71 Elanor“s Resolve
The rising sun rouses Elanor from her stupor as she rubs her eyes she sees Laurel running around with a bucket of water. Elanor waves to her and yells, "What's the hurry?"
Laurel pauses and looks at the already rambunctious Elanor. Laurel smiles awkwardly while replying, "Well everyone is hungover. It's a mess."
"What a bunch of lightweights," Elanor laughs while holding her stomach. "I'll hang around for breakfast. Come talk to me when you're done taking care of the losers."
After a chaotic morning, breakfast is a light affair. With just some jerky and a variety of vegetables. Kendra and Rosie leave as soon as breakfast is over. Laurel then finds Elanor relaxing in the outskirts of town.
"What did you need?" Laurel asks as she runs over.
Elanor grabs the girl by the waist with her right hand and scoops up Laurel's right hand with her left. Elanor sweeps Laurel around in the dance step that she'd taught her. Elanor nods happily as she compliments, "You've got the basic steps down now." Elanor then shakes her head and seriously says, "This is only the beginning. You can't just rely on that stupid bushes technique. You must integrate everything into your dance."
Laurel looks up over Elanor's mountains into her eyes. "I don't," Laurel starts to reject with hazy eyes but as she begins to speak Elanor swoops her away with a sudden dip.
Elanor leaves laurel bent over backward. Elanor leans in holding the girl tightly. She puts her lips right next to Laurel's ear and whispers, "You must do it. I know you have it in you."
Laurel blushes from the close body contact she almost felt like she was merging with the curvy woman. Before she can get her barring Elanor lifts her up and twirls her away. "Ahh," Laurel yelps as she stumbles from the sudden movement.
"Alright I'll see you later," Elanor yells with a mischievous smile. She waves happily while bouncing up and down. Before Laurel can even comprehend what is going on, Elanor has dashed off into the forest.
Elanor quickly reaches her camp not too far from the village. It has a well-made tent with a bed in it. The area is surrounded by inscriptions to keep the snow and weak demonic beasts away while she's gone. A fire stone lays in the center of the encampment keeps the place cozy.
Elanor sighs and walks over to her tent. She scoops up her treasure digest and flops on her bed her blond hair spilling out around her. She holds the book overhead as she reads about some of the recent discoveries.
As Elanor relaxes she pulls out some snacks. She grabs a bag of chips and a bottle of wine. As she read, she giggles with excitement. "Treasure hunting really is the best!" she exclaims.
"Sigh, you're still playing treasure hunter at your age?" A familiar woman's voice says next to Elanor's bed.
"It's romantic and lucrative!" Elanor rejects without thinking. She flops her book onto her lap and looks up at the blasphemer. Elanor's eye widens as she exclaims, "Mom?!"
Enyo stands over her girl with a stern face. She's dressed in casual clothing with short pants and a short-sleeved shirt that strains to contain her. Even though their demeanor is different when standing next to each other no one would deny the resemblance. This often isn't true for those in the Harlyn clan who can modify their bodies.
"Mom, what are you doing here?!" Elanor exclaims before looking Enyo over. "Are you trying to seduce some young man? What are you wearing!" She complains embarrassed.
"You're one to talk young lady. Look at you with loose-fitting clothing always on the verge of exposure. At least my clothes keep the critical parts contained," Enyo retorts while wrapping her arms around Elanor's neck.
Enyo flops down and begins to tickle Elanor. Elanor struggles, but how can she escape her mother? Elanor starts to laugh uncontrollably. "Mom stop I'm dying!" Elanor yells.
Enyo then heads butts Elanor making Elanor yelp and rub her forehead. "You stay on this rock for a few years and think you're queen? It's 10,000 years to early to challenge me," Enyo reprimands.
"You sent me here," Elanor complains while puffing out her cheeks.
Enyo sits next to Elanor and leans onto her. "It's necessary to learn to heal. If you don't follow the ancient path, it'll be hard…"
"I don't care about Evelyn and Raul! Nor do I care about following their path. You're too obsessed with the old stories," Elanor harrumphs.
Enyo sighs, "Maybe your right. But it's all for your benefit."
Elanor looks away flinging her waist-length blond hair into her mother's face. "I'm doing fine on my own," she declares.
Enyo stands up and looks down at her stubborn daughter. After a few moments, she shakes her head. "It's fine for you to do what you want. If you want to just play around in this pathetic world, go ahead," she concedes.
Elanor turns and looks up with hurt eyes. "That's not what!" she begins.
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"Rule these dregs like an unstoppable Empress. Relax and play treasure hunter. You don't have to worry if anything comes up you can always come home," Enyo reassures Elanor.
Elanor stands up and eyes her mother angrily. She stamps her foot, causing the ground under them to crack and shatter. "I just have a bit of fun, and you're on my back. Who cares if I wait a few years to learn to heal!" Elanor complains. She then swipes her right hand towards the ground and puts her left on her chest. "Even when I wasn't here no one would challenge me. They all run or placate me. There's no challenge! No excitement. Everything is boring," Elanor grumbles.
Enyo glances down at the ground for a moment forcing it back to its original state. She then returns Elanor's gaze. Enyo reaches out for her daughter but only makes it halfway. She opens and closes her hands a few times before dropping them back to her side.
"I know that you can reach the top simply by relaxing…" Enyo says as she looks up at the tent's roof. "I just wanted you to join me," Elanor's mother says with a bit of tremble in her voice.
Elanor looks at her mom inquisitively. Her mom is so strong and always sure. "What are you talking about?" Elanor says while reaching out and grabbing her moms arm.
"The time has come," Enyo declares. "There is no better time than now. We've already mobilized. At this rate this will be the last time we meet. It's likely that during this next great war I'll ascend," she informs Elanor with a distant look.
"I can fight mom! Why are you making this a big deal?" Elanor questions.
Enyo nods and scoops up her girls face. "Yes you can fight. Shattering enemies far above you. Yet that isn't enough to guarantee your safety. It's not enough to be among the best in your generations. There were plenty among my peers that were stronger than me, but now they are long dead," she says solemnly.
Elanor's eyes water as she grips her mom's arm. "I'm not like them," she ensures.
"Alright," Enyo replies. She pats Elanor's head then turns away. "You can play as long as you want don't worry," Enyo says as she waves without looking back. She flips open the flaps before Elanor can reach her and is gone.
Elanor rushes out of her tent flinging the whole thing aside. "MOM!" She screams with as tears stream down her beautiful face. After a half-hour of standing there crying Elanor's eyes become determined. She clenches her fist and once again stomps on the ground. The ground shatters to pieces destroying the well-kept camp. Elanor then swishes her hand collecting everything into her interspatial ring. "It's just healing. Even if it's boring I can do it too," she sneers.