Fionwe’s countenance did not change. As the Chief of the Maiar and the other Valarindi, he was adept at maintaining a diplomatic expression. His azure eyes twinkled however. Miriel’s smile widens. “Yes, it was an enlightening experience! Though in all honesty, my favorite lessons were with Orome as he taught his students about predator versus prey behavior and how to discern the tongues and meanings behind the body language of wild creatures.”
Mairon strokes his chin, seamlessly regaining composure from his diverted thoughts. “That is valuable knowledge to possess. I can see the worth in discerning a beast’s intentions, though personally I prefer the study of people.”
The fiery haired maiden allows another genuine, if shy, smile. “Well, I shall continue with my observations of beasts as you grow greater in your understanding of Ainur! Then we shall share all that we have learned and gain a better comprehension of Creation than Osse ever will!”
“Oi! I take offense at that!” Osse joked, eyes gleaming as he noticed the way Mairon still seemed caught off guard by his mentor’s daughter, though he hid it well. The raven haired spirit chuckles. “A fine plan.” He is at a loss for words for the briefest of moments. “…It has been a pleasure speaking with you once again, Miriel, but I do not wish to detain you from further studies.”
Before he can bid her good day however, Osse intervenes! “Badgering students with questions about their chosen field of learning is conducive to further education, Mairon! Surely you of all beings realize this!” Ignoring the mithril tinted glare he was receiving, the sea Maia speaks into Fionwe’s mind. *Do you feel the confusion? His aura is practically radiating conflicting emotions! Aid me in researching this further!*
*Can you not just leave Mairon be?*
*No! Besides, he would be proud of our use of orderly methods to see into the heart of the matter... of his heart!*
“Now, baby Vala…what if the kelvar in question display the behavior of both hunter and hunted?” Osse challenged aloud, teasingly.
“Do not all beings exhibit such varying mannerisms unto a certain degree?” Fionwe ponders, tilting his head thoughtfully in a bird-like manner. It was a candid comment, though it happened to serve Osse’s purpose in keeping Miriel around longer. The young maiden grins at them, oblivious to any scheming. “Lord Orome simplified the classification for younger beings. ‘Eyes on the side, the animal hides. Eyes in the front, the animal hunts’! A merry way of remembering, yes?”
The sea spirit chuckles. “Quite! Wait, are you referring unto us as children, little Vala?”
Mairon folds his arms with a faint smirk. “If the actions match the description…”
The craftsman adeptly sidesteps a sudden wave of seawater Osse playfully casts at him! Fionwe simply shakes his head. “Osse, please. Keep your powers to yourself.”
Miriel laughs and the ocean Maia grins at his golden haired counterpart. “Do not start with me, youngling! You were not even born when Mairon and I roamed the world!”
“A valid point,” Mairon says. “You are the baby of our group, Fionwe.”
“Hardly!” The son of Manwe replies. “And I would like to point out that Lady Miriel is the youngest of us all.”
Miriel makes a rather unladylike face of exasperation. “Such jests remind me of Curumo. He still enjoys lording his meager age increase over myself and many others. Even sweet little Aiwendil! Some beings never mature, I suppose.”
Mairon frowns slightly. Perhaps it was time to remind Curumo once more of how things were done around the forges. His fellow Aulean Maia was prone to arrogance for the pettiest of reasons. He was clever, Mairon would give him that, but there were others more cunning still. Like he himself.
“If it is any consolation, you are almost taller than Curumo is,” Osse says, dramatically patting the petite female on the head. Miriel narrows her sapphire orbs at him, then giggles cheerfully! “Thank you…I think! It is nice that at least one being sees me as an adult!”
“Certainly I am not the only one! Right, Mairon?” Osse turned, giving his counterpart a wicked grin. Mairon glares back at him. What sort of game was his addlepated ally playing? “Of course,” the charismatic spirit answers, giving the maiden a faint smile. “I have every confidence you will soon master every sort of craftsmanship Lord Aule shall set before you.”
Miriel blushes ever so slightly. “That is very kind of you to say, Mairon.” Her eyes meet his gaze again. “Father is within the innermost forge if you desire to speak with him. He is teaching the newest students about the properties of mithril.” She laughs a little, yet her countenance seems almost sad. “Eru help him!” She inclines her head respectfully. “It was wonderful speaking with all of you! I hope we have the chance to catch up soon! Please give Lady Uinen my regards, Osse!”
The noble son of Manwe bows his head politely with a warm smile. “Fare thee well, Miriel.”
“Watch out for strange Ainur!” Osse adds mirthfully, waving goodbye!
Miriel gives him a quizzical look before laughing and raising her hand in farewell, heading down the path toward Irmo’s gardens.
“That was a pleasant encounter,” Fionwe said, his piercing gaze travelling between Mairon and Osse.
“It was good to see Miriel again.”
“The little Valarindiel certainly has changed,” Osse remarks casually, watching his ebony maned friend. Mairon’s silvery orbs narrow. “You are lucky she is so amiable and I am so swift of mind, else that would have been incredibly awkward.”
“Because you find her fair? You were practically bewildered from the moment you knew it was her!”
“Beauty is as beauty does,” Mairon retorts, striding into the immense stone structure.
“Says the Maia who engraves all of his creations with scrollwork and other attractive designs,” Osse replies, falling instep beside him as they make their way through the halls, passing large chambers filled with Ainur of many talents practicing sculpting, woodwork, metalwork and architecture.
“My embellishments do not interfere with the purpose of my devices!”
“Neither would a lovely Valarindi friend! Besides Fionwe, of course.”
“Do not pull me into your dramatic insinuations,” The Chief of the Maiar replies. He does cause Mairon to pause however by placing a warm hand upon his shoulder. “I do hope however that Osse’s jests have not turned your heart away from what could be a strong friendship?”
“I do not believe it is any of your business regardless,” Mairon grumbles, looking away from Fionwe’s genuinely concerned expression. The Valarindion smiles. “No, but I like to know that you are well all the same.”
“I am fine, brother,” Mairon sighs irritably but in truth, he was almost comforted by the fact that Fionwe sincerely cared about his state of being. It was good to know his friends were reliable, whether the situation was dire or simple.
Fionwe smiles. “Good. Carry on.”
The dark haired Maia rolled his eyes but he smiles all the same. Elbowing Osse before either one of them can start lecturing him again about the wonders of friendship and love! It wasn’t that Mairon couldn’t win allies. He was handsome, charismatic and rather skilled at procuring friends and admirers by sheer understanding of and curiosity regarding their personalities. But he was very strategic about the relationships he maintained. Too many would surely disrupt his life and purpose!