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Bragging Rights

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It was a quiet night in the Grove. The only sylvari still roaming their home grounds were the reserved nightborn and they weren’t one for conversation. So was Sansari, usually. But not this night. This night she sat at the bar, laughing, a glass of apple juice in her hand. Next to her was someone that wasn’t born in the night. That sylvari was talking happily to the purple woman, waving her arms around in excitement. Books were lying on her side of the bar, neatly stacked and filled with bookmarks.

"I’m telling you San, it is totally possible for me to train my powers if I get used to the elements.", she said, sounding exciting. "That’s all good and well but how are you planning to get used to fire? Setting yourself aflame?", Sansari replied, obviously amused. "Ruucina you can be so daft sometimes. Theories won’t always work in practice." Ruucina, the younger sylvari, huffed and crossed her arms in a way young human children do when they don’t get what they want. "No that would be stupid, I thought of getting used to the cold in order to train my water-powers though.", she muttered.

"That is still stupid my dear.", Sansari replied. "But I can help you." Ruucina looked up at her senior. "I can arrange you a ride on one of our airships in order to ‘help you train your air-powers’ if you would like." The mocking tone in that sentence we.t completely past Ruucina, who was bumping up and down her chair in excitement.

"Will you let me do that? That’s amazing!" Sansari was doing her best to keep her laughter down and took a sip of her juice instead, only to start coughing when Ruucina made a little spin on her barstool. "I might have to twist an arm or two but I will get it done for you.", she replied. Ruucina cheered. "I don’t really like those bloody things but consider it done."

And Ruucina said exactly what Sansari liked to hear: “You’re the best girlfriend ever” It made the older sylvari shine with joy.

Two weeks later, Ruucina followed her girlfriend thought Fort Trinity. It had been quite a hassle since the younger sylvari wanted to see everything on their way down there, even the dangerous things. And considering where they were right now everything was dangerous. So Sansari had to drag her along more than a couple of times before they could safely enter the stronghold.

Of course, the fort wasn’t owned by Sansari, even though she named it, and she had to confer with her superior about the airship-ride before taking Ruucina with her. Luckily Sansari was a master in bending things to her will and she was able to convince the marshal with promises of cake and telling him that ‘Ruucina has this almost erotic attraction to books just like you have’.

On top of that, Sansari didn’t like airships. Well, as long as they were sitting silently on the ground she was fine with them. It was the ‘air’ part she was mainly worried about. Of course she had been on a flying airship a couple of times but those times she was so filled with adrenaline and she was too busy noticing the height they were flying on. The trip today would be a mere pleasure trip and she wasn’t exactly looking forward to that. Luckily some Priory researchers were willing to study Ruucina’s theory so Sansari had something to manage aboard the ship.

Of course, the marshal wasn’t going to let them fly their best airship, so when the two of them arrived at the ship Sansari wasn’t exactly pleased. It was older and looked a bit shaggy. Ruucina, on the other hand, was overjoyed. “This thing looks amazing!”, she said happily, grabbing her girlfriend by the arm. “This is my first time seeing an airship and it is magnificent.”

When the captain of the ship came towards them, Sansari was happy she didn’t have to reply to Ruucina. “Hello commander, milady.”, the scruffy young human male said to both of them. “In order to test the training method milady Ruucina has proposed will do a quick flight through the area, hopefully without attracting the local wildlife. With us will be two of the Priory’s magisters.” The way the captain spoke calmed Sansari down a little.

"Good, thank you.", she spoke in a clear manner that in no way showed that she was afraid. "Yes thanks a bunch!", Ruunica added, spontaneously making a bow out of happiness and excitement. Sansari sighed at that and shook her head, smiling. She took her girlfriend’s hand and said in the most lovely tone she could manage: "Lets board the airship dear."

Ruucina took Sansari’s hand, giggling, and together they boarded the airship. The captain followed. The two scientists were already on board. One of them was an Asura female with funky hair, and she came right at Ruucina the moment she saw her. “Hey there! You were the one with the new training idea, right? I personally think it’s a splendid experiment, although my partner says otherwise.” She glanced over at a norn male that looked quite annoyed and mumbled something about ‘too many variables’.

As a member of the Order of Whispers Sansari was always a bit weary of Priory-members. Way too often had they started ranting to her in a scientific language that was just beyond her. Although she was commander or the Pact and orders were equal there she still found it hard to get along with the scientists.

But, as commander Sansari had responsibilities. And so she walked over to the norn, cursing herself over the fact that she will wake up tomorrow with pain in her neck. “I understand that this might be a weird experiment. I’m surprised that the Priory is even interested in it.”, she said. It was an honest attempt to engage in small talk which wasn’t her strongest point. “I’m surprised as well…” , the norn muttered. “But at least I can get some fresh air, so my time is not wasted.”

The sylvari next to him instantly decided that this man would be a good friend. “To be honest, commander, I wouldn’t do this if I was trying to court a female.” Or, maybe not.

Whatever it was going to be, Sansari’s thoughts were interrupted by the captain’s voice, too loud and not clear enough, over the intercom. “We are getting ready for take-off!”, he said. And being the young sylvari in the group, Ruucina instantly asked: “Why does he say we if he’s the only pilot? We aren’t getting ready at all, right?” The huge norn huffed. “But we should be.”, he replied.

Take-off always was a thing Sansari couldn’t quite get used to. It was shaky and rough and slightly resembled getting flung across the floor by an Ettin. However once an airship was flying, it was gently rocking like a human baby’s cradle. And Sansari liked that. She liked the gentle movement, the moment of complete silence and the amazed look on Ruucina’s face. Oh, if only things could stay that way for the entire flight.

Too bad that they would not. Far too soon for Sansari’s liking the magisters were setting up their equipment and Ruucina dragged her outside ‘to enjoy the view’. Which wasn’t enjoyable at all for the other sylvari. More like terrifying.

"Isn’t it lovely?", Ruucina asked as if she was the one working in the Straits of Devastation. "Would be lovelier without all the undead…", Sansari muttered, but her girlfriend didn’t notice and was far too busy enjoying the view.

"Milady Ruucina, we are ready to start the experiment.", the norn said behind them. Ruucina let go of Sansari and turned around. "Ah yes of course. Shall we start?" Sansari turned around too and watched as her girlfriend started practicing air spells and the two magisters measured everything she could think of. And possible more.

Slowly, but surely, Sansari forgot her fear of heights while she watched the experiment. Her girlfriend was graceful in her movement. Her voice was clear and melodious and her face was like that described in fairy tales. Oh how did the Mother Tree produce something this magnificent.

For the first time ever, she was sad the flight was over. Ruucina was too but for completely different reasons. “I haven’t been able to enjoy the view some more!”, she said, sounding absolutely shocked at how fast the time has gone. “I hadn’t enjoyed mine long enough.”, Sansari replied casually, making the other sylvari blush.

As both of them set foot on safe grounds, they felt happy. They were holding hands and smiling, leaving the magisters and the captain behind. Not even thinking about them anymore. “That was great.”, Ruucina said. “Thank you.” And she kissed her girlfriend on the cheek, before running off. And Sansari watched her, before remembering where they were and running after her, cursing but smiling too.

One month later, Sansari sat in Trahearne’s office. In front of he marshal was a huge stack of paper. “This is the report of your little airship date, commander.”, he said, gesturing at the paperwork in front of him. “Although I can’t say I approve of misusage of Pact-equipment to court someone, this experiment your girlfriend has come up with has given us some interesting results. It is in fact possible to train elemental spells better when being physically attuned to this element.” And Sansari just stared at her superior. “In other words, your girlfriend was right.” And Sansari just sighed. She could already imagine the bragging she would have to go through for the next weeks.