#???: Conscience And Cupcakes
At the end of her first day working as Issabel Drake’s assistant, Rydia Misuto found herself walking with her new boss through the poorest part of the city of Ul’dah, a place populated by the destitute in a city where money meant virtue. This fact in and of itself isn’t what surprised Rydia, nor was it the fact that Issabel Drake had insisted on handing out cupcakes to the poor and hungry that made Rydia question her perception of the older woman. No, it was the reason she gave when Rydia had asked why: not “To promote business”, not “Because I was poor once”, not “To feel better about myself”, not “To look good”, but instead “Because it’s the right thing to do.”
This wasn’t something the woman Rydia assumed she knew would ever say.
It had started with her lust for ever-greater power with which to smite Garleans - Rydia had gone to Izzi asking for tutelage. The gloves Issabel had already made for her were powerful, of course (though still a work in progress) but the power Rydia lusted after was that of an Allagan Summoner. A power she knew only one master of. Further, in her research of the Allagan Empire, Rydia had read that the Allagans wore certain kinds of equipment that enhanced their powers. She wanted this gear. She craved this power. And she knew no one who could craft half as well as Issabel Drake.
So, with Cecilia Harvey off exploring the Palace of the Dead, Rydia went to Issabel on her own. She could write it off any number of ways - needing to suppress the fear and anxiety about if Cecilia would never come back, just wanting power - and she could pretend all she wanted she didn’t care at all about the woman who had once summoned a demon of flame to drive her away. But with time that wedge between them had been drawn out, and now she was handing out cupcakes with someone who - were they friends now? She didn’t want to ask. She wasn’t sure what she wanted the answer to be.
She said it so matter-of-factly. “Because it’s the right thing to do”. Like it was obvious. Like any of these Eorzeans would do this.
Almost like Mom. But Mom wouldn’t have been so blunt.
Who is she? She’s not what I thought at all. She’s…kind? But then why was she so mean to me?
Is it like Ashe had said? I wasn’t nice enough? I need to be kinder?
Do I want to ask Izzi? That’d make it weird, wouldn’t it?
“Rydia?” Issabel asked. She had an arm outstretched for the next cupcake to hand out.