"So, Miss Lybel, tell me a bit about yourself." Sasha smiled, leaning back in her chair.
"Me? I'm nobody, really. Just a squire." Colette shrugged, mildly playing with the remnants of food on her plate with a fork.
"Oh, c'mon, there's more than that. Nobody's just one thing, you know." She prodded, letting out a sarcastic laugh. "Why'd you get into the guard thing? You don't really seem like the soldier type."
"Oh, thanks." Colette rolled her eyes, earning an unapologetic shrug from her companion as she eagerly chewed a piece of roasted meat. "It was, um, my older sister. She was a Captain, really good at it, too. I dreamed about nothing but following in her footsteps."
"…She was killed. By Jonathan Garvey." She reluctantly answered, closing her eyes.
"Oh. I'm so sorry…I shouldn't have pried." Sasha's face fell, her tone lowering into an apologetic manner.
"It's fine. I'm okay now. I just hated how my superiors didn't care. They went after Garvey for the Count's daughter, to save political face…they didn't care about my sister or any of the people he killed. I tried to push them, tried to make them honor her." Colette sucked in her breath, coldly shaking her head. "But they made me drop the matter. Even threatened to kick me out."
"That sounds…odd. Why would they just abandon her memory, if she was such a great knight?" Sasha's eyebrows furrowed for a moment, her eyes flickering as if in deep thought.
"…I don't know. Maybe they thought I was trying to use it to jumpstart my career. Maybe it was too humiliating for them to admit that Garvey, an uneducated peasant, was able to kill a fully anointed Captain and the Count's own child. Maybe it was just easier to forget." She sighed. "All I know is, she'll never get real justice. Garvey was just a pawn, forced to play that bastard's game."
"Well, maybe she will get it, once we beat your game and hopefully turn the tables on this guy." Sasha suggested.
"That depends on if we can get this damn collar off." Shifting the neck of her tunic to rub at the metal collar uncomfortably, Colette dejectedly set her fork down. "I've never been able to measure up to Elena. I can feel the others staring at me, expecting me to be as great as she was…but I've never had the intuition, the sheer talent she had."
"Sounds like you've spent your whole life wanting to be like her. What do you want for yourself, though?" Sasha asked curiously, her arms folded neatly on the table.
"Yeah. Look, I can get the need to emulate your siblings, trust me. I spent years trying to be my brother. He was smart, he had a knack for machines, people liked him. But as hard as I tried, I wasn't ever going to be my brother. I wasn't going to be happy, desperately trying to live up to someone else's exploits." Sasha explained, her face slightly crestfallen at the mention of her brother. "I had to live for myself. I had to decide what I wanted with my life, you know?"
"I don't know what I want to be. All I've ever been is Elena's little sister, the next in line to be a great knight." Colette's shoulders drooped as her expression fell. "I like my work, I like helping people."
"Then do it! Nothing wrong with that, Colette." Sasha offered, after a brief moment of thoughtful silence. "I can't tell you how to be happy, but I can offer this: your sister probably wouldn't want you wasting your life trying to be her, but to be your own person. Be the big-shot knight you can be, make people remember you as Colette, not Elena's little sister."
Colette fell into silence for a time, staring out the window as Sasha continued eating from her impressively sizable plate, the afternoon sun shining through the restaurant windows nearby.
"Thank you, Sasha. You've…given me a lot to think about." She quietly nodded, drifting back into thought as Sasha smiled.
"Glad to help." Lifting up a cloth to wipe her mouth, Sasha's violet eyes, flickering with a strange energy, casually drifted over to another table, unnoticed by Colette. A young man, well dressed in the garb of a banker, sat talking with a group of his fellow workers, a gold emblem in the shape of an 'R' neatly stitched on the pocket of his vest. "Glad to help, indeed."