Chapter 2. On the events that make us grow
Aria woke up with a heavy sigh. She was perfectly tucked, with only her head showing from the light green blankets. It was odd, given that she moved so much while sleeping that she always tangled herself beneath them, forcing her to struggle every morning to get out of bed.
She sat up and took a hand to her neck. She had expected it to have been a horrible nightmare, or an illusion, or something else. Her fingers trailed down her neck to her collarbone, resting her hand on her chest. It had happened for real. They lost their cores, their magic, and their voices.
She scrunched her nose as tears threatened to form in her eyes. She felt an oppressive pressure in her throat, as if someone was trying to choke her. Her heart throbbed furiously at the angst she was experiencing, and her limbs shivered as if she was trapped in a freezer.
Deciding that she had to remain strong, she took a deep breath, and even when her lungs were at full capacity, she kept inhaling, and when she couldn't get any more air, she sighed it all out. A small headache appeared at the left side of her forehead, and she could feel her left eye starting to beat along with her heart. But she ignored it, turning around and getting off her bed.
Last night, they silently agreed to just go to bed, so now it was time to move again, to make more plans. And much to her disapproval, it was Adagio who always came up with the plans. For some reason, she had the vague idea that Adagio might have been crying, though it probably was a dream she had, because it sounded more like she was being killed.
But, just as she opened the door of her room, the scent of food caught her senses. She sniffed, and her stomach growled happily when she recognized the smell of hotcakes and scrambled eggs with ham and bacon. It didn't take her more than half a second to decide that breakfast was on top of her to-do list right now, so she eagerly walked downstairs and headed to the kitchen.
There is a moment in the life of every sentient being when their mind just doesn't connect the dots, and even the most mundane, common, and habitual things come as a surprise. Aria knew that very well, what with having lived so many centuries. And this was one of those times. When she arrived at the kitchen, she found the food served and ready on the table; three servings of hotcakes, scrambled eggs with ham and bacon, and orange juice. At the other side of the room, Sonata was doing the dishes.
Aria hadn't thought about breakfast being served, but now she wondered why she didn't think about it a few minutes earlier. Sonata was up and doing things as if the events of last night hadn't occurred at all. It almost made Aria think for just a second that it was all a dream, but the burning sensation at the base of her throat said otherwise.
She frowned and turned her hands into fists. "What are you doing?"
Sonata jumped a little at that, but quickly relaxed and smiled at Aria. "Oh, good morning! I made breakfast! I thought of doing eggs Benedict, but you don't like those, and then I thought of doing Croque Madame, but Adagio doesn't like those, and then I thought of doing Deviled Eggs, but I don't like those, and then-"
"Shut-Shut up." Aria interrupted her, massaging her temples in annoyance. "I'll never understand your obsession for always having eggs in some form as breakfast-don't! Don't do it." She said, showing her palm to Sonata as she tried to reply. The least thing she wanted right now was to add thirty more minutes to the countless amount of time she'd wasted listening to Sonata rambling about it.
Aria let out a heavy sigh and then looked at Sonata again. "What I meant to ask is: Why are you up making breakfast as if nothing happened?"
Sonata grimaced and turned around, unconsciously taking her hand to her neck and tiredly rubbing her fingers to her collarbone. "Because… Because we need to eat, or else we'll starve…" Her eyes moved from side to side, and she was thankful that Aria couldn't see her face as tears started to form in the corner of her eyes. "And we… we need energy to, you know… follow Adagio's plan..."
Aria raised an eyebrow. "I thought she was still asleep."
Sonata shook her head. "I'm pretty sure she's awake." Aria narrowed her eyes, making Sonata lower her head. "I… passed by her room when coming to the kitchen… And she was…" She looked away and pressed her lips. Fortunately, she didn't have to finish her sentence, because Aria understood right away, turning around and walking away.
She easily made her way to Adagio's room and knocked the door. There wasn't a response. She didn't know exactly what she was going to do, but she knew that she had to speak to Adagio that very moment. She knocked again, only to meet silence once more. Frowning, she decided that two times was enough and opened the door, slowly pulling her head into the room.
The room was impeccable as always, but too bare for Aria's liking. While she painted the walls of her own room in dark pink with purple decorations, Adagio had kept her walls all white. While she had gotten a very expensive dossal for her bed with curtains made of silk, Adagio slept in a brass bed with no decorations other than the heart shape of its frame.
Aria took a tentative step into the room, gazing at the lump beneath the yellowish-white blankets and the orange hair coming out of it. "What do you want?" Adagio asked with a lazy voice, though Aria could notice the emotions that she tried to hide: frustration, sadness, anger and despair.
"Breakfast is served." Was the only thing Aria said.
Adagio grumbled and moved, probably rolling to the side so she'd show her back to Aria. "I don't want it."
"You sure?" Aria asked, crossing her arms. "You know how insufferable Sonata gets when you don't eat properly."
"Sonata can go throw herself from a cliff, for all I care."
"And put up with her whines and cries for a month? No, thank you."
At that, Adagio rolled over and pushed away the blankets, staring at Aria with bloodshot eyes. "What do you want?"
Maybe it was from centuries upon centuries of practice, but Aria could hold her stoic expression, even though she was really surprised seeing Adagio looking so… miserable. "Breakfast is served."
Adagio narrowed her eyes. "Leave me alone." She said and covered herself again with the blankets.
Aria let out a heavy sigh of annoyance. "So this is it? The almighty Adagio Dazzle has finally given up?" Adagio growled a warning, but Aria ignored her. "What are you trying to achieve? Starvation? You'll only end up weak with a horrible headache."
"So what if I want to die?" Adagio snapped, but didn't lift the blankets. "Why do you care?"
Aria's eyes widened in horror at that, and she felt her heart beating faster. She inhaled deeply, trying to calm herself, before she spoke again. "Don't be stupid," She said, failing to hide her concern, "we can't die."
"We've never tried suicide."
With one smooth swing, Aria punched with all her strength right where she knew Adagio's face was. She heard -and felt- a loud crack before Adagio screamed in pain, rolling a few times before falling to the floor.
"You bitch!" Adagio yelled, standing up with a hand covering her nose, although the blood easily flowed through her fingers. "I'll flay you alive, I swear!"
"Exactly! That's the Adagio I know!" Aria replied with an infuriated gaze. "The girl who always stands up after falling! The girl who always makes a plan even in the direst of situations! Not the pathetic piece of trash that feels sorry for herself!"
"What do you want from me?!" Adagio asked, tears already running through her cheeks. "We lost our magic! Our voices! Everything! All because of me!" Aria leaned back a little as her expression showed surprise. Adagio fell on her knees, sobbing and still trying to choke back her tears. "You should hate me! Why don't you hate me?!"
"I will if you keep crying like a stupid foal!" Aria snapped. "You should be up, saying that we can get over this, or that you have a plan. You always have plans, Adagio!" She cried, feeling her eyes watering. "Heck, even Sonata is up, cooking for the three of us!" She started to circle the bed, walking towards Adagio. "Sonata! The crybaby! Just because she believes that you have a plan!"
She stopped mere inches away from Adagio, who looked up with a dumbfounded expression. "I failed you…" She said, and her voice quivered with angst. "One too many times already…"
Aria gritted her teeth. "Then you have to make up for it!" She stepped back, doing her best to glare daggers at Adagio. "But if you really want to remain here feeling sorry for yourself, then fine! Sonata and I will figure out something, with or without you!" And with that, she turned around and walked away.
She wasn't too surprised when she found Sonata at the other side of the door. She didn't even bother to look at her face, for she knew that she was crying too. We all are crybabies. She thought, and then grabbed Sonata by the arm. "Come on, let's have breakfast."
Sonata didn't respond. She just let Aria drag her downstairs.
Aria was idly munching a roasted chicken leg. The few people passing by gave her odd looks, but she just ignored them. She was supposed to act like the stereotype of a lady to avoid suspicions, but she just didn't want to. Adagio and Sonata could easily pretend to be respectable parts of the society, but not Aria. She didn't care for appearances or going unnoticed, her only concern was to stay well fed and hydrated.
Well, she also had to collect negative energy from people.
They hadn't been able to feed since their arrival in this world a week ago. Their magic wasn't strong enough to make a small town where everyone knew everyone fight against each other. So, following Adagio's plan, they had been gathering information about everyone, often singing at the town square, casting lull spells to make people like them enough to tell them what they needed to know.
Normal food and long nights of rest helped them naturally regain enough energy to keep casting lull spells, but it was really frustrating. The first two nights, she had to scream in her pillow for minutes to be able to sleep.
Aside from gathering information, they also had been 'filing the legs of the table', as Adagio so cleverly put it. Though she would never understand why Adagio loved to analogize everything, at least, not in a way that Sonata gould ever get it, making Adagio explain it to her, thus making said analogy unfunny.
Aria huffed at an old lady, who had been scowling at her unladylike mannerisms. Adagio then punched her in the shoulder. "Hey! Why did you do that?"
"We need people mad at each other," Adagio hissed, "not at us!"
Aria rubbed her shoulder and tried to make a hole in Adagio's face using only her gaze. She was about to reply when Sonata came jogging up to her. "It's done!" She said upon her arrival, making Aria smile a little in anticipation.
Today was the day when they'd finally feed. Adagio and Aria were sitting in the big fountain at the very center of the town while Sonata went to do something Adagio had asked her to do. Aria hadn't paid attention to it, since she was busy buying her chicken. Not that it mattered anyway. It had something to do with 'triggering a fight', so it would be easy to spot.
"Good." Adagio said, and Sonata almost squeaked, if not because Adagio interrupted her. "Now it's just a matter of time. Get ready, girls."
Aria kept eating her chicken leg, looking in the same direction the girls were. But just as she was swallowing, the show began.
Wooden Flex -the lumberjack of the town- appeared from a corner, carrying a wheelbarrow with a really big stack of dried lumber. He happily went down the road to the smithy, whistling a tune only he knew. But just when he was a few yards away, the wheelbarrow started to wobble until the wheel yielded with a loud crack.
What happened next could only be described as the stars aligning in the siren's favor.
Adagio's plan consisted solely in Sonata loosening the screws of the wheelbarrow, so it would fall apart with all the lumber in it. Then Wooden would start blaming people and hopefully a fight would start.
But the wheelbarrow happened to fall apart in a downhill section of the road. Therefore, the pieces of wood started to roll freely, gaining speed and strength with each passing moment. One of them hit a small rock, shooting to the sky and falling on a stand of fresh fruit. With the force of the impact, the stand fell on itself, and the wooden plank that provided the fruit with shadow somehow fell on the vegetables' stand right next to it, making some lettuces jump to the passing people.
Meanwhile, another piece of lumber made its way to the ceramics shop, coincidentally crashing against the big clay pot, which fell on the immense shelf. The shelf fell apart, and the countless clay pots on it fell with it, smashing to pieces on the floor.
And finally, as if that wasn't enough, to Aria's amusement one last piece of lumber collided with the old woman that had been pestering her for the last ten minutes. It didn't do much to the surprisingly strong elder, but there was a really serious social rule about respecting old people.
When the pile of lumber finally reached the end of the slope, silence reigned the town for a full minute.
All the eyes fell upon Wooden Flex, who went pale from what he had seemingly caused. He stood up, unable to mutter a single word or even to move. The man attending the fruit stand, a seven-foot-tall man with a really bad temper, approached him, yelling all sorts of curses and insults.
With him joined the owner of the ceramic shop, an old man that used to be in the militia, and his twenty-year-old son who was going to join the militia. Wooden tried to defend himself, saying that someone had sabotaged his wheelbarrow, having the bright idea to blame the blacksmith -a man well versed in the art of handling a knife.
Then, a green mist started to form around them, and Aria smiled hungrily. It was a good thing that only sirens seemed able to see the mist, because even if those people were really mad at each other, they'd notice.
Only a minute passed, and already fifty people were yelling at each other. But what amused Aria the most was that most of those people were arguing over things that didn't have to do with the incident moments ago. They were just using this opportunity to let out their anger against each other; anger that the sirens had indirectly triggered in the course of a week.
The mist grew thicker with each passing moment, and Aria could feel her legs shivering in mild anticipation. Never in her life had she been so desperate to feed. She wanted to run through the crowd and absorb that energy, she needed to. But a small voice in her head, the rational one (which was still there for some reason) stopped her. If she did that, she'd get caught in the middle of the fight, and it certainly wasn't worth the risk of getting seriously injured, at least not now that they were beating each other up.
They waited for almost an hour until the townsfolk stopped fighting and went back to their respective homes. It was midday, but the town was as silent as a graveyard, and not a person could be seen. With a motion of Adagio's hand, Aria jumped from the fountain and walked into the mist.
She didn't run or jog, no, she walked. She walked alongside her fellow sirens, enjoying the vibrations of her core as she got closer. The mist started to move and lift, slowly floating towards the girls. Aria felt a sudden rush of pleasure run through her entire body as her core started to absorb the energy. She was thrilled, letting out a heavy sigh at the filling. They stopped in the middle of the mist, and Aria accepted with open arms the cold embrace of negative energy. She was surrounded by ecstasies, and every fiber of her being shivered in delight.
It only took them ten seconds to absorb the mist, but it had felt like a blissful eternity. It felt almost like the very first time she had fed. Her mind was filled with joy, and her whole body was numb because of the relaxation. It almost made her lie down for a moment and just enjoy the feeling.
Aria opened her eyes and sighed satisfied. "Finally…" She whispered.
Sonata nodded in agreement and Adagio only crossed her arms with pride. "I told you it would be worth the wait. From now on we'll be able to feed everyday." She turned around, gazing at the broken stands. "At least for now. We'll have to move on to another, bigger town when we get more power."
Aria closed her eyes for a moment. "I thought they were going to kill each other. Humans seem a lot more violent than any Equestrian."
"Save for dragons." Sonata said.
"Or minotaurs." Adagio admitted.
Aria rolled her eyes, but couldn't help but giggle. The amount of energy she had absorbed was by far the smallest and most disappointing in her life, but after a week of absence, she wasn't going to complain. And it seemed like Sonata and Adagio felt the same way.
"Well, what now?" Aria asked. "I wouldn't mind doing nothing for the rest of the day."
Just as she pronounced that last word, she felt a sudden pain in her chest. She saw how Adagio and Sonata's expressions slowly became horrified. She tried to take her hand to her chest, but her arm felt weak and numb. A bubbling sensation formed in her throat, and it felt like she had drank the spiciest hot sauce in existence. She gritted her teeth and forced her head to look down. Her own eyes widened in horror, and she could feel her heart stopping for just a moment.
There was a blade covered in crimson liquid coming out from her chest. She attempted to scream, but only a silent gasp left her mouth.
"Ye won't do anything anymore." A low voice hissed from behind. Aria wanted to turn around, but she felt her whole body grow weak. Her world darkened with frightening speed, and all the air left her lungs. The pain was also disappearing, and she knew that that wasn't a good sign. "Return to hell, demon." She heard, but it seemed like a distant and muffled echo.
She felt the blade being quickly dragged out of her body. It didn't hurt, it felt more like someone had thrown a bucket of ice water at her chest, but even that vanished quickly. She fell, and in the process lost every sense of orientation. Ignoring the fact that she was already on the ground, she felt like she was levitating against her will, like she was being carried by some incorporeal force.
Amidst the darkness, she heard a harrowing scream in the distance. Then, she only heard silence as consciousness finally left her body.
"Ye won't do anything anymore." Said the cloaked man, injecting his words with venom. "Return to hell, demon." With one smooth motion, he pulled his sword, and Aria fell with a thud, immobile.
Adagio stared terrified at the man, and she knew that he was smiling deviously. "You… You…"
"You killed Aria!" Sonata screamed, falling to her knees and staring at Aria's lifeless body.
The man chuckled, arching his back in a prideful gesture. "And ye'll be next!" He challenged, lifting his sword and aiming it at Sonata. "May this blessed sword purify this world from evil!" He raised the weapon above his head and gave a strong swing.
But Adagio moved faster, pulling Sonata away just in time to avoid the whole blade. Even so, it still amde a long -although fortunately shallow- cut along her chest. Sonata cried, and the man only chuckled a bit more. "Why?!" Adagio demanded.
"Ye ask why?" The man said, lifting his sword again. "Ye are demons, wishing for nothing but destruction! I knew since I saw ye a week ago! Ye are not from this world! Ye brought nothing but conflict amongst this ever so peaceful town! I knew!"
Adagio gritted her teeth. She wanted to sing, to force him to go away. But she didn't have enough energy, not even the three of them would have been enough, and a lull spell wouldn't work. "And today ye committed ye biggest mistake! I saw! I saw! Ye relished on the fight ye caused! I know!"
Adagio closed her eyes and hung her head. Was this really the end? Was she going to die so pathetically? The thought of running away crossed briefly her mind, but she ignored it. She wasn't going to abandon her fellow sirens, especially now that one of them lay dead mere inches away from her, and the other one was wounded and bleeding. She could try to reason with this man, but she knew that he wouldn't listen.
Maybe she could distract him and help Sonata flee. But would it work? She was going to die, that much was a fact, so she wasn't going to be able to know if Sonata would be ok. Would the man give chase? Would she be fine on her own? Adagio grimaced. It was worth the risk. One of the only two beings she ever cared about had been mercilessly murdered in front of her. She wasn't going to watch another walk the same path.
Just as she finished her inner discussion, Sonata started to scream. But unlike anything she had heard before, it was a guttural scream, filled with pain and hatred. She looked up just in time to see Sonata collide with the man, throwing him to the ground. The man was not prepared, and he accidentally dropped his sword. Sonata didn't let him react, and she closed her hands against his neck, perforating his skin with her long nails. She kept screaming as tears flowed freely.
The man started to punch Sonata in the face, but due to his position and angle, it wasn't enough to make the infuriated girl stop. In fact, it only made her press with more force and scream louder. She didn't stop when he started to choke on his own saliva and blood. She didn't stop when his arms fell to the ground. She didn't stop, not even when his eyes rolled up, and his head fell to the side, lifeless.
She only stopped when Adagio put a hand on her shoulder. Sonata snapped out of it, and stared horrified at what she had done. Her arms started to shake, and she quickly turned around and hugged Adagio, crying loudly against her chest. Adagio complied, pulling Sonata into the most sincere show of care since she could remember.
They stood there for a very long time. Adagio thought that someone would come running right after hearing Sonata's screams, but no one showed up. She wanted to care about it, to know why these humans ignored everything around them when they were mad. But she just couldn't care less. She tightened the hug for a very brief moment, and with a heavy sigh, she forced her muscles to relax, ending the embrace.
Sonata whimpered, but didn't say anything, opting for embracing herself instead. "This can't be happening…" She muttered under her breath.
Adagio eyed the red line across Sonata's chest before looking at her face. She felt a chill run through her spine at the sight of the girl. Her left eye was narrowed, surrounded by a blackish purple and green bruise with little red marks covering her cheekbone. She couldn't help but see Sonata in another light after what she had just witnessed.
She sighed and kneeled next to Aria's body, her heart throbbing painfully against her chest. She gently pushed Aria to roll the body over, so she could see her face. Her heart stopped for a moment and then she felt as if it twisted with every beat.
For a reason she had yet to know, Adagio had always known that sirens were able to leave for thousands upon thousands of years. Perhaps their likeness to dragons was something more than that, or maybe it had to do with how sirens were born. But she had never paid it too much attention. At least, not until that moment, when a siren lay dead in front of her. Adagio gritted her teeth in grief. Why had she been forced to learn that sirens could be killed in the hardest and most unfair way?
She reached a hand to Aria's face and slowly closed her eyes with two fingers, gently dragging them down her face, feeling her hand shiver with fear and angst. Her eyes then drifted to the necklace around Aria's neck.
Her core… Adagio thought, looking intently at how the gemstone shimmered beneath the sunlight. She absentmindedly put her fingers on it. It's… warm… Then, she could feel a pulse against her fingertips, as if it was a heartbeat. At first she ignored it, thinking that it was her imagination, but the more time she spent like that, the more real it felt.
She felt a spark, and then the warmth ran throughout her arm, searching for her own core. Adagio flinched, then leaned back. She blinked, staring at Aria's core for the longest time. "Sona-" Finding her voice hoarse, she interrupted herself and cleared her throat. "Sonata, I know you're hurt, but I need you to do something important."
Sonata whimpered an agreement. "Go to the stables. I don't care how you do it, but get a carriage. I'll wait for you here."
"But…" Sonata said, shifting in her place. "Aria…"
Adagio bit her lower lip, and then let out a heavy sigh. "Don't worry about Aria…" She said, and then placed her fingers again on Aria's core. A small smile appeared on her face. "She's alive."
Aria felt warm and cold at the same time; sometimes she'd feel light as a feather, and the next she'd feel heavy as a boulder. At times, the darkness around her would be invaded by a dim light, and she would hear muffled voices. She couldn't tell what they were saying, or even if they were calm or anxious, for they were only voices.
Not that she cared, because couldn't recall any of those times. They were so ephemeral that her mind would mistake them as dreams, and therefore she wouldn't pay them any attention. Every sound, every sight, and every sensation would come and go, and she wouldn't care about any of them, because they didn't bother her, because they didn't wake her up.
But then, a strange sound appeared. At first it seemed like the others, but this one persisted, and with time, it grew louder. She recognized it as the rattling of wooden wheels and the clopping of a horse. Then, she heard the squeaky sound of wood and metal moving against each other. She found these sounds to be somewhat relaxing, and she wanted to keep sleeping, to remain in her comfortable state of nothingness.
But, try as she might, she found herself unable to do it. It was like waking up in the middle of a really good dream, and then cursing everything because it was impossible to remember, and therefore, to dream about it again. At least, she thought, the sound was still there, and it was pleasantly lulling.
Then, she felt a sudden, stinging pain in her chest. She hissed, feeling her brows frowning. The pain disappeared moments later, but the ghostly sensation of something against her chest was bothering her. Her eyelids started to move on their own, opening ever so slowly and letting her see the world once again.
At first, everything was a brown blur, but her eyes quickly began to focus. She found herself staring at a white ceiling with thick, brown lines. She groaned, feeling her whole body numb and stiff, making her unable to stretch, and she needed to stretch right now.
As her mind finally returned to consciousness, she realized that the white ceiling was a big piece of fabric, going all the way to the floor, and the brown lines were a wooden frame. It didn't take her too long to understand that she was in a carriage, a moving one, to be precise.
"Welcome back to the realm of the living." A voice called, and Aria's eyes rolled a couple of times before they found the source of the voice. It was Adagio, who was smiling at her. There was something in that smile that unsettled Aria, but she couldn't tell what. "How are you feeling?"
Aria wanted to retort with something smart, or with an insult, or both. But she just couldn't think of anything. Her mind was spinning wildly, she noticed, and the mere action of thinking was enough to make her want to throw up. So she just looked up to the ceiling and decided to answer with as fewer words as possible. "Bad."
Adagio took a deep breath. "At least you're feeling, so I'll take it as a good sign." She said.
Aria tilted her head to the side, and noticed three things. First, she was lying down on one of the two lateral seats of the carriage, though she liked to call them benches. Second, Sonata was nowhere to be seen. And finally, Adagio was kneeling right next to her, holding a piece of beige fabric. She wanted to know what she was doing, but she felt too tired and dizzy, and couldn't say a word.
Fortunately, Adagio seemed to notice her questioning gaze. "I'm cleaning you." She stated, and then placed the fabric on Aria's chest. She hissed at the pain, feeling cold moisture against her stinging wound. "I know it hurts," Adagio said, "but you need to look somewhat presentable."
Aria gritted her teeth as Adagio passed the wet fabric against her bare chest before taking it to a bucket filled with water that was out of Aria's sight, and then cleaned her again. The memories of what happened before she blacked out replayed in her mind, but while she was grateful that her mind wasn't spinning anymore, she was annoyed that she had to remember the feeling of a sword stabbing through her heart.
"How am I… not dead?" She asked.
Adagio froze for a second, taken aback by the sudden question. She then let out a soft sigh and resumed cleaning the blood stains in Aria's skin. "I don't know. Sonata and I really thought you died." She tilted her head and hummed. "If I have to guess, I'd say that we'll die when we're supposed to die, not before."
"Hooray for cryptic destinies." Aria retorted humorlessly.
Adagio inhaled sharply. "Trust me, I'd love to know the details of every aspect of our, let's say, biology. But we aren't born with manuals." She then folded the fabric and threw it into the bucket. "There, clean. Now get dressed, we're almost there."
With a grunt of pain, Aria sat up while Adagio leaned back and sat down at the opposite bench. She looked down, driven by mild curiosity, to her chest. There was a pink, rhomboid line between her breasts, and for some reason, she wanted to see its counterpart on her back.
She frowned and sighed in annoyance, grabbing the upper part of her robe and sliding it down to cover her torso. "So, what happened? Where are we going?" She asked, looking at the rather empty wagon. "And where's Sonata?"
"Sonata is driving the carriage. She's surprisingly good at it." Adagio replied with a shrug. She sighed and closed her eyes. "After Sonata killed the idiot that tried to kill you, we got this carriage and some money, leaving that filthy little town for good." She looked at Aria's eyes and smiled. "We're about two hours from our objective: The city of Verona. We'll probably get better chances to feed there without people noticing."
"Sounds good…" Aria blinked. "Wait, Sonata did what?"
Adagio gave her an amused smile. "It's always the stupid ones, isn't it? Don't mess with them unless you want to trigger a psychotic episode."
Aria sighed, too tired to care about the new revelation. She hung her head and stared at the wooden floor. Vague memories flashed in her mind, and she could feel a painful pulse against her chest. She tilted her head a little, looking at the front of the wagon where a thin layer of fabric hid the interior from the outside world. The golden rays of light that illuminated the carriage's interior danced with the fabric's rhythm, and told her that it was either late in the afternoon, or early in the morning. She looked up to meet Adagio's eyes. "How long was I… out?"
Adagio hummed for a moment, leaning on the soft wall. "About two days. I must say I'm impressed at your healing process. I thought it would take you a lot longer to recover."
A grimace appeared on Aria's face as she put a hand on her chest. "It still hurts."
"Don't be a crybaby." Adagio replied dismissingly. She leaned down, taking a big bag from below the bench she was sat on. Upon opening it, she revealed a few pieces of bread. "Eat some. You'll need the energy."
For most people, it seemed like grumpy Aria was always angry, that she was the oldest misanthropist in the world. She was always frowning or scowling at everything and everyone, always finding the smallest, stupidest and most childish reasons to argue with Sonata. Her unladylike mannerisms and harsh attitude gave her a reputation as a brute in the old ages and as a tomboy in modern times.
But people who got to know her for enough time would realize that anger wasn't really something that defined her. In fact, she had the coldest head out of the three sirens. She was the kind of person that would scheme a revenge plan that involved public humiliation and permanent trauma to whomever dared eat her slice of pizza. But she would do so without saying a warning; she wouldn't even monologue or keep threatening afterwards.
Back in the old, good times, people who stayed around her for long enough would be afraid, terrified even, at the thought of pissing her off. Nobody dared to find out how would she act, or how hard would she lash out at people if she ever got mad for real.
What they didn't know, however, was that even if it was arguably hard to make her angry, she was also the kind of person that, given the circumstances, would bottle up all her anger and hatred. If she was angry or stressed, she would take deep, calm breaths and would ignore the world around her until she could calm herself. Of course it backfired constantly, and she often did very regrettable things because of it.
Right now, Sonata noticed, she was calmly eating her breakfast, loudly breathing through her nose and keeping her eyes narrowed. She was angrily munching a piece of bacon when a voice called from behind.
"Even I know when to admit my mistakes." Adagio said, leaning against the kitchen's doorframe. Aria scowled at her, but remained silent. Sonata only glanced between the two girls, waiting patiently for something good to happen. Adagio crossed her arms and looked down to the floor. "Instead of trying to self destruct, I should've been up, trying to make a plan to recover our cores or to get revenge… or something… so… sorry."
Aria swallowed her food. "I take it you already thought of something, or else you wouldn't be here." She said, and to Sonata's relief, she was more relaxed. If only it had been that easy to calm her a few centuries ago…
Adagio smiled deviously at her. "I have to work on the details, but yes." She walked towards the table and sat down; sniffing hungrily at the food Sonata had cooked for her. "It will most likely be a long term plan, but if everything goes smoothly, not only will we recover our cores, but we'll finally return to Equestria."