Completed Mind Matters

Lenuta

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Lenuta had arrived early. It was easy for her to do so, as she lived in the manor that housed the grand library that would host her lessons. A desk had been arranged, candles lit with a tray of sweet and savory snacks that would provide sustenance during the hours spent there.

She was excited. Nervous. Anxious. It all swirled in a storm in her stomach as she sat in a plush chair. Then again she was on her feet, booted feet carrying her towards a large window that peered out onto the courtyard, where her cinnamon-hued gaze trained upon the wrought iron gates.

Emotions were all new to her now that she had become immortal. She felt everything so much more intensely, it was if the last twenty-one years were greatly dulled, her senses enhanced profusely. Including her impatience.
 
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Stibinstein

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The path that led to the great manor was a scenic one, lush trees adorned each side and towered above all else. Azlum walked the path, dreading this investigation. He never really had a good relationship with nobles, even when helping them they looked down on him as a worthless waste of time and breath, like a stain in a brand new rug. The only good thing about working with nobles were that they paid very well, well enough to let Azlum eat professionally butchered meat and stay at above average inns for a little while. However, they were also very demanding and if he didn't bring back any answers or ones they didn't want to hear they blamed it on him. Was it his fault their child was murdered by a person bent on vengeance after they wronged them? No. But they didn't care, and neither did Azlum after a while.

His thoughts were brought back to this current investigation as he strode closer to the iron gates that led to a beautiful and well-groomed courtyard. Two men greeted him and opened the gates, the iron squealing into the quiet morning. Another man stood closer to the manor and walked to greet Azlum, "Good day, Sir. Right this way." He ushered him along into the manor swiftly.

Inside of the manor was perhaps even more beautiful than the courtyard, its intricate walls and design commanded close attention. It was not the first time Azlum had been in a grand manor such as this, but the style was new to him and it appealed to him more than the others. It seemed darker and bleaker, almost like it copied the tortured pattern inside of Azlum himself. The attendant cleared his throat and motioned to Azlum, "This way, Sir."

Azlum followed the attendant through the hallways and into a vast library, it pulled at him as it reminded him of home and his younger days with his parents. The thought was quickly stamped out and Azlum scanned the room, finding a young mistress sitting on a blush chair. In front of her a desk and a tray of sweets that Azlum probably couldn't even afford. The attendant walked forward in between him and the young woman and spoke to her, "Milady, this is Azlum Yngrim. I do believe he is the one that was arranged for this job." Azlum nodded wordlessly, slightly uncomfortable at hearing his full name spoken out loud. He stepped forward a bit and adjusted his gloves, "I was told you need help finding a lost child? I'll need some information." Business as usual. But he was not prepared for this type of business.
 

Lenuta

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Foul play was at hand as far as Azlum was concerned. His footsteps padded against the polished floors as he was lead towards the library, the door opening to reveal the high ceilings and carved shelves that housed hundreds of books. She had heard him enter, her form turning from the window, skirts flourishing faintly with her apprehensive movements. A smile grew on her lips, a hint of pearlescent canines peaking over her plump bottom lip.

"Thank you, Victor, that will be all." She had crossed the room towards the two, dismissing the attendant who bowed deeply before exiting. Her hand reached out for the mage to take in greeting.

"It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Lady Nocterose. Your new disciple."
 

Azlum Yngrim

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Victor had bowed and walked out of the room with no question, Azlum paid no mind to him but to the youthful woman approaching him with her hand outstretched. He looked at her hand with hesitation, "I'm sorry I don't shake hands Miss Nocterose. And I go alone on my investigations, so I won't be bringing a client with me. Now, if you'll answer some questions for me about the missing child, I can take my leave and try to find them right away."

Azlum asked a flurry of questions regarding the gender, height, last known location, the usual things that he would ask about when trying to find a missing person. He noted how calm Lady Nocterose was, it struck him as odd for someone who had sought him out to find a missing child. She also didn't seem like a person that would have a child or a younger sibling considering her age was around his but he had come across stranger things.
 

Lenuta

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A peculiar brow rose as the mage refused her hand, a courtesy that had always been honored before. She looked at the lace that gloved her lithe digits, as if perhaps there was something wrong with it, but there was not. He insisted on moving forward with his work, the maiden resuming her seat, an elbow perching on the oak table in front of her, allowing her petite chin to rest in the palm of her hand. Her features were that of a living porcelain doll. She wore no visible makeup, yet her flesh was entirely smooth without any hint of discretion. Her gaze was sharper than most, her eyes lively and intrigued. Velveteen lips were crimson in hue, encouraging the thought that she wore a stain on the soft petals.

A slow, impish smirk began to spread upon her face, the vibrancy of amber irises lighting with glee as he asked question after question, and she merely remained silent. She wondered, perhaps, if he would ever figure out the ruse on his own. She now had an infinite amount of time to find out, however she was ready to start her lessons.

"..As I said before Mister Yngrim, I am your disciple. You were recommended to us for tutelage. Though it would appear you might have been convinced to be here under false pretenses." She finally explained, a hand reaching towards an ebony goblet, lifting the sustenance towards her lips.
 

Azlum Yngrim

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The way she smirked at Azlum as he asked his questions made him wonder if he was perhaps looking at the person who made this child disappear. In the few moments he took to gather his thoughts he remarked at her beauty and fair skin, it almost looked too fair. The deep crimson of her eyes looking upon him as if it amused her. He finally asked, "Is there something wrong?" When she answered that he was there for tutelage Azlum stopped and stared at her.

"No." He shook his head and turned around to walk out of the library, "No, no, no, no, no, no...."

His voice trailed off as he opened the door and called out, "Victor or whatever your name was, I'm leaving now. How do I get out of here?" He looked back at Lady Nocterose, "I apologize, I must have gotten the wrong house. I'm not a teacher." He turned to the door once more and shouted out a little louder, "Victor! How do I-" He pinched the bridge of his nose with a heavy sigh and turned back to Lady Nocterose, "Miss Nocterose, this must be a misunderstanding. Could you kindly call that Victor guy and have him escort me out or tell me where I need to go?" The pale purple hue of his eyes stared at Lady Nocterose pleadingly, her smirk seeming to grow even more.
 

Lenuta

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She was fairly amused, watching a panic rise to his face as the truth surfaced. She had to place a hand over her lips to stifle a giggle as he turned towards the door, calling for an attendant that would not respond to him.

He turned to come face-to-face with the vampiress, her form distractingly close to his own. She looked up at him through thick ebony lashes, a light pout contorting her mouth.

"Am I not worthy of your tutelage, Mister Yngrim?" Her words were honeyed, her hand gently caressing his own as she made to lead him toward a leather sofa, lush with soft cushions.
"Surely your trip was long. Perhaps you should rest before leaving. Of course, we will have to take back the deposit we gave you, and you will be forfeiting the other half of payment.."

She was toying with him, a hint of magic manipulation prodding at his psyche, teasing against the guards he surely had up.
 

Azlum Yngrim

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As he turned around her body was uncomfortably close to his and he sucked in a breath of surprise. Her hand caressed his and led him to a leather sofa not because her words coaxed him, but because he was too uncomfortable to rip his hand away from hers. Her words played against his ears like a perfectly tuned violin, but Azlum was immune to manipulation.

Manipulation! His thoughts screamed at him and he reprimanded himself internally for not figuring it out sooner. His awkwardness faded into a more serious demeanor and he gently pulled his hand away from hers, "Manipulation. You're using manipulation magic, against a mind mage. Do you not know we are immune to that?" He looked down at her unimpressed by such a shallow effort.

He sighed and closed his eyes unaware of what she said about any sort of payment, "You must be a novice." His eyes opened and shared his final decision, "Fine. I will try to teach you, but I must warn you now that I did not become a mind mage through normal means." The leather sofa did, however, look comforting and he allowed himself to sit on it.
 

Lenuta

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He did not pull his hand away, though it did not seem to because he wanted to continue to feel the undead chill of her skin. She found his discomfort amusing, her hand rubbing lightly against his forearm.

Soon after he pulled from her touch, his awkward features shifting to stoicism as her own displayed exasperation at his accusation.

"Of course I knew. I also knew that you would be able to recognize it so that you might refocus on what is truly important here." Her. Lenuta Nocterose was the most important person in the manor beside her father, Lord Nocterose, and this mind mage had been offered a hefty sum in order to awaken her natural talent and further her lessons in magic.


Mocha tendrils trailed down her shoulder as she tilted her head at mention of his own education. Her lips parted to offer a witty quip, but she thought better of it and instead clapped her hands together decisively.
"Right! Where do we start.. Master?" She enjoyed making him uncomfortable, her legs folding onto her own perch, the title she used for him coming out breathy and seductive. Her ruse was foiled by the twitch of her lips, struggling to hide her smile.
 

Azlum Yngrim

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Her slight annoyance intrigued Azlum as he figured he found a weak spot. His body sunk a little further into the sofa and his tired body relaxed. She tried to play with his awkwardness by calling him Master but he only stared at her emotionless. He never spoke a word to her more than what he did before, instead opting to let the deafening sound of silence fill the room. Curious as to what little treats she had on the table he pushed himself up and picked a few snacks from the silver tray.

He paced around the room in silence, looking at the different books on the shelves and noting to himself which ones he had as a child and which ones he didn't. He memorized the names so he could track them down and purchase them to read. He popped some of the treats into his mouth and was slightly taken aback at how delicious they were. They were truly out of his financial grasp, and yet here he was, eating them as if he had his entire life.

His gaze slowly worked its way to the big window, looking below at the courtyard he could really note how well the landscaping was. A few workers bustled around and made everything look prim and proper, the symmetrical shapes appealing to Azlum's eyes. After even more time he finally turned around and sat back down on the sofa, making sure to take a couple more treats with him.
 

Lenuta

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Scarlet stared after Lilac, narrowing as the mage wandered the library without giving Lenuta a second glance. He trailed the room, a room that the vampiress had spent many hours in, pouring over the books and tombs that lined the walls.

"I'm not fond of being ignored." She whined faintly, rolling onto her back to train her gaze on the elaborate artistry that adorned the ceiling.
 

Azlum Yngrim

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Azlum ignored her even further, letting his taste buds savour the delectable treats. As he did he looked at all of the paintings and statues that littered the library, it was a bit more cluttered than he preferred but it was not his home and his money so he didn't fully care.

Looking up at the ceiling he noted all of the ornate art, wondering just how much something like that really cost. More than his life, he presumed. Like the rest of the manor, the decorations were a bit more dark and not as garish as most noble's mansions. He also did note that her attire seemed a bit darker than most maiden's dresses.

Finally he sat straight up and stared at Lady Nocterose, his mouth still somewhat full of treats, "Lesson's over. What have you learned?" His pale eyes stared into her own blood-coloured eyes.
 

Lenuta

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Cinnamon orbs rolled in their sockets at his abstract approach to education and she audibly groaned, rolling once more onto her stomach. She propped herself up, an index finger rising.

"You like books." A second finger rose. "You like sweets." A third. "You're the worst kind of teacher." Her last comment was said with the most snark, her signature smirk returning to her lips.

"You also have the most beautiful eyes."
 

Azlum Yngrim

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Azlum responded in kind, raising his own index finger, "You're impatient." A second finger also rose, "You're childish." And finally the third finger rose, "You're not a novice in mind magic. You're a complete beginner," He rose from the sofa and walked to her, "I was teaching you with only my thoughts. However, you didn't pick up any of it. So we'll have to start from square one." He knelt down to look her a little closer in the eyes.

"And you have beautiful eyes as well." He allowed himself a small smirk before rising and turning away from her once again, "Now, I will start from the beginning. So do pay attention."
 

Lenuta

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Lenuta practically snorted at his response, her form lifting to sit up properly. Childish. It was an appropriate word considering the centuries that most of the Nocterose family had been alive. Her ceremony had breathed within her new life, allowing her to experience the world anew.

"First you berate me for prodding with manipulation and now you lecture me for not trying to read your mind." She chortled lightly.
"Did you consider, maybe, asking me if I had that skill? It would have saved us the ten minutes you took to fondle books." She snarked, though her eyes glimmered, eager to learn.
 

Azlum Yngrim

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Not looking back at her, Azlum looked back towards the books that he found himself to almost have more in common with. "I personally don't care how long your family has been alive or if you're all vampires. If you want my blood, you can have it afterwards." He looked back at her, "I berated you for it, yes, but you still tried it. Obviously with your kind of personality it wouldn't have surprised me if you at least tried to read my mind."

Looking back at the books, he noticed one was out of order and quickly fixed it, "And I don't fondle books. I read them and take care of them, I don't want to know what you do with your books but keep me out of it." His eyes locked back on to hers, she was eager to learn and it reminded him of when he first arrived at the Tower. Azlum paused for a second, getting his thoughts back on track and squashing any depressing memories. However, the thoughts arose despite his efforts. It was only fitting for what he had to say next.

"First and foremost, magic comes with a price. It takes something so that it can give something. In my case, using too much power gives me awful migraines and..." His words trailed off, his right arm clutching the left side of his body, "Anyways, some mages use stones or runes to amplify their powers, some of us use our bodies as the catalyst. When that happens and a large scale flow of magic is poured from our bodies you get this result."

Azlum removed his hood and scarf, his disheveled azure hair looked as though it were trying to escape his head. Next he removed his cloak and rolled up the sleeve to his shirt on the left side. The skin from his hand and up showed gnarled flesh, as if someone had removed the entire skin on the left side of his body up to half of his neck and burned it only to sew it back on.
 

Lenuta

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A dark brow perked at the mention of her being and what kind of creature she was. He was perceptive. Or perhaps..

"Are you reading my mind??" She asked incredulously, rising so swiftly that the sofa fell back several inches from the force. She had not yet grown accustomed to her new strength.

He continued, covering the basics of magic that she was already aware of, but bore repeating, and even an example. Her brows furrowed as he disrobed his cloak. The scars that revealed themselves were ones of turmoil and agony, her eyes widening as she crossed towards him. Never before had she seen such a gruesome wound, her lace glove swiftly discard as her curiosity forced the pads of her fingertips to trace across the mulled and textured flesh.

"..And what was it you did that caused magic to betray you so?" Her deep scarlet met with his pastel, piercing and focused.
 

Azlum Yngrim

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She crossed to him and discarded her glove, her fingers touched his skin and out of habit he pulled back a little but held out his arm so she could feel. He stared at her a moment but shook his head, "That's not a subject I want to discuss. At least not now." He pulled away, staring at the nasty flesh before pulling his sleeve down and putting his cloak and scarf back on. A little chuckle in the back of his mind made him stop for a slight moment before he continued talking.

"Just know that magic of any sort will do this to you. I suppose I was lucky that it didn't shatter my mind, at least not completely." He tried to somewhat lighten the mood by answering her question before, "And yes, I did read your mind. You left it wide open. For this next bit I want to explain what mind magic can really do and how difficult it can be. Fix the sofa and sit." He motioned to the sofa that she had pushed back when she rose.
 

Lenuta

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He was locked tight. Teasing with a hint of a past that he buried deep and kept hidden. Perhaps when he was done teaching her all there was to learn about mind magic, she could find out for herself.

Maybe she could make him dance a silly jig, her mind beginning to wonder as she visibly pictured him in one of her finest dresses, her hands grasping the skirts and twirling around. Blue hair waving in the wind of an open field.

A small giggle escaped as she did as she was told, gripping at the large sofa and easily shifting it back into place before she sat, awaiting further instruction.
 

Azlum Yngrim

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Patiently waiting for her to fix the sofa, he teased her some more, "I will not be wearing a dress or dancing. Stop thinking about it." She was in a much better mood than he was, but that didn't surprise him much as most people had better moods than he did.

"Now, mind magic is exceptionally powerful and very dangerous to both the wielder and the person it is being used upon if done haphazardly." He stopped and looked at her, "Actually, I want to take this time to ask you exactly what you know about mind magic. It would be easier for the both of us." He had his hood up but put it down and disheveled his hair, thinking it was pointless to have his hood up indoors and in front of someone who needed to be reminded of the dangers of magic.
 

Lenuta

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Just as she had assumed, his mind was in hers, able to view her imagination as clearly as she thought of it. The thought was quickly scrapped per his request, though she was eager to test the boundaries.

"Oh? You aren't just gonna take a dive in my mind and find out for yourself?" She quipped. "I have only been taught how to use manipulation. I haven't been trained in anything else." She responded.

Her mind again wandered as he lowered his hood, and index finger placed thoughtfully over her lips as instead of him dancing in a dress, she thought of what he would look like laying in her bed. His azure hair disheveled from her hands running through it, her lips gently pressing against the most sensitive parts of his neck whilst a hand pressed firmly against his thigh.

What did he look like underneath that cloak? Was his entire chest riddled with the scarring he had shown before? What would that texture feel like against her tongue? She could only continue to let her mind traverse down the most naughty of thoughts, her gaze sparked as she watched him closely.
 

Azlum Yngrim

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"Well then I-" He stopped and collected himself, her thoughts running rampant with him as the main subject. He sighed deeply and let her have her fun this time around. "You won't ever know what it truly looks like. So keep fantasizing." He turned to her, perhaps his cheeks a little red with where her thoughts continued to go, but he kept his composure and proceeded.

"The mind is a lot like a locked chest. That chest is the basic knowledge you can get from a person's mind. If you unlock that chest, however, you'll come to face another locked chest that's a little harder to open. It continues to get more difficult as you unlock more chests until finally you get to the smallest chest that doesn't have a lock." Azlum looked at her eyes, "That is the core of a person, the driving force behind their existence. It cannot be unlocked, only broken. You could kill someone like that, I've done it many times and it's unpleasant."

His brows furrowed slowly as she only kept thinking of him, "Would you kindly knock that off? I will not hesitate to reprimand you."
 

Lenuta

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Her teeth were now biting at the nail of her index finger, her gaze heavy with lust as she continued her vivid imagination.

"Reprimand me..?" She cooed playfully, biting her lower lip. As eager as she had been to learn magic, she had previously thought her tutor to be an elderly coot. Not a brooding young man with striking features and an intense gaze. She was having far more fun teasing him.

His own words began to play more thoroughly in her mind, amused by the flush of his cheeks. Velvet straps and ropes became a new feature of her fantasy. Leather seeming to suit him well in her mind.
 

Azlum Yngrim

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His eyes closed as he breathed deeply once more. Fine. He thought to himself as he reached his mind a little further into hers. His expertise "unlocking" chest after chest after chest. Until finally he was the unbreakable chest, the core of her being and he knocked a small hole into it telling her mind to temporarily forget how to move. Her body halting whatever movement she was doing at the time.

The strain gave him a headache slowly but he spoke to her calmly, "Please take this a little more seriously. I understand you are young and you have this newfound freedom, but some of us don't have an eternity to learn a new skill." His gaze pierced into her as he gave her back control of her body, locking all of the "chests" he found on his way out.
 

Lenuta

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What had started as a playful jest to rile her tutor became something more. She had not intended for her thoughts to have an effect on herself. Before she was able to dwell on the sensations roiling in her abdomen she was locked. Her body would not listen to her, paralyzed like a statue upon the sofa.

The crawl of another going deep into her mind was discomforting, and she unequipped to stop it. Layer after layer was peeled. Her memories flooding forth as he delved deeper and deeper. Sheltered and cocooned, most of Lenuta's childhood had been spent in that same room. Ancient books read and memorized, full of the history of the Nocterose family and her race. Days were filled with studying etiquette, assuring that she would display herself only as a perfect lady. Any step out of line met with harsh retaliation.

Deeper. Starvation was a feeling she was familiar with. Locked away in dark rooms, days going by with less and less sustenance. Then tested. Offerings of favored foods; told she must resist, for hunger would be a constant in her new life. In earlier years, she had failed the test many times, and each time she was met with a disapproving gaze of her father, then locked away. It was for her benefit. She needed to be strong.

Deeper... Delving into the memories so dark and clouded, even she had refused to breach them. A woman of incredibly similar features, tears of joy streaming down her face as a toddler Lenuta was lead away, oaken doors closing but not before she could see Nocterose's fangs close upon the woman's neck.

"Stop it!" The games were over. Her voice finally returning as he gave her back control, her body falling from its perch and onto the ground. Her jaw was clenched tight and her eyes trained on the ground. She rose slowly, his ploy evoking exactly what he wished as all coy vanished from her features.