"Perhamia, don't be such a fool," came the irritated voice.
"Well, what am I supposed to think? One moment you're asking me to cover up a scratch on a Tree, the next you're telling me it might cost my reputation if I were tell anyone about it!"
"I merely stated that it would be wise to keep a tight lip on certain subjects."
"And why? Why now all the concealment? You did NOT mention this, this, secrecy in the beginning!"
"It was not of your concern," she disregarded.
"Not of my concern? Not of my concern?! I am in the middle of the Sacrament, my dear. The sacred rituals of our people are being performed and you have me running around like your servant, doing your dirty work!"
"One task. Only one. And all I asked was for you to keep it quiet. What's so wrong with keeping our little secret a secret for a little longer?"
"It is not right."
"Right and wrong share the same path, they only start at opposite ends. Sooner or later, they will pass one another," she walked up to the older woman, and looked down, under the long grey hair.
The older woman seemed in pain - her brow was furrowed in confusion.
"Only fools see them as separate," The girl stood at an angle, attempting to catch the averted glance of the older woman again, with her final remark.
Perhamia finally spoke up, weak and trembling.
"The Tree was growling, Caranthia."
"So it has for a hundred years," she cast off.
"Caranthia, I may not be the quickest, nor wisest of the Order, but I know for a fact, trees do not growl. They creak, they groan with the weather, they speak to us in peace," her eyes seemed to soften at the thought of the Trees' burden. She then regained her stern glance at the younger amazon, "but they do not growl."
"Fine! So it rejected your presence! Who in their right mind hasn't? As long as that scratch is gone, I do not care." Perhamia's ego was bruised at this. So she rose quickly to her feet and made towards the door.
"First thing next light, I tell Thea." The younger girl's eyes popped out at this declaration.
"How can you be so simple?" a sharp tone rose up in the girl's voice, "Think. Think for a moment, if that tiny brain of yours can, and understand that you have no voice against me. No one will believe your word over mine. You know this; your choices were made the moment you asked for my help."
"I didn't ask for you help," came the reproach, "You asked for mine, and in return for services, I'd get what I wanted."
"And how long did it take for you to give in?" the smaller girl circled the older woman, sneering at the weakness she had, "one chance at bondage with that... cretin, and you leap at the opportunity to get it."
"I admit," Perhamia huffed, "It was wrong of me to give in so," she drew herself up, "but you will not destroy my name for the sake of yours. Have you no shame? Your tribe respects you! You are their leader and Thea's trust! Why would you go so far as to hide the truth-"
"Because the truth is USELESS," she hissed.
Silence enfolded the room. The girl's outburst shook her own body, and her face turned to into the primal killer she was known for. Perhamia realized the danger of arguing much longer with the girl. She replied quietly, albeit firmly.
"Useless? Well, it must have some point in the world, why else would you be so inclined to hide it?"
"This conversation is at an end. You will do what I say, when I say. You will not breathe a word to anyone. No one is to know. And in return, if your mouth grows any wiser, you can have your prize - that is, if she's still alive at the end of the ceremony."
The girl stalked out of the hut, leaving the older woman staring blankly at the animal skin wall.
"Ai, Gaia ohayugo qui," she softly said, while slowly packing the supplies for the next day's ritual.
Goddess Gaia, forgive me.