feel that need either. They were both seemingly trying to at least be civil with one another and not be the cause of their own demise since something else seemed to be waiting in the wings for a moment of weakness. It was only fair that Aureus at least give the Celestials their best hope for survival yet, especially when the Ailward might very well need them as an ally if that became a need. Though Reus knew Ophelia would always place her people’s needs first and Reus couldn’t argue that way of thinking as a leader.
Driving himself to the public park, he found a spot to park the car before getting out and stretching slightly. It was a rather hot summer day and the sun blaring down from the sky was in no way helping the matter. Those he passed were sweating something fierce and he knew it was the sort of day that most would rather be inside. Despite how hot the day was the slight breeze was at least making it tolerable despite the three piece suit which was far from casual. It also seemed to lock in warmth but he needed to feel I his element and dressing formally was how he usually achieved that. Taking a seat on one of the park benched there was large tree with full branches for shade over head and it gave him a chance to cool down before Ophelia arrived since the guilt he would soon be feeling around her would only make the heat feel worse.
There had been many moments in Ophelia’s long life, some were forgettable and as the years passed they faded away like the roll of the tide would erase footprints in the sand, others she held onto because they were important, moments she met significant people, times her emotions had soared to levels she never thought possible, heartbreak that stuck with her and reminded her of the harsh reality of the life she lived, moments when she laughed so hard she cried or the solemn moments where she stared up at the sky and questioned them, why her? Why was she the one chosen to perform such an important role and was she up to the challenge? Those memories all interlinked and made her into the person she was, someone who had seen the roller coaster of life pretty intimately.
But there was one single moment that began it all, the feeling of heat all around her and conscious slowly seeping in, she couldn’t move her limbs or open her eyes but suddenly she felt the sensation of being, of existing, air filling up her lungs and making her gasp for her very first breath. She hadn’t known what was coming, who she was, where she was going or anything but there was a warmth that surrounded her which told her to hold on tight and that she was going to be fine. The next moments were a blur, fading into darkness again for a while before she eventually awakened. She was laying there in a barren field, in the center of a very large crater which had clearly taken the impact of her fall. When she sat up, her eyes were immediately taken to the glowing pendant on her chest, the only possession she had on her in those moments and the one thing a frightened, just fallen celestial could hold onto. At the time she had no idea what it meant or what it did but touching against it with her fingertips soothed her, told her everything was going to be okay and gave her the strength to get to her feet and continue on with her life.
That amulet had been a part of her since that moment, it was the thing that guided her, the voice to the sky which told her whether she was doing the right thing, it was her tool which she used to care for her people and ensure they were as safe as she could possibly make her. In a way, it was like the physical representation of the beating heart in her chest and being without it for over 100 years. It was torture. She wasn’t sure anyone could truly understand what it felt like for someone to take that from her, nor would she want anyone to go through it. Perhaps that’s why she had done her best not to get her hopes up too high when it came to the prospect of getting it back, not wanting to feel the sting of disappointment that came with it but there was a part of her deep down that wanted to believe Aureus would do the right thing.
Which is why she had agreed to the audience. Informed the faction members closer to her that she was going in case it was a setup, but the public place Aureus chose did give her some confidence that she would at least be safe, or as safe as a celestial could be anyway. It didn’t bode well for her that there was a lot of strange happenings in the city, people doing things they don’t remember doing and generally tensions rising because of the unknown. In her gut, she had a feeling it was all somehow linked to the fall of Skye, first seeing people unable to control themselves on the Isle and now the same thing happening here, it seemed whatever was causing this was following the Ailward family wherever they went and while the cynic in her wanted to suggest they go on the run, it wasn’t just them being targeted. Which somehow meant every supernatural in the city was in this together.
Ophelia didn’t drive and so she had decided to walk across the city to the mutual location, though she quickly realized that may be a mistake as soon as she left the castle and felt the temperature change hit her like a ton of bricks. Still, she made her way, glad that she had put on sunscreen before she left until she eventually reached the location they had agreed to meet, she was a little sweaty and uncomfortable by the time she arrived but she had dressed appropriately for the weather in a floral sundress and sandals and she blended in well with the humans milling around the area. It didn’t take her long to spot him sitting alone on one of the benches underneath the row of trees lining the edge of the park. She took a deep breath and walked in his direction and without making a sound or announcing her presence, took a seat beside him “You’d think a star would be immune to the effects of the sun” she commented and then wiped at her brow as she leaned against the cool wood of the bench.
Deep ocean eyes were closed as his face was tilted up towards the tree branches above him, for a short time he had watched the sunlight dancing through the breaks in the foliage before doing his best to relax. Unfortunately every time he closed his eyes recently he was assaulted with the memories both Ophelia and Octavia had shown him, his mind trying to make sense of them both. However there was one face within Ophelia’s memories which cut him the most to see. Since the fall of the Isle he had known Lailah was likely dead, it was one of the deaths that much like Vlad’s, Ery hadn’t felt. But the memory had solidified what he already knew. Though he hadn’t shown it at the time, showing only a general sorrow for all of those lost, he had later grieved alone within his room in the mansion for the woman he had loved. To lose Sofia and Nina had sent him into such a dark place that for a time he had in fact lost himself, with Lailah, he didn’t have the luxury since they had all lost people they loved and cared for and all they could do was show support and press on. Though that was much easier said than done.
Hearing the soft, soothing and flowing sound of her voice, Reus opened his eyes and sat up straighter than he had been. “The sun seems to have its own set of rules no matter who or what you are. Perhaps it would have been a better day for an in door meeting but I figured I would leave it somewhere open in case you decided I can’t be trusted and brought people to have your back.” He knew that she was giving him an inch at the moment but trust was something that was unlikely between them for some time. “At least some people are enjoying the day.” He stated as he watched a couple walk by them and then a family playing catch in a nearby field.
“Though I know you didn’t come to enjoy such a bright and hot day with me.” Since they both knew that wouldn’t be something she would want to do by choice. It was strange because it almost felt like the box in his pocket was humming or vibrating as if the amulet inside knew that it’s true owner was near and wished to return to her. Truthfully seeing Ophelia without it caused a strange unease within him as if even his subconscious knew that it was meant to be with her always.
Reaching into his inside blazer pocket he pulled out the box which has been designed specifically for the amulet, smaller stars delicately craved into the lid of the box. However there were larger stars as well connected with a thin line, the stars which created the constellation she had fallen from. “The last time we spoke I gave you my word that the next time we met I would return an item of yours in good faith. I seems well passed the time it should be reunited with it’s owner.” He said as he held the hand crafted box out to her. A wise man worry over the outcome of such a thing but the only thing tying the Celestials and the Ailward together right now was the Amulet. Once it was returned all Celestial property which had been locked away would be returned.
Hopefully it would be the beginning of a bridge between the two species but only time would be able to tell. It was a large step in the right direction though since he knew the importance of the amulet and why Ophelia wished it to be returned other than the fact that it belonged to her. The two had once spoken at great lengths about the connection it held to Ophelia along with what it could do, though he knew that for Ophelia it was less about what it could do and what it meant to her. “Seems something worth enduring this heat for.”
Some might call her a fool for making the decision to come here alone and meet with Aureus, to even pay him any time at all after the decision he had made. But Ophelia wasn’t completely blind-sighted to both sides of the coin, she knew the decision made was one made in a rushed way, she knew that while a lot of people saw the aspects as figureheads and nothing more, they were people and people got scared and made decisions they may later regret. She couldn’t just fix things because that wasn’t her decision to make, forgiveness wasn’t exactly hers to give when she hadn’t even been one of those who were locked up. But offering Aureus the chance to make things right, to try and find a middle ground where their two factions weren’t on opposites sides, that was something she could try to do.
“It always makes me wonder if it’s looking after us somehow, trying to tell us things” she laughed, the sun was actually a star after all and while she was pretty certain the sun would never be able to fall to earth and become a human embodiment, the earth was kinda like it’s prodigy in a way. When he spoke about lack of trust she simply nodded her head, it wasn’t incorrect for him to say she had considered the possibility that this was a trap. But she also knew Aureus better than most did and he was a man of his word, which had given her the confidence to come here despite the moments of doubts. She watched the people around them, enjoying themselves, running and playing, it made her smile “Sometimes I think it would be nice to be oblivious” she admitted with a roll of her shoulders, things would be much easier that way she imagined “Just a normal person living a normal life”.
He was right though, she didn’t come here today because she wanted to spend the afternoon with him, frankly being around him still had he on edge and her emotions were kicking up a storm, she was always trying to reconcile between the person she knew on Skye, the person who made the decision to punish her people for something that wasn’t their fault and the person she saw now and it was incredibly difficult. She was completely dumbfounded when he pulled the box out of his pocket and held it out to her though, he didn’t need to say a word for her to know what was inside, she could feel it deep in her chest. She didn’t have words and so she slowly reached out for the box to take it. She just sat there for a moment holding it in her hands, enjoying the warmth and familiarity it gave her that felt like it had been missing for so long, like her heart was returned to her after many many years.
It was a big gesture of trust on his part, she knew that, since this was the last bargaining chip that the Ailward faction had to actually hold over hers. That didn’t mean they weren’t a faction to be very aware of though, history could easily repeat after all and she was always wary of that “Thank you” she spoke the words sincerely as she opened the box and ran her fingers over the familiar feeling necklace and broke into a wistful smile, she closed the box again and glanced over at him. “I know I didn’t say anything at the time, I guess I didn’t want to press on an already open wound but” she pressed her lips together “I’m sorry for your loss” she knew a lot about losing people, as he knew from watching her lose so many of her celestials over the years in her memories. She also knew from their time on Skye how much Aureus lost in the past and now to lose his wife too, she couldn’t even imagine how he found the will to keep going.
Regardless of the past and the pain they had caused one another, the Celestials and the Ailward were bond to one another, not like the Valkry and the Celestials, but they had a shared history. Which was why no matter the thoughts and opinions that others might have and even how much their heads screamed at them both not to trust each other, they were here on their own. Deep down he believed that both he and Ophelia understood why they made the decisions that they did but forgiveness wasn’t as easy to come by as understanding. Past events had already happened and their was no changing that, so Aureus was trying to make the future better with peace between both factions if possible even though it was no longer his position to push for. It was Aureus’ decision so he wasn’t going to lay the clean up entirely at Ery’s feet.
“The sun and moon do both know and see far more than we do and should they ever give us advice somehow it seems like something we should heed.” It was highly unlikely but it was also true. They both knew the sun was the biggest star near them but it existed to benefit them and it seemed unlikely it would leave it’s place in the universe anytime soon. The Aspect of Time was glad that Ophelia had come alone though since it was easier to be just himself around her than the Aspect of Time. Maybe Celestials had reason to hate him and he didn’t want that sort of energy when he was doing his best to mend things instead of making them worse. As the two observed those enjoying their lives around them he couldn’t help but nod at Ophelia’s words. “Neither of use every had the luxury. Not false sense of ignorance about the world we were apart of, able to enjoy every moment instead of being hunted or hated.” But for them a normal life was nothing more than a beautiful dream that would disappear as sleep left them and consciousness kicked back in. “It a nice thought though, a dream well outside of our reach.” The day that either of them were less than their current species or state of being would be the day they died.
It was almost easy for Aureus to speak to Ophelia as if they were still friends since they had been for so long. And maybe for a time there had been the chance for something more but that time had passed and now all he could hope was to one day be considered her friend again. It seemed like such a simple thing but he knew that with the damage done it was going to be far easier said than done. Perhaps Ophelia hadn’t believed that he would keep to his word so soon but he had of course brought her amulet. As she took the box he released it into her hands without any sort of resistance as she took her time holding it and studying it seeming to get used to having it back with her again.
Without the necklace, Ophelia and the Celestials in no way had to assist the Ailward if needed, it was no longer an item to hold over them. That he knew meant a lot to Ophelia sine he had the feeling she feared what he may one day ask for in exchange for the amulet. “You’re welcome. I told you that it wasn’t mine to have and it does me no good but it does return some stability and strength to your faction and now seems the time you need it more than any other.” The Celestials didn’t have to be allies to the Ailward but right now they couldn’t afford to have them as enemies. Hearing the next words to leave Ophelia’s mouth Aureus felt himself gulping down to try and swallow the emotions which rose and tried to choke him. Clearing his throat he knew there was no point in pretending like it didn’t still affect him since Ophelia did know him better than most inside and outside of the Ailward did. “Thank you. Like wise I’m sorry for yours as well.” It was a different loss but that didn’t make either less than the other since they were both hurt by it. “If nothing else I’ll like to keep us both from losing anyone else in our lives. Or at least to try.”
When he spoke about listening to the advice that the sun and moon gave them she nodded her head slightly, everything seemed to eventually tie back to the sun, it was the closest star to the earth, one which was believed to have granted the ability to use magic on the earth and therefore the very reason the supernatural existed “You’re right, the last thing we would ever want to do is go against quite possibly the most powerful sources we get to see with our eyes” she’d never seen the Gods for herself so she couldn’t speak on that but she definitely felt a certain amount of power from looking up at the sun. “You’re right, it is a pretty dream” she nodded her head softly and gazed over the distance, people looked so happy, they didn’t have the weight of the world on their shoulders, they didn’t have to worry about supernatural wars or what might happen if a timeline was changed, they just, were.
She noted the way it was easy to fall into old patterns, for just brief moments to forget that 100 years had passed, 100 years she spent alone, trying to find a solution to the problem Aureus had created. For a while, it just felt like your average warm afternoon on Skye, watching as the guards played a silly game with a frisbee and wound down after missions. It was sitting and waiting for the sun to set so she could watch the stars begin to appear in the sky, connecting the little lights in the sky to make constellations, pointing them out and talking about the meaning behind each one. She would be lying if she said she didn’t miss simpler days like that, of feeling like she belonged there “Feels almost like yesterday, doesn’t it?” she commented noting the wistful look in his eyes which matched her own.
Holding the necklace in her hands felt familiar and warm, she remembered the exact way it felt hanging against her chest, pulsing in tune with her heartbeat because to everyone else the amulet was just a rock but when it was with her it became so much more than that “If it provides you any comfort, I really hope I never have to use it again” there was no point going back in time right now, the timelines had all set, there was no one to save but if any of her people were lost again, she may need to and she wasn’t going to promise him otherwise. But it wasn’t just for going back in time, it was for strengthening her and her people, bringing them the power they needed to learn to fight back, something almost foreign celestials but in her opinion, necessary. She saw the way he reacted to her sentiment and averted her gaze not wanting to impose on what was clearly a difficult thought for him “It’s sad that loss has become such a constant in our lives” despite how much they fought like hell to prevent it.
His words made her nod her head “I can meet you halfway there, too many people have died, no one deserves that fate” she believed that strongly, she could feel angry and betrayed but she would never seek harm to people, how could she when she had been on the receiving end of being hunted and chased so often. “Which is why I have called an audience with Sariah to sign the peace contract” she pursed her lips “Of course there will be much to discuss and adapt but, I figured you should know before it comes through the news” she was nervous to sign it but they’d been here two years now and her people didn’t seem to have plans to leave so she had to secure that safety in their name.
Even though Aureus had met the gods centuries ago, he knew that there was more than just them which dictated the way the world worked. If it was just the gods then there would be no need for the Aspects let alone the Celestials who were clearly driven by another force. Aureus had learned that there were many forces that played into life and the gods had a hand in it as so many other forces did as well. “Do you think that both the sun and moon could one day communicate with the world?” Was it something such as the Sun and Moon which did communicate with the Wayfinders? He didn’t know but it was an interesting thought since both so much more than either he or Ophelia could hope to see within their lifetimes. “It’s a dream we’ve both had but I’m not sure it’s something we should ever achieve. We both have far too much and too many relying on us for us to a normal and mortal life.” And even if he did have his mantle taken from him he wouldn’t get a normal life, he would pass on as he should have do so long ago.
The Aspect of Time truly wished that things could return to how they once were, and though that feeling was currently surrounding them, he knew that it wouldn’t stay, it couldn’t. Too much bad had touched them both and been caused by the other. Nothing could take back the things they had done or the pain and suffering which had come from it. However they could try not to allow it to eat them alive. “For me those memories are always there, still fresh. I wish things could so easily return to how they once were. Walks in the garden, late night conversations and questioning the world around us. Looking to the stars in the sky as if they would give us the guidance we so sorely needed. I can’t say that I don’t still look up at them from time to time but they no longer given me that feeling of warmth and confidence that they once did.” It seemed like even the celestial bodies who had yet to fall knew what he had done and it was a constant weight that he tried to remove from himself.
“We both hope that it will never have to be used again but I think we’re both enough of realists to know that possibility always lingers on the horizon. Now if that time comes you’ll at least have the ability to do what you need to.” The power the amulet gave Ophelia had made Aureus weary to return it but now was not the time to keep it from her. She needed it and her people needed to be at her full strength as did the Ailward since it was clear something was coming from them, hunting and watching them. A shiver went down his spine at the very idea but he knew that it was the truth. “A leader has ever remained untouched by lose, it clings to you and follows you but it only drowns you if you allow it to do so. I can’t allow the demons of my past and of things I can’t change to pulled me down to depths I can’t immerge from. Neither of us of can and one day we’ll find peace, at least I hope so since we eventually deserve that much.” Though he knew most never truly got what they deserved in life.
Nodding he knew that there were many things he and Ophelia may disagree on and likely always would but this was not one of them. They both just wanted the best for the world and for the city they now called home. As she spoke of Sariah and the peace treaty which had been drawn up before the Celestials had made this their home, he had no argument or words against such a thing. “I appreciate you telling me even though it truly is none of my business anymore. When I said you and your people deserve to be on the treaty and I wouldn’t speak against such a thing I meant it. This city is just as much your home as it is ours and if we can’t live peacefully together then the Ailward are not the species they’re meant to be.” They both knew the treaty wouldn’t solve all their issues but it was a start and would at least demand repercussions for anyone who hunted or attacked a Celestials since right now they were unprotected by the same rights as the other species barring the Niveis which had come to the city around the same time as the Celestials. Both seemed to be seeking asylum and peace which was something Aureus could respect. “At least you won’t be forced to see my face nor Ven’s at Ambassador meetings so that should at least make that part easier.”
Pausing he released a slow sigh, "I know I have no right to say it, but I miss you. I miss the way things were and I know I messed them up and I have no right to miss the past but I do. I never meant to hurt or betray you Ophelia or an entire species that placed their trust in the one group of people who should have always protected them." He wasn't one to apologize easily or always speak his mind directly but with Ophelia it was hard to do anything less.
“It would be pretty spectacular if they could” she commented thoughtfully and shrugged her shoulders “I’ve learned saying never is usually a mistake in the supernatural world, so I’ll go with maybe” she gave a light chuckle as her eyes turned to the sky, generally looking in the direction the sun was and pondering that thought for a while. “If that ever comes true then we’re either done something very very right or very wrong with our lives” honestly, she did believe there was more that came when your time ran out and she also believed everyone had their time, whether immortal or mortal.
She leaned back against the bench and crossed one of her legs over the other as he talked, if she closed her eyes right now she was sure she would be able to picture it, they had been friends then, close friends she might even say, equally kindred spirits “The problem with wishing is that it is a wasted thought, the past can’t be changed” she paused for a moment “Or rather it shouldn’t be, I’m sure you’ll agree with that” yes it was technically possible to go back in time and change the past but to do so, you first had to kill one of her people and given all the time she had seen people travel back, not a single time had there not been repercussions that ended in death, balance she supposed. “If it makes you feel better, I think they’re ignoring me too” she didn’t feel as connected to them as she usually did and she had no idea why.
“Yes, I’m not going to promise that I won’t use it because we both know things don’t work like that, none of this is simple or linked to word alone” often times when she went back to the past it wasn’t even intentionally, her guidance just sent her there for one reason or another and she was sure it would happen again. But that meant another celestial would die, which is something she hoped against with all her heart. Having it back had almost immediately strengthened her though, she could feel it inside like the sound of her beating heart, power flowed through her in a way that felt almost like a distant memory to her now. She looked over to him, she sensed sorrow in his voice, something she knew well because she had lost so much too “How does the old saying go? I bear it so that they don’t have to” she surmised with a slight nod of her head. It was truly remarkable how strong someone could be when they were protecting others from the same pain.
“Well I’d argue it is, considering you’ll have to agree to whatever terms are presented in the negotiations but” she shrugged a little “I’m not trying to gain anything but protection for them, something I’d argue they already have anyway but the formality won’t hurt” it was well overdue too, but she felt it was the right time, her people had told her several times in several ways now that they wanted to stay here and so she owed it to them to try and secure the safest life possible. She glanced up at him and chuckled “Yeah I saw the news that Ery is taking over” she spoke it softly, she didn’t think a change-up in leadership was a bad thing if she was honest, they needed a new perspective to move forward.
The next words he spoke stunned him for a moment and she let out a long breath as she processed what he was trying to tell her. She sighed and glanced over to him, she could see the sincerity on his face with made her expression falter “I guess in a strange way I do too” she responded and nodded her head slightly “Those times remind me of the first real home I ever had, the first time I ever felt safe” she didn’t need to finish the rest because it basically implied until the rug was pulled out from under her feet. “Here’s to hoping this one lasts and believing people can change” she spoke it softly and shielded her eyes from the sun as she looked out over the park.
“They likely far wiser than the likes of those I know and unbiased as well.” Which was something that it seemed the world could definitely use more of, including himself and he had no doubt that Ophelia would agree. “I will agree that you have a point on that one since stating such always seems to be my downfall.” It was strange to be having a civil conversation with the Celestial and it felt like old times and it felt good. Unlike most super natural beings, Aureus could decide when his time was up, unless he was somehow killed and he felt like he’d yet to outlive his usefulness. “In your case it would likely be doing something right when in mine, clearly it would be for doing something very, very wrong.” He was becoming better and making peace with the mistakes of the past and doing his best not to repeat them.
It wasn’t wrong to want things to have played out differently, to still have what they had lost, but Reus also knew that what was done was done. He had lost a very close friend and caused the hatred of an entire species over one very poor decision. “It wouldn’t be the first or last wasted thought that I’ve had Ophelia. The cost of history being rewritten and the past being changed, it’s never worth the cost, and it doesn’t wash away what’s been done.” Time after all was rather tricky and not something one just rewrote for their own benefit without drastic fallout. “You’re Wayfinder though, their personification of the leader of the Celestials on the earth, why would they ignore you?” He inquired not truly expecting an answer, just confused that they would suddenly turn themselves off to her.
It was strange how just being around Ophelia seemed to ease his mind, the guilt of the past not weighing so heavily on his shoulders and the anger and need for revenge over the fall of Skye was all but gone now that he knew the truth. The feeling of lose and sorrow held tight though, losing it’s grip ever so slightly know that Ophelia felt it as well. “Nothing in our world is ever that simple but at least one of us still has the leadership skills and ability to make the decisions necessary. I know that if it must be used, you’re the only one who can held it and the reasoning for it pulling at you will be one you truly don’t want.” The amulet was special but in many ways it meant death since that was usually when it pulled Ophelia through time and space to fix a rift caused by the death of a Celestial. “I think perhaps I’ve beared it for far too long and I don’t envy Ery the position he now holds but all I can be is council.” It was for the best that way and Reus knew it which is why he hadn’t fought for his old position back.
“I’m sure they’ll be terms I can easily made peace with, I doubt retribution would on the table during a summit of peace. There isn’t much I can do to atone for my mistakes Phe, but I can do this much.” Which was truly the very least that he could do. “Evermore has been a city of war or chaos and every species has done their part to bring peace and maintain it, it’s a civil right which should be extended to all species who seek it, but as I’ve said, it’s not my place to make those sort decisions.” But it was the idea the city was now founded on, to be a haven and place of peace for all. “Despite his brooding nature, Ery can often see what many of us cannot, he’s what the Ailwards need right now as my time for poor decisions making has clearly passed.” And he knew Ery’s heart and nature as well as his own, he may be the Aspect of Death but it was the last he ever wanted to cause.
Usually apologies were like a bitter taste upon his tongue but as he spoke he knew it was necessary and something she deserved. It was also something he needed no matter how much he wanted to argue against it. Reus’ heart seemed to tighten in his chest as the fact that he had taken that away from her when he knew how important such a feeling could be. “I’m sorry for destroying something which so many needed, I know what it’s like to run for like, to never feel safe, to never find solace, to have happiness ripped away at every turn and that was never my intention.” Which was why he was fighting so hard to change, to admit the errors of his ways and to help the Celestials now as he should have never stopped doing over a hundred years ago. “Here to hoping this city can be what you need and that you all are able to find safety and peace once more.”
It definitely wasn’t a situation that she expected to ever find herself in again but there was a part of her that had always enjoyed Aureus’ company and understood how his mind worked, how he would rationalize things and what was important to him “I guess that depends on the perspective you look at it, that’s the thing about decisions right? They can look different from every direction you see them” really she did her best not to make assumptions about the way the world would work lately because it always seemed to prove her wrong. Instead, she focused on doing the next right thing she could see in the path ahead of her.
She grimaced a little at his words about having wasted thoughts “No you’re right, just because we know they’re wasted doesn’t stop us from wishing things were different” that was a natural thing, to want things to be better, to be able to change something you did to hurt someone and take it all back and while it wasn’t possible, that thought alone could be very powerful. Regret was a powerful emotion in the sense that it made people think twice before making the same mistakes. She glanced over at him and let out a heavy sigh when he questioned why the stars above might turn their back on her, all she knew is for a while now she hadn’t felt nearly as connected to them as she used to be “I have no idea” she murmured softly as she pressed her lips together “And I wish I did because I don’t do so well steering alone” she admitted with a shrug of her shoulders.
She could see one main emotion in his eyes when she looked back at him, one she could resonate with well but also one she knew no one could fix for him, sadness. She had felt sadness in many levels through her long life and it was true that nothing could ever truly patch the hole completely, there would still be times when you thought about what you lost and would feel a gaping, painful ache in your chest, but with time it was easier to make room for other things too “Believe me, I really don’t want to, it feels wrong to me that such a thing should ever actually be needed” because that meant a star was needlessly killed and that was something she hated to even think about “I don’t envy anyone in leadership” she admitted with a laugh “Whether they chose it for themselves or not, I don’t think anyone truly understands the burden it comes with” she had experienced it over and over, always sacrificing what she wanted for the good of others, it wasn’t an easy thing to do.
She gave him a grateful nod, while he was not the leader of the Ailward Aspects, she knew the faction still looked to him when it came to deciding where they stood on things, the same as they did all the aspects and with his direct involvement in all of this, it did mean something to have his agreement on her going ahead and making a deal for peace for her faction. Really she was searching for some kind of protection for them, along with ensuring there were repercussions for those who wanted to target her kind. “I know it’s not your decision, but I do feel better knowing where you stand on it” she responded honestly “Whether we want to be or not, my kind are always going to be connected to you, so it seems only right that we find some middle ground” but she did agree about Ery, she knew him back on the Isle and his perspectives had always seemed different to the others in some ways “After seeing all the pain and misery death causes, I imagine he has a certain perspective the rest of us couldn’t begin to understand” she responded and shrugged her shoulders slightly.
She did feel better for them both putting where they stood out in the open, she felt some sort of optimism for the future, something she rarely felt because at least now she could focus her attention on the real enemies they faced and not a feud which wouldn’t lead anyone at all to a better place. “I can tell that you are and I accept your apology” she responded with a solemn nod of her head, forgiveness came with time but she was willing to take the first step and accept that it was time to focus on more important things, she also believed him now when he said he intended no further harm to her people. “I feel like us immortals are always going to feel that pain, it comes with living through so much” she responded, she had only lived a fraction of his life and it had been more than enough for her. “Once more is a bold wish” she responded and laughed under her breath “But then I suppose nothing great was ever truly achieved by thinking small” there was a lot to come ahead and none of it was going to be easy, but right now her head felt like it was above water and that was something.
It was almost easy to believe that he and Ophelia were friends once more but he knew that wasn’t the case and it was merely a dream that was just out of reach. All the male Aspect could do now was his best, his best for the city, for the species within it, the Celestials and himself. “Perhaps aiming for a better future at this point is all we can do. Both of our species being able to grow and survive in a peaceful manner.” Sorrows and regrets from the past had kept him stuck in place for long enough and he wanted to push forward and prove even to himself that he wasn’t truly the man he had felt like he was forced to become. Aureus Amsel having died so long ago that it was hard to remember that man but even that man had been flawed, just less so than he man he had become a hundred years prior to this day. “Steering alone is a scary thing, especially when so many rely on your decisions and knowledge.” It was something he could understand well, “But you have a good head on your shoulders Ophelia and you’ve only ever tried to so what was right and that’s all any of us can do. The next right thing even when we screw up.”
Few ever saw the man behind the carefully placed mask of calm and diplomacy. Ophelia had seen through it years ago and had always caught even the briefest glimpses of his emotions and no seemed to be no different. Somethings never changed even if they both believed that they had. “Hopefully you won’t have it activated anytime soon. I wish no more loss on you and yours Ophelia, regardless of the fracture it causes in time, an innocent died and I think I lost sight of that all those years ago.” It was a painful realization but it was the truth and she deserved nothing less from him. “Leadership is a heavy cross to bare but I think we can both agree that when we see our people happy it’s worth it, knowing you helped t make that possible. With the bad there’s always good and when the good outweighs the bad that’s what keeps us going. If we’re worth of it anyway and at least one of us still is and we both clearly know I’m not talking about myself. You’ve done amazing things for your people Ophelia and you’ve been a light of guidance in the best possible way for them.” She was the sort of leader than factions around the world needed more of, it would make the world a much better and peaceful place that was for sure.
Sure their positions had changed a bit over the last few years but he needed Ophelia to know that he would support her whether it was in the politic of the city or what was best for her people regardless of being within leadership anymore or not. He knew that no matter who was in the position of Ambassador the opinions of each of them mattered. “I’ll stand where I should have all those years ago. It’s better late than never and I have near an infinite amount of time to try to make up for it.” And he truly would, it wasn’t just words but his actual intentions. “I would definitely rather us be connected in a peaceful way. I don’t see our species necessarily considering themselves friends but maybe with time things can be mended. We’re bound whether we like it not and I do miss the good days on the Isle but even Celestials who once saw me as a friend look at me as if I’m the devil now and they have just cause.” But she was right, is anyone could leader where Aureus had failed it would be Ery, Ophelia’s logic on the matter similar to his own.
The tension seemed to drain from him as Ophelia verbally accepted his apology which meant more to him than she would ever know. It would hopefully help him to be able to take a step forward with working on forgiving himself. “It seems with immortality that pain just lingers from centuries. At times it would be easier to be mortal.” She was correct though since it seemed like every time a wound began to heal in his immortal life that something else ripped opened that first wound and then created another. “Well you better than anyone should know I’m a man of bold hopes, dreams and wishes. Besides, this is one wish I can help to make possible, if you and your people will allow me to.” Maybe her acceptance of his apology gave him a bit too much confidence but he couldn’t stop his words.