Now that she was seated again, Natalie was quick to pick up a brush of her own, fully intending to get in some practice alongside Luuk for the time being. One could argue that someone of her experience and mastery didn’t really need it, but she would have disagreed. Natalie hadn’t gained her skill by passing up opportunities to improve, even in the simplest of areas, and it would get a good example for her new student. Besides, she often found that there was something therapeutic about going through the motions of her craft, even if she didn’t intend to use them. The familiar movements put her at ease, and the lack of ambiguity that accompanied such clear-cut work often helped her clear her mind. There were no differing angles or interpretations to consider. No weight to any of the decisions she made. Simply input and output. Action and result.
She dipped her brush in the ink even whilst listening to Luuk speak, and a soft chuckle slipped from her lips at his words. The student did make a very good point, now that she thought about it. Still, she liked the idea of challenging his tenacity in this way. Even if she was expecting – and hoping – to lose.
The request for a story did catch her a little off-guard, however. Natalie paused for a brief moment, brush suspended above her skin, as she considered this unexpected question. She had to cast her mind way back to the early days of her schooling to come up with the sort of thing he had asked for, and that wasn’t something she did often. For a few moments she remained silent, unable to so much as tell what one he would likely find most amusing, before eventually deciding on one. One of the less dangerous ones, at the very least.
“During my early years, there came a point where my growing confidence well outstripped the limits of my new abilities. I was sitting a park with a few of my friends for lunch, and when we started talking about my studies, I decided that I was going to try and show off for them a little” she started. Natalie sounded a little hesitant at first, but seemed to settle as she fell into the familiar rhythm of her stories. She finally begun her own practice, too, without so much as a hiccup.
“I swiped an orange out of Jason’s hand and declared that I was going to transform it into an apple for him, in front of everyone. I’m sure that I thought it would be as simple as transforming a fork into a spoon at the time, but if I had stopped and thought about it for half a second, I would have realised just how terrible of an idea such a thing was. But I was young, and foolish, and enthusiastic, and insisted on trying anyway.”
Natalie paused for a brief moment as she considered just how much technical detail to include. Would Luuk care enough to hear about it? Most likely. There was a good chance that it would distract his attention from the task at hand, however, and most of the talk would likely go over his head, accomplishing little more than spawning another wave of questions. That decided, she was quick to continue.
“For the sake of simplicity, we’ll just say that the orange didn’t approve of my half-assed attempts to transform it. I managed in some small areas, but not others, and it didn’t take kindly to the weird half-state that it found itself stuck in. So, it imploded. Not violently, mind you. But enough to shower all of us with chunks of fruit. I never did live that one down” she finished, a soft chuckle slipped from her lips as she completed her first set of sigils. A few wandering thoughts about said friends welled up inside her, but the woman did her best to shove them down, without ever letting them see the light of day. This was meant to be a funny story, not a time for reminiscing and regretting.