Art Sales
For commissions and flat-sale of your creative efforts.
TOPIC | Ozie's Lore Shop! [FULL!~]
1 2 ... 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
@Dekomaru Hey. I managed to get Feniks's lore done, and I absolutely enjoyed writing it, but I'm sorry to inform you that I can't post it until Monday. For some reason, my "protection software" is stopping me from doing so and I can't contact the technicians about it until then, so it's going to be a couple of days late. I've tried everything possible--like splitting it into part one and part two, wanting to go so far as posting a few paragraphs at a time just to get it to you now that I've finished it--but the second option is spam and with the first, it still exceeds some threshold that my software put in place, so I can't get them to you just yet. As soon as I'm able, I swear I'll post them. Thanks for your patience. [emoji=coatl happy size=1]
@Dekomaru
Hey. I managed to get Feniks's lore done, and I absolutely enjoyed writing it, but I'm sorry to inform you that I can't post it until Monday. For some reason, my "protection software" is stopping me from doing so and I can't contact the technicians about it until then, so it's going to be a couple of days late. I've tried everything possible--like splitting it into part one and part two, wanting to go so far as posting a few paragraphs at a time just to get it to you now that I've finished it--but the second option is spam and with the first, it still exceeds some threshold that my software put in place, so I can't get them to you just yet. As soon as I'm able, I swear I'll post them.

Thanks for your patience.
Hey human, wanna buy some lore? Click here, you won't be disappointed!

Note to self: Lore pinglist
You're fine! thanks for the update though!!
You're fine! thanks for the update though!!
dy52k7_th.jpg

he/him | +3 FR time
@Dekomaru It's Monday, my dude, and so it's time to give you your lore. Took me a while, though, considering I've had to go to the nearest library in order to post this, but hey, at least it's finally with you now, eh? I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you need anything changing, just let me know. [quote=Feniks]-1- “[i]Footwork[/i], man! Stop sliding around like a fool!” Her voice felt raw in her throat from hours of yelling at her soldiers. Not for no reason, though. She wasn’t horrible. They were training outside, in the rain no less. Mud caked her feet, the wind snapped at her exposed neck and the bitter cold was beginning to wear her down to basic instincts. Gone was the friendly Lieutenant you could grab a cider with; in the soaked training grounds reeking of sweat and embarrassment, she turned lethal. Panting, the male before her got back to his feet after slipping once again. Aurum was his name. Scratches lined his cheeks and paws, the red stark against the grey of his skin. His basic Private’s uniform—once a lovely ruby colour—was wet and covered in muck that dribbled down his legs. Yet, unlike others, he still hadn’t backed down, even after half an hour of her harsh words. Feniks had to praise him for that. “Ready to go again?” she sneered, one paw behind the back, the other clutching a simple rapier. To battle with her cleaver would be unfair on her soldiers, as tempting as it was to remind them of her dominance. “Ready when you are, ma’am,” he murmured, genuine fear glistening in his eyes. She didn’t have to be told again, though she waited, breath steady, paw still. She never made the first move. Only when she was desperate did she fail that tactic. He fell into that trap. Charging towards her and swinging his sword frantically, he charged with a roar. Feniks watched with amusement, noting his dropped guard on his right. Aurum swiped at her. She parried, flinging his sword to one side. In his daze, she kicked at his right side and laughed as he fell into the pool of wet earth. He scrambled back up to his feet, nibbling his lip, before rushing forward. His sword swung to her right. The temptation to let him land a blow rose in her mind, though her need to win took over. Her sword clashed against his with a hiss. With a flick of her wrist, her rapier latched under the knuckle guard and tugged the rapier free from her opponent’s weak grasp. It landed on the ground with a soft, sickening squelch. “Do I have to repeat lesson one?” she snarled, shoving her sword carelessly back into its sheath. “Keep your guard up, soldier, no matter what. If you were battling a bandit, you’d have been skewered and hung up as an example. Do you understand?” “Y-yes ma’am,” he whispered, head bowed in shame. A pang of guilt rose in her. It wasn’t fair to be so harsh on Aurum. He was one of their newest members. However, it became a custom, one most of her soldiers knew well. She only treated them with respect once they earned it. No one jeered at him, much to Feniks’s relief. He hesitantly picked up his sword and trudged back into the cover of the barracks, housing almost all of her squadron. Only the highest-ranking officers under her had the privilege of avoiding her, instead posted outside of Mayor Ao’s office and under the cover of the archway at the front of the Mistide Mansion. “Ma’am?” Twirling, she unsheathed her sword and directed it at the voice behind her. The courier stood behind her, clutching an envelope close to her chest. Her face was hidden from the onslaught of miserable rain by a hood, eyes of pearly white shining out from underneath. Lehine. “Yes?” “A letter for you,” she breathed, handing her said letter with a shaking paw. Whether it was because of the cold or fear, Feniks didn’t know. The envelope had a slightly yellow tint, a red seal on the back that she recognised. The hiss that escaped her made the courier back away. “Put it to one side,” she growled. She didn’t sheath her sword. Nodding, the dragon subjected to her irritation scampered to Aurum, shoving the mail towards him and flapping off in an instant. She watched with a snicker as he fumbled with the envelope before placing it on the top of a barrel close by, away from the smokeless hearth one of the soldiers kept alive through magic. She’d have to apologise for her harshness later. “Who’s next?” she hollered, swinging her sword and flinging muck towards them. Their shrieks, whether genuine or fake, made her chuckle. “I’ll go next,” a trill voice called from amongst the many males, leading her to eye a young female. Her name was Isengard. Although her size was a tactical disadvantage, her magic more than made up for that, ploughing through waves upon waves of bandits with a bright, white-toothed smile on the bearer’s face. “Challenge accepted,” she drawled, again putting one paw behind her back. Her sword swung by her side, loose in her grasp. The Imperial female came forward, unsheathing her own sword, and did the same. The two of them had sparred enough to fail in making the first move. A chanting rose from the barracks with each second passing in the pouring rain—“Fight! Fight! Fight!”—and the two females grinned at each other. Feniks waited. She knew Isengard better than any other soldier did; her impatience always got the better of her. One minute passed, then two. She could see her itching to get the fight started. Her digits twiddled with her sword, her smile faltered, disrupted by what looked like irritation. Her own smile grew. A few more minutes rolled past. They began to circle each other, keeping their distance at ten feet away from the other. The lime green arms that wrapped around Isengard’s wings reached up into the sky, down into the dirt, for something to snag her focus. It didn’t work. With each flutter of the Imperial’s large feathered wings, Feniks could tell her rope on patience wore thin. Before Feniks could take another step, Isengard broke and launched herself forward, the dirt painting her legs a sickly brown. She had her sword poised to strike her left, where Feniks was weakest. She was ready. With a swift movement, she parried and shouldered Isengard away from her, disrupting her balance. She then swung her foot underneath the Imperial, kicking at her legs. It sent her flying into the mud beneath them. Feniks used that opportunity to stab at her shawl. Isengard quickly recovered her composure. Without giving her enough time, Feniks moved to swing at her torso. She blocked that with her rapier, the singing of the metal like a song falling upon their ears. They pushed back from each other, skidding on the mud. Isengard charged, a battle cry leaving her lips. Feniks ran forward. She slid between the Imperial’s legs at the last moment, the mud coating her armour and tail in a thick layer. Isengard’s sword caught the tip of a head-feather, slicing through it. Getting to her knees quickly, she barely had enough time to block the soldier’s next blow. She tried to stand, though the arms that wound around her neck and arms sapped her strength, tugged at her concentration. The ice-cold mud bit into her legs. It took everything she had to shove Isengard away and clamber to her feet. Just in time, too. The witch drove attack after attack into her, grinning at her fumbling. It was rare for Feniks to second-guess herself. As she attacked, she miscalculated. Her blade went an inch too close to Isengard’s stomach. It gave her ample room to hook her blade through the knuckle guard of Feniks’s rapier and throw the sword across the muddied field. Shock overcame her. Cheers and whoops erupted from the barracks, drowning out the rain. Both of them, despite the cold, were dripping with sweat and rainwater. Isengard had the biggest smile on her face, tucking away her sword. Her paws reached for Feniks’s blade and gently handed it back to her. “I’m impressed,” she said eventually, a grin slowly spreading across her face. “Very impressed, indeed.” “Thank you, ma’am,” Isengard murmured, blushing beneath her shawl. “Have you been training outside of your allotted hours?” “Yes ma’am.” She turned to the males in the barracks, all of whom were smiling with pride and aw. “It’s time the rest of you dead-weights did the same. I want to see improvements by Solstice.” “But that’s three days away,” Aurum cried, horrified. Others agreed. Feniks gave them a twisted grin. “Then it’s about time you got to work.” Murmuring and cursing, they trudged out into the rain. Feniks bid her opponent a break, offering that she go inside and treat herself for her victory, as she wandered into the makeshift barracks. She slung her armour over the fire with a sigh and looked around, a bored expression on her face. The barracks were nothing more than an old stable taken to pieces and then lazily rebuilt. The rust set into the metal-sheeted roof, the murky colour of the Starwood pillars, told her as such, though they all expected a proper rebuild soon enough, thanks to Mayor Ao. Even after years upon years, perhaps even decades or centuries, the faint smell of damp fur lingered. She couldn’t complain. If Deputy Galleon permitted the familiars to wander the grounds, the smell would be ten times that of now. However, soldiers’ familiars weren’t allowed. The lucky devils [i]have[/i] to stay inside, beside a huge fireplace encased in marble and have food brought to them on a silver platter. Feniks’s stomach growled at the thought. [i]Jahi must be having fun,[/i] she thought grouchily. The teasing snort in her mind made her frown. Gazing at the barrels, empty and possibly rotting, she noticed that Deities’ damned envelope from earlier. It was facing upwards, the cursive letters almost pouncing on her, stirring her anger. [center][i]Lt. Feniks of the Mistide Guard Mistide Mansion A Matter of Urgency[/i][/center] She knew instantly who wrote it. The simple title, the flowing words almost like the rapids beneath the Mansion, the irritation that leapt up from writing her title. Her mother sent this. It was the first time in a year that she’d bothered. Rolling her eyes, Feniks grabbed the envelope and tore it open, revealing a hastily written letter and a lengthy green feather inside. [i]It’s not like Mother to make so many mistakes,[/i] she noted as she skimmed over the words, looking for the prompt of the letter. She found it soon enough. Her throat felt clogged with the urge to scream into the letter. Without thinking, she tore the parchment into scraps and dumped both letter and feather in the fire, refusing to look as it burned. How dare she send her a coaxing letter, a teasing notice, tangled in with one of her charges for arrest? It made her stomach knot and turn, twisting in ways she thought impossible. [i]She[/i] somehow found information on his whereabouts, where Feniks couldn’t. With an irritated snort, she shook her head.[i] Unbelievable. Yet another lie from Mother.[/i] “Are you alright, Lieutenant?” a familiar voice inquired, his voice soft and caring. Cursing internally, she shot her gaze up towards Galleon, who stood on the other side of the flames. As well as his usual attire from an old, washed out hunter’s coat to his signature flower-crown, a cloak ran from his shoulders, covering his wings and protecting him from the rain. It looked like one of Mayor Ao’s cloaks. “I’m fine,” she murmured with a frown. “You’re obviously not, Feniks—” “It’s nothing, sir.” She eyed the field surrounding her with distaste for the muck, though pride thrummed in her at the sight of Aurum’s developing skill, who fought with one of their burliest but friendliest soldiers. They all called him the giant teddy bear for the squadron. She knew he was going easy on the newcomer, but his improvements were already visible. “I’ll get back to training soon.” “Feniks, if it’s bothering you—” “I said it’s nothing, sir.” Feniks scooped up her armour, peeling away a crust of mud, and slipped it on over her head. It’s warmth comforted her, batting away the temptation to shiver. She dragged her cleaver from behind the group of barrels with ease and strapped it onto her waist. The added weight to her hips was both a relief and an anchor. Galleon wasn’t done with her, his beautiful blue eyes narrowing. “If I was to beat you in a duel, would you tell me?” She stopped in her efforts to tighten the belt holding the cleaver and stared at her higher-up. One of her eyebrows rose accusingly. “Are you challenging me, sir?” “I hear you’re the best out of all fighters, Feniks. I’d love to see if I can beat you.” “You sound confident,” she chided before she could stop it, forgetting he wasn’t one of her own men. Embarrassment pooled in her. Galleon didn’t seem to notice her scold. “I [i]am[/i] confident,” he drawled back at her, grinning. “My own father was a swordsman.” “I doubt even he would be able to beat me.” “Bring it on then, Lieutenant.” Nodding curtly, Feniks twisted on her heel. She called out to one of her guards to throw the Deputy a blade and stalked into the rain. Galleon followed soon after, cloak discarded. A ring formed around them, all of them intrigued by the sudden battle. “We’ll judge this on the severity of blows,” she called to the audience, and to the Deputy. “If we deem the blow to be a killing blow, then that dragon wins.” “What’s the reward?” Aurum inquired from the crowd, eyes glittering with mischief. “The other’s dignity.” The audience roared in response, claps and cries of excitement all around them. Feniks drew her cleaver from her belt, the leather handle strong in her grasp. Surely, she had the advantage; her blade was heavier and dealt more damage than your average rapier. Then again, the rapier was lighter and more accurate. Her confidence wavered slightly. She shook her head to dispel it. Galleon seemed confident enough in himself and his blade that he smirked at her, fiddling with the rapier’s knuckle guard like it was a toy. The grip on her cleaver’s leather handle tightened. “Begin!” she cried, and charged forward. Galleon’s surprise was almost enough to make her laugh. Almost. Her cleaver swung upwards, flicking dirt. Feniks half expected to win with that alone. With her aim, it would’ve sliced the Deputy in half. However, he wasn’t slow, despite his appearance. He leapt backwards and swung for her exposed side. She heaved her sword back to the ground just in time. Blade met blade with a clang of steel against steel, the reverberations travelling up her arm. Galleon immediately jumped back with a grimace. To avoid her swipe at his leg, he blocked hastily. His uncertainty made her grin. It fell when Galleon shoved her cleaver away, her balance going. He attempted to hook his foot beneath her raised leg. She left it until then to bring her cleaver back into action. If he hadn’t moved quick enough, it would’ve severed. Back on her own two feet, Feniks gripped her blade with two paws and put it behind her head. Then, with the force of a Deity, she threw it forward. It landed where Galleon once stood, splattering mud over most of the front row watchers. He twirled to her left and kicked, winding her. She fell to one knee with a wheeze, yet managed to knock the Deputy’s sword aside mid-swipe. Her arms burned with the motion. Sweat dripped from her forehead. Already, she was desperate to finish the fight and win. Despite using a cleaver for the past few years, its weight seemed to grow. It was an unfair advantage to the rapier. Her competitiveness made her reckless. Galleon edged towards her—a coax, a bait—once on her feet, breathing heavily. She retaliated by clashing with his blade, knocking him backwards through the sheer force of will. The vibrations made her arm tingle. It snagged her focus for a second too long. When she was back in the fight, Galleon was dancing on the balls of his feet. Bait for a hungry hunter. Following up with another swipe at his knees, he blocked her cleaver and did what she should have expected; he used the weight of her sword, the escaping strength of her arms, against her. He shoved her cleaver down into the mood. The rest of her followed suit. When she looked up again, he towered over her, pressing the rapier against her neck. A pool of warmth accompanied the steely cold of the blade. Roars came from the onlookers as she panted, knelt in the mud at the mercy of the Deputy. Slight irritation flared in her, drowned out by the whooping and cheering. “You said your father was a swordsman?” she wheezed. Mud coated almost every inch of her, drenching her further. “I did indeed,” he chuckled, offering her his paw. Feniks took it gratefully. The rainwater that dripped onto her accompanied the blood spilling down her neck and collarbone. “You put up a good fight, though. I won’t tell anyone of your broken record.” The final statement he added in a whisper, slamming her back good-heartedly. Despite her frustration, she snorted as they wandered back under the barracks, though she still yelled at her squadron to get back to training, much to their protests and calls for a rematch. Feniks supposed they saw her as weak and wanted her to live up to her name. She didn’t have the strength to fight him again. As much as Galleon was the blunt one of both Mayor Ao and himself, she never expected him to know how to wield a sword. “Maybe you should train some of my weakest,” she found herself suggesting once under the cover of the barracks. The mud soaked through her skin, chilling her to the bone. “I could consider it,” he said joyfully, beaming with the compliments her soldiers yelled at him whilst training. “They seem like a pleasant bunch.” “They are, as much as I bully them.” Galleon winked at her. “Would it be any other way with you?” Feniks sighed and tucked herself away beside the fire, hoping to unfreeze her muscles and get back into the fray. Exhaustion washed over her as soon as she sat. The temptation to fall into a deep, dreamless sleep, listening to the rain pattering against the metal above her, would have overcome her if it hadn’t been for Galleon, who crouched beside her. His eyes drove into hers with an unreadable inquiry. “Our deal?” he insisted after a while. She started, her tiredness fleeing for a split second. “I forgot about that,” she admitted. “Do you want to talk about it here or inside the Mansion?” Looking out on the wet field, soldiers clobbered their own and wooden dummies dotted around. Some of them practiced archery. One—Isengard—practiced a spell, her smoky green arms acting like an umbrella. They didn’t let a single drop of water touch their master. “Let’s talk about it here,” she murmured, leaning against the barrels, “while everyone’s training. You never know who could be listening in the Mansion.” -2- The Mayor’s office consisted of marble and gold with few flashes of colour. Flags of crisp blue embroidered with a silver Tundra swung beside huge, rectangular windows. Towering bookshelves—filled to the brim with books and scrolls—perched where a flag was not present, and a great wooden desk in the middle. On it littered books and papers the Mayor had to filter through—as came with the trade—as well as numerous inkwells, quills and a single drawing of the Mayor. It seemed sketched by a child. Of course, the Mayor Ao himself sat beside the desk. He looked older despite his young age of thirty, with huge bags under his eyes, the paperwork tower swaying on his desk cutting into the usual softness of his face. His cheekbones jutted out sharply, his lips pressed into a thin line. Even his accent looked darker, the bright blue swirls dimmed. Galleon stood next to Feniks in front of the desk. Pity wisped around him. “Can you not take a break, sir?” Feniks suggested, standing at ease. She couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt for him. “I’m the Mayor, Feniks,” he whispered, as if he was disbelieving of his own responsibilities. “I can’t take a break.” “You could,” Galleon piped up, stepping forward. A bright smile twitched at his lips. “I could hold your position while you—” He gave his friend a tired, grateful smile. “It won’t look good for me if I just [i]up and take a break[/i], Galleon, though I thank you for your concern.” “But Ao—” “Please, Galleon. I’ll be fine.” He sighed, but said no more. Almost unnoticeable hurt flickered in his eyes, but it died in an instant, washed away by some imaginary current. “What is it you wanted to speak to me about, Feniks?” the Mayor inquired, his voice robotic. The disinterest in his tone grated against her nerves. She made herself believe it was merely the exhaustion. “A letter from my mother, sir,” she told him, tugging the parchment free from her armour’s belt and presenting it to him. “It has some interesting information.” He shook his head, his mane swishing from side to side. “May you read it out to me, Lieutenant? I have a feeling I’ll misread.” “Then go get some sleep.” It felt like an order as it left her mouth and shock crossed both of their faces. “I’m sorry—” she began, withdrawing the letter. “Its fine, Feniks,” he chuckled, smiling. “Maybe you’re right, maybe I [i]should[/i] go sleep.” “It’s about time,” Galleon groaned behind them. “Come on, Ao, we’ll walk you back to your chamber.” They both watched with concern as the Mayor slowly got up from his desk. How long hadn’t he slept for? Feniks didn’t have time to contemplate it as Ao gratefully fell against his friend’s side, using him for support. They left the office ten seconds before her, their whispers bounding off the walls. Feniks stalked a few feet behind, as always, and let them talk. The letter was stuffed back into her belt, creasing. Portraits of Mayors past hung on the walls, lit by eternal torches that needed only a sprinkle of Flare to light. Some looked soft, like Ao, with small smiles, scrunched eyes and upstart ears. Others looked ready for war, with a fire dancing in their eyes even past their own deaths. She could’ve sworn the odd few watched her as she passed. She shivered. Pedestals of potted plants—lavender and water lilies—dotted each corner and every pillar of white in between, their smell strong but strangely relaxing. The mosaic tiles of white and sapphire beneath her feet stirred the ancient, oceanic link in all Water dragons. A sudden yearning to be beside so much as a pond rose in her. She shoved it away with every clacking step Galleon took, his claws scratching lightly against the tiles but leaving no mark of their existence. Only their soft murmurs accompanied the noise. Every so often, a chest of drawers or a dark oak door with a great golden lock would appear and spark her curiosity. She never asked about it. Her assumption was that the drawers were full of boring old scrolls—declarations from centuries of existence to form their Constitution—and that the doors lead to the Vault. [i]The Vault[/i]. Disappointed thrummed through her. Though she tried not to, she paid it heed. Because of her mistake of leaving Aurum in charge of guarding, some scoundrels broke in. They never stole anything, luckily. Despite that, every time it clawed at her mind, she felt guilt. Not just for her, but also for Aurum, who ended up in a medic’s hut for a few days with a sprained wing. Ao charged her with arresting every pursuer, though so far she found none. Eventually they reached a door much like the others, except for one detail; huge, silver letters stamped AO stood out against the wood like the moon against a dark sky. They hadn’t been replaced by another name for years. Mistidians evidently loved him greatly. The two leaders of Mistide stopped abruptly and Feniks crept to one side, leaning against the wall in wait. Ao stood in the doorway, his friend before him speaking in a soft voice. “Get some sleep,” Galleon said with an undertone of command. “You need it.” Mayor Ao nodded, swaying slightly on his feet. Feniks moved a few steps closer just in case she needed to help him, though Galleon looked like he had it under control. He kept one paw firmly gripped onto his friend’s arm, the other held against his chest to keep him upright. “Do you need me to help you get—” “I’ll have Feniks do it,” the Mayor slurred. He pleaded her with a heavy-lidded gaze, intent glistening in their depths. “May you, Feniks?” She started, though remained by the wall, inhaling the sweet smell of lavender. “I think it’d be better for Galleon to do it, sir.” He grinned cheekily at her. “Embarrassed, by chance?” “Never, sir, it’s just that he’s—” “Got work to do, and will need to hand it in by sundown.” Galleon’s subtle growl told her his statement was true. After a few seconds, she nodded and positioned herself beside the Deputy. “Very well, sir.” “Feniks, it’s Ao,” he sighed before gazing sadly at his friend. “If you can, could you go through some of those papers? I’ll come help you in a few hours.” “If it’s less than four hours from now,” Galleon began, a flare of emotion she didn’t recognise in his eyes, “then I’ll be sending you back to bed.” The Mayor smirked. “Deal.” With that, Ao spun on his heel and headed inside, a hesitant Feniks following behind. Galleon grabbed at her wrist just as she grabbed the door handle, the cold brass nuzzling her paw. She twisted to glare at him, only for the worry in his eyes to sink in. “Please make sure he gets to sleep, Feniks. I know what he’s like.” He exhaled noisily, shutting his eyes. When they reopened, the concern had grown. “If needs be, there’s a bottle of perfume on his dresser. It’s a sleeping potion for his insomnia, it’ll send him to sleep within minutes. Please use it if he starts misbehaving.” Her brow furrowed in confusion. “Does he know?” Galleon nodded. “Yes, he knows. It’s a prescription potion. Hopefully he won’t mess about too much, but if he does, he’d want you to use it.” He chuckled sadly and finally let go of her. “It’s not easy being an insomniac.” Her head-feathers flattened against her head, though not in anger. “I’m guessing you know how that feels.” “I do.” “I’ll see that it’s done if he refuses,” Feniks murmured after a while, a spark of determination settled in her gaze. With a small smile that barely reached his eyes, Galleon stalked off down the hall. His room was just a few feet away. The groan that travelled from said room made her snort as she trailed into Ao’s room, closing the door behind her. In comparison to his office, Ao’s bedchamber was simple. The marble drifted into wooden planks, accompanied by a stark white rug that brushed gently against the pads of her aching feet. A large desk, recently oiled and polished, sat underneath a huge, arching window, left to bake in the little sunlight that filtered through amongst dark storm clouds. Not far from that was a lavish bed showing off Ao’s colours—silver and blue—with scattered books at the foot of it. Golden light fell upon a small perfume bottle, which someone appropriately labelled ‘[i]lullaby[/i]’ as she edged closer. It sat beside another, neater stack of papers and Ao, who leaned against the desk and gazed at her. “What did your letter say, Lieutenant?” he asked breezily, the slur gone. “You should get some sleep, sir,” she suggested in spite of the ache in her. She wanted to tell him, but Galleon was right. He needed rest. “I won’t be able to sleep, not with your mother making you uncomfortable.” Feniks sighed, resuming her default stance. “Sir—” “Out with it, Feniks.” It was a wavering order, one that held little authority over her. As much as he tried, he wasn’t exactly threatening. [i]A giant teddy bear.[/i] She frowned at her higher-up. Feniks knew she could ignore it and force him into his bed, yet she yearned to tell him. He deserved to know, especially as it involved one of the most notorious—and missing—pursuers. Ao gestured for her to tell him and, despite Galleon’s earlier plea, she did. “Apparently Mother has some information on... one of the offenders. I was going to see her tonight, outside of my duties, and see if I can get it from her.” “I’m coming with you.” Feniks glared at the Mayor, who shrugged nonchalantly. “Sir, you need your rest.” “It’s Ao, and I couldn’t care less about resting.” He stepped away from the desk and closed the distance between them, lowering his voice to a whisper. “Which of the offenders is it?” Her lack of an answer made him snort. Like her, he was disbelieving “She somehow has information on her son? Didn’t he leave her over three years ago?” “He did, yes, si—Ao.” “Has she got any proof?” Slowly, Feniks nodded. “She sent one of Trifolium’s feathers, but I was foolish and dumped it in a fire. Apparently she fought with him.” Ao shook his head, looking like he’d just sucked on a lemon. “How do we know it’s Trifolium’s?” “We don’t, but it’s a lead we—” She bowed her head in shame. For months, she’d been looking for any clue on her younger brother, and somehow her mother beat her to it without even trying. “—[i]I[/i] haven’t been able to find.” Ao patted her shoulder. She looked up to see a small smile on his face that softened his features. He looked like the Mayor everyone loved once more. “It’s not your fault that your brother’s crafty,” he told her. “He gets it from your mother, I presume.” “That and his experience as a thief throughout his life,” Feniks muttered, noting the bitterness in her tone. She fiddled with her belt, the softness of it comforting her. “Mother said she wanted something in return for her help.” “Any idea what it could be?” “None, sir.” “Ao, Feniks,” he gently reminded her again. “Can I have a look at the letter?” Feniks tugged the letter free from her belt once more and handed it to the Mayor. For a reason unknown to her, anxiety coursed through her blood. He took it from her with a thank you and stalked over to his bed to read it. In the sunlight flitting along the bed, his eye bags were more noticeable, making the skin beneath his eyes a dark purple rather than a light blue. The desire to follow Galleon’s order—to put him to sleep with the perfume—crawled into her mind, whispered in her ear. Feniks shook her head and hoped she wouldn’t have to use it. “Interesting,” Ao murmured to himself, biting his thumb. He gave her a quizzical look. “Has she done anything recently?” “Not that I’m aware of. We made a deal that she wouldn’t kill anymore.” She bit her lip in frustration. “I hope she stuck to it. The meeting didn’t exactly end well.” He got up from the bed and picked up a cloak hanging from the door. It was as black as midnight, with the rim a weaving set of light blues and whites. It reminded her of a shoreline at midnight. “Let’s go see her.” Feniks shook her head. “Ao, you need to sleep.” “I’d much rather make sure that a danger to society is taken care of—” Ao started as soon as the sentence left his mouth, and he bit his lip. Regret glinted in his eyes. “No offence, Feniks.” “None taken,” she grumbled. “I’m nothing like my mother.” “Is there any threat to her killing again if we don’t give her what she wants?” Feniks shook her head. “If what she says is true, she wouldn’t dare. Not if she wants to strike a deal with us in the future if this one doesn’t go well.” Ao grinned and went to open the door. “Then let’s pay her a visit.” He couldn’t take another step as she swiped the perfume from the desk and held it between them, the golden nozzle aimed at the Mayor. His ears flattened at the sight of it. It made her heart clench. “Feniks, what are you—?” “You need your sleep, Ao,” she sighed, squeezing the bottle a little bit tighter. “Go to bed and we’ll visit her tonight, where no one will notice us.” He looked about to protest, mouth open like a gaping fish. When he closed it, Feniks had to stile a sigh of relief. “Get into bed, please sir.” With a grunt, he trudged to his bed, clambering onto the covers. Something felt wrong. Ao wasn’t one to give up so easily, even when he was exhausted. “Do you still have that file on your mother?” he inquired, as if answering her invisible inquiry. “I do.” “Good.” Just as she opened her mouth, confused, Ao gave her a level look. With his wings wrapped around him, he looked too innocent to be the Mayor of Mistide. “Does she know about them?” Feniks tugged at her belt. “She thinks I burnt them. It was part of our deal.” “Bring it to me.” “Ao—” “We need something as leverage if we’re to get something from her,” he told her. The knowledge seemed to bound from him into the surrounding room, infinite. Perhaps being the Mayor wasn’t his first dream. Feniks’s head-feathers flattened against her head. “To guilt trip her?” Ao smiled at her reassuringly. “To call her out if she gets out of hand. I’ve never met your mother, but guessing by your hatred for her, she isn’t the loveliest female in Mistide.” “Far from it,” she spat out before she could stop it. “Then go bring me your file and we’ll dig up her worst offences. She might behave herself if we have them on us.” Feniks gave him a level look. “I’ll give it to you tonight, when you wake up. For now, you need sleep.” “Feniks—” She raised the potion once more and gave him a sad smile. “I’m not going to disobey Galleon again, Ao. He wanted me to use this on you if you messed around.” Even though his expression screamed their distaste for sleep, he nodded curtly and wrapped himself up in his wings. For good measure, she squirted the pillow beneath his head and moved to sit on the desk. She stayed for a while after that, about half an hour, to make sure he was asleep. His deep breathing gave it away; soft snores intertwined with the gentle rain beginning to patter against the windowpanes. He looked at peace in his sleep. No worries clouded his eyes, no stress furrowed his brow, and to see him genuinely calm sparked happiness in her. As much as their relationship was professional, she still cared. Eventually, content with Ao sleeping the afternoon away, she left his room, slowly closing the door behind her. The gentle click satisfied her and she ambled towards her room. Disgust roiled in her at the thought of touching her mother’s file, the lie slick against her tongue. [i]I’ll burn it,[/i] she remembered growling, [i]and the Mayor will never know, if you promise not to kill[/i]. She locked it away in the corner of her mind. [i]Perhaps Mother’s changed in the last year,[/i] she thought, forcing herself to hope against the damning knowledge that she hadn’t. It was all she could do to keep her stomach from knotting itself in disgust, and perhaps fear, of her mother. [right][size=1][i]Made by Ozie in "[URL=http://www1.flightrising.com/forums/art/2371542]Ozie's Lore Shop![/URL]"[/i][/size][/right][/quote]
@Dekomaru
It's Monday, my dude, and so it's time to give you your lore. Took me a while, though, considering I've had to go to the nearest library in order to post this, but hey, at least it's finally with you now, eh? I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you need anything changing, just let me know.
Feniks wrote:
-1-
Footwork, man! Stop sliding around like a fool!”
Her voice felt raw in her throat from hours of yelling at her soldiers. Not for no reason, though. She wasn’t horrible.
They were training outside, in the rain no less. Mud caked her feet, the wind snapped at her exposed neck and the bitter cold was beginning to wear her down to basic instincts. Gone was the friendly Lieutenant you could grab a cider with; in the soaked training grounds reeking of sweat and embarrassment, she turned lethal.
Panting, the male before her got back to his feet after slipping once again. Aurum was his name. Scratches lined his cheeks and paws, the red stark against the grey of his skin. His basic Private’s uniform—once a lovely ruby colour—was wet and covered in muck that dribbled down his legs. Yet, unlike others, he still hadn’t backed down, even after half an hour of her harsh words. Feniks had to praise him for that.
“Ready to go again?” she sneered, one paw behind the back, the other clutching a simple rapier. To battle with her cleaver would be unfair on her soldiers, as tempting as it was to remind them of her dominance.
“Ready when you are, ma’am,” he murmured, genuine fear glistening in his eyes.
She didn’t have to be told again, though she waited, breath steady, paw still. She never made the first move. Only when she was desperate did she fail that tactic.
He fell into that trap. Charging towards her and swinging his sword frantically, he charged with a roar. Feniks watched with amusement, noting his dropped guard on his right. Aurum swiped at her. She parried, flinging his sword to one side. In his daze, she kicked at his right side and laughed as he fell into the pool of wet earth. He scrambled back up to his feet, nibbling his lip, before rushing forward. His sword swung to her right. The temptation to let him land a blow rose in her mind, though her need to win took over. Her sword clashed against his with a hiss. With a flick of her wrist, her rapier latched under the knuckle guard and tugged the rapier free from her opponent’s weak grasp. It landed on the ground with a soft, sickening squelch.
“Do I have to repeat lesson one?” she snarled, shoving her sword carelessly back into its sheath. “Keep your guard up, soldier, no matter what. If you were battling a bandit, you’d have been skewered and hung up as an example. Do you understand?”
“Y-yes ma’am,” he whispered, head bowed in shame. A pang of guilt rose in her. It wasn’t fair to be so harsh on Aurum. He was one of their newest members. However, it became a custom, one most of her soldiers knew well. She only treated them with respect once they earned it.
No one jeered at him, much to Feniks’s relief. He hesitantly picked up his sword and trudged back into the cover of the barracks, housing almost all of her squadron. Only the highest-ranking officers under her had the privilege of avoiding her, instead posted outside of Mayor Ao’s office and under the cover of the archway at the front of the Mistide Mansion.
“Ma’am?”
Twirling, she unsheathed her sword and directed it at the voice behind her. The courier stood behind her, clutching an envelope close to her chest. Her face was hidden from the onslaught of miserable rain by a hood, eyes of pearly white shining out from underneath. Lehine. “Yes?”
“A letter for you,” she breathed, handing her said letter with a shaking paw. Whether it was because of the cold or fear, Feniks didn’t know. The envelope had a slightly yellow tint, a red seal on the back that she recognised. The hiss that escaped her made the courier back away.
“Put it to one side,” she growled. She didn’t sheath her sword.
Nodding, the dragon subjected to her irritation scampered to Aurum, shoving the mail towards him and flapping off in an instant. She watched with a snicker as he fumbled with the envelope before placing it on the top of a barrel close by, away from the smokeless hearth one of the soldiers kept alive through magic.
She’d have to apologise for her harshness later.
“Who’s next?” she hollered, swinging her sword and flinging muck towards them. Their shrieks, whether genuine or fake, made her chuckle.
“I’ll go next,” a trill voice called from amongst the many males, leading her to eye a young female. Her name was Isengard. Although her size was a tactical disadvantage, her magic more than made up for that, ploughing through waves upon waves of bandits with a bright, white-toothed smile on the bearer’s face.
“Challenge accepted,” she drawled, again putting one paw behind her back. Her sword swung by her side, loose in her grasp.
The Imperial female came forward, unsheathing her own sword, and did the same. The two of them had sparred enough to fail in making the first move. A chanting rose from the barracks with each second passing in the pouring rain—“Fight! Fight! Fight!”—and the two females grinned at each other.
Feniks waited. She knew Isengard better than any other soldier did; her impatience always got the better of her. One minute passed, then two. She could see her itching to get the fight started. Her digits twiddled with her sword, her smile faltered, disrupted by what looked like irritation. Her own smile grew.
A few more minutes rolled past. They began to circle each other, keeping their distance at ten feet away from the other. The lime green arms that wrapped around Isengard’s wings reached up into the sky, down into the dirt, for something to snag her focus. It didn’t work. With each flutter of the Imperial’s large feathered wings, Feniks could tell her rope on patience wore thin.
Before Feniks could take another step, Isengard broke and launched herself forward, the dirt painting her legs a sickly brown. She had her sword poised to strike her left, where Feniks was weakest.
She was ready. With a swift movement, she parried and shouldered Isengard away from her, disrupting her balance. She then swung her foot underneath the Imperial, kicking at her legs. It sent her flying into the mud beneath them. Feniks used that opportunity to stab at her shawl.
Isengard quickly recovered her composure. Without giving her enough time, Feniks moved to swing at her torso. She blocked that with her rapier, the singing of the metal like a song falling upon their ears. They pushed back from each other, skidding on the mud. Isengard charged, a battle cry leaving her lips. Feniks ran forward. She slid between the Imperial’s legs at the last moment, the mud coating her armour and tail in a thick layer. Isengard’s sword caught the tip of a head-feather, slicing through it.
Getting to her knees quickly, she barely had enough time to block the soldier’s next blow. She tried to stand, though the arms that wound around her neck and arms sapped her strength, tugged at her concentration. The ice-cold mud bit into her legs. It took everything she had to shove Isengard away and clamber to her feet. Just in time, too.
The witch drove attack after attack into her, grinning at her fumbling. It was rare for Feniks to second-guess herself. As she attacked, she miscalculated. Her blade went an inch too close to Isengard’s stomach. It gave her ample room to hook her blade through the knuckle guard of Feniks’s rapier and throw the sword across the muddied field.
Shock overcame her. Cheers and whoops erupted from the barracks, drowning out the rain. Both of them, despite the cold, were dripping with sweat and rainwater. Isengard had the biggest smile on her face, tucking away her sword. Her paws reached for Feniks’s blade and gently handed it back to her.
“I’m impressed,” she said eventually, a grin slowly spreading across her face. “Very impressed, indeed.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” Isengard murmured, blushing beneath her shawl.
“Have you been training outside of your allotted hours?”
“Yes ma’am.”
She turned to the males in the barracks, all of whom were smiling with pride and aw. “It’s time the rest of you dead-weights did the same. I want to see improvements by Solstice.”
“But that’s three days away,” Aurum cried, horrified. Others agreed.
Feniks gave them a twisted grin. “Then it’s about time you got to work.”
Murmuring and cursing, they trudged out into the rain. Feniks bid her opponent a break, offering that she go inside and treat herself for her victory, as she wandered into the makeshift barracks. She slung her armour over the fire with a sigh and looked around, a bored expression on her face.
The barracks were nothing more than an old stable taken to pieces and then lazily rebuilt. The rust set into the metal-sheeted roof, the murky colour of the Starwood pillars, told her as such, though they all expected a proper rebuild soon enough, thanks to Mayor Ao. Even after years upon years, perhaps even decades or centuries, the faint smell of damp fur lingered.
She couldn’t complain. If Deputy Galleon permitted the familiars to wander the grounds, the smell would be ten times that of now. However, soldiers’ familiars weren’t allowed. The lucky devils have to stay inside, beside a huge fireplace encased in marble and have food brought to them on a silver platter. Feniks’s stomach growled at the thought. Jahi must be having fun, she thought grouchily. The teasing snort in her mind made her frown.
Gazing at the barrels, empty and possibly rotting, she noticed that Deities’ damned envelope from earlier. It was facing upwards, the cursive letters almost pouncing on her, stirring her anger.
Lt. Feniks of the Mistide Guard
Mistide Mansion
A Matter of Urgency
She knew instantly who wrote it. The simple title, the flowing words almost like the rapids beneath the Mansion, the irritation that leapt up from writing her title. Her mother sent this. It was the first time in a year that she’d bothered.
Rolling her eyes, Feniks grabbed the envelope and tore it open, revealing a hastily written letter and a lengthy green feather inside. It’s not like Mother to make so many mistakes, she noted as she skimmed over the words, looking for the prompt of the letter. She found it soon enough. Her throat felt clogged with the urge to scream into the letter.
Without thinking, she tore the parchment into scraps and dumped both letter and feather in the fire, refusing to look as it burned. How dare she send her a coaxing letter, a teasing notice, tangled in with one of her charges for arrest? It made her stomach knot and turn, twisting in ways she thought impossible. She somehow found information on his whereabouts, where Feniks couldn’t. With an irritated snort, she shook her head. Unbelievable. Yet another lie from Mother.
“Are you alright, Lieutenant?” a familiar voice inquired, his voice soft and caring.
Cursing internally, she shot her gaze up towards Galleon, who stood on the other side of the flames. As well as his usual attire from an old, washed out hunter’s coat to his signature flower-crown, a cloak ran from his shoulders, covering his wings and protecting him from the rain. It looked like one of Mayor Ao’s cloaks.
“I’m fine,” she murmured with a frown.
“You’re obviously not, Feniks—”
“It’s nothing, sir.” She eyed the field surrounding her with distaste for the muck, though pride thrummed in her at the sight of Aurum’s developing skill, who fought with one of their burliest but friendliest soldiers. They all called him the giant teddy bear for the squadron. She knew he was going easy on the newcomer, but his improvements were already visible. “I’ll get back to training soon.”
“Feniks, if it’s bothering you—”
“I said it’s nothing, sir.”
Feniks scooped up her armour, peeling away a crust of mud, and slipped it on over her head. It’s warmth comforted her, batting away the temptation to shiver. She dragged her cleaver from behind the group of barrels with ease and strapped it onto her waist. The added weight to her hips was both a relief and an anchor.
Galleon wasn’t done with her, his beautiful blue eyes narrowing. “If I was to beat you in a duel, would you tell me?”
She stopped in her efforts to tighten the belt holding the cleaver and stared at her higher-up. One of her eyebrows rose accusingly. “Are you challenging me, sir?”
“I hear you’re the best out of all fighters, Feniks. I’d love to see if I can beat you.”
“You sound confident,” she chided before she could stop it, forgetting he wasn’t one of her own men. Embarrassment pooled in her.
Galleon didn’t seem to notice her scold. “I am confident,” he drawled back at her, grinning. “My own father was a swordsman.”
“I doubt even he would be able to beat me.”
“Bring it on then, Lieutenant.”
Nodding curtly, Feniks twisted on her heel. She called out to one of her guards to throw the Deputy a blade and stalked into the rain. Galleon followed soon after, cloak discarded. A ring formed around them, all of them intrigued by the sudden battle.
“We’ll judge this on the severity of blows,” she called to the audience, and to the Deputy. “If we deem the blow to be a killing blow, then that dragon wins.”
“What’s the reward?” Aurum inquired from the crowd, eyes glittering with mischief.
“The other’s dignity.”
The audience roared in response, claps and cries of excitement all around them.
Feniks drew her cleaver from her belt, the leather handle strong in her grasp. Surely, she had the advantage; her blade was heavier and dealt more damage than your average rapier. Then again, the rapier was lighter and more accurate. Her confidence wavered slightly. She shook her head to dispel it.
Galleon seemed confident enough in himself and his blade that he smirked at her, fiddling with the rapier’s knuckle guard like it was a toy. The grip on her cleaver’s leather handle tightened.
“Begin!” she cried, and charged forward. Galleon’s surprise was almost enough to make her laugh. Almost.
Her cleaver swung upwards, flicking dirt. Feniks half expected to win with that alone. With her aim, it would’ve sliced the Deputy in half. However, he wasn’t slow, despite his appearance. He leapt backwards and swung for her exposed side. She heaved her sword back to the ground just in time. Blade met blade with a clang of steel against steel, the reverberations travelling up her arm. Galleon immediately jumped back with a grimace. To avoid her swipe at his leg, he blocked hastily. His uncertainty made her grin.
It fell when Galleon shoved her cleaver away, her balance going. He attempted to hook his foot beneath her raised leg. She left it until then to bring her cleaver back into action. If he hadn’t moved quick enough, it would’ve severed. Back on her own two feet, Feniks gripped her blade with two paws and put it behind her head. Then, with the force of a Deity, she threw it forward. It landed where Galleon once stood, splattering mud over most of the front row watchers.
He twirled to her left and kicked, winding her. She fell to one knee with a wheeze, yet managed to knock the Deputy’s sword aside mid-swipe. Her arms burned with the motion. Sweat dripped from her forehead. Already, she was desperate to finish the fight and win. Despite using a cleaver for the past few years, its weight seemed to grow. It was an unfair advantage to the rapier.
Her competitiveness made her reckless.
Galleon edged towards her—a coax, a bait—once on her feet, breathing heavily. She retaliated by clashing with his blade, knocking him backwards through the sheer force of will. The vibrations made her arm tingle. It snagged her focus for a second too long. When she was back in the fight, Galleon was dancing on the balls of his feet. Bait for a hungry hunter.
Following up with another swipe at his knees, he blocked her cleaver and did what she should have expected; he used the weight of her sword, the escaping strength of her arms, against her. He shoved her cleaver down into the mood. The rest of her followed suit. When she looked up again, he towered over her, pressing the rapier against her neck. A pool of warmth accompanied the steely cold of the blade.
Roars came from the onlookers as she panted, knelt in the mud at the mercy of the Deputy. Slight irritation flared in her, drowned out by the whooping and cheering.
“You said your father was a swordsman?” she wheezed. Mud coated almost every inch of her, drenching her further.
“I did indeed,” he chuckled, offering her his paw. Feniks took it gratefully. The rainwater that dripped onto her accompanied the blood spilling down her neck and collarbone. “You put up a good fight, though. I won’t tell anyone of your broken record.” The final statement he added in a whisper, slamming her back good-heartedly.
Despite her frustration, she snorted as they wandered back under the barracks, though she still yelled at her squadron to get back to training, much to their protests and calls for a rematch. Feniks supposed they saw her as weak and wanted her to live up to her name. She didn’t have the strength to fight him again. As much as Galleon was the blunt one of both Mayor Ao and himself, she never expected him to know how to wield a sword.
“Maybe you should train some of my weakest,” she found herself suggesting once under the cover of the barracks. The mud soaked through her skin, chilling her to the bone.
“I could consider it,” he said joyfully, beaming with the compliments her soldiers yelled at him whilst training. “They seem like a pleasant bunch.”
“They are, as much as I bully them.”
Galleon winked at her. “Would it be any other way with you?”
Feniks sighed and tucked herself away beside the fire, hoping to unfreeze her muscles and get back into the fray. Exhaustion washed over her as soon as she sat. The temptation to fall into a deep, dreamless sleep, listening to the rain pattering against the metal above her, would have overcome her if it hadn’t been for Galleon, who crouched beside her. His eyes drove into hers with an unreadable inquiry.
“Our deal?” he insisted after a while. She started, her tiredness fleeing for a split second.
“I forgot about that,” she admitted.
“Do you want to talk about it here or inside the Mansion?”
Looking out on the wet field, soldiers clobbered their own and wooden dummies dotted around. Some of them practiced archery. One—Isengard—practiced a spell, her smoky green arms acting like an umbrella. They didn’t let a single drop of water touch their master.
“Let’s talk about it here,” she murmured, leaning against the barrels, “while everyone’s training. You never know who could be listening in the Mansion.”
-2-
The Mayor’s office consisted of marble and gold with few flashes of colour. Flags of crisp blue embroidered with a silver Tundra swung beside huge, rectangular windows. Towering bookshelves—filled to the brim with books and scrolls—perched where a flag was not present, and a great wooden desk in the middle. On it littered books and papers the Mayor had to filter through—as came with the trade—as well as numerous inkwells, quills and a single drawing of the Mayor. It seemed sketched by a child.
Of course, the Mayor Ao himself sat beside the desk. He looked older despite his young age of thirty, with huge bags under his eyes, the paperwork tower swaying on his desk cutting into the usual softness of his face. His cheekbones jutted out sharply, his lips pressed into a thin line. Even his accent looked darker, the bright blue swirls dimmed. Galleon stood next to Feniks in front of the desk. Pity wisped around him.
“Can you not take a break, sir?” Feniks suggested, standing at ease. She couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt for him.
“I’m the Mayor, Feniks,” he whispered, as if he was disbelieving of his own responsibilities. “I can’t take a break.”
“You could,” Galleon piped up, stepping forward. A bright smile twitched at his lips. “I could hold your position while you—”
He gave his friend a tired, grateful smile. “It won’t look good for me if I just up and take a break, Galleon, though I thank you for your concern.”
“But Ao—”
“Please, Galleon. I’ll be fine.”
He sighed, but said no more. Almost unnoticeable hurt flickered in his eyes, but it died in an instant, washed away by some imaginary current.
“What is it you wanted to speak to me about, Feniks?” the Mayor inquired, his voice robotic. The disinterest in his tone grated against her nerves. She made herself believe it was merely the exhaustion.
“A letter from my mother, sir,” she told him, tugging the parchment free from her armour’s belt and presenting it to him. “It has some interesting information.”
He shook his head, his mane swishing from side to side. “May you read it out to me, Lieutenant? I have a feeling I’ll misread.”
“Then go get some sleep.”
It felt like an order as it left her mouth and shock crossed both of their faces. “I’m sorry—” she began, withdrawing the letter.
“Its fine, Feniks,” he chuckled, smiling. “Maybe you’re right, maybe I should go sleep.”
“It’s about time,” Galleon groaned behind them. “Come on, Ao, we’ll walk you back to your chamber.”
They both watched with concern as the Mayor slowly got up from his desk. How long hadn’t he slept for? Feniks didn’t have time to contemplate it as Ao gratefully fell against his friend’s side, using him for support. They left the office ten seconds before her, their whispers bounding off the walls. Feniks stalked a few feet behind, as always, and let them talk. The letter was stuffed back into her belt, creasing.
Portraits of Mayors past hung on the walls, lit by eternal torches that needed only a sprinkle of Flare to light. Some looked soft, like Ao, with small smiles, scrunched eyes and upstart ears. Others looked ready for war, with a fire dancing in their eyes even past their own deaths. She could’ve sworn the odd few watched her as she passed. She shivered.
Pedestals of potted plants—lavender and water lilies—dotted each corner and every pillar of white in between, their smell strong but strangely relaxing. The mosaic tiles of white and sapphire beneath her feet stirred the ancient, oceanic link in all Water dragons. A sudden yearning to be beside so much as a pond rose in her. She shoved it away with every clacking step Galleon took, his claws scratching lightly against the tiles but leaving no mark of their existence. Only their soft murmurs accompanied the noise.
Every so often, a chest of drawers or a dark oak door with a great golden lock would appear and spark her curiosity. She never asked about it. Her assumption was that the drawers were full of boring old scrolls—declarations from centuries of existence to form their Constitution—and that the doors lead to the Vault.
The Vault. Disappointed thrummed through her. Though she tried not to, she paid it heed. Because of her mistake of leaving Aurum in charge of guarding, some scoundrels broke in. They never stole anything, luckily. Despite that, every time it clawed at her mind, she felt guilt. Not just for her, but also for Aurum, who ended up in a medic’s hut for a few days with a sprained wing.
Ao charged her with arresting every pursuer, though so far she found none.
Eventually they reached a door much like the others, except for one detail; huge, silver letters stamped AO stood out against the wood like the moon against a dark sky. They hadn’t been replaced by another name for years. Mistidians evidently loved him greatly.
The two leaders of Mistide stopped abruptly and Feniks crept to one side, leaning against the wall in wait. Ao stood in the doorway, his friend before him speaking in a soft voice.
“Get some sleep,” Galleon said with an undertone of command. “You need it.”
Mayor Ao nodded, swaying slightly on his feet. Feniks moved a few steps closer just in case she needed to help him, though Galleon looked like he had it under control. He kept one paw firmly gripped onto his friend’s arm, the other held against his chest to keep him upright.
“Do you need me to help you get—”
“I’ll have Feniks do it,” the Mayor slurred. He pleaded her with a heavy-lidded gaze, intent glistening in their depths. “May you, Feniks?”
She started, though remained by the wall, inhaling the sweet smell of lavender. “I think it’d be better for Galleon to do it, sir.”
He grinned cheekily at her. “Embarrassed, by chance?”
“Never, sir, it’s just that he’s—”
“Got work to do, and will need to hand it in by sundown.” Galleon’s subtle growl told her his statement was true.
After a few seconds, she nodded and positioned herself beside the Deputy. “Very well, sir.”
“Feniks, it’s Ao,” he sighed before gazing sadly at his friend. “If you can, could you go through some of those papers? I’ll come help you in a few hours.”
“If it’s less than four hours from now,” Galleon began, a flare of emotion she didn’t recognise in his eyes, “then I’ll be sending you back to bed.”
The Mayor smirked. “Deal.”
With that, Ao spun on his heel and headed inside, a hesitant Feniks following behind. Galleon grabbed at her wrist just as she grabbed the door handle, the cold brass nuzzling her paw. She twisted to glare at him, only for the worry in his eyes to sink in.
“Please make sure he gets to sleep, Feniks. I know what he’s like.” He exhaled noisily, shutting his eyes. When they reopened, the concern had grown. “If needs be, there’s a bottle of perfume on his dresser. It’s a sleeping potion for his insomnia, it’ll send him to sleep within minutes. Please use it if he starts misbehaving.”
Her brow furrowed in confusion. “Does he know?”
Galleon nodded. “Yes, he knows. It’s a prescription potion. Hopefully he won’t mess about too much, but if he does, he’d want you to use it.” He chuckled sadly and finally let go of her. “It’s not easy being an insomniac.”
Her head-feathers flattened against her head, though not in anger. “I’m guessing you know how that feels.”
“I do.”
“I’ll see that it’s done if he refuses,” Feniks murmured after a while, a spark of determination settled in her gaze.
With a small smile that barely reached his eyes, Galleon stalked off down the hall. His room was just a few feet away. The groan that travelled from said room made her snort as she trailed into Ao’s room, closing the door behind her.
In comparison to his office, Ao’s bedchamber was simple. The marble drifted into wooden planks, accompanied by a stark white rug that brushed gently against the pads of her aching feet. A large desk, recently oiled and polished, sat underneath a huge, arching window, left to bake in the little sunlight that filtered through amongst dark storm clouds. Not far from that was a lavish bed showing off Ao’s colours—silver and blue—with scattered books at the foot of it.
Golden light fell upon a small perfume bottle, which someone appropriately labelled ‘lullaby’ as she edged closer. It sat beside another, neater stack of papers and Ao, who leaned against the desk and gazed at her.
“What did your letter say, Lieutenant?” he asked breezily, the slur gone.
“You should get some sleep, sir,” she suggested in spite of the ache in her. She wanted to tell him, but Galleon was right. He needed rest.
“I won’t be able to sleep, not with your mother making you uncomfortable.”
Feniks sighed, resuming her default stance. “Sir—”
“Out with it, Feniks.” It was a wavering order, one that held little authority over her. As much as he tried, he wasn’t exactly threatening. A giant teddy bear.
She frowned at her higher-up. Feniks knew she could ignore it and force him into his bed, yet she yearned to tell him. He deserved to know, especially as it involved one of the most notorious—and missing—pursuers.
Ao gestured for her to tell him and, despite Galleon’s earlier plea, she did. “Apparently Mother has some information on... one of the offenders. I was going to see her tonight, outside of my duties, and see if I can get it from her.”
“I’m coming with you.”
Feniks glared at the Mayor, who shrugged nonchalantly. “Sir, you need your rest.”
“It’s Ao, and I couldn’t care less about resting.” He stepped away from the desk and closed the distance between them, lowering his voice to a whisper. “Which of the offenders is it?”
Her lack of an answer made him snort. Like her, he was disbelieving “She somehow has information on her son? Didn’t he leave her over three years ago?”
“He did, yes, si—Ao.”
“Has she got any proof?”
Slowly, Feniks nodded. “She sent one of Trifolium’s feathers, but I was foolish and dumped it in a fire. Apparently she fought with him.”
Ao shook his head, looking like he’d just sucked on a lemon. “How do we know it’s Trifolium’s?”
“We don’t, but it’s a lead we—” She bowed her head in shame. For months, she’d been looking for any clue on her younger brother, and somehow her mother beat her to it without even trying. “—I haven’t been able to find.”
Ao patted her shoulder. She looked up to see a small smile on his face that softened his features. He looked like the Mayor everyone loved once more. “It’s not your fault that your brother’s crafty,” he told her. “He gets it from your mother, I presume.”
“That and his experience as a thief throughout his life,” Feniks muttered, noting the bitterness in her tone. She fiddled with her belt, the softness of it comforting her. “Mother said she wanted something in return for her help.”
“Any idea what it could be?”
“None, sir.”
“Ao, Feniks,” he gently reminded her again. “Can I have a look at the letter?”
Feniks tugged the letter free from her belt once more and handed it to the Mayor. For a reason unknown to her, anxiety coursed through her blood.
He took it from her with a thank you and stalked over to his bed to read it. In the sunlight flitting along the bed, his eye bags were more noticeable, making the skin beneath his eyes a dark purple rather than a light blue. The desire to follow Galleon’s order—to put him to sleep with the perfume—crawled into her mind, whispered in her ear. Feniks shook her head and hoped she wouldn’t have to use it.
“Interesting,” Ao murmured to himself, biting his thumb. He gave her a quizzical look. “Has she done anything recently?”
“Not that I’m aware of. We made a deal that she wouldn’t kill anymore.” She bit her lip in frustration. “I hope she stuck to it. The meeting didn’t exactly end well.”
He got up from the bed and picked up a cloak hanging from the door. It was as black as midnight, with the rim a weaving set of light blues and whites. It reminded her of a shoreline at midnight. “Let’s go see her.”
Feniks shook her head. “Ao, you need to sleep.”
“I’d much rather make sure that a danger to society is taken care of—” Ao started as soon as the sentence left his mouth, and he bit his lip. Regret glinted in his eyes. “No offence, Feniks.”
“None taken,” she grumbled. “I’m nothing like my mother.”
“Is there any threat to her killing again if we don’t give her what she wants?”
Feniks shook her head. “If what she says is true, she wouldn’t dare. Not if she wants to strike a deal with us in the future if this one doesn’t go well.”
Ao grinned and went to open the door. “Then let’s pay her a visit.”
He couldn’t take another step as she swiped the perfume from the desk and held it between them, the golden nozzle aimed at the Mayor. His ears flattened at the sight of it. It made her heart clench.
“Feniks, what are you—?”
“You need your sleep, Ao,” she sighed, squeezing the bottle a little bit tighter. “Go to bed and we’ll visit her tonight, where no one will notice us.”
He looked about to protest, mouth open like a gaping fish. When he closed it, Feniks had to stile a sigh of relief. “Get into bed, please sir.”
With a grunt, he trudged to his bed, clambering onto the covers. Something felt wrong. Ao wasn’t one to give up so easily, even when he was exhausted.
“Do you still have that file on your mother?” he inquired, as if answering her invisible inquiry.
“I do.”
“Good.”
Just as she opened her mouth, confused, Ao gave her a level look. With his wings wrapped around him, he looked too innocent to be the Mayor of Mistide. “Does she know about them?”
Feniks tugged at her belt. “She thinks I burnt them. It was part of our deal.”
“Bring it to me.”
“Ao—”
“We need something as leverage if we’re to get something from her,” he told her. The knowledge seemed to bound from him into the surrounding room, infinite. Perhaps being the Mayor wasn’t his first dream.
Feniks’s head-feathers flattened against her head. “To guilt trip her?”
Ao smiled at her reassuringly. “To call her out if she gets out of hand. I’ve never met your mother, but guessing by your hatred for her, she isn’t the loveliest female in Mistide.”
“Far from it,” she spat out before she could stop it.
“Then go bring me your file and we’ll dig up her worst offences. She might behave herself if we have them on us.”
Feniks gave him a level look. “I’ll give it to you tonight, when you wake up. For now, you need sleep.”
“Feniks—”
She raised the potion once more and gave him a sad smile. “I’m not going to disobey Galleon again, Ao. He wanted me to use this on you if you messed around.”
Even though his expression screamed their distaste for sleep, he nodded curtly and wrapped himself up in his wings. For good measure, she squirted the pillow beneath his head and moved to sit on the desk. She stayed for a while after that, about half an hour, to make sure he was asleep. His deep breathing gave it away; soft snores intertwined with the gentle rain beginning to patter against the windowpanes. He looked at peace in his sleep. No worries clouded his eyes, no stress furrowed his brow, and to see him genuinely calm sparked happiness in her. As much as their relationship was professional, she still cared.
Eventually, content with Ao sleeping the afternoon away, she left his room, slowly closing the door behind her. The gentle click satisfied her and she ambled towards her room. Disgust roiled in her at the thought of touching her mother’s file, the lie slick against her tongue. I’ll burn it, she remembered growling, and the Mayor will never know, if you promise not to kill. She locked it away in the corner of her mind.
Perhaps Mother’s changed in the last year, she thought, forcing herself to hope against the damning knowledge that she hadn’t.
It was all she could do to keep her stomach from knotting itself in disgust, and perhaps fear, of her mother.
Made by Ozie in "Ozie's Lore Shop!"
Hey human, wanna buy some lore? Click here, you won't be disappointed!

Note to self: Lore pinglist
Hello! I'm aware your lore shop is full, but I was wondering if you do affiliates?
Hello! I'm aware your lore shop is full, but I was wondering if you do affiliates?
55SFHGt.png
9997.png
I'm Blu!
+3 FR Time!
She/Her
Bilingual
FdTZDfM.png

3GF2aLR.png
@BlueBone Gotta be honest, I've never actually considered it, though I'd love to if you'd want! I won't have any kind of banner to give you for a while, considering I'm away on holiday and replying to you via my phone, though I'd gladly ping you once I'm back home so that banners can be exchanged. (I'd put your banner up on my thread now if it weren't for the hassle and my remaining .6 of a gigabyte of data). I hope that's okay! If that sways you at all, dw about it. [emoji=coatl happy size=1]
@BlueBone
Gotta be honest, I've never actually considered it, though I'd love to if you'd want! I won't have any kind of banner to give you for a while, considering I'm away on holiday and replying to you via my phone, though I'd gladly ping you once I'm back home so that banners can be exchanged. (I'd put your banner up on my thread now if it weren't for the hassle and my remaining .6 of a gigabyte of data).

I hope that's okay! If that sways you at all, dw about it.
Hey human, wanna buy some lore? Click here, you won't be disappointed!

Note to self: Lore pinglist
That sounds excellent! No worries! Here's my banner: [url=http://www1.flightrising.com/forums/art/2709579/1][img]https://i.imgur.com/aE4Phb5.gif[/img][/url] [code][url=http://www1.flightrising.com/forums/art/2709579/1][img]https://i.imgur.com/aE4Phb5.gif[/img][/url][/code]
That sounds excellent! No worries!
Here's my banner:
aE4Phb5.gif
Code:
[url=http://www1.flightrising.com/forums/art/2709579/1][img]https://i.imgur.com/aE4Phb5.gif[/img][/url]
55SFHGt.png
9997.png
I'm Blu!
+3 FR Time!
She/Her
Bilingual
FdTZDfM.png

3GF2aLR.png
@Blueberrypodoboo I've rewritten this same paragraph about eight times because my computer keeps crashing, but heyo! I finished writing Walter's part one about twenty minutes ago and, after having a read over, I think it's good enough to send at last! Once again, I enjoyed writing for you and your Circus. I can only hope you enjoy reading his part one as much as I loved writing it. [emoji=coatl tongue size=1] [i]Note: I'll be sending parts two and three separately, as the latter won't make sense (and won't be as much of an emotional gutpunch) until some other lores are done, such as Torny, Solomon and Strom. To give a hint; his ending is the finality, or the final event, for Shatterskull, so it's only fair to save it until later, right? [emoji=coatl winking size=1][/I] [quote=Walter (pt.1)]-1- Walter stank of sweat that morning. Ever since dawn, he helped Aries, Lucian and Lady Jack set up the main tent while the others rested, dragging materials from the entrance to the patch of grass on one side and holding up wooden pillars thick enough and tall enough to tower over him in his hunched state. So far, they had finished stabilising five others. That only left the one he currently held up – the heaviest one, and the centrepiece of the tent. “Have you done it yet?” he groaned, peering around the pillar. Aries stood on the other side, carving tool in paw for a Stabilising rune. “Nearly,” he mumbled as he inspected the ground. Sighing, Walter struggled with the temptation to let go of the pillar. [i]I desperately need a break[/i]. The voice in his head sounded slurred somehow, echoed in his ears. “Dada!” A smile broke across his face at the trill voice of his son, Torny. He’d taken it upon himself to help him keep the pillar in place. Walter hadn’t the heart to tell him no. He still didn’t as he gazed down at him. “You okay down there, beautiful?” “Ya!” he cried, beaming with not only his mouth, but his eyes too. Just like his Papa, Wind lineage gleamed in them. Unlike his Papa, caution didn’t swim in them almost constantly, clouding their beautiful shine. “I help you!” “You’re being so helpful, sweetheart,” Walter cooed. “I wouldn’t be able to hold this up without you.” His son’s soft, manic giggling made his heart flutter. The scrunching of his nose in concentration resembled his Papa, Vladimir, who always stuck his tongue out and crinkled his nose whenever he wrote a letter to their next placement. He always had his hair tied back in a loose ponytail at that point, his ruby scarf—one of Walter’s own from years ago—low around his neck and one of Walter’s many shirts swaddling him. [i]It’s my comfort style[/i], he’d admitted one night upon inquiry, hunched over a stack of papers. He never minded. “You can let go now, boys!” Aries called out over the hammering of chisel against wood. He didn’t have to be told twice. His trembling arms fell to his side. They felt almost numb and weightless, with marks and scratches etched into his paws. He managed to tug a few splinters free before his legs gave out, his wings cushioning his fall. Damp spread across them. It did little to motivate him to move. “I’m done for the day,” he cried, attempting to dismiss Aries with a wave of his paw. “I ache all over.” “We’re not done yet, Walter,” his friend tutted. For once, Aries sounded more energetic than he did. That wasn’t a good sign. “We’re due for our break, though.” He groaned and sat up, dazed. Sunlight baked him alive, sweat dribbled down his back and wings. Only Torny wasn’t dripping and miserable, running circles around the pillar with a bright and adorable smile on his face. As soon as he noticed him sat up, he squealed and launched himself at him in a fit of giggles, knocking him back to the ground below. “Torny, sweetheart,” Walter chuckled, “I need to get up.” “No!” “Don’t you want food?” His son pouted at him, head-feathers flat against his neck. “No!” Walter thought for a second, petting his son’s feathers. “Do you want me to play with you?” The squeal that came from him was answer enough, accompanied by his typical hatchling smile. Walter grinned at him then nodded in Aries’ direction. He sat on a barrel not too far from the pillar, wiping sweat away with his paw. “Go sit with Uncle Aries and I’ll play with you, okay?” With a giggle, his son slipped from his stomach and raced towards the scavenger, waving his arms frantically. He watched on as his friend hefted an excitable Torny into his lap and kept him occupied with a few of hundreds of treasures he found in his scavenging. Only once, did he do anything but stare; when Aries looked nervously at him at his son’s frown (the concept of rust confused the poor thing), he nodded. It wasn’t like Aries to get nervous or scared, but the reassurance seemed to help. After a few seconds longer of grinning at his son’s fascination—his favourite seemed to be a sapphire necklace, which he squirreled away with Aries’ permission—Walter stood with a groan. Pins and needles shot through his arms and legs, but his son’s curious oohs and ahhs at the various Shinies kept him distracted. For a while. Walter’s legs gave away again soon enough. He had to lean against the barrel to rest, sliding down until he sat on his haunches. “I’m not doing that again,” he wheezed. “You don’t have to,” Aries chuckled. “The rest is getting the cover over the pillars and pinning them down.” “Good.” “Dada, play with me!” Torny cried above him. He clutched his favourite toy to his chest; a musty old bunny that was also once his and the only gift Walter ever remembered receiving before Vladimir’s arrival. Bright pink and yellow patchwork covered its belly and one ear, its once-white fur marked with years of dirt and playtime; it sat in his son’s lap, waiting for yet another adventure. A button from Walter’s waistcoat replaced one eye after tearing free because of a particular youngling’s teething phase. Aries frowned at Torny, his face soft. [i]One of the many wonders of Shatterskull[/i], he and Vladimir called it on occasion. “I think your Dada’s really—” Walter pinched his friend’s arm and shook his head as soon as his gaze was on him. He then looked back to his son and let him slip into his lap from Aries’ knee. “What do you want me to do, sweetheart?” “You be bad guy,” he whispered, “and Bunny be good guy.” “Am I okay to sit down for this?” “Yeah.” He grinned, patting his son’s head. “Go on then, you get ready.” Giggling, Torny raced off—only just far enough to be out of earshot—to have a pep talk with Bunny. Walter stayed sat beside his friend. His neck and arms felt stiff and limp. With a groan, he rolled and rubbed his neck in an attempt to ease its aching, cracked a few joints to soothe the pins and needles. Neither of them worked. “Are you sure you should be playing with him?” Aries asked him hesitantly, eyeing Torny with a small, if not concerned, smile. “He’s my son,” Walter scowled before he could help it. He calmed himself before speaking again. “Of course I’m going to play with him.” His friend’s ears flattened against his head, his eyes narrowing. “I didn’t mean any offence, Walter—” “I know. I’m sorry.” He sighed, rubbing at his eyes. “I haven’t been able to spend much time with him the past few days. I want to make the most of it.” Torny roared across from them, a cheeky, white-toothed smile on his face and Bunny in his paws. His casual attire, a small-multicoloured coat of white and blue, turned into a cape, his gloves over Bunny’s ears and acting like some kind of mask. Walter had to stifle his smile. He looked too cute to be terrifying. “Is this the hero that dares to defy me?” Walter drawled, dragging himself up into a crouch. “You’re bad!” Torny cried, edging around him at a safe distance. “I gonna destroy you!” “You’re no match for me and my super secret weapon!” “Yeah I am!” Growling playfully, he crawled closer to his son, who backed away using Bunny as a shield. His arms ached and stiffened with each movement. “My super powerful ray of darkness will spread across the entire universe before you can stop it, my sweet little—” Before he could finish, he flung Bunny at him, filling his mouth with aged fluff and cotton. He fell to the ground, coughing and spluttering from ancient dust. Looking up just in time to see Torny ready to jump on him, he rolled to one side. As swiftly and gently as he could, he pulled his son’s legs from beneath him, using his wing to cushion his fall. “Aha!” he cried, wrapping his arms around his son’s waist despite the increasingly dull pain. “I’ve got you now, Bunnyman!” “Nooo,” Torny screamed between giggles, wriggling in his hold. “Bunnyman will win!” “Such determination wasted on a fruitless attempt,” Walter snarled, his smile growing. “You will watch as my night ray consumes all the light in the world, and [i]you[/i]—” He began to gently tickle his son, digits roving along his sides and smile growing with each laugh. “—will not be able to stop me!” With a gurgled shriek, his son broke free of his hold and clambered onto his chest. He used Bunny as a weapon, slamming him down against his chest with a loud battle cry he was certain the Icewarden could hear. The soft thumps and the high-pitched battle cries did little to him, yet he made a dramatic showing of agony and devastation just for his little boy’s amusement, rolling onto his side and groaning once he was finished. “You’ve... defeated me,” he wheezed, wincing. He hoped it looked improvised. “How?” “Because Bunnyman always win!” Torny giggled, bouncing Bunny in the air with a victorious smile that reminded him of Vladimir. “Meanies never win!” “I will... return... for you. I will come back... and defeat you.” “Never!” Feigning a last breath, he let his body fall limp against the grass, slamming his eyes shut and steadying his breathing. The faint smell of petrichor drifted into his nose, the sunlight’s heat slammed into his shoulder and wing as he waited. Torny continued to giggle for a few minutes as Aries praised him for his work defeating the villain. When it ceased, he could barely withhold his grin. [i]Please don’t play Poker[/i], Vladimir sighed once. [i]You’d lose every game.[/i] After a minute, a black shadow crossed his eyelids and crouched before him. “Dada?” Torny inquired with worry in his tone. When he didn’t answer, he felt two tiny paws grab his shoulder and shake him. “Wake up, Dada!” Slowly, he cracked open an eyelid and unleashed a mischievous grin at his unsuspecting son. Then, just before his son could take step away, he grabbed his son’s waist, rolled onto his back and hoisted him into the air, revelling in his fit of giggling. With all of his strength, he kept Torny suspended in the air and laughed with him as he wriggled and twisted. Bunny dropped onto his chest in his efforts. “Dada!” he cried, his voice hoarse from laughing so much. “Put me down!” “Never,” he snarled playfully, pulling his son into a hug. Pain shot through his arms, their shaking worsening. He couldn’t care less about it. Not when he finally released Torny, who willingly curled up on his chest beside Bunny, panting. Absentmindedly stroking his crooked head-feathers, he gazed giddily at his friend. Aries shook his head, chuckling. “You’re in pain aren’t you?” “Yeah,” Walter croaked as the weight on his chest fidgeted. He turned back to grin at Torny. “You okay, beautiful?” The tiny yawn that escaped from his son was answer enough. His smile turned soft and calm, planting a kiss on his forehead. “Come on, it’s sleep time for you.” “Noooo,” his son wailed. “I don’t want sleep!” “You’re tired,” he cooed, gently pushing him into his lap so that he could sit up. “You’ve been so helpful that it’s exhausted you.” “No.” He rolled his eyes as he pushed himself up onto his elbows. Torny stayed in his lap and fiddled with Bunny under his gaze. As much as he tried to keep awake to prove a point, he couldn’t keep up the fight for long. Eventually his eyelids fluttered closed and his teddy fell to the grass below with the gentlest of thuds. Aries sighed to his right. Walter shot him a quizzical look as he bundled Torny up. “Is everything okay?” “I thought Vladimir was meant to stay in the caravan.” Eyebrows raised, he looked around, Plague eyes roving relaxing dragons on their break to see his fiancé among them, scarf over his mouth and eyes fluttering with the effort to keep them open. [i]He must’ve just woken up.[/i] Walter exhaled noisily and scooped Torny up into his arms with little protest, pain subsiding. Gentle snores came from him as he twisted into a comfortable position in his hold, gripping onto the teddy he’d just picked up to save it from dropping to the ground below once more. “Do you want me to keep an eye on Little Blue?” Aries suggested with his often-fiery gaze soft upon landing on the snoozing hatchling. “If you want,” he said, gently handing Torny to the scavenger. He shrugged off his waistcoat and threw it over his son for good measure. The cold wasn’t exactly kind to hatchlings. “He’ll sleep like a log, so if you need to move around, don’t feel hesitant.” Aries snorted and nodded his acknowledgment before locking his gaze onto Torny, wrapped up in grey with a tuft of dirty white sticking out underneath his chin. As much as he was demanding, every moment with him, even in sleep, was one he’d never change, even if Torny would never believe him when he’s older. “Vladimir,” he called as he wandered to his fiancé’s side. He lowered his voice to keep their talk private, arm wrapped around his shoulder. “You should be inside, Viper.” “I’m fine, Walt,” he groaned, his voice muffled by his scarf. Walter gave it to him to protect him from the Mist when they’d first met and never asked for it back. However, it saddened him to see him use it for something as measly as pollen now. “You don’t sound fine.” Vladimir looked at him with pleading, tired eyes. “You’ve kept me cooped up for three days. I need some time outside.” That was true enough. Three days ago, they took the day off with Torny to spend some much needed time together and so Walter had the appropriate setting to propose in. Just as they went to eat, their son messing with his food as per usual, Vladimir needed to go straight to a medic with an asthma attack. They hadn’t returned until the next morning, neither of the couple sleeping. “Walter?” Shaking his head slowly to dispel the event, he sighed. “You’re right. I’m sorry for keeping you inside.” “You were scared,” he murmured. It was almost inaudible through the scarf. “I get it. I can’t stay inside though, Walt. It’ll turn me insane.” He snorted. “Have you got a vial on you in case anything [i]does[/i] happen?” “Yes.” “Then do as you please, Viper.” He gently pecked what showed of Vladimir’s cheek before whispering, “Please don’t take the scarf off this time. You know what’ll happen.” Vladimir chuckled. “I won’t.” His fiancé peered around, an eyebrow raised, before turning to him. “Where’s Torny?” “With Aries. He helped out a lot while you slept.” Walter watched as Vladimir’s eyes glinted with mischief. “I should hope you learnt your lesson about leaving him alone even for just two minutes.” Walter winced and his fiancé laughed in the face of his embarrassment, turning a few heads from all around. “We promised we wouldn’t talk about that.” Vladimir snickered. “For being as bright as you are, you’re very stupid sometimes, my love.” “Who says you’re not?” “Why, I’m [i]perfect[/i], of course.” Walter hummed before planting a kiss in his lavender-scented mane. The sound of wings flapping above him prompted him to stand. He turned to see two of the Circus in the sky; one smaller and daintier than the other one, yelling his name, the other merely pushing himself to his limit just to prove a point, a stony, sweaty look on his face. Their names were Lady Jack and Lucian, the stuntwoman and juggler for Shatterskull. They weren’t friends—far from it—but Walter made them work together so they could at least [i]tolerate[/i] each other’s existence. It never worked for long. “[i]Walter![/i]” Jackie cried again, heaving a bag in a white-knuckled grasp. “Give us a paw, please!” Chuckling, he stretched his wings and flew up to meet them. He had to stifle a groan. It’d been a long few days since he so much as hovered, let alone flew, and his joints felt as stiff as a rusted robot. Finally being able to feel the wind on his face again as he soared up to greet them almost felt like heaven. “You sure you want me to help you with that?” he called to Jack. The sweat dripping down her forehead looked almost like crystals in the sunlight. “You look like you can handle it.” “Take it off me before I hit you with it,” she growled, deliberately shaking her head and flinging her sweat everywhere, as much as the two males groaned at it. Walter peered at the bag Lucian carried—a smaller one, no doubt filled with pegs and fabrics—before taking Jack’s bag. His muscles strained mere seconds after taking it. The bag was full of thick white guy ropes, a waterproof cover for the tent and a metal mallet on top. “Shouldn’t these bags be switched?” he inquired to Lucian. “She opted to carry the heavier one,” he drawled, throwing an icy glare at Jack. Barely a drop of sweat dripped down his brow. “Excuse me!” she cried, flapping forward until she hovered before him, her face as close as a lover’s. “You took the lighter one before I had chance to!” Lucian, as always when he lost an argument, didn’t listen. Instead, he dove towards the ground with the grace of a swan. Walter glanced at Jack just in time to see her roll her eyes and spit in his direction. A snort escaped him before he could stop it. “Much trouble?” he whispered, the bag switching paws as one began to sting. “Oh [i]no[/i],” Jack exclaimed, waving her paws around dramatically. “He was just [i]perfect[/i]. A [i]darling[/i] angel, if you ask me.” “Alright, Jackie, I get it.” Jack sneered at him and soon followed Lucian—who’d dumped his bag beside the tallest pillar and wandered off somewhere—down to the soft grass below, Walter following close behind just in case her strength gave out. She didn’t. As much as she was a Fae, she was the strongest he’d met, at least in terms of her iron will. With a thump and a stumble, she collapsed next to Vladimir, who ran his digits over her fins to soothe her. “You okay, Jackie?” “She had to carry the heavier bag,” Walter mumbled when he was close enough, eyeing Lucian as he sauntered towards Aries. The latter male looked ready to bite. He hoped he didn’t, at least not with Torny snuggled in his lap, Bunny still clutched to his chest. “I think Lucian’s having a drama day.” Vladimir only hummed. He got up then, brushed himself clean of any dirt and dust and peered into the bag in his paws with new brightness to his gorgeous green eyes. The scar over his eye shone stark against the black of his skin, gleaming with a sheen. “It’s supplies for the tent,” he muttered, though Vladimir already knew. “Do you want to help put it up?” Starting, his fiancé looked at him as if he’d just come from another planet. As much as the scarf hid his mouth, Walter could practically see the confused line he’d pressed his lips into. “And if I say yes?” “Then you can help.” He paused without meaning to, placing the bag on the floor with a rustle and scratching at his neck. “I kept you inside for three days, Viper; it’s only fair that I give you the option.” Vladimir gazed at him for a second longer before his eyes creased, glistening with thanks as he pulled Walter in a hug. “I’d love to. Thank you.” “Hey, don’t thank me,” Walter sighed, burying his face into the crook of Vladimir’s neck. “I should’ve done that sooner.” They let the Circus scurry back to work around them, his fiancé’s wings wrapped around them. Keeping Vladimir in a tight hold, he inhaled the mingling scents of the scarf and allowed himself to relax, to feel comfortable for the first time that week. He wanted to savour every second with his fiancé before getting back to work. Fresh air danced dangerously with sickness, clashing in a flurry as if in a fight. Walter’s and Vladimir’s own homelands—almost two opposite ends of the spectrum—wound themselves into one strip of red fabric, never leaving his fiancé’s side until winter cornered them all and Walter stole it back for warmth. Wind was a life his love had forgotten, perhaps for the best. Plague was the life he lived now, which he always worried he might forget. In the midst of the barrage of scents was Vladimir’s lavender perfume that helped him with his anxiety and insomnia, and beyond that was the smell of Walter’s new home; Starwood, from their caravan, and the lingering stench of smoke from a spell of Vladimir’s that went wrong drifted into the fray. Without thinking, he stood up to his full height, paws intertwined behind his future husband’s neck, and grinned. “Do you want me to do bedtime duty tonight?” Vladimir tugged the scarf down from his mouth, much to Walter’s bemusement-turned-worry, and graced him with his own crooked smile. Any objection he had melted on his tongue like velvet. “You’ve been doing it for three nights, now. It’s time I returned the favour.” [right][size=1][i] [url=http://www1.flightrising.com/forums/art/2371542/32#post_40471686]Part two[/url] Made by Ozie in "[URL=http://www1.flightrising.com/forums/art/2371542]Ozie's Lore Shop![/URL]"[/i][/size][/right][/quote]
@Blueberrypodoboo
I've rewritten this same paragraph about eight times because my computer keeps crashing, but heyo! I finished writing Walter's part one about twenty minutes ago and, after having a read over, I think it's good enough to send at last! Once again, I enjoyed writing for you and your Circus. I can only hope you enjoy reading his part one as much as I loved writing it.
Note: I'll be sending parts two and three separately, as the latter won't make sense (and won't be as much of an emotional gutpunch) until some other lores are done, such as Torny, Solomon and Strom. To give a hint; his ending is the finality, or the final event, for Shatterskull, so it's only fair to save it until later, right?
Walter (pt.1) wrote:
-1-
Walter stank of sweat that morning. Ever since dawn, he helped Aries, Lucian and Lady Jack set up the main tent while the others rested, dragging materials from the entrance to the patch of grass on one side and holding up wooden pillars thick enough and tall enough to tower over him in his hunched state. So far, they had finished stabilising five others. That only left the one he currently held up – the heaviest one, and the centrepiece of the tent.
“Have you done it yet?” he groaned, peering around the pillar. Aries stood on the other side, carving tool in paw for a Stabilising rune.
“Nearly,” he mumbled as he inspected the ground.
Sighing, Walter struggled with the temptation to let go of the pillar. I desperately need a break. The voice in his head sounded slurred somehow, echoed in his ears.
“Dada!”
A smile broke across his face at the trill voice of his son, Torny. He’d taken it upon himself to help him keep the pillar in place. Walter hadn’t the heart to tell him no. He still didn’t as he gazed down at him. “You okay down there, beautiful?”
“Ya!” he cried, beaming with not only his mouth, but his eyes too. Just like his Papa, Wind lineage gleamed in them. Unlike his Papa, caution didn’t swim in them almost constantly, clouding their beautiful shine. “I help you!”
“You’re being so helpful, sweetheart,” Walter cooed. “I wouldn’t be able to hold this up without you.”
His son’s soft, manic giggling made his heart flutter. The scrunching of his nose in concentration resembled his Papa, Vladimir, who always stuck his tongue out and crinkled his nose whenever he wrote a letter to their next placement. He always had his hair tied back in a loose ponytail at that point, his ruby scarf—one of Walter’s own from years ago—low around his neck and one of Walter’s many shirts swaddling him. It’s my comfort style, he’d admitted one night upon inquiry, hunched over a stack of papers. He never minded.
“You can let go now, boys!” Aries called out over the hammering of chisel against wood.
He didn’t have to be told twice.
His trembling arms fell to his side. They felt almost numb and weightless, with marks and scratches etched into his paws. He managed to tug a few splinters free before his legs gave out, his wings cushioning his fall. Damp spread across them. It did little to motivate him to move.
“I’m done for the day,” he cried, attempting to dismiss Aries with a wave of his paw. “I ache all over.”
“We’re not done yet, Walter,” his friend tutted. For once, Aries sounded more energetic than he did. That wasn’t a good sign. “We’re due for our break, though.”
He groaned and sat up, dazed. Sunlight baked him alive, sweat dribbled down his back and wings. Only Torny wasn’t dripping and miserable, running circles around the pillar with a bright and adorable smile on his face. As soon as he noticed him sat up, he squealed and launched himself at him in a fit of giggles, knocking him back to the ground below.
“Torny, sweetheart,” Walter chuckled, “I need to get up.”
“No!”
“Don’t you want food?”
His son pouted at him, head-feathers flat against his neck. “No!”
Walter thought for a second, petting his son’s feathers. “Do you want me to play with you?”
The squeal that came from him was answer enough, accompanied by his typical hatchling smile.
Walter grinned at him then nodded in Aries’ direction. He sat on a barrel not too far from the pillar, wiping sweat away with his paw. “Go sit with Uncle Aries and I’ll play with you, okay?”
With a giggle, his son slipped from his stomach and raced towards the scavenger, waving his arms frantically. He watched on as his friend hefted an excitable Torny into his lap and kept him occupied with a few of hundreds of treasures he found in his scavenging. Only once, did he do anything but stare; when Aries looked nervously at him at his son’s frown (the concept of rust confused the poor thing), he nodded. It wasn’t like Aries to get nervous or scared, but the reassurance seemed to help.
After a few seconds longer of grinning at his son’s fascination—his favourite seemed to be a sapphire necklace, which he squirreled away with Aries’ permission—Walter stood with a groan. Pins and needles shot through his arms and legs, but his son’s curious oohs and ahhs at the various Shinies kept him distracted.
For a while.
Walter’s legs gave away again soon enough. He had to lean against the barrel to rest, sliding down until he sat on his haunches. “I’m not doing that again,” he wheezed.
“You don’t have to,” Aries chuckled. “The rest is getting the cover over the pillars and pinning them down.”
“Good.”
“Dada, play with me!” Torny cried above him. He clutched his favourite toy to his chest; a musty old bunny that was also once his and the only gift Walter ever remembered receiving before Vladimir’s arrival. Bright pink and yellow patchwork covered its belly and one ear, its once-white fur marked with years of dirt and playtime; it sat in his son’s lap, waiting for yet another adventure. A button from Walter’s waistcoat replaced one eye after tearing free because of a particular youngling’s teething phase.
Aries frowned at Torny, his face soft. One of the many wonders of Shatterskull, he and Vladimir called it on occasion. “I think your Dada’s really—”
Walter pinched his friend’s arm and shook his head as soon as his gaze was on him. He then looked back to his son and let him slip into his lap from Aries’ knee. “What do you want me to do, sweetheart?”
“You be bad guy,” he whispered, “and Bunny be good guy.”
“Am I okay to sit down for this?”
“Yeah.”
He grinned, patting his son’s head. “Go on then, you get ready.”
Giggling, Torny raced off—only just far enough to be out of earshot—to have a pep talk with Bunny. Walter stayed sat beside his friend. His neck and arms felt stiff and limp. With a groan, he rolled and rubbed his neck in an attempt to ease its aching, cracked a few joints to soothe the pins and needles. Neither of them worked.
“Are you sure you should be playing with him?” Aries asked him hesitantly, eyeing Torny with a small, if not concerned, smile.
“He’s my son,” Walter scowled before he could help it. He calmed himself before speaking again. “Of course I’m going to play with him.”
His friend’s ears flattened against his head, his eyes narrowing. “I didn’t mean any offence, Walter—”
“I know. I’m sorry.” He sighed, rubbing at his eyes. “I haven’t been able to spend much time with him the past few days. I want to make the most of it.”
Torny roared across from them, a cheeky, white-toothed smile on his face and Bunny in his paws. His casual attire, a small-multicoloured coat of white and blue, turned into a cape, his gloves over Bunny’s ears and acting like some kind of mask. Walter had to stifle his smile. He looked too cute to be terrifying.
“Is this the hero that dares to defy me?” Walter drawled, dragging himself up into a crouch.
“You’re bad!” Torny cried, edging around him at a safe distance. “I gonna destroy you!”
“You’re no match for me and my super secret weapon!”
“Yeah I am!”
Growling playfully, he crawled closer to his son, who backed away using Bunny as a shield. His arms ached and stiffened with each movement. “My super powerful ray of darkness will spread across the entire universe before you can stop it, my sweet little—”
Before he could finish, he flung Bunny at him, filling his mouth with aged fluff and cotton. He fell to the ground, coughing and spluttering from ancient dust. Looking up just in time to see Torny ready to jump on him, he rolled to one side. As swiftly and gently as he could, he pulled his son’s legs from beneath him, using his wing to cushion his fall.
“Aha!” he cried, wrapping his arms around his son’s waist despite the increasingly dull pain. “I’ve got you now, Bunnyman!”
“Nooo,” Torny screamed between giggles, wriggling in his hold. “Bunnyman will win!”
“Such determination wasted on a fruitless attempt,” Walter snarled, his smile growing. “You will watch as my night ray consumes all the light in the world, and you—” He began to gently tickle his son, digits roving along his sides and smile growing with each laugh. “—will not be able to stop me!”
With a gurgled shriek, his son broke free of his hold and clambered onto his chest. He used Bunny as a weapon, slamming him down against his chest with a loud battle cry he was certain the Icewarden could hear. The soft thumps and the high-pitched battle cries did little to him, yet he made a dramatic showing of agony and devastation just for his little boy’s amusement, rolling onto his side and groaning once he was finished.
“You’ve... defeated me,” he wheezed, wincing. He hoped it looked improvised. “How?”
“Because Bunnyman always win!” Torny giggled, bouncing Bunny in the air with a victorious smile that reminded him of Vladimir. “Meanies never win!”
“I will... return... for you. I will come back... and defeat you.”
“Never!”
Feigning a last breath, he let his body fall limp against the grass, slamming his eyes shut and steadying his breathing. The faint smell of petrichor drifted into his nose, the sunlight’s heat slammed into his shoulder and wing as he waited. Torny continued to giggle for a few minutes as Aries praised him for his work defeating the villain. When it ceased, he could barely withhold his grin.
Please don’t play Poker, Vladimir sighed once. You’d lose every game.
After a minute, a black shadow crossed his eyelids and crouched before him. “Dada?” Torny inquired with worry in his tone. When he didn’t answer, he felt two tiny paws grab his shoulder and shake him. “Wake up, Dada!”
Slowly, he cracked open an eyelid and unleashed a mischievous grin at his unsuspecting son. Then, just before his son could take step away, he grabbed his son’s waist, rolled onto his back and hoisted him into the air, revelling in his fit of giggling. With all of his strength, he kept Torny suspended in the air and laughed with him as he wriggled and twisted. Bunny dropped onto his chest in his efforts.
“Dada!” he cried, his voice hoarse from laughing so much. “Put me down!”
“Never,” he snarled playfully, pulling his son into a hug. Pain shot through his arms, their shaking worsening. He couldn’t care less about it. Not when he finally released Torny, who willingly curled up on his chest beside Bunny, panting.
Absentmindedly stroking his crooked head-feathers, he gazed giddily at his friend.
Aries shook his head, chuckling. “You’re in pain aren’t you?”
“Yeah,” Walter croaked as the weight on his chest fidgeted. He turned back to grin at Torny. “You okay, beautiful?”
The tiny yawn that escaped from his son was answer enough.
His smile turned soft and calm, planting a kiss on his forehead. “Come on, it’s sleep time for you.”
“Noooo,” his son wailed. “I don’t want sleep!”
“You’re tired,” he cooed, gently pushing him into his lap so that he could sit up. “You’ve been so helpful that it’s exhausted you.”
“No.”
He rolled his eyes as he pushed himself up onto his elbows. Torny stayed in his lap and fiddled with Bunny under his gaze. As much as he tried to keep awake to prove a point, he couldn’t keep up the fight for long. Eventually his eyelids fluttered closed and his teddy fell to the grass below with the gentlest of thuds.
Aries sighed to his right. Walter shot him a quizzical look as he bundled Torny up. “Is everything okay?”
“I thought Vladimir was meant to stay in the caravan.”
Eyebrows raised, he looked around, Plague eyes roving relaxing dragons on their break to see his fiancé among them, scarf over his mouth and eyes fluttering with the effort to keep them open. He must’ve just woken up.
Walter exhaled noisily and scooped Torny up into his arms with little protest, pain subsiding. Gentle snores came from him as he twisted into a comfortable position in his hold, gripping onto the teddy he’d just picked up to save it from dropping to the ground below once more.
“Do you want me to keep an eye on Little Blue?” Aries suggested with his often-fiery gaze soft upon landing on the snoozing hatchling.
“If you want,” he said, gently handing Torny to the scavenger. He shrugged off his waistcoat and threw it over his son for good measure. The cold wasn’t exactly kind to hatchlings. “He’ll sleep like a log, so if you need to move around, don’t feel hesitant.”
Aries snorted and nodded his acknowledgment before locking his gaze onto Torny, wrapped up in grey with a tuft of dirty white sticking out underneath his chin. As much as he was demanding, every moment with him, even in sleep, was one he’d never change, even if Torny would never believe him when he’s older.
“Vladimir,” he called as he wandered to his fiancé’s side. He lowered his voice to keep their talk private, arm wrapped around his shoulder. “You should be inside, Viper.”
“I’m fine, Walt,” he groaned, his voice muffled by his scarf. Walter gave it to him to protect him from the Mist when they’d first met and never asked for it back. However, it saddened him to see him use it for something as measly as pollen now.
“You don’t sound fine.”
Vladimir looked at him with pleading, tired eyes. “You’ve kept me cooped up for three days. I need some time outside.”
That was true enough. Three days ago, they took the day off with Torny to spend some much needed time together and so Walter had the appropriate setting to propose in. Just as they went to eat, their son messing with his food as per usual, Vladimir needed to go straight to a medic with an asthma attack.
They hadn’t returned until the next morning, neither of the couple sleeping.
“Walter?”
Shaking his head slowly to dispel the event, he sighed. “You’re right. I’m sorry for keeping you inside.”
“You were scared,” he murmured. It was almost inaudible through the scarf. “I get it. I can’t stay inside though, Walt. It’ll turn me insane.”
He snorted. “Have you got a vial on you in case anything does happen?”
“Yes.”
“Then do as you please, Viper.” He gently pecked what showed of Vladimir’s cheek before whispering, “Please don’t take the scarf off this time. You know what’ll happen.”
Vladimir chuckled. “I won’t.” His fiancé peered around, an eyebrow raised, before turning to him. “Where’s Torny?”
“With Aries. He helped out a lot while you slept.”
Walter watched as Vladimir’s eyes glinted with mischief. “I should hope you learnt your lesson about leaving him alone even for just two minutes.”
Walter winced and his fiancé laughed in the face of his embarrassment, turning a few heads from all around. “We promised we wouldn’t talk about that.”
Vladimir snickered. “For being as bright as you are, you’re very stupid sometimes, my love.”
“Who says you’re not?”
“Why, I’m perfect, of course.”
Walter hummed before planting a kiss in his lavender-scented mane. The sound of wings flapping above him prompted him to stand. He turned to see two of the Circus in the sky; one smaller and daintier than the other one, yelling his name, the other merely pushing himself to his limit just to prove a point, a stony, sweaty look on his face. Their names were Lady Jack and Lucian, the stuntwoman and juggler for Shatterskull. They weren’t friends—far from it—but Walter made them work together so they could at least tolerate each other’s existence.
It never worked for long.
Walter!” Jackie cried again, heaving a bag in a white-knuckled grasp. “Give us a paw, please!”
Chuckling, he stretched his wings and flew up to meet them. He had to stifle a groan. It’d been a long few days since he so much as hovered, let alone flew, and his joints felt as stiff as a rusted robot. Finally being able to feel the wind on his face again as he soared up to greet them almost felt like heaven.
“You sure you want me to help you with that?” he called to Jack. The sweat dripping down her forehead looked almost like crystals in the sunlight. “You look like you can handle it.”
“Take it off me before I hit you with it,” she growled, deliberately shaking her head and flinging her sweat everywhere, as much as the two males groaned at it.
Walter peered at the bag Lucian carried—a smaller one, no doubt filled with pegs and fabrics—before taking Jack’s bag. His muscles strained mere seconds after taking it. The bag was full of thick white guy ropes, a waterproof cover for the tent and a metal mallet on top. “Shouldn’t these bags be switched?” he inquired to Lucian.
“She opted to carry the heavier one,” he drawled, throwing an icy glare at Jack. Barely a drop of sweat dripped down his brow.
“Excuse me!” she cried, flapping forward until she hovered before him, her face as close as a lover’s. “You took the lighter one before I had chance to!”
Lucian, as always when he lost an argument, didn’t listen. Instead, he dove towards the ground with the grace of a swan. Walter glanced at Jack just in time to see her roll her eyes and spit in his direction. A snort escaped him before he could stop it.
“Much trouble?” he whispered, the bag switching paws as one began to sting.
“Oh no,” Jack exclaimed, waving her paws around dramatically. “He was just perfect. A darling angel, if you ask me.”
“Alright, Jackie, I get it.”
Jack sneered at him and soon followed Lucian—who’d dumped his bag beside the tallest pillar and wandered off somewhere—down to the soft grass below, Walter following close behind just in case her strength gave out. She didn’t. As much as she was a Fae, she was the strongest he’d met, at least in terms of her iron will.
With a thump and a stumble, she collapsed next to Vladimir, who ran his digits over her fins to soothe her. “You okay, Jackie?”
“She had to carry the heavier bag,” Walter mumbled when he was close enough, eyeing Lucian as he sauntered towards Aries. The latter male looked ready to bite. He hoped he didn’t, at least not with Torny snuggled in his lap, Bunny still clutched to his chest. “I think Lucian’s having a drama day.”
Vladimir only hummed. He got up then, brushed himself clean of any dirt and dust and peered into the bag in his paws with new brightness to his gorgeous green eyes. The scar over his eye shone stark against the black of his skin, gleaming with a sheen.
“It’s supplies for the tent,” he muttered, though Vladimir already knew. “Do you want to help put it up?”
Starting, his fiancé looked at him as if he’d just come from another planet. As much as the scarf hid his mouth, Walter could practically see the confused line he’d pressed his lips into. “And if I say yes?”
“Then you can help.” He paused without meaning to, placing the bag on the floor with a rustle and scratching at his neck. “I kept you inside for three days, Viper; it’s only fair that I give you the option.”
Vladimir gazed at him for a second longer before his eyes creased, glistening with thanks as he pulled Walter in a hug. “I’d love to. Thank you.”
“Hey, don’t thank me,” Walter sighed, burying his face into the crook of Vladimir’s neck. “I should’ve done that sooner.”
They let the Circus scurry back to work around them, his fiancé’s wings wrapped around them. Keeping Vladimir in a tight hold, he inhaled the mingling scents of the scarf and allowed himself to relax, to feel comfortable for the first time that week. He wanted to savour every second with his fiancé before getting back to work.
Fresh air danced dangerously with sickness, clashing in a flurry as if in a fight. Walter’s and Vladimir’s own homelands—almost two opposite ends of the spectrum—wound themselves into one strip of red fabric, never leaving his fiancé’s side until winter cornered them all and Walter stole it back for warmth. Wind was a life his love had forgotten, perhaps for the best. Plague was the life he lived now, which he always worried he might forget.
In the midst of the barrage of scents was Vladimir’s lavender perfume that helped him with his anxiety and insomnia, and beyond that was the smell of Walter’s new home; Starwood, from their caravan, and the lingering stench of smoke from a spell of Vladimir’s that went wrong drifted into the fray.
Without thinking, he stood up to his full height, paws intertwined behind his future husband’s neck, and grinned. “Do you want me to do bedtime duty tonight?”
Vladimir tugged the scarf down from his mouth, much to Walter’s bemusement-turned-worry, and graced him with his own crooked smile. Any objection he had melted on his tongue like velvet. “You’ve been doing it for three nights, now. It’s time I returned the favour.”

Part two
Made by Ozie in "Ozie's Lore Shop!"
Hey human, wanna buy some lore? Click here, you won't be disappointed!

Note to self: Lore pinglist
@Ozie I'll never get tired of how you write Walter and Vladimir's interactions ;w; They're so sweet I swear Amazing as usual~! I was absolutely glued to it! (ahh I'm so scared of what feels are to come but at the same time I can't wait! You always do amazing character work so I know you're gonna nail it) Thank you so so much again for bringing so much life to my circus [emoji=coatl love size=1] Whenever I see a notification from you I can't click fast enough!
@Ozie
I'll never get tired of how you write Walter and Vladimir's interactions ;w; They're so sweet I swear

Amazing as usual~! I was absolutely glued to it! (ahh I'm so scared of what feels are to come but at the same time I can't wait! You always do amazing character work so I know you're gonna nail it) Thank you so so much again for bringing so much life to my circus Whenever I see a notification from you I can't click fast enough!
TuA29gc.png
@BlueBone I've typed this four times and I'm tired so I'm sorry if I sound really stiff, but hello anyway! I managed to scrape together what seems to be a decent-ish banner to use with what little I can access, so I hope it's okay to use for now until I can either get a better one or until I can fix that one up. I'll put yours in as soon as I possibly can, which may take a while considering the reason I've typed this so many times is because Flight Rising likes crashing on me. Always fun times! For now, this is what my banner looks like: [url=http://www1.flightrising.com/forums/art/2371542/1][img]https://i.imgur.com/U68uCRc.jpg[/img][/url] [quote=Code][.url=http://www1.flightrising.co/forums/art/2371542/1][.img]https://i.imgur.com/U68uCRc.jpg[/img][/url] I hope this banner is alright for you to use! If anything needs changing, just hmu. If not, then I'll try to get a better banner boi sorted, quite possibly at college considering it's as good a place as any to make one right now. I'll let you know if I'm successful!
@BlueBone
I've typed this four times and I'm tired so I'm sorry if I sound really stiff, but hello anyway! I managed to scrape together what seems to be a decent-ish banner to use with what little I can access, so I hope it's okay to use for now until I can either get a better one or until I can fix that one up. I'll put yours in as soon as I possibly can, which may take a while considering the reason I've typed this so many times is because Flight Rising likes crashing on me. Always fun times!
For now, this is what my banner looks like:
U68uCRc.jpg
Code wrote:
[.url=http://www1.flightrising.co/forums/art/2371542/1][.img]https://i.imgur.com/U68uCRc.jpg[/img][/url]

I hope this banner is alright for you to use! If anything needs changing, just hmu. If not, then I'll try to get a better banner boi sorted, quite possibly at college considering it's as good a place as any to make one right now. I'll let you know if I'm successful!
Hey human, wanna buy some lore? Click here, you won't be disappointed!

Note to self: Lore pinglist
@Ozie

Hey! I ordered some lore for my boy Diamond not long ago and I was wondering if you could let me know when you are open again? I see the thread says full.
Thanks
@Ozie

Hey! I ordered some lore for my boy Diamond not long ago and I was wondering if you could let me know when you are open again? I see the thread says full.
Thanks
aQTk6ad.png SqnIrhs.png
Art Shop
1 2 ... 27 28 29 30 31 32 33