" If she understands difference between soul that moves on and body she consumes, I think it may do her good. If she understood what Death meant for her maker, she should understand this as well. It's something you should learn, as well. You know *dying*... But you have not experienced true Death yet, not in this life. You only caught glances of it. That's why you only see Death through prism of dying, which is not very pleasant way to view the greatest.... "
"One of the greatest.. " Tide murmured a little defensively.
"I mean, one of the greatest healers of all time. " Melody corrected herself. " I guess... As someone who died few times, I could have better insight to help explain it... "
" Could we perhaps wait so for it after we get back, perchance? " Hans tied in carefully. " Not that I want to rush you or anything, but it will grow cold soon, if sun sets. Personally, I always found it easier to speak through hard things when I'm nice and warm, sipping a warm cup of tea.. " his eye twitched a little gloomily. " Made from plants that were thoroughly crushed down into fine delicious powder so you can more easily drain nutrients from them, of course... "
Girl nodded, and she wrapped herself up in her blanket quietly, and she let Erdel hug her to keep her warm, seeming lost in her thoughts and quiet, sad and absentminded. When everyone was ready, Sage started the ship, leading them back home.
The girl was quiet for a while as they were riding back home, just looking at the glimmering ocean, avoiding his look.
" I would never lash out on you... My dearest.. But I just... Hate it.. " she admitted. " When people think they are on some moral high ground, if they eat plants instead of animals. I understand need to eat - I am just a sweet little low level Spirit, Sun... I need to eat too. But I pay equal respect, to all I eat on same way. How you live, is how you spent energy you have borrowed to keep you alive. " she whispered. " I eat... And then I play for others, I laugh with them, I care for them. I eat an apple, and then I water a tree. What you take to live and stay healthy, you return through your actions and your relationship and bond with the world, to the world. " she shook her head quietly, retreating her hand from him. " It is not ideal and never will be, but it is a way of respecting what you've taken. Thanks to the big nice meal I ate, the broth and fried meat Sage had given to me ever so kindly, I had enough strength to play for you - and that is good. That is honoring the plate of food I ate and using it for bringing good in the world. " there was some tearful sparkling wonder in her voice, before it got lost in sadness. " I hate it.... When people think they are on moral high ground, and pretend taking from plants is any different from taking from animals. As if doing one is murder, while doing other is not... I hate that. It is all taking, but you have to take, in order to be able to give back. There is no moral high ground. Life just needs to consume other life to continue living. It is how you use what you take that shows if you respect it or not and really counts as difference to the world. "
"People can understand the suffering of animals, but they do not know how it feels to be a flower... Xia does not know that either, she only has animal forms so far." Svarik said quietly. "Please, do not judge for the lack of knowledge. We meant well..."
Melody was quiet for a while, seeming to think about it.
" Zephir knows, though. I can feel that he knows. " she whispered thoughtfully then. " Do you see the way he walks, as if it pains him to even touch the grass with his feet? I can not really imagine... How it feels to be tortured... Physically. But I imagine it makes you feel vulnerable like a flower. " she replied quietly, as if trying to distance herself from previous conversation by thinking out loud. " That's why... I am very glad you took him in, and got him all those lovely seeds today, Svarik. Falcon had an eye out for him for a while... It is rare to find such a soft hearted human, that knows how it feels to be a flower. I want him to be happy. "
"If that's how a flower feels, then I can imagine it..." Svarik whispered. "Zephir knows many things. I hope to learn something from him, if he would be willing to share his wisdom. He deserves to be happy..."
" He knows too much of both worlds. He knows as many demonic runes as Spirit customs. And there is the way he acts... and something in his soul. " Girl whispered." I think he is a Singer because he has a Demon in his ancestry. "
" It is possible." Tide cleared his throat, feeling called out to respond to that." Um, I mean, it is build into us to be very sensitive to feelings of others." He said. " It is as likely for Gifted to be born as children of Demons as from Spirits. It can might as well be his demon ancestor had flowers form himself. It happens..."
They were silent a while, and only sounds in the air were sounds of the restless Sea, and sound of Xia purring, trying to comfort Svarik.
When she had enough time to think of it and soft through her feelings, Melody finally looked up to him, still little shaken, but with renewed determination.
" My brightest Sunshine... was always a gentle tender person. " She whispered. " I would never hold him acountable for desire to be gentle. My love... Do you really wish to eat meat no longer?" She cleared her throat, decisive to be supportive." I do not think it would do your body good... but I will try to help you work around it. Maybe.." she smiled vulnerably. " Maybe we can figure out something... just with corn and apples... "
"I don't know myself," Svarik admitted. "It was hard to see Xia's shock about what we were eating. She was very distressed, and I wished to comfort her. I never thought about it before, because it was hard to get any meat at all and I couldn't be picky. And I suddenly realized that now I have a choice... I guess I will have to think about it more, together with Xia."
" My dearest... I suffer, imagining how often you must had been hungry. Liron told me that when you met, you just had a slice of cheese and bread, and a honeycomb, and that you looked so content about it. It makes me so sad, to imagine you happy over having a slice of cheese to share. " girl admitted that she inquired about it with some timidness, looking as if somebody stuck a shard of glass into her mind " I want to make you nice things you enjoy in. I want to prepare you stuff that makes your mouth water, and I want to make up for all the last years of your life that you were hungry... " she shook her head. " I don't want... To force food upon you. I only wanted to make you this because I knew you loved it so much, and because it always made you so happy when I'd surprise you with it. But... Maybe not today. Give yourself time to think about these things, please, to see what you want. It would be pity, though, to have all these apples and corn go to waste... I bought so many, so we could all have plenty of it to eat and still to have plenty left for later or for anyone that would want a slice... I know! Why don't I instead make two big nice tasty pies, one apple pie, and one corn pie? I know some terrific recipes of old, and it would still be plenty for us all, and since there's no meat in it, you and Xia could enjoy it freely too... " she suggested, looking up at him with vulnerability and hopefulness, as she slowly took her hand out of the blanket, and offered it to Svarik - ready to accept his touch now, in a silent peace offering of little Spirit full of love, willing to adjust its care to meet his needs anew.
" Of course. Every bit of it. " the girl replied with little smile, and she leaned gently toward him, and cuddles beside him and Xia, as if to reassure him that all is well and she is not angry, as she spoke quietly to his ear. " You need to understand - vessel can define how your mind works a lot. Form of flower is small and delicate, and plants are much different in structure than animals... You can not maintain complex human memories while being a flower. Memories of flower is very simple - it can remember but the sensations, as it has no eyes. It remembers caress of the wind, the touch of sun, it remembers how thrilling it feels to have water when you're thirsty, it is life of sensing how good other flowers around you are feeling and thriving on it. It is being one of thousand little voices, laughing with joy when rain falls, and basking in light of the sun that feeds you. " she smiled. " Some would say that living from light of the sun and minerals of earth is the cleanest way of life, one that can not make one suffer... But I feel that even taking from Sun, is taking from Solstice, who is ever so willing to give life to the world. Because of my bond with Solstice, I am Sunflower, and because of my bond with land, I am a healing sunflower, Sun. First life as sunflower, I became for my own sake when i discovered that form in me, and three other lives, I became sunflower to be picked up and brewed as a healing potion. Once you became a flower, you lose your sense of ever being anything else. Only very strong minds can snap out of it, and turn back to more advanced forms... That is why, more often than not, when you became a flower, you are bound to stay flower till end of that plant life... But I do not regret it. When you want to became a flower, you actually become a seed first, that needs to be grown to full size just like any other seed, and I always turned out to entrust myself to good people, that watered me well and gave me plenty of sun while I lived. Dying and being made into healing potion was painful... But living was so good. " she smiled, and she leaned forth, and she stole a quick kiss on Svarik's cheek, before cuddling up close to him. " The thrill of being taken care of in so vulnerable state by someone kind.... The relief whenever you felt cool water upon you, and whenever you basked in the sun... Opening up in trustful pleasure when bee or butterfly comes to pollinate you so you can give new life.... It is priceless. My Sunlight... " she trembled in his hold. " Please, remember this... It is always worth the prize of dying in what you think is the end... If before the end you can really live and enjoy your life. It was worth the prize of dying a flower, to have pleasure of living as a flower. "
" I guess that it knows how it feels to be a flower, then. " Melody smiled faintly, and pressed his hand. " Knowing White, it's hard to imagine an intelligent creature that does not yearn for companionship... But if other half of your soul is indeed content like that, I am glad. I often come by the fort, and play for it, and Birdie often comes and plays for it, but it does not respond... "
" Birdie insists there is still a human somewhere in there, human that looked forward to becoming Semai to you again, and desired to look after your Spirit animals. " Melody noted. " It worried me.. But you perhaps understand it more than Birdie, I hope. If it really is happy, I am only glad for it. "
"I think that the most of the part that makes it human is not in it, but in Birdie..." Svarik said. "When we were semai with it, it borrowed our humanity, because our minds were connected. When we are not there and it looks after the spirit animals, it feels more like a place than a person. A nice, protective place... Maybe it can focus and become more like a person when it wants. It did so when we were dealing with Ben's demon part, because it wanted to help. But if it does not need to, it seems to me that it does not want to be a person. It wished for a tree to be planted there, not for company..."
" A tree is company still, you know... " Melody teased him gently. " A non talkative company, but company still. From what you say, though, it feels like it's really what's best for it, to let it do things in its own pace. Maybe couple decades or centuries of peace and silent existence only with plants without human conversations or human music would be what it desires and needs. I only feel bad, and I know Birdie feels bad, because he can not go to it as often as he can go to you, and I think he feels guilty for preferring your human part to one of a place, Sun. But if we make a garden at place of a fort and make the place of Vein for your other part liveable, fresh and lively, then perhaps it will be self sufficient... If it has its garden and is content in it, then maybe we won't have to come to it, and if it one day it starts to desire to meet us and starts missing us, it can put its mind into becoming a person and seeking for us itself.... Maybe leaving it to itself is the best thing for it now, so it can figure out what it wants. I only hope human friends it had while it was part of you won't die until it starts missing them... "
"I hope so as well," Svarik sighed. "At least Birdie won't die. But it seems to me that exactly because of that guilt Birdie does not want to accept that it maybe doesn't want to be a person right now..."
" It is hard for Birdie. " Melody agreed quietly. " I think that one part of him looked forward to having a bit of you immortal at his side forever - having someone to talk to. I think he may feel bit disappointed as well, and then guilty for being disappointed... That it's not the case. The other half does not seem to feel need to return any warmth he gives it. I think it feels like lonely and unreturned friendship... A little bit as if he's pouring his heart out to deaf ears... But he's trying so hard, my Sun. "