"Thank you," she says because who else would start a sparring match this way but the chestnut mare who stands here?
There is unease in her stance and the way that her shoulders yield at the weight of this place says what the Taigan diplomat will not. There is uncertainty at the edges of her eyes and when she goes to meet the opalescent gaze of her Loessian partner, the crimson mare lifts her chin. Just a little but enough to summon a courteous smile and a sense of pride that the smaller mare carries with her. She is here to represent Taiga and to do something that both mares seem to want - to learn.
The smaller chestnut is not a fighter by nature; she sports a lean and smaller frame, a lighter build that seems more suited for the peacekeeping words of diplomacy instead of clamoring hooves and throat-curdling battlecries.
She isn't made for this but for Taiga, she will learn.
Lilliana takes silence of the moment to study Oceane, to admire her beauty and marvel at her wings in the way that she always does. But there is a practiced edge to the gaze now, intent in the depth of those blue eyes as the copper mare studies the stature of the pegasus, the difference in their sizes and the advantage she carries with those lovely wings. (Is she really going to do this?) Bile is building and burning at the back of her throat. She feels sick and she gulps back the memories, of the way everything in her tells her that she shouldn't be here. That in all the walks of life she could have taken, this is the last place she should have ended up.
(Lilliana knows the price that a battlefield can demand, knows all too well the way a triumphant stallion can gloat while still blood drunk on victory.)
She remembers and she uses it as the very kindling she needs to fuel this fire. She uses the embers of those memories to spur her forward.
Lilliana nods her head and lets the emotion build, lets it give her enough of an edge that she can nod and cast the first stone. She doesn't turn her back on Oceane and instead steps back, one step after another to put distance between where the two mares had once faced each other. Its a touch of the wind that makes her decide which way she will go and so Lilliana turns to the left, exposing a shoulder adorned with gold - a small marking in the shape of a flame that she wears like a badge of honor. One step becomes a second and they are soon followed by a suspended trot as she stretches out her legs, sending that fire that has been burning for so long into each exaggerated stride.
She tucks her head to her chest and it is only when she looks to meet briefly Oceane's gaze that she decides something.
Lilliana uses that flowing energy to shift her weight to the outside on her front leading leg and when it does transfer, the Taigan twists her body and pushes her hind legs out to the right - towards Oceane. They extend towards the underbelly of the iridescent mare, hoping to find purchase beneath her wings. She focuses on sending that energy out and keeping balancing on her forefront, on not letting herself become unstable with this first attack.
Her first move.
A move that is the first in a statement to Beqanna that says she will play the game but she is done being a pawn.
ooc: so this is my first battle post since... 2005? 2006? its terrible but hurray for learning