Argyros listened intently as the older woman explains. At the note of shapeshifting, her fingers automatically shift into water, earning wide eyes from the cubs, before she quickly pulls them back. Reapplying her glamour to the digits as her teacher continues. Leyah didn't seem very perturbed by the slight distraction. Instead she presses on with the subject.
As her new teacher shifts topics to Argyros' recruitment the younger woman tenses up. Baited breath waits, trapped in her throat, as Leyah speaks. She had always been able to find the ship plenty of fish to catch. Whenever she wanted space the creatures would give it too, or swim and play with her when she just wanted some company. Argyros thought it had been in their nature. Had it actually been her magic all along?
Not given more than a moment to contemplate her existential questions, Argyros tunes back in as Leyah starts to speak again. Argyros nods agreeably as Leyah explains the connection between emotions and magic. Her magic always acts out the most when she's upset. A chord is struck within her as Leyah implies the feeling had been euphoric. Argyros didn't know much, but her mother loved larger words such as that one. It had always made her feel so much more worldly than the rest. Happiness or excitement were far from her mind in that moment. She watched her mother die right in front of her. The few crew members who had still been loyal to the old captain, and her mother killed right after, until it was only her left. Fear ate at her mind, until she was unsure of what to do besides scream.
In that deafening cry, and panic has she felt anything at all? Argyros thinks back. The briefest moment of pain fills her chest, and she pulls away again. No. For now she could not face it. Maybe in the future she would. For the lesson she turns her inward focus towards the loneliness she had felt after. On a ship filled with ghosts and covered in blood, Argyros sat alone. The ones who had come to her rescue left as soon as everyone else was dead. They fled, as if they could not escape the carnage fast enough. Perhaps it hadn't been the carnage they were escaping from, but her. Was she so overwhelming that they needed to put in the distance to be their true selves? Were all the animals who had been by her side there by force?
She turns her head and looks over the stag with watery eyes. Was he? The stag steps forward, encouraged by Leyah's words. Argyros raises a hand to his snout, but stops it in mid-air. She pulls her arm back, and cradles the hand in her lap. She bends forward, covering the lap with her chest, as she holds her breath. When she could speak, the words were a whisper. "I don't want to force them. I never meant to force them." But that wasn't true was it? She had used her true form to herd fish for the crew. She played with them and then they followed her straight into the net. Did they do so not because they enjoyed being around her but because she was controlling them? Argyros clenches her fists closed, in her lap as she continues to refuse to breathe.