Maia's Rest

<Mina‘Haplo> [ Shortly after her exhausting ordeal with Marakanas, and successfully achieving the full rank of Oblationist, Maia has been given the traditional one week of resting before finally embarking on her sacred mission. Thus, she has retreated to her private room, given to her by the order- clean, comfortable, not adorned, yet… Solid, welcoming, and protective. A single bed sits in the corner, whilst a chair sits behind a desk-
<Mina`Haplo> Its back facing the window. A bookcase lines one wall, a wardrobe the other.]
*Maia is - likely quite contrary to what she’s told she should be doing - sitting up at the desk, apparently engrossed in a book of some kind with a peaceful expression, seeming quite relaxed. She's in a loose-fitting robe, more than likely what she slept in.
<Mina‘Haplo> The peaceful scene is soon met with a sudden noise- a hurried rapping against her door, and a voice- the voice of Anna, one of her friends. "Maia! Maia, we’re here to see you! Can we come in?"
*Maia either is too engrossed in the book to respond or, well, has other difficulties preventing her from doing so, but the door's unlocked. Luckily, someone else happens to be there for a reminder to Anna. "… Anna, have you forgotten already? She's not going to answer you," Camille says, blunt as ever.
<Mina‘Haplo> "… Well, I mean…" Anna pauses momentarily, then shoots Camille a dirty look. "What, so you just want to go in? Fine." She says, and she opens the door and proceeds to boldly walk in. "Ma~ia! We’re here!" She shouts cheerfully.
<Maia> It would turn out to be point A, as Maia suddenly looks up from the book with a start and proceeds to Act Without Thinking: "Ooooooiiiiiaaaaaaaaaa!" … The result is not what she expected, for sure.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Maia would quickly realise this after a sudden, sharp burning constricting sensation grips her throat momentarily; she can almost feel what seems like a very sleepy chuckle from the dark edges of her mind…]
*Maia - as if to punctuate the error - proceeds to clutch her throat and cough violently.
<Mina`Haplo> "M… Maia? Are you alright?" Said Anna concernedly, approaching Maia and gripping her shoulder. "Should we get you some water or something…?"
<Maia> Camille frowns worriedly, approaching and pretty much following Anna’s lead… but didn't wait for Maia to respond when Anna made the inquiry, "I'll get her some, of course."
*Maia - for her part - did nod, before letting out a quiet, slightly pained … noise. Nonetheless, she smiled at Anna warmly and extended her arms for an embrace.
<Maia> Camille nods. "I'll be right back, then," she affirms, departing to fetch the water for her!
<Mina‘Haplo> Anna gladly hugs Maia, throwing her arms around the girl. "I’m sorry. I forgot… Um, I got you something. I figured you might need it." Said Anna, reaching into a pocket and handing Maia a little box. "It's a stick of chalk that never wears down, so…"
*Maia 's eyes widen with a little bit of surprise at the news; when she opens the box, this expression soon gives way to the same kind of adoring look typical of a younger girl who's just received a really cool birthday present, complete with an audible little gasp! "…Aaa~"
*Maia has to let go of Anna for a moment, such that she can sign off "thank you!" with her hands to her friend.
<Mina‘Haplo> "Hehehe. That’s okay!" Said Anna with a slightly embarrassed air. "We also got a slateboard for you, one you can carry easily. I know you don't really like writing- I mean, why would you with your voice?- but it's there, at least, for when you need it."
*Maia responds with a warm smile, and perhaps a slight blush, as she slips a bookmark into whatever she was reading and closes it, standing up (a bit haltingly; she's still a bit tired and sore) and offering the seat to Anna, herself going to sit on the nearby bed. Of course, there was room to sit there too.
<Mina‘Haplo> Anna doesn’t do any of this 'seat' nonsense and cheerfully plants herself next to Maia- after fetching the slate, of course. "So… Um… How was it?" Asked Anna.
*Maia doesn't need the slate to answer this question. She looks contemplative for a moment… and then grins as she decides to relate the story by pantomime, standing up again and turning to face Anna, raising her (own) arms above her head and making an imposing, sinister face. Then she proceeds to mime beating against the edge of an invisible wall for a few moments —
<Maia> — before stepping a few steps to one side and, facing sideways now, taking a confident, commanding pose and thrusting an open hand out at the spot she had just been standing, much like she had a few days ago in the chamber.
<Maia> Then she sat down again with a grin, as if nothing unusual had just happened.
*Maia decides, after a few moments, to punctuate the scene with a few exaggerated pants.
<Mina‘Haplo> Anna blinked, and… Hell, she clapped a little. "Sounds like it was quite the thing! You seem pretty confident about it- I mean, you’re tired, yeah, but you seem to have handled it- but…" A nervous fidgeting. "… After 2 days we were starting to give up hope…"
*Maia shrugs a bit, but scoots a little closer and gives Anna a gentle one-armed hug. This was a simple enough response to sign, as well, so she signed "Didn't feel that long" to Anna.
<Mina‘Haplo> Anna leans against Maia a little. "I guess you must’ve been so wrapped up in it that time just passed, huh?" Said Anna… "So, how do you feel? About your voice, I mean."
*Maia contemplates this one for a few moments. It was certainly an odd question, and she *still*didn't feel like writing; after a short pause, she ultimately just crossed her wrists behind her back.
<Mina‘Haplo> "You… Feel bound?"
*Maia nods a bit, and finally pulls out the chalk because this was going to take a more involved answer.
*Maia writes, "To truly understand, why not try it yourself?" She chuckles as she shows it to Anna.
<Mina`Haplo> "H-huh? Not talk?" Said Anna, scowling a little down at the slate. "I… I guess it’d be a real pain, huh? Especially if it hurts…"
*Maia pats her comfortingly on the back. This would take another slate use, so she erased the previous sentence; but this time, it was easier to simply draw a (rudimentary) picture. —
<Maia> So, she quickly drew a simplistic side profile of a person talking (using noise lines to depict that). From that, she drew an arrow, and then from there, a similar profile, but this time with a … rather cartoonish-looking demon strangling the speaker.
*Maia adds under it, "Kind of like this" with an arrow pointing up.
<Mina‘Haplo> Anna grimaced a little, reaching out to gently touch Maia’s throat, as if that would fix it. "I wish it wasn't like that." Said Anna, but she shook her head. "Anyway, um… We're all really proud of you, you know? We knew you'd do it. Even though that demon had a rotten reputation, we knew you'd put it in its place!"
*Maia smiles cheerfully. No other response was really necessary for that!
<Mina‘Haplo> "So, ah, do you have any idea of what you’re gonna do next? Like, where to go, or anything?" Asked Anna, glancing back at the door. Where'd Camille go?
<Maia> She was just coming back now, conveniently. It seems she had gone the extra mile - as usual - and brought more than just water, for there was a bowl of chicken soup to be had too, which she dutifully placed on the desk. "Maid service," she quips dryly, but even she fails to make this one sarcastic, and starts laughing, which Maia quickly joins in on (hey, that works).
*Maia shook her head to that, punctuating it by drawing a large "?".
<Mina‘Haplo> "That’s fair. Geez, Cammy, I hope you treat *me*like this in 2 months." Said Anna wryly.
<Maia> Camille gives her a… pained look. "… Anna, you know I won't be _able_ to do that."
<Mina‘Haplo> "… Oh." Anna’s face falls. "… Yeah, I just realised… I wasn't even *thinking*about it." She said. "… It sounds painful as hell."
*Maia would hop back up to the desk to partake of the soup, conveniently leaving her out of the conversation for a few moments!
<Maia> Camille put her hands on Anna's shoulders comfortingly. She'd grown to be quite tall and athletic. Even if she dropped out of being an Oblationist, she was probably still adventurer material. "It's like that for everyone, I'm sure, Anna," she responds. "Think about what Maia must be feeling right now… her thoughts are probably flooded with things she wants to tell us."
<Maia> "And yet, they're mostly locked inside."
<Mina‘Haplo> "Now you’re making me feel bad…!"
*Maia shakes her head between spoonfuls of soup.
<Maia> Camille sits beside Anna. "Sometimes, I think back and wonder if I should have kept on going."
<Mina‘Haplo> "Aw, Cammy." Said Anna, tapping her on the shoulder. "I think you made the right choice, you know? I mean, it’s not for everyone, and you can still help in other ways, maybe even better ways."
<Maia> She nods a bit. "There's also a strength, I think, in recognizing one's own limitations. In my case, I learned that what I'd have to give up would be what enabled me to get as far as I did in the first place."
<Mina‘Haplo> "… What was it, Cammy?" Asked Anna. "I mean, if you don’t mind telling me…"
<Maia> "Strength," Camille says simply.
<Mina‘Haplo> "What, like… Strength of will, or…" She playfully punch-taps Camille’s upper left arm.
<Maia> Camille responds with a rare moment of humour, exaggeratedly reeling from the play-punch.
<Maia> "That one."
<Mina‘Haplo> "Oh, that doesn’t sound so bad! Then I'd be able to wrestle you all the time and actually win!" Said Anna, punctuating the point with a half tackle, giggling all the while. "But that sounds horrible. Would your body just start to waste away, or something…?"
<Maia> Camille shrugged. "I … guess? I suppose I'll never known, since I didn't go through with it."
*Maia finishes the last of the soup. "Ahhh."
<Mina‘Haplo> "Well, maybe you’d end up all waify and cute like Maia here." Said Anna, turning back to the hero of the hour. "Did you enjoy your soup?"
*Maia scowls a little bit at Anna, hastily signing, "I am not waify!" Then she starts to laugh again, nodding.
<Mina‘Haplo> "Yes you are!" Added Anna, smirking. "I wonder what your family’ll say. I bet Mr. Minama'll be proud." Said Anna.
*Maia turns red-faced at that, just nodding slightly.
<Maia> Camille peers at Maia for a moment. "Say, Anna. Did you notice?"
<Mina‘Haplo> "Notice what, Cammy?" Asked Anna.
<Maia> Camille doesn’t answer the question, instead jumping to seemingly another point. "Tell one of your dumb jokes."
<Mina‘Haplo> "My jokes aren’t dumb! They're witty and clever!"
<Maia> "Mmmhmm. Well, let's let Maia be the judge of that."
<Mina‘Haplo> "Tch." Anna tries to think… "Hey, Maia, do you know why lawyers have to go to universities with big libraries? Because all the books offer them access to lots of knowledge! They become Lore-yers!"
<Maia> "… That was really bad, even for you."
*Maia - on the other hand - is giggling quietly.
<Mina`Haplo> "You try one then, if you think you’re good enough." Said Anna, giving Camille a shove, when…- "Hey, you're giggling?"
<Maia> Camille nods. "She is."
*Maia blinks.
<Mina‘Haplo> "You can laugh!" Said Anna cheerfully.
<Maia> Camille adds, "Plus, did you notice the funny sound she made when we first came in?"
<Mina`Haplo> "The.. Ah… The weird… Yeah, I did."
*Maia nods a bit too, and after a bit of hesitation resorts to the slate, erasing it again before starting with a long statement. "I forgot, and tried to talk," she writes.
*Maia writes further, "My mouth couldn’t move, and I couldn't breathe, but the sound still came out."
<Mina‘Haplo> Anna tilts her head. "… Try humming."
*Maia tilts her head, and takes a breath, before beginning to softly hum a common Balanarian temple hymn. It comes out sounding a slight bit odd at first - as Maia quickly finds herself unable to make an ’mmm' sound - but she quickly adjusts to this oddity, and the result still sounds mostly pleasing.
<Mina‘Haplo> "So you can still make sound, you can still hum, but you can’t actually form words?"
*Maia nods, continuing on with the humming, and … picking up the volume some.
<Mina‘Haplo> "I… I wonder if it’d hurt if you screamed…?" Said Anna. "… Don't try it, though."
<Maia> Camille glares at Anna. "You know she's gonna try it now."
*Maia was indeed still picking up the volume. Probably edging into unsafe levels.
<Mina‘Haplo> "N-no, Maia, stoooop!"
<Mina`Haplo> [ Maia’s throat was starting to constrict… ]
*Maia 's face takes on one of those determined expressions she's always been good at, even moreso now, as she defiantly keeps at it. They could certainly notice she was pausing for breaths more often.
<Maia> Camille holds Anna by the arm. "Let her find her limits," she whispers.
*Maia was approaching a normal singing volume, which is to say a little bit louder than one would normally talk, as she reached the last parts of the hymn she had chosen.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The constriction was starting to burn, now, squeezing tighter… ]
*Maia persisted, struggling to maintain the tune even as her throat revolted. This was her god’s music, and she would be damned if she was going to let this demon silence it, but the pain was definitely readable on her face, and for a little bit of the song, she stopped rising in volume…
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The constriction remains, but it doesn’t grow worse. It still hurts, of course…]
*Maia stared resolutely at Anna as she reaches the final 'line' of the hymn, and starts to pull up the volume slightly again in the last few notes, before cranking the very last note up pretty much as loud as she could still think of carrying the note.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The pain grows stronger, and as Maia cranks it up it actually constricts to the point where she can no longer breathe- it feels as though hot coals are shoved down her throat. Most worriedly, for a split second, she feels something *shift*in her mind, something unnerving. ]
*Maia finds herself unable to sustain it for more than a half of a second or so, though, before she doubles over so violently as to fall off the bed to the floor, clutching her throat.
<Mina`Haplo> "Maia!" Squeals Anna, bending down and grabbing Maia around the waist. "Stop it! Don’t do it anymore…"
*Maia *still*has a defiant expression on her face, even as she's, you know, struggling to breathe. Camille's moving for the water on the desk.
*Maia tries a few breaths tentatively, now quiet. What was that sensation…?
<Mina‘Haplo> Anna is hugging Maia, now, even pulling her towards her. "Are you alright? You shouldn’t push yourself, it's only been a day!" She admonished gently.
*Maia grasps at the cup of water plaintively, and Camille quickly hands it over, whereupon Maia manages to drink a third of the glass or so, still gasping for breath.
*Maia would quickly proceed, after a few more breaths, to drink the entire rest of the glass, and then return her attention to Anna, an oddly triumphant expression on her face.
<Mina‘Haplo> "H-how do you feel…?"
*Maia grabs the slate shakily. She’s shaking quite a bit, really. Nonetheless, she draws the same profile talker from before.
*Maia then adds, with an arrow pointing to the speaker, a drawing of a volcano.
<Mina‘Haplo> "That bad, huh…? Well, promise me you’ll only do it in emergencies, alright? I don't want you hurt!"
*Maia hands the cup back to Camille with a smile, before nodding at Anna, and writing, "There was fire in my throat."
<Mina‘Haplo> Anna nodded, hugging Maia again. "… … I wonder if I’ll be hurt when my sacrifice activates? What if I end up burning if people try to help me? What will I do?"
<Maia> Camille pats her on the shoulder, rubbing her neck reassuringly, as does Maia. "Have faith that it won't work that way?"
<Mina‘Haplo> "I… I hope so." Said Anna. "Either way, at least we’ve figured out the limits to your own curse, huh, Maia? At least now if you're in danger you can scream for help…"
*Maia nods, throwing her arms around Anna again, and pulling the both of them back up to a standing position.
<Mina‘Haplo> Anna stands with Maia, hugging her back. "What is it?"
*Maia just pats her on the back comfortingly, then lets go and writes on the slate: "It’ll be OK!"
<Mina‘Haplo> "Yeah. I have faith." Said Anna, nodding. "I know you’ll be able do this, y'know? Set out there, do heroic stuff. Fight evil. In fact, I bet you could even redeem that rotten old beast in there." Said Anna cheerfully. "And you'll live out your role, and get your voice back, and maybe even give Mr. Minama a little grandson, huh? I bet he'd like that!"
*Maia nodded slowly!
<Maia> "Come on, Anna, we should let Maia get some rest," Camille says. "Especially after that."
<Mina‘Haplo> "Aw, but, we just got here!" Said Anna, although she was already nodding. "We’ll be back soon, okay? We'll bring you dinner." Said Anna, giving Maia a biiiiiig hug.
*Maia returns the gesture, and smiles, as she moves to tumble into bed! But not before giving Camille a hug, too.
<Maia> "Take care of yourself, Maia. Please," Camille intones, before she steps out into the hall.
<Mina‘Haplo> "Bye, Maia! Take care!" Said Anna, waving as she followed Cammy out.
<Maia> Camille shuts the door, once Anna’s outside. "You did a lot for her there," she remarks.
<Maia> "Remember when you promised you'd pay her back for helping you master your circles, when we were children?"
<Mina‘Haplo> "Yeah…?" Said Anna, slightly bashfully.
<Maia> "I think you two are even," Camille chuckled. "Did you see how happy she looked?"
<Mina`Haplo> "Y-yeah…" Said Anna, blushing a little. "… I hope she’ll be okay. I want her to be okay. I know this is a dangerous life, and she's got to live it, but…"
<Maia> "She's going to be fine, Anna. Especially now that she realizes her 'cage' is not quite so confining as she might have thought."
<Mina‘Haplo> "Yeah…" Said Anna, nodding… "Anyway, you know what? Let’s go do something… Fun. I feel happy, too."
<Maia> "… Huh?"
<Maia> Camille gives her a funny look. "What's this 'fun'?" she quips, sarcastically.
<Mina‘Haplo> "Oh, you wouldn’t know what fun is." Said Anna. "But here, I'll tell you what it is…" She leans forward as if to whisper…
<Maia> "…"
<Mina‘Haplo> With a sudden smooth act, Anna grabs Cammy’s trademark cap from her head and *bolts*down the hallway. "Come get meeeeee~!"
<Maia> "… HEY! Get back here!!" And she's off in pursuit!
<Maia> -End?-
<Mina`Haplo> -End!-

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License