Markus EldridgeWord Count: 3116
The chaos mage signed deeply as he entered the guild hall, he was dressed casually, at least for the chaos mage. His long red hair was pulled back into a tight pony tail, his face was calm, calculating, passive… He was wearing a pair of tight black pants, and heavy boots. As well as a deep seated Black V-Neck which showed most of his chest. His Vestments were still ‘equipped’ however they were connected to the void, hidden, secret, waiting for his call. He looked down to his feet, seeing his shadow shift almost on its own, Hela was restless. They had been getting situated, having just returned to Fairy Tail after his extended absence. The Ball had been… Strange, to say the least. He had met, and danced, with Nessa. It had gone well, at least… not bad. They had set clear guidelines for their friendship, guidelines which have changed… drastically.
So much had happened since the two mages had spoken at the ball. So many strange events. First, they had met suddenly while on a job. While within the Shadow Islands they fought together with Johann, and the events had been… Dangerous. Aporia had forced herself into his mind, and taken over his body in order to speak with ‘Mars’, a man who spoke with Johann. Markus still did not know what that was about, as Aporia had informed him it was not her place to answer questions about another. Markus however had yet to speak with who he really wished to sense that time. Nessa had seen Aporia, spoken to her, and become angry with Markus… The chaos mage turned from that memory, the pain he felt from Mars attack had almost killed him.
As he walked the black clad mage sat at the bar, and ordered a quick drink. A ‘Dark and Stormy’, Rum, Ginger Beer, Lime a very simple drink with a very complex taste. The chaos mage thought it fit him rather well, and it tasted amazingly. Markus did not find himself in the guild often, preferring to take longer and more complex jobs. Those which had him leave the country, or at least head to the far reaches of Fiore to handle multiple incurious. Taking a deep breath the chaos mage froze suddenly, contemplating. He had a strange feeling, an itch in the back of his mind… He was being watched.
Slowly, methodically, cautiously, the chaos mage turned in his chair. He examined the area with a keen eye, and an open mind. He trusted his guild, mostly, however that did not mean he trusted those who visited, or even believed he was safe even in the guild hall. Finally his eyes caught a rather boisterous man with a broad smile. He was dressed in fancy suit, a strange teal color with a white undershirt and golden tie. He had brown hair, blue eyes, and a five aclock shadow graced his face. All and all he looked like every other rich man who tried to get useless jobs done in the guild. This time however, perhaps for the first time, such a man was looking directly at Markus.
Releasing the breath he was holding the chaos mage looked side to side, at all chairs in his vicinity. Unsurprisingly, he was alone. He was not close with most of his guildmembers, and unless needing to work with him the staff avoided the mage. He was rather… strange, after all. Alien, foreign, unique. Chaos danced in his eyes, and shadows seemed to follow him, especially when he was not concentrating on hiding his magical aura. This however meant there was no doubt who the man was waving to, whose attention he was trying to grab. He was waving to Markus, requesting the chaos mages pressense.
With one final sigh the red haired man stood, and downed the rest of his drink. Setting down his glass he nodded to the bartender before making his way to the interesting man. This was why the chaos mage avoided the guild hall. If it was not one thing, it was always another, some days he would like to just enjoy a drink in silence. Yet, even that seemed out of his reach.
As he walked he glanced about the guild, he could see the guild jobs not far from his position. Had he gone strait to get another job, rather than trying to get a drink in first, he would already be out, and away without issue. He saw no one he knew within the guild, but to be fair it was fairly late. Taking a breath he finally reached the man. Markus was silent, his eyebrow raised inquisitively. He waited for the man to catch his breath. Whoever he was seemed… excited, nervous, perhaps even surprised.
“It… Its you… You are…. Oh. My. God! I read all about you! The mysterious darkness mage, Markus! I… I have a job to offer you. The small quite one.. Ivy... no i mean… Sor… Sorano! Yes that was her name!” He paused in his rant, breathing heavily. Markus himself was trying to understand everything he was hearing. This man knew his name, that was no surprise its not like Fairy Tail member identities were secret, hell this wouldn’t even be the first time Markus was asked for by name. He had read about Markus, that one was different. As far as the chaos mage knew there were no books about him, no magazine articles, he was not a titled mage and preferred it that way. Then, there was the final bit of information. Whoever this man was, he was pointed to Markus by his guild master. That meant this was a job, and one he could not refuse… Passively, with an apathetic gaze, the chaos mage returned to conversation when the man spoke again.
“Oh man! You are so… Mysterious. You will be PERFECT!...” Suddenly his voice dropped, and when the man next spoke to Markus it was in a secretive whisper. “So… can we go… somewhere to talk? In… Private.” He was leaning in towards Markus. After just a second Markus nodded and started walking away, gesturing for the man to follow. The walk did not take long, the guild had private rooms for this very reason after all. As soon as the door was close the chaos mage gestured to a chair allowing the man to remain standing. As for Markus himself, he leaned on the single desk, and crossed his arms.
Markus listened as the man spoke, explaining his… passions, and his request. From what Markus could tell the man was a rich art collected, and had a passion for nude art, which was rivaled only in his passion for Fairy Tail and its mages. With a rapid series or requests he described his desire to combined those two passions. More importantly he wished for it to be a powerful Fairy Tail mage who did the art. He stated speaking with the guild master before getting directed to Markus. Finally, after far to many ‘umms’, and ‘ands’ the man finally let Markus know his ‘job’. With a heavy sigh the chaos mage then contemplated the work. If he refused, it would harm the guilds reputation and it is entirely likely this man would go to another guild member.
In the end, the chaos mage nodded and agreed to the mans request. In the end, Markus somewhat understood. After all, he had personally seen two of his fellow guild members. Perhaps Serano had seen that battle, or heard about it, and decided he would be the best person for the job. After all, the chaos mage could not possibly imagine the Starlight Maiden doing such a task. Besides, valuable art collectors very rarely show their collections. Taking a breath the chaos mage spoke.
“Fine. I will complete this task for you. However… There is one condition. This art is to belong solely to you, and is to only be in your private collection or abode. Should you ever decide to sell your collection, or forced to get rid of these paintings you are to contact me so that I can make the first offer.” The chaos mage gave him a dark smile, one which was dripping with menace and threats. “After all, I can not let your kinks harm the reputation of our guild. I am sure you understand?”
Only after getting the man’s hesitant, and fearful confirmation did Markus fill out the proper job forums, and walk the man out of the guild. Closing his eyes, the chaos mage concentrated and connected his mind with the Primordial Void. His eyes still closed he felt that connection deepen, broaden, grown within his chest. Once he knew his mind was within that dark realm then did he focus his mind and broadened his reach. He could feel it tugging at the back of his mind, a whisper, a pull finally Markus found it. The Domain of Chaos, home to the Primordial itself. With a slight smirk and a signature grin the chaos mage opened his eyes.
He was no longer in the guild suddenly he was looking on a new landscape, foreign, alien, unique. The chaos mage knew this landscape well, from the flowing and floating river. To the flying islands, and the shifting sky. The chaos mage was standing on his balcony, the stone under his feet was solid grey. Chaos’ Castle spanned behind the darkness mage. He ignored it all and started walking to his quarters.
Markus had, at one time, had artistic talents. Being born of a ‘noble’ family he was required to learn many things, from music to arts, much of which he had completely forgotten. He was unsure to be honest why the man had just chosen someone at random, how was he to know who had any sort of artistic talent. Markus sighed, well he guessed that was now part of the job. If he was not good enough to deliver, he would have to find someone who could. Suddenly however, the chaotic mage heard a voice speak out. Unlike normal it was not within his mind, no, this time however it was being spoken from the shadows nearby, as if this realm gave her form.
“Well. Well. Well. This is fuun.” Her voice was soft, sweet, dangerous. “You know. I have lived for… thousands of years. I have certain… Experiences… Memories… that can help you out.” Markus heard her as he always did, when she offered him her power. Aporia was like a snake, chaotic, beautiful, powerful, but untrustworthy. Markus never really knew what he was agreeing to when he let her control him. “Ohhhh, how hurtful.” She said playfully, having heard his thoughts. “I do not want nothing from you… this time. So long as I get to help you paint… ‘her’.” There was a laugh as Aporia named her conditions. Stating her intentions. In the end, Markus relented. He had planned to paint her anyways, after all she was one of the few guild members he had actually seen in such a state.
Suddenly, his eyes went out of focus, and he reached down grabbing a brush. While he was controlling his movements, he knew at times his body moved unexpectedly, as if pulled on a string.
The man looking back at him had a curious expression to his face. One of contemplation, anguish, and serenity, a chaotic mesh of emotions foreign to the man in the painting. His face was pale, so pale the man almost looked sick, yet he was in picture health. His long red hair was loose and fell down his face and the side of his head in a cascade of color, falling upon his shoulders, or hanging loosely over his body. The man’s lips held a strange smirk, a slight up twist in the lips. Not a smile, but a face of acceptance. As if the man had been working on such a visage for years, having perfected this look, this smile, this lie. However, it was his eyes which spoke the truth. They eyes were looking back towards whoever would examine the painting, they were pale blue almost grey, and had a fierce look to them almost trying to look into the soul of those who examined him. A purple light danced in the irises, chaotic energy, contemplation, dark, foreboding. It was the face of a man who had seen hardship, and looked into the darkness. A man who, despite what he had lost, and what he had done, still had hope for the one looking upon his form. He was a man in pain, hidden to all but those who knew how to look. The man himself had two large wings, pure black wings coming from his back, they like him were hunched closed, resting. The feathers looked ragged, stained, broken. Pained by those who the man had destroyed, and what has been done to him. He was hunched over, sitting with one leg hanging down, and his other pulled up to his chest, arm resting hiding his nude form. The man’s body was well defined, cut and riveted with muscles, the body of a martial artist, of someone who took great care in his physic, someone who had seen many battles, and too many hardships. The arm, his right which rest upon his leg, held his guild symbol, a well-known mark of Fairy Tail mages, dark purple in coloration. Surrounding it were thick black markings a tribal tattoo which resembled thorns. The tattoo covered his arm, from wrist to shoulder before cascading down his back and ribs ending just at his hips. Pocketing his pale and muscled body one would see scars of all kinds, some small, minor, there were many of such scars along the mans arms, chest, and legs. It would be obvious to an onlooker that he did not care much for his own safety. It was however two marks that stuck out above all overs. On his chest, starting on the right side of his neck and going down his the center of his chest were three lines, the mark of a beast who had gotten through his protection. If one looked closely they could see another of his marks, upon his left leg was a serious burn from a blaze long ago. He sat on a shear cliff side rock made of granite. The landscape was foreign, lost, alien, in the background one would see a river which flowed through the sky a chaotic path of nature, and in the distance one would see a grand castle, dark, ominous. The image itself however had a strange glow. The man’s body might have been facing towards the left, however from the right of the painting one would see a thin streak of light, which boarded the image, threatening to overcome his darkness.
Suddenly chaos drained form his eyes and Markus found himself looking at the painting. It was… difficult to look at. He had not meant to paint such an accurate representation of himself, his feelings, his emotions, yet, there it was for all to see. To be honest, he could care less that the painting showed him naked, he was far more concerned about what else the image might show. To someone who knew the mage well, there wo+uld be much to see. In the end, the chaos mage signed, it was not like anyone really cared to know him well enough anyways, and besides no one would see the image.
“You have always had an attractive figure, now you are just showing more of what you have to offer.” The voice spoke out once more, no longer aiding in his body. “You did well, with my guidance. Are you sure you do not want ‘her’ to see? After all, she has already seen you naked.” Aporia said in her playful way. As always Markus had a difficult time understanding the chaotic being. Some days she was fierce, cold, and a total bitch, other she was nice, understanding, thoughtful. No matter how she was however, Markus had come to both fear, and trust her. “Aww, thanks. She is beautiful… Isn’t she?” Markus turned towards the other painting but said nothing.
The woman in the painting was caught mid-flight, the landscape behind her was blurred but light seemed to radiate from her body, cascading outwards in iridescent shafts, colliding with the edges of the painting. However, the left most edge was dark, and seemed to have shadows, darkness trying to glide in, snuffing out the surrounding, and destroying her light. However, the woman seemed oblivious, her face was one of concentration, focus, resolve. She was in a fierce battle with unseen opponents, monsters from an unknown world, or beasts from nightmares and darkness. Her face while focused was that of someone who was used to emotion, one could see the smile behind her eyes, and the curve to her lips; even as her light fought the darkness, her demeanor would fight sadness. Excluding her own, which she hid well from others. Unlike the man she was not looking back towards the viewer but was instead looking towards the right, her back turned from the darkness approaching her. Looking at the painting one would see her lavender eyes shining upon her cream colored skin, a bright light even in the darkest of days. Flowing behind her, her hair cascaded in a wave of white which would tickle her hips should she be standing strait. As one looked about the woman they would see that her body was of excellent shape, her stomach was toned, and the rest of her body showed a fierce femininity. Her leftmost arm was held upwards, within it a ball of pure starlight, to her side her right hand held a sword. Her legs were sprawled behind her as she flew, her right pulled upwards slightly. If it were not for the orbs controlling her flight spinning at just the right moment, and her right leg positioned as she flew there would be nothing hiding her naked form. In all she was beautiful and fierce, fully epitomizing feminine beauty. One could see her guild mark pressed upon her left thigh, light purple in color it stood out against the cream skin.
Markus took a deep breath once more looking at the two pieces of art. They were far better than he could have ever hoped to imagine, and he knew were not nor for Aporias aid they never would have been possible. Releasing his breath the chaos mage covered up the paintings, and prepared for the meeting with the client.