“Please, don’t apologize to me,” replied Llyr as soon as he heard the offer in regard to the misunderstanding between them. He felt slight annoyance that the man still didn’t understand, but he wasn’t sure what to say or what not to say in explanation for what he had meant when he brought up the Ring of Paradigm’s uses. Would Doran even be able to understand? He clearly had the view of someone without a spark, someone who saw mages as the other. No matter how they talked about theory, or sought to study the arcane, the distinction between them set them in different groups. If the next day, sparkless decided to round up the mages – as had been done in Rynmere – Doran would not have to personally worry about it. Llyr would.
Still, his annoyance and his seriousness hadn’t been caused by the idea of people using devices against mages. It was frustration for himself; that he hadn’t explained himself well enough to be understood, and yet he struggled to figure out how he wanted to explain without sharing too much.
He sighed and let go of his emotions, or tried to. Llyr eased and then blushed when Doran offered approval of the form of his unique mutations. The young mage tried to shrug it off and mentioned that he only saw part of the mutations that he had.
“Then show me – or at least tell me,” said Doran. “I cannot make a definite decision without knowing about all of them. You already know what I’m hiding under my clothes”
“Doctor Thetys,” laughed Llyr, sincerely though shortly. He teased the older man, “You’ll have to try harder than that. You haven’t even offered me a drink!”
He focused on the conversation, but his mood had obviously lifted by the flirtation. Where he’d been annoyed and serious, he turned thoughtful and playful instead. Perhaps it might have appeared flighty or sudden to those who weren’t within his mind, but for Llyr, it followed a distinct predictable logic. Even given the turn of their conversation as they spoke further about mutations, then subsequently revelation, he had eased back into a casual mindset.
Llyr nodded and once again, he felt an overwhelm of different things to potentially say, but he settled on the simpler choice. “Merely because someone looks like they used to, doesn’t mean they are the same person anymore. Possession can occur. You know of Yludih, people can take forms.”
“Deception has no bounds regarding this, and Revelation is no different. Some sparks likely find advantage in pretending to be the same as its mage. Does that not make sense? Seeing the mage as who you knew before… would it not encourage you to lower your guard around them, doctor? This Visitant of yours… how much did you allow them into your life after revelation due to this? That which seems harmless can sometimes prove to be the most dangerous.”
When Doran asked about the relation of the sparks, in the midst of their conversation after Llyr theorized aloud on the nature of why mutations took the form and shape they did. He looked up at the ceiling and didn’t answer immediately. Instead, the young mage thought over the question. He set his free hand over his chest. Llyr started to answer in slow consideration. “Sparks are intimate. They can be understood, I believe, similar to how the body can be understood. Over time, through gradual listening. There is much to be heard in their silence.”
His fingers tapped against his jacket. He glanced at Doran. “I find it difficult to describe properly. Perhaps symbiotic, some mages believe that, yes. Others view the spark like an enemy or a tool. It is complicated, there is much involved. I do not want to discuss this for our entire time together. I suspect it would take up the entire night and then some!” A quiet laugh escaped him, nervous somewhat in sound, and he shook his head.
Doran’s request about initiation and mutations caused him to avert his gaze once more. He ran his fingertips along the edge of a shelf, as if to dust it.
“Teacher…” he scoffed. He answered curtly, “That is a far too generous word to use for the pollinators. No. My mutations do not resemble either of them.”
Llyr shrugged, then turned the conversation to the item instead. He made mention of threat, perhaps to distract from the previous topic as well as to see whether Doran had considered the consequences of such research. His mood fluctuated, as he struggled to maintain the various emotions that made their way through him. He’d gotten so much better regarding his composure, but he still felt such things. Llyr was not an emotionless, apathetic sort of person in any regard.
“At what point does research become not worth it? When do risks become too much?” he asked, sincerely wondering what the other man thought. He patiently waited for an answer.
Their layered conversation continued onto the subject of mortalborn. Upon noticing Doran’s smile, Llyr canted his head to the side. At first, he found the answer lacking. Not being a mage didn’t mean an automatic interest in the arcane. That much was obvious. He fixed his posture, straightening his spine and drawing his shoulders back when he heard the rest of the remarks. His dark brows furrowed in a frown. What it feels like to have a spark inside of you… those words repeated in his thoughts, what it is like to change irrevocably and inevitably…
Llyr remained quiet while he listened. He forced his expression to maintain a neutral look when he heard the confession from the older man. A Mortalborn?
In that moment, Llyr’s thoughts ran through every conversation he’d had with his initiate. Certain things made more sense, now.
“I’d rather some people didn’t find out that I’m not human.”
“…of what Immortal?” asked Llyr. He stared at Doran, though not from shock despite the emotions he felt underneath the surface of his composure. A quiet hum sounded from him, then he said, “Thank you for telling me.”
Guilt twisted at his stomach. Doran offering such honesty when he knew he’d lied about similarly important details about his magic. He felt nauseous and leaned against his staff slightly. His face paled. He said in a careful choice of words, “And… how old are you then?”