A clash of steel echoed with the cacophony of lingering tunes, each a repeated succession of metallic impact, adding to another layer of singing blades. Onlookers would have perhaps considered the scene one worthy of a second viewing, a beautifully choreographed display akin to a dance with swordsmanship coloring those who would take a moment to view it unfold, a shade of impressed awe. Of course, it was reasonable to consider this display a one-sided exchange, as the young agent christened Nello, by a mother now passed, met the ground with each initiated bout. Small, slender fingers wrapped their way around a hilt, black as night, as Calamity's edge rose, yet again. A dangerous weapon, to be sure, something no one would be prepared to deny. Had Lady Blackstone's skin been layered in a blanket of impenetrable flesh, the impressively golden blade of Calamity's shape would have ignored the barrier, as if a mere afterthought. However, whether this had been the case, it rang hollow. Nello had not managed to count a single strike which would have damaged Lady Blackstone's otherwise perfect, pale skin. Her strength, her speed, and her reflexes were beyond anyone the boy had ever encountered, an unchanged truth, as it would likely remain.
Few knew the woman's heritage, and her age maintained its status as a mystery. Whispers were prevalent, theories circling Nox Tenebrae in regards to its fencing instructor, the ancient vampire known only by the title she had accumulated. As any good teacher would likely condone, Lady Blackstone tailored her classes in regards to who found themselves at the edge of her saber. This time, it was Nello, the boy whom Blackstone had stated did not need care, nor comfort in the face of adversity. Perhaps this was what dictated her motion, as the woman's blade parried her student's, before a vicious swing severed his arm from place, followed by a kick which sent him to the cold, stone floor.
Though Nello yelped in painful exclamation, his slight frame meeting a hard foundation, one would be able to see the black, almost oil-like substance extend from his stump where it manifested itself as a new appendage. Unharmed, and untouched. The boy's arm which had been parted from his body vanished into little more than dust, as if a supernatural breeze crept its way through stone springs, and carried the remnants on a bed of wind. Heavy breaths escaped the young agent's maw, his chest rising and sinking in rapid succession. Had his reptilian nature allowed for him to sweat, the liquid would have drenched his now warm body, a temperature which clearly set him apart from those others would consider his kin. Rolling to his side, the boy managed to cough, strength leaving his legs before fatigue overcame. Never before had cold, unforgiving stone been so comfortable, where it harbored an exhausted boy's tired shape. "Well done," came a statement from the woman, a pair of silver eyes meeting Nello's impressively large rubies. "You have made wonderful progress."
Attempting to speak through breaths forcing themselves past razor-sharp teeth, Nello eventually managed to utter his words. "Doesn't feel like I'm improving..," he tried, seeing how a hand extended itself towards him, and pulled the boy back to his feet as if his admittedly laughable weight was little more than that of a falling feather.
"Progress is rarely seen by those who achieve it," Lady Blackstone continued. True to her nature, the woman's voice was soft but stern. It was something most would recognize as regal, noble, and demanding authority. This followed along the woman's presence, as well, where her silver eyes were enough to stare down even a prince of hell. Or, at least, such were the assumptions.
Managing a small, if tired smile, Nello allowed for his sword, Calamity, to vanish in a dim, black mist. Beside him, the boy's reflection made itself known, a creature none could see other than Nello himself, and those attuned to powerful magic. "One day," the young swordsman spoke, moving his thick bangs from covering his eyes, as he continued to speak. "One day I'll be a master, too."
Bridging itself across Lady Blackstone's perfectly shaped lips, the woman's smile made itself known, as her hand moved to Nello's cheek, where their eyes locked in a shared exchange. "A master is merely someone who has made far more mistakes, than you have ever made attempts, Nello." She combed her fingers, long and perfect for the keys of a piano, through the boy's hair. "Go and get some rest, if you faint in my class again, your father will be breathing down my neck."
"Eh, Nafir needs to chill the fuck out," a ghostly voice trickled into Nello's ear, courtesy of Nocturne, the demonic spirit sharing existence with the boy. The two shared more than simply that, one might add, as best friends, worst enemies, and literal soul mates. "Dude should get his face outta' those books, once in a while."
With a soft sigh, Nello managed a small smirk, his shark-like teeth making themselves known within his small maw. "He can usually fill in the blanks when I fall asleep at three in the afternoon." With Nello's regeneration being among the strongest versions of the ability, dangerous wounds drained him of energy which would eventually warrant a lack of consciousness. The thought brought him a chill, without fault. If this was the outcome at the hands of an enemy, he dreaded to imagine a scenario which soon followed, with him tied to a chair, or worse. Monstrous beings tended to be crueler than even the most vicious of humans. "I should go and get a drink," Nello continued, stumbling back before starting towards the exit.
"You should stay away from that filth, Nello," Lady Blackstone commented, knowing full well what the boy was about to imbibe.
"We can't all live on blood," a wide grin presented itself on Nello's features as he turned with a playful wave. An interesting statement, unbeknownst to him, a statement which offered more than Nello could possibly imagine. He was, after all, a demon, and so far, he did not know how addicting blood could actually be. A truth which hopefully did not lurk in the darkness, ready to pounce at him like a hungry tiger.
"We have to be the only freaks in this fucking school who do this for fun," Nocturne rolled his eyes, following Nello with every step. A creature beyond the boundaries of life and death, one directly linked to the boy in a demon's embrace, their relationship was one of symbiotic oddities, for sure. "Ugh, let's just grab a drink and pass out, I'm fucking beat."
With small fingers tenderly moving towards his arm, Nello rubbed the appendage, thoughts cycling back towards his training session. Was he getting better? Hopefully, Lady Blackstone was right. An arm he could regenerate, but his head was another story.
Zane was working on his passion project. The Mooncycle was going to be a combination of science and magic to make the fastest motorbike he could create. The main problem was in dealing with the effects enchantments had on mechanical and electrical appliances.
It was especially hard to be forced to avoid iron. While the fae weren't the only enchanters, the natural magic resistance in iron and its alloys made it unfeasible for the bike. He was currently looking at making the body from carbon fibre, a strong and lightweight material but insanely expensive in small shipments.
His pen scratched across the page as he worked. It was going to be a cruiser type motorcycle, as he planned to use it as a mission transport when completed. The engine was up in the air, he was personally leaning towards a turbocharged V6 engine if he could convince one of the mage to shrink it down. For some reason messing with an object that fuctions by explosion was considered insane. The fuel wasn't an issue, as everfilling vessels are among the most common enchantments. Looking up at the clock, he realised his session with the evil swordbitch was in ten minutes. He hoped fighting the small lizard had tired her out, but he wasn't that lucky.
Perfectly manicured nails punctured the supple, rubbery outer layer of foam that guarded the spongy interior of the Earth stress ball. Four almond-shaped claws buried into the yielding core, as pigmented knuckles turned bloodless. Slowly, each digit retracted from within the ball. Pearlescent polish was chipped, scraped away by the exertion. She took in the damage, her body heating. A flare of her wings, as they went from a bright pink to blood red. Arieen growled, lifting the ball and taking aim at the nearest picture frame. Tension, aching to be released-
"Arieen, dear, calm down." Said Mr. B, his gentle, genuine voice attempting to suffocate the flame of hatred within her. The Cyclops was no fool, he was aware of how easily her emotions shifted, like a boat being rocked to and fro by stubborn waves. He gave her an unwavering, yet amazingly tender stare, certain he could bring her back down.
A disgruntled huff, a glare through a haze of red sent toward the head counselor's one eye, and the ball dropped harmlessly to the ground. Fingers flexed, deep, shaky breaths were taken. She smoothed the fabric of her light blue sundress, the pads of her fingers catching on the ridges of the lace in a way she found relaxing. She folded her legs, left over right, giving off the image of calm despite the roaring emotions within. She was skilled in the fine art of lying to herself. After all, it was rather easy to put on a facade, and soon the falsehood crept beneath the surface, staking a claim in reality. The color in her wings faded slightly, into something that was more reminiscent of candy apple red, than blood.
Mr. B opened his mouth to speak, but before he could say a word his co-counselor, Mr. C, was cutting in. "Arieen, this behavior is brash of you, don't you agree?"
Arieen glanced at the water buffalo, cocking her head at him in consideration. He was a wise lout, certainly, but a lout nonetheless. He knew nothing of what had brought her to his shared office and would continue to know nothing if he carried on in this fashion. "Mr. C, Mr. B, I'm afraid you don't understand, my emotions are perfectly valid considering the circumstances." Her tone was cold, strong, befitting of her future title. She mimicked her Owner almost perfectly...not that that was what she was trying to do. She didn't copy.
"What, exactly, are the circumstances? Another tiff with one of the other Fae?" Mr. B asked, eye searching Arieen's.
"It wasn't a tiff, Mr. B, the inbreds of Court Gilltree insulted Queen Alula, my court, and by extension, me!" Those insolent nature freaks just didn't understand the overwhelming power of the mind! They were too busy growing plants and dancing nude in the forest, like neanderthals! Just thinking about it was enough to cause her blood to boil, opening a palm, she attempted to summon up another stress ball that looked like the Earth. It appeared, a melted pile of goop and foam in her hand. She hissed, accepting the handkerchief Mr. B offered her and wiping away at the mess. "Do you see what it's doing to me? My summons, my illusions, my very way of life will be soiled until you do something!"
Mr. C decided to add his piece. "All we can recommend is a trip to one of the lounges. Allow your mind to relax. You're going to be a Princess, Arieen, you'll have to learn to take criticism eventually."
"Fine, I'll do just that!" Arieen said, lifting from the seat she was in and stepping gracefully toward the door. She turned, just as her hand rested on the shining copper handle. "That being said, I feel this criticism must be stated. You, are an animal that bathes in mud, Mr. C! There is no way you could possibly understand the delicacy of this situation." With that, she stormed out the room, delicately closing the door behind her.
On her way to the spa, Arieen passed many people in the hallway. She ignored most of them, as they were less interesting creatures than she, and she had no time for the Fae-folk of other courts. She did, however, pause and wonder as a boy came into the hall alongside another creature -his twin, it appeared- bathed in shadow. She knew of almost all the people in the school, as she had been around since she was twelve. Of course, he hadn't bothered to stop and talk to a majority of them unless she was in the mood to create a pact and add another pawn to her playboard.
This being, though, and this boy, they piqued her interest. She cocked her head, quickening her steps until she caught up with him. Her wings, now a curious shade of yellow, flitted behind her.
"Hello, there. I'm Arieen, and I'm afraid I don't know the names of you two boys." She would have said 'Lady Arieen', but she didn't want to sound too uptight.
Interactions 🌑 @MsMorningstar. Mentions 🌑 None. Location 🌑 Hallway. 🌑 Heading towards the lounge.
It was difficult to tell exactly what managed to pinpoint Nello's fundamental source of, as one would say, cuteness. Whether it was his size, his dainty proportions or those large, ruby eyes, he did warrant attention when striding through one of the many school hallways. He was not entirely unknown to others, but those unable to witness Nocturne's presence tended towards brushing Nello off as just another creature. However, those who did note the presence of this otherworldly being, maintained a focused glare, more often than not.
Nello stopped in his tracks, eyes meeting the girl who had taken time out of her schedule to approach this curious duo. A fairy? Yes, that would appear to be the case. There was not much which Nello could lean towards in regards to knowledge concerning the fey, but a common conclusion strung along trickery and mischief. Though, basing assumptions on a reputation would be sure to hinder progress, and most definitely a pursuit of social acceptance. Nello was a demon, and their standing would be sure to sully his every interaction, had others adopted the same dispotion which was abundant outside the walls of Nox Tenebrae.
What did manage to linger, however, was how the fairy mentioned Nocturne. It was not an exchange which involved the creature's name, or even him directly, but rather, Arieen, as she had presented herself, referred to Nello, and another.
"Uhm, hello," came a reply from the young swordsman, accompanied by a small, tender smile. However, his attention was quickly stolen by Nocturne who proceeded to speak.
"You can see me?" The shade asked, crossing his arms, as a skeptical expression presented itself upon his features. Arieen had been met his gaze, and acknowledged the demon spirit's presence. It would have been foolish to dismiss an impressive vision. Equally so, she was a fairy, a creature of magic. Illusions were common amongst these tricksters, and they often times possessed 'True Sight', as it was, where they registered their surrounding world for what it truly was. "Ruins the mystery, and all that," Nocturne grinned, ruffling Nello's hair, in a most playful manner. "It's more fun when this little shit is talking to himself."
Rolling his eyes, Nello nudged the creature at his side with an elbow. "Enough people think that I'm schitzo'," the boy offered, returning the mischievous grin which so often made itself visible on Nocturne's maw. "I'm Nello," the boy presented himself, shifting his attention to Arieen, "this is Nocturne, my.., spirit buddy."
Wrapping an arm around Nello's neck, the shade pulled him close and was quick to add his piece, "also, his boyfriend."
With a dark layer of gray coating Nello's cheeks, the boy groaned, shaking his head. "Could you not?"
The far too expected reaction which Nello had offered, on a silver plate, was enough to warrant laughter from his dark reflection. "Fucking adorable when he's flustered, isn't he?"
With those gray cheeks growing warmer still, Nello attempted to steer the conversation elsewhere. This was not a good first impression, and Nocturne was quite difficult to manage that scenario with. "We're going to crash in the lounge, want to come?"
Nipping at Nello's ear, Nocturne offered Arieen a playful wink, "we promise not to make you uncomfortable," the creature grinned.
The teenager's large, animalistic ears fell flat on his head, in response to the sigh escaping a reptilian snout. "I can't belive getting my arm cut off was the least painful thing I had to go through today."
Interaction; None Mentions; Arieen and Nello Location; Garden/Lounge
"Hvaða fallegu blóm...." A girl with hair as white as snow stood among a magnificent garden, her eyes that looked similar to that of untarnished Ice staring at the various plants before her. There were basic ones like Calendula, Lavander, Echinacea and Oleander. Though among the various "human" plants were those that were more....magical in a way. Fern Flowers, Bat-thorns, Raskovnik and many others that had odd and unreal properties to them.
She reached out a hand and gently touched the petal of a simple rose, a small smile spreading across her lips. The girl, known only as Eira, spent a good portion of her time within the gardens of Nox Tenebrea. After her classes she needed to unwind and relax, like most of the students there, though instead of sitting around and watching TV or playing video games Eira helped take care of the beautiful vegetation within the school grounds.
With a little happy step she moved from plant to plant, a watering canister grasped in one hand, watering each plant. After a while the can was empty and each leafy, colorful plant had been fed it's daily dose of liquid. Looking at the time she realize that there was only about an hour left until she had to go to her next class - offensive magic.
Eira decided that it would do her some good to actually sit and relax before her class, she knew her teacher was hard on her and she often expanded a lot of energy in order to do what they asked. Leaving the garden the girl walked into the lounge and plopped herself down on one of the plush chairs, bringing her knees up under her and staring at whatever was on the television. As she was sitting there some high-and-mighty royal bumped into her chair, he had to be blind as a bat to run into a chair that didn't even move.
Not really caring about him she continued to watch the silly show until she heard someone talk. "Hey, aren't you going to apologize?" A little confused Eira turned to see the boy, he looked irritated. "Excuse me?" Her voice was light but had a thick accent to it, she tried her best to be understood clearly. "I said aren't you going to apologize? You shouldn't leave your chair in such a stupid spot." Alright this boy had to be an idiot for sure.
"You ran into the chair, that's not my fault. Maybe you should pay attention to where your going" She said with a small frown on her face. "Heimskur...." She muttered under her breath before looking back at the TV. Apparently that was the wrong move because the boy only got even angrier and continued to shout at her. Eira ignored it and so did some of the other's in the lounge as well, it didn't take long for the boy to notice that no one was paying any attention and in a huff stormed out of the lounge.
On his way out he almost barreled into in a small reptilian boy and a girl that had some pretty magnificent wings, not caring if he bumped into them or not. Eira watched, suddenly feeling bad. Maybe she should have moved the chair or something...but it really wasn't her fault right? Now she was all sorts of confused though she quickly got distracted by the two who had entered the room. The boy was so short and...cute. He kind of reminded her of a squishy, slightly scary, stuffed animal. The girl was beautiful, the wings that were behind her were filled with such amazing colors. "Oh...I want to say Hi to them...." She thought, but what would she say? Even though she had been here four years already she seemed to have a hard time grasping at what social norms were.
Hvaða fallegu blóm = What pretty flowers Heimskur = Stupid
The Lady was beautiful, though it was deeper than her aestetics. She smelled of iron, its signiture scent imprinted on her through a lifetime of practice with the sword. Frankly, he could never hope to equal her skill with the blade, her grace born of eternity, so he didn't try to emulate her.
Lycans are naturally instinctive, indeed they were said to be wolves who learned to take the form of man, so in battle he fed into those instincts. When he first approached the Lady about this, she was leery. Relying on instincts meant opening yourself up to darker emotions that could cloud judgement and even lead to becoming a berserker and attacking everyone around you. She had eventually agreed on the condition he practiced mental discipline to keep his emotions in check.
There had been several false starts, most notably the time he had almost strangled one of the teachers. He had barely managed to leave the room without breaking the rules after the speech about caging the beast. He was the beast.
In the end it was Odin who, as always, had the answer to his issue. When a wolf is on the hunt with the pack they focus on the prey, letting all other concerns fall to the wayside. By visualising his target as his prey, he could slip into a state between his instincts and his conscious mind. He would never, even under threat of death, tell the Lady that he saw her as a giant fluffy bunny when using this technique.
Words were useless during the actual combat, Zane was a wolf of few words even when he wasn't focusing. His way of fighting was more brutish than both the Lady and Neoh, preferring to block or deflect attacks rather than dodge. The fight had been in the Lady's favour from the start, though his natural endurance had managed to last him a good forty five minutes without a break. His sword was currently chipping under the blows, this would make the second one this year that broke under the stress. Zane himself wasn't much better, his body was covered in wounds, mostly shallow due to his regeneration, and his shirt was currently in shreds.
”I give, Lady Blackhart.” Zane growled, his breathing shallow from exertion and wasting energy in regeneration. The two spent another fifteen minutes discussing the fight, or rather the Lady breaking down the fight with Zane’s occasional input. After stretching to make sure he wasn't stiff later, he bid the Lady farewell and headed to the canteen for a meal so he could stop feeling dead inside.
‹location› Her Dorm -> Gardens fillertextfillertextfillertextfillertextfillertextfillertextfillertextfillertextfillertextfillertextfillertextfillertextfillertext
Talía had woken up late again. The black curtains of her room blocked all of the light coming in, but she could tell, purely based on the fact that she wasn't tired.
And considering that she had fallen asleep at outrageously late o'clock, something felt a little bit off about that.
Indeed, as she drew back the thick fabric (meaning that she dragged it to the side while it was held in her mouth), it quickly became apparent that the sun was not in the place she had anticipated. In an instant, she became a feathered frenzy, cursing in a language that was not entirely human as she rushed to get ready. She thanked whatever gods there were for afternoon classes. If they hadn't existed, she would have failed long ago.
In the end, she was out of her room in record time, albeit still dishevelled. Talía sighed to herself as she exited her room, mourning her soft sheets already. She had some time to waste, didn't she? She considered her time-killing options, and immediately settled for the lounges. She was in the mood to relax, even if she had just been doing that for the last eight hours.
She went to the gardens, feeling the calm atmosphere wash over her. There were already quite a few students dotted around the area. All sorts of supernatural beings. That was what she liked about Nox Tenebrae - there were so many different people there. Maybe she was on the further end of the weirdness scale, but at least she wasn't the only one. Talía took the opportunity to stretch out her wings, missing the way some poor boy struggled to dodge the feathered mass that suddenly appeared before him. He gave her a dirty look, which she was blissfully unaware of.
After a few seconds, she tucked them back again. It was an unusual feeling, she never had to do anything of the sort back home, and even though it had been some time, she didn't think she would ever get used to it. For a human, it would probably be like constantly having their arms behind their back. Doable, but unconventional and not the most comfortable. Nevertheless, she didn't want to engulf every hallway she walked down, so she did it anyway.
Talía took a seat on the grass, a little out of the way, waiting for time to pass. When was her next class? One hour? Two hours? She'd lost track at this point. She sat there idly, watching people go about their day, not talking to any of them once. Occasionally, she exchanged smiles and nods, but that was the extent of her social interaction. There was one person in particular she kept an eye on, the strange white-haired girl watering the plants.
She's here a lot, isn't she? Huh. Don't think I've seen anyone else water those flowers either. From what Talía knew, the girl was pretty unapproachable. Some people even called her scary. But watching her look so happy while doing something so innocent... it really didn't seem like whatever people said was particularly accurate.
Then the girl left, and Talía's attention span was eaten up by someone else right away. People watching. An odd sport, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. Just her, the thriving plants, and a sizeable fraction of Nox Tenebrae's population. How serene.
Arieen's gaze flicked between the two boys, getting a feel for their dynamic. Nello was evidently more shy than his counterpart, Nocturne. They completed each other, in the same way her mother completed her father. Two pans of a balance scale, each weighed with different materials, yet truly equal.
Of course, one could see the union as strange, as they were technically identical. She didn't find it bizarre in the slightest. In her court, it wasn't odd to see people fantasizing about being with themselves. After all, there was no shame in living out one's fantasies in a kingdom where reality met imagination, and why not be with the one who knew you the most? Some of them took their vision a step further, to the point where Queen Alula married herself in a fantastic display of power. It was why she had no king, and no children of her own.
"He is quite...appealing. You both are." It was something about their size, and the way the boy's ears fell flat against his face like a mopey dog's. Well, cuter than a dog. She was also intrigued by Nocturne, because he was like an illusion brought to life. As he winked at her, a smile tugged at her lips. Alula would think he was a beautiful addition to the menagerie back home.
At their offer, Arieen's wings went from the yellow of curiosity to the orange of joy. Holding a hand behind her back, she focused on the feel of a rose. The way it smelled when in full bloom, soft and delicate and fresh. The waxy coating on each black petal, tipped in gold that glittered. The stem, made up of a strong, forest green stalk with delicate leaves attached and not a thorn in sight. She felt it form in her hand, and held it out in front of her, gifting it to Nello.
"For you and your love. I'd quite like to accompany you." Her tone was still quite cold, bordering on monotonous, but it was the thought that counted, right? She watched his arms. He had said one had been cut off that morning, but he must've been able to regrow them. A neat trick. Having someone she could throw out in front of her, who could continuously restore their limbs, would be useful.
With a tilt of his head, Nello's crimson orbs conducted an exchange with the fairy, her presence and bearing offering a regality one was wise to expect from her kind. Even so, Nello was never a good judge of character, and his knowledge of other species had only recently been sharpened into more respectable wisdom. It was common for the boy to rely on his second half for exposition on the supernatural world, as Nello was often left clueless, and in the dark.
It was an easy question to ask, truly, but what was Nello without Nocturne? Just another dying kid, he would admit. Or, more accurately, a dead kid. The thought was enough to cause discomfort, as one might have been able to imagine. However, Nello was quick to shift his attention to the rose which had manifested itself, at Arieen's behest. A breathtaking display, if simple, which left an appreciative smile on Nello's reptilian snout.
Black, along with a tint of gold. It was Nello's, or rather, Nocturne's color scheme. The shape granted to Calamity, a beautiful, and yet deadly presence. Indeed, beautiful, as was a clear reflection in the thorned rose. "Oh, wow," Nello exclaimed, his small, dainty, and clawed fingers tenderly accepting the gift.
Tipping each digit was a small claw, the color of night, which glimmered ever so softly beneath hallway lights. None in their right mind would look at Nello's soft, unblemished hands, and paint him a swordsman. However, at Nox Tenebrae, nothing was quite as it seemed. This was further elevated as Nello's eyes met the distant glare of yet another. A girl? She appeared almost as if falling snow, though, that might have been a rather poetic way of stating a somewhat chilling nature.
A head of white hair peeked out from the top of the plush chair, curious eyes innocently staring at the pair that had walked into the lounge. admiring how each one looked, wondering what kind of people they were. Unlike some of the supernatural and mythical things that prowled the halls of Nox Tenebrae these two stood out to her. Perhaps it was the short yet slightly intimidating aura that the reptilian male possessed. Maybe it was the glittering wings and majestic atmosphere that the girl produced. Whatever it was it drew Eira's attention.
Eira wasn't sure what she expected, but it definitely wasn't locking her gaze with the boy. Almost immediately she felt her skin tingle with nervousness, she was sure that her face held a pink tint to it and with her pale skin it probably stuck out like a sore thumb. Quickly to avoid any sort of confrontation the girl ducked down and curled up in her chair [color=ADD8E6][/i] "Oh he totally saw me staring like a freak!" [/i][/color] Now she wanted to just crawl into a hole and hide.
"I probably look like some idiot.... The poor Phoenix was beginning to stress herself out simply because she thought that the two would think badly of her. Being raised on a mountain, isolated from everything meant she had no idea how to speak to people properly and while her teachers tried the best they could it was hard when she didn't really have anyone to call a friend and to talk with.
Trailing Nello's gaze with her own, she watched a head of glistening white hair pop down behind the back of a lounge chair. She wasn't sure how she felt about someone watching them. She also wasn't okay with that person pretending to be none the wiser, and hiding. Of course, there were many reasons why someone could be peeping on them. They could be an admirer, or simply jealous. Of course, she didn't want people to assume she was attempting to court Nello, as he was technically alone in the gazes of others. It wasn't a good look for a fae of her status.
The solution was obvious. Throwing back her shoulders and spreading her wings to their fullest extent, she strode over to the culprit's chair. Putting on a cold smile, she leaned over the chair and stared down at the creature. It was a beautiful woman, with skin as pale as frost and cheeks red as blood. She looked innocent, but looks could be deceiving. Arieen would crush her without hesitation if it came to it.
"Friend, you were looking at Nello and myself. I wonder, why were you staring at our exchange?"
Just as Eira was thinking that the pair hadn't seen her amd would go on their merry way the colorful fae girl appeared. While her smile seemed kind there was an undertone of coldness to it that made her shiver. "Ahh...I-I was just admiring. The white-haired girl stammered out, she felt like a little bug underneath that intense stare. It was odd how such a pretty lady could look so intimidating at the same time. "I really didn't mean anything by it...I just thought you guys looked cool.
Thinking it in her head and than actually saying it outloud was a big difference, it made her feel even more embarrassed than she already was. Did normal people admitted such things aloud or were those things that were typically kept to oneself? "If I offended you guys or anything I'm really sorry
"Ugh, another one?" Nocturne sighed. His arm slid down from where it had rested, circling Nello's neck, as the creature's eyes fixed their attention on the new, icy arrival. They were tired, Nocturne and Nello, for sure. Their fight with Lady Blackstone had robbed them of strength and stamina alike, and as much as Nello wished to engage in what Arieen had initiated, the boy found himself dropping onto a bench with a fatigued breath escaping his maw. If he closed his eyes, Nello would surely fall asleep.
"Being stared at isn't the best," the young agent continued, fiddling with the black rose in his hands, eyes meeting his converse-clad feet. Luckily, the three talons within were quite small, evidently proportional to the rest of him, and prevented those demonic additions from ripping through the shoes. "But she seems rather..," the teenager spoke, before Nocturne finished his sentence.
"Scared out of her mind?" came a question. "About to have a heart attack? Queen Glittersnatch over there isn't exactly giving her an easy time."
With a slight smirk featuring itself on his snout, Nello hid the expression behind the conjured shape of a night-colored rose. It smelled of beauty, an unmatched scent which lingered in the flower's wake. A representation of the fey, indeed. Forcing himself up from the bench, Nello managed a small groan, and started towards the exchange shared between a fairy, and a girl Arieen was about to afford a mental breakdown. "Hey," the boy spoke, his soft, if ghostly and inhuman voice offering a somewhat more welcoming approach.
Admiring? The intensity of Arieen's stare only grew, as she searched the girl's eyes for signs of deceit. There wasn't any that she could pick up on. She was being honest. How...endearing. Arieen's smile slowly defrosted, becoming something more natural and welcoming. She appreciated admirers.
"Is that so?" She asked, radiating a serene joy. "There's no need to admire from afar, we're all...amicable here. Why don't you join us? We're just hanging out." Did hanging out make her sound more friendly? It didn't matter, she was being kind enough.
As Nello approached, Arieen clapped her hands together as if it were settled. "Perfect! So, what's your name?" She asked, still looking directly at the girl.
Eira averted her gaze from that of the Fairies, she began to pick on her clothing in a nervous way. She was beginning to feel a tad overwhelmed with the situation, what was she supposed to do? What was this intense lady going to do? Luckily things seemed to take a turn when the small boy came up to them with a simple "Hey". Unlike the intense glare of the girl the boy's tone had a more subtle and soft approach, it made her frayed nerves relax a tad. It seemed like they both had begun to pick up on the fact that she wasn't trying to be hostile or anything, in fact they seemed pleased about it. When the fairy girl mentioned that she didn't need to stare and could hang out with them her icy-colored eyes practically glittered with excitement.
Someone had actually offered to hang out with her?! Blinking a few times she had to take a second to make sure they were actually still there, any they were which made her heart flutter with happiness. "Ah! My name is Eira", to hang out with her?! If one looked closely enough they could see a slight shimmer to her skin, similar to that of when fresh snow was on the ground. That shimmer seemed to come and go with her emotions and right now it was quite apparent, though not so noticeable that it distracted people. Looking at the pair that were now speaking with her Eira smiled gently, "What are your guy's name?"
It was somewhat ironic, considering the circumstances. Hunters, in an academy for the supernatural, where the fantastical was a norm, and the mundane was an oddity, treated one another like any gathering of students, in any select school. It was almost endearing, one would have to say. Indeed, thoughts on the matter were enough to warrant a slight, if genuine smile, which made itself known on Nello's snout. He was likely the only demon at Nox Tenebrae who had been called cute, and most certainly the only demonic entity people pulled into hugs, as an act of oddly approachable affection. Where Nocturne considered the display an infuriation, Nello did not seem to mind. He was, after all, the same young teenager he had been before the infernal might of a demon fused with his very soul.
A slender, reptilian tail slowly swayed behind Nello's frame, gently moving from one side to the next in an idle motion, as if it had a mind of its own. Long and pointy, some would agree that it afforded him a more devilish appearance, and for the most part, they would be correct. "I'm Nello," the demonic teenager presented himself, Arieen's rose still lingering between his dainty, clawed fingers. An onlooker would perhaps mistake the fairy's approach for an attempt at courting, but social incompetence could be blamed for Nello's vacancy on the matter. It never crossed his mind.
"What is this chick, anyways?" Nocturne crossed his arms with a raised brow, "Nordic, obviously," the demon spirit squinted, a clawed finger scratching at his chin. "Eh, it's a nice change from all the fucking weebs."
Turning his attention to the creature, Nello raised a brow, forgetting himself as he offered a response. "You turn into a katan-..," the teen halted, moving his large red orbs to Eira, before clearing his throat. "Uhm.., nice to meet you," Nello finished with a sheepish, somewhat awkward smile.
This Eira was outrageously beautiful, with skin glistening like a fresh snowfall and pale eyes that lit up the room. The tips of Arieen's wings turned a dark green, but with a subtle deep breath, the color of jealousy was washed away. She grinned, moreso at Nello and Nocturne's display than at the girl, but her focus was still on Eira.
"I'm Arieen," She began, waving rather than holding out a slender hand in greeting. She didn't want her bones to be crushed in case the girl had a supernatural strength to her. "Would you like it if I escorted you to your next class?" Another act that could be considered courtship, but it was innocent enough. "I have offensive magic."
Alex hadn’t properly flown for a week now. A whole week! All because that sadistic vampire bitch had set him yet another challenge to focus completely and wholeheartedly on ways to cover for your arse and survive whenever your only decent asset is useless, he mimicked mockingly - not out loud, because he didn't have a death wish. She was just baiting him, the fucker, and he wasn’t even mad about it. Not reaaally. Just exasperated. Maybe a tad put out, because in all his years at the academy, he’d completed several hundred missions (granted, they’d been the practice hologram-filled ones, but still), and according to Lady Blackstone, he still defaulted to relying on his wings too often. Of-fucking-course he did, he was a goddamn Dragon-kin, and four years of gen-ed wasn’t able to overcome the previous sixteen years of being encouraged to polishing his best advantage so easily.
Then again, these challenges had definitely polished his combat abilities on the ground, and were effectively developing an instinct to respond swiftly and appropriately to any given situation. That certainly was one reason he went along with Blackstone’s “requests”. The other was that one time three or so years ago, the madwoman had literally ripped the wings off his back to get her point across. The reminder of those hellish two weeks was certainly a good incentive to be the good little soldier for the vampire. Sometimes, what he hated the most about the whole ordeal was the fact that he was actually grateful to her. Questionable methods or not, but damn, was she an effective teacher! Probably why there was usually a queue to get a private lesson from her – even though the suicidally lazy majority of the student population avoided her like a newbie should a triple-S difficulty mission, he and his fellow training maniacs were more than enough to take up a decent chunk of her time.
But to get back on track, today he was finally free to fly more than half-an-hour per day (that much Blackstone usually acquiesced, since she’d seen how stir crazy he’d go otherwise, and an unstable mental state certainly wouldn’t be conducive to the whole overcome-your-weaknesses training regime), which is exactly what he’d take the time to do after some lunch, stretching, meditation, etc. to cool down after the lesson-packed morning he’d had. They certainly weren’t a necessity, him being a fifth year, but definitely a good practice he intended to uphold. Anyhow, food first, the rest of his plans later. Though he had the choice of fixing up something on his own, he usually went for a pre-made cafeteria meal, and this time, he picked a variety of tacos (beef, chicken, shrimp) alongside a bowl of mixed salad. He wasn’t too picky of an eater, but he was still glad the food served was of a relatively good quality as well as quite diverse.
Seeing as he’d been all by his lonesome, Isaia had eaten swiftly, no mundane chatter to distract him. Before moving onto what was truly important in life (flying, duh), he’d have to give his body some down-time to digest the meal properly. He sauntered to the lounge, for once content now that he’d eaten and with the afternoon free to do with as he pleased for once. One of his favourite spots for meditation was the gardens, since it was also one of the rare locations (besides his own dorm, but that got stuffy fast) that was quiet and serene. Besides, the smell of nature in the middle of New York? Not something you got beyond artificial little spots like these. He settled on a patch of grass cross-legged, closed his eyes, deepened his breathing, and spent the next hour not thinking much of anything.
When he was done, he felt refreshed and energized. As he was exiting the garden, his gaze happened to lock with some other girl’s, who was just sitting there…and staring? Vacantly looking from student to student? Alex spent the next ten minutes stretching his body, observing the girl in turn, ascertaining she wasn’t just waiting on someone. Which might still actually the case, but…there was no expectancy about her. Not a creepy stalker either, he didn’t think, since there was no specific person she was fixated on. Well. How fortuitous he could offer her something much more engaging to do. He walked up right to her, with all the nonchalant confidence he could muster, which actually might have across as more predatory and bully-esque than he’d liked. But as was said, you work with what you have. And intimidation was his forte. (Or so he chose to believe.)
“Hey, Feathers,” he called out to the harpy. “How about instead of sitting here all wide-eyed like some clueless human you come for a flight with me, hm?” He stretched his wings a bit and gave them a single flap to demonstrate. “Bet ya it’ll be better than this pathetic gawking of yours,” he drawled, his smile showcasing his fangs in an obvious challenge. “Think you could win a race? Or maybe you’d rather a proper areal battle,” he added with an excited growl, his eyes glinting in pleasure at the idea of getting a training-partner to face off against. And how could she refuse when he’d made the perfect invitation? If she did, she’d have been useless to fly with anyway, and if she didn’t, his plan to incite her into combativeness and get her to accompany him would be proven to have worked as intended. Sometimes, he was surprised by his own insight, and it had occurred rather helpfully in relation to a social interaction wherein he’d had to play nice for once.
That's what Helena's been thinking ever since the first day she came to the academy. Sure, the castle was nice but it wasn't as grandiose, huge, and majestic unlike the castle she'd lived and grew up in for all her life. Then again, this castle was made not to impress but to teach those who were willing to put their lives on the line in order to protect the existence of all things mythical and magical from the mortal humans.
Humans. The more she read about them in a book in the library, the more she was perplexed by them. The story and idea of all humans being greedy and selfish have been passed down through Helena's ancestors, yet here she learned that there were actually humans that were the opposite of what she knew. "Strange. How very strange indeed...", she muttered to herself, her English accent evident. She flipped to another page that showed the human anatomy and she immediately closed the book, trying not to puke on the library's floor. Helena was willing to accept and learn that not all humans were bad, but baby steps were very much needed.
She grabbed the book and bounced down from her chair, balancing the book on the tip of her crystal as she walked on all fours towards the shelves. She put the book back on the spot where she got it and walked off out the library, feeling that she learned more about humans more than she intended to. As she walked, her fluffy, pink-blue striped tail wagged about, blinking to show her deep-blue colored eyes.
Creatures of all shapes and sizes were at the academy, and Helena really felt like digging a hole and hiding in said hole for the rest of the day. From the first second she left the library, she felt like almost all eyes were on her. She couldn't exactly see what expression they had on their faces as she forced herself to look ahead, but she could tell they were very surprised by what they saw. It's not everyday you see a cat-like creature the size of a dog with a crystal growing on its head.
She wanted to talk to them so badly, yet she was shy. So much for being the darling of her kingdom. It felt more comfortable talking with strangers who were of her kind but as far as she knew, Helena was the first and only carbuncle enrolled at Nox Tenebrae. Helena was even the first of her kind of being away from the kingdom for more than an hour, as her kin hid away and erased themselves from the map of the world centuries ago. Despite that, the carbuncles were shocked when they learned that the ones running the academy knew of their existence and respected them enough to keep it hidden from the rest of the world.
Just then, her stomach grumbled. Oh dear, I should really go to the cafeteria to get some munch, she thought to herself as she walked briskly towards the cafeteria. Good thing she memorized her copy of the academy's map, though maybe she should have faked not knowing it to ask someone, might be even a great conversation starter. Alas, munch waits for no one, not even a princess such as Helena.
Helena looked around the cafeteria as soon as she entered it. It was... nice, cute even. Not as impressive as the ones Helena's family have in their castle but still, it was very nice. She went to the buffet area and noticed that it was only accustomed to humanoid creatures, which was unfair because Helena, as a carbuncle, was short. Helena sighed, her crystal faintly shining and surrounding her body in soft pink and yellow light. When the lights faded, Helena was in her human form, wearing casual clothes and with her long hair freely flowing around. The only reason she didn't always want to be in this form was because she will loose all her fluffiness, but having a human form does have its perks.
She went in line at the munch selection, eyes scanning to see the assorted delectables presented to the students. She picked up mostly veggies and fish fillet before walking towards an empty table. There were only a few people there, most likely a mix of teachers and students, and Helena ate alone, enjoying her lunch.
Admittedly, it took Talía a minute before she realised that the lanky one was referring to her. When she did, she tilted her head to look up at him, not blinking at all. She liked to think it was unnerving. She looked him up and down, taking in how he looked. She had thought low-rise trousers had gone out of fashion years ago, but as a northern harpy, she supposed she wouldn't be the best judge of that. His wings were interesting, looking draconic but not entirely so. Perhaps she could get a closer look later.
She sat there for another minute, watching him blankly as she had done for all the other students that had passed through the gardens. Eventually, Talía stood, drawing herself to her full height, which wasn't very impressive, especially compared to the man in front of her. She maintained her disinterested appearance, still not breaking eye contact, though she had decided to start blinking again. "I see you as I see everyone else. You are one to speak of gawking when you have just spent an hour sitting with your eyes closed. What is the point? I do not understand." She narrowed her eyes, examining his face as if to see his intentions.
"It is a... competition you want, then. But a competition is not fun if it is too easy to win." She ruffled up her feathers. "If you wish to act how you do, though... perhaps I will accept your offer. I think it will be fun." Talía paused for a minute, as if considering her options. "A battle would be best, but I do not want to injure you too much. Such lovely wings, it would be a shame if they were hurt." She really was having more fun with this than she probably should have been. "If you still want to... then it will be a learning experience. I will teach you some manners."
Talía turned away, feeling rather smug, but maintaining her cool expression. "Shall we go, then? Unless you are feeling ill all of a sudden."
Nello's attention was drifting back and forth, shifting between a desire for comfort, and the girls accompanying him. Would it be rude to leave? He could barely keep those rubies open, where taking in his surroundings warranted quite a hassle. Fatigue, it was taking over, which left Nello with a yawn escaping his maw. As one would, of course, he attempted to cover the motion with his hand, but those shark-like teeth made themselves known, all the same. "It was really nice meeting you two," the boy spoke, revealing a small smile as he spoke.
"Blackstone took everything out of me," Nello explained, with a slight chuckle, "sorry for running off, like this." The young demon's smile was replaced by a playful grin, "dealing with a passed out demon will probably look bad," Nello joked, raising his hand in a gentle wave. It was time to head off, and get some rest. He had attempted to push his limits by ignoring the lack of energy clinging to his back, but it was growing into an actual hassle.
With few options to choose from, Nello was obligated to yield, as another approach would leave him unconscious on the floor. It was what dictated the boy's movements, where he proceeded in his stride towards the dorms. A bed had never appeared quite as comfortable, which was commonly enough a repeated phrase after each training session with Lady Blackstone. Sweet but harsh, one often said. A woman with a firm grip of her blade, and an undying focus on her position as a teacher.
It was common to dislike Lady Blackstone, due to her methods. However, Nello was not alone in considering her one of the best. A teacher, in the greatest possible way. She wove experience into each lesson, and allowed for her students to learn what they allowed themselves to consider. The fact that she didn't treat the academy denizens like children was an appreciated notion, truly.
This was, however, one of the very last things on Nello's mind as he fell onto his bed, and proceeded to stretch a tired body. Indeed, every single training session made that bed all the more comfortable. A blissful embrace which lulled the boy to sleep.
Zane entered the cafeteria, and was once again overwhelmed by the myriad of scents that permeated the air. Honestly, he despised restaurants, preferring to cook himself in a less busy environment. After facing off against the Lady for the time he did though, he lacks the energy to cook a proper meal. Not paying attention, he slumped down at a table next to a short girl with pink hair. She had the scent of minerals on her, though it was overpowered by the smell of prey. Rabbit ancestry perhaps? Either way he slumped down, studying the menu as well as he could despite the issue of being practically blind.
”Would ye recommend any good meat dishes, I cannae read the menu.”
At first, Helena ignored the boy's question with the idea that he was talking to someone else. But when she glanced at him, she realized he was talking to her when she looked around and saw nobody else close to him than her. He was the first one to actually talk to Helena in her time at staying at the academy, and she was so stoked to make some new friends.
Helena stood from her table and leaned in over the boy's soldier to read the menu to him once she also realized he had poor eyesight. "Oh, uh, well they have an assortment of food here. There are roasted pork, chicken, and beef, fried chicken and fried spare ribs, beef stew, pork chops...". She continued reading all the meat food in the menu, hoping that one of them would suit the boy's taste.
”Well, Roast Beef with a side of ribs is always a welcome meal after exerting yourself.” Zane remarked, ”Thanks for that, I left my glasses back at my room because I was sparring. Trust me, glass in your eyes is excruciating. Where are my manners, I'm Zane scion of clan Wulfe.”
Now he had recovered more of his fatigue, he did notice the more subtle scents. A hint of expensive perfumes and soap marked her as nobility, plus she had the natural bearing of one. That combined with the mineral smell was familiar, but he couldn't remember why.
Now that Helena moved closer to him, she could really notice that he was a very serious-looking boy with his spiky air and this aura that he emanated. She could not understand why, but everything about him spelled out 'dangerous' for her. Not to mention those eyes of his, it is like they can peer right into your soul. Helena has never met anyone like him at the kingdom, which made her even more eager to get to know about him and the differences in their beliefs
Helena beamed at him and curtsied a little. "I am delighted to meet you, Sir Zane. I am Helena Brighthart, princess of the kingdom of-". She paused, eyes widening when she realized she almost told the name of her kingdom. She had to remind herself that Zane was not a mortal human, and she was here to learn if her kind still had a place in the modern world. Besides, even though Zane was scaring her just a bit, something in her gut told her that she could trust him.
She cleared her throat and once again smiled at him. "Pardon me, kingdom of Clartellus. Allow me to carry my food and put it on your table so we can eat together. Excuse me," she said as she picked up her plate full of food and her glass of water and settled it on Zane's table before sitting beside him. "You say you are a scion of your clan? Is sparring your hobby, or is it something everyone in your clan must do?".
”Oh, the clan has been involved in mercenary work since before a unified England.” Zane replied, giving a small smile as he privately processed the information. Smell of minerals, nobility, kingdom of Clartellus. Ah, a Carbuncle. He remembered Odin telling him about them as a cautionary tale. They went into hiding before the Veil, so it is odd to see one in public. ”My people are natural predators, though we do try to temper our baser instincts. From your tone, I assume you are from a more peaceful realm?”
"Yes, I do," Helena said with a smile. She did not know why, but that nagging thought at the back of her head could not go away, especially when she told him they were 'natural predators'. Because of her lack of knowledge of the outside world, Helena did not realize she was talking to a Lycan, one of the creatures of mystics and magics that the Carbuncles before were afraid of because of their ruthless, predatory nature, along with Carbuncles being one of their favorite prey.
But being the kind-heart princess that she was, Helena decided to just ignore that nagging thought. "We live in a place where everyone got along with each other. If we ever had misunderstandings, we only settle them through peaceful talk. If it does not work, we would settle the bout in a joust. But I suppose your kin settle misunderstandings in actual fights?"
”Sounds... dull.” Zane remarked, not unkindly, ”Honestly I prefer violence. It's much more honest. Though for fragile gems like yourself, talking might be better.” Sure this was a juvenile dig, but there was something about her that made him want to tease her. Probably the way she looked like a rabbit in front of a wolf. Digging into his meal, Zane thought about the advantages teaming up with a Carbuncle could have. Their light magic was quite diverse and would be helpful at range. Plus Carbuncles were naturally small which made decent infiltrators. ”Hey, do you want to go on a mission together?”
"Wha-?". Helena inclined her head and squinted a bit at Zane. Once she realized he was just teasing her, she giggled. It felt so refreshing talking to someone that did not refer to her as 'Princess' or 'Your Highness'. "It is easy for you to say, sir. And excuse you, I am not a fragile gem. I am a lustrous diamond," she said to him with a smirk and an eyebrow raised.
She ate his meal along with him, and she was very impressed from the taste of these foreign food. She made a mental note to go back here later for some snacks. Helena looked at Zane with a curious glance after he said something. "A mission? Oh my, how exciting! I am in! I want to go and pick a mission right away, but I also want to finish our food first," Helena said with a shy smile.
‘Fenrir’s Fuckstick, this girl is adorable.’ thought Zane as he continued to chow down on his ribs. It was unique talking to Helena compared to his clan or other classmates. Mostly because he was on the physical course and most of them would rather punch than talk. She had this aura of innocence to her that made you want to protect her. ”So how about a simple investigation mission?” Zane asked, after finishing his rack of ribs, ”My eyes may suck but my nose is quite good. Add that to your obvious intellect and it'd be over before they know it. I mean what could possibly go wrong?” Later on, he'd be kicking himself for tempting fate.
Helena's eyes widened when Zane said that. "An investigation mission? That would be delightful! Oh my, we are going to solve mysteries and find clues. This is very much exciting!", the Carbuncle said giddily. She can't contain the excitement and happiness in her eyes. Finally, a task that has nothing to do with her being a princess. "Let us eat and gain the energy we need to complete our mission. Oh, most especially you, Zane. You just got back from a sparring session, and we cannot go on our mission if you have not had your rest yet," Helena said worryingly at Zane as she continued eating her fish fillet.
”Oh, I'll be fine my dear gemstone. ” Zane said, as he cut into a slice of roast beef, ”It's just burned calories. The Lady knows when to stop before I exhaust myself.” Despite not liking the public setting, the meat was exquisite. They rubbed it in a mix of herbs before boiling it for a short time to bring the flavours to the surface. Mustard in the gravy gave it just enough kick to be noticed next to the meat without overpowering it.
Helena's froze, fear creeping throughout her body. How did he know she was a carbuncle, or better yet, why did he call her his dear gemstone? She panicked for a bit before she tried to calm herself down. 'It is probably just a term of endearment in the modern times. Yes, that must be it! Unless...' Helena thought. "Uh S-Sir Zane, you might not know this but calling someone their 'gemstone' in my kingdom means claiming them as 'their beloved'. So... uh, I know you do not know this s-so... no w-worries. Unless you meant it, b-but I am sure that you don't because you didn't know what it means..." Helena was kicking herself on the inside. Way to make an awkward situation even more words.
She smiled a bit awkwardly at him as she felt her cheeks blush. "O-On a more serious note, it is good to know that you are fine, Sir Zane. If you say you are good to go then I believe you. I will look out for you, Sir Zane. That is a promise," Helena said to him with a smile that's less awkward this time before getting back to finish her meal.
Interesting, so gemstone was the word used for either fiancé or lover. It was adorable the way her face turned the colour of a ripe tomato when he used that term with her. The way she called him Sir was kind of annoying, if slightly endearing.
”Just Zane, my dear gemstone,” he grinned, tapping her on the nose, ”After all, we're all students here so we might maintain the pretence we are all equal... unless it's Glittersnatch. She's in a class of her own.” He wondered, would her head would explode first or would she faint?
"G-G-Glittersnatch? What d-does that... m-mean?", Helena stuttered in bewilderment. It would definitely be obvious to anyone who's looking that she's blushing so hard. She was raised in a very formal and proper household so Helena feared she might not completely understand Zane's words, but she had the feeling it was something naughty. Just thinking about it made a princess like Helena incredibly, and quite dramatically, shocked and flusttered. "J-Just Helena is f-fine, Sir Zane. I-I mean, Zane." She can't even look at the boy's eyes now that she's stuffing her mouth with food to stop herself from speaking.
Zane just laughed and returned to eating. The rest of the meal was interspaced with minor attempts to cause a blush in his companion. He grinned as he got her to cough when he asked about how good she was at handling poles.
And boy did she cough. A couple of people in the room even looked at Helena as she gulped down a full glass of water to stop herself from coughing. "I... I really don't know how to answer that q-question," she nervously said to Zane. Honestly, he will be the death of her. She just tried to maintain her composure until she finally finished her food and wiped her mouth in a regal way afterwards. "Well, glad that was done! I will wait for you to finish so you can lead the way to the mission room," she lied. She did memorize the map of the academy but like she thought before, this was a good way to further improve their friendship.
Zane finished soon after, not hindered by the manners drilled into nobility. He did use a napkin to wipe his face down, it didn't do to show a scruffy look. Rising from his seat, he offered his arm out for her to take. ”Please allow this Wulfe to lead the way, my sweet Helena.”
Helena blinked, clearly surprised at the sudden turn of events. For her, Zane was just full of surprises, and it made her really glad that she knew him. "I put my trust in you, oh handsome Zane," she said as she took his arm and stood up. She linked her arm around his, and she already felt how strong his arm was through his clothes from all that mercenary work he's been doing. "Lead the way," she said with a sweet smile.
The lycan led the carbuncle through the halls, taking in the various scents of the school. Strangely the artifical scents of civilisation was offset by the girl next to him. Once they reached the mission room he said, ”I'm good with anything you choose, my dear.”
She smiled at him and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. There were also multiple people in the room with them, each choosing from the variety of missions on display on the screens. Just by looking at them made Helena a bit sad, thinking that this many people were in dire need of help. She sighed sadly and looked on, before tapping Zane's arm to get his attention. "I found something that I think you'd like. It asks us to investigate the disappearance of a human man. The local police still has no idea about what happened to him so all legal investigations have been stopped. The man's wife still does not give up and claims her husband was... 'bewitched'." Helena looked back at Zane with worried eyes before continuing. "Latest report says a witness last seeing the victim at a museum in Washington, DC. Hm, where is this Washington, DC?", she wondered aloud.
”Oh, that's the capital of the USA.” Zane answered, pulling out his phone, ”See it's a few hundred miles away. I'll get my stuff together and meet you at the portal room” He gave her a quick peck on the cheek and walked towards the door. As he reached the exit, he turned and said: ”By the way, I'm a Lycan.”
Interactions 🌑 None. Mentions 🌑 @baraquiel 🌑 @Ryteb Pymeroce Location 🌑 Academy Dorms. 🌑 Portal Room. 🌑 New York Sewer System.
Alert - Mission Briefing
Location 🔸 New York City. 🔸 East Side Sewer System.
Target 🔸 Unclear.
Alert 🔸 Disappearances. 🔸 No corpses located.
Procedure 🔸 Locate victims. 🔸 Destroy the target.
Presumed Mission Difficulty 🔸🌕🌕🌕🌑🌑🌑🌑🌑🌑🌑
With an audible groan, a young demonic creature turned in his bed, a notable yawn escaping his snout as his small hand reached for the incessant sound of an alert. As far as Nello could recall, he had turned off notifications on his Nexus device, the handheld system afforded Nox Tenebrae's students, but this most unwelcome cancelation of blissful slumber proved otherwise.
Slowly opening his large, ruby eyes, Nello squinted at the screen he had changed from the original green color to a golden beige. A mission, and the announcement made itself known without care, nor empathy. "Ugh," Nello sighed, dropping his Nexus onto the bed before burying that pale snout into the softness of a most fluffy pillow.
It did, however, not stretch along any notable amount of time before an all too familiar voice trickled into Nello's ears. It was a close contact, indeed, with the warmth of an opposing breath trickling its way down the agent's scaled skin. "We cutting work?" Nocturne asked with teasing intent, the notion draping his every word. "Sometime has to be the first, I guess." The creature continued, moving closer still, until his snout bumped against Nello's temple, where a black tongue playfully traced itself across the soft, snake-like barrier coating Nello's pale frame.
"But sleep is important," the agent groaned once more, turning to face the shadowy creature at his side. It was then that Nello noted a wink from his significant annoyance, before he was promptly pushed out of the harmonic comfort he had grown ever so used to. Meeting the floor with a thud, Nello's tail thumped against the surface, soon after, sliding down the bed like a serpent. "You wound me, Noct..," Nello mumbled, placing a pair of dainty, clawed hands on the hard surface where he laid, and pushed himself up, as the boy's taloned feet finally accepted their role.
"Come on, dude!" Nocturne exclaimed, "the sewers! We can make it romantic, babe," he finished with a wide grin, shark-like teeth revealing themselves within that black maw, a perfect reflection of the boy meeting his gaze.
Though a pause lingered between the two, Nello eventually squinted at Nocturne, his finger poking the demon spirit's forehead. "You are insane."
"The word you are looking for is 'creative'," Nocturne countered, seeing how his better half reached for a pair of jeans sliding up slender legs with ease. The difficult part was related to the tail, as one might have imagined. It was something to grow used to, undoubtedly, but once a pair of scissors accompanied every new purchase, cutting out an appropriate section for the appendage became a habit. A reaction.
With a tank top draping itself over Nello's torso, one could only imagine the small size of this article, as it perfectly hugged the boy's scrawny frame. A beige leather jacket soon joined the fashion, and a pair of converse shoes would end this transformation, along with fingerless leather gloves. Seeing Nello without those gloves on a mission was unheard of, without deviation from this norm. "There," the agent yawned, rubbing his eyes. Another eighteen hours of sleep would have been highly appreciated.
Nocturne thumbed over his shoulder, at the Nexus device which still laid motionless on Nello's bed. "You intended to walk there? Screw your head on, Puffersnout." Without the Nexus, Nello had no means of opening a portal. Only students of transportation magic could manage the feat without a conduit. If one was to disassemble the Nexus, a small crystal would be spotted within its intricate, magical design. It was what reacted to portal magic, and a critical part of an agent's arsenal.
Clicking his small, black claws against the device, Nello slid it into his jacket pocket, before pulling the zipper all the way across. If he lost the Nexus, getting back home would be a hassle, and he would need to report it gone, whereas his next mission would be to retrieve it. A deterrent, one might add.
Nello reached for the doorknob, before pulling it open, and started towards Nox's portal room. It was in the basement area of Nox Tenebrae, where magical energies could flow freely without being disrupted by various opposing forces. Every architectural decision within the academy had a purpose, and a carefully calculated execution.
An elevator ride, accompanied by adequate music for a pleasant experience was what separated Nello from the target location, but was soon a distant memory as the boy's weightless steps brought him closer to initiating his mission.
"Isn't that Pups McGee?" Nocturne asked, his hand moving to Nello's shoulder where it halted his stride. He meant Zane, one of the many students at Nox Tenebrae, along with a girl neither Nello nor Nocturne could recall seeing, before. "Look at that, they are going on a date, too!"
Turning his attention to the shade at his side, Nello raised a brow, before simply shaking his head. They had their own mission to focus on. Wrapping his fingers around Nocturne's forearm, Nello pulled the creature along as they stepped through one of the many portals afforded Nox Tenebrae's agents.
Alex stood in front of the harpy, contemplating her with a raised brow as she just sat there and stared at him blankly. What is she, dumb or dumbfounded? Being a creep yet again? Failing to ignore me or scare me away? Isaia really couldn’t make head nor tails of the girl. When she spoke, it was cool and detached, but somewhat halting and kind of monotone. Ah, it’s just that English isn’t her mother-tongue. He half-smiled, half-sneered, amused at her ignorance regarding what he’d been doing. “It’s called meditation,” he drawled, expression morphing to a smirk of superiority, “I can teach you sometime if you like. It has plenty of benefits,” he lectured, though now no longer as unkindly, since he was speaking about a subject he happened to care about. Though he was observing her carefully, the harpy had a masterful poker-face, and he couldn’t determine whether she was considering the offer at all.
Her next remark moved the conversation onto his previous invitation, and Alex grinned as she agreed to go for a flight. “Ooh, that confidence is promising! Don’t disappoint me now,” though his undertone of derisiveness was certainly still present, Alex was also genuinely excited, yet his pleased smile could very well be termed conceited. “What, first you wanna beat some manners into me – and I would like to see you try,” he rolled his eyes at the idea that she might manage where even his instructors had had limited success so far, “And now you’re worried you could injure me too much?” he scoffed, both at her ridiculousness as well as her belief that she’d dominate him so easily when it came to combat prowess. When the harpy turned away to leave, Isaia followed immediately, not particularly caring if her mistaken impression that she’d somehow won or deterred him with her last assertion grew because she was the one leading the way to one of the training rooms. After all, he was there to correct her presumption.
“Please, your trash-talk is decades too early to have any effect on me. Especially when we haven’t had a single match yet. And by all means, let’s go all out,” he added, then briefly looked at the ceiling in consideration. “Oh, but no killing. If one of us managed to kill the other, that would be just stupid, considering we’re technically allies,” Alex shrugged as he glanced back at her, wondering if she weren’t secretly some sort of murder-lusting psycho. There really was no telling with her lack of expression. Then again, he’d certainly not hesitate if it came to it. It was simply that he was of the opinion that reducing the number of Agents of the Veil, even if they weren’t far in their training, was the height of idiocy. But in the end, not everyone agreed, and that was simply part of life.
"I will pass on this meditation. I think I have other, better, things to do with my time," Talía replied. "And you do not need to be afraid of being killed. I do not think I am that scary. However, you would do well not to underestimate me." Though her voice was calm, truth be told, she was a little nervous. She was pretty sure that she could win, but at the same time, she knew absolutely nothing about her opponent. There was as much of a chance that he was weaker than her (people like him tended to be more bark than bite) as there was that he was stronger, though, which was a little comforting.
She was silent for the rest of the way to the training room, though occasionally she turned to regard her companion, followed by a cryptic nod and nothing else, until the next odd look came along. When they finally reached the room, Talía walked up to the door, and promptly slammed herself into it. It didn't budge. Ah. I forgot you had to pull these. She tried again, but instead pulled on the door handle with her clawed foot. The room opened, and Talía's face tinged pink. That was much easier, wasn't it?
She strode in, stopping and swiveling to face Alex at the opposite side of the training room. She spread her wings, which were quite large in comparison to her, and gave him an unimpressed look. She may have no idea about who she was fighting, but that didn't mean she had no idea about fighting in the first place. "I think this is a good time to start. Oh, but... what is your name? You did not tell me."
"Like wasting it, you mean," Alex remarked dryly in response to the harpy's claim of having better things to do with her time, but did not pursue the topic further. What she did or did not do was ultimately no concern of his, unless it somehow miraculously managed to affect him directly.
"If I was afraid of getting killed, I wouldn't be in this line of work," he explained, an exasperated and perhaps slightly annoyed sigh escaping him. "Besides, appearing scary has little to no correlation with the ability to kill. This might surprise you, but nor is being stronger necessarily the decisive factor," he shook his head more so to get out of his brooding streak than as a reaction to the harpy. He had to get back on track to the teasing and goading, because that's what worked well so far, and was certainly more enjoyable.
So, with another smirk in place, he redirected the conversation. "I do believe you are the one underestimating me. Non-lethality, but otherwise no holding back, that is what you can expect from me. Ah, but look, the time for speculations is over," Isaia's previous forced expression was replaced by a genuinely thrilled smile, the corners of his eyes crinkling in exhilaration. As such, he was utterly surprised when the girl slammed herself into the door, and was startled into turning to her with both brows raised, a question on the tip of his tongue.
Alex pressed his lips tightly together, repressing the almost-reflexive Are you all right? that would have been completely humiliating, not to mention inappropriate, to utter. He shuddered briefly in revolt, scowling sneer soon in place to cover for his momentary lapse of judgement. Yet, he said nothing, despite the prime opportunity for insulting the girl, especially since her blush disclosed her ability to emote - or perhaps, her inability to conceal every single thing she felt.
The Dragon-kin silently followed the harpy inside the high-ceiling training room after she managed to finally open the door, and positioned himself opposite her. Besides spreading his own wings, Sai reached under the right sleeve of his black long-sleeved shirt, detached a steel cuff bracelet from his arm, which was transformed to a glaive with a simple click, all of that in a few seconds. "Alex Suriano. Yourself?" he questioned, gripping the glaive at his side, observing the opponent but ready to take flight and engage as soon as their introductions were out of the way.
"Talía. Leifsdottir, that is," she replied. Her sharp eyes watched Alex as he revealed his weapon. No doubt he had other tricks up his sleeve too. She gave a slight nod of approval when he unfurled his wings, still unable to discern his exact species. She made a note to ask after the match - if they were both still conscious, that was.
Talía shot into the air, using her legs to propel herself upwards. She hovered there for a minute, with some assistance for her wings, simply taking in the training room. Tall ceiling (perfect for two aerial fighters) and a few pillars near the walls of the room, leaving a large open space in the centre. Then, in an instant, she dove feet first towards her opponent, her sharp talons glinting as they caught the light from a window.
Alex took flight perhaps half-a-second after the girl did, then took note of their surroundings and his opponent much the same as the harpy did. In the next moment, the girl was already swooping down at him swiftly, clawed legs extended in a lunge. Though he was curious whether his glaive had a longer reach than the whole line of her body, attempting to get an accurate read on that right then would at best result in both of them hitting the other simultaneously. Instead, he extended his wings until there was approximately a 90 degree angle of space between them, and in a single flap created a great gust of wind, using it to swerve himself out of the straight line of the harpy's attack, though the force of the air blast that would pass by Talía might give her a bit of an additional challenge as well.
Tracking her movements carefully, Alex swung the glaive in a wide slice, though even observation, guesstimating, and aiming in her general direction would result in barely satisfactory accuracy. He was going against a fellow flier after all, and quickly changing direction as well as using all the available space around them was their forte. But as far as he was concerned, even a success on her part would benefit him too - by providing information on her capabilities, perhaps even preferences if their battle would be of the drawn-out kind.
The wind filled Talía's wings like they were sails, slowing her down, but was not nearly enough to stop her. As she got closer to Alex, she jerked herself upwards, narrowly missing the glaive that swung through the air just in front of her. She pulled herself back, analyzing the situation. Her opponent was in the air now. Presumably, that meant he would be faster, and would have much more maneuverability, just like her. That made things more difficult. Not to mention his weapon was definitely longer than her talons. Her legs too, most likely. She might need to take a more strategic approach to the battle. She wasn't entirely sure how intelligent Alex was, but it was never a good idea to underestimate your opponent. Talía's next move was to retreat. Not too far back, just a few meters, but far enough that she could see her opponent's next action before he was able to get close enough to attack her directly. At least, she hoped he didn't have any sort of immediate ranged abilities. She could find that out, too.
Alex rose a brow as the harpy retreated, breathed deeply on the next inhale, then slowly exhaled in a long, concentrated stream of fire directed at her. While doing so, he spread his wings again, and on the next inward stroke created several spinning javelins of air that were sent next to his fire breath. As his stream of fire was dying out, he let the last flickers of flame latch onto a handful of the wind-projectiles. Even if the single burst of fire didn't get her, she would have to deal with the dozen of magically created missiles, five of them flaming, and the rest simply a cutting but nonetheless dangerous condensed pressure of air. Not waiting for a potential counter-attack, Alex flew behind the projectiles, anticipating to close the distance a bit.
As the projectiles approached, Talía tried to stay calm, though her success was questionable. She had not been expecting that, to say the least. She had dodged the initial attack, but the barrage that followed really didn't make it worth it. The fire ones singed her feathers, the heat very real. In a flurry of motion, she rushed to dodge the rest, letting out a great shriek, the high-pitched harpy style. Oh, I hope that's not a permanent burn. As soon as she was done (with minimal injuries, though there were still some), she dove downwards, hoping to get under and then behind Alex. He was getting closer, which she did not like, but it was looking like close combat was the best option for her.
Alex hadn't expected the literally ear-piercing shriek, though he definitively should have. He stopped mid-flight for a moment, his ears ringing, a mild spinning sensation taking hold of him. Damn. He knew his eardrums had ruptured, and could feel a slow trickle of blood running down the left side of his neck. Regardless, his attack had been successful and he simply had to press the advantage while he still had it. (If he still had it.) He reoriented onto Talía, whom he'd seen fly around him. When they were once again facing each other, he prepared for a piercing counter-strike with his glaive, getting the weapon in a position that would enable the furthest reach while still being comfortably balanced.
Talía hissed. He just kept his guard up, whatever she did. No matter. She would find a way. She was pleasantly surprised at the damage her shout had done, hoping that it would even out the damage done to her. The injuries were mainly on her wings, but she could still fly, so it didn't matter. If she could heal the injury away, there was no point in fussing over it. Once more, Talía attempted to attack him with her talons, though at the last second, pulled herself downwards and out of the range of his weapon. Nothing too reckless, or aggressive - yet.
If she aimed down, then Alex simply had to lift up a bit. He turned swiftly so as to not leave his back open to her, though felt nauseous as he did so. Still, he attacked relentlessly, sending yet another jet of fire at the harpy, shorter but wider than before, making it fly in a spiral with a movement of his head. He followed up with a wide slash of his glaive, allowing the blade of the weapon reach through the flames, setting it ablaze. Isaia expected the fire-breath and the fiery glaive attack would, at the very least, be a good deterrent for his opponent.
Though blissfully uncut, Talía was quite aware that her left wing was very, very aflame. She hadn't had time to dodge the fiery jet, and thus fell backwards in a panic, catching herself with the violent flaps of her wings. She dissolved into a chaos of sorts, cursing in the language of her people, a mixture of squawks and other unnatural noises. She moved wildly, creating as much wind as she could to put the fire out. When she stopped, the black, burnt feathers stuck out sorely against the snow white others. Talía scowled. Had she known there would be this much fire involved, perhaps she would not have accepted his offer. She flew towards him again, a bit more distant than before, and resumed her little game of flying in and out, never really attacking him properly.
Despite scoring another hit, Alex grimaced. The vertigo had reached its peak, and he was genuinely beginning to get nervous that he might puke, of all things. And the harpy was getting more cautious now, having been burned twice already. Isaia, on the other hand, was determined to finish this as soon as he could. He continued his relentless assault, angling and striking with his glaive in a fluid flurry of blazing slashes and thrusts when Talía flew in, and spewed out more fire whenever she flew out.
It was quickly becoming clear that she could not continue with the little routine that the two had. With every movement she made, he attacked in turn, and she was gradually sustaining more injuries as the fight went on. She too would have to attack him at some point. She gradually came closer and closer to him, as her injuries became greater in number. It was beginning to get much too hot for her liking. Not a good temperature for flying. Still, she continued, taking note of how her actual body, as petite as it was, began to show some cuts and burns. Fire, fire everywhere. She tried to make as much wind as she could to dissipate it, but it wasn't enough. Next, she came in much, much nearer. Maybe he would get a good hit on her - but be damned if she wouldn't get one on him too. Legs and talons outstretched as much as she could, she flew right past his side. This time, she was hoping for blood.
His combo had definitely been successful, but it wasn't time to celebrate yet. The harpy was pursuing a reckless maneuver, and though Alex sliced and thrust as she approached, he hadn't injured Talía enough that she'd drop then and there. As such, she got close enough that attacking her with a glaive was much more difficult. Instead, the Dragon-kin shifted the weapon's position to defend his side with the pole of the weapon. Sai's arms got clawed heavily in the process, but at least his torso was relatively well protected - as long as he held onto the glaive. Somewhat concerned Talía might grab it and fly away with it, he sneaked his tail around her, aiming to wrap one or both of her legs with it. His ears were just starting to heal slowly, though the dizziness and tinnitus were still present for now, and until the gashes on his arms naturally closed up, he'd definitely be vulnerable. Therefore, preventing the effective use of the harpy's legs and keeping her close would be ideal.
She was flying slower, now. She didn't want to, but the injuries were really beginning to get to her. There were a lot more than she had originally accounted for. At least, at a closer range, the sharper end of the glaive was no longer an issue. Something else was, however. Something that she had not accounted for. His tail - and Talía was really going to regret it. It wrapped around her left leg, and she only realized once she was unable to fly a little further away as she had planned to do. She shrieked again, bending her leg awkwardly to try and scratch at his tail, and using what little strength she had to break out of his grip. Neither were particularly effective. With her other leg, she thrashed around, attempting to attack Alex while she was close to him, acutely aware of what the consequences of being caught could be.
Aaand his eardrums were getting wrecked yet again with all the shrieking. He didn't want to let Talía go, however, and tightened the tail around her leg, as a boa constrictor would to its prey. Attempting a somewhat risky maneuver, Isaia shifted the grip on his glaive by moving both arms forward on the handle, then let it go with his right hand, only his left keeping its hold on the weapon. His goal was to grab the harpy's right ankle as she clawed at him frantically.
"Give up or get a face-full of fire," he growled out a threat, because drawing this out would be pointless. The best the harpy might manage would be a draw, but would she push herself anymore just to do so? Narrowing his eyes, Alex squeezed her leg in warning. Yet, he was wary of actually breaking it, because a full-out scream of Talía's might damage him enough to put him at a severe disadvantage - and which might lead to his loss, an eventuality he sorely desired to avoid.
Talía's other leg got taken out too. She was bending her talons as much as she could, but wasn't willing to go any further than she had to with them. It was quite painful as well, so she stopped trying. She relaxed a little in his grip, but from how tense she had been previously, that was not saying very much. Talía leaned in couple of inches closer to hiss in his ear. "Do it, then." She bared her teeth at him. She wasn't completely out of weapons, after all. With a wide smile, she proceeded to try and sink them into his shoulder. Unfortunately for him, the stubborn harpy was not one to give up.
Though he'd caught her ankle, Alex still had to be careful not to get his face or right arm scratched with how the harpy was flailing and flexing it. Suddenly, she loosened up in his grip slightly, and he had only a brief moment to consider her challenge before she dug her teeth into his right shoulder. Due to his left arm being too injured to use the glaive single-handed effectively, he hadn't been able to even attempt blocking her swift teeth-full lunge.
Isaia released a harsh growling whine upon being bitten, clenching his hold on Talía reflexively. The Dragon-kin didn't have many options left unless he freed one of his hands. He could certainly burn the harpy, but that would get dangerously close to lethality. And the harpy hadn't gone for his neck either, after all, despite that she could have. Before she attempted worming through his right arm and literally biting it off, he had to convince her that they were at a point where either could easily kill the other; therefore, a draw.
If the surprisingly berserk harpy still wanted to win, then Alex would burn her from up close, regardless of the risk. For now, however, he turned his head, and latched onto Talía's neck with his own fangs. While he didn't have as many sharp teeth as the harpy, they were still enough to threaten ripping out her throat. However, he didn't bite with full power, just enough to warn her that he was as close to her neck as she was to his, and that continuing would, at best, get them to the point where they would both start bleeding out.
Talía released Alex's shoulder from the grip of her teeth, though she rested her head there, as if to show that she was fully capable of biting him once more. His grip around her legs was tighter now, and she really was feeling like they were going to snap. She twisted to pull herself away from his fangs, but to no avail. It didn't seem she would be getting away easily. "This is going nowhere. I think it is best if you give up, no?" Talía kept her voice calm, like she were completely unaffected by any of her injuries. That was far from the truth, but Alex did not need to know.
Alex detached his teeth from the harpy as well to answer. "Give up? The best you can manage right now is a draw, so why not just agree to that? Or do you really want to have a whole wing set on fire?" His voice was rough from the pain, but if the damnable woman continued being so stubborn, then so would he.
"You say you will do these things, but you have not," Talía replied coolly, ruffling up her wings a little. "If you want to attack me, I think I could do so you faster." For good measure, she whacked him with one of her wings. Not painful at all, but it didn't hurt her to do it. "See? So maybe I will think about your draw. But I am not easily convinced."
The Dragon-kin sighed silently, exasperated at the playful whack - but also slightly confused as to what it was supposed to accomplish, so he more-or-less ignored it. "Fine," he drawled in response to her challenge, then with the remaining gust of that same exhale breathed a small stream of fire at her wing, aiming for the outer feathers rather than the wing's center, since the more she shrieked from this close up, the more inconvenienced he would be. "Convinced yet?" the question was called out slightly louder than strictly necessary.
Talía flapped the wing violently to put it out, though she did not shout. It was a silent ordeal. "You will have to let me go to know my answer." Talía paused for a minute, and then she started laughing. "I jest. You will have your draw. But I will have my win, another time. I will remember your name, surely we will see each other again anyway. Ah, I would like to be let free, though."
Alex narrowed his eyes when the harpy demanded to be let go, a remark on the tip of his tongue, but then she laughed. He smirked lopsidedly, and eased up on his grip when she agreed to a tie. "Any time," he grinned ferociously, then released her. "We should probably go to the infirmary to get patched up," he commented, descending gently, but still keeping a wary eye on Talía just in case she tried something sneaky. When it appeared she wouldn't, he finally extinguished his still flaming glave by inhaling the fire through his mouth, kind of drinking it in. The glaive was only mildly singed, nothing to worry about.
"Next time we do this, we could even agree that I don't use fire, but wear ear-plugs in exchange," he offered, partly teasing, partly grumblingly honest. "You know, if you had screeched any more, you might have even put me out of the air for a bit," he noted thoughtfully. "I would be curious to see how we might match up if we both restricted the abilities that have proven to be the most harmful to the other today. Fire for you and your sound for me," he elaborated. He paused for a moment, then added, somewhat sheepish. "Ah, good fight by the way. I'm definitely looking forward to a rematch. We'll see about that win though," he smirked fiercely.
"A limitation like that... well, you need not be curious. I would win, of course," she chirped proudly, shaking her legs a bit as she glided to the ground. She hoped that his grip would not have bruised them. "I will go to the infirmary later. I have a class very soon, and," Talía grinned, "I do not think I am too badly injured."
This was, of course, a lie. Nevertheless, she strode out of the training hall, as indifferently as she had entered it. Once she was sure Alex couldn't see her front, she made a face, quickly checking out her wings for the worst burns. She could manage the next hour.
Alex snorted at Talía's confidence, and quirked a disbelieving brow at the following assertion that she was fine when she was so blatantly burnt and cut up. "I am beginning to think that you are a masochist," he muttered as the harpy strode out, then inspected his own injuries. They were slowly healing due to his regeneration ability, but nonetheless, he'd rather have them checked out by a professional just in case. As such, he made his way towards the infirmary, in high spirits due to the pleasant work-out the sparring had proved to be. Moreover, he'd managed to make a relatively friendly rival - quite the accomplishment for barely an hour's work.
The white-haired girl sat in her chair, looking back and forth between the reptilian boy and the fairy. "Nello?" She echoed when he spoke, the named seemed to definitely fit him. She did hear him begin to say something else however he seemed to stop himself, why she didn't know. Almost as if he was in a rush Nello excused himself and went on his merry way. While she was certainly confused as to why he had left so suddenly she wasn't going to pry, it was rude to get into other people's business!
Eira turned her icy eyes to the girl just in time to hear her name Eira turned her icy eyes to the girl just in time to hear her name "Arieen, that is such a lovely name!" She exclaimed with a smile, waving a slim hand in return. When Arieen offered to escort her to class , the same one she was actually on her way to herself, she couldn't help but hopping off the chair in a rush of excitement. She had never walked to class with someone before, oh so many new things were happening today! "I actually have offensive magic as well, so I would love to walk to class with you." She tried not to act too excited, in all honestly her heart was filled with happiness but she didn't want to scare anyone off by being too obnoxious - at least not yet.
"Perhaps you can give me some pointers, aren't Fae really good with magic?" She asked with a small head tilt. Because Eira didn't do good with confrontation and battle magic she had a hard time completely using her abilities - she could definitely do some strong burst damage but because she didn't really want to hurt anyone actually applying that burst was hard. She didn't want to do something wrong and kill someone. Arieen watched Nello and Nocturne leave, a look of disappointment crossing her face before vanishing just as quickly. She turned back to Eira, her admirer. How nice it felt to have someone fawn over her. She would definitely have to keep the girl around, if only to act as a sort of confidence booster. Or, perhaps, their acquaintanceship would blossom into something more friendly! This fair-skinned goddess of a woman would make the perfect partner, in combat and in court.
"Why thank you! Eira is enchanting as well." It was only fair to return to compliment in kind. Hooking an arm, Arieen waited for Eira to take it so she could lead the girl to offensive magic. The class itself wasn't too dull, but she'd much rather skip attending it at all and listen to this girl flatter not only herself, but her race as well!
"It's true, most fae are capable when it comes to magic. There are some that are lacking, but I'm not one of them. If you ever need help with your magic, I'm around." She tittered, her smile only growing. Her wings were such a vibrant orange at this point that it looked like the result of turning one's saturation all the way up in Photoshop.
A sudden pop alerted her, and Arieen pulled her Nexus out of her pocket. Smiling, she peered at the notification. "It appears as though I've received a mission! Would you like to attend it with me?'
A splash of red colored Eira's cheeks as she was complimented on her name, her heart fluttering with happiness. It was almost too much for her to handle, speaking and making friends with someone. She couldn't believe that she wasn't acting a total fool either, usually she tripped over what to say or how to act and came off as weird or even rude. Though right now she seemed to find the words.
With a little laugh Eira hooked her arm through Arieen's, offering the pretty fae a kind and gentle smile, "I might have to take you up on that, while my magic is better suited to Offensive magic it seems I can't always get a handle on it. Chessire keeps telling me I don't put enough heart into my magic - but then again he's kind of crazy" She joked, her eyes continuously being drawn to the brightness of her wings. They certainly were wonderful, like a permanent mood ring.
As the pair chatted on the way to their class Arieen pulled out her Nexus and then asked Eira if she wanted to go on a mission with her. The girl's eyes lit up at the question, this was the first time she had ever been asked voluntarily to go on a mission with someone! Trying to not sound too happy Eira nodded her head, grabbing Arieen's hands in a move of excitement and happiness. "Of course! I'll try my best to not be a burden!" It was something she was always worried about when going on a mission, she constantly thought about what would happen if she weren't strong enough to protect someone, especially someone she thought was a friend.
Arieen giggled, waving off Eira's last statement. "I don't believe you'll be a burden to me in the slightest, Eira. Now, let's go grab our gear and head off. It's just a few goblins, according to the Nexus. Nothing we should be afraid of." Leading her away from the classrooms and toward the armory, Arieen pressed 'accept mission' on her Nexus.
"What is it you use for battle, anyways?" Eira walked alongside Arieen, a happy little per in her step would have been quite noticeable. When asked what she used for a weapon she shook her head, "I actually don't fight with a weapon, or I haven't tried to at least. I know very little actual combat so I fight primarily with my magic, though I do use a pendent that lets my control my magic better. It's also easier to do magic when I'm not all human-looking - but it's just easier to use a medium." She explained, looking to the Fairy girl. "What about you? You seem like the kind of person who has all sorts of things up their sleeve."
Arieen felt her dumbfounded joy calming into something more neutral. She couldn't be all happy right before a battle, after all. Who knew what it would do to her constructs and illusions? As they stepped into the armory, Arieen took in the heady smells of weapon polish. It was comforting to her, her wings becoming a light shade of powder blue. "Well, friend, I prefer to use a bow in combat. I fight with range on my side."
She smiled, dropping Eira's arm just long enough to take her favored bow off the wall. It shifted into a bracelet, cuffing around her arm with a click. She took a quiver of arrows as well, and it became a backpack that nestled between her wings.
"Now, why don't we go to the portal room while you tell me all about this 'not human-looking' form of yours?"
Interactions None Mentions None Location Academy Dorms -> Cafeteria
It did take a while for Nenetl to make her way into the dorms and organize her things on it (mainly finding somewhere safe to leave the heavy crescent pendulum she used as a weapon and as a medium for some of her rituals), but once there, she was pleasantly surprised to see that it was way more comfortable and luxurious than what she was expecting. That said, it would be really annoying to clean the blood off the carpet and the wooden floor when performing some of her rituals...
With that issue dealt with, it was time for her to take a look around the academy. The building itself was really big and she couldn't hope to know how to find her way to every single room by herself, but she had memorized the basic, for example, where the lounge and the cafeteria were. Still, she had some free time before her first class, so she really wanted to visit the cafeteria to get a good cup of coffee. After the coffee she would worry herself about getting to class. If she was lucky she would be able to find someone to escort her to the classrooms in the cafeteria.
Accustomed to draw a lot of attention everywhere she went, she had an interesting surprise as she started making her way through the halls and noticing that in that academy, being 'normal' was actually pretty rare, as it became evident by the sheer diversity of races that she saw merely by walking through the hallways. That said, despite that, she still drew quite a bit of attention, thanks to her exotic appearance and clothes... Apparently, even in such a place, Nenetl was still a really... unique person. Not that she disliked drawing attention, but she didn't cared that much about it either.
"How cozy!" Nenetl thought to herself as she entered the cafeteria. Not only the chairs and tables looked quite organized, but the whole atmosphere seemed to inspire calmness and comfort with the dim lit room and the candles. Everything on that room spoke sophistication, calmness and tranquility. That said, Nenetl stood out like a sore thumb immediately when she entered the room.
The delicate smell of coffee was clear in the room despite being relatively empty other than a few students and some teachers, who seemed to stop everything they were doing to gaze at the strange woman who just entered the cafeteria, resuming whatever they were doin shortly after. Raising her hand and waving with a delicate, tranquil smile, Nenetl continued walking and sat down comfortably on a chair almost as if nothing was happening.
"A cup of Arabica please!" Nenetl said as a waiter came to greet her, her strong, almost melodic latin accent clear on her voice.
It only took a moment until the waiter came back with the coffee requested by Nenetl. Gently grabbing the warm cup in her hands, Nenetl took a moment to appreciate the delicious aroma of the coffee before tasting it. Not only there were many varieties of coffee, but each place she went made it slightly different.
"Fantastic." Nenetl said to herself after a small sip, taking one of her hands to her cheeks and closing her eyes for a second in an expression of joy and satisfaction.
Interactions None Mentions None Location Gardens
Not having many possessions other than a few change of clothes, Ylva was quick to find her room and simply leave her things there. As it was common for people of her clan, they never carried many things with them other than a few change of clothes... Since if they weren't careful, transforming usually tore their clothes to pieces if they didn't take them off first. Even though she wasn't planning on spending too much time there, the dorms were surprisingly comfortable. The beds were also big enough for her to lay down without problems, even though they didn't look to be as sturdy as the beds back into where she lived with her clan, but if she was careful with it there shouldn't be many problems.
One thing bothered Ylva a little bit, other than having to go through such a big city on her way to the academy... The sheer amount of different scents inside the academy was just as confusing as it was on the city, but for a different reason... Interestingly enough, Ylva could smell many different creatures and races inside the academy, some which she didn't even recognize properly. That said, she could smell a faint, but slightly familiar smell... A Lycanthrope, just like her. What she did found strange though was the fact that his scent was different from hers and the rest of her clan. It was hard to put it in words, but it was definitely different from hers and her clan's. It was completely different of the scent a werewolf had, but still, it was strange.
Distracted by her own thoughts and the confusion of different scents and smells, Ylva somehow ended up in the gardens. Maybe amongst so many different scents, her mind unconsciously concentrated itself in what was most familiar to her nose, the scent of plants, trees and flowers. Taking a look around, the garden was surprisingly big for somewhere right in the middle of such a big city. It was still not enough for Ylva to do some exercise but it was a nice place to relax. There was also the portal room that according to what she had been told, she could use to go to distant places in a second so she figured that if she wanted to hunt, nobody would mind her using the portals for just having a bit of fun and a... fresh meal... Otherwise it would be really hard for Ylva to keep calm, since hunting was almost a daily event for her back where she lived with her clan.
Humming softly to herself along with the quiet music she had playing in the background, Dani stepped back and surveyed the wintry landscape laid out on a cardboard sheet atop her desk with a satisfied smile while she absently picked at the glue that had dried on her slender fingers. It had taken her longer than it normally would have to finish the arctic-themed puzzle due to being busier than usual over the past couple of weeks, but now it was finished and all she had left to do was wait for the glue to dry so that she could hang it up alongside the other puzzles she had finished so far this year.
Once she was finished admiring the finished picture laying on her desk, Dani started getting ready to head out for the day, a task which primarily consisted of washing the glue off her hands and changing out of her loungewear and into something more presentable, namely one of the old-fashioned black and white dresses that she had hanging in her wardrobe. Considering the fact that it was the middle of the afternoon, Dani also made sure to slip on one of her dark gray hoodies in order to help reduce the chance of being accidentally exposed to sunlight. The academy itself was pretty careful about making sure that such weaknesses were not overly abundant, but it never hurt to be careful anyway.
Seeing that she still had quite a bit of time to kil before she actually had to be anywhere in particular, Dani figured that she might as well head to the cafeteria to get something to eat as she left her room, grabbing her backpack and slipping her arms through the straps on the way out. Though she admittedly wasn’t feeling too hungry at the moment, she had a magical education class later in the day and didn’t want to risk being hungry when it started. She had made that mistake before and it had been tremendously unpleasant to put it lightly. Plus, the cafeteria was, at least in Dani’s opinion, an excellent place to read or do a bit of light work because of its calm, comfortable atmosphere and the fact that it provided ready access to food and drinks.
The path from Dani’s room to the cafeteria was not particularly long, and so it was only a short time later that she found herself entering the dimly lit room and attempting to get a glimpse of the exotic, strangely dressed woman she had heard people talking about as they left the cafeteria. Normally, Dani would have just ignored the whispers, but her curiosity had gotten the better of her this time. After all, how often did the students at Nox refer to someone as being strange or exotic?
Regardless, it didn’t take particularly long to find the woman that everyone had been whispering about and upon seeing her, Dani had to admit that exotic was a good adjective for describing her. She appeared to be a human woman of Central American descent, but she was wearing robes that had a primal and ritualistic appearance given the usage of feathers, scales, and bones as decorative pieces of adornment. Despite her appearance, it was pretty undeniable that the mysterious woman was quite beautiful as well, which probably only furthered the whispers about her among the student body.
Curiosity satisfied for the time being, Dani attempted to slip away before the exotic stranger opened her eyes and caught her looking. Unfortunately, before Dani could make any noteworthy progress on her escape, a rather burly individual who was presumably hurrying to catch up with his friends ended up bumping into her as she tried to merge with the crowd and sent her sprawling face down in front of the strange woman instead. Thankfully, Dani had remembered to zip her bag shut before she left her room, so the only thing that flew out of it was the empty waterbottle that she had placed in the side pocket, which merely rolled forward until it bumped the side of the woman’s foot and stopped.
After the initial shock had worn off, Dani scrambled to her feet. ”I’m sorry about that,” Dani said, a little concerned that the mystery woman wouldn’t take too kindly to being interrupted while she was savoring her beverage. Hopefully, she would be rational and understanding about the whole thing. ”Someone was in a hurry over there and bumped into me.”
A loud, high-pitched screeched stopped a pink-haired male from continuing his path down a hallway, a confused look swept across his perfect features. First, who the hell thought it was a good idea to scream in this kind of environment. Second, why the hell were they screaming his name?
Severin stopped moving and turned towards the voice, a girl with blonde hair and an incredibly angry face marched towards him, poking a finger into his chest quite roughly. "What did you do to Jagger?! He just broke up with me after hanging out with you last night - what did you say to him. I asked you to help our relationship, not fuck it up!" God her voice was like nails on a chalk board, no wonder all Jagger did was complain....but then again that wasn't the only reason he had broken up with this blonde-headed bimbo.
A sigh slipped past the males lips as she settled a hand on his hip, staring down at the shorter girl. "Oh hun, let me tell you now that it's a good thing he hung out with me. We had such a fun night, I don't think I've ever had someone give me a run for my money." He said, watching with amusement as her eyes grew wider and wider, there was no way his words meant anything else. "In fact, I think he said he wanted to meet up again tonight, apparently he just couldn't get enough."
"Honestly what the hell does that even mean, you guys just hung out and did shit like play video games or something. It couldn't have been that exhausting to push a few buttons. Now tell me what you said to him."
A laugh erupted from Severin's chest, how stupid could she really be. "If that's what you think we did you should talk to him. Ask him what he thought about being my plaything for the night, and before you say something else stupid let me enlighten you - think dirty sweeitie, you should know I'm not all cupcakes and rainbows ~"
Before she could screech anything else the pixie quickly made an exit, giving the girl a little wave. She was standing there with her mouth agape, looking like she had gotten the most surprising news of her life...well she sort of had. Who wouldn't look like that if they found out their boyfriend had slept with another man. This wasn't the first time Severin had done something like this, no not at all. He was honestly surprised that more people didn't know about his little games.
Severin made his way to the cafeteria, his stomach required food and he was craving something sweet. Teal-colored eyes scanned the area to find place to sit, they eventually settled on a little human girl. She seemed quite pleased with the cup of liquid she held between her palms. A small smile slipped across his lips, humans were so easily amused. Severin walked over to her and sat down near her.
"I do find it cute how happy you seem with such a simple drink, I would love to hear why it makes you so joyous." He asked, resting his chin on the palm of his hand as he looked at the human girl quizzically. Though before much more conversation could ensue someone tripped over the human girl's foot, based on her aura a vampire. Severin gestured to the student who had merely kept walking without even apologizing. "He should be the only with the apologies since he's the one who caused you to fall, perhaps I'll pay him a visit later." he mused, wondering what kind of nightmares such a large person had. Though now wasn't the time for that, "I'm not sure about this cutie here as I've just sat down myself, but I would love to have someone else to talk to, it gets awfully boring in this place." Severin said to the vampire girl, a large yet honest smile on his face before looking at the human was he had originally planned to converse with.
Interactions 🌑 None Mentions 🌑 None Location 🌑 New York Sewers
It was not a stretch to acknowledge the stench, nor was it unreasonable to inhale damp air in adequate disgust. With clenched teeth, Nello was certain that this stench he was forced to endure by far surpassed what could be considered little more than sewage. Indeed, this was something far fouler than mere waste, filth, and garbage. The boy could recall a similar reaction to such a revolting approach of disgust when walking across bones in a Necromancer's lair. Death, that was what he smelled, and it was most certainly what warranted the frown now making itself known on his features. "It's probably worse than we thought," Nello began. He maintained a constant presence at the sewer platform, as to not coat himself in a layer of aquatic filth.
"Think we're talking zombies? Ghouls?" Nocturne proceeded, listing a series of monstrous species, all of which were an unwelcomed addition to the supernatural world. They would both, however, halt their stride when ears caught wind of movement. A splash, a motion in otherwise still water, breathing like nails on a chalkboard, terror accompanied every single step which brought Nello deeper into the nightmare-inducing darkness ahead. He could only be thankful for the affinity Nello's new biological structure held for the dark. Where daylight was quite painful, his eyes allowed for sight in this horrific scenario, the purifying sun fully separated from these tunnels. "Watch out!" Nocturne exclaimed, only moments before still, waters erupted into an aggressive splash, and from its depths, a horrific creature latched onto the platform, attempting to pull Nello into nightmarish waters below. Nocturne's warning had been enough, however, to warrant attention. Most certainly, the shadowy entity was vigilant enough to wrap his hand around Nello's, pulling the boy away from a grappling claw.
"Oh shit..," Nello gulped, seeing the horrific beast's movements as it pulled itself onto the walkway, a large, hulking mess of flesh, sinew, and bone. If Nello was to analyze this creature with his Nexus device, it would reveal a disturbing nature. However, he could recall this beast from amongst a series of other monstrous creatures in the Monster Index. It was a Horror, plain and simple. It was almost as if the academy created this category as an excuse to bundle several types of entities into one group, with little effort, at first sight. However, the horrific feeling washing over the young agent would warrant one of the features required for a Horror to earn its name. They possessed an aura of fright, something which would paralyze a weak mind, which left victims frozen in fear, unable to move, as if shackled to the ground by a supernatural force.
Nello clenched his fist, ruby-red eyes fixing their gaze onto his beastly opponent. In an attempt to gather sufficient information about the Horror from reading its writhing, fleshy shape, Nello was able to calculate his manouver. A large, meaty appendage extended its length towards him in rapid haste, claws rowing its end like teeth.
Breaking out of his paralysis in the nick of time, Nello moved aside, his dodge a savior in its own right, as Calamity manifested within the boy's grip. With a vicious swing, Nello severed the appendage which had struck, his expression turning into one of absolute fear as another three growths erupted from the monster's frame, each one reminiscent of a tentacle, rowed with razor spikes.
Indeed, it was clear that the Horror was growing in size, filling the narrow tunnel with its revolting shape. Like spider web, it's elastic flesh clung to metal and stone alike, slithering appendages pulling the creature forward as its sunken, black eyes maintained a fixed gaze at the boy who had stepped into its lair.
"Nello!" Nocturne's voice echoed throughout the agent's mind, "the more afraid you are, the more powerful that thing gets!" Another criteria for a creature to be classified a Horror, the ability to grow in power, when feeding on fear.
"It's.., fucking terrifying.., " Nello whimpered, his fingers clenching around Calamity with a shaking hand. Another swing of the Horror's appendage filled the tunnel, hitting Nello in the chest before sending him to the ground with a crash.
"Get a fucking grip!" Nocturne shouted, manifesting as Calamity vanished after clanging against the hard surface, where it was knocked out of Nello's grasp. Not a second was wasted before Nocturne's aid allowed for Nello to return to his feet, a lumbering mass of flesh throwing yet another attack at the boy. Pushed aside by Nocturne, Nello was able to dodge the strike, but with every passing moment, the Horror grew in size. "We can't fight here! Come on!"
Pulling the boy along, Nocturne led Nello through the tunnels in a hurry, a massive Horror following each step with its humongous size tearing and ripping at the sewer structure. Turning to the right, Nello continued to run, avoiding pipes and obstacles along the way, all of which were but a minor inconvenience for the beast close in tow.
Luck would eventually bless the young agent, however, as they soon found themselves in a large, open space. Circular, with several streams of water flooding down the walls, this was likely a room which connected various tunnels throughout New York city. A perfect arena for the battle to come.
Spinning around, and raising Calamity as it shaped itself into existence in his grasp, Nello clenched his teeth. This Horror had initiated the bout with favor on its side, but Nocturne was right. Nello had to get a grip.