‘Alright.’ The reaper appeared after a few moments and grabbed Emiliana’s shoulder.
With the vigor burning through her, she swung down and around the beam and then flung herself toward the ridged pillar she’d used to climb up. Her claws scratched against the old red-and-gray stone as she alternately slid and dropped her way to the floor. The maneuver earned her a few gawkers among the many passersby, but most acted like it was nothing special. No doubt, they’d seen much crazier things in their time.
“Wow,” said Alicia. “That was impressive.” She was the one looking down at Emiliana now, though not for lack of sincerity. At thirteen, she was a year younger, but her height suggested otherwise. It seemed strange that she could be related to such a tiny woman as Octavia.
Emiliana adjusted her dark mask and buried her claws in her pockets.
“I think you scuffed up the pillar, though,” Alicia added with a smirk.
She saw the faint claw marks. “Ah... I’m sorry. I used your madega last time and accidentally tore out a few chunks of the bark. Your gardener was upset.”
Alicia laughed. “It doesn’t matter. If anyone gets mad at you, just send them to me.”
They started walking together, with Chergoa following quietly.
“Anyway, it’s not just your brother, you know,” Alicia said. “Your sister is worried about you, too. And so am I.”
“...I appreciate your concern, but I am fine.”
“Have you eaten anything today?”
“...What day is today?”
“Agh, aren’t you in training? How do you expect to keep up your strength if you skip meals?”
Emiliana didn’t answer that and just followed Alicia to the refectory. The lunch crowd had diminished somewhat, but there were still way too many people around for Emiliana’s liking. Alicia offered to sit and eat with her, but Emiliana grabbed a sandwich wrap and an iced tea to go. She wasn’t interested in removing her mask in order to eat in front of all these people.
Alicia kept following her, anyway.