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    Cabal in the Capital (Ms. Fotune, Tim)

    Fraag
    Fraag

    Player 
    Lineage : Progeny of Arcanos
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 902
    Guild : Luminous Rose
    Cosmic Coins : 60
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 56,943

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Arcane Fate Magic
    Second Magic: Night God Slayer
    Third Magic: Relativity God Slayer

    Cabal in the Capital (Ms. Fotune, Tim) - Page 2 Empty Re: Cabal in the Capital (Ms. Fotune, Tim)

    Post by Fraag 24th July 2022, 1:44 pm

    The wolves were fast, granted, but Nita was no slowpoke herself. Still, it was quite the herculean challenge to avoid being bitten or clawed by the leaping beasts of darkness. And even harder still it was to keep tabs on the chief cultist, wherever he was, and whatever he was doing, seeing as he was not going to honorably wait for the Pergrandian to take care of the wolves before executing further attacks of his own. It was in moments like this that Nita wished she was more open to carrying shields with her. Magical shields she could create, but those cost energy. She did have a fine shield at home, but she had always thought it too bulky. Until now. And none of her Requip spells had a shield summoned. She would have to make do by relying on her natural agility, and using her chakrams to worthy effect. They were going to be useful for a fight such as this, which required a lot of dodging and counterattacking. Now she just had to deal with the issue of having someone attack while she was trying to dodge. That seemed to be the general strategy the wolves were using. But every strategy had a downside, and Nita figured out one.

    As one of the wolves lunged for a bite at her leg, the Pergrandian mage leaped backwards and into the air. An aerial maneuver such as this had the advantage of quickly creating distance between herself and her opponent, although it meant that, unless she could fly, she had left herself open to another attack, which the second wolf seemed eager to capitalize on. It leaped into the air itself, maw opened wide, and a strange black saliva glistening on its equally black fangs. That was what Nita had hoped for. She flung Altair at its head, the flying chakram cutting through its face and sending it off course. The flung chakram immediately rebounded, returning to her hand, even as she used Arcturus to deflect the cultist’s sword as he made a lunging stab at her. As she deflected his attack, the blonde mage quickly followed up with a rising knee strike to his jaw, sending him staggering backwards, just before she jumped backwards herself, evading both wolves as they pounced. Wait, wasn’t the one she’d just attacked dead yet? Well, that didn’t matter much. Without skipping a beat, she flung both chakrams, the ring weapons carving graceful arcs through the air as they met their targets. One of the wolves howled as it dissipated into black mist, while the other snarled and charged again, even as the cultist made another lunging stab. Fortunately, he didn’t seem too skilled with his weapon, but it made him no less dangerous. Nita threw one chakram when the wolf seemed to be making a big jump, but it was just a feint, and the animal dodged it. She wasn’t willing to throw the second just yet, because that would leave her unarmed against the cultist’s sword. And as if on cue, the cultist lunged again, causing Nita to try to parry his attack. And that was when she realized the trap.

    Instead of using his weapon, the cultist grabbed at her chakram. Granted, it would grievously injure his hand, but if he held it, unless Nita left it for him, she would be sacrificing mobility which would be necessary to dodge the second wolf, and her thrown chakram was still on its way back. There wasn’t much time to think. She refused to release her other weapon, even as the wolf bore down on her, barely missing her, although she felt its claws rip a bit of her shoulder. Also, the cultist suddenly stabbed again, much faster than she had expected. That one she couldn’t dodge. The sword gashed her deeply in the side, but at least it wasn’t a straight stab through the center of her stomach, and it didn’t seem to have hit any internal organs. Still, the weapon was much more painful than it was expected to be. Nita had been injured a number of times in her work as a mage, and she knew the feel of a steel weapon against flesh. But this seemed to be no ordinary steel. It was probably cursed with the death power of the dead god, which would explain why it seemed so inimical. But despite her injuries, Nita suddenly realized she had an unexpected advantage: having both just attacked, it would be very difficult to make a defense in the same breath, and both her opponents were in close proximity to her. They would realize that Altair and Arcturus weren’t just weapons to be thrown about and caught like fancy circus props.

    ”Binary Star!”

    The returning chakram and the one in her hand suddenly lit up with bright cyan flames, as they spun wildly round her, slicing relentlessly into her enemies who had been so foolishly close to her, and sending their bodies flying. The wolf did not reach the floor before it dissipated, but the cultist did, still very much alive, though he had lost the fingers on his left hand. If it hurt, he didn’t seem to feel it, as he rose to his feet gloating. ”Have you felt it?” he asked, a crazed smile on his face, ”have you felt the sting of death? I’m sure you know by now that this is not a normal weapon. Now, be a good girl and quietly die and let me resurrect Xavuul. You will be highly esteemed for your sacrifice. We will name a day in your honor.” Nita rolled her eyes. ”Oh please, stop being dramatic. Of what use is being honored, if I can’t get to enjoy it? I mean, everyone would be celebrating Nita Day, except the one for whom it was named. Kinda redundant, don’t you think?” The old man grinned even more maniacally. ”That’s the grist of it, child. How many people are alive when days are named after them?” Nita would have laughed, if this fellow weren’t trying to kill her. But it seemed he was alone now. It was time to end this. Her chakrams vanished, and were replaced instead by a mace with a star-shaped head. This weapon would be useful for a one-on-one fight, and Nita hoped she would be able to beat this fellow before he could get to summon the Ravagers again.

    The two charged at each other, just as the cultist gestured. He was casting again? Nita sensed a form appear behind her, and changed her stance, as she stopped and wheeled round to face this new enemy. It seemed humanoid, and wielded a knife. For the second time, Nita thought about how good a shield would have been at a time like this. But regrets never did anything. She parried the creature’s knife, and suddenly reached with her free hand, as the head of her mace glowed brightly, infusing her with greater strength. She threw the knife-wielding creature in the direction of the cultist, preventing him from pressing his attack, and brought the mace down with both hands on the creature’s head. Seeing this, the cultist attacked again, but Nita managed to barely dodge. Although pummeled with the mace, the downed knife wielder suddenly reached out, and stabbed its weapon deep into the Pergrandian’s left calf. Nita bit back a scream, as she channeled divine energy, even as she saw the cultist draw back his sword and aim to stab at her once more. Dodging would be difficult, with her leg wound, so she would simply make an attack of her own and hope her attack hit first.

    It did. Circles of concentric runes flashed out from her, running over the knife-wielding thing and the cultist that had summoned it. As soon as the runes touched them, strong fiery light descended from above, never minding that they were in a stone room, possibly many feet underground even, and smashed the two foes. With an otherworldly cry, the knife wielder dissipated, but the cultist remained, though he seemed to be in great pain. Nita would not let him recover. With two blows from her paladin mace, she laid him out on the ground, and added an extra blow to be sure he stayed down and out permanently. Seemed the mission was over. Now she would have to find Tim. Finding him wasn’t difficult. By using her magic sensory ability, she could detect movement, and having tracked the movement, she was able to find her partner, limping and heavily injured, guiding himself by a glowing ball of light. ”Tim!” she called, her voice equal parts worry and relief. ”What did I tell you about dying on me? And before you start, you’re three-quarters dead. That’s very bad of you.” She communed a prayer for healing as she approached the tall mage. ”Come, let me--” But the words were not to be completed, as she suddenly stopped, a look of horror flowing across her face. Then a trickle of black blood flowed out from the corner of her mouth, and she fell. Standing over her was the chief cultist, his crazed grin resting on Tim. ”I cannot be killed! Xavuul is the god of death! You think you can defeat his greatest servant? I have been brought back from the brink, for my purpose transcends any other on this earth. Now come, boy. Come and join your friend in death.”


    WC: 1580
    PWC: 13930
    TWC: 26302

    @Rodadnuf


    _____________________________________________________________________________________


    Ms. Fortune
    Bank
    Golden Lacrima valid till 12th July, 2023
    Rodadnuf
    Rodadnuf

    Player 
    Lineage : Anathema to Divinity
    Position : None
    Faction : The Ironheart Pact
    Posts : 154
    Guild : Silver Wolf
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 218,009

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Rollins & Schwartz-Brand
    Second Magic: Heaven God Slayer
    Third Magic:

    Cabal in the Capital (Ms. Fotune, Tim) - Page 2 Empty Re: Cabal in the Capital (Ms. Fotune, Tim)

    Post by Rodadnuf 25th July 2022, 12:04 am




    “Now come, boy. Come and join your friend in death—!” Tim slugged the leader with a heavy jab.

    While the cultist might have gotten used to long speeches with idiots trying to listen—or worse—trying to understand his sales pitch, Tim grew up in workhouses where adults would often pitch things over each other. Miracle products, snake oil, or even magic elixirs. It was all a sham, like this cultist. Only, this was a con artist with a cursed knife and a dead god whatever step away from being resurrected. As the cultist was thrown back by Tim’s punch, the wizard mustered a burst of strength to cradle his partner up and limp away from the leader.

    “Will you tell the last quarter of me that’s still alive then?” Tim gave a pained smile. “How you’re susceptible to my ‘charm’.”

    But Nita was unresponsive. Tim frowned, he needed to go someplace safe to check on her, and quick. He left some of his crystalized dim light pellets floating and also materialized a crystalized light wall behind him, making sure one side was mirrored. If there was one thing Tim needed to do before keeling over dead, it was to make sure Nita was alright.

    “I’m glad you’re as small as you are, Nita.” There likely were better ways to compliment his partner on being light to lift up, but Tim could only think on his feet. He hoped she didn’t hear it, though.

    Tim could hear screaming from one side of his wall. The cultist’s voice was muffled, but it was angry. He really wanted to finish the guy off, but if he had been able to reduce even Nita to this state, the chance of Tim winning was slim to none. Instead, Tim walked into the room his ball of light led him. The oppressive mist was the thickest here, not counting the wyvern’s breaths. One source of light was inside the room, but it was dim enough for them to hide.

    Tim only had his mentor's old books to compare the room to, but this definitely looked a lot like a cult’s sacrificial altar. Was this the worst place they could’ve gone into? Tim definitely thought so, but it was too late. He could hear a scream and the distinct sound of glass crashing. Tim quickly trained his magic sensory, trying to locate the enemy. He sensed a signature not a meter away from his wall should have been. He pictured the cultist and his broken wall, and he commanded the broken crystals of light to fire towards the cultist.

    Tim hoped that was enough to hit—

    “I WILL USE YOUR HOLLOW SKULL AS MY WINEGLASS!”

    —that definitely landed a good hit on the cultist.

    But it was surprising how much Tim had been doing to slow this guy down. Nita must’ve run this guy to the ground if a few of his desperate spells landed so much damage. It’s either that or the cultist was really into insulting them for every inconvenience they’ve given him.

    Tim took a good look over his partner. She wasn’t doing too good. There was a black liquid running from the corner of her mouth. Tim’s face betrayed a worried frown. Curses and anything magical related were something beyond him. First, there was the case of the lady cursed to be a Lycan. Then there were the other ones, other relatives Tim failed to help. It was a case of kindness how Tim met a Fae who had been kind enough to try and cure one of them. It pissed him off to no end knowing how little he actually made effort to compensate for his weaknesses. He really will pay for these lapses someday.

    But, if at all possible, Tim didn’t want that day to be today. Not when someone else was going to suffer along with him.

    Tim wished he brought Wolf along. Tim wish he had the skillset to heal up Nita. Tim wished for a lot of things. But wishing wasn’t going to solve his problem. He understood as much, so he moved.

    The room they were in was big.

    The stone walls were smoother, cleaner than the rougher ruins Tim had the displeasure of ruining even more. Running his hands over the stone surface, it was as smooth as the mirror-like room they fought in earlier. The only difference was the lack of light. It was awfully dim, only the light from the makeshift altar was illuminating the whole place. The doorway into the hallway where the cultist leader was obvious enough, his insults were still echoing as he was slowly making way towards them. Tim materialized a barrier of glass around Nita. Things were going to get rough.

    But instead of the leader popping up, the room’s walls suddenly gave way to the large clawed wings that dug through the walls!

    “It’s still alive…” Tim sighed hard, completely exhausted.

    But from the crumbled walls he could see through the body the limb was attached. The wyvern’s eyes no longer had any glow. Tim limped back, slowly getting between the barrier he put over Nita and the deadened monster. The cultist leader was waving his hands, his fingers bent imitating claws as he entered the room from the doorway.

    His robes were ripped, from his back a black substance was dripping out. It was dark, but Tim could tell it was either blood, or something that passed for one to him. His eyes were bloodshot, completely deadest on killing Tim for his attacks earlier, no doubt.

    “Are you really that desperate…?” Tim tried to buy time.

    “…this pathetic city…this pathetic underground stable you call a catacomb…I will sink it over the city itself.” He ranted. “If I cannot use either of you, then I can be the proxy.”

    Tim became wide eyed and dashed towards the leader. The divide between his flesh and the corroded parts were stinging from the pain, but he could only grit his teeth as he tried to land one blow after another. But the leader was as if he had been in a trance. He moved the soulless wyvern’s clawed wings and gripped Tim by the torso.

    “Argh!” Tim growled at the damned limb.

    The cultist began to mutter, completely controlled by whatever force was pulling it like a stringed puppet. Were they too late?

    Think! Tim was desperate. The bastard only needed to sacrifice a life. The wyvern’s dead grasp was heavy, and he was already piercing it with his sword. But the thickness of the limb was too much for his sword’s length. Worse, he was cutting from the inside. There was not enough room for him to do anything! He just needed to knock the bastard out, or his connection with this dead god. He still looked human, but he won’t be for long. Tim needed to do something, anything! Tim blinked, there was one way.

    But he could never live with himself should he do it.

    Yet, the cultist leader wasn’t going to stop. So, with a single way of escaping this, Tim materialized a ball of crystalized light the size of someone’s head and dropped it on the floor. “I really hope you can stop me from this, Nita.”

    Tim closed his eyes and let out a breath. Not even a second later his body began to sweat out a tar-like substance. It lathed Tim’s body, coating even the corners of his suit, finally dripping down into the floor as he growled. When Tim finally opened his eyes, they were as red as the wyvern’s.

    With little to no effort, Tim moved like he was swimming in shadow. His body was phasing through the dead monster’s grasp. Each step he took the tar-like substance squelched, only to fizzle out into the darkness. The cultist leader noticed the unnaturally ominous killing intent Tim had been excreting, before finally looking at the tar-like form and screamed. Tim grabbed him by the neck and threw him across the room into the altar. The cultist landed with a crash. Not wasting another breath, the desperate man was now trying to move. But his shadow was being illuminated by the bright altar, it ran across the room and was being held by the tar-like figure. Slowly, the wizard-turned-monster was pulling the cultist’s shadow like it was a length of rope.

    It walked as it pulled the cultist. The figure stepped over Nita’s barrier, quickly stabbing its hand through the glass with ease and slowly burned the wounds’ curse away.

    The figure then continued its trudge over the helpless cultist.

    “Death this. Death that.” The figure’s voice barely sounded like Tim’s, it was garbled, almost a mix of voices screaming and whispering. “Before life, before death, and before creation. There was nothing but darkness, there was nothing but the night.”

    “Xavuul, my lord! Deliver me from—”

    “From nothing.” The monster garbled out a laugh. “What can death do to the one that death was born out of?”

    “Xavuul.” The figure spat out the name as if it was the most disgusting thing it had the displeasure of uttering. It grasped the cultist by its shadow, choking it with without laying a finger to the man. “How do you expect to stay alive when you do not even belong in this plain of existence? You overreach yourself, wretch. Death was a consequence of existence. I and my kin? We simply existed.”

    “For this insult, I shall collect this soul under my domain.” It laughed again, sneering to the one who no longer existed, yet was listening to it. “Cross this dimension again should you want to challenge my authority properly.”

    The cultist leader’s face turned pale; his eyes rolled out only showing whites. The tar-like figure stood without flinching, slowly burning the cultist as his connection to the dead god was dissipating. But the process wasn’t a pleasant one, he was screaming the entire time.

    From the figure’s consciousness, Tim was desperately holding on to his sense of reality, trying to keep the cultist from dying. Just his connection with the dead god being severed was enough. It was the worst way of purifying someone, quite literally sacrificing them instead to another god.

    It had to be enough.



    Words:
    Post 1,711
    Player 15,443
    Total 28,013
    @Fraag


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Cabal in the Capital (Ms. Fotune, Tim) - Page 2 Card_211
    Fraag
    Fraag

    Player 
    Lineage : Progeny of Arcanos
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 902
    Guild : Luminous Rose
    Cosmic Coins : 60
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 56,943

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Arcane Fate Magic
    Second Magic: Night God Slayer
    Third Magic: Relativity God Slayer

    Cabal in the Capital (Ms. Fotune, Tim) - Page 2 Empty Re: Cabal in the Capital (Ms. Fotune, Tim)

    Post by Fraag 25th July 2022, 5:31 pm

    Nita seemed to be able to perceive the world, but through some weird medium that made her unable to interact with it.  It was almost like a disembodied experience, except that there was no sensation of being separated from her physical body; as a matter of fact, now that she considered it, there was apparently no sensation she could detect, maybe except sound, and even that sounded quite distorted. Sight, perhaps? She thought she could see what looked like lights, but they could have just been illusions. This posed a rather troublesome situation. She was sure she could not control her body in this present state; if she couldn’t even feel her body, how could she give herself commands? Last thing she knew, she’d been trying to approach Tim and heal him, seeing as he looked rather banged up. And then she had gotten stabbed. Was it the chief cultist? Very likely. It seemed to be his voice she could hear. But wasn’t that impossible? She had beaten him well and good, even to the point she was sure she had broken quite a few bones. Yes, he was alive, but he was certainly not supposed to be able to move around as if he had just gotten into the fray. And just as if to answer the confusion she was presently experiencing, she did hear the cultist talk about how he had been brought back from the brink. That seemed to measure up; she’d left him on the brink, all right. So somehow, he had been able to resurrect himself. That was not looking good in the slightest. Tim didn’t look like he could fight much more, and here was a rejuvenated opponent whom Nita had had quite some trouble dealing with.

    There seemed to be a sound, and the cultist seemed to be cut short as he spoke. And then she could hear Tim’s voice. She really had to come back and give him the tongue lashing she felt he so richly deserved. And to top it all off, he just called her small! Small! Like, what was she, a bar of soap? That was small. Eh, she was just blowing hot; she knew she was small. She just didn’t like being reminded of that. But from what he said, he was probably carrying her. That meant he was presently trying to save her, despite his own injuries. That was quite touching. She could hear some noise, like irate shouting, which was probably the cultist. Nita had no idea what Tim had done to him, but she hoped her fellow mage would be safe himself, even as he was trying to protect her. And then even the sensation of sound began to fade. Soon, Nita was alone. She tried to reach out with her mind, sense anything. But all sensations were gone. She couldn’t even tell if she was in darkness or not, because there was simply nothing to see. She could not even sense Maria. Of course, her first reaction was panic. Was she dead? That could not be possible. She was sure she could survive worse injuries. So something else was the issue. Calming herself, she began to attempt to focus her mind, to see if she could feel or detect anything. And soon enough, she began to sense something. But it made her feel very uneasy, like something horrid was drawing near. And yet she could not run, because she had no sense of direction, either for herself, or for whatever was approaching. And then she heard a voice.

    ”Finally, you are mine!” It initially sounded like the chief cultist, or a very warped version of his voice, but in the same uncanny way one knew the identity of a figure in a dream without being introduced, Nita knew that this was Xavuul. ”I’m not yours, you extraplanar parasite,” she retorted, trying to feel brave. She could not run, so it was best to stand and face whatever this was. The ominous presence laughed. ”Your coming here was destiny. You are destined to be my vessel. Seeing as your body has been acclimatized to bear host to a Primordial, I will have no issue taking over your mortal form. My latest servant has been of immense help. His sword, into which I poured my will, has infected you with my essence. Now, it’s just a matter of time before you get under my thralldom.” Nita hoped she was sounding brave, as she prepared another reply. She did not feel any sort of struggle, so she had no idea how she was supposed to fight Xavuul here, but for now, defiance would have to do. ”Sorry, no can do. For starters, I’m not hosting a Primordial. Maria has evolved to something else. And most importantly, remembering what your possession did to that cultist when we last met, I’m not interested in getting my head expanded like you guys seem to love doing so much. Did I mention that I’m on Team Arcanos now? So, thanks to all the reasons mentioned, I refuse your demands. Now, I’m glad you feel chatty and all, but I have absolutely no time to stay and run mouths with you. You’d best be gone.”

    Xavuul made to reply, but there suddenly seemed to be a strange jarring sensation, and Nita felt despair and fear from the dead god’s essence. She also felt a good deal of many other things. And for the first time in her life, pain was a pleasant feeling to her. She was waking up. Forgetting the despairing god, Nita opened her eyes to see a strange sight. She was lying in a sort of light shield, and a strange black, inky being was, for all intents and purposes, roasting the head cultist alive, who was shrieking his lungs out. There didn’t seem to be any fire though, but that mattered little. With all they’d gone through, killing the man would probably not be a plus for their mission. For some reason, most likely due to the magic signature, Nita guessed that the black, inky creature was somehow Tim, though how he had become this way, she could not say. In any case, she wasn’t sure he was anymore in control of himself; something else seemed to be speaking through him. ”Tim!” the Pergrandian cried out, but there seemed to be no response. And then an idea came to mind. Nita wasn’t sure it would work, but she would try it. It would probably waste a good deal of her magic pool, but she had higher reserves than the average mage. ”Orison of Preservation: Sanctuary!” she called out, clapping her hands as the formerly dark room was suddenly illuminated by a bright blue light, which washed over all the inhabitants and features of the room. The power of this spell lay not only in its ability to create a highly durable shield, but to cleanse any area that had taint of any kind.

    As the blue light washed over the room, there was the sharp report of splitting stone, and then the strange altar at the end of the room suddenly exploded into pieces, as a long, preternatural ghostly wail resounded and echoed through the empty rooms of the catacombs. It would also be evident that all the clouds of black mist began evaporating into nothingness as soon as they came in contact with the blue light. The Sanctuary spell had been cast both to exorcise this place from the essence of Xavuul, and also negate the hold of whatever entity had Tim in its clutches. And then all was silent. The cultist stood trembling in silence for a while, and then began to whimper. ”No, impossible. Xavuul, where have you--?” The speed with which Nita covered the distance between herself and the raving cultist was alarming, as she gave him a backhand slap that sent him flying to bounce off the stone wall at the far end of the room. Then she turned to Tim, her face etched with deep worry, although some relief would be shown when she saw that he was still alive and well. Ignoring both of their wounds (which was not so intelligent a move), she jumped the tall mage, flinging her arms round his neck. ”Oh Tim, you’re alive, aren’t you, even if one-eighth now. You did save me, so please allow me to express my thanks.” She quickly planted a kiss on his cheek (she did have to almost climb him to do so), activating her Kiss of Life spell. At any rate now, the Silver Wolf mage would not be in so much pain as the two mages awaited the arrival of the police to clean up this great mess.

    ”But you’re such a cad! And you called me ‘minuscule’! The nerve!” Well, to be fair to him, he said ‘small’ not ‘minuscule’, but Nita had to have her revenge somehow. ”I’m most certainly not stroking your ego by telling you how I’m susceptible to your charm, you gorgeous scoundrel.”


    WC: 1510
    PWC: 15440
    TWC: 29523

    @Rodadnuf


    _____________________________________________________________________________________


    Ms. Fortune
    Bank
    Golden Lacrima valid till 12th July, 2023
    Rodadnuf
    Rodadnuf

    Player 
    Lineage : Anathema to Divinity
    Position : None
    Faction : The Ironheart Pact
    Posts : 154
    Guild : Silver Wolf
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 218,009

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Rollins & Schwartz-Brand
    Second Magic: Heaven God Slayer
    Third Magic:

    Cabal in the Capital (Ms. Fotune, Tim) - Page 2 Empty Re: Cabal in the Capital (Ms. Fotune, Tim)

    Post by Rodadnuf 26th July 2022, 9:06 pm



    Tim was deep within the sea if his own consciousness. He was wrangling his anger, his desire to outright kill the cultist leader. His body wasn’t listening to him completely, and quite frankly, part of him just wanted to finish the guy off. He was seeing his body burning the cultist, etching his mark into the man’s soul, all to keep that dead god from resurrecting. It was working very effectively. It was a huge risk, transforming himself at will. In his life, he had never done so without external circumstances pushing him to lose control. Why would he? His inklike form brought nothing bet fear in the hearts of people Tim had met, and harm towards the young man. It was only when he started becoming a wizard, he met people who were either desensitized to any weirdness, or found his lineage’s quirks ‘cool’.

    But because he was swimming in his lineage’s domain. This little crack, this little weakness, was enough for Erebus to whisper sweet nothings into Tim.

    It has been a while since you accessed your lineage willingly, dear Tim.

    ‘You took advantage back in Quanny.’

    That I did, yet you used the power of your own free will.

    ‘Eat shi—’

    Oh, this is by no means an insult. My quarrel was with the father of your bloodline, my consort’s ‘love of her life’, as he had been called. Timόtheos escalated the issue and made it seem like I am out for blood, when the truth of the matter was—

    ‘Don’t bother.’

    No. I think I will. Because accessing our domain? Only a select few within your bastard line had been able to understand, even fewer were the ones that completely left this mindscape you trapped yourself into.

    ‘Trap! Yes! Because there had to be a catch!’ Tim exclaimed, but within the creases of his mind, there was no soul to hear him.

    This mindscape IS the ‘catch’, dear boy.

    ‘What are you on about?’

    I want you to escape it.

    ‘Why?’

    Truthfully? I need a sphere of influence in the waking world, one beyond your father.

    ‘So if I give up, you’ll lose a pawn?’

    Yes—

    Had Tim been physically standing in his deep consciousness, he would have laid flat on the ground looking up to the starry edges of his mind’s ceiling.

    ‘I give up then.’

    —but I gain a husk. A puppet. Either way, this is according to my desires.

    ‘Why bother helping then?’

    Because your existence is my consort’s suffering.

    ‘Nyx?’

    Tim never thought about his ancestor’s mother before. In the stories Timόtheos told him, after the incident which led to the death of her lover’s family slain, she ran away. No one knew where she went— not his family’s archives, not the legends, not even her surviving children.

    Unlike Timόtheos himself, or Hemera. You do not harbor any feelings for her. Not even an ounce of hate. And that apathy of yours, dear boy, is something I envy.

    ‘…’

    I love her. The primordial personification of darkness admitted. Even now, I truly do.

    ‘…’

    Mortals often say this: ‘Hate isn’t the antithesis of love, it is apathy.’ I agree with this sentiment.

    ‘So, what, you love her so much you want her to suffer for it?’

    You understand me so well.

    ‘One. I don’t give a toss about you, her and whatever schemes you gods cook up. Two. The moment I know you’re directly controlling me to do your bidding? I’m ripping this lacrima off me! The sheer power of the god-slaying magic I possess without being regulated by Dr. Schwartz’s lacrima? I’ll implode from my body trying to keep it stable. There won’t be a carcass left for you to control.’

    I have met mortals who hate the gods with a passion, billions of them, throughout creation. It is nothing new to me. But even at the expense of your life? Even after violating my daughter’s domain? All for what?

    ‘This is why you’ll never be anything more than just a God.’



    ‘You, Nyx, Hemera—hell, even Timόtheos!’ Tim’s mindscape flared. ‘You either don’t have it, or—in Timόtheos’ case—lost it along the way. The simple truth of being mortal. The unescapable knowledge of being mundane!’

    Normalcy? What of it?

    ‘Wha—everything pertaining to it! I’ve met creatures who were born before me, and will outlive me, yet still have that truth reflected in their eyes. The wisdom of mortality.’

    Mortals have the potential of cruelty—

    ‘And have done acts that would make even the most depraved of demons vomit, blah, blah, blah. Been there, killed some of them too.’



    ‘And if I had to honestly deal with people like that, with monsters like that. I want to deal with them attributing their deeds to their own cruelty, and nothing about a being under the influence of some god. I can handle that. I can handle being disappointed by my fellow man than hearing an excuse about some deity or its dogma.’

    Yet, you are no longer human.

    ‘What the hell did you just say?’

    What I find the most ironic to this. Is that you haven’t been mortal for years, yet talk as if you have the right to bear their banner? You are, by all accounts, a God-slayer. Some gods call that a step up.

    ‘…’

    Heh-heh-heh-heh. Being more than a God, yet being lesser than human. A walking hypocrisy.

    ‘I’ll destroy you.’

    Please do, and inherit our domain. Then you will never truly be mortal.

    ‘…’

    Even now, you are branding a member of your very own sphere of influence.

    Tim finally realized the hypocrisy of his actions, how he was quite literally branding a mortal into his servitude like some heretic deity. This whole plan was a mistake!

    Tim swam through his mindscape and tried to stop himself. But his actions reflected into nothing but small waves of doubt to himself. His rage towards the cultist was too great.

    Heh-heh-heh-Ha-Ha-HA-HA-HA-HA! I wish you luck, dear boy. I truly do. The more you struggle, the more Nyx weeps for you, the more I can show that whore-wife of mine my love.

    Tim then heard someone call his name— Nita!

    She woke up! And from the way she was looking at him, she knew the creature was Tim. For once in his life, Tim was happy someone found him in his inky form. But his body was ignoring her, in fact, it was trying to burn the cultist even more intensely! Tim wanted to tell her to cut his arms off and chain him down. But all that did was leave a garbled growl from his body.

    But it seemed Nita had something in mind already.

    A whitish hue enveloped the room, lighting it as if it was midday. The light quickly intensified into a blue orb of blinding sanctity; its purifying rays was something Tim could feel from his body. The entire time, he was screaming from his mindscape.

    ‘Do it, Nita!’

    The blue light reached its peak! Annihilating the already leaning cursed altar and burning Tim even more intensely than when he used his own light magic. His inklike body didn’t survive the light, drying up into a rough pitch-black exterior before crumbling down as Tim fell on his knees, letting go of his grasp on the enemy. The cultist actually managed to land on his feet, but he was looking up, and around, desperately calling for his dead god that no longer answered.

    She purified our incomplete grasp on his soul before you could finish. Well played.

    Tim felt his head empty again, the deity was no longer there. He then slowly stood up, but not before reeling back from Nita suddenly dashed right in between Tim and the leader. She sent the man flying across the room with nothing but the power of wizard’s backhand slap and the anger of a woman scorned.

    Tim thought he would’ve gotten a hit of his own, opening up with calling him seven-eighth parts dead. But Tim’s eyes practically popped out of his head when Nita flung herself towards him, her arms around his shoulders and landed kiss on his cheek. Tim thought he became flush because of the kiss, but the feeling of her healing quickly flooded Tim’s body.

    “You really weren’t kidding, it actually is a kiss of life.” Tim kept her up by holding her hips. “I should be the one thanking you.”

    Tim let her down slowly when he noticed her healing spell was done doing its job. Immediately, she then made up for lost time and rebuked what Tim said earlier, but with how much that happened— it felt like a lifetime ago. Tim was smiling the entire time, managing to crack a laugh after she finished her piece.

    “That’s fair.” He finally said. “But I never gave a straight answer when you asked if whether we made a good team or not, huh.”

    Tim sighed, smiling. “I—”

    There was a deafening crack that thundered throughout the underground ruins. Tim materialized a crystal ball of light, detonating it to crystalize the bright flash, and turned into a barrier upwards acting like a floating crystal shield. Upon investigating the source of the sound, it wasn’t hard to figure it out; the dead wyvern’s body had been acting as a new support beam to the ruins after it died (again) fighting Tim. Then, when Nita unleashed her purification spell, the whole monster’s skeletal structure crumbled to dust along with the place’s curse.

    The result?

    Vehicle alarms were now blaring throughout the ruins. A few people and a whole lot more officers were on the ground, trying to make sense of what just happened. The sinkhole that kept getting wider and wider, finally stopped after few seconds. The hole ended up being the length of three of the ruins’ rooms, about the same length as the dragon and just as wide as its wings. Professionally enough, when the officers who fell noticed Tim and Nita were looking at them, they quickly made sure the civilians were safe and wrangled up a team from the surface to rescue all of them and secure the ruins, cuffing up any and all of the cultists that were in the area. The two of them did what they could to help the officers, but there really wasn’t much to do now that there was an established route to the ruins from the surface.

    It turned out, quite typically enough, that the ruins were underneath the building where the two first started the whole case not even a few hours ago. Why was the last victim murdered so close by? Tim didn’t have the insight to answer that; it could’ve been a crime of passion by one of the more inexperienced members of the cult, or it could’ve had a more convoluted plot behind its surface. A scheme that they outright stopped when they finished the whole cult off.

    It could be either or none of them.

    Regardless, the situation was pretty much handled. The capital’s officers secured the ruins from the ground up. Summerset was brought to the city infirmary; Tim hadn’t seen him but he was told Nita’s healing was able to prevent the man from outright dying. The case was later disclosed to the public as a dogmatic cult tied to the serial murders, and their ultimate goal was to systematically ruin the capital’s infrastructure. It was a vague as it could have gotten, but Tim was again taught how little of the truth really is hidden.

    But those things were beyond the control of the hired-help.

    As the train from the capital bound for the station nearest to the mountain village whistled and left, Tim felt the presence of his newfound friend getting farther and father.


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    Cabal in the Capital (Ms. Fotune, Tim) - Page 2 Card_211

      Current date/time is 14th August 2022, 5:38 pm