"So this is intended to be me then?" Charlotte asked as she walked around the summoned vision standing before her.
"Only if you ever learn to relax a little," the vision responded in her voice.
"Can you forbid it to speak?" Charlotte responded with a frown at the vision's snark as Rain chuckled nearby.
"I have not managed such a feat," Lasswell responded, his brow a reflection of Charlotte's, evoking another round of poorly contained laughter from Rain.
"Oh please," the vision replied, "the only thing keeping you from snarking as freely is the presence of sir-"
"THAT IS ENOUGH!" Charlotte shouted, slapping her hand to the vision's mouth in the process, bringing Rain to a rolling unrestrained laughter.
"Unfortunately," Lasswell looked away, his face acquiring a light crimson hue, "your vision is rather free with her..." he paused for a moment as Charlotte's face took on a similar pallor, "considerations," he settled on.
"Impossible..." Charlotte whispered her eyes narrowing dangerously as her vision visibly fought back its own laughter from beneath her hand before turning to face Lasswell, "I would not go so far as to say that."
"Charlotte!" Lasswell said, the hue returning to his face, "You have not heard the... professions made by this vision..." he stammered.
Looking aside to her vision, Charlotte replied, "I can imagine well enough," bringing a deeper hue to Lasswell's pallor before turning in full to face her vision once more.
"Tell me then," she began, "Vision. If you are a reflection of me, why are you so free with your tongue."
"As our companions can attest, I was not always so," the vision replied, garnering a nod from both Lasswell and Rain, "though since my last... Awakening, it's been... different," it added, seeming to shift from amused to reflective.
"What brought upon this change? Was it simply this awakening you mention? Have you thus been changed from a reflection of me to some kind of... mockery?" Charlotte prodded.
"Hah!" the vision replied, "I am no more a mockery of you, than you are of yourself," it smirked at the frown Charlotte now wore, "but I understand your question... and I cannot say for sure... only..." the vision mirrored Charlotte's expression now...
"Only what?" Charlotte snapped, "Or are the arcane magicks that summoned you beyond your ken?"
"Hahaha," the vision laughed once more, smiling again at Charlotte, "We were rather attentive in our Crystal Chronicles coursework, so I know what you're after... but no. I do not have any insight beyond what Rain and his companions have gathered and shared in their journeys. None of which will answer what it is that I am in relation to you."
"Surely you have had ample time to contemplate this new... temperament?" Charlotte tried again.
"I believe..." the vision seemed to be considering its words, "I believe that there is a bit of Sarah the Brave in me now."
At these words it was Charlotte's turn to flush a deep crimson, and after hardly a breath, the vision burst into a roaring laughter, its face also catching the contagious color.
"Sarah the Brave! Not Sarah the Unyielding..." the vision chortled out, "though perhaps..."
"I will take that tongue as a trophy," Charlotte snapped, hand to her sword and voice rising to a pike's point.
"But not before its work is done," the vision chanted at a sing-song tempo as it danced a back-step, shield materializing as it summoned fully for battle.
"There is no work for idle lips!" Charlotte shouted, leaping forward to engage her vision in the castle yard.
"Should I?..." Rain began, raising his hand with a half step forward.
"If you value your life so little," Lasswell responded, "then by all means."
Dropping his hand, Rain and Lasswell watched as the women fought with an almost playful violence. Swords and shields clashing at a dizzying speed. Rain could see the admiration in Lasswell's eyes, admiration underlined by a clear affection that he would never admit aloud. Not for the first time he wondered at the toll paid to this journey by the people he loved.