--Everyth Castanova -- Campground outskirts with Henry--
"Oh, being modest, are we?" Everyth teased as Henry rejected the title of dreadnaught, but didn't press the issue further. He seemed a bit defensive about it, and this seemed like one of those moments to embrace rather than to argue. A rarity for her.
Everyth's violet eyes moved toward Henry's bandaged chest, wincing slightly as Henry reacted to the pain upon touching it. "It looks like he certainly got you good, but you made it. Like I knew you would." Her thoughts drifted back on to Maxis, raising a hand to rub her temple. "It's funny, though, how does one destroy a living suit of armor? I tried everything in my book, but every time I managed to take him apart he'd just simply put himself back together again as though nothing happened."
It bothered her tremendously, fighting opponents who could not be killed, but at least she was equipped with knowledge the next time she faced down an enchanted suit of armor. If that ever occurred in her lifetime.
Henry pointed out that she had aged, to which she gave a hollow, humorless laugh. "Oh, that? It's nothing. It isn't the first time that the use of my magic has backfired. While the augmentation gifted me with magic, it has also cursed me with rapid aging. I . . . exerted myself to the limit, perhaps too far, and this is what I must endure as a result."
She tucked back a lock of hair, including the silver streak, trying to give Henry a pleasant smile without being plagued by sadness. It didn't bring her particular joy that she would age ten years just by the use of her magic, and at the mere age of eighteen she already had the physical appearance of someone in their thirties, at least, and who knew how much her insides were worn. Her life would undoubtedly be cut short, but she didn't like to think about that.
"So, Henry," Everyth asked suddenly, voice soft, eyes fixated on him in the starry night. "What are your plans, once this is all over and we survive? Do you have a home to go back to? People you love?"
She realized that, after their fights, witty remarks, and quarrels that she really didn't know much about him. He'd been a mysterious member of Alderon's court long ago, augmented like her and yet so different. But she knew next to nothing about his story. Suddenly she wanted to know, for reasons unbeknownst to her.
--Queen Shiva -- Kilkis Seres campgrounds: private area with Maxis--
The queen's eyes widened as Maxis took her into his embrace. While only steel touched her flesh, she was still warmed by the gesture. She carefully wrapped her arms around him in return, resting her head upon his armored chest. After everything she had witnessed that day on the battlefield, this hug was really something that she needed.
"I'm fine, Maxis, truly," said Shiva, trying to hide the burn marks on her arm that she'd acquired from Mariel. "What about you? It looks like someone really tried to do you in. Is the damage easily mendable?" She admittedly didn't know much when it came to recovering damage upon his enchanted suit of armor, so phrasing his healing took a bit of effort on her part.
It made Shiva shudder to think of Henry alive, well, and on Raiden's side. The other humans didn't concern her. Heck, even other augmented humans didn't pose as great of a threat to her. Something was quite unnerving about Henry in particular to the ice queen. She didn't trust him, nor did she know what he was capable of. She'd hoped that he'd fallen, or that he never made it to Raiden's army, and yet here he was. She clasped her pale hands in front of her, nodding as Maxis gave his report.
"I understand. You did everything that you could do, and I would expect nothing more. Thank you for your efforts, Maxis. Right now Raiden and the human king are our main focuses anyway, even if I fear Henry to be a grave threat." The thought of another soul possessing Henry concerned the queen as well, though she couldn't fathom how that came to be, or whom this individual could be.
She bowed her head low, pale locks falling over her face and shoulder.
"Maxis, I fear that you will be upset with me," she began slowly, hanging her head like a child. "But . . . . I'm going to Odin again. I need to see him. To speak with him. I won't allow anymore souls to lay down their lives for me while following a dream that is not my own. I intend to end things tonight, one way or another. I hope that you will understand."
Whether Maxis would be accepting of her departure mattered little to her, but she felt obliged to tell him. She owed him at least that much.