Night had fallen on Tolgalen, Amalie's black heels clicked away against the concrete as she made her way back to her 'temporary apartment'. So much for settling in Tolgalen for a while. It seemed now that she would be following her mentor, she would once again be packing up to move away. To the place in which this new faction would be located, she had yet to know the full details of the guild but she knew enough that all her things had already been packed away and she had notified her letting agency about ending her lease early. It was for this reason that her fridge was empty right now, so she had headed out to the local shops to get some dinner that she could cook when she got in. There was no point buying anything substantial because once she got notice, she fully intended to ship out completely. She had even completed the forms to have her removed as a member of the West Fiore Trading Company. So as of this point, she was guildless. It was strange, her plan certainly has been re-arranged quite significantly. All because she had chosen to follow a single man along an obscure path. Months ago, had one have asked the Articulation Mage, if she would stray from her path for the sake of a man than she would have laughed in their face. But still, it wasn't as though this wouldn't benefit her, Johann had standing and not only that but she could trust him. As in actually trust him.
It was not the kind of reliance one expected from a co-worker on a job, nor the kind of trust a person expected when entering a contract with a business, expecting that business to deliver. No, this man was different. Something was telling her to follow him, that this was the path she needed to take. That only following him into this new 'enterprise' of sorts, would she discover the heights she needed. Perhaps she was being foolish, and naive. Putting her hopes in something futile. But then again, she didn't really have any better options right now. The West Fiore Trading Company had been more than beneficial, and she had worked hard to get there. If she had stayed, she could have grown a great deal, developed herself as a mage and gained a great deal of wealth working with them. Yet the patch under her ribs was now bare; she had made her choice, she would just have to trust that her instincts weren't going to fail her.
The road was dark; the streets were quiet. Her apartment was a fair distance from the shop, but she didn't mind the stroll. She was wearing a long black mac coat to keep her warm, underneath she had a long-sleeved white blouse and a navy blue pencil skirt. Her legs dawned with sheer black tights, and black kitten heels. A casual attire even for her, but then again, nipping to the shops for some food didn't exactly require her to dress up. She turned off the main road, taking the short cut through the alley between apartment buildings. This would at least cut off twenty minutes from her route, albeit it was a somewhat sketchy path. Amalie was so used to taking this route now that it seemed to occur out of habit more than anything.
However as she moved deep into the alleyway, about twenty metres from the entrance, her steps slowed to a steady halt. She paused, listening quietly, the alley was silent, normal for this time of night. It was late, past eleven in the evening. She had walked through this place many times since moving here, but tonight, something felt off. The magic began to pool inside her, rising up her throat. "Sha-" The word were cut short before she could even cast the spell, a wave of nausea rolled over her. She keeled forward slightly, reaching out she placed a hand on the wall to stop herself from falling over. Not again...not now.. She thought, her body suddenly weak and sluggish.
There was a loud bang, and Amalie was knocked to the ground by something heavy. It felt like a heavy metal blanket, perhaps a netting of some sort. Suddenly an arm grabbed her, turning her roughly onto her back. She felt a hand apply pressure to her chin, forcing her mouth closed, before plastering some form of tape over her lips so she couldn't talk. She squirmed roughly but was unable to wiggle away from the weight pinning her, that combined with the metal netting that was forcing her to the ground. She heard a deep chuckle in the dark, looking up at her attacker. She tried to get a good look at him, but the alleyway was dimly lit. She could barely make up more than his outline.
"Bin' a long time that' I bin hoping to get on top of yer', Amalie..." Her eyes widened in shock; she knew that voice, that gruff northern accent. She clenched her fists, how had he found her? Had she grown complacent in her time at the West Fiore Trading Company? She had been so sure to cover her tracks, to hide her location. All the checks she'd done, the extra measures she'd taken so they couldn't find her. Why was he here? How had managed to locate her after all this time? It had been months since she had seen Seamus, that night she had turned up at Paddy's and ambushed him for information. She attempted to speak, but the tape muffled her speech, meaning she wasn't able to cast a spell. Not to mention her body felt so weak right now, she could barely struggle against him.
"Ya know, I expect'd yer to foight a lil harder, kinda went down easy lass. Have yer gon' soft since yer left huh? Is pretty disappointin' but at least nows I get ter have me fun with no problems eh. Yer see Amalie, I got a score ter settle with yer," There was the sound a fumbling, as though someone was unzipping a bag and rummaging through it. Moments later the alley lit up with light, as Seamus pulled out a travel lamp and set it alight. He placed it on the ground next to her. He looked at her, and grinned, "Ahh still a beaut yer are." It was definitely him alright. The same build, the same boring face, although Amalie's eyes would widen as she noticed the key difference. The left side of Seamus' face was horrifically scared, as though the flesh itself had been melted and healed into this deformed manner. Seamus tilted his head at her, grinning at her with his newly scarred mouth. The edge of his mouth had been gouged back, revealing much more teeth than it normally would have.
"Pretty ain't it? Tha's the work o' our boy Charlie, see 'e was real mad when he learned yer swung by and I didn't manage to catch yer. Fucked me up real good, Kandice can't even look at us now. All thanks to you Amalie an' yur little visit to Paddys."
Amalie winced, she had known that Charle's would have been angry about her people so close to their clutches and escaping. She had predicted Seamus's might have been punished for it, but she had pushed the suspicion out of her mind. It hadn't mattered if Charles was mad at him, it was his fault for reporting it back in the first place. She would've said this to him, but she couldn't speak right now, she also doubted it would sit well with the newly-scarred man. She tried to work out what to do. She was completely trapped, Seamus was going to take her back to Charles and that would be it. She would spend the remainder of her days receiving her brutal punishment. She knew Charles well, he wouldn't kill her straightaway. He would do it slowly, torture her until she begged for death. He would break her in every way he could; mind, body and spirit.
"I know what yer' tinkin' lass, yer tink imma be taken yer to our Charlie ain'tcha," He said, her eyes opened once more, she glanced at him. "Now I could do tha', earn meself a place back in 'is good books, but ya see. Tha's not gon' be enuff fer me, Amalie. See there's summin' I bin wantin' for a long time. Since our young Wyatt brought ya through our doors at Paddy's and made yer 'is wife." Seamus, reached into the pocket of her jacket, pulled out long swiss army knife. Clicking it, the serated blade popped out.
"Yer see, I mighta wanted to 'av yer before Amalie, see If I could woo me way between them nice thight o' yers. If it hadn't a been for knowin' tha' Wyatt would have me throat fer doing so. But as we know, our little Wyatt, well 'e ain't here no more, so 'e can't exactly complain who 'as yer. We're pretty sure Charlie intends to do the same once 'e gets 'is hands on yer, but seein' as I got yer 'ere. I figure I'd get a go first. A lil thank yer, for the way yer royally fucked up me pretty mug." He yanked open the mac coat, hooking his blade under her skirt. He dragged the knife up through the cotton, tearing through it. Amalie tried to squirm, the panic rising through her. If only she had her strength back, she might stand a chance. But under this netting, with her mouth covered, she had no way to escape.
Stay Calm, Amalie.
She stilled for a moment, they hadn't spoken since that day in Rose Garden, mainly because she had made it profusely clear that she wanted nothing to do with him. How can I stay calm right now? This is all your fault, having you inside me is making me weak! She thought back at the Seal. The knife finished cutting through her skirt. Seamus peeled away the skirt. It was taking longer than it normally might of, due to him having to work around the netting he was using to help hold her down.
I need you to accept me, Amalie, only then will the sickness stop. I'm going to call upon your shards, and use them to stop this vile man once and for all.
Amalie stopped, surprised by what he was saying. Could he really cast the spell without saying it out loud? She had never been able to pull off such a feat, her spells always required commands for creation, but then again Anima was different. He wasn't a human, which meant he didn't have to abide by human laws for magic either. She closed her eyes, she didn't want to let him take over, but as Seamus tore her tights open, she flinched. There weren't many things that terrified the woman, but even she couldn't lay fearlessly in a moment like this. Fine, but don't kill him. Just restrain him, I need information first. She ordered the Seal. There was a pause before he spoke once more.
As you wish.
The nausea rolled over her once more, harder and more intense than before. She felt like her head was about to explode. As this new consciousness forced its way into te forefront of her being, she felt as though she was being pushed into the background.
"Yer know Amalie, yer seem like such a 'ard woman. Betcha didn't even shed a tear for yer dear Wyatt. I wonder how much it'll take for me to break yer'"
Amalie's expression relaxed completely, she opened her eyes and when she looked at Seamus her eyes were no longer Icy blue. But hues of pink, her cold stare eyed him. Suddenly a voice rang out into the alleyway, coming from neither Amalie nor Seamus.
"Seamus Tyrello Mulligan, born on the eighth night in July, forty-two years ago in a little town in Bellum. Son of Patrick Grayson Mulligan and Loretta Mulligan. The oldest of three siblings, with two younger sisters named Nieve and Betha."
"What the fuck, was goin' on?" He exclaimed looking around wildly for the source of the voice.
"Acceptable exist until the age of twelve, when your father passed away, crushed to death whilst working in the mines. Since then you took it upon your self to care for your family, except you found you had no discernable skillset. Aside from intimidation and a comfortable acceptance of cruelty. You began by bullying other children for their money, however eventually you were too rough with one of your beatings and left a child permanently crippled, resulting in your expulsion. You quickly found a gang to join and proceeded to work your way through the ranks. That was when you got a taste for power, so you challenged the leader, a Mr Mason Fledger. You fought it out and the fight resulted in his death, you choked him to death, didn't you. You were surprisingly undisturbed with killing him, you took the ranks and after that, it wasn't long until the Corvin's found you."
"Who are yer... how do yer know 'bout me?"
"Forty-three lives you sought to take for your own benefit, Mr Mulligan. The souls of the dead have told me all about you, and they so desperately linger in the hopes that you will receive divine punishment for it."
Whispers began to erupt around them, voices speaking over each other, muttering things. Amalie couldn't make out what they were saying, but she could hear them, even feel their anguish, sadness and hate. Materializing from seemingly nowhere. What are you doing, you said you were going to apprehend him and free me. Not give him a lecture on his sins! She thought irritably. The whispers slipped away, there was a moment of quiet, before a sigh could be heard in her mind.
Vines burst from the ground suddenly wrapping themselves around Seamus, he was yanked up into the air. Forced against the wall of the alleyway, the swiss army knife falling from his grip onto the alleyway floor. The vines curled around his body, holding him in place. The nightshade plant extended one of its vines towards Amalie, peeling away the metal netting. She brought her hand to her mouth, ripping away the duct tape he had placed there. She winced at the sharp sting, moving back she climbed to her feet. Using the wall to pull herself up.
Okay now leave us.
She ordered, panting from the exertion. She felt even weaker than before, Anima's presence was through her out of sorts. She felt him hesitantly move back, retreating within. her eyes returned to their original colour. He breathing became steadier, and the nausea eased off. She looked at Seamus, composing herself before she addressed him.
"I assume the fact you attempted to rape me before returning me to Charles means you haven't informed them of my whereabouts. Charles would have never let you do this on your own, especially not with the track record you have for royally fucking up eh? Seamus. Now tell me, how it is that you managed to find me?"
"Ain't no attempt 'bout it, girly. I will 'ave me way with ya. Even if I 'ave to cut yer up a bit first."
"I sincerely doubt that."
"Oh yer reckon huh?" It was in that moment Amalie realised she should've checked him for any moe weapons before questioning him. The glimmer of a second blade peeking from his sleeve. He moved quicker than she could catch, carving through the Belladonna losing its bonds enough to throw himself at her. He shoved her hard with his shoulder, throwing her back into the opposite wall of the alleyway. Amalie grunted from the collision, Seamus pulled back his fist, punching her in the stomach. She wheezed as the breath was knocked out of her. She threw the heel of her palm up into his nose, hearing it crack. She brought her knee up, driving it hard between his legs. Causing his to keel over, groaning in agony. She attempted to move out from the space between him and the wall, only to have him grab her.
"Oh no yer don't!" He picked her off her feet and threw her against the ground hand.
Amalie, the knife, to your left.
She didn't stop the think, she reached out. Her fingers found their way around the edge of the switchblade he had dropped earlier. She spun onto her back and thrust the blade up through his chin, burying it all the way to its hilt. Seamus's movements stopped. He grew still, Amalie heard the clanging as the knife he had been holding as it fell to the ground beside her. His heavy body slumped over her, she used the knife to guide it away from falling on top of her and trapping her beneath it. She lay there for a moment panting, her body trembling, covered in the blood of the man she had just killed. The shock rolling over her in a wave, this was the second time she had been forced to kill someone.
You had to.
She closed her eyes, slowly releasing her grip on the handle, she sat up. In the flames of the lantern, she could see the blood covering her. She felt emotions began to roll over her, her body shook, then as quickly as they came, the emotions washed away. As though someone was wiping them away gently, she felt ...oddly serene. She slowly climbed to her feet. Why don't I feel...upset? She thought, confused, she had just been able to burst into tears, and then in a single moment, she felt completely fine. She should be in a panic, in shock, she had just killed a man had she not. Why was she so...ok?
Amalie, I will help you understand soon enough, but for now, we need to handle this.
Amalie blinked, was this his doing? She didn't understand; she turned to look at the corpse. Seamus Mulligan, a man she had known for many years. She had always suspected his ruthless ways would get him killed, she just never imagined she'd be the one to do it.
Burn the body, Amalie. The harder it is to identify him the longer it will take for them to track you to this location. In that time you can disappear.
She didn't like this if anything she trusted Anima even less now. This was his fault after all, had she been able to cast shards in the beginning, she could have been able to prevent this from escalating so much. But there was no time to speculate on that, for now, she would follow his guidance, and disappear from Tolgalen a little earlier than she had anticipated. She raised her hands, palms facing towards Seamus's body, her magic would crawl its way up her throat as she cast her next spell.
WC: 3187 / 3000