A nerve unraveled, sharply, severely, and it twisted and slithered into a mass, a ganglia of unknown sensations and emotions, hiding and lurking in the darkness, waiting...Araia held her breath without knowledge of it, paralyzed that the sudden silence that devoured the gardens, the sound of life, was the effect of that unraveled nerve that irritated the wizard Kos. Eyes, those that belonged to him, penetrated through her being, splintering her, separating her, examining her with severe scrutiny, and the curt words he spoke made her mouth dry and her hands pebble with moisture. Her fingers twitched, sought one another out, and her thumb and forefinger found a well crafted filigree gold ring to twist as she awaited for a word spoken from the wizard or to hear the rustle of leaves feather through the bountiful trees.
Boundaries were crossed, overstepped, and all the young woman's fault, that she knew and self admittedly, secretly acknowledged. In the silence of the garden, and in the silence of the lack of time where nothing moved, where nothing aged, but was suspended indefinitely, the young woman wondered if her statement had any truth to it. It did. She knew it, and by the very fact that he casually spewed conversation to her about devils and imps; hardly did the topic frighten him, speaking as if, and was, well practiced with them, something that a person with strong morals and faith in the gods would never do. Araia had only mentioned hellish beings in dry jest, and now, something was different in how she regarded Kos and it made her curious, made her wonder, made her fear him and all that was unknown about the man and mage. The devils, what he had said regarding them, it was the truth, and worry about consorting with fiends flourished within the young woman. How could society, the nobility and counsel of the City allow it? How could the Archmage Kos allow his soul to be tainted, blackened, by such associations? It puzzled the girl, and there was a need to know, a need to save the man from himself, and whatever powers he possessed, yet how could she if fear of the man and of the mage corrupted her so easily? There is nothing to fear but fear itself? Little to no comfort she received from that thought and so she closed her green eyes to block out his gaze, to escape all that was unsettling. Her thoughts, however, still remained to haunt her, as were that of his words that were cruelly and deliberately spoken, and it forced her to open those brilliant green orbs and absorb her surroundings once more.
Araia soaked in the gardens, her eyes studying it, and only then did she glance at the wall once again, and once again she thought that the gargoyles moved, shifted ever so slightly. Their sharp beaks and fangs, their malicious faces that were twisted, malformed with fiendish features that craved to frighten, or worse, were pointed directly at her or so she thought. She did her best to convince herself that it was simply paranoia, or an illusion combined with the well fabled tales that surrounded the Archmage's wondrous being that truly, and obviously, no one knew much about save those rumours that he vouched were true. She hugged herself, and shifted; the stones underneath her feet did not stir nor did sound emanate from them.
It happened then. The Archmage Kos spoke, and the silence that drenched the gardens was broken. A smile, one that was small and fragile, one that was uncertain to be happy or not, crooked the girl's lips. She nodded to indicate that she understood, but thought it best to voice it. “Splendid then!” She chirped out with enthusiasm for she did not wish the mage to know she found him unsettling and repulsive, and that her goal, yes, was to learn the art of magic or a smattering of it, but beyond that trite feat was something greater, and that was to restore the wizard Kos' humanity. She outstretched her dainty hand in a gesture of good will, offering it to him. “I am sure we will not disappoint one another.”