The forest was settling into an evening calm. Saren watched as his daughter walked toward him, head bowed in disappointment. There was silence as they walked back to their small home together. Saren knew what had likely transpired. Miranda, his only daughter, had always shown a keen interest in magic, a remarkable thing in such transient times. She'd taken an upper school course on the subject and was now in the process where it was do or die; guessing by the look on her face, Saren knew the answer. Miranda had never been talkative, she was brilliant with a firm grasp of philosophy, religion, and science. Saren knew this was a very rare combination and he did everything he could to manage his daughter to the best of his ability despite the changing times.
"There's still hope." He said to his daughter over dinner, as if it could lighten the mood.
She didn't respond.
Saren didn't know what to do, he had once worked as a mage, traveling the land, keeping order, and helping the poor. He knew magic, but he hadn't the knack for it his wife did. His wife, Faith, was away, working to support the family as the sole source of income. She was a talented magic user with pitch black hair and an often solemn expression. Miranda knew little of her mother, she was only able to return to the small village twice every year. Saren knew that his daughter wanted to be just like Faith, but he had no idea how to make things right for Miranda.
"I'm done." Miranda snapped Saren out of his thoughts.
"Father, I'm nineteen, I'll finish it later. I know."
Saren sighed as he watched her head out to the front porch. That was the other thing about Miranda, she loved to spend time outdoors, always embracing nature. However, it also meant that she was somewhat of an isolationist, taking long walks in the woods on her own. Saren didn't like the way things in the world were headed. He was no expert, but he could see the new generation clash with the old on the most central topic of the last 40 or so years, magic and science. It'd started about 20 years ago, around when Miranda was born, that the news of a man in a far off town had invented a new weapon based on explosives. War hadn't followed, not then, but Saren believed it was only a matter of time. This new discovery led to a renewed interest in the science of mundane life: physics. Most of the new generation openly rejected magic as the inferior ways of the past. Although magic was by far more formidable in combat, the new generation hailed scientific discovery in physics as the new way of thinking. A wide gap had formed between science and magic, there were extremists on both sides, but so far it hadn't sparked a conflict. However, the new leads in science has persuaded the extremists to take a new direction most saw as absolute madness. Despite the growing gap between science and magic, it was still the general consensus that the Lyoh was a very real and powerful intelligent force behind magic. The extreme scientists denied this assertion with the claim that magic was just with certain people because of their heritage. It was a very dangerous belief and the few that expressed it openly were often driven away from civilization.
Saren looked at her, his face still wrinkled in thought.
"Are you alright?"
"Yes," He looked down briefly before looking up again.
She sat down and began to finish what remained of her meal.
Saren stared at the table, mind blank of solutions for any of the current problems.
"It's okay, father. I'll find something else to do." Miranda said after finishing her meal.
"I know." Saren was disconcerted; he knew it was a sure sign of age if his daughter was comforting him.
"Are you sure you're alright?" She asked him.
"No, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I should've worked with you more, I could've done something." It was one of those rare moments where Saren was actually bringing his problems to his daughter.
"It's not your fault. I just can't do alchemy or transformations." She replied.
Saren just sighed, still deep in thought.
"I love you."
"I love you too." He replied, still unsure of what to do in this situation. Miranda was successful at nearly everything she put her mind to and he was not used to dealing with her failure; he's had enough of his own failure during his lifetime.
They spent the rest of that day in the main room, only briefly striking up topics of conversation. The sun shown in through the windows and they moved their conversation outside as the sun neared the horizon and the sky changed to dusk. Saren and Miranda had watched sunsets together nearly every night since Miranda had been born. Tonight was different in one respect; there was a green glow that night, not unusual enough for people to talk about, but many later remembered it as the night where everything changed.