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    ✦ Linnea's Return ✦

    aeluri
    aeluri

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    Lineage : Feline Sense
    Position : ULULU
    Posts : 921
    Guild : ⫸ Hidden Blades ⫷
    Cosmic Coins : 65
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Age : 25
    Experience : 12,498
    Brownie Points : 3

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Malefic Felines
    Second Magic: Sinister Arsenal
    Third Magic: Grimm

    ✦ Linnea's Return ✦ Empty ✦ Linnea's Return ✦

    Post by aeluri on 12th November 2019, 6:57 pm

    Feles Noctis
    Aeluri
    The Black Cat - Beware the Night
    Job: Free Form
    Post Word Count: 3,679
    Job Word Count: 3,679/3,500
    Muse: yeet/10
    Music: Found You
    Items Used IC/OOC: Item 1, Item 2
    Active Spells: Spell 1 (Duration: x/x)
    Deep underneath the Hidden Blades headquarters in Crocus sprawled a series of apartment rooms. Members of the secretive guild could rent out these rooms if they wished. One had rented a room long term. It was her sanctuary, filled with silence and shadows. There was no light in this room, save for that coming from beneath the door which gave a faint glowing shape to the bed and furniture. It wasn’t nighttime, but anyone who walked in may have felt that it was. The space was dark, quiet, secluded - just how its inhabitants liked it.

    Aeluri slowly peeled open her eyes with a groan. Mismatching eyes looked blearily around, adjusting to the lack of light. She had lost track of time and fallen asleep for the umpteenth time. If asked, she could only vaguely guess what day of the week it was. The woman had secluded herself deep in the sheets of her bed in the room she rented at the Hidden Blades headquarters. The darkness and sleep was welcoming. It was a refuge and she needed time to recover.

    Many days in a row she drank herself to sleep. The pattern was simple: wake, drink, sleep, and repeat. This wasn’t unusual for the woman. Her alcoholic tendencies made her tolerance incredibly high. It was a miracle she hadn’t died of alcohol poisoning or liver failure at this point in her life. Becoming imbibed over and over this week numbed the upsetting memories she held from the week prior. Aeluri’s head pounded as she sat up slowly from her bed. Another groan escaped her lips. One weak hand reached over to pick up the glass of water at her bedside while the other grabbed a bottle of pain reducing pills. She popped a few into her mouth and chased it down with water. The refreshing liquid made her feel slightly better as she waited for the meds to kick in.

    That was, until she heard the chiding voice of Umbra. “Wow, you’re finally awake!” he said in a mocking tone. The dark feline hopped up on the soft blankets, stepping delicately over a discarded bottle. He climbed up on the woman’s chest and plopped himself down, looking her in the eyes.

    “You were asleep for so long I thought you’d finally kicked the bucket.”

    “Shut up,” Aeluri grumbled in response. She pulled herself into a sitting position, her back leaning against the headboard.

    “So rude!” Umbra huffed, flicking his tail irritably. “You can’t keep doing this, Aelu. Even though you’re an alcoholic, your liver can only take so much.”

    “Why do you have to be so sensible?” The woman muttered, covering her eyes with a hand. As much as she cherished Umbra’s company, sometimes he could be such a reasonable pain in the ass.

    “It’s my job to be the responsible one in this team,” Umbra snapped. “You know that. It’s time to get a move on. It’s not healthy to drink away your sorrows, you need to move on like a normal person.”

    “I’m not sad,” Aeluri growled, glaring at the cat, “And I’m not a normal person either. Why don’t you mind your own business?”

    “Because! Look at this pig sty!”
    Umbra yowled, lashing his tail around. “This is no way to live. I know deep down you don’t like this.”

    The woman looked around the room, scowling at the empty bottles scattered across the floor. She wasn’t one for self-pity, but this felt pathetic. Aeluri wasn’t about to admit that to Umbra though. Her drinking habits weren’t always this untidy or destructive. At the moment she didn’t care.

    “Whatever,” Aeluri responded, turning her face into her pillow. A fresh ache shot through her heart. It had been nearly two weeks since she had lost Gemini. The dark mage had been on an assassination mission for the renowned heiress to the Tremaine business, where she had encountered trouble. Not only was it a difficult mission, but she had encountered two men that had caused issues. First was the fling she had tried to kill, Shane Stern. Aeluri blocked the image of his handsome face from her mind. She couldn’t think about him right now. He was too big of a distraction as always. The second was a man that she didn’t know but seemed to know too much about her. His name was Jett Dexter and he claimed to be her cousin. The fact of that still bamboozled the dark mage. None of it made sense.

    She and Jett had gotten into a silent scuffle, unbeknownst to the other masquerade-goers. In it, he had stolen the Gemini ring from the middle finger of her right hand. Despite her attempts to get it back, he had used magic to shatter the ring. Upon its destruction, the Gemini spirit had been freed. It was unclear where the being went, but it was long gone from the remains of the ring. Aeluri hadn’t seen hide nor hair of the beast since.

    Umbra kept chatting on, but the woman tuned him out. She desperately missed the two-headed cat spirit. They were the one summon she fought with the most in battle. Gemini was affectionate and protective. The fearsome maws that struck fear into others only made her love the creature more. The notion of them being gone forever was unbearable and only made her bury her face deeper into the soft cushion of the pillow.

    This was the closest she had been to crying since she was a child. The woman hardly felt extreme emotions when it came to people and often guarded what she felt. People would use feelings against her. They would needle their way into her heart and kill her with fear like she did to others. It was unsafe to wear her heart on her sleeve, and unwanted. She much preferred to be mysterious.

    However, when it came to Umbra and her summons, Aeluri was passionate. The only strong love she felt was towards the felines. They were her companions, her trusted friends - loyal no matter the occasion. They kept her company when humanity had failed her. Every tough experience had been survived with them at her side. To lose one was like losing a family member.

    Umbra had trailed off in his chastising when he realized how quiet Aeluri was. The black feline climbed up higher and curled himself right up against the woman’s neck. His soft fur began to warm her and the gentle purrs that rumbled through his body soothed the dark mage’s heart a little.

    “I know you miss Gemini. I do too,” the feline whispered. “They were wonderful and so fierce. This loss is tough, Aelu. All of your summons feel it too.”

    The woman raised her head from its squishy refuge. “They do?” Aeluri hadn’t used her magic since that night and thus hadn’t seen or spoken to any of the other felines.

    “Yes, they worry about you as much as I do.” Aeluri felt a warmth form in her chest. No matter what, the cats never failed her. She turned and collected the little black fuzzball to her chest and rested her head on his side. Long raven-colored hair concealed the two like a silky curtain.

    “Thank you, Umbra,” she whispered. He only purred in response.

    “Maybe if we go visit where we last saw Gemini it will bring some closure.”

    “Okay.”



    Aeluri stepped onto the perfectly-trimmed grass of the Linden property. Clean, winding paths cut through the lawn in patterns, some leading to the main building while others led to luscious gardens. It was a massive manor in which the masquerade ball had been held many days before. Millions of jewel had been invested to keep the ancient building looking like new and to show off the riches of those who owned it. Jaque Linden was a pretentious twat with more money than he knew what to do with. Aeluri gave the grass a deft kick of defiance.

    The woman walked over the lawn with Umbra at her side. Both beings of the night clung to the shadows. Aeluri pulled her hood over her head, hiding her face in the shadow. The moonlight was bright this night, so she had to cover her face in case she was discovered. If she was seen here, the ties between her and Ivory Tremaine could come to light. Aeluri wasn’t one to put her clients in jeopardy in case they hired her again. She did like money.

    As the two reached the building, Aeluri held up one hand in the moonlight, rings gleaming against the dark. With a twist of her hand, she summoned Lusa. The tiny arachnid-feline appeared on her shoulder. Its many bright red eyes observed their surroundings. The woman gave the little creature a scratch on the head, to which she responded with an excited chitter.

    Umbra leapt up onto Aeluri’s back and dug his claws in so he wouldn’t fall off. Once she made sure her companions were secure, the dark mage used Lusa’s provided enhancements to scale the wall with ease. The little spider-cat gave her the ability to cling to walls and climb them as a spider would.

    A few seconds later, the three arrived on the outdoor landing that led to the balcony floor above the ballroom. The woman dusted off her hands and looked around cautiously once more. Umbra jumped down from his perch on Aeluri and trotted beside her as she approached the door. It was surprisingly easy to unlock. The woman simply changed her fingernails to claws and reached within the keyhole to undo the mechanism. She pushed the door in steadily, its well-oiled hinges letting off only one tiny squeak.

    Aeluri approached the edge of the balcony slowly. She could almost picture what had gone on in certain parts of the room. The balcony, where she had waited for Ivory’s arrival. The banister on which she had left her whiskey glass now sat empty in the silence. The stairs, at the bottom of which Shane had met her eagerly to take her hand. Aeluri shook her head in frustration. She didn’t know what to do or how to feel about the man. The attention he gave her was more than welcome, she basked in it. But with attention came expectations, responsibilities, feelings - none of which she wanted.

    Shaking herself from her thoughts, the dark mage approached the banister and rested her elbows on it. Umbra leapt up to the railing and stood with his tail curled. The trio stayed there in silence for a few minutes. The quiet was welcomed as they all reflected on Gemini.

    After a few long blinks, the summoner peered down upon the ballroom floor. It was so empty compared to her last visit. The floor had almost been invisible due to the sheer amount of millionaires and nobles in attendance. The roar of conversation was no more than a mere echo in memory. Crimson and gold traced lazily over the floor, passing a shining speck in a beam of moonlight before doing a double take. What was that down on the floor? Perhaps a discarded gemstone from some noble?

    Aeluri straightened and made her way swiftly to the staircase, Umbra trailing behind her in confusion. As she reached the floor, the soft tap of her boots echoed around the room. While approaching the shining item, she was tuning into her senses to make sure it was safe. There didn’t seem to be magic surrounding the item that could be a trap. The slow breathing of a guard could be faintly heard outside, but he was likely close to sleep. Nothing seemed to be amiss.

    “What is it?” Umbra questioned, stopped beside Aeluri. Intense eyes observed the item from a distance. The little feline peered at it as well. It seemed harmless and tiny, a shiny gemstone with a clear complexion. All at once it hit Aeluri. This was one of the stones from her Gemini ring! She dashed forward and swiped it up, holding the tiny rock between her fingers. Relief filled the woman.

    “It’s one of Gemini’s gemstones!” she whispered loudly to Umbra. His face lit up as well and he ran over with his tail sticking straight into the air.

    “See! I told you if we came here you’d get some closure,” he bragged, winding excitedly around Aeluri’s legs. The woman could only scoff affectionately. She stepped forward into the moonlight, intending to look more closely at the gem to see what condition it was in. The light reflecting off the stone was bright… brighter than it should be. It became brighter and brighter until Aeluri’s vision whited out.

    “Wha-?” she muttered before falling silent. Her vision came back into focus, but she was no longer in the ballroom. Intricate stone pathways spread from beneath her feet. Large planters bordered with limestone bricks filled the space before her. Exotic plants of all kinds sprung from the dirt. Some bore fruit while others flowered in vibrant colors. Every plant was bathed in glowing moonlight. It appeared to be a fancy garden of sorts. The place looked abandoned, though. Many bricks were chipped and dirt-covered and the flowerbeds looked overgrown.

    Aeluri peered around into the darkness with caution and confusion. “What is this place?” she whispered to herself. Looking around provided little answer, so she took a few steps down the path. Each step was near silent in the darkness. The harsh moonlight contrasted with the shadows, leaving everything in a seemingly black and white state. Was this a dream? There was no easy way to tell.

    Pushing her way through a dense wall of overhanging ferns, Aeluri came upon a fountain that was pathetically spurting out a tiny stream of water. Its base was cracked in half and part of it had fallen away. The weak stream of water trickled down the large mound that held the fountain above the rest of the garden. Slowly it flowed down until it reached a yawning crevasse in the side of the hill. It seemed that a cave had been dug into the ground recently. Muddy pawprints filled the discarded dirt and led down into the darkness.

    Aeluri was on alert instantly. What kind of creature was living down here? With prints that big, it was likely to be a dangerous one. Still, her curiosity got the best of her. The dark mage crept forward into the moonlight, staying crouched low. Her footsteps were quiet but felt like they echoed loudly in the courtyard.

    She made it about halfway before she heard a faint rumbling. Aeluri froze in her tracks, eyes scouring the darkness for a sign of the creature. Nothing appeared, so she took another step. Again, the deep growling came from before her.

    From the darkness appeared the faint glow of red eyes. They watched the woman cautiously, ready to strike at a moment’s notice. It was a staredown between the two. Aelrui was prepared to fight if she had to. Despite the danger she was in, curiosity triumphed. She had to know more.

    Another daring step forward was met with a snarl. Aeluri tensed in preparation for attack, but was struck dumbfounded by the appearance of another set of red eyes! The pairs narrowed at the threat approaching them and a louder growl rumbled from the makeshift cave.

    Aeluri quickly transformed her fingers into claws. She was prepared to fight whatever beast came forth in this odd dreamscape. It was unclear how she got here in the first place or how to get out of it. For now, she had to focus on survival. The beast noticed her transformation and the eyes disappeared. Aeluri held her breath. The silence was deafening, broken only by the faint sound of trickling water.

    Then, from within the cave burst a massive white figure. It moved incredibly fast - a blur of teeth, eyes, and fur. Loud snarls came from the creature’s mouth. Before she could react, Aeluri found herself pinned to the ground underneath a massive paw. She reached her arms up to shield her face, waiting for the inevitable pain.

    But nothing happened.

    The paw lifted from her chest and the woman coughed a few times. Slowly, the angry noises changed tone. Growls turned into loud, rumbling purrs that mimicked a motor. After a few seconds, Aeluri peeked through her arms. Standing above the woman, practically drooling with excitement, was Gemini. The feline looked in awful shape. Its fur was wet and matted with mud. Both tails hung low to the ground in exhaustion.

    “Gemini!” she gasped, leaping up from the ground. She darted forward and embraced the white cat’s massive chest, burying her face into its fur. The two stood for a moment, surrounded by the comforting purrs of the beast.

    “Where did you go? I missed you,” she admitted, pulling away to look up towards the two heads. The feline stared back for a moment, then nudged her away from its chest. She stepped back with confusion written on her face. Gemini leaned down and pressed its nose against her forehead.

    In a flash the two were whisked away into another place. Aeluri found herself side by side with Gemini, the two looking across an intricately designed room. It seemed to be a noble’s study or something of the sort. Shelves and shelves of books lined the room, extending up so high it needed a balcony to access the second level. A desk made of dark wood sat at the head of the room. Light from a majestic window cast down upon it, illuminating papers stacked in an organized fashion. A figure stood rigidly just in front of the desk. It was a woman who seemed faceless. No matter how hard Aeluri looked, she couldn’t pick out any details of the face.

    Before the woman stood a smaller Gemini. The feline looked lanky and young, its paws too big for its body. The little beast looked up at the woman, its four eyes earnest.

    “You’ll need to complete this task for me,” the woman said sternly. Her voice had deep, majestic tones that showed her age and status.

    “It’s imperative for our clan’s future,” she continued, beginning to pace back and forth slowly. “I’ve seen what’s to come and I know there isn’t much that I can do about it. This is my last hope.” With that, she leaned down and scratched the feline’s heads. The little creature purred in a much higher pitch than Aeluri was used to.

    “I know this is tough,” the lady said in a softer voice. Her affection for the cat was clear. “I’m going to miss you very much, dear.” Gemini wove itself around her legs, still purring.

    “Okay, it’s time,” the faceless woman stated, straightening up once more. She stepped back and held out a key. The golden metal gleamed in the sunlight that pierced the massive window. On it was a symbol formed by clear gemstones. It was the Gemini symbol! Aeluri gasped to herself.

    The woman took Gemini’s paw and used a small knife to slice across the pad. Dark red blood began to drip from the feline, who hissed quietly at the pain. Faceless lady took the key and dipped it into the blood, coating the gold in crimson. She then cut her own palm and made a fist, squeezing drops of brighter red blood onto the object.

    “From this moment on, may you be bound to his Zodiac key. For all intents and purposes, you will serve as the Gemini spirit until released from this contract. May you serve and protect heiresses of this clan until your release or your death. So mote it be.” With the contract bound in blood, little Gemini began to fade in and out of sight, until it turned into a collection of insubstantial maroon petals that seemed to blow away in an invisible breeze.

    The woman stood and returned to her desk, where she wiped off the key. Returned to its clean state, the gemstones seemed to glow even brighter. With a snap of her fingers, the key transformed into a ring with a pop! It was still made of the same metal and bore the Gemini symbol. The vision’s ring and the one Aeluri previously bore were one in the same.

    From a desk drawer, a small wooden box was withdrawn. Its insides were coated in luxurious maroon velvet. The lady placed the ring in the box and closed the lid. She clutched the box tight to her chest for a moment. What she whispered may have been quiet in the vision, but to Aeluri, it sounded clear as day.

    “Goodbye, Linnea.”




    Aeluri found herself once more on the ballroom floor of the Linden manor, gasping for air. Her hand was clutched around a clump of Gemini’s damp and muddy fur. The woman looked up, realizing what was in her grasp. Gemini was there in the flesh - real and alive! Umbra and Lusa stood on the floor nearby, both staring in shock.

    “Gemini!” she murmured as she hugged the creature once more. Thunderous purrs began to fill the chamber, echoing off the walls.

    “I’m so glad you’re back. That vision was so odd…”
    she rambled, lost in thought. Umbra and Lusa ran forward to climb up Gemini’s side. Their paws kneaded into the white fur as they greeted the beast.

    “If what I heard is correct, your true name is Linnea?” Aeluri asked the creature. Both massive heads nodded in unison. The breaking of her Gemini ring had freed the spirit from the contract it had been bound to. Somehow it was able to return to its natural form and evade death.

    “I’ve got a lot of questions, but I’m just glad you’re back,” the woman sighed, leaning into Linnea’s soft side. The group sat there for a moment, reveling in each other’s company. At last, Umbra piped up.

    “Let’s go home,” he requested, and nobody would voice one complaint.
    @tagged
    IVYLEAF33




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    ✦ Linnea's Return ✦ 60637_s

      Current date/time is 3rd August 2020, 2:37 am