It felt… uplifting to finally talk about the rift between them, if only for a little bit. Acknowledging it out loud he imagined would be quite the challenge but if anything, she actually seemed to release a bit of her tension. Of course she was still crying but there wasn’t much that could stop that now until she truly settled down. But he did everything in his power to assure her that he wasn’t leaving and that his desire of her had never really wavered; it had merely been swallowed up by self-doubt and foolish fear. And truthfully, it felt so good to have her with him again, to have her warmth pressing against his, that his fears already seemed so far away. Which made him wonder why they had ever come up in the first place? They had seemingly come out of the cracks in his mental walls, forcing concern between his care and affections. But that didn’t matter; he would figure out his feelings with time and thought, though he had an idea of where he was going to go. Maybe after Serilda went back to bed, as she was surely going to run out of energy sooner rather than later. Booze had a funny way of sapping all strength from a person.
She went on for quite some time crying and he sat there, holding her to him as she let it all out. She needed it badly – a release of all that tension that had been building up in her and finally culminated in this episode of downing wine like it was water. He never made noise or complaint as she wept against him, simply letting her get it all out for the sake of finally having it out there. When she finally started to calm down, her energy waned. Her stomach rumbled loud enough that even Mythal could hear it, though that wasn’t that hard with his enhanced hearing after all. She remarked about how she definitely needed to eat something, explaining that she had started drinking on an empty stomach. He reached down and stroked her head carefully. “Well… time to see if I can do magic like your family,” he said, slowly lifting himself up from her and setting her down gently. But he made sure she was still sitting up for the time being – lying down would probably knock her out again and waking her up would be become a mental nuisance for her beleaguered brain.
He grabbed the pans he could find and set them on the stove, taking a solid minute to look over it before he could turn it on. It was quite different from his and he realized it was because the one that had been installed in his acquired house was… actually fancier. How rueful he was to think he had a more expensive stove than she had in her home here. It was probably nothing in comparison to what her family probably had but still. After he had lit it, he scrounged through the fridge to find some things to cook. Luckily – and to absolutely no surprise – Serilda had a well-stocked refrigerator, with meals ready to be prepared for any time of day. He wasn’t sure what would suit her best, as everyone’s hangover seemed to have a different remedy, but greasy food seemed to always work well with him. He grabbed a tray of grill ready bacon and some eggs, setting them on her counter and preparing them. Runny eggs would probably make her stomach do flips so he whisked them together until they were a fine yellow liquid, scrambled being the choice apparently. In the pans he poured the liquid eggs and draped the bacon, the loud sizzle from each causing a flare to shoot up for a moment before settling down. He searched for utensils and took out the spatula and tongs. Dual wielding them like a kitchen pro, he pushed the eggs around until they started to puff up and turned the bacon over itself until it looked crispy.
He grabbed a plate and put the food on it, making sure to turn the stove off before he took it in to her. He’d left his on so many times that he was practically burrowing it into his head to remember now. He brought it to her carefully, providing her a fork as he sat down next to her. She took her time eating, though that didn’t seem to be out of any disgust with the meal itself. Honestly she was probably still too drunk to really taste the food, her body seemingly acknowledging that she was putting sustenance inside her belly. She ate most of it incredibly, managing to scarf enough that she would at least be able to sleep without the spins. And as she finished, he took the plate and scarfed down the rest, surprised at how hungry he had been. Before he could even really set the plate down on the side table, she was falling asleep against him. Her arm wrapped around his waist, holding tight despite her slumber – like she didn’t want to let him go. He sighed and leaned back against the couch, draping his arm over her and settling his head against the wall. Surprisingly, his body seemed to feed off her exhaustion and before he knew it, he had nodded off as well.
He awoke a few hours later when Gren was pushing his paws against his knee, quietly trying to get his attention. He groaned softly and lifted his head, his eyes blinking as they adjusted to the darkness around him. Serilda was still nestled up against him and he was still sitting in the same position he had been. Gren’s little face was peeking out over his knee, the hound whining softly as he pushed against the God Slayer’s knee. Bathroom was probably the most obvious reason the pup was waking him and he probably didn’t really understand the practicality of the dog door. Mythal sighed but reached out to rub the hound’s head, letting him know he was awake now. Gently he lifted Serilda off of him and set her down on the couch once more, draping the blankets over her completely. He looked at her for a long moment before he headed towards the door, Gren excitedly walking right beside him.
He was surprised by how… luxorious her back yard was. There were several different gardens filling the area behind her cottage home, each one as colorful as the last. He couldn’t recall if she’d mentioned that she enjoyed gardening but by the look of it, she certainly did. He walked among the predetermined areas, looking over reach bed of flowers, plants and other such things that she had planted and tended upon. Gren wuffed gently as he ran beside him, as if to ask if he could do his business anywhere he chose. He shook his head and pointed at the small patch of grassland at the end of the yard, right where it turned into woodland. The hound snorted loudly and took off in front of him, rushing to the grassy patch and immediately squatting. Mythal shook his head, though he was smiling the entire time before his cast his gaze to the side.
The first colors of daylight were beginning to break at the horizon, the darkness of night beginning to fade towards him. An hour, maybe an hour and a half before the sun began to peek over the ridge of the world and reacquaint itself with the land. And for the first time in a long time, the God Slayer didn’t frown or scoff at the thought. Sunlight had always been a bit of a nuisance to him but on this morning, he actually was looking forward to it. His gaze pulled down among the many planted items in the garden, each one an extension of Serilda’s care and heart. Her small but quaint building that she called home away from home, just homey enough to be comfortable without throwing her wealth or title around. The wondrous woman inside, who had suffered far more than she deserved at both her former husband’s hands and frankly, his own. It was like the darkness of the night immortalized all of that pain and ache and the sun, pushing through the void, was meant to wipe it away. He was not lost to the irony or imagery of the sights and revelations as his mind came to a final, hammered conclusion. His fear of intimacy was not worth the rift he had caused. Now, more than ever, she needed him to step up and rise above the stubborn chains that attempted to keep him down. When she woke up and was in her right wits, he would tell her the full truth – he’d fallen in love with her.
His smile was surprisingly wide, considering everything. Maybe it was a hope for the future, maybe it was his own amusement at how stupid he had been – probably a mixture of both. But the fact that he was facing his fear head on without letting it run his life was oddly satisfying. He turned his gaze to Gren, ready to call him over so they could head back inside. No doubt the pup had been sniffing around all of the gardens, enjoying the brand new smells entering his nose. But his smile froze like ice, his blood coming to a chilling stop as well. Gren was still squatting over the grass, exactly in the position he had been before. It didn’t even look like he had managed to go to the bathroom. “Gren?” he asked, his voice rising above a whisper. His concern far outweighed his interest not to raise an alarm among her neighbors or the Voidwalker inside. The pup didn’t move at all when called, which only served to worry Mythal more. “Gren!” He yelled out more forcefully, moving towards the Star Wolf.
“Ey laddy, he’s gonna have a right hard time hearin’ ye at the moment,” a smooth, Sevenense voice came from just past his vision of Gren. Mythal’s eyes snapped up to see a man stepping out from behind the trees, an oddly pretty man that seemed… familiar.
Where had he seen him? That smooth, slicked back obsidian hair, the glimmering emerald eyes that seemed to hint at playfulness. And that tone of voice… his eyes widened in realization. “Oak Inn. You were there that night of the murder,” he said.
“Aye, that I was. In fact, I was the one whisperin’ insinuations and suggestions to that poor ol’ boy you nearly split in half,” the man said proudly, spinning his scepter through his fingers and then planting it on the ground. “The name’s Archimedes.”
“You… you made that guy do that?” The bellhop had wound up being the murderer that night, having hidden among the staff so he could do his deeds. Mythal had practically buried him in the stone wall of the basement, his annoyance with Serilda having forced him to… hit with a bit more force than normal.
“Made is such a derogatory term, ain’t it? I simply pointed out that he was far more talented than the snotnosed richies that misused him. Didn’t take much of a push. But I ain’t here to talk about that; I’m here to talk about you,” Archimedes said with a smirk.
“Ain’t nothin’ to talk about,” Mythal snapped, his right arm already pulling back. He reached down deep, taking hold of his magic and prepared to yank it up in full force into his attack – except nothing happened. His magical pool remained still, even as he tried to will it into his hand. He glanced at his arm in confusion, surprised he didn’t see the pitch black gauntlet wrapping around his limb. “What…?”
“Ah, fun fact about this here time stoppin’ spell; it stops everything save for what is allowed to move. You and I can move just fine but our magics – not so much. While we’re in this bubble, we’re essentially disarmed,” Archimedes explained, waving the staff between the two of them as he spoke.
The God Slayer snarled. “I don’t need magic to beat your face in.”
Archimedes chuckled, wagging his staff before him like a parent chastising a child. “I don’t doubt that, lad. But if ye do that, nothin’s gonna stop Faera from tearin’ your life apart – more than she already has,” he said casually, though his smirk deepened.
If Mythal’s blood was already frozen in time, it had just turned into a river of ice. He heard the words but he didn’t necessarily need them; somewhere, deep in his gut, he had known already. “Faera…” he said softly, his arm dropping to his side.
“Aye. Allow me to actually introduce myself. Archimedes, Trumpet of Despair. One of the Dark Mistress’ Archangels. Oh and… yer daddy as well.” He took great pleasure in revealing that, his words practically slurring together in a giggle as he did.
Mythal’s mind felt like it had been smacked with a paddle, his vision going blurry for a brief moment as he attempted to process all of this. He managed to keep his footing still, though the rest of his body swayed slightly. That couldn’t be, it just couldn’t… “My…”
“Proud papa angel, aye. Oh laddy, you should see yer face right now. That took the wind right out yer balloon quick as a fiddle,” Archimedes giggled, placing his staff on the ground so he could lean against it dramatically. “Come now, son, ye knew you were the result of a human and an angel bumpin’ uglies – Faera told ya way back when she tried to take ya body for her own. When ye pushed her back all those years ago. To be honest, all I am is impressed; takes quite a strong soul to say no to the Dark Mistress.” He cocked his head, looking at Mythal’s pale white face and chuckled once more. “What? No words of kindness? No love and affection for yer dear ol’ dad? How about a hug then?” He threw his arms out mockingly.
“No!” Mythal finally spoke up, cutting the air with his hand. “You’re… you’re nothin’. You planted a seed and nothin’ else. Gren… Gren was my real father,” the God Slayer found his resistance, despite the fact that his entire body was shaking.
“Oh and how did you repay him for that kindness? Burned him down to the ground with his house, as I recall?” Archimedes shot back in a foul taunt, his smirk widening into a vicious grin. “Must be my boy if you got that level of ice cold in ye,”
“Shut up!” Mythal roared, his hands closing into fists. Every instinct in him told him to charge, to punch this asshole’s head right off. He didn’t care if he claimed to be his father or not – he was here and mocking him and Gren. He’d frozen time just to taunt him but… his body wouldn’t respond. It wasn’t any part of the spell, it was more his mind was so busy processing the information that his body wasn’t capable of responding to any signals.
Archimedes stared at the God Slayer for a long moment before he sighed. “Oh aye, fine… yer suckin’ all the fun out of it anyways,” he said with a scoff and a roll of the eyes. “Let’s get to my point of bein’ here then, shall we? Ya made a right mess of Our Dark Mistress’ plans decades ago and then ye stomped on one o’ our fav’rit’ toys couple months back.”
“How can you even be here? Yer all supposed to be locked behind that door,” Mythal said softly, his eyes darting back and forth as if he was reading words in the air. “I closed it. How are you out…?” Had he seen Archimedes before he closed the door? Had his time in Oak Inn been before he fell into the trap? His timelines seemed to be messed up at the moment.
“Faera herself can’t leave Kingdom Darkness without a certain ritual – the one that was supposed to plant her in ye. But there are others that allow us angels to take over willing hosts. This fella here used to be from Seven; a right well fella that saw the beauty in our Dark Mistress’ dream,” he explained, tugging at the suit he was wearing. “It’s an easy trade – they get the glory of becomin’ a subject in our court and we get a body to roam this pitiful world in.”
“Kingdom Darkness?” Mythal asked.
“Aye, me home. The world where we inhabit. Its history is far too detailed to go into – I’d prolly only bore ya,” Archimedes said, waving his hand in front of his face. “Though if all works out, yer gonna get to visit it right soon.”
Mythal snarled. “Like hell I will. I closed that door and I ain’t goin’ back there,” he insisted, the fire in his core flaring up once more. “Not until I’ve found the means to wipe you and her and everyone else in there out from existence.”
Archimedes nodded along with his words. “A right noble goal, that. But I’m afraid yer gonna have to consider movin’ up the timeline on that lofty goal, if ye hope to save everyone.”
“Finally to my point,” Archimedes said dramatically. “You’ve done enough that Faera’s patience has run dry. You resist and fight and claw yer way away from her influence, despite her best qualities bein’ yer own. So rather than keep per’suin’ ye as she has, she’s takin’ a different route. She’s gonna force open that door you locked and unleash all of Kingdom Darkness upon the world. Rather than givin’ these pathetic humans the option of join’ our team, she’s gonna wipe the slate clean. Should be quite a sight – seein’ all yer friends melt away into shadow, forever lost to the darkness.”
“No…” Mythal said quietly. “She can’t. I’ve done my research. She can’t just open the door without havin’ power over here herself. That’s why she needed me.”
“Aye, ye right there. But ye see – I’m more than a one pump chump. I’m perfectly able – and willing – to sire another child for our Dark Mistress. Your baby brother will become the perfect vessel for Our Grace’s embodiment. And then ye and yours can prepare for the floor of everlastin’ darkness.”
No, that couldn’t be. Why would they have waited so long to do it if they could have easily replaced him? Unless there was something he didn’t know – some detail that he hadn’t been made privy of. Asking was useless; Archimedes seemed more content to taunt the God Slayer than give him a straight answer. His words could have been lies or attempts to make him do something rash – but at the same time, what if they were truth? What if he dismissed them and he found himself staring down the apocalypse with no way to stop it? “You’re lyin’…” He growled, his crimson orbs practically glowing as they met the peaceful emeralds of the Archangel’s.
Archimedes tapped his chin with his finger. “I could be. But can ye afford to commit to that finality?” It seemed even he knew that Mythal was stuck between a rock and a hard place and his grin seemed all the brighter for it.
“Why are you here to tell me this? Just to taunt me?” the God Slayer asked.
“I’ll admit I do get a good laugh at the way yer face scrunches in anger, aye. But no, in fact, Faera bid me tell you this. She’s nothin’ if not fair and wanted to give you a proper warning. Perhaps even a small chance. If you manage to get to the door before the ritual is complete, ye might be able to stop her. I doubt you will but our Dark Mistress does enjoy her games.”
“This is not a game!” Mythal roared, angry, burning tears screaming at the edge of his eyes. “You sick sons of bitches brought me into this world because you thought I was a toy, a pawn and I shoved those thoughts right back in your face. And now because you’re a sad sack of sore losers, you’re gonna destroy the whole world for what – revenge? I won’t let you. I will stop you, even if I have to give my life to do it. I’ll break every last bone in your body and then march right up to your ‘Dark Mistress’ and tear her head off. You… you all have haunted me for years. You’ve made a mockery of any kind of life I could have. Fine; I’ll make a mockery of your entire plan, of your entire ‘kingdom’.” Mythal was shaking as he finished, his hands practically vibrating loudly from the mixture of anger, confusion and fear running through him.
Archimedes tucked his staff under his arm and brought his hands together, giving the man a round of applause. “Very nice speech, very heroic. I’m pretty sure yer father said somethin’ similar to us when he rescued ye all those years ago. Like surrogate father, like son. But don’t pretend that ye love any of these humans, boy. Yer my son and I know what comes from my heart lies in yer’s as well. Unless…” He paused, his eyes flicking to the house behind him and widening in realization. “Well look at that. The broken toy broke through the spell and found love. Oh that is fresh.”
Mythal shook his head, confused. “Spell? What are you talkin’ about?”
“Oh by the Dark Mistress herself, you dun’ even know,” Archimedes burst into a fit of laughter, covering his mouth with his hand as he stared at the God Slayer. As he settled down and dropped his hand, an impish smile tugged on his face. “Think about it, boy. You’ve hated people as long as you’ve been breathin’. The very idea of love must leave ye shakin’ in yer boots, like yer worst nightmare came real. Ye think those are just t’ings that came from your anger? Nah, laddy,” he said, reaching up and touching his chest. “That’s Kingdom Darkness, that is. Hatred and repulsion of the light, airy feelin’s are o’r bread and butter.”
Mythal gasped softly. It all made sense in that moment. His hatred of humankind, the fact that he pushed everyone away, the feelings of love and care that made him fear almost for his very life. They were influences bred into him by this man, by his father. He continued to gasp softly as he fell to his knees, his mind wiping of all thought else. He sat there for a few moments, breathing heavily as he pulled himself out of his spiral, catching his spirit before it fell too far. Not here, not at the hands of this asshole was he going to be depressed into futility. “I’ll stop you,” he said softly, his head rising to meet the Archangel’s gaze again. “I’ll stop you.”
“Well, if ye really believe that, ya got…” Archimedes said, bringing up his wrist and looking at the blank space condescendingly. “About eight hours before the ritual happens. And I ain’t tellin’ ya where that’s happenin’ so ye only have one option here, laddy. Either way, methinks this is the last time you and I’ll be chattin’. It’s been… eye openin’,” the Archangel said with a wicked grin, waggling his eyebrows before black, smoky tendrils rose from the ground. They wrapped around him and pulled him into an oval of black and purple magic, a portal of some sorts. Before Mythal could even speak a word further, the portal melted down into the ground and disappeared.
Leaving him alone, trapped in time for the moment, with his thoughts.
|Unknown Lands||Fairy Tail|
|14044/12000 | 24301 TWC|