Colab with: @Fallenreaper
Arc 2 Day 1 Afternoon
Location: Charles Aeon Residence
For Archene, the day has been rather uneventful. The life in Ominar was as it was yesterday. A meeting happened, plans went as expected, the day moved on.
However, now that the sun was over half-way its trip through the sky, Archene had a special destination in mind. Though such visit only appeared on his mind as he remembered a very important thing. The fact that he has barely visited his good friend in weeks. In the past, he could certainly say that it was complicated due to the other's relocation... but this time, he was even living in the same city as him, thus no excuses could be made.
Eventually, he was upon the door of Charles' house and without much thought, he began knocking on his friend's door. If memory didn't fail him, today wasn't a day where he'd be at home around this time.
Charles had lost track of time. He peeled back the haze of depression to focus on to the present, his ears finally caught the sharp sound on his door. For a brief moment, his expression darkened at the evidence of unexpected company. He didn’t relish meeting Rico’s associate again. The immortal exhaled his frustrations before he placed the cup discarded lightly upon the counter and casually walked into the foyer.
His hand cautiously gripped then pulled his front door open, his head pulled back in surprise. Charles narrowed his eyes to study the familiar figure waiting just on his doorstep. He took a moment to shift his head from right to left, appearing to expect someone else and finally invited Archene inside. “Come in, I’ve just made some earl grey if you would like some.”
He stepped back into the foyer, giving his guest enough time to enter.
Archene smiles at Charles as the later looks at him, and with a polite smile he replies, "Thank you, I'll be glad to have some,
" before making his walking in. He glances towards Charles and then the outside to see if there was anything amiss. In the end, there was nothing, thus a question slipped out of his mouth, "Hello world!Were you expecting anyone?
" He offered a light smile to his friend.
Charles’ lips curled into a weaker smile, his heart clearly not powering the mask. His feet trailed deeper into the foyer as he explained his behavior. Sleep deprivation etched his eyes and betrayed trouble nights, each one spent pouring over dead ends. “I was expecting unwanted company to be truthful. Excuse my appearance, the last few nights have left me restless and unable to properly sleep. Please, make yourself at home while I get the tea.”
His figure strolled back into the kitchen. There was sounds of cups and a kettle moving, the stream done whistling, before he returned with two cups placed upon their saucers. A sugar bowl, honey jar, and minture pitch of milk settled in the center between them. After Archene took a seat, Charles set it down onto the table. He passed the Licenti a cup which was made well despite the teacher’s ragged appearance. “If it isn’t to your liking, let me know. So what brings you here?”
The Licenti nodded thoughtfully at Charles before making his way in without any reservation. He walked over to the couch(chair/thing), quietly taking a seat. His eyes moving about the room as he waited for Charles' return.
"Did I ever refuse tea?
" Archene smiled at Charles, raising the pitch to add a small dosage of milk to his tea before adding two spoons of sugar. He stirred the tea with rather practiced motions as he let out a soft sigh, "I came to check on an old friend I've barely spent time with while in the city.
" He half-smiled before lowering the spoon and raising the tea cup. He briefly sniffed it before taking a sip.
"Your tea is as wonderful as always,
" The Licenti was about to smile before his focus returned to Charles, "Though I must ask, what has gotten you in your condition.
" “It’s complicated,”
Charles admitted, his figure moved toward the recliner and settled down.
His right leg crossed over his left as he leaned forward, snatching up what felt like his third cup and leaned back into the seat. He took a single sip to allow the heat and flavor ease his stress. Sadly, it didn’t seem to be doing it job very well. Debating inside his mind, Charles decided to consult Archene’s long life and vast travel. He set his cup down then turned to one of his oldest friends. “You wouldn’t have any knowledge about recovering missing memories… would you?”
"That depends on why the are missing. If it is just plain amnesia due to concussion or problems of the kind, a psychic or even just a potion can help.
" Archene replies, "But if by chance said memories were sealed, stolen or irreparably removed from you in some way... other than getting it back from wherever it went. Only people who play with memories and dreams, or proper psychics would have a chance of filling or fixing the blanks.
The Licenti quietly raises his cup again and sips, taking a deep breath before asking, "With anyone else, that'd be all I could say. But honestly, did you physically lose a memory or do you have one of them giving the feeling they were tampered? You aren't the kind who'd lose memories because you hit your head.
" “That’s the concern… I have no idea. I don’t know what’s causing it or why they are missing.”
Charles let the information, his own concerns and worry air, as he continued, “After reviewing some of my memories, I found several just have pieces missing. Like they are being blocked from me. This concerns me a bit since I don’t know exactly what I did during those time periods.”
He didn’t let it be known he was also being blackmailed by someone that could have possible clues. Charles suspected that Archene wouldn’t take kindly to it and try to become involved somehow, either influencing the individual or taking the information through other means. He considered both to be dangerous to their health.
It is a very good thing that Charles does know Archene that well. His Licenti friend isn't one who'd stay still given the nature of the situation.
"Any chance that you actively withheld information from yourself? Though knowing you, I'd not expect that. The nature of the memories or the contents lost could give you reasons to do that.
" Archene asks thoughtfully, trying to find reasons to support that line of thought, or even for people to steal any of Charles memories. “I doubt it. It’s a bit difficult to explain, it might be better if you experience it for yourself. Excuse me a moment, please.”
With those words in mind, Charles lifted off his chair then moved into the kitchen.
" Archene nodded at Charles as he went off. With the free time he had in hands, he proceeded to sip and finish his tea. Specially while it wasn't cold. It would be a waste to let a friend's gift go to waste. 'If it wasn't him, who could have messed with his memories?' The Licenti furrowed his brows, pressing a pair of fingers against the base of his horn.
Carefully Charles emerged with an ivory box in his hands. Ornate across the surface, it obviously held sentimental value to him as he set it down. In a practiced movement, he flipped the lid up then searched for a specific bead. Each one was impossible to tell apart until they could read the Vis within them like Charles. A few moments passed before he finally plucked the most recently used one. “I need you to apply Vis to this while it’s in your palm,”
Charles instructed, his hand held it out for Archene to hold.
Archene took the bead, looking at Charles thoughtfully for a moment before closing his eyes and applying vis to the bead. Then he saw it all. The strange sensation of being in another's feet, feeling a very different range of sensations than usual.
Lightning. Rain. Disgust. Guilt. Anger. Regret. And, wait... the end! The Licenti quickly opens his eyes as the memory ends and stares at Charles, "Who did you get involved with? Really. This is, certainly not just memory loss. I know that the feelings can make things a bit hazy so you might have not noticed, but your vis was certainly tainted towards the end of it.
Charles raised his eyebrow in question. His head tilted at the mention of his vis being tainted causing the hairs on his neck back to raise in alarm. He didn’t like the the sounds of it. He pressed forefinger and thumb together before pressing them to his lips in thought. “I’ve been involved with many individuals, but what do you mean by tainted?”
"That isn't what I mean... I don't know who, or what, but it is overly malicious.
" Archene frowns, "Someone is purposefully blocking your memory, Charles. And likely, someone or something was getting hold of you at that moment. If the situation was different, I'd think it might have been a Licenti taking control of your body, but... given everything in this memory and that you are yourself right now, I'd have to look more into the possibilities.
The immortal stared at Archene a moment longer. His mind catching up with the words meaning, shocked slowly faded and freeing him from its grip. He broke the stillness washed over him as he leaned forward. Hands propped against his firmly pressed lips, a thoughtfulness replaced his stone-like expression, while he considered his friend’s statement. “I think I will need something stronger than tea.This situation is far more complicated than I had hoped originally, especially since I need time to recollect who might be responsible. I have suspect at least.”
Promptly he rose his feet then made his way to the liquor cabinet, opening the glass door for the aged whiskey. He collected a glass before recalling his manners. Charles turned to Archene, his hand ready to grab another. “Would you like a glass as well? It’s malted barley and from Scotland.”
"Having suspects is a good beginning. Just avoid doing things that might place you in the same situation again.
" Archene sighs briefly stroking his own hair as he watched Charles' reaction. He was still glad that the immortal could keep himself clear headed enough to begin thinking of solutions.
"But yes, a heavier drink seems appropriate for the moment,
" He said with a nod. Then again, it was not as if he could enjoy alcohol like humans could, but the flavor was still something that helped in situations like the one he found himself into. “If it’s who I believe it is, let’s just say that situation was unavoidable,”
Charles replied as he poured two glasses then thumped the whiskey down.
He picked up both glasses, handing one to Archene and downing his own in one swift movement. The whiskey burned at the back of his throat causing him to cough. Rubbing his heart, he carelessly placed the glass onto the table where he left it.
Settling back into his chair, he focused on getting answers. “Do you know of any Licentia that could possibly have the ability to do something like this?”
Archene looked at Charles quietly as he poured the whiskey into the glasses, making no comment on his words. He took the glass and downed it as well before lightly setting the table. He sighed at Charles' question, "More than enough, but none would go out of their way for... whatever is it that they were doing. They are of the kind that is more likely to keep you on hold and feed on you as time goes on.
He shook his head, "And the thing is, someone strong enough to do that to you wouldn't go unnoticed by you and someone that wasn't strong enough wouldn't hope to try. Either way, no reason to let you go after getting hold of you.
The Licenti was honestly puzzled at that part specially, it wasn't a small effort to forcefully take control of one like like Charles. Why just do something like sealing his memories and doing nothing later? While silently thinking, the Licenti tilted his head his eyes looking towards Charles though at the moment what he was doing was closer to searching some remains of any strange vis in the Immortal. “Reminds me of the years before Licentia and Prae went public with their existence,”
Already his fingers touched onto his brow, fingers gently rubbed away the budding headache surfacing, before they fell to curl under his chin. His eyes found themselves staring into far wall deep in thought. Things had gotten more complicated than he wished to learn, especially if his Aunt was involved with his condition. Letting the seconds slip by, something occurred to him. “Well, your information certainly narrows down the suspects. Now, may I please retrieve my memory?”
His left hand extended as if to shake Archene’s hand.
" Archene nodded at Charles, "We did do shady things back then.
" He finally let out a sigh, even shaking his head, "Not that much has changed in that aspect.
At Charles request, the Licenti nodded, "Of course, I was only briefly borrowing.
" He smiled before shaking Charles' left hand. Though his smile didn't even falter, he still made the effort to avoid reflexively draining any amount of his friend's vis.
When the immortal’s hand made contact with Archene’s, his Vis wove through the Licenti’s. Gently probing and seeking out remains of Charles’ as it coaxed it out. His hand pulled free then formed a fist. Within the palm, silvery light glowed while a bead formed inside and revealed when he opened it. “Thank you.”
With those words, Charles plopped the bead into his pocket before he settled back into his chair.
"No need to thank me,
" Archene smiled slightly, "Just giving back what wasn't mine to begin with. Though,
" The man paused wrapping his left hand around his right index and after a brief moment of focus, he had a pearly seed the size of a thumbnail on it. He held it out for Charles, "Keep this on you, and if you think that something like that will happen again. It can drain vis pretty, pretty quickly. It is set to do so. That should help you. If it helps to the point of leaving your clear minded but you feel that whatever vis inside you is wrong. Damage yourself and push said vis into the seed and, just get it to heal you.
" He smiled, "Best way to deal with an infection is to push it out, and destroy it. And if it doesn't help that way, as long as I'm half a kilometer away, I will find you and stop whatever is affecting you.
It was the best he could do for his friend. He breathed in, about to say something more, but stopped for a moment before saying with a serious face, "I won't ask you whom you suspect, but if you believe that me knowing it can help me help you, tell me. I can cope pretty well with a death, especially ones that can't be avoided. It would, however, be unforgivable to allow something to take away the free will of a friend.
" “That’s the main issue. I rarely know when it will happen,”
Charles emphasised the last word.
It was the most difficult part about the whole situation, especially being unable to tell what triggered it. Each memory seemed to have it happen at random causing him to feel like some sort of experiment. Cautiously he picked the seed from Archene then examined it. “I doubt you could stop her, if she is responsible. She does have a shard of my soul after all and if she senses she is about to lose, she will most likely ensure you don’t win.”
Charles commented darkly.
"I understand. Though if you happen to know next time, this is better than nothing.
" Archene sighed briefly, but still smiled faintly as Charles took the seed. It was just there on his hand inert. It was smooth and pearly, "To make it work, just push it hard enough against your skin and it will do the rest of the job. But really, only on a crisis. Also, if you do put it on someone else, it will work the same way, so be careful.
At the mention of 'her', the Licenti looked at Charles thoughtfully, "I don't know who she is, but yes, likely, the only way I can possibly stop the one responsible for this is killing them.
" He furrowed his brows, "And if she is the one who has that shard, honestly, it is better to see if there is a way to avoid going against her, a way to solve this without confrontation.
Fallen back into a relaxing position, Charles pinched the seed between his thumb and forefinger to try to understand it better. Its appearance reminded him of an uncooked grain of rice. Smooth, perfect and harmless, but he knew Archene’s warnings weren’t to be taken lightly. Archene’s seeds were quite impressive compared to other feats Charles had experienced in his life. “It would be easier if it was on delay switch, so it could be inserted and drain when my Vis altered. Then again, life is far from easy. I’ll try, but I’m unable to say positively that I will succeed.”
Charles assured his friend before setting the seed on the tea tray, within his sight.
His leg once more crossed over the other, his figure falling into a relaxed posture. “Her name, last I recalled, was Morgana Le Fey. I suspect she’s changed it over the years which is why I’ve literally found no trace of her, not that I’ve searched very hard. Last time I met her was a very long time ago. The memory was locked away, but I still have a few recollections of her.”
"I'd also like if I could preset it that way, but such fine control does require my presence. For now, at least; eventually I'll make it work.
" Archene briefly paused, "That said, it is better to have something that can give you a chance of success instead of nothing.
" He smiled.
As he heard about her, the Licenti seemed to have no words for a few moments, "It is hard to get hold of someone trying to hide after you lose the trail, likely it would have been wasted effort if you did try harder.
" He sighed, "Having a name she used is better than nothing though.
" “The bad part, I’ve tried to kill her once. That’s how I lost the piece of my soul. I wasn’t worried at the time because I was too injured to care, finally making it to a local town. I never saw her again. I couldn’t predict the mess she could cause to my life now or I wouldn’t have stopped until I got it back,”
Charles sighed in regret.
Reaching for his whisky glass, he looked inside and considered getting himself another drink. The subject didn’t help his mood much. Finally deciding better of it, purely because Azulia had to be picked up tomorrow morning, he set it back down. “Now… I’m left wondering over what to do.”
A hint of depression threatened to overwhelm his calm.
"Besides the loss of memory and control, has that done anything else to you?
" Archene half-smiled, "There is no point worrying over it now. Let life follow its course, if you manage to contact her ever again, then attempt to solve this. Otherwise, it'll only take away from you.
"As for what to do, live life and honestly, aren't there people around you in need. And those college students in need of guidance?
" He smiled at Charles, "Also, about them. I hoped that I could get a tour at ZUMA and see your teaching young minds at an appropriate date.
" At least, this way he could see how all of this affects him while he is outside home while also sightseeing.
Charles paused to collect his thoughts. He shifted through the file cabinets of memories still within his head, seeking answers. There was no confidence he would find what he sought. After a moment, he came up empty as expected he would. They were absent from his head or simply forgotten. “The answer to your question is: I don’t know. So far, most have been associated to violence and I’ve woken up in my last residence. Barely any evidence of what I’ve done left on me,”
Charles said truthfully, no recalling anything out of the ordinary aside from his memory loss. Casually his attention then drifted to the request, addressing it with a grateful tone in his voice, “Addressing your request, I’m positive a tour can be arranged. It is my day off so I am afraid to say you won’t see me educating young minds. However, after the weekend, I will invite you to be a guest speaker for the younger students.”
Charles considered something for a moment, then subtly teased the Licenti, “If you can manage to behave, that is.”
"If you don't know, it means there was nothing done that is likely to haunt you besides your worry.
" Archene sighs, "Leave it behind,
" He half-smiles, "As for being a guest speaker,
" The Licenti grins, "I would love to do it. I just wonder what to talk about with them, but I'm sure we can think about the details later.
" He chuckles rather happily. He wouldn't ask -for that- from his friend, but if he offered, how could he refuse? “I’m sure they will find questions to ask you themselves, through keep in mind they are children. Some details are best not elaborated.”
Charles adjusted his leg, feeling the tingling sensation spread thanks to it falling asleep. He hadn’t moved it in a while so it wasn’t a surprise, “I’ll also have a conversation with the headmaster over some issues with the College’s policy and confirm this is possible, including permission-slips for students to be present. For those who parents become concerned and prefer their children weren’t, I’ll have to make other arrangements for the day.”
Deep down, the immortal could understand the prejudice and fear toward Licentia. They were the hidden monsters that once consumed humans in the shadows. This subconscious fear was difficult to rein in and it clouded the mind something. He knew it well since he failed to tame his paranoia over centuries. In fact, Archene had been the only Licenti that managed to plow through the instinct dread thanks to unusual circumstances. “Once things are approved, we’ll set things up. Until then, shall we begin the tour?”