It occurred to Lavinia, for a fleeting moment, that humans did not see the harm in most things. How often did they see the harm in killing innocent lives? How often did they realise that every ridiculous word that slipped from their mouths caused more harm than good? Their minds worked in mysterious ways, she mused, and if Andross wanted to justify his silly question with the basis of seeing no harm, then she was more sympathetic to those he commanded.
She sighed and rolled her shoulders delicately. Minerva, on the other hand, remained in the tree's canopies, indivisibly shrouded as it hopped from one branch to another in silence. It grew restless, bored with the mindless chatter and peckish since its recent meal was almost digested. Lion claws tapped against the bark as the snake-of-a-tail hissed in wait. Minerva's face twisted in a Cheshire grin, it's human face stretching accommodatingly.
“Let him search for me, Lavinia,” it insisted telepathically. “I am tired of the words that escapes his lips, and he is much too handsome not to play with.” Minerva's tail rattled in excitement, ready to sink its teeth in Andross’ flesh — when the time was right, that is. “If he fails, may I eat him? Just a finger or two?”
Lavinia rolled her eyes, but her companion’s suggestion did piqué her interest. The deity peeked over her shoulders to look at the man. Frankly, she could have left as soon as he offended her and travelled elsewhere, dragging Minvera by the tail. Something kept her here and the curiosity of how Andross would fair underneath her strict guidance marginally heightened.
She saw his yearn to refine his so-called skills within those hazel eyes. It was oddly satisfying to see the veracity of it, the truthfulness to become more suitable in the name of honour, rather than thirst to wickedly squander it. Thus, she unhurriedly turned around.
“I’ll tell you what, commander,” Lavinia began, seriously. “If you can successfully find my darling cat for me, I will become your mentor.” She plopped on the ground, her legs and arms crossed.
For a brief moment, Lavinia weighed the pros and cons of her proposal. If this was to be a mistake, then she would tear his life and this planet asunder. If it was the most genius choice she made this millennia, then not only would Andross be the finest warrior of his lifetime but also someone to finally make changes to this forsaken planet.
Well, maybe. She could just be wrong on both accounts.
“Consider this a test to see if you’re actually worth my time, because if you can’t find and capture a creature that is not of your realm, then how can you possibly fend yourself from others of the same manner?” Lavinia questioned. Andross didn’t sense her arrival and if he had any sense at all, Minerva’s (who traversed further into the Archwood) presence had been closer than he realised. She already knew the work cut out of her if he prevailed.
“Her name is Minerva, and she loves to give love bites, especially to good-looking men,” Lavinia winked and glanced up as an indication. “Heights are her go-to places to lounge and hunt for prey. Doesn’t help that she can turn invisible but I’m sure that won’t be a problem once she knows you’re playing with her.”
She yawned. “Do you accept?”