Fable - Ask The Scent of Lost Magic

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Kyril

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Ky looked up at her, features still shifting. "It's..."

There was a remarkable clarity to how he spoke. The pain either gone, or completely ignored. The steadiness of his voice was the same as when he had been on Lyrum, as if the drug had somehow been slipped to him in the dead of night.

"It's the shadows." He told her quietly. "They move."

Ky looked away from her for a moment, glancing towards one of the corners for a moment. "They want..."

He swallowed, his eyes narrowing.

"They want my magic." Ky whispered. "What I have left."
 
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Neith

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"Kyril there are no shadows. It's all in your head - remember?" she frowned, slamming his wrists into the mattress in attempt to shake some modicum of sense into him. "Look at me. Nothing is trying to hurt you. Nothing is trying to take your magic. It's just us." she repeated

She didn't know how to make this pass. She'd had to watch her father scream and thrash and lash out for days. Her brow furrowed and she groaned. "Come on Ky."

Neith climbed onto the bed next to him, strengthening her grip as she leaned a little closer to him, her face lingering above his for a moment as though thinking about kissing him. Instead she pulled in a deep breath, and breathed out and silvery wisp of smoke that would tendril into his mouth and nose.

It wasn't something she often did. A gift she hid, keeping it to herself after learning a very hard lesson. People wanted magic, and she could give it. It didn't take a genius to know the sorts of things desperate or greedy people would do to get a hold of someone like her.

She felt a shudder roll across her back and her grip loosened slightly, that feeling of nausea washing over her and her skin paling ever-so-slightly as she pushed herself up, watching him warily.
 
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Kyril

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It was like life itself had been breathed into him.

A surge of power, energy, and vitality suddenly broke through the haze that had clouded his mind. It rushed through him like a tidal wave, tossing aside barricades and buildings within the thrust of a hand. He felt it surge through him, build, and build.

His fingers tightened as she pulled away, and then the soft glow began.

Thousands upon thousands of lines began to light up across his skin. Hundreds of runes in a language that most would struggle to understand cascades in a flash over his flesh. The pale light erupted within the cabin, each mark upon his flesh giving off a gleam.

Ky dropped his gaze down to his tattoos, his fingers curling as he watched them all.

It was different than it had been in the months past.

Different than he remembered.

The haze of Lyrum didn't hang over him, didn't cloud his mind or drive him further. This was more natural, normal. This was...this wasn't his magic, but something close to it. "H-How?"

He breathed softly in disbelief.
 
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Neith

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The light reflected in her dark eyes as she watched, the thrum of it loud enough to make her let go of him and press her hands over her ears for a moment, the metallic scent tickling at her nose.

She winced at his question and got up to take a few stumbled steps back and fall back into the couch she'd slept in. "Doesn't matter. A thank you will suffice.." she shuddered out and pulled her blanket around her shoulders, suppressing a shiver.

Neith couldn't meet his gaze, she was afraid of seeing that look, the realisation and the greed she'd seen before. She was another thing to be addicted to, a living source of magic that she couldn't even use herself. She was nothing more than a vessel, useless to herself but useful to the worst kind of people.

She pulled her legs up onto the couch and Rok hopped onto her knee with a quiet trill. "I'll need to clean and wrap those wounds.." she murmured.
 
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Kyril

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Ky watched her for a moment, narrowing his eyes as she stumbled back towards the couch and folded into herself.

Without the haze clouding his mind he could remember some of the things she'd said. The fact that she was a magical leech of sorts, the pain that she'd managed to bring down on him. Was this connected to that? It almost certainly seemed to be. She was closed off though, and he could not entirely blame her for that.

A gift like that could be abused. "No."

He told her softly.

"You won't." Not with what was not flowing through his veins. He slowly raised his hand, showing her the rune upon it for a moment. The tattoo was not Rune Magic, though he had based it off of the ancient language. Something that he had been rather proud of.

The glow over his body seemed to shift, concentrate, and then slowly he ran his palm over the small wound.

An itching feeling ran over his flesh, and yet it slowly knit itself back together as though sown with a needle and thread. His skin closing as though it had never been opened in the first place.

When the wound was closed Ky leaned back slightly, reveling in the temporary reprieve from pain and nightmares. "When did you first realize?"

He asked her softly.
 
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Neith

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It always drained her like this, as though she hadn't eaten or slept in day, and the cold that seemed bone deep caused her muscles to tighten. She watched him, blinking hard to clear the blur from her sight as he lifted his arm and she tried and failed to read the runes. They were so pretty, she thought, but didn't say so. His magic was impressive, there was so much that he could do, she could only imagine what he'd be capable of back to the full height of his power.

She swallowed at his question and let out a quiet sigh. "That I could take magic? When I was nine, after my mother died.. That I could give it, much later.. A few years ago." she shook her head with a short frown. "It's not something I advertise." she muttered in a shaky breath, leaning her face toward the black bird to let him nuzzle at her.

"That's what Cyrus uses me for. I hunt down debts, if they can't pay, I take whatever they have left." she told him quietly, her gaze on the floor. "And he takes it...Even people who can't wield magic get a high from it." she explained with a husky laugh, void of all amusement.
 
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Kyril

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He nodded his head in understanding. Cyrus would use anything and everything that he could in order to gain power. Whether it was magic, money, or people themselves. Ky had seen it more than once in those rat dens.

Lips thinned for a moment, and he slowly pulled the blankets off of himself.

They were half soaked with blood, half soaked with sweat, but he would clean them later. Thanks to her her had a modicum of energy now, and he would put it to good use until inevitably he returned to the horror that awaited him.

"Here." Ky said as he slowly stepped over to the small table.

A small flick of his wrist, another snapping glow and the tea set that had been left to sit once again began to warm.

His hands busied themselves with digging into some of the rations they had been afforded, carving away at a piece of bread and some cheese. Within a few minutes he stepped over to her with a plate and small mug, crouching down before her in offer.

"Don't give me any more." Ky told her softly. "I need to get through it."
 

Neith

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She watched him move, her muscles bow-tight, not just from the frequent shivers that ran through her, but she was wary.

Her brow furrowed as his body thrummed with the use of magic, as she breathed in another waft of it. "Kyril don't waste it making me tea - I'm fine." she chastised irritably, and watched as he pottered around and fixed her something to eat. She managed a ghost of a smile and huffed.

As he crouched before her, Neith stared at him for a long moment, her dark eyes falling to the food with a twitch of her lips. "Thanks.." she murmured sheepishly and reached to take the offering, the raven rocking back and forth on her shoulder apparently waiting for his offering also.

"I won't.. I just didn't want you to hurt yourself any more. It's not like Lyrum, it's natural magic I haven't.. haven't taken, anything." her head shook.
 
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Kyril

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"I know." He told her softly.

Ky couldn't have said Why he knew, but he did. It was something about the energy of it, how it felt. Not quite right, but an echo of what it should have been. A trickle of his own power, of the magic he should have been capable of.

Not the heights that Lyrum would bring him to, not nearly, but something that seemed close enough. Something he would be satisfied with. "It doesn't feel the same."

He told her softly.

"But." For a second he grit his teeth, considering her, looking up at her as he crouched there. His eyes swept over the tattoos on his flesh, the markings he himself had put there. "It's another crutch."

Ky knew the pain, the hurt, the wounds he would inflict on himself. "I need to be able to stand on my own."

No matter how he got there.

A smile touched his lips, one of the few she had seen him wear.
 

Neith

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"Alright." she agreed with a brief nod, her features softening a little at his smile before she dropped her attention to the plate of food in her lap. She tore at some bread, eating a little whilst sharing some with the bird which trapped it under a taloned foot and tore at it.

"What does it feel like?.. My magic?.." she asked.. "I don't have anyone else's, not since you almost drowned me." she half smirked.. "So that's just..mine." she shrugged. Neith knew that everyone's magic had their differences. They felt different, some made her feel relaxed, some high, some depressed..some sick..
 
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Kyril

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He considered for a moment. "I think it's different for me than it is for you."

Ky had never had any true natural magic. He had never summoned ice or called lightning by the force of his own will. It had always been a spell, an effect called into action and only fueled by his call. It was strange, different.

"For me...magic is energy, power. Not a feeling, but a part of me...almost intrinsically. " He glanced down at his hands. "Like a piece of me that should always be there.."

For a second he hesitated. "Lyrum burned over that, like lightning filling a part of me. Almost painful."

There was a pause.

"My own magic was..." Lips thinned. "I...don't really remember. It made me whole."

Ky swallowed. "This...this is like an echo of what it should be. What I should have. What I should be able to use."

He considered a moment, then added.

"It's like catching a glimpse, a piece of something, but not quite being able to see it all." Kyril stopped, then quietly added. "Even still...it's the most whole I've felt in months. It's not like a drug. It's like...having a piece of myself back."

Ky paused for a second, looking up at her. "Thank you."
 
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Neith

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She caught herself smiling at him as he explained. She understood, at least a little, given that she'd known the feeling of taking in someone else's magic, as well as having it drained from her. She let out a huff of a laugh at his thanks, her cheeks rufescent.

"You're welcome." she shrugged it off as though it had been nothing at all despite trying her best to hide how flimsy she felt. She sipped at her tea, and dropped her gaze into the mug, her lips twisted with thought.

"I always thought of myself as a cup. The magic can be poured in, and drained back out. Different magics have different energies, some of it is like drinking a warm cup of tea, others is like taking in poison." her head tilted as she watched the swirling tea leaves.

"But either way I can't use it, I don't know how." she shrugged.
 
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Kyril

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He frowned a moment, listening carefully.

"Interesting." Very interesting. He thought for a moment, considering her explanation and letting his hands trace over one another. His eyes seemed to narrow, looking at her, almost as if studying her expression.

After a few moments he reached up to run a hand over his jaw. "I don't think..."

Hrm.

"I think you can use it." Ky said slowly. "Or, at least you have once already around me."

Before she could ask him when, Ky explained. "The trap in the bathroom. That was you reacting to the spell somehow, whether involuntarily or not."

It had still happened, and it had to be her. He had not made a mistake in that. "And if you can do it once, you can do it again."

That was the basic foundation of most research.
 
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Neith

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Her dark eyes slowly rose from her tea to settle on his gaunt features, her brow furrowing gently as he explained. She didn't remember doing anything but drowning and subsequently dying in his trap.. "I didn't do anything.. When I died, the magic fled. If it's like an energy then it can't die so I was no longer able to hold onto it. When I woke I had, nothing." her head shook.

Neith huffed quietly, recalling all of the times she'd attempted to start fires and make cups move like an idiot. "Perhaps I'll learn more about it some day." she smiled.

"You should get a comfortable sleep whilst you can.."
 
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Kyril

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He frowned for a moment. "Give me your hands."

She had done much for him, more than she needed. Sure they had struck a bargain, but that bargain was the bare minimum and she had gone beyond it. This was the least that he could do, to prove a point, to show her something else.

Ky had studied magic for years, almost his entire life. He knew things that many others could not even conceive of.

It was a conceited thought, but a truthful one.

"Please." Ky said as he offered his own hands, requesting her palms within them.
 
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Neith

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Neith stared back at him with a certain degree of wariness for a moment. Most mages who knew what she could do would rather run a mile than be in her vicinity rather than willingly touch her, knowing what she could take if she so pleased. Her lips tightened into a thin line and she sighed, glancing down at his hands as he said please.

She lifted her hands and settled them slowly in his, her gaze narrowing as she looked at him expectantly.
 

Kyril

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"Good." He told her softly.

Magic was different for everyone. Some had a natural gift, others were more like him, and still others could simply train themselves to learn. Yet there was always a commonality between them. Something that could be pinpointed.

Kyril took a breath.

"Now close your eyes." He commanded. "And imagine a Rose Bud."

His voice was soft soothing, slow. As she closed her eyes one of the runes on his chest began to glow, a soft pale red that barely pierced through his tunic. "Imagine it, think of it just before it blooms."

A soft trickle of magic poured from him, just the the slightest bit. So small that it would be unnoticeable even to her.

When she did as he said a small rosebud appeared between the two of them, between her hands. An illusion, crafted not by him...but her.

"Now imagine it blooming. The light of the sun casting upon it. The warmth of spring. Think of the scent. The beauty." As soon as she did the Rose bud would flower, growing and blooming. Kyril watched it, a satisfied smile on his face.

The magic came from him, but the control of it from her.
 
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Neith

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Neith's lips twisted uncertainly as she watched him for a moment, but she pulled in a slow breath and nodded as she did as he asked, and closed her eyes.

Her brow furrowed in concentration as she imagined the flower, his voice seeming to glide along her bones like a gentle caress, helping her ease. The thoughts he asked her to conjure made her lips curl. They were pleasant and calm, and as her lips parted to comment, her eyes opened and blinked at the blooming rose between their hands.

"Am.. I, doing this?.." she asked incredulously, her dark brown eyes watching the blooming flower with awe.
 
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Kyril

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Kyril nodded his head. "Yes."

Magic was a force to be manipulated, something that could be bent, guided. This trick was a simple one, and it was using his own magic, but it was a demonstration.

She had the capacity for control. How that could be used within her own abilities he did not know, but he knew that she was capable of it. The magic she stored, took, and gave away could be used in other ways. She simply had to find out how.

"No trick of mine." He assured her.
 
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Neith

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She let out a breathy laugh, a genuine smile warming her features and her grip on his hands tightened for a brief moment. "I didn't know I could." she grinned, and her head tilted as she stared at the rose in concentration.

As her gaze narrowed, the vibrant red colour of the petals bled slowly, leaving the rose a pure white as it opened further and further until the petals fell and floated into the air. Her head shook as she laughed, it had done as she had willed it to. Her. Not him.

"Will you teach me more? Show me more?.." she asked, her eyes following the dancing petals as they swirled in the air between them like snow.
 
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Kyril

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The magic trickled from him with a steady flow.

It was not a lot, but enough that he could tell it was going. The energy was hers, so he felt not the least bit bad about offering it back to her. The gift she had given him had taken away the pain, and even if it was even for a few seconds it was well worth it.

"I..." He frowned for a moment.

Ky was no teacher.

He had never been much good at instructing anyone at...well anything. Most of the time he had simply researched, dug into whatever he could find. Imparting that knowledge had always been far more difficult. "I can try."

Who was he to deny her that? To take that opportunity away. Even if he was bad at it, he could still try.

"Though it will likely have to wait.' He reminded her softly. "I don't think I'll be in any state for a few days."

Not once her magic left him.
 
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Neith

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Her smile fell at his words when she realised that he was spending the energy she'd given him on this, and she gently pulled her hands from his grip. The petals tumbled down, and disappeared into tiny wisps of smoke before they hit the floor.

"Thank you." she said as she looked at him, a warm smile on her lips for a moment before she pushed herself up from the chair. "You should eat something whilst you're not in pain.." she told him, and set about tidying again, albeit a little slower and a little more unstable on her feet as the ship rocked over the crashing waves.
 
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Kyril

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"Probably." He agreed, glancing over towards the tray of food and letting out a sigh.

Kyril knew that in a few hours he would probably just end up vomiting anything he ate up onto the floor, but the attempt would at least be good. Perhaps his body would be able to absorb some sort of strength. At least he hoped.

A hand ran over his face, and then he stood to grab some of the small meal that was still left from earlier.

As he sat himself down Kyril watched her clean quietly, a habit born of nerves.

Was she worried about returning to Elbion? Her father? The discovery that she had now made? Lips thinned for a few moments, and Ky found himself wondering why he wasn't nervous about his return. He should have been. Should have been concerned about his father, the authorities, even the College itself.

Yet he found none of that inside of himself, only resignation.

Perhaps he believed he wouldn't make it at all.
 

Neith

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Over the next few hours, Neith had the little cabin far cleaner now than it had been when they'd entered it. She'd washed Kyril's sweat soaked sheets, made sure he ate and drank, and even fashioned a game of noughts and crosses on a piece of the parchment she'd taken from his desk to try to keep his mind occupied. She was used to playing the game with her father using dark pebbles and light, but now she played it with rubies and sapphires.

"What happened to your mother?.." she asked quietly after a long silence as she placed her ruby down on the centre square, lifting her eyes to him.
 
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Kyril

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He shifted one of the stones, wondering if this was how King's played Stones. "My mother?"

Kyril repeated, looking down at the board with a frown, considering an answer.

"I suppose she's still with my father." He had never doubted that his mother loved him, but that love had always come second to his accomplishments. "I saw her last when...things were coming out."

He told her softly. "I think she was probably more disappointed than my father."

Lips thinned as he remembered her face.