Aura found himself firmly with a smile on his face that he could not force away, not that he really wanted to force it off. Despite the good conversation and running in circles of dialogue that eventually brought about new ideas and validations of eachother’s existences a certain, pesky if you will, thought crept in. It had already been growing late when the group had their battle in the village, it was later still when he made it back to town to cook and eat a meal that took time, and finally Ereshkigal did not arrive until late after that before their conversation drew out for easily another hour or so. HE WAS EXHAUSTED! And so too should Ereshkigal be, regardless of a sleeping mind or not Althea’s body must have been strained throughout the endeavor.
“Hey, I have a question about something a bit more practical: are you not the least bit tired?” Part of him, a large part really, was hoping she would say yes and allow the two of them to part and sleep without him being the one to abandon the conversations. “I know you haven’t had a body of your own for a while but I can’t imagine you’re in good shape after today.” Come to think further on it does he even know where hers and Althea’s room was at? Althea did keep odd and magical trinkets, maybe they could feel out the source of magic or something? Could they do that? Could HE do that? He never put much thought into that possibility before. How would he even begin to reach out with feeling anyway?
"I - I mean - I GUESS I could probably sleep if I had to," Ereshkigal tried without a great deal of success to look completely uncaring and uninterested in the subject, loath to let anything good come to an end, but the hint of a yawn strangled to death in its infancy still escaped her mid-response to Aura's pointing out the unfortunate frailty of mortal bodies. Which was, in an odd way, all too familiar and completely alien to her. Obviously she knew what sleep was. Arum slept the same as anyone else, as far as she knew anyways, she had always been a bit fuzzy on if dragons ACTUALLY had to sleep each night or if they just did it to be polite. So it wasn't like she was some elder god that had never once closed eyes to embrace slumber.
On the flip side, she had spent what was at least hundreds of years, possibly thousands, as a spirit without most of its, er, spirit, definitely without a brain, and possibly SLIGHTLY fixated on certain negative emotions. So sleep wasn't really something she had actually thought about much lately admittedly. But whether she liked it or not, the priestess was begrudgingly forced to accept that Althea was a dead woman walking (phrasing! dammit) and while she could probably eat someone's life essence to keep moving for a while longer, that would probably be marked as 'bad' on the naughty list. And it HAD been a while since she got to experience a bed...
"Huh." Ereshkigal blinked and repeated her thought out loud after a moment, almost forgetting Aura's existence. "Bed." Her eyes furrowed slightly at the thought, the very concept almost more alien to her than the idea of having a body again after so long. "That's... kind of weird to think about." Unlike Althea, she viewed one's body to be used until it ran out of energy for the day and then having a damn good sleep, rather than viewing exercise and sleep alike as worthless wastes of time. But it was also not... TECHNICALLY... her body. Entirely. But hey, Althea couldn't get mad at her if she let it rest right? Like, yeah, Empress Grouchamancy would probably prefer that she just work on some magic science stuff until whenever Althea woke up, but Ereshkigal had a feeling she wouldn't even be able to read whatever technobabble googlyspeak was on that research material much less contribute to it. So really, she was doing both of them a favor if she just chillaxed!
That minor existential quandary sorted, Ereshkigal returned her attention more fully to Aura, grinning over her stew. "You know what, I haven't had a good night's sleep in AGES. ...Literally. Possibly." They weren't sure exactly when she had been alive, but dammit that was still a great joke even by her exalted standards! "Maybe in the morning we can knock our noggins together. But hey, aren't YOU tired? You were pretty beat up earlier weren't you? I didn't really get to uh, see whatever you guys were up to before the, you know, the thing," she gestured her free hand dismissively as if it was of no consequence, that minor little event where everyone she knew and liked had been about to get murdered, "But you're not TOO busy brooding over stuff to think about bed right?"
This woman was not human, sure, that much had been made clear long ago in the conversation, but to think she was actually a machine! She supposed she could sleep? Geeze! What did she mean by that!? She had to just be unfamiliar with exhaustion anymore... maybe? Ugh! Stop making him feel weak.
"I'll be happy to continue our conversations or go off adventuring again come morning," he assured her, "Though, maybe asking Drei if he has any interest would be prudent as well... unless you already have other commitments to see to first? I can always go see my master Joe if you do." Ah yes, Joe, a crazy mountain hermit who took care of Aura when he nearly killed himself healing a man's minor injuries. He did not know much about him but how much was there to learn?
He smiled weakly, darn, "You got me." He spread his arms in a showing. "I really am quite exhausted." He confessed. "I have two broken rips on my right side and I expending most of my magical energy during the whole event. Though, it's also true that my ribs were mended, not better mind you, but reduced to a minor fracture." Not that there was ever such a thing as a minor fracture. As anyone that has endured any kind of break knows even if its not constant pain to aggravate the wound is to invite excruciating agony.
"And no, I try to do my brooding during the day and when I am talking to others, gets me sympathy!" He spit his tongue at Ereshkigal playfully. His whole statement was a lie, well, mostly. While he did not necessarily like to talk about his problems he was not averse to the sweet ooing and aweing of a beautiful woman. Then again, this was Althea and Ereshkigal, and he held her in too high esteem to feel anything but wrong if she started doing that.
"You'd... have to ask Althea that," Ereshkigal admitted with a bit of a grimace. She might have Althea's body and loose access to some of her memories, but far from Althea's entire mentality, consciousness, and data banks. "Iunno what she had planned, but she'd probably get super pissy if I messed with it, much, so... yea." Blissfully unaware of the idea that she might be about as tamed as a housecat by her host's sheer stubbornness and negativity, the spirit continued on blithely. "But hey, problems for another day, right? We'll burn that bridge when we come to it!"
Or blow it up, as the case may be. She was very fair minded in her destructive tendencies. She almost asked about 'Joe' but decided against it after a moment of hesitation, not sure who he was talking about and getting the vague sense that he wanted the conversation to be over, at least for the night. Besides, she was a bit more worried about his revelation in regards to his side... the spirit-who-was-not-just-a-spirit-anymore, that was going to get annoying to say, pursed her lips for a moment while looking at him in some concern before reaching a decision, continued after a moment. "I can try to heal you better, but... it'd probably be smarter to see a real healer ASAP if not sooner. Tho I guess you're the one who taught Althea how to use healing magic, and I'm just bumming off her knowledge, so..."
With a shrug, Ereshkigal decided that wasn't going to go anywhere too useful in the near future and didn't push it further. Aside from cracking a smile at his joke, and barely restraining the urge to punch him in the shoulder as a result. "If you just want to sleep though, that does sound, uh, pretty good," she admitted carefully. And honestly. More so than her proclamation she didn't REALLY need it earlier. Cuz, uh, she did. Just wasn't so hot at admitting weakness. "I'm pretty sure I know where Althea's room is and hey, refreshed after a good night's sleep, maybe something good will happen. Or we'll all wake up dead."
A sudden burst of inspiration struck Aura like a bolt of purge! "I have an idea!" Who cares if Ereshkigal can't ruin, or rather does not want to ruin Althea's plans! That just meant more time for bonding right? A grin creased his lips with an unintentionally sinister flare. "Alright, so, if you are going to wake up and still be Ereshkigal but you don't want to leave and ruin whatever Althea wanted from you then why don't we do some exercises around town!?"
This was probably going to sound terrible to a mage, let alone eldritch priestess but why not pitch it? "So, you want to get better with healing magic and I am hurt. BOOM! Exercise number one!" He was getting into this and it showed in his unabashed volume despite the late hour. "And I have been on the verge of figuring out a special spell that should let me stand on my own in a fight for once! SO BOOM exercise number 2! And then if the both of us can get what we want out of our magic, me with my combat spell, and you manage to heal my ribs then you and I have ourselves a spar!" His hands were out in front of him and just kind of moving about aimlessly in his excitement.
"See, I figure if you're only just getting used to the body then while what you can do is incredible it might help to get a little refinement in, and as for myself... pfft." He shook his head, "Well, we all saw how useless I am in a fight."
Exercises? Like... running? Oh. Huh. No. As Aura continued, Ereshkigal leaned in, listening intently. Unfortunately for everyone involved, she had a great deal of experience in being a willful and disobedient dependent, with very loose definitions of 'good behavior,' so Aura was setting himself up for more than he knew. "Right, right. I'll heal you so good you explod- ok, well, just shy of that anyways. And I like special spells! Elibe is a lot more dangerous than it used to be, so no one could complain if you were trying to learn to hold your own."
She leaned back, nodding sagely. Yeah, not even Althea could argue with that logi-who was she kidding, of course Althea would argue with it, but the important thing was that she would be right, not Althea, and really that was about 95% of what mattered. The prospect of a spar was a little less enticing, Ereshkigal had zero experience with that and pretty much had 'shadow puppets' and 'screw that village in particular' as far as magic settings went and not much in between. But, uh, they'd burn that bridge when they came to it. Why wasn't there a nicer sounding version fo that saying? Was there? She had heard that one enough times... like why wasn't it BUILD that bridge when they came to it? If you were supposed to get across wouldn't you want to build a bridge not burn it?
Ehhh. She'd have to think about that. For now, Aura's plan sounded pretty good. "Sounds good to me, though later it would... probably... be good to try to figure out how to wake her up again." She didn't sound quite as excited about that, eager to have her moment of freedom, but the spirit wasn't quite self centered enough to think that this body was permanently hers, nor so willing to give up on Althea entirely. She just, you know, made fun of the old lady every now and then. "Bleh. Well, for now, we should probably try to get some sleep. Village aint going anywhere... unless that Vadork guy shows up again... anyways."
Could someone weaponize healing? It was an interesting idea actually. Stimulate the healing until the body has too much and causes a blockage or something? Hmm... that would be a very dark twist on something good. Best to not legitimately consider that one.
Aura's countenance fell meek and somber when Ereshkigal reminded him they should try to wake Althea. He had kind of assumed it was temporary since that's what he was told and wanted to accept that but it was obviously weighing on Ereshkigal's mind still. Not going anywhere unless Vadis showed up, or Ereshkigal needed ammunition again... that was dark and rude of him to think that.
Aura smiled and put a hand on Ereshkigal and Althea's shoulder. "Hey, everything will work out and its all going to be fine. You and Althea are an incredible duo and you've got friends looking out for the both of you too." He turned and began to make his way for his bedroom. "Anyway, I will see you in the morning then, I'm looking forward to it." he turned back, "And one more thing, if Althea wakes up before then, do you think you could try to convince her to train with me?" He then gave a final wave and made his way to bed.
In his room he let out a hiss of pain and nursed his ribs. If Ereshkigal could heal him that really would be great! Stop being in so much pain, save money, AND she would improve in a way she seemed eager enough to. Well, and she seemed to feel unworthy somehow, a feeling he could not shake. Yeah, no matter how you spin it Ereshkigal did not belong and she knew it, but neither did Aura, he was another personality forged from nether, sure semantics were vastly different but he would do his best to make sure she felt welcome.