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    Homecoming

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 435
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 226,484

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    Homecoming Empty Homecoming

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 1st December 2020, 11:34 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Homecoming RJtajUnz_o


    Coming home was a lot easier when it wasn’t involving a party or engagement.

    Vandrad landed on the walkway leading up to the front steps of the duWolff manor, his magical energy dispersing as he released it from control. The prince lifted his gaze from the stairs to the doors above, half-expecting to see his mother or uncle there waiting for him. They always seemed to have an inkling when he was returning home, though that was usually because they had found some way to summon him in the first place. Seeing no one, he snorted softly through his nostrils, a gust of smoke escaping from his nose into the frigid air. Winter had come for Earthland and the colder temperatures had settled upon much of the world. The duWolff island had lucked into being in the perfect spot for the warmest place during the summer and one of the coldest during the winter. The lake below didn’t help keep the island warm either, though it presented a very pretty sight when it was frozen over.

    Vandrad had come dressed in his usual battle suit but he’d also thrown on a long blue jacket over it, to help alleviate some of the chill from getting to his muscles. He’d crafted his armor to withstand copious amounts of heat and cold but an extra layer was only going to help keep him warm. He ascended the stairs slowly, taking his time as his boots clacked on the stone steps. Once he had reached the door, he reached out with both hands and pushed, easily budging the massive dual doors and swinging them inwards. Before he lay the main foyer, with a few of the house staff busying themselves with their daily duties. All eyes turned to him in surprise as he entered, walking through the opening room and heading down the hallway. He greeted the house members with curt nods, a usual routine of his that many of them had grown to understand at this point.

    It was late morning, practically lunch time. His mother was either completing her morning workout on the veranda or she had already dove headfirst into her duchy duties. Opting to check the latter first, Vandrad moved down another hallway and then out into the grand hall. It was set up differently, now that no balls had been planned for fake celebrations of marriage. A long table sat where the band had been playing, with several chairs set beneath the dark oak table. Memories flashed back from months before, seeing himself and Mercury at the piano there, awkward and stumbling for some kind of solid ground. She’d presented him with music and he had played it so that she could sing for the patons that attended. He could hear her voice once more, the notes of her song twanging in his ears like ghostly whispers. He shook off the memory and focused his attention to the head chair, finding it empty. There were papers and tomes set up on the surface of the table but they were organized, as if they hadn’t been touched yet.

    The prince adjusted his steps and walked towards the glass doors off to the side. Swinging them open, he heard the distinct sound of a woman training. Grunting and hard impacts from hands and feet thudded out a bit of ways from him. Vandrad turned and walked down the stairs onto the stone pathway that led over to the pool. Now covered for wintertime, he could already spot his mother, standing on the cover and railing against a sandbag. She was so focused that she didn’t even see him approach, nor did Simon, who was sitting at the bar and reading through a paper. It wasn’t until the prince was stepping into the immediate area that the darker man glanced up and his eyes widened in surprise.

    “Vandrad!” he exclaimed, sounding just as shocked as he looked.

    Themescyia had just slammed her fist into the bag when she froze, turning around to look back and find her son standing near the gate entrance. Despite the cold air, she was dressed in a tight black tank top and a pair of black shorts to match. Given that her skin always looked like she was frozen, there was no telling if she was cold or not… but Vandrad knew she wasn’t. “Vandrad…” she repeated his name, her voice softer.

    "Don’t sound so shocked. You did insist that I come home and visit more often,” the prince scoffed as he walked into the pool area, crossing his arms as he settled in a place between his family.

    “Sanctus stercore, he’s practically a family man now,” Simon said with a grin, swearing in Bellia as he folded the paper and tossed it onto the bar. He got to his feet, the man dressed in a cool gray sweater and snow white slacks. He walked over and hugged his nephew, despite the fact that Vandrad simply stood there. “I think this is the first time he’s come home of his own accord in years.” His gaze drifted up past his nephew as he took a step back, searching. “And where is your pulchra partner, Mercury?”

    "She’s still in Fiore and away from you two depraved delinquents,” Vandrad shot back, giving his uncle a smirk. It was true that he had puzzled over asking Mercury to come with him back to Bellum… but given the reasons he had returned home, they both knew it was better if he handled the matter personally and solo this one time. No doubt his family would find a reason or two to summon her back; Christmas was coming after all.

    And it seemed his uncle picked up on that. “Too bad. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see her when she attends the Christmas ball. We just sent out the invitations yesterday; we made sure to send one to her personally so that you didn’t try and slide it past her.” The dark man flashed his trademark grin, equal parts impish and genuine.

    Vandrad snorted. "Imagine my surprise, Simon.” He then turned to face Themesycia, as she walked off the platform and approached the two. "How are you, Duchess?”

    She sighed dramatically. “Well, you know how the Holy Council can be. The Cardinals are always… interesting to deal with. As much as I sympathize and agree that faith can be a strong motivator, the near-heretical following of Arcanos makes matters difficult. Arguing for the sake of those without magic is often a war in and of itself. A lot of people are still losing their lives just because the people believe they are allied with Pergrande.”

    “Your grandfather, rest his soul, loved Bellum but he disliked the way it was ruled. He knew he had to keep his thoughts hidden until he had substantial influence to try and change some of the old beliefs but even then, your mother is still fighting today. It is highly likely that she will be fighting until it kills her,” Simon explained, reaching out to rub his sister’s shoulder.

    “But I am sure you didn’t come here to talk about politics -- your least favorite subject. How are you, dear? You look… well, vibrant. Full of life.” Themesycia observed, taking a small step back to look at her son from top to bottom. “Mercury must be having quite the positive impact on your life.”

    "Tsk. As if that insufferable woman could make me feel anything but annoyance,” Vandrad insisted, rolling his eyes but his tone not quite meeting his words. "You both seem so eager to talk about her -- perhaps I should have sent her home in my stead.”

    “Well--”

    “As enjoyable as that may have been, I am happy to see you and am glad it is you here. You do look well though, Vandrad. I can’t quite tell what it is but there is a… lightness about you now. As if a weight has been lifted.” He didn’t answer right away, his gaze meeting hers with a surprising amount of softness. It took her only a moment to inhale softly, his eyes opening a tad wider. “It can’t be that..?”

    "It is,” Vandrad confirmed, nodding. "I found Gren. Alive.”

    Both Simon and Themesycia seemed to tighten up slightly as he revealed the news, but only out of surprise. After a moment of stunned silence, a small smile broke across the Duchess’ lips. “That clever old goat. I had a feeling that a simple house fire couldn’t have taken his life. Were you able to talk with him? Was he… upset?”

    Vandrad sighed softly. "It’s more complicated than I first believed but… I did get a chance to catch up with him. He was surprisingly less upset than I figured he would be but that may have been a front for my sake. I imagine that you’ll be getting a visit from him sooner rather than later.”

    “As is his right,” Themesycia acknowledged.

    "We didn’t get a lot of time to talk; unfortunately our meeting came in a rather dramatic fashion. But it was long enough to connect and the result of that event now allows him to move more freely. I’ll be able to visit with him easier now.” They hadn’t made any concrete plans but Gren had made it clear that he wanted to spend more time with Vandrad, to try and make up all the years they had missed. If such a hurdle could be bypassed, the prince didn’t know -- but he did know he was willing to give it a try as well. "He has another son as well. An adopted son by the name of Mythal Ragnos, who is the Director of the Rune Knights. Apparently being law enforcement runs in the family. He’s engaged to Lady Serilda Sinclair, a princess from Fiore.”

    Much to Vandrad’s surprise, both Simon and Themesycia began to chuckle. “Well how about that?”

    “Funny how those things work out,” the Duchess agreed.

    Vandrad narrowed his eyes. "What are you two on about?”

    “Well, several years ago, I had approached Byron and Miriam Sinclair over a meeting. A meeting between you and Serilda. I’d heard good things about her and, based on that, I figured you two would make a good match. I simply wanted to have the Sinclairs attend a gala and have the two of you meet and see what happened. But before we even got a chance to start talking about specifics, she met a man named Hugo and it seemed serious. So nothing came of it. I thought she would have married Hugo by the way things sounded.”

    "She did. That’s… an entirely different story,” Vandrad said, shaking his head. It wasn’t his business to churn the rumor mill or gossip and even then, he only knew what little Serilda and Mythal had mentioned about Hugo, including inside Mythal’s mind. "Nonetheless, she is engaged to Mythal. He’s a good man albeit extremely powerful. Mercury and I have struck up a… friendship with them.”

    Themesycia hummed in amusement. “Who knew you just needed to go to Fiore to establish some solid friends? If only I had known.”

    Vandrad rolled his eyes. "I did not journey back home solely to bring you news about Gren though. I came back to see you, mother, for a specific reason.”

    The Duchess arched a brow curiously. “Oh? And what might that be, darling?”

    "This.” Vandrad focused on the anger deep within him, reaching out for the power that had nested there. He pulled it to the surface, the dreaded ‘M’ mark drawing itself on his forehead and his eyes gaining a dark shadow beneath them. He extended his hand and from the palm, pink-purple energy rushed out and extended in opposing directions. Within seconds he had summoned the magic scythe, turning his hand and planting the dull end on the ground.

    Themesycia took a step back, as did Simon. While the Duchess looked on in serious consideration, it was Vandrad’s uncle that looked downright frightened. Themesycia studied Vandrad for a long moment before she inhaled slowly and deeply, calming the nerves that had twitched within. “So this other power has manifested.”

    Vandrad nodded. "I remembered the story you told me, of how Beatrix was killed. You never once considered that it was my Energy Monarch magic, even if I opted to assume as much. This magic took control of me several times, made me manic, unstable and unreliable. It’s caused pain that I would otherwise choose not to inflict. It was only thanks to the intervention of another that I managed to wrest control of it. Even now I can feel it attempting to overwhelm me.” Vandrad released the form and gasped sharply, as if he’d been holding his breath for a long time and just regained the ability to breathe once more. He took a moment to collect himself before he looked back at Themesycia. "I have little control of it but I fear it will once more overtake it again. I am not sure what destruction I will wreak if it swallows me down again.”

    Vandrad glanced between his mother and uncle for a moment before he settled on the Duchess. "You’re the strongest wizard I know and one of the best trainers. If anyone is going to help me master it and take full control of it, it is you. I’ve come home in hopes that you will consider training me and helping me overcome this burden.”

    Themesycia remained quiet for a few long moments, her eyes flicking between her son’s. Her warm and infectious smile was gone and was replaced with staunch and serious consideration. After some time she turned her gaze to Simon. “I apologize, Simon, but I will need you to act in my stead for the duration of Vandrad’s stay. I know how much you dislike the duties of the manor but…”

    “Think nothing of it, Themmy,” Simon said, finally finding his voice and courage. He righted himself and reached out to clap his nephew on the shoulder. “Helping Vandrad is far more important. Besides, I imagine there’s a few noble ladies I’ve yet to meet and charm while I attend your responsibilities.”

    “So long as you don’t mind sharing what your sister has already wooed and conquered,” she replied back easily, smirking at him. Obviously he didn’t mind. With that said, she stepped forward and finally embraced her son, wrapping her arms around him tightly and holding him for a long moment before stepping back. “Very well, Vandrad. Together you and I will help you make this power your own. But you’ll need to tell me everything. Preferably over lunch.”

    The prince nodded. "You will want to be comfortable. There is a lot to tell."

    “I imagine there is," the Duchess said with a small smile before she reached out for his arm, taking it in her own. “Simon, join us for lunch. I imagine you're just as interested to hear Vandrad's tale as I am."

    “Of course. So long as this tale includes more mentions of our dear Mercury, I am all for it. Speaking of, Themmy; are there any noble responsibilities that might take me to Fiore for a day or two? Simply curious."

    The two siblings laughed while Vandrad rolled his eyes. Indeed, he was right at home again.








    Words: 2565  | Tag:  | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 435
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 226,484

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    Homecoming Empty Re: Homecoming

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 7th December 2020, 8:09 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Homecoming RJtajUnz_o


    Morning had arrived, the sun having only creeped over the horizon perhaps an hour before. The cool winter air that had settled in overnight still lingered about the grounds of the duWolff manor, the grass outside covered in frozen dew. The employees of the house would be arriving shortly to tend to their duties but there weren’t nearly as many as usual. Themesycia was a woman who believed family stood above all else and, as such, insisted that her workers only work twice a week. They were on rotating schedules but it gave her people time to spend with their loved ones and shop for the approaching Christmas day. So only a handful would come by to do a bit of cleaning and prepare some breakfast for the household.

    Themesycia had slid out from under Simon’s arm and left the room moments ago. Though the duWolffs were notorious for their early rising, this was even a bit too early for the rest. Vandrad would wake up and be exercising within an hour and Simon wouldn’t be long after that. Still, the duchess adorned her robe and strode to the kitchen to grab something to drink. She silently pulled out a glass and then went to the fridge to fetch some orange juice. As she poured herself the tart drink and put the container back in its home, her eyes were lost in another world -- trapped in her own thoughts as she replayed her son’s words over and over again.

    There was little doubt in her mind that the magic Vandrad had discovered was the same power that had materialized in defense of Yuna and wiped Beatrix from existence. Simon had admitted as much after they had parted ways with the prince, stating that the power he felt in that moment that Vandrad showed it off was far too familiar. She could see the fear in his eyes, though he did his best to hide it. Themesycia hadn’t been there to see it with her own eyes but the small glimpse she had been given the day prior was… unsettling. It felt corrupted and corrupting all at the same time, like toxic waste that seeped into the land and made it uninhabitable. Had she the resources and ability, she would rather cut the foulness out from her son and save him the trouble of having to control it.

    But she knew Vandrad would hear none of that. Having to resort to removing the infection would be like admitting defeat against his battle with it. He would see it as a concession, a weakness that he allowed to best him. It would cause a further divide between the two of them and the rift that was already there had only just started to heal. Though Vandrad would never say it to his face, she felt that the prince slighted Mythal, just the tiniest bit, for allowing an unknown group to cut out his magic and install another one. He would get over it when it concerned his adoptive brother but the matter of himself was out of the question.

    That was another issue that had left Themesycia restless and incapable of sleeping well. These Order of Souls members, that had apparently been operating behind the scenes to protect the world from dangerous threats. It all sounded well and good on the face of things and perhaps, were she native of Earthland, it may have brought her ease. But considering that her and her family had arrived here, she couldn’t help but wonder if this secret society had scouted them out. Were they still watching, even to this day? It was a greatly concerning feeling and made her consider what precautions she should make to protect her home and loved ones. But to properly do that, she would also need to inform Vandrad of his true lineage -- yet another topic she had kept secret from him. In truth, there were a fair number of secrets she kept from her son, despite trusting him fully to act within the scope of what she needed. Perhaps she was merely trying to shield him from further damage -- it was bad enough what Beatrix had done to him.  The knowledge that he was part-alien to this world…

    Well, there was one bright side -- it would surely bond him with Mercury further. There was little doubt among the duWolffs that Vandrad’s partner was not from Earthland as well. She hid it with a mastery they rarely saw but strange knew strange and there was a mystery about the Silver Wolf mage that intrigued them all. That wasn’t even counting the attraction they all felt towards the woman as well. The duchess smiled tiredly as she thought back to the night Mercury had arrived and the shenanigans they had gotten into together. Perhaps it wasn’t the best protocol to sleep with her son’s partner in crime but Vandrad must have known it was a possibility. He’d seen Themesycia woo many women over the years.

    Her iLac buzzed softly on the kitchen island, alerting her to the world around her once more. She reached over as she took a sip from her glass and flipped the screen on, finding a message from Everance. That was curious, especially when it included an attached image. When she opened the attachment, a raw but hearty chuckle burst from her mouth. It was a rather devious picture of Dudley with Ever and Mercury, clearly at the conclusion of what was surely a romping night of fun. So the Silver Wolf mage had taken up the offer and gone to see them? She quickly added Mercury to the message chain and replied back ‘Looks like you all had a great time. Next time you should invite me.’

    With that message sent away, she tucked the device into the pocket of her robe and started to exit the kitchen. Now that she had received such a scandalous and illicit selfie, she was a little worked up. She wondered how willing Simon would be to fool around in the morning -- no doubt he would grumble and tell her to give him an hour. She was sure she could coax him into losing a little sleep for a little fun. First she just needed to check what she had on the docket for the morning -- or rather, what Simon had to take care of. She sipped her orange juice as she walked through the hallway, heading down one way and exiting out through the archway that led into the grand hall.

    That’s where she froze, upon the platform that separated the top area from the lower one. Standing in the center of the room, clad in an unrecognizable uniform, was Gren Ragnos. He wore a cloak but the hood had been drawn back, revealing the weathered and older face than the one she knew all those years ago. His eyes were on hers as she came to a stop, his face frozen in a stoic pose of serious consideration. They stared at one another for a long moment before Gren broke, nodding his head slightly towards her. “Lady duWolff.”

    The woman sighed softly as she observed him. As she walked down the steps, slowly and one at a time, she addressed him: “I can’t say I didn’t expect this. It was only a matter of time before you came barging in, wanting answers. Not that I’m blaming you or chastising you -- you have every right to ask. But you could have waited until later in the day after everyone was awake.You’re lucky I had a rather restless night.” She took a swallow of her drink as she walked up to him, stopping mere inches away. He stood a good head and a half taller than her and yet the air around her was just as big as it was around him. She reached up with her free hand and rubbed it through Gren’s beard. “You look good with a beard and a little gray. It almost makes me regret turning you down all those years ago, seeing how age has made you look good. You certainly put the ‘dad’ in ‘daddy’.”

    “Why, Themmy?” Gren asked simply, unmoved by the duchess’ kind and flirtatious words. “Why did ya keep Vandrad a secret from me?”

    Once more the duchess sighed. “You knew about my mother, Gren. Even if you never met her, I know that there were plenty of reports on her. People were more afraid of her than of Vincent.”

    “Vincent was a kind and generous man and he kept your mother under control.”

    “To a degree,” Themesycia interrupted him. “She loved my father and that’s why she held back her anger and madness for so long. What he saw in her, I… well, I’ll never understand it. The moment that Simon and Ever showed any kind of care or compassion to me, she started to treat them just as badly as…” She caught herself, her emotions getting worked up. “The point is, my mother felt it scandalous enough that I existed, let alone was adopted into the duWolff family. Another child out of wedlock, especially one from Fiore, nearly broke her entirely. I was forbidden from straying from the official path and Beatrix made sure to watch me like a hawk to guarantee that fact.”

    “And what about Vincent? What did he have to say about that?” Gren asked.

    “He understood my mother’s reasoning to a point. He didn’t like it but he knew if there was any chance to help Bellum escape its hatred of Fiore, he had to be there to help and if the Cardinals learned of him having a half-Fioran grandchild outside of an arranged marriage, with a Rune Knight of all things, it would undo all the work he had achieved. He hated it and he told me plenty of times he had started several letters to you… but he never had the heart to mail them.” Themesycia turned away softly, her head tipping down a bit.

    “I deserved to know, Themmy. He was my son and I deserved a chance to be in his life, to help raise him, to give him a father!” Gren said, snapping as his emotions boiled over.

    A brief moment of silence clung to the air after Gren’s outburst. Then Themesycia spoke. “Of course you did. Never in my life have I believed any fact more true than that. And… I robbed you of that. It is a burden that I will need to carry for the rest of my life, knowing I took both you and Vandrad’s chance to know one another as a father and son could.” She turned to face Gren once more. “For what it is worth, Gren… I am sorry. I hope you understand that I never meant to hurt you or Vandrad.”

    Gren watched her for a moment, his face still twisted in anger. But it didn’t take but a few seconds for him to sigh and the tension faded away. “No, I… I know it wasn’t somethin’ ya did on purpose. Vandrad already told me when we met. You were put in a bad place by your parents and weren’t given a choice. They’re the ones I should be mad at, not you. I’m sorry, Themmy. I shouldn’t’a snapped like that. Sorry.”

    Themescyia gave him a tired smile. “So then we’re both sorry. That seems about right.”

    “Truth is… I ain’t sure how life woulda worked out if ya had told me. It’s because I stayed in Fiore that I got a chance to save Mythal. If I hadn’t’a been there… well, no use thinkin’ ‘bout what coulda been. Point is, things worked out as best as they coulda, kinda.”

    “Yes, Vandrad told me about Mythal. He sounds like a good man, just like his father,” she said, flashing him a brighter smile.

    He returned it. “Yeah, apparently my bad traits didn’t rub off on him. Even after I…” he trailed off.

    She knew what he was talking about. “It’s okay, Vandrad told me the whole story. And it won’t live anywhere beyond mine and Simon’s ears.” She looked at him closely, her eyes seeming to flicker with emotion. “I was…” she started, trying to decide if she wanted to commit to her thought. Deciding to continue, she met his gaze. “I was devastated when I heard you had passed. It broke my heart.”

    Gren nodded softly. “Yeah it was a rough go a’things.”

    She returned his nod, leaving them in silence for a brief few seconds. “Do you ever think back to that day? When we parted?”

    He snorted softly. “For a long time I did, yeah. Haven’t had much time to do it recently but… hard to forget a day like that. I was ready to leave everythin’ behind for you.”

    She nodded once more. “Yes and I’ll admit, the temptation was great. But…”

    Gren waved her off. “It’s okay, Vandrad told me already. How after you were with me, you realized you were more attracted to ladies. And while that ain’t exactly the biggest compliment in tha’ world, I’m glad that I helped you figure some stuff out.”

    Themesycia chuckled. “Leave it to our son to put things in black and white terms, though I suppose I never discouraged that line of thinking. And in truth, I have used that fallback for years now when it’s come up. But the truth is so much more complicated than that. I am a strange kind of bisexual, Gren. While I do lean more on the female side of things, rather heavily in fact, that does not mean I am not attracted to men. True, I convinced myself that I was merely attracted to the adventure I found in you. You helped me realize that I wasn’t meant to be a politician who put on pretty dresses and curtsied and acted all humble and meek. I wanted something more out of life before I took my place as duchess, knowing full well that it would influence how that role would fit me. But… when I heard of your passing, my heart truly broke. And I regretted turning you down, realizing I was just scared of the commitment. You were my knight in shining armor and you wanted to ride off into the sunset with me and I had… barely begun to live my life. There were other experiences I wanted, needed and if I went with you, I’d be robbing myself of that and perhaps even starting our life on a sour note. Not exactly the best foundation for a stable relationship.” She sighed softly. “No, Gren. There was nothing about you that turned me onto women. You merely helped awaken the girl beneath so that she could become a woman of her own path. And you did that considerably well,” she complimented him, giving him an impish grin.

    The former Knight chuckled as well. “If only we could turn back time.”

    “Or pick up where we left off?” She threw it out there, the words leaving her mouth before she even thought them. “Time heals all wounds and maturity looks good on both of us, if I do say so myself.”

    “You don’t look a day different from when I last saw ya,” Gren said softly, meeting her gaze with a surprising amount of softness. “And just like that day, it’s awfully temptin’... but we both have our own lives now. You have a position in Bellum and I’m… tryin’ to figure out where I belong in the world. Maybe, after a while, we can get together and talk it out. See what falls out of the branches.”

    Themesycia smiled. “You are far too wise for your own good, Gren Ragnos.”

    Another lull clung to the air before Gren spoke back up. “Do ya mind if I ask… have ya met Vandrad’s partner, Mercury?”

    “Oh yes, we got the chance to get to know one another quite well some months back. She spent a whole week with Vandrad here with the family.” She masterfully managed to hide the wicked and mischievous tone she would usually work into her casual admission. “Why do you ask?”

    “Well I was plannin’ on takin’ her out for dinner, gettin’ to know her a little bit. She’s a bit strange, though strangely allurin’. And based on my short time with Vandrad, I’m a bit surprised there’s any kind of relationship there at all.”

    “Oh yes, we were all quite shocked as well. Beautiful woman with a sharp wit and tongue nearly as pointed. It seemed like all the things Vandrad would hate and yet, he not only abided her staying here with us but even seemed to enjoy her company. We couldn’t get enough of it.” Themesycia couldn’t help but chuckle as she remembered the time spent fondly. “You should spend some time with her. She’s quite the charmer. Just be careful -- she might eat you up.”

    “Hah, well, I’ll watch out for that then,” Gren said with a laugh of his own. “I should get back -- I have some things I gotta do. But… this was good. I’m glad we cleared the air, Themmy.”

    “As am I…” As Gren started to turn away, she took a step forward in towards him, a thought coming to her. “That reminds me; we are having a Christmas party in a few weeks. Out of respect to Gren’s newly discovered family, we’ve invited Mythal and Serilda Sinclair’s family to join us for the evening. It would mean a lot to Vandrad, Mythal and me if you could come as well.”

    Gren looked at her in surprise. But that look quickly melted into one of appreciation. “I’d like that a lot. I’d be happy to attend.”

    “Then we will see you in a few short weeks.” She said, nodding to him. He returned the gesture and finally made his way out of the hall, exiting through the doors and disappearing into the hallway. The woman breathed a sigh as she caught her breath. Her emotions were all sorts of in turmoil, though she did her best to hide that beneath the surface.

    One thing was for sure -- she somehow was even more randy after seeing Gren again.







    Words: 3050/5615  | Tag:  | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 435
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 226,484

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    Homecoming Empty Re: Homecoming

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 28th December 2020, 7:31 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Homecoming RJtajUnz_o


    The ground shook violently under the heavy blow as Themesycia slammed her fist into Vandrad’s, the flat pool cover beneath their feet shaking extensively. The crack from their combined hits echoed out beyond the proximity of the pool area, easily heard down by the village nearby. The mother and son held their hands in place for only a moment before they broke into another barrage of punches, each one slamming against the opposing limb. Vandrad had Empowered himself into his ascended golden form, the one that extended his hair all the way down his back. His aura clung tight to his form, highlighting the entirety of his body as he wailed against the might of his mother. He managed to alter his tactics, pulling his arm back as she swung in and twisted his entire body to deliver a rising uppercut towards her chin.

    And yet there was her hand, having slithered up against his change and caught his fist in her palm. She held it mere inches away from her face before she yanked him towards her, pulling him off of his feet and then slammed her head against his forehead. But to her surprise, it didn’t floor Vandrad -- instead, he took the brunt of it without flinching and then, using her honest shock to his advantage, he brought his leg up and shot it out into her stomach, separating the two of them. Themmy slid back several feet before her heels dug in to slow her movement. Vandrad also skidded across the pool cover before coming to a halt near its edge.

    The duchess smiled as she glanced down at the boot mark on her stomach. “I cannot recall the last time someone has landed a solid, sound hit on me. And yet there’s no denying that you just pulled it off,” she said, gesturing to the mark before she brushed it off her training outfit. “Well done, Vandrad. It seems you have improved even more so than when you and Mercury came here. Your Empowerment has changed as well.”

    The prince nodded. "As my magic power grew, so did my understanding of it. Empowerment has levels, plateaus that must be achieved and in doing so, it unlocks greater pools of magic than the previous. It also seems to alter my previous forms as well based on my mental choices. You might recall the stories of the warriors who grew out their hair to broadcast their victories?” At Themesycia’s nod, he gestured to the hair. "When I took on Gold, it became this. If I push it a step further…” He took a moment to concentrate before he rose into the Crimson form. But unlike his previous times utilizing it, his hair had hardened into even more sharp peaks and red lightning crackled in the air about his body. "All in the pursuit of… this,” Vandrad concentrated once more and then reached his maximum elevation, blue overwhelming the red and changing him to his highest tier.

    “When you left Bellum, you had only scratched the surface of Gold. Now you’ve achieved two others above it with extraordinary magical pressure. Were you to fight me in this form, I might say that we were just about even in strength,” Themesycia observed as she took a moment to walk around her son. “And what about your Limit Breaker? Does that affect these other forms as it did your Gold?”

    Vandrad nodded once more. "Pushes it beyond and there’s a visible change as well. My hair becomes more crystal-like. Here.” Vandrad’s eyes trailed away as he focused inwards, activating his magical spell. His power rose further and the blue hue in his hair took on a darker form while also gaining a vibrant sheen. It was as if his hair had been replaced with pure sapphire. "Though if I use the Limit Breaker on the highest tier, it drains me quicker. I haven’t gotten a chance to train with it ever since the other form appeared,” Vandrad explained through gritted teeth before he finally released his Empowerment as a whole, dropping him back to his base form.

    “Based on your tale, it is quite concerning. There is little doubt this power is the one that you used as a child against Beatrix. Seeing Yuna and being overwhelmed with rage must have activated it. I find it surprising, and please find no offense in my words, darling, that you haven’t found it earlier than this. You aren’t exactly the happiest of men in the world,” she explained seriously, though there was a slight teasing glint in her eye.

    Vandrad snorted. "While that may be true, mother, I am not actively angry all the time either. It’s more…” he paused as he thought of how to phrase his explanation. "I mute my emotions. I suppress them and choose to live a life lacking the emotional turmoil that plagues other people. It’s not perfect -- Gods know that Mercury knows exactly how to get under my skin. But I find it easier to look at the world from a practical point of view; it suits me better and gives me an advantage in most situations.”

    Themesycia raised a finger. “But what that also means is that all this time, that anger, that rage, has been trapped? Think of it like a dam; you can stop the flow of water for a time but as it remains stuck, it continues to grow and grow. Soon enough it overflows, now far stronger than it ever was before.” She observed her son for a moment as she sighed. “What happened to Beatrix was not your fault, Vandrad. You reacted in retaliation for what she had done to Yuna and nobody blames you for what you did. And it’s okay to still feel angry about it. It’s not something one gets over easily, or truthfully, ever. Its an invisible scar you have to hold with you and cherish like the rest of your memories. The painful memories are just as important as the good ones.”

    Vandrad met his mother’s gaze for a long beat, his eyes searching hers. Then he snorted softly. "Perhaps,” he said simply, allowing the possibility of the thought.

    “Come; we’ve discussed the matter long enough. It’s time to truly get into the reason you came here. Take on this angered form and let’s see what we’re working with. Do me a favor and keep yourself from transforming though -- I would like the estate in one piece for our Christmas party.” She shot him a teasing look before she crossed her arms over her chest.

    Vandrad gave her a look of derision before taking another step back, settling himself flat on his heels. He found a calm, collected place within his emotional state, setting the even foundation for what was to be an erratic surge of rage. Once he felt ready, he mentally opened himself to the rage, finding the power within it and pulling it to the surface. He ground his teeth together as the ‘M’ mark scratched itself onto his forehead, the cursed magic leaking out of him like a toxic fume. Internally, he was wrestling the anger as hard as he could, trying to keep it in check and preventing it from taking over. He took a careful step backward as he managed to find control within the storm, a calm rod conducting the furious lightning. "I’ve got it…” he said slowly, forcing the words out.

    Themesycia nodded. “It certainly feels strange -- wrong even. And from what you told me, you were also able to manipulate another’s magic while you were in this state?” the duchess took a couple of steps forward and observed her son, walking around him slowly.

    "Yes… a guildmate, a petulant little waste of space. He had antagonized me and nearly hurt Mercury. In this form, I took control of his gold make magic and used it to rip his face open,” Vandrad explained slowly, like a man trying to talk and balance on a rope at the same time.

    “I had always wondered if you inherited my trait to borrow magical abilities, though this sounds more like it was stealing it. I can only borrow what someone gives me permission to take yet you were able to rip it out and use it all the same. It’s almost like an upgrade, were it not used for such violent means,” Themesycia continued as she walked around the prince. “Tell me… what does it feel like inside? Describe it for me.”

    "It’s… it’s like being trapped in a whirlwind of fire. It’s a fury that infects my very blood and bones, burning through my psyche and trying to force its will on me. I’m trying to keep it back, push it back down and use what I can but--”

    “See but that’s the thing, Vandrad. Trying to corral it isn’t going to get you anywhere. You’ve already built up this ocean and there’s no way you can wean out little bits at a time without practically immobilizing yourself. It’s my belief that whatever mindset you were in back when you were in the Cursed Lands, as you called them, created a symbiotic connection. You were able to use this rage without being disarmed and it, in turn, got its chance to be free. Now you’re trying to rob droplets from the dam and you’re putting yourself and others in danger as the barriers start to break. You needn’t be scared -- I am here to make sure you don’t go wild. Just remember what it was like that night. Remember the mindset, your emotional placement, everything.”

    Vandrad couldn’t quite look at his mother, afraid that if he let his guard down that the rage would take him over. Yet here she was, telling him to stop trying to hold it back and let it loose. He closed his eyes and looked inward, casting himself within the storm that was raging inside. He barely had a hand on the wheel and she was insisting that he simply let it fly and join with the fury. No, that wasn’t it -- she wasn’t telling him to simply let it run loose. She was telling him to remember when he had control and it hadn’t felt destabilized. What was it that Ruzatz had done? He’d cut him and then he’d been reminded of… people. People he cared about, people he wished to protect, people he would avenge if they were hurt. People worthy of turning his rage into a weapon, for their sake and his. No, he didn’t need to let go of the wheel -- he needed to drive his entire being into the storm and make it his own. And so he did, his eyes flying open as he gasped and vibrated. More of the dark power rushed out of him, making the area directly around him toxic and deadly. Themesycia took several steps back, watching as Vandrad wrestled internally and externally with the mass of fierce magic that battled him. Then, slowly, the aura of deadly magic started to dissipate. Its source had been cut out and it was dispersing into the air. Within moments the oxygen had returned to its prior state.

    Vandrad was breathing heavily, sweat dripping off of his forehead as he stood, curled over himself. Slowly he rose up, the dreaded mark still on his forehead. But there was no insanity in his dark gaze -- there was clear and concise consciousness. He took a couple of heavy breaths before he raised his arms, flexing his hands. He glanced at them and then at Themmy. "I’ve got it,” he said shakily, the treble in his voice more from exhaustion than exertion.

    Themesycia nodded. “I can see that. Impressive, darling. Might I ask what provided the means of stability?”

    "The rage… it needed purpose. It was wild and unchecked, born in its own chaos behind the walls in my head. I needed to give it a direction,” Vandrad explained as he took a couple of steps, bouncing in place. He then let loose a couple of punches into the air and a kick. "It takes a minute to find the right head space but… it should be easier the next time around.”

    “That’s good because whatever it is, it isn’t right,” the duchess stated simply. “The essence you were emitting a moment ago was poisonous. It would have suffocated anyone within grabbing distance and I feel like that’s only a drop in a barrel at what you’re capable of. You need to master this form so as to keep it from hurting anyone you care about but I do not advise you use it carelessly. It’s dangerous.”

    Vandrad gave a nod of understanding before he closed his eyes. After a moment the mark on his forehead faded away and he breathed a sigh of relief.

    “Well I am beat. I don’t know if you’ve heard but this rapscallion assaulted me and kicked me in the stomach,” Themesycia said, heaving a dramatically heavy sigh even as she grinned. “Come now, I think we’ve earned ourselves some dinner. I imagine Simon is about ready to hang himself with the amount of paperwork and proper business I had him take care of. What say we three go out and eat in the town?”

    "So long as you two can manage to not bring anyone home,” Vandrad said with a snort and a wry smirk.

    Themesycia chuckled. “Oh darling… you know I can never promise that.”







    Words: 2352/7967  | Tag:  | © marzia at shine & gs.


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    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 435
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 226,484

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    Homecoming Empty Re: Homecoming

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 25th January 2021, 8:23 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Homecoming RJtajUnz_o


    “Well I must say, this stings more than I thought it would,”

    Themesycia leaned a little forward, placing her glass of wine down on the concrete next to her. She turned her head to look over her shoulder, barely catching sight of the edge of her new marking, the branding hidden squarely on her back and partially from her bathing suit. The duchess of Bellum rolled her shoulders slightly, feeling the soreness that came from getting such a large, filled tattoo. Chuckling to herself in amusement at the actual concept of soreness, she kicked her legs a little in the warm water as she reached down for her wine. “And what about you, darling? I imagine any pain you had has faded away already.”

    Vandrad was seated next to her only feet away, also wearing a bathing suit but without a top. Evident on his back and right shoulder was a new kind of scar; a black tattoo that wrapped around his shoulder blade, over his shoulder and down onto his bicep. Intricate curves that came to sharp points wound over his flesh, with the only significant mark being that of a trident-looking symbol that ran down and then opened into two rounded points. "The pain is gone,” he confirmed with a nod as he lifted his shoulder to look at. "I was surprised the man was able to get any kind of inking done with my healing capabilities.”

    “Ah, never underestimate Paeyth. The man can work wonders.” Given the slight purr in her voice, the prince could only imagine that his mother didn’t just mean with tattooing.

    It had been several days since his arrival and his training had come along better than expected. That was hardly a surprise -- his mother was always impressively capable of finding weak points in Vandrad’s magic and helping him strengthen them. While the Dark Brand, as Themesycia had taken to calling it, was a terrifying force to behold, Vandrad had already made far greater progress under her tutelage than he had by himself. He’d even managed to fight transformed earlier in the day without feeling strain, an advancement he believed much farther down the line. In celebration, his mother and Simon had insisted they go out and partake in the cuisine of the town. The conversation at dinner was informal but pleasant, the two older du Wolffs reliving their younger years in stories that Vandrad had heard time and time again. The night had continued on, with each of them chatting and drinking before Themesycia had suggested a wild idea. Vandrad’s body was littered with scars, dark reminders of the abuse he had suffered at the hands of his grandmother when he was a toddler. The duchess believed it was high time he put a new mark on himself, one that he could find pride in rather than dismay. The Dark Brand was hardly an acceptable answer to that.

    Though normally he may have fought her on the topic, Vandrad surprisingly agreed. In truth, her pitch for the marking was not only sound but uplifting. The prince had spent the greater portion of his life training, educating himself, becoming stronger so he’d never be treated like a punching bag again. But the scars were always there and there was little doubt that the new magical mark was something foul. After everything he had gone through over the past year, even he felt he deserved some kind of reward for his efforts; a significant sign of his progress and achievement.

    Well the older siblings were thrilled. They practically rushed him over to a small tattoo shop near the harbor. Themesycia insisted on providing him with an idea of what he should get, eagerly taking some paper from the aforementioned Paeyth to draw it out. Upon first look, Vandrad liked the look but didn’t understand the purpose of the mark inside. “It is the du Wolff family insignia,” she explained. “It is a brand that I’ve oft wanted to get myself but couldn’t find the time to come. Allow me this one bonding measure with my son and get a matching one with your dear old mother.” Well, it was hard to say no to that. Vandrad had the mark put on over his shoulder and his mother had it colored in on the top of her back. Simon agreed to a much smaller mark, so as to carry on the bonding exercise but not wanting to get it painted on in large detail.

    As the night wound down, Simon found himself exhausted and excused himself to go to bed. The duchess insisted that Vandrad spend more  time with her and offered the opportunity to go and sit by the pool’s edge. It was still a bit chilly outside but the warmth from the water and the liquor would suit them fine for a while. Themesycia looked over at him and then reached out, placing her hand flat on his arm, right over the mark. “It suits you well, darling. I’ve always thought that you could use a little ink. I imagine Mercury will be quite surprised when you return home. You might thank me for that later,” she said with a wry smirk.

    "I imagine she’ll be more upset she didn’t get to watch it happen,” Vandrad said with a snort.

    “Oh dear, then I may have created a monster. Now she’ll be demanding you get more,” Themesycia chuckled.

    The two fell into a relatively peaceful silence for a time, the mother and son staring out at the night sky. With the limited lighting, the cool black blanket was lit up with stars, the tiny bulbs winking down at any would-be viewers. How interesting it was for Vandrad, to view them now and know that beings existed in several of them. First Beira and then Mercury, arguably the two most impactful women in his life, though the former had seemingly disappeared for the time being. Entities from space, descended down upon Earthland for their own motives, though Mercury’s still remained in shadow. For a simpler man, the knowledge would drive them mad and they’d be frothing at the mouth to have someone share in the insanity of it. But for Vandrad, it somehow made sense. After all, the chances of one planet being the only one teeming with life seemed far more unlikely than interstellar travelers?

    And yet he knew thinking about such things was a distraction, at least in the moment. From the moment he’d returned, he had been building up to a conversation that had been long overdue. When he’d left Bellum for Fiore, he had said some rather nasty things to his mother. Angered at her deceptions, he had spat virulent toxicity at her and then simply left. Still, she had gotten him home and hadn’t hung it over his head, though perhaps treating him to an engagement ball might have been a slight form of punishment. After the few moments of silence, Vandrad cleared his throat, his eyes dropping from the planet’s ceiling to the water in front of him. "Mother, I…” he started, trying to form the words in his head. "I wish to apologize.”

    “For what, love?” she asked, turning his gaze to him.

    "For the way that I… left. When I went searching for Gren.” He couldn’t manage to bring his gaze to her. "I was angry; furious that I had been lied to. I said a very many things with the intent of trying to hurt you, of making you feel as bad as I felt. It took some time but I eventually understood why you had. With that much pressure from grandfather and… Beatrix, I imagine it made more sense to simply keep the truth than to unravel it.”

    Themesycia sighed. “Unfortunately, it became easier to live with the lie than to reveal the truth. After a set amount of time, I felt you would hate me for not telling you earlier. I kept convincing myself that I would tell you, find the perfect moment and bear the consequences but… you were a lonesome boy. You grew to despise everything around you and truthfully, I feared you leaving and never returning. Selfish, I know…”

    Vandrad shook his head softly. "After that day, I changed. I became hardened, I didn’t see much light in the world. All the positive things you and everyone represented, they just… felt wrong. So I pushed them away, pushed you away, even before I learned the truth.” Finally he managed to lift his head to look at her. "But I still owe you an apology. My manners were horrendous and I shouldn’t have said the things I did. I hope you can forgive me.”

    “You needn’t even ask. I hardly blamed you for your anger and forgave you the moment you left,” Themesycia assured him, reaching over to cup his cheek in her hand. “The truth is, darling, there are very many secrets that I’ve kept from you for the sake of our family. Old promises that I’ve held onto, despite the bodies lying cold in the ground. Perhaps it was out of some commitment to a time gone by. Whatever the case, there are dark secrets the du Wolffs guard from the world, ones that I’ve protected you from so that you needn’t worry yourself. But I can also see that it may have been me simply trying to protect myself as well.” The duchess took a long sip from her wine glass, swallowing the liquid down until it was almost spent.

    After she had consumed a fair portion, she set the glass down. “I suppose the easiest one to start with is the fact that your uncle, aunt and I are not related. I imagine that comes as a bit of a surprise.”

    Vandrad shook his head. "Not really.”

    Themesycia raised a brow. “Really?”

    Vandrad snorted softly. "Truth be told, I overheard a conversation many years ago between you and Simon about it. I don’t quite remember the context but I recall him thanking several gods that you weren’t blood. And then I believe the two of you started… well… you know.” He didn’t quite have the stomach to say the explicit act that they had engaged in. "I knew our family was sexually inclined but incest didn’t seem quite without you or Simon’s wheelhouse so it made sense. I’ve merely been pretending to not hear the number of times you two ran off to bump uglies. But it never made him any less my uncle, nor Everance my aunt. Just because they are not my blood doesn’t mean they aren’t family as far as I’m concerned. Though I am curious… the fabrication about my discovery as a child. Does that hold any weight to how you were found?”

    Themesycia smiled. “You were always quick to problem solve. Yes, in fact, the tale of your origin is actually my own. Bacchus found me when he was returning home, abandoned on the side of the road. Rather than leave me there, he saved me, much to Beatrix’s displeasure. I was adopted into the family and raised as one of their own, though I was always very much aware that I had merely been brought in rather than born into greatness, as your grandmother liked to put it. As we grew together, your aunt and uncle and I grew rather close. I don’t think father and mother ever knew for we were all very quiet but Simon was quite thankful I wasn’t related to him. As our hormones raged, we had an easy outlet.”

    Vandrad raised a brow. "Everance as well?”

    Themesycia shrugged. “Not until much later, after you had been born. She wasn’t sure if I swung that way, as one likes to put it. And even now, we only get together on rare occasions. Usually Dudley’s birthday,” she said with an impish smirk.

    Well that was an image he didn’t need. "I knew that our family was liberal in its passion but this puts things in a whole new light,” Vandrad shook his head, amused despite the implications.

    Themescyia nodded softly, though her features softened a bit in sadness and concern. “Yes well… speaking on that theme. I think it’s best we discuss Mercury…”

    "And the fact that I’m in love with her?”

    The night seemed to come to a complete standstill, Themesycia practically freezing in her spot. For the first time in a long time, the duchess looked completely and utterly stunned, her eyes wide as she looked at her son in bewilderment. “I’m… I’m sorry?” she stuttered out, her regal tone washed away.

    "Yes, you heard me correctly. I don’t know if it’s the alcohol or just the winter air but I’m feeling painfully honest. It’s the first time I’ve allowed myself to say it outloud; I’ve merely been punching it back down inside my head. Some months ago, she and I went through a trial. Some things were revealed that weren’t ready to come to light and it caused an issue. But rather than hide herself away and put her walls back up, Mercury actually let me in. I discovered more about her than I ever thought I would and it broke through all the denial I had been piling on and on within. The sensations I feel when I’m around her, it’s love. Senseless, stupid love.”

    “Oh Vandrad…” Themesycia started, her words caught in her throat. She had gotten emotional all of a sudden and before he could turn to question it, she had slid over and pulled him into a hug. She held him there, his face twisting in surprise and confusion until she finally released him. “Sorry, darling. I got a little caught up in the moment,” she apologized, wiping a stray tear from her eye. “Senseless as it may be, it seems you understand wholly what you are feeling. But do you understand what it means to be in love with Mercury?”

    His brow furrowed. "What do you mean?”

    “She is…” Themesycia tried to think of the best way to approach this with him. “There is a reason she got along with your family, Vandrad. She is very similar to us. In fact, she reminds me a lot of a younger version of myself. Now before that scares you away, may I remind you that it is perfectly understandable for most people to fall in love with others that resemble their family. But for you… well, to be frank, you’ve always seemed to dislike our lifestyle -- a lifestyle that Mercury certainly enjoys and would want to partake in, or so I believe. I am not trying to tell you that it wouldn’t work but… it is something to consider.”

    "I have,” Vandrad replied rather quickly, nodding. "I think a large part of the reason that I developed feelings for her was because she was so effortlessly capable of blending in with the rest of you. I know it’s strange, considering how things have been all of my life but… I suppose this is an example of what they say love can do to a person. It changes them, makes them see the world in a different light. Can I say it will change my stance on the absurd amount of explicit activities you all partake in? Not at all. But I can safely say that…” he trailed off for a moment, an admission coming that was hard for him to say. "I only want her to be happy. Whatever form that takes is perfect by my standards. Even if it means you and Simon keep trying to woo her into bed.”

    “That’s… actually what I was trying to get at. Your uncle and I have already had sex with Mercury…” Themesycia admitted gently, staring at Vandrad to gauge his response.

    "You… what?” His brow furrowed in confusion as he turned to look at her.

    “The night we met her. When you two joined us at the afterparty, there was a moment in time where your uncle was able to use his magic to get her alone. But Mercury refused to sleep with him unless I was involved, since we both had been trying to woo her all night. She was clearly trying to call our bluff but considering this wasn’t the first time we’ve partaken of an extra partner, she turned out to be the surprised one. Of course we explained to her the situation of us not truly being related, so as not to appall her and well… things progressed from there. I am truly sorry, darling.” She held his gaze for a long moment, unsure of how he would react. It was a vicious thing to reveal, especially after he had just admitted his feelings for her. But it was better to get the truth out there now and handle the consequences than to bury it longer.

    Vandrad was silent for a long moment, simply staring at his mother. When he finally did speak, it was quiet. "Damn…” he muttered. Then, perhaps the most surprising, he sputtered out a laugh and shook his head. "And here I thought I had covered all angles. But I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, given the innumerable amount of men and women you two have seduced over the years.”

    Themescyia blinked. “So you’re not… angry? You aren’t upset with myself or Simon for sleeping with her?”

    Vandrad snorted. "If I were to get upset over either one of you sleeping with people, I would never get married at all.” The duchess was caught off guard by the light-hearted comment and snorted before bursting into laughter. "Though I suppose that would still leave that dreadful woman from Midi. Sabine, was it?” Themesycia made a face, one that seemed to be marked with guilt over knowledge. Vandrad looked at her and shook his head. "No…”

    “Listen, your uncle was upset at the way that she treated you and Mercury. So he may have… slightly charmed her into believing that getting into his good graces would get her into your good graces.” Themesycia was trying to fight back a wicked grin.

    "What did he do?”

    “He may have gotten himself a blowjob from Miss Midian Ribbon. And he may have taken pictures of it and forwarded it to her father. She’d already proven herself a heinous witch and Simon was hell bent on ruining her life further.”

    "That… is diabolical,” Vandrad said in awe, starting to laugh.

    “No one treats my son and my Mercury like that. Simon felt the same way. In fact, you should have heard Ever’s suggestion,” the duchess joined him in laughing. The two continued to chuckle at the utter disrespect they had shown the Midian princess, far more amused than horrified by the actions of the lord of Bellum. After they had settled down, Themesycia set her gaze on Vandrad. “You’ve grown remarkably over this past year, Vandrad. And I am so very proud of you for coming to grips with your feelings. Tell me; do you think that Mercury feels the same way towards you?”

    The prince shrugged. "I don’t know. In truth, I don’t believe any kind of formal relationship between us could work. There are aspects of her life that prevent it, I believe. Still, I am happy to love her from afar, for whatever time I have.”

    Themesycia had no answer for that, though her gaze flitted between Vandrad’s seemingly lost eyes. In truth, she had more of an inkling that her son did, a mother’s instinct that was calling out to her loud and clear. But it was not her place to tell him anything more; it was his life and it was up to him to take charge and go after the things he wanted that weren’t just strength based or training. “Well I believe I’ve sufficiently frozen myself sitting by the pool. I believe it is time for bed, wouldn’t you agree?”

    Vandrad nodded and both of them rose out of the pool. Before he could turn fully away, Themesycia took his face in her hands and gave him a soft, loving kiss on the cheek. The act caused him to blush, despite the fact that nobody was around. "W-What was that for?”

    “A mother is allowed to kiss her son. Now come along. We’ve only a few more days to finish your training and I can’t have you sick in bed from the cold.”







    Words: 3410/11,377  | Tag:  | © marzia at shine & gs.


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      Current date/time is 2nd March 2021, 3:51 pm