Yaovi, the Reaper in Green, raised an eyebrow at the wolf who stepped out of the shadow of a tree. “Hecate. My, what a surprise.” Yaovi stood, “What brings you to my humble island home?”

The wolf shifted, becoming something greater in a heartbeat- a mess of strings strung tiredly from a bunch of metal rungs. It looked sad, for a moment, before the gears and wheels greased themselves and tightened up, forming the body frame of the Pathfinder. A moment later, skin and cloth flashed into existence around that frame, leaving a gender neutral body that slowly filled out into the form of a female Lycanthrope.

Yaovi frowned. “Hecate, what’s wrong? You usually don’t do multi step transformations like that unless something’s bothering you… Or are showing off.”

“One and the same,” Hecate said, walking over to join the Reaper at her chess table. “I saw her again.”

“Oh?” Yaovi raised an eye borw. “You mean the girl who ended up born by your deal with the-”

“Yes, that,” Hecate’s eyes narrowed faintly. “Exactly that.”

“So how is she?” Yaovi asked, motioning for Cah’le to start pouring some tea. “Your daughter, I mean.” It was a pointless clarification, but one she made regardless.

“She’s already found her mate from a certain soul bond,” Hecate said pointedly. “Did you think I wouldn’t recognize that bond signatures once they were active?”

“After all those many years of you denying that those two were the souls of those long-ago friends of ours?” Yaovi smiled, but it held no humor in it. “I felt you were wallowing in your grief long enough.”

“They’re both training to be Mystryal Detectives,” Hecate proudly thrummed like a strummed string, even as Cah’le handed over their cup of tea. “I would have thought you’d keep them out of harms way after going to all that trouble.”

“You think too much of my machinations, Pathfinder,” Yaovi’s eyes flashed in a mischievous way as she said his preferred title. Then, she turned to Cah’le and took her cup of tea from her, “Thank you, dear.”

“My pleasure,” Cah’le bowed, and slipped away to observe at a distance like any good child would.

Hecate sighed, shaking their head. “After all these years, you still coddle the child.”

“My, is today ‘being a hypocrite day’ or something?” Yaovi joked, but once again, it was a hollow type of humor. “Hecate, you know as well as I that the true fate of the world is outside of my control. All I do is send the souls back through the cycle again and again.” She took a sip of her tea, deliberately drawing out the conversation because Hecate sure as hell knew that she wasn’t done speaking. “I may nudge things along from time to time, but the fact is, yes, I threw her soul at you as a wake up call. But how was I supposed to know that her soul mate would find his way into the hands of such an evil woman?” She sighed in lament, “His mother was such a kind soul, this cycle. And that his sister ended up being a close friend of ours from back then as well… I did not plan for that.”

“Of course you didn’t, you-” Hecate paused, and then processed that last sentence. “…Her? She ended up being his sister!?”

“Did you seriously blind yourself for so long to NOT see that?” Yaovi frowned. “Mystryal was always your territory, Hecate. I cannot believe that you’ve let yourself not check in with them.” She went from a frown to a scowl, “No, I refuse to believe that you’ve become so tired of it all, unlike I. What of River’s reincarnation? Hm? What of her curse?”

“Of course I haven’t! But…” Hecate frowned. “It’s just, with the Brat escaping and all…” another sigh escaped their lips. “It’s like we’re all the way back during the war. Facing the Brat’s plague anew. Creating Lycanthropy…” And so they finally took a sip of tea. “…My tea is cold.”

“Of course it’s cold,” Yaovi chuckled, this time with some humor. “It’s Iced Tea.”

“But where’s the ice?” Hecate asked, staring into the cup.

“You think Ice lasts out here this close to the equator?” Yaovi smiled, purely amused, and said, “The cups are enchanted. Restrid made them for me as a novelty item soon after we met. I just never had a reason to use them until I moved here.”

“I suppose I really have been wallowing if I didn’t notice Restrid’s work in these tea cups before now,” Hecate remarked, shaking their head.

“Indeed you have,” Yaovi replied. “But let’s not focus on the past, hm? To the future then?” She raised her tea cup. Hecate smiled, and raised theirs to clink the cups together.

“To the future.”

After that, the conversation between the two old friends turned to somewhat happier thoughts, even while the threat of the oncoming stormed lurked in the background of both of their minds.


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