It was a given by then. Whenever there was a group mission, or a siege, or an attack of any kind in which daevas needed to fly, you could see Nyal take out his blue surfrider and mount it. As if he were wingless, as if he weren’t a daeva yet. Just a simple human hidden in the clothes of a warrior. It was very curious to those who saw, but the novelty had worn off with time and no one asked why that was anymore unless they didn’t know him. And Nyal was fine with that. He didn’t care that the new recruits looked at him funny because he was always looking up. To the generals.
So whenever a newly high ranked daeva asked him the why of his mount, his answer was always:
“Well, it’s faster than wings, isn’t it?”
“Hey, I like Agus! I have to show him my affection, do I not?”
It was never:
“My wings are so ugly that I just want to rip them off and throw them into the Abyss so that I don’t have to see them again.”
Which was the real answer and the one that most pissed off Reinahl, his sister. It wasn’t anything more surprising than the mount thing, to see the two siblings bickering some days regardless of the time or place. In a low voice, of course. Lord Marchutan forgive that anyone know about the whole wing issue!
Today was one of those days. They’d just finished an assault to the Sauro Supply Base and were resting in Pinnacle Cataract Outpost and Nyal was bemoaning his fate once again at not being able to find an aether relic that’d change his wings’ appearance to something more presentable. Reinahl, tired of the incesant complaints, cut him off.
“I honestly don’t understand what problem you may have with your wings. I mean, they’re serviceable, they were given to you for your rise through the ranks and they’re quite pretty!”
“No they’re not!”, he answered with a voice that told her that he was terribly offended. “And I look like an airon with them! I’d have changed them in a wink if they didn’t have their use.”
Reinahl frowned, “That’s terribly offensive. Have they not given you more endurance and boosted your spells? Have they not shielded you from attacks? Besides we’ve all had those wings before and there’s no problem with them.”
“Yes, and that’s the problem! I look like a charity case in them! It looks like I haven’t done anything that’d give me decent wings since I was a level 55 recruit! And you can say that without remorse, you have those beautiful reian wings”
“Yes, because sporting wings given to me by the dead inhabitants of a destroyed kingdom isn’t in any way morbid. At all”, she remarked with a voice as dry as the desert.
Nyal got a little red, “That’s not what I meant and you know it.”
“I know, but it doesn’t make it any less true.”
Nyal wento retort but Reinahl didn’t let him.
“Look, you may think it’s an embarrasment to still have those wings even with your training finished but I don’t see it that way. And I’m sure very few people would think like that. They’d think that you like the wings, as so many daevas do, or that you’re such a badass cleric that you don’t need anything more, or that you have an emotional attachment to them. Either way, what they think dorsn’t really matter because the one who has them is you. Are they useful? Nice, continue using them.”
By the end of it Nyal had gone silent and Reinahl could see him shift between giving it some thought and continue being embarrassed. Reinahl sighed.
“You know, what I said before it’s true. It’s kind of creepy to have a relic of the reian kingdom at my back, and some others have told me so. But. I chose to ignore them and wear them with pride, because they were given in good faith and I think of them as a kind of remembrance to those who lived in Sarpan”, she said. “Beritra may have killed the mayority of them and competely destroyed Sarpan but there are daevas all over Atreia, Asmodians and Elyos both, that carry mementoes of their lives. And there are reians out there too, proving Sarpan is still alive, even if not in a quite physical form.”
Little by little Nyal had been making a ball of himself and for the first time in quite a while, his wings came out to surround him, like they were trying to console him.
“I get it, I do. But my wings don’t have such a huge emotional background. They’re just a formality given to those who get to a certain level in their training”, he hugged himself more. “Besides, I’m sure whoever designed them hasn’t ever been in battle. I look like a flowerpot with all this purple.”
He pouted and Reinahlied really hard not to laugh.
“Have you given any actual thought to why they would give wings as a reward during training?”
Nyal’s brows furrowed, “Aren’t they just part of the package? I mean, we get armor and weapons and accessories, so why not wings?”
“Yeah but we get those during the whole training multiple times. There’s, however, only one set of wings given to us freely of charge. These ones. You know why?”
Nyal shook his head.
“I think it’s kind of an incentive. Wings are something so personal to us daevas that they only give us one set as a kind of reward and incentive. Reward for having gotten so far and persevered, and incentive to get to the end. It’s proof that you didn’t give up and simply live the life like so many daevas do, just procrastinating and living off who knows what because they don’t want to fight”, her expression said plainly what she thought of those daevas without having to voice it out loud. It softened when she looked at him and she caressed his wings, making them shudder. “You don’t see those kind of daevas with these wings, who only have their original ones and those money can buy. These wings and your whole demeanor, your armor and your words, they prove you’re a warrior. They prove you deserve your position and give honour to those who matter to you.”
The only answer to that was a sudden and impetuous hug from Nyal, whose wings surrounded her while she laughed happily for having finally convinced him.
“What would I do without you?”, whispered him.
“Drown in your own misery and get killed more often than not, surely”, she laughed as her own wings came out and returned the hug.
“I’m the cleric, you’re just an assasin”, he grumbled.
“Yes, tell me that the next time you provoke another balaur general”, she retorted and she could tell he was pouting again.
They may not be siblings by blood but they were siblings either way so she claimed the right to bother him indefinitelly.
And indefinitelly was a long time for a daeva.