i'll never leave, arthur.

Look at the time it's taken me to get away from what was said
I'll never leave, I'll always love

Figuring out how to fix Death. There was no sense of time in the Realm of the Dead, but Aura had only discovered that Death was broken relatively recently. Funny enough, as soon as Kelise and Brock had said that Death didn’t work the way it was supposed to, she’d had no trouble believing them. Theologians and philosophers debated endlessly about the meaning of life, regularly referring to an afterlife of sorts. If the purpose of life was intrinsically linked to life after death, and Death was… what it was, then did that mean the purpose of life was to wind up listlessly travelling a grey world, searching for love long forgotten?

If Kelise was to be believed, the purpose of death was to cast off the shackles of life and start anew. Brock preferred to see death as a continuation of life, with the dead aspiring to hark back to their living roles as much as possible. Aura, frankly, found both prospects alarming. There had to be some kind of middle ground.

She studied Nimueh with her sharp, piercing blue eyes, considering the question for a moment. It occurred to her that Mallos would have made a joke about it. Getting in fisticuffs over a magic stick? Yeah, that is unusual for me.

“Good,” she answered honestly. “Genuinely. I’m good.”

Now didn’t seem like the right time to test a corpse’s reaction to alcohol, so Aura shook her head lightly when Nimueh offered the wine. The atmosphere of the room had shifted dramatically when she’d brought up her friend. At the point of Aura’s death, Mallos had struck up the beginnings of a positive relationship with Tristan but was struggling a little with the rest of his family. He’d seemed to get on well enough with Arthur, but Aura distinctly recalled some rather dejected conversations about Morgana and Mordred had barely been on the scene at all. Mallos tended to be successful with relationships when he wanted to make them work, but this hadn’t exactly been normal circumstances. After Gwythr, it must have taken a lot for the family to accept his face, let alone his personality.

It seemed, from Arthur’s words initially, that they’d managed to do both. The corners of Aura’s mouth lifted into what might have become a smile if the king hadn’t dropped his final bomb. The would-be smile vanished as quickly as it had come, replaced with a slightly furrowed brow.

“What new daughter?” She asked, a touch of suspicion colouring her voice. “Not…? Oh no.”

She pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes.

That. Idiot.

“That’s…” Aura couldn’t even find the words. “Does the Council know? Is there going to be a – ” She inhaled sharply, doing another scan of the table, calculating. “The trial’s happening right now, isn’t it? In Amarna?” She slumped back in her chair. “Why would he do that? He’s too clever for this.”

me and you, we are ghosts


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