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[P]  Through The Looking Glass

Offline Vivica Sep 13 2020, 6:51 PM
#1
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 36
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Human
  • Rank: Magister
  • Total Posts: 25
  • Played by: Isilzheha
665 Mana · View All Items?
Svalbard was known for its trickery and deceit. There were no secrets nor any aura of mystery surrounding the Unconquerable in that regard, but that did not make it any less dangerous. Knowing such tendencies of the game here would only ever be half the battle - the rest would be up to those who wished to play. Or had no choice. Vivica belonged among the former, although it was not because of any conceited gain. The winnings she sought went far beyond and above the mortals who called this place home, and many of them never had a name to begin with. Through her many years of painstaking work Vivica found it deplorable how easily her own little pawns would get swept away in the current of it all. Two in particular the witch called her own, loyal at her side, became a main driving force in her most current experimentation. Queen Hati’s desires naturally would come first, but Vivica has been alive long enough to know how to efficiently multitask.

For now, her progress was halted and waiting for the proper channels to clear before they could continue. One of the most important expeditions yet would take the witch far from Svalbard and not to the northeast where she’d been getting her current subjects. Vivica needed something more, something from the source, and there were no other options. So she would bide her time until a team could be gathered and her affairs here put in order.

The witch walked through the halls of her manor now to tend to one of those affairs, Magic flowing out like a subconscious flex of a muscle to straighten up in ways she could have hired staff for. During her busiest times she would bring in some trusted individuals, but if it could be done herself Vivica much preferred that. Books were straightened up back on their shelves, dust swept aside with a stiff brush of wind, and loose parchments aligned in their proper piles. Once she had a companion to wander the halls and keep the heart of her home beating when she was away, and even one before that who was much less energetic and far more docile. Now she walked alone, not that it bothered her.

Soon enough there would be plenty of shadows cast along the walls here and with any luck and a lot of tedium a new companion. One that would not be so easily lost.

Vivica took in a slow breath, stopping her routine walk long enough to hide away some of the rooms. With that came checking the wards and ensuring their strength while she would be away so that they would not falter, all of it still as much part of the routine even if it received extra care. Vivica rarely allowed much margin for failure, even with her own confidence in her abilities. This extended to others, yet the Magister was left to face one of those failures today. Luckily for the one who failed the witch tended to always have a contingency plan, or at the very least think on her feet. To adapt was to survive.

In this particular case the failure meant an inconvenience that could have been avoided. Now she had to go out of her way to a source on the other side of the city that very well could be equally as useless with the reputation he held. Vivica did not plan on holding her breath on such a matter, but that just meant she had every intention of making up for that failure regardless of how that came to pass.

Satisfied with her rituals the witch donned her travel cloak, pulling it around from where it hung to snap out and settle around her shoulders. From there it was tied across her chest enough to remain in place as she walked through the large doors down the path to where her carriage awaited. Vivica needn’t say anything when she situated herself in the back, mismatched eyes peering out to watch Stadarfell’s most bustling hubs pass by. From the marketplace to beyond the Academy they traveled, finding the wider street that circled the center of commerce to follow it down south. Vivica knew it all by now like the back of her hand, but that of course did not mean she was privy to all that happened behind closed doors. Nor did she know the entirety of Stadarfell’s finer details, as there were many ever changing, but once the address led them to the start of a more narrow path where the homes spread out like a rash Vivica was aware that she’d at least passed the manor once or twice.

It was not often she needed to come out this way to make a personal call. Most of the time if it was personal she hardly needed to leave her own home, depending on the context. With a pleasant smile and a courteous display of gratitude for her driver the witch left the carriage. Her driver lingered at her insistence on finding her own way back, but quickly those notions quieted when he saw the look on her face. Vivica sent him away into the growing shadows as the day began its transition into night. In a couple of hours the lanterns would be lit and the streets with them in the warm firelight, lending the darkness to those who preferred it over the sun.

With that being said, the oncoming twilight was beginning to silhouette the manor that was more castle than anything else. Its dark exterior deepened, and with hardly any lighting along the walkway leading through the garden it was not the most inviting of places. Vivica walked with certainty towards the steps, finding that there was not much light within either beyond the curtains hiding everything away. That did not always mean someone was not home.

Vivica did not consider herself a very altruistic person. Unless, of course, it served a purpose to be that type of person. However, while there were uses for people like the Magister she came to see they often outlived that use as soon as it was made apparent. Vivica knew of this man’s reputation among colleagues and in passing, so there was not much to expect as she ascended to the doors and reached a gloved hand out to the knocker. In the silence of the hollow space within the banging sounded foreboding in their echoing back into that quiet. Vivica waited, and waited some more, until eventually it was clear there would be no answer. No servants to answer the door, nor any of the windows disturbed as if someone were watching.

To anyone else the eerie stillness would have been unsettling enough to turn visitors away. Most would not have even made it up the path. Vivica stepped closer to the door, lifted a hand towards one of the knobs, and with a pulse of Magic it began to melt away into ash. Or it looked like it did for the time it took her to release the remaining locks and let herself in. Then she released it in the midst of closing the door behind her, leaving it looking untouched. Vivica clasped her hands before her as she turned on her heel to walk leisurely through the main entrance. A few halls branched off into darkness, a sitting room to the right and the dining to the left indicating a home less sprawling and more built upwards.

Vivica’s sight was that of a human’s; not built for the night in the ways the Dire or Eximius often were, although once they adjusted to what still poured in from outside there was much to look at. And at the same time nothing at all.

Magister Vaclav?” she called out, voice carrying enough to be heard should the man actually have been here at all. Still quiet.

The witch heaved a gentle sigh and began to move further in, taking in what pictures hung on the walls and what décor was haphazardly arranged on tables through the main foyer. Dull and drab, much like his personality. The thought tugged at the corners of her mouth in mild amusement. With him absent she would just have to find what she came for on her own.
Offline Magdi Sep 13 2020, 9:31 PM
#2
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Slave
  • Total Posts: 5
  • Played by: Thistle
155 Mana · View All Items?
TW: brief mention of abuse

That morning before he'd left, Papa had said, You're going to be a good girl and not cause any trouble while I'm gone, Magdi, is that clear? I will not have you destroying this house. Last night was quite enough, young lady. Do you understand me?

Magdi had stood there, head down, staring at the floor, and chewed her lip. She hadn't meant to. She hadn't meant to make a mess. She hadn't meant to break the dishes. She hadn't meant to ruin the table. It was just, when Papa had told her to wash their supper dishes, the water had grown tepid and slimy, and there was food stuck to the plates, and her skin crawled every time she touched them, or stuck her hands into the water. She was nearly finished, when the wind had made the door slam so she'd jumped, and dropped the plates she was holding, and they broke. Papa said she'd thrown them, because they'd shattered so, but she hadn't. She hadn't, she hadn't, she hadn't. Then she'd tried to clean them up, only somehow the broom broke in her hands, and when he'd come to see what all the fuss was about, and what was taking her so long, she'd run away--and right into the dining room table. She crashed into it, stomach first, and it split, right down the middle.

Just thinking about it made her eyes burn. She had said she was sorry--and she was, she was, she was, she was--but that hadn't mattered. Papa had still whipped her anyway, just as he always did when she was Bad. Then, he'd stood in the doorway and watched to make sure she cleaned up her mess. Goodness knows I can't leave you by yourself, he'd said, arms folded as he leaned against the doorway. I'd come back to find nothing left of this room but a pile of rubble and you beneath it. After she'd finished, he sent her to bed.

This morning, she had stared at the floor, and tried to make her mouth say words, but nothing would come out except sorry, Papa, and she had said that so much last night he had finally said, enough child, no more apologizing, I forgive you, . So, probably she should stop saying it, but those were the only words that filled her head. It was better, then, to say nothing.

When she had not answered, he had snapped his fingers and said, Look at me. I won’t have it. Do you hear? Then he caught her chin and tilted her face up. If you cannot promise that you can behave, then I shall have no choice but to lock you in your room until I return. Is that what you want?

Whimpering, Magdi had shaken her head. No. No, no, no, no, no. She did not want to stay in her room all day. She did not, she did not, she did not. The last time Papa had locked her up, he'd pulled the shutters closed and doused the lights, and made her sit in the dark all day, because she'd scorched his shirt with the iron and made him late for work.

He'd said, If I come home and find you've lit the lamps, or opened those windows, I shall whip you again, do you hear me? as he was leaving.

Magdi had sniffled and said, Y-y-y-y-yes, yes, sir, and then she'd spent the rest of the day trying not to think about all the monsters that could be lurking in the darkness, waiting to eat her.

That morning, she'd shaken her head very, very, very, very hard again, and said, "N-n-n-n-no, no sir. D-d-d-d-don't, don't want to, don't want to s-s-sta, stay in m-m-my, my r-room,"

Then you'll behave?'/i] Papa had said.

"Y-y-y-yes, yes s-yes sir. W-will, will, b-b-be-behave."

Papa had sighed. [i] I will behave. Speak properly, girl, like I've taught you.


Magdi's cheeks had grown hot, but she'd managed to say, "I, I will, I will b-b-be-behave, " anyway.

Then Papa had smiled at her. He cupped her face in his hands, said "Good girl, " then left her alone.

Now, Magdi was sitting cross legged on the floor in the parlor, humming to herself. She was almost finished with her latest creation. Before her set a small wooden box, and inside it, she'd fashioned a little room. The little room was nearly finished. It had a floor made from a scrap of satin, and walls linked with blue and white stripes, that had come from one of Papa’s old shirts he’d given her. She’d made a bed from a piece of an old pillowcase and stuffed it with stuffing from an old pillow. Papa had allowed it, only because the moths had gotten to it. One of her dolls—made from the same old pillow and brown yarn she’d found in a box in the attic—lay on the little bed. Its black button eyes stared up at her, and it smiled with the mouth she’d given it, stitched on with pink thread. All that was left was to sew some blankets and the room would be done.

She picked up the bit of satin she was using for the blanket and reached for the already threaded needle. As she pushed the needle into the fabric, she heard the knock. Her shoulders hunched, and she chewed her lip as she looked over at the door. It was rude to keep people waiting. Papa always said that. But, she was not allowed to answer the door. That was one of Papa's Rules. She wasn't to answer the door, and she wasn't to let anyone see her when he had guests over. She was to stay in her room and be quiet and not make a nuisance of herself. Magdi listened very, very, very hard. She did not hear the person leave--and she could have, if they had. Magdi could often hear things other people couldn't. Sometimes, she even heard the nice in the walls late at night when she was meant to be sleeping. She scowled at the door. Why wouldn't they go away? Papa wasn't home. They needed to go away and leave her alone, before they got her in trouble. They did, they did, they did.

But the person did not go away. The person--somehow--was in the house. Magdi heard them, moving about. Abandoning her miniature on the floor, she jumped to her feet and barreled toward the wall. Hands shaking, she pressed the panel. Why wouldn't it open? What if she'd pressed the wrong one? What if the person saw her? Oh, Pap would be furious! At last the wall slid back, and Magda scrambled inside, pulling it back into place after her. There. Now she was safe. She was safe and she could watch the stranger as much as she wanted.

Magdi had discovered the secret room, and all the others like it, along with the passages that branched off from them, and the stairs that snaked throughout the house several years ago. Papa had said, it’s the old servants’ stairs when she had showed him—because he had caught her, by accident, when she’d leaned too hard on the wall and came tumbling into his office while he was working on a very important project. She got the strap for interrupting him--that, too, was one of The Rules, not to bother Papa when he was working--but he'd said she could use the stairs and hidden hallways as long as you don’t go sneaking about and spying.

She hadn’t since then, and only used them when Papa wasn’t home and she grew tired of making her little dollhouses. Today, she was being Bad and breaking a Rule, but her stomach had knotted up the moment she’d heard the sounds from the entryway. Something was wrong.

Inside the wall, Magdi stared out. She had drilled little holes in the wall in each of the rooms that lay beyond the secret tunnels. Now, she watched the parlor, and the woman who came into it. The house was dim, but that was alright. Magdi's eyes worked better in the dark. The woman was very pretty, and very nicely dressed. Someone from work then? Someone who knew Papa--or at least, knew his name, because she called it as she walked, as though she expected him to answer. Someone, apparently, who'd never been taught that going into other people's houses uninvited was Rude.

Inside the wall, Magdi followed the stranger as she moved through the house, trailing her from room to room. Their downstairs was full of fine furniture--couches made from crushed velvet and chairs covered in brocade. Scenic landscapes hung on the wall, and in the dining room--well, there would have been a very grand mahogany table in there, with all the chairs sitting round it, except now there were only chairs, and no table. Just ahead, a little ways down the entry hall, set the stairs leading up to the floors beyond. Past them, still on the first floor, was the kitchen--tucked at the back of the house just behind the dining room--and opposite the kitchen, tucked away through an arch, set a small informal living room, nestled into the back right corner of the house.

As she watched the woman, Magdi growled to herself. The stranger shouldn't be here. It was Bad to go places where you weren't allowed, and you weren't allowed into other people's houses without knocking first and being let in. And no one had let her in. She had let herself in--somehow. Magdi growled again. It was Bad and the stranger was Bad and if Papa came home and found her here she would be in trouble. Also, probably, Magdi would be in trouble, for hiding in the walls and spying on her, instead of going upstairs to her room like she was supposed to. She would be in trouble and it would be all the stranger's fault and--

She leaned on the wall, and it groaned. Before she could move aside, the paneling slid back and she tumbled into the room. Stumbling over her own feet, Magdi crashed into a chair, tripped on a rug, and landed in a heap at the stranger’s feet. Oh no. Now she'd broken all the Rules. Scrambling backwards on hands and knees, she flung her arms up over her face. Where was the opening? Where was it? It had vanished into thin air, leaving only the solid wall behind her. Shrinking against it, Magdi whimpered, "S-s-s-sor-sor-sor-sorry," she said and bit her tongue to keep from crying. Oh. When Papa came home, she was going to be in so much trouble.
Offline Vivica Sep 14 2020, 7:39 PM
#3
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 36
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Human
  • Rank: Magister
  • Total Posts: 25
  • Played by: Isilzheha
665 Mana · View All Items?
Vivica knew of Magister Vaclav’s reputation, sure, from the students beneath him and among those of the same rank in the Academy. She knew to listen to any and all, even the useless information one might provide, because in the midst of it there could be exactly what you were listening for to begin with. She’d a mind of her own to form her own opinions with, and having experienced so many different walks of life made it easier to see a glimpse of what was beneath the veil. Magister Vaclav is very good at what he does, and their colleagues respected him if not adored him at times. Vivica held no such sentiment, and perhaps it was a touch of idle curiosity as to what may be hidden away in the man’s home. She expected there to be traps and runes beneath the rugs, Magic abound in ways much like her own manor that required protection for far more important reasons than just some fine furniture. While a bit rustic and deterring on the outside, the further the witch went she could see that there was more care put into certain rooms. Yet it was all cohesive nonetheless, with many baubles and fine paintings that contrasted the neutral if not drab entrance.

She could have enhanced her senses but chose not to just yet, instead letting metaphysical fingers reach out to leaf through the home like one might a particularly interesting book. A few artifacts upstairs and below gave off a distinct aura, much like her own might to one who knew how to look, but other than the creatures that existed in and around the Magister’s home the witch found nothing more. Quiet and still. Not the house, of course, that creaked and groaned with its hollow rooms whenever she walked. At times a branch from the trees outside might scrape along the roof and tap at the windows.

Vivica heard a clock ticking somewhere nearby along the wall of the parlour as she passed to look into the rather barren dining area. A brow quirked to the way the chairs were set off to the side with no table to be nestled against. Vivica felt a prickling sensation at the nape of her neck like the legs of a spider when she moved back into the parlour to where the far more cozy living room was at the back of the house. The walls tended to have eyes everywhere in Svalbard, although it could be a mystery who they truly belonged to. The Queen’s were the most all encompassing, though even she had her limitations. In the privacy of one’s home it was expected that they belonged to the one who lived here, so Vivica kept that in mind as she passed by one of the couches.

In the darkness the shadows seemed to deepen, the witch giving pause to the creaking within one of the walls. The sound did not come from the shifting of the house but rather something walking between its bones, and Vivica turned towards it just as the wall started to slide open. Even deeper darkness greeted the witch behind the malformed silhouette that began to stumble from its yawning opening. Her adrenaline spiked and her stance widened, the witch preparing for the attack that… ultimately never came. The figure stumbled further, catching a leg against one of the chairs that scooted over the carpet while they fell in a mess of limbs and what looked to be a tail lashing behind them. Vivica’s muscles were tense, though it was slight how her startlement presented itself in the low light that continued to grow darker still as the sun descended. The noise was loud and the contact was never made, Vivica watching the one who had been likely watching her the entire time. Panicked and scared they scrambled with kicking limbs and a sweeping tail.

Through it all the witch caught glimpses of glowing eyes.

Her head tilted and her brow furrowed in quick curiosity, and then a whimpering voice with a feminine quality began to stutter. ‘S-s-s-sor-sor-sor-sorry.’ This certainly was an Eximius; she could see the misshapen eyes through the gaps between her fingers as they were held aloft in some attempt to fend off a blow. Vivica saw no threat any longer, and kept her distance with a sudden, fluid shift of her expression. Concern and worry, a bit of surprise and even a healthy dose of sheepishness. Vivica started to kneel down, pulling at the skirt of her dress with a slow movement to bring herself to the level of the strange one that had come tumbling from the walls. She noticed the hunch of her back and as the Eximius stilled even while trembling like a leaf, and as she adjusted to the Other’s level it was unclear if the deformities were because of the experiments or something else entirely. What has dear Lucius been up to? This machine with the ability to crush her beyond recognition cowered before her, and looked quite unlike even some of the most mutated she had seen in her time during the Projects.

Fascinating.

Vivica smiled softly, a hand resting on her knee as she kept herself proper even in her stooping. “Sorry?” she asked simply, her voice just as soft as the smile. “What is there to be sorry of? In your own home, no less.” Magister Vaclav had his secrets, as Svalbardians were keen on having, but this was quite the daring secret. “I am an intruder after all,” she continued, keeping her distance for now while the Eximius calmed as much as seemed possible for one so timid. Vivica eyed her, intrigued and enthralled for the time being to the point what she really came for was set aside. She could have assumed her to be a willing servant in order to live within Svalbard untouched, or even a slave. Her original thought was that Lucius had created her himself, and that seemed to be the most likely. Vivica already had so many questions, but she did not wish to upset the Eximius further if she could avoid it. The questions could wait. “Come, allow me to help you up. Then we should discuss what is to happen now, should we not? You've caught me red handed,” Vivica said, pushing herself back to her full height in just as slow a movement with an extended hand towards the Eximius.
Offline Magdi Sep 14 2020, 10:31 PM
#4
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Slave
  • Total Posts: 5
  • Played by: Thistle
155 Mana · View All Items?
The stranger—the woman—did not seem at all frightened to find Magdi tumbling through the walls. She did not seem at all upset either. Well, that was odd. If Magdi were her, and she were Magdi, Magdi-as-the-stranger would’ve been very, very scared to see someone looking like Magdi-as-herself hurtling toward her out of the dark. The stranger was very brave indeed! Magdi rocked back on her heels, pushing her hair out of her face to see the woman better. She was even prettier up close. And oh. She was very close. Very, very, very close. She was too close. Too too too close. Magdi’s tail thunked against the floor and she stepped on it. Her tail was always causing problems. It was Bad, just like she was. Stop it, she thought at it, and, Behave. Probably it wouldn't listen. She never did.

Magdi scooted closer to the wall. It was not nice when people were so close. Usually it meant they were angry at her, and she was about to be in trouble. Well, that’s what it meant when Papa got that close—usually anyway—and he was the only person she saw. Well, sometimes he let her come to work with him, but she had to hide in the coat closet in his office if any of his students came round. She watched them anyway-and sometimes when he was teaching, she was Bad, and left his office and roamed the halls of the Academy, so, she’d seen other people before. But, they hadn’t seen her. They didn’t live with her, and she didn’t know how to read their bodies to know what they were thinking. She didn’t really know how to do that with Papa rather, so she guessed, but at least with him she guessed right. Well, sometimes she did. Usually she didn’t.

So maybe she’d guessed wrong about the woman too. Maybe her closeness wasn’t a threat. Maybe she wasn’t angry. She didn’t sound angry. She wasn’t shouting, and she hadn’t hit Magdi yet. She was talking very softly, and asking questions. Magdi’s shoulders hunched. She did not like questions, even if the person asking them was a stranger who was also Bad, and had broken Riles, and so maybe wasn’t mad because Magdi had also been a bad and broken Rules. She did not like questions because she always answered them wrong, and if the woman wasn’t angry now, she was sure to be by the time Magdi had finished answering. But she couldn’t not answer because that was rude.

So she managed, “S-Sorry b-because, because n-not supposed to let p-people s-s-see me. N-not allowed out when, when P-Papa has c-c-guests. H-have to, have to stay in my, my r-room. And, and n-not supposed to w-watch through w-walls.” She‘d forgotten to say her I’s, like she usually did, and Papa would’ve been cross with her for it, but he wasn’t here, and anyway, the fewer words she tried to say, the less often they got stuck on the way from her brain to her mouth. And, she wanted to say, And you’re Bad too, for coming in without asking first, but probably that was rude, even it were true, and anyway, just saying what she had was hard enough, without trying to add things she probably shouldn’t say anyway.

Magdi blinked at the woman’s outstretched hand and tilted her head. “H-haven’t, haven't c-c-caught, caught your r-red, red handed. Y-your hands aren’t, your hands aren’t r-aren’t r-red.” She took the offered hand anyway, and let the woman pull her to her feet. Discussing what should happen now did not sound nice at all. It did not, it did not, it did not. But maybe they could get it over with quickly, whatever punishment the woman meant to give her for breaking the Rules—because there was always, always, always a punishment—or more than one—when she was Bad, that was Itself a Rule, and it was called a Consequence. Always before Papa had corrected her, but he wasn’t here, so the stranger would do it. Wouldn’t she? Magdi had been Bad after all. She deserved it, whatever it was, and maybe after it was over, she could ask what Intruder meant, and why no one had taught the stranger any manners. But first, her punishment. “Y-yes ma’am,” Magdi said. “Sh-should talk. Am in t-trouble. Yes?” The woman looked smaller than Papa, with smaller hands, and no strap that Magdi could see. Maybe she wouldn’t hit her very hard. Maybe maybe maybe.
Offline Vivica Sep 15 2020, 3:22 PM
#5
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 36
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Human
  • Rank: Magister
  • Total Posts: 25
  • Played by: Isilzheha
665 Mana · View All Items?
This was quite possibly one of the furthest things on the list of what was expected entering her colleague’s home uninvited, and now a creator was looking a creation in the face. Vivica always did find it inspirational how different each of them could turn out to be. Not all were so lucky to still have life by the end of it, and those irreparably changed often wished they had perished in the midst of it. She wondered what this one thought of it, if she remembered at all. She wondered a great many things now, as she observed, and watched how the tail continued to thump loudly until a foot pressed it down. It twitched and the tufted tip brushed along the floor, Vivica having more than enough self control to not push further into the Eximius’ space. Already she displayed great discomfort in that, even kneeling down, as she continued to hunker down. Still trembling with faintly glowing eyes peering out from a tangle of hair, she moved with all the conviction of a kicked dog. Vivica did not feel much sympathy for her, although given the conditions with which it appeared she lived she felt an expanding annoyance with Magister Vaclav.

Her brow furrowed when the Eximius spoke up again, Vivica patient while she stumbled through the words with their broken sentences. Not entirely unintelligent, although the extent of that could hardly be gauged in such a limited interaction. It was not uncommon practice in Svalbard or really any major city for the servants and slaves to be kept out of sight and out of mind. If guests were to see them so blatantly it is said to be distracting and rude with its interference, although to not have them at least as visible as the furniture might be a tell of financial decline. So many little details to look at and be aware of here in the capital especially, but that was true anywhere where it was important to be mindful.

Your papa is Magister Vaclav, yes? Is there a reason you are not allowed to be seen?” she asked simply, noticing how the Eximius grew more tense. Either that was because of her speaking in general to the one who was not supposed to be seen, or because the questions were deemed personal. Perhaps even complicated. She spoke as she lifted herself up and aimed to bring the Eximius with her, though there was a slight pause and a curious tilt of her head like a bird might. ‘Y-your hands aren’t, your hands aren’t r-aren’t r-red,’ she said with a hint of incredulity, and Vivica’s smile broadened. With a small chuckle her hand was finally taken and the witch helped the shorter woman up. “You are correct, they are not red. That is just a figure of speech to say that you’ve found me in the middle of doing something I shouldn’t be.” Vivica withdrew her hand once the Eximius was balanced, stepping back so as to not hedge her against the wall any longer.

What she wanted to do was set flame to the wicks of the lanterns and candles she saw littered about the walls and flatter surfaces, just to see better the Other she looked upon now. For now that would have to wait, considering she certainly had broken in. ‘Y-yes ma’am. Sh-should talk. Am in t-trouble. Yes?’ Vivica tilted her own head somewhat at that, a gesture of consideration as she stood there looking a bit confused for but a moment. “Oh, no, dear. You are not the one in trouble, I am,” she replied after a beat of silence, a palm flattening over her chest, “and since you are currently the lady of the house I have so rudely broken into what happens next is entirely up to you.

Vivica turned away to pace to the center of the room, providing even more distance for the Eximius to roam should she choose to without much fear of getting too close. An idle hum sounded in her throat as she looked to one of the paintings above a fireplace. The frame looked old and the painting newer, depicting a blooming field with a darker forest behind it. In the skies were a contrasting swirl of colors and thicker marks, far more whimsical than the rest of it. Vivica sighed softly and spun on her heel to face the machine. “There are a few options you have here. One is that you call the guard and they can arrest me for walking into your home uninvited. Then they can deal with that and you can return to your evening,” she began, starting to delicately pull at the ends of her gloves to work them loose from her fingers. She was looking down while she did so, a blasé nature in how she spoke. “Or, you can crush my bones to dust with your bare hands, and your papa will know that you protected this home and its contents as it is within your right to do.

She folded the gloves and held them lightly in her hands as her fingers interlaced once more in front of her. Her gaze settled on the Eximius, one side of her mouth turning upwards with a raise of her brow. “There is always the final option of helping me to find what I came here for in the first place, and then I will leave. Nobody will even have known I am here, except you. I can even help you keep the secret should that be a concern when your father returns home,” she said, tone more coaxing now as the smile returned as genuine as the witch allowed it to be. “I quite like that option the best personally. Your papa has taken something from me and I wish to get it back.
Offline Magdi Sep 15 2020, 7:42 PM
#6
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Slave
  • Total Posts: 5
  • Played by: Thistle
155 Mana · View All Items?
The pretty lady said, Your papa is Magister Vaclav, yes? Is there a reason you are not allowed to be seen? and Magdi chewed her lip again. She had eyes didn’t she? Couldn’t she see how Magdi looked? Couldn’t she see what she was? How could she not? Magdi could see her. But, Magdi’s eyes worked better than most people’s, especially in the dark. That’s why they glowed. At least, that’s what Papa said, when she’d asked why her eyes shone and his didn’t. She glanced up at the woman’s face. Her eyes weren’t glowing. Well. Maybe she couldn’t see Magdi thst well after all. Oh dear. That meant she’d have to explain. Magdi hated explaining, though usually she didn’t have to do it very much. Mostly, it was just her and Papa. But sometimes a student would come in, looking for her father, before Magdi had time to disappear into the coat closet or hide under his desk. Over the years, she’d gotten very good at answering the What are you question, even though saying it all out loud was not nice at all, and always made her face hot and her eyes sting. When she was smaller, she’d had a nurse for a while, who tried to take her out places, but after a while she stopped. The nurse wasn’t nearly so good at answering the What are you question as Magdi was. Also, Magdi was Bad, and would bite the other children when they tried to pull her tail, or touch her fur, so, Papa said they couldn’t go out anymore till Magdi learned to behave, only, she never did. Probably it was better that Miss Dani stopped taking her places.

Finally, Magdi nodded. “Y-yes ma’am. I-is, is my papa.” Then, she took a very deep breath. This next part would be easier to say. She had it memorized and always said it the exact same way every time. The words got stuck less when she did that, but usually she couldn’t, because usually the words weren’t hers to begin with, and repeating someone else’s words was Bad. This time though, they were her words, so, it was alright. “I have fur and a tail and my eyes glow because my mamma did Bad things to her body while I was inside her and so I came out like this. “ That’s what Papa had said when she’d asked him. Well, he’d used words like pollute and defile, but, probably that meant Bad, and anyway, Bad was easier to say—and also, it was her word and not Papa’s, so she wouldn’t get in trouble for using it. The next part—the actual answer to the woman’s question, was also easy to say, though the words were her father’s. But, he wasn’t here, so she wouldn’t be in trouble for using them, either As long as the women didn’t tell, and probably she wouldn’t. “Also, I have to stay in my room because I scare people. I don’t look like everybody else. People don’t like people who are different, and, they might hurt me, or get upset, so I’m safer if I stay there, and also I don’t upset people.”

The stranger said, You are correct, they are not red. That is just a figure of speech to say that you’ve found me in the middle of doing something I shouldn’t be, and Magdi nodded. “Oh,” she said. That made sense. She was often caught red handed—and usually by the time Papa was through with her, it was not her hands thwt were red, and there was nothing metaphorical about it. She winced just thinking about it, then said, “Th-thank you,” because it was kind of the woman to explain, and that’s what you were meant to say when someone was kind to you.

She watched as the woman backed off once she was upright again. The stranger said, Oh, no, dear. You are not the one in trouble, I am, and since you are currently the lady of the house I have so rudely broken into what happens next is entirely up to you. Magdi blinked at her. She wasn’t in trouble? She was always the one in trouble. But now she wasn’t. The woman was. And she got to decide? That had never happened before. Also, no one had ever called her a lady before either. This woman was very nice, for a burglar. Before Magdi could say, Should say sorry,—because the woman was kind, and also Magdi did not like punishments and probably the woman didn’t either, and so Magdi would do for her what she always wished Papa would do, and only make her say sorry—the stranger kept talking, explaining what Magdi could do. None of the options sounded nice, except the last one. Calling the police meant more people she’d have to talk to. And the woman was nice. Why should she hurt her? Besides, crushing her bones to dust seemed much too harsh a punishment. The last one though, that would do. Well, that would do as a second thing.

“I decide,” Magdi said. “Have to say sorry first. Th-then I help you. And have to, have to help with secret.” What could her father have possibly taken from this woman, that she’d come in this way to get it back? Papa wasn’t a thief. Maybe he’d borrowed something and forgotten. That was surely what it was. She borrowed things all the time and forgot to put them back. “Am Magdi. Wh-what’s your name?” She stuck her hand out, the way Papa had shown her, and waited for the woman to take it.
Offline Vivica Sep 16 2020, 8:34 PM
#7
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 36
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Human
  • Rank: Magister
  • Total Posts: 25
  • Played by: Isilzheha
665 Mana · View All Items?
The Eximius stood quietly, chewing her lip in uncomfortable attentiveness. She listened and it was clear by the most subtle of reactions that she was understanding and parsing through the information. The questions that came were given as neutrally as possible while still digging for more, Vivica as patient as if she had all the time in the world. She had no idea when Lucius might return home, though with it being so early in the evening it was likely that she had at least a decent amount of time. The witch kept close her plans, yet as carefully laid out as they might be she was quick on her feet if those went awry. This Eximius was a good example of the unknown that could come with any situation, seeing as how Vivica had not even known of her existence until this very moment. There was no sense in stressing about such things when there was only so much control one could have.

Faced with the unknown that came in the rather misshapen form of another living being Vivica could only extend the same amount of attentiveness. Her focus started upon the younger woman's face, Vivica maintaining eye contact as much as she allowed for as she confirmed at least that Lucius was indeed her father. Whether biological or an easier explanation as to the creation's existence the witch did not know, nor did she think so far she would get the proper answer to that unless she went to Lucius himself. 'I have fur and a tail and my eyes glow because my mamma did Bad things to her body while I was inside her and so I came out like this,' she explained, and the lack of stutter was interesting. Vivica's head dipped into a slight nod of acknowledgment, although even more questions rose with that statement. Magister Vaclav certainly wished to sequester her away in evident possessiveness.

'Also, I have to stay in my room because I scare people,' she continued after the alotted silence, having the floor now and Vivica was content to leave it that way. She was not so naïve to think that the Eximius might not be a violent sort if triggered into such instincts, and while her magical prowess would serve enough purpose to at least keep her from harm's way the Other were just as quick and powerful by their own right. Lucius was far more vile than initially perceived, just given what the witch knew. Already she could see so much wasted potential here on many different fronts. She clicked her tongue with a tch sound, eyes narrowing for a moment. "Darling, that is often what people say when they cannot understand what or who they think are strange. It is also a means of deceit. He must not wish you to know just how special you really are. That thought frightens him, no doubt," she responded evenly, "because of the power it would give you."

Vivica didn't elaborate further, shying away from the tempting topic when she hardly had any grounds of familiarity with the machine. The Eximius was conditioned and made to believe she was the one at fault while Lucius could do no wrong, and that could change in a heartbeat. The witch had several new cards to add to her hand now, putting her ahead of the other Magister who made a terrible mistake in hoarding the woman in confinement like this. It was wasteful, given what the man tended to work on first and foremost. What purpose could this Eximius serve other than to be fodder for his own ego? She was not confident, did not seem to know her own power, and in being so secretive any of the Magister's experimentations would be tremendously limited without full access of the Academy's resources. It was a shame and a pity, to have one wasted on the likes of him.

She dipped her head again in something of a small bow to the vocalized gratitude. "You are quite welcome," Vivica returned, even if it was a trivial matter. The Eximius looked uncertain and wary about the kindness received, and the witch knew that could go miles in gaining trust from the deprived. The conversation segued the moment Vivica walked away to stand in the center of the parlour, further expanding the control given to the Eximius over the situation they both had unexpectedly found themselves in. 'I decide, have to say sorry first. Th-then I help you. And have to, have to help with secret.' Vivica had not been holding her breath for the gavel to fall, but it was comforting to know that the Eximius decided not to burden her further by choosing one of the other options. That would certainly save some time and conserve energy better spent elsewhere.

The witch returned to the Eximius, towering over her hunched stature and yet appearing just as small even in her confidence. "That is more than fair," she offered, once more placing a hand over her chest in a show of sincerity, "I am quite sorry for not waiting for proper invitation. A lesson has indeed been learned this evening. I greatly appreciate your mercy." And she did not just mean on a most basic level. In such a short amount of time she had learned far more about Lucius breaking into his home than he ever would have admitted himself. The Eximius stretched a hand out towards her this time to take initiative in a far more formal greeting, 'Am Magdi. Wh-what’s your name?'

Vivica graciously accepted it, slowly and concisely, and mapped out further observations just in the way the Other's hand was calloused. "A pleasure to meet you Magdi, I am Magister Miravaris. Although you may just call me Vivica," she introduced herself, turning over Magdi's hand so that the back faced up. With her free hand still taking hold of her gloves she pinched her skirt between the pads of her fingers and gave a practiced curtsy. "Magdi is a beautiful name," she tacked on, releasing her hand once she had straightened out again. An excited gleam entered her mismatched eyes then, eyebrows raising expectantly. "I assume you know where your father keeps the majority of his work? Perhaps these walls show more than the hallways themselves?" she asked, giving the Eximius a knowing look.
Offline Magdi Sep 18 2020, 11:23 PM
#8
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Slave
  • Total Posts: 5
  • Played by: Thistle
155 Mana · View All Items?
Magdi blinked at the woman. That didn’t make sense. Papa didn’t think she was strange, and he certainly wasn’t afraid of her! That was the whole point. He wasn’t. Everyone else was—or they would be, anyway. The stranger just couldn’t see her well enough to tell that yet, that was all. Once she could, then she’d understand. Then she’d know why it was better that Magdi stayed inside, where she was safe—and everyone was safe from her. She wrinkled her nose before she could stop herself. What power? All she could do was break things and make Papa cross at her. That wasn’t power. It was a nuisance. But, probably saying that would be rude, and she’d already been rude. Suppose the woman thought she was making a face at her? Magdi ducked her head. “S-Sorry,” she said, mostly to the floor—but still least she’d said it. Maybe her new friend wouldn’t be too cross with her.

The stranger agreed, apologized—at least, Magdi thought that’s what she meant, though it certainly wasn’t how she apologized—and introduced herself. Magdi’s shoulders sagged and she grinned. Oh! Vivica was much easier to say than Miravaris was! Oh, this was wonderful! Vivica taking her hand was less wonderful, and Magdi watched her do it, flinching when she turned her hand over. Probably she was only looking. Magdi’s hands were strange after all. But she tensed anyway, because nobody did thst except Papa, and he only did it when he was about to smack her hand, because she’d been Bad—she’d touched something she wasn’t supposed to, or spilled something on important papers. But Vivica just curtseyed and then let go of Magdi’s hand, so, it was alright after all.

Then Vivica kept talking, and Magdi grinned so hard her face hurt. Vivica liked her name! Oh, this was wonderful wonderful wonderful! She had a new friend, and she hadn’t scared her off yet, and she wasn’t going to be in trouble, or anything! She wanted to hop, and clap her hands, because this was wonderful, everything was wonderful! But, Papa always said, Stop that, when she did that, and his voice hurt her ears the way his fingers hurt her arm when he grabbed her to make her be still. So, she wouldn’t hop, and she wouldn’t clap. She would stand there and be good and quiet and still, just the way she was supposed to.

She still giggled when Vivica mentioned the walls though. The secret passages were her favorite things in the whole house, and now, she had a friend to share them with! “Y-yes, I, I know.” Magdi paused. She did not like I assume you know questions, because they never sounded like questions, and it wasn’t fair. Questions should sound like questions. Papa said, Don’t be ridiculous when she’d told him that, though, so she’d keep quiet about it in front of Vivica. Usually when Papa said I assume you know about something, he did not want her to say yes, sir or no, sir. He wanted her to say where the thing was, or what she’d done, or why her work wasn’t finished. Most of the time she remembered, but sometimes she didn’t. Sometimes she said yes, sir instead. When she did, Papa said, Don't be cheeky, and she was supposed to say sorry and answer the right way. Most of the time she did. Sometimes she didn’t, and then Papa had to wash her mouth out with soap for being Bad. One time she’d asked how she could be cheeky, because she wasn’t made of cheeks, and Papa had washed her mouth out then too, because she was being impertinent, and You know perfectly well what that means, you aren’t that witless.

Was Vivica like Papa? Did she really mean, where does your father keep his work? Maybe. Why couldn’t she just say that? Why couldn’t people just say what they meant? It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t fair. But she was too big to throw a tantrum about it—especially in front of her new friend—but a part of her wanted to, anyway. What if she was wrong, and Vivica thought she was cheeky for telling her? Well, it would be her own fault for being confusing! So Magdi said, “Is in his, in his off-off-office. But, n-not, not a-not allowed in there b-by, by my-by myself.” Magdi grinned again. Papa’s Rules only applied to her—not Vivica. “But you are! Come on,” She caught Vivica’s hand and tugged her toward the wall. Once inside, Magdi let go. “Is dark,” she said, “S-Sorry.” Stepping into the shadow, Magdi led her friend through the narrow tunnel. Papa’s office was on the third floor, just beneath the fourth floor, where her room was. This was perfect! She could show Vivica the secret stairs too! And maybe even her room! She let out a little squeak, then clamped both hands over her mouth. She was being good, and making noises was not being good. Making noises was Bad.

The tunnel was narrow, but Magdi swept it and the others out, so there wasn’t any dust, or mice—well, maybe a few mice, but they were her friends—or bugs to worry about. At the end of the tunnel, the room curved, then seemed to stop at a dead end. Magdi pushed the wall, and a panel slid back, revealing a narrow set of stairs. She started up them, glancing back to make sure Vivica still followed. “Not scared of d-dark, are you? N-not, not there y-yet. Two more stairs and, and t-two more l-long hallways t-to go.” If her friend was scared, well, Magdi would just take her up the regular away, and then they’d only have to be in the tunnel for a minute, while Magdi snuck her into the office. But hopefully she wasn’t. This way was much more fun!