- Job Details:
Akeya had always prided herself on her self-control. From when she was but a little girl she'd already been more silent than most children her age, and while at first it wasn't on purpose she'd treasured and cultivated her ability to not let her inner thoughts and feelings control her actions. While she'd had trouble in the past that she'd suppressed her emotions to the point of it limiting her ability to grow as a person she'd managed to overcome that hurdle. It hadn't made her very passionate, but these days she saw herself as someone whose logic was firmly in control, with the emotions providing motivation and a sense of self.
So the fact that currently her emotions were running rampant was something which annoyed her greatly. Annoyance was one of the few emotions that had remained strong throughout her life, and now it was even worse than before. The fact that she was emotional pissed her off, and she was becoming more pissed off than she normally would be. The result was that she'd already had to leave the guildhall several times to vent her frustration on innocent flora and fauna. She'd also been forced to have her alter-ego Panacea withdraw from doing business for the Western Fiore Trading Company for a while as she couldn't successfully pretend to be someone else when she couldn't trust her own mood to stay stable. Luckily Panacea didn't have important duties to perform so she should have plenty of time before the higher ups would run out of patience (especially since the people at the top knew who she really was and what was going on). She'd have to figure this out before she ran out of time.
She was also pretty sure what the core of the issue was. Recklessly absorbing light essence and forcibly integrating it into herself had caused her entire being to lose the balance she had carefully established. She'd been a dragon of pure shadow and darkness before, and now she was... some kind of strange half-and-half. The light part still hadn't settled properly, but she could feel it as prominently as she could feel the darkness. And her body wasn't used to it. Her cold nature was now besieged by sensations of warmth and heat. Where before her only real interest in others was how they could influence her own life now she ended up listening to others for the sake of figuring out what was going on with them. She didn't care for it. The dark was cold and engulfed everything equally. It didn't discriminate but it also didn't assign high value to anything. Unlike those corrupted creatures pure dark was perfect for someone like Akeya, cold and analytic with few to no real attachments.
The light was warm and reacted differently to different objects. How it reflected, which colours it produced, showed that clearly. Pure light discriminated but also spread its energy. It assigned values and considered some things more important than others. Akeya knew that this was normal for creatures of the light, but it felt completely unnatural and unpleasant for herself. How was one supposed to be rational and calculating if those calculations were constantly being messed up by purely emotional variables?
The dragoness was fervently hoping that she could purge herself of that nonsense soon and return to her old self, or at least reach a new equilibrium where she could still be calculating. She didn't necessarily find being cold important in itself, but she was having doubts about how rational someone could be if they weren't cold as well. If her new equilibrium allowed her to be sensible and put logic above feeling she would be able to handle being a little bit less uncaring about other people's worries. It might actually make it easier for her to fake strong levels of concern as Panacea.
However even with her current situation she still had to do SOME form of work. She couldn't work as her lamia alter-ego, but as her true self she was still perfectly competent. Which was why she had been assigned the task of subdueing a kitsune which had supposedly lived in this area for ages without anyone really noticing. About a week ago trouble had begun to form, and now the entire area was closed off for anyone not powerful enough to survive a kitsune's wrath. The foxlike spirit had gone from a helpful guide for lost travelers to some kind of local disaster which threatened those very same travelers. The people who had assigned the job weren't happy with the idea of killing the thing, but couldn't allow it to threaten the area despite its helpful nature in the past.
Fine by Akeya. The job description had said something about how there seemed to be some sort of corruption or madness, but had also pointed out that it was unlikely that the kitsune could be returned to normal. For the dragoness that mattered little, since she was fully prepared to kill the fox and go home. Even with her emotions causing her to grind her teeth as she waited she was still fully capable of killing things without a second thought. She would already have entered the disaster zone on her own if it wasn't for the fact that her superiors had told her that she'd be working with someone for this mission.
Akeya would have been insulted at the lack of confidence if it wasn't for the fact that she was aware that right now she was a liability. Well, she WAS insulted but she was aware that was just irrational moodswings. Her companion would be someone stronger than her and someone unlikely to get too much on her nerves, to reduce the chances of Akeya completely snapping and to make certain that if she DID snap the other mage would be able to handle it. The idea of having to be watched was humiliating, but Akeya hadn't been able to disagree. It just made her hate her current situation even more than she already was, which was an impressive accomplishment given how she had already been positively seething with sheer frustration and anger.
Standing on top of a particularly large rectangular rock Akeya looked out over a very large area which was adorned by a wide variety of forgotten buildings and wild overgrowth. Some ancient city had been located here in ages past, but had been abandoned before anyone still alive could remember (or at least, anyone still alive who had been persuaded to share their knowledge on the subject). What little information they had been able to gather suggested that the city had been abandoned because of some kind of magical incident. There was one vague rumour that there had been a disease which drove the victims to madness, but there had been no way of verifying it. Had the disease returned, only to find a single kitsune to infect? The plants appeared to be completely unaffected by any form of illness, magical or otherwise. They were everywhere, grass covering the streets and trees growing around and out of the fragmented buildings. It had been a big city, big enough that even standing on the pillar Akeya couldn't see much of the centre other than that the trees in that area didn't look as healthy as they did near the edge. There were signs of fire, lightning strikes, claw marks from a giant beast and entire trees looked like they'd been pulled out of the ground and thrown until they ended up flipped.
Whatever was in the centre of the ruins, it wasn't happy. Akeya could share that sentiment, although she hadn't gone so far as to destroy the heart of a forest yet. That said the pillar she was standing on was already showing much more wear than before she was standing on it, mostly in the form of deep claw marks.
Gathering some of that accursed light essence in her clawed hand Akeya looked at it before launching it upwards, creating a flare which she sustained by holding up her scaled limb and continuously feeding it some more light essence. She could feel a massive power source approach from the distance, which was most likely the mage who she'd be working together with to either eliminate or subdue the fox. If she had to live the rest of her life with both dark and light she might as well make use of it, and admittedly the light was a much better choice for creating an "I'm here!" signal in the sky than the dark.
"Hurry up, will you?"