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It had been a full 2 years since the celestials had come to Evermore city and she could safely now say they were probably in the best position they had ever been in. Ophelia had been through countless meetings and talks to study further into the Evermore peace contract, mulling over every detail, every commitment and weighing her options. She knew that one way or another she needed to get her people's name on that list, it was the best way to ensure that each of them were protected the way they should be in the city. It would also prevent any other faction from getting away with harming her people and create protection against wrongful imprisonment too. Something she knew she needed to secure for the sanity of her people.
For the past few months, while working on the diplomacy, she had always been trying to encourage her people out of their shells, to teach them that working with celestial energy could play to their strengths and give them something to fight with rather than something that simply exposed them and put them in more danger. It had varying success but she had definitely seen more celestials coming to her and wanting to learn how to control their natural-born abilities. Getting to see stars do what they were born to do and shine was one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things she had ever experienced and she really hoped she could bring such a feeling to all of them eventually. But Ophelia also knew not to push them too hard, she understood how scary it must be to reintegrate into the world after being locked up for years, for a lot of the celestials, the near majority of their lives even. It made her furious that they barely even got to live before it was all taken away from them.
Ophelia found herself in the middle of the training room, she was dressed in light workout gear, a tank top, and fitted leggings, not her typical attire but she found herself wearing things like this more and more often as celestials slowly gained the confidence to learn in here. The room was mirrored, meaning any light they generated bounced back on itself and therefore no one was exposed to the outside world in here, it was a safe space, where stars could learn to be stars without the pressures that came along with it. She knew a lot of the stars were out today she wasn't even sure if anyone was going to show up for a training session but she figured she would practice her own control regardless, she closed her eyes, drawing in her celestial strength to make a little ball of light which appeared between her hands, she was busy tossing it from hand to hand and concentrating on making it curve over her arms and through the air the way she wanted it to when she heard footsteps coming down the hallway. Ah good, looks like she won't be attending this session alone then.
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It was very easy for Ophelia to get lost in her light, she loved being surrounded by it and it gave her a feeling of power and strength which was hard to compare with anything else, celestial energy was volatile and sometimes had a mind of its own but there was no dispute that it was one of the most powerful elements in the whole world. That’s why it was so strange that the very beings who had the ability to control it and shape it, were the ones who seemed to be most afraid of it. She really hoped she could help to change that opinion with time, help her people to understand how strong and resilient they could be if they put their mind to it.
The moment she heard the soft voice of one of the youngest celestials at the door, the Wayfinder broke out into a smile and gave her a slight wave of her hand, the ball of the light hopping into her other hand “Of course you can, c’mon in” she gestured with a hand motion as she shifted her position to face the younger star. Ophelia had always liked Miyaza, she was sweet and polite and despite being so young and spending most of her life locked up on Skye, she still seemed to have a good head on her shoulders. She was slowly learning a whole new language and living in a brand new place she wasn’t familiar with, it had to be daunting.
“Of course not” she assured her with a shake of her head “These sessions are for anyone and everyone, though I feel like I attend them alone more often than not” she admitted and rolled her shoulders back a few times “How are you doing?” he asked as her gaze tipped up towards the younger female. Phe had no idea how she could be so strong after everything she’d been through, how any of them could really, she was pretty in awe of them all for being able to stand strong despite having so much time and experience taken from them. “Are you here to train?” she asked curiously and raised her brows, she was admittedly excited at the idea of more stars wanting to learn how to properly use their abilities, even if it was so that they could stop themselves from glowing in times of need.
Ophelia knew the language barrier was there so she did her best to speak slowly and pause between her sentences to make sure Miyaza understood what she was saying. The younger star seemed a little shy but the fact she was here said a lot about her confidence and how it was being built on. She couldn’t imagine it was easy for her, to be captured not long after she fell and to spend the majority of her life locked up, not really understanding why or knowing anyone who might help her. She couldn’t blame her for being scared or nervous that was for sure.
“Yeah I imagine it has been tough for you, new culture, new people, new home” she nodded slightly, it must have been quite the adjustment to make, learning about a whole new life while also probably still feeling fear about being locked up again. When she turned the question back on Ophelia the Wayfinder thought about it for a moment “I’m good, we finally signed the Evermore peace treaty which means we’ll have even more protection than we did before” which was good timing too because with all the strange things happening in the city lately, the last thing they needed was any in-fighting. “Have you been adjusting to life in Evermore okay?” she asked it sincerely, she wanted people to feel comfortable here of course but she also wanted to know if they weren’t.
“Yes” she confirmed when Miyaza spoke about her powers as she looked back at her before she made a ball of light appear in her hands to show her an example of the power she had, she didn’t do much with it, just tossed it from hand to hand to show how she had control over it before she let it fade back into her. “Of course” she assured and pointed to the floor to imply Miyaza sit in front of her, she smiled. “So our power comes from our emotions, when we are really happy, angry or sad, that’s when they appear” but Phe liked to work with positive energy before anything else “Can you think of something that makes you really really happy? Close your eyes and picture it” it could be anything really, a friend, a loved one, an animal, a hobby, anything that sparked a happy reaction in the star.
“I can see that” Ophelia commented it quietly with a gentle smile, she honestly appreciated any effort that the stars made to learn about what they were and what they could do, after all, they were dragged from their homes, put into cages and punished for something she was sure most of them weren’t even old enough to understand. And while they had some of the elder stars there with them, she wasn’t sure it fully explained the magnitude of what could happen if one of them died. “Well it’s always wise to be cautious” she spoke gently and nodded her head, she didn’t want to promise they would be completely free from hunters or danger because that simply wasn’t true “But it means that the Ailward won’t be able to take you again, not without angering a lot of people.
She imagined it must be hard for her, learning a new language and culture at the same time as trying to process the things she had been through. A lot of the stars suffered from some kind of PTSD because if what happened, they were after all forcibly taken from wherever they were found and dragged to a place they didn’t know. Ophelia had been working with many of them to help them find their light, there were some like Hanseol who hadn’t been able to control their light at all before this and then there were others like Artemis who used to be able to control their light but somewhere along the way lost touch with it. Ophelia knew that feeling well because for a long time without her amulet, she had struggled to get touch at all with hers and recovering took her many years and a lot of practice.
The raven-haired Wayfinder leaned back as she watched Miyaza, seeing how focused her expression was as she searched her mind for that happy memory and then when it finally came, she saw the way her face relaxed and it was in that moment she could the familiar faint glow of celestial energy on her skin. “That’s it” she encouraged with a smile “Now open your eyes and take a look in the mirror” it was natural glow which wasn’t too obvious but with the reflection in the mirror, it was greatly highlighted. “The next step is to take that happy memory and that glow and push it out side of you, like the feeling is spreading into the room around you” she nodded slightly “That part is harder so don’t feel bad if you can’t do it first time” Ophelia had vivid memories of when she was learning and the light would just keep going out every time she tried to use it for anything.
“You’re right, you should not” Ophelia agreed wholeheartedly that it was unfair and it was essentially blaming the victims for the greed of others, it made her mad every time she let herself think about it too hard. Seeing the Ailward faction in the city didn't help either but she had been working to make peace with them for the sake of letting her people have the lives they chose and deserved. It wasn’t easy but it was the right thing to do, she knew that much. “Me too and I think we’ll find it with time” people just needed to get a little braver and venture out of their rooms more often.
She was glad to see that Miyaza had a memory strong enough to bring out her glow, sometimes she was worried that the stars had so much dark in their lives, especially people like Miya who had spent the fair majority of theirs locked up “You bet it is” she spoke softly with a proud smile, Phe had lost her own light for a while so she knew that thrilling feeling of getting to see it for the first time in a really long time in the mirror and it was a really good experience for her. She felt stronger and more herself overall when she was in touch with her celestial energy, it wasn’t easy to learn to control but she was proud she had managed to and she was proud to see the other stars learn to get a handle over theirs too.
She pursed her lips and watched quietly as Miya tried to produce her glow and smile softly, she saw a faint flicker of it trying to push out from her but then it faded just as quickly as it came and she gave the younger star an encouraging smile “”Yeah it’s a weird feeling right?” she nodded slightly “To me it kinda feels like there’s this really good, warm feeling inside me which makes me feel whole and pushing that away kind feels wrong at first?” she explained it “It makes you panic a little because you don’t know how it will feel once it’s gone” she nodded slightly “You have to learn to relax and push past that feeling anyway” which she knew was easier said than done but she hoped to visualize it might help.
Ophelia shrugged running a hand through her long raven hair and smiled “I know talking about what happened is hard but I think we have to acknowledge it happened and feel comfortable to learn from it” she glanced up at her and nodded slowly “So in that sense it does help, it helps us to see the dangers are out there and make smart decisions to help us protect ourselves” which included making smart alliances in the city like with the Valkyr and signing the contract but also things like learning to control their energy so they didn’t need to rely entirely on other people to protect them and were able to hold off attackers. When she thanked her, Phe pressed her lips together and smiled “You’re welcome, though I’d like to think any decent leader would have done the same” she hadn’t been able to give up on them and she hoped that showed.
“Sometimes I wonder why it was me picked to lead, of everyone out there” she shrugged slightly “And then other times I sit in this room and I see people understand their light and begin to embrace it and it all makes sense again” she had made some mistakes with the decisions she made, that was no secret but she had always tried to have the best intentions for the colony when she made them. No one seemed to blame her for what happened, or at least they’d never really showed it so she didn’t know why she felt so guilty about it but she did. Her priority was making up for it by ensuring they were really protected this time, that it wasn’t under any false pretenses and that there would be a fallback if something did happen.
“You’ll definitely get it with time and practice, being able to produce light is a big step and you’re already there” she nodded slightly, most people lost their light when they were scared and it was very hard to get it back because whenever a star glowed, they were able to be seen and for someone who had been chased and hunted, outing yourself felt wrong and terrifying it. “Yeah, it’s an unnatural feeling at first, I think that’s because the light belongs to us right? So pushing it outside of us feels wrong” it was like a moment of panic inside you, wondering if this familiar feeling would go away when you do so. “Instead of trying to push it out into the room, maybe try just bringing the light to your finger this time, practice that, it will get you used to the feeling without needing to take all your energy” she nodded implying she should try again.
“Everyone has questions” she responded honestly and nodded her heads, it was part of a person’s nature to be curious and to ask things they couldn’t really know the answers to, some found their answers in Religion, some made peace with not knowing, some kept asking over and over hoping something would make sense in time “But the unknown isn’t always scary, we didn’t know we’d be in Evermore, let alone get to spend 2 years here relatively unbothered, that’s gotta be a good thing right” she saw it that way at least. She also believed there was very little point in worrying over something that may not even happen and instead she always tried to focus on the present.
“It is” she responded honestly and nodded her head slightly, it was incredibly fulfilling seeing the faction develop over the past 2 years or so and slowly come into their own, it made her happy to see people realize the power which had been right inside them. “I mean it is pretty fun to be able to control it, it makes you feel like you get to take back a bit of the control in your life” it also made a hunter’s life significantly harder because Celestials could pack a punch when they were able to fight back and she honestly believed the first step to protecting their kind was to give them the knowledge they needed to do so “I get it, when I first fell things were very confusing and difficult for a while, hell adapting to this modern world has been pretty hard for me too” she nodded slightly “Take it slowly, there’s no rush to understand everything” she nodded slightly, Ophelia was a very patient person especially when it came to teaching.
“Good, take your time, I’ve got nowhere to be so we can practice as long as you need” when she was first learning she had to teach herself and that definitely wasn’t easy because pushing out your energy took this sort of leap from inside you to let it go which wasn’t an easy feeling to overcome natively. She watched carefully as the light around her flickered and then she saw the way it spread very slightly outside of her, it was radiating bright enough to be along that edge where you had to take that internal leap “That’s it, now keep that memory in mind but I want you to take a long relaxed breath, don’t feel worried about what will happen, let yourself give in to it and you’ll see the light expand” she nodded slightly.
Ophelia pursed her lips for a moment at that question, it was a fair one to ask but also relative “You could see it like a force of physical kinetic energy for most, if they get hit by it, they’re likely to get knocked back from the force, if you make the energy pointed, it can be dangerous, like any pointed weapon would be” she nodded slightly “The only case where things are different is if you use it on a Valkyr, their bodies are naturally weak to our power so if they don’t have a Volakiri, it could be fatal to hit them with a blow” but for most people, it was just a case of being able to fend them off, you’d really have to try if you wanted to hurt someone.
She did have to laugh at Miyaza’s exclamation about technology and that things were very advanced to use “Before you know it they’ll probably be able to do holograms and the likes” all those cheesy things that seemed like complete fiction could be real one day, robots? Flying cars? Who even knew how things would be in a few years' time “Well that must be helpful for you right? You can use it to do translation when you aren’t sure what things mean” she was sure there was an app you could get which could even scan pictures in another language and it would live translate them to local language so they could be understood. “I’m….slowly getting there, most of them kinda behave the same way so you can slowly pick it up” though there were still times where she would look at something with a question mark on her face.
She watched carefully as the other girl worked on trying to isolate the power and push it out further and the Wayfinder slowly backed away from her so there was room for the powers to grow as she got into her element. Slowly she watched as the light flickered a few times and then expanded to a small bubble around her, it was still close enough to be comfortable she was sure but it was progress in learning to embrace it “Well would you look at that” she grinned slightly “Try reaching your hands out to touch it, you’ll see what I mean about it feeling like it’s physically there” she nodded encouragingly.
The way that they used their Celestial energy was far different from how others wanted to use it, others had cruel intentions and wanted to alter the balance which Ophelia was pretty sure now that the stars were sent here to protect. Time. Time was the essence of their existence, considering because of their age, stars in the sky were considered to be completely timeless, though she was sure there was a time when they came to be too “Have you learned about your time abilities yet?” she asked with raised brows, she knew that one was much easier to accidentally use and yet probably equally as confusing.
She nodded slightly as she spoke about technology, there had been a time when Ophelia wondered if the world was moving too fast with all these new devices and people were becoming addicted to them and retracting from the real world around them but then she saw their uses, how it allowed medical advancements which saved countless lives and let people who never had the chance to before, communicate, in that sense it seemed worth the effort to figure it out. “That’s good, the plus side is you have as much time as you need to learn all those things, though I don’t think technology will wait for us to catch up” she chuckled under her breath, everything always seemed to be keeping her on her toes lately, from technology to city politics to teaching the Celestials, it kept her busy.
She watched as Miyaza’s little bubble of light appeared and whole it wasn’t the biggest or the strongest shield she had seen, it was enough to prove that she had accepted the light inside of her. She smiled softly as she watched her hesitantly reach out to touch it “Yeah, a shield such as that would be pretty easy to break, you can see the weak points where the light is fainter but as you practice and get used to letting your light in you’ll learn how to bolster it until it will take serious force to take down” she nodded slightly “And you’ll be able to project it far enough to protect other people around you too” Ophelia liked to focus on protection first and then attacks later on once they had confidence in their control.
Ophelia could tell that Miyaza had been very disconnected from the species she was, she supposed in a way you could convince yourself that you were a human immortal as a Celestial, they were both frail when it came to getting hurt, they could bleed, get illnesses and suffer from mental illnesses too. “Yes, time abilities” she responded and nodded “Have you ever dreamed about something you never saw happen but felt like it might be real?” she softened her gaze a little “Sometimes a Celestial can have visions of the future” she picked up a pen from on the training room desk and then dropped it, she then reached for Miyaza and held her arm while she paused time “We can also do this, for a short amount of time” she pointed to the pen which was currently hanging in mid air like time was frozen, when she let go, it clattered to the floor.
“Oh, definitely the dancing” she responded candidly with a small smile “I swear today’s dancing is all just people jumping around and pretending they know the music but back then it was beautiful, we learned dances and performed them in groups, everyone loved dancing because that was our time to let loose” she grinned slightly, she had fond memories of dancing until her feet were killing her and then carrying on anyway. “I’m 430, if you were wondering” she wasn’t the eldest of the Celestials but she had seen many ages come and go.
“I’d say that yeah, you can make them dangerous don’t get me wrong but only if you tried to” which was someone inexperienced in controlling their light wasn’t even possible “I mean there’s a reason it’s easier for most people to conjure a shield before anything else” they were a good-natured species which meant they didn’t want to hurt anyone and that was reflected in the way their powers responded to them. She also sighed when she asked why hunters wanted to hurt them “Are you sure you want to know?” she asked as she lifted her gaze seeing the way she looked pretty steadfast in her curiosity “It’s because we can control time, they want to use our deaths to go back in time and change an event in time they shouldn’t” usually to save a loved one from the brink of death or get themselves some sort of fortune or power.
Ophelia nodded slightly, seeing the future was one of their abilities which were not only hit and miss but also could be pretty scary, after all, you might see something which was potentially awful and knowing it was real was even more terrifying, not to mention that that sometimes there was very little you could do to change it “Yeah, what you see, it’s the most likely result of actions, usually it’s triggered when you’re close with someone or have come into contact with something which causes an important event” which could happen entirely randomly and you had no control over it “What you see isn’t guaranteed to happen, it’s a prediction rather than an actual set in stone future, but sometimes what you see can help you to protect other or prevent it from actually happening” she had acted upon her visions a few times.
Her gaze softened a little when Miyaza said about the idea of holding a ball at the castle and as she looked around the room she could almost picture herself being transported back to those days, she pursed her lips for a moment and smiled softly “That would be beautiful but I’m not sure there’s really many people here who even know how to ballroom dance” she laughed softly, it was something which had died out over time and now only people who competed with it professionally. She laughed when she said she looked really young “Early renaissance period, pretty dresses and headdresses and royal courts” she giggled slightly, there were bad sides to those times of course but she definitely liked the fashion a lot.
She gave a soft look in Miyaza’s direction as she talked about her experience with magic and losing her boyfriend “I’m sorry for your loss” she commented in an empathetic tone and nodded her head slightly. She reached out to squeeze her shoulder softly and nodded “I really don’t think you would have hurt someone with your abilities without intending to” she admitted with a nod of her head, it had taken her a lot of time to learn how to actually control her light to the point where she could actually fight back with it. She nodded slightly when she asked if killing a Celestial would change the balance of the world “Yes, which is exactly why the Ailwards decided our kind needed to be locked away, so none of us could be killed again” she ran a hand through her hair “Imagine someone who had lost everything and desperately wanted to save their loved one or someone so hellbent on getting power they didn’t care who they hurt” it was truly scary what people could be capable of.