Myra quietly encouraged the water as it passed to Damien's command to do as he said and help the boy. When it had all fled from the tureen she set down the container, nerves still jumping with worry and adrenaline. Daryl offered his input now though, with cheer and a wink, loosening her anxiety a notch and smiling in return before addressing Damien. "Yes, any help we can be? I'm a fair hand with medicines..." And healing magic. But her caution about revealing her powers was too deeply ingrained to be given up so soon, especially in a room full of people and all their eyes on them.
She noticed one of those faces moving to slip out, and furrowed her brow at that peculiarity, but dismissed it in favor of more immediate concerns.
Slipping out of the Dragon's Tooth Asael had a grin of accomplishment, a grin that disappeared as soon as the chill of the cold air hit him, "fantassy-tastic" chittered the Swordsman tucking his hand within his jacket, preparing himself for the long walk home.
"Myra, I need you to get me a cloth... any type will be fine." Damien said, watching as the water did in fact hold the taint back, but it wasn't doing anything to get rid of it.
Once Myra brings me the cloth, I'll put a simple restriction on it so that no taint can pass through, but if Kid removes the cloth then the taint will run rampant. It's a temporary solution until we find something stronger to contain it, or we find someone who is actually a healer... then I'm going to ask Myra a few questions, there is no way she would know so much about magic just by being a maid... Damien thought, closing his barrier again so that the taint couldn't escape.
Myra dashed to follow Damien's orders, knowing what he was planning. A temporary solution, unless Myra admitted she could try and fight to purify the taint. She retrieved the cloth and slipped over, hesitating a moment. "I think I can help, if you'll let me in too."
Fear flashed through her chest at the thought of performing magic so publicly. She'd have to disappear after this. Find a job somewhere else, far enough that she wouldn't run into anyone here tonight ever again. Did that include Damien? He'd offered asylum in his tower, but as powerful and skilled as he obviously was, could he really guarantee her safety and freedom to continue her work in helping people without their knowledge?
"Alright, but at the first sign of danger your being thrown back out." Damien said, opening a door in the portal that would allow Myra to enter the barrier freely. Damien grabbed the cloth from her hand and wrapped it around Kid's eye, motioning for Myra to do whatever it was that she was going to do, while preparing a restriction spell that would hold back the taint.
"You and I need to speak after this is done." Damien whispered to Myra, making sure that only she could hear.
It was as Asael walked down the lonely street that his curiousity was stuck at the display of magic he had seen at the Inn, his gaze stuck firmly at the snow laden path that he was following him in the middle of the night.
"Maybe I should turn back, and follow them for a bit" said the only Soul marching down the lonely street in the middle of the night, 'they could stir up something most benefical' thought Asael as he came to a dead stop to ponder his options.
Myra slipped in and rested her hand over the boys eye, grimacing when she sensed the maliciousness of... whatever it was that lay there. Hate so thick it burned hot against her hand. "I know, I'm sorry I didn't... it's... complicated." she murmured in response to Damien's whisper, casting him a look that assured him she'd answer honestly when those questions came. She owed him that, at least.
Then she shifter her focus back to the patient, and took a calming breath. She hummed a resonance note and felt for the water in both their bodies, the purifying element that kept a man healthy or was polluted and made him sick. Extra drops from the water Damien was hovering in the air she bled of a bit at a time, slowly reinforcing the fight she began to offer the entity in the boy's eye, determined to wash clean the taint.
Damien watched as Myra seemed to heal the eye, trying to push back the taint or completely destroy it. Damien was finally convinced, but he didn't want anyone else to know that she was a mage, so he simply whipped up a non-see-through barrier, so that Myra and Damien could see out of it, but the others couldn't see inside of it. He also whipped up a spell so that nobody outside could hear what they were saying, so their actions and conversation were completely private.
"There, that should take care of any onlookers, except for those who saw you before I changed the barrier. You do realize I'm going to be taking you back to my tower after this is over, but I'm not turning you over to the mages." Damien said, wanting to hear what she had to say on the matter.
Myra continued to concentrate on the healing, but spared barely enough to continue a conversation with Damien. "I-I know. It's... I ran away from the Upper District, and they probably think I'm dead. I'd like it to stay that way. If I'm just some maid no one notices... I can use my magic to help people and no one has to know. I don't have to get dragged into all that..." The first flash of temper that the girl had ever shown lit her eyes. "Careless bloodshed. None of the factions care about anything but themselves."
"Not everyone is like that Myra. In fact, I try to help people as much as I can, especially you." Damien said, looking around and sighing. He sat back and let Myra do her work.
"I never said I would take you to the tower to turn you over. I can try to teach you in secret if you want, the other Mages would never need to know, and all you would need to say if they found you was that you were working for me as my assistant." Damien said thoughtfully.
With his mind made up Asael had retraced his steps back to the Dragon's Tooth, 'I really can't believe I'm doing this' he thought to himself, creaking open the Inn's entrance for a peak.
He was slightly disappointed to find the barrier still up and that the Mages were obviously present, 'so now I really have to see this through, well at the least it'll be more entertaining than a walk home' thought Asael letting out a sigh as he shut the door.
Leaning against the inn's front wall a few feet from the entrance he shut his eyes, wating patiently for the sound of the same entrance to open again, waiting to find an answer to his curiousity.
Myra's brows knit, both in concentration and consideration. "I know not everyone's like that. And that you wouldn't turn me in. I just... It's such a balance, when people know you're a Mage. You never know who to trust, and who's just sucking up to you because they fear you or want something." She sighed, a faint blush coloring her cheeks. "And I've always been rubbish in a fight. I'd be an easy target." It was more than she'd admitted to anyone in years, and she wondered what it meant that she didn't seem to want to resist such a drastic change.
"You seem so sure that your terrible in a fight, so let me help you. I can teach you magics that can help you protect yourself, plus you seem to be a very skilled healer, better then most of the mages at the academy." Damien said, watching Myra work with interest.
"Well I won't be able to wait during that time, so I will be leaving in the morning. Though yes, that wealth will help much. My family's wealth was taken after their downfall. So I need to get some rest." He then gestured towards the door.
also District Rell
"Alright, I need some rest too. You will hear from me when I have regained my family's wealth." Zavior limped out the door and to his room and quickly fell asleep, the pain in his legs and chest slowly subsiding.
She considered the education she'd had from the tutors her parents had hired, and pondered. Had they exaggerated her ineptitude in that area? Or had she just been too sheltered to have learned the proper level of intent... Or... Too much to consider, and she had some focus to maintain. "I'd... like to try and learn. And..." She sobered a bit more. "Likely I've had more practice at it than most academy Mages. There are a lot of sick and hurting people outside the Upper District."
DISTRICT RATHEN MIDDLE CLASS
Kain wandered about Rathen pondering over how he was going to get to Solomon at the rate he was going? As he lugged through the snow he bumped into a pedestrian. The civilian was wearing tattered lower class clothes and a small hat. It seemed like a small accidental collision but it wasn't until the man looked up that Kain saw a familiar face. "Marne is that you?" The man took off his hat revealing a fancy display of white hair, "Kain! I wasn't expecting to see you here! Nier said that you got into some trouble with the mages, is this true?" Kain honestly responded still glee with the sight of his friend, "Yes I'm on my way to check on my parents and bring them to the safe house Arlee set me with up with a year ago. Has Nier checked up on them?" Marne looked suddenly despondent and muttered in guilt, "No Nier hasn't been able find any men to retrieve them. We thought you would go down South or something, away from this snow." They began walking almost randomly as Marne walked at a brisk pace down an alley. "Lucky I found you though at least we can get a carriage for you now." Marne knocked on the door and called out, "I found Kain, may I speak to Marco?" A calm accented voice answered in haste, "This is Marco come in quick before mages come or Red Stain finds me or something." As the door opened Marne gestured Kain to follow him, "Is Marco still as paranoid as ever?" Marne continued walking without looking back at Kain's question, "Of course, as ever."
Middle District, The Dragons Tooth
Daryl blinked as the barrier changed colour so he couldn't see or hear inside.
"Well, that's rather rude!" he said with his cheery disposition. Though even he was suspecting Myra of magical ability now, what with her saying she could help and all!
Daryl banged on the barrier, which stung his hand but he did it anyway, surely the mage would feel him hitting it?
"Hey you two ok in there?" he called. "Be careful of the termites! If they get inside your skull that's it!" Daryl stopped as everyone in the Inn stared at him. "What it's true!" Daryl said and continued to ignore them.
Middle District, Dragon's Tooth
"Even if I shouted back to him he wouldn't be able to hear, so I'll just stay silent for now. If you do come to learn, you won't even need to stay there, you could come and go as you pleased. I in fact rarely ever stay at the tower, I'm always moving about the other districts trying to aid people in whatever way I can... the only time I go back to the tower is when I sleep or when I'm studying something." Damien said, watching as Myra worked.
She must be pretty knowledgeable about water and healing magic... Half the mages back at the Academy wouldn't have reacted the way she had...
Zavior decided to start his journey for the Upper District. His legs still hurt, but he felt he had to leave as soon as he could. He might be able to find a horse in a Middle Class district and the nearest one was Nafria, west of Solomon. Besides, he might find a mage there to heal him faster and Middle Districs always have healing potions for sale somewhere, even though they can be expensive.
Before Zavior left The Rusty Dagger, he offered to pay for the room, but Adul refused, saying he would always help anyone who needed it. Zavior tanked him and left for Nafria. It would be a long walk in the snowy cold, so Zavior had time to ponder how to get into Upper District.
Middle District, Dragon's Tooth
The taint seemed to disappear, but not before saying one last thing. "You may sleep... You may live... But when I am freed... All will scream... All will burn... All will die!" Kid stared into nothingness for a while, unmoving, before looking at Damien and Myra. "What am I?" His voice showed a mix of fear and self-loathing within him. A ear rolled down his eye. "I... I'm a monster aren't I? I need to die don't I? You're going to kill me aren't you? Do it! I don't want to hurt anyone!"
Damien ignored Kid's ramblings, an instead conjured up a bright green light in his right hand. Damien then walked over to Kid, and pressed his hand down on the cloth over Kid's eye. When he pulled his hand a way, a green symbol was glowing brightly on the cloth. Damien stood up and started to bring down his barrier, slowly.
"That should keep the taint at bay, its a barrier created to simply stop the taint from leaving your eye. If you take off the cloth, the taint will run rampant, so don't take it off." Damien said, watching as the green energy on his hand disappeared.
"OK..." Kid closed his right eye. "What is it? Is it magic? How can it be magic? I'm not a mage! WHAT IS IT?!" Kid's breathing rapidly increased. "Nothing touched me... Nothing went near me... I was alone... It just appeared... It was just there... It knew what I was thinking... What does it want? Why is it in me? WHAT IS IT?!" He started shaking. "It wanted to kill. It was whispering into my ear to kill everything. It was digging deeper and deeper into my head. WHAT IS IT?!"
"Calm down... there are some things that may be better if you don't hear them. For now, just try to ignore the taint, my barrier should block some of the whispering, and some of the pain." Damien said, watching as the remainder of his barrier fell down, disappearing and allowing everyone to see them and hear them again.
Myra worried over the boy's panicked state. "It's an awful thing, but it isn't unmanageable. It... Might feed off your own negative emotions. You might want to find ways to calm yourself. Dwell on kinder things. Have you heard of meditation?" She fussed over helping him to his feet, making sure he wasn't physically hurt in any other way, ready when the barrier came down to play the diligent assistant and medicine woman. "How do you feel?"
"Like a... Monster. I'm a monster... I can see it in your eyes. You hate me!!! You're disgusted by me!!! You want to see me burn like I deserve!!! Don't lie!!! I can tell if you lie!!! It tells me he tells me!!! You all want me to go to Hell like I deserve don't you?! DON'T YOU?!" He raised his left in front of his left eye. "He tells me it will stop if the green light goes away... He tells me I'll feel better. He tells me he will take over in my place. He tells me that he is the real owner of this body and I am just borrowing it... I stole it... He's right!!!"
Myra grasped the boy's shoulders firmly, trying to meet his remaining eye. "He's lying. I don't think you're a monster. I think someone's done something awful to put you in this situation, and if you have any hope of regaining your life you need to stop listening to the hateful thing in your head. Does that really sound like a wise decision to you? Letting it dictate what you do?"
"Where... Did he come from? Where did I come from? Who am I? Who is he?" Kid seemed oblivious to the world around him. "Who is Lance?" He looked at his hand, which was still in front of his left eye, and clenched his fist. "The answers would be set lose if I-argh!" His right eye began glowing blood red. "But... I must contain it..." It returned to normal and Kid turned around, looking at the door. "It must be contained... I will find out who I am without the help of this... Thing..." He ripped the eye-patch off, showing that the 'taint' had gone without a trace. He put the patch in his bag.
Myra tensed when the blood red glow shown bright for a moment, then bit her lip in sympathy for the boy's struggle. "...I'm sorry I don't have more answers for you... If there is any help I can be..."
"You had better put the patch back on when you begin having those thoughts, or next time we meet I will have no option but to eradicate you." Damien said, watching as Kid placed the eye-patch back in his bag.
Dammit, he's not gonna be able to contain the taint when it returns... I'm gonna need to keep an eye on him. Damien thought, sighing and turning to face the doorway.
"I've overstayed my welcome... meet me back at my tower if you still wish to talk, tell the guards that you were summoned by me and they should let you in." Damien said, shoving his hands in his pockets and walking out the tavern doors into the snow.
Asael opened his eyes to the sound of the Inn's door creaking open, noticing the Mage from earlier departing the establishment, "hey" greeted Asael in a nonchalant tone of voice.
Pulling his hands from his jacket as he stepped away from the wall he had been leaning upon, his curiousity seemingly close to being resolved.
Shiba woke up still in the tavern. His head felt like it was splitting open. He moved up and groaned. He must have rented a room last night, but he could not remember a thing. He stood up and grabbed a glass of water, drinking it all quickly.
He walked over and looked over his belongings, making sure he hadn't of been stolen from. His wallet was lighter, but that would presumably be from the room, and his swords were still there. He picked up his things and put his jacket back on, and stumbled out the door and into the souther market. The light his his eyes and he covered them with his forearm. 'Today is going to suck...' he thought.
He walked over to a fruit vendor and gave him 2 coins for his best piece of fruit. He bit into it and it wasn't horrible, but if this was his best, he should move to another vendor. He walked around the market, his headache still killing him, he didn't want to go back to his master like this, so he thought he may as well spend they day down here.
"Your that man from earlier aren't you?" Damien asked, not bothering to stop for the man. If he wished to talk, he would need to follow, "What do you want?"
Damien needed to get back to his tower, regardless of whether Myra followed him back or not. Pretty soon the people in the bar would revolt because of what Damien had done, and Damien didn't want to be around when that happens.
Abandoned West Coast District
By mid-morning Jack had reached the outskirts of the abandoned coastal district. He had had a few close encounters with Guard patrols and groups from the Steel Hearts and the Mage Hunters. Jack grunted, "One wiff of me and the the district, and any ajoining districts, where I'm spotted are crawling with these people. You would think they would have more nobal goals to pursue instead of chasing after me.", he muttured to himself. A sudden flare of anger caused some a group of weeds nearby to burst into flames. "Well, at least movement will be easier here. Nothing but the occasional squatter and desperate scavenger, as well as any animals that had found there way here."
Jack slowed his pace a bit, no longer having to worry about patrols. It would still be another 12 hours before he met up with the other Jacks.
The sun began to slip through the window, illuminating the room. Lorel began to slowly awake, his vision becoming clearer. He pushed the bed's cover downs and turned to the edge of the bed and got off. Looking around he walked up to the window and opened it up and was meet with a delightful breeze. The snow wasn't falling but much was still on the ground.
For a moment he looked around for his stuff but then remember all he had was the dagger he found. Walking over to the shelf, he picked up the dagger, remembering what had happened the day previous. Putting it back on his belt he left the inn, but not before asking if any Districts were in need of true help. He was told that the Far Southern District of Amphira was collapsing between two rival factions. Deciding it was in his best interest to help them he decided to go to the nearest port.
The port known as Gallu, at the edge of the Northern Mountains in the east. When a carriage passed by, he paid the driver to bring him to Te'nin, halfway to Gallu. They wouldn't go all the way, though he wasn't told why, though it was enough. It would only take a couple of hours to get to Te'nin. During the trip they passed through the three districts, Mo, Ro, and Ko, the triplet districts, who were all founded by the a family of triplets. Each of the districts being middle class and small.
Just outside of Ko, the final district before Te'nin the driver told him this would be as far as he could go. Lorel didn't question and got out of the carriage and it drove away. Looking at the gate to Te'nin he noticed it was not a normal metal barred gate, it was full covered in metal and was highly dented, with warning all over it. A person who was shopping walked by and Lorel stopped her to ask what was going on in Te'nin.
"Hey, sorry to bother you but why is the gate to Te'nin closed and blocked?"
The women turned. "Oh, that... Well I can't say exactly... No one is allowed to go in or out, apparently something very bad happened. Why do you need to go through it?"
Lorel looked at the gate and then back at her. "I needed to get to Gallu."
"Oh, well then I suggest going around Te'nin, through either Yeal, or Orel, best chance, might take a bit longer but it will keep you alive."
Alive, what does she mean by that, though Lorel. She walked off before he could ask. Once more he stood alone, looking at the gate. He began to think of his next move, going through Yeal and Orel would be fine but it would take much longer, going through Te'nin would be much faster, plus he is a mage and should be able to handle himself. Rushing over to the bridge that that connects the two districts, he looked down into the water and froze some of it and jumped down. He slipped for a moment but then stabilized himself.
He saw a way into the sewers in which he could travel through and get into Te'nin. Freezing the water to it, he unfroze it once he got in. Crawling was disgusting, the sewer filth flowing against his clothes and it was dark. So he lit his hand on fire with his magic and it lights the tunnel up as he crawled. Eventually it began to widen out and he jumped out into a large open area. The sound of rushing water echoed through out and beat into his ears. Using his magic he cleansed himself. Keeping the fire on he walked through he began to see some abnormalities such as overgrown plants inside the walls.
Thinking about the sewers he began to think he could just travel through the sewers and pass Te'nin. Suddenly the world seemed to fall and his head meet the floor, pain ensued. Looking behind he noticed he tripped over a large vine of a plant. Standing back up he continued on and then saw light from a sewer vent above. Ahead though was broken and he couldn't proceeded any further underground. More plants were inside the wreckage. He began to climb the latter up into the street; it wasn't long before he got up into the street.
That's when he saw something he would have never though was possible. Large plants were busting through buildings, and they were moving. Skinny plant humanoid creatures roaming about like zombies. Each of them looked like vines tied together. All of them stopped and turned, looking at him. Their mouths opened further than any human could and their scream sounded like a person dying. They began to run at him with amazing speed. Lorel brought up a fire wall and them not being bright run into it and lit on fire.
More started to come from all around, and their vines began to shoot out from their hands and they grabbed onto both of his arms. Lighting his arms on fire the vines withered away and he began to shoot the fire at the plant beings. Lorel was confused, where did these creatures come from? No matter how many he destroyed, more came, rushing like a swarm. Then a large vine picked up from the ground and began to swipe at him. It was easy to dodge it but then he wasn't able to and was hit across the street into wreckage that was a building. He pushed off the pieces of stone on him, pain all over his body.
Thoughts of death began to overwhelm. But then a sudden flash of light blinded him and the plant beasts and suddenly he found himself being dragged away...