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Elya

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Dora - 𝕾𝖕𝖎𝖓𝖓𝖊𝖗 𝖔𝖋 𝕾𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖘#1395
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Elya stood for a few moments, processing Lillian's words. Next to the fireplace was a bucket holding several long, thin scraps of wood, presumably kindling. Behind it was a stack of thicker pieces of wood. The stack went above the fireplace's mantel by a solid two feet. Much higher than the child would be able to reach without toppling the stack onto herself.

Studying the kindling, Elya determined that they would qualify somewhere between 'small stuffs' and 'okay sized stuffs'.

Looking at the shelves of books that were in this room, something disturbed her at the thought of burning them.

While the books shouldn't be burned, there were scraps of paper littering different tables and desks in other rooms.

"Would scraps of paper suit for 'smaller stuffs'? There are several scraps of paper on the tables and desks in the other rooms."

Pointing at the bucket of kindling and the stack of firewood, Elya continued. "Would those suffice for the 'small stuffs' and 'okay sized stuffs'?"
 
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Aidoneus Osiris

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Kindling, check. Plenty of paper? The room was filled with books. Check. Larger stuffs to burn? …. Too tall… try to climb up? Knock over and say it was like that? Maybe, maybe… Did the statue even come down here? Lillian’s mind was pondering over the adventure of scaling the pile of food, thrill of toppling it over like the fragile tower of an enemy, or just tossing books onto the fire until she was warm and toasty. The statue didn’t know how to read right? It didn’t even know about the sun! How could something know how to read but not know about the sun….

Luckily for the state of the room, Elya had returned before the childish mind could begin wondering if a fort of books and wood could be constructed, and how well it’d resist a siege of hot coals.

“Hm, paper? Yup! Smaller sized stuffs. Papers good, papers please. That stuffs there is kinda small stuffs.” Lillian responded, pointing towards the bucket. “That there is okay sized stuffs.” Her finger turned to the large pile of wood. “The fun stuffs are even larger though! As big as your leg! And as thick as your waist! Those burn for a long time. But you gotta work your way up! The smaller stuffs lights the kinda small stuffs on fire. Then you use that fire to light the okay sized stuffs on fire. If you put too much big stuffs on, than it kills the fire!” Now… how to get the okay sized stuffs down…. Throw the bucket at it?

An idea…. She had a flying minion now! “Citizen Whatchaname! You have a new quest! An adventure! Find papers, I shall show you the way of burning thingies! Then get a dozen or so of that there okay sized stuffs…. And find blankies or clothes for me! If I get sick then imma get locked up even longer for staying out so late! Mush!”

Elya
 
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Elya

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Dora - 𝕾𝖕𝖎𝖓𝖓𝖊𝖗 𝖔𝖋 𝕾𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖘#1395
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Elya looked at the fireplace, then the stack of wood, calculating faster than she could reason the area inside and its capacity.

"I don't think anything larger than the 'okay sized things' will fit within the fireplace. I will fetch some paper."

She didn't know why the concern popped into her head, but as she reached the doorway, she turned to instruct.

"I do not believe we should use the paper within the books as fuel. Things have been written on that paper. Knowledge is important. Too important to burn."

With that, she went to one of the neighboring rooms to fetch paper that had not been written on. It contained no knowledge, and so was not too important to burn.

The dead man that had been in the fireplace on the lower level had been moved some days ago. Apparently there are proper places for dead men to be, which was in the ground. It had taken most of a night for her to dig a hole big enough for the man to rest in. Moving him to the hole, however, had taken little effort.

Returning with the loose sheets of paper, Elya offered them to the child.
"And my name is Elya. Names are also important, and should be remembered."

Names were very useful things. Names helped her sort all the humans she saw into more decisive order, and even the not-humans who were still friends.
 
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Aidoneus Osiris

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Lillian disagreed… All they had to do was shove it in there really hard and it’d fit…. Or knock out the sides of the fireplace! But that’d be for later, first she had to get warm and toasty. “I know that!” The girl’s huffed indignation responded at being accused of even considering burning books for the fire….. Paper burned quick and nice. Books took longer for some reason. It was just a big pile of papers but still the centers wouldn’t be hurt at all being tossed into a fire! While the outsides would be all blackened and gone… They had to be burned once the fire was already going.

Smoll foot tapped the floorboard impatient as her servant disappeared, only the flickering of the lantern keeping her company…. This place was filled with papers! Taking to long… Were there any snacks? … Wait… The statue lady didn’t even know about eating right? What about money? How did she buy a house when she was as dumb as a statue?!

When the towering creature returned, Lillian eyed the woman suspiciously…. Did they break into someone’s home while they were away? Or did they just find a statue randomly in their house every day…. “Thank you… Lillia.” She responded slowly, taking the papers in her hands before expression brightening.

“Now! Watch closely as the burning starts!” Tiny figure crouched down before the ashen fireplace, crumbling up papers to put at the bottom then carefully placing slivers of wood ontop. Opening the lantern she’d light a piece on fire and stick it in, watching as the papers quickly grew consumed by the flames. Small hands feeding more and more kindling into it, progressing towards larger pieces as the fire grew.

“See, small thingies first. The paper burns really fast, but super easy! So you use that fight, to light these tiny slivers on fire. Then these tiny slivers light larger ones up all pretty like. Its like doing stuffs. You can only do so many things before you get tired and ready for a nap. Its like that with burning things. They can only burn for so long or so fast before they got nothing left! Also! Never touch anything thats glowly and red, like that there. Glowing red and orange means its hot and can burn you. When you gets a bigger fire, alot of it will be glowing like that, and that is super hot! Flames can hurt, but those hurt more. Uncle heats up washing water by putting stones in there to heat up, then dropping htem off into the bucket to warm the waters up. And keeps doing it to keep it nice and warm for me. So if you ever want to warm something up to wash your stinky clothes, drop a couple of rocks that have been in here for a while into the water! So, if yous got any burning questions, or questions about life just let me know! …. We will be heres for awhile, until its nice and big then until my stuffs dry. So ask me lots since i’m older and smarter.”

Elya
 
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Elya

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Dora - 𝕾𝖕𝖎𝖓𝖓𝖊𝖗 𝖔𝖋 𝕾𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖘#1395
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Elya watched the flames gobble up the scraps of paper, then the kindling. Finally, as the larger pieces of firewood was added, the hearth took on the welcoming glow that she had seen from the windows of taverns and homes.

As she thought of the homes and business she'd seen operating in the late hours, Elya considered what had brought the night's adventure forth.

"Child, where do you live when not making small forts in the park?"

Watching the steam slowly rise from the girl's soaked clothes as they began to dry, Elya had another thought.

"I see that fire is very useful, even though it has great potential to harm. I've seen, now, multiple methods of mitigating that harm, containing it to retain the useful aspects without letting it destroy everything it can. Are all human things like that?"
 
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Aidoneus Osiris

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Lillian stripped out of her clothing once the fire was truly going, laying them out upon the stone heath to dry before the heat of the flames. Her arms held out, body turning to let it dry off and warm her flesh. “Nowhere! I stays at places with Uncle; but we sleep outside lots. So got to practice my fort building, because once I’m older I will be helping him make them more.” She responded, head flipping down and wiggling her hair to try and shake water out. Feeling the warmth of the fire radiate over it.

“Umm….” … Minigate? Asspecks? “Nooooo.” She responded slowly, trying to figure out just what the woman was talking about…. What did tiny gates have to do with a fire? …. Maybe to keep babies from crawling into them…. She’d seen some like that. Mostly rich peoples. “Only some humans. Not everyone can be or have the bestest of things after all! There are somes that got it bad, others got pretty okay ones, then you got the best of the bestest. Like my family’s house!” She responded with pride, remembering the massive fireplaces adorning their great hall.

“Always remember, other nobles and suchs look good and stuff.. But the ones lighting their fires are all rotten and stinky to the core! Osirians are sometimes stinky like Uncle, but wes got the bestest without being rotten and slimy. Things can look pretty and such, but its who you share the fire with that makes it fun or not. I’d rather huddle around a dirty, stinky fireplace with smelly Uncle. Than around a nice and fancy one with a pretty smelling noble! And so should you! Whenever you sees a noble, drop a bucket of paint on em. Yellow paint! So that way everyone knows they are yellow bellied!” She continued on, proudly pointing at Elya with a grin upon her face...Her upside down face as she still continued drying her hair.

"And take their shiny rocks and coins too! They dun deserve em. Gimme them, or.. I don't know.... Give em to people that look and smelly stinky, but act nice. Understand Elly? Nice smelling noble bad! Stinky good!"
Elya
 
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Elya

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Dora - 𝕾𝖕𝖎𝖓𝖓𝖊𝖗 𝖔𝖋 𝕾𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖘#1395
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The fact the child was unclothed meant little to Elya. She was only clothed in scraps of fabric as it was, after all. The notion of 'appropriate clothing' had yet to be fully impressed upon her.

"Why are nobles worthy of theft? Some humans are foolish, this I understand. Some jump to false conclusions based on little information. Why they do not wait and observe for further information, I do not know. I have learned much this way, including that some drink will make humans loud and aggressive, but other drinks will not."

Elya clicked her claws together as more of her observations came to mind.

"Those that have larger houses to live within do not tend to stray from their dwellings often. Though some do leave in bright clothing with many glittering gems on their person. They also return to their dwellings smelling of the loud-making drink. The humans who do not glitter do the same, and on a more regular basis. Why should one take glitters from the nobles?"

The distinction had not been lost on Elya. After a relatively short amount of observation, she had recognized the pattern between commoners and nobles. Those with brighter colors, bigger homes, and far more prone to draping themselves in glittering metal and gems. Those without those things were far more plentiful, but did not seem to have any other specific differences.
 
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Aidoneus Osiris

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… Was this what birds thought? Lillian knew some people liked looking at and watching birds… She thought they were pretty and watched at times too… But it felt odd to listen to the winged creature talking about watching people, like people talked about birds and other animals. Still… It sounded about right. Her head nodded, lips smiling to show her approval at the facts.

“Listen up! Heres how things work.” Lillian proclaimed loudly, reaching into the fireplace with a stick, to edge another one out. It’s tip charcoal and on fire, but quickly put out with waves of her arm. Using it, she began to draw on the stone hearth.

“We’s call the nobles, scum. And the others normies. N for noble, and … ah… M for normies! Nows! Whats they look like? Have you ever seen a noble with dirty hands or face? Have yew seen them doing stuffs that make them all sweaty? No! Nobles do nothing, yet get all the glittering stuffs. And you need the glittering stuff to have things and get food. No glittering stuffs you die! So, how do they get the glitterings when they barely go anywhere?”

“They get them from the normies! They point to the normies and say “
Gimme your smoll glittering things, so I can buy more glittering thingies! Even though I don’t do anythings to help you!” And the normies can’t do anything. Cause the nobles have the people with sharp swords and armor to hurt anyone that doesn’t give them the glittering stuffs. So to live, the normies gotta do things to earn it from other normies, or earn it from nobles; whom took their from the normies in the first places. So the normies gotta sweat and get all tired all day every day, just to live! And then gives alotta that money back to the nobles.. Then with that the normies got left, they gotta buy their stuffs to live.. Then they get all sad and stuffs, because they don’t have anything but the nobles got everything. And so they drink to feel better. Thats why you take from the nobles, and give to the normies. Or me. Because nine times outta three the nobles don’t deserve it, and got it by hitting people on the heads that didn’t do what they wanted.”

By the end of the lesson of wealth and class inequality, through the mind and words of a seven year old. An elebrate web of information had been scrawled upon the stone surface. Filled with Ns, glittering things, sad faces, Ns that’d been crossed out and made into M’s….. Over all, a complete and utter failure of anything resembling usefulness.

Elya
 
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Elya

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Dora - 𝕾𝖕𝖎𝖓𝖓𝖊𝖗 𝖔𝖋 𝕾𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖘#1395
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Elya watched and listened as Lillian drew her diagrams and explanations. She followed... less than half of it.

She had not seen and giving of 'glittering things', save the coin that commoners used to pay for the food and loud-making drinks.

None of the nobles seemed to give any coin, save to those that appeared to already serve them. Humans were so strange.

Nodding solemnly, she said, "I understand." Though, if truth be told, she understood slightly less than she had before the explanation.

"These are things that you have learned from your Uncle? Or seen with your own eyes?"

Observation and analyzation were the main methods that Elya used to understand the world, so they were the methods she respected the most. While she could read, she had not spent any appreciable amount of time reading the scrolls and books that lined so many rooms of the tower.

Since the child still crouched on the floor from her scribbling, Elya lowered herself to crouch as well. The shifting of her wings caused enough of a breeze that the flames in the fireplace blazed in response, before settling back to their crackling meal of wood and kindling.
 
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Aidoneus Osiris

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Boths!” Lillian responded with supreme confidence; despite not really meeting the nobles that Uncle had spoken of…. She was too young for that parts of her training. But shes seen them! Their faces looked the type that’d act like that! “Ones gotta learn to trust others. Cause you never know everything or see everything! Sometimes things are suuuuper hard to understands. Like… ah…. cu….cucom….There is one foods that you puts in a liquid, and it becomes another food called pickles! I’unno how it happens, but it happens! Gots to trust someone that really knows foods to know how it happens.” She continued on, warming herself by the fire before tossing a few more pieces of small wood on…. Then another just for good measure. Humming pleasantly to herself as she turns her clothes around so they dry better.

“So… ahh…. If you dun knows about alot of stuff…. How do you have a big home? I means, you don’t even know about the sun! How did you get a home? Or pay off the moneys to live here?! If you don’t pay off the shinys to the nobles, they will get mad at you.”

Elya
 
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Elya

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Dora - 𝕾𝖕𝖎𝖓𝖓𝖊𝖗 𝖔𝖋 𝕾𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖘#1395
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Elya considered the question.

"I have never seen a noble come to this place, nor seen any exchange of coin for it. There was the dead man who was here when I first awoke. Perhaps he had already made all the payments necessary?"

Then she considered her adventures until this point.

"There were some guards who took exception to myself and a new friend. They thought we were 'plotting', despite having no evidence to support such a thought. They certainly were angry enough to attack us. I find the flying bolts the most irritating to deal with."

Sitting on the floor so she wouldn't tower over the child, it was making her neck stretch in an uncomfortable way, Elya wrapped her wings around herself like a cloak. Mostly to keep them out of the way.

"I believe I have seen a little more than half the city, now. The areas I have been exploring of late have much fewer houses, in larger and larger sizes. These must be where 'Nobles' live? I would give coin if I had any to give."

The idea of earning coin had not occurred to Elya yet. Very few professions work in the late hours, and those that did, didn't work their professions where any curious eye could be witness.
 
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Aidoneus Osiris

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Dead man? … Oh! Did she mean like blue lady? Kyaka… kyiri… kyipip… Kyri! .That sounded right. Lillian’s head nodded, it was good that so long as one paid gold even funky zombie people could live in the capital…. Greedy bastards would let anyone just live here for coin she bet! Still good for Kyri; best to let her know later.

Still, her small head nodded approvingly. The woman was doing her research! Maybe! Lillian didn’t really explore at night… that was dangerous for a girl like her outside of the secured areas.

“I think the nobles are toos greedy to just get paid off once! Peoples gotta pay all the time I thinks…. If I could make someone gimme stuff, why only do it once? No! You must have a stash for them, incase they try to burn the place down! And then another stash for you, incase they take all your other stuffs. But yush! The bigger the place, its probably a noble or rich trader person. So yous needs a job or something to make the shiny monies! But… not alot to do at night I think…..” Her brow furrowed in confusion…. The statue was doomed.

“You shoulds just come with me and Uncle! No money needed to be with us! You just gotta fly to catch up with us at night! … Or we can get a wagon, and drag yous around behind Darwin!”
 
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Elya

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Dora - 𝕾𝖕𝖎𝖓𝖓𝖊𝖗 𝖔𝖋 𝕾𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖘#1395
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Elya tilted her head as she considered all the options the child laid before her.

"Travel would be interesting, to be sure. Though I already have a journey ahead of me a few moons from now. A friend will show me a place high enough I might be able to reach the moon. Even there, it might be impossible, but I yearn to try."

As for paying nobles, she shrugged.
"No one comes here, as far as I have seen. For as many homes I see in this city, not very many walk the streets. Half of those that do seem to seek to prey on the rest. An odd ratio, to be sure."

It had seemed strange to Elya. She had seen many sleep in beds through their windows. How the city survived when most of its inhabitants appeared to sleep their lives away, she would never know.
 

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